Head-Royce School Magazine, Summer 2019

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Head Royce School MAGAZINE








Life @ HRS


Letter from Crystal Land, Head of School




Letter from Nancy Feidelman, Director of the Center for Community Engagement



Jayhawks Swim Across America


MS Debate Program


CCE in the Curriculum


1st Grade Homelessness Exploration

Head-Royce School Magazine is a bi-annual publication for alumni, families, and friends of Head-Royce School. Changes of address may be sent to communications@headroyce.org. EDITORS Jennifer Beeson Nancy Feidelman Julie Kim-Beal Nichole LeFebvre

PHOTOGRAPHY Nancy Feidelman Luke Keegan Kerry Kehoe Nichole LeFebvre Dani Moseley Sarah Taborga Richard Wheeler

DESIGN AND PRODUCTION Alexander Atkins Design, Inc. PRINTING Solstice Press

VISIT US ONLINE! Discover more about us, our mission, and activities at www.headroyce.org Visit us on Facebook at facebook/headroyceschool








5th Grade Impact Hour Bay Area Student Activism




Heads Up at Thirty


Heads Up Big Build


Rebuilding Together Oakland


Introduction to Global Engagement


The Black Experience in America: Washington, D.C.


Letter from Alumni President Alumni Profile: Kacy Stoddard ’18


Alumni Events


Where Are They Now?


Alumni Notes


2019 Alumni Weekend & Reunion


Alumni Award Recipients: Kimberly Ennix-Sandhu ’79 Julia Friedman ’09


Of Cuba and Connections

Alumni Profile: Rose Devries ’07



Landscapes of Home: The Global Challenge of Housing


Adulting 101


Celebrating Retiring Faculty





GETTING INVOLVED The Community Engagement Board discusses how to deepen the Upper School’s community engagement program.

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BUILDING RHYTHM In Andrea Donahue’s music class, 2nd graders clap and sing, working on patterns and memory.


CELEBRATING BLACK HISTORY African American Families Network (AAFN) kicks off Black History Month.


GOING GREEN Gene Vann and Anay M. ’23 weigh bins of recyclable material thrown into the trash, encouraging students to be more conscious of sustainability.

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WOMEN SUPPORTING WOMEN Women’s Affinity Group leaders Kate V.R. ’19 and La’a A. ’19 show off their iconic WAG t-shirt.

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HONORING EARTH DAY Lower School students learn about harmful plastics in the ocean, in a hands-on fishing activity.


DESIGNING SOLUTIONS Sophia C. ’19 and Simran G. ’19 build Redwood planter boxes, in Dr. Chris Kinney’s engineering class.



to the Summer 2019 edition of Head-Royce Magazine! We’ve just wrapped up another incredible school year full of growth and learning opportunities both inside and outside of the classroom. The theme of this particular issue is near and dear to me, as I believe that supporting students on their individual journeys to create lives of purpose and impact is one of our most important imperatives at HeadRoyce School. These pages serve to highlight some of the strong partnerships and alliances that have been forged in an effort to more fully embrace our Strategic Plan goal of becoming authentically engaged in the place we call home. It has been nothing short of inspiring to witness how this work has not only allowed us to cultivate meaningful connections within our beloved Oakland community and well beyond, but how it has also served to deepen our connections to one another. I want to acknowledge the hard work of our indefatigable leader in this effort, Nancy Feidelman, who has expanded upon the good work of our pre-existing program and formalized our efforts as the Director of Head-Royce’s new Center for Community Engagement (CCE). In the short period since the Center’s establishment in 2018, Nancy

Growing Engaged Learners through Community Partnership

has thoughtfully crafted a remarkable cross-divisional program that allows our students to experience the full range and impact of community engagement. I’m thrilled with the expanded breadth of our offerings in just two short years—from a variety of curricular opportunities in each division (see page 20), to school-wide initiatives like Oaklinks and Adulting 101. Clearly our community-based learning and relationship-building programs resonate deeply with our students and alumni! Our intrepid student body has wholeheartedly embraced these opportunities to expand their perspectives, an instinct that has taken them from the Fruitvale and Dimond districts all the way to Cuba, Berlin, and Prague. I hope you enjoy reading about the many ways we have renewed our commitment to civic purpose and continue to demonstrate our values through action. We are cultivating global citizens who we hope emerge from the School inspired to lead with courage and confidence. Join us! Warm regards,

Crystal M. Land Head of School Summer Magazine 2019 9




3 1. Art Conservation Laura Krier’s AP Art History class poses outside the de Young Museum, where they toured the objects and painting conservation labs. 2. A Big Success At the Big Build, 4th graders test out their custom-built catapult alongside their senior leaders. 3. A Lion in L.A.? Middle Schoolers learn about P-22, a mountain lion living in L.A.’s Griffith Park.

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4. Women’s Varsity Lacrosse Powerful Essie A. ’19 sprints the ball up the field.

5. Bioengineers at UC Berkeley AP Biology students present their research at UC Berkeley’s Bioengineering competition. Two of HRS’s four teams took home top honors.

6. Songs en français Head-Royce 3rd graders and their buddies from the Francophone Charter School listen to Guinean musician Bongo Sidibe.




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7. Cookies with Crystal 5th graders discuss the School’s core values over dessert with Crystal Land.

9. Senator Speech The Middle School Student Council thanks former Senator Barbara Boxer for her insight into politics. Senator Boxer is pictured alongside her grandson Zain B. ’25.

8. Inaugural César Chávez Day of Service The Latinos Unidos club collects litter and paints over graffiti in César Chávez park.




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10. Future Engineers Kindergarteners in Debra Harper’s class learn about the engineering process by building rain catchers. With each storm, they test and re-build their designs.





11. Pride and Recognition The Gender and Sexuality Diversity Club poses with their rainbow decorations for Day of Recognition. 12 Head-Royce Florilegium Botanical Artist Sally Petru gives a student feedback. 7th and 8th grade artists are painting a collection of watercolors of plants growing on campus, known as a “florilegium.” 13. Backdrop CMS Sprint Day With the help of former Director of Technology Ray Louie and current Computer Science teacher Brian Sea, Jen Lampton ’97 teaches students how Open Source Software (OSS) is created.


14. Assistant Head for the Day Leslie Powell shows Adagio W. ’28 the ropes of running the Lower School. Summer Magazine 2019 13




17 15. Lower School Spirit Week 2nd grade students sprint around class in their favorite sports jerseys, celebrating Spirit Week. 16. Sneak Peek Saya McKenna and her senior English class are all smiles listening to an early version of Carl Thiermann’s commencement address. 17. Student Coaches Upper School Women’s Volleyball players Nyah A. ’19, Olivia R. ’20, and Izzy L. ’20 coach the Middle School boys’ team throughout the entire season with Coach Donna Hagans.

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18. Spoken Word Oakland’s Youth Poet Laureate Leila Mottley performs for the Middle School.


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BRIDGE TO 2022: Civic Engagement Goal


t is my great honor to present the Center for Community Engagement, known as the CCE, to the wider Head-Royce community. The CCE emerged from the School’s desire to place our mission of instilling responsible citizenship front and center in our students’ lives. We already had great programming to help our study body understand the necessity of civic engagement, but we knew the efforts could be broader and better coordinated across the three divisions. Especially given our current political and environmental climates, Crystal Land, the Board of Trustees, and the Strategic Plan Committee wanted to ensure that Head-Royce was offering an educational experience steeped in real-world issues, immersive learning, and a deep understanding that our most important work at the end of the day is to create a better world for all. From this clear objective was born the CCE. So what exactly is the CCE, you might be wondering? First and foremost, it is an organizing hub for all civic and community engagement initiatives at the School. Its structure contains five programming strands that thread throughout our K–12 program: (1) Local Engagement, (2) Global Engagement, (3) Sustainability, (4) Hands-on Design Work, and (5) Online Learning. Each strand has a designated director who oversees work in that area. Additionally, an active cohort of Professional Community members—Assistant Division Heads, Department Chairs, and Deans—help to coordinate and implement the program. Secondly, the CCE is a physical space—a lovely, light-filled two-room suite in the Upper School—where students and Professional Community members come to discuss individual projects and gather in groups. For example, our robust Debate program for both Middle and Upper School meets in the CCE, along with many clubs such as our Women’s Affinity Group and the student-run Community Engagement Board. Third, the CCE offers counseling services to students pursuing community engagement projects, summer opportunities, semester programs, and gap years. If interested, you can access program offerings along with HRS testimonials through our website called The OH! (Opportunities Hub) at oh.headroyce.org. Thanks to the visionary goals of the Strategic Plan, the CCE has strong foundations for its work in the areas of Civic Engagement and Teaching and Learning. The Strategic Plan asks Head-Royce to “drive deeper civic engagement and build authentic partnerships within Oakland and the local Bay

Area.” Throughout this magazine, you will have a chance to read about our many local efforts to better connect the Head-Royce community with our hometown of Oakland. Additionally, the Bridge to 2022 has directed us to “enhance and amplify a studentcentered academic program with opportunities for choice, real-world problem solving, creativity, and intellectual engagement.” You will see in the following pages the great variety of creative and relevant problem strategizing embraced by our students—both locally and globally—through their classwork, School-sponsored trips, and volunteer opportunities. As you peruse this magazine, our hope is for you—the reader—to gain a sense of Head-Royce’s work in the greater community and perhaps feel inspired to join our efforts. Parents and Alumni, your participation is crucial for creating the opportunities our students seek beyond campus. As we have seen time and again, our student body needs you in their attempts to apply their learning to “the real world.” As a mentor, class speaker, or interviewee, you will have the chance to observe sharp young minds grappling with the complex issues around them and perhaps—if so compelled—choose to collaborate with them to make our collective world a little bit healthier and more just. In closing, we invite you to participate in the work of the CCE in whatever way best suits you! With love,

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Nancy Feidelman, Director of the Center for Community Engagement



pool full of laughing kids on unicorn floaties calls to mind a birthday party, not a fundraiser, especially when there’s a delicious, home-made cake waiting on deck. Yet this joyful, life-affirming scene is exactly what Swim Across America stands for: a community uniting around the shared goal of

supporting cancer research. Swim Across America is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that noticed a glaring need: doctors with forward-thinking ideas couldn’t guarantee funding for clinical trials and research. Their solution was to host charity swims—both in pools and open water, from the Boston Harbor to the San Francisco Bay. Since 1987, Swim Across America has continually invested in world-class cancer research, granting over $80 million. The CCE and Jayhawk Swim Team collaborated with parent

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Victoria Shelton Gilbert and alumnus Dr. Robert Goldsby ’81 on the lively day of relay races. Hosted here in Oakland, the day also benefited Oakland: all proceeds were donated to UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital Oakland and the Survivors of Childhood Cancer Program, run by Rob Goldsby.

“What was most exciting about the day,” says Victoria, “was how the kindergarteners and the high school swim team worked together. It was remarkable to watch.” Rob agreed, adding:

“Incredibly fun, rewarding, and inspirational.” Leading up to the event, Victoria, a cancer survivor—or as she says, “I like the world sur-thriver”—spoke to the Middle School assembly about Swim Across America’s goals. A few students approached her who didn’t want to swim, but were inspired to help in another way: a patio bake sale. From home-made boba to a whimsically-decorated cake, the sale was a delicious way to elicit even more donations.

The swim team modeled leadership and swimming techniques to the younger students, and, in turn, were honored to get feedback from Susan Heon Preston, a member of the 1984 Olympic Team. Swimming alongside Susan was a meaningful opportunity for our hardworking Jayhawks. As the students toweled off and tallied the numbers, “everyone was pretty inspired,” reflects Victoria. Head-Royce blew our goal out of the water: raising $11,055

“The students and their families demonstrated an amazing commitment,” says Rob. “The funds they raised will help children who must endure the hardships of cancer.”

or 110% of the $10,000 goal! “It got everyone thinking about next steps. Already there’s buzz around planning an open water benefit swim in the Bay, from the Golden Gate Bridge to Crissy Field.”

