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APRIL 2004 (VOL. 11, NO. 7)


inside Local firefighters join LS students for Jump for Heart .... 8 New online bookstore up and running (Tech Talk) ............. 5 Math successes in both MS and US ................... 10 & 12 New LS, MS and US columns ............. 8, 10 & 12

online Lots of photos!

Visit the Parent Home Page (PHP) for links to photos from: ■ 2005 Rock the Runway! Fashion Show ■ Dance 101 Show ■ Gr. 5 & 6 Production


Preview Wed., April 13 6 p.m. Thurs. - Sat., April 14 - 16 8 p.m. Saratoga Gym Tickets: $15 Reserved / $12 Adults $10 Students Buy tickets at STG Bookstore or e-mail

Harker News — April 05






US Robotics Heads to Nationals for the First Time Harker’s Robotics Team participated in the Sacramento Regional of the FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) Mar. 3-5, and in the final hours, walked away with first place and a spot at the FRC Championship in Atlanta in April. This is the first year this team has qualified for the nationals, and huge congratulations go to all of them! Advisor Eric Nelson explained that the tension and intense work needed to keep the robot functional the first day was immense as the robot went through trials to be evaluated and approved by the officials. “At 6 p.m. that evening we were not operational. Time to sweat. By 7 p.m. we were up and running!” he laughed.

manipulator was rising just as the alliances were being assembled. Our team cheers let everyone know we were still in the running.” The Bellarmine High School team, sponsored by NASA Ames, presented Harker with an Innovative Design award, one of four different peer awards they present each year, a notable accomplishment for Harker in only its third year of competing. By the end of the weekend, Harker’s team won all their semi-final rounds, and then the first final 61-19 and the second final 75-23, achieving their first place distinction. Congratulations to the entire team for a difficult job

very well done! In addition to the Robotics Team’s outstanding performance in the FIRST Robotics competition, two other Harker students were also invited to Atlanta as part of the FIRST LEGO League World Festival, considered the “little league” of the FIRST Robotics contest for students ages 9 to 14. Amritha (Gr. 6) and Aarathi Minisandram (Gr. 9) won the second place Director’s award in the California state competition, earning them an invitation to the world conference, to be held during the FIRST Robotics Conference. Watch our May issue for a recap of the competitions in Atlanta!

In 3rd place after four events, the team then lost four events and dropped to 14th place by day’s end. “Then disaster stuck, and in the last match the robot was badly damaged,” Nelson said. “In record time the team managed to pull the damaged component, straighten it, reassemble the unit and demonstrate that we were up and running. Our

Andy Hospodor, parent


est. 1893 • K-12 college prep

Three LS Teams Invited to DI State Finals This Month This year’s Destination Imagination teams all did exceptionally well at the “DISigning Bridges” competition, with three Harker LS teams earning invitations to the state finals in Clovis, CA. “Top Quarks” and “Creative Imaginers” placed 1st and 2nd, respectively, in the elementary division (3rd-5th grade). The “93 Funky Monkeys” also did very well in their middle school division (6th-8th) by placing

1st. The event consisted of five challenges in which all three divisions (elementary, middle school, and high school) competed. The “Top Quarks” team consisted of Harker 3rd graders: Andrew Zhu, Anisha Padwekar, Ashwin Chalaka, Darian Edvalson, Katherine Paseman, Michael Kling, and Urvi Gupta. The “Creative Imaginers” was also a team of 3rd graders: Vikas Bhetanabholta, Nikhil Dilip, Saachi Jain,

Rahul Sridhar, Dhvani Raghupathy, and Nihal Uppugunduri. The “93 Funky Monkeys” was composed of Harker 6th graders: Monisha Appalaraju, Priya Sahdev, Anisha Agarwal, Daniela Lapidous, Trevor Dutrow, Isaac Madan, and Ziad Jawadi. Thanks to all the parent volunteers that made these events possible, including team managers Bill Paseman, Kiran Padwekar, Padma Bhetanabhotia, Viji Dilip, and Ram Appalaraju. Congratulations and good luck to those teams moving on to the state finals!


editor’s note This month’s Harker News features some new columns, and what we hope are some design and organization improvements. As we prepare for the exciting middle school expansion, we’re exploring ways to adapt our parent communications at all grade levels to meet the evolving needs. We’re also in the process of updating the design and navigation of our Web site, so watch for more on that in months to come. Your suggestions are welcome any time. Thanks, and enjoy! —Pam Dickinson, Director, Office of Communications

tribute See back page for this month’s tribute to the Nichols!



april dates & events

Harker Archives

“Thanks for providing a great, diverse learning environment for my children that challenges them AND helps them to become contributing, caring citizens!” Benda LaBuna, current parent “My first year at Harker, sixth grade, I ran into Mr. Nichols in the lunch line. He looked at me and said, “Hello Alexandra.” I was blown away that after a month of being at the school the president knew who I was.” Alexandra Selbo-Bruns, alumni “If you look in the dictionary you’ll see that Diana is the actual definition of dynamo!” Sylvia Beals, current staff


We need you! Wed., Apr. 13, 8 a.m. US FDR: K-12 Ambassador info coffee

Mon., April 4 – K -12 classes resume after Spring Break

folk songs, musical theater, and opera selections.

Visit the Web calendars for the latest detailed date information for each division.

■ Fri., April 22 The President’s Circle Reception (Invitation only) This event will be hosted by a very special Harker family and honors donors who contributed $2,500 or more to Annual Giving - we are thankful for their support.

LS Grandparents’ Day Help: Fri., Apr. 15, 8 a.m. LS Teachers’ Lunchroom: gift prep

Tues.-Fri., May 3-6, all day LS Library: K to 6 Book Fair

■ US Date Change: Freshmen Orientation is Tues., April 26 (not April 19 as published earlier). This event is for incoming ninth graders and their parents, and we’ll review a variety of topics related to the high school years. Watch for your invitation and more details about this event in early April! ■

April 13 – 16, 8 p.m. US Spring Musical: 42nd Street Our talented US Conservatory students present yet another spectacular musical – don’t miss it. Performances include a special Preview night for the families of Gr. K-8 performing arts students. Tickets available at the STG Bookstore or e-mail

Here are a few of the tributes pouring in on our online Tribute to the Nichols - go to the Web site and submit your thoughts and memories!

Volunteer Needs

Tues., April 19, 5 p.m. Cantilena Concert Faculty Dining Room, STG Admission: Free Cantilena, the US Chamber Women’s Ensemble directed by Susan Nace, will present their spring concert entitled “In Threes,” with selections including Renaissance madrigals, World and American

Sat., April 23, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Junior Class Car Wash BKN Campus $5 for small / med. cars, $7 for big

Sat., April 16 - June 18 Santa Clara Swim Club School and Harker are offering a 10-week swimming course for children 6 months and older, at the Saratoga Ave. campus pool on Saturdays, from April 16 – June 18. Harker students have priority registration until April 2 – call the swim club at 408.246.5003 to register, and visit the Web site for more details: www.santaclaraswimclub. org

save the date ■ Luncheon for Senior Moms: Mon., May 16 - 11:30 a.m. Gr. 9 to 11 volunteer moms are planning the annual “Senior Mom’s Tribute Luncheon” to honor the mothers of this year’s graduating class. Undergrad moms are asked to contribute potluck dishes to serve six, and Gr. 12 moms – as the honorees – are invited to simply come and enjoy as guests of honor. Register by May 6 on the Parent Home Page. If you need ideas or suggestions for dishes to contribute, e-mail this year’s

volunteer chairs, Kathy Polzin ( or Carol Underwood (carolincaliforni

■ Nichols’ Retirement Party: Fri., June 3, 7-10 p.m. All K-12 families invited. Watch for invitations in the mail soon!

