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Spring Magazine 2014

A Focus on Citizenship

Head-Royce Mission   2 Letter from Head of School   3 Citizenship Overview   4 Kindness   6 Community   14 Classroom   26 Alumni Notes   42 In Memoriam   48 Alumni Events   51

Head-Royce School ··· Spring 2014  


Founded in 1887, Head‑Royce is an independent, non-denominational, coeducational, college-preparatory K–12 school, which offers a challenging educational program to educate the whole child. The

The mission of Head‑Royce School is to inspire in our students a lifelong love of learning and pursuit of academic excellence, to promote understanding of and respect for diversity that makes our society strong and to encourage active and responsible global citizenship.

school nurtures the development of each individual student through a program that seeks: »» to develop intellectual abilities such as scholarship and disciplined, critical thinking; »» to foster in each student respect, integrity, ethical behavior, compassion and a sense of humor; »» to promote responsibility and leadership, an appreciation of individual and cultural differences and a respect for the opinions of others; »» to nurture aesthetic abilities such as creativity, imagination, musical and visual talent; and »» to encourage joyful, healthy living; a love of nature; and physical fitness. All members of the Head‑Royce community strive to create an educational environment that reflects the school’s core values of academic excellence, diversity and citizenship, and one in which each student can thrive. We believe that a program based on these core values will prepare our students to be effective global citizens as they face and embrace the challenges and the opportunities of the future.

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What does citizenship mean within the context of a school? Upon initial reflection and in many people’s minds, citizenship evokes rights and privileges — a sense of inclusion and a sense of belonging. This is a good thing. As a child of immigrants and as someone who was born in Toronto, I am deeply proud that I am an American citizen. However, of equal and perhaps more importance is the profound responsibility and duty that comes with these rights. That is what I am interested in within the context of our school setting. The responsibility to serve others and the inner growth that comes through actively participating in our democracy is what I believe the citizenship component of our mission stands for. Scholarship refers to the life of the mind. Diversity refers to the richness that comes from a breadth of people, culture and perspectives. Citizenship refers to the internal human condition, our relationship to and with others and a sense of responsibility. In a school setting, where we are working with children ages 5–18, focusing on the self is important. In fact, helping children find out who they are and where they want to go is essential to our successfully educating and nurturing the whole child. However, this focus on the self has to be counter-balanced with a focus on others. One of the seeming contradictions that we teach our students is that they can find personal fulfillment and satisfaction through serving others, through understanding the perspective of others and through empathy.

Robert A. Lake

head of school

Despite the fact that citizenship is multi-definitional, amorphous and open to individual interpretation, I am glad that it is a major tenet of our mission. During a time when the “soft skills” of collaboration, humility and intellectual nimbleness are soughtafter attributes, the relevance of focusing on citizenship for our students is made apparent. I am very proud of the fact that we have chosen this year to focus on citizenship. As you will read in this magazine, we approach the topic in a variety of ways that highlight the multi-layered nature of this tenet. We have opportunities, inside and outside of the classroom, for all of our students to be involved in becoming better citizens in ways that are developmentally appropriate. Citizenship, we believe, is not a checklist item that one “gets” or “completes” and then moves on to the next thing. Rather, we hope that our children will develop both habits of the mind and habits of citizenship that will serve them for the rest of their lives. Sincerely,

When I think about what citizenship means at our school, I think about service, humility, empathy, leadership, engagement and participation.

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What Does it Mean to be a Constructive and Responsible Global Citizen? CRYSTAL LAND, ASSISTANT HEAD/ACADEMIC DEAN

This school year, members of our entire community — students, faculty, parents and administrators — have been in discussion about what citizenship, a key tenet of our mission, means. What exactly does it mean to be a “good citizen?” There is no single and easy answer to this question — and it differs for a kindergartner, a 10th grader and a faculty member. We all acknowledge that getting to the heart of this question is more than picking up trash after lunch or adding a lesson on civics. Yet, we have also discovered that the conversations, projects and activities — both big and small — about citizenship are making our very good community even better. As you will read in the following pages, the core of this year’s work has been in each classroom and in our community projects. Teachers have taken up the call to explore this vitally important topic by developing lessons and activities that push students to engage in these topics in new and significant ways. From a feature spread in the Upper School newspaper and four hands-on community service days in Middle School to identifying acts of kindness in fifth grade and practicing these acts, teachers in all divisions have found unique and powerful ways into the topic with their students.

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“Citizenship demands a sense of common cause; participation in the hard work of self-government; an obligation to serve to our communities.” ­—PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA, STATE OF THE UNION ADDRESS, JANUARY 2014

In my own senior fall Women’s Literature elective, I decided to approach the topic by encouraging my students to go beyond their comfort zone and become community activists. I merged a typically “safe” classroom project with a new Upper School leadership opportunity. As part of our culminating project in class, students created educational videos about what it means to be a young woman today and the challenges that our society still needs to address around education about gender and sexism. Students took their work beyond the classroom and shared their films at an all-Upper School meeting. Following the initial viewing, the 20 students in my class joined with other senior facilitators to lead Upper School “family group” meetings where each and every high school student viewed additional films, answered provocative questions and worked to make our community a more aware, supportive and safe place. It’s often easy to tackle sensitive work in

a small class setting, but it requires preparation, a willingness to take a risk and the discomfort of navigating challenging conversations when one takes on civic responsibility such as this. What do we most hope for at the end of this year? I know that I hope to see both an awareness and practice of what it means to be ethical, kind and compassionate. I hope that we will continue to focus on an internal ethos of supporting those in need, both locally and globally. And, of course, I hope we will all have a better understanding of what it means to be a good citizen each and every day, not just this year but every year. As Martin Luther King, Jr. stated, “Intelligence plus character — that is the goal of true education.” That is indeed our goal as well.

In order to define what citizenship means to a range of community members, from elementary and middle schoolers to high school students and adults, we decided to approach the topic through a series of essential questions:

»» How do we support the school’s mission to “encourage constructive and responsible global citizenship” with all constituents?

»» What is our process for guiding students toward living with integrity and developing ethical behavior?

»» How do we develop a culture of kindness, empathy and compassion?

»» How can the adults in the community best model and live this kind of behavior?

Across the broader school community we employed a multitiered, grassroots approach to answering our essential questions about citizenship:

»» Students and Faculty: Students and faculty from all divisions joined large-scale projects such as the creation of a “Citizenship Tree” to post thoughts on what the concept of citizenship means to each of us and the planning of sculptures inspired by Canstruction — a combination of community service, community bonding and art — that will be built this spring.

»» Parents: Adults in the community engaged in educational events such as our first-ever discussion groups on how to best raise compassionate, kind and ethical children and evenings with speakers such as author and researcher Dr. Christine Carter.

»» Alumni: In April, veteran Upper School teachers Dr. Karen Bradley, Paul Scott and Gene Vann participated in a panel discussion on environmental ethics in which they shared their research and thinking through three perspectives: philosophy, history and science. They addressed questions such as: What obligations do we have concerning the environment? What is the best way to engage students as environmental stewards?


> Head-Royce School ··· Spring 2014  



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A Little Bit of Kindness Goes a Long Way BY BRET TURNER, SECOND GRADE TEACHER

When one of my students got her foot firmly wedged underneath a door, it was the talk of second grade. When the foot was eventually dislodged, she was shaken, scared and hurt. But a second grader is never alone: an avalanche of genuine concern, empathy and love came tumbling down from her peers. Hugs, reassurances, gentle words and a stack of get-well-soon cards and Valentines — created through immediate grassroots action — flooded and surrounded her. And it’s not only in the Lower School where we see this type of thoughtfulness. In the Middle School, students recently took part in an assembly that asked kids and adults alike to anonymously answer questions about being bullied, having bullied others and about being a bystander — a powerful and unifying way of examining kindness across differences as well as similarities in how we treat one another. In the Upper School, the Student Council noticed a potential flaw in the candy gram project for Valentine’s Day — not everyone was going to get one. Covertly, they organized a plan to hand one out to every single Upper School student.

