Features Magazine News Volume 69, Issue 8

Teachers Teaching More than Their Students

Graphic by Zeyada Negasi

As well as many others, teachers have little ones too. Teaching your own students and taking care of and teaching your own children is definitely a handful. Many teachers at our very own school go through teaching more than just their students every day. Ms. Herring teaches weights and yoga and has three kids at home and soon to be four in August. : Hunter, (5), Remmi (4), Beau (1) Herring’s oldest son, Hunter is in kindergarten, “He zooms with his class Monday through Friday…They do games or story time. His teacher sends me science, math, and reading/writing curriculum and I work with him on that during the week,” said Herring, “It’s wildly different yet beautiful! I’m getting time with them that I would never have been given. I’m getting to see how smart and curious they all are! Each of them are so different but together they help each other so much, it’s really fun to just sit back and watch sometimes. They aren’t normally around each other this much so they are learning how to have alone time too.” Although it is nice to be able to spend this time with her family Herring says, “I miss my students. I love being a mom and I’m extremely grateful for this time  but I miss the connection I get to make with my students each day. Zoom is great but it lacks human connection and energy and all that other yoga stuff I believe in.” Ms. Dave, an English 2 and 4 teacher has a son similar to Ms. Herring. Niam is six years old and is in Kindergarten and has around five or six assignments each day for writing, math, science, and reading. Although it has been nice to spend quality time with her family, Dave said, “My son still misses his friends and teachers. He loves me, but he also tolerates me and vice versa!  He is too young to understand how the virus has changed our lives.  However, the other challenging part of this is that our family is very social — we go out every weekend and meet up with our friends and their children and we miss that interaction. It’s unhealthy to isolate yourself no matter what your family situation!” Instead of looking negatively upon our quarantine status, Dave said, “Despite all my ‘challenges’, I always try and keep perspective because there are many folks in this country who are struggling to put the next meal on the table; or have lost their jobs; or have fallen ill with Covid-19.  I consider my family and I lucky to be alive and thriving the best we can.” Mr. Speir teaches AP Human Geography, AP U.S. History and U.S. History and has two little ones, Theo (3) and Viven (2).  “I love spending more time with them but they make it very difficult to work from home. Both kids are pretty young so either my wife or I need to be available to meet their needs. For example, Vivien is working on potty training and will periodically jump up and start running to the toilet saying “pee pee now!”” said Speir, “The biggest problem has been coordinating when my wife and I are going to work. She has a full time job and her employer expects her to be available to attend zoom meets and be fully attentive during certain times. The school district expects teachers to have their zoom classes during regular class time and this was challenging because my wife was almost always supposed to be in a meeting at the same time. This left one of us in a position where we would need to run away from the zoom to break up a fight or help somebody go potty etc.” Unlike Mr. Speir and Ms. Herring, Mr. Orozco, an Algebra 1 and 2 teacher is still able to send his 10 month old Maxino to daycare, “We are very lucky to be able to send him to daycare still, as they were deemed essential enough to stay open; they only have two other children, so we feel comfortable with the exposure he may or may not get. Working would be near impossible if Max was home. He needs our attention every waking moment.” Although Maxino still goes to daycare, being at home has given Orozco the opportunity to spend a lot of quality time with his son, “I’ve gotten to watch him take his first steps!” said Orozco. Moments like these would never be able to happen without quarantine, and thanks to shelter in place we are all getting a few extra special moments.

Features Magazine News Volume 69, Issue 8

Younger Siblings

Graphic by Zakai Avidor

As a 16 year old with siblings between the ages of six and two, I know how crazy a normal day can be, but now with quarantine it just got a lot crazier. Like many other students,both my parents need to do work to maintain their jobs at home, so a lot of my time is put into watching the little ones. I try and make sure they have some sort of scheduled activities, from feeding them lunch, to helping my six year old brother with addition and subtraction.  During this shelter-in-place, Las Lomas Sophomore, Alicia Rios has been with her 12 year old step sister Mía. Alicia said, “I have to help teach them to do bigger chores around the house due to Corona giving a lot more free time, and parents wanting more help at home.” On normal school days, Alicia does what she can to help her family with chores, and Mía with her school work. She said, “We each have different school schedules most of the time. I wake up earlier and get all my homework done before 10 AM which is when school starts for Mía. By then I can either help them with homework, or start on my daily routine and chores.” Along with Alicia, Sophomore, Sandra Safein has a 12 year old brother named Chris. “I have to help him with the work that he doesn’t know how to teach himself. So I teach it to him and he carries on with his homework. I also have to help make him food during the day when my parents are in a meeting.” says Sandra, “He only takes a little of my time with his questions and me having to make food, but it’s not too bad because he is old enough to handle most things.” Having younger siblings can be hard , but during this quarantine, siblings have been able to come together and help each other out. 

