Page 1

OCTOBER 2005 (VOL. 12, NO. 1)


inside Historic opening of new MS Campus! See pgs. 10 & 11 for recap

Pledge Week Oct. 2-7 See pg. 4 for details Redesigned Web site launches Sept. 30! See Editor’s Note, pg. 2


55th Annual Family & Alumni Picnic

Sun., Oct. 16

10 a.m. - 4 p.m. US Campus See pg. 5

Sat., Oct. 8 - Football Fri., Oct. 15 - Volleyball See pg. 17 Harker News — October 05






Students Unite to Support Katrina Relief Efforts The devastation of Hurricane Katrina to our nation’s gulf coast has prompted responses from the entire Harker community. Each campus is uniting to show their support for the displaced survivors, with gestures of goodwill and fundraising. At the Lower School, students participated in “Support on a Stick,” selling juice bars after school

to raise money. On Thursdays throughout September, students, faculty and staff could buy juice bars for whatever amount of money they deemed appropriate. The first day of sales yielded an amazing $838.42! The tables were staffed by students in grades 3-5 and the student council actively worked on publicity. In addition, during homeroom on Fri., Sept. 9, each

student made a badge consisting of red, white and blue ribbon and a thoughtful message such as “we care” or “Help the hurricane victims,”in an effort “to promote schoolwide awareness of our responsibility to help the victims of Hurricane Katrina,” said Kelly Espinosa, LS dean of non-academics. Continued on pg. 7

Costa Rica Trip Introduces Students to Field Research During the summer of 2005, US science teachers Anita Chetty and Dr. Gary Blickenstaff started a new program designed to provide Harker students with first-hand experience at performing university-level field research and data analysis. The teachers took two two-week trips to the island of Costa Rica with a total of 19 Harker students during July and August. The Harker groups, comprised of students in upper-level biology classes, had the unique opportunity to conduct their own research assignments with graduate and undergraduate researchers at each of three different renowned research facilities. The first of the three locations was the Monte Verde Institute, which sits amidst a “cloud forest” (named this due to the actual formation of clouds at the altitude) 6,000 feet above sea level in the Andes mountains. The Monte Verde Institute has long-established partnerships with esteemed universities in the U.S., including Smith College and all of the University of California schools. At Monte Verde, the Harker students broke into small groups and selected research topics. They were then assigned a resident graduate student who served as the adviser for their project. The goal of the project was to produce a universitylevel research paper, based on two days of data collecting followed by data analysis, statistical treatment, and concluding with a project presentation.

The final products were impressive to the students’ own Harker teachers and the residents of Monte Verde. “The presentations were very much like a normal scientific seminar,” said Chetty. Chetty added that, when she made a preliminary visit to Monte Verde in February, the administration was wary about inviting high school students to conduct complicated research. “They didn’t think that highly of it, but by the end, they told us that our students were extraordinary,” said Chetty. “Our students were picking up the material two- to three-times faster than the UC undergrads. The graduate advisers repeatedly thanked our students for their tremendous focus and dedication.” “Working with the grad students was a humbling experience,” added Carissa Chu, Gr. 12. “They put in so much work, and it’s amazing the amount of energy they have to have.” The second research facility was the La Selva Biological Station, situated in Costa Rica’s central lowlands (still 1,000 feet in elevation). At La Selva, Harker

students participated in research sponsored by the Organization for Tropical Studies (OTS), a nonprofit consortium consisting of 63 universities in the U.S., Latin America and Australia. Almost three-quarters of the area of the La Selva Station is under primary rain forest, allowing the students to Continued on pg. 15

photos provided by Anita Chetty


est. 1893 • K-12 college prep


editor’s note

october dates & events


On Sept. 30 we will launch a redesigned Web site. Our goals were to improve the organization and navigation for both visitors and current families, and to establish consistency in look and feel. We’ve listened to - and implemented - many of your suggestions, and the site will continue to evolve with your valuable input.

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

Speaker Series on Parenting

—Pam Dickinson, Director, Office of Communications

quote “I thought it would be an amazing experience for the children to meet real officers and real police dogs...”

