The Octagon

Chardonnay Needler
Junior Chardonnay, an amateur food connoisseur and judger of most American pop music, has no concept of boredom. When she’s not practicing cello, going through her neuroscience-and-linguistics-infested Quora feed, or watching British television or the Chinese version of “The Voice,” she’s probably learning a new language - or wasting time on “that side” of YouTube. She has started more projects than she has finished, but it’s not due to laziness. It’s because ... Well, she forgot why. Contact at

Chardonnay Needler, Online Editor-in-Chief

Aug 13, 2018
MUSINGS FROM THE MIDDLE KINGDOM: Atheist propaganda doesn’t mean religion’s been squashed (Story/Media)
Aug 14, 2018
MUSINGS FROM THE MIDDLE KINGDOM: Atheist propaganda doesn’t mean religion’s been squashed (Media)
Jul 02, 2018
A tale of two French films: actor goes from incestuous brother to niqab in drag in hilariously bizarre movies (Story)
Jun 30, 2018
Third installment of cannibalistic Japanese anime series starts off gentle, perfect for new viewers (Story)
Jun 15, 2018
Athletically competitive class hangs up their jerseys (Media)
Jun 08, 2018
Second grade teacher retires to use linguistic background to help granddaughter in Montana (Story)
May 21, 2018
Feeling stressed out in your dorm? Just pat your lizard, snake — or porcupine! (Story)
May 21, 2018
Llama rancher behind ‘Llamapalooza’ shines light on the ‘mystics of the Andes’ (Story)
May 09, 2018
Golf team seizes section championship for first time in school history ()
Apr 19, 2018
Seniors’ solos shine in consecutive spring concerts (video included) (Story)
Apr 07, 2018
After losing first set, senior bounces back with better footwork (Media)
Apr 04, 2018
Junior’s string snaps, but team still snatches victory against Golden Sierra (Media)
Apr 04, 2018
‘I hope that a white man hasn’t done it’ – teachers who were teens during MLK’s assassination tell their stories ()
Apr 02, 2018
‘Ready Player One’ – a futuristic film that’s full of ’90s nostalgia (Story)
Mar 27, 2018
Mock Trial places 13th in state competition, proposes rule violation for first time (podcast included) (Story)
Mar 10, 2018
Tennis team wins all but one match against Encina Preparatory High School (Media)
Mar 05, 2018
Not guilty: Mock Trial team casts doubt on ‘aggressive’ Rio witnesses through effective objections ()
Feb 28, 2018
They did it! Mock Trial goes to state for first time in school history. (Story)
Feb 23, 2018
P.E. teacher fractures, dislocates wrist while riding at 25 miles per hour during polo match ()
Feb 08, 2018
THE SKINNY: It’s time for my beloved Carmichael to have its own ‘Lady Bird’ moment (Media)
Jan 14, 2018
‘Mother figure of middle school’ remembered by faculty, staff after end of cancer battle (Story)
Jan 06, 2018
Alumni discuss roommates, school politics, and more on annual college freshman panel (videos included) (Story)
Dec 11, 2017
Q&A: As Thomas Fires spread to Santa Barbara, Zoë Bowlus, ’16, heads home early with finals postponed until January (Story)
Dec 08, 2017
UPDATE ON UC EDUCATIONS: Despite welcome changes, international students say program still needs tweaking (Media)
Dec 04, 2017
MY ANGLE: Runners aren’t the only ones exhausted by marathon races (Story)
Nov 22, 2017
THANKSGIVING THOUGHTS: Junior from Beijing to combine college tour with holiday celebration in SoCal (Media)
Nov 20, 2017
Murderous clown, haunted hotel, vengeful stalker leave students screaming (Story)
Nov 08, 2017
Drop in enrollment delays budget release, frustrating elective teachers (Story)
Oct 20, 2017
NAHS chalk mural honors Hayao Miyazaki of Studio Ghibli, iconic anime films (video included) (Story)
Oct 12, 2017
Juniors, seniors take annual trip to Ashland, experience Oregonian life (video and slideshow included) (Story)
Oct 09, 2017
Octagon stories on Breakthrough, international students nominated for national awards (Story)
Sep 16, 2017
Black Team crushes Red Team at annual Ancil Hoffman picnic (slideshow included) (Story)
Jul 17, 2017
My Angle: Does a female Doctor really show gender equality? (Story)
Jul 09, 2017
Q&A: Senior ties for 2nd in national swimming competition, will represent Team USA in August (videos included) (Story)
Jul 07, 2017
‘Doctor Who’ Season 10: Trends continue even as curtain closes on current Doctor (trailer included) (Story)
Jun 21, 2017
Art teacher Patricia Kelly retiring to pursue art, travel after 13 years of laughter, innovation, inspiration (Story)
Jun 06, 2017
Octagon, Student Council, Medallion introduce new positions for 2017-18 school year (Story)
