Page 1





WHAT’S IN THIS ISSUE? School Snapshots 2

Family Spotlight 3

Focus on Faculty 4

Campus Guests 5

Message from the Head of School Building Community through Empathy. As our 2016-17 school-wide theme, this phrase served as our north star throughout the year. We asked ourselves the important question: “Who are we as a community?” We talked about our values, examined our traditions, and spent time getting to know one another. I was often heard saying, “the strength of a community is evidenced by how well we welcome newcomers, how well we thank people, and how well we say goodbye.”

Focus on Students 6

Community Life 8

Oh, the Places They’ll Go! 12

Alumni News 16

2016-17 Annual Report 18

EDITOR Amy Walters CONTRIBUTING EDITOR Corinne Hayhurst,

Shoshana Ziblatt

PHOTOGRAPHERS Lori Auffhammer,

Matt Beardsley, John King Photography, Adam Lechner, Kathleen McNamara, Rhys Miller, and Seven Hills faculty

As I look back on our accomplishments I can say—without hesitation—my second year at Seven Hills was even more exciting than my first! Some of the most memorable and significant moments came from time spent away from my desk connecting with the community. I deepened my relationships with students, parents, and graduates. I served as a Middle School advisor, visited classes, read to Lower School students, and jumped at opportunities to engage with alumni and their families. I also continued to get to know the amazing people who work at Seven Hills. I am inspired and humbled by what they do to keep our students excited about learning, our campus beautiful, and our programs running smoothly. This issue of Connections includes highlights from the past year. Our theme, at times subtle, was at play throughout. Our science initiative (p. 6-7) flourished—the chickens are actively producing eggs, the orchard is yielding fruit, and our Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) Team won its regional competition this spring. We re-envisioned our beginnings

WRITERS Carolyn Cruz, Riki Gibson, Goli

Favorite Read Alouds

Mohammadi, Dan Murphy, John Safipour ‘13, Amy Walters, Shoshana Ziblatt DESIGN PRINTER Norco Printing THE SEVEN HILLS SCHOOL

975 North San Carlos Drive Walnut Creek, CA 94598 (925) 933-0666



Finding Winnie


Nanette’s Baguette by MO WILLEMS

Ada Twist, Scientist by ANDREA BEATY

and endings by adding an All-Community Parent Dinner at the start of the year and enhancing our year-end graduation ceremony (p. 12). Our faculty and staff professional development work centered on building cultural competency skills (p.4), while our Board of Trustees, faculty, and staff had important conversations to better articulate the Seven Hills educational philosophy, resulting in a set of belief statements that reflect our school and our approach to teaching and learning (p. 19). This is an exciting time to be at Seven Hills. Along with a talented and creative faculty and staff, we welcomed 399 students at the start of the year. Our students are learning about leadership with Student Councils in both Lower and Middle School and our Kids Green Committees stewarding our resources. After a two-year math task force pilot, the K-5 faculty have committed to a new math program which we’ve begun to implement. A new rotating schedule in Middle School provides for deeper learning, additional advisory time, electives, and even more meaningful service opportunities. International trips to Japan, Costa Rica, and France will move into the school year to offer a three-continent immersion experience for Middle School students (p. 8). And, we’ll explore opportunities to expand our Reggio-inspired Early Childhood Education program. Life is good at Seven Hills. I hope you enjoy this retrospective. Thank you for being part of the Seven Hills community that is made stronger by the diversity of perspectives you each bring and by your contributions of time and resources. It is with deep gratitude that I look back on 2016-17 as a year of meaningful and fulfilling teaching and learning. Gratefully,

Kathleen McNamara Head of School

From Her Night Stand



Thanks for the Feedback by DOUGLAS STONE and SHEILA HEEN

MISSION STATEMENT The Seven Hills School is a learning community with the mission to develop the intellect, engage the spirit, and foster respect for, and responsibility to, our world.

Hillbilly Elegy by J. D. VANCE





Seven Hills students representing hens laid 1,300 eggs in our new chicken coop

270 families


328 recordbreaking turnout for the Seven Hills auction,


current value of the Seven Hills endowment


parent participation in the Annual Fund


bird nests built and placed throughout campus by Red Barn students

3,621 books collected

for the PIA Book Swap to reuse and donate 2


trees planted in the new orchard



of faculty and staff participated in cultural competency workshops


parent speakers at the inaugural Career Pathways event

FAMILY SPOTLIGHT A Community for Our Entire Family: An Interview with the Skepner Family “It was late fall, a beautiful day, and the campus was under construction—Sunshine and Big Red were just finished and the administration building and library were just being built,” remembers Amy Skepner, as she and her husband, Brad, toured Seven Hills in 2001. They were looking for a school for their son, Jacob ’12, who was four at the time. “There were temporary trailers, and we remember thinking that it would be exciting to have these new spaces to look forward to.” They visited Red Barn, Kindergarten, and lastly Middle School where they observed the older students making eye contact and genuinely greeting them. Even though it seemed a long way off for their family, Brad and Amy were well-aware of the challenges that characterize the child to adolescent transition—young people once excited about learning, suddenly withdrawing. This was clearly not the norm at Seven Hills. Hands shot up in classes as students, eager to contribute and ask questions, appeared captivated with the lesson and their teacher. They left the tour that day saying to themselves, “If you could send your child to Seven Hills, why on Earth would you not?” And that was the beginning of their Seven Hills journey. Jacob, now 19, made the transition to Michigan State University last year. “It took him some time to adjust, but he knew how to advocate for himself and communicate with ease and confidence, thanks to Seven Hills,” said Brad. The Skepners are certain the skills nurtured at Seven Hills will serve their daughters too as they make their respective transitions at the end of this year—Grace ’18 to high school and Hannah ’14 to college. The Skepners have a long and unique history with Seven Hills. They were part of early campus improvements, helped shape what are now enduring community traditions, and bid farewell to longstanding Head of School Bill Miller. Amy helped start the Book Swap, chaired the Halloween Festival, served as room parent multiple times, and co-chaired the Parent Involvement Association. Brad served on the Board of Trustees for nine years, lending his expertise in development and land use during the construction

of Hunt Hall, a facility project that transformed campus. Despite having dedicated hours to the school, they are modest about their contributions, saying, “It just seemed like the right thing to do.” Amy and Brad will soon be “graduating” from Seven Hills this spring, along with their daughter, Grace ’18. It is a bittersweet moment for the family, but they plan to remain connected. “Seven Hills has been a community for our entire family during our children’s formative years,” said Brad. “In many ways, we’ve grown up as parents at Seven Hills. It’s an extension of our family and our values. We are still very close with the parents of Jacob’s classmates—we have a very strong alumni parent bond which will continue.”


FOCUS ON FACULTY Challenging our Assumptions

Growing Seven Hills Cultural Competency The room was nearly silent as the entire Seven Hills faculty and staff were asked to participate in a reflective writing exercise to explore their own social identity. They peeled back the layers to ask themselves, what unique perspectives do I contribute as a teacher, parent, community member? What are my blind spots and assumptions? Drawing on what they’d learned in sessions with Robert Greene, cultural competency consultant with Jones & Associates, they explored their own attitudes and bias to gain insight that will ultimately result in an environment that supports inclusive cross-cultural understanding, communication, and collaboration. This professional development work on cultural competency originated with the Board of Trustees and is rooted in the school’s strategic plan, Approach 2020. The school’s commitment to selfreflection and improvement in this area was part of what attracted Kathleen McNamara to Seven Hills and the role of Head of School.

work—and ultimately providing a lens through which to evaluate and articulate our core values, curriculum, and policies.” Today’s students live in an interconnected, global society. To succeed, Seven Hills graduates will need a core set of soft skills— collaboration, empathy, and an ability to communicate with and understand people who are different from themselves. In his book, The Difference: How the Power of Diversity Creates Better Groups, Firms, Schools, and Societies, Scott Page demonstrates that environments with individuals from vastly different backgrounds and life experiences, if they can work together, outperform those with a more homogeneous make up. This is just one example from the growing body of research within the education and business sector that points to the importance of this work. Diversity and inclusion have always been a priority at Seven Hills. With a focus on building cultural competency skills that can be used in any situation—school, work, family—Seven Hills is promoting a deeper understanding of inclusion, critical to the future success of our students.

“Working on our cultural competency as a community and as individuals does not have a start and finish,” Kathleen said, “It is an effort that requires mindfulness and ongoing effort. As a school, our initial focus is on developing the skillset to do this important

Highlights from 2016-17: • Multiple trainings led by Robert Greene with faculty, staff, administrative leadership, and the Board of Trustees on building trust, discovering personal biases, and unpacking individual assumptions that impact classroom teaching, collaboration, and community building • All Community professional development reading assignment: Blindspot: Hidden Biases of Good People • Head’s Advisory Committee on Cultural Competency meetings to begin planning on how to best roll out education opportunities for the parent community • Work on creating school beliefs (see page 19) and cultural competency statements, in addition to formation of faculty committee on social justice



Jennifer Siebel Newsom kicked off

the Parent Lecture Series with stories and clips from her award-winning documentaries The Mask You Live In and Miss Representation. While sharing her perspective on the historic presidential election, Jennifer helped shine light on how we can raise a healthier generation of boys and young men.

