San Marcos High School ~ Santa Barbara, CA

The King's Page

The King's Page

The King's Page

Welcome Back Royals!

The 2022-23 school year is upon us and it has come with some serious changes to student’s day to day life. From a new principal, to a new app being the basis for classes, to solar power being introduced, and a new “off and away” phone policy, this year is going to look different for the Royals. We at the King’s Page would like to welcome everyone back on campus and give you all the news from the first week of school! Below we have information on our new Principal, the difference of the first day of school for a freshman vs. a senior, the upcoming football season, new SMEA director, SM solar panels, back to school outfits and movies, and Canvas.

Holdren’s Homecoming

As many may have heard, Principal Holdren is a San Marcos High School graduate in ‘93, a member of our Athletics Hall of Fame, and has previously been a teacher at San Marcos for 16 years, hired in September 2000. From starting as a substitute here, to Drivers Ed, Typing, P.E. Teacher, to Social Studies, and later as the school’s Dean of Student Engagement from 2018-2019 he has a lot of history with San Marcos.

Photo courtesy of Rodrigo Gonzales Rodriguez

“It really felt like coming home,” said Principal Holdren. “When I was a kid I remember coming to the football and basketball games as one of my earliest memories.” 

Principal Holdren has also been a former football coach and assistant wrestling coach. In 2008, he won Channel League Coach of the Year in his final season. Plus, this school year, he is looking forward to enjoying the student experience; games, plays, music, and more.  

“I am trying very hard to create an atmosphere where students and staff are inspired to be creative and have fun.”

Most recently, Principal Holdren was the assistant principal at Dos Pueblos High School, where he oversaw athletics, activities, ASB accounts, and the School Leadership Team. Before that, he was the Principal at Solvang High School for two years. Overall, he has spent more than 20 years in different capacities within the Santa Barbara Unified district, making him more than qualified to take on the job of principal at SM.

Starting School in Different Grades


Staff Writer

Going back to school can be different for everyone, especially in high school. Some people might be worrying about college, while others might be worrying about their first day in a new school. Talking to both seniors and freshmen helps shed some light on how different the first day of school can be for students. 

“School kind of hit me like a brick wall,” said freshman Henry Gambill. He was feeling “neutral” about school starting. “I was also a little nervous,” said Henry. The first day of school is stressful for all grade levels. Henry said he was most nervous about not having any friends and being alone. 

On the other hand, senior water polo player Charlie Franzen said, “I wasn’t nervous about anything. I’ve been here for 3 years already but if I had to pick something I’d pick calculus.” 

Sometimes finding something to be excited for in school is challenging. Charlie was excited for his senior year of water polo and, “dominating the other teams.” 

For Henry it was hard to find something to be excited about, “I don’t know, a change of scenery?” 

Since a couple of days of school have gone by, it was interesting to see how the first days compared to their expectations.

Charlie said that the first day had matched up to his expectations, “I’m not like a freshman scurrying around all over the place.” 

Henry on the other hand said that school was even worse than he expected, “All my classes were messed up.”

For seniors, high school is a little bit more relaxed and organized in terms of expectations and new classes. For freshmen it is a little more hectic and nerve-racking. However, something that everyone has in common is that we all work hard and we are all a part of the Royals community.

Season Opener Football Game


Staff Writer

The San Marcos boys varsity football team traveled to Morro Bay to open their season last Friday. They won by a total score of 35-18, led by senior running back Andre McCullough who rushed for 216 yards. 

Photo courtesy of Olivia Marceda

“I was really happy with the way I played last Friday,” said senior Andre McCullough. “I had a lot of good runs and two touchdowns. This season opener makes me really excited for the upcoming season and gives me hope for our success.” 

They were also led by their dominant offensive line that allowed them to score 35 points. 

Junior Dante Bruice, a member of the offensive line said, “With the help of our offensive line we were able to dominate them and get out to an early lead then hold the lead and have an easy 17 point win.” 

Joe Engle also had a good first game as the starting quarterback for the Royals. He completed 13 of 21 passes for 163 yards. Both Senior Adrian Alaniz and Senior Arturo Luna both scored on receptions for the royals. 

The Royals have high hopes for this season and are looking for Channel League and CIF titles. Their home opener is on Friday, the 26th, against Santa Maria at 6:30 PM. 

Our New SMEA Director


Staff Writer

Photo courtesy of Rebekah Sugano

This year we are welcoming our new Entrepreneurship Academy director Mr. Olsen. Actually, welcoming back. Mr. Olsen was previously both a student teacher and a history teacher at San Marcos 14 years ago. He has two sons, ages 3 and 6. He enjoys hiking, camping, and going to the beach! He has had over 10 years of experience in Economics and Business including working on a curriculum board which made him perfect for the role of SMEA director. Mr. Olsen previously taught economics, business, and history in both Vietnam and the Bay area. It just so happened that as Mr. Olsen and his family were looking to move back to Santa Barbara, San Marcos was looking for a new director and econ teacher. As Mr. Olsen had been connected with Devries from his time as a student teacher here, the hiring process was very straightforward.  

In an interview with Mr. Olsen he expressed feeling really excited about the upcoming year and everything to come. I asked him what his favorite thing about San Marcos is so far and he responded saying:

“I have a great feeling about the energy of the campus, all the students and teachers seem to be very excited about having a hopefully normal school year.” 

We are incredibly excited to have added Mr. Olsen to the Royal pride this year!

San Marcos Goes Solar


Staff Writer

San Marcos High School has now joined the list of schools powered by solar energy. Over the summer, construction began on the C-lot to add in the new solar panels. These structures will power most of our school’s electricity, which has a positive effect on our environment.

