Category Archives: Life of a Brave

Life of a Brave: An Inside Look in the Mind of a Trinity League Champion Diver

by Ethan Gibbs

Being a competitor in an individual sport presents me with a unique experience. Win or lose, there is no one to blame but myself.

When I am climbing up the ladder to the diving board, my brain is racing a million miles per hour. I am thinking about all the possibilities, positive or negative. “Am I gonna smack,” “What if I lose my spot” and “If I squeeze my shoulders I could rip.” 

The second I take my first step on the board, my mind is clear. I am 100% focused on my dive and think about nothing else. It is as if every thought and emotion leaves my body.

After I hit the water, everything comes back to me, all the emotions and thoughts. I start thinking about how good my dive was, and if I am going to get good scores. 

My name is Ethan Gibbs, and I am a springboard diver for St. John Bosco and for my club team, Crown Valley Divers. I will continue to dive for Bosco my senior year, as I did my sophomore year.

When I am on the board, I appear completely calm to those watching me. It is like I don’t have a care in the world. All I am thinking about is doing the best dive I possibly can. I look like I am at peace, but in reality, that is not the case. I am doing my best to seem that way because diving is all about how you present yourself on the board, as well as off the board. 

There are little things divers do to try and increase their score. For example, smiling at the judges and looking prepared will sometimes increase your score by a point. A lot of divers will talk to the judges after a competition and be friendly toward them so that next time the judge sees them in competition, he could potentially favor them over another diver. 

My team and I practice tirelessly before I compete. In the practice session, there are divers on every single board, and they are diving left and right. However, when the time comes for the meet to start, everything changes. When it is my turn, I am alone. None of my teammates are with me. It is silent, and I have every single person’s eyes on me. Everything is on me, and I can’t rely on my teammates for anything. After I complete my dive, I get to be with my teammates and other divers until it is my turn again.

When I was six years old, I started diving at McCormick Divers in Long Beach at the Belmont Plaza Pool. I participated in a diving summer camp. One practice, while I was trying a new dive, I over-rotated and smacked on my back. It hurt a lot and I still can remember the pain from that incident. When I was six I became scared of diving and decided that I did not want to participate in the class any longer. A year later, my parents and I moved to Paris, France, where I started playing tennis. After staying in Paris for five years, we moved to Orlando, Florida, where I started diving again for a team called YCF Divers. This was the beginning of my diving career. 

When I was in sixth grade, my father had told me about a prestigious diving team close by and asked if I wanted to try out. Thus, I went to the evaluation practice and made the team. I started diving two days a week at with an Olympian coach.

I enjoyed diving again, as I could not wait for practice every day, waiting to get in the water and on the boards. I started on the lowest level and eventually worked my way up to the top. Fortunately, I dove with people who got a lot of full-ride scholarships. 

Training for diving involves a lot of conditioning and dryland. Dryland is a place where you work out and train, and it can also help you work on dives you are afraid of, or not ready for. Dryland is made up of springboards into foam pits and mats. There are also trampolines and boxes to do flips and handstands on.

Dryland helps me prepare for dives mentally that I would be too afraid to do in the water for fear of smacking. Smacking and hitting the diving board is what every diver is afraid of. Diving is different from team sports because everyone from all diving teams is experiencing the same fear, and it creates a bond between all divers.

In diving, there is no conflict between teams. Everyone is friendly to one another no matter what team they’re on. Everyone pushes each other to do better and accomplish their goals. In competition, after a diver has gone, people from all teams cheer. 

Diving is different from a “team sport” because in a competition divers are competing against their own teammates as well as other teams. Everyone has their own individual score, and they are judged only on their dive, not the team as a whole.

Judging in diving is extremely hard. The judges begin their assessment even when the diver is not on the board. They are looking at how the diver acts, how they present themselves and if they’re respectful to the other divers. All of that will affect how the judge scores the diver. Although the judge might only score a diver down half a point, half a point can determine first or second place.

Going up to do my eleven dives in competition is extremely stressful. When I’m doing my dive, I have everyone’s attention. The announcer states my name and dives for everyone to hear. Knowing that everyone is watching me doesn’t make it any easier to do my dive, but knowing that every diver has to go through the same brings me comfort.

In the end, hearing everyone cheer for me is worth it. Knowing that so many people were impressed by my dive makes all the stress go away. 

