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Raven Report Sequoia High School

Volume IV, Issue 7

Women of Excellence walk Sequoia hallways

1201 Brewster Ave. Redwood City, CA 94062

April 13, 2011

Teacher Dodgeball

By SARINA KOCHER GROSS Editor in Chief Junior Alison Logia and senior Jessica Esquivel were inducted into the San Mateo County Women’s Hall of Fame March 24 at the South San Francisco Conference Center. Out of the eight women that received the award by the Commission on the Status of Women, Esquivel and Logia were the only high school students in San Mateo County that were honored. “The Women’s Hall of Fame is a reminder of the wealth of talent and generosity women bring to our county communities every day of the year,” said President of the Commission Martina Tello. Women that receive the award are honored for their contributions to San Mateo County, either through their professions or volunteering. Several women from Sequoia have been inducted into the Hall of Fame in the past, including previous principal Morgan Marchbanks in 2009 for her work at Sequoia. The Women’s Hall of Fame was established in 1984, with the addition of the “Young Woman of Excellence” award in 1992. While many students have good grades and are involved in extra curricular activities, Esquivel’s and Logia’s commitment to their community sets them apart. Esquivel is dedicated to volunteering, a Co-Chair leader of the San Mateo County Youth Commission, and an advocate for LGBTQ equality and teen mental health issues. In addition to being a member of Upward Bound and in her fourth year of advanced dance, she has been a member of the San Mateo County Youth Commission since her freshman year. On top of her studies as a concurrent enrollment student at Cañada College, Go to WOMEN, page 5

The math team miscalculates their win during Key Club’s Teacher Dodgeball event March 25 in the small gym. Hundreds of students watched the 28 teachers play in the fundraiser and raised over $670 for Project Eliminate and for disaster relief in Japan. In the end, history won the war. Photos courtesy of Sequoia Yearbook.

Sticks and stones break bones, but words have power to dehumanize Blood drive By LAYNE DIENER Staff Reporter Bitch. Slut. Whore. Skank. Ho. Cunt.

No big deal, right? The argument is that these words are okay because when we’re good friends with a girl, she knows we’re joking. The argument is that we don’t really mean it; we just say these things because it’s how everybody else talks. The argument is that it’s perfectly acceptable to say this if it’s in a friendly manner. But at the same time, we call her those same “friendly” words when we get mad at her. We might even spray paint them on her driveway. We throw these words around to hurt people. This language isn’t just degrading; this language isn’t just hateful. This language is violent. That may seem like a stretch— words being violent—after all, we hear these words being thrown around in conversation all the time simply walking down the hall way and in class. In fact, in my group of friends we used to refer to each other

as “bitches” all the time. We even quoted the movie Mean Girls, and said, “Boo, you whore,” in response to almost anything. Until recently this didn’t bother me, because I didn’t think our words really matter or affect other people. But think about it: what does every act of violence begin with? A word one person calls another; whether it be “cunt” or “nigger,” it doesn’t matter. These words are just as violent as a punch in the face, and they were meant to feel that way when used against you. A lot of students have heard about a trip called Sojourn to the Past and assume it’s all about racism during the Civil Rights Movement. I thought the same thing until I went on the trip, and learned that it’s about so much more than that; a huge part of the trip focuses on our language. We met a woman who was a high school student during the beginning of the movement. She was called a number of crude things, mostly nigger, hundreds of times every day. Fellow students begged adults to lynch her. They kicked her Go to LANGUAGE, page 4

thrives, saves people’s lives

By LAUREL DEARBORN Staff Reporter You can save three lives without stepping off of campus. Being a hero takes less than an hour on April 13, when anyone 16 and above can donate blood. Spanish Teacher Evelyn Nadeau has given blood eight times in her life, and plans on making it nine at the upcoming drive. “I wasn’t able to donate [in high school] because I didn’t weigh enough,” Nadeau said. Unfortunately many also have this problem. In order to donate, one must meet the American Red Cross weight and height requirements: boys under 5 feet and girls under 5-feet-6 inches must weigh 110 pounds. At Sequoia you must be 16 with a permission slip and 18 without. Also, before, make sure Go to BLOOD, page 4