■ Mon., Oct. 10 – Columbus Day – No classes ■ Sat., Oct. 8 – Homecoming Football Game, 6:30 p.m., Foothill College (see pg. 17 for details) ■ Sun., Oct. 16 – 55th Annual Family & Alumni Picnic, 10 a.m. - 4 p.m., STG Campus (see pg. 5 and Web site for details) ■ Sat., Oct. 22 – Fashion Show Model Tryouts, 10 a.m., STG Gym NEW! Beginning this year we’ll discontinue sending printed calendars and menus home. We’ll send you an e-mail reminder – as usual – when the newsletter is on its way, with a reminder to print out your division’s calendar and menu, which will be posted on the Web site.

Fashion Show 2006 Model Tryouts! Try out to model in this year’s 2006 Fashion Show, Cruisin’ California! Think surfboards, beaches, Golden Gate Bridge, the Gold Rush – you get the picture. Join the fun!

—Cynthia Proctor See recap of the visit on p. 9

Harker Tennis Program The Harker/Oakwood Tennis Training System (HOTTS) is a competitive player regimen that combines regular, structured, tennis instruction with opportunities to engage in match play. Just as in a match where no two balls are alike, we realize each player is unique, and has his or her own style and technique. Our goal is to get the most out of these differences, while developing each player’s concentration and creativity. We do this by minimizing errors, leveraging technical strengths and increasing each player’s ability to think like a champion. HOTTS instruction emphasizes:


• Speed and agility

Volunteer Signups a Huge Success!

• Small-group instruction

Harker parents came out in large numbers for the annual volunteer signup events on each of the three campuses. The events included breakfast and orientation, where parents were able to socialize and enjoy some great food while perusing and signing up for various volunteer opportunities. In the end, approximately 350 parents signed up to graciously donate their time and effort to help ensure another fantastic year at Harker!

• Tennis-specific fitness and power training

Who is Eligible? • K-11 students who didn’t model last year • All seniors (Class of ’06) • Alumni, faculty and parents Model Workshop • If you want to practice before the tryout! • Sat., Oct. 1, STG Gym - $15 fee Model Tryouts • Sat., Oct. 22, STG Gym, time to be announced. Forms deadline: Oct. 19. Visit the Fashion Show section of the Harker Web site for forms and more information! *Downbeat, BKN Dance Ensemble, Jazz Band and US Dance Troupe members will be performing in the shows and are not eligible to audition. Parents of students selected as models will be required to provide ten hours of volunteer service in support of the show.


• Stroke development (from traditional to contemporary technique) • Strategy and sports psychology • Game-based drilling The HOTTS program is held at the Oakwood Tennis Center, 700 S. Saratoga Ave. Lessons are offered Mon.-Fri. from 3:50 - 5:30 p.m. and Sat. from 10:30 a.m. - 1 p.m. Weekday shuttle transportation is available from the US and LS campuses. MS participants meet in the parking lot for a quick five-minute walk to Oakwood. 0.3 units of PE credit is available for US students. Cost: $40 per individual session or $100 weekly; additional $15 for optional Sunday match from 1-3 p.m. For more information or to enroll, please contact: Craig Pasqua, USPTA, director of Harker tennis, at, or call 408.590.7347 (cell) or 408.983.5888 (office).

Free for Harker families Common Ground is a coalition of Bay Area schools that have joined together to enhance parent education by providing opportunities for parents and educators to learn from experts in a variety of fields. Since Harker is a coalition member, all Common Ground Speaker Series events are free of charge to our parents, faculty and staff. Guest are welcome to attend for a $20 fee at the door. Light refreshments are served 30 minutes prior to the event, and books are available for purchase. All of this year’s events are posted on the Harker Web site (we’ll be hosting one in Feb.), and the Oct. and Nov. events are listed below. Visit for more information. Preparing Our Children for a Diverse World ■ Thurs., Oct. 6, 7 p.m. Castilleja School, Palo Alto Childhood Roots of Adult Happiness ■ Tues., Nov. 15, 7 p.m. Sacred Heart Prep., Atherton ■ Wed., Nov. 16, 8:45 a.m. Hillbrook School, Los Gatos

