Page 1

Synergy Times The newsletter of Synergy School Winter 2011

Synergy’s New Logo by Cynthia Louie The Board of Trustees this fall approved a new logo design. The abstract synergistic concept of infinity loops replaces the Escher-inspired books transforming into birds. While beautiful and lyrical, the old logo had become dated and presented various design problems related to weight and scale. The work to create the new logo began last spring when the board recruited Synergy parent Sam Tripodi, a talented and experienced designer, to spearhead the project. Sam and a committee of the board carefully considered the spirit of Synergy – progressive education, community, diversity, connectedness, openness and creativity – and sought to embody these elements in the new design. In adopting the new look, many of the board members expressed excitement about its fluidity, simplicity, clarity and elegance, as well as the

flexibility it provides. Co-founder Katherine Czesak, who initially resisted the idea of a new logo, called it “timeless”. The impetus to create a new look for Synergy came as a result of the school’s five-year strategic plan. Among several initiatives launched last year was the need to convey Synergy’s message more clearly and broadly, which is why, in addition to a new logo, the school’s website has been redesigned by Sam Tripodi and the Technology Committee. Other initiatives of the strategic plan include: completing a smooth administrative transition; continuing to build a broad and diverse school community; and strengthening Synergy as a financially thriving, green model school.

In this issue: Synergy’s New Logo What is Culture ? Teaching Sustainability Through

1 2 3

Science Interview with Nia Jean Ross Interview with Sam Heminger Synergy’s Thanksgiving Feast The Class of 2010’s Gift that

4 6 7 8

Keeps on Giving Annual Report


“The board carefully considered the spirit of Synergyprogressive education, community, diversity, connectedness, openness and creativity.” Synergy Times

| Winter 2011


What Is Culture? by Elena Dillon We posed this question to the middle school humanities classes early in the school year. “My family," “Our Religion," “The food my family eats," “The story of my Ancestors,” were some of the initial responses to the question. Students explored this question by creating their own “culture boxes,” choosing to include whatever was important to them as they thought about culture. Their boxes were wonderful, unique, and showed

“What Is a Culture?” was the organizing theme for the 6th and 7th graders at Farm School at the end of September. Students were organized in tribes of 7 or 8 students, and were given an ecosystem at Deergnaw (aka Farm School in Healdsburg) in which to create a culture. As one student wrote, “We were in the oak forest. Our assignment was to make a culture. We had to figure out who was the leader, we had to figure out

“ We had to figure out who was the leader, we had to figure out what our diet was, what our name was, we had to deal with problems that occurred while we were making our culture, and what our beliefs were. ” many divergent ideas about the concept of culture. The 8th graders, who had made culture boxes before, generated ideas for a time capsule that will represent our current culture(s), and which we will bury before graduation.

Synergy Times

| Winter 2011

what our diet was, what our name was, we had to deal with problems that occurred while we were making our culture, and what our beliefs were.” By the end of the week, each group presented its culture to the other groups. Some groups enacted a creation myth or a coming of age

ceremony, one group created an alphabet and invited their visitors to use this alphabet to write their own names, and others presented their work at centers set up throughout their environments. “The natural tree tribe worships the sunrise because everything can have a new beginning….” was the introduction to one display in the Redwood Tree Tribe’s culture site. While one group was at Farm School, the students back at school participated in small group archaeological digs. After hours uncovering all the “artifacts” in their dig, they generated possible conclusions about the hypothetical ancient culture represented in the dig. “After uncovering objects at our dig site we believe that our culture lived near, and maybe worshipped, the sea. We know this because we dug up many seashells and pieces of coral. We are guessing that they might have used sand dollars for money and the shells to decorate their altars. We think they also worshipped birds because we found a lot of bird artifacts and feathers…." The question, “What is a Culture” launched our yearlong humanities theme of ancient civilizations. As we study the ancient people of Mesopotamia and learn about the ancient civilizations of China, Greece, and the Mayans, the question is a touchstone we will return to again and again. And our hands-on experience creating our own cultures at Farm School have given us a deeper understanding of the meaning of culture – from the ground up.


