Student feature: VHS knows Mose


Freshman Bailey Burman said, “Mose is always doing weird things and making us laugh when we hangout during sixth period.” Photo by Alina Reitz

Alina Reitz

Learn a little extra about VHS extrovert Mose Cook

Mose Cook is a senior at Ventura High who loves donuts, “annoying” his track coach, Tyree Cruz and making those around him happy. He is an extremely outgoing student who has an undeniably positive impact on everyone around him. Cook has been voted “Cougar of the month” twice, and homecoming prince, so his impact on the school has clearly not gone unnoticed. “I think people just like my energy. I know there are people who are too energetic and are really annoying but I think I’m a little less of that. I’m just energetic enough for people to like me, so it’s easy for me to meet new people,” Cook said. However, the Mose Cook VHS knows today wasn’t always so talkative. His life leading up to high school has taught him valuable lessons, shaping him into the person he is today. 

“When I was little… I didn’t talk much, and when I got my tonsils removed, then I started yipping, yapping and talking whenever. But I think the reason why I’m so social is that I learned not to be afraid of people– and if anyone was gonna do something to me– I learned how to run fast.” 

In his interview, he made it clear that talking is his personal mechanism to deal with hard situations. “I’ll talk to get someone else out of trouble. I’m a good talker.” He is very loyal to his friends and it’s obvious he would go to great lengths to help them out. This only goes to show why so many people are drawn to him and consider him a great friend. 

Freshman Alina Garcia described Cook as, “Crazy and funny,” she continued, “I haven’t known him too long but he’s been a good friend.”  

Freshman Bailey Burman became friends with Cook through track, she described him as, “Energetic and really nice. He’s a really good friend and I’m always laughing when I’m around him.” These are just a few statements made by some students that see Cook’s attitude towards life. 

“Mose comes into my room pretty much everyday at fourth period and just sits and observes,” said Christian Gallo. Photo by Alina Reitz

He’s known to often sprint around campus and introduce himself in classrooms. “It’s mostly Gallo’s because not only do I like him but I like econ, and he’s fine with it, I’ll just sit down and chill and answer questions… it’s usually teachers that I’ve had before and if not it’s classes that my friends are in,” Cook said.

Economics and history of American music teacher, Christian Gallo is a big fan of Cook. “We need more people like Mose… he’s really friendly and everybody seems to like him or kind of just accept who he is,” he said. Cook often goes into Gallo’s fourth-period class and tries to participate. Many teachers might find this annoying when trying to teach, but Gallo allows him to come in and hang out because of his great energy. When asked if he enjoys Cook’s unexpected visits, he answered, “Yeah of course. If I didn’t, I’d ask him to leave– he never causes trouble, he just sits there and observes–I like him, he’s like my buddy,” Gallo said.

Mose’s sister, Donnae Prehn, is a junior at VHS and has a different perspective on her extroverted brother. “He’s actually a lot shyer than people think…when he first got to this school he was very quiet the first few months, and eventually he got to… you know, singing in the middle of the quad and things like that,” she said.

Siblings always see each other differently than they’re viewed at school. Despite any sibling tension, Prehn is proud of her brother and his effect on the school. “I think he does have a positive impact though, some things he does can be perceived as annoying to me but I think that’s just me being a sister,” Prehn said.

As friendly as people claim he is, Cook will shield from those who don’t have as good of an attitude as him. “My biggest pet peeve is probably people who look down on me or look down on others. Like people on social media who don’t accept a follow request or leave you on “’read’ because they think they’re better than you,” Cook said. In a school as large as Ventura High, lots of students can feel left out or alone, but Cook always strives to be a friendly face to anyone nearby. He goes above and beyond to talk to everyone, even simple passers-by despite what grade they’re in. “I’m a senior and I’ll talk to anyone. I feel like being kind and just like talking to people is a really good thing.” 

Friend of Cook, senior Aiden Pachecco, who knows Cook through classes and track, said, “Mose is always there during practices making everyone laugh. He’s really like no one else I’ve ever met. He’s so random and funny and I think he has a really big positive impact on the people around him.” 

Cook will also hold a good attitude when those around him are having a hard day. “We were all really sad one day, I don’t know why but [my friends and I] were just really sad, and then Mose walked in and started playing hangman on the board. It was really funny and all of us got happy.  He made it really fun and turned our day around,” sophomore Nick DeGeorge said. 

DeGeorge has known Cook since the beginning of his freshman year and had a few stories to share. “The other day he went to the donut store and came back with a box of donuts and he was like ‘you know, I’m gonna give them out to people today so he walked into a teacher’s class and donated his donuts to the class.” 

DeGeorge described Cook as, “a very eccentric personality, very energized, and very fun to be around…he lifts up the environment.” Not only can Cook shift the energy in a room, but he lends a helping hand to anyone in need and acts as a strong role model to his younger peers. “Mose helps a lot in track, he helps set up stuff and he helps teach the new little freshman how the track goes and stuff.” 

Lukas Thompson, a sophomore at VHS, met Cook in his freshman year. He believes that, “Mose’s [personality] really adds to the school and makes it a better place.” He also stated that, “If everyone were like Mose it’d be an awesome school.” 

Unexpectedly, while Lukas was doing this interview, Mose performed his cross-campus signature sprint from Cruz’s room across the senior lawn. “I like when he sprints across campus like that, it looks almost unnatural,” Thompson joked.

To quote one of his biggest fans directly, Gallo said, “I love Mose. Mose to me is one of those people that’s just him. He’s not afraid to just be who he is.”