Middle School Students LOVE to ARGUE By Vylinh Nguyen, US English Teacher, MS Debate Coach


n March, the Head-Royce Debate Club hosted its first-ever East Bay Middle School Debate League tournament. The event gathered over 250 people from eight Bay Area schools, with HRS fielding nine of the 59 three-person teams. “Nearly nothing is as satisfying as winning an argument or changing people’s minds through words,” says Anokhi M. ’24. Her avid love for argument paid off: Anokhi was one of two HRS students who earned perfect 80-point speaker scores, for her argument on the advantages of cashless businesses. Kudos as well to Francis J. ’23 for this same honor with his persuasive stance on the benefits of standardized testing. Considering the magnitude of the tournament and the current size of the club (over 50 members!), it’s difficult to believe that HRS Debate was born only three years ago, from the vision of then-seniors Amy Lin ’18 and Alice Chu ’19, with the generous sponsorship of Middle School Head Linda Hoopes and then-parent Teresa Wornow. For two hours after school every Friday from September until May, faculty club sponsor Vylinh Nguyen and hard-working coaches—Kailey FleiszigEvans, Lauren Kayari, and Bhavana Anguladukati—do their best to stoke and fuel the fire for debate. They meet with fun-loving, intelligent middle schoolers and run

mock debates on both silly and serious topics, from “reptiles make good pets” to “convicted felons deserve voting rights.” Along the way, Middle Schoolers research facts and read opinions on complex, real-world issues. Faculty coaches balance debaters’ competitive spirit with HRS’s core positive values, reminding students to practice Head-Royce’s Five Gs for fun, healthy competition: grace, grit, growth, gratitude, and generosity. The Five Gs ensure debaters build character and confidence alongside a flair for argument. “I have always had issues forming correct words in my mind,” says Evie K. ’23. “Debate helped me open up and become less nervous when speaking in front of others.” That confidence is more important than any shiny trophy (although HRS did take home quite a few!). Both teachers and parents have observed Debate Club’s enormously positive effects on students. “Frankly, the debate program has proven to be one of the most worthwhile, if not the most worthwhile, endeavor [my four children] have engaged in at Head-Royce,” says Parent Jerry Udinsky. Students learn, he says, that there are “too many topics and issues” to tackle on their own. “So, they must learn to work together as a team.”

“ Debate Club practices Head-Royce’s Five Gs for fun, healthy competition: grace, grit, growth, gratitude, and generosity.”

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CCE in the Curriculum

“For 240 years, our nation’s call to citizenship has given work and purpose to each new generation. It’s what led patriots to choose republic over tyranny, pioneers to trek west, slaves to brave that makeshift railroad to freedom. Change only happens when ordinary people get involved, get engaged, and come together to demand it.” – FROM PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA’S FAREWELL ADDRESS, CHICAGO, JANUARY 2017

By Nancy Feidelman, Director of the Center for Community Engagement


hile delivering his Presidential Farewell Address, Barack Obama gave a rousing “call to citizenship,” a message of responsibility we sound throughout our School. It’s one of three keywords that define a Head-Royce education: Scholarship. Diversity. Citizenship. Although these words stand as independent mission

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pillars, they’re intricately linked. It’s impossible to imagine the scope of Head-Royce’s citizenship work without a careful look at our curriculum and our everstrengthening commitment to equity and inclusion. Below you will find a brief overview of citizenship initiatives in each division. Our goal is Mission-aligned and clear: to have the study and practice of equity, inclusion, and civic engagement suffuse every classroom.

The Lower School


ur faculty encourages students to learn about themselves, understand others, and commit to being agents of positive change. Last fall, the Lower School began the

year with a 21 Days of Kindness Challenge. Students completed daily kindness prompts and considered what it means to participate responsibly and generously in their various communities.

Each grade level adopts a unique community engagement focus with accompanying field trips and partnerships. Our 2nd graders spend the year considering the health of our local watershed, monitoring its flow and removing invasive


10th Grade Paper: “Forever Enslaved? Human Sex Trafficking in the US” 11th Grade Volunteer at New Day for Children

OUR COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT STEWARDS plants, in partnership with Friends of Sausal Creek. This year our 1st grade teaching team explored homelessness and our 5th grade team launched Impact Hour (turn the page to read more!). All Lower School grades continue to partner with the Alameda County Community Food Bank and BOSS (Building Opportunities for SelfSufficiency).

It’s impossible to imagine the scope of HeadRoyce’s citizenship work without a careful look at our curriculum and our everstrengthening commitment to equity and inclusion. When current events impact us as a community, Lower School students, guided by their teachers, apply their power of empathy and turn toward action. After the devastating Camp Fire, students wrote letters of gratitude, encouragement, and respect to first responders.

The Middle School


eginning next year, each grade level will be themed

around a community issue, pairing classroom-based scholarship with field-based learning. Here is the Middle School community engagement line-up for 2019–2020: • In connection to their study of ancient human civilizations and agriculture, 6th graders will focus on healthy food production and urban farming, partnering with two East Bay youth farm projects, Urban Adamah and Acta Non Verba. 6th graders will continue to work in the Head-Royce garden and volunteer at the Alameda County Food Bank. • Our 7th graders will focus on environmental stewardship as they delve into biology, ecology, and marine conservation in science class, while collaborating with the Marine Mammal Center and their Ocean Ambassadors Program. • The 8th grade will pivot back to Oakland and its urban challenges as the students explore the city’s educational landscape—independent, public district, and public charter—through recurring school visits to year-long buddies. Their year culminates with our 8th graders hosting a spirited field day on our campus for their partner schools.

The Upper School


eginning in high school, students pursue their own CCE projects, following their curiosity and passions. The

Hana R. ’20

10th Grade Paper: “The Road to US Citizenship” 11th Grade Volunteer at Refugee Transitions

Lower School

Leslie Powell

Middle School

Upper School

Kiki Felt Saya McKenna Assistant Division Heads

curriculum is based on cascading mentorship; each grade shares their work with the succeeding class, offering inspiration. By senior year, interested students choose from civic-minded electives, including Words That Matter (English), Democracy in Action (History), and Advanced Placement Environmental Science. • 9th grade lays foundations, as students discuss community issues and personal responsibility in their health classes, learn outreach and networking skills through the I-Search of English 9, and explore selected community organizations in the spring. • By 10th grade, students are equipped to identify their own civic interests and pursue them independently. Sophomores spend at least 20 hours researching and volunteering for community organizations, such as MedShare and St. Vincent de Paul. Students present their history papers at GOA’s Catalyst for Change Conference. • After such explorations, 11th graders make a sustained commitment to one organization in their Community Engagement Project (CEP) and work together

to create a display wall of human rights organizations called the “Compendium of Hope.” This capstone history project brings together scholarship with civic responsibility, an emblem of our highest pedagogical ideals. • Our Seniors continue to pursue civic issues and community connections through summer internships, 12th grade coursework, continued CEPs, and their Senior Projects in the Spring. In closing, I return our focus to President Obama’s farewell address: “Our democracy ... needs you. Not just when there’s an election, not just when your own narrow interest is at stake, but over the full span of a lifetime. If you’re tired of arguing with strangers on the internet, try to talk with one in real life. …. If you’re disappointed by your elected officials, grab a clipboard, get some signatures, and run for office yourself. Show up. Dive in. Persevere.” From what our students tell us, they already feel the joy and energy gleaned from community involvement. They are showing up and diving in. May they persevere, committing to civic engagement over their lifetimes.

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Homelessness and Poverty


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he best way to change negative stereotypes about people experiencing homelessness,” according to the National Coalition for the Homeless, “is to teach young people how to be compassionate advocates.” The 1st grade teaching team is doing just that. Six- and seven-year-olds living in the Bay Area know homelessness exists; they encounter homeless people in their daily routines and, at this developmental

stage, are curious and interested in fairness. It’s an important time to foster empathy. “Having a sense that others are struggling and holding them in their hearts is everything,” says Debra Carr. “We hope real change can begin there.” Honesty about what the students notice is also vital. In a recent lesson, Bret Turner asked his 1st graders to close their eyes and picture a homeless person. After a few minutes, students began raising their hands. The whiteboard filled with words like: “sad,” “scared,” and “nervous”—a telling indication of their compassion—alongside physical descriptors like “old, ripped clothes,” “maybe smell bad,” and “dirty.” Students suggested the homeless are “more likely to be sick because they can’t see a doctor” or have “less food than HRS students.” Rather than judging one another, the 1st graders acknowledged when they felt differently or recognized stereotypes. One student reminded classmates of a

book they’d read together, pointing out that some homeless people have nice, clean clothes and some live in shelters. Another student suggested a person might prefer to have their own space, even if that space is a tent on the street, rather than sleep in a shelter, where it might be “noisy” or “feel uncomfortable.” “Exploring homelessness and poverty from a place of relative privilege is sometimes tricky,” admits Bret Turner, “but our students have done an amazing job of showing empathy and tackling tough questions about inequity, poverty, racism, class, and visibility.” To share what they’ve explored this year, the 1st graders performed a multidisciplinary show—weaving in poetry, art, music, tech, and role-playing skits— asking their peers and parents to think about “how it feels to be invisible.” One highlight was an especially catchy song, written by Bret Turner. Its lyrics serve as an important reminder to us all: What does it cost you to say hi? To give a little wave as you’re passing by? What does it cost you to show that you see The people you pass by on the street?

“Helping them get away from thinking that giving money is the only way to help has been the biggest piece of our teaching and learning,” says Debra Carr. To fully illustrate their message, the 1st graders tore down their set—the word “invisible”—to reveal beautiful, nuanced

portraits of homeless people they’d researched. The students then thanked each person for allowing them to tell their story. This physical action of rendering the invisible visible was a powerful way to show that compassion is key.


top by the 5th grade on a Friday afternoon and you’ll witness student passion: in one corner, a group of girls code a website from scratch; in another, a boy melts crayons into vivid rainbow art. One student tirelessly researches women’s rights in sports, becoming an

teacher or adult from School or offsite, any expert to mentor them through their project.” Finally, they got to work, excited about the chance to guide their own education. Genius Hour was such a success that the 5th grade teaching team embarked on

5th Grade Impact Hour activist. Another learns about trial and error while building an electromagnetic levitator. For an hour each week, this past fall, the two 5th grade classrooms held “Genius Hour.” “It was based on Google’s 20 percent time,” explains teacher Morgan May. “At Google, 20 percent of employees’ work hours can be spent pursuing a project of their own, a total passion project.” Genius Hour was likewise dedicated to selfguided projects, a time when curiosity reigned. “First they proposed an idea,” says teacher Ben Ladue. “Then they found a mentor—another

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another student-led project this spring. Instead of looking inward, students now turn their gaze to the wider world, creating impactful projects that serve a greater good. The aptly-named Impact Hour builds on students’ experience with Genius Hour—when they learned about design thinking and used the process to research, plan, and create—and asks students to select a social or environmental issue that is especially meaningful to them. “Again they started with a proposal,” says Ben. “For example, I’m a passionate reader, so what could my impact be?

