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The Odyssey

June 17, 2011

Ulysses S. Grant High School

Volume LII Issue 4

Grant wins Support Award at VEX Robotics competition By Mirvat hariri

While many of us were enjoying our vacation this past winter break, our Grant High Robotics team was here for four to five hours a day working on what would become one of the top robots in the nation. Under the guidance of Robotics advisor Mr. Khan, the team is composed of Ramin Khajeh, Anthony Tang, Nigel Hunt, Max Korn and Martin Lopez. Coincidentally, all team members are juniors, and they represent the class of 2012 well.

Chris Siegert, a mentor who worked very hard with the team, came to Grant at least once a week and even went with the team to the world championships in Florida. “He was a tremendous help to the team, and we greatly appreciate all his effort and hard work,” said Mr. Khan. Every year, the robot has to be able to perform a certain task. This year the task was to pick up rings and place them inside a ring stand. The robot that can place the most rings

PHOTO BY PASSER-BY Three of the four Grant robotics team members, Nigel Hunt, Martin Lopez and Max Korn, display their trophy with Mr. Khan and Chris Siegert. They finished 31st at Worlds.

within two minutes wins. The first two regional competitions our team participated in were in Walnut, Calif., and in Hesperia, Calif. Grant High came out runner-up in both competitions and won the Programming Skills Competition. This victory led Grant to qualify for the World Competition held in Florida. The team had no other option but to stay late and try and perfect their creation as best as possible. Bags packed and hearts beating, our team headed off to one of the biggest events in robotics: the 2011 Robotics World Championship held at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Kissimmee, Florida. The competition took place from April 14 to April 16. Attending were 550 teams consisting of middle school, high school, and college students from 16 different countries. Without a doubt, the pressure was on for the Grant Lancers. Round after round, the boys held their heads high

PHOTO BY MR. KHAN Nigel Hunt puts the robot through its paces picking up rings. Our team won the Programming trophy at California Regionals and Best Support at the World Competition.

and kept their focus on their one goal: winning. At the end of the competition, our Lancers proudly took 31st place, which is a tremendous honor considering how many teams they competed against. Additionally, they won the Support Award. After an extensive and wearisome five months, spending long nights at school, mastering complex mathematical and scientific formulas, adjusting to the time zone change, and quelling anxiety, our Lancer

Robotics team came home strong. Without the support of each other and the ability to work well as a team, their success would not have been possible. We are very proud of every teammate. A big thank you goes to Mr. Khan and advisor Chris Siegert. As the famous line goes, “What we are to be we are now becoming,” and our Robotics team members are becoming prestigious, successful men and indisputable champions!

Multicultural Fair encourages all to embrace diversity By Hovanes Mestdzhyan

always a hit with everyone. Although the booths provided endless fun and delicious goodies, keeping students happy and in high spirits, the entertainment performances held the true spotlights of the day. In particular, Mary Hurmetian mesmerized everyone by singing Cee Lo Green’s hit single “Forget You” with astounding talent, and the

students, spring break was a chance to take some time away from all the homework and tests they had put up with for the school year.

What better way to start spring break than with the Grant High School Multicultural Fair? On Friday, April 15, all students, from freshmen to seniors, enjoyed the pleasures that the fair had to offer on such a bright, sunny day. The fair offered an assortment of delicious ethnic foods, ranging from delicious Armenian barbeque to the ever-popular Mexican Carne Asada, the latter boasting the longest line out of every single booth there! If you weren’t enjoying any of the mouth-watering food at the fair, then you were probably getting an exotic airbrush tattoo or winning your very own gold fish. Of course, there was also our famous marriage booth. The marriage booth has been a part of the Multicultural Fair for quite a long time, and it is




PHOTO BY MIRVAT HARIRI Seniors Sam Mantel and Ashley Zavala take a break from the multicultural fair to get their pictures taken. The Hawaiian theme was lucrative for the Student Council.

Everyone at Grant was excited for spring break and the relaxation that comes with it. One week off doesn’t sound like much, but to Grant’s


NEWS • Robotics Team • Multicultural Fair • RENT the musical • Film Night

FEATURES • Talent Show • March 2 Success • Magnet Clean-up Day

Champions Dance Team had choreographed and prepared a spectacular dance. The Champions caught everyone’s eyes with their sparkling apparel and their extremely clever routine. The fair was a tremendous success, leaving Grant high school students a time to remember and a great day to start their spring break!

PHOTO BY MIRVAT HARIRI Students patiently line up and sit for air-brushed tattoos. Artists used stencils to airbrush the intricate temporary tattoos on excited students to benefit Senior Leadership.

OPINIONS • Armenian Genocide assembly • The Coffee Stop • Animatrics workshop

SPORTS SPORTS • Baseball • Tennis • Track and Field • Golf • Swim • Softball

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newS “RENT” musical stuns audience with stellar performance

June 17, 2011

By Jennifer Sagastume and Jazmine Sanchez

PHOTO PROVIDED BY NICOLETTE HANSON Grant’s cast of RENT perform the ensemble number “La Vie Boheme” in Grant Hall. The show’s cast sported a mix of vintage and modern fashions.

