Frontier announces winner of writing contest, Tyler Deuel

Students submitted their creative works for Frontier’s writing contest throughout the month of March. The winner, Tyler Deuel, was announced on May 3 with his winning work “My Youth and My Now”.

Winner of Frontier writing contest, Tyler Deuel describes his inspiration behind his winning piece. Photo by Eileen Chih.

Co-Editor-in-Chief Kelly Fesler said that the Frontier writing contest first started as a way to reach out to students interested in writing and to promote involvement in their club.

“We noticed that our member base was pretty small, but we know that there are many writers out there,” Fesler said. “We wanted to find a way to reach out to all of them so our hope by starting this event last year was that we could increase engagement in not only our club but community writing as a school, as a whole.”

Fesler and her co-Editor-in-Chief Jasmine Liu said that each piece is judged by at least two English teachers who volunteer to to judge and give out scores.

“Writing is very subjective, so there’s no real one formula that will produce a winning piece so that’s why we just encourage anyone who has any idea to just write something and submit,” Fesler said.

Winner of Frontier’s writing contest Tyler Deuel said his inspiration for “My Youth and My Now” came from his own experience.

“‘My Youth and My Now’ began with a particular memory when I met my father when I was young for the first time and basically he picked me up and as he was leaving he gave me a dollar and put me back down and then kind of left,” Deuel said.

Deuel said that he became more interested in writing during his junior year through his English class.

“I’ve written stuff before and it’s really something I’ve been into since I was like six, but junior year is really when I kind of sprung forward, when I did the poetry unit, and took it more seriously,” Deuel said.

Fesler also said they accept submissions from students of any creative medium in regular Frontier issues.

“I think a lot of it definitely comes down to taking pride in your own creative work no matter how small you think it is,” Fesler said. “So being able to break out of your shell and publish it to the school and then have other friendly student writers read it, I think can help people grow a lot.”

JNHS volunteers at Cherry Blossom Festival

Members of JNHS promoted Japanese culture and explained how to play yoyo tsuri. Photo by Eileen Chih.

JNHS members volunteered at the Cherry Blossom Festival held on April 28 and 29 and participated in spreading Japanese culture through a game and interaction with children. JNHS event coordinator Erin Tsai and secretary Kaitlyn Lee said the club attends the event every year.

“It is a really significant holiday in Japan and this year it’s being held at Memorial Park so it’s a way for people here to celebrate Cherry Blossom Festival,” Tsai said.

Lee said this event is different from other volunteer events because they get to organize their own booth instead of volunteering through another organization.

“We do yoyo tsuri, which is like a traditional Japanese festival game where you try to fish yoyos out of a pool of water and it spreads appreciation of Japanese culture,” Lee said. “It’s really fun to play with the little kids, they’re always really excited. It’s fun to explain what it is and talk to people about Japanese culture.”

Sophomore club member Kelly Chow said she always wanted to attend the Cherry Blossom Festival and thought it would be fun to see it while running JNHS activities.

“It’s a fun way to learn about Japanese culture,” Chow said. “Seeing a bunch of different cultural things around is really cool, like seeing live taiko performances and Japanese games like yoyo tsuri.”

Tsai said she enjoys seeing how happy the kids are to be there and interacting with the community.

“Being in JNHS or J-Club isn’t just using what we learn in Japanese,” Tsai said, “but how do we apply that to the community and how do we help out more, while learning about the culture and being involved with it at the same time.”

SNHS club members reach out to hospitalized children


SNHS club members make cards in Spanish to connect with hospitalized children. Photo by Eileen Chih.

Spanish Club / Spanish National Honor Society members came together last Saturday to make cards in Spanish for children in children’s hospital. Spanish Club president, senior Ali Farinas said they make and send the cards in hopes of making the days better for the children on the receiving end.

“We work with an organization called Cards for Hospitalized Kids, and we send the cards there and they distribute them in hospitals,” Farinas said. “We just want to help kids and make their day a little bit better.”

Activities director Alex Pavel said club members write the cards in Spanish for different seasons and holidays, and it brightens their day, especially if they receive them around Christmas time.

“They might not know any English, so writing them in Spanish will make it feel like they belong somewhere, like people care about them,” Pavel said.

Senior club member Michelle Fung said this event is different because they get to make cards for kids in a hospital and writing it in their language not only helps members practice Spanish, but also helps the children feel better.

“I think it’s really cool because I don’t speak Spanish at home but getting to experience more of the culture through the club is really fun,” Fung said.

Senior Hannah Moslemy said she has participated in a card-making event before and thought it was a great way to show kids in hospitals that people care about them.

“I think that it’s something really special to them because it is in their native language so I think it would be a lot more meaningful to them,” Moslemy said.

Secretary, junior Sophia Palmerin said she enjoys being able to reach out and give the hospitalized children support.

“I actually really like the fact that we’re in a way communicating with people that aren’t really advantaged with support,” Palmerin said. “The fact that they get cards to give them support, just feeling better, that just satisfies me.”

