Update on PI Status at Alhambra HS

Staff Writer

“In spite of continued growth, AUSD has been identified as a Program Improvement (PI) District in Year 3 and is required to notify all parents of this status,” a letter handed out to students two weeks ago notified. AHS has been a PI school since 2012 after failing to meet the testing requirements in English Language Arts and Math.

These requirements, known as Adequately Yearly Progress (AYP), are part of the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB), which was created to level scores between students from families with different socioeconomic backgrounds. AHS now has a total Academic Performance Index (API) of 844 with the high school graduation rate at about 91 percent.

However, according to Education Week, after 50 percent of schools failed to meet AYP standards in 2011, waivers were created by the Obama Administration for schools to avoid being put into PI. Upon receiving the waiver, schools must set goals to put students on the right track for college and future careers.

These waivers put an end to evaluating schools strictly based on test scores, taking suspension/expulsion rates, absentee rates and parent and student evaluations into overall judgement. This new alleviation has the potential to bring AHS out of PI status and produce even more students who exceed in all academic aspects.

AHS’ New Counselor, ASB Adviser

Staff Writer

IMG_3898 As the new school year begins, unfamiliar faces can be seen throughout the AHS campus. One new staff member includes the new counselor, Carol Lam-Jones, while ASB has a new adviser, Tuan Pham. Pham, who is a mathematics teacher as well, took over the position after former adviser Sally Yoo left.

Pham, inspired by his high school mathematics and history teachers, pursued his teaching career while juggling his favorite activities: playing basketball and watching movies. After his years at Cal State Los Angeles, Pham began his teaching career and has been maintaining it for ten years. This year, he decided to become the ASB adviser.



Lam-Jones became a part of AHS faculty in December 2014, with prior counseling experience from another school. She spent years at several universities studying as an English teacher before pursuing a career in counseling.

“High school is a very brief period in your life. We hope you learn as much as you can and enjoy your time here [by taking] advantage of all the opportunities and programs [that are offered]. We look to you all to make the world a better place,” Lam-Jones said.

ASB Spreads Moor Spirit in Spring Rally

spring flowers SHELLEY LIN
Staff Writer

On April 3, ASB hosted the annual Spring Rally during lunch. The Spring Rally presented this season’s sports: boys’ volleyball, swim, badminton, boys’ tennis, track and field, girls’ softball and boys’ baseball.

“[This spring rally], we [wanted] to highlight [student athletes’] accomplishments and also celebrate senior athletes on four years of hard work,” ASB president Kristie Sham said.

This year, the All Female and All Male dance teams performed at the event, as well as senior Areli Arellano, who performed a song. ASB congratulated senior athletes by working on organizing different performances such as singing performances, as well as adjusting the campus to look more festive each time.

“[In the future], I hope to open up the pool of performers. In order to add diversity, I hope to have other VAPA groups showcase their talents,” Director of Pep Rebecca Lopez said.

In hopes for more successful rallies in the future Lopez plans to schedule these events on convenient days in response of a more prepared rally instead of hosting them after long breaks from school. Assistant to Pep Amanda Morales anticipates for more creative decorations and different ways of showing school spirit without being repetitive as the previous years’ rallies.


FHA-HEROes: Leaders in and out of the House

Copy Editor
At AHS, members of the Future Homemakers Of America-Home Economics Related Occupations (FHA-HERO) club sharpen their career and leadership skills as they explore a variety of home economics-related topics throughout the year, including fashion and cooking.

Adviser and Vocational Education Department Head Julie Eyre assists club members with their topic of interest. On Feb. 22, members displayed what they learned at a regional FHA-HERO competition at John Muir High School, competing in categories such as Apparel Construction and Child Development. Jennifer Arista, Xenna Gallegos, Leslie La, Justine Perales and president Celeste Olmos all placed among the top five in their event, allowing them to progress to the state-level competition on April 25.

“For me, when it comes down to it, I am really really shy but with this club, I learn better public speaking. I broke out of my shell and as president, I can talk to students without being embarrassed,” Olmos said. “It is helpful; I want to be a doctor, and doctors can’t be scared to talk to patients!”

FHA-HERO members look forward to attending a Disney Youth Education Series leadership development program in June. To fundraise for the admission cost, the club hosted the Power 106 basketball game on March 19, in which AHS students played against members of the Power 106 radio station.


Teen Girl Vaccinated Without Parental Consent

Staff Writer

On March 9, a 16-year-old girl in Chicago was secretly vaccinated by Wells High School without consent, according
to Education News.

The teen, Noelle Miller, wound up receiving multiple immunization shots including one for Hepatitus A, chicken pox, meningitis and Human Papillomavirus Infection. According to Education Views, only one of these vaccinations was given parental consent.

“When I looked at [my daughter’s immunization records] I flipped out,” parent Michelle Miller said, according to Education Views.

According to CBS Chicago, Noelle Miller’s mother did sign a consent form, but only to allow her daughter to receive a sports physical and immunizations required by the state, of which only chicken pox fell under the category.

“I feel like the school should not have vaccinated her daughter without parental consent. Although the mother did sign a form, it wasn’t for all those immunization shots; it was only for a sports physical,” junior Jenna Pan said.

Miller’s mother has further taken her concerns to the school board.


Zaytuna Institute First Accredited Muslim College in U.S.



Staff Writer

On March 4, 2015, the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC made Zaytuna College the first accredited Muslim college in the U.S. Accreditation from WASC, or one of the other five organizations authorized by the government to evaluate colleges.

The college began as the Zaytuna Institute, located in Berkeley, CA in 1996, but did not receive accreditation until recently.