For years, Grant students have been anticipating the moment in which the spectacular Broadway musical of “RENT,” by Jonathan Larson, was to finally hit the stage at Grant High School. The show’s songs are an exciting incorporation of Jazz, Pop, Salsa, R&B, and Rock and Roll. Mrs. Taylor, Music, and Ms. Blumenberg, Drama, were the ones who selected this amazing musical, and after a long week of auditions, the students were finally chosen. Twenty-one very talented Grant artists were cast: Israel Taragano, Raffy Castilla, Tiana Goss, Keonna Evans, Summer Lima, Miles Clarke, Clinton Thompson, Denis Navas, Charlotte Brown, Nico-

lette Hanson, Aracely BarreraRamirez, Melvin Penuela, Dior Groover, Jazmine Sanchez, Santiago Hernandez, Jeremy DeLaCruz, Eloise Baek, Hannah McDaniel, A’lexus Washington, David Pineda and Jasmine Fizer. After the cast was chosen, two months of preparation were needed in order to produce a show that would leave people wanting more. Mrs. Taylor and Ms. Blumenberg helped to incorporate the skills of every students with the help of music teacher Mr. Sims and special guest choreographer Corky Dominquez from the Los Angeles County High School for the Arts (LACHSA). The group helped prepare students for their performances.

For many performers, the preparatory experience was itself inspirational and character-building. “Working on RENT will truly be the best time I had in high school,” Senior Israel Taragano said. “It made me push myself to the limit and I was blown away that I was able to do it and be part of such a phenomenal musical.” Additionally, Taragano explained how the cast became very close over the course of practice. “I learned many things from the cast and crew, and also got to witness their true talents,” Taragano said. “For those who saw it, I hope you loved it as much as I did.” After all of the practice and dress rehearsals, the musical that everyone was waiting for was ready for the stage. Scaffolding was set up on stage to create different levels, and colorful artwork on walls and tables portrayed the images of the lives of the characters. The show opened in Grant Hall at 7 p.m. on April 28 and continued with evening performances through the 30th of April. The show culminated with a 4:00 matinee on May 1st. Tickets were sold at $8 pre-sale and $10 at the door. Opening night was filled

with people who were ready to witness the life-changing event. “Tune Up #1” was the first song of the evening, and it kicked off a great start to the show. When the curtains closed, the audience applauded with force. It is clear that RENT is a show that will always be remembered at Grant High School, both by audience members and by performers. “It was an experience I’ll never forget,” Senior Aracely Barrera-Ramirez said. “Every cast member is an amazing person and is extremely talented. I feel proud to have been

part of such a great show.” The show also served to ignite important discussion and awareness at Grant. “RENT is such a controversial production, and I am so honored to have been able to reach out to people and represent love and acceptance!” Junior Summer Lima said. Many thanks go out to everyone who was a part of the production for taking the time to bring about such a memorable and meaningful show. Grant was truly touched. As Jonathan Larson wrote, “No other road, no other way, no day but today.”

PHOTO BY NICOLETTE HANSON RENT takes center stage on the PAVAC billboard for all to see. The academy as well as the rest of Grant High was deservedly proud of its talented students.

Annual Film Night’s classy event showcases student films BY Hovanes Mestdzhyan

PHOTO BY JOSH SMITH Students Austin Irving (left) and Gigi Evans (right) receive their filmmaker awards from Mr. Hakobian (center). Evans received the “Filmmaker of the Year” award and Irving won “Sophomore Filmmaker of the Year”

Ever since the Communications Technology Magnet was introduced at Grant High school in 1994, Alex Hakobian (the one and only film teacher at Grant High school) has witnessed a tremendous amount of talent, creativity, and art in his very own classroom. And since the inception of the Communication Technology Magnet, one annual event, Film Night, has allowed students, teachers and the rest of

the world to experience what Mr. Hakobian experiences every day. On Saturday, May 7, people gathered at the elegant Academy of Television Arts & Sciences to once again feast their hungry eyes on what Mr. Hakobian’s students skillfully created over the course of the school year. The Academy of Television Arts and Sciences is where the Emmy Awards show takes place. With a capacity of

roughly 600, about 500 people were seated on Film Night. The evening began with a light and very delicious dinner generously provided by our own Magnet parents. After dinner, guests were seated and the show began. Prior to the showing, Mr. Hakobian, Principal Ibach and Magnet Coordinator Mr. Stave came up to say a few words of deserved admiration about the film program at Grant High school and to thank the Film Night sponsors. Academy Award-winning Howard Berger, who was responsible for the Special Makeup Effects in such critically-acclaimed movies as “Inglourious Basterds,” “The Chronicles of Narnia,” and “Transformers,” was also in attendance to say a few motivational words about his career and how he grew up in the backyard of the film industry. The films shown were created by a combination of current students and alumni.