Feature 2 Ballet Folklorico not just a dance, a gateway to another culture dancing Ballet Folklorico since she was six years old. “At my mom’s aerobics class there was a flier advertising Sequoia seniors Lizeth Cuevas the group; at first I didn’t want to join and Dianna Vega are dancing to a but when I started dancing I began to different beat. They are dancers in like it,” said Cuevas. Now she practhe Ballet Folklorico group Mexico tices four and a half hours a week in Vivo, and additionally, Cuevas will the advanced class of her group. be featured as a solo “[Dancing] taught dancer at the upcomme about my parent’s ing Sequoia Dance culture, and I learn Show. Dancing has something new every taught them a mix of time. I learned that determination and this dance I did called culture. the Jalisco, was a Folklorico is dance that my parents traditional Mexican danced to at events folk dance that has when they were my ballet characteristics age,” said Cuevas. like pointed toes and “[Dancing] taught exagerrated choreogme to not give up, to raphy. It’s a mix of just keep going,” said ballet steps and tradiSenior Dianna Vega. tional Mexican music. Every region Their group, called Mexico Vivo, has of Mexico has a performed in different form of ““[Folklorico] brings different cultures cities such as the dance. DancSan Francisco, into one dance”” ers wear elaborate Oakland, and —Senior Dianna Vega costumes and East Palo Alto. dance energetiThey’ve percally. It began in Mexican villages and formed in everything from theaters, then grew in popularity with students parks, at birthdays, quinceaneras, and and communities in places like the weddings. Southwest United States, Mexico and “[Folklorico] brings different culCentral America. tures into one dance,” said Vega. Senior Lizeth Cuevas has been The main dances they perform are

By REBECCA SAND Staff Reporter

Above: Lizeth Cuevas shows off a traditional costume of Ballet Folklorico. Left: Dianna Vega has learned more about her culture from the dance. the Jalisco, Michoacan, Vera Cruz, Tamaulipas, Guerro, and Sinaloa. They are very close to the other members of their group. “We go to the movies, we have potlucks, and even karaoke nights for fun,” said Cuevas. Dancing has created lots of memories for them. “Every year there’s a a big performance called Danzantes where Folk-

lorico groups from different states and countries come to show what they know, and I always meet new people at the event. We learn a lot from the other groups,” said Vega. “When you’re in front of people performing and they clap for you, the feeling is amazing,” said Cuevas. “I like the energy, the crowd motivates you and makes you want to do your best,” said Vega.

Earn up to $4,000 in Scholarship Money! RC SSE Federal Credit Union Members The deadline for 2011 scholarship applications is April 25

Did you know that being a student of Sequoia High School you are eligible for membership in your local credit union? Did you know that all family members of a Sequoia High School student are eligible for membership? All graduating high school seniors who are members or children and grandchildren of current members are eligible to apply!

Scholarship Requirements:

*Write a short essay about yourself and your goals *Obtain a letter of recommendation from a teacher or advisor *Order a sealed copy of your transcripts *Submit your completed application by the deadline date of April 25 Still not a member? Don’t wait to the last minute. Stop by our office, visit our website, or call us today.

Redwood City Sequoia School Employees Federal Credit Union 530 El Camino Real, P.O. Box 5413, Redwood City (650) 366-7777

Serving employees and their families in the following districts: Redwood City Sequoia San Carlos Belmont Ravenswood Las Lomitas Menlo Park Portola Valley Woodside Canada College



Secret underground room unlocked to reveal history By ZEENAT ALI and SAMI MAST News and Feature Editors We tested out Sequoia High School’s time machine and found ourselves in the 1950’s. Posters advertising fire exits and the finance club are found on the walls in the hallways. One poster reads, “Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow. The 1950’s time capsule is here! Make the scene at the students activities center to put in your kicking memorabilia now!” Now in 2011, the tradition of time capsules is rarely mentioned, but the previous ones are kept in a room underneath the library. English teacher Nicholas Muys’ Senior Health Academy Class was the first to visit the room as a research project, unlocking the door to Sequoia’s history that few know about. Today, the room is marked by a sign that says, Caution! No trespassing.

Rollin also presented them When they entered the room, with a mysterious metal box. students were amazed by “It’s from 1974. I don’t what they had found. know what it is,” Rollin said. “We were speechless , it was a part of our school from “Well, it looks like a metal can and sounds like there are the past,” said senior Rikky Puzon. “It was hella interest- rocks inside.” Wondering what is inside ing.” Bruce Rollin, the Director of the metal box? Why not of Maintenance and Operat- just open it? “No one can see the time ing of Sequoia Union High School District, is one of the capsules other than those few people who has the keys from that specific class beto the room and gave the class cause they have all the rights,” said Puzon. a tour. He showed the stuNancy dents Oliver, Secretary the of the Sequoia stacks High School of Alumni Associaboxes tion confirmed in the that a person room, “has to be a reeach union commitbox tee member or holdA 1967 metal box time capsule some representaing an artifact of lives underneath the Sequoia tive of the class” to Sequoia’s library, filled with mysterious open the box. items of the past. Photo taken Only a few have past. by Zeenat Ali. been opened due “There to water damage. are boxes “I’ve seen Gumbys, full of time capsules, old lockyearbooks, class pictures, ers, signs and newspapers,” and wine glasses. Anything said Puzon.

