The Phantom Times

Winter is Here!

December, 2019 by: Betsey Sullivan

Here at Grand Canyon, we have many holiday traditions, as does the surrounding area. We celebrate them with decoration, music, and events. But just how numerous are these holiday traditions? How did they start? Are there any traditions that were held, but stopped being held for some reason?

Grand Canyon School has many more holiday traditions than the rest of the community. We host a Turkey Trot, which is a race for mainly the elementary students, but higher grades have also joined in past years. In the past, the first place winner for each grade won a turkey, and the second and third place winners got a pie. This year, it was planned to have the first, second, and third place winners each get certificates, and the turkey winner picked out of a jar containing slips with all the participant’s names on them. The school also hosts a Thanksgiving feast for lunch on the last day before Thanksgiving Break. The feast is free to all students, and to the parents who sometimes show up to eat with their child. The feast was most likely started as a way to celebrate Thanksgiving as a school and provide a Thanksgiving dinner to kids who wouldn’t be able to have a true feast at home. The Turkey Trot was likely started to help promote healthy activity during the holidays. Around the same time as all the school Thanksgiving festivities, the school also hosts an assembly featuring all the Native American students, where they work with others from the community to dance and share some of their traditions. This was most likely started to try and celebrate the heritage of the native students at the school, while also teaching non-native kids about native culture.

After all the Thanksgiving festivities, the high school and middle school bands hold a winter concert in the few weeks between Thanksgiving break and winter break. In the past, under Mr. Monk’s teaching, this was used as the final for all the band students. With Mr. Bo, we don’t quite know what’s happening. A Grand Canyon themed Christmas carol “concert” is held by the elementary every year as well, featuring songs such as Brighty the Burro. The basketball teams also attend an annual tournament called the Holiday Classic every year, which is held on the first full week of December. The tournament takes place at Williams High School, and Ash Fork High School. And last but not least for school traditions: Homecoming. While Homecoming is not traditionally a winter tradition, Grand Canyon School holds it in the winter for basketball, instead of in the fall for football. Homecoming is put on by that year’s seniors. We used to have one other holiday tradition, which was a gingerbread house contest. That hasn't happened for a year or two, but the culinary class is attempting to bring it back.

Grand Canyon School isn’t the only place that has winter traditions, however. Businesses in Grand Canyon and Tusayan have their own traditions. Most of the businesses hold their own versions of Thanksgiving feasts. The feasts were probably originally created as a moneymaker, but they provide a bounty of food to guests on vacation who would have otherwise not been able to have their feast. The El Tovar creates an elaborate gingerbread house that it displays in its dining hall the entire month of December. The Visitor Center hosts a Santa greet during December, and the Bookstore at the Center has a sale on all merchandise after the greet. The Town of Tusayan decorates most, if not all, the trees on the main road in Christmas lights. These were all most likely started to bring some holiday cheer to the area for the month of December, and make it more attractive to visitors.

As you can see, our community has many different winter traditions. Some were started for profit, some for the spirit of the holidays, and some are no longer with us. But either way, they are all amazing.

Best Wishes From your Favorites

November, 2019 By: Calley Scheller and Allana Briones

“Just write something child! Anything, but at least start!” While writing this feature this quote from Ms. Schoeffel came to mind. Allana and Calley had trouble starting this because it was quite difficult to type up the important and meaningful impact our English teacher has had on our school. On October 3, 2019, we said goodbye to Ms. Schoeffel. Grades 10th through 12th grade as well as multiple staff came to her room while Felix, her son, played her favorite song. We walked into her room and Ms. Zanos handed her a cake, many of us shed multiple tears. She left to join the NAU team and we’re all very upset to say our goodbyes.

Ms. Schoeffel will still be working at Grand Canyon High School with her English 101 class on Tuesdays and Thursdays, but she will still be missed. On the other hand, what makes a good english teacher? Some characteristics that Ms. Schoeffel had were the need to challenge us, inspire us, help us be independent, and most of all push us to do our best. These characteristics were what made Ms. Schoeffel one of the best teachers we have had.

Along with being the class sponsor of the junior class last year she has also started the Phantom Times. She started this newspaper last year with the senior class and it did really well so she decided to keep it going this year with the class of 2020. This newspaper was really important to her and after she left she expects us to keep it going. Ms. Schoeffel told us to either “step up, or step out”.She wanted us to be successful in the newspaper and in college. Before she left she wrote on her two whiteboards some kind and useful words, "Be good! Be kind! Do your work!" She also wrote some study and test taking tips that you can look at any time in room 434 if you need a boost!

Allana Briones, Rufus Kebahee, and Cordell Bob shared their favorite memory was of Ms. Schoeffel and they all said that they remember walking into the room in the morning to see her standing by her desk with her coffee in her hands in the big black mug she always used, holding it tight with both hands. She would welcome us into class and tell us to do “Read Theory” every morning. Then yell at us for not focusing and taking forever to finish it. Mrs. Scheller also mentioned that she has enjoyed co-teaching with her, "our partnership was a success because the both of us communicated really well" said Mrs. Scheller. She would like to say "Thank you for the best two years, working with you has been great. You surely will be missed!"

These past two weeks without her have been tough, having to walk into class with a different teacher everyday, but we have managed to work through it and focus on this newspaper for Ms. Schoeffel like she asked us to. We will continue this newspaper till the end of the year and hope the classes behind us will continue it as well. Lets keep this newspaper alive!

The Pipelines of Grand Canyon

October, 2019, by Betsey Sullivan

We all know that our water here in Grand Canyon comes from Roaring Springs on the North Rim (or, at least, I hope we all know). But we rarely ever think about how it gets from Roaring Springs to us here up on the South Rim. Most of us know about the trans canyon pipeline it travels through, but we don’t know how it works. So, let me explain.

The trans canyon pipeline was built in the 1960s. The pipeline, when it was designed, was only meant to last about 30 years maximum. The pipeline is now almost 50 years old, and experiences multiple breaks and leaks per year. How the current pipeline works is water flows into the pipe at Roaring Springs, is chlorinated at the Roaring Springs pumphouse, carried to the pump houses at Indian Gardens, then is pumped from there to the South Rim. For water on the North Rim, water flows into the pipe at Roaring Springs, is chlorinated, and pumped to the rim. Due to the amount of force the water enters the pipe with, it needs no pumping to get to the North Rim or to the pump houses at Indian Gardens.

