About

We are the students of the Mills High School Journalism class, led by Adviser Kelly Hensley.

Editors-in-Chief

Joelle Tenderich (12) — Joelle Tenderich is an ambitious, hard-working student at Mills High School and the editor-in-chief of the Thunderbolt. She has been in the Mills journalism class for four years now, working up from being a staff writer, to a photo editor, and then a sports editor. Outside of the class, she is the president of Service Commission, the Varsity Girls Water Polo goalie, a CSF club and SSJ member, and a math instructor at Mathnasium in Burlingame. In her free time, she enjoys visiting the beach and San Francisco, spending time with family, and reading.

Kelley Xuereb (12) — Kelley Xuereb is a senior at Mills and one of the Editors-in-chief of The Thunderbolt. She is passionate about journalism and law, and is planning to pursue a degree in International Relations to work with human rights violations internationally. Kelley spends her free time working with youth in Pacifica, volunteering at the Peninsula Humane Society & SPCA, attending the World Affairs Council and keeping up with various clubs at Mills. She has been in the journalism class for the last four years and values the strong leadership and communication skills she has gained through her various experiences as a writer, manager, and editor of the newspaper.

Editors and Managers


Kaitlyn Chan (11), News Editor/Business Manager
— Kaitlyn Chan is in her second year of Journalism as the News Editor and Co-Business Manager. Although she may seem like her head is in the clouds, she is a girl with a plan, determined to make the Thunderbolt known to all. Aside from struggling with InDesign, she sporadically blogs, does techy stuff, and captains the Girls Varsity Tennis team. She hopes you find the newspaper engaging, so read all about it!

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George Calderon (11), Features Editors
— George Calderon is a junior at Mills High School and is the Features editor for the Thunderbolt. He is an all around accepting guy who loves to learn and wants to see the world. He enjoys hiking, camping, gardening, reading, working at the Exploratorium and hanging out with friends. He spends much of his time lounging in his backyard with Mr. Whiskers purring at his side.

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Lizzie DeAlba (12), Center Spread Editor
— Lizzie DeAlba is a senior here at Mills and is the Center Spread editor for the  Thunderbolt. With a passion for writing, math, and science, Lizzie hopes to pursue a career in either Biochemistry or Pharmacology. She is interested in psychology and criminology as well, with Criminal Minds being one of her many favorite TV shows. Lizzie is excited yet anxious for her senior year and can’t wait to see what the future holds for her!

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Herman Peng (11), Opinions Editor
— Herman Peng is the current Opinions Editor and your future best friend. In his spare time, he’ll spend hours talking to you until one of you guys falls asleep. Over the summer, he took random trips with random friends to random places, all while taking the college introductory physics course at CSM. He passionately believes that the most important quality in a person is to be able to express their own opinion, and that lacking originality is the same as lacking personality.

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Olivia Li (12), Sports Editor
– Olivia Li is a senior and a second year member of the Mills Thunderbolt. After being a staff writer last year, she is now the Sports Editor and has a passion for sports ever since she was a young child.Olivia likes to watch sports games and also plays soccer for Mills. She loves being a part of The Thunderbolt and Olivia hopes that you are able to enjoy the product of our hard work.

Klytie Xu (12), Entertainment Editor – Klytie Xu is a senior at Mills High School and the current Entertainment editor. This summer, Klytie volunteered and tutored elementary school kids in writing at 826 Valencia and started working at Peet’s Coffee and Tea. She likes to read, write, listen to music, and travel. This will be her third and final year in Journalism and she is thrilled to be a part of the Thunderbolt!

img_2292Ava Chen (11), Social Media Coordinator – Ava Chen is the Visual Media Coordinator in the Mills High School Thunderbolt. She is a sleepy 4’11.5 junior that is always in the mood for popcorn chicken. Her hobbies include watching Kdramas, fangirling over 5 Seconds of Summer, sleeping, reading articles, and exploring new rock music on Spotify. In school, she is currently involved in many clubs and extracurricular activities such as Model UN, MSAA, CSF, Millbrae Leos, Mills Drama, and the Girls Golf team. Her goal for Journalism this year is to boost the Thunderbolt’s presence on social media and stay up to date on all the events that occur on campus. Ava also suggests that students join her new Slam Poetry Club, meetings every Tuesday in Mr. Jackson’s room (123)!img_2328

Annelissa Reynoso (12), Social Media Coordinator – Annelissa Reynoso is a senior and the current social media director. She is not active and she doesn’t really participate in extra curricular activities. However, she’s really funny and she has nice eyebrows.

img_2298Annie Lu (11), Business Manager – Annie Lu is currently a Business Manager in the Thunderbolt. She is a junior, is really passionate in advocating women’s rights, and is part of a UN foundation named Girl Up. She also loves Mock Trial, Model UN, Academic Decathlon, poetry, being on San Mateo County Youth Commission, playing intense pieces on Costco display pianos, sewing and selling on Etsy, and gastronomy. In fact, when she grows up, she want to be a politician or human rights attorney. She also competes in scholarship pageants and is currently America’s Miss California Jr. Teen.

