Start of the 2011-2012 School Year

This year we welcomed new students to the San Marino Campus from Saudi Arabi, Vietnam, Angola, Turkey, China, Japan, Brazil, Korea, and more, as well as several new American students.

New and returning students arrived on campus on September 19th to check-in and be welcomed at our BBQ dinner.

Ms. Brunjes takes a photo of new student Amanda K. while Rebecca J. assists.
Ms. Brunjes photographed students, staff, and faculty for the school directory.

Students and parents create their burgers.

Families mingle together waiting in line to check-in.

Thank you all for a successful start of a new year at Southwestern Academy. We are happy to see the faces of returning students again and we are enjoying getting to know the new students this year! Thank you for choosing Southwestern Academy!

Summer Field Trip to The Getty

Every Wednesday, Southwestern Academy students in our Summer Adventures Program go on a field trip. Last Wednesday, students from the San Marino Campus went to The Getty Museum. More pictures are available on our Facebook Page here.

Mr. Pulgencio Visits Alumni in South Korea

Mr. Pulgencio took his first trip ever to South Korea this August to visit Southwestern Academy Alumni. On August 4, 2011, he held an alumni event hosted by the parents of Min Sung Kim at the Sky Valley Country Center. He was reunited with twenty-one alumni who graduated from between 1990-2009. The guests enjoyed sharing Southwestern stories, and they mentioned how the English skills Mr. Pulgencio taught them in high school was key to the success they have now. 

Mr. Pulgencio enjoyed golfing with some graduates from 1997, who are now successful businessmen. He also was able to enjoy excellent dinners with alumni who couldn't make it to the event. 

Mr. Pulgencio was in South Korea from August 4-11, and had a wonderful time catching up with "kids," some of which, he hadn't seen in fifteen years. Many of his previous students were married and he had the pleasure of meeting their children. 

Mr. Pulgencio thanks everyone for their wonderful hospitality and for making the trip to come to see him! 

A day at Medieval Times

This last Wed. the students went to Medieval Times for lunch and a show. Afterwards, they all went to Golf and Stuff for miniature golf and arcade games.

Summer Students volunteer at L. A. Food Bank

Last Wednesday was a community service day here. The students worked all day at the L. A. Regional Food Bank. They all worked willingly and hard. Good Job!

Second Session of Summer School Starts Today

Last week the first session ended after a couple days of exams with a full day trip to Disneyland on Friday. The students had a great time.
Returning students and new students start the second, six-week session today with placement testing. Welcome to all.
Here's a message from Mr. Pulgencio about his trip and reunion in Seoul, Korea this August.

"I will be arriving in Seoul, South Korea, on August 4. I will be staying at the
Palace Hotel located in the heart of the city.

If you have not sent me an e-mail about attending the Southwestern party, please
send it to me as soon as possible. I need to make reservations for you.

You can e-mail me at

I will then send you an e-mail with all of the information you will need. But
hurry, time is getting close. Get in contact with me as soon as you can!

So far 25 people have responded. I'm looking for more people who have attended
Southwestern. I hope you are passing the word to others. It would be great to
have as many people as possible at this event.

I am looking forward to seeing you all!!!!!!!

Mr. Pulgencio (Mr. "P")"

This week's Summer School field trip to Raging Waters – a water park (obviously) in L. A.

Weekly Field Trip

Students faculty spent the day at Universal Studios last Wed.

Field Trip to El Pueblo de Los Angeles

The summer school students went to El Pueblo de Los Angeles and Olvera St. yesterday. The Pueblo is the original Spanish settlement that eventually gave rise to LA. The students spent the afternoon touring El Pueblo and then going to Olvera Street. Visit our Facebook page for more photos.

Last Wed. field trip to USC

The summer school students went to USC last Wed. This summer, like every summer, they take a field trip every Wednesday. Keep an eye out for postings on future trips.

Summer School

International summer school's ESL programs have started. Summer Adventures at Beaver Creek begin on the 20th.
Seniors from both campuses graduated today. Photos from the Beaver Creek Campus Senior Ceremony are up on our Facebook page. Go take a look.