May 13, 2017
Senior lands lead role of Swanhilda, freshman plays peasant in upcoming Sac Ballet ‘Coppelia’ (Story)
May 10, 2017
High school adds AP Music Theory, AP Computer Science Principles, civil rights history elective (Story)
Apr 25, 2017
Orchestra to perform in spring concert all on its own (Media)
Apr 08, 2017
CYNICISM AT THE CINEMA: Eerily familiar setting in ‘The Man in the High Castle’ draws in viewer (video included) (Story)
Mar 24, 2017
Art, history teachers shout last Renaissance Faire ‘huzzah!’ (Story)
Mar 23, 2017
Mock Trial tackles human trafficking, places 2nd in Sacramento County, most competitive district (Story/Media)
Mar 18, 2017
Athletes, coaches celebrate season successes at winter sports banquet (Media)
Mar 12, 2017
After facing off against Encina and Highlands, players look to hone in on skills (Media)
Mar 02, 2017
Mock Trial falls to Elk Grove in finals, finishing second in county (Story)
Mar 01, 2017
CYNICISM AT THE CINEMA: ‘The Red Turtle’ tells of time’s beauty, destruction (Story)
Feb 26, 2017
Mock Trial makes school history by advancing to finals; coach says team could be the strongest ever (Story)
Feb 26, 2017
Teachers, amateur student filmmakers predict Oscar outcomes (Story)
Feb 25, 2017
Now ranked 1st, Mock Trial team edges out win over Rio Americano despite unusual verdict (Story)
Feb 20, 2017
‘La La Land’ soundtrack encompasses all of film’s motifs, amazes high-school cellist (Story)
Feb 19, 2017
Two perfect scorers, witnesses propel Mock Trial team to third win (Story)
Feb 16, 2017
Witnesses, seniors ‘shine’ in second round of Mock Trial competitions (Story)
Feb 10, 2017
Six teachers’ plans for retirement range from researching Native Americans to volunteering at the MIND Institute (Story)
Feb 09, 2017
MY ANGLE: Yes, it’s spelled exactly like the wine! (Story)
Feb 08, 2017
With little time to prepare, Mock Trial still conquers Del Campo due to ability to think critically (Story)
Feb 07, 2017
CYNICISM AT THE CINEMA: Lack of originality in season’s opening episode of ‘Sherlock’ proves the real mystery (Story)
Feb 05, 2017
CYNICISM AT THE CINEMA: Yes, ‘La La Land’ deserves all its praise (Story)
Jan 20, 2017
Why fine arts teachers say AP Music Theory isn’t happening (Story)
Jan 04, 2017
CYNICISM AT THE CINEMA: ‘Sky Ladder: The Art of Cai Guo-Qiang’ – touching story brings light to art made by fireworks (Story)
Dec 31, 2016
SHOP TILL YOU DROP: Oto’s sells bentos, fish, desserts, Daiso goods (Story)
Dec 21, 2016
CYNICISM AT THE CINEMA: ‘Look Who’s Back’ an unlikely combination of comedy and neo-Nazi terror (trailer included) (Story)
Dec 15, 2016
Composing Castro’s obituary: a story 30 years in the making that says a lot about newspapers (Story)
Dec 02, 2016
CYNICISM AT THE CINEMA: ‘The Beauty Inside’ gives a whole new definition to losing face in a relationship (trailer included) (Story)
Nov 15, 2016
CYNICISM AT THE CINEMA: ‘Doctor Strange’ a tale of complicated heroes and kaleidoscopic worlds (trailer included) (Story)
Nov 11, 2016
MY ANGLE: More vacations aren’t better for everyone (Story)
Nov 09, 2016
Varsity volleyball loses to Big Valley Christian in first round of playoffs (Story)
Nov 08, 2016
Varsity volleyball ends season with 11-1 record, ties for first in league (Story)
Oct 27, 2016
MY ANGLE: ‘Illegal’ PSAT memes provide hilarious entertainment for teens across the country (Story)
Oct 23, 2016
Even after a slow start and changed line-up, varsity volleyball defeats El Dorado Adventist (Story)
Oct 16, 2016
Seniors shine in easy Homecoming victory over Buckingham Charter (Story)
Oct 16, 2016
Missed serves, inexperienced refs, week of no practice lead to varsity volleyball loss to Valley Christian (Story)
Oct 12, 2016
NKOTB: New sophomore from Orange County makes films, plays oboe, golfs in his free time (Story)
Oct 10, 2016
For the second time this season, taking down Cristo Rey is a breeze for varsity volleyball (Story)
Oct 09, 2016
Electro Scan internship for Ben Felix, ’16, includes travel, simulations (Story)
Sep 28, 2016
Young varsity team’s coherence not enough to take down Woodland Christian (Story)
Sep 26, 2016
Girls’ varsity volleyball places third in tournament while playing in new rotation due to injured and absent players (Story)
Sep 21, 2016
Girls’ varsity volleyball easily takes down Buckingham Charter (Story)
Sep 18, 2016
Enthusiastic crowd cheers on girls to victory over Valley Christian at the Sports Boosters’ Chili Cookoff (Story)
Sep 14, 2016
