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La Cañada High School

Volume XXII Issue 9

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Cal States Freeze Applications By Tamar Bessos Spartan Staff

File Photo

File Photo

Sayonara Principal Luzak, Assistant Principal Dover

Third Principal in Four Years To Leave La Cañada High School By Michael Belcher and Sam Frederich Spartan Staff


n Wednesday, May 2nd, Dr. Luzak and Mr. Dover announced to the faculty that they would be leaving LCHS. Dover will become principal at Pioneer Junior High School in

Upland, California. Dr Luzak could not be reached for comment, but will become principal at a middle school in San Diego County. “I’ve been an assistant principal for seven years. This seemed like the next logical step,” explained Dover. During his two years as assistant principal, LCHS’s API scores jumped

fifteen points. Dover worked tirelessly to reform the STEP program, offering opt-out incentives and “days of fun” to high-scoring students. “My two years at LCHS have been absolutely terrific. The students here are awesome, the staff is very hard working, and it’s been a great ride,” said Mr. Dover.

There have been no updates on who will be replacing these two administrators, but a panel will likely interview candidates soon. Dr. Gold, who is unlikely to replace either administrator, stated, “This is a big loss for the school, but I’m sure that we will come out better on the other side.”


Day! a n i l Cata y 18 Ma

Pro May m 19



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Day ‘o ’ Fu May 2 n 5


Livin’ la Vida Loca at the Conga Room By Mark Kilaghbian Spartan Staff

Salute Senior 1 June


Grad autio n 28 Da ys Lef t!


Photo by Michal Hron Posters promoting the theme, Livin’ la Vida Loca, and the location of prom, The Conga Room, were scattered across campus.

For many young bachelors in La Cañada, it’s terrifying to think that Prom is just around the corner. The concept can be terrifying. The thought of asking a girl you’ve been eyeing for ages to a dance in an elaborate display is something out a nightmare. Not only do you have to come up with an original way to ask, but you also have to outdo all the guys planning on asking her friends. This daunting task

leads many students to go stag, or not go at all. Prom needs to be the exception. If you’re reading this thinking about that dream girl in your English class, wondering whether or not to ask her, I am here to tell you its now or never. While it may seem difficult now, it will be more difficult sitting without a date on the limo to the dance of the year. So once you’ve decided to apply yourself, how do you ask? Baked goods are always a plus, as well as anything that shows time and effort.

If you know her friends then it’s always good to consult them first on their ideas. Consulting her friends about your intentions can also help prevent straying into the “Just Friends” zone with your dream girl, which would be an awful way to spend prom and $180. After asking, your job is done, and the success of your prom night is insured. So men, what do you have to lose? Remember that you have to bet big to win big and that “Risks must be taken, because the greatest hazard in life is to risk nothing.”

With junior year just around the corner, current LCHS underclassmen are beginning to become familiar with the college application process. During this time of the year, students start visiting college campuses around California and add them to their lists. However, for the graduating class of 2014, next year’s juniors, college selection will become more limited as the Cal State Universities might have to waitlist all applicants during the fall of 2013. The good news is that the applicants will become wait-listed rather than flat-out denied, which implies that there is still a slight chance of admittance. However, students applying for the spring of 2013 are in no such luck; the admissions officers will not even consider their applications. The Cal State schools did not decide this out of the blue—they are experiencing a financial crisis. The universities are aiming to reduce enrollment in order to deal with a $750 million debt from the years 2011 and 2012. Usually, the government in Sacramento funds the Cal State schools yearly. This year, the government has almost completely cut the funds, thus leaving the schools in debt. However, the universities might change this policy depending on the outcome of the proposed tax initiative on the November ballot. So, don’t worry sophomores, there’s still a minor chance of acceptance! Usually, the 23 Cal State Universities receive around 700,000 applications for the fall, and around 90,000 of these students enroll. If the schools were to waitlist all students, and decrease their chances of acceptance by a wide margin, then they are depriving students of their education. Many LCHS students apply to Cal States yearly, so it is apparent that this will greatly affect them. Junior Madelyn Brown was shocked when she heard the news on television and all around the Internet. “I didn’t expect this at all,” she said. “So many LCHS students depend on these universities as back-up plans and some of my friends had them at the top of their lists. Cal States are more affordable than most colleges, and freezing applications for the sophomore class will not benefit them at all.” No doubt many students across California as well as other states will have the same reactions. Freeze P.2


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May 16, 2012

ASB Blood Drive Supports Hospital By Tammy Hsu Spartan Staff

Senior Skyler Saleebyan’s project for the showcase focused on Supernovae.

Students Showcase Projects By Kate Battaglia Spartan Staff Students from a myriad of classes, programs, and activities hosted a Student Showcase on Thursday, April 26, where they displayed their accomplishments and projects from this past school year. Located primarily in the IRC, the showcase consisted of various stations put on by either a class, student, or group ranging from the Sports Medicine Class to a study abroad program in the Galapagos. The Sports Medicine station was manned by several students who presented different aspects of what the class has covered so far, including taping, blood pressure, and teaching the muscles in the leg. Junior Maddy Fisher stated, “We learn about athletic injuries, how to treat injuries, how to test for injuries, how to work with athletes. We learn about muscles, the way we move, basically everything an athlete needs to know about sports and medicine.”

Another station just around the corner from the Sports Medicine booth was one on the Institute for the 21st Century, presented by sophomores Talia Bernhard and Jenna Schwartz. Their goal was to get younger kids interested in science by teaching labs that relate to everyday activities or occurrences. They hope to begin their project this summer by collaborating with the Boys and Girls Club in Pasadena. The sophomores plan to teach two labs, the first demonstrating the impact of water freezing with or without salt, and the second is how goosebumps work. Bernhard expressed that she was a member of a similar group last year, Oxy Bridges, which went to younger classes and taught labs, but was exclusive only to LCHS. The two plan on expanding their program past La Cañada. “Our main focus is to get younger kids interested in science and more aware of everyday situations, and we wanted to expand it from just our school,” sophomore Jenna Schwartz

stated. Even though the computer area of the IRC was filled with presentations, the second floor was just as busy. The Architecture class displayed the class projects they had been working on for weeks. For his project, junior Tyler Pereira redesigned the announcer booth at La Cañada’s football stadium. The structure is currently unsafe, as it has a hole in the floor and unsafe stairs. To fix the booth, Pereira first designed it on paper, and then worked with a program on the computer. As an added benefit, the project will double as his Eagle Scout project. However, the class does more than the single project. In addition to learning about what architects do in their field, the students also study the history of architecture. “I really like the class because you can really get your ideas out, it is just like drawing, and you don’t have to be artistic,” Pereira commented. “It was really fun just to actually be able to make art without being an artist.”

