Page 1


US Womens Soccer:


Rally Leaders:

US Women's national team recent win of the World Cup inspires conversations about equality in sports (page 4).

The infamous TikTok app has gained massive popularity among teens (page 19).

Miramonte's four new rally leaders take the stage in the Welcome Back Rally (page 10). Photo: NYpost website

The Volume 63, Issue 1



Photo: TikTok

Photo: Naomi Mesfin


September 20, 2019

Teens Vandalize Crafts Room Over Summer AVA FISCHLER

Mid July, the Miramonte’s 3D Art room, commonly referred to as the Crafts room, was broken into and vandalized by students. Many students' artwork was damaged. The vandalism was spotted by a local neighbor and reported to the Orinda and Moraga Police. “Once we came back to work, a lot of it had been cleaned up and we just saw garbage cans full of destroyed stuff. The destroyed stuff included Gavin’s personal stuff, students’ projects, and even Gavin’s professor’s work from years ago,” Associate Principal Sara Harris said. Gavin Kermode, Miramonte’s Crafts teacher, has been teaching the course for 16 years. “I discovered the vandalism August 7. When I walked in and saw what had been defaced [family photos] and broken, I felt shock, disbelief, and sadness. It was a lot to take in and to see the amount of work destroyed. Some of it had been in our room for 20, 30 years, some were my own. It was especially dispiriting to see the artwork that current students had worked so hard on for entire semesters, and had left in the Crafts room to revisit them this year, had been destroyed,” Kermode said. Along with Kermode, many students were affected by this incident. “I was really shocked at first and just really did not believe it because I couldn’t imagine anyone doing something so incredibly horrible. When I first saw the remnants of all the sculptures, that’s when

Photo: Mackenzie Forkas

it really hit me and I became even more enraged,” senior Sarah Stenovec said. “I actually went into shock and had to crack jokes to cover up the fact that I was about to cry. I crafted a giant Balenciaga croc that I spent all of second semester on. I was going to plant a herbs in it so I could make better omelettes,” senior Shelby Tse said. Miramonte administration assures students that they are doing everything possible to handle the situation appropriately. “Both Ms. Parks and I have spent countless hours working on this. We respect Gavin highly as a teacher and the punishment for what has happened is not something we have taken lightly. There are a lot of factors involved including the school punishment and the possible felony of breaking and entering and vandalism,” Harris said. Kermonde is determined to hold onto the positive atmosphere of the Crafts class, even after the events that ensued. “Our administrative team has done an outstanding job investigating into the vandalism and offering support for those affected by it. Our administration here cares greatly about our community at Miramonte and works hard to cultivate a caring and supportive environment. When I took over the Crafts program, it was very important to me to cultivate the same kind of creative, welcoming and safe environment this program has always offered to students. The vandalism that happened will not change the positive atmosphere in Crafts,” Kermode said.

September Marks Suicide Awareness Month MACKENZIE FORKAS September is National Suicide Awareness and Prevention Month. Across the nation, people are encouraged to have conversations about mental health in order to raise awareness and ultimately prevent tragedies such as suicide from occurring. Raising awareness and having conversations about mental health and suicide destigmatizes the topics, and can ultimately increase general mental health. According to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, over 1.4 million US citizens attempted suicide in 2017 and it is the 10th leading cause of death in the nation. Unfortunately, suicide is the second leading cause of death for those aged 15-24, according to the National Institute of Mental Health. “The nature of suicide is a very heavy and very taboo topic, I think it tends to live in the shadows even if people have been touched by suicide in their life, they are afraid to think or talk about it,” Wellness Coordinator Elisa Nevarez said. Here at Miramonte, the Wellness Center and Student Union is a new resource for students who are struggling with various issues. It will be hosting numerous events to raise awareness about suicide and mental illness, including a visit from the Contra Costa Crisis Center representative and pop up presentations in some of the Human Social Development classes. In addition to having representatives come to the quad at lunch, the Wellness Center will bring a new club to Miramonte.“We are starting a brand new club this year, called Bring Change to Mind. We will be at Club Day where we will be promoting awareness and reducing the stigma of mental health. There’s no shame in struggling and reaching out for help,” Nevarez said. “I think the Wellness Center is a great resource, but the district needs to talk about mental health more. Depres-

Spurlock said. California passed Senate Bill 972, which went into effect July 1. The California Government states, “Law requires the governing board or body of a county office of education, school district, state special school, or charter school that serves pupils in grades seven to 12, inclusive, to, before the beginning of the 2017–18 school year, adopt a policy on pupil suicide prevention, as specified, that specifically addresses the needs of high-risk groups.” Miramonte’s ID cards now include the Suicide Prevention Hotline, Contra Costa Health Crisis Hotline, and various others. “I think having the hotline on student IDs is a good idea. Although it’s intense and very real, it’s the school’s job to ensure we are safe and the hotlines give a way for students to call for help when needed,” Noyes said. “Students tend to be hard on themselves, but compassionate and caring towards friends and peers. Having resources such as a wellness center begins to normalize reaching out for help, and this comes with countless benefits for individual students and the Photo: Mackenzie Forkas Miramonte community as a whole. It’s not the husion shouldn’t be normalized and brushed over,” senior man experience to be happy all the time, there are a lot of Toby Noyes said. ups and downs, but we want to be able to roll with those,” There are many ways students can help their peers if Nevarez said. they think someone is struggling with their mental health. “I want to promote an app called A Friend Asks. Miramonte High School Non-Profit Organization It’s a free app and the whole angle is a friend learns US Postage Paid, Orinda, the warning signs and how to identify if a friend is 750 Moraga Way Ca Permit #301 exhibiting them,” Nevarez said. This app can help Orinda, CA 94563 educate students and adults about warning signs of mental illness are and how to recognize them, which has numerous positive implications. “I think that it’s important to educate people about mental health and different ways people can struggle. If people don’t know about the difficulty caused by mental health it is harder to offer support and easier to become judgmental,” senior Madison

2 news 09/20/19


BART Slows Down for Station Renovations Lamorinda and Walnut Creek BART stations undergo renovations through August and September to update the tracks for the growing transportation and safety needs of several Bay Area communites MATTHEW CARRINGTON

tions, increased efficiency, and prevented delays. Every weekend since Aug. 17, Bay Area “As for improvements in delays and Rapid Transit (BART) has shut down train overcrowding, BART has made real progservices and part of Highway 24 between ress. While there’s never room to sit, cars the Orinda and Walnut Creek stations to are only occasionally packed to the point perform maintenance and upgrade infrawhere I’ve had to wait for the next one to structure. Part of a massive system upgrade arrive,” Nibley said. funded by Measure RR, BART’s $3.5 bilManufacturing the same model of paslion general obligation bond, the project senger carriages from the late 1960s to the aims at making the transit system more late 1980s with minimal changes, the outconvenient and comfortable for its users. dated coaches are also getting an upgrade Winter 2016, BART reinvested in its as part of the system rebuild. The new infrastructure through Measure RR, pledgcarriages, which will include a third set of ing rail improvements and service modboarding doors, redesigned seating, bike ernization. In middle to late 2019, these racks, color coded digital displays, and auimprovements are coming to the Orinda, tomatic announcements, are expected to Lafayette, and Walnut Creek sections of fully replace the existing fleet by 2022. the 44-year-old line. Still, work on the line has affected According to the BART website, “BART Lamorinda and Walnut Creek residents. Photo: Lauren Nixon originally carried 100,000 people per week, While the delays and closures are mainly but now serves roughly 440,000 riders per A BART maintenance and engineering carriage works on construction at the during weekends, the lack of rail transit weekday, and ridership is expected to in- Lafayette BART Station. BART plans to replace their old fleet of trains by 2022. has hindered transportation between the crease 75 percent by 2040.” Orinda and Walnut Creek stations. On With more commuters than ever before, closure weekends, BART provides a re“I wish there were more trains and more stops like the BART has struggled to minimize congestion and delays. subway in New York City. This past June I was in New placement shuttle bus service between the three stations. “Chronic unreliability in the system has forced me to pay York for a Latin conference and I was so impressed by However, the occasional closure of freeway lanes next to for transportation from BART to school after missing the how easy it was to get around on public transit. The Bay the stations has increased traffic on Highway 24, slowing bus multiple times,” junior Preston Nibley said. Area needs to invest more in public transit,” Miramonte down the replacement buses. “Riders should expect delays According to a San Francisco Chronicle survey, Latin teacher Matt Davis said. of 40 minutes or more on closure weekends,” according to BART’s approval ratings have gone down from 74 perBART hopes to fix these issues with its modernization the BART website. cent in previous years to about 68 percent in 2019, and program. Projects such as replacing the electric third rail, BART anticipates that the projects between Orinda rank below other subway systems in terms of its reliability trans-bay tunnel retrofitting, and replacing train control and Walnut Creek will end late Oct., with Oct. 26-27 beand convenience. systems have lessened the likelihood of train malfunc- ing the last line closure weekend.

School District Paves District Changes StuCampus Parking Lots dent Transfer Policy SARA LEHMAN The summer before the 2019-2020 school year, Miramonte High School repaved the junior, senior, and staff parking lots. This construction work took a total of six days and was completed by the American Asphalt Company. According to Acalanes Union High School District (AUHSD) Director of Facilities and Maintenance Glen Schaezlein, the total cost of the repairs, resealing, and repainting of the parking lots was $107,000. “I did not like the parking lots last year because I was constantly concerned my car was going to get hit or scratched due to the lack of clearly marked spaces,” senior Ava Bartosiewicz said. “Additionally, it was really difficult to see the speed bumps and I would consistently drive over them way too fast because I couldn’t see them,” Bartosiewicz said. According to Schaezlein, the last time the lots were repaved was about 10 years ago, and the asphalt was deteriorating. “We had some significant failures [pot-holes] of the pavement,” Schaezlein said. “If we waited even a year or two longer, we would

have been looking at the wholesale replacement of the pavement which would cost in excess of $2 million,” Schaezlein said. Another change made by the administration is that individual parking spots will not be labeled or numbered, as they have been in the past. Instead, it will be a firstcome, first-serve policy. “We are posting signs in front of the senior lot. Students with carpool passes will not have a designated parking space but they will be guaranteed a spot if they park in the lot before 9 a.m.,” Associate Principal Nick Carpenter said. “Some areas are pending labeling [including] a few staff places,” Principal Julie Parks said. According to Schaezlein, American Asphalt started repair in June and then came back in July to do the seal coat and repaint the lines. Overall, many Miramonte students think the newly paved lots are a positive addition to the campus. “I would say that the new lot is a lot easier on everyone’s cars,” senior Jackson Blazona said. “Now that they have repaved the lots, I think it will be easier and safer to drive,” Bartosiewicz said.