The amount of force needed to get the water from Roaring Springs to the rims is immense. For most of the water’s journey, it is fighting against gravity. This means that the pipe has high pressure pushing on it constantly. Combine that with an old, outdated pipe made out of aluminum (a metal that will corrode and degrade quickly), and you have an amazing recipe for leaks and breakage. The most recent pipe break, on August 29, 2019, caused Grand Canyon to have to initiate water restrictions starting August 30 and ending September 3.

The current pipeline was constructed in the 1960s, and experiences between five and thirty breaks or leaks a year due to pipe weld failures at joints, internal pipe corrosion, freezing, flooding, and falling rocks, according to park staff. The park has been trying to settle on a plan to replace or fix the pipe. At the beginning of this year, the park settled on a plan that will move the head of the pipeline to the bottom of the canyon, somewhere near Phantom Ranch. From there they have two options. The first is to sink 2-8 shallow alluvial wells, wells generally composed of clay, silt, sand, gravel or similar unconsolidated material deposited by running water, located along Bright Angel Creek. But if that is not possible, the second option would entail a pipe collecting water from Bright Angel Creek built on the south end of Phantom Ranch along Bright Angel Creek. But either way, they will also be replacing the pipe from Phantom Ranch to the South Rim with pipe of better construction and material and changing the head of the pipeline to the South Rim from Roaring Springs to a water source at Phantom Ranch.

So, this all seems like a fairly simple solution, and you may be asking why wasn’t it implemented sooner? Well, there were multiple reasons, including looking at the environmental impact the project would have, but the main reason was money. For the project, the park will need roughly $100 million. Because the project required such a large sum of money, the park couldn’t get funding from the group in charge of providing funding for national park improvement, and instead had to save up money from the park entrance fees.

The project was approved last year. As of now, the park is working on drilling the wells. This will make it so the section of pipe between Phantom Ranch and Cottonwood campground is no longer used, which is a good thing, as this is where most of the breaks occur. This part of the pipeline will provide water for all of the South Rim water sources. But Roaring Springs will still be used to provide water to the North Rim and Cottonwood Campground.

Kurt Repanshek, Kurt. “National Parks Traveler.” Grand Canyon National Park Settles On Plan To Replace Transcanyon Water Pipeline, National Parks Traveler, 9 May 2019,

NPS, Grand Canyon. “National Park Service Requests Public Review of the Transcanyon Water Distribution Pipeline EA.” National Parks Service, U.S. Department of the Interior, 10 Oct. 2018,

What is a Mass Shooting?

September, 2019, by Betsey Sullivan

How do you define a mass shooting? Does someone have to die? Or does there just have to be an active shooter who has injured someone? No matter how you define it, mass shootings have been on the rise. And most people think the trend started in 1966, when a student sniped passerbyers from a clock tower at the University of Texas on August 1st.

If you define a mass shooting as being that four or more people have to die in an active shooter incident, there have been 165 incidents of mass shootings since August 1, 1966, with the most recent being the shooting in Dayton, Ohio, where 10 were killed and 17 were wounded when Connor Betts, a 24 year old, opened fire on bystanders just outside Ned Peppers Bar. Compare the 165 to only 25 mass shootings in the 50 years before 1966. Shootings are on the rise, even according to this narrow view of mass shootings.

But when you define mass shootings as events in which four or more people, excluding the shooter, were injured, these numbers skyrocket. Based on this definition, 2,197 mass shootings have happened since December 14, 2012, the day of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, where 20 were killed. And that’s from just 2012. Data was not readily available on shootings with this definition from before 2012, but the data that was available seems to point to a rise in mass shootings since 2012, and possibly before.

The most recent shootings, at the time of this article, with the definition of 4 people have to be injured, happened August 20 in Hobbs, NM, where 3 were killed and 4 were wounded. This data brings into question how many incidents of active shooters we don't ever hear about because the media decides not to cover it.

For example, the most recent shooting in St. Louis, MO, where 1 person was killed and 3 were wounded on August 23, 2019. Did any of us hear about that? Or the Baton Rouge, LA, shooting on February 4, 2019 where 4 were wounded. We may have found some information on local sites, but they weren’t covered by the media at large.

But no matter how you define a mass shooting, they have been on the rise, and we need to be prepared.

Danner, Chas, and Adam K. Raymond. “Everything We Know About the Dayton Mass Shooting.” Intelligencer, Intelligencer, 7 Aug. 2019,

Berkowitz, Bonnie, et al. “The Terrible Numbers That Grow with Each Mass Shooting.” The Washington Post, WP Company, 19 Aug. 2019,

Lopez. “Mass Shootings since Sandy Hook, in One Map.”, Vox, 9 July 2018,

“It’s time to say goodbye, but I think goodbyes are sad and

I’d much rather say hello. Hello to a new adventure.” - Ernie Harwell

The 12th grade English class would like to thank every reader who has taken the time to read all of our articles. Thanks for becoming our first supporters in this new and difficult journey. We have done our best to report on our school in every aspect, from administration to the students and extracurricular activities. We hope that the newspaper will continue on after we graduate. This was a new experience for us and new skills were taught and developed.

As part of the Class of 2019 we want to thank the Grand Canyon community for all the donations and support that have been given to us over the past four years. We are very grateful to have been able to grow up in the Grand Canyon and call it our home. You have been there through it all with us, from our losses to our victories. So this is..


Of 2019

Logging off…

¨Everything's bigger in Texas,¨

Especially a Texas Heart

May 16, 2019, by Elijah Dugi and Colwyn Burns

We want to dedicate this issue to Mr. Rowland and thank him for his dedication to our school for the past four years. We asked our Grand Canyon students what their favorite memory with or about Mr. Rowland was or what they will miss about him. Here is what we learned:

Every morning the students look forward to hearing Mr. Rowland's strong voice to start our day. The announcements start with his snazzy taste in music, a brief history lesson and during baseball season he updates us on the Houston Astros. For some reason his old school charm brings joy and laughter to our day.

