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C HRONICLE the harvard-westlake

Los Angeles • Volume 23 • Issue 5 • Dec. 18, 2013 •

2014-2015 convocation to follow Labor Day


By Noa Yadidi



Such a Winter’s Day

SEASON’S TIDINGS: Head of Upper School Audrius Barzdukas sits on President Rick Commons’ lap during Winterfest Monday, right. Oliver Goodman-Waters ’14, left, Alec Zadikian ’14, Jason Park ’14 and Varun Gadh ’14 perform at the Coffee House Dec. 16, top left. Middle school student council senators and upper school prefects sing at annual Christmas service Sunday, bottom left.

Commons to rewrite mission statement By Jack Goldfisher

President Rick Commons has decided to rewrite the school’s mission statement to be more memorable and reflective of Harvard-Westlake’s core values. The current mission statement emphasizes the opportunities the school strives to provide for the development of its students’ intellectual, spiritual and emotional capacities. It states that students are taught to learn how to live “with integrity and purpose as contributing members of society.” Commons said he doesn’t disagree with the current mission statement’s sentiments, but he wants the new one to

be more digestible, which he hopes will help it become a credo that will inform students’ and faculty members’ daily decisions. “When I asked my administrative team what our mission statement was, zero could begin to remember what it was,” Commons said. “The same thing happened when I asked students.” Commons said that despite the school’s success, having a unifying mission statement is crucial to a real sense of community. To help achieve this goal, Commons has decided to assemble a committee of students and faculty to help him form the mission statement before the end of the school

year. “It’s important that [the new mission statement] contains goals reflective of ourselves and our aspirations,” Commons said. “We hope it’ll reflect what a broad swath of our community would say is important to us.” Commons said he was inspired by Johnson & Johnson’s complete nationwide recall of Tylenol in 1982 after cyanide was found in several Tylenol capsules and seven people died as a result of taking the pain reliever. “Even though the CEO knew that the only infected bottles came from one store, he decided to pull all bottles off of every shelf in the country,” Commons said. “He pointed to

their credo, which said their first obligation was to the doctors, nurses, patients, mothers and fathers they strived to help and that helped him make his decision. That’s what I want to be able to do, and what I want our students to be able to do.” Commons stressed the need for the new statement to reflect both the current state of the school and its future ambitions. “There need to be timeless truths that we hold as self-evident, and we need to be able to say them to each other,” he said, smiling. “Not that I’m comparing this to the Declaration of Independence, but we want our credo to be similarly timeless.”

School to accept more sophomore applicants By Patrick Ryan

The Office of Admission will accept as many as 20 new sophomores into the class of 2017 for next year, Director of Admission Elizabeth Gregory said Friday. The school has enrolled 29 new students into the 10th grade class the past three years. This year’s ninth grade



PRO BONO: Students and advisers showcased community service clubs at the nonprofit fair Dec. 9.

class is smaller than past years’, and the school tries to maintain the same overall enrollment at the upper school, which is 866 students this year. There is no maximum capacity for students at the upper school. “When we can take more in for 10th grade, it really gives us a chance to increase the diversity of the upper school,


KWANZAA CONFUSION: Many students are unsure of the origin and traditions of the weeklong holiday celebration.

which we love. The kids that we get for 10th grade are usually really wonderful,” Gregory said. “They are older, they are more mature [and] they know what they are getting themselves into by coming to a rigorous college prep school like Harvard-Westlake.” The applicants are usually academically or athletically oriented students looking

BUMP IN THE FIELD: The varsity girls’ soccer team suffered an early season loss against Mira Costa. The team is now 2-1 on the season.


for more competitive sports programs or a greater challenge in academics than they are receiving at their current schools, she said. The school typically receives 100 to 150 applicants for 10th grade, but Gregory said she hopes that number will increase. The school will host a • Continued on page A9

School will begin next fall with the second all-school opening convocation Sept. 2, the day after Labor Day. After the first-ever allschool opening convocation this year, the administration decided to begin school next year with a similar ceremony, again on the upper school campus, Head of School Jeanne Huybrechts said. No planning for the convocation has begun yet, she added. Huybrechts said that the different oaths taken by middle and upper school student council members may change to a single, unified oath. However, Huybrechts noted that the upper school prefects would still need an additional part written in their oath to account for their Honor Board responsibilities. When creating the calendar, the administration considers whether holidays will fall on school days and tries to refrain from starting before Labor Day, as it did this year. “We feel that we can start after Labor Day next year because Labor Day is so early,” Executive Assistant to the President Ann-Marie Whitman said. “It’s Sept. 1, the earliest it could possibly be, so we are taking advantage of that.” While the administration is not ready to release any further dates such as to when breaks will start and end, Huybrechts confirmed that both Easter and Passover will fall during spring break, unlike this year. Whitman said that because no extra days off will have to be given for these holidays, it gives the school more leniency on when it can begin. “We really just look at where holidays fall and then try to focus what makes the most sense to use our time wisely and be mindful of our families and vacation times and other kids that have to be on campus before school starts,” Whitman said.

ONtheWEB DR. DOLITTLE: Science teacher Blaise Eitner shows off his iguana, one of many animals in his classroom. Watch the full menagerie tour at eitner


The Harvard-Westlake Chronicle Wednesday, Dec. 18, 2013 3700 Coldwater Canyon Ave. Studio City, Calif. 91604


GREAT MINDS: Jacob Gold ’15, Donhem Brown ’14, Nicholas Abouzeid ’15 and Enya Huang ’15 participate in a Science Bowl scrimmage Dec. 14.

WEB MANAGER: Webmaster Lillian Contreras surveys the school’s website on her computer screens in the Didax House near Saint Michael’s Church. LEILY ARZY/CHRONICLE


News A6

Features B4


JAZZ HANDS: Andy Arditi ’14, an alto saxophone player, was selected to play in the Grammy Camp Jazz Band.


A&E B10

Sports C2

GOING VERTICAL: Mike Sheng ’14 (#30) drives to the basket against St. Bernard in the University Tournament Dec. 10.

Senior tapes more than 100 jokes as examples of student humor By Sydney Foreman and Julia Aizuss

First, Aidan Yetman-Michaelson ’14 was told to order crumbly bread. Then, he was instructed to ask for oil. Next, he had to demand that the sandwich not be cut. While oil was smeared on the bread, shout that there’s not enough oil, and call the employee by name. Lastly, stuff the purchased sandwich down the trash. With this simple procedure, Yetman-Michaelson learned how best to annoy the employees of Subway Restau-

rant. He gathered these instructions, along with numerous knock-knock jokes and short anecdotes, as examples of humor from students. When Yetman-Michaelson noticed that his math teacher, Christopher Gragg, was throwing out 500 cassette tapes, he took them and began recording jokes on them, approaching both people he knew and people he didn’t. “I had a bunch of tapes and a lot of free time,” he said. The most common joke Yetman-Michaelson heard was, “What did one lawyer say to the other lawyer?” the an-

swer being, “We are both lawyers.” After hearing this joke repeatedly throughout the day, he came across a classmate who changed the response of the joke to be, “Don’t be silly, lawyers can’t talk.” “That’s not a funny joke,” Yetman-Michaelson said. “After listening to it about 50 times, [this version] started to be funny.” Yetman-Michaelson used only one full tape for his recordings and interviewed about 100 people. He intends to use one or two more of the hundreds of cassette tapes to recreate a similar project with

The Chronicle, the student newspaper of Harvard-Westlake School, is published nine times per year and distributed free on both the upper and middle school campuses. There are 727 students at the Middle School and 870 students at the Upper School. Subscriptions may be purchased for $20 a year for delivery by mail. Unsigned editorials represent the majority opinion of the seniors on the Editorial


KNOCK KNOCK: Aidan Yetman-Michaelson ’14 records Laurel Rand-Lewis ’16 telling her best joke on his cassette tape. strangers at The Grove. A few more of the tapes will be used for him and his friend to record “avant-garde, cuttingedge, experimental” music. Yetman-Michaelson and

his father, English teacher Jeremy Michaelson, listened to the tape in the car ride home. He is also considering playing the jokes on his KHWS radio show.

Board. Letters to the editor may be submitted to or mailed to 3700 Coldwater Canyon Ave., Studio City, CA 91604. Letters must be signed and may be edited for space and to conform to Chronicle style and format. Advertising questions may be directed to Tara Stone at 310-430-8537. Publication of an advertisement does not imply endorsement of the product or service by the newspaper or the school.

Dec. 18, 2013

News A3

Prefect Council hosts Winterfest, festive Coffee House By Lauren Sonnenberg


BE THE CHANGE: Elizabeth Goran ’15, left, runs the table for the Students Taking on Poverty Club. Noah Bennett ’15, right, colors a piggy bank for Community Service Fair held during break Dec. 9.

Community Council welcomes volunteer organizations, clubs

By Marcella Park

Community Council organized service-related activities for every day of the week from Dec. 9 to 13. To start Community Service Week, the council held a non-profit fair Monday where clubs and organizations advertised community service opportunities. Wednesday’s activity involved making care kits and writing letters to soldiers as part of the community service project Operation Gratitude, and on Thursday students made bracelets for Camp Harmony and ran a bake sale raising money for hygiene kits for homeless students. On the final day, students made sandwiches for the St. Francis Center, which serves homeless and low income locals, and painted welcome signs for the Habitat for Humanity club. “I think it’s a really good opportunity for people to get involved and it’s a lot less boring than normal activities fair

because you have people actually interacting rather than just giving out candy,” Students Taking on Poverty Club founder Elizabeth Goran ’15 said. “It’s actually related to the activity.” Featured outside of school organizations at the fair included City Year and Meals on Wheels. A representative from City Year told students about giving a year between high school and college or college and graduate school to tutor public school students with a high risk of dropping out. With Meals on Wheels, students can volunteer to serve the disabled and elderly meals for a nominal price. The fair was the first fair exclusively for service-oriented organizations and clubs. Community Council member Cosima Elwes ’15 said the council had decided on the fair thinking it might be helpful for students to be able to sign up for a number of community service clubs in one place. During Tuesday’s junior class meeting, a representa-

tive from March of the Living spoke about a trip to Poland and Israel that students can take to remember those affected by the Holocaust, and Community Council showed a video promoting the new 12hour community service requirement for the year that represented time spent using dimes. Freddy Chavez, who works for Homeboy Industries, a program that works with previously gang-involved or incarcerated individuals, spoke about his experiences as a gang member and how his life changed when his two children were born. The reception that followed in Chalmers lounge included Homeboy Industries shirts for sale and samples of the baked goods they produce. At senior class meeting Wendesday, a volunteer from Operation Grattiude visited and spoke about opportunities to help those serving abroad. The representative from March of the Living also showed a video and outlined the trip.

Faculty approves total of six new ISIR, math, foreign language classes By Jake Saferstein Classes in mythology, surrealism, fly-fishing and robotics will be offered next year, along with two new classes in math and foreign language. The four Independent Studies and Interdisciplinary Research classes added are “The Art and Science of Fly Fishing,” “Mythology and its Meaning: Gods and Godesses; Heroines and Heroes,” “Surrealism in Poetry, Painting and Film” and “Robotics.” The Faculty Academic Committee approved the classes at its November meeting. The classes will be offered providing enough students enroll. The Art and Science of Fly Fishing will be taught by visual arts teacher Art Tobias and science teacher Dietrich Schuhl. Schuhl’s and Tobias’s goal is to bring together art and science through fly fishing. “If you fish a lot you have a lot of time to illuminate on things like the physics of the line,” Tobias said. “In the Renaissance, science and art were the same thing, done by the same people; we want to

combine those two again.” Schuhl and Tobias are still finishing up the exact curriculum, but plan to make the course hands-on; however, students do not need any prior fishing experience to enroll. Latin teacher Paul Chenier will teach Mythology and its Meaning: Gods and Goddesses; Heroines and Heroes. “The goal of the class is to read the myths through translated primary sources and appreciate them as literary works, but also to ground them back into historical and cultural context by looking at what role they played,” Chenier said. “We’ll discuss how the myths relate to history, religion, and art and architecture.” The class will also work to relate myths studied to modern art and culture. Science teacher and Robotics club adviser Karen Hutchison will teach the new robotics course. The class will focus on the competition season, with offseason projects decided by the participants in the class. Additionally, the Robotics club will continue to participate in robotics competitions and will be open to students not en-

rolled in the robotics class. “My hope is to have some instruction, but the class will be very project based and focus on whatever the students want,” Hutchison said. Surrealism in Poetry, Painting and Film will be taught by English teacher Sasha Watson. “We want to look at surrealism by looking at examples like reading poems and thinking about photos,” Watson said. “Then we’ll put it into practice, with projects like writing or maybe even film.” Directed Studies in General Topology, one of the two academic courses added, is an advanced math course for students who have already taken Advanced Seminar in Mathematics. It will be taught by math teacher Joe Busch. Topology is the study of “rubber sheet geometry” that deals with very abstract geometrical concepts like taking one shape and folding it into another. Chinese Literature and Culture Honors will be taught by Chinese teacher Yi Jiang and is designed for students who have completed AP Chinese and Chinese V.

when “The Nightmare Before Christmas” was screened. Students dressed up in one“I feel like Onesie Wednessies and decorated cookies in day is an idea that the whole the lounge today as part of the school can take part in, and it annual Winterfest celebration, feeds on the excitement inherhosted by Social Committee ent in being ridiculously comand Prefect Council. “Mean fortable in a place that can Girls” was also screened in sometimes feel overwhelmthe lounge throughout the ing,” Lehrhoff said. “Based day. Each day has a different on the community’s reaction theme and movie playing in to Monday and Tuesday’s the lounge. Winterfest activities, we’re “I [was] parprojecting a large ticularly excited amount of particifor Onesie Wenespation and exciteday because Prefect ment surrounding Council has distoday’s activities.” cussed at length the Thursday marks need for community the fourth day of in a school like ours Winterfest, when which can get quite students are invited hectic,” senior preto participate in the fect Greg Lehrhoff first-ever “Thermal nathanson’s ’14 said. Thursday” by wearWinterfest began Greg Lehrhoff ’14 ing puffy jackets with “Merry Monand warm clothing day,” during which students while watching “Home Alone” were encouraged to dress up in the lounge. Whereas other in festive clothes and watch days of Winterfest are aimed “Elf ” in the lounge. Wetzel’s at providing entertainment to Pretzels were also sold on the students on campus with daily quad all day Monday. Dur- movie screenings and holiday ing activities period Monday, food items, Thursday offers a the Activities, Recreation and chance to give back, as stuCare for Individuals with De- dents can record messages for velopmental Disabilities Bell patients at Children’s Hospital Choir performed with the in the deans’ conference room. Harvard-Westlake Jazz Sing- Winterfest will conclude with ers. After celebrating during “Frosty Friday,” when stuthe day, students attended dents are encouraged to wear the second Coffee House of white clothing and watch the year, which took place in “How the Grinch Stole ChristChalmers lounge. mas” before snow decorates “It was a great way to pre- the quad at the end of the day. form during a time of stress Wintergrams that were with all of the tests before purchased last week are being break,” Dora Palmer ’15 said. delivered during class meet“Also, I enjoy being able to ex- ings throughout the week. press myself and see other tal- Sophomores received their ented members of our commu- Wintergrams Monday; juniors nity.” Palmer sang and played theirs Tuesday. Senior will piano to “Say Something.” receive their Wintergrams The week continued with Wednesday during class meetTacky Sweater Tuesday, ing.

FAC adds four new classes to Kutler Center curriculum Mythology, The Art and Science of Fly Fishing, Robotics and Surrealism in Poetry, Painting and Film will be offered next year to upper school students. Below is a description of the basic curriculum of each class.

Mythology: Students will read translated myths and connect them to modern culture. The Art and Science of Fly Fishing: The class will combine artistic and scientific studies through fly fishing. Robotics: The class will focus on instructing participants in robotbuilding competitions. Surrealism in Poetry, Painting and Film: Students will analyze examples of surrealism and create their own projects while studing the history of the movement. SOURCE: LARRY KLEIN GRAPHIC BY SCOTT NUSSBAUM

The Chronicle

A4 News

Siemens honors senior’s research

Dec. 18, 2013

By Jensen Pak

Vincent Huang ’14 was one of 331 students in the nation to receive semifinalist recognition in the 2013 Siemens Competition in Math, Science and Technology for his research in the application of tagging EphB4 antibodies to diagnose cancer. The competition “recognizes remarkable talent early on, fostering individual growth for high school students who are willing to challenge themselves through science research,” according to the Siemens Foundation website. Huang began conducting research the summer of 2010 with Ram Kumar Subramanyan, an assistant professor of Surgery and Pediatrics at the Keck School of Medicine at USC. Subramanyan’s lab studies targeted molecular therapy, which negates proteins specific to cancer cells. Huang’s work in the lab focused on the protein EphB4, which has been found to be present in the majority of epithelial cancers. The protein allows cancer cells to evade programmed cell death and form their own blood vessels. “Because EphB4 helps cancer cells survive through two mechanisms, is not present in healthy tissue and is easily accessible due to its location in the exterior membrane of the cells, it is an ideal and pretty unique molecular target,” Huang said. Huang’s research paper investigates the use of tagging EphB4 antibodies that break down the EphB4 protein. “We’ve found that tagging the antibodies with fluorescent dye can be used to detect cancer cells much smaller than those identifiable by current methods of diagnosis,” Huang said. “Tagging them with a different fluorescent dye has been found to be able to detect individual cancer cells in the bloodstream, which will allow doctors to stage more accurately cancer patients.”


Teachers discuss memories ‘at the MIC’

LIFE LESSONS: English teacher Jocelyn Medawar talks about lessons she learned during each year of middle and high school, left. Math department head Paula Evans asks everyone to smile and discusses the calming effects of doing so during a hectic day. MIC stands for a “moment in contemplation”. There have been eight MIC talks this year, all during activities period in the quad.

Parking structure report raises questions on environment, noise, geological impact By Julia Aizuss

cited a geologist saying that, due to the difference in founThe Draft Environmental dations, each side of the bridge Impact Report the school sub- could react differently during mitted for a parking structure a “moderate to large” earthon the west side of Coldwa- quake, causing collapse. ter Canyon did not The council was satisfactorily study also concerned the geological, wildlife structure wouldn’t be and noise impact, the compatible with the Studio City NeighStudio City-Sherman borhood Council said Oaks-Toluca LakeDec. 11. Cahuenga Pass ComThe council board munity Plan’s policy voted to send a letto protect neighborter with this concluhoods from developnathanson’s sion as its response ment. The DEIR’s Rick Commons to the DEIR followland use analysis ing a presentation by failed to study conSCNC secretary Rita Villa of flicts with the community the letter’s abstract, which has since it only studied what it since been posted on the coun- deemed “relevant” policies in cil’s website. the plan. Villa said the DEIR The board said maps of the should have studied all polibridge site show land on one cies, and without doing so, a side of Coldwater is liquefac- claim of no significant impact tion, meaning the soil could could not be substantiated. lose strength under stress like Villa said the DEIR should an earthquake. The response have discussed plans alterna-

tive to the school’s Parking Improvement Plan, which proposes a three-level garage with a rooftop practice field and a pedestrian bridge across Coldwater to campus. The project would also add traffic lanes in both directions in front of the school. Before the presentation, residents could speak for up to a minute. Support for the plan doubled opposition, with many school parents, alumni and employees expressing support for greater safety and traffic flow. Except President Rick Commons and Vice President John Amato, all employees spoke for those who couldn’t attend. Many read letters from local businesses like Five Guys and Ralphs. Among all the businesses’ letters, similar phrases cropped up, such as describing the school as an “economic engine” for local business. Residents opposing the plan urged the school to con-

sider alternatives to building on the west side of Coldwater. They also worried about environmental impact, geological impact and the plan’s “selfish” nature, as St. Michaels All Angels and Episcopal Church rector Dan Justin called it. Council president John Walker predicted six to eight more hearings would need to occur before the council issues a decision. After the council reviews the final EIR, it will submit a response letter indicating support or opposition. Commons said he was eager to address neighbors’ worries, particularly geological concerns. “I don’t have enough facts to be able to comment [about geological impact],” Commons said. “It’s certainly worthwhile for us to understand. I don’t know the extent to which the science supports the neighborhood’s concerns. We have some work to do.”

New ID application for scanners to be released to teachers, students By Jessica Spitz


NEW SCANNERS: Raymond Chung ’15 uses the new scanning system to purchase food in the cafeteria. Instead of handing a cafeteria employee their school ID, students can now charge themselves.

Student ID card scanners were installed in the cafeterias at the middle and upper schools Nov. 19. While ID cards used to be swiped by cafeteria employees in order to purchase food, now students simply hold their cards up to the scanner themselves. “When I first saw the scanners I was kind of surprised because they were so cool and it made [paying] so much faster and easier,” Sloane Chmara ’15 said. The new scanners are only one aspect of the initiative Prefect Council is in the process of implementing. While still at the middle school, sophomore prefects Grace Pan ’16 and Alec Winshel ’16 were approached by seventh graders who suggested the use of an ID application, which would make physical ID cards unnecessary.

They contacted Cameron Cohen ’16, who has experience in coding and programming, to help create an app for iPhones and Androids. “We noticed that students easily crack, lose or forget their ID cards, and were spending tons of money buying new ones or were constantly borrowing their friends,” Pan said. Pan and Winshel sent a detailed presentation of their plan to Chief Financial Officer Rob Levin, who gave them the administration’s approval. They also enlisted the help of Director of Computer Services Dave Ruben. When Pan, Winshel and Cohen arrived at the Upper School this year, they teamed up with Charles du Manoir ’15 and Jono Klein ’15, two members of the Entrepreneur Club. Du Manoir and Klein had had a similar idea of having school

IDs on students’ phones. The app was released to teachers Dec. 16 and will be available for students to download from the app store in the near future. There will be QR codes posted around campus that students can scan on their phones, which will link them immediately to the app. “Right now there is some more testing to try to make the app and the scanners work as fast as possible, but it’s almost done,” Cohen said. Students will be able to log in using their HarvardWestlake usernames and passwords. The ID on the screen will resemble normal IDs, with photos, ID numbers, bus stickers and barcodes. “We believe that students will enjoy the benefits of the new electronic IDs because the majority of students have their phone easily accessible,” Pan said.

Dec. 18, 2013

News A5

Workload committee begins data analysis By Noa Yadidi


Photography I classes display ‘selective developing’ project POST-PRODUCTION: Students in Photography I used the selective developing technique, which involves dripping and painting developing chemicals onto exposed photo paper, in their most recent projects. This method allows the photographer to choose which elements of the picture they would like to highlight. The photographs are currently being showcased in Rugby Hall.

