Brooke Hamilton is a new teacher at El Diamante this year. She was born here in Visalia, and in her free time, she likes to bake cheesecakes, play with her dog, and spend time with her family. Speaking of family, she has a large family, and a lot of them are part of the Visalia Unified School District. Her father is a principal, her mother and brother are teachers, and her two grandmas were both secretaries. Her brother, fiance, and uncle all served in the military. In college, Hamilton started as a Liberal Studies major to teach elementary schools. She later switched to Environmental Studies to get a greater sense of purpose while still being able to teach, and it helped her become more sustainable. She graduated from Sacramento State with her Bachelor of Science degree. While her first couple of careers consisted of working at Jamba Juice for 3 years and being a business coordinator, she always wanted to be a teacher, and she was able to successfully get that job. So far, Hamilton has taught in schools for 3 consecutive years, and this is her first year teaching at a high school. It was easy for her to come to Visalia and find a teaching career here based on her family already living here and her dad making his mark as an administrator. Here at El Diamante, she teaches chemistry and health. She enjoys the subjects and the students she teaches very much. Her first day went very well; the students are her favorite part, for they are much better than those that are in middle school. Her favorite thing about this school, in fact, is getting to know all the students. She looks forward to more rally’s and hopefully getting the staff involved in them a lot. Most importantly, she’s ready to learn and grow with her new Miner family.
El Diamante welcomed us with our first assembly of the year. Carlos Ojeda Jr, or “Chu Chu”, spoke out to the students. He shared his life story, his struggles, and his achievements. While explaining his educational journey he brings up the main obstacle in his life, he is deaf. The majority of his life, mainly growing up, he had to deal with not being able to hear everything. People tried to bring him down, tried to tell him he was a nobody. Carlos soon proved those people wrong. He got into a good school and now has a beautiful family. He goes on to tell his story to inspire others to never let anyone tell you what you can and cannot do. This presentation was a fantastic way to kick off the new school year.
The Lady Miners competed in yet another powerful volleyball game on Tuesday against the Mission Oaks Hawks. Miners swept those Hawks right up. The Frosh team won 2-1. They started us off for the conquering streak. My Jv team also crushed them in a 2-0 win. Keeping the streak alive as varsity starts playing after us, with a great, jaw-dropping rally, leading into a 3-0 victory. Look for Varsity to win their tournament this weekend!
Myron ran through the forest, twigs, and shrubbery whipping at his feet. The greenery burned his legs and the branches on the forest floor snapped beneath his feet, stabbing into his soles. He wasn’t sure if he was being tracked by the blood from his feet or the stench of absolute terror wafting from every orifice of his body. His lungs felt as if they were going to burst. Black smudges were emerging from the edges of his vision and his head felt heavy; as did his legs. He could barely dodge the low hanging limbs, which were slowing him down from the terror behind. The environment was dark, branches blended with shadows and with his darkening eyesight, the forest was getting harder to maneuver. Suddenly, his foot caught on a rock in his makeshift path, he fell with a crash and tumbled forward a few feet, then slowly he came to a stop. Myron’s whole world was spinning and pulsing. The darkness that was just on the edge of his vision encased him altogether, all senses were null and he lay gasping for breath in the dirt. He knew he was done for, as soon, the once-innocent village he lived with, turned savage, would be upon him and he would be used as a sacrifice for their revolting ‘Mother’. He never accepted this “cultish” behavior, thus, he was deemed an outsider. Slowly, his hearing returned and the black smudges retreated back into his head. He laid and listened, yet there was no sound aside from his deep, rasped breaths. He tried to lift an arm, but the burn was too much for his mangled body to handle. He accepted his fate. His only bodily functions were barely breathing and slowly blinking. The quiet of the forest and the soft laps of waves off in the distance lulled him into a false sense of security, and he got lost in his mind.
