Homecoming court profiles
November 6, 2015
Senior Cyrus Miremadi was crowned king of Homecoming. Outside of school, Miremadi teaches Farsi, plays tennis and volunteers in a tissue engineering lab.
Miremadi is highly involved in the school community as the IDC Board Representative for the FUHSD student body. He represents over 10,600 students as the Board Representative, according to the FUHSD website. Miremadi said these activities have allowed him to meet some truly wonderful people.
“I continue most of my interests because of the people I’ve surrounded myself with,” Miremadi said, “whether it’s Celine Lee or Maanasa Kandarpa in Leadership, or Adit, Lucas or Andy in tennis.”
Miremadi said both of his parents have played influential roles regarding his schooling and education, along with many amazing teachers that have inspired him to explore different special interests.
Among Miremadi’s favorite memories are when his class dethroned last year’s seniors at the Battle of the Classes rally and his successful run at Nationals in Chicago last year for FBLA.
“I was thoroughly surprised when they announced my name as Homestead’s Homecoming king,” Miremadi said. “Being on the court was already a huge honor, the outcome didn’t necessarily matter to me.”
Odette Wang, an active participant and contributor to the school environment, was voted Homecoming queen during the rally on Friday. Wang said she loves HHS for the diverse student body and the amazing faculty.
“[ASB Social Manager] is a perfect role for me and just to be part of putting on important events such as Homecoming, Canned Food Drive and the Yearbook Party,” Wang said. “The student body has been great.”
Wang has been a part of FBLA for all her four years of high school, acting as the current Cupertino Middle School Middle-Level Chair. Other clubs Wang participates in include Design It, where she is the president and founder. Many of the posters on campus and social media images are designed by Wang and her club. Even though Wang is not planning to go into graphic design, she said it is a fun hobby she finds interesting.
“I’ve always been interested in art, and graphic design seemed like a practical way to apply my art skills,” Wang said. “It’s fun and helps me improve my aesthetic sense, and I really think that Design It fits a niche in the community that wasn’t met before.”
Wang would like to thank her mother, her sister and her friends for their constant support, along with the student body and the school faculty.
“My first reaction [when my name was announced as queen] was that I was surprised, and then I had a short panic attack because I forgot where I was supposed to walk,” Wang said. “But it’s very humbling to know that there are people in the student body who really think that I contribute to the school and think I deserve to be recognized for it.”
Varsity cheerleader Jazmin Phipps said she has always wanted to be one of the princesses on the Homecoming court, but she never expected that her dream would come true.
“I had mentioned [wanting to be on court] to some of my teachers, but I never thought that it would happen,” Phipps said.
Outside of school, Phipps goes to cheer practice at least twice a week. She loves sleeping and hanging out with friends and family. As a busy senior, she still finds time to works as a sales associate at Party City and do well in school.
“[Homecoming] was an amazing day overall,” Phipps said, “[but] to be able to sit down with everybody was one of the best parts of the day.”
Phipps said that she would like to thank all of the HHS teachers and staff members, as well as her dad, aunt and sister, senior Raianna Phipps, for their constant support in helping her get through high school.
“There were no hard feelings, nor feeling sad about people not winning,” Phipps said about the outcome of the voting. “Nobody was hostile because we [the princesses] are all super supportive of the queen and her crowning. For me it was an honor just to be on court.”
Phipps said she could not be prouder of the way Homecoming resulted, making her time in high school memorable. She said she honestly did not expect that much of an reaction and support when her name was announced at the rally.
“It was a huge accomplishment just to be one of the five girls chosen, and that’s winning enough for me,” Phipps said.
Princess Azuki Umeda, an avid dancer and participant of the school community, did not expect to be chosen as a princess.
“I was so surprised, I was shaking after Nurnberg announced our names!” Umeda said. “I was not expecting myself to be on that list, but I’m forever grateful about this and I knew it was going to be an incredible experience.”
