Students danced the night away at the Dana Point Ocean Institute for this year’s Prom, “A Night Under the Lanterns.” Aside from the typical dance floor and DJ, this year’s prom featured several other highlights, including a fire pit, a view of the ocean, dessert and beverage tables, and a photo booth complete with goofy accessories.
The opinions about Prom were as diverse as the students who attended it. Ashley Tfaye, senior, had a unique experience for her last high school dance:
“Mr. Howell pretty much introduced me to the guy who was working the photo booth -- he was really cute! At the end of the dance, when he was cleaning up the photo booth, he was just standing there, and one of my friends, Alisha Leonard, asked him if he would slow dance with me. So, he agreed and he grabbed my hand and we went to the dance floor and danced to the last song.”
Yasmine El-Assadi, another senior, said:
“I had a lot of fun just going with my friends,and I liked [Prom.]”
Jen Melendez almost had a negative experience at Prom, as she “almost fell in the fire.”
Marcie Mathieu simply said that:
“Prom was cool, I guess.”
Franco Ramirez and Taylor Jones were this year’s Prom King and Prom Queen, respectively.
Both Ramirez and Jones found winning the titles to be a positive experience. According to Jones,
“It was a highlight moment to be standing up there,” and says “Thank you [to] everyone [who] voted for me, it was a very exciting moment.”
Upon hearing he had been voted Prom King, Ramirez was “surprised, but [very happy.]” When asked about how he felt winning the title of Prom King on his first Prom, Ramirez said
“I never asked anyone to vote for me, but at the end of the day I was very happy...because it’s an honor and it’s something I could say when I graduate, something I could be proud of.”
Written by Maria Diaz
Vuvox by Nisha Degante
Students at UC Berkeley
From May 30th to June 1st, the CMHS Delta and M.E.S.A programs took a group of students to San Francisco.
On this tour, students visited famous universities Stanford and UC Berkeley, and enjoyed other Bay Area sights such as the Exploratorium, Chinatown, and Pier 39, even getting to sample the famous Boudin sourdough bread.
This trip brought many new experiences and outlooks for the group. A lot of students got to experience riding a BART Train and trolley for the first time, which was considered amazing because it was nothing like they had seen back at home. Some students started considering applying to the Universities they visited, while others simply just enjoyed the three-day break they got with exciting experiences and new memories.
Despite the trip being fairly short, the students and teachers did their best to squeeze in as much as they can to get a taste of the city.
Both students and teachers loved the trip; many said that they would definitely go back, and some even started planning trips for the summer.
Sophomore Almila Tanar said “My favorite part of this trip has to be visiting Berkley because I got to see a new university.”
The teachers also agree that they had a great time and had some amazing experiences on this trip.Many of the students that went to the trip also recommend that anyone planning a vacation should really consider San Francisco.
Freshman Christopher Hutchinson recommends that “You bring a lot of money!”
Best and Worst of the San Francisco Trip (as told by the students):
Best Part: Visiting Pier 39
Worst Part: It was too short and cable car drivers are mean!
Must See : Golden Gate Bridge
Where they wished they had visited: Alcatraz
Arizona (the eighth grade Delta Trip) vs. San Francisco: Arizona, simply because San Francisco was too short
Was the trip worth it? : Yes! Good fun and a good price.
Story and Photos by Serena Ozonur
Storify Produced by Alan Aguirre
The Settles sisters and Jeyarajah with their awards
“First place in the state is a huge accomplishment and the recognition was well deserved!”
This statement is from Darleen JeyaRajah, mother of senior Noah JeyaRajah. Noah JeyaRajah, along with fellow seniors and Virtual Enterprise classmates Molly Settles and Megan Settles were recognized at the Newport-Mesa Unified School District board meeting on Tuesday, May 28, 2013.
Back in mid-March, both class periods of the Virtual Enterprise program traveled to San Francisco to compete in a variety of events, one of which was Venture Capital.
