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
Produced by Jimmy Palacios
On the soccer fields for the disaster drill
In response to several safety concerns in the event of a disaster, Costa Mesa High School held a school-wide disaster simulation drill during tutorial on Tuesday the 19th.
Before the simulation, staff members attended a meeting in which they were assigned new responsibilities in case of an emergency and received training for those duties. Departments of those responsibilities include communications, attendance, search/rescue, documentation, supply/equipment, and many more.
Middle school science teacher Mr. Bell is a member of the search and rescue team. His specific duties are to "confirm rooms are clear and to help anyone who's injured." In the case that conditions are not safe for staff in the search and rescue department, additional professional help is called. Each search/rescue member is assigned a certain area of campus to perform these duties. Several Student Government students acted as "injured" students so that the search and rescue team members could simulate their responsibilities fully.
After these "injured" students were rescued, they were brought to the first aid area. Staff members in the first aid department made reports of the injured and provided basic first aid. They used a color-coded system to identify the extent of injury the student had. Members are able to treat injuries like cuts and broken bones, but in the event that something is more serious, the grass area between the baseball and softball fields would be used as a helicopter landing area to transport those in critical condition.--------------------------------------------------------------Read also: Prepare for Disaster... by Collette Rhoads --------------------------------------------------------
Members of the first aid team
Two "injured" students, Audrey Taylor and Rachel Russell, said they were posing as injured and didn't get taken out to the first-aid area.
"We didn’t get carried to the area where everyone else did. Eventually security came and just told us that the drill is over," said Rachel.
One of the simulated situations that occurred in the drill was a fire in chemistry teacher Mr. Ryan's room. Three students were injured and were later rescued, and Mr. Ryan suffered the only casualty of the drill. This posed as a problem though, as Mr. Ryan was unavailable to do his job in Supply/Equipment, and the only other teacher in that department is Mr. Center, who was not at school for the drill.
In the event of an emergency where it is safe for student to be reunited with their parents, the Request and Reunion areas will be in charge of carrying out reunions safely. At the request gate, located behind the small gym by the handball courts, teachers checked the IDs of parents and made sure that it matched the information on the student's emergency card. If the parent or guardian is not on the student's emergency card, they will not be released to that person under any circumstance. After the parent or guardian is confirmed to have permission, runners go to the soccer field to retrieve the student and bring them to be reunited with their parents. The runners were members of the Student Government class, and will have the same responsibilities in a real situation.
While some unexpected events took place, the drill gave staff members a chance to "run through their responsibilities" and hopefully better prepare us in case of an emergency.
Written by Natalie Tetreault
Photos by Ana Puga
Adriana Rodriguez and Kyle Whiteside
With the crowning of Adriana Rodriguez and Kyle Whiteside new royalty reigns over Costa Mesa High School. Last Friday, March 22, students paraded around displaying their best in front of teacher judges' Mr. Poveda, Miss Cross, Miss Hayes, Mrs. Soldin, Mrs. Olguin, Mrs. Hooker, and Mrs. Kori Johnson.
The participating contestants consisted of Rodriguez and seniors Courtney Hatch, Gabrielle Hoover, Marcie Mathieu, Nakita Rico, and Megan Settles. The boys were Whiteside and seniors Chris Byers, Jake Lux, Eduardo Villegas, and juniors Jimmy Palacios and Logan Whalen.
Juniors McKenna Patton and Royce Friedmann hosted the night. They came with some humorous jokes and exciting lines that got the audience enthused about the next coming act.
As in a traditional pageant the competition consisted of the formal wear, talent, and swim wear components.
There was a wide variety of performances in the talent portion of the competition.
This included Byers, with his enthusiastic rendition of “Everybody Talks” by Neon Trees accompanied by seniors Taylor Jones and Selena Arreola.
Lux challenged himself by balancing a soccer ball on his ankle while juggling ping pong balls. Rodriguez sang “Call Your Girlfriend” by Lennon and Maisy Stella, using cups as her instruments. Rico and senior Alan Aguirre gave a fun and exciting performance with their air guitars to "Kickstart my Heart" by Motley Crew.
Jake Lux and Courtney Hatch in their "swimwear"
Whiteside’s own band Whiteside and the Steezers gave an original performance to “Californication” by Red Hot Chili Peppers. Whiteside was on bass and joined by three of his good friends including CMHS Alum Kory Bennion on vocals.
Jimmy Palacios was then brought to the stage where he sang “What Makes You Beautiful” by One Direction in Spanish.
Palacios expressed how he “was looking forward to the talent portion to see what the other competitors did.”
Probably the most memorable of all was junior Logan Whalen dancing to “Single Ladies” by Beyonce alongside Jones and Arreola.
As the talent portion came to a close, the swimwear began. All contestants strolled on stage in pairs. Lux and Hatch had their own take on swimwear and came fully clothed in winter wear.
