Monthly Archives: October 2017

Athlete finds success

By Owen Sweeney

Staff Writer

Ian Gould is a ninth grade hockey player who goes to Everest Public High School. He is a skilled athlete who plays in a highly competitive hockey league that travels all over the country. His team is top 10 in the state for U16 AA.

 1.  What’s your favorite sport, and why?

“My favorite sport is hockey because I like the pace and physicality of the sport, plus I’ve been playing for a long time.”

2.  How many sports have you played in the past? What are they?

He’s played six sports in his lifetime. He said he played soccer, basketball, baseball, lacrosse, football, and, of course, hockey.

3. Do you put a lot of outside work into your sports? Why or why not?

Head shot of Ian Gould

Everest freshman Ian Gould

“I workout twice a week outside of hockey,” he said. He mentioned that he shoots pucks in his backyard a couple times a week; he loves doing it.

 4.  Do you think you would play sports in college? Why or why not?

“Yes,” he said. “Only if the college has a club team – I don’t want to play division one or three. I want to put school over sports, since school is a lot more important.”

 5.  Do you consider yourself a good athlete? Why do you think that?

He said he’s a very good athlete in his mind. “I’m good at most sports I play,” he said. He also said he is in very good shape from working out and playing hockey and other sports.

 6.  Would you ever consider a career in sports? Why?

“No, it takes a ton of skill to make the pro league. To make the pros you also need to put in a ton of time and effort to make it that far.” He doesn’t see it happening at all, but he will continue to play for fun.

 7.  Do you think you would stop sports anytime soon? Why or why not?

“No, I’m not going to stop playing hockey.” The soonest he says he’ll stop will be in college. “I’ve been playing hockey for eight years; I would never quit any time soon; I like playing a lot.”

 8.  Do you travel anywhere for your sports – where to?

He said he travels a lot for hockey, and he loves it. “I’ve been to Canada, Michigan, Chicago, Southern California, Arizona, Tahoe and Nevada.” He travels to Southern California almost every other month for hockey.

 9.  How do you spend your off season?

“I train a lot during the off season. I go to the gym at least four times a week during summer to stay in shape.” He added that he played in a summer hockey league to keep his hockey skills up to par. If he falls behind and doesn’t work during the off season, then he will be at a big disadvantage.

 10.  What advice do you have for future athletes?

“Always put school before hockey; never fall behind in school. You might have to stay up late to finish homework, or skip practice one time even if your coach will get mad,” he said. “Always thank your parents; they have to make sacrifices themselves to bring you to games and practices. Be grateful that you can play sports – not all kids have the opportunity to.”

Ms. Buller loves Everest, her students and teaching

By Kimberly Campos

Staff Writer

Alana Buller teaches Social Studies at Everest Public High School. Ms. Buller cares about her students, wants to keep them on track and enjoys working with them. This year, she has enjoyed working at Everest.

  1. What brought you to Everest? “I was looking for a job, and I met with the faculty at Everest and thought the school was welcoming,” Ms. Buller said.


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Everest history teacher Alana Buller

2. What is your favorite thing about being a mentor? Why is that your favorite thing?  

Ms. Buller’s favorite thing about being a mentor is spending time with her mentees and getting to know them. That is her favorite thing because all of her mentees are different and they are motivated, which makes make her excited and inspired for the future.


3. What does it feel like having two different classes? Do you think it is going to be the same throughout the year? 

“At the moment so far, having two different classes is not stressing. I think throughout the year it’s going to become easier because I am going to know my students more and we will fall into a routine, so it will be easier to maintain the classes,” Ms. Buller said.

4. Did you want to be a teacher since you were a kid? Why or why not?

Ms. Buller wanted to be a teacher since she was a kid. She enjoys working with students, and her parents are her biggest influence.

5. What drew you to being a Social Studies teacher? 

Even a kid she knew she wanted to be a teacher, but she did not know exactly what she wanted to teach yet. Both of her parents are teachers, so she learned from them. Ms. Buller enjoys teaching Social Studies because she likes learning about people from the past. 