Photo: Sara Lehman


tendance boundaries, or the student has been a victim of bullying. Beginning this school year, the “Transferring to Miramonte was a very Acalanes Union High School District difficult process, my mom and dad worked (AUHSD) is not allowing new interdis- very hard to get my into this school. At trict transfer applications. Students who first I was rejected from this school but my are currently enrolled at Miramonte are parents kept pushing for an appeal and I not affected, but students that wished to eventually got an appeal and was allowed transfer prior to the start of this school into Miramonte,” junior Aidan Browne year were not accepted. said. On the website, AUHSD defines inAUHSD has stated that no new interterdistrict transfer students as “students district transfer applications were accepted who live outside of our district boundaries, for the 2019-2020 school year. but wish to transfer “I do indeed think that I think Mira- Miramonte into the Acalanes should accept monte should interdistrict transfer stuUnion High School District from their dents because it not only allow transfer district of residence.” enriches Miramonte’s diOnce approved by both students because versity among students, the student’s district of resi- everyone should but allows kids outside dence and the district the the Lamorinda area to have the option to of student will transfer to, the receive the excellent eduagreement can subsist for choose where they cation here,” Jordan said. up to five years. However, get their education.” “I think Miramonte either district can revoke the should allow transfer stuagreement at any time according to the dents because everyone should have the California Department of Education. option to choose where they get their edu“The process to transfer was pretty dif- cation,” Browne said. ficult being that there are a lot of papers “Unlike most other California districts, involved and you have to have valid rea- the Acalanes Union High School District sons as to why you should attend Mira- often receives nearly all its funding based monte. Even though I have been transfer- on property taxes, not based on student ring for the past five years, I still have to enrollment and attendance. Therefore, re-apply to the district each year,” junior out-of-district students do not bring in Naomi Jordan said. additional resources and reduce the eduReasons for transfer presented by the cational resources available to resident stuCalifornia Department of Education dents,” according to the California School include when the parent or guardian of Boards Association website. This fact inthe student is employed by AUHSD or fluenced the district’s decision to not aca partner school district, evidence proves cept any interdistrict transfer students this that the family will be moving to the at- year.


09/20/19 NEWS 3

Bella Voce Replaced By New Concert Choir For the 2019-2020 school year, Miramonte introduced a new choir class called Concert Choir. This replaced the previous course, Bella Voce, and is inclusive to all genders, grade levels and singing abilities LINDSEY LEWIS This school year Miramonte introduced a new class, Concert Choir, taught by Meredith Hawkins. This class replaced Bella Voce, an all girls choir, and is now co-ed. It’s available to students of all grades and genders and is an intermediate level class. The biggest change from Bella Voce to Concert Choir is that it now includes both boys and girls. “For the last four or five years maybe, the intermediate level choir was all girls. This is the first year since 2014 that it’s mixed,” Hawkins said. A mixed class allows for varied voice types such as soprano, alto, tenor, and bass. “One of the really nice things about choir is that we need all types of voices. A lot of times we’re looking for people whose voices can blend with other voices,” Hawkins said. To be apart of the class, students are required to audition in the spring. Students have the choice to perform in a live audition with Hawkins or to send in a recording. “We always start with stretches. We do vocal warmups, and then we start rehearsing. Usually if it’s

the beginning of learning music for a concert we spend a lot of time in small groups with just their sections,”

Hawkins said. “I like working in our sections during class to improve the song we’re working on because we can focus on specific parts of the song,” junior Fiona Akazawa said. The Miramonte choir performs in many different concerts throughout the year, including the District Choral Concert, Winter Concert, Chapel Concert, and Pops Concert. “My favorite part about the class is the Winter Concert and Pops Concert because we finally get to see the finished product and we get to hear the other choirs,” Akazawa said. The Miramonte choir program is inclusive to all grade levels, genders, and singing abilities, expanding the opportunity for students to be involved in choir. “I think most people who initially felt like ‘Oh I can’t do choir’ at some point decided they wanted to do it, and they did it, would say the same thing, ‘I’m so glad that eventually I didn’t let my fear of the unknown or my Photo: Reese Hansen The Concert Choir rehearses their songs during class time fear of rejection or fear of being judged get in the way for the upcoming District Choral Concert on October 7. of me doing something I was actually interested in doing,” Hawkins said.

Sandy Hook Honored 100s Hall Bathrooms in New Save Program Receive Renovations PAIGE MAYS

The week of August 5, Miramonte staff met with the Sandy Hook Save Promise to learn how to keep all students at Miramonte safe. The Sandy Hook Save Promise is a club led by family members who lost their children in the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newton, Connecticut, on Dec. 14, 2012. The organization’s main objective is to save students from gun-related violence. The Sandy Hook Save Promise will be starting a collaboration with Miramonte to try and give students an outlet so they can share things they hear or see that might harm the school or a student. “There are four different dimensions of the Sandy Hook Promise organization, and that is one branch of it. We have a day coming up on Oct. 28, where we’re gonna bring a team of students to the Save Promise Club annual gathering, that were actually hosting in our district,” Miramonte principal Julie Parks said. According to the Sandy Hook Save Promise website, “Based in Newtown, Connecticut, our intent is to honor all victims of gun violence by turning our

tragedy into a moment of transformation by providing programs and practices that protect children from gun violence.” Currently, the Sandy Hook Save Promise has over 4 million members. The program promises unity to ensure student safety. The organization strives to stop gun violence before it occurs. “One change that we’re rolling out starting in September, is an anonymous tip reporting app. People who feel like there’s a threat but are too afraid to report on a peer or classmate can do it through this app,” Elisa Nevarez of the Wellness Center said. Miramonte administration believes that “joining the program will be beneficial for everyone at Miramonte because keeping all of Miramonte’s students and staff safe is their number one priority.” “High school is stressful. There’s a lot of stresses that are uncontrollable about high school, but whatever we can do to create a space and a climate of support, so that students have way to cope with that stress, they have people to go to, to assist them with it and so they feel included with the community has great benefit,” Parks said.


The Acalanes Unified High School District updated one set of bathrooms in each school district-wide over the summer. At Miramonte, both of the 100s hall bathrooms were renovated. “It was a district effort, they [the district] chose a girl and boy bathroom in each of the four schools and updated them,” Associate Principal Sara Harris said. Both bathrooms include new green tiled walls, new floors, and new partitions. Some sinks and toilets were also replaced. The district plans to have a new bathroom updated each summer. The plans for the new bathrooms began during the middle of 2018. However, the actual renovation began right after graduation in early June of this year. “The turnaround time was extremely fast, both bathrooms were completed in a little over a month,” Harris said. Almost every aspect of each bathroom was renovated. “I love the new designs in the bathroom because it adds an overall more luxurious feel and now that all the stalls work it feels safer to use,” senior Krista Casimere said. Before the renovations, some of the par-

tition locks didn’t work. “The doors would easily push open if someone knocked on the door,” senior Rose Bathgate said. Overall, students appear to be happy with the change. “The bathrooms are really nice and I’m really glad the doors lock,” junior Zoe Jefferey said.

Photo: A. Smith (Arial 6)

Photos: Mackenzie Forkas


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4 Opinion 09/20/19


750 Moraga Way, Orinda, CA 94563 (925) 376-4423 Ext. 441 or Room 441 mhsmirador@gmail.com www.mhsmirador.com Editors-in-Chief Juliet Adams, Lauren Nixon Managing Editor Pema Duffy Business Editor Helena Bardsley News Editor Mackenzie Forkas Opinion Editor Cayley O’Brien Feature Editor Audrey Allen Sports Editor Peyton Smith Entertainment Editor Nicole Van Stralen Social Media Manager Naomi Mesfin Online Editor Allison Petek Staff Writers Riley Bird, Emerson Bohlig, Isla Burch, Matthew Carrington, Sally Fellner, Stewart Fetzko, Ava Fischler, Ingaborg Foutch, Elizabeth Hawkins, Henry Hill, Roan Kazmierowski, Ania Keenan, Trent Larson-Deak, Skyler Lee, Sara Lehman, Emma Leibowitz, Lindsey Lewis, Paige Mays, Naomi Mesfin, Degen Naldoza, Alisha Nazar, Jonathan Pham, Audrey Spindler Staff Photographer Reese Hansen

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Women’s Sports Lack Recognition July 7, 2019, the United States Women’s National Soccer Team won the World Cup Finals against the Netherlands, defending their champion title for the fourth time in a row. With secondhalf goals from Megan Rapinoe and Rose Lavelle, the team was able to secure the number one spot. Not only was this win a victory for the United States, but a victory for women in sports locally, nationally, and worldwide. Women’s sports nationally and here at Miramonte need to be supported by the student body. According to Nielsen Holdings public company, a data and measurement firm, viewership of the women’s final this year in the United States was up 22 percent from the Men’s World Cup Final in 2018. Viewership contributes largely to the statute of equal pay, an issue of considerable controversy that surrounded the women’s win. If viewership of other women’s sports continues to rise as it did this past summer, more opportunities for equal pay and equal recognition would emerge out of national support. Some may consider women’s sports to be underdogs in the athletic world and in some sense, this may be true. Women’s professional sports, such as the Women’s National Basketball Association and the National Women’s Soccer League, have historically fallen behind their male equivalents in terms of viewership, support, and popularity. Here at Miramonte, a similar situation exists; support for boys sports, especially football, has exponentially outnumbered support for other sports. “Supporting women’s sports is a great way to start bridging the inequality gap between genders,” soccer player Elena Roth ‘20 said. “By supporting female athletes, we create a culture that values both men and women equally.” As many athletes would agree, having people in the stands or on the sidelines during a match or game contributes largely to the competitive atmosphere. “Our energy stems from the crowd,” basketball player Erin Tarasow ‘20 said. “The more energy the crowd has, the more energy the team has.” Last winter, the girls varsity basketball team made it to the Division I North Coast Section (NCS) Finals but unfortunately lost. “When we look up at the stands and see everyone cheering, it makes us feel supported and motivated to work through a tough game even if we’re losing,” basketball player Becca Welsh ‘20 said. In their 2017-2018 season, the girls varsity waterpolo team went undefeated, winning the Division I NCS and State championships, and did not receive the recognition by the student body they deserved. Last spring, the Miramonte girls varsity soccer team won the Division III NCS Championships and the Division IV State Championships, sometimes traveling hours for a single game.

“Our soccer team had an incredible season last year. By participating in womens’ soccer, I was able to bring our school together to have a team to cheer for,” Roth ‘20 said. “We have to recognize that there are some amazing female athletes at Miramonte that deserve support and recognition from their peers.” However known a womens’ sport may be, whether Miramonte teams or national teams, physical support (on television or inperson) is a necessity for the progression of equality in athletics. In terms of Miramonte, not only does showing up to games or matches show school spirit, it helps the team’s morale. Athletes love seeing familiar faces in the crowd–show your support for all sports, girls and boys alike.

Photo: Richard Heathcote

The Editorial Board voted 11-0, supporting that women’s sports nationally and locally should be recognized in order for the progression of equality.

