The Student News Site of Sunny Hills High School

The Accolade

The Student News Site of Sunny Hills High School

The Accolade

The Student News Site of Sunny Hills High School

The Accolade

Kate Yang

Kate Yang, Editor-in-Chief

Senior Kate Yang spent her junior year serving as web managing editor of The Accolade. This year, she returns as editor-in-chief and looks forward to working with her new staff and top editors. Yang joined The Accolade as a sophomore after taking the prerequisite class, Journalism 1, as a freshman. She has earned several Best of SNO awards for her stories beginning her sophomore year, some including the reopening of Sunny Hills amid the pandemic and the AP score dilemma following the first online administered exams. Outside of The Accolade, Yang runs several clubs and plays golf for the SH girls golf team. She is an International Baccalaureate student and a Link Crew leader this year. Yang hopes to see more students this year pick up physical copies of The Accolade as well as visit the online website.

All content by Kate Yang
To The Accolade, I sincerely thank you

To The Accolade, I sincerely thank you

Kate Yang, Editor-in-Chief June 2, 2023

Why do we seek knowledge? The International Baccalaureate [IB] Theory of Knowledge [TOK] students and I greeted the preceding question with a conversational investigation. Some postulated we sought...

The Stanley Quencher Tumbler is one of many products social media influencers have peddled to consumers. Platforms, such as TikTok and Instagram, have become the primary outlets for product advertisements.

TO CONSUMER AND TO CREATE: Social media influencers usurp traditional product advertising

Kate Yang, Editor-in-Chief March 12, 2023

The Alix Earle Effect.   According to, the 22-year-old social media sensation Alix Earle, with up to 4.7 million TikTok followers, has been reportedly paid between $40,000 and $70,000...

CNN’s morning show co-host Don Lemon was under fire for his sexist/ageist remarks against Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley during a February broadcast.

Women, we work for us, not him

Kate Yang, Editor-in-Chief March 9, 2023

Women do not have a prime: Women have all but time.  Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley’s directed ageist remarks toward 80-year-old President Joe Biden Feb. 16 and demanded cognitive...

Gymnast senior Andrew Gonzalez performs an L-sit at a Stanford University competition Jan. 28. This was the second level-nine meet for him and freshman Cailean Travis, his teammate.

SH boys bring own brand of balance to gymnastics

Kate Yang, Editor-in-Chief March 7, 2023

According to USA Gymnastics, there are 69,797 female athletes who compete in the 11 USA Gymnastics’ women’s programs and just 12,072 male athletes who compete in the nine USA Gymnastics’ men’s...

Seniors Alejandra Quismorio (left) and Kate Yang team up to deliver a speech about their experience as International Baccalaureate students in the gym as part of the opening ceremonies of the Jan. 24 Open House for eighth-graders and their parents. The pair was among six student speakers selected by school officials to tout the variety of programs offered at Sunny Hills.

I returned to the SH Open House from the perspective of a student speaker

Kate Yang, Editor-in-Chief February 7, 2023

Nearly four years ago, I took a seat in the Sunny Hills gym as an eighth-grader, one of hundreds on those bleachers listening to former principal Allen Whitten introduce a few Open House student speakers...

Anna May Wong was a trail-blazer for Asian-American representation in the American media. She continues her legacy through a 25-cent U.S. coin.

Anna May Wong coins the term ‘Asian American pioneer’

Kate Yang, Editor-in-Chief December 1, 2022

From the onset of her career, Anna May Wong refused to tread lightly. The Chinese-American film star, with over 60 works under her name, challenged the stereotypical roles offered to her by the American...

New social science teacher Matthew Acosta greets his fifth period United States History class Nov. 4.

New ‘high energy’ social science teacher also helps out as coach in Lancers’ football program

Kate Yang, Editor-in-Chief November 6, 2022

As a Whittier High School student, Matthew Acosta often received recognition from teachers for his natural affinity for aiding his peers with their academic endeavors. Though without an official tutoring...

Within recent years, social media has facilitated drug transaction for the younger generations. The fentanyl crisis has been augmented by this method of drug purchase.

