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Volume LVII, Issue III

15325 East Los Robles Avenue, Hacienda Heights, CA 91745

October 30, 2017

Congressman Promotes App Challenge on Campus By Nicolás Hernández


nited States Representative Ed Royce stepped through the glass doors of the administrative building on Friday, September 29 (and after a quick snack with school and district administrators) Royce’s tour of the Los Altos campus was underway. The purpose of the tour was to promote the Congressional App Challenge which Royce co-chairs. Royce spoke of his challenge, “Well one of the things we do is we have a Congressional App competition every year and last year we had fifty teams but we noticed that it was the team from Los Altos that won last year, and won the year prior to that.” Royce elaborated on his visit, “We’re encouraging more students earlier and earlier to get involved in this Congressional App competition in order to learn how to write code.” Royce also added that by 2020 there will be openings for “1.4 million STEM jobs” and therefore emphasized how imperative it is for students to learn these skills early. Various ROP classes were showcased at the tour and when asked about why these classes were chosen, Royce answered, “ROP classes are helping to produce a lot of the teams that are effective here and it’s a good oppor-

Royce dons safety glasses as Castrellon gives tour of engineering building.

Photo by Nicolas Hernandez

tunity for us to outreach and explain to them just what’s available for their careers.” The tour began with a visit to the Business and Personal Finance class. This class, along with others that Royce was going to be visiting, deviated slightly from their course material and learned about the purpose of Congress in preparation for the representative’s visit. Once inside the room, teacher Larry Ambriz introduced Royce and students

Castrellon reflects on her tour, “I think the tour went well overall, Congressman Ed Royce and everyone who came to see how our engineers worked and what the Los Altos Academy of Engineering had to offer.” This class visit was especially important because it was member of the Los Altos Academy of Engineering who have won the Congressional App Challenge in past years. After engineering, the

listened intently to the Congressman who promoted the app challenge and who even gave the class some quick financial tips on the dangers of credit cards. After that successful first stop, Royce and a combination of school administrators, district administrators, and members of Royce’s team, headed to the engineering room. Upon entering the building, Christine Castrellon, senior and head of the en-

gineering program’s public relations, toured the Representative and all those accompanying him through the building. After a short introduction of the program from Castrellon, she led the group to different parts of the building introducing the various team leaders in engineering who provided Royce with specific information about their various responsibilities and functions within the engineering program.

group headed next door to the graphic design program. Congressman Royce again informed the already tech savvy students about the app challenge. Meanwhile, the sounds of a printer were audible and after a couple of minutes the printer revealed a very large poster designed by the class thanking Royce for representing them. Following this visit, the group headed to Sports Medicine where the group encountered a lively class in an interactive lesson of placing sticky notes on their bodies to learn about various body parts. The congressman delivered his promotion to the sticky note clad students and was finally on his way to Video Production which was the final classroom of his visit. Royce and company visited the class while they were learning how to conduct a broadcast interview and Royce himself served as an example for this lesson. Maura Murabito, superintendent of LVROP commented on the visit, “Well I thought it was great, we love to see support of our programs and as you know [the Congressional App Challenge] you all have won it twice which is amazing and so we see that career technical education works.” While Royce’s tour was over, his app challenge promotion was sure to inform and may result in a third consecutive win for LAHS.

Red Cross Blood Donation Drive Saves Community Lives By Jasmine Fuentes


he Hacienda transformed into a blood donation center when the Red Cross club organized a blood drive, with help from the larger national organization, and took blood donations from student volunteers. Senior and co-president of the Red Cross club, Millie Suthasri, explains the purpose of the blood donations. “[The blood goes to] people who have been in accidents and have lost an abundant amount of blood, patients who go through surgery, and even if the donated blood does not pass the tests, it is taken for testing in experiments to find cures. No blood goes to waste.”

According to the Red Cross, the U.S. alone requires approximately 36,000 units of red blood cells daily and nearly 21 million blood components are transfused each year.

-Millie Suthasri

That is one of the reasons why it is important for students to register to donate blood. Students undergo a simple three-step process: registration, medical history, and mini-physical. The mini-physical includes

Students donate their blood and time to save several individuals’ lives. checking the donor’s temperature, blood pressure, pulse and hemoglobin to ensure it is safe for the donor

to give blood. Donating blood is an effortless way to do one’s part, and if someone is qual-

ified to donate blood, they should do it. The Red Cross supplies about 40 percent of the nation’s blood supply.

Photo by Nicolas Hernandez They only have one goal: to help people in need. Red Cross meets Fridays at lunch in S-3.



October 2017

Mission Statement The 2017-2018 Journalism team strives to provide the school and the community with reliable and factual information that encourages thoughtful conversations and discourse. In this diverse campus, we hope to report and respect the various viewpoints of all members of our community. We believe this to be an imperative role, as the students of Los Altos are going to be future leaders and deserve to be informed. We hold this duty with the utmost respect and responsibility and view ourselves as representatives of our campus.

Conquerors for Christ Pray for Los Altos and Nation at Flagpole By Bianca Flores


he front of the Los Altos campus was home to prayer and music, where members of the Conquerors for Christ club met at the flagpole to pray for the campus and the nation.

Seven students attended on September 27, along with the Conquerors for Christ advisors, Juliet Gilek and Deirdre Mann. After waiting for everyone to arrive, they gathered around the flagpole and began praying and singing worship songs, like “Oceans” by Hillsong.


Editor-In-Chief: Nicolás Hernández Managing Editor: Karla Galaviz Magazine Editor: Caley Asbee Online Editor: Damien Alvarado Adviser: Adriana Guzmán Student Journalists: Brianna Arellano, Alexis Cardenas, Kessia Cisneros, Britney Cundiff, Bianca Flores, Jasmine Fuentes, Aaron Kim, Andrew Kodous, Douglas Lin, Briana Muñoz, Kaitlyn Orozco, Aaron Pimentel, Danielle Porras, Albert Sarkissian Contributing Photographers: Lauren Perez and Century Yang Contributing Artist: Analise Pacheco

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Photo by Nicolás Hernández

Senior Justin Gonzalez brought his guitar and led the worship songs. Each student was given the space and time to pray for whomever or whatever they felt needed it. Senior Saraith Kreslake, and first time Conquerors for Christ member, stated, “I prayed for all the students in school, that God may help them academically so that they may obtain the knowledge and understanding for them to do well in school and have a relationship with Him because He is the center of our lives.” Sophomore Gizel Mainit, believes gatherings like this are important on campus. “Conquerors for Christ helps people grow in their faith, because some people might be scared to speak out, but Conquerors for Christ can help them gain confidence,” Mainit explained.

Conquerors for Christ is a club that offers a safe place for students to embrace and practice the words of Jesus. “I like the environment because everyone is really friendly there, and they are all really accepting,” Mainit adds. Kreslake also encouraged students on campus to get involved in Conquerors for Christ, or in any spiritual group. When asked what she would tell someone who was debating whether to get involved or not, Kreslake replied, “I would tell them to come and experience the powerful word of God that can transform one’s life… In this club you meet new friends along the way that can help you build your faith.” Conquerors for Christ will continue to have gatherings, like the flagpole prayer, and other events throughout the year.

Latino Leaders of Tomorrow Help Elementary School Students By Karla Galaviz


atino Leaders of Tomorrow has returned its tutoring program named La Escuelita. This program provides local elementary school students free tutoring services, with the help of Los Altos students. La Escuelita helps tutor children in any subject they need. It is offered to students in Kinder through fifth grade every Monday and Wednesday in H-1 from 3:15-4:15 pm. The program is completely free, and the clubs way of giving back to the community. La Escuelita has been around for several years, and has proven to be a great way for children to learn.