Frozen Yogurt Shop Must Open in Orinda SARA LEHMAN

Hungry consumers yearning for frozen yogurt must travel to Tangelo in Moraga, Yogurt Shack in Lafayette, or Yogurtland in Walnut Creek. This can be at least a 20-minute The City of Orinda has long been praised for its quaint shops and small-town charm, drive, even 30 minutes during rush hour for Orinda residents. Busy Orindans do not alwhere community members can come together in the downtown area to enjoy a bite to ways have the luxury of time to spare, so a yogurt shop closer to home would be beneficial. eat and some fun entertainment. Sadly, there is a noticeable hole in this facade, one that “I think Orinda should get a frozen yogurt place because right now we only have Loard’s, leaves many residents feeling unsatisfied. Orinda needs a frozen yogurt shop because which is great, but sometimes you might want all the toppings you can get at a place it will diversify its dining like Yogurt Shack without repertoire and will be much having to drive all the way more convenient for shopto Lafayette,” Orinda citizen pers. and yogurt-lover Annabelle Presently, the only eatVasconi said. ery that serves frozen treats To concede, Orinda used in Orinda is Loard’s Ice to have a frozen yogurt and Cream and Candies, an esice cream shop called Chilltablishment that is a staple ers that permanently closed of Orindan life. With lines during the 2016-2017 that often wind out the school year. Some may ardoor and ever-increasing gue that because this comice cream prices, it is clear pany was not successful, that there is a serious opanother fro-yo store will not portunity in Orinda for survive. However, Chillers chilled desserts. was located in an inconveAccording to a 2017 nient area, across from the study by the United States Orinda Library. If a new Census Bureau, Orinda store was opened in a better has a population of 19,730. location–perhaps closer to Thus it seems ludicrous that downtown–it seems quite there is only one ice cream plausible that it will enjoy store to serve the entire more success. population. It is evident that there Photo:Orange Leaf Yogurt Additionally, a poll conare more positives than ducted on Instagram of 112 Lafayette and Moraga already have frozen yogurt shops for residents to enjoy, Yogurt Shack and Tan- negatives when considerhigh schoolers in Orinda gelo. These places can be up to a 30 minute drive for Orinda residents, especially during rush hour. ing the future of frozen found that 83 percent of yogurt in Orinda. Adding voters agree that Orinda should get a frozen yogurt shop. In order to expand its food po- a fro-yo place will be beneficial because it will appease Orinda’s large market, expand its tential and satisfy all customers, a fro-yo store is needed. “I bet it would get a fair amount selection of cold confections, and speak to the busy and time-sensitive population. So of customers,” senior Kate Nelson said. grab a spoon and spread the word: frozen yogurt must come to Orinda!


09/20/19 Opinion 5

Academic Dishonesty Policy Needs Work AUDREY SPINDLER

The handbook includes 10 points of possible consequences for committing Academic The Acalanes Union High School DisDishonesty, but offers no specific measure of trict (AUHSD) student handbook can be violation severity. This implies that students found online and in school-issued agendas. could receive the same punishment for two Outlining the school’s mission statement, very different violations, such as sharing mirules, codes of conduct, and a plethora of nor homework assignments or communicating other information, the handbook is a useduring a test. ful tool for students. While it contains rel“There’s a lot of judgement for teachers to evant school information, the language suruse. The biggest consequence for Academic rounding violations is unclear, specifically Dishonesty is a zero on the assignment, and in the areas of Academic Dishonesty and that’s under the teacher’s discretion,” Asssociconsequences for various violations. This ate Principal Nick Carpenter said. Whether it portion of the district handbook should be is up to a teacher or the administration, violarewritten to clarify the Academic Dishontions of the code can be handled very differesty policy and the related violations of the ently, which poses the risk of unjust punishpolicy. ment. Cheating occurs on all AUHSD camAdditionally, it is unfair that a whole class puses. From something as simple as copyof students can be punished even if only one ing an answer off a friend’s paper, or as person engaged in the cheating behavior. “It’s conniving as taking pictures of classified unfair that some teachers handle cheating difassessments, cheating is present and should ferently and inadvertently punish students who not be normalized or excused. were not involved,” senior Lucy Wang said. However, punishments should differ Miramonte can look to the Palo Alto High Photos: Lauren Nixon according to the severity of the violation. The School handbook for example, which contains The handbook is distributed upon request to students at all four schools district handbook outlines Academic Dishona comprehensive outline of their disciplinary in AUHSD, which makes the policies consistent throughout the district. esty as either cheating, unauthorized collaboprocess and a code of violations. In this outline, ration, or plagiarism. Class A, B, and C violations are specified and separated into categories of punishments, According to the handbook, one definition of cheating is: “Giving or using of external increasing with severity as the offenses become more serious. In the handbook, an examassistance relating to an assessment without expressed permission of the teacher.” The ple of a Class A violation is, “sharing work on a minor assignment with another student over-simplified wording leaves the statement up for interpretation. Many students receive with the reasonable expectation and intention that the other student might plagiarize “outside assistance” before a test by seeing a tutor or even studying with classmates, but of that work.” An example of a Class C violation is “stealing (or photographing) exams, course this is not a violation of school code. “It’s kind of concerning that we could get into projects or assignments.” One can understand why these violations are different in severtrouble for something that is very vaguely defined and unclear,” senior Kaitlyn Miller said. ity and should be approached differently in regards to consequences. Because of the simple wording of the handbook’s policies, students often have trouble The AUHSD handbook should be revised in order to assure the Academic Dishonesty understanding exactly what Academic Dishonesty at Miramonte means. policy has a clear outline of violations and the disciplines that follow.

Students Struggle to Find Seating for Lunch The shortage of tables around the quad makes it difficult for students to find adequate seating for brunch and lunch. Additional tables would be an appropriate fix to satisfy all groups of students ROAN KAZMIEROWSKI & TRENT LARSON-DEAK As the school year kicks off, Miramonte students find new places to congregate at brunch and lunch. For some students, finding a pleasant and lively spot to hang out with friends, eat lunch, and take a break from school can be difficult due to the scarcity of open seats and tables around the quad. For Miramonte to be a more accomodating school, the administration needs to improve the seating around the quad drastically. Currently around the quad, there are 32 tables and 13 benches. Sitting comfortably, this arrangement would only accommodate approximately 342 students with two seats per table bench, four seats per individual bench, and approximately 46 seats on the benches near the cafeteria. According to Miramonte administration, there are 939 non-senior students who are not entitled to sit on the “senior lawn”. This is just unacceptable. Students who want to remain around the quad during break are forced to squeeze onto the benches, sit on the ground, or stand during lunch. Miramonte students recognize this issue firsthand. “I think that there is a lack in the table department, and I think that if they [administration] add more tables there could be more social circles, which would make everyone feel safe and happy,”

freshman Kyle Odmark said. “I think that Miramonte should add seating for those who want to relax and take a break at lunch,” sophomore Fletcher Simon said. Recently, disputes have occurred between students of various grades over the table scarcity. Some may argue that there is currently enough seating around the entire school for students and that when the weather begins to decline some students will move to indoor locations such as the cafeteria and library. However, for those who want a break from school and hang out around the lively quad during the fall months, it can be hard to find enough seats to converse with friends. “Around the whole entire campus, we have found that there is enough room to fit every student… But it’s for sure possible to get a couple more tables around the quad.” Miramonte Principal Julie Parks said. The absence of seating around the quad for freshmen, sophomores, and juniors is simply not acceptable. Adding more seating around the quad would be an easy fix to the situation and would make brunches and lunches much more enjoyable for all students.

Graphic: Reese Whipple

6 Opinion 09/20/19


Plastic Must be Replaced by Reusable Items AUDREY ALLEN

metal straw and tumbler into local coffee shops. “I choose to bring my own container because it’s such an In the United States, 500 million plastic straws are easy way to make a huge difference. Plastic is a really used every day, according to the social activism group big issue that affects every single person and if everyTRVST. These straws are polluting the world’s oceans one starts bringing their own containers, we can phase and harming marine life. For something we only use out a large majority of single-use plastics,” Weber said. once before tossing in the trash without a second Reusable products are easy to find on Amazon, or oththought, the drawbacks of the detriment to the envier department stores. ronment drastically outweigh the benefits of disposThe first step to decreasing our consumption of able plastic straws. Various alternative methods–such plastic starts with lessening the amount of single-use as metal, paper, glass, or even silicone straws–can be a items. “Plastic straws aren’t our only issue. We should simple replacement. Every person should take the rebe treating all single use plastic the way we treat plassponsibility to protect the earth, and substitute plastic tic straws,” Weber said. Plastic bags, water bottles, or straws for a reusable item. utensils should all be exchanged for reusable ones. According to TRVST, 8 million tons of plastics find Some may feel that skipping the straw for one their way to our oceans every year, and are the sevdrink isn’t going to make a difference in the big picenth most common waste found on beaches. In additure, but if everyone has this mindset, no progress will tion to being littered on highways, beaches, or storm be made. The impact of that one straw used could be drains, straws are too lightweight to be a part of the the deciding factor in the life or death of a marine anirecycling process and are forced to be disposed of in mal. Reducing the use of plastic is a simple fix, because landfills or trash bins, where they are easily picked up there are so many alternatives and reusable containby the wind and blown into the waterways that lead to ers available. “It’s such an easy way to do your part in the ocean. Plastic straws are not biodegradable and get making the earth a more beautiful place and ensure broken down into smaller pieces called microplastics; that we’ll be able to live here for generations to come. these consequently are swallowed by marine animals, Whether it’s refusing the straw, using a reusable water which block their digestive systems and can become bottle, or bringing reusable containers for lunch–all of fatal. According to the organization Strawless Ocean, these actions work together to ensure the longevity of Photo: Reese Hansen “if we don’t act now, by the year 2050 there will be more our planet,” Weber said. Disposable plastic straws, still available at businesses like plastic in the ocean than fish.” Marine life and the ocean Fortunately, local businesses and city councils Starbucks, pose a serious threat to the earth’s ecosystems. environment are being affected because of human action, throughout the Bay Area are beginning to realize the and this is an escalating issue that will only worsen undetrimental impact of plastic straws on the environPeet’s Coffee made the change this past summer in less it is fixed. ment and its wildlife, and this is the beginning of a moveCalifornia and select locations nationwide to only provide January 1, 2019, California Assembly Bill 1884 took plastic straws or utensils upon request. “Overall the recep- ment that needs to be made. 2019 has been a positive year action, stating that “a full-service restaurant shall not pro- tion has been positive, especially in the San Francisco Bay so far in terms of building environmental awareness. Howvide a single-use plastic straw to a consumer unless re- Area where green initiatives are spearheaded by local com- ever, there is still a lot of change left to be made to reverse quested by the consumer.” The bill reduces the amount of munities,” the Senior Public Relations Manager for Peet’s the ongoing pollution of the environment. Everyone needs plastic straws used by customers and is a positive step in Coffee Elizabeth Ricardo said. Every restaurant should to consider the impact of their actions on our planet. These reducing the amount of plastic across California. However, have this policy, regardless of whether it is the law or not. little efforts add up, and start with each and every one of this should become a nationwide law. Miramonte junior Molly Weber chooses to bring a us as individuals.

NCAA Regulation Changes Benefit Athletes EMERSON BOHLIG Student athletes across the country now have to wait until their junior year in high school to commit to a college for a sport. The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) has changed these rules one sport at a time, but some sports remain unaffected. Sports like soccer have not adopted the new rules and recruit as early as eighth grade. This new type of recruiting allows for colleges to take their time with the process and allow student athletes to reach their potential before worrying about being recruited. The rules should be implemented in all sports because it allows for students to make the best choice for them at the right time. A student athlete committing to college in eighth grade is controversial. Eighth grade is too early for the student to know where he or she wants to go in terms of academics, location, and team. With the recent NCAA changes, this is prevented and allows people to take their time and set goals for the certain date set for the beginning of the process. “I think the new rule change for lacrosse is really beneficial for both the coaches and the athletes. It slows down the process and lets girls develop into more mature athletes. Also, it allows girls to figure out what kind of school they want to go to and the level of play and commitment they are willing to make,” senior Anna Dewitt said. Some student athletes are frustrated by the new rule because they want to commit

early. While some students committed before the rule change, many decommited once they reached the selected date. Decommitting would not be as common with the rule changes because they allow athletes to not make a rushed decision and take time to make the best choice for them. “I wish we could have conversations with coaches earlier but I think that making the start date September 1 of your junior year separates players who are more serious about their sport rather than just for the fun of it,” junior Kate Rochios said. If a sport decides to change its guidelines to accomodate these new recruiting rules, that means there is no contact with players and coaches about offers, officials, or anything specific to the school until the decided-on date. The most common dates in sports are June 1 and Sept. 1 of the athlete’s junior year. Although players can email and contact coaches about recruitment, coaches and other officials cannot contact back until the date that communication can start. A college coach can talk to an athlete’s club or high school coach and express “general interest” in a player, but that is all. Players can go to college identification camps, tournaments where college coaches are present, but no reciprocal contact can be initiated by the coaches. These rules create a beneficial environment for athletes hoping to commit to the school of their choice. A more relaxed environment is achieved, allowing athletes to fully develop their abilities.

