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highlights

Beverly Hills, Calif.

Beverly Hills High School

Volume 86, Issue Seven · January 18, 2013

JUMPING the

GUN Amid national gun debate, Beverly unwilling to arm staff Mabel Kabani, Jessica Lu Opinion Editor, Staff Writer After the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Conn., a renewed conflict over gun control has emerged on local and national levels. In Washington, D.C., Vice President Joe Biden met with the National Rifle Association (NRA) and other gun control groups.   The Obama administration has since called for a ban of high-capacity ammunition magazines and military-style assault weapons. Obama wants to take steps that do not require congressional approval, thereby making executive action swift. This includes funding federal mental-health programs and improving tracking by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. The Obama administration, according to The New York Times, is also considering a $50 million plan to fund hundreds of police officers in public schools. New York was the first to take action in curbing gun violence at the state level on Jan 15. In his State of the State address, Gov. Andrew Cuomo called for tighter restrictions

such as background checks on gun purchasers to ensure their mental sanity and lack of criminal record. A proposal is currently being worked on by the state.   Similarly, California’s gun control laws may face additional restrictive measures. State lawmakers have suggested background checks for ammunition purchases and annual registration and background checks for all gun owners.   While Connecticut is relatively liberal and many want to pass new restrictions in light of the Newtown school tragedy, new regulations do not come without baggage. Gun manufacturers in the state, such as Colt Manufacturing Co., might revive threats to leave the state, taking its hundreds of jobs with it. States like Michigan are also taking steps to prevent gun violence. Gov. Rick Snyder vetoed a bill that allowed concealed weapons in schools, day care centers, bars, hospitals and casinos.   Similarly, state legislatures in Virginia and Texas have opposed banning concealed weapons in select areas, including schools, believing that the concealed-carry license protects holders.

However, states like Ohio and Texas are taking a different approach on preventing more incidents like the Newtown tragedy. According to cleveland.com, the Buckeye Firearms Association in Cleveland has announced that it will provide free firearms training to teachers in order to protect students. Pro gun control advocacy programs have pledged to cover all expenses that include ammunition, lodging and tuition. This is an estimated $1,000 for each teacher who is to be trained, and so far, a total of 24 teachers will be getting a comprehensive training session at Tactical Defense Institute in West Union, Ohio. In small cities like Harrold, Texas, teachers are also taking matters into their own hands. According to The New York Times, these teachers have been trained by private consultants to carry pistols at school in the name of self-defense. Gov. Rick Perry has heavily endorsed this idea. “Country people are take-care-of-yourself people,” David Thweatt, the school’s superintendent, responded to a local Cleveland newspaper. “They are not under the illusion that the police are there to protect them.”

Harrold is not the only city in Texas that believes the solution to putting a stop on school shootings is for teachers and administration to carry weapons. In fact, an originally $85 Concealed Handgun License course is now being offered to teachers for free. The two classes that have been taught so far have graduated 460 educators. Meanwhile at Beverly, though talk of increasing school security has increased, the prospect of armed teachers is met with heavy opposition. “I am adamantly opposed to teachers having guns at school,” Head Counselor Diane Hale said. “We are hired to motivate and educate students, not serve as armed policemen.” Hale feels confident that the school is doing more than enough to keep students safe and that assault weapons should be banned. Social studies teacher and History Dept. Chair Roel Hinojosa shares Hale’s opinion on the idea of introducing guns to school staff. “I think it’s derelict to expect teachers to bring guns to school; it would just make the environment more dangerous. Security should be entrusted to professional security

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INSIDE Dance Company performs

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Soccer teams play for charity

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Local museums reviewed page 6


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January 18, 2013 Highlights

Game fundraises for cancer, MS Brenda Mehdian Staff Writer The annual charity soccer game raised awareness and funds for the Concern Foundation and Youth Against Multiple Sclerosis (YAMS) on Saturday, Jan. 12. The Concern Foundation is a Beverly Hillsbased organization that donates money to all types of cancer research and YAMS is a society that donates money to research for Multiple Sclerosis, a disease of the central nervous system. The event began four years ago through discussion between girls varsity soccer coach Ryan Franks and Milken Community High School’s girls varsity soccer coach Nick Holten. In addition, representatives from various clubs and members of Service Learning meet annually to put this event together. “The best part of this was that we had a number of groups that were involved in making the night a success,” boys varsity soccer coach Steve Rappaport said. In previous years, Beverly’s girls varsity soccer team played against Milken Community High School. However, Milken did not have a girls varsity soccer team due to a majority vote to disband the team. Therefore, Beverly’s girls varsity soccer team played against all-girls Marlborough High School at 5:00 p.m. and tied 1-1. Afterward, the boys varsity soccer team played at 7:30 p.m. against Milken and won the game with a score of 5-1. “To us it was just another game, we practiced hard and used good strategy to play well. However, the atmosphere was very different. We had a much bigger crowd than usual so it was fun for the players to play for

so many people,” junior midfielder Phineas Bauer said. This year’s goal was to raise more than $12,000, which was the amount raised last year, and with a total of $15,000, that goal was attained. The spectators could participate in a silent auction, which auctioned off seats to Clippers and Lakers games, various wines, artwork courtesy of Milken Community High School and many other items. The Concern Foundation and YAMS sold T-shirts, provided the game-goers with information about their organizations and gave out goody bags. “There is currently no cure for multiple sclerosis, and also for most types of cancer. This event not only raised money to fund those areas of research but also raised a great deal of awareness for others to continue fundraising,” Azhdam said.
 The event’s organizers, Azhdam and junior Simon Hedvat, wanted to partner with a foundation they felt had a cause that would be relatable to those participating and attending the event. “This event was special to me because I have a family member who is currently battling cancer and being able to do something that may help find a cure for cancer was very meaningful to me,” Hedvat said. Although Ariel Azhdam, senior Service Learning student, was satisfied with all aspects of the event, he would like for more representatives from student groups to promote and advertise the event in the future. For more information regarding how to donate to these organizations visit www. youthagainstms.org or www.concernfoundation.org

From top to bottom: Senior Anton Saleh speaks to spectators about his own cancer experience and the importance of fundraising. Senior Ashley Aviram dribbles the ball as she dodges her defender. Senior Josh Horowitz carries the ball to make the first goal of the game. OLIVER GALLOP

[Continued from page 1] personnel and to wise security policy measures,” he said. Though Hinojosa strongly believes in the Second Amendment, he also believes in the state and federal government’s right to restrict and regulate gun control. “Armed teachers are unwise,” he said. “Just imagine the worst teacher that you have ever had. Now imagine them with a gun.” Sophomore Jack Stone also believes that guns in the hands of teachers is unwise. “I believe in banning all assault weapons. Actually, I’m opposed to people owning guns for self defense in general, because a gun is not something you can always carry around with you,” Stone said. Stone is even more opposed to teachers owning guns, even if programs taught them how to correctly handle the instrument. “What if a teacher has a psychotic issue? What if a kid gains access to the gun? Where would you put the gun during school hours to avoid students gaining

access? It’s just a bad idea,” he said. Social studies teacher Dan Moroaica shares a slightly different view on gun control as a national issue, but the same view on not allowing armed teachers on campus. “I don’t believe heavily regulating guns to the public to avoid more shootings is the solution, since almost all guns used in these shootings were illegally acquired,” he said. He believes the public is having an excess reaction to the shootings, though he believes that assault weapons are “a bit much.” “It’s reasonable for states like Texas to institute armed teachers since guns are a part of [Texas’s] culture. But in California? No. The most ideal solution is to instate either armed policemen or a fence around the school.” Principal Carter Paysinger, on the other hand, is completely in support of gun control and regulation. He believes in strictly controlling these weapons because the more guns people own, the more opportunities they have to use these

weapons. “Once a person is willing to own a gun, they will be willing to use a gun,” he said. Paysinger also believes ways to prevent shootings extend far beyond simply increasing security around school campuses. “Early child exposure to guns via TV shows and video games raises those children into adults who underestimate the danger and power of guns,” he said. “Not only that, but making guns harder to obtain, I believe, will help solve the issue of these increased shootings in the long run.” The future prospect of gun control is one that is currently being debated all over the nation. Though the Obama administration believes that enforcing armed security on school premises is the answer, teachers in states such as Texas believe in being able to protect their students themselves. As for Beverly, though the district is working on enforcing a more intricate and complex security system, armed teachers do not seem to be the answer.

