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march 2005 (VOL. 11, NO. 6)




est. 1893 • K-12 college prep




Harker World’s Best for Its Size in Two AP Categories


overly concerned with deadlines and assignments,” added Korin. “Our primary concern is that they learn the material.”

Update on schoolwide tsunami relief efforts ....................... 5 Rockin’ recap of annual fashion show ................. 7-10

Cutler added, “It’s easy to teach well when you have students who are excited to learn and who come to school because they want to, not because they have to. I’m continually astounded at the level of intellectual maturity of our students.”

Inaugural and historic Shanghai visit ................ 1-15

■ 2005 Rock the Runway Fashion Show ■ Student Directed Performances

events 5th Annual

Evening at the Conservatory

Friday, March 18 8 p.m. See page 2 for details!

In findings released on Jan. 25 as part of the “Advanced Placement Report to the Nation,” The College Board recognized The Harker School for having the strongest AP Chemistry and AP Computer Science courses in the world among schools with enrollment of between 500-999 students. Top performing schools were named for each AP subject, based on the percentage of students who successfully scored a 3 or higher on the AP Exams. No other school in the world had a greater proportion of its student body succeed in AP Chemistry or AP Computer Science last year than Harker. “Harker has extraordinary teachers so it does not surprise me that we are competitive at a world level,” said Head of School Diana Nichols “The large number of students who have shown themselves to be high scorers is a cause of pride for all of our teachers.” Nichols particularly thanked two teachers – US chemistry teacher Robbie Korin and Assistant Head of Operations Robb Cutler, who also teaches US computer science – for their specific contributions to the AP achievement. “Both epitomize what we stand for at Harker,” said Nichols of Cutler and Korin. “They are able to get the students running alongside them rather than having to pull the students along. Only then are you able to see these kinds of results.”

“I think it’s largely a product of the relaxed learning environment at Harker,” said Korin in response to the announcement. “Even though the students are expected to perform at a high level, we are not

In a letter sent to Harker Head of School Diana Nichols last month, Trevor Packer, the Executive Director of the Advanced Placement Program, wrote, “The work (Harker) is doing of preparing so many students for success in such rigorous curricula is a model for schools worldwide.”

NBC 11 Covers Harker AP Distinction See pg. 3 for details.

Mark Tantrum - all photos

New online photo galleries posted on Parent Home Page (PHP):

Mark Tantrum

Harker’s first class food service ............................. 19



22nd Annual Harker Dance Production Thursday - Saturday March 3 - 5 7:30 p.m. See pg. 2 for details!

important editor’s note

quotes “The kids were captivated by his presentation and enjoyed participating in the discussion that followed.” —Gr. 5 teacher Kate Shanahan, pg. 6 “...the girls varsity basketball team prepares for their first ever CCS playoff appearance.” —Jack Bither, Athletic Director, p. 12 “I baked my baby into a cake!” —Sanaz Oskouy, Gr. 8, pg. 13 “ other Chinese group of this size has been granted visas to enter the U.S.” —SWFLMS Deputy Principal Jian Xu, pg. 14 “I’d definitely be willing to say we are the best fed students in the Bay Area.” —Marvin Wong, Gr. 9, pg. 19

late break All Harker Semi-finalists Named Finalists We are proud to announce that all 35 of the Harker 12th graders who qualified as National Merit Semi-Finalists (as reported in the Februar y HN) have progressed to National Merit Finalist status. All finalists received a Certificate of Merit stating that the student has “demonstrated through distinguished performance high potential for future academic accomplishment.” Recipients of the 2005 National Merit Scholarships will be decided in March.


Mon., Mar. 14 – K-12 no classes: CAIS Teacher Conference

Fri., Mar. 25, 5:30 p.m. – K-12 no classes: Spring Break

Mon., Apr. 4 – K-12 classes resume

■ LS Grandparents’ Day Info - Due March 14 Grandparents’ Day is a long standing annual Harker tradition, to be held this year on Thurs., May 26, and we need your help to ensure that the special people in your child’s life are invited.

New Blackford Campus Update

A form has been sent home with your child - and is also posted on the Parent Home Page - for you to provide us with the names and current addresses of those you wish us to invite. To ensure that the invitations go out on time, please complete and return all information by March 14. Return the completed form to Nancy Reiley at or fax to 984.2395.

Harker’s strength in science and technology - among other things - will be continued at the new Blackford campus when it opens this fall, and the technology department has developed an upgraded infrastructure, along with computer science labs, to meet the needs of the MS at the new campus. Jeffrey Niederauer and Andrew Hansen, co-managers of the department, have been developing plans since the acquisition of the property to ensure it’s upgraded to meet Harker’s standards. “We’ll be installing additional data cabling and establishing data hubs, similar to what we have on the Saratoga campus,” said Hansen. This busy department will also move from their small, cramped quarters at the front of the Saratoga campus to space at the new campus that will be more suitable for their varied tasks and storage needs, and they will continue to have specialists for each campus to address day-to-day tech issues.

■ Kindergarten Social Mar. 13, 1:15 - 4:00 p.m. Ice Skating at Logitech Ice $7 per person (includes skate rental)

At press time, candidates were being interviewed to replace Harker alumnus and co-manager Niederauer as he makes a move at the end of February to join his family’s business, Western Appliance. He will be deeply missed, and his contributions at Harker for the past nine years in our technology department are vast. We wish him the very best of luck, and know he will keep in touch. Watch for more about him in the next alumni edition of The Harker News!

All family members welcome. More details to come!

■ LS March Production

Volunteer Needs • Grandparents’ Day – committee and dayof-event volunteers needed to prepare for and assist guests on Friday, May 6 at Bucknall. • Ambassadors – at all grade levels and school divisions to welcome new student families over the summer months and throughout the 2005-06 academic year. • Book Fair – volunteers to help setup, work Book Fair days and wrap-up afterwards. Contact to help!

Mark Tantrum

—Pam Dickinson, Director Office of Communications


march dates

US parent Vanessa Vu helps build frames for special exhibit of Harker artwork at San Jose’s 2005 Tet Festival. Watch next month for details.

This Month's Tribute to the Nichols “Diana was a spirited biology teacher and environmentalist.” —Albert Zecher, ’79

Harker Archives

In February, Harker rocked the runway, made AP score headlines, made history with a first-ever Shanghai visit and — so far — has raised close to $8,000 for tsunami relief efforts. A proud month on all fronts - congratulations to all!


See story back page.

“I really enjoyed her Biology class and I’ll never forget the dissections of frogs and baby pigs. She made science fun for me! I really like how personable she was. She took time, listened and cared about us.” —Leslie Karner Calloway, ’79 “She was a cool teacher who captivated our attention.” —Mike Archer, ’76.

Mar. 17-18, 6:00 p.m., BKN gym Every single one of our 5th and 6th graders will be onstage together in a special show called “20th Century Celebration!” - an entertaining and educational look back at 100 years of popular music. Each family will receive two tickets to attend, and additional tickets can be purchased. E-mail:

■ 22nd Annual Dance Production Thurs., Fri. and Sat., Mar. 3-5, 7:30 p.m., STG gym Tickets: $5/students; $10/adults This year’s “Dance 101” production includes such dance styles as jazz, ballet, hip hop, modern, and Brazilian samba, and incorporates film and acting, and includes over 185 students in grades 2-12!

■ 5th Annual Evening at the Conservatory Fri., Mar. 18, 8:00 p.m., STG gym Tickets: $5/students; $10/adults This is our music depar tment’s biggest event, showcasing all vocal and instrumental ensembles and soloists in a non-stop music extravaganza. Harker News — March 05


the news

Since the last In the News report in the Nov. 2004 edition, Harker programs, students and teachers have been noted in the following media – go Harker!

COMING UP A timely advertising campaign will be launched late this month - on the heels of the great news about Harker's top AP scores - that visually highlights our rich and varied non-academic offerings, captures the “fun

San Jose Mercury News Harker’s distinction by the College Board as the top school of its size in the world for AP Chemistry and AP Computer Science was featured in a front-page article accompanied by three photos in the Jan. 26 edition. USA Today A listing of the top-performing schools in each of the 29 Advanced Placement categories was placed in the Jan. 25 edition with Harker, once again, mentioned for the top honors in AP Chemistry and AP Computer Science. The Prospector (Cupertino High School) A student-written article ran Nov. 2004 featuring Bay Area private schools that highlighted Harker, giving a glowing review of the students, faculty, administration and philosophy of The Harker School. NBC 11 San Jose’s NBC affiliate featured Harker as one of the top stories on its 6 o’clock News on Jan. 27, when reporter Sandy Castelblanco visited the school after Harker’s distinction as the top school in the world of its size in AP Chemistry and AP Computer Science.

World Journal (Mandarin) The Feb. 1 Bay Area edition of this daily Mandarin language newspaper ran a piece about Harker’s inaugural Shanghai student exchange visit, and included a group photo of the visiting students and their buddies. San Jose Magazine The February edition featured a six-page spread announcing the 2nd annual Harker Fashion Show, with photos and information about the event. Silicon Valley/San Jose Business Journal A brief description of The Harker Fashion Show and four full-color photos of the event were featured on page 39 within the paper’s new Valley Life section in the Feb. 11 edition.

