Author Archives: jennifervalencia

The last hurrah: Planning graduation

By Jennifer Valencia

Everest Editor-in-Chief

Graduating high school is something every high schooler dreams of throughout the four years. The rigorous process students must go through in order to achieve the goal of graduating high school is a long one.

Not only must students experience the confusion and emotional distress of experiencing high school, they must also grow up and find out what they want to do for the rest of their life. It might be a roller coaster, but having their loved ones be able to see them walk the stage is worth it all.

Currently, the seniors at Everest are on the road to graduating, which means preparing for the ceremony, ending the year on a high note and also being able to enjoy the last two months of high school.

Graduation will be on June 9 at the Sequoia Carrington Hall in Sequoia High School. The graduation ceremony has been there for the last seven classes.

There has always been the saying that high school flashes right before you, which is very true. In a short few weeks, the seniors will be committing to their college of choice where they will continue their journey.

The graduation committee at Everest is a group of parent volunteers, as well as some of the staff here at Everest. Students are also able to help as the date nears closer.

The buzz around the senior class is growing with excitement and nervousness as emails and talks begin to grow about graduation. Whether it’s for your ticket count or gown measurements, those communications make it clear to all that graduation is soon.

The ceremony includes speeches from different people at Everest: the director, a chosen Everest faculty member, a senior and every senior mentor. Something that is new this year is that the ceremony will be bilingual for Spanish-speaking families. 

Although Everest is a small school and the senior class is small compared to an “average” high school, that doesn’t mean that the ceremony is going to be any less eventful.


Ana Lara, operations manager at Everest

Someone who is a big part of the planning of the ceremony is the Everest Operations Manager, Ana Lara. Ms. Lara has worked at Everest for two years now and has previously mentored a group of seniors.

Ms. Lara has worked closely with everyone  who is a part of the planning committee. When talking about all of the emotions leading up to graduation, she said, “Students seem to be excited and are looking forward to graduation. They’re looking forward to early release, Prom and senior trip. The excitement continues both from faculty and students as college acceptances are coming in.”

The fact that Everest is a bit different from a traditional high school means that the process of such an important ceremony might also be a bit different. Ms. Lara explained that this graduation compared to others is “a bit more personalized to showcase the personality of our students.”


Ignatius Hayer, Everest senior

Everest senior Ignatius Hayer is a part of the graduation committee. He has been a part of the entire process of planning this grand event. Not only is Hayer helping to plan graduation this year; he also did so last year.

When asked how the planning process has been going so far, Hayer responded, “We are very excited; this graduation is going to be the best yet. This year we decided to add some Spanish translation.”


Jenny Macho, senior mentor

Jenny Macho is the AP English Literature teacher at Everest Public High School and is also a senior mentor. Ms. Macho spoke about the emotions leading up to graduation: “I would say there is a very wide range of emotion; obviously some people are really excited to move on from Everest. Coming from a small school where you know everyone and [have] been with the same people for four years, you can get sick of them.”

The excitement among the Everest seniors is clear as graduation moves closer. Graduation marks the end of a journey and the beginning of a new era. This will be the last time seniors get to be in a room with the classmates they have studied with, fought with and bonded with for the past few years. After that day, many will go their separate ways, never to see each other again.

Featured image (at the top of this post): Everest Executive Director Chris Lewine announces the newly graduated Class of 2018. PHOTO CREDIT: Karla Santana


Planning Prom at a small school proves challenging

Everest students become first-time voters

By Jennifer Valencia 

Everest Editor-in-Chief

On Nov. 6, the midterm elections for the United States will occur. Voters from all around the country will be deciding on pressing issues that matter greatly to each individual state. For some people going to the polling station, it will be their first time voting.

In the Everest community, some students are eligible to vote this year and will be able to put their political opinions into action. This generation of students has the drive and the need to vote for their beliefs.

The topic of voting isn’t something a lot of young adults think about. It’s shown statistically that a very small amount of them go out to vote in every election. Although now there’s a small number of young voters, the number is slowly starting to rise. 

Screenshot 2018-10-12 at 12.53.41 PM

GRAPHIC CREDIT: Thom File, U.S. Census Bureau

When speaking about politics, many have their own beliefs and opinions. In the U.S. government, there is a great division between people. This division allows a lot more people to feel justified in having strong opinions about what’s going on in the country politically.

Everest senior Ethan Ezray is now of legal age to vote in this upcoming November elections. Ezray in the past has been vocal about his opinion on current topics, but only to friends and peers. Now he’s going to voice those opinions at the polls.


