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contents FALL/WINTER 2011 features


Learning, Leading, Making a Difference: Creating Connections Through ACE


Observing and Noticing: Setting a New Stage for the Sixth Grade Experience


Rescheduling Middle School: Finding Time for 21st Century Learning


Art and Science Connect in a New Space


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Around the Circle


Board Updates


Faculty Notes




Annual Report Class Notes


In Memoriam



from the head “As children, most of us think we are highly creative; as adults many of us think we are not.” Sir Ken Robinson, Ph.D In his recent visit to Castilleja School, internationally recognized educational leader, author, and lecturer Sir Ken Robinson urged Castilleja teachers to combat this paradox by deliberately and systematically developing in our students—creativity, imagination, and innovation. In fact, throughout his writings and speeches, Robinson asserts that not only schools, but also businesses and even cultures will need to become more creative in their approaches to the challenges of our rapidly changing world. At Castilleja, we could not agree more. From the launch of Intro to the Arts in the 90’s to the evolution of our integrated Core Arts program in 2008, we have long recognized the importance of a Humanities curriculum infused with a foundational education in the Visual and Performing Arts. Likewise, for many years, creative problem solving has been an important expression of deeper understanding in our Science and Math classes. And now, as Castilleja embraces an increasingly hands-on and experiential program, Robinson’s words have never been more relevant. Today, when students tackle the authentic challenges carefully woven into our curriculum by their teachers, they are practicing the creative confidence Robinson insists

they will need to successfully address the challenges of the future. Despite their importance, however, many of these authentic learning opportunities have in the past been relegated to homework and co-curricular activities. Our new schedule changes all that, and with no classes on Wednesday afternoons, teachers now have direct access to students during these critical learning experiences. FLEX block in the Middle School, and the Extended Opportunity Period in the Upper School, allow our teachers to coach their students through myriad independent and group learning activities, empowering girls to exercise creativity and discipline, while also encouraging risk-taking. These expanding opportunities for hands-on learning are making a difference in how girls think about the future. Each Thursday, when I meet with one or two advisories, I hear directly from students about what they value most in their Castilleja experiences. Not surprisingly, the examples vary from grade to grade, but the themes are constant. Castilleja students are inspired to learn by: • their teachers’ passions • their classmates’ inspirations • the opportunity to apply what they are learning to relevant issues and challenges These students regularly affirm that passionate teachers and inspiring classmates, two longstanding hallmarks of a Castilleja education, are now joined by a third—experiential learning, authentically connected to the real world. This issue of full circle abounds with examples that illuminate their perspective. In December, our faculty begins their own hands-on learning, joined by the FabLab team from Stanford. Stay tuned as our creative juices continue to flow in the new Bourn Idea Lab and as we confidently create the next set of hands-on learning experiences for our students.

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feature Learning, Leading, Making a Difference: Creating Connections Through ACE By Stacey Kertsman, Director of the ACE Center

The ACE Center is dedicated to creating a vibrant library of experiences at Castilleja that occur in a context of purposeful reflection and reciprocal learning and serve to deepen classroom learning. Through exposure to visiting speakers, and participation in community action opportunities, global investigator trips, internships, and leadership opportunities, the ACE Center empowers girls to learn, lead, and make a difference. For faculty and staff, the ACE Center helps to develop curricular links between classroom work, experiential learning, and 21st-century assessment methods in order to deepen connections within our curricular program. The new ACE Center at Castilleja is framing the context in which students engage in experiential learning at Castilleja. At orientation, in retreats, during block periods in the daily schedule, and in curriculum development with faculty, the ACE Center’s philosophy is informing how teaching and learning is evolving at Castilleja. The vision for the Center is informed by my work developing a Social and Emotional Learning

Curriculum, my experience as Founder and Executive Director of, a non-profit that partners schools across the globe, and my years as a classroom teacher. I am motivated to help students make intentional choices about experiences (ranging from internships, to community action initiatives, to project-based, global exchanges with students at partner schools) and to build a community lexicon around experiential learning. I believe that the Castilleja community has the opportunity to demonstrate the true value of experiential learning in general, but particularly for women, by building strong curricular links between co-curricular programs and classroom disciplines. The Center is now home to the following Castilleja programs: Community Action and Engagement, Diversity and Inclusivity, Global, Internships, Leadership, and Mentoring. And, working closely together, the entire ACE Center staff is focused on offering the students and faculty a consistent vision for supporting students as they develop emotionally and intellectually and begin to understand themselves as members of both local and global communities.

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The ACE Center aims to move recognized Castilleja programs like Global Week and Global Investigator Trips into their next iteration by identifying partner schools and organizations through which deep, sustained, reciprocal learning exchanges can develop around topics such as social equity and justice, STEM initiatives, and the role of women as leaders in society. Additionally, the ACE Center is formalizing a Leadership and Engagement Certificate Program for Castilleja and working closely with the Director of Alumni Relations Maggie Pringle ’71 and local non-profits, businesses, and schools/universities to develop a deep pool of internship and potential mentors for Castilleja students and young alums. ACE offers students a unique opportunity to make informed choices about the experiences that will offer them the opportunity to challenge themselves both emotionally and intellectually. The ACE Center emphasizes experiences that support a depth of understanding about how we learn, why we learn, and how they develop a personal passion that will make us life-long learners and contributing community members.

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Experiential learning often provides students with opportunities to collaborate, and we want to encourage Castilleja students to understand themselves better through thoughtful interactions with others; we also want to ensure that they learn the value of interchange with people who experience the world through a different set of experiences. While there are plenty of working definitions of 21st century skills, there is consensus among educators and corporate leaders that it is critical for students to learn to value and engage the varied perspectives that are present in the heterogeneous learning and working environments of today and into the future.

Developing Women Leaders in India Although things have been buzzing in the new ACE Center space on the third floor of the Arrillaga Family Campus Center since August, the ribbon was officially cut in late October at a small evening reception. More than 50 parents and faculty attended the champagne reception featuring an inspiring talk from alumna Saima Hasan ’04, founder of Roshni Academy.

Saima exemplifies the motto “Women Learning, Women Leading” through her work as a social entrepreneur and the mission of Roshni Academy, which is dedicated to bridging the social gap in India by empowering bright, underprivileged girls and equipping them with the skills, resources, and mentors that they need to become educated, confident, and economically independent. She believes the seeds for Roshni were actually sown during her first Global Week at Castilleja and in her remarks she noted the ongoing connections between the mandate of the ACE center and her current work. “Roshni’s training parallels Castilleja’s vision to create women leaders who will shape the way societies develop in the 21st century,” she noted. Recently Roshni was honored with the SKOCH National Digital Inclusion Award and was one of four NGOs appointed by the Supreme Court of India to provide guidance to state governments. As a result, Roshni’s curriculum will reach over 1 million girls across 8 states over the next 5 years. To learn more about Roshni or to see Saima’s remarks, visit

Stacey Kertsman came to Castilleja in 2011 from Saint Mark’s School in San Rafael where she designed and implemented a school-wide social and emotional learning program. Prior to Saint Marks, she taught across grade levels and at the University of California, Berkeley. She was recently awarded the title “Teacher of the Future, 2010” by the National Association of Independent Schools for her focus on the use of technology and emphasis of global education in the classroom to create an innovative platform for teaching 21st century skills. She received her M.A. in 2000 from the University of California at Berkeley in the field of Social and Cultural Studies in Education.

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Turning Learning into Practice: Halford Leadership Program Launches

The intentional development of women leaders is a core part of the mission of Castilleja. Through the Leadership Program, the ACE Center develops and promotes leadership education, skills acquisition and action-oriented experiences. ACE works to create rich and meaningful opportunities for students at every grade level to acquire and practice effective leadership. The program includes a leadership curriculum, retreats, EOPs, senior seminars, peer advising, internships, and programs like the new Halford Leadership Program where learning is turned into practice.

With a generous gift from the estate of former Trustee Bill HalfordHA, Castilleja launched the Halford Young Women Leaders Program (HYWLP) in the fall. HYWLP creates a partnership between motivated Middle School girls from under-resourced communities and Castilleja Upper School students. Building on Castilleja’s relationship with the Peninsula Bridge program, HYWLP serves ten 6th grade “alumnae” of this longstanding summer program. Together the “Big” and “Little” sisters participate in a structured year-long mentoring curriculum which addresses key adolescent development topics, cultivates confidence and social skills through collaboration, and strengthens each girl’s individual leadership abilities. Research shows that at this developmental stage, mentoring for girls is particularly important. During this formative Middle School period adolescent girls make academic and interpersonal decisions that can significantly affect their future. While many girls at this age tend to distance

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themselves from their families, they strongly desire connections with role models. HYWLP is an opportunity for these girls to form meaningful relationships with Castilleja Upper School Big Sisters who can provide guidance and encouragement during this transitional period. In addition, the Big Sisters benefit from the chance to develop their leadership skills. Not only do they lead the group activities, but many of the topics addressed in the group sessions are still relevant in the Big Sisters’ lives. As Big Sister Claire Bostrom ’13 explains, “It surprises me how similar the Big sisters are to the Little sisters. We all have so many things in common.” The program also gives Castilleja students the opportunity for deep, sustained engagement in community action. As Big Sister Grace Arnold ’13 puts it, “Building relationships with these girls and teaching them leadership skills is important, but just as important is the way that HYWLP teaches us to get into the habit of getting involved in the community, outside of our own little bubble. Particularly as we go off to college, it’s so important to think not only about our immediate community, but to also widen our perspectives and connect with people outside.” The program combines one-onone mentoring and targeted group activities that help to address issues related to girls’ sense of self, scholastic achievement, body image, social aggression, and healthy decision-making. The Little/Big Sister pairs meet individually to ensure one-on-one connection and conversation, and participate as a group in social, cultural and community action events. HYWLP Group Facilitator Mary Hurlbut, also

Castilleja’s Bridge Program Coordinator, is especially pleased by the ownership the Big Sisters take within the program: “Our students are so impressive. They take their roles very seriously as leaders within the group and beyond. But they also know how to make it fun for the younger girls. Their enthusiasm is infectious.” Program Founder, Kim Roberts ’83, brought the program from the University of Virginia where she developed it with faculty from the Curry School of Education fifteen years ago. This partnership is ongoing as HYWLP gets off the ground. “The faculty at UVa have been very supportive as we have launched our ‘sister site’ at Castilleja. One of the most exciting aspects of bringing this program to Casti for me is that we can tap into their expertise around program evaluation. We are partnering with faculty from UVa as participants in their longitudinal research study on adolescent girls. The results of this research will help us chart our program’s efficacy, as well as inform its future development,” Roberts said.


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Deepening Classroom Connections

Making explicit connections between content across a student’s learning experiences deepens comprehension by providing context and allowing a student to apply new knowledge. At the beginning of the school year, sixth grade students were introduced to representatives from organizations with whom they will be partnering on community action projects throughout the year. ACE Center Director Stacey Kertsman took this opportunity to begin a discussion with the girls about stereotypes. Collaboration among faculty members Brydie Sullivan, Christina GwinHA, and Jole Seroff led to the development of a research unit, which added another layer to the discussion by connecting it to classroom work. Students complemented their reading of The Birchbark House with library research on topics related to Native American culture and history and the impact of bias on images of Native Americans in popular culture. The girls will continue this discussion as part of classroom work, community action projects, and advisory throughout the year. — Jole Seroff, Director of Library and Information Services The Politics of Science and Gender surveys the scientific debate about gender and the brain, as well as the ongoing political struggle for gender equality in the context of evolving social and scientific perspectives on gender difference. New this year is a direct connection in the curriculum with the ACE Center. As part of the course, students research a non-profit organization engaged in gender related activism. This requires students to visit the local office and interview an activist within the organization. Students create a thoughtful account of relevant gender rights issues and current activism of the organization. The course also includes an option for students to go even deeper with their ACE experience and volunteer at a non-profit or co-lead a campus ACE organization across the semester and reflect on the organization and their work in it as their final project. — Joseph Mitchell, History Department and Sophomore Class Dean

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Enriching the Global Experience

For students, Global Investigator Trips during their junior year are much more than 10-day immersions into a different culture. While a broad, globallyinfused curriculum builds a strong foundation, students engage in awide array of curricular and co-curricular activities—from research papers on public health issues to art projects on education inequality and workshops on cultural norms—to enrich their global experience. They also have the opportunity to engage with experts who challenge them to think deeply about complex economic and social issues in preparation for their trip. In October, juniors going to China spent time with Professor Hau Lee, P’05, Thoma Professor of Operations, Information and Technology at the Stanford Graduate School of Business. One of the world’s leading experts in supply chain management, Professor Lee helped the girls understand the global flow of materials, information, and money that inextricably links the economies of the United States and China. He also discussed the risks and benefits for companies doing

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business with China and the importance of both innovation and socially-responsible manufacturing. In November, juniors going to Guatemala had the chance to meet with staff of Riecken Community Libraries, including, CEO William Cartwright, Director of Sustainability Romeo Rodriguez, and Director Israel Quic. The panel discussed the impact of history on presentday Central America and the mission and work of Riecken in Guatemala, and offered a perspective on community impact from an indigenous resident of Tz’utujil, which is becoming a model community in Guatemala. In January, Castilleja students will participate in a week-long exploration of a single topic during Global Week 2012 – Fresh Water: Commodity or Human Right? In Search of a New Paradigm. During the week, students will have the opportunity to see speakers, participate in workshops, and choose from an array of experiential activities that will help them understand the social and economic complexities around fresh water. Filmmaker Jessica Yu will kickoff the week with a screening

her new documentary Last Call at the Oasis, which illuminates the vital role water plays in our lives, exposes the defects in the current system, shows communities already struggling with its ill-effects and explores revolutionary solutions. Later in the week students will have the opportunity to hear from other speakers including Buzz Thompson, P’11, professor at Stanford Law School and Director of the Woods Institute for the Environment, Robin Wiszowaty, Kenya Program Director for Free the Children, and award winning social entrepreneur Gemma Bulos, Global Water Initiative Director for the Women’s Earth Alliance. The girls will also participate in hands-on projects of their choice as well as grade-level projects.


At the Middle School level, a structured Community Action experience begins with preparation on-campus so that students are able to both learn from and give to others. This is followed by off-campus projects where they actively engage with local organizations, and classroom work which continues the focus on specific topics. Elected Community Action Representatives also work with the ACE Center to develop grade-level projects. In the Upper School, Community Action work takes place through the sixteen student-led ACE Organizations, whose members develop a charter and commit to an annual plan of activities; athletics teams, who devote practice time to mentoring young women through the Bay Area Women’s Sport Initiative (BAWSI); and grade-level projects initiated by elected Community Action Representatives. Read about some of the work the girls are doing beyond the circle.

Exploring the Local Reality of Labor Rights Casti students turned this year’s Father-Daughter Dinner Dance into a week-long learning experience by exploring the issues surrounding the current Hyatt Regency labor dispute over workload, wages, and the affordability of healthcare. Student organizers invited classmates to the ACE Center to meet Hyatt Santa Clara General Manager Peter Rice to learn more about management’s perspective on the issues, understand the context surrounding the dispute, and ask questions. The following day, students were invited back to the ACE Center to discuss the same issues directly with hotel employees. It was a great opportunity to hear the issues framed in the employees’ own words and to ask questions. At the end of the week, using resource materials supplied by labor and management, all Upper School advisories spent time discussing the issues, learning more about the history of labor organizing in the United States, and deepening their understanding modern-day labor issues in their own community.

Taking up the Challenge of Social Entrepreneurship In October, students from ACE’s new social entrepreneurship initiative, including: Kristina Kolpakova ’13, Devon Shiff ’13, and Marion Lepert ’13, met with COO Tom Frangione, CEO of Mozilla/Firefox John Lilly, and Kauffman Fellow Casandra Espinoza at Greylock

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Engaging Beyond the Circle

to gain insight on how to start a company. Venture capital firm Greylock Partners has a long track record of success helping companies, including Facebook, Tumblr, and social enterprise Zipcar, get their start. The girls attended the Social Entrepreneurship Awards Event at the Tech Museum and interviewed social entrepreneurs from around the world who were being honored as the new 2011 Tech Award laureates. The students will finalize a concept for their own social enterprise and compete in Stanford’s Social Entrepreneurship Challenge.

Bringing Social Justice Lessons Back to Campus Students Simone Seiver ’13, Taylor Wilkerson ’13, and Camille Zubizarreta ’12, and Director of Diversity and Inclusion, science teacher Christina Nawas ’02, had the opportunity to attend the Teachers for Social Justice Conference in San Francisco. At the Conference, the group attended workshops led by local educators on a wide range of topics including historical bias in textbooks. The students took particular interest in the workshops that covered how to introduce social justice topics to pre-teens, since the girls will be teaching a seventhgrade wellness unit on the topics of inclusion, diversity, and cultural awareness. They are also planning other ways to share what they learned with the Castilleja community. To learn more, visit the conference website:

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Into Africa: Developing a Partnership with the Kisaruni School In June, a group of eleven Castilleja students and three faculty members traveled to Africa to begin a partnership with Free the Children’s first secondary school in Kenya, the Kisaruni Girls’ Secondary School. Throughout the trip, the girls learned through action as they walked from a Kipsigi Mama’s home to the Mara River to collect water, a chore which was done up to 4-5 times a day before clean water projects were introduced into the community. They also worked with groups of Kisaruni students, engaged in cultural talks with Maasai warriors, and joined a Council of Elders simulation in history class. Dean of Teaching and Learning Josée Band, who accompanied the girls to Kenya, noted, “Every evening during our group debriefs I was impressed with the depth of insight and empathy demonstrated by the girls, whether discussing the changing roles of women or voicing their admiration for the resilience and determination of the Kisaruni students.” She continued, “The trip helped us accomplish several key steps toward implementing a robust, sustainable partnership between Castilleja and Kisaruni. Making a personal connection with the school leadership, the teachers, and the students was invaluable. We have also created a core group of informed, knowledgeable students committed to solidarity with their Kisaruni peers, and eager to share their experiences with the Castilleja community. They will create a collaborative social platform for inter-school communication throughout the year.” Physics teacher Jon Rockman remarked, “Watching how the girls changed and developed over the course of the trip was remarkable. They really learned from their Kisaruni peers who take such great ownership and pride in their school. It was also inspiring to work with teachers who are so committed and dedicated to girls’ education.” Free the Children Board Member and Castilleja parent Heidi Hopper P’13, who also accompanied the girls to Kenya, said, “The girls demonstrated intellect, enthusiasm, and compassion. They have so many ideas about what they want to do with this partnership going forward.” The girls who visited Kisaruni had the opportunity to share these ideas with their peers at a fall assembly. Dressed in Maasai garb, the girls delivered a great presentation for the Castilleja community about their experience in Kenya as well as their ideas for future collaboration with the girls at Kisaruni.