Co-founder and Executive Director of Girls Leadership Simone Marean, shared engaging new research on parenting daughters. Exploring how to identify healthy relationships, develop effective communication strategies, and engage in conflict resolution, Simone imparted wisdom on navigating the unique challenges facing girls.

Connecting with the audience and provoking a mix of laughter and tears, Dr. Madeline Levine, the co-founder of Challenge Success and the author of the New York Times bestsellers, The Price of Privilege and Teach Your Children Well, provided research-based advice on how to help kids flourish in a fast-paced, pressure-filled world.

AUTHOR VISITS GENERATE STUDENT EXCITEMENT FOR READING AND STORYTELLING Seven Hills students were in for a treat when Mitali Perkins, author of both Bamboo People and Rickshaw Girl stopped by for a visit. Perkins told her personal story of immigrating from India to the Bay Area as a middle school student, how books were her lifeline, and how writing became her passion.

ECE and Lower School students participated in an unforgettable storytelling performance by Kirk Waller during the library-sponsored Reading Celebration. Imaginations ran wild as students were carried away to new lands filled with outlandish characters, enhanced by Waller’s mixture of instruments, songs, and voices.

Penny Warner, author of the Code

Busters Club series, led an interactive “code-busting” visit with 4th and 5th grade students. Working in teams, students used patterns, the scientific method, and secret codes to search for clues under the tutelage and creative force behind the popular series.


FOCUS ON STUDENTS I Don’t Know, Let’s Find Out! We all “do” science. It is how we understand and relate to the world around us. Our investigations—watching, listening, recording, experimenting, and hypothesizing, begin at a very young age. In fact, children are natural scientists while many adults grow out of this role, leaving it to the “experts.” In 2016, a significant gift to support the Seven Hills STEAM and natural science programs was a welcome opportunity to nurture student curiosity and ignite a deep and lasting excitement for science. Handson learning spaces were expanded throughout campus with additional gardens, a 72-tree orchard, an outdoor science classroom, enhanced makerspaces, and a chicken coop, home to 35 chickens. The addition of a dedicated science coordinator in the Lower School and the formation of faculty teams across the grades have made it easier for teachers to respond to student-driven inquiry. From ECE through 8th grade, student queries and natural wonderings inspired a variety of lessons throughout the year. At the same time, faculty have re-kindled their own sense of wonder and have become comfortable saying, “I don’t know. Let’s find out!” as they delve into discovery alongside their students.

Light, the Human Eye, and “Selfies” With the doors carefully sealed and windows covered, the Middle School science room was transformed into a temporary darkroom. Science teacher Matt Shargel has been teaching this multi-week lesson on light and optics for years, but wants his students to influence the direction each time. He finds handson demonstrations are the best entry point that leave students saying “Wow! How does that work?” During this year’s lesson, 7th graders used the scientific method to design and build a pinhole camera out of an old oatmeal box and photography paper. Next, they took a self-portrait (a challenging task that requires experimenting with exposure time and sitting very still), and then worked with the negative and developed the image in the makeshift darkroom. At each step in the process, students learned about light physics, chemistry, physiology, art, and even a bit of history—the pinhole or “camera obscura” dates back thousands of years. This trial and error process of creating an old-world “selfie” led the students to a greater understanding of light, optics, and a disappearing art.


At the end of the day, the goal is much broader than a fun and memorable lesson—Matt considers his teaching a success if students can say, “Science is cool! I love it, and I’m good at it.”

FOCUS ON STUDENTS Highlights from 2016-17: • Inspired by their desire to have more birds in their play yard, Red Barn students created bird nests to hang around campus, researched nesting behavior and materials, and created campus maps to place the nests.

• Students imagined,

designed, and created various projects with the use of a newly donated laser cutter, 3D printers, and other design tools in an improved Science Annex and library “makerspace”.

•The campus chickens

provided countless lessons in a variety of subjects. Students tasted fresh eggs, studied the life cycle, and engaged in community service with the donation of eggs to local food banks.

• Lower School Science

Coordinator Stephanie Chiang helped K-5 teachers respond to student inquiry with curriculum and experiments aligned with the Next Generation Science Standards.

Operation Tadpole! When 1st graders discovered that there were tadpoles in the school creek, and that the creek was going dry, they set out to rescue them. With spirited resolve, they gathered two large containers full of tadpoles over several weeks in March and released them in the nearby Heather Farm Park. They also kept about 40 tadpoles in their classroom aquariums to learn about their life cycle. The students were excited to see pollywogs turn into frogs and toads and spent a lot of time researching their new little friends before releasing them into the wild. As part of the science curriculum, animals made their way into nearly every classroom this past year. With classroom tarantulas to care for, the 2nd grade classes wove webs, created edible spiders, and even made trading cards of different arachnids. The 3rd graders welcomed crayfish into their classrooms to learn about adaptation; the Kindergarteners became amateur entomologists as they studied the life cycle of butterflies; and 5th graders learned about incubation as they observed and nurtured hatching chicks and cared for their classroom guinea pigs, Gary and Chewy. These hands-on life science lessons are just a few examples of how Seven Hills cultivates the natural wonderings of its students.


COMMUNITY LIFE International Travel Deepens Student Connection and Understanding Seven Hills has spent the last two years working toward expanding its international travel opportunities for Middle School students. In addition to the longstanding exchange program with Japan, Seven Hills students will now be able to travel to Costa Rica and France. Starting this school year, all three trips will take place in February, over the new Presidents’ Week vacation, creating a cohesive, three-continent immersion experience that connects with classroom lessons in language, history, science, and art. “By moving the trips into the school year, students will have the opportunity to share their experiences with the larger community and incorporate the lessons learned into their Seven Hills experience before high school,” says Head of School Kathleen McNamara. Offered to 7th grade students, the trips to both France and Costa Rica are long enough for students to have an immersive cultural experience with visits to urban and rural environments, home stays, service projects, and ample opportunity to practice language skills.



With more than 30 students and faculty members traveling to Japan this past summer, the demand for international experiences is greater than ever. Fostering international understanding and responsibility, Seven Hills students attended classes with Japanese students who had visited Seven Hills last fall and toured Tokyo, Kyoto, and even Hiroshima.


“The visit to Hiroshima was particularly poignant for our students because of the new 7th grade capstone project called Conflict, Compromise, and Conflict,” says Kathleen. “This three-week lesson centers on understanding the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki from all points of view, so the visit really resonated with students.” Nothing compares to experiencing new cultures, and Seven Hills has discovered how to make this opportunity available to more students and deepen the connection to classroom learning and to each other. “The trips abroad I experienced with Seven Hills, both Costa Rica and Japan, gave me an immersive, positive, and open outlook into different cultures,” says Leah Hall ’17.



i R a t Cos

COMMUNITY LIFE 8th graders delight audiences in their production of Xanadu.

A Red Barn student creates a selfportrait.

Inwardly Calm, Outwardly Kind 4th graders present their autobiographies.

First graders share their animal research projects.

The ethereal hum of the singing bowl was just one tool used by Director of Student Life Dan Rogoff to explore mindful listening at Seven Hills this past year. In his weekly visits to classrooms, students were tasked with listening in silence to the resonating bowl. When the sound of the vibrating bowl was no longer detectable, they were asked to raise their hands and share the diverse range of sounds they heard. From throat clearing and a ticking clock to their own breathing and birds outside the window, students were surprised by sounds they’d never noticed before. Dan offered catchy phrases to remind students to be mindful. Phrases like, “center when you enter,” “I see you,” and “inwardly calm, outwardly kind” were introduced early in the school year and soon could be heard repeated by students and faculty. Although the skills of mindfulness were presented differently in each grade, one lesson learned throughout was that mindfulness doesn’t take a lot of time. It is a practice that, once developed, can be applied everywhere, all the time. Integrating mindfulness into daily life promotes health, develops focus, and creates a kind and compassionate community. Seven Hills students took their new-found skills to heart and even shared them with their families at home.




Kindergarten performs Little Red Hen to a packed house.

5th graders discover the natural beauty of Yosemite.

Caption goes here. Caption to come upon photo/layout approval.

Who’s got spirit? The new Lower School cheer team.


6th grade athletes flex their muscles.

Students create special bonds during schoolwide buddy time.

COMMUNITY LIFE Career Pathways Connects Generations All smiles at the Walnut Creek Twilight Parade.

In April, a Career Pathways event made its debut, providing a venue for parents to share their professional experience with Seven Hills 6th graders. This “career-day style” event connected the generations and gave students a broader sense of how they might turn their interests, skills, and passions into a career. With 20 guest speakers from a variety of industries and professions, participants shared stories about their career journeys. The keynote speaker, Amity Millhiser, kicked-off the event with three important questions to consider: “What are you passionate about? What are you good at? What does the world need you to do?” Voted one of the 50 most powerful women in technology, Amity is the Chief Clients Officer for PwC and the aunt of two Seven Hills alumni, Victoria ’15 and Amity ’17 Stahl.