Chris Daren

San Jose Mercury News In the Feb. 4 edition, local columnist Leigh Weimer noted the decades of service and the upcoming retirement of Howard and Diana Nichols in reference to that night’s Harker Fashion Show in the local section of the paper.

factor” at Harker, and supports Harker’s ongoing admissions diversity efforts. The radio spot will begin airing on KBAY the week of Feb. 21; the television spots will air during KGO's daytime “The View” show, as well as on Comcast cable channels (including MTV) beginning the week of Feb. 28, and the print ads medias include Time, Newsweek and Sports Illustrated. For more information on Harker in the news, contact the Office of Communications:

ANNUAL 100% 90% 80% 70% 60% 50% 40% 30% 20% 10%




of Our Goal … and RISING!

Your Generous Annual Giving Dollars at Work in 2005! In this issue, we are proud to showcase the following student programs made possible in part by your continued support through charitable giving: ■ Hakone Gardens field trip, pg. 5 ■ Harker Hoops Classic, pg. 12 ■ Real Care Baby infant simulators, pg. 13 ■ Student directed performances, pg. 16

Harker News — March 05




Dear Librarian, Each time my dad would read the morning newspaper, he would shake his head and say, “Truth is stranger than fiction!” Do you have recommendations for books that would fall into this category for my students to enjoy? We have kids in the lower, middle, and upper school divisions. Sincerely, Fan of Nonfiction Dear Fan, Here are some nonfiction titles found in The Harker School libraries that will amaze your children: ■ Lower School (LS Campus Library) Hedy Lamarr. (“Discover the Life of an Inventor Series”) Written by Ann Gaines. (Vero Beach: Rourke Publishing LLC, 2002). Nonfiction for the young set. Each of the six books in this series contains many photographs and a brief text. Grades K-2. B 621.382 GAI. The Mystery of Life on Other Planets. (“Can Science Solve?” series) Written by Chris Oxlade. (Chicago: Heinmann Library, 2002.) Examines the mystery of life on other planets and what scientists are accomplishing in their exploration of this topic. See the other thirteen titles in this attractive, easy-to-read series. Grades 2-5. 576.8 OXL Science in Ancient China by George Beshore (New York: Watts, 1998). Describes the achievements of the ancient Chinese in such areas as astronomy, cosmology, medicine, and science. Grades 4-6. 509 BES ■ Middle School and Up (MS / US Campus Library) Dave Gorman’s Google Whack! Adventure by Dave Gorman. (Woodstock: Overlook Press, 2004.) Comedian Gorman chronicles his obsession with the Internet word game Googlewhacking in which players are challenged to find two words to put into the Google search engine that will bring a single, solitary result. Grades 8-adult. 910.402 GOR Driving Mr. Albert: A Trip Across America with Einstein’s Brain by Michael Paterniti. (New York: Dial Press, 2000.) Describes the author’s experiences while transporting Albert Einstein’s brain across the United States. Grades 8 – adult. 616.07 PAT House of Invention: The Secret Life of Everyday Objects by David Lindsay. (New York: The Lyons Press, 2000.) The histories of twenty-one everyday objects are presented in this story of inventors. Grades 8-adult. Spare Parts: From Peg Legs to Gene Splices by Wendy Murphy. (Brookfield: Millbrook Press, 2001.) Discusses old and new devices for replacing damaged or missing parts in humans. Grades 6-12. 617.9 MUR



25 Harker Teachers to Present at 2005 CAIS Meeting Twenty-five K-12 Harker teachers have been chosen to lead varying workshops at this year’s California Association of Independent Schools (CAIS) NorCal regional meeting to be held Mon., March 14 (see list below). Teachers from independent schools across Northern California will attend this bi-annual conference that covers topics directly related to skills and techniques teachers use in unique classroom settings. Harker LS Science teacher Jason Pergament, who will be one of the presenters at this year’s event and also presented at the National Holmes Partnership Conference recently in Philadelphia, said, “Harker teachers not only get the chance to learn from one another, but are also privileged to hear from other experienced, and well-qualified, teachers from Northern California.” We’re extremely proud of the caliber of our faculty, and delighted to spend this special day every other year sharing our great programs with others, and learning new and exciting ways to engage your children in the classroom. • Joe Chung, Jim McGovern, & Melanie McKenna – “Using Media to Track Unit Progression in Physical Education” • Jason Pergament – “Teaching Science with Simple Things • Diana Moss & Abel Olivas – “In Your Ear” • Michael Schmidt – “Robots for Problem-Solving” • Kathy Clark, Rita Stone & Lisa Hackwood – “MapQuest – Primary Kids, Map Skills, and Computers” • Laura Miller – “OOP for the Elementary Student” • Lisa Masoni – “Can You Dig It? Teaching a Unit on Archaeology in the Latin Classroom” • Monica MacKinnon, Margaret McGovern, & Mark Gelineau – “Behind the Mask” • Doug Knight & James Eagen – “Digital Markup for Greater Accountability” • Brigid Flanagan & John Heyes – “Reading Deeply to Focus on the Text” • Stacie Newman – “Painless Paper Grading?: AFFINITY GROUP” • Pat Walsh & Kate Shanahan – “Building Community with an Online Newspaper” • Bradley Stoll – “Calculus/Advanced Topics: ROUNDTABLE in MATHEMATICS” • Jeff Sutton & Dan Hudkins – “Shut Up and Start Talking” • Ruth Meyer – “Bringing the Ancient World Alive” • Dan Hudkins – “The OS Wars Are ‘SO Over’ – Student Choice and One to One Laptops”

■ Upper School (US Campus Library)

January Cancer Outreach Programs Mark Tantrum - both photos

The Cyanide Canary by Joseph Hilldorfer and Robert Dugoni. (New York: Free Press, 2004.) Written by an EPA agent, a heroic young man suffers considerable brain damage after being rescued from a poison-filled 25,000 gallon storage tank in Soda Springs, Idaho. Grades 9 - adult. 364.142 HIL Microchip: An Idea, Its Genesis, and the Revolution It Created by Jeffrey Zygmont. (Cambridge: Perseus, 2003.) Records the emergence of the microchip as a big player in late twentieth- and twenty-first century technology. Grades 9 – adult. 621.381 ZYG Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers by Mary Roach. (New York: Norton, 2003.) Discusses how human cadavers have been used throughout history, describing how the use of dead bodies has helped humankind in a myriad of ways. Grades 9 – adult. 611 ROA -—Enid Davis, Library Director Questions? Requests? Contact Davis at


On Thurs., Jan. 13, Harker hosted a coordinators kick-off meeting for the Pennies for Patients program, a program designed to benefit cancer patients and survivors.

Harker hosted a special event entitled “Financial Matters for Cancer Survivors” in the FDR on Wed., Jan 26. The event, sponsored and organized by a number of cancer relief organizations, was an interactive and educational tool for cancer patients and their caregivers. Harker News — March 05



Tsunami Relief – Outpouring of Harker Support The outpouring of support from students in all three Harker divisions in the wake of the terrible tsunami in Southeast Asia has continued since announced in the last edition. The entire Harker community has opened their hearts (and wallets) in support of those affected by the devastation. Students at the LS have brought in an amazing $3,326 at press time, to top off their Bucknall Bucks collection effort. Parents were asked to help their child choose a chore or task that would earn them a few dollars. Students then donated the money they earned, and received a Bucknall Buck on which they wrote how their money was earned. The Bucknall Bucks are now being proudly displayed on grade level bulletin boards. Fundraising coordinators at the MS also renewed relief efforts for the new semester, calling for a final push of donations through the first two weeks of February. Teachers in first period classes once again


offered an opportunity for students to make personal donations. Faculty and administration offered a special reward to students, with MS Division Head Cindy Kerr announcing that if the total MS donations equaled or exceeded $4,000 then a “uniform switch day” would be held. The student council continued its efforts by organizing a bake sale and selling candy grams, boosting the final collection to $4,148, so the tentative free dress day for students – while MS teachers and administrators dress as Harker students for the day! – will be Fri., Feb. 25. The US student council has organized two separate fundraising activities. The freshman class is holding a “Dine-In” fundraiser at the Chevy’s restaurant at 550 S. Winchester Blvd., near Santana Row. Validation tickets will be distributed by the student council, and are available online on the Parent Home Page, in the Dobbins Office and the Main Hall of the Saratoga

campus. Patrons must present their yellow validation tickets in order for Harker to receive 15% of each order, and all Harker family and friends are invited to participate. The flyers are valid from 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. every day between Feb. 27 and Mar. 2. All proceeds will be donated to the tsunami relief. The senior class student council will sell relief bracelet bands at the bookstore on the Saratoga campus after President’s Week vacation. The red bracelet bands come in both youth and adult sizes, and will be sold for $3 each, and the student council’s goal is to sell at least 1,000 bracelets with all proceeds again directed toward tsunami relief. The US Improv Troupe recently collected $115 in door tickets for their student-run Coffee House. Advisor, John Hawley, reported that club leaders, Boris Federov and Genna Erlikhman, suggested donating their collection to victims devastated by the tsunami. The entire

We thank each and every student donor and parent for their outstanding efforts in not only supporting the victims of the Southeast Asia tsunami crisis, but for their ongoing commitment to help those in need. —Jaja Hsuan, US Community Service Director

■ Gr. 1 Collects Pet Related Items Students are focusing on being good citizens as part of the ongoing Character Development Program. “Our students learned that one way to show their responsibility is to respect all creatures,” said Rita Stone, Gr. 1 teacher. The class will be collecting donations of pet related items for the animals at the Humane Society. Some suggestions are dog biscuits, dog treats, cat toys, rabbit pellets, hay and monetary donations. Donations may be dropped off in all Gr. 1 homerooms between Feb. 28 and Mar. 11.

