Senior Spotlight

Senior Spotlight: Kyle Azcuna

by Tiana Austel

As soon as Kyle Azcuna walked into the room he struck me with his sense of calm. Dressed in his trainer attire and tape on his knees Kyle exuded the aura of a hard-working, diligent young man who never gives up no matter what gets in his way.

Kyle is also a vital member of the class of 2011. He actively participates as the historian of the Spanish Club as well as the fundraising commissioner of Link Crew. He believes that the class of 2011 truly has huge academic potential, but “We just need to want the grades, we’re kind of lazy in that sense. We think that we cannot study, and just go in test day knowing a lot about the test.” However, if you really want to see Kyle in action, his involvement in the school sports as an athletic trainer demonstrates his true devotion to not only his school, but to his fellow friends and teammates.

As a athletic trainer for ESHS, Kyle participates in many different types of programs, assisting the team members during practices. From playing on the volleyball team (JV as a freshman and Varsity as a sophomore) he understands all the player’s needs and how to provide proper care. His duties include helping tape up the players when they get injured, stretching them out before games, giving out proper vitamins, and anything else that helps the players preform their best. Through training teams at ESHS Kyle has found his passion. He plans to pursue sports management or athletic training in college as a major with an emphasis on the medical aspect. His favorite aspect of being a team trainer is “seeing all of the athlete’s faces from the sideline and getting energy from both the crowd and the team.” Through seeing their faces he gets a satisfaction of a job well done.

When not cheering from the sidelines or preparing for a game, Kyle enjoys a colorful social life. He describes himself as “Someone who likes to have fun and likes to be random. Today I was meowing in Ms. Cvejic’s class and she was like ‘WHO’S MEOWING’ and I was like ‘I dunno.’ I always try to make everything fun when I’m doing stuff with my friends.’” He enjoys the little things in life like when he got one of the highest scores in the class and got a fortune cookie. Kyle’s energy is infectious and his laugh can light up a room. His down-to-earth personality makes him personable and easy to approach. Despite winning the Homecoming King crown, Kyle remains humble and sees himself as the normal high school boy.

When asked if he could take one item from his house before his house burned down Kyle enthusiastically replied “I’d take my dog Otis and run with him in my arms.” Another item that Kyle holds precious is his iPhone 4. He boasts that he never can be surprised because he “usually over-analyze situations and I can find out if they’re planning something. But I always try to act surprised.”

In his past Kyle used to be an intense gamer. He used to have his whole family from his father’s side over and raid in WoW. “I was a Dwarf Warrior in the alliance. Healing is for noobs.” Along with playing WoW Kyle also got swept up in the Pokemon phenomenon. “I always liked abra, because he doesn’t look like he does that much, but he can still do powerful attacks, like Psychic. I’ve always wanted to have telekinetic powers, and I thought Sabrina the gym leader was hot, in the mysterious kind of way.” He also used to brag to this friends that his “uncle in New York was the voice of Charmander in the first Pokemon movie.”

If he were ever to describe himself as a color Kyle would say “Emerald, like the deep green color of the ocean – It appeals to me, but I need to figure out why.” The stone Emerald represents hope, faith, justice, and unity. Also called the “Healing Stone” it seems perfect for Kyle who has a keen interest in the medical field.

Kyle Azcuna looks forward toward life after high school. With many goals in life, he especially wants to visit the Phillipines, in a fantastic journey of trial and conquest to unlock the secrets of his long-lost grandfather. He believes that after high school, there will come a time when he will seek more new opportunities in the times to come.

Senior Spotlight: Marija Dargyte

by Nikki Ochoa

Called a dirty hipster by some, and an immigrant by others, Marija Dargyte keeps it honestly by simply describing herself as “beautiful, irresistible, ideal and perfect.” Causally put, she’s a girl who likes the quiet, takes baths before nine, and trails off into fantasies consisting of the wilderness and men with nice cheekbones.

Born in Kaunas, Lithuania, Marija recalls many events and incidents from her childhood. She recalls a time when she wanted to stay up late with her family, but being 3, her endeavor was impossible. Her early days as a strong independent child eventually culminated in her move to the United States:

“I remember, the day my parents told me we were to move to America. The concept was so vague to me; it seemed to me that it was only temporary. I remember flying to America, and upon landing, I remember my first night,  we slept on the floor on blankets. It was May, and yet it was cold.”