Our school will miss Mr. Rowland because he is very wise and he makes you feel like someone important to society. He gives each and every student and teacher the same respect and level of fairness. Mr. Rowland makes each person feel special in their own way making them feel welcomed and important. He doesn’t judge people for having a strong belief or religion. He listens and accepts everyone for who they are. He never gets super mad and he wants you to make it a learning experience. Most importantly, we will miss shoveling your driveway in the winter after a snow storm.

What makes Mr. Rowland a great leader of our school? While he walks the hallways he can be seen with a smile and be heard from afar. He gives the best fistpumps and handshakes of all time. Furthermore, we don’t want to forget the noogies that he gives to the students that deserve it the most.

One month ago we sent an email to all staff asking to write up their favorite memories about Mr. Rowland, and these teachers responded to the email sharing some of their dearest memories. The teachers’ responses ranged from his leadership to his kindness and his humor. Some highlights are:

Adrian Alvarez

“When I moved here from California, Mr. Rowland was welcoming and supportive. Mr. Rowland's stories are profound, hilarious, and insightful; students, staff, and families can learn so much just from listening to him and all of the experiences he shares.

My favorite conversations with Mr. Rowland include talking about science, of course, but also talking about baseball - even though I am not an Astros' fan!

Go Dodgers! :) LOL!

Mr. and Mrs. Rowland have helped to shape this thriving learning community; their positive impact is lasting. We are all better educators and scholars having known them.

We will miss them both, and wish them the very best!”

Brad Houston

Mr. Houston will miss “his Texas phrases, such as, ‘Like hogs in a peach orchard.’" He will also miss “his inordinate love of Van Morrison" and "his dislike of hats in the hallway."

Barbara Shields

“Mr. Rowland always goes home for lunch because his wife takes really good care of him. Although he thinks she is starving him, so on his way back to the school he often stops in at the cafeteria to grab just a small morsel to hold him over to the end of school.

I wonder if he will figure out this may be why he is not losing weight, I'm not going to tell him.

Mr Rowland has done an outstanding job being our Principal, he has a strong character and is always willing to share his opinion, LOL.

You are leaving big footprints to fill.

Thank you for everything you have done to show leadership, strength, understanding, compassion and for loving what you do.”

Leona Begishie

“My shout-out to Mr. Rowland: Thank you for being so welcoming; especially my first week at my new job. I appreciate your kindness and encouragement.”

Betheny Frechette

“I think that Mr. Rowland is a great Principal. I really don’t have one memory of him, I just know that he will do anything for you. There was a day that I was not feeling well and he went out of his way to help me out and then made sure I was feeling better later on.”

Linda Rakow-Schenkoske

“Mr. Rowland has a special middle school student that he gives noogies to. Whenever this student sees Mr. Rowland, he walks up to him and puts his head under Mr. Rowland's arm. Mr. Rowland proceeds to rub his knuckles on the top of the student's head. It is a ritual they both enjoy, and will miss!

When Mr. Rowland has disciplined a student in his office, he will often say, "You have 3 seconds to get out of here and get back to class." It is a lighthearted way to let the student know he understands and cares, but that the student still needs to complete the work.

Go Brewers! (Ha! Ha! Mr. Rowland is a big Astros fan...)”

Matt Yost

“I have so many fond memories of Mr. Rowland. He has been a phenomenal principal and the Grand Canyon School has improved vastly under his leadership. I remember when I first met Mr. Rowland and he asked what is the current schedule for the school. We all responded that we didn't have one yet. He was astounded that we didn't have that ready when school began in less that a week. We worked together everyday after orientation to make a schedule that worked best for our students. During this time I got to hear so many stories about Texas and got to know the wonderful person that is Mr. Rowland. Thank you for your service to this school, community and our students!”

David Sheppard

“Whenever I played music from the 60's, or before, for the music class, Mr. Rowland would come into the Music Room to listen, and to give the class a lecture on the music. I think his favorite is Green Onions by Booker T and the MG's, the first integrated rock band on the national stage.”

Lori Rommel

Let's just put down, "Moreno's bird incident!"

He also likes [to use] KFC when referring to Kaibab Learning Center.

And let's not forget his favorite student, ‘Corwin.’

Playing "Another Brick in the Wall" and "Stairway to Heaven" during AzMERIT.

Being the constant "computer grinch" when we do Galileo testing.

And how many times has the senior class ever been "wearing me out!"

In addition, I have enjoyed every minute of my time working with Mr. Rowland. He is truly a admirable leader who leads with integrity with all he does. Students are always first. He will be missed in our front office. We work hard and laugh every day. Thank you, Mr. Rowland for all you've taught me and for being my support these last four years.”

We also asked Mr. Rowland to share with us what his most memorable moments are. He said he likes the students and our community, which is what he will miss the most. The 2017-2018 school year was Mr. Rowland’s most memorable moment at our school because the high school test results improved and made our high school an “A school,” and he’s very proud of that accomplishment. He’s also proud of the strong relationships he’s built with GCS students and staff. When we asked Mr. Rowland who has been the most supportive person in his life, he said Mrs. Rowland: she has been his best friend for 52 years! And he always loves to eat anything she cooks! Mr. Rowland is looking forward to a great retirement. The first things he would like to do are get lots of rest, play more golf, and travel. Most of all, he plans to spend time with his grandkids. Maybe he'll also catch a few Astros games!

Have an awesome retirement, Mr. Rowland!!

We Are State Bound!

May 1, 2019, by Aleryn Reid

This has been a great regular season where everyone improved by so much and worked their hardest. Sadly it has to come to an end. This year the Track and Field State meet will be held at Mesa Community College on the 3rd and 4th of May. This year’s throwers who are going to state are Alana Keebahe for shotput with a throw of 29 ft and 11.5 inches and Kara Austin for javelin with a throw of 81 ft 6 in. Individual runners going to state are Aleryn Reid, running the 800m with a best time of 2 min and 6.73 sec; Cayli Miles, going for the 400m with a time of 1 min and 6.35 sec and also the 800m with a time of 2min and 35.52 sec; and Ariel Morris, running the 100m with a time of 13.49 sec. This year the only relay teams going to state are the 4x800 and 4x400m boys relays. The 4x400m time is 3 min and 47.16 sec and the 4x800m time is 8 min and 50.98 sec. The boys running the 4x400 relay are Mason Tacey, Joel Gonzales, Aleryn Reid, and Nolan Lyle, and for the 4x800 relay the same people are running, except Jared Torres is replacing Joel. The alternates going for the relays are Rufus Keebahe, Caius Kennedy, and Felix Christiansen. Congratulations and best of luck to all our state-bound athletes!

