Perspective on Student Leadership

By Abby Steckel

I would define leadership at Berkeley High as the act of bringing diverse perspectives into conversation and planning actions to move towards improvement. To be a leader is not to speak for people, but to give them the ability to speak for themselves.

This year, BHS was devastated by an incredibly racist threat directed at black students and made on a library computer. For many, campus no longer felt like a safe space, if it ever had. Moreover, black students’ voices were and are undermined by the prejudices that exist at BHS, in Berkeley, and in the U.S. The next morning, less than 24 hours after the threat was made, the Black Student Union organized a walkout that gave powerful voice to the thoughts, feelings and needs of the black community. A large majority of the student body participated in the protest, attracting great attention and publicity as thousands of high schoolers marched from BHS to Old City Hall and then to Sproul Plaza at UC Berkeley. Throughout the day, the BSU supported students as they spoke about racism and how to address it at BHS.

To me, what the BSU did and continues to do embodies the definition of leadership. The BSU facilitated the leadership of hundreds of other students in demanding action and creating a space for it to occur. This leadership extended far past the BHS campus, igniting discussion in the greater Bay Area and across the country. The Washington Post, based in D.C., reported on the walkout, in addition to many local newspapers. These events set a precedent of discussion and action and showed a huge capacity for student leadership.

I don’t think anyone would say that BHS has found or implemented a solution to racism, just as I hope no one would claim that the U.S. has remedied its history of racial oppression. However, the fact that students made sure that the threat’s terrible impact was at the forefront of conversation was an essential aspect of their leadership, and a key step towards progress.


The Importance of Leadership

By Rosie Ward

By definition, leadership is “the action of leading a group of people or an organization”. Other dictionary sources define leadership as “the position or function of a leader, a person who guides or directs a group”. These definitions are correct, but my years in leadership have taught me that leadership is far more than these surface-level definitions.


I first became interested in leadership in middle school. My family had just moved from the suburbs of Atlanta, Georgia to Berkeley, California. I wanted to learn more about my new town and school so I joined the School Governance Council.


In the SGC meetings I did learn more about my school and town. However, I was also given a taste of what leadership was like. I suddenly loved the sense of having the ability to make change. I was able to share my opinions and thoughts with various faculty and teachers. This inspired me; I had a voice.


So, when I graduated from middle school and became a Berkeley High freshman, I applied to be part of the ASB freshman leadership team. To my delight, my application was accepted and I became a class deputy.  As a deputy, I now have the ability to voice an opinion on topics regarding dances, events, school-wide decisions, and much more.


As a part of ASB Leadership I have the chance to share my opinions and see those opinions make a direct change. This is why standard leadership definitions don’t say enough- they don’t mention a leader’s ability to create change.


Applications are now available for appointed leadership positions and available in the Leadership Office. Appointed positions include Chief of Clubs and Organizations, Chief of Social Activities, ASB Secretary, ASB Treasurer, Resident DJ, Commissioner of the Arts, Commissioner of Health and Athletics, Commissioner of Elections, Commissioner of Environmental Sustainability, Commissioner of Achievement, Commissioner of Multicultural Affairs, and Commissioner of Technology. Applications are also open for class treasurer, class secretary, and class deputy.


Leadership is a course everyone should consider joining. Having the ability to make school decisions is an incredible opportunity. Apply for 2016-2017 leadership positions!

Greatly Appreciated Staff

Thank you to everyone that contributed to the Staff Appreciation Lunch at the end of the fall semester. We had tacos courtesy of Achievers Inc., desserts and prizes from the community, and a fun fire alarm to bring the festivities to end the party. Thank you to everyone who contributed to the event!

Victor Aguilera got the prize of the day by getting tickets to that night’s Warriors game. Lucky guy!

Game time!

Talent Show 2016 Auditions Begin February 1

If you are interested in rapping, singing, jamming out with your band, doing magic or stand up comedy, circus acts, among other possibly talents, please consider sharing your greatness with the BHS community at the annual Talent Show. The Talent Show will be Friday, March 25 in the Little Theater, but first you and/or your friends will need to audition to be part of the program.

Sign-ups are available now outside of the leadership office in the cafeteria. There are time slots available during lunch or after school beginning from February 1 and ending February 10. Please sign up soon!

Talent Show 2016!

Link Crew Hosts Free Coffee & Hot Cocoa Cart

Link Crew hosted a free hot beverage day before the first period of final exams. There were at least 250 drinks that were served by Travelin’ Joe.  Link Leaders also distributed the following tips for a more successful experience during final exams.

Coffee Day Final Exam Link Crew


Final Exam Schedule

  • Wednesday, January 20
  • 1st 8:30 – 10:30 am    2nd period 10:40 – 12:40 pm     Lunch 12:40 – 1:20     Review/Make-up 1:26 – 2:47
  • Thursday, January 21
  • 1st 8:30 – 10:30 am    2nd period 10:40 – 12:40 pm     Lunch 12:40 – 1:20     Review/Make-up 1:26 – 2:47
  • Friday, January 22
  • 1st 8:30 – 10:30 am    2nd period 10:40 – 12:40 pm     Lunch 12:40 – 1:20
  • The spring semester begins Tuesday, January 26.


