Features

Features is the home of different behind-the-scenes interviews, human-centered stories, and more.

Hot Takes: Senior Edition

by Smriti Vijay (’25) and Aanya Mittu (’25) | November 18, 2022 Throughout their four years at Saint Francis, seniors have developed their fair share of unpopular opinions and hot takes. As graduation looms, they are more eager than ever to leave their legacy with their controversial opinions. Out of the many unique submissions, the…

Behind the scenes with Hospitality

by Katherine Winton (’25) | November 18, 2022 Whether students are buying lunch from various spots on campus or going to the Urban Bloc for a snack, most Lancers interact with the Saint Francis Hospitality team on a daily basis. However, few students know about the great thought and effort that the Hospitality staff put…

On the Same Page: description and dread in “Bunny”

by Katherine Winton (’25) and Smriti Vijay (’25) | November 18, 2022 In light of Halloween, Saint Francis’s Book Club picked Bunny by Mona Awad to read and discuss in October. Bunny is narrated by college student Samantha Mackey, who believes herself to be the classic outsider amidst her fellow classmates. These classmates are a…

Club Chronicles: Aviation Club and a trip to SFO 

by Will Li (’23) | November 18, 2022 Photography by Abhijit Nambiar (’24) While a vast majority of commuters may consider flight merely another mode of transportation, there’s more to aviation than TSA PreCheck lines and soggy inflight meals. At Saint Francis, Aviation Club members explore aspects of aviation often overlooked by travelers, from aircraft…

Lancer FMSA hosts second Red Cross Blood Drive, meeting critical healthcare needs

by Arhana Aatresh (’23) and Nikita Senthil (’23) | November 18, 2022 Every two seconds, someone in the U.S. needs blood, whether it be for cancer treatment or traumatic injuries. That’s the time it took to read that sentence. However, the country is facing a massive blood shortage, due to the all-time low registration of…

On the Same Page: retellings and tragedy in “Song of Achilles”

by Katherine Winton (’25) and Smriti Vijay (’25) | October 7, 2022 This month, Saint Francis’s Book Club chose to read Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller, which follows Patroclus, a young prince in Ancient Greece. Exiled from his kingdom after causing the death of another boy, he meets a handsome demigod prince named Achilles.…

Saint Francis uncovers a “puzzling” new gem

by Kate Vandehey (’24) | October 7, 2022 For some students, libraries are just places to study or collaborate, but Saint Francis has a secret gem tucked between its bookshelves. As librarian Ms. Yang calls it, this group is the perfect place “for students to come [relax and] take their mind off some of their…

Faculty reflections on Gen Z

by Alexander Chang (’23) | October 7, 2022 Portions of interviews have been lightly edited for length and clarity. Every generation has its quirks, but educational institutions like Saint Francis are one of the few places where generations intermingle on a daily basis. The Lancer decided to take to the classrooms and interview a few…

Club Chronicles: Lancer Analytics

by Will Li (’23) | October 7, 2022 Graphing polynomials and plotting points in a portable with five minutes left on an exam during a chilly second period. Watching the football whistle and whirl overhead with five seconds left in the fourth quarter on a warm Friday night. To many, mathematics and sports seem far…

Hot Takes: sophomore edition

by Aanya Mittu (’25) | October 7, 2022 With such a diverse student body, there can be no doubt that Saint Francis students and faculty have their fair share of hot takes and unpopular opinions. Eager to find out what they were, The Lancer asked around. There was an overwhelming response from Lancers excited to…

All About Alumni: Ms. Cindy Leslie-Forbes

by Anika Jain (’22) and Louis Chavey (’22) | April 8, 2022 At the forefront of Holy Cross education, Saint Francis has always relied not only on educators but also students to impart knowledge and skills useful inside and outside the classroom. Fifty years ago, Lancers could finally learn with peers of the opposite gender…