Teaching Sustainability through Science by Rea Inglesis Joan Pettijohn and I, teachers in the 4/5 classroom, are very excited to be part of a new program at the California Academy of Sciences. The two-year program, called the Teacher Institute on Science and Sustainability (TISS), is an education and mentorship program geared towards 3rd through 5th grade teachers. Participants sharpen their science teaching skills while incorporating principles of sustainability. The mission of the TISS program is to give teachers the “critical tools and knowledge to inspire the next generation to protect our most precious resource: the planet Earth.” Joan and I share a commitment to teaching about environmental responsibility and saw TISS as the perfect way to increase our impact as teachers and community members. We both serve on Synergy’s Green Committee and are advisors of the student Ecoteam. The TISS program includes two 2-week summer sessions and at least 21 hours of professional development each year. The first summer session was jam-packed with behind the scenes tours of the Academy, lectures by Academy researchers, hands-on science activities, and field trips. The themes were green building design and the carbon cycle. We learned about the sustainable features of the rebuilt Academy of Sciences and toured a green school with its architect. After studying various aspects of green design, Joan and I built a scale model of Synergy School which was on display in the front hall this fall. The model demonstrates a green vision of our school with ideas for clean energy and conservation, gardening, waste reduction, transportation and ways to communicate

Synergy Times

| Winter 2011

Synergy’s green mission. Next summer, we’ll focus on food and water issues. Joan and I are also being mentored by one of our TISS teachers, Sarah Delaney. She visits our

such as shells, minerals, fossils, and birds. Students also used sketches to catalog evidence in our “Mystery Festival” and to record the procedure and results of experiments.

“ The mission of the TISS program is to give teachers the “critical tools and knowledge to inspire the next generation to protect our most precious resource: the planet Earth.” classroom about once a month to help us develop and deliver great curriculum. One of the main components of a science program being taught in TISS is the use of science journals. Students use a notebook to record their lessons and reflect on their learning. There is more emphasis on asking scientific questions and having an opportunity to discuss conclusions. While the Middle School already uses journals, Synergy faculty is looking at how to advance science teaching across the grades based on what we’ve learned in TISS. The art of observation is taught explicitly and sketching class has been a favorite of ours as well as of the 4/5 students. We have already seen how sketching skills enhance our science curriculum. For example, we have sketched natural objects

The 4/5 class benefits from 2 field trips to the Academy of Sciences this year and free use of a number of kits which include detailed lesson plans, materials, models, and a teacher workshop introducing all the lessons. The 4/5 has just completed a geology unit that began with a visit to the Academy classroom and continued with studies of rocks, fossils, the earth’s layers and tectonic plates using the substantial kit. Each time Joan and I go to a TISS workshop, we return invigorated and full of practical ideas to try out with our class. Our participation has opened the door to a wealth of resources at the Academy and has linked Synergy to a network of teachers committed to teaching sustainability.


Interview with Nia Jean Ross by Connie Matthiessen "Nia" means purpose in Swahili, and it fits Nia Jean Ross, Synergy's new Rainbow Room teacher. When she arrived at Synergy this fall, Nia had substantial shoes to fill: beloved teacher Tanya Baker had left the Rainbow Room to take on an administrative post (she also teaches half-time in the Star Room). But Nia jumped right into the job and the transition has been a smooth one. On a warm October afternoon, a little over a month after starting at Synergy, she was cheerful and relaxed as she sat down for the first time that day. School had just ended and the rush of children still thrummed through the hallways. Nia called out goodbyes to Ebony and Jesse; Starr skipped in to give her an article, then skipped out again. As the noise and the school day subsided, Nia talked about her past, her ideas about teaching, and her first weeks at Synergy:

Can you tell us a little bit about where you're from and how you got here? Nia: I'm from Allentown, Pennsylvania. I attended the University of Pittsburgh, where I studied children's literature as an undergraduate, and then got my Masters degree in education. I came to California to work on an organic farm in Willits. When I was there, I visited San Francisco and really liked it, and I decided to move here. My first job was at the Bay Area Women's and Children's Center in the Tenderloin. It's a wonderful non-profit organization. Through the Center, I worked at the Tenderloin Community School as a literacy tutor. I eventually became a long-term substitute teacher, and then taught there as a full-time teacher for six years.