College Admissions Scam Makes a Full House in Court

April 1, 2019, by Diana Montes

The scandal of the year is not what we expected it to be. Last month some of the most prestigious colleges were identified in an admissions scam. UCLA, the University of San Diego, Yale, Stanford University, Georgetown University, and others, were revealed to be receiving money in exchange for their children to attend college, from 50 rich and/or famous people, like Lori Loughlin, an actress known for her roles on Full House and its spin-off Fuller House and Felicity Huffman, an actress on Desperate Housewives,.

Investigation shows that William ‘Rick’ Singer, along with eight other coaches at elite schools, two SAT/ACT administrators, an exam proctor, a college administrator, and a CEO, who admitted he “wanted to help the wealthiest families get their kids into elite colleges” are part of this big scam. Celebrities paid their bribes to Singer’s ‘charity’. In exchange, Singer allegedly staged the photos for the students, making it seem as if they had been participating, and convinced the actual students to take online classes while those who paid took their spots on campus.

Parents paid anywhere from $100,000 to $6.5 million dollars. Lori Loughlin and her husband, Mossimo Giannulli, allegedly agreed to pay bribes up to 500,000 to have both of their daughters designated as recruits to University of Southern California’s crew team. Loughlin’s daughters have never participated or competed; instead, the parents took staged pictures with the girls in a rowing machine. Due to their involvement in this scam, they are to appear in court April 3, 2019.

Even though she is due in court in early April, Loughlin has not yet entered her plea. Twelve of the fifty defendants pleaded not guilty to charges of racketeering conspiracy. The judge however has ordered that all involved surrender their passports. Loughlin has lost her contract with the Hallmark Channel, and her daughter Olivia Jade lost her collaboration with Sephora, Gordon Caplan, an attorney and co-chairman of Willkie Farr & Gallagher has taken a leave after charges were announced, according to the Hartford Courant.

The scandal is nothing new for the college students who don’t have rich parents to buy their way in to top-tier colleges. More like an old wound being reopened, it has brought confusion and hurt. How do we know our true limits if the people who are supposed to teach us are also the ones doing the controlling? Our hope for equal education has crumbled and we can only wish that this manifestation brings attention towards any other situations with similar backgrounds.

Grand Canyon School Goes Hog Wild for Charcuterie

April 1, 2019, by Elijah Dugi and Markieth Donley

Thanks to Chef Justin Warnat, the Grand Canyon culinary classes recently made sausage from scratch, which had never been done before. First, we cut up pork shoulder into medium pieces and then seasoned it. Over the following two days Chef had it at his work and while he had it he put it into a meat grinder, which made the meat mushy. Then he brought it back to the class and the students put the ground-up pork into a sausage filler. We then filled cleaned-out hog intestines with the ground pork, creating the sausage. Every fourteen inches or so, we spun the edges tight, tied a knot to make it a circle, and then some students tied a string in the middle. Then Chef took it back to his work and smoked it until it was done. The next day he bought some to cook and put it into our omelettes.

is it worth it?

March 1, 2019, by Diana Montes

How do you continue moving when everything is telling you to stop? It’s fairly simple-- you just do. It’s like having brand new shoes that wear out over time. They stop being comfortable and feel terrible whenever you take a step, but you know you need to make it to your destination anyway, so you keep walking. In 2012 President Obama announced DACA, or Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, as a new piece for immigration policy, and so many young people like me with uncertain legal status in the country we know of as home, felt like we had brand-new shoes.It was thanks to President Obama’s executive action that we can now accomplish something for ourselves and for our descendants, too,without worrying that it will all be snatched away.

DACA was a dream come true. It may be a very widely-known policy, but there are many people in our community who don’t know the true effect it has on us. We want to learn, to explore, to live. I, along with many more, knew President Trump winning the election would be a ticking time bomb for us. Mr. Trump won the election in November, 2016, and by early March, 2018, more than 800,000 Dreamers’ futures became uncertain because they had suddenly become eligible for deportation.

Earlier this year President Trump forced a government shutdown over funding for a border wall between the U.S. and Mexico that is projected to cost around five billion dollars. Yes, it’s understandable that he’s worried about drugs and weapons that can come and go so easily, but a wall isn’t going to do anything. “Think smarter, not harder.” People will dig; they’ll get on planes; maybe one would be desperate enough for a ladder. After all, the drug lord Joaquin Guzman, “El Chapo,” smuggled drugs through creative and inconspicuous ways for more than two decades.

Debate has been started and fueled throughout the whole shutdown. President Trump is using DACA as a failsafe. He proposed that if he receives donations towards his wall funding, Dreamers will receive protection for three years. Congress denied his proposal which led us to our longest shutdown in history, during which a lot of government workers lost two paychecks. It’s known that many people were expecting another shutdown, especially when it was declared a “temporary end,” until February 15, when Mr. Trump declared a national emergency instead of the expected shutdown. On February 25, the House voted to terminate Mr. Trump's national emergency. If the Senate also votes yes, it is expected that Mr. Trump will veto the bill.

A wall may help you feel safer, but you also have to remember there are still drugs in our country that aren’t coming from other places. Instead of spending the money on something that will only delay them, why not put it towards other things that could use the funding? Like the border security, which we can increase, and becoming more vigilant with security on air transportation. It’s not us against them or them against us, we just need to stop looking at the world as if its only color is black with splotches of white and grey.

Shutdown Crisis

February 1, 2019, by Diana Montes, Karina Ibarra, Erin Sumerall

The 35-day government shutdown that occurred from December 22, 2018, through January 25, 2019, has officially become the longest shutdown in US government history. (The longest one before now was 21 days in 1995-1996 during President Clinton’s first term.) During this shutdown, the state of Arizona paid to keep the Grand Canyon open. Even with the state’s help and people coming and going as they pleased, Tusayan took a heavy hit. Many businesses have seen a decrease in business due to the shutdown. RP’s and Starbucks sent their staff home early, as did other businesses, such as hotels.

