StuCo sells ILYgrams

By George Philips ’20
ILYgrams are taped to lockers on Valentine’s Day. Credit: George Phillips ’20/SPECTRUM

Middle school students lined up to buy ILY Grams, valentine cards that include playful romantic messages, in the days leading up to Valentine’s Day. The cards were made by Student Council, and anyone could buy and send them to whomever they wished.

They were sold from Feb. 9 to 13, both online and at the Student Council booth, which was set up next to the Horn Commons during break. Senders were able to choose whether to put their name on the cards or send them anonymously.

Student Council taped the colorful cards, each containing a message, to the lockers, along with a box of Sweet Hearts, heart shaped candies. Anyone who received a card was instructed to visit the Student Council booth during break and turn it in in exchange for a cupcake. In the past, the cards could be redeemed for candy, but last year the tradition was changed to cupcakes.

Henry Greenman ‘20 said that he is a big fan of ILY Grams.

“I think ILY Grams are a fantastic HW tradition. They get students excited and are a fun way to celebrate Valentine’s Day at school,” Greenman said.


Athletic talks held

By Jay Lassiter ’20

The Athletic Department is looking to undergo changes regarding the balance between time spent on academics and time spent on athletics.

The Mission in Planning Athletics Committee was founded with the purpose of finding what needs to be changed with the Athletic Department. The committee currently consists of parents, administrators and teachers. Head of Middle School Jon Wimbish, a member of the Mission in Planning Committee, was able to speak about the subject.

“We are well before making changes.  Right now we are kindof investigating what the department looks like, and what are some of the potentials we would like to change.” Wimbish said.

The committee is still in the earliest stage, collecting information about practices, games and excuse times to allow students more time for homework and other extra-curricular activities.  Faculty and staff have held conversations about athletics in relation to the school’s mission and visions, and some of the notes from these conversations were presented at a middle school faculty meeting on Tuesday afternoon.

“As our programs grow, we hope to make sure that they remain in line with the values and principles of the whole institution,” Wimbish said.

Along with the growth of the Athletic Department, the committee wants to make sure that it stays consistent with the school’s mission and values.


Scholastic awards announced

By Lindsay Wu ’20

The Scholastic Art & Writing Awards gave student artists and writers with Gold Keys, Silver Keys and Honorable Mentions for their submissions.

Seventh through ninth grade students were encouraged by their teachers to submit writing or artwork created over the course of first semester.  A total of 213 awards were given to students recognized between the middle and upper school campuses.

“I’m super excited.  It’s a really cool thing, especially art is underrated at our school.  It’s impressive that our school has won so many awards, since most would be proud to get one or two.  It really shows the drive of our students,” Hayley Levin ’20 said.

According to the organization’s website, their mission is to identify and recognize students with extraordinary literary and artistic talent.  This year, approximately 320,000 works were submitted in 29 different categories from students across America.

“I’m very, very proud of my students.  We had more winners than any other private school in the city, and more than most of the arts’ charter schools in the area.  These awards just really speak to how intelligent and hardworking our students are, and obviously creative,” visual arts teacher Claire Cochran ’06 said.



Girl Scouts sell cookies on campus

By Frank Jiang ’20
Girl Scout Cookies inside locker cmyk
A box of thin mints beside a textbook in a student’s locker. Credit: Frank Jiang ’20/SPECTRUM

Recently, Girl Scout Cookies have been a craze, orders coming into girl scouts residing within our own school, Thin Mints, Samoas, and Do-Si-Dos sometimes being spotted in the cafeteria, and people seen carrying brightly colored boxes of cookies around campus.

The Girl Scouts cookie foundation is a cause that helps the GSUSA (Girl Scouts of the United States of America) keep it’s programs up and running. The GSUSA’s mission, as stated on their website, “builds girls of courage, confidence, and character, who make the world a better place.”

8th grade Girl Scout, Hayley Rothbart ’21 agrees, as she says “Overall, Girl Scouts is all about leadership and helping your community.” Girl Scouts Cookies are a way for Girl Scouts to fundraise money to keep their Girl Scout Program going and also a way for Girl Scouts to give back to their organization.

Lately, some people have also been taking advantage of the Girl Scouts cause. Some people have bought many boxes of Girl Scout cookies, just to resell them later for a higher profit. An anonymous eighth grader provides his/her opinion by saying, “This definitely is kinda scummy, since you’re taking advantage of a fundraiser for your own profit, but I would not call them out on it if they were doing so, since it is technically legal. If this were to happen in school, I think the deans would definitely address the issue, but I’m not sure if they would let is pass or not.” The seller of the cookies remains a mystery, but there are definitely people out there reselling cookies for their own profit.

Science bowl team succeeds

By Matthew Allana ’20

Students competed in the National Science Bowl at California State University, Los Angeles, on Feb. 4, led by science teacher David Fromme. Science Bowl is a quiz-style competition with five categories: physical science, life science, general science, energy and math. Teams have four members each, and two groups, one composed of seventh graders and the other of eighth graders, competed from the Middle School.