By Flor di Lee Spartan Staff

David Cho, Justin Yew, Sharon Kim, Jonwei Hwang, Lawrence Cheng, Sequoya Sugiyama, Issac Jin after their spectacular performance

9-12 Orchestra Concludes the Year with Grandeur By Andrew Kim Spartan Staff On Friday May 5, the LCHS orchestra held its biggest concert of the year, the Concerto Concert, at Lanterman Auditorium. The show featured seven soloists playing a wide range of music. Junior Sharon Kim began the program with her interpretation of Saint-Saens’ Cello Concerto in A Minor, followed by a Mozart duet performed by freshmen Sequoia Sugiyama and Lawrence Cheng. Junior Isaac Jin wowed the audience with his dramatic Hungarian Rhapsody by Popper and senior David Cho played a delicate, melodic flute concerto by Mercadante. Junior Jonwei Hwang played an impressive tango, which ended with a surprise flare as the orchestra tossed roses into the audience. And finally, junior Justin Yew finished the program with Prokofiev’s more modern Piano Concerto No. 3. After the performances, special recognition was given to the soloists and music directors as well as the seniors in the orchestra and band. Orchestra students presented flowers

to the soloists and warm applause filled the auditorium. David Cho, reflecting upon his performance said, “It was fun and I enjoyed it. [In] the first part, I was nervous, and I kind of messed up, but it got better towards the end. I personally thought the orchestra did a good job and I thank them for playing for me.” The performance left a positive impression upon parents. “I’m always amazed at the quality and level of everyone’s skills,” said Sally Tokeshi, a music parent. “They sound so professional and I’m always proud to invite my friends over to their concerts.” Students also came to support the orchestra as well, and were equally pleased with the results. “I knew they were good, but I didn’t know what it would sound like,” said junior Jason Fujikuni. “I really liked it.” The night was a success, which music director Jason Stone described as “fantastic, and a lot of fun.” “The soloists were great, and the orchestra as well,” commented Stone. “There was lots of hard work put into it, but it was awesome.”

On May 4th, La Cañada High School sported a drastic, new look. Chalk on the walls, chalk on the floors, chalk on the stalls, chalk on the doors. While the older crowd may consider this makeover a form of vandalism, some LC students firmly believe that this was a way of expressing themselves to others. The creator of this phenomenon, sophomore Daniel Dickinson, stated that he structured this event behind the notion that bullying and insecurity has been rampant in teenage society this year. “I wanted to share the optimistic message that everything eventually gets better. I think everyone needs that kind of hope to hold on to,” said Dickinson. Many students agreed with Dickinson. Junior Stuart Bogle expressed his excitement for Chalk Day 2012:

On Wednesday April 25, La Cañada students participated in LCHS’ annual blood drive run by ASB. Staff from the Huntington Hospital Blood Donor Center was stationed in the school cafeteria from morning to afternoon, drawing blood from students. Students who participated in the blood drive needed to be at least seventeen with a parent consent form, or eighteen without. Students were also required to be at least one hundred and ten pounds in case of dizziness or lightheadedness. ASB members were required to get four sign ups. If students missed this chance, they were encouraged to

pick up forms from the front office. Younger students were encouraged to get parents or older siblings to participate in the event. Some of the jobs ASB members had included showing up early to set up, bringing food, making sandwiches, and holding participant’s hands. Some also helped students sign in and gave them notes to return to class. “This was my first time giving blood. I signed up because I wanted to know what it would be like as well as to help out for a good cause,” said junior Janna Johnson. Students who participated in the event could be seen sporting the ASB blood drive t-shirt and a bright, neon wrap on their arm, which marked them as brave supporters of the cause.

Photo by Michal Hron Senior Jackie Chung donating blood at the ASB sponsered Blood Drive.

“Chalk Day is a pretty cool idea. I don’t think I’ve been so entertained while walking around the campus,” Stuart said. The initial plan was for students to write inspiring or encouraging words on the school floors. Unfortunately, some students chose instead to draw on walls that had been recently repainted. The administration, not informed about Chalk Day beforehand, was taken by surprise and did not approve of the explicit content on school property. On May 4th, students heard the following message on the P.A. system: “All student drawings must be isolated in the quad area. Anyone found vandalizing school property will be reported to the police and given consequences.” Despite a few mishaps, many LC students reported that they enjoyed the opportunity to express themselves and “go back to being little kids.”

Marijuana Posters Scatter Campus on 4/20 By Will Swanson Spartan Staff La Cañada High School students were surprised on the morning of April 20 to find profane, unapproved posters all around campus. The posters ranged from pictures of drug paraphernalia to a middle finger. They were placed on the various poster boards and enjoyed roughly two to three hours of fame before being taken down by the administration. The swift response was an impressive step up from last year when paint graffiti colored the walls for weeks before being taken down.

“We are following up and looking for the person who did this,” said Assistant Principal Aaron Dover. “We are looking at all camera footage from the night before.” While the administration condemned the posters and is still looking for the culprit, not everyone thought the posters lacked artistic merit. The posters appeared well thought out and copied the formats of the various approved posters such as those promoting the Day of Silence and those for Mrs. Carlson’s English class. “I thought the posters were fine,” said senior Carlin Soorenian. “While the bong one might have a been a little

offensive, the middle finger one appeared very well drawn out. The kids didn’t mean any harm.” Photography teacher Gayle NicholsAli begged to differ though, on the artistic value of such a statement. “It wasn’t art as much as it was a political statement and propaganda,” she said. “Student propaganda like that is absolutely unnecessary and its not a statement students under 21 should be making at school.” Artistic merit or not, the perpetrator will face stiff punishment if caught and the administration can take away a valuable lesson on the effectiveness of school security.


May 16, 2012

In the News LCHS Ranked within Top 40 in State By David Belcher News Editor In the 2012 US News and World Report “Best High Schools in California” rankings, La Cañada High School was rated 39 th in the state amongst all public, charter, and magnet schools. The rankings were based off the schools’ college readiness index, academic performance index, and student to teacher ratio. La Cañada was also ranked 213th nationally and won a gold medal for being one of the best schools in the nation. Upon hearing the news, many students felt a strong sense of pride. “It makes me feel good,” said senior William Lee. “We’ve all been working hard and testing well for the last few years, and I think our hard work is finally paying off.” Perhaps the best part of the rankings is that Spartans were ranked ahead of academic and Rio Hondo League rivals, San Marino High School. San Marino, whose district has a slightly higher API score than La Cañada Unified School District, was ranked 42nd in the state. La Cañada’s strong showing in the rankings this year did not come as a surprise to assistant principal, Dr. Gold. “I think the rankings have a lot to with the excellent teachers we have on this campus, and the excellent students.” Dr. Gold said. “Hopefully, we can stay this high up, or get even higher in the rankings in years to come.”

