Page 1

MAY 2004 (VOL. 10, NO. 8)



est. 1893 • K-12 college prep




eCybermission contest, winning them each a $2,000 savings bond and a framed cer tificate of achievement.

S P E C I A L Alumni/Volunteer Edition

Annual Volunteer Thanks ... 20

Terry Walsh

Special Alumni Update ...... 27

In writing, fourth grader (pg. 9) makes top ten in state, sophomore wins national award ................................... pg. 16


7th Grade Team Tops in Region with Antitheft Device


Five Harker teams qualify for FPS state finals .............. pg. 7


A Harker team of 7th graders and their Auto Antitheft device project recently placed 1st in the Southwest/Pacific Region of the annual

Visiting engineers share knowledge with students ..................................... pg. 6

Students Sean Mandell, Andrew Chin, Ryan Tam and Kevin Hou have worked as a team since September designing a gadget that uses fingerprint and retinal scanner technology. The contest, sponsored by the U. S. Army, uses four criteria

to grade projects, which this year totaled 833 nationwide: Science, Math and Technology; Innovation, Originality and Creativity; Benefit to the Community; Team Collaboration and Communication. The Harker team received the highest grade – and earned their award – for the Science, Math, and Technology criteria. “This is an excellent criteria to win since it shows how our students can apply the sciences that they learn to creative problemsolving,” said MS science teacher Raji Swaminathan. “The Army officer who called me regarding the award was ver y appreciative of Harker’s commitment to the study of science, math, and technology,” she added. For more information go to

Thumbs Up for Smack Down

hot tix Lee Trotter

Lee Trotter

Schoolhouse Rock, Live!

Quach beat out a favorite, John Tepperman, Gr. 12, to win the first round and forced Hailey Lam, Gr. 10, to take second place in the finals with game scores of 7-0 and 11-7. Third and fourth place in the singles’ tournament went to Ilya Arbatman, Gr. 11, and Neil Bhalerao, Gr. 12, respectively. The Mehta/Micek combination triumphed over Lucas Motro, Gr. 9, and math teacher Evan Barth in

BKN Dance Concert

Fri. and Sat., May 28 and 29 7 p.m., BKN Gym Details - pg. 10

US rec activities got a bit more interesting the last few days before spring break as a pingpong tournament dubbed “The Smack Down” took place during US lunches and breaks. Four rounds of play concluded with Alan Quach, Gr. 9, winning the singles’ division and Nayan Mehta, Gr. 12, and computer science teacher Mark Micek taking the title in the doubles’ division. Nick Gassman

Fri. and Sat., May 14 and 15 7:30 p.m., STG Gym Details - pg. 12

the third game 12-10. Third place in the doubles’ bracket went to Nima Taheri, Gr. 11, and math teacher Le Nguyen. The final match of freshman Lucas Motro and teacher Evan Barth vs. senior Nayan Mehta and teacher Mark Micek drew a standing room only crowd. Roars of “oohs” and “aahs” filled the crowd as the match swung from an 11-6 freshman lead in the first game to an 11-6 win for the senior team. “The final game brought the crowd to the edge of their seats as the players went into extra points, and the senior team ended the drama with a 12-10 victor y,” said Chris Yamashita, rec director, who organized the tournament and added that it will now be an annual event.



volunteer needs Wed., May 19, 8 a.m. (after morning dropoff), BKN Gym Info meeting for volunteers interested in room parenting/ grade level coordinating for 2004-05. Here’s a chance to look ahead to next year and learn how enthusiastic volunteers can help support homeroom teachers and students in grades K - 8! With many thanks to the efforts of our Parent Volunteer Leadership Council and this year’s RPs and GLCs, we can offer lots of help and resources for next year with a new handbook that has been created as a reference and guide to these particular volunteer jobs. For more information, contact

may events

US Laptop Use at The Harker School

Important All-School Dates

Family Computer Night for US Families (Optional)

■ Mon., May 31, Memorial Day – No Classes ■ Thurs., June 3, Noon – Classes end Key holiday and vacation dates are now posted on the Parent Home Page for the 2004-05 school year, and a copy has been included in this mailing. Please note that next year President’s Week will be one week earlier than this year to accommodate numerous school schedules and events. ■ Fri., Apr. 30, 7 p.m., Le Petit Trianon, San Jose – The Conservatory Senior Showcase ■ Fri., April 30 - Sat., May 22 – US Art Show ■ Mon., May 3, 6:30-9 p.m., Faculty Dining Room, Manzanita Hall, STG Campus—Fashion Show 2005 Informational Meeting and Committee Sign-up. All welcome! RSVP to (see more info on pg. 3) ■ Tues., May 4 - Sat., May 22 – BKN Art Show ■ Wed. May 5 - Fri., May 7 – BKN Book Fair ■ Fri., May 7 – BKN Grandparents’ Day ■ Mon., May 10 - Sat., May 29 – MS Art Show ■ Fri., May 14 & Sat., May 15, 7:30 p.m., STG Gym – MS Musical “School House Rock” (see page 12)

gotta buy! Dads and grads would love some personalized Harker luggage tags!

■ Fri., May 28 & Sat., May 29, 7 p.m., BKN Gym – Bucknall Dance Concert (see page 10) ■ Sat., May 29, 2-4 p.m., BKN primary blacktop area – Summer Reading Book Exchange. All families invited to this flea market-style sale of gently-used summer reading books that appear on Harker’s summer reading lists, which will be sent home with students on Fri., May 28. Books must be in good condition (binding intact, no ripped or missing pages, no excessive highlighting or handwritten notations in margins, etc.). Mark books for sale with adhesive price tags before arriving, then bring a blanket or some sort of display surface (and some sunscreen and a refreshing soft drink!) and recycle your no longer needed books to other Harker families. All sales transactions are strictly between buyer and seller - CASH or CHECK only, made payable directly to the seller. Be sure to bring change for large bills! Harker is merely facilitating this as a service to our families and is not responsible for sales between private parties.

Order from the Harker bookstore today!

Key Senior Dates


■ Mon., May 17, 11:30 a.m., Edge Patio - Senior Moms’ Lunch (see this page)

Gr. 5 student and Destination Imagination team member for the Challenge Busters Connie Cheng was omitted from last month’s DI article. Her parents, Bessie Jiang and Chui-Sing Cheng, were also omitted from the list of parent coaches. Our sincerest apologies for this omission – congratulations to Connie and many thanks to her parents for their leadership!

■ Wed., May 19, 9:30 a.m. - 2:30 p.m. - Harker Alumni Association Senior Day

■ Fri., May 1 – Last day to buy brunch invitations for graduation! ■ Sun., May 16 - Tues., May 18 – Senior Trip, San Diego


■ Thurs., May 20, 6:30 - 7:30 p.m., The Quad – Baccalaureate ■ Fri., May 21, 9 a.m. - noon, Mountain Winery - Graduation ■ Sat., May 22, 10 a.m., Mountain Winery - Graduation Mark Your Calendars ■ Sat., July 10 & Sat., Aug. 2, 9 a.m to Noon, Shah Hall Field Used Book Exchange for MS and US families. Watch for details to come soon!

Wed., April 28, 2004 Presentations: 6:00 – 7:00 p.m. Drop-in Event: 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. Program will be reviewed and computer reps will be on hand. Beginning with the 2004-2005 academic year, all Harker US students will be expected to have and use a laptop for many of their academic needs. Curricula are being reviewed to assure that these tools are used fluently and well. Many families are comfortable selecting laptops and software on their own. These families can check the specifications at http:// in the Student Tech Help section to make sure that their students have a computer that will meet their learning needs, and that they have the software that is required. Check the February issue of our newsletter for instructions on how Harker community members can get discounted academic software at harker. For those families who would like to take advantage of the additional benefits of using a pre-configured, computer, we have made arrangements with Laptop Schools (an IBM reseller) and Apple Computer to offer a selection of laptops that will be available with some academic software pre-installed and extended warranties. These offerings will include the new IBM Thinkpad R51 – in at least two different configurations – and the Apple PowerBook. Further information will be available through mailings, the Harker Web site ( laptoppackage), and at the family computer night noted above. Representatives of the manufacturers will be available that evening to answer questions and Dan Hudkins, US director of instructional technology, will also give a presentation on laptop computing at Harker for the 2004-05 academic year. Software requirements, optional damage and theft insurance, etc. will also be described.

Harker News — May 04

HARKER Fashion Show ’05

Only One Month Left! Pledge by May 31!

Following up on this year’s sensational Lights, Camera, Passion, we’re ready to kick-off Fashion Show ’05! Informational Meeting and Committee Sign-up Monday, May 3, 6:30 pm – 9:00 pm: Faculty Dining Room, Manzanita Hall, STG Campus We’re eager to introduce you to the 2004-05 cochairs and share their exciting new plans for next year’s production. Your shared enthusiasm, energies, creativity and dedication will insure that next year’s Harker models will walk down the runway to ever-growing applause! We look forward to seeing all the passionate volunteers from Fashion Show ’04, and we warmly welcome new faces and fresh ideas for 2005. Please RSVP to JoeyT@ to assist us in planning the May 3rd meeting. I hope that many of you will join the fashion show co-chairs for this very important event for the Harker community.

