Page 1

The Centaurian

Vol 55 Issue 6

Culver City High School

April 2010


IN IT TO WIN IT: ASB candidates deliver speeches to the student body. Students campaigned vigoriously to vie for a spot on the ASB student council next year. From left: Emmett Rivers, Layal Bishara, Khadija Syed, Raoul Garcia, Jamie Macintosh, Farhan Chunara.

After the Campaign Blitz, the Votes are In CCHS student body elects new ASB officers for 2010-2011 school year by Emily Hogan Reporter

All throughout the month of March there was excitement in the air for the upcoming ASB elections. Candidates running for all positions campaigned intensely, hopeful to secure a position for next year. Videos were made for the student body and posters were plastered all throughout the school. Some posters simply read “Vote for...” while others became more creative with catchy slogans such as junior Jamie MacIntosh’s “The Mac is Back.” Teams went up against teams while others campaigned by themselves with different goals to improve the school. Some campaigned for campus beautification through recycling while others spoke out for a better communication system

throughout the school. Though there could only be one winner for each position, with the exception of the commissioner of activities and commissioner of publicity positions, everyone worked feverishly to attain their desired spots. But the campaigning was not always pleasant. A candidate fell victim to malicious behavior as their signs and posters were torn down and defaced. It was ruled out that two candidates involved were not acting out towards each other but a separate party was behind the attack. To stop this from happening throughout the campaign and in the future, ASB advisor Car-

Yo-got to Read the Labels

age. Mitchell Lee took Valverde’s advice in stride by posting his signs on a CCHS balcony. The campaigning finally came to a close on Tuesday, March 23, and on the following day it was announced that for the 2010-2011 school year, ASB President for next year will be junior Raoul Garcia, Vice President will be junior Jamie MacIntosh. Treasurer will be junior Kevin Chang, Secretary will be junior Samah Malik, Commissioners of Activities will be juniors Khadija Syed and Layal Bishara, Commissioner of Athletics will be Sienna Gonzalez, Com-

will be announced after a run-off election is held between Amina Suleimanagich and Joshua Cahn. The date of the run-off election is pending. Garcia and McIntosh hope that their exciting and helpful plans will improve the school and the overall lifestyle of CCHS. Garcia says, “I want to bring unity to the school and create an atmosphere differently from past presidents by opening ASB doors during lunch.” He, like his fellow officers, hopes to “bring real change to CCHS.”

Raising questions about the quality of CCHS cafeteria food by Melody Sabet & Juliana Vasquez Reporter & News Editor It was just like any other day when senior Gabriel Muralles sat to enjoy his peach fruit cup that was included in his school lunch. However, as he peeled open the plastic lid of the cup he was shocked at what he saw. “The peaches smelled sour and looked pretty dark,” Muralles said. He quickly glanced at the date printed on the cup and found that it read “Best before 2005.” He walked back to the lunch line to find a whole box of peach cups marked with the same exact date. Several students were taking them without notice. Muralles, who was not quite sure who to inform about the situation, decided to notify Spanish teacher Jose Montero who confronted ASB advisor Carlos Valverde about the matter. “An expired fruit cup won’t kill you but it can make you very sick which still isn’t good,” Montero said. The Centaurian staff immediately investigated this situation and found that according to Director of Food Service Julie Garcia, Muralles mistook the commodity package date as an expiration date.

Although the evidence of the incident is no longer available, Garcia assures that frozen fruit can be kept for well over its packaged date due to their durability and assures that items are checked and rechecked by cafeteria employees and distributors before they are given to students. Though the peach cup incident was an isolated occurrence it has inevitably raised concerns about the safety and nutritional value of our cafeteria food. Garcia emphasizes that the cafeteria acquires its meals in compliance with set nutritional regulations. The district chooses USDA and commercial food items that ideally accommodate the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) regulations. These regulations coordinate with a student’s grade/age and specifically tell a food service employee how much grain, protein and fruit a student should have per meal. Every five years, public schools receive a Coordinated Review Effort (CRE) and School Meals Initiative (SMI) nutritional evaluations. guidelines and nutritional standards.

NEHA AHMED / The Centaurian

SERVING IT UP: Students get their daily meals from the school cafeteria. A prior incident involving a supposedly expired fruit cup has caused some concern over the nutrirional value of some of the food served.

See FOOD Page 2

The Unknown Future of Sports

Food Wars

See Pages 4-5

See Page 7

Cameras: The New “Necklace”

See Page 8

Page design by Julia Panchenko and Juliana Vasquez


The Centaurian

Culver Bits

Monthly Updates

2010-2011 CCUSD Permits The LAUSD will limit outgoing, inter-district permits to Parent Employment and Senior Status students. Parent Employment Permits are allowed for students whose parent/guardian works within the boundaries of another district. Senior Status Permits will be issued to allow students to complete the final year at their school of attendance (e.g. incoming 5th, 8th and 12th graders). However, CCUSD is encouraging all its permit students who want to continue to attend its schools to apply.