Midsummer’s Night Dream Dazzles Audiences All 7 Nights By Campbell Taylor Spartan Staff On April 22, the first of seven performances of William Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” earned applause and waves of laugher from La Cañada High School. The performance starred senior Sam Whitefield as the tricky Oberon and sophomore Garret Schlunt as his witty sidekick, Puck. With the combination of physical comedy and some clever timing, the students, directed by the Department’s chair Justin Eick, managed to turn what is widely known as Shakespeare’s least serious play into a funny and well blocked show. Many of the characters, scenes, and props were the genuine original creation of

The cast finished the play with a great musical and dance number. the LCHS Theater Department such as elements of the famous “Lovers’ Quarrel” scene and “The Mechanicals”. Senior Bryce Laurie played Demetrius, who loves Hermia, played by Senior Katie Robbins, who loves Lysander, sophomore Jacob Bonham’s part, who falls in love with Helena, portrayed by senior Willa Young. While hilariously confusing on paper, the Advanced Theater students managed to present this conflict clearly and dramatically, projecting it a manner which forced even the stage crew to breakdown. Sophomore Maddy Welk, who worked on the sound that night, admitted, “We’ve seen this a million

times already, but we just can’t stop laughing!” The famously hilarious theater troupe included ‘actors’ played by Meg Sanborn, Connor Smith, Robby Ruiz, Zack Johnson, Robert Toms and their ‘boss’ played by Ben Levin. Toms, who played the leading ‘actor’ in the group, dominated the stage with his precise movement and wit. While he show may have been cast to high school students, the overall quality of their work was evident by the audience’s reaction. “It was amazing!” explained an enthusiastic patron of the show, “It’s like I was sitting in the Globe Theater! I don’t know any other school that can put on a production like this.”

Katie Robbins and Willa Young

Freeze from page 1 LCHS college counselor Mrs. Spangler made it clear that the result of this whole process has remained uncertain, since it is completely dependent on the outcome of the November ballot. Therefore, sophomores are not doomed yet. The college application process is exhausting and stressful, and freezing the Cal State applications for the graduating class of 2014 would change many students’ plans.

The LCHS Debate Team has grown in numbers over the years, reaching a group as large as 20 members.

La Cañada Debate Advances to State By Will Swanson Spartan Staff Seniors Tyler Jones and Sam Whitefield, along with senior Andrew P a r k a n d s o p h o m o r e Yo n g s o o Kim, advanced to the State Debate Championship, April 28 through 29, before finally coming up short, each with a one win and two loss record. While both teams lost at the San Francisco final their mere presence showed their debating prowess, Both teams dominated the Southern California Debate League March qualifier that featured teams from schools such as South Pasadena, San Marino and Crescenta Valley. Tyler Jones and Sam Whitefield won the tournament and their league by going undefeated, finishing with a 50 record. Andrew Park and Yongsoo Kim lost once, but still finished with a 5-1 record, which was more than sufficient to punch their ticket to San Francisco. Making their accomplishment even more impressive is the style in

In the News LCHS Athletes Just Don’t Lose—Even in Academics Jennifer Kim Sports Editor

Chinese Activist Claims Death Threat A Chinese activist involved in an international conflict between Beijing and Washington states that Chinese officials have threatened to kill his wife if he stayed in the American Embassy in which he sought sanctuary. His convicting statement directly contradicts the American official’s claim that Chen Guangcheng had left the Embassy for health reasons. Chen left the Embassy last week after escaping house arrest. He reports that a US official (whom he cannot name) had informed him about the Chinese threats to beat his wife to death. The US Embassy rejected these claims. News adapted from Fox News


which these two teams debated. Jones and Whitefield competed in the Parliamentary format in which the topic of the debate is not known till 20 minutes before the debate commences. In that span of time, each has to prepare a seven minute speech and be able to give a five minute rebuttal after the other team speaks.

Sam Whitefield and Tyler Jones

“A lot of it is knowledge based because you can’t do research,” said Whitefield. “You need to know lots of random things so Tyler and I compliment each other well.” Park and Kim competed in a different but just as difficult category, the Public Forum format. In this category the topic is given over a month in advance, so intense preparation is necessary to keep pace with other teams. The two had to prepare flawless speeches and also be ready to ask tough questions in the crossfire round. With such a daunting task and competition both teams preformed remarkably well. There performance leaves an impressive legacy that next years team will try to carry on, and even for the three seniors, as Whitefield put it, this is only the beginning. “It bothered me to lose against the arguments that we ended up losing too but it was a valuable experience that I plan to continue in college,” he concluded.

La Cañada High School is known by all to be more than just a blue-ribbon school—it is best known to be a school of academic excellence and achievement as our high standardized test scores and ranking in state easily show. Not only that, but the school boasts an equally competent sports division. And with the recent release of our athletes’ academic CIF ranking results, it is evident that LC Spartans excel in both academics as well as in their respective sports. “The results are a huge testament to the strength of our students. I’m always proud because our athletes are scholars too,” commented Mr. Franzen, Athletics Director. Within the school, LC Softball takes first place with an unweighted GPA of 3.767, while Girls Golf and Girls Track follow closely behind with unweighted GPAs of 3.643 and 3.598 respectively. These are outstanding figures, especially considering the great amount of commitment (with regards to time and devotion) each sport entails after school and even during school. Other notable team academic performances include Boys Cross Country, which placed fourth in school with a total stat of 3.568, and Girls Volleyball which also had a 3.568, rounding out the top five sports teams in terms of academic standings at the school-level. The average unweighted GPA of all the LC sports teams combined totals to 3.48, which is quite an impressive showing by the Spartans. In terms of CIF ranking, Girls Golf proudly represents La Cañada with third place in the southern California section, which means that they stand third academically among all the other high school golf teams in this region (around 50 teams). Softball and Wrestling both reign fourth in their individual divisions, edging out tens of other sports teams in southern California. “My team is so awesome to have kept up with their game while being so studious and diligent with their school work at the same time. I believe that’s one of the hardest parts of playing a high school sport and I couldn’t be prouder,” happily expressed senior Shannon Lee, co-captain of the Girls Golf team. These CIF academic rankings don’t only reveal the overall intelligence of our Spartans; they show how effectively they manage multiple things at the same time without ever losing the drive. Congratulations to all LC athletes and keep up the hard work—they certainly don’t go unnoticed.

