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San Marino Titan Shield

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By Skyler Pak Special to The Tribune We checked in with five members of San Marino High School’s graduating class of 2019, and asked them to let us know how their college experience is going so far. They were requested to let us know what their major is, whether they are enjoying their first year of college, how college is different from high school and to let us know their favorite part of college so far. Patricio Osegueda Loyola Marymount University I am majoring in mechanical engineering. I’ve been loving my first year, and although it has been stressful at times, I always find myself loving every day of it. The obvious difference is the amount and rigor of work, but the biggest and best difference is your complete control over your schedule. You choose when you go to class, work, eat, sleep, go out, exercise and because of that, you can manage your time in a way you know you’ll allow yourself to succeed. My favorite part of college has been being surrounded by countless of like-minded people. Going to class, studying, eating, going to the beach, and living with people who share your passions and drive is an incredible and motivating feeling. Olivia Ruiz Pasadena City College I’m majoring in communications, focusing more on marketing. I love my first year. My grades have improved since high school, and overall I am having a great time. College is different from high school because you have more freedom. Even…

Titan Shield, Cathay Bank, Tribune Join Forces to Increase Awareness of School Newspaper What 14 months ago was just a vague vision eventually transformed into a program that, while far from transforming the concept of community journalism, certainly provided a new perspective. Jose Caire, who last May had been named advisor to San Marino High School’s Titan Shield newspaper, was looking for avenues to increase their frequency of publication during the 2015-16 school year. San Marino Tribune Editor Mitch Lehman saw a solution. Esther Wee, Senior Vice President, Director of Marketing and CRA Officer at Cathay Bank, saw an opportunity to further support the students. Three months later, Carie and Andy Salter purchased the 87-year-old newspaper and made the partnership a priority. Throughout the just-completed school year, a full page of Titan Shield content appeared in each edition of The Tribune, 1,100 newspapers were distributed to San Marino High School students and staff members and the entire community was offered a weekly glimpse into the student publication. “Performance excellence is deeply embedded in the Cathay Bank DNA,” said Cathay Bank’s Esther Wee. “It truly has been an honor to collaborate with the San Marino Tribune to celebrate excellence in San Marino High School. We were honored to make it possible for the entire student body and staff to receive a copy of the paper and increase the exposure of the great things being done at San Marino High School. We are proud of the students’ many accomplishments and encourage the…

This contribution is from our friends at San Marino High School’s Titan Shield. By Debbie Hwang ‘16 Features Editor At the end of this year, our very own Mrs. Kathie Blanton will be leaving SMHS and enjoying retirement. For the past 17 years she has worked at the high school, has coached multiple teams, and has been our school’s registrar. Mrs. Blanton’s job is extremely important to all as she is responsible for keeping all student records accurate and organized. As the registrar, she also makes sure all new students feel welcomed. Mrs. Blanton would meet and enroll all the new students who will be attending the high school, withdraw students who can no longer attend the school, gather and check the grades from the teachers, make sure the report cards are correct, and upload information to colleges and state organizations. Mrs. Blanton works on the very tiny details that keep our school in check. “Leaving the school is very bittersweet. It’s been a great campus to work at and I’ve enjoyed working with the kids and the staff. I’ve made some good relationships that I know will continue after I leave here. SMHS is such a great family,” Blanton said. During the time of her service at SMHS, Mrs. Blanton has also become the club advisor for Mending Kids International Club, an organization that gives sick children life-saving surgical care while advancing education and training towards medical self-sufficiency in their communities. She has also made some great community connections with parents…