With no rangers, people who went into the Canyon were at a higher risk than usual. For example, couple went down with only a water bottle and a granola bar. The husband passed out and the wife couldn't get help because there’s no rangers around. Thankfully, there was a local nearby who helped.

Locals here are very nice people who helped out wherever they could. The Grand Canyon Rec Center provided food for people who were affected by the shutdown and accepted donations of fresh vegetables, canned good, soups, milk, or anything that helped. Grand Canyon High School has a culinary class made up of a few sophomores, juniors, and seniors who made four different types of soups: beef barley, clam chowder, vegan chili, and chicken tortilla, and they were available to anyone that came to the Rec Center.

There were, of course, other places that were affected outside of the Grand Canyon, like damage done to the natural resources at Joshua Tree and Death Valley National Parks.There are also Indian reservations that are dependent on the government because it pays for their health services, education, and infrastructure. There is an acute economic problem since most of the people there are federal workers. In addition, firefighter training was delayed and we might not be ready for the fire season. Also, many people are getting their W2’s,and they’re trying to finish and send in their taxes so they can have tax returns processed as soon as possible, in case the government shuts down again.

A lot of people were affected by the shutdown. Markeith D., a senior who works at Maswik knows people that were deeply affected by the government's decision. Meanwhile, AJ E., another senior, knows how important it is but doesn’t know anyone personally affected by the shutdown. Now that federal workers are being paid, should they spend the money now, or keep the money to have some to get by on during the next shutdown?

bentley monk

January 1, 2019, by Diana Montes, Karina Ibarra, Erin Sumerall and Markieth Donley

Bentley Monk, or “Mr. Monk” to his students, comes from Atlanta, Georgia, and has been teaching for Grand Canyon Elementary, Middle, and High School. Through his 6 ½ years of teaching here, Mr. Monk met his wife, Amala Posey-Monk, extended his family with the birth of his daughter, Geneva, and in the words of our principal, Tom Rowland, “created a music program that without a doubt is the most impressive work I’ve ever seen.” In the beginning, Mr. Monk didn’t ever believe he would have ended up teaching. Originally, Monk was a professional dancer at Walt Disney World and teaching never came to him until he led a workshop with some kids.

Mr. Monk was inspired towards music by his old choir instructor from his high school in Atlanta and by his grandfather, Boogie Monk, who taught himself how to play the piano when he was 5 years old. Being a choir instructor himself, Mr. Monk had to learn band parts in the 2 weeks before school started. It wasn’t an easy feat but he managed to win over students, teachers, and parents, alike. Many students have memories with Mr. Monk, like when he told jokes while gardening with his students, or when he was the coach for middle school boys basketball team.

Grand Canyon students recently got the news that Mr. Monk’s wife was given a promotion in Colorado, and they would be leaving during Christmas break. Mr. Monk believes every year he spent here was amazing, because he got to be a part of this small but close community. His colleagues also have fond memories of his time here, like Mr. Houston (HS Math), who remembers when he protected a student from a rampaging elk, broke two fingers, and continued to play and teach music through it all, and Mrs. Alvarez (HS Math/MS Science) who recalls “laughing until we cried” during teacher training. When he gets to Colorado, he plans to teach at Dolores High School. Mr. Monk is happy that he was able to accomplish more than he expected at this school. And for that the community is grateful.

To give Mr. Monk a respectable goodbye from the school, Chef Justin enlisted help from his Culinary 1 and 2 classes. It took an entire week to create a guitar-shaped chocolate sheet cake with chocolate buttercream and ganache spread, while also making brownies for staff and culinary classes. Culinary class was able to surprise Mr. Monk on Thursday, December 13, the day after he had his last concert.

We asked the students from Grand Canyon School to share their favorite Monk memories. Here is some of what they told us:

Anonymous-All of my memories with him are my favorite, I guess.

Anonymous-When Mr. Monk showed me that DJ stereo [...] and let some students try.

Anonymous-When he taught me how to play the recorder.

Anonymous-Every single middle school basketball game when he was head coach.

Alexus-You are a great teacher.

Ellie-When you called me Ghostface Killah and Ellsworth. Thank you for teaching me how to play saxophone. It is now one of my favorite instruments. Hope you and your family have a safe trip to your new home.

Jared-The day that we were taking pictures in the school garden and you said something random out of nowhere making us all laugh.

Joyelle-My favorite Monk memory is, when he teaches us! He makes it fun!

Miguel-The last concert we had when I was in 8th grade, and just being able to listen to the history of rock videos. But my most favorite memory was when you were a substitute teacher and you took us to your room and played awesome on the guitar. It was an awesome experience. I’m sad I won’t have you as a teacher next year.

New year's resolutions

January 1,2019, by Karina Ibarra and Diana Montes

We surveyed the schools students for their New Year's resolutions. We wanted to encourage everybody to make a change going into a new year, with good feelings and positive thoughts not just for school but work or home, as well. Here’s what they told us:

  • Eat healthier snacks.
  • Get fit.
  • Keep my grades up.
  • Take an Alaskan cruise in 2019.
  • Be more grateful to others.
  • Stop eating so much chocolate.
  • Get in shape.
  • Have a good year.
  • Get better grades….straight As.
  • To come back, do track, and maybe finish basketball.
  • Save more money.
  • Get more sleep.

Good Goals and Bad Goal

January 1, 2019, by Colwyn Burns

How do you make a good New Year's resolution? Make a New Year's resolution that is accomplishable to you, and the following years you can raise your goal higher and higher. Set the goal to a certain number, for example “save $150 a month throughout the year,” and then see how much you get. Then the next year you can raise it higher. Now that goal sounds better then “save more money” because you can keep track of it and don't know how much you actually save.

What is your New Year’s resolution? Many people have a resolution that they want to accomplish, but sadly many never are seen through. For example, Mrs. Newton, our substitute HS science teacher, tries to do resolutions, but doesn’t always see them through. Some people don't even set resolutions. Our middle school teacher, Mrs. Alvarez does not do resolutions because she prefers setting up little goals throughout the year. Chef Justin Warnat, our culinary teacher, also prefers to not do a resolution because he feels he’s setting himself up for failure: “Why put it off until New Year’s when you can start today?”