A “CAUTION” sign warns people entering the room. Photo by Zeenat Ali. that you could imagine that could fit in there is here,” said Rollin. “After 50 years, the alumni should come back to open them. At this point, everything is sort of in limbo. We are just waiting for the alumni,” said Rollin. There are time capsules

dated back all the way from the 1930’s. The last time capsule to be recorded is from the graduating class of 1999. The key to unraveling the mystery is to dig deeper into Sequoia’s past and help the alumni unveil their old belongings.

One small step to ICAP, one giant leap to IB By ANNA DAGUM and CAROLINE LEMPERT Staff Reporters Precalc IA. Great Gatsby essay. IBESS water audit. CST review packet. Eutrophication questions. Environmental Impact Assessment power point and presentation. IB English IOP. The homework load for an IB student goes on and on. All of a sudden, the monthly essay due freshman year doesn’t seem so bad. As the popularity of the International Baccalaureate (IB) Program increases at Sequoia, students wonder whether they enter junior year prepared for the challenge of IB. The official preparation for the IB program starts in Grade 6, with the IB Middle Years Program. Sequoia draws from different middle schools, so it developed the International College Advancement Program (ICAP) for freshmen and sophomores. The IB program is notorious for its intense classes and overwhelming amount of homework. We investigated whether the ICAP system adequately prepares students to face the challenges of junior and senior year. “Instead of focusing primarily on rigor, the courses spend time exploring concepts and creating interest,” said freshman ICAP student Ellie Singer. In contrast to the rigid syllabus of IB, “there are very loose guidelines of how much reading and writing

Students make the leap from ICAP to IB, braving challenges along the way. ICAP teachers must give,” said ICAP World Studies teacher Danny Bliss. Although the ultimate goal is successfully sending students to complete the IB program, the looser guidelines allow them to assign more creative and innovative work. In ICAP classes, students spend time looking at landmark literature and historical events through different perspectives, introducing themselves to the global values of IB. “The beauty of ICAP is that there’s no end of the tunnel IB test,” said Bliss. “We work at our own pace, in the subject matter that we’re interested in. If ICAP were tied to IB, there would be a lot less wiggle room.” For IB classes, teachers must be certified through an official IB teaching seminar, learning requirements that IB teachers are instructed to teach,

enforcing strict standards within the program. ICAP teachers used to attend these seminars as well, but due to recent budget cuts, the school can only afford to send IB teachers. “We wanted ICAP teachers to know what skills their students should have entering IB,” said IB Coordinator Marlyn Bussey. Unable to receive the IB training, ICAP teachers are put in an inconvenient position: they must depend on IB resources and teachers for guidance. ICAP and IB faculty meet to go over the standards met and progress made with the ICAP students. However, the two programs are not as closely linked as they could be. “I think that collaboration and alignment between ICAP teachers and IB teachers would be great,” said Bliss.

Smoothing the gaps between the pace and curriculums of ICAP and IB would undoubtedly make the sophomore to junior year transition easier for students. However, the leap from ICAP to IB is inevitable. ”You’re going from a 10th grade high school course to college level courses in 11th grade,” said Bussey. “IB classes are more demanding and challenging, but that’s to be expected,” said senior IB diploma candidate Caila Parodi. “The demand of work IB classes require definitely increases. But I think the work load and demand from sophomore to junior year, no matter what classes you’re taking, always takes a jump.” Thus, failing or getting overwhelmed is not the fault of ICAP. You can only be prepared so much by teachers and textbooks; the rest is in your hands. Currently, 71 juniors are on track to receive the IB diploma, despite its perceived impossibility. However, there is the more popular and realistic option of taking IB classes a la carte to fit your personal interests and abilities. “Only take as many IB classes as they can handle, you don’t have to take a full load of IB,” said Parodi. “Don’t worry or stress about the whole thing.” “We need the students who are in love with learning,” said Bussey. Ultimately, “IB is whatever you make participate in the program at whatever level works for you.”