Maybe a book drive? Maybe mentoring a younger student?” “We’re looking at the privilege they have at this school,” says Morgan. “How can we use that privilege and power to impact the lives of others?” At this early stage, students are brainstorming and troubleshooting their Impact Hour projects. Some are planning go-fund-me and letter-writing campaigns. Others are considering how honeybee farming might improve the environment and double-up as a way to raise money. Teachers Morgan May and Ben Ladue have invited a range of impactful speakers as inspiration, including Head-Royce parent Rick Arney, who passed California State Legislation about privacy rights and spoke to students about petitions and bills; Doniece Sandoval, who started Lava Mae, a nonprofit organization that brings mobile hygiene units to communities experiencing

Above: Riley C. ’26 with Dania Cabello ’02

homelessness; and Head-Royce alumna Dania Cabello ’02, who spoke about harnessing sports and play for social change and screened her documentary Futbolistas 4 Life. To share their projects with the School community, 5th graders built soap boxes—using the carpentry skills they’ve developed with HRS Technology and Design Coordinator Jonathan Braidman—to take a literal stand. They carried their soap boxes to highly-trafficked School areas, including the Upper School patio, to stand up and speak out to the passersby. These inspiring students and teachers prove that positive social change can start with any one person or idea, even a 5th grader interested in selling honey to donate money to pediatric cancer research.

Bay Area Student Activism By Ruby B. ’19


ast year, the school shooting in Parkland, Florida altered the course of many lives: the seventeen families who lost their loved ones, the survivors, the greater Parkland community, high schoolers everywhere. The resulting student activism caused a huge ripple effect. I remember scrolling through social media and reading student tweets about an active shooter in their hallways, documenting the minutes while pleading for the safety of their siblings and friends. Later, I was inspired by their unwavering bravery in the face of tragedy and being thrust into the public sphere. To go from posting fun and vapid snapchats to speaking in front of thousands about a traumatic, terrifying day requires immense vulnerability and resolve. I was stunned. I was inspired to get to work. I’ve always been interested in social justice, but for much of my life, I didn’t see an entry point into the world of activism. This mindset is pretty common for Bay Area teens, since many of us are surrounded by grassroot organizers while also living in extreme privilege. After seeing Parkland students with similar socioeconomic privilege stand up and speak out, I felt I could continue their action here. So, with the help of community leaders from nearby schools, I founded a student-run organization called Bay Area Student Activists (BAStA). In April 2018, we took 250 Bay Area teens up to the Capitol building to lobby for common sense gun reform. We met with each and every legislator in the State Assembly and Senate to support four common sense gun reform bills. Since then three of the four bills have passed and will be implemented as law in the next few years. Over the past year, BAStA has focused on

spreading our name and message to Bay Area schools, as well as registering eligible students to vote and helping first-time voters learn about the local November elections. This spring we planned another lobby day to remind our newly elected officials that gun control is an issue students are passionate about. They must know we won’t stop fighting until our communities are safe. Once again, BAStA brought over 200 students from twenty-three schools to Sacramento on March 14, the anniversary of the National Walkout Day. We scheduled 82 appointments with different legislators and ended up meeting with or briefly talking to nearly every legislator (or their staff). Since our Lobby Day focused on policy, we wanted to remind students and legislators of the personal nature of gun violence. We united with families of victims of police brutality during the Lobby Day, including the families of Oscar Grant and Stephon Clark. Six students spoke about their connection to these issues, followed by personal stories from family members. Together we hope to prevent the senseless murders of 96 people a day (Everytown for Gun Safety). BAStA is continuing the fight against gun violence while actively supporting student movements in the Bay and throughout the world. We want to provide more action days for students, so they may have experiences like Ivan G. ’21, who said, “BAStA’s Lobby Trip this year was a chance for students to engage in our democracy and be part of something larger than just our Head-Royce community.” Stay tuned for BAStA updates on our website: bayareastudentactivists.org!

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Our 8th graders always enjoy spending time with their buddies at Vincent Academy, a K–5 charter school in West Oakland founded by a former Head-Royce parent and faculty member. This year’s partnerships produced a series of illustrated books focusing on love.

OAKLINKS Connecting Head-Royce to Place


ur new program Oaklinks is the enactment of a vision: Head-Royce as a true community member, not merely a school up on a hill. This K–12 initiative asks us to reflect on our existing partnerships—with Vincent Academy, Highland Hospital, and Alameda County Community Food Bank, among others—and work toward deepening them. How can we make the boundaries of our campus more permeable in bringing Oakland speakers to our School and our students into Oakland? How can our work within the City become more intentional and wide-reaching? What do meaningful, long-term partnerships actually look like? As you turn the pages of this magazine, you will see our evolving answers to these guiding questions, from Rebuilding Together to Adulting 101 to a range of individual lessons, field trips, and community engagement projects. Before you flip ahead, take a look at these snapshots of Head-Royce’s ever-growing connections within Oakland.

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At Highland Hospital, 9th graders learned about treating Oakland’s most vulnerable populations from four HeadRoyce parents (Dr. Taft Bhuket, Dr. Indhu Subramanian, Dr. Greg Victorino, and Dr. Eric Snoey) along with resident Dr. Rebecca Gologorsky ’06. Below students wore white coats and practiced laparoscopic surgery.

Another group of 9th graders spent the Community Engagement Day in early May making lunches at a homeless encampment in Union Point Park, with the East Oakland Collective, run by Candice Elder ’02.

4th graders learned about what it takes to run a small business at Oakland’s Lois the Pie Queen.

Seniors in Geoff Evans’ Oakland elective studied the Port of Oakland under the guidance of Head-Royce parent Amy Tharpe, the Port’s Director of Social Responsibility.

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AT THIRTY Since 1987, Heads Up has prepared students of color from Oakland public schools to thrive in academically challenging environments and beyond. The program has impacted over 1,000 students to date through an intensive summer program and Saturday Leadership Academy throughout the school year to help close the achievement gap for students of color. By spotlighting the Heads Up program in the HRS Strategic Plan, the School signaled its deep commitment to ensuring the program’s continued success.

By Mikki Frazier, Head-Royce Director of Programs


s fall 2017 marked our 30th anniversary, it was the perfect time to reflect on Heads Up’s past and reimagine the program’s potential. A task force composed of Trustees and School administrators was formed to put our ambitions into action: “Embrace the Heads Up program, ensuring financial sustainability, strategic alignment, and deep infusion within the Head-Royce Community and the City of Oakland.” The group began with a number of essential questions to guide our self-study: Was the original mission of the program still relevant? How could we better measure

and report our impacts? Does our current programming best support our students, both Heads Up and Head-Royce? What was the ideal budget model to ensure the long-term sustainability of the program? These questions served as the key filters allowing us to hone in on our strategic direction and thoughtfully assess the Heads Up mission, metrics, programming, and budget.

A Refreshed Mission After many meetings, board-level reporting, countless spreadsheets and prototyping, we are thrilled to share our results and our revised Heads Up Mission Statement: “Aligned with Head-Royce School’s core tenets of Scholarship, Above: Director of Heads Up, Liz Solis. Left: Mikki Frazier, Director of Programs.

Aligned with Head-Royce School’s core tenets of Scholarship, Diversity, and Citizenship, the mission of Heads Up is to provide first-generation college-bound students of color from Oakland public schools with challenging and enriching programming to cultivate socially responsible leaders.

A New Program Model

Diversity, and Citizenship, the mission of Heads Up is to provide first-generation college-bound students of color from Oakland public schools with challenging and enriching programming to cultivate socially responsible leaders.” We made several slight but significant shifts in the language. First, we explicitly named the relationship between Heads Up and Head-Royce School and our shared core tenets of Scholarship, Diversity, and Citizenship. Next, we included “college bound” as a way to ensure that we are deliberate in our desire to support students past their middle school years as they pursue higher education. Lastly, we narrowed our candidate pool to intentionally focus on supporting first-generation students, as we know the power of the ripple effect of positive outcomes that can influence both family and community.

In our new model, we will establish “partner schools” in which we’ll seek to build deep and meaningful relationships. Our goals include providing an open admissions process to all rising 7th graders who meet the program criteria at these sites, allowing us to encourage greater participation. By working with partners, we will be able to offer approximately 12–15 spots each year, eventually creating a concentration of Heads Up students between the 7th and 8th grade groups developing a presence and community within their academic schools. Most importantly, we’ll introduce an onsite tutoring program for our students on their campuses staffed by our very own HeadRoyce Upper School students. Research shows that a students-teaching-students model increases self-esteem, improves skill building, and helps with content retention. Shifting the grade level entry point means we’ll be extending out the exit as well. Moving to a 7th–10th grade program will get us closer to achieving a later touchpoint and providing services to students as they approach the college admissions process. To best scaffold support, we will formalize our Workforce Development Program. We intend to build out a curriculum for rising Heads Up and Head-Royce students to learn about and participate in real-world work experience through our Summer Camp Program. Students will spend a portion of the day learning about pertinent leadership and professional skills before reporting to their assigned roles to practice what they’ve been learning. We’ll offer SAT Prep and college essay writing workshops to best prepare them for the journey ahead. We also plan on repurposing the Saturday Leadership Academy to find relevant community-building events within the Head-Royce and Oakland community. We will identify local community events in the

hopes of having a Head-Royce/Heads Up presence to strengthen relationships on both individual and institutional levels.

Ensuring Sustainability Last but not least, we set out to address funding. After exploring a number of options, we settled on a model that combines fundraising efforts as well as a generous contribution from Head-Royce School that was established in perpetuity. Not only was this a very functional support, but it

provides an incredibly important symbolic endorsement as well. The true measure of any institution’s values is reflected in the allocation of resources. To demonstrate a commitment to the students of Oakland by securing the funding for free educational programming is a huge statement, one that will surely provide the infrastructure to continue the great work of this remarkable program well into the next 30 years of our School’s bright future. Look for more Heads Up updates throughout the year in our various School communications. It’s an exciting time to be a part of the program, as we forge ahead to provide our bright, inspiring students the opportunity to expand on their experience, hone their skills, and share their light. Summer Magazine 2019 29

Heads Up Big Build

By Liz Solis, Director of Heads Up


t was a rare sunny Saturday in March. Heads Up students trickled in, navigating the steep steps from the Gatehouse to the Mary E. Wilson auditorium, looking for a sign they were headed in the right direction. Many had no idea what to expect, nor what, exactly, a “Big Build” entailed. At Head-Royce “Big Builds” aren’t about the end product; they’re about the process. We set out to collaborate and make friends; to make mistakes and learn from them; to try harder than usual; and to build something big, that is, bigger than the builders themselves. With warm, energetic introductions from staff, including Heads Up Director Liz Solis, Big Build Coordinator Jonathan Braidman, and CCE Director Nancy Feidelman, the energy among the new cohort began to shift, curiosity growing. 30 Summer Magazine 2019