Help Your Kids Manage Stress Want to learn how to help your teen manage stress and pressure? Consider attending “Life in the Fast Lane,” a workshop exclusively for Harker parents, presented by goodparents, inc. For more information, visit, call 408.727.KIDS or e-mail Life in the Fast Lane ■ Tues., Oct. 4, 7 p.m. US Gym

Harker News — October 05


the news

We’re pleased to report the following sampling of articles about Harker students, faculty or programs that have published since our last report in the March edition. ■ San Jose Mercury News (The Guide) – Sept. 8 Harker alumnus Justin Wu (’05) was featured in the Mercury News’ Sept. 8 “Cool Kids” section. The profile highlighted Wu’s acceptance into MIT at the age of 16, his participation on Harker’s awardwinning math and science teams, his research position at Stanford University and his proficiency in jazz and classical piano.

■ Los Altos Town Crier – Aug. 31 Naushad Godrej, Gr. 12, had his name and photograph featured in the sports section of the Town Crier as one of three Los Altos residents who are members of the Santa Clara Sporting Ruckus, the top ranked under-17 boys soccer team in Northern California. In July, the team reached the championship game of the U.S. Club Soccer National Cup in Orlando.

■ San Jose Magazine – Sept. In its first annual feature on extraordinary educators in the Bay Area, San Jose Magazine honored Harker US Advanced Placement U.S. history teacher John Near for his engaging and thought-provoking teaching methods.

■ San Jose Mercury News (The Guide) – Aug. 25 Harker alumnus Gregory Perkins (’05) was featured in the “Cool Kids” section for his community work with San Jose’s “Digital Clubhouse;” his co-founding of Harker’s award-winning robotics team; and his distinctions as a National Merit Scholar, National AP Scholar and Presidential Service Award winner.

■ San Jose Mercury News (The Guide) – Sept. 1 Harker alumnus Ben Shapiro (’05) was profiled in the “Cool Kids” section. The story highlighted Shapiro’s career as a three-sport athlete at Harker and his award-winning clay and stone sculptures.

■ Silicon Valley/San Jose Business Journal Book of Lists 2005 Harker was featured on the Business Journal’s annual lists of largest Bay Area private schools and private high schools. Harker ranked No. 1 on the list of private

high schools (based on the average SAT scores for the class of 2004) and No. 3 on the list of largest private schools (based on total enrollment). ■ Education: An Innovation Odyssey (Intel Corp. Web site) – June Grade 3 Harker teacher Jason Pergament was featured in an article this summer on Intel’s Education Web site for his innovative, Internetbased teaching methods under the headline “Digital Natives: In this Class, Everyone Has Grown Up With Technology.” ■ Bay Area Parent, Best of the Best 2005 – July In its annual “Best of the Best” issue, Bay Area Parent magazine named The Harker School the Bay Area’s best private school. ■ San Jose Mercury News – June 29 The Mercury News named Harker alumnus Alan Malek (’05) one of the top high school graduates in the Bay Area in their annual valedictorian feature. ■ Cupertino Courier/Saratoga News – June 15 Harker alumnus Adhir Ravipati (‘05) was mentioned as one of the selections for the Central Coast Section (CCS) All-Star Football Game.

Harker – K to Life! As many of you may recall, Harker kicked off a multimedia ad campaign in April, which is part of the school’s long-range marketing vision. (In 1998, we ran ads in a variety of media announcing the opening of the upper school. The success of that campaign prompted us to make room in our general operating budget for a similar multimedia campaign every four to six years). The current campaign, launched in the spring soon after Harker was recognized by the College Board for having the best math and computer science AP scores in the world among schools of our size, is geared to attract an even broader pool of qualified

Harker News — October 05

applicants. The ads, which will run again this fall, aim to balance Harker’s outstanding academic reputation with the fact that we also offer a wide array of exciting extracurricular activities for our students. This second phase of the campaign also is intended to draw interested parents and students to our open house events in November, December and January. As in the spring, we will continue to use a blend of television, radio and print ads to reach both parents (who make school choices for their younger children) and teens (who tend to have more of a say in what school they attend). These include KGO’s “The View” daytime talk show, Cartoon

