Meet Our Staff

Thank you for supporting our newspaper. We love what we do, and we do it with passion.

Nicole Iwamasa

Co-Editor-in-Chief, Chief Illustrator

Senior

Originally drawn to Newswriting  by the allure of illustrating for a publication, Nicole Iwamasa fell in love with all aspects of the interdisciplinary class, from writing thought-provoking columns to laying out designs. A zealous tea drinker, (her current favorite is genmaicha), she hopes to one day discover the “perfect tea” as she ventures through life.

Tara Mie Morisato

Co-Editor-in-Chief

Senior

Tara Mie Morisato found a second home in the Newswriting room — according to local myths, she haunts it at this very moment. Outside that world of words and writing, she loves eating ramen, gallivanting with friends, and playing the french horn in the Kaiser band. Born and raised in Honolulu, she aspires to attend college on the mainland so that she may pursue a political science degree and many cans of Trader Joe’s cocoa batons.

Eui Jin Song

Co-Editor-in-Chief

Senior

Eui Jin Song first entered the Newswriting  world in sophomore year and hasn’t left since. She is drawn especially to writing about polarizing political issues and film reviews. Outside of Newswriting , she is an avid film-watcher who makes it her mission to watch at least two films at the theater every month. She could discuss character development, recurring motifs, and themes for hours on end, and loves Quentin Tarantino and Bong Joon Ho films.

Haley Lenander

Associate Editor

Senior

First drawn to Newswriting  as a result of her love of writing in general, Haley Lenander joined the Newswriting  staff in her junior year. Her appreciation of the camaraderie of the class led her to put in more hours to write more articles and work on layouts, which eventually led to her being chosen as associate editor. She especially enjoys writing editorial articles, as she believes it pushes her to learn more about topics she is initially interested in. She is looking to major in computer science, hoping to study at a college on the west coast.

Sakura Liu

Layouts Editor

Senior

Before joining the Newswriting team, Sakura Liu was an Editor-in-Chief for the Yearbook. With the transition of the traditional newspaper layout to the magazine-style format in 2018, she decided to join the Newswriting team to work on making creative and colorful layouts. She has currently been working on the majority of the layout for the past 2 years.

Sierra Okazaki

Copy Editor

Sophomore

Sierra Okazaki has always had a passion for expressing her thoughts on paper. She discovered the Newswriting  class at Kaiser High when her brother, Nicholas Okazaki, was an editor. At first, she was hesitant about having her writings published. She’s glad she decided to test her skills by joining Newswriting , and plans to graduate as a Kaiser news writer.

Ingus Stegis

News Editor

Junior

A latecomer to the Cougar Connection, Ingus Stegis regrets not bringing better snacks to layouts sessions. In his spare time (and his “homework” time), Ingus watches Let’s Plays on YouTube and plays chess. He wants to become financially successful so that he can buy the games – instead of watching others play them. 

Natalie Clay

Editorials Editor

Freshman

Natalie Clay developed a passion for Newswriting  in the beginning of her freshman year and hopes to continue with news production throughout high school. Beyond writing, she enjoys babysitting, hiking, snowboarding and watching each Marvel film over a million times. Regarding her future, she often finds herself dreaming about the many routes she can take, but can never decide on just one.

Jaida Burgon

Staff Writer

Senior

Jaida Burgon began writing her thoughts on paper as a preteen and soon saw writing as something she wanted to pursue in the future. When she entered high school she learned about the Cougar Connection and was eager to join. Since sophomore year, Burgon has continuously written an advice column due to her passion of helping others. Burgon hopes to attend college outside of the “melting pot of the pacific” and experience new opportunities.

Lilia Donley

Staff Writer, Photographer

Junior

Lilia Donley joined the Cougar Connection with the intention to become more aware of the events in her community. Throughout her time on the newspaper staff, she has found a passion for taking pictures and being a part of community events. Outside of school, you can find her at the beach with her friends or taking pictures at sporting events. In the future, she hopes to go to a college in Southern California and pursue nursing.