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feature Observing and Noticing: Setting a New Stage for the Sixth Grade Experience By Brydie Sullivan, English Department

ecstatic. proud. included. welcomed. magical. triumphant. encouraged. interested. elated. wonderful. splendid. special. amazing. These are just a few of the words Castilleja’s newest sixth graders chose to describe how they felt on their first day of school this year. Last spring, a team of sixth grade teachers joined forces to rethink and redesign the opening days for our youngest students. We wanted to create an experience that would make the girls feel welcomed, playful, “Castified,” and connected to the Castilleja community and traditions—all that and set the stage for the inspiring and important work that would soon follow in each of their disciplines. As is so often the case, the seed of change started with conversation. The team, including Sarah Barnum (science), Christina GwinHA (English), Kristin WalterHA (drama), David Conti (Latin), Mary Hurlbut (art), Camilla Lau (STEM), Brydie Sullivan (English) and other sixth grade teachers, took the time to talk, share curricula, and consider interdisciplinary connections last spring, quickly leading to an overwhelming consensus on the importance of observation and noticing to all learning. In fact, a majority of sixth grade teachers were already starting the year with a unit on observation and its relationship to their curricula. Deciding to join forces and set a new tone of connectedness between the disciplines, we put together a team to redesign the first two days of school. The process included teacher training in design thinking at Stanford’s, a visit to Seattle Girls School, and a great deal of conversation about how changing these first few days improve the student experience and set the tone for the interdisciplinary work we would be doing throughout the year. Three priorities quickly emerged—our girls should feel welcomed and playful; they should be working in groups and teams; and they should have an introduction to two basic principles of design thinking—observation and empathy. Part of a larger arc, the opening days would also set the stage for

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the first units in science, history, drama, and English, as well as for a project currently running during the Flex Block period that is introducing the girls to the design-thinking process as they rethink Castilleja’s learning spaces and create 3D models of their new ideal learning spaces. So what are just a few of the experiences you would have witnessed if you had shadowed a sixth grader for these two days? You would have watched her investigate her teacher’s classroom in order to answer some get-to-know-you questions such as, “How many sons do I have and what are their names?” without speaking a word. You would have accompanied her all over campus during the “Five Senses Scavenger Hunt” as she took the time to notice her new space. You would have accompanied her to the giant freezer in the kitchen, and the restricted pool room in the basement of Arrillaga during the Hidden Castilleja Tours that allowed students into places they normally never get to see. You would have seen her meet Chef Forrest, Mr. Dailey, and Ms. Block as she considered, “Who and what really make Castilleja tick?” You would have seen her gathered with her advisory to compose a sidewalk chalk tapestry on the Circle as they filled in “Casti is…” with images and words gathered over the two days. You would have seen 64 ecstatic, happy, Castified, proud, included, welcomed, magical, triumphant, encouraged, creative, interested, elated, knowledgeable, splendid, special, and amazing girls! Brydie Sullivan joined Castilleja in 2002 as a Middle School French teacher but a love of language prompted the transition to the English Department. She received her B.A. from Dartmouth and M.A. from Middlebury College.


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feature Rescheduling Middle School: Finding Time for 21st Century Learning By Anne CameronHA, Head of Middle School

We know that the way we use time demonstrates what we value. Our new Middle School schedule illustrates our commitment to engaging, motivating, hands-on, age-appropriate learning. Last spring, a Middle School task force, led by mathematics teacher Carolyn Steele, took on a challenge: start from scratch and develop a Middle School schedule that reflects 21st century learning goals, is grounded in educational research, and keeps the developmental needs of girls ages 11-14 at the forefront. After conducting internal research, and examining best practices with this age group this committed group of teachers conducted what author Daniel Pink calls a “FedEx” experience, working to deliver an innovative solution “overnight.” It probably goes without saying that the core academic program is central to the educational experience. However, many other elements integral to learning emerged through this process. As a result, the schedule changed to include three specific new components, carefully designed to emphasize choice, authentic learning, skill development, and motivation.

Elective Block Give them time, space, and a little structure, and watch intrinsic motivation flourish. This is the idea behind the elective program. A 50-minute block allows students to explore a topic or activity of interest. Curious about alternative energy? Take the biodiesel elective. Love to sing and dance? Try the Glee Club. From newspaper and math competitions to organic gardening and yarn graffiti, girls can exercise choice, dabble or go deeply into an area of study not always found in the curriculum.

Study Lab Twice per week, students are provided time to meet with teachers, to complete homework, to expand their study skills, or to extend classroom work, going well beyond the standard study hall. Designed to develop autonomy, academic independence, and self-agency, one study lab allows each girl to check

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in with her advisor before choosing the place and activities she would like to pursue. Teachers may also ask individuals or larger groups of students to meet for a specific school-related purpose. Later in the week, a second lab provides a more traditional study hall atmosphere, with proctored, silent workspaces. Course- or skill-specific centers, such as Math Lab, operate during this time, and teachers are available to meet one-on-one with students. Study lab allows girls to both develop personal responsibility and to create more time outside of school for sleep, exercise, fun, and family.

FLEX Block Purposeful, authentic learning flourishes when time is provided to delve deeply and collaboratively into a topic or activity. Our 105-minute weekly FLEX block is designed for this and much more. Our Middle School girls have applied the principles of design thinking to examine questions such as: What are the key elements of the 21st century classroom? What does it take to create a workable vehicle? What components contribute to a functional, aesthetically pleasing garden? Whether it’s a whole class activity devoted to design thinking, application of STEM skills, on-or off-campus community action, interdisciplinary classroom extensions, or spending time with guest speakers, FLEX provides time and space for innovation, creativity, collaboration, and connection. Anne CameronHA joined Castilleja in 1996 as Head of Middle School from St. Andrew’s Episcopal School where she was Director of Intermediate Grades. She began her career in the classroom and has taught students in all grades, K-8. She received a B.A. from the Oregon College of Education and an M.A. from Santa Clara University.


Just because there is more “free” time built into the schedule for Middle School students, doesn’t mean that there isn’t quite a bit going on! Read more about what the girls have been up to this semester: Sixth graders used some of their FLEX time early in the semester to design their own learning spaces. Using brainstorming techniques to come up with their design ideas and interviews to determine user needs, the girls came up with the key elements for their classrooms. Suggestions included bean bag chairs, smart boards, rolling desks, a water fountain, tables big enough for everyone to sit around, skylights, project display cases, and even a trap door that leads to a special room! Then the girls got a lesson in space planning as they drew plans that incorporated their furniture choices and design elements and built model classrooms.


Making the Most of “Free” Time

Seventh graders used FLEX time for a unit on brain science. The “Brainology” curriculum helps students understand how their brains work to learn and looks at how a student’s mindset, the beliefs they hold about their individual qualities and abilities, can influence their achievement. It is based on the growth and fixed-mindset research by Stanford Professor Carol S. Dweck. The girls followed up their work by participating in a lively workshop with Arrillaga Speaker Daniel Coyle, whose work on how talent is developed focuses on what happens to brain architecture during practice. For eighth graders, the first four FLEX blocks of the year were dedicated to designing, building, and racing rubber band powered cars that could go really far, really fast. Working in small teams, the girls started the project by designing and testing prototypes of wheels (cds vs. yogurt tops), car bodies, and axles to identify what worked and what didn’t. Once the teams honed in on a plan, they set about building their cars in preparation for speed and distance competitions in the gym. Before the final races, the girls made visual inspections of each car and ranked those that looked as if they’d go the furthest or fastest. During each heat, the girls collected data so they could go back and determine if their initial predictions were correct and better understand the design elements that contributed to speed and distance.

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feature Art and Science Connect in a New Space This year at Keeping the Circle Green, parents and friends had the opportunity to hear from faculty members Helen Shanks and Jon Rockman about how gifts to the Annual Fund and other initiatives support the School in developing an academic and co-curricular program that prepares girls to meet this challenges of the 21st century. Among the key features of this program are classroom activities that are hands-on and interdisciplinary, like the new unit that combines physics with visual art that is planned for the spring. Their remarks are excerpted below. Helen Shanks: In my capacity as a visual arts teacher, I am truly invested in designing and implementing projects that are relatable, multi-disciplinary, and hands-on, especially those that teach good design practice and process. The new Bourn Idea Lab expands our ability as teachers to be more creative in our approaches, methodologies, and assignments. As we know, students working creatively and collaboratively across disciplines develop a much deeper understanding of concepts. So combining the study of motion, balance, friction, gravity, leverage, material science with the creation of visually exciting sculpture will give the girls the opportunity to use different skills from both physics and art -- and me the opportunity to work with Mr. Rockman. In addition to our new workspace in the Bourn Idea Lab, we’re also excited about Extended Opportunity Periods for Upper School students. These long blocks of non-class time give us the flexibility to team-teach assignments and for the girls to research, ideate, prototype, create, and design. Jon Rockman: I’d also like to talk about the collaboration with Helen. As much as I love robotics and engineering, at heart I am a scientist. I feel more comfortable at the Exploratorium than at the Computer History Museum. For years I’ve thought about having students build exhibits in the style of the Exploratorium. These would be simple, hands-on exhibits that engage visitors in clear demonstrations of a basic physics principle. The Bourn Idea Lab makes this a real possibility. With the help of Helen’s background in design—both in the aesthetic sense and the human-interaction sense—physics students could demonstrate their understanding of concepts by creating exhibits 14 | full circle

to share with their peers, their teachers, and the wider community. Compare that with the image of the teacher standing in front of a class doing a demonstration himself, and I think you can see why we are so excited about the possibilities and what we mean when we say “21st century education.” HS: Girls need a lot of practice bringing 2-dimensional drawings into 3-dimensions. As a school, we are continually figuring out ways to scaffold and practice those skills and our interdisciplinary collaboration will allow us to do just that. Now that we have a dedicated physical space to work on this kind of project we can actually make it happen. Seeing 2-d come to life and understanding what is happening with motion and materials will certainly be exciting for the girls. JR: Innovation happens when the necessities are covered and I speak for Helen and the rest of the faculty, when I say that we are incredibly grateful for you generous support both of the Annual Fund and the new Innovation Fund. Helen Shanks joined the Visual and Performing Arts Department in 2003 and served four years as department chair. Prior to Castilleja she taught middle and high school students as well as at an art college in the United Kingdom and worked as a ceramic artist at the Main Gallery in Redwood City. She received her B.A. and M.F.A. from the University of Wales. Jon Rockman joined Castilleja in 2005 from Suffield Academy, a boarding school in Connecticut where he spent eight years teaching physics and served as chair of the Science department. He received his B.S. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and M.A.T. from Simmons College.

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Spirit Week Ends in Technicolor! After a week of themes, games, and good-natured competition among the classes, the campus was ablaze with color as students turned out for the last day of Spirit Week decked out in their class color! Break was filled with classes trying to out-cheer each other while taking laps around the Circle. At lunch, the annual tug-of-war competition was held. First the orange-clad sophomores defeated the freshmen. The seniors hung in there and pulled out a victory over the juniors. In the final match the seniors had another tough battle on their hands as the sophomores put up quite a strong effort. In the end, the 10th graders fell to jubilant seniors who celebrated their first victory in tug-of-war!!

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Summer Interns Explore the Stars and More! Nine Castilleja students and alumnae were part of a group of 29 students selected to take part in the annual UC Santa Cruz summer program that allows young people to participate in real-world scientific research projects. The program pairs high-achieving teens with postdocs, grad students, and faculty who help them explore topics ranging from astronomy and biophysics to nanochemistry and marine biology. The girls worked on a wide variety of projects ranging from searching for transiting planets and comparing the genome sequences of cancer patients to examining zooplankton ecology and krill population dynamics. They received technical training in the labs that wouldn’t have been possible in a classroom, as well as the opportunity to contribute to ongoing experiments. Most importantly for the girls, however, was the opportunity to build relationships and connections with teachers and mentors, as research has shown that mentorship is a critical component of retaining women in the sciences.

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Upper School Choir Hits the Road Castilleja’s Upper School Choir hosted choirs from Pinewood School for a fun and music-filled retreat in preparation for their joint trip to the Santa Barbara Choral Festival October 28-29. At the festival, students had the opportunity to sing under world-renowned guest conductors and with various choirs from around the region. Prior to the festival, the girls also performed in a joint concert on October 26 at All Saints Episcopal Church.

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Oh the Horror! Little Shop of Horrors, that is! Students in Ms. Shanks’ Design and Sculpture class met with Phillip Gallegos, a professional theater and costume designer, as they worked on their poster and program designs for the Upper School Musical, Little Shop of Horrors. Mr. Gallegos, who is doing design work for the show, talked to the girls about his process and showed some of the work he’s done for other theatrical productions. Across campus, a talented team of students was busy rehearsing for the 11-11-11 opening of this rock musical, about a hapless florist shop worker who raises a plant named Audrey who feeds on human blood. This spooky award-winning show featured a fun score of early 1960s style rock and roll songs including, “Skid Row (Downtown),” “Somewhere That’s Green,” and “Suddenly, Seymour” that is sure to showcased the talented cast including Bella Norvig ’12, Aurora Real De Asua ’12, Caroline Ritchie ’12, Clare Maloney-McCrystle ’15, Alanna MacNaughton ’14, Meredith Shell ’14, Julie Lanctot ’12, Claire Bostrom ’13, Emily Mosbacher ’12, Megan Pope ’14, Kathleen Kenealy ’15, Charlotte Jones ’13, Becky Abramowitz ’15, Lexie Kirsch ’14, Camille Townshend ’13, and Kat Pavlidis ’15 with Noelle La Fetra ’12 on keyboards. Look for photos online and in our Spring issue!

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Film Fan Fun While many Extended Opportunity Period activities support the academic program, some are just plain fun! Throughout the semester, students have been turning up for FOP (Film Opportunity Period) to screen some of their teachers’ favorite films, including Alfred Hitchcock’s classic thriller “Notorious,” Rob Reiner’s funny fable “The Princess Bride,” and John Sayles’ “The Secret of Roan Inish.”

Write On! This fall, Castilleja’s new Writing Center opened its doors to provide a space for poets, journalists, essayists, novelists, and others to hone their craft and find encouragement and support from teachers and peers. The Center formed an alliance with, a website for young adult writers. is an exciting way for students to become authors, give and receive feedback on each others’ writing, and widen their exposure to young adult literature. Figment. com sponsors many creative writing contests, and Castilleja joined them in promoting the National Day on Writing Festival with the very first Writing Center – sponsored writing contest: “Why I Write.” Check the Casti website to read some of the winning entries! 18 | full circle

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Opening Traditions, Old and New The first day of school featured two beloved Casti traditions—the Tie Ceremony and the first time the seniors could drive the Circle. More than 750 parents, alumnae, faculty, staff, and students lined the Circle to watch the seniors get pinned by faculty and then race across the Circle to tie the green ties of their little sisters. The eighth graders followed suit, making a mad dash across the Circle to tie the yellow ties of very eager sixth graders! At break, faculty, staff, and students again lined the Circle to watch the seniors take their first lap. Amid cheers and beeping horns, the Class of 2012 got the year off to a great start! The week ended with the newest Casti tradition, the second annual Splish-Splash Bash! Flip flops were allowed, the pool was open, a DJ spun tunes for eager dancers, and the ice cream truck was parked on the Circle!

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Tedx Delivers the UneXpected! Following an incredibly successful inaugural event last November, TEDx returned to Castilleja for its second annual youth event on campus. Once again hundreds of students filled the theater for “uneXpected!”, an inspiring day with speakers including Ken Eklund, the “Writer Guy;” Jason Schleifer, an animator with Dreamworks; Michele Raffin, the “Mother Hen” of Pandemonium Aviaries; Neal Gottlieb, founder of Three Twins Ice Cream; and Jeremy Cleland, the electric “Motorcycle Man.” Between sessions, attendees had ample time to meet, talk, think, share, do, and connect. In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that brings people together to inspire curiosity, ignite new ideas, and empower young leaders. The event was organized by a team of volunteers and advisors headed by Christina Hansen McClure ’71, P’04. For more information visit tedx.

Microfinance Lessons Come to Casti Middle School students enrolled in the gardening elective got a lesson in microfinance and entrepreneurship from Katie Smith Milway, the author of One Hen - How One Small Loan Made a Big Difference and The Good Garden: How One Family Went from Hunger to Having Enough. While exploring the Jhumki Basu Memorial Garden with the girls, Ms. Milway shared the story of Maria Luz, an eleven-year-old Honduran girl who brought prosperity and peace to her impoverished community by learning and sharing sustainable, productive gardening and business practices. After the lesson, Ms. Milway helped the students harvest a bounty of heirloom tomatoes. The following day, Castilleja kitchen staff transformed the tomatoes into a colorful tomato and corn salad that was enjoyed by the community. Food for thought — literally and figuratively!

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Daniel Coyle: 2011 Arrillaga Speaker In October, Castilleja welcomed Daniel Coyle as the 2011 Arrillaga Speaker. Mr. Coyle, author of many books including The Talent Code: Greatness Isn’t Born. It’s Grown. Here’s How. His work focuses on how human performance in any field can be improved with the right training, practice, and motivation and what happens to brain architecture during practice. In his talk to the girls he noted, “We treat talent like it’s magic. But it isn’t magic. There’s a mechanism behind it.” He explained the mechanism behind talent at an all-school assembly and also conducted a workshop with seventh graders where he connected his work on what happens to brain architecture during practice with their recent exploration of how the brain works. He encouraged them to be open to challenges on the edge of their ability, as that’s where learning happens. He advised them to carve out time to think and reflect. He also pointed out that, while stealing is usually bad, it is good to observe closely those who do things well to learn from them. He is also the author of two other books on high performance and talent: Hardball: A Season in the Projects, about his experience coaching a Little League team in the Chicago projects, was turned into a movie starring Keanu Reeves, and was a New York Times bestseller, and Lance Armstrong’s War: One Man’s Battle Against Fate, Fame, Love, Death, Scandal, and a Few Other Rivals on the Road to the Tour de France. In addition, his work has appeared in Sports Illustrated and The New York Times, and he has appeared on ESPN, CNN, and NPR’s “All Things Considered,” among other national programs. He is the contributing editor of Outside magazine and teaches at the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University.

