Guard spins all year

By Leyna Vo

These members spin it all- flags, rifles, and sabers while dancing to choreography that captures emotion and demonstrates skill.

  Color Guard is a Cougar C.L.U.E. event after school Tuesdays and Thursdays from 3-5 p.m. that welcomes all students of EHS, you just need to show up to join!

  The Color Guard program is headed by Rebecca Nelson, who also teaches AP Statistics, Algebra, and Pre-Calculus classes. What is unique about Color Guard is that any student can join, if interested, and students will have the opportunity to compete against other guard teams in Southern California, as well as engage in other events.

  “Guard members are those who are willing to put hard work in, work well in a group and a generally happy person,” said Nelson.

  The Color Guard team performs throughout the year at football games, pep rallies, field tournaments and at competitions.

  Recently, the team has placed second in a competition, received gold medals the last two years in 2012 and 2013, and placed Silver at their 2011 championship competition. Our EHS guard team is in the Regional 2a division.

  To do these extracurricular events, guard fundraises also during the year by selling snack boxes and Yankee Candle items.

  If you are interested in participating in this spirited team, twirl on down to the basketball courts by the parking lot Tuesdays and Thursdays and be ready to show off your skills spinning flags!



Saturday school Sound-off

By Brooker English

Sitting in a class on a Saturday.  It’s not by choice… it’s Saturday School.

    The program, set up for students who have too many absences or too many tardies, is held on Saturdays between 7:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. on the campus of Escondido High.

  It is one of the many corrective consequences, along with detention and suspension, designed to help students make good choices and graduate to prepare for their futures.

  What many students don’t know is that these consequences are working.

According to our School Accountability Report Card, in 2011 there were 324 cases of suspensions, while in the 2012 school year there was 266, and in the 2013 school year there was 182 suspensions, which is in a steady decline.

  EHS staff are working proactively to prevent students from facing these types of consequences.  For example, Principal Rich Watkins gives helpful advice to students about where they want to go, and why it’s important, helpful, and most importantly, fun, to join clubs and interact.

 We, “The Cougar” staff, applaud these efforts and offer a few more suggestions to help students stay out of trouble.

   Providing motivational speakers would be helpful because they would explain why gaining an education is so important now.

  Counseling could be provided for the students as to teach them to pathways they had not seen before, and what they can do in the future.

  As to deal with the already troublesome kids would be implementing a peer court system where other students participate in a mock-trial to decide the punishment for the bad behavior. Students would be more willing to fulfill these requirements if they knew they had similar people on their side and a chance of redeeming themselves to go on a better path introduced to them by motivational speakers and counseling.

Last day of school

By Michael Duniphan

The most anticipated day of the school year, the last day, has been changed.

  The last day of school for Seniors is June 3, while the rest of the school has to come back on June 4. .    The reason why we have a extra day of school is because the state offered more funding and we have to meet 180 days of school and we are at 179.

   I think the extra day of school would of been better if they would of put it on April 21, the Monday after spring break since we have that day off. It would be easier since everyone would get out on the same day.

  A lot of people think the last day of school in unnecessary.

  Freshmen Jimmy Marmolejo, 15, said,” I think the last day of school is dumb.”

   Many students are upset that this day was added so late into the school year.

  Freshmen Ben Donnelly, 14, said,” If they would of told us at the beginning of the year it would of been better.”

  Some students have different opinions on the last day of school, looking at it as a bettering of their education.

  Sophomore Keegan Cummins, 16, said, “It could be worse! We could have a extra week instead of one day.”

  Staff are unhappy with the extra day, too.

  Librarian Linda Pollack said,” I am disappointed that the Board didn’t get this resolved before winter break.”

  I agree with Mrs. Pollack, along with many other students about how long it took the Board to decide.

Students need a shift in focus from points earned to acquisition of knowledge

By  Summer Fonseca

As I sit down to tackle the pile of homework on my desk I grumble to myself, “What does it even matter? Why do I have to do this? What’s the point?”

The answer is simple really. It has been ingrained in every child since they were four or five. Any teacher, counselor, or parent will say, “Knowledge is the key to success”.

  And in our world today, that really is the truth.

   This is not the America of yesteryear where you could be a millionaire without even a fourth grade education. A high school diploma will barely get a kid fresh out of high school a job flipping burgers at minimum wage. The competition is ever fiercer as the years go on.

  Even college graduates are having trouble finding jobs these days. And this is the world students today must fight to survive in.

It feels like the only way to be successful is to play the grades game. Get the A, get the 4.0 GPA. Get all the points you can, as long as you make the grade.

 However, all of this focus on grades has a consequence.

  You are far more likely to hear a student ask “How can I get my grade up?” than “How can I understand this concept?”

