Ngo, Liao earn top honors for seniors

By Deandra Du

Editor in Chief

At last Friday’s Renaissance Rally, seniors Dylan Ngo and Andy Liao were announced as the valedictorian and salutatorian, respectively, for Gabrielino High School’s class of 2017.

Ngo has found time in his four years to be a representative for Boys State and three-time California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) qualifier, all while being enrolled in 12 Advanced Placement (AP) classes and maintaining a 4.7 weighted GPA. He has also taken multivariable calculus and linear algebra courses at Pasadena City College (PCC).

Yet, the activities that meant the most to Ngo were those off campus, be it volunteering locally or putting in hours at the pool. His fondest memories come from participating in a summer medical program, where he got to aid a live C-section, and working as a lifeguard and swim instructor for kids.

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Singing Eagles perform one more time

By Brendan Villena

Staff Writer

On May 17 at 7 p.m., student bands, solo singers, and the school choir gave a performance to remember at the annual Spring Concert in the Goodson Theatre, led by choir teacher David Pitts. The students transformed their practice into prominence as they were put in the spotlight to showcase months of work.

The Spring Concert is an annual Gabrielino High School showpiece of students who want to demonstrate their talents for the school to see. The first half of the concert consisted of small groups and solos performing, while the second half introduced choir.

An immense amount of time and effort was dedicated from each student who performed in the concert. Driven by Pitts, the students put on a memorable series of serenades that soothed the atmosphere, rocked the stage, and tickled the audience’s funny bone.

This year’s concert was different from previous years, as there were no auditions needed to perform in the two-and-a-half hour showing.

“There were so many people who wanted to perform, we just let them all perform,” explained Pitts.

Senior Mydel Mutuc was one of the many outstanding students who performed.

“My experience was fun and exciting […] [the concert] gives people an opportunity to perform and show what they got,” stated Mutuc. “When you’re up there performing your solo, you get to do your own thing because it’s not just about the singing but it’s also about the stage presence and [that] is the part that shows who you are.”

This was the last time most of the seniors would sing as a part of choir, and although it was a bittersweet night for many, it was described as a memorable experience across the board.

“Over the past year with choir I have made so many new friends and have gotten way better at singing than before,” senior Ezair Banuelos stated. “I hate that I didn’t start choir when I was a freshman or even in middle school! But I’m glad I got to be in choir this year and I’m going to miss singing with everyone.”

Countless hours of practice paid off as the choir put on a stellar performance.

“[My experience was] great because I got to end the show with all the seniors singing ‘Go the Distance,’ which was very fitting!” stated senior Jocelyn Silva.

Staff Editorial: Pope Francis serves as new, revolutionary religious leader for 21st century

In recent years, Pope Francis has been at the forefront of progressive change within the Catholic community. While his support of controversial issues within the church is unorthodox, his views align with those of a changing society and allow for a looser interpretation of the Christian faith.

With his position on many “hot button” issues, Pope Francis encourages a more general interpretation of Christianity, offering those who were once persecuted by the Church a welcome place in the community. With increasing diversification within our society, the Pope’s modernization of the Catholic Church is a step in the right direction for reforming an organization that is too often based on discriminatory beliefs.

In an announcement released by the Vatican in April 2016, the Pope urged the acceptance of gay and lesbian individuals by priests of the Catholic Church worldwide.

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Remove symbols of white supremacy

By Rodin Batcheller

Sports Editor

On April 24, the Liberty Place Monument, a well-known monument in New Orleans, was finally taken down. It celebrated the Confederate soldiers of the Civil War, and has the words “white supremacy” etched into its base.

The rest of the southern states should take note of New Orlean’s decision, and consider removing the other over 700 Confederate monuments throughout the South, because they represent ideals of racism and division that should not be encouraged in this nation.

Due to violent threats from white supremacists defending the monuments, Liberty Place had to be taken down at night with fences surrounding the workers. Armed officers and snipers stood guard during the process.

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Viewpoints: Does the TV series “13 Reasons Why” romanticize bullying and teen suicide?

Paves way for necessary dialogue

By Kaylin Tran

World Editor

Since “13 Reasons Why” debuted on Netflix on March 31, many people have voiced their outrage at the show’s graphic scenes of rape and suicide. Some parents and educators have called for its removal from the streaming service. Although the show’s content focuses on highly sensitive teen issues, “13 Reasons Why” brings necessary attention to teen bullying and suicide, opening a path for discussion between teens, parents, administrators, and other adults.

The series tells the story of Hannah Baker, who records the 13 reasons that led to her suicide through tapes dedicated to the people who influenced her decision. Through Baker’s narrative, the show addresses a number of heavy topics, including stalking, bullying, sexual harassment, and rape. All of these issues are faced by teens today, but they may not feel comfortable confiding in anyone about their situations.

The National Bullying Prevention Center reported last year that only 20.8 percent of students that are bullied actually report their experiences. Similarly, the National Alliance on Mental Illness stated that only 20 percent of the estimated four million teens with mental disorders are identified and treated. Clearly, these serious issues are not being talked about or effectively addressed.

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Viewpoints: Does the TV series “13 Reasons Why” romanticize bullying and teen suicide?

Insensitivity to crucial teen issues

By Garrett Gallego

Staff Writer

According to Teen Vogue Magazine, the new Netflix original series “13 Reasons Why” has become the most popular show on social media among teens. It is based on the novel by Jay Asher and centers around a young girl named Hannah Baker, who committed suicide after creating tapes explaining the events that caused her decision. Unfortunately, the show’s unrealistic portrayal of suicide is offensive to people who suffer from suicidal thoughts and depression, and it sends an inaccurate message about how these problems should be handled.

The approach taken by “13 Reasons Why” is both insensitive and dangerous. Suicide is not a topic that should be glorified on television or treated as entertainment material. Suicide should be portrayed in an accurate and responsible way, especially because it has become a significant problem among today’s youth.

According to Psychology Today, suicide is the third leading cause of death among people ages 15 to 24. This generation in particular has had the most teen suicides of any previous generation before it. Every 100 minutes, a teenager takes his own life, according to suicide.org.

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San Gabriel hosts summer events

By Christine Tran

Staff Writer

With summer just around the corner, the question of what to do with the endless amount of free time arises. Some people fill their schedules with summer school or overseas vacations but what many do not realize is that there are fun events planned right here in San Gabriel. These events provide entertainment at one’s convenience, so they’re easy to squeeze into a busy schedule.

San Gabriel kicks off summer with its “Summer Nights” series, in which the community service department will be hosting concerts and playing movies. The city will begin the summer series with a beach party and concert in the Mission District.

These events are a great way to relax outdoors with the family, while giving residents opportunities to get to know their neighbors. From food and music to entertainment and kids’ activities, the summer night series provides something of interest for all age groups. Dates are to be announced.

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