VSA hosts annual club showcase 

By Harleen Kaur

VSA (Vietnamese Student Association) hosts their annual showcase in the L-Building on Feb. 7 at 7 p.m.

This year’s theme was Until the Last Petal Falls. The board usually decides the theme. When coming up with the rose theme for this year’s show, the VSA cabinet had intended to have the rose signify the fading culture. The petals would represent the memories and traditions of the culture as this generation holds on to each custom.

In the show, they performed a variety of traditional dances such as dances with umbrellas, fans and ribbons. They also featured an officer waltz at the end and a surprise prom-posal. The club hopes that they can showcase the importance of remembering their Vietnamese culture through the elegance of fluttering fans as well as ribbons. Usually, the Cultural Chairs choreograph the dances and the presidents choreograph the waltz, however, this year the members were able to choreograph umbrella, fan and hat couples dance.

“It feels amazing to be a member of VSA. I get the chance to dance with a bunch of talented girls and boys that share a common interest, supporting our culture,” says member Kristine Nguyen. “Being a choreographer takes a lot of dedication and time. It’s fun teaching a routine that we were able to come up with.”

VSA practices their choreography throughout the week. Each dance group, depending on the difficulty and need to clean, practices almost every day as well as weekends.

On the night of the show, the club sold snacks and club merchandise with the successful attendance of their supporting family and friends. They had a backdrop with lights and roses hanging from the bleachers for decoration.

Last year, due to scheduling complications, VSA was unable to host their showcase.

“We didn’t want to schedule the show during AP exam season and the L-Building was booked for the days we were considering, so we couldn’t have our showcase,” states VSA Treasurer Maggie Nguyen.

Overall, the show turned out to be an entertaining night for both the audience and performers.

“I’m so glad that the VSA show was a success. I was able to meet so many new people who were passionate about the same thing as I was,” says Cultural Chair Christine Do. “All the time put into the show paid off in the end when seeing the excitement and bond between the performers.”



PHHS Advanced Drama and Insane Ink Thaws Out the Icy Season

By William Chen and Jennie Tran

The Advanced Drama class and Insane Ink collaborate together to warm up this month with the annual Holiday Showcase. This holiday-themed event was held on Dec. 6 in the L-Building, and was performed throughout the school day with an additional night show at 8 p.m., called Winterfest.

The showcase this year wasA Christmas Scarolby Don Zolidis. The play was directed by seniors Amanda Gill, Karen He and Oziris Valverde. Tickets were sold for $5 at the G-Building the week during lunch leading up to the day of this event. They were limited to selling only 200 tickets.

“A Christmas Scarol is about when a boy named Tim can’t think of a Christmas gift to give his high-maintenance girlfriend,” claims Oziris.

The show’s main protagonist, Tim, was then visited by four terrifying spirits (actually five—they’ve been hiring) who whisk him away on a harrowing and hilarious journey into the past, present, future and an alternate timeline. This wild and free-spirited adaptation of the holiday classic is a reminder of the true meaning of Christmas (which is getting awesome presents).

“The holiday showcase is one of my favorite shows to put on because it is student produced and we all worked hard to put on the show. The process was tough, but performing and spreading the Christmas spirit was the best part in the end,” says Advanced Drama student Alyssa Casimiro.

Not only did the Drama Dept. show their holiday spirit, but Winterfest overall was filled with many other fun activities.

“Expect to have nothing but fun and holiday cheer! Winterfest will feature games, face painting, a photo booth, free hot chocolate and an evening performance!” exclaims Karen.

The games, food and drinks are provided by Insane Ink, warming up the holiday season just right.

In addition, Winterfest had only started in 2017 and is now an annual tradition.

“The purpose of our annual Winterfest started for the parents. In previous years, we’ve only had the school-wide performances, which didn’t give our families a chance to see what their child was working on and the hard work they’ve dedicated in class,” adds Oziris.

During the process of the showcase, the students poured a lot of effort and work into the production to make the show a great success.

“Directing the show was a lot more stressful than I thought. I actually had a nightmare about forgetting light cues! Overall, I really enjoyed sharing my ideas with my co-directors, Karen and Amanda. We’re all super creative in different ways and it was interesting seeing all of our visions come together,” states Oziris. “We have the cast, booth team, props team, stage managers, costume crew and deck leaders. No part is a small part.”

Breaking down the deadly disease of the senior class

By Victor Xie

Forget the flu! There’s another disease that’s taking the senior class by storm: senioritis.

If you don’t know if you have senioritis or not, here’s a list of expected symptoms you may experience:

  • Doing homework the day it’s due
  • Not doing homework at all
  • Saying, “I can do it tomorrow”
  • Saying, “I got this in the bag” without studying for the test
  • Not realizing anything is due
  • Feeling like nothing in school matters anymore

When I was a freshman and seniors told me, “I have massive senioritis,” I never understood why anyone could stop caring about school. More importantly, I never understood how anyone could stop working for something they’ve been working towards for almost four years.