Students assist teachers, maintenance staff as part of new detention system requirements By Alex McNab

Detentions can now be served by assisting faculty members other than the maintenance staff. Students are required to provide assistance to a teacher for at least 15 minutes a day for five days during their free periods in order to complete their sentence. Faculty members that have received assistance through this program include athletic trainer Milo Sini, Assistant to the Head of the Upper School Michelle Bracken, upper school attendance coordinator Gabe Preciado, science

teacher Antonio Nassar and the morning, but Preciado exfootball coach Scot Ruggles. tended it to include the rest of The previous detention the school day because midday system, which is no rather than morning longer available, reis when the faculty quired students to needs the most help. sit quietly in a classPreciado hopes room for an hour on a that students will enWednesday morning joy helping the school or to write a charcommunity while acter building essay. serving their detenThe new system was tions. proposed by Preciado “I know maintein November in order nance needs a lot of nathanson’s to allow students to help,” Preciado said. Gabe Preciado serve their sentence “But I know cerwhile benefiting the tainly other teachers school. could use a lot of help. Maybe Originally, the new deten- [students] can reach out to tion could only be served in some teachers that they want

School to host cultural exchange program, second WLSA conference

By Patrick Ryan

As a founding member of the World Leading Schools Association, Harvard-Westlake will host the second annual WLSA Student Conference in July. The school will also launch a new summer program, the World Youth Leadership Institute, which will take place the week before the WLSA conference. In conjunction with the WLSA conference, the school will host the first Hudnut Cup, a soccer tournament named after former President Tom Hudnut; it will feature between six and eight teams comprised of students attending the World Youth Leadership Institute and the WLSA conference. The association focuses on collaboration between secondary schools in China and the West, including South Africa, Canada, Australia, the United States and the United Kingdom. To attend a WLSA conference, the students must speak either Mandarin or English. Initially, the organization was devoted to administrators, as a way of determining the best methods of

teaching and curriculum, but WLSA expanded to host its inaugural student conference in Shanghai last July. Around 120 students attended the conference, including 13 from Harvard-Westlake. “I had the chance to communicate with other Chinese students and spending time with those students really gave me a new perspective on Chinese culture,” Joss Saltzman ’16 said. “I’ve been studying Chinese for six years now and it was really enjoyable to put all that studying to use.” Saltzman is also part of the planning committee for this year’s WLSA conference. “The goal is to replicate that cultural exchange and for us to be able to reciprocate so that the Chinese students can experience our culture,” Saltzman said. “Last year we had a lot of chances to go exploring in the Shanghai area. The idea is to provide similar experiences. Some of the things that we are suggesting are a trip to Hollywood and the Griffith Observatory to really let the Chinese students immerse themselves in our culture.” “If you’re coming from in-

ner Mongolia for a conference, you want to see Los Angeles, you want to see Hollywood, you want to see Kanye [West],” Head of Upper School Audrius Barzdukas said. The World Youth Leadership Institute will bring students from China to study at Harvard-Westlake along with students from the Los Angeles area. The program will focus on Western and Eastern style leadership, globalization, international relations and international economics. “It will be an intensive course in leadership and the challenges of leading in a hyper-connected world,” Barzdukas said. “There is a significant amount of interest from the East, particularly China, to come to the U.S. for educational programs,” upper school dean Jim Patterson said. “A lot of it has developed because there is an increasing interest from Chinese students to attend college in the West. In order to help to prepare for that transition, there is a lot of interest in Chinese students attending summer programs in the U.S. at independent

to redeem moments with or just lend a helping hand. I think that flexibility is very important. They like the idea of reaching out to their prior teachers.” Alex Thal ’14 served his detention by helping the maintenance staff pick up trash on the quad during his free periods. “I think it’s a better learning experience,” Thal said. “And I also felt kind of good helping out the community even though I was being punished. I kind of enjoyed it actually, because it was a good thing, rather than just sitting in a room wasting my time.”

The workload study committee convened for its first meeting Dec. 12 at the Middle School, where committee members met each other for the first time and went through the surveys and data collected from students in all grades through the workload survey administered in November. Each person on the 15-member committee then received a binder full of the data collected in the survey. “The committee hadn’t yet looked through everything, so before we move forward with analysis and subsequent recommendations, we want to make sure everyone is up to speed with all the data,” middle school Dean of Faculty and Latin teacher Moss Pike said. Pike, along with science teacher David Hinden, is overseeing the project. The committee, which consists of two students, two parents, deans, teachers and other administrators, hopes to meet every other Thursday from January to May, in at least eight meetings in total. Pike said while the committee did not have enough time at the meeting to analyze specific numbers, some that they briefly looked at verified what they had always thought. “We know that HarvardWestlake students don’t get as much sleep as we’d all like, and the numbers reflect that,” Pike said. Almost 120,000 total data points were collected as part of the survey and it will take time to break the data down, Pike said.

I see a tremendous educational opportunity for both Harvard-Westlake students and L.A. area students to have a cultural exchange and to be in the classroom with students from China.” —Jim Patterson Upper School Dean

schools and boarding schools.” The school hopes to expand the World Youth Leadership Institute to two weeks starting the summer of 2015 and possibly expand to three weeks in the next five to eight years. Patterson also said he would like to see it develop to the point where financial aid can be granted to students attending the program. He anticipates that between 30 and 40 students total will participate in the program, focused on leadership development. Patterson hopes that those students will stay another week and attend the WLSA student conference. “I see a tremendous educational opportunity for both Harvard-Westlake students and L.A. area students to have a cultural exchange and to be in the classroom with students from China,” Patterson said. “The Chinese educational system is a bit different than the Western educational system.


I think there is a tremendous opportunity for [HarvardWestlake] as well, to tap into this market and provide an opportunity for HarvardWestlake and Los Angeles area students beyond what they can find in a traditional high school environment from September through June.” The idea for the Hudnut Cup came from Barzdukas and WLSA executive director Jack Geagh. The tournament will run for four days in conjunction with the WLSA student conference and will only feature boys’ teams. Three Chinese scools and one Canadian school have committed to play in the tournament. “Mr. Hudnut is a busy man, but we hope that Mr. Hudnut can present the first ever Hudnut Cup,” Barzdukas said. The students attending the World Youth Leadership Institute and the WLSA conference will be housed in the UCLA dormitories.

A6 News

The Chronicle


Dec. 18, 2013

Stone-Cutters extends submission deadline

Stone-Cutters, HarvardWestlake arts and literary magazine, extended its deadline to Dec. 16 to allow students to submit more literary works. Though more than 130 submissions have been received for Stone-Cutters, only 25 of those submmissions were literary works. “Although in recent years the number of visual art submissions we’ve received has ballooned, we try to represent literary and visual works equally,” Stone-Cutters editorin-chief Julia Aizuss ’14 said. Stone-Cutters plans to come out sometime during spring. —Jonathan Seymour

School Year Abroad applications due Feb. 17

School Year Abroad online applications for the 20142015 school year are due Feb. 17. Director of Financial Aid, SYA Coordinator and French teacher Geoff Bird will interview all applicants. Students must also submit their high school transcript along with recommendations from their foreign language, English and math teachers as well as their dean. Students can choose to study in Spain, France, Italy or China. “I just knew I wanted a new experience like some sort of study abroad program, and I liked SYA because it would give me the opportunity to experience an entirely different place in the world while also improving my Spanish,” Jonathan Sington ’15, who is currently abroad in Spain, said. —Henry Vogel

Philomatheans Club screens second movie

The Philomathean Club held its second screening of the year Dec. 9. The club members watched the movie “On the Waterfront” starring Marlon Brando. “Everyone who came really seemed to enjoy the film and we had a great discussion afterward,” club leader Nikta Mansouri ’15 said. The club will host another event outside of school during winter break. —Jonathan Seymour

Hub spams students’ inboxes with emails

Students and faculty enrolled in a section of Advanced Topics in Computer Science Honors and in one of last year’s AP Physics B classes received spam emails from the Hub from Nov. 30 to Dec. 2. The Hub sent each account enrolled in either class section upwards of 100 emails, each one containing a notification of a blog update. “It is unknown what the root cause of the feed was so the problem can not be blocked [from happening again],” mathematics and computer science teacher Jason Fieldman said before he found the bug. “However, once the problem was identified, it was easy to fix.” —Scott Nussbaum


LAB PARTNERS: Jacob Gold ’15, left, Donhem Brown ’14, Nicholas Abouzeid ’15 and Enya Huang ’15 compete in the scrimmage Dec. 14 against North Hollywood High School and Sherman Oaks Center for Enriched Students. The next scrimmage is scheduled for Jan. 11.

Science Bowl hosts interschool scrimmage, announces formation of training teams By Jonathan Seymour and Siddharth Kucheria

Science Bowl hosted a scrimmage against North Hollywood High School and Sherman Oaks Center for Enriched Students Dec. 14. The scrimmage was open to everyone in Science Bowl, not just people on teams. A-team captain Anser Abbas ’14, Nicholas Abouzeid ’15, Donhem Brown ’14, Katie Ehrlich ’14, Marko Fejzo ’15, Jacob Gold ’15, Jonathan Heckerman ’15 Enya Huang ’15, Kevin Zhang ’14 and Larry Zhang ’14 participated in the matches. Teams consist of four people each. There are two types of questions, multiple choice and short answer. In toss-up ques-

tions, the person who clicked This year Science Bowl his or her buzzer was not al- added C and D teams to “enlowed to discuss the question courage and train the next with teamgeneration of mates and Science Bowl must answer players,” sciimmediately. ence teacher The scrimmage Questions anNathan Carwent well. I think we swered cordin said in an rectly were email to club need to spend more followed by a members. time practicing. I hope bonus quesCardin we have another tion for that and the stuteam, which dent leaderscrimmage soon.” teammates ship of the were allowed —Anser Abbas ’14 club decided to discuss the to create question. the C and D “The scrimmage went teams this year because more well,” Abbas said. “I think we than 40 students, an all-time need to spend more time prac- high for the Science Bowl, exticing. I hope we have another pressed interest in active parscrimmage soon.” ticipation in the club.

“While this speaks incredibly well of our club’s current vitality, it clearly made the selection process that much more difficult,” Cardin said. There are five members on each team, and the A and B teams are composed of juniors and seniors, along with one sophomore alternate each. “When choosing alternates for the A and B teams, we decided to continue on with a philosophical approach that worked well for us last year, choosing two promising sophomores,” Cardin said. “When deciding on each team, many factors were considered: active participation, content knowledge, willingness to be a team player, maturity, positivity, buzzer speed, and accuracy.”

Board of Trustees approves budget Huybrechts based on long-term financial issues to launch global By Julia Aizuss

whose changing financial situation requires them to obtain In the preliminary tuition financial aid. and salary budget for the “We thought that pace was 2014-2015 school year that the cooling,” Levin said, after the Board of Trustees approved steep rise of yearly emergenDec. 2, the Business Office cies caused by the recession, considered, in the absence of but it has risen again, from the “noteworthy” concerns, long- low 20s to the low 30s. term factors like financial aid In 2008, when the recesand the healthcare budget, sion hit, the number per year Chief Financial Officer Rob of emergencies grew from Levin said. eight to 40 students in the Levin said it’s preferable 2008-2009 school year. for the number of students on These events impacted financial aid to remain con- the budget and have driven sistent in each grade, but the the percent of students on fituition for all independent nancial aid from the steady schools has grown faster than 17 percent the Business Office both inflation and income. This targets to 18 percent — maybe means that the pool of 18.5 percent by the students who apply year’s end, Levin to Harvard-Westlake said. without financial aid “We try not to is shrinking, so more budget based on of the students who lumpiness,” Levin end up attending the said. “We try and school will need finansmooth things out. cial aid. We look at the Although this is bumpiness in finannathanson’s a long-term factor, cial aid, we look at Rob Levin Levin said for the past the bumpiness in encouple of years the rollment — the wobschool has accepted a couple ble, if you will.” more students each year on fiWith Harvard-Westlake’s nancial aid than usual. self-funded healthcare system, The class of 2014 has a Levin said the budget has been greater number of students on cheaper than expected for the aid than usual, so its gradua- past few years, especially since tion “takes pressure off ” the the yearly compound growth 2014-15 budget, Levin said. rate has been just one percent, However, he said this is a number Levin called “unsuscounterbalanced by the un- tainable.” expected number of “emerAfter budgeting healthgencies” recently — students care at $2.7 million or below

since 2001, the Business Office reached a “day of reckoning” last year, hitting $2.8 million. This year, based on the preliminary tuition and salary budget, the healthcare budget may hit $3.3 million, bumping up the compound growth rate to 3.5 to 4 percent, Levin said. The preliminary tuition and salary budget also does not break even, Levin said. “It’s got a small six-figure deficit,” Levin said. “Again, that’s in the context of a $70 million budget [in total for the school].” “There are no consequences right now, because what are the consequences of a weather forecast?” he added. More often than not, the preliminary budget doesn’t break even, so this is not out of the ordinary, Levin said. “Early in the game, we have to be a little pessimistic,” he said. The only budget in the last 29 years that did not end up running a surplus was from 2008-0209, when the recession hit. All surpluses go towards the school’s reserves of about $15-20 million, which are used either for planned renewal and replacement of tools like faculty laptops and projectors, or “any sort of surprise,” like an earthquake, Levin said. The Board of Trustees will release the tuition for the 2014-2015 school year in February.

education site

By Noa Yadidi

Head of School Jeanne Huybrechts plans to launch a global education website in the next six weeks to promote and encourage global connections for students and teachers. The website will be linked to the Harvard-Westlake website and will be composed of stories and pictures of students and teachers who take part in different global education initiatives like the yearly Gunter-Gross fellowships and the teacher exchange with Eton College two years ago. Huybrechts said she also hopes the website will be aspirational and foster new ideas for global education. “If ever there was a 21st century skill it is recognizing that we are a global economy, that we are connected and that probably many of our students will some day work in another country and preparing our students for that world,” she said. The website will also provide more information about activities that students in classes like foreign language and the new world religions course can participate in to connect them to others around the world. “I can always count on teachers and kids here to give us new ideas because we’re always looking for the next great idea in this area,” Huybrechts said.

Dec. 18, 2013

News A7


Mock Trial makes competition playoffs


CiviTalks posts relationship photos PEOPLE OF INTEREST: Students examine photos from the Dec. 11 CiviTalks. Groups took pictures in pairs demonstrating various interpersonal relationships ito emulate an experiment by a New York photographer that posed strangers as couples for photos.

Diversity conference remembers Carr ’14, parents deliver closing ceremony address By Sophie Kupiec-Weglinski

Justin Carr ’14, former South Africa President Nelson Mandela and others were remembered Dec. 5-7 at the National Association of Independent Schools Student Diversity and Leadership conference in National Harbor, Md. Carr’s parents, Susan and Darrell were invited to address the 1,400 students at the closing ceremony. The theme was “Honoring the Past.” Carr’s parents showcased their son’s artwork, discussed his quest for world peace and spoke about who their son was. Last year, Carr attended the SDLC with director of book-

store operations Tina Cleveland, Zita Biosah ’14, Mazelle Etessami ’14, Alexis Ladge ’15 and Malanna Wheat ’14. “Justin came back energized and said that the conference changed his life, and he met so many great kids from all over the United States who attend private schools,” Susan said. During the summer, Susan found Carr’s writings about the conference when browsing on his computer and was inspired to contact conference organizers. “Attending the Student Diversity and Leadership Conference in Houston, Texas, was one of the greatest experienc-

es in my life,” Carr had written. “I always thought that I was a very open and accepting person and that this program wouldn’t teach me anything or help me grow, but I was so wrong. Everyone has prejudices that are subconscious, and I wasn’t aware of mine until I came to this program.” Susan sent an email to the program’s committee about how much the experience meant to her son, along with a photo of Carr with African American astronaut Bernard Harris, whom he met at the conference. Collinus Newsome, one of the planners, replied that she remembered Justin and took that picture of him

with the astronaut. “She said she remembered him out of the 1,200 students who attended because he was polite and patiently waited and let everyone go ahead of him so that he could be the last one with Dr. Harris,” Susan said. “Justin was looking into the possibility of Dr. Harris being the guest speaker for the BLACC Black History Month Celebration.” Subsequently, Susan and her husband were invited to address the conference. “The kids came up to the mic and voiced how in just a few short days, they have changed for the better,” Susan said.

Teachers to receive new growth handbook By Noa Yadidi


THE ART OF ZEN: Members of Peer Support freeze in yoga poses for a nighttime photo scavenger hunt on campus Saturday.

Peer Support requires new sleepover contracts By Kelly Loeb

A new policy now requires students to sign a contract prior to attending Peer Support sleepovers in order to ensure proper and school-appropriate behavior. “We want people to feel comfortable and safe at their sleepovers, just as they do in group,” Peer Support coordinator Sophie Sunkin ’14 said. The contract reads: “This contract has been made in order to preserve and protect Peer Support as a club, as well as the students associated with it.” “Everyone’s reaction has been pretty good regarding the contract,” Peer Support group

leader Zita Biosah ’14 said. “In my opinion, it’s a ‘why not’ situation because I would rather sign the contract than have Peer Support become nonexistent.” The contract states that there will be no drug OR alcohol consumption, the hosting student’s parents must be aware of or present at the sleepover, no students from outside the Peer Support group are allowed and students must act in a way that reflects their group as well as the school in a positive manner. Failure to sign or adhere to the new contract may result in the student being asked to leave his or her Peer Support group.

school?” Huybrechts said she hopes Head of School Jeanne the handbook will be a “more Huybrechts will release a new intentional way for us to be professional growth handbook writing down what our goals to all teachers in January. are for the year and then what Teachers frequently attend the plan is to implement those workshops and seminar to im- goals.” prove their skills, Huybrechts Parts of the handbook said, and she hopes the hand- stress guiding principles that book will guide teachers’ pro- include placing a priority on fessional growth and develop- students as well as valuing colment. legiality, professional growth “I think this is a really, re- and continuity of care. ally good move for the school,” “Collegiality is terribly Huybrechts said. important,” Huybrechts said. The handbook will not re- “We do a lot of team teachplace the current faculty and ing at this school and it’s imstaff handportant for book, and will [teachers] to be shorter to get along with I thought that focus on the [their] colcore values leagues.” what we needed was and guiding H u y something smaller, and brechts principles of prethat’s what this will be, teaching at sented the school. handbook to and it is sort of what “I thought the upper guides us as teachers.” that what we school Faculneeded was Academic —Jeanne Huybrechts ty something Committee Head of School two much smallweeks er, and that’s ago and to the what this will be, and it is sort middle school Faculty Acaof what guides us as teachers,” demic Committee last week. Huybrechts said. “What are She plans to release a copy to our core values and our guid- department chairs this week ing principles? What are our and send it to all teachers in standards of teaching at the January.

The Mock Trial team made the playoffs in the Los Angeles County competition, ranking in the top six schools out of the 90 that participated. The team participated in three trials for this competition, all of which took place at the Los Angeles Superior Court House. “I think our team did very well, especially considering that more than half of the people on it have never competed in Mock Trial before,” team pretrial lawyer and witness Nadia Rahman ’15 said. —Benjamin Most

Students register for Mammoth trip A total of 14 students have registered for the annual Mammoth ski trip taking place Jan. 24-28. Middle and upper school students were required to register before Dec. 1. The trip serves as an opportunity for students in all grades to bond and experience independence. This year’s trip was organized by Daniel Singer ’17 and Taylor Redmond ’17, with Chief Financial Officer Rob Levin as the lead chaperone. Students will depart on a chartered coach and will stay at Mammoth Mountain Inn. —Justine Chen

Six win awards at Model UN meetings Six members of the Model United Nations club received awards at the first two conferences of the year. Elliot Rollins ’16 and Christina Duval ’16 received an Honorable Mention for their representation of Jordan in the Novice Disarmament and International Security Committee. Brandon Bergsneider ’16 and William Burford ’16 were recognized in the Novice Economic and Social Council. Danielle Brody ’15, Matthew Kelson ’14 and David Woldenberg ’15 earned Best Delegate awards within their competition committees, and Shelby Weiss ’16 earned an Outstanding award. —Kristen Gourrier

Seniors, alumni attend yearly reception Recent alumni and current seniors were invited to the annual alumni reception prior to the girls’ varsity basketball game Monday. The Office of Advancement invited graduates to provide an opportunity for former students to reconnect with one another, teachers and deans. Current seniors were also invited to meet alumni in the Feldman-Horn Gallery. Both alumni and seniors were encouraged to attend the basketball game afterwards. “It’s a great opportunity to support one of the winter sports teams,” alumni administrator Janiece Richard said. —Eugenia Ko

The Chronicle

A8 News

Insolvency unlikely to affect bus service

Dec. 18, 2013


By Julia Aizuss

School bus operations will remain unaffected by Atlantic Express Transportation Corp.’s declaration of bankruptcy, Bus Service Director Patti Snodgrass said Dec. 4 in an email to all families who use the bus service. Snodgrass said the school has been in contact with Atlantic Express management for about a month and that riders will not be affected by the bankruptcy. “We do not foresee impairment to Harvard-Westlake bus service,” Snodgrass said. “Were that outlook to change, we would notify you promptly of contingency plans.” Chief Financial Officer Rob Levin compared Atlantic’s bankruptcy to that of airlines like American Airlines and United Airlines, who have declared bankruptcy in recent years but continue to operate. He called this kind of bankruptcy a “reorganization,” in which the people who have ownership equity in the company lose it so that the company can pay off its creditors. “People who owned pieces of the company, they lose their money, but the company keeps going,” Levin said, “We don’t have 100 percent assurance, but it’s looking very good that in terms of the California operation, it’s going to keep operating fine,” Levin added. “So if you’re an investor at Atlantic Express, big news. If you’re a rider on Atlantic Express, as students are, it’s probably going to be a nonevent.” “There are West Coast operations and East Coast operations and they are in very different financial states, and we do not anticipate that West Coast service will be challenged at all by the business deals that are going on,” Head of School Jeanne Huybrechts said.



BEAN TOWN: Sarah Novicoff ’14 accepts an award at the conference, top left. Jake Saferstein ’15, Dominique Gordon ’15 and Grace Kotick ’15 take a selfie in front of a statue of John Harvard, right. Members of the Chronicle staff take a picture on the Old North Bridge.

Chronicle wins Best of Show at convention

By Jake Saferstein

The Chronicle won Best of Show in the “Newspaper Broadsheet 17 or More Pages” category for the Nov. 13 edition and third place Best of Show in “Publication Website Small School” for its online content at the Journalism Education Association/National Scholastic Press Association High School Journalism Convention Nov. 16. A total of 36 students on the Chronicle and Vox Populi staffs attended the conven-

tion in Boston from Nov. 14 to Nov. 16 along with eight students on the Spectrum, which also won Best of Show in the “Junior High Newspaper” category. Chronicle Managing Editor Sarah Novicoff ’14 also won fifth place Story of the Year in the Diversity category for her article “1 in 5 students on financial aid,” which appeared in the November 2012 edition of the Chronicle. The keynote speaker was Juliette Kayyem ’87, a finalist for the 2013 Pulitzer Prize for

Commentary and a candidate for governor of Massachusetts. She spoke about her experience as a political columnist for the Boston Globe and encouraged the audience to harness the power of journalism and column writing to “make government do better and be better.” “Make it personal, because sometimes that is the strongest voice you have,” Kayyem said. After the keynote address, the Advancement Office hosted a reception for Kayyem at-

tended by Chronicle and Vox staff as well as Boston area alumni. During the convention, the students attended journalism workshops and seminars and visited various historical sites. Vox adviser Jen Bladen, Chronicle adviser Kathleen Neumeyer and Chief Advancement Officer Ed Hu accompanied the upper school journalists, and Spectrum adviser Steve Chae and middle school science and debate teacher Alex Ras accompanied the middle school students.

All alumni class reunions to occur in May By Julia Aizuss

Reunions for alumni of Harvard School for Boys and Harvard-Westlake will now occur in May in an effort to create a more individual atmosphere for each class, Director of Alumni Giving Greg O’Leary said. The reunions, which will now always be on the third Saturday of May, will span half a day. In the afternoon, alumni will have the option to attend a fair that displays student research, independent studies, visual and performing arts showcases and work from the

Kutler Center for Interdisciplinary Studies classes. Afterward, alumni can attend a cocktail reception in the Feldman-Horn gallery, where they will be able to meet alumni from other years. Each class will then meet for a separate reunion dinner at a location on campus. Alumni will be able to volunteer to help customize these dinners however they want, O’Leary said. “We’re going to encourage people to think outside the box, and they don’t have to do anything if they don’t want to, they can just come and have

dinner, but if they want to add something to it that’s personal to their class, they can do that,” he said. Responses to an alumni survey given two years ago by the Alumni Office indicated that Harvard and HarvardWestlake alumni disliked that their class reunions took place at the same time as Homecoming. Although attendance at the receptions during Homecoming had been growing in recent years, alumni said they wanted something more “individual,” O’Leary said. “It didn’t feel so special to them to come and just have

this big group thing,” O’Leary said. O’Leary said some classes had begun planning their own off-campus reunions in addition to or sometimes replacing the Homecoming receptions. “We wanted to do more for them, but we didn’t have the budget to pay for open bar for 50 classes to go and have parties,” O’Leary said. Because of positive results in the survey, the Westlake School for Girls reunion will remain as is, but will be moved from Mother’s Day weekend to the first weekend of May, O’Leary said.

