Tag Archives: river city

Rites of passage: homecoming at RCHS

NEWS-LEDGER — OCT 8, 2014 —

By Danny Thirakul

River City High School Homecoming Queen and King: Varsity Cheerleader Kalina Ramos Sangco and Raiders varsity football player Mateo Pineda, both 17.  (Photo by Danny Thirakul)

River City High School Homecoming Queen and King: Varsity Cheerleader Kalina Ramos Sangco and Raiders varsity football player Mateo Pineda, both 17.
(Photo by Danny Thirakul)

River City High School Senior

The excitement at River City High School could be heard for miles around on Friday, Sept. 26, as the Raiders kicked off their Homecoming weekend with a spirit rally. Even the varsity football team’s defeat to Pioneer (42-20) couldn’t dampen student enthusiasm for their school.

The afternoon rally opened with the school cheer, recognition of Fall sports, and was followed by an array of games in which students from all grade levels at the high school could compete.

Friday night the Homecoming floats and royalty enthralled the crowd. Homecoming Queen, cheerleader Kalina Ramos Sangco, 17, said, “I am so happy I won, and I’m glad I won with my best friend (Homecoming King, Raiders football player Mateo Pineda).”

River City’s Cheerleaders, the Command Dance Crew, the marching band “The River City Regiment” all wowed spectators.

RCHS Music Director Tony Marvelli said he’s always proud of the band and added, “The quality has only gone up from year to year.”

River City High School’s cheerleaders wow the crowd during the 2014 Homecoming football game Friday, Sept. 26 at River City High School. (Photo by Danny Thirakul)

River City High School’s cheerleaders wow the crowd during the 2014 Homecoming football game Friday, Sept. 26 at River City High School. (Photo by Danny Thirakul)

Cheerleaders Head Coach Sean Henderson had no doubt the squad would do a great job, saying, “I feel confident about this group more than any team I’ve ever coached.”

A homecoming weekend favorite, the Homecoming dance (theme: “When in Rome”), kept excitement high Saturday as students scouted sites for photo opportunities in their Homecoming clothes and arranged for pre-dance dinners.

The dance got great reviews. River City Leadership students, “put it together very well,” said senior Dianna Mercado, 17. She liked the creativity that went into the decorations “especially the lights,” she said, adding, “(The dance) was very flashy.”

Senior Kelly Saetern, 17, gave the music high marks. “They played a lot more slow songs (than last year),” Kelly said.

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RCHS cooks up culinary arts class

HANNAH WALL, a River City High School senior and culinary arts student, helped prep over 40 pounds of  chicken in preparation for a local event held at Yolo High School. (Photo courtesy of Cheryle Sutton)

HANNAH WALL, a River City High School senior and culinary arts student, helped prep over 40 pounds of chicken in preparation for a local event held at Yolo High School. (Photo courtesy of Cheryle Sutton)

NEWS-LEDGER — SEPT 24, 2014 —

By Rebecca Schwartz
River City High School Journalism Class

This year at River City High School they are introducing a new class, taught by Cheryle Sutton, which teaches students the “culinary arts.”

On Thursday, September 18, the small class of 18 students provided meals for more than 120 people at the Living on the Healthy Edge Program, ran by River City’s previous principal, Katie Neemer, at Yolo High School.

At the event they served student-made chicken and dumplings, zucchini chips breaded with Italian bread crumbs and parmesan cheese, and watermelon wedges with water. By the end of the event they ended up with leftovers, with which they boxed up and sent home with seminar attendees.

The night went pretty well, according to the students. Despite their lack of experience, they more than made up for it through enthusiasm and enough knowledge to put what they have learned into practice.

“Me and ‘Liz were cutting chicken on like a one foot cutting board… We were cutting like, 40 pounds of chicken,” laughed Junior Hannah Wall and Senior Elizabeth Montanez, participants in the program.

Overall the event was a rousing success. Look for their next event in Mid-October, again at the Living on the Healthy Edge Program at Yolo High School, where they will be serving Chili and deserts made from scratch.

Ms. Sutton hopes that she can portray her love for the hospitality industry that she spent 15 years of her life working in. She wants to teach her students, not only the practical skills, but the personal skills she learned.

Sutton says, “I want them to learn about themselves. What do they like? What are they good at? I want them to get to know themselves better and I want them to realize team work- how it works, how we work as a team to get something done. And I would also like them to enjoy the process in the meantime.”

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Summer camp for RCHS club members

The author, 17-year old Danny Thirakul, cheers for competitors in the Mind Olympics   (photo by Gunnar Hatzenbiler, also age 17)

The author, 17-year old Danny Thirakul, cheers for competitors in the Mind Olympics
(photo by Gunnar Hatzenbiler, also age 17)

FROM THE NEWS-LEDGER — SEPT 3, 2014 —

By Danny Thirakul
River City High School Interact Club

Five River City High School students start the new school year Aug. 20 having attended a different kind of summer camp – one that builds not only camaraderie, but character. The Camp RYLA campers are in the River City High School Interact Club, sponsored by West Sac’s two Rotary clubs: Centennial Rotary and Rotary Club of West Sacramento.