TRIBUTE to the


Wed., Apr. 27, 8 a.m. LS Teachers’ Lunchroom: decoration workshop Tues., May 3, 8 a.m. US Ledge: nametag assembly

Fri., May 6, 1 p.m. LS Gym: K-6 Grandparents’ Day! The K-6 Grandparents’ Day is an event entirely orchestrated by parent volunteers, and there are many jobs to be done in preparation for hosting over 400 guests to the campus on this day. Contact parent chairs, Becky Cox ( or Sangeeta Mehrotra (smehrotra@aol. com). Not-So-Random Acts of Kindness Plans are afoot for a new “helping hands” parent volunteer group that would coordinate efforts to provide a caring, quiet, discreet way to offer some assistance, such as meals, grocery shopping, and childcare, to Harker community members in times of need. Stay tuned for upcoming news. Leadership Councils We currently have two Parent Volunteer Leadership Councils, each composed of 8-10 parents representing different grade levels, that meet monthly to help guide the program, serve as chairs of some of important events, and help recruit other parents volunteers. Parents are invited to join the councils based on their demonstrated involvement, support and commitment to Harker and to its volunteer program, typically serving for a 2-year period. With the move of the MS to Blackford, we plan to establish a third council made up of Gr. 6-8 parents. Experienced volunteers interested should contact And more! – Visit the PHP and click on Volunteers for more information on these and other Harker volunteer opportunites, or contact Nancy Reiley, community relations director at Harker News — April 05




Harker – K to Life! The calls and e-mails from new families, current and former students and parents, and community members in response to our current campaign has been great, and we’re seeing positive results for both the academic school year and our summer programs. Great news! The last time we did a multi-media campaign like this was in 1998 when we launched the new upper school. At that time we decided to include an expanded marketing campaign every 4-6 years in our general operating budget to periodically give our image and overall applicant pool a boost. We consistently attract a healthy number of applicants at all grade levels, however the admissions office frequently finds that our academic prowess actually scares some qualified applicants away. We always strive for a broad pool of qualified and diverse applicants to choose from when building our student body, similar to the way

college admissions work. So marketing our “fun factor,” and increasing diversity in Harker’s enrollment ensures that our admissions office continually has an exciting, diverse and qualified pool of applicants, which then creates the most stimulating and interesting community for all of our students. The great AP scores making the news recently — thanks to all of our fabulous students and teachers — presented a perfect opportunity to run the campaign, and the timing also could contribute to both school year and summer applicants — a win-win situation (we will repeat portions of the campaign in the fall, as well). We used a mix of media to reach both the parents (who make school choices for their younger children) and teens (who tend to have more of a say in what school they attend), including KGO’s “The

View” daytime talk show, Cartoon Network, MTV, on-screen ads at the recent San Jose Cinequest Festival, and drive time spots on KBAY 94.5FM. We also scheduled ads in the regional subscriber editions (not the more expensive, broaderreaching national editions) of Time, Newsweek, Sports Illustrated and US World & News Report. Our goal with this campaign - and always - is to balance our outstanding academic reputation with the fact that we also have fabulous non-academic choices for our students, that we’re a great school for students to explore a variety of interests to help them find their passion - and that we’re all not all work and no play! So remember: Aim High, Have Fun! —Pam Dickinson, Director, Office of Communications

Middle School Campus/Staff Update As was announced in an e-mail last spring, Jack Bither will be the MS Dean of Students next year

at the new campus, joining MS Division Head Cindy Kerr in the administrative operations of the new school. We’ll introduce you to the entire MS administrative and office staff team - and announce Bither’s replacement as US athletic director - in the coming months. By December or so of this year, a

number of Harker departments will move to the new campus, including advancement, international programs, shipping & receiving, tech, finance, human resources, security & transportation, and maintenance. Watch future issues for progress reports and updats as we get closer to this exciting move!

Committee Formed to Address Information Literacy “Information literacy” describes the set of skills that a well-educated person in the 21st century needs to be able to access, evaluate, and use information. In a campaign to integrate these skills into Harker’s curriculum, head librarian Enid Davis has formed the Information Literacy Committee. The California Library Association has analyzed 138 different skills needed to flourish in this fastgrowing world of information, including searching databases, evaluating Web sites, note taking skills, and understanding plagiarism and citing sources. Members of the committee, including K-12 Curriculum Dean Heather Blair, Director of Instructional Technology Dan Hudkins, teachers Mary Harker News — April 05

Jo Townzen, Pat White, Susan Nace, Tim Mahoney, and Joanne Mason, and Davis and her library staff, will examine all of these skills and evaluate and recommend at what grade level each skill should be introduced, reinforced, and mastered. “What is relatively common regarding information literacy is for the librarian to be anxiously

telling everyone how important this is and to have only a few allies on the staff,” said Davis. “What is very rare is to have a future headmaster - namely, Chris Nikoloff - say ‘Yes, sure, that sounds important,’ when the librarian asks for a school-wide committee to do this which includes an administrator.” Teachers who want the best research experience for their students, and administrators who “understand the importance of the librarians and the technology teachers working closely together and supporting each other’s missions” is exciting, Davis added. Anyone wanting more information on this committee should contact Davis, at

Summer English Language Institute (ELI) Harker will again be offering its comprehensive summer program for international students this year. Spread the word among your friends and relatives across the globe! Visit the Web site for detailed information about this renowned program or contact Host families for these students are also being sought. If interested, contact Program Manager Lee Trotter at the email address listed above. US Summer Institute Also visit the Web site for details on all of our US Summer Institute offerings!

Gr. K-8 Summer Programs Refer a Friend! Send us a new camper this summer and qualify for a contest drawing to win a free 4-week Summer tuition! So tell family, friends and neighbors about Harker’s great summer camp! If they enroll this summer and include your name on their application, you’ll be registered for the lucky draw on May 13! Exciting Program Changes! New this year are: ■ 2, 4 and 6-week session choices ■ A new, more flexible MS schedule (see page 10 for details) ■ “Wild” about summer theme with new theme days! ■ Gr. 1-5 all inclusive morning classes, including language arts, math, computer, art and exciting social studies or science units Favorite spots are filling up fast, so get your registration in today!

Call 408.871.4611 or e-mail for more information.





Your Generous Annual Giving Dollars at Work! In this issue we are proud to showcase the following student programs and services, made possible in part by your continued support through charitable giving. Thank you for your giving! ■ Performing Arts Dance Production, p. 7 ■ Athletics, pgs. 9, 11, 13, 14 ■ Wildlife Assembly, p. 9 ■ PC Help Desk, p. 5

Annual Giving Campaign - Only Two Months Left! Salute to Development Council Parent Volunteers Many generous people volunteer to support Harker and we salute this special group of energetic parents who continue to contribute their ideas, time and leadership to enhancing our community. These parents focus on raising the much needed funds to sustain our outstanding student programs by attending school-wide community events and motivating other parents to participate. Their commitment is extraordinary, and we are pleased to acknowledge their hard work year round! Christine Davis, Co-chair; Doug & Linda Emery, Co-chairs; Heather Blair, Faculty Chair; Rene Newton, Cisco Systems; Philip May & Ernaz Irani, Hewlett-Packard; Susanne Englert, IBM; Lynette Stapleton Kindergarten: Linda Emery, Robert Kendall, Sandhya Kulkarni, Kiran Padwekar; Gr. 1: Marcia Riedel, Elena Gruzman, David Heslop, Chris Riedel; Gr. 2: Deepa Iyengar, Tamra Amick, Melinda Gonzales, Russell Grabeel, Vidya Lakshmi Chari, Vidhya Narasimhan; Gr. 3: Kim Pellissier, Grace Edvalson, Vivek Gupta (Yahoo!), Vidya Kamat, Brian Moss, Brian Richardson; Gr. 4: Karen Coates, Rebecca Cox, Regina Gupta, Helena Jerney, Heather Wardenburg; Gr. 5: Sarah Pennell, Ravi Chalaka, Alice Chi, Chris Gustafson, Marcia Hirtenstein, Karen Saunders, Abhay Salukhe; Gr. 6: Galina Patil, Sangeeta Mehrotra, Jane Villadsen, Nina Walvekar; Gr. 7: Ken Azebu, Betsy Lindars, Christine Davis, Janet Smith; Gr. 8: Philip Palmintere, Rodney Rapson, Robert Schwartz, Abha Shukla, Huali Chai Stanek; Gr. 9: Nimi Nagalingam, Roy Chetty, Galina Gaknoki, Taruna Punj, Sharadha Raghavan, Jayanthi Ravikumar, Carol Underwood; Gr. 10: Doug Emery, Sandra Berglund, Colin Hsi, Suchitra Narayen, Hemangi Parikh, Tanya Ringold, Bella Yanovsky; Gr. 11: Sangeeta Gupte, Shyamoli Banerjee, Sue Datta, Jacky Liu, Kathy Polzin, Evelyn Yao; Gr. 12: Mark Shapiro, Joan Brooks, John Hawley, Aloka Naskar, Carol Zink. —Bran-Dee Torres, Director of Annual Giving

Thank you Shyamoli, Reshma and Greta!

to date 100% 90% 80%

We would like to extend our sincere thanks to Shyamoli Banerjee, Reshma Dave and Greta Jackson for taking on this leadership role over the past year. From the start, they put their hearts and souls into creating the Rock the Runway! Fashion Show, which 1,500 guests, parents and students will long remember. They worked tirelessly throughout the year to make sure no details were missed. They led 21 committees and 70 volunteers, and they even found 101 different ways to say “thank you” to their committees using the word “rock.”


Because of their leadership and dedication the 2005 Fashion Show was not only an amazing, memorable event for all who attended, it was also a huge financial success, netting $267,500 for Harker!


Ladies, you were the “Rock” of Gibraltar that made our 2005 Fashion Show goals a reality. Many thanks to you for dedicating a year of your time to put on this successful event that contributes so much to Harker’s students and programs. And a special thanks to each of your families for their support and understanding of your efforts!



Steven Wong, parent

The Harker Fashion Show Co-chair is a prestigious position within the Harker community, and only the very best are asked to take on the leadership of this annual community event.

