Taking Initiative by Alexandra

Alexandra Arriola


As a leader at Berkeley High, I define leadership as taking initiative and leading people by working together to get things done. A leader doesn’t just tell people what to do, rather they work with people, and allow them to come to their own conclusions and come up with ideas to help the community as a whole. Leaders are people who empower and encourage others to do well. Leaders work with others to complete certain goals or intended outcomes. Leaders create something new and inspire and influence others while doing so.

This year I observed students come together to safely participate in Unity Week and show their spirit for our school. I think this happened because we were given the opportunity to show our spirit, and we did it in a safe and responsible way to show the administration that our school might be able to participate in these kind of events once again. I suppose something similar to this happens outside of school such as the support for the sports teams that has increased recently. I know I, myself, had been attending more sports games such as the basketball, lacrosse, and volleyball games. The “who” is the student body, especially the upperclassmen. The “what” is showing spirit for our school by participating in Unity Week. The “when” was during Unity Week in October and the “why” is because we were given the opportunity by the school and the “how” is through dressing up every day of that week. I don’t know how I will apply this information in the future, maybe by safely participating in spirit events at college or other places outside of school. With all this in mind, I see leadership as not only one person taking initiative and leading others, but also, a whole group of people taking initiative to get what they believe they deserve, such as a Spirit Week at school.

Setting an Example by Miles

Miles Kelekian


I think the fact that being a leader is something you have to earn really shapes the definition and how people see us. This perspective has also occurred by the encouragement that everyone has the ability to be a leader, if they are passionate and set their mind to it.

Yes, this definitely happens outside of school! We see it in authoritary figures who are democratically elected to make decisions that affect us as citizens.

The “who” of my observations is my fellow students, who often need a leader to turn to. Students are the key to bringing a school together as a united community, and making their school experience the best it can be is one of our jobs as leaders at Berkeley High. The “what” would be an ideal school for everyone – students, teachers, administration, ect. Whatever small steps we can make towards creating this successful school shows positive progress. “When” would have to be both now and the future. This group of students will only be at Berkeley High for a little while longer, so we want to make change now, but also set this school up for long-term success for future students. The “how” is probably the hardest to directly examine, because there are so many ways to make Berkeley High a better, safer, stronger place. But identifying and addressing which problems are most pressing and would benefit the most people is the most efficient technique in making BHS work better.

I think this information can help us understand what student think is working and what is not working at BHS, but we should definitely incorporate more opportunities for students to suggest their own ideas to leadership so they can impact the school even if not directly involved in ASB Leadership.

Leadership is taking on the responsibility of shaping a group of united individuals into the most prosperous community they can be, where every individual is equally represented, understood, and respected.

Leaders of the Millennial Generation by Izumi

Izumi de los Rios Kobara

When I think about leadership, it brings to mind the leaders in the world, the many people who hold power and the worth and substance they bring to the world with the authority they hold. Do the leaders of our world bring about social justice? This question interests me, puzzles me, frustrates me. I truly believe that there are people out there that want to and have the ideas to make positive change in our world. But their inability to attain true power because of their integrity or non establishment ideas infuriates me. The way that we pick leaders in this country and in the world is imperfect. And we live in an imperfect world, I get it. But to me the true purpose of leadership is to work for social justice in a way that excites you. Leaders are best when they are passionate, intrigued and invested in what they are working on and the reward is justice, not money or fame.

When you see one of the leaders rise up against odds, against socio economic misfortune, against the establishment you see true leadership. For example Cesar Chavez or Bernie Sanders have the type of passion and honor that you expect from leaders but frequently we do not see.

The future of leadership is promising for these people. America has begun to recognize the problems in the power structures and we certainly have begun to recognize them at BHS. I believe that people fighting for social change and social justice are the true leaders of the millennial generation and I see them at BHS.

This is the only course of action in our school, our country and our world. It is becoming increasingly clear that we need reform on environmental protection, investment in renewable energy; we need solutions to the embedded racism and sexism in this country; we need innovation in restorative justice; we need to halt disenfranchisement and so much more. This is why the leaders of the future will have to be social justice advocates, people of color, women, LGBT etc.

Hellen Keller said, “Until the great mass of the people shall be filled with the sense of responsibility for each others welfare, social justice can never be attained. And I really believe that day will come.

2016 BHS Prom ticket sales

Prom 2016 is here! You can look forward to a great celebration with your friends and classmates at the amazing Scottish Rites Center facing beautiful Lake Merritt in Oakland.