Camp RYLA – Rotary Youth Leadership Awards – proved to be a life changing experience for the five West Sacramento Interactors:  Jessica Ngo, 17, Danny Thirakul, 17, Jayne Chong, 17, Eric Arauza, 17 and JuliaMarie Quenga, 17.

Located at Grizzly Creek Ranch in Portola, Camp RYLA hosts “Interactors” from throughout Rotary District 5180. The high school juniors attend the week-long camp courtesy of full camp scholarships from their sponsoring local Rotary clubs. This year, Sacramento’s Pocket-Greenhaven Rotary Club also awarded a scholarship to River City Interactor Jayne Chong.

RCHS Interact Club President Jessica Ngo says the camp experience “makes you feel like you belong, pushes you to be open, to confront your fears, to be confident in yourself and your abilities, and above all be you!”

At the camp, students are sorted into different teams/groups, where they engage in different icebreakers. They also enjoy many outdoor activities such as archery, kayaking, mountain hiking, and swimming. The ropes course challenges campers both physically and mentally, Jayne says. Campers are encouraged to be open and face their fears with the help and support of their team. She said, “My favorite part was the ropes course because it was amazing how many were able to face their fears.”

Other self-esteem building activities include group games such as the Mind Olympics, Cross the Line, and Superhero. Campers also attend motivational speeches by special guest speakers, the camp directors, and camp counselors.

Throughout the week the teens learn a lot about themselves. Danny says, “They broke themselves down to the tiniest atom and rebuilt themselves bigger and better than ever.” While most of campers start out as strangers, by the end of camp, he says, they feel like family.

To learn more about the Interact Club at River City High School, go to:
http://rivercity.wusd.k12.ca.us/interact

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RCHS music director tries to pick up tempo; believes music has value to education, development

ANTHONY MARVELLI on stage. He’s chairman of the arts program at River City High School, and plays trumpet with a band in his spare time. Click to enlarge. (Courtesy photo)

ANTHONY MARVELLI on stage. He’s chairman of the arts program at River City High School, and plays trumpet with a band in his spare time. Click to enlarge.
(Courtesy photo)

NEWS-LEDGER — SEPT 3, 2014 —

From Heather Wright
News-Ledger Correspondent

Anthony Marvelli is chair of the Visual and Performing Arts (VAPA) Department at River City High School, a professional brass player with area band “Joy and Madness,” and a mentor.
As a performer, he and his band combine sounds of soul, funk, and salsa to get people out of their seats to dance. As an instructor, he teaches a much wider variety of music. According to Marvelli, “Music has taken over my life and I love it!”  He believes music education, leadership skills, and community involvement are interconnected and is committed to expanding VAPA opportunities for West Sacramento’s youth.

It started when he was a kid attending the Sacramento Jazz Jubilee in the 1980s.

“I used to attend these festivals every Memorial Day weekend with my parents, and fell in love with Dixieland Jazz. It was animated and fun, especially the trombone player.”

Even at Disneyland, he gravitated toward the French Quarter for the music and atmosphere. In fourth grade, he took classical trumpet lessons.

“In fifth grade, we got to choose our instruments. I had hoped to play the trombone like Dixieland jazz musicians, but it wasn’t an option.” So, he stuck with the trumpet, like many of his favorite musicians – Miles Davis, Chet Baker, and Clifford Brown – and continued playing at school.

What started Marvelli on a leadership path?

“In seventh grade, my band teacher commented that the lead trumpet is the band leader,” he explained. “I also got encouragement from my mother. I began putting together ensembles for the talent show and then in high school I took over the leadership position of the pep band.”

By this time, Marvelli knew he wanted to play music for the rest of his life. He majored in Jazz Studies Performance Music at the University of North Texas to parlay his love of music into a teaching career. “Then, to my surprise, my performance career took off.” He got gigs on Carnival cruise ships during school breaks, in cover bands, and for stars such as Engelbert Humperdinck, the Guy Lombardo Orchestra, and Paul Anka.

As a performer Marvelli plays the trumpet, but as a teacher he provides instruction on wind ensemble instruments, including woodwinds, brass and percussion, as well as digital music production.

“This is my fifth year teaching at River City and directing the marching band,” he said. “Last year, our band outgrew the decades’ old uniforms and the school board approved funds to buy new uniforms. The kids looked so sharp last year in the MLK and Veteran’s Day Parades in Sacramento. Our wind ensemble continues to rank at the top of area competitions.”

Last year, Marvelli created a Big Band Ensemble, and it was so popular that the students voluntarily came to daily practice before school even started. All the bands perform at school and community functions including athletic events, rallies, holiday benefits, restaurant patios, and parades. RCHS also has a talented student jazz band – the Syncopating Sea Monkeys, directed by Felicia Weatherly. Coincidentally, the Sea Monkeys perform every year at the Sacramento Music Festival, previously known as the Sacramento Jazz Jubilee – Marvelli’s childhood inspiration.

