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Belmont Celebrates Teacher Appreciation Week

Administrators Dr. McGregor and Carolina Robles hosted a special lunch for the staff featuring delicious offerings from a taco truck in honor of Teacher Appreciation Week. Enjoying a reprieve from the normal lunch fare, teachers savored a chance to commune with colleagues over a freshly cooked meal. Thanks to everyone who made this sweet gesture of appreciation possible.
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Special Learners Travel to San Diego and Board USS Midway Ship

William Crews and his Special Learners traveled to San Diego by train and visited a historic aircraft carrier harbored in the bay. “The students gained confidence by climbing the staircases and enjoyed interacting and hearing the history of the ship,” said William Crews. Parents of Belmont’s Special Learners also attended this fun filled day in the outdoors.

Former Belmont ROTC teacher Sergeant Davis accompanied the Belmont group with a class from Inglewood and presented his former colleague with a plaque to commemorate his years of service in the profession. “It was a nice feeling to see Sergeant Davis giving him the recognition because Mr. Crews has dedicated so much to the kids,” said Sentinel photographer Jessica Morales.

The train ride to and from San Diego added extra excitement and a chance to bond along the way. “The interaction with regular education students always helps both groups to learn about each other,” concluded Crews.

Photo By Jessica Morales
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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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