Network, on-screen ads at the Camera Theaters and drive-time spots on KBAY 94.5FM. We’ve also secured spots in the regional editions of Time, Newsweek, Sports Illustrated and US World & News Report, as well as a number of other local print media outlets. Academics will always be Harker’s top strength and priority. But by sharing some of Harker’s “fun factor,” our aim is to continually attract students with diverse interests, and continue creating the most stimulating and interesting community possible for all of our students. Please e-mail me when you hear or see one of our ads. Thanks! —Pam Dickinson, Director, Office of Communications

Harker Students Named ‘Outstanding Philanthropic Youth Group’ The students of The Harker School recently received the 2005 Outstanding Philanthropic Youth Group Award from the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP). The AFP recognized the students and other awardees in its Philanthropy Day 2005 publication. The AFP is responsible for generating philanthropic support for a wide variety of nonprofit, charitable organizations, representing 26,000 members in 172 chapters throughout the United States, Canada, Mexico and China. Harker students will be honored at a special AFP luncheon in November, and will also be featured in the November issue of San Jose Magazine for their outstanding philanthropic efforts. Congratulations to the entire student body for this wonderful honor!

Harker Alumnus, Playwright, Profiled in San Jose Mercury News Harker alumnus Wajahat Ali (’94) premiered his first play, “The Domestic Crusaders,” a two-act play about Muslim Pakistani-Americans, to capacity crowds at the San Jose State University Theatre the weekend of Sept. 10. A profile of Ali and his play was featured in the Local section of the Sept. 9 San Jose Mercury News. Though he has been writing and directing films and plays since childhood, “The Domestic Crusaders” marks Ali’s first theatrical release. He began writing the play for an assignment while an undergraduate at UC Berkeley. With the encouragement of his professor, Ali transformed the piece into a full-length play. The play focuses on a day in the life of a modern Muslim Pakistani-American family, consisting of six eclectic members, and the tensions between the three generations amid the aftermath of the Sept. 11 attacks. Harker alumni director Terry Walsh, who attended the play with her husband, LS math teacher Pat Walsh, said, “It was moving, funny, educational and heart wrenching. We left feeling like we had really experienced something special.”




pledge week oct. 2-7 Our Parent Development Council members will be contacting families during our annual phone-a-thon during Pledge Week, Oct. 2-7.

Win a weekend getaway at the beautiful Trefethen Winery in Napa! Families who make their pledge or gift to the Annual Giving Campaign by Oct. 16 will be eligible to win a drawing for a wonderful weekend getaway in the Wine Country. The drawing will be held at the end of the day at the 55th annual Family & Alumni Picnic. Make your pledge today!


to date 100% 90% 80% 70% 60% 50% 40% 30% 20% 10%

$227,000 4

2005-06 Annual Giving Campaign Kicks Off! We are pleased to announce the kickoff of our 2005-06 Annual Giving Campaign. Annual Giving is Harker’s primary drive to raise funds for Harker’s Margin of Excellence programs. These include all the “extras” that enrich our students’ experiences, and over the past several years, contributions have provided support for many program areas, including: technology hardware/software for labs, student-run clubs, library resources, recreational equipment, educational contests, athletics, performing arts equipment, visual arts programs, classroom supplies, field trips, scholarships and MUCH MORE! Each and every one of our students benefits from the Margin of Excellence. Your donation to the Annual Giving Campaign helps our school offer the very best instructional material, equipment, programs and extracurricular activities for our students. Thanks to our generous and supportive community of alumni, parents, grandparents, parents of alumni, trustees, faculty, staff, corporations and friends, the Annual Giving Campaign continues to help provide the best experience possible for our students.

Jennifer Helmonds Director of The Harker Fund

Melinda Gonzales Director of Annual Giving

New! A Parent’s Quick Guide to Giving

Parent Development Council Update

This year we’ve produced “A Parent’s Quick Guide to Giving,” a brochure that explains how and why to contribute to our Annual Giving Campaign. We’ve tried to answer the most common questions about giving at Harker. You may have received one of these booklets at an orientation this fall. If not, you can find it on the Advancement page of the Harker Web site.