“Although the new Heads Up 6th graders were really shy at first,” said Yoska G. ’21, “As the day went on, I got close with a couple of them and it made the experience that much better. They were very sweet kids who were so willing to help one another. They listened to all of the instructions really well and were so excited about participating.” The first task? Brainstorming a list of possible uses for the day’s mystery object: a tailpipe tube cutter. Students broke into small groups, each with an ample mixture of Heads Up 6th graders and Head-Royce Upper Schoolers. Nervously, they began sharing their ideas, dreaming up the most interesting and innovative uses for the metal tool. This seemingly small opportunity to exchange ideas and think creatively framed the tone of the day. Together, the students dived into inquiry. “The Big Build goes two ways,” according to Sam G. ’20. “You’re

building something literal and physical, while at the same time building meaningful mentorship relationships with the kids.” When it was nearly time to unveil the Big Build’s main challenge, Nancy and Jonathan reviewed expectations for the day: team-work, creativity, and care. They reminded students how best to work in groups, asking one another, “How can I help?” and following the golden rule, treating one another as you hope to be treated. Jonathan next demonstrated how to safely use each tool and, finally, revealed the challenge: the students needed to build a mechanism to transport a large yoga ball from one end of the basketball court to the other, without making contact with any human hands or the ground. Each team returned to the drawing board: how could they possibly move a ball that big across an entire basketball court? They began to sketch and plan,

and soon, forged wooden tracks across the courts. In groups, the students calculated the amount of force necessary to guide a yoga ball across the specific distance. Students attempted to leverage gravity to accomplish the big mission. After two hours of building and several arduous attempts, none were able to complete a track successfully. The challenge is called big for a reason. Another main tenet of the Big Build is embracing and learning from failure, of celebrating ingenuity and valiant attempts, over traditional measures of success. And that is ultimately what Heads Up provides its students: a recipe for an individualized definition of success, including guided, intentional instruction from a committed and knowledgeable community. Current Heads Up parent Tiffany Washington admitted that her son Ahman “was fussing about going” to the Big Build, “but after spending the day there, he said it was really good for him in terms of the life skills learned. He experienced using an electric screwdriver, which he’d never done before.” Tiffany also had the opportunity to observe the students demonstrating their mechanisms and debriefing the day. “What I saw was so detailed and so precise—it was pretty amazing to know that 6th graders built that together under the right guidance.” As the students packed away their tools, left the courts behind, and walked back up the HeadRoyce steps, we hope that they arrived on Lincoln Avenue with a renewed sense of what the next few years will bring: intentional programming and mentoring, continued dreaming and inventing, and pride in knowing that they are the problem solvers of tomorrow. Special thanks to Priscilla Hine, 3rd grade teacher, and our student volunteers: Alexander A. ’19, Burdine A. ’21, Divya A. ’19, Max A. ’19, Oliver B. ’20, Aichatou D. ’20, Awo G. ’20, Sam G. ’20, Yoska G. ’21, Sidney S. ’21, and Amaya W. ’21.

Upper School Students REBUILD Oakland TOGETHER


or almost two decades, Head-Royce has volunteered with Rebuilding Together, a national organization that rehabilitates homes owned by low-income, elderly, and disabled residents. The fact that former parent Kym Luqman (mother of Aminah Luqman ’13) served as Executive Director of this wonderful nonprofit helped to seal our long-term relationship. Head-Royce students are committed to Rebuilding Together’s vision of fostering “a safe, healthy home for every person.” Each spring Head-Royce repairs and paints an Oakland home in need of some TLC. This April the Upper School repainted the full exterior of two homes in East Oakland. Lead by Nancy Feidelman and architect Sarah Louie Roitman ’03, a robust team of 40 high school students, six faculty members, and a handful of alumni devoted two full weekend days to scraping, sanding, taping, priming, and painting each of the homes. Captained by two Seniors (Divya A. ’19 and Lara D. ’19), the Head-Royce crew transformed the outside of the houses to the great delight of the owners. As one homeowner, Mrs. Judy, said, “You have given me the most generous gift I have ever received. My house looks beautiful and I feel such love for all of you.” It was a pleasure for the students to shelve their books and close their laptops in exchange for a full weekend of collaborative effort, physical labor, and genuine community involvement. We hope that volunteering with Rebuilding Together keeps housing in the minds of our graduating seniors, as they move away for the first time and more deeply understand the privilege of having a safe, warm, and inviting place to call home.

Above: before rehabilitation. Right: after rehabilation.

It was a pleasure for the students to shelve their books and close their laptops in exchange for a full weekend of collaborative effort, physical labor, and genuine community involvement.

Global Engagement


By Laura Krier, US History Teacher, Global Education Coordinator


ur Global Education trips are designed to foster citizenship, community engagement, and deep reflection at three levels: local, national, and international. We work hard to craft learning

opportunities that aren’t available to the casual traveler, often forgoing tourist destinations to prioritize conversations with local activists and experts. Our excellent and experienced program partners—Atlas Workshops and Envoys—help us craft safe, compelling journeys. During the 2018–2019 school year, we were delighted to offer three Global Education trips.

32 Summer Magazine 2019

“With the Falik Fund, I was able to travel to Bolivia with the program Where There Be Dragons. I spent a month exploring the culture and landscape of the Andes and the Amazonian jungle. My personal highlight was living with a rural family and learning about their culture and traditions.”

– I VA N G . ’ 21

In February, Upper School students embarked on a program called “Of Cuba and Connections,” considering identity formation on both personal and national levels. Before leaving Oakland, students discussed their expectations and assumptions about Cubans. During the trip, they met with many Cubans— spanning the gamut from school children to retirees, often speaking in Spanish— to gather oral narratives they later compared to U.S. and Cuban government histories. In homestays, students learned about Cuban culture from within the family unit and rejoined the larger group to visit sites like the Museo de la Revolución and Finca Vigía (Ernest Hemingway’s home). In April, we sent two programs into the field: one to D.C. and one to Europe, each beginning with the study of Oakland— part of our Oaklinks initiative. Our Middle School program, “The Black Experience in America,” focused deeply on how Black history and experiences in this country relate to the national narratives we tell about

citizenship, rights, and belonging. The cohort first explored Black activism in Oakland by meeting with Ericka Huggins, the longest serving female leader of the Black Panther Party. While in D.C., students visited several museums and places of significance for African Americans, including the National Museum of African American History and Culture and Howard University. In discussing the importance of activism with the local Black Lives Matter chapter, holding a design competition for a monument missing from the National Mall, and learning about the challenges of gentrification during a tour of the historic Anacostia neighborhood, students considered both the consequences of the past and the role they themselves can play in building a more just and equitable future. “Landscapes of Home: The Global Challenge of Housing” featured an intensive comparative case study of housing crises in three cities: Oakland, Prague, and Berlin for junior and senior students. The group sought diverse perspectives on housing in each location. In Oakland, our student cohort spoke with six dynamic local experts, including Michele Byrd, the Director of Oakland’s Housing and Community Development Department, and Eric Arnold, the Communication and Policy Director for a local “pavement to policy” artist and advocacy group called the Community Rejuvenation Project. The conversations served as a springboard for their subsequent explorations of Prague and Berlin, where students questioned how

gentrification, government policy, and local history shaped each city’s responses to housing shortages. Each program, upon return, presents their learning to the broader community, in a team-designed, creative way. The Housing program, for instance, installed a display wall, capturing the complexity of each city’s crisis as well as key insights gained from a comparative lens. Keep an eye out for the display on the third floor hallway of the main Upper School building. Finally, as part of our commitment to equity and inclusion, we have substantial financial aid available to make these programs accessible to all students. We are able to offer aid to any student receiving tuition assistance once per division, meaning a student starting in the elementary level could receive aid on three programs, as we run programs as early as 4th grade. We also support individual trips through the Falik Fund for International Study Travel.

“The Falik Fund helped me study abroad in Nanjing, China over the summer with the Council on International Educational Exchange (CIEE). One of my favorite memories was when I met my host sister’s paternal grandparents. They prepared a huge lunch for me and welcomed me into their home for the afternoon.”

– CHLOE B . ’ 20



in America: Washington, D.C.

he D.C. most visitors see is one of marble and monuments, closely manicured grass and curated exhibits. These places narrate a story of U.S. history that is important and relevant, but also partial and often monolithic. This study travel program focused on the Black experience in America and expanded on the single narrative frequently depicted through public art. We sought to understand the varied Black experiences of America historically and today, and asked “to what extent has the promise of democracy been fulfilled for all Americans?”

The middle school students’ adventures through Washington, D.C. were jam-packed with culturally and historically significant experiences that are sure to stick with them for years to come. When the trip first began, students’ perspectives on Washington, D.C. and the Black experience were grounded by visits to museums. In particular, the trip to the Museum of African American History and Culture invited students to not only familiarize themselves with the historical timeline of Black life in America, but also to identify the connections between that history and the students’ daily lives. As Lilyana S. ’24 explained, the museum was “very deep and reflected on some of the struggles we face in our everyday lives.” With this foundation in place, students then faced the challenge of tackling larger, more complex questions concerning our country’s understanding 34 Summer Magazine 2019

DAY 1: Travel Day, MLK Memorial DAY 2: Museum Day: National Museums of African Art, and the National Museum of African American History and Culture DAY 3: Missing Monument Design Challenge, African American Civil War Museum, Howard University Tour DAY 4: Mural Tour in Anacostia, Frederick Douglass House DAY 5: Bill of Obligations Activity, Black Lives Matter D.C. Chapter, Ben’s Chili Bowl, National Portrait Gallery, Lincoln Memorial at Night DAY 6: Final Reflection, Travel Home

of Black history through interactive and thoughtprovoking cultural experiences. After visiting several of the capital’s most famous monuments, including the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial, students considered which individuals and stories are not represented in a design competition for a monument missing from the Mall. Kaden W. ’24 described the winner: “The seventh grade boys ...made a monument about police brutality. The monument was a broken heart with the names of people that were victims of police beatings on one side and the names of people who are victims of police shootings on another.” The activity provided structured time and space for students to process what they saw, while developing their critical consciousness. Students also immersed themselves in D.C.’s storied and diverse Black culture. One highlight

was a mural tour of the historic Anacostia neighborhood. Vincent M. ’23 recounted that “the murals reflected the rich and deep culture of D.C; for example, the second mural we saw featured many local artists such as the Backyard Band.” Furthermore, many students, including Ajani B. ’23, felt embraced by the community: “The tour guide knew most, if not all the people in the neighborhood and it made us feel very comfortable. The neighborhood welcomed us very nicely.” These moments of casual interaction allowed students to develop meaningful social and emotional connections between Washington, D.C. and the Bay Area, and motivated many to recognize the commonalities that bind together the Black experience across the United States. The trip concluded with an in-depth reflection on activism, as students met with members of the local Black Lives Matter (BLM) chapter. In an open, conversational dialogue, students learned about the trials and triumphs of activism at the local level. Daniel H. ’24 felt the experience “was very insightful because the activists talked about starting a business and they also talked about the struggles of what they have to go through to achieve liberation.” The chance to consider both the motivations and practicalities behind activism left students energized—and equipped—to spark change. Although the trip lasted only a few days, students left D.C. inspired to continue to learn, question, and find ways to bring Black history and culture to the forefront at Head-Royce and Oakland.


Of Cuba and Connections

DAY 1: Arrival and settling into home stays: We divided students among four host families and convened each morning at the local Parque Lennon— yes, named after John.

DAY 2: Cuban History: Visited Museo de la Revolución and Finca Vigía (Ernest Hemingway’s home).

DAY 3: Color and Connection: We visited the Jaimainitas neighborhood of Havana and toured mosaic artist José Fuster’s house. Next we stopped by a nonprofit art school for kids. Art supplies are so limited they make their own paper.

By Karen Bradley, US History Teacher, Global Online Academy Site Director


id you know the Cuban Missile Crisis is called the “October Crisis” in Cuba? That Cubans are allocated food rations that don’t meet their daily caloric needs, such as one chicken leg per person per week? That education levels are extraordinarily high? That Chinese investment in Cuba is visible in the refrigerators in every casa particular, in cars and buses and Chinese tourists? And that once you leave Havana, cars are few and far between, most people traveling by horse and buggy? Our cohort of fifteen Head-Royce students and two faculty members didn’t know any of this until we landed in Cuba, either. “Tuesday was a spectacular day full of learning about the history of Cuba and guided tours of old Havana,” wrote Lucas T. ’21 and Marcus S. ’21 on the trip’s blog. “We explored the four famous squares and visited some of the most iconic buildings in the city.” The two included their own guiding questions in their post: “How has colorism affected the history, culture, and institutions of Cuba?”

DAY 4: We visited the Kcho art gallery and made art at the Kelarte Studio.

