HRS Magazine, Summer 2022: The Graduation Issue

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Head-Royce School Magazine is a semi-annual publication for alumni, families and friends of Head-Royce. Changes of address may be sent to MANAGING EDITOR Sarah EDITORSHolliman Julie Kim-Beal Mantra Robinson Claire Van Ness CREATIVERootsNathanMarianaREPRESENTATIVESTUDENT’19AnikaR.’23PHOTOGRAPHYDarbyH.’23AvilaLlorentePhillipsPhotographyRichardWheeler&ShootsPhotographyStephenFlynnCaseyHornerDIRECTION+DESIGNConTodocontodo.coPRINTINGSolsticePressVISITUSONLINE!Discovermoreaboutourmissionandactivitiesat @HeadRoyceSchool@HeadRoyce 4 Life @ HRS 11 Letter from Our Head of School 12 Happenings 18 5th PromotionGrade 24 8th PromotionGrade Contents 30 132 COMMENCEMENTND 58 Advancing Curriculum: Next Steps for Honors and Capstone Courses 64 Letter from the Alumni PresidentCouncil 78 JoanFlashbackRoss Acocella ’62 and Judy Hunt ’67 remember Anna Head School ALUMNI PROFILES 70 44 SHINING THE LIGHT ON CRYSTAL LAND'S 33-YEAR CAREER AT HEAD-ROYCE ALUMNI FEATURES THE GRADUATION ISSUE SUMMER 2022

SENIOR DINNER Head-Royce seniors enjoyed the timehonored Senior Dinner tradition, for which they prepared a meal and made toasts to some of the people who made an impact on their HRS experience.


Upper School Asia Club members planned a variety of activities for students of all ages during Lunar New Year celebrations.


ROBOHAWKS ROBOTICS CHAMPS Three Head-Royce Robohawks teams from the Middle and Upper Schools made it to the VEX Robotics World Championship, with two of them being crowned Division Champions and the third advancing all the way to the Division semi-finals!

WATER WEEK In partnership with Gravity Water, Head-Royce juniors led a week-long effort to educate the community on the global water crisis and raised money to fund a safe drinking water system at a school in Vietnam.


Lower School students sprinkled happiness in the community during “Feel the Love February,” as they participated in activities that infused care and joy throughout the school.

@LIFEHRS @LIFEHRS SUMMER 2022 HRS 7 Congratulations to the Varsity teams in Men’s Volleyball, Men’s Tennis, Men’s Swimming and Student Golf on winning BCL East Tournament Championship titles this spring. In the winter, our Varsity Men’s Basketball, Women’s Basketball and Women’s Soccer also brought home titles! CHAMPION ATHLETES

Congratulations to our student-athletes going on to participate in college sports in cross country/ track, equestrian, lacrosse, soccer, swimming, tennis and volleyball. Look for our former Jayhawk athletes at Amherst, Carleton, Howard, Skidmore, Stanford, Texas Christian, Tufts, Vassar and Williams!

@LIFEHRS SUMMER 2022 HRS 98 SUMMER 2022 HRS NEW ATHLETICS FIELD CHRISTENED In May, Head of School Crystal Land cut the ribbon on the newly-turfed athletic field as administrators Jerry Mullaney and Brendan Blakeley ’88 looked on.




Lower and Middle School students played and learned with the Riveropolis installation, a 35-foot long artificial creek recirculating 5000 gallons of water per hour.

SCIENTISTS AT WORK Ms. Glogover’s Honors Chemistry class built molecular models. DAY

In Ms. Deams’ 1st grade class, students worked on building relationships with their classmates.


For me, what has always remained central is the unique needs of our students at each stage of their devel opment: in the Lower School, discov ering and leveraging their “superhero” strengths; in Middle School, showing vulnerability by taking off their masks; in Upper School, recognizing that their journey won’t always be clear and direct. I discussed these concepts at the various promotions and graduations and I applaud our students for their CRYSTAL M. LAND HEAD OF SCHOOL BIG BUILD With help from senior students, 2nd through 5th graders participated in the School’s Big Build Project building carts, bridges and other structures using wood and power tools. The ultimate goal of the Big Build is for students to create something bigger than themselves (literally), make mistakes, learn from them and become better collaborators and friends in the process.

Two large crews of student painters partnered with the Rebuilding Together organization in May to help paint the outside of a low-income elder’s home in Oakland. SWEET TRADITIONS

Dear Head-Royce Community: When the year began, there was so much on the horizon: kids back on campus in a more “normal” way; a search for the next Head of School; the return of treasured in-person events and rituals; bringing our South Cam pus plans to life; and the final days of my Head-Royce career. It wasn’t always easy—and it certainly wasn’t routine—yet, as I reflect on the last nine months, I can’t help but feel grate ful for the many ways these past two very challenging years have changed things at Head-Royce for the better. It may seem counterintuitive to suggest that twin pandemics—with a global health crisis and national focus on racial inequities—have improved any of our lives and yet, in many ways, they have done just that. As a large institution, we’ve learned to be nimble and flexible—particularly as we have questioned what constitutes “effective learning” when many of our standard ways of operating have been questioned and challenged. Not only have we had to reassess how and what we teach, but we have been called to place a greater emphasis on health and well-being, both for our students and ourselves. This includes recognizing the impor tance of pausing and reflecting—of slowing down and appreciating what we have as a community as the world con tinues to change. When I began my ten ure as Head of School, my then-board chair made a comment that resonates with me to this short, that we must constantly look not just to what lies in front of us, but also to what is around the next corner. Needless to say, we could never have foreseen a future that included these dual pandemics, but they have given us an opportunity to remember this important lesson.

This spring saw the return of the Maypole dance—a 5th grade tradition that dates back at least to the 1920s! Our youngest students also performed the Kindergarten Wall song, always a crowd favorite!

HEAD OF SCHOOL LETTER FROM OUR adaptability, maturity and willing ness to take risks, to try new things, to step out of their comfort zones. This “graduation” issue of the magazine symbolizes a clear recognition of what is behind us, and a hope that we will hold each other gently as we turn the page on the next era of Head-Royce. There is so much to look forward to. Our students will continue to find their way with inspirational and caring teachers; our board will ably guide the School’s strategic and expansion plans; and our School will continue to transform as we celebrate what lies in front of us and anticipate what is around the bend. As I “graduate” to the next phase of my life, I choose to look at the last few years with gratitude for the many ways that I’ve learned to treasure all that we do have even in the face of difficult moments. Although I won’t be on campus every day, I will be watching the life of our School from afar with curiosity and pride. I leave a long and rich career here with immense thankfulness—to the students and alum for inspiring me… to the faculty and staff for motivat ing me…to the board and parents for supporting me. And I leave you in great hands as I pass the metaphorical torch to Rachel E. Skiffer, whom I am confident will lead Head-Royce into its next phase of evolution with grace, compassion, creativity and inspiration. Know that I carry each of you with me and am grateful for all we have shared. Most sincerely,


SUMMER 2022 HRS 13

Catch up on all that's been happening around the Head-Royce community.

RUTH OZEKI Head of School, Crystal Land, and English Teacher, Saya McKenna, facilitated a virtual CommunityEd event with award-winning author, filmmaker and Zen Buddhist priest, Ruth Ozeki, who read a passage from The Book of Form and Emptiness and shared insights on how to pay attention to what really matters.

DIVERSITY DAY In March, Head-Royce students, faculty and staff participated in the community’s first-ever K-12 Diversity Day. Organized by the Office of Equity and Inclusion in collaboration with division liaisons and the Upper School Diversity Council, it beautifully showcased how diversity and intellectual rigor can go hand-inhand with age-appropriate activities, workshops, cultural experiences and guest speakers.



The first Head-Royce Day of Giving was an incredible success! 484 donors contributed an astounding $805,084 in support of the South Campus!


The Legally Blonde cast performed to sold-out crowds, including parents and fans who were welcomed back to cam pus for the first time in two years!


Lower School students worked together on a performance that impressively weaved together a chicken, Doritos and immigration, all under a general theme of courage.

Upper School dancers wowed the crowds in the Choreo Showcase and FADE shows, where they delivered beautiful performances in contemporary, hip-hop, salsa, tap and jazz.


14 SUMMER 2022 HRS SUMMER 2022 HRS 15 HappeningsHappenings


4th and 5th grade students visited Coloma, California, this spring, where they participated in outdoor activities like whitewater rafting, grade-level programming and camp fun!

Current Heads Up students discussed the new Workforce Development program that provides opportunities for rising Oakland public school 10th graders to gain work experience and mentoring on the Head-Royce campus.


16 SUMMER 2022 HRS SUMMER 2022 HRS 17 HappeningsHappenings

Our Head of School-Elect, Rachel E. Skiffer, spent a week on campus this spring getting acquainted with faculty and staff. She joined our retiring Head of School, Crystal Land, in a lively “Conversation Between Heads,” in front of a live and virtual audience.


Each spring, Middle Schoolers look forward to field trips in different areas of our beautiful state, where they partici pate in outdoor education in partnership with the Naturalists at Large organiza tion. 6th graders enjoy rock climbing and hiking at Pinnacles National Park, 7th graders bond and hike at Yosemite and 8th graders kayak and swim in Santa Barbara’s El Capitan State Park.