January 1,2019, by Erin Sumerall and Diana Montes

New Year’s is not all about the resolutions, it's also about the celebration. The 2019 New Year, Las Vegas strip showed fireworks which was hosted by Grucci of New York. There were more than 80,000 fireworks. The fireworks were shot from seven casino hotel rooftops, ARIA Resort & Casino,Caesars Palace, MGM Grand Hotel & Casino, Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino, Stratosphere Casino Hotel & Tower, The Venetian, and Treasure Island. There was music choreography to musical hits from various artists. Las Vegas Boulevard was closed around 6:15 p.m. for tens of thousand people on Mandalay Bay and SLS Las Vegas. The fireworks lasted for eight minutes and eighteen seconds.

Every year Times Square, New York does an event for New Year’s. It's the Time Square Ball Drop! Many people go and watch the ball drop and for the entertainment. The ball drop starts at 5:58pm and ends at 12:20 am eastern time. This tradition was started on December 31st, 1907, by Adolph Ochs, the owner of the New York Times newspaper. Times Square is closed for the event that begins late evening. Once it turns six o´clock, the countdown starts. People show up in festive attire. They have to wait for six hours, but there are music performances by popular musicians. At the last minute of the year, the current mayor of New York City is joined on stage. Once the ball drops, fireworks are shot from the roof of Times Square with five songs playing: "Auld Lang Syne" by Guy Lombardo, "Theme from New York, New York" by Frank Sinatra, "America the Beautiful" by Ray Charles, "What a Wonderful World" by Louis Armstrong, and "Over the Rainbow" by Israel Kamakawiwoʻole. Once the whole event is over and everybody leaves, the clean-up crew comes in. It takes 190 workers and 8 hours to cleanup most of the debris. The ball drop is a big event for New Year’s.

The clean-up after the Pine Cone Drop in Flagstaff on New Year’s Eve takes a lot less effort. Still, a lot of people show up to see the oversized Pine Cone Drop outside of Hotel Weatherford in downtown Flagstaff. There is a 10pm Pine Cone Drop for kids, elders, and people who need to get up early the next day, along with the traditional 12am Pine Cone Drop. Closer to home, we celebrate inside with close friends and family, and wait anxiously till the time comes where we are allowed to scream for a few seconds, and find sleep in the early hours of January, 2019.

December Music Highlights

January 1, 2019, by Carlos Briones and AJ Espinoza

This year’s Grand Canyon High School band concert was on December 12 at the multipurpose room The Grand Canyon Concert is the highlight of the year because the kids get to show off talents and there skills in music, they get to sing and have fun, the student’s love to work with Mr Monk, and prepare for the concert, the parents and community love to hear the high school and middle school bands play. This performance was especially important, because Mr. Monk, whose been the music teacher at the school for the past 6 years, had his last performance before he leaves. Before the band went to perform, he told his students “that the decision to move was a really hard choice for him and his family.” He also said “that both the high school band and the middle school band meet his expectations.”

The middle school band played “American Spirit March,” “Marching to Pretoria,” and “When the Saints Go Marching.” The middle school band is mostly 6th graders, and they played amazingly for their first concert.

The high school band performance was breathtaking. The high school band played “Sweet Georgia Brown”, “Blue Train,” “The Lady Is a Tramp,” and then “Quality Time.” There were 6 soloists: Kobe Yellowhair, Markeith Donley, Diana Montes, Savannah Longhoma, Makayla Sanderson, and Gabriel Romero.

The finale came when Cale Wisher, a 2018 graduate of Grand Canyon School, played the piano for Mr. Monk as he sang Frank Sinatra’s classic, “My Way.” This was a touching moment for the students, staff of Grand Canyon School, and the students’ families. Many people started crying, including Mr. Monk. After the concert was over, students hugged Mr.Monk and took pictures with him.

Another way Mr. Monk has brought good music to the Canyon is through the Canyon Concert, which happened November 29th at Mather Point Visitor Center. As Ms. Hoel (3rd grade) observed: “The young students love preparing for it with Mr. Monk and then do everything they can to get to the concert, dressing up in their finest holiday clothes. As the music director, he really turns it into an opportunity for our students to show off their humor and singing talents and even lets little brothers and sisters join their siblings on the stage. The parents and community members love it because it's hilarious and heartwarming. Mr. Monk has really done a great job harnessing the young energy of our students and he will be greatly missed!”

holiday traditions

December 1, 2018, by Diana Montes, Erin Sumerall, and Karina Ibarra

December is one of the busiest times of the year. Before all the holiday festivities begin, you can remember an important day in history with Pearl Harbor Remembrance on December 7. On December 12 this year, Comet 46P/Wirtanen can be spotted easily without aid as it brightens, and passes through a constellation, Taurus--The Bull. After slingshotting from the sun it’s expected to pass near the earth and around the edge of the solar system.

Many religions have December traditions, but there’s one that many people consider their top priority: Christmas. Christmas is a time of joy that you can spread to loved ones, by giving gifts to friends or family, spending time with everyone, and eating your heart out. One Christmas tradition celebrated by many Mexicans is Las Posadas, which falls between December 16 through the 24th and commemorates the search of Joseph and Mary to find a safe refuge where Mary could give birth to baby Jesus. In this celebration, people dress as Joseph, Mary and the Three Kings (los Reyes Magos), who were guided by the North Star to celebrate the birth of baby Jesus. On the 16th they begin to walk around town and knock on each door to sing and be sung to. Finally, on the 24th, they do a prayer, usually at a church or someone's home, and have a dinner to celebrate his life. Here in America, however, we only meet up on the 16th and 24th to eat tamales and a warm cider called ponche. We then cut the pan de dulce (sweet bread) that contains a plastic baby inside; whoever gets the baby then has to bring something or have the next posada at their house. On the 24th, we await opening our presents like in many other traditions.