DAY 5: After visiting the Iglesia de Merced (a Catholic church ministered by American-born Padre Gilberto) we talked with some of the elders in the community about their lives before and after 1959—all in Spanish.

they asked. “Can communism and progressivism exist in the same system? How does the government function?” After visiting the Kcho Gallery, Asta S. ’21 observed: “As soon as I walked into the room, I felt completely at peace and I found beauty in every piece of art I saw. One gallery space featured a massive portrait of Fidel Castro and a spiral staircase covered in books leading to a ceiling painted like the sky. I couldn’t quite understand why, but I got a little choked up.” The theme of our trip, “Of Cuba and Connections,” was perhaps best captured by an extraordinary visit to a music school in Havana on our seventh day. As Josie K. ’21 described the afternoon in her blog entry, “Everyone was either nervous

DAY 6: Juxtaposing the Rural and the Urban: We visited the Bay of Pigs Museum, which painted a desperate picture of the sugar plantation sections of Cuba in the early 20th Century, leading up to the Revolution. Our destination was Cienfuegos, a city built on the profits of sugar, at the expense of Afro-Caribbean labor.

about the language barrier, excited to meet people, or a mixture of both.” At first, HeadRoyce students felt distant from the young musicians, based on their “uniforms(!)” as Josie writes, but that disconnect evaporated as soon as the students began to play. “A series of notes burst forward, ebbing and flowing and crescendoing, like a river leading to a waterfall and back,” writes Josie. “I’m not exaggerating when I say my jaw dropped and a student cried when one of the Cuban boys played the piano.” “But although these students seemed to be musical geniuses, in many ways they were just like us. After ice breakers and pairing off into small groups, I learned that my new friend, Freddie, was into anime and Fortnite. Another girl, with whom I had had an unspoken connection, told me she loved my eyes and cheeks. I told her I liked her hair. Language was more than just words that day: it was smiles, and laughs, and getting up on a stage and doing improv scenes with strangers.” At the end of each day, we Cuba-Trippers discussed and reflected upon the day’s experiences, often focusing on the changes in our perceptions about Cuba, the politics, the government, and about Cuban history in general. On our last full day, we witnessed history in the making: Cubans voted to legalize private property, legalize gay marriage, and limit the president—currently Miguel DíazCanel—to two terms in office.

DAY 7: Cuba for Everyone: Back in Havana, we visited a music school, the Quisicuaba NGO, heard the “Rapping Grandmas,” helped with food distributions, and visited the Yoruba museum. In the afternoon, the Amazing Race scavenger hunt sent groups of students across Havana—every clue required an interaction with the locals. And then we took a salsa lesson.


The Global Challenge of Housing

hat makes a place home? What can be done to alleviate a housing shortage? Do the best strategies look the same in each city? A comparative case study of three dynamic cities, this program focused on a critical aspect of city life: housing. We met with designers, innovators, activists, migrants, city planners, and public servants as we explored our questions in Oakland, Berlin, and Prague. Below are the group’s core observations: • Development is inevitable, but not inherently bad. Cities need development without displacement; this is possible with planning. • Housing crises must be understood as human crises, not merely intellectual or economic problems. Solutions must address both objective data and the personal element. Storytelling is a powerful, humanizing tool. • The best solutions are multiple and attack the problem creatively from as many directions as possible. We need all the solutions at once: tax incentives, modular housing, rent control laws, new expectations for shared-space living, and community organizations to hold stories and support individuals. These solutions must be developed on all levels: federal, state, municipal, citizen, nonprofit, and for profit. Students returned home energized by the belief that large-scale cultural shifts are difficult but possible, and motivated to learn more about Oakland and help enact change.

38 Summer Magazine 2019



Kate V.R. ’19

, a whirlwind trip me from such ho g in d riv an ar rs er ft membe curious family t I was greeted by er ything abou ev ow anted to kn w ho w s e nd th ie at fr n, I noticed th Again and agai al narratives the experience. were the person ll te to t es si ea stories cted by the tual people affe ac by us ith w shared it housing crisis. able housing un sited the afford vi e w , ng nd si la ou ak H In O te Affordable , run by Satelli Merritt Crossing nerously shared One resident ge . A) AH (S us es at Associ r for the previo living in her ca of es nc in g rie in pe her ex stable hous finally finding re fo be s ss ar ne ye three the chronic ill ter developing r and the building. Af a social worke ave her job as le to d tually ha en e ev sh lupus, nce and r health insura he st lo th ly bo nt r ue he conseq provided ice dog, which rv se r er he H d e. te m en her ho so prev nal suppor t, al io ot em d ed an rib al physic ters. She desc homeless shel was from accessing even while she r being alone; ve ne of dows. g in in w el r the fe to her ca y would peer in sb er ss unted pa co , re ng e sleepi tle as sh ice tremble a lit vo r he ter Af ar . he ed d I coul ed or chas n she was robb he w sing, es os Cr tim t l rit ra seve a spot at Mer r fo y er tt lo g in al from winning a hous e to begin to he in her new hom e her tim r by he ed ok it to were all mov ose years. We th of a m au tr the ng her stor y. reet braver y in telli ngers on the st terviewed stra in e w rict of n, st rli di Be ng In gentrif yi housing in the of e le at at st op e pe th t ch abou to approa I was terrified . rg to Be g er in lk au zl ta Pren ended up ner Ruby and I rt d pa an y n m t rli Be bu , first e native to g mothers, som un g, yo in of us p ho ou t a gr ked abou nts. When we as e some transpla two moms wer sa mething to y; so d l ha ro nt ne co yo ever rrent rent rsed on the cu ve l el w as ly w al I ci e. espe the issu protests around laws and recent ns of theirs er nc co milar some si w ho by ck stru woman told us residents: one ea Ar y Ba and to e wer e and her husb r new baby, sh he ite oom sp dr de be w ho olled onetheir rent-contr e av uch le m ’t dn be ul co se would use anything el ca be t en tm ar ap too expensive. ed our narratives shift that These personal into a domain about housing ns tio sa or er nv ng co ent spendi t just governm considered no both essential gh nances (thou di or y ars ar ss ce ne worries and fe the day-to-day so al t om bu , fr s) r ol ke to One spea housing crisis. of of citizens in a man right. Each hu a housing as ed rt fin pa de an A H m SA ght the hu entioned brou m I en om w e d. th my min the forefront of of that belief to




Kate S. ’19

he Cold War shaped the worldview in all three of our locations, though in different ways. In the United States, that period instilled a distrust in any type of socialism, which shapes how we approach the housing crisis. Even when there are documented cases of rent control and subsidized housing as increasing affordability, many prefer to allow the housing market to be controlled by developers. For example, Prop 10, which was on the 2018 ballot, would have rescinded Costa-Hawkins to allow individual cities in the Bay Area to implement better rent control. The bill did not pass due to heavy lobbying from developers, who convinced landlords that it would curb the power they had over their properties. American voters’ love for the idea of a free market often keeps social policy from being implemented, yet many Americans agree it is the government’s responsibility to fix the housing crisis. Although we did not spend much time in Prague, I noticed a similar phenomenon there. During the Cold War, the country was controlled by the Soviets, and Czechoslovakia experienced something like an Orwellian state. Our guide, Tomas, recounted how citizens did not know which of their friends or family were spying for the government, and operated in a constant state of stress and fear. This traumatic time in the country’s history cultivated a core distrust of communism, resulting in a deep aversion to socialist policies and strong government intervention among the Czech today.

Summer Magazine 2019 39


eciding on a career path isn’t necessarily straightforward. Navigating the various challenges—from determining one’s interests to imagining a job’s day-to-day routines to finding an internship—can leave young adults feeling unsure about how to navigate life after Head-Royce.   Our very own alumni and parents—so varied in their interests and professional pursuits—have proven to be just the mentors our students need. For the last three years, Head-Royce has called upon its robust network to help our high schoolers consider the joys and challenges of “adulting,” especially in terms of career decisions.   “Adulting 101” is an annual community event that bridges high school to the working world. This year twenty-six alumni and parents of Head-Royce flocked to campus for an Oakland-themed version of the event, focusing on careers in Oakland and on Oakland. As our students met with the presenters, they learned about our home city through their professional and personal lenses.   Elizabeth MacDonald ’91, Veterinarian and Owner of the Grand Lake Veterinary Hospital, alongside Anya Black ’03, the Hospital Manager, spoke about practicing highquality medicine and running a successful, independent animal hospital. Down the hall, parent Andrew “Pete” Peterson shared his knowledge as Director of Information Technology for the City of Oakland. Other speakers in the arts, law, engineering, and architecture led eye-opening, honest, and helpful small-group discussions, answering student questions throughout the day.



“ I thought Mr. Peterson’s presentation was inspiring. Through his work, he was able to help our local community while also pursuing his love of problemsolving.”   – Robi C. ’19, who will work on data challenges with Andrew Peterson for his Senior Project

“ I knew Anya [Black ’03] and Dr. MacDonald [’91] beforehand, so it was interesting to hear them talk about themselves and their experiences to a group of people who didn’t know them— especially since they went to Head-Royce and could relate to our situation. I actually work at Grand Lake Vet Hospital (GLVH). I reached out to Ms. Feidelman in January asking if she knew any alumni who were vets, and she immediately thought of Anya and Dr. MacDonald. [Anya] offered me a position as a kennel assistant and I’ve been employed at GLVH for three months. I feel so lucky to work there. Everyone is so welcoming and kind, and I learn something new every day.”   – Nicole S. ’19

40 Summer Magazine 2019


“ It was eye-opening that Paloma Shutes wasn’t super-focused on how her college experience would factor into her career; instead, she prioritized choosing a major that interested her: art history. After listening to her talk about the magazine shoots, articles, and art shows that she is proud to have been a part of, I feel inspired to pursue my own interests and not settle until I am doing exactly what most interests me.”   – Lauren T. ’19

“ [Adulting 101] was reassuring for me, because I don’t know exactly what I want to do after college and I appreciate knowing that if I try something and it’s not for me, I can go down a different path.”   – Linnea H. ’19

Summer Magazine 2019 41




am writing this letter just having attended this year’s Alumni Weekend and Reunion, celebrating the 131st anniversary of the School and the class years ending in 4 and 9 in particular. At the reunion, we had the honor of presenting this year’s alumni awards to Kimberly Ennix-Sandhu ’79 and

Julia Friedman ’09, both of whom took elements of their education and experience at Head-Royce and transformed them into the tools they used to achieve excellence in their professional and civic lives. As a pioneering woman of color rocket scientist at NASA, Kim’s interest in STEM began at Anna Head, where all of her math and science teachers were female and, as she says, “It


never occurred to me that women don’t do math because that’s all I saw.” Julia continues to actively employ her close Head-Royce network of friends and classmates in her work with Getting Out and Staying Out, an organization working towards (and succeeding in) drastically reducing the recidivism rate of incarcerated young men on Riker’s Island. The full profiles for Kim and Julia can be found in this issue of the magazine. Both Kim and Julia are prime examples of the long-ranging impact that a Head-Royce education can have on students’ lives and I am excited at the thought of how we as alumni are helping in this endeavor. Over the past several years, the School has made a concerted effort to increase alumnito-student engagement, and you can find myriad examples in this issue. With events such as Adulting 101, alumni speakers like Dania Cabello ’02 and Alykhan Boolani ’02 addressing the Upper School—and, of course, the individual connections that are made—we alumni continue to have a positive impact on the lives of Head-Royce students. I am told that this year alone, one out of every six high school students connected individually with an alum for a variety of reasons, including for their freshman I-Search paper, Senior Project, summer internship, a job, or as a resource in considering colleges. Congratulations and I hope you continue the great work with our students. Maybe one day, when one of these students is the recipient of an alumni award, they will mention working with you as a catalyst for their own alumni achievements. Sincerely,

Jason Langkammerer ’88

Alumni Council President & Trustee We invite you to become more involved with the alumni community and HeadRoyce. Please contact Julie Kim-Beal, Director of Alumni Relations and Events, at jkimbeal@headroyce.org or 510.228.1591 for more information.

