A Press Democrat Blog

Teen Life

News and opinion from local teens

Teen Face: Leah Kaufman

By CLARK MASON THE PRESS DEMOCRAT On her 16th birthday, Leah Kaufman woke up with her eyes swollen shut. A big fan of romance comedy movies, the Santa Rosa High School student initially thought “maybe I cried too much at the romantic comedy last night.” But her body soon began doing other disturbing things. Her legs and feet swelled up and her shoes no longer fit. She experienced rapid weight gain — 20 pounds in a month — and began… Read More »

Teen Face: Jasmine Elliot

By CATHY BUSSEWITZ THE PRESS DEMOCRAT When life handed Jasmine Elliott emotionally challenging circumstances, she turned them into an opportunity to give and to grow. Elliott was in seventh grade when her mother was diagnosed with a rare form of ovarian cancer. Her mom since has recovered, but Elliott remembers those difficult months of radiation and chemotherapy and the toll the treatments took on her mother’s energy and appetite. A neighbor was very ill at the same time as Elliott’s… Read More »

Teen Face: Kelsey Tarantino

By ROBERT DIGITALE THE PRESS DEMOCRAT Kelsey Tarantino is one big step closer to her goal of acting on Broadway. Tarantino, a 2012 Santa Rosa High School graduate who has performed in more than 20 local productions, recently began acting classes at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh. The ArtQuest dance student was among a small group of students selected in auditions for the university’s theater program. Even better, she is receiving a full-ride scholarship there. “I’m pretty much beginning this… Read More »

Teen Face: Alicia Soto

By JULIE JOHNSON THE PRESS DEMOCRAT Alicia Soto has moved a lot. She moved from a Central Valley farming town to Santa Rosa when she was about 4. She returned to Delano near Visalia to be with her father for much of elementary school and was back in Santa Rosa with her mother by the sixth grade. After seven schools in 12 years, including Spanish-language immersion programs, charter, college prepatory and public schools, Soto said the experience made her strong.… Read More »

“No excuses, no exceptions: the unfair tardy policy at SRHS” by Trevor Greenan, Editorial Board

You wake up to the sound of a car pulling away from the driveway. It’s your mom, leaving for work; suddenly, you jump out of bed and see that it’s 7:45 in the morning! You rush downstairs, get together a rushed lunch, and head out to your car. As you drive to school 15 minutes away, you realize that you’ve left your work at home, but you don’t have time to head back. As you sprint up to the classroom the bell rings. When you get inside, your teacher hands you a detention slip and asks you to sit down. It’s 8:01.

Sadly, this is a very common event here at Santa Rosa High School. According to our school’s tardy policy, you could get a detention for being even just a couple seconds late to class one time. And by late to class, they mean out of your seat.
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Teen Face: Jose Rosario Avalos

By KERRY BENEFIELD THE PRESS DEMOCRAT When Santa Rosa High School senior José Avalos walked into Ron Reichmuth’s class as a freshman, he was kind of a mess, both student and teacher agree. He had a temper and struggled with anger management. Social situations frustrated him, so he tended to keep to himself. Yet through a period of intense self-assessment and a desire for increased academic and extracurricular responsibilities, Avalos has emerged as an entrepreneurial star in Reichmuth’s special education… Read More »

The hope of Obama a big disappointment

By ANDREW SANTARINI SANTA ROSA HIGH SCHOOL, JUNIOR, 16 In 2008, President Barack Obama campaigned as a man who would rein in Wall Street and would stop corporate corruption in Washington. Many Obama supporters saw him as a symbol of change, hope and progressive values. He was elected with the hope that he would discontinue policies the Bush administration put in place concerning warrantless wiretapping, the indefinite detention of prisoners, the end to Guantanamo Bay prison and tax cuts to… Read More »

Teen Face: Victoria Heyman

  By PAUL PAYNE THE PRESS DEMOCRAT Victoria Heyman has straight A’s, high college admission scores and a portfolio of award-winning photography. But there’s more to the 17-year-old senior in Santa Rosa High’s ArtQuest program than stellar academics and top-notch extra-curriculars. Heyman has shown her leadership by devoting countless volunteer hours working with the homeless, tutoring younger students and raising money for causes, such as cancer research. “Helping others makes me feel good,” she said. “I get to know that… Read More »

Teen Face: Isabella ‘Buddy’ Burch

  By SAM SCOTT THE PRESS DEMOCRAT Isabella “Buddy” Burch isn’t your typical Buddy, but then there’s little typical about her. The senior at Santa Rosa High School has been going by the normally male moniker since her parents began making a play on her middle name — Rosebud — when she was just a baby. An unusual name, though, may prove to be the least of what makes Burch memorable. At 17 years old, she is developing a record… Read More »

Teen Face: Remy A. Fuentes

  By BOB NORBERG THE PRESS DEMOCRAT Since she was 5, Santa Rosa High School senior Remy A. Fuentes has dreamed of being an attorney. “I learned to play golf because I thought attorneys play golf,” Fuentes said. It also led her to join the high school debating team, where she found something at which she excelled. “It turned out that it is something that I am good at,” said Fuentes. Fuentes and debating partner Alan Ramey won seventh place… Read More »