“I think teachers being armed is an absolutely terrible idea because they can’t be trusted to own guns! I don’t mind people from the government with guns outside our school to protect us, though.” -Romy Bohbot, 11

“I support gun control, especially on school premises because school is an area of peace and purity, not violence.” -Sam Berman, 12

QUICK READ Feed the Hungry event supplies homeless with food, cards The eighth annual Feed the Hungry Event, sponsored by Hawthorne Elementary School and the Hawthorne PTA council, brought the community together to make holiday cards and pack bagged meals for those in need on Dec. 24. The Greater West Hollywood Food Coalition has been a part of this event for many years and is one of the few groups that give the packed lunches to the homeless on Christmas Eve, according to Michelle Rose, chair for the event and Hawthorne PTA copresident. “As a participant [for this event] for eight years, I think it’s a fantastic way to bring students from the Beverly Hills schools together for this wonderful cause,” Rose said. The Greater West Hollywood Food Coalition requests that 1,000 lunches be packed, but since Hawthorne had extra supplies, the coalition requested a minimum of 1,200 bags of lunches to be made. “Although it was a bit chaotic packing sandwiches as fast as I could, I still enjoyed seeing children, parents, and my friends all coming together to help for this amazing cause,” freshman Danny Bina said. “It felt really nice doing such a good deed right before the holidays.” Parents and children packed 1,225 complete bagged meals and 250 more peanut butter and jelly sandwiches all within an hour. “The only thing I would do differently would be to buy more supplies because everybody had so much fun and it was done so fast that it would have been nice if we kept going,” Rose said. After the event was finished, members of the Greater West Hollywood Food Coalition picked up the bags to send them out to the homeless on Christmas Eve. “They [members of the coalition] were quite thrilled with how many [lunches we packed] and they were very thankful for it and very excited to go get them ready to pass out to everyone that night,” Rose said. “It was a huge success and I think everyone had a lot of fun.” This event is sponsored by a different Beverly Hills elementary school annually. Horace Mann was supposed to sponsor the event this year, but was not able to do it because of its construction projects for the cafeteria and auditorium. Hawthorne plans on holding the event in 2013, and Horace Mann will host the event in 2014. Jessica Saadian

GUN CONTROL “The school is not doing enough to enforce security. I think we should have armed guards and definitely a fence surrounding the school. We are not safe until these changes have been made.” -Andrew Park, 9

“I am completely opposed to teachers owning guns. Sure, have armed security around the school or policemen to protect the school. But teachers should not be armed.” -Librarian Assistant Barbara Jebejian MABEL KABANI and DAMI KIM


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January 18, 2013 Highlights Residents petition city for school funding A petition supporting Vice Mayor John Mirisch’s plan to use money from the city’s surplus to fund the Beverly Hills Unified School District (BHUSD) went online on change.org on Dec. 3. The petition, which anybody can sign, has garnered 887 signatures, as of Jan. 15. Mirisch’s plan calls for the city to apportion $4 million of its $10.2 million surplus to the school district, which currently faces $3.5 million in cuts. “I proposed setting aside $4 million for our schools from the city’s surplus because our schools are critical to the success of our community,” Mirisch wrote under the petition as his reason for signing. “Unfortunately, because of massive fiscal mismanagement at the state level, our schools are in danger of being faced with massive cutbacks. We, the city, need to help.” The city council seems close to implementing the petition’s request. The petition received its most recent signature on Jan. 12, as of Jan. 15. The petition remains 113 signatures short of its 1,000-signature goal, although, in spite of the fact that it did not reach 1,000 signatures, the city council has taken it into consideration. According to Stella Sarraf, Ph.D, who authored the petition, approval of Mirisch’s plan would yield far-reaching consequences. “An investment of this magnitude from our city must also serve to stimulate a culture of philanthropy for private financing of public education,” Sarraf wrote in her description of the petition on its webpage. “Our school district and its fundraising partners can and should leverage these funds to inspire increased giving from the private sector over a specified period of time so that we may be better prepared in the future as the state continues to decrease funding public education.” The petition has gained varying approval from teachers and students. “I think [Mirisch’s plan is] a good idea,” sophomore Richa Vijayvergiya said. “Our district truly needs this money. So many of the programs in school are being reduced in many ways, and it’s scary to think that the kids that come in after me won’t have the same opportunities as I did.” Like Vijayvergiya, senior Arya Boudaie sees no problem with the petition. “If the money is just sitting there, I agree that our school could really use it, since we don’t have enough money for many things. If there’s money we can funnel in to stop cuts I think it’s important that we do that instead of the cuts,” Boudaie said. Some, however, disagree with certain aspects of Mirisch’s plan. “I want to see specifically where the money is allocated,” history teacher Dan Moroaica, who signed the petition, said. “I don’t think a general fund might be the best idea, but at this point whatever we can do to get out of our financial hole is good.” Sophomore Matthew Sater, like Moroaica, supports the petition but desires alterations to Mirisch’s plan. Rather than $4 million dollars of funding, he would prefer that the school district receive $3.5 million, enough to cover the cuts. “I am glad this petition exists, but I feel that the huge amount of money asked for is unlikely to be approved by the city. Asking for 40 percent of the city’s surplus money is stretching it a little bit. That money is obviously needed, but we’ve handled cuts well in the past before,” he said. “Asking for more money on top of the cuts is unnecessary.” Mirisch and Sarraf could not be reached for comment. Max Stahl

The petition can be accessed by scanning the following QR code.

AcaDeca prepares for competition competition. “The interview section is nothing like other subjects we are tested on. It is just like job The Academic Decathlon team (AcaDeca) interview you might take in the future. Since has been spending hours after school we are not experienced in interviews that practicing for the upcoming Los Angeles much, we had special guests coming to our C o u n t y practice to help Regional us preparing Competition. for the actual Their goal is competition. to exceed last By practicing year’s record of with unfamiliar third in region. people, we This year, the will hopefully competitions be more will take place comfortable in El Rancho talking to High School the judges on Jan. 26 at the actual and University competition,” of Southern A c a D e c a California on member Heidi Feb. 2. Hart said. “ T h e There will be competition also a Super Quiz is split into session during two sections; the subjective objective competition competition at University and subjective of Southern competition. California. The team is “Super Quiz also split into is the only A, B and C event that is groups based viewable by the on their high general public school GPAs. in AcaDeca Participating Senior Jiangyue (Joye) Yang prepares for the interview portion of the AcaDeca competition with Coach Phil Chase. COURTESY OF competition. teams will be PARMIS SAHRAPIMA Students are essay and speech components remain scored as a more than team, not individually. So, the competition conventional, the interview section is the one welcomed to come cheer us or see what really a team effort,” AcDeca member that many participants find challenging, yet AcaDeca really does. The Super Quiz will interesting. Jenny Chieu said. hold at 2:30 p.m.,” AcaDeca Coach Phil To prepare the subjective competition, Chase said. The objective competition is comprised of seven sections: mathematics, science, AcaDeca held a scrimmage on Saturday, Jan. AcaDeca will continue having practice economics, literature, social science, art 12 with judges from outside school to practice sessions Monday through Saturday on and music. All subjects except mathematics their interviews. The members also had to campus until 7 p.m. in order to keep their are specifically themed each year. This year, wear professional attire to simulate an actual tradition of success. Kevin Park Staff Writer

the theme will be Russia and the participants are expected to be knowledgeable in “Dr. Zhivago,” space rocket science and so forth. On the other hand, the subjective competition is comprised of three sections: essay, speech and interview. While the