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May 16, 2012

Coexist Club Unites La Cañada’s Races, Religions By Jack Finnigan Spartan Staff


oleman Monroe. Now that I have your attention, let’s talk about Coexist Club, an organization this philanthropist was inspired to create after being sick and tired of prejudice and hate. Coleman and I sat down one fine Sunday morning and talked while eating some delicious raspberry crumpets, discussing the various parts of the club as well as what goes on and what it looks to accomplish. Prepare to be amazed. Coleman is one of the Coexist Club officers along with seniors Peter Gilmour, Zaki Khan, and Jonah Mahrer. Monroe wanted to create a unique club because of how he was affected by the amount of prejudice not only in the world, but even at school. “I kept seeing hate on campus, and I wanted to do something about it,” Coleman said. Monroe went on to describe what he thinks Coexist Club is, saying, “Coexist Club is a club at LCHS that looks to solve religious and ethnic conflicts and make people more acceptable of those around them; it’s all

about promoting tolerance on campus through education and awareness.” Meetings are held in Mr. Valassidis’ room during lunch on Tuesdays. The officers talk about issues seen today and in history, and there is a presentation for a certain religion and current event for each meeting. Food is also incorporated from various religious cultures to make an interesting and delicious environment. Upon Coleman’s insistence, I sought out Peter Gilmour next to interview. I was puzzled at first, but then realized that the Gilmours and Monroes are family friends, and it would have been awkward for

Coleman not to include Peter in this article. So, I went out to interview the eldest Gilmour, and I finally got a hold of him after numerous attempts. Peter sees himself as an important part of Coexist Club, because he usually brings the food, which is really important in life. When also asked why the club was founded, Peter replied, “We made the club to foster friendship between different races and religions and to help educate the common rabble about religions other than their own in order to be more accepting.” I didn’t know “we” was another name for Coleman.

“We discuss topics that are very volatile and that are occurring between two different religions, and also we talk about special holidays,” Peter went on to say. I couldn’t stand these surface level answers, so I quickly finished up the interview, feeling sour about the drastic change of intelligence between Coleman and Peter. But, Peter said that Coleman is a religious figure that inspires him, so at least there was one solid answer to this shallow interview. Avid member Jay Srinivasan helped shed some more light on the club. “It’s a great club, with great kids

Our Musical Teacher Emily Fisher Hops to It By Hannah Stewart Spartan Staff Many of you may think of Mr. Weld as the no-nonsense, intelligent chemistry teacher at La Cañada High School. In fact he received his BA in chemistry at Occidental College in Eagle Rock and his teaching degree at the University of California Los Angeles. But in reality there is much more to this pensive man that many of you may know. Mr. Weld sings in the Gay Men’s Chorus of Los Angeles and engages in other activities like camping and hiking with friends. He started singing while he was a student in junior high school in his church choir. When asked why he decided to start singing, he said it was to be with friends and he continued simply because it was fun. He continued singing all throughout high school, college and into his adulthood. Mr. Weld joined GMCLA because he “wanted a place to sing.” What drew him to this choir was its specific mission that encourages people to feel good about themselves for who they are. It is the wish to do good that has driven Mr. Weld to

come to school everyday and teach chemistry to volatile high school students since 1989. He stays afterschool to help any student and does so with encouraging words and a smile on his face. The Gay Men’s Chorus of Los Angeles has been a positive force since 1979 singing genres ranging from classical to pop music. It consists of 212 voices and has toured both nationally and internationally. GMCLA even performed at a concert for former President Bill Clinton during a fundraiser at the Beverly Hilton Hotel. One of the most recent events that Mr. Weld has participated in is the Mahler’s Eighth Symphony at the Shrine Auditorium near USC. Conducted by Gustavo Dudamel, the concert was part of the Mahler Project, whose goal was to perform all of Mahler’s symphonies. There were several other choirs that participated as well as the Los Angeles Philharmonic and the Venezuelan Youth Orchestra.. Mr. Weld is a multi-faceted man whose love for teaching and singing has encouraged many students to be a part of something they care about.

By Tammy Hsu Spartan Staff Have you ever picked up on a hobby by chance? Well that’s exactly what happened to junior Emily Fisher who competitively jumps rope. Emily first found interest in the sport in second grade when she went to a Palpitating Panthers Jump Rope Team practice and tried the ropes out. Discovering that she was quite talented at the sport, she decided to become a provisional member, which meant that she had to complete a try-out sheet with a list of tricks and routines that needed to be accomplished in order to be a team member. Working hard, she “passed off” every single trick and became a Panther. Emily spends Wednesdays and Saturdays at the gym with the team, working on different types of events that include speed and power, singles, and double dutch. She recently competed in Southern California’s regionals which were held at La Cañada High School and qualified in singles, both speed events, pairs freestyle, double dutch relays, and triple unders. This means that this June, she will be competing with other jump ropers from across the United States in Long Beach, California.

and a great mission,” said Jayanth. A bittersweet last meeting for these seniors and founders of the club will be coming soon as the school year ends, and imaginations have been running rampant as to what sorts of fun may happen in this final gathering, à la Last Supper. “I’m über excited,” remarked the excited Srinivasan, gushing with ecstasy just thinking about the special day. Come to the next Coexist meeting. Even if you aren’t in the club, go. Lives will be changed. Tears of joy will be shed. And there will be food.

The Spartan Staff Kevork Kurdoghlian Editor-in-Chief Ailin Kim and David Rhee Managing Editors David Belcher and Armen Dingizian News Editors

“It’s been pretty challenging this year, balancing school work and jump rope, but I’m excited and nervous for nationals,” said Fisher. Although this will be the most challenging competition she will have been to yet, the team has been preparing since September of 2011. “I have confidence in Emily’s performance at Long Beach, and I think that she has the potential to place,” commented Jenna Fong, co-coach of the Palpitating Panthers and former student of La Cañada High School. Emily has been increasingly improving her scores and reached her record high at a recent competition at Cathedral High School. With her motivation and determination, Emily is bound to do well at nationals. Good luck, Emily!

