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MARCH 2003 (VOL. 9, NO. 6)







HARKER headlines Take Your Bucknall’s Annual Jump for Heart Draws Media Attention

Time Annual Saratoga Dance Production Fri. & Sat., March 7 & 8 7:30 p.m., Saratoga Gym TICKETS: $5 students & seniors $10 adults Contact or call 408.345.9226

top stories

Mark Tantrum

5’s veteran reporter Bill Schechner interviewed students and staff and, along with news photographer Cecil Houston, even joined in on the jumping for awhile! In addition to KPIX, reports were aired on KRON, KDTV and CNN Headline News.

20th Anniversary


est. 1893 • K-12 college prep

The great work of our Bucknall students and staff in our annual Jump for Heart fundraising event for the American Heart Association (AHA) was televised on four local television stations Feb. 11. All day the Bucknall gym was bursting with energy, music and goodwill as our 600 students jumped throughout

the day to raise needed funds for this worthwhile organization. In the four years that JR4H has been held on the Bucknall campus, they have reached their yearly goal, and for the past two years the AHA reported that Harker has been the leading fundraising school in the Santa Clara District. KPIX Channel

Mary McLane, executive director of the Santa Clara County division of AHA, also attended the event. “We’re thrilled by the tremendous participation and support of the students and staff at the Harker School for the Jump Rope for Heart Program,” she said. “The dollars raised through this important event will support life saving research and education programs here in Santa Clara County.” Many thanks to our students for their dedication to this event. Now, we hope Harker can report back to all that we reached this year’s goal! See story, pg. 9

Bucknall After-school art students create stunning dragon .................... 8

Saratoga Tamagawa teacher visits Harker ................................. 5

Middle School MS reports on leadership projects ............................. 11

important dates Mon., Mar. 10 K-12 CAIS workshop for all teachers - no classes K-12

Mon. - Sat, Mar. 24 - 29 Gr. 7 Grand Canyon trip (students return Sat.)

Mon., Mar. 31 - Fri., Apr. 4 Spring Break. No classes.

Mon., Apr. 7 All classes resume

Schoolwide Multicultural Week Focuses on Global Awareness Both campuses were alive with the sights, sounds and tastes of world cultures recently during Harker’s annual Multicultural Week. Bucknall kicked off the week with a “Melting Pot” assembly which included Indian folk dancing, the reading of cultural essays by students, a song performance by 2nd and 3rd graders, multicultural trivia and a fashion show. During the week, students dressed up like their ancestors, wrote multicultural essays, played “Identify the Flag” and “Word of the Day” games and earned a free dress pass by teaching someone words from another language. “Good Morning,” How are you?” and “I want to be your friend” were heard in languages such as Bengali, German, Murati, Hindi, Hebrew and Portuguese throughout the week as students shared their native

languages over the loudspeaker, at assemblies, etc. Links were set up on the Harker home page where students were encouraged to talk about multiculturalism and received raffle tickets for completing quizzes or doing activities on the site. A scrapbook of poems and pictures contributed by students is currently on display in

the Bucknall front office. In the MS an assembly included a fusion music band playing melodies mostly based on classical Indian ragas, Prospect High School’s Mexican Ballet Folklórico group and international display tables hosted by MS teachers with Continued on Pg. 4

EDITOR’S NOTE: While our annual Multicultural Week gives us a special opportunity to focus on our diversity, Harker is a place where we celebrate our richly diverse community each and every day. In this issue we report on Japanese and Native American visitors, celebrations for Chinese New Year and Black History Month, as well as an upcoming Indian Garba. All this is in addition to the wonderful activities of our Multicultural Committee. 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!

you need

Some of our parents have asked us about the school’s plans in the event of an emergency. Harker has an ongoing commitment to the safety and security of our students, and we continually evaluate and enhance our emergency response systems to ensure we are able to best respond to any situation. Our EMERGENCY PROCEDURES information is always posted and updated on the password-protected Parent Home Page to ensure you have the latest information. If you have questions about Harker’s emergency preparedness plan, contact Joe Gill, asst. head of nonacademic affairs, at ■ The administration will follow instructions from local civil officials to determine if a situation is declared a disaster or emergency and warrants the implementation of our emergency plan. If an emergency is not declared by either the local agents or the administration, school will be held as usual.


■ We would like to welcome Jaja Hsuan to the Harker community. Hsuan has taken over as director of community service for Lin Ng, who left for personal reasons. Ng did an outstanding job for us this year, and we wish her much success! Before leaving, Lin worked side by side with Hsuan to ensure a smooth transition as she takes over this busy job. Hsuan, who has a B.S. in Design-Visual Communications and Presentations from UC Davis, is very enthusiastic about her new position and has already joined Harker students on some of their community service trips this year. She can be reached via e-mail at or check out the community service link on the Harker Web site. ■ Sue Smith joined the Harker staff this year as Harker’s part-time archivist. Last year Smith applied to SJSU for Harker to be approved as a for-credit internship program in their Masters in Library and Information Sciences program and volunteered for Enid Davis, librarian and Histor y Committee chair, to help organize the Harker archives. Smith, whose daughter, Sara Laymoun, Gr. 10, attends Harker, spent the summer digging through boxes of items, dating back to the 1900s and has made incredible progress helping Davis establish a Harker archives database. Smith completed the SJSU program this past Dec. and will now be continuing to help us research, track and record Harker history. Watch for a From the Archives article soon with more information about the work of Smith and the Harker History Committee!

Joe Gill

Mark Tantrum

■ As reported in the Jan. Harker News, the entire administration and faculty participated this past fall in an extensive preparedness program in conjunction with the Emergency Training Institute to further enhance our current emergency response system which is designed to deal with a variety of emergency situations, including fire, earthquake, chemical & toxic spills, bomb threats and intruders.



■ Picking Up Your Child In An Emergency: Releasing children to authorized adults is a critical component of the emergency plans, and parents must follow the specific directions of the designated Harker or civil support personnel at the Check-Out Centers below. To efficiently and safely release the children, as well as minimize anxiety for students whose parents have not arrived yet, parents are expected to wait in these Check-Out Centers so that students can be brought to them. Bucknall Campus Check-Out Centers Gr. K-3 and Gr. 6: Front of campus on Bucknall Rd. Gr. 1, 2, 4 and 5: Back of campus on Rincon Ave. Saratoga Campus Check-Out Centers Gr. 7 and 8: Art Center loading zone Gr. 9 to 12: Front (pool) loading zone ■ Is your information up to date? If you have moved, changed your phone number or your job, please go to the Parent Home Page and click on UPDATE PERSONAL INFO and complete those fields that have changed to ensure that we have the most current contact information for you. In addition, students will only be released to individuals listed on the emergency pickup authorization cards. If you wish to add anyone to your authorization card, fax the names and your signature to 408.984.2325.


Stuffed horses, bears, lions, tigers, monkeys and baby chicks all decked out in Harker t-shirts (all approx. 6" tall). Think early stocking stuffers, Diwali, Easter baskets, Passover or Earth Day – you get the idea!

Mark Tantrum

■ Since September 11, 2001, we have reworked our emergency action plan and have also obtained additional lighting, water storage, solar blankets and available food. These procedures have been drilled on both of our campuses to ensure that all faculty, staff and students are fully aware of how to respond when one of these emergency actions is implemented.

Lions & Tigers & Bears on Sale — Oh My! All these for ONLY $4.00 (Reg. $7.00) Harker Bald Eagle (9" tall) ONLY $5.00 (Reg. $9.00) Contact: Bob Benge at 408.345.9226 or to charge items to your account and arrange for pick up. Bucknall families, we’ll deliver to your campus so you can pick up your purchase there! Offer good through March 31 – watch for April’s Item of the Month in our next issue!

Mark Tantrum




Upcoming Events: Mark Your Calendars!

The Yellow Brick Road to Oz!

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 are $5 each, and children under 5 are free. To order tickets, contact faculty advisor for this event, Hem Navangul,, or Meghana Desale,

Fri. & Sat., March 7 & 8, 7:30 p.m., STG Gym: “Take Your Time,” Saratoga Dance Production Get your tickets now! US dance teacher Laura Rae repor ted that over 150 students from Gr. 2 through 12 have been working for months on creating a show filled with music from the 60s and 70s by such artists as The Byrds, Led Zeppelin, Jim Croce and Pink Floyd. Dance routines include a variety of styles such as jazz, modern, ballet, tap, hip hop, blues, lyrical and good old rock ’n’ roll. She said the dancers have been working very hard participating in extra weekend rehearsals to improve their timing and develop their skills. The US students have collaborated behind the scenes writing the script, designing the sets and props and shopping for costumes. Rae extends special thanks to Kelly Gault and Rachel Meltzer for their creative input and efforts to bring this show to life.