6. Was Social Studies your favorite subject in school? Why or why not?

“It was my favorite subject because I liked learning about people from the past and about what is going on in the world. In high school I also really enjoyed AP United States History.”

7. Did you have any other subjects that you liked in school? Why did you like     those subjects? 

I liked English because I liked to read. I also like Spanish and Italian and I like learning different languages for foreign countries,” Ms. Buller said.

8. So far have you liked working at Everest? What is your favorite thing about working at Everest?

“So far I have enjoyed working at Everest because the faculty and students are welcoming, and I love working with my students,” Ms. Buller said. “I like the fact that it’s a small school because everyone knows each other there and there is a strong sense of community.”

9. What are your goals for your mentor group?

“My goal is to get my mentees into a four-year college and to be there to help them,” Ms. Buller said.

10. What are your goals for getting there, and how long do you think it will take to reach them?

One strategy Ms. Buller has for getting her mentees is college is communicating with her students and keeping them on track with their classes. Other steps Ms. Buller is taking include scheduling meetings with her mentees’ parents and talking about college with them. She also makes sure they reach out to their teachers when students are not on track in their classes. Ms. Buller also wants to be available to her students when they need help.


Art connects us all

By Marcelo Espinoza

Staff Writer

Kalyn Olson teaches Introduction to Visual Arts for the Expeditions team at Summit Preparatory Charter High School in Redwood City. This is Ms. Olson’s third year teaching at Summit Prep, and she is enjoying her time there.


Kalyn Olson, Visual Arts Teacher

  1. Out of any career, why choose art?

“Before I started teaching I used to work for an art gallery,” Ms.Olson said. “I loved getting to work with artists and seeing art being made, but my favorite part was teaching clients what the art is and the history behind it, and so teaching felt like the next great fit.”

2. What feeling do you get when creating art, and do these feelings help you create art or do they block you from creating anything?  

“I think creating art can be very relaxing and almost therapeutic for a lot of people,” Ms. Olson said. “It can also help you de-stress or expressing yourself in ways other than words, and it can help students build a habit of success so that art is not just a side project.”

3. What inspires/motivates you to do art in the first place, and how does this affect you today?

“I think I get inspired especially when creating projects for students by the artwork I see when going to museums or just by being outside in San Francisco and appreciating all the murals and art that is a part of the history of the city,” Ms. Olson said. “So when I see something, my mind starts racing with ideas of how to translate that to projects that students could do.”

4. Do you have any memories of when art was a huge deal in your life (before you got the job)?

“I was lucky enough to have art as a part of my history class when I was a high school student,” Ms. Olson said. “So it was a part of how we learned about political events and what was happening in the world, kind of everyday moments, so I think that is what set me off on a path to focus on art in college. I am super thankful that I had a teacher that thought art was important, and so that influenced me wanting to bring that to other schools and other students.”

5. Do you think art has a purpose in society? Why do you think that?

“Absolutely – I think that art has the power to give a voice to people who have been removed from a lot of community, political, countrywide decisions,” Ms.Olson said. “I also think that when we really look at the murals and the stories being told in the cities that we live in, mine in particular, San Francisco, you see the struggles, you see the sadness of lost loved ones and you also see the hopes and dreams people had of what the world could be, and I think when you see that in art it makes people move into action and stand up to injustice/inequality.”

  1. How big of an impact did art have in your life?

“I mean it’s kinda what we talked about as a part of Expeditions – if you find the intersection of things you’re good at, things that you can get paid to do, so you can have a lifestyle that allows you to do all the other things you want to do and challenges you and makes you feel like you’re contributing back something,” Ms. Olson said. “For me, it has been wonderful to have all those things matter; I feel so lucky to do my job. It is a lot of fun even on challenging days; I think I know it matters to somebody, and so that is why I like what I do.”

7. If art never became a part of your life, who would be?

“I studied economics when I was in college as well, so I might have been a boring investment banker or an accountant who works 80 hours a week,” Ms. Olson replied.