Junior Gigi Evans took home the Filmmaker of the Year award for the numerous films in which she had a hand. Evans co-directed “The Last Cup of Noodles,” she co-wrote and co-produced “Lost and Found,” and, most of all, she wrote and directed “Someone to Love Me,” which took her nearly two years to finalize. Sophomore Travis Berger, who played the main character in “The Last Cup of Noodles” won the Up and Coming Film Maker award by demonstrating his leadership and commitment to making films at Grant. The final award was given to Austin Irving, co-director and cinematographer of “The Last Cup of Noodles.” He was awarded the Sophomore Film Maker of the year. When asked, all three students were very surprised and humbled to have won the awards. “If you’re interested in film and want to take the

pathway offered, Grant High School is the way to go with one of the best film programs I’ve ever seen,” said Irving. Film Night was an enormous success yet again and will undoubtedly continue to be a joy for many years to come. We truly appreciate all of the hard work and artistry that goes into these fantastic Grant films.

PHOTO BY JOSH SMITH Academy Award winner Howard Berger (right) poses with Mr. Hakobian at Grant’s Film Night. Berger inspired audience members by telling his story about getting started in the movie industry.

Grant High School Odyssey

FEATuRES Talent Show brings the best performers front and center June 17, 2011

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By Jazmine Sanchez

PHOTO BY MIRVAT HARIRI Clinton Thompson, Amadou N’Dour, Trent Edward and Jabari Evans of The Down Right Dirty Boys, along with Itzel Diaz, accept their third place award with swag. DRDB rocked the house and was absolutely loved by the audience.

Once again, the yearly talent show hit Grant by storm. Better than ever, new talents have signed up to embark on a quest to win. From acrobats to guitar players, Grant students came together to put on an amazing show. The show took place on March 25, at 7 p.m. in Grant Hall. The auditorium was literally overcrowded: Staff had to bring in extra chairs and tables for people to sit on. Everyone was cheerful and enthusiastic about the show which served to pump up the performers, making it easier for them to bring out their true talent. Students participating in the show had been practicing for weeks to perfect the talents they were to showcase.

“I enjoyed my experience very much,” Nicolette Hanson, also known by her stage name, Miss Lady Face, said. “It was a nice reminder of the potential and talents of Grant High School students.” While the performers were backstage, Mr. McDermott and the sound crew were getting the props ready to start the show. The show exploded into action with a hilarious introduction by hosts Maria Babilonia and Diana Khngikyan. There were 21 acts that made up the show: Cristina Khachunts, Dj Tiny productions, Tali Moore, a company by Mario Escobar, Vonnie, Miss Lady Face, The Beat Boys, Marina Sarkisyan, Blah Blah, Mary Hurmetian, The

Down Right Dirty Boys, J3T Beats, Jen Orellana, Rockustics, MJ Tribute, Renzel Santos accompanied by Summer Lima, Cindy Burcihea, Mary and Ani, Daniel Trejo, Fail to Pretend, Izzy and the Boys, and Cookie and Oreo. One of the audience favorites was a dance routine. Ninth grader Alonso Vargas decided to choreograph a dance to commemorate his idol Michael Jackson. He and Linda Zayas did a dance to Michael Jackson’s hit song “The Way You Make Me Feel.” Not only does the talent show serve to entertain audeince members, but it is also a wonderful experience for the performers. “I loved participating in the talent show,” performer Danny Trejo said. “Honestly, I felt that it was one of the best decisions I have ever made in my life. The thrill of performing in front of a huge crowd filled with family and friends was amazing!” Another talented student who was involved in numerous showcases in the show, including Vargas’s act, was Raffi Castillo. “It was a great experience! It didn’t matter if it was a competition or not,” Castillo said, “I just loved working with the people that performed. I can’t

wait to do it again next year!” As the show came to an end, hosts Babilonia and Khngikyan were ready to announce the winners. In third place were The Down Right Dirty Boys (DRDB) and Itzel Diaz. “Wow, this is great!” Ahmadou N’dour, one of the members of DRDB exclaimed. “There were so many awesome acts. My favorite part was singing to all the beautiful women out there. We are so delighted and in awe. Thank you, judges and audience members.” In second place was Renzel Santos, accompanied by Summer Lima. And in first place, with many rounds of applause, was Cristina Khachunts for

her mind-bending (and bodybending) acrobatic dancing. Overall, the show was simply fantastic, and it truly satisfied the audience. “I believe the talent show was a very big success and extremely entertaining,” Hanson said. Special thanks go out to Mrs. Ibach for allowing the show to occur. Special thanks also go to Student Council Advisor, Mr. McDermott; Stage crew, Mr. Sims; Sound crew, Mrs. Taylor; Administrator Judge, Mr. Tyni; Teacher Judge, Mr. Kent; and Student Judge, Jessica Cardoza. An extra round of applause goes to all the performers for putting on a spectacular show.

PHOTO BY MIRVAT HARIRI Co-host Maria Babilonia gives Christina Khachunts a hug of congratulations. Khachunts’s acrobatic act couldn’t be topped, and she came out the overall winner.

