FVHS welcomes Class of 2021 at the annual Link Crew orientation

by Aminah Khan and John Le, staff writers and photographers


Photo by Aminah Khan

Last Thursday and Friday, Fountain Valley High School held its annual orientation for incoming freshman to tour the school’s campus and meet new people. Students from multiple schools including Masuda and Fulton showed up for this two-day orientation to get the freshman excited and comfortable for high school.

The event started off with students gathering in the gym, where they got to partake in various activities. The students were then broken up into assigned groups with their link crew leaders.

In the classrooms, students got to bond with their link crew leaders and played games in order to bond with one another. They also received a tour around their school guided by their leaders, with popcorn being given out by Peer Assistance Leadership (PALS).

Many of these new students felt shy about coming into high school, but grew out of their


Assoiciated Student Body (ASB) delivers popcorn to students. Photo by Aminah Khan

shell after the orientation.

“At first I was really nervous, but once I got to know my link crew leaders and everybody else in my group, it was really fun,” said Diana Truong (‘21).

Shayla Pham (‘21), another incoming freshman, looks forward to getting involved in school activities and extracurriculars.

“Hopefully I’ll make the girl’s basketball team. Maybe some clubs at Club Rush will earn my attention and I’ll consider it,” said Pham.

The link crew leaders also enjoyed the experience themselves, as they had the opportunity to help guide the freshmen into their school year comfortably.

Elaine Nguyen (‘18) commented on her experience saying,“Being a link crew leader gave me more experience bonding with other people, not just my grade level, but also freshman. It also reminds me of the time when I was a freshman, bringing back memories because now I’m a senior.”


Students pack the gym for their freshman orientation. Photo by Aminah Khan


FVHS theatre puts forth a phenomenal performance of “The Music Man”

by Elise Tran & Anju Ito, Staff Writers & Mary Kim, Contributing Writer

The sleepy town River City wakes up with the help of Harold Hill, a traveling con man. He has everything set up from his backstory to when he plans to make a run for it. That is until he meets librarian Marian Paroo. She has suspicions towards Harold, but he begins to generate feelings for her, prompting him to make a tough decision about leaving.

With a confident stride and a joyful demeanor, Harold Hill, played by Ethan Peterson (‘18), jumps around from kid to kid easily convincing them to purchase a musical instrument and uniform to create a band.

Marian Paroo, played by Shannon Lopez (‘18), had evident facial expressions and clear movements making sure to bring the spotlight to herself whenever she went into the scenes. As the female lead of the story, she appears throughout the play as the music teacher whom Harold Hill falls in love with.

Alyssa Kammerer took the stage by storm as she eloquently portrayed Marian in The Music Man. She captured the dual aspects of Marian’s character as an intelligent independent while showcasing the softer sides of her character. She danced through “Marian the Librarian” and “Shipoopi” with ease and grace. She brought in the more realistic aspects of her dancing, by keeping in touch with how her character would dance. She brought more life into the stage, it was difficult to imagine anybody else mimicking her embodiment of Marian. She knew what she was doing, and she knew she was doing it right. Not only did Alyssa excel in the dancing portions of the musical, her singing was on par and had the captivating effect that made many tear up. It was extremely delightful, to listen to her sing in “Goodnight my someone.”

Beyond that, “Till there was you” was what left the audience in goosebumps, astounded by the amount of talent Kammerer exuded throughout the whole show. There wasn’t a moment when she was on stage, that was dull or clichè. She a had a spark of life in every second of her performance, from being annoyed and distant to Harold Hill, to succumbing to her daydreams of her white knight. She was entertaining without being cheap with her decisions in her character. She didn’t feed off the audience, rather she was fully engaged with what was going on stage, never losing her focus.It was obvious that Kammerer had spent a lot time practicing and rehearsing, to know every step of her journey. It’s easily seen that dedicated herself solely to this production.

Mr. and Mrs. Shinn, acted by Michael Frankeny (‘17) and Zoe Rios (‘17), had dramatic body motions that immediately catched people’s attentions; sometimes even surprising them with their range of contrasting emotions they were able to put forth.

The rhythmic song-like conversations between the characters added a humorous and exciting touch to the plot throughout the whole play, constantly engaging the audience and sticking to the audience’s head even after the three-hour musical is over. The repeated lines and quirky back-and-forth phrases allow audience to easily understand the plotline and catch onto the story at any point.

Overall, the acting was truly amazing with all its facial gestures, choreography, pauses and the emotions that it conveyed.

The dancing, choreographed by Catie Beck, had simplistic but clean moves that added to the excitement of the singing and acting.

