2023-2024 WHS student artists

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Hailey Vittoria

Hailey Vittoria, a Junior, has been involved with theater ever since she chose drama as an elective in 7th grade. She fell in love with the art form as soon as she tried it, and knew it was something she wanted to continue. Vittoria never let the prejudice of being a theater artist loosen the love she had for acting, and rather surrounded herself with people who made her appreciate it more. She treasures the relationships she’s formed throughout the years, and describes that they add to the experience and make it even more wonderful to be a part of. Vittoria shares her unique method of getting into character by creating playlists of songs to help her portray her character more realistically. She takes her acting seriously and hopes that people will recognize it as a beautiful art form and give it the appreciation it deserves. After putting on 6 shows throughout her time as a theater artist, Vittoria says that “even though the rehearsal process is long and can be tiring, just knowing the end result is going to be that you get to put on this beautiful show with everyone, I think that keeps me going.” Vittoria adds that theater is something she wants to keep in her future as a career choice and says she would be grateful to be able to pursue it.

Parneet Kaur

Parneet Kaur, a Junior at Washington High School, is one of the captains of the school Bollywood fusion club, Taal. Kaur started dancing as a kid when her mom introduced her to it. Though she put dance on pause not too long after, she picked up dancing again in her sophomore year of high school. She was on Taal for a year before she successfully tried out to be a captain. Kaur’s favorite dance style to perform is bhangra, a traditional folk dance of the Punjab area in India. She adds that she wants to highlight more cultural aspects of Bollywood dances in hopes of representing more diverse cultures and providing insight into them. Kaur says that one of her favorite parts about dancing on a team is how the members push each other to be the best version of themselves, and always support each other. She describes how this motivates her to strive to always keep working hard, and says “I love seeing them happy with the work that we’ve put into our shows and the enchantment we give them.” Kaur’s focus right now is expanding public outreach and gravitating towards a diversified audience. She mentions that she will continue to do her best for Taal and hopes to keep dance in her life as a hobby when she pursues higher education.

Ayesha Khurram

Ayesha Khurram is a freshman at Washington High School, who has been drawing since she was in first grade. She was inspired by seeing other people draw, and got the motivation from her sister's friend. Since she was 7, Ayesha has been creating traditional drawings, as well as digital art. She prefers drawing digitally in contrast to traditionally as she says that “there's more stuff I can do on my Ipad because it's all there.” Ayesha is also a comic artist, and she has even drawn a comic for the Hatchet. The inspiration behind that comic revolves around her interest in Spiderman and Deadpool. “I got into spideypool because my sister talked about it a lot and found it cute, so I wanted to draw something spideypool.” Ayesha enjoys drawing because of the calming effects it has on her. “I'm in a happy place when I'm drawing,” she says. She mainly draws characters from her favorite shows, movies, or even video games. Her most recent art is of a character called Pomni from the show “The Digital Circus.” For the beginner artists out there, Ayesha has suggested that “everyone starts bad, everyone starts at the bottom, but if you keep working hard and practicing consistently and watch tutorials then you will get better and better.”

Kabir Kaur

Kabir Kaur is a music producer in the AP Music Production class. Kaur sees music as a way to learn more about himself and the world around him. Throughout his life, music has been very important to him, and AP music production allows hands-on learning to explore music and how it's made. He says, “It's one of my favorite classes this year and absolutely worth waking up early for!” During quarantine, Kabir decided to learn the guitar, and from there his interest in the musical world grew. He listened to many different artists and explored many genres of music. As with many others, listening or creating music has acted as an escape from reality for Kaur, as music has helped him thrive as an individual. “Through the means of music, I’ve learned to grow and improve greatly as a person,” he says. Music production is a class worth taking if you want to explore the process by which music is created. “Keep experimenting until you make something you’re happy with, but in a timely manner,” Kaur says. A struggle he has had while making music is producer's block, but he says that pacing yourself while creating songs is important.

Kartik Nair

Kartik Nair is a junior at Washington High School. Kartik was introduced to ceramics in freshman year when he discovered an old industrial fireplace for ceramics. This piqued his interest and pushed him to join the class his junior year. In his free time, Kartik works on his projects, where he makes pinch pots, or a couple of vases within an hour. Kartik also enjoys making art with his own spin. Usually people make a bowl and glaze it, but Kartik adds designs to his projects such as flowers. “I feel like personalizing my art makes me enjoy ceramics to the fullest,” he says. During his TA work for Mr. Rodenkirk, Kartik helps create clay from recycled projects and from scratch. Kartik’s TA work helps improve his love for ceramics and inspires him to do more. Although he is learning many new techniques and faces many challenges, Kartik has been doing his best to have fun no matter the work.