Just as much as we value Christmas, there are other traditions that are just as important for other religions. For example, Dr. Maulana Karenga, a professor in African studies, created Kwanzaa to bring African-Americans together as a community. Kwanzaa is a celebration to honor African heritages. It’s celebrated in America and in other nations of the African diaspora. Kwanzaa comes from a phrase ‘’matunda ya kwanza” which means ‘’first fruits’’ in the language Swahili. This holiday is celebrated for a week, from the 26th of December to the 1st of January. They have a big traditional feast, sing songs, dance, tell stories, read poetry, and give gifts. They have a candle ceremony to gather and discuss the meaning of Kwanzaa. There are seven candles to represent the seven principles of Kwanzaa. They light one candle every night. The seven principles are unity, self-determination, collective work and responsibility, cooperative economics, purpose, creativity, and faith. The seven symbols are Mazao (the crops), Mkeka (placemat), Vibunzi (ear of corn), Mishumaa Saba (the seven candles), Kinara (the candle holder), Kikombe Cha Umoja (the unity cup), and Zawadi (gifts). The seven symbols represent values and concepts reflective of African culture.

Hanukkah is an eight-day Jewish celebration to commemorate the rededication of the Second Temple in Jerusalem. Hanukkah means dedication in Hebrew. This holiday is celebrated in November or December. This year it’s going to be on December 2nd to the 10th. This celebration is also called the Festival of Lights or Feast of Dedication. Hanukkah is celebrated with Hanukkah Menorah, which is lighting the candles of a candelabrum with the nine branches. The middle candle is called Shamash, which means "attendant" in Hebrew, and is used to light the other eight candles. Every night a candle is lit by the Shamash. This continues until all the candles are lit together. Besides Hanukkah Menorah, there are other ways to celebrate Hanukkah, like a game of dreidel. A dreidel is a four-sided spinning top. Each side has a letter from the Hebrew alphabet and the initials in “nes gadol haya sham,” translates to “a great miracle happened here.” There are a lot of choices for what can be eaten for Hanukkah, like potato pancakes (latkes), and jelly doughnuts (sufganiyot). Children recieve gifts and money often distributed as chocolate coins in gold foil. Jewish educators try to instill into their students and successors the importance of celebrating the holiday tradition and emphasizing the Jewish belief in dedication and endurance during difficult times.

These are just some of the ways to celebrate the holidays. How do you celebrate?

november in review

December 1, 2018, by Colwyn Burns, Aleryn Reid, and Elijah Dugi, with photographs courtesy of Yearbook Staff

November has been a crazy month so far! We had the 2019 Arizona election, and we also had a presentation by Native American dancers, who came as part of Native American Heritage month, the Turkey Trot, and the high school prep rally.

The 2019 AZ elections were held on Tuesday November 6. For the US senate seat vacated by Senator Jeff Flake’s resignation, it was a close race between Martha McSally and Kyrsten Sinema. Ultimately, the senator that AZ residents selected is Sinema, who won by 1.72% or 38,197 votes. For governor, Doug Ducey won against David Garcia. The race between Katie Hobbs and Steve Gaynor for Secretary of State was very very close! And with a .2% win, Hobbs pulled out the victory. For Attorney General, Mark Brnovich won against January Contreras, and then Kathy Hoffman won the race for Superintendent of Public Instruction against Frank Riggs.

On November 7th, we had a high school pep rally. We started by announcing the soccer and the volleyball teams. Then the basketball players were introduced. A fun time was had by all, when after the introductions, the classes competed against each other in games like plank-walking, Hungry Hippos, an M&M Race, whip cream pie-eating, and a sleeping bag race.

November 14th was Native American Heritage day. To celebrate, we had our own Grand Canyon students performing in the dances, and we had the Apache Crown Dancers and Lady Warriors performing at the school and at the Shrine of the Ages. Savannah and Jasmine Longhoma sang Happy Birthday in Navajo to Makiah Kennedy. Caitlyn Jensen from 8th grade sang the Pledge of Allegiance in Navajo. Then she and Anlylian Moquino sang “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star” in Navajo.

The Turkey Trot was held on November 15th and so was the school’s Thanksgiving feast. The Turkey Trot happened in the morning, just for K-5 students, and two lucky students from each class went home with a turkey or a pie. The Thanksgiving feast was delicious and provided free of charge by the school to all students and staff of Grand Canyon School. The turkey feast was cooked by Barbara Shields and the kitchen staff with help from Chef Justin Warnat and the culinary students (they made pumpkin and cherry pies from scratch!), and it was served to students by the middle and high school student councils. A huge Thank you! To everyone that participated in the Turkey Trot and preparing our great feast.

Can we make a difference?

November 1, 2018, by Diana Montes, Karina Ibarra, Erin Sumerall, AJ Espinoza, Colwyn Burns, Aleryn Reid, Elijah Dugi, and Markeith Donley, with comics by Carlos Briones

Bullying is a huge problem with schools in all sizes. At Grand Canyon School, bullying isn't as bad as at other schools, but here we don't notice that we’re bullying each other because our community is so small. Everyone looks at it as playing and teasing, but actually it’s a form of bullying. Standing up to bullies can be hard, because you could lose friends and become lonely. Bullying behavior spreads because other people see them do it and they think it’s ok. “Monkey see, monkey do.” Examples of bullying are physical, verbal, social, and cyber. It may have lifelong physical and emotional effects. Most kids don't report it because there's really no punishment to the bullies because there's almost never any evidence.

Keep in mind that not all mean acts are bullying. For something to be bullying, it has to meet three criteria: 1) aggression (in words or actions), 2) power imbalance, and 3) repetition.

(For more about the definition of bullying, go to )

While bullying has been a problem for a while in schools, now there are kids who are subjected to cyber bullying. It's something that’s more private, more hurtful, and it’s not something that can stop once you go home, it’s something that follows you as long as the bully wants it to. There are people that choose to not live because they hit a point so low in their lives they believe there's is no bright light at the end of a dark tunnel. Teens feel lonely and abandoned, like a blank canvas. There is three people in the whole bullying. There is the bully, the bullied, and the bystander. Imagine this as a tug-of-war, it's the bully vs the bullied and the only person who could break that tie is the bystander. But some bystanders are afraid to stop it. Thinking that they might get bullied or lose their friends. When the bystander does nothing, it reduces the guilt of the bully because they feel like it’s okay to bully.