30% 20% 10%

—Jennifer Helmonds, Director, The Harker Fund

Save the date! “A Polar Picnic” - Sun., Oct. 16, 2005! In case you’re wondering how we chose the theme, this one was easy. While the Picnic Committee was knee deep in tropical treasures during picnic set-up last October, eighth grader Louis Prusa stood in the doorway of the Saratoga Gym and simply said, “We should do a polar picnic next time.” We all paused in disbelief, then almost simultaneously shouted, “That’s it! It’s perfect!” (What a sure way to guarantee 100 degree weather for Picnic 2005!) Plans are now underway for Harker’s winter wonderland, so if you’d like to share ideas, help, or simply “chill out” with the Picnic Committee, please contact Lynette Stapleton at or Kelly Espinosa at

$855,000 4

And thanks, Louis.....we owe it all to you! — Lynette Stapleton and Kelly Espinosa, Picnic Chairs Harker News — April 05




Daniel Hudkins, director of instructional technology reports that the specifications for next year’s laptop requirements will be available soon in the Student Tech Help section of, so stay tuned! You can e-mail him at

New Online Bookstore Harker’s new online bookstore is officially up and running! Links to this convenient new site have been created on the student and summer pages of the Harker Web site, as well as in the left-hand navigation bar on the Parent Home Page (PHP). The site includes special pages for sale items and promotional goods that will be updated monthly. In-stock items purchased on-line will be available within two business days of the purchase at the bookstore on the Saratoga campus, which is open from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. Give us your feedback on this new online bookstore to assist us in adapting this new site to best serve the Harker community. Contact Bookstore Manager Bob Benge at Happy shopping!

US PC Help Desk Harker’s PC Tech Help Desk, available to US students during their lunch periods each day in the Harker Bookstore, has proven to be a very helpful resource for students experiencing a variety of problems with their laptops. Now that our US is an all-laptop school, technician Lee Trotter has found that students appreciate the extra help with their tech questions, especially when their time is short. “This is more of a ‘pit stop’ for quick fixes, rather than a full time garage,” he explained. Along with “quick fixes,” the help desk provides rental laptops for students while their own laptops are being repaired. If the problem is beyond the capable range of the help desk and the laptop was purchased through the Harker Laptop Purchase Program, students can drop off their laptops at the help desk, replace it with a rental laptop, and then in 3-4 days have their laptops returned in working condition. Spearheading the idea of a tech help desk was US Director of Instructional Technology Daniel Hudkins. He began to see the rise of intrusive Spyware applications draining processing power of student laptops and felt that the students could use a helpful reminder of what a little regular maintenance could mean for their laptops. “We needed to ensure that students wouldn’t lose time on a paper or project due to a broken or lagging laptop,” said Hudkins. As an additional resource for students, Harker provides students with ample space on the Harker server to maintain a running backup of the files on their laptops, particularly vital when trading a personal laptop for a rental as it allows for no lost time when a student needs a laptop repaired.

Harker Hosts Tech Meeting Harker’s Directors of Instructional Technology, Laura Miller (K-8) and Daniel Hudkins (US), hosted a meeting for BAISnet (Bay Area Independent Schools Network) in the Saratoga Library on Fri., March 4. The network boasts over 150 members spanning schools from Marin to the South Bay. Among the topics discussed at the meeting were actions that schools were taking in relation to content management systems, portals and implementing information literacy training for staff and students. Harker News — April 05


This month we’re introducing our two new library clerks (see below). I asked them to share one of their favorite books with you, and then I asked their library supervisors to do the same – enjoy! Angelica Rodriquez, US Library Clerk loves: “Rain of Gold” by Victor Villasenor. This is an epic tale of the tribulations of the author’s parents - how they met, fell in love, and came to California from Mexico. It began as a novel, but the author returned his $75,000 advance to write the book as a non-fictional account for a smaller publisher. This was my favorite book in high school and probably still is today. Gr. 9 up. (Arte Publico Press, 1991. 551p. ill., maps.) On order. Alex Lux, US Library Clerk recalls a medical thriller: One of my favorite books is Michael Crichton’s “Andromeda Strain.” It has action, mystery, suspense and I remember not being able to put it down. Gr. 9 up. (Avon Books, 2003, c. 1969) FIC CRI Naama Tal, US Librarian enjoyed: “The Agony and the Ecstasy: a Biographical Novel of Michelangelo” by Irving Stone. This fictional biography of Michelangelo Buonarroti reveals his artistic genius. A story that inspired me to follow the creation of the artist in Italy, an artist who conceived figures as being imprisoned in the block and was merely “removing the excess stone” to release the forms. Gr. 9 up. (Signet, 1961) FIC STO Donna Ward, MS Librarian recommends: “The Outcasts of 19 Schuyler Place” by E.L. Konigsburg. A young girl is sent to a summer camp in rural New York that she ends up loathing. Like Melville’s infamous Bartleby the Scrivener, when asked to participate in camp activities, she responds that she “prefers not to.” She is subsequently saved from the oppressive camp by her uncles and her summer turns into a journey to save historical local artwork created by her eccentric Hungarian uncles. You can’t miss this story of a plucky young woman and her quest to save the towers. Ages 11-14. (Thorndike Pr., 2004.) FIC KON —Enid Davis, Library Director

Welcome New Library Staff The Library welcomes two new part-time clerks. Alex Lux is a graduate of the University of Montana, where he majored in political science, and he is currently enrolled in a Master’s program in library science at San Jose State University. Lux is a skier, snowboarder, and fisherman. He will work in the US Library. Angelica Rodriquez is a graduate student studying to be a teacher. She graduated from UCSB, where she worked for several years in the art library. Rodriquez will move to the Blackford Campus next year.



■ Jump for Heart Every LS student participated in this annual favorite event this past month to raise funds for the American Heart Association. See page 9 for photos and facts!

Jaja Hsuan

■ Healing Hearts, One Bear at a Time Two years ago Calvin Yu (’03) established a bear collection project for charity. In 2004 the Key Club adopted the project and is now partnering with Fremont’s One Bear Project – under the motto of “Healing Hearts, One Bear at a Time” – and Key Club members have been collecting wayward bears. About 30 students gathered after school recently to personalize the bears and prepare them for children from low-income families, to bring a smile and a bear hug to children in need.

■ Organization of Special Needs Families (OSF) Following a club presentation by OSF directors about the importance of social, emotional, and intellectual development of children and teens with disabilities, Key Club members Alice Chi, Kristie Cu, Charlie Fang, Kunal Gupte, Jason Han, Kyle Kitasoe, Jocelyn Ko, Sneha Krishna, Michael Lee, Kevin Pan, Kathy Peng, Ruchi Srivastava, Jayasree Sundaram and Jamie Trinh all took the initiative to contact OSF to learn more about becoming activity leaders and mentors on a regular basis. OSF provides enrichment classes such as physical therapy, music, reading, computers, and sports for children and teens with special needs. Thank you to Teddy Lee and his family for introducing this wonderful


opportunity to the club! ■ Library for Underprivileged Children Harker US students joined volunteers last month from Stanford, Santa Clara, and San Jose State University to help establish a new library for underprivileged children in San Jose. Grail Family Services extends its appreciation to all the students who helped sort and move books into the new library: Kari Berglund, Janise Chan, Cheryl Chiu, Ashley Dang, Nina Duong, Naushad Godrej, Jason Han, Kelvin Ho, Timothy Ho, Anjali Joy, Colleen Lee, Catherine Liaw, Erin Newton, Anusha Reddy, Jasper Shau, Stephanie Syu, Heidi Wang, Joanna Xu and Mounica Yanamandala. ■ Harker Student Art Displayed at Annual Festival The US Art Department took part in this year’s Vietnamese New Year Festival at the San Jose Fairgrounds. Vanessa Vu, parent of Christine Vu, coordinated efforts with faculty members Don Maxwell, Jaap Bongers, and J Gaston, to showcase student artwork at the weekend festival. Vanessa commented, “The exhibit was a wonderful success, as it received an enormous amount of attention and appreciation from its viewers. Our audience ranged from amateur filmmakers to college teachers to politicians like the City Councilman Dave Cortese, and California State Assemblyman Van Tran.” Student art included works by: Akhila Bhoopalam, Mariama Eghan, Chanelle Kasik, Monica Lin, Brian Muramatsu (‘02), Samara Nebenzahl (‘02),