Fencing hits Sequoia ‘Street’s By CONNOR GROSSMAN and WILL JAMES Staff Reporters After starting out as an eight yearold newcomer in a local fencing class, junior Kaito Streets is now a worldwide fencing phenom. The junior is recognized as one of the top fencers in the nation, and the world. Streets has been ranked as high as second in the country for his age group, and has won countless tournaments, competitions, national titles including Junior Olympic medals. He was recently featured in the Sports Illustrated magazine among other outstanding high school athletes. Street’s future in fencing looks bright, as he has numerous universities and colleges interested in him, most notably Ohio State and Notre Dame. He took time out of his schedule to answer a few of our questions. Q. When did you start fencing? A. When I was eight. Q. How did you get into it, find out about it? A. My mom thought I would be interested in it, and she found a class to fence and see how it goes. I ended up being better then most of the kids in the class(laughs). I won the Youth-10 National championship when I was ten, so... Q. Did you really? Two years after you started? A. About one and a half years, yeah. Q. What is your rank in in terms of the world? The country? A. In the world right now, for my age group I’m ranked about tenth or eleventh. The highest I was in the world was third. For the U.S. I am fourth, and the highest I was was second. Q. When did you find out that you were in Sports Illustrated? A. Well, it was a surprise, from my dad, I guess. I didn’t know about it


(continued from page 1) you are not anemic. For senior Melissa Mast, several factors influenced her to give blood for the first time this year. “I’m pretty good with needles,” Mast said. And “my blood is ‘O’ positive so I can give to [almost] anyone.” Forty percent of Americans also have blood that is ‘O’ positive, making it the most in demand. Each year around 4.5 million lives are saved through blood donations “I always thought about what if that was me or my family [that needed blood],” Nadeau said. “That’s why its

before anyone else, I found out the A. Well, I personally know a few day the magazine came out Olympic fencers; they’re my friends. Q. Do you know how the Sports Il- I talk to them when I see them. They lustrated staff found out about you? just tell me to train hard every day, A. My friend’s family sent in the and that it is possible to reach the information to see if they would put top. it in, and they put Q. When did it in right away, you try out for the after like a week. U.S. team? Q. What A. I was on it was your initial last year for the reaction when you Youth-17. You found out? have to be ranked A. I was in the top 12 in shocked. I had a point standings couple friends call and all that, I was me before I saw it, on it last year and I had to see it to this year, and next believe it. year I’ll probably Q. What did be in the Youth-20 your parents or group. coaches say when Q. Anything they found out? weird or crazy A. Well, I think happened to you my dad had some since you were in idea of it. He was Junior Kaito Streets was featured Sports Illustrated? part of it, but he in Sports Illustrated for his fencing A. A lot of skills. Photo by Simon Streets. didn’t tell me. friend requests. He had no idea it Q. From people would go in so fast. My coaches were you don’t know? very proud of me too. A. I have no idea, they just friened Q. Do you plan on fencing in the me on Facebook and I declined them future, like college and beyond? because I don’t know who they are. A. Yeah that’s my big goal, to fence Q. Now that you’re famous, what in college, to try to get a scholarship would a movie about your life be to big colleges. called? Q. If you had the opportunity, A. If there was a movie about me; would you do it as a professional? I don’t know, that’s tough. I would A. Professional fencing isn’t that want to incorporate a lot about big, it is only the Olympics. I’ve fencing because a lot of people don’t already competed in the Junior Olym- know about it, so it would be a great pics so if i could get into the real thing if i could influence a lot more Olympics, that would be amazing. people. So, something to do with Q. As a national champion for your fencing. age group, could you foresee a career Q. Who plays you in the movie? as an Olympic fencer? A. Who plays me? Jackie Chan. A. Yeah, in the future, if I keep on Q. What is fencing for you in one training hard, I might have a chance word? to get there one day. A. If I could say one word, fast. Q. Is there a professional or Olym- Everything is fast. You can’t think, pic fencer look up to as a role model? you just have to go.

important to give to your community...because there is always someone in need.” “It’s a great way to give back,” said Lauren Reibstein, the program’s organizer. About 100 students donate each drive. Because of the age restriction only, about twothirds of the student body is eligible to donate, but this still means that a little more than 1000 students are not taking part in this event. “I’m impressed by how students step up and donate,” said Reibstein, but she hoped that even more would sign up in order to be assets to the community.

LANGUAGE (page 1)

down stairs, spat on her, and threw fire at her. She now suffers from post traumatic stress disorder, but not from any of these events. She claims her PTSD is the result of being called “ugly” so many times. My point is, almost everyone uses some sort of violent language, we just don’t realize it. Whether we call our best friend a whore, tell our brother he’s acting like a pussy, or brag about raping a history quiz, chances are, those words are bound to have an impact on someone because they are all degrading to women. These are just a few of the terms I hear all that are targeted against women, but there are so many more that we use that can be considered violent language. Referring to something as gay or retarded is violent; calling someone a discriminatory word based on their race is violent. This is school, a learning environment, and it shouldn’t be so violent. Our administration tries to address these problems by having an anti-bullying day, and telling teachers to discuss the effects of bullying to try to promote the “hate-free zone” that is Sequoia. I don’t know very many students outside of leadership class who participated in anti-bullying day by wearing tie-dye or white to school; in fact, I don’t know very many students who even remember we had a day. Clearly, one day of recognizing the results of bullying won’t do much. One class conversation isn’t enough. We, as a school, should be more active in supporting the message and truly have a hate free zone. Everyone's heard that "actions speak louder than words," but we generally forget that words lead to action. We need to be conscious of the way we address one another, because ultimately, our references can be much more harmful than we intended.

