Seven months after Deputy Superintendent Kirk Black announced the creation of the district’s homework committee, the Board of Trustees was presented with a summation of the committee’s findings and a draft homework policy. The committee, which was formed last fall to combat student stress and anxiety, is comprised of 23 individuals that represent each district campus and various stakeholder groups, such as the black and asian parent associations.
Health teacher Nicole Carter will be taking on a new role next year as Activities Director, supervisor of the leadership class. While she is somewhat nervous for the new role, Carter is very excited for what is to come.
The winningest coach in Burlingame’s boys’ varsity basketball history, Jeff Dowd, was rehired to lead the team next season after being released from the coaching position in 2013. “I’m excited to be back coaching at BHS and I'm grateful for Mr. Belzer and coach Phil for having faith in me and giving me this opportunity,” Dowd said.
The Burlingame and San Mateo High School choirs recently attended their annual competition in Anaheim for the Worldstrides Heritage Festival. Being the biggest event of the year for the joint choir, the competition and stakes were intense. Junior Ryan Cheng describes the event as “highly competitive.” But despite the immense pressure, the Chamber Singers of Burlingame and San Mateo received first place for their performance, maintaining their streak of placing. The Concert Choir also received Silver III for their performance.
On April 7, Art of Video students attended Breathe California’s Clear The Air Film Fest at the New People Cinema in San Francisco. Multiple Burlingame students were finalists in the competition, and Ryan and Justin Kang’s film “Air” was recognized as CVS Health Audience favorite.
Students participating in the competition made films about a variety of harmful contributors to air pollution.
“I made a video that brought attention to the issue of car pollution,” Mills said. “It talked about how it affects a person’s health as well as the environment in negative ways, then lists ways to help with this issue.”
Agustin Ortiz and Johnny Moreci won first place in the High School Category and a prize of $1,000 for their film, “Cigarettes Are Destroying The World.”
“Our video was about the effects of cigarettes that people don’t often think about,” Ortiz said. “Of course it kills the person doing it and the people around them, but we talked about the way that it affects the environment too.”
“Our writing process was that we wanted to make a video that takes a serious subject while adding our own comedic twist to it,” Moreci said. “I feel like when you can make light of a rough subject while being informative, it makes a bigger impact on the audience.”
Lukas Mills won first place in the General Public Category and was the Overall Festival winner with the film, “Car Pollution and the Air You Breathe” that he made with Junior Aidan Burke and his father, Gregory Mills.
“I had an incredible experience and received positive feedback from the judges. It gave me more confidence in my films and introduced me to a world of film I had not yet been exposed to,” Mills said. “I was used to making short films, but this allowed me to create a narrative while also teaching people about something important.”
Through the festival, students were able to learn more about the environment, filmmaking, and themselves.
“I don’t want people to be afraid to be weird,” Moreci said. “We just like to make things that make us laugh and make us happy. It’s awesome when we can do something that we enjoy while people pick up on it and think it’s funny and we win an award. That’s the sort of thing that drives us to make more videos.”
Two teams of students from the Advanced Architecture class won awards at the seventh annual Architecture at Zero competition. Senior Robert Rochel, junior Gemma Greening, and sophomores Dominic Bueno and Gino D'Ambra designed “Project Butterfly,” which received a merit award, while sophomores Julia Geurse and Kaia Fink named their submission “The Wave Project” and won a citation award.
Architecture at Zero is an annual competition hosted by PG&E as well as the California chapter of the American Institute of Architects, and, this year, the competition was in partnership with San Francisco State University. The objective was to design a replacement facility for the aging Romberg Environmental Center in Tiburon, California. SFSU students used the old building to study marine biology and other environmental sciences, and new designs for the facility were supposed to allow space for college science courses as well as an area for outreach education for younger students. To meet the competition guidelines, each group had to design two buildings, with one building being an exhibit and education center and the other building providing a variety of recreational activities, such as kayaking and swimming. The most important aspect of the competition was that each design had to be a net zero energy facility, meaning that the buildings had to produce enough renewable energy on site to compensate for the energy needs of the building.
Anna Liu, who teaches the Architectural Design class, helped each group work on their submission for the competition for several months. Liu aided both teams with calculating the plug loads of every appliance that would be in their buildings and completing thorough energy modeling to figure out how much energy the lighting, heating and ventilation systems required. Then, it was the job of the students to find ways to incorporate enough sources of renewable energy into their designs to offset the buildings’ energy usage.
“We had to incorporate systems like solar, rainwater collection, and radiant heat, as well as take advantage of natural light and building orientation to meet the energy requirements,” Greening said. “In addition to all that, the buildings had to be aesthetically pleasing and places that people would want to come to.”