From streets to Snapchat, illicit drug dealers utilize social media to reach younger consumers

Kate Yang, Editor-in-Chief October 27, 2022

It takes a single pill, a mere 2-milligram dose of fentanyl to poison a user in seconds, leading to death, according to the United States Drug Enforcement Administration [DEA].  Sixteen-year-old Cooper...

Senior Nathan Lee runs past players of the Fullerton Union High School football team during the Sept. 30 homecoming game held at Buena Park High School’s stadium. The Lancers won the game 14-13, setting their Freeway League record at 1-0.

Lancers hold off Fullerton Tribe 14-13 in Sept. 30 homecoming game, Freeway League opener

Kate Yang, Editor-in-Chief October 7, 2022

Five years.  Those years amounted to the winning streak the Sunny Hills football team has over the Fullerton Union High School Tribe. And last week, the streak continued – but barely. After...

Freshmen and Link Crew leaders participate in a group stretch at the annual freshman orientation held Aug. 9 for the incoming Class of 2026. According to school officials, the 615 incoming ninth-graders come close to the 650 enrolled in the 2018-2019 school year.

Sunny Hills enrollment of 2,433 – with the help of 615 freshmen – continues to increase for a fifth straight year

Kate Yang, Editor-in-Chief August 30, 2022

Despite declines in state, county and district enrollment in public schools, Sunny Hills has continued to increase its student population for a fifth straight year – a majority of students coming from...

The Sunny Hills Lancers football team charges onto the field before the kickoff of its first game of the 2022-2023 season Thursday, Aug. 26, against Capistrano Valley High School at Buena Park High School stadium.

FOOTBALL PREVIEW: New head coach, new players hope for winning formula

Kate Yang, Editor-in-Chief August 26, 2022

Coaches: David Wilde (head coach/offensive coordinator/running backs/outside linebackers), Ron Newton (defensive coordinator/defensive line/special teams), Bruce Wallace (offensive line), Andrew Guerva...

Seniors Patrick Jimenez (left) and Darian Choi spring out of gift boxes to commence the Winter assembly on Dec. 12, 2021 in the gym. In addition to assemblies returning to double second format, the Associated Student Body will move to third period for the next school year, adjusting to the new bell schedule.

ASB moves to third period this fall to accommodate new bell schedule

Kate Yang, Editor-in-Chief May 16, 2022

To accommodate for the new 2022-2023 bell schedule that positions lunch before break, the Associated Student Body [ASB] got administrative approval to move from fifth to third period. “We generally...

The House of Representatives passed the Build Back Better Act Nov. 19, 2021 with the hopes of rebuilding the middle class and mitigating climate change. Disagreements within the Democratic Party, however, stall the bill from passing into legislation.

White House turns green with $2.27 trillion Build Back Better Act

Kate Yang, Editor-in-Chief April 22, 2022

Passed by the House of Representatives Nov. 19, 2021, the Build Back Better Act allocates billions of dollars to expanding job opportunities, rebuilding the middle class, investing in children’s education...

The Associated Student Body [ASB] hosted prom at Hanger 21 South in Fullerton on April 9. It filled the site with carnival games and carnival food for juniors, seniors and invited underclassmen.

Prom for seniors, juniors, invited underclassmen returns Saturday, April 9, at Fullerton Airport after 3-year hiatus because of the COVID-19 pandemic

Kate Yang, Editor-in-Chief April 3, 2022

Because of the waning COVID-19 pandemic, upperclassmen and invited underclassmen will for the first time in three years be able to attend a spring tradition to end the school year – the prom. But...

An oil depot explodes the morning of Feb. 27 — three days after Russian President Vladimir Putin launches a full-scale invasion on Ukraine — near the Kyiv region in the city of Vasylkiv. Military activity and explosions in the city have forced citizens to evacuate or find refuge in bomb shelters.

BLOODY INVASION: Students, teachers disapprove of Putin’s invasion in Ukraine for fear of global nuclear warfare

Kate Yang and Krishna Thaker March 8, 2022

Teacher and student reactions to the recent war in Ukraine have reached a unanimous consensus framing Russian President Vladimir Putin as the aggressor aiming for Russian dominance over its neighboring...

Student support services teacher Kellie Ma (left) and head custodian Daniel Rodriguez hold onto the flowers and balloons they were given in the staff lounge on Jan. 21 to recognize their honor of being voted Teacher of the Year and Classified Employee of the Year award, respectively, for the 2021-2022 school year.