Madrigals, Minnesingers fundraise for upcoming competitions Michelle Banayan News Editor

it since we will be going to New York!” The Madrigals and Minnesingers are also planning a cabaret-like performance in the near future, in which members from both

be performances of more pop and contemporary songs, as opposed to classical The Madrigals and Minnesingers are choir songs, and that’s always really fun. In welcoming the New Year with open the past, we have had teachers perform at arms as they host additional the cabaret, too,” Katz said. fundraisers for their upcoming Furthermore, members annual competitions. The from each group are collecting competitions will take place electronics, both new and used, in New York and San Diego, and recycling them. They will respectively, where the two accept any electronics ranging groups will compete with other from inkjet cartridges to high school singing groups cellphones. Students who wish from across the nation. to donate can drop off their Earlier in the school year, the electronics in Room 190. Madrigals and Minnesingers “It is extremely important ran a booth at Normapalooza, that people donate their old where students paid to throw electronics to us so that we can wet sponges at teachers’ faces. attend our competition in San They also hosted karaoke Diego,” minnesinger Shana night at Hamburger Marys in Kheradyar said. “Many people West Hollywood, and were have obsolete electronics like a paid to carol around Beverly random CD player lying around Hills during the holiday their house that they could season. donate, and it would really help “I love bringing holiday cheer Seniors Sadie Katz, Lina Hebert, Lindsay Reisman and Madison Kern carol with the a lot!” Madrigals on Rodeo Drive during the holidays to fundraise for their competition in to people, and when we go The Madrigals and New York. COURTESY OF SADIE KATZ caroling, I love seeing the joy Minnesingers are scheduled to on people’s faces,” madrigal Sadie Katz groups will sing solos chosen by Director of attend both competitions in March. Money said. “All the countless hours of caroling Vocal Music Joel Pressman. raised will cover transportation, housing we did in December was definitely worth “If we have a cabaret, the solos would and entry fees.


4 opinion In school, creativity thrives with effort Danny Licht Culture Editor

The current crisis in education, according to experts and amateurs all across the Internet, is that schools are butchering and de-emphasizing creativity, a vital human trait. While they are right in many respects, Beverly succeeds in nurturing creativity within students who let it. Beverly offers students opportunities to take a wide range of unconventional classes, which are becoming increasingly rare in public schools. We can learn Chinese, culinary arts, ceramics, journalism, comparative government and many other subjects. But to do so, we must sacrifice. A majority of students take four so-called “core-academic” classes — math, science, history, English — as well as a foreign language and a physical education class. So to add on one of the unconventional classes — a total of seven classes — requires a hefty commitment on the student’s part. At Beverly, taking seven classes can keep students at school from 7 a.m. until 3 p.m., or much later for those practicing sports. Eight hours of schooling sounds daunting, and it can be draining.

But it’s all worth it. I have found that every single class I have taken has helped me to better understand every other class. French vocabulary betters my English vocabulary, and vice-versa; algebraic concepts further my analytic skills; journalistic writing teaches me observational skills. Students who harness this sort-of free education may be sleep-deprived, but are knowledge-rich. In “Candide,” Voltaire wrote that “we must cultivate our garden.” We must utilize the resources we have been handed — don’t let them go to waste! Students who go through high school apathetically accumulating graduation requirements are letting the gardens of their brains rot (as well as the garden of taxpayer money). From my experience, it is true that some of those academic classes hardly provide creative opportunities. The work we do in these classes is based on memorization and surface understanding, and thus yields activities that can seem tedious, draining and awful. These core classes rarely require deep thought and meaningful connection. But if we don’t learn these rules and facts now, when will we? We need to have a healthy library of these basic

concepts so that, in the future, we are able to have meaningful thought and discussion. As we progress intellectually, we find that seemingly arbitrary knowledge, which our teachers have crammed into our heads — formulas like c=2πr, words like “quixotic” — are actually rooted in basic facts. That arbitrary knowledge, we find, is a piece of something bigger. And that something bigger is you, the student who is passionate about Chinese or ceramics. You are learning and finding something deeper in your education. The education system is certainly flawed, for, as Sir Ken Robinson asks in his TED talk “Do schools kill creativity?,” “There isn’t an education system on the planet that teaches dance every day to children the way we teach the mathematics. Why? Why not? I think this is rather important. I think [math] is very important, but so is dance.” Why don’t we cultivate our creative, imaginative sides like we cultivate our logical, mathematical sides? At Beverly, I am thrilled to say, we do. We cherish Dance Company like we cherish trigonometry. This wonderful opportunity is a terrible thing to waste, even if it means waking before dawn.

Editorial Possessing an insecurity complex

In the wake of December’s tragedy in Newtown, Conn., Americans have grown fearful for public safety. The most pertinent of these concerns has been regarding the safety of educational facilities and Beverly should not be exempt from a skeptic eye. The spree at Sandy Hook Elementary School was enabled by an unsound security mechanism implemented only shortly before killer Adam Lanza’s arrival. Rejected after “buzzing in” at a freshly-installed glass security door, the gunman resorted to firepower to shatter a hole in the door through which he could enter unimpeded. Although Beverly is situated in a peaceful area, underwhelming security measures remain at the post to protect students and faculty from the threats that may loom in the future. Each building is porous with unguarded, unlocked entrances, and campus guards are few and relaxed. As unfortunate as it may be, a compromise must be made between the luxury of freedom that Beverly grants its students and a more concrete assurance of safety for all. Beverly’s open campus is both a gift and a curse to its community, allowing flexibility for students and staff at the cost of vulnerability during school hours. Walking south along Heath, anyone is offered a plethora of unlocked entrances, many of which allow ac-

cess to the entire school complex. Doors across The Board of Education’s expressed desire the garage leading into the first floor, science to amend the school’s security is greatly relievbuilding plaza and theaters welcome all who ing. Still, similar plans have emerged in the enter, not often discriminating between those past only to be stomped on, particularly in rewho should and should not be granted entry. spect to suggestions of the infamous fence that Conversely, there is a guard presence at have earned such irritation. Although it may Beverly that has remained for years but has have seemed unappealing in the past, 2012’s not heightened enough in strictness to match bitter end has ushered in a year focused on the higher alertness among the nation. While safety over pettiness. Compromises must be incremental improvements have been made made between what Beverly takes for granted over the past few years, such as the placement and what it desperately needs. Beverly must of a watchman to survey vehicles entering the take Sandy Hook’s lesson to heart. school, an injection of more guards to cover the campus is welcome. The handful of guards strewn about the campus aren’t superheroes, yet they are entrusted with the superhuman duties of supervising vast plots of real estate. Yet, more locks or guards should not be the answer to pleas for heightened security. The most effective shield for Beverly is the oft-rumored fence which the Board of Education has considered on and off for years. A chain fence, as the Board has appeared to be discussing, would allow the most favorable combination of freedom and protection for students and staff as well as require Beverly’s current security system leaves the school exposed. fewer district funds than hiring new AJ PARRY guards.