Paul Kim and Daniel Rhee Features Editors Jack Finnigan and Sam Frederich Entertainment Editors Jennifer Kim and Michael Belcher Sports Editors Paulina Galoostian and Michael Bishop Photography Editors Coleman Monroe and Carly Moore Opinion Editors

Ben Powers Advisor Reporters Kate Battaglia Tamar Bessos Jinny Choi Sharon Han Austin Hong Michal Hron Tammy Hsu Mark Kilaghbian Andrew Kim Esther Kim Flor Lee Anastacia Menemenlis Gemma Sokol Hannah Stewart Will Swanson Campbell Taylor

Seeking Out the La Cañada High School Cycling Club By Paul Kim Features Editor One of the most memorable moments during any person’s childhood is learning how to ride a bicycle without training wheels. Now, we have traded our bikes for driver’s licenses and cars. As Americans have focused more on health and the joy of physical exercise, students here have tried to bring that

sentiment here. Junior Daniel Kim intends to do his part by using his Cycling Club to promote good health and safe riding. His club has become so popular that he has already gained some sponsors, including the Outlook Newspaper and Incycle, a performance bike shop in Pasadena. Every Thursday during lunch, members of the Cycling Club meet to discuss new bikes and gear. Recently,

the club has discussed ideas for creating its own customized school cycling jerseys with the club’s logo and the school’s logo. On Saturdays, members devote themselves to pedal 20 miles to maintain their health. Currently, the club has not participated in any competitions or races. However, Daniel plans on racing in the 105 mile Century Race in San Diego on May 19th.

“One of the great things about this club is that anyone interested in cycling can join. All one needs is a passion for biking even if he or she does not own a bike,” said Kim. Also, interested people can join any weekly meeting, purchase jerseys, and enjoy the company of other like-minded people. “This club has members ranging from road bikers, to mountain bikers,

to everyday commuters and is not only for those focused on competing,” Kim replied, when asked about the skill level of the members. The Cycling Club is not only a great place to learn more about biking and meet new people, but is also an even better way to learn and devote oneself to improve his or her physical wellbeing. The Cycling Club meets during Thursday lunches in room 225.

Features 5

May 16, 2012

Student Spotlights

Dani Bowman:

By Andrew Kim Spartan Staff


n many respects, Junior Dani Bowman is like any other high school student. She works diligently in her classes, spends time with friends, and draws in her spare time. But two dominant things separate her from the majority: a professional animation career and autism, a condition that 1 of every 88 Americans faces. Autism is increasing in the United States, and despite this reality, most understand little about it. It can be alienating to its sufferers, who often feel separated from society. “Many autistic people feel bad that

normal people leave them alone, and this makes them feel lonely. It’s not our fault,” stated Bowman. But despite the personal and social difficulties that those with autism often face, Bowman has experienced success not only as an animator, but also as an advocate and activist for the autistic community. At the age of 11, Bowman started her own animation studio, Powerlight Studios, where she voice acts, writes and animates her cartoon series. Her art style is influenced by Japanese anime, video game characters, and books like the Captain Underpants series. She first released an animated series called “Gemstar and Friends”, which was inspired by the television show “Sonic Says”. She has created nine original series, including “The Adventures of Captain Yuron”, “Fleen the Alien” and “Hydro the Mako”. Since its humble beginnings, Bowman’s company continues to grow; she has hired three autistic employees as part of an effort to give jobs to other autistic people. Currently Bowman has created nine

Teen DJ Pablo Fernandez

An Artist with a Message

series, but has shifted her efforts more on professional projects. At age 14, she began her professional career with her music video for “The Cave” a song from the band Arrest My Sister, whose lead member is autistic. She has also created short films as well as an animated vegan cooking show available on iTunes. She has illustrated two published books, “Danny and Goliath” and “Richie and Goliath”, that promote anti-bullying. Bowman also spends part of her time as an animation instructor for the autistic community. She works closely with Joey Travolta and his company Inclusion Films, which instructs practical and employable skills to autistic individuals. In the summer of 2011, Bowman taught animation in Inclusion Films’ summer camp program for autistic children, visiting three locations across the country and educating 150 kids. This

Most people who attend school dances and parties usually don’t give much thought about the DJ music. But for Pablo Fernandez, a freshman, one small thread of curiosity would lead to a new-found passion. Two years ago, Fernandez got his first glimpse into DJ music. He attended several school dances and events throughout middle school. But unlike most others, he soon was hooked on the DJ experience. “I was inspired by professional DJs. I thought being a DJ would be an interesting hobby. I wanted to be able to mix like they did, and I thought it would be fun to do,” Fernandez said. Only last year did Fernandez learn the ropes of professional DJ mixing. To start off, he installed professional DJ equipment in his room. He purchased turntables and a mixer along with strobe lights and a fog machine, so he could also synchronize light shows with his music. He then learned some skills from a professional DJ who knew a friend of his. But even so, Fernandez has mostly taught himself how to mix. His parents were very receptive to his new hobby, despite the financial costs it entailed. “The whole thing actually cost about $3,000, but my parents allowed me to get the equipment as long as I promised to pay the whole thing off by myself,” Fernandez said. He was able to pay off the whole

debt through DJ performances. He has performed for only four months as a self-employed DJ, but so far has serviced birthday and holiday parties. But what he aspires to do some day is DJ for a school dance. “Although I don’t have any plans of performing for a dance any time soon, I would like to do so in my Junior or Senior year,” Fernandez commented. Whenever he is not busy with homework or with his DJ job, Fernandez practices his mixes and transitions about four hours a week. But even though he enjoys his parttime job, Fernandez treats his DJ performing as a hobby, practicing out of interest and pleasure, and intends to keep it as a hobby. Fernandez explained, “I plan to DJ sometime in the future, but only as a hobby or part-time job. I’m planning to go into engineering as a field of study.” Fernandez hopes to continue and expand his DJ performing. Currently, he is creating his own website,, which will be completed within a few months. The date is not yet determined. When asked what makes being a DJ so rewarding, Fernandez replied, “It gets me pumped up and energized when I do remixes and shows. I really like getting that feeling every time I DJ.” If you want Pablo Fernandez to DJ at your next event, you can call him at 626-794-3394 or email him at

man has also received honors for her art. She won the Naturally Autistic Awards, and has placed 2nd in the 2011-2012 PTSA reflections contest for Film and Animation. Bowman continues to promote awareness about autism and demonstrate the abilities autistic individuals have. She strives to become the Temple Grandin (a renowned autistic animal behavior science professor and autism advocate) of her generation, a life goal that pushes her to engage in society. “Autism does not halt me from expanding my universe,” Bowman stated. “Because I’m autistic, I’ve been surrounded by static, which makes it hard to make friends and be social, but I work hard to find the way out of the ominous jungle to find the sunlight. Who am I? I’m the visual thinker Dani Bowman, the diva of my imaginary world that I want to share with you.”