Sophomore receives international award for community service work

By Lizzy Thomas

Association of Fundraising Professionals, an international charity fundraising organization, honored Jack Stovitz ’16 with its Outstanding Youth Volunteer award last month for his work with the book drive organization BookEnds. Stovitz was first introduced to the Los Angeles-based BookEnds as a fourth grader at Warner Elementary School, when students were asked to bring in used books for a drive. Stovitz opted to distribute the books as well, a trip that took him to the Venice Boys and Girls Club. To Stovitz, then an avid reader of series like the Magic Treehouse, the lack of books that greeted him and his classmates was sad and shocking. “We showed up and I saw the empty book cases. They had two bookcases, but only

one had only one book on it,” Stovitz said. “It made me really sad because as a kid I loved reading, and here were all these kids who had no books.” The gratitude at their donation, however, prompted a different set of emotions in Stovitz. “When we showed up with boxes and boxes full of books, the kids just got these huge smiles on their faces and it made me really happy and excited,” Stovitz said. After the Venice delivery, Stovitz volunteered with BookEnds as much as possible, going on whatever book drives he could make and urging friends to donate books. He became involved on the charity’s Youth Board before making the leap in seventh grade to its Board of Directors, on which Head Prefect Ashley Sacks ’14 also sits. This past October, a Book-

Ends volunteer emailed Stovitz informing him that he’d nominated him for the AFP award and that he’d won. Reading the email on the shuttle bus back from cross country practice, Stovitz was floored. “I was shocked, I had no clue,” Stovitz said. “I was on the shuttle and I turned to my friends and was like, ‘Guys, I’m winning an award.’” The AFP hosted its annual National Philanthropy Day Awards Luncheon Nov. 13. Stovitz left school to attend the luncheon at the Beverly Hilton, where he accepted his award and the picture frametype plaque that came with it and gave a two-minute speech about BookEnds. The day’s lone low point came when Stovitz realized fellow honoree and winner of the Celebrity Making a Difference award, Lakers player Pau Gasol, was not amongst the at-


DOING GOOD: Jack Stovitz ’16, right, poses with BookEnds President Robin Keefe. Stovitz was honored at the AFP luncheon as Outstanding Youth Volunteer in National Philanthropy on Nov. 13. tendees. “I was really excited because for the celebrity award, Pau Gasol won and I thought

he was going to be there, but the Lakers had a game in Denver,” Stovitz said. “It was still really cool though.”

Dec. 18, 2013

News A9

Senior takes first place in debate By Jessica Spitz

Shelby Heitner ’14 won the 2013 Alta Silver and Black Invitational debate tournament Dec. 7. Heitner, along with Cameron Cohen ’16, William Gingold ’14, Dario Madyoon ’17 and Nick Steele ’16 competed in the tournament in Alta, Utah. Steele, Heitner and Cohen all advanced past the preliminary rounds and to the semifinals, each receiving a bid for the Tournament of Champions. Debaters must earn at least two bids over the course of the season to be eligible to compete in the final tournament in the spring. Cohen and Steele lost in the semifinals and Heitner moved on to the finals, where she defeated a student from San Jose, Calif. Heitner also won 14th speaker and Gingold won 12th speaker. Megan Cohen ’17, Connor Engel ’17, Heitner, Annie Kors ’14 and Michael O’Krent ’14 debated at a tournament in Glenbrooks, Ill. Nov. 24. Kors finished the preliminary rounds with a record of 6-1 and advanced to the octafinals, where she was defeated. Engel also advanced to the octafinals in the JV division and won seventh speaker. Kors won 16th speaker and received a bid for the Tournament of Champions. “I’m so proud of our team and how hard everyone has worked and how much we’ve achieved,” Kors said.


DARE TO DRAW: Visual arts teacher Marianne Hall watches over a student during a monthly Dare to Dream event at Frank D. Parent Elementary School in Inglewood. The project helps students with their artwork since the LAUSD budget does not allow for art classes.

‘Dare to Dream’ student wins trip to Monaco By Sophie Kupiec-Weglinski

A 10-year old elementary school student participating in Justin Carr’s Dare to Dream Project won an international art contest, winning a trip to Monaco to attend the 38th International Circus Festival of Monte Carlo. The contest sponsored by Princess Stephanie of Monaco asked children ages 8-10 from all over the world to make art with circus themes. The winning art was chosen by the princess herself. Justin Carr’s Dare to Dream Project is a monthly initiative in which HarvardWestlake students go to Frank D. Parent Elementary School in Inglewood to conduct art classes with school children.

LAUSD cut art classes due to the artwork of students in the budget difficulties. program for Princess StephaJustin Carr ’14 planned to nie’s international contest start the profor circus gram after art. meeting with Art teachteachers from Her dad said that er Marianne the elemenHall and stushe loves to draw. It tary school. dent volunwas apparent because A f t e r teers guided his death the children Princess Stephanie last Februwith their thought this 10-year-old drawing by ary, the Dare to Dream playing circus was talented too.” Project was music, show—Susan Toler Carr ing a map founded in his memory. of Monaco Justin Carr’s and bringing mother, Suother circussan, found out about the com- related items. All the children petition through a friend. submitted their work, with Her friend asked if the Aniya Connor’s chosen to be Dare to Dream Project would shown at the festival. be interested in submitting “We all remember her be-

Parents bring taco truck to seniors

Sophomore admission to increase next year

• Continued from page A1

By Justine Chen and Angela Chon

Seniors were treated to free tacos from Tacos El Gallito on Dec. 13 by the HarvardWestlake Parents’ Association’s Grad Night Committee. The senior class received an email from Assistant Head of School Michelle Bracken on Thursday instructing them to come to the quad for a “surprise”— one which the committee had been planning for a few weeks. Seniors were given hot pink wristbands from parent representatives of the committee for free tacos on the quad from fourth through seventh period and were asked to line up for the food truck on the track around Ted Slavin Field. “We were just talking about the food trucks that we’ve already had,” senior parent Catherine Strom (Arielle ’14) said. “And we wanted to do one that we haven’t had yet.” Strom said that there was no official reason for the occa-

cause she was the only student who brought in a tackle box of her own supplies. When we were cleaning up, I inadvertently grabbed a set of her markers — because they looked just like a set that Justin had. She politely said, ‘Oh those are mine,’” Susan Carr said. Her Dad said that she loves to draw. It was apparent because Princess Stephanie thought this 10-year-old was talented too.” Connor and two of her family members will travel to attend the festival, which lasts Jan. 17-21. All expenses including airfare, hotel and food will be paid for by the government of Monaco. “It helps the program, it fulfills Justin’s dream,” Hall said.


TASTY TACOS: Seniors receive a free meal of three tacos and a drink from a Tacos El Galito truck on the track field at school last Friday in an event planned by the HWPA’s Grad Night Committee. sion, which was purposefully timed a week before winter break so that students who would be out of town and excused from school early for their vacations could still participate in it. “I liked it because Mexican food is my favorite food,” Glenne Carter ’14 said. “And it caught everyone off guard because it was a nice surprise to have, in the heat of all the college stuff.” Other students also echoed

Carter’s appreciation of the relief of stress right before college acceptance letters were to be sent out. “The tacos were tasty,” William Lee ’14 said. “I thought that it was pretty nice for the parents to do that for us, especially because a lot of people are getting their college acceptance letters and it was kind of nice of them to give us a free meal.” This event is part of a series of gifts for seniors spon-

sored by the Parents’ Association eventually leading up to Grad Night. Seniors had received M&M’s and a quarter at the end of first quarter and class sweatshirts from the committee reading “HarvardWestlake Class of 2014.” “I thought it was good,” Miles Williams ’14 said. “The tacos were good. I think it’s a good idea and we should have it more often. I think it’s pretty relieving. It helps to calm down.

coffee for students who have expressed interest in the school in January, where Gregory hopes to increase awareness that the school will be accepting more incoming sophomores. Gregory believes that applicants in the past have decided not to apply to the school since so few a number usually get into the school for 10th grade. The school tries to distribute financial aid evenly among the grades and last year’s applicant pool for ninth grade had a large number of applicants seeking financial aid. She hopes to give large amounts of financial aid to the new sophomore applicants. The sophomore applicants will be notified of their admission decision starting in March, with a rolling admission following that. “With 10th graders, sometimes they don’t know if they want to leave their schools until April or May. So we will probably still be taking kids until June 1,” Gregory said.

A10 News

7 students receive scouting honors By Lizzy Thomas

Bee-keeping, teaching at-risk youth and building projects for public parks and churches helped seven students earn the highest honors offered by the Boy Scouts of America and the Girl Scouts of the USA organizations. Patrick Albarino ’16, Amiya Brown ’14, Eric Knighton ’16, Scott Nussbaum ’15, William Ruppenthal ’16 and Nick Steele ’16 all achieved Eagle Scout status in the past two months. Lauren Sonnenberg ’14 received the Girl Scout Gold Award the last week of September. Eagle is the highest rank in Boy Scouts, and in a system where scouts advance one rank each year, is typically reached during a scout’s sophomore year. Scouts are required to plan and execute an Eagle Project, a service work that must benefit the community, involve other boy scouts and take at least 100 combined hours of service between all involved. The Gold Award is the culminating distinction in the series of Bronze, Silver and Gold Awards. It involves an 80-hour service project, for which a proposal must be submitted to and approved by the Girl Scout Council of America. Albarino, Knighton, Ruppenthal and Steele were all part of Troop 223, located in the Pacific Palisades, and were ranked up together in a ceremony Nov. 26. Albarino, Knighton and Ruppenthal did their Eagle Projects at St. Matthew’s Parish Church, though at different times in the past year. Albarino built picnic tables and refurbished the Parish’s existing ones, Knighton constructed a seating area for the Parish and Ruppenthal built

Faculty diet in group program

By David Woldenberg

A group of 22 faculty and staff are participating in a Weight Watchers program as a part of the school’s wellness program. Director of Health Benefits Nicole Ryan came up with the idea of integrating the Weight Watchers program with the school’s program to promote a healthy lifestyle. “Obesity and being overweight impacts so many other parts of your health,” Ryan said. “Obesity plays a part in diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, heart disease, so if we can keep our employees’ weight down to a healthy weight, teach them how to eat correctly, and encourage them to exercise, then we’re going to have a healthier population over all.” The group, composed of two men and 20 women, meets every Monday to track the group members’ progress and to discuss personal goals. The name of this particu-

compost bins. Steele did his project separately, at the California Wildlife Center, where he built an enclosure to house rescued birds of prey. Albarino, who joined the troop in fifth grade, found the actual ceremony almost bittersweet. “I felt really nostalgic when I was being presented as an Eagle Scout about all the time I spent and all the fun I had, and it was a really great feeling,” Albarino said. Brown, out of Troop 10 in Reseda, made a film about urban beekeeping and how viewers could implement it in their own communities, as well as the crisis currently facing the species as a whole, as Colony Collapse Disorder has killed approximately one-third of all honeybees in the past few years. Brown, who keeps a few hives at a friend’s house, had arranged to give the film to Honey Love, a non-profit that works to protect honeybees by spreading urban beekeeping. With the film completed, he became an Eagle Scout last month, an achievement that afforded Brown, who’d been a scout for seven years, a lot of relief. “It was a big weight off my shoulders,” Brown said. Nussbaum fulfilled his Eagle Project by building a bulletin board structure in William S. Hart Park in Valencia. The structure, the bulk of which Nussbaum built over a weekend in October, will be used by the park to display information about camping. Nussbaum officially became an Eagle Scout last Tuesday, when he went to the required meeting with the Board of Review, which interviewed him about his time as a boy scout and how he planned to use all he’d learned from his

The Chronicle



HONORED SCOUTS: Patrick Albarino ’16, left, Eric Knighton ’16, William Ruppenthal ’16 and Nick Steele ’16, all members of Troop 223, are awarded Eagle Scout status at a ceremony in November, top. Lauren Sonnenberg ’14 conducts a dance class at the Stephen S. Wise Chapter of the Children’s Defense Fund Freedom School, an initiative for afterschool enrichment for at-risk youth, bottom. five years of scouting. His answers satisfactory, Nussbaum received the Eagle rank right then and there. “I felt really accomplished that all my hard work had paid off, but it was actually a little anti-climactic – they just shook my hand and said ‘Congratulations, you’re an Eagle Scout,’ but it was still really good,” Nussbaum said. Sonnenberg taught the past two summers at the Stephen S. Wise chapter of the Children’s Defense Fund Freedom School, a nationwide initiative that provides summer and afterschool enrichment to at-risk youth. Sonnenberg, a

Weight Watchers is a support group as well as a dietary program, and doing it with people you know adds an aspect of accountability.” —Jen Bladen Middle School Communications Department Head

lar branch of Weight Watchers is called Weight Watchers at Work. Weight Watchers at Work specializes in incorporating school lifestyle with their program. The school is offering subsidies of $96 towards the usual $156. Middle School Communications Department Head Jen Bladen started participating in the Weight Watchers curriculum in November after a friend tried it out. With her friend’s recommendation, Bladen had been participating in the Weight Watchers program outside of school for five weeks before the Harvard-Westlake program started, and Bladen was able to transfer over her membership. “Weight Watchers is a support group as well as a dietary program and doing it with people you know adds an aspect of accountability,” Bladen

Dec. 18, 2013

longtime dancer, taught dance in the afternoon in addition to the more school-oriented teaching in the morning. The Gold Award Sonnenberg received in September was a long time in the making. The last stage of Sonnenberg’s 11 year Girl Scout career began when she submitted her proposal to the Girl Scout Council of America in June, 2012, and wrote a draft of her curriculum and taught it two times at the Freedom School that summer. The background of her students required additional research before she would be ready to teach one day a week this past summer.

“I was trying to find a teaching style most effective for kids from troubled homes, so I did a lot of research prior to submitting my curriculum,” Sonnenberg said. In returning this summer to teach dance to the same group of students, Sonnenberg found that the extensive research and organization paid off in an unexpected way. “Because I’d spent so much time organizing it, researching it and planning out a curriculum, I was able to develop a different kind of relationship with them – student-teacher as well as just friend-tofriend.”

Scholarships to benefit from Sunday film series By Jacob Goodman


said. “I really appreciate that the company that I work for takes care of me [in terms of health].” Ryan had wanted to involve Weight Watchers for some time and finally had the opportunity to do it in late November. The Middle School has also started its own program and already has 15 members. The Weight Watchers curriculum consists of awarding points for food eating in order to monitor diet. Exercise is encouraged, but isn’t officially a part of the program. Members at HarvardWestlake are also considering starting an unofficial BiggestLoser contest. “I had really, really good success right away, I lost ten pounds right away… [and] we lost more than 30 pounds among us, which is really cool,” Bladen said.

full year at Harvard- Westlake, and that’s why my goal Upper school performing is $30,000,” Walch said. “Last arts teacher Ted Walch will year with four classes (at a show movies such as “Casa- slightly higher cost) I raised blanca” and “Chinatown” dur- $10,000. I think I can do it, but ing his “Sundays with Ted” it’s very ambitious.” film class series. All the classes will be held This is Walch’s second year in Ahmanson lecture hall from teaching the class, which is 2 to 5 p.m. open to any current or forThe classes will meet Feb. mer Harvard-Westlake par- 16 and 23, March 9, April 13 ents, alumni and friends of the and 27 and May 4, 11 and 18. school. “The thing that reA total of nine ally sparked it the first films will be shown, the time around was each followed by a after back to school lecture and discusday,” Walch said. “Parsion session with ents said, ‘If ever you Walch. could do a class for us The films will we would be grateful.’ be shown in three That’s what put it in nathanson’s groups: “Classic my mind.” Ted Walch Films about War,” There have been “Films about Kids” some efforts around and “Classy Directors at the here to try and fly the trial Top of Their Games.” balloon of teachers at HW ofEach screening costs $50 fering classes for adults. And to attend and the total cost for this in its way is a trial balall nine sessions is $400. All loon. The others, though, proceeds from the class will might be looked on as extra go to the Thomas C. Hudnut money for the teachers, but Scholarship fund. this is not extra money for me, “I’d love to raise enough to I’m not taking any money; this fund one deserving kid for one is a fundraiser.”

Dec. 18, 2013

Alumni face college campus spread of meningitis infection By Claire Goldsmith

Another 10 to 15 percent result in brain damage, deafRecent unconnected out- ness and other residual effects. breaks of meningitis have Although the state of New caused Harvard-Westlake Jersey requires a meningitis alumni at two college cam- vaccination before students puses to take preventative enroll in any university, the measures against the disease, standard shot does not protect including recieving injections against this rarer form of the of an unlicensed European disease. meningitis vaccine. After the seventh case Those at Princeton Univer- since March developed at sity received the first dose of a Princeton, the school and the foreign meningitis vaccination CDC arranged for a European Dec. 9 —12 after eight cases of vaccination called Bexsero to meningococcal-B, a virulent be administered to students to strain of bacterial meningitis, prevent a continuing spread of developed at the school during meningitis. the past nine months. Bexsero, which is manuWith the involvement of factured by the Swiss pharthe Centers for Disease Con- maceutical company Novartis, trol and Prevention, the out- is as of yet unlicensed by the break has become a prominent Food and Drug Administratopic of discussion at Princ- tion. eton, students said. The vaccine was approved “Students love to talk about for use in the European Union it,” Princeton freshman Ari- in late January of this year and anna Lanz ’13 said. “There’s a in Australia in August. saying that ‘nothing ever hapPrinceton provided the pens in Princeton’ and that vaccinations to all underthere’s ‘never any trouble in graduate students, graduate the Orange Bubble,’ students who live in so it’s a little exciting dormitories and othwhen it appears that ers in the community the bubble is going to who were particularburst.” ly susceptible to the Meningitis is an illness. infection of the meAccording to a poll ninges, membranes by the Daily Princthat surround the etonian, 76 percent of brain and spinal cord. students planned to nathanson’s Meningococc al get the vaccination. Arianna Lanz meningitis, which Overall, 5,268 in’13 students at Princeton dividuals, 91 percent have contracted, is of those eligible, recaused by the bacterium Neis- ceived the vaccine, a university seria meningitides. spokesperson said. According to the Nation“We have been given a lot of al Institute of Health, about information, countless emails, 2,600 people per year in the flyers and talks,” freshman United States get the illness, Morgan Hallock ’13 said. “One and between 10 and 15 percent of my [water polo] teammates of cases are fatal. is on the Student Health com-

mittee here at Princeton, and she has been working non-stop to host informational meetings, make videos for awareness and let people know about the options regarding the vaccines.” Princeton organizations distributed information about the outbreaks and also gave students plastic cups with the slogans like “Mine Not Yours” to discourage sharing of cups and utensils. Because meningitis spreads through saliva, the CDC and Princeton encouraged students to be careful about their hygienic practices, cover their mouths when coughing and avoid sharing drinks or food. “I would definitely say that the university has given me sufficient information about the meningitis including how to best avoid it and what symptoms should worry me,” Princeton student Chad Kanoff ’13 said. The CDC describes potential symptoms as a high fever, headache, stiff neck, nausea, vomiting, confusion, sensitivity to light and, later in the illness, a rash or spots on arms, legs and torso. The health organization took definitive action in the Princeton outbreak in part because adolescents are at an increased risk of contracting meningitis, and the risk increases when people live in close quarters and share food and drink. The CDC has not recommended that the school cancel events and has said that Princeton students should not worry about spreading meningitis to their families when they return home over the holidays.

News A11 Alumni in college protect themselves from meningitis outbreaks at Princeton University and University of California, Santa Barbara. Talk of meningitis has player had to undergo an amflooded the campus and news putation of both his feet due vans have lined the campus to to complications from menininterview students receiving gitis, according to NBC News. the vaccination. The school provided antibi“I have received messages otics to students close to those from friends and relatives with meningitis. who are more “I was afraid of the pretty wordisease for ried, espeI became a bit me than I am cially when of a hypochondriac – for myself,” the outbreaks Lanz said. first began,” always thinking I felt a “There are UCSB sophoneck-ache or nausea often commore Liliana petitions and Muscarella coming on.” tournaments ’12 said. “I —Liliana Muscarella ’12 was hyperon campus for students of all aware of not levels of edutouching cation from anything and many different institutions, always sanitizing my hands. I and participation in those has became a bit of a hypochonsignificantly decreased due to driac—always thinking I felt fear of the illness.” a neck-ache or nausea coming “The only person [with on.” meningitis] I knew was a freshUSCB officials asked stuman girl, but she is back and in dents to refrain from “social classes already,” Kanoff said. “I events that involve close peram not that worried about the sonal contact, alcohol and/ meningitis and would say that or smoking and where eating it hasn’t changed the campus utensils and cups/glasses may atmosphere at all.” be shared.” Kanoff, Lanz and Hallock “Student Health on camall elected to receive the vac- pus has been sending out email cine when it was administered updates with each new person last week. affected, and also a description “The vaccine was free, easy of the symptoms,” Muscarella to receive and came with mi- said. “It is pretty helpful and nor health risks,” Lanz said. reassuring that we’re being “The danger of getting menin- looked out for, but I still get gitis or meningococcal disease worried that someone who is far, far worse, and I would contracted meningitis might take advantage of any oppor- have sneezed on the desk I’m tunity to improve my health.” sitting at in class or something Four students at the Uni- like that.” versity of California, Santa The clusters at Princeton Barbara also contracted men- and UCSB are not connected, ingitis B, and the State of Cali- the CDC said. fornia has asked the CDC to A staff member at Univerconsider approving the vac- sity of California, Riverside, cine for use at UCSB. has also been treated for the One freshman lacrosse disease.

C HRONICLE the harvard-westlake

Los Angeles • Volume XXIII • Issue V • Dec. 18, 2013 •

Editors in Chief: Jack Goldfisher, Noa Yadidi Managing Editors: Claire Goldsmith, Sarah Novicoff, Jensen Pak, Patrick Ryan Executive Editors: Julia Aizuss, Lizzy Thomas Presentations Editors: Mazelle Etessami, Sydney Foreman, Emily Segal Sports Editor: Grant Nussbaum News Managing Editors: Elizabeth Madden, Lauren Sonnenberg News Section Heads: Sophie Kupiec-Weglinski, Nikta Mansouri, Jake Saferstein, Jessica Spitz News Assistants: Angela Chon, Justine Chen, Cole Feldman, Kristen Gourrier, Eugenia Ko, Jonah Ullendorff Opinion Managing Editors: Beatrice Fingerhut, Kyla Rhynes Opinion Section Heads: Haley Finkelstein, Kenneth Schrupp Opinion Assistants: Alexa Bowers, Kelly Riopelle Features Managing Editors: Eojin Choi, Morganne Ramsey, Lauren Siegel Features Section Heads: Carly Berger, Marcella Park, David Woldenberg Features Assistants: Sacha Lin, Benjamin Most, Su Jin Nam, Lauren Rothman A&E Managing Editors: James Hur, Alexander McNab A&E Section Heads: Leily Arzy, Zoe Dutton A&E Assistants: Sharon Chow, Siddharth Kucheria, Kelly Loeb, Pim Otero Sports Managing Editors: Lucy Putnam, Sam Sachs Sports Section Heads: Elijah Akhtarzad, Mila Barzdukas, Jordan Garfinkel, Tyler Graham, Audrey Wilson Sports Assistants: Bennett Gross, Caitlin Neapole, Jonathan Seymour, Henry Vogel Chief Copy Editors: Jivani Gengatharan, Enya Huang, Jessica Lee Managing Editors of Chronicle Multimedia: Henry Hahn, Eric Loeb Art Director: Jacob Goodman Chief Photographer: Scott Nussbaum Ads


Business Manager: Tara Stone

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The Chronicle is the student newspaper of Harvard-Westlake School. It is published nine times per year. Unsigned editorials represent the majority opinion of the seniors on the Editorial Board. Letters to the editor may be submitted to or mailed to 3700 Coldwater Canyon, Studio City, CA 91604. Letters must be signed and may be edited for space and to conform to Chronicle style and format. Harvard-Westlake has an enrollment of 870 10th through 12th grade students. The Chronicle is also distributed at the Middle School, which has 727 7th through 9th grade students. Stories go through a rigorous editing process and are rewritten by the writers listed on the byline or with additional reporting credits.