Life of a Brave: Ms. Jen Schnorr Becomes the First Female Vice Principal in St. John Bosco’s History

by Matthew Parsons

As the first female Vice Principal of St. John Bosco High School, Ms. Schnorr is paving the way for more diversity in the Bosco community.

Photo by Alex Diaz, Photo Editor

Ms. Schnorr grew up in an active household in the South Bay. She is the oldest of four children, with two sisters and a brother. She and all of her siblings were involved in many sports and activities throughout their upbringing, which perhaps planted the seed for her to become a fun and dynamic leader.

Ms. Schnorr participated in an abundance of extracurriculars in her school years, including volleyball, basketball, soccer and softball at the varsity level in high school. She even participated in boy’s baseball her senior year. Not only was she a student-athlete, but she was also a member of her school’s ASB every year.

Ms. Schnorr attended St. Margaret Mary for elementary school, St. Anthony High School and then went on to attend college at California State University, East Bay for a year before transferring to UC Santa Barbara. She double majored in Global Studies and Spanish Literature.

After graduating from UC Santa Barbara, Ms. Schnorr joined the Peace Corps, and she travelled to Africa to live in Mozambique for three years. In Mozambique, she taught English, which was her introduction to teaching. When she returned to the United States, she pursued teaching further, being a substitute teacher at her high school alma mater, St. Anthony.

Being a teacher wasn’t Ms. Schnorr’s original intention in life. Even as her “dream job” changed over the years, it was never teaching. As a child she wanted to become a doctor, but as she grew into her high school years, she changed her pursuit to becoming an Athletic Trainer for the Los Angeles Lakers. Then, after college, Ms. Schnorr’s goal was to join an international non-governmental agency, which ultimately led her to the Peace Corps.

“I love traveling. I love the world, and I love learning about cultures and meeting new people,” said Ms. Schnorr.

After a period of teaching at St. Anthony High School, Ms. Schnorr heard about an open position for a Spanish teacher at Bosco from friends who worked here. Growing up in the Long Beach area, Ms. Schnorr already knew many people from St. John Bosco, so when she learned of the position, she already knew of the school.

“I had friends that went to Bosco. I actually knew Mr. Negro and Mr. Cordero. And when I heard that they had a Spanish position open, I was very excited. Mr. Salmingo and I had worked at a previous school together, and when he said there was an opening, I applied,” said Ms. Schnorr.

Since, Ms. Schnorr has been a mentor and role model to many of her students. She is a great teacher, and students at Bosco have nothing but praise for the job she does.

“She was really helpful as a teacher. She kept the work very practical and constantly related the Spanish that we were learning to reality and situations that we would be faced with in real life, rather than just teaching from the textbook,” said senior Michael Carbone.

In the very short time that Ms. Schnorr has been a member of the Bosco community, she has been allotted a lot of responsibilities. She has gone from the role of a Spanish teacher and Activities Director to Vice Principal of Student Affairs.

“I went from just teaching Spanish to taking over activities. And now, with the Vice Principal of Student Affairs, I’m in charge of leading the three main teams, all of ASB, campus ministry and Christian service,” said Ms. Schnorr. 

Along with everything that she has accomplished, Ms. Schnorr is the first female Vice Principal of Student Affairs, a historic landmark for the Bosco community. To Ms. Schnorr there’s a lot of honor that comes with the position and achievement of being the first woman to become it.

“I think that’s a big deal, to be the first female administrator at Bosco, and I’m honored and humbled. I think it’s good to have a diverse group in the administration to have everyone’s different inputs and perspectives on things,” said Ms. Schnorr.

Ms. Schnorr has done a great job with handling all of her responsibilities and new position. Even though it’s a much larger workload, she has not let up her efforts in the slightest.

“Ms. Schnorr is not only our Vice Principal of Student Affairs. She’s a teacher, a mentor, a friendly peer and a motherly` figure at Bosco. She’s always on the move serving students’ needs. Working alongside Ms. Schnorr is a privilege. I’ve learned to be a leader, public speaker and a better student from her. Any moment I’m with Ms. Schnorr, I know it will be filled with smiles and laughter,” said senior Kaimana Storch.

Ms. Schnorr loves the Bosco community and brotherhood. For her it’s been a great experience and an opportunity for her to learn many new things. When she first came to Bosco, she didn’t really know what she was getting herself into but it’s proven itself to be the right choice for her. 