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Another Milestone for Coach Meskell Tracie Hubbard Meskell has hit a few career milestones during her nine seasons as a varsity volleyball coach at Castilleja: 5 CCS appearances and CCS titles in 2005 and 2006. Three trips to state championships and a CIF state title in 2008. In the 2011 season, she was after another — her 225th career win — which she hit on October 4 with a win over Notre Dame San Jose. She is one of only two coaches in Castilleja history to record 200 career wins — the other is Director of Athletics and basketball coach Jez McIntoshHA. Meskell hit another milestone a few weeks later, giving birth to her first child and turning over coaching duties to her sister, Gwen Hubbard. Casti volleyball has long been a family affair for the Hubbards, with dad Tom and sisters Tracie (varsity head coach), Gwen (varsity assistant), and Atlee (JV and freshman) coaching at all levels of the program last fall. That one big happy family is now a family divided, if only for two WBAL matches every season. Tracie, Gwen, and Tom still make up Castilleja’s coaching staff, but Atlee moved to rival Menlo School in 2011 and is now the Knights’ varsity head coach. Currently the sisters have one win each. In an interview with the Palo Alto Weekly in September, Meskell noted that the family shares a competitive spirit and said, “Atlee is a good coach and I just know that it will be fun to compete against her.” The sisters have been on opposite sides before, in the IVL and NCVA women’s adult league, and “we compliment each other on a good hit or dig, regardless of which side of the net we are on,” said Meskell. Throughout the season, both sisters remained focused on executing game strategy and on their players playing well. Both teams head into playoff season with solid records. With middle sister Gwen now at the Casti helm for the remainder of the season, this family affair is sure to continue!

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Season highlights include a top-4 West Bay Athletic League (WBAL) finish and a strong showing at the Palo Alto City Championship meet, with two runners placing in the top 8. Julia Wood ’12 (fourth) and Fiona Maloney-McCrystle ’13 (eighth). The team qualified for the Central Coast Section (CCS) Championship and is expected to move on to the State finals.


sports recap


With strong, consistent play from the young varsity team, the Gators clinched the WBAL championship with an undefeated season (11-0) and qualified the entire team and three individuals for the Central Coast Section (CCS) tournament, including Chloe Sales ’15 (the WBAL Player of the Year) Taylor Wilkerson ’13, and Caroline Debs ’14.

Tennis Now in their second season under head coach Karen Wickers ’77, the Gators wrapped up their season tied for 2nd in the WBAL Skyline Division, with a league record of 5-3 and an overall record of 5-9. The Gators were in almost every match, losing 6 of their 9 matches 3-4, with the last match going to a third-set tie-break. The young team returns everyone from this year’s squad and should contend for a league title.

Volleyball Heading into the end of the season, the Gators were 4-4, 17-12 overall. The Gators are poised for a post-season run as they are ranked #1 in Division V in CCS and #4 overall in the State in their Division. At press time, the team was continuing its pursuit of a CCS Division V title advancing to the semifinals with a win over St. Thomas More - San Jose.

Water Polo Gators went 7-9 in regular-season play in the Peninsula Athletic League (PAL) under associate head coach Kelsey Holhouser (while head coach three-time Olympian Brenda Villa was training with the national team in Mexico), and advanced to the NorCal Championships. Water polo competed in the section playoffs but were defeated in overtime during first round play.

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Alum Athletes Stanford senior Lindsay Taylor ’08 (1) was called to the U.S. Under-23 Women’s National Soccer Team training camp in September, overseen by U.S. full national team coach Pia Sundhage in her effort to identify players for Olympic qualifying trials that begin in January. Taylor continues to be a strong performer for No. 1-ranked Stanford and is currently No. 5 on Stanford’s all-time scoring list. In November she was named PAC-12 player of the year. Harvard freshman Brenna Nelsen ’11 (2) finished 8th overall while helping her team tie for second at the Harvard Invitational at the Boston Golf Club. Taylor Docter ’09 continues her strong performance for Harvard Crimson volleyball, and she served a career-high five aces as Harvard defeated first-place Columbia in October. Freshman Sarah Debs ’11 is helping to set the pace for Whitman College’s golf team with strong tournament play in the team’s first competitive rounds of the season, landing the team the No. 12 spot in the NCAA Division III rankings. Claremont McKenna senior Lauren Buchanan ’08 has helped her team to a No. 4 ranking in the NCAA Division III and placed first at the CMS Co-Ed Invitational in October. Softball ace Sammy Albanese ’10 threw her first no-hitter and the 44th in Northwestern history in an 8-0 win over Saint Mary’s last season. Abby Thornburg ’11 made the crew team at Dartmouth as a walk-on and is currently racing in the varsity boat. Rachel Skokowski ’11 is running cross-country at Princeton and was first across the line for the Tigers with a 19th place finish at the Princeton Invitational in October. UCLA senior Tori Anthony ’07 placed third at the Rafer Johnson/Jackie Joyner-Kersee Invitational with a mark of 13’00.25” last season, as well as being named to the Athletic Director’s Honor Roll. Evan Cranston ’11 (3), Sallie Walecka ’11, Grace Arnold ’13 and Sydney Molano ’13 were named 2010-11 USA Water Polo Academic All Americans in recognition of their outstanding athletic and academic achievements. 24 | full circle


board updates

Castilleja is pleased to welcome Scott Forstall, Bill Kind, John Macdonald, Ethan Nicholls, Deep Nishar, Kathleen Tandy, and Quin Whitman ’81 to the Board of Trustees. They join a seasoned and robust group, filling the seats vacated at the end of the 2010-11 school year. Also joining the Board for a 1-year term as the Castilleja School Association (CSA) Representative is current CSA President Doreen Nelsen. After completing her 3-year term as Board Chair, Karen Fisher stepped down and was replaced by Board member Barbara Rosston. Ms. Fisher remains an active member of the Castilleja Board.

Scott Forstall Scott Forstall is Senior Vice President of iPhone, iPad, and iPod Software at Apple. Reporting directly to the CEO, he leads the team responsible for delivering software, including the user interface, applications, frameworks, and the operating system. He has led each of these products from their inception to the present. He also leads user interface design for the Mac. He joined Apple in 1997 and is one of the original architects of Mac OS X and its Aqua user interface; he also led the creation of the Safari web browser. Prior to Apple he worked at NeXT developing core technologies. He received both a BS in Symbolic Systems and an MS in Computer Science, with a concentration in Artificial

Intelligence from Stanford University. He and his wife, Molly, are the parents of Freya ’17.

Bill Kind Bill Kind held various executive positions with Redback Networks, Siara Systems, Lucent Technologies, Ascend Communications, and Cisco Systems prior to mid-2000. In addition to being an avid mountaineer, he is a multiengine airline transport pilot and has flown several types of jet aircraft. He holds a BS in Electrical Engineering from San Jose State University and an MS in Engineering from the University of California, Davis. He and his wife Jaynie, are the parents of Shelley ’09. He previously served on the Castilleja Board from 2003-2008.

John Macdonald John Macdonald is co-founder and Board member of Energy Xtraction Corporation, an oilfield equipment manufacturer specializing in down-well pumping systems for low-yielding oil and gas wells, with products in development and prototype stages. Previously, he served as COO of Soma Ergonomics, a manufacturer of office furniture. He currently serves as President of the Las Lomitas Elementary School District in Menlo Park, California, and has served on the Las Lomitas Education Foundation Board, the

Foundation’s Advisory Board, and the Willamette University Alumni Board. He received a BA from Willamette University. He and his wife, Anne Flatland Macdonald ’80, are the parents of Kenzie ’17 and Maddie ’16.

Doreen Nelsen Doreen Nelsen is the current president of the Castilleja School Association after having held numerous volunteer roles at the school over the last eight years. A Certified Public Accountant, she worked in the tax and audit departments of PricewaterhouseCoopers as well as for a local firm where she specialized in the preparation of monthly financial statements for small businesses. Recently, she served for three years as the Assistant Treasurer and Treasurer on the Board of the Los GatosSaratoga Chapter of the National Charity League. She is a former professional figure skater, having coached and performed in the Bay Area for over 15 years. She received her BSC from Santa Clara University. She and her husband, Nels, are the parents of Brenna ’11, Kaley ’13, and Jerod.

Ethan A. Nicholls, M.D. Ethan A. Nicholls, M.D. is a senior partner and serves as President of the Northern California Anesthesia Associates (NCAA). Before making the move to private practice, he was on the faculty of fall/winter 2011 | 25

board update the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF). He currently serves on the CQI Committee of the Washington Outpatient Surgery Center and as an interviewer/recruiter for Harvard College. Additionally, he is a member of the American Society of Anesthesiology, the California Society of Anesthesiology, and the International Anesthesia Research Society. He has previously held staff and committee positions at El Camino Hospital, including Chief of the Department of Anesthesiology. He received his BA from Harvard, M.D. from Stanford Medical School, and completed his Anesthesia residency and fellowship in Pain Management at UCSF. He and his wife, Kristina, are the parents of Olivia ’13 and Julia ’17.

Deep Nishar Deep Nishar is Senior Vice President, Products and User Experience at LinkedIn, where he is responsible for setting and executing the company’s worldwide product strategy; leading the product management; data analytics, user experience, and web design teams; and managing global online sales and customer operations. He was previously at Google, where he headed product strategy for the Asia-Pacific region, led worldwide mobile initiatives, and built the back-end systems used for managing Google’s global customer base. He has coauthored seven patents and is a recipient of the Google Founders Award. Prior to Google, he was a member of the founding team of the Universal Application Network Business Unit at Siebel Systems and an associate at The Boston Consulting Group. He received a B.Tech from the Indian Institute of Technology, an MSEE from the University of Illinois, UrbanaChampaign, and an MBA from Harvard Business School. He and his wife, Rashmi, are the parents of Devanshi ’14.

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Kathleen Tandy Kathleen Tandy is Senior Marketing Manager at VMware, where she is responsible for worldwide marketing of the company’s Professional Services business, including both consulting and education services. She began her career in technology marketing with Hewlett-Packard, where her roles included product management, product marketing, channel business development, Business Unit manager, and marketing communications strategy in both the personal computer and aftermarket printing supplies businesses. She has also held a marketing role in NetApp’s Professional Services organization. She previously served on the Board of Trustees of Trinity School in Menlo Park, where she was also PTA President and Auction Benefit Co-Chair. She received her BA from Stanford and MBA from the University of California, Los Angeles. She and her husband, Scott, are the parents of Clare ’15 and Patrick.

Quintilla Shott Whitman ’81 Quintilla Shott Whitman ’81 has extensive marketing and advancement experience, especially with non-profits related to the well-being of children. Her recent appointments include Executive Board of the Children’s Health Council (CHC), Chairperson of the CHC Advancement Committee, and on-going Chairperson for the CHC’s annual Summer Symphony fundraisers. She has also served on the Board of the Peninsula Boys and Girls Club. Prior to her nonprofit work, her professional career included marketing positions for several print publications, sales and marketing roles at Ralph Lauren, and marketing and

communications for Smith Optics. She received her BA from the University of California, Berkeley. She and her husband, Douglas, are the parents of Katherine ’14, a third-generation Castilleja student, and Corey.

Board Transitions At the conclusion of the 2010-11 school year, Don Bogue, John Doerr, David Kelley, and Bruce Mosbacher retired from the Castilleja Board of Trustees. Also leaving the Board was Lisa Merenbach, who served as the CSA Representative to the Board during her term as CSA President. Their dedicated and thoughtful service to Castilleja has contributed significantly to helping the School both design and deliver educational excellence for girls in the 21st century.

faculty notes

New Faces on Campus This fall, 13 new faculty and staff members joined Castilleja for the 2011-12 school year, including two new members of the leadership team, Director of Technology Gabriel Lucas and Director of Finance and Operations Sue Reyneri (top, second from right). We also welcomed (top, left to right) Christopher Chiang (Academic Technology), Joy Biscornet (College Counseling), Leslie Hart (Visual and Performing Arts), Josh Genauer (Mathematics), Lorraine Brown (Admission), Sue Reyneri, Jessie Star (Athletics), (bottom, left to right) Cristina O’Brien (Admission), Rebecca Turett (Mathematics), Yvette Yamagata (Mathematics), and Stacey Kertsman (ACE Center).

Learning Exchanges Professional development is ongoing at Castilleja, and this fall faculty participated in a new set of targeted and flexible opportunities, dubbed the Learning Exchange. In consultation with Academic Council and faculty facilitators, Dean of Teaching and Learning Josée Band developed several Learning Exchange options for the first semester. Faculty could elect to participate in workshops to help them create classroom activities in conjunction with the ACE Center or Bourn Idea Lab, develop ideas for a Castilleja such as the Kisaruni School partnership, make the most of the 1:1 laptop program, or get feedback on a specific area of practice (such as teaching strategy or assessment). Also this fall, faculty in the Modern & Classical Languages Department had an opportunity to gain new perspectives on teaching during a oneday retreat with Dr. Jennifer Eddy. Dr. Eddy, a pioneer in the application of “backwards design” to foreign languages, encouraged the group to think first about the fundamental knowledge and essential questions before designing assessments. The group then focused on developing Integrated Performance Assessments, an assessment design that focuses on the “doing” of language in authentic situations. As part of the retreat, teachers from all disciplines had the opportunity to teach language classes, including Head of School Nanci KauffmanHA, who took the helm in Connie Richardson’s Spanish I class. The department will continue to work with Dr. Eddy later in the year.

Castilleja also welcomed new part-time staff to the Technology Department: Peter Estacio (Academic Technology), Alex Folsom (Help Desk), Diego Fonstad (Bourn Idea Lab), and John Ray Gutierrez (IT support). Castilleja also welcomed Julia Simonson to the Fitness and Wellness Department to teach the Indoor Climbing and Team Adventure class. The Advancement Office welcomed Seana McNamara ’06 as a Communications and Public Relations Intern and Morsha Abbott P’10, P’13 who will manage Annual Fund as a maternity replacement for Sue Kim. fall/winter 2011 | 27

faculty notes

Professional Development Spanish teacher and SEED leader Flaurie S. ImbermanHA took a class on blended learning through the Online School for Girls and created a new unit on water rights that utilizes both project-based learning and blended learning techniques. Upper School class deans Kim Knapp, Joseph Mitchell, and Jane McConnell worked on refining the student counseling techniques through workshops at the Stanley King Institute and ISM. English teacher Katie Sauvain completed her second summer at the Bread Loaf School of English, a Master’s degree program affiliated with Middlebury College. She took classes on the emergence of the American gothic in 19th-century literature and culture and modern, global interpretations of the Shakespearean canon. Over the summer, music teacher Leslie Hart completed a Doctor of Musical Arts in Music Education and Performance from the Eastman School of Music. In fulfillment of her degree, she completed a dissertation, Improvisation in the Collegiate Horn Studio, which outlines a curriculum to improve music understanding of orchestral repertoire through improvisation and describes the relationship between improvisation and music achievement. She was chosen to present her research at the International Horn Society Conference held in June at San Francisco State University. A number of teachers engaged in work to research connections between disciplines and to develop programming to leverage those connections. Upper School English and history teachers examined ways to link US History and the junior AP English American Voices course, and studio art teacher Helen Shanks developed the curricular, technical, and pedagogical elements of her new interdisciplinary course, Ceramics: History and Practice. History teacher Laura Thornburg ’81 worked on creating a plan for an innovative teaching and learning environment for History 6 that supports the needs of growing, playful, and relational sixth grade girls by incorporating space to write, think, present, collaborate, and create. Science teacher Christina Nawas ’02 spent 8 weeks as an IISME (Industry Initiatives for Science and Math Education) Fellow working at Agilent Technologies. “I was fortunate that my fellowship partnered me with Casti alum parent Viorica Lopez-Avila, P’08. I spent the summer working in her lab making biodiesel and doing research on the subject.” The result of her work was a biodiesel curriculum, which was named a “model” curriculum by IISME and was offered at Castilleja this fall as a Middle School elective. For more information about IISME, visit http:// In September, physics teacher Jon Rockman responded to a Facebook announcement and landed a volunteer spot on the Discovery Channel show MythBusters! He said, “While I’m not a super-fan of the show, I do think it is possibly the best science show on television because instead of just sharing a bunch of cool science facts as other shows do, they actually DO science. They ask questions that are susceptible to testing, and they base their answers on measured, observable results.” A nondisclosure agreement kept him from revealing what he actually did on the show, but he was one of only 5 volunteers, so he should be easy to spot when the show airs, probably in January!

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Awards and Recognition English teacher Bill Smoot’s book, Conversations with Great Teachers, which was published by Indiana University Press in 2010, was named “Outstanding” by the Association of American University Presses (AAUP). “Outstanding” titles are defined as having exceptional editorial content and subject matter and are considered essential additions to most library collections. Stanford University’s Teacher Tribute Initiative recognized math teacher Kyle BarrigerHA for Exceptional Teaching. This past summer, Stanford asked incoming freshmen to acknowledge a former teacher or mentor who played a significant role in their development. In her nomination letter Mona Matsumoto-Ryan ’11 explained, “Before Mr. Barriger’s math class, I never had much interest in math; solving problems gave me no great satisfaction. [However], he went out of his way to ensure we understood each concept completely, urged us to find what interested us, and assigned problems that we had to figure out alone—we never had to do 20 similar ones just to memorize a formula. Since his class, I always strive to find what interests me in math and other subjects, and now love completing problems that I’ve deciphered on my own.” Her reflection illustrates how deeply students internalize a teacher’s priorities and, most importantly, how students are taught how to learn.


The Class of 1986 gives a cheer at their 25th reunion!

Nancy Jackson Forbord ’61 and Dee Willett Cobo ’61 celebrate their 50th reunion!

Sisters Katherine ’03 and Laurel Tincher ’06 attend reunion weekend.

reunion 2011

2011 Reunion Weekend

Castilleja’s first fall Alumnae Weekend was a resounding success, as more than 150 alumnae from classes ending in 1’s and 6’s returned to campus September 30-October 1. The weekend events kicked off with the “Necessity of Networking” panel discussion, lunch at Lockey Alumnae House, and a visit to a class of their choice. Some alumnae came to campus early on Saturday to take place in the annual Alumnae Advisory Meeting to discuss communications, networking, and ways to further connect the Castilleja community. The 50+ Reunion Lunch was held in the Lockey Alumnae House while other classes met at the Cantor Arts Center at Stanford for a picnic lunch and a choice of touring the Rodin Sculpture Collection or a general tour of the museum led by docents Judy Sleeth, a former Castilleja faculty member, and parent Brenda Holston. That evening all of the classes met in the Chapel for a brief program, followed by a festive reception on the Circle and individual class dinners.