Letters to the Editor... To Students, Editors and Staff:

I am writing to you to help gently clarify the financial information found in the November 30th Highlights article entitled “BHUSD To Cut $3.5 Million.” In Mr. Katz’s article, there was a discussion about the funding per pupil from the State of California falling approximately $450 per student even after Proposition 30’s passage. Mr. Katz accurately cited his numbers, however he explained these numbers in such a way as to give his readers the impression that the sum total of what we spend as a school district on each student equals those amounts. In fact we spend nearly double that amount and sometimes more per pupil in our schools. Our budget fluctuates but at approximately

4,500 students, we expend approximately $52 million per year. That comes out to between $11,000 and $12,000 per year per student. As a result if you were to subtract the total expenditures from what we actually received from the State of California, we come up more than $6,000 per student short. It is only through our other support programs and the JPA (Joint Powers Agreement with the City of Beverly Hills) that we can continue to offer the programs we do to our students and support a first class education here in Beverly Hills. Speaking only as one Board of Education member, I would hope everyone understands as best they can that this school district would be one half of what it is if we only relied on State funds to help our students. It is local community support, dedication and volunteerism along with the commitments

from our talented students and staff that get us the last half of the way, and just barely. Thank you in advance for considering clarifying this information in a future article or other opportunity. Further, please know that our Superintendant, Senior Leadership Team and School Board Members are available to explain and clarify information such as this to help our student population be fully informed about issues that directly impact our education system. Further, please know, I enjoy reading your publication and appreciate all the hard work that goes into its production. Thank you. Best, Jake Manaster President and Governing Board Member, BHUSD Board of Education

January 18, 2013 Highlights

Beverly sounds off “I feel Beverly handles creativity terrifically because it has a large array of elective programs” -Gabriel Bogner, 11 “Beverly handles creativity all right. It could be better. We should have more school dances and fundrasiers to get students involved to make students more confident and more social to have something to look forward to.” -Shab Yousefia, 11 “There should be more opportunities for creative writing and personal expression in academic courses.” -Deborah Sparks, 12 DANNY LICHT

The Staff Ryan Feinberg and Julia Waldow Editors-in-Chief

Michelle Banayan News Editor

Mabel Kabani Opinion Editor

Candice Hannani Feature Editor

Danny Licht Culture Editor

Benjamin Hannani Spotlight Editor

Arman Zadeh Sports Editor

Oliver Gallop Graphics Editor

Pasha Farmanara Chief Web Editor

Robert Katz

Assistant Web Editor

Dami Kim

Social Media Director

Audrey Park, Sasha Park and AJ Parry Cartoonists

Marguerite Alberts, Celine Hakimianpour, Zoe Kenealy, Jessica Lu, Brenda Mehdian, Alex Menache, Kevin Park, Jessica Saadian and Max Stahl Staff Writers

Gaby Herbst and Katie Murray Advisers

The mission of Highlights is to inform and entertain the community of Beverly Hills in an accurate, objective, timely and well-designed manner. This newspaper is produced by the Advanced Journalism class of Beverly Hills High School, 241 Moreno Drive, Beverly Hills, CA 90212. Send letters to the editor to beverlyhighlights@gmail.com. Feedback is appreciated. Follow @bhhighlights on Twitter. Visit beverlyhighlights.com Ads are not endorsed by BHUSD. The journalism program is sponsored by PTSA and BHEF Correction to Letter to the Editor in the Dec. 19 Issue: Senior Alex Aftalion wrote the Letter to the Editor regarding a previous opinion article on the Israel-Gaza conflict.


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January 18, 2013 Highlights

Aspiring IDF soldier prepares for future in military Candice Hannani Feature Editor Beads of sweat drip from his face as the sun beats down on him and his fellow teammates. He has been running for quite some time, carrying several pounds on his back, exhausted from a day’s work of drills but ordered to run faster. In front of him, he cannot see a building in sight; it is all the same white sand that surrounds him for miles. Finally, he hears his commander’s whistle, a signal to stop and march back. And so he runs, knowing that every step he takes is a step toward becoming an Israeli soldier and protecting his country of Israel. These drills will become reality for senior Amit Levi during the summer, when most seniors will be preparing for and dreaming of their time in college. Levi starts training for the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) in August and will become an official IDF soldier in February of next year, when he turns 18 years old. “During the gap we have a lot of training to do, and a large part of it is physical training,” Levi said. “But an important part of that is the mental toughness you have to have. Just when you think you’ve reached your limit, you’ll have to work even harder and faster.” Both Levi and his brother Topaz intend to become soldiers next year. In order to move to Israel with their parents, the two siblings established a compromise: Levi would skip his junior year at Beverly, while his brother,

who is two years older than Levi, would wait a year to join the army. Although any parent would naturally be wary about sending his or her child to the military, Levi’s parents, both Israeli natives and former IDF soldiers, believe that their children have enough stamina for the job. They have pride in their sons’ desires to carry on their family tradition. “We are very proud and highly appreciate [their] desire to serve in the Israeli military. We are happy that they feel a commitment to Israel, knowing from our experiences as two former soldiers that it will strengthen their connection to Israel even more. We are sure they will do an excellent job, and we are praying for their safety,” Michal and Rami Levi said mutually. The IDF requires that each male soldier serves for three years, and Levi is not sure if he will want to stay longer. Emigration is a familiar word to him: he has moved back and forth between the U.S. and Israel 11 times. “I love both Israel and the U.S., so I’m not sure where I’ll be in four years. I may come back [to the U.S.] for a college education,” Levi said with a shrug. Enduring a workload filled with senior AP classes, the aspiring soldier is focused on keeping up his grades and attending military school interviews to make a good impression on IDF officials. Once he moves to Israel, he will undergo multiple physical examinations to test his endurance and non-physical examinations to test his

Senior Amit Levi has taken his passion for Israel into applying for the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF). Here, he reads the Torah during his bar mitzvah in Israel. Courtesy of AMIT LEVI

intelligence and personality. “It helps a lot if you know fluent English and Arabic, especially if you end up working in the Intelligence Agency,” Levi added. Luckily for him, he is fluent in English and familiar with Arabic. Although much of his inspiration to join the military sprouted from a family tradition, Levi’s decision to become a

soldier grew from a deeper, internal feeling of admiration toward Israel. “Israel is more to me than just a small country in the Middle East: It is a place with an inspirational history, where despite oppression and geographical hostility, the country stands strong. It is where my family is from, where I grew up, where my friends are and where my heart is,” Levi said firmly.

Celine Hakimianpour Staff Writer

so Denali could undergo formal training. Formal training is a type of dog training in which the dog is trained to wear a special harness to lead a blind person. The formal training lasts about six to 12 months. Denali was then kept at the Guide Dogs of America chool until graduation. Collin Hart’s inspiration to train came from his aspiration to become a veterinarian. Throughout the training process, he developed certain characteristics. “I learned to be persistent because you can’t give up until your dog masters the obedience skill, insistent because you can’t let them have their own way, and consistent because they have to learn to do things the same way each time,” he said. Denali’s graduation on Dec. 15 was the first time Collin and Janice Hart had the pleasure of seeing Denali since Feb. 4, 2012. Ten dogs, including Denali, graduated that day. Denali was handed over to her new partner, Rachele Goeman, in order to help Goeman in all aspects of her life, including going to college. “My husband and I are incredibly proud of Collin’s involvement with Guide Dogs of America. There aren’t very many young people who are selfless enough to think of someone else before himself or herself,” Janice Hart said. “It was incredibly hard to let Denali go back to Guide Dogs of America after she had become such a big part of our family. We all cried on the day that we had to turn her in.” As Collin Hart looked at his puppy for the last time he felt happy knowing he changed Goeman’s life for the better. “Hopefully it won’t be our last time seeing Denali. Rachele doesn’t live that far away and she would like to stay in touch with us,” Collin Hart said. The Hart family is currently training their new puppy, Kenai, and they are very hopeful that she will make it all the way to graduation and will provide freedom and independence for another blind person.