Kim Pellisier

Sat., Mar. 1, 7-11 p.m., Bucknall Gym: Garba

We’re off to see the Picnic...the Wonderful Picnic of Oz! Harker's own Curbside Crazies made an “Oz-some” debut at our Feb. 4th Picnic Volunteer Kickoff, and are on the road (yellow brick, of course) to finding new recruits to join in the fun. Watch for the Tin Man, Scarecrow and Lion to be appearing curbside at the student loading zones during March and April, collecting gifts, promoting raffle ticket sales and generating spirit for our 52nd Annual Family/Alumni Picnic to be held on Sun., April 27th at the Saratoga Campus! —Picnic Committee

Picnic News Help Needed in Oz!

Just a reminder that US parent volunteers are putting together the first-ever Harker Cookbook to benefit our Speech and Debate program, and they want your recipes! Go to the Parent Home Page for the Harker Cookbook link and you can find info and forms! There are recipe collection boxes (cleverly disguised as table settings) in the main lobbies on both campuses, so submit your favorite recipes today! Recipe deadline is March 15!

Room parents and grade level coordinators have received their Picnic “missions,” and they will be working closely with their homeroom teachers to recruit and schedule booth workers for the day of the event. The Feb. Picnic Kickoff for the Sun., April 27 event brought out lots of interested and eager parent volunteers, as well. Expect a call or e-mail from your homeroom’s official Picnic Booth Coordinator asking parents to volunteer an hour (or more) of their time to work in a booth on April 27. Consider helping out in this way—it’s a great deal of fun!!!

Sat., April 12, 11 a.m., Sunol Valley: 4th Annual Harker Golf Tournament

Calling all volunteers to the Advancement Office Lobby at 94 N. San Tomas Aquino Road beginning at 8 a.m. for:

This is sure to be another spectacular dance production, so set your clocks and don’t miss “Take Your Time”! (See ticket info on cover.)

Sat., Mar. 15: Recipe Deadline

Students, moms, dads, grandparents, faculty, staff, alumni and friends of the school—remember to sign up! Online registration is now available by going to the Parent Home Page. Register as an individual, or bring your own twosome or foursome. Per player entry fee of $120 for this scramble format tourney includes green fees, cart, refreshments and prizes. See you on the links!

Wed., April 16, 5 p.m., STG Gym: Sneak Preview of “Into the Woods” Gr. 4-8 families: Reserve your FREE “Sneak Preview” tickets for the April 16 US Conservatory production of “Into the Woods”! See pg. 6.

K-8 Summer Camp Dates: Session I: June 23-July 25 Session II: July 28-August 15 Favorite offerings filling up fast—register today!

• Wed., Mar. 5 - Initial Picnic mailing to be collated and sent out to all families • Wed., Mar. 12 - Picnic Registration packets to be assembled and mailed • Tues., Mar. 18 - Raffle ticket packets assembled and mailed to students in all divisions

Gr. 4 Wizard of Oz Event Gr. 4 families enjoyed a Friday “pizza and movie night” on Jan. 31 in The Edge and Faculty Dining Room in Saratoga's Manzanita Hall. Organized by volunteer Kelly Delepine and her

Gr. 4 room parents, the students and their siblings and parents got a taste of this year’s Wonderful Picnic of Oz with their own private screening of the MGM movie classic, “The Wizard of Oz.” The evening featured a clever and unexpected switchover from video to live action as a troupe of talented Gr.4 teachers reenacted the scene where Dorothy (Kristen Giammona), Toto (Marcie Gilbert), the Scarecrow (Rec staffer Zak Schaffer) and the Tin Man (Jeff Gatlin) have their first encounter with the Cowardly Lion (Keith Hirota). “Cheers and chortles abounded as the real-life characters withdrew triumphantly and the video picked up seamlessly where they had left off,” said Nancy Reiley, community relations director. Many thanks to parents Kelly Delepine, Leslie Nielsen, Sue Prutton, Deepa Iyengar, Tan Nguyen, Jin Zhou, Jane Villadsen and Mamta Jain for putting together a fun opportunity for Harker families to get together, and to the resourceful Harker dads who jumped in to help with some technical difficulties. —Repor ted by Nancy Reiley, Community Relations Director



week Continued from Pg. 1 costumes, books, postcards, maps, toys, coins, and information cards with interesting trivia about the country. MS students also enjoyed an ethnic free dress and were encouraged to enter a drawing for free dress passes by correctly answering questions on a bulletin board in Shah Hall. Spirit events were held on the long lunch days, and students played a “Jamanji” board game answering multicultural questions to advance. Many MS parents contributed to the international displays and we heartily thank them for helping make the week so special: parents of Emily Isaacs, Michelle Hong, Erica Chang, Lisa Kimura, Eugenia Sorotokin, Greg Ringold, Sarah Syrett, Sho Okubo, Tanya Schmidt, Sinthuja Nagalingam, Avinash Mandava, Aamir Patel, Young Byun, Julia Havard, Esther Teplitsky, Danyal Kothari, Ammar Kothari and Adnan Haque. The US students enjoyed Chinese calligraphy with teacher Jian-Er Chai, a chopstick competition that involved racing to pull marbles out of a glass of water using chopsticks (not easy —try it!). They also participated in a challenging multicultural scavenger hunt in which students were asked questions about the school, students and staff in multiple languages.

Multicultural photos by Jonathan Louie & Mark Tantrum

The US assembly and fair included per formances by Mallika Bhandarkar, Gr. 12, performing a classical Indian dance; Caroline Bitter, Gr. 9, and Tommy Holford, Gr. 9, performing Irish folk dancing; and Kimberly Wong, Gr. 10, and Rubina Chuang, Gr. 10, performing a Chinese dance. Meghana Desale, Sheena Vaswani, Shilpa Thakur, Vijeta Chetty, Mahisha Patel and Aruna Bharathi per formed an Indian folk dance choreographed by Thakur. For the fair, US students hosted cultural displays and food tasting from 27 countries at tables around the gym. Many thanks to Harker’s wonderful kitchen staff for providing multicultural menus for all grades. Special thanks to faculty members David Qua, Vandana Kadam and Diana Moss for orchestrating the activities in each of their divisions, and to all teachers and students who made such creative contributions. It was a magnificent global journey!




The Harker teacher exchange program with the Tamagawa Gakuen school in Japan continued this year with the hosting of Gr. 7 science teacher Koujiiro Tabaru for ten days in January. While this marked the third year of the teacher exchange program, it was the first time that the two schools exchanged teachers in one of the core curriculum courses. The first two years involved exchanges in the art and P.E. departments. This year, Simon Keilty, MS science department chair, visited Japan in October and then hosted Mr. Tabaru for his recent stay, which began with an official welcome luncheon with Howard and Diana Nichols and the administration. The exchange included a great deal of classroom time, including teaching a lesson on Onion Root Tip Mitosis to five Gr. 8 classes, visiting Gr. 7 physical science classes and Gr. 8 Japanese classes and attending the kindergarten video conference with Tamagawa. Over the past few months Tabaru and Keilty communicated through e-mail to plan

Tabaru’s lesson for the Harker students. “For me, the most enjoyable part of our Harker/ Tamagawa teacher exchange took place this past month,” said Keilty. To host Mr. Tabaru brought the exchange full circle. I was able to see both sides of the challenges, difficulties and rewards of a professional crosscultural exchange. It was great to help develop such a fun lesson for the students, and the students benefited from Tabaru’s visit on many different levels.” To ensure that Mr. Tabaru got a true feeling of life in America during his stay, Bill Bost, director of international programs for Harker,

planned a schedule that was packed with exciting adventures, including Cirque Du Soleil, rock ’n’ roll bowling, a Stanford men’s basketball game, golfing at Poppy Hills, touring Pacific Grove, a behind the scenes tour of the Monterey Bay Aquarium, a Super Bowl Sunday party, touring San Francisco and, of course, a ride on a cable car. One of the highlights for Tabaru was seeing the stars and discussing the constellations in Pacific Grove. “I do not see many stars in Tokyo,” said Tabaru. Thanks to Bill Bost who planned the entire schedule for the Tabaru

Tamagawa Exchange photos by Simon Keilty and Mark Tantrum

Harker Hosts Tamagawa Teacher Koujiiro Taburu

stay, and to all the faculty and staff who joined in on the fun and helped make Tabaru feel so welcome. Special thanks to Harker parents Fumiko Kimura, Chidori Okubo, Ning Zong Liu and Yuko Tiernan and a number of Harker faculty and staff who served as translators and helped make the visit such a wonder ful success. This was a great educational activity for our students, and Harker looks forward to continuing the exchange with Tamagawa for years to come.