Hey great job! I really love the interviews and the personal touch you put on this article

Magazine News Volume 69, Issue 7

Are other states taking similar action?

by Mya Rafferty

Graphic by Joshua Silva

Due the coronavirus’s hazardous spread, many states began taking precautions by only allowing their citizens to leave their homes when extremely essential. 

When states first began ordering shelter-in-place, five states did so: California (first in the Bay Area), New York, New Jersey, Illinois and Connecticut. Additionally, counties such as San Miguel in Colorado, Athens-Clarke in Georgia, and Blaine in Idaho are put under a shelter-in-place order. 

California was the first state to order shelter-in-place on March 19. Recently, Gov. Gavin Newsom has said that schools may likely close for the rest of the year thanks to the shelter-in-place order continuing.

Other state governments are realizing shelter-in-place necessity, including Louisiana, Ohio,  and Philadelphia whose shelter-in-place will start Monday March 23. Delaware’s is starting Tuesday and New Orleans on Friday. 

 Many counties in Texas are also taking similar precautions; however, Texas’s Governor refuses to impose a shelter-in-place protocol. Hawaiians are trying to convince their government to put the state in shelter-in-place, as well. Also,  Kentucky’s Governor Andy Beshear ordered ‘nonessential’ businesses to close, and Michigan recommended residents to stay at their homes. 

Most of these quarantines will be in effect until April 3 or 6, and could be longer depending on what happens next. 

Magazine Opinions Volume 69, Issue 3

Are Las Lomas Counselors Accessible?

Our school has many hard working students, and with these students comes a very busy school year for our administrative counselors. With 1,600 students here at Las Lomas our five counselors have to be helping several students at a time. Each counselor has a group of our students based on their  last names. They have to work with all of our students onthings such as schedule changes and senior projects; Our counselors work hard to get all students into their offices whenever they can find the time, but it is hard to manage all our students. 

The question of whether our administration counselors are accessible or not is tricky because they will get you into their office to talk to you about whatever your situation is, but it may take some time to get an appointment. You are not able to just walk in and try to talk to them about your academic needs; You have to go in and sign up so they can talk to you. they try their best to give you an appointment within three days so you can work out your situation. If it is urgent, they try their best to work out what is going on as soon as possible. Some students struggle to get an appointment with their counselors, they may sign up, email them, and want to talk to them as soon as possible, but it is hard for the counselors to manage each student because they have so many students to deal with

For issues such as schedule changes, it sees like they worked to get you to where you want to be as soon as possible, but this year, they were not exactly on top of it. They have a bunch of students, that want schedule changes waiting to find a slip with their name on it, so they try to work their hardest to satisfy each and every student, but can not do everything they wish they could.  They try their best to be accessible for everyone at Las Lomas, but it is hard to because of how many things they hold responsible for. Our counselors have to reach out to the 400 students from each grade about their academic choices,which causes a lot of work for them, but they want to look back at their past students and say that they helped them get to where they are now.

Magazine Opinions Volume 69, Issue 2

R.I.P Pop

Today new music is all about hip-hop and rap artists such as, YNW Melly, Young Thug, DaBaby and NLE Choppa. Pop artists with once amazing hits seem to be running out of ideas. Now many pop songs are repetitive with their music. The artists seemed to have had a purpose in writing the lyrics they did and they had a soul in their voice when singing, but now each song you hear sounds the same, with such similar beats, lyrics, melodies and meanings. If every song sounds the same, then how is the pop genre ever going to continue to succeed? Today’s pop is now just songs about how much they miss their ex or vise versa. Along with fame and money, most songs incorporate inappropriate language or actions in the messages of their songs.

 The closest thing we see now to pop is large artists, like Billie Eilish, whos genres are indie-pop. They make very simplistic, soothing songs for the most part. We can always look forward to listening to throwbacks like Britney Spears, but today rap and hip-hop is slowly taking over our playlists. Obviously some people are still going to get hooked on a new Taylor Swift song or Ariana Grande album, but these artists no longer take over the music industry the way they once had. Pop music is basically now made up of computerized sounds and auto tuned voices, with lyrics we have been hearing in pop songs for years now. Some artists still have good taste and don’t make their songs just EDM with weird lyrics to match an extremely colorful, confusing music video. Slowly but surely the whole pop genre will most likely just completely lose its hold on people, just like other genres in the past. Rap music seems to be thriving, almost anywhere you can ask someone what they listen to, and they will say rap. Today’s rap may be a sort of gibberish rap, but it has energy in its lyrics and beat that keep people bobbing their heads with it. Although pop music is no longer a big hit, you can always listen to the good old pop hits and remember the good times when artists once made original touching lyrics that came from their hearts.

