The Accolade

Gov. Newsom issues mandate for campuses in 33 counties — including Sunny Hills — to start 2020-2021 school year with distance learning because of high number of positive COVID-19 cases

Sunny Hills High School’s quad and classroom buildings will remain empty Aug. 11 when school starts as part of Gov. Gavin Newsom’s mandate that campuses in counties on the state’s coronavirus watch list stay closed for safety reasons. The July 17 decision comes nearly a week before a July 23 special meeting of the Fullerton Joint Union High School District trustees to discuss reopening plans for Sunny Hills and the other seven schools in the district.

Alice Shin

July 19, 2020

Nearly a week before the Fullerton Joint Union High School District [FJUHSD] trustees were scheduled to hold a special meeting to vote on a plan to reopen schools, including Sunny Hills, California Gov. Gavin Newsom made the decision for them. Newsom announced in a July 17 news conference that although he f...

Students able to pick up a purchased yearbook June 16 through drive-through format on campus

With blue gloves and face mask covering her mouth, math teacher Nicole Knutson (left) gets ready to hand off another yearbook to the next person pulling up to the drive-through distribution lane on the parking lot near the Performing Arts Center Tuesday afternoon. Yearbook adviser Lindsay Safe (center) supervises the operation while math teacher Mariam Tan uses a chromebook to confirm the names given to them. Photo taken by Accolade opinion editor Hope Li.

June 17, 2020

More than two weeks after the end of the 2019-2020 school year, students who ordered a Helios yearbook were able to pick one up Tuesday during a drive-through pickup process in the parking lot outside the Performing Arts Center {PAC]. The 312-page annual, themed "Keep Talking We're Listening," als...

Many find modified, online AP exam easier to take, though a few plan to take makeup tests in June after experiencing technical issues with submitting their responses

Elijah Jhee

May 29, 2020

The online modified Advancement Placement [AP] exams were much easier for many Sunny Hills students who took them throughout most of this month, but some experienced technical difficulties and have opted for a makeup exam in June. “I’m pretty confident I got at least a 3 or higher on my exams,” said Syd...

Summer school Monday, June 1, to continue with distance learning; health for incoming freshmen not being offered because of school closure

Students enrolled in summer school starting next Monday, June 1, will need to continue to rely on their electronic devices and internet access at home as Sunny Hills will continue to provide instruction through distance learning. One change is incoming freshmen will not be allowed to enroll in health since students are still not allowed to come to campus for classes or to pick up school-issued chromebooks. Source:

Sydnee Tallant

May 28, 2020

With summer school scheduled to begin Monday, June 1, incoming freshmen will be the only group prohibited from enrolling in health, while distance learning will continue for both sessions, school officials said. “With the [COVID-19] pandemic, we are limiting summer school [course] options this year,”...

COFA’s 10th anniversary mural project on one wall of newly remodeled PAC postponed until 2020-2021 school year

Several of the potential designs for COFA's 10th anniversary mural. Photos used with permission from Arianne Sisk. Photos compiled by Accolade sports editor Andrew Ngo.

Hanna Jung

May 28, 2020

2020 marks 10 years since the formation of the Conservatory of Fine Arts [COFA] program at Sunny Hills, and to commemorate such a feat, COFA students have partnered with the Art Club to start a mural project for the newly remodeled Performing Arts Center. However, as a result of the coronavirus pand...

Last Senior Internship class to be offered at Sunny Hills includes student’s experience working for Anaheim manufacturing company

Senior Phillip Kim is shown hot gluing wires to headlights for commercial vehicles and airport signals under a fan to speed up the drying process. Image used with permission from Phillip Kim.

Kayla Lozada and Aaliyah Magana

May 28, 2020

Accolade staff writer Aaliyah Magana contributed to this story. Heading into the 2019-2020 school year, senior Philip Kim wanted to bulk up his college resume. He signed up for an elective, Senior Internship, which requires him to find a business to obtain some after school work experience. Kim...

