Senior Spotlight

Senior Spotlight: Connor Underwood

by Carlene Tausinga, Staff Writer

“Football isn’t Life. But the game plans are the same.” – Rich Kaveinga

All year round, senior spotlight, Connor Underwood, has juggled between AP courses and being an athlete. With an injury that required shoulder surgery, Connor wasn’t able to play football last year. As a fresh start, Underwood was able to come back ready to help spark miracles. Connor has ended his high school football career with an outstanding league championship, but the sports and victory don’t end now. As his high school football career closes it’s page, he is now opening another for the 2013- 2014 baseball season. Being on the field has greatly impacted and shaped who he is today. It has become a realization that eveConnor 1ry person who surrounds him, are competing to achieve the same goal, and only hard work requires to get it. Achieved or failed, dwelling upon it does him no good, but the experience he gets to take out of it and learn from is priceless. Besides the sweat, soreness, and physical pain, his mind is firmly set on his education.

He has been able to combine his athlete life with the college course classes, showing students that being an student- athlete is possible. He is a multi-tasker, involved in the Eagle Club, Operation Smile, for the past 3 years, proving to be a leader off the field. Leadership, perseverance, and endurance have all become a piece of him. But it isn’t only the sports and clubs that has shaped who he is. Leading role model, Coach Steve Shevlin has been by his side, creating a better and bigger person out of him, whether it is on or off the field. Connor hopes to continue baseball in college and to pursue a career in business. As graduation day comes closer, Underwood hopes to be remembered for his sportsmanship and friendship he had for everyone. If there is anything he will miss about high school , it will be being the people who know him inside and out. Connor Underwood: leader, achiever, student, athlete, smiler, has definitely lived his high school career to its fullest.

Senior Spotlight: Daniel Zeman

by Carlene Tausinga, Staff Writer

Zeman 1Senior Quarterback, Daniel Zeman, has come a long way. A road that has shaped who he is now and has bettered him for the future. He’s embraced the leadership, the priceless moments and the point of taking chances with no regrets. Football has catered to his greatness, by teaching him the real aspects of competition and the importance of striving. Sophomore year, Zeman played with a broken wrist on his throwing hand. As hurtful as that sounds, he lead the team to a league championship. Daniel has been seen for taking his burdens and putting his strength above it. Like a game plan that goes wrong, those set backs have made him realize that on the field, and especially in his life, he cannot let the unanticipated sudden checks, bring him down. When the day he raises his cap comes, he hopes to walk off this campus with a legacy: his respect, adversity and perseverance. The Friday night lights and the adrenaline rushing in his blood, the crazy unforgettable relationships made, and the moments that provoked laughter, will be by far, the momentsZeman 5 he will miss! He has realized that the touchdowns, throws and statistics in football will be forgotten, but the young man that grew in him, will always be preserved. Daniel, who was Seattle-made, and California-raised, moved to El Segundo his second grade year. By far, his childhood and youth has been great. He hands his utmost respect to the people who have played a massive role into creating his self-identity. From his coaches from his toddler days and present day and to his great support system: his family and friends who rooted him on near and afar. Daniel Zeman: Senior, Leader, Fighter and Believer, has definitely made his mark for the class of 2014.

Senior Spotlight: Kami Nomura

by Christine Lim,  Staff Writer


   Who’s that girl, who’s that girl? It’s Kami! Kami Nomura! You don’t know her? Well, you should! This girl is filled with fun and cute quirkiness. You just can’t not like her. She has a knack for brightening up anyone’s day through her cheerful personality, and she can crack you up with her stories. She uses her playfulness to her advantage. She may be the most cheerful and adorable friend you can have on campus. Many people must know that because, not only has Kami been nominated for Homecoming Princess of 2013, she also won that title.

    Not only is Kami a playful person, but she is also a hard worker when she needs to be. She lives for the now and works for the future. Kami has taken difficult classes such as APES, AP Psych, and AP Biology. She plans to become a middle school science teacher. Along with that, she one day hopes to travel throughout Asia and Europe.

    Kami has even more accomplishments. Kami has also been on ASB throughout her four years of high school, gaining positions such as Sophomore Secretary/Treasurer and Senior Governor. She has been elected as the 2013 ESHS Key Club Co-VP. Kami has been active in band for 3 years. She also twirls her flag as the Co-Flag Captain for Color guard. Even though she has all these amazing achievements, she still considers her greatest achievement to be surviving freshman year.