Animatrics Workshop helps teach Tobacco Awareness By Bea Naymon On a bright, early school day, many artistic students entered Grant Hall for a special event held to help stop the use of tobacco. At the workshop, students learned about different types of animation. Students had drawing lessons, and they even learned how to do a 30-second animation that would inform other students about problems

involving tobacco. “I hope that the animations will show awareness about the dangers of cigarettes,” Tiana Goss, a senior at Grant, mentioned. Tobacco is an agricultural product processed from the leaves of plants in the genus Nicotiana. Many use tobacco either for smoking chewing. Smoking cigarettes and using

Adviser Odyssey Adviser

Mrs. Lasarow

The Odyssey is published by the Journalism Class of U.S. Grant High School, located at 13000 Oxnard Street, Valley Glen, California. Opinions expressed in The Odyssey are solely those of the authors and do not reflect those of Ulysses S. Grant High School, its faculty, or its student body. Ads are available by request. For more information, please call (818) 756-2700 ext. 2753 (phone number updated 11/14/08).

tobacco products causes fatal diseases and medical problems, including lung cancer, strokes, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and heart attacks, as well as many more serious health complications. Teenagers are certainly tempted to smoke cigarettes, but often they do not understand how it can really affect their health.


While these students were very eager to finish their drawings, they knew they were playing a key role in something important in our school that could potentially help others. “My hand is in a lot of pain [from drawing all day], yet I enjoy drawing and helping prevent tobacco use!” student Mariano Jimenez said.

Ms. Novinger is a Grant faculty member who proudly supports the idea of tobacco awareness, letting students know how dangerous tobacco truly is. If you would like to attend any of Mrs. Novinger’s Tobacco Awareness club meetings, feel free to stop by her room and check it out. Room 207, Wednesdays during lunch.


Editor of News Jazmine Sanchez

Nicole Burova

Editor of Features Bea Naymon

Raul Lopez

Mirvat Hariri Anna Machulsky

Editor of Opinions Jennifer Sagastume

Hovanes Mestdzhyan

Editor of Sports Hovanes Mestdzhyan

Jennifer Sagastume

Editor of Photography Mirvat Hariri

Bea Naymon Jazmine Sanchez

Grant High School Odyssey Page 4

June 17, 2011


Army awards equipment to Grant for “March 2 Success” By Jennifer Sagastume

PHOTO BY STAFF Captain Warstler and Sergeant Dillon present Grant HS with two new computers and a printer for the College Office. Students had many questions for the men, who cheerfully and patiently explained the benefits, including college tuition, of an Army career.

On Monday, March 28, se- up in the College Office. In addition to the resourclected E/I classrooms marched down to the Large Gym for an es the log-ins provided Grant, the “March 2 Success” Web important assembly. Captain Jeffrey D. Warst- site also has its benefits for the ler began the assembly by an- individual students who log in, mentioned nouncing Sergeant Dilthat our school had “The military gives lon. the most you options. It gets The Web site provides log-ins on the Army’s you out of the house, students with ma“ M a r c h you get clean clothes study 2 Sucterials for the SAT and cess” Web and a decent job.” site than – Mrs. Nisotis ACT. Those who are goany other school we ing off to colwere competing against. Our lege should feel free to check closest competitor was Bur- this site out for help and tips. Mrs. Ibach mentioned that bank High School. In recognition, our school there are benefits for 10th and received three new computers 11th graders. Students in these and a printer that are now set grades will have free tutori-

als. For additional resources, check the College Office. The assembly also gave the recruiters an opportunity to talk with students and answer students’ questions. “That’s what we are here for,” Sergeant Dillon told students. “We are always looking for bright young men and women.” Joining the army, as said in the assembly, can have several benefits for students. “The military gives you options,” Mrs. Nisotis explained. “It gets you out of the house, you get clean clothes, and a decent job.” Captain Warstler is in agreement with Mrs. Nisotis, and answered a couple of questions regarding reimbursements for being in the army.

“Finishing my bachelor’s [degree] pays my mortgage [and] thirty days of vacation,” the captain said. He also mentioned that the army provided him with all of his schooling and scholarships. Additionally, Captain Warstler said that the Army is the only branch of the service that gives members a written contract for certain jobs even before enlisting. Captain Warstler described the process of enlisting in a straightforward way. “You spend six weeks in boot-camp, get your uniform and a hair-cut,” the captain said. Many students in the assembly wondered what happens after the Army. Captain Warstler said that after the Army, you have the opportunity to attend college, and that you will receive the G.I. bill which provides money for

housing and textbooks. The bottom line is education. If we dream of being a soldier, doctor, teacher, psychologist, lawyer, or anything else, then so be it. There are different benefits to every career, and some that we might not even be aware of. But no matter what, it is important to explore all of your options. The assembly showed students that the Army is an option to consider, while reminding students that the Army isn’t meant for everyone, the same way certain jobs aren’t everyone’s dreams or aspirations. We can succeed only as long as we find a way to get educated and follow our dreams. A special thanks to Sergeant Dillon and Captain Warstler for attending this assembly and for the three new computers and printers.

