Boy’s Tennis has served well

By: Rose Lu

The Boy’s Tennis team winded up with a record of 11-1 in their league and a record of 11-3 overall. Their most recent games was a win against Independence 4-3.

“The season went amazing as we went 11-1 in season and our only loss was a close match resulting from many players being absent that day,” shared Varsity Doubles 1 player Brian Chiang.

The team also had many goals and skills that they have been trying to hone especially during practice which occurred after school up until 6:30p.m. throughout the week. Occasionally, they also practice on weekends. During practice, the team focused on improving their serves, footwork, backhands and forehands.

“The team’s performance was very well this year,” commented Varsity Captain Manav Dixit. “A few things that we’re working on are to (stay) consistent in all our strokes and improve (our) overall gameplay.

The team also had many goals that they have been trying to achieve like making it back to A-league and to win more matches.

“I think the team’s biggest challenge is keeping everyone healthy,” shared Varsity Captain Alan Nguyen, “Overall, the team is improving a lot. Skill wise and strategically everyone is learning very fast.

Another big issue is staying committed to the team.

“Many people on the boys’ team have extracurricular so it’s natural that they can’t show up to everything. I think we only ever had a full roster for one game,” commented Chiang.

Joining the tennis team was a big commitment for the boys, especially because of their other afterschool activities and school.

“The most difficult part of being in tennis for me is the time commitment, because I also have a ton of other extracurriculars and clubs to do,” stated Varsity Doubles 1 player Gavin Yu.

The boys team enjoyed the season overall because of their good performance, the connections they’ve made and the skills that they developed.

“Being on the tennis team improved my skills a lot. Not only do we practice a lot, we also play real games, which tests both mindset and skill,” continued Yu.

Both new and experienced players are all welcomed to join the team next year to learn skills, make new friends and to stay healthy and fit.

Letter to past/future self

By Rex Ly

Dear Past self

 

Years ago, my life was drastically different from what it was today. I definitely have a lot of regrets, but that’s just one of the things that made me into who I am right now.

There were many people I wanted to meet but never had the time or just never had the chance. When the time comes when you have to say goodbye to your friends or family—which will happen fairly often—know that some goodbyes are harder than others, but not all goodbyes are forever; eternal friendships are real. When you are forced to say goodbye to someone that means a lot to you, you will get these weird feelings that your mind can’t explain, and through that emotional stress you will understand how much or how little that person means to you.

You never truly appreciate people you meet until they are gone.

In the upcoming years, you’re going to meet some of the best people in your entire life to make the most memorable moments with, whether they be sad or happy. Just because you lost that one best friend doesn’t mean you won’t meet new people.

I can’t emphasize enough how many terrible people you will meet in your upcoming years that you won’t believe can live with themselves for what they do. Don’t even try to run away from it—you will end up meeting those type of people.

When it seems like the rest of the world hates you, just remember that you only need one best friend that understands you and will always give you a shoulder to cry on.

There will always be people in your life you can’t stand who try to drag you down with them. That’s when many of your regrets will come in, but that’s fine because you will make it out alive somehow one way or another. They will leave scars on you when you have to interact with them sooner or later but well, you know what they say “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger”.

On multiple occasions, you will feel as if your life is crashing down upon you, and you’ll want to just run away from what feels like a nightmare. Sometimes it’s about that one bully and others times it’s because of that one event you were unable to go to. It’s not the end of the world, if you’re in a state of depression right now, I know that’s the last thing you want to hear, but trust me, it’s true. Heartbreak makes you smarter with who you associate yourself with, and your fears will someday make you braver.

Just be yourself and bear with whatever pain you are given. The world is not perfect but it’s what we do that makes it beautiful. Don’t try to be perfect because if you’re perfect there’s no point in trying to become a better person.

CMEA Band

 

By Katie Tran

 

On May 7, Concert Band and Wind Ensemble attended CMEA (California Music Education Association) at Graham Middle School from 8 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. Wind Ensemble earned a Unanimous Superior rating while Concert Band earned an overall rating of Superior.

CMEA is a festival where music groups from a variety of schools attend to perform for and receive feedback from professional adjudicators. They are graded on aspects of performing and the event is a measure to see the proficiency of a band.

Wind Ensemble played three movements, which they have been practicing very hard on since as far back as November. They also practiced for the sight reading section. Wind Ensemble had not received Unanimous Superior since 2015 so this was a great accomplishment.

“These past two years have been kinda rough on band, so I’m hopeful that we will make a comeback with that unanimous superior this year,” expressed piccolo player Maggie Nguyen.

This was Concert Band’s first time attending CMEA because they are all freshmen. As this was their first year, they put a lot of work into preparing for this performance.

Despite a few small errors throughout their performance and a big obstacle, Wind Ensemble still received the highest rating possible at CMEA.

