April 15, 2014

O’Dowd Students Visit Memorial to Holocaust Victims

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National Honor Society Inducts 2013 – 2014 New Members


Written by Johannsen Tan

On the evening of Thursday, March 20, 2014, 28 dressed up Dragons entered the transformed, orange and brown themed library. For what, you ask? They entered the library to be initiated into the National Honor Society (NHS), a nationwide organization that recognizes outstanding high school students.

As the inductees sat in the comfortable library chairs, many reminisced all the hard work they have done in their studies and extra-curriculars. Many of these inductees come from various walks of life in the O’Dowd community, from being a member of the varsity basketball team to assistant editor-in-chief of student publications.

Click photo thumbnail to view full size. Full size images can be right clicked and downloaded.

The ceremony began with a welcome by the NHS President, Caroline Desler and a prayer by the NHS Treasurer, Johannsen Tan. This laid the foundation for two beautiful speeches, one by principal, Pam Shay, and the other by NHS Secretary, Emily Fieberling. Pam Shay addressed the inductees and brought light upon each inductee’s achievement. Her address brought words of encouragement that told each inductee to keep pushing to show the best in themselves and to never be afraid of failure because failure breeds success and innovation. Following the address was the reflection, which left the audience speechless. NHS Secretary, Emily Fieberling, explained the difference of what the National Honor Society had been and what it became for her, which she explained, “NHS transformed into something more than another acronym, but a reminder that I get to stand along with the best that O’Dowd community has to offer.”

When the speeches were done, Rachel Wilson, NHS Vice-President Siena Vendlinksi, Claire Ganksi and Bakare Awakoaiye came up to talk and light the candles of the NHS principles of scholarship, leadership, service, and character. Seeing peers walk up and talk about these principles made everyone take a step back and realize their accomplishments. Maya Ephrem, a new inductee of the class of 2014, joyfully stated, “I feel inspired being honored with and by so many people that truly embody all of NHS’s values of character, service, leadership, and scholarship.” After the lighting of the last candles, the induction started. As the new inductees’ names were announce, each came up with big smiles and signed the NHS booklet and received their pin and a yellow rose. Then the recitation of pledge happened and shortly after a nice reception.

As the library began to revert itself to its normal look, each family that walked out was proud of their son or daughter because they knew in their hearts that their son or daughter had the potential of being one of the innovators and leaders of tomorrow.

Below are the names of NHS new members:

Maki Asrat
Olivia Bernadel Huey
Nate Zexi Ding
Maya Ephrem
Cristina Riani
Isabella Frediani
Tara Viviani
Emily Zeme
Emma DeWitt
Torrey Hart
Anna Hawkins
Sebastian Hurtado
Isabella Johnson
Kaytlyn Lozano
Chris LeBoa
Ryan Poon
Jeevin Sandhu
Rui Sun
Anashe Barton
Alice Beittel
Lauren Choy
Bryan Cardenas
Phoebe Chung
Meredith Nix
Kendall Post
Elena Straus
Mackenzie Mills
Julia Cooke

Below are the names of current NHS members:

Bakare Awakoaiye
Kyle Carlson
Dimetrius Casares
Caroline Desler
Emily Feiberling
Claire Ganski
Taylor Hobbs
Vanessa Kellar-Saxton
Loren Lassiter
Alexandra McGrath
Katelyn O’Keefe
Sienna Parker
Nadia Perl
Jacob Shay
Johannsen Tan
Siena Vendlinski
Caitlin Walsh
Ethan Wang
Garrett Woodworth
Rachel Wilson
Lily Zaballos
Marco Zepeda

Girl’s Play Powder Puff Football for Fight Against Cancer

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Photos by Ela Bialek.


April 14, 2014

Gene Yang wins LA Times Book Prize for Young Adult Literature

Gene Luen Yang’s critically acclaimed, New York Times Best-Selling graphic novel diptych Boxers & Saints has won the LA Times Book Prize for Young Adult Literature.

Boxers & Saints is the first ever graphic novel to win the LA Times Book Prize in a non-graphic novel category. The graphic novel is a two book recounting of the events of China’s Boxer Rebellion — one book told from the perspective of the Boxers, the other from their Chinese Catholic victims.

Gene Luen Yang says, “I’m deeply, deeply grateful to the Los Angeles Times, the judges, and all the other fine folks who put together this past weekend. Being acknowledged by the LA Times for this particular project has special resonance for me. One of the protagonists of Boxers & Saints, Vibiana, shares the same name as the patron saint of the city of Los Angeles.”

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Ron Gutman – The Hidden Power of Smiling


2014 Art Festival


Memorial to children murdered by Nazis in Lidice


Students are on the Holocaust Study Tour, one of the many powerful experiences to be had at O’Dowd.

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Project based Learning at O’Dowd

Project based learning, such as that used in the Engineering Physics course at Bishop O’Dowd, is a powerful way to engage students in academic content. In this lesson the students build musical instrument to demonstrate their conceptual knowledge of the physics of waves and sound. The instruments must be tuned to within 2%, play at 75db at 2 meters, and  look artistic. The lesson also serves to reenforce the concepts of inverse proportions, inverse square functions, experimental design, and the engineering design cycle.


Students leave to Galapagos, Costa Rica, Belize and Baja


Students leave for Belize.

Annual science trips to Galapagos, Costa Rica, Belize and Baja have begun. Stay tuned for pics from the field.


Class of 2018 Welcomed to O’Dowd

Members of Bishop O’Dowd High School’s Class of 2018 gathered together as a group for the first time at the new student orientation, “Navigating O’Dowd,” held on campus April 12. The program is designed to help students achieve a smooth transition into high school, and to educate parents about O’Dowd’s programs and services.

The event began in the large gymnasium, where President Steve Phelps and Principal Pam Shay welcomed the parents and students, and Associated Student Body President Maki Asrat ’14 talked about her O’Dowd experience.

The students then headed to the football field, where current O’Dowd students engaged them in fun, team-building activities. Their parents, meanwhile, remained in the large gym where they participated in a parallel orientation session that featured presentations by administrators, teachers and counselors.

After the formal program, the students and their parents had an opportunity to meet with faculty, staff, students and coaches who were at informational tables in the annex and on the Quad. They also had a chance to purchase Dragon logo wear.


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