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Kacy Stoddard ’18

Gap Year in Peru, Intern with Health Bridges


n Peru, 50 percent of children under the age of five suffer from iron-deficiency anemia. Doctors speculate that diet, especially in impoverished regions, is to blame. “Meals are starch-heavy, in potatoes and rice,” Kacy Stoddard ’18 explains, “which is good in that starch gives you energy and keeps you full, but it has no iron.” According to the nonprofit Health Bridges, International, where Kacy interns, “Severe anemia can impair growth and motor and mental development. Children may exhibit a shortened attention span and decreased alertness. Children with severe iron-deficiency anemia may also have an increased risk for heart problems and stroke.”

Kacy first learned about the anemia epidemic when she arrived in Arequipa, in the South of Peru. She might never have heard of it—nor met the impacted families, nor worked alongside the doctors helping to correct the issue—had she gone straight from Head-Royce to Tulane University, where she was accepted in the class of 2022, as a political science major. Instead, she deferred her place in the honors college and took a gap year. As early as her freshman year at Head-Royce, Kacy was considering a break before college, although some of her friends balked at the idea of graduating later than their peers. That didn’t strike her as worrisome—post-secondary education doesn’t necessarily finish in four years, especially with grad school, in mind. A misconception exists, she also says, “that gap years are for spoiled rich kids so they can party abroad in Europe.” In her experience, and with the many international travelers she has met along the way, that’s certainly not the case. Rather, her “decision was focused on

learning Spanish,” as she has “always wanted to be bilingual.” Balance was on her mind, too. “During high school, I was really busy with school and sports and other extracurricular activities that I wanted to spend more time with my family.” Her first stop? A six-week Alaskan trek, in a camper van, with her parents and brother. Her voice pitches high and excited when she describes the highlight of the Alaska trip: “We were in Denali National Park, staying at this little lodge, and the lodge manager knocks on all the doors at four a.m. ‘You have to get up!’ he says. ‘The Northern Lights are happening!’ He leads us outside, in 20 degrees, all in our pajamas, to see these huge yellow ribbons undulating in the sky.” She pauses and laughs, recalling the unforgettable moment. “It was incredible.” Kacy counts herself lucky that she didn’t need to convince her parents about a gap year, as they

agree it’s important for her to meet people, travel solo, manage her finances, and travel with a backpack rather than a suitcase. “My parents are explorers by nature. I’m an adventurer because of my parents.” At Health-Bridges, Kacy helps the doctors with whatever tasks she can, including visiting homes throughout the region, testing anemia levels in children. “We do check-ups every three months for a year. So far we’ve seen an improvement. Iron levels have gone up.” “The best part about Health-Bridges,” Kacy believes, “is that they’re a permanent organization. They don’t do medical mission trips, hosting a new group every week or month. They are established in Arequipa. They understand the culture and how to address these problems.” HealthBridges takes a collaborative, community-based approach to prevent and treat anemia and has partnerships with the Arequipa College of Nutrition, local religious organizations, and the Peruvian government. This type of treatment is “more than just saying take these pills and you’ll be fine. It’s not like that. You have to understand the diet, the culture, the way they do things here.” One anemia treatment that honors Peruvian cultures comes in the form of a fish. Kacy eagerly explains Health-Bridges’ partnership with the Canadian social enterprise Lucky Iron Fish,

which has developed a “fishshaped cast iron cooking tool that you put in soup, rice, stir fry, and leaches out a healthy amount of iron.” On home visits, Kacy asks mothers a set of questions: “How many times a week are you using the Lucky Iron Fish? Are you eating citric fruits after meals? Citrus helps absorb iron, so if they have red meat for lunch, we suggest they then have an orange or citric fruit—I didn’t know about that before Peru!” Volunteering in Arequipa has been an eye-opening experience and a responsibility Kacy does not take lightly: “I didn’t want my gap year to be like ‘Oh look at me, I’m doing good work’— having a savior complex—so what I thought was most important was learning the language, and really listening to these mothers about their concerns with using this Lucky Iron Fish, never saying my word is more important than theirs.” The year has been impactful not only on her present life but also her future. Kacy already plans to switch her major. “Verdict is: I’ll be studying medicine. Time well spent.” And she now speaks Spanish “with medical terms too, a whole different vocabulary.” For any Head-Royce student considering a gap year, Kacy urges you to write a letter to your future self before you start travelling. “It’s my biggest regret of my gap year because I would’ve loved to look back on what my fears and goals were, what I wanted to accomplish, and how much I have grown since then.” She also suggests you keep a journal. Lastly, remain open to unplanned time. After her HealthBridges internship, Kacy initially planned to join new friends hiking in Patagonia, but instead, went to Tena, Ecuador, in the Amazon, to intern with a midwives’ association. “By word of mouth, I found new opportunities,” she says. “Don’t be scared of the unknown.”

Alumni Events


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ALUMNI HOLIDAY PARTY December 20, 2018

HOLIDAY PROGRAM December 21, 2018




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s a surprise for Barry Barankin’s 2016 retirement dinner, 50 alumni lined up to thank and congratulate him. “A kid from every year that I taught! It was perfect,” he says, smiling at the memory. “I couldn’t imagine a better way to go out. It completed—in a really profound way—my teaching experience, which is ironic, because here I am teaching a class.” This spring, Barry’s back as a visiting scholar in the Upper School. “I love retirement,” he says, but he has missed the people at Head-Royce, so he’s savoring his conversations with “Carl and Saya and the students.” Teaching during retirement has changed his curriculum in surprising ways. “I’ve been teaching Japanese Lit and Culture for 30 years, but it’s a second-semester class, and every year, when you get to February you’re burnt out—January is the Senior Play.” The play is a beloved Head-Royce tradition that Barry established. “Now suddenly I have all this space and time to make these tweaks.” One example Barry cites comes from The Tale of Genji: “The second chapter is about Genji’s conquests, so the Heian court life, sexual and social mores, are critical for understanding that. That’s never explained in any introduction to the book.” He searched tirelessly, over the years. “Then last year, my wife gave me a book of Japanese poetry.” It was The Ink Dark Moon: Love Poems by Ono no Komachi and Izumi Shikibu, Women of the Ancient Court of Japan. “Women did have choice in those days. If a guy caught a glimpse of somebody’s ankle, he might write a poem to her, then she’d write back if she was interested. He’d write another one, making a date, and she’d have another

chance to say yes or no. All of that was really ritualized. The Ink Dark Moon has four pages laying it out. It’s perfect! I put that in.” Another new unit is more hands-on: “Every student has a presentation that includes an experiential part: bonsai, tea ceremonies. There’s no presentation this week. What I would have done in the past is return to Genji. I thought, no, what’s really going to drive this home? I went out to Michael’s and raided my wife’s scrapbooking materials for a Heian Period architectural unit.” Because the students had to plan and build accurate Heian Period structures, they’ll “understand the period and the people more as a result.” Beyond the classroom, Barry has also witnessed HeadRoyce’s commitment to growth and change over the past four decades. Something happening 40 years ago that continues to this day, he says, is the “effort to be genuinely a part of the Oakland community. That’s a work-in-progress that I would say, a few years before I retired, we began addressing. It’s really clear to me that we’re making and continuing to make a major effort. It’s growing and growing and it’s great and it’s hard. I’m impressed with the commitment.” Next fall, Barry won’t return to Head-Royce but will look even further back, to his childhood. He grew up on passenger ships—“Japan and back. Hong Kong to San Francisco.”—so he’s happiest when traveling by ship. He’ll embark on a repositioning cruise to South East Asia. “Eight days at sea without stopping anywhere.” Bon voyage, Barry, and once again: thank you for your long and storied commitment to Head-Royce.



SCHOOL MATTERS: The Transformation of Head-Royce


epresenting over a year of research and writing, this book is a comprehensive retrospective on the 26 years that Paul Chapman was Head of School and a written narrative of the many changes and incredible growth that took place from 1984–2010. It is a story of the remarkable people — students, faculty & staff, parents, alumni, and others — who took part in and helped shape the School into what it is today.

Receive a copy of the book with a donation of $20 or more to the Head-Royce Scholarship Endowment Fund. www.headroyce.org/about-us/publications

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Alumni Notes

1953 JEANNINE HULL HERRON Jeannine Hull Herron ’53, a research neuropsychologist and Director of Talking Fingers, Inc. was recently chosen as a Marin Women’s Hall of Fame 2019 Honoree. In the early 60’s, Jeannine was active in the civil rights revolution in Mississippi, where she co-founded the first Head Start project in the country. That experience led her to a lifetime of interest in how the brain learns to read and how to improve reading instruction. She carried out research at UCSF investigating the organization of the brain in left-handers and dyslexics. She later founded Talking Fingers, Inc., winning five Small Business Innovative Research grants from NIH to develop software curricula for early literacy. She is currently donating her software, training services, and her book Making Speech Visible in Mississippi, collaborating with the Department of Education and other agencies, planting seeds for a “literacy rights revolution.”

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my residency at University of Chicago, worked in a group practice for a couple of years then went to the VA where I still work.   Eric and I raised two sons, Benjamin and Edward Polsby Stern. Benjamin graduated from Oberlin with a double degree in Physics and Computer Science and works at Google in Mountain View. Edward is finishing his last year at Beloit and spent his junior year in Japan.

1957 Alumnae from the Class of 1957 held a minireunion in San Francisco this past May. Shown left to right Hope Hallenbeck Chandler ’57, Barry Forman, Molly Harris ’57, Elizabeth Love ’57, Elsa Madsen Vare ’57, and Milt Gaines.

1969 LISA POLSBY I went to Head-Royce for 7th, 8th, and 9th grades. 7th grade was all girls. 8th grade I was the only girl in a few classes and there were a couple of boys in some classes. 9th grade was more co-ed. In 7th grade we had to wear uniforms and the boys never had to wear uniforms. I lobbied hard to get

1972 rid of the uniforms for the girls and I finally won out by 9th grade. In 10th grade I transferred to the College Preparatory School. In 11th grade my dad had a sabbatical year at the London School of Economics so I went to the American Community School in Knightsbridge in London. In 12th grade we came back and I graduated from CPS. I went to Oberlin College from 1979–1983 and graduated with a BA in Biology. I then got a Masters in Molecular and Physiological Plant Biology from UC Berkeley. Then I worked as a lab tech for Advanced Genetic Sciences. I volunteered at the Alameda County Suicide Prevention hotline. In 1988 I went to University of Pittsburgh medical school becoming a psychiatrist. I met my husband, Eric Stern at Pitt where he was a post doc in Physics. I did


Who knew after my less-than-stellar performance at Head’s that I’d be the Director of Information Technology Services at a four-year university? I know many of my classmates have accomplished great things and I feel like I am now a part of that illustrious group. I am working with the local businesses to help set up an iHub, as well as work with faculty and the community on a nationally recognized cyber-security program. I have to say that my education at Head’s provided me with the tools to accomplish these goals. Come on Class of ’72, where are you?

Alumni Notes


Proud grandparents Mary and Walter Fahey were present at the arrival.


On July 1, 2018, I was promoted to full professor of Mathematics at Wake Forest University. Additionally, I began a three-year term as Chair of the Department of Mathematics and Statistics. In March of 2018 I was awarded the second annual Wake Forest College Board of Visitors Faculty Leadership Award for my extensive leadership work on campus. I am also the 2017–2020 Shively Family Faculty Fellow at Wake Forest. IRIS, a STEM student group at Wake Forest, recently profiled me on their website. The profile is available at: http://iris.wfu.edu/ stem-spotlights.html. I am always glad to meet or talk to students who are interested in Wake Forest, especially for math!