“One glaring hardship that the group encountered was that one of our percussionists had gotten food poisoning the day of the performance, so we were missing a vital musician,” said Maggie.

There are different ratings for each tier for a score out of 100: 90-100 is superior, 80-90 is excellent and so on. Last year they got a mix of excellent and superior.

“Our goal for next year is to get unanimous superiors again,” said trumpet player Aaron Lee.

Other schools that performed include Evergreen High School and Independence High School. There were four professional adjudicators for the festival overall, three for the performance with prepared songs and one for the sight-reading portion. They usually change every year. CMEA is also for choral groups and orchestral groups but each group attends on different dates.

Band’s hard work paid off in the end as they achieved their goal and surpassed their previous scores by receiving unanimous superior for the first time in four years.

 

Guidance Office doors vandalized during Spring Break

By Victor Xie

Administration believes that three individuals committed serious acts of vandalism on early on April 27, which was the Saturday at the end of Spring Break.

These individuals cemented the set of doors leading into the Guidance Office shut and plastered them with offensive words. With the quick work of the custodian and district office maintenance team, the doors were cleared in several hours.

“I feel that the individuals are probably angry, and I felt that they disrespected our school. I don’t know what message they were trying to get across, but I don’t think that it’s the Pirate Way of trying to get any message across,” commented Assoc. Principal Honey Gubuan.

The administration offered a monetary reward of up to $1000 for anyone who could provide valuable information on the individuals who caused the vandalism.

“I think there’s a general culture among young people that encourages such displays of disrespect to authority, but this is vandalism without a clear message and vandalism for the sake of vandalism,” said senior Emily Liu.

According to the California Penal Code Section 594, if the damage costs are over $400, the individual could serve up to a year in a county jail or be given a fine of up to $10,000. If the damage costs are under $400, the individual could serve up to a year in a county jail or be given a fine of up to $1,000.

The fines for the repair of the door were confidential, but are estimated to be quite high.

“I hope these students realize that the money put into fixing the vandalism is taken out of money that could be used for other materials,” said English teacher Peggy Lee.

At the time of this issue’s distribution, no individual has been publicly caught or announced to be the culprit in this ongoing investigation.

Art season is back

By Janelle Perez

 

The annual Downtown Doors competition brought artwork from San Jose high schools to the streets of downtown and presented the students’ awards on May 9th at the San Jose Museum of Art.

The annual Piedmont Hills Art Faire was also held this week outside of the art buildings and showcased art made by students throughout the 2018-2019 school year.

Downtown Doors is way for students from San Jose high schools to publicly display their artwork. This year’s 16th annual competition included over 200 submissions from over 20 schools. Selections vary from ten to thirteen pieces, which are then transferred onto a big poster to be displayed on a door downtown.

The art faire included pieces from students in digital photography, sculpture and drawing and painting.

“I think the art show is great because it shows how hard we (students) have worked throughout the year to create these pieces,” said senior Nicole Ortiz.

This year two Piedmont Hills seniors, Diego Papa and Abigail Tecson won a spot on a door downtown. Downtown Doors winners were presented the awards to commemorate their talent.

The annual art faire included detailed sculptures and paintings as well as variety of printed photos, while Downtown Doors only showcased the works of few students.

“I really wanted to do a piece with bold colors and I took ideas from both desert martian landscapes. I’m proud that people thought it was worthy of a spot downtown,” said Diego.

Abigail submitted a double exposure piece from her digital photography class, which includes architecture from Paris.

“At first the idea of blending the architecture came from when I was going through Pinterest,” said Abigail.

The Piedmont Hills Art Faire submissions were chosen by the students themselves, which consisted of their best piece from the school year.

“I submitted my favorite photo that I took from this year and I’m really glad people are going to be able to see it and have a positive reaction to it,” said senior Kaitlyn Seawright.

Both Downtown Doors and the Piedmont Hills Art Faire will be held again next year and students will be able to admire the work of their peers and art students will be able to submit their work to be shown.

 

PHHS Class of 1988 returns in 30-ish year Reunion

By Sarah Shafaeen

The PHHS Class of 1988 are having their 30-ish year reunion this Saturday at the Casino M8trix at 6 pm.

The three co-organizers worked tirelessly to bring the reunion together and make sure that as many people as possible will attend and have a good time.

“There is a group of three of us who organized the reunion: myself, Dayna (Stein) Pawlowski and Diane (Bettencourt) Smith. We knew each other in H.S., but didn’t hang out. Diane was on the organizing committee for our ten-year reunion and Dayna, the 20th, so I thought they would be game for helping with another one,” says head organizer Anna Heckman.

The 30-ish year reunion is actually the 31st year reunion because the organizers were unable to properly organize the 30th year reunion in time.