Synergy Times

| Winter 2011

There is a real diversity of learners at the Tenderloin Community School. There are many recent immigrants who don't speak English. Some kids have extremely difficult home lives. There are kids who live in one-room studio apartments with their entire, multigenerational family -- that's no exaggeration. Many kids come to school hungry, many are malnourished. You have kids who are struggling with English in the same class with kids with strong language skills. It's really an amazing place. I loved it. I loved my students.

hierarchy, and by the project based learning. My friend told me that Synergy was a school I would thrive in, and the more I learned about it, the more I agreed. How is it going so far? Nia: There are so many things I like about Synergy! I like the cross-age collaboration and the buddy

“I was intrigued by the concept of a teachers' co-op, by the lack of a hierarchy, and by the project based learning.� But there were things I didn't like about it, too. When you work in the San Francisco School District, you have to follow a formula. You use the same books as everyone else in the school district. I had many ideas for projects I wanted to do with the kids, but there wasn't time to pursue them. A colleague who has friends at Synergy was the one who first told me about the school. She said it would be the perfect place for me. I was intrigued by the concept of a teachers' co-op, by the lack of a

system. I like it that we're teaching different grades and ages in one classroom. In my experience, you are always teaching at different levels, even when all the kids are the same age. I really like working with Ebony; it's an amazing experience to have a co-teacher. Team teaching allows you to give kids the attention they need. There is so much more you can give a student who needs more support, for example. If a student doesn't get it, you can slow down and help him or her. That's really hard to do when you're the only


Class of 2010 Graduation Congratulations to the Synergy School Class of 2010! This year’s eighth grade class was accepted to a wide range of public, independent, charter, parochial, and boarding schools. Our graduates will be attending the following schools: Archbishop Riordan High School Balboa High School teacher in a classroom. You see some of the kids looking at you and not getting it, they're lost and you know it, but if you slow down for them, you lose everyone else. It's really hard to teach many different levels at once. I like that there is a common language throughout the school. The agreement system and the wave out system seem to work really well. At other schools, there is different classroom management in every classroom, so kids don't have that consistent message. Here, there is no ambiguity or confusion for the kids -it's clear and consistent. Also, I'm so impressed by the specialists -- by the art, drama, PE and Spanish programs. The kids really look forward to their time with the specialists, and they get so much out of it. They come back to class singing, or talking about Nate's jokes. I love it that Synergy is nurturing these parts of the child, and acknowledging how important it is to develop kids' music, art, language, and physical selves. This isn't the case today at public schools: these are always the first programs that are cut, and it's a disservice to kids on so many levels. When you have these other programs as well as academics, kids who don't do well at academics get to shine in other areas. Some children go through the whole day thinking, 'I didn't do that right. And I didn't do that right.' It's wonderful if they can succeed in art, or PE or music or Spanish. At the same time, the kids who always succeed at academics get the chance to stretch in other ways. I love the opportunity to work with the downstairs teaching team. Their support has been incredible. The upstairs team has been great, too, but I don't work with them as much.

Synergy Times | Winter 2011

Finally, at Synergy, I don't have to follow a prescription. I can pursue my ideas. I can see that I'll really grow as a teacher in this environment.

Drew School

Is there anything at Synergy that has surprised you?

Immaculate Conception Academy

Nia: I've been impressed by the level of selfdirectedness in the students. It's astonishing. I knew that kids here are expected to be in charge of their own learning, and that there were natural consequences for their behavior, but still, I've been amazed to see this level of selfdirectedness in first and second graders. I've had to do far less behavioral redirection then I would expect with kids this age. The kids are trustworthy -- I've been here a short time but already there is a high level of trust. I focus on something else and expect kids to do their work -- and they actually do it!

Dunn School

Leadership High School Lick-Wilmerding High School Lowell High School Mercy High School Riordan Sacred Heart Cathedral Preparatory Ruth Asawa School of the Arts

Can you tell us a little about your life outside Synergy? Nia: I have an active yoga practice. In fact, I start my math class in the Rainbow Room with breathing exercises, to help the kids get grounded and centered. I really notice a difference on the days I don't do that. The kids are all wiggly, and their math brains stay turned off. So I try to do it at the beginning of every math class. I love biking around the city. I think San Francisco is gorgeous. I love to ride my bike to the Presidio. After a long, busy, noisy week, I love to ride in the quiet of the Presidio, and use different senses.