“I didn’t really know what to expect when I started here because I had never been on the actual campus before,” said Ms. Schnorr.

Ms. Schnorr has worked at Bosco for four years now. She’s watched many students come and go and watched freshmen grow into becoming seniors. She loves watching the students grow up and become young men.

The COVID-19 pandemic greatly shifted the landscape of teaching and Ms. Schnorr’s job. For her, it was very challenging to teach and organize activities.

“It was challenging, not having any students to provide activities for, but when we returned to campus last March, we hit the ground running,” said Ms. Schnorr.

Ms. Schnorr, while only being part of the Bosco community for a short time, has become a key piece of the community. She looks forward to helping students and continuing to watch the community grow every day.

Life of a Brave: Alumni Spotlight with Computer Science Teacher Mr. Nathan Corkhill, ’09

by Oscar Aranda

St. John Bosco’s very own Nathan Corkhill, class of 2009, returned to Bosco to give back to the place he calls home and educate the new generation of Braves.

Photo by Alex Diaz, Photo Editor

Mr. Corkhill attended St. John Bosco from 2005 to 2009 and follows a family legacy not too many people are aware of. Mr. Corkhill’s former Bosco teacher, Mr. McMorrow, was his idol when it came to teaching. A combination of Mr. McMorrow’s impact and a time of self-reflection in Europe subsequently led Mr. Corkhill down his path of teaching. 

Mr. Corkhill started off as a volleyball coach at Bosco, and shortly after became an administrator due to a convenient job opening. 

“It was the circumstances that got me here (Bosco), but being back on campus kept me here. No place is like it here, it’s like you are coming home,” said Mr. Corkhill. 

Mr. Corkhill is the Computer Science Pathway Coordinator at Bosco, and before that was a part of the Science Department. While being a teacher in these various departments, he felt that the teaching environment has stayed the same in terms of teacher-student relationships. 

“Teachers are involved in students’ lives that are not seen in other high schools. My favorite math teacher came to all my volleyball games, they took interest in me outside of school which really pushed me to become a teacher,” said Mr. Corkhill.

Mr. Corkhill was also very involved in the Bosco community back in high school where he played football and volleyball. He played football for two years where he was the quarterback and earned his varsity letter by being the holder. Though, it was in his junior year that he decided to focus more on volleyball, where he made First Team All-Trinity League, and was named scholar-athlete for the CIF. 

Not only was he a super athlete, but he also earned valedictorian in his class. After Bosco, Mr. Corkhill attended the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA).

“I felt academically prepared, but really the social aspect was beneficial because Bosco really kept me focused,” said Mr. Corkhill.

Mr. Corkhill also felt that Bosco most definitely had more school spirit back in his time as a student, but has stayed the same when it comes to the oratory model. He knows that the core beliefs at Bosco have stayed true throughout the years and are still practiced at Bosco today. 

Mr. Corkhill was also taught by instructors who are still here on campus today, such as Mr. Wippler, Mrs. Hunt, Coach Negro and more. He was also involved in the Christian Service Club where Mr. Mestas worked as his instructor. 

Mr. Corkhill pointed out a big difference between Bosco back then and now through the variety of courses that are available to the students now. There were only 7 AP courses offered back then, compared to 17 now. In addition, there are new courses being introduced that are more suited to help a student find out what they truly enjoy, such as classes in computer science. 

“Try things that you are not good at. In high school, you have many opportunities to take classes you know nothing about. It will pay off to take that jump and take that class you know nothing about,” said Mr. Corkhill

Life of a Brave: 21 Questions with Brother Kris Tran

by Ethan Gibbs

This year, St. John Bosco High School welcomes Brother Kris Tran from Vietnam to the Brave community.

Photo by Alex Diaz, Photo Editor

Q. Where did you grow up?

A. I grew up in Saigon, officially known as Ho Chi Minh City, in Vietnam.

Q. What inspired you to become a Brother?

A. Don Bosco. The more I learn about the life, the work and the spirit of St. John Bosco, the more I want to be like him and dedicate my life to young people.

Q. What event in your life gave you the most impact on becoming a Brother?

A. It’s hard to pinpoint one singular event that impacted my decision to be a brother, because it’s a gradual process. So, I guess if you think about your whole life as one event, it is that event, as  God has kept working to change me for the better.