2nd graders celebrate traditions from around the world.

In typical Seven Hills fashion, this wasn’t a one-way, lecture-style event. Student moderators led a panel discussion before splitting off into small groups for deeper conversations with guest professionals. Groups were organized into relatable professions, such as The Doctors, The Energy Experts, The Lawyers, and so on. Many students were surprised by what they learned in the small group sessions, including how their career paths may look very different from that of the speakers’ and their parents’ because of the ever-changing economy. One student commented, “Companies look for well-rounded candidates with experience, skills, education, and passion for the work.” Looking forward, organizers of Career Pathways hope to include additional Middle School grades and alumni guests.

Parents and faculty gather at the inaugural All Parent Community Dinner.


OH, THE PLACES THEY’LL GO! Graduation Celebrates the Class of 2017 In June, Seven Hills honored the Class of 2017 with a special community-wide graduation ceremony. The event was a mix of old and new traditions with opportunities for graduates to reflect on their time at the school and listen to inspiring messages about their futures. Festivities began under an outdoor tent where they reminisced with their families while looking at memory boards made in their honor. As usual, the 8th grade speeches and individual favorite quotes were highlights of the ceremony. With the entire K-7th grades in attendance this year, the graduates’ words of wisdom took on new significance. Graduation also provided an opportunity to honor and recognize longtime and departing faculty member Marianne McBride, who was presented with her own diploma and a new award named in her honor—The Marianne McBride Distinguished Faculty Award. The festivities concluded with the traditional faculty and staff receiving line—an emotional and fitting Seven Hills goodbye!

“I encourage all of you to continue to let your outof-the-ordinary, extraordinary differences shine.” – Claudia Russell ’17

“More importantly, Seven Hills has encouraged us to be positive contributors to our community.” – Alannah Scott ’17 12

OH, THE PLACES THEY’LL GO! Class of 2017: High School Destinations Leah Danielle Allison, Monte Vista Autumn Magnolia Ardale-Koenig, Monte Vista Tony Paul Baldacci, De La Salle Valerie Paige Begg, Las Lomas Frank Brinkerhoff, Carondelet Elizabeth Emma Contreras, Las Lomas Sydney Scherrie Delgado, Dunn School* Ellen Recio Dickey, Head Royce John Thomas Earle, De La Salle Emma Elizabeth Engstrom, San Ramon Valley* Ava Fard, Monte Vista Jimmy Curtis Fitzgerald, Bentley Julia Ann Goodman, San Ramon Valley Cole Lawrence Griscavage, College Preparatory Caitlin Barbara Fausia Gronowski, Stevenson Ajani Ibrahima Gueye, De La Salle Leah Hall, Carondelet Holden Alexander William Hilal, Athenian Kanoe Lauren Hoch, San Ramon Valley Mitchell Nolan Hoey, De La Salle Delaney Jamisen Hughes, Alhambra*

Kirsten Erica Ishii, Head Royce Lucy Anne Jurow, Carondelet Devin Elizabeth Lanzone, Bentley Katrina Cecelia Larner, Athenian Sydney Rose Lauer, Head Royce Nathan Edward Ledesma, Northgate Kennedy Claire Merrion, Campolindo James Carl Roberston Moore, Las Lomas Abram Dreyfus Moudi, College Preparatory Ava Dreyfus Moudi, College Preparatory Nicolas George Niculescu, De La Salle Oliver Thomas Northing, Athenian Micah Sophia Perry, Berean Christian Matthew David Pflieger, College Preparatory Lucia Grace Pirone, College Preparatory Garrett Anthony Pontin, College Preparatory* Claudia Catherine Russell, Head Royce Alannah Tate Scott, San Ramon Valley Sonia Ella Singh, College Preparatory Amity Virginia Stahl, Carondelet* Charlie Kate Stokes, Carondelet* Caroline Jane Sween, Campolindo *Class Representative

Thank you to Daniel Nomura ’13, Emma Godfrey ’13, Mariah Brown ’13, and Zack Mintz ’13 for offering advice to our newest alumni.

Class of 2017 Receives Advice from Alumni To kick-off graduation festivities, the Class of 2017 gathered for the Alumni Welcome Lunch and officially joined the ranks of more than 1,000 Seven Hills graduates. During the lunch, four college-bound, Seven Hills alumni participated in a panel discussion on “the high school experience from a Seven Hills perspective.” They encouraged graduates to get involved with sports and clubs, keep an open mind, use good time management skills, be yourself, and stay in touch.


OH, THE PLACES THEY’LL GO! Class of 2013 Returns for Senior Send-Off

Class of 2013 College Destinations Seven Hills graduates from the Class of 2013 have big plans and are now in colleges and universities across the United States. NORTHEAST MIDWEST

Purdue University

The Class of 2013 returned to campus in May to catch up with old classmates and faculty members four years after their own Seven Hills graduation. Sharing memories, high school adventures, upcoming college plans and future endeavors, these classmates spent the morning grateful for their time, friendships, and unique Seven Hills experience that prepared them for high school and beyond.


College of the Holy Cross Dickinson College New York University Pennsylvania State University Saint Joseph’s University Tufts University Villanova University


Brigham Young University Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo (2) Chapman University (2) Diablo Valley College (2) Gonzaga University Linfield College Loyola Marymount University Montana State University Pomona College Saint Mary’s College University of Nevada Santa Clara University (3) University of San Francisco Seattle University University of Southern UC San Diego (2) California (2) UC Santa Barbara Whitman College


Auburn University George Washington University (3) Johns Hopkins University Tulane University

OH, THE PLACES THEY’LL GO! Reunion Celebrates Faculty, Connects Alumni In June, more than 100 alumni, alumni parents, families, and faculty joined together at the All-Alumni Reunion and special celebration honoring two long-serving faculty—Marianne McBride and Susie Canchola. Sharing stories and expressing gratitude, attendees recognized Marianne McBride for her 37 years of teaching Middle School English and French, and Rainbow teacher Susie Canchola who moved to Southern California after 19 years at Seven Hills. Marianne will continue working with Seven Hills to keep alumni connected.

Alumni Events: Save the Date

Oct 26 ​Fall Happy Hour

Nov 28​ Career Pathways Networking Event (SF)

Apr 7 Spring Happy Hour

May 12​ ​​Class of 2014 Senior Send Off Jun 1 Alumni Welcome Luncheon

Jun 9 All-Alumni Reunion

Career Pathways Networking Event November 28, 2017 6:00 – 8:00pm The City Club of San Francisco with special keynote by Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott AP ’14, ’16, ’17 See for details.


ALUMNI NEWS Laura Michelle Patterson ’99 Giving Back Through Music Seven Hills was a safe place for Laura Michelle Patterson ’99, now 32, to explore her passions and be herself. She recalls being drawn to music from a very young age, taking voice lessons along with flute and piano. The leap from performer to songwriter was initially scary, but Laura faced her fears, releasing her debut album “Novel with No End” in August 2016.

Ian Agol ’82 Prize-Winning Mathematician Embracing Hands-On Learning As a prize-winning mathematician and math professor at UC Berkeley, Ian Agol ’82 has established himself as one of the leading experts in the field of geometric topology and the study of three-dimensional space. He attended Seven Hills for 6 years (along with his twin brother, Eric) and went on to earn his B.S. from CalTech and his Ph.D. from UC San Diego, both in mathematics. In 2016, Ian was awarded the prestigious Breakthrough Prize in Mathematics for his research in 3-D geometric topology and solving the mysteries of shape-shifting spaces. The Breakthrough Prize was founded by top technology entrepreneurs including Google co-founder Sergey Brin and Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg. The award came with a significant financial prize, and Ian was very honored to receive recognition for his contributions to the field.

In April 2017, Laura paid a visit to the Seven Hills Middle School where she performed a few songs and discussed her new music video. She talked about her experience, including how she came to use her music success to give back to the community. The students enjoyed hearing from one of their own. Laura is the first national VOICE for Donate Life America, a nonprofit dedicated to increasing organ and tissue donations. She partnered with Donate Life to honor her late father, James Howard Patterson. James had a heart transplant when Laura was a baby, and he passed away from related complications when she was just 15. In his final years, James served as a source of inspiration and support for her music pursuits which was a source of joy for both of them. Laura’s hit, “Novel with No End,” is a tribute to her father, and all profits from the song support Donate Life America.


During his acceptance speech, Ian fittingly said, “I would like to acknowledge my teachers who encouraged my interest in mathematics. This includes my doctoral advisor Mike Freedman whose example encouraged me to be fearless—to work on hard problems, and to not be afraid to admit what I do not know.”

ALUMNI NEWS Marc Gould ’00 and Becky Horton ’01 Tying the Knot Seven Hills is known for instilling a lifelong love of learning, but for Marc Gould ’00 and Becky Horton ’01, their Seven Hills experience turned into a lifelong partnership when they tied the knot last spring. As the first Seven Hills alumni wedding, former Head of School Bill Miller and many fellow Seven Hills alumni were both in the wedding and in attendance. Marc and Becky “dated” in Middle School at Seven Hills and then headed their separate ways for high school and college—she at Davidson and he at Indiana University. They both returned to the Bay Area in 2012 where they reconnected over a few dinners and eventually started dating again. Settled with their careers, Becky is an attorney doing complex commercial litigation and Marc is an accountant with KPMG. The couple were married in San Francisco last April. Seven Hills wishes them love and happiness!