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1 The Class of 2001 celebrates their 10th reunion. 2 50th reunion festivities for the Class of 1961. 3 Casey Lynch ’91 and Shami Ravi ’91. 4 Members of the Class of 1996 reconnect at reunion. 5 Sarah Hinman Whittle ’86, Kendra Churcher Reichenau ’86, Sinda Mein ’86, and Lisa Maslak Ide ’86.


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6 Classmates from 1981 celebrate at their 30th reunion. 7 Friends from the Class of 1971 attend the Cantor Arts Center tour. 8 Alums enjoy Saturday’s chapel program. 9 The Class of 1991 celebrates their 20th reunion. 10 Allison Lewis Jacobs ’76 and Sally Harris ’76 celebrate their 35th reunion. 11 The Class of 1986’s reunion dinner at Lockey Alumnae House.



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stay connected


Stay Connected. Get Involved. STAY CONNECTED to the Castilleja alumnae network. Join the new Castilleja Careers Listserv at group/castilleja-careers to stay up-to-date on upcoming career-oriented events, job opportunities, and professionalskills workshops. We want YOU! There are countless ways alumnae can get involved. We love hearing from you, so please stay in touch. If you’re as excited as we are and want to join in the fun—here are a few suggestions: 1. Join the Advisory Council 2. Help plan a regional event 3. Attend a regional event 4. Provide an internship for a Castilleja student or alum 5. Send an update for Class Notes

The Necessity of Networking As part of Alumnae Weekend events, alumnae representing a broad range of professional experience participated in a panel discussion on the “Necessity of Networking” for juniors and seniors. Panelists Leslie Hom ’84 (Attorney), Ashley Parsons Jablow ’99 (IDEO), Sydney Larson ‘03 (SunRun), Ursula Kinney Ringham ’90 (Consultant), Emily White Kelly ’96 (Facebook), and Meg York ’06 (Investment Advisor) discussed their work experience, and offered insight and advice to our current students about networking and mentoring, encouraging students to reach out to people of interest and to form meaningful connections. One alum talked about how one connection often leads to another, allowing our personal networks to expand significantly. Another advised students to tap into the Castilleja Alumnae Community, and to form connections with the incredible alums who are always eager to help Casti girls. After the panel, a selection of students joined the alum speakers for a lunch at Lockey Alumnae House. Girls asked the speakers about ideas brought up by the panel and talked with alums about experiences at Castilleja as well as dreams for the future. Students remarked that many of these alums had found professions that seemed so unrelated to their college majors, like Ursula Ringham, who majored in International Relations but found joy in working for Adobe. This event was not only an opportunity for students to make connections with community members, but also a chance to think about the future. The event well represented Castilleja’s motto, “Women Learning, Women Leading,” by having current women leaders help students learn about what it takes to be successful.

6. Become a Castilleja School fan on Facebook 7. Join the Castilleja Careers Listserv 8. Send us your updated contact information (it sounds simple, but nothing makes us happier than an accurate database!)

Castilleja School Casti School Casti Athletics Castilleja School

Casti School

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(top) Juniors and seniors join alums for a networking lunch at Lockey Alumnae House. (right) Meg York ’06, Ashley Parsons Jablow ’99, and Emily White ’96 participate in networking panel.


Internships for College-Age Alumnae Offer Many Opportunities for HandsOn Learning Last winter, alumnae, alumnae parents, and current parents were asked if they had, or knew of, summer internships available for college-age alumnae, or alumnae who were recent college grads. This “grass roots” approach yielded 41 internships in a variety of fields and locations. The internships were described in detail on a page on the Castilleja website and the alumnae were able to directly contact the person in charge of the internship to gather more information and to set up an interview. Many alumnae took advantage of this outstanding resource offered by the Castilleja community. They participated in research, PR/marketing, banking, nonprofit, medical, legal, and real estate internships. A few of the non-paid internships became paid internships as the employers realized how much the interns were capable of contributing. One of the interns wrote about her experience looking for an internship: “The database made looking for a summer job so much easier. It was nice to already have the ‘Castilleja connection’ with the contact person instead of just blindly sending out a resume.” Another intern said, “I loved my internship…and, while outside of my specific interest of going into the financial industry, it taught me more about client relations and public relations, and how important a professional and accessible image is.” This year, the Alumnae Office is working directly with the ACE Center to further develop the internship program by encouraging Castilleja connections and outside connections to submit available internships for current Upper School students, college-age students, and alums who have recently graduated from college. The Technology Department is also involved in helping to develop a relational data management system for both those submitting internship opportunities and those who will be searching for internships. Become an active member of the Castilleja Connection by submitting an internship on the Castilleja website,, on the alumnae page under “Internships and Opportunities.” These internships are just one example of how Castilleja remains relevant in our alumnae’s lives long after graduation.

New This Fall: Alum Networking Circles! Silicon Valley: “Making Work Work” Allison Marston Danner ’89, a practicing criminal prosecutor, facilitated a thought-provoking discussion at the Lockey Alumnae House about the pleasures and challenges of being a working mother and how women can successfully navigate different phases of their careers and lives. We’re looking for spring topics! Let us know what you would like to discuss by contacting Director of Alumnae Relations Maggie Ely Pringle ’71 at

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Alumnae Regional Events Throughout the fall, more than 75 alumnae, alumnae parents, and honorary alumnae gathered at events in Monterey/Carmel, Pasadena, San Francisco, and Silicon Valley. The events gave classmates a chance to reconnect, alums from across the decades an opportunity to meet, and everybody a chance to learn something—like how to tell a good wine from a great one! Pasadena 1 Alumnae join Head of School Nanci KauffmanHA at the Tap Room of the Huntington Hotel for a SoCal regional gathering. Monterey/Carmel


2 Ellen Geer Miller ’59 graciously hosted a regional gathering at her Pebble Beach home.

Coming Soon December 20, 2011

February 4

Young Alumnae Holiday Brunch

Family Valentine’s Day Party

December 22

February 29

Class of 2007 Reunion

Seattle Regional Event

January 3-6

March 24

Global Week

View360: Imagine

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and more!




San Francisco 3 Jaclyn Kokores ’01, Chelsea Gilliand ’01, Meg Walker ’78, Ursula Kinney Ringham ’90, and Tania Jemilian Boghosian ’77 4 Kelly Conway ’90 and Sarah Sussman ’90 5 Tania Jemilian Boghosian ’77, Jaclyn Kokores ’01, Chelsea Gilliand ’01, and Meg Walker ’78


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Silicon Valley Courtney Dyar ’93, Operations Manager for Duckhorn Wine Company, coordinated a wine tasting at Lockey Alumnae House in November. Everyone had a great time tasting the wines that Courtney selected specially for this event and learning about the wine-making process. 1 Megan Ruder Martinelli ’80 and guests enjoy the evening! 2 Jennifer Schneider, Kelly Conway ’90, Marina Costabile 3 Courtney Dyar ’93 and Ursula Kinney Ringham ’90 4 Kelly Conway ’90, Larissa Schwartz ’89, and Karen Phipps Anderson ’90


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Distinguished Alumnae Award: Kirsten Saenz Tobey ’96 The Distinguished Alumnae Award is presented annually to an alumna who has consistently demonstrated the values of the 5 Cs in her personal, professional, or community life. Kirsten Saenz Tobey ’96 began demonstrating the values of compassion, courage, charity, conscience, and character at an unusually young age. Perhaps that was the early influence of her mother, Karen TobeyHA, former faculty member and long-time Community Service Director at Castilleja. In addition to being an excellent student and an accomplished athlete, Kirsten was very involved with community service while at Castilleja and participated in the Amigos de las Americas program in Ecuador. Following her graduation from Brown, she began her career as a teacher, garden educator, and coordinator of experiential education programs. She branched out to run a public health campaign for Earthjustice and managed a field station in Mexico that studied the environmental and socioeconomic impacts of the fishing industry. While earning her MBA at the University of California Berkeley, Kirsten co-founded Revolution Foods with her classmate, Kristin Richmond, with a vision to transform the way we feed our students in this country by serving healthy meals and offering nutrition education to lowincome students. Six years later, schools in ten states and thousands of students benefit from their “revolution” that has won them numerous awards and has been recognized in the nation’s top publications. Revolution Foods has also influenced legislation that Congress has passed which will expand the federal school lunch program and promote healthy food in schools. What an impact this Castilleja alumna has made! Kirsten has shared her passion for community action on many occasions with Castilleja students and alumnae, encouraging them to embrace the 5 C’s and to make a difference in the local and global communities. She has personally demonstrated the power of sharing and networking within the Castilleja community. Kirsten’s other major passion is her family—husband, Ben, and their daughters, Alita and Dakota. She juggles her many roles with skill, humor, grace, and lots of support from her extended family. Her parents, Karen and Tom, were on hand when Kirsten received the award from Alumnae Association President Lindsay Austin Louie ’98 at a small ceremony at Castilleja in late September. Congratulations to Kirsten, the 2011 Distinguished Alumnae Award recipient!

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Spotlight: Laura Vartain Horn ’98 Laura’s first experiences with open-water swimming go back to her days playing water polo at Castilleja with then-coach Randy WhitchurchHA. Through college and beyond, Laura continued to swim and play water polo. Now an attorney at Latham & Watkins, LLP, Laura swims several days a week, generally in the safety of a pool unless she has an upcoming triathlon. Back in March, she was invited to join the Night Train Swimmers, a group of swimmers based in Marin who do long-distance, openwater swimming across the globe to raise money for several charities, particularly foundations that provide aid to veterans. Ready for a new adventure, Laura agreed to give swimming with them a shot, even though they swim in the frigid waters of the Bay without wetsuits, which would be a first for Laura. In early April, Laura did her first non-wetsuit swim, lasting about 45 minutes in 51-degree water and followed by spending over an hour in the sauna to calm the shivers. Just a month later, the team asked her to join an all-female relay to the Farrallon Islands, located 30 miles off the coast of San Francisco. Following traditional English Channel crossing rules for relays, there would be six swimmers without wetsuits, who would each swim one-hour legs until they reached their destination. This channel crossing is considered one of the most difficult in the world given the unpredictable seas, big surf, cold water, and high risk of sharks: the Farrallons are a major feeding place for great whites. Only thirteen people have made the swim successfully, including 6 of Laura’s teammates at Night Train. Still not having swam an hour in cold water without a wetsuit, Laura and her husband, Patrick, decided that this was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that couldn’t be passed up, and she agreed to join the team, as long as Patrick could be part of the crew on the boat. Two weeks later, having tested herself to make sure she could stay in 50-ish degree water for an hour without going hypothermic, Laura and five other women started their journey from underneath the Golden Gate Bridge at 4:50 am. Sixteen-and-a-half hours later, in the dark, they reached the Farrallon Islands, having made it through three rotations per swimmer in 53-degree-and-under water and battling 18-25 foot waves and major rounds of seasickness, which made eating to fuel the swims very difficult. “Getting in the water for my third and final swim was one of the most difficult things I have ever done. I was terrified of another session of the cold and even more terrified of the sharks and whatever was underneath the dark and stormy waters, but quitting when I could finally see the islands, the most primordial and foreboding spots of land I’ve ever seen, was never an option.” Their last swimmer did her final leg in the dark, touching the buoy at the Farrallons after 9pm. Each of the women calls this a life-changing adventure, and for Laura it was particularly meaningful to do it with a team of women and under the watchful eyes of her husband, who monitored her closely from the boat. You can read more about the group and the charities that the Farrallon swim will benefit at NightTrainSwimmers/ABOUT.html. 38 | full circle


Spotlight: Melinda Lomax Cootsona ’77 Melinda likes to say “It started as something else” about her work, as each painting ends up completely changed and enriched from where it began, much like her life. She feels that her entire life has been a series of paths going one direction and then branching off into another. For her first five years at Castilleja she loved math and finished most homework assignments in class and then tutored her friends. Then she hit calculus, “the first split in the road.” After a visit to the Headmaster’s office to assure him that she knew what she was doing, she took the art road and left math behind. It was at Castilleja that Melinda began to take every art and art history class she could find. She says that the incredible education at Castilleja gave her the foundation and confidence to explore a creative field. She also credits Ms. Sparks with encouraging creativity and new ways of thinking, and her parents for supporting her exploring the arts over “safer” subjects. After several more forks in the road (the University of California, Los Angeles and Foothill College) she ended up at California College of the Arts, which she calls “a phenomenal school,” and she majored in Interior Architectural Design. Melinda worked in architectural offices in San Francisco for over a decade before the next avenue presented itself: oil painting. She has now been painting for almost 22 years and has been teaching oil painting for eleven. She says “I am incredibly fortunate that I never ‘work.’ Every day I either paint or teach and I love both. My life is full of exactly what I want to do and it never feels like work.” Melinda likes her paintings to have the same quality of the crossroads of her life and “layers of experiences.” She says, “beneath my oil paintings’ surfaces sleep a minimum of five to six layers of paintings. All of my work begins as an abstract. I create ‘graffiti-like’ images using patterns, lines, and shapes. I continue to build up layers of paintings by both simplifying the ‘graffiti’ and adding new shapes. Various textures are applied as well, with oil bars, oil pens, graphite, and even shower squeegees that scrape away paint revealing layers below. I persistently ‘watch, discover and listen’ as the painting evolves. Each painting represents a journey of its own which I hope each viewer will respond to and interpret in her own way.” Melinda’s work can be seen at The Studio Shop in Burlingame and online at Her blog can be found at She teaches adults of all levels in small classes in her Menlo Park home studio.

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Spotlight: Paz Hilfinger-Pardo ’04 Paz says that, “Castilleja’s drama program taught me that if I want to make theater, I can make it happen.” As a sophomore, she approached her teachers with the idea of starting a new theater group that would produce plays read in the English classes. Where other drama teachers might have balked at letting a 16-year-old make her directorial debut with George Bernard Shaw’s Pygmalion, Bear CapronHA and Kristin Walter simply told her to go ahead and gave her access to the costume shop and the theater. She feels, “their encouragement at the start of what I didn’t yet realize would be my career prepared me better than any classes could have. I’ve continued to make my own opportunities even as I work with more established companies.” Paz trained at Stanford University, the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art, and the National Theatre Institute. Since graduating from Stanford in 2009, she has worked as a performer, playwright, and dramaturg. In the Bay Area, she has performed multiple times with BootStrap Theater Foundation as the co-producer of Hanging Georgia and most recently in Tell It Slant. In New York, she works mainly as a dramaturg with the Theatre of the Emerging American Moment (the TEAM); their latest work, Mission Drift, recently won the Fringe First, Herald Angel, and Edinburgh International Festival Awards at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. The director of Hanging Georgia is a founding member of TEAM. Paz says that it is “very exciting for me to have my two theater worlds come together.” In 2012, she will be in Buenos Aires on a Fulbright grant studying psychoanalysis and making more theater.

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Spotlight: Carolyn Kaplan Delaney ’80 Carolyn was sworn in on August 1st as a U.S. Magistrate Judge in Sacramento, and colleagues, friends, and family attended her investiture ceremony in October. While Carolyn had no intention of pursuing a law career after graduating from Castilleja and Wesleyan, she changed her mind while working as a secretary in Boston and enrolled at the Stanford Law School, where her dad was a renowned professor and scholar on the criminal justice system. Carolyn chose to work as a prosecutor in the U.S. Attorney’s Office and ultimately transferred to Sacramento after marrying her husband, James Delaney, a Drug Enforcement Administration Special Agent, whom she met while working on a case in 1997. Her demonstrated skill and remarkable composure led to her being chosen as the U.S. Attorney’s No.3 post as U.S. Attorney Paul Seave’s Executive Assistant. In November 2009 she moved up to the No. 2 post as U.S. Attorney Benjamin Wagner’s First Assistant. Wagner noted Carolyn’s coolness under pressure and her great sense of humor in his remarks at her investiture ceremony. Carolyn balances a full life with a challenging work schedule and a busy family, including her husband, 10-year-old twin sons, and a 7-year-old daughter. As Chief Judge Anthony W. Ishii swore her in, her family helped her slip on her judicial robe. About her new job, Carolyn says, “I love it, absolutely love it! The work is varied and detailed. I’m happy as a clam.”

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Staying Connected

Back-to-School Night Alumnae parents (1) had the opportunity to reconnect in October when they came back to campus for their own version of Back-to-School Night. An enthusiastic group representing classes from 1982 to 2011 spent the evening catching up with friends and faculty members and visiting the newest Castilleja facilities. Guides took small groups up to the 3rd floor of the Arrillaga Family Campus Center to visit the new ACE Center, which serves as the campus hub for experience-based learning such as community action opportunities, global trips and programming, leadership development, and internships. The tour then made its way down to the lower level of Arrillaga, where a former student lounge has been turned into the Bourn Idea Lab. The Lab not only provides tools and workspace for the Robotics Team, but also classroom space for project work in engineering, science, and even art! Their last stop was the Library, where they were introduced to new techniques for research and classroom technology.

2 42 | full circle

1 Alumnae Parent Reunions

CAPA Advisory Board

Class of 2011 parents (2) organized a gathering in September to share stories about sending their girls off to college and the first reports about adjusting to college life. They were all looking forward to Parents Weekends and the holidays. Class of 2003 parents (3,4) organized a well-attended gettogether at the Lockey Alumnae House in November. The group had a great time catching up with each other and learning about what the ’03 graduates are doing now.


Finally, in November, the CAPA Advisory Committee held their second annual meeting. The group, including Melanie Taylor P’09, Marcia Hansen P’08, ’10, Veronica Kornberg P’00, ’02, ’08, Elizabeth Harris ’77, P’09, ’18, Julie Satake Ryu P ’07, ’09, and Mary Powell P’06, ’09, ’11 reviewed Back-to-School event, communications, fundraising, and plans for the coming year. Interested in becoming involved with CAPA? Contact Director of Alumnae Relations Maggie Ely Pringle ’71 at


Imagine spending an evening with an Emmy and Tony Award-winning performer, an Emmy Award-winning writer, and an Academy Award-winning director, not to mention a surprise special guest star. You won’t have to imagine much longer.




