Senior Wills

I, Elizabeth Abalon, leave my amazing Japanese skills to Adriene I, my inability to get a date to Kwantip Tachasooksaree, my common sense to Eva De La Rosa, and my lack of fear in asking for help from others to Vanessa Velasco.

I, Darshana Pandey, leave my well articulated Spanish skills (kind of) to one of the funniest juniors I know, Fahad Selem, and my advice to not procrastinate and to have an amazing high school experience, to Yash Bashet and Anushka Bimali.

I, Maribel Balaro, will leave my high quality quirkiness to my favorite AP US History teacher Mr. Armstrong. As well as leave weird memories of myself to all of my beloved teachers.

I, Kathleen Vo, leave my good story-telling ability and wonderful Chinese skills to sophomore Mei Chann Lao, and my wise insight and advice to my little sister, sophomore Cindy Byun.

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CAASPP measures you and your school



The California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress, better known as CAASPP, is a standardized test that all juniors are required to take. But what’s the point of it? Many students feel like the test is unnecessary and won’t count for anything so they don’t try as hard as they should. The CAASPP shows you how far you’ve come from your english and math skills in elementary when you took the STAR test. It also shows the government how well students are getting educated at school. If you still don’t care about these reasons, the CAASPP also directly affects your future.

The test measure how well your english is which is important if you want to earn the seal of biliteracy. Many high schoolers take a foreign language in school to earn that seal, but you can not receive it unless you also prove that you are proficient in english along with that other language. This test can also be used to determine what english level you’ll be placed in college.

On a broader scale, this test shows how intelligent the school is as a whole. By scoring higher, your school will have a better reputation. When you apply to college, those reading through applications will see that you came from an academically competitive school. This can boost your chances of getting admitted. For instance, if a student has the same gpa and characteristics as another student who came from a less competitive school, it is likely the first student will get admitted instead because it was harder for them to earn that grade.

The CAASPP is not a test that you should take lightly. It can be that deciding factor between you and another student for admission at your dream school. There is no harm in trying because after all it is mainly used to see how far you have progressed. It can also help make our education system in America better.


Khan Academy saves grades


by Andrew Song

As students, we all know the one website that saved our grade right before finals in a class that we really didn’t understand. Khan Academy has been saving students’ grades since 2006 by providing students with full access to online courses in unbelievable numbers. Ranging from chemistry to language to calculus to economics, students will be able to master these areas from a comprehensive and understandable person behind the video. Sal Khan, creator of this academy, never fails to help kids around the world. His vast areas of knowledge surprise me everyday.


Those wishing to prepare for the SAT can also reap benefits by utilizing Khan Academy. Khan Academy claims that those who spent 20 hours on their test prep website saw an average of a 115 point increase; this data is spread across the 3.7 million students they served as of May 2017. Forty percent of all students who took the SAT reported using the resources of Khan Academy.  It does not hurt when your organization is one of the few that the CollegeBoard openly recognizes, even over popular prep books like Barron’s and Princeton Review. Eight free practice tests that best match the official administered tests are located on their website,

Although the success of this organization clearly has amazing implications, a personal tutor can always trump the resources given by Khan Academy. After all, any online resource is bound to have several inherent problems arise, such as the unavailability of a rapid-fire connection and inability to address specific concerns. Videos only display a predetermined lesson with a set record of words. Thus, if a student has a specific, unique question, nobody will be able to answer his or her question. For example, a lesson regarding stoichiometry cannot help a kid if he or she has difficulty understanding the cancellation of units.  Also, the human connection between a mentor and mentee cannot be made, and students usually understand concepts better when they know the teacher. However, Khan academy’s availability and resourcefulness is unparalleled, and will continue to help students raise their B to an A.

Track and Field Scoreboard


Mayfair Bellflower La Mirada John Glenn Artesia Norwalk
Girls F/S  Win Win Win Win  Win  Win
Boys F/S Lose Win Lose Win  Win  Win
Girls Varsity Lose Win Win Win Win  Win
Boys Varsity Win Win Lose Win  Win  Win

League Most Valuable Runner: Justin Kim (11th)

All-League Placement: 

Girls Frosh-Soph: 1st

Boys Frosh-Soph: 2nd

Girls Varsity: 2nd

Boys Varsity: 2nd



Boys’ Tennis defeats La Mirada again

CHS tennis defeated La Mirada at home 15-12 in a closely played match on April 17.  The match was played on a particularly cold day.