Stay Connected Be sure to follow Seven Hills on social media to get glimpses into campus life and find a growing network of Seven Hills parents and alumni.

The Seven Hills School Seven Hills (for alumni)



Seven Hills School Professionals

Alumni: Do You Have News to Share? Let us know what’s happening in your professional and personal life by submitting news to Carolyn Cruz at

Parents of Alumni: Please Forward This Publication If your son or daughter no longer maintains a permanent address at your home, please notify Seven Hills of his/her new mailing and email address at

17 17

2016-17 ANNUAL REPORT 2017-18 Board of Trustees

A Message from the Board Chair My wife Melissa and I passed an important Seven Hills milestone when our oldest child, Holden ’17, graduated with his classmates last June. His 8th grade experience—from World War I trench simulations and Ashland’s Shakespeare Festival to the muchanticipated 8th grade research paper and Ted Talk—served as a first-hand reminder of the richness of our programs. After graduation, Holden traveled to Japan with 27 of his classmates, and our whole family had the privilege of meeting up with the group in Japan on their last day. The opportunity of a lifetime, I was so impressed by the deep history and impact of the school’s Japanese exchange program. We are thrilled that this year’s 8th graders will be able to share their amazing experiences from Japan with the rest of our community when they return from their visit in February.

BOARD MEMBERS Jamil Akoni Lisa Barnett Sween Patrick Blake Laura Furstenthal John Gingrich Khira Griscavage Julie Gutzwiller Sameer Hilal Matthew Janopaul Mackenzie Lesher Patrick Lin Robert Little Matthew Macomber Gina Morris Annette O’Donnell-Butner Julie Anne Springman Wickes ’98 Seiyonne Suriyakumar ’02 Kirsten Young

WE THANK THE FOLLOWING TRUSTEES FOR THEIR SERVICE THROUGH JUNE 2017 Jodee Brydges Fred Hughes Elizabeth Mahler Nancy Wallace

The work of the Seven Hills Board of Trustees in 2016-17, in partnership with Kathleen, was immensely fulfilling. We have learned much from Kathleen as our thought-leader and have enjoyed seeing the school from her vantage point—both hearing places of real strength as well as her vision for the future. We completed important work on a series of belief statements (p. 19) that distill the essence of the Seven Hills philosophy. Together with our mission, these belief statements will provide a unifying framework to guide our decision-making process as we plan for the future. The Board also made great progress in laying the foundation toward enhancing diversity, inclusion, and cultural competency in our community. I am grateful to the members of the Board for their commitment to the school’s mission. They work tirelessly with the necessary skills and mindset to govern an independent school in the 21st century. Likewise, I am grateful for and inspired by the entire Seven Hills community—your support fuels our transformational programs. Thank you to every parent, grandparent, alumnus, and alumni parent who made a gift and/or contributed their time and wisdom to the school in 2016-17. Here’s to another remarkable year at Seven Hills! Warmly,

Sameer Hilal Chair, Board of Trustees


SEVEN BELIEFS FOR SEVEN HILLS With the Seven Hills mission as its cornerstone, Approach 2020 established a strategic framework for the school’s future. As work to operationalize the aspirations of the 2014 plan continued last year, the Board of Trustees, faculty, and staff discussed how best to clearly articulate the Seven Hills

philosophy in a way that will inform our decision-making process. As we thought about the unique transformational potential of a Seven Hills education, we arrived at a series of core beliefs about education and community. These have become the Seven Beliefs for Seven Hills.

AT SEVEN HILLS, WE BELIEVE THAT Every child deserves a whole child education, that balances academic excellence with social and emotional development. Learning is joyful. Through an integrated and experiental program, students are taught compassion, agency, and collaboration.

Passionate and creative faculty challenge, nurture, and inspire each child. Our vibrant

community is connected by over five decades of service and lifelong learning.

Out commitment to diversity Our beautiful,

and inclusion fosters cultural competency and global understanding.

natural campus provides unique opportunities for student engagement, innovation, and wonder.

Effective stewardship of our financial, physical, and philanthropic resources is a shared responsibility.

These seven statements will be put to use in 2017-18 and in future years to guide our decisions, define our priorities, and help shape our actions as a school and community.


HONOR ROLL OF DONORS 2016-17 Thank you for Being Part of Something Big THANK YOU. We are grateful for our steadfast community of supporters whose unwavering commitment brings learning to life for every Seven Hills student. Together, we create a joyful, engaging, and academically rigorous learning environment that prepares today’s students for academic success and life of meaningful contributions. Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of listings in this report. If we have made an error or omission, we sincerely apologize, and please bring it to the attention of the Development Office at (925) 933-0666.

Annual Fund Donors

Maximilian and Lori Auffhammer

Neil and Patrice Konigsberg

Ilya Borovikov and Victoria Holcomb

Raj and Rupy Krishnan

Bret and Sarah Cameto

Mitch Kumagai and Deborah Podberesky

Frank and Elizabeth Cassal

Bruce Ledesma and Cheryl Sendaydiego

Ewan and Alyson Chesser

Eric and Karen Littell

Michael and Shirley Coke Alex Copeland and Eileen Beall Daniel and Lindsay Delaney


John and Laura Furstenthal

John Gingrich and Christine Currie

Ian Agol ’82 and Michelle McGuinness

Ravikanth Ganapavarapu

Sebastian and Renee Bea Patrick and Alison Blake David and Emily Breach

Parnassus Investments

William Dutra

John and Khira Griscavage

Gregory Pilarowski and Anna Gai

Eric and Stéphanie Ebel

Sameer and Melissa Hilal

Peter and Julie Gutzwiller

Larry and Cybille Scott

Lee and Candace Fleming

Frederick Hughes, Jr.

Yi Shi and Shangjie Zuo

Fred and Noel Hughes

Blake Haley and Christine Deakin Robert Ishii and Nancy Wallace

Robert and Wendy Greer

Matthew and Marissa Janopaul

Delbert and Kimberly Stafford

Conrad and Selena Lai

Wendy Jordan Scott and Lori Keith

$10,000 - $19,999

Eric and Megan Lindberg

The Benevity Community Impact Fund

Matthew and Kamin Macomber

$20,000 - $29,999

Robert and Renee Little

Leadership Circle

BlackRock Matching Gift Program Ryan and Nicole Brown George and Stephanie Buhalis Christopher and Annette Butner


A special thanks to the more than 400 parents, faculty, grandparents, alumni, alumni parents, and friends of the school, who supported the Seven Hills Annual Fund between July 1, 2016 and June 30, 2017. Gifts to the Annual Fund provide for every aspect of school life including our dynamic faculty, beautiful campus, and whole child program to benefit our inspiring and wonderful students. Thank you for your thoughtful and enthusiastic participation.

Giving Champs $5,000 - $9,999 Amber DeSilva

KKR Gives Employee Matching Gift Program Ari and Sheryl Lauer Stephen and Mackenzie Lesher Patrick and Darlet Lin

David DeSilva

Elizabeth Mahler and Pamela Keith

Scott Dickey and Ana Recio

Kathleen McNamara and Jihad Mirza

Corby and Heather Stead Wells Fargo Community Support Campaign

Gregory and Victoria Longstreet Kathleen Manning Jonathan and Gillian Marek MasterCard Matching Gifts Program McKesson Foundation, Inc. Drew and Kaeti McMillan Robert Mehranfar and Jodee Brydges

Jay and Genevieve Gudebski

Jay and Julie Meissner

Scot and Liann Hagey

Henri and Lorena Moudi

Jonathan and Alyssa Harris

Carlton and Ericka Nunez

Morgan Stanley

Neda and Satpal Hillyer

Stephen and Maggie Oetgen

Headmaster’s Circle

Barry and Sue Hoch

Shami and Lori Patel

Brett and Kymberly Johnson

David and Sylvia Pearlstein

Katherine Alberts and Lori Siegel

Charles and Lainie Johnson

Gerald and Kristen Posey

Simon Ashiku and Annette Chen

Peter and Tara Khoury

Scott and Paige Radell

Kenneth and Jennie Klein

Jeremy and Jennifer Rich

Wally and Kirsten Young

$2,500 - $4,999

Jerry and Gayle Klusky

Jeffrey and Jessica Pozzi Foundation

Dolby Match Program

John and Julie Rhee

Thomas and Julie Ducharme

William and Allison Roberts

Alexander and Samantha Duff

Jonathan Russell and Rachael Applegate

Gene and Alicia Bakkum

Brad and Amy Skepner Steven and Susie Sovik

Omid and Ellie Fard

Kristine Baldacci

Cynthia Stephenson- Catterton

Michael and Katherine Gandy

Jonathan and Ali Singh

Dan and Sibhan Stokes

General Electric Foundation

Simerjit Singh and Harmol Raikhy

Christopher and Karen Begg

Stephen and Katherine Stahl

Antonio and Seena Benavides

Michael and Mercedes Stead

Brittany Berg

David and Anabelle Satterfield

Edward and Devra Struzenberg John and Diane Suciu

Bruce and Barbara Goodman

Brad Surak and Claudia Furtado

Gene and Valerie Howard

Tanner Wickes and Julie Anne Springman Wickes ’98

IBM Matching Grants Program

Liesa Wise Arthur Woo and Emmelie Sabatte

Tunghua and Yuyu Huang

Robert and Barbara Jaspar Thomas and Danielle Kahl

Farhad Zamani and Georgina Jensen

Kaiser Permanente Community Giving Matching Gift Program


Byongkook Kang and Helen Yoon

$1,000 - $2,499

Janet Katari

John and Deborah Steinbuch Christopher and Carrie Swany John Sween and Lisa Barnett Sween Carlo Tamburrino and Paulette DeFalco

Jonathan and Amanda Ambrose

Robert and Amy Walters

Lands’ End, Inc.