Venture Capital has been repeatedly referred to the reality television series “Shark Tank”. Entrepreneurs present a short and to-the-point look at their potential company in hopes of getting big businessmen to invest in their company.
For the past three years at least one company from CMHS has placed at the top, against the numerous schools from all across the state. CMHS has two companies in the program: GLEAN and Odyssey Bike Share. Odyssey Bike Share placed fourth in the competition with GLEAN taking first.
On Tuesday evening, principal of CMHS Dr. Phil D’Agostino was welcomed to the front in order to introduce the program and reviewed the primary purpose of each company and their success throughout the year.
Two of the four coordinators, Mrs. Cheri Sheldon and Mr. Michael Milchiker, were among the many who granted JeyaRajah and the Settles sisters their certificates.
“The new staff and energetic students that made up this year’s VE team made ‘rebuilding’ a new definition,” D’Agostino commented. “The success of both of the teams exceeded even our traditional expectations.”
------------------------------------------------------ Read Also: Virtual Enterprise Gets Down to Business by Maria Diaz------------------------------------------------------
Board member Katrina Foley expressed shortly after the awards, “I just want to congratulate these young people…they are going and doing great things because of the great education they got at Costa Mesa High School and so I am very proud of them and wish them lots of success.”
After the recognition that both Costa Mesa High School and the Virtual Enterprise Business Academy received, Sheldon and Milchiker were “proud” of the events throughout the year.
“I am extremely proud of what both GLEAN and Odyssey Bike Share accomplished this year. It was a great honor for me and the VE program to be recognized by the school board,” Milchiker stated.
An event like Tuesdays serves many purposes, one of which being an act of recruitment, which both Sheldon and Milchiker quickly realized.
“It’s really all about you guys [the students]. Program recognition helps us recruit students to the academy-and students who really want to work to achieve great things,” Sheldon stated.
As Milchiker commented that he is “sure this will help keep this distinguished program growing.”
As well as an act of recruitment, this recognition serves as a good sense of morale to the people in charge.
“Seeing kids succeed is why we became teachers. Repeated success of my students just validates for me that I must be doing something right every once in a while, at least,” Sheldon expressed.
Written by Kelsey Armstrong
Photo contributed by Indi JeyaRajah
Foundations of the middle school enclave
We’ve all seen the bulldozers and heard the wretched sounds of construction in the junior high area of Costa Mesa High School, but what exactly is going to happen? D'Agostino explaining the construction plans
Many rumors about the situation have spread among students, but none truly hit the mark. Not only is the front of the school being renovated, but a new middle school enclave, a state of the art performing arts theater, and a new parking lot will be built.
Currently, the construction workers are starting on the first phase of the renovations, which is the middle school enclave.
"It's probably the most significant construction at Costa Mesa High School since it's been open," said Dr. D'Agostino.
The closed off area where the current construction is taking place is not the only area that will be affected. Teachers like Mr. Serio and Mrs. Marchbank will be relocated to new classrooms, as the current ones will soon be under construction for a new parking area.
The new middle school enclave will result in eight to eleven brand new classrooms equipped with the latest technology.
This project was approved and funded by the voters of our district through the use of a bond measure.
“It was a very complicated process that involved working with the community and all of our stake holders to secure the funding for it,” said Dr. Peralta.
“We have floated a bond, which means that we are asking tax payers, as a part of their property taxes to pay for the construction of this facility,” explained Dr. D’Agostino.
The voters in our district had to approve the plans of renovation in order for anything to take effect. There were two bond measures approved: Measure A and Measure F. Measure A included past renovations of Newport Harbor and the building of Jim Scott Stadium, while Measure F includes the renovations being made on our campus as well as on Corona Del Mar, which is also currently under construction. Measure F was designed to improve school facilities.
Construction of these facilities began this year. Last year, the land was flattened for survey, but the construction of the new facilities could not begin until the state approved building plans. The approval process is lengthy, which answers many students' question of why it took so long for construction to actually begin.
Workers have now laid a foundation and have built the frame of part of the middle school enclave.