Opinion The Chronicle • Dec. 18, 2013


Be more supportive

For weeks, only one topic has occupied the minds, and unfortunately the mouths, of the senior class. With acceptances, deferrals and rejections streaming in from colleges, chatter about where our peers are going has risen to a fever pitch. It’s natural that this talk arises, and that it can often leave people with hurt feelings. Not everyone is going to go to their first-choice school, and attempting to leave this tumultuous period without upsetting someone seems like trying to navigate an army across a minefield without hearing a single boom. It’s important to use common sense in deciding whether or not making that celebratory post or wearing that crewneck is really necessary or worth it in a time when so many of your classmates and friends feel vulnerable and upset. However, there’s no scenario in which accruing and then disseminating information about where people are applying to college, their GPAs and legacy statuses promotes any sense of community among our already competitive student body. Sure, some of us compile mental lists of people that we know are applying to our top choice, but the list containing more than 150 students’ names and early application schools should never have been externalized. It’s crucial, though, not to condemn one person’s actions as wrong before you consider that you may have been doing something similar all along. Making a list is obviously neither an Honor Code violation nor an affront to our moral character as a class, but it certainly lacks the sensitivity that we’d hope to have as a community in a time of widespread anxiety. Besides the list’s creator, though, each student who forwarded the list bears the burden of responsibility for spreading information that was personal and at times incorrect. Forwarding this kind of gossip, which is often outright speculative or mis-

leading, is irresponsible and just as offensive as creating the list in the first place. The actions of the senior class are, in reality, a manifestation and an indication of a larger problem. The fervor surrounding the college applications process and the contents of those emails or envelopes has reached a degree of hostility that is untenable if we want to foster any true sense of community among a class of people sharing its last six months as any sort of formal group. Our class in particular has been described by deans as nosy, uptight and sensitive with regard to college competition. We’ve also had an exceptionally talented class academically, as we have often required additional sections of AP and honors classes that other years did not need, and our sports teams and other school organizations have achieved success under the current senior class. Where we could use some improvement is in our empathy for our classmates. We had an opportunity to be a stellar class in almost every way, and we may have squandered it by feeding into the growing problem of vicious competition extending beyond trying to achieve the most you can through hard work and ambitious pursuit. This problem extends far beyond the events of the past few weeks or a list of names and colleges; we as peers and friends need to learn that while we are inherently competitive with one another, we need to respect each other above all else. This means perhaps not boasting about your acceptance next to people who got rejected from their dream school, and also trying your best to be happy if someone who absolutely couldn’t contain his or her excitement posts on Facebook about where he or she’s going to school. We all know we’ll end up at good schools and most of us will have great experiences at our colleges, so for now let’s try to be as supportive and respectful as possible.

Take service seriously

For years, students have been participating in community service geared towards their interests. For example, musicians perform at old age homes, singers sing at community centers and athletes have started to get more involved in doing team community service. When we students use our talents to do good for others and the greater community around us in areas that we are passionate about, we become passionate about and connected to the hands-on service that we’re pursuing. So, why is it then, that each year, nearly 100 students fail to complete the community service requirement? And now that the requirement has been doubled to 12 hours instead of six, how can we expect that number not to rise? The problem begins in the seventh grade, when hands-on service is deemphasized through the advertisement of indirect activities like walks. While this is not true for everyone, from a young age, many of us begin to think of community service as an irritation and it loses the meaning it is intended to have. The “hands-on” service requirement is not actively enforced at the Middle School and even less at the Upper School. Students can easily exaggerate the number of hours they’ve completed. Community service is an integral aspect of a thoughtful lifestyle. We are obviously not born with the urge to feed the homeless, but it’s a mindset that a good holistic education should inculcate. Last week, Community Council hosted its annual Community Service Week. While it may have been intended to open our eyes to new ways to complete the new 12-hour requirement, nothing there was anything we hadn’t seen before. In fact, roughly 75 percent of more than 400 polled students said they thought Community Service Week was ineffective.

While Community Council continues to suggest opportunities old and new, we still see the service as nothing but an extra chore we must trudge through in order to graduate. How can we be expected to see the requirement as anything besides a box to check off when Community Council itself trivializes opportunities by emphasizing that they can be completed quickly and easily? Community service should be recognized, but does not need to be rewarded with Dippin’ Dots. If our leaders in community service are passing off the service as just something quick to get done, our mindset towards community service will never change; however, it is not Community Council’s job alone to steer us in that direction — it has to start within us. A great example of how students are taking their talents and interests outside the classroom to foster commitment to community service is the new Dare to Dream arts program. Dare to Dream is an excellent way for artists to take their hobby beyond their own creations, and students who are interested in this type of service are being led to it by teachers. Even students who are not participating in art classes are welcome to join and are sought after. Dare to Dream is a step in the right direction, but we need to go further. Community Council needs to find a way to deal with students directly as well as to reach out to clubs and organizations not already represented on campus. Instead of relying on email announcements, or in the case of Community Service Week, word-of-mouth alone, perhaps it could develop a directory catalogued by interest with all available opportunities that could be accessed online and on the Hub. We know students have the capacity to care, but we need to reevaluate the importance community service has in our day-to-day lives and education.

Dec. 18, 2013

Opinion A13

Embracing new traditions By Scott Nussbaum


ver the past holiday breaks, I have noticed a number of changes in my regularly-observed traditions. As my older sister went off and moved to college, I was left to pick a pumpkin carving design out alone. When Thanksgiving approached, I had to pull out an extra chair for one of her college roommates who would be spending the break with my family. I was nervous because I had not had a normal conversation and free time with my sister in four months. Between the stress of starting junior year and the new home my sister had moved to, I was sure that we would both be different people. We had a good relationship throughout our childhood, but I feared we had grown more distant. And I was right. My sister had gone away and found a new group of friends that she loved. I had started to look at colleges and was thinking about a new life of my own. We did not have the same relationship as when we both lived under the same roof and saw each other every day. We could no longer share our stories about the big things happening at our different high schools or laugh together about a funny video one of us had found on YouTube. Additionally, I feared that my sister would spend more time with her friend from college than she would with me. In a few short months, I worried that our relationship would be forgotten. However, my sister and I remained the same people and only had more experiences to share with each other. I got the chance to ask her how to survive junior year and if going off to college is as glorious as I have heard it to be. She shared some amazing experiences and opportunities she received at college. Immediately I knew that nothing could challenge the bond between us.

Furthermore, I got to meet one of my sister’s roommates who quickly became accustomed to my family’s quirks. My sister and I enjoyed mocking her Minnesota accent while she poked fun at our stereotypical California surfer lingo. Rather than getting in the way of my relationship with my sister, her roommate became a part of my family, and it was refreshing to have another teenager around during the holidays. It was reassuring to hear that my sister was having such a good time at college and it gave me motivation to continue through the remainder of the semester with the hope that I would get to hear more about college life during the next break. As we sat down at the table and my dad brought out the turkey, I realized that things had changed, but that was just part of life. My sister had gone away and grown into a different person, but she was still a part of my family and nothing could change that. One day, I will leave my parents and have my own experiences as an individual. I’ll become my own person and have different experiences that lead me in a different direction, but I’ll always be part of a family that links me back to the simplest of times. I encourage everyone to take this holiday season as an opportunity to experience your family as it never will be again. Take the free time as a chance to catch up on relationships and experiences because by the next holiday, they will have changed. School can be stressful and get in the way of spending time with relatives, so break is an opportune time to cash in on some overdue bonding. Relish the time that you spend with family in the present, and enjoy the traditions your family has this winter break.


Changing my idea of home By Claire Goldsmith


y mom pestered me for days to help her decorate our Christmas tree this year (yes, we are a nice Jewish family with a Christmas tree). Swamped with homework and supplements, I resisted until she finally admitted that she was so insistent because the holidays felt especially poignant this year, since it’s the last winter I’ll be living at home. Recently, I’ve been thinking about this a lot, not because I’m worried about living at school or by myself in the future, but because it represents a completely different reality than the only one I’ve experienced. Unless I move back in after college, every time I stay at my house now will be a vacation — winter break, spring break, or part of a summer — but I’ll always be returning to a new home somewhere else. I’ve called my current house “home” for my entire life, and pretty soon that’s going to change entirely. There’s so much of my life tied up in memories of my house, its surroundings and the convoluted city in which I live.

My house is in the canyons (we are, as my family likes to say, hill people) and everywhere I go requires a 10-minute drive just to get to the Valley or the Westside. It may seem a little annoying to be separated from most things by a series of twisty canyon roads, and I certainly felt that before I got my driver’s license, but I’ve come to appreciate the relative calm of where I live. Despite living in the nation’s second largest city, my house feels much more remote, like a treehouse in the forest. Driving out of the canyons, however, I remember what I don’t like about Los Angeles. It’ll always be the city I grew up in, but I’ve never really felt at home outside of my neighborhood. Hollywood and Wilshire make me feel unsettled somehow, like I am lost in a sea of cars with the sun beating down on me. Also, traffic. I live my life by the tides of hundreds of thousands of cars, changing my schedule based on where all these other people will be at any given time. I’ve spent so much time sitting in my car at a stoplight or just

waiting in a line of cars, and I wonder what I could have done with that time instead. Our urban sprawl just exacerbates this – my friends don’t live just down the street in that idyllic small-town vision, but instead they’re miles away, in completely different sections of the city. It’s not that I want to flee to a small town, because I think growing up in a huge city like this one exposes you to so many cultures and experiences that it’s difficult to take those influences away. I’m grateful for these things that are so specific to L.A.: some really excellent afternoons at the Getty Museum and LACMA, learning to sail a boat by myself, a love of sushi, getting to see movies before they’re released and being able to swim outside in the January sun. Unlike my mom, I don’t feel so poignant about leaving this behind (or at least, not yet). I think can bring with me those things I like about this city even while establishing my own roots somewhere else. After 18 years here, I’m ready to call a new place home.

A new take on a long-standing rite of passage By Lauren Sonnenberg


y Bat Mitzvah was a really big deal to me; I’d attended Hebrew school twice a week since first grade, I’d learned the bare minimum of a new language and had studied for months before the big day. The day of my Bat Mitzvah was much like I anticipated — I was excited and relieved. The day lived up to that which I had built up in the months beforehand. But as quickly as it came, it ended. I was left with a series of memories, some cool presents and a sense that something had ended and something else was about to begin. I was staring into the abyss of adolescence, with anticipation and dread. I expected the college application process to have a

similar effect. I’d spent years hearing about college. It was the next step, the next reward for learning a new language (though this time it wasn’t Hebrew, it was calculus). While my Bat Mitzvah preparation required me to compose five minutes of pithy observations about that week’s Torah reading, the college application process required far too many drafts of my Common Application essay, which I was told needed to “give the reader a sense of myself.” Much like that speech five years ago, which might as well be a lifetime ago, I tried to cram in as many ideas as possible, get it over with and submit it, never to speak of it again. But submitting college apps turned out to be nothing

like my Bat Mitzvah. After my Bat Mitzvah speech, I went to a party with loud music and celebration. After submitting my applications, it was quiet. No celebration. No music. It was anti-climactic as the calming silence engulfed me. I didn’t feel a rush of relief or a pit in my stomach when I pressed submit. Rather, I felt a lack of control. It was almost like Space Mountain. A slow climb to the top to be followed by a rapid ride that is out of my control, the direction of which cannot be anticipated in the darkness. So, I calmly submitted my apps, double — checked that they had gone through, put my laptop in its case and left my cousin’s house. The six weeks since then

have been fairly calm, as I await the inevitable thrill that will take me somewhere I cannot control. For all of us (at least us seniors), we’re in a limbo between high school and college, and all we can do is wait. Some may react with a sense of resignation and calm. Some, no doubt, are anything but that. But we all are waiting. Some will find a quick end to the wait, as 93 percent of our class applied early. We would like to believe we have chosen, with wisdom exceeding our years and our experience, that one special college that will change our lives in ways unimagined. The truth is that most of us will have to wait until spring to find out what lies ahead. What is certain is

not that we have necessarily chosen the “best” place, or that the “best” place will choose us. What is true is that we have all shared this preparatory journey together and now will face an uncertain future in a new and strange place that will challenge and excite us— wherever it is. The Bat Mitzvah speech is over. It is strangely silent now. Before, we faced adolescence, kicked off by a party that celebrated our passage to high school. Now we wait and wonder, ready to move on to the unknown and a different sort of celebration. It is a celebration of accomplishment, a celebration of relief and a celebration of change.

A14 Opinion

The Chronicle

Dec. 18, 2013 guest column

It’s time for us to celebrate together By Ashley Sacks ’14


Who is the Kutler Center for? By Julia Aizuss

I would take Mythology and Its Meaning: Gods and Goddesses; Heroes and Heroines in a heartbeat. The same goes for Surrealism in Poetry, Painting and Film. Of course, there’s one insurmountable barrier separating me from these classes: they’re two of the four new Kutler Center courses approved for next year, and I’m graduating in June. A barrier still remains, though, when I imagine what would have happened if these new courses were offered this year. I’m still taking the five core academic classes (English, math, language, science and history), and I doubt I’m alone in this respect. I’m also enrolled in that one elective that’s more a way of life (Chronicle), another elective (Philosophy in Art and Science) and a directed study (Ancient Greek). Chronicle is non-negotiable, in the way that for other students the class period for Vox Populi or Community Council or Prefect Council is non-negotiable. (It now may be the same next year for Robotics, which in its switch from an afterschool club to a Kutler class will restrict participation and experimen-

tation on the part of students only able to join a club that’s been slimmed down to focus solely on competition.) I’m only allowed to take Greek because, as a directed study, it meets just two days a week, so I’m not quite taking a full eight periods of class (which is, as we all know, forbidden). What this gets down to is that if you’re a student taking five core classes and one elective dedicated to a major extracurricular, you probably have space for one more elective. In the Kutler Center alone, there are now 18 classes, all reserved for juniors and seniors. So, have at it, folks—if you can. I get it: I’m maybe not as typical as I think. Some students drop history or science after junior year, and some drop their language after sophomore year, opening up space for electives more suited to their interests—and, in a sense, a senior choosing to still take a history or language is taking an elective suited to his or her interest. But is it so unexpected that a senior enrolled in Latin Literature Honors is also into mythology, or that an AP Art History and AP Lit Student

would like to take a class on surrealism? Even if some core subjects become so-called electives by senior year, am I wrong in thinking students would end up taking one of them over the new Art and Science of Fly Fishing? The specter of college admissions always looms, and, okay, maybe I’m taking AP Bio right now because my dean has insisted on the traditional bio-chem-physics sequence, not because of my love for the subject. But, again, I’m not alone. Harvard-Westlake is at its core a college preparatory school, and its premium on academics means that students will most likely be pushed to take traditional, “legitimate” classes, while more offbeat electives like the Kutler Center’s may be given only the schedule space left over afterward, no matter a student’s foremost interest in World Religions or Unconventional Leadership or Middle Eastern Studies. I hope that students are able to take World Religions once the rest of their academic checklist is fulfilled. If not, I’d like to know who all these electives were designed for.

At a school that has a reputation for priding itself on college acceptances, why do we not have pride in each other’s college acceptances? I remember a day last May. My older brother, who attended Sierra Canyon High School, had been accepted to and had chosen to attend Harvard. My family was proud, to say the least. And following suit with the typical spirit found at Sierra Canyon, my family decided to use window paint to write on the car window short phrases including, “Harvard bound!” “Congrats, Class of 2013!” and “We love you, Michael!” On this day in May, my mom pulled into the school parking lot to pick me up at the end of the day. But as the brightly painted car slowly approached the crowd of students I was standing with, I was mortified. I jumped into the car, threw my backpack in the seat behind me and told my mom to drive away as fast as she could. I did not want anyone to know the car with the writing belonged to me; however, I did not escape fast enough. Less than 30 seconds had passed before my phone vibrated. I looked down and read the following text from a fellow Harvard-Westlake student: “Wow. Was that your car with all of the Harvard stuff on it? That’s so rude and inconsiderate.” First I was shocked, then embarrassed, then angry. Was it a crime to be proud of my brother for getting into the school of his dreams? Was it so wrong to want to celebrate his accomplishments and share them with the world? Well, growing up as a student at Harvard-Westlake, I was taught the following answers: yes, it was a crime, and yes, it was wrong. But why is that the case? In my opinion, it actually makes perfect sense that our school, students and administrators alike, condemns all outward forms of celebratory expression. We all know the

facts: we attend one of the top schools in America; we are taught by some of the most incredible teachers; we are surrounded by students who excel in a variety of different areas - academics, athletics, robotics, the arts - the list goes on forever. At a school filled with students who are all exceptional in one way or another, it makes sense that we compete for the same spots at the same prestigious colleges or universities. So yes, I understand why this is the case, but I still do not understand why it has to be this way. Yes, this is a stressful time for everyone. Sophomores are preparing for their first midterms at the Upper School. Juniors, well, it’s junior year. And seniors are just beginning to find out about the long-awaited college acceptances, or for some, the dreaded rejections. Now is the time for us to have each other’s backs. We can’t just come together as a community in times of tragedy; we must of course unite as one to comfort each other through the hardships but also through times of good fortune. I am by no means suggesting we not think before we act or that we should disregard the feelings of others; rather, I am urging my classmates to support each other. We understand what everyone must go through to get that acceptance letter (or in our day… email), and we shouldn’t put each other down for wanting to celebrate success. Let’s end the resentment we have been known to exhibit. When your friend or classmate gets into college, run over and give them a big hug because when you get your acceptance letter, whatever school it may be from, you’re going to want that same congratulatory hug. Let’s have pride in each other and in our college acceptances. It’s time we celebrate together.

Seeking self-worth from being the most successful By Alex McNab


os Angeles’ weather makes me insecure because the temperature in Hawaii is 30 degrees warmer. My best friend lives in Honolulu, a city nicknamed Paradise, and because of that, I feel an irrational sense of competition with a place that I try against all reason to convince myself is worse than Los Angeles. I have spent all fall in a big, yellow jacket and HW basketball shorts, walking through the morning dew, still in denial of the fact that at 6 a.m. on a mid-December morning, Los Angeles’ eternal summer is no more than a myth. To put away my shorts and my summery sunglasses would be to admit defeat. It would symbolize my conces-

sion to the City of Honolulu that Paradise really is a better place than the City of the Angels, and that defeat would, through my twisted young adult logic, somehow amount to an ultimate admission of my lack of worth for living in a place known more for its smog than for its surfing. Perhaps it is because of puberty or teenage angst that this same process of competition, denial, and decrease in self-worth replicates itself in a number of situations in my life. I combat my feelings of inferiority with excuses. Kennedy Green ’14 has a better grade than I do in Spanish class, but it’s okay because I didn’t take Spanish all last year, so I really can’t be expected to speak Spanish as

well as she does. Covi Brannan ’15 is a better actor than I am, but both of her parents are actors, so it only makes sense that she inherited some natural talent. Sinclair Cook ’14 speaks Chinese better than I do, but he’s been studying Chinese since sixth grade. Sure I spent my junior year in Beijing, but nine months in China doesn’t make up for three additional years of study, does it? I know that my reasoning is flawed and my excuses are ridiculous and that the very process of explaining myself in such a way demonstrates my lack of confidence, but I can’t help it. I have been searching for a place inside me that is content with what I have and who I am, but, as of yet,

I can’t find it. Sometimes, I feel that I am only good when I am better than others. Even my accomplishments are decreased by a feeling that someone else did it better, and that drives me crazy. I don’t feel this way all the time. I actually am generally regarded among my friends and those who know me as being extremely confident and supportive of others. Rather, what I am describing represents a state of mind that is most powerful in my lowest moments, and I am not proud of this. I don’t advertise my occasional absence of self-assurance or parade my part-time resentment of the successes of others. I am ashamed, and I do my

best to not only hide but also to get rid of the self-deprecating sentiments that overcome me. I would not consider myself a particularly jealous person, but I believe that my light is often dimmed by the shadows cast by the greatness of others. Probably, this is all just a phase, and I’ll grow out of it. One day, I’ll find encouragement and confidence beyond rare moments of total superiority, but not today. Today, I have to be from the best place. I have to get the best grades. I have to be the best actor, the best columnist, the best Chinese speaker. I have to go to the best college if only to prove to myself that I’m worth it.

Dec. 18, 2013

Opinion A15


The Chronicle asked:

“Do you think students are overly nosy about where others are applying to college?”

“In what ways can classmates be more supportive of each other throughout the college process?”

409 students weighed in on the Chronicle poll


“Students should try to not get jealous of their classmates when they get into certain colleges and just support them if they get rejected from the college of their choice.”




—Mathew Gooden ’15

“Do you think students are overly sensitive about the college application process?” 414 students weighed in on the Chronicle poll


“I think that students should refrain from posting anything on Facebook about their college experiences at all and maybe try to keep it more private and mind your own business.”



—Anelise Florescue ’14


“Do you think that Community Service Week was effective?” “I think it was very effective seeing the reps from Community Council promoting community service. It entices students to act on their own behalf.”

“How do you plan to complete your community service requirement this year?”


—Hunter Brookman ’16

“No, I wasn’t aware of the event going on and the ones that were happening were making PB&J sandwiches in the lounge. I don’t know how that gets my community service done.”

