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The Cardinal

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The student news site of Hoover High School

The Cardinal

The student news site of Hoover High School

The Cardinal


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Teachers Are Appreciated!

The Cardinal staff shows their appreciation for teachers past and present! Happy Teacher Appreciation Week!

Ms. Woodfill

I appreciate Ms. Val Woodfill for Teacher Appreciation Week becuase she is a very great teacher at giving assignments and giving feedback.  She teaches a lot of things that we will need in real life, such as how to make a resume and things we will need for our future. Her assignments are fun and interesting and she gives us time to work on them and usually goes over it as a class to make sure we were able to understand.  When we don’t understand, she comes to help us out and sometimes sits down and helps you.  When you are really confused she makes you feel comfortable with not knowing and doesn’t make you inadequate. She talks to you about it and makes sure she gives you examples of how to do the assignment and she is very thoughtful of your feelings.

She is considerate of your mental health too.  If you are hungry, she usually has snacks that you can grab and if you bring your own food and you need to heat it up, she lets you use her microwave,  She has created a safe and caring environment where you can talk to her about almost anything like if something is going on at home or if your having relationship problems.  Ms. Woodfill is a great teacher who cares about her students’ feelings and mental health, and I appreciate her.

~Daniela Gonzalez

Mr. Pitts

The teacher I appreciate the most is Mr. Russell Pitts, who teaches IM2 math. Throughout my first and second semester of sophomore year, I was struggling in his class. I ended up failing his class due to not doing my work and lack of motivation. But luckily, I had the opportunity to retake the class during summer school. When I received my schedule and saw that I had him as a math teacher again I was excited. I knew that I would be able to pass because he encourages us to do better and to stay motivated no matter how hard things get. When I first walked into his class I went up to him and told him that I will pass his class. I used that as motivation because I wanted to keep my word and prove to him that I care and want to make a change for the better. So I started off by focusing in class and memorizing the steps to the problems and every time I didn’t understand a step I would ask for help. I would also stay during lunch every day after class to get my work done which helped me a lot because that was a way for me to keep track with my assignments. During lunch he would sit down next to me while eating his food, helping me out. Which meant a lot to me because he was taking time out of his day to help me out. He didn’t give up on me and encouraged me to try my hardest and I ended up passing with an A.

~Dhalia Arriaga

Mr. Hedgecock

Mr. Greg Hedgecock, who has become more than just a teacher; he has been a mentor, role model, and friend to many students in Hoover. Mr. Hedgecock has made a big impact on me and our students’ lives, and I’m really grateful for a lot of the lessons that he has taught me, both in and out of school. He has inspired me to try to reach my goals and achieve my potential. Mr. Hedgecock is a really great teacher, passionate about teaching students his interests, and tries to achieve different diverse learning styles to be able to help students understand. He is creative, really talkative, and helpful when we are talking about problems. He will discuss how to help and solve the problem. I will say that students should learn about Mr. Hedgecock and that people should trust him because he is a really nice person. He will genuinely appreciate how much your opinion in class matters and, out of class, how your feelings are. He really cares about his students, always mentioning that if you need help, ask, and don’t be afraid to ask. I think Mr. Hedgecock is a really good teacher to follow under his guidance. He has great knowledge and experience in areas of history that students should learn and practice, and I appreciate him.

~Oliver Almeida-Renteria

Mrs. Macias

Mrs. Elizabeth Macias is my second-period teacher. Her class is a great learning environment. She is part of the Social Justice Academy and teaches Restorative Justice. It is a delightful class. The class is great for learning about issues that go on in the world and possible solutions. The class also has circles where we sit and answer questions which helps create a community within the classroom. The class is also a calming environment. You must actively not try at all to fail because the work is interesting and helpful to what is going on around the world.  She also gives you chances to finish your assignments which is very nice because I have never met another teacher who does that.