Photo: Anna Dewitt

Senior girls varsity lacrosse player, Anna Dewitt, signed to the University of California, Berkeley for lacrosse at the end of her junior year in spring of 2019.

Photo: NCAA



09/20/19 Feature 7

Photo: pinclipart.com

Miramonte Interact Volunteers in Zambia

Four juniors from the Miramonte Interact Club spent two weeks in Zambia, Africa, working at an eye clinic in Zimba, volunteering at the hospital library, and building houses for orphans in Mwandi


“It was really cool, and the kids would come and watch use build, and sometimes even join in.” Volunteering and making a difference Deanhardt’s biggest takeaway from the trip for others always feels good, but seeing your was a perspective change after seeing the disefforts benefit another person firsthand, and parity of the culture and lifestyle in Africa.“I watching their lives directly change before have read about poverty in third-world counyour eyes, is a whole different experience. tries and the struggles that people face, but it July 17 to August 3, Miramonte Interis so different to see it. It’s one thing to read act Club presidents Bella Deanhardt, Alabout a kid who is struggling, but it’s different lison Petek, Natalia Roman, and Phoebe when that kid is holding your hand,” Deanhardt Schmidt traveled to Zambia, Africa to said. While helping others and impacting lives volunteer at an eye clinic attached to the in Africa, the girls simultaneously learned and Zimba Mission Hospital. The girls also made realizations about themselves, too. “They spent time building houses for children. [the kids] were incredibly sweet and gave me a This was the club’s first time volunteering whole new outlook on how I should lead my internationally, and they plan to take this own life,” Roman said. trip again in the future. Prior to surgery, many of the eye clinic pa“We changed bandages, took care of tients were blind. “One of the most rewardpatients after surgery and even observed ing parts of the trip was definitely getting to some procedures,” Deanhardt said. The Photo: Allison Petek see patients recover from their surgeries. The four junior girls volunteered through the Two of the Miramonte Interact Club presidents pose with the Zambian kids in morning after they came out of the operation, International Vision Volunteers (IVV), a front of the Zimba Mission Hospital Library while volunteering at the eye clinic. they were incredibly grateful that they were nonprofit founded by Dr. James Tysinger able to see again,” Roman said. in 1995, dedicated to providing high-qualDirectly seeing the influence of their volunvarious different cataract surgeries, skin grafts, and the reity eye care in Africa, specifically at their clinic in Zambia. moval of an eye,” Roman said. “It was such an amazing and teer work was an experience the girls would never forget. The girls watched procedures performed by optometrist Dr. unique opportunity to be able to watch the processes from “I am so proud of them, they just threw themselves into Ivan Hwang and surgeons Peter and Paul Huang. They ob- so close up, and definitely one I wouldn’t get anywhere else.” work, and did whatever they needed to help others, and served corneal transplants and oculoplastic surgeries on the “This experience was unique because here in the United didn’t complain at all,” Dr. Hwang said. eyes. “If a kid was having an operation, we could hold their States you would never be able to attend a surgery like that A challenge that Zimba Mission Hospital continuhand during surgery and try to keep them calm during the without any medical training at all,” Schmidt said. ously sees is rotating blackouts, where the power would procedure,” Deanhardt said. Over the two-week clinic, the The girls also worked at the hospital library, reading to go out anywhere from four to eight hours a day. “We redoctors saw around 500 patients and performed close to 70 children, helping with homework for teens, and checking ally need solar panels so we have been raising money since surgeries, including six cornea transplants. out books to adults. In the early 2000s, IVV built this library this spring. We are putting in a grant for $140,000 so the The trip was made possible by Dr. Yenjean Hwang, an out of the containers used to ship the medical supplies. hospital can operate on solar power,” Dr. Hwang said. Last Orinda rotarian and local infectious disease specialist inA week later, the girls spent six hours a day building school year, the Miramonte Interact Club donated $1,000 volved with the IVV. She took the girls on the trip and got houses in the town of Mwandi, Zambia through the Home to this cause. them involved with the charity. Dr. Hwang and her hus- for AIDS Orphans organization. “We volunteered at a The Miramonte Interact Club started last school year band started volunteering with Dr. Tysinger and the IVV charity dedicated to building homes for children who have and is sponsored by the nonprofit charity organization, five years ago. “We loved what he did, and he wanted to lost their parents to HIV or AIDS. We built mud huts for Rotary International. The club’s goal is to involve more retire and told us no one was willing to step up and lead the the orphans to live in with a guardian,” Deanhardt said. students at Miramonte in community service. Miramonte organization, so my husband and I thought it would be a “The frames of the houses were made with sticks, then we Interact plans to take this trip annually, and hopes to bring shame to let it all fall apart, and decided to pick it up,” Dr. would make mud balls to fill up the frames, next we would more members next year. “This trip was lifechanging. The Hwang said. throw mud at it to fill in the cracks, and finally we would whole experience was amazing, I would do it again in a “I got to observe 10 separate surgeries, these included use water and mud to smooth out the walls,” Schmidt said. heartbeat,” Schmidt said.

Students Coach Special Olympic Athletes PEYTON SMITH

together to provide a safe and positive learning environment for the athletes with disabilities since 2010. “Being in California, it is critical that every kid learns how to swim. Imagine diving into the cool, deep water with thousands of fired-up strangers cheer- I think it’s important that the kids learn aquatic safety skills. With few opportunities ing in the stands as you take one last breath before the race. Nerves and excitement rise to learn how to swim, when you have special abilities, getting athletes water safe and up inside as you prepare to race in the biggest swim meet of the year at the Campolindo providing opportunity for physical exercise is a fun way to be social and keep active,” Soda Aquatic Center. You can hear your swim coach behind your block cheering and Brian Wentzel said. praising all of your hard work. This isn’t any ordinary Not only are the athletes learning valuable skills, swim race. This is the swim race of a lifetime for the but the trainers are as well. “The best part of my job is East Bay Sea Serpents. seeing the noticeable progress of the athletes over the The East Bay Sea Serpents (EBSS) is a volunteercourse of years and watching them develop. I didn’t run, nonprofit organization affiliated with the Speexpect to feel this way, but it’s really cool to see the cial Olympics Northern California (SONC), helping volunteers learn and develop relationships as they children and adults with disabilities. Seniors Grayson work with the same athlete. Not only do the trainers Meckfessel and Abby Dulski are a few of the Mirateach the athletes water safety, but the trainers learn monte students that have dedicated two hours of their valuable skills in teaching and communicating,” Brian Sunday afternoons to helping the Sea Serpents imWentzel said. prove their aquatic skills. Volunteering with the Sea Serpents is perfect for Miramonte students are eager to help out in the students who want to make our community a betcommunity, and volunteering with the Sea Serpents is ter place, but don’t have flexibility in their schedule. a rewarding way to help out. Dulski has volunteered “It is extremely easy to become involved with Special since her freshman year of high school. “I got into Olympics. Sea Serpents is not looking for volunteers Photo: East Bay Sea Serpents to commit to coming to every single practice, rather EBSS through my friend who has a brother on the team. After hearing her talk about the team, I decided Senior Grayson Meckfessel helps an East Bay Sea Serpent volunteers who will come whenever they can. In addiI wanted to be a part of it. The swim community has athlete in the swimming pool during a weekly Sunday tion, if swimming isn’t your thing there are plenty an taught me so much, and through Sea Serpents I feel I practice. Meckfessel has been volunteering for three years. of other Special Olympic sports teams that one can am able to pass on that knowledge,” Dulski said. volunteer with,” Dulski said. Senior Grayson Meckfessel has been volunteering for three years. “The most reSigning up to volunteer is easy and the practices are short, but rewarding. “It sounds warding part about working with the Sea Serpents is growing a bond between the obvious but more people can get involved by just signing up to volunteer. All you have swimmers you work with and yourself. You really do become friends with them and to do is complete an online certification course and get registered, all of which take a have fun together in the water,” Meckfessel said. The trainers are in the water, teaching maximum of an hour and a half,” Meckfessel said. “The sign-up phase for the fall session basic aquatic safety as well as how to swim a variety of different strokes. is open and we are looking for around 30 more volunteers as we will have around 110 EBSS Coach Brian Wentzel and photographer Deanna Wentzel have been working athletes,” Brian Wentzel said.

8 Feature 09/20/19


Latin Club Attends State-Wide Convention ALLISON PETEK

ing ancient geography for the immersion and lore of the cities and monuments of antiquity, Noise erupted from the gym during the anthe world where Greeks and Romans lived is nual spirit competition as Latin students from illuminated and quite literally tangible. To this around the country stood together cheering exday I can walk into Rome on the same cobblecitedly about their love for the language and the stones that millions of Romans had traversed community. two thousand years ago,” Miramonte class of July 26 to July 31, 12 Miramonte Latin stu‘19 graduate Garrett Louie said. Louie scored dents traveled with their Latin teacher, Matt the top score on the ancient geography test. “A Davis, to the 66th annual National Junior memorable test for me was Hellenic history Classical League Convention at North Dakota which was interesting because it is not someState University in Fargo, North Dakota. Stuthing I am particularly good at, but I surprised dents furthered their study of the ancient world myself with what I knew on the test,” junior by participating in academic, artistic, and athCara Holden said. letic competitions and were able to meet fellow Senior Athena Davis, president of MiraLatin students from around the country. monte Latin Club, was elected as the second The National Junior Classical League vice president of the NJCL, after serving as (NJCL), “seeks to promote the study of Latin second vice president of the California Junior and Greek, to benefit students and teachers Classical League during the 2018-2019 school alike, and to impart an understanding of the year. “The second vice president is tasked with debt of our own culture to that of classical anbringing joy to the NJCL and creating positive tiquity.” Photo:Allison Petek change in the communities it is a part of,” Davis California Latin students, including said. “I knew that being NJCL second vice presMiramonte Latin teacher Matt Davis (back right) and the Miramonte Miramonte participants, made up the Caliident would give me an even greater platform to Latin club travel to Fargo, North Dakota to attend the Junior Convention fornia delegation and competed against other use the NJCL’s collective energy, we have over states. “At nationals, everyone from California 33,000 members, to uplift others and promote really gets to know each other and become friends. We learn a lot from spending time to- the spirit of the classics,” Davis said. Davis is the first national officer ever elected from gether, and we inspire each other to be excellent. Going to nationals not only makes our Miramonte. own program stronger but it also increases the interconnectedness of local Latin clubs The California delegation won first in the spirit competition for the middle-sized in California,” Matt Davis said. “Students make connections with students from across state division. “The spirit competition was a really unique experience. I got to cheer as America and realize that they are part of a greater Latin community. They also have an loud as I could with the other California delegates in order to show our excitement about opportunity to apply all the knowledge they have gained in a fun and creative way.” Latin and California! The competitions were tiring since we had to be very high energy Students had the opportunity to take a variety of academic tests. “I love study- the whole time, but it was a great way to bond with the other Californians,” Holden said.