Heads Up students and alumni joined Head-Royce staff and local leaders for a celebratory dinner at Grand Lake Kitchen Dimond District in late April where awards were presented to Lamar Hancock, Crystal Land and the After School Program (ASP) counselors.


In early May, the Parents’ Association hosted its spring fundraiser for the first time in two years. The festive cele bration brought hundreds of parents, faculty and staff on campus for music, games, a delicious dinner and a lively and incredibly successful fundraising event, which benefited school programs, the South Campus and humanitarian efforts in Ukraine.


CRYSTAL LAND Head of School

GRADUATION SUMMER 2022 HRS 21 Elisabeth Aftosmis Rex Aguilar-Omaña Ella JacksonTristanAlexisAugustineBarrow Laily OliverAriaKateAnaisSolomonWilliamMayaKaitoWyattJoaquinLucyTheoCarinaBerjisBlakeleyBorstelBouvetClarke-AliotoCurryDevineDiggsDiggsGallagherGeneraGuminaHernandezHertzberg Riley Hollier Anne CallumJulietteFritzNikoJuniperAlessaCrawfordSophiaGabrielEloiseAlexMargaretHorrocks-MustardHorrocks-MustardHuangIgnaszewskiJiangJumperKarachaleLadueLapidusLapidusLaubLeeMactaggart Sebi LilyHenryAlexandraJosephineAustinCharlieSophieZoyaXaviSajanDhilanAddiePaxtonMarquezMingstMohiuddinNaiduPandyaPatelSabnaniSadeghiSahScottTaylorTournoyVanNessWarnerCongrats CLASS OF 2029!

“An author I admire, Haruki Murakami, has a quote that connects to reflections: ‘What happens when people open their hearts? They get better.’ I believe this is absolutely true! So, I hope as you move on to Middle School, you will continue to explore some of those superpowers that you keep hidden—that you show your vulnerability and open your hearts!”

LEA VAN NESS Lower School Head


“What I am hoping you take away from your time in the Lower School, is that even when the road feels bumpy and when the issues feel heavy, that you have agency to make change.”


GRADUATION 26 SUMMER 2022 HRS Neeki Alikhani Luca MakaylaRJAmeliaShreyWalterAnikaCameronAveryAlexZoeAvaJabariColbyHanaSamDaphneMateoEliseIndriasAmeliaEvanChloeDonovanJonathanSophiaLilaShubhDylanAvahLukasRileyKadenKyleYaretziFionaQuinnEvanDylanSairaIshaanAnyaEmmaWallaceArnestArneyBackerBairdBalajiBashambuBatraBealBlakeleyBonillaDuncanBrownChangChoiConcannonDittmarDodsonDonovanDoshiDukeDuxburyEarpEdwardsFarzanehFriedmanFungGessesseGilbertGonzalezGreenGulaidHaas-JajehHammermanHarperHobsonHowardJayaratneJeffersonJonesKadlicKaneKanjiKarlsonKenneyKim Justin Kobban Luc ChristianLoireJamesBaranGavinAndreaGreydonOliveKathleenDaniellaShaanEllaCalebLukeLukeElliottGeoffreyAudreySummerSabrineKylaKatelynPennyIbrahimChloeTavioRoryEverettLeoEvaBrookeFinnEmmyShaneThomasElleryElenaAbbyCarinaDanielMingchuanAshleyRoseLawlerLevineLevyLiuLouLovellJoLynnMalanMarquezMartinicMerittMitchellMitchellMohiuddinMuhlMurphyNewmanNewmanNobleParkRashadReynoldsRobertsRobertsonSarandahSarandahSchererSchrader-BrownScottSera-TacordaSilvaSingerSmithSoodStarrTangThompsonTingWalkerWangWatsonWilliamsWilliamsWoo“As you look at everyone gathered here today, I hope you pause to recognize one of the special truths of this moment and of this world—we rarely do anything by ourselves. And for those things that we do accomplish alone, they are made more special by sharing them with others.” DANNY SCUDERI Middle School Head Congrats CLASS OF 2026!


“...As you explore who you are going to be in high school and beyond, don’t be afraid to take off your mask. Don’t misinterpret me—I am not talking about your actual face mask—I’m talking about the metaphorical masks we wear to protect ourselves from vulnerability or discovery. I encourage you to take the risk to show yourself and to be fully seen by others.”


7th and 8th Grade Teacher

CRYSTAL LAND Head of School

“I hate to shortchange joy and kindness because they make the world go round—they make life worth living. I will simply say this…use the salt of the earth test that I have used my entire life. Surround yourself with people who would not hesitate to help you...who make you laugh and offer love and acceptance. Develop deep friendships with three-dimensional people.”


GRADUATION Audrey Andel Sofia NicholasMalenaSiddharthoNicholasAlexandraBenjaminChelseaMichaelMadelynBeatrixElisabethDanielEthanGulzarArnestAttariBealBehbahaniBlackburnBondBowlerBrennanCampCarrollCaveChangChatterjeeChenChen Jack CarolineAgnesAugustRoryAaronPhoebePatrickAbigailSadieRishiSamuelRileyTobiasLindsayKristiChinConnerCoupeCrawfordCrymbleDennyDhawanDodsonEvansFeelyFloranceFriedmanFurstenthalGardyneGatdulaGongClass of 2022 “ CONGRATULATIONS Jahrai LukeRyanLeslieElizabethNishaKiraArjunSorayaWinstonRoxannaSamMehdiMadisonFinnAudreyHaileHardtkeHartigan-O’ConnorHarveyHeydariHillHouseIngallsKatzevKhannaKoga-EisenhauerKumarKushnerKwokKwongLamison Megan AlexandraLin JulianOnaMinaLauraDeclanAthenaAnnatieEeshaMariMaryErshaiJuliaAllisonMaximillianLipacisLipacisMandelManeseMatambanadzoMcCabeMcKennaMehtaMiottelMuhammadMurrayNiOishi-PatelOrtiz-GudemanPerez Sandhya Pfile Subodh Poudyel Otto IssaraCarolineEloisePrestonEmilySophiaMargaretAnniDuncanMargaretGeorgeRileyDylanReedReichelReichelReynoldsRipsteenRitchieRobinsonRosenbaumRoy-BurmanSandbergShawShrewsberrySippeySirimongkolvit Theo KylanSamuelHollisSophieDerinTéaDavidAlexandraSarahPeterRomillyDylanSnoeySuzukiThomsonTimpaneTroup-GalliganUmegbohVanRiperVasquezWatsonWaymanWilliamsWood-SoloffYang MADISON HARVEY ’22 Student Speaker “Each and every one of us brings insight and perspective in our own way to the HeadRoyce community. And because of that we—the graduating class of 2022—are not a class of clichés.” on your graduation from Head-Royce School as you navigate the anticipated and the unexpected and emerge into a better, healthier and stronger world.” CRYSTAL LAND Head of School


“One of the many things I’ve learned from you is that community matters, that laughter is more contagious than a virus, and that we always have the chance to do something new, something better.”

RICKY LAPIDUS Upper School Head


GRADUATION 36 SUMMER 2022 HRS SUMMER 2022 HRS 37 “May you step off this stage, and leave this place, secure in the knowledge that you are cherished, seen and ready to feel it all.”

CUELLAR Library Director

GRADUATION GRADUATION THE CLASS OF 2022 ARE OFF TO THESE COLLEGES AND UNIVERSITIES “...Continue to hold yourself to a standard of authenticity both individually and communally. We all have done some pretty cool things here so why stop now as we all go off to our next adventure. I hate to give non-basic people basic advice, but all I have left to say is to be yourself. I have gotten to know each one of you and I have witnessed how spectacular you are in and out of the classroom. The next step just means it is time to show the rest of the world.” MADISON HARVEY ’22 Student Speaker Going distance!the INTERNATIONAL COLLEGES AND UNIVERSITIES On the move ¡

Middlebury College

PomonaCollegeCollegeUniversity of California, Berkeley Santa Clara University SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA



Brown University

PENNSYLVANIA University of St. Andrews St. Andrews, United Kingdom University of Brittish Columbia Vancouver, Canada Trinity College Dublin Dublin, Ireland Duke Kunshan University Kunshan, China

Stanford University University ofSantaCalifornia,Cruz Bowdoin College

Drexel SwarthmoreUniversityCollegeUniversityofPennsylvaniaHaverfordCollege Skidmore College Columbia University Vassar FashionCollegeInstitute of Technology Cornell University Amherst College Boston College Boston

California Polytechnic State University University of OregonWhitman College University of Washington University of California, Davis Colorado College University of Colorado,GrinnellBoulderSouthernMethodistUniversityCollegeChapman University Loyola Marymount University University of California, Los Angeles Occidental College University of Southern California Claremont McKenna College Harvey Mudd College Pitzer

Wesleyan University Yale University Howard University University of Virginia Purdue VanderbiltUniversityUniversity Wake Forest University University of Michigan Princeton University Dartmouth College Carleton College Northwestern University UniversityofUniversityChicagoof WashingtonUrbana-ChampaignIllinois,UniversityinSt.Louis Texas Christian University Tulane University

NICOLE BOWLER Parent of Maddie Bowler ’22 What I have loved most about having my student at the same school as me...