Sojourn Club Seminar Series The Sojourn Club is going to begin a seminar series on what the club members have learned about the Civil Rights Movement. The first seminar will be on the Children’s March of 1963 and will be held on Tuesday, April 8 from 3:15-4:15 in room 107. The club will provide snacks and some history teachers will offer extra credit to students who attend the event. Relay 4 Life The annual 24-hour event to raise money for cancer research will take place on the CCHS track from 9am on Saturday, May 15 to 9am Sunday, May 16.


April 2010

Operation Accreditation

The WASC committee leaves with praise and suggestions by Julia Panchenko News Editor

In late February, the much talked about WASC (Western Association of Schools and Colleges) committee came to CCHS to conduct their evaluation, ultimately deciding whether the school would receive accreditation and for how long. After visiting classrooms, observing students on campus, and holding focus groups with students and parents, the WASC committee left CCHS with a very positive impression. “They were impressed with the school climate and how positive it is,” Principal Pam Magee said. “They really liked the student culture [on campus] and the diversity,” said trigonometry teacher Lisa Michel, who acted as this year’s WASC Self-Study Coordinator. Students were observed not just in classrooms but at nutrition and lunch as well, where the committee members picked random students to participate in focus groups. They were asked about various campus experiences. “They were most impressed with the answers to ‘What do you like most about CCHS?’ ” Michel said. Most students responded that they liked how diverse the campus is. “It’s very obvious [that there is diversity],” said senior Aliza Gonzalez, who is a member of Latinos Unidos and French Society. “There is an acceptance of people’s differences and interests.” The committee was also pleased with ASB, but they did want the student body to better deal with one major issue. “They really noticed how much trash there was after lunch,” Magee said. “We need to find a way to address this problem.”

FOOD continued from Page 1 According to Garcia, the (CRE) and (SMI) evalu- behavior in children. In other words, foods ations found the cafeteria menu to be within dietary with substantial food coloring can have a beguidelines and nutritional standards. havioral effect on children. Apart from purchasing, CCUSD also trades com“A child is anyone who is still growmodity food items with neighboring school districts. ing,” certified Lactation Educator, regisAccording to Garcia, if one district has too much tered dietitian and master of public health of one item then it might trade for another that is (MPH) Jaime Mercer said. “Giving a child in shortage. Once all the food has been processed something like dyes, preservatives, artifiand checked, a menu is then shaped around the Na- cial sweeteners, even caffeine is asking your tional School Lunch Program regulations, which child to be a guinea pig.” Nonetheless, Genhas established dietary and guidelines and nutrition eral Mills Yoplait Customer Care Specialist standards for school age children. These regulations Christy Stromquist stresses that “the colors coincide with Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s 2006 and flavors [General Mills uses] are FDA aplaws to eliminate childhood obesity. These laws pro- proved and regarded as completely harmless. vide guidelines for the meals served within Califor- However, we understand people’s concerns nia’s public schools. SB over ingredients and 281 orders $18.2 million clearly list ingrediof the state’s budget to ent and nutritional be directed towards the information and purchase of more fresh leave it up to our foods and vegetables customers to deterfor school meals. On the mine if a product other hand, SB 965 deals should be viewed as directly with school a healthy snack or menus. It extends the an occasional treat.” ban on the sale of soda in According to Garmiddle and high schools MISLEADING TREAT: General Mills’ Trix cia, since students and only allows the sale Yogurt has been criticized for misleading labeling are recommended of milk, juice, water and and a vast amount of food coloring. to consume certain electrolyte beverages. amount of foods Nonetheless, CCUSD and vitamins with has acknowledged its compliance with these laws as every meal, she has to choose products stuit posts on its Food Service website that “[it] is dedi- dents will actually eat. “Participation tends cated to providing its customers with an extensive to decrease if students do not like the items variety of high quality, nutritious meal;” however, offered for breakfast or lunch. Our menu is some items served during breaks seem to disagree constantly changing in order to meet customwith this claim. “I have to use a bunch of napkins er (student) demands and tastes.” Neverthejust to get the grease out of the pizza,” senior Scar- less, the school will immediately dispose of lett Adame said. a food product if it undergoes harsh outside According to food blogger Rob Endelum, un- claims or recalls. healthy might be the exact description for the popuRegardless of the peach cup incident, lar multi-colored Trix yogurt distributed by General Montero suggests the student body should Mills, which comes with almost all nutrition and consider organizing a campaign towards lunch meals. In 2009, Endelum blogged about Gen- a better food system. “We need to spread eral Mills Yoplait Trix Yogurt and criticized it for awareness for the addition of more organic containing a misleading label and a vast amount of foods and address issues like food wastage,” food coloring. A study conducted by Southampton he said. Overall, Mercer also believes that University in 2007 on the same food coloring used something should be done. “Our school food in Trix yogurt products found there was clear evi- system is a huge problem in America and dence that a mixture of certain food colors and sodi- needs to change.” um benzoate preservatives can adversely influence

