Each week, members of the staff nominate 2 seniors for the spotlight, for outstanding accomplishments ranging from citizenship to extracurricular activities to scholastic. Our own Highpoint school newspaper staff profiles these students, and the interviews are published in the Belmont Citizen-Herald and posted on the bulletin board by the main office. We are excited for this opportunity to highlight a broad group of the amazing students at BHS!
Marauder of the Week: Friday, March 5, 2021
Senior Kiwa Shinoda is an active member of the BHS community, and contributes on many fronts, making her an easy choice for Marauder of the Week. Kiwa’s deep interest in resolving prevalent issues in our world is reflected in her favorite classes: Social Justice by the Numbers and AP Environmental Science. These classes push her closer to her goal of gaining a deeper understanding of the world and its concerns; she is “passionate about learning about the relationship between humans and the environment” in order to “put a stop to climate change,” trying to “gain a deeper understanding of the various systems in our society,” and finding “possible solutions” to the plethora of issues society faces today. Additionally, Ms. Shea, who teaches Social Justice by the Numbers, is a favorite of Kiwa's. Ms. Shea has been “the most supportive and understanding teacher,” treating all of her students with respect and building “really strong student-teacher relationships.”
Beyond academics, Kiwa has been the section leader of the BHS marching band drumline throughout her junior and senior years, while also being an active member – and now the vice president – of the Asian American Club (AAC). Additionally, she attends meetings of the Menstrual Justice club, the Christian club, and the ASL club.
AAC is Kiwa’s greatest passion by far. The community that the club has built “is so important,” as it allows Asian American students to “have a space where they can feel like they truly belong and feel comfortable sharing and celebrating parts of their identity that they may find difficult to share in other environments.” Kiwa’s interest in inclusion and celebrating diversity shines elsewhere as well. With a capstone centered around racial inequality and equal representation in media, she continues to emphasize the importance of recognizing the flaws in our society and figuring out how to remedy them.
Kiwa leaves a few words of wisdom for the rest of the BHS student body, on the importance of exploring passions: if something is of interest to you, “go and explore it,” because “whatever experience you gain from it will ultimately help you find what it is you love to do and want to continue to do in the future.”
By Arshia Haque
An exemplary community leader and advocate for social justice, Rachel November is a model Marauder of the Week. Rachel has demonstrated a strong interest in and commitment to social justice and leadership both in and out of school. The subject in which she is most interested is history, as it connects her to current events and impacts everyday life. Her favorite classes are Global Leadership with Dr. Shea and Social Justice by the Numbers with Mr. Moresco and Ms. Shea. These classes not only revolve around current events, but also allow her to develop a stronger understanding of America in the world. She has applied her interest in global leadership to her work with Amnesty International, and has been its president for the past two years. She says that the club “has opened [her] up to current events around the world and has allowed [her] to meet new people with similar interests.” Rachel hopes to continue pursuing her interest in politics and adventure after high school.
In addition to her social justice work, Rachel is the captain of the BHS soccer team and runs indoor and outdoor track. (In coming years, she plans on running track at Haverford College.) She is also very involved in different aspects of Belmont life: she is the BHS student senate president, works at Rancatore’s, and is active in her temple community.
Rachel leaves us with some important words of wisdom: “Although it is cliche, I would advise other students to not get caught up in the cycle of schoolwork, make sure to make time to hang out with family and friends, find things that [they] are passionate about, and eat ice cream!”
By Joyce Gong
Read more about our other exceptional students on the Marauders of the Week page