8. As an artist, how do you view life?

“I think that art has made me appreciate a lot of small things that I might have overlooked,” she said. “I think that going through units on landscapes and having students paint all of these beautiful pictures of where they have been, imagining where the could go,” she said. “It also makes me appreciate nature like the sunsets and trees, and I think it is easy to lose track of that if there was no art.”

9. When doing art, what message(s) do you put in your work?

“I don’t have a specific message,” Ms. Olson remarked.

10. When teaching art, what do you want people to learn from it?

“I want people to learn about themselves more than anything, because I feel like art gives you a way to express yourself and it gives you a different perspective of yourself than you have even seen before until you started doing it.”


Andrea Tobar, a Visual Arts teaching assistant, helps the teacher in making a better art class for students. Tobar is the assistant of Ms. Olson, who teaches the Visual Arts class. 


Andrea Tobar, a senior at Prep, is a Visual Arts teaching assistant during Expeditions.

  1. Why did you choose art as a potential career choice?

“I was pretty passionate about art but then I lost interest in it,” Tobar said. “But then I went on a trip to Ecuador, and so it rekindled my passion for art because I painted a wall, so when I came back to the U.S. I got an email from Ms. Olson I thought it was a perfect opportunity to be more involved with art.”

2. What feeling do you get when creating art, and do these feelings help you create art or do they block you from creating anything?  

“I feel very relaxed, and it takes my mind off of different things like school and other things going on,” Tobar said.

3. What inspire/motivates you to do art in the first place, and how does this affect you today?

“I think that a lot of people inspired me, and they express themselves through fashion, through makeup, through photography, through whatever form of art they like,” she said. “These people are very creative, and they inspire me to be creative as well.”

4. Do you have any memories of when art was a huge deal in your life (before you got the job)?

“I wouldn’t say it was a huge deal, but I was definitely more into art during my freshman year just because I use a lot of Tumblr and I see a lot of art on there,” Tobar said.

5. Do you think art has a purpose in society? Why do you think that?

“So we basically painted a mural for kids who were in need of extra assistance,” Tobar continued. “They had disabilities and stuff like that, and so me painting that mural had the power to make these kids look forward to their days at school. I think that art has that power in every school.”

6. How big of an impact did art have in your life?

“I think it was a pretty big impact because it just helps me de-stress, and a lot of people do comment ’cause I am really into photography. So a lot of people do comment on my photography skills, so I think it had a really big impact because it made me look forward to my days,” Tobar said.

7. If art never became a part of your life, who would be?

“I would be a boring person; I wouldn’t be creative; I wouldn’t try new things; and I wouldn’t be open to more things,” she continued. “I think art just makes me more of an outgoing person.”

8. As an artist, how do you view life?

“I view life as looking for beauty in every single person ’cause even if somebody isn’t the most attractive there is something inside of them that makes them beautiful,” Tobar said.

9. When doing art, what message(s) do you put in your work?

“If I am being honest, I don’t have a message,” she confessed. “I just see something pretty, and I take a picture of it.”


Chloe Lee, another Visual Arts teaching assistant, also helps Ms. Olson in making a better art class for students.



Chloe Lee, a junior at Prep, is a Visual Arts teaching assistant during Expeditions.

  1. Why art?

“I really liked the class in freshman year, thought it was really good opportunity to learn different elements of art,” Lee said. “So I got really excited when I got asked to be an assistant because I wanted to spread the art to other students.”

2. What feeling do you get when creating art, and do these feelings help you create art or do they block you from creating anything?  

“I think art is a really calming, especially when you have a lot of different things going on in your life,” Lee said. “Like studying, your job and other stuff.”

3. What inspires/motivates you to do art in the first place, and how does this affect you today?

“I get inspired a lot by my sister who is now into industrial designing and seeing her doing art and so in a way made myself be more creative,” Lee said.  

4. Do you have any memories of when art was a huge deal in your life (before you got the job)?

“I remember when I was in middle school my sister introduced me to anime and manga,” Lee said. “I got really addicted, so I started drawing like that, and I remember I would always be doodling all these weird anime characters. I don’t do it anymore, but I wish I still did.”