Lenka Pelakova, Praveen Pendyala, Jennifer Shangkuan (‘04), Tanu Shenoy, Alisha Tolani, Natalie Torban, Christin Tu, Deborah Tu (‘03), Aditi Uttarwar, Christine Vu, and Calvin Yu (‘03). Student volunteers included: Sinead Toolis Byrd, Alex Chen, Juliana Daniil, Nina Duong, Stephanie Herh, Ruehanee Killer, Alan Quach, Shrestha Singh, Andrew Tran, Christine Vu, Mounica Yanamandala and Aline Zorian. ■ Tsunami Update A heartfelt “thank you” to all who dined at Chevy’s to support the freshman class tsunami relief fundraiser. Over $1,500 in meals were purchased by Harker friends and family during the 4-day fundraiser, and a total of $218 in profits will be donated to the Red Cross. The senior class is now selling Tsunami Relief Bands, and parents and students can purchase the silicone bracelets for $3 from the Bookstore to show their support for victims of the disaster. They come in Youth and Adult sizes with a special message imprinted on the outside. At press time, the sophomore and junior classes were busy planning their Tsunami Relief Week, so watch the next edition for a recap of their efforts. In addition, Red Cross Club members and US student volun-

teers organized a face-painting and donation booth, raising a grand total of $506.50 for the International Red Cross Tsunami Relief Fund. See page 11 for the fun photo and recap on the great MS fundraiser. ■ Second Harvest Food Sort Following the US Holiday Food Drive for Second Harvest, a group of Harker students also helped Second Harvest sort the thousands of pounds of food that continued to be delivered. US Community Service Director Jaja Hsuan commented, “It was an eye-opening experience for our students to be a part of a community-wide effort that feeds thousands of people on a weekly basis. Volunteering at this warehouse allowed them to learn the scope of the collection and distribution process, and to actually witness the amount of hard work and dedication that makes this program so successful.” Participants of the food sort included: Kari Berglund, Melissa Chen, Ashley Dang, Alex Fandrianto, Gilbert Fu, Chanelle Kasik, Ruehanee Killer, Jocelyn Ko, Mina Lee, Daniel Nguyen, Eric Nguyen, Robert Oh, Neha Parikh, Alan Quach, Varun Ram, Natalie So, Yi Sun, Andrew Tran, Ms. Hsuan, Ms. Meyer and Ms. Zink. ■ HN Express The Office of Communications thanks the following US students for assisting with recent Harker News mailings: Marco Abellera, Mariah Bush, Emily Chow, Alex Fandrianto, Chanelle Kasik, Derek Keung, Paul Lee, Neha Parikh and Deepa Ramakrishnan.

Diann Chung

At all grade levels Harker students and faculty enthusiastically participate in community service throughout the year, as well as reach out to our communities to share our talents and resources, and support local and professional organizations. Each month we share a sampling of these outreach activities in The Harker News and on the Web site.


Gr. 1 Helps Animal Shelter – Gr. 1 families recently organized a drive to collect dog biscuits, cat toys, dog treats, hard baby rattles or plastic keys and monetary donations of any amount for the Humane Society of Silicon Valley. They collected 185 pounds of dog and cat food, and 110 dog and cat toys. Many thanks to all who participated, and congratulations to our first graders for their wonderful efforts! Harker News — April 05


production 2005 The 22nd annual Dance Production, Dance 101, was a spectacular success, featuring over 150 students performing five shows to parents and students over the 4-day run. The Dance 101 theme was carried throughout the production with the help of a very creative student road trip video periodically projected on both sides of the stage. The video, created by junior Naeha Bhambra, seniors Genna Erlikhman, Yagmur Ilgen, Fiona Lundie, and freshman Kartik Venkatraman, documented the students’ adventures on the way to San Francisco and to a house at the beach, with each scene merging seamlessly into a live dance on-stage. Highlights of the video included celebrity appearances by our very own Howard (as a horseman) and Diana (as a dancer) Nichols, and Chris Nikoloff (as a sheriff) and Jennifer Gargano (as a police officer). A huge standing ovation to dance teachers Laura Rae, Adrian Bermudez and their guest choreographers, to student choreographers Bhambra, Laura Holford, Gr. 9, Tommy Holford, Gr. 11, Ilgen, Tiffany Lau, Gr. 12, Lundie and Aditi Uttarwar, Gr. 12, and to all our talented dancers for an amazing ride!

Harker News — April 05


kid talk Kids really DO say the cutest things. We hope you enjoy this new monthly column where we’ll share the thoughts of our youngest community members on a variety of topics, both weighty and whimsical.

“What makes a good friend?” “A good friend never tells you what you can and can’t do.” Tiara Bhatacharya, Gr. 2 “A good friend is made of cake and frosting and anything sweet.” Corey Gonzales, Gr. 2 “A good friend is someone who is loyal, won’t talk behind your back and has funny stories about fighting chipmunks.” Jasmine Gill, Gr. 4



Firefighters Join 13th Annual Jump Rope For Heart With enthusiasm – and a lot of heart – every Harker K-6 student recently jumped, hopped, and skipped to raise money for a deserving charity during the 13th annual Harker “Jump Rope for Heart” jump-a-thon this year on Feb. 25 to raise funds for the American Heart Association (AHA). To help make the jump-a-thon more of a community event, the students invited teachers, parents and the Campbell Fire Department to jump, as well. Many turned up, including our local firefighters who made an appearance to help turn ropes and even jump themselves. NBC Channel 5 also did live coverage of the event, with weather anchor Roberta Gonzales joining in on the jumping that aired on the noon news. The event, organized

by P.E. teacher Pete Anderson, was preceded by an assembly to build excitement, which included a surprise exhibition of special jumping techniques (and hilarity) by some of the faculty. This annual fundraiser helps students contribute to the welfare of their community, and at press time the students had raised more than $7,000 toward their goal of $10,000. Special incentives were in place for the students – including

teachers offering to wear school uniforms and let the students have free dress if they reached a goal – so watch the May edition for the final tally. The money raised from this event will be donated to the AHA to help fund much needed research and support their educational programs.

“A good friend is someone who looks like me!” Nick Kehriotis, Gr. 6 “A good friend is someone who is willing to back you up no matter what someone says about you.” Guillaume Delepine, Gr. 6 “A good friend is someone who doesn’t like the same girl as you.” David Wu, Gr. 6

reminders April 13 – Qtr. 3 report cards will be mailed home for all K-6 grade students. April 15 to 17 – Gr. 3 Campout: After a successful trip last year, the Grade Level Coordinators are resurrecting a campout this year. Gr. 3 families can join the group at the KOA in Santa Cruz. The cost of camping will be about $120 per family. Contact for more info. April 17 – Gr. 4 Sunday in the Park: Families are invited to bring balls, bats, and other outdoor toys for a casual afternoon in the park. Contact Laura van den Dries for more info: Visit the Parent Home Page (PHP) for ongoing reminders and updates.


Year of the Rooster

A G’Day to All!

Harker Gr. 2 classes started off the lunar new year with a bang, thanks to parent volunteers Ann Nguyen (Nicholas, Gr. 2), Greg Martin (Conor, K; Delaney, Gr. 2; Araby, Gr. 6), and the rest of the Gr. 2 parents. The Feb. 25 celebration included the tasting of traditional foods, lion mask creating, an introduction to the Chinese animal zodiac, a costume fitting of traditional New Year outfits, and a Lion Dance by dance troupe Vovinam that featured many acrobat and rhythmic dance moves.

Gr. 5 Language Arts teacher Kate Shanahan’s class celebrated “Australia Day” on Jan. 26, an important national holiday for the land “down-under.” The inspiration for the celebration came from Rachelle Koch, Gr. 5, who is Australian, and Rachelle’s father, Zeynep Koch, contributed to the festivities by presenting the class with a fun fact sheet on Australia and passing out special Australian treats. Rachelle and Zeynep also gave the class a toy koala bear as a reminder of the beautiful island nation and the special holiday.

Teacher Lisa Hirata was pleased to see such great response from the students. “This celebration was a ver y enriching experience for the students. It was well planned and a complete success due to generous parent volunteers.” Many thanks to our parent volunteers for creating such a special day for our students!

Some Aussie slang to try: Ankle biter: small child Arvo: afternoon Chewie: chewing gum Chockie: chocolate Chook: a chicken Footy: Australian rules football Togs: swim suit Whinge: complain Yakka: work (noun) Harker News — April 05


Annual K Video Conferences Harker kindergartners recently participated in their annual videoconferences with Tamagawa, our sister school in Japan. Students from each school shared their songs, their culture and their friendship, and parents enjoyed learning that the children from both schools share the same likes and dislikes. Though thousands of miles apart, through these videoconferences students begin to experience – at a very young age – the concept of global citizenry.

Where the Wild Things Were Students recently enjoyed a special outdoor assembly where a wildlife specialist demonstrated the different survival adaptations of the lizard species, and Kelle Sloan, Jason Pergament and Kelly Espinosa helped hold a nearly 10 ft. boa constrictor.

Lip Sync

Nick Gassmann

Even the teachers got into the swing of things at the 11th annual fifth grade Valentine’s Day Lip Sync Show (left). There were 12 acts ranging from the very funny “Ode to Cheese” to all the fifth graders rocking out to the band Linkin Park.

Parent Coffees LS parents recently gathered for their monthly Gr. 1 (below) and Gr. 4 (bottom left) coffees. Visit the Parent Home Page (PHP) for updates and reminders about these and other parent organized gatherings!

After exciting and successful endings to their basketball seasons, the 5th and 6th grade boys and girls have moved into their spring sports seasons. The 4th graders have completed their soccer season and are also eager to move into spring sports. The athletes have hung their high tops and stored their soccer cleats, foreshadowing the return of dusty ball caps and stiffened baseball and softball gloves, and all teams are now eager to learn and play what has been dubbed America’s favorite pastime: baseball!