Teacher, classified employee of the year awarded to student support services teacher, head custodian for 2021-2022 school year

Kate Yang, Editor-in-Chief February 25, 2022

As student support services teacher Kellie Ma reviewed notes with her second period Math Foundations students, the shimmer of several multicolored balloons passing by the window of room 98 caught her eye.  Seconds...

Point guard junior Chad Nguyen dribbles the ball in front of a sparse crowd as a result of the indoor audi- ence limit at a home game against Buena Park on Wednesday.

Omicron forces limit to indoor sports spectators to 500

Kate Yang, Editor-in-Chief February 1, 2022

Victory chants from the student section echoed across the gym floor. Students dressed in white spirit wear spilled out from the bleachers as the buzzer signaled the end of the fourth quarter — Sunny...

Plastic Trees pollute the holiday season

Kate Yang, Editor-in-Chief December 9, 2021

A forest green pine tree decked head-to-toe in luminous lights. Such a scene encapsulates my impression of the much anticipated holiday season next month. For the past 15 years, my family and I took...

Drawing and Painting teacher Vashtty Lemus on Tuesday, Nov. 16, points to one of the student art pieces showcased in the Performing Arts Center lobby. Lemus plans to produce a new exhibit there each month featuring work from Lancers across all art classes.

Students can now check out their peers’ artwork with monthly exhibits in the remodeled PAC

Kate Yang, Editor-in-Chief November 18, 2021

Having hosted its first show in September, the Conservatory of Fine Arts [COFA] will host monthly art galleries in the Performing Arts Center [PAC] to display the work of Sunny Hills’ art students all...

Conversation among peers cleanses mind, reduces stress

Kate Yang, Editor-in-Chief November 12, 2021

Sophomore Year 2020-2021: No dances, no football games to attend and no classrooms to chat in. Distance learning, aside from stunting the academic aspect of school, left me staring at my computer screen...

English teacher Tom Wiegman holds up the COVID-19 Vaccination Record Card he received after being vaccinated with the first dose of the Pfizer vaccine in March 2021 and the second dose in April 2021. The Fullerton Joint Union High School District [FJUHSD] sent out an email Sept. 2 to all staff mandating vaccination verification to fulfill a state requirement that the governor signed into law Aug. 11. Anyone working in the FJUHSD who chooses not to be vaccinated must take a COVID-19 test on a weekly basis beginning Oct. 18.

FJUHSD mandates vaccines for entire staff, offers secondary option to test weekly for unvaccinated

Kate Yang, Editor-in-Chief October 1, 2021

In compliance with Gov. Gavin Newsom’s new public health order, the Fullerton Joint Union High School District [FJUHSD] announced, through an email sent to students and parents on Sept. 3, its decision...

Dean Williams (left), played by Elisha Williams, and Cory Long (right), played by Amari O’Neil, bond over a fishing trip. The ABC TV series, “The Wonder Years,” will make a grand return to the entertainment industry with its reboot set to premiere Wednesday, Sept. 22 at 8:30 p.m.

1980s-1990s ‘The Wonder Years’ reboot features all African-American cast, brings new perspective to life in the ’60s

Kate Yang, Editor-in-Chief September 21, 2021

Six seasons. 115 episodes. One family.  From 1988 to 1993, “The Wonder Years” stole thousands of viewers’ hearts centered on the life of a young teenager, Kevin Arnold, who narrates the series...

 Link Crew leaders senior Alyssa Galvez (left) and junior Ellie Kim (right) hand out hot dogs to sophomores Andy Aguirre (left) and Maximiliano Soto (right) at the Sophomore Welcome BBQ held Wednesday, Aug. 11, in the quad.

Sophomores get fed hot dogs and tour the campus with Link Crew leaders since they only had an online orientation last year

Kate Yang, Editor-in-Chief August 16, 2021

Since Link Crew was first organized on campus five years ago, its aim has been to train juniors and seniors to become mentors, role models and leaders who guide freshmen along their transition to high...

Senior Dominic Siañez (right) checks in with a South Coast Photography staff member at Lancer Day, Tuesday, Aug. 10, to take his ID picture. Despite the continuing spread of COVID-19’s Delta variant, Siañez will be among the nearly 2,500 students who have enrolled at Sunny Hills for live classroom instruction.