These anecdotes remind me of an adage that captures the essence and purpose of kindness: “Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.” It’s a sentiment that acknowledges what we strive to teach, learn and practice by recognizing that being kind to one another is not only the right thing to do, it is a necessity, an imperative and above all, a human instinct. Kindness serves as a way of ensuring that we treat each other with empathy; it’s an anchor to which we can tie our actions, words, reactions and feelings. Whether we’ve stuck our foot in a door, realized that some of our peers and teachers have gone through exactly what we have or proactively changed a project to include everyone, it is clear that a little bit of kindness goes even further than we can imagine.

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Capturing Kindness Students in Harry Muniz’s Photo 1 class investigated the visual depiction of utopian landscapes and, as part of that, tackled an assignment to document kindness in the community. Titled “The Milk of Human Kindness” (a reference to the line in Macbeth, a play read by ninth graders in English), it was the second part of the class’ examination of the ideal nature of the human condition after they investigated the experience of “play” versus “work.” Taken together students arrived at a type of formula for utopia. Shira Sanghvi ’17 8   Head-Royce School ··· Spring 2014

Erin Jeffs ’17

top: Zoe Jennings ’16   bottom: Jemma Baus ’17 Head-Royce School ··· Spring 2014  



Collaborating on Class Norms For many teachers, citizenship starts with the fundamental goal of creating a safe, welcoming and supporting classroom environment. Many classes throughout the three divisions outlined class norms at the beginning of the year. Some teachers reinforce these with activities done throughout the school year. In the Lower School, Leslie Powell’s fourth graders participate in purposeful exercises each morning to mark the transition from home to the school day. This begins with a message, reflection prompt (including one exercise on inclusion), open discussion and concludes with a formal greeting, which can range from a “high-five” to a greeting in another language or a compliment. Special attention is paid to modeling and practicing the important social skills of eye contact, tone of voice, body language, facial expression and a firm handshake so the interactions feel sincere and meaningful. Each of Anthony Witte’s Middle School Mandarin Chinese classes begin with a wholeclass greeting that is repeated until everyone participates respectfully; in addition, students in the class tackle activities that highlight thinking about others. One example was a business card exchange exercise that asked students to notice things about another person in hopes of making them feel special, and to take care where they put the card (i.e., not in back pockets).

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In Neethi Venkateswaran’s Upper School math classroom, students at the beginning of the year discussed the qualities that define a mathematician as well as the anxieties that many people face regarding the study of mathematics. The students developed a list of class norms (see bottom right photo on next page) that stress the importance of feeling safe in the classroom and the significance of approaching mathematics with a mindset that embraces growth. In April Avila Forde’s first grade class, the idea of norms was applied specifically to the topic of inclusion and food allergies, as there are two members of the class who have severe nut allergies. Students talked about how might it make someone feel if they could not participate in class parties or cooking projects because they were using ingredients that might make them sick. After reading a picture book about food allergies, they brainstormed ways everyone could help those students and others be safe at school and signed a food allergy action plan to complement the existing school-wide Nut Awareness policy.

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Days of Kindness Fourth Grade’s 21 In Sue Moon and Leslie Powell’s fourth grade classrooms, students embarked on “21 Days of Kindness” during the fall. Students in Ms. Moon’s class discussed the many ways to show kindness and made a class chart recording the different acts of kindness the students did over the course of three weeks. The “21 Days of Kindness” chart, which also encompassed kind acts done at home, included such niceties as sharing cookies, holding doors open for people, helping their kindergarten buddies and “trying to be friendlier in the mornings.” In Mrs. Powell’s class, students responded to daily prompts that sparked a variety of demonstrations of kindness. These included giving someone a compliment, beautifying one’s surroundings, sharing the gift of a smile and sending someone a handwritten note. For Back-to-School Night, fourth graders wrote letters complete with colorful, handdrawn flowers for their parents to receive during their classroom visit; the letters highlighted each child’s favorite activities in class and asked the parents questions about their own school experience.

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Speaker Events Emphasize Kindness Various speakers have come to campus this year to speak to both parents and students about the importance of kindness. The signature parent education event “Shaping Success: Why Kindness Works” featured Christine Carter from the UC Berkeley Greater Good Science Center and the author of Raising Happiness. During her talk, one of the main tips Carter shared was to promote gratitude and kindness in large and small ways because this will lead to happiness and when people are happier they are healthier and more successful.

Another event for parents featured Susan Wilkens, Ph.D., a child and family psychologist who provided tips on what the brain can teach parents about understanding and nurturing the socio-emotional lives of pre-adolescents. As in Christine Carter’s talk, Wilkens urged parents to increase their awareness of being present. “We spend plenty of time having conversations with our children while we are cooking dinner or doing dishes,” she said. “Try just being present.” She offered tips on communicating effectively with kids and keeping the lines of communication open:

Patricia Polacco, a well-known children’s author of more than 95 books, visited the Lower School to talk about the themes behind her stories, which touch on ancestry, friendships, learning issues, conflict and so many more pertinent topics. One of her newest books, Bully, was inspired by her own youth and the learning disabilities that affected her childhood. She emphasized what each student could do individually, and what we could do as a school community, to change negative behavior and told her audience: “Each one of us is gifted, some of us just haven’t opened our gifts yet.”

»» Work on developing “big picture” thinking »» Frame things in positives »» “Catch them” getting it right »» When you see behaviors that you like, call those out



“We’re really good as a culture at teaching our kids a lot of skills that will lead to achievement and … traditional notions of success, but we need to take a step back and think about what are the skills I need to practice with my kids so they can be happier, so they can experience lots of different types of positive emotions — practicing gratitude with them, practicing fostering optimism or confidence.” –CHRISTINE CARTER, in conversation with Assistant Head/Academic Dean Crystal Land

Christine Carter

Patricia Polacco Head-Royce School ··· Spring 2014  



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What do K–12 family group can-sculptures, Cambodian NGOs and Sausal Creek have in common? They are all part of our rich and robust service program, which provides students with age-appropriate opportunities to get involved with issues they care about. Service projects are fun and far-reaching: in Lower School that means baking dog treats for the SPCA and trick-ortreating for UNICEF; in Middle School students have organized bake sales for Philippine Relief and cleaned up an invasive plant from a regional park just up the hill from our campus; in the Upper School students have helped children in other countries learn English, tutored peers and younger students on campus and helped senior citizens to use technology — just to name a few. In and out of Head-Royce classrooms, students and teachers work to pursue understanding of complex and interconnected problems, to cultivate curiosity for

perspectives and experiences other than our own and to act ethically and empathically on behalf of others as well as ourselves. I believe that community service is an essential and effective way of cultivating these habits of mind and heart by translating them into concrete terms and tangible experiences. Last summer, as trip leader on a student study tour to Cambodia, I learned first-hand the power of experiential education and service while working with NGOs in country. l watched in admiration as HRS students took on the role of teachers, actors and friends to the kids they encountered. These exchanges may have touched the Cambodian

students, but they transformed us as individuals. To see school through the eyes and experience of another, as more than an institution or stepping stone — as essential shelter, surrogate family and safe haven — was indeed a powerful and instructive experience. Community service is both informative and inspiring. It provokes us to seek gratification from doing and giving, not out of self-interest, but from the premise that it is in our mutual interest to share with and learn from others. All communities, local and global, rely on this sense of responsibility and reciprocity. By engaging in community service, students experience the power they have to positively impact the world. From weeding in the school garden to campaigning against global warming, our students are learning to learn, to care, to lead and to address the social and environmental issues of our time.

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co m m u n i t y

“Besides being a welcome break from the intense pace of academic classes, service learning trips are a big part of the unity we feel in the Middle School and a touchstone of our culture. Without fail, students (and faculty) return from service trips jazzed to have practiced our values for the benefit of others and to have worked as a team to make a real exchange with the fabric of the Bay Area.” –IAN WALTERS, SIXTH GRADE TEACHER

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Starting on the Service Path Service is an important component to our Middle School program and launches Head-Royce students on their community service path that continues until their senior year. Each year, Middle School students participate in four service days; this year the sixth, seventh and eighth graders are going to the Sunol Agricultural Park, Redwood Regional Park, Alameda County Community Food Bank, Oakland public and charter schools and Head-Royce’s own garden. These projects allow the students to get out into the wider Bay Area to learn about other walks of life and work to support local community.



