Present Dei Puzzler challenges with both math and language

March’s Present Dei Puzzlers:

Problem 1:


Fill in the blank in each row with a word to form a common phrase, name, or compound word with the word preceding and following it.

For example, given DANCE _____ WAX, the missing word is FLOOR, forming DANCE FLOOR and FLOOR WAX.

Moreover, the five missing words when considered together lead to something famous. What are the words and what do they clue?

1. FIRE ___________ WRESTLE
2. TRIPLE __________  PRINCE
3. BLOW _____________ SONG
4. CLEANING __________GAGA
5. PEARL ___________ MASTER

Problem 2:

THE 300

Start with the integers from 1 to 300.

  1. How many of the numbers are divisible by 3, 4, or both?
  2. What is the sum of the numbers you found in part a?

Each part is worth money!

Legal details:  Participation is open to all students, faculty, and staff.  First winning answer for each question wins $5.  You only need to answer one problem to win. The first student to submit the correct answer(s) to either John Stradley, moderator of The Present Dei Online News Source, or to Dan or Sue White, Math Department, on or before March 14, 2019, will win $5.  Email submissions are acceptable, and hand-delivered submissions will be time-stamped.  In the event that no student submits the correct answer, the prize will be awarded to the first faculty or staff member who submitted the correct answer.  If no correct answer is submitted by the closing date, the cash prize is forfeit.  The Present Dei staff members are eligible to participate, as the monthly answer is not provided to the staff until the correct answer has been submitted.  Collaboration is acceptable; however, multiple prizes will not be awarded.  Winner will be announced and cash prize will be awarded upon the posting of the next Present Dei Puzzler.

The Present Dei Online News Source extends its congratulations to winners of the February Present Dei Puzzler:  junior Abraham Garcia (word puzzle), faculty/staff members Sam McGrath, Karen Chambers, Molly Fruland (word puzzle), Angelle Roussel (math puzzle), and Fr. George Teodoro (both puzzles).

.The Present Dei Online News Source moderator, editors, and staff offer their appreciation to Dan and Sue White, Present Dei Puzzlemasters and longtime supporters of the publication.

Posted in Arts and Entertainment | Leave a comment

Archdiocesan Christian Service Awards mass at COLA, 3/19

By Nathaniel Zelada, Photo Editor

The annual Christian Service Awards will take place on Tuesday, March 19, at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels, 555 West Temple Street, Los Angeles.  A student from Verb will be honored with an award for the work he has done in his community.

Every school in the archdiocese has the opportunity to nominate student/s from their school.  Depending on its size, a school is allowed to nominate a certain number of students.  Schools, such as Verbum Dei, with an enrollment of fewer than 500 students submit the name of one student; schools with an enrollment of 500 to 1,000 students submit the names of two students; schools with an enrollment of over 1,000 students submit the names of three students.

“It recognizes good work that our students have done throughout the Archdiocese and the good done through the service they do,” said Campus Ministry Director Karen Chambers.

The students nominated must also meet certain requirements: being in their senior year in a Catholic high school within the Archdiocese of Los Angeles; having spent at least two years in consistent Christian service, which is voluntary, non-remunerative work outside the school and the family; having completed all required documentation by the second Friday in February; having the recommendation of the school principal and the Christian service moderator, based on the evidence of their Christian attitudes and behavior

Students who meet these requirements and winners of the award will have a mass at the cathedral dedicated to honor them for their service.

This special event is also a time to honor teachers who have done service by supporting their students in doing works or service and for being models of Christian service for their students.

“I think it’s great,” said Chambers.  “We not only acknowledge the students who have done their service, but the teachers who have as well. These teachers could have possibly inspired students to do such work; thus, they deserve to be honored as well.”

Posted in Campus Ministry, News | Leave a comment

ASB’s Late Night Hoops set for March 29 in Eagle’s Nest

By Rafael Villalobos, Staff Writer

After a brief break,Verbum Dei High School’s Associated Student Body will host Late Night Hoops on March 29 from 6:00 to 9:00 P.M. inside the Eagle’s Nest.

ASB hopes that the event will present Verbum Dei students and athletes with a pleasurable activity to relax and take their minds off the rigorous interim assessments previously taken.

In order to join and play pickup basketball with friends, and guests, students must pay a  $2 fee. Although ASB is allowing guests to join the activity, the event will not be advertised to other schools, which allows Verb students to enjoy the time with close friends and family.

Chips, snacks, and drinks will be sold at the event in support of future ASB events.

“I believe it will be a very successful event,” said Arturo Ramirez, ASB Vice President. “Basketball is a popular sport here at Verb, so I can almost guarantee lots of people will show up.”