Stock Market Club launches speaker series

by Kasper Halevy (’24) | April 8, 2022 For the past several years, the Stock Market Club’s primary ventures included allowing Lancers to compete in a real-time financial market simulator through the MarketWatch platform, as well as hosting student-led presentations on fiscal topics.  However, board member Ruhi Maletira (’23) felt that it was time to…

Lancer Robotics Team triumphs despite trials and tribulations

by Navaneeth Dontuboyina (’24) | April 8, 2022 The FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) members of the Robotics Team competed in the annual Sacramento Regional at UC Davis from March 23 to 26. However, the journey, struggles, and experiences leading up to this event are far more representative of Team 2367 than the competition itself. As…

Junior Retreat: a sacred sanctuary

by Jack Sloan (’23) | April 8, 2022 Even with the best organization, mindfulness practices, support systems, and good habits, no student is immune to fatigue and burnout. Sometimes, the best way to overcome the influx of daily stressors is to escape them. Junior Retreat, the shorter and more verbal precursor to the renowned silent…

Club Chronicles: Lancer SportsMed

by Will Li (’23) | April 8, 2022 From shin splints to torn rotator cuffs, injuries are ubiquitous in the realm of athletics, with the potential to irreversibly alter an athlete’s career. But arguably more impactful are the trainers and sports doctors who heal and rehabilitate athletes. In light of National Athletic Training Month in…

Dissecting the dress code with Ms. Miller

by Sahasra Nistala (’25) | April 8, 2022 From collared shirts and khaki shorts to Liturgy Dress days and Lancer Gear Fridays, our dress code unifies us and includes safety measures but is also a source of contention for some. In light of the recent changes to the dress code this year, The Lancer caught…

Juniors reflect on the Lady Lancer Bowl

by Boladale Erogbogbo (’23) | April 8, 2022 Saint Francis has started off its second semester strong. Freshmen and sophomores are continuing to build community while juniors and seniors are preparing themselves for their future lives as both college applications and acceptances approach. Although overwhelming academic pressure sits firmly in the back of every Lancer’s mind,…

All About Alumni: Mr. Jim Kaspari

by Anika Jain (’22) and Nikita Senthil (’23) | March 21, 2022 Living in Silicon Valley, many Lancers have continued on to fulfilling professions in the biotechnology industry. Jim Kaspari (’80) is a Saint Francis alumnus and track and cross country Hall of Famer, who had a successful career at Genentech before retiring and starting…

Club Chronicles: Shakespeare’s Dropouts

by Will Li (’23) | March 21, 2022 The name “Shakespeare’s Dropouts” usually evokes imagery of literary fanatics huddled together, religiously dissecting texts from the Elizabethan period. But Saint Francis’s team could not be more different, attested first-year member Noah Crane (’23): “We’re just funny people who make funny shows. Someone thought I was into…

Pitch perfect: Guacapella returns on a new note

by Anusha Jain (’25) and Smriti Vijay (’25) | March 21, 2022 Guacapella has had an eventful school year so far, from a moderator change​​ to various competitions displaying their talent and testing their resilience. Despite the challenges of a moderator transition, only positive comments have been made about Mrs. Margaret Durando’s return. “[She is]…

Back in full force: Lancers set roller coaster project in motion

by Utkarsh Agarwal (’23) | March 21, 2022 Signs warn “Beware the drop” and “Turn back now” as passengers ride up a gentle incline. Too late to turn around, they are confronted with a precipitous plunge that leads to the mountain’s dark base. The log flume plummets into the darkness below, accelerating to over forty-five…

Broadway Showcase returns to campus

by Kasper Halevy (’24) and Alexander Chang (’23) | March 21, 2022 The Broadway Showcase finally returned to the Performing Arts Center at 6 P.M. on February 16.  “The Broadway Showcase is a collection of songs, dances, and just general routines all relevant to the world of Broadway,” explained Ajay Krishnan (’23), who sang “Razzle…