PHOTO BY STAFF The three new computers and printer are displayed next to the podium as Mrs. Ibach speaks at the assembly. The new equipment awaits installation in the College Office.

Bringing students, teachers parents and mops together By Mirvat Hariri

PHOTO BY STAFF The three new computers and printer are displayed next to the podium as Mrs. Ibach speaks at the assembly. The new equipment awaits installation in the College Office.

On Saturday, May 22, Grant’s Communications Technology Magnet program held its second “Magnet Cleanup Day.” The event was lead by the newly created Magnet Leadership class. The class meets during homeroom every day in room 122 with advisor Mr. Kent. Led by the Magnet Leadership class, students, parents and teachers gathered in the 100 building with mops and sponges in hand. The goal was to clean up the upstairs and downstairs of the Magnet side of the 100 building. The tasks involved scrubbing even the little comers of the stairways and the floors of the classrooms, and everyone did just that. Mr. Hakobian, Mrs. La-

sarow and Mrs. Kurushima were the Magnet teachers who came in to help. Even Mr. Wilson, a non-Magnet teacher, but a Magnet parent, assisted the students. In the beginning, the task seemed impossible to the twenty-some students. The sad state of the halls and stairways was daunting. It took some time to get started, but once everyone got moving, it seemed more of a fun activity than a chore. “It was like a dirty slip and slide on the stairway [at first], but afterwards, it resembled a shade of white we had never seen before,” Mimi Gordon, a Magnet Leadership student, said. From 10 a.m. to noon, the sparkle started to show, slowly but surely. Never had the students

stopped and really looked closely to see how dirty their halls actually were, but the layers of grime just gave them more of a motivation to clean it up. “The Magnet clean-up was very hard and tedious,” Anoush Alexanyan, a Magnet junior, said. “The more we would clean, the more it felt like there was still a lot to do. After the clean-up, I could tell that the Magnet community was really clean. It felt good to be in a clean area; I mean who wouldn’t want that?” Overall, the event was very successful, and it really showed how much hard work was accomplished. As Magnet President, I was very pleased with the outcome, and I look forward to setting up more events for the Magnet community.

Grant High School Odyssey Page 5

June 17, 2011


Assembly remembers victims of the Armenian Genocide By Jennifer Sagastume brutally slaughtered in villages and those who survived were deported and driven to their death. He then cited quotes by Joseph Stalin and Robert Kennedy. “We can finally say ‘never again’ and it will mean never again,” Krekorian concluded powerfully. After Krekorian’s moving speech, Grant High School students performed in memory of those who died. The first performance was PHOTO BY MIRVAT HARIRI Paul Krekorian delivers a speech with a PowerPoint at the assembly. Krekorian spoke by Armand Elikuchikyan, who about the unspeakable hardships his countrymen faced due to the Armenian Genocide. played the piano. On April 25, several class- the facts being shown. EveryThe melody was such a es were invited to attend the thing was much more touching mellow sound that it nearly assembly commemorating the because of made me Armenian Genocide. Grant the harrowtear up. It Hall was decorated with black ing music “We can finally say made me balloons along with many red, played in the ‘never again,’ and think of all blue, and orange Armenian background. those peoflags. As the it will mean never ple and esThe assembly opened up a s s e m b l y again.” pecially the by giving a moment of silence c o n t i n – Paul Krekorian c h i l d r e n to all of the innocent people ued, Grant who died. who suffered a catastrophic brought to There death due to the genocide. us a special guest by the name was also a slideshow playing To remind us what the of Paul Krekorian. in the background, causing the Armenian Genocide was, a Mr. Krekorian was one of scene to be that much more PowerPoint was presented. the first Armenian-Americans moving The presentation cited that one to come to the United States. Subsequently, a poem million people were killed in He gave us a brief summary named, “The Armenian, The 1915. of what persecuted people Armenian” was recited by I could see that most stu- endured during that period of Azniv Libaryan. dents had a sudden reaction to time. He said that people were Two dances, “Karavan”

and “Lyrical,” were then performed by Flora Antikyan, Tatevik Dulbenchyan, Tsovinar Dulbenchyan and Suzan Vartanyan. The dances were well done and interesting. Last but not least, a wonderful performance was given by Mary Hurmetian and Harout Aleksanyan. They both sang a song titled “Open Wounds” by R-men. This assembly surely touched the heart of everyone in attendance. The Armenian Genocide is a heartrending yet important subject to discuss.

“This lesson isn’t about what happened to the Armenians, but of what people are capable of,” Mr. Krekorian said. I hope everyone left Grant Hall remembering all those who died a terrible death. It teaches us a lesson, and those victims should forever be remembered. A special thanks to those who put this assembly together, because its important for us to know what has happened and what is happening in our world.

PHOTO BY MIRVAT HARIRI Students Flora Antikyan, Tatevik Dulbenchayn, Suzan Vartanyan and Tsovinar Dulbenchyan perform two dances. The assembly featured many student performances.