Mark Tantrum

Tamagawa Videoconference a Huge Hit with Kindergarten Classes In Jan. each kindergarten class participated in the annual Tamagawa videoconference. Students exchanged greetings with their counterparts in English and in Japanese, Diana Nichols presented a lesson on the time difference between San Jose and Tokyo and students sang a counting song in English and in Japanese. They also presented information to each other about what the typical kindergarten student (each kindergarten class voted in advance for what they would present) in each of the countries has for breakfast, snack, lunch and dinner. “Harker students were

amazed by the artistic talent shown in the meals by their Japanese friends,” said Bill Bost, director of international programs. “The Tamagawa students said they envied our students’ meal choices. And yes, cheese pizza did get the biggest response from the Japanese students,” he laughed. To complete the videoconference, the Tamagawa students performed “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” with hand bells and sang a traditional Japanese children’s song, and the Harker kindergarteners sang “May There Always Be Sunshine” to their new friends.



arts ■ The US Conservatory held its annual concert in the Saratoga gym on Sat., Feb. 1 and “made beautiful music together for over two hours to a packed house of 250 thrilled audience members,” said Laura Lang-Ree, performing arts director. It was the first year the event was held in the gym. It included general seating and café table seating, complete with refreshments provided by a talented group of parents. The space was transformed, thanks to Technical Director Brian Larsen, into an intimate and elegant venue creating a perfect background for the impressive showcase of talent by Orchestra, Jazz Band, String Ensemble, Guys Gig, Show Choir, Cantilena, Bel Canto and individual instrumentalists and vocalists. Over 100 students were involved under the capable direction of teachers Robert Scannell (Orchestra, Jazz, String), Susan Nace (Guys Gig, Cantilena) and Cathy Snider (Bel Canto, Show Choir). “Please give a large round of applause to the organizer of the event, Cathy Snider, for creating everything from the mood to managing all of the logistics—it was quite a feat,” added Lang-Ree. We couldn’t agree more. Many thanks to the performing arts department and to our talented students for providing us with an evening to remember! ■ The US spring musical, Sondheim’s “Into the Woods,” will be performed Fri. and Sat., April 18 & 19, at 8 p.m. in the STG Gym.

All Conservatory photos by Chris Daren

The Music Theatre International describes this year’s musical: “An ambivalent Cinderella? A bloodthirsty Little Red Riding Hood? A Prince Charming with a roving eye? A witch...who raps? They’re all among the cockeyed characters in James Lapine and Stephen Sondheim’s fractured fairy tale. When a baker and his wife learn they’ve been cursed with childlessness by the


witch next door, they embark on a quest for the special objects required to break the spell, swindling, lying to and stealing from Cinderella, Little Red, Rapunzel and Jack (the one who climbed the beanstalk). Everyone’s wish is granted at the end of Act One, but the consequences of their actions return to haunt them later, with disastrous results. What begins as a lively irreverent fantasy in the style of “The Princess Bride” becomes a moving lesson about community responsibility and the stories we tell our children.” Performing Arts Dept. Chair, Laura Lang-Ree, reported that tryouts were recently held for the show, with close to 60 students turning out for 23 parts. She sends a huge kudos to all who tried out and congratulations to these cast members who are currently rehearsing for the show: (in alphabetical order) Neil Bhalerao, Casey Blair, Brendan Boland, Kevin Busch, Peter Combs, Gabrielle DeMers, Meghana Dhar, Genna Erlickman, Whitney Graves, Lauren Gutstein, Lauren Harries, Rick Hayashi, Maheen Kaleem, Daphne Karpel, Jackie Laine, Kathryn Lee, Rachel Newman, Vivian Nguyen, Lisa Schwebke, Mike Vu, Sean Weinstock, Kimberly Wong and Dav Yendler. Mark your calendars to attend this fabulous Sondheim classic! Ticket prices are $5 for students and seniors, and $10 for adults. The show is not appropriate for small children. To purchase tickets contact or call 408.345.9226. Another Dinner Theatre event will be hosted this year at 6 p.m. before the Sat., April 19 performance. Watch for more details!

NEW this year: FREE sneak preview night for Gr. 5-8 students and their parents who are interested in Harker’s US Performing Arts Program. Wed., April 16 5 p.m., STG Gym Pizza Dinner (optional) $2 per person Post-show Q & A Session with the Cast Reserve preview tickets through the Logo Store or with Rhonda Mann at the Bucknall front desk.



Student Directed Showcase Productions Debut at Anthony Soto Theatre Four seniors all recently directed their own shows in Harker’s Student Directed Showcase at the Anthony Soto Theatre in San Jose for their final exam in the Harker Conservatory Certificate program. Created two years ago by Laura Lang-Ree, performing arts dept. chair, the Student Directed Showcase is open to students only by instructor consent which is based on each student’s performance— theatrical and technical support— during his or her years at Harker.

“Selected students choose a script the summer before classes start and immediately begin analyzing the script and organizing their vision,” said Lang-Ree. She added that students are responsible for auditions, casting, orchestrating rehearsals and all aspects of technical support. “The class is very advanced and sophisticated for a high school,” she said. “It’s not so much the shows themselves —which are always very avantgarde and cool—as the concept of the course as a whole. It is one of

those rare and wonder ful opportunities for students to flex their analytical, logistical and organizational skills, as well as stretch their creativity and leadership abilities.” Vivian Nguyen, who first thought this class was going to be “a piece of cake” said, “From picking the play to the final end performance and even afterwards, there was always work to be done. Our busy schedules consumed our free time, yet being able to work on a project like this was an opportunity that no

All Student Showcase photos by Chris Daren

Andrew Shvarts directed ”All in the Timing” by David Ives. Cast: Brendan Boland, Kelly Gault, Casey Blair, Alex TearseDoyle, Whitney Graves, Michael Vu, Boris Fedorov, Rachel Meltzer and Jackie Lane.

Auditions for the 2003-04 Harmonics, Harker’s MS musical theatre ensemble, were held at the beginning of Feb. Codirectors Monica MacKinnon and Susan Nace heard over sixty Gr. 6 and 7 students vying for a spot. MacKinnon and Nace called back approximately forty students to demonstrate their dance and acting skills. “The final decision was a difficult one. We saw so many talented students,” commented MacKinnon on the process of narrowing the group down to the final twenty students, who are listed below. Susan Nace, musical director, added, “I was really impressed with the abilities of all

the students. There is a place in the performing arts department for everyone who auditioned. We hope students will remember that Harmonics is one of many performing opportunities in the Middle School.” Job well done to all who participated in the tryouts! 2003-04 HARMONICS: Sopranos: Alix Briggs, Kriti Lodha, Elena Madan, Sophie Newman, Leslie Sherman and Hayley Steele; Altos: Lauren Ammatuna, Ariel Gaknoki, Shibani Mehta, Elissa Patel and Neha Sabharwal; Guys: Joe Hospodor, David Kuo, Abhinav Mathur, Vikram Nathan, Joshua Pinzás, Sachin Rangarajan, Ryan Tam, Chetan Vakkalagadda and Kartik Venkatraman

“The thrill of directing and seeing your vision and your dreams of colors, looks, blocking, etc. was amazing,” said Rick Hayashi. Approximately 40 students auditioned for the shows and those selected committed hours to rehearsals for the shows. Lang-Ree added, “This year’s directors were outstanding in their efforts to bring great theater to Harker. This is my all time favorite class to teach!”

Vivian Nguyen directed “Fixed Up” by Tish Durkin. Cast: Geoffrey Lundie and Lisa Schwebke.

Rick Hayashi directed “The Fantasticks,” book and lyrics by Tom Jones, music by Harvey Schmidt. Cast: Kevin Busch, Maya Hey, Peter Combs, Maheen Kaleem, Anshu Das and Andrew Nasser.

■ MS Harmonics

one should ever pass up.”

Dav Yendler directed ”The Actor’s Nightmare” by Christopher Durang. Cast: Genna Erlikhman, Kristin Kaiser, Erin Schwartz, Emma Hawley and Michael Hammersley.