Interview with Music Teacher Sam Heminger By Connie Matthiessen This fall, Synergy welcomed a second music teacher: musician Sam Heminger. His hiring is a relief to the many Synergy parents who for years have wondered how Mahala does it all – Kindergarten through 8th grade music classes, musical accompaniment for countless plays, choir practice at 7:30 AM, holiday caroling, the extraordinary Spring Concert. Many of us have marveled at Mahala's energy, worried she would burn out – and felt like slackers by comparison. But now she has help. Sam, a Synergy alumnus, former Synergy Summer counselor and Mahala's son, is taking over some of her teaching duties. Right now, Sam is teaching music to first, second, third and sixth graders. He's also teaching a weekly ear training class to seventh and eighth graders. The Synergy Times caught up with Sam recently in the Big Room to learn more about him, and his approach to teaching. Have you been a musician all your life? Sam: Pretty much. I've been playing music since I was five. I started off on violin, and I was in an orchestra. I've also played drums, guitar, and bass. I quit playing music in high school – I think it was just too serious for a teenager. I went to Seattle University for college, and there I discovered the stand-up bass, and started playing jazz. I considered being a music major, but the music department at Seattle wasn't that great, so I got a degree in philosophy instead. I just graduated last June.

Synergy Times

| Winter 2011

How do you like working at Synergy? Sam: I love it. I love kids. Even when I was a kid I loved kids. I love teaching kids, and its great to see

I talk to my other friends, who teach music at other schools, and they have the principal breathing down their necks, their programs are

“ Teaching feeds my creativity – it's inspiring to see kids learning and appreciating music.” kids loving music. It's so important to have good teachers teaching music. Of course, good teaching is always important, but especially in music, I think, because there isn't a textbook. Careful instruction is essential. A good music teacher can inspire kids to appreciate music.

being cut, music is considered an extra. At Synergy, music is respected. What we do is respected and appreciated and considered important.

What has been different for you coming to Synergy as a teacher, versus being a Synergy student?

Sam: It's working out really well. We're very comfortable with each other. We're casual with each other, and we have a similar approach to teaching. It would be impossible if we didn't get along – it would never work.

Sam: Everything. It's completely different to be here as a teacher. When I came here as a student, I was in 6th grade and I was a rebellious kid. School was not something I wanted to do. Now I appreciate and respect what the school is doing – the whole Synergy approach to education. I'm familiar with the Synergy system because I went to school here, and I've worked at Synergy Summer. The summers are more laid back, but the rules and the atmosphere are the same. I think Synergy is what education ought to be.

What is it like to work with Mahala?

Do you believe that some people are tone deaf, and is this a challenge when you teach kids with different musical abilities? Sam: I think some people are tone challenged. As with every thing else, there is a spectrum. Music comes more easily to some people, but that doesn't mean that other people can't learn it and enjoy it and play it. (Continued page 7)


Synergy’s Thanksgiving Feast By Cynthia Louie (Heminger continued) I think it's a particularly Western attitude, this idea that some people are musical and some are not. Math and reading come more easily to some people, but we would never say about the people who have a harder time that they shouldn't study math or learn to read. But that's how we are about music: we have the attitude that some people can do it and some people can't, that there is an elite group of musicians, and other people can't participate. In a class I took this summer, the teacher said that if you asked a group of 50 American adults, "Raise your hand if you are a musician," a few people would raise their hands. And if you asked them to raise their hands if they are musical, a few more would raise their hands. But if you asked the same question in an African village, people would be puzzled by the question – they'd all raise their hands, because they'd all see themselves as able to play music.

Thanksgiving arrived early at Synergy School this year as students, staff, and parents hosted a holiday feast for the elderly from the On Lok Senior Center in the Mission District. More than 50 seniors sat in classrooms with the students and shared a lunch of turkey and gravy, macaroni and cheese, broccoli salad, green salad, corn bread and pumpkin pie. After the meal, everyone came together in the Big Room, where Synergy’s choir sang holiday songs to their guests. And our guests, in turn, sang several songs to the students.

“It’s really important to teach the kids about giving back to the community and meeting new people,” said Drama and P.E. teacher Jana Barber. “It’s about tradition. The inter-generational part is very important.” The children with the assistance of their teachers prepared the meal, with each class working on a menu item from the kindergarteners who mixed up 15 pounds of broccoli salad to the middle schoolers who baked up 24 pies. Parents and staff roasted a dozen delicious turkeys.

Sharing a Thanksgiving feast has long been a Synergy tradition, but opening our doors to the seniors is relatively new. It began four years ago when several teachers saw an opportunity for a teachable moment.