Mrs. Macias is also a truly kind and understanding person.  She is very patient with the students in the class and caring, which is very hard when working with students. She also tries to get us to get off our phones during class even if we do not want to because it is good for us. Mrs. Macias is a very great teacher, and she cares about her students. Every person that I talked to has had a wonderful time in her class, and we all appreciate her.

~Judith Sanchez

Mr. Mellinger

I appreciate Mr. Jeff Mellinger, a positive AP and regular chemistry instructor at Hoover High. He’s often spotted walking around campus, operating lessons outdoors, or instructing in his classroom with a smile. Mr. Mellinger is dedicated to his students’ learning by going beyond typical class hours to offer lunch, before and after school, and even on weekends to provide tutoring sessions and quiet hangouts for those in need. He welcomes all students, regardless if they’re enrolled in his class to include and support students’ education in his welcoming room.

I have spent a few lunch breaks and even Saturday school sessions in his class to catch up on missed work in a supportive and comforting atmosphere. He goes above and beyond to recognize, understand, and reward students’ efforts, by hosting monthly birthday parties, and test rewards for participation and certificates for high scores. He provides further for his Saturday school students by seeing and offering little snacks if their bellies are empty that morning.

Some may think he’s strict about phone usage, but Mr Mellinger’s goal is for students to grasp all the knowledge properly for their weekly quizzes and tests. He keeps students on task and prepares them for these tests by teaching studying skills to use in the future. He uses the scores of assessments to track and adapt his lessons to each student’s learning needs. Each day Mr. Mellinger motivated and helped keep me focused on fascinating lessons that have taught me a lot about how the world works.

~Kenia Ortiz

Ms. Westfall

Ms. Jane Westfall has done more than simply instructing me and others in the classroom, and has had a great impact on my life. She is an amazing teacher because she genuinely cares about each student on campus and knows what it takes for us to be successful. Ms. Westfall is amazing because of the personal connections she builds with each of us. Like waiting outside her classroom each period and greeting each of her students with a smile and a fist bump. She is not simply a teacher, but a person who understands each of us, our challenges, our goals, and our strengths. Her class is a secure space where everyone is valued and heard. She has, in my opinion, given me more confidence in myself and helped me recognize my strengths and weaknesses. She has also been a hardworking person when it comes to AHHC. She tries her best to get every possible opportunity to help the AHHC members succeed in their chosen profession. Ms. Westfall overall had taught me to believe in myself and to care for others, and I appreciate her!

~Emanuel Cruz

Mrs. Teuthorn

The teacher that I appreciate the most and has influenced my life is Mrs. Katherine Teuthorn. She teaches Math IM1. I had her my freshman year of high school. My first year, I was very shy and I didnt really open up to anyone, especially any of my teachers. Even in the beginning of the year, I was always slacking off in class and not doing my work. At the time, I was really struggling with math but she was always very understanding and helped me whenever I didn’t understand something. This allowed me to open myself up and communicate more. I think she’s a great teacher because she never gives up on her students and makes sure they are always on track. She makes sure that her students feel safe and welcomed and fills her class with lots of love and support. She is also a very trusting teacher, she is always there for me when I need something. I appreciate her for always caring and never giving up on me. I think something that everyone can learn from her is to not give up on your education no matter how hard a class can get. I think the main thing is just communicating with your teachers and letting them know you don’t understand something.

~Sarai Mendoza


Mr. Geyer

One of my favorite teachers that impacted my life is Mr. Seth Geyer, who was my 5th grade teacher at Hamilton Elementary. He was stubborn, sassy, smart, and a no-nonsense type of teacher, and he was one of the first people that made me believe that I could be something. He would teach us everything but what stuck with me is what he would teach in math because he taught it so well that even I could understand it, and at that time it seemed like nothing I learned for math seemed to help me understand it better until he taught me.  Math suddenly all made sense. When I got my mathematicians award, I was so happy even though no one was there because they didn’t think I could get that award, but he congratulated me. He always said to have high hopes and to achieve high things because if you dream high, you might just achieve it or achieve at least something. I’m so grateful I met Mr.Geyer because he really made me believe that I could be something and that my dreams weren’t stupid but could be achieved, and that I shouldn’t just give up when I haven’t even tried.