Lisa Hirata - both photos

Gr. 2 students took a field trip to the Hakone Japanese Gardens in Saratoga to culminate their Social Studies unit on Japan. The students walked through the tranquil gardens and saw a pond with carp, turtles, and ducks and tall trees shaped like bonsai, along with the traditional Japanese house with sliding shoji doors and tatami mats. The students enjoyed observing a formal Japanese Tea Ceremony by Japanese ladies in full dress kimonos who ceremoniously served hot green tea and a sweet cake. “Children thanked their hosts with a rousing ‘arigato!’ said teacher, Judi Beil.

Judi Beil

The US International Club also profited well from after-school drink sales earlier this year. Members came together to share recipes and concocted delicious, popular drinks such as Thai Iced Tea and Pearl Bubble Tea in a variety of flavors and colors. After combining their sales with previous fundraiser collections, the club decided to donate $700 to UNICEF and another $700 to Interplast, Inc. to support physicians travelling through developing countries, offering reconstructive surgery for the needy. We are humbled by the International Club’s generosity.


Hakone Japanese Gardens Explored by Gr. 2

Harker News — March 05

club immediately supported the idea. Proceeds have been donated to UNICEF.

■ Creative Health Products Healthy drinks and snacks are part of the curriculum for the P.E. health classes, and these young entrepreneurs are producing their very own healthy products. The assignment to invent a Health Product, i.e., exercise equipment, vitamins, energy drinks, shoes to improve your sport performance, etc., involved presenting a detailed and informative drawing, similar to a magazine ad, and selling the product, similar to a TV



Bill Bost

■ Bucknall Tech Olympics Danny Dunn’s Grade 6 technical theatre elective demonstrated their hands-on tech skills in the Bucknall Tech Olympics, where four teams of tech students competed in timed events such as hanging lights, setting up and patching microphones, coiling cable and operating various backstage equipment. Andrew Cutler and Victoria Chan tied for gold in the individual competition. Isaac Madan won the bronze. Along with teammate Ashley Hejtmanek, Isaac, Andrew and Victoria also won the gold in the team competition. Leo Funaki, Kevin Sweeney, Molly Mandell, Howard Lio and Daisy Mohrman each earned the top score in their individual events.

■ Teacher of the Month The S-Club teacher morale committee decided to select a “Teacher of the Month” and will be posting some quotes from the teacher along with his/her photo on the S-Club bulletin board. The Feb. teacher, Jeff Gatlin, was voted based upon his spirit and integrity. The S-Club members vote for a K-6 teacher and will continue to do so for the rest of the school year. ■ California Mission Candles Students learned how to make candles as part of their lessons on the California Spanish missions. “Paraffin wax was used instead of tallow, and the students experienced first hand how long it took in those days to make the simple things we take for granted today,” said teacher Keith Hirota. Visiting teacher from Tamagawa, Keiichi Watase, joined in on the fun! ■ Penguins on Parade! The Winter Penguin artwork displayed before Winter Break in the BKN gym lobby migrated to VisualEyes Optometry in Willow Glen. A sign in the window display proudly heralds the talents of the Bucknall K-6 grade artists in

Kelly Espinosa - both photos

■ Gr. 5 Helps the Homeless At press time, Gr. 5 students were helping the homeless by gathering prescription eyeglasses, clean blankets and trial-sized toiletries to present to the InnVision Julian Street Inn, Northern California’s only homeless shelter for the seriously mentally ill. Teachers kept collection bins in their classrooms and Gr. 5 parents helped by delivering the donations

before the Presidents’ Week break. “These donations truly make a big difference in the lives of the recipients,” said parent organizer Pam Araki, (Bradley, Gr. 5 & Brandon, Gr. 7).

Lower School students collected over 450 items for their “One Warm Coat” drive held in Jan. The collected items included coats, sweatshirts, sweaters, mittens and blankets. “The staff at The San Jose Family Shelter was overwhelmed by the number we brought to them,” said Kelly Espinosa, LS Dean. The shelter will use what they need and pass the rest on to other needy organizations.


Visit Web site, call 408.871.4600 or contact for more information.

transforming bowling pins into penguins that sled, skate and ski downhill.

■ S-Club Spirit Success “Captain of the Ship” and “Pin Tag” had the teachers and students cheering at the S-Club’s January spirit event, one of many organized by the club throughout the year. S-Club advisor Jason Oncay said “Captain of the Ship” is similar to “Simon Says” with “ship” related commands, and Pin Tag involved nerf bowling pins and balls with lots of throwing and the added excitement of teachers challenging students. “The competitions were heated and hilarious,” he said. Check out Oncay’s Web site for full details of the events and the tally of spirit standings for each homeroom.

■ A Visit from an "Unstoppable” Parent Parent Kannan Ayyar (Marisa, Gr. 5 and Kailee, Gr. 8) gave a presentation to Kate Shanahan’s homeroom from a human values education course he developed called “Unstoppable.” The course is designed to teach virtues such as compassion, responsibility and courage using Disney films, inspirational poems and biographical information on famous, influential people. “The kids were captivated by his presentation and enjoyed participating in the discussion that followed,” said Shanahan. “Kannan is upbeat, friendly, and encouraging – I feel so fortunate to have him teach and

Kate Shanahan

commercial. An added option was to bring in samples of the product to share with the class. “Fruit smoothies, an energy drink produced by Matthew Harris, Randall Riedel and Alex Trudeau, was guaranteed to improve your mile time!” laughed PE teacher, Paula Bither.

Sylvia Beals, parent


communicate with the students in my homeroom,” she added. Ayyar will return a few times this year to present other topics related to Harker’s character development program. For more information about “Unstoppable,” visit http:// Harker News — March 05


show ’05

A Special Thank You to Our Heroes: Fashion Show Committee Chairs and Parent Volunteers Dear Fashion Show Committee Chairs and Parent Volunteers, It’s not just the students who are special at Harker: we have some of the most dedicated, talented, generous, and cheerful parent volunteers, who also happen to be miracle workers. You made things happen at the last minute when you were told it was impossible. You generously gave your time – from early in the morning to late at night – and always with a smile. And your dedication to excellence and details for the 2nd annual Harker Fashion Show resulted in a fun and memorable evening that rocked for everyone who attended. Thank you for making this event such a proud tradition for the Harker community – we look forward to working side-by-side with you in 2006! With sincere thanks,


The Advancement Office: Joe, Bran-Dee, Jerusha, Jennifer, Joey, Lynette, Maria, Nancy and Terry

Harker News — March 05

A Heartfelt Message from Rock the Runway Co-chairs Our sincere appreciation goes out to all those involved with the Harker 2005 Fashion Show, “Rock the Runway.” We are so incredibly grateful to our sponsors, advertisers, performers, models, hosts and hostesses, greeters, parents, families, teachers and staff members for their amazing contributions in making this show an overwhelming success! We would also like to send a special thank you to our fashion show committee chairs and members for their endless energy, enthusiasm and tireless devotion to the show. It is also befitting for us to recognize Ken Azebu for his dedication to completing our first-class event program, even while going through a time of great difficulty with a serious illness in his family. This show has become a wonderful tradition that truly brings the Harker and Silicon Valley communities together, and we could not have done it without you!

Shyamoli Banerjee, Reshma Dave and Greta Jackson 2004-05 Co-chairs

Photos this page taken by Steven Wong, parent and Jennifer Helmonds

Rockin’ Photos Online! Go to the Parent Home Page (PHP) and click on the online albums link to view dozens of albums of great shots from the show. Thanks to the great press crew of student, parent and staff photographers at the event, there are outstanding shots of all facets of the event, from set-up to runway to dancing the night away available for you to view and purchase. Many thanks to this year’s press crew, a combined effort of Harker’s Office of Communication and US Talon and Winged Post staff: Adults: Mark Tantrum, Chris Daren, Jaja Hsuan, Nick Gassman, Ali Abdollahi, Ron Griggs and parents Steven Wong (Matt, Gr. 10) and Padma Eswari (Preethi Kandappan, K and Paari Kandappan, Gr. 8). Students: Matt Wong, Will Courchesne, Alex Chen, Jocelyn Ko, Esha Ranganath, Emily Chow, Sharon Her, Sonia Rastogi and Ruchi Jhaveri.