The enclave is being built with structural safety as the first priority.
“It’s extremely over-engineered for student safety,” said Dr. D’Agostino.
Other classroom improvements include air conditioning and energy-efficient technology.
Other features include a new technology lab for middle school students and a large plaza area that will perhaps be used for the middle school promotion ceremony.
Sophomore Margarita Cruz remembers the old parking lot from when she attended middle school. "It seemed like it was just a pile of dirt. I'm really glad we're using the space for something useful.
"I think it's great that they're rebuilding it!" commented eighth grader Jianna Florek. "I think the old area need to be fixed because it was getting a little old and it needed a fresh start."
The full project will be finished by September 2014. The current fifth and sixth graders will be the first to make use of these new state of the art facilities.
“It was certainly needed, and we’re very grateful to the community of Costa Mesa for their support in allowing us to move forward with this construction,” said Dr. Peralta.
Written by Hayley Petersen and Natalie Tetreault
Photos by Kelsey Armstrong
Election Week for the ASB 2013-14 school year took place last week, concluding on Friday with voting and announcement of the winners.
The main competition this year was between juniors Ciara Rudas and Sophie Harriman, who ran for ASB President.
Ciara has been in ASB every year since her freshman year. Her competitor, Sophie, has been a part of ASB since her sophomore year, due to the fact that she came from St. John the Baptist school and couldn't run at the end of her 8th grade year for a freshman position.
Competition for Senior President also was a popular topic among students, as there was a three-way competition between Logan Whalen, Jimmy Palacios, and McKenzie Soldin. Logan and McKenzie both have prior ASB experience, while Jimmy does not.
"I want to get more involved. I feel like I'd be fun and a good experience," Jimmy said.
While there were several positions with tense competition, many other candidates ran unopposed. These included Jayme Krohndfeldt (1st VP), Jazzy Jaime (2nd VP), Kyle Hefner (Senior Class VP), Stephanie Rand (Senior Class Secretary), and Haylee Jack (Sophomore President). The entire incoming junior class also ran unopposed, composed of Catherine Kricorian for President, Zaira Lopez for VP, and Jeirany Chavez for Secretary. The trio all had the same positions this year as sophomores.
The week of campaigning began on Monday when the candidates hung their posters before school. The candidates were allowed to hang no more than 10 posters and 50 flyers in designated areas. ------------------- Read also: We Are ASB by Courtney Hatch--------------------
These aren't the only guidelines students must follow when running for office. In fact, the whole process of running for office began long before Monday.
There is a qualification process for students who want to either run for office or be appointed to another position through interviews.
"Everyone that’s interested comes to a meeting and is given a paper to go to the attendance office and the discipline office. They need the right grades and grade point average to run. You can’t have any discipline issues and there are teacher recommendations,” said Student Government advisor Ms. Scott, who oversees the election process.
On Thursday at tutorial, current 9th-11th graders gathered in the large gym to hear speeches from the candidates. Many candidates said they were nervous to give speeches in front of the large crowd.
"I want the week to be over," commented Logan Whalen.
Despite running unopposed, Zaira Lopez said, "It still freaks me out [to give my speech]."
While there's no doubt that every candidate wanted to win, the feelings between the competitors were overall friendly. Friends Summer Nguyen and Sylvia Catania ran against another for Sophomore Secretary. While this situation might cause tension between two friends, the two were comfortable with it.
"If I lose, I would want to lose to Sylvia," said Summer.
After the current freshman gave their speeches, it was clear that time would run out before they could get through everyone. It was decided that the incoming junior class officers would not give speeches because they had no competition. All Incoming senior class officers gave their speeches, but by the time they were done, tutorial was over and it was decided that the candidates for ASB President would give their speeches via intercom during Friday morning's announcements. 1st VP and 2nd VP were also excused from giving speeches because they ran unopposed.
Voting began at nutrition on Friday. Several factors influenced the decisions students made on who they will cast their vote for.
Many try to get to know the personality of the candidates when making their decisions.