With the grace of good weather, both softball and baseball teams have hit the field running to learn the fundamental strategies and skills needed – watch next month for an update on this exciting season! —Nick Gassmann, Coach

rec news Fourth quarter has just begun, and there are some great new classes the Rec Dept. is offering to our students, including: ■ “CSI” Harker ■ K Dance ■ Chess Club & Chess Team ■ “Safe Kids” ■ Karate ■ Zoology ■ Swimming Also making its way onto the field is kickball – happy spring!

Harker News — April 05


speak out We thought you’d like to read some comments our students shared from their journals in the Gr. 8 Science department’s “Baby, Think It Over” Real Baby simulation project. It seems parents have successfully kept secret the joys of sleep deprivation! —Cindy Kerr, MS Division Head “I learned that parenting is boring and very hard (especially at night) and it isn’t as easy as it looks.” Elizabeth Hartoog “It’s amazing what even a short sleep disturbance can do.” Elizabeth Case “Sleeping was a huge problem.” Sachin Rangarajan “The baby would cry whenever I was doing something...The baby ate too many times.” Steven Tran “It was also hard to get some sleep at night. Even when I was tired, I would sometimes stay awake, thinking the baby would start crying any time soon…This (Real Babies projects) will be an experience that I will never forget.” Patrice Lin “Last night was pure torture. As soon as I shut my eyes, Leila-Danielle would start screaming her tiny robotic head off. It seemed I got absolutely no sleep that night...She finally fell asleep in time for water polo practice at noon, but as soon as I got back into the car she demanded that I, a sopping wet, exhausted teenage kid, change her diaper.” Beckie Yanovsky “My parents saw how responsible I was. Also, they were able to help me with tips that they used when raising my sister and me. Remembering my early years made the discussion of parenting easier.” Neha Sabharwal “It made it a more relevant topic, which made it less awkward to talk about. It gave us a real idea about what teen pregnancy could do to our family.” Elena Madan




Students Continue to Show Math Prowess MS students had outstanding performances at several math competitions over the past two months. In the 2005 MathCounts competition at SJSU on Sat., Feb. 5, participants representing Harker were: Gr. 8 – Thomas Wang, Jonathan Lui, Andrew Chin and Vikram Nathan; Gr. 7 – Jeanette Chin, Andrew Zhou, Kevin Zhang and Victor Chen. In the team competition, the Harker squad – composed of Wang, Lui, Zhou and Jeanette Chin – placed fifth in the field of 20 teams. Harker’s score of 59 points was only 2.5 points less than the first place team.

“It is a tough chapter to compete in, and all eight representatives from Harker did an amazing job!” Wang finished 7th in the individual competition at UC Davis. At the annual Stanford Mathematics Tournament on Mar. 6, Wang performed exceptionally against a field of 200 competitors from all over the Bay Area, mostly high school students. Wang won the tournament’s Algebra I/Algebra II contest by answering all ten questions correctly and turning in a perfect paper!

in the team competition, while Albert Wu also placed second in the individual event. Harker won first place in the Gr. 7 team contest with the team of Vishesh Jain, Curran Kaushik, Kevin Zhang, Sonya Huang, Nikhil Bhargava, Alex Han and Victor Chang, with Chen, Jain and Bhargava earning second, third and fourth place in the individual competition, respectively. Two delegations of Harker students placed in the top three in the Gr. 8 group contest. The team of Vikram Nathan, Jonathan Liu, Andrew Chin, Aaron Lin, Brian Chao, Denzil Sikka, and Sophia Gilman placed first, and the team of Sachin Rangarajan, Alexander He, Andrew Stanek, Aditya Yellapragada, Kunal Modi, Tiffany Tseng and Connie Wu finished tied for third. Liu also placed third in the individual Gr. 8 competition.

In the individual contests, Wang finished third among 192 students with a score of 45 points, just one point shy of a perfect score. Jeanette Chin also did exceptionally well, placing seventh in the individual competition. Both Wang and Jeanette Chin represented Harker at the MathCounts state competition at UC Davis on March 12. “All the students did extremely well,” said MS math teacher Vandana Kadam.

Harker students also made an excellent showing as the host school of the fourth annual Harker Math Invitational, held Sat., Mar. 12 on the Saratoga campus. Harker hosted 190 contestants from nine different schools for the Gr. 6-8 competition. Harker competitors placed in the top three of every individual and team event. In the Gr. 6 contests, the Harker group of Michael Hooton, Ambrish Amaranathan, Anshul Jain, Scott Lin, Ganesh Sivakumar, Ollie Peng and Robert Maxton finished second

Ultimate Frisbee Club

MS Summer News

MS enlight’ning

After a series of successful informal games with Gr. 8 students during the morning break, MS computer science teacher Tim Culbertson, MS science teacher Simon Keilty and MS math teacher Camila Valdez created the Ultimate Frisbee Club beginning second semester. All three teachers change into P.E. clothes and join the club members for 35-minute matches of Ultimate Frisbee every Wednesday. “The club has grown to upwards of 22 students,” said Keilty. “It’s a blast.”

Challenges, Choices and Fun!

The 2005 award-winning literary magazine enlight’ning will publish in late May. Gr. 7 expository writing teacher and club advisor Stacie Newman said the 2004 edition was awarded a rating of “Excellent” from the National Council of Teachers of English, and was one of only three middle schools to earn this rating of the 17 California schools that received such a designation at the annual Gr. 7-12 competition. This year’s enlight’ning staff is: Gr. 8 – Pratusha Erraballi, Kaavya Gowda, Shreya Gowda, Patrice Lin, Elizabeth Liu, Prachi Sharma, Elizabeth Case; Gr. 7 – Valerie Hwa, Adrienne Wong.

This year the Gr. 6-8 summer camp staff is planning a new flexible, camper-centered afternoon schedule designed especially for MS students that allows for a more individualized schedule. Some of the ideas being explored for Eagles Choice projects are: • Babysitter training • Jr. Lifeguard Certification • Cooking Classes • Video Production…and more! The group activities will also be more challenging and appropriate for Gr. 6-8 students this year, since there will be no Gr. 4-5 campers on the Saratoga campus this year. This allows the activity schedule to be designed exclusively for our Gr. 6-8 kids! Many of the traditional camp favorites will still be part of the program, like color clash, overnights, camp dance, trips to the beach and the A's game, so stay tuned!

In addition, one of Harker’s sister schools – the Shanghai World Foreign Language Middle School (SWFLMS) – participated on-line from Shanghai in the invitational for the first time this year.

We're "WILD" about the changes... hope you can join us! Visit the summer program Web site or call the Summer Office at 408.871.4611 for an application or more information! Harker News — April 05

sports MS Faculty Honor Students by “Walking in Their Shoes”

In recognition of the MS surpassing the $4,000 mark in funds raised to aid victims of the tsunami, administrators and faculty honored their students by participating in a “Teacher Dress-Up Day” on Fri., Feb. 25 where students earned a free dress day and faculty and administrators dressed in Harker uniforms. The MS exceeded their fundraising benchmark through a renewed call for help at the beginning of the second semester. Teachers in first period classes offered an opportunity for students to make personal donations, and the student council organized a bake sale and sold candy grams, with all proceeds going toward the relief collection. Said MS Division Head Cindy Kerr, “The entire Harker community is proud of their energies and efforts for this cause.”

Gr. 7 students recently participated in the “Element Brochure” creative science project. After randomly selecting an element from the periodic table out of a hat during their science classes, students worked individually to create tri-fold informational brochures about their particular elements. The brochures contained the following information: Electron shell diagrams and valence electrons; atomic number and mass isotopes periodic table group and period; brief history of element (who discovered it and when; how it was named); natural state (how it is found or synthesized); physical properties (solid/liquid/ gas, color, reactivity, radioactivity, metal/non-metal/metalloid, etc.); uses of the element. Harker News — April 05

MS Teams Shine at Annual Harker Hoops Classic

Nick Gassmann - all sports photos

Creative Elements

Warmer weather and clear days mark the start of this year’s spring sports. After an exciting finish to their seasons, the Gr. 7 and 8 teams have moved from the gym floors to the grass fields of the STG campus. The A1 boys basketball team capped their 16-3 season with impressive wins at the Queen of Apostles, Harker and Mayors tournaments with stellar play from Harrison Schwartz, Usua Amanam, and Arman Gupta. Solid performances turned in by Abhinav Mathur and Rahul Ahuja helped the A2 boys basketball finish 4th at this year’s Hillbrook tournament. The A1 girls basketball team finished up a successful season by posting eight wins, including a 2nd place finish at the Kings Academy Tournament. The girls wouldn’t have been so successful without the improved play of Ananya Anand and Minaz Laiwalla. Coached by Richard Amarillas, the B1 boys basketball ended on more than just a first place win at this year’s Hillbrook tournament, but also with a very impressive 13-0 record. The boys didn’t allow a single team to get within 10 points of them this season with the help of Ryan Cali, Lung-Ying Yu and Rohan Shah. Like their B1 counterparts the B2 boys basketball team finished strong and reported one of the best 2nd level team records Harker has had in years. A combined total of three points kept the boys from an undefeated season, making their 4-2 record much more special. Playing very well in the Hillbrook Gr. 8 tournament, Katherine Harris, Kendra Moss, Kacie Kaneyuki and the rest of the Gr. 7 B1 girls basketball team shared a strong season, and look forward to continued success next year. The MS teams now in season include soccer, tennis, swimming, boys’ volleyball, softball, and baseball. Go Eagles! —Theresa “Smitty” Smith, Gr. 4-8 Athletic Director and Nick Gassmann, Coach See recent sports photos at left.



