Trojan Update

April 30th, 2019

Apologies for Such a Long Update!

There is just so much going on, I almost can't fit it into one newsletter! Students are everywhere, winning awards, committing to college, playing their hearts out in marching band, taking the stage again this weekend for the Spring Play,preparing for AP exams or leaving their sweat on the field in baseball, softball, badminton, swimming, tennis, and track. Teams are returning from FFA and SkillsUSA conventions, weighed down by awards, and our very own Trojan Tribune has been rewarded with some amazing recognition. It's all below!

As many of you know, I am finishing up my time here at PHS. Though I am excited to explore the various elements of my research dissertation, I am already realizing all the things I will miss at PHS. One in particular will be learning from such a talented and passionate staff. In their honor, I am hoping I can make one last request of the parent community: as we celebrate the upcoming "Week of the Teacher" (May 6-10) and "Classified Employees Week" (May 20-24), please consider writing a card of appreciation to someone who has made a difference in your son or daughter's life. Trust me when I say that teachers and classified staff are underpaid for their efforts. Your words will mean a great deal and a gift card enclosed will even be better! If your child can write something too, all the better.

Have a great week and Go Trojans!

Big picture

Rena Victor's Holocaust Story Comes to PHS

A couple of weeks ago, PHS was graced by a visitor to World History classes. Rena Victor survived the Holocaust as a young child. As German Jews, her mother and sisters went into hiding and remained hidden within Germany for the duration of the war. Rena's father, who was not Jewish, was drafted into the German military and worked secretly with Jewish underground organizations to try to save people from deportation to the east. Rena visited two of our World History classes with her daughter, Professor Susan Victor, from SSU. Rena and Susan are members of The Alliance for the Study of the Holocaust. Nicole Vollmer, one of our student teachers from SSU, arranged for this visit. Their presentation was poignant, personal, and moving. Their main message to students was the importance of speaking up against prejudice and bigotry in our world today, so that a similar atrocity isn't allowed to happen in our times. Students had the opportunity to speak with Ms. Victor directly and ask her questions, such as:

- Did you and your sisters understand what was happening to you?

- How did you pass the time in hiding?

- Was their censorship or did everyone know about the camps?

- Have you ever met a Holocaust denier? What would you say to them?

- What was it like coming from Germany to America after the war?

Thank you, Ms. Lounibos and Ms. Vollmer!

Big picture

Nicole, Rena, Susan, and Jennie

JSA Summit at PHS

JSA hosted it's first Chapter Con at PHS, with approximately 40 students attending from PHS and other area chapters. Students participated in debates and also declared their candidacy for regional offices, such as mayor and senator. Our outgoing seniors who founded our PHS JSA chapter should be proud of this accomplishment! Congratulations to our JSA leaders in all grades who put on this event! (See further below for JSA State story!)
Big picture

Important Upcoming Dates

Don't forget the following dates:

May 1st - Department Meeting

May 2nd - Staff Salsa Contest!

May 2-4 - SPRING MUSICAL - Once Upon A Pea

May 3rd - Link Crew May Day

May 4th - SAT

May 6th-17th - AP Testing

May 7th - ASB Banquet

May 8th - WASC Wednesday

May 8th - MarS Parent Orientation

May 9th - Site Council

May 9th - PTSA

May 13-14th - Westside Relays

May 15th - FFA Awards

May 16th - Senior Sunset

May 17th - MINIMUM DAY DISMISSAL at 12:30 (Car Show/Yearbook Distribution)

May 17th - Choir Performance at Elim Lutheran Church

May 20th - Senior Rally @ Ellison Field

May 21st - Senior Recognition Night

May 22nd - MarS End of Year Celebration

May 23-24 - iPad Collection

May 23rd - Trojan of the Month Luncheon

May 26th - Senior Prom at Bentley Reserve


May 29th - Staff Lunch (thank you, PTSA!)

May 29th - FINALS 1/2

May 30th - FINALS 4/5

May 31st - FINALS 3/6

May 31st - Ice Cream Social for Seniors @ 1pm

May 31st -Graduation Practice in the Multi @2pm

May 31st - Last Day of School

June 1st - Graduation 10AM

Big picture
Big picture

Thank you to our Neighbors!