David and Joelle Weckerle

Autodesk Inc.

Christopher and Danette Leighton

Amir Axelrod and Sherry Wang-Axelrod

Stan and Carol Lesher

Bank of America Matching Gifts Program Gordon and Diana Baty Terrence and Camolin Becker Thomas and Gloria Beckett

Alexandr and Julia Lints

Jeffrey and Heidi Abramson

Randall and Elizabeth Luskey

Annie Allen Kenneth and Risa Allison

Milton and Edith Melczer

Russell and Crystal Alpert

Steven and Vanessa Capelli

Morgan Stanley Global Impact Funding Trust, Inc.

CDO, Inc.

Frank and Natasha Nicholson-Bjerre

Brian and Kristen D’Arcy

Nick Adamson and Carisa Harris Adamson

Margaret McCormick Neil and Pamela Menzies

Kevin Considine and Christine Paige Considine


Up to $999

Tara Buttles

Ronald and Fannie Chan

Joshua and Tara Wellen

LexisNexis Cares Norman and Mo Livermore

Pacific Gas & Electric Gregory and Liana Pope William Radtke and Tabitha Kix-Radtke

Kellen and Andrew Bothwell Stephen and Paula Breitbart Brent and Christiane Brinkerhoff

Dan and Carol Busack

Charles Killian and Michelle Watts Killian Cornel and Alexandra Lee

Nicholas and Clare Bisho

Larry and Deveney Totten

Jamil and Cheryl Akoni

Anonymous (2)

Gretchen Bartzen

Norma Bristol/ Instrumental Music Program

Bryan and Jenifer Kester

Sameer and Stella Advani

Kevin and Michaela Katari

James and Lea Baldacci

Todd Thorner and Leyla Khosrovani

U.S. Bank Foundation Employee Matching Gift Program

Walter and Natasha Acuña

Gerry Bakalian and Deborah Mata- Bakalian

Jason and Nicole Ambrose Anonymous (9) Rodolfo and Virginia Arias

Jonathan and Kristin Butler Bill Butner and Bil Sullivan Jones Butner Robert and Susan Canchola Michael and Kimberly Carpenter John and Sharon Carroll Lucien and Lauren Cazenave Michael Chamberlain and Kathleen Jiménez Charles Schwab Foundation Cisco Community Connection Matching Gifts Program The Clorox Company Foundation Kelley Cochran William and Cynthia Cogswell

Lydia Avramenko

Casey Conroy and Diana Herrera-Conroy

Pedro Babiak and Laura Lippow

Dawn Craig and Teresa Brink

2016-17 Faculty and Staff Donors In addition to their countless daily contributions to Seven Hills and our students, 100 percent of our faculty and staff supported the Annual Fund in 2016-17, thank you! Tanveer Alibhai Annie Allen Virginia Arias Lori Auffhammer Kristine Baldacci Karen Begg Brittany Berg Clare Bisho Stephanie Bolanos Kellen Bothwell Christiane Brinkerhoff Norma Bristol Susan Canchola Michael Chamberlain Stephanie Chiang Kelley Cochran Cynthia Cogswell Carolyn Cruz Rebecca Cushing Cora Davidson Jason Davis Gerry Dunn-Gerardin Barbara Eaton Scott Espinosa-Brown Deborah Frerk Riki Gibson Matti Gold Susanne Goldman Patty Gonser Christi Gotvald Heather Harrington Katherine Henderson Mike Henderson Stepahnie Hough Kim Hughes Gina Hurley Janis Jones Nancy Lane Rebecca Larson Adam Lechner ’87 Michelle Levie


Sarah Lewis Lisa Lindgren Shauna Maraccini Alisha Marsh Marianne McBride Phil McFann Kathleen McNamara Rhys Miller Zarko Morales Dan Murphy Mary Murphy Carolyn Nelson Nick Obando Tina Ory Heidi Plumb Megan Prieto Renee Ramig Generra Rocchi Dan Rogoff Mark Roquet Michael Sandberg Lauren Sanders Julie Scarpelli Carol Shafer Matt Shargel Deborah Shipherd Stephanie Sproul Katherine Stahl Cassidy Thompson Emily Tolosa Patti Turetzky Linden Van Wert Beth Wadsworth Amy Walters Alison Wash Mari Weiss Joanie Wills Riley Wise Kirsten Woods Ponce Yambao


2016-17 Annual Fund Class Captains A special thanks to our Class Captains who shepherded our Annual Fund efforts in 2016-17 and helped us achieve an impressive 93 percent parent participation. Your enthusiasm is inspiring!

Rainbow Del Stafford

Red Barn Renee Bea

Ryan and Nicole Crowley Carolyn Cruz

Sadegh and Narguess Ghorban

Thomas and Pauline Jeffers

Amy Cupples

Riki Gibson

Dan and Rebecca Cushing

John and Jacki Gingrich

Matthew and Natalie Johns

Cary and Kathleen Dalziel

Mark and Naomi Glasky

Brad and Cora Davidson

David Godsoe and Renee Ramig

Davidson Educational Therapy & Consulting Jason and Lisa Davis Paul and Christa Deeringer

Laury Glasgow

Matti and Karen Gold Edward Goldberg and Larisa Genin Susanne Goldman

Megan Delgado

Patty Gonser

Santosh and Eva Marie Dhanalal

Google Inc. Employee Giving

Imran and Regula Dhedhi Amish and Shilpa Doshi

Mark and Christi Gotvald

Todd and Christine Dow

John and Jennifer Graham

Alice Duff

Thomas and Valerie Greeley

Lawrence and Janis Jones

Marianne McBride John and Lindsay McCormick James McDonnell and Linda Margulies Philip McFann

Katherine Jue

Joseph McKenna ’04

Zahoor Kareem and Tanveer Alibhai

John McWeeney

John Kittredge†

Miklos and Kathryn Melczer

Nathan Kochly and Jennifer Davis

Jim and Roberta Merrion

David Koenig and Audrey Ardale-Koenig Emily Koster

Brian and Melinda Merrion Neil Meyer and Stephanie Chiang

Chalis Kuba

Dan Michael and Lillian Leong

Troy and Nancy Lane

Neil and Rhys Miller

Ross and Olga Larner Brent and Rebecca Larson

Abe, Zack ’13 and Lizzie ’13 Mintz and Catherine Cutler

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory

John Anthony and Angela Miranda

Adam ‘87 and Shannon Lechner

Momentary Images LLC

Robert and Christine Lee

Zarko Morales

Marc and Wendy Greenberg

David and Michelle Levie

Jason and Gina Morris

Sarah Lewis

4th Casey Conroy Marissa Janopaul

Benjamin and Joanna Grossman

Amara Morrison

Peter and Sue Elkind

Whitney Livermore ’00

Ken and Diana El-Sherif

5th Chip & Lainie Johnson 6th Vicky Holcomb Kirsten Young

Warren and Peggy Gutzwiller

Kevin Moylan and Rania Berkeley

Scott and Katherine Espinosa-Brown

Russell and Jane Hall

Gerald and Charlotte Estes

Patricia Hausmann

K Amanda Ambrose

1st Sameer Advani Deepa Bangalore 2nd Casey Conroy Marissa Janopaul

3rd Ryan Crowley

7th Matt Macomber

8th Nancy Wallace

Mark and Kristine Earle Sofia Earle ‘14 Richard and Barbara Eaton Gabe Echeverria and Chandra Lynn Lauren Elkind

Kurt and Sheryl Ettinger Paul and Laurel Evans Bejan and Torrey Farahbakhsh

Jack and Marcia Greenberg

Jim and Hali Hausmann Trevor and Oanh Hawkins William and Kim Hecht Stan and Sarah Helton Guy and Susan Henshaw

Vladimir Filonov and Maria Filonova

Paul Ho

James and Marcie Fitzsimmons

James and Cara Hollis

Deborah Frerk Joe and Beth Furstenthal


Doug and Susan Greenberg

Patrick and Alison Hoey Gabriel and Stephanie Hough

Mary Gaines

Patrick and Kimberly Hughes

Anne Gartner

Gina Hurley

Nicholas Gartner

Jason and Anna Husk

Steve Gerardin and Gerry Dunn-Gerardin

Richard and Jennifer James

Greg Gholson and Katherine Henderson

Matthew and Nicole Jeffers

Harsha Madannavar and Deepa Bangalore

Clare Moore

Daniel Murphy

Matthew and Shauna Maraccini

Mary Murphy, Carolyn, and Sarah Moore

Mark Shapiro/Roberta Goldberg of the Ayco Charitable Fdn.