This contribution is from our friends at San Marino High School’s Titan Shield. By Debbie Hwang ‘16 Features Editor Mrs. Kathy Stein began her career at San Marino High School in 1988 as the ROP Counselor working for the Los Angeles County Office of Education. For five years she helped provide career counseling and job acquisition skills for students. She then was hired to be a full time high school counselor and is finishing her 22nd year in that position. “Time really does fly when you are having fun, ” Stein said. Mrs. Stein’s favorite aspect of counseling is getting to know students. Each student to her is interesting and comes with extraordinary stories and life experiences. She sees each student that she works with as the bright intrinsically motivated kids that they really are. The parent support is outstanding which provides students with many opportunities to pursue their passions throughout high school. The best parts of being a high school counselor for Mrs. Stein is being able to help students solve personal problems, plan, and achieve academic and career goals. Being one of the many on campus that help them achieve success is very fulfilling. It’s fun for Mrs. Stein when many return to share their experiences. When asked about her favorite memory from counseling, Mrs. Stein said, “Being able to interact with students in a variety of settings. Whether it was attending their activities, advising organizations or clubs, it was really fun to see students shine in the many…

This contribution is from our friends at San Marino High School’s Titan Shield. By Trevor Davis ‘17 Editor-in-Chief For a man who referred to teaching as a “midlife change in career,” Spanish Teacher Señor Joseph Claro has accumulated more than a few years at our school. Deciding that his prior career owning and managing his family’s “Claro’s Italian Markets” was not as fulfilling as he once hoped it could be, he went back to school and earned a degree to teach. “I found I wasn’t very happy with the way I was giving back to the community, and things weren’t going well. I thought, ‘Well, what could I do to make a difference,” Claro said. Since then, Claro has spent 14 years teaching the Spanish language at San Marino. He has used the bulk of that time laying the groundwork for incoming freshmen and sophomores by teaching Spanish 1-2 and 3-4. “I enjoy when I see people learning and discovering something new. I like to see students come alive when I learn. When I hear about people using their Spanish in foreign countries, or even at restaurants here at home. It brings a smile to my face.” Claro said. Despite his love of teaching, Claro was offered an incentive from the school district to retire in order to make way for new educators, and he jumped at the opportunity. A year away from when he had already planned to retire, Claro is excited to spend more time gardening at his…

This contribution is from our friends at San Marino High School’s Titan Shield. By Tom Hindle ‘17 Sports Editor 1861. That number is the average SAT score of San Marino students, 12th in California. With this figure among many others, San Marino High is one of the more acclaimed schools in the nation, let alone California. Due to the success of the our school, Principal Mary Johnson was recently recognized by Mometrix as the 19th best High School Principal in the state. Although Johnson acknowledged that it is “a  great list to be on,” she stressed that the work all starts with the students. “I can arrange the testing, make the classes work, fix schedules, but the students do the work and that has paid off,” said Johnson. The esteemed principal is no stranger to the San Marino environment, having been assistant principal for 10 years prior to her appointment as principal for the start of the 2014-15 school year. San Marino has always been in the upper echelon of California’s school districts, but since Johnson arrived in 2004, the district has seen rapid growth and improvement. Evidence for this is can be seen  in SMHS’ Academic Performance Index, which now totals 932 out of a possible 1000 points. However, Johnson pointed out that the system has changed in her 12 years at the school. “The focus has shifted from the STAR testing when all that mattered was getting the right answer. But now the attitude has shifted towards how…

By Debbie Hwang TITAN SHIELD Growing up in sunny Southern California, anytime the temperature dips below 70 degrees, it just seems cold to me. People who know me know that I do not like cold weather. Therefore, when I started telling friends that I had signed up for the Winter Survival group as a part of San Marino High School’s annual Yosemite trip for seniors, they thought I was joking and told me I would not “survive.” Not only could they not picture me in the cold, my friends could also not see me camping out in the wilderness. Yes. I live a life of leisure and comfort. A few months after I signed up, the first and only meeting for participants took place on Jan. 28 and – all of a sudden – everything got real. The trip was a little over one week away, and I did not have any equipment or clothing suitable for the conditions. At the meeting, I got a better understanding of what to buy and bring to keep me safe and warm. It also, however, made me even more excited for the journey. The next day, my mom and I went to REI, a sporting goods store specializing in outdoor equipment, to buy everything I needed. The most important things were a 70-liter backpack and a zero degree Fahrenheit sleeping bag. That’s ZERO degrees! The backpack was easy to find but the store did not have the sleeping bag. By the end of shopping,…

