The Accolade

Fullerton Joint Union High School District officials agree to allow livestock back on Sunny Hills farm

Livestock like this pig remained on the Sunny Hills farm as of April 10 after live classroom instruction ended nearly a month before because of the coronavirus pandemic. Ag students were coming to the farm one at a time to take care of their animals to prep them for the Orange County Fair, which was eventually canceled because of COVID-19 health and safety concerns. After that, Fullerton Joint Union High School District officials decided to have all the animals removed.

Krishna Thaker

September 25, 2020

First, the Fullerton Joint Union High School District [FJUHSD] over the summer banned all livestock from any of its farms for agriculture students because the coronavirus pandemic had forced the closure of all live, classroom instruction. Then at the start of the 2020-2021 school year, Sunny Hills agri...

With more than 30 years of administrative experience, new assistant principal says ‘aloha’ to Sunny Hills

New assistant principal John Oldenburg holds a sign as part of a video clip for students at La Vista and La Sierra continuation schools to encourage them after the coronavirus pandemic closed down classrooms in March. Oldenburg previously worked at La Vista and La Sierra in the Fullerton Joint Union High School District before he was transferred to Sunny Hills this school year.

Kristima Aryal

September 16, 2020

This is the second of a series of feature profiles of new, full-time teachers or administrators at Sunny Hills High School for 2020-2021. Having grown up on the island of white sand beaches and palm trees, John Oldenburg says “aloha” to Sunny Hills this school year. The newest member to join the admini...

Summer spike in COVID-19 cases in Orange County leads to cancellation of in-person graduation ceremony at Buena Park’s football stadium

Class of 2020's Johnathyn Yip and Elena Singh, wear their Sunny Hills cap and gowns at a senior graduation photoshoot at the Brea Dam on June 28. The Class of 2020 not only lost its senior traditions like prom, Grad Nite and paper toss, but last school year's seniors also never had a chance to walk down the aisle to pick up their diplomas during a commencement ceremony usually held at Fullerton Union High School's football stadium. An Aug. 5 makeup graduation at Buena Park High School's football stadium was canceled July 28 because of the continued increase in COVID-19 cases in Orange County.

Sydnee Tallant

August 27, 2020

Elise Ibara (Class of 2020) was looking forward to seeing as many of her former senior classmates again earlier this month. With traditional senior events like prom in April and Grad Nite and the commencement ceremony itself in May wiped out by the coronavirus pandemic, Ibara held out hope that CO...

COVID-19 forces school officials to change the Aug. 25 Back to School Night into Zoom experience for parents

Traditionally held on campus, Back to School Night for students' parents will be held through Zoom meetings with teachers Tuesday, Aug. 25, at 5:45 p.m. for zero period and 6 p.m. for first period. Sunny Hills officials had to resort to an all-virtual program in keeping with COVID-19 health guidelines, and so like the current situation with students, they will be unable to see some of the newly designed aspects of the school such as the front doors in the main office wing.

Rida Zar

August 24, 2020

For the first time, Sunny Hills will hold a virtual Back-to-School-Night Tuesday, Aug. 25, for students’ parents in keeping with COVID-19 social distancing and health guidelines, school officials said. “We take pride in the positive and energetic school culture we have here at Sunny Hills High School,” ...

ASB to release 20-minute Welcome Back video Monday, Aug. 24, for students, staff to watch at end of Period 4

The Associated Student Body [ASB] co-adviser Mike Paris, top row, far left, leads a Zoom meeting during fifth period on the first Wednesday of the 2020-2021 school year to review the ASB agenda with his 60 students. After sponsoring a virtual school spirit week from Aug. 17-21, the ASB has put together a Welcome Back video to be released Monday, Aug. 24, at the end of fourth period.

Anthony Keem

August 22, 2020

This story was updated at 11:45 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 22, with additional quotes from students and information about how the ASB will promote the video. The Associated Student Body [ASB] plans to release a 20-minute Welcome Back video Monday, Aug. 24, featuring a montage of recorded messages from...

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...

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...

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...

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...

Final traditional senior event at Disneyland nixed because of coronavirus concerns; PTSA to issue Grad Nite ticket refunds

Disneyland in Anaheim, known for its iconic Sleeping Beauty Castle, has announced the cancellation of this year’s Grad Nite in May. This was the last traditional senior activity that has been axed because of the coronavirus pandemic, which has led to state-issued stay-at-home and social distancing orders. Accolade File Photo

Edmund Lee

May 4, 2020

It was the final nail in the coffin for Sunny Hills’ Class of 2020. The PTSA’s Grad Nite committee held out as long as it could in hopes that seniors would at least have one traditional event they can go to at the end of this month. Week after week since the school was shut down to students M...

Principal holds Zoom session April 24 to announce to 12 seniors they are Class of 2020’s valedictorians

Through an April 24 Zoom meeting that included the five campus counselors, principal Allen Whitten (third from left, top row) announces his plans for the May 28 virtual graduation ceremony and how the 12 Class of 2020 valedictorians will be honored. In the past, Whitten usually summoned seniors to his office to confirm their top of the class status, but because of COVID-19-related stay-at-home orders, he opted to make the announcement online. Photo by Accolade photo editor Megan Shin.

Megan Shin

April 30, 2020

Since he’s been principal at Sunny Hills, Allen Whitten would summon seniors to his office to confirm their valedictorian status and congratulate them on their accomplishment. But that couldn’t happen this school year because of the COVID-19 pandemic and the district’s decision to close all of...

Annual District Art Show canceled because of COVID-19 outbreak; winners receive certificates, checks by mail

Junior Grace Park holds up her two award-winning paintings --

Hannah Yi, Tyler Pak, and Aaliyah Magana

April 30, 2020

The 34th annual Fullerton Joint Union High School District [FJUHSD] Education Art Show at the district’s Education Center was originally scheduled to begin March 30 -- the first return date that the district’s superintendent had set for students to be allowed back in the classroom because of the...

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Allen Whitten