Behind the Scenes of TedxSaintFrancisHS

by Semira Arora (’25) | March 21, 2022 TEDxSaintFrancisHS 2022 showcased thirteen talented speakers from our very own campus to share their stories with the world, but creating the perfect event was not easy. The team’s commitment began in the 2020-21 school year when they assembled the board, which was divided into multiple sections: executive…

Humans of Saint Francis: Ashton Liu

by Will Li (’23) and Kasper Halevy (’24) | March 21, 2022 Strolling into the Commons, one can never miss the energetic student sporting tinted aviator glasses, playing an assortment of melodies from Baroque sonatas to the Minecraft soundtrack on the piano.  Dubbed “The Piano God,” Ashton Liu (’22) began his musical journey at age…

Humans of Saint Francis: Ishan Pachauri

by Sophia Tran (’24) | March 21, 2022 Whether it’s binge-watching anime or answering the next question about the Golgi complex, Ishan Pachauri (’24) has always been a curious learner with an aptitude for trying something new. As a board member for the Saint Francis Science Bowl and Quiz Bowl teams, he explores his passion…

Club Chronicles: Arduino Uno

by Will Li (’23) | February 14, 2022 When people visualize computer programming, what often springs to mind is a geeky adolescent equipped with horn-rimmed glasses, hunched over a laptop and fingers furiously flying across the keyboard. Walk into an Arduino Uno meeting, however, and this stereotype vanishes. Here, club members merge coding with hardware…

Valentine’s Day poetry series

by Antonette Oliva (’23) | February 14, 2022 fray the two of us tethered by the past a rope lies between. strong and reliable everything; nothing we hold it together, maintained through memories made years go by watching you from the line you turn and grin “you’re my best friend” got an inch, but i…

Behind the Scenes of “9 to 5”

by Semira Arora (’25) and Anusha Jain (’25) | February 14, 2022 From November 17, 2021 to January 29, 2022, forty-two students spent over two hundred hours putting together the student-run show 9 to 5: The Musical. But what exactly happened behind the curtains? Director Sarah Vorrath (’22) selected this musical because she “loved the…

Humans of Saint Francis: Medha Mahanta

by Kasper Halevy (’24) and Will Li (’23) | February 14, 2022 Medha Mahanta (’24) began her mathematical journey in middle school with the local MATHCOUNTS and Math League competitions as a fun pastime. Little did she know, math would later become deeply integrated into her everyday life. As a board member of both the Math…

Humans of Saint Francis: Jewel Merriman

by Sophia Tran (’24) | February 14, 2022 From the thrum of the drums to the triumphant blow of the trumpet, Jewel Merriman (’22) represents the essence of the Lancer Marching Band. Marching band has always been a prominent part of Merriman’s student life, and her passion for music started from a very young age…

Humans of Saint Francis: Aashka Trivedi

by Anika Jain (’22) | February 14, 2022 Since she was three years old, Aashka Trivedi (’24) has loved to perform. Despite being an underclassman, Trivedi’s passion for theater has led her to audition for this year’s student-run musical, 9 to 5.  “This was my first in-person musical at Saint Francis, so it’s such a…

All About Alumni: Dr. Christopher Gilbert

by Arhana Aatresh (’23), Louis Chavey (’22), and Will Li (’23) A number of Saint Francis alumni have taken the leap from student to teacher. One of them is Dr. Christopher Gilbert (’87), who participated in everything from tennis to theater to community service during his time as a Lancer. Inspired by his own teachers,…

Students and staff reflect on construction progress

by Shreeyans Sahu (’23) and Features Editors | February 14, 2022 Over the summer, the 300 building and the cafeteria were reduced to a pile of dirt and rubble. But over the last few weeks, the empty plot has been transformed into an immense structure rising higher than the library. With the final beam installed,…