    When Kami is not busy with her difficult classes or carrying out her responsibilities for extra curriculars, she is playing the guitar and the piano and signings. She also loves doing arts and crafts.

    Kami balances her classes, responsibilities, and extracurriculars on a daily basis. But she also knows how to have fun! She has a fun personality, and she is super talented. As you can see, Kami Nomura is one incredible person!

Senior Spotlight: Christian Chavez


Christian Chavez and Mr. Eno

Team captain. Eagle Scout. ROTC scholar.  Outspoken critic of water fowl politics. Freedom fighter. Christian Chavez was a late addition to the Class of 2012 family. He moved here half way through his high school career, and despite the plethora of difficulties that he faced, Christian was able to overcome his status as The New Kid”, and has blossomed like a beautiful butterfly in the Sicilian Spring.

     Due to his East Coast upbringing, Christian’s summers were not full of the plentiful beach days that fill his friend’s nostalgic memories.  However, that has not deterred him from trying to make up for all of the lost time. While many El Segundo kids learn to surf practically before they can walk, Chavez has taken on the sport at the ripe old age of 18. While he is no where near the skill level of many others in the water, Christian’s tenacity is a testament to his character.  While he may be pearling left and right presently, he may be the greatest surfer on campus when he arrives at Colorado State.

     As captain of the Cross Country team, Chavez drove his team to victory, earning the boy’s team’s first CIF berth for over a decade through his own blood, sweat, and, most prevalently, tears. When Spring sprung forth, Christian again lead his team to victory after majestic victory, while bringing the blazing speed of the ESHS distance team to the campus of El Segundo High for the school’s first home track meet in over a millenia. While commanding his peons to glory, Chavez studied profusely, worked diligently, and ran with conviction as an individual as well, almost reaching the legendary 4 minute mark in the mile, and the 4.0 mark in his grades, Christian solidified his position as a colossus of clout, both on and off the track.

     Chavez has lofty goals ahead of him. While his academic and athletic excellence have earned him a full ride ROTC scholarship at the University of Colorado State, only a fool would believe he has peaked. After serving in the Air Force after graduation, Chavez plans to “Get a girl friend and go to Space. The likelihood of the former is somewhere between fissure hitting a Pidgeotto and Pvt. Church hitting his target. (The third person to tell me where both those references are from gets a dollar.)” Who knows, with a work ethic like Christian’s, anything is possible.


Senior Spotlight: Blake Kirschbaum

Blake Kirschbaum

     October 3, 1993. Santa Monica City Hospital. A series of events is about to conspire that will change the course of humanity forever. Dark clouds, heavy laden with their cargo, blot out the sunlight. Thunder crackles in the distance. The heavens pour as if Thor himself was releasing the contents of his mighty bladder. In a lone hospital room, a woman cries out, writhing in the pains of labor. Blake Kirschbaum has just been born. At the precise moment that his tiny and impeccably shaped nostrils first breathed the air of this world, the heavens cleared and golden rays of sunlight caressed the earth, as if to sing out in praise of the newborn savior. An ethereally beautiful rainbow arced across the sky. It was from that moment on that the world knew that Blake was destined for greatness.

     Even since childhood, Blake has been quite the interesting fellow. Growing up in Santa Monica, he had many interesting pastimes, including running away and starting minor forest fires. Blake recalls that as a child, he once hid in an antique store for an entire month to evade his parents who were looking for him. Blake also describes himself as a class clown, a perpetual jokester who loved a good prank. Blake found various succeses in high school, in both the arts and academics. While winning the ESUSD Reflections contest for photography multiple times, he also excelled in his class work.

     However, Blake cites his various travels across the globe as his most memorable moments. He has backpacked across New Mexico, hiked the hillsides of Wales, drank awful tea in England, SCUBA dived the Channel Islands, and visited 38 of the 50 states in his various expeditions. His greatest journey was during the summer before his senior year, when he volunteered 6 weeks to go live and teach on Catalina Island for the scout camp he frequented as a child. Blake is attending CU Boulder next year to study Journalism, and he plans to eventually travel the world and bring awareness of various global issues as a photojournalist.

Senior Spotlight: Codi Myers

Codi Myers

     Codi Myers is a name you will hear, ten years from now, in every bookstore, library, and talk show in the nation, as a New York Times best selling author. She is a writer extraordinaire who is on a mission. Codi Myers is destined for literary greatness. Codi prides herself on her writing more than anything. She has plans to write multiple novels in the young adult genre, as young adult novels have been her favorite variety, far before she was herself a young adult.