The Architecture at Zero competition helped familiarize the two teams with sustainable design and increased their awareness of a building’s potential environmental impact. Both of these concepts are becoming more pervasive in modern architecture.
“There are some really easy and simple strategies that can reduce energy usage,” Liu said. “At a time when we have this climate crisis and we know that buildings contribute a huge amount to our global energy consumption and carbon dioxide emissions, we have to be part of the solution rather than part of the problem.”
For the second consecutive year, the Burlingame High School FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) team participated in the World Championship tournament in Houston, Texas. From April 19 to April 21, the Iron Panthers competed along with 404 other teams from around the world in the 2018 FRC challenge. Every year, the FRC offers a new challenge for high school teams competing at worlds to participate in.
Due to a water shortage in Cape Town, South Africa, the popular club One Dollar For Life (ODFL) canceled its annual trip for the summer of 2018. ODFL is an organization based in Palo Alto, specializing in small-scale building projects in third world countries. The cancellation of the trip was a surprise to many students due to the club’s sustained popularity.
Randy Williams has been campus safety specialist at Burlingame High School for the past 19 years, and in the district for over 30 years. Unbeknownst to many students, however, is Williams’s unique perspective as a black resident of San Mateo County.
On Friday, April 20, sophomore Ines Escobedo led a group of students in a walk-out to speak out against the country’s current gun laws and to call for reform. “My friends and I started asking around because we wanted to participate in the walk out but we found out that no one had planned anything,” Escobedo said. “So we decided to plan it.”
Burlingame’s activists took to the streets to call for more gun control in Burlingame’s March for Our Lives on Saturday, March 24. The march was organized by Cindy Sohn and Katherine Gerster of the Burlingame Mothers’ Club. The march was in conjunction with the Burlingame Mothers’ Club. Sohn and Gerster said the march, which drew about 400 participants, began at 10 a.m. at the picnic area of Washington Park.
Today, Burlingame students participated in a nation-wide walkout, organized by Women’s March Youth Empower, to honor the victims of the Parkland shooting. Students left class at approximately 9:55 a.m. this morning and gathered at the front of the school.Beginning at 10 a.m., students who led the event honored one victim each minute, for a total of 17.
Chris Coleman was recently hired as track and field’s new head coach, replacing Daniel Haas, who resigned at the end of last season after head coaching for six years.Though this will be Coleman’s first year as BHS’ head coach, he has been a member of the track program’s coaching staff for six years, coaching sprinting and hurdling.
For the first time ever, the First Tech Challenge (FTC) division of the Burlingame Robotics team has qualified for the U.S. West Super Regionals.Also known as Team 7316, the FTC team for the Iron Panthers advanced to Super Regionals, a group of competitions held in four different regions of the U.S.
San Mateo and Burlingame High School collaborates with Bowditch Middle and Burlingame Intermediate School for spring choir concert
On Thursday, Feb. 15, choir directors, Shawn Reifschneider of Burlingame and San Mateo High School choir, John Collaros of Burlingame Intermediate School choir and David Song of Bowditch Middle School choir collaborated to create “The Wonderful World of Song.” This performance was inspired by the 1954 TV series, “The Wonderful World of Disney.”
Former BHS student and Hillsborough resident, Nathaniel Crosby, son of the late Bing Crosby, has been selected to captain the US golf team in the 2019 Walker Cup. Nathaniel Crosby first played golf at the Burlingame Country Club and eventually went on to play golf at BHS. After graduating from the BHS class of 79’, Crosby later won the U.S Amateur Golf Championship in 1981 at 19 years of age. He eventually made the US team in 1983 that won the Walker Cup.
Since passing Proposition 64, legalizing recreational marijuana use for those over 21 in California, there has been an increased awareness of the dangers posed by high drivers. As the state works to adapt to this recent change, there has been controversy on the correct way to deal with high drivers, especially opposed to drunk drivers.
District board trustees and schools administrators are currently discussing the possibility of creating teacher housing on district campuses. If the plan is approved, Mills High School will be the first school in the district to offer housing to its employees. First, the district needs to find money to finance construction.
Since late December, the East Coast has faced relentless cold weather. First, a bomb cyclone, which is a severe storm formed by an unusually rapid drop in barometric pressure, blanketed the coast in snow in early January. However, when the cyclone finally subsided, a polar vortex emerged, bringing even colder temperatures.
Over winter break, the administration and freshman teachers met in hopes of finding a solution to the problems that students, particularly the freshman class, have been causing in the classroom this year.“Our freshman teachers were looking for ways to better meet the academic needs for our 9th grade students,” Assistant Principal Valerie Arbizu said.