■ Behind the Scenes Have you ever heard the sound of a blindfolded octopus unwrapping a cellophane covered bathtub? Do you know what the letter “Q” tastes like? Have you mastered the Western Loop? For Gr. 6 students Vikram Nathan, Elizabeth Case and Daniel Wyleczuk-Stern, these mysteries of the Technical Theatre universe are all in a day’s work. The three are part of the Z Group, comprised of students in Harker’s Advanced Technical Theatre elective. In addition to honing their skills in theatrical design, they have been busy with many hands-on aspects of the shows this semester. The Z Group has been creating props, scenery, and lighting for the upcoming 6th grade show, as well as for many other Bucknall productions and assem-

blies. Whenever the curtain rises, the Z Group is there, backstage and in the booth. When a show is done, they can make it all magically disappear. And the letter “Q?” If you are really lucky, they might let you have a bite of one of their edible prop creations! —Danny Dunn, Asst. Technical Director ■ Bucknall Dance Concert Teacher Gail Palmer announced that planning for the annual Bucknall Dance Concert is well underway. The theme for this year’s event is Fads and Fashions, and it will be held Fri. and Sat., May 30 & 31, at 7 p.m. in the BKN Gym. Over 200 students in Gr. 1 through 6 will per form—mark your calendar and watch for more info in the next newsletter!


Mark Tantrum

■ The students in Gr. 3 had a chance to hear Tony Ten Fingers, a Native American of the Oglala Sioux reservation in South Dakota, tell stories handed down to him from his ancestors. Ann Brandewie, mother of Cole Manaster and friend of Ten Fingers, recommended the Jan. visit, which was held in the Bucknall library.

Ten Fingers, also known as Charging Eagle, was a wonderful storyteller. When he was young, his grandfather had told Ten Fingers that the eagle was his brother and the eagle was his sister, so he told the Harker students he immediately felt comfortable on his first day of school on the reservation when he saw a gold eagle above the American flag in the classroom. He said that when the teacher told him that the eagle was not his brother or sister, he chose to believe what his grandfather had told him. After his presentation, many students remembered that the Harker mascot is an eagle and subsequently ended their thank you notes to him by saying, “Your brother” or “Your sister” instead of “Sincerely” and their name. We all hope that we can get Mr. Ten Fingers to come back to Harker each year to share his wonderful stories. —Reported by Howard Saltzman ■ Georgene Ferrera reported that Gr. 3 students attended a production of the classic, “The Little Prince,” at West Valley Community College Theater on Jan. 24. Prior to attending the production, the children had an opportunity to listen to passages from the book during language arts class.


bucknall “Once again, our children were amazingly well behaved during this hour and fifteen minute production,” Ferrera said. “We are always so proud of the wonderful example our children project when participating in off-campus activities and cultural events.”

by Gr. 3 parent, Jessica Kao (Andrew Lee). This marvelous occasion was divided into four major events. One of them was a room devoted to cultural and traditional Chinese artifacts and items that are handed down from one ancestor to the next. We also had an artist demonstrating the art of brush painting in the Chinese style, using black paint, and the students were given a chance to try their talent with this type of medium.

■ Gr. 1 students in Diane Chung’s and Cyndi Proctor’s classes had an amazing Chinese New Year celebration, reported Chung. Parents Wen Eng (Robert Eng) and Nelson Yu (Brendon Yu) told the children about Chinese New Year and everyone enjoyed a feast of Chinese food. Proctor explained that there were many wonder ful clothes, books and other items for the children to explore and also an incredible cardboard dragon as decoration painted by parent Carol Malone (Timothy Malone). Many thanks to parents Gia Audebert (Manon Audebert) and Ronlyn Goo (Robert Eng) who coordinated the event, and to all the parents who came and brought food, clothing, books, etc for the children to view!

Next, there was a room that enabled the students to make their own abacuses using colorful beads and toothpicks. They were taught how to use the abacus for mathematics and some of the history of this marvelous invention. Then, there was a room solely for the purpose of tasting traditional Chinese tidbits. There were also engaging explanations of the symbolic value of each food. Last, there was a room filled with music from drums that accompanied a lion dance. Each student was given the opportunity to dance

■ The 7th Annual Ogre Awards to be held in March! The annual Ogre Awards are a parody of Hollywood’s Academy Awards where our 2nd grade students pay tribute to their favorite fair y tale characters whose adventures are shared during library classes. The brainchild of Harker’s Library Director, Enid Davis, the students vote on their favorite characters, songs and stories each week and then present “Ogres” to the winning characters and stories in this hour-long special production, where all the children are dressed up as fairytale characters.

Ogre Awards Performance #1 Wed., March 26, 2:05 p.m. Performers: Ms. Hirata’s and Ms. Sudderth’s homerooms

■ On Feb. 4 Gr. 3 had the privilege of celebrating Chinese New Year. This wonder ful event was organized

All of these fabulous events were led by very accomplished and knowledgeable parents who were well versed in the subjects they were teaching. Special thanks to parents Angie Krackeler, Becky Pan, Brenda Chan, Catherine Wong, Debbie Neubieser, Frances Shen, Fu Lin, Grace Wang, Jane Sowards, Jessica Kao, Joan Wang, Joseph Krackeler, Judy Lu, Kim Pellissier, Mark Neubieser, Nelly Leong, Ronlyn Goo, Roopal Major, Ruth Chang, Savitha Sastry, Shawna Shu, Shiao-Yen Lin, William Leong and Yongqi Wang. The day was topped off with a wonder ful Chinese lunch for all the students made with the cooperation of Chef Steve. Overall, what a great day and the students came away with numerous fond memories. —Janice Snyder, Gr. 3 Language Arts Teacher and Event Coordinator

The students, aides, teachers and volunteers of the after-school art program recently created Denzel, the Harker Dragon, a spectacular 16 ft. Chinese dragon. The dragon represents prowess, nobility and fortune and it is considered an indispensable part of most Asian festivals, especially during Chinese New Year. Over a period of just two weeks, Amanda Kalb, Andreé Beals, Elizabeth Wyleczuk-Stern, Ketul Patel, Nina Mathur, Niva Bigler, Sandy Fung, Sarah Howells, Shelby Rorabaugh, Shivani Mitra, Sondra Costa, Stephanie Lu and Tianna Knight all helped make the dragon. The after-school art class is “awed by our own teamwork and creativity,” said afterschool art teacher Sylvia Beals.

This is a charming event, open to the entire Harker community. Come see who the winners are in categories such as “Best Performance by a Heroine” or “Best Performance by a Wolf!”

Ogre Awards Performance #2 Thurs., March 27, 2:05 p.m. Performers: Mr. Hamilton’s and Ms. Beil’s homerooms

with a lion mask to the beat of other students playing the drums. Of course, many students wanted to have several turns at this merrymaking.

After-School Art Program Creates Denzel

Mark Tantrum


She explained that the group made the hollow head from paper-mâché molded over a wire coat hanger frame to ensure the head weighed very little to keep his total weight low. The shiny teeth are a combination of thread cones, marbles and spray paint. Five layers of tissue paper and Modge Podge produced a flexible material for Denzel’s scales. Miss Gail, Kathy Ferretti and Beals hoisted Denzel into his place hanging above the Bucknall gym lobby where he will remain until the beginning of March. Go check it out!



■ Changes on the Playground!! The Bucknall campus has launched an exciting new program to enhance the playground experience, called SPLAT! Students Playing & Learning All-Together. Focusing on caring, teamwork and

respect, this new program was unveiled in a special presentation with all the students, faculty and staff at a recent assembly and was implemented Feb. 24. As part of the program, students will be encouraged to Share, Care and be Fair when conflicts arise during playground time, and they have been introduced to the Onedown...Three-up! policy which focuses on positive personal interactions. We hope these changes will re-introduce and reenforce some important concepts that will benefit our students on the playground and beyond!! Contact Lana Morrison in the Recreation Department if you have questions and watch for updates in future issues. ■ All students in Gr. 1 classes celebrated the 100th day of school during the month of February. Students were asked to bring in various sizes of plastic bags with 100 of something from home, so they brought in items such as M&Ms, coins, rubber bands, Cheerios, cotton balls, pennies, stickers, Lego blocks and marshmallows. The teachers parade the first graders through all the homerooms so they all get a chance to see the clever ideas all the students come up with for their bags of 100. The day also included math activities, stories and language arts projects that all focused on 100.