Occasionally, we meet with our neighbors who live around Petaluma High as we did last week. The organization, the Petaluma Good Neighbor Association (PGNA) works with us to ensure we share the space and roads around PHS in a respectful, safe manner. Neighbors like Steve Schramm, Bob Spurgeon, and George Beeler have been terrific partners in this work. In the picture below, Bob Spurgeon and Mike Bett pull weeds near the tennis courts by the gym last weekend. We appreciate your hard work in making PHS and the neighborhood a great place to live and learn!
Big picture
Big picture
Big picture

Petaluma Defeats Casa in Nail-biter, Snags VVAL League Pennant!

For the first time in 15 years, Petaluma High is hoisting a league championship banner in badminton! After Petaluma defeated Casa Grande, 8-7, on Thursday, Petaluma Badminton took home the first VVAL pennant, ending the season with a record of 7-1. Some fabulous performances all around (see below) orchestrated by two fabulous coaches (Jill Jones and Donna McKenna)!

Our four girls' singles were lost but in hard fought battles. Penny Reynolds showed much courage and determination in her match. Aylin Ayala-Gallardo went three sets with her opponent as did Marissa Temple. Marissa's scores showed her perseverance and competitiveness, 19-21, 21-18, and 23-25.

In mens' singles three of our four boys won their matches. Congrats to Cole Yant, Cole Stremlau and Matt Corda on their wins. Although Mikie couldn't conquer his opponent the scores of his two sets, 20-22, and 22-24 showed true competitive spirit and athleticism.

Our girls fought hard in the doubles category but went down to defeat in two sets each.

In men's doubles our two teams won their matches: Mikie Ayala and Martin Burstein won their match with scores of 24-22, 11-21 and 21-15. Cole Yant and Jaco Sullivan make quick work of their opponents with scores of 21-11 and 21-8.

In the mixed doubles, Petaluma excelled. #1 team Cole Stremlau and Aylin Ayala defeated their opponents in two sets, 21-14, 21-14, and #2 Ethan Shahbazian and Miranda Grevin defeated their opponents with scores of 21-16, 21-12. Playing at number 3, Martin Burstein and Amy Ayala-Gallardo defeated their opponents 21-11, 21-10.

Three freshmen played on the Varsity team in this match. Congrats to Amy Ayala-Gallardo, Shelby Gustafson and Amelia Grevin for their outstanding contributions to the team.

High school badminton



Petaluma 8, Casa Grande 7

Boys’ Singles: Cole Yant (P) d. Nicholas Lampe 21-10, 21-9, Girls’ Singles: Samveda Rukmangadhan (C) d. Penny Reynolds 21-8, 21-11, Boys doubles: Mikie Ayala-Martin Burstein (P) d. Suraj Rajan-Zain Khan 24-22, 11-21, 21-15, Girls’ Doubles: Samveda Rukmangadhan-Ashley Brounstein (C) d. Penny Reynolds-Abbey Deen 21-19, 21-17, Mixed Doubles:Cole Stremlau-Aylin Ayala-Gallardo (P) d. Alejandra Torres-Andy Altamirano 21-14, 21-14.

Record: Petaluma 7-1, Casa Grande 6-2

Petaluma Watershed Classroom

As part of an ongoing effort to educate our students about the critical nature of the Petaluma River,
Mrs. Camacho's Biology students recently participated in the Petaluma Watershed Classroom making Public Service Announcement videos to help people make the connection between water use and carbon footprint.

There were many fantastic videos - three of which won prizes and were honored at the Watershed Showcase night this past Thursday.

Giselle Marquez, Mariana Rodriguez, and Paige Sullivan won first place (earning $750 and will be played as a before-movie add at the local movie theater for the next year!)

Kevin Garcia and Eric Martinez won second place (earning $500)

Abby Wetmore, Grace Martinez, and Hana Mali won the teacher's choice award

The three videos are in order below.


Wildlife Museum Notes and Upcoming Events

Friday Night, 5/10, from 6pm to 9am we are holding a "Night at the Museum" for our Museum Management students. MM students will get a chance to hang out one last time as a class and eat delicious bad snack foods, guzzle sodas, watch movies, and sleep with a bunch of snakes and dead animal taxidermy (while Tacata pulls an all-nighter so there's no shenanigans!). MM students: get the date on your calendars; should be a good time :)


PHS Junior States of America (JSA) Chapter Awarded Chapter of the Year!