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co m m u n i t y

Upper School Community Service Stars Head-Royce believes that service learning and community service are integral parts of good citizenship. Service is a way in which students can learn about social issues both in and out of the traditional classroom. It provides students with an opportunity to get the essential background on a variety of social issues and to see first hand the effect of these social issues on the community. In addition, it allows students to experience their own power to positively impact the world and work toward social justice.

“Community service provides the opportunity to learn the lessons that you can’t just learn in a classroom. In working at the Berkeley Men’s Shelter, you find yourself surrounded by people who haven’t had the opportunities that most of us at Head-Royce are blessed with. You find yourself connecting and talking to people who may have not have ‘succeeded’ but the lessons and advice they are able to give I count as equal to any equation I could have learned or thesis I could have created.”

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Students in grades 6–12 have either formal community service learning activities or requirements to complete a certain number of hours. But some students go above and beyond, incorporating service into their lives on a larger scale and taking on leadership roles to organize service opportunities for classmates.

Max is a junior who Upper School Dean of Student Life Naoko Akiyama says is quietly leading service projects, not doing so to seek the spotlight, and is one of her go-to service-oriented students for issues on hunger. Max organized a group to go to the Berkeley Men’s Shelter this past November.

Max Appel ’15

“It is important to serve the community because this service gives me a sense of awareness outside of myself. My service at the Berkeley Women’s Shelter and the Ama Ghar Children’s Home (in Nepal) has taught me to be more conscious of the conditions in which others experience the community that we all inhabit.”

Claire is a long-time volunteer at the Berkeley Women’s Shelter and the Berkeley Men’s Shelter (through the Berkeley Food and Housing Project) who also went on the summer 2013 Head-Royce trip to Nepal. Claire Harper ’14

Anish and a friend from Fremont started a student group called SOS (Service Over Self) and were moved by the tsunami disaster in Japan to do a fundraiser. From there they moved on to do a combination of fundraising efforts, including for the typhoon victims in the Philippines, and active service in senior centers. Anish has been a leader in organizing student group visits to senior centers to provide technology classes, marrying his personal interests in technology with supporting senior citizens for whom this tech-gadget-centered world is not what they grew up with.

Anish Mokha ’16

“I believe that serving the community is a very integral and beneficial practice for anybody in their respective community. Knowing that I am making a positive difference for my peers and community members provides me with an unbelievable feeling of happiness.”

Ridha has been very active in organizing service-oriented events. She spearheaded efforts to raise money for the Philippines at fundraising/garage sale events in Union City and led a group of 10 Head-Royce students to MedShare — an organization in San Leandro that repackages surplus medical supplies to be sent abroad to places of need.

Ridha Kapoor ’16

“I think it is important to serve the community because once you realize that there are people out there in the world who need help, it’s necessary to take that next step in reaching out to them. It really is a great feeling to have knowing that you have helped someone in need, just like it is a great feeling to know that someone out there has helped you.”

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co m m u n i t y

Creating Global Citizens Each year Head-Royce students and faculty immerse themselves in other cultures as part of international, school-sponsored trips. In the past two years, some of the destinations students visited were Nepal, Peru and South Africa. The trips help students become more informed global citizens by participating in cultural exchanges, and in some cases contributing to organizations working to improve social conditions.

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Over a Thanksgiving break trip, Luz Diaz led students and faculty members to her native land of Peru for daily language and culture classes and participation in community service projects in Cuzco including at an orphanage for girls, a children’s hospital and an after-school program for deaf children.

“Our trip to Peru widened my perspective of the meaning of citizenship. The experience of such a varied and distinct culture, language and land, as well as the realization that these aspects are what shape its people, opened my eyes to my identity as a global citizen. We have the power to define our environment just as it has the power to define us, and as global citizens, we have the opportunity and potential to better the world for generations to come.” –SOPHIA ARTIS ’16

“As a Spanish teacher, I help my students to make connections, open up their minds and negotiate meaning. This process is much easier when you are immersed in the culture. Spending time in Cuzco, living its culture and contributing to the community, has enriched students’ and teachers’ personal development.” –LUZ DIAZ, SPANISH TEACHER


The Colla Voce chorus group visited South Africa during summer 2012 for two weeks after a school year of studying African rhythms and music. Highlights included exchanging songs with the choir at the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls, learning about apartheid in Soweto and visiting Robben Island, where Nelson Mandela was incarcerated for 18 of the 27 years he was in prison.

“My trip to South Africa was definitely unforgettable and I’m fortunate to have shared the experience with my Colla Voce family. One of the most memorable moments was sharing and performing songs with the choir at Oprah Winfrey’s School for Girls. I realized the universal quality that music has and how easily it brings people together despite cultural differences.” –GIORGIANNA ELLIS, ’14

“By sharing and making music together with our brothers and sisters in South Africa, the members of Colla Voce broadened their global perspective and opened their minds to different cultures half way around the world. Many individuals established relationships that will last a lifetime on this trip and the students have definitely become more enlightened global citizens. The Head-Royce vocal ensembles continue to perform the powerful and colorful music from South Africa.” –BOB WELLS, MIDDLE AND UPPER SCHOOL CHORAL DIRECTOR

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co m m u n i t y


During a summer 2013 trip to Nepal led by Lower School teachers Anna-Marie Nilsson (kindergarten) and Debra Harper (science), students experienced Nepali culture and worked daily at the Ama Ghar Children’s Home in Kathmandu. Activities included playing games, helping with homework, organizing a talent show and scavenger hunt, conducting craft projects and teaching athletics.

“Being on a trip without my family and to a place where not everyone has as much as we do has really made me reflect on my own life. In Nepal, the Ama Ghar kids take their time to do things they love with an open mind and an open heart — putting all their focus into one thing, they slow down. They show their emotions, whether good or bad, and they just are so respectful and caring of everything and everyone.” –KIRAN PARWANI ’15

“What this trip taught me was how little it takes to build a family/community. Every evening before dinner all of the children gathered outside to play games, talk, play guitar and sing — a beautiful interaction among all ages from 3 to 19 years old — all without an electronic device in sight. Even though the children at Ama Ghar own very little, they are rich in knowing that they are part of a community that cares about them. Knowing that you matter is huge for these kids. And the lesson for HRS students is to recognize that they are a beloved member of the HRS community and think of what can they do to incorporate this feeling in all that they do in the present and future.” –ANNE MARIE NILSSON, KINDERGARTEN TEACHER

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Middle School Social Activism Students in Eric Taylor’s seventh and eighth grade history classes have embraced social activism this year, writing letters of social, political and economic concern to corporations and community leaders (and often receiving more than just customary responses) as well as raising money for an orphanage in Tanzania. His eighth grade class set a goal to raise $1,000 for the orphanage and is well on its way to achieving its goal through efforts that include a booth at the All-School Fair and a sale of jewelry made from loose beads bought from Ugandan women.

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co m m u n i t y

Student Group Promotes Gender Equality The Women’s Affinity Group, a student club founded by Kim Vu ’14 and Olivia Won ’14, created posters in an effort to highlight the importance of discussing gender issues, including discrimination at Head-Royce and in the wider community. The posters were a visual follow-up to the Upper School practicum session designed by the students in the Women’s Literature course and were intended to start the conversation about gender issues in the school’s community. Based on the amount of positive feedback from classmates, the group created more of the posters and put them up around the Upper School to serve as a daily reminder to students to self-check their own words and actions. The “Feminism Is Equality” poster is a sort of call to arms, while the anti-gender discrimination posters give people a place to start in the fight for equality. 24  Head-Royce School ··· Spring 2014

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An overarching theme of eighth grade history is to examine the nature of power; students investigate how governments obtain power, how they choose to wield that power over nations and communities and how individuals rise up in response. By studying activists like Chico Mendes, Vik Muniz and Camila Vallejo — people who have brought attention to poverty, environmentalism and social justice — our middle schoolers move on to high school with a passionate sense of global justice, empathy and empowerment to make positive changes in their world. As ninth grader Carolyn Cheng commented, “I’ve learned that I want to contribute positively to the welfare of people, animals and the environment in a way that involves activities that I enjoy: writing and creating. I hope to contribute to make the world a better place than it was before.” In each division, teachers challenge students to examine the world through a variety of lenses and to cultivate empathy for those whose lives are seemingly unfamiliar to our own. Lessons designed to nurture our students to become empowered global citizens are woven through meaningful projects and activities every year and in each division. Taking a look inside our classrooms reveals deep engagement with applied citizenship, which is woven throughout projects and activities in each grade. In the Lower School, fifth grade classroom and world language teachers collaborate on a design project to have students construct models of homes in various parts of the world with a focus

on resource use and sustainability. Students from the Spanish class study different regions of Peru ranging from the urban center of Lima to the Amazon basin. They learn about the economy, resources and regional building techniques before designing a prototype for a local family. Seventh graders in the Middle School work in pairs to learn about the biodiversity of their assigned biome, such as a tropical rainforest. Using this data, they identify both the human impact and the role of global climate change on the biome. Students then engineer and design an improvement and write letters to different organizations such as the World Wildlife Fund asking for support for their design projects. In Chris Davies’ senior economics class in the Upper School, students research an aspect of poverty in America, present their findings to the class and recommend a solution. Citizenship in our own small community is valued greatly at Head-Royce, but inside of our classrooms the focus is often broader. “What can I do to be a positive citizen of the world?” is an important part of the curricular tapestry at every grade level.