My favorite memory of my student through the years... Is how proudly she embraced her learning differences. Amidst all the competition and stress, she found a way to turn her difference into a valuable asset by advocating and helping others who face similar challenges. Annatie has been an inspiration to parents, faculty and students alike. As she heads off into the world, I hope she will remember that I’ll be here when she needs a hug, but she already has and holds everything she needs to continue to thrive and fulfill her dreams!

NAOKO AKIYAMA Parent of Soraya Katzev ’22

What I have loved most about having my student at the same school as me... On Soraya’s first day of kindergarten, I recognized that being in this communi ty together would be meaningful but I did not know then how truly special the journey would be for us. We each have treasured relationships and shared ex periences here at Head-Royce that have deepened our connection with each other. I’ll always be immensely grate ful to all my colleagues who cared for Soraya along the way and helped her to grow into the young adult she is today.

NANCY FEIDELMAN Parent of Ben Carroll ’22

JULIE KIM-BEAL Parent of Ethan Beal ’22

Eight of the seniors in this year’s graduating class are not only active students, but they are also the children of professional community members…and six of them have attended HRS since kindergarten! Read on for some reflections of what it has been like for their parents to be able to share their experiences throughout the years.

LAURA GALLIGAN Parent of Sarah Troup-Galligan ’22

HILARY BOND Parent of Beatrix Bond ’22

JOHN MIOTTEL Parent of Annatie Miottel ’22

What I have loved most about having my children all attend HRS...Is the way it deepens our family connections across the divisions, and for me, among my colleagues. My lucky kids go into the world feeling known as a part of the HRS family. We also can’t stop singing “Funga Alafia Ashe Ashe!” Thanks, Ms. Noll!


HEAD-ROYCE The class of 2022 included 22 “lifers,” students who have attended Head-Royce since kindergarten.



As my student heads off into the world, I hope he will remember...How lucky he is to have received this very special thirteen year education in a school that truly values authentic learning, a caring community, a commitment to pursue political action, supportive work on behalf of others and environ mental stewardship.

As my student heads off into the world, I hope she will remember...How much I loved being a part of her educa tional journey and how proud I am with ALL of her amazing accomplish ments during her 13 years at HRS.

All these years of being able to grab a hug on the fly…how lucky I’ve been! But especially in Upper School, eating lunch together, or sitting in the hall outside of the graphics room and just laughing about our day has been a huge high in my life.

SAYA M c KENNA Parent of Mari McKenna ’22

As my student heads off into the world, I hope that they will remember...How many people in this school community cared for her, inspired her, nurtured her, challenged her, championed her and prepared her to make a difference.

What I have loved most about having my student at the same school as me Is that it has been such an incredible gift to watch Ethan’s journey through middle and high school from the perspective of a professional community member and share in so many special school moments. I can’t believe that 13 years have flown by so quickly—what a privilege to be a part of that experience.


The Umoja Award was established in 2020—an extraordinary year when the world paused for a double pandemic: COVID-19 and global uprisings for social and racial justice. Inspired by a transformative 4th grade teacher who met the moment with excellence, heart, courage, strength and purpose, a group of parents launched a grassroots campaign to create the award. Named for the Swahili word for “Unity,” the Umoja Award recognizes an individual who has made significant, concrete contributions to diversity, equity and inclusion at the School and beyond.

An admiring, anonymous colleague

An admiring, anonymous colleague


“Zach’s energy is palpable. Every time I hear him talking to a group of students, it makes me want to be a second grader again! His message is always sincere and full of purpose. He holds his students to high expectations, and supports them with care and compassion.”

Established in 1983, the Michael Traynor Family Fellowship honors individuals who have “served the School with excellence and exceptional spirit and have especially enhanced the lives of others.” This award is peer-nominated and chosen by a review committee of trustees, previous award recipients and the Head of School.



An admiring, anonymous colleague

“Kora works tirelessly to foster a sense of belonging in all of the contexts they are a part of. From their committee work to college counseling work, Kora’s leadership has made Head-Royce a more inclusive place.”

The Chris Mandel Spirit Award was established in 2003, in memory of one of Head-Royce’s greatest fans, Chris Mandel. Four of her five children—Jean, John, Kristen, Ingrid and Vanessa—attended the School and her husband, Bill, served for many years on the Board of Trustees. The Mandels continued their loyal support for Head-Royce, including John and Ingrid who both served on the Alumni Council and Ingrid who also worked as our Alumni Director. The Mandel family thought it only fitting to honor Chris’s memory by establishing an endowed award to recognize a member of the professional community who brings passion and spirit to the School.


The Grannie J. Fellowship was established in 1984 by Candace and Dick Burge, in honor of Dick’s mother, “Grannie J.” Her grandchildren, Glyn and Onie, graduated from Head-Royce in 1986 and 1988. Grannie J. believed that learning was supported not only by a student’s family but also by individuals at the School who consistently inspire students and demonstrate excellence themselves.

“Jodi works tirelessly to ensure students and faculty members are safe and healthy. More specifically, when the world changed as we knew it on March 13, 2020 so did Jodi’s role. She transitioned from being a school nurse to a health advisor who was providing round the clock guidance, advice and services to school administrators, faculty, staff, parents and students.”


An admiring, anonymous colleague

“This year Suzy was truly the ‘glue’ that held us together in the Middle School. At every bizarre ‘middle schoolish’ turn—be they big, medium or really big—Suzy stepped in immediately to provide guidance and energy, and leverage her deep connections with the faculty and students to help us get to the other side.”

We present these Professional Community awards at the end of each school year in recognition of an exemplary year of service.


Former Senior Administrator

CAREER33-YEAR Crystal Land's

With our close partnership, I relied on Crystal— quite simply, she made me look good.”

1989–91 Director of Publications and Alumni Relations

• Led an English department review of curricular decisions and enhanced textbook choices to diversify grade-level reading options (including texts authored by people of color and women), encouraged student-centered writing projects and developed a philosophy on grade level collaboration

I have great memories of being in Crystal’s Women’s Literature class. I still talk about them to this day with friends and family. I am proud of the books she guided us through and will never forget the ‘ah-ha’ moments we shared.”

Former Student Intelligence plus character that is the goal of true education.”

Shining the Light on at Head-Royce

Martin Luther King Jr.

1991–96 English Teacher, English Department Chair and Student Dean

• Developed senior electives in Women’s Literature, Memoir, Bay Area Theater and Literature and Film

It seems only fitting to highlight Crystal Land’s long and illustrious journey at Head-Royce with a quote, as she was oft-known to share poems and quotes in her blogs, messages and notes. In her 33-year career at the School, it was clear that Crystal’s purpose was not just to educate students, but to ignite their in nate curiosity and help lay the ground work for them to emerge as socially-re sponsible, lifelong learners who want to make a difference in the world. Insti tutionally, she made a goal of moving Head-Royce to a more progressive place by focusing on academic excellence while always keeping student interest, identity and well-being top of mind. Throughout her time at Head-Royce, Crystal held numerous roles. In this fea ture, we highlight some of the key stops along the way.


SUMMER 2022 | HRS 45

Professional Community Member

46 SUMMER 2022 HRS SUMMER 2022 HRS 47 Site Director of an onsite teacher credential program, Bay Area Teachers’ Center KEY HIGHLIGHT • Developed and managed all elements of single subject credential program for middle and high school teachers in training in collaboration with San Francisco State University 1997–99 1999–2002 Director of Admissions and Financial Aid Assistant Head of School and Academic Dean KEY HIGHLIGHT S • First ever HRS Academic Dean hired to look at academics both vertically and horizontally • Created the “Philosophy for Best Practices for 21st Century Teaching” which led to the focus of our current Strategic Plan • Led School initiatives in multiculturalism and inclusion, ecological literacy, globalism, technology and citizenship 2002–14 Interim Head of School 2015–16

Current Senior

Particularly as a woman leader, Crystal has been an example to us all of how to carry oneself in times of challenge and celebration. I can't tell you how many times I have reflected on her grace, authenticity and demeanor as a model for myself.”

Current Parent

My favorite memories of Crystal are the simple ones: her smile for everyone (and she knows us all by name) in the morning, how happy and excited the kids are when she reads to them in Lower School, and the love she has for HRS, evident in all she does, everyday.”

Professional Community Member ever had (and I’ve had quite a few)!” Administrator Crystal convinced me that HeadRoyce would be an adventure and that working with her would make me a better educator—both have been true. I didn't know I'd become a better person, as well.”

“Best boss I’ve

• Successfully led the School through a pandemic, returned students quickly and safely to in-person learning and addressed community needs during an important period of racial reckoning and social justice

48 | SUMMER 2022 HRS SUMMER 2022 | HRS 49

Launched new Strategic Plan, Bridge to 2022, which set out mission-centered goals in five key areas: Teaching and Learning; Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging; Civic Engagement; Balance and Well-being; and Financial Stewardship

Current Parent and Trustee The world neeeds more Crystals!”

• Led the development of honors/capstone courses that embrace students’ academic curiosity, encourage critical thinking and focus on real-world problem solving to replace AP programs which emphasize breadth over depth

Past Parent Head of School KEY HIGHLIGHT S

es educating students…at meetings collaborating with administrators. But mostly, we will miss her ever-present smile, thoughtful gestures of appre ciation, daily moments of checking in and calm and authentic way of being. This quote from Ruth Bader Ginsburg seems only fitting: “I would like to be remembered as some one who used whatever talent she had to do her work to the very best of her ability.”Inhermany years at Head-Royce, we can safely say that Crystal gave this community the very best of her ability.

