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Greetings all Sentinels

It is with great sadness that I inform the Belmont family that our former
College Counselor, Mr. John Kim, passed away on Thursday, April 20, 2017.

Mr. Kim was loved and appreciated for his dedication to Eagle Rock High School
and his previous assignment of seventeen years at Belmont High School.

He has many friends and was loved across the district.
Our deepest sympathy and thoughts are with his family
during this challenging time.

At this time, we request that you respect the family's privacy.
If you would like to send a card or letter to the family,
please send them to the main office at Belmont High School
and we will forward them to the family.

Thank you.
Kristen McGregor, Ed.D.
Principal - Belmont High School
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Bridge Competitors Advance to the International Finals in Dallas, Texas

Belmont’s top-notch competitors turned in another impressive performance at the Regional Bridge Building competition to the delight of teachers and classmates on campus. Dr. McGregor recognized Christian Sy, Naydelli Mendoza, Maria Marcos and Lorenzo Marcos for their accomplishments at the professional development meeting this week.

Naydelli Mendoza and Christian Sy placed second at Regionals with a bridge that withstood 45 kilograms (99 pounds). This second place win earned the duo a spot at the International competition in Dallas, Texas. Belmont will compete against the country’s elite teams, in addition to schools from around the world.

Christian Sy sat down with The Sentinel staff to reflect upon the experience. Sy competed last year in Chicago and looks forward to traveling to Texas at the end of the month. “Every year the competition changes because of the design and in terms of the competitors,” said Sy. “I am very excited to meet some new friends [from around the country] and wish good luck to the other schools.”

Naydelli Mendoza is equally enthused about the recent victory and chance to travel outside of the state for more competition. “It was an overwhelming feeling [at Regionals],” said Mendoza. “I’m really happy we made it and never expected it. It’s great that we placed second and third.”

The dynamic sister/brother team of Maria and Lorenzo Marcos and team captain Tasdiq Islam returned from Regionals with a dazzling third place trophy for their bridge. “Thankfully, this year we had a strong presence. Other schools like magnets and Bravo have been winning for years now and it’s great to see Belmont take those top places,” added Mendoza.

According to Mendoza, their teacher/coach Elmerito Sy has paved the way for this triumphant run towards the International competition. “He guided us, has a lot of experience that he shares with us, and his full support is always there.”

Best of luck to the Belmont team on competition day, April 22.
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MESA Club Triumphs at USC Competition

Two teams from Belmont’s MESA (math, engineering, science and achievement) club, led by Veronica Galang, put their skills to the test in an intensive round of speaking and bridge building competitions this past week. The teams featured a bridge building sister/brother duo, Maria (11th grade) and Lorenzo Marcos (10th grade), and a 9th grade team. The dynamic trio of Celine Mamaid, Mohtasima Mohshina, and Mhret Gebremiceal competed in the speaking event.

The bridge competition required students to use Balsa wood that would withstand significant weight. Maria Marcos and Lorenzo Marcos created a structure that held 132 pounds, impressing the judges to merit a first place victory out of 35 high schools and middle schools. According to the victors, people initially doubted their bridge because it was so much smaller than the other competitors. “I learned that looks don’t matter, just how it’s constructed,” said Maria Marcos. “People were making fun of how small our bridge was,” said Lorenzo Marcos, “and they were the first ones to be eliminated.” Lorenzo Marcos felt empowered after the victory. “It made me happy and proved to my parents that I can be smart too.” Marcos also noted how Galang was instrumental in their success. “Galang is a great leader, helping us out with guidance,” noted Marcos.

According to Mhret Gebremiceal, the team chose a challenging topic of engineering oil replacement that would be appeal to the judges. The team took second place after facing an intimidating panel of experts. “Just because you want [first place] doesn’t mean you are going to get it,” said Gebremiceal in an exclusive interview with Sentinel reporters. After a grueling day of competition, the teams waited for the results. “It felt like the two hours we waited for the announcement were worth it after all the time we spent practicing and writing,” said Gebremiceal.

The teams will partake in another round of competition in the regional event, April 15. “I’m excited, but at the same time I am nervous [about the results],” said Gebremiceal. Lorenzo Marcos is also looking forward to the next opportunity to compete at a high level. “I feel like it’s a big step for my future,” said Marcos.

*Special thanks to Gerardo Bran for additional information, The Sentinel staff members for the interviews, and Jocelin Alvarado for the photo that accompanies this piece.
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Belmont Reigns in 23rd Annual ASCE Bridge Competition

Elmerito Sy and Barbara Cheung were beaming with pride as they introduced the award- winning Belmont team at this morning’s faculty meeting. After competing against 42 teams from 25 different high schools in Southern California, three Belmont teams made history with first, second, and third place medals that honored their accomplishments.

Fabiola Gonzalez, Naydelli Mendoza, and Maria Marcos took first prize overall. One of the members cited “teamwork” as the driving force behind their victory. Gerson Hernandez, Tasdiq Islam, and Kevin Manzano were awarded with second medals, noting their “improvement from last year” while Aline Romero, Alavi Khan, and Christian Sy took third place, rounding out the historic sweep. According to Romero, the competition took them through “a rollercoaster of emotions.”

All the competitors dedicated countless hours, creating the bridge out of Popsicle sticks that could sustain weights reaching as high as 949 pounds. The competition featured multiple components, including creating the bridge, the technical report that accompanied it, the trifold for the judges, and the formal presentation.