Bucknall students recently jumped for a great cause at the annual Jump Rope for Heart (JR4H) day. The event was held on Feb. 11 in the gym during P.E. class time, and students rotated through four stations throughout the day: short rope, long rope, group-jumping and break/snack area. The P.E. staff was unflagging, and the only thing missing was Pete Anderson, P.E. teacher and event organizer, who was serving jury duty that day. This special day was introduced to the students at an assembly in Jan. where Anderson introduced a demo team that showed students how to jump. A representative from the American Heart Association (AHA) spoke of the ways to reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke: exercising, eating healthy and not smoking. At that time, Anderson announced that as a reward for reaching the Harker goal of $20,375.75 + .01 (one cent more than last year’s goal), students would not only be given a special free dress day, but on that same day all the Bucknall teachers and administration would turn things around by dressing up in some aspect of the Harker uniform. Students got a taste of this through a fun faculty fashion show. We’re particularly proud of all the students who jumped, huffed and puffed to raise funds for this worthwhile cause. Funds were still being collected at press time, so watch for the results in the next newsletter! Contact Anderson at if you'd like to contribute!

All Jump photos by Mark Tantrum

Mark Tantrum

Bucknall Students Jump for a Great Cause

Catching the Bucknall spirit, KPIX reporter Bill Schechner jumps in.



Lower/Middle School LS/MS Sports Notes The A1 girls’ basketball team’s current record is 8 wins and 6 losses. They have played tough all season and all of their losses were close games. These included an exciting game against Castillero that went to overtime at the Harker 8th Grade Tournament.

• Basketball uniforms will be collected the week of March 3 -7. All uniforms must be turned in by March 7! • There will be no after-school sports practice on Mon., March 3 due to a coaches’ meeting.

The A1 boys’ basketball team’s current record is 5-9, and they won the consolation game at the St. Martin’s Tournament earlier this month. They placed 4th in the Harker tournament with Danny Miroyan getting all-tournament honors.

• First day of spring sports practices is Tues., Mar. 4: Gr. 4-6 boys’ baseball, Gr. 46 girls’ softball, Gr. 7 & 8 tennis and swimming, Gr. 7 & 8 boys’ volleyball and Gr. 7 & 8 boys’ and girls’ soccer.

The B1 boys, currently 5-7, took the Consolation Championship game of the St. Martin’s Tournament.

Upper School The winter sports are fast concluding a season of exciting action.

Mark Tantrum

Boys’ basketball currently sports a record of 19 wins and 6 losses as they prepare for their third straight CCS playoff appearance, a record shared with girls’ volleyball. The Eagles finished in second place in the nine-team Private School Athletic League (PSAL), the highest finish in three seasons of varsity competition. The team finished the home season by honoring six senior student athletes who have been so instrumental to the program’s rise. Deepak Kamaraj, Felix Lee, Jonathan Louie, Ryan Grauman, Brian Chow and David

first ever league soccer tournament game! The Eagles have been led by Sara Laymoun, Jenn Jenqs and injured stopper Shabnam Aggarwal. The team finished the season strong winning six of their final eight games. Losing only three seniors, Coach Tia Barth and Asst. Coach Evan Barth should be proud of the continued improvement of the team throughout the season. Facing several injuries, the team withstood many obstacles to finish with a final record of 11-9. This the first winning season at the varsity level for the soccer program. Coach John Near’s girls’ basketball team continued to age coaches, fans, and parents alike with their amazing ability to play close and exciting games this season! The team lost five league games by a combined total of 13 points. They won some thrillers as well, with the victory over Woodside Priory coming on Jessica’s Liu’s three point shot at the buzzer to send the game into overtime, where the Eagles prevailed. Speaking of Jessica Liu and three pointers, the junior guard knocked down a school record five of them in the team’s most recent victory, a convincing 56-39 shellacking of league rival Notre Dame San Jose. Neha Rahan chipped in 22 points while dominating in the paint. The team honored their senior players at a recent game as well. Neha Rahan, who will leave as the school’s career

The C1 boys are currently 6-1, with their only loss by one point against Hillbrook. The team had convincing wins against Carden, Valley Christian, Almaden Country and Kings Academy. They took home the first place trophy at the Harker Tournament and continue to light up the court. The C1 girls ended their season playing in the Harker Tournament and placing 3rd. They had an overall record of 3-4, with wins against Carden, Kings Academy and Queen of Apostles. Congratulations to all the girls for working so very hard all season.


Chris Daren

The B1 girls, currently 7-2, took the Consolation Championship at the St. Christopher’s 8th grade tournament. Taylor Alexander received all-tournament honors. The team continues to show great improvement and success, congratulations!

Hsu were presented with framed replica jerseys by Coach Brewer in front of an adoring and appreciative crowd. The seniors reflected briefly on their memories and the highlights of their Harker basketball careers, and the night served as a true example of the value of the high school athletic experience. Girls’ soccer completely dominated Mercy San Francisco 4-1 in the West Bay Athletic Leagues’ (WBAL)

leader in points and rebounds, was joined at senior night by Vaishali Bhardwaj, Christiana Rattazzi, Tiffany Yun and Alexandra Stanek. All of these girls have been involved with the program for either three or four years. The team will enter the WBAL post season tournament looking to upset some teams and vie for the league’s second automatic berth to the CCS playoffs. If the team wins the

league tournament, it would advance to the Division 4 playoffs. Wrestling wrapped up their league season looking to finish the league with a 5-1 record, finishing second in league. Their final regular season match saw the Eagles defeat Gunn High School 46-23. Led by Charles and Daniel Hung, several Eagle grapplers gained pins or decision victories. John Ollila, Andrew Chang and Kevin Hwang all came out victorious. Eagle grappler Solomon Awe had the most exciting match of the evening with a spirited 13-11 come from behind victory

Chris Daren


over his opponent. The appreciative crowd roared with each lead change throughout the match. Excellent efforts against topnotch opponents were turned in by Brendan Boland, Nick Klute, Matt Vucurevich and Mathias Belaynah. Numerous wrestlers earned medals at many tournaments throughout the season. Four-year wrestler and twotime CCS qualifier Charles Hung will be sorely missed, as will fellow seniors Kevin Hwang and Brendan Boland. With many returning underclassmen, the team will again look to challenge for the SCVAL De Anza division title next season. Coach Karriem’s team has worked very hard, enduring many early (very early) weekend tournaments and matches, and they are to be commended for their level of commitment to the program. As these winter sports conclude their seasons, seven spring sports begin: baseball, softball, swimming, golf, tennis, track and field and volleyball. Watch for more on these teams as a new season gets underway. —Jack Bither, US Athletic Director

■ Leadership Update Each MS student council member is required to do at least one leadership project for the year, and at a recent morning meeting the student council presented the numerous projects that the students have worked together to accomplish this school year. Flag Guard: a group of students rotate raising and lowering the flag every morning and afternoon. MS Talent Show: all worked together to present the recent annual show. “Sports Wrap”: a sports report for each grade level was shared at the weekly morning meeting.

Mark Tantrum

Food Ideas: working with Deanna Barnett, head of academic counseling, and Chef Steve Martin, a group of students made suggestions and recommendations to improve and enliven their food choices, including the new “squeezy” ketchup bottles on the lunch table, salt and pepper shakers, increased amount of ice cream sandwiches, dippin’ dots, etc.

Friendship Garden: working with Barnett, the students submitted plans to President Howard Nichols, which were approved, to work in coordination with the Gardening Club to spruce up the garden. Bulletin Board: photos were posted on the Shah Hall bulletin board of student life with the help of Harker Photo Intern Mark Tantrum. Community Service: working with Jennifer Gargano, MS division head, students organized the homeroom activity for Sobrato Living Center and accompanied Gargano to deliver the gifts. They also organized a Second Harvest Food Drive.

Student Council Sweatshirts: designs were created for the annual sweatshirts, which were delivered to student council members in Dec. Above and Beyond: activities were led in this new program, which attempts to reward students for good behavior and deeds. When teachers see students do good deeds, they send a note with what the student did, and the student council members bring all of the names collected every other week to morning meeting and raffle off snack bar coupons and free dress passes.

