Glenda Marshall

Glenda Marshall is a senior at Foothill Technology High School and has been writing for The Foothill Dragon Press for three years. She is a news writer, columnist, and the Co-News Editor for the publication.

Students and staff react to end of STAR testing in California

As of today, students across California will no longer be required to take Standardized Testing and Reporting (STAR) exams. Governor Jerry Brown signed Assembly Bill 484 earlier today replacing standardized tests with Smarter Balanced Assessments, tests that follow the Common Core curriculum. “Common Core questions are much more open-ended and take a lot of evaluation and analysis,” Principal Joe Bova said. “They definitely require higher level thinking skills than multiple choice tests.”

Cheating 'rampant' and 'like a plague' at Foothill, surveys show

In an anonymous survey of 254 Foothill students conducted in April by the Dragon Press, 92 percent indicated they have participated in an activity that breaks the Ventura Unified School District’s academic dishonesty policy. One respondent wrote that cheating at Foothill is “rampant. Like the bubonic plague or small pox.” Conducted between April 9-24, the student survey was given on paper to students in one college prep and one Advanced Placement or honors English class at the freshmen, sophomore, junior, and senior levels. Twenty-four Foothill teachers anonymously responded to a separate online staff survey offered between May 6-8. (Full results of the staff survey can be found here.)

Former Foothill teacher Chris Prewitt struck fatally by car

Former Foothill teacher Christopher Prewitt, 38, was killed while jogging this morning after being hit by a car outside of Ventura. The former Buena water polo coach was an assistant principal at Deanza Academy of Technology and Arts (DATA) middle school. The California Highway Patrol responded to a call at 6:50 a.m. about an accident on Olivas Park Drive near Victoria Avenue in the unincorporated area just outside of the Ventura city limits. The CHP reported that Shante Chappell, 23, of Oxnard, was driving southbound on Victoria, south of Olivas Park, in a 2011 Volkswagen when she allegedly attempted to merge from the first lane into the second, made an unsafe turning movement to the right and struck Prewitt, who was jogging in the right shoulder of the road.

Grinding is a high school epidemic

My biggest regret in high school is that I did not attend more dances. Some people might say that Winter Formal and Prom are just overpriced excuses to say you have a social life, but I disagree. Dances are an essential part of the high school experience, and whether or not you like to dance, just the experience of getting dressed up and hanging out with friends makes for a fun night. Unfortunately, it was only recently that I came to this realization, and I skipped more than a majority of high school dances I could have gone to. If I had a time turner, I would probably go back in time and change that, but unfortunately, I am not Hermione Granger and don’t have that option. So, rather than dwelling on the things I wish I had done, I decided to make up for my losses by going to this year’s Winter Formal. After all, it is my senior year, and I have to enjoy the rest of my time at Foothill, in all its quirky, hilarious glory, while I can.

Why Miley Cyrus?

I am not a YouTube person. While I know a lot of teenagers enjoy obsessing over videos of double rainbows and grown men dancing in fox costumes, I have never found YouTube to be particularly entertaining. Please don’t mistake my distaste for criticism. Considering I have pretty much sold my life to Netflix Livestream, I am in no place to condemn my peers’ guilty pleasures. All I am saying is that I would rather watch Sherlock than listen to a goat bleeping a Taylor Swift song. The other day, however, I decided to venture into the world of Youtube to watch Miley Cyrus’s new video for her song “Wrecking Ball.” Big mistake.

The Neverland Syndrome

I am fairly sure that I am having my midlife crisis at the age of 17. Yes, I understand that I am still in high school, but that’s just the problem because in a relatively short period of time, I won’t be. In ten months, I will have graduated, and in thirteen, I will be living on my own. I can’t even open the child-proof vitamin jars and people expect me to effectively budget and do my own laundry? This is all too much. I don’t want to grow up. Now would be a perfect time for Peter Pan to sweep in through my window and take me away to Neverland, but, alas, he has not yet arrived, and I am sad to say that I think he will be a no-show. It’s almost as disappointing as not getting my Hogwarts letter, but I digress.

