Page 1

FEBRUARY 2003 (VOL. 9, NO. 5)







Harker Enters First National FIRST Competition

for Harker families ends Jan. 31. Sign up now for best selection! See page 5.

The clock is ticking, and the US Harker Robotics Team is busy building a robot for their first foray into the national FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) competition.

top stories Bucknall Excerpts from Marin Headlands student journals ................... 6

Saratoga Computer science and math students achieve perfect scores ......................... 9 & 10

School-Wide Mid-year report of successes from the head of school ..... 2-3

important dates Fri., Feb. 7 - 7:30-10:30 p.m. MS Dance, Saratoga gym

Sat., Feb. 8 - 8-11 p.m. US Dance, Saratoga gym

Fri., Feb. 14 - 12 noon K-12 early dismissal for Teacher Retreat & President’s Week No late supervision.

Mon.-Fri., Feb. 17-21 President’s Week Vacation

Mon., Feb. 24 All classes resume

Rand Harrington, US physics teacher and faculty advisor for the 30-member team, reported that Harker’s team attended the kickoff event at SJSU at 6 a.m. on Jan. 3 where they viewed the unveiling of this year’s project via a national broadcast, and now they have six weeks to build and ship their entry. Parent mentor for this year’s team, Vaidhu Nathan (Vikram Nathan, Gr. 6), CEO & Founder of IntelliVision, called the FIRST event “the Mercedes of high school robotics competitions,” explaining that the competition has grown from 20 teams ten years ago to 800 teams nationwide this year. “Harker is better prepared than most other rookie teams,” he said. “There are a lot of good dedicated members and I can see their knowledge and creative abilities. I commend Alan Malek, Alex Segal and Albert Wu for leading the team, sharing the knowledge and building on the contagious enthusiasm and quest for winning.” He added that other teams have over 60 members and many years of experience, but “we have taken up the challenge and will do well.” Last year Harker’s team won

awards in both the NASA Botball and Intel/Tech Museum competitions, and both Harrington and Nathan agree that Harker has the potential to grow and be a top team in the region. “This is my first year competing in the FIRST competition, and I’m highly challenged and motivated to stay ahead of the team to guide

them,” said Nathan. Parent volunteer Diane Reese (Charles Perkins, Gr. 10) has been coordinating parent volunteer effor ts to keep the students supervised and fed in their temporary “clubhouse” on the Saratoga campus as they put in the extra time necessary to complete their project by the deadline. The team’s first competition will be in Sacramento the weekend of Mar. 1 & 2, and the second regional will be in San Jose on Mar. 26 & 27. Watch for progress reports in Continued on pg. 10

Harker’s First All-School Cookbook The US Speech and Debate Club is coordinating the first all-school Harker Cookbook! Moms, dads, grandparents, faculty, administrators, staff, students and alumni are all invited to submit their favorite recipes. The cookbook will have the usual favorites of salads, soups, meats, desserts, etc., plus a section on ethnic foods. We’re also working on some fun events, including testing of recipes, cooking classes and even mystery celebrity chefs, so watch the newsletter and the Parent Home Page for updates. Proceeds from the cookbook, which will be published in the fall,

Mark Tantrum

Priority registration

Rand Harrington


est. 1893 • K-12 college prep

will benefit the US Speech & Debate travel fund. Recipe forms are available in this month’s mailing and on the Parent Home Page. Submission deadline is March 15. Share your recipes with us today and help make this Harker cookbook a wonder ful keepsake for years to come. For more information contact parent Maria Tung at Recipes (limit of three per person) can be dropped off at either school lobby or faxed to 408.973.9312. —Submitted by Donna Brandstetter and Susan Lee

EDITOR'S NOTE: In addition to our first FIRST robot, our first Harker cookbook and our first doubles tennis team to qualify for the CCS tourney, a great time was had by all at our first Home for the Holidays College Reception in December. Details about all of these “firsts” are in this issue, plus you’ll find four pages of Alumni Updates in this second Alumni Edition of the year. Enjoy! —Pam Dickinson, Director, Office of Communications ( Remember to check the Parent Home Page for detailed calendars and additional updates between editions of the Harker News!


head of school

Mid-Year Report of Student Achievements, Gr. 1-12 I shared this mid-year information regarding test results, early acceptances and other student achievements with our Harker parents in an e-mail in December. We are repeating the information here, with a few additions, to keep the entire Harker community informed about the exciting successes and achievements of our students. Congratulations to our students for their continuing achievements, to our teachers for their dedication and outstanding ability to bring out the best in our students and to our parents for their commitment to excellence. Harker had made a name for itself as one of the top prep schools in the country. Our children, our teachers and our supporters have made it so.

Diana Nichols, Head of School

In addition to the outstanding test results on the facing page, the early college acceptances and the many Harker students who were named on the national level, here are just a few of the other outstanding achievements made by our students so far this year: ■ Every year the University of Nebraska sponsors the American Mathematics Competition (AMC-8). Students from all over the nation take this examination, which is designed for 8th grade students. We had two students, Justin Chin, Gr. 8, and Thomas Wang, Gr. 6, who achieved perfect scores of 25/25. These are extremely difficult scores to achieve, and we heartily congratulate these students! ■ The Crystal Springs Mathematics Contest features student teams from approximately 18 local schools, most of which are private. Harker students earned about 1/3 of all the awards presented, exceeding the number earned by any other school. The 6th and 7th grade teams each earned 1st place honors, while the 8th grade team took 2nd place, and we are very proud of their accomplishments. ■ Our Upper School Film Club has placed first in the nation in The Backyard Children’s Film Festival. This competiton is the oldest children’s film festival in the nation. It accepts entries from all fifty states, and hundreds of high schools compete. It is indeed an honor for our students to have taken first place with their film “Mirage.” ■ The poetr y of three middle school students, Samantha Fang, Rohini Venkatraman and Amy Huang, was selected for inclusion in an annual national anthology of the student work. In addition, the poems of Gr. 5 students, Eugene Huang and Kendra Moss, were awarded in the elementar y division of the annual Sigma Tau Delta poetry competition. ■ The Harker School was recognized as being one of the nation’s “top 100 schools” in speech and debate activities by the National Forensic League, ranking 49th out of 2,700 schools nationwide.

Seniors Receive Numerous Honors One Third of Graduating Class Named Nationally Thirty-five of our students being recognized at the national level represents approximately one third of the graduating seniors. Finalists will be announced in the spring. We’re proud to announce the names of our National Merit Scholarship Semifinalists this year: Brian Biskeborn Julia Gitis Sharon Hung Aditi Iyer Maheen Kaleem

Catherine Kim Ranjitha Kumar Charitha Reddy Sheena Reddy Andrew Shvarts

The following students are National Merit Commended Students: Atin Agarwal David Anderson Thomas Busch Shelton Chow Tiffany Day Gabrielle Demers Anita Grover

Charles Hung Kevin Hwang Kunal Kothari Zlatan Kremonic Marc Leglise Aaron Lehmann Rishi Mandal

Aaron Miner Jigish Patel Maya Ragavan Fatema Rangwala Claudia Ruegg Ilya Sukhar

College Acceptances Begin! We’ve had 18 early college acceptances from the universities noted below. There is a broader range of top schools represented in this year’s early decision results, and we’ve also had more students receive early admissions this year than last. This is quite an accomplisment given that the number of students applying early decision/action has risen dramatically nationwide. For example, Georgetown’s early applicant pool increased by 18%, Harvard’s increased by 25% and the number of early decision applicants at the University of Pennsylvania rose by 30%. Please remember that the bulk of college admissions will be reported to us between March and May, so watch for more news then. Congratulations to all of our early admission acceptance recipients! 1 to the Air Force Academy 2 to Claremont McKenna 1 to Georgetown 2 to Harvard 4 to MIT 1 to Northwestern 1 to Pepperdine 1 to Princeton 2 to Stanford 1 to Tulane 1 to University of Chicago 1 to University of Pennsylvania


Alexandra Stanek Deborah Tu Sophia Wang Kenneth Wat Tiffany Yun


head of school

Outstanding Test Results Recorded at All Grade Levels ERB Scores Higher than Ever

SAT Update

ERB scores at all levels in grades K-8 have never been higher. Listed below are the numbers indicating where our median student (50th percentile) has scored on National Norms and also on Suburban Norms. Another way to read this data below is to say that in Grade 8 Reading Comprehension, our 50th percentile student scored better than 98% of the students in the nation and better than 81% of the students who will go on to a four-year college. The 50th percentile student at Harker is in the middle of the class.

Our senior class has done an outstanding job.

In many instances, our 10th percentile student scored very well. For example, in Gr. 3 Writing Mechanics, our 10th percentile student scored at 85% nationally. Another example is in Gr. 5 Mathematics, our 10th percentile student scored better than 92% of the students nationally. And finally, in Gr. 6 Vocabulary, our 10th percentile student outperformed the 93rd percentile nationally.

This year’s sophomores and juniors have achieved amazing scores on the PSAT test. These are the highest mean PSATs that we have seen to date, and they should feel extraordinarily proud.