Nevertheless, eventually Marija found herself in the city of El Segundo in her sophomore year. Although at first she hated it, now she feels “I’m so popular and beautiful, and everyone only wishes they could be me, I can’t help being so mesmerizing.”

Marija can best be described as…precocious. And precious. Her sense of humor shapes her into somewhat of a cynical sort. “I’m really bitter. Everything is satire. People hate me because of my dark humor.” However misinterpreted her humor may be, what can be agreed on by all is her uniqueness. It is something to be admired, she is articulate,and a complete breath of fresh air.

“I’m religious, I have no artistic capabilities. I only get off my computer to pee and eat at the same time. One trip, saves so much time. don’t watch a lot of T.V. but I prefer comedy shows and documentaries.  All of this and more, from a girl who claims “I’m not interesting.” The list goes on and on indefinitely, and describes the ever mysterious Marija Dargyte.

Senior Spotlight: Daniel Szetho

by Jeff Liu

On that fateful day, January 5, 1993, the world witnessed an influx of charisma from the Torrance Memorial Hospital when it was graced by the birth of Daniel Szetho, human extraordinaire. As an eminent member of the class of 2011, Daniel has led a dynamic, enriching life full of adventure and self-discovery.

When asked that ubiquitous question on how he would describe himself, Daniel replies with one simple but profound statement: “Hungry.” He explains that “I have always had a dissatisfaction toward things as they are; not to sound ungrateful, but I’m always wanting more and I believe hard work will get you far.” Daniel has taken this enthusiasm for everything to heart, and he has taken the time to participate in anything that comes his way in life. Skateboarding, surfing, guitar, drumming are only a few of the many hobbies that he had once taken up, and while most of them have come and gone, some still linger on in Daniel’s life. Ukulele, photography, blogging, and volunteering have remained as true passions for him. “I like a lot of things, I just see something really awesome and I’ll love it because of the new experiences.”

One of these new experiences has definitely been My Ninja!, a clothing line where Daniel is currently interning. He is primarily involved in merchandising at events, but looks forward to designing shirts and other clothing. Through working with My Ninja!, he became a part of many events, working with renown groups such as Far East Movement and helping organize concerts for them in New York and Los Angeles. Daniel, however, has also shared his opportunities with others through his community service work, bringing the music and arts to children in underprivileged neighborhoods.

“If you love a class, no matter how hard it is, you love it.” These words echo Daniel’s sentiments in school. In addition to taking rigorous courses such as AP Biology, AP Calculus and AP Environmental Science, he involves himself in many extracurriculars. Apart from his duties as ASB Vice President, he also leads the Asian Culture Club as secretary and head of public affairs. Daniel has also taken part in different sports, including track, where he ran the 100 and 400 meter dashes, and threw shot put, as well as water polo and soccer. Although he is very active in sports, Daniel says “I believe in recreational sports and I like the competitive spirit of sports; but they are just recreation, and not life. Your body is just an instrument, and once it breaks you need your mind.”

Daniel has definitely prepared himself for the future he wants, but at the same time, he assures himself to continue remaining flexible and open to everything that will come his way. He plans to stay in California for college, aiming for San Diego, where he notes is the “perfect distance away.” Daniel intends to pursue premedical studies, and strives to become a physician, the one career that he truly desires. Yet, his plans do not stop there, as he wants to also travel to and live in another country, such as Japan, for several months. Though nothing is set in stone, Daniel does take one vow: “No matter what, I’m going to be a good father, regardless of how bad things are. You can’t make your goals extravagant; a good father is a good father no matter the circumstances.”

Indeed, many can learn from Daniel’s experiences. The secret to his success, he believes, is confidence: “You have to remove the fear from your life and just go.”