I have fond memories of walking past the Read Library as it erupted in cheer as faculty learned that Crystal would become our next Head.”

ONE COMMON THREAD weaved throughout Crystal’s career at HeadRoyce was teaching…so much so that for 25 years—even when serving in an administrative role—Crystal taught senior electives on Women’s Litera ture and Memoir. Keeping students at the center has helped ground Crys tal’s vision and leadership. She has spent her career developing inno vative student-centered programs that connect our current practices to what our graduates need to know and do—now and in the future. And because of her guidance and leadership, the future of Head-Royce is bright. We will miss Crystal’s presence…on Lincoln greeting school buses…in class

• Led the South Campus expansion efforts, including the largest capital campaign in School history required to break ground


Crystal patiently pushed forward the school's largest expansion project amid a pandemic and an onslaught of social justice challenges. It wasn't always fun and definitely wasn't easy, but she showed up every day with energy and grace and was always focused on what mattered.”

Current Trustee

Crystal was toasted—and roasted—by current and former colleagues, with Saya McKenna acting as the evening's emcee. Many current and former parents, trustees, colleagues and alum enjoyed the festive event.

50 SUMMER 2022 HRS THROUGHOUT THE 2021-22 school year, there were a number of opportunities to honor Crystal and her many contributions to the Head-Royce community...but none were as celebra tory and fitting as her May retirement party, themed “Welcome to CrystalLand.” Inspired by Crystal's first job at Dis neyland, where she safely ushered guests on and off the “It's a Small World” ride, repeating the mantra, “Watch your step,” this theme was a perfect metaphor for Crystal's leadership at Head-Royce.

Crystal met opportunities and challenges with passion and grace, guiding students, colleagues and friends of Head-Royce on an inspiring ride.

Guests enjoyed an evening full of great food, entertaining toasts, inspiring presentations and an opportunity to mingle through some of Crystal’s favorite “Lands”—Outside Land(s), Book Land, Hawaiian Is-Land, Land of Plenty, Yoga Land, Strategic Plan Land, Wine Land and Land(’s) End!

52 SUMMER 2022 HRS

This year we have five beloved longtime Professional Community members that are retiring or moving on. It’s bittersweet to say goodbye to them, but we are grateful for their passion, commitment and many years of service to Head-Royce. They will be missed, but their impact on the community will not be forgotten.

“While I don’t remember much about elementary school, I have a clear memory of Ms. Dunlap’s 2nd grade class. Each of us had our own silkworm to raise on our desk. I was particularly excited about the silkworms, so I brought the larvae home to develop for the next year’s class. Thanks, Ms. Dunlap for helping me discover a love of science from an early age!”

SoSayingLong…For Now!

SUMMER 2022 HRS 55

Christian is moving to Friends School of Baltimore to serve as Head of School.

CHRIS DUNLAP has taught 2nd grade for the past 20 years. She has brought a deep knowledge of student devel opment, a commitment to equity and inclusion and a global perspective to her classroom. Over the years, her dedica tion and interdisciplinary teaching style have fostered a learning environ ment allowing students to thrive. As a champion for children, she has never wavered in her conviction that children are the center of all decisions made at Head-Royce. We will miss seeing her friendly smile and energy radiating from the Lower School. "As a colleague, Chris was generous with her time and ideas. She always approached her work with a social justice lens and helped her colleagues view life through different perspectives," says Lea Van Ness, Lower School Head. "Even after 20 years at Head-Royce, Chris comes to school with energy and kindness and infuses wisdom in all that she does. I will dearly miss Chris as the teacher, the parent, the colleague and the supervisor."

“What an impact Christian has had on the school. If Christian sees a need, he will step in and offer to help. This has ranged from traffic duty to lunch duty to admis sions interviews and even substituting in a class. He even jumped on an AC Transit bus one afternoon because we thought the students might be in danger! His sense of humor—particularly in his writ ing—is beyond comparison. Anyone who has received a note from him will attest to his wit and creativity. Our loss is cer tainly Friends School of Baltimore’s gain.” Mary DirectorFahey,ofCommunity Outreach and Compliance

Haley Land-Miller ’14 CHRISTIAN DONOVAN has worked at Head-Royce for the past eight years, starting as the Director of Admis sions and Financial Aid, expanding his role to include strategic research and finally spending the last year as Assistant Head of School. Under his guidance, the number of applica tions to Head-Royce reached all-time highs and the School has been fully enrolled with mission-aligned stu dents. Christian has awarded more than $40 million in tuition assistance, ensuring that talented students of diverse socioeconomic backgrounds have access to a Head-Royce education.

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Johára is moving to New York City to serve as Chief of Equity and Belonging for the prestigious Dalton School.

JOHÁRA TUCKER , our Director of Equity and Inclusion, has been at Head-Royce for the past three years, working to promote diversity and inclusion across campus. Her unrelenting commitment to improving our community has allowed students to feel more safe and comfort able around School. This past year, she helped launch our first K-12 Diversity Day, assembling workshops, supporting affinity groups and working with the administration. The many workshops, including a keynote speech by Justine Ang Fonte, were extremely educational and impactful on the community.

“Ms. McKenna always went out of her way to meet with me during my time as a student at Head-Royce; she was a tremendous support during my junior and senior years and I am forever grateful for her guidance!”

For the past 20 years, SAYA M c KENNA has been a valuable asset to the Head-Royce community. She came to Head-Royce to teach English and has taught almost every grade level in the Middle and Upper School. She has also held roles as Director of Global Edu cation, 10th Grade Dean, US Assistant Head and Interim US Head during the challenging pandemic year. Saya will be remembered for co-founding the Institute for Applied Learning—now the Center for Community Engagement (CCE); creating the Global Citizen Cer tificate program; and forging pathways for meaningful community connection, including the 10th grade boat races. Although the boat races were not imme diately successful, they have grown to become one of the most spirited, com petitive and controversial events of the year—taken quite seriously by the soph omore advisings! In all of her roles, Saya McKenna has been a thoughtful leader and educator, known for her compas sion, authenticity and calm, centered composure. Her positive energy and vi sionary thinking will be greatly missed.

“Ms. Tucker has been an instrumental force in advancements for equity and inclusion at this School. She’s also incredibly supportive and was one of my greatest allies in planning our successful Diversity Day. In these past few years, Ms. Tucker has been my collaborator, support system and model for how to build a more open and inclusive environment, and she will be a big loss to the community.”

“Despite a demanding work schedule, her door is always open, and she takes the time to check in with you—she remembers your birthday and your fa vorite snack, asks after your family and recommends a book you would like. Af ter you leave Ms. Tucker’s office, you feel seen, heard and affirmed. That is a gift.”

Hayden T. ’23

“Compassionate, caring, and principled, Saya is a remarkable colleague—the kind that only comes along once in a lifetime. She understands the complex ities of human beings and communities and has the exceptional ability to make every individual she interacts with feel seen, held and genuinely cared for,” says Naoko Akiyama, Upper School Dean of Students and Math Teacher. “Saya is the architect of some of our dear est traditions like the 10th-grade boat races and morning meeting games, as well as some experiments that she’d likely prefer to leave behind! She always seeks to bring everyone—stu dents and colleagues alike—into the fun. All the qualities one would wish for in a leader—openness, self-aware ness, problem-solving, acting with integrity and lifting others up—are skills that Saya possesses and wields with humility and warmth.”

MIKE TALPS started working as the Middle School Athletic Director and PE teacher in 1981. Over his 42 years at Head-Royce, he coached PE and several championship-winning Middle and Upper School sports teams, includ ing soccer, basketball and baseball. The success of the varsity baseball team is among his many accom plishments, as he coached from 1985 to 2016 and significantly developed and improved the program. He has truly been a role model and mentor for his students, and his enjoyment of his work is evident every day. His care, compassion and ability to make anyone smile will be dearly missed.

“Coach Talps taught me the value of commitment and follow-through during my time on the baseball team. He made sure I knew that skill alone was never enough to succeed. I was very lucky to have him as a coach and mentor, and I’m grateful for the wisdom he shared with me when I was a young man.”

Sofiya Lyall ’18

“He is a person who likes to laugh a lot. He likes to joke, and that has been a constant for him whether it’s a PE class or team that he is coaching,” says Upper School Athletics Director Brendan Blakeley, who had Coach Talps as both a Middle School PE teacher and Upper School athletics coach.“There were definitely things that I took away from the experience as one of his athletes, which I then tried to implement when I became a coach. One was the idea of understanding when to work really hard and when it was okay to have a little bit of fun and that those two things were not necessarily opposed; when you can tie the fun in with the hard work you’re still getting the hard work done.”

Jordy Harris ’05

“For the last three years, Johára Tucker has guided our School through some challenging times and emboldened our institution to realize some of our E&I goals. Although I can speak about her impact as our K-12 Director of E&I, I think my favorite moments with Ms. Tucker have been our conversations on her couch,” says Kyong Pak, Upper School History Teacher and Upper School Dean of Equity and Inclusion.