Photo courtesy of Sienna Benavidez

As of 2020 there are over 7,000 schools (K-12) across the US that are powered by solar installations. Solar energy is a renewable energy source – along with wind and hydropower- meaning that it does not deplete natural resources when used, unlike fossil fuels.

According to the website for the U.S. department of energy, “most of the nation’s electricity was generated by natural gas, nuclear energy, and coal in 2020.” It also stated that, “renewable energy sources generated about 20% of the country’s electricity in 2020.” Burning fossil fuels to generate electricity contributes to over 40% of energy related carbon dioxide emissions, which then goes into our atmosphere. This accumulation of greenhouse gasses fuels climate change. When solar panels are generating electricity, they produce no greenhouse gasses, making it a better alternative.

Once the construction is done, the solar panels will replace fossil fuels and start generating our school’s electricity, which is a step in the right direction towards battling climate change.

Trending Back to school outfits 


Staff Writer

It’s back to school season, and you know what that means. Everyone is stressing about their first day of school outfit. What are the trends going to be for this year? Oversized? Cropped? Grunge? Y2K? 

Olivia Marceda, a Junior at San Marcos, spent her whole weekend planning what she would wear on the first day of school. Her reasoning being she wanted to look good for her mom’s ‘Very famous first day of school Instagram post with her brother.’ But lucky for her she’s in the San Marcos fashion club and has amazing style. 

Photo courtesy of Olivia Marceda

Olivia’s favorite fashion trends right now are hot pink outfits for spring and Kim Kardashian’s “Balenciaga moment.” She loves pairing socks and gloves which is more of a “fall and winter thing but its really cute” she says. Of course not everyone wants to come to school everyday in jeans, skirts, dresses and cute tops because it’s not always super comfy so what are some lazy day cozy outfits? Liv says she likes to pain herself when it comes to clothes she walks to school “in my Abraham Lincoln shoes” (a pair of loafers) but her go-to lazy day fits are sweatpants and a hoodie.             

Senior Camila Hernandez says her favorite stores to shop at for back to school are, “Brandy Melville and Urban outfitters because they have cut clothes in store and online and they fit my style so that’s what i go for.” Camila spends a lot of time thinking about her first day outfit. She said, “This year I started thinking about my back to school outfit the week before school, I just think it’s fun to have a plan for an outfit that day.”

New Canvas App


Staff Writer

Coming back to school after summer break has enough changes; new teachers, new classmates, new schedule, but now, a new school app on top of it. Canvas. An app used by schools and universities across the country, which has now made its debut at San Marcos High School. Having used NEO for so long, making such a change has had an effect on students and staff.

Photo courtesy of creative commons

“We had four years of NEO so I got really used to it. It was easy to use and Canvas is just brand new and it’s really hard to use.” said Junior Julia Soler.

Like most students, Canvas has been a big and difficult challenge to overcome this school year so far. Having first heard of having to change to Canvas at the start of the school year has elicited some strong feelings among students across campus.

“My first thought was why? Why do you want to give us something that we have to learn over again instead of using what we know?” said Junior Julia Soler.

Everyone in the district who used NEO has made the change to Canvas. Obviously making this change must be more difficult for some than for others. With that said, there are a lot of features of Canvas that are a bit easier than NEO. For example, being able to color coordinate your classes and see which assignments are due when, and having a tab that lists all your assignments. Canvas will be an adjustment, but once students adapt, they will be able to see the positive effects of this change.

Best Back-to-School Movies


Staff Writer

Image courtesy of Ms. Willbanks

The start of the school year brings along new crushes, new friends, and new drama. The sudden change from a laid-back summer to suddenly having assignments due can be jarring. Instead of wasting hours on social media, escape from our world and into the world of teenage movies! 

Starring Linsday Lohan, several other 2000’s It Girls, and some of SNL’s finest, Mean Girls is a must-watch. Hopefully, your year doesn’t end up like Cady Heron’s, but this cult classic is a reliable laugh and just ridiculous enough to watch over and over again without getting bored of the timeless teenage woes at the center of its plot. 

In Ferris Bueler’s Day Off, Ferris takes one last adventure before he graduates from high school, but he has to make sure he avoids being caught by his fed-up principal, his hot-headed sister, or his unsuspecting parents. Crista Nyun-Han, a senior, said, “I didn’t think a movie from the eighties could be that funny.”

Jaw Breaker is to die for- literally. After three uber popular best friends accidentally kill their other BFF, they have to cover their tracks while also making sure the girl who witnessed it all keeps quiet. This satirical take on high school hierarchies is an important reminder to not take popularity too seriously- you might end up dead. 

While you certainly should not follow all of the examples set in these movies, it might make you appreciate how normal your life is comparatively!

Donate to The King's Page

Your donation will support the student journalists of San Marcos High School. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
About the Contributor
Olivia Marceda
Olivia Marceda, Editor-in-Chief
Olivia is a San Marcos High School senior, and this is now her fourth year with the King’s Page. She loves dogs and has a two-year-old Pomeranian. She enjoys reading, coffee, fashion, music, and going out with friends. Her favorite color is pink, and she is the campus fashion club president. She is involved in the Entrepreneurship Academy, and in her past years with the King’s Page, she was a Staff Writer, Lifestyle Editor, and Sports Editor, but this year, she is very excited to be an Editor-in-Chief.
Donate to The King's Page

Activate Search
San Marcos High School ~ Santa Barbara, CA
Welcome Back Royals!