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Campus recognizes achievements, looks ahead

Students undergo their high school experiences participating in sports, clubs, extra-curriculars, and performing arts. The mission of The Feather Online is to record and report on these events, preserving them online. As the new year begins, the Feather staff reminisces the 2018-2019 school year and highlights moments and accomplishments.

Performing Arts

Julia Fikse | The Feather Online

Choir students, (from left to right) Alina Ochoa, Lindsay Weimer, Max Hinton, Braden Bell and Blake Deffenbacher hold high school choir and women’s ensemble’s awards for the Heritage Festival, April 5-7. Weimer poses with her Time to Start Dreamin’ Award.

This year, the music department attended the Worldstrides Heritage Festival at Disneyland in Anaheim, CA, April 5-7. Led by Susan Ainley, junior high and high school choirs along with women’s ensemble, Bellezza won awards of gold with ratings of 90 or more. Fresno Christian also won the choir sweepstakes award and was invited to perform at Carnegie Hall in New York. 

Two students, Sarah Upshaw, ‘23 and Lindsay Weimer, ‘20, won individual awards for their performances and dedication. Upshaw won the Maestro award for her singing, succeeding Naty Tewodros who won the award in 2017. Weimer won the Time to Start Dreamin’ award whose recipients are chosen directly by Disney.

Weimer shares what she values about the Heritage Festival and the opportunity to sing in the choir. Weimer was nominated for her award by Ainley for her perseverance despite personal struggles.

“Our choir did amazing last year and I was proud of the way all of us came together during competition and won as a team,” Weimer said. “I think the thing I enjoyed most about the Heritage Festival was being able to bond with my friends that are in choir. We made some great memories and I will never forget that trip!”

The choirs performed at other venues during the year, such as the Fresno Pacific University Fall Choral Festival and the Cal Poly Festival. They also held a Fall Concert, Valentine’s Day Concert and the Spring Concert on the FCS campus.

The following tweet highlights the elementary, junior high, and high school Spring band concert.

Led by Lesley Bannister and David Casuga, the FC band, Eagle band and percussion also performed in their own Christmas and spring concerts. Percussion and colorguard performed in the Pismo Clam Festival and all three instrumental groups along with colorguard performed in the Clovis Electric Lights Parade. 

The colorguard, led by Michelle Rodriguez and Alicia Gonzalez, competed as a team in the San Joaquin Valley Color Guard Percussion Review, where they placed last in the Gold Division. They also competed at the Heritage Festival, winning a gold award.

Led by English and drama teacher Kyle Dodson, the drama team performed “The Tempest” for their spring production.



Kaylie Clem | The Feather Online

The high school cheer team competed in the FCC West Coast National Championships, winning the grand championships and placing first, Feb. 2.


The high school cheer team was led to victory by coach Hope Villines in the FCC West Coast National Championships, winning grand championships and first place, Feb. 2. They also performed at FCS football games and performed at various surrounding schools, earning first place at the Clovis West showcase.


The Eagles competed in the fourth consecutive CIF Central Section 8-Man Valley Championships against Mission Prep. Led by Head Coach Russ Counts, the football team finished with a 10-2 record and the title of section runner-up.

Girls Tennis

Led by Daniel Jessing, the girls tennis team finished their season with an overall record of 12-8 and a league record of 6-3. The team won the first round of playoffs against Roosevelt but lost their second against Firebaugh


Coached by Kit Maddox, the volleyball team, as the No. 9 seed, faced the No. 8 seed Kerman Lions for the first round of playoffs.The final record was 3-0, but each match resulted in close finishes for both teams with the Eagles losing and ending their season.


Boys Basketball

Coached by Jon Penberthy, the boys basketball team ended the league with a 9-1 record and became the East Sierra League champions. The Eagles went into playoffs with the No. 10 seed and played against Orange Cove. Their season came to a close after they lost, 92-74.

Kaylie Clem | The Feather Online

Hannah Villines, ’21, attempts to the throw the ball during a game, Dec. 5.

Girls Basketball

The girls varsity team, coached by Robert Foshee and Mike Zamarripa, ended their league with a 9-1 record and became co-champions, tying with Wonderful College Prep Academy. The Eagles received the No. 14 seed and played Chowchilla High School for the first round of playoffs. They lost 53-37, ending their season.

Boys Soccer

The boys soccer team were the East Sierra Champions with a league score of 5-1. Coached by Ramon Del Campo, the Eagles ended with an overall record of 13-7.

Girls Soccer

Led by Matt Markarian, the girls soccer team achieved the title of runner-up in the Central Section CIF D-VI Valley Championships. The team ended their league with a record of 9-0 and an overall record of 18-6.


Avery Jones | The Feather Online

After a close match of 5-4, the tennis team won the 2019 Valley Championships against the Caruthers Blue Raiders, May 7.

Boys Tennis

After losing the 2017-2018 school year’s Valley Championships, this year the tennis team won the Valley Championships against the Caruthers’ Blue Raiders, May 7. Coaches Robert Foshee and Daniel Jessing led the boys team to their 5-4 victory. 


Coached by David Davila, the softball team ended with a league score of 7-0 and an overall record of 16-2 in the East Sierra Division. The team won their first playoff game and lost their second, ending their season. 


Going into the playoffs, the baseball team were No. 3 seed and lost their first round. Coached by Noah Heinz, the team ended with a league record of 6-0, and an overall record of 15-5.

The following tweet features additional photos from when the boys tennis team won the 2019 Valley Championships.


During the track season, the FCS track team, led by Michael Fuller, broke multiple school records. Jacob Hyatt, ’21, tied the current high jump record at 6’2” and Lillian Fuller, ’21, set a school record in the long jump, jumping 15’9”. Kamdon Marquez, ’22, set a school record as a freshman in the 100m dash. Bethany Pouliot, ’19, set two school records in high jump at 4’10.5” and triple jump, jumping 34 ‘3”. 


