By Jane Y. Kim
Over the three day Martin Luther King Jr. Weekend, 3,500 delegates in Youth and Government did not have the opportunity to sleep in and enjoy a long weekend. Instead, they traveled to Fresno to learn about how our government functions. This conference was the second of three, where the delegates were put into their specific program areas of the government such as the Senate/Assembly, National Issues Commission, and Bench Trial.
In addition to participating in their respective program areas, delegates also ran for statewide positions. Seniors Michael May, Raina Chen, and Hannah Johnson ran for positions, which made the Crescenta-Cañada YMCA very proud. Michael ran for Attorney General and lost by a very small margin, Raina ran for the National Issues Commission Clerk and unfortunately lost to another candidate whose speech was slam poetry, and Hannah won her election as the International Affairs Commission Chief Rapporteur.
“It was very fun. I love the court program, and I am really dedicated to it. Obviously, it was disappointing that I didn’t win, but I personally know the person who beat me and she’s a lovely person. I look forward to working with her on the Supreme Court,” Michael said.
With the end of the second conference, there is only one month of the program left: four meetings and of course, the annual trip to Sacramento. At Sacramento, delegates will apply everything they learned about their respective program areas in Fresno at Sacramento in the Capitol building.
Although Youth and Government does not start again until the new school year, if you are interested in joining, be sure to get a spot early because space is limited.
“I would recommend it to everybody, even if you’re not a political junkie like me, because I think that it’s something that is very important for everyone to participate in to get a greater grasp of how our government works and how we can forge compromises and friendships with people who we may not agree with. Ultimately, I think it’s a very great program that helps people find passion for policies and positions they love,” said Michael.
By Bryan Guan
We’ve all used the 5 Second Rule at least once in our lives. Whether it was when we knocked our friend’s cookie out of their hands and grabbed the fallen food like savage raccoons, or when we accidentally dropped an expensive morsel of filet mignon and stingily stuffed it back into our mouths- we did it all in the name of the 5 Second Rule, the holy doctrine that states: food picked up from the ground within five seconds of dropping is safe to consume.
Unfortunately, the 5 Second Rule has been rendered moot by science. Yes, intellectuals have actually performed multiple experiments testing this childish yet popular belief. Dr. Ronald Cutler, a microbiologist from the University of London, was particularly conclusive in his methodology. His trial involved dropping food (pizza, apples, buttered toast, etc.) onto surfaces contaminated with E. Coli, a common bacterium. Whether the food was picked up immediately, five seconds, or 10 seconds later, he concluded that all the samples were heavily contaminated.
So yes, within milliseconds, thousands of nasty bacteria, could be wriggling inside your spilled guacamole. Of course, the longer you wait to pick up the food, the more bacteria will enter the food- but does it really matter whether you have a million or a couple million? Five seconds may feel short to us, but it is a millennium for an eager pathogen. This is not to say that each time you make the ignorant choice to pick up and consume a piece of dropped food that you’ll get sick. However, keep in mind, a couple million people in the United States each year suffer from a food related illness, of which around 50,000 require hospitalization and several hundred find their way to the grave.
Next time you drop your french fry and are contemplating whether to save it or not, mark my words: leave it. Your body will thank you for taking the preventive measures. Despite the emotional stress of leaving a delicious piece of food on the ground, it’s better than suffering through a war against microorganisms you inadvertently put into your body. Unless, of course, the food truly is “to die for.”
By Jenny Wang
From May 2016 to the end of January 2017, a group of 40 seniors from schools all across the San Gabriel Valley served as Student Ambassadors, working behind the scenes at many of the famous Tournament of Roses events that millions of people around the world gather to watch. This year, seniors Caitlin Aenlle-Rocha, Diana Carranza, Elizabeth Lee, Jennifer Yoon, and this reporter (Jenny Wang) were the five ambassadors from LC.
First, ambassadors were given necessary monthly training to respond to all sorts of encounters that could happen when thousands of people gather together in one area. They learned about crowd control, public speaking, and general safety procedures among other more specifics for each event. They then received their name tags and uniforms with every piece of clothing sporting the well-known red rose.
Senior Caitlin Aenlle-Rocha said, “The training process definitely prepared me for talking and answering questions from a variety of people. My favorite perks were meeting people from all the surrounding schools and being able to help behind the scenes of the parade. I met and laughed with some amazing people that I would never have met without this program. I am incredibly thankful for this truly unforgettable experience.”