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“I believe that being a global citizen involves being able to identify with problems that people encounter throughout the globe no matter how someone identifies economically, politically or religiously ...  As a high school student I understand that it is my responsibility to acquire knowledge in order to understand a range of conflicts so that I can assist in finding solutions.” –COLIN LEACH ’14

“Our view of community seems to be grounded in our day-to-day lives, and we don’t really get a chance to explore the rest of the global community with that mindset. The reason for international travel often includes a desire to break out of this manufactured shell and promote a sense of connection in the world. “

What is a Global Citizen? Global Issues, a senior elective capstone course taught by Saya McKenna, seeks to cultivate the critical tools needed for our students to become globally competent citizens: interest in real world issues, investigation of these issues from multiple perspectives, appreciation for systems thinking, consideration of the relationship of history to current events, application of academic disciplines and theories to realworld scenarios, empathy for others and incentive to act upon pressing world problems. To begin the semester, students explore the concept of global citizenship by looking at academic theories and definitions, international organizations and framing documents and finally by scripting their own personal statements of what it means to be a global citizen. Here are a few excerpts:

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“To be a global citizen, we must transcend these national boundaries and truly think about how our every action affects not just our community or nation, but rather the world at large. In the modern world to live in isolationism is no longer a possibility. Nations depend on each other and interact on a daily basis, and as citizens we should be aware of how other lives are changed by our own seemingly personal choices. I interpret global citizenship as the mentality of those who choose to weigh the effect of every action upon the world at large and the ability to see all issues from other cultural perspectives.” -ALEX BROWNE ’14

STUDENTS CONSIDER “As a global citizen, I believe I have a responsibility to respect not only all people but also life in its many forms on our planet. This includes considering the experience of anything that can think and feel and preserving the habitats that we all live in. I believe that being a global citizen means living in a way that is as sustainable as possible and working to understand the impact that my day-to-day life has on the world around me.”

»» What is global citizenship? »» What are the common rights and responsibilities associated with this role?


“I have found that implicit in global citizenship is involvement in one’s local community. Being aware of the current social and political state of one’s neighborhood, state, country and world is essential as it can directly affect not just our own lives, but also the lives of others.” –JOCELYN CHENG ’14

»» How does one shape and engage discourse around an issue —  mindful of, but not limited by, personal perspective and bias? »» How are global issues complex and complicated? »» What is to be done to address these pressing and interrelated issues?

“Based upon our readings and discussions, I would argue that a global citizen is a person who respects the customs and beliefs of a diverse range of regional groups, but does not necessarily identify with them. Furthermore, a global citizen actively works to cultivate a world community that unifies people from different regional, ethnic, socioeconomic, racial and religious communities. This unification can be achieved by promoting liberty, equality and freedom all over the world.” –OLIVIA LUCAS ’14

»» What does it mean to wrestle with global questions that require a complex understanding of other countries and cultures?

»» What do I want to understand and act upon as an individual?



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Working Citizenship into Math


ential expon g and in n n id pla class d ement Clark’s n retir was t o t l t o a c c o je S g itial ts in n o a pro in e t d e p u h u t T r their llow em. b ra s x syst s e n te As a fo t a ar alge t n e e y e d t iv u s ss e st , fir p ro g re bility. ld hav g ro w t h of t h e tax lia a t wo u is h ir s t e t ly h e t a te sheets she an an spread calcula s p re a d ir o a t e h e d t t n a y ppens gs a odif t o c re hat ha earnin ents m l w d a u d t ic s n at t fi g e s to was th havin theor away ibution luded r c t e in k n a o e t c s ha give a ble -for cond p hoped llar to charita o e r d h o f T ll The se . s u t e u giv ing a taf de inp s e a rc h n’t cos n they e s e r e h s o w t to inclu d n rg and bills ude hat it ir tax h a d st igator.o ove r t v y c a it is n tem iv to t h e d y t ld ax sys charit up ac t s wo u g the t s like ollowe f in it d s .A n st u d e n y a e g rit erst ut th y ratin to c h a nd und ith!), b using u . w s o f e ie dollar s e t it r ar n them den n ag y of c h p a ct o ws. Stu f u s ca im o ie v n y e a variet n r a e ity nm mad g/char ituatio tivity bbb.or the ac ge (a s f n o e ll t a in o ch main p to b e a hat the t d e t r repo

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The Power of Forgiveness An assignment in David Enelow’s English 11 class asked students to consider “What does the story of Joseph and his brothers in the Book of Genesis tell us about how it is possible to let go of anger and forgive those who have betrayed or otherwise harmed us and what more than forgiveness does true reconciliation require?” For the purposes of the assignment, students were asked to define forgiveness as the letting go of anger and resentment. Read on for two examples of student work.

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Charlotte Merzbacher ’15

If you have been wronged, there are three responses: revenge, forgetting and forgiveness. Revenge can give us a sense of righteous satisfaction and control over events in our past. By taking something from the person who has wronged us, we are somehow taking back what was done to us. If the person who has been wronged decides not to take revenge, forgetting can sometimes allow the person to move on with their life, though forgetting a trauma does not erase its psychological effects. For instance, post-traumatic stress disorder illustrates the persistence of traumatic memories. The last option, forgiveness, means to stop feeling angry and resentful toward something or someone for the wrong that they have done you. Forgiveness, if it can be achieved, has many advantages, both mental and physical. Research shows that forgiveness can reduce risk of cardiovascular disease and slow the development of cancer and AIDS. Depression, stress, anger and self-pity are all reduced by the act of forgiving. It can, however, be extraordinarily hard to forgive because we must give up the power we feel that we hold over the wrongdoer by hating them. In Genesis, Joseph forgives his brothers despite the horrific wrongs they have done him. Though he harbors resentment after his brothers sell him into slavery, he is able to achieve forgiveness through his faith in God and reconcile with his brothers when he sees their desire to act upon their remorse to save his brother Benjamin.

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Although Joseph achieves forgiveness, others may face insurmountable obstacles when trying to release their hatred. For instance, revenge is one of the most tempting alternatives to forgiveness. Anthropologically, revenge can constrain those who break societal norms, especially in societies where they might not be punished otherwise. According to recent studies, revenge may even be intrinsic in human nature. That does not mean that it is always the best option; acts of vengeance, though covert and carefully chosen, can “invite the kind of backlash that turns a small grudge into a lawsuit” (New York Times). We may try to content ourselves with vengeful thoughts or covert action, but often we dream of extravagant, excessive revenge because the urge for revenge is “a kind of hunger, a lust, a deficit the brain is seeking to fill” (“Talk of the Nation”, McCullough). Forgiveness means giving up on that hunger; it can never be satiated. By forgiving, we are no longer the privileged victim but equal with the aggressor and we often find this superior role nearly impossible to give up.

Max DeWit ’15

When a person does us a grievous wrong, our immediate response is anger and thoughts of revenge. We are naturally drawn toward revenge because it is in our genes (Love your enemy). When we “get the other person back” we are feeling a false sense of fulfillment and completeness because revenge is biological desire. In addition, forgetting, intentionally or not, is the failure to remember, which seems like an easy way out. Regardless, there is no way to forget something that has caused

us mental or physical damage. Even if we consciously say to ourselves “I’m going to forget this affront,” we subconsciously can never forget. Everything we do is a reflection of what we have experienced and learned. When we intentionally repress affronts, they can grow in strength because they are unresolved.