~Jaylah Storey


Ms. Morales

Mrs. Diana Morales, a kindergarten teacher at Joyner Elementary, is deeply appreciated for all she does and has done. Being in an unfamiliar space can be a wrecking experience, and for me it certainly was. I was happy to find out that she spoke Spanish, especially because in elementary school, I was an English language learner, and I struggled to communicate with the other children. Most times during recess I sat by myself and only had parent volunteers to keep me company. I was lucky to have a teacher who encouraged me to engage in activities despite not understanding much. She pushed me to do my best when it came to learning English and speaking to the other children. I’ll always appreciate her for challenging me to speak to the boy that was playing in the sand box because it changed everything for me. If she hadn’t forced me to speak to that boy that day then I wouldn’t have met one of my current best friends.  The act of interacting with others opened countless doors for me. Because of that interaction, I gained the confidence to engage with the other children on my own. I’ll always be thankful to Ms. Morales for her dedication as a teacher. and putting in the time to help students like me improve.

~Cynthia Navarro


Ms. Silvas

At Joyner Elementary, when I was in 5th grade, I had an amazing teacher who left a big mark in my life. Ms. Charity Silvas was the most comforting, loving teacher anyone could ask for. She always made sure her students were okay, and treated every single one of us like if we were her own kids. She was fun, caring, and understanding.  While I was in her class, I was going through a very difficult time and she was my comfort person. I would talk to her about how my dad was in an immigrant detention center while he was fighting his legal status. Ms. Silvas made sure she would listen to me and understand how hard this was for me. I always received the most genuine advice and hugs from her. Ever since I was promoted from Joyner, her sweet words and kindness have stuck with me throughout middle school and are still an inspiration to me. She taught me that no matter what I’m going through, keep my head up and that everything will get better. She has truly impacted my life and is a major role model for me. I appreciate Ms. Silvas, and hope she’s doing great and I hope to see her soon!

~Monse Sanchez

More to Discover
About the Contributors
Oliver Almeida-Renteria
Oliver Almeida-Renteria, Junior Editor

Oliver Almeida has been at Hoover High School for three years. He is a junior in the ALMA academy.  He likes to go out with his friends and with his partner. He hopes this year is way better than last year, and also excited to reach goals and that everything goes well as planned for this year.

Currently his favorite classes are chemistry and yearbook because they are interesting and complicated for a challenge. Apart from that, there are always people who he enjoys and  helps  in classes and likes to have fun. His favorite colors are brown and black, because they are good clothing combinations and very solid . His favorite shows are Never Have I Ever and Shameless. They are very good to watch, when you have time" His two favorite movies are Cars 2 and Fast and Furious Tokyo Drift.

He is very grateful for my teachers who always try to help him, such as Mrs. Teuthorn and also Mr.Heu. This semester he is focusing on school but also on himself. Because sometimes you have to think of yourself. He does think of others, but if you also need to be smart sometimes and put yourself first.

" Always expect the best from you ." ~ Oliver

Dhalia Arriaga
Dhalia Arriaga, Staff Writer

Dhalia Arriaga is a junior in Hoover High. She enjoys writing, and by writing she expresses herself and all the emotions that go on in her head. To Dhalia writing isn’t just words written but it’s words that have a story to it. It has a deeper meaning to her that's why she enjoys writing so much. It brings her peace and comfort. Dhalia’s main goal is to make her parents proud. She wants to make her parents proud because she knows that her parents sacrificed so much for her and her sisters. The thought of her parents going to another country and leaving everything behind to give their kids a better life didn't sit right with her. So she wants to show them that she appreciates everything they’ve done by graduating and proving to them that anything is possible when you set your mind to it. Every tear and feeling of exhaustion will end up being worth it once she graduates and is able to say that she made it through those tough high school years. No matter how hard this journey might get she will always try to keep a positive mindset because at times it gets real and the feeling of giving up gets to her but then again she thinks about her immigrant parents who came here with nothing and have given her everything. Dhalia wants to be able to give them so much back for all the love and support she has received. As you can tell Dhalia is very attached to her family. Family means everything to her and enjoys every second she gets with them.

