Category: Focus

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Miles Arnold: Altitude Aerial Media

Drones are no longer figments of the imagination, but tangible tools that are readily accessible. For chief operating officer Miles Arnold (12) and his business partner and chief executive officer Brandon Trentalange (’15), a drone was the start of a company: Altitude Aerial Media, which uses drones to photograph and take videos of real estate properties. “Standard marketing and advertising techniques [are] old and bland,” Arnold said. “Having pictures and videos from above is unique, innovative and visually appealing.” Altitude Aerial Media works with real estate agents to capt...
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Andrew Wang: Kappa Kapps

Most people remember playing with or accidentally stepping on Lego pieces as children — usually not selling them. In elementary school, Andrew Wang (12) flipped Legos and sold them on eBay, making a total of around $2,000. “I re-advertised them and sold them for much more than I paid,” Wang said. “I also got free stuff from Legoland [California] and sold them on eBay. For example, I’d get posters for free and sell them for $30 each.” Wang’s entrepreneurship continued into high school. In May 2015, he launched Kappa Kapps, a business that sells artisan keycaps to cust...
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Jonathan Foster: Soulful Boards

Instead of paying $400 for a surfboard, Jonathan Foster (11) figured he could shape one himself and get it glossed for less. Over the course of the last three to four years, Foster continued to shape boards, and what started off as a way to save money transformed into Soulful Boards — a business that sells various kinds of handmade boards, from surfboards to skateboards. “I got started with little body surfing handplanes,” Foster said. “That got me into woodworking, and I started working with my hands more.” As family and friends became interested in buying his handmade boards, ...
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Nick Nasland: Beach Front Lax

Nick Nasland (10) stands behind a table at a local lacrosse tournament, shoes in the mud, watching people pass by. Occasionally, players will stop by the stand, ask Nasland what he is selling, and make a purchase. Beach Front Lax, the company started by Nasland on Jan. 21, 2013, mainly sells mesh — which lacrosse players use to catch balls — as well as apparel, lacrosse sticks, stringing supplies and accessories. According to Nasland, all the mesh is made by hand to be shipped out. “I [had] heard of people making their own lacrosse mesh, so I just started [making it] for myself,” Nasl...
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This is Not a Drill

Students are hunched over their desks; the only sound in the room is the furious scratching of pencils on Scantrons and essay prompts. Suddenly, shrill blaring and flashing lights erupt from the alarms on the walls. The students, startled by the interruption, jump in their seats and glance frantically around them. Realizing that the disturbance was simply the fire alarm, the students roll their eyes and think collectively: not again. Their teacher signals to continue testing, they all lean forward in an attempt to regain their concentration and try to ignore the still blinking lights — the remnants of another false alarm. ...
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Just Deserts …

On a map of California, most of the state is pictured in a deep maroon color — code for “exceptional drought.” The state is parched, and many scientists claim that California will never recover. San Diego itself is under “extreme drought” conditions, and as a result, many people have changed their homes and lifestyles to adapt to the drought conditions. “We have fake grass and plants that require little water in our garden,” passionate water conservationist Tori Austin (12) said. “I am vegan [and] my family as a whole has made an effort to eat less meat [because raising livestock ...
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I Am [Not] A Victim

  What makes a victim? After one is the victim of people or forces outside his or her control, it is easy to feel fearful, depressed and in need of emotional support. However, it is equally easy to become lost in one’s own victimization — when does the emotional damage become excessive self-pity? At what point does dwelling on your victimization immobilize you from taking action and moving forward? According to Psychology Today, victim mentality is “a repetitive way of negative thinking wherein the victim has come to believe that others, not them, are responsible for their experiences and ...
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Staff Profile: Tim Staycer

Tim Staycer isn’t one of those teachers you can count on finding in the same classroom at any given time. He can be spotted all around campus: in the science rooms, by the art studios, near the English building, on the football field. As a teacher who works with special-needs students on Individualized Education Plans, Staycer is not confined to a single department or section; he works in all of them. Staycer has taught special education for 33 years, 21 of them at TPHS, but no two days on the job have ever been the same. A combination of meetings, testing, teaching, coaching and paperwork are all part of Staycer’s ...
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Staff Profile: Pandora Johnson

From fourth grade all the way to college, Pandora Johnson wanted to be an actress. Now, as the TPHS health technician, the theatrical phrase “break a leg” means something very different to her.  “I thought I was going to teach acting, but sometimes life throws you curves, and you just have to go with it,” Johnson said. Johnson substituted at different occupations in SDUHSD schools for six years. After realizing that she felt most at home as the TPHS health technician, she returned four years ago and has been working at the school since. “We have quite a few special-needs students at our ca...