Everest senior Ethan Ezray

When asking Ezray how he decided to vote, he said he wanted to vote when Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton were running in 2016: “I would totally vote for something, but I can’t yet.”

Ezray, regarding his opinion on voting once reaching the legal age, said, “I think it should be their personal opinion. I mean voting is nice, but it’s a privilege not a right … if you force someone to vote and they don’t want to, then they’ll probably just write in Harambe for president or something. Like, just because someone has the right to do something doesn’t mean you have to – like people have the right to privacy.”

The opinion of Ezray is something that is currently seen widely in this country. It’s important to many to vote; but, at the end of the day, it’s up to the person if they want to go through with it.

Another senior at Everest, Jacob Rattner, will be voting in this midterm election. Rattner has a large amount of knowledge about politics and has spoken to his peers previously about current issues.


Everest senior Jacob Rattner

Rattner said he decided to vote this midterm election because “I’m 18, so my parents were pretty adamant about voting, as well as most of my family.”

Rattner’s family is passionate about their right to vote. Their viewpoint is more progressive considering not all families share the same ideal.

Compared to Ezray, Rattner is also different in the sense that politics are spoken at his home. He explained that his family discussed politics “a lot. My parents and I don’t see eye-to-eye on a lot of policies.”

The tendency of not seeing “eye-to-eye” in politics with parents is something that commonly happens. Historically, the younger generation is more commonly known to agree with newer ideologies and the older generation tends to have the same ideology as before.

Screenshot 2018-10-12 at 2.09.02 PM

GRAPHIC CREDIT: Dr. Michael McDonald, University of Florida Department of Political Science

The midterm elections are on Nov. 6. Those who would like to vote through the mail must send their ballot 15 days before the election.

If a 16 or 17-year-old wants to vote in the future, they can always pre-register to vote for future elections. Not being eligible to vote in this November election means they might be by the next election. Those eligible can pre-register on this site


New Expeditions course allows students to give back to their community

By Molly Pigot and Jennifer Valencia 

Everest Managing Editors 

The course Community Service, which will be offered in the school year 2018-19, is bringing something new and different to the Expeditions course catalog. This course will be taught by Delaney Jures. It will be a partly off-campus, all-day course.

This course will be in close collaboration with the already existing Expeditions course Human Rights, which is taught by Zoe Marinkovich. Students will have the opportunity to help their communities and to find topics they are truly passionate about.

See below for a video about this course:


Students explore career options through Expeditions courses

By Jennifer Valencia 

Staff Writer 

At Everest Public High School, Celebration of Learning is a time to showcase all of the work and effort that has been put forward in the Expeditions courses. Students get to show their parents how they have worked hard toward their personal passions and interests.


Entrepreneurship is a course that teaches students how a business is started and how it can operate, especially here in the Silicon Valley. This course is taught by Vivy Chao. Throughout the course of the year, students learn how to create, start and manage their own business. For Celebration of Learning, the Entrepreneurship students showcased what they did in their class by selling what they had created as a business throughout the year. There was food for sale, as well as coffee, handmade cards and even woodcut dragons.


Daine Becerra Garcia, an Everest sophomore, decided to sell fruit cups with her friend, and fellow sophomore, Martha Torres. Becerra, when asked what she liked about the class, said, “It gives us an idea of what building a company or business can be like, which is fun.”  

Below is a slideshow displaying what other students decided to sell for Celebration of Learning:

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Independent Study 

Independent Study is a course where students can choose a passion of theirs and pursue it. These students check in throughout Expeditions with their supervisor to discuss the progression of their project. During Independent Study, students pick something that they are passionate about. Then they create checkpoints, resources and a final product all on their own.

Here is a look at a few of the Everest Independent Study projects:

Everest junior Shivani Patel (above left) and senior Katie Takemoto (above right) created art as part of the Independent Study program at Everest. They put photo portraits all over the staff lounge walls. Takemoto said, “We recreated makeup and fashion trends from the decades and photographed them.”

Below is a slideshow of Patel and Takemoto’s fashion photography:

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David Nathan Twersky, a sophomore at Everest, studied for the AP Calculus BC test by looking over the material and then taking the exam. He said, “We went through course material, read the summary, worked with seniors on the topic, took the test and are waiting for the results.”


Nico Levy, a freshmen at Everest, wrote the school mission statement in calligraphy as his final product for his Independent Study. “I wrote the school mission in calligraphy and put a frame around it,” he explained. 

 Staff Writers Alfredo Lanuza and Mako Oshiro contributed to this article.