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2021-2022 School Year

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8 Steps for a Better Environment

By Daisy Morales Garcia

I am a fan of making our school a better, fitting place for everyone to feel safe and know they are respected and cared for. Today, I will be talking about 8 steps, how and why students and even staff members, can make our school a better environment and place physically or mentally for all. 

1 - We students can start showing pride by picking up trash we locate in our surroundings.
Reason: It benefits our day, heart, mind, gives a life motivation to being a more unique and caring person in society, gives our community a better upright, influencing place to live in, and, last but not least, it brings about a sense of responsibility to keep our homes and common areas safe.

2 - Spread a positive attitude, during school days, and out of school, as well!
Reason: People accomplish their work way faster, and it's easier to focus when they have a positive attitude, and contain energetic, upright emotions, knowing they are not a negative influence in life. Positivity helps people cope easily with daily affairs of life, brings optimism, boosts productivity, reduces inner stress, worries, lets people relax, remember, focus, and absorb information as they learn new ideas. And, allows people to be happier, brighter and more successful, guides constructive changes into their lives.

3 - Build relationships.
Reason: Building relationships is helpful to everyone, one of the keys to accomplishing needs when it is highly rated. Decreases loneliness at school, increases workplace satisfaction, the chance of owning friends at all times, helps people find future opportunities, and lays the groundwork for future leadership roles. Also building relationships supports specific organizations because, after all, the key to a dream fully functioning is through teamwork. “Teamwork makes the dream work." - John Maxwell

4 - Ensign families should help support extra classroom requirements like supplies.
Reason: Lessens the burden that many students and teachers currently face, many cannot afford traditional school supplies and have no alternative way to receive them. Supporting the classroom ensures students are learning in a safe, clean, supportive environment. Encourages parents and families to be more involved in their kids education.

5 - Stand up to bullies, have an influence on people's destiny and future; put yourself in a peer's position, shoes and be able to help them out when righteous.
Reason: Builds long-term loyalty, trust, credibility, commitment, within your friends, and it gives your people a confidence boost. Demonstrates personal dignity, self-confidence and respect for yourself, hence improving your self-esteem and makes those you love feel respected and heard, as well. Standing up for others all goes back to you knowing you have the same rights as everyone else. 

6 - Be a leader.
Reason: Leadership acts as motivational tool by showing right paths and bringing confidence in employees. It helps in attaining better relationships among others. Leadership increases the morale of students which, in turn, contributes to higher productivity, promotes team-spirit and teamwork which is essential for the success of any school.

7 - Respect seniors, teachers, and school property.
Reason: People may find it funny or “cool” nowadays to disrespect teachers and especially school property because of too much online use and social media trends (Tik Tok). But, however, people should be able to find it unreasonable to do these type of things, stop their own selves before committing crimes and, dishonorable acts. Every soul in the world has feelings that aren’t meant to be harmed, or violated. Researchers have found that, “Yes, humans tend to have feelings, appear to express fundamental emotions through universal facial expressions that are usually unrecognizable to people from other cultures”. Another thing: school property should not be damaged, needs to stop immediately, people should reason that it's not their personal items to be freely using without control. How would they feel if the school was damaging their important, beloved items without their permission. Not great, right?

8 - Volunteer and participate in school activities.
Reason: Being more involved in school, and extracurricular activities helps people stand out from the crowds, giving them advantages when it comes to future college applications coming through the mails. Free opportunities to improve leadership skills, while increasing self-confidence. Volunteering shows how people are as a person outside of classrooms and what they have to offer for college or business aside from their academic achievements and school drama.

9 - People should treat others how they would like to be treated; set a good example to the world.
Reason: People should be treated equally in the world because then everybody would be able to work together, solve problems, feel safe and cared for. Treating people equally is as well a big part of human rights. Therefore, no matter what someone's individual circumstance is concerning an issue, they should be treated with respect, dignity, and kindness. As for setting a good example in the world, true leadership inspires and motivates, helping others find their true potential. To rise to the challenge, leaders must know their values well and always stick by them.

If we Ensign students are able to do this, we will eventually see some progress in our school culture and hopefully we will see a stop to current problems in the district involving the devious licks, school bullying, school trashing, and bad behaviors in classrooms. So, come on, Ensign Seabees, do your part in making our school a fitting place for everybody! Follow these steps of rules and, believe me, this will make you the greatest friend anybody would ever wish for and be able to shape a better society to live in by knowing and respecting rights, laws, and regulations! Go, Seabees!