Daniela Gonzalez
Daniela Gonzalez, Staff Writer
Daniela Gonzalez is a junior who was raised in San Diego and loves to go eat tacos with her dog Nala.  She hates going to school on a rainy days and would rather just stay at home and play video games.  She loves sunny day and going to school when it's not cold but loves sitting near a car window to feel the cold air hit her face. If she could, she would get every animal in the world.  She loves to come to school to see her friends and bf, but just wishes school food would just be better.  She often brings snacks to school and loves to go visit some of her old teachers but when it comes to choosing where to eat, it would have to be at Castanedas.  She loves the tacos from there and when she's older, she wants to be a firefighter to help people.  She used to want to be a vet but thanks to Hoover and teachers, she found her dream career.  Daniela loves playing games on her phone and nintendo and spending as much time as she can with her dog.  She really enjoys this school and the kind teachers at Hoover.
Judith Sanchez
Judith Sanchez, Staff Writer
Judith Sanchez was born in San Diego California. She has five siblings and is a junior at Hoover High School. She is sixteen and is in the ALMA academy and is part of the class of 2025. In her free time, she likes to read books, watch movies and TV, watch tictoks, sleep, eat, cook, color her hair, and spend money. Judith's favorite color is blue, her favorite animal is a dog, and her favorite superhero is Iron Man and she loves Italian food. She doesn't have many goals right now but she does hope to graduate. Her biggest fear is drowning and she is scared of heights but likes roller coasters. She also is afraid of rats. She doesn't know what she will do in the future but hopes she makes a lot of money.
Kenia Ortiz
Kenia Ortiz, Junior Editor
Kenia Ortiz is a Junior at Hoover High School. She was born at the spookiest yet coziest time of the year, October 6th. Like the season she was born in, the cold, crisp weather fall brings is her favorite. Outside school, Kenia spends her days listening to music, watching movies, and taking long walks. The Weeknd, Giveon, and The Internet band are her top artists. She’ll never tire of rewatching her favorite childhood movies, Madagascar and Cars. Her favorite meal is chicken alfredo and pink lemonade for any occasion. She despises slow walkers and loud talkers. She could come off as dull, but in all reality, she’s a tranquil and non-judgmental being who cherishes laughs and the petite things in life. She enjoys her independent time as an introvert although, pushes to be more out there by being additionally involved with the school. Kenia is part of Cardinals Interact, where they support their Cardinal family in every way possible. She plans to join clubs such as IMIN and Key Club. She adores the work of expressing her lens of the world through writing, especially with the opportunities her yearbook class brings. She aspires to graduate here at Hoover High, as it is traditional in her family, and at least four years in college, preferably SDSU, where she will strive for a career in the photography industry. Her biggest motivation is to be the first of her three siblings to attend and complete college for her mom, who she looks up to. Kenia desires improvement within herself, to acquire her full potential, and to find self-love for who she is. She truly believes the world could be better if we held love and basic respect for one another as a family. Today, she aims daily to own up to her beliefs, not only with care and love for her peers but understanding them as well.
Emanuel Cruz
Emanuel Cruz, Staff Writer

Emanuel Cruz is a junior at Hoover High School. He was born on April 13, raised in San Diego, California, by his parents who immigrated to live the American Dream. He has two older siblings but he will be the first one in his family to graduate from Hoover, as the class of 2025. He also has two cats that he treasures and loves. He doesn’t really have a plan after high school but does want to attend SDSU. He wishes to have a career and is inspired by both his sister and brother.