Page design by Julia Panchenko and Juliana Vasquez

Teachers were also observed as the committee went to every classroom, and left with the overall impression that improvement was needed. The WASC committee even stated they had been “underwhelmed” by instruction. “They said students needed to be engaged [in the classroom] more,” Magee said. “Teachers also needed to work from bell to bell.” It was also recommended that the various departments work together to make the curriculum more uniform between each teacher. “The next step is to create an action plan to improve,” Michel said. “We should continue to look at our strategies for engaging students, and checking for understanding.” Statistics teachers Vivian Homan agrees. “What they said we need to fix is quite true. We need to focus on standards more and be more hands-on. Lecturing isn’t always the best way.” The committee also suggested that instruction be more data driven so test scores are analyzed to see if a student is keeping up with the class or needs additional help. There is little doubt that CCHS will be accredited, but the WASC committee’s decision will determine for how long. “It’s a very important process,” Michel said. “They suggested [the school] should further explore and provide professional development in teaching strategies.” The report, which will be delivered to the school sometime in July, will determine when the committee returns to CCHS. The last time the committee was here, it gave CCHS a 6-year accreditation period with a mid-term checkup.

The Centaurian


April 2010

Resources are provided to CCHS students with ADHD to help them to succeed

Living With ADHD

by Jasmine Alrayes Features Editor

A look into the life of a CCHS student with ADHD

Reaching Out

It can happen to any one of us. We might be sitting in class, trying to focus on the lecture, when our minds start to wander off. Suddenly, we’re thinking about something that has nothing to do with the lecture. For three to seven percent of the school-age population in the United States, an inability to focus is a debilitating condition that affects many important aspects of their lives. These are students diagnosed with Attention Deficit-Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), a neurological disorder which, according to the American Psychiatric Association (APA), causes persistent patterns of inattention and/or hyperactivity and impulsiveness that is more frequent and severe than typically observed in individuals at a comparable level of development. Typically, individuals with ADHD have trouble staying focused for long periods of time, are easily distracted, and are physically and/or mentally restless. Since these pose as obstacles for students with ADHD, they usually qualify for either the 504 Plan or the Individualized Education Program (IEP). The 504 Plan provides reasonable accommodations for students with disabilities, such as ADHD, to help them succeed in school. It also offers aid to anyone with mental or physical disabilities that may hamper their academic and occupational performance. Students with a higher severity of the disorder qualify for the IEP, which is a program that also offers accommodations, as well as modified services such as a less intense grading system, depending on the hardships the student is experiencing in school. “If a student can’t copy the notes down fast enough, then we would have the teacher supply him [or her] with a copy of the notes,” guidance counselor Rebekah Howard said. Aside from being supplied with a copy of notes, other accommodations include preferential seating, alternative test taking settings, and/ or possibly extended time on tests and/or assignments with teacher cooperation. “You can’t get everything you ask for. That’s for sure,” Howard said. “There’s such a wide spectrum of ADHD, and we want to help as much as we can,” assistant principal Dylan Farris said. “Our goal for the student is obviously to have the student be successful.” In determining which accommodations would be suitable for the student, Howard explains that it is crucial to assess if the challenges faced by the student are due to an ADHD diagnosis rather than natural tendency. “Someone might be having trouble focusing because they don’t get a sufficient amount of sleep, or the subject is uninteresting to them,” Howard said. “It doesn’t necessarily mean they have ADHD.” However, if a student is diagnosed with ADHD, a meeting is held with the student, his/her parent or guardian and counselor as well as

CCHS psychologist Debra Price in order to determine which accommodations would be most suitable for them. ADHD affects people in academic situations as well as in occupational and social situations. According to the APA, people with ADHD might have difficulty persisting with tasks until completion. They might start with one task, move on to another, and then move on to yet another task. Someone with ADHD may make frequent shifts in conversations, appear to be not keeping their mind on conversations, or not following details of a conversation. “It’s a common misconception that people with ADHD cannot focus. They can focus. They just tend to focus on many ideas at once,” Price said. ADHD also imposes characteristics of impulsiveness and high activity, which may be visible through possible constant fidgeting, inability to stay still for long, or blurting out thoughts. “I think it’s harder for kids with ADHD to make friends because they tend to say whatever comes to their mind, and not many people like that,” Price said. “They’re usually really hyper. People aren’t really used to that.” In certain situations, medicine is prescribed to people that have ADHD in order to help reduce their high activity and impulsiveness, and to help them focus. A few commonly known ADHD stimulant medications include Ritalin, Adderall, Concerta, Dexedrine, and Cylert. Since some patients would prefer to live without medication, they attempt to find other ways to manage the disorder. “I’ve heard of some students taking caffeine, or even coming up with their own exercise schedule - anything that works for them,” Farris said. Many teens are often misdiagnosed with ADHD. According to Price and the APA, in order to officially diagnose the disorder, symptoms have to have begun before the age of seven. However, if one is suspected to have ADHD, they are observed in two or more settings, fill out questionnaires, and take tests that evaluate how one processes attention. The results are then compared to the diagnostic criteria in order to determine if the results are consistent with ADHD symptoms. Price explained that it is important to recognize that the lack of attention isn’t caused by other issues. Price, who has had experience with approximately 300 students with ADHD, believes that a more stringent criteria needs to be established and people need to consider other factors before diagnosing. Those living with ADHD may find it difficult to deal with many activities, but there are resources which enable them to live more comfortably and successfully.