Our group of more than 60 parent volunteers has been selected to act as Campaign representatives within the Harker parent community and will be working hard this fall raising funds for Annual Giving. Pledge now for a chance to win a wine country get away (see sidebar at left). You may see our Council members at student and parent functions, and we encourage you to address any questions you have about the Campaign with them. This year, we welcome the following new Council members: Aloke Bhandia, Barbara Drummer,

Miyeko Kohlmann, Preeti Sharan and Judy West. Thank you to all of our Council members for volunteering their precious time and effort to this important cause!

2004-05 Annual Report Mailed Annual Report publications were mailed to the Harker community in September. We would like to thank our many donors who have made contributions of time and support in 2004-05. Your generosity is truly appreciated, and the entire student body applauds you! Be sure to look inside the Annual Report for information on this year’s Campaign and for all the ways you can help provide the Margin of Excellence for our students.

For the benefit of our students, we’re asking families to make a gift in an amount consistent with their financial situations. The average gift is $1,000, but not all families are able to give at that level, and some families are able to give more. A gift of any amount that is consistent with your financial situation is greatly appreciated. Harker News — October 05



Be sure to look for these fun games!

Sun., Oct. 16, 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. US Campus

❄ Meltdown Mini-Golf ❄ Ski Bunny Bounce ❄ Yu-kan Karaoke ❄ Ice Rink Roller Tac ❄ Ski-Ball ❄ Icy Cliff Climb ❄ Blizzard Bingo ❄ Cool Pool ❄ Moose on the Loose ❄ Below Zero Bowling ❄ Penguins on Parade

Grab your parka and head to “Harka”!...and don’t forget your Polar Picnic Passes!

And of course there’s the $10,000 Grand Prize Drawing and the Silent Auction and Picnic Prize Packs in the Powder Lodge!

Be cool and order in advance and your admission passes are just $7! They’ll be $10 at the gate and kids over 75 or under 4 are free! Ready to order? Purchase online and tickets will be mailed to your home (through Oct. 7).

Watch for the carry-home Toasty Tuesday Times and the October update mailing for more information on admission, raffle and activities.

Visit the Web site or check out your mailer for sponsor details and more! The Frosty Flakes, this year’s Picnic Committee, chill for a recent photo shoot!

Harker Family Generously Sponsors Toasty Tuesday Picnic T-shirts In case you’re wondering why there’s a penguin who loves yogurt on the back of every Toasty Tuesday T-shirt, look no further than Harker’s own Ammatuna Family...our very first picnic T-shirt sponsor! Sherry Ammatuna had been toying with the idea of opening a frozen yogurt shop for a while, when her children, Lauren (‘08) and John (‘11) said...”Mom...just do it!” So with the help of her husband, Louis, and the children, Sherry embarked on a new adventure into the world of frozen fun! From the selection of the site (De Anza Blvd. in Cupertino), to apHarker News — October 05

proving the blueprints, to choosing the colors and fixtures, the entire family has been involved every step of the way! It only seemed natural when the Ammatunas generously agreed to underwrite the cost of our Toasty Tuesday T-shirts this year. The Ammatunas have been longtime supporters of the Family Picnic....since 1995! They began as one of the original Curbside Crazy families, dressing up in fabulous costumes (Louis has been known to wear a gorilla suit!) and gathering gifts for the picnic. At the same time, they donated and displayed items for the Adult Wheel

of Fortune booth, then graduated to the Child’s Wheel, where for six years they provided the booth, in every sense of the word, with flair! Sherry was the shopper extraordinaire, while Louis and the kids assisted with the legendary displays. Last year, Sherry was one of the original donors and creators of the popular “East Meets West” Picnic Prize Basket. This year, she is also involved in the creation of our newest addition to the picnic, Coco Crossing, a chocolate lover’s fantasyland -- and we’re sure that Louis and kids will be helping, too -all the while wearing those T-shirts! Once again, it’s “all in the family!!” We would like to extend our heartfelt thanks to the Ammatunas, and wish them the best of luck with their new enterprise! We know we’ll be serving some extra special