“We tried (late) last year to get it off the ground, but it didn’t pan out, so this is our 30-ish year reunion. I was on the committee for the 30th year as well,” says co-organizer Dayna Stein Pawlowski.

The Class of ‘88 hoped to meet up with old classmates and reminisce about their time together at PHHS.

“I’m looking forward to looking back, seeing everyone, dancing to ‘80’s music and having fun catching up!” exclaims Anna.

When reflecting back on the environment at PHHS, Class of ‘88 recalled a very positive experience.

“PHHS was a great time for me. I loved high school! Hung out in the auto shop for a time, was tight with the drama crew. Really, I tried to get to know people in all the little groups,” mentions Dayna.

Many remember the overall inclusiveness of the student body at the time along with the general kindness everyone treated each other with.

“I loved Piedmont and had a great experience. Everyone was very friendly and respectful. I suppose there were cliques, but it didn’t really feel like it because everyone seemed to be friendly with one another, regardless of what particular group you might identify with. I thought it was just a really special place. I was pretty shy when I started there and really came to be much more social through the years. I really felt accepted there,” states Anna.

The class remembered their favorite memories from high school.

“FANTASTICS and Spirit week are really good memories. And Drama Class was pretty special to me,” concludes Anna.

 

 

ARK, CSF and LEO Movie Night

By Vincent Hoang

 

Like the various Spidersonas teaming up for one ultimate battle against Kingpin, ARK (Acts of Random Kindness), CSF (California Scholarship Federation) and LEO (Leadership Experience Opportunity) banded together to present the movie “Spiderman into The Spiderverse” in the library on April 12.

The movie surrounds a young teenager, Miles Morales, who after being bitten by a radioactive spider, like his predecessor, Peter Parker, is swept into the role of Spiderman and must defeat the villain, Kingpin, along with the help of others like him.

Presenting the film for a one dollar admission fee along with food made watching the movie more enjoyable.

“The movie was pretty good! I wasn’t able to watch all of it because I had other stuff to do, but I can tell the members enjoyed it! This was the first time I watched the movie,” says CSF Co-President Alexa Follante.

Setting up the event was a fun experience for all three clubs.

“The event and movie was fun, seeing my friends from ARK and CSF to set up an event where we can watch a movie we can all enjoy together made it a worthwhile experience,” says LEO Senior Advisor Kevin Su.

Not only was this event to bring people together, but also to help raise funds for all three clubs.

“It was fun seeing many members from each club bond, the it was also to help our clubs have a successful fundraiser, so seeing many people come to see the movie really helped support us,” says CSF Co-President Jane Tran.

“Watching the movie for the second time was truly amazing. The art style, the animation, the plot, along with Spiderman being my favorite superhero from Marvel, made it such a great experience rewatching the movie again, especially for a much cheaper price compared to paying for a ticket at the theaters,” says senior Stanley Wu.

With such an amazing call back, this event turned out to be a success.

 

Juniors go to Prom at the Children’s Discovery Museum

By Justin Wang

The Class of 2020 gathered for Junior Prom at the Children’s Discovery Museum of San Jose, an outside venue chosen in an unprecedented move, on April 20.

“There was a great turnout at Junior Prom! We had around 170 attendees, including staff. In regards to choosing our location, all we knew was that we wanted to do something by choosing an outside venue,” said Class of 2020 Treasurer Melina Tran.

The choice of the Children’s Discovery Museum of San Jose for the venue proved to be a successful one, in terms of the finances.

“Picking an outside venue was quite risky and something no other class has done before, but we ended up making a good amount of money for our class and Junior Prom was overall pretty successful,” said Melina.

Students were allowed to explore and use a photo booth, a water themed area and a Vietnamese-learning area.

“They had the photo booth upstairs, which had a long line the entire night, the water area, bubbles, and the Vietnamese learning areas were all open for us to explore and play around in,” said junior Joey Orzoff.

However, some felt that sticking to the L-Building would have been the better choice.

“I think that the location was a fun change of pace. However, I do believe that the L-Building would have been a more appropriate venue,” said Joey.

The DJ was met with mixed reactions. Some liked the DJ’s choices of music.

“Good DJ too. The DJ was fun… they played a lot of classic songs, lot of good party songs,” said junior Ryan Norton.

However, some felt that the choices in music was unfitting for Junior Prom.

“The DJ would occasionally play songs that nobody would dance to, and the dance floor would clear out. The music was not slow for a lot of the prom, in total there were about two songs that were meant for slow dancing, and they were both quickly overshadowed by bass boosted rap and hip hop,” said Joey.

Even those who raised complaints enjoyed the night overall and were happy with their experience.

“All in all, Junior Prom was still a blast, despite any setbacks and the odd choice of venue, and I’d recommend that all PHHS students go to their proms,” said Joey.

Whether the Class of 2021 is also going to choose an outside venue for Junior Prom is yet to be seen.