“I believe this late night hoops event will attract a broad audience,” said senior Khyree Dodson. “Basketball is not only a sport, [but it also] brings a huge crowd together. I’m expecting to meet new people and to see alumni at the event.”

Posted in Athletics, News | Leave a comment

NCAA basketball tourney bracket to build enthusiasm at Verb

By Khalid Nelms, Staff Writer

A bracket competition is being held for those who love college basketball or those who even enjoy the thrill of a slam-dunk, alley-oop, or plethora of three-pointers. The March Madness Bracket will be held as soon as the college basketball tournament starts and participation is open to the student body, faculty, and staff.

The bracket competition will be updated at Verbum Dei as the tournament progresses. This year’s tournament will be from March 19 to April 6 or 8, according to the National Collegiate Athletic Association.

For those who are not college basketball fanatics, March Madness is a tournament held for all college basketball teams that compete to further themselves in the tournament.  The popular tournament proceeds from the first round to the second round, then from Sweet 16 to Elite 8, then to Final Four.  Ultimately in the final, two teams compete for the title.

The tournament runs over 19 days and begins with Selection Sunday when the NCAA committee announces all 68 of the tournament teams. Selection Sunday is March 17, two days prior to the tournament start.

Posted in Arts and Entertainment, Athletics | Leave a comment

Savings and investment ideas abound in Verb community

By Hector Arrieta, Editor in Chief

“You wanna know what money sounds like? Go to a trading floor on Wall Street,” says character Jordan Belfort from The Wolf of Wall Street, directed by Martin Scorsese. Money is what makes the world turn round. It allows people to purchase goods and services that they desire. Want a bagel? That’ll be $2.64. Want a car? That’ll be $35,000. Want a house? That’ll be $548,000. Money is a resource, and like other resources, it can be drained if not used properly. However, money can also be grown if managed correctly.

“Start saving a little bit of money and set up a Roth IRA,” said finance savvy, English Department Chair Ken Favell. “Start planning for your future now. Start a Roth IRA now – super simple to do – put a little bit of money in there. Start investing maybe 15 percent or even five percent, any amount of money you have. Start putting it in there, and let your money grow tax-free over the course of your lifetime….Once you have no debt and you’re done with school and you’re saving up for a down payment on a house, then start looking at different mutual funds – ways to make your money grow.”

Favell mentioned a Roth IRA. For those who do not know, an IRA is a financial account that allows an individual to save for retirement with tax-free growth or on a tax-deferred basis. There are two main types of IRAs: Traditional and Roth. A Traditional IRA includes an upfront tax break of up to $6,000 in 2019, investment earnings not being taxed as long as the money remains in the protection of the account, and withdrawals in retirement are taxed at your tax rate at that time. On the other hand, a Roth IRA is similar to the Traditional except that contributions are not deductible (meaning there is no upfront tax break) yet withdrawals in retirement are completely tax-free. Alongside these two, there are other variants of IRAs: Simplified Employee Pension (SEP), Nondeductible, Spousal, Savings Income Match Plan for Employees (SIMPLE), and Self-Directed.

While the idea of saving one’s money and allowing it to grow does sound great, one should know the reason why one is trying to save his or her money.

“There are three reasons why people should want to save money,” said math teacher Dan White. “You should want to save it initially for an emergency fund. What happens if your car breaks down or your iPhone goes kaput? Second reason is [that] you want to save up for a down payment on some purchase. ‘I want to buy a new car in three years,’ so you save money for that purpose. And third is, you want to save for the long run: for retirement or education. Depending on which of those purposes you in mind will somewhat dictate what you do with your money.”

However, in the event that students wish to begin saving money and looking into growing their money, there are few things that students should avoid.

“Do not go into debt for anything other than a house,” said Favell. “Stay out of debt. Do not go into debt for school; find a way to pay for it in cash. Do not go into debt for a car, which is the dumbest thing you could possibly do. Do not lease a car. If you lease something, that is being fleeced….it’s a con job. Credit cards are a con job. There are all kinds of myths that you need a credit card to get a credit score. Nonsense. There are many ways to build a credit score without getting a credit card.”

Verbum Dei High School is home to entrepreneurial students who find ways to make spare money during the school year. One such student is senior Jamie Partida who runs a business selling chocolates.

“It’s important to understand that I started selling chocolates because my dad stopped giving me money,” said Partida. “So the money I got was towards food at school, but the few extra dollars I would get, I would invest it in the business to keep buying more options for the customers.”

In any case, students should learn to better manage their money. Students should learn to save and invest money for the future, not only for themselves but for their future families.

