Happy Birthday Woodlake FFA

By: Kiara Benevides

On Oct. 30, 2015, Woodlake FFA celebrated 75 years of being chartered as an FFA chapter within the National FFA Organization. In celebration, the Woodlake chapter hosted an Alumni Social at the Woodlake Veterans Memorial Building. All past and current Woodlake FFA members were invited to attend the event to help celebrate 75 years of Woodlake FFA traditions and connect it’s history with its present. Throughout the evening, the Chapter discussed its accomplishments over the years as well as introduce its new traditions to the program, such as the Academy of Sustainable Agriculture. Past members were encouraged to bring their old FFA jackets and photos from their past experiences and memories. This event gave current members an opportunity to reminisce with alumni and learn about the chapter’s history as well as share their memories. Woodlake FFA alumnus and City of Woodlake mayor, Mr. Rudy Mendoza, attended the event and spoke on behalf of the community, encouraging students to continue reaching success in the agriculture industry. The Alumni Boosters informed the community of upcoming events and fundraisers that will help the chapter continue traditions as well as grow new traditions as the chapter continues down the path to success. The newly launched ag academy was a topic of discussion as Mrs. Carmita Peña, Ag Academy Director, spoke on behalf of the academy and the tremendous culture it has already brought to Woodlake High School’s campus. The 2015-2016 Woodlake FFA Greenhand Team was elected, bringing back a tradition that had faded away.The newly elected Greenhand Officer team consisted of Marcela Arambula- President, Edith Guijon- Vice President, Clarissa Elias- Secretary, Anthony Guzman- Treasurer, Jose Mendez- Reporter, and Kimberly Martino- Sentinel. To end the night off, all members celebrated with Woodlake FFA birthday cake donated by the Boosters Club. Overall, the chapter had a blast celebrating Woodlake FFA’s 75th birthday!

Student Spotlight

By: Cynthia McDermott

Brian Gasca, Grade 10

Brian is a new student here at Woodlake from El Diamante. His favorite school subjects are P.E. and History. He loves to play soccer and plans to join the Woodlake boys soccer team this year. If you see Brian around say hi and make him feel welcome here in our town.

Arbol Ortega, Grade 10Arbol

Arbol is a returning student who went to Woodlake Valley Middle School, transferred to La Sierra the beginning of his freshman year, and has now joined us once again here at Woodlake High. His favorite subjects include: Language, Math, and Biology. Arbol loves to bake, craft, and dance. Welcome Arbol back to our campus!


Lucia Gonzales, Grade 10Lucia

Lucia is noticed as an outstanding student. She is a role model for many and is setting a good example. How you may ask? Almost every morning Lucia is seen picking up trash after her fellow peers. As the administration has drilled into our minds over and over, trash around campus has been a big problem, and Lucia’s donated time is much appreciated by many.  Her work is greatly appreciated and we all hope the rest of the students copy her actions. Thank you Lucia.


Vanessa Lopez, Grade 12Vanessa Lopez

Vanessa is a new senior here at our school, living in Seville. She came from Roseville High School in Fresno, CA. Her favorite activity is spending time with her family. In school, Vanessa enjoys Art and Accounting class. Once she graduates from high school, she wishes to go to Fresno State because it is close to home and her family. Welcome Vanessa warmly to our school.


Christopher McDermott, Grade 9

This year our AG students have the chance to be apart of the Welding Competition Team. This team practices a couple times a week after school. Their first welding competition is Saturday, December 21st in Coalinga. Christopher is one of the few boys who is involved with this team. He says that one day he would like to be a decorative welder, much like his dad.


Awards, Awards, Awards

By: Sonni Hacobian

On Thursday, November 12th, FFA had their annual Greenhand and Chapter Degree Awards Banquet. The Greenhand and Chapter recipients started their day early when they came to get their hands painted blue or green at the Ag Department around 7am. The student wAttachment-1ith the greenest and bluest hand at the award banquet that evening, would receive a prize. The Greenhand Degree is awarded to freshmen FFA members, and the Chapter Degree is awarded to those who have earned at least $100 in a Supervised Agricultural Experience (SAE) and been involved within the FFA program. These prestigious awards are an honor to receive and is something you will hold close to your heart for years to come. The time came and families started to settle in at the banquet, the Greenhand Officers had the privilege of opening the meeting with their newly elected position. The Greenhands then relinquished the chair to the Chapter Officers and the meeting began. Cake and refreshments were served, and a period of time was set aside for socializing. When cake and social time was over, the award ceremony began. Countless members approached the stage and received both Greenhand and Chapter Degrees, the teams who had competed at the Sectional Opening and Closing Ceremonies Competition was then recognized for their hard work and dedication.  The hard work put into the FFA membership will surely teach and help members to become successful in their future endeavors, this ceremony is just a small part of the recognition members receive throughout their time in the FFA.