by Jasira Woods Features Editor For senior Joshua Zepeda, having Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder is not a hindrance, but a part of himself that he is still learning to integrate into his daily life. “I like to think that it’s not [a hindrance], but in the end I know that it affects me and the things that I try to do – and usually don’t get finished,” he said. He was diagnosed with ADHD when he was six after a doctors’ visit because, he believes, his mom was tired of putting up with him. Aside from the more evident effects on Zepeda such as hyperactivity and inattention, ADHD affected his life in a multitude of ways. When he was younger, Zepeda was not on medication, and found it hard to make friends. His inability to pay attention, and therefore to work productively, resulted in his removal from several schools. Even now, these same issues resound in his social life because although he is prescribed for medication, he often does not take it. Zepeda’s medication works to stimulate his mind, which allows him to remain focused so that it is easier to stay on task. However, taking medicine leaves Zepeda with a feeling of inferiority. “They gave me medication but I don’t like taking it because it makes me feel like there’s something wrong with me, and I don’t think there is anything wrong with me. It’s made it hard for me to make friends all the time because I’m more out there and



d n e k wee


s n a l p




not everyone likes that. It kind of offsets people,” he said. However, unlike when he was younger, Zepeda now receives substantial aid in school. In school, he operates under the 504 program, which provides him with accommodations such as preferential seating, extra time on assignments, and additional tutoring after school, but he is working to attain an Individual Education Plan. Zepeda has a goal to join the US military, however, his ADHD will undoubtedly have an impact on his future. “It is affecting my future because right now I’ve stopped taking my medication and I want to join the military. You have to be off of medication for two years before you can enlist.” Regardless of the fact that doctors have told him otherwise, he is having trouble finding a way to assuredly cope with ADHD. Still, Zepeda is insistent upon ADHD not overpowering his life. “I think people think that I use it as an excuse. Like, can I have more time, or can I be special. But I don’t like taking advantage of it.”

s e o h






t boyfriend

homework nt e m nt i o pp a t tis n e d


ADHD is a neurodevelopmental disorder that affects 4.7% of the American population and a number of CCHS students. Here is a glimpse into the symptoms of Attention Deficit-Hyperactivity Disorder and the lives of those who have learned to manage it.

Page design by Jasmine Alrayes and Jasira Woods


The Centaurian

Pizza Hut


Pizza Hut has 3 locations in the Culver City area, all of which deliver. Pizza Hut’s pizzas are well rounded, having a balance of a crunchy yet chewy crust, a decent amount of sauce (too much can render a pizza inedible), and a solid amount of cheese. A good pizza maintains harmony with its ingredients, and Pizza Hut’s pies do just that. Of course, you can always order extra of any ingredient. To top it off, a wide variety of toppings are available to cover your pizza as you see fit, adding variety to the traditional pizza taste. With coupons almost always available on either the Internet or in the newspaper, Pizza Hut offers cheap, delicious pizza pies that can be delivered right to your door. - Duncan Ballantine


April 2010


While India Sweets and Spices’ samosas are, admittedly, more authentic, the Samosa House pastries are ultimately more satisfying. They’re preferable for the same reason that thin fast food french fries are preferable to slablike homegrown ones. Each of the Samosa House samosas are almost unsettlingly standardized, and without tasting them, they would seem to lack flair. But they sure follow through where it matters: a light pastry shell with almost fluffy potatoes stuffed inside, with the small peas scattered throughout lending hints of their flavor. It’s hard to say exactly what spices the samosas are augmented with, or even if they’re actually a part of the pastry or just percolate in from all the cooking around them. In any case, they’re patently delicious, proving once again that authenticity does not necessarily correlate with quality. - Justin Kelly

Samosa House vs.

Papa John’s

With pizza being amongst one of the most popular dishes served in the US, Papa John’s does it best with its high quality pizzas. Although most Americans are unable to have pizzeria-quality pizzas brought to them, Papa John’s is able to deliver that same quality with convenience. Unlike Pizza Hut, its pizzas are non-greasy and taste as though they freshly came out of the oven. The tomato sauce tastes more homemade and the cheese melts in the mouth more easily. All toppings used taste fresher than Pizza Hut’s. Garlic butter is included in every order which many use to dip pizza crusts in and peppers are also included to add a “kick.” Overall, Papa John’s is better tasting and gives the consumer more options for their meal. -Summer Concepcion

India Sweets & Spices

Although they may not be the healthier option, India Sweets and Spices’ samosas are crispy to the very last crispy, grease-infused bite. While Samosa House’s filling is zesty just as any samosa filling should be, the filling that Indian Sweets and Spices has perfected packs a stronger punch. Paired with the cooling sensation of their tangy chutney, the texture of Indian Sweets and Spices’ specialty snack food is satisfying and authentic. - Marisa Okano