Petaluma High School had a fantastic Spring State at Junior State of America in San Jose.

Among many great learning experiences and interactions, our Petaluma Chapter was awarded Chapter of the Year for Northern California! This is a huge honor and includes some $ for the chapter and free registration and hotel for next year's state conference!

In other news, Paul Leoni was recognized as 2017/18 Mayor of Greater California Region while Katrina Tissell was elected 2018/19 Mayor of Greater California Region! Paulo de Carvalho was also elected Senator of the Greater California Region along with Sergio Hernandez Alcantara. Overall, it was a weekend of exciting and thought-provoking debates, voting, and historic awards that none will ever gorget!

Thank you to advisers Jennie Lounibos and Jamil Dawsari for helping these passionate students learn and grow!

Big picture

Entrepreneurship Class Growing Stronger: New Student Store Opens!

From Entrepreneurship: Entrepreneurship students (and dedicated volunteers!) have been working hard to create a new student store on campus. Our hard work has translated into reality: last Monday, the Troys Student Store had a "soft" opening! It has been a long process and we are proud of what we have built (graduate Nick Diego remodeled the entire space and student Jared Righetti Marweg built the picnic table for us). For now, we have a few approved snack items (popcorn, popchips, nuts, etc), La Croix water, and hot chocolate, with coffee available for staff. We have a limited number of spirit items (class color beads, purple spirit items) as we want to see what sells. We will only be open for nutrition break with expanded hours next year. Thank you for your support during our growing pains and please reach out if you have questions or concerns. Better yet, come by for a thrifty snack and give the kids a pat on the back! Way to go, Ms. Lowell!
Big picture
Big picture

WestSide Band Festival - Sounds of Success!

Parents and friends from all over Petaluma crowded into the PHS Gym to listen to the sounds of trumpets, french horns, and trombones. Students from elementary, junior high and high schools entertained a capacity crowd at the12th Annual Westside Band Festival, reminding us of the value of music education. Students from McDowell, McKinley, Valley Vista, Grant, McNear, and Cherry Valley Elementary, PACS @ McKinley, Cherry Valley Middle, and PJHS, and finally PHS, were in action. Thank you to Mr. Eveland and all the musical directors across PCS that teach our kids and make nights like this happen!
Big picture

FFA Success at State Convention

PHS FFA had a great time at the 91st annual State FFA Convention in Anaheim. 25 students made the trip south to participate in leadership development workshops, hear motivational speaker Alex Sheen who founded the "because i said i would" movement, sessions and hear remarks from State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond and Chief Deputy Superintendent Lupita Cortez Alcala. In addition to the leadership opportunities, the chapter members had fun cheering on Samantha Gambonini who was a finalist in the Impromptu Public Speaking contest and a state proficiency finalist in Dairy Production- Entrepreneurship as well as attending a FFA only event at Disney's California Adventure Park.

The week before State Convention, Derrick Pomi was recognized by film maker Graham Meriwether as part of a microgrant program funded by Bon Appetit, Leave it Better Media and CLIF Bar as one of six student in California with "the most compelling farm projects." Proceeds from Meriwether's film Farmers for America were used to fund the grants and the film is being used to bring attention to the challenges faced in the agriculture industry - some of which include aging/disappearing farmers and the financial challenges young farmers face trying to enter the field. As part of the grant program, Meriwether visited the agriculture department last week and hosted a viewing of the film and discussion with students and presented Derrick with his grant award.

Go Petaluma FFA! Thank you, Ms. Arntz, Mr. Dunn and all the parents who make it happen!

Mr Dunn might have summed it up best: "Just got home today, had a wonderful time in Anaheim. I count myself as pretty lucky to have a great group of students, teaching partner and parents to make it all happen, not to mention all the friends and family at an FFA Event."

Big picture

A Butter N Eggs Day to Remember

Big picture

Trojan Tribune Excellence Rewarded with Six Press Democrat Awards!

