The student news site of Portola High School

Portola Pilot

The student news site of Portola High School

Portola Pilot

The student news site of Portola High School

Portola Pilot

Freshman Belan Ngo’s crochet designs are heavily inspired by fashion trends she sees on social media platforms, whether it be TikTok, Pinterest or Instagram. “I saw videos on TikTok, actually. There was this one girl who was making a heart crochet hat, and I couldn’t find a tutorial on YouTube, so she helped me with it and sent me different videos to learn off of,” Ngo said. “I also check people’s Instagrams and see what’s most popular at the moment and see if I can turn it into a crochet item.”

Student Small Businesses: Freshman Belan Ngo Crafts Business with Homemade Apparel

Lauren Hsu and Akshay Raj
April 5, 2021

Metallic flashes of a crochet hook bob between ropes of sage-green yarn as freshman Belan Ngo meticulously constructs the first item in her new line of products for her Depop business: a woven, white-trimmed...

 Although the awards ceremony was online this year, Academic Decathlon members still cheered each other on from their own homes.

Academic Decathlon Has its Best Year Yet

Aryan Mittal, Staff Writer
March 26, 2021

Traditionally, Academic Decathlons’ awards ceremonies are festive celebratory occasions where the whole team gets together and awards are called out. Winners would walk up to the stage to accept their...

This raw image shows the bottom of the Perseverance rover against the red of the Mars ground. For more images, check out NASA’s Mars Perseverance raw image collection.

Perseverance Rover Takes a Grand Landing in Student Interest

Krisha Konchadi and Aryan Mittal
March 26, 2021

After the Mars rover Perseverance landing on Feb. 18, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has reached new discoveries on March 10 through its use of newly -invented technology on the...

Senior Gina Cardini, along with her parents and younger brother, visit the Taj Mahal on one of the many excursions the family took during their time living in India. “I cherish those six years of my life with all my heart,” Cardini said. “Everything that Ive done in those six years are literally some of my favorite memories in the world.”

Citizen of the World: Gina Cardini

Charlotte Cao, Co-News Editor
March 23, 2021

“It's beautiful being a citizen of the world. That's what I call myself, because I don't really have a home or a place to call my home.”  Over Zoom, I watch as a wistful smile blooms across...

March 2021: Volume 5 Issue 3

March 2021: Volume 5 Issue 3

The Portola Pilot
March 22, 2021 Best viewed on desktop!

It has been one year since March 13, which is when schools had to close in response to the rising cases of the Coronavirus pandemic. The class of 2024 transitioned from middle school to high school with little-to-no at-school interaction, and they reflect on their journey so far.

Class of 2024 Reflects on Year with Hybrid Learning

Michelle Kim and Haruka Noda
March 18, 2021

A full year of a combination of distance and hybrid learning has passed, which means the class of 2024 has experienced a rather atypical freshman year. Although faced with limitations from fewer in-person...

Irvine Unified superintendent Terry Walker sent out the email officially closing Portola High on March 13 at 12:45 p.m. while students were in their sixth periods.

Portola High Closed Exactly One Year Ago – Today

Ryne Dunman, Business Team
March 12, 2021

Distant. Unthinkable. The virus couldn’t possibly reach the United States. Not California. Not Orange County. Not Irvine. And definitely not our school campus. Friday, March 13, 2020. On that...

Plastic bags can be reused or repurposed as many necessary items, such as a reusable bag. This helps reduce plastic waste in oceans and the environment, while still looking stylish.

Minimizing Waste for Sustainable Living in COVID

Dheeksha Bhima Reddy, Staff Writer
March 2, 2021

An emphasis on sustainable living and protecting the environment has been important for many years as individuals start to shift their lives in order to produce a smaller carbon footprint. However, the...

Student Small Businesses: Senior’s Dreams Are No Longer a Delusion Through Clothing Brand Delusional Matter

Student Small Businesses: Senior’s Dreams Are No Longer a Delusion Through Clothing Brand Delusional Matter

Kayla Moshayedi and Ariana Wu
March 1, 2021

As the time on the screen changes from 1:59 to 2:00 p.m., senior Youssef Yassin’s new website,, makes its Feb. 22 online debut, releasing neutral colored sweatshirts and modern...

Club member and freshman Alexander Epps often practices signing to 
co-president and junior Julianna Epps in one-to-one conversations. Together, they work on basics by asking and answering questions in sign language like, “Do you have a sister?”

American Sign Language Club Motions for Inclusivity

Claudia Lin, Co-News Editor
February 26, 2021

Delicate fingers move swiftly across the body, each one switching through varying hand motions. Co-presidents and juniors Elyse Dudley and Julianna Epps briskly pull the palm of their hands up to the rim...

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