California Thursday


By: Misty Stevenson

The school district has recently implemented a new food program called “California Thursday”. The reason behind the name is to serve the freshest fruit and vegetables possible on Thursdays. By doing this, Woodlake schools are supporting local and state farmers. The food that is served on “California Thursday” is 100% grown in California. This is also a way to celebrate California and all this state has to offer. By serving food fresh from California, it helps diminish the carbon footprint that is found in the food. It started off as a once a month event, but the district is hoping to make it an every Thursday event.  So far it has been successful, and it will be interesting to see how this event can impact the students and staff of Woodlake. Woodlake, let’s take the time to appreciate the food California has to offer!

Love Doctor!

By Shania Finney

It is that time of the year again! Flowers, candy, teddy bears, hugs, and more is given out. Every year on February 14th, gifts are exchanged between loved ones and this is considered a well known day such as Valentine’s Day. Love is in the air!


The reason behind how and why Valentine’s Day was created is because of a man called Saint Valentine. Valentine was a priest who was known in the third Century in Rome and served time. During that time, the Emperor, Claudius II made a rule that men who are not married, or are in any relationship with a women, were the only people who were fit to serve in war. Valentine saw injustice in this, and decided to secretly marry young couples together anyways. Soon Valentine was discovered, and Claudius ordered for him to be put to death. There are many other murky stories to why Valentine’s was considered the iconic figure to starting Valentine’s Day, such as helping Christians escape the Roman prisons. Behind all these several reasons and stories, the main thing about them was that he was well known for being a sympathetic, heroic, romantic man. Many believe that Valentine’s Day is in remembrance of Valentine’s death and it lives on every single year on the 14th of February.

One Billion In Rising

By: Jasmine Gomez

One in three women will be raped or beaten in her lifetime, to bring awareness to this, a global movement was created. That global movement is now called One Billion In Rising, founded by Eve Ensler in 2012, to end rape and sexual violence. Thescreenshot_2017-02-14-18-16-14 movement took place in Visalia, California on February 14 from 4:30 p.m to 6:00 p.m where many women, men, and children gathered together to march from Garden Street Plaza down Main Street. Many of the gatherers were carrying posters for a way to speak what was on their mind. They were given beautiful red flowers as well to hand out to the strangers that they came across, and to see the joy that came across these strangers’ faces when they were given a flower was just peaceful to the eye. After the
march, a couple of people decided to sing a songs. A man was singing a song, and the main words that stuck out were, “Stop The Violence, End The Silence”, those words were deep because imagine how many girls speak up about the abuse, just imagine the one’s that don’t. The next person to sing a song was a young lady, and her voice wascreenshot_2017-02-14-18-27-51s so touching it almost made you want to cry, the words that stuck out were “I Can’t Keep Quiet, There Must Be Someone That Understands”, all over the world their are many people getting abused physically and mentally, if the people speak up about it, they can be united and won’t be divided. The One Billion In Rising was an event that opened up the community’s eyes and helped spread awareness that no one deserves to be abused.

Anti – Bullying


By: Isabella Franco

Minute by minute, second by second, someone around us, or around the world is currently getting bullied. The antagonizer might see it as all fun and games, but they never think about how it might affect them emotionally and mentally. The little whispers and memories are what the victim has to live with for a lifetime. There is nothing that can take away all the memories and hurt. The outcome of bullying that can not be handled or put to a stop to,can result in suicide or mental illness along the way. We, as individuals, have the power to put a stop to end bullying. Ways that we could put an end to  bullying is to speak up, do not be afraid to talk to an adult, a teacher, or friend; they are here for you. Trust me, it might be scary, but don’t be afraid to stand up for yourself because bullying needs to be addressed and stopped for the mental health of everyone.