Grade 1 Reading Comprehension Word Analysis Mathematics

99 99 99

94 97 93

Grade 2 Reading Comprehension Word Analysis Writing Mechanics Mathematics

99 99 98 99

84 91 91 87

Grade 3 Reading Comprehension Writing Mechanics Mathematics

97 97 99

83 90 91

Grade 4 Vocabulary Reading Comprehension Writing Mechanics Mathematics

97 94 94 99

87 74 84 90

Grade 5 Vocabulary Reading Comprehension Writing Mechanics Mathematics

95 95 97 99

81 77 85 89

Grade 6 Vocabulary Reading Comprehension Writing Mechanics Mathematics

96 93 95 98

85 73 80 83



Highest PSAT Scores to Date

The mean PSAT results: 2002 Verbal



Sophomores Juniors

66.3 69.1

61.9 67.9

61.1 64.6

AP Exam Notes Harker’s AP exam performance continues to be exemplary. With 226 students taking a total of 508 AP exams last year, Harker students earned an impressive 92 AP Scholar awards. Seven seniors were named National AP Scholars. These students accumulated grades of 4 or higher (on a

The Harker School had more National AP Scholars than 22 individual states did. scale of 1-5) on eight or more year-long AP exams. To put this in perspective, The Harker School had more National AP Scholars than 22 individual states did. In addition, 23 other seniors and five juniors were named AP Scholars with Distinction. These students earned average grades of 3.5 on five or more AP exams for year-long courses. Twenty-eight students were named AP Scholars with Honor, having earned grades of 3 or higher on four or more AP exams. One of these Scholars is Alan Malek, who was the only student in the United States, and one of only two students worldwide, to receive this honor based on work completed during or prior to the freshman year. Twenty-nine students were named AP Scholars, having earned grades of 3 or higher on three or more AP exams.

Notable Numbers ▼

Clearly, our students should feel very proud of these outstanding academic accomplishments!

Mean SAT I scores: Math 696

92 AP Scholar Awards 7 National AP Scholars

Grade 7 Vocabulary Reading Comprehension Writing Mechanics Mathematics

96 95 91 99

84 81 70 89

Grade 8 Reading Comprehension Writing Mechanics Mathematics

98 97 99

81 90 89

28 AP Scholars With Distinction 28 AP Scholars With Honor 29 AP Scholars



parent Upcoming Volunteer Events


Sat., April 12

■ Fri., Jan. 31: Kelly Delepine and her Gr. 4 room parents have planned a pizza night for Gr. 4 families in the Edge, where they will also be showing “The Wizard of Oz” to get the kids in the Annual Family and Alumni Picnic mood. ■ Tues., Feb. 4, 8 a.m. (after drop-off), 94 N. San Tomas Aquino Rd. (STAR): 52nd Annual Family & Alumni Picnic volunteer meeting—discover the many ways parents can get involved in this fun, annual event! ■ Tues, Feb. 4: Gr. 3 parent volunteers are being organized by parent Jessica Kao to host a Chinese New Year celebration for their students from 2 - 3:30 p.m. that will include food, crafts, a demonstration of Chinese calligraphy and the traditional lion dance.

Register now for the 4th Annual Harker Golf Tournament Sat., April 12, 2003, 11:00 a.m. Sunol Valley Golf Club, Sunol The tournament is a scramble and all levels of players are welcome—from scratch to “once-a-year” players—so dust off your clubs and get ready to go. The tournament is open to students, parents, faculty and friends. You can sign up as an individual, or bring your own twosome or foursome. Refreshments and hors d’oeuvres will be served at the close of the tournament, along with prizes for best team and individual performances. Entry fee is $120 per player which includes golf, cart, refreshments, prizes and a contribution to the “scholarship” fund which allows Harker faculty to play in the tournament at a discounted rate. Space is limited to 60 players, and availability is on a first-signup basis, so don’t delay! To register, email parent Gayatri Patel at or call Nancy Hartsoch 408.209.9250.

Nancy Reiley

■ Thurs., Feb. 6: Mandatory grade level coordinator and room parent meeting where information about picnic booth assignments and theme week activities will be announced. Room parents, if you are unable to attend, send a volunteer representative from your homeroom in your place. Contact Nancy Reiley at for more information about this important meeting.


Sun., April 27 Parent Ruth Monahan shares her musical talent with Bucknall students at a holiday party.

■ Fri., Feb. 28: US MOMS event, El Torito Restaurant, Vallco, Cupertino* Come to the first-ever Harker US MOMS event, and enjoy some getacquainted time together organized by the US Leadership Council. El Torito has offered the Colonial Room adjacent to the bar exclusively for US MOMS to drop in anytime between 5 and 7 p.m. and order a beverage and snack, or just visit. So we will have an estimate of how many moms to expect that night, register in the Events section on the Parent Home Page. *Note location change! This event was originally scheduled at Chevy’s.

Save the Date! 52nd Annual Family and Alumni Picnic Sun., April 27, 2003, 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. Saratoga Campus Mark your calendar for Sun., April 27 when the Yellow Brick road leads to Harker and the 52nd Annual Family and Alumni Picnic. Come to the volunteer meeting (see Parent Volunteers section at left) and watch for more details!

Volunteer Notes

Nancy Reiley

■ Gr. 1 families enjoyed some after-school socializing at a get “wild” together gathering at El Paseo Jungle recently, organized by grade level coordinators Shankari Sundar and Lavanya Kling. ■ The Summer Camp staff expresses its appreciation to the nine volunteers who helped get their big mailing Many thanks to all the parents who helped make holiday classroom parties extra special in December! out last month, stuffing in a record four hours time! Due to the move of the Advancement offices to the Saratoga campus into newly renovated offices in the old dorm building (now called Manzanita Hall), watch for some “change of venues” announcements for committee meetings next month when the dust settles! Since our lease at 94 STAR runs through the end of March, we will still be able to use our big empty lobby area there for volunteer gatherings and Picnic preparations during the month of March. —Nancy Reiley, Community Relations Director,


US MOMS 3RD ANNUAL CONCERT Vocal performances by Bel Canto, Cantilena, Show Choir & Guy's Gig Sat., Feb. 1 - 8 p.m. • Saratoga Gym $5 General Admission $10 Cafe Table Seat (includes premier seating, beverage & Conservatory CD) Tickets & Info:

Harker upper school moms want to get together occasionally (girls just wanna have fun, you know!), so we’re planning our first ever “Harker Happy Hour” for doting mothers, grades 9-12.

Fri. night, Feb. 28, 5- 7 p.m. El Torito Restaurant Vallco, Cupertino RSVP on the Parent Home Page today and plan to attend! —US Leadership Council



Plan Now to Have a Harker Summer!

Pack Your Bags for Trips Abroad!

■ Priority registration for Harker families for the K-8 summer programs runs through Jan. 31. Make sure to sign up now for the best selection. The summer program is jam-packed with great programs to keep young minds engaged, challenged and motivated, and fabulous activities to keep your children active and happy during those glorious summer months! K-8 Summer Camp dates Session I: June 23 - July 25 Session II: July 28 - Aug. 15 ■ The Summer Conservatory is open to all students entering 7th-12th grade in 2003 who are interested in the performing arts. It’s a fabulous opportunity to fulfill US Conservatory certificate and MS performing arts requirements over the summer months, while learning things not taught during the regular school year. Appropriate for novices as well as current Conservatory students, this comprehensive program will focus on all disciplines, including improv, movement, vocals and lots and lots of acting. There will be specialty workshops by outside professionals and afternoon dramatic or comedic performances. Reminder to all interested students that the material is different from last year’s program and from what is taught during the school year, so this is a great chance to learn something new and add to your performance skills. (Note: Students entering Gr. 7 & 8 need a recommendation from current arts teacher). ■ The US Summer Institute will be offering the usual selection of great “for credit” and “for fun” courses this year, so take the time to review the materials (in this month’s mailing for families in Gr. 8-11). These courses have a history of filling up very early, so plan ahead! There are also three new international trips planned for US students this summer (see details top right).

Spain! France!

June 14 - July 9, 2003 3-week Spanish language study program in Salamanca, Spain Apprx. $4,600 to $5,300* Contact Isabel Garcia ( or Lee Carter ( Tentatively starts June 14 - July 4, 2003 3-week French study abroad program in Paris, France $4,000 - $4,550* Contact Nicholas Manjoine ( or Susanna Hartzell (

s Galapago Islands!

June 14 - 26, 2003 Customized Galápagos Voyage on the M/S Galápagos Legend. $5350* Contact Jeff Sutton ( or Anita Chetty (

*Final trip cost based on number of sign-ups. Check the Parent Home Page for links to itinerary information about these exciting international trips.


New to the US Summer Institute this summer is an Introduction to Law course, providing students with a fascinating and comprehensive look at the legal process, including classroom discussions, field trips and mock trials. This new program will fill fast, so register early!

headlines Harker continues to make headlines, with mentions this past month in the San Jose Mercury News, San Jose Magazine and Valley Scene. Stories include a feature about Harker performing arts student Rick Hayashi, a “Whiz Kids” article that includes Brian Biskeborn, a story about

US Summer Institute Dates June 18 - July 30 Some course dates vary so refer to Web site and brochure for details.