Deciding the perfect place to eat is a battle that continues to ensue. So which restaurants deliver the perfect K.O.? Many may say that Chipotle provides the ultimate dining experience for those craving authentic Mexican style food but great, fast Mexican food can only come from Baja Fresh. Its extensive menu has enough items to please even the most pickiest eaters, and nothing is more inviting than the aroma of the fresh ingredients simmering together to create a mouthwatering and irresistible meal. There is a variety of vegetarian and meatless dishes which are served with black or pinto beans, guacamole, sour cream and cheese melted over the top. With such a wide array of options, diners can indulge at Baja Fresh Mexican Grill knowing that they’re enjoying a healthy and fresh meal with the right balance of toppings and fillings every time. - Firooz Kabir

When I try to eat healthier, I go to Jamba Juice. Their smoothies are delicious and filled with plenty of nutrients and antioxidants. Jamba Juice is different from other smoothie places like Robeks because unlike Robeks, Jamba Juice offers a variety of items such as energy shots to pizza like meals called California Flatbreads. If you want a smoothie and a meal, go to Jamba Juice! - Jessica Marin

Jamba Juice vs. Robek’s If you feel like grabbing a convenient, healthy snack, Robek’s is the best place to buy one from. On the menu, there is a clear variety of smoothies to fit the needs and wants of various consumers, whether they want a fruity, nutritious smoothie or a healthy coffee smoothie. Robek’s smoothies offer delicious and healthy options which are evident in the fact that no fruit smoothie exceeds 220 calories and no cofffee smoothie exceeds 440 calories. Yes, Jamba Juice does have a similar menu. However, Robek’s has a better variety for those who simply want a healthier smoothie. - Charlotte Tingler

Though most fro-yo places these days often have the same concept, Yogurtland has qualities that makes it stand out from the rest. They have unique flavors that can’t be found elsewhere such as Red Velvet Cupcake and Taro Root. Plus, in comparison to places such as Menchies, Yogurtland is more environmentally friendly with their use of biodegradable spoons and containers. At the same time, the classic original frozen yogurt flavor is best served at Yogurtland with its slight sweetness as opposed to Menchies’ tart tasting one. - Summer Concepcion

Baja Fresh

Yogurtland vs. Menchies What’s not to love? Menchies changes their flavors weekly with the exception of a few classics. Customers can taste each before making a commitment to one flavor. Flavors can be combined - and there are several varieties including fat-free, low-carb and less sugar options. Toppings? Yep, load them on to your heart’s desire. Fruit, granola, fat-free chocolate, maybe cheesecake bites. The fruit at Yogurtland is just too ripe and frozen, where at Menchies everything tastes like it was just harvested. Variety in toppings is something Menchies can be proud of. Everything is priced by weight, instead of flavor or toppings choice. Plus, Menchies uses a Kosher mix in their “fro-yo” - not a watery recipe like Yogurtland. It’s great! - Philip Bennett

vs. Chipotle After a week of living without Chipotle Mexican Grill, I can’t help but suffer from withdrawals. This upscale Mexican fast food joint allows customers to fill burritos, burrito bowls, and tacos with a number of fresh ingredients. Unlike Baja Fresh, which fails to deliver in flavor in many of its ingredients (the pinto beans and rice are disappointingly bland), Chipotle is one of the only fast food restaurants that pays close attention to detail with every ingredient served. Their meats are permeated with smoky flavor, never dry, and consistently seasoned to perfection. Their lettuce is crisp and freshly cut. Their salsas are flavorful and unique (with out-of-this-world corn and pico de gallo flavors). As a Mexican food addict, it’s hard to believe that many “gourmet” Mexican eateries I’ve visited are pale in comparison to Chipotle’s monstrous, 1000 calorie treat: the chicken burrito. - Marisa Okano

Page design by Summer Concepcion



The Centaurian

April 2010

Does Our School Make the Grade? The WASC committee visited in late February, but do their statements paint an accurate picture of CCHS?



s most of the student body is aware, the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC) Accrediting Commission for Schools sent a committee to evaluate our school. Although the official report has yet to be published, the WASC committee commented that the school has exceptional culture while classroom instruction is mediocre at best. But are these observations accurate? Yes, the student body is both diverse culturally and involved in extracurricular activities such as ASB, AVPA, clubs, and sports. Yet, there is a flip side to that coin. While the student body participates outside of class, trash litters the campus. Respect for the school’s property has deteriorated, with overflowing trash cans and tables littered with the remnants of recently-eaten lunches. We do not even need to get into the gruesome condition of the bathrooms. Even classrooms require constant cleanup. School spirit has practically died, with only a mere fraction of the student body attending pep rallies and sporting events. The turnout to Homecoming Dances in recent years has been disappointingly low, with this year being the exception. At assemblies, laser pointers dot the projection screen and students shout out cat calls at