Michelle Chan (12), Tech/Web Manager – Michelle Chan is a senior at Mills who uses too many parentheses for her own good. When she isn’t perusing the internet for travel montages catching up on political articles, she can be found co-organizing the annual TEDxMillsHighSchool conference, leading the Mills TED-Ed Club, writing late at night, volunteering with the Millbrae Leos Club, and finding tracks to listen to on Spotify. She’s excited for her second year with the Thunderbolt and will make sure that its online presence exceeds your expectations.

Staff Writers

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Meraf Amare (10) — Meraf Amare is a sophomore that is thrilled to be a part of the Thunderbolt for the first time as a staff writer. Her affinities include anything with caramel, watching the Blacklist, and rating books by their covers. While some may describe Meraf as shy and reserved, she’s actually quite stubborn, so don’t try to get in an argument with her (you won’t win). She hopes timg_2318o improve her writing skills and continue writing for the Thunderbolt in the future.

Valerie Celentano (12) — Valerie Celentano is a senior who is a staff writer for the Mills Thunderbolt. She enjoys playing soccer for the Mills Varsity Girls team. Valerie’s favorite subject is english which pairs with her love for writing. She is excited for the upcoming school year!

Sarah Chang (9) — Sarah Chang is a freshman at Mills High School, who came into journalism to improve her writing skills and thought it would be cool to write in the newspaper. She is an avid reader and Korean drama binge watcher. She likes eating Korean food and unpopped popcorn. She hopes to have a successful high school career at Mills High School.

Alannah Conneally (9) — Alannah Conneally is a freshman and decided to join journalism in hopes of improving her writing and meeting new people around the Mills community. In her free time, she enjoys cooking and playing guitar and bass. Her favorite types of music are rock and hardcord punk and some of her favorite bands are Minor Threat, Motorhead, Foo Fighters, and Bad Brains. Although Alannah doesn’t seem like the most knowledgeable person, she enjoys watching documentaries and researching when she has free time.

Sonia Fonseca (12) — Sonia Fonseca is a senior who loves sleep more than anything. This summer, she spent three weeks in León, Nicaragua teaching English to college students around the city and helping renovate the only Special Education School in León. Her favorite hobbies include eating, binge watching Netflix, reading, swimming, and playing water polo. This will be her third year on the Mills Water Polo team and her fourth year on the Mills Swimming team.img_2269

Christina Forino (12) — Senior at Mills in her second year of Journalism who typically writes Opinions and Feature articles. She’s a coffee fanatic and gym rat who finds serenity in books and putting her thoughts on paper. Loves the outdoors, being adventurous and discovering new things, and also creates everlasting memories with her mini Polaroid camera.
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Henry Gerharz (12)
 — Henry Gerharz is a staff writer at the Mills Thunderbolt who writes mostly humor for the Entertainment section. He has been writing since the start of his junior year and has been loving every second of it. While he understands his writing is not for everyone, he believes the polarizing nature of his writing is what gives it charm.

Amanda Hall (12) — Amanda is a Mills senior that loves writing, reading, and listening to music. She is an exhibition player on the Girls’ Tennis team and the secretary for the school’s Spectrum Club. In her free time, she can be found procrastinating, playing guitar, singing, or watching Netflix. Due to her outgoing nature, she enjoys bonding with new people and going on adventures with her friends.

img_2266Andrea Haro (9) — Andrea Haro, freshman, is a staff writer for the Mills Thunderbolt. Over the summer, she played with her chihuahua mix, annoyed her big sisters and watched Netflix shows  for hours on end. In her free time she reads, writes stories on Wattpad, and  talks endlessly with her internet friends.

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Orion Huang (12) — Do you need a video? Orion got you! He’s the go-to video man at Mills High School. After attending Cal-arts and JCAMP, Orion has been practicing the art of film and broadcast journalism. Before joining the Thunderbolt, Orion was head director and a videographer for Mills Broadcasting for three years. He loves to film, wrestle, play the drums, and all-things media, as he was interviewed on KTSF and NBC for his films. Most of all, he is set on the track to help Asian-Americans put down calculators and develop skills with cameras.

img_2285Sarah Huang (11) — Sarah Huang is a junior at Mills High School. Not only does she enjoy writing for the Thunderbolt, but she also has a passion for science. She especially enjoys expanding her world views by learning about a variety of disciplines, such as policy and international relations, by participating in Model UN and other activities. Outside of MUN, she is an avid debater, dancer, and pianist, and wants to help make the world a better place by advocating for a variety of humanitariimg_2289an issues. You can catch her outside of school getting milk tea (the best drink in the world!), singing to Frozen, and making really punny jokes.