SATURDAY EVENING, MARCH 24, 2012 • 8:00pm Oracle Conference Center, Redwood City Support tuition assistance at an extraordinary evening filled with entertainment and exploration. Exceptional in their fields, each our our special guest stars brings their own perspective on the passion, creativity, and determination required to “imagine if...” Join us for the after-party and celebrate alongside the Castilleja community. We promise you will leave inspired to see the world as a place where the imagined becomes possible. Tickets on sale beginning January 24, 2012: $125/$350 Individual and corporate underwriting opportunities now available. Contact Director of Advancement Kim Roberts ’83 at 650.470.7740

For more information visit 62 || full full circle circle 62

class notes ’01 Alums spell “Casti” at Laura Wes’ ’01 wedding

Send news to School Diane Pickering Gibbs enjoyed a reunion of her whole family last July. Among the 51 people who attended were her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. She turned 99 on October 17! Catherine Clift Peck is living at Channing House, a retirement home not many blocks from Castilleja. Two former Castilleja teachers live there as well! She attended the 50+ Reunion Lunch at the Lockey Alumnae House in October 2011.

from the docent program at Reid Park Zoo and have been a docent at the Tucson Museum of Art for many years. I am also a docent at The Mini-Time Machine Museum of Miniatures. Are there any of my classmates still around? I would love to hear from them. I can be contacted at”


Carolyn Hornkohl Gillespie 531 Rosarita Drive Fullerton, CA 92835 Carolyn Hornkohl Gillespie is happy


to report that members of the Class of 1949 are doing well! Sally Anderson LaHaye celebrated her 80th birthday in July with a trip to Banff and Jasper. Sally Sharpsteen Wilson is moving back to California after four years in Sedona, AZ. Arlayne Overfelt Fifer wrote that she is keeping in touch with extensive family on Facebook and through family gatherings. She and Norm have three great-granddaughters. Carolyn has finally retired from health care consulting and related travel. Now she is busy cleaning out closets after 58 years of marriage!

Adele Landenberger Haynie 550 Main Street Morro Bay, CA 93442


Marilyn Hill McKae 4855 Snyder Lane, #218 Rohnert Park, CA 94928


Send news to School Ellen Walling Lewis is doing well in Arizona: “I am hale and hearty and a working docent at three different institutions in Tucson. I just graduated


Cynthia Kaiser Floyd 150 La Sandra Way Portola Valley, CA 94028


Shirley Arnott Pruitt 8555 Edinbridge Way Roseville, CA 95747


Keep in Touch with Castilleja Please send Class Notes to your Class Representative, to Castilleja, or go online to

Maggie Ely Pringle ’71 Director of Alumnae Relations Castilleja School 1310 Bryant Street Palo Alto, CA 94301 (650) 470-7743

For the following years, please send your news to the school:


















keep in touch


Alice Dryden Thomas is continuing to enjoy living in beautiful British Columbia, traveling, and watching her grandchildren grow.

Diane Pickering Gibbs ’31 with her greatgrandchildren at a family reunion.

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class notes


Ellie Tilden Gardner 501 Portola Road, #8057 Portola Valley, CA 94028 Jackie Baskette von Ofenheim says, “As with most of us, there’s always a lot to be busy with. Seems like I’ve always got too many art research tasks to complete, non-fiction books to read, events to mix and mingle at the art museum and the Japanese Garden, and endless debates with fellow condo board members. There are weekly play dates with the Grands, ages 5 and 7, but way too few one-on-ones with friends of the opposite. There will probably always be great shots I never caught with my camera, and unusual portraits I neglected to paint. Bach and Mozart are still my background music, but I haven’t been practicing The Swing. I’ve been told that at this stage, one should only do what she really enjoys. Get in touch. I’d like to put on my middy and pleated skirt and sit on the front steps for awhile. jvono@” Marilyn Salsman Stockfleth is extremely pleased to have reached the golden age of 76 years!


Judith Bailey Quayle 7106 Overlook Drive Santa Rosa, CA 95409 In 2007 Laurie Spaeth moved into the Channing House retirement community in Palo Alto. She is enjoying it very much.

Judy Bailey Quayle is sad to report that Ann Holmes Suhr died July 17, 2011 from pancreatic cancer. She wrote, “Ann was a fun, optimistic person her entire life. Many Castilleja classmates were alerted early to her cancer and called her frequently. Her sunny personality will be greatly missed by all who knew her.”


Peggy McKennan Link 5752 West Marquette Drive Denver, CO 80235

recent developments in their fields, and to learn of their hopes for the future.”

Roxanna Isenberg, who lives on a small farm in Missouri with her horses and cocker spaniels, enjoys quilting. On July 9th after the BIG tornado hit Joplin, MO, she rounded up 48 quilters who produced 60 quilts in one day to send to Joplin. They are still quilting for charity and call themselves “Quilts in Need.” One of Roxanna’s quilts can be viewed online at a mule and donkey rescue site: http://

Val Tognazzini Kieser sent us an update: “No real news. Am still riding horseback whenever possible on my beautiful palomino. Am still playing with the San Francisco Accordion Chamber Ensemble, as well as playing by myself for parties, Oktoberfests, etc. I am slowing down, however, as these cancer treatments (after six years) do take their toll. Am doing OK though—‘hanging in there.’” Mary Twiss Kopchains reports that her three children treated her and her husband, Bob, to several days with the whole family at the Cloisters in Sea Island, GA, for their 50th anniversary. Bob and Mary look forward to having the whole family—including six grandchildren, ages 5-17—visit them in South Carolina for Thanksgiving. Mary chairs the Communication Committee for her community and also volunteers for the local free medical clinic and the “Pet Spa.” Also, we hear that Peggy Fitzgerald Nute had the opportunity to lunch with Mary and Belinda Rose!

Beverly McMonagle Fearey reports, “All is well in Martha’s Vineyard. I still have a store and go to England to bring containers of furniture to Martha’s Vineyard. We have nine grandchildren, most spending the summer with us.”


Charlotte Geary Gilmore 1061 45th Street Sacramento, CA 95819 Sue (Kim) Holzman Hanna sent us some Casti cheer: “I am sitting at my desk in my home in Auckland, New Zealand, looking out of my windows at my unbelievable view ‘of the world.’ I am hoping that my class will celebrate our 55th reunion this next year. I emigrated from Beverly Hills, CA, to New Zealand in 1973. After I retired a dozen years ago here, I started traveling back and forth to my home in Beverly Hills, so I have the luck of a kind of double life. One son lives near to me here whilst my other three children live in America, i.e. Beverly Hills, Portland, OR, and outside of Boston. The ‘American’ children each have a boy and a girl ranging in ages from 11 years to 17 years. My friends are my mainstay in each country—very strong links in my life. When I’m in America, I spend most of my time commuting to see each of my families. My city of Auckland was the host for the Rugby World Cup for six weeks—it was all shined up for its biggest event ever. It also displayed a commemoration to the diabolical earthquakes that befell Christchurch this year. I’m hoping to see my classmates (I can always be reached at in 2012—Castilleja was the strongest, most positive influence in my life. I look forward with much love and appreciation to returning to visit it/ my fellow alumnae, whether it’s from New Zealand or wherever I may be.”


Hildi Jensvold Vieira 75-640 Mahi iu Lani Place Kailua Kona, HI 96740


Send news to School


Eleanor Geer Miller happily writes,

Darlene Cherie Rickey 444 San Antonio Road, #6C Palo Alto, CA 94306

“Tennis all summer and skiing all winter. What could be better? Enjoying grandchildren and a great grandson.”


Send news to School Peggy McKennan Link says, “The first thing I look for in full circle is the class notes section. I don’t think I am alone. Our other classmates would love to hear about where you are and what you are doing too, so please keep me posted at my home address above. When I’m not traveling, I do volunteer work with an organization that gives scholarships to students seeking a scientific career. It is very rewarding to see what today’s students are studying, to hear about the

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’55 Beverly McMonagle Fearey ’55 at a family reunion

Judith Gibbs Brown is expecting her tenth grandchild! She loves her new studio, where she paints icons. Her oldest son is a jet pilot, and her youngest is a JAG in the Air Force. Her priest son, back from study in Rome, is assigned near her home, where she can see him often. Susan Scott Petretto called to say that she hopes that all of her classmates are well and staying young!

class notes

’60 Judith Gibbs Brown ’60 with her son, Father Avram Brown, at Lake Atitlán, Guatemala

’63 Karen Gasivoda Finney ’63

’63 Katherine “Tucky” McKown Farrell ’63


Dee O’Brien James Sally Thornhill-Peterson says, “I live in Ross in Marin County, CA, and would love to hear from classmates. I am married with one grown son and I work in real estate.”


Honor Berger Spitz 1324 Central Street Evanston, IL 60201 Honor Berger Spitz sends greetings from Evanston, IL, where she survived the hot and unusually stormy summer of 2011. “Weather aside, I’ve remained happily busy, doing (volunteer) research at the Evanston History Center, sitting on the board of PeaceAble Cities: Evanston, and continuing my photography in and around Chicago. I enjoyed wonderful visits from family and friends, and am looking forward to coming out to California later this year.”

Barbara Hutter Manford sends greetings from San Juan! “We have survived Irene and Katia. I live two blocks from the Governor, so I generally don’t lose power or water, but most of the island is not so lucky. I still love it here and still urge people to come and visit. My only regret is not seeing my son (in New York City) and my close friends as often as I would like. I do plan to come to the 50th!”


Sudie Fenn Moreland 1897 Echo Lane Lincoln, CA 95648 Sandra Sayre Flattery finally retired from real estate in Atlanta, GA! “We are now residents of Idaho and are coming



Sandra Sayre Flattery ’63 enjoying the beautiful outdoors

Janet Mauel Cronk ’64 with husband Rick at the World Scout Jamboree

back to Palo Alto! We are looking for a small rental in downtown Palo Alto or Menlo Park for use as an off-season home. We have seven grandchildren including triplets, now 3 years old. I hope to reestablish contact when we are back in the Palo Alto area!”

Janet Mauel Cronk says, “Like most

Karen Gasivoda Finney now has four granddaughters! “Running the family business keeps me pretty busy. I sneak in bridge tournaments when I can!” Katherine “Tucky” McKown Farrell reports that life in Camarillo, CA, is busy, fulfilling, and for the most part, GREAT! “I’d love to hear from my classmates, especially those with whom I boarded (thanks Miss Winters)! I’d also love to know the whereabouts of Bill Sutherland, so if anyone knows, please send info!”


Gail Wilson Zetter 757 Marina View Drive El Dorado Hills, CA 95762 Barbara MacCornack Leutwiler checked in: “Hi there! Robert and I have been extremely and pleasantly busy. Paris and Provence in May; Vail and Aspen in June; Grand Lake adventures for sailing, boating, and socializing; and finally, my luxurious new Travel Cloak design and business, which can be found at this fall. Love to everyone. Barbara MacCornack Leutwiler,”

of you, my twin sister, Janey, and I celebrated our 65th birthday with our children and seven grandchildren. Rick and I continue to snow ski (4th of July at Squaw) and travel, such as the World Scout Jamboree in Sweden and another Scout event in Saudi Arabia. I am active with my Cal Class of ’68 and the UC Berkeley Foundation. I also love to hike, especially at Tahoe, as long as my knees will let me!” Speaking of Tahoe, Lisbeth Ohlsson Green is also in that area. She reports, “It’s hard to believe my husband, Bob, and I have now lived in the beautiful Lake Tahoe area (Truckee to be exact) for six it is fall, and my ‘spring’ flowers are just starting to bloom...sadly, the night temperature is getting cooler and cooler which means I’ll have to bring the flowers in very soon. To offset a short growing season, I did buy a place down south (Laguna Niguel) which just happens to be one mile from my granddaughter’s house, so I can enjoy watching her grow up and even get to help at her school now and then!”

Cindy Swanson Miller is also sending warm thoughts our way: “Enjoying being retired and watching grandkids grow up. Wishing all of my fellow Medicare sisters good health.”

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class notes


Overett and hope to see her this year in Carmel!!!”

Libby Ames Edwards 3517 Shilo Drive Fort Collins, CO 80521

Nancy Brunner Grove sends greetings


from Atherton, where she and her husband, Bill, moved into her childhood home six years ago. “We have finally finished a complete house and garden remodel, and, in semi-retirement from my pathology practice, I grow all the produce we eat. We are dedicated planet-huggers, and are nearing a carbon-neutral lifestyle. I enjoy my roles as Master Gardener teacher and churchbased environmental justice advocate, as well as still doing a bit of clinical laboratory consulting. Daughter Emily married Paul Crittenden this summer. Warm regards to classmates and fellow alums!”

Nancy Blake Tetrick says, “The Class


Lindsay Jones Lowe 729 Old Creek Road Danville, CA 94526


Michele Brigham Finstad shares some happy news: “A bonus year! Our eldest daughter, Farrell, is expecting our first grandchild in late November. Our younger daughter is getting married at our ranch next June. I was lucky to see Willi Guslander Faye during a recent visit to Kauai. My husband retired this year, and we are having a ball! Life is good!” Last we heard from Mary Moore, she was headed to Hanamaki, Japan, as a delegate from the Hot Springs, AR, Sister City Program!

Susie Lyle Duncan Williams reflects, “Looking back, I didn’t think I’d make it this far. After working in financial services, venture capital, and fiber arts for 48 years total I’ve retired from the workforce. Am I the first? I’m single and didn’t have children, so I’ve got a whole new world to look at. TBD. I keep in close contact with Wendy Lewis Iverson and Wendy Carrel. I’m so happy they’re in my life. I’ll check back in next year. Maybe I’ll get used to this retirement thing. I plan to do my art again, and it’s slowly coming back to me. Anyone reading this, please give me a call if you’re in Phoenix, AZ!”


Send news to School Annette Boushey Holland reports, “Greg and I have been taking care of our newest grandson, Dante, several days a week while his mother works. We have also been spending time in Salt Lake City, where our younger daughter has been recovering from a badly broken leg. Aside from that, I’m still involved with the two land trusts I helped found, as well as serving on the Board of Councillors for the Save the Redwoods League. I’m also still writing—working on a nonfiction book and a screenplay—and painting a bit. We’ve had fun remodeling an old barn and turning the old hayloft into a meditation hall and studio. I was sorry to have missed our 45th (which conflicted with Dante’s second birthday), but hope to get together with everyone who can make it for our next big reunion. If anyone else would like to take a turn as class representative, I would be happy to pass the baton!”

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Annette Boushey Holland’s ’66 grandson Dante

Nancy Blake Tetrick of ’67 is a bit short on news this time around. I started a small Facebook group, and Jan Willett LeBaron has helped as well by adding a few more of us. Look us up and join! Kathi Warren Williams is swimming her way through retirement as well as volunteering at the local animal shelter, and still loves backyard potlucks. Anna Delia HenleyBuehrke had a short vacation in Austria and found a charming small chapel on one of her hikes. Hoping everyone else out there is well and that life continues to be good!”


Diane Schwabacher Vocker Christie Hunner Shawl is enjoying her house in the Mother Lode, but will be returning to Hawaii April 2012. She attended the Reunion Weekend this year. Mary Anne Greninger Merritt has been quite the globetrotter: “I flew to Finland this summer to meet my son, Travis, in Helsinki. While there I also flew to Stockholm, Sweden, to meet some distant cousins, my grandmother’s nieces and nephews. What fun!!! Also, I reconnected with Laura Golub

’68 Christie Hunner Shawl ’68 enjoying lunch during Reunion

Caroline Trotter Diane “Dee Dee” Brooks Dixon has retired as Executive Vice President from Avery Dennison after 29 years. She says she is transitioning to another career— stay tuned for more news! Jodi Kelly Flatley writes, “I am semiretired and living in San Antonio, TX. Even though it is a zillion degrees here in the summer, it is a great place to live. I spend about six months a year here, four months in San Diego, CA, and a couple of months each year traveling. I figure that I better get the traveling in before I turn around and it’s too late. I have a married daughter in Ladera Ranch, CA, and a married daughter in San Diego. The latter has 20-month-old twins (a girl and a boy), so it is probably obvious why I spend a good amount of time there. I hope that everyone at Casti is doing well, especially the Class of ’69.” Susy Varian Hammond still does not like Missouri summers, but is happily awaiting the arrival of grandbaby #2 (a boy this time) this fall! Lauren LaPlante Younger reports her children are doing great. Her son, Mark, his wife, and his two daughters are living

’68 Nancy Brunner Grove ’68 raising a toast at her daughter’s wedding

class notes


Meg Malone Thompson



Karen Smith Shaw ’72

Nancy Ditz’s son Jack and daughter Emily ’12 at a tailgate

in Korea, where Mark works for Samsung. Her daughter, Kelly, lives in Boston and works as a Spanish and Portuguese translator for hospitals. Kelly’s twin sister, Julie, lives in San Francisco and has a nonprofit company called “New Door Ventures” that works with street kids.

was very happy to be in her home surrounded by loved ones and activities. She will be missed. I am still happily married to Bruce, and my son, Genna, is 15 years old and in high school. I am excited that ClearVision, my surgical face mask invention, will be produced this month in the USA!”

Pam Wass Rozycki writes, “Life has been wedding central for me. Valerie, our daughter, got engaged to Trip Wagoner, aka George Richard Wagoner, III, February 13, 2010, and married him June 25, 2011. Our son, Stefan, got engaged to Julianna Tabor on December 17, 2010 and will marry July 27, 2012. I’ve been very busy having fun with our growing family. Valerie and Trip live in Bangalore, where she is CEO of ZipDial, a mass marketing startup, and he is an executive at Groupon India. Stefan and Julianna live in Bethesda, MD, where he is a medical student for the Uniformed Services University of Health Sciences, specifically for the Navy, and she is a school teacher in Washington, DC. Mark and I have been remodeling our home amidst all the wedding planning, so we haven’t done any exciting traveling. I still play as much tennis as I can.”


Carol Henley Meredith Pamela Silver excitedly shares, “I became one of the founding Professors of the Systems Biology Department at Harvard Medical School and the new Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering, where my group works on problems related to solving sustainability issues and disease. We have received a large Department of Energy grant for the research. In my spare time, I have bought a sailboat and race it at Marblehead—we are currently in second place for the season.”


Jeanne Fisichella Hahne Jeanne Fisichella Hahne says, “My mother died on August 18, 2011. She

Allison Goetz Davis writes, “I’m living in Redwood City with my two teens, Zoe (16) and Leo (13), and working at Stanford in admissions for the MBA Program. Has it really been 40 years since we graduated?!”

Alixandra Plank Brevig still lives in Portland and is loving it! “I work in commercial real estate and am looking forward to retirement. My daughter is at the University of Edinburgh and my son is a senior in high school. For fun, I ride my 17.2-hand Dutch Warmblood/ Thoroughbred horse over fences.”


Karen Smith Shaw Karen Smith Shaw is busy with work and family. “My oldest daughter graduated from Iowa State in 2010 and is busy starting her fashion business, Robin’s Nest, in Mendota Heights, MN. My youngest daughter is in her third year at Boston University. I am enjoying our mountain home and have restarted golf to fill the empty nest.” Nancy Ditz is still close to campus: “Our daughter, Emily Mosbacher ’12, is a senior at Castilleja and our son, Jack Mosbacher, is a senior at Stanford. Jack is in the honors program at the Center on Democracy, Development, and the Rule of Law, and spent most of the summer in Uganda studying its emerging oil economy. Em spent most of her summer playing soccer, as her club team won the state championships. Bruce and I are sprinting to try to keep up with them!”