Terry Walsh

Middle School


Candy Grams: were sold during the week before Valentines Day. Elyse Trinh, president, announced that upcoming leadership projects include a Lip Sync contest, spirit week and a group meeting with Chris Yamashita, recreation director, to discuss play areas, ball use and after-school activities. These student leaders should be proud of the impressive amount of work they have accomplished this year. Congratulations to all. We look forward to continued leadership in the months and years ahead. The MS members of this year student council are Elyse Trinh, president; Matt Wong, vice president; Elyse Kim, secretary; Adam Creasman, treasurer; Simren Kohli, corresponding secretary; Peter McCarthy, senator at large; and Danyal Kothari, senator at large. Homeroom presidents are Aneesha Nilakantan, Todd Lavine, Melissa Chen, Tonia Sun, Raven Reddy, Varun Sivaram, Harry Tseng, Adnan Haque, Victoria Phan, Brandon Kaneyuki, David Kuo, Jennifer Scharre, Shilpa Rajgopal, Rupan Bose, Alex Boberg and Rohan Narayen. ■ Talent Show The MS recently held its annual Talent Show, which was mc’d by students Simren Kohli, Adnan Haque and Shilpa Rajgopal and assisted by faculty advisor Vandana Kadam. This year’s show included Kenric Tam and Joshua Wang playing the piano, Nina Vyedina singing and Brittany Schieron telling a story. One of the highlights was the 8th grade student skit where students portrayed their 8th grade teachers

This year's MS Student Council sweatshirt is modeled by a few council members. as 3rd grade students. “As you can imagine, it was hilarious,” laughed Jennifer Gargano, middle school division head. “I was amazed at how perceptive the students were regarding the teacher’s personalities and how they were able to then put these personalities into little 3rd graders. I was also impressed the way they could put together an extremely humorous skit, while being very appropriate and respectful to the teachers at the same time.” The script was written by student body president Elyse Trinh and starred students Vicky Phan, Siohban Stevenson, Kathyrn Cooper, Molly Newman, Scott Strutner, Aseem Shukla, Julia Havard, Dylan Syrett, Andrea Wang, Natasha Sarin, Debanshi Bheda, Anne Giomi, Aneesha Nilakantan, Allison Wong, Elyse Trinh, Adam Creasman and Ayse Celebiouglu.

The faculty carried on the tradition of portraying students in a skit written by John Buckley with the help of Julie Pinzas and Monica MacKinnon. The teachers played students who went to Hawashington (combination of Washington and Hawaii), and the skit contained a compilation of all of the generic profiles of students—slackers, over-packers, students who litter or don’t pay attention to directions, etc. The skit starred teachers Stacie Newman, Lorna Claerbout, Mark Gelineau, Margaret McGovern, Monica MacKinnon, Carol Parris, Jacob Hazard, Laura Rae, Julie Pinzas, Vandana Kadam, John Buckley and Jennifer Gargano. Many thanks to our spirited MS for this entertaining annual event— nice job, all!

Attention All MS students Are you a budding artist? Have lots of school spirit? Want to leave your mark here at Harker for eternity? If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, then you are a perfect candidate for the Harker Eagle Art Contest! Every year a new Harker Eagle is hung in the Saratoga gym on the scoreboard, and winning eagles from past years line the wall of the gym.

Chris Daren


Mackenzie Schwartz If you’re interested in entering the contest, which displays last year’s is for MS students only, submit a pencil or winning design. colored pencil drawing of your eagle to MS art teacher Margaret McGovern by Fri., March 14. If your image is chosen, the art department will provide you with the materials and you will reproduce your winning design on masonite board with acrylic paint, which will then be hung in the gym. Don’t delay – start creating! —Margaret McGovern, MS Art Teacher


Upper School ■ US teachers Gary Blickenstaff and Anita Chetty ventured out with the US Biology Club on Super Bowl Sunday to view the tide pools at Natural Bridges State Beach. “It was a textbook day—weather was fabulous, the tide was low and the kids were amazed,” remarked Chetty. Students observed crabs of all sizes (one with eggs), bioluminescent sea anemones, tubeworms, various starfish, sea urchins, small fish, shrimp and even a sponge that neither teacher had ever seen before. Surbhi Sarna, Swasti Sarna, Jessica Wu, Justin Wu, Alex Tearse-Doyle, Maya Hey, Amit Mukherjee, Anthony Fu, Samantha Levinson, Simon Linder and Gr. 8 student Andrew Hospodor joined the teachers for the day. “Nature’s display left me breathless and thankful that I moved here,” said Chetty.

saratoga round mathematics competition for high school students in which students are to answer six math problem-solving questions in each round. To date, the following students are the top performers in the competition: Ozan Demirlioglu, Felix Lee, Gr. 12, Justin Wu, Karthik Kailash, Gr. 11, Mason Liang, Gr. 10, Yi Sun and Sarada Pyda,Gr. 11. Congratulations to our freshman Yi Sun for his impressive overall win, and to all of our participants for their outstanding performances. We’re very proud of you! For results to date in the CML contest, visit reports/2002_03/CA3.HTM

Chris Daren

■ Robbie Korin, US chemistry teacher, repor ted that a Harker team recently participated in the Department of Energy’s Livermore Bay Area Regional Science competition. Fourteen teams competed and were split in half for a round robin tournament, with the ■ Harker Freshman Tops Santa top two teams from each round Clara Math Contest—Harker Still robin playing off in double #1! On Sat., Nov. 9, 238 students elimination to determine the from 24 schools participated in winner. Harker had four wins and the Santa Clara University High two losses, narrowly missing School Mathematics Contest. advancing to the afternoon round Students were given nine by a bonus mathematics question. “I problems and have been three of our taking kids to students, Ozan this for thirteen Demirlioglu, Gr. years,” said 11, Jerry Hong, Korin. “Except Gr. 10, and Yi for one team I Sun, Gr. 9, had had in perfect scores. Montana, this To determine is the first time the overall I felt we were ranking of as good as any students, team there and judges asked could have won students to the whole Current freshmen selected their present a proof coursework for next year at the recent thing.” Korin to one of the Gr. 10 Course Sign Up Night. added that with difficult one win and problems. The overall winner this one loss against Monta Vista, a year, which is usually reserved for “traditional powerhouse,” the seniors, was Yi Sun. Ozan students performed very well and Demirlioglu received 2nd place were well-rounded in all subject among junior entrants, and Jerry areas. “Considering I took one Hong received the Honorable freshman and two sophomores, Mention Award. Justin Wu, Gr. 10, things look very good for the next and Charles Hung, Gr. 12, were couple of years,” he added. also among the top achievers in Congratulations to the following the competition. team members for their outstandAfter round three of the California ing efforts: Mason Liang, Gr. 10, Mathematics League (CML), the Lev Pisarsky, Gr.10, Yi Sun, Gr. 9, Harker School is again ranked Andrew Zhang, Gr. 12, and Anjali number one, together with Vaidya, alt., Gr. 11. Team member Lynbrook High School. CML is a 6Felix Lee was unable to attend.


Chris Daren


The 3rd annual ski trip drew a small but very fun group. From skiing to swimming to enjoying a great dinner at the Hard Rock Cafe, it was a great two days of fun in the beautiful Tahoe area. ■ Debate Update Seven varsity debate teams representing some of the nation’s most outstanding high school debate programs were invited to participate in the Justin Grant Wilson Debates at Pace Academy in Atlanta, Georgia, on Jan. 22 and 23. Harker was invited to compete and Alex Iftimie earned a fifthplace speaker award at the two-day tournament. The Harker Debate Team reached another milestone through the collective successes of Alan Liu/ Liang Dong (Class of ’02) as well as Catherine Kim/Alex Iftimie. Harker earned the honor of being designated a “Chair School” in the Barkley Forum for High Schools at Emory University. Harker debaters achieved this honor in the shortest number of years (two) through a demonstration of better-thanaverage performances in 2001 and 2002. Harker will receive a perpetual plaque next year at the 2004 Barkley Forum. In 2003, after six preliminary rounds of competition, Alex and Cathy advanced to the round of 32 teams from an original pool of 154 teams before losing to Cathedral Prep on a 2-1 decision. Also, congratulations to those who participated in the Stanford National High School Speech and Debate Tournament in Feb. Over 1,000 students from 105 high schools representing 22 states competed in various forensic events. Harker students distinguished themselves by earning the following awards:

VARSITY POLICY DEBATE (112 teams) •2nd Place: Catherine Kim/Alex Iftimie •6th Speaker Award out of 224 debaters: Alex Iftimie •Octafinalists: Payom Pirahesh/ Ruchit Agrawal •Octafinalists: Joshua Zloof/Saahil Mehra •13th Speaker Award out of 224 debaters: Saahil Mehra JUNIOR VARSITY POLICY DEBATE (78 teams) •3rd Place: Raj Misra/Nilay Gandhi •20th Speaker Award out of 156 debaters: Raj Misra JUNIOR VARSITY LINCOLNDOUGLAS (103 contestants) •Octafinalist: Alex Hsu •4th Speaker Award out of 103 contestants: Nina Joshi •8th Speaker Award out of 103 contestants: Alex Hsu INDIVIDUAL EVENTS: •Humorous Interpretation: Semifinalist ( field of 12 out of 54) Pramodh Ramnath •Original Oratory: Finalist (field of 6 out of 67) Aruna Bharathi Special thanks to the parents who volunteered as judges for various events: Lena Khaydarov, Hamid Pirahesh, the Agrawals, Tom Hwang, Roxana Lampert, Yvonne Wu and Sunil Joshi. —Matt Brandstetter, Speech and Debate Advisor

■ “Tork,” the Robotic Team’s first entry in the national FIRST competition, which was reported in last month’s newsletter, was introduced to the US at a recent assembly. After a brief animated laptop presentation by the team, Tork made a grand entrance to the delight of the entire student body.