Magazine News Volume 69, Issue 2

Indian Valley Clean-Up Day

On October 12, Community Service Day in Walnut Creek, people gathered all over Walnut Creek to volunteer. Around 12 people volunteered at Indan Valley Elementary School for around three hours. Students from Las Lomas, Indian Valley and many others with a passion for helping the community came and cleaned up the school. The principal of Indian Valley, Millisa Banister, planned out the three hours as best as she could: “This year I helped organize the project at Indian Valley. Our flower beds outside the classrooms needed a lot of work and were hiding places for critters. You all probably know [that] we have snakes at IV!” The week before, for example, Indian Valley had several snake encounters. Even Indian Valley students, who range from five to eleven years old, all worked together to keep their school safe and clean. They pulled weeds, picked up trash, and helped their parents with larger projects such as cutting down dangerously low bushes. Sandra Safein, a sophomore at Las Lomas, loved her day at Indian Valley: “I wanted to do something to help and enrich myself because I knew that I would learn something new, and knowing I’m helping my community with my friends made me feel like I’m making a small difference in the world.”

Banister thanks the people who helped out that day and at other community service events. She wants to try and get others interested in community service: “If you have an idea for a project or want to help out – just ask!  For many students, their elementary school is a place for really special memories.  Many of the same teachers and staff are still at [Indian Valley] and absolutely love seeing you all.  Please come by, say hello, and volunteer, [as] he students get so excited to see high schoolers around.  

During a school holiday when you are off of school and we are in session, come and read to students [and] volunteer to come at lunchtime [or] play with the kids.  You will be instant heroes and celebrities – and it always feels good to help out and know you are part of something bigger.” 

Safein also wanted to speak out to our students at Las Lomas about community service: “ I think it was a great experience for me because you get to really do something important surrounded by great new friends.”

Features Magazine Volume 69, Issue 1

New Teachers at Las Lomas

Sabrina Wun
Sabrina Wun teaches Mandarin 1 and 2 here at Las Lomas, and before teaching here she taught elementary school for ten years and was a television reporter. She began teaching in the Acalanes High School District at Campolindo High School not too long ago. Wun enjoys teaching at Las Lomas because she gets to talk with staff and students. “The students [are] very fun and the staff are very energetic,” said Wun. In her free time she likes to read, volunteer, and spend time with her kids.
Katrina Halle
Katrina Halle graduated from UC Berkeley and started her teaching career at Campolindo.  Halle now teaches Physics of the Universe and AP Physics 1. Before teaching at Las Lomas, Halle went to school here at Las Lomas and says, “Once a knight, always a knight! I love being a teacher and helping students learn and grow into young adults who can make a difference. [I love] The feeling of community and the kindness of everyone on campus.” In her free time, Halle likes to bake, travel, and hang out with her corgi, Newton. 
Minu Davé
Minu Davé was a journalist for seven years in New Jersey, and also taught English at Miramonte and Campolindo before teaching English 2 and 4 at Las Lomas. Davé enjoys teaching at Las Lomas because, “Students are open-minded, kind, and [have] a lot more diversity. I’m happy and feel comfortable and safe.” In her free time, she loves to write short stories, go hiking, biking, and go to national and state parks. 
William Stivale
As of this year, William Stivale teaches all of the autoshop courses at Las Lomas.  In his free time, he enjoys landscaping, attending car shows, working on cars, and doing anything else having to do with cars. He moved here last year from New Jersey after teaching college and high school autoshop for 15 years and working at car dealerships for three years. Stivale loves how autoshop teaches students how to handle cars and other mechanics around the house so they can use those skills in their daily lives. So far, Stivale enjoys teaching at Las Lomas because,“The students are very friendly.”
Janet Sikorski
An avid reader, Janet Sikorski enjoys reading as many books as she can. She enjoys teaching here at Las Lomas and said, “Las Lomas is a great school, and this is my hometown community. I am very honoured to work at Las Lomas, the students are very talented and hard-working.” Sikorski teaches English 1 and ELD Grammar/Writing 1. Before teaching, Sikorski worked in San Francisco at a Public Relations firm supporting technology clients, and taught English 3 and English 1 at Northgate. 
Lucas Orozco
Lucas Orozco teaches Algebra 1 and 2 here at Las Lomas and before teaching here, he taught at California  High School. Orozco enjoys teaching at Las Lomas because, “Everyone feels a little more connected than my last school did. There seems to be more spirit here and its nice, even the staff.”  In his free time, he likes to spend time with his new baby, go outdoors, play video games, and spend time with his friends and family. 
Amanda Catanesi
Before teaching at Las Lomas, Amanda Catanesi worked in the restaurant business for years, as an English tutor in Special Education, and for the last two years, at Miramonte. Now she teaches both Algebra A and Algebra 1. Catanesi enjoys teaching at Las Lomas because, “Young people shape the future. If I can support this generation of students in any way, then I can feel proud about my work… I like my students and I like the staff. I feel fortunate to be teaching here.” In her free time, she enjoys hiking, swimming, and spending time with her friends. 
Kristen Sanders
Kristen Sanders just recently got off of maternity leave and aquired a job here at Las Lomas. Before teaching here, Sanders taught English in Costa Rica and Special Education at Berkeley High and Campolindo. Now she teachers 3D Art, Art 1 and Digital Design. Sanders likes teaching at Las Lomas because of the friendliness of the staff and students. In her free time she enjoys hiking, being outdoors, working on her jewlery business, cooking, and spending time with her family.
Entertainment Issue 8 Magazine