Three years ago, the possibility that the Trojan Tribune had run its final edition was very real. The time and commitment to investigate, report, write, edit, produce, print and distribute a quality high school newspaper seemed out of reach. But with the addition of Jessi Redfield as the journalism teacher, the paper has gradually moved back on track. This year, a staff of veterans who know how to do this have produced a series of excellent editions. The reward? Six awards at the annual Press Democrat High School Journalism Awards on Monday!

  • Stella Schwappach took 1st place in the Sports Photo category for her softball picture.
  • Griffin Epstein took 1st in the Sports Story category for "Girls Soccer: The Rise to Glory."
  • Harmony Jensen took 1st place in the Column category for "The F-Wing Bathroom Epidemic."
  • The paper took 1st place in Editorial for the series on the recent attacks on the media, titled "The Media is not the Enemy of the People" and "Violence Against Journalists: Kill the Messengers," headed by Sammie Woolley.
  • The paper also took 2nd for Online Excellence with our website and social media accounts (under the tutelage of webmaster Lucy Decker!).
  • And last but certainly not least, Griffin Epstein won 1st place as the Outstanding Journalist for his work in both the Trojan Tribune and Trojan Live.

These awards are a testament to the hours of hard work and discipline necessary to create the monthly, student-run paper. As writers, investigators, photographers, editors, designers, and salespeople, the entire newspaper staff has helped the Tribune rise from the ashes of near cancellation in 2016 to an award-winning paper that makes a difference in their community. Congratulations to all who have made the Tribune spring back to life! (check out the PD article below!)

Big picture

Girls Lacrosse Finishes Strong!

The PHS girls lacrosse season had a season of ups and downs, but definitely finished up on a high note at Senior Night. After a pre-game ceremony celebrated the five senior girls and their families, the Trojans bolted out to an early 6-1 advantage. Though Sonoma Academy eventually made a game of it, the Trojans had enough in the tank to hold on and ended up

More Awards for PHS SkillsUSA @ State Conference

Our SkillsUSA Team is back from the state conference in Ontario and as usual, they've brought home the medals! First, the PHS Chapter was recognized for Chapter Excellence (Bronze Medal). Then....the Broadcast News Production learned they had struck Gold. A Gold medal for PHS! Congratulations to everyone in the broadcast program.

Thanks to Chris Jones for his hard work and organization!

Big picture

The PHS Facility - Under Review! (Participation Encouraged!)

Last Friday, a group of interested staff, students and parents met to discuss a couple of pressing items regarding the PHS campus. The first priority is a paint project for the campus, something which is long overdue! We met with a color specialist who brought samples and listened to input from the committee.

We also discussed the potential growth in the campus in the next few years, and the need for some additional classrooms. We also looked at the possibility of adding a "field house" near the existing gym for wrestling, as well as to take the pressure off the Multi Building. The likelihood of a stand alone Performing Arts Center is unlikely, according to the district, and the Multi stage is the likely way to enhance the drama program.

A second meeting is scheduled for May 15th at 3:30pm in the PHS Library. Please join us with your ideas and input.

PHS Student Athletes Recognized for Partial or Full Ride Athletic Scholarships!

PHS Wildlife Museum Continues School Tours

The student docents at the PHS Wildlife Museum are stepping up the number of tours offered as they look to the 19-20 school year and increased enrollment in the program. Last week, for example, Ms. Schulz and Ms. Vollert brought their first graders on tour to learn about wildlife conservation and how to protect our environment. If you haven't been by the museum lately, please consider checking them out on the weekends when they are open. Check for more information.

PHS and PPAD present Anti-Vaping Assembly to Freshmen

Last week, Ray Lozano and his daughter Brooke presented information and anecdotes about the dangers of vaping, nicotine addition, and the growing prevalence of THC vaping in the country. Our freshmen classes listened and asked pertinent questions; hopefully, many of these students learned something new, including ways to say no when they are offered. As many of you can see, the availability of vaping products continues to increase on the city of Petaluma, based on the number of new vape shops that are appearing. Please continue to speak with your children about vaping and educate yourself so that you can intervene when necessary. Thanks to PPAD for supporting us in this work.