The stage compositions of the actors were constantly on-the-point with the often-symmetrical theme present everywhere, making clear the focus of the scenes and presenting all its components very well. There were also several scenes where two sides had a conversation with each other in opposite sides of the stage, usually a male group and a female group, which moved the attention of the crowd and kept the movement going even during long dialogues that took place.


Marian and Harold confess their love to one another in one of the scenes of the play. Photo by Aminah Khan

The musical aspect of the Music Man, directed by Matt Matthews, was phenomenal. The piano, played by Daniel Ramos, entered at just the right moment creating the perfect atmosphere to match with the dialogue. However, at times the music drowned out the actors and actresses’ voices causing difficulty to understand.

All the costumes done by Amy Pham (‘19), Emma Dobrin (‘18) and Mary Kim (‘17) showed true professionalism with clean, well thought-out costumes that reflected upon the era of the musical. From a whole ensemble with an orange boa scarf, skirt and top paired with a floppy hat decorated with colorful flowers on top to a simple red plaid suit and a boater hat, the diverse costumes that were prepared were never plain to the eye.

A well-rounded musical with outstanding performers bringing the energetic story to life with all its fun and laughter.


Honoring the fight for rights of black history

by Elise Tran & Aminah Khan, Staff Writers

The month of February marks the beginning of black history month. It’s important to acknowledge black history and how society has progressed over time.

In 1926, Carter G. Woodson started Negro history week which his organization, Association for the Study of Negro Life and History (ASNLH), supported. Negro history week was placed in the second week of February to coincide with both Abraham Lincoln and black rights activist Frederick Douglass’s, birthdays. Many cities began to recognize Negro history week.

The Civil Rights Movement is a monumental part of Black history. The movement lasted for over ten years starting in the mid-1950’s.

One of the events that ignited the movement was a suit was filed against the Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas in 1951. 13 parents came together to fight the segregation happening in schools. In 1954, a unanimous vote was made due to racial segregation being unconstitutional and began to desegregate schools.

A year later, Rosa Parks declines to give up her seat to a white person in the colored section of the bus. Parks got arrested for her actions which caused bus boycotts which lasted for more than a year. Buses were no longer segregated by the end of 1956.

In 1963, Martin Luther King Jr. speaks in front of a crowd of 200,000 in Washington D.C. presenting his famed “I Have a Dream” speech. His words moved the hearts of many by preaching about tolerance and equality as he continued to lead peaceful protests.

In the late 1960’s with the help of the Civil Rights Movement, college campuses began to extend Negro history week to Black history month. It became formally recognized by President Gerald R. Ford on February 10, 1976.

“[Black History Month is] interesting, because you can really be inspired by it. You see these people struggling and their stories should be told and a lot of things now in our culture comes from black roots like music, jazz music, and a lot of stuff,” said Bonnie Le (‘20).

The push to acknowledge more achievements by African Americans and their benefit to society has increased because of Black History Month. Black history not only shows the struggles many people of color had to endure to achieve equal rights, but it teaches others the privilege of living in this day and age.

“As a black woman, it holds a lot of importance to me because it shows that the world is still thinking about us and and we’re getting better than how it used to be before towards hatred, towards black people,” said Wafaa Zekeria (‘19)

Students participate in FVHS’ 24th annual chili cook-off

by Aminah Khan, Staff Writer and Photographer

Last Friday, the culinary department at Fountain Valley High School (FVHS) held its 24th annual chili cook-off. The competition took place in the three culinary classes, one in Culinary 1, one in the advanced culinary class, both of which are taught by Armida Gordon, and one in another culinary class taught by Cori Raina, another culinary teacher at FVHS.

“Each team gets to select their own type and style of chili and cornbread and they are competing against classmates in order to win a cook off,” said Raina to explain how the competition works.


Michelle Cardoso (’17) diligently mixing her cornbread batter before putting it the oven. Photo by Elise Tran.

What was first an end to the semester final has now become a second semester project for students to display their knowledge on various foods.Groups were composed of 6 team members who were allowed to choose a theme for their chili and cornbread. The students also had to create a design for their table, decorating it according to the theme they chose.

Gordon, who actually started this competition 24 years ago said, “The whole point of the competition is one, the food competition is fun and two, it’s really a culmination of everything that the students did first semester and it’s putting all their skills that they earned first semester into one project to showcase what they learned.”

This project was a great way for students to get to work together and create new flavor profiles while cooking.

“They get to practice with different flavor profiles, looking at the different spices and looking at different techniques with different chilis,” said Gordon.