For More Information: If you need more information about Harker’s comprehensive summer programs, go to our Web site or contact the following folks in the Summer Office—and plan to have a Harker summer! K-8 Summer Programs: Cindi Gonsalves or 408.871.4611 US Summer Institute: Jada Burrell or 408.345.9675

Mark Tantrum

Harker’s US girls’ basketball team and coach John Near and an inter view with Howard Nichols, president, in a feature about private education. We’ve known for a long time how great our students, teams, coaches and faculty are, so it’s great to see them get the recognition they so richly deserve. For more information, contact Pam Dickinson in the office of communications at



CAMPUS ■ Adding a little frivolity to the last few days before the winter holiday, Gr. 5 teacher Pat Walsh introduced the first-ever Holiday Spin Off. Mrs. Claus had a surplus of toy tops so Walsh decided to put them to good use in a single elimination tournament where a champion spinner was crowned Top Twister. As it turned out, two students won the top spinner award, so James Feng and Ben Ho accompanied Walsh to D&J Hobby to buy their own tops and the supplies to build their own mechanical car. Congratulations for the masterful spinning, gentlemen!

Marin Headlands Journals Gr. 5 students were required to keep a daily journal during their recent Marin Headlands trip where students answered questions, wrote poems, drew pictures and wrote letters. Here are poems, drawings and excerpts from some of their entries. Extreme speed in every wave, The salty air, intense, Gulls calling from all around, While sitting, watching, they all go by. Clashing of titans, wave and rock, Battle goes well for both— People fleeing and see, How powerful these WAVES can be. —Danny Clark

“This place used to be a military base and it’s near San Francisco. We stay here for three days in a dorm with all the other boys. There are a lot of good food, playtime and hikes. We sleep in bunk beds. There are bathrooms, showers, etc. There are tour guides to bring you around and a good view.” —Albert Koh

■ For the past three years, students in Gr. 3 to 6 have been using AlphaSmarts, small and easily transportable word processing devices designed to enhance students’ abilities as writers and increase their enthusiasm for writing. Teacher Kathy Ferretti said her Gr. 3 classes use AlphaSmarts whenever they do rough drafts for expository writing, and that overall Gr. 3 is very pleased with the AlphaSmarts for all kinds of written work. “Typing expository writing pieces, vocabulary sentences and stories are some of the wonderful ways we are able to utilize these child-size little laptops.” Teacher Georgine Ferrera said that recently

“The terrain of Marin is unique in many ways. Down at the beach, dangerous sneaker waves can rush up on you in a split second. Hiking up the hills, you can tell that is very hilly. I, however, think of it as the most scenic place in the world. Amazing animals live in this lush habitat. My group, with a nice field guide, saw quite a few animals. Among those were dinoflagellates, deer and great blue herons.” —Victor Chen

Some brave students who KISSED a banana slug received certificates substantiating the fact and

were made members of the Banana Slug Appreciation Club! This picture from the certificate is from Scott Mohanram’s journal.


Red Tailed Hawk drawn by Amy Rorabaugh “You should see it here! How is Quincy doing? Here, in Marin Headlands you can see the Golden Gate Bridge. The beach at night has glowing plankton. Actually, all beaches do! How are you doing? I’m doing fine! I had really good lemonade. Did you know Marin Headlands was a fort? I didn’t. The beaches are beautiful and are big. The hikes were fun.” —Andrew Wei

“In my trip to Marin Headlands, I matured by not feeling nervous while going on a hike

blindfolded. Also, I matured by overcoming my fear of heights. On our hike, we walked very high up in the hills. I learned that being up so high isn’t so bad.” —Priyanka Hardikar

Kathleen Ferretti

“You sleep in a bunk, it’s not very big. Almost all of the boys fit in one room. The room is very big, with many mini rooms. During lunch, people line up in many lines. The lunch lady will come out and she will excuse each line. The food here is pretty good. On a scale of 1-10, I would give it a 7. In order to receive the lunch, you have to say, “I would like the works please.” You have salad and lots of other stuff.” —Lung-Ying Yu

the children wrote acrostic poems on their favorite Greek god or demigod on their AlphaSmarts in conjunction with their literature selection, “The Adventures of Ulysses.” “Once the work was transferred to the computer, they chose whatever font they liked and finished personalizing their poems. The final step was watercolors to go with their poems,” she said. Kathleen Ferretti


wide Multicultural Update Harker’s Multicultural Committee (MC) is busy year round planning fun and exciting activities on both campuses to honor our diverse and exciting student community. For the month of Dec. the committee asked students about their family backgrounds and the traditions that make their families special for a project to honor family traditions. The committee then created a Tree of Tradition where the students’ answers made up the roots, trunk and leaves of the tree. Over the break, students took time to talk to their family members in order to create their own family tree and in mid-Jan. a special assembly was held. “The assembly centered around celebrating what a wonder ful melting pot Harker is, and while we are all different, our differences make Harker more special,” said committee member David Qua. The US International Club is busy planning for Multicultural Week coming up Feb. 3-7. In addition to lunchtime spirit events such as international scavenger hunts and ethnic dress, the Fri. assembly will feature an International Faire. Tables will be set up by students and faculty of diverse ethnic backgrounds and feature realia, art objects, maps, photos and games, as well as food tasting. Students will have the opportunity to go from table to table, learning about each other’s cultures and tasting food. In addition to the tables, US students will be presenting dances from Ireland, India and China, and a Mexican Folklorico group will be visiting from Prospect High School. Parents who would like to bring in items or food to share for the displays Feb 7th can contact Diana Moss at The MS Multicultural Week activities will include a spirit event Scavenger hunt and a Multicultural free dress day. The assembly will involve students in some Multicultural games and an international food-tasting event. Any MS parents willing to participate in the cultural food tasting are encouraged to contact Vandana Kadam at

briefs decide the league champion. The team has entered several tournaments this season with many wrestlers returning home with medals and championships. Junior Andrew Chang captured first place in a tournament at Cupertino High School in early Jan. Also medaling

Lower/Middle School The MS and LS basketball seasons are officially in full swing!

The A1 girls’ basketball team, coached by Vonda Reid, has had a great start. They are currently 5 and 2, beating Carden (twice), Apostles, Almaden Prep and Castillero. Their only losses were close games against Steinbeck and a one-point loss to Hillbrook. The A2 girls, coached by Lisa Bowman, won their first game of the season, beating Almadan Prep, and they currently have a 3-2 record. Outstanding for a level two team! The B1 boys are coached by Dan Pringle and are currently 1-3. The B2 boys are coached by Aaron Firth and are currently 0-3. The B1 girls, coached by Chrissy Chang, are currently 5-1. They won their first five games of the season, with their only loss so far to a Gr. 8 team that they had previously beaten! Scores for the A1 and B1 boys from the St. Martins tournament and A1 girls Queen of Apostles tournament will be in the next newsletter. The LS started their seasons after the holiday break, and many of their games and tournaments will start around the middle of January. Good luck to all the teams and keep working hard! —Reported by Teresa “Smitty” Smith, Gr. 4-8 Athletic Director and Mary Kay Olks, Asst. Athletic Director, Coach & P.E. Teacher

Upper School The US wrestling team continues to make a name for itself, and at press time the Eagle grapplers led the El Camino division of the Santa Clara Valley Athletic League with a 2-0 record. Defeating Homestead and Los Altos, the team has its sights set on the big match with Lynbrook, which very well could

Asmita Jina, Talon Staff

The A1 boys, coached by Pete Anderson, are currently 2-5, winning their season opener against St. Christopher’s and winning another game against Buchser. The A2 and A3 boys are coached by Airto Smith and Mike Saltzman respectively, and they have been working very hard over the last few months with a number of very close games.

were junior Matt Vucurevich (5th), sophomore Brian Thurgate (3rd) and sophomore John Ollila (6th). In earlier tournaments Vucurevich and senior Charles Hung were crowned champions in their respective weight divisions. If you’ve never seen a wrestling match, come to the Saratoga gym on Feb 5 or Feb 12 to see the Eagles in action. The fast paced sport requires strength, agility, excellent conditioning and mental toughness. Coach K’s squad is earning recognition and respect throughout the section. Other winter sports are also earning recognition. Coach John Near and the girls’ basketball program were recently featured in the Guide section of the Mercur y News. Senior center Neha Rahan, who is leading the team in scoring and rebounding, was featured in the article. Sophomore Jamie Trinh is keeping teams from concentrating on Rehan on the inside with her constant barrage of three pointers from the outside. The team has come up short in some very close games against the league’s top teams. A four point setback was followed by a gutwrenching one point