—Jules Gross ’15

“We didn’t do anything for the community. It didn’t morally teach us to help the community, it just teaches us to buy cookies that will help the community.” —Jacob Byrnes ’14

324 students weighed in on the Chronicle poll

Working with kids Helping the environment directly

Volunteering at shelters

Dear Editors, I think your Oct. 15 Opinion piece “Choosing between my education and my education” (written by Julia Aizuss ’14) misses a few important points regarding the college process and in-class learning. The article asserted that it was important to attend on-campus college meetings to “show interest” in schools you are applying to, and that having these meetings during class time leads to a decline in the quality of the education we’re receiving at HarvardWestlake. I disagree with both of its key assertions and feel it fails to acknowledge the counterpoints to its arguments. Firstly, the sole purpose of college informational sessions is not just to write your name down to demonstrate interest, as your article asserted. The purpose of these sessions is to learn about the schools you are applying to and make a connection with the person who will be reading your application. Not everyone has the resources or time to fly

will be impressed with your to each college they’re applycommitment and will be willing to. College websites often ing to answer your questions. have limited information and Furthermore, I would emailing an admissions direcargue that these sessions tor isn’t as effective as inactually save time in person conversation. class. Assuming that Regarding the you are applying to issue you raise about eight colleges, which missing class time for is roughly average, these sessions, I think you would miss the you’re ignoring the equivalent of one full provisions our teachday of school. ers make to help us If you wanted to when we miss class replicate the experifor any reason. ence and actually Nearly everything nathanson’s meet your admiswe learn in class is Matt Klein ’14 sions person and on the internet, in these sessions didn’t the reading or in a exist, you would have to miss peer’s notes. much more than one day of If those resources aren’t school. I would personally quenching your unwavering much rather miss a period of thirst for knowledge, then you can meet with a teacher school to meet someone than miss a day of school to fly during a free period or after school. I don’t see how misscross country. Ultimately, I feel that you ing class leads to a lower quality of education. Teachers are too quick to criticize great opportunities that we’re lucky aren’t offended if you miss to be provided with by our class for a legitimate reason, school. and accordingly, if you take time to independently learn class material, your teacher —Matt Klein ’14

47 Walks to raise money



“Do you think Community Council does a good enough job promoting and bringing opportunities to students’ attention?” 424 students weighed in on the Chronicle poll





letter to the editors

Appreciate the opportunities



“How many hours do you think students should have to do?” 425 students weighed in on the Chronicle poll



As is Less

287 77


Helping out: Nikta Mansouri ’15 interviews Marc Shkurovich ’15 about community service week and the community service requirement. Watch a video of his and other responces at



Dec. 18, 2013

’Tis the Season SOUND WAVES: Physics teacher Jesse Reiner sings and plays the guitar at Coffee House in the lounge after school Dec. 16.


Students and faculty celebrate the last week of school before winter break with Winterfest. From “Merry Monday,” “Tacky Tuesday,” “Onesie Wednesday” and “Thermal Thursday” to “Frosty Friday,” the week-long festivities feature performances, food and movies. Wintergrams were sold last week and are being delivered this week during class meetings.


LET IT RING: The ARC bell choir performs for students in the lounge during break Dec. 16. SCOTT NUSSBAUM/CHRONICLE

SWEET TREAT: Sophomore prefects Grace Pan ’16 and Alec Winshel ’16 sell Wetzel’s Pretzels on the quad.



CHRISTMAS CAROLING: Members of the Jazz Singers perform in the lounge during break to celebrate “Merry Monday.”

MR. & MRS. CLAUS: Anser Abbas ’14, left, and Aaron Anderson ’14 pose behind cutouts of Santa and Mrs. Claus in the lounge.


NAUGHTY OR NICE: Gwynn Pollard ’15, Anton Beer ’14, Netanya Perluss ’15 and Diana Kim ’15 pose for a picture with President Rick Commons dressed up as Santa.

Features The Chronicle • Dec. 18, 2013

Some crazy kids have gotten all too addicted to a game about candy. • See page B12

The Chronicle

B2 Features

A House Divided By Leily Arzy


n many ways, hatred dominates Roxanne’s* ’14 life. When her par- ther that she ents explained that they hated her. Now, were getting a divorce, Rox- however, Roxanne is anne distinctly remembers working to improve her them emphasizing that they relationship with both her were going to co-parent. But father and stepmother. since that day, they are rarely “When my stepmom tells in the same room and never me what to do, it is very hard speak unless absolutely nec- for me to listen to her beessary. cause she is not my mom,” “I do not want my parents Roxanne said. “I do not like in the same room because her telling me what to do, but I have seen it happen and it at the same time it is a hard goes terribly, but at the same position for her to be in betime I wish they could just cause she needs to discipline put aside their differences me, but I feel like she does not and be my parents,” Roxanne have the authority to.” said. Like Roxanne, Jay* ’14 Because her parents nev- has a poor relationship with er speak to each other, Rox- the woman his father began anne said it is easy for her dating immediately after his to lie about her location by parents’ divorce. saying she is at one “My dad is living of their homes when with his girlfriend she is not. and has been datWhen she was ing her for like five younger, her paryears,” Jay said. “I ents’ divorce was not hate my dad’s girlas big an issue. As friend. She’s a tershe got older though, rible human.” the separation has Like Roxanne’s become more of a parents, Jay’s parproblem. ents rarely comnathanson’s “It is very frusmunicate with one Luba Bek trating to every two another. Because of days have to go back this, getting permisand forth between houses,” sion for trips or any other Roxanne said. “I keep all of type of co-parenting is diffimy things packed in a bag cult. and sometimes I just leave it His parents separated in my car. I have to be very when he was 12 years old, and conscious of what I am doing, it came as a complete shock. where I am going and whose “I really had no idea behouse I am going to be at. All cause they tried really hard my plans have to be centered to not fight in front of us,” around this inconvenience.” Jay said. “My brother knew But one of the worst re- just because he was older, sults of her parents’ divorce but I was blindsided by it. It is that her parents have de- seemed like all of this was veloped a need to compete for coming out of the blue. It was her love and attention. just weird to think that they “They try to one-up each were really happy and then other and try to make me like realize that they actually hatone more than the other,” she ed each other.” said. Because of the façade Roxanne’s relationship Jay’s parents had sustained, with her father was further he thought he lived in an orweakened after he remarried. dinary, close-knit family, so “I would not let my dad be news of the divorce created a a part of my life for a really change that school counselor long time,” Roxanne said. “I Luba Bek often sees in the really felt like he had a new cases that come to her. family, and I was not a part “[The shock of divorce] of it. I did not want to be a comes from a really cohesive part of it. I was just happier family unit that used to proat my mom’s house, with my vide you support, comfort and mom and brother, where my familiarity,” Bek said. “Life old life was still intact.” becomes this really confusing When she was younger, maze, and after the divorce Roxanne was wary of her you do not know where to go.” stepmother’s presence and Although Camden* ’14 did not want her in the house. was aware of his parents’ Roxanne was unwilling fighting and sensed that to form any kind of relation- something was wrong, he ship with her, telling her fa- felt the very same confusion

over why his parents could not make their relationship work and never expected their seperation to be handled in court. “I saw the world through a very small lens,” Camden said. “I just thought it would be easy for it to be fixed overnight, like I wanted them to wake up and get back together so that we could live as a family. I remember just wanting my parents to be happy and live together.” It was not until years later that Camden learned the main reason for his parents’ divorce was that his father had been saving money for his college tuition, while his mother was spending that money on herself, resulting in their divorce. While Roxanne’s parents competed for her love, Camden’s mother punished him in order to get back at her exhusband. “In order to cope with her pain, she would punish me, so I was often put in the middle,” Camden said. “I definitely held a grudge against my mom for a long time, and I still kind of hold a grudge [against her]. A part of me wishes that she would just come out and apologize and understand that she was wrong, but she’s not that kind of person.” “The worst case scenario is when the parents put the kid in the middle, that is the most traumatic place to be,” Bek said. “When mom talks about how bad dad is and dad talks about how bad mom is, then the kid is really confused and has no idea what to do and where to go with that.” Camden says he is still frustrated by the way the divorce was handled, especially when it went to court. While his parents were arguing over custody, a representa-

Dec. 1

18, 2013

Features B3

Students whose parents are divorced often face physical and emotional hardships from growing up in separated families.

tive c a m e to Camden’s home to ask questions about his living situation and parents. Not understanding the point of the meeting and the effect it would have on the next six years of his life, 12-yearold Camden told the representative that everything was okay with his mom, even though that was not the case. “I did not understand at the time that what I said would be told in court,” Camden said. “[The representative] went to the court and said my words exactly. So when my dad would be arguing that I did not like being over there, because it was exactly how I felt, the court heard my statement which sounded neutral, so the court went with my words.” Although Camden was reluctant, his father thought his son should go to therapy to help him deal with the confusion of the situation. “I knew it would not help, but at the same time I thought it would not hurt just to know how to be better at dealing with certain situations with my parents,” Camden said. “The therapist told me to use ‘I’ more. ‘I feel sad,’ or ‘I feel angry when this happens.’ And avoid ‘you’ comments like ‘you did this wrong’ or ‘you never do anything for me.’” Camden said that he did not find therapy very helpful in dealing with his parents, but it did help him deal with future situations by learning to communicate in the best way possible without trying to point a finger at anyone. “I had been dealing with my parents’ divorce for so long by myself that I had kind of developed my GRAPHIC BY JACOB GOODMAN

brother played a father figure durown ways of ing that time. therapy,” he said. “He became that older Camden believes that the role model that a young kid divorce has made him the perwants,” Grayson said. son he is today. Like Grayson, several of “All of this is very deep the students who were interwithin me and hidden,” he viewed for this story found said. “It does not really come that, while the relationship up that often, like it does not with their parents may have come up with my friends. [The weakened, the relationship divorce] does they shared not affect me with their to the point sibling grew where I can The one thing stronger. not function, “I feel like that I hate about this but I mean it bonding is a experience is that it has common thing bothers me.” W h i l e with sisters made me not believe Bek believes because she is that relationships can that being the only perput in the son that can be successful.” middle can know exactly —Roxanne* ’14 what I am gobe incredibly emotionally ing through, draining, she but when she said that some of the worst left for college it was a lot divorce cases are when one of harder for me to deal with on the parents has an affair. my own,” Demi* ‘15 said. “It is confusing. It is a For five years now, Demi’s sense of betrayal,” she said. parents have been separated “Because if dad is having an and have been planning to get affair with somebody, then the a divorce. kid feels like the dad betrayed “My parents’ relationship not only mom, but him or her fluctuates, and sometimes too. ‘Why are you doing it to they get back together,” Demi me?’ is the ultimate question.” said. “If your parents are diGrayson* ’16 was 4 years vorced then it is easier to get old when his parents got a diaccustomed to, but, with my vorce, after his father cheated situation, it is always changing on his mother. because sometimes they are “All I remember is police together and sometimes they being at the house because my are not. Sometimes I wish that dad would not leave,” Grayson they were divorced.” said. “There are very few cases Grayson’s father ended up where kids come to me and moving out of the state entiresay thank god my parents are ly, and the two rarely speak getting divorced,” Bek said. “It to one another, except for an happens. The kids get tired of occasional phone call and at fighting, but, even then, they Christmas gatherings. want their parents to stop “At this point I know it fighting — not necessarily get sounds terrible, but I do not a divorce.” care about what he is doing Like Demi, Roxanne said anymore,” Grayson said. “In a that she is now happy that her way, I think the divorce kind parents got a divorce because of benefitted me.” she does not understand why Bek believes that the most they ever got married in the significant relationship in a first place. However, she finds person’s life is the relationit upsetting that her parents’ ship with the person’s same divorce has fundamentally gender parent. She believes changed her view of marriage, that Grayson is using a dea result of her parents’ difense mechanism to no longer vorce, and she now thinks that care about the absence of his she knows the harsh truth father, because caring about about relationships. him would cause a great deal “The one thing that I hate of pain. about this experience is that it Grayson says he has has made me not believe that formed a tight bond with his relationships can be successstepfather whom he considers ful,” Roxanne said. “I know his real father. that when I am older I want to “[My stepfather] is intebe married, but I have some isgrated completely into my sues trusting that [marriage] life,” Grayson said. “I love him, can work. I do not have a sinand I talk about him as if he is gle relationship to look at that my dad.” has been successful.” Grayson says that while his mother was single, it was **Additional reporting by Elizahard for her to handle raisbeth Madden ing all three of her children alone. Grayson said his eldest *Names have been changed

B4 Features

The Chronicle

Dec. 18, 2013

010101000110100001100101011100100110010100100000011101110110000100 00011 00100 10001 10000 10010 00000 11000 10011 01100 01100 00101 10001 10110 10110 11011 11011 10101 01110 10000 10000 00110 10010 11011 10001 00000 01110 The web manager was studying geography and science at 10100 10001 UCLA when she fell in love with computer programming. 00110 01010 01000 00011 01000 01101 11101 11010 10111 00110 11001 01001 01100 00100 00001 11001 Working here, 10110 11110 they really allow you to 01000 00011 go and see what’s out there, and not only on 10100 01101 the tech side but on the educational technology 00001 10010 side.” —Lillian Contreras 10111 10010 Web Manager 01000 00011 10111 01100 10101 10111 00111 01000 01000 00011 10100 01101 11100 10000 00111 01000 11010 00011 00101 00100 00001 10010 00111 01010 11100 11011 101000111100100100000011000100110000101110011011001010110110101100 101011011100111010000100000011101000110111100100000011001110110010 LEILY ARZY/CHRONICLE

MULTITASKING: Web Manager Lillian Contreras, at her post in the Didax House, demonstrates how her job requires three computer monitors. Contreras uses the Dell computers to write code for the school’s website and the Mac to test her programs for Apple products.

The Techie By Marcella Park

Every day at work in the Didax House, a green building at the edge of campus near Upper St. Michael’s parking lot, Web Manager Lillian Contreras sits in front of two monitors writing code for the school’s website. Around her is a setup much like that of faculty department offices on both campuses, with cubicles in an open room. She always has two browsers open to test her work on, her email and two programs to write in, and she uses a Mac computer nearby to test that whatever she writes also works for Apple products. She records each week’s tasks in a notebook that she carries around everywhere she goes on school business, such as meetings on both campuses. Contreras first became interested in programming when she was about to graduate from UCLA after studying environmental studies and geography. When Contreras found that she was good at using a database at the tax law firm she was working at, her boss’s brother advised her on classes to take in computer science. “I really liked it, and from there I didn’t turn around,” she said. “I just decided to do that. So that’s how I was able to get in.” Before she started taking programming classes, Contreras said she had no idea she would be working with computers for a career, especially since computers were only starting to be so commonly used then. “I liked that degree [in environmental studies and ge-

ography], and I was thinking of going to get my master’s in that, but then I really got turned on to computer science,” Contreras said. “It was really odd, I think, because my major, what I graduated in, is not what I’m doing now.” In 1996, at the same time she was taking night classes in programming, Contreras started at Harvard-Westlake as an assistant working temporarily for former President Tom Hudnut. When a position opened up in computer services, Contreras became a permanent staff member in that department, then made up of five people and now grown to 13. She focused on building the school website, which was barely starting at that time. Now, she is in charge of building and maintaining pages on She works with other people to generate content, often setting sections up for others, like the communications and admission departments or student organizations, to fill. She also works on connecting the website with information from Didax, the school’s in-house database. As part of the educational technology committee, Contreras took part in vetting products and visiting schools to do research in preparation for the launch of the one-toone program at the Middle School. When students, teachers and administrators come to her for help with computers or the website, “it’s a lot of figuring out what we have and what we can use, or if we can use a third-party system,” she said. Contreras, the daughter of immigrants, grew up in

Los Angeles. She always liked math and science, and wanted to be an astronaut when she was growing up. “I don’t really like writing creatively,” she said. “I do like creative things, but I’m not good at that part of it, whereas in the sciences and math it makes sense to me, and writing code makes sense to me, versus trying to write a novel or something like that.” Contreras said she might like to go to a different field in science, but probably will not because she enjoys her job now. She also goes to business and educational technology conferences to see what and how others in her field are using technology, in addition to subscribing to RSS feeds, eNewsletters and listservs for information. The conferences help her decide what new products to buy with the computer services budget. “Sometimes it is fastpaced, and you just have to keep up with it,” Contreras said. “Working here, they really allow you to go and see what’s out there, and not only on the tech side but on the educational technology side.” The computer services department works year-round, and Contreras said she enjoys changes in environment that come with having fewer or more people on campus while school is out of or in session. The department’s work hours also vary by season, she said. During the summer, the department gets ready for the school year through tasks like updating computer labs. “It’s a different setting, it’s quieter, there’s less people, we can dress more casually, whereas when school starts, we get more calls from teachers, emails, communication, things like that,” she said. “So it’s very nice in that way, because although we’re here, it’s a very different energy, and then you can feel the energy going up as school starts.” Contreras said she spends about 60 percent of her time writing code or working with

technology and the rest of her time communicating with people about her work. Her favorite part of her work is “the feeling of finishing it and it actually working.” The Didax House does not “get much traffic, so we can focus on writing code or figuring systems, or build servers,” Contreras said. Even so, she does not think people from her department are isolated from the rest of the school since they have to work with other departments to fix problems on both campuses. The open-room setup in the office “encourages, facilitates, talking about an issue, and all of us can give our input on it, instead of us being completely separate, in separate offices,” Contreras said. The department often eats lunch together, often attending meals hosted by technology vendors, or, if they decide not to walk to the school cafeteria, driving to nearby restaurants. Contreras said she tries to get involved outside of her job by attending performing arts events like the school musical and choral concerts. A Spanish speaker and friend of Spanish teacher Javier Zaragoza, she also routinely helps chaperone the trip to Spain sponsored by the world languages department. As for hobbies, “I like visiting Disney parks,” Contreras said. “So usually I am visiting Disneyland or going to Orlando, to Disney World. I really love that.” Since she has no children, going with her husband is really a passion of her own, she said. Contreras won the Garrett Hardin early achievement award in 2005 and has been at Harvard-Westlake for 16 years. “I love working here,” Contreras said. “I feel that the administration really supports the faculty and staff, and they treat us well, and I think that that’s a testament to the school and how students love teachers, because we all are happy here.”

Dec. 18, 2013


Melvin*, the brain

Thelonius*, the artist

Hearing back from colleges By Sydney Foreman Melvin*, The Brain Out of the two schools he applied to, Melvin* has only heard back from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he was deferred. He said it was “kind of disappointing, but definitely not out of the blue.” Had he been accepted to MIT early action, he would have continued applying to schools. It would have, however, made him drop schools he wants to attend less than MIT off his list. Melvin stands by his decision not to apply early decision anywhere since he has not visited any schools. “Early decision would have been a giant commitment,”

Melvin said. Melvin will be hearing back from University of Chicago later this afternoon, which he is “banking on” for an acceptance. “[MIT and UChicago] are tied for where I’d most like to go at the moment,” Melvin said.           Thelonius*, The Artist Thelonius* arrived home on Friday to purple and white balloons, which his parents purchased in honor of his acceptance to the Gallatin School of Individualized Study at New York University. He has no regrets about applying early decision and intends to maintain his effort in his schoolwork. “I think I’ll be less stressed,

Daisy*, the all around

Features B5


After applying early to colleges in November, these four seniors have started to hear back about their varied decisions.

which usually ends up with me doing better work,” Thelonius said. He does not believe he will spend that much more time on his art and music, now that he has been accepted. He does not intend to major in fine arts, but his interest in the arts will definitely continue in college. “In New York, I’m looking forward to the music, art and fashion scene,” Thelonius said. Daisy*, The All-around Although she was hopeful, Daisy* was as “surprised as anyone else would be” about being accepted to Columbia University. “I can finally get really invested in the school,” Daisy said. She has begun thinking

about her living situation for next year. She is leaning towards having a roommate rather than living alone. Daisy is partiuclarly enthusiastic about the core curiculum at Columbia. “I love science, but I want to keep learning about the humanities, especially in a city filled with so much culture,” Daisy said. In general, students have been very supportive of her acceptance, she said. Florence*, The Athlete Florence* decided later in the process to apply to Tulane University, Elon University, Villanova University, University of Notre Dame and University of San Francisco. Thus far, she has been accepted to

Tulane and Elon. Her top choice, however, has changed from Georgetown University to Bucknell University. “I’ve talked to people that go there, and I haven’t heard anything negative about it,” Florence said. She is being recruited by the school and is looking forward to the sports program there. She is also attracted to the school for its size of approximately 3,500 students. “It seems to have a strong sense of community because it’s a small school, but it’s not too small,” Florence said. Florence will be making an official recruitment visit to Bucknell next month. *Names have been changed

B6 Features

The Chronicle

Dec. 18, 2013


PERKS: Lizette Medina ’14, top left, works on her drawings in an art studio in FeldmanHorn. Grace Chung ’14, top right, stays after school to work on her English essay as she looks through her copy of “Pride and Prejudice” in the library. Lucas Hernandez ’14, bottom left, wrestles a practice dummy in the wrestling room in Hamilton Gym during a free period. Kennedy Green ’14, bottom right, sings into the microphone on the Rugby Auditorium stage.

Overcoming the past By Morganne Ramsey


ad Lucas Hernandez ’14 stayed in public school after graduating from middle school, he would have attended Leuzinger High School or Lawndale High School, the two high schools in the Centinela Valley Union School District. At these schools, less than 40 percent of students met state expectations on standardized tests during the 2011-2012 school year. Leaving those “bleak” options behind, Hernandez chose to attend a private school for his high school years. Hernandez is one of the 15 percent of students at Harvard-Westlake that came from a public school, a proportion that is slightly higher at the upper school than at the middle school, Associate Director of Admissions Melanie León said. The public schools that are most represented at HarvardWestlake include Walter Reed Middle School, Milliken Middle School, Paul Revere Middle School and Culver City Middle School. Coming to Harvard-Westlake, however, presented its own set of challenges for Hernandez, who found the transition difficult. “During the first quarter, teachers were lenient, but after that you had to kick it into gear,” Hernandez said, “But the fact of the matter is, you can’t change your life and the 13 years of disadvantage you’ve had against most of the other students at this school.” Kennedy Green ’14, who attended Culver City Middle School, said the differences in academic rigor were most apparent when she tried studying with her friends from outside of school. “When I took [AP United States History], I thought it’d be helpful to have a study session with my friends from Culver, and I realized that they were missing chunks of things that I thought everybody needed to know,” Green said. Lizzete Medina ’14 said

the biggest difference between Harvard-Westlake and her middle school, Lennox Middle School, was the classroom environment, where there were normally around 30 kids. “The teacher would teach to whoever was listening,” Medina said, “Usually the people who cared sat in the front, and the people who didn’t would sit in the back and talk the entire time.” Hernandez, Medina and Green all said that the work at their respective middle schools was so easy that they didn’t try but still got good grades. “I was in the honors track, and I didn’t feel a whole lot of challenge,” Green said. “It made me wonder what the regular track was like.” Academically, Hernandez said that he was vastly underprepared for all of his classes except for math: on his first Biology Honors lab, he received a seven percent. “At my middle school, it was ‘did you get the right answer’ — here it’s ‘I don’t care if you got the right answer, prove it to me,’” Hernandez said. Grace Chung ’14 came to Harvard-Westlake in the seventh grade from Emerson Middle School, and she also struggled to make the academic transition. However, she didn’t think to ask her teachers for help. “[At Emerson], if you met with teachers, there was a connotation that you had a mental problem,” Chung said. Medina said the circumstances at Lennox were similar. “I feel like I can depend on my teachers here,” Medina said. “At Lennox, you would hate your teachers. You wouldn’t see them as people.” While these students expressed making a difficult academic transition, Head of School Jeanne Huybrechts said she did not think that kids from public schools are necessarily unprepared. “Kids who have gone to very good independent schools have been taught study skills and learning strategies,” Huy-

Adjusting to a private school was made more difficult for some students, they say, because of disadvantages they faced at public middle schools they attended. brechts said. “Often the kids afford them.” who are near the top of their However, Hernandez and class in public school have ei- Medina had a support system ther learned or figured out to help them make the social on their own those very same transition. They both came study techniques and learn- to Harvard-Westlake through ing strategies. Half the battle the Richstone Educational Enin succeeding in school is just terprise Program, now called learning how to learn.” the “Young Eisner Scholars.” Green said that the differ- The program prepares underent academic cultures led to privileged youth to attend betvastly different expectations. ter secondary schools. Only 38.6 percent of the class “Eisner helps you and of 2011 at Culver City High drives you into this world you School took all of the classes become a part of,” Hernandez required for admission to the said, “He changes your life for California State University the better.” system or the UC system, the Green said she was gratesame classes required to grad- ful for the opportunities she uate from Harvard-Westlake. has at Harvard-Westlake. “At Culver, you were ex“I feel like people don’t unpected to graduate, or at least derstand how good we have complete it,” Green your credsaid. “Every its at the day I interadult school,” act with my I think it’s Green said. friends from “I think it’s important that here you other schools important don’t are expected to succeed. that that here you have anyThe fact that they’re are expected thing close to to succeed. what we have expecting something The fact that here.” makes you want to they’re exGreen, pecting someHernandez surpass it.” thing makes and Chung all —Kennedy Green ’14 keep in touch you want to surpass it.” with people In addifrom their tion to making the academic middle schools, but find that transition, these students also the differences in their high had to make a social transi- schools can sometimes make tion. interactions difficult. “I’d say jokingly that I “They don’t have education would have to learn a whole anymore,” Hernandez said, new vocabulary to interact “They’re taught to sit down with these people,” Green said. and wait for the teacher to “It was true.” get off of Facebook. We don’t Chung said that the social compare schools because it’s transition was jarring because not fair.” most people at Emerson didn’t “I try to keep in touch,” have much money. Many of Chung said, “but I try to disher friends were in foster tance myself because what care, and she said that there they’re struggling with is comwere kids whose families were pletely different than what I’m involved in gang activity. Her- struggling with now.” nandez said the socioeconomic In spite of the differences, difference was the first thing Hernandez said that if he had he noticed when he came to to make the decision again, he Harvard-Westlake. would choose to go to a private “People here leave their school over Lawndale. phones around,” Hernandez “I would have been valesaid, “At middle school, most dictorian, but I wouldn’t have kids didn’t even have cell learned anything,” Hernandez phones. Their families couldn’t said.