Segal, Yuko Malek (Parent Coordinator), and Jaiom Sambyal Faculty advisors and helpers: Rand Harrington and Robb Cutler ■ On Feb. 11, 39 freshmen in John Heyes's English I classes visited the National Steinbeck Center in Salinas. Accompanying them were three parent chaperones: Jeannine Hammersley, Heather Blair and David Laws.

Tork was packaged up and sent in on Feb. 18, the competition deadline. The team will reunite with

Chris Daren

At the Center, students participated in a treasure hunt designed to help them acquire specific information about the Salinas-born writer, who received the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1962. Students examined several displays, including images of the Salinas Valley and its people; original manuscripts typed by Steinbeck's first wife, Carol; and photographs and artifacts pertaining to the Great Depression.

their robot to compete at the regional competition to be held Mar. 6 and 7 in Sacramento. (The date for this event was erroneously reported last month as Mar. 1 and 2).

On the group's return to Harker, the bus stopped outside the Steinbeck House, now a favorite restaurant among visitors to the Center. "Students enjoyed a close-up view of the house in which Steinbeck was born and raised," said Heyes.

Congratulations to our Robotics Team members for their hard work, and good luck at the competition! ROBOTICS FIRST PROJECT: Tork, the robot; Alan Malek, president/head of drive train group; Alex Segal, vp/head of programming and electronics group; Albert Wu, head of design and PR group; Pia Pal, mechanical team member and club secretary; Greg Perkins, finance/head of 3D rendering and animation group; Vivek Saraswat, purchasing and inventory; Adrik McIIroy, strategy and design group

■ Speech and debate teacher Jennifer Fields repor ted that a group of our students recently

Jenny Fields

Team members: Matt Jones, Houston Hoffman, Greg Finklestein, David Yao, Ananda Bose, Vijay Umpathy, Joel Wright, Jonathan Chien, Irina Khaimovich, Jonathan Chu, Ankur Gupta, Ethan Karpel, Akash Shah, Misha Nasledov, Shaun Mohan, Amira Valliani, Rashmi Sanbhadti and Josh Kwan Parent mentors and helpers: Vaidhu Nathan, Allan Wright, Hansen Yao, Diane Reese, Marina

saratoga participated in the annual Mock Trial Competition at the Santa Clara Superior Courthouse. The event, which took place over the course of four evenings, was “fairly intense,” Fields said, adding that the students have been working since Oct. to prepare for this year’s mock murder trial. “We did not break to the quarter final rounds,” Field said. “But the kids put up a good fight. It’s a treat to see them working in a very real life situation, and they did great!” Congratulations to our Mock Trial participants for your great effort! Prosecution: Cathy Kim, VJ Chetty, Ilana Eydus, Alex Iftimie, Pranab Barman, Aruna Bharathi, Mina Lee, Kamilla Khaydarov and Shikha Mittal. Defense: Payom Pirahesh, Alex Iftimie, Pranab Barman, Tiffany Day, Atin Agarwal, Lekha Challa, Meghana Dhar, Amulya Mandava and Nandini Datta.

HS Advanced: Anita Mazloom, Ivan Osokine, Jennifer Shangkuan SECOND PLACE RIBBON TEAMS: MS 1: Aarathi Minisandram, Kritika Kailash, Shibani Mehta, Eugenia Sorotokin HS 1: Jayasree Sundaram, Boris Kheyn-Kheyfets. Kris Osterloh (Miramonte) HS 2: Shaun Mohan, Richard Kwant, Michael Kim, Jackson Davis HS Advanced: Allison Kwong, Vivek Bansal MOST VALUABLE PLAYER AWARD: MS1: Ankur Sharma (1st), Niyanth Anand (2nd) HS1: Jayasree Sundaram (2nd) HS2: Michael Kim, Richard Kwant (3rd tie) HS Advanced: Allison Kwong (1st), Anita Mazloom (2nd), Ivan Osokine (3rd)

■ On Feb. 2 our Junior Classical League sponsored its 3rd Annual Harker Certamen. “Certamen is essentially Latin Quiz Bowl,” explained JCL The US fencing class began last month as a P.E. option. advisor and US Latin teacher, Hawley added that Harker’s Upper John Hawley. “Each team of four Level students, three of whom did players competes, usually against two or sometimes three other not compete in this contest, are teams at a time. The questions are essentially the best in California drawn from areas such as Latin and came in 5th last summer at Grammar, Latin Derivatives, Roman the National JCL Convention in Histor y, Proverbs and AbbreviaKentucky. tions.” Hawley said that of the 17 ■ The class competition is really ribbons awarded to teams, Harker’s heating up! As of Feb. 3rd the MS and US students garnered Class of 2003 is in first place with seven in a field that included 19703 pts., the Class of 2006 is students from Sacred Heart, St. in 2nd place with 17288 pts., the Ignatius, The Academy (Berkeley) Class of 2005 is in 3rd with 14755 and Crossroads (Santa Monica). pts. and the Class of 2006 is in Congratulations to these Harker 4th with 12990. teams who won ribbons this year! FIRST PLACE RIBBON TEAMS: MS 1: Ankur Sharma, Niyanth Anand, Ruchi Srivastava, Joey Shapiro HS 1: Christopher Keller (former student), Jonny Jenq, Young Byun, Diane Strutner

The recent Balloon Stomp spirit activity was a huge success with over 90 participants. The Seniors and the Juniors each won a lunch period. Congratulations, all! —Chris Daren, US Activities Coordinator and Yearbook Advisor


Mark Tantrum



saratoga Black History Month Observed at Harker

US Students Visit Stanford Medical Lab

Mark Tantrum

Feb. was Black History Month, and celebrations on the Saratoga campus included a bulletin board display, a taste of “soul food” created by the Harker kitchen staff and a special assembly speaker.

Prior to the trip, which required parental consent, the seniors learned how the cadavers are acquired by the medical school and what happens to them after they have been studied. Dr. Larry Mathers, M.D., Ph.D. and the director of the anatomy program at the Stanford Medical School, explained that acquiring human bodies is not a problem for Stanford University as there are hundreds of people on the waiting list. When the Harker group arrived in the Stanford lab, the cadavers were fully dissected. Chetty said that the students immediately focused on the structures and seemed fascinated by their


complexity and how similar the human body is to other animals. Mathers, who is also a pediatric specialist, said that only two high schools have visited his lab in the last 20 years. “Anatomy departments around the country, to my knowledge, do this sort of thing only occasionally,” he said. During the visit Dr. Mathers commented that the Harker students, “...know a lot more than the majority of (beginning) first year medical students.” The students commented on the value of the experience, and shared some of their thoughts. “Seeing the cadavers was one of the best learning experiences of my scholastic career,” said Paul Hardy. “It was a great experience—especially for those of us thinking about going into the medical field,” said Claudia Ruegg, adding that having this opportunity while still in high school was particularly valuable. Shilpa Thakur agreed. “An unforgettable first-hand experience. Truly remarkable. Emotionally moving and although we had no way to prepare for the experience, Dr. Mathers made the experience a comfortable and memorable one.” “Harker students have an insatiable curiosity and love a challenge,” said Chetty. “Viewing cadavers is difficult for some of them; yet, they want to push themselves so as to never miss a unique opportunity or limit themselves.” Many thanks to Dr. Mathers and Chetty for making this invaluable learning opportunity possible for our students.



Charitha Reddy ’03 Since she was a child, Charitha has wanted to be a pediatrician, citing her affinity for young children and her intense interest in biology, particularly human anatomy and physiology. “I couldn’t remember a time when I did NOT want to be a doctor,” she said.