loss to a strong Mercy Burlingame squad. With only seconds remaining on the clock and down by two, Rahan’s running 10 footer rimmed in and spun out while she was fouled. The collective groan from the home fans could be heard throughout the neighborhood. Four of the team’s losses this year have been by a combined total of 11 points, so the team is fun and exciting to watch. Speaking of fun and exciting, the JV girls’ hoops team won a thrilling triple overtime victor y against Castilleja during the holiday vacation. On the boys’ side, the hoops team continues to rack up victories. A 10-3 record has the Eagles on their way to a third consecutive CCS playoff berth. With four seniors in the starting lineup, the team, led by team leader David Hsu, will look to compete for the PSAL championship this season as well. With seven home games left on the schedule, make a point to catch the Eagles’ up-tempo game at the Bucknall gym - you won’t want to miss the exciting action of these dedicated players. On the academic side of the team, seniors Jonathan Louie and David Hsu received early acceptances to The Air Force Academy and Georgetown respectively, again demonstrating their well-rounded nature. They have put forth a great deal of effort, dedication and time to both their studies and their sports and have been justly rewarded! Girls’ soccer is looking for some dry weather. After getting rained out for two weeks of West Bay Athletic League contests, the Eagles found themselves on the wrong end of the score against tough league foes. The team suffered a major setback with senior forward and all league volleyball player Rebecca Chang tearing her anterior cruciate ligament, sidelining her for the remainder of the season. The team wishes Rebecca all the best in her recovery and will look to gain scoring from senior Shabnam Aggarwal,

junior Jen Jenq and freshman Lauren Gutstein. The team plays on the Saratoga campus now, so come on out and see some exciting soccer. Whitney Graves, Gr. 11, and Sonia Rastogi, Gr. 10, won the WBAL individual tennis tourney in doubles in Dec., which qualified them to play in the CCS individual tourney. They went on to win in their first round, but lost in the second round to the number one seeds. This was the first time Harker has had a doubles team—female or male— qualify for this tournament. Kudos to these players, to our entire tennis team and to coach Kim Bush for a successful season!

Mark Tantrum


On the football front, new head football coach Fred Barnes met with the team last week. The new coach comes to Harker after numerous years of high school and college coaching experience, creating successful teams wherever he has been, and Harker is very fortunate to have found such a successful and experienced coach. Coach Barnes runs his own football camps and presents coaching seminars to other coaches at conferences and seminars, and team members are excited about the new schemes for the upcoming season. In fact, look for information in future newsletters about football camp here at Harker for our junior high and upper school athletes as we build toward the future. Camp dates are tentatively set for August 4–8 in the evenings at the Saratoga campus. Don’t let this great opportunity get away – contact me if you’re interested. —Jack Bither, US Athletic Director


Middle School

Raji Swaminathan

■ As part of studying their chapter about acids and bases, physical science students in Gr. 7 set up a Saponification Lab and made soap. Teachers Raji Swaminathan and Ilona Davies had the students use sodium hydroxide as the base and coconut oil as the fat in the lab. Swaminathan explained that the students heated the mixture together and performed 3 washes using distilled water and sodium

chloride solution to reduce the pH of the soap. Then they used peppermint oil as the fragrance and put the soap in molds for setting. “It was a very exciting 75 minutes of lab for all of them, and they were very pleased with the results,” she added.

Sheryl Pliskin

■ Sheryl Pliskin, case manager at After Shelter Program, sent us a picture of the MS students who helped deliver the gifts for the 16 families at the Sobrato Living Center. She said, “It was a pleasure meeting with all of you! I

can’t thank you enough for all that you have done for our families here at Sobrato Family Living Center.” ■ Teacher Campbell Miller reported that Harker’s eighth graders met via videoconference in Dec. with students from Tamagawa to discuss the issue of the


saratoga population crisis and its effect on the environment. Some of the students were able to talk and ask questions during the videoconference about a variety of topics, and a major topic was the recycling of materials, including paper, plastic, glass and dry cell batteries. Students participating in this discussion were Esther Teplitsky, Brandt Warecki, Arya Srinivasan, Ashley Morishige, Nicholas Tan, Ashutosh Sheth, Aseem Shukla and Nupur Mathur. Additionally, some students made presentations about topics related to the issues. Jacob Yanovsky made one about population clocks, and Aneesha Nilakantan presented her research on the population crisis and its effects on Japan. This Gr. 8 videoconference project is an annual part of our ongoing relationship with our sister school in Japan. For more information about Harker’s international programs, contact Bill Bost, international programs director, at

Upper School ■ Congratulations to junior Danna Rubin who received a scholarship from the Council on Jewish Education to attend a three-day seminar in Feb. on public policy at the Washington Insititute for Jewish Leadership in Wash., D.C. ■ Students spent time over their winter vacation working on their community service hours. The following US students prepared and served dinner at the Emergency Housing Consortium on Thurs., Dec. 26: Tavishi Agrawal, Vivek Bansal, Nina Joshi, Meghana Komati, Kathy Peng, Shilpam Singh, Ariane Vartanian and Matt Vucurevich. ■ Many thanks to these US students who assisted or presented at the recent US Info Night. Your participation was truly appreciated, and we had many parents comment on how impressed they were with the Harker students. So are we— thanks, again! Allison Kwong, Opal Kamdar, Kathryn Lee, Priya Patel, Saloni

Mathur, Ira Patnaik, Nandini Datta, Meghana Dhar, Candace Chang, Karena Chan, Aruna Bharathi, Jeffrey Le, Lauren Harries, Brian Biskeborn, Jason Shangkuan, Felix Lee, Vivian Leung, Ranjitha Kumar, Anita Mazloom and Surbhi Sarna. ■ In Dec. the National Honor Society (NHS) sponsored a Laugh Workshop run by Arya V. Pathria, president of Laughaway, an organization that conducts interactive seminars to educate, discuss and demonstrate laughter and its benefits to daily life. According to Pathria, “Laughaway creates positive energy and reduces stress in your life. Humor is not telling jokes, but also being available to experience joy.” Pathria added that the word humor originates from the Latin root that means flexible or fluid. “I thought the laugh workshop was a great idea,” said US student Anita Gupta. “Not only was it healthy, it was the per fect break from such a busy school day! I had lots of fun simply laughing and easing up all the tension from the week.” ■ On Sat., March 1st from 7 to 11 p.m. in the Bucknall gym, the US International Club will be sponsoring a Garba, which is a popular Indian group dance called “Vibedha” or “Diversity.” The night will include a taste of delicious Indian food and live music for several types of Indian dances. Can’t dance? Don't worry—the students and faculty organizing this event said they will teach attendees everything they need to know for this cultural event which is open to all Harker students and family members. “Bring the entire family for a night of food and dance!,” said Meghana Desale, student organizer of the event. Tickets must be purchased by Feb. 21 and are $5 each. Children under 5 are free. To order tickets, contact faculty advisor for this event, Hem Navangul,, or Meghana Desale, ■ On the first weekend of every year for the past 21 years Montgomery Bell Academy has

hosted the Southern Bell Forum for the nation’s top 72 debate teams. Each school receiving an invitation may bring one team to participate with the “best of the best.” Harker chose the varsity team of Catherine

Jonathan Louie


Kim and Alex Iftimie to represent Harker at this national event. Matt Brandstetter, Harker debate coach, repor ted that at the end of six preliminary rounds of competition, 26 teams from an initial field of 72 teams remained with winning records of 4-2 or better and only 16 advanced to the octa-final round. Harker was seeded 21st and unfortunately missed the cut. However, Alex Iftimie earned 10th speaker award from a group of 144 of the nation’s best debaters. “This was Harker’s best showing at the Montgomery Bell Tournament. A fine start to 2003!,” said Brandstetter. Congratulations and thanks to Alex and Catherine for representing Harker at this event! ■ Teacher Gary Blickenstaff repor ted that US biology students recently went on an Evolution class field trip to the California Academy of Sciences Natural History Museum at Golden Gate Park in San Francisco. There the students toured the “Life through Time” exhibit, which chronicles the evolutionary history of life on earth, and according to Blickenstaff, got a hands-on look at many of the ideas and examples they have been discussing throughout the semester in the Evolution class. “This was especially important in showing them the various examples of evidence for evolution,” he said. They also viewed the “Skulls” exhibit with close to 2,000 animal skulls from all over the world, including the skulls of elephants, giraffes, sea lions, bears, humans, fish, birds and alligators. “They even got to see how a type of beetle larvae is used



to clean the skulls of any remaining flesh. The students gave the trip a resounding thumbs up, saying it was a great summation to the class and strongly recommending it to be included in future classes.”