yogurt at future family picnics! The Ammatunas are only one of many families who have loyally sponsored the annual picnic over the years, many of whom have played major roles in the planning and production of this wonderful event. The Azebu/Ogami, Carr, Davis, Emery, Moyer, Pellissier and Polzin families, along with notable alums the Claunch, Kawahara, Lundie, Mathers, Sabeh, Stapleton, and Zanotto families, and of course, the Espinosa family (to name just a few) have returned year after year to give it their all in support of a true Harker tradition!

—Lynette Stapleton, Picnic Coordinator




First Harker US Exchange Delegation Traveled To Tamagawa in June Immediately following the 200405 academic year, Harker sent an Upper School delegation to Tamagawa, Japan, as part of a firstof-its-kind exchange between Harker and its sister school, the Tamagawa Gakuen School. The Harker delegation of nine students and two chaperones was the first from the Harker US to visit Tamagawa, after a decade of memorable Lower School exchanges between the two schools. The group toured seven historic cities during the nine-day exchange. They were treated to a presentation of Kabuki performance art, visited the Hiroshima Peace Park, hiked on Miyajima Island, fed deer in Nara and relaxed in hot springs in the city of Hakone, among other activities.

a little strict.” The Kyoto temple where the Harker delegation spent part of their trip had very traditional practices, such as separating the girls from the boys, maintaining diligent cleanliness and 4:30 a.m. prayer sessions. “Although joining in the prayer sessions was not mandatory, I thought the students felt obligated to do so, but they actually enjoyed it,” said Onakado. “The temple was amazing,” said Grace Hudkins, Gr. 10. “We were invited to attend their very earlymorning services, and they were fabulous.” “The scenery (at the temple), especially the Zen garden, was just spectacular,” said Andrew Fandrianto, Gr. 10. According to Onakado and fellow US Japanese teacher Keiko Irino, the permanent residents of the Kyoto temple were very impressed with how well-behaved the Harker students were.

the “Round Square Committee”) was the official exchange partner of the visiting Harker students. The committee made a large welcome sign for the Harker delegation, and prepared Japanese snacks, games and entertainment for their visitors. “The Tamagawa students introduced themselves in English, and the Harker students introduced themselves in Japanese,” said Irino. “When they played games, the students would use both languages.” “It was very nice to see the students interacting with each other without feeling any awkwardness due to the language or cultural barriers,” added Onakado. “We were scheduled to leave the

Masako Onakado - all photos

“Amazingly,” said Onakado, “many students felt that the stay at the temple was one of the highlights of the trip.”

“What was really interesting to me,” said US Japanese teacher and chaperone Masako Onakado, “was that the students really enjoyed staying at the temple in Kyoto, despite the fact that it was

Said Hudkins, “I loved Tamagawa! Their campus is gorgeous, full of flowers and trees and architecturally beautiful buildings. The party that the (international) club hosted for us was totally fun. It was definitely the highlight of the trip for me.”

Another highlight was the group’s visit to the Tamagawa Gakuen campus. The Harker delegation observed elementary and high school classes, and visited the school’s high-tech digital planetarium and education history museum. The Tamagawa high school’s international club (translated as

Students participating in this first-ever exchange were: Killashandra Biesele, Alyssa Zachariah, Timothy Wan, Eric Tzeng and Amy Huang, Gr. 12; Samuel Douglas and Fandrianto, Gr. 11; Emily Chow and Hudkins, Gr. 10.

Harker Welcomes Chilean Exchange Teacher to Faculty

Arcaya, a native of Chile, and Harker’s own Diana Moss were awarded prestigious Fulbright Scholarships, which enabled them to swap classes – and countries – for the school year. A true exchange, Moss is teaching Arcaya’s English classes at The Colegio San Ignacio de la Ssalle, a private K-12 school in Quillota, Chile, about two hours


north of Santiago. Meanwhile, Arcaya has taken over Moss’ US Spanish classes at Harker. “I am interested in discovering how my experience at Harker will improve my lessons at my Chilean school,” Arcaya said. “Also it is important for Harker students to meet and learn Spanish from someone who actually lives in a Spanish-speaking countr y.”