Token the rapper, made a music video about bullying and being a bystander. In it, Token is the bystander who supports the bullied in his head, but just stands around and does nothing. The result leads to the kid getting bullied, bringing a gun to school, and shooting his bullies, along with Token, the bystander, who gets shot as well.

Token- Exception (Music Video)

There are many ways to prevent bullying. The primary way is to report it to staff, administrators, or other proper authorities, whether you are a bystander or a victim, so they can properly handle the situation. Grand Canyon School has an area on their website to report bullying anonymously. There are two ways to get to it: you can go to the eyeball icon in the blue toolbar below the school's photo slideshow. Or go to the link in the "For Students" dropdown menu where there is a "No Bullying" link.

Before something tragic happens please stand up and get help. No one should be put down in any kind of situation.

Class of 2019 with Mr. Shaun Martin (far right). A special thank you to the Best Western Premier Grand Canyon Squire Inn for hosting dinner for our class to meet with Shaun Martin!

How Do You Define Yourself?

October 1, 2018, by Aleryn Reid, Diana Montes, Erin Sumerall, Karina Ibarra, Colwyn Burns, AJ Espinoza, and Carlos Briones

Whatever we choose to do, we must pursue greatly. Otherwise, our goals lose their meaning, and we lose a vital part of our being--our inspiration. What you choose is not as important as that you choose it--and that you pursue it fully.

Jason Karp

Shaun Martin is a 37-year-old, world-class, Native American runner. He is from Lechee, AZ, and is the athletic director for Chinle High School. He believes in balance, family, culture, traditions, and community.

But this is not how he defines himself.

“How do you define yourself?” is a question Shaun Martin has asked himself since he was a small boy. When he talked with Grand Canyon students on September 18th, he spoke of many things he enjoyed doing, such as running, spending time with his late grandmother, and eating sheep brains--yes, you read that right. When he drew sheep brains as his favorite food, his first grade teacher reported him to the principal because she couldn’t understand his tradition or the types of food that he enjoys eating.

Mr. Martin told many stories from his childhood that entertained the students and teachers. The earliest experience was when he was four years old and he was racing an “old grandma.” They were neck and neck for last place but Shaun barely got ahead of the lady in the last stretch. He was disappointed he didn’t win, but in the end he received an award for being the youngest runner and got a certificate for a pair of free running shoes. To get his shoes they had to travel to Colorado, and the shoes, well, they ended up being pink and purple Pegasus shoes. To this day his mother still has those shoes displayed on her mantle along with his award.

Mr. Martin told stories of not just himself but also his father. Shaun’s dad is someone he looks up to. After all, he did run a 105k marathon for him. Just as Shaun was a troublemaker in his younger years, his dad was also one--except the circumstances were different but revolved around the same topic,school. Even though they were both labeled “troublemakers” they were named because of different reasons. Shawn was a trouble maker because he was treated different and decided to not care about school. Mr. Martin’s dad was labeled a “troublemaker” because he rebelled against the boarding school administrators who tried to strip him of his culture.

Running helps clear your mind. When you run you let your mind calm and thoughts clear. “Opportunity not obstacles” is a powerful quote that Shaun Martin shared with his audience. What he meant was that when you see an obstacle you should see a challenge that you can use as a lesson and to thrive in your future experiences. That’s why when he defines himself, he does so as a person who laughs, has fun, and appreciates what he has.

School of Rock!

October 1, 2018, by Carlos Briones and AJ Espinoza

School Of Rock is a yearly event that happens at the beginning of the school year. It’s a fun experience for everyone. Students have to learn songs at a very fast pace--within a week. By the time the week is finished, students are prepared to perform at the school and the Shrine of the Ages for everyone to see. This year’s School Of Rock concert was August 30. The students performed “Believer” by Imagine Dragons, “Love Runs Out” by One Republic, “Space Cowboy” by The Steve Miller Band, “Ain’t It Fun” by Paramore, “Oh, Darling” by the Beatles, and “Shout” by the Isley Brothers. The response to the performers got from the crowd was lively at both the school and the Shrine of The Ages.

This year's School of Rock participants included high schoolers, Jennifer A, Kara A, Carlos B, Bella E, Cassidy F, Joel G, Rufus K, Zach L, Melakai L, Savannah L, Lexi O, Makayla S, and Lathan T, and middle schoolers, Artrisha C, Payton C, Jaemie J, Joyelle K, Skadi L, Alyssa S, and Ian Y.

While Wildfires Rage, Stay Safe

September 1, 2018, by Diana Montes, photograph by the National Forest Service

The Mendocino Complex fire in California that started in late July continues to rage. This wildfire has become the biggest in California’s history. It is said that its heat will even cause the temperature in the Grand Canyon to rise. Six people, including one firefighter, have lost their lives to the fire. Firefighters continue to work to control and contain it, hoping that it will run out of things to burn soon.

That isn’t the only fire that’s been burning. The Obi fire on the North Rim started July 21. Unlike the one in California, this one poses no real threat to people, but park officials have closed down roads that could be in the path of it in the near future. The Cat Fire on the Kaibab National Forest was successfully put to sleep but is still under watch. Firefighters have received help from recent rainfall, which has helped get the fire under control.

Firefighters did the right thing when they evacuated people who were in the path of the fire. When people are in danger, their minds go to "fight or flight," but with a fire so threatening you can only run. Never forget the protocols in case of fire. You should always have a bag full of your essentials, and when in a state of evacuation, remember:

* Shut your windows and doors, and shut off the gas and pilot lights.

* Remove flammable shades, curtains, and lightweight curtains and

move all flammable furniture to the center of the house.

* Have your vehicle loaded with your emergency supply kit and all doors

and windows closed, and keep your keys with you at all times.

* Check on neighbors and make sure they are preparing to leave.

For more on these and other recommendations, visit:

We Got Game!

September 1, 2018, by Thomas O'Connor

We began this year with a focus on building a safe learning community modeled on game play. Our focus on game play was intended to reinforce the importance having rules: a game of tag for example, is almost always a self-regulating activity, in that the players know the rules, and everyone follows the them or else one or more of the other players will call foul.

Throughout the coming school year, will continue to remind our students, and encourage you to remind your children, that rules are not just something dictated from above. They are the structure which enables our activities to be fun, productive, and, most importantly, safe.