Mark Tantrum

■ The once unused inner quad area of Manzanita Hall (formerly the dorm) is being transformed into a French sidewalk scene for the upper school with murals by decorative painter Filitsa Nicolaou. After spending 20 years in Italy, Nicolaou has spent the last two years working in the Napa Valley painting in villas, houses and restaurants. Some of her most popular murals are of vineyards, clouds and street scenes. “The work is extremely enjoyable because it is always different— different houses, different locations and different designs,” remarked Nicolaou. She added that the most stressful part about her work is the physical aspect of it, with lots of climbing up and down scaffolding. “The first few days I can be very sore, but it sure keeps me in shape,” she laughed. Nicolaou finished the first phase at the end of November, and once tables have been set out here this

Performing Arts Notes ■ Harker Dance Production: March 7 and 8, 7:30 p.m. Harker dance instructor Laura Rae announced that preparations for the annual dance production are under way. In early Nov. US students Maya Hey, Maheen Kaleem, Debbie Liang, Vivian Leung, Aditi Uttarwar, Shipla Takur, Sasha Stepanenko and Jo Tsai brainstormed about ideas for the show around the theme of TIME & DOORS, Rae said. “Working with the US students on such a large creative project as the dance show is one of the highlights of my year as a teacher.” quaint area will not only be hard to resist for our upper school students, but will be a nice location for informal school gatherings. US music teacher Cathy Snider’s classroom is located at the end of the café area. “Now I have the best room around,” she said. “The wall will be inspiring to the music and drama students who pass it on the way to rehearsals, as well as to the ‘sightseers’ who go there to relax.” ■ The Harker Distinguished Lecture Series in Computer Science brought two more outstanding speakers to share their experiences with our students. Charlie Perkins, a Nokia Fellow visited Harker in Nov. and spoke to our AP Computer Science and Advanced Topics students about mobile IP, the extension of the internet to mobile devices such as cellular phones. Ozan Demirlioglu said, “His talk was truly enlightening as to the functionality of the mobile internet.” LeAnn Duong found the discussion on ad-hoc networking, “...particularly interesting as my

The HELM Harker’s Eclectic Literary Magazine Third quarter marks the start of the HELM pre-sale in the upper school! Order Harker's Eclectic Literar y Magazine NOW for only $10 per copy or charge to your student account! Don’t miss your chance to own this limited edition annual magazine with poetry, prose and artwork submitted by upper school students. This year’s issue will come out in April. E-mail: to place your order today!

She said the research for music ideas was a challenge to edit. “There are so many wonderful songs that relate to these two themes.” Senior Kelly Gault has been assisting Rae in writing the script and designing the show. ■ 20 Years of Dance Since this year marks the 20th anniversary of the dance program, Rae said she hopes to get alumni interested in dancing in the show or returning once again in March to join the audience. (See details in the Alumni Update in this issue). ■ Harker Launches Seventh Instrumental Group Bob Scannell, Harker’s instrumental program instructor, announced that rehearsals began in Jan. for the brand new Harker Jazz combo, Swingin’ Ways. This brings our lively instrumental music program up to a total of seven performing groups. This new combo of eight or so students and faculty will introduce their “swingin’ ways” to the public at the Feb. 1 Conservatory concert, so don’t miss it! Scannell added that once they’ve developed a good repertoire, they plan to play at the new French cafe alley “Rue Des Beaux Arts” (see stor y this page) during extended lunches. “Now that’s class,” he laughed. ■ The US Conservatory will be holding auditions on Feb. 5 for this year’s US musical production of “Into the Woods.” Performance dates are April 17, 18 and 19, so mark your calendars and watch for ticket details in the next issue!

father and I had been talking about this topic just the day before.” Also visiting in Nov. was Professor Audrey MacLean of the School of Management Science and Engineering at Stanford. MacLean has a track record for entrepreneurial success as a founder, CEO, seed investor and board member, has been listed by BusinessWeek as one of the 50 most influential businesswomen in America and was featured by Forbes in a cover article on Angel Investing. “Audrey MacLean was the best computer science speaker to date,” said student Julia Gitis who attended the presentation. “She was so dynamic and intriguing, I contacted her afterwards to tell her how inspiring it was to listen to her speech. Successful women in the business world like Mrs. MacLean who talk about more than just gender issues are just amazing.”

■ Harker US computer science teacher Robb Cutler reported that Harker students had a great showing on the first test in the American Computer Science League (ACSL) competition. A total of 16 students took the exam in Dec. which tests computer science theory and programming skills. Peter Combs, Akash Shah and Ozan Demirlioglu all had perfect individual scores of 10 points giving Harker a perfect team score of 30 points. Matt Jones, Ilya Sukhar and Aaron Kliensteiber just missed perfect scores with 9 points each, and Vivek Bansal and Alex Segal had strong showings with 8 points each. Congratulations to our computer science students! ■ The Artificial Intelligence class pitted their Othello-playing programs against one another recently. HAL, programmed by Alex Segal, emerged victorious beating Continued on pg. 10




Continued from pg. 9

which was designed to teach students about how to program a computer to play a board game successfully. Students Ananda Bose, Peter Combs, Ben Douglas, Julia Gitis, Geoffrey Lundie, Misha Nasledov, Alex Segal, Ilya Sukhar and Kenneth Wat all had differing approaches to make their programs play both legally and intelligently. “Every game in the doubleelimination tournament was interesting, and the students found it useful to put into practice the game theory they had learned in class,” Cutler said.

ROBOTICS Continued from pg. 1 future issues. For more information about FIRST visit their Web site at Those interested in volunteering to assist the team can contact or “Some people see robotics as ‘geeky’ or ‘techie,’ but it’s not,” Nathan said. “The competitions and high-school robotics focus on creativity, scientific principles, thinking ‘outside of the box,’ solving real-world problems, teamwork, project management and basic engineering skills. It is very different from other extracurricular activities. But the motivating factor for these 25,000+ students nationwide is the sheer challenge, fun, winning and creating a robot that you control. It is not star wars standards yet, but one day it will be!”


Math Update ■ Harker Tops CML After round #2, the Harker team is ranked #1 in the California Mathematics League (CML). The following five students received a perfect score of 6 and helped Harker attain the number ranking: Felix Lee (Gr. 12), Karthik Kailash (Gr. 11), Justin Wu (Gr. 10), Ozan Demirlioglu (Gr. 9) and Yi Sun (Gr. 9). In the individual category Felix Lee and Karthik Kailash are in the lead with a sum total score of 12 points. For more information about the CML results, check the following website: http:// 2002_03/CA2.HTM In Jan. the third round of the CML was given to students and the following received very good


scores: Yi Sun, Weiyi-Mason Liang (Gr. 10), Jay Han (MS student), Justin Wu, Ozan Demirlioglu, Daniel Hung (Gr. 10), and Andrew Zhang (Gr. 12). For the first time this school year, the Harker School started to participate in the Continental Mathematics League, entering into the Pythagorean and Calculus Contests for students Gr. 9 and below. The following are Harker’s top performing students: Pythagorean - Yi Sun, Robert Li (Gr. 9), Siddarth Satis (Gr. 9) and Samantha Fang (Gr. 9); Calculus – Justin Wu, Charles Hung (Gr. 12) and Alex Segal (Gr. 10). ■ February is Mathematics Competitions Month! The most impor tant math competitions will be held in Feb., with the first one being the American Mathematics Competi-

tions (AMC10 and AMC12). Students who per form well in these contests will be eligible to move on to the American Invitational Math Examinations (AIME) and then to the USA Math Olympiad (USAMO). All students enrolled in the math honors program will be given the contest on Tues., Feb. 11 or on Wed., Feb. 26. Interested students enrolled in the regular program will also be accommodated for the contest. The other math contests for Feb. are the Bay Area Mathematics Olympiad (BAMO), on Tues., Feb. 25 and the Stanford Mathematics Tournament (SMT) tentatively held on Sat., Feb. 22. Watch future issues for updates on all these competitions! —Reported by Miseal Fisico, US Math Teacher


Gabby Demers ’03 Editor’s Note: This new monthly column will share the plans, activities and decisions of some of this year's graduating seniors. Enjoy! Gabby, a classically trained singer, was invited by the Washington Opera in Wash., D.C. this past summer to attend their Opera Institute for Young Singers, a threeweek program to prepare teenaged singers for a career in opera. While there, the Washington Opera invited Gabby and four OIYS classmates to sing at an opera benefit where they mingled with people from the National Endowment for the Arts, devoted opera buffs and Washington Opera staff. “It was a little daunting to sing in front of people who had seen performances by Placido, Pavarotti, Fleming and Callas and then have to listen to a bunch of kids just embarking on careers,” Gabby said. “They were so genuinely supportive, it was encouraging.” Gabby is also in her fourth season at Peninsula Teen Opera (PTO) in Palo Alto, which Gabby explained is the only organization of its kind in America. Its objective is to give students with classically trained

voices the technical skills to participate in a wide variety of theatrical productions. “My participation in PTO has enriched my singing career immensely and I have been able to combine my classical singing with my love for performing and acting,” Gabby says. “People tell you that you are great, they tell you are horrible, but what it comes down to is what you feel ready and comfortable doing,” Gabby continues. “I've been so scared to try because I'm terrified of failing, but I realize that I can't know at this stage in my life whether I will succeed or fail.” “Performing has become more than a pastime, hobby or extracurricular that looks good on a resume,” Gabby says. “It has become something I need, love and

something I will pursue in the years ahead. I hope to become an opera singer.” Gabby said her fondest memories have always involved singing and says her most effective therapy has been to sing away the impending blues. “It’s ironic that I attended Harker so that I might focus on academics instead of performing; yet, within an academic framework, my per forming needs have been kindled.” Chris Daren

Mark Tantrum

Cutler’s program Desdemona quite handily in the final round. The tournament was the culmination of a project several weeks in length

Gabby will be applying to liberal arts schools which also have excellent music programs. “I feel it’s important to go to a school that’s well-rounded so if you decide to study something else or change majors, you don’t have to change schools.”





Move Your Grade Level Participation Percentage Up to 100%!