That is what we're trying to do with the Orff method; we want to bring music back into daily life, to have music and instruments everywhere, not just in the music room. Do you worry that teaching will take you away from working on your own music? Sam: Not at all. In general, musicians teach. Not every musician, of course, but I see it as part of the job of being a musician: to pass music on to the next generation. If all I did was play music all day, it might take the fun out of it. Teaching feeds my creativity – it's inspiring to see kids learning and appreciating music.

Synergy Times

| Winter 2011


Upcoming Here are the schedule highlights for the quarter. For a more detailed schedule, please see our calendar at







All School Clean-up

Rainbow/Sunroom Plays

Lunar New Year Celebration




4/5 Grade Plays

Snow Trip

8th grade Puerto Rico Trip




Spaghetti Dinner at Synergy 8th grade Trip Fundraiser

President’s Day Holiday No School

Synergy Auction & Raffle at Annunciation Cathedral

The Class of 2010’s Gift that Keeps on Giving By Derek Rosenfield

Endowment is Forever The endowment is a pool of funds that Synergy invests for the long term. Each year, the school spends only about 5 percent of these funds, which is usually a little less than the income and appreciation from the investments. This allows the endowment to grow over time and—this is the good part— continue to provide support for Synergy’s budget “in perpetuity.” That’s a phrase used by lawyers, who are not allowed to say “forever.”

They’re out of here: Last year’s eighth-graders are in high school now. “Synergy?” That is so 2010. As for the parents of the graduates of 2010, they’re dealing with new schools, new potlucks, new fundraisers. Even so, those of us who remain at Synergy still enjoy their support. That’s because the parents of the Class of 2010 directed their gift of $2,145 to the school’s endowment. In other words, even though the Class of 2010 is gone, their gift will be part of Synergy forever. For all current families and for every kid who ever comes to Synergy, the Class of 2010 is helping them pay tuition, or learn the Agreement System, or enjoy Farm School, etc. This was the third year in a row that the Eighth Grade Class Gift went to the endowment. So every Synergy family from now on actually has funding from the Class of 2008, the Class of 2009, and the Class of 2010.

This turns out to be really important. That’s because every school that has ever outlasted its founders has two things: (1) a growing endowment and (2) a growing tradition of giving. Synergy is coming up on its 40th anniversary, and next spring you’ll be hearing a lot more about efforts to build our endowment. Stay tuned. For now, I’ll just say that my daughter was one of those eighth-graders in 2010. And I still have a sixth-grader and a first-grader at Synergy, so I’m really starting to understand the meaning of “perpetuity.” I’m also starting to form a deep, personal relationship with the school’s endowment. It’s good to know it will always be there. Derek chairs the Development Committee and graduated from Synergy in 1978.

Endowment is different from the Annual Fund. Those gifts get spent pretty much right away, so they’re usually referred to as “expendable.”

Synergy Times

| Winter 2011


Synergy School 2009-10 Annual Report

Gifts to the Synergy Annual Fund Thank you for your support.

Thank you for the generosity of all our donors who helped to raise $149,000 for the Synergy Annual Fund in 2009-2010. Our Board participation in the Annual Fund was 100% and Synergy families’ participation was 82%.

Ways to Give to Synergy School Synergy School is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization and gifts are tax deductible to the extent allowed by the law. Donations are accepted in the following ways:

Mail your donation to:

Donate online or download a pledge card

Many employers have a matching gift

Development Office


program that allows an employee’s gift to be

Synergy School

matched by 1:1. Ask your employer about

1387 Valencia St

Gifts of appreciated securities are gladly

San Francisco, CA 94110

accepted. For more information, please

their matching gift guidelines.

contact Liz McDonald at 415 567-6177 or

For more information about including

Synergy School in your estate plans, please contact Liz McDonald.

