The Student News Site of Monta Vista High School

El Estoque

The Student News Site of Monta Vista High School

El Estoque

The Student News Site of Monta Vista High School

El Estoque

Brandon Xu

Brandon Xu, News Editor

Brandon is currently a senior and a news editor for El Estoque. In his free time he enjoys reading, playing video games and occasionally going on runs to get out of the house. He also likes to sketch a little bit, although it seems he can only come up with good ideas to draw when he is bored in math class.

All content by Brandon Xu
MVs Family History

MV’s Family History

MVHS students delve into their family history
Sophomore Maxim Gutnik wears a traditional Russian Military hat handed down from his great grandfather.

Family history of Maxim Gutnik

The Gutnik family recounts their ancestry and their connection with Russian heritage while living in the U.S.
Daphne Huang and Brandon Xu
May 29, 2024
Sunnyvale Mayor Larry Klein awards Superintendent Graham Clark with a certificate for FUHSD’s 100 year anniversary.

FUHSD celebrates its 100th anniversary

Fremont High School hosts the centennial celebration for 100 years of FUHSD, Fremont High School and FUHSD Adult School
Brandon Xu
May 13, 2024
College bound

College bound

Exploring the changing landscape of higher education
College by the numbers

College by the numbers

Investigating trends in MVHS college statistics
Meggie Chen and Brandon Xu
April 26, 2024
Sophomore Amish Tyagi watches his birdie midair after a hard hit while his partner, senior Daphne Huang, stands at the ready.

Varsity Badminton falls to Cupertino High School 19-11

Badminton loses a second time to the Pioneers
Shannon Yu, Brandon Xu, and Ethan Kellogg
April 8, 2024
Raising Funds

Raising Funds

MVHS student groups raise money through creative fundraisers
Clubs sell out during Club Grub Day

Clubs sell out during Club Grub Day

Students share their thoughts on Club Grub Day
Meggie Chen, Sarah Liu, and Brandon Xu
March 8, 2024
The Girl’s Basketball Team pose for a team photo after winning the CCS finals against Christopher High School. Photo courtesy of Clara Fan

Girls Basketball wins the CCS Championship for the first time in over 30 years

The team reflects on their journey to the finals game
Aidan Ruan and Brandon Xu
March 3, 2024
Education legislation

Education legislation

California passes new laws to improve education
Graphic | Corinna Kuo

Investing in student wellness

California bill increases funding for school-based mental health services
Liz Liu, Kalyani Puthenpurayil, and Brandon Xu
January 27, 2024
Teen Commission member Rayna Shah commences the fourth and fifth grade spelling bee by introducing the rules.

Cupertino hosts its fifth annual spelling bee

Youth Activity Board and Teen Commission organize a spelling bee for elementary school students
Kathryn Foo and Brandon Xu
January 24, 2024
The California Reparations Task Force hold a public hearing on Jan. 28, 2023, at San Diego State University. Photo by Ariana Drehsler, CalMatters | Used with permission

Road to reform

Examining current approaches that foster change within the community
Members of the California Reparations Task Force hold a meeting at San Diego State Universitys Parma Payne Goodall Alumni Center, on Jan. 28.  Photo courtesy of Kamilah Moore | Used with permission

Repairing the past

Examining California’s proposed reparations plan to address the historic oppression of African Americans
Brandon Xu and Eric Zhou
December 9, 2023
2023 Costume Contest

2023 Costume Contest

Exploring the competitors’ costumes in MVHS’s annual costume contest
Alan Tai, Brandon Xu, and Eric Zhou
November 13, 2023
School safety

School safety

Exploring approaches to support students' physical and mental well-being
Ed Ternan, Rhana Hashemi and Rob Walker answer questions at the Fentanyl Awareness Event.

Approaching addictions

Fentanyl Awareness Event promotes new methods to student drug education
Brandon Xu and Ethan Yang
November 3, 2023
FEMA sent emergency alerts to cell phones for a nationwide emergency alert test.