Senior trains puppy for Guide Dogs of America

Top: Collin Hart makes a speech about Denali during Denali’s graduation from the Guide Dogs of America School. Bottom: Denali poses for a photo during her training period. Courtesy of HART FAMILY

Senior Collin Hart found his inner voice while training his puppy, Denali, for the Guide Dogs of America. Before taking on this challenge, Hart described himself as an introverted, shy person. Now, Hart takes this life-changing experience with him as he learns to let go of the things he loves and grow as an individual. “I would have never thought that it was my own life that would also be changed,” Hart said. “I had never been an outgoing person, but with Denali by my side, I found my inner voice.” The Guide Dogs of America Association provides guide dogs and instruction to blind and visually impaired men and women from the United States and Canada. Denali’s training process was rigorous, but undeniably successful, as Hart’s puppy graduated at Guide Dogs of America School in Sylmar, Calif., on Dec. 15. Prior to raising Denali, Hart interviewed with the association and attended meetings for several months to display his commitment to the task. Denali then went through puppy kindergarten, basic obedience class, monthly meetings and monthly obedience classes. Although Hart had to attend school, he did not leave Denali behind. Hart woke up every day at 5:00 a.m. in order to play with and feed Denali. Denali spent the days at work roaming the hallways of Beverly, sitting through meetings and dealing with fire and lockdown drills with Hart’s mother, counselor Janice Hart. “Our job as puppy raisers was to provide basic obedience training (things like teaching her sit, down, stay, come, to walk on a loose leash while heeling, to sit and wait for her food, etc.) and socialization,” Janice Hart said. Once Collin Hart and his mother had done their part in training Denali, they returned her to the Guide Dogs of America School


6 culture

January 18, 2013 Highlights

Reviewers rave about local museums LACMA serves as L.A.’s cultural hub Max Stahl Staff Writer It goes without saying that the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) is one of America’s finest museums. Boasting an extensive collection of works both famous and obscure, spanning the breadth of the various artistic mediums and featuring numerous distinct cultures both American and otherwise, LACMA offers an enjoyable experience to visitors of virtually all tastes. Although the majority of its exhibits are displayed indoors, LACMA is a relatively outdoors museum. Rather than being confined to one large building, visitors must often walk outside from gallery to gallery as they make their way from one exhibit to the next. On a nice day, this refreshing and ephemeral change of environment imbues the museum with a more open and modern feel. The main entrance, adorned with “Urban Lights” (an artful arrangement of formerly retired streetlights that used to illuminate Los Angeles streets), leads to an outdoor patio surrounded by three of the museum’s six galleries: the Ahmanson Building, which displays much of the museum’s non-American art from its permanent collection; the Resnick Pavillion, which houses special exhibitions (currently Walter de Maria’s “The 2000 Sculpture,” which ends April 1, and a series of Caravaggio paintings, which ends Feb. 10); and the Broad Contemporary Art Museum. The entrance’s outdoor setting and the abundance of options it offers contribute to the sensation of freedom one may and should experience when visiting LACMA. As far as artistic diversity goes, LACMA

runs the gamut. Within the span of 30 minutes, a visitor can hurtle 4,000 years into the past and halfway around the globe, and within another 30 minutes, end up right back in present-day Los Angeles. Such variety widely broadens LACMA’s appeal. Let’s face it: most of us won’t spend hours at a museum without being bored some of the time. Because LACMA exhibits so many different types of art, though, most visitors should be able to find at least one exhibit that captures their imaginations. LACMA’s contemporary collection is particularly impressive. The four-story Broad building, which houses the majority of the museum’s contemporary pieces, features an impressive array of paintings, photographs, sculptures, videos and (since this is, after all, contemporary art) unclassifiables. A clear standout is Chris Burden’s “Metropolis II,” a model city buzzing with moving cars and trains, whose sheer complexity is overwhelming and dazzling and whose novelty on its own merits a visit to the museum. LACMA is the quintessential 21st century museum. Its modern and airy atmosphere, coupled with a prodigious and variegated collection that emphasizes contemporary art, hammers in its stake as the cultural center of Los Angeles. LACMA is a museum that embraces patrons both young and old, a museum that screens movies (recently Stanley Kubrick’s “2001: A Space Odyssey”) and hosts concerts, a museum that immerses visitors in beauty and vivacity and curiosity. Now is the perfect time to make a trip to LACMA; the museum is currently offering free membership to all minors. Don’t miss this opportunity.

Chris Burden’s “Metropolis II” includes 1,100 constantly-moving, custom-designed cars. MAX STAHL

Hammer features great modern art Alex Menache Staff Writer The popular UCLA Hammer Museum does not help the Wilshire Boulevard traffic. As it is located in the heart of Westwood, the museum is crowded with trendy UCLA students who come to admire the museum’s striking and eye-catching displays or to do homework at the Hammer Cafe. At the museum, one can see anything from a blown-up doll drowning in a lake and a life-size Mickey Mouse to works by Claude Monet and Vincent Van Gogh. Through its acclaimed Hammer bookstore and free programs such as lectures, classes, screenings, poetry sessions and book clubs held in the Billy Wilder Theater, the Hammer combines the bold artistic expression of Westwood with the educational spirit of nearby UCLA. In addition to the permanent collection, current exhibits include an interactive Game Room, a moving image of Lucy Raven’s still photography

and the abstract, colossal and colorful murals of Meg Cranston. With only three exhibits open, the museum may seem quiet. But starting Jan. 12, there will be six more exhibits opening, including films by Dara Friedman; sketches, painting and sculptures by Enrico David; and an ink-and-carbon-paper wall constructed by Latifa Echakhch. The entrance fee to the museum is $10, except for on Thursdays, which are free. Not only is the Hammer warm and inviting, but its visitor services and public engagement enhance the visitor’s experience and make it easy to waste away hours faceto-face with eye-catching and eccentric art pieces, sculptures, films and even artists themselves. The Hammer experience is an interactive learning experience, and with the modern, abstract and modern feel of the Hammer, you will never want to leave. The schedule of activities can be viewed on the museum’s website, www.hammer. ucla.edu.

LACMA, with its signature lamp-pole exhibition, draws locals and tourists alike. MAX STAHL

Annenberg shows photo triumphs Marguerite Alberts Staff Writer Stepping into the Annenberg Space for Photography is like stepping into a whole new world. Every exhibit there opens the eyes to a new worldview through photographs. While the structure of the building remains intact, each show at the Annenberg seems to transform it. It is evident by the new coats of paint, plaster and wallpaper at every new display that the curators at the Annenberg spend a lot of time and effort making their exhibitions as clear and detailed as possible for their patrons. The museum’s structure may be rectangular like most buildings, but inside, the walls form almost a spiral, showing that there is neither a beginning nor an end to photography, and that photography evolves. The Annenberg undoubtedly understands that the purpose of photography is to capture a moment in time to make it eternal. Though styles of photography have changed and the art has become more creative, the basic purpose has not changed. It is clear from the presentation of each exhibit that the Annenberg is not about photography, but about how the world can be viewed through the lens of a camera. Through detailed plaques next to every photograph and films containing interviews with not only the photographers, but also with any person who is knowledgeable about the subject, the Annenberg teaches its visitors about a subject and the photographers. The present exhibition, “No Strang-

ers,” a photographic look at cutoff tribes around that world that thrive off of their surrounding habitats, is one of the best exhibitions Annenberg has had. The photographs are powerful and stunning and filled with color and clarity. In most exhibitions, the Annenberg curators choose photographs that are either artistic or journalistic. However, in this one, every photograph has both elements. The bright colors of the jewelry a tribe wears or the surrounding lush habitat quickly catches the eye and explains more about cultures that are rare and isolated. The most striking photographs are of members of the tribe performing sacred rituals. The movement, expressions and emotions pop out. Normally the curators pick and choose which photographs to elaborate on. In this exhibit, every photograph had a detailed explanation about the tribe that was photographed and a map of the world showing where that tribe lives. Clearly, each photograph has been researched thoroughly and with dedication. The video in the gallery does not tell how the photographers caught each specific moment, but instead tells a story about every tribe that was photographed and their cultures and lifestyles. If the exhibitions leave you craving more, the Annenberg hosts live programming through its Iris Nights lecture series, held on Thursday evenings from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Free entry adds to the spectacular exhibition; the only cost is parking, which is a flat rate of $1 after 4:30 p.m. on weekdays and all day Saturday and Sunday.