Fashion Show Video – Order Now! Own a piece of Harker history by purchasing the DVD or VHS of The 2005 Harker School Fashion Show, Rock the Runway! This precious memento is available for just $25 (either format). Order forms are available at the Fashion Show site from the Parent Home Page on our Web site. Simply complete the order form, then submit it through mail or fax with the information provided. Relive this fabulous event again and again – order your very own copy today!



show ’05

Rockin’ Sponsors

Rockin’ Advertisers


$15,000 Sanatana Row US Bank


$10,000 Linear Technology Wells Capital Management $5,000 Banerjee/Chopra Family Dave Family Trust John and Christine Davis Navindra and Madhu Jain Morgan Stanley, San Francisco Newpath Ventures Sathaye Family Foundation Stevens Creek Porsche TMFC, Inc. $6,000 Jackson Family $2,500 Alex Alonzo Accountancy Corporation Autowest Acura of Stevens Creek Denise Brodersen, UBS Financial Services, Inc. Connell Family Courtesy Chevrolet Frank, Rimerman & Co. LLP Fremont Bank GMS Global Inc. Harris Family Heritage Bank of Commerce Mayer, Brown, Rowe & Maw LLP David Mendoza Family Modular Process Technology Corporation Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe Riedel Family Santora Family Smith Barney, Hall Walsworth Group Stevens Creek BMW XL Construction Corp. IN KIND Sponsors $10,000 San Jose Magazine $5,000 Communicart Graphics & Printing Diamond Quality Printing $2,500 Blue Heron Design

dren’s Boutique; Dr. Tina McGinnis; McPharlin, Sprinkles & Thomas, LLP; Menkes & Morgenroth; Mike’s Heating & Cooling; Mission Electric Company; The Mountain Winery; Namm & Moran; Neil Najibi; Brian S. Nettleman DDS; The Next Step; Northern Trust Bank; Notre Dame High School; Out of the Envelope; Pahl & Gosselin, A Professional Law Corp.; Polonsky Piano School; Hemangi Parikh; Preston Wynne Spa; Gordon & Tanya Ringold; Ransohoff, Blanchfield, Jones; Rashel’s Skin Care & Electrolysis; Rector Motor Car Company; Santa Clara Swim Club; Signature Images, Inc.; Silicon Valley Auto Group; Smythe European; South Bay Materials; Allison Spiller & Associates; Success Chess School; Tate Family Complete Auto Care; Tuxedo Wearhouse; United Administrative Services; Washington Mutual; Westport Yachts; Woodson Barksdale Architects; Zip Realty. Page Sponsors Robert & Punita Bigler; Heather Blair & Robb Cutler; Jeffrey & Joan Brooks; John & Christine Davis; Dean’s Design; Christine and Neal Douglas; Barbara Drummer; Rosa & Amarjit Gill; Kim Gudmundson; Alma & Dave Guimarin; The Hegardt Group of Banc of America Investments;Amanda Lundie; Melody Moyer; Kathy Polzin; Sathaye Family Foundation; The Stapleton Family.

Rockin’ Performances! The Performing Arts department truly rocked the runway with their fabulous performances at the second annual Harker Fashion Show event! Downbeat, directed by Laura LangRee and Catherine Snider, dazzled the audiences with a medley of 50s favorites like “The Twist” and “Splish Splash,” while swing-dancing their way down the runway in poodle skirts and jeans. Gail Palmer’s Bucknall Dance Ensemble gave a toe-tapping, shoulder-shaking, head-banging performance as they rocked out to the Huey Lewis hit “The Heart of Rock and Roll,” dancing up and down the runway like rock stars! The US Dance Troupe, directed by Laura Rae, strutted their way through the Aerosmith song “Walk This Way” with

attitude, energy, and fire. Helping set the mood while guests browsed through the fabulous showcases before each event was Richard Frazier’s Jazz Ensemble, playing through a repertoire of hits. Thanks to the directors and students for sharing their tremendous talent, and adding so much to this year’s rockin’ event!

Matt Wong, student

$20,000 Swanson Family

2005 Advisory Committee; Academic Expeditions; Action Day Nurseries; Administrative Services; Age Defying Dermatology; Air Systems, Inc.; Amber Restaurant; Rick Ardizzone, Alain Pinel Realtors; Bains Development; Bank of America; Reena Bhargava; Bjork Construction; Cheryl Blair; Blossom Hill Family Dental; Body Firm LLC; The Brenner Group, Inc.; Byer Properties; California Karate Academy; California Sport Design; Capers Bar & Grill; Carlsen Volvo; Catapult Mortgage; RJ Dailey Construction Co.; Dr. David Constant; CH Premier Jewelers; Chelsea Court Designs; ClickAway; Clos LaChance Winery; Complete Business Solutions; Creekside Landscaping; Dr. Mark Dal Porto; David K’s Music School; Deja & Co.; Design & Interiors; Dominion Woodworking Ltd.; India Community Center; Intero Real Estate Services; Ernaz Irani; Alan Everett, DDS, Inc.; Extron Logistics; Flegels Home Furnishings; Vicky Geers, Coldwell Banker; German Motor Specialist; Golden Dragon West; Good Guys; Goldman, Sachs & Co.; Bill Gorman, Coldwell Banker; Hall & Rambo; Hamada Family Dentistry; Harker Family and Alumni Picnic; High Tech Passport; ICF Book Club; Jackson Family; Jespersen & Jespersen, DDS, Inc.; Joe Escobar Diamonds; Kids Kab; Seung K. Kim, MD; KPMG LLP; Law Corp.; Le Papillon Restaurant; Lollipop Chil-

Harker News — March 05

Mark Tantrum

Meena Ravuri (Sindhu, Gr. 2, Rishi, Gr. 6) and her husband, Tulasiram, were this year’s lucky winners of the grand prize of one year’s tuition or $15,000 cash – congratulations!

Live Auction Highest Bidders Cake: Reshma & Tushar Dave (Aura, Gr. 5; Khwaab, Gr. 6) Hawaii: Jose Costa (Sondra, Gr. 4; Jose, Gr. 7) Jay Leno Trip: Ajay Chopra (Rohan, Gr. 7; Sameer, Gr. 11) Puppy: Tanya Ringold (Alexander, Gr. 7; Greggory, Gr. 10) Viva Las Vegas Trip: David Quarles U2: Allan Walsworth Nieman Marcus Lunch: Bob Swanson (Greta, co-chair) Cabo: Vernon Plaskett Deja Ring: Kim Alonzo (Alexander, Gr. 2)

Showcase Winners COUNTRY ROCK: John McCaskey SALSA: Kevin Morishige (Ashley, Gr. 10) JAZZ AND BLUES: Vernon Plaskett CLASSICS: Daniel Quon (Amanda, K) ROCK AND ROLL: Shari Pargrace BROADWAY: Jane Villadsen (Diana, Gr. 6)

Sheryl Crow Guitar: David Little Walsh, Shanny Night: John Davis (Cole, Gr. 7) French Laundry Dinner:Art Schneiderman French Laundry Dinner: Lothar Maier Remington: Richard Nickson Fireman: Paul Coghlan SBC Park: Art Williams Greek Dinner: Chuck Lucci Home Improvement: Janet Smith (Patrick, Gr. 7) Fish: Jill & Charlie Bostic Sports Package: Kelly Espinosa Santana Row: No Winner Wine: Ajay Shah (Rohan, Gr. 7) Wine: Richard Boyle (Steve, Gr. 11)

Photos this page taken by Ron Griggs, Steven Wong, parent and students Will Courchesne, Sharon Her and Sonia Rastogi.

Student Hosts and Hostesses Rock…and Win! The 28 US student hosts and hostesses who volunteered to sell showcase tickets during both the lunch and dinner events of the fashion show made a tremendous contribution to the overall fundraising, selling a total of 565 showcase ticket sheets totaling $11,290. “The hosts and hostesses once again excelled at their task, and really worked hard to sell those showcase tickets,” said US activity director Chris Daren, liaison for this student group led by parent volunteer Joan Brooks. The students who sold the most showcase tickets in each grade level received Apple iPods. The winners were:


Grand Prize of One Year Tuition or $15,000 Cash

Grand Prize Winner (40GB Photo iPod): Jason Martin, Gr. 10 Second Prize Winners (20GB iPod): Erika Gudmundson, Gr. 12; Casey Near, Gr. 11; Christopher Gudmundson, Gr. 10; Alex Underwood, Gr. 9. Third Prize Winners (4GB iPod mini): Hillary Brooks, Gr. 12; Avanti Deshpande, Gr. 11; Ashley Morishige, Gr. 10; Melissa Chan, Gr. 9. Congratulations to these top sellers, and many thanks to all of our host and hostesses for their tremendous contributions to this annual event! Harker News — March 05


Photo credits: Chris Daren, Mark Tantrum, Ron Griggs and Steven Wong, parent. Students: Matt Wong, Will Courchesne, Alex Chen, Emily Chow, Sharon Her, Sonia Rastogi.






Lower School

Middle School

Coach Walid Fahmy and the C1 boys basketball team are optimistically looking to finishing out their 1-3 season positively. Leading the C1 girls basketball team with good teamwork and hustle have been Helena Gali and Ava Rezvani. Coach Justin Sullivan has been seeing much improvement in the team as a whole and is looking forward to finishing the season with a few wins. Both C2 teams have been showing a lot of hustle, tenacity and good sportsmanship throughout the season. With only a few games left both teams are looking to put some numbers in their own win columns.