Ali Abdollahi

Teachers come from far and wide to teach at Harker, but US Spanish instructor Luis Arcaya may have traveled the farthest this year.

Harker students also will benefit from the exchange when Moss returns next year. “This is a tremendous oppor-

Tamagawa campus by 5 p.m.,” explained Irino, “but we were having so much fun that we stayed until well after 6 (p.m.).”

tunity, both to improve my language skills and cultural understanding, but also to try and enrich the language experience for our Harker students through the opportunities provided by a cultural exchange,” Moss said in an e-mail from Chile. This is first time Harker has participated in the Fulbright Scholar Program, which annually sends 800 teachers and other professionals from the United States to teach or do research abroad. Both schools hope this marks the beginning of a lasting relationship. Keep an eye on the Harker News in coming months for updates on this exciting exchange!

Harker Student from Slovak Republic Each year since 2003, Harker has played host to a yearlong visit by a high school student from the Foreign Language Institute in the Slovak Republic. This year’s Slovakian exchange student is Adam Semanko, Gr. 12, hosted by the family of Harker junior Dylan Syrett. We would like to extend a warm welcome to Adam on behalf of the entire Harker community. Check future editions for updates on Adam’s adventures as a Harker student! Harker News — October 05

outreach Katrina - Cont. from p. 1 Over at Blackford, the MS student council took advantage of the opening day assembly on Sept. 13 to address the students and their parents. Introducing their yearlong theme of TEAM (Together Everyone Achieves More), the student council asked the parents to join in the fundraising effort. Only 48 hours later they already had raised $250 in their “Katrina Kontainers,” and at press time were up to $500! Fundraising incentives for the students include a dress swap day with the teachers: if the students reach a certain monetary goal, they will be awarded a free dress day and their teachers will wear Harker uniforms to school! At the Upper School, a challenge came from some members of the Red Cross Club, once they discovered that a group of teachers, directors and administrators (and one student!) were forming a plan to donate money for Katrina relief. The students promised to get at least 90% of the student body to forego their free dress on Fri., Sept. 9 and wear dressy clothes instead, if each adult in the group would donate $100. The result was a particularly stylish student body and $3,300 raised in one day! A bake sale headed by the Red Cross Club raised $48 in one afternoon, and, “the students are determined to keep the momentum for this cause going throughout the school year,” said Joe Gill, assistant head of school for non-academic affairs, who is overseeing the various campuses’ efforts. “There is energy at Saratoga to promote a benefit concert later in the fall as well as class activities to raise money and awareness,” he continued. Additionally, International Club adviser Susana Hartzell reported Harker News — October 05



that her club donated all proceeds from the sale of their calendars to the Red Cross, totalling $1,400. You can still contact the club at to purchase your $5 calendar. Said Gill, “My objective at Harker was to help stir the ‘moral obligation’ of each individual in our community. In this way people would be left to discover their own personal connections to this tragedy and those who were affected by it.” Gill, who has lived in and was married in New Orleans, has a personal connection with the city, its culture and the people who live there. “Contributing money and goods to a cause is a wonderful thing; however, feeling empathy in your heart is the start of even grander acts and

will perpetuate itself over and over.” Bill Bost, director of international programs, reports on a former Harker teacher and boarding program houseparent who is also getting into the act. Paramedic Mike Kerbyson and his colleagues from Oakland and Alameda County were sent to New Orleans and southern Mississippi to help with rescue efforts and the sad but necessary duty of body recovery. Kerbyson told Bost that he will be there for quite some time, and “wanted his friends to keep him in their thoughts.”