Sarah Wallace is beginning her 28th year at WABC-TV in New York: “No other woman street reporter has ever worked longer at a single New York City station, so I guess that says something about longevity! I focus most of my work on investigative stories and that is extremely rewarding. My husband, Harry (an anchor at the local Fox-TV station), and our two children, Sara (23) and James (14), recently returned from a two-week vacation to Thailand. It was an incredible experience. We try to get to the West Coast as often as possible to see my mom and my three sisters: Katharine “Vandy” Wallace O’Reilly ’66, Derry Wallace MacBride ’69, and Betsy Wallace Dixon ’71. Marilyn Tate Wilson happily reports, “Betty Ann Jackson Reinhardt, Susan Bobadilla Reaves, Meg Malone Thompson, Chris Julius Thurmond, and I are all looking forward to our third annual goddess beach getaway. Monterey here we come!!”


Heidi Singhoff Brown


Jessica Hansen Fellows Giuliana Danon Vural sends a note from Fort Worth, TX: “I would like to share that I have a 10th grader and an 8th grader who are excelling, a husband working on the latest, greatest military jet aircraft, and I have just opened my own law firm practicing oil and gas law— the Vural Law Firm PLLC. Life is very busy—challenging and rewarding.”

Helen Schawlow Johnson is a published author! “My husband, Tom, and I have written two books together, Two Toms: Lessons from a Shoshone Doctor and Also Called Sacajawea: Chief Woman’s Stolen Identity, both about the Shoshone people of Wyoming. It was exciting this past June to give talks about the Two Toms book at Grand Teton National Park. Tom and I live in Wisconsin and have two daughters. Both are college students, one at Miami University in Ohio and the other at Wake Forest.”

Elisabeth Giansiracusa is celebrating 30 years in Italy this October. She retired from teaching but is freelancing as a researcher, translator, and cultural consultant. fall/winter 2011 | 67

class notes



Allison Boice ’77 at home

Erika Tiegel Freitas ’80 with friends


my overseas career with Peace Corps Mauritania in 1995, and with one thing leading to another, I have been with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees for over 10 years. Including Mauritania twice, I have also been posted in Liberia, Sierra Leone, Ivory Coast, Rwanda, and most recently Afghanistan. Switzerland is a welcome change and is the first time I have had simultaneous power and water in 16 years!”

Meredith Rothrock


Mijke Roggeveen Sibylle Mauli Altermatt is still living in Switzerland. She has three grownup children (24, 22, and 19), and she is working as a librarian. Allison Boice catches us up on the last three decades. “Since leaving Castilleja in 1976, I moved to Orcas Island with my parents. I graduated from Orcas Island High School in 1977. What a different atmosphere from three years at Castilleja. I attended William Woods University, graduating in 1981 with a BA in Elementary Education and an Early Childhood Concentration. I returned to Orcas Island and operated my own preschool. I later took a job as a transcriptionist and moved to Fulton, MO, in 1992. These past 18 years I have enjoyed the beauty of the state and getting to know my Missouri family. I obtained a second BA in Sign Language Communications and obtained my certification in transcription. Four years ago I left my supervisor position at a Jefferson City hospital to work from home. I currently work for a Floridabased company doing quality assurance reviews of medical reports. It is fun, challenging, and best of all there is no pager waking me at 2am.”


Laurie Ray Lamb


Margarita Huertas Balagso Anne Dolan has been quite the globetrotter! “After some 16 years in far-flung locations, I am currently residing in Geneva, Switzerland. I began

68 | full circle


Jeanne Floyd Downs Brooke Quistgard Larkins and Jeanne Floyd Downs had a chance to connect this summer when Brooke brought her daughter, Jane Larkins ’12, to Boston to spend the summer rowing in a program on the Charles River. Brooke and Jeanne reminisced over dinner and had fun introducing their children to each other. Brooke’s oldest daughter, Blair Larkins ’09, is in college in Colorado. Blair and Jane have a younger brother at home. Jeanne’s oldest children, Travis and Emily, are both in college in the Boston area. The younger two, Mary and Anna, both attend Wayland High School.

Erika Tiegel Freitas reports, “My husband and I work at St. Mary’s School in Los Gatos. After attending SCU from 2004-2008, I received my teaching credential and I am currently teaching third grade. My son, Michael, is a junior at San Jose State University studying Environmental Sciences, and my daughter, Kristin, is a sophomore at Sonoma State in the Education Department.” Claire Kirch spent a wonderful week in California this past spring. It started with a few days in Mendocino County with Minnesota friends, followed by Easter weekend with family in Monterey, and ended with a few days in San Francisco. “I’ve also lunched in Minneapolis with Jill Brakovec Laorr ’81, whose kids are off to college while my mine is off to 8th grade.”

’81 Jamie Flaxman ’81 with her son Sam

’81 Laura Docter Thornburg ’81 with her children, mother, sisters Catherine Docter ’88 and Karen Docter Woo ’84, and niece and nephew


Elizabeth Milne Baum Wendy Walker Haupt marvels at how time flies: “I love my job working as a diabetes educator with endocrinologists. Tennis keeps me busy now that my husband and I are empty nesters. Where do the years go?”

Jamie Flaxman is exploring new ventures: “After working in the nonprofit sector for 25 years, I made a major career change this year and became a real estate broker with Coldwell Banker Bain. I continue to live in Seattle, which I love, with my 14-year-old son, Sam.” Joy Kalar Frick is back on campus! “I have returned to the wonderful world of Casti with two daughters happily attending the Middle School. It is such fun reconnecting with this amazing place. My family and I have lived in Palo Alto for the past twelve years. Our son, Andrew, is a sophomore at Paly, Madeleine ’17 is in 7th grade at Casti, and Sophie ’18 is just starting her 6th grade experience this year. I hope to see you all soon!” Laura Docter Thornburg can also be found on the Circle: “I am now teaching 6th grade history, ancient civilizations, at Castilleja! I have quite a few children of Casti girls in my class. My eldest, Abby ’11, is off to Dartmouth, Hannah ’16 is

class notes a Casti 8th grader, and Toby is in 3rd grade. This summer all four of us explored Yellowstone and the Tetons National Parks, along with my mom and my sisters, Catherine Docter ’88 and Karen Docter Woo ’84, and Karen’s two children.”


Laura Kelly Kroger Helen Floyd Sullivan and her family returned to the United States after living in Chile for three years. They have settled for the time being in South Pasadena. Her children, Melissa, Amanda, and Ryan, are quickly getting back into the routine of school and living again in the U.S. “Although we were very sad to leave Chile, we love being in California. If you are ever in the area, please give me a call.”

Janeen Rossi Tuitupou reports, “David and I just got back from a heavenly 5th wedding anniversary celebration in Monterey, our all-time favorite place on earth. I’ve been back at the Marine Science Institute in Redwood City as Development Director for two years, and moved off the nonprofit boards I was on to take over running our family’s foundation for my parents. Thank goodness I ran into Alumnae Executive Committee President Lindsay Austin Louie ’98, who is also Executive Director of Silicon Valley Social Venture (SV2)! She has become a dear friend and a great support through the process of starting up a Family Foundation Roundtable at SV2. If any of you are involved in family foundations, I encourage you to join us. We are all at the age of carrying forward our families’ philanthropic legacies, and I know we can support each other as we fulfill this privilege and make a big impact in our communities.”

Julie Leet Hagelshaw has been busy: “I have two girls in high school in San Francisco, one applying for college this fall. I started working again last summer as an Office Manager. When I’m not working, I volunteer my time in my community and the kids’ schools, and go for long bike rides on Sundays.”

Liz Babb Fanlo is doing well: “I’m continuing to enjoy working as a makeup artist. I worked on the BECCA makeup team at Fashion Week in New York City this year and had a great time. I also did the Karolina Zmarlak show.”

Sarah Rosenbaum Gaeta writes, “Since March I’ve been working at Motorola Mobility, which is in the process of being acquired by Google. My husband’s company, Silver Spring Networks, filed their S1 to do an IPO, so it’s interesting on the job front at our house. My older

daughter, Alicia, is in first grade in Menlo Park in the Spanish Immersion Program. Her accent and fluency are amazing and we’re all loving the program. My younger daughter, Sofia, is in her last year of preschool and is much more rambunctious than her sister. We plan to put her into the SI program as well. We still live in Menlo Park, and a couple years ago Brooke Quistgard Larkins ’80 moved in down the street. It’s been fun having her daughters (one graduated from Castilleja and is at the University of Colorado and the other is a senior at Casti) sit for us. It’s a small world.” Meanwhile, on the other coast, Anita Hochscheid Miller and her family are still in Raleigh, NC, and loving it! “My kids are 15 and 12, so we are SUPER busy...No surprise! I am teaching the kindergarten program at Peace Montessori, as well as assisting in the elementary classrooms. I tutor kids in reading after school with a program that specializes in assisting kids who are at risk or can’t afford a tutor. It is an amazing program! I have been in touch with Natasha Moiseyev, and am so heartened that all the years drop away and all the friendship and love come back! We are never far from Casti in our hearts.”

Laura Kelly Kroger has been enjoying her trips: “I enjoyed traveling to Boston and Nantucket in June with my family. I also had the opportunity to get together with several classmates over the summer, including Els Neukermans Paine,

Gabrielle Whelan, Nancy Ringham Ashton, and Liz Babb Fanlo. Gabrielle and I went to a museum exhibit at the Legion of Honor and saw Heather Fairfull Gatti. We were all there at 9:00am on a Sunday morning in true Castilleja fashion.”


Yoshimi Segawa Munch


Meredith Mortimer Pellegrin Yachad Jamie Haber Shifman has been on the move: “In late June, my husband and two teens and I traveled from our home in Central Israel to New York City to see my husband’s daughter, to Bainbridge Island near Seattle to see Robin Haber Kallas ’83, up to Alaska for a cruise with my parents for one of our Kosher cruise company’s sevennight itineraries, and back home in July. A month later in August we spent eight days cruising in Italy, Greece, and Croatia, all for business. Thank you Casti for making me a world-class business leader! Thank you Mom and Dad for sending me there. Dare to dream, for if

you can dream it, you can do it.”

Catherine Zerboni Popovici’s kids are growing—now 14, 12, 8, and 6. “We have now lived in Houston for eight years, and I have my own financial consulting practice here. I still miss the Golden State, and hope to get back in time to send my daughter (now 8) to Casti for high school. I miss you all!” Heather Allen Pang is still enjoying teaching 8th grade history at Castilleja. “It is great to see alumnae daughters here too. This fall I am doing the Nike Women’s Marathon with Team in Training to raise money to fight blood cancer. This is my third TNT event, a great challenge for a great cause.” Shelly Evans Tin is living outside Greenville, SC, and loving it. “My family had a great trip back to California for my father’s surprise 80th birthday party in June. My husband and I flew out again in July, but this time to Hollywood for my nephew’s movie premiere! You may have seen Chris Evans in other things, but this summer he was the title character in Captain America.”


Kristin Young Gilbert


Laura Greene Wilkin Maria Riofrio is currently working for the State Department at the U.S. Mission to the United Nations in New York, dealing with management and logistics issues.


Sonja Hellman Bogumill Ann Douglas Jessen has been keeping busy with two kids (2 and 4) and with growing her branding and web business

’84 Shelly Evans Tin ’84 with her husband and nephew, Chris Evans, at the Captain America premiere

fall/winter 2011 | 69

class notes ( in Marin. She sleeps occasionally and loves her ten-minute commute—sometimes it’s good to be the boss!

Ariel Cohon Ford writes, “We are still in Park City, UT, and have crossed the year mark. Consequently, it feels more like home. We are enjoying the open space and had a gorgeous summer, and I am prepping myself for the humiliation of learning to ski at 42 years old. My husband, Alec, loves the job that brought us here (phew), and my daughter, Evangeline (Evie), started kindergarten. I am relishing the flexibility that living here affords us: I am doing volunteer work in my field, writing, exercising a lot, trying to keep up with PC standards (yet still failing to do so), and being mom and home executive. My extended family is doing very well too, although we are increasingly spread around the country. Sending lots of love to our vast Casti community.”


Lara Kasser Stone

frequently to West Africa monitoring food security programs for USAID as a Food for Peace Officer. “My programs focus on empowering vulnerable households to improve their quality of life through sustainable improvements in agricultural production, livelihoods, nutrition, and maternal and child health practices. In between traveling for work and teleworking I find time to swim in the ocean, eat well, meditate, and spend time with my girlfriend, Jennifer. Life is beautiful.”

Laura Arrillaga-Andreessen is thrilled to report that, in addition to just celebrating five years of married bliss with her husband, Marc, her first book, Giving 2.0: Transform Your Giving and Our World, was just published. She also recently launched a website and blog——with a mission to inspire, educate, and empower individual philanthropists globally. She also just began her eleventh year teaching “Strategic Philanthropy” at the Stanford Graduate School of Business. Paula Little McGuinness writes, “My

Alexandra Dumas Lizzie Harris ran her first 5k race in May—right before turning 40. “It was particularly fun to run with my Casti classmates Kirsten Van Tuyl and Alison Vickery.”

’87 Ariel Cohon Ford ’87 with her daughter Evie

’88 Lori du Trieuille ’88 in West Africa for USAID

70 | full circle

Lori du Trieuille lives in DC and travels

husband and I are living in Boise and Ketchum with our sons (5 and 1).”

Jaye Zau is living abroad: “I have moved from the capital Beijing to a traditional but booming city called Chengdu in the midwest of China in SiChuan Province. Adjusting to the new city has been more difficult than what I thought: a new dialect vs. the official Mandarin, spicy food vs. international cuisine, and


5 vs. 50 friends...But I have started to appreciate this beautiful city of rivers. Come visit!”


Jessica Collins Lonergan Brook Vermeer is aglow with good news: “I am very proud and honored that my niece, Paige Vermeer ’15, is attending Castilleja this year! I am looking forward to seeing her experience all the traditions and friendships she will have during the next four years!” Christina Wray Olmsted happily reports on some recent Casti connections: “Amira Quraishi and Julia Altrocchi Slatcher and I had a great time at Julia Henderson’s wedding in Ottawa, Canada. She was a visiting student for junior year. She was a gorgeous bride and we FINALLY got to see Julia’s hometown. I also got to see Amira and her family in August and Chrissie and I get together every month or so. We’re looking forward to planning a reunion with Janet Tennyson Manzano soon (love the Facebook connections!).” Jessica Collins Lonergan and her husband, Frank, evolved their art business into a contemporary social club called “Spur Happenings” with camps along the West Coast. Susan Wilkolaski Aplin just started her 16th year teaching English at Dutch Fork High School in Irmo, SC. “My girls are just starting 4th and 6th grade, so life is keeping all of us busy. The girls and I enjoyed a summer trip to California where we got to catch up with Casti alums Verena Hess ’90 and Janet Tennyson Manzano. I also took the girls for their first ever tour of Castilleja. Thanks to Maggie Ely Pringle ’71 for a wonderful tour. We were all so impressed with what we saw.”

Jaye Zau ’88 in SiChuan Province, China

’89 Christina Wray Olmsted ’89 with friends

’89 Jessica Collins Lonergan ’89 and her husband Frank glam it up

class notes




A mini Casti reunion at the wedding of Susan Ryan Tighe ’91

Kimberly Williams-Guillén ’91 studying wildlife

Erika Sattler Westrate ’93 with her family


and is currently living in Mountain View. Many Casti graduates attended the wedding, including Casey Cadile, Anna

Hayward. She recently went to France with Betsy Gilliland and will be volunteering this fall on a reconstructive surgery trip to Mali in West Africa. In her spare time she performs in a Brazilian dance company.

Christina Koo Van Zandt A six-year veteran of East Palo Alto’s Ravenswood Family Health Center, Shanti Perkins Gayle is currently working at their satellite clinic, Belle Haven, located in Menlo Park. She juggles her part-time position as a general internal medicine physician with other important duties, such as family chauffeur and household manager for two lovely daughters: Sulia (pronouced Su-LEE-ah) Marie Evadne (born June 1, 2008) and Zahra Jasmine Rosalie (born January 20, 2006). And, last we heard, Shanti, her husband, Richard, and her daughters were planning a trip to Kenya for her sister Maya Perkins ’92’s wedding!

Marcee Rogers Chapman has had a busy year: “I’m finishing up coursework on my Ph.D. in Education Policy and Reform. I am looking forward to starting my dissertation this spring. This past summer I was thrilled to come home to the Bay Area while I conducted research at the Public Policy Institute of California in San Francisco. In my free time, I’m enjoying being with my daughters and running.” Having not spent more than two weeks at a time in the U.S. since 1992, Joanna Busza was based in Washington, DC, for eight weeks this fall. “I was on study leave from my university from September 12-November 5, living in Dupont Circle and rediscovering American life (and politics). I enjoyed cafes, decent bagels, Mexican food, and visiting the national museums and monuments. I did not enjoy the frenzy brewing in DC in the lead-up to the next election....”


Sarah Bourne Lamb Susan Ryan Tighe Susan Ryan Tighe married Eugene Tighe on July 2, 2011 in San Francisco

Pousho, Karen Phipps Anderson ’90, Bridget O’Malley Baldwin ’90, Diana Gregory Horner, Sarah Bourne Lamb, Michele Harari Goldwasser, Rebecca Barker, and Rita Patel Parasnis. Shami Sudanagunta Ravi is amazed how time flies: “I can’t believe it’s been 20 years since Casti. In the meantime, I became a genetic counselor, am now staying home with my three kids, and have been busy getting involved at their school, Sacred Heart Atherton.”

Kimberly Williams-Guillén sends greetings from the Caribbean coast of Nicaragua! “I’m writing this note from the town of Bluefields, where I am conducting conservation workshops with Paso Pacífico, a NGO dedicated to protecting marine and forest resources in this extremely awesome country! I have been working with Paso Pacífico since its founding in 2005, and am now the Director of Conservation Science. When I’m not here in the field studying bats, bugs, and everything in between, I’m a professor part-time at the University of Washington Bothell, where I teach ecology and general biology. Becca Price ’93 is one of my many fantastic colleagues! I’m based in Seattle these days, where I live with my husband (also a professor at the University of Washington) and our two spoiled cats.”

Donielle Wallace Prince is back on the West Coast: “After living on the East Coast for many years, I am now living in Sacramento and working as a researcher for the Center for Teacher Quality, an institute of the California State University Chancellor’s Office.”