Carolyn Nelson

Michael and Alisha Marsh

Marygail Nelson Calin and Anca Niculescu Stacy L. Norman

Robert and Caroline Maruska

Richard and Carol Northing

Michael and Eileen McAndrews

Eniola and Aderonke Olatunji

Paula O’Reilly Jon and Tina Ory Oliver and Amy Parker Norman Parsons Theresa Patterson Gregory and Claudine Penney Camile Pennix John and Hannah Pirone Heidi Plumb Joseph Pollock and Rebecca Demorest Toby Pontin and Jennifer Wilson Nickolas and Megan Prieto Ralph Raulli Thomas and Linda Reiser Generra and Nicole Rocchi Phillip and Teri Rogers Daniel Rogoff and Laura Cox Mark and Katherine Roquet Timothy and Jennifer Ruane Timothy and Katharine Rudd George and Cheri Russell Colin Safreed and Xochitl Gonzalez Safreed Matthew Sager and Amanda Ashton-Sager Michael and Stephanie Sandberg

Keith and Deborah Shipherd Shervine Shirazi and Ameneh Khosrovani David and Lynley Sides Douglas Spear and Isabelle Ord ’86 Stephanie Sproul Brooks and Michelle Stratmore Diana Superfin Seiyonne Suriyakumar ’02 Kristel Svansjo The Walt Disney Company Foundation Daniel Tiraschi and Heather Harrington Emily Tolosa Jeffrey and Michaela Traynor Harpreet and Anudeep Ubhi Andrew and Susan Ulvenes

The overall operating budget in 2016-17 was more than $11 million. Faculty and staff salaries and benefits continued to account for more than 70 percent of the overall operating expenses, while tuition provided more than 87 percent of the overall operating revenue. Second to tuition, the Annual Fund and auction combined were the largest source of operating revenue.

OPERATING REVENUES Tuition Annual Fund Auction Other

$9,698,574 87.6% 611,112 5.4% 159,758 1.4% 642,148 5.6%

Total $11,381,592

United Way of the Bay Area Linden Van Wert Geoffrey and Beth Wadsworth Brian and Sophia Walsh Daniel and Barbara Wark Alison and Bob Wash Murray and Mari Weiss

Jay Saoud and Kristina Kramer

Roger and Lani Werne

Julie Scarpelli

Dilantha and Manoja Wijesuriya

Steven and Linda Wight

Michaele-Ann Schmitcke

Robinson and Joanie Wills

Susan Schnieders

Riley Wise

Paul and Carol Scott

John and Lisa Woll

Suzanne Seegers

Kirsten Woods

Alfred and Laurel Seivold

Ponce and Lourdes Yambao

Andy and Carol Shafer

Glen and Elisa Yeung

Mark Shapiro and Roberta Goldberg

Seven Hills is committed to enhancing the student experience at every turn while keeping tuition as low as possible. The Board of Trustees helps manage the school’s finances with the goal of supporting mission-driven growth and fiscal strength.

Cassidy Thompson

Lauren Sanders

Edward Scherr and Shelly Pozzi


Matthew and Kristine Shargel

† Deceased

OPERATING EXPENSES1 Salaries and Benefits $7,998,612 71.4% Instructional 1,476,096 13.2% Tuition Assistance 736,556 6.6% General and Administrative 318,456 2.8% Fundraising 138,619 1.2% Capital 535,509 4.8% Total


Excludes depreciation/ amortization $946,278


Endowment: $4,125,162 Total Liabilities and Net Assets: $31,654,637 These numbers reflect pre-audited financials. Audit will be available upon request as of December 2017.


Endowment Donors

The Seven Hills endowment continues to grow with new gifts in honor of our beloved faculty and programs. As a permanent source of income, all endowment gifts are held in trust and generate ongoing support for missioncritical and strategic priorities.

Last school year, payout from the Seven Hills endowment provided more than $100,000 to the operational budget, reducing reliance on tuition and other sources of revenue. A special thanks to those listed below for making an endowment gift in 2016-17. Together with supporters from years past, you have created an enduring legacy.

Toby Pontin and Jennifer Wilson

Delbert and Kimberly Stafford

Gregory and Liana Pope David and Emily Pottruck

Brooks and Michelle Stratmore

Timothy and Katharine Rudd

John Sween and Lisa Barnett Sween

Jonathan Russell and Rachael Applegate

The Walt Disney Company Foundation

Michael and Stephanie Sandberg

Geoffrey and Beth Wadsworth

Lauren Sanders

Brian and Sophia Walsh

Julie Scarpelli

Robert and Amy Walters

Schwab Charitable Fund

Wells Fargo Community Support Campaign

Larry and Cybille Scott Brian and Michelle Sharpes Jonathan and Ali Singh

Walter and Natasha Acuña

The Clorox Company Foundation

Thor and Christine Grossen

Bruce Ledesma and Cheryl Sendaydiego

Nick Adamson and Carisa Harris Adamson

William and Cynthia Cogswell

Jay and Genevieve Gudebski

Stephen and Mackenzie Lesher

Jamil and Cheryl Akoni

Ryan and Nicole Crowley

Peter and Julie Gutzwiller

Eric and Karen Littell Robert and Renee Little

Kenneth and Risa Allison

John and L. Adrienne Cupples

Russell and Jane Hall

Gregory and Victoria Longstreet

Russell and Crystal Alpert

Brian and Kristen D’Arcy

Happy Valley ICF/DD-H Inc.

Jason and Nicole Ambrose

Paul and Christa Deeringer

Ben and Lilly Hatanaka

Randall and Elizabeth Luskey

Imran and Regula Dhedhi

Jill Hatanaka


Matthew and Kamin Macomber

Maximilian and Lori Auffhammer

Alexander and Samantha Duff

Gene and Alicia Bakkum

Scott and Katherine Espinosa-Brown

Katherine Alberts and Lori Siegel

Gordon and Diana Baty Sebastian and Renee Bea Ramin and Patricia Behmand The Benevity Community Impact Fund

Paul and Laurel Evans Omid and Ellie Fard Fidelity Charitable Gift Fund

Patrick and Alison Blake

John and Laura Furstenthal

David and Emily Breach

Anne Gartner

Ryan and Nicole Brown

Nicholas Gartner

George and Stephanie Buhalis

Mark and Naomi Glasky

Christopher and Annette Butner Bret and Sarah Cameto Kelly Cardella Frank and Elizabeth Cassal Chevron


Kurt and Sheryl Ettinger

Bruce and Barbara Goodman John and Jennifer Graham

The Hennessy Foundation Kevin and Elaine Hennessy Sameer and Melissa Hilal Patrick and Alison Hoey Dewey Horton and Ann Hatanaka Fred and Noel Hughes Robert Ishii and Nancy Wallace Matthew and Marissa Janopaul

Marianne McBride Drew and Kaeti McMillan Kathleen McNamara and Jihad Mirza Neil Meyer and Stephanie Chiang Dan Michael and Lillian Leong Alan Moore Clare Moore

Brett and Kymberly Johnson

Frank and Natasha Nicholson-Bjerre

Charles and Lainie Johnson

Calin and Anca Niculescu

Zahoor Kareem and Tanveer Alibhai

Richard and Carol Northing

Janet Katari

Michael and Ellen Peterson

Marc and Wendy Greenberg

Charles Killian and Michelle Watts Killian

John and Khira Griscavage

Ross and Olga Larner Ari and Sheryl Lauer

John and Hannah Pirone Joseph Pollock and Rebecca Demorest

Stephanie Sproul

Robinson and Joanie Wills Wally and Kirsten Young

JULIAN RETTGER FUND FOR EMOTIONAL WELL-BEING Julian Rettger graduated from Seven Hills in 2003. His parents established Julian’s Fund for Emotional Well-Being in 2010, to honor Julian, who passed away in June of that year. Julian’s family has raised more than $500,000 through the fund to support the social and emotional well-being of students. Seven Hills has named the library in his honor because of his early and continuing passion for books. Mary Ann Gordon Philip B. Rettger and Diane Bell-Rettger

Named Endowment Funds Create Enduring Legacies

Parents Honor Faculty with Endowment Gifts

Over the years, individuals and families have established named endowment funds that continue to provide for the school. Like contributions to the general endowment, these gifts are invested in perpetuity with a percentage of the interest earnings used each year for specific purposes.

Cybille and Larry Scott (parents of Alexander ’14, Sebastien ’16, and Alannah ’17) hosted fellow 8th grade parents in their home in May to celebrate an endowment fund their family established at Seven Hills in 2016—the Scott Espinosa-Brown Endowed Fund for Student Life, Leadership, and Service. That evening, they also encouraged other families to join them by supporting the endowment as a way to honor their child’s Seven Hills journey.