Need tutoring? The Learning Center (​D221/ the CCC) is always open Monday – Thursday from 3:30 – 6:00. The Learning Center will be open from 12:30 – 3:30 after each final exam period, Jan. 20 – 21.

Here are some last minute tips:

  • Remember to get enough sleep!
  • Have a good and filling breakfast each morning.
  • Studying is only efficient for so long. Use the short days to study for the next test. Take short breaks in between studying where you aren’t focused on your work and can recharge.
  • Check your powerschool the week before finals to make sure you’re not missing any assignments.
  • If you are worried about a final, take advantage of that teacher’s office hours to ask questions. You teachers are required to stay after school after finals and will be there from around 12-3
  • Make flashcards! I didn’t understand how valuable they were until I was nearly done with my sophomore year.
  • Make your notes colorful and organized; it will make you happy to look at them and therefore motivate you to review and study.
  • Drink lots of water.
  • Wear your favorite sweatpants and fuzzy socks to finals week and make sure you are awake enough to function properly.
  • Bring snacks! (I love Kind bars and tangerines!)
  • Have a positive attitude. Chances are if you really think you can do it then you can!!
  • Eat your favorite food after finals. Treat yourself.
  • Use to calculate the grade you’ll need on your fnal to get your desired grade in the class
  • Being nervous before the test is good because it drives you to study, but it doesn’t help to be anxious as you get the test or while you take it. So breathe and do your best.
  • Make sure to do all the problems you are the most comfortable with to start off with a bang and come back to any problems you might be struggling at the end of the test.
  • Relax. You’ve got this!

2016-17 Elected Candidate Applications are Available!

If you are interested in unifying groups, speaking up about issues at hand, or want to create fun and spirited activities, consider serving on the ASB Leadership team as a representative on one of the three bodies of student leadership. Look below for list of positions and available applications. Follow this link to the Applications page.

Applications are available here or in the Leadership Office in the cafeteria.

Leadership Job Descriptions 2016 – 17

Class Leadership

application – 15 class treasurer, secretary, deputy (Available in early March 2016)

Executive Team Applications

application – 16 class president,

vice president application 16

application 16 asb pres, vp, service, publicity

Application for Executive Team Appointed (Available in early March 2016)

Student Senate Applications

Application – 16 school board rep

application – 16 BSEP, SSC


Holiday Meal 2015

Thank you to the BHS Community!
The Holiday Meal is an event that allows for the intrinsic altruism of our community to shine. With over 300 guests and over 300 volunteers, the energy in the building was extremely positive. We also did our best to make the best of what was left from the meal. Leftover food was delivered to the Harrison House and to the All Souls Church. Five bins of food were picked up by the Alameda County Food Bank. Unclaimed clothing has been brought to a local Goodwill. It is an understatement to say that this was a team effort to make the Holiday Meal such a success.Big thanks go out to the Mayumi Rubin-Saika, current Chief of Service, was the organizer of the meal She raised the level of organization and community contributions. Thanks also to Tom Watts, for leading the charge in the kitchen. Gitara “G” Spinks, BHS Head Chef, also played a huge part in the kitchen and delivering the food to the Harrison House. Thank you also to all of the cooks that prepped the pasta dishes and the soup cart.

The following businesses contributed to the meal: Andronico’s, Trader Joe’s, Cheeseboard, ACME Bread, Monterrey Market, and The Dorothy Day House contributed to the toiletry drive hosted by the BHS Homeless Support Club.

Local families also gave many prepared turkeys, hams and other tasty dishes. Thank you to the contributing families: Betts, Lakireddy, Thomason, Goldstein, Hart, Grubb, Bigelow-Teller, Schonberg, Akiyama, Dorward, Hummel, Lee, Goldman, Wild, Rubin-Saika, Rowland, Sawyer, Katz, Stevens, Meuris, Love, Ehrengerger, Citragno, Truskier, Scheuer, Sherman, Aaron, Weber, Beeman, Suttie, Arbitblit, Smith, Elowitz, O’Keefe, Stralka, Havilan, Eccles, Levitch, Gross, Brosgart, Luevano, Marston, Ratto, Duignan, Wilkins, Casado, Gottlieb, Jacobs, Galbraith, Jeanneau, Fichtenkort, Tezza, Wrubel, Kramp, Galbraith, Johnson, Ambrose, Cohen, Waters, Reichert, Sharma Prunet, Mahar, Maurer, Lerner, Richmond, Alladin, Evans, Omori, Zukor, Waters, Waldman, Davenport, LaFetra, Drinkwater, Sperber, Takaro, Ambrose, Haug, Berger, Reed, Wallin, Williams, Major, Soe, Lamb, Anscher, Choy, Slemp among other anonymous donors!

AND a big thanks to the 300-plus volunteers who showed up during the two days. You contributed over 700 hours of total volunteer time. This could not be done without your help! If you need documentation for service hours, include Mr. V as the contact person for your service hours.

Berkeley High Holiday Dinner 2015 Photos:

Berkeley High Holiday Dinner 2015 Video (4 minutes):
If you can’t wait until next year’s Holiday Meal, consider looking up the hours and dates of a local soup kitchen to volunteer. (St. Mark’s Episcopal Church, First Presbyterian Church of Berkeley)