As an ASB Social Manager, she has been part of leadership for the last two years.
“I think it’s important to smile. there’s always someone every day who doesn’t have their best days, and one simple hello or a smile to them is something I truly think is important,” Umeda said. “And positivity is so important and my teachers truly helped me have that personality.”
Junior year helped her become a better person, Umeda said, and the teachers and the friends that she met throughout the years really shaped her. Umeda would like to thank her dance friends from the Collective for how they had impacted her.
“I always do improv dances in my room and make up moves, I recently made my first solo and I was so honored to receive a national title from it,” Umeda said. “That was an incredible experience. I want to become a choreographer someday and it’s fun making up choreography.”
Prince Nathan Mijares, a dancer, foodie and vice president for ASB, is extremely thankful he was chosen to be part of the Homecoming court.
“I’m happy to be on [the court]. I don’t care if I win or not, I am very grateful,” Mijares said before the winners were announced. “There are so many great students here at Homestead, that it can honestly be anyone.”
Mijares said he learned how to be a leader through Leadership. It shows teachers the potential he has to become a leader and allows him to take part in classes and demonstrate his skills.
“I’m grateful and blessed that I stayed true to myself. I never want to change who I am,” Mijares said. “I’m true to myself. Even when I did find out that I was on court, I knew from the start that I never wanted to change my personality or the person I am. I don’t want to act fake or be a different person.”
Outside of school, Mijares dances at Dance Academy USA and plans to continue dancing in college. Mijares likes to go to food places with his dance friends, with his favorite being fish-less sushi. Mijares said his friends are some of the most important people in his life, as he has gone through many things in life with these people.
“We [Mijares and Cyrus Miremadi] definitely went through a lot of hardships throughout high school and our friendship together, but I think everything we’ve been through has shaped us into who we are,” Mijares said. “I’m grateful that he was there and I’m grateful and blessed that he has been a part of my life and I wouldn’t take back anything.”
Nicolle Ayon Campos
Princess Nicolle Ayon Campos has a unique heritage, being half-Chinese and half-Peruvian. Ayon Campos is a cheerleader and programmer who said she participates to create a better school environment.
Outside of school, Ayon Campos actively volunteers at her church with friends. At school, she goes to cheer practice a minimum of twice a week and tutors in the Academic Center.
“I’m so glad I joined cheer. I love the girls on this team because we are all kind of like a family, a cheer family. We are working hard this year to make the team the best it’s ever been,” Ayon Campos said. “The girls put in a lot of hours, especially the ones in competition. Plus, we have great coaches to support and motivate us.”
Ayon Campos is also a member of Girls Who Code, which she decided to join after her experience in Java last year.
“I am a STEMist. I believe in gender equality in the STEM fields, where women are underrepresented,” Ayon Campos said. “Girls Who Code tries to combat the gender inequality to make things more fair in the STEM fields.”
Speech and Debate has also been a big part of her life over the past four years, Ayon Campos said. She is trying out Programming Club this year, and is really excited and looking forward to working on websites and developing her programming skills.
Ayon Campos loves to spend her time with her friends and family by going hiking and exploring new places. She would like to thank her mother and grandmother for cheering her on and always pushing her to do her best.
“I felt so honored to be chosen as princess. It was a lovely surprise to both my family and I,” Ayon Campos said.
Frequently seen on the football field assisting the football team, princess Julia Verbrugge was surprised and honored to be part of the homecoming court.
If Verbrugge is not working as a gymnastics coach after school, she is most likely to be found in athletic trainer Dan Yusim’s office, helping athletes from different sports teams.
“I help all the Homestead athletes, but specifically the football team, they have become my second family,” Verbrugge said. “I tape injury, help with exercises, do treatment, whatever the athletic trainer does, I do. On the field, I’m there for Coach Milo’s needs. I do almost everything on the field except play.”