Anyone can run 100 meters; it’s the next 4,900 that count! :-)

By: Mixsari Barreto

WHS Cross Country attended League Championships at Granite Hills on Thursday, November 12, 2015 which then, the varsity team proceeded on to Sectional Championships. Valley took place in Fresno at Woodward Park. The course consisted of many rocky roads, dirt terrain, and the famous ‘Killer Hill’. There were 150 varsity boys running for Division 4 and Sotero Silva took 19th place. Unfortunately, only the top 10 proceeded onto State Championships; however, placing 19th is very impressive. There were 120 varsity girls running for Division 4. Woodlake had a total of 6 girls running: Yarimel Barreto, Mixsari Barreto, Isabel Garcia, Kimberly Martino, Michelle Sanchez, and Hannah Sherwood. Although none of the girls moved on to State Championships, the team did great overall. A special shout out to Patrick Kerwin for being the team captain and showing us the way throughout the season. As for Garza, Lucatero, and the team we are one big family. Although the season may be over, we’ll be expecting everybody back (and more) in May for summer training. See you all back next season! …..and now for the legendary quote of the season:
“We are D1!” -Joey Riportella

Thankful Thursday

By Caprice Bursiaga

November is the month in which the holiday Thanksgiving falls in. Thanksgiving is a holiday celebrated in the U.S. and Canada. The idea surrounding Thanksgiving is in the name – thanks – it is the day of thanks. If you are interested behind the Native American,Mayflower pilgrim dinner scenario, google it. Many do not see thanksgiving for what it is, but rather as a day to pig out on delicious home cooked meals. WRONG! Thanksgiving is a day to give thanks for the year’s harvest and the events that have taken place the preceding year. So, what are you thankful for? Your family? Your friends? Your teachers? If so, which is likely, tell them. Reading minds is not a skill everyone masters, or anyone possesses for that matter.  Although thanksgiving is the day of thanks, it should not be the only day thanks is given. So do not forget to tell someone you are thankful for them here and there; especially this Thanksgiving. Have a great Thanksgiving break stuffing your face, and find some time to start hanging up your Christmas decorations, because Christmas is right around the corner!!!

Memory Project

By: Jamie Jones

Our school’s Art Department takes part in the memory project yearly. Lucia Gonzalez, Ezekiel Guerrero, Mrs. Bowers, Karin Meza, Abelardo Farias Galindo and I are participating in it this year. The department is using many different medias to do the artworks. Media is the supplies chosen to complete a piece of work: paint, pastels, pencil, markers, etc.  Most are not aware that “The Memory Project” is a nonprofit organization that invites art teachers and their students to create portraits for youth around the world who have faced substantial challenges, such as neglect, abuse, loss of parents, and extreme poverty.  To know that many people care about the well being of these children and their future is inspiring.  The organization encourages students to participate in this act of kindness for orphans around the world. Participants receive photos of children and teens from global charities operating residential homes, schools, and care centers in a number of different countries every year.  The next step is choosing media supplies to complete the portrait.  Teachers work along side their students to help create portraits for these students, which is a nice gift to give to these orphans and show people around the world do care.

Thanksgiving For Everyone

By: Emery Elder


Thanksgiving is a time where people all across America get together with family and friends and eat a large meal.  This meal usually includes: turkey, stuffing, gravy, sweet potatoes, cornbread, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, pie,  and other delicious foods.  While many are feasting, there are quite a few people who won’t be able to have this experience.  It maybe because they don’t have a home, or they 20141127_104607can’t afford the food cost, or maybe they don’t have friends or family to spend it with.  We can’t help everybody, but we can help a few.  For the last 10 years, Brenda and Jack Persall host a Thanksgiving lunch at the Miller Brown Memorial Park here in Woodlake.  People from the community donate food, blankets, and coats that are given out to all the people.  They start cooking the day before, and on Thanksgiving day, the Persall’s are joined by many volunteers at 9:30am to start loading vehicles and set up the park.  Families begin to line up at 7:00am, and serving food and giving out jackets and blankets begin at 1:00.  Last year 360 people were served at this event.  Jack Persall wanted to do this for the community for a long time, and his dream has now become a reality. Year after year this event continues to grow, and volunteers are always needed to to set up, clean up, and hand out jackets.  If you’re interested in helping with a great cause, please contact Brenda Persall  at 559-564-8061, or email her at bpersall@w-usd.org.  Anybody is welcome; however, all high school students who help can receive hours for helping.  