     While many of us have tried our hand at creative writing for its own sake, Codi is one of the few who not only stuck with writing after it became phased out of english classes, but excelled in it. She is currently laying the ground work for a number of novels, as well as working her way through actually writing her first. Codi describes her favorite aspect of writing fiction as “Universe building. There is nothing more excilerating than creating a mythos full of hidden details and minutia, and finely tuned conflicts.”

     A poetic marvel, Codi spends most of her free time typing out poem after poem. She describes her poetry as both an art and an outlet, allowing her to not just vent, but to articulate her ideas, molding her words, sculpting her idioms, and formulating her concepts into art. While poetry may presently just be a past time, and occasionally featured in school assignments, Codi is one of the few people who plan to carry on poetry into college and beyond, not just recreationally, but professionally as well, as she hopes to one day be published for her poetry, in addition to her writing.

     Codi is not defined purely by academics. In fact, she prides herself on her selflessness and compassion for her fellow humans above all of her other accolades. She volunteers a large portion of her free time totutor children who are falling behind, free of charge. She also dedicates large portions of her summer vacations to helping feed the needy by volunteering at homeless shelters and soup kitchens in Northern California. Codi plans to step up the level that she gives back to her community once she graduates from El Segundo High School.

     Academically, Codi is graduating at the top of her class. While it is not unspeakably extraordinary to graduate with 4 straight years of 4.0 GPAs, Codi managed to do so with an increadably rigorous class schedule, filled with half a dozen Advance Placement classes, as well as honors classes and a number of extra curricular activities, including choir and Key Club. Codi’s success brought her a number of prestigious scholarships from the various universities that recruited her. In the end, Codi decided to bring her talents north, to the University of California at Santa Barbra. There, she will continue her succeses in the Honors program, where she will earn a degree in English.

Senior Spotlight – Jennifer Mann

by: Anjeannette Aguilar

Look! Up in the sky! It’s a bird, is it a plane? No, it’s J-Mann! You may know Jennifer Mann, the hardworking and self-motivated student and beastly goal keeper! She never settles for less and always strives for the best. We are lucky to take a journey through the life of Jennifer Mann.

Where and when were you born?

Santa Monica – December 13, 1993

What are your relatives names?

Joyce and Jim Mann. Yes, we are all J-Mann’s. There are actually 7 J-Mann’s in my family :)

When did you start playing soccer?

I started playing soccer in kindergarten and played softball from 1st-8th grade. I also danced and did karate when I was younger.

Do you live in El Segundo?

I actually don’t live in El Segundo. I’ve lived in Westchester my whole life.

Where did you love for soccer originate?

My parents signed me up for soccer in kindergarten and I’ve stuck with it ever since. I can’t believe I’ve been playing for 13 years.

Why do you love the sport so much?

Soccer is my passion. Soccer is something I do for myself because I love it, not because I feel like I have to play. When I started playing club soccer in 7th grade, I loved soccer even more because it gave me the opportunity to play with so many talented players and coaches. I played club soccer through my senior year.

What are your hobbies?

Playing soccer year-round pretty much takes up all of my time. I also enjoy going to the beach, shopping, snowboarding, traveling with my family, and hanging out with Darcy Brown and Jessica Romano. ;)

If you can, describe how your freshman year was.

I loved my freshman year. I was fortunate to have great teachers, which made adjusting to high school easier. Mr favorite teachers were Mr. Lund, Dr. Gen, and Mr. Doering. I also made the varsity soccer team as a freshman. Beating South Torrance to win league and playing in the semi-final CIF game were definitely two of my favorite memories from freshman year.

Did anything change up to now as a senior?

I have changed some since freshmen year. I think everyone does, to some extent. I still play soccer and took all of the classes I had planned to take, but I know I have changed in other ways.

Name your accomplishments.

4 Years Varsity Soccer, ASB Commissioner of Community Relations, ASB Treasurer, 2 Years Link Crew, 2 Years MSA, Masonic Lodge Essay Contest Winner (10th grade), AP Calculus Roller Coster First Place Team, 4 Years Honor Roll, 4 Years CSF, AP Environmental Science, AP Calculus, AP Literature, AP Statistics, AP Physics.

What college are you planning on attending? Why ? what profession and major?

I’m not sure yet where I am going to college. I haven’t heard back from all of my schools yet. I applied to 11 colleges so I’m trying to keep my options open. I plan to study Environmental Studies and plan to work for the government with policymaking.