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The Tongva Times

The Tongva Times

The Tongva Times

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Aesthetic of a staff member
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Bren Belmonte, Staff Writer • May 30, 2024

Festive classrooms glow at Gabrielino

   ‘Tis the season to be jolly! This holiday season, students are immediately struck by the festive, colorful decorations set by their teachers as they enter their classrooms. The holiday spirit is alive and well at Gabrielino, with many teachers and staff having decorated their rooms to celebrate the season’s festivities and share holiday cheer with students. 

   Christmas sweaters and festive decorations in the Quad are not the only way that students, teachers, and staff are celebrating friends, family, and the people they appreciate during the holidays. Many teachers have decked out their classrooms with lights, trees, Santa hats, and more. 

MERRY SHELLY – Shelly the skeleton celebrates the holidays with Biology and Anatomy/Physiology students.  (Bren Belmonte)

   As students enter Biology and Anatomy/Physiology teacher Ms. Leyda’s classroom, Shelly the skeleton is the first sight they are greeted with. This holiday season, Leyda gifted Shelly with a festive and fitting bright red Santa hat, in addition to a miniature Christmas tree adorned with colorful ornaments beside her enlarged DNA model. 

   “I was inspired to decorate my class since I feel like it brings a little cheer, boosts student morale, and just makes my classroom fun,” Leyda stated. “I was also given the hat by a student, and felt that it was a sign students wanted to see my room decorated.” 

HOLIDAY MISCHIEF – The grinch stares menacingly at Ethnic Studies students.
(Bren Belmonte)

   Ethnic Studies teacher Ms. Penuelas shares Leyda’s enthusiasm for holiday classroom decorations. As freshmen pile into her class, the Grinch smirks mischievously and gazes menacingly at the class from a colorful board. The decoration makes for a silly and fun class environment. 

   As an Ethnic Studies teacher, Penuelas hoped to incorporate many ways Christmas is celebrated across many different backgrounds to make students of diverse backgrounds feel more welcome.

   “It’s definitely helped students get much more used to being in the classroom and feel more comfortable in my class,” Penuelas stated. “A student even told me they loved the decorations since they didn’t have them at home, and it warmed my heart that I was able to allow them to celebrate Christmas,” Penuelas added. 

ALL SPRUCED-UP – Mr. Shima’s miniature tree with Christmas lights and decorations creates a warm, festive atmosphere for students.  (Bren Belmonte)

   Like Leyda, World History teacher Mr. Shima also has a well-lit miniature Christmas tree. Shima’s tree sits in the corner of his room, well adorned in sentimental decorations including small paper crowns, and hearts made from gum wrappers. 

   For Mr. Shima, decorating for the holidays presents a unique challenge,  as he already has festive lights up all year long. 

   “My white lights are up all of the time, and instead of taking them down and putting the colored ones up, I just decided to put different colors up for Christmas,” Shima stated. “I wanted to decorate for Christmas since I felt as though it kept my classroom more lively, which is also why I decorated and put a tree in the corner of my room.”

   With Winter break coming up very soon, many students, teachers, and staff eagerly anticipate the holiday celebrations which come with it. As the Gabrielino community prepares for the break ahead, colorful and decked out classrooms are one only way many teachers and students have been able to celebrate the spirit of the holidays early.

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About the Contributors
Mark Chammas
Mark Chammas, Staff Writer
Mark Chammas is a Staff Writer for the school newspaper. This is his first year on the team. Outside of his journalistic pursuits, Mark enjoys reading celebrity memoirs, listening to music, and playing video games. He joined the newspaper out of his love for writing and his appreciation for the school paper. Mark aims to cover topics of personal interest and address school-related issues he believes need more attention.
Bren Belmonte
Bren Belmonte, Staff Writer
Bren Belmonte is a Photographer and Staff Writer with three years of experience on our newspaper team. Outside of journalism, Bren enjoys cosplaying, photographing friends, reading manga, watching anime, and listening to music. Bren chose the journalism class in sophomore year after encouragement from family members in the industry. Since then, they've recognized it as a future passion and career interest.
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