According to Fromme, he was impressed with both teams’ performance.

“For their first showing, [the seventh grade team] did really well … going in, they didn’t actually have a spot; they showed up the day of expecting to watch. … The eighth grade team did about as perfect as you can get. They went through the matches that mattered undefeated,” Fromme said.

The seventh grade team went 2-2, and the eighth grade team was undefeated, becoming the regional champions. They have been invited to and are planning to attend the national competition, which will be held in Washington from April 27 – May 1. According to team members, the experience was very beneficial and fulfilling.

“This is [my] second year of doing Science Bowl, and I’ve found the experience very rewarding. I like competitions as well as science, and so Science Bowl fits me very well. It has also encouraged me to read a lot more books about science, and at the competition I have a lot of fun as well as feel challenged,” Tyler Weigand ’21, the eighth grade team captain, said.


Cooking Column: Quick n’ Go Edition

By Sarah Reiff ’20 and Astor Wu ’20

Being a student with a busy life, it’s hard to find time to make breakfast every morning. We all would rather stay in bed for those extra 10 minutes then get up and cook a meal. For this issue, Cooking Column brings you fast and easy breakfast ideas that you can prepare in under 10 minutes and eat on your way to school.

CC Quick n' Go logo AWU.jpg

Our first recipe is a classic and simple Double Berry breakfast parfait. If there is no time to prepare something the night before a school day, then these parfaits are the perfect last minute option. They’re super easy to make and are very mess free.

Double Berry Breakfast Parfait

smiling with berries
Credit: Giselle Dalili ’20/SPECTRUM

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • ¾ cup of Greek yogurt
  • ¼ cup of a combination of strawberries and blueberries
  • Granola to your liking
  • Honey


  1. Put a layer of yogurt in a jar or plastic container.
  2. Layer yogurt and fruit one to two times.
  3. Put a drizzle of honey and granola for taste.
  4. Repeat steps until your container is filled.
  5. Enjoy!


The second recipe we have is for a unique Fro-Yo Popsicle. You can make these popsicles a few days in advance, freeze them and then just grab them in the morning on your way out of the house for the rest of the week.

Fro-Yo Popsicle

Credit: Giselle Dalili ’20/SPECTRUM

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 1 ½ cups Greek yogurt
  • 1 ½ cups your choice of fresh fruit- feel free to mix and match any fruits
  • 2 tablespoons honey


  1. Place all of the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth
  2. Pour an even amount of mixture into your popsicle molds (if you don’t have any popsicle molds you can use a paper cup)
  3. Freeze for about 6 hours or overnight
  4. Enjoy!


Check out our video tutorial where we demonstrate that both of these recipes can be prepped in under 10 minutes at We hope you enjoy these tasty recipes!


Worth The Hype: Yeezys by Kanye West

By Robert Osborne ’20
FullSizeRender (2)
Credit: Robert Osborne ’20/SPECTRUM

On Dec. 3, 2013, Kanye West and Adidas released a sneaker called “Yeezy.” It was named after one of West’s albums “Yeezus,” which came out months before the shoe release. He has come out with four models of the shoe and will soon expand into the sports arena with a football and basketball sneaker. These shoes have taken off in popularity and have become a figurehead for the Adidas brand. However, most editions have a hefty price tag and are not easy to come by. On the first day of sale for the “Yeezy 350,” the first Yeezy shoe, it sold out within 10 minutes. The shoes retailed for $350, but considering the limited supply (9,000), they were resold for a much higher price (around $1,000 – $2,000 depending on the model). As a result, fake Yeezys were made and were sold for only a fraction of the cost and are almost a direct replica of the real shoe. Also, even though the shoe is made by Adidas, it is rare that they are sold in an Adidas store. Therefore, most people end up buying them online and are sometimes sold fake Yeezys without knowing. Thanks to the collaboration with Adidas, the shoe has Adidas’s signature sole material: Adidas boost. West originally collaborated with Nike to make the “Air Yeezy” in 2009 and the “Air Yeezy II” in 2012, but he decided to work with Adidas due to creative differences and Nike’s refusal to share royalties on his shoes.

FullSizeRender (1)
Uploaded with Permission of Fedor Kirilenko ’20

Some students like Yeezys while others are not fond of the shoe.

“Yeezys are not worth the hype because they cost too much for what you’re getting… I can buy fake Yeezys for half the price. They look ok but I would not wear them,” Viswa Douglass ‘21 said.

Others think that the shoe is outdated.

“I personally do not really like Yeezys. They are too expensive for what you are getting out of them.  They do not seem very comfortable and do not seem that interesting.  They used to be really cool, but now they are just normal,” Langston Holly ‘20 said

Other students offered a word of advice for potential buyers.

“I love Yeezys; in fact, I have the original model on right now and they are so comfortable and I love them. The technology that Adidas uses is absolutely insane. Overall, retail is $200 and they run out quickly. I would suggest waiting for new releases.  I would recommend the shoe to a friend because it is so comfortable, and it is so cushiony; the materials and quality of the shoe is great.  It is for people who have a lot of money and people who are willing to spend it on shoes,” Fedor Kirilenko ‘20 said.

