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The expense of Senior Ball

March 11, 2011 Leave a comment

By Marivic Victoria

On May 1, 2011 the Senior Class will be holding their Senior Ball at the Academy of Sciences in San Francisco. Due to the cost of such a high class venue, the Senior Class is still in need of fundraising to pay for the event.

The cost of holding Senior Ball at the Academy of Sciences is approximately $40,000. To raise the funds, the Senior Officers have put on fundraisers throughout the year in order to reduce bid expenses. “Senior sweaters and homecoming t-shirt sales brought in majority of the profit,” Senior Class President Charlene De Castro said. Another large sum has come from snack boxes and selling food and drinks like nachos and Eggettes after school.

To date, the Senior Class has been able to raise most of the money but still has around $2000 left. “Of course we’re trying to exceed that goal so bids will be even cheaper, but that’s only possible with some help from our class,” Senior Class Secretary Matthew Tan said.

To meet the May deadline, the senior officers have set up a few more fundraisers in order to reduce bid prices, such as the annual Rent-A-Senior on held on February 16. Students had the opportunity to bid on seniors who put themselves up for auction with the proceeds directly to that senior’s ball bid.

Seniors have also sold different types of deserts from Gateway Company in the hopes of paying off the last of the expenses. There are delicate delights such as Moca Cake, Lava-Licious Hot Fudge Cakes, and Brown Poppers.

Tan felt strongly in “doing it big” for the Senior Class and that they deserve that much.

Another fundraiser being held will be a Bingo Night on March 29 in El Camino’s cafeteria. Each ticket will be $40 and only for eighteen year olds and up. Each sold ticket from a senior will knock off $15 from their ball bid.

Categories: News Tags: , , , ,

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 Review

December 9, 2010 Leave a comment

By Marivic Victoria

(Photo Warner Bros.)

When I walked into Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part One, I expected great things, and great things were delivered. In this installment, director David Yates starts the final chapter of the film series with Harry Potter, Hermione Granger, Ron Weasley going on their last adventure together fighting Lord Voldemort.

Throughout their adventure, Harry, Ron, and Hermione encounter many difficulties with not only Lord voldemort, but within their friendship. The movie provides great plot and suspense as they fight for their lives and the wizarding world. The movie leaves viewers anticipating part two, which is going to be released in July 2011.

For the first part of the final chapter, Director David Yates did an excellent job portraying J.K. Rowling’s phenomenal series. I was very impressed with how closely the movie paralleled the book. Although it was an excellent movie, it moved too slow for my liking. Certain scenes were added to give the audience more of an understanding but it started to become more of a soap opera than a movie.

Although I bought a ticket for Harry Potter and received a much darker, soap opera form, the cast did a great job in portraying the true feelings of their characters. Rupert Grint, the actor who portrays Ron Weasley, made me laugh and cry all in one movie; he did an excellent job in playing the role. With its quirks, I still believe this movie was great.

I strongly recommend watching this epic movie. I give it 4 out of 5.

 

El Camino athletic director steps down from post

December 3, 2010 Leave a comment

By Marivic Victoria

Anthony Khoo (Photo Ray Concepcion)

Athletic Director Anthony Khoo resigned from his position earlier this year due to personal issues. Taking the position, math teacher Sonny Lau replaced him as of October 29, 2010.
“My dad passed away in January, my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer in August, and I’m expecting my second child in January,” Khoo said regarding his decision to step down to focus on his personal responsibilities.
Prior to becoming the Athletic Director, Khoo started off as the basketball coach with large goals in mind.
“I wanted to establish El Camino’s basketball team as a local power. When anybody spoke of our team, I wanted them to speak about how they respected us for what we have accomplished,” Khoo said. As Khoo moved onto the position of Athletic Director, he saw it as an opportunity to expand his goals to the rest of El Camino’s sports.
While working towards reaching his goal, misunderstandings between Khoo, the administration, other coaches and boosters constantly came up.
“Time and time again I heard I was being selfish, but I wasn’t looking to coach the next Lebron James, but to coach a new coach to help inspire others,” Khoo said. Khoo felt the conflict wasn’t about him, but about the athletes, to create a great environment where they can pursue their talents.
Although there were disagreements, Khoo kept working towards his goal. As time passed by, he realized that it wasn’t an easy goal to accomplish.
“I’ve accepted that I’m not able to achieve the goal on my own with my circumstances, but I hope someone will complete my mission and push us to the full goal, for all the students,” Khoo said. As Khoo steps down, his position passed to Lau who has a background in athletics having participated in basketball and track and field in high school.

Sonny Lau (Photo Ray Concepcion)

“Naturally, I was the person to fill in the position as I was the assistant athletic director previously,” Lau said. As time progressed, Lau found himself setting new goals as the new athletic director from continuing to run a successful athletic program to encouraging students to come out and participate in athletics. Another substantial goal for Lau is for students who are not athletes to come out and support the school at their athletic events.

Although Khoo has stepped down, he is still helping in a different way. Khoo still continues to coach the varsity boys’ basketball team and continues to help through fundraising for the entire athletic department. Lau continues to pursue Khoo’s goals for the athletic department, such as strengthening and expanding programs and creating a safe environment for athletes.
“For any athletic program, our first priority is always the safety of our athletes,” Lau said.

District employees make changes after safety seminar

December 9, 2009 Leave a comment

El Camino plays it safer

By Marivic Victoria

"Since the safety meeting, I have kept a set of very straight-forward rules and always remain aware of all possible things." Spanish teacher Denise Webb said. (Photo Marivic Victoria)

In response to the October 27 district safety meeting, El Camino High School has started taking precautions.