Dress Code

By Gianna D'Alessandro

Seabee Buzz: What are the punishments for a dress code violation?
Ms. Payne: “First we just have a conversation with the student who violated dress code and give them something to change into until the end of the day. If it happens repeatedly, we will have parent meetings and move through more formal discipline avenues, if necessary.”

Seabee Buzz: Are there any new additions to the dress code? If so, what are they?
Ms. Payne: “No new additions. We've made a subtraction - hats and beanies are allowed on campus outside and they were not before.”

Seabee Buzz: What is the reason that it seems like the dress coding is becoming more strict?
Ms. Payne: “It's actually not more strict. It's the same policy that it has been for years, we just loosened up the hat and beanie part of the dress code requirements.”

Seabee Buzz: Also, is the dress code becoming more strict because of girls dressing inappropriately, or the boys becoming more “distracted”?
Ms. Payne: “See number 3 - and I fundamentally do not agree with the 'boys become distracted reasoning.' That will never be a part of my decision-making.”

Seabee Buzz: Do you think dressing against the code affects the productivity of one’s peers?
Ms. Payne: “I think if offensive images, promotion of dangerous items such as controlled substances, overt sexualizing of any gender, strong political stances, etc., - I do believe this type of apparel can misdirect attention or offend some people/make them uncomfortable.”

Seabee Buzz: Are all genders supposed to follow each dress code rule? Are some rules just meant for girls?
Ms. Payne: “All genders follow the same set of criteria for dress code.”

Getting to Know our new principal, Ms. Payne

By Elguer Medina and Natallie Ryan

Ms. Payne

At the beginning of the year, I, as a student, had no idea that we had a new principal for this school year. But we met Ms. Payne and she seemed so sweet and friendly. We did the honor of Interviewing your new principal, Ms. Payne, so, without further ado, here are the questions we asked our new principal. 

1. Did you always want to be a principal, and if not what would you have been?

Answer:  Not always, I did always want to be a teacher. I was an English teacher for a few years. While I was a teacher, I got leadership opportunities at my school. Through those leadership opportunities I decided I want to be an assistant principal and eventually a principal.  I wasn't a principal, I would have been a teacher or a psychologist. 

2. Where did you work before this?

Answer: I worked at Corona del Mar High School as an assistant principal.  But I have had many jobs prior to that one.

3. Which do you prefer, your old school or Ensign?

Answer: Honestly both. I know that sounds like a cop out, but that is true. Corona del Mar will always be like my family because I taught there for so many years. The students, teachers, and staff will always have a special place in my heart. But Ensign is my dream job. I love middle school. I have always loved middle school. I really love how diverse this community is. And I really love how this middle school is separate from the high school so kids can be kids and we can have a separate community.

4. Are you a cat or dog person?

Answer: DOG! Dogs rule, cats drool. I love all animals, though. I grew up with gerbils and snakes and all types of animals. I have my one pet dog named Charlee and she is 11. She is the best. 

5. Do you prefer summer or winter?

Answer: I do love the warm weather. And I do love going for hikes and the beach. But, lately, I have been loving the foggy weather. And I love going for snowboarding trips. Snowboarding is one of my favorite things to do in the winter. I love the smell of pine trees. So, I’m leaning toward winter. If you had asked me five years ago, I would have said summer. 

6. What do you enjoy on the weekends?

Answer: Well, I love getting outside. To me that's something really important. Whether I go for a walk or outside or ride my bike. I love music, so I’m always trying to learn about new music. I also love spending time with my family and friends. I love relaxing. I’m not a morning person, so relaxing is fun. 

7. Have you ever expelled anyone?

Answer: That is a technical question. Technically, only the school board can expel someone. Since I’ve been here I have not asked them to expel anyone. When I was an assistant principal, I did an investigation and asked them to expel someone. They were distributing vapes to school members. Have I ever expelled someone? No. But I have [in the past] suggested and asked the school board to expel someone. 

8. Why is the dress code so strict?

Answer: Honestly, I don’t think the dress code is that strict. All we are asking is that you cover up basic body parts. We want students to be in an environment where they can express themselves but not be wearing anything inappropriate. We want to be respectful, but every so often kids want to add in their own flair, and the things they wear on the weekend should stay worn on the weekend. One thing that is important to me is equality. No matter what gender a person is, I want people to have an even playing field. School time is kind of like work: keep it professional. 

9. What would you like to do before you're 100 years old?

Answer: I want to travel all over the world. I want to ski the Swiss Alps. I want to influence people's lives in a positive way. I want to make strong connections with people. And, I want more dogs. 