Autism does not halt me from expanding my universe.” autistic community”. “I want people to bring peace to autistics,” Bowman commented. And her efforts for peace were recognized on April 20, when Bowman received the Golden Goody, the highest honor of the Goody Awards, an awards organization that recognizes social activism. Bowman is also working with the Goody Awards on an iPad sweepstakes for autistic children. Besides the Golden Goody, Bow-

Issac Jin: The Silent Prodigy By Mark Kilaghbian Spartan Staff

By Andrew Kim Spartan Staff

fall, Bowman is continuing her work with her summer camp students by mentoring several of them to develop their own film projects. Through her body of work, Bowman has advocated autistic awareness and anti-bullying, a concern Bowman states as being “a big problem for the

He saunters down the halls with a subtle confidence and a face carved in stone. He’s the kind of guy that distances himself from petty drama, and boyish indulgences. Although brilliant, he would never admit it. Even back in 8th grade he would silently conquer Algebra tests as others loudly voiced their achievements. In my struggle, his calming whisper helped me fight through difficulties of comprehending Mr. Kim’s lectures. While he understands the seriousness of school, his unique sense of humor keeps his mood light. In the five years that I have known him, I have never once seen him without being warmly greeted, and pleasantly uplifted. What many people may not know is that Issac plays the cello. To say he simply plays would be an understatement. Issac began playing at the tender age of 7, but became serious at age 14. Issac is on track to become a world class musician. The

best part about his talent is that he loves doing it. Issac said, “It’s cool that cello along with other string instruments have not really evolved and it is still played the way it was years ago.” He loves the honesty of the instrument. “What you put in is what you get out,” he says. In his free time, his favorite thing to do is “mainly practice cello.” While Issac has competed in various competitions, he prefers to play for his own enjoyment, the mark of a true musician. At first his parents pushed him to learn music. He tried guitar, bass, drums and even his vocal chords for a while, but as he gradually fell in love with the cello, all else was eclipsed. As talented as he is, he never lets it go to his head. He says school is very important to him and makes sure to keep his life orderly. While he isn’t yet sure where he

will be attending for college, I don’t have a doubt in my mind it will be a top notch school, and I would predict one with a good music program. To Issac, his cello “has the power to stir emotions and elicit energy; you don’t get tired when you’re in that emotional state. That really intrigues me. Cello is not only some wooden instrument; it’s a tool so powerful that it is capable of changing heart.”

Zhi Low: Our Math Genius By Tammy Hsu Spartan Staff For many people, math is something to avoid, but for junior Zhi Low, math has become something extremely important in his life. In tenth grade, Low was assigned to a strict STEP that he didn’t take much interest in so he decided to make a switch. “When I saw Math Team, I thought why not?” said Low. To his surprise, it turned out to be quite enjoyable. After a couple of meetings, he became interested in going to a competition. Despite the fact the team had never competed, they still did well. He decided to compete in the next competition, which was to take place at Stanford, but all eight spots were filled. The only way he could compete was if someone dropped out. Miraculously, someone did. “From then on, I actually got the privilege to compete at every

competition that year. By the end, I realized it was something I really liked to do,” he commented. Since then, his goal was to qualify for the USAMO or the United States of America Math Olympiad. Low applied to an academy specialized in math and gained entry. From there, he spent three weeks practicing math for over six hours a day. “A lot of the other guys there were extremely talented. It was a very humbling experience for me,” noted Low. Although he originally thought he was doing all this work for college, he soon realized this was something he enjoyed for his own sake. Throughout the school year, he kept training and competing with the team. Together, they won second place at Westmont and were in the top ten at the Berkeley competition despite having an incomplete team. When it was time to take the American Mathematics

Competitions, Low was discouraged because of bubbling errors and couldn’t believe what had happened, but he still qualified for the second round. He did well on the American Invitational Mathematics Examination, the second round, so he still had a chance to make the Olympiad. Although this round was the most difficult to make, he worked for countless hours. With this effort, he made top fifty in the United States. “I was a bit surprised, but very happy. I knew after taking the second round test that I had done pretty well because I had enough time to check my work. I was worried that because it was relatively easier than the tests in past years, that many people would have even higher scores,” said Low. Low participated in the USAMO on Tuesday, April 24 and Wednesday, April 25 at San Marino.



May 16, 2012

The Most Overused Songs in Video History By Sam Frederich Entertainment Editor By Carly Moore Opinion Editor Once upon a time, when I was obsessed with boy bands and Hilary Duff, rap seemed irrelevant. It seemed like it was just someone yelling words into a beat, and to be honest, it didn’t sound all that appealing to me. All the songs seemed to be preaching about the same illegal things and degrading women in every way. And, let’s be honest, each song strung along a lot of profanity. In the beginning of ninth grade I heard ‘Lost One,’ by Jay-Z, on a CD in my friend’s car. I knew who Jay-Z was, but back then he was just another rapper. Heard one, heard ‘em all. However, this time, the song was different. The lyrics weren’t superficial, they weren’t materialistic. All gush aside, it was like poetry. And suddenly rap became one of my favorite things. And now, countless 2Pac and Kanye West album’s later, I’ve decided to single out two rap artists that are the reason I started listening to it in the first place. Common, or Lonnie Rashid Lynn Jr ,was born and raised in the South side of Chicago. He starting dropping lyrics in high school, in 1992 that he released his first album Can I Borrow a Dollar?, going by the title ‘Common Sense.’ In 1994 he dropped Reconstruction, an album which made

his name in the hip-hop underground scene. Since then he has made seven albums, nominated for eleven Grammies, won two, and worked with other artists such as Nas and Kanye. To top it off, he broke into the acting business, starring in various films such as American Gangster, New Years Eve, and Date Night (kill shot anyone?). If you’ve never heard Common’s stuff, you absolutely must. My personal favorite songs are “Ghetto Dreams,” “Lovin’ I Lost,” “Celebrate,” and “Blue Sky.” Rap fan or not, he’s got talent, and is worth being heard. The Roots was formed by Traiq Trotter and Ahmir Thompson in 1987, in Philadelphia. The two boys were high school classmates, and took their music to the streets, often including a jazz sound to their songs. In 1995, they first acquired their fan base at Lollapalooza, and released their first album Do You Want More?! later that year. In 1997, their music was featured in the film, Men in Black, and in 1999 they won their first Grammy. Since then they have been nominated for ten more Grammies, and have taken home three. Since 1994, 6 new members have joined, making their sound stronger. They have also released ten more albums along the way, my personal favorite, The Game Theory. The Roots have truly an amazing sound, and with as much talent as they have, they should not be missed.

Whoo! Two top (something) lists in one week! I’m on a roll! Anyway…

Let’s face it, some songs just naturally lend themselves to montages, internet videos, and title sequences. Perhaps it’s their malleable lyrics, their upbeat and catchy melodies, or their low-level

emotional appeal, but for some reason they keep showing up in videos with nauseating frequency. So grab your earplugs and buckle down for the most overused songs in video history.