Dec. 18, 2013

Features B7

To celebrate or not to celebrate:

By Alex McNab


However, 59.1 percent of 384 students of varying races said What is Kwanzaa? they don’t care about KwanIn a poll of 388 Harvard- zaa, and 22.7 percent of 387 Westlake students, 59.5 per- students said they don’t care cent didn’t know. about their cultural history. “I’m not sure if it’s just for “I do recognize slavery,” people from Africa or African- Rebecca Armstrong ’14, who Americans in general,” Aliyah identifies herself as an AfriDaniels ’14, who identifies her- can-American, said. “[But] I self as an African-American, have no connection with my said. “It seems like an alterna- African roots. I have no idea tive to Christmas. I guess it’s where I’m from. [My Afritime with family and friends can history is] less important and food. It’s just like another [than my African-American holiday really. I don’t know history] because I’ve never that much about it to be hon- been connected to it. I expeest.” rience racism every day, but I “It’s a holiday,” Kayla Da- have no connection to Zimbarini ’16, who identifies bwe or Namibia.” herself as half-white “There’s no need and half-black, said. [to know about my “Black people celhistory],” Finnie said. ebrate it. That’s all I “Knowing about it know.” won’t change any“It’s something thing. It’s not like it’s my white, Christian something that hapgrandmother tells pened to me. I know me I should celewhat happened, but brate,” Anai Finnie I’m not going to let nathanson’s ’15, who identifies it dictate anything I Miles herself as halfdo.” Williams ’14 black and halfUpper school hiswhite, said. tory department “It’s a holiday that no head Katherine Holmes-Chuone participates in,” Mon- ba disagrees with this view of tana Reilly ’16, who identi- history. However, she doesn’t fies herself as Caucasian, oppose it. said. “It’s like Christmas “There are some people and Hanukkah. It’s a winter who just think the past is the holiday where you get pres- past and I’m living now, and I ents I think. Christmas is think that’s just personality,” for Christians. Hanukkah she said. is for Jews. Kwanzaa is Some students said they for ‘Kwanzaans.’” don’t celebrate because they However, there are aren’t aware of the proper no Kwanzaans because customs and traditions of the unlike Christmas and holiday. Hanukkah, there is “[I don’t celebrate Kwanno religious group as- zaa since] I’m not sure what sociated with Kwan- it’s about,” Darini said. “I’m zaa. Rather, Kwanzaa not sure how to celebrate.” was founded in 1966 Of 361 students polled, 64.8 by Maulana Karenga, percent first learned about the chair of the Af- Kwanzaa in school, but the rican Studies De- comprehensiveness of these partment at Califor- lessons varied greatly. Many nia State University students who spent a week Long Beach and co- learning about Christmas and founder of the black another week learning about nationalist group Hanukkah were only given Organization Us, as one day of class to learn about the first holiday cre- Kwanzaa. However, other ated specifically for schools were more in-depth African-Americans. in their lessons. Some schools Its purpose is “to don’t mention the holiday at give blacks an op- all. Armstrong said she first portunity to cel- heard about Kwanzaa from ebrate themselves children’s books. and their history,” Holmes-Chuba suggested Karenga said. that the Black Leadership The official Awareness and Culture Club website of Kwan- could educate the community zaa emphasizes about Kwanzaa. “the continued “It’d be helpful to have the rapid growth of [BLACC] remind us [about Kwanzaa” and Kwanzaa]” she said. Miles “the profound Williams ’14, one of the leaders s i g n i f i c a n c e of BLACC, doesn’t agree. Kwanzaa has “We should have more for African- black education,” he said. “I Americans.” think it’s a shame that all I get to learn about in school about black culture is a few pages in a history textbook.” Williams, who identifies himself as black, acknowledged a widespread ignorance of Kwanzaa even within BLACC, but Williams believes that this is in part because the purposes of BLACC and Kwanzaa aren’t actually as complementary as they appear. “BLACC is more about being black, whereas Kwanzaa is more about African values,” Williams said. “They’re not completely interrelated.

BLACC is more about being makes do with what they alblack in America.” ready have around their house. However, Williams, who “We just sort of use like a has been celebrating Kwan- nice wine glass for our unity zaa since second grade, wishes cup,” Williams said. “[And] we that more black people would don’t have an official kinara. do the same. We just use what we have. We “I wish that more black make it work.” people would celebrate it,” he The mazao is supposed to said. “Some people are just ig- consist mainly of corn and be norant of their African roots. eaten in a feast on the last day, I can’t guarantee that [if ev- but in Williams’ house, they eryone celebrated Kwanzaa] eat soul food instead. it would lower crime rates or “My mom makes fried anything, but I think it would chicken, collard greens, and bring [black people] together.” black-eyed peas and stuff,” Williams realizes that his Williams said. “It’s pretty steideal of universal Kwanzaa cel- reotypical, but it’s good so I ebration is far-fetched. He’s like it.” the only person he knows that For the tambiko, the Wilcelebrates Kwanzaa. liamses use water. “I tell people that I celeWilliams got all of his inbrate Kwanzaa,” he said. “And formation on how to celebrate they look at me funny. People the holiday from a children’s are caught a little off-guard by book his mom bought him in it.” Williams said he receives second grade. this reaction even from stuGifts on Kwanzaa, which dents in BLACC. are optional, are supposed to Not all observers are as se- be a book and a heritage symrious or as dedicated as Wil- bol, but Veronne’s grandma liams is. Marcheta just gives her and “It’s not that important to her brother a dollar each day. us. We just do it because why “I don’t feel connected to not?” Marianne Veronne ’15, African culture,” she said. “It’s who has been celebrating since not like we’re celebrating our kindergarten and identifies ‘Africanness.’ When we talk herself as half-black and half- about the principles [of Kwanwhite, said. “We don’t take it zaa,] we apply it to our own seriously. Kwanzaa lives.” literally takes half an Veronne, who is hour. Sometimes, we biracial, added that forget to do it, so we’ll her white relahave double Kwanzaa tives are usually one day.” visiting during When describing Kwanzaa. the traditions and Ve r o n n e , cultural aspects of like Williams, the holiday, Veronne hopes more will continually consulted observe Kwannathanson’s her iPhone for proper zaa. Marianne names of traditions. “More black Verrone ’15 Scrolling her people should thumb across the screen of celebrate Kwanzaa beher phone, Veronne said, “The cause it’s fun, but it’s not mat is called the mkeka. Didn’t going to last,” Veronne know it was called that. I guess said. the corn represents crops?” Of 381 students, 49.1 Then, as she explained the percent said they can’t ritual of dispersing evil spirits, tell whether Kwanzaa will Veronne said, “It’s kind of just last, while 34.6 percent a fun thing to do. It’s not like said it will and 16.3 said we truly believe there are evil it won’t. spirits in our house.” “When people referAccording to the official ence Kwanzaa, it’s not website of Kwanzaa, the proper genuine,” Daniels said. way to celebrate is by placing “If we were to celthe mkeka over a table located ebrate Kwanzaa, it would in a central part of the house. be to prove that we’re The kinara (candle holder), not ignorant to the years mazao (crops) and kikombe of s--- that happened,” cha umoja (Cup of Unity) are Finnie said. “It seems placed on the mkeka “to sym- unnecessary. I don’t bolize our rootedness in our think I need a holitradition,” the website says. day to sit and think Seven candles — three red about stuff. There’s candles, three green candles not a day that goes by and one black candle — are where I don’t think placed in the kinara. The black about how my ancessymbolizes “the people,” the tors were taken. I red symbolizes “their struggle” look in the mirror, and the green the future and and I remember, the “hope that comes from ‘Oh yeah.’” their struggle.” Kwanzaa lasts seven days, and, on each day, another candle is lit. Every day represents a value, such as umoja (unity) and kujichagulia (self-determination). The Cup of Unity is used to pour tambiko, a ceremonial tribute of thanks to ancestors. African art and books about “the life and culture of African people” are placed on the table “to symbolize our commitment to heritage and learning.” Although official kinaras and Cups of Unity can be purchased, Williams’ family GRAPHIC BY JACOB GOODMAN

Arts&Entertainment The Chronicle • Dec. 18, 2013

Jazz bands perform in Rugby By Sharon Chow and Su Jin Nam

Jazz classes performed in “An Evening of Big Band Jazz” Dec. 14, exploring both contemporary and classic jazz in the filled Rugby Auditorium. From 7-9 p.m., upper school performing arts teacher Shawn Costantino conducted the Studio Jazz Band, Jazz Band and the Jazz Ensemble in the annual winter jazz concert. “The younger band, with a lot of the sophomores, played better than ever,” Costantino said. “Each different band had their highlights. They were all really good. ” The 25-person Jazz Ensemble opened the show with “When Big Bands Ruled the Earth,” composed by Larry Neeck, and closed their four piece section with “Boogie Stop Shuffle” by Charles Mingus, featuring many soloists, including Rachel Porter ’16 on the bass.  “[The song] showcases how hard we’ve been working this entire year,” Porter said. After the Jazz Ensemble, the Studio Jazz Band took the stage to perform their five piece set, which included “Boplicity” by Miles Davis and “Chill Factor” by Gregory Yasinitsky.  “I’ve been in Studio Jazz band for the past three years, and this is the best that it’s ever been,” Studio Jazz Band tenor saxophone player Zach Saunders ’14 said. Jazz Band closed the concert with pieces including “5-5-7” by Pat Metheny, “AhThat’s Freedom” by Thad Jones, and “Night Train” by Duke Ellington. Tenor saxophone player Jeremy Tepper ’15 was featured as a soloist in “Ah — That’s Freedom”.  “We have a lot of good songs, and a lot of good musicians,” Tepper said. “5-5-7 especially has a lot of changes in tempo that make it really fun and interesting to play and listen to.” 


A WINTER FANTASIA: Students from Chamber Singers, Wolverine Chorus and Bel Canto combine on stage to sing the 13-minute long “Fantasia on Christmas Carols,” composed by Ralph Vaughan Williams and conducted by performing arts teacher Rodger Guerrero.

Winter choral concert features 4 groups

By Pim Otero

“Stille Nacht,” accompanied by harpist Maria Casale and All upper school choirs “Bashana Haba’ah.” sang in the annual holiday The female choir group Bel concert, titled “A Winter Fan- Canto followed with six pieces, tasia” Friday, Dec. 13 at the two including harp: “Duermete First Presbyterian Church of Niño lindo, a Mexican LulSanta Monica. laby” and “Maria Walks Amid H-W Jazz the Thorn.” Singers, Bel “Carol of Canto, Wolthe Birds” I couldn’t be verine Chorus featured stuany prouder of [the and Chamdent musiber Singers, cians Vivian students]. The music as well as a Yang ’16 on they made moved many flute, number of Tom student and Fuller ’15 on hearts and brought out-of-school clarinet and tears to many eyes.” musicians out-of-school performed. Ra—Rodger Guerrero oboist “I think chel Van AmPerforming Arts teacher burgh. that the concert was won“I think derful,” choeverything ral teacher Roger Guerrero went great, and I really ensaid. “The students were all at joyed playing with the chorus,” their best.  I couldn’t be any Yang said. “Everyone worked prouder of them.  The music very hard and put a lot of time they made moved many hearts and effort into the show.” and brought tears to many The all-male Wolverine eyes.” Chorus then performed three The concert opened with pieces, “Riu, Riu, Chiu” with a candlelit procession by all James Hansen ’16 on tenor choral groups, who performed drum, “Der Herr Segne Euch”

and “Ding! Dong! Merrily on High.” “The pieces, overall, went incredibly smoothly,” Hansen said. “We really were wellprepared for this concert, and it definitely paid off.” Jazz Singers closed the first half of the concert with five pieces, with each song performed entirely a cappella. Their first song, “Chove Chuva”, featured solos by Marcella Park ’15, Michelle Lee ’14, Mac Colquhoun ’14 and Aiyana White ’14. Other songs included “Mi Y’maleil” from “Arise and Be Free, A Suite for Chanukah,” “Lo, How a Rose E’er Blooming,” “The Holly and the Ivy” and “Go Tell It on the Mountain.” “My favorite songs were ‘Seek the Lord’ because all the harmonies were really cool, or ‘Go Tell It on the Mountain’ because we all had a lot of fun practicing that song,” Benny Weisman ’15 said. After a short intermission, the Chamber Singers performed six songs; “Seek the Lord” had solos from students

Maddy Abrahams ’14 and Lee. Others included “Singet dem Herrn ein neues Lied,” “Senex puerum portabat,” “Jesus, Jesus, Rest Your Head,” “Christmas In the Straw,” and “Wassail Song.” All choral groups joined with a chamber orchestra specially formed for the 13-minute-long piece, “Fantasia On Christmas Carols.” The chamber orchestra included students from the middle and upper school Symphony Orchestras and the University of Southern California. A performance of “Peace, Peace,” in which seniors broke off to sing “Silent Night” over the rest of the combined choirs, ended the concert. “Everyone worked really hard and there were a lot of rehearsals before the show,” instrumentalist Sara Zhao ’16 said. “After the performance, there’s a feeling of achievement,” Kenneth Noble ’16 said. “It’s about creating a piece of art; in performance, it’s not just about the journey, it’s about the destination.”

Annual chapel Christmas service features singing, readings By Lizzy Thomas


LESSONS AND CAROLS: Performing arts teachers Nina Burtchaell and Christopher Wong led the Madrigals into the Chapel.

Readings from the Bible and choral offerings from the middle school Madrigals highlighted Sunday night’s traditional Christmas service in St. Saviour’s Chapel. One student council member from each grade, as well as Parents’ Association Head Becky Prange (Marco Marenzi ’17 and Alesandra Marenzi ’12), Head of School Jeanne Huybrechts and President Rick Commons read a passage each for a total of nine passages. Student Council Senators India Brittenham ’19, Mason Rodriguez ’18 and Matt Thomas ’17 and prefects Hunter Brookman ’16, Sarah Winshel ’15 and Greg Lehrhoff

’14 read as well. Those in attendance sang traditional Christmas carols “O Come, O Come Emmanuel,” “It Came Upon the Midnight Clear,” “The First Nowell,” “O Little Town of Bethlehem,” “Oh Come, All Ye Faithful,” “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing” and “Joy to the World.” The Madrigals, conducted by middle school performing arts teacher Nina Burtchaell, sang “Of the Father’s Love Begotten,” “The Shepherds Sing” and “A Child is Born in Bethlehem” with Sara Lucas ’17 as a soprano soloist and accompanied on harp by Claire Dennis ’18, on clarinet by Brennan Lee ’17 and on piano by middle school performing arts teacherhfvy Christopher Wong.

Chelsea Pan ’14 played the flute, Sara Zhao ’16 the violin, Ray Kim ’14 the clarinet and Sam Lee ’16 the cello in the instrumental offering “Holly and the Ivy.” Father J. Young led the service and delivered a homily at the end that highlighted the disparity between the “Christmas card” image of Christmas and the actual intended takeaway of the story. “We always have the option of visiting the story once a year, with Christmas card imagery, and appreciating it as sweet but not really grasping its whole meaning. The story’s true value comes in its gritty reality, its affirmation of the human experience,” Young said.

Dec. 18, 2013

A&E B9


SONG, DANCE AND SNAPSHOTS: Claire Nordstrom ’15 pauses before the mic as she prepares to sing, top left. A soapy Sri Lankan man bathes, top right, and a Burmese girl laughs, bottom left, in two of Xenia Viragh ’15’s photo submissions for YoungArts. Amita Pentakota ’14 clasps her hands, striking an Indian dance pose, bottom right.

Young artists take big prizes By Sacha Lin

exhibitions. Viragh prepared five Three students were portraits and a photo story named YoungArts Scholarship told through five other images winners for 2014 for their for her submission. submissions in visual The photo or performing arts. story portrays a Claire Nordstrom Sri Lankan festival ’15 won merit in voice, Viragh attended Amita Pentakota ’14 during the summer. won honorable mention “We were in world dance and driving from one Xenia Viragh ’15 won destination to the honorable mention in next, and then we photography. stopped at a temple Y o u n g A r t s to see what it was nathanson’s provides scholarships like,” Viragh said. Xenia and workshops with “It turned out it Viragh ’15 master artists. was the night of All three winners have this crazy festival. They were been invited to participate washing elephants in the lake, in the Los Angeles Regional and there were people running Program, where there will be around and performing. It was workshops, showcases, and very, very magical.”

The portraits, which were taken in Bangkok, Myanmar and Sri Lanka, have a warm and intimate nature, Viragh said. “It was really cool living abroad, having such a unique lifestyle in Asia and just being exposed to very different things and wanting to capture that and remember it,” Viragh said. Kevin O’Malley and a friend in the photography business helped Viragh decide which photos to submit. “I didn’t want to just submit random photographs that didn’t correlate, so I spent a lot of time looking through my images and choosing ones I could fit together,” Viragh said. Nordstrom sang the Eva

Buy me a ticket, make me a match

By Pim Otero

The preparations for the upper school play “The Matchmaker” started during casting the week of Nov. 18. The actors have been reading and memorizing their lines for their first run through of the play, which is scheduled to take place on Dec. 15. The rehearsals are being held on Mondays through Thursdays after school, as well as on Sundays from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Tickets for the show will be on sale beginning in early January. “Things are going very well,” stage director Sarah Jensen ’14 said. “[Performing arts teacher Ted] Walch is an amazing director, and the actors are all great. Many of them are almost completely off-book, which is very impressive this early in the process.”

The set design was com- been coming out of it. We are pleted during the casting, and still putting it all together, but the stageI think, in the hands have end, it’ll be a since started great show.” construction “ T h e of the set itMatchmaker” Everyone is so self. is a romantic talented, and I think a The most comedy farce progress on by Thorton lot of good work has the set has Wilder that been coming out of it. been made takes place in in the conNew York durWe are still putting it struction ing the 1880stogether, but I think, in 90s. of the flats of the main The play the end, it’ll be a great set. Flats are depicts the show.” the pieces of complicated scenery that of sever—Sophie Sunkin ’14 story are used in a al characters’ play to give intertwined it the appearance of having a journeys for love and advenbackground. ture. “I think it’s going really “It’s really well cast, I like well,” Sophie Sunkin ’14 said. everyone in the show and I’m “Everyone is so talented, and really excited to perform in it,” I think a lot of good work has Joey Lieberman ’14 said.

Claire Nordstrom ’15, Amita Pentakota ’14 and Xenia Viragh ’15 are YoungArts Scholarship winners for singing, dancing and photography. Cassidy rendition of “Over the Rainbow,” “Stuck Like Glue” by Sugarland, “Your Song” by Elton John, “Lovesong” by The Cure and “Make You Feel My Love” by Bob Dylan. “I chose these songs because they are a collection of varying styles,” Nordstrom said. Nordstrom said she has always known that she wanted to be a musician. Last year, she released a song on iTunes called “Yet...” She also applied to YoungArts last year and won honorable mention in the same category. Pentakota had to submit two pieces to apply for the World Dance category: one of technique and the other a choreographed solo piece.

She performs Bharata Natyam in her video submissions, a traditional dance form that tells a story through the use of facial expressions and movement. She has been learning Indian classical dance since she was 4 years old. She regularly attends dance classes with her teacher Viji Prakash, who encouraged her to submit to YoungArts. “Dance is a really big part of my life and my main extracurricular. It’s something that I do when I’m worried,” Pentakota said. “It’s kind of like breathing for me. I thought that this would be a really good way for me to show how much I love dance, so I decided to submit to YoungArts.”

Cast List

Horace Vandergelder: Ambrose Kemper: Joe Scanlon: Gertrude: Cornelius Hackl: Ermengarde: Malachi Stack: Mrs. Levi: Barnaby Tucker: Mrs. Molloy: Minnie Fay: A Cabman: Rudolph: August: Miss Flora Van Huysen: Her Cook: Musicians:

Alex McNab ’14 Conor Belfield ’14 Jacob Goodman ’15 Sabrina Batchler ’15 Brooks Hudgins ’14 Emma Pasarow ’14 Angus O’Brien ’14 Covi Brannan ’15 Joey Lieberman ’14 Autumn Witz ’15 Sophie Sunkin ’14 Bryce Terman ’15 Jacob Goodman ‘15 Oliver Sanderson ’15 Delilah Napier ’15 Katherine Calvert ’15 Sam Clement ’14 Kirk Woo ’14 SOURCE: TED WALCH INFOGRAPHIC BY LAUREN SIEGEL

B10 A&E

The Chronicle

Dec. 18, 2013

Choirs sing at LA Phil gathering

By Siddharth Kucheria


LEND ME A TENOR: Andy Arditi ’14 performs at the Winter Jazz concert “An Evening of Big Band Jazz” in Rugby Theater Dec. 14

Saxophonist selected to be in Grammy band

By Tara Stone

sent the future of jazz,” Arditi. said. “It’s an honor to be assoTenor saxophone player ciated with them.” Andy Arditi ’14 received the Arditi was one of 32 high news Dec. 3 that he had been school students chosen to play selected to play in the 2014 in the session and was one of Grammy Camp Jazz Session, only 18 musicians from across a program created to present the country to qualify for the opportunity and recognition to big band, which consists of talented high school musicians five saxophones, four trumpets across the country. and trombones, piano, guitar, The program is part of the drums and bass. Grammy in the Schools proThe players, selected from gram, which is associated with 12 different states, will arrive the Grammy in Los AngeFo u n d a t i o n les by Jan. 17 according to to rehearse, the organizaperform and I know that tion’s webrecord toplaying with the top site. With gether at varhigh school Jazz the original ious Grammy goal of admusicians in the country Week events, vancing new including a will be an extremely ge n e r a t i o n s recording at of musicians Capitol rehumbling experience. ” and cultivatcords, under —Andy Arditi ’14 the direction ing appreciation for reof Justin Dicorded music, Cioccio of the the Grammy Camp program Manhattan School of Music, helped launch musicians like professor of music Ron McAaron Parks, Gerald Clayton Curdy of the University of and Grace Kelly. Southern California Thornton “People like them repre- School of Music and assistant

professor of music Leila Heil of the University of Colorado, Boulder. “I know playing with the top high school jazz musicians in the country will be an extremely humbling experience and will inspire me to reach a higher level of playing,” Arditi said. The students will also perform at USC where they will open for Vampire Weekend at a benefit concert. Grammy Week will culminate with the 56th annual Grammy Awards Jan. 26, which the student musicians are invited to attend. The Jazz Session members will then perform at the Grammy Celebration afterparty, he said. Arditi looks forward to “attending the Grammys and just having a really great time.” Arditi has been playing the tenor saxophone for eight years, studying under Bob Sheppard and performing arts teacher Shawn Costantino, though he does not take regular lessons anymore. At school, Arditi plays in the big band and Advanced Jazz Combo. He

is also a member of the Colburn Monday Night Band at the Colburn School of Music in downtown Los Angeles. The band is a combo, and members meet downtown every Monday night to rehearse together from 7-9 p.m. Arditi has spent his summers attending various jazz programs at Interlochen, the Skidmore Jazz Institute, University of California San Diego and the Port Townsend Jazz Workshop. “The workshop at Port Townsend was probably the best and most advanced one as the faculty included jazz giants including Terrell Stafford, John Clayton, Gerald Clayton and Jeff Hamilton,” Arditi said. In order to compete, Arditi uploaded an audition video in which he performed three songs: “Billie’s Bounce,” by Charlie Parker “It Could Happen to You” by Jimmy Van Heusen and Miles Davis’ “Four.” While the first was required, Arditi said he chose the two latter to “demonstrate his playing of different tempos and forms.”