Senior, and club officer for Latino Leaders of Tomorrow, Jasmine Flores is in charge of La Escuelita. As officer, she is responsible of meeting the children, parents and assigning each child with their designated tutor. Flores states, “I take part in La Escuelita, because working with children is rewarding. It is amazing to hear [the kids] talking to their parents about how they love theirw tutor and are excited to come back.” Senior, and tutor Diego Arcadia goes on to say, “Being able to tutor kids has been a good, fun, healthy experience… It’s nice being able to hear the kids be so happy when they finally understand a hard lesson.” Tutors are always welcome

Photo by Nicolás Hernández and encouraged to take part in the program at any point during the year. The application process is simple. Tutors simply need

to pick up an application from Spanish teacher Sugeli Florez-Vargas in H-1 and stop by after school on La Escuelita days.

October 2017



Colleges Near & Far Visit LAHS to Inform Students By Kessia Cisneros “I believe it’s important for students to get a great education as well as exploring the different options colleges have to offer,” says UC Santa Barbara representative. For the past two months during lunch here at Los Altos, counselor Sean VanGundy has organized for many college advisors to visit room G-3 and inform students about various colleges and universities from around the country and even the world. This ranges from schools in California to as far as the east coast and Dublin Ireland. Head Avid teacher Barbara Crowther believes students should come to these meetings in order to gain information on requirements

and just the lifestyles of what these different colleges offers. Crowther states, “There are many campuses that are here that students have never heard of before, it allows them to get information from out of state schools. This opportunity allows students to think and see if these schools offer what they want without having to visit the far away schools.” Having these college advisors inform students about various campuses helps students have an idea of what they want to do after high school. Senior Carla Gonzalez, attends most of the meetings held in G3 to gain a better understanding of what acceptance requirements are in place for prospective students.

Gonzalez stated, “I attend these meetings to ask questions about the SAT and other testing scores as well as campus life. I love knowing about each college campus as well as the major I want, and the life style.” Gonzalez also remarked, “Knowing that there are these schools different from what I grew up knowing, allows me to expand my ideals of what I want in a school.” These meetings are a chance to find out the application process, cost, and the different majors available, and a chance to find out the type of life style that all these schools provide. Senior Makayla Esquivel states her reason for attending these meetings, “I attend the meetings because they’re very informative and you can get in the touch with the

UCSB representative informing students in G-3. people very fast and directly if you ever have any questions.” Esquivel also commented on the benefit for all students, not just seniors,” I think the meetings are very

beneficial to graders under seniors. I wish I had attended more as a sophomore and junior because they let you know the kinds of things you can do to improve your chances of getting accept-

Photo By Kessia Cisneros ed.”

The meetings in G3 are still being held frequently during lunch. Students are welcomed to attend these meetings to find the perfect school for themselves.

Spanish Honors Society Celebrates Day of the Dead in the Hacienda By Karla Galaviz

Renaissance member selling shirts to raise funds. Photo By Nicolás Hernández

Renaissance Raises Awareness & Funds for Breast Cancer Research By Jasmine Fuentes

Renaissance focused their energy all throughout October to promoting National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. A number of activities were in place this month to raise awareness of the disease, and most importantly raise an ambitious $2,000 to fight and research Breast cancer. With such a high monetary goal, there are many manners in which Renaissance is aiming to reach it. Renaissance member Jasmine Valencia commented, “We will sell merchandise, host lunch rallies, communicate with our sports team to wear pink to promote, create posters and display them around campus with statistics to inform students, parents, and staff about the cancer.” There is no better way to inform than hearing words from a survivor. Commu-

nity member Caitlin Fuentes, a breast cancer survivor, shares her thoughts on Breast Cancer Awareness month, “It makes me feel happy and sad at the same time. It makes me happy because everyone wears pink to support it and it leaves a welcoming feeling. But it makes me sad because it is something hard to go through. And there are so many people suffering.”, Fuentes remarked. The amount of people affected by the disease is truly staggering. Over 250,000 cases of invasive breast cancer will be diagnosed this year in women and about 2,500 cases in men. This widespread effect of the disease clearly demonstrates the importance of being aware and active in the fight against breast cancer. Senior and Renaissance member, Damian Hernandez emphasizes the effort necessary to fight the disease, “I think it’s important

for everyone to promote awareness on issues such as these, Renaissance just gives it a platform on campus. Breast cancer is a serious problem and being more aware can really help.” Hernandez also underscored the necessity of monetary assistance, “I think that raising funds is important because it shows that we not only acknowledge what it is, but we make the effort to help. It’s really amazing to see our school come together and raise about $2000. It really shows that we all can make a difference.” As of now, Renaissance has surpassed their ambitious goal and is donating all the money raised to PIH Breast Health Center. Fuentes was asked to give advice for people who struggle with breast cancer, “I went through it and I’m alive, I’d like to show anyone who is also struggling to never give up. They have support from me, always.”

Bright colors, festive skeletons and patterned skulls decorated the Hacienda and brought to life the celebration of Day of the Dead. The event, formally referred to as El Día de los Muertos was hosted by LAHS Spanish Honors Society who put much effort in creating an authentic Spanish vibe in commemoration of the popular holiday in Latin culture. El Día de los Muertos is celebrated to honor the dead within the community for their contributions to the world. Death in Hispanic and Latino culture is not supposed to be feared but embraced. Senior, and SHS member Emandra Garavito commented on the celebration,

“The day, which is technically supposed to be a week of festivities, is a period of joy and a ritualistically elaborate celebration of life rather than a sober mourning.” It is a tradition for the SHS to create a slideshow of pictures of individuals who have died within the families of Los Altos. Students submit pictures and they are put together in a slide show. Time is then dedicated to display the presentation on the day of the event to honor those who have perished from our own community and country. Historian for Spanish Honors Society, Illiana Acosta, explains the day’s purpose, “It celebrates the people who have passed before us, and keep them in our memory.” Acosta was also a performer that

Illiana Acosta dancing Folklorico at the lively event.

evening. She danced Folklorico alongside her group members to represent her culture. When asked about the outcome of the evening, she comments, “I had a lot of fun performing with my group and watching the amazing talent the community has. It was also nice to see all the hard work the society put into making the event.” Other dancers also performed, specifically from the El Monte studio, MG Dance. they attend every year and are crowd pleasers with their twirls, lifts and jaw-dropping moves. The event had a great turnout and accomplished what Día de los Muertos is supposed to be; a celebration filled with fun and happiness to all in attendance.

Photo By Lauren Perez


October 2017


LAHS Students Participate in LCAP Student Advisory Committee By Kessia Cisneros


conference room packed with chosen students from all over the Hacienda Unified School District prepared to voice their opinions about issues that affect them and their student body.

On October 20, 2017 at the Hacienda Unified School District from 10am to 1pm students from HLPUSD high schools and middle schools met to discuss LCAP Priorities that most impact their school and student body. The LCAP (Local Control

Students participate together at the LCAP meeting.

and Accountability Plan), discusses different goals for the district and schools within the district to enable a change and determine how money given to the district should be spent by imputing student opinions. This meeting dealt with district members and coun-

Photo by Kessia Cisneros

selors around the schools to discuss eight priorities that have the most impact on the student body, while ensuring to produce voices that represent areas that affect not only the schools, but the students as well. The eight priorities consist of basic services, implementation of Common Core, parent participation, student achievement, student engagement, school climate, course access, and other student outcomes. Each priority was first explained and then emphasized on how it affects schools and the district. With each priority, the main focus was the development of the student body and the achievement of being successful. Students were then mixed into a variety of groups from different schools to talk about the pros and cons of their school. This was then brought

up to the members of the district and explored more in depth. By then, students were now participating in activities where they would answer questions relating to the eight priorities. Many students explored the positives of what made them involved within school in and out of the classroom, while others explored the adjustments that they would like to see being made within their school. The LCAP meeting encouraged the student body to explore opinions to improve certain aspects of their school, while creating a fun environment to learn and interact. Senior Josie Osborn stated her experience at the LCAP meeting, “It was really interesting hearing other people’s view points and hearing how their schools work different from Los Altos.” Osborn continued, “I

really like the lunch activity where our groups were chilling and getting to know new people and just talking about the differences of schools was really fun.” Senior Makayla Esquivel also states her experience at the meeting, “This meeting was very different from what I thought it was going to be like, I thought it was going to be very business and a professional style of interviewing. But it turned out to be very fun and educational.” Esquivel also states, “It was like a community event where you just get together with people you don’t know and you learn about what the standards of education should be and how you can make a change.” The students that were in attendance at this productive meeting will again meet in the district office and have a chance to share outcomes on February 9.