Outside of school he enjoys watching movies and of course playing video games. His current favorite movies are Everything Everywhere All At Once, Interstellar, and La La Land. As for his video games, they are Roblox, Good Pizza Great Pizza, and Mario Kart 8. But something else that he absolutely loves is FOOD! His favorite dish is chilaquiles with a cold glass of Iced Tea.

He hopes to work in the medical field, but can’t decide on which career. What he does know is that he wants to help people whether that be helping them physically or mentally. He is currently in FACES and in Cardinals Interact which are programs that will expose him to decide which career is the best option for him.

Sarai Mendoza
Sarai Mendoza, Staff Writer
Sarai Mendoza is a 15 year old sophomore at Hoover High School. She was born on November 21 and raised in San Diego California. Sarai grew up in a loving family with her mother and four siblings. Growing up she was always spoiled for being the youngest. As a child, her mother always encouraged her to value her education and take advantage of all the great opportunities. Not only that but to also become more independent as she grew up. Her biggest inspiration in life has to be her mom, who was born and raised in Mexico City. She came to the United States about 20 years ago in hope for a better life. Although she was a single mother, she worked hard to always give her five children a better life . No matter how bad things got, her mother always motivated her to be a better person. Sarai would do anything to continue to make her proud Her top three favorite places to eat have to be In-n-Out, Wingstop, and Olive Garden. She loves to write. Her favorite school subject is English. Don't ever ask her for help in math because she won’t understand a thing. Sarai is very shy at first but once you get to know her and help her step out her comfort zone, she becomes this funny and out-going person. As she grew up she realized she wanted to become a medical assistant. She hopes to get into a good college, and will continue to work hard to do so. She believes that if she continues to encourage others to continue to reach their goals and never give up on their dreams, it can make a huge difference on other people.
Jaylah Storey
Jaylah Storey, Staff Writer
Jaylah Storey is currently a student at Hoover High School, and is a junior this school year. She likes roller skating but isn't that good at it. She hates heights and will pass out on a rollercoaster. Jaylah has a goal of making it on the  honor role and going to a university, where she can study psychology and become a therapist. Her role model is  her dad, and his name is Johnathan Mitchell. He did 10 years in service and was a “Look at the bright side” type of person. She doesn’t know what college she wants to go to but she wants to become a family therapist or a fashion designer. Jaylah wants to help change the world by educating the people here in the world. Society can make the world a better place by just helping other people because if we all helped each other their world would be a better place.
Cynthia Navarro
Cynthia Navarro, Staff Writer

Cynthia Navarro is a student currently attending her junior year at Hoover highschool and was born on April 9th, to her Salvadoran parents Evelyn and Carlos Navarro who immigrated to San Diego, California in the late 90’s bringing their dreams of giving their children a life full of opportunities with them.

Cynthia loves putting her creativity to work by using most if not all of her free time doing anything art or music related. She spends lots of her time playing the violin, piano, and guitar because it gives her a sense of solitude. If she could pick a place to spend the rest of her life at, it would definitely be the beach. She loves diving into the crashing waves and the feeling of the sand against her feet while on walks full of sunsets.

Cynthia's goals for the 2023-24 school year are to stay on top of all of her classes to the best of her abilities and get more involved at school. She also wishes to try and come out of her shell more and make the effort to talk to new people outside of the circle she's currency in. Around new people she may not say much or even look up at them but around her friends she's the complete opposite, she goes from being the quietest one in the room to being more than loud especially when around her best friend Alejandra.

Monse Sanchez
Monse Sanchez, Staff Writer
I like apple bottom jeans and boots with the fur.  Pizza and pistachio ice cream but not together.  I love the color pink and on Wednesdays we wear pink!