Both revenge and forgetting are incomplete ways of addressing the situation and only lead to further psychological entrapment. Forgiveness is the only way to release the anxiety and stress related to the grievance we have suffered. The process of forgiving may seem like it is mostly about the “enemy”. In contrast, forgiving is more for personal gain and allowing ourselves to move forward from the initial feelings of revenge. The forgiven person does not have to accept our forgiveness or feel remorse at all. According to Ms. Healy, speaking on “Talk of the Nation,” “[Forgiveness is a] gift to yourself and to that person that you will not only move on, not only drop the anger and recrimination, but that you will give the gift of empathy and good will toward the other person.” We are able to achieve forgiveness when we are aware that the alternatives will perpetuate both our own stress and anxiety and the cycle of anger and revenge beyond even our own personal experience into the lives of others. In Genesis, the story of Joseph highlights to us the wisdom of forgiving. The story of Joseph teaches us that forgiveness is possible and beneficial to one’s self, especially when the forgiver initiates a trust-building process. This enables the forgiven to participate in a relationship characterized by reconciliation, which can only occur after forgiveness is initiated; furthermore, reconciliation allows the forgiver and the forgiven to move forward beyond the past and the personal.

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Citizenship 500 In a fresh approach to critical examination, students in Andrew von Mayrhauser and Will Adams’ sixth-grade classes tracked the actions of the main characters in the dystopian novel, The Giver by Lois Lowry, with an eye for behaviors that related to issues of citizenship. The teachers strung mini-zip lines across their classrooms to serve as tracks for use by cardboard Indianapolis 500 racecars, which bore the names of characters. When students determined, through group discussion and votes, that a character has committed a positive act of citizenship, the teachers moved that character’s car forward on the zip line.

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When characters violated the ideals of citizenship, their cars retreated. This allowed students and teachers to view visual representations of main characters’ impacts — both positive and negative —  on the greater good.

Reflections on a Turbulent Decade Students in the Senior History Elective: 1968 course began the year reflecting on their own political commitments, as framed by writings of 1960s campus activists and other voices from this turbulent decade of social change. Later in the semester, they carefully compared social movements of the period, wrote a cultural critique of of the song “Yellow Submarine” and pursued in-depth research on 1960s issues —  radical feminism, views on homosexuality and the Prague Spring, to name a few — which became the basis of a paper they created and a class they taught to fellow students.

For their final assignment, the seniors selected excerpts from varied readings that represented for them seminal moments in the course. In response to each excerpt, students wrote a short reflection explaining how the texts shed light on their understanding of the 1960s and its connection to their contemporary political ruminations. Following are two student examples.

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“Goodbye to those simple-minded optimistic dreams of socialist equality all our good socialist brothers want us to believe. How liberal a politics that is! How much further we will have to go to create those profound changes that would give birth to a genderless society. Profound, sister. Beyond what is male and female. Beyond standards we all adhere to now without daring to examine them as male-created, male-dominated, male-f*ed-up, and in male self-interest. Beyond all known standards, especially those easily articulated revolutionary ones we all rhetorically invoke. Beyond, to a species with a new name, that would not dare define itself as Man.” —ROBIN MORGAN, GOODBYE TO ALL THAT (1970)

I chose this excerpt because this past semester I had the pleasure of crafting an entirely interdisciplinary video project for Women’s Literature that allowed me to examine the relationship between patriarchy and capitalism. As I sifted through histories of small matrilineal societies and the plight of economically downtrodden women in postSoviet bloc Poland in search of a societal structure that could provide true gender equity, this quote really struck me. There’s something profound in seeing beyond the divisive lines of presupposed constructs of any kind, but seeing beyond gender is almost impossible in our culture. Our foundations are inextricably tied to the concept of male and

Olivia Won ’14

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female being inherently different rather than united under the flag of humanity, an idea that reinforces the concept of male superiority. As I think about the manipulative use of advertising campaigns (crafted by men) and television of the ’50s (produced by men) to lure the Rosie the Riveters back into their sparkling cookie-cutter homes, I’m reminded by a remark … about the idea of men crafting a world to demote the biological process of creating life in order to mask their inability to do so. While these campaigns of the ’50s arguably attempted to instill a greater respect for the role of the mother in society, they sold women on false promises of fulfillment to keep them from proving men to be even more inadequate by reinforcing their different roles

in their fundamentally different spheres, home and work. Crafting and solidifying gender roles appeared to be a precautionary measure to preserve the shaky foundations of American patriarchy, reeling from the economic power wielded by women during WWII. Though communist experiments attempted to decrease the disparity between men and women, they did so with the key ideas of patriarchy coursing through their veins, causing deep-seated prejudices to overcome the inspired rhetoric, resulting in little to no government-transcending ideological change concerning gender equality. Morgan calls for this reform: a re-evaluation of our societal norms as well as our economic system in our fight for gender equity.

“It was difficult to imagine how society could change unless people changed, but it was equally difficult to see how people could become different unless societal structures allowed them space for reflection and growth. For many young people, the policeman on the corner was less a barrier to change than the policeman inside their heads.” –DAVID FARBER, THE SIXTIES: FROM MEMORY TO HISTORY (1994)

Robbie Manley ’14

Do people produce society, or does society produce people?

As this quotation points out, both are the case, and this creates a strong theoretical tension that is quite difficult to navigate. Put into more concrete terms, this quotation highlights the distinction between micro and macro politics — politics of the self and politics of institutions. To say that people produce society is to recognize that institutions are human constructs and therefore, in theory, shaped by their values. The converse, that society produces people, recognizes that human values are shaped by the world they grow up in, including, to a large degree, societal and institutional structures (the school, the family, the media, etc.).

If these two entities, individuals and society, are co-productive in this manner, then one cannot change without the other changing as well. To me, this relationship suggests that true social change, absent a full-fledged revolution, is necessarily a slow process, as movements shape institutions that then shape new generations. It also calls into question the possibility of an effective revolution, for even if all societal institutions are smashed, their flaws live on in the revolutionaries who were crafted by them. This problem with attempts to create change was definitely present in the movements of the ’60s, which oftentimes replicated many of the issues they were

attempting to escape (sexism in the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, materialism among the hippies, to name two examples). To me, this conundrum leaves two possibilities: either change is an inevitably (and infuriatingly) slow process, or we need to find a new approach.

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Citizenship in Lower School Music Class SARAH NOLL, LOWER SCHOOL MUSIC TEACHER

Building citizenship is the most important core value in the Lower School music class. Because we make music together we are constantly working on skills that make good community members. Four words that guide us from kindergarten through fifth grade are: participate, listen, respect and enjoy. Through simple acts, from forming a great circle to singing robustly at assemblies, citizenship in our community is evident and is practiced with joy. Participation in something bigger than oneself and done with an aim for the good of the group — that is what music is all about.

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Our weekly assembly also features specific songs that reinforce the community message of friendship, freedom and inclusivity. For example, titles include: »» “Circle of Friends”

In addition, we welcomed the audience at the Holiday Program this past December with “Jambo” from Kenya. Singing songs from many different countries helps us understand the world and other cultures.

»» “Yellow Submarine” »» “The Dream of Martin Luther King” »» “I Wish I Knew How it Would Feel to be Free” »» “I’m a Lot Like You” »» “Amigos” »» “Stand by Me”



“Because we make music together we are constantly working on skills that make good community members … Participation in something bigger than oneself and done with an aim for the good of the group — that is what music is all about.” -SARAH NOLL

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4 this page Scenes from the Alumni Holiday Party on December. 5, 2013 at the 25th Street Collective in Oakland. 1) (l to r) Robert Fahey ’08, Kristen Dwelley ’86, Mary Fahey and Nicolette Brown 2) (l to r) Nick Weiler ’03, Peter Rubin ’03, Meaghan Pugh ’03, Rachel Weiler ’06, Jenny Dang ’03 and Sal Ramos ’04 3

3) (l to r) Scott Ruegg ’79, Dan Duman ’79 and his wife Helena Ann Weiss-Duman 4) Geoffrey Goddard ’10 and Rob Lake

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opposite page (l to r) Rory Chipman ’13, Njeri Kamau-Devers, Adam Freed ’09, Ryan Isono ’11, and Tim EllisCaleo ’11 spoke at the Back From College panel discussion on January. 10, 2014

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Alumni Notes 1940


Phyllis Wilson Thomas writes that: “My husband of 70 years and I have recently moved to Belmont Village, a retirement home in Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif. I am still driving, fortunately. Our two sons and families visit us often. Our older son David lives in Colorado and our younger son is in Kuwait. We are very happy here since they allowed us to bring our dog, a Bernese Mountain dog. We are both active in our church and have kept up with our other clubs and groups.”