Chris Daren

Annual Spring Piano Recital Sat., May 15, 5:30 p.m., Admission is free Westhope Presbyterian Church, 12850 Saratoga Ave.

After-school piano teacher, Lena Khaydarov, will be holding her annual spring recital of students, from beginner to the highest levels. Beginning performers are: Hunter Riedel (K), Grace Guam (K), Hiro Kozu (Gr. 1) and Amy Johnson (Gr. 3). Performers with a few years of experience are: Carmen Das-Grande (Gr. 5), Karan Das-Grande (Gr. 3), Vishesh Jain (Gr. 6), Ayesha Malik (Gr. 5), Akshay Ramachandran (Gr. 4), Randall Riedel (Gr. 3), Pooja Shah (Gr. 3), Zoe Woehrmann (Gr. 1), Joseph Wang (Gr. 3) and Noel Witcosky (Gr. 4). Advanced students who have studied piano for more than five years are: Jason Gutstein (Gr. 11), Joshua Wang (Gr. 8) and Deniz Ilgen (Gr. 7), and they will be performing works by Brahms, Chopin, and Khachaturian, who is “one of the most sophisticated Russian composers,” Khaydarov said. All are welcome to attend. “It would be great to see many of you at the concert, where you can see your friends and their children and support them,” she added.

Save the Date! 54rd Annual Family and Alumni Picnic “Picnic in Paradise” Sun., Oct. 17 from 10 a.m. - 4 p.m., Saratoga Campus Another great Harker tradition - and now part of the Homecoming weekend! Come and enjoy this wonder ful family event filled with food, fun, games and special activities for all! If you are interested in volunteering to help on this tropical day (think Hawaii, Bahamas and Florida!), please contact Lynette Stapleton at Watch for more information in the June Harker News. Harker News — May 04


60% 91% 9%

of our current families have made gifts or pledges so far. of $1 million in funds needed to support student programs this year has been received. is still needed to fund programs this year!

Our Students and Teachers Need Your Help Please Support Them by Making a Gift This Month! Thanks to those families who have already contributed to the campaign, we have funded about 91% of the programs this year that are supported by the Annual Giving campaign. However, the school year is coming to an end and we still need to raise the last 9% so the remaining programs planned for the rest of the year will be funded! For those parents who have yet to contribute to the campaign, parent volunteers will be contacting you, so please send your gift soon! You can also make a gift online at (click on “Make a Gift”) or call 408.345.0107.

Your Gifts Provide the Margin of Excellence! Your gift provides funds for student experiences, programs, resources, classroom enhancements and hands-on opportunities that tuition fees do not cover. All unrestricted gifts will be used for school-wide programs supporting all areas and students. When you choose to designate some or all of your gift to specific Eagle Club programs (Athletics, Ar ts, Library, Debate, Robotics or Scholarships), it will directly support the program you select. This year designated funds have provided our Athletics program with: ■ New uniforms for MS boys’ and girls’ volleyball, US girls’ volleyball, US girls’ golf and new road uniforms for US girls’ soccer ■ Four sets of soccer goal posts for Bucknall campus ■ Scoreboard for Saratoga campus ■ Softball pitching machine for MS/ US girls Your generous contributions continue to provide the “margin of excellence” for our students, which makes such a difference in our student programs and experiences. On behalf of every Harker student, thank you so very much! —Bran-Dee Torres, Donor Relations Manager,




Harker Salutes Development Council Members at Annual Fete

Chris Daren - all photos

Over 50 enthusiastic Development Council parent volunteers celebrated at the annual dinner. Students Shannon Tan, Jason Han and Whitney Huang honored the members with beautiful music throughout the evening, and Howard and Diana Nichols thanked ever yone for their devotion and commitment to raising funds for our students. We are grateful to all our DC members for volunteering their time and exper tise with our school!


the news

Since the last “In the News” report in the October 2003 edition of The Harker News, Harker programs, students and teachers have been noted 45 times in 17 different newspapers. Here are some highlights. Go Harker!

San Jose Mercury News Two students were featured in the weekly “Cool Kids” series: Thomas McMahon, Gr. 12 (Oct. 2) and Samantha Levinson, Gr. 11 (Feb. 5). In addition, Tara McFarland, kindergarten teacher, was featured in the weekly “Teacher of the Week” (Oct. 2). The successes of these other programs and individual students have also been noted: Harker’s unique presentation of “Hamlet” (Nov. 20); Bucknall students’ drawings and “thankful comments” (Nov. 27); Lights, Camera, Passion! was featured in Leigh Weimers’ “On the Town” column (Feb. 9); Gr. 8 students Erica Chang and Robert Oh were selected for a State Junior High Band (Feb. 19); Harker was included in an article regarding student Kleenex donations earning extra credit at some schools (Mar. 8); Harker’s Quiz Bowl team wins second place on “Quiz Kids” show (Apr. 1).

Silicon Valley Community Newspapers Junior Alan Malek was noted in the Los Gatos Weekly Times for his excellent performance on nine AP tests (Nov. 5); Thomas Holford, Gr. 10, was recognized for his Irish Dancing Championship in the Willow Glen and Almaden Residents (Mar. 11); Harker’s Quiz Bowl team wins second place on “Quiz Kids” show in Cupertino Courier and Campbell Reporter (Mar. 24), and in several of the March 25 editions, Harker’s CCS scholastic championships for four winter sports were noted.

San Jose Magazine • Six-page photo preview on Harker Fashion Show (Feb.) • All Star Sports feature about high school athletes that included Harker upper school students Vickie Duong and Matt Vucurevich; Howard


Nichols featured in monthly “Two Minute Drill” profiling local leaders; Harker was also included in an annual feature story on private schools (Mar.) • Post-event photo coverage of fashion show event (April) Note: San Jose Magazine regrets that there were some factual errors in the “Two Minute Drill” (we have 1,400 students, not 3,000) and their Private Schools story (our class size avgs. 8-22, not 30, depending on the grade). They will be running a correction.

Other Media Notes • Nov. 7 – San Jose Business Journal ranked Harker as the second largest private school in Silicon Valley in new annual Largest Private Schools list. • Mar – Berkeley Lab’s Web site and campus newsletter featured Harker’s win at the Regional Science Bowl. • Feb. / Mar. – South Bay Accent feature story on schools that included Harker information and photos, and interview with Howard and Diana Nichols. • Mar 24 – Los Altos Town Crier, Tara Chandra, Gr. 10, awarded a Gold Key Award in the 2004 Scholastic Writing Awards; Leah Moll, LS math teacher, received the Edyth May Sliffe Math award for her excellence in teaching (Mar. 25). Visit the Harker Web site for our ongoing press log of stories, links, etc. For more information, contact Pam Dickinson, director of the Office of Communications, at or 408.345.9273. Harker News — May 04

Grades 4-8

Upper School

The LS boys and girls have been playing softball and baseball over the last month. All of the teams have been practicing the fundamentals, as well as scrimmaging, and often the boys and girls have combined teams and played some exciting softball-baseball games. The students have been having a great time out in the spring weather on their field of dreams! At press time boys’ volleyball and girls’ flag football, the last LS sports of the year, were just starting.

As the spring sports season heads into the home stretch, four US teams are vying for Private School Athletic League (PSAL) championships. Boys’ volleyball, boys’ tennis, boys’ swimming and boys’ golf are either in first or second place at this point with plenty of action remaining.

The MS boys and girls are currently competing in soccer. The boys matches were held mostly in March, and the team is currently 24-1. The girls’ matches were held close to press time in April and an update on their record will be found in the next publication. Make a note that Soccer Awards will be held at 3:45 p.m. on April 30.

Ron Griggs

The MS swim team is about 20 strong, and the students are taking advantage of some great weather

to work on their strokes. They look forward to a swim meet at the end of the season. The MS boys’ volleyball team (looking great in their new uniforms, thanks to Annual Giving!) is looking forward to the next couple months of tournaments and matches. They attended the Mt. Madonna Tournament in mid-April and will attend the Harker Tournament at the beginning of May. The MS tennis team is all set for their MTP league schedule. It’s a very strong league with many good players, and our number one singles player, Eric Trinh, leads the Harker team. MS girls’ flag football, girls’ softball and boys baseball start May 3. — Theresa “Smitty” Smith, Gr. 4-8 Athletic Director Harker News — May 04

Leading the way is volleyball, currently sporting a 13 – 3 overall record and an 8 – 1 league record. The only loss came to Kings Academy, where the Eagles were missing two of their six starters, so they are looking forward to the second and third meeting with the Knights. Coach Jason Reid’s squad has beaten every other team in the league and most recently competed in the prestigious UC Davis Invitational Tournament. Led by seniors Michael Leonard, Vinnie Yen and A.J. Reid, the team is confident it can win the remainder of their league matches. Not to be outdone, the tennis team is currently undefeated in league play at 6-0 and is, of course, in first place. Always tough Pinewood and Sacred Heart Prep stand in the way of the team’s firstever league title. The Eagles will play both teams twice in the coming weeks, with the championship on the line. Coach Craig Pasqua has a young and talented team with four freshmen among the top players. Michael Keller, Rohan Narayen, Rahul Reddy and Harry Tseng are all making significant contributions. Out of the program’s top 15 players, only two will graduate, so the team looks good for several years to come. The boys’ swim team has won all three of their league matches and looks like a lock to finish atop the standings this season, also a first for the three year old boys’ swimming program. They have one more league meet and then the championship meet, which will determine the champion. Under the direction of Michael Schmidt, the team is buoyed by Michael Tang, Mason Liang and three-sport star Eric Gavarre.