Marvelli says that playing music is a journey where one learns to embrace creativity, to problem-solve in diverse situations, technical skills, how to collaborate with diverse groups and to navigate political situations. The goal is to be better than yesterday. It’s such a simple goal, yet one that drives perpetual personal and group growth. “As a teacher, I hope my students take it very seriously and that it permeates all aspects of their lives.”

Why teach music?

“Where do I start?,” Marvelli responded. “It begins with the individual. Musical training has vast positive effects on the developing brain which leads to improved school behavior and study habits, even staving off symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease. In addition, being a part of a school band teaches kids practical skills such as punctuality, appropriate attire and behavior. A band also serves as a microcosm of society – with democratic rule-making, establishment of leaders and followers, teamwork for improvement, and emphasizes the value of each role in the successful and smooth operation of the whole group.”

In the short four years that Marvelli has been at River City, the music-culture of the school has grown and he plans on supporting that growth throughout the school, district, and community.

Many of West Sacramento’s leaders have the common thread of a musical background. Perhaps coincidence, but more likely an indicator of the connection between music and leadership. Kids that played in their school bands are now mayors, supervisors, council members, and school board members. Those creative and collaborative kids grew into adults that use those skills to work with diverse groups of people to better their community. Marvelli hopes to foster this civic engagement and leadership in his students. In addition to the beautiful music created by teamwork, “the overwhelming sense of community that is felt creates this sense of being a part of the same organism. It’s really extraordinary to get that feeling,” he says in a passionate and persuasive tone.

Together with local leaders, Marvelli worked create the new K-8 Visual and Performing Arts Program being implemented this fall. “This program will get our kids into music and the arts earlier than ever and serve as a successful feeder program for the high school.”

He hopes to work with West Sacramento’s leaders to create a local musical festival which would include the school bands, other local bands, as well as the myriad cultural and religious bands from the area – Russian, Mexican, Muslim, and Sikh.

“This would showcase our local talent and cultivate an understanding and appreciation of many cultures and demonstrate the overlap in music styles, texture, and instrumentation there is among our diverse community groups,” he said.

For more information on events and performances or to make a contribution, visit the website at www.rivercityregiment.com and for regular updates, “like” them on Facebook.

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RCHS loses opener to Christian Brothers

FROM THE NEWS-LEDGER — SEPT 3, 2014 —

River City High School’s 2014 football season opened on Friday, with a non-conference game in West Sacramento against visiting Christian Brothers.

Christian Brothers put 28 points on the board in the first quarter while cruising to a 56-7 win in the varsity match-up.

River City won the J.V. matchup 36-0.

Copyright News-Ledger 2014

At RCHS: practice for the real world

FROM THE NEWS-LEDGER — MAY 21, 2014 —

By Rebecca Schwartz
Journalism Class
River City High School

With little-to-no work experience and still-awkward social skills that make it difficult to portray the qualities that are desirable in a job, high school students find it hard to compete with more experienced adults.

On May 14th, Ronica Carlisle, River City High School Government and Economics teacher, invited West Sacramento Mayor Christopher Cabaldon, Human Resources Manager of Capitol Area Development, Jill Azuvedo, and the general manager at Wicked West Pizza, Michelle Van De Heetkamp to come and give volunteer students mock interviews, as if they were applying for a job.

Azuvedo explained, “I think it is important high school students learn [how to be interviewed] because it isn’t taught in schools.”

“This is very generous of them to do this,” Carlisle commented to her class, prior to the interviews.

Students who volunteered before the event were called up and were interviewed for an unspecified job in front of the class by the panel of guests. Some qualities that the panel was looking for in each interview were work ethic, charisma, honesty and skill.

“Keep in mind,” said Heetkamp, “We are going to be hiring someone we’ll be spending every day with. Think of yourself, do we really want to spend every day with you?”

After each interview, the panel would give specific feedback according to each student’s particular scenario. Some of their critiques included being engaging with the panel, being concise and specific in their answers, being confident and prepared, conservative in dress, respectful, and most of all to accentuate their best qualities and give solutions to weaknesses.

Carlisle felt it was important to put on this event, because of the difficulties teens have in establishing themselves in the workplace.

Carlisle explained “Youth unemployment is very high. This concerns me because one of the ways young people mature is to work.  Also, job experience as a teen helps to secure an even better job as a young adult.”

 

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Books wanted for high school library

FROM THE NEWS-LEDGER —

The library at River City High School could use your help stocking the shelves with books – particularly biographies.

If you have an extra copy of a book about such persons as Barack or Michele Obama, current sports or popular culture icons, people from the tech world such as Steve Jobs or Bill Gates, or historical figures such as Malcom X, Caesar Chavez, Rosa Parks, etc., you can help. Call 375-7800, ext. 2321.

Copyright News-Ledger 2014