The Barlow Family Endowed Fund

Joseph Family Minority Scholarship Fund

The Brown Family Endowed Fund

Julian Rettger Fund for Emotional Well-Being

The Butner Family Endowed Fund

Karen Malin Endowment for Professional Development

Deborah Jansen General Endowment Fund

Matthews Music Scholarship

The Hennessy Family Endowed Scholarship Fund The Hilal Family Endowed Fund Jim Clark Former Trustees Endowment Fund

The Scott Espinosa-Brown Endowed Fund for Student Life, Leadership, and Service

With gifts in honor of teachers who had most inspired their own graduate, Class of 2017 parents answered the call and raised more than $48,000 in support of the endowment and will have a new plaque installed on the endowment wall on campus to recognize their contributions. These endowed graduation gifts will benefit Seven Hills incredible faculty and students in perpetuity. Thank you, Class of 2017!

The William H. Miller Endowment Fund

If you are interested in establishing a named endowment fund with a minimum gift of $50,000, please contact Director of Development Amy Walters at or (925) 933-0666. Named funds are a meaningful way to create a permanent legacy for your family.

During graduation week, parents gathered and celebrated together at the second annual 8th Grade Parent Dinner, where they were recognized for their dedication to the school and many contributions.


Steve and Beth Marini

Hills Angels in Perpetuity

Mark and Mindee Mastrov

In recognition of their exceptional generosity, we annually honor the Hills Angel donors who, over time, have cumulatively contributed $25,000 or more to the Annual Fund. Your loyal and significant support has provided for generations of Seven Hills students and faculty.

Pat Matthews and Patti Paulson

Susan Rogers

Scott and Tomi Matthews

Fred and Susan Safipour

Stephen and Nancy McCarthy

Andrew and Jinny Rudd Edward Scherr and Shelly Pozzi Steven Schwab

Wendy McDermott

Larry and Cybille Scott

James McDonnell and Linda Margulies

Carl Shapiro

Kevin McGuirk Daniel and Marina Miller

Mark Shapiro and Roberta Goldberg Brian and Michelle Sharpes

Jeffrey and Heidi Abramson

Stephen Cohn and Rose Anne Critchfield

John Gingrich and Christine Currie

Matthew and Melissa Jose

Bill and Kristy Miller

Ian Agol ’82 and Michelle McGuinness

Michael and Shirley Coke

Anthony Giordano and Theresa Klinger

Sheldon Kahn and Sarah Liron

Sam Mills

Charles and Alexis Glavin

Joseph and Odette Kardek

Abraham Mintz and Catherine Cutler

Elizabeth Solomon

James and Dorothy Mills Tom and Julia Miner

Murray and Christine Sheldon Philip Simon and Terry Neben

Annie Allen

Alex Copeland and Eileen Beall

Robert Allen

The Copeland Family

Kent and Diana Godfrey

Susan Alonso

John and Debby Cunningham

Bruce and Barbara Goodman

Ross and Amy Kari Janet Katari

Langdon and Elizabeth Morris

Mary Dalsin-Mills

Dan and Linda Gordon

Kevin and Michaela Katari

Paul and Diane Morton

Ronald and Caryn Suber

Mathew and Sarah Bakulich

Steve and Celeste Danglade

Richard and Lori Green

Jerry and Carolina Katz

Clarence and Irene Mou

Mitchell and Karen Kay

Gretchen Bartzen

Charles and Nancy Deschane

William and Frances Myers

Patrick and Teresa Sullivan

Kelly and Carrie Barlow

Stephen and Katy Gronowski

Brad and Shiva Berman

Amber DeSilva

Patrick and Alison Blake

David DeSilva

Parke and Victoria Boneysteele

Scott and Deborah DeVries

Kevin Booth

Robert Dolinko and Laurie Bronson

Brian Atwood and Lynn Edminster

David and Emily Breach David and Kim Bridges Robert† and Alice Bridges Foundation Ryan and Nicole Brown


Geoffrey and Lesleen Riley

Todd and Christine Dow Joseph and Holly Eiden Irwin and Vivian Eskanos Ira and Pamela Finch

Christopher and Annette Butner

Charles Fiske and Karen Leo

Philae Carver

David and Jessie Flatt

Mark Fosbury and Kristin Castagno

Roger and Madeline Fleischmann

James and Françoise Cervantes

John and Laura Furstenthal

John† and Susan Chapman

Bob Gallo Sandra Gallo

Adam and Carol Chase

Ravikanth Ganapavarapu

Chung-Cheng and Jen-Kuei Chen

Shrikant and Ira Garde

James and Kathy Clark

W. Philip and June Gardner

Ronald and Susan Codd

Kimberly Gilmore

Thor and Christine Grossen

George and Bonnie Kennedy Larry and Julie Kirsch

Kenneth and Jeanifer Grullon

Steven and Rochelle Klein

Peter and Julie Gutzwiller

Bob Kliger

John and Wendy Hammergren Michael Han and Annie Hahn Terence Heywood and Pamela Lesoganich- Heywood Sameer and Melissa Hilal Diane Horton

Stuart and Anne Knowles Benjamin and Judy Kronick Jim and Shannon Lanzone David and Traci Lardner Ari and Sheryl Lauer Henry and Jennifer Leingang

Brad and Amy Skepner Corby and Heather Stead

Brian and Patricia Napper

Suri and Rushika Suriyakumar

Subhendu Narayan and Kavitha Rao-Narayan

Bahman and Mardjan Taheripour

John and Ruth Nelson

Ronald and Robyn Taylor

Brent and Elizabeth Nomura

Larry and Deveney Totten

David and Sally Nosal

Christopher Trinkus

Stephen and Maggie Oetgen

Richard and Karen Walker

Peter and Isabelle Op de Beeck

Michael and Maria Walton

Ralph Pais and Gayl Huston

Tom and Marla Williams

Charles and Adelaide Park

Douglas and Joyce Wing

Dennis and Bonnie Wells Keith and Susan Wilson

Shami and Lori Patel

Bruce Woods and Nancy Frary-Woods

Michael and Sherrie Littlejohn

Jerome and Jane Perez

Glen and Elisa Yeung

Eric and Amy Peterson

Roy and Cathy Yih

James and Laura Hulburd

Norman and Mo Livermore

Joseph and Toni Petite

Mark and Shawn Young

Robert Ishii and Nancy Wallace

Jeffrey and Jennifer Loomis

Scott Pipo and Gloria Pickhover

Wally and Kirsten Young

Matthew and Marissa Janopaul

David and Connie Lowe

Abraham and Deanna Hsieh Frederick Hughes, Jr. Fred and Noel Hughes

Paul and Deborah Jansen Thomas and Mary Anne Jorde

Stephen and Mackenzie Lesher

James and Shari Lucas John Lyngaas and Linda Noel

Michelle Place Joseph and Rosalia Polizzi Ingrid Ray Christine Riley

† deceased New Hills Angels Member

Ways to Make a Difference Our mission calls us to build a foundation that creates a lifelong love of learning. We accomplish this goal in partnership with our extended community through three primary fundraising efforts. We invite you to join us.

Heritage Society The Heritage Society honors those who have included Seven Hills in their estate plans. Through their thoughtful planning, members of the Heritage Society are providing for the future of the school. Thank you for your vision and commitment. Pete Babiak and Laura Lippow Parents of Steven Babiak ’07 and Sydney Babiak ’11 Gretchen Bartzen Director of Development (1995–2012) Brad and Shiva Berman Parents of Daniela Berman ’05 Jon and Lisa Blake Parents of Adam Blake ’11 and Andrew Blake ’12 John† and Susan Chapman Parents of Chris Chapman ’03 and Emma Chapman ’05 Jim and Laura Hulburd Parents of Alanna Hulburd ’06 and Kyle Hulburd ’09 Paul and Deborah Jansen Parents of Ben Jansen ’03 and Nicholas Jansen ’05 Thomas and Mary Ann Jorde Parents of Kevin Jorde ’01 and Christopher Jorde ’03 Joel King Director of Finance and Operations (2000–2011)

Jim and Karen Malin Head of Lower School (1992–2013) Kathleen McNamara Head of School (2015–present) Dan and Marina Miller Parents of Marshall Miller ’01 Bill and Kristy Miller Headmaster (1992–2015) Parents of Hennessy Miller ’04 and Keenan Miller ’08 Abraham Mintz and Catherine Cutler Parents of Elizabeth Mintz ’13 and Zachary Mintz ’12 Philip Rettger Parent of Julian Rettger ’03† Linden Van Wert Faculty member since 1975, Librarian (1976–2015), Green Ombudsman (2015–present) John and Alice Villanueva Parents of Amber Villanueva ’96 and Erica Villanueva ’99 † deceased

If you have included Seven Hills in your will or trust or are interested in learning more about how to do so, please contact Director of Development Amy Walters at or (925) 933-0666.