Unfortunately, the actual pursuit of knowledge has fallen by the wayside.

   In the realm of social science, a more subjective couese, AP US History teacher Brady Clay noted that, “more frequent high stakes tests are less likely to lead to cultural literacy” in these subjects.

  Students are not as concerned with the material; they care about the points, the tests, the scores.

  “I am fairly anxious about maintain my good grades,” said Senior Rosie Nanz, 17.

This statement can apply to many students, including myself.

  As a student in my senior year, I am constantly thinking about college, how I’ll get it and subsequently, how my grades are going to affect my entry. And I am as guilty as any in letting my actually acquisition of knowledge to fall. After taking a test, I will often be rid of the information I studied so hard in a manner of hours.

  All hope is not lost, however. There are ways to regain the zeal for learning.

  The first step is a change in attitude. Concentrate on mastering the material and the desired grade will likely be acquired if one becomes well versed in the actual lesson.  Keeping focus can be difficult if it is perceived that the curriculum cannot be applied to one’s own life. This is why making a connection to the material that is learned is key to real learning. Be sure to ask: “How can I connect this to my life?”

Educators and their continued enthusiasm can be an aid because it creates an environment that facilitates discussion and interest. For example, in Jodi Robert’s AP Psychology course,   the use of Socratic seminars gets students to explore and process the curriculum of that particular class.

   “I like the Socratic Seminars because it is a chance for students to clarify the material. It helps me retain the information,” said Sophomore Becca Gross, 15.

By taking the education students at Escondido High School receive, by seeking out the truth of the world through knowledge, and by challenging themselves, they can become great forces in the world of tomorrow.


Students need to go outside

By Anna Chanthaphavong

Even though summer vacation is a time when students can relax from school, they can’t just sleep and do nothing for three months.

 Students waste their whole summer staying inside and doing nothing, yet there is so much stuff they can do. They need to go outside and just have fun. Most people just sit at home and go on their phones and computers.

I’m going to hang out with friends; whether it’s hanging out at one of our houses, going out to the movies, mall or the beach.

Also, I’m going out to visit some other friends I haven’t seen in a while, and they already have stuff planned for us to do.  Most of the stuff we do is play sports, or do activities we’ve never done before. For an example, we’ve done dance classes, karaoke, gone hiking or camping and participated in a musical performance of “Grease”.  We’ve also done traditional sports like football, volleyball, tennis, soccer.

“People should try and get fit,” Freshman Melanie Montes, 14, said.

If people want to try to get fit, they can join a camp that focuses on sports or fitness. An example is Speciality camp at the YMCA. It focuses on more specific things a students want to do; like sports, music, teen adventure, farm or ranch experiences and many other stuff.

There are more camps, clubs and activities students can join if they have nothing to do.  At the YMCA, the have a variety of camps that people can join like surf camp, Raintree ranch, Camp Marston, Day camp, overnight camp.  Either way, all the camps help kids or teens make new friends or experience something new.  There is also a summer reading program at Escondido Public Library, that I will be volunteering at for community service.

  Students can go out and do activities, hang out with their friends or with their parents. They shouldn’t just stay at home, do nothing and go on their phones or computers.  There is nothing that is stopping them from going out and having fun.

Video club goes on air

By Laelia Nguyen

For anyone seeking the lifestyle of cameras, editing, broadcasting or on-camera interviews, Video Club has all there is to offer on the EHS campus. The Video Club, run by Mr. DeLaTorre, meets Wednesdays after school in Rm. 806.

  “It’s fun, it’s kind of stressful because there’s a deadline every week,” said DeLaTorre.

  The video club covered events such as the Celebrity Charity Slam basketball game, the Spring Dance Concert and various spring sports, both to document the events for the department involved, as well as for the newscasts which air every Friday.

  Students can also go to competitions, such as one for Public Service Announcements, the Ivy Awards, as well as the Del Mar Fair, to which the EHS Video Club can claim several awards for. Last year, the video club won one award at the Ivy Awards and two first place winners at the Del Mar Fair, one of which went to Senior Elliott DeNeve, 18, who once again has a good chance at success this year.

  “He wins pretty much anything he turns in,” said DeLaTorre.

  Students interested in majoring in Journalism, Broadcasting, TV & Film or English should consider signing up for video club, in which they can do anything from filming Friday night football games to writing scripts. However, Video Club is a demanding commitment, which requires a certain degree of responsibility and time, in order to attend all the prescribed events. Otherwise, any student who enjoys using cameras and technology, has good enthusiasm, or is comfortable with being in front of a camera is encouraged to join.

  Every year, Video Club is updating their technology, such as this year’s addition of the official website. Next year promises to be the best one yet, with the goal of live streaming events such as football games so students can watch in real time on the internet.