Jane Russell wrote: “I moved to Pittsburg with my husband in 1968 and continue to live there in the home we purchased. I have been twice married and divorced with no children. Having no children, my life’s professional work has been with or connected with children in education, school counseling and as a marriage, family, child therapist (MFT). I received my master’s degree in counseling from St. Mary’s College in Moraga. For many years I was an elementary school teacher, specializing in early education. For the 14 years before I retired in 1998, I developed and piloted a counseling program in the three elementary schools in Bay Point. The program was very successful and much needed in this community. I was very proud that it was awarded the distinction A Program of Excellence by the Contra Costa County School Administrators Association and that I was also appointed as a mentor teacher for the development of a conflict resolution program. I was also an MFT counselor in private practice and in community counseling agencies.

1951 Lois Lippincott writes: “It was wonderful to see Ann Hawley ’50 at a Rossmoor Stanford Club dinner before the year’s Big Game. We were both wearing our separate school colors. Now it’s off to the Rose Bowl for me — the second year in a row!”

1953 Mari Blumenau Lyons had a successful exhibition of new paintings in October at First Street Gallery in New York City’s Chelsea neighborhood. In addition, her work is featured in Magicians & Charlatans, a new book by Jed Perl, art critic of the New Republic.


After retirement, I was hired to teach graduate courses in the counseling/psychology department at Brandman University (part of the Chapman University System) in Walnut Creek where I am also a student teacher supervisor. I have been on the faculty at Brandman University for 14 years. I find

> Go to for a link to an article by Susan Fratis Penny ’56 on the history of the school and bios of Anna Head and Josiah Royce. Head-Royce School ··· Spring 2014  


Alumni Notes alumni

1956 Notes continued

this to be very rewarding and a way to pass on all the knowledge and experience I have gained. I have also served for six years as a judge for the Contra Costa County Teacher of the Year Awards. I am active in my church, Mt. Diablo Unitarian Universalist, and in community volunteer work. I sing in the church choir, chair a church committee, coordinate a church neighborhood support group and am actively involved with homeless and affordable housing issues and projects locally. I volunteer twice a week as a tutor in a low-income affordable housing afterschool program in Pittsburg. I have traveled extensively. My two latest trips were to China and Tibet (a lifelong dream) and Nova Scotia to trace my Russell heritage. I am also active in Sierra Club and attend musicals, theater and art shows locally. My creative ventures consist of belonging to a women’s art group, designing jewelry and note cards and writing poetry. I am currently living with my gentleman companion John ‘Petey’ Baker and my two beautiful longhaired grey cats. My life continues to be fulfilling and rewarding.” Linda “Bindy” Wood reports: “My husband and I celebrated our 75th birthdays this year. Where has the time gone? We are taking our children and grandchildren to Montana for a special riding, hiking and fishing trip to celebrate our family — 16 strong!”

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Annie Jo Sawyer Lloyd reports: “Having concluded my years in the classroom and my study skills seminars, I am now looking forward to the end of my terms on various Benicia commissions and committees. John and I are excited about the arrival of grandchildren — the sooner, the better!”

I reserve the upstairs of my house for company and hang out in my summer-cool, winter-cozy daylight basement with my partner and our dogs. I’m never bored; I enjoy reading mysteries, surfing the net, watching movies, solving Sudoku puzzles, walking the dogs and lifting weights.”

Sheila Kavanagh Smith reports: “After graduation from the University of Oregon with a major in biology, I worked as a technician in academic, industrial, medical and environmental labs. I pride myself on never having had a job I had to dress up for.

Margaret Ann Byers Wallace (Ann) and her husband, Ken, have lived in Tahoe City for 33 years. They are retired realtors. Due to Ann’s auto-immune and immune illnesses, she has many limitations. She can’t travel or eat out at restaurants or friends’ homes. She has been doing her family genealogy and has been checking out certificates, talking to relatives and verifying cemeteries’ information. “As a result of this study, we have decided to be buried in the cute, charming and small cemetery in Tahoe City called the ‘Trails End’ where we both have parents resting. We would be lost in Oakland’s Mountain View Cemetery. Instead, we will be nesting with pioneers of Lake Tahoe and visited by Tahoe City tourists.

In the early 1990s, writing classes formatted new disc space in my brain. One class generated a critique group that I’m still in after 21 years. I write more than I submit, hence I post to my blog: Among other things, I look at politicized science and do the math. Just because a claim has the veneer of math and science doesn’t mean it’s true. In the mid-’90s, I taught my reactive pit bull mixes to tolerate other dogs, then to become therapy dogs. That success hooked me on dog training. I communicate with dogs using a clicker, my remote control for dogs. Moreover, dogs are animals, hence an aspect of my first love, biology. In the ’80s, I went professional and trained dogs at Petco for seven years. Currently, I’m a volunteer trainer for Heartland Humane Society and Senior Dog Rescue of Oregon.

P.S. We hope this new adventure will not be coming our way too soon.”




Dana Tolles Beach just returned from the beautiful country of Cuba where she enjoyed “stunning architecture and lovely people. I hope the U.S. will lift the embargo soon.”

Deborah Jean Andrews has retired and is busy with writing, photography and traveling. Her greatest pride was “watching my two adult children follow their life passions, successfully, having been empowered by strong private high school educators.”

Shelley Derdivanis Ankerholz shares that, “Our son, Matt, finished his senior year of high school by winning the high school state swimming championship in the 100-yard breaststroke, earning his eagle rank in scouting and accepting an appointment to the U.S. Air Force Academy, where he will continue his swimming career. Our younger son, Thomas, has moved into the International Baccalaureate program in high school, is just a short step away from earning eagle rank in scouting and continues on the varsity swim team focusing on butterfly and backstroke. It’s been interesting going from a family of four to a family of three with one very far away.”

Suzanne van Tienen Jansse Marriott has moved to Grass Valley, Calif. in the beautiful gold country of the Sierra Foothills and is now thoroughly enjoying the co-housing lifestyle. She moved into newly-built Wolf Creek Lodge co-housing in October of 2012 and is wholeheartedly engaged in living in a community of active adults who value living ecologically and maintaining a balance of private and community living. Anyone interested in learning more about co-housing and Wolf Creek Lodge can visit Suzanne says it’s a great way to live surrounded by supportive neighbors and friends. In the picture, Suzanne is standing behind the person with the big scissors at the grand opening ribbon cutting ceremony.


1973 Verona Mhoon Leefeldt ’70 wrote with the news that “Anna Head schoolmate, Jenny Kerr ’73, has a new CD coming out. We saw the Jenny Kerr Band play in Berkeley the other night with Henry Kaiser and the music was full, engaging and soulful. I danced for the first time since my daughter Ashley was tiny! It was moving, fun, rich, excellent acoustic music. Jenny and Phil at their Okey Doke recording studio will be recording a CD of my old original songs for Ashley in November, ‘Just for my girl’ and we will play my old Mark Evan Whitebook, for those of you who remember back to USC. Life is fun and gathering momentum with all this talent. Jenny Kerr, who some of you remember from Havens, Heads, Piedmont, Oxford University and France, successfully funded a new album via Kickstarter. I was excited to get behind my old buddy! When I visit Jenny and Phil they bring my guitar to life and we have such an excellent time strumming away and harmonizing, as you can imagine! Such joy!”

1981 John B. R. Long tells us, “After living in New York and Connecticut for many years, we moved the family to Dallas in early January. From my new Texas base I co-lead Bain’s retail and consumer practice across the South and Mexico. So far we are really enjoying life in Texas! My wife, Sue, opened the Highland Park (Dallas) office of S.B. Long Interiors, her eponymous interior design business and is enjoying getting to know the thriving local design community. Meanwhile our son, Baker, is in second grade and our daughter, Schuyler, is in pre-K. We would love to know of other HR alums in Dallas!”