“It really depends on the 2021 officers and what they think. When people found about our venue, most people were very surprised, including staff,” said Melina.

Seniors dance away in ‘A Night to Remember’

By Amy Ton

Senior Ball is approaching in two days, and the seniors are excited to dance the night away. This Saturday, seniors will be gathering at the SCCC (Silver Creek Country Club) at 7:30 p.m. for A Night to Remember at their last high school dance.

The officer’s Class of 2019 officers have been planning the event since junior year, and after looking at various venues, ended up choosing the SCCC.

“The SCCC had plenty of space to host all of the students. It also has a balcony that has a very nice view,” said Secretary Shayna Tran.

The venue is relatively near and is located in the hills of Silver Creek, around a 15 minute drive from Piedmont. The venue overlooks a golf course that has a vast field of greenery.

“I think that the scenery and the venue itself will make for exceptional photos to capture memories of our senior prom,” said senior Thienkim Luu.

The theme of the Senior Ball this year is A Night to Remember, and was chosen through brainstorming and eliminating within the officers. The officers eventually chose the theme feeling that it was best fit for their Senior Ball this year.

“[With the theme] we are aiming for a flashback through high school. Memories!” explained President Jane Tran.

Along with planning the venue and theme the officers, also had to decide on the activities and food at prom.

“[There will be] flipbooks, a photo booth, and a DJ,” stated Jane.

There will not be dinner at the Senior Ball, but instead hors d’oeuvres, or appetizers, will be served.

The officers were not the only people making decisions. The seniors also had to choose their outfits, ties, and corsages along with places to take pre-prom pictures.

“[To me] finding a dress and dealing with organizing photoshoots was the most stressful” said Quynh Nguyen.

In the end all of the planning will pay off on the night of prom where they will be spending time with their friends.

“I’m looking forward to hanging out with my friends and have a good night!” said Ricky Nguyen.

Class officers are excited to see the final result of all their work.

“I’m super excited for prom! Especially after all of the planning the officers had to do,” said Shayna.

Senior Honor/Avid Night

By Julian Rosete and Sophia Xiao

Senior Honor Night was held on May 1 in the L-Building to celebrate the academic accomplishments of seniors who are graduating with magna cum laude (a GPA of 3.51 or higher) or were honored with a department award. Similarly, AVID Senior Night was held on April 18 in the L-Building to celebrate the AVID seniors and their four-year journey in AVID.

Both honor nights were formatted like a more intimate version of graduation, where seniors were called up one by one. AVID seniors received a certificate and a stole, while senior honorees received black chords.

“Besides graduation, (Senior Honor Night) is one of our final celebrations for seniors before they leave, and so it’s nice for their parents to get a chance to see them being acknowledged for all their hard work,” says Head Counselor Jill Shoopman, who organized the event.

AVID Senior Night was a night to appreciate those students that have committed to AVID for all four years. Each senior received a certificate and an AVID stole upon getting their name called.

“AVID honor night was a great experience especially when we were recognized for being in (the same) class together for the whole four years. Though there were a lot of ups and downs, we finally made it to the point where we move on (from our close peers and classmates),” says senior AVID student Jameena Sampan.

As per tradition, Senior Honor Night opened with a musical solo by senior honoree Nicholas Lam, who played the fast-paced “White Knuckle Stroll” by Casey Cangelosi on the marimba.

“It was nerve-wracking; actually I checked my heart, and it was 172 beats per minute,” said Nicholas. “I was surprised at myself because I thought I would mess up more by either getting lost or lose the rhythm, but I did the best I could in front of a crowd.”

At both nights, students were given the chance to dedicate a rose to someone who always supported them or was a role model to them. At AVID Senior Night, students were also given the chance to give a small speech thanking that special someone.

“My favorite part of the event was dedicating the rose to my family. It felt nice to show appreciation to them, since they’ve always supported me throughout my high school career,” says senior AVID student Allan Vien.

New this year at Senior Honor Night was the Eunice Jackson Scholarship Award, which was given to seniors Janelle Perez and Kelly Thich.

                AVID students also received a certificate from the Santa Clara County Supervisor Cindy Chavez

“(It was a) heartwarming experience that really motivated us to take what we’ve learned in AVID and use it in our next journey in life,” shares senior AVID student Angelo Payavala.

Senior Honor Night was organized by the counselors along with several junior honorees, who helped run the event. Similarly, AVID underclassmen honorees supported the seniors at AVID Senior Night, greeting parents at the entrance, helping to pass out certificates, handing out snacks and cleaning up afterwards.

“You know it’s probably been a rough four years trying to maintain their grades, so (Senior Honor Night is) kind of just to let them know that we appreciate all their hard work for their parents to be able to join in that celebration,” says Ms. Shoopman.