speak out Closed Campus, Open Minds One of the most common complaints—I mean, questions—that I hear from students goes something like this: “Why does Harker have a closed campus policy?” Or like this: “What’s wrong with Dr. Hartzell? Why won’t he let us have an open campus?” Every once in a while, a parent echoes one of those questions, and, thus, I thought that a few remarks might be in order. The administration has two compelling reasons for maintaining the closed campus policy at Harker. The first should be obvious to even the most casual observer: Safety. Our campus is an oasis of tranquility sandwiched between an interstate and a beer hall and topped with slices of exit ramps, strip malls, and busy thoroughfares, seasoned with both savory and unsavory types. Harker may not be “the real world,” but that is just fine with us. I suspect that most of you agree. But there is another reason: Community. Yes, community. It is absolutely not our goal to turn Harker into a junior college or commuter high school. Our mission goes well beyond imparting academic knowledge -- we want students to learn the importance of belonging to a group, the importance of participating in a community. Fortunately, in late May of their senior year, the vast majority of students do, in fact, understand why we insist on keeping a closed campus; many visionaries, as they realize what they are about to leave behind, even appreciate what we have done and wonder at what they have helped to create.

Students Excel at Engineering and Math Competitions JETS: Four Harker teams of eight students each (two varsity and two junior varsity) attended the Junior Engineering Technical Society (JETS) competition at Stanford on Mar. 5, and one of the varsity teams, composed of Yi Sun (captain), Neil Chao, Arkajit Dey, Jerry Hong, Mason Liang, Alan Malek, Joel Wright and Justin Wu, took first place among Northern California teams! In addition, last year’s all-freshman team returned as sophomores and took first place, our freshman team took second, and our second varsity team had a good showing, as well. Sophomore team: Aline Zorian (captain), Justin Chin, Danyal Kothari, Richard Kwant, Jessie Li, Tiffany June Lin, Daniel Paik, and Jacqueline Rousseau; Freshman team: Thomas Roxlo (captain), Catherine Chiu, Paul Christiano, Rachel Fong, Spencer Liang, Scott Liao, Jonathan Shih and Tonia Sun; 2nd Varsity team: seniors Yagmur Ilgen (captain), Emily Hsi, and Nina Joshi, juniors Shilpa Vadodoria and Christine Yeh, and sophomores Ashley Morishige, Yuanyuan Pao, and Natasha Sarin.


and state level only the multiplechoice portion of the competition is graded,” she said. “The freeresponse answers describing an engineering design solution are graded at the national level.” The event also included speaker Gloria Montano, the director of the Virtual Development Center for Anita Borg Institute for Women and Technology.

10, and Justin Wu, Gr. 12, placed Harker in the highest echelon of school rankings, earning Harker a certificate of distinction. All 49 students were awarded certificates recognizing their achievement by the Mathematical Association of America, and have earned an invitation to compete in the American Invitational Mathematics Exam [AIME]. This qualifying test for the American Mathematics Olympiad in Washington, DC will be given at Harker on March 8.

Math teacher Judy James explained that the students now wait for the California team rankings to be announced next month, and in May, the national results. “At the local

AMC: Mathematics chair Joanne Mason reported that Harker US students did very well on the recent AMC10 and AMC12 tests of the American Mathematics Competition with 49 students earning distinction. Forty-four of those students earned additional honors by scoring above 100 on the AMC12, and five students earned similar honors by scoring above 120 on the AMC10. “Nationally, about 1 - 5% of the students who take the AMC score this well,” said Mason. Rachel Fong, Gr. 9, was specially recognized for earning the highest score on either the AMC10 or the AMC12 at Harker. Yi Sun, Gr. 11, earned a Gold Medal from the Mathematical Association of America for being the highest scoring Harker student on the AMC12 three years in a row. The highest three scorers on the AMC12 comprise Harker’s team. The performance of this team, consisting of Sun, Justin Chin, Gr.

BAMO: In addition, 15 of our students participated in the Bay Area Math Olympiad (BAMO) Feb. 22, with the Harker team placing 2nd overall. The following students also received individual awards at a ceremony held at the University of San Francisco on Mar. 6: Thomas Wang, Gr. 8; Jay Shah, Gr. 9; Arkajit Dey, Gr. 10; Yi Sun, Gr. 11; Mason Liang, Gr. 12. At the event, which included a lunch and mathematical talk by Melanie Wood of Princeton, the first female representative of the U.S. in the International Math Olympiad, the Harker team was also presented with a trophy and ping-pong table. “The team awards are based partly on the number of students participating, so with more participants we have a great chance of winning first place next year,” explained math teacher Carlynn Keilty.

Japanese Honors

Presidential Scholars

PA Tech Olympics

Japanese teachers Masako Onakado and Keiko Irino reported that two teams of students participated in the Japan Bowl, a competition to test the ability of high school students throughout America. Honors Japanese 3 students, juniors Eric Tzeng (captain), Catherine Ho, and Christine Hsueh are now advancing to the National Competition to be held in Washington, DC, on March 26. Also competing from the Japanese 2 class were freshmen Emily Chow (captain), Whitney Huang, and Jessica Hsueh.

Gr. 12 Harker students Mason Liang, Joel Wright and Justin Wu were recently selected as candidates for the United States Presidential Scholars Program, which was established in 1964 by President Lyndon B. Johnson to recognize and honor some of the nation’s most distinguished graduating high school seniors. Of the nearly 2.8 million students expected to graduate nationwide this year, only 2,600 students were selected, based on their exceptional performance on the College Board SAT or the ACT. Presidential Scholar awardees will be named later this year.

On Mar. 12, theater technician Brian Larsen took five students to CSU East Bay to compete in the technical portion of the 23rd Annual Shakespeare Festival. This was Harker’s first time competing, and the team, Ben Carpenter, Gr. 9, Andrew Hospodor, Gr. 10, Brian McEuen, Gr. 9, Kit Schimandle, Gr. 10, and Esther Teplitsky, Gr. 10, performed very well.

Masako Onakado

Our community is a fragile, ever-renewing edifice of people -- We are Harker.

—Dr. Richard Hartzell, US Division Head


Special recognition was awarded to McEuen who participated in the Scene-Shift competition, and to Schimandle, who placed first in the Lighting Hang and Focus and won the Pentathalon competition having the highest combined score in the five individual events (Lighting, Saw Use, Flat Assembly, Sewing, and Makeup). Larsen hopes to make this an annual tradition. Congratulations to Larsen and our creative Tech students! Harker News — April 05

sports First European Musical Tour a “Fantastic Experience”

Susan Nace & Joe Rosenthal - both photos

Cantilena and the Orchestra completed a very successful inaugural tour to Europe over the Presidents’ Week vacation, where twentysix Harker students performed concerts and attended workshops in the cities of Budapest, Hungary, Eisenstadt and Vienna, Austria and Prague, Czech Republic.Orchestra Director Richard Frazier and Cantilena Director Susan Nace were joined by fellow chaperones Jennifer Owen (who plays viola with the orchestra) and Director of advancement Joe Rosenthal. We’re extremely proud of these students for representing Harker on this international tour. Here we share entries from Nace’s travel journal entries and some student comments about this amazing experience.

The reply was, “We have not met very many. Do you like American girls?” His reply: “I like all girls.”

‘Fast food’ in

Budapest is running down the street with

opera by Mozart which premiered in Prague back in the late 1700s. Day 9: home Those students who have taken AP European History and Study of Music have remarked at how much things make more sense since we have been here. It has been a fantastic experience for all of us.

your crepe so you do not miss your bus. Dylan Syrett, Gr. 10

Day 3: Vienna Cantilena sang in “Haydnshall,” the acoustically perfect, intricately frescoed hall at the Esterhazy country estate where Haydn lived and worked. Dr. Jutta Unkart-Seifert, an internationally known singer who has dedicated her life to encouraging classical music among young people in Austria, hosted us at a reception with a wonderful meal she had prepared herself for all 30 of us in her apartment.

“I found our gorgeous, reverberating sound [at Haydnshall] surprising and wonderful. It was one of the most exciting singing experiences that I’ve had.” Julia Havard, Gr. 10 “I’ve especially enjoyed the size and complexity of the houses, the intricacy of the decoration.” Aneesh Donde, Gr. 10 “These cities are so old but the places are preserved so well.” Eric Hsieh, Gr. 11 “I am surprised to hear American music everywhere, like it’s a global community, with nice people who have a great sense of humor.” Subha Gollakota, Gr. 11 “Beethoven drilled holes in Haydn’s organ [console] to put wires in [from the console to] his ears in order to hear better!” Kat Hudkins, Gr. 11

Day 2: Budapest Our first concert! The audience was very engaged; if they really like something they have extended clapping which becomes quite rhythmic. It can last a while, sometimes as long as the song you’ve just performed! Favorite question from a charming young man who asked Cantilena, “Do you like Hungarian boys?”