Federal Emergency Management Agency conducts nationwide emergency alert test

FEMA sends emergency messages and broadcasts to test the Integrated Public Alert and Warning System
Brandon Xu
October 4, 2023
The Wellness Room contains a variety of activities to help students relax and de-stress.

Making Space

Exploring new student spaces in MVHS
Implemented this year, the Wellness Room is designed to give students the space and time to reset.

Safe Space

MVHS implements the Wellness Room to help students with de-stressing and self-care
Corinna Kuo, Brandon Xu, and Kaia Yuan
September 29, 2023
Junior Eric Zhou scans his ID using Minga at the lunch line.

Going digital

Exploring opinions on the switch from physical to digital IDs
Daphne Huang and Brandon Xu
September 23, 2023
Denny Dong poses for a photo with Menlo School runner Justin Petre. Petre and Dong placed first and second respectively at the CCS semifinals 800 meter event. Photo courtesy of Denny Dong | Used with permission

Time Out! Ep. 5: Denny Dong

Exploring Denny Dong’s growth as a runner and his future with the team
Brandon Xu and Aidan Ruan
June 1, 2023
ELD 2 teacher Shari Russell will be taking the new Instructional Lead position starting in the 2023-24 school year. Photo courtesy of Shari Russell | Used with permission

New Instructional Lead for English Language Development

FUHSD implements Instructional Lead position to support ELD teachers and curriculum
Brandon Xu
June 1, 2023
Santa Clara County Supervisors plan to build affordable housing on this site near North Wolfe Road.

Closer to home

Looking into the development of new low-cost teacher housing in Cupertino
Brandon Xu
May 31, 2023
Fantasy fanatics

Fantasy fanatics

Looking into fantasy sports and its influence on the MVHS community
Brandon Xu and Kripa Mayureshwar
April 15, 2023
Cutting has resulted in students forming a triangle rather than a line on their way to get lunch.

Looking into the lunch line

Examining student and staff opinions on the state of the line
Brandon Xu and Lillian Wang
March 24, 2023
Media has evolved throughout time, changing in ways such as  its purpose or interface


Examining how arts and entertainment have changed through the years
Stardew Valley, a video game designed by game developer Eric Barone, is one example of an indie game that has become extremely widespread.

Game on!

Investigating the increase in popularity of indie games and accessibility to game development
Brandon Xu
February 14, 2023
The MVHS team celebrates and poses for a photo after winning the game. Photo by Brandon Xu

Boys Soccer beats Milpitas High School 3-2 in an intense game

Matadors crush the MHS comeback with a goal in the last five minutes of the game
Pranati Kotamraju, Alan Tai, and Brandon Xu
January 29, 2023

Man on the street: Arm Wrestling

Challenging students to arm wrestling matches throughout the campus
Candy Cane Lane: According to Amy Young, this song, sang at choir’s Winter Concert on Dec. 16, was chosen since several students sang it in previous years, and wanted to bring back the songs positive feelings.

Planning performances

Examining how the music department decides what songs to play in concerts
Brandon Xu
December 20, 2022
Wrapped in green

Wrapped in green

Examining FUHSD’s Green Ribbon Schools application process
Mikaylah Du and Brandon Xu
November 16, 2022
Posing for a celebratory photo, seniors Greyson Mobley and Isaiah Dimaya hold the Helmet trophy while the other team members raise up their helmets.

Football beats Cupertino High School 28-14 in the Helmet game

Matadors reclaim the Helmet trophy after six years
Brandon Xu and Aidan Ruan
November 5, 2022
Junior Vatsel Srivastava lifts his bike over other bikes to move through the racks.

Overstack of the rack

Investigating the impact of bike rack overcrowding
Brandon Xu and Angela Zhang
October 7, 2022
The MVHS Athletic Trainer room, currently vacant.

On the lookout for a new Athletic Trainer

Examining how sports teams are facing injuries without a medical professional affiliated with the school
Jami Lim and Brandon Xu
October 1, 2022
A graphic illustrating the three philosophies MVHS aims to focus on to encourage equitable grading

MVHS aims to highlight equitable grading

Teachers are introduced to three core philosophies at staff professional development
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