Senior Spotlight: Fernando Garcia

“You want me to describe myself? Is this seriously what you ask? Well, I’d say I’m a very complex individual, with multiple personality disorder…deeply disturbed.” Fernando Garcia is a person you remember. Through his wit he communicates an uncommon honesty. He is a boy who can be quoted for saying “I like turtles” and, quite contrastingly, can be noted for making pensive remarks about the nature of humanity. “I think there are two sides to them [people], they are really selfish, impulsive, and don’t really look at the grand scheme and consequences of things. But when it comes down to it there’s much good in the human race. They can see the faults in what they’ve done and they try to redeem themselves by attempting to solve problems that are much larger than themselves, which is admirable.” Where did such a thoughtful, fantastic creature come from you ask? Well, Fernando Garcia was born a Gemini on June 18th 1992. He attended Kelso Elementary School, Home of the Cheetahs in Inglewood. In 2006 he moved to El Segundo, which he recalls as, “The best thing that’s ever happened to me. In Inglewood I was stuck at home all day. It wasn’t really safe to go out. When I came here I was like a deer set loose. I was free.” Fernando definitely carries an aura of freedom about himself. He appreciates the simple and raw, and emulates such. Although it may be true that he would be happy spending his days with a fishing rod by the river under the shade of a fine southern sapling, Fernando remains ambitious. “I want more, I need to do more for life. I think after high school I’ll be able to take matters into my own hands. I really want to explore and be introduced to new concepts and ideas.” Garcia revealed the top school he wants to go to as, “UC Santa Cruz, it’s in the middle of a forest, away from the big city and stuff.” As for after college Fernando is set on experiencing as much of the world as he can, through learning about different cultures and traveling to the far off lands that are rich with such exotic manners. It must be said though, that Fernando already has a fair share of unique talents and knowledge under his belt. “The harmonica is my strength. I can play accordion too, it’s in the key of C.” And as many people might already know, Fernando works at Jim’s Exotic Fish. He finds the fish to be highly stimulating and has a collection of colorful creatures all his own. “I really like my pets. They’re really interesting.” Fernando’s passion for the natural world is apparent. When asked to comment on the undefined spiritual world he replied that he did believe in God, for he feels like “I’ve been able to overcome tremendous odds that I wouldn’t have been able to overcome if I were just a creation of mere chemical reactions and atoms. I see the grand scheme of nature and how it’s so perfect in its imperfection.” For such a laid-back, joke crackin’ kind of kid, an interview such as this was quite unexpected and heavy. When asked if he wanted to switch the topic in order to keep the mood light-hearted, he replied, “ I want to make people cry.” Fernando inspires. And he is for certain, one of a kind. As members of El Segundo High School, and as people of the free world we are lucky to have such a celestial being in our direct radius. Fernando, like the Prophet he is, left us with words God himself might have whispered into his ear. “I’m like a can of soup. The picture is much different than what is inside.”

Senior Spotlight: Camryn Tiner

She is: The lightning gesticulator, the Spanish fraulein of krav maga, the walking enigma in the hallways that will leave you nonplussed after walking by her. Who could fulfill these roles other than the lioness herself?

Camryn Leann Tiner.

Born April 7, 1993 and raised in the fast-paced neighborhood of West LA, Camryn attended Westchester Lutheran Church and School throughout her earlier years, participating in many activities such as cheer, Junior Thespians, choir, and drama. The busy Camryn has not, however, let all these events fill up her schedule, “I spend a lot of time with my family, talking about our days, and if I’m alone, I dancing around my house.” As time passed, she eventually found her true calling in Spanish, falling in love with the language after discovering the wonders of “ser” and “estar,” two Spanish forms of the English phrase, “to be.” Since the fateful encounter with that snippet of grammar, Camryn has become fluent in the language, and has visited Europe numerous times, engrossing herself in the cultural oasis that is España. She is now an active member and secretary of the Spanish Club at El Segundo High School.

El Segundo itself  has been a new and different world for Camryn, yet she quickly adapted and settled down in El Segundo High School. With the help of her mother –whom she considers one of her best friends, but still her loving parent– and her father –who taught her many life lessons, Camryn slowly became acquainted with the small town. She has excelled in a variety of difficult academic courses, meeting and surpassing every challenge in her way, all the while appreciating the world around her. “Ups and downs would be an understatement, but I have definitely enjoyed my time here,” says Camryn, who has also found solace and fun with her best friends at school, seniors Sierra Sparling, Tiffany Sevilla, and


In her last year of high school, Camryn is looking forward to pursuing international relations (in which college), with the prospect of working with foreign countries to resolve global issues. She has explored many other interesting careers throughout her lift, including, but limited to, becoming a physician –particularly a plastic surgeon–, working with children, as well as becoming a biology teacher. In retrospect, she fondly remembers all the good memories she has had with friends at ESHS:

Always optimistic and looking toward the future, Camryn knows that “I can do whatever I want if I put my mind to it.” And for Miss Tiner, the future is definitely shining