1996 BENNETT LARSEN Bennett Larsen ’96 married Ashley Hutchens on October 29, 2018. They reside in Blowing Rock, NC, where Bennett works as a wine retailer and Ashley as

a realtor. The bride and groom, Ashley’s parents, Dave and Pat Larsen, and Bennett’s son Andrew were in attendance.


LILY TRINH CIAMMAICHELLA Six-week-old baby Enzo accompanied his mother Lily Trinh Ciammaichella ’99 to her 20th Head-Royce Reunion.

JONATHAN BARNES Jay McGregor Barnes was born on February 7, 2019, already having experienced Red Sox and Patriots championships in utero. He lives in Oakland with parents Candice and Jonathan Barnes ’99, where Jonathan works at Pandora. Parents almost made Jay’s middle name Hawk but decided an embarrassing onesie photo would be better.

2007 KAT HARRAR Kat Harrar and husband Ari Rokeach welcomed baby daughter Riley Rachel Rokeach on January 22, 2019.

2004 MATTHEW FAHEY Matthew Fahey ’04, wife Jenn, and son Weston welcomed baby Walker John Joseph Fahey. Walker was born on May 15, 2019 weighing 7 pounds 1 ounce and 20.5 inches long.

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In Memoriam

1937 PATRICIA CONEY MCCARTHY Patricia Coney McCarthy was born March 19, 1922 and departed this world on April 3, 2019 at age 97. She was born to her parents Ilse Vockel Coney and Joseph John Coney in Alameda, California, living out the majority of her life in the San Francisco Bay Area. She attended UC Berkeley before marrying her husband, Robert Elliot McCarthy, in 1945.   Together Bob and Pat had five children, 14 grandchildren and 19 great-grandchildren. They are: Leigh Ann McCarthy Martin (John) and their children: Joseph (Jennifer) and greatgrandsons Christopher and Patrick. Shannon (Rob) and great-granddaughters Sophie, Ashley and Katie. Steven Brian McCarthy (Laurie) and their children: Lindsey (Mattley) and great-grandchildren Coney and Ketchum. Lauren, Andrea (Andrew), Ty. Cynthia Jean McCarthy Wilson (Thomas) and their children: Elissa (Jon) and great-granddaughters Isla, Adly, Eden. Emily (Brandon) and greatgrandchildren Kinley, Cayson and Kian. Laurel (Garrett) and great-grandsons Brock and Grayson. Ryan. Craig Coney McCarthy (Cynthia) and their children: Erin (Robbie) and greatgrandchildren Renata and Emilia. Brian (Nicole). Karen Elaine McCarthy Price (Daniel) and their children: Michael (Ella) and greatgrandchildren Alexis and Granite. Heather (Brett).   Patricia is predeceased by her parents, her husband of 62 years, her brother, Robert Coney, her son, Craig, and by many lifelong friends.

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The trajectory of Patricia’s life was guided by her deep desire to do right, to love people, and to generously serve with the resources with which she was blessed. She came to authentic faith in Christ as an adult, and spent her remaining decades deepening her faith into knowledge and action. She loved her family, friends, good books, her garden, all animals, horseback riding and every kind of created beauty.   The family would like to acknowledge our deep gratitude to the Covenant Village Community of Turlock for their competent and loving care.

1948 MARJORIE HICKS KRALL Marjorie Hicks Krall was born in Lincoln, Nebraska. She passed from this life to spend eternity in Heaven on January 15, 2018. Her father was a Professor Emeritus of American History at the University of California, Berkeley. Following in his academic footsteps, Marj graduated cum laude from the University of California, Berkeley and married a fellow Cal alumnus, Louis K. Krall.   Marj’s love of horses began early. This love lasted her entire life, and she shared it with her six children, Kathy, Lynne, Lucy, Doug, Marj, and Lou.   In 1965 she moved to Palm Springs from her beloved San Francisco area with her six children and two dogs. She was involved in Los Compadres and Desert Riders from the day she arrived in Palm Springs and served as Secretary for Los Compadres for 14 years and President in 1988-1989.

Marj leaves behind her four loving daughters and two loving sons, Kathy Kleindienst (Will), Lynne Bushore (Bruce), Lucy Harris (Larry), Douglas H. Krall, Marjorie Davis, and Louis K. Krall II together with 12 grandchildren and seven great grandchildren. Raising her children was her proudest achievement in life and she was always proud of how the siblings stayed close and continue to take care of each other. Marj said that the most significant things in her life, along with her children was her love for horses, the San Francisco 49ers, the Cal Bears, and her claim to being the First Mother-In-Law of Palm Springs.   She also leaves behind all of the good friends she met through Los Compadres and dozens of people who will never forget the impact she had on their lives.

1959 SHELLEY POND MINOR Shelley Pond Minor passed away at Sutter Memorial Hospital, Roseville, CA, on February 4, 2018. Mrs. Minor is the daughter of Mr. Chauncey “Bud” Pond and Mrs. Eileen Dailey Pond Traverse of Lafayette and Oakland. Shelley is survived by her husband, James Minor, and their two sons, Jonathan Minor, of Sydney, Australia, and Jason Minor of Golden, Colorado, and their wives and children, Lisbeth and Noah, and Shelby, Jackson and Bodie Minor respectively.   Shelley is also survived by her cousin Peggy Dailey Gatto and husband Dan of Alamo, cousin and former U.S. Congressman William Baker and his wife Joanne of Danville, Shelley’s deceased brother’s wife Diana, and daughter Heather of

Southern California, as well as her sister-in-law, Polly Traverse Quatman, and husband Robert, of Coronado, CA., and their children, Jeff, Mike and Shelley.   Shelley was an active young girl, enjoying summer sports at Lake Tahoe. She graduated from Head-Royce school in Oakland, and went on to study art at UC Berkeley, where she joined the Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority. During her career, she worked in the interior decorating and design field. Shelley was a great proponent of Children’s Hospital in Oakland, and worked for years for the success of the Children’s Hospital Winter Debutantes Ball. Shelley loved to travel with her husband Jim. Shelley loved gardening and flower arranging, winning several awards for her arrangements and decorations from Gump’s in San Francisco. While living in Diablo, she also designed and built a lovely home opposite the Diablo Country Club.

1969 SARAH HALLEY WOODARD Sarah passed away peacefully in her sleep on August 28, 2018. She was a beloved daughter, sister, aunt, and great aunt. Sarah was predeceased by her brother Charles. She is survived by her brothers Scott and Thomas, by her nieces Alix, Andrea, Gabriella, Jessica, and Sarah, by her nephews Christopher and Nicholas, and by her grand-niece Eliana.   Sarah was born in Pasadena, CA, and grew up in the Bay Area. She graduated from the University of Nevada, Reno, and returned to the Bay Area where

In Memoriam

she held a variety of professional positions before joining the family business as the program manager of its charitable activities. She won an epic battle against a very aggressive cancer while in her early forties, and went on to enjoy a long career as a sales associate in the china department at Macy’s, where she established many warm friendships.   Throughout her career and into her retirement, she continued to dedicate her energy to the betterment of her family and her community. She remained actively involved with the formation, administration, and fundraising activities of several Bay Area charities. When her father’s health began to fail, she oversaw his personal care and managed his affairs for several years. When he passed, she took up the mantle of ensuring that the various branches of the family never swayed too far apart, hosting countless family birthday and holiday celebrations at her beautiful home.   From her mother, Patricia, she inherited a sharp intellect, a love of literature, and a wry sense of humor. From her father, Clarence, she inherited a guiding sense of integrity, a quiet yet unbreakable stubbornness, and an unwavering dedication to family and community.   Sarah loved taking walks with her rambunctious chocolate lab Charlotte and their friends. She also loved her cats Thor and Pandora, her garden, fine china, snow globes, antique dolls, fairies, and the Easter Bunny. But most of all—she loved Disneyland!

1994 CHRISTIAN LARSEN Christian Larsen passed away on December 25, 2018 after complications related to a 12-year battle with metastatic testicular cancer. He was a Senior Consultant for Deloitte Consulting, working on projects in the pharmaceutical and biotech industries all over the world and was engaged to be married to Kristina Dorne whom he met in 2013.   In fighting his cancer, Christian underwent several surgeries, radiation, conventional chemotherapy, high-dose chemotherapy, and a stem cell transplant. After many years in full recovery, Christian doctor’s discovered in April 2016 that his entire nervous system was infected, as a result of spinal surgery related to the cancer in 2008. He was placed on a ventilator and put into a medically-induced coma to lessen the pressure on his brain. He had meningitis, ventriculitis, hydrocephalus, pneumonia, and septicemia.   Christian spent two and a half months in the neurology intensive care unit, and underwent nine surgeries followed by a 14-month stay at a rehabilitation facility where he underwent intense physical, occupational, and speech therapy. On Christmas morning, Christian suffered a pulmonary embolism and passed away. He is survived by his parents, Dave and Pat, his brother

Bennett ’96, Bennett’s son Andrew, his fiancée Kristina Dorne, and many aunts, uncles, cousins, and friends, who will miss him very much.   During his time at Head-Royce, Christian worked on Nods and Becks, serving as Editor in his senior year, was a four-year varsity swimmer, and a founding member of the Head-Royce Barbecue Club. After graduation, he attended UC San Diego and graduated in 1998 with a degree in Biochemistry and Cell Biology. He went to work in San Diego for a company called Par Excel, a company that manages clinical trials of drugs. In 2003, he entered the Fuqua School of Management at Duke University, and in 2005, received an MBA with a concentration in health sector management and was recognized as a Fuqua Scholar

(top five percent of his class). He went to work in Boston for Deloitte Consulting in September of 2005 and remained a Senior Consultant until his death.   A celebration of life event was held in Boston in January and an identical celebration took place in March in Berkeley, and was attended by 125 of his West Coast family and friends. Among his closest friends are Alex and Elias Plishner ’94, who were not only his friends and classmates at Head-Royce, but also classmates, dorm mates, and fraternity brothers at UC San Diego. The family asks that HeadRoyce community members who would like to make a gift in Christian’s memory make a donation to the Aaron David Plishner ’91 Fund for faculty professional development.

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Alumni  Weekend

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& Reunion

APRIL 26–27, 2019

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Alumni Weekend & Reunion

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Alumni Weekend & Reunion

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2019 Distinguished Alumna of the Year

ou don’t have to be a rocket scientist to receive HeadRoyce’s Distinguished Alumna of the Year Award—but this year, the honor goes to a woman with precisely that job description. A jet-engine specialist, Kimberly Ennix-Sandhu ’79 has worked at NASA for twenty-eight years. She works in an airplane hangar, tours the country collaborating with other NASA centers, and gives lectures to students interested in STEM. Kimberly is the Operations Center Safety Lead of Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA), the world’s largest infrared telescope. SOFIA is a Boeing 747SP airplane equipped with a 106-inch diameter telescope that flies “above the stratosphere for a clear view of the night sky.” SOFIA looks at infrared light, so can examine “the clouds of gas that will birth new stars,” Kimberly says. Aside from capturing jaw-dropping, cosmic images, SOFIA allows scientists to further understand the origin of galaxies and black holes, as well as the atmospheres of Pluto and Mars. This summer, Kimberly heads to New Zealand to supervise SOFIA’s night-time flights. “We want a very very long night,” she explains, to optimize the telescope’s images. “The bulk of our flights happen during the winter. How do you have two winters in a year? You do the second in the southern hemisphere.” Travel is a frequent part of Kimberly’s job. The year the film Hidden Figures premiered, NASA sent her on a speaking tour across the country. “I must’ve talked to 5,000 students,” she says. Their most common question: How did you get interested in STEM? “My road to STEM was a circuitous one,” she admits, as she wanted to study visual arts. What surprises her audiences most, however, is that “Anna Head had an all-female mathematics staff. Several of my science teachers were female, too. Lead by example. It never occurred to me that women don’t do math because that’s all I saw.”