SUMMER 2022 HRS 59 OVER THE PAST FIVE YEARS, the Bridge to 2022 Strategic Plan has suc cessfully guided our work in the HeadRoyce classroom and community. One significant example can be found in the Teaching + Learning goal of “enhancing and amplifying a student-centered academic program with opportunities for choice, real-world problem solving, creativity and intellectual engagement,” which informed our decision in 2019 to decouple our curriculum from the College Board and to set standards of academic rigor that better align with our core educational philosophy. Academic rigor is determined by conceptual complexity, rather than content, pace or workload. It is measured by students’ ability to apply essential skills to contended prob lems in a variety of contexts. It is the degree to which a student is challenged, engaged, enriched and empowered.

Over the past few years, we have suc cessfully transitioned multiple courses across the curriculum away from AP to honors designation and developed a plan for academic advancement that is both in keeping with our philoso phy and in logistical alignment with the UC accreditation system. Honors designation, for example, will continue to warrant a GPA bump on student tran scripts. Additionally, we have received assurance from selective colleges that students who have taken rigorous courses differentiated and defined as Honors by a school like Head-Royce, will be viewed as fully prepared for the demands of higher education.

Students in Dr. Brakeman’s AP Biology class weigh butterfly larvae.



While Advanced Placement (AP) classes were introduced over 70 years ago to provide students with an opportunity to study subjects at advanced levels and to earn college credit for their course work, the content-orientation of courses designed by the College Board often led to rote memorization. Too often, AP labels served as de facto “shortcuts”— standing in for academic rigor—and over time more and more institutions (in both secondary and higher ed) have moved away from the College Board curriculum in favor of well-designed honors courses: this is especially true of the independent school community. We are confident in our 2019 decision to break from the College Board curric ulum because we are clear about our standard for academic excellence and how our program (K-12) meets those standards. Moreover, we are certain that our faculty can (and consistently do) innovate and implement courses that offer meaningful engagement, relevant sequencing/synthesis of content and skills and appropriate academic rigor.

This definition, while particular to HRS, is not our unique invention. Rather, it is a concept we adopted after conduct ing research and seeking examples from think tanks, educational research institutions and medical organizations attending to student mental health. The term “rigor” itself is arguably problematic, suggesting rigidity and even morbidity. Academic rigor, in a conventional definition, is similarly loaded and outdated, prioritizing static content and volume over ingenuity and complexity. Last summer, the National Association of Independent Schools

(NAIS) published an article called “The Dark Side of Rigor,” wherein they called for a redefinition of the term. Rigorous learning experiences help students understand knowledge and concepts that are complex, ambiguous or contended, and they require students to acquire skills that can be applied in a variety of contexts. Academic challenge encompasses relevance (voice, choice, varied content and cultural respon siveness) and critical thinking skills.


60 SUMMER 2022 HRS SUMMER 2022 HRS 61

Several years ago, the Art Department decided to move to an honors portfolio class because the teachers felt the College Board requirement—that students create 40 pieces—led to a factory production approach. The Studio Art teachers wanted to develop a program that would better center student growth, creativity and engage ment. They led the charge in evolving the course to be portfolio based, where students would compile a set of works reflecting an arc of learning and development throughout their high school careers. This shift in focus not only differentiated our program and students, but also better reflected the summative work and creative growth of an art student at Head-Royce.




Honors Biology is an example of a course that is transitioning to an honors and HRAC sequence. While Honors Biology will continue to offer a breadth of topics reflecting the wide variety involved in the “study of life,” biology teachers have long been shifting cur riculum in anticipation of the break from College Board curriculum this fall. Therefore, their course already reflects many changes in content and approach including: more varied assessments, a shift to competency-based assessment, ongoing opportunities for revision, deeper dives into hands-on labs and experiments and a culminating Science Fair project that offers students voice, choice and real world application. Our curricular work is rooted in research and reflects more than five years of planning and preparation. It has already been implemented in many departments and grade level offerings. Moving forward, a frame work and philosophy is in place that will guide the implementation of new courses—including the remaining AP to Honors transitions. We celebrate these advancements and the clear benefits they offer our students: our program has become more dynamic and innovative, our assessments more varied and colleges and universities increasingly see our graduates as independent learners who have had the chance to supplement core curriculum with internships, civic engagement, online courses in specialized fields and myriad opportunities for learning.

The HRS Computer Science College Board curriculum focused on Software Development only. Computer Science is often thought of as a vocation or unfeeling mathematical construct. But at Head-Royce, it is seen as an ethical application of technology and infor mation to solve societal problems and is focused in: computational thinking (using algorithms and logic to problem solve); social impact (how modern algorithms affect laws, court cases and ethics and vice-versa); and software development (creating realizations of algorithms). While it’s certainly im portant, software development without computational thinking (metacogni tion) and social impact (ethics) leaves computer science void of humanity.

Our program has become more dynamic and innovative, our assessments more varied and colleges and universities increasingly see our graduates as independent learners.


The Class of 2024 (rising juniors) will be the first Head-Royce students to grad uate without grade-level AP offerings. Instead, they have been offered honors courses that will be supplemented with a series of signature capstone experi ences—offered most notably in their se nior year—called Head-Royce Advanced Curriculum (HRAC). These capstone courses will have prerequisites for enrollment and will represent the cul mination of varied academic pathways.

AN EXAMPLE OF A SCIENCE CURRICULUM SEQUENCE 9TH GRADE Conceptual Physics 10TH GRADE Chemistry 11TH GRADE Biology or Honors Biology 12TH GRADE Head-Royce Advanced Curriculum capstone offerings in Applied Physics, Neurobiology or Organic Chemistry

Guided by our Strategic Plan and the desire to shift from content to crit ical thinking, we’ve re-visioned our Statistics courses into a Data Science course. While many statistical skills are part of this class—such as variabil ity, models, distributions, probability and correlation—Data Science brings in other ideas that are also valuable to students as they look to college and even their careers: ethics, storytelling, claims evaluation, basic programming, writing reports, communicating ideas, predictive modeling and machine learning. Using real-world examples (such as how we access music), stu dents will actively explore and practice these skills. Data Science is much more than an applied math class—through the intersection of statistics, pro gramming, design, engineering and scientific methodology, students will get hands-on opportunities to create models, evaluate arguments and see— in action—the power of data in society.

• Implement and align a K-12 scope and sequence for the identified Center for Community Engage ment (CCE) skills and objectives.

• Seek additional opportunities that leverage the School schedule to support balance and well-being for students and staff.


• Strengthen communications related to insti tutional and financial decision making to showcase our careful stewardship of resources, focus on access and affordability needs and to celebrate opportunities and successes.

• Operationalize our budgeting and planning processes to formally connect North and South Campus growth into current systems and to anticipate future needs.


Promote equity by increasing institutional access, sustaining diversity and actively advancing a community of inclusion and belonging.

Lower School students sold sweet treats during Water Week which helped raise money to fund a safe drinking water system at a school in Vietnam.

• Create student-centered programming that offers more experiential learning.

• Develop forward thinking measurements of academic success and social emotional outcomes.

• Appraise and improve the “lived experience” of students and professional community (PC) members around balance and well-being.

• Evaluate and determine the impact of the strategic shifts in ancillary programs, including the year-round Heads Up program and summer Workforce Development program, the After School Program (ASP), Summer Program and CCE.

Enhance and amplify a student-centered academic program with opportunities for choice, real-world problem solving, creativity and intellectual engagement. Drive deeper civic engagement and build authentic partnerships within Oakland and the local Bay Area.


The following extension has been approved by our Board of Trustees.

• Examine 21st Century Best Practices for Teaching and Learning; Refine and align with our current Philosophy on Teaching and Learning. Share our revised definition of academic rigor in terms of intellectual challenge vs. volume and load.

• As we emerge from the successful capital campaign period, focus on strengthening the Annual Fund, continuing major gift fundraising and planning/groundwork for the next philan thropic cycle.


• Further articulate and promote balance and well-being as essential elements of our School’s vision and purpose as we continue to engage and align our constituents with our community values.

• Lead with a commitment to anti-racism with an emphasis and urgency to address the critical needs of the BIPOC community and regularly assess our practice and progress.


Commit to and sustain a culture of balance and well-being.


• Move the School community towards cultural fluency and have a unified understanding of what it means to belong, including feeling seen, heard and respected in order to advance a more inclusive community.

• Build capacity to have difficult, challenging and meaningful conversations that allow people (PC member to PC member, student to student, student to PC member) to speak authentically.


Better serve all our families by building upon our disciplined approach to financial management.

• Deepen our commitment to building systems, educational practices and civic partnerships that support, promote and cross-pollinate our Green Mission.

Strategic Plan

OUR MISSION is to inspire in our stu dents a lifelong love of learning and pur suit of academic excellence, to promote understanding of and respect for the diversity that makes our society strong and to encourage active and responsible global citizenship. This mission of schol arship, diversity and citizenship serves as a grounding force for our 900 students both inside and outside of the classroom. Over the last five years, we have followed the Bridge to 2022 Head-Royce Strategic Plan as a means of translating that mission into student-centered strategic initiatives. With Rachel E. Skiffer, our new Head of School beginning in 2022, we developed a two-year extension—the Bridge from 2022 to 2024—to act as our roadmap until the next five-year plan is launched in 2024. With a process that included trustees, parents, faculty members, administrators, alumni and students, we explored the results of our last strategic plan and brain stormed on how to focus our next two years to provide the greatest impact.