Lee Trotter


The girls’ swim team is also having an outstanding season, currently in third place in the West Bay Athletic League. Coach Lis Dondero has a young and talented team that has won several meets this season. In fact, the 200-yard medley relay team recently qualified for CCS championships with a school record time of 2:03, which will allow them to return to the championships for the second year in a row. The relay team consists of Beth Low, Lynn Chang, her sister Tiffany Chang and senior leader Vivian Leung. The team has its largest number of participants in their four-year history and with the added depth has encountered more success this season.

state of the ar t facility. In fact, the head coach Gene Neeley even ran a clinic just for the Harker team last month, where the team received a great deal technique training.

The boys’ golf team is currently in second place after defeating Sacred Heart Prep and Pinewood recently. They will need some help if they hope to catch league leader Woodside Priory. Coach John Zetterquist is not only proud of his team’s play, but he also notes what outstanding young men they are.

As we near the summer season, look for information on our summer sports programs as well as information on fall sports to be sent home in a mailing in early June. See you at the games!

Baseball and softball are showing much progress in their hitting and defense as the season progresses. However, with pitching being such an integral part of the game, the Eagles have encountered some tough games. Teams need several pitchers in order to meet the demands of the season. The teams play enter taining ball and will continue to improve throughout the season.

—Jack Bither, US Athletic Director

Track and field will take on the WBAL’s and the PSAL’s best in upcoming meets. Pole vaulter and discus thrower John Ollila will lead the team. Coach Vonda Reid has been thrilled with the hard work put forth by the team this year. The team sends a great big thank you to the track program at San Jose City College, which has been most gracious and has allowed our team to practice and work out at their new

Steven Wong, parent





Angie Krackeler (Margaret Krackeler), gave the students in Stephanie Woolsey’s G+ and G++ math classes an exciting tour through the world of bridge building. Krackler gave the students a chance to make what they thought would be the best structural design when it came to building a bridge out of spaghetti and marshmallows. After the bridges were built each group tested how strong their structures were by suspending a sack of


Nick Gassman

Raji Swaminathan

Brian Galvin and David Skinner,

both from Lockheed Martin, visited science teacher Raji Swaminathan’s Gr. 7 science classes this year. “Galvin said he

classes,” said Swaminathan. Galvin and Skinner covered a variety of topics from how the aerospace industr y will be looking to fill thousands of engineering jobs in the next 10 years to how there is chemical evidence that suggests that the presence of water on Mars is now a reality. Students also learned about the risks of weightlessness and how in about 20 to 40 years astronauts will be landing on Mars. Both Galvin and Skinner look forward to returning next year to entertain and educate the students at Harker.

Raji Swaminathan

additional bonus from the Engineering Outreach Program when Tom Bowman, a professor in the mechanical engineering department at Stanford University, spent a day in their classroom. Bowman is part of Stanford’s Global Climate and Energy Project (GCEP) educational outreach, a 2-year-old program sponsored by four companies that are funding this $250 million project to be distributed over a period of 10 years. Bowman did a PowerPoint presentation entitled “Global Warming and Climate Change – Fact or Fancy?” using a Q and A format with two demonstrations. One demo involved the separation of white light into the visible spectrum using a prism, and the other demonstrated the greenhouse effect using a glass container and two thermistor temperature sensors. We extend our many thanks to all of these visiting engineers for bringing their expertise into our classrooms and sharing it in such meaningful ways with our students.

Nick Gassman

Enthusiasm and excitement roared as IBM engineer and Harker mom

IBM engineers, alumni Eric Butler ‘81 and parent Dianne Reese (Greg and Phillip Perkins) visited Harker teacher Pat Walsh’s Gr. 5 classes and brought with them extensive knowledge on how information is sent over land and wireless networks. Butler and Reese used volunteers from the classes to portray TCP packets in cyber space. “Student Aamir Patel helped the engineers simulate what happens behind the scenes when someone makes a Web query using a search engine,” said Walsh. They had the students simulate a shuttle conversation with Mission Control via a wireless broadcast. This is the second year that Butler and Reese have presented to Harker students and say they look forward to doing the same next year.

gets very excited about the time he gets to visit the Harker students, due to the preparedness of the students in the science

Nick Gassman

Harker students experienced a unique and entertaining introduction to the world of technical careers during the annual National Discover “E” Engineering Outreach Program during February and March. This is a favorite time of year for engineers from local corporations to visit classrooms and discuss careers in engineering with the students.

pennies from the center. All of the group members were on the edges of their seats as they added pennies one by one until their bridge broke. “I thought it was cool that just one piece of spaghetti could hold 34 pennies,” said Tiphaine Delepine, Gr. 3.

Nick Gassman

Nick Gassman

NATIONAL ENGINEERING MONTH: Visiting Engineers Share Knowledge with Students on Both Campuses

Swaminathan’s classes got an Harker News — May 04

FPS Teams Qualify for State Finals for Fifth Year

Harker’s five teams qualified at the regionals by each writing a 12page document in two hours, outlining ethical and technical solutions to a fictional crisis relating to the future dilemmas of merging human biology and computer science. “Our middle school teams will represent one fourth of the teams at state finals,” said Cyrus Merrill, MS history teacher and FPS coach. In addition, because Harker qualified so many teams to the state finals, FPS will reward the school by allowing Harker to invite a select few individuals from non-qualifying teams who are nominated by their coach and/or their team members to advance to compete as individuals at the state finals. The individual competitors are as follows: Gr. 6 - Namrata Anand; Gr. 7 - Chris Berglund, Sacchin Rangarajan and Ashwin Mathur; Gr. 10 - Sean Turner and Amira Valliani. The students spent many weekends at Harker training and practicing for the regionals, and they are now preparing for the state final topic of “Media Issues” through some tutoring by US teacher Brian Larsen, who teaches a class on the media in American society here at Harker. Congratulations to all of our par ticipants, and good luck at the state finals! Harker News — May 04

In late March, a total of 1,450 Bay Area K-12 students gathered at the Santa Clara Convention Center to compete in the 2004 Cal-State Scholastic Chess Tournament. The

Raji Swaminathan

Harker’s Future Problem Solving (FPS) teams are having another outstanding year with one LS team, three MS teams and one US team going on to compete in the state finals on April 24 in Burbank, CA. The teams qualifying are: Gr. 6 - Haran Sivakumar, Patricia Chang, Arjun Bhargava, and Ketul Patel. (Nathaniel Edwards contributed to the original Gr. 6 team but was not able to make the state event due to a pre-planned family trip); Gr. 7 - Ananya Anand, Anteneh Daniel, Thomas Wang, and Kunal Modi; Gr. 8 - Neha Deshmukh, Stephanie Benedict, Spencer Liang, and Thomas Roxlo; Gr. 8 - Rachel Peterson, Daphne Gorman, Kit Halvorsen, and Evan Sanders; Gr. 9 - Maya Ziv, Siobhan Stevenson, Julia Havard, and Ashley Morishige.

Harker Chess Club Students Shine at State Tourney

contestants, primarily from various schools’ chess clubs along with a few students who entered the tournament individually, gathered to play in what is considered one of the most exciting student chess tournaments held in the state. In the K-3 Primary School Division (KPSD) team competi-


tion, Harker finished 6th out of 32 teams. Jonathon Friedland, Gr. 1, did very well by finishing 5th in the K-3 Championship Division (K3CD). Harker’s team placed 3rd in a field of 23 teams, and Andrew Zhou tied for third in the individual K-6 Championship Divisional. Harker battled and tied for 2nd in the K-6 Championship Division, while other individual awards went to Daryl Neubieser and Arjun Mody who, although on the same team, both tied for 17th out of a bracket of 217 competitors and gave Harker the energy it needed to go into the later rounds. Also, Anthony Fandrianto tied for 1st by winning all six of the matches in which he played. Harker placed 4th in the Junior High Premier Section (JHPS) and 10th in the Junior High Championship

Section (JHCS). Raymond Paseman (pictured in dark sweater), Alex Fandrianto (also pictured), Sophie Gilman, Neelaysh Vukkadala, Nikhil Patel, Alex He and Jason Lau represented the JHPS, and Kevin Hwa and Aaron Lin represented the JHCS. “The combatants excelled in an elite class of chess masters and were able to show their strength in both sections of the tournament,” said Raji Swaminathan, MS science teacher and MS chess club advisor. Individual merits in JHPS went to Raymond Paseman for ranking 12th, Alex Fandrianto for ranking 13th and Kevin Hwa for ranking 19th. ”The 12th, 13th and 19th individual rankings were very tough to achieve since there were about 230 participants in each section,” Swaminathan added. The Harker MS Chess Club would like to thank Lev Pisarsky, Gr. 11, for all of his hard work and dedication to coaching these superb chess players throughout their successes this year.


