From the Adviser: The Pepper Bough thanks you for an amazing year!

Mr. Dollins says thank you to the Pepper Bough staff, and Colton community for their tremendous support during the 2021-22 school year


J. Dollins

The Colton High Pepper Bough is signing off until Aug. 2022 . . . unless something absolutely newsworthy happens.

With the school year over, the Pepper Bough plans on shutting down until mid-August. Unless something incredible and absolutely noteworthy happens that needs to be immediately reported, our staff is going to take a break.

The Pepper Bough Staff worked hard this year. Let’s celebrate their work! (J. Dollins)

Before we take our break, however, I personally want to thank each and every one of you who have supported our newspaper this past year. Since this was my first year as adviser—taking over for the legendary Mr. Dave Rainey, and following in the heavy footsteps of the likes of Patricia Ishida and Christina Beeson—I was admittedly worried we might fall flat on our faces. The Pepper Bough had a small, inexperienced staff, an inexperienced adviser, and tons of news to cover: what could go wrong?

Thankfully I need never have worried. One thing this year has taught me is that the Colton community are the greatest cheerleaders for their own. Whether Yellowjackets current or past, local or afar, our community is large and passionate about our school. I will never forget running into Michael Lopez, a CHS alum who worked on the Pepper Bough, back in October. Or getting messages from other past alum encouraging our work.

And our writers loved seeing comments from the community on social media about their work—especially negative comments for some reason—validating the time and effort spent creating the best work they could. I will never forget sharing a few negative comments with Sadie Larios during class about her first movie review for the Pixar film, “Luca,” and she began beaming with pride, knowing that her work provoked and was strong enough to earn a response.

This strong work all around has led to an enormously successful year.

Sadie, Erin Dallatorre, and Edgar Lopez Perez all won Best of SNO awards from our site’s publisher in honor for their stellar work.

Erin went on to win four Pepper Bough awards, voted on by you, our readership, for her work.

Myles Garza produced a stellar recurring feature, the Colton Vibe, for which he won a Pepper Bough Award.

Briana McMullen turned in so many news stories on the same day they happened that she became the class’s Lightning Queen.

Emmanuel Ramos went down to City Hall and interviewed the Colton mayor, Frank J. Navarro, for a piece involving the girls’ basketball team’s fight to make Rancho Avenue safer.

Joseline Ortega Delgado emerged during second semester, delivering several well-received “Facts of the Day,” and finished the year with two excellent features, one about the history of Prom, and the other about dancer Jaiden Murphy.

Misael Terriquez went on two science field trips to bring us same day stories about the experience.

Aireanna Romo gave us consistently strong features about students like Marissa Herrera, and staff like Ms. Marie Anderson.

Melany Jimenez Prado joined us at the semester and immediately began producing great work, like her same-day piece about Lunar New Year, or her celebration of English teacher Andrew Vidal.

Alex Cespedes was our “Fact of the Day” rock, producing a number of excellent daily features.

Alex Sanchez was our utility player, who took on thankless, but extremely necessary stories about our school’s academic culture, like his piece about the SAIL Program or the PSAT.

And we got stellar contributions from Jicell Gutierrez Urenda, Sarah Sanchez, and Samantha Reynoso, who wrote features, “Facts of the Day,” and contributed timely news items.

And you read. Going back to August of 2021, when we began publishing this year, the Pepper Bough has had 153,693 page views. That is as many page views as the site had between May 2011 and June 2021, combined. We had over 53,000 new readers! Our social media posts have received daily attention on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. And all of this is thanks to you, our awesome readership.

We also want to give a huge thank you to each individual who donated to us this year! If you are reading this and wish to contribute to the Pepper Bough to support our program, you can do so using the contribution link at the end of this article.

So now we head into summer, and we look forward to returning next year to continue providing you with the best news and entertainment, continuing this remarkable Colton High tradition that started back in 1917.

Best wishes!