Bookstore associate to perform in Christmas show By Enya Huang

Bookstore associate Allie Costa will perform in “Little Miss Scrooge,” a musical mashup of “A Christmas Carol” and “Great Expectations,” at the Rubicon Theatre in Ventura. Costa plays Tiny Tammy, a female adaptation of Tiny Tim and Charity Pecksniff, a Charles Dickens character. A director with whom Costa has worked several times recommended her to Rubicon

Theatre casting director Lisa Tyzzer, Costa said, and she got the part in late November. “When I was offered the role, I was flattered, excited and very happy,” Costa said. “It’s an honor to be part of this show. Everyone involved is professional, dedicated and talented, very kind and collaborative.” “Little Miss Scrooge” is directed by “Les Misérables” director John Caird with music and lyrics by “Jane Eyre” and

“Daddy Long Legs” commas Future secposer Paul Gordon. tion and sing the The plot revolves song ‘Life,’ which around Estella, a busibegins quite innesswoman and descennocently before dant of Ebenezer Scrooge morphing into a who will foreclose the rock song where Harthouse Hotel in Ohio, I belt my heart where she finds that the out.” proprietor is childhood Costa took a nathanson’s friend Pip Nickleby, Cosleave of absence Allie Costa ta said. to rehearse six “I am having a blast,” Costa days a week with the cast and said. “My favorite scene comes production team. in Act II, when I visit Estella “Little Miss Scrooge” opens during the Ghost of Christ- tonight and runs to Dec. 23.

Chamber Singers and Jazz Singers performed at the Los Angeles Philharmonic Committee Christmas party at the California Club Dec. 14. They sang songs from the Winter Choral Concert, which was the night before. Approximately 75 people attended the performance. The singers performed last year, and it has since become an annual event. “The concert went really well,” chamber Singer Alex Berman ’14 said. “The atmosphere was so festive, and we’re fresh out of our winter concert so we knew exactly what we needed to replicate and what we needed to fix.” As a section leader, Berman tried to create a more relaxing environment for the other singers. “I understand how nervewracking singing in a new environment can be, and we perform better when we are more relaxed,” she said. “They make a donation to our scholarship fund,” performing arts teacher Rodger Guerrero said. “These are the most influential music powerbrokers in all of Los Angeles so it’s a pretty important event.”

Students perform for elderly

By Cole Feldman

The Harvard-Westlake Outreach Performers sang and read poetry to residents at Sunrise Senior Living in Playa Vista Dec. 14. The 17 club members, who have been practicing since September for this event, performed an assortment ranging from ghostly narrative poetry to original pieces. The performers also conducted interactive improvisational games with the audience. “I think performing at the nursing home was really rewarding,” Covi Brannan ’15 said. “Although, in the moment, it may seem like the residents weren’t too into it and bored, I’ve realized how much appreciation they have for us coming and sharing our art.” The club members will receive 20 hours of commuity service. They plan to perform once more at a children’s hospital later in the year.

Dec. 18, 2013

Improvisation program expands By Marcella Park

Both improvisation groups had their first rehearsal Nov. 22, three days after performing arts teacher Michele Spears’ announcement that the program will expand to two groups this year. Spears announced the expansion in an email Nov. 19 to students who auditioned for Scene Monkeys. One group will remain the Scene Monkeys, and the other is yet to be named by its members. Spears will coach the Scene Monkeys, and her friend from outside of school, Dave Bushnell, will coach the new group. Jensen McRae ’15, who joined Scene Monkeys last year, said she thought branching into two separate improvisation groups was a good idea because she remembers being very nervous about her first year when she was working with more expe-

rienced students. The second group will help those new to improvisation and performing become more used to it, McRae said. Alan Yousefzadeh ’15, a member of the newly created group, agrees that expanding into two groups will be particularly helpful for students with less experience on stage. “It was definitely a great year to do it since there is so much talent,” Yousefzadeh said. “The second group gives people who are naturally funny but may not have had as much experience performing a chance to gain some expertise before possibly joining the Scene Monkeys in the future.” Auditions started Oct. 25 and went through multiple rounds before the final groups were decided on. McRae said that this year’s auditions were longer than usual.

The second group gives people who are naturally funny but may not have had as much experience performing a chance to gain some expertise before possibly joining the Scene Monkeys in the future.” —Alan Yousefzadeh ’15

Emma Pasarow ’14, who has participated in Scene Monkeys since her junior year, said she is excited about the new expansion. “I think it’s great,” she said. “Scene Monkeys is my favorite club to be a part of at school, and with two groups more people have the opporunity to join in and be a part of it too.” Pasarow said that the best part of the expansion was that they were able to cut fewer people.

Improvisation group members Scene Monkeys Conor Belfield ’14 Noah Bennett ’15 Zita Biosah ’14 Molly Chapman ’14 Clay Davis ’14 Tara Joshi ’14 Greg Lehrhoff ’14 Grace Levin ’14 Joey Lieberman ’14

Alex McNab ’14 Jensen McRae ’15 Daniel Palumbo ’14 Emma Pasarow ’14 Kayla Shenassa ’14 Tom Thorne ’14 Aiyana White ’14 Autumn Witz ’15


Out of the 54 who auditioned, 32 students were selected to become part of one of the two improvisation troupes. Seventeen were placed in the Scene Monkeys, and 15 were placed in the new group. “With all the talent, both new and old, it’s going to be a great year,” Pasarow said. “I can’t wait.” The program will continue to hold open improvisation workshops for all students over the course of the year.

32 students were selected to be part of the improvisation program.

Unnamed group Donhem Brown ’14 Katherine Calvert ’15 Elizabeth Edel ’16 Jared Gentile ’16 Jacob Goodman ’15 Alex Haney ’14 Sophia Lopez ’14 Delilah Napier ’15

Dora Palmer ’15 Oliver Sanderson ’15 Teddy Sokoloff ’15 Bryce Terman ’15 Genevieve Thomas ’16 Shelby Weiss ’16 Alan Yousefzadeh ’15


A&E B11

Dancers perform in charity show

By Su Jin Nam

Advanced Dance I will hold a special outreach performance showcase during school today. The showcase is for The Arc of the United States, an organization dedicated to helping adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The dances will be based on fairytales, like the Ugly Duckling or the Evil Stepsisters. “I’m really excited to be a part of the show,” Drew Mirman ’15 said. “It will be really special and great experience for ARC, and for all of us performing in it.” There will also be a special evening peformance that will be open to everybody later in the dance studio at 7 p.m.

Playwrights submit drafts

By Lauren Rothman

Second drafts of Playwrights Festival submissions were due Friday Dec. 13. 49 plays were submitted, and the final deadline is Jan. 16. These one-act plays will be evaluated by a panel of judges in January, and those chosen will be cast and rehearsals will begin with professional directors. The process will be overseen by drama teacher Christopher Moore. The judges will include professional writers, teachers, directors, actors and dramaturges. “These wonderful, dedicated and talented professionals volunteer their time and expertise to this Festival,” Moore said in an email. The Playwrights Festival will take place in Rugby Theatre from Thursday April 24 to Sunday April 26.

Glass blower, sculptor discusses her artwork

By Scott Nussbaum

that time and putting a modern look to them,” Gilbert said. Glass blower and sculptor “I feel that makes it much Sarah Gilbert visited the up- more relatable to the audiper school campus Nov. 18 and ence.” discussed her work with glass, Gilbert has created exhibembroidery and photography its integrating the shape of during fifth period. body parts into common piecGilbert attended graduate es of silverware, placing vases school for glass sculpting at inside other vases and modelBrown University. ing an apple tree found outside Her work has been show- her grandmother’s house. cased in museums across the According to her official country, including the Chrys- website, Gilbert’s work also ler Museum of Art in Virginia. explores “questions of materiIn addition to her college ality and subjectivity” as well studies, Gilbert spent three as “how objects shape our exmonths at the Glass Center periences.” of America The disin New Jercussion was sey working open to all with glass and students I saw that you sculptures. rather than can find mediums of art being exclu“My main inspiration sive to those everywhere you look, is 16th centaking art even if it may be an tury Venetian classes. unexpected place.” glass,” Gilbert Amber said. “That is Shooshani —Amber Shooshani ‘15 ’15 attended really the period in which the discusglass blowing sion and said was at its height.” she found Gilbert’s work inGilbert said that she she spiring. aims to incorperate different “I saw that you can find modern elements into more mediums for art everywhere classic styles from that time you look,” Shooshani said. period. “Even if it may be in an un“My greatest interest is expected place, like finding the taking the styles exhibited at texture of a knuckle on a fork.”


JINGLE BELL MARCH: Max Cho ’15 twirls his baton with the Pacific American Volunteer Association student marching band in the annual Hollywood Christmas Parade for the fourth year in a row.

Student marches in Christmas parade By Angela Chon

Max Cho ’15 marched in the Hollywood Christmas Parade Dec. 1 for the fourth year in a row. He has been a member of the Pacific American Volunteer Association, a non-profit organization where students participate in various community service activities, for four years and was recently appointed Junior National President. Every year, PAVA members organize a cultural marching band that plays traditional Korean music at various events. The performers, dressed in traditional Korean attire, ei-

ther played an instrument or danced in the parade. Some members walked behind the performers, holding flags. “The Hollywood Parade has really become a PAVA tradition,” Cho said. “For the past few years that I’ve performed, I played various different traditional Korean instruments.” PAVA worked closely with Mayor Eric Garcetti ’88, who got PAVA a spot in the parade. The band consisted of over 220 elementary, middle and high school students from 14 different school districts in the state. Members gathered every Saturday for four months at Glendale Community Col-

lege to rehearse around the football field. “Preparation is always fun,” Cho said. “The fact that you get to meet various kids from all over California, all committed to represent their Korean culture, is always an energizing experience.” Cho was proud to be one of the leaders of the band. “I felt proud that we were all together that night celebrating an American tradition by performing a traditional Korean art form,” Cho said. “Through four years, I’ve become exposed to my Korean culture, and I can say I’m proud of who I’ve become throughout the process.”

B12 Features

The Chronicle

Dec. 18, 2013

Craving the Crush Raking in almost $1 million daily, the worldwide phenomena Candy Crush Saga is just as popular at Harvard-Westlake. really wish I could [stop play- you would just keep trying to ing it] though. It doesn’t really beat it, and it was all the more Hunched over an iPhone, waste my time. It’s entertain- gratifying when you finally won.” Alex Florent ’15 holds her ing. “ She is curWhile breath as she swipes the rainthe game bow bon-bon into a pair of red rently on level is free, afjellybeans. A second passes, 374. “My parents ter players Candy Crush is then: “Sugar rush!” The screen use up five explodes into a cacophony of just think it’s a my therapy. It’s the one lives they brightly colored candy and waste of time,” thing I get to hold on Lim said. “They must wait fireworks. Flush with excite30 minutes ment, she exhales and eagerly play games on to. I would be better off phones before the moves on to the next level. their stopping but I’d rather next round The game is Candy Crush though, mostly things, unless they Saga, and Florent is a self- Asian not.” mahjong. are willproclaimed addict, estimating like —Alex Florent ’15 ing to pay. that she plays 24 hours a week. Not as much [as T h i n k “I spend literally every mo- I do], though.” O l i v e r G a m i n g ment of the day playing it,” Sanderson’s ’15 parents don’t estimates that King makes Florent said. “I walk to class playing it. I play it while I eat. disapprove of Candy Crush; in $875,382 daily. In comparison, fact, his mother plays Angry Birds, another popular I just do it constantit too. mobile game, takes in an estily.” “Oliver was on the mated $6,381 each day. Since it was first couch playing it and “I have spent a lot of money launched as an app I was like ‘What are on this game,” said Meredith* for mobile devices you doing?’ And then: ’14. “I have no idea the exact a little over a year ‘I want some of that,’” amount. Probably like $200. ago, Candy Crush Sanderson’s moth- I would not be surprised if it has been played over er Mich Mathews- were around that.” 152 billion times and Sprandlin said, laughMeredith is on level 425 is the first game ing. “It’s just nonsense and spends at least three nathanson’s ever to simultanefun.” hours per week playing it. ously reach No. 1 in Natalie Lim ’15 She had played Only 11 percent of Candy downloads on iOS, game apps like An- Crush players at HarvardAndroid and Facebook. According to a Chronicle gry Birds and Ruzzle before, Westlake said they spend poll of 401 students, 39 per- but never to the same degree money on the game. “I don’t genercent play Candy Crush, and of as Candy Crush and ally pay money for those, over 40 percent devote said she grew bored it,” Florent said. more than a hour per week to with the others fairly quickly. “Though, one day I it. Experts say the was super into it and “Candy Crush is my therability to spent like $200.” apy,” Florent, who is on level game’s Weber has found 346, said. “It’s the one thing I maintain players’ ina trick to avoid the get to hold on to. I would be terest is key to its According extra fees. better off stopping, but I’d success. to a TIME magazine “I don’t pay rather not.” nathanson’s money, but my sisThough others agree that article, London-based company Lydia Weber ’14 ter taught me a the game is habit-forming, software cheat where you can they don’t believe it negatively King specifically designed the game to make it change the date on your phone impacts their life. almost impossible to quit, us- so you don’t have to pay for “I would call myself ing mathematical extra lives,” Weber said. “So I addicted,” Lydia Weber equations to bal- don’t pay, but I do get to keep ’14 said. “I think I’m ance the difficulty playing.” okay, though. Probably and achievability for Despite the game’s addicif I played anymore it maximum addictive- tiveness, some players have would be bad, but I do ness. There are over successfully undergone Candy it as a treat for my500 levels, and new Crush “withdrawal.” self.” ones are added ev“I am on a long-term hiaShe estimated that ery two weeks. tus from Candy Crush,” math she spends 30 minutes “The game teacher Bill Thill said. “I just per day playing Candy nathanson’s developers have a got to a point where I hit level Crush and is at level Oliver very intelligent, 95 and I tried it like a hundred 176. sneaky way of times and it just became clear Sanderson ’15 Natalie Lim ’15 designing it,” that I wasn’t going to succeed said that the game also said. “It was unless I was willing to waste provides a source of stress re- Sanderson puzzling and you had to my life. I chose my life over lief. “It definitely distracts me strategize and they would Candy Crush.” sometimes,” Lim said. “I don’t always make the challenges just barely out of reach, so *Names have been changed By Zoe Dutton


Sports The Chronicle • Dec. 18, 2013

NEXT LEVEL: Bakari Bolden ’14, left, competed in the Northwestern Mutual World Challenge Pro-Amateur Tournament Dec. 4.


Boys’ Water Polo


EYES ON THE PRIZE: Warren Snyder ’14 aims for goal in front of a Mater Dei defender in the boys’ water polo team’s 9-6 CIF Finals win over the Monarchs Nov. 23.

Dethroning Monarchs

On the biggest stage of high school water polo, the boys’ varsity water polo team overcame the Mater Dei Monarchs, who handed the Wolverines their only three losses of 2013, to win the CIF Division I Championship. By Mila Barzdukas



KING OF THE HILL: Water Polo Program Head Brian Flacks ’06 raises the CIF title plaque after his team defeated Mater Dei.

espite losing the seasonal battle, HarvardWestlake won the postseason war against Mater Dei, beating the Monarchs 9-6 in the CIF Division I finals and writing a storybook ending to their season. By the fourth match up this season, the Wolverines knew their opponent.  “We really focused on defense this time around,” center Ben Hallock ’16 said. “We knew we couldn’t rely on our offense because it would be hard to get past their goalie, so we focused on keeping them to under six goals.” The Wolverines made the first blow off a quick goal by center defender Warren Snyder ’14 in the first possession, and center Raphael Raede ’15 capitalized on a 6-on-5 play to make the score a quick 2-0. The Wolverines would go on to lead for the rest of the game. Mater Dei scored off a skip shot, but Raede’s second goal and Johnny Hooper’s ’15 backhand goal made the score 4-1, keeping control of the game away from the Monarchs. By

halftime, the score was 7-3 due to two goals from Hallock and a second goal from Snyder. Goalkeeper Anthony Ridgley ’15 kept the Wolverines in control, with numerous blocks throughout the first half in key momentum plays. In the third period, the Wolverines were unable to get the ball past the 6-foot-9-inch Mater Dei goalkeeper McQuin Baron, and the Monarchs scored to make it 7-4 going into the fourth quarter. The Monarchs attempted a comeback, but they were unable to come close as the Wolverines ran the clock down in possession.  “The win was probably the biggest, most exciting thing that has ever happened to me,” Snyder said. “It’s what we always have been working on, and all of our work finally paid off. It was also the biggest adrenaline rush. I might have shed a tear.” The Monarchs were the only team that beat the Wolverines this season, and they did it three times, which added to the heated rivalry and Wolverine motivation. In past years, the Monarchs seemed

unstoppable, besting HarvardWestlake in the CIF Quarterfinals last year 15-6 and winning the CIF title for the past five years. “We beat them in the game that mattered,” Jake McCabe ’15 said. “Before the finals, Coach Flacks told us that the previous losses didn’t matter, and this was the game that meant everything. We knew we’d get them back when it really mattered.” This is the first CIF championship for the program, as well as the first ring for Head Coach Brian Flacks ’06 as head coach of the boys’ team. “It’s a really big deal,” Hallock said about the win. “So many people care about this program and put so much into it, and to be a part of it is really, really cool.” also named the Wolverines as the number one water polo team in the nation on its website. The team returns all but Snyder and Peter Tilton ’14 for next year’s season. “It’s a really good feeling that we ended my last season in the best way we possibly could,” Snyder said.

Girls’ Soccer

Wolverines look to rebound from 5-0 loss to Mira Costa By Eric Loeb

For the second consecutive season, the girls’ soccer team’s first loss came at home against Mira Costa, this year by a score of 5-0. Going into this seasons Dec. 13 matchup, Wolverines took the field against the Mustangs following two consecutive shutouts to begin their campaign for a CIF championship, following last year’s semifinals loss to Chaminade.

The team defeated El Camino Real 3-0 on the road in its season opener, and Oaks Christian 2-0 in its first home game. Players primarily attribute the victories to forward Courtney O’Brien ’15, who has scored three of the team’s five goals on the year, and stellar goaltending. “We were a lot more focused in the first two games,” Head Coach Richard Simms said. “Jackie Ridgley [’14] played well in goal.”

However, players also acknowledged a large discrepancy in talent between the rosters of their first two opponents, and their own, which features multiple players committed to Division I colleges, in addition to individual award winners within the competitive Mission League. The Wolverines also cited this as a reason for their flat performance against Mira Costa. • Continued on page C3


LEAD PASS: Forward Courtney O’Brien ’15 chases after the ball in the girls’ soccer team’s 2-0 victory over Oaks Christian Dec. 11.

The Chronicle

C2 Sports

Facts &

Dec. 18, 2013

Boys’ Basketball



The number of Wolverine medalists at the Newbury Park Invitational wrestling tournament.


The ranking of the girls’ soccer team in the National Preseason Polls by studentsports. com.

3-pointers made by Bryan Polan ’14 against Dorsey, a new Harvard-Westlake basketball record.


7 The number of points scored by Lindsey Tse ’16 against Burroughs in the Burroughs Tournament.

Game to watch JAN. 24

Boys’ basketball vs. Loyola Taper Gymnasium

For the first time in three years, the Wolverine-Cub rivalry will coalesce on the grounds of Harvard-Westlake rather than at a neutral site. The Wolverines face a tall task, as the Cubs are currently undefeated in the 2013-2014 season.


Michael Sheng ’14 In the last year of his fouryear varsity career, Sheng has been the Wolverines’ main leader and facilitator. For his penultimate meeting with Loyola, Sheng will be matched up with Cub star Parker Jackson-Cartwright, who will be attending the University of Arizona next year. Shutting down Cartwright will be crucial to stymieing the Cubs’ offense and giving the Wolverines the advantage, both mentally and strategically.

Junior Varsity Boys’ basketball (4-5) Last Game: W (79-64) @ Campbell Hall

Girls’ basketball (4-3) Last Game: L (58-55) vs. Hart

Boys’ soccer (1-1) Last Game: L (5-1) vs. Cathedral

Girls’ soccer (3-2) Last Match: W (3-2) @ Newport Harbor


OFF THE DRIBBLE: Guard Michael Sheng ’14 isolates against a St. Bernard defender with the clock winding down in the boys’ basketball team’s 64-52 win over the Vikings Dec. 10. Sheng has averaged 14.4 points per game through eight games this season.

Wolverines search for consistency following loss in tournament finals

By Grant Nussbaum

Coming off an opening eight game stretch full of highs and lows, the boys’ varsity basketball team heads into the Desert Heat Classic Dec. 26 eager for more consistency from its 4-4 record. The team started its season off in dramatic fashion against Palisades Dec. 4, as the Wolverines came back from 16 points down in the fourth quarter to win 70-66 in overtime, highlighted by Derick Newton’s ’14 buzzer-beating layup to force the extra period. However, the Wolverines’ season took a wrong turn as the team lost its next three games in the Santa Monica Tournament. Newton, who scored 37 of the team’s 70 points in the first game, suffered an ankle injury in the first quarter of the team’s third game against

Brentwood Dec. 6. Newton has not played since, but is expected to return in the Desert Heat Classic. Led by veterans Michael Sheng ’14, Alex Copeland ’15 and Bryan Polan ’14, the team was able to resurge and win three straight games in the following University High School tournament. Sheng and Copeland were named to all-tournament teams with 23 and 21 points respectively against University Dec. 13, while Polan put up a career-high 30 points in the team’s 94-64 win Dec. 11 against Dorsey. Polan’s seven three-pointers in the blowout win tied a school record for most threes in a game. “I feel like with Mike, Derick and I, we have three threats, and that, when we’re all playing, it’s really hard to stop us,” Copeland said. “With Derick out – both he and Mike

have a lot of experience with injuries – I’ve just had to take on a bigger role. I think we’ve both been doing a great job. I get ready to just do whatever the coach needs me to do, whether it’s scoring a lot, or trying to get shooters involved, or getting the ball to Derick. Now that I need to score, I’m ready to score.” The Wolverines, however, were unable to complete the undefeated streak at the University High School, falling to Windward 54-48 in the tournament finals. With Newton out, head coach Greg Hilliard has had to experiment with distributing the forward’s minutes among different lineups. The team, as Hilliard said in November, contains several young but inexperienced players. Outside of Newton, center Sam Weintraub ’14, Sheng and

Copeland, who have all played on varsity since their respective freshman years, no other Wolverines have spent more than two years on the varsity team. Weintraub, sidelined with a hip injury, has yet to play this season. “We do have a lot of guys that don’t have much varsity experience,” Copeland said. “I think, especially early on in the Santa Monica tournament, we didn’t come to every game as focused as we could have been and knowing how intense we have to be to be successful. I think we’re starting to learn that. Even though we couldn’t pull out a win against Windward, we played really hard, and I think we’re starting to learn, starting to get better at doing what we need to win – playing defense, playing hard, getting 50-50 balls, stuff like that.”