Students celebrate diversity through Multicultural Night

Various clubs of different backgrounds came together for Multicultural Night on Jan. 9 to share their heritage. Students experienced different ethnic and religious traditions by enjoying different exotic foods and engaging in activities hosted by the clubs. There were also performances from the dance clubs such as KSA’s Krew and IndoPak’s Bhangra as well as a fashion show that showcased various cultures.

EL commissioner Chiara Tommasi said that Multicultural Night started around six or seven years ago and was originally put together by the cultural clubs.

“The EL commissioners became kind of in charge of it but it’s still the clubs’ event. We’re just helping to organize it and direct everything,” Tommasi said.

The EL commissioners begin planning for the event a few months prior to the event and start contacting clubs to make sure that they are interested in participating, EL commissioner Mita Ramesh said.

“We basically give [the clubs] like a layout of what’s going to be happening and then we also contact organizations for performances. Like this year, we had mariachi and the Filipino dance group and taiko,” Ramesh said.

During Multicultural Night, each cultural club had booths set up to sell food and do their activity.

This year, Spanish National Honor Society (SNHS) sold pan dulce and had an activity for making corn husk dolls. SNHS president Collin Cheng said that traditionally, children would make corn husk dolls as a fun way to pass time.

“We also sort of reflected in our fashion show, where we have representing a traditional Argentinian rural outfit, so this is all sort of our idea of a simple everyday lifestyle,” Cheng said.

French National Honor Society made Mardi Gras masks because the holiday falls on Feb. 13 this year, co-president Noa Khen said.

“They have like a parade in New Orleans and they wear purple, green, and gold and each color has a symbol,” Khen said.

Russian Student Union decided to play durak, which is a traditional Russian card game, for their activity, president Josh Shamelashvili said.

Jewish Student Union decided to sell a variety of foods because it is a huge part of their culture, president Yarden Zinger and treasurer Ori Brutman said.

“Almost every holiday, even the holiday where you’re supposed to fast all day, after the fast, we eat a huge meal,” Zinger said.

The Muslim Student Association (MSA) activities involved a hijab tutorial as well as Arabic calligraphy. MSA president Anam Siddiqee said that because Muslims are part of a religion, they have a variety of outfits as it represents people from different parts of the world.

“In the fashion show, we have people wearing a western outfit, some are wearing Pakistani outfit and others are wearing more religious attires,” Siddiqee said.

IndoPak decided to showcase their Bhangra group because it is the most traditional dance that IndoPak does, co-president Nikhil Kulkarni said. IndoPak dance teams Bhangra and Film had performances throughout the week.

“Film is just kind of like from Bollywood movies, it’s like the dances from there. It gets put into the dance,” Kulkarni said.

National Chinese Honor Society had activities where people did calligraphy and played shuttlecock, president Lindsey Low said.

“It’s like a feather game where you kick it on the side of your feet and you don’t want it to touch the ground,” Low said. “Little kids play them to entertain themselves, and at school, students practice calligraphy.”

Japanese National Honor Society (JNHS) sold spam musubi and had an activity for students to play yoyo tsuri, a fishing game where a piece of rice paper is attached to a small paperclip hook and players “fish” for balloons.

“Basically what you’re trying to do is scoop up the yoyo tsuri without breaking the hook,” JNHS vice president Larissa Lai said. “They usually play it in a lot of festivals and to get children involved and also if they get it up, they can keep the yoyo tsuri.”

EL commissioner Shannon Cheung and Mita Ramesh said that the main purpose of Multicultural Night was to celebrate and promote diversity.

“Our purpose is to celebrate and promote the cultural diversity at Homestead, and just celebrate that Homestead’s unique quality is our diversity,” Cheung said.

Sophomore Katherine Rizkalla said that the performances throughout the week were fun.

“I think it shows how passionate people are about their culture, and it shows how passionate Homestead is about making each culture an important part of our community,” Rizkalla said.

FNHS shows appreciation for teachers

French club members volunteer at the Teacher Appreciation Crepe Breakfast.

FNHS officers and members arrived to school early on Jan. 29 for the Teacher Appreciation Crepe Breakfast to serve crepes and show their appreciation for teachers.

Co-presidents Timothy Kim and Noa Khen said that the event was about appreciating teachers as well as promoting French culture.

“It’s like we’re introducing the French culture as well to the teachers at the school, so it’s almost like we’re raising awareness both for the club and for the teachers at the same time,” Kim said.

Khen said that the French club has many crepe socials and they decided to incorporate it into an event.

“After school, the members of the club make crepes for themselves and they really like it,” Khen said. “So if we could combine that with volunteering and appreciating our teachers, that’s what this event is.”

The Teacher Appreciation Crepe Breakfast is one of the club’s largest events where club members and club officers put together crepes for teachers to enjoy. FNHS Activities Director Divya Ramamoorthy said that her favorite event that FNHS organizes is the teacher appreciation event.

“All of the teachers really love it, and the event really captures the aspect of FNHS that helps better the Homestead community,” Ramamoorthy said.