Sequoia High School

Raven Report Editor-in-Chief Sarina Kocher Gross News Editors Zeenat Ali and Alex Deas

Feature Editor Sami Mast

Layout Editor Santiago Ortega Sports Editor Daniel Jude

Staff Reporters William Baker Matt Brotherton Anna Dagum Laurel Dearborn Layne Diener Connor Grossman Will James Caroline Lempert Liam O’Hara Josh Pitkofsky Nickie Pucel Rebecca Sand Jacob Warren Mission Statement The Raven Report strives to provide Sequoia High School with informative, engaging and relevant news. The staff will exercise integrity and adaptability while promoting justice and transparency through professional reporting about the school, the community, and the world. Letters to the Editor The Raven Report welcomes letters to the editor from students, parents, or community members, sent to adviser Kim Vinh’s room, 308, or by email to Letters must include the writer’s full name and ID number, and the staff reserves the right to edit for space and style.



Dances and rallies boost school spirit By JOSH PITKOFSKY and WILL BAKER Staff Reporters An overload of testosterone, awkward teenage dancing, a bad DJ, teachers breaking freak trains, and snacks for sale at jacked up prices. Then there is the most stressful part: the pressure to ask a girl or boy to dance. It seems like there are so many reasons not to go. Most people have these preconceived notions about high school dances, and don’t want to spend the money to see if they actually turn out to be fun. Similarly, students have expressed disappointment with school rallies. But, love them or hate them, they are a part of the school that will not be going away anytime soon. So instead of bashing them or just ignoring them, Sequoia students should be supporting and attending them. This message seems to be gaining headway, the trend of ill-attended dances broke with the recent Sophomore Spring Fling, which was a resounding success. It drew a large attendance of 120 and grossed over $890 with expenses running at $60$80. This was a great improvement over last year’s Sadie Hawkins, which had 10 attendees and brought in minimal profits. “People got involved really fast,” said sophomore Hannah Singh, who was involved in organizing the dance. “I think that speaks well for the state of

Senior sisters Sarah and Megan Beach win the three-legged race at the spring rally April 1. Did their triplet genes give them an advantage? school spirit.” If things keep improving in this manner then the state of Sequoia’s dances will inevitably flourish and allow these low budget affairs become more extravagant. “A common desire for students is to see dances like homecoming and winter formal return to being held off campus,” said the Director of Student Activities Lauren Reibstein. But at this stage, this isn’t feasible. An off campus dance is only possible with dance attendance with over 500 people, as prom has had for over the past 6 years.

Rallies are also looking at brighter days with the recent opening of thenew gym, bringing new potential for better and more spirited rallies. “It’s nice to have the new gym with a much better sound system,” said Reibstein. “We’ve been trying to increase audience participation by throwing tee shirts and bracelets out into the audience,” said Reibstein. Carlmont however, is taking rallies to another level with increased audience participation. “To entertain us, our Leadership class mixes it up for different rallies. Rallies range from Thriller, (a Halloween performance where students in dance dress up and perform Thriller) to student performances, to eating contests, to "Carlmont Cup". Carlmont Cup was a lot of fun- different Sports teams competed in "Minute to win it" style events, and the finals were at the homecoming assembly. They make sure to do things kids want to watch, and will have fun with,” said Zach Levin, a sophomore at Carlmont just elected to be in charge of Rallies and Lunch Activities on ASB next year. We all have our wishes: off campus dances, homecoming floats, professional party planners to decorate the gym. Leadership is working hard to make dances and rallies as fun as possible to reflect high school spirit. So lets show them our support by cheering louder, attending dances, and wearing purple!