Los Altos Prepares for Shakeout By Karla Galaviz


hroughout the state of California, hundreds of students practiced how to drop, cover and hold on. Los Altos, along with twenty-eight other schools within the Hacienda La Puente district took part in the Great Shakeout Earthquake Drills. The drill program occurs once a year throughout the state, this year it took place on October, 19. The purpose of the annual drill was to be aware of the proper procedure in case of an earthquake, a natural disaster familiar to California. Assistant Principal, Samuel Peña was one of the individuals in charge of organizing the drill and he comments, “The drill is to make sure students, teachers, and other staffulty is prepared in case of an earthquake.” When asked on the suc-

cess of the drill, Peña responded, “It went very well, all in all. We managed to complete the drill in 22 minutes. That means all eighteen hundred students, staff, counselors were out in the JV field.” A few students were not as satisfied by the drill. Junior, Sariah Mitchell believes the drill was disorganized and poorly executed, “It wasn't taken seriously and many couldn't fit under the desks.” Senior, Britney Delgado believes teachers could do better at organization. Delgado furthered, “teachers have to be more clear and tell students what to do, not just tell them to get under desks.” Senior, Julio Guzman-Garcia explains the importance of the drill, “In general, the school prepares us for an earthquake. No one knows what to do and because of the drill people now know what to do and where to go.”

Students cram under desks as earthquake occurs. Photo by Nicolás Hernández

Middle school students working together to create a poster at conference.

Photo by Bianca Flores

Middle School Students Ride the Leadership Wave By Bianca Flores Los Altos ASB and Renaissance hosted the Middle School Leadership Conference which taught middle school leaders how to properly run their leadership groups. This is the fifth time Los Altos has hosted this event, and this time they decided to give it a beach theme on October 23. Their slogan this year was, “Ride the Leadership Wave.” The conference is meant to offer ideas for them, so they can do more at their school, and also teach them about what it means to be a leader. Students from Orange Grove Middle School, Newton Middle School, and St. Marks Lutheran School attended the event, eager to learn how to improve their events and increase productivity. All the students arrived at about 9 AM in the gym.

ASB and Renaissance welcomed them with a short introduction rally, where they laid out the rules and played a few games. After the rally, the schools were mixed and split up into small groups with an ASB and Renaissance member leading each one. vThere, they did small icebreaker games. After, each group began discussing certain leadership questions to open up a conversation about their understanding of leadership. Junior Brittney Arnold was one of the Renaissance members who led a small group, and she stated, “All the kids in my group were super eager to get to know each other, and I really enjoyed seeing some strong future conquerors who might join in a couple of years!” Following the small group discussions, they began the rotation of sessions. There were three sessions total: Mr. Chris Reeder’s in the Renais-

sance room, Renaissance’s in the gym, and ASB’s in the hacienda. Reeder had a presentation on how to “Find Your Why,” which is a lesson he teaches his own leadership students. Renaissance showed off all of the events and awards they give to recognize students and staff. ASB discussed characteristics that are important to have as a leader. Maira Rodriguez, ASB Historian, led the ASB session and explained, “We discussed the different characteristics of a leader, but we focused on one specific thing, grit. Grit is the passion and perseverance one has to finish what they started.” Rodriguez revealed, “I was able to really get the students to have a different perspective on what it means to be a leader and help them mature as leaders for their futures.” After all the groups went through the entire rotation, they were given a break to

eat pizza and drink soda in the Hacienda. There was music playing in the background, so it did not take long for the students get up from their seats and start dancing. Before long, the entire conference formed a giant conga line. Reeder ended the conference by allowing the schools to meet and discuss what they would take away from the experience. He also gave each school a poster for them to write their “whys.” After they took the time to write their “whys” down, they sat in a giant circle and Reeder called on people to share what they had learned. Arnold stated, “I think the students walked away feeling super inspired. We definitely gave them lots of cool ideas to walk away with, and from the enthusiasm of the kids, it seemed like a couple of the cool events we have at Los Altos might be implemented at their schools as well!”

October 2017



Students Stun Audience at Rise Up Poetry Night By Karla Galaviz Breathtaking remarks and empowering lines were delivered through beautiful poems leaving several individuals teary-eyed and with chills. On October 11, the third annual Rise Up Poetry Night took place and left both the audience and poets in awe. The enticing poems were said throughout the night. The evening began with plenty of students, parents, and teachers gathered in the Hacienda to support the poets. Eric Contreras opened the show, and proved to be a wonderful host who encouraged poets and supported those who were nervous. The clubs, Youth United and Latino Leaders of Tomorrow were also present to help Contreras with the set up and cleanup of the night.

Senior and participant Carina Chin describes her experience as breathtaking. “As personal as a poem can be, once you say it aloud it sort of gives you a satisfying feeling. You gain more confidence than what you entered in with. Nobody in the atmosphere is going to judge you because if they were then they’re not valuing the true art of poetry,” said Chin. Chin encourages everyone to attend poetry night next year. When asked to give a few remarks on students who were scared to speak or did not attend, she states, “All in all, just give justice to your poem, breathe, and be strong when reciting it. As for those who didn’t go, attend if you are interested in listening to the experiences and different points of views from students on our campus. But remember to treat the art of poetry and the poets with the utmost

Omar Albear reciting his poem in front of a supportive audience. respect because that’s what they deserve.” Students are encouraged to voice their thoughts through

poetry, dealing with personal views and feelings on wide variety of topics. Some students took the liberty of

adding a beat to their poem and performing it as a rap, one student even went on to add an interpretive dance to

Photo By Andrew Kodous his poem. There will be a second poetry night hosted in the spring on March 7.

PSAT Helps Students Get Ready for Upcoming SAT By Kessia Cisneros

The time has come when ninth, tenth and eleventh grade students took the PSAT (Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test) that will eventually prepare them for the SAT. On October 11, 2017, all sophomores were assigned to take the test in their assigned classes, while all freshman and juniors who signed up for the test took it in the gym.

The PSAT began with instructions on filling out the basic information that helps College Board relay information back to students as well as their test scores. The PSAT consisted of four sections: two sections of English, and two sections of Math. Each section had a specific time and students were not allowed to finish or change answers once the time for a section was completed. Any attempt to finish a certain section after the

specified time would end in a possible unscored test. Once the test began, students had 60 minutes to finish the reading portion of the Evidence. Based Reading and Writing, which would eventually lead up to a 35 minute writing portion to finish off the English sections. Students then only had five minutes breaks for each section once completed. The start of the first math portion began and students

had 45 minutes to complete the section before moving on the last portion of the Math section with 25 minutes left. It was the only section where students were allowed to use calculators. Junior Rick Rodriguez said, “I felt pretty confident when doing both English sections, I was able to understand the readings given as well has the grammar portion. It was not until the math sections where then I had some difficulties, but

overall I felt like I did the best I could and I hope it shows.” Rodriguez also states, “I hope the PSAT scores will help me review for the SAT and help me improve my chances of doing well on the real thing.” Junior Veronica Baez said, “During the test I was nervous because I wanted to do well, and see what areas I need to work on for the actual SAT. While taking the test I felt confident, but it

was not until the end where I felt the most relieved once I finished.” Baez also says, “If I could do the test again I would definitely try to study formulas for the math section, and focus on problems that I struggled on in the PSAT.” Although it was stressful and nerve racking, the PSAT allows students to learn how to develop and improve their scores while preparing for the SAT, which is real test.