Finalists Adriana Rodriguez, Megan Settles, & Courtney Hatch
The finalists were revealed after intermission to be Palacios, Whalen, and Whiteside for the boys, and Hatch, Rodriguez, and Settles for the girls.
Remaining contestants were given a Q&A before the judges made their final decisions.
“I love judging the show,” Poveda shared when asked about his participation. “I’ve done it lots of times before; I will always try to judge this if I can. The students at this school are just fabulous, they have such great spirit, they put on such a great show.”
Soldin had similar feelings. “I think it is great fun. I love to see the variety of talent, the humor, and the fun. The kids have a great time doing it.”
The judges were able to come to a final decision, announcing the winners as Palacios in third, Whalen in second, and Kyle Whiteside as Mr. Mesa. Hatch came in third, second was Settles, and finally Adriana Rodriguez was crowned Ms. Mesa.
Both winners were, in different ways, not expecting to win.
“Of course all of us went into it wanting to win," Whiteside expressed. "But I knew I had some very good competitors up against me and I respect all the guys I went up against. It was a tough competition and it definitely was not easy, we all had to try our hardest.”
“I was very surprised [about winning]," Rodriguez shared regarding her win. "Courtney [Hatch] and Megan [Settles] did an awesome job; they were so funny and so cute. I would have been ok with not winning, but winning was such a surprise and such a great surprise!”
Written by Kelsey Armstrong
Photos and Video by Carly Dixon
Odyssey's Venture Capital Team
Virtual Enterprise companies Glean and Odyssey Bike Share placed first and fourth, respectively, in the Venture Capital Competition in San Francisco.
Venture Capital is a competition in which company representatives deliver a sales pitch to judges who would invest their “capital” in the company. For the third year in a row, at least one of CMHS’ companies earned first place in this event.
Venture Capital teams consisted of Molly Settles, Megan Settles, and Noah Jeyarajah for Glean and Michelle Luna, Rachel Witter, and Maria Diaz for Odyssey.
As many as 42 companies from other schools in the state competed in the Venture Capital competition, and 65 companies competed in others. Other areas of competition included Best Salesmanship, Best Booth, Human Resources, Website Design, and Marketing Plan.
Katreen Debbas, Odyssey’s Vice President of Sales, placed third in Best Salesmanship, while Glean’s Vice President of Human Resources, Zyerie Ramirez, and Human Resources Associate, Mayra Alvarez, placed sixth in Human Resources. Glean also obtained an Honorable Mention in Best Booth, while Odyssey was awarded an Honorable Mention in Best Booth, Marketing Plan, and Web Design.
Glean faced a major obstacle when Alexa Negrillo, CFOO, could not attend the San Francisco trip due to family issues. Because Negrillo was in charge of financials, which is a key part in the competition, Negrillo’s absence made a strong impact on the team. Megan Settles, Vice President of Public Relations, took Negrillo’s place instead.
“It was an obstacle that we had to sort of get over...it’s scary going to something like Venture Capital not comfortable with your financials... but I think it ended up being as good [as it could have been] because you could that tell me, Megan and Noah [Jeyarajah] had really good chemistry,” Molly Settles said of the change.
Before the competition, Rachel Witter, Chief Financial Operating Officer (CFOO) of Odyssey, felt “a little nervous [since] scripts have been constantly changed,” but at the same time looked forward to the sightseeing.
Mike Milchiker, the Virtual Enterprise teacher, had high expectations for the group.
“There is a great deal of preparation that goes into getting ready for the various trade shows we attend. Both Odyssey Bike Share and Glean were very successful at last week’s Bay Area Trade Show because all the employees worked very hard together to become a stronger team.”
After winning fourth place, Michelle Luna felt that “[Odyssey’s Venture Capital team] worked really hard and fourth place out of so many schools, to me, is just a big accomplishment,” especially since they “waited until the last minute to write [and memorize] scripts.”
Despite the team’s mistakes, they remained optimistic throughout the competition.
“We were just kind of like ‘win or lose, we’re just gonna go out there and do our best,’ so we had a more positive attitude towards it,” Luna added.
Virtual Enterprise students and chaperones Mike Milchiker, Cheri Sheldon, Joey Sheldon, and Matt Hancock, left for Oakland on a Friday afternoon and returned Monday night. On Saturday and Sunday evening, the group took a break from competition and toured different areas of San Francisco, including the Golden Gate Bridge, Haight-Ashbury, Chinatown, Fisherman’s Wharf, and Ghirardelli Square.
“At CMHS, we have no problem coming up with sophisticated, cutting-edge ideas," commented Mrs. Sheldon. "Our students have done great this year! I’m very proud of how both companies have done.”
Glean's Venture Capital team
Written by Maria Diaz
Photos by Quan Nguyen