Humans of Saint Francis: Class of 2022 Homecoming Court

by Anika Jain (’22) | November 19, 2021 One of Saint Francis’s most beloved traditions is the Homecoming Court, which consists of student leaders from the senior class who best represent the school values and integrity. Only the seniors vote on the nominees, but the final two winners are chosen by a school-wide vote. Upon…

Club Chronicles: Lancers let loose with Legos at Builders’ Club

by Will Li (’23) | November 19, 2021 Most of the time, Mr. Ikezi’s Room 108 resembles any other science classroom at Saint Francis, only with the addition of a magnificent UCLA banner and a plethora of physics gadgets. But every other Friday at 2:30 P.M., the room is reshuffled and voilà — it is…

Humans of Saint Francis: Pujita Tangirala

by Anika Jain (’22) | November 19, 2021 A breeding ground for creativity and ambition, Saint Francis hosts students with a variety of aspirations from art to entrepreneurship. In the past year, Pujita Tangirala (’22), whom you may know for her eclectic talents in music and journalism, has combined her passions for art and fashion…

Coping with construction: students’ reflections on school renovations

by Shreeyans Sahu (’23) and Will Li (’23) | November 19, 2021 In light of construction associated with the Light the Way program, campus has certainly been transformed. What was once the 300 building is now an expanse of dirt with the foundations of an Innovation Center, what was once a patch of the Quad…

Lancers celebrate Diwali!

by Adarsh Gupta (’23) and Will Li (’23) | November 19, 2021 October and November are often associated with the festivities of Halloween and Thanksgiving. But to many South Asians, these months are special because of a third holiday: Diwali.  On November 4, millions around the globe celebrated the five-day festival of lights that originates…

Club Chronicles: Guacapella

by Will Li (’23) | October 11, 2021 What happens when you mix avocados with singing? The answer is Guacapella, Saint Francis’ competitive a cappella ensemble. The group’s idiosyncratic title is the catchy creation of past leaders, according to president Clarissa Chen (’22). Also dubbed “A Side of Guacapella,” the ensemble sports the avocado as…

All About Alumni: Ms. Amy Sherrard

by Anika Jain (’22) and Arhana Aatresh (’23) | October 11, 2021 One day, every single one of us will matriculate from Saint Francis. What will follow these four years of high school? How will the lessons we have learned within the walls of these classrooms impact the trajectories of our lives? Perhaps your experiences…

Humans of Saint Francis: Jake Randazzo

by Anika Jain (’22), Will Li (’23), and Sophia Tran (’24) | October 11, 2021 In the frenzy of a rally, one Lancer claims fame for performing flips in the distance. Perhaps you know him simply as “Flip Guy,” but this athlete is actually Jake Randazzo (’22). Dedicated to his craft, Randazzo possesses one of…

Humans of Saint Francis: Aidan Sanchez

by Kasper Halevy (’24), Safaa Hussain (’23), and Matthew Tran (’23) | October 11, 2021 From the Associated Student Body to the Peter Morey Spirit Award, you’ve likely heard the name Aidan Sanchez (’22) in the context of an avidly involved student in school activities. With significant pressure stemming from academic coursework and the college…

Humans of Saint Francis: Lily Arangio

by Arhana Aatresh (’23), Alexander Chang (’23), Will Li (’23), Elsa Ying (’23), Da Hee Yang (’23), Kasper Halevy (’24), and Anika Bastin (’23) | October 11, 2021 Many teenagers perceive politics as either a stream of intangible Instagram stories or an abstract mess reserved for adults. However, Lily Arangio (’23) actively combats this perception…

Behind the scenes of Mr. Ikezi’s Friday jam sessions

by Priyanka Francis (’23) and Alexander Chang (’23) | October 11, 2021 If you have stayed after school on Fridays, you have probably noticed a group of instrumentalists, mainly guitarists and drummers, playing music together in the Quad. This beloved Saint Francis tradition, known as Friday jam sessions, actually started as an accident nearly two…