“I honestly did not know what to expect from this game,” Senior Jonathan Tah said.  “La Mirada has one of the better teams in the district.  We thought they were really going to give it to us this time.”  As one knows, playing–and winning–on the opponent’s court is no easy feat.

Furthermore, Cerritos, which has an impeccable League record, was missing some of it’s most prolific players, including the likes of Peter Chea and Brian Shaw.  Either way, the Dons did not disappoint, and the result was a victory against La Mirada similar to the one in March.

Now in their 12th game of the season, the Varsity team has only lost twice, but still maintains a high ranking in the overall District standings.

“I know that we can get far in CIF because we have done it before.  In fact, I am willing to bet that we may actually win it all this year,” said Kevin Kim.  According to most teammates, they have arsenal to do it this year, as they can rely on the experience of many returning players from an already strong team from last year.

‘Love, Simon’: a film for this generation


*Warning: Spoilers

Coming out to family and friends provides the utmost of relief for teenagers and adults; however, the decision to follow through with it is difficult.  

Love, Simon, a film directed by Greg Berlanti, is based on the novel Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda written by Becky Albertalli. The story focuses on Simon Spier, a closeted gay teenager who, despite having a great family and circle of friends, struggles to live normally with his secret. However, Simon’s life turns around when Blue, an anonymous student, comes out online. Simon takes a shot in the dark and confides to Blue about his homosexuality. Simon’s journey begins here, spiraling into a young man’s fight for love.

Love, Simon has been dubbed  “the most important film” because unlike films reflecting the struggles of homosexuality such as Call Me By Your Name or Blue is the Warmest ColorLove, Simon is a family-friendly film that portrays the life of a regular teenage boy residing in a regular suburban town. Simon is a character that many teenagers can relate to from the realities of social order to friend zones to that amusing school principal. The plot starts off with Simon’s online relationship with Blue. Subsequently, Simon’s secret is accidentally revealed to his classmate who blackmails Simon into helping him impress one of Simon’s friend, Abby. The plot is unlikely to occur in real life, but Simon’s unease reflects the conditions of a high school student. Furthermore, halfway into the film the audience notices that Simon’s closest friend, Leah, has feelings for Simon and struggles to tell him. Near the end of the film, Leah angrily confesses her feelings for Simon. The audience can relate to the realities of “friendzones” and rejection. Falling in  love is beautiful and scary, but it can be even scarier when you’re forced to hold a broken heart.

Love, Simon captures the essence of high school in a nutshell. It nicely depicts the pros and cons of being a teenager with both emotion and humor. High school is hard as it is, but it’s even harder when you can’t be yourself.

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Dark sides of Addams Family delights



As a nominee of the MACY awards which recognizes and awards high school musical theatre students and productions, the Cerritos High School drama production of The Addams Family did not fail to impress. The Musical production, under the direction of John Zamora, did a spectacular portrayal of the Addams Family with a modern take. The musical consisted of humor and horror, keeping the audience invested at all times. The musical sticks to the original plot of the Addams Family, but with their own spin on it to make it more relatable and modern.

The singing, under the musical direction of Tim Trost, was definitely pleasurable to the ear. All singers stayed on key and displayed their vast ranges by shifting flawlessly from their upper to lower registers. Although every actor in the production did an amazing portrayal of their character, the role of Wednesday took the spotlight. The character Wednesday, played by freshman Liesel Arauz, took everyone’s breath away. Her spot-on facial expressions and changing personality throughout the play, made her character truly stand out. She was able to effortlessly shift from daunting and depressing to a lovestruck, happy-go-lucky teenager in a heartbeat.

Not only was the musical aspect of the production up to par, but so was the choreography produced by Nicolette Papile. The dancing was filled with passion and energy while also remaining in sync. Not one person stood out (in a bad way, that is) or drifted from their character. The musical numbers were short and simple to keep the audience’s attention span. The graceful solo of The Moon by Natalia Paz was a good temporary detour from the kooky lives of the Addams family.

The climax took place when Wednesday’s “normal” boyfriend refused to run away with her then professes his love to her by showing her that he would die for her. Of course death is a word that appeals to all members of the Addams family. The musical was filled with all kinds of drama from Wednesday’s brother changing her future mother-in-law’s personality to Wednesday’s mom, Morticia, realizing she became the person whom she feared to turn into the most: her mother. Inside all the action, many comedic scenes are apparent throughout like Gomez, the father,  having many asides to figure out how to make both his wife and daughter happy.

Everything eventually resolves itself together and gives the audience a happy ending with the wedding of Wednesday and her boyfriend Lucas.