New Teachers Join High School Community CAYLEY O’BRIEN & MACKENZIE FORKAS

Deveney Gibbons: Math teacher Deveney Gibbons is excited to begin her

first year at Miramonte. Before coming to Lamorinda, she taught geometry at San Luis Obispo High School, and algebra and geometry more recently at Contra Costa School of Performing Arts in Oakland. The reason Gibbons became a teacher was to make math more approachable for students who tend to dislike the subject. “My favorite part about being a teacher is when I see the light bulbs go off in students’ heads, especially those I see struggle with the concepts I’m teaching. If I can be of any help in connecting those dots or making it easier for them to understand, it makes my day,” Gibbons said. Gibbons spends her free time either working on art projects or hiking. She enjoys cooking for her friends and family and checking out new restaurants in town. Gibbons is looking forward to getting to know all the students and staff, and seeing students shine on stage, on the field, and in the classroom.

Jamie Bascon: This is science teacher Jamie Bascom’s first year teaching at

Miramonte, but she has an extensive teaching record under her belt. Over the past seven years, she has taught chemistry, biology, biotechnology, genetics, physiology, and middle school science all over the Bay Area. Specifically, she most recently taught at Ecole Bilingue de Berkeley, a French-American School in Berkeley. She taught for four years at Lighthouse Community Public Schools in East Oakland. Over the summer, Bascom teaches biotechnology at University of California Berkeley as part of the The American Degree Transfer Program. Before teaching middle and high schoolers, Bascom taught at Mills College in Oakland. When she isn’t teaching, Bascom is hiking, running, and playing soccer with her family. “My favorite part about being a teacher is seeing my students get excited about phenomena they are exploring in laboratory investigations,” Bascom said. This year, Bascom is excited to implement lots of labs and inquiries into her lessons.

Tiffany Palmberg: Prior to moving to Miramonte, science teacher Tiffany Palmberg taught math for three years at Riverton High School in Utah. Outside of Miramonte, Palmberg enjoys exploring the outdoors and participating in activities such as kayaking, hiking, and paddleboarding. She also enjoys playing the ukulele, baking, and exploring the realm of cake decorating. One of the main things she is excited about is working on the new physics course, Physics of the Universe. “I’m excited to get to know the staff, some who were my old teachers here, and I will definitely be attending lots of sporting events,” Palmberg said.

sydney Johnson: This year marks chemistry teacher Sydney Johnson’s

second year teaching, and first year at Miramonte. Last year, she taught chemistry and forensics at Castro Valley High School. Before teaching there, she worked as a substitute teacher, and prior to that, she worked in the biotechnology industry. Johnson’s favorite part about teaching is helping teens get through their high school career. “You all have so many interesting experiences and ideas, and I really enjoy helping students develop those ideas and learn from those experiences,” Johnson said. When she isn’t teaching, she plays video games and board games, enjoys making arts and crafts, and

learns trivia in her free time. Johnson is excited to see what Miramonte is all about, especially how a smaller student body brings different experiences to student life and school community.

Dallas Nicolosi: Dallas Nicolosi began teaching in 2016 at Martin Luther King Jr. Junior High School in Pittsburg, California. She taught physical education and a computer elective class. Nicolosi taught at Martin Luther King High School for three years before arriving at Miramonte. “I really enjoy getting the opportunity to teach students new games. It is really rewarding when students in my classes are laughing and having fun with one another,” Nicolosi said. She believes sports have the unique ability to bring people together and teach many great qualities besides just the rules of a game and how to win. “Qualities such as sportsmanship, fair play, and kindness are essential standards that I believe I must help teach,” Nicolosi said. Outside of teaching, Nicolosi is a cross country and track coach at Los Lomas and enjoys running and making quilts. She is really excited to teach units such as swimming and tennis. “We did not have these activities at the junior high level. I am also looking forward to attending a few athletic events and cheering on the Matadors” Nicolosi said.

Patricia Fernandez: Last year, Patricia Fernandez taught one period of

Spanish at Miramonte, and the rest at Campolindo. This year, she is teaching at Miramonte full time. Originally from Mexico, Fernandez has taught all over the country during her teaching career, living in places such as Austin and Dallas, Texas, Seattle, Washington, and Brooklyn, New York. She has worked at private, charter, and public schools, teaching art, Spanish, and Spanish Immersion courses. “I love working with my team and getting to meet the new students and their parents,” Fernandez said. In her free time, Fernandez rides and takes care of her two horses. She also enjoys running, golfing, and snowboarding in the mountains during the winter months. This year at Miramonte, Fernandez is excited to have her own classroom after sharing one last year to utilize the space to teach lessons. She is also looking forward to seeing her students progress in the Spanish language, and see how they embrace any subject she teaches.

Michelle Alessandria: Special education teacher Michelle Alessandra

is excited to begin her first year at Miramonte. Out of college, Alessandria moved to Japan and taught English. Then, she moved back to the United States and taught a variety of classes, such as world history, English, AP European history, and special education. Other than in Japan, Alessandria has also taught at Campolindo and Las Lomas. “My favorite part about being a teacher is helping students find success and seeing students with learning differences have the confidence to find their passion in life,” Alessandria said. In her free time, Alessandra spends time with her husband and black labradors and watches her children play sports at University of California, Los Angeles. Alessandria is excited about the teachers and instructional assistants in her special education department. “We all work together so well, I feel like I’ve joined the dream team. I’m happy to be here at Miramonte,” Alessandria said.


09/20/19 Feature 9

Supran Dedicates Time to Locals in Ecuador Senior Maya Supran continues her Spanish studies and leadership training through the popular service trip, Amigos. Here, Supran immersed herself into the Ecuadorian culture among locals the afternoons for children, called Campamentos. Accomplishing these tasks in English would be a difficult, but Supran faciliWaking up before sunrise, senior Maya tated the community project and organized Supran began her lengthy summer days at Campamentos completely in Spanish. “My 5:30 or 6:00 a.m. and ended them around Spanish speaking skills definitely improved,” 12 hours later after a full day of hard work. Supran said. “I wouldn’t necessarily say my She tended to the local cows and sheep, orgrammar but my confidence and ability to ganized meetings and camps for the little speak improved,” she said. Most people in kids, and helped her host family cook meals the community spoke both Quechua, an inof potato soup and rice. In order to experidigenous language, and Spanish. ence this routine, Supran spent her summer Supran’s favorite memory from her sumin Chimborazo, Ecuador through an ormer was when she and her partner orgaganization called Amigos de las Américas, nized a fundraiser for the project and made also known as Amigos. American food for 50 people in the commuAmigos is an immersion program that nity. She and her partner bought tomatoes, allows high school students to live in a foronions, and garlic to make a large pot of toeign country with a host family, work with mato sauce and pasta. “Everyone thought it community members to complete or begin was amazing and wanted to try it,” Supran a service project, and learn Spanish speaksaid. “They watched every step to see how ing skills. Many Miramonte students have we made it.” participated in this program over the years, Although it was an amazing and transliving in various South American countries. formative experience, being immersed in a While in Ecuador, Supran lived with her completely different country and culture was two host parents and four host siblings, two not an easy task for Supran. “You can’t talk boys and two girls. She was the only Engto your parents or friends, and the only other lish-speaker, along with another Amigos person who speaks English is your partner, participant, who lived in a different part of and you might not even know them very the community in Chimborazo. She spent well,” Supran said. each morning relaxing with her host family, Supran learned a lot from her time in grooming the sheep, milking the cows, and Ecuador, including leadership and SpanishPhoto: Maya Supran exploring with her host siblings. “My host speaking skills. “Even people who can seem siblings were awesome. I shared a room This picture captures Supran walking towards her host family’s house on so different than you might have more in with my two host sisters, but I spent a lot the first day in the community. Supran carries all her belongings as a local common with you than people who share of time with my younger host brother who holds her hand to avoid slipping in the mud. This is the first native to greet the same culture as you. You can create amazwould take me all around the area and play her, marking one of her first friendships of many, in Chimborazo, Ecuador. ing relationships with people that speak difgames with me,” Supran said. ferent languages, dress differently, eat differnity wanted to sell honey from bees. “My partner and I Over six weeks, Supran played a large ent foods, and those relationships can mean role in her community’s project, which was building a mi- talked with the community and we helped them facilitate just as much or even more than relationships with people croenterprise, a small business. In this case, the commu- this process,” Supran said. She also organized activities in that you know well,” Supran said. CAYLEY O’BRIEN

Exchange Student Embraces a New Home AUDREY SPINDLER Thanks to host families and exchange students, Miramonte students are lucky enough to meet and befriend people from all around the world. Exchange students also experience a transformation into a different culture away from family and friends. Miramonte families have hosted students from China, France, Germany, Czech Republic, and many other countries. This year, Miramonte welcomes exchange student Carlotta Pucci from Spain. Pucci is a sophomore from Madrid, Spain, and is currently staying with senior Katie Pope and sophomore Frances Pope. Pucci’s native languages are Spanish and Italian, and she has studied English since she was eight years old. For both Pucci and her host family, this is an experience to strengthen their English and Spanish speaking skills. “I speak Spanish and it is super fun to practice with Carlotta. I help her with English and she helps me with Spanish. We love listening to Spanish music together too,” Katie Pope said. “I drove the process for getting an exchange student for my family. I went on an amazing immersion trip to Spain when I was 16. The trip changed my life and the way that I see the world,” Katie Pope said. For Pope, welcoming an exchange student allows for her immersion of Spanish culture to continue, even at home. When coming to a new country, exchange students can expect key shifts in their education. “The best thing about school here is that you can pick what subjects you want to do and there are so many choices,” Pucci said. While Spain has a similar system with primary, secondary, and tertiary schools, there are differences that make education in Spain and the United States very distinct experiences. “In Spain we don’t pick our subjects, everyone has the same ones, and we just have one class and the teacher comes to you. Here the schools are so much bigger than in Spain and there are so many people in the school,” Pucci said. Pucci connected with the Pope family through an organization called The American Field Service-USA organization. According to the AFS website, “Each year, more than 2,300 exchange students from 90 countries come to the U.S. on AFS programs to study in high schools and live with host families.” One of the greatest rewards of studying abroad is getting to experience new and different cultures, both for the exchange student and the host family. “I came here because I wanted to learn about American culture,” Pucci said. For the Pope family, welcoming an exchange student into their home is also an exciting experience. “I miss Spain so much and I wanted to bring some Spain into my home, which is why I thought it would be fun to have a Spaniard living with us,” Katie Pope said. Pucci explains some difference between living in a city and suburban Orinda. “I really miss the public transport in Madrid because here you have to drive everywhere and

there I used the Metro all the time,” Pucci said. “I also miss the food and obviously my friends and family. In Spain I used to go out with my friends after schooland, play volleyball and boxing twice a week,” Pucci said. Host families can appreciate another culture by hosting an exchange student. “I think host families benefit a lot from hosting exchange students. You can learn a lot about another culture and it is fun to have a new person in the family,” Pope said. Overall, both Pucci and Katie Pope are looking forward to the rest of their time together. “I’m so excited about this year I’ve met lot of people here and I’m learning so much English and about America,” Pucci said. “It is also exciting to share what it means to be an American and I have found that I have learned a lot about myself and our culture by having Carlotta here,” Katie Pope said.