COVID-19 THE SEQUEL: Delta variant doesn’t faze students, parents and staff from getting hyped up about full reopening of school

Kate Yang, Editor-in-Chief August 15, 2021

With the Delta variant bringing COVID-19 case numbers up again, students, parents and staff remain excited about the reopening of Sunny Hills High School for live classroom instruction on Monday, Aug....

With the Fullerton Joint Union High School District board of trustees latest directive, Sunny Hills students will be allowed to walk through the front entrance for live classroom instruction four days a week starting April 19.   Those learning from home can still continue to do so.

FJUHSD students to be allowed to come to campus four days a week beginning April 19; some still prefer to stay home over COVID-19 health and safety concerns

Kate Yang, Editor-in-Chief April 12, 2021

In a split vote, trustees for the Fullerton Joint Union High School District [FJUHSD] have approved allowing students to receive live, in-class instruction four days a week instead of only two beginning...

Chinese Club members sell drinks during a 2018 International Food Fair. The yearly event will be canceled this year because of the pandemic.

Despite reopening of schools, ASB and PTSA plan to host virtual IFF with Google Slides presentations and Virtual International Food Fair

Kate Yang, Editor-in-Chief March 14, 2021

Street tacos, samosas and Black Forest cake — the basic starter pack of authentic foods for students at the International Food Fair [IFF] to begin their day celebrating and learning about new cultures....

A guide to the proper steps to take if you experience sexual misconduct.

Social media not the best outlet to report sexual misconduct

Kate Yang, Editor-in-Chief February 15, 2021

If you have any questions, comments or concerns about the content of this article, we strongly encourage you to contact us at [email protected]. If you wish to report any cases of sexual misconduct,...

Assistant principal Hilda Arredondo (right) gives a wrist band to a student on the first day of hybrid learning last November as part of the schools health and safety protocols. The same procedure will be followed Tuesday as the campus will be opened for the first time in 2021 after trustees for the Fullerton Joint Union High School District had unanimously agreed to do so during their Feb. 2 emergency meeting.

Student, teacher opinions over Tuesday’s 2021 reopening of Sunny Hills campus for live classroom instruction remain mixed

Kate Yang, Editor-in-Chief February 14, 2021

This story was updated on Feb. 16 with statistics about the number of students on campus for hybrid learning vs. staying home to learn remotely as well as a quote from a student who originally did not...

Sonya Joyce (left) accepts a bouquet of flowers from head custodian Daniel Rodriguez in February of 2018 when Joyce received the most votes from the Sunny Hills staff for classified employee of the year. The 2017-2018 school year was also when Joyce was first hired as a site technician on campus in charge of servicing technology issues. Joyce retired from the position Jan. 22.

Ex-Sunny Hills employee of year and ‘backbone’ of eSports club, site technician Sonya Joyce makes sudden announcement about her retirement in middle of school year

Kate Yang, Editor-in-Chief February 7, 2021

For the two years she’s spent co-advising the Sunny Hills eSports team, Sonya Joyce has always reminded her team members to play with respect, dedication and confidence.  “More than anyone, it...

When hybrid learning resumes for the first time this year on Feb. 16, students will once again be required to enter the Sunny Hills campus through the area between the 20s wing and the administration building so they can have their temperatures scanned. This is what happened when hybrid learning started Nov. 2 as assistant principal John Oldenburg (right) directed one of the students to the next station to get her wristband for the day.

Trustees agree to reopen FJUHSD schools for first time this year on Feb. 16 during a nearly three-hour emergency meeting Tuesday full of verbal jabs from parents, teachers as well as board members

Kate Yang, Editor-in-Chief February 4, 2021

In a contentious three-hour meeting featuring verbal swipes from both sides of the reopening schools issue, trustees for the Fullerton Joint Union High School District [FJUHSD] reached unanimous agreement...

For the second time in as many years, the Helios staff earned Crown finalist honors but must wait until March to find out whether or not it will repeat as a Gold Crown winner.