Program gives students a head start in the business world By Nicole Burova

PHOTO BY NICOLE BUROVA David Soghomonian and Carlos Lopez enjoy pouring coffee and helping customers select delicious danish or muffins. The Department of Transitional Services funded the program to teach business skills that may help students find employment.

On April 13, I was given the opportunity to get the inside scoop on Grant’s Coffee Stop. The Coffee Stop is a student-based business that not only provides our faculty and staff with delicious snacks, but also educates our students through a business-orientated and life-skills approach. Mr. Kramer’s Life Skills

students are part of a program that helps students prepare for their independent lives after graduating from high school. Through the Coffee Stop they are able to do just that. “Not only is this program good for the faculty, what this program does is it teaches and helps the students deal with customers,” Mr. Kramer explained. “It teaches them to

use money, keep an inventory sheet, keep a balance sheet for the budget of the store, use public transportation, and learn to do all these different skills that’ll be necessary for their lives after high school.” The Department of Transitional Services (D.O.T.S.) funded this program and gave it the opportunity to grow into what it is now. Mr. Kramer also couldn’t stress enough how beneficial this program is to the Grant High School community and to commend its tremendous support from the principals, in particular, Mrs. Robledo. All of the profits from the Coffee Stop are transferred back into the life skills program, which is a part of the curriculum that teaches students life skills: shopping, transportation, and social skills. This program is “not all about the money,” Mr. Kramer stated, “It’s really about educating the students through this program.” The Coffee Stop has many customers who are in absolute awe over their croissants and

are most definitely huge fans of its coffee. “It’s the best coffee west of Coldwater Canyon!” said a happy customer.

I urge teachers and staff to give Coffee Stop a try. You sure can’t beat the convenience, the customer service, or the taste!

PHOTO BY NICOLE BUROVA The colorful Coffee Stop menu offers a huge selection of pastries and treats as well as several beverages. Prices are affordable, and the the service is always with a smile.

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Grant High School Odyssey June 17, 2011


Boys’ tennis smashes Monroe Vikings with a 5-2 victory By Mirvat Hariri On Thursday, April 7, our Grant Lancer boys’s tennis team faced off against Monroe High School on our home court for the last game of the regular season. With the exciting and surprising way that our Lancers played, it is remarkable that more fans do not go and watch. Grant dominated Monroe, with five of our seven varsity matches won for an overall score of 5-2. The intensity of the game was amplified when our star player, senior Mauricio Rosales, went up against the best player at Monroe. Rosales won his both sets of his match with a score of 6-0, 6-0, not giving up a single game! Even though Rosales had an injured wrist, he was still

able to win his match with astounding athletic prowess. Rosales plays number one singles for Grant, and he was undefeated in the Valley, ending the season as the number one player in the league. Rosales qualified for the city individual champions tournament, where he played outstandingly. He upset the number 3 player in the city in the quarter-finals, but ultimately lost in the semi-finals. He finished the city individual champions tournament placing fifth. “It was great being on the tennis team,” Mauricio said of the season. Another stand-out performance was given by our number two singles player, senior Dimitriy Potemkin. Potemkin, who returned to Grant’s team after a successful

season last year, won five of the eight matches of the season, with an overall score of 5-3. Rosales’ performance this season was outstanding and vital to Grant’s success on the tennis court. Coach Lessem is deservedly proud of his team. While he greatly appreciates each team member’s efforts this season, he is especially grateful for those graduating seniors whose leadership and dedication have been essential to the team’s successes this year. “Special thanks to the seniors who played,” Coach Lessem said. “Mauricio Rosales, Kevin Oscal, Rob Luper, Derek Taylor, Kevin Johnson, and David Chaiyawan, and Dimitriy Potemkin and Angel Colindres.” Way to go, Lancers!

PHOTO BY STAFF Mauricio Rosales enjoys his Monroe victory and his success in the city individual championship tournament. Rosales played number one singles for Grant.

Lancer baseball loses to cross-town Viking rivals By Jazmine Sanchez

PHOTO BY BRENDA LEDEZMA Angel Gutierrez pitches off the mound to the Monroe batter. Gutierrez couldn’t get in the zone quickly enough, and Monroe went onto win 10-0.

PHOTO BY BRENDA LEDEZMA Monroe confers regarding their game plan. The Vikings were unstoppable Monday, getting the hits and runs they needed to win.

It was a stark day at the baseball field on May 4. The air was sharp like razors and so were the expectations of Grant’s varsity baseball players. The game, in which Grant faced off against Monroe High, was to promptly begin at 2:30 p.m. The boys were warming up and getting ready to play their eighth game before the end of the season. They went into the game with doubts, and their doubts were their downfall. “Sadly, we were already beat before we even reached the field, so the game was lost,” #7 Grant Captain Josh Rawlings said. “Jesus was on the mound, and he had a tough day: unable to get the ball in the zone.” Grant’s starting pitcher, Angel Gutierrez, was having trouble pitching in the first four innings. Monroe High had several bases on balls after Gutierrez got behind in the pitch count. The score by the fourth inning was 8-0 Monroe. Grant’s outfield struggled to maintain consistency, while Monroe was a play-making machine that allowed no breathing room for Grant. Seven of Monroe’s eight runs were scored in the first inning, and the eighth was in the third inning. Our baseball players seemed to be having troubles getting hits. Our Grant’s baseball team was defeated 10-0 by Monroe.