Students reflect on the updated lunch layout

by Shreeyans Sahu (’23) and Will Li (’23) | October 11, 2021 “The art of life is a constant readjustment to our surroundings,” according to Kakuzo Okakuara. With the demolition of the old cafeteria and the 300 building, Lancers have adjusted to the makeshift lunch setup, which includes large tables with tents in the quad…

Machine Learning Club’s latest project predicts stock prices

by Fazal Mittu (’23) | May 10, 2021 As part of Saint Francis’s new Machine Learning Club, the project team of Fazal Mittu (’23), Varun Nair (’23), Michael Puell (’23), Swathi Badrinarayanan (’23), Koena Jaware (’23), Sandeep Bajamahal (’24), Ruhi Yusuf (’24), and Siddhant Hullur (’23) developed a model of future stock prices using python…

Speak Love: two Lancers’ mission for inclusivity

by Seamus Mohan (’22) | May 10, 2021 Often in conversations about inclusivity, the language used is one of the most overlooked aspects of activism, with people often deriding new terminology as unnecessary. However, Lancers Sahana Chandramohan (’22) and Namrata “Nammi” Deepak (’22) are helping to lead the charge for inclusive language and education both…

Advice for advisory: students’ reflections on social-emotional learning

by Will Li (’23) and Louis Chavey (’22) | May 10, 2021 Social-emotional learning, more commonly known as SEL or Advisory, was introduced as a support class for freshmen and sophomores in the 2019-2020 school year. SEL aims to teach communication skills and coping mechanisms for stress to help students thrive at Saint Francis and…

A day in the life of a newly on-campus Saint Francis student

by Anna Morokutti (’23) | May 10, 2021 With the recent option for students to return to campus four days a week, many students have been taking advantage of the opportunity to have a change of scenery, engage with their teachers in-person, and carefully socialize with friends under the school’s safety guidelines. Accustomed to a…

Serving others during the pandemic

by Cecilia Montgomery-Eder (’24) | March 29, 2021 According to the Los Angeles Times, after losing 2.6 million jobs at the start of the pandemic, California’s economy has only recovered one million of them.  This leaves a sizable deficit for those struggling to find work a year into the crisis.  Additionally, California’s current unemployment rate…

The show must go on: behind the scenes on “Bright Star”

by Seamus Mohan (’22) | March 29, 2021 Last March, thousands of student actors, stage technicians, and directors collectively mourned the loss of the plays they had worked so hard on, now canceled due to the new COVID-19 pandemic. Across the nation, actors posted memories of their productions online and sang songs they would never…

Access to mental health resources at Saint Francis

by Matthew Tran (’23) | March 29, 2021 Human beings are inherently social. Every human possesses a universal trait that enables us to cognitively identify each other’s emotions almost immediately. Regardless of age and other distinctions present among the human race, it is an obvious truth that humans leak emotions to each other every day.…

The return of cross country meets

by Anna Morokutti (’23) | March 29, 2021 As vaccines are starting to be rolled out and COVID-19 infection rates are slowing down, Santa Clara County is moving into less restrictive safety tiers. The county’s progress has allowed them to authorize meets, games, and other competitions for high school sports. In alignment with the county…

The state of the stock market: an explanation from the Stock Market Club

by Elsa Ying (’23) | March 1, 2021 On Wednesday, January 17, the New York Stock Market was thrown into utter disarray. The impact of the unexpected events were felt by everyone, from major Wall Street hedge funds to our own Stock Market Club at Saint Francis. The Stock Market Club was founded by Ms.…

Black History Month reflections: an interview with the BSU

by Louis Chavey (’22) | March 1, 2020 With the Black Lives Matter movement thrust into the national spotlight this past summer, this year’s Black History Month is especially important. The Lancer recently caught up with Black Student Union student leader Thomas Moore-Rios (’21) to discuss Black History Month. He gives a more personal look…