Well, here I am, a senior, suffering from massive and crippling senioritis.

I never thought I would catch it. Looking back, I feel like freshman-me was much more driven and ambitious. I wanted to get straight A’s, get positions in clubs and do everything possible that would look good on college applications. Now as a senior, I think I’ve kind of accepted that it’s too late to chase those ambitions, and that’s probably what causes my senioritis.

I think what really bugs me is that people don’t really understand why some of us seniors catch senioritis in the first place. I just survived probably the worst year of my life: junior year. And now I’m being told to keep working, studying, writing and calculating with no assurance whatsoever that it will ever pay off. With college applications submitted, I’m simply waiting for judgement day. Senior year just seems like an excessive waiting line that determines my future.

If I could go back in time and tell my early senior-self not to catch senioritis, I don’t think I would. I think my senioritis is pretty justified; I’ve worked hard and now I’m burnt out.

I do homework in third period. I go home and take naps. I procrastinate on five-page research papers. These are bad habits I never did until senior year (surprisingly) and never thought I’d normalize. I guess my senioritis isn’t as bad as others that I’ve witnessed, but nonetheless I never thought I’d catch such a deadly disease.

Now, getting out of this pit hole of feeling endlessly unmotivated is going to be hard; probably impossible at this point. But I guess I’ll try. In second semester.

To the underclassmen: watch out. Senioritis gets the best of everyone.

Will China cost you this Christmas?

By Jose Flores-Jimenez

Bells will be ringing for deals on Christmas presents, but the tariffs set by President Donald Trump on Chinese imports this season could make this Christmas a little frosty for consumers. The ongoing tariffs enacted by President Trump more than 16 months ago makes this the first time that major American companies are deeply affected by our Trade War with the Chinese economy during the Christmas Season.

Since July 2018, the US has been defending its position as the largest economy in the world by discouraging American consumers from buying Chinese imports with higher tariffs. The tariffs, implemented by President Trump, function as a tax that retail companies and small businesses have to pay in order to get their usual shipments of products from China.

China responded to the tariffs by enacting tariffs of their own on US imports in China, locking the two economic powers in a competition of who can set the higher tariff on who. So far, the biggest loser has been American companies, such as Ford, Stanley Black and Decker and Tyson Foods, that pay the tariffs. Now that the holidays are among us, more tariffs mean more cuts into company profits, which results in higher prices for the consumer.

“This (season) is probably where retailers expect a big part of their yearly profits to come,” says Economics teacher Alexander Sarria.“So they’re very sensitive to what’s been going on in trade.”

Last Friday, President Trump announced that an agreement between China and the United States had been reached, settling on an end to China’s tariffs on US imports, and a decrease in tariffs on Chinese imports.

While this continues to affect some clothing products, such as shoes and coats, which continues to have a seven and a half percent tax, the overall prices of consumer goods this season will not affect toys and tech products.

“The Trade War supports (Trump’s) base. He politically gained an advantage for doing these things. His supporters will support him for it,” says Mr. Sarria.

VSA places first and third for MAYS

By Winnie Tran and John Nguyen

This year, Piedmont continues their four year winning streak, placing first for Olympia, which is a series of mini games similar to FANTASTICS. Piedmont Hills came in first, followed by Milpitas in second and Mt. Pleasant in third.

The VSA Mays (Mid-Autumn Youth Summit) festival occurred on Sat., Nov. 9 from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. at Mount Pleasant High School. Entries were free and welcomed all parents and fellow students.

VSA Mays is coordinated by an organization called VietAYA (Vietnamese American Youth Association).

“Creating a dance is actually so much more stressful than it really seems but I’m really glad to have Christine Do as my partner. Honestly, everything we make comes through as pure creativity, there’s really nothing that inspires to incorporate a specific move,” states Cultural Chair Christina Wong.

The members have been working hard lately and have four routines planned: two fan dances, an umbrella dance and a ribbon dance. The festival is a competition style showcase where other VSA, VSU (Vietnamese Student Union) and CVC (Chinese Vietnamese Club) clubs from different schools perform to compete in many activities including singing, debates, skits, dances, games and speeches for first, second and third place.

“I think it’s important that if you are given the chance to represent who you are, you take pride in it. I decided to take part in MAYS because I can contribute to these amazing performances. I believe that we are all talented and MAYS gave us an opportunity to show it off,” says junior Kristine Nguyen.

The other schools that are competing with Piedmont are Silver Creek, Mount Pleasant, Milpitas, Andrew Hills, Santa Teresa, Overfelt, and Oak Grove. Last year, Santa Teresa High School, Silver Creek High School, and Milpitas High School scored the highest for dances. This year, Santa Teresa placed first for skit and second for dance and singing, and third in debate. Silver Creek placed first for debate, speeches, second for the scholarship award, and third for skit. Milpitas placed first for dance, second in Olympia, and third for the scholarship award and singing.