5: “O Fortuna” Carl Orff – I’ve conducted a study and found that this song has been used in every movie ever made. You may not know it by name, but type it into YouTube and you’ll recognize it in a millisecond. Its thundering choir, eerie strings and bombastic orchestration are so dramatic that God probably sets it as his ringtone. But as awe-inspiring as this song is, it’s been so overused that people don’t even take it seriously anymore. These days it’s usually just a background track for goofy comedies or spoofs, and the only unironic uses are in horribly-made fan trailers and AMVs. It’s a classic case of a great song ruined by overuse. What a shame. 4: “Bad to the Bone” George Thorogood and the Destroyers – As far as I’m aware, this song had one half-decent use: in Terminator 2, when it played as Arnie exited the bar wearing biker clothes. Since then, this track – with its “bad boy” lyrics and instantly-recognizable guitar line – has become something of a go-to for lame kiddie flicks that want to demonstrate a character’s “badness” in a PG way. The Parent Trap, Megamind, Cats and Dogs 2, the 101 Dalmations TV series, even Alvin and the Chipmunks have all used this song. Heck, my church used it in a video last month. I think that’s a good sign that it’s been run into the ground. 3: “The Requiem for a Dream Theme” Clint Mansell – You don’t hear it in many movies, but this ludicrously intense track is so prevalent on YouTube that it had to make the list. Originally composed for the (excellent) movie “Requiem for a Dream”, this intense song really blew up after it was used in a trailer for The Two Towers. Since then, it’s become the default background track for amateur internet videos with delusions of epicness. Fan trailers, music videos, tributes, you name it. Even I will admit to have used it in two animations during my younger and more naïve days as a YouTube poster. And I’m not proud of it. Let’s move on. 2: “Bodies” Drowning Pool – Ok, people really need to stop using this one. Not only has this violent metal tune become the national anthem of crappy 21st-century action movies (XXX, Jason X), it’s arguably the most overplayed song on the entire internet. Hit up practically any online video that involves ***-kicking, n00b pwning, or general acts of awesome violence, and chances are you’ll hear “Let the bodies hit the floor, let the bodies hit the floor,” in the background. Please internet, do us all a favor and let this song’s body hit the floor. 1: “Walking on Sunshine” Katrina and the Waves – Hooooooooooooooooooooooooly God. This…this is the big one. The mother lode. When people mention “overused songs”, this is the first one that comes to mind. It’s been in trailers, it’s been in ads, it’s been in internet videos, it’s been in movies, it’s been in TV shows, and IT WILL NEVER STOP. No matter how hard you try to avoid it, this unbearably catchy 80’s pop song will not leave you alone. Flip on the television and the new Allegra commercial will be playing it. Go to the theater and it’ll be in the new Jim Carrey movie trailer. Plug your ears, but there is no escape. We can only pray that the people of the world eventually come to their senses and put this tune to rest, because it will always be known as the most overused song in the history of mankind.


May 16, 2012


Second Year of High School Second to None

Photo by Mical Hron

Photo by Mical Hron

Photo by Mical Hron

Photo by Mical Hron

The class of 2012 started out fresh, became supermen the next year, went jammin’ Jamaican-style, and later went on to rule to world as seniors. By Armen Dingizian News Editor


s the final scene of the four act play that is high school comes to a conclusion, I now reflect on my experience as a student of LCHS. Each year of high school has had its unique characteristics, many of which surprised me, and nearly all of which significantly affected my overall contentment with high school. Some of my fondest memories are of my days as a junior high school student at LCHS. These were the days when homework wasn’t a bottomless pit, when teachers gave breaks during block periods, when going to bed late was something you said you did only to sound

tough, and when everything was so new and fresh. I spent my two years in junior high acclimating to an unknown campus, establishing a routine, and making new friendships while rekindling older ones. All of that changed when I entered my freshman year, however. It seemed as though everyone I had ever known from my small school had vanished, never to return. Everyone became separated, and while it exposed me to the other half of my graduating class, the integration of the two small schools only depressed me. Unlike freshman year, sophomore year didn’t mean occasionally chancing upon a friend during passing period—everyone was my friend. Sports picked up for me, I was in Mrs. Barker’s English class, and what small school I had come from no longer mattered when it came

Our Own Worst Enemies By Sam Frederich Arts Editor My friends, we are experiencing an epidemic. It is an insidious plague, one that is often unrecognized, but never unnoticed; seldom fatal, but always annoying. I am, of course, talking about self-deprecation. I find it odd that in the midst of a nation-wide bullying pandemic, our worst enemies – at least to an uninformed observer – seem to be ourselves. We constantly complain about how fat we are, how stupid we are, how gross our hair is, how badly we did on that test. This doesn’t mean that we have low self-esteem. I estimate that at least 100% of humans have a grossly inflated opinion of themselves. Rather, it’s become a kind of social game that we all play, a conversational tool to gain compliments, fit in with a similarly self-pitying crowd, and – despite all appearances – brag about ourselves. In order to illustrate my point, I’ve organized self-deprecation into four distinct categories. Pay attention, so that you may recognize the symptoms of this plague and, hopefully, find a way to quarantine it. 1: Self-Pity: The most sincere and least artificial form of deprecation, self-pity can still be annoying in excess. In this case, the victim really does think that he or she is hideous, or failed that test, and finds it necessary to loudly and repeatedly proclaim this to the sympathetic masses. In moderation, this is a benign form of deprecation that can lead to muchneeded support and comfort. When the victim decides to bemoan her troubles for days and weeks at a time, however, it may be a sign that she has progressed to a more serious stage of the disease. 2: Mass-Deprecation: Mass deprecation is a camouflage, a social smokescreen to blend in with the crowd. The victims in this case often do not feel self-pity or loathing, but they advertise their faults because

their peers are doing so. If everyone else says that they failed that test, for instance, it would seem prudish to say that you found it manageable. So the victim joins in with the masses in bemoaning their shortcomings. While not the most severe form of the illness, mass-deprecation is easily the most contagious strain, and can often induce more irritating stages as it progresses. 3: Compliment-Fishing: When a victim exhibits symptoms of compliment-fishing, it is a sign that the disease has become truly serious. Compliment-fishers falsely put themselves down in order to hear others contradict said insults with praise and adulation. They set traps of self-pity that peers spring, resulting in severe annoyance for the rest of mankind. If you find a case of compliment-fishing, quarantine the victim immediately, so that he or she does not progress to the fourth and most severe stage of selfdeprecation. 4: Humblebrag: Scientific studies have diagnosed the final stage of selfdeprecation, known as humblebrag, to be the most irritating thing in existence. At this stage, the victim has overcome the need for peers’ compassion, and has resorted to actively complimenting himself or herself through supposed self-pity. Examples include: “I feel like I’m just too smart; I can’t find anyone else to relate to,” or “I’m way too skinny. It’s gross.” If you come across an instance of humblebrag, you must do your duty and put the victim out of his or her misery. It may be difficult, but keep in mind that your friend has become a menace to the composure and sanity of others. Now that you have been familiarized with the various strains of selfdeprecation, you will hopefully be better able to recognize this disease and take appropriate action. If you come into direct contact with a victim, please contact disease control at 1800-PITY4US so that said outbreak can be contained.