Overall this musical was designed to be appropriate for all ages to watch. The action, the humor, and the relationships were all crazy yet, in a sense, relatable. The musical delivers a message that teaches people to live on the dark side a little because too much normal can be boring. This was definitely one of the better productions at Cerritos High. Watching proved definitely worth the time and was money well spent.

Women’s rights are more than a day


International Women’s Day praises women for their hard work and reminisces the achievements of important female figures throughout history. Since the 19th century, women such as Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cody Stanton have fought for women’s suffrage through the organization of the National Woman’s Suffrage Association and the American Woman Suffrage Association. It was the women’s suffrage movement that prompted the  Temperance Era to ban alcohol consumption in the 1830s and most importantly, the abolition of slavery.

In fact, women have played a dominant role in the formation of world history that students currently read in their history textbooks. To name a few: Joan of Arc, who led the French Army against the British in New Orleans. During Elizabeth I reign, she oversaw British victory against the Spanish Armada. Sojourner Truth was an African American who fought for equal rights for African Americans and females. Harriet Beecher Stowe wrote Uncle Tom’s Cabin, a novel which influenced many Americans to join forces to abolish slavery. Marie Curie discovered radium and polonium, help develop the x-ray machine, and was the first woman to receive a Nobel Peace Prize in radioactivity and chemistry. And we are fortunate to have notable women among us, such as Michelle Obama, Malala Yousafzai, JK Rowling and Oprah Winfrey, to name a few.

International Women’s Day only brings recognition to how much women are valued each day because women should be valued everyday for their hard work at home and work. The stereotype that women are solely homemakers is an idea that women have refuted since the 20th century, but it’s clear in the present day that we are making progress to close the gender gap. Issues such as the The #MeToo Movement and unequal pay, force women to question this progress, but the reality is that obstacles are inevitable and the women of this generation will have to carry on the fight, like the women before them.


Opinion: ‘Mentally Unstable’ not good enough


Another school shooting on the news.  Pictures of victims and heroic stories of saviors.  A sad loss of innocent lives at the hands of a cruel, psychotic teenager.  Right?  Wrong. Stop simply labeling kids as “mentally unstable” when the news doesn’t tell the full story and no one cares enough to find out the whole truth.

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Lessons from an opening night


Last Thursday opened “The Last Jedi,” and I was there to see the second installment to the newest trilogy first-hand. It was an exciting night, but due to my many mistakes, it was also a stressful one. But with every mistake comes a life lesson, and as Yoda says: “Pass on what you have learned.” So, here’s a few mistakes that I learned from to help you out for your next opening night.

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Estrada shines at wrestling


Senior Desiree Estrada is one of our school’s standout athletes.  As a member of the CHS Girls’ Wrestling team, Estrada has gained a solid reputation in league matches for the skills she executes on the mat.  The uniqueness of a sport like wrestling is the individually challenge in presents when it’s just two competitors battling drew Estrada towards wrestling.

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Affirmative Action: Racism Towards Minorities (Opinion)


Affirmative action, simply put, is fighting racism with racism; it never works. This process was first brought about by President Lyndon Johnson, who issued an Executive Order in 1965 that required government agencies to hire more minority employees. To the common man, this makes sense. If members of a certain group are not working as much as other groups, giving the former more chances for success makes sense. For schools, the National Center on Education Statistics (NCES) conducted a study in 2007 that displayed similar results. 70% of whites immediately enrolled in college whereas the percentage was only 61 for African Americans. Hence, colleges actively played a role in accepting more minority students since then. The acceptance rate for minorities is now steadily rising and more and more diversity is seen amongst not only private colleges, but also the most prestigious institutions in the nation. The problems with Affirmative Action, however, are distinctly wicked and outweigh all of its benefits.

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A Double-Double with…hot cocoa?


To many of us living on the West Coast, In-N-Out has served as a staple in our diets for years. Therefore, it’s no surprise that many were shocked when the company announced its newest addition to the menu: hot cocoa. Even more noteworthy is the fact that there hasn’t been a change to the traditional In-N-Out menu for nearly 15 years. However, this is not the first debut of the hot cocoa: it was initially added to the menu in the 1950s, but it was taken off shortly after.

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Lessons from an opening night


Last Thursday opened The Last Jedi, and I was there to see the second installment of the newest trilogy first-hand. It was an exciting night, but due to my many mistakes, it was also a stressful one. But with every mistake comes a life lesson, and as Yoda says it: “Pass on what you have learned.” So, here’s a few mistakes that I have learned from to help you out for your next opening night.