Make & Take Brings NAHS Art Into Spooky Season By Britney Cundiff

Art By Analise Pacheco

Decorating papier-mâché pumpkins at the Spooky Art Make and Take not only gets students in the Halloween Spirit, but gives students a chance to hang out with friends. The event takes place on October 30, which is hosted by NAHS/ Art club members. The NAHS/Art club members and AP art students have spent hours after school to prepare papier-mâché pumpkins for the event. The vice-president of the Art club, Analise Pacheco, explains the hard work required to make the papiermâché pumpkins, “The process is long and requires time for the glue to dry overnight then be worked on the next day.”

The hard work put into the Make and Take event is all for students, staff, friends, and family to enjoy painting their very own pumpkin. Art club president, Shelby Argabright, enthusiastically shares what is most exciting about the event, “I think children will most likely enjoy decorating their pumpkins, making them, and taking them home. High schoolers will like hanging out with their friends, having a good time, and having fun [since] they get a break from homework.” Pacheco adds, “I think people are going to like the painting part. Not too many people get the chance to paint every day. Getting to design whatever you want on the pumpkin is also fun, people like that control.”

The event only costs $4 and runs from 4-6 pm in G1. Everyone gets their own personalized papier-mâché pumpkin that can have any design imaginable. Pacheco explains what has been done in other Make and Takes, “In the past, we’ve laid out a whole pumpkin patch of these pumpkins. Teachers like to make pumpkins that relate to books and characters. This year I’m looking forward to our biggest pumpkin we made. We named it after the AP art teacher.” The possibilities are endless with how papiermâché pumpkins can be decorated, which makes for a creative and exciting afternoon with friends and family.


October 2017


Homecoming Rally Sparks Excitement & Announces King By Britney Cundiff Students poured into the gym in excitement for the Disneyland themed Homecoming Rally which revealed this year’s homecoming court and created hype for the Homecoming dance and football game. Upon entering on October 13, students were had Disneyland decorated seating according to their class. The freshman’s theme was Frontierland, the sophomore’s theme was Adventureland, the junior’s theme was Fantasyland, and the senior’s theme was Tomorrowland. As students were singing to the Disney playlist, the lights turned off and a Disneyland introduction video kicked off the rally. “The best part about [the video] was the remix

that Christian Castro made which hyped everyone up,” explains ASB Tech Commissioner Matthew Shozuya, The LAHS Dance team performed a thrilling Pirates of the Caribbean themed dance that had tons of spinning action and creative use of sword props. Junior Breann Juarez stated, “I loved the dance team the most because they really captured the Disney theme in their dance. It was very entertaining and exciting.” Shozuya adds, “I believe the music got the crowd most excited because it was familiar to everyone and was a remix. This remix reflected the Dance Team’s intensity and passion.” Then the Homecoming Court was revealed with the nominees popping balloons with the winner’s balloon having glitter in it; or the

nominees lifting boxes with the winner’s box having a rose under it. The winners who were revealed during the rally were Freshmen Nathan Hernandez and Ariel Otec, Sophomores Chris Kissling and Soliel Espinosa, Juniors Anthony Carrillo and Alexa Lopez, and Senior Jacob Vasquez. Junior Homecoming Princess, Alexa Lopez stated, “When I found out I won, I was filled with happiness and shock. The best moment of the experience was after I won when everyone was congratulating me on being Junior Homecoming Princess. I was honored.” The rally was successful in boosting everyone’s spirits and in congratulating all the Homecoming Court winners and nominees, leaving a smile on student’s faces as they left the rally.

Jacob Vasquez lifts crown as he is announced king. Photo by Nicolás Hernández

McCloud Announced Queen at 2017 Homecoming Parade By Briana Muñoz The 2017 Homecoming queen was announced this year on October 13 following a lively class parade at the Homecoming football game. It was a halftime filled with much excitement, no

student wanted to miss. During the halftime show cheerleaders got the opportunity to walk behind each homecoming nominee and cheer for them to the crowd. Senior and cheerleader Alize Espinoza said, “The most memorable time was

pumping the crowd up throughout the game, and getting our beautiful flower crowns.” It was a halftime that was full of positive energy, and all smiles from the nominees and their fathers. However, not everything

Stationery balloon proclaims McCloud to be queen. Photo by Nicolás Hernández

was greeted with approval. This year there was a change in transportation for nominees. Instead of each homecoming nominee being on a Corvette, they were transported by golf carts, with teachers kindly driving them. This was a necessary decision made to protect the new field which the school added last year. Espinoza comments on the situation, “The point of the cars is to showcase the court. That is the most important thing, however the Corvettes would’ve been nicer for the event.” Another change that was not greeted with support was the lack of floats in the parade. This decision was also made to protect the new field. Senior and cheerleader Bailey Castillo commented, “I had so much fun being a part of the halftime experience as a senior. I just didn’t like how we didn’t have a class float for our last year in

high school.” The parade consisted of several students representing their class pumping up the people in the stands. Sophomore Soleil Espinoza who won homecoming Princess explained, “It meant a lot to walk with my class as their sophomore homecoming Princess, because they supported me through the whole time.” Junior homecoming prince Anthony Carrillo commented on his win and inclusion in the parade, “I loved it so much and it was memorable because everyone kept telling me I truly deserved it because of all the kindness I share.” After the parade, queen nominees were escorted off the golf carts with their fathers. They all met in the middle of the football field. It came down to only one nominee to be the senior Homecoming Queen. They were all lined up, nervously

happy hoping they win. The nominees were instructed to lift up their box that contained a balloon, and the balloon that did not float away would reveal the winner. As red balloons departed their boxes, one remained, revealing the winner to be Ashley Genesis McCloud. The crowd cheered for their senior Homecoming Queen, as McCloud appeared surprised from her win and gave her father a big hug, thanking everyone and most importantly her cheer team for cheering her on as their captain. Last year’s queen, Jackie Mondragon commented, “Watching the nominees was exciting! I was so scared to see whose balloon was going to stay in the box, and once I saw Ashley’s balloon stay I screamed for her! I couldn’t think of any person who deserves to be crowned than Ashley.”

Homecoming Dance Aimed to Be Happiest Place on Earth By Bianca Flores


Disneyland themed Homecoming dance hosted at the Santa Anita Racetrack’s glamorous and spacious Frontrunner room. Students dressed their best arrived and spent the whole night on the dance floor. After last year’s low turnout at the Homecoming on Broadway hosted in the gym, ASB decided to turn it

up a notch by venturing off campus for a new Homecoming venue on October 14. “When we saw the venue, we knew people were going to be really excited,” senior Millie Suthasri, the Commissioner of Dances, stated. The decision was definitely worth the risk, as ASB sold the most Homecoming tickets they have been able to sell in decades. They sold a total of 518 tickets, when

their goal was only to reach 300. The venue itself was the Frontrunner room at the Santa Anita Racetrack, appropriately named since the room directly faced the racetrack. It was on the fifth floor, so everybody that attended needed to go up on an elevator, and then they were able to enter the room. There was ample space at the room which seemed to go on for miles, with plenty

of tables for people to sit at. There were different levels, and to get to tables students descended small flights of stairs. Each table had a bowl with Disney decorations like a Cinderella horse carriage, and each table also had its own mini television with a graphic of Mickey Mouse that read “Los Altos High School Homecoming 2017” The same image appeared on the giant screen on the actual racetrack.

One dance floor was at the top level, but the maindance floor was a few steps below the floor level, which made it quite separate from the rest of the room. Right in front of the dance floor was a bar where servers were serving a variety of drinks to keep everyone hydrated as they danced. The DJ played a mix of hip-hop, rap, and Spanish music. The dance floor was never empty, and always

had great energy. However, Suthasri would have made an adjustment to the music, “If I could change one thing, about the dance, I would maybe alter the song playlist because some songs were dragging on for too long or for not enough.” Although there were minor complaints, the majority of the students who attended seemed to give positive feedback, and the turnout was larger than expected.