Photo: Katie Pope


10 FEATURE 09/20/19

Rally Leaders Start off the Year With a Bang Miramonte’s new rally leaders begin the 2019-2020 school year. Each leader has a common goal of including all student body members, while also making the rallies exciting and interactive for all INGABORG FOUCH & DEGEN NALDOZA

voice of God.” While Riney had this driving reason The gym doors open and students pile in to take to apply to be a rally leader, Whitaker their seat at each class’s designated spot. As soon as wanted to become a rally leader to make a everyone has taken a seat, the lights turn off, leaving change. “I wanted change in the rallies. The the gym pitch black. Excitement overtakes everybest way to get my input was to be in it,” one’s bodies, and loud stomping fills everyone’s ears. Whitaker said. It’s the new rally leaders time to shine as they step Lastly, Brewster wanted to become a out onto the gym floor. rally leader because of the influences that As school starts back up again, Miramonte stuthe old rally leaders had on him. “My sophdents are welcomed with the annual Back to School more year, we had a really good group of Rally by Miramonte’s new rally leaders: Jacob Brewsrally leaders, and I thought to myself, I ter, Konrad Mader, Chris Riney and Beatrice Whitawant to be like them,” Brewster said. Brewker. They made their first appearance at the Goodbye ster looked up to his rally leaders and hopes Rally to end the 2018-2019 school year. to inspire the underclassman the way he Mader wanted to bring inclusivity to the rallies. was inspired as a sophomore. “I feel like the rallies were lacking in including the As rally leaders, the four seniors want to entire student body, teachers, and staff,” Mader said. set an example for the younger Miramonte The rally leaders this year have been working hard students. “It’s our last year and we want to to unify the school and bring the Miramonte commake our mark, hopefully a positive one,” Photo: Reese Hansen munity closer together. Their primary goal is to inMader said. Miramonte’s new rally leaders and seniors Jacob Brewster, Konrad clude everyone in the school instead of just particular Back in the gym, the sound of stompMader, and Chris Riney Beatrice Whitaker pose togther on the lawn. groups of people. “I think the rallies play to a cering increases and each class jumps up to tain group of people, and I want to open them up so cheer and show their class pride. It’s almost While each of the rally leaders have a common goal to everyone enjoys them,” Whitaker said. They also want to bring the school together, their initial reasons for apply- your turn–you jump into the air screaming to let everyone make the rallies enjoyable for every individual. “I want to ing vary. “I did it because God told me to,” Riney said. know you are a Matador. Finally, the last song of the rally stop hearing ‘Oh that rally was boring, or ‘Why aren’t they “I was just in bed trying to go to sleep and then I heard is played, and you’re assured it’s going to be an amazing letting us out?’” Whitaker said. a voice inside my head and somehow I knew it was the year.

Senior Positions in Leadership 2019-2020 NAOMI MESFIN

ASB President: Toby Noyes

ASB VP: Melody Koochakkhani

ASB Treasurer: Natalia Ramirez

ASB Secretary: Aki Neugebauer

“I love Leadership because it gives me an opportunity to positively change other students’ high school experience with fun and inclusive events,” Noyes said.

“My favorite part of the class is when we’re all working together on things like rally posters because it brings us together as a class,” Koochakkhani said.

“I wanted to get more involved in the school, in terms of organizing the dances and spirit weeks,” Ramirez said.

“I really like how I have an opportunity to work with people in all grades,” Neugebauer said.

Photos: Naomi Mesfin

President: Ashleigh Lightbody

VP: Josh Radlow

Treasurer: Miguel Rezapour

“I decided to join leadership because I want to be a part of a group of people who truly care about the Miramonte student body,” Lightbody said.

“My favorite part of the class is the fact that it is almost entirely student run. It gives a lot of freedom to be creative and forces you to be an independent self starter,” Radlow said.

“It was my desire to join Leadership because I wanted to benefit the culture of MHS in a way that helped the younger classes at Miramonte,” Rezapour said.


09/20/19 Sports 11

Introducing 2019’s Fall Sports and Captains

Fall sports are looking very strong this year as preseason training comes to an end and the season begins. The 2019 captains are setting goals and looking forward to a successful and enjoyable year PEYTON SMITH

Cheer and Dance

The cheer team got back from summer cheer camp and began practicing for their first performance at the Welcome Back rally. Coach Cassandra Montgomery is new to the Miramonte cheer squad along with many new cheerleaders. There are 22 girls on the junior varsity team and 10 girls on varsity. Team captain Mackenzie Forkas ‘20 has been a part of the Miramonte cheer team since her freshman year and has been a gymnast since childhood. Forkas is looking forward to improving the team’s stunts and creating new routines. “Our first game was the Aug. 23 at De Anza High School and our first performance was the August 23 rally. We will have a new routine every game,” Forkas said.

Girls Golf

Photo: Miramonte Boosters

Girls Tennis

The Lady Mats tennis team kicked off their training at the start of the school year with strong momentum from the following year. After tying for first in North Coast Section (NCS) against Monte Vista High School and receiving 3rd in California Interscholastic Federation (CIF), the players came back for another competitive season. Team captains Anna Hyman ‘20, Shaili Lakhotia ‘20, and Peyton Smith ‘20 are excited to spend time with the team and compete for an NCS title. There are seven new athletes on the varsity team this year so the captains hope to team bond with frozen yogurt runs and team dinners. “PrePhoto: Riki Sorenson season has been good because the team already seems super strong before we’ve even started. This is definitely going to be a strong year as the lineup will be similar to last year,” Hyman said. The Golden State Classic tournament took place Sept. 6-7 at Stanford University. There was a lot of competition, but Miramonte beat Monte Vista 5-1 after tying them for the NCS championship last year.

Girls Water Polo

Miramonte girls water polo started early in the summer with morning practices twice a week. Preseason is well in progress with all of the athletes working hard. The underclassmen outnumber the upperclassmen and some players are even new to the sport. Team captains Sally Fellner ‘20, Chloe Morrison ‘20, and Jane Oliver ‘20 are excited for spirit days, team building, and tournaments. “I think this year will be both a strong year and a building year. We have a really big varsity team with a lot of underclassmen which will be great for their development and the future of Mats Polo. I think we have a great shot of making the Photo: Tricia Young NCS championship game again,” Morrison said. The Acalanes Invitational was scheduled for September 6-7, but was canceled due to a chlorine imbalance in the water. Their first league game is September 25 at Las Lomas. “League games are so much fun because a lot of people come to watch and everyone is super spirited,” Morrison said.

Boys Water Polo

Preseason water polo has been successful in scrimmages and training. The team has been working tirelessly to prepare for their first league match Sept. 25 at Las Lomas. Captains Blake Hoover ‘20, Brady Hoover ‘20, and Jackson Painter ‘20 are looking forward to having a competitive team. “We have a strong team with a large number of competitive juniors and sophomores. We have a large freshmen class with a lot of talented kids and even a few freshmen already training with the varsity team,” Brady Hoover said. The boys team started off strong with scrimmages against Monte Vista and Bellarmine. “We didn’t Photo: Miramonte Boosters keep track of the score, but these games have given us a chance to recognize what we need to work on,” Brady Hoover said. “I am looking forward to spending every day with my best friends while working towards a common goal of winning NCS and the NorCal Tournament,” Blake Hoover said.

Girls golf had a strong start against Alameda High School, their toughest competitors, Aug. 22. They came out with a win and crushed their team goal of the season on day one. “We already broke our coach’s goal by shooting a team score of 208 for five players for nine holes,” Kate Nelson said. The girls golf team also won their first league match against Las Lomas and is looking forward to a rematch against Northgate who they beat last year in a tough match. Captains Kate Nelson ‘20 and Katie Ingrey ‘20 are super excited to have such a strong team this year and are looking forward to tournaments and Photo: Kate Nelson team building competitions. Lady Mats golf will be a hard team to beat in the Diablo Athletic League (DAL) this year after winning last year and adding three new players to the match team. Courtney and Katherine Schingart ‘23 and Olivia Wang ‘22 are strong new players on varsity this year.


The Miramonte football team started preseason last May and the athletes trained throughout the summer to prepare for the season. The team went to Tahoe over the summer for practice and team building. The captains this year are Reed Callister ‘20, Joe Mcintyre ‘20, Matt Meredith ‘20, Sean Turney ‘20, Ray Vallee ‘20, and Tanner Zwahlen ‘20. Preseason has been off to a good start winning their second game against Fortuna Aug. 30. The football team is growing this year, but will still have success on the field. Meredith beat the NCS record scoring nine touchdowns against StellarPrep Oakland Sept. 5. “There are a lot of Photo: Ingaborg Fouch new people to the football program. I am most looking forward to enjoying my senior year with my best friends,” Meredith said.

Girls Volleyball

Girls volleyball has been off to a great start and is undefeated so far. Captains Audrey French ‘20 and Haley Lim ‘21 are looking forward to a great year. “We have a strong team, but there is definitely room for improvement. Our new coaches, Lindsey and Leslie Ray, are a great addition to the program and have been pushing us hard in practices and we have already gotten so much better just in the past few weeks,” French said. The varsity team has two new players, Julia Berg ‘23 and Amber Chu ‘23, who are great new additions to the Miramonte team. “They are super strong players and it has been so fun to get to know them better and play Photo: Thomas Pineda with them this season,” French said. Their first league match against Clayton Valley on Aug. 27 was successful, winning in three straight sets.

Cross Country

Preseason for cross country began over the summer with runs at Valle Vista and Inspiration Point in order to get in shape. The 2019 cross country captains are Audrey Allen ‘21, Freddie Bell ‘20, Athena Davis ‘20, Alex Meckes ‘21, Matthew O’Brien ‘20, and Kate Riley ‘22. The team has over 100 runners this year with a massive influx of new athletes due to the Athletic PE system. “I am most looking forward to getting to know all the new members of the team. We have a great group this year,” Davis said. Their first scrimmage took place at Hayward High School Aug. 29 and their first offiPhoto: Jeff Allen cial meet took place Sept. 3 at the Monte Vista Invitational. Lots of returning runners set personal records and new runners raced hard. “Not many people know that anyone can be a runner. If you show up and put in the work, cross country will pay you back tenfold in both physical and emotional growth,” Davis said.

