Students prepare for Saratoga Idol March 14, 2012 — by Vivian LeTran Even though last year was senior Katie Cummins’ second time competing in Saratoga Idol, she was still not used to singing by herself in front of a large crowd. As she stepped onto the stage and looked out at all the faces staring at her, Cummins became extremely nervous. read more » Badminton: No. 1 player in the nation leads Falcons March 6, 2012 — by Grace Ma and Vivian LeTran With only three years of badminton experience, sophomore Bryan Chow has already gone from a novice to the best of the best. read more » AP Lit course focuses on poems, plays, novels, short stories January 18, 2012 — by Vivian LeTran AP Literature (Lit) follows previous English classes’ structure as students read novels, short stories, poems and plays, but the course is not just a continuation of the first three years of high school. The class delves further in-depth and students read at a faster pace. read more » Asian disadvantage reveals flaw in college admissions process January 17, 2012 — by Vivian LeTran In the nationality section of the Common App and other college application forms, students are asked to check the boxes that apply most to their ethnicity. According to a recent article from the Associated Press, Asians have a disadvantage at getting into elite colleges, and students who are half Asian, half Caucasian are advised to only check the Caucasian box. read more » End of procrastination requires wake-up calls January 12, 2012 — by Vivian LeTran and Vivien Lu People usually do not change unless an event is significant enough to have a real impact on their daily lifestyle. Eventually, as students journey through life, they will receive some sort of wake-up call that will change and shape their habits for their entire lives. People tend to miss the obvious; the conundrum here is how in-your-face the epiphany has to be before they actually see it. read more » Leadership plans fun events for school November 10, 2011 — by Vivian LeTran and Sanj Nalwa It’s Tuesday at lunch. Groups of upperclassmen sit around the staff lounge as assistant principal Karen Hyde drifts around, speaking with some of the 23 or so students. The topics range from anti-bullying approaches to updates about business or other leaders coming to speak on campus. read more » Alluring college mail has ulterior motives November 7, 2011 — by Vivian LeTran The nonstop flow of college mail is ridiculous, especially at the end of junior year and the start of senior year when senior Kellie Chiou and other seniors have to seriously sit down to narrow down their application list. Chiou receives several a day from countless schools, throwing away the majority of the brochures, pamphlets, postcards and posters. read more » New faces in old places: special education department experiences staff changes October 14, 2011 — by Vivian LeTran and Jonathan Young The special education department has a new look this fall, including the addition of teacher Brian Elliot and SHS alumni Danny Wallace and the promotion of Courtney Crase. read more » School gets paint makeover September 9, 2011 — by Vivian LeTran A new school year is always accompanied by a variety of changes. As for senior Kellie Chiou, this year was no different. Yet, as Chiou rushed to her classes on the first day, there was something outside the usual change of classes and teachers that she couldn’t put her finger on. It wasn’t until later that she noticed that the campus had received a makeover. read more » ‘Kung Fu Panda 2’ packs a punch September 3, 2011 — by Vivian LeTran Unlike failed sequels of other movies that were hastily made with little thought, Dreamworks “Kung Fu Panda 2” definitely matches, if not surpasses, the action-packed fun of the first movie released in 2008. read more » Students volunteer around the world May 26, 2011 — by Vivian LeTran Teaching English in Thailand In a stuffy classroom near Chiang Rai in northern Thailand, students ranging from 5 to 15 years old blurted out various animals as guesses to a round of animal charades between waves of laughter. The boy at the front of the room, who was acting out an elephant, brought his arm up to his face to mimic the elephant’s trunk. “Ostrich. Giraffe. ELEPHANT!” the other students shouted. read more » Boys’ Golf: Strong season ends in disappointment at CCS May 18, 2011 — by Priyanka Nookala and Vivian LeTran The boys’ golf season ended abruptly on May 10 for Saratoga when the team placed 10th out of 11 teams at CCS regionals at the Rancho Canada West golf course in Monterey. However, Saratoga had a successful 12-0 season and No. 1 player sophomore Robbie Parden won the Santa Clara Valley Athletic League (SCVAL) championship with a two-round score of 148. read more » Drama department to showcase year’s last student production May 17, 2011 — by Vivian LeTran From June 2-4, both of the drama classes will be showcasing the last production of the year in the Little Theatre: “Noises Off,” a 1982 comedic play written by Michael Frayn about the hectic scramble and behind the scenes of a drama production. read more » Boys’ golf: Team starts strong despite injured player April 4, 2011 — by Vivian LeTran The golf