Our Seniors’ Last Days

After twelve years of school, including four long years at Las Lomas, our class of 2019 has only weeks left in their last year of high school. These students are taking advantage of the little time they have left. On May 3rd, the school invited all the seniors to the senior picnic, where they got to hang out with their friends and spend time together before they graduate. Many seniors said that they enjoyed time with their friends, played games and had really good food. After Ball was Senior Ditch Day, and many people used it to their advantage to enjoy the day off and spend it with their friends before the school year is over. Allison Philipps planned to “go to the beach with my friends.” Of course, senior year is a handful it has its ups and downs. As Ella Lipelt, senior,  said, “It feels great to almost be done with my senior year so I am able to start fresh in college, but I feel I will also be sad because I have to leave my friends.”

With difficult problems like ‘senioritis,’ college applications and the senior projects, many students have gotten advice through the years on how to survive their senior year, and many have advice for the lowerclassmen. Sita Hoehner said, “Don’t start falling behind in senior year, especially towards the end. Think long and hard about college and don’t miss deadlines.” These students still managed to make the best out of their last year at Las Lomas even through all the work and time spent to finally be graduating. Ryan Bain said, “Don’t take your time for granted and try to enjoy every moment.” Senior year is said to be one of the best years of high school, and Chris Patino says that to nearly be done with senior year “is like the relief you feel after a sneeze, blessed.” Las Lomas brought these students four years of hard work and great memories to remember for the rest of their lives. Sydney Bramhall said one of the best parts of her senior years was when “my friend Olivia Lewis and I helped Ms. Wentner adopt a dog from ARF.” Many students are sad to see themselves and their friends go, but they can not wait to graduate and start fresh with college. High school is a crazy adventure and for the class of 2019, it is coming to an end. But even though it’s over, their memories here will last a lifetime. 


Boys Volleyball Game Summary

Thursday, February 21st was the second game of the season for the boys volleyball team. Both JV and Varsity boys fought through each set and won their games. Their first home game was against Miramonte. JV won their game in the first two of three sets with scores of 25-19 and 25-23. The team stuck together through the close games and made it worth watching because of their teamwork and passion for the game. Varsity killed it, winning the first three sets of five. With scores of 25-15, 25-10, and 25-12, they took their chance to take a quick win against the Matadors. With enthusiasm, they carried on their game and got the win the best way they know how. Their first official game was Tuesday, February 19th against Antioch and both teams won their games then as well. So far, both teams are starting the season off right with the record of 2-0 and working hard to hopefully add to their winning streak as the season goes on. Their next game is set for Tuesday, February 26th at Deer Valley, and their next home game is on Tuesday, March 5th against Pittsburgh.


Plane Crash on Mt. Diablo

On February 10th, 2019, an elevator repair technician was found on Mount Diablo dead due to a plane crash. Chris de Bar was 45 and loved the feeling of adrenaline. He was known by his loved ones as passionate for skydiving and racing, and was also  known for living like there was no tomorrow. He recently became a licensed pilot and bought a plane. On Friday the 8th he set off for Lincoln, CA from Hayward and sadly didn’t get the chance to make it to his destination. Due to Mount Diablo’s vegetation, no one found the plane at first. Also, since the park closes at sunset, no one was able to hear or see it when it happened. Investigators still aren’t sure what caused de Bar’s plane to crash on Mount Diablo, but they believe that the bad weather may have affected his flight. There could have also been some sort of mechanical failure, but they have not found any evidence to help figure out the mystery or how or why the plane crashed. The investigation continues, but they still have no way of knowing what truly happened to de Bar and his plane