Don’t forget about the exciting “Reward Party” that John and Christine Davis have graciously offered to host for all parents of the first class to reach 100% participation. The celebration will consist of gourmet wood-fired pizza and great company – fellow Harker parents who share the commitment to participate 100%. Check your current grade participation percentage and continue to encourage your grade level to join in the race! Attention Fremont and Milpitas Families: look out for the Albertson’s Community Partners card coming in the mail, a new FREE way to support Harker through the annual giving campaign. This program is available at no cost to

Coming this spring… Grade 12 campaign results!

As a result of your overwhelming and enthusiastic generosity we are currently at 60% of our overall campaign goal! Many thanks to the Harker families, Development Council members, faculty and staff, alumni, grandparents and friends who have committed to support the campaign.

Kathleen Ferretti

To keep our parents informed, particularly due to the current economic climate, we’re pleased to report on the following cost-saving measure that will go toward helping keep tuition increases down for next year.

“...we will continue to you and donates a percentage of your everyday grocer y purchases to the school. Simply present the card when shopping at your local Albertson’s and help Harker earn money! Keep in mind the donation directly enhances what we can provide for your children, so get shopping! You can still sign up to support Harker through the eScrip and

Schoolpop programs! Enrollment is easy and free, and both programs donate a percentage of what you spend at participating merchants using your registered grocery or credit cards. For more information, please contact Amalia Keyashian, Director of Annual Giving, at or logon to and click on ADVANCEMENT & ALUMNI. Thank you so very much for continuing to support your children and their educational and extracurricular experiences at Harker! — Bran-Dee Torres, Donor Relations Manager,

Heartfelt Thanks: Students Enjoying AlphaSmarts

Thanks to parent donations to the capital campaign, the language arts students in grades

In the Dec. edition of The Harker News, we published a report to the Harker community explaining Harker’s tuition-setting process and answering various questions about school communications.

3 - 5 have AlphaSmarts in their classrooms and use them regularly for writing assignments. The simple-touse design of the AlphaSmart helps students at this age spend time learning to write rather than dealing with the operating system of a computer. “They are fun in the sense that the children

like to use the keyboard—a nice change from paper and pencil and, for some, it is a more efficient way to transfer their ideas,” noted teacher Kathy Ferretti. Many thanks to the parents and staff who contributed to the capital campaign and made this wonder ful learning tool possible for our young students! Note: Our apologies for omitting Dede Ogami's name from the "Thanks for Giving" article we ran last month. Dede volunteered her copywriting, creative services and project management expertise. Many thanks, Dede!

seek out creative ways to keep operating costs down without affecting programs....”

Effective March 1, the offices formerly located at 94 N. San Tomas Aquino Rd. will be moved onto our Bucknall and Saratoga campuses, saving approximately $130,000 annually in leases, insurance, maintenance, inter-office deliveries, etc. While the move of these offices will incur some initial remodeling expenses and mean smaller work spaces for many of our hard-working employees, all have wholeheartedly agreed to the sacrifice in space in order to help keep expenses down. In addition, our finance & human resources offices are moving to an office building a few blocks from their current location. See News You Need (back page) for details. Harker’s first priority is to continue providing the outstanding academic program for which Harker has become legendary. However, we will continue to seek out creative ways to keep operating costs down without affecting programs in order to keep our tuition increases as moderate as possible for our valued families.

—Howard Nichols, President




Welcome, Alumni Readers! The wonderful memories and stories from our Harker alumni are a treasured part of our history. I encourage you to continue to send updates and pass the word on to other alumni to register at The alumni program is growing daily, and in order for us to plan alumni events we need current information on as many former students as possible.

■ New Alumni Web site A postcard will be sent to all alumni soon to introduce our new interactive alumni Web site. The Web site will allow you to find out who is registered by class year and to have access to alumni notes. You will be able to personally contact former classmates via a blind email system, so please encourage any alumni you are in contact with to register on the Web site.

■ Family and Alumni Picnic – Sun., April 27 The next all-alumni event, The Wonderful Picnic of Oz!, is on Sun., April 27. Mark your calendars and plan on joining us for the day. There will be a new alumni area, “Graduates Grove,” unveiled that day. This is a great day to get reconnected, see the changes on the campus and enter in a drawing for prizes!

■ Reunions Generally reunions are held for all five-year increments: 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, etc. This year reunions MAY be held for the classes of 1998, 1993, 1988, 1983, 1978, 1973, 1968, 1963 and 1958. The alumni office can assist with reunions by helping coordinate class lists, current addresses and mailings. The best times to plan reunions are around Homecoming in October or the Family Picnic in April. If your class is due for a reunion and you are interested in helping plan the event, contact me.

■ Photos We would love to see alumni photos in our updates! Let others see what activities you are involved in, how many children you have or what you looked like on your wedding day. We welcome any picture that includes an alumnus! Send them via snail mail with a selfaddressed envelope and we can scan them and send them back to you, or you can e-mail them to us. They should be at least 16” at 72 dpi or 4” at 300 dpi so we can print them in our newsletter. I look forward to hearing from all of you!

Terry Walsh, Alumni Director 408.345.9205 or HD Carl F. Bunje, Jr. received his BA in environmental design and MS in computer science from the University of Washington. He is Associate Technical Fellow Information Technology for The Boeing Company. Carl says Harker “percolates up through my memory now and again.” He credits Harker for fostering his enthusiasm for learning and education. He did have some contact with classmate John Kelley some 15 years ago.


HD Donald Haake received his BA from UC Berkeley and MBA from the University of Washington. He is currently living in Rancho Santa Fe,



CA. Donald remembers Harker Day School’s beautiful campus and great old buildings. “Although I was there only three years, I have many fond memories of the school and the people,” said Haake. HA Kevin K. Gillette only attended Harker for Gr. 8, but he remembers it as a memorable year! Kevin wrote: “I still count Col. Robert M. Tuttle (US Army, ret.), who was my algebra teacher that year, as one of the top five teachers I’ve ever had, mainly because of the amount he invested in me as a person, not merely as a student. I am a mathematician by academic training, and typically keep all of my


math texts (all 300+!) at my office, but one volume - my first volume in analytic geometry and the calculus occupies a prominent place in my living room at home. Col. Tuttle, who saw potential in me that even I hadn’t fully realized at the time, gave this volume to me. I will be forever grateful to him for that little prod in the right direction.” Kevin received both his BS in math sciences and MS in operations res. from Stanford University. Kevin remembers, “special teachers were numerous, but I was especially enamored with Mrs. Olson (Mrs. Nichols), Mr. Morgan and Coach Gelineau. I’d very much like to find Marc Derendinger, Mike Schwartz, Rob Norby, John Adams and Wayne Nakano again. I would also be keenly interested in the comings and goings of Nanette Cannon, Donovan Sponsler, Sean McCaffrey, Brian Corley, Alex Gluckfeld and a few other kids I spent time with, as well as Gary Goodstein, who was a year ahead of me.” HA Thomas E. Phillips remembers they used to gather in the “living room” downstairs at The Harker Day School in Palo Alto. He recalls the names Jeff Loomis, Ted Markopulus, Doreen Kan, Anne Dowsett, Linda Jones, Bill Protzman, Mrs. Moss, Miss Proctor, Mdm. Burroughs, Mrs. Jenkins and Col. Tuttle. Phillips said, “I think that the experience, with the help of people such as Dan Gelineau, helped me become a well-rounded person. I gained basic learning skills which helped me become a caring, generally responsible young man.”


HA Clark Bonelli lives in Vacaville and is a police officer. He wishes he had a yearbook so he could remember names!


HD Betsy Milne, now Elizabeth Baum, received her BA from UC Berkeley and her JD from Santa Clara University. Betsy recently dropped by the Harker campus for a trip down memory lane, and the alumni office pulled together a few newsletters, photos and class lists for her to go through. Mrs. Carley, a former secretary, was able to give updates to Betsy on some of the Harker Day School staff. Betsy remembers the old campus and schoolhouse in Palo Alto as


HARKER HISTORICAL LEGEND MN Manzanita Hall 1893-1919 MH Miss Harker School 1904-1959 PA

Palo Alto Military Academy 1919-1972

HD Harker Day School 1959-1972 HA Harker Academy 1972-1992 HS The Harker School 1992-Present

wonder ful and only having about four children in her 1st grade class. She remembers learning to swim during PE with Mrs. Dale and that she had great teachers, especially for 1st-4th (Miss Proctor, Miss Mallard and Miss Hunter). Betsy said, “It was always a treat to go see the animals in Major Nichols’ yard, or to walk to the Children’s Library. I made lifelong friends and I was very prepared for Castilleja.” Betsy is still in contact with Katie Harris, Elizabeth Leep, Kaycie Roberts, Liz Thurstone, Debbie Widrow and Jane McConnell. She would love to find out what other classmates are doing. HA Julie Deskin, now Julie Knight-Ludvigson, graduated from UC Berkeley, lives in Saratoga and is working in Marketing/Technology at Xbridge Systems, Inc.


HA Jim Hansell received his BS from San Jose State University and is currently a tech and administrative manager with Lombardo Diamond Core Drilling. HA Eryth Z. Zecher received her BS from Santa Clara University and is currently living in Colorado. She remembers Mrs. Offermann and Colonel Tuttle as her favorite teachers. Eryth noted, “The education was outstanding and afforded me a chance to excel. Additionally, the discipline in both academics and physical fitness helped me when I joined ROTC in college.”