■ Henry Cunningham, MS English teacher, had a four-page literary article accepted for publication by “Notes on Contemporary Literature.” Cunningham explained that the article, entitled “The Dickens Connection in Ishiguro’s When We Were Orphans,” argues that Kazuo Ishiguro’s latest novel “When We Were Orphans” borrows some elements from Charles Dickens’ “Great Expectations.” He said he received feedback on the piece from two journals and revised it substantially from 10 pages to four before finally placing it. “Perhaps the most beneficial thing about it all was that it reminded me what it’s like to be on the receiving end of criticism,” he commented. “As an English Teacher, I spend a lot of time doling criticism out but not much time taking it,” he laughed. “Notes on Contemporary Literature,” which publishes five times a

year with articles less than 800 words that deal with post-1940 works, is indexed by the Modern Language Association. ■ Richard Frazier, instrumental music teacher, joined the double bass section of the Santa Rosa Symphony Orchestra over spring break in a performance of Antonin Dvorak’s Symphony No. 9, From the New World. ■ Mark Vail, MS digital music teacher, published an article titled “Digital Music – Opening New Worlds” in the Winter 2004 edition of the CAIS faculty newsletter. ■ Judith Conant-Steinbach, US English teacher, received a letter of recognition from Stanford University in their Teacher Tribute Initiative program. Harker alumnus Rishi Mandal’s (’03) nomination was outlined in a letter where he stated: “Mrs. Conant-Steinbach was really

my first REAL English teacher. Up until our first class together (in 10th grade) I had no passion for reading or writing, or anything to do with literature. But in that 10th grade classroom I learned the wonder and depth of literature. I learned that I had much to learn and much to give.” Congratulations to Conant-Steinbach for this very special recognition. ■ Matt Brandstetter, Harker debate coach, recently received a first diamond in the National Forensic League’s national recognition program and will attend a special ceremony at the Lincoln Financial Group / NFL National Tournament in Salt Lake City, Utah in June to accept his award. See debate news on page 14, and our congratulations to Brandstetter!




2nd Graders Star in 8th Annual Ogres and Award Favorite Books The 8th annual Ogre Awards was another rousing success, and lots of classes, families, friends and Harker staff enjoyed this highly anticipated show. The annual Ogres, presented by Harker 2nd

graders, are a clever parody of the Academy Awards. Selected characters from fairy tales are given a quick mention of their part, as prompted by Enid Davis, library

Hartzel, US division head, as the conductor who led the 2nd graders in “The Dance of the Twelve Dancing Princesses.” Each year awards are given for Best Performance by a Trickster, Witch, Wolf, Unpleasant Character, Heroine and Fool, and the final, much anticipated, award each year goes to the Best Story. This year’s Best of Story winners, by homeroom teachers: Lisa Hirata and Anitra Sudderth - “The Two Old Women’s Bet;” James Hamilton and Judy Beil - “Tsarevich Ivan and Gray Wolf.” For the first time special Honorary Ogre Awards were presented to Brian Larsen for his support of the Ogres and his yearly portrayal of a giant, and to Hartzel for taking time from his busy day to appear as the conductor in this year’s show. Special thanks to the library department for presenting this fun and creative annual show!


Lee Trotter - all photos

director and writer and producer of the show, and the presenters, played by dancing princesses, announce the winners and hand out the Ogre Awards. Elementary division head Christy Vail once again delighted the crowd with a musical introduction singing “All These Tales” to begin this year’s awards. There was also a special guest appearance by Richard

Harker News — May 04

Jason Oncay

■ To show appreciation to the Bucknall kitchen staff for all that they do, the S-Club’s latest project was decorating aprons for the staff. Working with Bucknall chef Darrin Cassidy to order the plain white

Harker News — May 04

■ The entire 6th grade was bused over to the Saratoga campus recently for the 3rd annual Step Up Day to acquaint them with their future campus and with middle school life. Students gathered in Shah Hall for a brief welcome assembly and were met by their 8th grade mentors who then helped guide the visiting students throughout the day. The students had shortened classes with MS teachers and enjoyed a MS lunch out in the quad. “The general feeling among the 6th graders seemed to be that it was strange to be the smallest students on campus after being the big ones at Bucknall!” said Christy Vail. ■ Carol Ostenson’s and Linda Alexander’s language arts classes recently joined together to have a Starr y Night Party after reading a stor y called “Night of the Stars.” They wrote invitations and planned their party where students all brought flashlights, blankets, favorite toys and books to school and pretended that Alexander’s classroom was a dark field where they could “camp out” and look at the stars! “What fun!” laughed Alexander. Later this month, these same classes will get together again for a “Thunder Cake” party. The students will read a stor y about how a little girl and her grandmother made a special cake

■ Corey Gonzales, Gr. 1, assumed his role as principal for the day in April as the annual picnic winner of

this fun honor. Gonzales, who took over Sarah Leonard’s job as primary division head for the day, read to the


Book’s annual Letters About Literature program. This program is a national reading and writing contest that invites students to write a letter to an author, living or dead, explaining how this author’s book gave them wings, became a part of their lives, or changed their way of viewing the world and themselves. Peng wrote to author Brian Jaques about his book, “Loamhedge.”

during a thunderstorm, to do something fun, instead of being scared. “The two classes are going to eat cake while pretending that a big storm is raging outside the classroom,” said Alexander.

aprons, the students spent three meeting times decorating them with fabric paints, working in teams to sketch out their designs and paint the aprons. The results were pictures of slices of pizza, cupcakes, fruit bowls, etc. The aprons were then personalized with names of the kitchen staff. The students delivered the aprons to the kitchen staff to show their appreciation for all they do. “The students were very excited, and I was happy to see their spirit of giving,” said Jason Oncay, 5th grade teacher and club advisor. At press time the S-Club was busy getting ready for spirit week. Watch the next newsletter for an update and pictures of the events.

Nick Gassman

Nick Gassman

■ Ollie Peng, Gr. 4, who competed against more than 2,000 entries, was selected as one of the top ten entries in the Gr. 4 – 6 level (Level 1) in the California Center for the


Nina Yeats, parent


kindergarten classes, visited classrooms, completed an observation on teacher Diann Chung (who received all commendations, no recommendations!), participated in admission discussions with Pam Gelineau and had lunch at Panda Express. The highlight of the day was making an announcement over the PA system. “He was the youngest principal—and first male—I’ve had the pleasure to spend the day with since I started doing this auction item,” said Leonard. “Although he was pretty tired by 2 p.m., he kept going, just as any dedicated, hard-working principal would. He was charming,” she laughed.

A big thank you to all Bucknall parents, students, faculty and staff for participating in our firefighter basket project this year. We delivered our last basket to Station #14 on April 10, and the firefighters really appreciated the Spring Picnic lunch, as well as the flowers and cards from the students. Since every grade was able to participate in this new project, it’s helped our students understand the value of service workers – like the firefighters – in our communities. It also really demonstrated the generosity and giving spirit of the Harker community. We plan to continue projects like these to help augment our Character Development program. Thanks, again! —Kelly Espinosa, Dean Non-Academics (K-6)

DI Brainstorm team members, Tyler Yeats, Neha Kumar, Suchita Nety, Bradley Araki and Saagar Sarin celebrate their first place win at the regional convention in March. “This photo captures their joy and enthusiasm and the essential spirit of the occasion,” said Kate Shanahan, teacher and DI coach. See back page for late-breaking news on this team!




Bucknall Kindergarten Hat Parade a British Tradition

kindergarten teacher, Tara McFarland. The hat parade was started by former kindergarten teacher James Hamilton (now a Gr. 2 teacher) who brought the tradition over with him from his native England.

Lisa Bowman - all photos

This year’s 7th annual Kindergarten Hat Parade was another color ful display of spring-themed hats the children made at home and then proudly paraded around the classrooms for others to enjoy. “It’s always a pleasure to take a few moments from our busy schedules to enjoy the wonder of young children in their spring hats,” said Nancy Curran, one of the kindergarten teachers. “The creativity and sheer joy of the children are great, and I look forward to it each year.” Following the parade the children enjoyed searching for colored eggs hidden on their playground area. “It is a festival of new beginnings, a celebration of spring,” said another

Dance Your Way to Movie Madness! Bucknall 3rd Annual Dance Concert Fri. and Sat., May 28 and 29 7 p.m., BKN Gym Grab your milk duds and popcorn and join the 1st - 6th grade dancers as they enter the wonderful world of the silver screen in this year’s Bucknall Dance Concert, “Movie Madness!”