12 Sports 09/20/19


Bay Area Sports Kick Off 2019-2020 Season The Mirador predicts and previews the 2019-2020 seasons of the professional sports teams in the Bay Area including the Oakland Raiders, the San Francisco 49ers, and the Golden State Warriors HENRY HILL

though a healthy Garropollo will be a big step up from Nick Mullens With the change of seaand C.J. Beathard. However, he still sons, it means it’s time for Bay hasn’t played a game in over a year Area National Football League and questions will be asked about the (NFL) teams and the Golden secondary. They have a good rushState Warriors to resume play ing attack in Matt Breida and Jerick in their respective leagues. McKinnon, but aren’t deep enough The Oakland Raiders had a on defense to stop the attack of teams difficult season last year, finishin their division. I see the 49ers missing last in the American Footing the playoffs with a record of 8-8. ball Conference (AFC) West. The Golden State Warriors had The Raiders traded star outa phenomenal regular season last side linebacker Khalil Mack to year, finishing first in the West Coast the Chicago Bears for two first Conference. However, in the playoffs, round picks in a move that endthe Warriors suffered a slew of injued their pass attack. The Raidries that led to defeat by the Toronto ers ended up going 4-12 after Raptors for the first time in two years getting blown out continually in the National Basketball AssociaPhotos: (Left) Jonathan Ferrey (Getty) (Top) Marcio Jose Sanchez/Associated Press (Bottom) Steve Flynn-USA TODAY Sports by good teams. Quarterback Derek Golden State Warriors Steph Curry walks off of the court. San Francisco 49ers quaterback tion (NBA) Finals. Later in the offCarr was never able to get into a helps lead his team to victories. Max Valles leaps over opposing team, Seattle Seahawks. season, star small forward, Kevin Dugroove. This offseason, the Raiders rant, chooe to leave the Warriors and traded a third and fifth round pick sign with the Brooklyn Nets. As Klay tract weeks before the season, only to have him tear his for wide receiver Antonio Brown, only to have Brown not ACL in the second game of the year. They built a great Thompson will be out most of this upcoming season with show up to team meetings, get into a screaming match team around him, but with the injury, the team fell apart, an injury, the Warriors signed star guard D’angelo Ruswith the team’s general manager, and record a conversation going 4-12 and finishing second to last in the National sell to complement Stephen Curry in what should be a with coach Jon Gruden. The Raiders ended up releasing Football Conference (NFC) West. They ended up with high scoring, low defense duo. The Warriors will still have Brown and he later signed with the New England Patriots. the second pick in the draft, selecting Joey Bosa, a tal- Stephen Curry, Draymond Green, and D’angelo Russell, The Raiders had the fourth pick in the 2019 NFL draft ented defensive end from Ohio State University. The 49ers but I just don’t see them making a run at another NBA fiand chose Clelin Farell, a defensive end who was projected look to contend for the Wild Card, but being in the NFC nals. According to the NBA website, the Warriors finished by most to beat the end of the draft. “The Raiders will be West, along with defending NFC Champion Los Angeles with a defensive rating of 108.6, which was the 11th best much better this year because of the offense, we have new Rams and playoff team Seattle Seahawks will not make it in the league. Now, after losing Kevin Durant and Klay offensive linemen,” sophomore Bo Lago said. I disagree. I easy for the 49ers to make the playoffs. Plus, the difficult Thompson due to injuries, I just think that the Warriors don’t see much improvement from them as they already game schedule will prove a challenge as well. According defense won’t be good enough to make a NBA finals run. play in the toughest division in football. They also don’t to the NFL website, the 49ers finished 16th in total of- The Western Conference has never been tougher and the have enough talent from Carr or a good enough defense fense with backup quaterbacks for the whole season, so lack of defense leads me to think they will be fourth seed to help them stay in games. there is a lot of room for improvement with Jimmy Garro- and make it to the second round before losing to the DenLast season, the San Francisco 49ers signed quarter- pollo at the helm. The 49ers have a talented team and even ver Nuggets or the Los Angeles Clippers. back Jimmy Garropollo to a five year, $137.5 million con-

Volleyball Starts the Season With An Ace AVA FISCHLER Miramonte girls volleyball takes on the season with a new gym floor, new coaches, and new captains. Last year they earned second place in the North Coast Section (NCS) tournament and they expect to have a similar, if not a better season this year. In the past, many girls continued to play volleyball in college such as Caroline Schafer, who graduated in 2017 and is currently playing at Univeristy of California, Berkeley, and Meghan Hohman, Gracie Guidotti and Lauren Lim, who all graduated in 2019. Hohman is playing at Colorado College, Guidotti is playing at Williams College and Lim is playing at the Univeristy of Sciences. The volleyball captains this season are Audrey French ‘20 and Haley Lim ‘21. The volleyball team also welcomed new coaches this year, sisters Leslie and Lindsey Ray. Leslie is the director of the club volleyball team Xceleration. This is Lindsey’s first year coaching for the varsity girls team, and in college she played at California State University, East Bay. Prior to league season, the team started their vigorous preseason training over the summer. “Our new coaches were hired just a few weeks before school started so we didn’t have many open gyms this summer. We started practicing a few weeks before school started, and it was a really fun way to get to know everyone better and get ready for tryouts. We also have a few preseason games scheduled,” French said. This year the varsity team consists of five seniors, four juniors, four sophomores, and two freshmen. “With the hiring of our new coaches, our team chemistry is off to a great start. Their positive energy is really rubbing off on us, and we have had so much fun getting to know everyone better at practices and team bonding events. I think it is going to be a super fun season and I am really excited for games to start,” French said. “Our biggest rivals right now are probably Campolindo and Acalanes. We came close to beating Campolindo last year, but they also have a lot of good players so I don’t know how it will go this year, but hopefully it goes well,” Lucy Wang ‘20 said. A primary goal for the girls this season is to make it to NCS again. “Since we have a lot of underclassmen on varsity this year, one of my personal goals is to try to be a mentor to the younger kids and make sure they feel comfortable and confident. When I was a freshman, all of the seniors were super supportive, and it made the transition to a new school so much easier and I hope I can do that for the younger girls as well,” French said.

925-858-8986 SunshineK9Orinda@yahoo.com

Training For: Obedience, behavior modification, trick training, and baby proofing


09/20/19 SPORTS 13

Senior Student Athletes Commit to Colleges This fall, Miramonte athletes committed to colleges of their choice. After years of hard work, these sports stars earned the chance to advance their academic and athletic careers at the collegiate level SALLY FELLNER

Photo: Lydia Percin

Margaux McDonald

Margaux Mcdonald will be joining the women’s swim and diving team at Princeton University next year. McDonald has been swimming since she was five years old. She started at Sleepy Hollow Swim Club and currently swims for Orinda Aquatics. She has also been a part of the Miramonte varsity swim team for four years. “I decided on Princeton because I wanted to be on the East Coast for college. When I visited it was such an amazing campus. I loved it right away. The coach and girls on the team are super nice and I felt like I could see myself there,” McDonald said.

Photo: Eric Ward

Jackson Painter

Next year, Jackson Painter will be attending Stanford University to join the men’s water polo team. Painter has been a member of the Miramonte boys varsity team all four years. He has played water polo since he was 10 years old and currently plays for Lamorinda Water Polo Club. “I chose Stanford because I really like the team and my recruiting class. I know all the guys from my class going and I am close with them all. Also, the academic aspect mixed with the athletics really appealed to me,” Painter said.

Photo: Beverley Sopak

Photo: Beverley Sopak

Erin Tarasow

Erin Tarasow will be attending Seattle University and joining the women’s basketball team. Tarasow plays for Cal Stars Basketball Club and has been on the Miramonte girls varsity basketball team since her freshman year. “I chose Seattle University because I believe it is a place where I can grow and become the person I want to be. The coaches and players made it feel as if I was already a part of the team and the city felt like home. It just had everything I wanted to continue my education and basketball career,” Tarasow said.

Leah Sopak

Another basketball star, Leah Sopak, will be attending Saint Martin’s University to continue her basketball career. She has been playing basketball for Cal Stars from a young age and has played for the Miramonte girls varsity basketball team since her freshman year. “I choose to play at Saint Martin’s because of the atmosphere the school has and the spirit the fans have for the basketball team. I developed a really close relationship with the coaches over the year so making the decision to join their program really easy,” Sopak said.

Photo: Eric Ward

Photo: Eric Ward

Blake Hoover

Blake Hoover will be joining the men’s water polo team at the University of California, Berkeley. Hoover has been a part of the Miramonte boys varsity water polo team since his freshman year and has played for Lamorinda Water Polo Club since he was eight years old. “Cal has always been my top choice since middle school. By also having an older brother play there, I learned a lot about the school and their water polo program and found that I wanted to go there more than anywhere else,” Hoover said.

Brady Hoover

Like his twin brother, Brady Hoover will also be attending the University of California, Berkeley to continue his water polo career. He has played water polo since he was eight years old for Lamorinda Water Polo Club and has been apart of the Miramonte boys varsity water polo team for four years. “I chose Cal because I have always wanted to compete in D1 water polo and because I love Northern California. We didn’t plan on going to the same school, but that is just what happened when things fell into place, I feel very lucky to be close to my family,” Hoover said.




Photo: Wikipedia

Evaluating Downtown Orinda Food Trucks Thursday’s from 5 to 8 p.m. at the Orinda Community Center, “Taste of the World Market” supplies food trucks and music that are open to all varieties of cuisine lovers. Check out the meal ratings here SARA LEHMAN

Street Steam Bunz Bulgogi Beef Bowl $15 Presentation: 5 Taste: 4.5 The beef was quite tasty, and the sesame seeds added a great crunch. While the fried rice was average, it provided a nice foundation for the rest of the bowl. The house pickles and red wasabi made this dinner very aesthetically pleasing.

Rosie’s Mexican Food Taco Plate - Carne Asada $10 Presentation: 4 Taste: 4 This meal was significantly cheaper than other options, making the spicy and authentic tasting food even better. You’ll want to order two of these dishes because you’ll eat the small tacos right up. For a unique flavor twist, squeeze the lime onto the rice! Photo: Sara Lehman

Photo: Sara Lehman

Costa Nostra Fettuccini Alfredo $13 Presentation: 2 Taste: 3.5 This pasta dinner was nothing fancy, and there was a lot of thin sauce at the bottom that didn’t combine well with the meat. The friendly staff and good contrast of textures made this fettuccini a solid meal. I recommend trying other pastas available at Costa Nostra to satisfy your Italian cravings.