Q. What is something you wish more people knew about you?

A. I wish people knew that being a religious Brother is different from being a Brother in transition to become a priest. If God wills this vocation for me, I will be a Brother for life.

Q. Did you want to become a Brother when you were younger or was it something that was sprung on you?

A. When I was younger, I wasn’t even a good Catholic (haha). Thank God my faith slowly grew.

Q. What are the best and worst parts about your faith and the rules you have to follow?

A. The best part is that I can work with many different young people from all around the world. The worst part, probably, is waking up very early every morning. I’m not a morning person.

Q. What are some interesting rules most people don’t know about becoming a Brother?

A. Being a Brother, I can study what I like and discover how I can use what I learn to serve young people, instead of studying solely theology to become a priest.

Q. What are some difficulties about being a Brother, and has there ever been a time when you thought it would be too much?

A. Not being able to spend more time with your friends and family can be difficult sometimes. I never thought it would be too much, however, I do have doubts occasionally about my decision, but it’s all part of discernment process

Q. How have you overcome any challenges regarding what your faith requires of you?

A. Having a spiritual director helps me a lot. It’s like having a counselor, but on top of that, he is also a spiritual father who can guide me through difficult times

Q. What is the best thing about being a Brother?

A. I am automatically a brother to everybody.

Q. Has God ever reached out to you or contacted you in any way?

A. I believe that God speaks to me through other people and events that happen in my daily life. In my heart, I just have to be tuned in to listen.

Q. Did your parents support your decision about what you wanted to do with your life?

A. Yes, my parents have always been supportive of me. My father even said that if religious life doesn’t work out, then I can just come home anytime.

Q. Have you always believed in God?

A. I have always believed in God. However, I have not always had a personal relationship with God. When I was in high school in Vietnam, I believed that there is a God, but I didn’t really practice my faith as much.

Q. What does your day look like when you don’t go to school for work?

A. Nowadays, I usually do lesson planning for the following weeks or grade papers that the students turned in.

Q. How long do you pray a day and how often?

A. For us Salesians, we pray constantly. It’s called Contemplative In Action (CIA). It means that our conversation with God includes even the breaths that we take through the day. We don’t spend hours in the chapel to recite prayers, but our prayer is through our deeds, through meeting people, through working with kids, etc. Of course, there is time during the day when we need to sit down, calm down and center ourselves to meditate.

Q. Does it get hot in the robes you have to wear for mass everytime?

A. As Brothers, we don’t wear those garments in Mass. Only the priest, or one who’s becoming a priest, does.

Q. Have you ever thought about becoming a priest? And what would be the steps for you to do that?

A. I thought about that before deciding to be a Brother instead. Well, there are lots of steps to be a priest, including a lot of study in theology and philosophy.

Q. If you could have another job what would it be?

A. I would be a mental health counselor, and probably also a college professor.

Q. What is some interesting information about living on campus? What is it like? How many rooms? Is it one bed? Do you have a TV? And what do you and the other priests and Brothers do for fun?

A. As a community, we pray and go to Mass together every day. Once a month, we have a small retreat for a day. We each have our own rooms with our own bathrooms. However, it’s different from when we were in the previous stages. We have a room called the Community Room with a TV. For fun, we sometimes go out for food, drink some boba, go to the beach, go hiking, watch movies, play miniature golf, etc.

Q. Do you have a favorite sport or sports team?

A. My favorite sport is soccer, or what the whole world calls football. Liverpool from England is my favorite team.

Q. Do you think pineapple goes on pizza?

A. It should be illegal.

Life of a Brave: How Principal Dr. Kris Anderson’s Path Led Him Back to Bosco

by Andrew Fierro, Managing Editor

From student to teacher to principal, alumnus Dr. Kris Anderson has gone through a long journey of being educated as well as educating, which has led him back home to become the new principal of St. John Bosco.

Photo by Alex Diaz, Photo Editor

Dr. Anderson has filled the spot of Dr. Christian DeLarkin as the new principal of the school and could not be more thankful for the responsibility he now holds. Before coming to school at Bosco, Dr. Anderson already knew that it was the school he would attend. Dr. Anderson made up his mind pretty quickly on Bosco after seeing a role model of his enroll.

