South Tahoe students get some ink |

South Tahoe students get some ink

William Ferchland
South Tahoe High School was named one of the best high schools in America in Newsweek's May 8 issue.

It’s been a good couple of weeks for South Tahoe High School, as the small campus has been mentioned in two national magazines: once for achievements in academics and again in a profile of a teenage boy asking a girl to the prom.

Last month Newsweek ranked South Tahoe High School among the 1,200 best public schools in the nation, earning a spot at 992, four spots above last year’s mark.

The June 12 edition of People profiled senior Mark Dalmacio and sophomore Moorage Cook on page 80 in a short piece on innovative ways students ask dates to prom.

Although some students might not get excited about the Newsweek piece, administrators and parents probably did. The rankings were calculated by comparing the number of Advanced Placement, or other college preparatory exams, relative to the number of students in the graduating class.

South Tahoe High School has 11 AP classes. A world history course for sophomores was added to the schedule this school year – Principal Marcia Kaster guesses the addition allowed the school to climb in Newsweek’s rankings.

“I guess what I would say is it’s positive to have an outside, noneducational group give us some positive feedback about the school,” she said.

“It makes kids reach higher.”

An employee of People Magazine spotted a May 19 article by South Tahoe High School senior Nick Stewart, who used the Tahoe Daily Tribune to ask his date to the prom – they kept it local, using Dalmacio and Cook as subjects for the short piece.

Students at the high school were competing for free prom tickets by coming up with the most creative way to ask a date to prom.

Dalmacio used six clues in leading Cook to a place on campus where more than 100 students waited. Dalmacio emerged singing his own version of the song “All I Want to Do is Go to Prom With You” from the movie “The Wedding Singer.”

Cook said yes. But she was skeptical when Dalmacio told her they were going to be in People until she saw it in one of the magazine’s glossy pages.

She said her mother is putting it in a scrapbook. Dalmacio will frame it with their prom pictures. He was told being in People might help him socially at college.

“I hope I can use it to my advantage later in life,” he joked.

Dalmacio was impressed with the three other descriptions of students asking dates to prom, except for one involving a student who used cookies cutouts in spelling prom.

“That wouldn’t even qualify at South Tahoe High as a cool way to ask a girl to prom,” he said.

Stewart, who wrote an article to ask his date to prom, won second place and a discount of 50 percent on tickets. He didn’t mind getting passed over on People.

“I thought it was cool he got recognition,” Stewart said. “It’s like paying it forward.

“I think it’s cool to get recognition for Tahoe,” he added.

Dalmacio said going big in asking dates to prom puts a little originality in an event marked with traditions such as tuxedos and corsages.

“It shows you really care and you’re excited to go with them to prom,” he said. “It doesn’t matter how embarrassed you get, because it’s totally worth it if she says yes.”

Besides the mentions in Newsweek and People, Kaster also cited the March 2005 appearance of the two leaders Save South Tahoe Athletic Teams, an organization to fund sports headed by Mark Garratt and Peter Grant, in Sports Illustrated “Faces in the Crowd” section.

“How wonderful for the school,” Kaster said. “Those are really positive things.”

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