In an online survey sent to the Middle School, 42 percent of 331 respondents said that they would give Yeezys a thumbs up and 58 percent said they would give them a thumbs down. Even though Yeezys are comfortable and attention grabbing, I would give them a thumbs down because of the expensive price for an average shoe.



Yale a cappella group visits campus

By Giselle Dalili ’20
Students react to the Yale a cappella group’s performance. Credit: Giselle Dalili ’20/SPECTRUM

The Baker’s Dozen is one of Yale’s many male a cappella groups performed for the Middle School Madrigals and Vocal Ensemble on Jan. 12. The group was touring the West Coast when they sang for the Middle School during their Los Angeles stop. Although the Baker’s Dozen sang during the Madrigals’ and Vocal Ensemble’s class, the show was also open to anyone with fifth or sixth period free.

The Yale group performed at the Middle School specifically because one of the singers, Teddy Sokoloff ‘15, used to sing in Boys Chorus and Madrigals.

“It was nice to see an old student come back with his new choir,” Choral director Nina Burtchaell said.

The group consisted of male Yale students who were both upperclassmen and lowerclassmen. They began the show by introducing themselves and the fields they are majoring in. They also told jokes, which students said made the performance more fun.

“The whole performance was great, but what really added to it were the jokes that they told,” Vocal Ensemble singer Naomi Ogden ’20 said.
The Baker’s Dozen sang a range of songs without accompaniment. In between songs, the group chatted with the audience. Students said that the overall feel to their performance was light and upbeat.

“It was a fun environment. I really enjoyed the songs they sang because they were so different and had funny lyrics,” Vocal Ensemble singer Rileigh Repovich ’20 said.

After the performance, the group divided the higher voices and lower voices of the Madrigals and Vocal Ensemble and taught them the Yale fight song, “Bulldog”. At the end of the session, the two groups joined and sang the Yale anthem. Students said they were very excited to sing the song because it made them feel as if they they were a part of the group.

“It was such a privilege to sing their fight song. It was so interesting, and I hope that the Baker’s Dozen comes back next year,” Madrigals singer Nina Neumann ’20 said.


CAIS Music Festival takes place

By Hannah Han ’21 and Celine Park ’21
Students from multiple schools perform together at the California Association of Independent Schools (CAIS). Credit: Astor Wu ’20/SPECTRUM

Students from seventh to twelfth grade travelled to the Viewpoint School to perform for the California Association of Independent Schools (CAIS) Music Festival on Feb. 3. Middle School Performing Arts Chair Emily Reola and Upper School Symphony conductor Mark Hilt selected a few students to attend the event which occurred on Feb. 4 at 5 p.m.

Middle School Symphony cellist Lauren Cho ‘21 explained the preparation process for the event.

“On Friday we rehearsed from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m, and on Saturday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. The practice itself was rigorous. We had auditions to decide which chair we were seated in and the choice of auditioning for a solo,” Cho said.

The symphony played three pieces, and Middle School Symphony violinist Kailey Suh ‘21 described what it was like to play them.

“The first piece is Concerto in D Minor by Antonio Vivaldi, which I had the hardest time playing… because it was really quick. The second piece is Holberg Suite Prelude by Greig, a heavy march band-like piece, and the last piece was the Third and Fourth Movements of Legends by Loris Chobanian,” Suh said.

Suh said she felt intimidated but felt that the experience was worthwhile in the end.

“At first I was scared because I thought the kids were better and older than me, but when we started rehearsing it was really fun. I think we all did very well,” Suh said.

Jazz musicians hold show

By Isabel von Mende ’20

Middle School Jazz Band musicians performed in the “Winter Big Band Jazz Concert” on Feb. 3 in the Saperstein Theatre. They played a setlist of nearly 20 pieces including James Van Heusen’s “Come Fly with Me” and Karl Suessdorf’s “Moonlight in Vermont.”

The band consists of wind instruments and a rhythm section. Students meet five times a cycle and are taught by performing arts teacher Starr Wayne.

“[My favorite part of the concert was] playing with the Jazz Explorers because you get to play whatever you want[…]My favorite song was ‘Fantasia.’ The Jazz Explorers played it, and it was my favorite because I got to play a drum solo in it,” drummer Andy Lee ’20 said.

Madrigals singer Alec Davila ’20 joined the ensemble to sing Charles Trenet’s “Beyond the Sea.”

“It was a really fun experience just being with all my friends and knowing how hard they worked. I loved the outcome of everything[…]So far this year, performing with Jazz Band has definitely been a highlight,” Davila said.

The students, faculty and families that came to the concert said that they really enjoyed it.

“I had a couple of really good friends in it. It sounded really fun, and I wanted to watch them to see what they were working towards because I know that my friends have been working really hard,” Jessica Gestetner ’20 said.