Though this role model is what got him initially interested in Bosco, it was Dr. Anderson’s continued research into the school that really solidified his enrollment. Since his enrollment, Dr. Anderson has had countless great memories of the school, though one of the standout memories was going undefeated in Serra league football his junior year.

“It was the best league in California, if not the whole country, and there was no way whatsoever any team would be able to go through this league undefeated, and in its first year of its existence we went undefeated in that league,” said Dr. Anderson.

Though he graduated from Bosco, Dr. Anderson knew that he would eventually be back, as he spent his student-teaching time back at St. John Bosco, and then inevitably returned to become the principal.

“It never really felt like a goodbye, more like until next time,” said Dr. Anderson.

As a student Dr. Anderson was able to build relationships with many of his teachers with one of the more prominent being current counselor Mr. Basil Totah. During Dr. Anderson’s time, Mr. Totah was his position coach for football, which led to a strong bond being formed between the two of them.

“When he first came to Bosco, you could tell he didn’t have a whole lot of experience playing tackle football, though what I noticed was how diligent he was about learning and how hardworking he was,” said Mr. Totah.

As a player, a student and as a faculty member, Dr. Anderson followed Mr. Totah’s example, always being a very diligent and hard worker, and it has not gone unnoticed by his coaches, teachers and now peers.

“Coach [Joe] Griffin and I had a nickname for him when he was a member of the football team. We called him “the sleeper” because he came in under the radar, but he worked and worked and worked and next thing you know he was the man on varsity, and that has not changed,” said Mr. Totah.

Dr. Anderson has proven to be extremely dedicated to his work, whether during his time as a student-athlete or in his career in education, and he will always strive to be the best that he can possibly be.

After graduating from college, Dr. Anderson needed to spend time as a student-teacher in order to get his teaching credentials and decided to spend this time at St. John Bosco. During this time, he was mentored by faculty member Coach Joe Griffin.

Coach Griffin coached Dr. Anderson with Mr. Totah, so there already was a relationship between the two. However, working alongside each other allowed for Dr. Anderson to have guidance as a new teacher. 

“[Dr. Anderson is the] same guy – humble, hardworking, intelligent and a guy you could believe in,” said Mr. Griffin.

Dr. Anderson believes in this school, and is working hard to make sure that it lives up to its capabilities. Through hard work and dedication from the students and faculty, he believes that St. John Bosco could be one of the best schools for young men across the state.

“My goal for this school is for it to be the number one Catholic school for young men in California,” said Dr. Anderson.

St. John Bosco provides students with an excellent opportunity to make more connections with their education and the paths in which they are interested. Dr. Anderson believes that the school’s Academic Pathways are what makes the school better than most schools around the state.

“There is so much opportunity for students to make connections, which is why I love our Academic Pathway program. The opportunity to have educational experiences that expand beyond just the classroom – the more frequently we are able to do that as an institution, the better of a school we are,” said Dr. Anderson.

Though Dr. Anderson is the new principal and does his best to bring in fresh new ideas for the students and the school as a whole, he also understands that every principal from the past has left their mark on the school.

“Every single principal, or administrator, leaves a little bit of imprint, going all the way back to one of my first memories of an administrator, Bill Goodman. You could tell that he was the leader of the school without having to scream at the students because of his steadiness,” said Dr. Anderson.

With Dr. Anderson now at the helm, the school wishes to remember the past while looking forward to the future. While the principals that came before all helped Bosco into becoming the best school it could be, the school now looks toward its future with Dr. Anderson, as he leads the way to continued and greater excellence for St. John Bosco.

Life of a Brave: Alumni Spotlight With Social Studies Teacher Mr. Mario Cordero

By Oscar Aranda

Students are thrilled to be back at school, but for former St. John Bosco student Mr. Mario Cordero, class of 97’, he’s continued to return for the last 20 years to give back to the Bosco community as one of the campus’ most beloved teachers. 

Photo by Alex Diaz, Photo Editor

Mr. Cordero, a social studies instructor here on campus, attended St. John Bosco from 1993 to 1997. Mr. Cordero had already came from a Catholic school environment before attending Bosco and was accompanied by half a dozen of his closest friends. This allowed him to make the easy transition into Bosco and get involved with the school pretty early. However, as a student, teaching wasn’t always the plan for Mr. Cordero.

“I wanted to be a shortstop for the Dodgers and then I realized that I shouldn’t put all my eggs in that basket. The next thing I would rather do is be a teacher, and I don’t want to do anything else,” said Mr. Cordero.