"[I vote for] who I think will be the most hard working and dedicated," said freshman Mary Taylor.
Freshman Brittney Chatham said,"how they treat others" is how she chooses who she votes for.
Sophomores Janet Acevedo and Viviana Rodriguez Campos, as well as junior Lourdes Mendez agreed that a candidate's speech is a major factor in deciding.
There have been several complaints in the past that ASB elections are merely popularity contests, and that the people with the most friends are the ones who win. Some people agree with this claim, but others think otherwise.
One student said, “I’ll vote for my friend," while another replied, “I don’t vote for people just because they’re my friends. I vote for the person that I trust more."
Ms. Scott is hopeful. "I hope that you can really listen to the speeches and set aside popularity and set aside your friends. I think our two candidates for ASB President, Sophie and Ciara, who have been members of our class for so long, have a good foundation and will do a good job in leading this school forward.”
After what seemed like a long week for the candidates, the winners were announced via the CMHS ASB Facebook page on Friday after school and are pictured below.
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Written by Natalie Tetreault and Alan Aguirre
Photos by Ana Puga and Quan Nguyen
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During the week of April 22nd, the Environmental and Marine Academy and the AP Environmental Science class teamed together to bring environmental awareness to the CMHS campus.
“The purpose of Earth week is to help educate the student population on campus about different environmental issues that are either important to our community or have a large global importance. It is also to try to get people excited about doing things to help the environment,” said EMA advisor Mrs. Rasmussen.
Students were split into groups and given topics to teach the student body. Each team had to design a booth with an activity relating to their topic, giving out prizes such as lollipops and cookies by the Dome at lunch.
“I really think this helps the awareness of people, because these activities help people learn something without even realizing it,” said senior Chris Byers, who presented a project on ocean acidification.
Ocean acidification and overfishing presented on Tuesday; Organic Food and Smart Growth was on Wednesday; Plastic Ocean Pollution and Urban Runoff was on Thursday; and Wetland Restoration, Hydraulic Fracturing, and Drinking Water was on Friday.
Students were given their topics in mid-January through a list generated by Mrs. Rasmussen, and have been planning them for months. Beyond their computer screens, students also interview experts in the community.
“They bring their booths together and plan out their activities and how they’re going to teach people different things, and it all happens this magical week!” Mrs. Rasmussen commented.------------- Read also: EMA Explores Catalina by Jimmy Palacios------------
The idea for Earth Week was conceived about 6 years ago, when Mrs. Rasmussen and the EMA team were trying to fulfill a requirement for a grant that would provide money for field trips.
“We’re involved in a program called the WHALES program with Orange County Coast Keeper… Part of their grant involves this thing called the community action project, so students are supposed to research a topic, interview someone, and find somewhere that they can go to present it,” Mrs. Rasmussen said.
They then decided to lump it together with an Earth Day celebration on campus, which fell on April 22nd this year. Beyond the walls of CMHS, EMA students have also presented their topics at South Coast Plaza and the Community Run, and have organized activities such as beach clean ups.
“I think Earth Week is very beneficial to the student body. It’s something we need to learn, because what we’re doing to our planet now is not good,” said junior Valarie Keller, who presented the topic on drinking water. “We need to learn the processes we do and what their effect would be on the environment.”
Added senior Tin Truong, who completed a project on hydraulic fracturing, “This is just to show what is really going on outside in the world.”
Written by Loralee Sepsey
Photos by Stephanie Rand and Rachel Russell
The Environmental and Marine Academy
Leaving from CMHS at 8am, a bus arrived in Long Beach and the Environmental and Marine Academy boarded a ferry to take them across the sea. Leaving Friday, April 5th, this group of students went on a three day adventure to Catalina Island.
The boat ride was about two hours long; Two long, cold hours waiting to arrive to a beautiful island. After a while, you could tell who had eaten breakfast by watching who was throwing up.
The group arrived in Catalina, where they met the instructors, Stacey and Bella. They had a quick meeting and were told where to sleep; afterwards, they had about an hour to explore the gorgeous island.