As the season winds down the A1 boys basketball is still standing strong with a 13-2 record. With a 1st place finish in the Queen of Apostles tournament and a 2nd place finish in the Harker Hoops Classic, Usua Amanam and Arman Gupta have been vital in helping the team consistently win. Taking 2nd place at the Kings Academy Tournament and 4th at the Harker Hoops Classic, the A1 girls basketball team has been able to improve their season to 6-8 with impressive post play and inside scoring from Diana Beck. Both the A2 girls and boys basketball teams have been vastly improving over the season and have lost tough games against good competitive teams.

Both the D1 boys and D2 boys basketball teams have been impressive in their games this year. Playing bigger and stronger teams, they have been able to hang in with the opponent for much of the game. Coaches Nick Gassmann, Mike Saltzman and Cyrus Merrill have all been very proud of the good play and outstanding sportsmanship exhibited by all the 5th grade boys who participated this year. The D girls have been improving over the course of their season and at press time were looking to play well against their last opponent of the season, Hillbrook. Both Gr. 4 girls and boys soccer teams have been enjoying an exciting intramural season. Learning skills and fundamentals necessary for good on-the-field play, the teams look forward to more intramural competition next year.

The B1 boys are an impressive team looking to finish with a perfect record. At press time, Rohan Shah, Yash Kandwala and the rest of the B1 boys were 8-0. The B2 boys team’s record is standing at 2-2, but hopefully, with a little help from the perimeter shooting of Kevin Liu, will finish their season above .500. With five games and a 2-3 record behind them, the B1 girls are looking forward to winning their last games. With strong play from Katherine Harris and Kacie Kaneyuki the girls will have better luck ensuring a winning record. The B2 girls have been continuing to practice and improve, and have played much better in their most recent games. —Compiled by Theresa “Smitty” Smith, Gr. 4-8 Athletic Director and Nick Gassmann, coach

Mark Tantrum - both photos

Upper School


As the winter sports season winds down, the girls varsity basketball team prepares for their first ever CCS playoff appearance. The most successful season in team history winds down

as the team looks to finish the regular season with a 13-10 record. A strong WBAL hopes to send four teams into the sectional playoffs, a first for the three year old league as well. With an up tempo squad, all of the players have logged many minutes of playing time. Coach John Near has been favorably impressed with the contributions of all his players. The team will graduate only one senior this year, and looks poised to continue their ascent to the league’s top teams. The lone senior however, will be sorely missed! Jamie Trinh will end her four-year varsity career as one of the school’s all-time leading scorers. The team and the program want to take this opportunity to thank Jamie for her many contributions over the years – she has been a leader of the team, and has accepted the challenges that come with building a program from the ground up. Not only is she an outstanding hoopster, she is a fantastic student and person. Jamie will be missed by her teammates, coaches and fans! Best of luck in the CCS playoffs! For the first time in team history, the boys varsity basketball team will not enter the CCS playoffs. After a four-year run, the PSAL league proved to be as balanced and tough as ever. The nine team league saw a season of exciting and close games, many determined by the final shot. Teams that finished near the bottom of the league were beating teams at the top. Although the Eagles record was not what they wanted this season, they were always competitive and entertaining to watch. In fact, the team suffered numerous heartbreaking losses in the final seconds, yet they continued to play hard night after night, always until the final buzzer. Seniors Adhir Ravipati and Ben Shapiro will be missed as they go off to college, but a young nucleus of talent will return for the Eagles. Adhir hopes to matriculate to Davidson College or Brown University, with both schools looking for Adhir to join their respective football teams. Wrestling enters the SCVAL league championships with several wrestlers hoping to earn a spot in the CCS finals. Seniors Solomon Awe and Brian Thurgate lead the way for the Eagles. Fellow seniors

Steven Wong, parent


John Ollila and Alex Ladonikov joined Brian and Solomon during senior night where they and their parents were honored for their many years of involvement, shaping the wrestling program for years to come. John wrestled the match of the night, pinning his opponent on a dazzling reversal to lead the Eagles. Several wrestlers medaled in tournaments during the year, including returning grapplers, Michael Hammersley and David Woolsey. Girls soccer recently completed their season by saying goodbye to six seniors. Coach Evan Barth saw great improvement in the team throughout the season as the squad played 2-1 and 2-0 games against the top two teams in the league. While the team will have several positions to fill next season, returning midfielders Lauren Gutstein and Julia PriceMadison will return to anchor the squad. The level of play was much improved over a year ago, and the team will continue to get better, says Coach Barth. As the spring season commences, Harker offers teams in baseball, softball, track and field, swimming, golf, tennis and volleyball. The baseball team returns seven starters from last year’s team and will be playing games on the newly renovated Blackford diamond. Tennis looks to be a viable candidate for the league title, whereas golf and boys volleyball will look to improve upon their 2nd place league finishes of a year ago. Boys and girls swimming promises to be exciting to watch, as does softball. Track and field will be led by John Ollila, who finished fourth in the entire CCS last year in the pole vaulting event! See you at the games. —Jack Bither, US Athletic Director Harker News — March 05

■ Gr. 8 Gets Taste of Parenthood As part of the annual MS science unit on sex education, Gr. 8 students participated in a parenthood exercise by caring for a flour sack baby for an entire week in February. In addition to the flour sack activity, a number of students chose to simulate a weekend at home with a newborn infant using a RealCare Baby II computerized infant simulator. The aim of both the flour sack program and the RealCare simulation is to demonstrate to students the tremendous demands of parenthood. “A lot of kids might think that it’s easy taking care of a kid,” said Sanaz Oskouy. “But just finding out how difficult it is to take care of a flour sack for a week let me know that I’m definitely not ready to take care of a child.” In what has become the traditional conclusion to the annual flour sack project for many of the participants, Oskouy used the contents of her flour sack baby to bake treats for fellow classmates and MS teachers. “I baked my baby into a cake!” she laughed. This year nearly twodozen students chose to take part in the RealCare Baby simulation. Parental permission was required for all participants as the childcare responsibilities have an impact on the entire household, much as a real infant might. The RealCare babies, programmed by Gr. 8 teachers Simon Keilty and Lorna Claerbout, have customized schedules of eating and sleeping, simulating the unpredictable nature of infant care. During each caretaking event, the student must touch a wrist ID to the baby’s back. The diapers and bottles also have sensors on them that allow the baby to record the quality of its parental care. “I had to wake up at least five times every night,” said Taylor Rapson. “I have a whole new respect for mothers. I can’t imagine how hard it would be to have a baby Harker News — March 05

school when you’re young.” Regarding the RealCare participants specifically, Keilty laughed, “Despite some bloodshot eyes, they survived!” Sample data from one of the first weekend participants was as follows: Total Simulation: 2 days, 11 hours Delay Time: 3.5 hours Day Care: 1 Proper Care: 90% Feed: 23/26 Burp: 18/19 Diaper: 18/19 Rock: 3/5 Missed Care: 7 Wrong Position: 0 Rough Handling: 1 Head Support Failure: 14 Shaken Baby: 0 Minutes of Crying: 59 minutes ■ New Art Workshop After School MS students who love art can participate in a new after-school Art Workshop led by Kerry Enzensperger of the Harker Rec Staff. The workshop provides opportunities for students to work on varied projects in a number of different media, such as clay, paper quilling, paper mache, paints, masks and plaques, stepping stones and even 3-D jack-o-lanterns. Said Enzensperger, “It’s a fun, relaxing environment for the kids to create whatever their imaginations dream up.” ■ 2005-06 Harmonics Announced! After a rigorous audition process, Harmonics directors Monica Mackinnon and Susan Nace are pleased to announce the 200506 ensemble: John Ammatuna, Nikita Agrawal, Namrata Anand, Alex Creasman, Max Elisman, Andreas Englert, Michael Hooten, Aditi Joshi, Christina Li, Timothy Lin, Kristina Little, Kristi Lui, Nirjhar Mankar, Christopher McCalla-Creary, Scott Mohanram, Kendra Moss, Sarah Newton, Matt Park, Shanna Polzin, Dawn Queen, Sri Seeni, James Seifert, Jane Thomas, Christine Trinh, Allika Walvekar, Melinda Wang, David Wu, and Michelle Vu. Congratulations to all!

Tamagawa Teacher Visits Long Time Friend - Keiichi Watase The 2004-05 school year marked the 10th anniversary of the partnership between Harker and its sister school in Japan, the Tamagawa Gakuen School. The Jan. 14 arrival of Tamagawa teacher Keiichi Watase marked the renewal of an even longer relationship: Watase was the first Tamagawa teacher to visit Harker back in 1993, the year before the inaugural exchange between the two schools took place. In all, Watase has accompanied eight different Tamagawa student delegations on their exchange visits to Harker. “The opportunity to have Keiichi Watase join us at Harker as an exchange teacher was a tremendous honor,” said Harker’s Director of International Programs Bill Bost. “He is an exceptional teacher at Tamagawa and a longtime friend to Harker.” During his visit, Watase observed numerous MS history and world studies classes, and spent two days instructing MS students on Japanese history and society. This year’s exchange allowed Harker to recognize the immeasurable contributions that Watase has made to the Harker/Tamagawa partnership. At the welcome luncheon held in his honor on Jan. 18, Associate Head of School Chris Nikoloff presented Watase with a Harker 10-year service pin in recognition of his efforts in support of the exchange program. One of the more poignant moments of the trip came during Watase’s visit to an US social studies class. As Watase entered the room five current US students hollered “Konichiwa” to welcome him. These students took part in the Tamagawa exchange while in Gr. 6, and still remembered everything their host had done to ensure that they enjoyed their time in Japan. “It was a special moment that I will never forget. I was so happy that they remembered me,” said Watase. Conversely, Bost was amazed at Watase’s memory. “I was amazed that he still remembered them all by name and still knew who their partners were from some five or six years ago,” said Bost.