Mr. Cordero also noted that there are differences between campus from when he was a student and now. He noticed that the campus had more students while he was at Bosco and was a little more wild. For Cordero, campus now has less kids and is a much calmer environment than the Bosco that he attended. Another difference at Bosco was the rule that the students were only allowed to eat by the 400 buildings and were not allowed to use the basketball courts.

Mr. Cordero found a sense of a community while at Bosco and felt that he had found himself at home when he attended school. He found himself back at Bosco when he was hired by his former baseball coach Chris Jondell to help out at Bosco. The fond memories and his time at Bosco as a former student was what made him excited to come back to Bosco as a teacher. Mr. Cordero has been here for 20 years, but feels the persistent need to keep coming back.

“What makes me keep coming back to Bosco is the students and the coworkers for sure. The students we have are really exceptional students that are great young men,” said Mr. Cordero. 

Not only was Bosco a home to Mr. Cordero, but furthermore, an environment in which he felt he belonged. Mr. Cordero was involved in numerous activities here at Bosco including student government, soccer and baseball. Mr. Cordero was also taught by many teachers here on campus that are recognizable for students on campus now. He was taught by Mr. Linares, Mr. Mestas. Mrs. Machado and Mr. Antonelli who are still active teachers here on campus.

Mr. Cordero has also not been the only Cordero to attend Bosco. His two sons, Cruz Cordero, class of 2020, and Santos Cordero, who is currently a sophomore here at Bosco, have been a part of the Bosco experience. Mr. Cordero was adamant that he did not force his kids to come here and wanted to make sure that they knew they were not obligated to come just because he taught here. The decision to come to Bosco was entirely in the hands of Cruz and Santos.

Knowing how hard it is for freshman students, Mr. Cordero left some words of wisdom for current Braves that may be struggling to find themselves here at Bosco.

“There’s a place for you here at Bosco, and if for whatever reason you feel you can’t find your place here, reach out. There are always people here to help you find your place,” said Mr. Cordero.

Life of a Brave: 21 Questions With New Long-Term Sub Ms. Munoz

By Aydn Morris

St. John Bosco welcomes new long-term sub and St. Joseph alumna Ms. Munoz, who specializes in biological sciences.

Photo by Alex Diaz, Photo Editor

Q. What College did you attend and when did you graduate?

A. I attended Cal Poly Pomona and graduated in December 2020.

Q. What did you study in and why did you choose to study that?

A. I majored in Biological Sciences because I had always planned to be in the medical field or teach on the subject.

Q. What high school did you attend and did you grow up there?

A. I graduated from Saint Joseph High School and actually had to take the bus every morning because I lived in Los Angeles.

Q. What interested you about becoming a science teacher?

A. Science has always been something I have been passionate about. Being exposed to working with and mentoring kids from high school until I received my bachelor’s degree was a very rewarding experience, which made me want to pursue it.

Q. What made you interested in becoming a long-term sub here?

A. Being an alumna from Saint Joseph’s, I have a lot of good memories from Bosco and being able to teach here for the first time seems like a full circle moment.

Q. What is your favorite part of teaching?

A. My favorite part of teaching would be building a connection with the kids and seeing on their faces that they really do want to learn and succeed.

Q. Have you had another teaching job?

A. This is my first teaching job!

Q. Have you had a different job other than teaching? 

A. I have actually worked for the City of Norwalk’s Parks and Recreation Department, Starbucks and Disneyland.

Q. Was becoming a teacher your dream job, if not what is/was your dream job?

A. Growing up, I always wanted to be in the medical field, then more specifically a physician assistant.

Q. What is the hardest part of being a long-term substitute, instead of a teacher?

A. I think the hardest part is the possibility of teaching another subject other than Chemistry, because I really do enjoy teaching in this subject.

Q. Have you become immersed in the Bosco community yet? How do you like it so far?

A. I went to the Bosco vs Mater Dei football game, which was really cool considering I haven’t been to a football game here in a few years.

Q. Are you from California, if not where are you from?

A. I was born and raised in California.

Q. What is one place you would love to travel to in the world?

A. I would love to travel to Greece. I have been a major Mamma Mia! fan since I was younger, so it would be amazing to go.

