New Concessions Stands Hit the Football Field

By Ryan Norton

PHHS was granted a new and improved concession stand for the upcoming season. During the first semester, the new concession stand has been under construction. The concession stand was located next to the sports storage area during construction and was relocated on Nov. 4 to its current location at the entrance.

“The district office sent out construction crews during the summer for blueprints, which is the same blueprint as Santa Teresa’s building so they have familiarity of what the design is going to be,” shared Principal Ginny Davis.

The main purpose of the reconstruction is to implement public restrooms into the building, rather than having portable restrooms during sport games. It also served to expand and better the conditions of the previous stand.

“The district has taken its time to assure that mistakes such as not putting in electrical breakers would be avoided in this new construction,” said Mrs. Davis.

However, the construction created two major setbacks. One of these included the concession sales decreasing by almost 25% this year compared to the last few years. It was mainly because of the location and visibility of the concession stand. Another setback was that this year’s temporary concession location was in very close proximity to the portable bathrooms, which may have discouraged people from being in that area.

Nonetheless, the new concession stand proves to be different and better than previous years.

“The new concession building will be up to proper food and health codes. It will have running water, an ice maker and proper electricity capacity. These were lacking in the old concession stand. We hope the new concession building, in its original location, will increase sales beyond previous years,” says Parent Boosters President Anh Lee.

Once construction is complete, the new concession building will be used for other sports. Parent Boosters will be using this stand to sell concessions and Pirate merchandise during sport seasons other than football.

 

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.

 

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.

Exercise

By Henry Zheng

Exercise is known to have many benefits such as better physique, cardiovascular health and a longer life. However, to a few dedicated athletes, there are other numerous non-physical benefits that motivate them.

Perhaps the most obvious and well known benefit of exercise is mental health. There is no doubt that hard exercise helps one develop their mental toughness.

“When you’re running like 15 miles or biking 100 miles, it makes everything in life seem not as big,” says photography teacher and Iron Man athlete Ian Tippets, who has competed in multiple marathons and triathlons.

Along with improving mental toughness, exercise can also relieve a lot of pent-up stress from our everyday lives and motivate us to be productive as we push temporary problems out of the way.

“I’ve found that exercising has made my mind clearer. An hour at the gym or a quick running session never fails to help take my mind off of whatever is troubling me and gives me motivation to keep pushing on at the same time,” explains senior Thomas Chan.

Improving mental toughness also helps one develop better habits to help them stay more organized and get more out of their day, which is especially important for students who want to be on their A-game.

“I believe that exercise makes me more disciplined. I have to stick to a schedule and manage my time properly to juggle school, work and exercise,” says PHHS alumni Iris Wu, who is now on the triathlon team at UCSB.

If these benefits don’t interest the average person enough, exercise can also make you feel “high”. For those who love those dopamine or endorphin rushes, exercise can also do the same.

An article on Runnersworld.com describes how runners can get “runner’s high” after or during running many miles, as the brain releases endorphins to cope with the body’s pain. This high has the ability to temporarily numb your pain and in fact turn you into a productive beast.

Along with getting you high, exercising also has the potential to greatly increase your overall mood, which can trickle down to other aspects of your life. An article written by the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center states how the center actually promotes exercise as a way to treat clinical depression and reduce anxiety. Not only do people feel happier overall, but these same people are also less likely to get sick because less stress constitutes a stronger immune system.

All these benefits are great, but how does one start exercising? Many struggle to even go outside, let alone run or bike a few miles. As intimidating as exercising seems, nothing is impossible, and with a little bit of effort and patience even just a five-minute walk could work wonders if done consistently.

“Consistency is key, (and) it’s okay to start small and build up slowly, but make sure you stick with it,” explains Iris.

Taking things slow and breaking down workouts slowly are key tips that will help anybody get on the right track. There will be days where you just want to quit everything entirely and remain a couch potato the rest of your life. When those days come along, just remember the importance of what you’re doing and the whole gravity that exercising has on your life.

“Many things will change in your life, but your health will (always) follow you wherever you go. Taking care of your body, both physically and mentally, should always be your first priority,” urges Iris.