Synergy Times

| Winter 2011


Synergy School 2009-10 Annual Report Parents

Sara Hasson

Maria Sanchez & Domagoj Vucic

Marbin Aguilar

Michelle Hecht & Robert Redlinger

Angie Aldana & Sherman Chin

Fran Hegeler & Bruce Prescott

Risa Sandler In memory of Melissa J. Cochran

Kent Anderson

Rea Inglesis

Elizabeth Sandoval-Holland & Safalo Holland

Daniel Angel & Kevin Souza

Joanne & Brian Jennings In memory of Ellis L. Elgart

Sue Schechter & Brian Garcia

Stacey Kayden

Danya & Con Shegoleff

Rani Kelly & Donald Hagan

Lyn Shimizu & Silvia Castellanos

Jenny & David Kiely

Alys & Dan Shin

Alison Kim & Christianne Medina

Elizabeth Silver

Jesse & Jasmine Kitses

Catherine Singstad & Seth Dickerman

Karen Klein & Benjamin Golvin

Virginia & Kitty Smith-Russack

Kim & Matthew Krummel

Lissa Soep & Chas Edwards

Sylvia Kundig

Sol Solomon

Francie Lehmer

Rob Tan & Richard Smith

Judy & Anthony Lepe

JoAnn Triolo

Alexis Limberakis & Raymond Stanten

Sam Tripodi & Matt Rolandson

Ewa Litauer

Talley & Paul Webb

Cynthia Louie & Frni Beyer

David Weir

Jacqui Lumer

Kevin White & Annamarie Faro

Mary Lee Mackichan

Frances White & Steve Oddo

Ebony & Raymond Manion

Kausar & Douglas Wildman

Constance Matthiessen

Tracy Wong

Cherie McGee

Michie Wong & Cynthia Rickert

Sandy Barra & Pete Dardis Valerie Barth & Peter Wiley Danielle Beaumont Kathy Bella & Jay Harris Shelly & Kyle Belvill Laura & Emmett Bergman Sogolon Best & Nicole Branch Staci Boden'80 & Alex Gologorsky Kathy Brennessel Mahala Bundy & Steve Heminger Molly Burke & Mike Valan Vincent Campasano & Harris Meyer Laura Cashion & Michael Hunter Christina Castillo & David Schott Elizabeth & Benjamin Ceaser Doug Chan Alice Chan Sujata & Nikhil Chanani Karen Coopman & Deszon Claiborne Lila Crutchfield & Stephen Woodall Keryn Curtis & Nicholas Zwar Russell Curtis & Mark Russell Jennifer & Mitsuo DeBerry Deirdre Devine & Al Indelicato

Trudi Michael & Bruce Cole Renata & Alex Miller

Marian Doub & Bob Thawley Patty & Ronan Dunlop Cynthia Eagleton In Memory of Kitty Pavlina Eccless & Dar Greenberg Susana Eisen & Vincent Williams Jeannette Eisen-Onderdonk In memory of Henry Onderdonk

Diane Zacher & Howard Gelman

Elizabeth & Tom Mornini

Donors who made gifts to the school between September 1, 2009 and August 31, 2010 are listed in this annual report. We have tried to provide accurate and complete information for this report. Our apologies to any names omitted or listed incorrectly. Please contact the Director of Development, Liz McDonald to correct any records.

Jim Neiss & Marvin Segar de Cortez

Thank you

Ilsa & Tony Miller Susan Mizner Tania Molina Rita Molloy

Colleen Donovan

Laurel Schultz & Paul Linde

Melanie Moore

Shulee Ong & Lori Lai Georgette & Andrew Orrick Kathryn & Ed Osawa Marcia Otto & Adrian Jeday

David Emanuel & Maria Wamsley

Andrea Palash & Jessica Watson

Alan Fleming & Claudia Romero

Simon Pargeter

Leslie Fleming & Kevin Wilcock

Linda Parker & Greg Pennington

Jesse Francis

Aline Pereira & Rolf Mortenson

Joey Flora

Linda & Miquel Perez

Rita Franklin

Maggie Perkins & J. Daniell Hebert

Bianca Galladora

Yohana Quiroz & Daniel Candido

Barbara Gallios & Richard Woo

Julie and James Rice

Annelise Goldberg & Aaron Roland

Teresa & Carlos Rodriguez

Ethel Guevara

Maria Rogers Pascual & Josh Karliner

Amie Haiz & Eric Wilson

Derek Rosenfield'78 & Jenna Schott Tara Rye

Synergy Times

| Winter 2011


Synergy School 2009-10 Annual Report Teachers, Staff & Former Staff Tanya Baker Jana Barber Sogolon Best Mahala Bundy & Steve Heminger Russell Curtis & Mark Russell Katherine Czesak Tammy Damon & Elena Dillon Deirdre Devine & Al Indelicato Rita Franklin Mitch Genser & Diane Ventre Jill Goffstein-Stocks Rea Inglesis Jesse Kitses Carolyn Kruse Becky & Bruce Leighton Cynthia Louie & Frni Beyer