October 2017



Round of Applause & Standing Ovation for Outstanding Performance of Grease By Alexis Cardenas


he 1950’s came to life in the Hacienda from October 18-21 with the long awaited performance of Grease. Tickets sold out at an alarming rate signifying a definitive demand for the play. The PAA here at Los Altos High School presented this performance of The Grease Musical. The Hacienda was complete with a vivid set and creative props that really helped to create an appropriate ambiance for the play. The musical was a definite show stopper and everyone that was a part of it was very proud of the outcome of this production. Sophomore, Amara Overmyer portrayed Sandy. Overmyer stated before the show, “I am terrified but also extremely excited. We have all been preparing so much for this musical for so long.” The first night was quite an experience for her and very nerve racking. Overmyer comments on the first night of the performance, “The first night was terrifying! I knew I had friends who were coming and so that made it even more nerve racking. But while I did feel extremely nervous, I also know how to perform it.” That fright she had before the show was far from noticeable, she was

Arroyo (Danny Zuko) and Overmyer (Sandy Dee) enamored audiences with their romantic chemistry. nowhere near nervous and knew exactly what she was doing. Overmyer adds “I always feel super nervous before any performance including this one, but the moment I step onto that stage, it goes away and I feel completely at home.” Sophomore, Gizel Mainit played Marty in the show and gave a hilarious performance. Mainit states,” I was extremely nervous just like ev-

eryone else opening night. We were all trying to calm each other down in the choir room, which helped a lot because we were all there supporting each other.” Mainit was very proud of everyone in the musical and knew that everyone worked very hard. Mainit adds, “Everyone did an amazing job and they should all be proud of how well they did.” Junior, Raymond Arroyo

embodied Danny Zuko on stage amazingly much to audience praise. Arroyo explains his experience on stage while performing and states, “When I was on stage it felt great having everyone look at me simply because I love to perform.” Arroyo’s love for performing sparked a passion in him that has kept him going to his full extent every night of performing. Arroyo adds, “I’ve been

giving it my all every single night because it’s a matter of knowing that everyone has worked so hard to perform for an audience these four nights, so I want to do my best,” This performance not only was a great experience for everyone individually but it also brought many people together as a team and made new friendships and strengthened friendships along the way.

Photo by Nicolás Hernández Overmyer states, “Backstage, right when the lights go down my friends and I do this chant together to hype us up where we put our hands in and whisper, ‘pink ladies and Sandy!’ and it reminds us of how hard we worked for this.” Mainit adds, “In the end, I know that everyone did the best they could and we all shined in our own individual ways.”

LA Choirs Showcase Their Singing Skills at Fall Concert By Bianca Flores The Community Center was filled with the voices of Los Altos’ various choirs on as they performed the anticipated Fall Concert. A variety of songs were sung that kept the audience entertained. All four of the choirs, Men’s Choir, Women’s Ensemble, LA Harmony,

and Production Choir performed a selection of three classical choral songs at two showings, Wednesday, October 4. At the end of each of the concerts, all the choirs combined together to sing two mass songs, the Alma Mater and a song “I Sing Because I’m Happy” song, written by Civilla D. Martin

and composed by Charles H. Gabriel. The Fall Concert is the first concert of the year and also the only concert that is all traditional choir music. The reason they only focused on classical music was because before they begin learning choreography and pop songs, classical music allows them to have a sol-

id understanding of how to learn music and how to properly sing in choir. Senior Marissa Sareñana, who is the President of Los Altos’ mixed show choir, Production Choir explained, “Singing choral music is extremely rewarding. You can spend months working on just three songs, and the outcome is kind of emotional.

The voices of students in choirs filled community center and kept audience entertained. Photo Courtesy of Century Yang

When you’re able to include emotion and interpretation to the song you’re singing, it makes it all worth it.” There were multiple moments throughout the show that got the audience’s emotions rolling. Men’s choir performance of “Jonah” by Rollo A. Dilworth excited the audience. Women Ensemble’s acapella performance shocked the audience, LA Harmony’s upbeat performance songs got the audience moving to the beat, and Production choir’s interpretation of “A Red, Red Rose” by Robert Burns left the audience in a silent daze. Sareñana admits she enjoyed listening to Women’s Ensemble’s set list the most and enjoyed performing “Gloria in Excelsis” by Leonard Bernstein. “It had a certain beat that I could really follow. I found myself getting lost in the song,” she admits.

Senior Justin Ochoa, a new member to Men’s Choir this year, revealed he enjoyed performing “Jonah” he admitted, “It’s like an oddball song and yet is just really catchy. The melody and the beat, it’s just like—I think people know what I mean— but it’s just a different song and it’s really engaging.” Although Ochoa did attend choir concerts last year, he does admit that watching is nothing compared to being on stage and performing. “It’s fun being on both sides, but definitely when you’re on stage performing you do feel a rush of adrenaline, like excitement going through you as you’re singing the lyrics of the song, and that’s really fulfilling.”, remarked Ochoa. The Los Altos Choir program will have several other concerts throughout the year, the next one being the Holiday Concert on December 12.


October 2017


Knockout! Cuphead Enrages and Entertains By Aaron Pimentel Cuphead and Mugman fight their way through killer flowers, giant carrots, or even frogs to make the user’s way to repay a debt with the Devil. The run and gun 2D side-scroller, Cuphead, is one of those video games that are really pushed to be different with its nostalgic feeling of artwork, classic side-scrolling gameplay, and even old school music. The appearance of Cuphead and Mugman resemble what their names are, Cuphead has a cup for a head and Mugman has a mug for a head. The two characters both shoot magic bullets from their fingertips while running through increasing difficulty levels. Senior Justin Gonzalez shares, “Cuphead is a really enjoyable game.

Graphic By Aaron Pimentel It is really difficult, but it makes you want to go back to a level and try to complete it. It’s very addicting.” Cuphead is full of bosses that can be much unexpected at times, like two giant boxing frogs that create a slot machine when they eat each other. The game hits the spot when it comes to a

fun challenging game, which most gamers and casual players ask for. Senior Joshua Celiz explains, “After countless hours of grinding to defeat a boss that at that time you despised, you are only left with wanting to give up and cry. But when you finally persevere through the pain

and hear the announcer say the word we all love to hear, “KNOCKOUT” your body is filled with nothing less of pure happiness and excitement.” Every single aspect of Cuphead is hand drawn and then animated afterward, every frame throughout the entire game. The visuals give

off a classic style game that was inspired by cartoons from the 1930’s. Celiz says, “The old school art style is what attracts many to this game; it gives a charm reminiscent of the original Mickey Mouse animations. Anyone with an old school bone in their body would go crazy for a game of this style.”

The sounds are created to go alongside the old school vibes using smooth jazz music which makes this game a masterpiece. This type of video game genre in today’s date is truly unique. It has not been seen in such a long time and now that it came out of the blue, it has been a huge success all over the world. “I personally believe that no one else can do this genre better than Studio MDHR (developers of Cuphead) did even if they tried for the rest of their life. With that being stated, I think that there shouldn’t be any more games like this for a while. It’s a rare scene in the video games community, it would simply lose all of its charm faster than they could pump out countless sequels,” concludes Celiz.