Nick Gassman

Gail Palmer, artistic director, says the dancers are working very hard to learn their steps and look forward to entertaining their audience with tap, jazz, lyrical, hip hop and modern dance routines. To take a stroll down the red carpet, purchase your tickets starting Mon., May 17 at either campus or contact To quote first grade dancer Diana Le, “Dance, dance, dance is is fun for everyone!”

Bucknall students enjoy a very green free dress day and class parties in March for St. Patrick's Day.


Dance your way to Bucknall for “Movie Madness” in May and plan to have a blast!

Harker News — May 04

■ MS Students’ SAT Scores High Nationwide In our MS, 56 of our 7th graders and 39 of our 8th graders took the SAT in conjunction with the Johns Hopkins University Center for Talented Youth (CTY) summer program. An Honor of Distinction is given to any student scoring as well as, or above, the average college-bound senior (504 Verbal and 516 Math).

Lee Trotter

■ Yale Singers on Campus The Society of Orpheus and Bacchus of Yale University, an all-male a

cappella singing group, performed at a recent MS assembly and are shown here giving a spontaneous performance for the US students in the Edge at lunchtime. Harker News — May 04

MS Math Students Tops in State Harker’s 7th grade placed first in the state, and our 8th grade placed second in the state in the California Math League Contest (CAML), a contest that challenges students and schools in an interschool league competition each February. This year 139 schools competed. “I’m always amazed at the wealth, breadth and depth of talent and skill our students possess,” said Cindy Kerr, MS math teacher and dept. chair. “This year’s CAML results, however, are truly exceptional.”

Jennifer Cannella

In Math, 64% of the 7th graders and 85% of the 8th graders earned an Award of Distinction. In Verbal, 61% of the 7th graders and 74% of the 8th graders earned an Award of Distinction. In both Verbal and Math, 7th graders receiving a score of 550 or higher and 8th graders receiving a score of 600 or higher are invited to the State Awards Ceremonies held each spring. In Math, 54% of the 7th graders and 56% of the 8th graders have been invited to the State Awards (5 scores of 700+). In Verbal, 46% of the 7th graders and 31% of the 8th graders have been invited to the State Awards (3 scores of 700+). Congratulations to the Bucknall and MS faculty for their fabulous work in preparing our students, and to the students themselves for this outstanding achievement!

■ La Havana Cuba – Ole! In early April 62 Gr. 8 students in advanced Spanish classes took their annual field trip to a Hispanic restaurant, this year to sample the typical Cuban cuisine of La Havana Cuba in San Jose. The lunch consisted of a choice between lechón (marinated pork), chicken, or a vegetarian tamal, black beans and rice, fried plantains and yucca. For dessert, students tried pastel

de tres leches, a cake made out of three kinds of milk, and Cuban coffee. The students, along with chaperones Julie Pinzás, Isabel García, Michael Schmidt, Chrissy Chang and Kerry Enzensperger enjoyed this great Cuban meal and cultural experience! ■ ExploraVision Harker recently won two Honorable Mention awards in ExploraVision, a national competition that this year included 4,377 projects submitted by a total of 13,463 students. Raji Swaminathan, MS Science teacher and team coach, said that our 7th graders were competing against 8th and 9th graders since the category is for 7th9th graders. Sponsored by Toshiba, the contest encourages students to combine their imaginations and explore the vision of a future technology. Working in groups of two to four over a six-month period, the Gr. 7 students selected a technology that is present in or relevant to their lives and then simulated research and development (R&D) by exploring the history

Kerr reported that Harker did extremely well in the individual placements, as well as the grade level wins. In the Individual Placement area Joseph Pei, Gr. 8, was one of only three students in the state earning a perfect top score of 40. Jay Shah was one of eight in the state earning the second highest score of 39. Alex Fandrianto and Spencer Liang were two of 21 8th graders in the state earning the 3rd highest score of 38. In Gr. 7, Aaron Lin, Jonathan Liu, Daniel Tien and Thomas Wang were among only 15 students in the state earning a perfect score of 40. Adela Chang (not pictured) and Sean Mandell were two of 19 7th graders earning the second highest score of 39. In the annual CAML, students in each league compete for the highest scores, while schools compete for the highest team score, which is the total of the top five scores in each school. Questions cover material appropriate to each grade level, and this year 139 schools competed. Kudos to all of our students, as well as to the Bucknall and MS math teachers who prepare our students to achieve such outstanding successes!

and current status of the technology and projecting what that technology could be like 20 years from now. Entries had to convey their vision to

others through both a written description and five Web pages. Congratulations to these honorable mention winners: Elizabeth Case, Sophie Newman and Alyssa Donovan for AFFROAL (Advancement for Functioning Robotic Organs and Limbs), and Andrew Stanek, Joseph Swernofsky and Vlad Furman for Water and Contaminant Collection Tube Component of Water Saving Irrigation System. Raji Swaminathan-both photos

Middle School


Terry Walsh


■ Acting Out Ethics At press time students in the MS elective acting classes performed for their peers at an assembly that addressed the topic of morality and ethics. The continued on pg. 12




■ Students Selected for Inaugural Gr. 8 Shanghai Trip An information night was recently held for current Gr. 7 parents interested in Harker’s inaugural Gr. 8 trip to Shanghai in November, a new partnership in our growing international program. Twelve students (six boys and six girls)

continued from pg. 11 students wrote and acted out scenes dealing with difficult ethical issues that they confront at school and at home, including honesty, responsibility, fairness, respect and compassion. After the assembly all students returned to their homerooms where the acting students led discussions about the open-ended scenarios that had been presented. Monica MacKinnon, who teaches the acting classes and organized the program, remarked, “I am so proud of the students. From the beginning of the process they saw this as an opportunity to present something meaningful to their peers.”

Raji Swaminathan-both photos

For this year’s spring musical, the MS Performing Arts and Harmonics will present “Schoolhouse Rock, Live!,” a lively musical based on the Saturday morning educational cartoons that ran on television in the 1970s. The show, featuring 30 MS cast members, is a revue of favorite songs from the series, including “Three is a Magic Number,” “I’m Just a Bill” and “Conjunction Junction.” Directed by Monica MacKinnon and Susan Nace, the show is sure to appeal to audiences of all ages. “The kids in the cast love the show and are having fun with costumes and music from way back in the 70s,” MacKinnon laughs. “For me, and I’m sure for many of their parents, the show brings back fond memories.”

bookstore at or 408.345.9226 for tickets.

who are re-enrolling for 8th grade in 2004 are eligible to participate in this new exchange program. Congratulations to the following students who were selected for the trip: Ananya Anand, Adela Chang, Elizabeth Cutler, Dominique Dabija, Khwaab Dave, Sean Doherty, Matt Gehm, Ida Ghorsteyn, Carolyn Kuo, Elena Madan, Amaresh Shukla and Steven Tran.

Great stuff for K-12!

Students in Gr. 7 recently took a trip to the Lawrence Hall of Science where they learned the supernatural behind science, participated in some hands-on exhibits and enjoyed a presentation about the “Magic of Electricity.”


Fri. and Sat., May 14 and 15 7:30 p.m., STG Gym

Contact the Harker

Lisa Bowman

■ Above and Beyond Goes Above and Beyond! The MS Above and Beyond program has added a new twist and will now award a free dress pass at the end of each quarter to ALL students whose names are dropped in the basket. There is still a weekly drawing to select students who will receive a a snack bar coupon and be recognized at the school meeting, in the school’s daily bulletin and in the newsletter. Here are this month’s awardees and their “above and beyond” actions – congratulations to all! Lisa Kimura – bussed trays left behind by other students at lunch; Mitali Parmar – cleaned tables after art class; Sabena Suri - was honest during test correction; Kritika Kailash - put lunch plates and trays away without being asked; Raven Reddy – cleaned and organized the art room; George Gonzalez - helped the librarians set up a bulletin board; Joseph Swernofsky - cleaned out a teacher’s pencil sharpener; Pauline Phan - filed the periodic tables after class without being asked in a teacher’s class; Lauren Ammatuna - helped another student organize his expository writing folder.

Schoolhouse Rock, Live!

Visit the Web site today for facts, forms and fun - programs filling up fast! Harker News — May 04

Middle & Upper School ■ Synopsys Science Fair Winners) As reported in the April edition (pg. 13), a number of MS and US Harker students participated in the Synopsys Silicon Valley Science and Technology Championship held at the end of March in San Jose. Five Harker participants earned top honors, and one student will go on to the state science fair in May.