Holy Cross service unaffected by the pandemic

by Da Hee Yang (‘23) | November 16, 2020 Numerous school activities have been affected by the pandemic, from club activities to sports events. One of the activities that has also been impacted is community service. Due to the difficulty of students physically participating with their regular volunteer organizations, Saint Francis has set up a…

Serving through sanitary supplies

by Riley Quigley (’23) | November 16, 2020 On Wednesday, October 27, and Thursday, October 28, the Saint Francis Service Squad hosted a hygiene drive on campus to accumulate items for the Bay Area homeless population. Booths were set up outside the Holy Cross building on campus, enabling a quick trip through the parking lot…

Ignite freshman event: a smashing success!

by Sophia Tran (’24) | November 16, 2020 During the unprecedented times of the COVID-19 pandemic, it has been increasingly difficult for new members of the Lancer community to build close relationships with one another. Yet opportunities to forge genuine bonds are beginning to emerge across campus. One such opportunity was the Freshman Ignite Event,…

One click to sign up: virtual Activity Fair

by Da Hee Yang | October 5, 2020 On September 11, 2020, Saint Francis launched its first-ever virtual Activity Fair. In the past, the Activity Fair was held annually on campus, with different club booths for students to browse and sign up for activities. However, due to remote learning this year, Saint Francis made the…

Connection across classes: how Saint Francis is using community time

by Sama Karim | October 5, 2020 All around the world, students are stuck in this seemingly endless lockdown. Their academic schedules continue on, but what about their social lives? Saint Francis has responded with a shift in the schedule. Instead of the typical eighty minute classes, the school has introduced sixty minute periods with…

Working out quarantine style

by Will Li | October 5, 2020 Staying in shape during quarantine has not been easy. From gym closures to canceled team practices, many people have not been able to work out the way they used to. However, the recent reopenings of athletic facilities in Santa Clara County, such as pools and tennis courts, have…

Learning to teach: Saint Francis teachers on remote learning

by Amaya Malik | May 19, 2020 The Lancer recently and virtually interviewed religion teacher Mr. Sean O’Neill, history teachers Mr. John Foy and Mr. Gary Dinneen, science teacher Mr. Matt Maguire, and Spanish teacher Ms. Hilda Flores to get different perspectives on how teachers are handling remote learning. During this interview, all five teachers…

Holy CrossFit: connecting through fitness during the pandemic

by Arhana Aatresh | May 19, 2020 Due to the current shelter-in-place order, many people are scrambling to find new sources of exercise. Sports teams are unable to meet, while visits to the gym risk everyone’s health. From high schoolers to professional athletes, people everywhere have had to adapt to stay fit in the safety…

Coronavirus and mental health: an interview with the Counseling Department

by Arianne Nguyen | May 19, 2020 What does the counseling department look like during remote learning? Many students might respond to this question by imagining the glass-walled lobby of the counseling center, with its lights off and the doors to its offices closed, looking out on an equally empty Sobrato Commons. But it’d be…

Earth Week photo contest a smashing success

May 19, 2020 Environmental Club and Photography Club jointly hosted a photo competition to celebrate Earth Day. See the winning photos here! This image, taken at Shark Fin Cove in February showcases the diverse nature of our environment. This was taken in the summer in Yellowstone National Park. It shows how beautiful the earth is…

Curtains!: behind the scenes with the cast of “Mamma Mia!”

by Arianne Nguyen | April 6, 2020 Every year, the Saint Francis drama program puts on a blowout acting, dancing, and musical extravaganza. “We work six months of rehearsal to put on an hour and a half show,” Patrick Gammon (’20) said of the spring musical. “And we do it for six shows. And all…

Behind the scenes with Winter Guard

by Pujita Tangirala | April 6, 2020 When the school decided to close campus, almost every student lost out on something close to their heart. I decided to ask a few members of Winter Guard, one of the newest teams on campus, how this school closure affected their season. “I was in the car with…