10. How do you want to be remembered when you leave Ensign?

Answer: I want the people of Ensign, students and staff, to truly understand that I care about every individual. I want to help students build relationships with other kids and want staff to build relationships with staff and kids. I want to build an environment that helps kids feel comfortable and be able to learn.

Mr. Concannon

Interviewed by Natallie Ryan

Mr. Concannon

Questions can help you better understand, to get to know someone, or improve a relationship with someone. I was given the privilege to interview one of Ensign's newest teachers, Mr. Concannon, or Mr. C. 

WHY DID YOU DECIDE TO WORK AT ENSIGN?

“I decided to apply to work at Ensign because I went to school here when I was a kid, and I thought it would be amazing if I could work at a place where I once went to school. Once they offered me the position, I decided to accept right away.”

WHAT DO YOU ENJOY ABOUT TEACHING SCIENCE?

“I enjoy learning new things, and science is all about having the desire to want to learn and discover new things. Trying to uncover why certain things happen is fun for me, and I enjoy wondering how life works on this crazy planet.”

WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO FULFILL A CAREER IN TEACHING?

“My passion for teaching comes from a desire to want to give back and work in a career that is rewarding.”

WHAT IS SOMETHING YOU WANT ALL YOUR STUDENTS TO KNOW ABOUT YOU?

“I would like all my students to know that I am here for them. I'm athletic, love golf, love gardening, and I love the outdoors.”

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE THING ABOUT ENSIGN SO FAR?

“My favorite thing about Ensign so far are the amazing teachers I have the pleasure of working with here. I'm very privileged to be a part of the team here.”

WHAT ARE YOU LOOKING FORWARD TO THIS YEAR?

“I'm looking forward to my students doing well and having fun learning science.”

WHAT ACTOR WOULD YOU WANT TO PLAY YOU IF THEY EVER MADE A MOVIE ABOUT YOUR LIFE?

“Ryan Reynolds.”

WHAT ARE SOME THINGS YOU LIKE TO DO IN YOUR FREE TIME?

“I love to snowboard, golf, surf, hike, and garden.”

WHAT FIVE THINGS WOULD YOU BRING WITH YOU IN CASE OF A ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE?

“My phone, my dog, my wife, a water filtration kit, and a fire starter of some kind.”

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE BOOK?

The Hobbit.”

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE MOVIE/TV SHOW?

“My favorite movie/TV show is The Mandalorian because it molds together old gun slinging western cowboy movies with Sci-Fi space movies.”

IF YOU COULD EAT ONLY ONE FOOD FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIFE, WHAT WOULD IT BE?

“Sushi.”

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE SPORT AND WHY?

“My favorite sport is golf because I feel it is one of the hardest sports to master and I won CIF in high school at Newport Harbor for playing golf.”

WHAT HOGWARTS HOUSE WOULD YOU BE, OR ARE, SORTED IN?

“Ravenclaw.”

WHAT IS YOUR SPIRIT ANIMAL AND WHY?

“My spirit animal is the tiger because that's what they used to call me when I was younger.”

WHAT IS ONE OF YOUR HIDDEN TALENTS?

“I can bounce a golf ball on a golf club for a long time.”

DO YOU HAVE A SWEET TOOTH, AND IF SO WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE SWEET TREAT?

“I like sour patch kids.”

WHAT IS YOUR DREAM VACATION?

“My dream vacation would be to go on a surfing/golfing trip to a country I've never been before with my wife and the Foo Fighters.”

WHAT ARE THREE WORDS YOU WOULD USE TO DESCRIBE YOURSELF?

“Smart, Funny, Athletic.”

            It was an honor to be able to interview Mr. Concannon and get to know some more about the new staff working here at Ensign. Seabees, I welcome you to get to know some more about Mr. Concannon and find out more about him so you can create a better relationship with him. I loved being able to make some connections with him, based on his answers and replies. Teachers are not just there to tech, but to give you and help create a love of learning and understanding. 

Thanksgiving Food

Journalism students share what are some foods they eat for Thanksgiving.

  • Turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy, cranberry sauce (canned!), sweet potatoes with marshmallows on top, green bean casserole, ham, dinner rolls, cornbread. 
  • Hawaiian foods, rice, pan fried noodles.
  • Sparkling punch, pumpkin pie, apple pie, peach pie, cherry pie,  caramel apple dip, cherry delight, cheesecake.
Who We Are...

Writers: Penelope Barto, Grace Bucher, Gianna D'Alessandro, Elguer Medina, Daisy Morales Garcia, Natallie Ryan

Advisor: Kristine Cross