According to USA Today, Nadia Chaouch, a student at Zaytuna, believes that the college and its graduates will help to fight Islamophobia, or the fear of Islam, in the U.S.

“I believe that building a Muslim College in America is amazing because this country is so diverse. I think this college will open up many peoples’ eyes to see the real knowledge behind Islam and Muslim people,” said junior Ezza Munir.

According to Zaytuna’s website, cofounder of Zaytuna, Hatem Bazian also feels that this is an important step forward for dispelling fears of Islam in America as well and helping more people understand their religion.

Vice president of Academic Affairs at Zaytuna Dr. Colleen Keyes hopes for the college to be one of the top 100 liberal arts schools in the U.S. The founders of the college as well as its students hope that Zaytuna is the first of many more Muslim colleges to receive accreditation.

99 Ranch Market to Replace Ralphs

News Editor

Alhambra City Manager Mary Swink announced on Feb. 23 that after years of business, the Ralphs on E. Main Street will be closing. According to Alhambra Source, Ralphs did not renew its lease because of unsuccessful
rent negotiations.

“It’s disappointing. I’ve been walking to Ralphs for many years to do my grocery shopping. I’ve had the chance to meet most of the employees and [develop] closeness with them and to hear that they will be leaving makes me sad,” Alhambra resident Denise Larios said.

A 99 Ranch Market will replace Ralphs once its lease expires on April 1. The 99 Ranch Market will most likely be in business by September or October 2015.
99 ranch


“I understand that Ralphs has to go because the rent is too high but I’m just a little upset that all the nearest non-Asian markets will be gone now. I feel like replacing it with [the] 99 Ranch Market makes it inconvenient for the people who live in Alhambra to buy their groceries because [the] 99 Ranch Market […] doesn’t offer a lot of variety,” senior Michelle Leung said.

While some residents are adverse to the new replacement, some believe the change will be satisfactory.

“[It’s] more convenient to have [a] 99 Ranch Market because I can buy Asian products that are not readily available at Ralphs. Ralphs [is] also very expensive,” senior Grace Diep said.

ALA Honors AUSD Supt.

Staff Writer

Alhambra Unified School District (AUSD) Superintendent Laura Tellez-Gagliano, along with five other scholarship recipients from AUSD, will be honored on May 1 at Almansor Court during the Alhambra Latino Association (ALA)’s Annual Scholarship Fundraiser Dinner and Dance, according to Around Alhambra. The scholarship recipients were chosen for the support they have shown to Latino students, according to Granada Elementary School principal Helen Padilla.

Proceeds from tickets sold will mainly be used for funding the event, but the money made at the event will go to the ALA scholarship funds for Latino students, according to Padilla.

Every year, the ALA invites Latino students from the AUSD high schools to submit an essay, five of whom will be selected to win a $1,000 scholarship.

“I am humbled and honored to be receiving the ALA award. I acknowledge as an honoree that there [has] been several people […] that have supported me throughout the years,” Tellez-Gagliano said.

Obama Administration Proposes Workplace Reform

News Editor

In President Obama’s State of the Union Address on Jan. 20, the first and most discussed topic was the middle-class economy and new proposals to protect working families.

Raising the minimum wage to more than $15,000 a year is Obama’s first step. Obama has also advocated for men and women working the same job to receive equal payment and for all employees to get paid for overtime work.
“The minimum wage should definitely be raised and men and women absolutely should have equal payment for the same job. But at the same time, I think people are ignoring the problem of ethnicity and I believe we need a system to guarantee that everyone [is] paid the same ethnically, too,” sophomore Cyndia Zhou said. “People should always have equal opportunities.”

Obama has said that it is often an economic necessity for both spouses to work. However, data collected by the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that 29 percent of women in America stay at home to take care of their children. Therefore, according to New York Times, Obama has proposed paid maternity leave that guarantees federal employees six weeks of salary after the birth of a child. In addition, with 43 million workers who do not receive paid sick leave, Obama also advocates for reform that will allow workers to accumulate up to seven days of paid sick leave every year.

“I think the reform is really ambitious but unrealistic,” junior Nadia Gov said. “Thinking about giving more money to the working families is good but where is the [funding] going to come from?”

Dance Teams Continue Winning Streak

Since February, Alhambra’s All-Male, Drill and Orchesis dance teams have been competing in various competitions. This year, the teams have attended Streetdance USA and Glendale Games at Glendale High, along with other competitions at Sonora, Glen A. Wilson, West Torrance and Fountain Valley.

During this season, Alhambra’s All-Male Dance Team has been undefeated in the Large All Male Hip-Hop category.

“I love my team and competing! As a four-year member, it’s such a relief that we’re doing so well. I’m glad I’m ending my All-Male career with this year’s team and the dance family,” Captain Raymond Tran said.

Meanwhile, the Drill Team has placed in several of their competitions in the Kick and Pom category.

“Drill started off really well but slowly decreased in placing, but we hope to get back on top again,” Drill Captain Marilyn Htingbai said.

In the Co-Ed category, AHS placed first at Sonora, second at both Wilson and Glendale Games, third at Streetdance USA and fourth at West Torrance.

The dance teams’ last competition, Miss Dance Drill Team USA, is on April 5 at UC Irvine, but they may sign up for additional competitions.

“I honestly think my team started off somewhat unprepared with the proper mindset for competition season, but we definitely narrowed down our focus and worked a lot harder towards improving as a whole. Regardless of how we do for the remainder of the season, I am definitely proud of this exceptional team,” Orchesis Captain Nicky Ng said.

1 2 3 7