“As we warmed up, we knew that our worries would become true,” Captain Josh Rawlings #7 said. “In baseball, you must have the swagger of a million bucks if you want to compete.” The players were proud of their performance, though dis-

appointed at the loss. “The Lancers gave up a good fight but didn’t get the victory,” Essa Ammari #16 said. The season for this hard working team is unfortunately over. But next year’s focus will be a strong motivation to win.

PHOTO BY BRENDA LEDEZMA Grant’s dugout holds pensive players during the game against Monroe. The Lancers were unable to find their play-making, run-scoring mojo.

Grant High School Odyssey June 17, 2011

Page 7

spoRts Lady Lancer softball team wins last home game against Monroe High School, qualifies for league championships By Bea Naymon

PHOTO BY DIANA BECCERA Melissa Reynoso plays catcher, shortstop and third base. Our Lady Lancers are talented and multi-faceted, and are able to step up to the plate for a variety of positions.

Grant High School’s softball team played its last home game against Monroe High School expertly. Grant won the game by a landslide with a score of 20-3. Winning the game advanced the Lady Lancers to league championship play, and they even ended up winning a league game. The team’s productive offense and tight defense came together to seal the win against Monroe High. Lily Martinez pitched one of the greatest games of her season to end her final home game at Grant. Diana Becerra, team captain and a senior at Grant, said that the teamwork was very strong. “We were like sisters,” Becerra explained. “They [the players] do argue and disagree at times, but at the end of the day, they are family and they love each other. Their teamwork is strong enough to allow them to communicate and play an amazing game!” Even though it was Grant High’s last home stand, the girls played an outstanding game.

Congratulations to the winning team for a great support system. Great work to all the girls in the softball team, and hopefully their home game win will motivate next season’s team too!

Though the graduating senior players will be greatly missed, their hard work and dedication this season is an inspiration for all returning team members. Way to go, Lady Lancers! Your performance has been outstanding.

PHOTO BY DIANA BECCERA Jen Bonilla plays either first base or third base. Our defense powered through along with offense to secure our last home game win against the Monroe Vikings.

Swim team puts up a fight after marvelous winning streak By Jennifer Sagastume

PHOTO BY MIRVAT HARIRI Eli Bacher butterflies across the pool in his 200-meter individual medley. Bacher received the Coach’s Choice award this year at the swim team awards banquet.

It had been a marvelous winning streak for Grant High School’s Boys’ swim team; however, on May 4, that streak ended with a disappointing loss against Van Nuys High School. It was a bright, sunny day and the water in the pool glistened with the reflection of the sunlight. As soon as the swimmers arrived they were pumped up and made their way to the locker room to change into

their swimming trunks and bathing suits. The boys prepared for this big event by first stretching and concluded with a pre-swim cheer before getting started. Before Anthony Cortez started, I got the chance to ask him how he felt when swimming. “I get nervous, but you just have to push yourself,” Cortez said. “I sometimes feel like I want to just hurry and get it over with.”

The day started with a great deal of confidence because of the last winning meet on April 27. Eli Bacher was confident that Grant would pull out the team win, but had reservations about individual placements. “I feel that individually they’ll win,” Bacher explained. “As team, I’m a bit doubtful yet excited and pumped.” Unfortunately, our team ended up succumbing to Van Nuys. The boys came close with a final score of 58-100. Though our team did not pull off the win, some of our individual members on both the boys’ and girls’ teams fought for some fantastic indivudal wins. On the boys’s side, Bacher came out in second place in his 200-meter individual medlay with a time of 2:30. Bacher also secured second place in the 200-meter medlay relay with teammates Rafi Ben, Anthony Cortez and Jonaathan Levi; they took second with a time of 1:56. On the girls’ side, Mersy Maradiaga clinched first place

in the girls’ 100-meter butterfly with a speedy time of 1:16, and Savannah Ajar swam a fantastic 100-meter backstroke, placing first with an incredible time of 1:08. “Even though it was my first year on swim, there are moments like racing in league finals, which I will never forget,” Ajar said. The girls’ coach, Mrs. Dearth, was very pleased with the junior varsity swimmers. “They’re only ninth graders, but they stepped up and

became varsity, swimming 100’s instead of 50’s,” Coach. Dearth said. At the Grant swim team awards banquet, Anthony Cortez was named Most Valuable Swimmer for the boys’ team, and Mercy Maradiaga was named Most Valuable Swimmer for the girls’ team. As girls’ team captain, Maradiaga was also named Most Dedicated. Eli Bacher, as boys’ team captain, was awared the Coach’s Choice award.

PHOTO BY MIRVAT HARIRI Mersy Maradiaga powers to win first place in the girls’ 100-meter butterfly in 1:16. Maradiaga also won Most Valuable Swimmer for Grant’s girls’ swim team.