Stephanie Huang Tsai is staying connected to Casti: “I recently started my own beauty and lifestyle PR consultancy called ‘Ink & Press’ and hired a recent Castilleja grad, Samantha Chang ’10, as a summer intern.” Ramona Rico lives in Oakland and is practicing as a general pediatrician in


Laila Haq Collins


Courtney Dyar Lauren Carreker Leary Jessica Diamond Rozen shares some exciting news: “David and I, along with our daughters, Lucy and Clara, welcomed our third little girl, Josephine, into the world December 27, 2010, in the middle of a typical Rhode Island blizzard.” Erika Westrate Sattler is celebrating her 10th year living in northern Colorado: “I spend my days homeschooling my two kids, Gage (5) and Ciel (3), growing and preserving my own food, and remaining politically active at the local level. My hubby of ten years and I continue to operate our landscape design/construction business, in addition to instructing firearms training classes on the side.”


Jennifer Cady Logan Kim Bowen Rust writes, “I am living in DeLand, Florida with my husband, Josh, and our baby boy, Quinn (10 months old in December)! I am loving being a mom and am very happy. I have a private therapy practice and am enjoying having voluntary clients for a change! We were able to visit California for a week in July 2011 and really enjoyed catching up with Michelle Forgy Ellis and Sehba Zhumkawala Ali and their wonderful kids and husbands! Miss you Casti!”

fall/winter 2011 | 71

class notes



Kim Bowen Rust ’94 with husband Josh and baby Quinn

Christine Chang Leyva ’95 with her husband, Arthur

Kim Flomenhoft recently accepted

on August 3, graduated with a Ph.D. from the University of Texas at Austin in Clinical Psychology on August 15, and recently learned that she and her husband are expecting a baby in March 2012. So much to celebrate! She is currently completing her postdoc at South Texas Veterans Health Care System in San Antonio.

a Wellness Counselor position with Project IMPACT at CSU East Bay. “I’m providing counseling, teaching life skills, and conducting workshops for students with disabilities. A very positive work environment!” After barely surviving six New England winters as an education reporter at The Boston Globe, Tracy Jan has migrated southward to a bit warmer climes. “I moved in June to the Globe’s Washington, DC, bureau to cover politics, health care, and education policy. I am loving the city and learning a lot about the way our government works. I am meeting interesting characters both on and off the Hill, and enjoying visiting pockets of our country and learning how Americans think.”

Carolyn Sleeth sends some Casti cheer from the Midwest: “In 2005, I moved to Minneapolis, MN, to work for Medtronic, a medical device manufacturer. I manage the marketing teams for tachyarrhythmia and cardiac resynchronization therapy implanted devices. My daughter turned three in November; I am blessed to have her at the preschool in my office building, so we get to eat lunch together several times a week! I’d love to hear from any Casti alums that are in Minnesota!”


Sarah Shenfield Helling Lisa Vocker Lofberg Sarah Shenfield Helling has some exciting news: “My husband, Joshua Helling, and I welcomed our first child, a son named Leonard Joshua Helling, into our family in late February. Daddy, mommy, and baby are all doing well and are blissfully enjoying the trials and milestones of infancy! We can’t believe he’s already almost nine months old and look forward to making memories with friends and family.” 2011 was a big year for Dr. Christine Chang Leyva! She married Arthur Leyva

72 | full circle

Louise Tait Honner says, “Hilsen fra Norge! I’ve been living and working in Norway for the last 3.5 years, most recently working for Subsea 7. It has been a great experience living somewhere so different from the United States and the United Kingdom and my skiing has really improved!” Abby Kojola is living in San Rafael and started her own marketing consulting business, KojolaPower, two years ago.


Anna Beattie Wilson Kari Taylor is doing her internship at Huff Elementary School through the Community Health Awareness Council and is completing her Masters in Clinical Psychology at Notre Dame de Namur University. “I have three children, two girls (9 and 4) and one boy (4.5 months).”


Courtney Carter Charney Yuriko Tse Natalie Davidowitz is back on the West Coast: “I have lived in Los Angeles since June 2010 after living abroad in Israel for a year. I am currently in my third year of graduate school, pursing a double Masters degree in Jewish Education and Nonprofit Management. I am so happy to be friends with my Casti classmate Sarah “Sage” Sobel. I would love to connect with any classmates out there, especially in the LA area.”

’97 Natalie Davidowitz ’97 visiting Castilleja

’97 Polina Niedle ’00, Nidhi Jacob ’97, Wakako Nomura ’87, and Emily Adams-Piper ’02 at the Kaiser Labor and Delivery Unit

Nidhi Jacob has a unique update to share: “I’m in my third year of a fouryear Obstetrics & Gynecology Residency at Kaiser Permanente Santa Clara. Our program has sixteen residents total and currently three of us are Castilleja alums! Polina Niedle ’00 is a third-year resident as well, and Emily AdamsPiper ’02 is a second-year resident. Additionally, one of our attending physicians is Wakako Nomura ’87.


Lindsay Austin Louie Kimmy Morris Rosen Laura Vartain Horn participated in the first all-women swim relay from the Golden Gate Bridge to the Farallon Islands. Read more about her exciting adventure on page 38. Katie Barnes, RN graduated from nursing school in May and has recently moved back to San Francisco. She volunteers as Laura Vartain Horn’s dogwalker, pending paid gainful employment.

Tara Wilstein and her husband, Joe Urwitz, are loving life as new parents to their daughter, Cynthia Morgan Urwitz, born April 12th. Tara says that Cynthia is delightful and makes every day a treat! Margaret Helmer Kroeber and

class notes Sarah Cobey were on hand to welcome Cynthia into the world.

Jennifer Massoni Pardini sends saludos from Santiago! She and her husband, Ryan, have been living in the other hemisphere since June. She earned her Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) certification and is now teaching English and keeping up with her writing. Now she just needs to get a handle on her Spanish! Follow her adventures at http://notesfromthesouthernhemisphere. Renee Jenkinson writes, “I’m living in Portland, doing triathlons, and life coaching with my company No Shame In My Game,” This summer, Bekki Cima Lyon and her extended family (including cousin Tori Anthony ’07) visited Alaska. The highlight of the trip for 2.5-year-old twins Will and Andrew was eating snow off of a glacier in Denali National Park. At home, Bekki, Will, and Andrew love having play dates with Jessica Aronson McKenzie’s daughter, Kate, and Nora Menkin’s son, Sammy.

Bitdinger in the Stanford Faculty Club courtyard. We were joined by family and friends, including Casti alumnae Yas Safai ’97, Theadora Sakata, and Lauren Friedman. Gustavo works remotely from Chicago for a San Francisco-based internet start-up called Bloomspot. I’m planning to keep my last name as I complete my training in psychiatry at the University of Chicago. :)”

Kimberley Morris Rosen married Chad Rosen in a beautiful ceremony at the Beaulieu Vineyard in Rutherford, CA! Guests included Jennifer Dinsmore

Clegg, Lanlian Szeto, Keri Yen, Lynsey Barkoff ’03, Katie Barnes, Jessica Aronson McKenzie, Laura Vartain Horn, Kendra Barkoff, Courtney Carter Charney ’97, Kara Rosenberg ’12, Debra Zeigler Rosenberg ’73, and Lindsay Austin Louie.


Katherine Sleeth Kate Stober

Alicia Rozario gets back in touch: “Hello fellow Castillejans. Although I graduated from High School in ’98, I technically attended Casti from seventh through tenth grade (1992-1996). It is just great to reawaken my roots! I hope to reconnect with my former classmates soon.”

Andrea Mann shares some exciting news:

After completing a judicial clerkship in a Federal District Court in sunny Puerto Rico, Riana Pfefferkorn moved back to Palo Alto in September to join the litigation practice at Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, where Dominique Alepin and Lianna Chang ’01 are also associates.

After finishing her MBA at Boston University, Ashley Parsons Jablow and her husband, Dan, moved back to the Bay Area. Earlier this year Ashley joined design firm IDEO as the Online Community Manager with OpenIDEO, an open innovation platform where a global community comes together to design solutions to social and environmental challenges. In her spare time, Ashley is helping Dan get his new smoked meat and sandwich business up and running ( You can find both of them serving up tasty pulled pork, pastrami, and BLT sandwiches throughout the Bay Area, including many of this season’s Stanford football tailgates! This fall Kate Stober is taking a new position in the public relations department of the New York Public Library. “I am excited to be taking on publicity for special events. I am also excited to be a bridesmaid in the wedding of fellow Class of ’99-er Lilla Gregory this fall!” After completing her orthopedic surgery residency in Chicago next June, Cara Cipriano plans to do medical volunteer work overseas before pursuing a fellowship in orthopedic oncology.

Emily Glenn Tucker and her husband, Peter Tucker, welcomed their first child, Amelia Stone Tucker, on June 3rd. They continue to live in New York, where Emily works as a psychologist.

“On August 20, 2011, I married Gustavo

’98 Andrea Mann ’98 and Gustavo Bitdinger’s wedding

’98 Tara Wilstein ’98 with her husband Joe and daughter Cynthia

’98 Bekki Cima Lyon ’98 with her family in Alaska

’98 Casti pals reunite at the wedding of Kimberley Morris Rosen ’98

’98 Jennifer Massoni Pardini ’98 on her honeymoon

’99 Ashley Parsons Jablow ’99 with her new husband

fall/winter 2011 | 73

class notes




Laura Wes ’01 and fellow Casti grads celebrate at her wedding

Brooke Taylor ’02 celebrates her marriage to Scott Williamson

Emily Adams-Piper ’02 and Natalie Orr ’02 with Sarah Lim ’02 at her wedding


Chelsea Gilliland recently transitioned

In other ’02 news, Julia Desmond is working on her Master of Science in Real Estate at the University of Washington and traveling whenever she can. She spent the summer backpacking through Europe and visited Australia earlier this year.

Anjelika Deogirikar Claire Cummins Claire Cummins is still living in suburban Melbourne, Australia. Her life has become very simple—partner, job, and dog. She is still working for Southern Cross Cultural Exchange, a high school student exchange company. After working for three years as an International Trade Specialist for the U.S. Department of Commerce, Yuri Arthur will be joining the Foreign Commercial Service. She currently is waiting for her posting and has about 80 possible countries she could be sent to. She gladly welcomes visitors.


Kelly Wulff Laura Wes was married to Jon Cheek at the Menlo Circus Club in Atherton on June 18th. Guests included Alexa Taylor ’00, Chelsea Gilliland, Lauren Kaplan, Megan Wilcox-Fogel, Emily Nelson, Valerie Kaplan ’04, Jackie Nguyen ’02, Jackie Kokores, Sophia Kokores ’04, and Lianna Chang. Upon receiving her Ph.D. in Biophysics from Berkeley in May, Ailey Crow packed up her apartment in San Francisco and headed across the country in an Airstream Trailer with her husband, Adam. They covered 15,000 miles and 20 National Parks before arriving in New England in September.

Kelly Wulff is still working as an attorney on the corporate team in the legal department of Adobe Systems. She is also training to run the New York City Marathon in November and will spend a few extra days in New York City with Jane Renaud after the marathon.

74 | full circle

to Director of Event Sales at two Western Athletic Club properties: Decathlon Club and Pacific Athletic Club. She’s loving the new role and working on moving to San Francisco sometime next year. For now, she’s living in the South Bay and having fun catching up with classmates as much as possible.

Liz Rowen lives in Tiburon, CA, with her new husband (just married on August 13, 2011!) and two rescue dogs. She is the Director of Communications for Ascent Private Capital Management of U.S. Bank in downtown San Francisco. When not working or traveling the globe, Liz can be found hanging out with family and friends, including Casti alums Yevi Altman and Kyla Porter Tynes.


Katherine Cooke Christina Nawas Wedding bells are ringing for the Class of 2002! Brooke Taylor married Scott Williamson in March at the Memorial Church in Stanford, CA. Brooke celebrated the big day with bridesmaids

Katie Gunderson, Betsy Glynn, Christin Lawler, and Alexa Taylor ’00. Anjelika Deogirikar ’00 was also in attendance.

Sarah Lim married Ethan Gray in June in Woodside, CA. They were joined in the festivities by Castilleja classmates Emily Adams-Piper and Natalie Orr. Sarah and Ethan now live in Amherst, MA, where Sarah attends nursing school.

Emily Adams-Piper has also been bitten by the wedding bug: “Brandon and I met at Dartmouth and were married in May in Monterey, CA, with

Sarah Lim, Lilian Haney, Liz Khoo, and Natalie Orr all there. My sister, Natalie Adams ’99, and Liz Karlin Wagstaffe ’99 were also in attendance.”

Tiffany Sih is in the middle of a Master’s degree in Marine Biology at James Cook University, Australia, and trying to dive whenever she can!


Jenny Cook Nicole Stasio continues to work at NASA Ames as a Psychology Research Associate helping to design the next generation of air traffic controlling equipment. She lives in San Francisco and loves to discover new restaurants and local bands, and goes for a bike ride every weekend. She just completed her second Half Ironman at the Big Kahuna in Santa Cruz, where her time was an hour faster than her first Half Ironman. Nicole is going to take a break from racing until Wildflower next year, where she hopes to go under six hours. Join her for a bike ride across the Golden Gate Bridge and through Tiburon! Julia Sorensen had an exciting summer—she passed the exam to become a California Registered Civil Engineer and got engaged! She is starting her fourth year of engineering consulting for water and recycled water planning and design projects, as well as water-energy nexus projects. Julia lives in the Presidio and is busy planning a spring wedding with her fiancé, Andy. Sydney Larson and Brian Schuster were thrilled and honored to have Evyn Larson ’08, Emily Williams Cornejo, and Kara Furlong as maid of honor and bridesmaids, respectively, in their March 19 wedding! Other Casti alums in attendance included Karen Ring,

Julia Sorensen, Samia Rogers, Jenny Cook, Julia Goldstein, Courtney Yin Duke, and Emily Dawson Wilson. The

class notes employability skills. The NGO was just appointed by the Supreme Court of India to a national panel to provide input to state governments on education and livelihood issues for women. Saima is also celebrating her three-year wedding anniversary in December.

’03 Casti grads catch up at the wedding of Courtney Yin Duke ’03

’03 Class of ’03 classmates at Sydney Larson’s ’03 wedding



Jessica Wong Zen ’03 and Kameron Ming ’03 at a Taylor Swift concert

Selina Troesch ’04 ballroom dancing

wedding itself was more amazing and fun than they ever imagined and it was wonderful to have so many Castilleja ladies in attendance. Sydney and Brian had a fabulous honeymoon (skiing and eating at Whistler in Vancouver, British Columbia) and are settling into married life in San Francisco.

sister school exchange program in 1999! I am having a lot of fun relearning the Japanese I studied at Castilleja and trying lots of new foods.”

After interning in Nashville, TN, and then Seattle, WA, Jessica Wong Zen is now settling into her second year of business school at MIT Sloan. As a grand finale to a fun summer, she and Kameron Ming embraced their inner teenagers and attended a very exciting Taylor Swift concert in San Jose.

Elizabeth Wright just started her second year of graduate school studying International Relations at Tufts. In June she attended Courtney Yin Duke’s wedding to Colin Duke, where she enjoyed catching up with Casti alumnae, including Elizabeth Yin ’00, Eunice Chan ’08, Karen Ring, Julia Goldstein, Katherine Li, Sydney Larson, Samia Rogers, Elizabeth Wright, and Alison Chan. She then moved to Jerusalem for 2.5 months and interned with a community development organization there. While in Israel, she visited with Julie Ach and Julia Goldstein in Tel Aviv, just going to show that you can find Castilleja alumnae just about anywhere.

Jenny Cook moved from New York City to rural Japan to teach English with the JET Program. “I recently took a trip to Tokyo to reconnect with the family who hosted me through the Castilleja-Junshin

Ashley Kennedy reports, “In May, I graduated from Teachers College at Columbia University with dual Master’s degrees in counseling. While I enjoyed my time working in the New York City Department of Education as a school counseling intern, I am ready to be back in California! I am excited to share that I am now a certified school counselor and I look forward to serving Bay Area schools in the future.”


Caitlin Cameron Meaghan Fitzgerald is still in London working for tech startup Spoonfed Media, which has had an amazingly successful year building marketing software for events and live entertainment clients. She hopes to travel to Austin, TX, next spring to represent Spoonfed at the South by Southwest Conference. This winter she’s traveling to Stockholm and Copenhagen and has been trying to spend more and more of her free time in the English countryside. She often sees Kathryn Taussig, who also lives in London. Also abroad, Saima Hasan is still living in Delhi, India, setting up her NGO Roshni, which trains approximately 4,000 disadvantaged girls in India in

In Jerusalem, Rachel Marder is starting her second year in her Master’s program in Conflict Research, Management, and Resolution at Hebrew University and is writing and editing at The Jerusalem Post.

Caitlin Cameron is still working for the Alliance for Catholic Education at the University of Notre Dame as the Assistant Director for Academics. Nina Morton is still teaching chemistry and coaching cross-country in Philly. Emily Dennis is starting the second year of her neuroscience Ph.D. at UCLA and is still loving it. She just had her first first-author paper accepted and hopes to follow it with more soon. She still finds time to travel and got to spend a few weeks in Scandinavia this summer. She’ll think back fondly about the fjords when all she can afford to eat for the next few months is plain pasta! Out in Charlottesville, Caitlin Berka is finishing up her Master’s degree in English and working at the University of Virginia Writing Center. She can’t wait to get back to the Bay Area after she graduates! Lisa Pfefferkorn is doing an accelerated second degree program in nursing and then a Master’s in anesthesia at Columbia.

Paz Hilfinger-Pardo is back in the Bay Area playing Georgia O’Keeffe in “Hanging Georgia” at The Thick House in San Francisco. Jeeyon Shim has made some beautiful props and Bear CapronHA is, once again, onstage alongside Paz. She spent the summer touring with two shows,“Chewed Bread” and “Mission Drift.” Otherwise, she is also preparing for her Fulbright year in Buenos Aires, beginning Spring 2012, and missing being Carey Jones and Lauren Sloss’ neighbor. In New York City, Selina Troesch has completed the grad program at Barclays and is permanently placed in the independent valuations team covering structured products. She is still enjoying New York and recently took up competitive ballroom dancing, which is keeping her both fit and very happy.