Cry Me a River

By: Shania Finney

Woodlake, along with several other places across the country, finally got to experience the long and desired rainfall that has not been seen in several years. It unfortunately might not bring some places out of the drought though. The water may only sit on the top few layers of the ground and get drained by the sun instead of being absorbed and filled into the ground. Sandbags have been brought into the town of Woodlake, and the residents are getting prepared for even more rainfall than has already been received. Roads have been destroyed with huge holes, but the grass is green! The rain may be a dreary sight for some; however, the after effects are quite amazing!dsc_1548

Take a look outside and more towards the mountains. There is snow! Three Rivers usually gets snow around the winter time, and it has been many many years that Woodlake has not. Luckily, Three Rivers is about half an hour away and the snow can be enjoyed by everyone surrounding the area. Maybe not so much for the residents who get to experience it more often, but it is still something many look forward to. Just be sure to be extra careful when it comes to driving in the rain up to Three Rivers, or really anywhere. Rockslides have occurred and people have gotten up close and personal to a few rocks on their vehicles.


Christmas Day in Ukraine

By Valeriy Khimyuk

Many Ukrainians have a day off on Christmas Day, which celebrates the birth of Jesus Christ. It is an annual public holiday across Ukraine and falls on January 7.


Christmas Day celebrates the day Jesus Christ, pictured above, was born.

Christmas for many Ukrainians is an important family holiday. When Ukraine was part of the former Soviet Union, Christmas Day was not a public holiday, but Christmas traditions were not forgotten. After Ukraine gained its independence in 1991, Christmas Day was made a public holiday. Many Ukrainian Christmas traditions are based on pre-Christian Pagan customs. The Ukrainian Christmas festive days according to the Julian calendar, start on 6 January, Christmas Eve, and end on 19 January, “Jordan” or Epiphany.

Svyatyi Mykolai (Saint Nicholas) – Ukrainian Santa Claus?

The image of Svyatyi Mykolai as a person who brings the Christmas gifts for children, the feast of which is marked on 19 December. It is supposed, that children should find their Christmas gifts under their pillow on that morning.

Holy Evening – time for family celebrating.

Sviata Vecherya or “Holy Supper” is the central tradition of the Christmas Eve celebrations in Ukrainian homes. The dinner table sometimes has a few wisps of hay on the embroidered table cloth as a reminder of the manger in Bethlehem.

Kutia (sweet grain pudding) is traditionally served at the Ukrainian Christmas dinner table. It is often the first dish in the traditional twelve-dish Christmas Eve supper and is rarely served at other times of the year.


Koliadky (Caroling)

At the end of the Sviata Vechera the family often sings Ukrainian Christmas carols. In many communities the ancient Ukrainian tradition of caroling is carried on by groups of young people and members of organizations and churches calling at homes and collecting donations. The Ukrainian song “Shchedryk” became the basis for the world famous Christmas Carol, “Carol of the Bells”.  Another well-known carol is Boh predvičnyj narodivsja.

Didukh (Grandfather)

When the children see the first star in the eastern evening sky, the Sviata Vecherya may begin. In farming communities, the head of the household now brings in a sheaf of wheat called the didukh which represents the importance of the ancient and rich wheat crops of Ukraine, the staff of life through the centuries. Didukh means literally “grandfather spirit” so it symbolizes the family’s ancestors. In city homes a few stalks of golden wheat in a vase are often used to decorate the table.

Christmas Day is a public holiday across Ukraine, so many businesses, schools, universities and public offices are closed.

Many Orthodox Christian churches in Ukraine observe the Christmas Day date from the Julian calendar, which is different from the more commonly used Georgian calendar. So, while Christmas is still on December 25 in the Julian calendar, it appears on January 7 in the Gregorian calendar, up until 2100. After that, the Gregorian date for Orthodox Christmas will be January 8 in 2101.

My family also has it’s own traditions for Christmas, and this time of the year is my favourite time, because all our family gather together. I like the atmosphere of Christmas, and I will miss my family at this year’s’ Christmas.   