Terry Walsh-both photos

In the MS division the following two students were recognized with the following certificates and medals: Anik Debnath - 1st Place in Category (Earth and Space Science) for “Effects of A Solar Storm on the Magnetosphere;” Spencer Lin - 1st Place in Category (Botany and Zoology) for “Effects of Wavelength of Light on the Rate of Photosynthesis.” In the high school division: 1st Place Technical Paper – Vijay

saratoga Swamy for “Calaveras Fault Trend vs Radon Concentration Values;” 2nd Place in Computer Science – Aleksandr Segal for “A Computer Simulated Study of the Effects of Mate Selection on Population

All winners received medals and ribbons at an awards ceremony at Great America in April. Debnath also received an invitation to attend the California State Science Fair in Los Angeles in May. Congratulations to all of this year’s participants!

■ Caroline Bitter, Gr. 10, is currently taking the US ceramics class and has completed many hand-built and potter’s wheel pieces. She enjoys this art class because she loves “learning new and interesting techniques” when it comes to creating with clay. Although it is quite a challenge, Caroline’s favorite part of class is working with the potter’s wheel. Pictured here is one of Caroline’s hand-built clay pieces.

Nick Gassman - both photos

■ Rachel Hammersley, Gr. 8, drew this image to practice creating values and facial features before drawing her self-portrait. This drawing shows her understanding of how to use dark and light to create form in this face. Rachel has strong drawing skills, but is also very ambitious with her sculpture projects. Rachel says her favorite aspect of art is that “I get to express myself,” and her favorite medium is clay. “It’s fun to shape the clay - to start with a block and shape it into something.”

Harker News — May 04

■ Students Earn 22 Latin Exam Gold Medals Outstripping their previous year’s crop of nine gold medals in the National Latin Examination, Harker Latin students earned 22 gold medals this year! Of the 77 students who took the test, 68 received recognition for high achievement. There were five per fect papers, two more than in any previous year. In addition, continuing a trend that star ted last year, three students (pictured below) will receive an Oxford Latin Dictionar y from the National Latin

Stability in Genetic Algorithms;” Honorable Mention in Chemistry – Anton Sepetov for “Solving the Mysteries of Solubility.”

artists of the month

—Margaret McGovern, Art Teacher

Upper School

California Junior Classical League Convention, held March 19-20 in Ir vine. This was Harker’s sixth year of competing in this JCL event of arts, athletics, academic and spirit events in Mythology, Grammar, Dramatic Interpretation, Cartoons, Vocabular y and Reading Comprehension where this year 46 schools and 1,850 delegates attended. Top honors went to Shidhar Chadalavada, who was awarded one of six CJCL scholarships for $1,000; Ivan Osokine who was 1st Overall in Academics (advanced level) and First Overall Combined in all contests; and Richard Kwant who was First Overall in Academics (Level 3). Other Harker students receiving awards were the following: MS - Liz Cutler, Pratusha Erraballi, Kritika Kailash, Shibani Mehta, Aarathi Minisandram, Prachi Sharma, Ruchi Srivastava; US – Alex Hsu, Jonny Jenq, Michael Kim, Allison Kwong, Yuanyuan Pao, Sheena Tomar, Ariane Vartanian, Roberta Wolfson. Congratulations to these young men and women on an outstanding job in this challenging event! Terry Walsh


Exam Committee for earning four gold medals in a row. Those students are Sridhar Chadalavada, Allison Kwong, and Wesley Wu, all Gr. 12. Gold Medal recipients this year were are as follows (asterisk following name indicates Perfect Paper): Gr. 12 – Sridhar Chadalavada,* Allison Kwong,* Wesley Wu, Jennifer Shangkuan; Gr. 11 - Adrik McIlroy, Shaun Mohan, Roberta Wolfson; Gr. 10 Michael Kim, Ariane Vartanian, Gail Nakano; Gr. 9 - Richard Kwant; Gr. 8 - Aarathi Minisandram,* Kritika Kailash,* Rachel Fong, Shibani Mehta, Thomas Roxlo, Ankur Sharma, Kelly O’Reilly, Eugenia Sorotokin, Michael Kang, Niyanth Anand, and Rachel Lo. Other Per fect Paper awardees were Gr. 7 students Jonathan Liu and Sachin Rangarajan. Congratulations to all 77 students who participated in this year’s exam for your fine efforts! ■ JCL Earns 2nd Place Overall at Annual Convention Harker won 2nd place overall sweepstakes in their division (medium school) and numerous other honors at the annual

■ Spanish Poetry Contest Harker par ticipated in the 21st annual Santa Clara County Spanish Poetry Declamation contest in March. It was Harker’s four th time competing in this event where students from throughout the county memorize and present a dramatic interpretation of a poem in Spanish. Harker had four winners in the event: Arjun Banerjee, Gr. 10 - first place, Spanish 2; Suman Sundaresh, Gr. 11 - first place, Spanish 3; Aseem Shukla, Gr. 9 - second place, Spanish 3; and Sam Singh, Gr. 11 - first place, Spanish 4. Also representing Harker were Aneesh Donde, Gr. 9; Ayumi Funaki and Jaya Pareek, Gr. 10; Kamilla Khaydarov and Ariana Vergara, Gr. 11; Surbhi Mahendru and Jennifer Jenq, Gr. 12. The students were selected and coached by Susana Hartzell, Diana Moss, Paul Pickering, Abel Olivas and Francoise Thompson.



Nick Gassman - both photos

Quiz Bowl Team Has Great First Season

Harker’s Quiz Bowl team competed in their closest match all year in the final championship round against Half Moon Bay. “It was an extremely exciting match,” said Bradley Stoll, US math teacher and club advisor. Harker lost on the ver y last question, with a final score of 330-340. It was an exciting first season for this new team, and we congratulate team members Yi Sun, Mason Liang, Lev Pisarsky and Vivek Bansal, and advisor Stoll, for making it to the finals and having such a great first season. Many thanks also to the fans who came out to suppor t the team for the studio tapings. Watch the fall editions for next year’s competition schedule! Tune into KRON Channel 4 on Sat., May 8 at noon and see the televised match against Lowell High School of San Francisco. Watch the June edition for other air dates throughout the summer!

■ Harker Debate Team Qualifies for TOC / Coach Earns NFS Recognition Dr. J. W. Patterson, director of the National Tournament of Champions, recently notified Harker that the policy debate team of Varoon Bhagat and Jerry Hong were

University of Kentucky Student Forum and Henry Clay Debate Council, their Web site says, “TOC strives to offer the national high school debate community the highest quality judging, impar tial tournament officials and a friendly, congenial atmosphere.” Matt

“For a program that has been in existence for only six years, attending TOC in four of those six years is quite an accomplishment.” —Matt Brandstetter officially accepted to par ticipate in this year’s World Series of Debate at the University of Kentucky in early May. Now in its 33rd year, the Tournament of Champions (TOC) ser ves as the forum of competition for the nation’s ver y best Lincoln-Douglas and Policy debaters. A public service of the


Brandstetter, Harker’s debate coach said, “For a program that has been in existence for only six years, attending TOC in four of those six years is quite an accomplishment.” The National Forensic League also recently announced that Brandstetter has earned a first

diamond in their national recognition program. Coaches receive one-tenth of the points earned by their students, and Harker debate students have earned over 48,000 since the inception of the program. Brandstetter has been invited to attend a special recognition ceremony at the Lincoln Financial Group / NFL National Tournament in Salt Lake City, Utah, in June. Congratulations to Brandstetter for this well-earned recognition, and for his – and the students’ – outstanding achievements in Harker’s debate program. In other debate news, Harker students traveled to College Park, Georgia in April to attend the Second Year and Novice National Championship Tournament at Woodward Academy. Sixty-three schools from 16 states were represented at this national competition, and this is considered one of the most challenging tournaments of the year for novice and second-year debate students. Harker came away with the following accomplishments: Speaker Awards Novice LincolnDouglas (74 participating): Third Speaker – Sid Satish; Ninth Speaker – Amira Valliani; Tenth Speaker – Shilpa Vadodaria. Novice Lincoln-Douglas Debate Awards: Quarter finalist – Sid Satish; Octafinalists – Christopher Xiao, Carolyn Wang, Amira Valliani; Double Octafinalists – Shilpa Vadodaria. Mounica Yanamandala and Jessie Li had winning records but missed advancing to elimination rounds on speaker points. Second Year Policy Debate: Arkajit Dey and Sean Turner achieved a winning record of 4-2 but missed advancing to octafinals by speaker points. ■ For their final event this year, the Harker Robotics team competed in the Silicon Valley FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) competition in March, held this year at the SJSU arena. FIRST annually unveils a new game in early January, and student

robotics team members must devise a strategy for the new game, design a robot to accomplish their strategy, and then build the “bot” – all in just six weeks! The game for this year had three parts: 1. Herding small balls to a human team member who would shoot them into basketball-like goals; 2. uncapping and capping those goals with a huge 2x ball that doubled the score of whatever was in the goal; and 3. hanging from a 10-foot tall pull-up bar in the center of the field. “We chose to make a bot that herded small balls and manipulated the huge 2x