Q. What is your favorite type of food and favorite food?

A. My favorite food is pizza and more specifically, pineapple on pizza.

Q. What is your favorite genre of music and favorite artist?

A. I love more Latin-based music, so I am obsessed with Bad Bunny and Luis Fonsi.

Q.What is your favorite hobby?

A. My favorite hobby would be discovering new coffee shops. I love coffee so finding new spots is really cool.

Q.  Do you watch any sports, and if you do, what is your favorite sports team and player?

A. I only watch football for the sake of my stepdad, and he is a Denver Broncos fanatic.

Q. What is your favorite season of the year and why?

A. My favorite season would be Fall. I love it when its rainy weather and really dislike the heat.

Q. What is your favorite holiday?

A. My favorite holiday is Halloween because it is the perfect weather. I also love candy and scary movies.

Q. What is your favorite movie and TV show?

A. My favorite movie would be Star Wars and my favorite show would be Grey’s Anatomy.

Q. Do you have any pets? If so, what is your pet?

A. I have a purebred Blue Heeler named Dakota, and she is my best friend. She is all attitude but very obedient.

Life of a Brave: Unsung Hero, Head Athletic Trainer Ms. Melody Mohebbi

by Matthew Parsons

A guardian angel for all at St. John Bosco, Ms. Melody Mohebbi, known by many student-athletes simply as “Ms. Mel,” serves as both the Head Athletic Trainer as well as the Pathway Coordinator for Sports Medicine.

Photo by Alex Diaz, Photo Editor

Born in Tehran, Iran, Ms. Mel and her family weren’t tethered to any single place, constantly moving across the country. She grew up in a relatively average sized household, and it was only her, her parents and brother. Like those she treats now, she was an athlete in her youth. Coming from an athletic family, she went down the path of being a gymnast and a swimmer as a child.  

“I grew up in an athletic family. My mom was actually a gold medalist in diving. And my dad was a basketball coach,” said Ms. Mel.

However, her athletic career was cut short after an injury to her arm. Although she had to give up her competitive career in sports, this injury actually gave her inspiration to later become an athletic trainer.

Since she was constantly moving across Iran, she wasn’t able to stay at a singular school. Somewhat similar to St. John Bosco, the schools in Iran are single-sex, rather than co-ed. She eventually went on to attend university after her high school years and studied geology. Although Ms. Mel never struggled with grades, she regrets that she did not try harder in school.

“I really didn’t care about grades, never did growing up. I wasn’t a bad student, but I wasn’t getting straight A’s. I’m being honest; I was a very procrastinating person. I would always, always – I’m not even kidding you when I say – I would study the night before,” said Ms. Mel.

She originally attended university in Iran, obtaining a degree in geology. She always wanted to work in the medical field, dating back to when she was just a child. Her dream profession was actually to be a doctor, but due to the harsh medical field in Iran, she opted for geology.

“I always wanted to do stuff in the medical field but in Iran, but it is very, very difficult to get into, so that’s why I went with the second best thing that I liked,” said Ms. Mel.

At the age of 24, Ms. Mel made the huge decision to leave her home country to the completely foreign place of England. She claimed asylum in England in order to escape the country, which opened up her horizons and gave her more opportunities for work. 

Working at St. John Bosco was not Ms. Mel’s first working experience. In England, she worked with the women’s Manchester City soccer team and the Manchester Sharks rugby team. She also owned two of her own training clinics over the course of two years.

However, this is the first and only job she has had in the United States, and getting the position of Head Athletic Trainer at Bosco was by chance. Before she was recommended to take the position, she had never even heard of the school. Being desperate for a full-time job for her work visa, she decided to take up the position, and by no means was it an easy road after that. Bosco was her first experience working with kids, as opposed to her other jobs with just adults and professionals.

Being the only athletic trainer at a school like St. John Bosco was extremely difficult for Ms. Mel. She was constantly working alone and, for many years, was under a huge amount of pressure to make sure things were always going well. She had to work to make sure that in each sport the athletes were safe and always getting the proper care and treatment that they needed.

It got to the point where she was dealing with a severe burnout, and she didn’t know if she would be able to continue working at Bosco. Thus, she requested an assistant, leading the way for Mr. Coreyon Edwards to join the athletic training staff. 

Through all of the trials and tribulations of being the head Athletic Trainer, Ms. Mel has still kept good relationships with the students at Bosco.