The Prom

The Prom was a huge success. The students went on a harbor cruise last Sunday evening and had a blast. See more photos on our Facebook page.

Prom Alert!

The Prom is this Sunday. Have fun. Guys - if you haven't ordered your tuxes, it's too late. Go find a penguin and steal its feathers.

A Day at the Beach

The team that won the year-long competition, the Jokers, get a day at the beach tomorrow. I am sure that they will bring along their books to get in some quality study time. (Right?)

The End Is Near!

We are on the last leg! Review week has started. Exams start on Friday, June 3 and end on Wednesday the 8th. Graduation follows on the next day, the 9th. Summer vacation is almost here.

Good luck to all on your exams - study hard.

Seniors: enjoy your last week at Southwestern Academy and.... Good Luck.

Mr. Pulgencio to Host Event in South Korea

On August 6, 2011, Lou Pulgencio, Director of International Studies and teacher at Southwestern for over 20 years, will co-host, a "Welcome Back to Southwestern Academy" event in Yeoju, South Korea. It will be held at the Sky Valley Country Club.
Min Sung Kim and family will be hosting the event with Mr. P
Among the many students who plan to attend are: Yunji Choi, Jeff Seo, Jamie Baek, Ji Eun (June) Kwon, Stephanie Yoon, and Sandy Lee. Many more are expected to be there.

Send your personal e-mail to if you wish to attend. Mr. "P" will be contacting you with all of the information.

Remember, you'll always be part of Southwestern Academy!

Congrats to our New Student Government Leaders

The results of the May 10th elections for Student Government:

President:  Wendy Wang
Vice President for Activities:  Andre Mangkuningrat
Vice President for Student Relations:  Anderson Tsai
Secretary:  Christopher Yeh
Treasurer:  Aiko Miyase

Congratulations to next year's student government!

Upcoming Events

April 27: Report Cards Mailed Home
April 28
-Free Dress Day
-Evening Dance
-Baseball  HOME Game vs. Webb School at 2:45 p.m.
-Boys' Volleyball HOME Game vs. Mesrobian at 3:45 p.m.
April 29: Field Trip for art students to LA County Museum of Art
First Week of May
-Field Trip to Beaver Creek Campus for ESL I & III students
May 13
-City-Wide Talent Show at Huntington Middle School at 7:oo p.m.
-YouTube auditions can be sent via email to

Arts Fest Photos Available for Purchase

Our professional Arts Fest photos are ready for viewing and purchase at Click here to view the album. Sign the "Guest Book" to view the photos, if you do not already have a Pictage account.

2 for 1 Prints available for a limited time! Digital downloads are also available. Enjoy!

Upcoming Events

April 11-15:  EXAM WEEK

April 12Baseball Game vs. Calvary Baptist @ 2:45 HOME
April 13 Seder Dinner @ 6:00
April 14Boys' Volleyball Game vs. Waverly @ 2:45 HOME

April 15: Spring Break begins after exams at 4:30
April 18-25: SPRING BREAK 
Residents return to campus before 8 p.m. Monday.
April 26: Fourth Quarter begins. Teacher/Student Review of Report Cards.

ARTS FEST 2011 Review

Thursday, March 31st, was Southwestern Academy’s annual ARTS FEST presented by the visual and performing arts department. Every student was involved in some way with this major production, whether playing a part in “My Girl,” or selling cups of our home-squeezed orange juice. The Beaver Creek Campus participated as well by sending their artwork to us, which was displayed all around at ARTS FEST.

Student MCs, Zak Fennie and Rebecca Jones, started the night off introducing each performance in Act 1. The students played several musical numbers, including beautiful piano solos by Chris Yeh. Risa Yamanaka read a haiku and addressed the audience about the devastation in Japan. Act 1 ended with the hit song, “My Girl,” led by Richard Avery and his talented band members.