Even before December, Student Ambassadors gave tours of float manufacturing barns, interacted with the media at the Coronation of the Rose Queen, presented the Tournament House (Wrigley Mansion) to the Boy and Girl Scouts marching in the parade, and starred in the Tournament of Roses mannequin challenge video.
The week of the parade was extremely busy for the Student Ambassadors. The float barns they monitored were packed with people placing on flowers and tourists taking in the whole float construction process. While working, they also watched Bandfest, an event that featured musicians of all ages from across the globe. The Players’ Reception was filled with USC and Penn State superfans bustling to meet the players and coaches. Finally, on parade day, Student Ambassadors helped Grandstand VIPs and members of TV corner with programs, beverages, and food. They even worked at Post-Parade, where they answered hundreds of questions from people who were able to see each float up close.
Senior Elizabeth Lee said, “It was a great experience where I got to learn all about the local history of the Rose Parade, and I got to meet a lot of great Student Ambassadors from different schools in the Pasadena district. My favorite part was supporting the bands and watching them perform at Bandfest.”
If you’re interested in participating in this historical Pasadena tradition, keep a lookout for applications in the Counselor Connections in March and April.
By Bryan Guan & Kushal Kolli
Last year, current La Canada High School senior Drake Beasley (12) had an incredible football season. The 5’11’’, 195 lb running back rushed for 1,647 yards and 17 touchdowns- which earned him the rank of the 4th best high school running back in California and the 44th best in the United States. Many colleges such as UC Berkeley, Boise State, and UCLA have already reached out to him for potential recruitment. The four star high school prospect’s superior skill on the football field makes him a promising player in the future both on the college and even professional level.
This past August, Drake made the decision to leave Loyola High School and attend La Cañada High School. After Drake left, Loyola claimed that La Cañada had illegally recruited Drake. Their challenge was on the basis of undue influence, which restricts a high school athlete from transferring schools solely for the purpose of athletics. In response, Drake, backed by La Cañada High School, claimed that both sides were unaware of the transfer until a couple weeks prior and that his family decided to transfer due to La Cañada’s high educational standing.
“Drake not being able to play [this season] was definitely a huge disappointment for him as well as the whole team” stated team captain Luke Johnson (12). “Not only were we protesting Drake’s ineligibility but also the unfairness of CIF rules that weren’t allowing kids to play football. Every kid should have the opportunity to participate in any sport they want to in high school and CIF is making it harder for them to play.”
The athletic prodigy began playing football when he was eight, saying that the sport “just clicked with him,” and that he has loved playing it ever since. His favorite part about football is “being able to win with his team.” He looked upon his situation as nothing but unfortunate circumstance and has said that he’s not mad at anyone - he just wants to continue playing football. Drake carries this open and kind personality wherever he goes.
So far Drake has loved attending La Cañada. He admits the transfer was a “pretty big transition from private to public,” but that the fact that he knew some kids at LCHS helped ease the transition. “La Cañada has a lot of good people. They've all been understanding and helpful towards me and my situation.”
Follow the movement at #freedrake and #rundrakerun.
By Minzie Kim
Emulating Humans of New York, Humans of LCHS aims to create an opportunity for the students of La Cañada to anonymously spread their story. Founded by sophomore co-presidents, Rucha Kadam and Melina Tsotras, this club plans to create an online community where the stories of the student’s lives will be posted periodically.
“Based off of the popular blog, Humans of New York, Humans of LCHS [will] allow all members of La Cañada High School to share their thoughts, ideas, and stories with the rest of the community,” Melina said.
Created this year, Humans of LCHS has an impressive number of over 40 aspiring journalists and photographers contributing to the club.
“For our club, photography and journalism is key. We want to make sure we have the best quality of photos and articles for our readers, and to do this, we need to make sure that our members can write and take photos for quality articles independently,” Melina said.
Through this club, Rucha and Melina hope to give their members an opportunity to utilize both skills to understand and portray the student body.
Members meet in Mr. Valassidis’ room (Room 201) at lunch on the first and third Tuesdays of each month. The club’s first meeting was held on October 4th.
During the meeting, members were assigned positions as scouters, interviewers, photographers, quote writers, finalizers, generators, or publications.
