Author Archives: John Dingzon

Homecoming game brings alumni to Patterson


Patterson played well and came very close to winning the game. (Photo credit: John Dingzon)

By John Dingzon

Patterson High School’s homecoming football game occurred on Saturday, Oct. 13th. Patterson played against Edmondson Westside. There were Patterson alumni from previous years that came to watch the game and it was also the class reunion of other previous classes.

School Principal Mr. Benton and Assistant Principal Mr. Alukwu were also there and enjoyed the game.

“Today we have a good football game.” Mr. Alukwu said.

The game was well-attended with students, staff, teachers, former football players, school police officers, former faculty members and alumni all there to cheer on the Patterson Clippers. The game was enjoyable and although Patterson was defeated, it was still a good football game and the athletes put on a good show.

There were moments during the game that Patterson football team had some great plays and looked like they might win the game.

Many of the people came for the game, while others came for the class reunion.

The alumni and other previous students all agreed on one thing:

“Everyone is accepted and they are considered family, whether old or new student.”

Patterson Varsity Football Coach Larry Mitchell said, “The only thing that I was concerned about for the team was where their focus was at and their communications”.

Coach Mitchell had the football players prepare by practicing during the summertime.

“Usually for Homecoming day/senior day we try to start preparing for the game months ahead of the game.”

In the end, Patterson narrowly lost the game to Edmondson by a score of 14-12. If Patterson had managed to win the game, then they would have made it to the playoffs.


Students tour battleships on Fleet Week

By John Dingzon

AFJROTC cadets and students from the homeland security pathway took a field trip for fleet week to the Inner Harbor on Monday, October 1,  where they learned more about fighter jets, other aircraft, ground vehicles and ships.

They also learned about military life as well as how to join the military and the application that they need to fill out if they are interested in joining the military later in their future career.

The military personnel talked about their experience in the military, including any battle experience and whether it was reserve or the front lines, as well as the eligibility to enter the military.

Ms. Brett and Ms. Knowles were the chaperones that led the field trip. The students and cadets had the opportunity to see not just American Navy ships but also international ships from other countries, including England, Australia, France and Germany.

The HMS Monmouth was present from England and as well the U.S.S. Milwaukee from the American Navy.

Most of the military personnel were on shore leave but others were in transition to different ships to report for duty and get ready to ship out.

Overall, students learned a lot on this field trip and enjoyed getting to see the ships.

Remembering robotics coach, Kevin Boone

By John Dingzon

Mr. Kevin Boone, an engineering teacher and robotics coach from Digital Harbor High School, passed away in November 2018.

It was a very tragic of loss of one of the best engineering teachers in Maryland. Mr. Boone had been involved in the VEX robotics program since day one, when the program was first released here in Baltimore City.

Two of Mr. Boone’s former students for robotics at Digital Harbor High School, Peter and Isaiah, shared their feelings with the Patterson Press:  “We mourn for the loss of Mr. Boone, because he was like a father and a mentor to us and always looked after us. If he saw any errors, he would help and correct us.”

A lot of times Peter and Isaiah would stay after school or stay really late just to finish their robots and get ready for the Saturday competition and tournament.

Digital Harbor High School is currently postponing their participation in robotics competitions with other schools. It is unknown who is going to take Mr. Boone’s place as robotics coach.

Patterson engineering teacher Ms. Ball who was a close colleague and a friend of Mr. Boone. “I was devastated when I heard the news of his passing.”, Ms. Ball explained. “I had just seen him at the Digital Harbor High School VEX robotics competition on Saturday, and his passing was announced 4 days later on Wednesday. He was planning to visit Patterson to help my students with programming on the same day.”

Ms. Ball first met Mr. Boone in 2004 when our schools were competing in the first robotics competition.

The Baltimore City VEX Robotics Coordinator, Gino Tagaytay, held a special ceremony to honor the memory of Mr. Boone at the next VEX robotics competition at Patterson Park Public Charter School.

Personally, I first met Mr. Boone in 2015-2016. Ever since then, I have been working with him. Mr. Boone was an amazing engineering teacher. It is tragic losing someone like Mr. Boone who had been in the program since day one.

The only way we can honor Mr. Boone is to continue the competition all the way to the VEX Robotics tournament cup at Johns Hopkins University.

Mr. Boone helped Patterson teachers & students in all aspects of the VEX robotics program, from designing and building to programming and fundraising. He was always available to lend a helping hand.

We all started together back in 2004. He was one of the first teachers to engage in the VEX program and to offer workshops for new teachers interested in setting up a robotics program at their schools.

Prior to his retirement last year, he was teaching at Digital Harbor High School and served as the VEX Robotics Summer Training Instructor.

I’d like to think he and I were close professional colleagues. He was an incredible resource for Patterson High School. My students looked forward to working with him during the school year as well as the summer. He and I also hung out at “Beer & Bots” to learn about the latest “high-tech” gadgetry used for robotics. Talk about awesome–he even brought us donuts during the Saturday competitions.

Kevin Boone was an amazing person; kind; wonderful; generous (especially with his time). He was respected and admired by his peers, and quick to support his colleagues and his students. He will be greatly missed.

Jury duty: a civic responsibility


Clarence M. Mitchell Jr. Courthouse — Circuit Court for Baltimore City, where jurors must report for jury duty (Circuit Court for Baltimore City website)

By John Dingzon

Jury duty is part of citizenship. Every American citizen must participate in jury duty.

On March 9, 2018,  I received a jury summons from the Circuit Court of Baltimore. The court gave me all of the information that I needed to know in a letter I received in the mail. They gave me the exact date to report for jury duty and a list of requirements that are needed when attending jury duty.Included with the letter I received from the court was also my juror number and a pass to enter the court. There were also written instructions that I needed to follow.

The next day, the court called me again and said they had enough people to attend jury duty, so they didn’t need me. There is a limited amount of numbers that can attend jury duty each day (usually between 100 and 900). There’s a list of people who have to attend jury duty and they draw the line somewhere. The system randomly selects who has to serve.

When they think that they have enough people to report for jury duty they just immediately stop. The court also pays the people afterwards when they attend jury duty.  I was, of course, excused from the court so I could attend school for that day. However, the court says that they will send another letter to me again very soon and have me report for jury duty.

After my jury duty experience, I interviewed several adults here at Patterson High School who have attended jury duty, to get their point of view.

“When I was on jury duty, I watched a movie, sat, and read a book”, recounted Ms. Knowles, a secretary on the 2nd floor. “I went to Baltimore City Courthouse down at Light Street where I reported for jury duty.”

People who get called for jury duty spend a lot of time just waiting to be called to a courtroom. Many of them never get chosen to actually serve on a jury. Ms. Knowles wished she had been chosen. “I’d rather be there on trial, rather than sitting their watching movies”, she stated.

If you do not show up for jury duty after receiving a summons, there can be serious legal consequences. You may have to pay an expensive fine or even go to jail.

“I had jury duty a year ago, but I have jury duty [again] on November 7, 2018, and if they don’t come and get me then they’ll lock me up, because I have missed jury duty two times”.