For dinner, delicious pizza was served—courtesy of Southwestern Academy’s cooks. They also passed out cookies as Act 2 began, led by student MCs, Perry Woo and Annie Yang. Act 2 was filled with a poetry reading and several great songs—notably “Change the World,” sung by Perry Woo, “What to Do,” sung by Daisy Barrios, and “Taking Chances,” sung by Rebecca Jones.

Act 3, 4, & 5 continued, starting with our younger MCs, Jacob Orosco & Isaiah Glenn. The last three acts showcased excellent student performances, including a drama performance in Act 4 from “The Mad Tea Party” scene from Alice in Wonderland. The full production of Alice in Wonderland will be Saturday, May 14 at 7pm. Annie Yang will star as Alice.

In addition to the performances of the night, student skateboard design, artwork, photography pieces, and face-painting pictures were all displayed and admired on campus. The fabulous main stage mural and t-shirt logos were designed by the talented Chelsea Han.

Chelsea Han with ARTS FEST logo

Thank you to all the students for participating, and all the family, friends, and community members who came and enjoyed the show! See you next year!

Upcoming Events

March 29
  • JV Volleyball Game vs. Rio Hondo at 2:30 p.m. HOME
  • Varsity Volleyball vs. Rio Hondo at 5:30 p.m. HOME
  • I-Club Ethnic Dinner (off-campus by sign-up)
March 31: ARTS FEST 3:30-7:30 p.m.
  • ARTS FEST at Southwestern Academy is FREE and open to ALL -- the community, prospective students, current families, and alumni -- and will showcase student artwork, music, poetry, drama, and more! Dinner will be served. See you there!
April 1:
  • April Fools Day
  • Baseball vs. Pacific at 3:30 p.m. HOME
April 2: Island Camping Trip
April 4-8: Review Week

Southwestern Students Excel at Magic Mountain Physics Day Competition

This past Saturday, March 19th, seventy-one students went to Six Flags Magic Mountain for the annual Physics Day event.  Thirty-six of these students participated in the Physics Olympics sponsored each year by Six Flags.  There were 5 different competitions in which 1st and 2nd place were awarded in each.  We are very happy to report that our students placed in each event.  We won a total of 5 out of the 10 awards. Congratulations go to:

Benjamin Wu2nd Place, Paper Airplane Contest for Accuracy
Henry Lopez1st Place, Paper Airplane Contest for Distance

Nick Broihier, Henry Lopez, and Manu Kern2nd Place Paper Tower (130 cm)

Masamichi Makino -- 2nd Place Projectile Motion

Nick Chung -- 1st Place Constant Acceleration

An estimated 100 students participated in each competition. Congratulations to our winners and to all who participated!

JAPAN UPDATE from Students, Families, and Alumni

Picture of a tsunami flooding a road after the Japan earthquake
Photograph by Mainichi Shimbun, Reuters
Our current students from Japan have all reported that their families are safe, however, we have not heard back from all of our alumni in Japan. Please contact Lou Pulgencio ASAP if you are an alum who we haven't heard from yet. We care, and we want to know if you are okay. Mr. Pulgencio can be reached at:

All of the alumni we have heard from so far are physically alright, although the earthquake and tsunami has emotionally devastated all. The following are some of the responses we are hearing from Japan:
"It was very terrifying not to have been able to talk to my family for two whole days. Phone lines were cut due to the earthquake. Not even email would go through. I cannot believe how cruel the force of nature is..."
"Transportation stopped. Not easy for any contact by phone. Hard to get fuel. Black out. Getting short of food..."
"I have never felt how small Japan is. One thing happens, and there is nowhere to run..."
"About 10,000 people died..."
"[Our family hotel] is receiving evacuees from the ocean side and supplying food...we are preparing for even more evacuees..."
 Our hearts, thoughts, and prayers are with you. Please let us know if you need anything, and again, please contact us if we haven't heard from you already.