Long before Hidden Figures hit the silver screen and even before the book was sold on shelves, Kimberly Ennix-Sandhu knew the history of female computers at NASA. In fact, when she was in college, she worked “on the very IBM computer they show in Hidden Figures.” “Back in 1961, they needed a whole cadre of female computers to get [the computer] to run,” she says. “By 1981 when I came along, they were strictly using one or two engineering students. I caught it right in its last one or two years.” “To see a movie like that get such acclaim is really satisfying, but on a personal note, when I first came here [to California] I was not working for NASA, I was working for the Air Force in their ballistic missile section. We were tasked with making rockets burn hotter, higher, and faster. I inherited Katherine Johnson’s equation. I was using that very equation she used in the movie, to do rocket trajectories. I knew this history. I said [to my bosses], ‘You know a female mathematician put this equation together’ and I was laughed out of the room. So it was nice thirty years later, I was proven right.” Kimberly’s advice for women of color looking to get into STEM is: “You have to believe in your dream. I still see women being treated like I was treated thirty years ago in college. Tennessee was only a decade outside of Jim Crow laws. Only a handful of us African American females were in the engineering school [at UT Knoxville]. We got all kinds of dirty balls thrown our way. My [white] roommate didn’t want to be roommates. She slept in another room. I ignored it, because I was there to get my degree, plus I got a double room for the price of one.” Acknowledging the difficulties, Kimberly pauses and says, “All of that weighs on you. It gets you. Again you have to seek out positive affirmation. I went on and joined a sorority. Don’t get sad. Get glad. Get active.” Kimberly’s active engineering career, making rocket engines “burn hotter, higher, and faster,” traveling and teaching girls and women to achieve their starry-eyed dreams, is incredibly inspiring. It was an honor to present her with this award.

Kimberly Ennix-Sandhu ’79

2019 Outstanding Young Alumna of the Year


Julia Friedman ’09

ur latest Outstanding Young Alumna of the Year is driven by compassion and social justice. Over the past five years, Julia Friedman ’09 worked her way up from intern to Senior Director of Community Programs at Getting Out and Staying Out, while completing the 3,000 clinical hours required to become a Licensed Clinical Social Worker. Getting Out and Staying Out (GOSO) is an innovative re-entry program serving young men during and after their incarceration in New York prisons and jails. “We provide three Es: education, employment, emotional well-being,” Julia Friedman ’09 explains, “to 750 men a year.” Julia works primarily with “men of color in New York who are not given the same resources as other people in the city, because they grew up in public housing or impoverished communities….These are guys who have done challenging things, but I don’t care,” she says. Rather, she acknowledges that these men often “had to make their own path, without support. The quickest way to do that is not always legal.” GOSO’s curriculum is person-first and adaptive. When a newlyreleased participant initially visits GOSO, he meets with a Career Counselor and a Social Worker, like Julia, taking classes in “job readiness,” including “two weeks of resume building, career exploration, and interview skills.” GOSO helps with high school diplomas, GEDs, and college applications. Participants are also “strongly advised” to attend three elective workshops, including one called “Know Your Rights.” The therapeutic component of GOSO’s program is especially powerful, Julia believes, “because it’s breaking down the why of trauma and supporting the guys with whatever they need.” GOSO provides individual and group therapy, along with a weekly yoga and meditation class. “Now, when they can’t sleep at night, they know different breathing techniques.”

The recidivism rate proves GOSO’s compassionate, person-first model is a success. “Fewer than 15% of GOSO participants return to jail, as compared to a national average of 67% for their age group” (16–24). As a social work intern, Julia began visiting a 17-year-old inmate at Rikers Island. (Distinguishing features of his case have been cut to retain privacy.) “The assistant DA on his case wanted to give him 14 years. He was 17. It would have been an enormous set back on his life.” Julia was able to meet with the ADA and the judge and, alongside his lawyer, advocate for a lesser, more appropriate sentence. “We got him from 14 years down to four.” Her work didn’t stop there. “We have a correspondence program. I sent him a ton of books and mixtapes.” Creating a personal connection with this man helped him feel supported and open to GOSO’s program. “We engage them to prevent them from being involved in criminal activity.” The result? “He got out two weeks ago and was just in my office. We don’t stop communicating and believing in these guys. We are here to support them, in a really holistic way.” The GOSO guys recently took a pizza-making class with a law firm and visited a gallery in Chelsea that installed The O.G. Experience, an immersive “show by and about formerly incarcerated artists.” GOSO also partners with New York-based companies, like Goldman Sachs, Google, LinkedIn—and the Head-Royce alumni-run restaurant Dos Toros. In their business lunches, panel talks, mixers, and internships, people at these companies, in Julia’s words, “see that these GOSO men are fantastic and worthy of a second chance.” Julia Friedman ’09 is working hard to broaden the networks of formerly-incarcerated men, fostering self-confidence and instilling job skills. We’re proud to present her with the award for 2019 Outstanding Young Alumna of the Year. Summer Magazine 2019 57


Rose DeVries ’07


Botanist, Forester

hen Rose DeVries ’07 was in high school, she admits she had “a romanticized view of what a forest was.” She camped a lot and was curious about environmental science, an interest she fostered in Gene Vann’s Bay Area Ecology Course. For her final project, she trained as a certified wilderness first responder. “They staged a mock plane crash in a park in Chico. My person had a twig in the eye.” Rose survived “the crash,” passed the test, and has since dedicated her life to protecting California’s forests—and, by extension, its people.

“Management is not us imposing our will on the forest. It’s finding a way to coexist with the forest and the way it operates.”

A botanist and forester, Rose DeVries ’07 works for Cal Fire and the East Bay Regional Park District on The Wildfire Hazard Reduction and Resource Management Plan. She develops strategies for managing the vegetation in East Bay parks, hoping to reduce wind-driven catastrophic wildfires. “It’s an extremely physical job,” Rose says. “It’s not just walking on trails. You’re cutting your way or dodging or weaving to get where you need to go. It can be pretty demanding.” She no longer looks at forests through rosecolored lenses: “The fires are getting worse, because of climate change. Summers are longer, meaning fuel has more time to dry out throughout the summer. The worst fires are happening in October. We’re seeing less and less humidity with the recent drought.” “Almost all ignitions in the Bay are human activity,” Rose explains. “The East Bay hills: you are not looking at a natural landscape. This is a manmade forest. Extreme density of people, in a density of forest. So your options are limited. You can’t do a controlled burn.” Some forest management plans are continuous and short-term: identifying and removing dried-out

vegetation that could potentially fuel fires. “You get out. You survey it, measure it, mark it.” Other strategies are long-term and veer philosophical. For guidance, Rose looks at how the forest manages itself. “Humans have had an influence on the forest they live in, for the entirety of our species’ existence. It has responded in kind. Management is not us imposing our will on the forest. It’s finding a way to coexist with the forest and the way it operates.” Clarifying, Rose offers an ecology lesson: “Certain species are adapted to fire in different ways. Monterey Pines, for example, are adapted to die in a fire. Their cones only open in response to extreme heat, making way for the next generation. Redwoods seek to survive the fire.” So how do you change the composition of an urban forest, Rose wonders, if it’s growing hotter? “Do we need to replace these trees that are adapted for fog? Or should we wait for those trees to die out?” Rose’s answers to these questions may continue evolving, as will her hard work of forest preservation and care. East Bay’s forests are certainly in good hands.



Francine Peters, Middle School Administrative Assistant


n her 27 years at Head-Royce, Francine has been “so much more than the manager of the Middle School office,” reflects Head of Middle School Linda Hoopes. “She has been a friend, a confidant, an entertainer, a hostess. She has been a Head-Royce parent with her own son and a surrogate mother to countless middle school students. At one point or another, the thread of her love, her joy, her support has passed through all our hearts.” Former MS Head John Aime writes: “Chaotic? Yes. Boisterous? Yes. That was the Middle School. Yet, somehow, amidst the chaos and the noise, always there was Francine, standing immovable, unshakeable, dispensing wisdom, correction, and adjusted schedules. Francine was truly my savior while at HRS. Couldn’t have done it without her. We had excellent students, brilliant teachers, and a fun, challenging community. But the secret sauce about HRS Middle School? That was Francine.”

Three dedicated members of our Professional Community are retiring this year, after a collective 92 years spent serving Head-Royce. While it’s bittersweet to say goodbye to these beloved colleagues, we are grateful for their extraordinary care and commitment. They will be missed but certainly not forgotten.

Bob Wells, Middle and Upper School Choral Director


e have all witnessed the genius that is Mr. Wells,” writes fellow Fine Arts teacher Kathleen Ray. “His ability to transform an audience is magical, whether the audience is the parent community at a concert at Holy Names, a group of senior citizens in an assisted living center in Ashland, a group of people assembled in a small church in Bratislava who likely couldn’t understand a word he was saying, or a group of students at the Oprah School in South Africa. He has the incredible gift of reaching and making everyone feel special. We’ve all seen it—numerous times—standing in the back of the house and watching the audience settle in to an evening with Bob. I’ve seen those collective shoulders relax and trust that Bob is in charge. This isn’t just because of his spectacular voice; it is because he truly loves what he is doing and the passion he has for music is contagious. He can take any audience and put them in the palm of his hand. So Bob this is it: 26 years teaching together. 12 musicals. 26 Holiday Programs. Numerous tours, 8th grade musical theatre performances, concerts, and bus trips. Your curtain call at Head-Royce School is here. Since musical theatre should inform everything we do, there is a song from Wicked that says it so much better than I could: ‘Because we knew you, we have been changed for good.’”

Carol Kennedy, Third Grade Teacher


have many memories of Carol,” writes Upper School English Teacher Tory Mathieson, “but one that really stands out to me is when, after a year of working together, she encouraged me to shadow a teacher in the Upper School. When I mentioned my interest in teaching older students, Carol did not hesitate: “Well this is a K–12 school...why don’t you see if you can shadow an English teacher in the high school?” At this moment, I was not Carol’s helper, or photocopier, or assistant, I was an educator whom she wanted to mentor. At this moment, Carol put her needs second. At this moment, I felt seen. Throughout the subsequent year, Carol supported me in building my schedule so that I could traverse from the Lower to the Upper School, and she guided me through endless conversations about what I was hoping for in a teaching career. I knew that I had found a mentor and role model, one I’d continually come back to for wisdom, guidance, and humor. Carol is an immensely dedicated teacher, a fearlessly candid coworker, a loyal and fun friend, and a fierce advocate for kids. She has positively impacted every student who has come into contact with her—over 39 years— and she has changed my life forever.”

Summer Magazine 2019 59



Students reach for the ball in the annual faculty versus student volleyball game. The view is of the Lower School patio, before the current Head’s Office was built.

60 Summer Magazine 2019



he Center for Community Engagement, in partnership with the Alumni Office, welcomes volunteer mentors to help inspire and guide our current students and young alumni. Again and again we have seen that even a small gesture—an email exchange, a conversation over coffee—goes a long way in supporting our students, as they explore potential career paths.   If you are interested in working with our students or young alumni, please fill out a brief form at www.headroyce.org/hrs/alumni/mentor or email Nancy Feidelman at nfeidelman@headroyce.org.

Head-Royce School scholarship · diversity · citizenship

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