A Smile from the Front Office

Mrs. Kathy Klingamen is the front office receptionist in the administration building at Valencia High School (VHS). Klingamen is a California State University, Fullerton Graduate who majored in Business Marketing. She began her career at VHS in 2006, as a part-time media assistant in the library. For the last five years, Klingamen has been the front office receptionist with a total of eleven years working at Valencia. Some little known facts about Klingamen is that she has climbed over fifteen mountain peaks around the world and she has lived in the Sierra Mountains for some time.

Klingamen’s job as a front office receptionist encompasses many responsibilities. She takes the majority of phone calls from parents and other teachers directed to the front office. Klingamen also directs phone calls to other staff members. Klingamen directs  visitors on campus, providing layouts of the campus itself.

Klingamen is always connected by handheld radio. Should there be an injury to a student on campus, she can be radioed to make sure the student receives proper assistance. Klingamen is the person to go to if there is an event to be hosted on Valencia’s campus. She is the facilities coordinator which involves managing and providing a space and schedule for those wanting to rent facilities on campus such as the gym, stadium, and auditorium. Another component of Klingamen’s responsibilities is that of being in charge of the Lost and Found. If a personal item is left on campus, it is most likely placed in the Lost and Found and Klingamen is the one to talk to should a person misplace an item.

Though this may seem like a great deal of responsibilities, Klingamen has numerous student aids that assist her in taking phone calls and running errands. Klingamen stated that her favorite part of working at Valencia is interacting with students and staff members who commit numerous hours here on campus.

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Kathy Klingamen (on right) engaging in a humorous conversation with Lisa Swearingen (on left).

Chemistry Olympiad Advances to Nationals

 

By: Brendan Munoz
Photos by: Brent Shenton

In yet another display of their academic prowess, Valencia High School’s Chemistry Olympiad swept the competition in the Orange County Regional Round. On March 10, students Aayush Somani (11), Jiwon Jeong (10), Chanson Zhao (12), Ishaan Shah (12), and Paige Harakuni (12) collectively placed first in this competition at Irvine Valley College. Participants individually completed a rigorous 60 question multiple choice assessment in under 2 hours, with their scores being compiled per high school. Although a team effort, only two students from each high school are permitted to compete in nationals. Somani and Jeong were given the honor of representing Valencia due to their remarkably high scores and dedicated work ethics.

Of the five members, four are taught by chemistry teacher Brady Bilhartz in his Higher Level (HL) chemistry class. This convenience gave students extra assistance in preparing for events as they had the opportunity to both utilize class time and look to Bilhartz for any advice regarding the various HL concepts they tackle. As for the other student, Somani, he was guided through the pre-season by the club’s advisor and chemistry teacher, Brent Shenton. When asked about the struggles he faced during competition, Somani disclosed that he grappled with a few unfamiliar concepts, stating “I had to trust in what I had learned up to this point”. Somani and Jeong are now in the process of intensively preparing before their advancement to the national level.

With over a thousand competitors set to contend nationwide on April 21, Jeong and Somani are the two strongest candidates representing our student body. The competition entails an arduous five hour exam as well as multiple lab procedures. Jeong is optimistic, claiming “Even if it seems really hard, Mr. Shenton provides a lot of research and dedicates much of his time which makes the process a lot easier.” From nationals, the top twenty individual students are selected to further prepare at the Air Force Academy. Of these high achievers, four are granted the prestige of representing the United States in the Czech & Slovakian Republics against approximately 80 competing countries in July.