Jacob Monteon

Jacob Monteon is a junior. His interest in and love for ceramics grew as he learned to indulge in the fine details and appreciate the art. Before ceramics, Jacob would often experiment with other forms of art, such as creating small trinkets with whatever resources he had. What makes Jacob’s art pieces so special is the care he puts into everything he makes. “It isn’t the things you add to it but the effort you put into the base art,” he says. Even when making simple bowls or mugs, the effort he puts in makes them stand out. Jacob has made many interesting projects, but the creation he holds in the highest regard is a 6-8 inch coil pot weighing about 2-4 pounds. Although it was nothing impressive compared to his other projects, the effort and fun he had when making it was something he felt made the project true art.

Emylia Catoc

Emylia Catoc, a Senior at Washington High School, is a passionate singer who began her serious music journey in 2019. Emylia was inspired by her love for voice acting, and with the desire to emulate the captivating voices of some of her favorite voice actors, she started taking vocal lessons which led to her approaching singing seriously. She shares one highlight of her journey, which is having a successful YouTube channel called “Applette” where she covers songs. One of her most viewed videos features a Japanese song she covered three years ago. What sets Emylia apart is her focus on infusing characters and emotions into her performances, saying, “I like to act in a lot of the songs I do. I don’t just sing because I believe a song isn't much if there's no character in it. The acting makes the viewers feel what a singer wants to express to them.” Emylia recalls overcoming challenges such as lacking proper recording equipment and a dedicated room, to now having a well-equipped recording room. Additionally, she mentions initially struggling with a limited vocal range, but through guidance from a vocal coach, she has improved her range. She explores a diverse range of music styles, but leans more towards musicals and indie. However, she still remains open to various genres required for auditions or projects.

Amerie Valencia

Amerie Valencia is a Senior at Washington High School as well as a talented singer. Engaging in singing since the age of eight and participating in choir activities for three years at school, Amerie has showcased her long-standing passion for music. Joining the choir on a friend’s recommendation and seeking formal training, she emphasizes the positive impacts of the choir environment, highlighting the influence of her teacher, Ms. Mitchell, and fellow students in creating a fun and welcoming atmosphere. Amerie has a diverse selection of favorite pieces, ranging from the enchanting “Once Upon A Time” to classics such as “Phantom of the Opera.” Despite not having a say in the selection in choir, Amerie gets to explore a variety of genres chosen by the teacher to perform and amaze the audience. She encourages others to try it out, saying, “Choir is something that takes you out of your comfort zone and teaches you to become more confident in yourself. Choir also offers college credits, so give it a try and see if you like it.” This is her last year in the school choir, but Amerie will continue her singing journey with passion.

Austen Block
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Jenny Hsu is a senior at Washington High School, born in Xian, China, and raised in Fremont, California. This is her first year at The Hatchet. She is interested in covering topics related to music and psychology. Jenny has diverse interests including music, band, anime, and art. In the future, she plans on attending university and potentially majoring in forensics.

Deepthi moved to Fremont at the age of three and has grown up there for the most part. Despite her junior year being her first year at the paper, she has always been interested in writing, often creating stories and hooks for fun. Deepthi is interested in social issues but hates the idea of writing about politics. She likes biking, hanging out with her friends, writing, watching TV shows, ice skating, and jamming to music. She is also a dedicated TA to her Sunday school and helps educate little kids on their mother tongue. Growing up, Deepthi hopes to be a pediatrician or ER doctor, something she has dreamed of since she was little.

Sahar Naqvi is a freshman at WHS, and this is in her first year at the Hatchet. She was born in Texas, but grew up in San Ramon, California, Sahar now lives in Fremont. She enjoys writing stories and expressing herself through poems. She’s been writing stories since second grade and was encouraged by her teachers. She wrote her first poem during the lockdown at ten years old. Sahar looks forward to writing articles about anything. She plans on studying whatever she feels like, and dreams of becoming a successful author. Her work is inspired by her favorite author, Roald Dahl.

Matthew La Brutto is a Junior at Washington High School. He grew up in San Diego, and moved to Fremont when he was about three years old. This is his first year at the paper. His journaling interests include local news, school news, food reviews, and movie/tv reviews. Some hobbies Matthew has are skateboarding, video games, water polo, swimming, and hanging out with his family. He wants to become a lawyer in the future, or do something related to literature.

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