Upcoming Events

March 8:
  • Cup Cake Day by Student Government
  • 3:45 Boys’ Volleyball, HOME v. Mesrobian
March 10:
  • 2:45 Baseball, HOME v. St. Monica
  • I-Club Foods
  • 3:30 Boys’ Volleyball, HOME v. Emerson
March 11:
  • 3:00 Boys’ Volleyball at Pilibos

Warner Bros. Studios Field Trip

Through an invitation by Ron Jones, who works on the music for the TV show Family Guy, Southwestern Academy students were able to tour the Warner Bros. Studios. 

The students were able to watch a voice recording for the show, see how they synced the music to the animation, see their advanced sound equipment, and meet the sound engineers. It was a wonderful opportunity, especially for our students preparing to pursue film in college, to see first-hand how this facet of the entertainment industry works. 

Sunspot News: Episode 14

The Sunspot News is a student-lead news broadcast about current events at Southwestern Academy. Students gain valuable communication skills, as well as, video editing experience in a fun, engaging, and creative way through the Sunspot News. New videos are posted weekly on YouTube at:

Beaver Creek at the NAAA Basketball Championship

The Ranch Campus Sun hoops team officially concluded its season Friday, losing, 70-25, to a much stronger squad from Tri-City Prep in the preliminary round of the NAAA Basketball Championship tournament; and then, with just twenty minutes' rest, the Sun pulled off an unlikely victory over Prescott Valley Charter School, winning the consolation game, 53-52, in overtime!

Current News & Upcoming Events

On February 16th, the girls basketball team played against the women faculty and staff. The faculty won 39-21 (although the refs were faculty, as well...) and it was a fun time for both sides.

The boys basketball team lost their first playoff game against Midland Oaks School, 76-34, ending the boys basketball season this year. Our team played well, and was tied in the first quarter, but then Midlands Oaks School got fired up and never lost their drive. Congratulations to all the boys for a season well played.

Upcoming Events

February 18th: 
Post-exam Break NO CLASSES
February 21st: President's Day NO CLASSES
February 22nd

  • 2nd Semester Begins
  • Practice starts for Baseball and Boys’ Volleyball 3:00 p.m.
February 23rd: African & African-American Show and Dinner
February 24th
  • Student / Teacher Reviews
  • School Dance
  • Four-way Speech Contest
  • International Club Foods
February 25th
  • Beaver Creek vs. San Marino Boys Basketball Game 3:30 p.m.
  • Report Cards Mailed Home
February 26th:
  • Boys' Basketball vs. Faculty Game 11:30 a.m.

Beaver Creek Basketball Season Ends

The Beaver Creek Sun basketball squad finished the regular season with a disappointing, 64-47 loss to Prescott Valley Charter School.  PVCS, with pressure defense and impressive shooting, surged to a 23-6 lead after one period.  The Sun played their fellow-playoff-bound rivals evenly (41-41) the rest of the way, but never got closer than thirteen points following the first quarter onslaught.

Leading the way for the Sun were senior forwards, Tony Zhu and Kevin Yu, with 14 and 11 points, respectively, and sophomore guard, Michael Du, with 10 points and a strong floor game.

Upcoming Events for Exam Week

February 14th:  Semester Exams (Period 1)
  • Valentines Day! <3
Decorations by Jenny Chen
February 15th: Semester Exams (Period 2 & 4)
February 16th: Semester Exams (Period 3)
  • Boys’ Basketball 1st Round Playoffs at Midland 7:00 p.m.
  • Girls' Basketball vs. Faculty Game 4:00 p.m.
February 17th: Semester Exams (Period 3 & 6)
  • Girls’ Basketball 1st Round CIF, TBA 
February 18thPost-exam Break NO CLASSES

Science Fair Winners Announced

We had 43 projects at the 2011 Science Fair which represented 86 students.  Of the 43 projects, 32 were Experiment Based while 11 were Rube Goldberg projects.  Everyone did a great job, but there were some projects that stood out among the rest.  Ultimately, it came down to the day of the fair and the interaction with the judges.