Senior Spotlight: Julianne Allison

Senior Spotlight: Julianne Allison –by Emma Smith

“Juju is the type of friend everyone hopes to find. She’s the kind of person who is always there when you need her, who always wants to make sure you’re happy. I’m lucky to know her.” These words, spoken by senior Stephanie Aceves, seem to sum up the general character of Julianne Allison. She makes up an integral part of El Segundo High School not only in an academic sense, but also through her 4-year participation in aquatic sports. Julianne has been on the Girls’ Varsity Swim Team since freshman year. That first year, she was also on the JV Girls’ Waterpolo Team; for the past three years she has made Varsity. “Being in both sports has made me…more appreciative towards my teammates…Because of great experiences in these sports I want to later play in college.” This love of such athletic activities has given Julianne what many seniors are currently searching for –an idea of what she wants to study and what career she would like to pursue: “When I was younger I always wanted to be the person that made a difference for anyone. Now I still want to make a difference for someone but my approach is going towards sports medicine.”

The idea of transitioning from childhood dreams to future realities, from high school to college is one that both haunts and liberates ESHS seniors in this next month and a half. Julianne definitely embraces the experience, acknowledging that the past four years have been a learning experience that has made her “ready to go out to the world and go to college and start making something of my life.” She looks forward to attending Santa Monica College after graduation, enabling her to continue participating in waterpolo and swimming; Julianne also intends to take part in the SMC honors program, in order to transfer to UCLA later on. Her strategic future goals focus on what she loves to do, with the support of friends and family. “They all have been there for me and have supported me with anything that I needed.” This is especially true of Julianne’s grandfather, who “tells me to take on any challenge that faces me and to never give up no matter how hard it may be.” His memorable reminder to his granddaughter is one that many would do well to remember: Life is too short to give up so take risks.

El Segundo High School has provided Julianne numerous opportunities to follow her grandfather’s advice, both academically and in the pool. One such event constitutes her favorite high school memory when, as a sophomore, she won CIF with the Girls’ Varisty Swim Team. “Michelle Saldana, Chelsea Kemp, Kailey Makuta, Courtney Rava, Colette Gulick, and I” won that title for the first time in ESHS history. Over the next few years Julianne will certainly find occasions to break new personal ground, in accordance with the her familial motto.

As a last comment from her, “Good Luck to all the seniors with their decisions after high school and to all other students with the rest of their time here at ESHS.”

Senior Spotlight: James Quinones

Senior Spotlight: James Quinones –by Emma Smith

“[I’ve] never limited myself to one dream. I have wanted to do anything and everything possible to be successful, always [dreaming] big.” For those who know senior James Burk Quinones, there can be no doubt that he is on his way to achieving those dreams.

Jimmy is well known throughout the ESHS community for his time on the football and baseball fields. Being a two-sport athlete is time-consuming to say the least, leaving little time for other extracurricular activities or the opportunity to stop and smell the roses. But Jimmy has definitely not regretted his sports involvement at the high school: “My activities have been pretty strictly football and baseball. They are both full time jobs, but I’ve loved every second of it. The community supports both sports so well and that makes it a really great thing to be a part of.” This all-in attitude bolsters Jimmy’s success on both fields, and will surely translate to his future goals as well. In spite of all the sacrifices success on both teams has required, plenty of his most memorable high school moments were made on the field. “Playing Serra in the CIF semi-finals was something that I will never forget as long as I live.”

Another major reason behind Quinones’ athletic dedication is his brother, Mike. As Jimmy’s major influence in life, “he is always the one who pushed me, whether it was in sports or just in life. He has set the bar extremely high and I can only hope to accomplish the kind of things he has. He was such a dominant athlete and so well respected by those who knew him, I can only hope to live up to his name.” Family has always been an important facet of Jimmy’s life, forming his support system and “making me the best I can be” on and off the field. Outside his athletic aggressiveness, he is an intelligent and considerate human being.

Despite his close ties to this community, Jimmy Quinones, like so many seniors, is eager to leave El Segundo. “I am pumped to graduate. ESHS has given me so much over my four years, but I am ready to move on to bigger and better things. I am ready to test myself in the real world.” While the next few years will not be easy for any graduating senior, Jimmy is clearly willing to work for his future. Planning to study Business at San Diego State, this senior views tomorrow as an opportunity to prove himself. The athletic star and all-around amiable guy is determined to truly be an independent young adult: “I want to prove to myself that I can be successful without everything being handed to me,” –an admirable goal by anyone’s standards.