COVID-19 pandemic shuts down student exchange program; one of the 12 Class of 2020 valedictorian’s $1,850 summer trip to Germany canceled

Then junior Jason Liang (left) stands with his host, Sidney Zumkier, at the Bohemian Rhapsody concert when he traveled to Germany for The Friendship Connection's student exchange program in the summer of 2018. This summer's event got nixed in early March because of the worldwide spread of COVID-19. Accolade File Photo

Lauren Jung

May 24, 2020

Senior Samuel Kho had a month of his summer plans all set since November, which was when he first applied and paid $1,850 to participate in a summer German exchange program.  After graduation on May 28, Kho was scheduled in June to take a flight to Germany and to live in Stuttgart, Baden Württembe...

Coronavirus crisis forces delay in yearbook printing; students who paid for one will have to wait until after June 6 when the school year has ended to pick it up

Though the 2019-2020 yearbook will not be distributed until June, Helios released an image of what the front cover looks like in a 77-second theme-release video posted April 24 on the publication’s YouTube channel and Instagram account. The “Keep Talking We’re Listening”-themed book faced a delay in printing because the publishing company had to shut down from late March to early May in response to the state’s guidelines for non-essential businesses to close to slow the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Minjeong Kim

May 24, 2020

This story was updated May 24 at 12:30 p.m. to show that yearbook distribution was reportedly delayed for the Class of 1963, four years after the school opened in 1959. This story was updated again May 25 at 4:30 p.m. with quotes about what happened in 1963. For the first time since 1963 in the Helios program's history...

With live-graduation ceremony postponed until August, Class of 2020 will have YouTube virtual one instead May 28

All wearing face masks as part of state COVID-19-related guidelines, social science teacher and co-ASB adviser David Fenstermaker (left), dance instructor Leiana Volen and yearbook adviser Lindsay Safe greet seniors as their cars come by the Sunny Hills parking lot as part of the May 8 drive-through event to pick up cap and gowns and Class of 2020 graduation yard signs. Fenstermaker handed out the yard signs. Video screen shot taken by Accolade photo editor Megan Shin.

Rida Zar

May 24, 2020

In hopes of providing the Class of 2020 with a proper send off, school officials will host a virtual graduation ceremony for seniors and their family on YouTube May 28. “As with everything we do, our virtual graduation will be the best it can possibly be,” principal Allen Whitten said. A lin...

After 31 years in education, AVID and business teacher Lori Larsen retires to pursue dream of fixing up house in South Carolina

Lori Larsen is the only Sunny Hills teacher who will retire at the end of the 2019-2020 school year next week. Larsen was instrumental in setting up on campus the Advancement Via Individual Determination program, which started in 2006.

Lira Jeong

May 19, 2020

For 14 years, Lori Larsen has encouraged her students to pursue their dreams of getting admitted into a four-year college through the Advancement Via Individual Determination [AVID] program. And after the spring semester is over, Larsen has decided to follow her own dreams -- retiring as a teacher a...

The show must go on — virtually for 10-year anniversary of Conservatory of Fine Arts laureate ceremony for Class of 2020

One of the virtual backgrounds used during the May 18 laureate ceremony and held on Zoom honoring the Conservatory of Fine Arts' Class of 2020. Image posted with permission from Brian Wall.

Nevya Patel

May 18, 2020

To celebrate the Conservatory of Fine Arts’ [COFA] 10th year in existence at the Monday, May 18, laureate ceremony honoring the Class of 2020, director Brian Wall had planned for a painted mural on the remodeled Performing Arts Center [PAC] and a plaque or statue erected someplace in the quad. “We...

Spread of COVID-19 in New York ends senior publications editors’ ‘dream’ trip to the Big Apple to accept newspaper, yearbook awards

A screenshot of the March 6 announcement from the Columbia Scholastic Press Association about its decision to cancel its national journalism convention and March 20 awards ceremony at Columbia University in New York. The Accolade and Helios student publications had been named Crown winners last October -- the only Orange County journalism programs to have earned such a distinction -- for work produced in the 2018-2019 school year.

Nevya Patel

May 5, 2020

Senior Michelle Buckley said it would have been “one of the best moments of my senior year.” Another senior, Kaylee Kim, called it a “reward for all of my passion and hard work for the last three years.” Buckley and Kim aren’t describing their prom or graduation or Grad Nite -- all tr...

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