Tatsu Hashimoto, student


ball,” explained team member LeAnn Duong, adding that it could take the 2x off the goal, carr y it around and then unload it. “We named the robot Phorce and nicknamed it Snoopy, because our theme was Charles Schulz’s Peanuts this year,” she added. The team made it to the quarterfinals and tied for 4th place at the Silicon Valley Regional held recently in San Jose. In qualifying rounds the highest ranking during this event was 8th place in the seeding rounds of 46 teams. Team leaders this year were Duong, Alan Malek, Pia Pal, Greg Perkins, Alex Segal, Joel Wright and Albert Wu. The Robotics Team would like to thank the Malek, Perkins/Reese, Wu, Chien, Yao, Andeen, Hansen, Umapathy, Gupta, Wright, Chu, Swamy, Pal and Segal families, along with Harker staff and faculty Joe Rosenthal, Joe Gill, Dan Matthews, Eric Nelson and Robb Cutler for their help in a variety of areas. For more information about the organization and annual competition, visit http:// Congratulations to the students – and their families – for their hard work and commitment to this challenging annual event. Harker News — May 04


Jaja Hsuan

■ Key Club Convention Ten students traveled to the annual Key Club District Convention in Sacramento with Jaja Hsuan, US community service coordinator, during Spring Break. Advisers, officers and members spent three full days participating in leadership and service-learning workshops, spirit rallies, talent competitions and voting caucuses. Key Club officer Sneha Krishna repor ted to the club, “We all had such a GREAT time!!! Everyone should consider

attending next year!” Harker’s Key Club received the District Tree Award and Early Bird Dues Award this year. ■ Foundation For Excellence In addition to volunteering at concerts year-round for the Foundation For Excellence (FFE), Harker US students continue to contribute their time by lending a hand at the local office. Some dropped in during Spring Break to assist with a yearbook project, scanning photos and writing biographies about underprivileged students in India who have been selected to receive educational scholarships from FFE. Volunteer coordinator for the foundation Abha Shukla commented, “The kids were of great help, and we really appreciate their ongoing volunteer services. Our FFE staff was very impressed with the Harker students who took their jobs seriously and conducted themselves so well. They were intelligent, hard working and polite. A very big ‘Thank You!’ to Harker for offering their services. And a very big ‘Thank You’ to the kids for volunteering their Spring Break time to FFE!” Students who assisted at the March and April Harker News — May 04

spring concerts and at the FFE office included Kari Berglund, Nirav Chitkara, Sameer Chopra, Asavari Gupte, Roger Kim, Alex Ladonnikov, Colleen Lee, Tiffany June Lin, Andrew Nasser, Aeshna Raman, Aseem Shukla, Cooper Sivara, Alex Wu and Ashley Yang. ■ Sunday Friends A group of 14 US students recently joined history teacher Ruth Meyer on a service trip to Sunday Friends at Lowell Elementary School. While leading an Easter art project, the volunteers also had a chance to practice their Spanish skills with children from low-income families. Meyer praised the students for working so well with the children and acting as excellent role models, and the project coordinator from Sunday Friends was delighted to have Harker volunteers visiting once again. ■ Great America Shoot Out The annual Great America Shoot Out basketball tournament was held during Spring Break at various South Bay schools to benefit the nonprofit organization, Scholars, Inc. The following Harker student volunteers did a fantastic job assisting as game clock monitors, timers, scoreboard keepers and snack bar attendants: Siddarth Chandrasekhar, Aaron Chang, Candace Chang, Alex Dodd, Wilson Haung, Jonathan Jenq, Rahul Komati, Danyal Kothari, Richard Kwant, Teddy Lee, Jeff Liu, Amit Mukherjee, Alan Quach, Harry Tseng, Harish Venkatesan and Lung Hao Yu. Thank you for all your hard work! ■ Spirit Club Members Cook Up A Storm The following Spirit Club members assisted Chris Daren, US activity director, and Cheryl Cavanaugh, US English teacher, in cooking up a fantastic meal to honor our own Harker maintenance and kitchen staff on April 8: Casey Blair,

Chris Daren

US Community Service News

Andrea Brisker, Hillary Brooks, Mariah Bush, Mariama Eghan, Lauren Gutstein, Sharon Huang, Cassie Kerkhoff, Jocelyn Ko,

Shephalie Lahri, Colleen Lee, Sam Levinson, Faustine Liao, Casey Near, Amanda Polzin, Natasha Sarin, Amira Valliani, and Claudia Wu. Harker is lucky to have such a devoted kitchen staff, maintenance crew AND Spirit team! —Reported by Jaja Hsuan, US Community Service Coordinator

club of the month Newspaper Staff Attends N.Y. Conference This is the fifth year for the US newspaper, which changed its name from The Harker Herald to The Winged Post for the 2003-04 school year. In March, adviser Chris Daren, who also advises the yearbook club, arranged for several US newspaper staff members to travel to New York for the 80th Annual Columbia Scholastic Press Association’s Spring Journalism Conference in March to help students gain knowledge in the realm of journalism and to enhance the newspaper. Hosted by Columbia University, students attended workshops and lectures about design, photography, caption writing, censorship, ethics and other aspects of good journalism. “It gave us a glimpse of what we could be in the future, something to aspire to,” said Ariana Vergara, Gr. 11. Another par ticipant in the conference, Erika Gudmundson, Gr. 11, said, “It was power ful to meet people from other schools and learn from them. We helped other papers, too!” Other students who attended were senior Karan Lodha, juniors Nikhil Krishnan and Najm Haque, and sophomore Lauren Gutstein. This was the first year Harker students attended the conference, but the second year Daren has attended – and presented – at the conference, presenting a lecture on fair coverage. “I help students understand how to get stories on all of the students, not just the popular ones,” said Daren.

Chris Daren - both photos


The 20 + member club has published four editions to date and has two more in the works for this year.




Sophomore Heads to NY for National Writing Award

Terry Walsh

Nick Gassman

Tara Chandra, Gr. 10, has been awarded national honors in The Scholastic Arts & Writing Awards 2004 for her piece “Autonomy,” and she and her teacher Marc Hufnagl have been invited to attend the National Awards Celebration at Carnegie Hall in New York City this June. In the last issue we announced Chandra’s regional gold key award for her piece, which falls in the Personal Essay/ Memoir categor y, and we congratulate her for this additional national honor.

Congratulations to the 20042005 Harker School National Honor Society Officers: Anshu Das, Samantha Fang, Jerry Hong, Arjun Naskar and Nilay Gandhi.

Harker Summer Institute 2004 Hurry and register now - your favorite programs may be full or are filling up fast!

Since 1923 the Scholastic Arts & Writing Awards have conducted a national assessment annually to reward the creative achievements of students in grades seven through 12 and to recognize excellence in teaching. There are 11 writing categories, and this year there were 5,000 Gold Key winners, chosen from an original field of 50,000 entries who were eligible for the national judging. Chandra’s piece was one of only 370 writing pieces nationwide selected for national recognition.

Some of this year's offerings include: ■ Policy Debate Camp ■ Summer Conservatory ■ Intensive Spanish I Review

National writing winners earn a gold medal, a cer tificate, and a place on the national winners list, as well as publishing oppor tunities. “This honor is a thrilling testament to the quality of our language arts curriculum,” noted Hufnagl. “I’m very proud of Tara, our English program and of our school,” he added. We hear tily agree, and a special congratulations to Tara!


■ Japanese Language Test Twenty Harker Japanese language students took the Japanese Language Proficiency Test administered by the Japan Foundation at their new test site in San Francisco on Dec. 7. This test, which has four different levels, is the only proficiency test offered for Japanese language students in as many as 36 countries. The following students achieved high scores in Level 4, which covers up to one year of college material: Rubina Chuang, Meghana Dhar, Alexander Dodd, Zlatan Hodzic, Amy Huang, Daniel Hung, Jason Hsu, Matthew Jones, Hailey Lam, Eric Lee, Mason Liang, Allen Lin, Serena Liou, David Ly, Raj Misra, Ira Patnaik, Nicholas Tan, Zakaman Wu and Nina Zheng. Mythri Papolu received a high score in Level 3, which is equivalent to up to two years of college material. “Now, they are more motivated to challenge the next level test held this December,” said Japanese teacher Yukiko Konishi.

■ JUST ADDED! Pre-Algebra and more!

Get the latest update at the Web site at

Chris Daren

■ Each year the Western Association of School and Colleges (WASC) invites member schools to nominate a student who is interested in education to serve on a WASC committee or school accreditation team. Kevin Williamson, US dean of students, nominates a student each year on recommendations from the faculty, and this year he announced that senior Jacinda Mein was nominated. WASC accepted the nominations, and Mein was asked to do an evaluation on, and attend the accreditation of, Lynbrook High School. “It was great to get to see how Lynbrook runs programs different from Harker,” said Mein. “Through this experience I’ve been able to see how the public school system of education varies from the private system. Overall the experience was ver y informative and fun,” she added. We salute Jacinda for her selection to the WASC team and for her interest in education!

■ 30 Hr PSAT/SAT Prep

A hearty band of freshmen earned $640 for their class at a recent car wash held in the Bucknall loading zone. Many thanks to those families, students and staff who turned out to support the event! At press time the sophomore class was preparing for their April 24 car wash fundraiser, also at Bucknall.