(continued from page1) Esquivel works part time at In N Out. With her senior year of high school coming to an end, Esquivel plans to attend a four year university and encourages freshmen to get involved with activities outside of school. “You get a lot out of it: friends, skills, mentors and networking,” she said. Esquivel said that her experiences made her more independent and she has gained valuable leadership skills. Logia agrees that high school students should take advantage of the opportunities that high school provides. “There are so many different opportunities in high school, it’s the perfect time to excel in learning what you love to do. I feel like kids don’t take advantage of what our school has to offer,” said Logia. Following her own advice, Logia is dedicated to her position as Key Club president and being first chair flute in Advanced Band. While also being an IB diploma student, she balances her time between varsity track practice and her other activities. Logia has been a part of Key Club since her freshman year. She got involved because her older sisters, Sequoia alumni Stephanie and Jenifer, were leaders of the club while in high school. Logia was inspired and said that they are the reason for her decision to pursue the IB diploma and take on the challenge of being Key Club president. During her freshmen year, Logia fell in love with Key Club and it became one of her passions in addition to music and track, which she said provide an escape from the challenges of IB. Logia said that although it is sometimes tough to live up to expectations set for her, they provide her with motivation to continue doing her best. When she found out that she had won the award, Logia was surprised to be recognized by the entire county. “It was one of those days where you realize that your work pays off. Some nights I don’t get as much sleep as I want, but I know that it’s worth it in the end,” said Logia.



When I was 17...

Teachers give insight into quirky high school years By FRANCISCO LOPEZ, LIAM O’HARA, and LAUREL DEARBORN Guest Writer and Staff Reporters We always look at our teachers as what they are, adults. They sometimes act like our parents, always telling us what to do. And we always use the cliche, “They don’t know what it’s like to be a teenager.” We think they were just born strict. At times it can be hard to believe that they were once our age. However, believe it or not, physics teacher Benjamin Canning was once Ben, a nerdy kid from Long Beach. Ceramics teacher Z Becker was once, a “hella cool and stylish” teenager from Brunswick, Maine. And art teacher Kate Sheehan was at one time Kate, “a teacher’s worst nightmare,” from Cleveland Heights, Ohio. Canning had an exciting high school career for a nerdy 17-year-old, including getting a job as a camp counselor juggling fire. He was also admittedly a little clumsy, hitting himself on the head with a baseball bat at one point. “I went to a rally where you

Benjamin Canning Class Nerd?

Z Becker Class Rebel?

Kate Sheehan Party Animal?

smash cars with a baseball bat for fun,” Canning said. “All the protection they gave me was a cheap pair of sunglasses. The guy before me got a lot of cheers and applause. When it was my turn, I wanted the same, so I took a full swing and hit the side of the car’s bumper. The bat ricocheted back and hit my head. All I could say to myself was ‘Don’t pass out, don’t pass out!’. I was rushed to the bathroom and my ex said, ‘hey how’s it going?’ I was covered up in gauze. After that, the mummy jokes would not stop.” Despite Canning’s occasional antics, he received straight A’s (except for a B in Spanish) and went to Stanford University. “I would say do your work

but have some balance so you can have fun,” he said. “Don’t lose yourself in school.” Sheehan, a free-thinking 17-year-old in Cleveland Heights, Ohio attended a Catholic school that condoned such thought, and because of this rebelled against authority she didn’t agree with. Though she surely doesn’t want her students doing this now, she said, “I was not always respectful and challenged authority that [she] didn’t think was right.” She once even pulled the classic teenage scam of having a party without her parents knowing. “I had a party and got in a whole lot of trouble for it. I wanted to have a party because I wanted to try something that was out

there. When my parents came back they found out and I was in so much trouble. They grounded me for two weeks.” But it wasn’t all fun and games. One of her friends had a serious scare that could have taken her life. “One of my friends got into a serious car accident because she was drinking and driving.” It was one of the most memorable moments of her time as a teen. Although Sheehan had her rebellious moments in high school she emphasized, “Don’t mess up in high school. Take it seriously because it impacts your future more than you think. Don’t forget to have healthy fun and take healthy chances.” Z Becker was the 17-year-

old no one wanted to mess with. She rocked out to Dave Mathews, the Stones, Little Feet, and The Beatles daily and even had a run-in with the cops... but ended up escaping! “After prom, my date and I went to a (private) gated quarry to go swimming,” Becker said. “We saw the cops coming down the road and we jumped and hid in the bushes in our formal clothes. When the cops drove in, we walked out and my date re-locked the gate and locked the cops inside! I was so nervous. At the end we had to call our parents and the owner opened the gate.” To add to her impressive resume, she even played field hockey.“ I was a right-winger,” she said. Becker has made sure that her students don’t feel as restricted as she did as a teen. In high school, “you were either right or wrong [with] no in between.” She now tries to let the students be involved and have a voice in their grades . Advice for current students? “Be respectful and think twice before you speak. After that, if you still want to say it go-ahead, but [remember] think always twice before you do it.”