“We hope to open up students eyes to perceptions of life outside of the 'La Cañada bubble' and of the materialistic world. We wish to spread ideas and creativity throughout the campus, and to get the entire student body involved.” Rucha said.
Humans of LCHS will post their stories on their website, www.humansoflchs.weebly.com. In addition to the website, they also have an Instagram, Facebook, and Snapchat to keep their viewers updated on the stories. In the future, they plan to have the stories printed and distributed around the school.
By Allison Kirste
For the past four years, Jessy Sitaramya has spent around 16 hours a week practicing for her arangetram, a 3 hour long debut solo performance. Her dance form, Bharatanatyam, is one of the most popular traditional dance forms of India that emphasizes synchronized physical and emotional body movement.
Dance has taught Jessy dedication, time management, and most importantly, passion. She’s also learned to dance as not just movements, but a surrender to her god. Jessy’s dances depict Hindu mythology, and through dance she’s strengthened her ties to her culture.
The sense of community at her studio played a huge part in Jessy’s development as a dancer. She’s found support in her fellow dancers and teachers: Viji Prakash and her daughter, Mythili Prakash, a world known dancer. Jessy said, “I share a bond with them that’s… amazing… I really don’t know how else to describe it. My friends and family have also been pillars of encouragement and support.”
Though Jessy finds inspiration in the people around her, her dance often inspires others. Friends who were at her arangetram know she’s found her true passion, and she reminds them of the importance of passions. Her dedication to dance and commitment to perfecting routines was evident after her awe-inspiring performance, one that left everyone in awe.
“Her performance inspired me because it was so clear that she had a passion for what she was doing,” said Emma Stroben, “It reminded me how important it is to pursue what you love.”
“It was the most impressive thing I’ve ever seen, I’m not kidding,” Miss Beattie remarked.
In addition to dance, Jessy is a member of the celebrated concert choir through which she has made friendships that she “wouldn’t trade for the world ” and she’s found an on campus mentor in Dr. Brookey, the choir director. She was also a part of the Miss LCF court this past year, which allowed her to bond with the community and appreciate its close knit feel.
In her studio, the dancers range from 4 year old girls to 60 year old women. Seeing the devotion from all of the other dancers, regardless of how old they are, inspires Jessy to want to continue with dance as an art form for as long as she can.
By Jenny Wang
La Cañada’s beloved Royal Court Princess and LCHS senior Natalie Rose Petrosian has made headlines across news outlets in Los Angeles and even California. The journey from normal LCHS senior to Rose Court princess was an exhilarating experience for her.
Princess Natalie has been an engaged and active member of the student body of La Canada. She has served as captain of the JV Tennis Team as a sophomore and has played on the team for four years now. She is also an active member of the Future Problem Solving Club and started her own animal philanthropy club.
Natalie originally did not plan to audition for the Rose Court, but in the end she decided to try out just for the experience of it. After applying on the Tournament of Roses website, she attended the first 15 second interview. The entire selection process takes almost a month, and includes four interviews. Applicants had 15 seconds in front of the selection committee to state their tryout number and tell them why they were participating for a spot on the Royal Court before they were given two tickets to the Royal Ball and photographed with a bouquet of red roses.
“Be purposeful and concise with your 15-second answer!” Natalie said. “Two days after that first interview, they emailed me that I made it to the next round. The next few interviews were much longer and the questions they asked me became progressively more in depth.”
These questions included: If you could volunteer for one cause, what would it be? and What are the best and worst byproducts of social media?
“I was so excited and surprised when they called my name during the announcement of the Court. I received a rigorous schedule of over a hundred events, and I am so pumped to be a part of such a great tradition,” she explained.
Since her nomination to the Royal Court, Natalie has gone through a series of training sessions for her appearances on television.
“We are currently undergoing makeovers and attending etiquette and speech training. My next speaking event will be at the Queen’s Coronation on October 20th, followed by a short pitch on the benefits of LCUSD schools. As for the whole group, we will visit and speak at hospitals, schools, churches, and government offices,” Natalie said.
Be sure to congratulate Natalie Petrosian on her rise to Pasadena royalty and wish her luck on the Queen’s Coronation on October 20th!
By Rachel Lee
Engineering and AP Statistics teacher Mr. Michael Kassarjian, one of our newest educators at LCHS, is thoroughly excited to greet his students.