performers (February’s assembly featuring the humanitarian organization and musical group, The Green Children, exemplifies this.) Despite the fact that some members of the student body are dissatisfied with the administration and are unhappy with the way things function at the school, their voices went unheard when random students were selected for focus groups. The WASC committee noted that instructors need to provide variety in their lesson plans, while improving consistency with teachers in the same subject matter. It is common knowledge amongst the student body that the rigor of a class depends on the teacher assigned. Class curriculum is inconsistent, as some teachers weigh down students with nightly assignments - while other teachers assign homework once a month. The fact of the matter is that

the difficulty of a class at CCHS depends on the personal choices of an individual faculty member, rather than what state standards actually demand. WASC members noted that teachers often failed to work from bell to bell and to engage students while lecturing to their classes. Although these statements may ring true for some faculty members, were the two days that WASC visited the campus enough time for them to see all that teachers and classes have to offer? There are some teachers who practice outdated instruction methods; however, many teachers conduct various exercises throughout the year including debates, discussions, and other interactive activities. The WASC committee did not see these fun and educational activities simply because many only stopped to observed class time for a few minutes. Teachers cannot


realistically have an interactive, fun, and interesting lesson every day. There will always be a limit to the activities one teacher can provide, and school simply is not interesting enough to captivate all students every day. Besides, how does a teacher make a subject like math, which requires a good amount of lecture time, interactive and interesting? As one teacher sarcastically put it, “We could do can be a fraction!” Although the WASC committee pointed out relative pros and cons about CCHS, issues still exist beneath the surface. Our student body is undoubtedly diverse, yet there is a general lack of school spirit and negativity towards the idea of school pride. While we have preliminary reports of our performance, we can only wait until the official WASC report is published July. However, we know what our shortcomings are as a school, and we do not need an outside assessment team to point them out to us. In all likelihood, the school will receive the same term that it did last time -- a six year accreditation with a three year follow-up. The bottom line is that the school’s student body and staff have to work together to address, fix and overcome the problems that the WASC committee pointed out.

ABANDONED MESS: A tipped-over recycle bin spotted a week before the WASC committee’s visit demonstrates the student body’s inability to keep the campus clean.

Culver City High School 4401 Elenda Street Culver City, CA 90230 Room 41 Telephone: (310) 842-4200 E-Mail: cchscentaurian@

Thank You to the Alumni Association

The Centaurian newspaper is made possible by donation from the Culver City High School Alumni Association. For more information go to Email:

Printed by the Gardena Valley News

Editor-in-Chief Marisa Okano Managing Editor Firooz Kabir News Editors Julia Panchenko & Juliana Vasquez A&E Editor Summer Concepcion Trends Editor Charlotte Tingler Opinions Editor Philip H. Bennett Photo Editor Duncan Ballantine Sports Editor Timothy Kang Online Editor Neha Ahmed Features Editor Jasmine Alrayes & Jasira Woods Advisor Penny Schulte

Follow Us

Page design by Philip Bennett

This Just In

Get involved. Comment. Contribute. Tell us what you think. Get updated with exclusives, breaking news, and more. Log on today:


The Centaurian

March 2010

Lacrosse: A Thriving Sport


Over the years, lacrosse’s popularity has surged across campus, causing an increase in participation in both boys’ and girls’ teams by Philip Bennett Opinions Editor

TIMOTHY KANG/The Centaurian

PURE ENJOYMENT: Even without gear (and shoes), senior and goalie Philip Beer still works diligently on his game.

Just as the early days of lacrosse were characterized by a great deal of intensity, the same spirit of the sport still exists today and continues to attract a growing number of participants at CCHS. CCHS’s lacrosse program began in 2001, and has since grown tremendously. There has been a recent rise in popularity of this sport, but why? Lacrosse is one of many contact sports that students can engage in at CCHS. “I think a lot of people are seeing the brutality of the

sport, and this characteristic appeals to many athletes who want that experience,” senior mid-fielder Alexander Kurihara said. The rise in popularity could also be attributed to the growth of leagues on the west coast. “A lot of people are starting to see [lacrosse] on ESPN. A lot of west coast schools are starting up and it’s getting bigger. It’s pretty cool,” senior defensepoler Edric Sedeno said. Lacrosse has a strong number of junior varsity players which continues to grow and prosper. The