Saturday, April 16, 2016

The theme is “007” for all you spy and adventure lovers.

There will be live music, photobooths, professional portraits, plenty of food and beverages, as well as music and a live performer. And, YES! The CHOCOLATE FOUNTAIN is back!!!

Juniors & Seniors are welcome to attend. Each BHS student must have 30 or less unverified period absences. Check PowerSchool for your attendance numbers. You have a week or so to write an appeal letter or discuss your options with the attendance office.



March 14 – March 25 – $75 or $65 with ASB sticker

March 26 – April 15 $85 general, $75 free & reduced lunch / ASB sticker

Cash or check payable to BHS ASB accepted at lunch or after school in the leadership office (cafeteria)

Credit/Debit card is accepted online at http://bhsprom2016.brownpapertickets.com/

Berkeley High’s Got Talent 2016 recap & video

Berkeley High’s Got Talent 2016

Berkeley High’s Talent & Achievement Show last Friday was a big success, with 16 outstanding performances, audience participation. Student Activities Director Mr. V gave five audience members the opportunity to do impromptu performances and the results were surprising.

Major props to Mark Coplan, BUSD Public Information Officer, for filming and editing all video…

Berkeley High’s Got Talent 2016 Photos:  https://www.flickr.com/photos/53901376@N04/albums/72157666275017881

Berkeley High’s Got Talent 2016 Video (1 hr 13 min): https://vimeo.com/160560067

Individual Performance Videos

Individual performances are in alphabetical order, not the order performed.

Berkeley High’s Got Talent 2016 Aldous Solano: https://vimeo.com/160564159

Berkeley High’s Got Talent 2016 Allayah Thomas: https://vimeo.com/160564109

Berkeley High’s Got Talent 2016 Arthur Lovekin: https://vimeo.com/160552995

Berkeley High’s Got Talent 2016 Audience Participation:  https://vimeo.com/160568530

Berkeley High’s Got Talent 2016 Blake Burns and Adan Hernandez: https://vimeo.com/160548181

Berkeley High’s Got Talent 2016 Isabella Campuzano: https://vimeo.com/160552987

Berkeley High’s Got Talent 2016 Lulani Sudjian: https://vimeo.com/160564235

Berkeley High’s Got Talent 2016 Mason Gutierrez: https://vimeo.com/160564196

Berkeley High’s Got Talent 2016 Mikko Mercy: https://vimeo.com/160564282

Berkeley High’s Got Talent 2016 Niko and Cody: https://vimeo.com/160548107

Berkeley High’s Got Talent 2016 Queen MAK and Yubit: https://vimeo.com/160560036

Berkeley High’s Got Talent 2016 Remone and Davion: https://vimeo.com/160564324

Berkeley High’s Got Talent 2016 Ricardo Camacho: https://vimeo.com/160553316

Berkeley High’s Got Talent 2016 Tara Shahandeh: https://vimeo.com/160548086

Berkeley High’s Got Talent 2016 The Messengers: https://vimeo.com/160564143

Berkeley High’s Got Talent 2016 Treasure and Safiyya: https://vimeo.com/160553029

Berkeley High’s Got Talent 2016 Yeshi Tsomo: https://vimeo.com/160548169

Leadership is Representation by Angelo

Angelo Paraiso-Arroyo

As a leader at Berkeley High School I define leadership as someone who is able represent all students and their problems. Leaders are supposed to be tenacious and caring for the people that are underrepresented and don’t always have a voice to express their disparities. From my perspective I noticed that when one group of people felt unheard, we were able to mobilize and support those he felt threatened by the events that took place in the library. Together we helped supported the Black Student Union in order to unify the school and combat racism. Regardless of someone’s background we all put aside our prejudices and supported those who felt threatened. These events were later addressed by the School Board and new policies are being put in place to address these problems and support the necessary safety of all students.

In my opinion this does happen outside of school and occurs because of people inherent biases against Black people. In order to combat this we need to continue to push for a overall reevaluation of how we treat minorities in America. It is a huge problem and needs to be addressed immediately. Additionally there should be a higher amount of awareness for the conflicts that people of color in general face with the law. In the future I will personally work to stop these problems when I see them so that Berkeley High is a safe learning environment for all students. With the experience that I have obtained from leadership I plan on making even more of an impact now and in the future. As the current Student Director for Berkeley High I want to reach out as much as possible to those who do not have their voices heard. Lastly I want to be active in combatting those who choose to discriminate and bully those who already struggle day to day.

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!