Kate Thorman is still in New York, working as a freelance writer and as Travel Editor for ideeli. She and roommate Freyan Billimoria recently were visited by fellow Casti grad Deborah Kang.

fall/winter 2011 | 75

class notes Jenna Reback moved to Los Angeles three years ago with the intention of becoming a screenwriter. After spending a year working at a talent agency to learn the ins and outs of “the biz,” she’s thrilled to say that she has a great mentor, with whom she is also writing (Melissa Rosenberg, writer of all the Twilight movies and former Executive Producer of “Dexter”), and is being represented by her former boss. She’s in the process of writing a book, with an eye towards adaptation for the big screen.

Blythe Austin is in her last year of law school at Stanford. Katharine Wulff just moved from Washington, DC, where she worked as a fellow in the National Institute of Health Department of Bioethics, to pursue a Masters of Public Health at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

Genevieve Orr reports, “After seven years on the East Coast, I’m now back in Palo Alto. I just joined the Class of 2013 at the Stanford Graduate School of Business, where I plan to focus on public management and education. I’m looking forward to reconnecting with those of you who are still in the Bay Area!”


Ashley D’Amour

studying engineering at Berkeley, and I spend my summers teaching calculus to underprivileged high school students from Oakland and Richmond.”

Joyce Ho writes, “I’m taking a year off of medical school at Stanford to do the Stanford-NBC News Global Health Media Fellowship. To learn how different media outlets can be used to promote global health issues, I will be doing a series of internships at the World Health Organization in Geneva and NBC News in New York, taking journalism classes at Stanford, attending a photography bootcamp in Northern India, and working for social media platform Ning in Palo Alto. It should be an interesting year!”

Josie Menkin will be starting a Ph.D. program in Health Psychology at UCLA this fall. Iris Schimandle McLeary is blissfully married: “My husband and I celebrated our one-year anniversary in June. I’m still

’05 Iris Schimandle McLeary ’05

76 | full circle

Andrea Chin recently moved to the Seattle area. “After graduating with a Master’s in Gerontology from USC, I’ve been doing marketing and usability consulting for a socially responsible startup,” Seana McNamara graduated from

Chelsea Ono Horn

Pomona College this past May with a BA in Studio Art. “I went to Europe (England and Ireland) this summer and now I’m back in the Bay Area as a freelance graphic designer. My updated art and design portfolio is at SeanaMcNamara. com. I had a show at the Peju Winery in Napa through the end of October—which was very exciting. Life is good.”

Meg York



Ashley Schoettle Zlatinov and Metodi Zlatinov were joyfully married on August 7, 2011 in Los Gatos, CA. They met as undergraduates at Princeton University and now live and work in Cambridge, MA. Although Metodi is from Bulgaria and grew up in Beijing, China, he has been won over by the Bay Area, and Ashley and Metodi hope to move to California in a few years—perhaps after spending a year traveling or living in Bulgaria.

Nicole La Fetra Broder shares some happy news: “I got married to Alexander Broder on August 20, 2011 in Portland, OR. Noelle La Fetra ’12 was the maid of honor, and Shreya Ramachandran ’12, Becky Chan, and Jessa Lee were also in attendance. I am also working at a delightful olive oil and vinegar shop in downtown Portland and am in my final year of nursing school at the University of Portland!”

working as an Interaction Designer at frog. She also went to Burning Man with Chris Skieller! “Hit me up if you are in San Francisco and want to grab a bite to eat.”

Rebecca Strickfaden is starting her second year in Maine as an intern with Lifelines, a Christian outdoor guiding group. Based at the University of Maine in Orono, she leads outdoor group bonding and character development trips for groups of college students like sports teams, sororities, and freshmen residence halls. Leading white water rafting, rock climbing, hiking, and skiing trips is a really fun job! Rebecca still enjoys geology and earth sciences (her college major) as a hobby right now, and is pondering going to grad school after this year. Suelyn Yu is back in the Bay Area living in the Mission in San Francisco and

’05 Nicole La Fetra Broder ’05 with her husband, Alexander

Blakely Strand Barbara Kang Kerry Zweig is a research analyst with Knowledge Networks in Palo Alto after graduating magna cum laude from the University of Southern California in May. At USC, Kerry was a Psychology major, President of Psi Chi, and a student researcher in the Psychology and Business Lab of Provost Professor Dr. Wendy Wood.

’06 Ashley Schoettle Zlatinov ’06 with her husband, Metodi

’06 Seana McNamara ’06 having fun outside

class notes Rebecca Fenn is currently living in the wonderful city of Chicago and working as an Admissions Counselor for The University of Chicago. Courtney Chang graduated from Georgetown University in May and is staying in DC, now working as the Multilateral Diplomacy Advisor for the State Department’s Office of the Global AIDS Coordinator (PEPFAR Program).

Kelly Fitzgerald sends her regards from the East Coast: “I graduated from Vassar College in May with my degree in Biochemistry. I have relocated to Boston (along with Christina Crone!), and am working at the Stem Cell Program at Children’s Hospital Boston. I’m still searching for a soccer team to join—I’d appreciate tips from any Casti alumnae in the area!”

Kristin Leasia graduated Cum Laude from Northwestern University in June. “Yet the more things change, the more they stay the same. I have landed back in Chicago as I begin another three years at my alma mater, this time for law school.” Stephanie Smith graduated in June from Santa Clara University with a double major in Finance and Economics. She is now working at Deloitte & Touche in San Jose in the Audit and Enterprise Risk Services function. She is also currently involved with the Triple-Impact Scholarship Mentoring Program and the Women’s Initiative at Deloitte. Rachel Steyer graduated in May from George Washington University. She received a BA in Middle Eastern Studies and an Arabic minor, and achieved the academic honor of magna cum laude. Upon graduating, Rachel began work full time as a Research Associate at the Washington, DC, offices of the Council on Foreign Relations, where she works for Senior Fellow for Middle Eastern Studies Elliott Abrams.

Allison Hoffman reports, “I spent my summer as a Product and Marketing Intern at a Palo Alto internet startup called Project Slice. At Tufts, I am studying International Relations and Entrepreneurial Leadership, teaching health classes in Boston public schools, and working as the Campus Campaign Coordinator for Teach for America.”



Emily Steemers Divya Bhat Natalie Shell Ginna Freehling

Kennedy Flanders Angie Moore Noelle Schoettle spent this past summer in Kenya doing a wildlife veterinary internship with Kenya Wildlife Services, which was an amazing experience! “We traveled around to the different parks and game reserves in Kenya treating wild animals. I was even able to assist with a vasectomy on a lion! Then in August, I was the maid of honor in my older sister, Ashley Schoettle Zlatinov ’06’s, wedding, which was a beautiful and joyful event! It was truly a fantastic summer!” Ericka von Kaeppler recently spent the summer in Lausanne, Switzerland doing biology research at the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne. “As my first time working abroad, it was a really amazing experience and I will be continuing working in a biology lab during this academic year.”


Tayo Amos Cam Stein

News of Former Faculty and Staff Ann Criswell 321 Alvarado Avenue Los Altos, CA 94022

John KlopaczHA writes, “In September 2010 I made the transition to university teaching when I took a position as Lecturer of Classics at Stanford, where I am currently teaching the introductory and intermediate levels of Latin. Being called ‘Professor’ took a bit of getting used to, but I feel privileged to have intelligent and enthusiastic students as well as welcoming and academically distinguished colleagues. Laura Hansen ’08 continued her study of Latin begun at Stanford as a student in my fall quarter intermediate class. Shibani Mehta ’08 and Kelly Lougheed ’09, Classics majors at Columbia and Brown, respectively, visited me on campus during their breaks. Hardly a day passes without a Castilleja student, frequently from her bicycle, calling out, ‘Hi, Magister!’ I am glad I can welcome so many members of Castilleja’s Class of 2011 to the Stanford campus.” Elyce MelmonHA continues to have her plays received with great success. Her short play “The Quest” was performed by the Santa Cruz Actors’ Theatre last January. “Open the Door for the Stranger” ran weekends through September at the Pegasus Theater in Rio Nido, located just outside of Guerneville in the Russian River area and was


Roark Luskin Elise Fabbro Rachel Baden is a junior at Reed College in Portland, OR. She is studying biochemistry and preparing for her senior thesis next year.

Hilary Walecka is on the move! “I am graduating early from UC Santa Cruz with a degree in Marine Biology this December. I have been working at the Santa Cruz Arboretum with California native plants. This summer I helped deliver a sailboat from Kauai to Santa Cruz.”

’09 Noelle Schoettle ’09 keeping wildlife healthy in Kenya

HA Connie PrattHA

fall/winter 2011 | 77

class notes

HA Randy WhitchurchHA getting ready for a trip down the Salinas River

HA Janet Whitchurch canoeing in the Salinas River

San Lucas and Greenfield and then San Ardo because downstream paddling was inhibited by a barbed wire fence strung across the river! When you are down there on the river, it really is a separate world! You are sheltered from farms and the road by thick tree and underbrush growth. We have seen and ‘traveled with’ all sorts of birds, most spectacularly blue herons which fly ahead of us, land, and, when we approach, take off again. On our first trip we also saw a wild pig family cross the river ahead of us and some deer who were surprised to see a canoe in their territory.”

Constance “Connie” Ballou Pratt,



Nancy WareHA teaching technology skills

Karen TobeyHA with grandchildren Alita, Dakota, Carina, and Tobey Thomas

described as “really funky and fun.” Elyce has also recently published a collection of short plays called “Transferences,” available on She reports, “I just heard that the Santa Cruz Actors’ Theatre will do my newest play, ‘It Begins with Goodbye,’ as part of their annual festival ‘8 Tens at 8’ in January 2012. Other than that, I’m enjoying my garden and three grandsons.”

wonderful organization spearheaded by author Dave Eggers which places volunteers in the classrooms of public schools in San Francisco to help students with their writing. I also volunteer in the Tenderloin Tech Lab every Friday, tutoring people who are trying to navigate the digital world. I totally credit the Castilleja Tech Department with turning me from a recalcitrant luddite into a person who loves everything technological, although I must say I’m finding it a bit difficult to embrace Facebook and Twitter! I love reading Castilleja’s full circle and keeping abreast of all the wonderful programs and activities that are taking place in this wonderful school; I will hold many fond memories of my years there.”

Karen TobeyHA comments: “Retirement is truly a new stage of life. I feel like I did when I was just entering college, and there were so many choices that I hardly knew which opportunity to seize and which to pass up! I spent last year volunteering for Music for Minors, teaching two classes of second graders songs of all kinds and enjoying the process immensely. This year I am taking golf lessons, playing tennis, running a book club, participating in jazzercise classes, and spending more time with my four grandchildren: Alita and Dakota, daughters of Kirsten Tobey ’96, and Carina and Tobey Thomas, daughter and son of Rachel Tobey ’94. In addition, I’ve become a gardener and am growing most of our vegetables. Who knew that I could grow a Persian cucumber? Fun!”

Nancy Ware writes, “I have been retired now for three years, and life is very full. Because I have children and grandchildren all around the globe (Connecticut; São Paulo, Brazil; Berlin, Germany; and Montenegro), traveling has been prominent. Not being able to stay away from young people, I am very active with 826 Valencia Street, a 78 | full circle

Janet and Randy WhitchurchHA report that Janet retired from teaching in 2004 to become a full-time artist while Randy continues to teach math and coach water polo and swimming at Santa Catalina in Monterey. Janet describes an unusual summer experience in preparation for an art project about the Salinas River and Salinas Valley. “At this point I am not quite sure where it is going to end up (art exhibit, blog, book), but I am forging ahead anyway. Randy helped me get onto the river in a borrowed canoe for one abortive, two successful, and one interesting paddle trips on the river. Many people do not think of the Salinas River as being navigable, and it often has only a little water, but this year because of all of the rain it has been great. We traveled about 30 miles on two separate downstream trips between

former college counselor at Castilleja, died on September 11, 2011 following a year of declining health. Born in 1920, Connie grew up in New England and graduated from Wellesley College in 1941. Before moving to California in 1965, she had been Dean of Admissions at Radcliffe College and Executive Secretary of the National Association of Principals of Schools for Girls, a position she continued to hold for many years. Connie left Castilleja in 1975 to found the Educational Counseling Service, using her extensive experience to assist countless students to choose and apply to college. She continued to see clients until 2010, always cherishing each as a special individual and maintaining many friendships among them. A life-long learner, Connie took classes at Stanford well into her 80’s. She loved books and music, knew the words to thousands of songs, and laced many a conversation with a French quotation or a Gershwin tune. HA

denotes Honorary Alumna or Alumnus

in memoriam

Alumnae Erika Luhr Gates ’54 Sister of Lisa Luhr Shugart ’54 Ruth Ann Lunt Hijazi ’59 Sister of Helaine Lunt Cunningham ’61 Barbara Chapple Lee ’34 Lee Burnette Schink ’48 Ann Holmes Blodgett Suhr ’54

Family Theresa Fisichella Claassen Mother of Jeanne Fisichella Hahne ’71

Former Faculty and Staff Eryl BarkerHA Faculty member; Mother of Rebecca Barker ’91 and Emma Barker DenHartog ’93 Connie Pratt Former College Counselor

Eryl Dorothy BarkerHA Eryl Barker, beloved colleague, teacher, mentor, and friend, died peacefully on September 17 from a rare thyroid cancer which she fought bravely for eight months. She will be remembered by students, parents, and colleagues for her distinctive pronunciations, Welsh wit, and above all, her outstanding dedication to teaching generations of Castilleja girls. Eryl began her high school teaching career in the United Kingdom after graduating with a BSc in Biochemistry and Diploma in Education from the University of Wales. In 1977 she emigrated to the United States with her young family and joined the Castilleja faculty in 1984. For twentythree years she taught biology, biotechnology, and bioethics, as well as a course in sex education. Her enthusiasm, love of science, and unique sense of humor made her classes wildly popular and she was twice honored with the Distinguished Teacher award by the school. As news of her illness spread, she received numerous letters of appreciation from her former students and their parents. Eryl was a keen contract bridge player, reaching the rank of Regional Master. She also played field hockey for the University of Wales and was a capable tennis player. She was a founding member of a Ladies Book Club still active after thirty-four years. She was a board member of the Welsh American Society of Northern California and also enjoyed opera and traveling. She is survived by Don, her husband of forty-three years; her daughters, Rebecca Barker ’91 and Emma Barker DenHartog ’93; and four grandchildren, Ethan, Avery, Lily, and Griffin. She is also survived by her sons-in-law, Jeremy Neuner and Mike DenHartog, and her elder siblings, Gary Tudor-Jones and Nerys Wright. More than 200 family members and friends came to “A Celebration of Eryl’s Life,” which was held in the Chapel Theater at Castilleja School on October 22. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that you consider a donation to the Castilleja School Scholarship Fund in her name. fall/winter 2011 | 79



Inspiring a quest for learning that lasts a lifetime. a program of the Castilleja Alumnae Association

Mediterranean Isles 10-days, Monte Carlo to Rome May 28 – June 7, 2012 Experience the Mediterranean with Castilleja. Don’t miss this extraordinary opportunity to explore France, Malta, and Italy with Castilleja faculty member Connie Richardson on the award-winning, all-suite Seabourn Legend. This women-only trip is the perfect way to kick-off our new travel program! LEARN about history, culture and even some conversational Italian from Connie. DISCOVER hidden treasures with a unique itinerary, exclusive shore excursions, and group activities.

CONNECT with other Castilleja alumnae and alumnae parents or organize a mini-reunion of classmates! Ports include: Monte Carlo, St. Tropez, Bonifacio (Corsica) Cagliari (Sardinia), Xlendi and Valletta, Malta Lipari, Sorrento, Ponza, and Rome, Italy

Fares begin at $3,799 Fares are per person/double occupancy plus tax of $105.71 and $175.00 program fee. Cruise-only fare inclusive of all dining, complimentary fine wines and open bar throughout the yacht, and all gratuities.

SPACE IS LIMITED. RESERVE TODAY. Reservations due by 2/1/12 Robin DeVaughn - All Horizons Travel (650) 941-5810 x116 or Ships’ registry: Bahamas 80 | full circle

Administration Leadership Team Nanci KauffmanHA, Head of School Josée Band, Dean of Teaching and Learning Chris Blair, Head of Upper School Anne CameronHA, Head of Middle School Jill LeeHA, Director of Admission Gabe Lucas, Director of Technology

Board of Trustees Kirk Bostrom Benjamin Chien Karen Fisher Jennifer Fonstad Scott Forstall Steve Franklin Mir Imran Nanci KauffmanHA Bill Kind Martin Korman Lindsay Austin Louie ’98 John Macdonald

Joe Martignetti Doreen Nelsen Ethan Nicholls Deep Nishar Mike Rantz Barbara Rosston, Chair Jennifer Sandell Martin Shell Kathleen Tandy Hannah Valantine Quin Whitman ’81 Linda Yates ’80 Alan Zafran

Jez McIntoshHA, Director of Athletics Sue Reyneri, Director of Finance and Operations Kim Roberts ’83, Director of Advancement

Front cover: Alexandra Zafran ’15 was among the 14 students and faculty to travel to Africa this summer to begin a partnership with Free the Children’s first secondary school in Kenya.

Alumnae Association Executive Committee Lindsay Austin Louie ’98, President Courtney Carter Charney ’97, VP Communications Christina Hansen McClure ’71, VP Internal Events Ursula Ringham Kinney ’90, VP External Events Sarah Hinman Whittle ’86, VP Development Elizabeth Yin ’00, VP Networking

Back cover: Four alums are among the 16 residents in the 4-year OB-GYN residency program at Kaiser Permanente Santa Clara. Pictured l to r: Polina Needle ’01, Nidhi Jacob ’97, Wakako Nomura ’87, and Emily Adams Piper ’02. Inside front cover: Eighth grade students tackle an engineering challenge. Inside back cover: The Casti family as drawn by a sixth grader during orientation activities.

Photo Credits: Christopher Chiang, Laura Nowell, Dana Sundblad, ToniBird Photography Design: ChaseVP, Look Design

fall/winter 2011 | 81

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Non-Profit Organization U.S. Postage PAI D Palo Alto, CA Permit No. 100

CASTILLEJA SCHOOL MAGAZINE Castilleja School Foundation 1310 Bryant Street Palo Alto, CA 94301

Environmental Benefits Statement Since 2011 Castilleja School has saved the following resources by using recycled paper and printing in a green certified facility for the production and printing of this edition of full circle and other projects.

21 fully grown trees

8,738 gallons of water

14,570,360 BTU’s of energy

967 pounds of solid waste

1904 pounds of greenhouse gases

Printed on FSC certified recycled paper with soy-based inks.

82 | full circle

Full Circle Fall-Winter 2011  

Castilleja School Full Circle Magazine, Fall 2011, Online Edition

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