Fresh Cuts

The athletics department will be experiencing economic hardships in the upcoming years by Timothy Kang sports Editor In the forthcoming years, CCHS’s athletic department will be hampered by budget cuts. Due to these budget cuts, the school allocations per student, originally $5000 per student, will be dropped by $400, severely impacting the athletics programs. Although finalized decisions have still not been made regarding how the cuts will be divided within the athletics department, several procedures have been considered. It is quite likely that all of the funding for transportation for sports

will be cut. “We usually need about $100,000 every year from the district for transportation, but next year, we may have only $30,000 for transportation. So we have to make up for transportation costs,” athletics director Jerry Chabola said. Due to these budget cuts, which will take effect starting next year, the various athletic teams may require a mandatory donation from each family of every student in order to raise revenue for transportation. “Before I was getting a voluntary donation for the extra goodies and gears for about $100, but, in order to keep the sports program,

increasing number of players is partly due to people hearing about the sport across campus. “Everyone was telling me how fun it was, so I joined,” sophomore mid-fielder Bruce Crowder said. This verbal communication is perhaps the main way that people hear about lacrosse. Clearly, this method has been more effective than expected. “I joined when the season started my freshman year,” sophomore mid-fielder Ret Tilman said. “A lot of people also join because they see us carrying around our sticks, and want to do so as well.” The leadership of the team relies on seniors Alek Fabijaniak, Philip Beer, Matthew Better, and Andrew Baird. These returning seniors have found many reasons to enjoy the sport. “Lacrosse attracts many different athletes for a variety of reasons. I joined because the sport is genuinely fun,” senior goalie Philip Beer said. “I just love beasting on the field and winning face-offs,” senior midfielder Will Robins said. The seven year-old girls lacrosse team has also seen a moderate increase in popularity this year as well. With a total of 16 players on the team, the girls team continues to experience a steady increase in participation. Assistant Coach Felix Cardenas believes that the new ‘look’ the girls lacrosse team has this year has attracted some new players. “The team got good equipment and new uniforms. I gave the girls lacrosse team a new look,”

Cardenas said. “I think through word across the school, lacrosse has gained popularity,” senior midfielder Sarah Yusuf said. “People see us walking around with our sticks like the boys, too.” The team serves as a ‘second family’ for the players. “We’re like a little family,” junior mid-fielder Jasmine Cheng said. The close-knit bond the girls share adds another dimension and reason why some people have joined. The middle school also has a lacrosse program which links directly to the high school program. According to boys lacrosse coach Adam Eskridge, the growth of the high school teams can also be attributed to the “growth of the junior program at the middle school.” The exposure to the sport allows for the appliance of the experience later on in high school and college. Girls lacrosse coaches Jessica and Stephanie Cardenas both coached elementary club teams last year. “Once they are familiar with a sport at a young age, they can get into it easier in middle school and high school,” assistant girls coach Guadalupe Vazquez said. With many younger kids in both middle school and elementary school participating enthusiastically in lacrosse, it is safe to assume that this increasing popularity will only continue to expand as the years continue. Although the brutality of the sport may turn some people away, many people persist on enjoying the entertainment and thrill that comes from this same brutality.

every parent may have to pay up to $300,” soccer coach Dave Sanchez said. “This is a public education so they don’t have to pay, but, if they don’t pay, we also don’t have to have a sports team.” Combined with these donations, more teams will most likely attempt to fund-raise through various organizations or methods then ever before. Although transportation funding has nearly been eradicated, coaching salaries have relatively stayed the same. “As far as the coaching stipends, that’s not changing too much because it was low to begin with. We’re basically out there because we love to be around the sport and the kids,” head football coach Jahmal Wright said. As of now, the athletics department and the Culver City High School head staff is

focusing on maintaining as many jobs as possible, along with providing as much opportunities as possible for the students. It appears that the reality of budget cuts is difficult, but it’s one the school must accept. “Everybody hates the situation, but the way we get out of it is that we all have to pull together,” Sanchez said. Predicted to last approximately 2-5 more years, the decreasing budget of not only the athletics department,


DRIVING FORWARD: Due to her leadership and skill, senior guard and forward Savannah Erskine will be attending San Francisco State University on a basketball scholarship in the fall.

Shooting for the Future

Girls basketball MVP enjoys her success by Jessica Marin Reporter Anxious, Savannah Erskine sits legs crossed as she waits to be interviewed. Having only applied to San Fransisco State Erskine she was relieved to find out that she was accepted. The 5’7” hardworking senior is getting ready to attend San Francisco State College in the fall on a full basketball scholarship. Many describe Erskine as a meticulous and determined worker. Team captain and fellow teammate, Mithzy Hernandez describes Erskine her as a dedicated person who always pushes herself to do her best. “When she passes the ball, you somehow know where the ball is supposed to go and when she looks at you, you know what to do.” This pinpoint accuracy demonstrates Er-

skine’s leadership ability. Erskine has been playing basketball since she was five years old and credits her travel coach for training her and building up her confidence. She also credits her best friends and her family who are also involved in the games. Erskine was on girls’ varsity basketball team for all four years of high school, but she is now getting ready to play college basketball at the Division-I level. “I enjoyed high school but I’m ready to move on, I’m nervous [about college] because it’s something I’ve never experienced, but I have a feeling it’s going to be good,” Erskine said. “I feel very comfortable with the school and the team.”

TIMOTHY KANG/The Centaurian

but also the entire school does worry the faculty. “Across the board, every department will have to adapt. I think we are in a position that we won’t be receiving from the state so we have to make adjustments,”

principal Pam Magee said.

SAY IT AIN’T SO (above): Almost all transportation funding may be gone for all sports teams next year.