Harker News — May 04



Photo by Chris Daren & Kathryn Lee, student

“Damn Yankees” Audience Enjoys Pre-show BBQ with Baseball Fare

This year's spring musical, "Damn Yankees," featured a Sat. pre-show BBQ, with traditional baseball fare, along with face painting for young and old alike. Audience members at all evening shows enjoyed purchasing game snacks from cast members - see next page for more!

Photos by Lee Trotter & Nick Gassman

Talent Show Highlights Variety of US Performances at Assembly

The US ASB officers organized a talent show that was held for the entire US at an assembly in late March. Acts included a live band, Indian dancing and vocal performances with MCs doing comedy skits.

Tahoe Summer - Spanish Total Immersion A fun-filled, activity-based week for serious students of Spanish interested in improving their oral proficiency through games, literature, art, movies, song, dance, skits, cooking, hikes, beach, biking rafting and more! Students must be entering at least Gr. 9 and be in advanced Spanish (Spanish 3 and up). June 7-12: Peninsula Ski Club, Soda Springs Soda Springs Instructors: Harker Spanish teachers Diana Moss and Isabel Garcia, and Dr. Margarita Vincent. Cost: $600. Limited to the first 20 participants. For more info, contact or

Harker News — May 04

3rd Annual Junior/Senior Prom Juniors and seniors, get your tickets now! Available at the Bookstore - see you at the prom! 17



The Harker Conservatory hit it out of the park with a fabulous spring production of the Richard Adler & Jerry Ross musical “Damn Yankees” in three sold-out performances in April. The musical comedy, set against the background of America’s favorite pastime, baseball, tells the story of a middle-aged baseball fan who sells his soul to the Devil for the chance to play for the Washington Senators and, in the end, ultimately has to choose between the love of his girl or the love of the game. The music, the lights, the sets and the 48 student performers and 15 students on crew were sensational! Congratulations to the entire cast and crew of the show for a great “day at the park!” Kudos to the hard work and talents of the following Harker faculty members: Laura Lang-Ree, performing arts director and director of this year’s show; Cathy Snider, musical director; Brian Chris Daren - all photos

Larsen and Paul Vallerga for scenes, sounds and tech. And many thanks to the dozens of other faculty, friends, staff and parents who pitched in to help make this another great spring production!


Harker News — May 04


the archives

Harker’s Theatre History Spans Century

It’s clear that performing arts was an essential part of the girls’ education from the school’s inception. The 1928 school catalog notes that the goal of oral and dramatic arts expression is to “develop self-control and emotional mastery, adaptability, initiative and poise, and to furnish an incentive for the establishment of beautiful speech as a medium of human intercourse.” Annual spring

performances included “Women – Ancient and Modern” (A Farce in Three Acts) in 1911, “Prunella” in 1919, “Rhoecus” in 1920 and “The Arrow Maker” in 1921. During the 1930s and 40s, the school produced one Shakespearean play each year, including “Much Ado About Nothing” (1929), “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” (1930), “The Comedy of Errors” (1932) and “As you Like It” (1934). Additionally, French language students were required to perform a play in French each year. ThroughHarker News — May 04

out the year, all the women of Miss Harker’s School were expected to participate in a number of one-act

plays to “improve their speech and [to experience] the power of expression.” As the school expanded to include younger students, they also per formed in various holiday programs and fair y tale adaptations, foreshadowing the annual Ogre Awards of today. In 1944, for a per formance of “Osiris, King of the Dead,” the third and fourth grade students each made their own costumes! In the 1950s, Principal Alice Williams wrote many of the plays and skits herself, and the summer program always included a drama workshop for the primary through jr. high students. In 1978-79 the student newspaper, The Eagle Examiner, reported that the Drama Club presented “Scaredy Cat” and “Good Manners and Bad Manners.” Then in 1981, The Harker Academy hosted the first Junior High School Drama Festival, which was conceived and coordinated by drama teacher

Erskine Morgan. Competing against Crittendon, Castilleja, and Aptos Junior High, Harker won Best Play for “The Rockabilly Nowhere Man.” Morgan also produced the first musical of this new era, “Let George Do It,” with musical direction from Betsy Dods Walsh in 1981, and the Harker spring musical tradition was born. The 80s and early 90s included such musicals as “Oliver,”co-directed by drama teacher Gina Russ and music teacher Betsy Walsh in 1982; “Annie,” co-directed by Laura Guido (Rae) with Mary Claire Martin and Andrew Willyoung in 1987; “Anne of Green Gables,” codirected by Crystal Isola and Willyoung in 1988; and “West Side Story,” directed by Donna Morse in 1993. Laura Lang Ree joined Harker in 1995 as Per forming Arts Depar tment Chair, and to teach acting and public speaking. “In those days we produced about 20 performances each year,” she said. We now have a staff of 15 performing arts professionals and produce over 50 per formances, which include the Instrumental Programs, Harmonics and Conservatory. In addition to quantity, the quality of productions over the last nine years has been impressive. “Pippin” featured wild pyrotechnics, and “You Can’t Take it with You” was our first full-length straight dramatic per formance. Lang-Ree also credits the technical theater program, which includes sets, lights, sound and costumes and is led by Brian Larsen, for much of our success. And, says Lang-Ree, “We are what we are because of Howard and Diana Nichols’ love for, and belief in, the per forming arts which allows me to hire the very best teachers and develop some of the best K-12 arts programs in the country.”

When asked about her personal favorite, Lang-Ree quickly cited “Into the Woods,” which was last year’s musical. “I love it when I can find a musical that is very actingintense and has some kind of message and meaning in the dialogue that I can help the actors uncover.” However, what Lang-Ree says she enjoys most is the growth of a student or a cast as a whole – something the audience never gets to see. “Each year there is always that student, or several students, who blow me away with what they’ve accomplished,” Lang-Ree reflects. “The confidence that I witness being developed through performing arts is awesome.”

Photos from Harker Archives

Harker is proud to celebrate nearly a century of excellence in performing arts. “The Princess,” adapted from Alfred Lord Tennyson’s poem of the same name, was performed by the juniors and seniors of Miss Harker’s School for Girls in 1907 and is the earliest play program held in the Archives.

Harker received special acclaim in 2002 when we won first place in the American Musical Theater High School honors competition for “Oklahoma!”




Affordable Teacher Housing Harker likes to assist teachers in finding affordable housing. If you own rental homes or apartments that can be offered at a reasonable rent, please contact Triona Coyne at with a brief description of the rental property, rental cost and contact information.

Your Generous Annual Giving Dollars at Work! Your gifts continue to provide Harker students and faculty with tools and resources to make so many of our schoolwide programs so special. In this issue we are proud to showcase: ■ US Performing Arts production of “Damn Yankees” - page 18 ■ Student "Artists of the Month" - page 13 ■ Participation in regional competitions such as Future Problem Solving - page 7

Last Chance This Year to Support Student Programs!

NEXT MONTH’S ISSUE ■ If Bucknall students raise $15,000 in the annual Jump for Heart fundraising event (happening at press time), students will make

Last Chance for Parents to Win a Night at the Hotel Valencia! The Prom Committee is having a raffle drawing to help cover Prom costs - and it could mean a night at the Hotel Valencia for some lucky parent! For a $10 raffle ticket, you could win a two-night stay in a Junior Suite at the Hotel Valencia in Santana Row, which also includes dinner for two at their restaurant, Citrus. Total value is over $700! Show your support and buy tickets today! Contact Chris Daren, activities coordinator, at to purchase tickets or get more information.

The Harker News is published nine times per year by the Harker Office of Communications. Current and archived issues are also available on the Parent Home Page on the Harker Web site at Editor: Pam Dickinson Asst. Editor: Terry Walsh Photo Coordinator: Lee Trotter Design: Blue Heron Design


Printing & Mailing: Communicart Mailing Coordinator: Bran-Dee Torres Contributors: Chris Daren, Ashley Sukovez, Lisa Bowman, Nick Gassman

Nick Gassman

Send your Annual Giving donation by May 31! (see details on pg. 3)

human sundaes out of all their P.E. teachers. Check in next month for results! (Pat Walsh demonstrated here at a recent assembly). ■ Destination Imagination Brainstorm team took 2nd place at State Finals tournament at press time and qualified for Global Finals tournament in Knoxville, Tennessee in late May - details next month! ■ May is full of passages - from US graduation to the Gr. 6 promotion ceremony. We'll share them all with you in the next issue!

The Harker School is a K-12 independent, co-ed, college-prep school.

Grades K-6: 4600 Bucknall Rd., San Jose CA 95130 Phone 408.871.4600 • Fax 408.871.4320 Grades 7-12: 500 Saratoga Ave., San Jose CA 95129 Phone 408.249.2510 • Fax 408.984.2325

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 nonjob-related handicap.

Harker News — May 04

Profile for The Harker School

2004 May Harker News  

2004 May Harker News