>   Go to for a link to an article by Judy Jennifer Hunt ’67 on being one of few African-American students at Anna Head.

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Alumni Notes alumni

1982 Carl Doellstedt, Pat Melendy & Neil Kinney are all working together! Go Jayhawks!

1985 Raymond Finn currently resides in Las Vegas, NV with his beautiful wife of 10 years, Trina JohnsonFinn. A 20-plus year sales and marketing executive, Raymond combined his passion for music with his professional background and formed Gemini Twin Productions, a niche marketing and production company specializing in the creation of original, high-quality music, shows and stories for film and TV, publishing and live performances. Visit Gemini Productions’ website at

1987 Jasmine Benyamin says, “My husband and I (we married in 2012) moved to Milwaukee, where I am an assistant professor of architecture at the

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University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. I am also completing my Ph.D. in architecture (history/ theory) at Princeton University.”

1994 Alex L. Plishner married Dr. Elizabeth Kohan Shirazi on August 10, 2013 at the San Diego Museum of Art in Balboa Park, San Diego. Liz and Alex met in June 2012 and were engaged six months later. They both attended the University of California, San Diego at the same time but never met during college. Some of Alex’s groomsmen were HRS alumni: Dan Garfin, Peter Alexander and his best man and twin brother, Elias Plishner. Liz and Alex currently live in San Diego. Alex is the director of development for Shea Homes Limited Partnership and oversees the division’s land acquisition and project management group. He has been with the company, the largest private homebuilder in the country, for 10 years. Alex is also responsible for the architectural design (both interior and exterior) of all the homes the company builds. His last project (a 200-unit urban infill site called ORIGEN in Mission Valley, California) won national acclaim when it was named “Community of the Year” by the San Diego Building Industry Association, followed up by earning the distinction “Neighborhood of the Year” by the Southern California Building Industry Association and also

earned the biggest title for residential real estate, the National Association of Homebuilders’ “Community of the Year” for the entire United States as well as the Asian Pacific Rim. During his tenure at Shea Homes, Alex has developed and brought to market over 2,500 homes to the San Diego region. He also has served on the Board of Directors for the San Diego Building Industry Association for the past five years.

1998 Daniel Golden finished his residency training in June at the University of Chicago and joined the faculty as an assistant professor in the Department of Radiation and Cellular Oncology.



Erinne Lambden Cohen reports: “In 2005 I met my husband-to-be, David Cohen, although I didn’t know it at the time. In 2006 I graduated from SJSU with a BA in design. Dave and I traveled the world together and recently purchased a home in San Jose. In 2012 we got married at a beautiful vineyard in the Santa Cruz mountains and were also blessed with the arrival of our daughter, Leah Katherine. I have taken time off from being a personal assistant to focus on being a mother, which I find extremely rewarding. Leah loves helping me in our vegetable garden and is fearlessly learning to swim. We are looking forward to spending lots of time at our vacation home in Truckee this winter, sledding and snowshoeing as a family.”

Courtney Jenkins is currently the director of business development for Chevron’s clean technology and renewable energy group, Chevron Energy Solutions. Her division, based in San Francisco, is a recognized global leader in green-tech and sustainability and works closely with municipalities and educational institutions. She leads a team that incorporates cutting-edge campus technology with social impact components like STEM education programs for K–12 students across California. Courtney also recently returned this fall to HRS as an assistant coach for the women’s varsity tennis team!

2005 Alexandra Cortés graduated from Macalester College in 2009 and is the executive director of two farmers’ markets in Minneapolis.


helping to launch book tours for the “International Bank of Bob” and developing strategic partnerships for Kiva with small corporations and businesses. Lindsey enjoyed participating in the alumni activities of Head-Royce’s 125th Anniversary.

2009 Natali Cortés graduated from Swarthmore College in 2013 and will work at the Urban Justice Center in NYC.

2010 Hillary Streeter is majoring in human biology at Stanford University. She spent the summer of 2012 in Tanzania educating a small village on AIDS awareness and testing, representing Support for International Change. Fall quarter was spent studying abroad at Stanford’s Bing Overseas program in Florence. During the summer of 2013 Hillary worked in a neurology lab at UCSF.

Lindsey Streeter After graduating from Occidental College in May of 2012, Lindsey Streeter worked on the Northern California finance team of Obama for America where she interfaced with donors and planned fundraisers for the presidential campaign. Since January, she has been an intern at Kiva

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In Memoriam alumni



Mary Elizabeth Allen Stevens born November 18, 1918, and died peacefully October 19, 2013. Mary Lizz grew up in Oakland, graduating from The Anna Head School. She went on to the University of California, Berkeley where she was a member of Pi Beta Phi sorority. At Cal, she met her husband Sam Stevens and together they raised four children. She is preceded in death by her husband and daughter Elizabeth Stevens and survived by Sam Stevens (Paty) of Santa Cruz, Martha Bennett (Lawrence) of Moraga and Anne Stevens of Oakland. She had five grandchildren and four great-grandchildren. Mary Lizz’s favorite pastime was working in the garden with Sam at their homes in Piedmont and at Lake Tahoe. They also much enjoyed annual gatherings of friends from Cal’s Class of ’39. Mary Lizz was active for many years in Hilltop Branch of Children’s Hospital. The family requests that any donations be made to Children’s Hospital Oakland or The League to Save Lake Tahoe.

Jane Connell, a character actress best known for her portrayal of Agnes Gooch, the mousy secretary to the title character in the musical “Mame” died on Sunday, September 22, 2013 in Englewood, New Jersey. She was 87.

–Published in the San Francisco Chronicle on Oct. 27, 2013

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Jane Connell, left, sings “Gooch’s Song” to Angela Lansbury in the 1967 Broadway production of “Mame.”)

Ms. Connell’s comedic flair tickled audiences for nearly six decades as she made her way from California nightclubs to the Broadway stage and beyond. In 1971, writing in the New York Times, Mel Gussow applauded her portrayal of Mrs. Hardcastle in a production of “She Stoops to Conquer.” “She strides through this production with grace and confidence, never playing for laughs, but getting most of them,” he wrote, adding, “One would like to see her in Molière, Sheridan and Shaw.” She performed in a dozen Broadway shows, including the revue “New Faces of 1956” and two productions of Jerry Herman’s “Mame” with Angela Lansbury in 1966 and 1983. She also played Agnes Gooch in the 1974 movie version, with Lucille Ball in the title role. She appeared on sitcoms like “All in

the Family,” “M*A*S*H” and “Bewitched” (she played Queen Victoria, among other roles) and in the drama “Law & Order.” “Being a child of the Depression, she said, ‘I never, ever want to be out of work,’ ” remembered the actor Peter Ratray, a close friend of the Connell family. Jane Sperry Bennett was born on Oct. 27, 1925, in Oakland, California. In 1948 she married Gordon Connell, a fellow actor and musician, who survives her, along with her daughters, Maggie and Melissa Connell. In later years Ms. Connell had a wealth of Broadway roles. “Everybody was rediscovering this funny older actress,” her agent, Steven Unger, said. She appeared on Broadway in three shows written by Ken Ludwig: “Lend Me a Tenor” in 1989, the Gershwin musical “Crazy for You” in 1992 and “Moon Over Buffalo” starring Carol Burnett, in 1995. She was also in Mr. Ludwig’s “Leading Ladies,” which did not reach Broadway, in 2004. Her last Broadway role, in 2001, was in “The Full Monty,” a musical adaptation of the hit 1997 film; she took over as Jeanette, the jaded pianist, after the death of Kathleen Freeman, who created the role on Broadway. Maggie Connell said that her mother loved the life of a character actor, someone who might not have the most lines but gets many of the juiciest ones: “She liked to hit and run, as she put it.” –Published in the New York Times on Sept. 25, 2013