Mark Tantrum - all photos this page


Recreational highlights of Watase’s visit included taking part in Harker’s US Ski Trip to Lake Tahoe. “He loved the experience with the students and chaperones on the ski trip, and really enjoyed standing at the top of the Heavenly Ski Run and being able to see California, Lake Tahoe and Nevada all in one spot,” laughed Bost. A warm “sayonara” to Keiichi Watase as he heads home, and many thanks for so many years of wonderful memories!




Diplomatic Efforts Complete First Ever Shanghai Exchange After months of diplomatic negotiations with the U.S. State Department, Harker accomplished the rare feat of hosting a delegation of students from a communist country when they welcomed 12 eighth graders and two chaperones from Harker’s sister school in Shanghai, People’s Republic of China on Sat., Jan. 29. “The United States Consulate informed me that, in the last five years, no other Chinese group of this size has been granted visas to enter the United States,” said Deputy Principal Jian Xu from the Shanghai World Foreign Language Middle School at the reception to welcome the Shanghai delegation. “So this trip is very special in many respects.”

Mark Tantrum and Vlad Dabija, parent

Immediately upon their arrival in San Francisco, many of the students from SWFLMS marveled at the relative calm with which life in the Bay Area moves, compared to the fast-paced environment of Shanghai. Said Shanghai student


Linda Cheng, “San Francisco was so beautiful, but everything seemed so calm. Shanghai is very busy and crowded. Here you can see the beauty. It’s very special.” Bill Bost, Harker’s international program director and organizer of this exchange, said that Harker faculty and students learned tremendously from this experience. Harker host Dominique Dabija reported that the time she has spent with her Shanghai buddy Roxie Ma has provided her with a new perspective on both China and the United States. “I have enjoyed this experience because I really learned new things. I learned from Roxie how things work in China, but learning that has helped me understand life in my own country in a new way,” she said. Throughout the exchange the Shanghai students joined their Harker buddies during various academic activities, and even had a

few special educational opportunities designed specifically for them. Outside of shadowing their Harker buddies, the Shanghai students participated in workshops focusing on dance, improvisational acting, American film, literature and history. Demonstrating the breadth of Harker’s international program, the Shanghai students participated in a videoconference with Gr. 8 students from another Harker sister school – the Tamagawa Gakuen School of Tamagawa, Japan – on Feb. 7 to discuss issues surrounding population as part of the joint Population Project. During their visit, the Shanghai students have been treated to the full spectrum of the California experience: the historical sites of San Francisco, such as the Golden Gate Bridge; the technological advances on display at the San Jose Tech Museum; and the natural wonders

of Big Basin and Ano Nuevo State Parks. Shanghai students were also special guests at the second annual Harker Fashion Show (see Pg. 8), arriving in a personal limousine for the lunchtime event. “The show was exciting,” said Ma, “It was very professional.” The Shanghai visitors’ time in Northern California concluded at a special dinner event with Harker host families on the Saratoga campus to celebrate the Chinese Lunar New Year. At press time, the Shanghai students were bidding farewell to their Harker buddies and host families, and en route to Southern California, where they will visit Disneyland, Rodeo Drive and other So-Cal landmarks. “It was an historic and memorable visit, and we look forward to deepening our ties with this wonderful school,” said Bost. See facing page for a recap of performances during their visit!


Harker News — March 05

upper Harker Student Performances Provide Warm Welcome for Shanghai Guests The Performing Arts department enthusiastically helped welcome our Shanghai visitors. At the welcome breakfast on Jan. 31, Susan Nace’s women’s chamber group Cantilena performed a rousing American spiritual, “Ev’rytime I feel the spirit,” and a softer “Alleluia.” The Harker String Orchestra, directed by Richard Frazier, performed two pieces from


Advanced Acting Technology Students Create and Analyze Own Work Via Laptop Video Technology “You don’t have to know what to do. Just ask them to do it.” With that advice, Dan Hudkins, Harker’s director of instructional technology, encouraged me to assign my first video project. Advanced Acting is a semester length course open to students who have completed Acting and

As students learn and apply different acting techniques during the semester, there is a continuous process of self-analysis that is refined by feedback from the other students and from me. However, in my years of performing I’ve learned that actually being able to see your own work as a means of self-

It energized the class and helped them look even deeper into their own craft.

At the MS Assembly on Feb. 3, Harmonics performed a rousing Broadway medley, including the classics “You’re Just in Love” and “Give My Regards to Broadway.” Thanks to directors Monica MacKinnon and Susan Nace for such a fun, American songfest! Feb. 8 was an artistic day for our visitors, too! In the morning, the Shanghai students joined the US Acting Class for an improvisation workshop. “Exercises were designed to develop team building and non-verbal as well as verbal communication skills,” said MacKinnon. Building on that experience, US dance teacher Laura Rae led a dance workshop for the visitors. To put a finishing touch on the day, the faculty choir NoteWorthy, directed by Nace, performed at the farewell dinner, singing “You’ve Got a Friend in Me,” a sentiment all the Harker buddies feel for their new Shanghai pals. Harker News — March 05

Before this class, students of this age typically will find and memorize a monologue if they need it for an audition or per formance. But in this class, they not only simply memorize the monologues, but students study the context of the play, the history of the character, and then get to the meat of the class – learning how to identify and define the emotional sections of the monologue and the ‘want’ of their characters.

■ Harker Student Receives Prestigious AP Award Harker senior Alan Malek was one of only 24 students nationally named this year to be a recipient of the 2004-05 Siemens Award for Advanced Placement. This prestigious award was given to Malek for his outstanding AP test scores in both math and science. Malek, one of only four students in the Western region of the U.S. who received the award for 2004-05, will receive a $3,000 scholarship to be applied toward his college tuition and will be presented with an honorary plaque this spring. Winners of the 2004-05 Siemens Award for Advanced Placement were listed in a full-page announcement in the Feb. 1, 2005 edition of the USA Today and on the Siemens Foundation Web site at Congratulations to Malek for this outstanding achievement!

Students were asked to create a video of their monologues. They could do multiple versions, but they could not combine them. Then they needed to choose the best single piece. Following the guidelines for self-analysis, the students each

■ Trebuchet, Se Magnifique! Evan Barth’s Introduction to Engineering elective class for Gr. 12 students created a trebuchet – similar to a catapult but with an

Mark Tantrum

Mark Tantrum

their Februar y tour to Europe with Cantilena. Violinist Audrey Kwong, Gr. 10, cellist Eric Hsieh, Gr. 11, and pianist Kristie Cu, Gr. 10, each per formed a well-received classical solo.

analysis is a powerful and unique tool. I had wanted to use video before, but selecting clips, reviewing work, etc. was not easy to do with a full class and a limited set of tools. But when I went to Dan, and asked how it could be done in this class, he told me that all the students’ laptops included video editing tools, and that they could prepare the work themselves. So I gave the assignment.

would like to further develop their talent. The focus is on the craft of acting and the primary vehicle is an in-depth semester’s work on one dramatic monologue.

additional wire to generate more momentum – and gave a demonstration on Dobbins Field in Januar y. The device successfully launched a tennis ball an impressive 93 feet!

wrote a paper reviewing their performances, and then they were to play the video and present their analysis to the class. I loved the result. We did this about two-thirds of the way through the course and not only did it permit me (and the other students) to offer constructive criticism, it permitted us all to identify the things that were working well and should be continued. It energized the class and helped them look even deeper into their own craft. It helped them refocus on what was truly essential and what should be re-thought. I realize that all of this was possible before the availability of laptop video editing. But having it this close to hand, and having students who are sufficiently comfortable to be self-supporting, makes it possible to do this kind of reflection without distracting from the content of the class. I look forward to doing this again. —Laura Lang-Ree, Performing Arts Dept. Chair

■ Harker Students Win Science Bowl – Again! For the second year in a row, Harker won the championship at the Department of Energy’s regional Science Bowl held over the weekend of Jan. 29 and 30 at the National Lab in Berkeley. Harker’s Team 1, comprised of juniors Yi Sun, Hann Yew, and Jasper Shau, and seniors Mason Liang and Lev Pisarsky, went a perfect 7-0, winning the championship trophy and earning the team a free trip to Washington, D.C. to compete with the winners of the other 65 regional continued on pg. 17




Student Directed Plays a Hit

Mark Tantrum - all photos

student directed showcases


The fourth annual Student-Directed Showcase played to excited audiences on Jan. 21 and 22 at the CET Theater in San Jose. This semester-long class taught by performing arts chair Laura Lang-Ree gives students the opportunity to research, analyze, cast, costume, design, direct and produce a short play, either a one-act or a longer piece that the students cut down to size. The directors (all senior Conservatory Certificate Candidates) Kamilla Khaydarov (Blithe Spirit), Kimberley Wong (My Fair Lady, with musical director Kathy Peng), Boris Federov (Captive Audience/Babel’s in Arms), Rachel Newman (Sister Mary Arms Ignatius Explains it All for You) You and Genna Erlikhman (The Real Inspector Hound) oversaw the performances Hound of this diverse selection of plays, ably assisted by technical directors Brian Larsen and Paul Vallerga. A very popular event on campus, the directors had over 50 students audition, and over 500 in the audience. Lang-Ree notes, “Our students are able to learn a tremendous amount about the role of director and how to take something from point A to point Z and all places in between!”