Cara Ip (11) – Cara Ip is a junior at Mills who is excited to be apart of The Thunderbolt for the first year as a staff writer. She looks forward to improving her writing as well as creating some fun memories! Cara is a bubble of untapped energy and hopes to travel the world with that, seeking out new experiences. She would like to pursue a career in technology and enjoys surfing the net whilst munching on a snack to satisfy her sweet tooth.

img_2245Rebecca Kim (11) – Rebecca Kim, junior, is excited for her second year in journalism as a staff writer. Though she initially joined to expand her styles of writing and involvement at Mills, she formed a bond with the other staff writers and the Thunderbolt itself. Rebecca aspires to one day have a presence in the fashion industry– possibly even creating a line of her own– and would like to design her own prom dress this year. Also, follow her on Spotify @kbcca for great playlists for every occasion (her personal go-to is called “bhillin”, featuring many songs from Lil Uzi Vert’s The Perfect Luv Tape. Her simp playlist is pretty solid too).img_2250

Mathew Lee (12) – Senior Mathew Lee is a first-year staff writer for the Thunderbolt. He is actively involved around Mills as a part of the Robotics team and DECA and participates at the Academy of Sciences as a TechTeen writer. Matt loves listening to house music and his favorite artists are Axwell Λ Ingrosso and Oliver Heldens. During his downtime, he enjoys searching the far ends of the internet for good deals on sneakers and looking at his aquariums.

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Lila Mitchell (12) – Lila Mitchell is a first-time senior Staff Writer for the Thunderbolt. She took Journalism after her decision to drop AP Spanish and loves the class, no regrets. She is also a Mills Cheerleader and enjoys being involved in sporting and school events.

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Amanda O’Dea (10) – Amanda O’Dea is currently a sophomore at Mills and staff writer for The Thunderbolt. This year is her first in the Journalism class, and she is super excited to get started! This summer, Amanda spent time playing with her adorable hamster, Penelope, re-re-reading the Harry Potter series, and pretending to be interested in a Chemistry class she took. In her free time, she loves volunteering at the San Francisco Zoo, running miles and miles on end, and giving high fives.

Adrianne Offril (12) – Adrianne Offril is a senior at Mills. During the year, she works at Bay Area Learning Academy and at One Martial Arts, helps organize and photograph the TEDxMillsHighSchool event. She swims on the Mills Varsity swim team, and is a black belt in karate. She loves to listen to a wide variety of music, play guitar, and is obsessed with Netflix and the kids from Stranger Things.img_2313

Noah Weinstein (12) – Noah Weinstein is a senior and is very excited to be writing for the Thunderbolt for the first time. Known for his fro and his voice, Noah gets around a lot on campus being in the theater productions and being the ASB treasurer. Now he takes his skills to the newspaper, where he hopes to bring a fresh perspective.

Andrea Xu (12) – Meet Andrea, this is her senior year, and it is her goal to carry out high school on the basis of being happy. She intends to avoid as much stress as she possibly can. On her free time, she likes to eat, sleep, Netflix, and repeat. Her favorites include her dog, Martin, watching movies, and traveling. This summer, she went to Costa Rica with a few of her closest friends. She was terrified of the bugs and suffocated by the humidity but could not have asked for differently. She hopes to confront her first year of Journalism with the mindset to defeat or at least improve her fear of writing.

Daniel Xuereb (9) – Daniel Xuereb is a freshmen at Mills High School. This is his first year in journalism and he is excited to write articles, meet new people, and improve his writing skills. Daniel loves to travel and fiddle around with techology. This year his family traveled to Europe furthering his love for travel and exploration. Daniel is looking forward to his freshmen year and all the ups and downs that High School can bring.

Tiffany Yu (12) – Tiffany is passionate in business, public policy, and design. She takes pride in founding DECA, cofounding TED-Ed, and actively participating in Model United Nations, GATE, and Drill Team. Outside of school, she enjoys reading and painting. She is excited to be a part of the Thunderbolt this year!img_2244

Zelie Zshornack (12) – Zelie Zshornack is a current senior at Mills High School and a staff writer for the Thunderbolt this year. She enjoys participating around Mills as a member of the leadership class, student council, and now the newspaper. She also loves staying active as a part of the Mills Basketball and Track and Field teams along with recently starting Crossfit. On her downtime, Zelie often binge watches her many favorite TV shows such as The Flash, One Tree Hill, Orange is the New Black, and Empire, along with starting new shows like This Is Us and Designated Survivor.

We are The Thunderbolt, proudly serving the Mills community.