Grant High School Odyssey

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June 17, 2011


Lancers beats Arleta High in stellar track and field meet By Hovanes Mestdzhyan It was a cool 73 degrees and slightly windy, the perfect Californian weather on Wednesday, April 13, at the Grant High School football field and track. Grant’s girls’ and boys’ track and field teams filled the field along with the teams from Arleta High School right beside them. As everything was being put into place, both teams hectically started to warm up and prepare themselves for the much-anticipated meet that was about to unfold. I could see the enthusiasm in the faces on both teams as time flew by. Before I knew it, the first of the many events

was about to take place. First up were the competitors in the girls’ 400-meter race. They got into position and focused themselves, waiting and carefully listening for the starting gun. When the gun went off, it was like a light switch, quickly electrolyzing the girls, as they jolted themselves forward! Sprinting would not be a sufficiently fast way to describe the speed at which they ran. Itzel Diaz won the event in first place with two of Arleta’s athletes coming in second and third. This initial success was soon followed by the girls’ 300-meter hurdles. Grant won PHOTO BY HOVANES MESTDZHYAN Runners take their marks at the starting line and lean forward as the starting gun goes off and smoke fills the air. Grant boys dominated the track and field events, as did the girls, ensuring Grant’s victory in Wednesday’s meet.

PHOTO BY HOVANES MESTDZHYAN Devon Terraciano strains for the finish line. Happy Happy came in a close second in the boys’ 1-mile event, leading Arleta all four laps around the track.

that race as well, with Cecilia Gutierrez in first place and Arleta in second. The high jump and the pole vaulting were also dominated by Grant; Jasmine Osuna and Itzel Diaz tied for first in the high jump at 4 feet, 4 inches, and Stephanie Paz took 1st in pole vaulting. In the end, Grant’s girls’ track and field team won an outstanding ten of 15 events, showing Arleta how to get the job done. As the girls finished up and cleared the field, the boys were ready to take center stage. The high jump was won by Travis Wilson at 5 feet, 8 inches, and pole vaulting was won by Harjinder Singh at 9 feet 6 inches. Josh Perry dashed to victory in the boys’ 200-meter race, and shortly after, Happy

Happy finished first in the boys’ 2-mile race with a time of 11:21. Though there were many great events, the highlight of the day was certainly the boys’ 1-mile race. The athletes took their places, and after a few seconds, the gun sounded off and they begun their first lap of four. Grant’s own Devon Terraciano and Happy led the race lap after lap. I could see the bright orange of their jerseys while they hastened around the oval track. As the first lap turned into the second, and the second to the third, merely minutes had passed by until the fourth and final lap was upon them. The expressions on their faces gave it all away during the last half of the final lap. As

Terraciano approached the finish line he gave every last bit of his energy to assure his victory, and assure it he did. Terraciano came in first place with a time of 4 minutes, 56 seconds, meaning each lap must have been done at an average of 1:14! Two seconds later, Happy came in second place directly behind Terraciano. Grant’s boys’ track and field won an amazing eleven out of a total of fifteen events. “Our distance runners were really strong, winning overall.” Terraciano said. “We succeeded in a wide variety of events.” It was a triumphant victory for both the boys’ and the girls’ track and field teams. Every Grant competitor left the Arleta meet with a fine feeling of accomplishment.

Grant’s golf team competes in League Championships By Nicole Burova and Anna Machulsky On a sunny afternoon in took the league championship. Balboa Park, on April 12, Grant Members of the team conHigh’s golf team performed to sisted of Wendy Palma, Cethe best of their ability. cil Gutierrez, Jeffrey Geller, Though they did quite Ben Barness, Harjinder Sing, well, they unfortunately came Shehroz Mirza, Kean Evans in last place at the League and Ricky Sing. Championship, with the highGrant’s team enjoyed est score in the league. themselves at the League “As an average, Grant Championships and were just shot pretty happy to be well,” Sheh- “[They] learned a lot, there. roz Mirza developed their skills, were“There stated. a lot At the and had a lot of fun.” of hills game, Grant – Mr. Tyni rather than went up trees, and against Verit was easdugo Hills, Birmingham, and ier to perform more precisely,” Sylmar. Ultimately, Verdugo Wendy Palma said.

The highlight of the game was when Ricky Sing shot his best round of the season: shooting a 50 for nine holes, which really showcased his improvement this year. It was also a proud moment for us Lancers when Kean Evans received a trophy for his outstanding performances throughout his golf career at Grant High School. Mr. Tyni, as the athletic chairman, raved about the fact that the team “learned a lot, developed their skills, and had a lot of fun.” Mr. Tyni also excitedly stated that they are “open to build on the program.”

PHOTO BY STAFF Golf at Grant is represented by (from top left) Coach De La Torre, Kean Evens, Jeffrey Geller, Shehroz Mirza, Ben Barness, Coach Alba, Cecelia Guiterrez-Mata, Harjinder Singh and Wendy Prato. The team looks forward to a stellar year in 2012.

June 2011  

Newspaper of Ulysses S. Grant High School