Day 8: Prague The Orchestra sounded wonderful at today’s concert, even though cold poses a challenge to tuning. Two and 1/2 hours on the town plaza for shopping! Traveled to Terezin, a concentration camp, and returned to Prague to see a marionette show of “Don Giovanni,” the

Quiz Bowl Update

First-Ever Swiss Visit

Art Visits History

The Quiz Bowl team of Yi Sun, Gr. 11, Mason Liang, Gr. 12 and Lev Pisarsky, Gr. 12 is rapidly working their way through the preliminary rounds of competition, earning the number one seed going into the quarterfinals for the second consecutive year by soundly defeating Mountain View (by a score of 460-190), and then trouncing Half Moon Bay on Sat., Mar. 12. Coming up are the semifinals on Mar. 26, and hopefully the finals on Apr. 2! Stay tuned!

Harker welcomed the first-ever delegation from its sister-school in Fribourg, Switzerland, College de Gambach, on Sat., Mar. 12. At press time, the Swiss students’ Harker partners and International Program Director Bill Bost were busy treating the exchange group of 10 students and two chaperones to numerous fun activities such as visiting the Monterey Bay Aquarium and the Tech Museum and seeing The Lord of the Dance. Check the May issue for a full recap!

Art teacher Jaap Bongers guest lectured in Carol Zink’s World History I class, showing slides and sculptures of one of his specialties, African art, including this mask.

Harker News — April 05

Spring sports are off and rolling! Tennis advanced to the championship of a tournament at Wilcox HS and will meet Cupertino HS in the finals later this month. The number one doubles team Varoon Bhagat and Rajiv Ragu is currently sporting an 8-0 match record, and will be looking to garner the PSAL championship, after finishing second in league last year. The team hopes to return to CCS action, as well.

Also hoping to capture the league title will be the golf team. Coach Zetterquist feels that this year’s team may be the best one he has had. The team finished second in league last year and will take a run at the title. Hoping to improve upon their second place league finish last year, the boys volleyball team opens play on March 15 against league foe Redwood Christian. Several starters return and will undoubtedly play exciting volleyball under the direction of Coach Jason Reid. Baseball is off to a smashing 4-1 start, having earned 3rd place in the Andrew Hill Tournament. The team was led by super sophomore Jason Martin, who struck out 15 batters in the team’s opening victory, and came back two days later and cracked a home run and two doubles. With senior Ben Shapiro also earning pitching victories, the team opened league play on March 11. Softball has only played one game as of press time, Continued next page



sports Continued from p. 13 showing they can score runs! Taking solace in the 17-14 loss, the team knows they can hit the ball, and as the pitching continues to develop the team should encounter success. Track ran their first meet of the season with sophomore Jacob Bongers winning both the long jump and the triple jump, while finding time to finish 2nd in the 100 meter dash. Fellow sophomore Faustine Liao also took home the long jump victory to go along with her 4th place finish in the 100. Pole vaulter John Ollila took 3rd in the discus and 4th in the 200 meters. Swimming will open their season soon, and is looking forward to a fine season.

Steven Wong, parent

Congratulations to All League selections Jamie Trinh (1st Team WBAL basketball), Adhir Ravipati (1st Team PSAL basketball), Sara Laymoun (1st Team WBAL soccer) and Taylor Alexander and Lauren Gutstein (2nd Team WBAL basketball and soccer, respectively).

Finally, kudos to wrestler Brian Thurgate who advanced to the CCS championships and won three matches, the furthest a Harker wrestler has ever advanced! Go Eagles! —Jack Bither, US Athletic Director



Yet Another Use for Newspaper: Runway Fashions Grade 10 Harker students organized their own hilarious fashion show in the Saratoga Gym on Thurs., Feb. 10 for Harker’s firstever “Newspaper Fashion Show.” The 19 different Gr. 10 advisory groups competed to see which group could create the most humorous and original costumes using only newspaper, string and tape, then modeled the costumes at the event. Rec staff member Kerry Enzensberger and Rock the Runway! models and seniors Kevin Park, Emily Hsi, Suman Sundaresh and Rand Ahlgren, served as judges for the event. First place went to Gr. 10 Dean Diana Moss’s advisory group, that featured Jacob Bongers as “SuperBongers.” The advisory group of US Director of Instructional Technology Daniel Hudkins took second place featuring Hudkins himself wearing a daring strapless gown, and third place went to US English teacher John Heyes’s

advisory group, with Phillip Perkins modeling as a Statue of Liberty look-alike. Honorable mention went to aspiring seamstress Sinead Toolis Byrd, who spent hours creating an intricate gown. Said Moss, “The creativity, detail and humor students put into their costumes made this one fashion event not to be missed!”

Celebration of Diversity

CMEA Music Festivals

Anatomy Lab Visit

The US International Club hosted the third annual Multicultural Assembly and Fair in the STG Gym on Fri., Mar. 25 that featured ethnic dishes from around the world – including Russia, Mexico, Norway and Japan – in a buffet displayed by continent and boasting large flags of every represented country. The event, emceed by senior Boris Federov, featured cultural songs, art and dances, including a wonderful flamenco dance performance and an appearance by volunteers from the Diversity Youth Forum. Club advisor Susanna Hartzell explained that Harker students, teachers and rec staff were all invited to participate in the event and encouraged to wear ethnic clothing such as kimonos and saris. “The Multicultural Assembly is very important to our school because it embraces Harker’s amazing diversity,” said Hartzell. A raffle of special cultural gifts was held for attendees, and three picture booths were set up in the gym where students could take pictures by themselves or with friends to help create the 2006-07 International Club calendar. Their first-ever calendar for the 2005-06 school year is already in production and will be available at the bookstore on the Saratoga campus in early July.

Music teacher Richard Frazier reported that Harker students brought home 20 Superior ratings (qualifying to play at the State Festival in Sacramento in May), 11 Excellent ratings and three ratings of Good at the California Music Educators Association Solo and Ensemble (CMEA) Festival in Turlock on Mar. 5. Six of the superior ratings were given the added distinction of Command Performance: the duet of cellist Eric Hsieh, Gr. 11 and pianist Kristie Cu, Gr. 10; violinist Sonya Huang, Gr. 7; violinist Audrey Kwong, Gr. 10; flutist Robert Oh, Gr. 9; and bassist David Yao, Gr. 11. Thanks also to French teacher Nicholas Manjoine and Shannon Tan, Gr. 10, for their excellent piano accompaniment! On Mar. 13, 12 Harker vocalists welcomed singer Jay Moorhead, a colleague of Susan Nace’s from the San Francisco Symphony Chorus, who ran an in-house adjudication, listening to the singers and giving feedback and encouragement. Moorhead was “impressed by the diversity of repertoire the students sang.”

Anita Chetty’s Human Anatomy and Physiology (HAPY) class had another unique experience, following their trip to Los Angeles last December to attend the Body Worlds Exhibit (see Jan. 2005 issue): on Feb. 24 the students traveled to Stanford Medical School, one of the few medical schools that still uses dissection of human cadavers to teach anatomy, to meet with Dr. Lawrence Mathers, the head of anatomy and the associate director of Stanford’s children’s hospital. Under Mathers’s careful guidance, the students acclimated to the anatomy lab and then divided into teams of 3-4 to examine their own specimens – cadavers that are currently being dissected by Stanford’s first year medical students. “Each of the cadavers also died of a different disease or disorder,” Chetty said, adding that students had the opportunity to either examine diseased structures or to discuss them with Mathers. “I believe in experiential learning,” she explained. “You can see pictures and diagrams of the human brain but nothing can surpass holding a real human brain or heart in your hands for the first time and examining each of the structures we have talked about.” Harker News — April 05

kudos! Update Debate! The Debate team has been very busy, competing in several major tournaments in February and March. At the Stanford LincolnDouglas Tournament Feb. 12-13, Varsity debaters Alex Hsu, Gr. 12, and Shilpa Vadodaria, Gr. 11, advanced to the field of 32 competitors from an original field of 218 debaters, after six preliminary rounds. Hsu continued to the field of 16 debaters and barely missed earning a Tournament of Champions leg by one round. JV debaters Arjun Banerjee, Gr. 11, and Kimberly Wong, Gr. 10, advanced to the field of 16 competitors from an original field of 124 debaters. Wong advanced all the way to the semifinal round before losing and receiving 3rd place honors for her efforts. JV debaters earned the following speaker awards: Arjun Banerjee – 2nd speaker; Paula Lauris, Gr. 9 – 12th speaker; Nikita Jeswani, Gr. 9 – 14th speaker; Kimberly Wong – 20th speaker. Director of Forensics Matthew Brandstetter added, “Special thanks to all the

debaters who stayed to root on our students as they continued in the tournament. We also enjoyed many visits from current Harker students as well as alumni who are currently attending Stanford University!” The UC Berkeley tournament on Feb 19-21 pitted Harker against over 1,600 high school students from across the country. Alex Hsu advanced to the round of 16 remaining students from an original field of 270 competitors, becoming the first Harker student in Lincoln-Douglas debate to earn a qualifying leg to the Tournament of Champions (see Kudos, this page). Seniors Varoon Bhagat and Jerry Hong advanced to the round of 32 remaining debaters from an original field of 279 varsity policy debaters. At the end of the tournament, Harker had earned 9th place sweepstakes honors.

nual Duke University Moot Court Competition: Meghana Dhar, Gr. 11 – 1st speaker award; Sean Turner, Gr. 11 – 6th speaker award; Nilay Gandhi, Gr. 12 – 10th speaker award; Arjun Naskar, Gr. 12 – 13th speaker recognition. Together, Gandhi and Naskar advanced to the quarter-final round before losing to the team that eventually won the entire event; Turner and Dhar were seeded 9th after the preliminary rounds and barely missed the cut to quarterfinals.