Artists Noa P. Kaplan, Sarah Bay Williams, Jakob Penca, Marek Plichta, Till Wittwer, Alexis Smith, Eddo Stern and Samara Smith made “Game Room,” an exhibition at the Hammer on Wilshire. ALEX MENACHE


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January 18, 2013 Highlights

Aboard a former Russian ice-breaker ship, junior Mabel Kabani visited Antarctica with her family during winter break. She calls this icy paradise the most enchanting place she has ever visited. MABEL KABANI

Mabel Kabani Opinion Editor “Antarctica is the windiest, coldest, most inhospitable and dangerous environment on this planet.” Those were the first words spoken by the ship crew to us passengers aboard the Ortelius, a former Russian icebreaker ship. The ship departed from Ushuaia, Argentina, on Dec. 21 for a 10-day cruise to the Antarctic; however, six of those days would actually go into travelling through the waters and across the Drake Passage. The Drake Passage, discovered by Sir Francis Drake during the age of exploration, has been deemed the most dangerous body of water on the planet. The Pacific, Atlantic and Southern Oceans meet at this passage and cause high waves and rough winds, which resulted in a multitude of barf bags that have collected in the trash bins of the Ortelius. While crossing this passage, most passengers of the ship were confined to their

bunk beds, leaving the rest of the ship free for my brother and me to explore. However, the exploring of the entire ship didn’t take long. The Ortelius was a modest sized ship, though considered big by those who take this journey to the South Pole. Ships that venture to Antarctica tend to be smaller than a regular cruise ship, in order to be able to move at a quicker pace. There were two restaurants, one bar, a first-aid corner, two floors of storage, two floors of rooms and a top floor that contained the deck and helipad. The ship also contained a lecture room, which was used by crewmembers to teach passengers about the terrain, animals and environment of Antarctica, as well as give pre- and post-landing briefings and entertain passengers with movies. The passenger rooms were modest too; each had a bathroom as well as two sets of bunk beds that had rather small bars to protect one from falling. The journey to Antarctica wasn’t particularly exciting; however, the time spent on the actual continent made up for the six

days of dullness and Dramamine. Antarctica was, by far, the most enchanting place I have ever visited. The beauty, peace and exotic nature of Antarctica superseded anything I could have imagined. In little speedboats, called zodiacs, we observed the clean, fresh, deep blue waters that sheltered whales, who came up for air every few minutes. We explored huge, sparkling, white-and-turquoise glaciers, icebergs and mountains that extended for miles and miles and spotted lazy sunbathing seals and colonies of penguins waddling or sliding on the snow. Above all of this ethereal and untouched beauty was an unpolluted pink, purple and orange sky with fluffy white clouds and flocks of birds in search of food and shelter. The four days we were on the continent, the weather ranged from 10 to 20 degrees Fahrenheit, despite the fact that it was technically summer there. Worse than the actual cold, however, was the wind. In order to survive outside, we had to don layers of thermals, wool sweaters, ski pants, large

snow jackets, gloves, scarves, multiple layers of socks, hats, ski masks, sun screen, a life jacket and rubber boots; this was the minimum. However, the time spent jamming on all these layers was worth it. Not only did we climb mountains and glaciers and learn about the life on the four days we were on the continent of Antarctica, but we also got the opportunity to hike up active volcanoes on some of the islands, as well as visit a few scientist stations that were on the continent. This trip is not for the faint hearted. The turbulent journey through the Drake Passage and the long hours of hiking on the continent itself were very tiring, but the trip was one of the best experiences of my life. The stillness, beauty and plethora of life in such an inhospitable environment was shocking and amazing. When your families discuss potential family vacation destinations, mention Antarctica; it is an experience of a lifetime and worth the sea sickness and cold. Just be sure to bring along plenty of sweaters.

Company impresses during assembly, rehearsal

At two school-wide assemblies and at a Monday dress rehearsal, Dance Company performed pieces from its 2013 show, which plays tonight and tomorrow, and has been playing Wednesday and Thursday, too. In a full-company piece (far left), dancers perform and bow for the crowd. In a piece she choreographed, senior Adriana Buonocore dances to “Carmen” by Lana del Rey. In another piece, junior Ariella Maman and freshman Isaac Spector dance to “Idioteque” by Radiohead. DANNY LICHT


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January 18, 2013 Highlights

District reevaluates school security measures Meg Alberts and Jessica Lu Staff Writers While keeping students safe has always been a top priority for Beverly Hills Unified School District (BHUSD), school security is an even larger issue this year in light of the tragic shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newton, Conn. The Connecticut shooting has encouraged the BHUSD to review the current security systems at both the high school and the four elementary/ middle schools. Superintendent Dr. Gary Woods has been meeting with the Beverly Hills Police Department (BHPD) and with the principals of all of the schools in the district in order to review security plans already in place. “We have had a plan in place for years. We have been executing the plan. We are always trying to perfect the plan,” Woods said. BHUSD schools rely solely on BHPD and community members for support in threatening situations. “They are extremely well-trained,” Woods said. “They are the ones that go to the conferences that deal with schools and shooters on campus.” Beverly principal Carter Paysinger voiced similar thoughts on the level of preparation that is reached. “We’re in pretty good shape. We work hand in hand with BHPD and [its] SWAT team and they do their training here once a year,” Paysinger said.  “They know our campus very well.  We have a safe school plan that I think is sound.” Paysinger indicated that most policies will remain unchanged, but there are possible additions to security that may be proposed.   “It’s reevaluating, not only to make possible changes, but to look further, to ask, ‘What other technology is out there to help us secure the campus even more?’  This is something that we do annually, taking a look at our policies,” Paysinger explained.   “In light of recent events, I think there is a greater sense of urgency in the school district.”   Most students have yet to see immediate changes take effect. “There does not seem to be an added level of security,” junior Leora Hakim said. “But we are more aware that things do happen.   I think starting with the right mindset is extremely important in case something does happen.”

Despite not actually being aware of changes made to add security, students maintain the sentiment of feeling “safe.” “I feel safe during and after school, also the fact that where we live is safe in general,” senior Adrianna Buonocore said. In general, the students feel that the security guards have been sufficient. “The guards have always done a good job and I feel safe in Beverly Hills,” junior Maya Steinberg said. “I really hope that we won’t be putting up a fence though, that would kind of diminish the feel of the school.” Amendments to the present security plan will soon be adopted, but it might be so subtle a difference that students will not notice for some time. “I’d say, architecturally, if we go with some of the things at the high school, then yes, students will definitely know a difference in the way parking is done, in a way you can come in and off the campus,” Woods said. Changes have already taken effect at the middle school level.  Merle Bauer, eigth grade English teacher at Beverly Vista, noted new changes in classroom protocol. “We are now allowed to keep our

classroom doors locked,” Bauer said. “We are also monitoring our lockdown drills more effectively.” Bauer suggested bringing back the police officer on campus or the police car on Elm Drive to provide an extra level of “deterrents.” “Speaking of deterrents, I would like to have panic buttons, connected to the BHPD, installed in all classrooms,” Bauer said. “It is the highest responsibility of educators to keep our students safe.  After all, students learn better if they feel secure.” Students at Beverly Vista expressed that while they have always felt safe on campus, there are some adjustments worth noting. “Now, both the principal and vice principal are outside seeing who comes into school in the morning,” eighth grader Doris Woods said. “We have gates around our school and in the morning when we enter school, we enter through the front office so they see who we are.” Fellow eighth grader Andie Chao also noted the refinement of school security and suggested potential changes to address lingering concerns. “I think that our school’s safety has improved,” Chao said.  “But I think that

there could be more adults to supervise kids after school when everyone is waiting for their parents. The adults will make the kids feel safer because sometimes students get worried when their parents don’t come right when school ends or if their parents don’t answer their phone.” David Hoffman, principal of El Rodeo has already begun the planning process for new measures to be taken at the elementary school, including new sheathing around the fences. Hoffman has been in cooperation with parents as well as the other district employees. “We invited parents to come in, two fold,” Hoffman said. “One, to reassure them that this is a safe campus and we have procedures in place. And secondly, to get input and feedback from them that we can use.” Though the shooting in Connecticut has been at the forefront of the minds of the administration and staff, as well as the students, the event does not mean that campus security is a new issue. These recent events have simply encouraged the administration to reevaluate what the district security procedures are and ensure that they are fitting and followed precisely.