Harker News — March 05



continued from pg. 15

So she would get the most out of the experience, US teachers allowed her the freedom to explore different classes and subjects during her four-week stay at Harker. “I enjoyed being at Harker very much,” said Andoh. “At Harker, students are taught to participate and tr y to enjoy learning.”

The fun-loving relationship between the two girls also included drawing funny faces on fruit, a tradition that began at their first dinner together. “It was kind of awkward at dinner the first

night,” said Lee, “We didn’t know what to talk about. So I pulled out a sharpie and drew a happy face on an orange. Then she took the pen and drew a face, and we both just went off from there.” Though Andoh said she will miss everything she leaves behind at Harker, she knows she will be reunited with her newfound friend very soon as Lee will travel to Tamagawa on June 11

to complete this year’s first-ofits-kind exchange. Said Lee, “I can’t wait to experience in Japan a little of what Tomoko experienced here at Harker.”

tests problem-solving skills and mathematical ingenuity.

by the 3-judge panel. Congratulations, Band!

■ Jazz Ensemble Attends Festival The US Jazz Ensemble, under the direction of Richard Frazier, attended the California Music Educators Association (CMEA) Bay Section Jazz Festival at Homestead High School on Feb. 5. The group was awarded a score of Excellent

■ Student Wins International Poetry Contest Junior Hann-Shuin Yew has won 1st prize in the English Language Under 17 category of the Féile Filíochta/ International Poetry Competition, run by the Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council Public Library Service near Dublin, Ireland. Her poem, “Chocolate Rain,” will be published in mid-March in a booklet, and also on their Web site - In addition to publication, Yew wins a check for 300 euros, and is invited to attend the ceremony in Dublin.

The US Spirit Club hosted a Dance Revolution spirit event on Thurs., Feb. 10 where students tested their dancing skills in the interactive video game. The event drew dozens of participants in front of Dobbins Hall and continued through both lunch periods. “A lot of students participated who don’t normally participate in spirit events, and that really made the event fun,” said Spirit Club president Andrea Brisker, Gr. 12. Harker News — March 05

to see the sites of San Francisco, including those suited specifically for Andoh’s penchant for sweets and snacks. “She loves candy,” Lee said of Andoh, “So we took her to all the best candy stores. She loved it.”

Jessica Lee, Gr. 10, Andoh’s Harker buddy and host, said that the most memorable time they spent together was taking Andoh

Chris Daren

■ Students Succeed in Math Competition In November, 11 Harker students joined 258 students from 25 area schools to participate in the 46th annual Santa Clara University High School Mathematics Contest at Santa Clara University. Junior Yi Sun was the Grand Prize winner, and senior Lev Pisarsky earned an honorable mention. This regional contest is a three-hour exam which

Tomoko Andoh, a member of the 2005 graduating class at Harker’s sister school in Tamagawa, Japan, the Tamagawa Gakuen School, and participant in the first-ever US exchange during the ten-year partnership between the two schools, concluded her visit to Harker on Feb. 11.

Mark Tantrum - all photos

Korin and assistant coach Jennifer Owen noted that Harker’s students are particularly well-rounded. “The moderator always reads the subject - biology, physics, chemistry, astronomy, general science, math, computer science - before reading the question, and I know they have a shot no matter what the topic is,” said Korin. Last year, Harker’s team earned a tie for 9th place at nationals. Watch this space for results of the D.C. competition, which takes place from Apr. 28May 2.

First-ever US Tamagawa Exchange Student Visit

■ Robotics Ships Bot to Sac! At press time, the robotics team was fast approaching their deadline to ship their completed robot off to Sacramento. Working about five hours a day before the Presidents’ Week Break, the team increased their pace over vacation to even more hours, in preparation for the shipping. This impressive team is entirely student run – they have a budget, write grant proposals, and take care of all of the organization

and design. They admit they do ask for help sometimes from advisors Daniel Matthews and Eric Nelson; after all, “they are physics

Mark Tantrum

events held across the United States. “Their march to the winner’s circle was never in serious doubt; Harker is not too popular with some East Bay schools right now,” laughed chemistry teacher and team coach Robbie Korin. Team 2, comprised of sophomores Siddharth Chandrasekhar, Jessie Li, and Justin Chin, junior Hailey Lam and senior Jerry Hong, also had an impressive showing, losing one of the rounds by just one question. Korin said he’s looking for ward to some of these team members moving up to Team 1 next year.

teachers!” laughs senior Pia Pal, but the bulk of the work is entirely student driven. Team President Alex Segal, Gr. 12, noted that he and his officers met with a professional project management team over the summer, who taught continued on pg. 18



■ Quiz Bowlers Win! The Quiz Bowl team of Mason Liang, Gr. 12, Yi Sun, Gr. 11, and Lev Pisarsky, Gr. 12, enjoyed a resounding win on Feb. 12, beating San Carlos High School with a score of 330 to 120 points. They now move on to their next match, which is on Mar. 5 against Mountain View High School. Cheer them on by watching the taping of the match at the Peninsula TV studio on the 2nd floor at 1250 San Carlos Blvd. in San Carlos, at 3:00.

Photo by friendly stranger

■ Author Kingsolver Praises Student Current Gr. 10 student Allison Wong recently received a pleasant surprise in the mail: a handwritten letter from author Barbara Kingsolver. Wong entered a 2003 writing contest titled “Letters to Authors” in her freshman

Thirty students and eight chaperones attended the 5th annual Harker US Ski Trip in Lake Tahoe from Feb. 15 – 17, skiing the slopes of Squaw Valley and Heavenly Ski Resorts. Attendees included Keiichi Watase from Harker’s sister school in Tamagawa, Japan, who visited Harker as part of the teacher exchange program. For full details on his visit, see the article on pg. 13.


English class, where students wrote personal letters to authors explaining why one of those author’s works was particularly influential in the student’s life. Wong wrote to Kingsolver about her book “The Poisonwood Bible” – a novel about a missionary family in Africa – and explained in her letter how she was deeply influenced by the book’s themes of coming to terms with maturity, religious and anti-religious ideas and independence. Over a year later, Kingsolver responded to the letter. “Your letter was so brave, so strong and wise that I almost felt like crying because you understood my book so well,” wrote Kingsolver. “I wouldn’t be surprised if you wrote a book yourself someday.” Said Wong of the correspondence with Kingsolver, “She has inspired me in a lot of my work, and I’m proud she approves of what I’ve done.” ■ En Garde! Harker’s US fencing club competed in its first tournament as the Harker Fencing Team on Feb. 13 at the Elite Musketeer Fencer’s Club in Menlo Park. The team participated in the team foil event with the possibility of individual entries from the team’s fencers. Coach Alex Kuznetsov of the Elite Musketeer Fencer’s Club (EMFC) said the team hopes to recruit more fencers, particularly those proficient at “saber-style” fencing. Those interested in learning more about the US fencing program, or the new MS after-school fencing workshop at Harker, should contact Valerie from EMFC at ■ Update Debate! Matthew Brandstetter reports that Harker novice debaters traveled to Pepperdine University in Southern California on Feb. 5 & 6 to compete with area schools in policy debate rounds. Our students, all freshmen, distinguished themselves with both speaker awards and placement in the tournament as a whole: SPEAKER AWARDS: First Speaker Aneesh Goel; Second Speaker - Jay Shah; Fourth Speaker - Neelaysh Vukkadala; Eighth Speaker - Anik Debnath. Shah and Debnath earned a third place award, losing in the semi-final round to St. Augustine on a 2-1 decision. Also placing third were Goel and Vukkadala, who lost in the semi-final round to Damien on a 2-1 decision.

Mark Tantrum

continued from pg. 17 them how to use special software that keeps them on task by helping them with organization. Segal says this is the first year that the robot is entirely computer designed. “We designed it, then ordered custom parts from a machine shop.” Using a crate an earlier team built specifically for shipping a robot, the students will carefully pack their project up and send it to Sacramento, where it will sit unopened until the first competition there on Mar. 3. “Sometimes they actually rust!” said senior Alan Malek. Watch the April issue to find out what happened at the competition. Good luck, Team!