team started its season with a record of 9-0 as of late March, including a victory in an important match against Milpitas that players won by 2 strokes. read more » Music Department pulls off successful Jazz Cabaret March 30, 2011 — by Vivian LeTran Glimmering bright lights hung along the walls of the dimly lit room, reflecting off the disco ball that hung above. A crowd of people in dresses and ties swayed to the soft tunes played by the Jazz Band. The school’s gyms, both set up and taken down by volunteers, were almost unrecognizable. read more » MAP class to explore San Francisco March 23, 2011 — by Vivian LeTran and Kyumin Shim Instructions, a map, money and wits. These are the only items that the juniors of the Media Arts Program will take with them on their “Amazing Race” trip to San Francisco on April 1. read more » Where art thou, summer break? March 9, 2011 — by Evaline Ju and Vivian LeTran Remember those summer days spent lazing around, going to the beach or the mall every other day? Or when our parents signed us up for those one-week long horseback riding and overnight nature camps? read more » Blood drive draws many donors February 4, 2011 — by Vivian LeTran and Kyumin Shim More than 80 people walked out of the Small Gym on Jan. 27, proudly wearing “I’m a donorsaurus,” “Got Blood?” and “I’m a Hero. I gave blood,” stickers on their chests as participants of the school’s biannual blood drive. read more » Balloon artist twists happiness into sculptures January 31, 2011 — by Vivian LeTran “Higher! Higher!” The crowd encouraged senior Justin Gee as he twisted balloon after balloon on top of an already made hat balloon. Finally, Gee handed the 5 foot hat to a man who roared with laughter and crammed the balloon onto his head. read more » Aeries closed during crucial finals week January 22, 2011 — by Shivani Chadha and Vivian LeTran Imagine receiving your report card and seeing two C’s in classes you swear you got A’s in. Your parents go crazy and lecture you incessantly on the disappointment you’ve caused the family. But wait, you go to talk to your teacher the next day and find out it was all because of a grading mistake; all because Aeries was closed. read more » Junior embraces a colorful array of dances January 4, 2011 — by Vivian LeTran Tango, swing, modern, salsa, cross-step, polka, flamenco, Argentinean tango, African jazz, ballet, tap and hip-hop. For junior Valerie Peterson, it is all part of her weekly routine. read more » Lack of enrollment will lead to cutting of Japanese as language course after 2012 December 8, 2010 — by Justine Huang and Vivian LeTran Several students of the graduating class of 2012 are unique in one respect: These students will be the last to take Japanese at Saratoga High. “I’m really sad that the Japanese [program] is ending, but I’m happy they promised to offer AP until I graduate,” said junior Heather Persson, who takes Japanese 3. read more » APES students visit recycling plant November 18, 2010 — by Vivian LeTran Senior Walter Hsiang stood on the narrow railway, looking down at the multitude of machines sorting the mixed, everyday trash, into plastic, aluminum and other categories. On Nov. 10, AP Environmental Science students Hsiang and junior Mac Hyde, joined APES teacher Kristen Thomson, four students from the Environmental Science class at Los Gatos High School, Los Gatos teacher Amelia DeLaPaz and district superintendent Cary Matsuoka for a field trip to Green Waste Recycling Center in order to see how recycling works in San Jose. read more » Bellgrove Circle a favorite for trick-or-treaters October 18, 2010 — by Vivian LeTran Giant spiderwebs, jack-o'-lanterns with a variety of different expressions and creepy red lights adorned the driveways of many houses in Bellgrove Circle. One particular house hangs a bed sheet ghost in the window, illuminated by an eerie blue light. Bellgrove Circle, located past Highway 85 on Saratoga Ave, is known for being a favorite for trick-o-treating in Saratoga. It boasts a close community, as well as a substantial population of high school trick-or-treaters. With so many familiar faces, it is almost like trick-or-treating with a huge group of friends. read more » 29 seniors qualify as National Merit Semifinalists October 15, 2010 — by Vivian LeTran This year, 56 seniors qualified as commended scholars and 29 students as semifinalists in the National Merit Competition. The National Merit Competition is based solely on how students do on the PSAT, which is taken in fall of junior year. Semifinalists, who are the top 1 percent of the all entries nationwide, will submit an application for the chance to become finalists. Students who become finalists will receive scholarship money if the student chooses a college that honors the National Merit recognition, according to assistant principal Brian Safine. read more » Students have a ‘beef’ with new lunch line September 14, 2010 — by Vivian LeTran Buying lunch has always been a hassle: waiting in line, hurrying to beat the crowd and arriving after all the good food is gone. As a result, many students pack their own lunch, or, for upperclassmen, choose to go off campus. But for reasons such as not being allowed to go off