After the meeting, teachers began to take what they’ve learned and put it into action. Many teachers are now keeping their doors locked throughout the school day and cover their windows with papers or posters.

“Besides locking my door and covering my window, I have also educated my students about the procedures they must do and the different drills we need to practice,” math teacher Stephanie Lopes said.

Many additional steps are being considered towards El Camino’s safety. District wide, schools are implementing a uniform color safety cards. Yellow cards to indicate a class is safe and red to signal if someone is injured or there is danger.

“I think the new methods are a good idea, but it doesn’t really affect me as a student. I still think it will make things a little bit safer in case of an actual emergency,” junior Nathan Huey said.

The district has also been considering the banning of cell phones. In the occurrence of a lockdown, many students would feel the need to call their parents or the police. Having numerous students using their cell phones at the same time can overload cell phone towers and cause them to crash, preventing police and rescue personnel from being alerted to an emergency.

“I think in the perspective of a parent, it is important for their child to have a cell phone, but if a lockdown was to occur, we should leave the police or swat team to deal with and leave it alone,” Principal Adele Berg said.

As a school, it is important for us to take these issues seriously and train ourselves in case a shooting was to occur. Berg believes everyone should be trained and students should be able to know what to do if something was to go wrong.

Since our school has many open areas, it would be easy for an intruder to step in. It’s important for everyone to stay alert and warn someone if anything seems out of order.

“If a lockdown was to occur, I would get on my cell phone and alert the office immediately,” Campus Security Ron Haynes said.

In response to increasing school violence across the country, El Camino is finally taking matters into their own hands.

Categories: News Tags: , , ,

Making the most of reading period

November 10, 2009 Leave a comment

By Marivic Victoria

(Photo by Katrina Nolasco)

Every reading period students should be reading and using their time wisely. Reading period is set aside for students to have a time during their school day where they can relax, calmly read a book, magazine, newspaper, or any type of reading material that interests them with no pressure of being graded.

“Reading period was created several years ago for students to engage in reading outside of school,” librarian Bruce Cummings said, “Standard tests scores were weak [before reading period began], and putting in reading period might help students enjoy reading better.” Some students can barely get any reading done being distracted by other students who think the minutes should be used for more productive activities.

“Reading period is boring and a waste of time. You could be learning and doing more productive things,” senior Justine Bonillas said.

Students who don’t read are not only wasting their time, but fellow classmates and teachers time as well.

Students may think of reading period as a time to talk to friends or do homework. Teachers have to constantly tell their students to be quiet and take a book out, causing disruption to other students who actually want to read.

While some students fight reading period, teachers have their own opinions. “I love reading period, but I feel like a lot of students didn’t read. I get tired of my students’ lame brain answers on why they don’t read,” Spanish teacher Bonnie Watterson says.

Not only is reading period for students, but it gives time for teachers to take a break in their hectic schedule, to relax and read, along with their students.

A student can accomplish a lot of reading in those fifteen minutes not only for fun but also for any class that has a reading assignment. Reading and reviewing ones notes or textbook to study for a test is also an excellent use of the time. Reading for fifteen minutes every day can help you expand your interest in reading and discover interesting books by exceptional authors.

“I like reading period, it’s like ‘me time’ for a couple of minutes. I wish it was longer,” junior Lou San Jose said.

During reading period, consider choosing reading material that interests you, whether that’s a romance novel or a sports magazine. Reading period is not social time nor study hall: we have lunch to socialize and homework is called homework for a reason. Talking to friends, doing homework, and complaining about reading period, is counterproductive to the aims of reading. Be considerate to your peers and teachers. The best way to make reading period worth your time is to actually read.

Coach Khoo’s basketball study halls have positive effect on players

November 8, 2009 1 comment

Shooting for Academics

By Marivic Victoria

For El Camino’s boys’ varsity basketball team, it’s education first, basketball after. Varsity boys’ basketball coach, Anthony Khoo helps his team make academics their first priority by running study halls before practices ensuring they’re on top of their education.

The boys’ varsity team meets for a total of seven hours a week and four of those hours are spent in study hall. Khoo believes dedication to one’s schoolwork should take up more time than spending time doing a sport. “In addition to study halls, I enlist the help of our school secretary Ms. Franchi to check on our players’ grades to ensure they are maintaining certain GPA’s,” Khoo said. Not only does Khoo teach math, attend San Francisco State University and coach basketball, he also does what he can to ensure his basketball athletes’ are succeeding in their education.

Khoo believes his methods have been helpful to his previous athlete’s education. “I have not lost a player because of grades. This last season, we achieved a team GPA of 3.0,” Khoo said. In the last three seasons as head coach of the boys’ varsity basketball team, he has not lost a single player due to grades.

Khoo’s athletes feel that his techniques are useful and affective. “I find study hall helpful because there are no distractions I find at home,” basketball athlete junior Allan Santos says. Students may find it challenging to focus on homework, having study halls can give students a quiet environment to do their homework. “I like study hall because the players get to hang out and you get to get your work done,” junior Jeffrey Chazer says.

Khoo has suggested his methods to other coaches of other sports, knowing it is working for his athletes. “I tell coaches the success stories from the boy’s basketball team.  Some coaches have begun to host study halls girl’s basketball, girl’s tennis and boy’s tennis,” Khoo said.

Khoo not only passes his methods to his athletes, but also tells his players to do what’s right. “We talk about doing what is right all the time. By living our lives is a way that focuses on success, we become successful both on and off the court,” Khoo says. He suggests that all student athletes should be focusing on their education before their sport. He has spread this message to his team by having his team in a desk first, and on the court second.