Yearbook named Crown finalist for second straight year

Kate Yang, Editor-in-Chief December 9, 2020

For a second consecutive year, a national journalism organization named the Helios yearbook a Crown finalist -- the only program to receive the award in Orange County, and one of three programs in Southern...

Then-junior Vivian Tran cheers on the
Lancer football team at Trabuco Hills High School Nov. 23. It’s
unclear if fans will be allowed to watch games this season.

Uncertainty remains about fan attendance

Kate Yang, Editor-in-Chief November 10, 2020

Running out onto the gridiron amid packed crowds decked out in black and yellow, Sunny Hills football center junior Jacob Neumann still remembers the energy during the 2019-2020 season that ended with...

Sunny Hills staff and custodial crew have placed stickers throughout walkways and walls to remind students returning to school when it opens Monday to social distance, sanitize their hands and keep their masks on.

Students, parents and teachers clash on effectiveness of school opening, safety plan

Kate Yang, Editor-in-Chief November 1, 2020

This is the third and final of a series of stories dealing with the scheduled Nov. 2 reopening of Sunny Hills High School and what COVID-19-related safety and health measures the Fullerton Joint Union...

The Winston the Lancer statue sits above the touch-free sanitizing unit placed in the main office in Room 3. Custodians have placed one touch-free sanitizing unit identical to this one in every single classroom for students to utilize as they enter or leave.

Expect to see Safety Hills when hybrid learning starts Nov. 2

Kate Yang, Editor-in-Chief October 27, 2020

This is the second of a series of stories dealing with the scheduled Nov. 2 reopening of Sunny Hills High School and what COVID-19-related safety and health measures the Fullerton Joint Union High School...

Senior Kaitlyn Yee swims the 100-yard backstroke during the 2019 Freeway League preliminaries at Troy High School, where she placed first. She then advanced to the 2019 CIF-SS Division 3 finals, where Yee also broke the Sunny Hills record for the 200-yard medley relay alongside her teammates and contributed to her team’s second-place victory.

Game Ball: UC Davis-bound record-setting swimmer traces time in the pool all the way back to when she was 1 year old

Kate Yang, Editor-in-Chief October 23, 2020

At 1 year old, many boys and girls are just beginning to learn how to walk. Their first words are usually “mama” or “dada.” On top of those developmental milestones, senior Kaitlyn Yee’s...

Currently being housed in Room 20, the two thermal cameras will be moved under the overhang at the entrance to the main hallway to Sunny Hills Nov. 2, when students and staff will be allowed to return to campus for live classroom instruction as part of the hybrid learning model. The Fullerton Joint Union High School District paid $15,000 for each camera, which will be used to help school officials to easily check the temperatures of students as they arrive on campus.

Nov. 2 reopening of school: Two thermal cameras at $15,000 each among equipment to ensure COVID-19 health and safety for students, staff

Kate Yang, Editor-in-Chief October 20, 2020

This is the first of a series of stories dealing with the scheduled Nov. 2 reopening of Sunny Hills High School and what COVID-19-related safety and health measures the Fullerton Joint Union High School...

A sample College Board response email regarding a potential change in scores for Advanced Placement tests.

Sunny Hills students, teachers finding College Board’s not budging much on their appeals regarding low scores from modified online exams

Kate Yang, Editor-in-Chief October 2, 2020

This is the second of a two-part series focusing on the May 2020 Advanced Placement [AP] scores released earlier this summer. In response to the coronavirus pandemic that shut down testing locations worldwide,...

An infographic for the national score distribution of AP Human Geography text takers last year.

‘We killed it:’ Sunny Hills principal cites College Board report showing more than three-fourths of students passed their May 2020 Advanced Placement exams — the highest passing percentage over the past four years

Kate Yang, Editor-in-Chief September 26, 2020

This is the first of a two-part series focusing on the May 2020 Advanced Placement scores released earlier this summer. In response to the coronavirus pandemic that shut down testing locations worldwide,...

Girls basketball players participate in a Zoom training session on April 20.

Coaches, players use Zoom sessions, self-guided exercise schedules to keep team members fit during state-mandated stay-at-home order

Kate Yang, Editor-in-Chief May 22, 2020

They are shut in, but they are not shut out — from staying fit as Sunny Hills student-athletes. Though the spring sports season has been canceled because of COVID-19-related school closures statewide,...

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