Friends & Grandparents

Ebony Manion

Adrianne Hurndell In Memory of Michael Schneps

Frances Bowes

Elizabeth McDonald & Tom Sicurella

Linda Marietta

Joan Campagna & Alan Markle

Russ Messing & Arlene Naschke

Kim Ridinger & Nancy Healey

Katherine Carroll

Joan Pettijohn

Kathryn Rouine-Rapp & Joseph Rapp In Honor of Ainsley, Blaine & Caelan

Siri Scull

Larry Chazen Beatrice Coxhead & Gerald Anderson

Christine & Lane Tanner

Joy Demattia

Tiffany Tai

Edward & Heather Taylor

Patricia Dinner In honor of Steve Grand-Jean

Pat Tokunaga & Jeff Moad

Kathe Traynor

Carolyn Wilson Koerschen & William New

Wendy Werby

LeRoy Wise

Helen Wood In honor of Tammy Damon

Melvin & Sonja Smith

Alumni & Alumni Parents

Foundations & Corporations

Dr. C. Garrison Fathman David Gast Scott Graham In honor of Russell Curtis & Mark Russell Steve Grand-Jean

Jane A'Hearn & Jeff Moroso

Chevron Humankind Matching Gift Program

Glenn H. Greenberg

Consuelo Faust-Anderson & Thor Anderson

Clorox Company Foundation

Louise and Robert Hasson

Caroline & Haney Armstrong

GAP Foundation

Noel and Terry Hefty

Janet Arnesty & John Good


Marilyn Bancel & Rik Myslewski

John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

Sara Bartholomew & Peter Good

Kevin Kennedy, LLC

Carol & Michael Blecker Ricki Boden & Andrea Lyons Robert Carr & Andrea LoPinto Eugene Cash

Messing Family Foundation Microsoft Giving Campaign Onecause Oracle Corporation Saint Francis Lutheran Church

Susan Caston


Petra Class & Steven Knorr

Adela & Joel Karliner Ellen Joy Leslee & Lewis Levey Bonnie Mackenzie Tessa McDonald Carol and Bob McIntyre Shirley & Howard Miller In honor of Emily Miller Ruth and Ed Mortenson Mary Nee Mr. John S. Osterweis

Schools Mentoring and Resource Team

Krista Farey & Vishwanath Lingappa

Mrs. Dorothy Redlinger

The Winston Foundation, Inc.

John Schulz, D.D.S.

Beth Gabow

Time Warner

Margaret M. Smith

Julie Graham & Candace Thille


Cecile & Bernard Silver

Deborah Gross

Wells Fargo

Jane & Tom Singer In memory of Wilma Messing

Donna Guyot Johnson Estella Habal & Hilton Obenzinger Synergy Times

| Winter 2011


Synergy Annual Fund

Every Gift Counts The Annual Fund helps to bridge the gap between tuition and the actual cost of educating a student at Synergy School for a full year.

If you have any questions about donations, please contact Liz McDonald, Director of Development at

The support we receive from our community of parents, friends, alumni and grandparents helps Synergy to maintain the strength of our program while keeping our tuition affordable and offering financial aid more than a third of our community. Every gift counts. It’s not too late to contribute to the fund.

Mission Statement Synergy Times is published twice a year by Liz McDonald, Development Director of Synergy School. Feedback and story ideas are welcome.

The mission of Synergy School is to provide a quality education by empowering children to flourish academically, to blossom as individuals, and to become self-confident, creative learners.

Design: Sam Tripodi Photography: Russ Curtis, Sam Tripodi

Synergy School 1387 Valencia Street San Francisco, CA 94110

For more information about Synergy call (415) 567-6177 or visit our website:


Synergy School was founded in 1973 and is a non-profit teacher cooperative, wherein students, parents, and teachers cooperate together to further a rewarding education for each child. We are a vibrant, diverse community with 185 students in kindergarten through eighth grade located in San Francisco’s Mission District.

Synergy Times Winter 2011  

Synergy School's new logo is featured in this newsletter for current students, parents, alumni and supporters.

Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you