Grab & Go Kabob Shish Rice Plate $15.50 Presentation: 3.5 Taste: 2.5 The big portion of meat bathed in spices was great! But the boring yogurt sauce and mushy Shirazi salad knocked this meal down to a taste rating of 2.5. This dish is too expensive for the quality of food. Grab & Go Kabob lives up to its name with quick service and pickup times. Photo: Sara Lehman

Photo: Sara Lehman

Tik Tok Taking Over How to Prepare for the Raid on Area 51


Late last night, the looming thoughts of college applications and math quizzes were preventing me from falling asleep. I wanted to find something entertaining that would satisfy my insomnia, so like anyone else would do, I downloaded the infamous app Tik Tok. I plunged head first into the “For You” page watching videos of dancing dogs, “VSCO” girls and pubescent teenage boys, I found myself lying in the same position three hours later quietly chuckling to myself. For those who haven’t dabbled in the art of Tik Tok, they may ask, “What is it?” Tik Tok is a social media platform where a user can create short, lip-sync videos of themselves. The user can also add captions in their videos to narrate what they are doing. When the video is posted, the followers are able to view, comment and like the video. Or, it could end up on millions of users “For You” page if the user is lucky and they can become “Tik Tok famous.” After spending hours scrolling through the knee-slapping videos, I eventually found some Miramonte students’ Tik Tok accounts and I realized how wide this phenomenon has spread. Miramonte senior Taylor Hernandez first downloaded the app in late July 2019 and spends approximately three hours a day on Tik Tok. With only 30 followers, Hernandez enjoys making funny videos for her friends on the daily. “I come home from school and I just dive right into to Tik Tok for hours at a time instead of being productive,” Hernandez said. Many people find Tik Tok addicting. “In the last seven days, my screen time on Tik Tok was 15 hours,” sophomore Bridget Mills said. Mills is an avid “Tik Tok-er.” “I downloaded Tik Tok as a joke in May of 2019,” Mills said. Mills has 69 followers on Tik Tok and admits that she is extremely addicted to the app. Mills makes Tik Toks every day because one of her goals in life is to be “Tik Tok famous.” “None of my videos have gone viral… yet,” Mills said. “But I’m on the move.” Senior Luke Allen-Waimsley is actually “Tik Tok famous,” but doesn’t find the app to be addicting. Allen-Waimsley dowloaded the Tik Tok app over a year ago and has 6,285 followers. Several of his videos have gone viral with two videos having over 240,000 views and another video having over 49,300 likes. Even with all of Allen-Waimsley’s fame and success, he still only spends roughly 45 minutes a day on Tik Tok. “I do not find it addicting,” AllenWaimsley said. “I go on it once a day for 20 minutes, sometimes more if I’m making a video.” Tik Tok has become extremely popular among the Miramonte student body. This anomaly has taken over some people’s lives and has definitely detracted from some prime studying and/or sleeping. But is being “Tik Tok famous” really worth the time and energy? In my humble opinion, yes. 100 percent. Photo: Wikipedia


It’s time, Mats! The day we’ve waited for since the start of summer 2019. You have RSVPd to the Facebook event, “Storm Area 51, They Can’t Stop All of Us,” you’ve booked your flight, rented a car, and now you are wondering what else you can do to prepare yourself for The Raid. Don’t fret, we have all the information you could ever need to send you on your way to exposing government secrets. Happy storming! One step to ensuring your preparedness for the raid is to perfect your Naruto Run. If you’re unfamiliar, this running technique is adopted from the Naruto series. To use this, one should fully extend their arms behind their body and run at full speed. It is inarguably the most efficient running technique. We recommend studying up on the Naruto run by watching and practicing. Lucky for you, Naruto is available on Netflix, or you can rent an Anime comic book from your local library. Practice your Naruto runs with friends to make sure all of you can outrun the guards. In addition, we recommend that each participant learns a few alien languages. Since we can’t be too sure what sort of extraterrestrial life we will come in contact with, it would be smart to educate yourself on a handful of dialects. Get a head start on this step, but make sure to brush up on your vernacular by studying “Star Trek” episodes and various sonic waves detected from other galaxies. While most hotels are booked solid, make sure you have a safe getaway for you and your liberated alien. While you are helping these aliens chase their dream of living better lives free from government scrutiny, remember that your alien is a companion, not a pet. Whether your alien chooses to live with you or find a way back to its home planet, you must respect his or her decision. Remember that we are not the Feds who lock up aliens for experimentation; we will free the aliens and treat them as equals! Now that you are prepared, take a deep breath and pack your things. September 20 is here. You are off to save the extraterrestrial race, be proud! Good luck and happy storming!


Photo: NewsHub


09/20/19 Entertainment 15

Trendy Back to School Styles Fill the Halls

As school kicks into full swing, we all have a lot on our plates, including finding the perfect outfit to wear. Students display a variety of styles everyday, from shoes to dresses and everything in between INGABORG FOUTCH

Photo: Reese Hansen

Platform Supergas Platform Supergas are popular shoes that come in several colors and patterns such as leather, mesh, and camouflage. They have grown to be very popular here at Miramonte and are constantly worn by students in all grades. “I love Supergas because they are fun and different and they go with everything,” sophomore Cece Cohen said.

Photo: Reese Hansen

Photo: Reese Hansen

Vans A classic shoe both guys and girls love are Vans. They can be dressed up and dressed down. They come in floral, striped, checkered print, or basic coloring. They suit anyone and anything you chose to wear. They compliment any fancy or simple outfit you want.

Photo: Reese Hansen

Button-down Dresses

DEnim Skirts

Button-down dresses have become one of Miramonte girls’ most favorable trends. Button-down dresses are unique and can come in different styles and patterns. “Button-down dresses are cute because they’re like a dress, but special,” senior Abigail Crinks said. You can see Miramonte girls wearing these dresses everywhere.

While denim skirts have been around for some time, they have been worn constantly by Miramonte students this school year. Denim skirts are versatile and styled in several different forms. “Jean skirts are cute because you can wear them with almost any top and [they] are super comfortable,” junior Mia Mastrov said.

Photo: Reese Hansen

Pura Vida Bracelets

Everyone loves accessories. Layering friendship or traditional bracelets is a popular trend to wear this season. There are many variations of bracelets that can be layered. Layered bracelets can be worn with fancier outfits, or dressed down with any day to day style.

Photo: Reese Hansen

Colorful Sweaters A style we all can wear this coming fall is bright, colorful sweaters. They are fun and can be worn with a pair of jeans, or even leggings. These sweaters are interesting because each one looks a little different, with no end to the unique color combinations.

Ranking Popular California Music Festivals STEWART FETZKO

Whether you prefer dancing in the mosh pit or enjoying your favorite artist from the lawn, there is a music festival for every student. Here is The Mirador’s ranking of popular California festivals. First place goes to Coachella. Coachella is the most popular music festival in the world, and for a good reason. Coachella lasts for two consecutive three day weekends and takes place at the Empire Polo Club in Indio, California. Just east of Los Angeles, the festival always has warm weather. Coachella is massive. The festival features temporary housing, referred to as “The Campground” or “Tent City.” There are also numerous clubs and parties throughout the area during and after the music. Coachella features many different genres of music such as electronic dance music, pop, alternative rock, hip-hop, and more. The venue hosts several globally recognized artists such as Beyonce, Eminem, Alan Walker, and Tame Impala. “My favorite part about Coachella was when Kid Cudi was performing and he brought out Kanye and the crowd went absolutely wild. I was in the mosh pit. I never thought I was going to die until that moment,” senior Hayden Aitchison said. In second place is Outside Lands. Outside Lands is very popular among Miramonte students. This festival only lasts for three days, but is nevertheless one of the most popular festivals in the Bay Area. The festival is large, as it occupies the entire space of Golden Gate Park in San

Francisco. Although Outside Lands does not provide a place to stay after the event ends during the evening, this is not a problem for most Miramonte students, as it is just a quick BART ride away from home. “My favorite part of Outside Lands was being there with all my friends and seeing the performers. I would 100 percent go again,” senior Lucy Becker said. Outside Lands also features food from over 80 local Bay Area restaurants, giving festival-goers a wide variety of foods to eat. “The food was really good. It was a lot of walking, but being there with friends and enjoying good music was awesome. I would definitely recommend Outside Lands to anyone who enjoys live music,” junior Marlene Monteilh said. Similar to Coachella, Outside Lands covers a wide range of music genres featuring premium artists such as Twenty One Pilots, Childish Gambino, Kygo, and Lil Wayne. In third place is Rolling Loud. Rolling Loud is a staple in the world of live hip-hop music. Rolling Loud will be taking place this month in the Oakland Coliseum parking lot on September 28 and 29. Rolling Loud features the largest names in hip-hop including Migos, 21 Savage, and Lil Uzi Vert. Senior Ryan Ansel will be attending Rolling Loud this fall. “My friends and I are looking foward to seeing some of our favorite artists at Rolling Loud,” Ansel said. This festival is a popular attraction to people who like rap and hip hop music.

Photo: Aki Neugebauer

Seniors Hailey Nestal, Grace Mills, and Aki Neugebaur pose at Outside Lands 2019 after watching their favorite artists perform live in San Francisco.



Activities To Do Based on Your Zodiac Sign PEMA DUFFY

Aries You’ll rarely catch an Aries sitting around at the pool slurping a drink. Instead you’ll find an Aries doing an exciting activity. Aries love to compete, so attend a Miramonte sports game and cheer on the Mats!

Taurus If you’re feeling stressed about the new school year, go and try a new restaurant. Taurus love good food so go try a tasty restaurant and bring along some of your closest friends. Don’t be afraid to spend some money, considering you do tend to like the finer things in life.

Gemini Geminis are social butterflies so try and plan a social event with all your friends. Whether it’s hosting a dinner at your house or going out to the movies, try to find a way to be around all your friends, you’re happiest when they’re around.

Cancer You are constantly nurturing and taking care of the people you love, so understand you deserve a break. Spend an evening by the fire watching your favorite movie with some of your friends.

Leo Leos love taking vacations so the start of the new school year was probably difficult to adjust to. Even though school is

in session, you can still go for a day trip. Spend a sunny day wandering around San Francisco or driving down to Santa Cruz to destress from school.

Virgo It’s Virgo season which means you’re thriving all month. Virgo is the most hardworking sign so make sure to take

breaks from your school work. Virgos enjoy being social in a calm setting so go to one of Bay Area’s local museums with a few of your friends.

Libra Libras love the luxurious things in life so go treat yourself ! Head over to the mall and buy yourself something new, you deserve it. You’re notorious for being ridiculously indecisive, so make sure to bring someone who isn’t a Libra with you to help make the hard decisions.

Scorpio Scorpios love solving puzzles and mysteries so try an escape room. You’re very resourceful which makes you a good problem solver. You could easily lead your team to success in any escape room.

Sagittarius If Sagittarius hates anything, it’s lack of freedom. So with school back in session you’re probably upset. You love to travel and be outside, so take a couple of friends and go to a local beach for the day.

Capricorn Capricorns are very hard workers and are constantly working to achieve their goals. You aren’t the type to

take a break, even if you need to. Over the weekend, go outside and go on a hike or a bike ride. Capricorn is an earth sign so you feel most comfortable in nature.

Aquarius Like Gemini, Aquarians thrive off meeting and being around a lot of people. You’re known to be one of the

more social signs, so plan something with all your friends. You could go on a picnic or throw a dinner party but as long as you’re with friends, you won’t be feeling stressed.

Pisces Pisces are naturally artistic and enjoy visual media, so if you’re bored with doing homework, take a break. You can use this free time to create some artwork, it will give you the stress relief you need.

Photos: Dreamstime

Fresh Songs for Your 2019 Back to School Playlist NAOMI MESFIN

“Uno” by Ambjaay* “I Don’t Care” by Ed Sheeran ft. Justin Bieber “Motivation” by Normani “Boyfriend” by Ariana Grande ft. Social House* “Beautiful People” by Ed Sheeran ft. Khalid “Dreams” by Fleetwood Mac

“Are You Bored Yet” by The Wallows “3 Nights” by Dominic Fike “Truth Hurts” by Lizzo* “UCLA” by RL Grime ft. 24hrs* “Panini” by Lil Nas X “Dance Monkey” by Tones and I “The London” (E) by Young Thug ft. J Cole, Travis Scott* “Post Malone” by Sam Feldt ft. RANI “Do You Remember” by Chance the Rapper ft. Death Cab of Cutie*

“Piece of Your Heart” by MEDUZA ft. Goodboys “Change” by Arin Ray ft. Kehlani *explicit song

Photos: Spotify

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The Mirador, Volume 63 Issue 1  

The Mirador, Volume 63 Issue 1  


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