Posted in Features | Leave a comment

E-waste drives attempt to divert electronics from waste stream

By Brian Hernandez, Staff Writer

Electronic waste otherwise known as e-waste is discarded electrical or electronic devices. Used electronics which are destined for reuse, resale, salvage, recycling, or disposal are also considered e-waste.  Striving to be a green campus, Verbum Dei has decided to partake in responsibly disposing the e-waste accumulated on campus by having e-waste gathering events and by giving the waste to companies which dispose of it.

“We try to do about two e-waste gatherings a year here at Verbum Dei,” John Galloway, Director of Information Technologies said.

There is a goal at Verbum Dei, and that goal is to be green,” Galloway stated.  “We want to be mindful of what can be recycled in this day and age; it’s sad to see recyclables getting thrown into a landfill. We’re being good eco-friendly citizens of our community and our world by participating in e-waste recycling.”

“We try and do about two or three e-waste gatherings a year – all depending on when we have too much junk,” Jeff Bonino-Britsch, Vice President of Operations said.  “There’s really no specific dates, but we make sure to notify staff when the e-waste gathering will happen to get the junk out of here.”

“We want to be a green campus, so we’re going to recycle whatever we can,” Bonino-Britsch further supported Galloway’s assertion.  “The stuff has got to go somewhere – where people could make use of the parts and recycle it.”

There is reasoning behind the e-waste gathering, according to Galloway.

“We are blessed to receive so much from our donors, but we have limited space; we can’t possibly keep all the donated electronics due to the lack of space,” said  Galloway.  “All of our older stuff just ends up piling up in our storage containers after we update our electronics, and I personally think that we have to get rid of the old stuff sitting around through the e-waste gathering.”

The past e-waste gatherings have been successful according to Bonino- Britsch.

“It has been successful in the past and will continue to be successful because people will always have junk that they don’t need,” said Bonino-Britsch.

“We encourage other staff and faculty to bring any electronics which they have no use for anymore,” added Galloway.

However, there are some problems when it comes to e-waste, Galloway stated.

“One problem with some e-waste companies is that they charge for the service of coming to pick up our e-waste, while other companies don’t charge at all,” said Galloway.

On the surface it appears to be an environmentally sound and a responsible practice; however, the handling of  e-waste may be the subject of controversy as was asserted in the documentary film Living On A Dollar A Day, which the Verbum Dei’s community watched during an afternoon assembly recently.  The film producer’s contention is that the e-waste of the developed economies of the world is unceremoniously dumped in developing countries, were children who attempt to salvage metals are subject to harmful toxins.

Posted in Features | Leave a comment

AP Spanish and Calculus Saturday sessions prepare students

By Randdy De Paz and Uriel Molina, Staff Writers

Many students at Verbum Dei High School take the challenge of Advanced Placement classes. Besides the college-level coursework, many also make the sacrifice of going to AP Saturday sessions to receive additional class time.

The Saturday sessions, as of now, occur from 9:00 to 11:00 A.M.

The AP Saturday session is meant for students enrolled in AP classes to receive more time in a specific AP class to prepare for the AP exams in May. The Saturday session makes up for all the class time missed because of Corporate Work-Study program workday schedules.

Currently, AP Spanish taught by Eduardo Magana and AP Calculus taught by Claude Moore are the only AP courses currently offering Saturday sessions for enrolled students.

Magana and his AP Spanish Saturday session is set to start in April, allowing one month to practice before the AP Spanish test.

Claude Moore’s AP Calculus Saturday sessions have begun and will continue until the AP Calculus exam in May.  His students are putting in the extra work on Saturday mornings to achieve the highly desired AP score of 5.

Moore’s Saturday Sessions started February 16.  More than half of Moore’s students attended the Saturday session and found that it was very useful.

“When I heard that we were going to have Saturday sessions, I was a little annoyed because it would cut into my sleep,” said senior Anthony Valentin, AP Calculus student. “But, after showing up to the first session I was surprised that I wasn’t bored.”

These AP Calculus sessions are not mandatory; however, they offer extra practice for students to be better prepared for the AP exam.

“I will be incorporating extra lessons and practice AP exams to help strengthen the mental endurance of the students,” said Moore.

Posted in Academics, News | Leave a comment

Verb security contributes to campus safety and campus life

By Brian Hernandez, Staff Writer

Safety: it’s something of importance to all members of the Verbum Dei High School community.  That safety is provided by the security guards on campus, James Gibbon and Ms. Irma.

Ms. Irma came to Verb as a security guard after her experience at  the University of Southern California (USC), Target, and a variety of places.  Ms. Irma has worked at Verb for six years.

“The security guards wanted extra help with the shifts, so I volunteered,” said Gibbon.

