The Accolade

Yearbook class changes from sixth to fifth period to accommodate schedule conflicts

Helios editor-in-chief senior Anika Madan (first row, second video window from left) captures a historic moment -- the first virtual yearbook camp sponsored by Herff Jones on July 25, the camp's first day. Traditionally held at California State University, Long Beach, the July 25-29  Yearbooks by the Beach offers publications students sessions ranging from staff bonding to theme brainstorming. A total of 23 of the 33 Helios yearbook staffers attended the event to prepare for the 2020-2021 annual's production, which now will take place during fifth instead of sixth period.

Alice Shin

September 3, 2020

After three years of the award-winning Helios yearbook class being held during period six, it has switched back to fifth period this school year, joining other electives like the Associated Student Body and The Accolade newspaper staff. “Before, since the yearbook was at the end of the day, it was co...

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...

Yearbook makes history — winning top two national journalism awards, placing second in Best of Show in a single school year

Some of the Helios staffers from last year note the hard work and effort in producing creative Index pages like this one for the 2018-2019 yearbook, which swept both national journalism awards this school year. Image posted with permission from Lindsay Safe.

Emmaline De Leon

May 24, 2020

When Sabrina Lee and Tara Desai became co-editors-in-chief of Helios last school year as seniors, they strived to produce a yearbook they’d be proud of for the rest of their lives -- a goal common to all past student publications leaders. Little did they know that their “It’s All Here”-the...

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...

Columbia Scholastic Press Association taps 2018-2019 Helios yearbook with top Gold Crown award; The Accolade newspaper wins Silver Crown

A screenshot of the online video awards presentation by the Columbia Scholastic Press Association recognizes the 2018-2019 Sunny Hills yearbook with its highest honor, a Gold Crown.

Lira Jeong

April 23, 2020

The Helios staff that produced the 2018-2019 yearbook has been awarded a Gold Crown — the highest honor — from the Columbia Scholastic Press Association, while the 2018-2019 Accolade received a Silver Crown. “We were all ecstatic about winning the Gold Crown because we put a lot into that book, and w...

Yearbook extends 2020-2021 staff application deadline to April 19 because of COVID-19-related school closure

Though the yearbook has used social media to promote its staff application for the next school year in the past, the Sunny Hills Helios adviser has had to rely solely on Instagram posting like this because of COVID-19 pandemic-related school closure since March 16. The deadline to apply has also been extended from March 30 to April 19. Image posted with permission from Anika Madan.

Minjeong Kim

April 8, 2020

Because of the district-imposed school closure nearly a month ago, the yearbook adviser will continue to accept 2020-2021 staff applications, extending the due date to April 19 instead of the original March 30 one. “Along with developing journalism, technology and business skills, yearbook students...

Columbia Scholastic Press Association names Accolade, Helios Crown award finalists — only Orange County publications to receive such a national honor

The Columbia Scholastic Press Association recognized Helios's 2018-2019 yearbook Nov. 1, including this Sports section spread.
Image posted with permission from Helios

Hope Li and Krishna Thaker

November 15, 2019

The Accolade newspaper and Helios yearbook have been named a finalist for a national award sponsored by the Columbia Scholastic Press Association [CSPA]. Through a live Twitter feed video on Halloween, the CSPA posted a slide recognizing The Accolade for a Silver or Gold Crown award. By the time t...

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Lindsay Safe