There was much to do on Catalina, such as volleyball, basketball, rock climbing, soccer, football, strolls on the beach, and an interesting sport called Gaga Ball.
Gaga Ball is basically like dodgeball, but you can only get a person out by hitting them below the knees.
The first activity the group did together was a hike up eight mountains. This hike was fun, interesting, and challenging for some. The group spotted a variety of animals, including a couple of snakes, a variety of birds, and a bison.
EMA also conducted a variety of lab experiments that helped them learn about the deep blue ocean, using different algae and petting sharks and other sea creatures.
The group going snorkeling
However, the activity most members looked forward to was snorkeling.
When the time finally came to explore the sea, the adventurers were cold but full of excitement. They saw a variety of fish, including the Garibaldi fish, which is bright orange, like the sun.
If that wasn't enough, they also went night snorkeling and saw creatures of the dark in the water. They found a sea cucumber, which they all kissed in order to have 7 years of good luck.
The group went exploring along the beachside and found many interesting items, such as crabs of all sizes, shells, and beautiful sea glass.
On the last day, the trip was cut short due to weather conditions that would have made the trip back somewhat dangerous.
With sad hearts, the group said their goodbyes and parted ways.
When asked about how EMA could afford their trips, Mrs. Rasmussen explained that they got a grant for the Catalina trip specifically, and are only allowed one grant each year. The rest of the trips cost $60, but that only pays for the food. The rest is paid for already, like the rooms and transportation.
All in all, the trip was an amazing and unforgettable experience it seems nobody will forget.
Written by Jimmy Palacios
Photos by Ana Puga
Photo from the Daily Pilot
At approximately 11:30am on Thursday April 4th Kyndall Jack, 18, was located in the Trabuco Canyon and airlifted to UC Irvine Medical Center for further examination. At first glance, she was severely dehydrated and exhausted and told rescuers she was experiencing shortness of breath.
A fellow hiker who was not indicated to be part of the actual search heard a female voice and found it to be Jack's. She was discovered in dense brush lying over rocks.VIDEO FROM NBC LA: FOLLOW THIS LINK
Nicholas Cendoya, 19, was located on Wednesday evening at approximately 9pm. He was airlifted to Mission Hospital in Mission Viejo. He was confused and disoriented. His condition is serious and he is severely dehydrated.
As of Friday, April 5, Cendoya was recovering in Mission Hospital in Mission Viejo from dehydration. Jack was recovering at UC Irvine Medical Center from dehydration, a sprained ankle, and a few cuts and bruises. No other serious injuries have been reported.
The CMHS alumni were hiking in the Trabuco Canyon area and lost their way on the trail. According to authorities, the couple called the police around 8:25pm on Easter Sunday for help and stated they thought they were about a mile or so from their car. Soon after, their cell phone battery died. Authorities were able to locate their green BMW.
It is suspected that they strayed off the main trail and took a detour when they realized they could not find their way back.
Authorities urged inexperienced volunteers on Wednesday afternoon not to help in the ongoing search for Jack and Cendoya, when a volunteer was air-lifted out of the area when she fell down a steep slope and supposedly injured her back.
The support from the community was overwhelming as friends, family, and total strangers joined in the search.
Several Facebook events numbered in the thousands in the amount of attendees. People not only have coordinated their driving arrangements to Trabuco Canyon on these event walls, but have shared any and all information they have gathered throughout the search.
With Jack and Cendoya now home safe, the Orange County Sheriff's Department released a video highlighting the dangers of hiking and how you can protect yourself in the event of an emergency. VIDEO FROM NBC LA: FOLLOW THIS LINK
Photo from the Daily Pilot
Nicolas Cendoya shares his gratitude when he finds out of all the efforts put into his and Kyndall Jack's search, throughout Trabuco Canyon.
(To the right: Cendoya's Facebook status update posted on Thursday in his recovery soon after Jack was found.)
Written by Kelsey Armstrong
Videos by Carly Dixon