In her response to the question, “What is one thing you wish you could tell your high school self?” one alumni pan elist summarized the thoughts of many: “I wish that I had focused more on the learning. You all should do things right now that are interesting to you and not just what you want your profession to be. Your dream job may not exist yet, so follow your passions and interests. You may be the one designing your job in the future.”

64 SUMMER 2022 HRS SUMMER 2022 HRS 65 ALUMNI ALUMNI ALUMNI COUNCIL PRESIDENT LETTER FROM THE My journey with Head-Royce began many years ago at age three when my father, Ray Louie, joined the faculty as the first Director of Educational Technology. After my 13 years as a student and another four as a sibling of a student, I knew I needed to give back to our alma mater. Head-Royce provided the foundation of my adolescent life. Moving away from the Bay Area and seeing more of the world through school and work gave me space to think about that experience in a new way. What does Head-Royce provide for students, families, alumni and the larger Oakland community? How can we continue to use our position to embody “scholarship, diversity and citizenship” in our ever-changing soci ety? The Alumni Council has engaged in workshops and conversations over the last year to examine the role it plays in answering these questions. In the winter magazine, you saw the Alumni Council’s new Strategic Plan. The Alumni Council has committed to using these stated values to guide our work: belonging, equity, humility, significance and accountability. Over the next two years we will continue to find and create: • Strategies to intentionally address the needs of underrepresented groups • Strategies created with significant alumni input • Programs fostering belonging through alum-to-alum and alum-to-student connections • Focused programming with aligned goals Please join our efforts to provide a place for the whole alumni community by participating in programming with alumni and students, shaping class experiences as a Class Agent, joining an affinity group or even reaching out to me directly to share your vision for Head-Royce’s future. Before I close, I want to give a huge thank you to outgoing Alumni Council President Harris Brody ’98, who has guided us through two years of difficult, introspective work and spearheaded the formation of the Alumni Council's new Strategic Plan. Lucky for us, Harris is not going far, as he will continue to serve as the Treasurer of the Board and a general member of the Alumni Council. There is so much more work to do! As the school song goes, “You show us the goals we must strive for, of honor and courage and truth.” The Alumni Council is committed to courageously learning from alumni to hear the truth of our experiences so we can better honor the needs of this strong community. In gratitude,

It is an honor to write my first letter to you as I transition into the role of Alumni Council President for the 2022-2023 School year.

On March 8, 32 alumni participated in the fifth annual Adulting 101 event for our Upper School presented by the Office of Alumni Relations and the Cen ter for Community Engagement (CCE). Participating students joined a panel of alumni who spoke about the path from Head-Royce to their current careers and expansive lives as adults. Students chose from one of nine separate panel topics: Storytelling and Inspiring Others, Searching for Truth, Creating Art and Music, Caring for Others, Playing Out side the Lines, Building Infrastructure, ‘Like’ and ‘Subscribe,’ Nourishing Others and Building Community.


CAMDEN LOUIE ’08 Alumni Council President “[The panelists] spoke super personally and kept it real. Everything they were saying was straight from the heart.”

Student feedback was overwhelmingly positive “I really enjoyed hearing about each panelist’s journey in their career after leaving HRS, and the insight they were able to provide in their individual fields. I also thought it was cool how they were all unified through a common theme (truth) even though their work was very different.”


Dear Head-Royce Alumni

66 SUMMER 2022 HRS ALUMNI Join us as we celebrate the milestone reunions for class years ending in 2 & 7 and 3 & 8! SAVE THE DATE20182017,2013,2012,2008,2007,2003,2002,1998,1997,1993,1992,1988,1987,1983,1982,1978,1977,1973,1972,1968,1967,1963,1962,1958,1957,1953,1952,1948,1947,1943,1942,


AlumniWeekend April 28—29, 2023 HEAD-ROYCE CAMPUS

In a new tradition which began last year, alumni returned to campus on June 3, 2022, to present stoles to Black and Hispanic Latinx-identifying seniors. In addition to personally presenting graduates with stoles that they wear with their cap and gown, they imparted some great words of wisdom and advice on the eve of their graduation from Head-Royce School. In a special moment, alumni Gaby Perez ’13 and Harrison Harvey ’17 presented stoles to their younger siblings Julian Perez ’22 and Madison Harvey ’22.

From its founding in 1887, to its move from Berkeley to Oak land in 1964, the Anna Head School provided an outstand ing education for generations of young women. But today, the building—which is owned by UC Berkeley—has suffered from serious neglect. Led by Anna Head alumnae, over 250 graduates and community members have organized a campaign to save the building, which has been landmarked by the National Register of Historic Places and the City of Berkeley. Anna Head School alumnae have reflected on what the School meant to them—from inspiring teachers and important lessons in the classrooms, to the friendships formed in a small school community and to the emphasis on citizenship. Joan Acocella ’62, the long-time acclaimed staff writer on the arts for The New Yorker describes with wry humor her experiences and why she believes the Anna Head building needs to be saved. Judy Hunt ’67, who worked in national and international health organizations and served as a member of the Head-Royce School Alumni Council, remembers the School’s early efforts to diversify. These vignettes provide a powerful reminder of the School's legacy. For more alumnae reflections and for information about the effort to Save Anna Head School, visit the website,



Of the School’s physical space, the places I remember best were not necessarily those that others might consider important—for example, our august chapel, complete with choir stalls—but rather the places where my own self-esteem rose or fell. Study hall, for instance. This was a large room, where all our desks, maybe thirty or so, were lined up in four rows, facing the proctor’s desk. We were supposed to be studying here, or at least doing our homework. I, on the other hand, was usually sniggering or passing notes. For these infractions I was repeatedly given “pink slips” by the proctor—demerits that I would have to answer for later. I have no idea why I found it so hard to settle down, but I learned one thing from the experience, and that was to hate honor systems. The study hall proctors were our schoolmates—that is, our supposed comrades—who were chosen by the administration because they looked responsible and who accepted the job because what sixteenyear-old could pass up the opportu nity to exercise this unaccustomed authority? The system was corrupting to both the proctors and the rest of us. To teach young people to snitch on their fellows for violations of rules that grown-ups have made is bad moral training. I looked across at the girl who was giving me the pink slip. She was my best friend, or I had thought she was. Now I wasn’t sure. But one thing I am sure of is that the system was a good way to convince the young that the strictures under which they labored were the creation of the young, not the adults. It’s not our fault, the system said. You guys did it. That was not true. There were other important spaces, for example, senior porch, where, at lunchtime, the seniors (only they) were allowed to stretch out in the sun shine until the bell rang. I remember once, maybe twice, we non-seniors filled water balloons from the drink ing fountain in the quad below the porch and hurled them, up and over, to break on the seniors’ recumbent bodies and send them to their next class soaking wet. To us, this seemed fair. They had a porch. We didn’t. As for that drinking fountain in the quad, it was close to a tree that pro duced large, gummy, acorn-like nuts and dropped them on the ground. We soon discovered that if we jammed a couple of these nuts into the orifice of the drinking fountain, the whole thing would stop working, whereupon Robert, the janitor, would be summoned and we, looking blameless, would sit under the eaves and watch him toil and curse over the mechanism. But the quad was more than that. Apart from being the place where we congregated and sowed discord between classes, it was the stage for an annual miracle, the blossoming of the purple wisteria that hung from the eaves enclosing the quad. One day, in April probably, we would go home, and the eaves were covered with scraggly, no-account black branches. The next day we returned to find the wisteria flowing, in great purple cascades, down the brown-shingled walls to the pave ment below. Inside one of those roofs was a room where Mr. Levis, a kind, shy, skinny man, who wore drip-dry shirts different from our fathers’ shirts, was trying to teach us algebra. (As I recall, Mr. Levis was the only male teacher I had at Head’s, apart from Mr. Dewey, who—formerly a professor at Mills Head’s…

I attended Anna Head’s, as we called it, from 1958-1962 for high school, and there, as I recall, I gradually renounced my ambition to be an idiot when I grew up. I owe that primarily to the School’s faculty, which consisted mainly of aging ladies who may have lacked the requisite credentials to teach in public schools and certainly lacked the fortitude to handle the discipline problems, but who cared, very much, about Latin and geometry and King Lear.

Led by Daniel and Catherine Dewey, our headmaster and headmistress, they took us seriously, even though we were girls. Though the School was governed by a lot of old-fashioned rules (no nail polish, no gum), we were never harshly punished for anything trivial. In my four years at AHS, only one student, to my knowledge, was expelled, and that was for plagiarism.




Phyllis Hill, a history teacher, and Sarah McGrath, an art history teacher, both captured my interest in how they taught subject matter, simultaneously sharing how history and art were reflected in current culture. I still have and utilize my books from their respective classes.