FVHS faculty members participated as judges and scored the groups based on the taste and presentation of the chili, cornbread, and the overall presentation of the table they set up.

The winners from each class were awarded with a Golden Spoony that was given during class on Tuesday.

The following teams were named this year’s winners:

Period 2: Traditional Chili: Auryelle Hall, Alexis Quintero, Brooke Leutbecher, and Cassidy Hoang made chili with Jalapeno and Bacon cornbread on the side.

Period 3: Rock n Roll Chili: Sara Feitz, Jayden Davis, Mya Hester, Anthony Baui and Ethan Mack.

Period 5: Harry Potter and the Deathly Chili: Vivian Troung, Sheanne Reazon, Amy Lee, Kyler Wang

Advanced Environmental Design creates conceptual designs

by Aminah Khan, Staff Writer and Photographer

Clint Walter, guidance counselor at Fountain Valley High School gives a recap of the second time he has participated in the staff selected conceptual office redesign.

This contest has become an annual event in Kerry Doll’s Advanced Environmental Design class here at Fountain Valley High School. This year, the contest took place during late December.

As a second time participant in this contest, Walters explains the designing process.

“[Students] interviewed me initially about my likes and dislikes in my office,” he said.

Walters also shared details about the creation of their designs and how the students prepared for it. .

“The student came multiple times, multiple visits to measure the dimensions of my office, the dimensions of my furniture, the decor,” he said.

The students presented their final products for their conceptual designs to Walters when they were completed. He provided feedback, and although not every design personally fitted him, he still appreciated the design itself and the work that went into it.

“Near the end of the project, I was invited into the Advanced Environmental Design class. There was a visual and oral presentation and I gave them some input and a grade. One student over another adhered to my personal likes and dislikes more than the other one but even the other design was nice,” Walters said.

Needless to say, both students did a good job in creating a conceptual design that impressed the staff.

Phoebe Minch (’20) poses for a quick shot before her Varsity match. Photo by Aminah Khan.

Freshmen of FV: Phoebe Minch

by: Aminah Khan and Isabella Purdy

Phoebe Minch (‘20) shares her story as one of the few freshmen on the girls’ varsity volleyball team.

When asked on how she felt when she made varsity, Minch said, “I was put in the group to practice with the other girls, and I was really excited because I like to be challenged.”

Despite being on a team comprised of a majority of upperclassmen, Minch was not phased by being one of the youngest players, especially since she has been playing volleyball for a long time.

“When I was like little I started playing soccer, but in middle school  I started to get serious about volleyball, which is why it’s my favorite sport now,” Minch said.

During her middle school years at Shoreline Christian, Minch made the volleyball team and was a captain for her team.  She also played club at Seal Beach, where she was able to practice and further develop her playing skills.

So far, Minch feels that being on the varsity team has been a positive experience.

“The girls are really nice and they were very welcoming when I first joined the team.  It’s kind of weird and different playing with girls where there’s an age difference, like with seniors,” Minch said.

Her position on varsity is an outside hitter, where she gets to stay up in front, where she’s ready for any action that comes her way.

Minch said, “I can tell you that big crowds [during games] help me get all into it and perform better, because I work better under pressure.”

A missing link to our winter spirit

by: Aminah Khan and Elise Tran

It’s winter time in California! That means winter decorations will be all around you, from grocery stores to shopping malls. However, one place where you won’t be seeing it is the exterior of Fountain Valley High School (FVHS).

The school is heavily decorated for Bell Week, which is the one of the few times FVHS is filled with posters and all-out decorations. So why not decorate the school for winter? While some teachers choose to decorate their classrooms, the popular consensus is that many students at FVHS think that the idea of decorating the school would be a good idea both inside and out.

“I think [decorating the school] would be great, like snowflakes would look nice,” said Tom Hoang (‘20).

The decorations would have to have no affiliation with any religion, because the school cannot force religion onto students and would have to strictly stick to a winter theme for the spirit of the season. But many students believe it would be possible to do so.

Not only would this situation deal with winter, but all the other holidays or seasons such as Thanksgiving and fall or spring that can lift the spirits of students.

While ASB typically puts up decorations around school that ties into one of their events, putting up decorations based on season doesn’t correlate to an ASB event, so ASB is not in charge of it. Josh Lamar, assistant principal of activities and athletics explains that ASB usually covers only school functions.
“If a club wanted to do something, I would be perfectly happy in meeting with them and talking to them about it and seeing if you know, there was a push to do something, we could make that happen,” said Lamar