Varsity volleyball vanquishes Victory Christian, but runs out of steam at the end (Story)
Sep 11, 2016
Consistent hits, defensive strategies give varsity volleyball victory against Cristo Rey (Story)
Sep 10, 2016
Girls take down Cornerstone Christian by pulling ahead in their final set (Story)
Sep 02, 2016
Despite first-game loss to Forest Lake, JV volleyball girls say they’re pleased (Story)
Aug 27, 2016
Nine players run in season’s first cross country meet; coach wants to take back varsity boys’ league title (Story)
Aug 07, 2016
Q&A: Former SCDS student Pete Grieve interns at Democratic National Convention, sneaks into Clinton’s Friends and Family box (Story)
Aug 05, 2016
AP test results set school record with 91.7 percent of tests earning 3’s or higher (Story)
Jul 11, 2016
Where does tuition go? CFO Bill Petchauer provides a breakdown of school expenses (Story)
May 28, 2016
Alumnus makes and sells flashy crocheted pants on Etsy (Story)
May 22, 2016
Local band directors help Jazz Bands, concert band prepare for Forum Festival; all three groups earn silver ratings (Media)
May 11, 2016
In the rain with one sub, lacrosse team unfazed by Latino College Prep’s zone defense (Story)
May 05, 2016
With one more sub than usual, lacrosse team rolls to another win over Bella Vista (Story)
Apr 30, 2016
Lacrosse team wins on turf field against 23-player Cardinal Newman roster (Story)
Apr 29, 2016
Seniors rush to complete graduation requirements (Story)
Apr 28, 2016
Four students’ laptops stolen from music room during concert (Story)
Apr 21, 2016
Eleven lacrosse boys defeat Bella Vista team of 20 in first game of season (Story)
Apr 19, 2016
All aboard! Students to dance on train at Prom, Saturday, April 23 (Story)
Mar 29, 2016
Raw-food, no-sugar, juice-cleanse diets test students’ willpower (Story)
Mar 20, 2016
FRESHMAN FOCUS: Ryan Hoddick chooses business over nursing, loves being part of Wolf Pack at University of Nevada, Reno (Story)
Mar 14, 2016
Training together takes ‘work’ out of workout; students challenge, help, tease and encourage each other to get stronger (Story)
Feb 29, 2016
Finishing first in league, victorious men’s ski team heads to states after Boreal slalom (full recap) (Story)
Feb 23, 2016
No. 6 varsity Cavs upset No. 3 Stockton Christian in first round of playoffs (Story)
Feb 12, 2016
Seniors shine in big win over Esparto (Story)
Feb 03, 2016
Turnovers pile up in varsity girls’ loss to Valley Christian (Story)
Jan 27, 2016
Lack of height due to high-scoring center’s absence poses challenge for varsity girls (Story/Media)
Jan 24, 2016
Even without leading scorer, varsity girls capitalize on Buckingham’s ‘offensive blunders’ in win (Story)
Jan 22, 2016
FRESHMAN FOCUS: Aishwarya Nadgauda deals with difficult clients, demanding math teacher in business, engineering dual program at UPenn (Story)
Jan 15, 2016
Switching up defense in second half helps bring varsity girls to strong Homecoming victory over Faith Christian (Story)
Jan 09, 2016
Varsity girls grab third win of the week with a dominating victory over Cristo Rey (Story)
Jan 05, 2016
Varsity girls outscore Sac Adventist by 18 in third quarter (Story)
Dec 18, 2015
SPORTS SHORT: Coach Vargo says varsity girls need to work on turnovers, rebounding, following 20-43 loss to Highlands (Story)
Dec 16, 2015
Varsity basketball girls overcome Delta’s second-half push in narrow 36-33 win (Story)
Dec 09, 2015
Campus preps for El Niño rains; meteorologists predict it to be strongest season in 18 years  (Story)
Dec 08, 2015
Varsity girls trump Woodland Christian, 42-23 (Story)
Nov 22, 2015
Q&A with Grant Lyon: Meet the alum starring in Cici’s Pizza, AT&T and Johnsonville Sausages ads (Story)
Nov 21, 2015
Though not emotionally prepared to return, Mary-Clare Bosco is back in Sacramento following Paris attacks (Story)
Nov 14, 2015
Studying in Paris, Mary-Clare Bosco is shaken up by attacks, forced by Pomona College to return to U.S. (Story)
Oct 30, 2015
FRESHMAN FOCUS: Lauren Larrabee hikes in Himalayas, interns at TripAdvisor in New York City before a winter start at Colorado College (Story)
Oct 24, 2015
Three injuries later, JV girls fall to Valley Christian, 2-0, at Homecoming game (Story)
Sep 18, 2015
GET READY FOR SEASON NINE: Doctor’s companion on her way out in new season of ‘Doctor Who’ (Story)
Sep 13, 2015
Frishman switches it up, choosing a drama, not a comedy, for the fall play: ‘The Paper Chase’ (Story)
Sep 04, 2015
Did Jill cause Jack’s disaster? Freshman Chardonnay Needler’s third-place story has latest details (Story)