From strengthening one’s mind to greatly improving one’s daily routine, work ethic and overall happiness, exercise has the ability to completely flip your life around and should be incorporated into your daily routine.

Red Cross Spring blood drive

By Nghi Nguyen

Red Cross held their biannual blood drive of the year in the library on Fri., March 8. Red Cross collaborated with Vitalant, a nonprofit transfusion medicine organization that provides blood donation opportunities.

“The purpose of this event is to collect as many units of blood as we can in our school, so we can send the blood to others who need blood transfusions,” says Vice President Shannon Liu.

The blood collected from the event goes to the Centers of the Pacific, a nonprofit community based blood center that collects the donations and provides them across the local community.

“Red Cross hopes to have 100 donors. Each pint of blood will be able to save three lives. If we have 100 donors, Red Cross will be able to save 300 lives,” explains Treasurer Isaac Wen.

In the past blood drive that was held in October, Red Cross was able to collect 57 units of blood. Not only would these units of blood be saving about lives, it shows the potential the youth has.

“I think the best part of the blood drive is just being part of the process. Seeing the number of people willing to give some of their time in order to save lives makes me smile. It’s amazing how we are all able to work together to save lives,” states Co-Secretary Lily Do.

The Red Cross Spring Blood Drive followed Red Cross’s main mission of alleviating human suffering in the face of human disaster. This event allowed the club to enact change and aid public health.

Music/ChoirDisneyTrip

By Sarah.Shafaeen

The PHHS music students left for their Disneyland trip last Friday. The trip was meticulously planned and the music students have been working hard to be ready for their performances.

“The Disneyland trip is usually planned by Mr. Ellis and Mrs. Ray. They organize the itinerary and contact the festival organizers. In instrumental council, we also help with the process by filling out paperwork and letting that music students know what’s happening regarding payments and fundraisers,” informs senior Symphony Orchestra member Asher Twu.

Symphony Orchestra and Wind Ensemble performed “Ave Maria” composed by Franz Schubert, “Rumble on the High Plains” composed by Michael Sweeney, “Festivo” composed by Vaclav Nelhybel, the third movement from George Bizet’s Symphony, “Adagio of Spartacus and Phrygia” composed by Aram Khachaturian and “Danse Espagnole” composed by Tchaikovsky.

The event is something the music students really look forward to.

“I’m excited to go on this trip because it only happens every two years and it’ll be a fun experience that I’ll be able to share with my friends in my last year of highschool. Also, I’m looking forward to eating dole whip again,” states senior Varsity choir member Samuel Dai.

The choir classes will perform the traditional Indonesian song “Hela Rotan,” “Good Night Dear Heart” composed by Dan Forrest and “Canticum Novum” composed by Ivo Antognini.

Many students were excited about all the activities and fun events that have been planned.

“We will leave on Thursday for Disneyland and arrive near evening. The performance itself is on Saturday, so we’re going to Disneyland on Friday. We’re also planning to watch the Aladdin musical and we’re visiting a university for an organized lunch one day. On Saturday, after the performance, there is an awards ceremony. We arrive back in San Jose on Sunday in the afternoon,” discloses Asher.

Others were eager to visit Disneyland itself because the park is where they will make long lasting memories.

“I don’t go to Disneyland often so I’m just looking forward to exploring the park with my friends and then performing,” comments senior Wind Ensemble member Neha Kaza.

Many of the students were ready to see all of the hard work and effort put in throughout the year pay off through the performance.

“I’m sure all music students are excited and nervous for the music festival, including myself. The Disneyland trip itself will be fun, but we’ve put in a lot of practice for the performance, so we’re hoping to be able to pull off all the pieces we’re going to be performing. While Disneyland is sort of a reward for performing, the performance itself is exciting. There are four rankings: superior, excellent, good, and needs improvement. We always aim for the superior, and first place if we are competing with other schools,” states Asher.

The Treblemakers, performed “Voice Dance” composed by Greg Jasperse, “Bumblebee” composed by Anders Eroth and “A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square” composed by Manning Sherwin.

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