Members of the Harker Orchestra meet prior to their first European tour, on which they embarked at press time. Watch the April issue for a report!

students have been preparing since At press time Harker students September. Advisor Jennifer Fields completed a two-day tournament at explained, “Each team has four Stanford University, and attorneys and four witnesses, and Brandstetter reported a “fine either a clerk (who is the official showing in this arduous tournatimer) or a bailiff (who calls the ment competition.” Following six court to order and swears in the preliminary rounds, Alex Hsu and witnesses). The trial is judged by a Shilpa Vadodaria advanced to the judge from the superior court and field of 32 competitors from an is scored by local attorneys.” original field of 218 debaters in the Varsity Lincoln-Douglas event. Hsu Harker split this year’s event – a continued to the field of 16 debaters and barely missed earning a TOC leg by one round. In JV LincolnDouglas, Arjun Banerjee and Kimberly Wong advanced to the field of 16 competitors from an original field of 124 debaters. Wong advanced all the way to the semi-final round before losing to a debater from Lynbrook. She received 3rd-place The Harker Improv Troupe (HIT) practices for the honors for her efforts. Coffee House Improv Jam held in late January. Additionally, JV LDers earned the following speaker awards: Second Speaker – trial for the crime of vehicular Arjun Banerjee; Twelfth Speaker – manslaughter – winning two and Paula Lauris; Fourteenth Speaker – losing two of their four trials. The Nikita Jeswani; Twentieth Speaker prosecuting team was juniors Sean Turner, Mina Lee, Amulya – Kimberly Wong. Special thanks Mandava, Jaya Pareek, Swathi to all the debaters who stayed to Bhuma, Nandini Datta, Saloni root for our students as they Mathur, Anum Asghar and senior continued in the tournament. ”We Nilay Gandhi. The defense team also enjoyed many visits was sophomores Rupan Bose, from current Harker students as Anjali Menon, juniors Amira well as alumni who are currently Valliani, Meghana Dhar, Colleen attending Stanford University,” Lee, Shruthi Bhuma, Arjun added Brandstetter. Banerjee, Euny Lee, and senior Students Participate in Mock Trial Arjun Naskar. Fields added, “This Harker’s Mock Trial team competed is a wonderful event, in which the in the annual Santa Clara County students formulate legal arguments Mock Trial competition on Feb. 1-3, and conduct a trial from start to an impressive event held at the finish, playing the roles of both San Jose courthouse for which the attorneys and witnesses.” Harker News — March 05

Mark Tantrum



the scenes

Harker’s First Class Food Service On Par with Top Schools in Nation

Martin, who worked in high school food service for two decades before joining Harker in 1991, has overseen the significant transformation of the school’s food service. He has nurtured the program from an eight person staff serving approximately 400 K-8 students in 1991 – that at the time also included a 7-day boarding program – to a current staff of 30 serving over 1,500 students, faculty and staff, with preparations underway to launch a third food service operation on the new middle school campus in the fall. A significant benchmark in the history of Harker’s food service was the launching of the upper school in 1999. Charged with the mission to develop a top-notch food program to accommodate hundreds more students, Martin and his staff succeeded in creating a vast and varied selection. “The whole concept was to give the food selection balance, so that there are healthy choices that the students would enjoy,” said Martin. “We wanted to encourage them to try different things, so the veggies weren’t labeled ‘healthy choice’ because then some kids would be afraid to try it,” he laughed. The food court in Manzanita Hall now

Harker News — March 05

features a window for grilled foods, a pasta station, a deli station with fresh salads, a station offering fresh Odwalla juices and a carving station with fine meats. Said Marvin Wong, Gr. 9, “I’d definitely be willing to say that we are the best fed students in all of the Bay Area.” The assortment of options in Harker’s food service program is also a reflection of the school’s diversity, according to Saratoga

kitchen manager Juan Jimenez. “It’s a great program because we have such a diverse school, and we offer foods from so many different ethnicities. We provide all types of meats and vegetarian choices, and if a student is allergic to any type of food, we can accommodate that. It’s just about keeping the kids happy.” Jimenez, who joined the Harker staff in 1997, is responsible for developing the food choices, ordering food and materials and arranging the food court menu. “We’re really a good team,” said Jimenez. “The MS and LS kitchen work really well with the US kitchen. Communication is really important when dealing with after school meetings, teachers, deliveries, food quality, price comparison and

the 15 different companies that we receive shipments from.” The philosophy is the same on the Bucknall campus. Kitchen manager Darren Cassidy, who has been with Harker since 1995, considers the food program an “Introduction to Foods” course for the LS students. “We try to mix their favorites with foods they don’t see every day,” said Cassidy. “The choices are always diverse, and we really make an effort to introduce them to new and different foods, and foods from different ethnicities as a way of culturing them to try new things,” he added. Bucknall kitchen supervisor Lisa Machuca has been with Harker food services since 1982, and noted the variety of options offered to the students. “Beyond meals, we provide the kids with healthy choices at both the morning and afternoon snack bars, providing hot food items, fresh fruits and juices, and things like pita chips instead of other kinds of chips,” she said.

complete their required training with Harker’s food services program. Dave Hendricks, a graduate of the California Culinary Academy, is currently completing his postgraduate study at Harker. “Joining Harker has given me a chance to gain some practical experience in a great program,” said Hendricks. “Working with this experienced staff has helped solidify what I learned in school.” Martin implemented this program at Harker in 1992, and approximately 80 interns have trained and contributed fresh talent and ideas to the program since that time.

“I’d definitely be willing to say that we are the best fed students in all of the Bay Area.” Through the talent, energy and efforts of our dedicated staff, the food service program will continue providing first class service and cuisine to the Harker community. Many thanks to Chef Martin and his crew for their contributions in making yet another one of Harker’s programs top notch!

Another progressive feature of Harker’s food service program is the hosting of culinary interns. A graduate of Johnson & Wales University in Rhode Island, Martin regularly invites post-graduate culinary students from top schools to

Mark Tantrum - all photos

Executive chef Steve Martin and his dedicated food service staff have created an extraordinary food service program at Harker that is on par with the top secondary schools in the country.



the archives

Diana Nichols – Groundbreaking Environmentalist in Community In 1973 – as a biology teacher and science department chairperson – Diana Nichols’ enthusiasm for teaching science, listening to students, and “practicing what she preached” were apparent early on. Diana was committed to making science fun, and providing students with hands-on projects that would excite them. Diana’s enthusiasm for teaching was matched by her passion for the environment. In Harker’s spring 1989 newsletter the front page outlined 12 important environmental projects at Harker: from recycling to organic gardens, Harker was becoming “green!” Although it was trendy to teach environmental science at the time, Diana saw to it that we practiced it, and her passion for her projects was contagious. In 1989 Diana was asked to conduct a teacher in-service for Loma Prieta School where she shared with them our philosophy and methods for incorporating environmental programs into the curriculum.

Harker Archives - all photos

The early 90s were the start of an ongoing relationship between Harker and Santa Clara County.

1990 marked the 20th anniversary of Earth Day, and Diana was appointed to be the Santa Clara County outreach coordinator for the activities of 120 schools. At the invitation of then-senator Al Gore, Diana also helped celebrate the anniversary of Earth Day by taking a group of students to Washington, D.C., where she participated at the opening of the Earth Tech Faire. In 1991 she was the chair for the city of San Jose’s Earth Day events. “It was an incredible time,” said Linda Brearley, administrative assistant to Diana at the time, and current assistant to the incoming head of school, Chris Nikoloff. “I have nothing but admiration for the way Diana mobilized an entire community, connecting with organizations, schools and groups on the city and federal level. She gave monumental attention to detail and the events were marvelous.” Diana was instrumental in continuing our involvement in yearly Earth Day activities, organizing Harker clubs to participate in off-campus projects, and getting the word out about our campus recycling program.

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. Editors: Terry Walsh, Crystal Boyd; Photo Editor: Mark Tantrum; Contributors: Ali Abdollahi, Cathy Snider, Jaja Hsuan, Laura van den Dries, Chris Daren, Nick Gassmann, Steven Wong; Printing: Harker Copy Shop; Mailing Coordinators: Ashley Sukovez, Jerusha Hew Len


Preserving trees and forests were also important to Diana, and many projects reflected her passion. In the 90s Diana began our association with Our City Forest, a non-profit organization devoted to increasing citizen involvement in tree planting and tree care in the community. She spearheaded the Our City Forest project in 1994 where the school raised over $6,000 selling t-shirts and holding class fundraisers. In the “coolest” of ceremonial endings, Diana, Howard, and other faculty members took a plunge, fully dressed, in the Harker pool as promised to the classes who met their aggressive goals. Facilities Director Mike Bassoni loves to tell of the campus redwood tree project, where the original design of Dobbins Hall required that the large redwood directly in front of the entrance doors be removed. “Diana was VERY adamant that we not touch the tree. She insistently coaxed the construction and design team out of the conference room to take a first-hand view of her concerns and recommendation. At one point in the field discussion she actually ran over and threw her arms around the tree yelling in a humorous manner, ‘You’re not touching this tree!’” he laughed. Ultimately, the design was changed and plans for the building moved 10 -12 feet to the east. “She is passionate about her trees,” he added.

on the destruction of the ozone layer, alternative transportation and electric vehicles. In keeping with her philosophy that hands-on experiences are most effective in learning situations – and as a role model for the Harker students – Diana purchased an electric car and installed a natural gas fuel system on her existing car. Teacher and environmentalist, Diana shared her commitment to the environment with Harker and the entire community of Santa Clara County, and was rewarded and recognized with environmental awards in the community. We salute Diana for her community influence and involvement in these issues, and for inspiring so many students, faculty and community members with her commitment. —Sue Smith, Harker Archivist & Terry Walsh, Harker History Committee Member

All the while, Diana continued to teach environmental science classes and her lessons included discussions 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 — March 05

Profile for The Harker School

2005 March Harker News  

2005 March Harker News