5. Do you think art has a purpose in society? Why do you think that?

“I think art is just a way to raise awareness for certain things. When I went to Guatemala, we painted a mural for a school because the walls were too boring so they asked us to make the school a lit bit more livelier,” Lee said. “I thought that was really cool.”

6. How big of an impact did art have in your life?

“I think art has impacted me pretty big because ever since I was a child I would watch Disney movies and seeing my dad take pictures has really inspired me to get out of my comfort zone and be more creative in everyday life, ” Lee said.  

7. If art never became a part of your life, who would be?

“I think I would be a lot less interesting; I think I would keep to myself more; and I wouldn’t be able to express as much, ” Lee said.

8. As an artist,, how do you view life?

“I think art showed me that life isn’t perfect but there are so many important parts of life that a lot of people don’t pay attention to, like natural beauty of things in how it is important to step back and appreciate what you have,” Lee said.

9. When doing art what message(s) do you put in your work?

I think I am still trying to find my message,” Lee said.


Summit Prep’s official podcast is live

By Nick Reed and Armando Sanchez

Staff Editors

Tangled Headphones Podcast #1 is now live! The official podcast for the Summit News team features sophomores Nick Reed and Armando Sanchez, as well as David Tellez, a Summit Prep History teacher.

On Tangled Headphones, we will discuss everything from the local community to larger scale topics.

We decided to start this podcast when Sanchez interviewed Mr. Tellez for a project; they both found this to be extremely entertaining, and they had a mutual interest in talk shows and wished to be on one. After the interview, they agreed to start a podcast club.

On the first episode, the three hosts discuss teaching philosophy and what education should be all about, as well as their individual views on teachers and the school world.


Students attend a Black Lives Matter symposium

By Kristian Bekele and Micah Tam

Staff Editors

On Aug. 30, students from the Sociology of Law class at Summit Prep attended a symposium that included guest speakers such as Wanda Johnson, mother of Oscar Grant, Gwen Carr, mother of Eric Garner and Samaria Rice, mother of Tamir Rice. The event also included a town hall discussion, a film screening and discussion panels.  

This event was a part of the Expedition course’s curriculum concerning the understanding of the justice system and its shortcomings.

The topic of institutionalized racism is something that Expeditions teacher Lissa Thiele has taught several times within both her Holocaust and Genocide class and her Sociology of Law class.  

Her focus has been on multiple aspects of institutionalized racism such as the school-to-prison pipeline, the higher incarceration rates of African Americans versus other races and how slavery and Jim Crow laws in American history have affected modern day society.

Starting off the event, filmmaker Kristina Williams screened her film Black Lives, Gray Matter. In it, scenes of BLM protests, an interview with the San Francisco police chief William Scott and the criticism of the #AllLivesMatter movement were shown. After the screening, Williams explained the purpose of this event when she said, “Today is about planting seeds so we can all grow and blossom.” 


Flimmaker Kristina Williams films Summit Prep students. 

Following the screening, a mediated discussion with the guest panel of mothers whose children died from police brutality took place.


Panel moderator David “Davey D” Cooks addresses the audience. 

The panel covered topics such as the media’s portrayal of their sons, gathering strength to tell their sons’ stories and the unfairness of losing a child.


From left to right: Samaria Rice, Gwenn Carr and Wanda Johnson speak about how their sons’ death affected their lives. 

Explaining how much she missed her son, Johnson said, “I miss him at the table at Thanksgiving. I miss him at my birthday celebrations.”

Rice said, “I don’t know how they can demonize a 12-year-old,” when talking about how the media twisted the image of her son.

Carr said, “No matter what the color of your skin is, what religion you are, wrong is wrong and right is right,” and, “Another mother shouldn’t cry as we have,” when voicing her frustration over the society’s current treatment of how black children and black people are treated. 

The students who attended this symposium saw this as a trip that was necessary to be a part of.


Sociology of Law students and Expeditions teacher Lissa Thiele take a group picture. 