to meeting new people. During this relatively brief period of time, I actually enjoyed myself at school. In junior year, I decided to take four AP classes. It’s not a decision that I regret, it simply had to be done. I do regret, however, how separated I had become from my friends who weren’t taking AP classes, or simply weren’t taking the same AP classes as I was. While junior year gave me the ability to stay awake for as long as I want, it made me think of learning as a rather onerous task. During junior year I was always on edge, and the fact that I had standardized tests of every variety to take throughout the year failed to comfort me. While my hopes were indeed high, senior year has proven to be an utter disappointment. Between taking care of the last remnants of

the standardized tests, another four AP classes, and college applications, I barely had time to myself. Junior year was supposed to be the most difficult, and when senior year expected just as much of me, I began to resent it. I thought things would improve after I received acceptance notices from college, but I still felt unfulfilled after the entire process was complete. After pouring my soul into LCHS for the better half of a decade, I fail to feel even remotely satisfied with the schooling process. The school campus was once refreshing and new to me, but I am now in desperate need of a change of scenery. There are those that claim they want to leave high school, but truly aren’t prepared to do so, and there are those that have already left high school but still attend merely as a formality. My case is surely the latter.

Television Plagiarism By Mark Kilaghbian Spartan Staff

Photo courtesy of Hulu America was founded on Capitalism; contrary to most of my articles I am actually going to argue that there are some downfalls to this system; more specifically in our media. I have come to the conclusion that television shows come in waves, groups of similarly themed shows that symbolize the wants of the public. For example, in the mid 2000s crime investigation shows were booming. It was during this period we saw the rise of “CSI”, “CSI: Miami”, “CSI: New York”, “NCIS”, “Law and Order”, “Law and Order:SVU”, and “Bones” just to name a few. Slowly the audiences became divided and some shows lost their footing. As soon as vampire movies like Twilight came out numerous spin-offs began to appear on television. Shows like “Vampire Diaries” and “Trueblood”, which would have seemed ridiculous just 10 years ago, were put into production. So what’s wrong with these trends? The issue is that our televisions are swamped with basically the same

show on every channel, taking the place of our other original favorites like “My Name is Earl” and “Scrubs”. It has gotten so bad that producers try to one up each other in the titles of their shows; “Pawn Stars” is now challenged with “Hardcore Pawn”; “Storage Wars” is now challenged by “Auction Hunters”. These shows are almost identical in nature; parallels can be drawn between the personality types of each character to create the “perfect formula”. No original show

Television shows have declined in quality and originality, with no end in sight. goes unmatched these days. It seems that the more mentally unstable attention-craving characters are in the show, the more views it attracts, and the more I want to turn off my TV and cancel my subscription. Shows like “Keeping up with the

Kardashians” and “The Jersey Shore” have continued to lower the standards of what a reality shows can be about. Personally, I have no desire to watch other people live their lives. If I plan to turn on the television, I want to sweep into a place where my imagination can run wild, or where a well written script keeps the laughs coming. Even talent shows have become dull and formulaic at best. “American Idol” has been copied numerous times by “The Voice” and “Americas Got Talent” each with its own barely distinguishable adversity. I can’t count the hours my sister spends hours watching D-list celebrities salsa and waltz, in “Dancing with the Stars”. Television shows have declined in quality and originality, with no end in sight. The success of these shows gives production companies more of a reason to copy shows or make low budget reality shows than make original shows, which has made the pool of new shows pathetic at best. If this is the future of television I may have much more free time next year.


May 16, 2012

Four Play

Always on the Phone

Most Gangster

Most Tropical

Most Clumsy

Natalie Manoukian

Talia Saleh

Ronald Flores

Shereen Karam

Masia Hakopian

Ercole Rabotini

Mark Kilaghbian

Tyler Zoebik

Alex Mcwatters

Preston Taylor

Jacob Bonham

Mary Peck

Shayan Sheikhrezae

Garrett Chin

Sam Davidson

Caroline Kenney

Violet Herzfeld

Juan Carrasquero

Taylor Page

Chad Anderson





By Campbell Taylor & Michal Hron Spartan Staff


ROP Photo Students Take a Trip to the L.A. Zoo By Tamar Bessos Spartan Staff


Photo by Michal Hron

n April 20, Mrs. Nicholls-Ali’s ROP Photography and Graphic Design classes took a field trip to the Los Angeles Zoo, where students were assigned to capture photographs of the animals in their habitats, and then submit them onto My Big Campus for credit. The LCHS photography students spent the entire school day at the LA Zoo, giving them enough time to take creative and artistic photographs. Junior Ally Thornton, an Advanced Photography student, stated, “It was a great experience visiting the zoo, since I hadn’t been since childhood. I would have to say that the chimpanzees and giraffes were the most fascinating exhibits.” Many other students said that the most memorable parts of the trip were

the chimpanzee exhibits and learning about zoo photography. Mrs. Nicholls-Ali’s aim for her students is to explore the many aspects of photography and graphic design. So, she ultimately decided that the classes should learn more about zoo photography. On the trip, the LA Zoo’s marketing director, Jason Jacobs, spoke to the students about history of the Zoo, as well as the function of zoos in our society today and the LA Zoo’s current wildlife. Jacobs then introduced the LA Zoo’s photographer, Tad Motoyama, who eagerly shared his stories about the safari, his life in the military, and even some zoo photography tips. It seems as if the photography students enjoyed their field trip to the zoo, and maybe next year they will have the opportunity to visit once again!

Photo by Martin Green

Photo by Matthew Carpenter Photo by Michal Hron

Photo by Michal Hron

Photo by Joshua Yoon

Photo by Michal Hron

Photo by Michal Hron

Juniors Anthony Vasily and Harrison Zuk are ready to explore the zoo.

Photo by Jeff Becker

Photo by Michal Hron

Volume XXII Issue 9  
Volume XXII Issue 9  

Volume 22 Issue 9