Riverdale: Thrilling, Romantic Addition to Television By Albert Sarkissian

Graphic By Nicolás Hernández

Riverdale is a wildly popular show with young viewers and is starting its second season on The CW. While The CW has focused on superhero shows in the past years attempting to garner audience, they are going back to their roots with Riverdale. The show is an adaptation of the popular Archie comic series which focuses on high school drama and therefore makes it the perfect watch for high school audiences. The show’s extreme popularity can be a credit to its cast, that is a mixture of well-known actors such as Cole Sprouse, who plays the laid back character of Jughead, and up and coming actors like KJ Apa who portrays the protagonist, Archie Andrews. While the cast could be the reason many people first tune in, the reason they will stay is for the sheer suspense and drama that the cast displays with

their portrayal of the Riverdale teens. However, some critics of the show believe that the acting lacks substance. Senior Xin Wang explains, “I don’t like the acting or maybe I personally hate the writing more than the actual acting; it feels forced and it makes the drama feel like any other teenager drama show.” While this could be a deterrent to some, this self-aware approach to acting adds the appeal of the show. It is a show that is not taking itself too seriously, it knows that it is a fun show simply meant to entertain. Most of the entertainment comes from the suspense. There is no better example than the end of season one that ended with a huge cliffhanger, leaving audiences captivated and yearning for more episodes clarifying the outcomes of different suspenseful moments. Viewers were forced to wait for season two to see

the outcomes of the cliffhanger, giving them an excruciating wait. The show explores a variety of concepts and themes from romance, to friendship, to death that keeps it from getting stale. Junior Angel Caudillo perfectly expresses this aspect of the show, “I think Riverdale is incredibly entertaining and has many plot twists that keep you interested. It’s just a wild concept that so many things could be going on at the same time in a small town and I love the characters because they’re so complex.” Season 1 of Riverdale is available for viewing now on Netflix and interested viewers can catch up on the few episodes release of season 2 on The CW’s website. Overall, Riverdale is an entertaining piece of television that will keep viewers enthralled through its many twists and turns.

Homemade Italian Flavor of Casa Mia Worth the Wait & Service By Danielle Porras

The “authentic” Italian food served at Olive Garden is something of the past. Casa Mia Sicilian Trattoria is a restaurant that brings Italy into the small city of La Puente. Casa Mia is a Sicilian restaurant that feels more like going to an authentic Sicilian home for a meal with friends. The authenticity is

something that is out of this country, because they have fresh ingredients delivered from Sicily each week to enhance the feeling of flying to Italy for dinner and it is something that would most definitely be worth it. When entering the restaurant, a server may take a while to serve you. They do realize the pain of only having one server as they always apologize with a sincere

“Thank you so much for your patience.” It may be to ensure that they will not be asking for another course later on into your meal, but it actually feels as if the waiter himself is picky and is putting his own opinion of the food onto the customer. When ordering you see that even though there is not that big of a variety the menu is not your usual “Italian” cuisine seen in restau-

rants like Olive Garden or Macaroni Grill. The menu is somewhat small, but they are all differently unique in their flavor, style and taste. There is not just pasta to look forward to either. They have appetizers and salads that are of a good size for either sharing or eating as a meal. Their pizzas, which are made with Sicilian cheese, pepperoni and dough to create a soft and melty texture

to it, are bigger than average pizzas. Additionally, the desserts range from a biscotti and coffee and espresso which has a rich and bold flavor to soft tiramisu, a sweet cannoli with an amazing crunch or gelato that is sweet and creamy, made by Italians. Restaurant owner, Michele Galifi talks about how this is not his first dog and pony show as he was raised

in the world of making food and making people happy. “This is my passion. This is my dream, cooking comes with passion and if you don’t have passion for the food, for the customer service to give a great experience to your guests, it is not the right industry for you.” Casa Mia is open every day except Tuesdays from 11 am to 9 pm.

October 2017



Valdez & Sareñana Win Leadership District Awards By Alexis Cardenas

LADT Captain Lee leading team in Pirates of the Caribbean themed dance.

Photo by Nicolás Hernández

Los Altos Dance Struts Their Way to Success By Brianna Arellano Found typically in room A2 jumping, and grooving, the Los Altos Dance Team is consistently working towards success along with unity. As the school year started off with great achievements and successful performances, LADT has high hopes for continuing the tradition. During the summer before school had started, LADT began rehearsals for their season, which spans all nine months of the school year. Their one week dance camp in the month of July consisted of team bonding, conditioning, and technique strengthening, and learning new choreography. Early starts of choreo-

graphic learning gave the team a huge benefit towards starting off the year well. Returning member Mariah Ruiz states, “We started off the first few weeks of school going across the floor working on our technique to improve the simple things as dancers. Then afterwards we began our student choreography concert pieces for our winter dance concert. While doing all of this, we still practiced routines for the back-to-school rally and the homecoming rally.” The members of the team have expressed their hard work placed into the year so far. While many of them are devoted towards the team, the dancers still balance academics as well. Captain Raina Lee de-

scribes her senior year, “This year has been very busy for me. I am involved in various clubs on campus, Renaissance, AP courses, I’ve been applying to college, and I still manage time towards leading this team into a positive direction.” Even with many dancers involved in various activities on campus, the dancers have expressed how important it is to balance time well. After all, dance is a very demanding artistic sport both mentally and physically. Constantly striving for in sync movement and 100% execution, the dancers all together have made an overall achievement from their past three performances this year during rallies and events. “As much as our bodies

ache and beg for a break, the feeling after dancing is always thrilling. The cheering audience never fails to amaze us, it’s one of the greatest feelings after dancing when you are congratulated for doing well,” expressed Ruiz. Heading towards competition season, LADT is as thrilled as can be. The 20 dancers are ready to dominate the floor after the immense amount of time and effort inputted towards this form of entertainment. “I am so excited for what is in store for this team. LADT is filled with talented and wholesome individuals who have a great passion for this fine art. Together, our team will succeed due to the close bond we hold,” finalizes Lee.

Marissa Sareñana and Sabrina Valdez were given awards of achievement of leadership at the district board meeting on September 21, due to all of their hard work as Los Altos student leaders. Renaissance President, Sareñana, and ASB president, Valdez, were elated to receive these awards of achievement Valdez stated, “I never really admire myself in any way or brag about my position because I always feel like there’s always something I could do better but when I received my certificate I was very proud.” She first thought she was receiving a certificate from the board, and that it would not have been a big deal. But when she got there, the board members praised all the recipients who received most improved student in the district. “My family came to the board meeting, and seeing their faces while I received the award made me so happy. All any teenager ever wants is to make their parents proud, and in that moment as they were taking my pictures and smiling so big, it seemed as if they were about to cry out of pure happiness. That’s when

I knew that I had finally accomplished that task.”, reflects Valdez Sareñana’s award was given to her because of her commitment to the school and the various ways she excels in leadership. Sareñana stated, “When I was presented my award, a paragraph was said aloud about my different contributions to the school and the various things I’ve been involved in, including the various leadership positions I currently hold.” Sareñana said, “It was very fulfilling to be given such an award. My job as president of Renaissance is to lead the group to success and oversee everything we do. Due to this, I’m constantly doubting myself and wondering if I’m doing everything right. So, to get this award validating everything I’ve worked so hard on, I’m just one of the many students who deserve this honorable recognition.” The two winners were also proud of each other. Sareñana said, “Getting the award with Sabrina was surreal because I have seen her grow into the great leader that she is today. We both entered ASB and Renaissance our freshman year, so to hold these higher positions side by side is extremely rewarding.”

Breast Cancer Survivor Janet Soto Inspires People with Her Story By Danielle Porras Breast cancer is an epidemic that is battled all over the world with a one in eight chance of developing in America. There are many women who have lost the great battle with breast cancer. However, there are also strong women like Janet Soto who have fought and won, who inspire people with their victory over breast cancer. At the age of 41, the single mother of two, Soto was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2013. Soto stated, “I remember it was right before New Year’s and I remember New Year’s being really sad like I was in the back of my mind.” She was given two options either get a mastectomy, the removal of the entire breast to ensure full rid of the cancer or only remove a part and go through six weeks of radiation. “The

doctor kept telling me that it was not that serious and I did not have to get rid of my whole breast but, I have my kids and to me there was too much risk, so I decided to get the mastectomy.” Soto’s surgery was scheduled and they removed her entire breast. Soto was weak after her surgery and with the peace of mind that the cancer was gone. “I remember that I could not do anything and I then realized how much we use our chest muscles and how often we take that for granted. I could not even get up, I couldn’t brush my hair, I needed help bathing my daughter, and nieces would have to bathe me. I mean I just felt weak and depressed.” For three to four months, Soto’s main goal was to get better. “I hated being helpless because that’s what I felt helpless. Usually I was the

Janet Soto, a breast cancer survivor, is accompanied by her two children. one helping others taking people in, but it was me who was being taken care of. I remember helping my nieces out and now they were taking care of me I mean I appreciated it, but I felt so helpless and depressed.”