campus or simply having no time to prepare a lunch, buying food is a part of many students’ daily routine. read more » PTSO holds BBQ to kick off new school year September 11, 2010 — by Vivian LeTran During lunch on Sept. 3, several long lines full of hungry, boisterous students wound their way through the noisy quad. Each line led to several large, colorful bins filled with water bottles and tables covered in red plastic, where about 100 PTSO volunteers served free barbeque to eager students and staff. read more » Softball Season Recap: Hard work pays off on senior day May 27, 2010 — by Olivia Chock and Vivian LeTran 1. Season Record: 3-13 2. Highlight of the season (something like a win against LG or something): A season's worth of work paid off in the team's senior game against Los Altos on May 11, finishing with a score where they pulled ahead in the 10th inning. "[Our senior game against Los Altos] was good. We had a bad season, losing almost every single game, but we wanted to go out playing our hardest," said senior Nicole Gragnola. "We all wanted to do it for each other so we made fewer errors and played pretty well." The final score was 3-2. read more » Youtube singers provide something out of the ordinary May 27, 2010 — by Vivian LeTran "Because if I look into your eyes, then I'll have to say goodbye and that'll break my heart. So I won't even start. I won't even start." These lyrics from YouTube singer David Choi's original song, "I Won't Even Start," have been heard by over 1 million people from across the nation. Choi, a singer, songwriter and producer from Los Angeles, started on YouTube several years ago. Since then, his popularity has risen dramatically. read more » Science teacher finishes Boston Marathon May 18, 2010 — by Vivian LeTran and Aanchal Mohan On April 19, in her room at the Sheraton Hotel in Boston, science teacher Kellyann Nicholson was preparing for what would perhaps become one of her greatest personal achievements: running in the legendary 26-mile Boston Marathon. But her plans were halted when Nicholson made a shocking revelation: She had forgotten to pack her favorite pair of running pants—they're just big enough to fit food in the pockets, but tight enough so they don't fall down. read more » Softball strives to improve April 2, 2010 — by Olivia Chock and Vivian LeTran With teamwork and dedication, the softball team is trying to keep a positive attitude about this season, despite struggles on the field. read more » Wang bakes elaborate cakes for friends’ birthdays April 1, 2010 — by Vivian LeTran Among the countless presents that sophomore Kellie Chiou receives on her 16th birthday, the one that stands out the most is from sophomore Connie Wang. The present is a topsy-turvy, three-tiered cake made from scratch, each layer embellished in different pink and purple patterns—stripes and polka dots—and completed with a purple "16" and a large bow at the top. read more » Softball makes room for improvement March 16, 2010 — by Olivia Chock and Vivian LeTran Coming off a losing season, junior pitcher Megan Brading knows the softball team will have an uphill climb as they head into the new season. As a result, improvement is the main goal for the team this year. "Our goal is to work together because we have a lot of new people moving up to varsity," said senior third baseman/outfielder Stephanie Borsum. "For now, we're trying to learn where we are and improve from there." read more » Ceramics teacher challenges herself by ‘throwing’ a vase blindfolded March 15, 2010 — by Vivian LeTran and Maggie Lin Ceramics teacher Leah Aguayo has had over 30 years of experience working with clay. While her students toil away at throwing, taking an average of 10 minutes for advanced students, throwing a bowl is effortless for Aguayo. The Falcon timed Aguayo to get an accurate record of how long it takes for her to throw a bowl. read more » English electives idea on hold due to budget deficit March 8, 2010 — by Vivian LeTran and Emily Williams As a result of the district's budget woes, the English department has decided to temporarily postpone the idea of adding an elective-based curriculum at the junior and senior levels. The reason is that the department is still not sure of how many of its current 13 teachers will have jobs next year or the year after to in order to take on this challenge. read more » Environmental Science gets ‘trashy’ January 19, 2010 — by Vivian LeTran and Ren Norris Senior Ally Doles strolled out of the AP Environmental Science classroom toward the quad. Over her shoulder she slung a white garbage bag filled with empty Doritos bags, wrinkled wrapping paper and folded gum wrappers. Many heads turned and shot her inquisitive looks, wondering if she had become a walking trashcan. read more » Tri-M Club shares musical talents with the community January 12, 2010 — by Vivian LeTran and Sarah Hull A string quartet softly serenades a large group of guests at the Saratoga Rotary Club while they enjoy food and good company on Dec. 11. Stationed in a corner of the room, the group provides mellow music and easy entertainment. The group, made up of seniors violinist Cindy Chang, violist Kevin Hsu and violinist Carolyn