A brief history of 21st century lapses in school security December 14, 2012: A gunman entered Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Conn., killing 20 students and six adults before turning the gun on himself. The shooter was armed with two semiautomatic pistols, stepped onto the premises around 9:30 a.m., and fired primarily in two classrooms. Students were evacuated to a nearby firehouse minutes after the shooting. Some of the parents who had arrived remained there until late in the night, hoping to hear word of their missing children. No clear motive has been identified for Lanza.   Later, police identified his mother’s body at his house.    February 14, 2008: The Northern Illinois University was put on lockdown due to a shooting by a former NIU student. The 120 students in the lecture hall that the gunman entered when he stormed on the stage wearing a shirt that read “Terrorist” and shot uncontrollably at the crowd, killing five people and injuring twenty-one, before committing suicide. The university administration cancelled all classes that were scheduled for the next two weeks in order to restore the stability and safety of the campus and its students.

January 10, 2013: A 16-year-old student from Taft Union High School held a 12 gauge shot and was accused of shooting two of his classmates, one of whom had to be airlifted to Kern Medical Center and went in to a medically induced coma and another whomissed the bullet, but had minor injuries. Law officials believe that the victims were intended targets because the shooter called out their names before shooting and classmates said that these two victims had bullied the shooter. While all the students were being evacuated, the teacher and the supervisor were able to convince Oliver to put the gun down. Oliver was charged as an adult with two counts of attempt murder and three counts of assault firearm. April 26, 2007: Thirty-two students at Virginia Polytechnic Institute were murdered by senior-level graduate. The shooting began at 7:15 a.m. in a co-ed dormitory that housed 895 students. Using two handguns, the gunman proceeded to go through a classroom building, shooting as he went. The shooter committed suicide at the end of his killing spree. The Virginia Tech tragedy is the deadliest shooting in American history, to this day.

Meg Alberts, Jessica Lu and Jessica Saeedian

‘Normans, do you feel safe at Beverly?’ In light of recent shootings in Newton, Conn., and Taft, Calif., Highlights approached the student body about school security and safety on campus. “The campus security guards are pretty much everywhere. They are always there, near me, protecting me.” - Matthew Rasson (9)

“Yes, because there are security guards everywhere on the lookout for bad activities.” -Yvonne Akuamah (9)

“Yes, I feel safe at school because of the security here. They make me feel safe because they patrol the school. They make it seem as if nothing will harm me.” -Leon Kamen (10)

“No, because of the open campus especially around the front lawn. Other than that, things seem to be okay.” -Alanna Schenk (10)

“No, because the security enforcement especially on open areas, like the front lawn and Heath, is very weak.”

“I feel torn because it depends on where I am. I feel more secure in more parts than others. If someone wanted to walk on the front lawn, it’d be easy to do so.”

“When I’m at Beverly, I feel safe. Even though security does a good job, they can’t monitor the whole school.” –Elbert Kim (12)

“I do feel safe at Beverly. I don’t think there would be a shooting here. I trust all the faculty members.” –Natasha Natarajan (12)

- Daniel Kahn (11)

-Maya Steinberg (11)


January 18, 2013 Highlights

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January 18, 2013 Highlights


sports 11 Girls soccer shows promise in first league games

January 18, 2013 Highlights

Oliver Gallop Graphics editor

Even after going undefeated last season with the league championship under their belts, the girls varsity soccer team still strives to improve. However, things have changed from last year, as five members of last year’s team graduated. “Since before league games started, our team chemistry has improved,” defender Ashley Geilim said. “And I believe we can get further in CIF this year.” Geilim also added that the loss of seniors “has not been an issue” because of the experienced seniors currently on the team The team played its first game on Nov. 26 against Notre Dame Academy, which ended in a 1-1 tie. The squad played 10 additional teams during non-league play, including an 8-0 win against Fire-

baugh, a 9-0 win against Leuzinger and a 2-0 win against Brentwood. The team earned an overall pre-league record of 4-6-1. Despite the losing record, midfielder Zhamak Foolad is not worried about the Normans’ start to the season. “I have confidence in our team for the league games [because] we have truly shown that we step up when everything counts,” Foolad said. On Wednesday, Jan. 9, varsity kicked off league play with a match against Hawthorne. The Normans beat the Cougars 3-0 in their last meeting, but the Cougars proved to be a bigger challenge this year. “Hawthorne was a hundred times better this year, which was a surprise,” forward Ashley Aviram said. Down 2-0 with five minutes remaining in the game, the Normans knew they had to push themselves as hard as they

could. After a goal by newcomer Kayla Kohan, Aviram scored with seven seconds remaining in regulation. The first half of overtime zoomed by with no goals scored. In the second overtime, midfielder Lauren Kurtz scored and the Normans held off the Cougars for the remainder of overtime to pull out a win. Sweeper Elena Rust spoke of the improved Cougar team along with the troubles the Normans faced against their opponent. “Well they seem to have straightened up their program. Their players have more belief in themselves and connect well,” Rust said. “We also were not as organized coming back from [winter] break, we started playing more like we had been before break in the last 15 minutes of regulation time.” Aviram felt this first league win was

Benjamin Hannani Spotlight editor

to execution of the half-court offense as a decisive key to victory, she noted that the Normans struggled to guard the basket. “Our weakness this year is mostly defense because we are a trapping team but struggle to play man defense at times which causes us to lose games,” Mehrannia said. “We have a difficult time keeping girls in front of us and stopping cutters from getting to the basket.” To build on their winning streak, the Normans defeated Morningside by 30 points. The Normans were led by 15 points from Anderson and seven points each from Mehrannia and center Robin Ashkenazi. On the defensive end, guard Megan Yee snagged three steals and guard Arianna Mazzarini tallied four blocks. Although the Normans expected an easy win, Mehrannia shared that the squad treated the Morningside game as seriously as any other game. The blowout victory allowed Coach John Braddell to play his reserves and rest the starters. “We used [the game] as practice to work on our defense and keep [Morningside] under a certain amount of points,” Mehrannia said. Results of the Normans’ game at Santa Monica on Wednesday were not available as of press time. The team plays at Inglewood at 6:00 p.m. on Jan. 18.

important in becoming “positive and closer as a team.” On Friday, Jan. 11, the Normans took on the Morningside Monarchs at Morningside High School. Aviram had three goals as the Normans rolled to a 5-1 victory. The team, as of Jan. 15, has a record of 2-0, with many games ahead of them. In order to win league, Kohan believes, the team must take advantage of bonding opportunities. “The sense of camaraderie that our team has developed within the past few months has proven to be advantageous for us,” Kohan said. “It isn’t just about our relationship on the field, but it’s what we do off the field that makes a big difference.” The Normans played rival Samo on Jan. 16, but results were not available as of press time.