This year the FCS golf team won the West Sequoia League, winning all their league matches. Led by Brent Deffenbacher, two golfers won individual awards. Julian Segura, ’19, and Blake Deffenbacher, ’20, took first and second place in the league for stroke play. None qualified for the Individual Valley Championships.


Brother to Brother

Kaylie Clem | The Feather Online

Girls in the program Sister to Sister meet with their sister twice a month for lunch. Older sisters in high school aim to mentor their younger sisters who are in junior high.

The Brother to Brother program continued on campus, a mentorship opportunity for junior high and high school boys to be paired up and eat lunch together. Originally led by Terry Richards, the program was taken over by Robert Foshee in 2018 after Richards experienced health complications. 

Sister to Sister

Katie Reneau handed the Sister to Sister program over to cheer coach Hope Villines in 2018. A twin program to Brother to Brother, Sister to Sister pairs high school and junior high girls and allows them to get to know each other over lunch twice a month.


Academic advisor Evangelina Tello led the 2018-2019 California Scholarship Federation (CSF) chapter. At meetings on the first and third week of each month, CSF members discussed school-related events and volunteer opportunities. At the CSF awards banquet, Tello awarded 13 members with participation certificates, graduation cords and tassels. Kamryn Schultz, ‘19, received the CSF scholarship. 

International Club

Led by FC alumna and local AmeriStudent coordinator Brooke Stobbe, ’12, the international students strove to integrate themselves into American life and culture. By teaching ESL (English as a second language), tutoring, and organizing events, the international club helped students find comfort and adjust to living in a foreign country. 

The following tweet features Twitter editor, Logan Lewis interviewing Valley Children’s Hospital spokeswoman, Zara Arboleda.

Leadership Events


Dressed in occupation themed costumes, 168 students headed to Great America for the annual Sadie Hawkins event, Oct. 27.

Avery Jones | The Feather Online

During Kids Day, students volunteer to sell newspapers for $1. Newspaper profits support Valley Children’s Hospital

Firefighters, lifeguards, and referees could be seen whizzing by on roller coasters, partaking in the park’s rides and thrills. 

Kids Day

Moved by the needs of the Fresno’s children, volunteers from all over the city flooded the streets before sunrise, selling newspapers to support Valley Children’s Hospital, March 5. With 8,000 volunteers lining the streets, the hospital received $634, 301 to aid children in need. Campus students alone raised $2,100 for the cause. 

Serve Day

For the sixth consecutive year, FC students participated in Serve Day, a school day set aside for service projects around Fresno, March 12. From pulling weeds at the Valley Dream Center to sorting food at the Central California Food Bank, students engaged with local non-profits and learned the value of service. 


The 34th annual homecoming, Homecoming Happily Ever After, boasted Disney-themed floats, an Eagle victory, and donations toward non-profit Kids on a Mission. The junior class ended the night with the winning float, a depiction of the house from the Disney Pixar film, Up. The Eagles defeated Frazier Mountain, 51-0.

Julia Fikse | The Feather Online

The homecoming court poses during the homecoming football game. The week before the game, the candidates participate in competitions such as the “Royal Battle.”

Freshman princess: Makayla Davila

Sophomore princess: Mackenzie Beckworth

Junior princess: Lindsay Weimer

Senior princess: Kamryn Schultz

Senior queen: Julia Fikse

Senior prince: Alex Rurik 

Senior king: Kyle Friesen


Viewing student-made films, taking complementary boat rides under the stars, and spending time with friends summed up the annual “Night of the Stars” formal event, March 30. Returning to Wolf Lakes with the theme, “A Night at the Oscars”, FC students dressed to impress as they won Oscars-themed awards. The junior class won the ‘Best Picture’ award with their remake of “The Sandlot”.


The Feather Online team attended the NSPA journalism convention in Los Angeles, CA, April 26-27. The team chose not to attend the 2019 CSPA Gold Crown convention in New York, sending only editor-in-chief Alexander Rurik, ‘19, to accept their award. Staffers watched via Instagram story as Rurik accepted a Digital News Silver Crown for the team. 

Greg Stobbe | The Feather Online

During each year, The Feather staff chronicles FCS events, and events that impact the Fresno community.

Out of the running for the NSPA Pacemaker award, the team directed their focus on Best of Show, reporting on their visits to Disneyland, Warner Bros. Studios, and the ABC7 Newsroom.

On the final day of the convention, staffers gathered for the awards ceremony where they received 10th place Best of Show, April 27. 


At the end of the 2018-2019 school year, FCS sent off 41 seniors and 10 “lifers”. Students accrued over $2.1 mil. in scholarships, with Alex Rurik as valedictorian and John Monke as salutatorian. 

Unfortunately, teachers Rachel Rodriguez, Kyle Dodson and Dr. Karen Walters chose not to return for the following school year. Former junior high teacher, Melanie Portwood will take Dodson’s place as English nine and 11 teacher. Leaving his position as a long-term substitute, Nathan Case takes Walters’ place, teaching zoology and biology. New teacher, Marianela Aguilar takes over as Spanish one, two and three teacher.

The following tweet highlights the graduation of the class of 2019.

For last year’s recap article, read Reflecting on the 2017-’18 school year. For more articles, read Convocation starts year, unites students or 19th annual Central Valley Honor Flight honors 68 veterans.

Follow The Feather throughout the year on social media and on the main website for updates and coverage of school events, profiles, features, sports, campus information and so much more.

Addison Schultz can be contacted via Twitter. 

Vijay Stephen can be contacted via Twitter.

The following slideshow features some highlights of the 2018-2019 school year.

Student body reminisces school year

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