Junior club member Thanh Luong said that she attended this event last year and decided to do it again because of the response from teachers that received crepes.

“Everyone kept on saying thank you to us and they seemed really happy that we were giving them crepes,” Luong said.

Choosing between the SAT and ACT

Students contemplate what tests to take in the countdown to college admissions.

As college admissions draw closer, students must decide what kind of standardized test they want to take. Students have the option of taking the SAT or the ACT depending on what they prefer. The main difference between SAT and ACT is that ACT has a science section and has more questions with almost the same amount of testing time.

College and Career Center Advisor Mary Lund explained that with the two tests have become more similar with implementation of the new SAT.

“It used to be a wider gap between the different kinds of tests. [The] SAT became a lot more like the ACT after they made the changes in 2016, so it’s not as big of a difference anymore,” Lund said.

Lund said that compared with the SAT, the ACT is more straightforward.

“The ACT has always been very straightforward in testing on what you learned,” Lund said. “The ACT has a lot of questions on it, so you don’t necessarily have the time to answer all the questions on the ACT, but you can still do really well even without answering all the questions.”

For both SAT and ACT, it is recommended that students should take the first test during junior year because students have the knowledge base at that point to take the test successfully. However, many students opt to take the tests earlier.

“Junior year classes used to match up to the test more so, but now kids are taking those math classes earlier,” Lund said.

Lund also pointed out test taking is only one part of the college application process.

“It’s just one part of your application that we stress, so it’s not something you need to spend hours and hours on,” Lund said. “Some colleges are test-optional, and some also require SAT subject tests, so you should also look online to see what tests you need to take.”

More information about testing for college admissions is available on the HHS website in the College Admissions Testing page.  

KSA prepares for blacklight rally

Krew members practiced for a Blacklight Rally dance performance.

Korean Student Association (KSA) club officers and members are putting in a lot of effort for their upcoming dance performance at the Blacklight Rally. The Krew dance team has dance practices every Friday for about an hour and a half. Krew captain Jannie Zhong said she prepares for dance performances as early as the summer.

“A couple months in advance, I choose the songs we’re going to do, and from there, I learn the choreography myself,” Zhong said.

Senior club member Shaelan Walker, who frequently goes to dance practices, said that she enjoys dancing through KSA.

“I love dancing with Krew. Everyone is super nice, and they’re just great people to hang out with. Jannie makes it super easy to learn the steps and goes out of her way to block out some time for helping us if we still don’t get it after practice ends,” Walker said.

Club President Sunho Kum said that aside from her Korean heritage, she became interested in KSA through Krew as well as the various events that KSA provides.

“I love the concept of doing Krew and covers of groups, doing k-drama socials and helping spread the culture,” Kum said.

Anyone who wants to join the team can join; members do not need to have previous experience in dancing. Aside from regular practices, extra help from the captain is provided through other dance practices.

“I also do extra practices for people who either weren’t there or feel like they need help, so I’ll meet with them either during tutorial or after school when I can,” Zhong said. “People think that it’s a really scary thing learning how to dance, but for the Blacklight Rally, no one can see who you are.”  

JNHS promotes Japanese culture

JNHS club members volunteer at Wesley United Methodist Church for the 85th Wesley Aki Matsuri Fall Festival.

Japanese National Honor Society (JNHS)/Japanese Club is a club that provides much more than just community service. It opens up new opportunities for students to learn about a culture that it is very different from the American lifestyle.

Japanese Club President Rebecca Zhu said that the club allows students to learn about aspects of Japanese culture they are unable to experience in a classroom setting.

“JNHS members have the opportunity to volunteer at events where mochi is freshly pounded and made,”  Zhu said. “[We] possibly eat some too.”

Senior club member Megan Le was first interested in the club as a fun way to learn more about Japan outside of class.

“My favorite event from last year was volunteering at a Buddhist temple,” Le said.

A big difference between American culture and Japanese culture is the level of respect for one another.

“Formality is so highly valued in Japanese culture that it is built into the language itself; for example, saying ‘thank you’ to a friend would be different from saying ‘thank you’ to a teacher,” Zhu said.

Club Adviser Junko Birdsong said the club offers students the chance to learn about Japanese culture, history and pop culture along with food.  

“The club has a respectful atmosphere and the club members and officers all have very positive attitudes,” Birdsong said.

The club president also stressed how students do not need to be in a Japanese class in order to join.

“You don’t have to necessarily be taking a Japanese class; in fact, that’s exactly what J-Club is for. There’s something about Japanese culture to like for everyone, whether it’s the anime, food or festivals,” Zhu said.

Last year in the cafeteria, the club hosted their first J-Night where they invited parents and the rest of the student body during open house to show what the club had to offer about Japanese culture. Students in Japanese 3, Japanese 4 honors and AP Japanese discussed different aspects of Japanese culture.

The JNHS officers have been working with other Japanese clubs within the district to plan events that will be available for all students to attend. The first event will be the Karaoke Contest/Gyoza Social at FHS on Nov. 9 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.