Being the Best Isn’t Easy

By: Dulce Hernandez & Julian Duran

If you think being the best is easy, ask Junior, Katie Pfaff and Sophomore, Sean Kerwin, they both auditioned for the Tulare-Kings Counties Honor Band, Katie received 6th out of 21 chairs, and Sean is the only Bari saxophone. Rehearsal begins in January, and the event is January 14th at 4:00 pm at Porterville High School. Honor Band can be a great experience for students looking for a challenge that pushes them out of there comfort zone.img_0350

Katie Pfaff

Were you nervous to audition?

“I was very nervous to audition, but I think that helped me in the end.”

How did you feel after walking off stage?

“After I auditioned, I felt like I had done alright, but it wasn’t the absolute best I could have performed, I did not think I would make 6th chair, it’s truly an honor.”  

Were you happy with your results?

“I’m overjoyed with the results! My personal goal was to make it in the top ten, and I achieved that! I’m very excited to perform the songs we have this year.”


Sean Kerwin

Were you nervous to audition?

“I was extremely nervous because I hardly practiced the audition material”

How did you feel after walking off stage?

“I felt very good after because I surprisingly did not do that bad”

Were you happy with your results

“Yes, I was very happy with my results”


Christmas Spirit on the Rise

By: Misty and Robby Stevenson

For the third year in a row, Woodlake has held their Christmas Parade and Santa Workshop. Due to inclimate weather, the Santa Workshop was moved to before the parade and was held from 4-6:30 pm on Saturday at the new Plaza. The Santa Workshop gave children the opportunity to meet Santa and receive gifts. After Santa’s Workshop, the Christmas Parade was held from 6:30- 7:30 pm. The parade was held down Main Street and drew a huge crowd from Woodlake and other surrounding cities. Every year the parade has grown and the crowd has gotten bigger, which is great for the community of Woodlake. This year’s parade was bigger and better than ever!  The floats were decorated with Christmas lights, and were full of spirit. Entries for the parade were from all over the Central Valley. Overall, the turnout for the parade and workshop was a great success, and we cannot wait to see how the parade grows in the future.

Toys for Joy

By: Juan Sandoval & Isaiah Maldonado

toy-drive-page-bannerEvery year, there are children all around the country that do not get to experience the feeling of opening a new Christmas present. Here in Woodlake, this problem is not rare and many kids do not receive a gift for Christmas. There are many families that cannot afford giving the memory of opening a new present under the tree on Christmas morning. No child should have a recollection of not opening a gift on Christmas for it is a memory that everyone should experience at least once.

This is where the Annual Toy Drive comes in to help these kids receive a toy that will make their Christmas one to remember. Every year, around Christmas time, the community comes together to donate toys and money for the toy drive. Mr. Gonzalez takes part in this process by helping organizing ¨Toys For Joy¨:  ¨We raise money by personal donations from people and service clubs, and also run fundraisers like dinners to raise money for the Toy

Drive. Checks can be made out to “Kiwanis Club of Woodlake-Toys for Joy”. If you want to help your community, the toy drive will be the way to go. Gifts are needed for kids ranging from infants to 18 year olds (as long as they are in school).

Toys For Joy helps around 150 families and 500 children in Woodlake. Listen to the morning announcements for opportunities of donating gifts for the Toy


A BIG!! BIG!! Birthday Party

By: Misty Stevenson

On the weekend of September 24, The City of Woodlake hosted a huge birthday party for the entire community. The celebration kicked off on Friday the 23rd, beginning with a tailgate party prior to Friday’s football game against Orosi. Saturday, there was an all-class reunion, in which past students who graduated from Woodlake High School gathered to share memories. The gathering included prior students who graduated in class of 1948, all the way to alumni who graduated in the latest class of 2016. The following day, the city of Woodlake hosted a concert at Miller Brown Park in celebration of its 75th birthday. Drake White, an up and coming country music star, performed followed by an immaculate firework production. There were several street vendors, and the event was a major success. Sunday morning, to end all of the festivities, the majority of the Woodlake churches held a giant sermon in the park. The celebration overall was a great success and a great way to celebrate Woodlake’s 75th birthday.