This contribution is from our friends at San Marino High School’s Titan Shield. By Valerie Wang ‘16 For the past four weeks, rooms 207 and 308 have been busy with ordering parts, prototyping, and game discussion for the 2016 FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Robotics competition, with the medieval theme of “Stronghold.” FIRST Robotics Competition combines the excitement of sport with the rigors of science and technology. It’s the only school sport where all members may turn pro if they choose. Teams of high school students are challenged to build and program a robot to perform prescribed tasks against a field of competitors, raise funds, design a team “brand,” and hone teamwork skills. It’s as close to real-world business and engineering as a student can get – all within six weeks. “So far, things have gone pretty smoothly. This year’s game is really complex, so creating a design that had all the crucial elements of success was difficult and stressful,” said Mechanics President Jessica Cameron (12). The business and media team are also busy preparing for the Los Angeles Regional on March 9-12, 2016 and the Ventura Regional on March 23-26, 2016. Business members are preparing the submission for the Chairman’s award, the most prestigious award at FIRST. It honors the team that best represents a model for other teams to emulate and best embodies the purpose and goals of FIRST. Along with participating in the award submission, the business team is preparing to deck out…

This contribution is from our friends at San Marino High School’s Titan Shield. By Valerie Wang ‘16 Editor-In-Chief Many of the traditional types of fuels used are either low in quantity or harmful to the environment. That’s why scientists are looking for alternative fuels, and some of our Titans are on a mission to help research. Members of the SEAL (Solar Energy Activity Laboratory) Project are trying to find metal oxide semiconductors that can effectively store sunlight, which can then be converted to chemical fuel. The SMHS team consists of veteran members Madeleine Gandawidjaja (12) and Fiona Harrigian (12) and new members Alex Chen (12), Angela Wang (12), Serena Wang (11), Samuel Collo (11), Jonathan Chen (10) and Ajay Natarajan (10). SMHS was invited in 2009 as one of the schools that collaborates on the SHArK (Solar Hydrogen Activity Research Kit) Project, which later became the current SEAL Project. The SEAL project was initiated at Caltech by Professor Harry Gray in 2011. The educational institutions congregate at Caltech and Huntington Beach twice for national meetings. “Finding an alternate fuel source is crucial. The SMHS students are helping with this issue,” says adviser Mr. Wyeth Collo, Biology and Chemistry teacher at SMHS. The Titans meet with their CalTech advisors, Dr. Fadl Saadi and Dr. Paul Kempler.  They provide critical material and equipment needed for the research. “We focus on getting semiconductors that are metal oxides, so, for example, we get a metal solution like Fe(NO3)2 and deposit the metal on a…

This contribution is from our friends at San Marino High School’s Titan Shield. By Maya Al-Soufi (17’) Varsity Water Polo attacker, Alessio Brunochelli (11) has been playing the game for nine years and started when he was only 8 years old. He started when one of his parent’s friends told him that it was a “great sport, and I am sure you will be awesome at it.” Alessio’s favorite aspect of water polo is “the adrenaline that rushes through me. I am hyped throughout the entire game and whenever I make a shot it’s like I just won the world over.” Alessio was instantly good at the game. He was a starter the minute he joined, and has never been anything less since. “I fell in love with the game and showed up to practice everyday. I truly believe that the reason why I have improved so much is just because I gave it my 100 percent all day everyday. But, I am not perfect and I know that. I am not as fast as I should be and I am working on that. But, my strengths include all aspects of offense.” Alessio didn’t make the national team and that had always been a his goal. “My current goal is to win the junior olympics this year.” Alessio’s biggest achievement so far is being the MVP for the Rio Hondo League. Alessio’s numbers consist of 120 goals, 90 steals, and roughly 90 assists over this past season at San Marino. He plans to…