“It’s both bonding with your club and the anticipation of finding out the results after all the hard work you put in,” states Secretary Quynh Le.

During the event, Piedmont’s dance performance got moved from 4:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m., giving them less time to prepare and practice, despite this setback, Piedmont Hills still placed third for dance group.

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.


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.


LTG Banquet

By Christine Do


On May 18, Key Club held their annual LTG (Lieutenant Governor) Banquet at Independence High School at 7 p.m. Every year, the LTG Banquet serves as a way to end the Key Club term on a good note.

“The purpose of LTG Banquet is to honor our previous LTG, Sabrina Huynh, and what she and the DLT (Division Leadership Team) have accomplished throughout the term, and also to welcome the new LTG, Tony Hong,” said Jerry Xu.

As an LTG, it is their duty to connect clubs with the district as well as carry out certain tasks within the clubs they are in charge of. The DLT consists of the Spirit Coordinators, MNT Coordinators and others who help the LTG in several tasks and overlooking the clubs.

“An LTG is in charge of overseeing Key Clubs in a certain area. For D12E (Division 12 East), there are ten schools and the LTG is in charge of overseeing all of them. We are also a part of district board, where we meet up and learn what the district wants to implement to members, and we’re in charge of making it happen,” said previous Lieutenant Governor Sabrina Huynh.

Every year, the LTG is chosen through a complicated process, involving multiple questionnaires and speeches. This year, delegates from each high school chosen to represent their club met up at Cupertino High School for Conclave, where candidates for the LTG position gave speeches and participated in caucuses to prove why they were fit for the position. In the end, the LTG elect was junior Tony Hong.

To welcome Tony Hong to the new term, Key Club hosted the LTG Banquet, where there were also performances and dinner served, as well as new DLT officers for the next term announced.

Despite all the responsibilities of LTG, Tony is ready for all the challenges.

“It feels great to be elected but I was really overwhelmed because after the new term started, I had a bunch of deadlines that were due. It was a little rough in the beginning but it’s going smoother now,” said newly elected LTG Tony Hong.

The LTG Banquet signified the end of a term, and the beginning of a new one for Key Club.

Interesting holidays

FUN.03 Interesting Holidays

By Devonna Dang


May 19 National Endangered Species Day Vesak
May 20 National Be a Millionaire Day
May 21 National Waiters and Waitresses Day
May 22 International Day for Biological Diversity
May 23 National Taffy Day
May 24 National Sunscreen Day
May 25 National Wine Day
May 26 National Paper Airplane Day
May 27 Memorial Day
May 28 National Brisket Day
May 29 Learn About Composting Day
May 30 International Hug Your Cat Day
May 31 National Macaroon Day World No Tobacco Day
June 1 International Children Day Global Day of Parents
June 2 National Pineapple Day
June 3 Repeat Day
June 4 National Cheese Day
June 5 World Environment Day
June 6 National Yo-Yo Day
June 7 VCR Day National Doughnut Day
June 8 Best Friends Day
June 9 National Strawberry Rhubarb Pie Day Donald Duck Day
June 10 Herb and Spices Day Iced Tea Day
June 11 National Corn on the Cob Day
June 12 Red Rose Day National Peanut Butter Day
June 13 Sewing Machine Day National Weed your Garden Day
June 14 Monkey Around Day Flag Day
June 15 National Hollerin’ Contest Day National Nature Photography Day


Staff advice

SP.05 Staff Advice to Seniors

Compiled by Victor Xie


“Don’t be lazy. Many kids enjoy doing what they’re successful at but growth is only going to happen when they try the things they’re not good at.” -Ms. Lee

“Be yourself! Do not follow the crowd, but rather lead the crowd!” – Mr. Loggins

“So my best advice would be to save money. If you save money, money will save you. Also, don’t open up a ton of credit cards and make sure that you practice good financial habits so you’ll have good credit when you graduate college. If you have bad credit, you won’t get that dream job you went to school for. -Ms. Mitchell

“My advice is to take advantage of all the opportunities college has to offer, because college is a once in a lifetime opportunity you’ll never get back. I also advise that students take themselves out of their comfort zone and again take advantage of opportunities and experience that they might not otherwise have experienced in high school or beyond. Work first and play later!” – Ms. Kunkel

“Stay true to your goals and don’t lose sight of what they are. There will be a lot of distractions but as long as you stay true to what you want to do, you may change your mind, that’s ok, but just stay true to having a goal and seeing it through. Four years may seem like a lot of time, but really it’s not. Also, travel. I think it’s important to see the world from a different perspective.” – Ms. Pereira

“Now is the time to work hard. Enjoying life is great, but you’ve got to work hard now so later in life, you don’t have to work as hard.” – Ms. Lujan

“Don’t be afraid to try new things and go a different path than you thought you were supposed to go.” – Ms. Davis

“Don’t sell yourself short. Go for opportunities even if they seem to be more difficult than you’d like. And remember that most things require hard work and great time management.” – Ms. Murray