HA Kevin W. Ince is an HVAC Contractor with Controlled Temperature Services, Inc. He remembers Ms. Olson (Mrs.


update planning area and he enjoys a five-minute commute!

HA Edrice Angry Wright updates us from Modesto of her Harker experience: “I think Harker helped my people skills by exposing me to people from different countries and cultures. I also think it instilled in me my Celia De Benedetti '80 in Tahoe with her husband love of kids as I was Richard Warmke and son Jay. They are expecting their a camp counselor for second child, a daughter, in May. three years. Lastly, Nichols), Ms. Dominguez and Mr. Harker instilled determination and Gelineau all helping to change his pride in one’s self, which has life, and for that he says, “thank allowed me to succeed.” She would you.” Kevin says, “My experiences like to hear from classmates Akiko at Harker made me who I am today. Murphy, Janine Argendelli, Without you all, I don’t know where Federico Garza, Elizabeth Nichols I would be!” Kevin is still looking for and Delia Stallings. Scott Turner. HA Celia De Benedetti recently updated her information. She is HA Chuck Beck connected currently a mom and owner of with teacher Pat Walsh via Property Management Company. e-mail. Chuck lives in Her memories include Yosemite, Thousand Oaks, CA with his wife summer camps, counseling, Dianne and four children. He dances, Niffer, Louis and Marlow. spends most of his free time Celia said, “Scholastically, Harker participating in his kids’ numerous was a tremendous boost for me activities including sports, and socially I think we all blosscouting, 3 different schools, and somed at Harker—everyone was so church. “Once a week I play ‘old cool.” She is in touch with Laura man’ basketball in a city adult Basin Behrens (“We see each other league. John Near would not be every week, our kids are the same happy with my skill level and the age!”), Debbie Delazona ’82 and obvious absence of the fundamenVic Pekarcik. (see photo) tals he taught me in 7th and 8th grade,” said Beck. He is working for HA Jeffrey Chen is living in Rockewell Scientific, a small Hong Kong. He attended research company in the financial Orme School and Case



Alumni Working at Harker! This school year we again have many alumni who have returned to work part-time at Harker while attending colleges in the area. New alumni to Harker’s staff this year are Shannon Hickey ’95 and Lynn Lakia ’97 working part-time with Bucknall rec staff. New alumni coaches are Ashley Sukovez ’96, coaching MS basketball, Jordan Suh ’94, assistant varsity coach for the US girls’ basketball team and Alexa Bush ’02, assistant coach for the US varsity volleyball team. There are also two alumni new to our staff as volunteers. Dana Lurie ’82 volunteers her time in the afterschool art program at Bucknall and Vickie Viso ’92 volunteers her time helping the setters on the US Varsity volleyball team. Alumni who continue to work at Harker are Howard Nichols ’56, president; Kristen Scarpace Giommona ’81 and Mark Gelineau ’90, teachers; Jeffrey Neiderauer ’93, co-network mgr.; Chris Yamashita ’90, rec. dir.; Ben Lee ’94, technology office mgr.; Missy Smith ’92, Mike Saltzman ’94 and Lisa Bowman ’95, coaches; and Michelle Floyd ’95, Brent Torcellini ’97 and Danny Walsh ’99, rec staff.

Western Reserve University. He would like to get in touch with William Ma. HA Monica Herman graduated from UCSB, lives in San Francisco and is self-employed.


HA Andrea Anastasi received her BA from Columbia University and MBA from New York University. She is currently a catastrophe analyst with Guy Carpenter & Co. “The 8th grade Yosemite trip stands out as a favorite memory,” she commented. “Also, being in an environment that stressed the importance of education from such a young age has stayed with me through the years.”


HA Derek Brosterhous received his BA from the University of Colorado. He is currently a regional sales manager for Jeld-Wen. “The study habits and work ethic I learned at Harker helped me for the rest of my educaion and life.” He would like to connect with former classmates Mark Ravenscroft, Chris Parker, Will Redfield and David Cannon.


HA Tony Wong received his BS from UCLA and his MD from Brown University. He is currently an internal medicine physician at Kaiser Permanente in Oakland. Tony writes, “One of the most memorable experiences was the day that all of us were finally allowed to wear shorts as part of our uniforms in 7th grade! Lunchtime basketball became so much more than just an experiment in how we could convert corduroy pants into portable saunas.” Tony had the honor of attending a wedding for classmate Frances Lau. He said “I met Frances at Harker and we’ve kept in touch ever since. In fact, we both work in the same hospital! I have also been in contact with Cliff Chen. And I recently bumped into Amish Patel who was recently interning as a 4th year medical student at Kaiser Oakland.” HA Vandana Agarwal received her BA in computer science from UC Berkeley and is currently a software engineer with Hipbone, Inc. She has fond memories of Mr. Z and Mme. Rigler and enjoyed being in the production of “Annie.” Vandana was only at Harker for Gr.


7 but “made a lot of good friends in that year.” She would love to get in touch with anyone from that year! HA Ming Y.M. Chen received her BA from Boston University. She is currently working on her MBA at Loyola Marymount University. She is still in contact with classmate Sharon Ho. HA Greg Davies graduated with a BA from Brown University. He is currently living in San Francisco and working in commercial real estate for CPS. Greg remembers, “I ended up majoring in history - and developing an addiction to current events - in large part due to Mr. Z’s 7th grade geography and Mr. Near’s 8th grade U.S. history courses.” Greg also has a new connection with Harker. He says, “Harker has again entered my life as my long-time girlfriend’s younger brother, Will Roberts, began 7th grade this year. From what I hear, Mr. Z still puts down his fair share of Diet Coke!” Greg is still in contact with Steve Tam and Antonio Morici.


Mark Gelineau '90 at his wedding in November '02 to Tiffany Ramos.

CORRECTION: The Oct. alumni notes contained some incorrect information regarding Varish Goyal, so we are running the correct update on him here. Our apologies, Varish. HA Varish Goyal received his BS from Duke University in Biomedical Engineering, his MD/MBA from Wake Forest University and he is currently working for Helixity. HA Mark Gelineau currently a MS English teacher here at Harker, was married in Nov. to Tiffany Ramos. Tiffany and Mark met in 1994 while both were staff at the Harker Summer Camp. Congratula-





Attention All Alumni Dancers! This year the dance department is celebrating the 20th anniversary of the program, and we want all former Harker dancers to help us celebrate! In the dance show this year, we plan to feature alumni dancers performing to the infamous Patti LaBelle’s song “New Attitude,” which should be a showstopper. Fun, upbeat and jazzy—come join us by putting on those dance shoes and getting back onstage! For more information contact me at or call me at 408.345.9278. We look forward to hearing from you soon. Until then, keep dancing! —Laura Rae, Harker Dance Teacher

HS Heather Larson graduated with a BS in accounting from San Jose State University. She is currently a CPA with Grant Thornton LLP. Heather wrote, “Mrs. Harp changed my whole outlook on school and I couldn’t have made it where I am today without her.”


HS Frank Ho received his BA in English from Wesleyan University. Frank is currently a production coordinator for VH1/MTV Networks. He remembers Mrs. Ferrera! HS Howard Huang received his BA in economics from UC Berkeley. He is currently living in Palo Alto.

tions to Mark and Tiffany! (see photo) HA Marianne Bell received her BA from UCSB and is currently a freelance film production assistant. She is living in New York.


HA Vicki Viso said, “Harker was such a great experience for me. I know I would never have been accepted there if it were not for Mr. Bither, Paula Bither, Mr. Muller and Debbie Shaw. I was so blessed to have those individuals pulling for me back in the 6th grade. They, along with Smitty, Ms. Harp and Mr. Near, made all the difference in me. I gained more confidence and I was taught just HOW to learn and study. You all made all the world of


HARKER HISTORICAL LEGEND MN Manzanita Hall 1893-1919 MH Miss Harker School 1904-1959 PA

Palo Alto Military Academy 1919-1972

HD Harker Day School 1959-1972 HA Harker Academy 1972-1992 HS The Harker School 1992-Present


a difference in a young, borderline dyslexic, 13 year old child!” Vicki is now working for New York Life Insurance in downtown San Jose and is also returning to Harker occasionally to help “Smitty” with volleyball. HA Shawn Chang, now goes by the name Sang and attends USC receiving BA’s in economics and East Asian languages and cultures. He is working in Korea as a marketing & PR consultant. He would love to hear from Matt Sampson, Joy Patterson and Robert Aubry. HA Maren Shough was married to Adam Clouse on Aug. 31, 02. Fellow classmate Heather Taher was one of her bridesmaids. Maren is finishing her third and final year at Stanford Law School. She repor ts that Heather is in her second year at Tulane School of Medicine. HA Tomoe Hayashi received her BM from UC Santa Barbara and is currently a student at the University of Houston. She remembers Mrs. Skapinsky and is still in contact with Yuka Abe.


HS Michael Liam O’Byrne received his BA from Har vard and is currently a medical student at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons.

