The Smoke Signal, MSJ's Official Newspaper


More Victorious Warriors

By: Andrew Han and Courtney Tam

A form of this article appeared in the June 6, 2011 issue of the Smoke Signal. This version includes several other award-winning students and groups at MSJ.

Juniors James Chang and Edward Wang and Sophomore Brandon Wu

Cyber Foundations

The Cyber Foundations High School Competition is a national computer security contest sponsored by the US Cyber Challenge with the intent of educating and preparing high school students for careers in computer science and cyber defense. This year, Junior James Chang placed second nationally and first in California, Sophomore Brandon Wu placed third nationally, and Junior Edward Wang placed fifth nationally. The competition consisted of a series of online timed tests with questions based on operating systems, networking, administrative systems, and computer security.


Ocean Science Bowl

The Ocean Science Bowl is a national high-school competition that is focused mainly on oceanic topics. Sponsored by the National Oceanographic Partnership Program (NOPP), the 2011 Ocean Science Bowl was held in Galveston, Texas, where Sophomores Rachel Choi, Wesley Chou, and Margaret Shen and Seniors Jeffrey Li and Jared Shen represented MSJ. At nationals, a total of 24 teams was divided into five divisions. MSJ was undefeated in its division and placed sixth in the nation.



At the SCU Dempsey-Cronin Invitational in December of 2010, the MSJ Debate team’s first large invitational of the season, Speech and Debate won third place in the Big-School Sweepstakes for the first time. With over 30 debate entries, 14 debaters/teams placed in the tournament. Sophomore Policy debaters Leah Dickstein, Leena Yin, and Freshman Lincoln-Douglas debater Sanjay Sreekumar each placed first in their individual Junior Varsity Divisions. Freshman Policy debaters Alex Chen, Alton Lin, and Senior Justin Sha were all quarter-finalists in their respective categories.



Eight of MSJ’s DECA members competed in the International Career Development Conference (ICDC) on April 30, 2011 to May 3, 2011. This is the first time that DECA members have qualified to compete on an international level since 2011. Seniors Justin Sha and Jasmine Thottungal were ranked within the top 10 and top 20 respectively out of over 170 competitors. Over 30 MSJ DECA members competed at the state level and the club attended five different conferences and many other marketing/business competitions at the regional and state level over the course of the year.

Seniors Connie Chang, Alissa Gwynn, Adrienne Lam, Joy Xu, and Economics Teacher Tori Ha

Money Wise Teens

Before spring break, Economics Teacher Tori Ha asked her students to create projects to submit to the Money Wise Teens competition, sponsored by the California Council on Economic Education (CCEE). Students must provide a video describing an economic problem; the groups picked human capital and scarcity. Ha chose the top two projects to submit to the CCEE and one of the teams qualified for the finals, the other received honorable mention. The team, consisting of Seniors Connie Chang, Alissa Gwynn, Adrienne Lam, and Joy Xu, flew to Yorba Linda, CA and competed against seven other teams, winning second place.

Sophomores Dillon Cho, Frank Chenand Silvia Zannetti


MSJ Speech sent the most students ever in its history to the State Tournament in San Diego this year: Sophomores Priya Sunderesan and Emily Chen and Senior Abel John. Though Chen and Sunderesan did not make it past the preliminary rounds, Speech Captain Abel John placed second in the State Tournament in San Diego in the Original Prose and Poetry category. The Forensics team is sending three more students–Sophomores Frank Chen, Dillon Cho, and Silvia Zannetti to the June 12, 2011 National Tournament in Texas.


Math Olympiad

This school year brought many MSJ students into the world of mathematical academic competition. Five MSJ students participated in the USA Junior Math Olympiad (USAMO) this year: Freshman Aaron Lin and Krishna Bharathala, Sophomores Kevin Chen, Michael Choi, and Allan Ko. Choi had the highest score in Califonia on the 2011 American Math Contest (AMC 10). Lin was one of 12­ national winners in the AMC10. USA Math Olympiad participants included Freshman Lewis Chen, Sophomore Matthew Jin, Junior Ray Hua Wu, and Senior Eugene Choi. The students that participated in these contests had to be in the top 250 indexes (scores derived from the American Math Contest (AMC10) and the American Invitational Math Exam (AIME)) to qualify for the USAMO and the top 250 indexes (for the AMC12 and AIME) for the USAMO.


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