Throughout high school, Verbrugge has been a HOP Leader, participates in Challenge Day every year, and is also an AVID tutor. Her experience assisting Yusim is one of the reasons Verbrugge wants to minor in kinesiology.
“I definitely was not expecting to be on [Homecoming court], but I was honored to be on it,” Verbrugge said. “I work hard in school, a lot harder than what people actually think I do. I have a 3.9 GPA, a lot of people don’t know that. It’s definitely an honor to know that teachers realize it. It’s rewarding that my work is paying off and getting recognized.”
Verbrugge would like to thank her brother and her father. Verbrugge said her brother, Adam Verbrugge (‘14), gave the Verbrugge name a meaning at HHS and she believes she needs to live up to the image and expectation. Her father, former police chief of Sunnyvale, inspired Verbrugge to major in criminal justice when she goes to college.
Verbrugge said her favorite part of the day was the parade. She loved the way children genuinely thought that she was a real princess and enjoyed waving back at them, making them feel special.
“The handshake during the rally was on-point,” Verbrugge said. “I wasn’t taking anything too seriously, I was just enjoying the day.”
Senior Social Manager and Prince Cameron Logie enjoyed every moment of Homecoming day. Logie said he is honored he was chosen to be part of the court.
Logie said he has does not have much free time, spending three days a week working at In-N-Out and going to church for five hours every Sunday. He also enjoys playing club soccer and hanging out with friends and family. With a busy schedule, Logie still finds time to compete for FBLA, and is a state champion, he said.
Logie loves to make people smile and feel happy. He enjoys the inclusive community of HHS and all of the supportive friends he has made throughout the last four years.
“[Being on the Homecoming court is] something I wanted to do since sophomore year,” Logie said. “Ever since then, I saw who made it and how much I looked up to them. Just to be recognized by your teachers and peers was a dream of mine.”
“During the rally, I was really nervous while I was getting out there, but it was cool to hear people cheering for you and making awesome comments,” Logie said.
Logie would like to thank his cat, Woodbridge, for always cheering him, his brother for inspiring him and his mother, who always speaks her opinion.
Photo by Noor Baig
Ceena Nafar did not expect to be named as a Homecoming Prince. This prince is proud he was recognized by his teachers and his peers, he said.
Nafar has played the guitar for six years and the drums for a year. This musically-talented prince plays both jazz and rock music with his friends. Nafar also likes to listen to music. Some of his favorite genres include rock, reggae, jazz and electronic music.
“I have a weird variety of favorite artists that I listen to, including Bob Marley, Jimi Hendrix, Disclosure, Sam Smith and Hozier,” Nafar said.
Other than music, Nafar plays soccer. As a forward, he used to be part of the Palo Alto club soccer team. However, because of his busy first-semester senior year, he can only play when school becomes lighter.
Nafar said his favorite classes are the sciences courses, because they are interesting and he thinks it is good to know about how things work.
The AVID student enjoys hiking, biking, playing soccer and watching movies. His favorite actor is Tom Hanks, who starred in films such as “Forrest Gump” and “Saving Private Ryan.”
Nafar would like to thank his friends and family for their support, and the school for his favorite HHS memory, Mole-lympics, a day of celebration in Chemistry Honors.
Football team quarterback Jerome Holloway, is always dedicated and proud to on the field under the lights.
“I was definitely surprised, but I also had a feeling, a gut feeling, that I was going to be nominated,” Holloway said.
Being on crutches after having surgery on a torn ACL, Holloway and his partner, Phipps, worked around the matter so Holloway could be comfortable throughout the rally, Phipps said.
When he is not at football practice, Holloway enjoys watching football on television or hanging out with friends. Holloway said his favorite food is classic buffalo wings with a side of ranch dressing,
Holloway has played on the varsity football team all four years of high school. He said his favorite memory during high school was winning Battle of the Bell junior year and receiving an interview on Cal Hi Sports with his teammates. Holloway would like to thank his teammates, family and friends for their constant support in his life.