Four years come to surprisingly quick end, senior realizes By ALEX DEAS News Editor I’m so sick of being here everyday. I want to meet new people already. I need to get out of Redwood City. These are thoughts that cross my mind and the majority of the senior class’s minds on a daily basis. It is April of my senior year. I graduate in two months. I’ve been waiting four years for this. However, as excited as I am for graduation, I can’t help but have this annoying voice in the back of my head telling me that it is coming too soon. Am I ready for this? Do I realize how much everything is changing? It’s thoughts like these which make me realize that I have taken a lot for granted during these past four years. When it really comes

down to it, no matter how cheesy it sounds, Sequoia has been a huge part of making me the person I am today. I had no idea time could pass this quickly. People always say, “have as much fun in high school as you can, because before you know it you’ll be graduating.” I always thought, “Yeah right, there’s no way that can be true”. I was so wrong. I can recall my memories of being a freshman better than I can remember what I ate for dinner last week. The biggest way Sequoia has affected me has been by providing me with the opportunity to meet so many different types of people. I had never been in such a diverse environment. At first this was difficult to get used to, but I am so glad that I did. The diversity at Sequoia is one of my favorite parts about school. I love being able to walk down the hallway

and see so many different ethnicities and cultures. The diversity here is what inspired me to go on the Sojourn to the Past trip my junior year. That is an opportunity which is available to Sequoia students, and I highly recommend going if you have the means to do so. It is a life changing, inspirational trip. Because of it, I am more open minded to diversity and it has helped me make decisions for my future. Being a part of the school community and partaking in extracurriculars have helped me feel connected. Honestly, if you’re going to be stuck going to one school every day for four years, why not make the best of it? A big part of my Sequoia experience has been with the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life for the past three years. During this amazing event, you spend 24 hours with your friends and the community while celebrating cancer survivors and remembering those who haven’t. During Relay, I bonded and became closer with a lot of people. However, it is obviously not the only event worth participating in. Playing a sport

is a huge way of getting involved. It gives you the perspective of wanting to be supported by the school’s spirit and student body. If you can’t relate to what I did during high school, that’s fine. There are so many other ways to make being here a better experience. You don’t have to spend hours playing sports or being in clubs, you can easily feel involved by going to football games and basketball games, or dances and plays. It might seem like a terrible idea to spend more time at school than you have to, but it’s worth it. Overall, Sequoia has done a lot for me. It’s provided me with teachers who inspired me and pushed me to work hard. They really care about their students, and it shows in the attention and time they are willing to give. Sequoia has also given me the friends I have today. I would be so lost without most of them, and if I had not gone to school here, I would never have made these friendships. As much as I complain about being here, I’m really thankful it’s where I am.



Cherokees last to pick up lacrosse sticks in district By JOSH PITKOFSKY, MATT BROTHERTON and SANTIAGO ORTEGA Staff Reporters and Layout Editor What do you get when you cross a soccer field, a football helmet, cleats, and a long metal pole used to hit other people? If you guessed lacrosse, then you must have heard about the new sport that’s coming to Sequoia. Lacrosse has been the largest growing sport in the United States in the past ten years, growing 120% since 2001. Playing lacrosse involves throwing, catching, sticks, goals, checks, balls, cleats, helmets, and a field. Lacrosse will be a spring sport for the 2011-2012 school year. Sophomore Jaden Briesach, along with many students and parents, have been campaigning to get lacrosse as a school sport for three years. “Fifteen people have signed up so far, so we easily have enough people to play,” said Briesach. Creating an official Sequoia sport, however, was no easy task. Briesach had to find sponsors and a coach, and create a petition of enough players to have a roster. Lacrosse player and coach Manuel “Bubba” Paguirigan has been working with Briesach and is a likely candidate for coach. Bubba has worked with the San Francisco Dragons, and is known