Chen and junior cellist Walter Hsiang, are part of the Tri-M club, who are beginning to perform more often since it is now the holiday season. read more » Despite reputation, Cupertino Square offers more entertainment than people give credit for, 5.1 miles January 4, 2010 — by Vivian LeTran Cupertino Square, formerly known as Vallco Fashion Park, has a reputation for being a lifeless and boring mall. After undergoing multiple ownership changes in the last few years as well as major renovations, the mall still does not draw a substantial number of customers. Lacking popular shopping venues, the fact that the square does little to increase the small number of people it attracts is understandable. read more » English department explores the idea of an electives-based curriculum November 13, 2009 — by Vivian LeTran and Emily Williams This year the English department decided to explore the idea of adding new English electives to the curriculum as an alternative to the current courses available for juniors and seniors. read more » Oncologist speaks about recent advances in cancer research and detection November 12, 2009 — by Sarah Hull and Vivian LeTran Many students' lives have been or will one day be affected by cancer since one in every six Americans will be diagnosed with some form of it within their lifetime, according to oncologist Manish Bhandari. Bhandari discussed the recent advances in cancer research and detection during his after school presentation in the Library Research Center on Nov. 6. This discussion was the first of what a new club hopes will be many upcoming speakers who will speak on a variety of subjects. read more » Tech room remodeled to have a more suitable working environment November 5, 2009 — by Vivian LeTran The tech room is finally being remodeled after being an inconvenient working area for about seven years, said IT manager Julie Grenier. The administration had been hoping to remodel the room for about two years, but it wasn’t until this year that work finally began. The remodeling began in September and construction finished the week of Oct. 20. The room was completed the following week after finishing touches were added to the room, including a coat of wax on the floor tiles. read more » “Ponyo” disappointing and overly simplistic November 5, 2009 — by Vivian LeTran The first movie I watched by director Hayao Miyazaki was “My Neighbor Totoro,” a 1988 Japanese animated film. “My Neighbor Totoro” was a cute and audience-friendly movie about two sisters’ magical adventure with Totoro, a spirit from the forest behind their house. I felt a connection with the characters and enjoyed the way they captured what it's like to be a child. For this reason, Totoro was one of my favorite movies. When I heard of Miyazaki’s new movie, “Ponyo,” I anticipated something as extraordinary as (or better than) "My Neighbor Totoro". read more » Interest grows in forming clubs as ASB tightens restrictions October 9, 2009 — by Sarah Hull and Vivian LeTran The interest in forming new clubs has increased dramatically since the beginning of the year. As a result, the ASB plans to be more critical in evaluating the qualifications each club must meet. This year, an ASB member will personally visit each club during a meeting. read more » Student wastes time by watching anime online October 7, 2009 — by Vivian LeTran It's Monday tutorial, and sophomore A.J. Nguyen is in his Chinese class diligently finishing up the chemistry honors homework that he didn't get to the night before. Meanwhile, his friends are cheerfully swapping weekend stories, whining about upcoming tests and commenting about how much time they spend online. Nguyen would have loved to join in with the conversations, but the time he spends online is the exact reason why he can't join the fun. read more » Sophomore takes ground to new Irish roots September 29, 2009 — by Vivian LeTran, Maggie Lin "Oh, so it's like riverdance!" is often the reaction sophomore Stephanie Shimizu receives when she says she Irish dances. From a range of comments, many ask if she is part Irish. In truth, Shimizu, of Chinese-Japanese descent, has no Irish blood in her—uncommon among her dance peers. “I started [Irish] dancing when I was in third grade because my best friend [who is also Asian] had been Irish dancing for a couple of years and told me I should try it,” said Shimizu. read more » Club Day off to an optimistic start September 9, 2009 — by Vivian LeTran and Karen Yang At lunch on Sept. 23, students who enter the quad will be met by loud music, colorful handouts and enthusiastic calls from club officers trying their best to recruit new members. Along with making colorful posters with the club objectives and past accomplishments to motivate students to sign up, several clubs are trying to be more original to attract attention. “We’re doing something really different this year,” said junior Amanda Jeng, Events Commissioner of Interact Club. “We’re going to have a flag with Interact on it and run around the quad with it.” read more » Home | News | Sports | Opinion | Columns | Features | Multimedia | Print | About | Terms & Conditions Copyright © 1959 - 2023 by The Saratoga Falcon. All Rights Reserved.