The Annual Fund is the school’s cornerstone fundraising effort each and every year. The Annual Fund is part of the school’s operating budget and thus provides yearly and essential resources above and beyond tuition. Gifts directly support the many things you love most about the school, from hands-on-learning opportunities to our talented faculty.


The school’s annual auction is a fun community-building event that also raises vital funds for student programs and the endowment. Mark your calendars for this year’s auction, Saturday, March 24, 2018. This treasured tradition is a fantastic way to connect with other families while supporting the school.


Gifts to the endowment provide for the school’s long-term financial health. While the Annual Fund is put to use immediately, the endowment is invested in perpetuity with interest earnings used each year to sustain our programs and to support strategic initiatives.

How to Make a Gift There are variety ways to make a gift to the school including: Gifts of cash Appreciated securities

Bequests, real estate, or other planned gifts

Corporate matching gifts

Gifts in kind

You can also make a gift online at:, or by mail. Checks should be made out to The Seven Hills School and sent to:

The Development Office • The Seven Hills School 975 North San Carlos Drive Walnut Creek, CA 94598 Questions? Contact Director of Development Amy Walters at or (925) 933-0666.


CHEERS! In March, the Seven Hills

community tuned in for the Emmy-worthy TVLand auction. With the Saturday Night Live set as the backdrop, the Seven Hills faculty-staff band kicked off the evening and left everyone wanting “More Cowbell!” Taking the theme to heart, attendees arrived as cast members of ER, F∙R∙I∙E∙N∙D∙S, Home Improvement, Saved by the Bell, and The Voice. With a record-breaking turnout of more than 325 attendees, Seven Hills raised more than $325,000, including $75,000 towards the newly established endowment for science. “The auction is a hallmark event for the school community and a whole lot of fun,” says 2017 Auction Co-Chair Steve Lesher. “It’s as much friend-raiser as fundraiser, and our parents are over-the-top with their creativity and generosity!” The auction’s success is a year-round, community-wide effort thanks to the the commitment of event sponsors, donors, countless volunteers, the Board of Trustees, and the tireless and steady leadership of our Auction Co-Chairs, Nikki Brown and Steve Lesher—a star-studded and talented cast indeed! Photos courtesy of

Auction Co-Chairs Nikki Brown and Steve Lesher


Committee Kristen D’Arcy Amanda Ambrose Carisa Harris Adamson

Stephanie Buhalis Nick Bisho Bret Cameto Lauren Cazenave

Katherine Gandy Wendy Greer Joanna Grossman Marissa Janopaul

Alex Lee Patrick Lin Renee Little John McCormick

Jessica Pozzi Jennifer Ruane Cheri Russell Michelle Stratmore

Board Liaisons John Gingrich and Matt Macomber

Auction Coordinator Riki Gibson

Corporate and Business Sponsors

Oliver and Amy Parker

Cinemark Blackhawk Movies 7

Jules Thin Crust

Tina Ory

Steve and Kate’s Camp

Brad and Amy Skepner

Kallie Jo Photography

Palm House San Francisco

John and Diane Suciu


Robert and Amy Walters

Kelley Cochran William and Cynthia Cogswell

Parksmart Regional Parking, Inc.

The Bar Method

Arthur Woo and Emmelie Sabatte

Zahoor Kareem and Tanveer Alibhai

The Pickett Family

College Nannies + Tutors

Pamela Keith and Elizabeth Mahler

The Seven Hills School

Pinnacle Promotions

Color Me Mine

Kendra Scott

The Woodhouse Day Spa

360 Medical Weight Loss Specialists

Pinot’s Palette

CorePower Yoga

Kleid Design Group Fine Custom Cabinetry

Cassidy Thompson

John and Hannah Pirone

Emily Tolosa

Jeff Dudum

Neil and Patrice Konigsberg

Total Wine & More

McKesson Foundation

Nick Adamson and Carisa Harris Adamson

Heidi Plumb Polished Nail Bar & More

Town Hall Theatre

Pro Form Laboratories

Sameer and Stella Advani

Gerald and Kristen Posey

Treasure Island Sailing Center


Golden Globe BeneSys Administrators Diablo Foods Grocery Outlet

Teen Choice Farmers & Merchant Bank

SAG Clancy & Diaz, LLP Modus, Inc. Reiser Group, Inc. Servco Foundation

Actor Alliant Insurance Services Armanino LLP Choicelunch ENroute Market

Raffle Sponsor Robert and Renee Little

Table Host Sponsors Dallas The Little and Scott Families

Three’s Company Goodman, Griscavage, Hilal, Lauer, Moudi, and Sween Families Servco Pacific, Inc.

Glee Faculty Sponsorship Christopher and Annette Butner

Item Donations

Adventure Day Camp Jamil and Cheryl Akoni Katherine Alberts and Lori Siegel Annie Allen Jon and Amanda Ambrose American Kitchen American Conservatory Theater Apres Soleil Tans Artistic Designs for Living Asterias Biotherapeutics Maximilian and Lori Auffhammer Bay Area Children’s Theatre Beach Blanket Babylon Christopher and Karen Begg Bel and Bunna’s Books Randy and Darlene Bennett, SMC Men’s Basketball Nick and Clare Bisho Blackhawk Country Club Blackhawk Plastic Surgery Patrick and Alison Blake Blow Dry Bar Norma Bristol Ryan and Nicole Brown Burger Family Trust Christopher and Annette Butner

Brian and Kristen D’Arcy The Dutra Family Encore Gym ENroute Market Scott and Katherine Espinosa-Brown

Chris Kretz Chalis Kuba Lafayette Park Hotel & Spa Lands’ End


Nancy Lane


Jim and Shannon Lanzone

Fat Maddie’s Grille

Rebecca Larson

Flywheel Sports

Adam Lechner ’87

Forbes Mill Steak House

Christopher and Danette Leighton

John and Laura Furstenthal Games Unlimited Ravikanth Ganapavarapu John Gingrich and Christine Currie

Stephen and Mackenzie Lesher Sarah Lewis Patrick and Darlet Lin Robert and Renee Little


Veena Lohia

Christi Gotvald

Matthew and Kamin Macomber

Ashley Gould Marc and Wendy Greenberg John and Khira Griscavage Benjamin and Joanna Grossman

Majeroni Orthodontics Shauna Maraccini Richard and Patricia Marcogliese Martinez Gun Club

Jay and Genevieve Gudebski

John and Lindsay McCormick

Peter and Julie Gutzwiller

Peggy McCormick

Heather Harrington

Kathleen McNamara and Jihad Mirza

Katherine Henderson Sameer and Melissa Hilal Stephanie Hough Fred and Noel Hughes

Michael Merrill Design Studio

Gina Hurley


Jason and Anna Husk

Mooyah Burgers, Fries and Shakes

Instrumental Music Program

Bret and Sarah Cameto

Canvas & Cabernet Kelly Cardella

Robert Ishii and Nancy Wallace

Moraga Country Club

Mike and Shirley Coke Kathleen McNamara and Jihad Mirza

Kimberly Carpenter

Matthew and Marissa Janopaul

Neiman Marcus

Matthew and Kamin Macomber

Q-Zar Laser Tag Gray and Brenda Reavis Clement and Audrey Reid Mark Roquet Matthew Sager and Amanda Ashton-Sager

UCSF/UCB Ergonomics Research & Graduate Training Program UrbanSitter Beth Wadsworth Alison Wash

San Francisco Opera

Wente Vineyards

Lauren Sanders

Linden Van Wert

Larry and Cybille Scott

Wheel Kids Bicycle Club

Seven Hills Brownie Troop 33835 (3rd Grade)

Tanner Wickes and Julie Anne Springman Wickes ’98

Matthew and Kristine Shargel

Robinson and Joanie Wills

Shell Oil Company

Riley Wise

Brad and Amy Skepner

Arthur Woo and Emmelie Sabatte

SkinSpirit Sky High Sports Sloat Garden Center Smile Power Orthodontics SoulCycle

Kirsten Woods Ponce Yambao Wally and Kirsten Young Zachary’s Chicago Pizza

Steven and Susie Sovik


Robert Mehranfar and Jodee Brydges

Robert and Susie Canchola

Center REPertory Company

Jeffrey and Jessica Pozzi

The Dorian

Nail Today

Jennifer Perlmutter Gallery

Frank and Natasha Nicholson-Bjerre


Nordstrom Walnut Creek


2018 EVENTS October 12 All Community Parent Dinner

The Seven Hills School 975 North San Carlos Drive Walnut Creek, CA 94598

Non Profit Org. U.S. Postage


Handled with Care

November 28 Career Pathways Networking Event January 15 Applications Deadline

March 24 Auction

April 12​ Evening of Art, Innovation & Greenstival

May 4​ Grandparents & VIP Day

June 7 ​Graduation

June 9​ All Alumni Reunion

Gonna Watch Our Garden Grow! Seven Hills students and Linden Van Wert, Seven Hills Green Ombudsman and former librarian, planted 72 trees in the new Seven Hills orchard. The road adjacent to the orchard and leading into campus has been named “Linden’s Orchard Lane” in gratitude for her commitment to the school’s green initiatives.


Fall 2017  
Fall 2017