Prior to arriving at our school, Mr. Kassarjian was deeply embedded in the American education system. He received his Bachelor’s in Materials Science and Engineering at UCLA and his Master’s in Ceramic Science at Pennsylvania State University. Mr. Kassarjian then shifted his attention from engineering to teaching, and earned his teaching credentials at UC Irvine. He worked within a nonprofit educational organization before catching wind of LCHS.
“I thought if I could make a difference in middle school and high school math, then there would be more students going into science, which is my ultimate goal,” said Mr. Kassarjian. “It was obvious when I came [to LCHS] that students were coming to school ready to learn.”
In terms of teaching here at LCHS, Mr. Kassarjian believes that AP Statistics will teach students to become American citizens who will build a better society for future generations. He encourages more people to take AP Statistics, undeterred by the “advanced” stigma around the subject.
“I love how passionate he is about Statistics and how he wears a tie everyday,” said Asher Fausett (12), a student in Mr. Kassarjian’s third period class. “He does a good job of making interesting activities.”
These “interesting activities” stem from Mr. Kassarjian’s firm belief that students are children and still need time to develop their skills. He is alarmed by the amount of homework students are given, saying, “I think we are giving so much homework that it’s preventing students from having fun. We’re doing something wrong if homework is taking precedence over something as simple as sleep.”
Mr. Kassarjian’s door is always open to students passionate about the STEM majors or simply tired from the stress of academics. If you ever want to talk about statistics, engineering, or even ties, feel free to drop in at Room 214 and say hello!
By Minzie Kim
The La Cañada Unified School District has a distinct Special Education program that has been developed by its dedicated teachers and staff members. Mrs. Tara Georgenes is the newest addition to this program for the new school year.
Despite her childhood dream of becoming an actress, Mrs. Georgenes has pursued a future of teaching and education instead.
“I chose teaching because I wanted to give service to kids and the community. I enjoy advocating for students that have different needs, and I enjoy trying to reach every single student and get him or her to achieve to his or her highest potential. That is why I’ve chosen to become a teacher as well as a specialist,” she said.
Mrs. Georgenes has been with the district for 10 years and counting. She began working as a homeschool teacher for grades seven through twelve, as well as teaching K1 students at Palm Crest. With a need for staff at the high school, Mrs. Georgenes moved locations this year.
Mrs. Georgenes looks forward to working with her students and using the new technology.
“I love facilitating learning using the technology at this grade level. Ten years ago, techonology like this wasn’t the norm, so I’ve been really enjoying using the technology that's available right now from the district. Putting it into practice and seeing students interact with each other using them is something I enjoy seeing.”
Mrs. Georgenes is particularly excited about the use of new technology because it gives her students the tools needed to express themselves and what they want to do.
“I hope to influence my students to use the tools that we have been giving them for the past four years and come to make their own informed responsible choices when making life commitments or deciding their opinion on important issues,” she said.
By Saira Singh
Ms. Melissa Stanley is a new English teacher at La Cañada High School, working with freshmen and sophomores in English 1 and English 2.
Stanley attended Crescenta Valley High School and majored in anthropology and music at UC San Diego. She has worked in education for four years, one of which was spent in Japan.
“I grew up in La Crescenta just down the road, so when I saw the job opening here, I was really excited to come back so close to my neighborhood. When I met principal McFeat and some of the other teachers, they seemed like a really great school community that I wanted to be a part of,” Ms. Stanley said.
As a child, her dream job was to be a geologist. Now, however, she loves teaching English.
“I became an English teacher because I’ve always loved reading for pleasure and studying grammar,” Ms. Stanley said.
So far, she is really enjoying teaching and getting to know her students.
“I think the students and teachers really respect each other. It feels like everyone is here to learn and have a good time. I’m looking forward to getting to know my students and seeing all of their extracurricular activities,”she said.
Stanley has many hobbies herself, which include cooking, sewing, giving piano lessons, playing the French horn, and watching Netflix.
“Ms. Stanley is really fun and really nice. I think she really cares about her students and is a good teacher,” said one of her students, Joanne Oh (9).
If you see Ms. Stanley walking down the halls, be sure to say ‘hi’. She will undoubtedly respond with a friendly wave and a warm smile.
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