In September 1963, my journey began at the original Anna Head School campus on Channing Way in Berkeley. My first impression of the brown shingled build ings was how inviting the architecture felt, as the buildings did not feel impos ing, sterile or cold. I felt at ease there. I was the only African American girl in the Upper School’s freshman class. There were two African American girls in the sophomore class and one in the junior class. An 8th grader was the first African American “lifer,” who attended Anna Head School from 1st through 12th grades. There were two African American girls in the seventh-grade class. Our parents paid our tuition and related extra curricular expenses, as there were no scholarships, grants or subsidies.

Daniel and Catherine Dewey, headmas ter of Upper School and headmistress of Lower School, were fair-minded forward thinkers with steadfast courage to admit African American girls whose families pursued academic excel lence. For many Caucasian families, it would be their first exposure to African Americans as peers. All girls wore uniforms: seersucker dresses in spring and summer, and green tartan plaid pleated skirts, white blouses and green wool sweaters and blazers in the fall College—always taught the American History course.) One day, tired of algebra, a classmate sitting three desks behind me opened the window next to her, climbed out onto the roof, and, picking her way through the wisteria blossoms, dropped down into the quad and went home for the day. Mr. Levis paused briefly and then, without comment, went right on teaching the class. More than the Free Speech Movement that erupted on the UC Berkeley campus three years later—indeed, more than the French Revolution—that is my abiding image of a popular uprising. Looking back on these paragraphs, which were supposed to be about the school’s physical plant, I ask myself why I have given so much space to our misbehavior. But what I am trying to say is that the architecture became part of our morals. Luxor, Chartres, the Empire State Building: old places tell us what happened there and, in the process, instruct us as to how to conduct our lives.These beautiful old buildings, imposing and comforting at the same time, provide a legacy to women’s education in the United States and of California’s role in it. and winter. Penny loafers and saddle oxfords were the preferred shoes. Every sport—swimming, tennis or gym—had its uniform. I wore uniforms in elemen tary school, so I took for granted that every school had a uniform dress code. Mary Katherine Huddleson, the fresh man class president, met me in the library on the first day of school. She was my confidante and friend who helped me navigate the daily schedule, introduced me to other girls, ate lunch with me, explained School traditions and shared some insights into our teachers’ pet peeves! As we went to our classes, we sometimes played “creaky steps” that made high pitched or groaning sounds whenever we went up or down the old wooden staircases. I recall the chaos at School on No vember 22, 1963 when we learned that President John F. Kennedy was assassinated. The high vaulted ceiling in the beautiful all wood chapel was a sanctuary of emotional comfort while we quietly waited for our parents to take us home earlier than usual. My mother insisted that I learn French, as she studied Latin in high school. During rainy days the steam heaters would sometimes clang and hiss as Madame Jean Jacobs would emphasize the correct pronunciation of French words or phrases. We would all gig gle as the heating sounds drowned out her voice! She became a mentor and friend, corresponding with me from Europe during my undergrad uate and graduate school years. Having some French language skills came in handy when I worked in New York and served as a member of the United Nations Non-Govern mental Organization Committee on Narcotics and Substance Abuse.

How an All-Girls School Prepared Me for the Future JUDY HUNT ’67


My most inspirational teacher was Dr. Irvin C. Feustel, a retired internation al chemist, who taught chemistry. A warm and gentle man, he provided a supportive class environment. Even if one’s comments, questions or answers were “off the mark,” Dr. Feustel found a way to integrate those remarks into the chemistry lesson. He also encour aged accountability and responsibility through individual and collective tasks. Each girl “signed up” for a duty in preparing experiments, setting up or cleaning the vials, stands, trays and Bun sen burners. Dr. Feustel was a lifelong mentor, coach, cheerleader and friend. During my sophomore year I was selected to be the class country fair chairperson. I learned some valuable lessons about human nature, team work and leadership. I also learned that nothing beats determination and hard work. My father built the wooden tripod and spinning wheel for our class booth. The school custodian, Mr. Jenkins, was a special friend to me. After the country fair he asked if the tripod and spinning wheel could be kept at the School for future events. In tough moments, he often shared life lessons and insights with humor. In May 1967, graduation day was very special as seniors wore long white dresses and carried yellow rose bou quets. I celebrated this milestone with family and friends at the new campus on Lincoln Avenue in Oakland. I missed the pleasure of walking the curved driveway at the Channing campus; and a fond farewell to those strong, creaky, weathered buildings that welcomed me to the Anna Head School for Girls. My experience at Head’s prepared me for the future by acknowledging that my “exclusive education” was actually an exceptional opportunity that was and remains unopened to most Afri can-Americans. It was also an oppor tunity for my peers and their families to be exposed on par with others and learn that difference is not bad or defi cient. My family’s love and unwavering encouragement, along with the support of teachers and staff, strengthened my resolve to persevere, especially when assailed by others. When faced with tough situations, decisions or difficult people, I remember that often my mere presence is an affirmation that I belong wherever I enter, stand or sit. Just as I felt at ease my first day at Head’s, my faith in the Creator and myself propels me to utilize my talents, intellect and skills to be an authentic force for good.

The Deweys valued inclusion, and I in corporated that as one core value in my own career path focused on increasing opportunities for everyone to live the healthiest life possible, regardless of ethnicity, income or location (e.g. Ap palachia, Native American lands, rural/ urban/suburban areas or other nations). I hope those old-shingled buildings on Channing Way are preserved as historical artifacts of women’s educa tion, landmarks of Berkeley’s varied architecture and valued heritage sites within the UC community.

My family’s love and unwavering encouragement, along with the support of teachers and staff, strengthened my resolve to persevere, especially when assailed by others.


I still have my old year book...85 and still alive. For over 10 years, I've been at Mt. San Jacinto College, doing ceramics with seniors. I retired after 42 years as a Clinical Lab Scientist but am still helping friends with lab results. Hope some of my classmates are still hanging in.

DORIS MESCHER ’44 Doris passed on December 29, 2021 at the age of 94 after a long and prosper ous life.

KATE MARCHANT ’13 Kate Marchant wrote and released her debut novel, Float, in February of 2022. Float follows the main character Waverly who moves from chilly Alaska to live with her aunt in Florida for the summer. There she comes across Blake, the boy next door who welcomes Waverly into his world, but as the two grow closer Waverly remembers that every summer must eventually end, and letting go may be the hardest thing she may have to do. The movie adaptation of Float, starring Robbie Amell and Andrea Bang, is currently in post-production.


Photo by Casey Horner

GANSEN ’80 I work as a Senior Accountant at the Peninsula Humane Society & SPCA in Burlingame. My wife, Wendi, is a homemaker. Our older daughter, Nora, is a junior at Sarah Lawrence College. Our younger daughter, Sabrina, will be a freshman at Reed College.

YALIE SAWEDA KAMARA, P h .D ’03 Yalie Saweda Kamara, Ph.D '03 was selected as the Poet Laureate of Cincinnati. She’s the author of When The Living Sing (Ledge Mule Press, 2017) and A Brief Biography of My Name (Akashic Books/APBF, 2018), with the latter included in New-Generation African Poets: A Chapbook Box Set (Tano).


JULIE HAFNER MCMULLAN ’68 Julie Hafner McMullan, a fun-loving, vibrant and vivacious spirit, left this world on Sunday, October 17, 2021, after a sudden, aggressive battle with lung cancer. Born in Oakland and raised in Orinda, California, she proudly called the Bay Area home, spending many years as a resident of San Francisco, Atherton and most recently, Woodside. A true lover of local hikes, theater shows and adventures, Julie filled each moment to its brim. Julie was a passionate, determined and enthusiastic student of life, which she carried into her roles as both a mother and hotelier. She graduated from the Anna Head School for Girls in 1968, fol lowed by the University of Oregon (class of 1972), where she earned a Bachelor of Science in Journalism. Julie worked for over 21 years in a range of sales, mar keting and hospitality roles, including IN

DR. JENNIFER L. MNOOKI N ’85 Dr. Jennifer L. Mnookin, Dean of the School of Law and Ralph and Shirley Shapiro Professor of Law at the University of California, Los Angeles, has been named the 30th leader of the University of Wisconsin, Madison. Jennifer shares, “I deeply admire UW–Madison’s dual commitment to educational access and research excellence, as well as its mission to serve and to contribute to the state as a whole.”

JEAN SHEVLIN ’36 Jean Parker Shevlin, age 103, passed away March 2, 2022 at the Bickford Cottage in Ames, Iowa. She was born on June 4, 1918, the daughter of John Park er and Ruth Tisdale Parker of Alameda, California. She attended the Anna Head School for Girls in Berkeley, California. Upon graduation, she moved to Eugene, Oregon to attend the University of Or egon where, in 1937, she was inducted into the Kappa Kappa Gamma Fraterni ty. After returning to the Bay area, she enrolled in Mills College to pursue her interest in art. In 1942, she married Navy Ensign, William Alexander Shevlin, from Locust Valley, Long Island. Their marriage lasted 52 years, and included the adoption of two children and many wonderful animal companions. In her spare time, she could be found im mersed in art projects, or volunteering at the Stanford University Hospital Gift Shop. She was an avid gardener, enjoyed both domestic and international travel, and especially valued doting on her grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Her home was a cornucopia of season al decorations that always delighted the family and friends she entertained. After raising her family in Woodside, California, Jean and her husband retired to Grass Valley, California. Many years later they would relocate to Boone, Iowa to be near the grandchildren.