skills of the players. After attending one of the Sequoia lacrosse clinics, we noted the wide variety of players interested. There seemed to be a few big kids that could be defenders, or long pole midfielders (middies), a few tall fast kids from the track team could also be middies, and a few kids who seemed fairly accurate on goal could play attack. Not to mention the fact that the team already has a very experienced and aggressive goalie, Steven Frazier. All of this diversity of those interested is good news for the upcoming team. Another aspect is the age range. Lacrosse player Manuel ‘Bubba’ Paguirigan (left) plays with a club The majority of those at the clinic team currently, but will help Sequoia’s lacrosse team will debut next were underclassmen, while there were year. Photo courtesy of Paguirigan. few upperclassmen. This is a good by sophomore Steven Frazier as “hella been donated by the Firehawks club sign as most of the team will start chill.” lacrosse team and individuals who young and grow together. Although, With seven existing spring sports, have spare or used gear. we noted that there were only enough though, obstacles arise. It could cut Carlmont, Menlo Atherton, Menlo people for one team, so they will have into other sports teams practice time, High School, Burlingame, Serra, to play varsity immediately. because they need a field to play. St. Francis, The other Baseball and softball occupy the base- Sacred Heart I like it because it’s physical, it’s a strategic reason is ball fields, and track takes the football and Woodside sport, it works on your communications rooted deep in field. As of now, field time has not yet already have Sequoia’s hisskills, and it keeps you in shape. been discussed. teams and a ditory. Lacrosse —Sophomore Jaden Briesach Additionally, lacrosse is an expenvision set up. Seas a sport sive sport to play. Just to purchase quoia will join began as early as the 5th century and padding alone, each player needs to the same league as Carlmont, adding was “invented” by Native Americans. spend at least $150, not including the another sport for the long-standing The fact that Sequoia’s sports team sticks, balls, and helmets. The future rivalry between them and Sequioa. mascot, the Cherokee, is ironically lacrosse team has already done work Sequoia is looking at a pretty good one of the tribes that played lacrosse, with the Booster Club and Peninsula lacrosse team for a number of reasons. is another reason Sequoia is ready for Athletic League and gear has already The first reason is the diversity of the a lacrosse team.

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© 2011 The College Board

Special Feature


Vacation Region


1. Vacation to a Warm Place with your Family 1. Warm Place with your Family 4. Go Camping

It’s Spring Break, time to immerse yourself in the warm weather, not the cold woods.

2. Go on a Ski Trip with your Friends 3. Go on a Ski Trip with your Family

2. Ski Trip with Friends We all love our families, but going on a retreat with friends is more fun.

It’s not Winter Break. “Its time to enjoy the warmth,” said Freshman class president Kate Boudreau. Get out of the snow and enjoy the sun with your family everybody!

1. Go to the Beach 1. Go to the Beach

2. Week-Long Monopoly Game 3. Movie Marathon

Put down the controller and grab some sun. As Boudreau said, “It’s better to spend time with real people rather than digital people on XBOX Live.”

1. SLEEP 4. Go on College Tours

4. Go on College Tours 1. Warm Place with your Family These are two similar options for spring break. The beaches around here that you would go to don’t compare to the beaches you could visit with your family in San Diego or Hawaii. A vacation with the family gives you a week of quality bonding time that you don’t get with a day at a cold Northern California beach.

3. Do your Homework Like we said before, that homework needs to get done. It’s great to think about your future, but what’s happening right now should be your top priority. And anyway, if the homework doesn’t get done, you won’t need to take those college tours because you won’t be graduating. We are very pro-doing-homework at the Raven Report.

Community service is important and great, but a week of touring colleges is fun, educational, and more time sensitive than community service.

Vacation to a Warm Place with your Family

Everybody loves movies, but the beach is better, and it’s healthier to get fresh air by the ocean. 3. Movie Marathon “Lazy Sunady, that’s Monopoly is a fun game, but probably what I’m going to it’s better to watch the Shawshank do,” said Sophomore class president Zé Martinho. Redemption than go to jail all week.

Let’s be honest, the purpose of Spring Break is to have a good time, and to get away from school for a little bit. Now some people may enjoy doing schoolwork, but for the most part, people like getting away, and there’s no better way than to escape to a warm vacation spot with your family for some fun and quality bonding time. There’s nothing better than sipping a cold drink on the beach and chatting with your dad about how nice the waves are today. And anyway, you can always bring your homework and do it on the plane!

Photo credits:,,,,,,

You can sleep after you’ve figured out which college you want to go to.

4. Go on College Tours

2. Community Service 2. Community Service While we all love the Giants, it’s simply not cost effective to go to every game. Do your community service, and watch the games when you get home!

3. Go to every Giants’ game

Responsibility Region

1. Stay Home and Do Chores

4. Get a Job


1. Go to the Beach

“Takin’ Care of Business” Region

By Daniel Jude and Nickie Pucel Sports Editor and Staff Reporter

1. Warm Place with your Family

Lazy Sunday Region 4. Play Video Games


3. Do your Homework Earning money and doing work is good, but if that homework isn’t done you’re going to have bigger problems than cleaning up the vomit at McDonald’s.

You know you all need something to do in your free time. “You should take this week to get things organized,” said Martinho.

4. Get a Job

2. Study for STAR Tests 3. Do your Homework Doing well on the STAR Test is important for the school, but studying for it on break? No thanks.

3. Do your Homework

Raven Report Issue 7  

Raven Report Issue 7

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