Gene Haas Foundation

The Gene Haas Foundation has been a staunch supporter of the Petaluma High School Manufacturing Technology program for many years. Last week, they came through again with a $12,000 grant to fund further training for our graduate students in CNC machining as well as continued program upgrades and further exploration of internship opportunities. Thank you to Dan Sunia for making the ask and to Kathy Looman of the Foundation for their continued support!

Big picture

Leoni Continues To Progress in Speech Contest

Paul Leoni, oratory master-in-the-making, is continuing a remarkable progression in the California Lions Club Speech Contest. After winning the local Petaluma round in March, he competed against 5 other students at the district level last week. And master orator Paul won districts, earning himself $4500! He now heads to San Carlos on May 11th to compete for a chance at the state finals. Bravo, Paul, and good luck!

VVAL Swimming Summary!

VVAL Swimming Championship Summary

Meet Standings

Varsity Girls 4th Place

Varsity Boys 6th Place

JV Girls 4th Place

JV Boys 2nd Place

Varsity Girls (League record 4-2)

Medalists (Top 3):

G 200 Medley Relay (Katie Honey, Ana Larson, Abigail Kreutz, Sasha Grace Andrews) 2nd Place, New School Record, NCS Consideration time 1:54.80

G 200 IM Ana Larson, 2nd Place, NCS Consideration Time, 2:14.93

G 50 Freestyle Abigail Kreutz, 2nd Place, 26.30

G 100 Butterfly, Katie Honey, 2nd Place, New School Record, NCS Consideration Time, 1:01.05

G 500 Freestyle Aurora Beaumond, 2nd Place, 5:42.68

G 200 Freestyle Relay, (Andrews, Beaumond, Shae Whaley, Kreutz), 3rd Place, 1:50.26

G 100 Breaststroke, K. Honey, 2nd Place, 1:07.86; A. Larson 3rd Place, 1:08.28, Both are NCS Consideration times.

G 400 Free Relay (Larson, Whaley, Beaumond, Honey), 3rd Place, NCS Consideration Time, 4:04.19

Other “A” Heat Finalists (top 8):

Aurora Beaumond 4th, 200 Freestyle; Abigail Kreutz, 4th, 200 IM; Sasha Grace Andrews, 5th, 200IM; Sasha Grace Andrews, 4th, 100 Fly

Varsity Boys (League Record (0-6)

Medalists (Top 3):

B 100 Breaststroke, Cooper Woods, 2nd Place, NCS Consideration time, 1:03.62

Other “A” Heat Finalists (top 8):

Cooper Woods, 6th, 200 IM; Myles Clark, 5th, 50 Freestyle, Myles Clark, 5th, 100 Backstroke;

Junior Varsity Boys and Girls (Both 2-2 in League)

1st Place Finishers

Philipp Opladen, Boys 100 IM; Philipp Opladen, Boys 50 Fly (both are league record times)

Other Top 5 Finishers:

Grace Yates, Girls 200 Freestyle; Tyler Ruiz, Boys 200 Freestyle; Marta Estrada, Girls 100 IM; Grace Yates, Girls 50 Freestyle; Angelique Lindberg, Girls 50 Butterfly; Tyler Ruiz, Boys 100 Freestyle, Marta Estrada, Girls 100 Backstroke

NCS times have been submitted and the field will be set Monday.

Congratulations to Coach Hoffman, Coach Greeson and all who make PHS Swimming rock!

Graton Historians Visit Museum

From Mr. Tacata:

Last Thursday, several historians and librarians from the Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria visited the Museum to survey our small but significant collection of Native American artifacts in an effort to a) identify exactly what we have in the collection in terms of tribal origin and date and b) provide us with best options of how to display and interpret the artifacts.

Ever since I became the Instructor at the Museum, I've wanted to give our Native American artifacts collection the attention and respect it - and the people from which it came - deeply deserve. I am so happy that Mr. Granados (PHS Social Sci Dept Chair) connected us with the Federated Indians of Graton.

Mr. Granados, Mr. Stirrat, a couple of PWM Board Members,as well as a few Museum students and myself watched as the historians mulled over the various artifacts. We will probably need more time to decide on next steps, but this is a big leap toward possibly returning these artifacts to their rightful home!

Chalk Art on a Spring Day #goodtimes

Big picture

Summer School Information

Our very own Mr. Napoli will be running summer school! The documents below are related to summer school for your information...