Chris Daren

On Feb. 5 seniors from US teacher Anita Chetty’s Human Anatomy & Physiology class, accompanied by Dr. Gary Blickenstaff of the Biology dept., had the rare opportunity to examine dissected cadavers at the Stanford Medical School. Chetty, who also was able to arrange this trip for students last year, explained this unusual activity: “This field trip is a culmination of our study of human muscle and skeletal anatomy. In order to understand the relationship between muscle groups and bone, the students dissected a cat, which has many of the major muscle groups that we have. However, a quadrapedal animal differs greatly from the human animal. I believe it’s very important for students to learn by experience. Looking at pictures or movies is just not the same as seeing the real thing.”

The bulletin board, which spotlighted the contributions of important African Americans, was created by students Kevin Park, Angela Pullen, Mariah Bush, Cathleen Chuang, Elizabeth Yuan, Irene Chan and Rubina Chuang and staff member Karriem Stinson. Tenisha Armstrong, the assistant editor of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Papers Project at Stanford University, spoke at an US assembly about the relevance of Dr. King’s work in our lives today. To learn more about the King Paper’s project, check out Special thanks to Angela Pullen and her mother, Remi Ogunlana, for arranging to have Armstrong speak, and, of course, many thanks to Ms. Armstrong for taking time out of her busy schedule to share her insights with our students.

Then she spent some time at a Veteran’s Affair’s Hospital doing an internship in the autopsy lab this past summer. “I think that experience was one of the very few in which I questioned my decision to become a doctor. It was a ver y hands-on experience, an activity that took a long time getting used to.” To balance out her summer, Charitha, who is also an accomplished player on the Harker tennis team, worked as a tennis instructor and cashier at a nearby tennis center. Toward the end of the summer, she also traveled to India to volunteer at a center for mentally handicapped children. “I had an amazing time. Working with speech and motor-challenged children who spoke various languages taught me many things about my own lifestyle.” Though Charitha still has a passion for medicine, she is keeping her options open. “I’m not sure I want to spend the next 15 years only doing biology and chemistry. At this point, I’m leaning towards something in the humanities; psychology or anthropology,” she said. Charitha acknowledged that it’s natural for many seniors to not know yet what they want to do in college. “Before applying for a major that you think sounds interesting, first explore areas you find of interest,” she advises. “While going through the college process, realize your own likes and dislikes and incorporate those into your college list. Visit the actual campuses, see the areas around the university, research the size, their best majors and other relevant information. Summers are times for exploration; make the most of them!” Many thanks to Charitha for agreeing to share her thoughts with us in this month’s Senior Showcase. Good luck to Charitha, and all of our graduating seniors, in their exciting college years ahead!



Seventeen Weeks to Reach 100% Participation—We Can Do It! We’re thrilled to announce that the $30,000 Matching Challenge Grant contributed by a gracious Harker family has been successfully matched 200%! The grant matched dollar-for-dollar gifts received from new Harker families and returning families who did not participate in the 2001-2002

Annual Giving Campaign. Sincere thanks to the Harker family who provided us with this wonderful opportunity, and a very special thank you to the families who participated in this challenge. You can also support Harker through the FREE programs offered by Albertsons Community Partners Card, eScrip and Schoolpop. There are no enrollment fees, and a percentage of what you spend in these programs goes to Harker as a donation. For more information, please contact Amalia Keyashian, director of annual giving at

Coming this spring… Grade 12 campaign results!

Thanks to your tremendous support, we are currently at 61% of our overall campaign goal! We are incredibly grateful to those families who have increased the parent participation percentage and to all faculty, staff, trustees, alumni, grandparents and friends who have also made a difference.

Special Promotion: We are inviting all families to register with eScrip so we can reach 100% participation

in that program and generate a substantial amount of extra funds for our students. Complete the enclosed registration form today and return it to your student’s homeroom or to the Advancement Office at the Saratoga campus. The top three grade levels with the greatest participation by the end of April will be rewarded with exciting prizes—watch for more details to come. Your generosity and participation continue to support outstanding student programs. Thanks for all you do! — Bran-Dee Torres, Donor Relations Manager,

Heartfelt Thanks!

Groundhog Reminder—Dig Up Dollars!

■ Harker’s youngest donor ever, Katharine Cutler, chats with Executive Director of Advancement, Joe Rosenthal, over cookies and milk in his office. Each child in Katharine’s family sends an annual donation to the organization of his or her choice, and Katharine sent hers to The Harker School “because you have good teachers,” she said in her donation letter. Katharine, who is four years old, is the youngest child of Robb Cutler, US computer science teacher, and Heather Blair, US registrar. Though still too young to be a Harker student, she regularly attends Harker productions, recitals and sporting events. “I love Harker,” her letter said in closing. Many, many thanks, Katharine, for your generosity! And we love you, too!

DC Co-chairs Christine Davis (Groundhog 1) and Shyamoli Banerjee (Grounghog 2), who continue to be an inspiration to the Development Council members, had some fun at the Feb. meeting. They never cease to amaze us with their creativity, dedication and endless enthusiasm! Groundhog 1: I can see my shadow. How long before the end of the Annual Giving Campaign? Groundhog 2: 17 weeks. 17 weeks to raise $486,872.74 and get 100% parent participation. There are still 545 families who have not participated yet!

Mark Tantrum

Groundhog 1: Please dig up some dollars—your students are counting on you! Groundhog 2: If our groundhog outfits don’t do it, belly dancing is next. Do you want to take the chance?

The library collection is now a little more personalized thanks to the generosity of our donors. If you are interested in honoring someone you admire, please go to and click on the link to the book campaign. — Enid Davis, Library Director,

Mark Tantrum

■ On behalf of the librar y, I’d like to thank the community for launching the first Harker School Book Drive. So far 86 people have been honored with a book purchased in their name and personalized with a special bookplate honoring the donor and the recipient.



the archives

As the History Committee continues to sort through boxes, files and drawers of photos and memorabilia, we will share them with you. Here are this month’s finds! —The Harker History Committee Circa 1950 – PAMA Students enjoy a soda pop with Major Donald Nichols. A current Harker employee is also in this photo! Can you find Howard Nichols? The first one to email Terry Walsh ( with the answer wins a free stuffed miniHarker Eagle!



Many thanks to the Harker parents who recently participated in our online Parent Communication Survey. While you can provide feedback to us at any time, these annual surveys provide us with a regular opportunity to get your input. Here’s a recap of the feedback. ■ The Harker Newsletter: Thumbs Up From Our Parents An average of 96% respondents find The Harker News informative and interesting, and 94% of you read it either as soon as it arrives in the mail or within one week of its arrival. The majority of respondents (61.8%) enjoy the current frequency of the publication, with 15.8% requesting monthly, year-round publication, and 21.1% requesting quarterly. ■ Parent Home Page: A Useful Reference As for the Parent Home Page on our Web site, 88.5% of our respondents find this page useful, citing some favorites, such as school calendars, news & newsletters, postings of broadcast e-mails sent to parents, students schedules and events & reminders. We will continue to post valuable information on this site, while still using e-mails to communicate more late-breaking information. ■ Great Suggestions from Parents We had some great suggestions from the survey, and are already implementing some of them, such as posting the Bucknall Rec Calendar on the Parent Home Page.

Circa 1960 - Harker Day School - Students gather around the lunch tables.

Circa 1980 – This trio of current Harker staff members, Kelly Espinosa, Joe Rosenthal and John Near, have each been working at Harker for over 20 years.

▼ 1972 - Harker Academy - Students relax in the quad with former principal Alice Williams.

Another parent expressed concern that our various calendars are not always consistent. This is an area that is of paramount importance to us, and we truly do apologize for those times when some activity calendar may not agree with what is on the division calendar. The division calendars on the web are considered the master calendars and are updated regularly. Some departments also have calendars with more detailed information about very specific programs (sports, debate, performing arts, etc.). Rest assured that we do work together regularly to minimize conflicts and discrepancies and will continue to do. We know our families are very busy, and many have to juggle the schedules of numerous children. However, if you find any conflicts or have any questions or dates you wish to clarify, please contact Terry Walsh at (her link also appears at the bottom of each division web calendar) or call her at 408.345.2205. Again, thank you to those who participated in the Parent Communications survey. The information and feedback we receive from these quick and easy surveys give us valuable information that helps us continue to meet the needs of our families. Watch for more surveys in the months ahead! Also, many thanks to our new parents who recently participated in a survey designed specifically for them. Your positive input and great suggestions are already helping us fine- tune our programs to ensure a smooth entry for our valued new families. Pam Dickinson, Director, Office of Communications

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 March Harker News  

2003 March Harker News