A snap startled him out of his head. His eyes shot open and scanned the only area his minimal movement allowed. The sound came from his left. His eyes could not strain that far. Panic began to swell again and he willed his body to move; to no avail. Nothing came after the initial snap. He strained his ears, listening for anything that could alert him that the hunt was over and he had been found. But then, there was a crack, like thunder echoing through the trees. It sent shockwaves through the floor and Myron closed his eyes and lived through the vibrations. For the second time that day, he lost his hearing. Ears ringing and body not responding, Myron began to weep. Not for his impending doom, but for his mother and how she would never know what became of her beloved son. His mother was the wise village elder. She was respected just as much as their leader, yet, the same could not be said for Myron. Again, his hearing came back, but this time with a vengeance. His head pounded. His breathing quickened. The darkness came back full force and ate away at his vision. And then, he did not feel a thing… to be continued.
As with most natural disasters, hurricanes can change so quickly that most news outlets have live coverage. Hurricane Dorian is no exception. This newest tropical storm has ravaged the Bahama region and threatens to wreak havoc on the United States. As of the third of September, the US-bound storm is expected to move from a Category 5 to a Category 2 hurricane. While Category 5 is the highest and most destructive level of storm, Category 2 still has severe consequences. This kind of destruction is a rarity on the West Coast, so it may be difficult for residents to understand the severity. This entails uprooted trees, damage to roofed homes, injury, and even death. There have already been reported deaths and severe flooding in the Bahamas; the winds alone have been upwards of 100 MPH. Often times, it is the aftermath that is the most intimidating, though. Many pets are displaced from shelters and need food, hospital patients are in need of blood or platelets when normal donors are scared to venture out of their homes, residents of the area are without a place to live and need blankets and clothes, and later in the process, volunteers are needed to help clean in the wake of the storm. These unfortunate consequences are expected, but not welcomed. Overall, Hurricane Dorian is a danger and a fear looming over the heads of many people both in the Bahamas and the United States.
Last year, many complaints arose when everyone realized music was no longer being played over the loudspeakers at football games. Members of the crowd were outraged, especially the students. Rumors circulated throughout the school as to why the music had been removed. Guesses ranged from inappropriate music being played, to overly rowdy crowds, to spiteful staff. In spite of what may have happened in the past, music was reinstated at the first football game of 2019. Cheerleaders played tunes over the loudspeakers for their performances and in action-less spaces between plays. Victory songs were blasted for touchdowns as well, and in between quarters. This music seemed to motivate the football players, who appeared pumped up and ready to win! Compared to last year, the stands seemed more rowdy too. The student section and videographers were reprimanded for dancing by teachers who were in the stands and/or on the field. Even though we lost the game, the team was inches away from winning for a while. NO matter the outcome of the first game, El Diamante has their music back, and the team will be prepared to win at Cowhide. Go Miners!
It was August twenty-second, Seniors were grudgingly getting out of bed to meet friends, and enjoy their first and last Senior Sunrise. Seniors gathered around the track and field, most with coffee and donuts in hand. As the sun was rising at 6:21, people were gazing into the distance to see beautiful scenery. Positive energy and smiles were only to be seen as friends were gathering to take pictures and capture some of the best memories in high school. Some students had the willpower to get up at five AM to eat Denny’s before going to the Sunrise. As our Senior year progresses there are many events we look forward to, Prom, Senior Trip, and of course Senior Sunset, where many tears will be shed.
Let me introduce to you Susie Hatcher who has been teaching for seventeen years. Ms. Hatcher has taught everything from elementary school, to middle school, and now 9th and 10th grade English here at El Diamante. The things she likes best about El Diamante are all of the students, staff members, and especially the color green. She has always wanted to be a teacher and spent her last two years of high school in Japan. All four of her children even attended El Diamante. Wesley, her oldest son attends Fresno State and is studying biochemistry. Her daughter Brenna is coaching El Diamante’s JV girls water polo while becoming a lawyer. Daniel is in school to become a history teacher at COS, while Mathew is at Fresno State studying engineering. In her free time, Ms. Hatcher loves to crochet, hike, read, listen to podcasts, and be with friends or family. Ms. Hatcher wants the El Diamante community to know that she is always willing to help, so don’t forget her door is always open in room 610.