Page design by Timothy Kang



The Centaurian

April 2010

by Charlotte Tingler TRENDS EDITOR

Camera usage has become increasingly prevalent on campus Around CCHS, there appears to be a growing popularity for the “love” of photography as students are purchasing more cameras. This latest fixation demonstrates that cameras may have become “The New Necklace.” It’s common to see students flaunting their new cameras to their peers around campus. Whether they have true interest in photography can be unclear at times. Therefore, a question that might be left in some students’ minds: do so-called camera enthusiasts actually know how to use all of their camera’s features properly? “Most of the people who walk around with camera’s don’t know anything about them, they don’t know what apertures are, they don’t know how f-stops work,” senior and self proclaimed “real photographer” Jeana Linstrot said. Nowadays, one can find cameras to fit the needs of many different photographers, whether they prefer to snap a photo on a budget or achieve a certain style of image. Students can easily shop around in Best Buy and purchase an expensive, high standard camera for thousands of dollars. On the other hand, students can also purchase a camera costing only a few hundred dollars that performs and functions efficiently. However, differences arise in the qualities of the two. There are those who may not care about the quality of the camera itself, but may just want a certain popular brand of camera - often popularized by trendy clothing vendor Urban Outfitters. For example, one of Urban Outfitters latest camera models, “Lomography Diana F+ Camera,” boasts a look that has attracted many young consumers. The Diana is a mock model of a 1960’s camera with a retro styled electronic flash that snaps a burst of white light on a subject. While it does operate like most cameras on the market right now, the stylish cameras offered at retailers like Urban Outfitters can make camerashopping similar to shopping for the latest accessory to match a brand new outfit. According to some student photographers, having easy access to cameras has created a population of “photography posers” around campus. “It’s kind of annoying seeing people who use camera as a way to compete with others, not because they love it,” Linstrot said. Although there are many students who may believe that sporting a thousand-dollar camera around their necks may appear “cool” or “hip,” there are also true photography enthusiasts who aren’t very keen on the idea of others claiming to share their interests. “I do it for the art of creating and I find photography as a way of how I express myself. I don’t take photographs because I want the rest to notice but because I love and enjoy it,” senior and photographer Daniella Algarate said.

What should I choose? SLRs - Can cost hundreds or thousands of dollars - Usually twice the size of a digital compact or larger - For professional use - Faster speed


Digital Compacts - Easy to find cheap/reasonable prices - More lightweight than a SLR camera - Zoom is less effective than a SLR camera lens - For casual use only - Slower speed

Capturing Talent Freshman and photographer Isabel Bennett’s work earns recognition



SNAPSHOT OF SUCCESS: Bennett won the Scholastic Art Awards’ “Gold Key” for the photograph above.

The Canon Rebel T1I couldn’t be a more fitting camera for freshman and AVPA Art student Isabel Bennett. She even seems to embody the rebellious label her camera’s name suggests. “I don’t want to fit to conformity,” Bennett said when asked about the CCHS’s rising photography trend. “I do my own thing.” Without taking any photography classes, Bennett has won both the regional and national Scholastic Art Award “Gold Key,” the highest achievement possible. “I’m proud to say that I don’t just walk around with a fancy camera. I use it; I do something with it.” Two months ago, Bennett received a phone call from Scholastic indicating that her work would be displayed at The Armory Center for the Arts and at The World Financial Center in New York. From then on, she jumped into instant popularity. Her raw talent fascinated several people and amassed many fans. Currently, her Facebook group “Isabel and Mina Photography” boasts around 500 members and her work has been featured on the front page of, a popular fashion and youth culture website. Originally, Bennett’s interest in photography began in middle school. “Before Mina, I would take pictures of kitty cats, flowers, leaves, things like that. Now I’m into more social things-people, portraits, and fashion.” Around December 2009, after Bennett unsuccessfully tried to establish a photography group at CCHS, sophomore Mina Horton partnered up with her.“Some members weren’t devoted enough, but Mina was, and we just clicked,” Bennett said. “We both love photography. I think it’s important for any model to know about photography and understand the camera… Also, we’re both really creative and we’re friends, so it’s really easy to work with her,” Horton added. For those two, a typical project includes tons of planning and editing. “A lot of our stuff is very planned. Usually, I need to get this or go here and there. We get a lot of items from the theater department.Mina and I get inspired from online or come up with an idea and build from it,” Bennett said. “We make it our own.” Horton affirmed. In fact, their winning Scholastic photo was calculatingly shot at the Baldwin Hills scenic outlook. Since the award, Bennett’s simple homemade photography upgraded as she started utilizing lighting and backdrops. “Winning this award has made me more confident. It’s fantastic, but our expectations are higher now,” Bennett said. As she sets out for NYC in June for her awards ceremony at Carnegie Hall, this budding photographer aspires towards a future as a professional photographer.

Page design by Charlotte Tingler and Firooz Kabir

April 2010 The Centaurian  

Volume 55 Issue 6 Culver City High School's newspaper for April 2010

Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you