“She’s really nice and very easy to work with whenever you need help,” said senior Nate Burrell, a defensive end on the football team.

Funnily enough, Ms. Mel never imagined that she would end up as a teacher. She imagined that it wouldn’t be a good fit for her, even though both of her parents were professors. Yet, here at Bosco, she’s ended up teaching many Bosco students in the Sports Medicine Pathway. 

“I never, ever thought I would be a teacher. I never liked it, even though both of my parents are professors,” said Ms. Mel.

Despite not ever thinking that she would end up as a teacher, she has still done a great job.

“She really keeps the class engaged through her practical and hands-on teaching style,” said senior Michael Carbone, a member of the Sports Medicine pathway for all four of his years at Bosco.

Ms. Mel really does love the Bosco community, believing in the family-oriented mission of the school. And even though most Bosco students only know Ms. Mel as a teacher or an athletic trainer, she also enjoys spending time with her friends and has recently picked up the hobby of designing and handcrafts.

Life of a Brave: Bosco Football Brothers Make Lifelong Memories In Virginia

by Jeremiah Davis

With league play fast approaching, the Bosco Braves took a trip to Virginia to dominate in football and to experience everything the state had to offer, from BBQ food to American history.

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Bosco Football has been known throughout the past decade as being one of the top football teams in the state as well as the nation. This was proven once again when the Braves took a trip to Virginia to play Oscar F. Smith High School.

The game ended up being a lopsided contest with Bosco dominating Oscar Smith by a score of 49-0. However, there was more than just practice in the lead up to the game, as the Braves were able to spend quality time in Virginia.

The Braves departed from Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) on Tuesday night, September 14th, and arrived in Virginia on Wednesday, September 15. Immediately after landing in Virginia, they were transported to Catholic High School in Virginia Beach where they conducted their first practice.

“The practice overall was a good experience. Before the trip, I had never even thought about visiting Virginia, let alone playing football there,” said senior Zion Austin, a strong safety for Bosco.

After practice, the Braves ended up going to one of Virginia’s finer food establishments, Mission BBQ.  With a slogan, “The American Way,” the folks at Mission BBQ were appreciative of Bosco and happy that the mighty Braves from Southern California were supporting their business. Afterward, the team headed to their hotel, The Wyndham Virginia Beach Oceanfront, for some much needed rest.

The following day, the team was able to see a minor league baseball game between the Norfolk Tides and the Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp.  

“The game was a great experience for us to bond not only with our Bosco brothers, but with our St. Joseph sisters as well,” said senior safety Logan Polk.  

Come Friday night, all of the game preparation, practice and film studying was put to test as the Braves took the field. Chedon James, a receiver for the Braves, led the way on offense with two receiving touchdowns, and Matayo Uiagalelei, a tight-end and defensive end, also added his name to the scoring ledger with two receiving touchdowns of his own.

Once the game ended, the Braves were transported back to their hotel to complete their schoolwork. The overall mission of every student-athlete at Bosco is to not only excel on the field, but in the classroom.

The next day was a special and surreal moment for the Braves, as they took a trip to the Virginia State Capitol. During their visit to the Capitol, the Braves were able to visit the American Civil War Museum, where they learned about the history and the obstacles that black Americans had to face leading up to the 20th century.  

“I was able to learn so much about my people that I barely knew anything about before.  It was a very interesting place that I will for sure go back and visit again with my family,” Jaden Smith, a senior cornerback, said.  

The Braves returned safely to California on September 19th. The whole trip was a major success for the program as a whole. The learning experiences gathered on the trip will pay huge dividends for each and every player. Now, the Braves will turn their attention to the “Team in Red” who come to Panish Family Stadium this Friday, October 1st, for what promises to be an exciting contest.

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

by Andrew Fierro, Managing Editor

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Q. Favorite music, artist, or genre? 

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

Q. Favorite movie/movies? 

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

Q. What are your favorite colors/colors? 

A. My favorite colors are mint green and teal.

Q. Where is your favorite place to eat? 

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

Q. Favorite sport and team? 

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

Q. Where did you grow up? 

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

Q. Do you have any pets? 

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

Q. Do you have any hobbies? 

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

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

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

Q. What is your favorite holiday? 

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

Q. Do you have any favorite TV shows? 

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

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

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

Q. Did you play any sports growing up? 

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

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