Girls basketball opens league play with a bang After surging to a 10-6 record in nonleague games, the varsity girls basketball team opened Ocean League play with two consecutive home victories. The Normans followed up a 49-43 win against Hawthorne on Jan. 9 with a 5727 triumph over Morningside on Jan. 11. The two wins have boosted the Normans to a tie with Culver City for first place in Ocean League standings. The Normans attribute their winning record to strong guard play and aggressive rebounding, which lead to secondchance opportunities. Additionally, with more returning varsity players than last season’s roster, this season’s squad has already established a friendly rapport. The chemistry off the court has materialized in games, where the team plays as one “strong unit.” “Our team has actually become a strong unit,” center Emebet Aklilu said. “We know who works well together and when it’s crunch time, we have learned to finish the game.” In the victory over Hawthorne, the Normans got off to a quick 15-10 start in the first quarter and maintained the momentum for the remainder of the game. The Normans were led by 17 points from guard Jazz Anderson in addition to 15 points from point guard Jessica Melamed. While guard Dorsa Mehrannia pointed Mehrannia takes the open three- point shot. ALEX MENACHE.

Mazzarini drives in the lane for a layup. ALEX MENACHE

Boys lacrosse aims to compete in CIF playoffs Robert Katz Staff writer Preparing for the upcoming spring season, boys varsity lacrosse looks to enter the post-season playoffs and set the bar ever higher for its own achievements. Lacrosse’s main objective is to outperform its results in years prior. While varsity lacrosse has generally had balanced win-loss records, the team plans on earning and maintaining a positive record throughout the season. However, the team’s most valued prize is qualifying for and emerging victorious from CIF. Head Coach Steve Taylor viewed the challenge of entering CIF optimistically.

“We’re going to make the playoffs for the first time in about seven years,” Taylor said. “We just missed it last year and this year we’re going to get it done.” Goalie Michael Suh looks to playoffs as a proving ground in which the team can make its skills and capability known. “We have the potential to be one of the greatest teams Beverly has ever seen,” Suh said. “I’d really like to be able to compete in the playoffs and show the school that we are a great team.” In preparation, the lacrosse team has met every Saturday and Sunday morning to practice, and many members have spent the winter season enrolled in conditioning classes such as weight training and lacrosse conditioning. Team practic-

es during the week will begin on Jan. 28. Midfielder Hans Tercek believes that this season’s lineup, which has grown from last year’s 17 players to 24 players, will be one of the best in memory. “This should be one of our best rosters,” Tercek said. “The skill level of our team in terms of individual players is one of the highest we’ve had.” Suh feels similarly regarding this year’s squad. “This year’s roster is a special one,” Suh said. “We have a solid midfield led by Nick Heller who is an outstanding player. Our attack men are led by Morgan Henderson with a great attack group, and our defense, Sam Berman, Kyle Dordick and Legend Waters, is a

solid group that plays their hardest every game. This team has no weak links and we are ready to do great things this year.” Taylor held faith in the balance of the team’s new roster. “This year we’ve got a lot of senior leadership. We’ve got a lot of quality core guys on both offense and defense,” Taylor said. “There’s nothing that we’re missing. We have all the components to be a successful team, a championship team, a CIF-contending team.” Varsity lacrosse will compete in a series of pre-season matches through February and begin the season on Feb. 28 in a game against Harvard-Westlake.


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January 18, 2013 Highlights

Soccer kicks off league with winning 2-0 record Pasha Farmanara Staff writer

The boys soccer team began this season with an 8-5-2 record but is 2-0 in league with wins against Hawthorne and Morningside. The team beat Hawthorne 3-2 on Jan. 9 and Morningside 2-0 on Jan. 11. The Normans went into their first league match with confidence and emerged with a victory against Hawthorne. “The score didn’t reflect the game properly. We controlled the game 98 percent of the time,” co-captain Josh Horowitz said. “In the second half we had a couple of mental lapses defensively and didn’t

pressure enough and they scored goals they shouldn’t have.” Both Beverly and Morningside won their first league games, and the winner of Wednesday’s game would become 2-0. “On Friday we realized the importance of this game. Whichever team got a win in this game would be in a great position in league standings,” defender Golan Khorshidi said. The game started off slowly, but Beverly was able to get a halftime lead at the end of the first half, with goals from Cole Offer, with 5:56 left in the half, and Harry Georgiou, with 2:00 left in the half. Despite the two goal lead Beverly kept attacking Morningside’s side of the pitch.

The constant offensive pressure gave Morningside little opportunity to counterattack. “We knew we had the talent and confidence to win this game so all we had to do was execute,” Khorshidi said. “Our game plan was simple. Play like it was the last game we would ever play. We had to give 100 percent on every tackle, shot and pass we made.” The win puts Beverly at 2-0, second in league behind Samo at 2-0-1. Samo has one more point but also has played one more game. (Teams are awarded three points for a win, one point for a tie and zero for a loss.) “The team is moving forward with con-

fidence, not only in winning, but in our ability to execute our game plan. We are confident going up against our bitter rivals, Santa Monica,” Khorshidi said. Beverly took on Samo on Wednesday, Jan. 13, but results were not available in time for press. The team has its eyes set on becoming Ocean League champions and knows what it takes to reach that goal. “For now, [our goal is] to win league. To do so we must perform to the best of our abilities, play with intensity and minimize mental lapses during games,” Horowitz said. Beverly’s next match is on Friday, Jan. 18 at Inglewood.

Sands, who boosted the team from its slow start with three steals, each resulting in points scored by Beverly, the team was able to slowly build a lead and keep the advantage throughout the game with its work on the defensive end. Center Ronan Massana led the game with seven blocks. Through Massana’s defense, Beverly made sure that Morningside would not be able to come back from its deficit. “We played a lot harder on defense in the second half, helping us pull away” Massana said. In the final minutes of the game, Morningside defenders were frustrated with Beverly’s lead and anxious to play the foul game. The Monarchs, looking to make one final stand, took their frustrations out on guard Siavash Yektafar. However, the Monarchs only widened the gap as Yektafar drained eight of his 11 free throws, including one from a three-point play. Ten of Yektafar’s 16 points came in the fourth quarter. “I like it when they foul me,” Yektafar said. “In my mind, its an automatic two points for my team.” Following the victory over Morningside, the Normans hosted a non-league matchup with Etiwanda where Beverly was defeated 60-37, its first loss of 2013. Yektafar believes that the team was overwhelmed by Etiwanda’s D-1 caliber of play as compared to Beverly’s D-3. “Eitwandas a great team and to beat great

teams we have to come out to execute on offense and play hard on defense. We didn’t do that,” Yektafar said. The team faced rival Samo on Wednesday, Jan. 16, but results were not available

in time for the press. The game is crucial to the Normans because it determines who remains first in league with a perfect record. The team next plays away at Inglewood on Jan. 18.

Boys basketball passes Ocean League competition Arman Zadeh Sports Editor The boys basketball team successfully started their 2013 campaign for a CIF repeat with a perfect 2-0 record to lead the Ocean League. Overall, the Norman’s hold a 9-8 record including non-league and tournament games. The team started the season with a key victory against Ocean League rival Hawthorne, 64-56, on Jan. 9. Beverly controlled the game from wire to wire, never letting up on their offensive pressure. Guard Ben Cohen believed an early victory in the season is exactly what the team needs to jumpstart every season. “We played tough the entire game and brought a lot of energy which carried us through the game,” Cohen said. “The first game is always the most important because we have to start out on the right foot and continue our winning streak.” Just two days after coming off their big win, the Normans hosted the Morningside Monarchs on Jan. 11. The team, having split their record against the Monarchs 2-2 over the past two years, improved their record against Morningside with another victory, 57-47. Point guard Justin Ifekunigwe led the team offensively with 20 points. Beverly’s advantage, though, came mostly from the team’s strong x-factor performance. Beginning with forward Jaylen

(Clockwise from top) Center Ronan Massana drives into the lane for a layup off the fast break. Forward Keimon Downey shoots the layup with the defender beneath him. Guard Siavash Yektafar searches for an open man on the offensive end. Guard Justin Ifekunigwe speeds past his defender for an easy layup. ARMAN ZADEH

volume 86 Issue 7  

volume 86 issue 7