Although Soto had soon physically healed, it was healing mentally, that was her struggle. “It took me about a year or two before I really felt like myself again, I mean, I was really depressed. What really

helped me become myself again was salsa dancing because no one knew who I was, no one knew of what I had been through all I did was dance all night.” Soto now lives her life willing to share her story to

Photo By Danielle Porras others to inspire and to remind others to get tested. “I want to make sure that other women get tested and that they can catch it even earlier than I did so they won’t have to suffer the way I did.”



October 2017

AP Computer Science Needs to Be Offered on Campus By Nicolàs Hernàndez


n the increasingly technological world that we live in, where many high paying jobs will require an advanced understanding of the computer science, it is imperative for hopefuls in this field to begin their education early. For this reason, AP Computer Science courses should be incorporated into the Los Altos curriculum and serve to provide a plethora of new career opportunities for those who are ready to learn. The two courses advertised by the College Board, AP Computer Science Principles and AP Computer Science A promise a deeper understanding of computer science and an emphasis in programming respectively. These are skills that current AP Calculus BC teacher, Andrew Giang, believes are important, “Our jobs nowadays demand a lot of programming and coding, some of the best jobs in the tech industries really require at least some sort of fundamental understanding of coding and computer science.” Giang also expresses his

Graphic By Nicolàs Hernàndez & Andrew Kodous Graphic By Nicolàs Hernàndez & Andrew Kodous

desire to teach the course when asked about the possibility of doing so, “I do want to teach that if there is an opportunity to open up the sections for that.” Giang’s claim of many jobs and careers requiring computer science is even backed up by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. A study by this government agency estimates that by the year 2020, 1.4 million computerscience-related jobs will

be available, yet there will only be 400,000 computer science graduates with the skills necessary to work in these jobs. This study was also cited by Congressman Ed Royce when he came to tour campus promoting the computer science related Congressional App Challenge, which Royce co-chairs. He, himself comments on these opportunities and says,

“The more that young people, young men and women, understand these opportunities that are out there, the more they can realize that if they get involved early in this field, they can have a huge salary and great success.” While these are noble sentiments from the congressman, the truth is that thousands of Los Altos students do not have the ability to get involved early

because of the lack of education in this field. There is a significant amount of jobs and opportunities, many students have the passion and talent to strive for. Without the spark of education, it is possible that many students will never get the chance. Senior Tiffany Liao shares her opinion on the possible Computer Science course, “I think Comp Sci is an important class to have

because of how technology is progressing. Pretty soon, a good majority of things in our society are going to involve some form of technology. Technology requires programming experience, so Computer Science is definitely going to be a field in which a lot of research needs to be done.” For this course to be offered, there must be student interests in the subject. Principal Jeffrey Hess elaborated, “If we have enough students sign up for it, then we have to find a teacher that can actually teach it.” He continued, “We can have any AP class that the students want if we can find the teacher and we have enough students to fill the class.” Hess also stated that the procedure for students to sign up for a desired class is to talk to their counselors and express their interest. Students need to advocate for their Computer Science education in a technologydriven world. Afterall, students of the 21st Century must be proactive in seeking the skills that will empower them to succeed.

SAT Fails To Properly Display Students’ Full Intelligence By Aaron Pimentel

Pressure, anxiety, and exhaustion builds up as students squeeze every bit of information for preparation of their upcoming SAT. The SAT’s purpose is to demonstrate college readiness, but multiple choice math and English questions do not show someone’s true potential or set of abilities.

For some people, it is one of the most important tests a student can take. The SAT is supposed to show talents, but the only thing it shows is how hard a student studied or how lucky they were for guessing the right answer. Not everyone has academic talents, but rather hands on skills that are not displayed in the SAT. Senior Analise Pacheco expresses her opinion,

“The SAT would definitely show skills, academic skills. It is not a test to showcase specific talents, unless your talent is test taking.” Most colleges look at SAT scores to determine students’ academic level. It may not be the only aspect colleges check, but it may be a deal breaker for some applicants. People can always retake the test on upcoming dates, but they have to keep

paying money. Essentially, students have to pay to show their “skills” or “talents” until they are satisfied with their score. Students may even get discouraged that they cannot go to their dream college because of poor scores, some even having to settle for community colleges. Senior Justin Gonzalez states, “There could be alternatives, school activities

can show your worth. Also, grades ultimately show effort throughout the entirety of your high school years.” There is very limited experience that students have going into the test, with the mandatory PSAT for sophomores being the only encounter some students have prior to the SAT. Senior Analise Pacheco suggests, “We should incorporate

prepping for the SAT into our curriculums, that way we have incentives to try and prepare.” The multiple choice SAT shows nothing about the type of person who is taking it and how the student can incorporate their nonacademic skills into the profession they want to major in.

Pixel Perfect: Google’s New Phone Shakes Apple to its Core By Andrew Kodous

Google Pixel 2 XL Smarter Google Assistant

Water Resistant

Unlimited Photo Storage

Up to 7 hours of battery life from just a 15-minute charging

And More

Graphic By Andrew Kodous

Google Pixel 2 and a new set of powerful devices have been announced at Google’s event on October 4, 2017. The Pixel 2 is not expensive based on its features compared to iPhones, especially the iPhone X. The compelling feature in the Pixel is the unlimited storage given for pictures. Currently, the Pixel 2 is available in two sizes and four colors. The sizes are five inches, and 6 inches which is called Pixel 2 XL and is 200 dollars more expensive. The colors are Just Black, Clearly White, Black & White, and Kinda Blue. Pixel 2 is currently available for ordering and it costs $649, and it could be financed as

$27 on 24 months, which is not expensive compared with iPhone or Android Phones, and based on the new features and accessories. Additionally, Android Oreo is the operating system on the Pixel 2, which makes it more competitive with other phones. Apparently, Pixel is a phone that can only be made by Google, especially with the new features and accessories. Picture Search is one of the new features in Pixel 2. Unlimited pictures storage is one of the best features as well. Naming the tune, is a new feature, which automatically detects a song that is playing in the users’ environment and shows information about

the song, in case the user is curious about a song playing in a place that they are in. Naming the tune is one of the new features that showed up recently in Snapchat as well. Some basic but good features. Fingerprint sensor, water resistance, fast charging, and battery life. Additionally, Google smart clips is a camera that automatically recognizes expressions, framing, and lighting, so it captures wonderful photos, and it automatically deletes photos that are not perfectly shot. Google live cases are cases that can be customized by the user, the pictures printed on them can be changed later, and they can even be automatically

changed daily. Pixel buds are smart, wireless earbuds that play high-quality music, they can serve as translators, and Google Assistant as well. When sophomore Alejandro Cruz an iOS user was asked about his overall opinion of the Pixel 2 and if he thinks it is competitive with iPhone, he explained, “Based on the Pixel’s features and prices. I believe it is better than the iPhone X, because it has more features than the iOS has,” adding “I might switch from my phone to the Pixel because it’s cheaper, and it also has better technology and I think it is better to have better technology than just looks.” When Cruz was asked about his opinion of the

price, he replied, “I think it has a very great price and actually it is not expensive, because usually, Galaxy phones are like eight hundred or seven hundred dollars, iPhones are like a thousand, so I don’t think it’s that expensive.” Eventually, Pixel’s features and price are attracting Android and iOS students. “I like that it gives unlimited storage and that I can use the Google assistant from the earbuds, I don’t think that it’s that expensive compared to Apple phones. I think it is a really great phone,” said Android user Alonso Hinojos. “I will probably switch from my Samsung to the Google because it has more features than the Galaxy,” finalized Hinojos.