Principal Dr. McGregor recognized Belmont’s future civil engineers in the professional development meeting as teachers gave students an enthusiastic round of applause for this extraordinary feat.

*Special thanks to The Sentinel’s Jocelin Alvarado for her reporting and collaboration for this write up.
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Coach Flora and Belmont Decathletes Earn Four Medals in Regionals

Nine Academic Decathlon team members attended the LAUSD Regional competition medal ceremony, February 10th at Hollywood High School. After a two-day competition focusing on World War II, including subject tests and events that demonstrated vocal prowess, Belmont students were thrilled to receive four medals recognizing their excellence. Principal Dr. McGregor honored the team during the faculty’s professional development meeting this Wednesday, February 22.

This year marks a milestone for the Belmont team, surpassing the medals received in previous years. “It’s actually very fulfilling because all the hard work of the students paid off,” noted Flora. ”We were able to make it thanks to a lot of practice and dedication.”

Decathlon veteran Carla Arrellano took home a bronze medal in the speech category and veteran Beatriz Irineo-Lorenzo received a gold medal for her performance in the interview. Freshmen Jeffrey Phong, a new member of the team, also won a gold in the interview. “When I found out [he won], it was astonishing,” said Alejandra Cortez. “It’s good that he started early. If I were to go back in time, I would do the same thing. I’m really proud of him. “Junior Ana Sotomayor was awarded a silver medal in speech, rounding out the quartet of accomplished Sentinels.

Students who are interested in a commitment to a cerebral challenge and a chance for camaraderie with other like-minded scholars are encouraged to join the team. The decathletes meet every day during 7th period in Mr. Flora’s room.

*Special thanks to Ana Sotomayor for the fact checking and additional info for this write up.
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College Driven Freshmen Attend Go Central City Launch

Principal Dr. McGregor accompanied a group of Belmont freshmen to Miguel Contreras for the launch of Go Central City, a partnership program with LACC and Cal State Los Angeles.

The morning started with speakers from the district followed by a senior from Belmont who spoke about the importance of college. Students were treated to two different musical performances and a special video featuring freshmen from different high schools in the area.

Roselyn Castillo attended this special event and recently reflected upon the day. “We felt special,” said Castillo. “[It was great] to see our former classmates from elementary school and get together to talk about our college goals.”

Melissa Juarez felt grateful for Dr. McGregor’s guidance throughout the morning. “Dr. McGregor gave us advice about college and the other speakers showed us that if they can do it, we can do it,” said Juarez. Gissel Aguilar felt equally appreciative of this program. “It felt like a great privilege to attend such a welcoming event,” said Aguilar. “I enjoyed how we all share the same views about attending college.”
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Belmont Students Participate in Historic Women’s March

Some of Belmont’s students participated in the record breaking Women’s March in downtown Los Angeles, January 21st.

Carla Arellano, president of Belmont’s Feminist Club, attended the rally. “I didn’t expect the march to be so big and seeing it in person gave me some hope for the next four years,” said Arellano. “It gave me perspective [in terms of] wishing this would have happened before the election. It also made me realize that this kind of movement cannot happen for the sake of a hashtag. It has to be part of our daily lives for the next four years.”

Brandon Leon, one of Belmont’s photographers, went with a friend to photograph the march that featured the highest turnout in the country. “It felt really peaceful and calm,” observed Leon. “I think it was a really clear message from girls and women about their rights.”

Leon also noted how he felt the spirit of connectivity with the other participants in the march. “I feel proud of myself for supporting women because of my friends and the fact that there are a lot of women in my family.”

Ana Sotomayor was also in attendance with the Bresee Foundation, an organization that aids and mentors middle school students and high school students. 2K18 Co-founder Mey Sok attended with a friend. “I feel proud to be able to say I attended the march especially during this critical time in the country,” said Sok. “We should all unite and it just shows that we care about the issues that will impact our generation.”
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Students Honored at The Hollywood Reporter’s Annual Event

Six Belmont students were honored at The Hollywood Reporter’s annual Women in Entertainment ceremony this past December. Mey Sok and Ana Sotomayor joined last year’s mentees in a star-studded morning at Milk Studios. The Sentinel’s Editor-in-Chief Jessica Morales participated in the event as well, working as a professional reporter on the red carpet alongside news conglomerates and magazine editors.

Ana Sotomayor, one of this year’s mentees, had a moment of déjà vu after representing Belmont last year as a reporter at the same event.

“I honestly felt like a fish out of water because I was so comfortable as a reporter on the red carpet last year and this time I was actually entering the venue [as a guest],” said Sotomayor. “It was magnificent.”

Mey Sok was equally thrilled and delighted with the news that she was selected from a highly competitive group of prospective mentees. “Initially, I felt panicked when no response came in,” shared Sok. “As time passed and I waited, I woke up from a nap and saw that Jenny Vasquez, the recruiter and coordinator from Big Brothers Big Sisters, had called. I was shocked and felt all kinds of emotions. It was great to see that all my hard work paid off.”

Sok and Sotomayor have already started their experience as mentees, touring the offices, meeting co-workers, and sitting in on high-powered meetings. Sotomayor’s mentor is Corie Hensen, the Executive VP of Fox Alternative Programming and Sok will work with Sarah Bremner, the head of original features at Netflix. They will continue their work throughout the semester.

Students are encouraged to apply to the program next year to partake in this unique experience behind the scenes in Hollywood.

Look for exclusive red carpet interviews by Jessica Morales with Tina Fey and Jane Lynch, in addition to other celebrity attendees, in the Senior Edition of The Sentinel.
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