For Rube Goldberg, the students had to create a machine that would turn off an alarm clock using a series of 20 simple machines.  They were judged on how well they followed the rules, the types and number of machines used, their creativity and originality in the approach they took, their verbal presentation of their machine, their interview with the judges and most importantly, on whether or not the machine worked.

For the Experimental projects, the students were judged on scientific thought and the use of the scientific method, originality of their idea, creativity of their approach, development and practicality of the idea, their display, their presentation and the interview with the judges.

In the end, we hope the students learned from their projects, apply that knowledge, present it and understand it.  All of these things are what determined the winners.  And they are:

1st Place Rube Goldberg 
 Nicholas Broihier and Henry Lopez

2nd Place Rube Goldberg
 Annie Yang and Jenny Chen

    3rd Place Rube Goldberg
    Rainer Duve and Jim Kim

    1st Place Experimental - (Battle of the Bats)
    Jacob Orosco, Deborah Kaufeldt-Boardman, and Albert  Lopez 

    2nd Place Experimental - (Air Quality Testing)
     Annais Rojas and Alexandra Brouke 

    3rd Place Experimental - (Are You Smarter Than the Stroop Effect?)
    Amii Young and Chaya Stewart

      Congratulations to all the students for a job well done.

      Whale Watching and Aquarium Field Trip

      On January 28th, the students of Southwestern Academy went on a Whale Watching trip. We left in the morning and reached Long Beach at around 10 a.m. to leave for the trip. We spent a couple of hours cruising in search of whales, which unfortunately, we didn't see. However we did see many dolphins that followed the boat. Afterwards, we went to the Aquarium of the Pacific where the students got the opportunity to see different kinds of marine animals varying from jellyfish to sharks. Overall, the students seemed to be pleased with the trip.
      -Vlad Ibragimov
      Southwestern Environmental Associates Club President

      Beaver Creek Basketball Team Wins 41-33

      The Beaver Creek Sun hoops team won for the ninth time February 2nd, defeating a game squad from Rimrock High, 41-33.  Taking a 31-10 lead into the second half, the Sun relaxed a bit too much, allowing Rimrock to climb to within eight points with a couple minutes left in regulation.  Fortunately, with starters, Tony Zhu, Kevin Yu, Jay-Z An, Eric Huang, and Jimmy Mai reinserted following a time out, Rimrock was shut out the rest of the way!

      Jimmy led the team with twenty points -- the fourth consecutive game in which he'd scored twenty or more points. Tony, coming back from a badly sprained ankle, and Jay-Z pitched in with six points apiece.  The victory pushed our record to 9-4.

      Monday afternoon, Prescott Valley Charter School will visit us for a second time.  They beat us fairly easily in our first meeting, so we'll hope to pull an upset. 

      -Coach Bill Huber

      Upcoming Events

      February 3rd:
      • HOME Girls' Basketball vs. New Harvest at 3:30 p.m. This is their last HOME game of the season!
      • HOME Boys' Basketball vs. New Harvest at 5:oo p.m.
      • International Club Bake Sale at 4:oo p.m.
      February 4th: UCLA visits campus at 1:15 p.m. to speak with juniors interested in applying there next year.
        February 6th: Weekend Trip to the Pasadena City College Flea Market
        February 7-11th: REVIEW WEEK
        February 8th
        • Middle School "Amazing Animals" Show at 1-2pm
        • Boys’ Basketball at Delphi at 3:30 p.m.
        February 9th: "The Most Dangerous Game" Play in Chapel at 3:30 p.m.
        February 10th
        • Girls' Basketball at Calvary at 5:30 p.m.
        • Boys' Basketball at Calvary at 7:00 p.m.
        • Student Government Bake Sale
        February 11th:
        • BLAZER DAY
        • Candy Grams Sale

        Gene Autry Museum Field Trip

        On January 25th, Mr. Pulgencio lead a group of ten Advanced ESL students on a field trip to the Gene Autry Museum. The ESL students had been learning American History vocabulary words, recently focusing on the Gold Rush. The Gene Autry Museum focuses on that time period, allowing the students to see first-hand what they had been learning.