BREAKING NEWS: School board approves start of a new era of Foothill athletics; sports teams to start in 2014

Ventura Unified School District trustees unanimously approved the superintendent’s recommendation to launch a Foothill athletics program Tuesday, with the first teams beginning to play in the 2014-2015 school year. The decision will usher in a new era of sports at the 1,000-student campus over a four-year transition period. By 2017-2018, no Foothill students will be playing for Ventura or Buena. “I am hopeful that this could get more students what they want and get them to where they want to be,” superintendent Trudy T. Arriaga said. “Let it be known that we are going to move forward.”

Drug-sniffing dogs now allowed to search Foothill classrooms

Due to rising concerns of drug use by students in the Ventura Unified School District, the school board has decided that it is in the best interest of the high schools to allow drug-sniffing detection dogs in classrooms. For the past six years, dogs have been used to search locker rooms and parking lots of district schools, but they have never been used in classrooms. “There was concern from high school principals and a lot from parents about drugs on campus, and checks in parking lots and locker rooms are very limited,” said Kyunghae Schwartz, director of VUSD Student Support Services. “We looked at the evidence – the number of suspensions and expulsions and that kind of thing – and we thought maybe this should happen.”

Concussions affect VUSD athletes, can cause serious, long-term side effects

Junior Blake Silva doesn’t remember getting up or being helped onto the bench; he can only recall the second he was pushed by an aggressive opponent and his head collided with the concrete bordering the field. “I tripped and we were on the football field playing so we were on the turf, and when I tripped I kind of, like, somersaulted and hit my head on the concrete,” Silva said. Silva, then a freshman playing on Ventura High School’s junior varsity soccer team, was in the midst of an important game against rival Buena High School, and was immediately removed from the game. The severity of the hit caused large amounts of liquid to pour from Silva’s mouth and nose. “I hit so hard that it just jarred everything. I got really dizzy,” he said. Silva learned later that day that he had gotten a minor concussion and was forced to sit out from practice the rest of the week. “It was scary. I remember hearing people scream because I guess it looked really bad. It was definitely painful,” Silva said.

Every 15 Mintues Day One: "Dead" students, crash show drunk driving dangers

Although the blood was fake, the crash was staged, and the “dead” were still alive, the effects of Thursday’s Every 15 Minutes were too real for some. “It is never a good thing to hear your sister is dead,” junior Carson Graves said after it was announced his sister, Emily Graves, had passed on. Every 15 Minutes is a program that aims to raise awareness of the dangers of drunk driving. Every other year, Foothill partners with the Ventura community to stage a crash scene in front of the school complete with law enforcement, two wrecked vehicles, and student actors. This is the third time Foothill has participated in the event. “The first year it was pretty low scale but now we do the full program,” principal Joe Bova said. “It makes a big impact on kids to see people they know [involved in the crash].” “We try to make it as real as possible so we can get the point across and prevent them from drunk driving,” medical examiner James Baroni said.

Otto Tielemans proud to be a "new-born Republican" and Strickland intern

Otto Tielemans is perfecting his Bill Clinton impression. Well, that and writing letters to the editor, answering numerous phone calls, and giving political speeches throughout Ventura County. All are part of 17-year-old Tielemans’s new internship for the Tony Strickland campaign. “You think internship and you expect it to be very strict but you get this kinship that you never expected,” the Foothill senior said. “Parts of it are humorous and comical but you also get this real sense of an election. I have learned so much. It is really amazing.”

Foothill's racial equity gap lower than county average

A new school, no friends, unable to speak a word of English; life was not easy for Foothill sophomore Jenny Castillo when she moved to the United States in third grade. “I had to learn everything from scratch because the English that they teach you [in Mexico] is not good. It is very formal… I wouldn’t do anything that the other kids would do. I would be on a computer learning English the entire day,” Castillo said. Castillo had many encounters with bullies who were not accepting of their foreign classmate.