8-2, League Champs, and Playoffs

by: Marin Apodaca III

Woodlake’s Varsity football team went undefeated 5-0 in league, which gave them the status of being League Champions. Woodlake beat Strathmore 27-14, Corcoran 48-0, Lindsay 34-21, Sierra Pacific 31-20, and Granite Hills 40-3. The last league championship Woodlake earned was in 1999.  Many of the students at our school were not even born in 1999, that is how long it has been since the football team took the title of League Champs, our time was due and well-deserved.  After losing their first two games to CVC and Exeter, Woodlake went on a eight game winning streak.

Finishing the season with an 8-2 record, this is also Coach Del Rio’s best record season; his 1st season at Woodlake High School was 7-3, 2nd season 5-4, and 3rd seasons 8-2.  This season the Tigers finished in the 4th seed of Division V, clinching a 1st round bye.  Woodlake High School will be hosting Kern Valley, who has an 8-2 record, for the 2nd round of playoffs on Friday, November 20th. Beating Kern Valley will move the Tigers to the Semifinals November 27. Come support our Tigers November 20 for their post-season opener against Kern Valley!

FIRST ROUND – Nov. 13, 2015

  1. Immanuel – BYE
  2. Lindsay at 8. Caruthers
  3. Kern Valley – BYE
  4. Woodlake – BYE
  5. Dos Palos – BYE
  6. Firebaugh – BYE
  7. Bishop at 7. Mendota
  8. Fowler – BYE

SECOND ROUND – Nov. 20, 2015

  1. Caruthers at 1. Immanuel
  2. Kern Valley at 4. Woodlake
  3. Firebaugh at 3. Dos Palos
  4. Mendota at 2. Fowler

SEMIFINALS – Nov. 27, 2015

CHAMPIONSHIP – Dec. 4, 2015

XC is One HILL of a Sport!

By: Yarimel Barreto

Emotions ran wild as the team concluded the
FullSizeRender.jpg-ir season. Thursday, Nov. 12, WHS Cross Country attended League at Granite Hills HS. The team faced one heck of a “Killer Hill”. The course was grass, rocky, steep hills, and finished off on the track. While at Granite Hills and during the course, the team was able to do some sight seeing of llamas and other farm animals. Although we’re not great fans of hills there is a saying, “love the hills and they will love you back.” and I’ll tell you we sure loved them. Our JV boys placed 2nd, Varsity boys placed 3rd, short by 1 point for 2nd place. Unfortunately varsity girls were not able to place due to an incomplete team, but they still proceeded onto Section Championships. Even though the team is recognized as Division IV sports wise, the team believes they can compete with the best. For some of the team, it would be their last and final race, but for others it was an opportunity to continue to Valley in Fresno, and hopefully proceed onto state. Congrats to the whole team for setting their new personal records.

Miss Woodlake 2015-2016

By: Jordan Lee

IMG_2346Sonni Hacobian: “I entered Miss Woodlake because it is an excellent opportunity to get to know my community. This experience will allow me to become closer to the other contestants and to be involved in community events. It has been fun selling raffle tickets and experiencing what it takes to be in a pageant. I’m looking forward to spending the next year with the other four contestants that I have become so close with.”

Deanna Diaz: “In all honesty, I joined because I thought it would be a good opportunity to be able to represent the town with creativity and honesty. I want to be part of the change in a positive way, for the town of Woodlake.”

Erica Diaz: “I decided to run because I wanted my time here in Woodlake to mean more, and also because I want to inspire younger women to pursue their goals. I think that all of us candidates have that capability, and are role models the younger generations.”

Karissa Castillo: “I personally chose to enter the Miss Woodlake contest because I believe Miss Woodlake represents how Woodlake High School, as well as the adults of Woodlake, raise young ladies. With this in mind, it would be a great pleasure to represent the community, and continue the tradition of Miss Woodlake for years to come.   From this experience, I’ve learned how someone can be perceived as an example of their community. My community is unlike any other in school spirit and courtesy. I am proud to state that I will participate in Woodlake events because it is a joy of mine to be aroIMG_2347und Woodlake people and be a part of this community.”

Brianna Holt: “The reason I entered Miss Woodlake is because I attended the event last year, and it was an eye opener for me. Watching the girls at coronation and having an opportunity to make a change in Woodlake intrigued me.  The IMG_2348contestants get to represent Woodlake in a positive way, and to me that is important. The community can rely on supportive and encouraging role models to represent Woodlake.”

Miss Woodlake 2015-2016 goes to Miss SONNI HACOBIAN!!!!  Congrats to Sonni and all the other Miss Woodlake contestants!!!!