Vanessa Contreras, a Summit Prep junior, said that it was necessary for students to attend this symposium because hearing the mothers that were involved allowed for students to “get to take away how they went through the pain.”

Other students reiterated the same point as Contreras.

Kurumi Babe, a junior at Summit Prep, spoke about how it was essential for students to attend this symposium because students are the future. She said, “You get to know other people’s stories. You want to help other people like them so it doesn’t happen again.”

Kayla Payan, a senior at Summit Prep, said, “Empathy was a big reason why we should have gone.”

Liliana Gomez, a senior at Summit Prep, put it in perspective by saying, “It could be your son that gets shot.”

Sometimes, finding empathy might be overshadowed by the shame that comes with talking about sensitive topics like race.

James Howe, a junior at Summit Prep, believes that sometimes parents are uncomfortable with a heavy topic such as race.  He elaborated more by saying,  “A lot of parents feel that their kid shouldn’t be exposed to it in certain ways; they’ll feel paranoid.”

Two seniors, Anna Axiaq and Jane Abrams, expanded on his points by pointing out the various ways in which parents and the society can stifle the much-needed dialogue.

Abrams brought in the history of America and how institutionalized racism has yet to resolve. She said we have to acknowledge “so many problems in our society” such as institutionalized racism in American society.

Axiaq brought in her own experiences as a person who had a different experience due to her upbringing in a White household, explaining that her parents were protective and she hadn’t heard about Oscar Grant “until I was in a class that a teacher exposed and explained why these things happen.”

Students saw this missed opportunity for education as an issue, and they said it was only through unity and education that progress can be made.


Filmmaker Kristina Williams converses with Summit Prep students. 

Summit Prep senior Isabella Weiss articulated on the issue of social unity by saying, “This world, no matter who you are, will have problems because not everyone is fully accepting of everyone. It won’t be easy, but if everyone has an open mind, stuff can be achieved.”

Victor Aguilar, a sophomore at Summit Prep, said that topics like this are “not black and white” and that each situation is going to be different due to the people involved in the case.

There were students who disagreed with this stance, saying that police should have more training in how to de-escalate in intense situations.

Summit Prep senior Jose Gutierrez-Hernandez believes that police “can’t handle certain situations” and that they “act on their own”. He further voiced his stance by saying, “Some cops, they don’t think about other situations. They don’t see the best option. They’d rather just shoot the person than injure them.”

Other students also agreed with what Gutierrez-Hernandez said concerning police conduct with communities.

Summit Prep junior Connor Pierce said something similar: “They need to be better on recognizing situations before they pull out their weapon.”

Axiaq repeated a point that Samaria Rice said during the symposium about how officers receive 56 hours of firearm training and only 10 hours of community training.

Kayla Payan also backed up her reasoning by pointing out that for police officers to do their job they “have to know about the community.”

Payan concluded with how essential community training is to interacting with community members. She intoned, “As much as I love the idea of a cop seeing a gun and saying ‘Hey, please stop’, and de-escalate, it’s not going to happen.”


Mother of Oscar Grant the Third, Wanda Johnson, and Expeditions teacher Lissa Thiele took a selfie during Intermission. 

Ms. Thiele also sees teaching students about social justice issues such as criminal justice and incarceration rates as something that is unavoidable. “The same topics that were current four years ago are still current now,” she explained.

She believes that “people have not learned from the past” and therefore sees “an immediate and urgent need to teach my students how to survive in American society.”


A flyer advertises the event at Skyline College. 

She has seen pushback about teaching such a topic with student’s parents.

Ms. Thiele has had a wide range of concerns from parents seeing the class as necessary for their college credentials to: “Does this add value for my child?” or even parents assuming that students are attending a protest.

Some parents are concerned on whether all sides are being equally presented in her teaching. Ms. Thiele said that she does represent the sides that are “insane stances” such as Holocaust denial.

Ms. Thiele instead mentions the class subjects are about “educational awareness” and are quintessential to the next generation of parents. “I’m talking about when they are parents.”

Featured Image (top of this post): Mother of Eric Garner, Gwen Carr, speaks to Summit Prep students.