FRANKIE PARIS ’14 Frankie was recently named New England Reporter of the Year by the New England Newspaper Association.

RAMONA GRAY-LEWISHEYDEN ’46 Ramona Gray-Lewis passed away peace fully on March 21, 2022 in her Coronado, California home. Thankfully, she was able to celebrate her 93rd birthday on December 11, 2021 with family and close friends, displaying her usual hu mor and feistiness. Asked Ronnie, “How do you like being 93?” She answered, “I don’t know, I’ll tell you when I am 94.” Ramona was an avid golfer and a “true character,” as all her friends at Sea and Air and Coronado Golf Club would agree. Ramona was born in San Francisco on December 11, 1928, and graduated from the Anna Head School for Girls in Berkeley, CA in 1946. Ramona was blessed with two wonderful husbands: Norman Gray USN Ret., 1947–1989. They lived in England for 14 years where they raised their two girls, followed by 15 years in Spain. She married John “Jack” Lewis, USN Ret., from Corona do, 1991–2017. Ramona is survived by her daughters Adrian and Darcy.


74 SUMMER 2022 HRS ALUMNIALUMNI the Director of Sales for the St. Francis Hotel in San Francisco, Director of Marketing at the Stanford Court Hotel in San Francisco and Chef Concierge at the Rosewood Sand Hill in Menlo Park. She loved leveraging her local knowl edge and innate research abilities to provide the best experiences for others. She spent the last nine years in Wood side with her amazing partner, Kevin Grady, enjoying a lovely retirement filled with large family dinners, world wide travels and outdoor adventures. Her most important and treasured role was that of a mother. Julie is survived by her three daughters, Maren McMul lan (Taylor Smith) of Oakland, CA; Bryn McMullan Baker (Brendan Baker) of San Rafael, CA; and Molly McMullan (TJ Manning) of Somerville, MA; her partner Kevin Grady and his daughters Kerry Balestrieri (Michael Balestrieri) and Erin Grady of San Francisco, CA; and her cousin Kathleen Tomasulo of Long Beach, CA. Julie was the ultimate cheerleader, friend and confidante to her three girls. She was incredibly involved in their academic and extra curricular activities within the Menlo Park School District and St. Francis High School in Mountain View. She acted as a mom to many in the Bay Area and beyond; her love, compassion and steadfast warmth truly knew no bounds.

CHRIS ARGYRIS ’97 Christopher Argyris passed away in London on January 17, 2022 from a break-out case of COVID-19 and its long term effects. He was fully vaccinated. After graduating from Northwestern’s School of Journalism in 2001, Chris worked in local television news produc tion for several years. He soon realized he needed more intellectual stimulation and headed east to American University for a Master’s degree in International Relations. While living in Washing ton, D.C., Chris worked for the Center for Global Peace where he managed several projects funded by the U.S. State Department. Under the auspices of the Iraq Human Rights Commission, he led a group of four Sunnis, four Shias, and four Kurds to Belfast to learn how Northern Ireland worked to resolve its divisive issues. He lived in Iraq’s Green Zone for six months and made numer ous trips to the Kurdish area of Iraq.

“Mama J,” as she was known in many circles, possessed incredible energy, selflessness and a knack for bringing people together. Julie lived her life to the fullest and was known for her distinctive laugh, permanent smile and ability to light up a room. While her last days were difficult, they were filled with such beauty and humani ty, spent in the comfort of her home surrounded by her beloved family. If you would like to honor her mem ory, Julie identified two charitable organizations very close to her heart: Peninsula Open Space Trust and Stand Up to Cancer. If you would like to connect with her family, feel free to email

PETER RUBIN ’03 Peter Karlsson Rubin, 36, of Berke ley and Santa Cruz, died January 29, 2022 in Capitola, California. Bril liant, creative and compassionate, he made an enormous difference in the lives of hundreds of people.


Peter brought radiant joy wherever he went and rejoiced in the beauty of nature. He was a creative force, with his oil paintings and watercolors, his piano improvisations and his spiritual—and spirited—drumming and flute-playing.

To continue his interest in interna tional affairs, Chris moved to London to complete a Ph.D. in International Law. One of the smartest decisions of his life was to live in Goodenough College, a beautiful residence for 700 post-graduate students, from 80 countries, pursuing Ph.D.s in every discipline at universities throughout London. Mr. Fred Goodenough was the CEO of Barclays Bank and in 1931 gave a contribution to establish this resi dence so that students from around the world could live together, learn from each other and appreciate each other’s diversity. It was a nurturing and exciting place for Chris to live for three years.

In Christopher’s too short life he did more than many of us can even imagine. He will be so missed but his presence will be with us forever.

by 7th Visuals/Unsplash

Chris was an active member in so many of Goodenough’s programs. He co-pro duced three operas, escorted, dined and engaged with distinguished speakers including Great Britain’s Supreme Court Justice and was a fixture at the student run bar. He even welcomed Queen Elizabeth to Goodenough and shook her hand. Several of his London friends told his family that he was “a legend” at the College and “the glue that held the community together.”

Head-Royce classmate Dan Duggan introduced Chris to the English Pre mier Soccer League and he became a lifelong fan of the Newcastle team. He and two other local Newcastle blokes hosted a podcast after every game with lively commentary. Chris had a big following, especially from Saudi Arabia, even though he was an American. Chris recently received his Greek Citizenship to enable European Union long-term employment opportunities. His passports were filled to capacity with stamps from his trips through out Europe and the Middle East. A family friend had dinner with Chris a month before he passed. She said, “he had really grown into himself in London…he exuded confidence and complete happiness with his life. He was living his dream!” What more could any parent want for their child.

After college and travels through South east Asia, Peter spent three years as a product designer at Daylight Design in San Francisco, while teaching Team Dynamics at the Stanford School of Design. He left in 2011 to begin a series of new, overlapping careers, principally working as a business and personal coach, but also co-founding the Broth erhood Community, creating workshops on racism, social justice, masculinity, relationships and other issues that mattered to him; writing weekly news letters to his hundreds of followers; and leading guided meditations for various groups, including his men’s groups and his women of color meditation group.

Peter was insatiably curious, fascinat ed by how things work, how to make them work better and how to help people truly thrive. Most important to Peter were his close relationships with family, friends, colleagues and clients. He had a talent for connecting with people at a deep level and developing open and honest interpersonal com munication. He shared his feelings and beliefs with courageous authenticity and vulnerability. He cherished personal interactions, which he nurtured through joy, insight and his probing intellect. His family and friends will miss him tremendously and will hold him in their hearts forever.

Peter’s survivors include his parents, Michael Rubin and Andrea Peterson of Berkeley, his brother, Eric, and Eric’s wife, Avry Schellenbach, of Oakland, his sister, Emily and Emily’s fiancé, Ryan Gilley, of Oakland. The family suggests that donations in memory of Peter be made to Spirit Rock Meditation Center to honor Peter’s commitment to meditation, or to RMI (formerly the Rocky Mountain Insti tute), which Peter supported because of its work on climate change.

Julie will be missed terribly. May she rest in peace as her legacy lives on.

Peter was born in Berkeley on April 24, 1985, and attended the HeadRoyce School in Oakland, where he was co-valedictorian of his high school class, and Stanford University, where he earned a B.S. and an M.S. in Mechanical Engineering, specializ ing in Product Design, and received a Terman Award for being in the top 5% of his engineering class.


Barney continues to work in watercolors with a group of friends—this activity provides an interesting escape into another world outside of the daily hum drum. Since retiring, he has volunteered at The Lindsay Museum, serving on the Board and helping with education—in particular, leading tarantula hikes on Mt. Diablo and the Walnut Creek Open Space. Currently, beehives and honey are his main focus.

Our friendships forged at Head-Royce are very special and we appreciate the outreach to keep us involved with happenings at the School.

Our 1967 newly painted and refurbished house trailer has provided us with numerous escape opportunities to visit old friends in the Bay Area, Monterey and Oregon. The family cabin on Echo Lake is a gathering place for all our children and their spouses, plus eight grandchildren. We feel very blessed as last summer’s Caldor Fire stopped at our back door.



Jo, after retirement, continued to be active with the Echo Lakes Association Board and Lindsay Museum Alliance, and is currently on the Board at The Gardens at Heather Farms. She spent a lot of time with grandkids (supervising their piano lessons), forming a book club, attending soccer and lacrosse games, and in general, having a wonder ful time doing what grannies do!

Barney and Jo Howard

OUR OLDER HOME HAS RECENTLY been solarized since we are attempting to go electric as much as possible. Our great family property provides con tinuous activity in the form of gar dening! Yes, you can find us enjoying the planting of new forms of flowers, vegetables and fruit-bearing trees and then attempting myriad ways of attacking the weeds, gophers, rats and various unwanted guests. Our most recent addition is a deer fence that wends its way between our relatives’ homes, keeping the browsing critters from devouring our precious gardens.

Hello from Walnut Creek where Barney and Jo continue to live on the Old Howard Compound ensconced in the house where Barney grew up. We are surrounded by Howard relatives, gardens, a pen full of chickens and honey producing beehives.



ADDRESSREQUESTEDSERVICE Head-Royce School 4315 Lincoln Avenue Oakland, CA 94602 Head-Royce School is proud to welcome as its next Head of School.

E. Skiffer