HS Wajahat Ali received a degree in English from UC Berkeley. He is currently running a Web site. He says, “Harker is a great institution. It really benefits those who took the time to appreciate it and helped tremendously in high school and college. The extracurricular activities and facilities Harker offers are remarkable!” He is still in contact with Douglas Eastman,

Huang and Clifford Hayashi. HS Annie M. Kim received her BS from New York University Stern Business School and is living in Los Altos.


HS Jenny Fox-Manaster is currently a psychology major at UC Berkeley and taking American Sign Language classes through Vista College concurrently. Jenny is also the student director of the Cal Band. She will be graduating in May, and is planning on studying occupation therapy in the future. Jenny says, “Harker helped me learn to organize my time so I could manage my studies and extracurricular activities successfully.” She has fond memories of all of her teachers. (See photo) HS Lisa Ashley Hall has a BA in Theatre Art from San Francisco State. She is currently a student.


HS Andrea Nott is currently a fulltime athlete for the Santa Clara Aquamaids and a part-time

Cal Band in Capable Hands Teachers Howard Saltzman and Pat Walsh recently attended a Cal football game to see alumna Jenny FoxManaster ’95 in action as the student director of the Cal band. Jenny’s brother Cole Manaster is currently a 3rd grader at Harker. Their father mentioned to Saltzman what Jenny was up to and this prompted the gathering at the Cal game. “I would like to say that Pat and I were both so very proud of Jenny. It was exciting to see her in front of the band leading them in the Cal fight song,” said Saltzman.

Tuan Pham, Marvin Baloaro, Raj Patel, Sandeep Birla, Allen Loggins, Gaurav Singh and Marcus Zachariah, all of whom went to either Bellarmine or Berkeley with him. HS Benjamin L. Chung is currently a student at San Francisco State University. Ben feels there are really no comparable teachers and friends to those at Harker. He especially enjoyed the trips to Yosemite and Washington D.C. He is still in contact with Howard Huang, Audrey Chaing, Robert Yeh, Isabell Ree, Henry Huang, Jason

student. She is still best friends with Lisa Hall and would like to hear from Ben Young-Anglim and others from her class. HS Ann Chu is studying Business Marketing at San Jose State University. She says, “My experience at Harker definitely influences my speech and debate competition today.” Ann is currently on the Varsity SJSU forensics team and recently went to Rome, Italy, for an international tournament. Ann was presented the annual forensics team’s perpetual award which hangs



Home for the Holidays—Class of ’02 Reception Draws Over Half of Recent Grads! screams of excitement at seeing each other after only months apart at college,” laughed Terry Walsh, alumni programs director. Alumni were given a warm welcome back by Jack Bither and then invited to share some college stories, noting that they needed to be appropriate for our current seniors!

Harker’s newest alumni were invited back to visit with their former classmates, staff and teachers, as well as our current senior class at a Home for the Holidays College Reception in the Edge on Fri., Dec. 20.

meantime, remember to update us often about your activities by going to the Harker Alumni Web site!

Thanks to all the alumni who attended the event, and warm wishes to those who weren’t able to attend. There will be more gatherings in the future—in the

“It was fabulous to have over half the class return for this event,” said Chris Daren, US yearbook & activity director. Matt Wong ‘02 enjoyed the event and said, “It was a good chance to get together with

Mark Tantrum-all alumni reception photos

“The event was a fabulous success with over 42 alumni bringing the noise level to a new high with

Ed Williams started with some stories from UCSB, Kaileen Yen gave an update about Halloween at Rice and other alumni from USC, Stanford and UCSD also did some sharing. Walsh added that the alumni were eager to chat with each other, and the US teachers, college counselors and administrators joined in the fun of reconnecting with the inaugural class of ‘02.

a lot of my friends again. It was also nice to see the younger classmen and get a chance to visit all my old teachers. I think it was definitely a worthwhile event.”

in the Communications department at SJSU. She is in contact with Steve Blomquist and often sees George Liu around campus. HS Eleonore Cottarel checked in from the American University of Paris. Her family moved to Paris for business, and she is currently a visiting student there through Texas A&M University. Eleonore noted, “My favorite Harker memory is graduation and the great party that they had planned for us afterwards. I will always remember Mr. Bither’s great and fun classes and his attention to student progress. Math remains my strong forte! Harker has helped me in a variety of ways, including providing a ver y solid


academic basis and preparing me well for the high schools and universities of my choice. Since I moved often, this helped me learn to respect different cultures and traditions.” She is still in touch with Erin O’Neill and would like to hear from Mike Masters.

competed against 1,140 other students with only 17 making it to the national finals competition. Allan presented his project, which demonstrated ways to speed up transmission of data across the Internet, to a nationwide panel of scientists and mathematicians.

HS Michael Chan is currently a student at UC Berkeley.

HS Kimberly Kanada The Mercury News repor ted that Kimberly Kanada, a freshman at Harvard, has been awarded the Japanese American Citizens League National Scholarship. The award is worth $1,000.

HS Allan Chu The Dec. 10 edition of the San Jose Mercury News reported that Allan was named second runner-up in the Siemens Westinghouse Competition in Math, Science and Technology for a $40,000 college scholarship award. The article noted that Chu



HS (MS) Young Jo Kim is attending The Peddie School in New Jersey. He says, “My favorite memories

have to be the dormitory life. Even though it was hard because it was strict, the fellow students and the houseparents were really a family to me. Harker helped me a lot in academics, and it is the main reason that I can be at the same level as other native friends in my school.” He would like to hear from any of his classmates. HS Jennifer Yao’s parents reported that Jennifer made the Dean’s List for her outstanding academic record this fall quarter at the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University. They also thanked Harker for giving her a wonderful education that prepared her so well for college. Our congratulations to Jennifer!



the archives

New Drop Boxes for Payments! For your convenience we now have Drop Boxes located on both campuses for payments for the business office. Please do not send payments via homeroom teachers, as this creates an additional burden for the teachers and may also delay your payment. There will be a daily pickup from all boxes, which are located in the main lobby and in Shah Hall on the Saratoga campus and in the main lobby on the Bucknall campus. Mark Tantrum

For our alumni edition, we decided to share some photos from our archive “albums” —enjoy! —Harker History Committee

you need


Miss Harker Main Building—Original 35-room main building. Built in summer of 1907 as the first building of the newly purchased 6.25-acre parcel on a deserted vineyard in northern Palo Alto.

Rec Announcements ■ No Late Supervision A reminder that the campus closes at 5:30 p.m. on Feb. 14 for the President’s Week holiday and there is no late supervision. ■ Limited President’s Week Childcare for K-6 For K-6 parents in need of childcare during the holiday week of Feb. 18 21, the Harker Bucknall Recreation Dept. is offering a limited number of spaces as a special service to our families. Since space is limited, contact Miss Lana at 408.871.4624 immediately if you are interested. Leave a message stating the name(s) and grade(s) of your student(s), whether you need full-day (8:00 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. or more than 4 hours) or half-day care (4 hours or less-specify exact times needed), and a contact number where you can be reached.

New Office Locations

PAMA Manzanita Hall—The original building of Manzanita Hall preparatory school for boys. The school was moved to this location in 1895 after it outgrew Reverend W. Bishop’s home on Waverly Street where the school began in 1893. It remained the central building of the Palo Alto Military Academy campus until the school moved to San Jose in 1972.

Harker Day School The entrance of the Harker Day School Main building, likely early 1960s, after the school became co-educational and was purchased by Major Nichols.

We are relocating a few of our offices over the next month (see President’s Update, page 11). A few of those moves include Advancement and Communications offices moving to Manzanita Hall on the Saratoga campus and Finance and Human Resources moving to 1471 Saratoga Ave., Suite 100, San Jose (effective Jan. 22). Payments can be mailed to PO Box 10367 or dropped off at the new Drop Boxes (see above) located at each campus. Questions regarding student accounts should be directed to the new number, 408.447.8512, or fax 408.255.2851.

Date Changes and Reminders ■ As explained in an e-mail from Primary Division Head Sarah Leonard to Gr. 5 parents, due to a scheduling conflict, the Coloma informational meeting for parents was moved from Jan. 21 to March 11. Formal notices will be mailed home as we near the date of the event. As a reminder, the dates of the trip are April 30 to May 2. ■ Kevin Williamson, US dean of students, wishes to remind Gr. 10 families that the Outdoor Ed Day for sophomores will be Mon., March 24 from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Details to come.

Item of the Month Harker Academy Academic Building Original Harker Academy ▼

Our Logo Store Item of the Month will resume next month with new items. In the meantime, our Jan. offer has been extended through Feb.—beautiful Harker umbrellas for only $12! Contact to order!

The Harker News is published monthly by the Harker Office of Communications. Current and archived issues are also available on the Parent Home Page on the Web site at Editor: Pam Dickinson Asst. Editor: Terry Walsh Photo Editor: Chris Daren

Design: Blue Heron Design Printing & Mailing: Communicart Mailing Coordinator: Bran-Dee Torres Photographer: Mark Tantrum

The Harker School does not discriminate in the administration of its educational policies, athletics or other school-administered programs, or in the administration of its hiring and employment practices on the basis of age, sex, race, color, national origin, religion, sexual orientation or non-job-related handicap.


Profile for The Harker School

2003 February Harker News  

2003 February Harker News