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Cerritos’ NMSQT semi-finalists


The National Merit Scholar test, better known as the NMSQT, is a standardized test taken by tenth and eleventh graders that is administered by the College Board. Approximately 3.5 million students take it annually. It is an academic competition used to earn scholarships and recognition by attaining certain high scores. The PSAT is used to determine  one’s eligibility and qualification for the National Merit Scholarship Program, which is how the “NMSQT” got its name.
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Trick or Treat, give me 840 hot dogs to eat


Sweaty hands in gloves were set to make 840 hot dogs from 3:30pm to 5:00pm inside Artesia Park’s kitchen on Halloween. The trains of aluminum foil never ceased to end until the enormous plastic bags of buns were empty. Mountains of steaming sausages piled onto large, deep, silver trays and were placed into hot dog buns through an assembly line by volunteers, the Artesia Lions International volunteers (LEOS).

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A Step in the Right Direction: Adopt, Don’t Shop


California has officially become the first state to formally ban the pet store sale of puppy mill dogs. Puppy mills are largely known as commercial dog breeding operations where profit is held at a higher status than the actual well-being of the animals. Most puppies that come from puppy mills are usually sold at the age of eight weeks – pretty much an open invitation to all sorts of health problems. Even worse, female dogs are used as reproductive machines in these institutions as they are bred at every given opportunity, often with no regard to necessary recovery time that often pose as huge health risks. Although legislation has been passed in the past to improve these conditions, such as the federal Animal Welfare Act of 1966, the standards required by them are extremely minimal, if any.

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Stories behind a teacher’s desk


The common notion is that relationships are built by communication. Socializing is a fundamental part for the majority, without a doubt.  Making conversation with our teachers is easier for some, difficult for others. Situations vary between teachers and students; it can be  easier to have “real talk” with a teacher when a motive is clear.

As I took a trip to room 307 and 311, my motive: the search for unique desks (yes, desks) here at Cerritos High School. I asked around, and I came to a consensus: Mrs. Harding (room 307) and Mr. Stecher (room 311), both a part of the history department, have unique desks. With one eye open, I e-mailed Ms. Harding and Mr. Stecher to schedule an interview.

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Walker’s senior year


Senior year is not only special for the Class of 2018, but for Mr. Walker as well. Being principal comes with a busy schedule, yet Mr. Walker took time out of his day to talk about his experience as principal of Cerritos High, for what is now his fourth year. Mr. Walker still recalls his first impression of CHS during his first day on campus as principal.

“It’s something everybody knows already, and it’s just how great the students are here at Cerritos. The first time I was on the Cerritos campus was during registration, and the first person who came out and said ‘that’s a really cool tie!’ You know what they say, first impressions last forever,” Walker said.

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Get the scoop: New study hacks


As high school students, test-taking is a part of our everyday life, but what if there were ways to make this dreaded task a little bit easier? Well, according to studies, there are “hacks” that’ll make studying for a test a bit more bearable. To start off, you need to realize what your biggest obstacle is when studying. For many, it’s themselves; if this sounds like you, consider downloading apps such as SelfControl or Cold Turkey that allow you to block websites and apps for periods of time to help you stay focused. (Get the apps here: and Continue reading “Get the scoop: New study hacks”

Student feature: Nethmi D’Alwis


The Distinguished Young Women Program, also known as DYW, was first founded in 1958 to honor high-school girls by rewarding them with scholarships for college. This year’s Cerritos-Artesia DYW competition was held on Sunday, April 30, at Whitney High School. At that competition, Senior Nethmi D’Alwis won the official title and proceeded to move onto the state level. Continue reading “Student feature: Nethmi D’Alwis”

CHS welcomes an abundance of new clubs


From Chikara to Octagon to World Vision to HOSA, Cerritos High School’s enthusiastic club representatives kick off yet another school year with the annual Club Week.  Taking place in the quad during the week of September 18, this celebratory occasion gives students the opportunity to learn about the variety of clubs offered at CHS.  In addition to the veteran organizations on campus, the 2017-2018 school year is embracing six new clubs to the community as well.  

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Excuse me, ridiculous excuses coming through


Teachers always hear the “I left it at home” and “I forgot,” but on occasion they hear completely absurd excuses. Throughout their careers, teachers encountered interesting and ludicrous responses to students’ absences, tardies, and homework.

English teacher Mr. Hind, discussed a particular student who did not do his homework in a previous school in which he worked. The student’s parent decided to excuse her son from missing homework because on that day he had been arrested for joyriding. Continue reading “Excuse me, ridiculous excuses coming through”