October 2017


Deadliest Massacre in U.S. History Brings Attention to Gun Control By Britney Cundiff

Music was blasting and concert-goers were dancing the night away until gunshots were heard, which led to people panicking and running in every direction. These innocent people were trying to enjoy a Las Vegas concert until a man with a gun brought chaos. This gunman caused the deadliest mass shooting in united States history resulting in 58 deaths and more than 500 injuries. The shooting occurred on October 1, 2017 at the Route 91 Harvest music festival. Whether the U.S should have gun control or not has become a heavily debated topic since the recent massacre in Las Vegas. Considering gun related deaths is rare in other countries like Japan, the United States needs to address this issue urgently. In order to own a gun in Japan, a person must pass a class, pass mental health and drug tests, and pass thorough background checks. Handguns are also outright banned in Japan and there is a limited amount of gun shops. Senior Nacala Mitchell comments on the urgency of this issue, “The issue should have been treated years ago, but now would be the perfect time to treat it. I believe the government is not doing enough to push it because just look at the incident in Las Vegas, the man had a ridiculous amount of shot guns and ammo.” Considering the outrageous amount of guns Americans own, there should clearly be a limit to how many guns a person can own. Senior Tiffany Liao agrees and adds, “As long as we don’t completely take away guns, I don’t think there’s a violation of the second amendment because I think limitations and restrictions should be set for the better of humanity.” Since many people purchase guns for sporting purposes, the ban of guns will not be effective, but enforcing certain requirements to buy a gun like thorough background checks will reduce the amount of gun related deaths. Senior Alex Wong suggests a solution to the issue, “I just believe that legislation should be passed which heavily regulates or bans the sale of bump stocks and “Gatling receivers” for small arms which fall under the semi-automatic or civilian class of firearms as they allow people to make semi-automatic rifles fire faster and more inaccurately than feasible for any type of rifle competition for sporting purpose. A possibility is making the ownership of such attachments only legal under a permit to own fully-automatic weapons, even if they technically are not fully automatic.” Another solution would be to get rid of guns entirely, but Wong explains why this will not work, “Seeing how we have well over 300 million firearms in circulation in the U.S, it’s just ridiculous to think the government could repossess that many, especially with the ownership of firearms being synonymous with American idealism.” The United States would benefit by adopting other methods of gun control from other countries which will effectively reduce gun violence and make the United States a safer place. Germany’s homicide by firearm rate per million people is 1.9, Denmark’s is 2.7, Canada’s is 5.1, and Switzerland’s is 7.7 while the United States is at a high rate of 29.7. This demonstrates that other countries must be doing something right in regards to gun control compared to the United States.



October 2017


Conquerors Closely Defeat West Covina Bulldogs in Intense Senior Night Game By Damien Alvarado The Los Altos football team narrowly won at home against the West Covina Bulldogs on senior night. The Conquerors team clinched their playoff spot for the 2017 season. It was senior night for Los Altos and this year’s 2018 class will graduate 27 seniors. The Conquerors came in this game with a record of 6-2 and 3-1 in league, while West Covina struggled with a 1-7 record and 1-3 in league. The Bulldogs had nothing to lose so they gave the Conquerors a run for their money. Senior quarterback Kody Olmos and his offense took the field to begin the first quarter, but a few bad passes and a fumble led to a shaky start for the Conquerors. The Bulldogs took advantage of this and scored a touchdown run which gave them a 7-0 lead. Shortly after, Olmos and the offense drove down the field and connected on a three-yard touchdown pass to sophomore receiver Rene Zaldivar. Within minutes of the tying score, the Conquerors defense was able to force a safety giving them the 9-7 lead. Both teams went into halftime tied at 15-15. The first half was a struggle for the offense as they

Captain Olmos passing ball to Quinn Peoples who goes on to make a significant run for Conquerors. could not get anything going until late in the fourth quarter. Bulldogs were up 22-21 in the fourth but Olmos connected with Zaldivar for another score to give them the 29-22 lead. West Covina made one last push to score, but the Conquerors defense made

a huge stop to give the offense back the ball in order for Olmos to secure the 3622 victory after his 60-yard touchdown run. Senior linebacker Tommy Rodriguez commented “We performed like we won the game already, and when they got that first score on us we

knew we had to stop playing to their level.” Zaldivar mentioned the teams slow start, “Offense had a slow start but we picked it up later, although everything wasn’t perfect, we will work on it at practice.” Los Altos has another big test on November 3, an

away game against Diamond Ranch. Both teams will be looking for a victory to secure a second place finish in league. Rodriguez commented, “Diamond Ranch is a good team but we just need to keep working hard and practice great. We know we are in the playoffs but this

Photo by Nicolás Hernández game will show the talent we have set the tone for our playoff run.” Zaldivar commented on preparation for Diamond Ranch, “Diamond Ranch is going to be a great challenge, so we cannot have a slow start like tonight, we just have to keep playing LA football and be confident.”

Girls Varsity Volleyball Sweeps Sixth Consecutive League Championship By Kaitlyn Orozco The Girls Varsity Volleyball team conquered their sixth consecutive league championship against Diamond Ranch. Dozens of fans filled the bleachers to support the seniors on their Senior Night. This season, the Conquerors won eight of their games but lost two, while

their overall record was 169. The athletes struggled to find their rhythm at first, since there were so many new underclassmen. But by the end of the season, the team portrayed themselves as a force to be reckoned with. “We had some ups and downs, but we were mature enough to put it aside,” stated outside hitter Dan-

Girls volleyball prepares prior to a winning game.

ielle Curiel, “It was a whole new team and I’m really glad we were able to establish a bond, because last year we had a really strong connection. Since so many seniors left last year and since so many new players stepped up, we had to build up a new team.” The championship game took place on Senior Night, where all the seniors were

Photo by Nicolás Hernández

commemorated for all their dedication and hard work on the team. Among them are middle blocker Ulani Wells, libero Bailey Chavez, outside hitter Janderi Ceja, and defensive specialists Angelique Gonzalez and Alyssa Armstrong. Prior to the game, seniors were presented with flowers, balloons, and a brief description about themselves and their commitment to the team. The ladies conquered Diamond Ranch in the first set of the match, with a final score of 25-20. Outside hitter Jenica Hernandez was earning points for the girls by spiking the ball with a tremendous amount of force towards the corners. Chavez did a fantastic job at digging up balls, to prevent their opponent from earning points. The competitors were neck in neck for a majority of the time, but it was the Conquerors who came out on top in the first game. During the second game,

the girls fell behind on the scoreboard. After multiple timeouts, where the players were consulted by their coaches, the team played with an exuberant amount of energy. Hitters Jennifer Martinez, Jada Smith and Ulani Wells were making up for the lost points by spiking the ball towards the corners of the court. As the Conquerors gained points, the crowd got rowdy, and the players from Diamond Ranch became frustrated. Diamond Ranch cracked under the pressure and lost control of the ball that Chavez served, which sealed their fate in the second set. The Conquerors finished the second game with a 2521 point win. Assistant Varsity Coach Tim Flink commented, “The girls were incredible, the second set when they came back from such a huge deficit showed tremendous character, and they wanted it.” For the third set, the ladies

amplified their intensity and came out hungry for a win. Sets from sophomore Soledad Sibal and junior Stephanie Ramos were perfectly positioned to be spiked by the hitters. Hitter Alexis Rodriguez flaunted her serving abilities, which contributed to the team’s overall success. Ultimately, it was Smith who finished the set with one final spike that could not be counteracted by their opponents. The Lady Conquerors dominated Diamond Ranch with a 25-16 point victory. The team took pride in their accomplishment of winning another league championship. “It feels awesome to be named league champs because there were so many people that doubted us in the beginning of our season,” stated middle blocker Sophia Hess. The ladies will be moving on to the first round of CIF hosted in the gym on October 31 at 7 PM, hoping to keep their winning streak alive.

Profile for The Conqueror Staff

The Conqueror | Volume LVII, Issue III | Oct 2017  

Los Altos High School's student newspaper, The Conqueror, is finally making its way to digital print.

The Conqueror | Volume LVII, Issue III | Oct 2017  

Los Altos High School's student newspaper, The Conqueror, is finally making its way to digital print.