1944 Judith Hemphill Van Skike, 86, of Santa Ana, passed away peacefully on October 1, 2013. Born on November 2, 1926 in Berkeley, California, she married Owen Van Skike who preceded her in death. Judy’s hobbies included: genealogy, sewing, knitting, motorcycling and music. An active member of DAR, Ebell-Katutu Chapter and Town & Gown, Judy is survived by her sons, Owen Van Skike (Heather), Isaac Van Skike (Cathy), Eric Van Skike (Minna); adored grandchildren Jennifer, Meghan, Jason, Erica, Danielle, Rachel, Mark and cousin Betsy Young. Judy’s kind and gentle spirit will be greatly missed by her family and many friends. No services will be held per Judy’s request. –Published in the Orange County Register on Oct. 5, 2013

1950 Louise Cobb Kuic, 80, died peacefully on April 4, 2013. Louise was born June 7, 1932, in Sacramento, California to the late Mr. and Mrs. Patrick Murphy Cobb. She grew up in Berkeley, California and graduated from The Anna Head School and the University of Colorado, where she met her husband of 56 years, Vukan Kuic. After getting married in 1957 Louise and Vukan lived in Tuscaloosa, Alabama and Santa Barbara, California before moving to Columbia, South Carolina in 1966 where they raised their six children. Traveling the world was one of Louise’s passions and she visited many exciting locations throughout her life, including Australia, Israel, Europe, Patagonia, Peru and China. She also delighted in visiting her family and friends all over the country. An avid reader, she looked forward to her monthly book club meetings with her

long-time friends, the Bookworms, who were very dear to her. Louise was a lover of the natural world and took pleasure in the beauty of the outdoors whether it was the beach, the mountains or her backyard. Movies, music, gardening and cooking were also favorite pastimes. But most of all, she was a dedicated wife and loving mother to her children, a true matriarch of the family. She is survived by her husband, Vukan, and six children and 11 grandchildren: Angela (Charles) Gorman and Sean and Hannah of Columbia; Sonja (Jim) McFarland and Murphy, Ian, and Abigail of Wilmington, North Carolina; Mira (Greg) Ormsby and Aidan and Luka of Murrells Inlet, South Carolina; Tanja (Michael) Mamas and Jaya and Kirana of Clyde, North Carolina; Simeon (Shannon) Kuic of Asheville, North Carolina; Elena (Dave) Bowen and Samantha and Caroline of Fort Mill, South Carolina. She is also survived by her dear sister Mary Thomas of Frisco, Texas. Her family would like to thank the nursing staff at Presbyterian Homes of South Carolina and Tri-County Hospice for the generous support, care and comfort provided during her final days. –Obituary courtesy of the Barr-Price Lexington Funeral Home.

Head-Royce School ··· Spring 2014  


In Memoriam continued alumni

1959 Patricia Jean Snyder. Pat died on July 26, 2013 from ALS, a disease she battled for almost two years. Pat had a very successful career as a program administrator for the Department of Human Services for the State of Hawaii. Pat moved to Hawaii shortly after graduating from the University of California at Riverside. She is survived by her two adopted daughters: Kimberly Asha Snyder, born in India, and Ana Maria Snyder, born in Guatemala.

1965 “Heidi Wells Wilson passed away on August 2, 2012 in Las Vegas where she lived and worked for the last 20 years. She was diagnosed with esophageal cancer in late January 2012 and, Heidi being Heidi, faced the challenge every day with a grin and a carpe diem mindset. She kept a positive attitude saying, ‘I can’t go yet, I still have stuff to do!’ She made a point every day of complimenting her various caregivers and thanking them for their part in her treatment. She’ll be remembered for her

50  Head-Royce School ··· Spring 2014

kindness, generosity and sense of humor. She always seemed happiest when she was doing something for someone else. She was loved by many and will be sorely missed. She was the best ‘BFF’ anyone could ask for.” –Kathy Orr Miller ’65

1974 Wendy Menefee passed away peacefully in her home on February 9, 2014. She was surrounded by friends and family, both human and feline. Wendy grew up in Berkeley and was a long-time resident of San Francisco. She was an alumna of the Head-Royce School, Katharine Gibbs School in Boston, UCLA, San Francisco State University (BA) and University of San Francisco (MBA). Wendy was a co-founder of and partner at Pivot Point Capital. She was the guardian of the firm’s reputation as well as its legal compliance and she brought professionalism, expertise and a cheerful disposition to both roles. Wendy was an experienced back office manager and compliance executive with more than 20 years in the securities

industry. Before joining Pivot Point, Wendy was general manager of Harris Bretall Sullivan & Smith and, before that, a vice president with Blum Capital Management. Wendy was a person of the utmost integrity. Doing the honorable thing was automatic; doing anything but that would have been inconceivable. In addition to being proud of her part in the success of Pivot Point Capital, Wendy cherished her family and friends, enjoyed tending to her beautiful home and garden, and doted on her stunning Russian Blue cats, Skylar and James. Wendy was a lifelong learner, avid reader and world traveler. We will miss her soft-spoken nature, quick wit and unfailing elegance. She is survived by her mother Phyllis, sister Jennifer, brother Chris and friends from coast to coast. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations in her memory to the SF SPCA.


Recently move? Looking for a new job? Tap into the Head-Royce School Alumni group on LinkedIn. It’s open to alumni, alumni parents, faculty and current parents and includes more than 700 members.

Alumni Weekend Whether it has been 5 or 50 years since you have been back to campus, we invite you to join us on May 2 and 3 for our annual Alumni Weekend. This promises to be a wonderful opportunity to connect with old friends and learn more about Head-Royce today and the school’s plans for the future. Highlights include:


»  Young Alumni Award Presentation and Assembly »  Annual Maypole Dances »  Alumni Cocktail Party and Distinguished Alumni presentation Join Rob & Heather Lake at their home for a special reception to kick off alumni weekend!

Like our Facebook page where you can find out about upcoming alumni events and keep up to date with the latest HRS school and alumni news. People love our Throwback Thursday photos from the archives — you never know, you might be in one!


»  Campus Tours Visit the current campus and the new property across the street.

See the pictures from the latest alumni events and scan through our archived albums from the glory days!

»  Family Fun Activities Swimming, face painting and more!

»  Class Gatherings Certain class agents may be organizing class gatherings for reunion years on Saturday evening. Please contact the alumni office ( for more information or if you would like help in organizing a gathering for your class.

Discover a new mentor or reconnect with classmates in a new city by searching by name, industry, school or class. Visit (Alumni>HRS Alumni App) to learn more on how to download our alumni mobile app.

Let us know what you are up to. Our greatest asset is having an accurate database and we love learning about the interesting things you all are doing. Send an email with any address updates or news to

»  Alumni Luncheon Reconnect with classmates over lunch on campus.

If you are interested in serving as a reunion chair, or would like more information about class gatherings, please contact Samantha Boggs in the Alumni Office at


You can learn more and RSVP by visiting > the Alumni Weekend page online at

Head-Royce School ··· Spring 2014  


Interactive Citizenship Displays

Who do you want to be part of your community?

Head-Royce’s Read Library has also gotten in on the citizenship action, with Librarian Mary Goglio’s fun displays on Mad Libs, “Who do you want to be part of your community?” and “Recipes for a Good Citizen.” With all of the displays students had the opportunity to fill in the blanks with dry-erase markers and contribute to the community discussion.

A type of person

Who helps other people Someone who can A person who cares about





Global Warming



Elizabeth Owen Megan Long

Solstice Press

editorial a ssis tance

Susan Anderson design & produc tion

Shelby Designs & Illustrates 52  Head-Royce School ··· Spring 2014

Not at photogr aphy ALL Zach Bernard Sam Deaner sarcastic Claudia Miranda Bret Turner Richard Wheeler


A person who is
















Remember the Annual Fund — Make Your Gift Today! Head-Royce thrives as a leading independent school thanks to the generosity of our community. Please join this community-wide effort with a gift of any size. Your support matters! Gifts made by June 30, 2014 will count toward this year's campaign. THANK YOU for supporting our extraordinary school!


give online


510.531.1300 x2121

4315 lincoln avenue oakl and 路 c a 94602 address service requested

Does the person on the mailing label still live or work here? If not, please notify the Alumni & Development Office of the correct address by calling 510.531.1300 x2149.

HRS Spring 2014 Magazine  

The tri-yearly magazine of Head-Royce School, an independent K-12 educational organization in the Oakland hills.

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