Before everyone applies to become a security guard for Verb, be aware that the job comes with, “some special training and filling out paperwork” said Gibbon. Mr. Irma added to Gibbon’s comment by saying, “I was trained here at Verb.”

When asked about their routines, both security guards answered differently.

”I help the coaches out, make sure that the students are safe, and make sure no intruders come on school grounds,” said Gibbon.

“I run around making sure the students are straight,” Ms. Irma said.  “I like my routine; it’s fair.”

No matter the time, security is always on campus.  Gibbon typically stays on campus for an eight-hour shift.

“I stay on campus for nine hours,” said Ms. Irma, “but if my co-worker doesn’t show up, I’m here for 16.”

When asked about their favorite part of the job, both answered differently.

“Making sure you guys come to class and go home safely so that no parents have to worry about you guys,” Gibbon stated.

“Just being involved talking with the students,” said Ms. Irma.  “That’s the best part of my job.”

When asked about how to approach a person visiting campus, both had similar responses. Gibbon stated, “ I find out why they’re on campus, who they’re supposed to see, but if they’re unauthorized people on campus, I escort them out the door.”

Similarly, Irma said, “I make sure students are safe first and then approach the person and ask questions as to why they’re on campus.”

Posted in Features | Leave a comment

Easter egg hunt inspires creative hiding places and mirth

By George Rosales, Staff Writer

An Easter egg hunt tradition began in the spring of 2016 with the planning of staff in the Administration Office.  The inaugural hunt seemed to lighten the mood of the students, so it has become a fixture of Verbum Dei High School’s spring.

This year, the Easter egg hunt is to be take place on Wednesday, April 17.  The event is set to happen during lunch in order for the students to have enough time to find the eggs. The
event will extend to another day, in order to have the class that went to work participate. This year, it will be the sophomores whose workday falls on the day of the event.

The teachers are each given a few eggs to secret away in nooks and crannies of their classrooms.  Two teachers are reputed to hold the record for having the best hiding spots on campus: Timothy Moore,  Math Department Chair and Kristen Hochman, social science teacher.

“Last year, Mr. Moore had the last egg that had not been found, [and he kept it hidden] until everyone admitted to ‘failure,’ ” said senior Jamie Flores. “That is the reason that they are rare to find – they are the ones that hold money and homework passes.”

“Ms. Hochman last year had the best hiding spot where no one else could want nor had
the idea to look,” said senior Hector Garcia.  ”Throughout the day, there were still some of her eggs that were not found at all.”

Maribel Andrade, Student Resource Center Coordinator and ASB moderator,
ASB, the main office, and teachers participate by bringing goodies with which to fill
the eggs.   Whenever the plastic eggs are in short supply, the office sends out an email requesting that parents donate eggs or contents for the event.

Some of the eggs contain candy, homework passes, and money; although the gold eggs usually hold the money.  Last year, alumnus Jonathan Swift found $15 dollars hidden within three golden eggs.

“The Easter egg hunt is a fun time, where faculty and staff come together to find
creative ways for students to participate,” said Andrade.

“I think it’s a really fun experience that we have this on campus for the students,” said Michelle Cordova, Mission Advancement Assistant.  “That extra day for the class that goes to work will allow them to not miss out on the fun.”

Posted in Arts and Entertainment, News | Leave a comment

Praise band ‘prays twice’ at monthly liturgical celebrations

By George Rosales, Staff Writer

Verbum Dei High School’s Praise Band is a tradition at Verb, and it leads the music ministry at school liturgical celebrations each month.

The Praise Band consists of E.J. Vieyra, Theology Department Chair, as conductor and pianist/bassist; Kenneth Favell, English Department Chair, on drums; Emilio Hernandez, on guitar, John Stradley, English and Journalism teacher, Molly Fruland, Christian Service/College Guidance Assistant, senior Alex Gutierrez, and junior Jaden Brownlee as singers.

Dr. Brandi Odom Lucas, Chief Academic Officer, also lends her voice to the community from time to time.

“Singing with the praise band is a personally edifying experience for me,” said Stradley.  “I’ve become much more confident with my voice, and I welcome the monthly liturgies and the opportunity to ‘pray twice.’”

The Praise Band meets during lunch, after school, during co-curricular, or whenever it is possible to go over what is to be done for the next mass.

Some students are in awe at what the praise band does.

“I really enjoyed the solo that Dr. Odom did the last liturgy,” said seniorHector Garcia. “The song choices were not bad at all, the one that I especially liked would definitely have to be the Black National Anthem [sung at the Black History Month liturgy].”

“Dr. Odom’s solo performance at mass was wonderful,” said Carolyn Westdal, Science
Department Chair.  “I enjoy hearing the faculty, staff, and students perform as part of the praise band.”

Posted in Features | Leave a comment