Girls’ Basketball

Sophomore lifts team to double-digit victory By Jordan Garfinkel

After a solid 2012-13 season, the girls’ basketball team has picked up where last year’s team left off and have opened with a 4-2 record, most recently defeating Hart 59-41 Dec 16. The Wolverines begin play Wednesday in the Santa Barbara Tournament Of Champions. They began the season with three wins in a row, including a 63-24 blowout against Verdugo Hills. Freshman guard Sydney Tsutsui ’17 posted 17 points, and 6-foot tall forward Camille Oswald ’17, who scored 13 points, both shot 75% from the field. The Wolverines finally hit their first bump in the road

against Fairfax, falling 47- dedication has really contrib36. Despite the loss, the team uted to our success,” Tse said. bounced back and defeated “We’ve all been working really Burroughs 77-63. hard to get to where we are.” Guard Teeana Cotangco Although the team is ’15, one of the vetyoung, with three erans and leaders of freshmen, Tsutsui, a young Wolverine Oswald and forward team, pointed out Lauren Lapesarde ’17 the specific areas of receiving quality playthe game where the ing time, the Wolverteam can step up their ines have been able game. to bond and gel as a “They came back team both on and off stronger in the third the court. ’ quarter and we fell be“I think that the Lindsey Tse ’16 hind,” Cotangco said. fact that we are all so “I think being more close translates onto aggressive on defense will help the floor, making us a great us improve and win easier.” team,” Oswald said. Guard Lindsey Tse ’16 “This year we’re more scored a team high and career well-rounded,” Cotangco said. 33 points in the victory against “Everybody contributes every Burroughs. game. We’re better, skill-wise, “Everyone’s effort and all around, where everyone nathanson s

has had a few years of game experience.” The Wolverines’ teamwork is displayed in their consistent and efficient fast break, which has been an aspect of the game that the team has excelled in these first five games. Despite the success on the run, there is still room for improvement, especially in the rebounding and defensive areas of the game. “Our ability to transition into our fast break and finish easy layups has really helped us get to being 4-1 early on in the season,” Cotangco said. “One of our strengths would be the ability to run the floor and get layups,” Oswald said. “I don’t think our team necessarily has weaknesses but more things to work on, like execution.”

Dec. 18, 2013

Sports C3

LaCour awarded NHSBCA National Coach of the Year By Henry Vogel


ALL SMILES: Baseball head coach Matt LaCour celebrates with former President Tom Hudnut after the baseball team’s CIF Finals win May 31.

Baseball program head Matt LaCour was named 2013 National Coach of the Year by the National High School Baseball Coaches Association. LaCour, who was selected to coach the U15 USA Baseball Team that won a gold medal at the Baseball Classic last summer, coached the varsity baseball team to its first ever CIF title and national championship in 2013. He received the award at the NHSBCA Convention in Arizona the weekend of Dec. 8. Since he was there to collect his Regional Coach of the Year award, it came as a surprise

to him when he was named National Coach of the Year as well. “Considering it comes from my peers in the same business, it is a great honor to be recognized for the things our program has accomplished,” LaCour said. “This is an award for our entire coaching staff, seventh grade through varsity, and all of our players. Individual accolades are always a result of being a part of teams that do great things.” LaCour earned Coach of the Year honors from the Los Angeles Times and the CIF Southern Section as well last June. Since LaCour’s arrival as

head coach in 2006, the baseball team has been a perennial contender, ultimately culiminating in its first-ever CIF Championship, and has produced three Wolverines who have been drafted by Major League Baseball organizations. Next year, LaCour hopes for his team to develop the mental and physical toughness it takes to compete at the highest levels of the game and come to the field each day with a mindset of becoming a better player and teammate. “If we can do these things, the results on the field will take care of themselves,” LaCour said.

Senior golfer plays in PGA Tour Pro-Am

By Sam Sachs

The 2012 PGA Rookie of the Year Jordan Spieth partnered with Bakari Bolden ’14 in the Northwestern Mutual World Challenge ProfessionalAmateur Dec. 4. The tournament, hosted by Tiger Woods, was held at Sherwood Country Club in Thousand Oaks for the last time as it will move to Isleworth Country Club just outside of Orlando, Fla next year. Bolden and Spieth scored a twenty under par to finish sixth in the pro-am. “Definitely, by far, one of the most amazing experiences of my life just to be

able to watch and kind of just 16th in the PGA Tour tournapick up on the subtle nuances ment leaderboard by posting a that Jordan had, and like just nine over and a 297 four round to be able to watch total. him and see how he Zach Johnson carried himself was barely edged out pretty amazing,” Tiger Woods to win Bolden said about the tournament by playing with the proposting a 13 under fessional.  “Definitely par. an opportunity that “I started off I’ll take with me for well, and then I got the rest of my life. I to my second hole mean, it was just an and things kind of amazing opportuweren’t going to well nathanson’s nity.  I am so happy Bakari Bolden ’14 for me on the second and just excited to hole,” Bolden said. be able to have that chance to Bolden had a triple bogey on play with him.” that second hole.  Spieth finished tied for “But, then I was able to

pick it up after that, and I ended up playing well,” Bolden said. “I was happy with how I played.” “[Spieth] really didn’t give me any tips, but he kind of taught me things here and there,” Bolden added. “Jordan just told me what to do, gave me a couple of little tips to hit certain shots. He told me to ‘just keep working at it’ to ‘just keep working hard’ and that one day, you never know where golf can take me so I just gotta keep working at it.  He basically told me just to never quit so I’m going to take those words and I’m going to run with them.”

Girls’ Soccer

Wolverines set sights on upcoming Mater Dei matchup • Continued from page C1

that spent a significant time “We have so much talent out injured in the fall,” he said. on our team,” O’Brien said. “I “They are not as close to being think that we started out this 100 percent as I had thought season feeling somewhat enti- so that will take a bit more tled to winning games because time. The goal is to be healthy of the talent we have, which and clicking when the playoffs is not the arrive.” mindset we Blendneed to be in ing talent is to win games something against great I think the players say teams like will be the message received was Mira Costa.” team’s priFullback that we don’t deserve to mary chalM a l a n n a lenge this win unless we show up Wheat ’14, season, espeready to play and prove cially at the echoed similar ideas. it and we fell short beginning. “So far The team has Friday night.” the season been adapting is where it —Malanna Wheat ’14 to major styshould be,” Defender listic changes she said. “We implemented started off by Simms. strong win“I think our team is ning our first two games but still getting used to playing in a way I’m happy we lost together again,” O’Brien said, last Friday. It reminded us of alluding to the fact that most that feeling last year brought of the girls have been playing and we’re aiming for a differ- on separate club teams. “We’ve ent season this year. I think only had one or two practices the message received was that with our entire team present we don’t deserve to win unless and are still getting used to we show up ready to play and our new formation.” prove it and we fell short FriFollowing the loss, the day night.” girls’ enter the Mater Dei Simms says injuries have Invitational with a 2-1 record, also been an issue.     with an opening matchup “We have some players against Los Alamitos today.


Former water polo standout wins gold

Ashley Grossman ’11 won gold at the Canada Cup playing for the USA Women’s Water Polo National Team. Grossman notched three goals for her team, beating Canada 11-8 in the finals Dec. 7. During her senior year as a Wolverine, Grossman led the girls’ water polo team to its first CIF Southern Section girls water polo title and was named player of the year in her senior season. —Caitlin Neapole

7th grade football team wins league

For the third year in a row, the seventh grade football team won the league championship, beating Oaks Christian 12-9 Nov. 9. The team finished the season with a 4-3 record. Head Coach Scott Bello believed this win brought the team to a successful finish. “I am extremely proud of all the fall teams that competed and got better as the season went on,” Bello said in an email. The eighth grade team finished the season 2-5. —Jonah Ullendorff

Water polo players invited to U.S. team Five varsity water polo players were invited to an Olympic training and recruiting camp, and seven players were named to the first, second and third All-CIF teams. The senior national team coach recruited Warren Snyder ’14, Johnny Hooper ’15, Raphi Raede ’15, Ben Hallock ’16 and Felix BrozynaVilm ’17 to attend the camp, which will give the players an opportunity to be chosen for the American World Cup team this summer, the World Championships next summer and the Olympics the following summer. Snyder, Hooper and Hallock were named to first team All-CIF, while Raede and Morio Saito ’15 were named to second team All-CIF and Anthony Ridgley ’15 and Duncan Froomer ’16 were named to third team All-CIF. —Henry Vogel

Baseball team hires two new coaches


WALK THE LINE: Mackenzie Howe ’14 (#7) dribbles the ball down the field in girls’ soccer’s 2-0 win over Oaks Christian Dec. 11. The team is also scheduled to play Foothill and Bishop Amat, both teams, along with Los Alamitos, which last year’s squad did not face. Despite the loss, the Wolverines still consider them-

selves major contenders in CIF. “Our expectations are the same,” said Brianna Gazmarian ’15. “We all believe in one another and know that if we dig deep enough we will go far.”

The baseball team added varsity pitching coach Joe Guntz, junior varsity coach Greg Garrison and junior varsity coach Greg Fowble to its program Nov 23. Guntz replaced Ethan Katz who took a job with the Anaheim Angels. Garrison is taking over the duty of junior varsity coach from Thomas Cassidy, who is now the head coach at Calabasas High School. Garrison was previously an assistant at Pepperdine University. The other junior varsity coach, Fowble most recently worked as the head coach at Brentwood High School. The baseball team will start its season Feb. 22 in its first official scrimmage at O’Malley Family Field. —Bennett Gross

After playing in the NBA for 12 seasons, center Jason Collins '97 became the first active openly gay athlete in a major sport. Collins attended Stanford University where he was an All-American and was subsequently drafted 18th overall in the 2001 draft by the New Jersey Nets. Collins last played for the Washington Wizards in 2013, but remains a free agent this season. Collins was a major piece in the Nets' push to the 2002 NBA finals where he started and guarded Shaquille O'Neal for a majority of the finals series as a rookie.


Despite beating Chaminade in league play, the squad was upset by the Eagles in CIF semifinals. The Wolverines were the number one Mission League seed, but the highly touted matchup did not disappoint, coming down to penalty kicks. Chaminade would go on to win the CIF title.



Elijah Akhtarzad and

Baseball wins CIF Title, ranked 1st in nation


Chad Kanoff '13 switches to Princeton University


Mila Barzdukas


The boys' basketball team defeated Loyola twice throughout the 2013 season and lost to the Cubs twice. The squad's second victory came in a home game at Occidental College, where the Wolverines took the game 61-59.

Boys' basketball defeats Loyola




Big Red Male Athlete of the Year Chad Kanoff '13 turned heads when he decommited from Vanderbilt in favor of Princeton after signing with the Commodores. Kanoff won the Donald B. Lourie Award for his success with the Tigers in his first collegiate season.


The Chronicle



Jason Collins '97 becomes first active openly gay athlete in major sports


Girls' soccer upset in CIF Playoffs


2013 Playback The 2013 year was filled with major headlines involving Wolverines on campus and beyond.

C4 Sports Dec. 18


Nov. 23 was a Super Saturday for Wolverine athletics, as four teams made CIF Finals. Boys' cross country got third, girls' cross country and girls' volleyball both took second, and boys' water polo won it all.

Four teams make CIF Finals




Jonathan Martin '08 leaves Dolphins, alleges bullying


Boys' water polo wins CIF, named best in nation



The 2013 girls' volleyball team accomplished what no varsity team had done in six years when it defeated defending state champion and rival Marmount. What's more, they did it twice.

Girls' volleyball beats Marymount twice



The water polo team ekked out a 9-6 victory over Mater Dei in the CIF finals after losing to them three times this season. This is the first CIF ring for the program and the second for Head Coach Brian Flacks '06.



Baseball finshed a dominant season with a 1-0 nailbiter over Marina High School to take the CIF Finals at Dodger Stadium. The win gave them the title of number one team in the nation.


National Football League offensive lineman Jonathan Martin '08 triggered a national debate on bullying in sports after leaving the Miami Dolphins Oct. 3. Martin claimed bullying at hands of Dolphins teammate fellow lineman Richie Incognito.

The football team made history Aug. 30, upsetting Loyola 27-21 in the first game of the season. The teams squared off against each other for the first time in 50 years during the 2012 campaign, when the Wolverines suffered a 42-27 loss.


Football upsets Loyola 27-21


Corrin took her long jump career to the international stage after winning League, CIF and State during the post season. She broke the United States World Youth Trials record with a 21foot jump. Corrin then took her talents to Ukraine, where her fifth place finish was 20 feet, 8.75 inches.

Courtney Corrin '16 finishes 5th at World Youth Championships

8, 2013 Sports C5

C6 Sports

The Chronicle

Dec. 18, 2013


THROUGH BALL: Jon Nelson ’16 (#23) chases down a through ball in the Wolverines’ home opener against Cathedral. Harvard-Westlake lost to the Phantoms 2-1 Dec. 12 to start off the season.

Boys’ Soccer

3 starters return to program after season-long absence By Elijah Akhtarzad

After losing 2-1 to Cathedral High School last Thursday in the squad’s first home game of the season, the boys’ varsity soccer team will face Redondo High School in the South Holiday Tournament this Thursday.  The Cathedral Phantoms took a 1-0 lead within the first 10 minutes of the match.  The Wolverines notched their only score of the match off a set piece pass from Matthew Glick  ’15 to Cole Fletcher ’15. Going into halftime with the score tied at one apiece, Cathedral scored once again in the second half to take a 2-1 lead that would eventually give them the win. 

In the squad’s upcoming South Holiday Tournament, the Wolverines will face the defending Mission League Champion and rival Loyola Cubs, if they are able to advance to the finals by winning their side of the tournament’s bracket.  The squad lost both matches last season against the Cubs, who  finished the year undefeated in Mission League play.   Although the Wolverines lost valuable  seniors this year including team captain and leading scorer Ty Gilhuly ’13, the team gained three returning  athletes who did not play last year. Glick, Jack Temko ’14, and Fletcher all returned to the program and are all making a big impact on the team’s suc-

cess. Fletcher took a year off from soccer in order to join the basketball program last year. “Although I played basketball last year, I played soccer for my club team starting in February so I was prepared to come back this year,” Fletcher said. “Players in both the basketball and soccer programs are great and they equally get in the mode of games and practices.” Glick missed all of last season due to an ACL injury he suffered during the football season. Temko was absent for all of last season since he was playing in the U.S. Soccer Development Academy, the elite soccer league in the country, instead of playing for

Girls’ Water Polo

Team finishes 3rd in tournament By Mila Barzdukas The Wolverines tested the waters of competition Dec. 6, taking third place in the Mistletoe Classic in Newbury Park. They posted victories over Moorpark 17-4 and Cabrillo 16-7 in the first round and the quarterfinals of the tournament, respectively. A championship victory fell out of grasp when the squad lost to Newbury Park 8-5 in the semifinals, but they rebounded back with an 8-3 win over Buena to claim third place. “I think that we surprised

a lot of people,” goalkeeper Daily Hartmeier ’16 said. “It was more of a learning experience than just trying to beat everyone. We still have a lot of work to do but we’re better than we expected to be.” Hartmeier said the tournament was a good test of the team’s endurance. “It was hard because most of the girls were continuously playing because we don’t have a lot of subs but I think the amount of work that we put in was really good,” Hartmeier said. The team’s roster is larger

thanks to three late additions to the squad. First time players Amira Yashruti ’17 and Megan Cohen ’17 joined the team at the start of the season, along with Genevieve Thomas ’16. “Everyone has been so welcoming,” Thomas said. “It’s good that the team is a little larger now too because then the subs can give the starters more rest.” The Mission League season does not start until early January. The team was supposed to play a non-league game against Mater Dei on Dec. 10, but there was a location mix-


MAN ON: Jack Temko ’14 fights off a Cathedral defender in order to keep possession of the ball for Harvard-Westlake. The Wolverines’ next home game is their Jan. 8 league opener against Crespi. the Wolverines. “High school soccer is still really fast, but Academy is just another level,” Temko said. “The reason I came back to playing in high school was that although I loved my team at Academy and traveling around the nation, I missed the school  environment, being  with all my good friends and playing in front of the crowd I know.”  Although the Wolverines will have three additions this year, they will be missing forward Matthew Gooden ’15 due to his decision to play Academy soccer for the remainder of the season.

The team will kick off its Mission League season Jan. 8 against Crespi at Ted Slavin Field. “At the beginning of last season, the team was still getting used to a new coaching staff, and we were not playing at the level we would have liked to be playing at,” Henry Quilici ’15 said. “However, by the end of the season we were a much stronger team and we were all fairly happy with our performances. This year, we are treating preseason training more seriously which will allow us to play at our full potential from the first game of the season.”

[The Mistletoe Classic] was more of a learning experience than just trying to beat everyone. We still have a lot of work to do but we’re better than we expected to be.” —Daily Hartmeier ’16 goalkeeper

up where both schools drove to the other team’s pool. The game is yet to be officially rescheduled, but will probably be played in January or February, Hartmeier said. Thomas thinks the the team is ready for league play


which starts Jan. 9 against Notre Dame. “What we don’t have in size, we make up for in work ethic,” Thomas said. “League will be tough, but I think with hard work, we can rise up and get the title.”

Dec. 18, 2013

Sports C7


Inexperienced team features two ‘wrestlers to watch’ By Tyler Graham

have been working with us for a while,” Lange said. “A lot of Coming off a strong off- the older guys trained over the season in which wrestlers summer and learned a lot.” were expected to work out Although the team has althree times a week, the wres- ready earned a second place tling team began the 2013- tournament finish, many 2014 campaign on a good note. wrestlers feel that their best The team placed second in the tournaments are still ahead of Turkey Duals at Birmingham them. The Daily News named High School Nov. 30, but lost Harvard-Westlake a team that in the Bishop could develop Amat Duals. into a risThe team also ing power in competed at CIFs SouthBeing named a the Newbury ern Section. Park Individ“My seawrestler to watch by the uals, where son has gone Daily News means a lot pretty well as four Wolverto me and motivates ine wrestlers I have a perwere medalme to work even harder sonal record ists. of 12-1 and for the remainder of the have U n d e r been the veteran improving a season leadership of lot,” Bracken —Jake Bracken ’14 said. “As a senior wrestlers Jake team, we are Bracken ’14, very young Alex Lange ’14 and Patrick and do not have the depth as Halkett ’14, the squad will at- some other teams do, but we tempt to maximize their off- are definitely all getting betseason efforts and succeed in ter. Moving forward, I think their meets. Coming off a win- we can improve on some of the less season, the team has a things we’ve already done.” positive outlook on the outset The Daily News also recogof their young season. nized Bracken and Jake Adler “The team is doing a lot ’17 as wrestlers who could better this year because we emerge as stars by the end of have a lot of new guys who the season.


MAN DOWN: Alex Valdez ’17 pins a Bishop Amat wrestler during a Dec. 11 dual in Hamilton Gym. The Wolverines lost the home match 41-21. Harvard-Westlake won’t host another match until Jan. 8. “Being named a ‘wrestler to watch’ by the Daily News means a lot to me and motivates me to work even harder for the remainder of the season,” Bracken said. With a new crop of wrestlers coming into the program, such as Adler, the team is still meshing, but individual performances have been strong to this point. At the Newbury Park Individuals, Halkett,

Bracken, and Adler medaled in the 113 pound weight class, and Malcolm Neill ’15 medaled in the 182 pound weight class. “Individual progress has been pretty good, but team progress is somewhat slow,” Halkett said. “We are starting to take in new guys, and they don’t really know their strengths and weaknesses yet and we have to kind of teach them not only the basics, but also how to fight and how to be

aggressive.” The squad will next play in the Rosemead Tournament at Rosemead High School starting Nov. 20 followed by the Tournament of Champions at Cerritos College starting Jan. 3. The Wolverines’ next league match isn’t until Jan. 8, when Harvard-Westlake will play host to the Chaminade Eagles. That will be their final home matchup of the season.

Winter Edition coming out in January

15% Discount for Harvard Westlake Students

Pick-ups and Dine-ins from the regular menu

The Chronicle

C8 Sports

Dec. 18, 2013

SINKING THE SHOT Q&A with Sydney Cheong ’14


IN THE SWIM OF THINGS: Center Sydney Cheong ’14 holds off Alemany defender while attempting to pass. Cheong is committed for water polo at Princeton University.

By Audrey Wilson


Why did you decide to start playing water polo, and will you continue in college?


Overall record this season


Goals scored last season

I really got into it the summer before my freshman year, and that’s when I started playing club. The middle school water polo program got me interested. I was a swimmer growing up, and they advertised joining the water polo team my freshman year, and my dad thought that it would be a good idea since I’m a swimmer. My friend who played also really wanted me to play, and I tried it. I will continue to play in college next year at Princeton University along with my old teammates Morgan Hallock ’13 and Camille Hooks ’11.

What are your team and individual goals for this season? Well, our team goal is always to win CIF, and if not win, then get as far as we can. Our coach always says we have three goals, which are to win League, win CIF and have the highest team GPA. Individually, I want to lead the team to CIF and improve on personal skills in areas of play that I’m not necessarily as good at. This is going to be a big year for me for expanding different facets of my game.

Do you play water polo outside of school, and if so, what is the commitment like?


I play club water polo, and I am at Rose Bowl Water Polo Club this year. While we are not allowed to play club during the school season, in the offseason, we have practice every day plus tournaments most weekends during the fall, summer and spring. Timewise, school and club are the same, but the practices are very different. In high school you play with a lot of different age groups at a lot of different playing levels, whereas in club it’s all 17-18 year-olds, and most of them are really experienced players. It’s a different experience, but they are both really fun and both very intense.

Which game are you looking forward to most this year? CIF Playoffs are definitely the pinnacle of the season; it’s what we work for the entire year. There are some important divisional games before that, including the Palos Verdes game and the Los Osos game in January, but everything is just leading up to and preparing for playoffs.

How has the girls’ water polo team’s string of success motivated your team? It’s a huge motivator because we all feel like we have so much to live up to in order to keep a great legacy going. I’ve been lucky that I have played with some really amazing players, and I feel like I have big shoes to fill. It’s a big driving factor because you don’t want to be the first year to not be successful.

How has the boys’ water polo team’s success at CIF this year affected your team’s attitude toward the upcoming season? We are so excited for the boys, and in a lot of ways it is a motivator for us too. It’s a little bit of a challenge we have; we have that to live up to as well as our own legacy from the past, so there are big shoes to fill. It’s also a great motivator because we just want the Harvard-Westlake program in general to be the best that it can be. If we can pull off two CIF wins in a year, that would be crazy.

What has been your favorite moment of your HarvardWestlake career so far? Both of our CIF championships in 2011 and 2012 were definitely the highlights. The second win, in 2012, may be my favorite because it was a back-to-back win, and I played a much bigger role on the team as a sophomore. You can’t get any better than that.

December 2013 Issue  

The December 2013 Issue of the Harvard-Westlake Chronicle