Also, congratulations to the following four Harker students who traveled to Duke University Feb. 25-27 to compete in the 4th An-

And finally, in March Harker debaters joined students from 19 schools, representing six states, at the St. Mark’s-Hockaday Novice- and Second-Year National Debate Tournament in Dallas, Texas. Harker, the only school from California, captured the following places: Sophomore LincolnDouglas Debate: Christopher Xiao - First; Frosh Policy Debate: Jay Shah and Neelaysh Vukkadala - Sixth; Neelaysh Vukkadala - Fourth Speaker Award. In Frosh LD Debate (all Places Overall): Anuj Kamdar – Fourth and also Fifth Speaker Award, Akshay Bhatia – Fifth and also Fourth Speaker Award; Paula Lauris – Sixth and also Third Speaker Award.

2005-06 Ensembles

Science Team to Finals

FBLA Conference

Director Susan Nace announced that the following students successfully auditioned for Cantilena’s 2005-06 season: Shivani Bhargava, Casey Blair, Avanti Deshpande, Jessica Dickinson-Goodman, Subha Gollakota, Lauren Gutstein, Lauren Harries, Kat Hudkins, Emily Isaacs, Charisma Kaushik, Audrey Kwong , Amulya Mandava, Anjali Menon, Gail Nakano, Casey Near, Yuanyuan Pao, Vani Pyda, Dylan Syrett and Whitney Huang.

A team of Harker students made an outstanding showing at the fourth annual WonderCup Challenge, a science quiz bowl competition held at Stanford University. The competition, which includes various rounds of both on-line quiz competitions and head-to-head competitions, took place from Oct. 11 to Nov. 6. The Harker team consisted of Yi Sun and Hann-Shuin Yew, both Gr. 11, Mason Liang, Gr. 12, and Jessie Li, Gr. 10. After finishing in first place in round two, the Harker team won second place in the final round after a very narrow tie-breaking process.

On Sat., Mar. 5, 20 Harker students attended the Future Business Leaders of America Bay Section Leadership Conference, where they competed in a variety of business related competitive events in categories such as Public Speaking, Word Processing, Marketing, Business Communication and Job Interview. The students all did very well, with the following students placing in the top 10 of their events: sophomores Rahul Komati, Anjali Menon and Chris Xiao, juniors Xin Wang and Hann-Shuin Yew, and seniors Audrey Leung, Linda Mohammadian, and Esha Ranganath.

Directors Laura Lang-Ree and Catherine Snider would like to also welcome these successful auditioners to next year’s Downbeat: Lauren Ammatuna, Gavin Dutrow, Ben Englert, Simren Kohli, Molly Newman, Patrick Sweeney and Nina Vyedina. They join returning members Debanshi Bheda, Ankur Gupta, Michael Hammersley, Andrew Nasser, Julia PriceMadison, Aseem Shukla, Siobhan Stevenson, VyVy Trinh, and Vijay Umapathy. Harker News — April 05

The WonderCup Challenge was part of Wonderfest 2004, an annual “festival of science” held by the chemistry department at Stanford University and the physics department at UC Berkeley. Congratulations to the students for their excellent performance in this prestigious event.

Luncheon for Senior Moms Mon., May 16 - See page 2 for details!

■ Junior Hann-Shuin Yew was named first place winner in the California’s “Letters About Literature” contest where students are asked to write a letter to an author whose book has influenced their lives. Yew’s poignant letter to recently deceased author Iris Chang, was selected from over 500 entries as one of the top 10 in California, and then named as first place winner at press time. It will be included in a booklet published by the California State Library as well as the California Center for the Book. Yew will publicly read her letter at the “Books Change Lives Ceremony” on June 2 in Sacramento, and will move on to the national round of judging. ■ Senior debater Alex Hsu has qualified for the Tournament of Champions level in two recent competitions, the Vestavia Hills Tournament in Alabama and at UC Berkeley. He is the captain of our Lincoln-Douglas squad and is the first person in Harker’s seven-year debate history to qualify to the TOC in LD debate. Congratulations to Hsu and thanks to his coaches, Anthony Berryhill and Rick Brundage, for helping him achieve this prestigious honor for himself and the Harker debate team. ■ Spanish 3 honors students Maya Ziv, Gr. 10, won first prize in the SJSU poetry competition for San Jose area students, in conjunction with National Foreign Language Week. She submitted her original poem in Spanish entitled “Nadie quiere oír” (“No one wants to hear”). Ziv received a cash award and recognition at the Foreign Language Department’s Annual Dinner in March at SJSU.



the archives

Howard Nichols: The Harker School - A New Name and A New Charter The late 1980s found Howard Nichols administering an increasingly complex organization. He believed strongly in effective communication, using the Headmaster’s Message in the newsletters as one of his means to get the word out to the parents and the community. He often wrote about the importance of parents being involved in their children’s education, in setting an example by volunteering, and by generously contributing to the school. In 1986 the fall newsletter reported that tuition covered only 62% of the total costs for each child. Howard asked all families to become involved in the Annual Giving Program, and the Harker community responded enthusiastically, donating funds that enabled the school to build Dobbins and Shah Halls, a new kindergarten wing, and new computer labs.

In 1988 Harker became accredited by the California Association of Independent Schools (CAIS), and through that process Harker became even more certain of its strengths and mission. CAIS found outstanding academic performance, a dedicated Board of Trustees, committed teachers, and a high level of parent involvement. Two-career professional families increasingly demanded a rigorous quality academic program in addition to after-school care for their students, and Howard astutely leveraged the school’s expertise with boarding students to build a first-class roster of after-school clubs and activities. Eventually Harker truly became “Silicon Valley’s school.” Leading by example, Howard never

hesitates to get involved. Perhaps his greatest gift to the school has been his personal participation in events, large and small. “I remember Howard’s involvement in the Harker faculty productions,” recalled MS Division Head Cindy Kerr. “In particular, I remember his portrayal of Daddy Warbucks in ‘Annie.’ I was always amazed that he could find the time to make it to all the rehearsals and the performances.” Howard’s talents ranged from drama and dance to athletics, and MS teacher John Zetterquist wrote, “I think an important piece to Howard is his participation in faculty / student athletic events. The students have had a chance to see Howard as someone other than the head of the school, and were always surprised to see what a good athlete he was.” Howard has always been a leader in mobilizing the Harker community to action. Over the years, Howard has written about how “we can make a difference.” Whether it was the school’s campaign to write letters to soldiers of Desert Storm in 1990, starting an award-winning recycling program,

or record setting participation in Jump Rope for Heart, Howard was personally behind each school-wide effort. Finally, with the 90s came another name change. Leaving all vestiges of the military academy behind, in 1992 we became simply “The Harker School.” And in 1993 we celebrated 100 years of quality education, launching Harker into our second century. Since then – and under Howard’s capable leadership – Harker continued to explore and evaluate the school’s goals and missions, with expansion characterizing the last decade as we grew to be the K-12 school we are today. —Sue Smith, Archivist & Terry Walsh, History Committee Member

Harker Archives - all photos

A hallmark of Howard’s leadership style is his ability to listen, which consistently guides his expert management of the school. He listens carefully to staff, students, parents, board members and the community and uses these insights

in his decision-making. Howard also recognizes the need for strategic planning. In fact a survey of Harker parents in 1987 showed interest in departmental expansions – and yes, a high school! Howard used the results from the survey to help set the groundwork for long-term plans for the school.

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 (PHP) on the Harker Web site at Editor: Pam Dickinson; Production: Crystal Boyd; Photos: Mark Tantrum, unless noted; Contributors: Ali Abdollahi, Cathy Snider, Jaja Hsuan, Nick Gassmann, Terry Walsh, Steven Wong; Printing: Harker Copy Shop; Mailing Coordinators: Ashley Sukovez, Jerusha Hew Len.


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

Harker believes that all persons are entitled to equal employment opportunity and does not discriminate against its employees or applicants because of race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions), national origin, ancestry, age (over 40), marital status, political affiliations, physical or mental disability, medical condition, sexual orientation, or any other basis protected by state or federal laws, local law or ordinance. Harker News — April 05

Profile for The Harker School

2005 April Harker News  

2005 April Harker News