Sean Field-Torres

Staff Writer

Junior

Sean Field-Torres has always enjoyed writing in his classes. As his high school career progressed, he became more interested in further pursuing that passion of writing. Newswriting allows Sean a platform to discuss topics that he is passionate about. He joined during his junior year and it has become one of his favorite classes throughout his time at Kaiser.

Mia Kessler

Staff Writer

Junior

Mia Kessler developed an interest for journalism this year and enjoys lending help to her fellow staff writers. When she has free time she enjoys creative writing, daydreaming, and reading fiction novels. She also has a severe addiction to milk tea and eating midnight snacks.

Ailee Knauff

Staff Writer

Sophomore

For as long as Ailee can remember she’s had a passion for writing, whether through her childhood short stories about dragons and princesses, and her yearlong PenPal relationship with a friend in Seattle. When she learned of the Cougar Connection during her sophomore year she knew that it was the right class for her. Not only does Ailee love writing, she loves baking as well. Since 6th grade, she’s been making her own goodies for holidays like Christmas and Valentines to give to her friends. 

Morgan Ku

Staff Writer

Senior

Morgan Ku joined the Newswriting class in his junior year, and since then has written articles featuring a variety of topics that range from editorials to cats. Morgan has an interest in a variety of things, but his main passion is writing. In the future, Morgan hopes to see a variety of places around the world and write for a long time to come. And also to pet a lot of cats. That’s very important.

Kayla Lum

Staff Writer

Junior

Kayla Lum originally joined the newspaper staff in an effort to simply try something new, but found a passion for writing and editing articles. In other areas of her life, she is your typical ambitious and competitive student with multiple leadership, sports, and club responsibilities crammed into her schedule. In the future, she aspires to move back to California to pursue a college education as a biology major.

Kera Nishimura

Staff Writer

Junior

This is Kera Nishimura’s first year in the Cougar Connection and she is happy to be a part of the Newswriting  team. Outside of school, she loves photography, watching Marvel and Old Hollywood movies such as Singin’ in the Rain and Cabaret. As for the future, she aspires to be an Emergency Medical Technician or Nurse in hopes to help more people. 

Tony Ou

Staff Writer

Junior

Tony Ou joined the Cougar Connection staff in his junior year and has fallen in love with it ever since, being especially drawn to writing editorials on polarizing subjects. When he isn’t writing, Tony can be found drinking tea, playing chess and taking care of his cat.

Madeleine San

Staff Writer

Sophomore

The creativity that Madeleine San gets to express in writing articles inspired her to continue working on the Cougar Connection staff for the rest of her high school years. Her hobbies include fashion, Youtube, and walking her dog.

Hana Suh

Staff Writer

Sophomore

Hana Suh has always enjoyed writing and wanted to share her thoughts through Newswriting  and she wants to continue doing so until she graduates. Her hobbies include playing piano, baking, and taking naps. In the future, Hana hopes to become a geriatric nurse. 

Charlotte Tang

Staff Writer

Sophomore

Charlotte Tang joined Newswriting  in her Sophomore year and was fascinated by the various skills and tasks involved in the making of a Cougar Connection issue. Her responsibilities from leadership roles and clubs fill up much of her schedule, but in her free time, you can find Charlotte shopping with friends, or watching movies at home to unwind.

Claire Williams

Staff Writer

Junior

Claire Williams has always had a passion for writing. She joined the Cougar Connection in her junior year and her passion for it has only increased more since then. Claire is also a member of the water polo team and spends much of her time at the Kaiser pool. In the future, Claire hopes to attend a school in the Pacific Northwest to attain a degree in psychology.

Kaylie Yoshinaga

Staff Writer

Sophomore

Kaylie Yoshinaga fell in love with the excitement and comfort that books brought her at a young age. Yet, the task of putting her writing out into the world always seemed too daunting. Joining the Cougar Connection has helped her become more comfortable with her voice. As for her future, she hopes to pursue a degree in journalism as well as graduate from law school.