■ Lower School We are excited about our new magazine subscriptions and CultureGrams™, a subscription database that provides concise, reliable, up-to-date information on world cultures. ■ Middle School Students and parents visiting the Blackford library on opening day were met with a warm, spacious and inviting place to study, use computers, read and learn. The MS library is a medley of fall colors: warm yellow furniture, and light wood desks and tables, with American Library Association reading posters gracing the walls. Comfortable easy chairs beckon readers to “sit and stay awhile.” The library has many windows that allow in lots of natural light. Come visit the new MS library and see our state-of-the-art computer workstations, peruse our new book collection, or just chat with the librarians and staff about the many services we provide to the Harker community. Like the LS and US libraries, Blackford library is open Mon. to Fri. from 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Come on in and see your newest school library! ■ Upper School The US library is now “high school only.” Looking for some light reading? Check out our new paperback collection, which includes more than 100 of the hottest new paperbacks, as well as some great classics. We are also excited about several new subscription databases and tools: • To help you locate a specific journal, by title, subject or aggregator, we have added a “journal finder.” EBSCO’s A-Z is our new locator tool for all the library’s electronic journals. Happy searching! • EBSCOHost provides a single access point to all EBSCO databases: Student Research Center, General Reference, Newspapers, Magazines, Religion and Philosophy, Current Events and Hot Topics, Health, Fitness and Nutrition, NoveList - A Guide to Fiction Books, NoveList K8 - Fiction Books to Read (younger

students), Teacher Resources (ERIC & Professional Development). • Project Muse consists of the electronic editions of 46 journals in the humanities, social sciences and mathematics, and is published by the Johns Hopkins University Press. Project Muse includes recent issues of journals archived by JSTOR and allows expanding searches to include JSTOR database. • SIRS Knowledge Source is a comprehensive database portal comprising several distinct reference databases including SIRS Researcher®, SIRS Government Reporter®, SIRS Renaissance®, SIRS NetSelect™, and SIRS Discoverer. Updated daily, SKS provides relevant, credible information on social issues, science, history, government, the arts and humanities. Full-text articles and Internet resources are carefully selected from thousands of domestic and international publications and respected organizations. ■ New Web Site Redesigned by US librarian Naama Tal, the new library Web site is an accessible and appealing key to the resources that comprise Harker’s library system. “Whether your student is searching for a book or a database, the site is easy on the eye and functional for the brain,” said Enid Davis, library director. She encourages all to read the section on information literacy to understand the importance of a dynamic library to your child’s education. If you’d like more information about our libraries, from volunteering to understanding the scope of our resources and curricula, please e-mail Davis at or call her at 408.553.0307. Have a great year! • Enid Davis, Library Director • Naama Tal & Susan Smith, US Librarians • Donna Ward, MS Librarian • Kathy Clark, LS Librarian • Alex Lux, US Library Clerk • Elena Erokhina & Angelica Rodriquez, MS Library Clerks • Maureen Lennon, LS Library Clerk




Welcome New Students & Teachers! We would like to extend a warm welcome to the new students and families, as well as our new faculty and staff, of the Harker Lower School. Here’s to a fantastic year! ■ Kindergarten Neeraj Aggarwal, Eric Andrus, Michael Auvil, Aliesa Bahri, Jocelyn Benge, Kunal Bhatia, Nirban Bhatia, Krishna Bheda, Megan Cardosi, Nicole Chang, Siddharth Chari, YuenYin (Shannon) Chau, Adrian Chu, Amanda Clausen, Morgan Douglas, Albert Drewke, Amy Dunphy, Griffin Ellis, Zachary FitzGerald, Arindam Ghosh, Meena Gudapati, Will Holaday, Justin Hong, Eric Hooton, Kaitlin Hsu, Vivian Huang, Megan Huynh, Rishi Iyer, Megan Joncich, Raime Jones, Sean Jones, Tanay Kamat, Haley Keller, Taylor Kohlmann, Anyssia Kokinos, Anna Kranz, Mateusz Kranz, Sedef Kucukcakar, Maya Kumar, Derek Kuo, Michael Kwan, Rukhsaar Lakhani, Miranda Larsen, Brian Le, Matthew Lee, Mona Lee, Jerrica Liao, Olivia Long, Justin McHaffie, Sanil Navar, Kurtis Nguyen, Brando Pakel, Trey Parikh, Neil Patel, Jenna Sadhu, Uttara Saha, Sarah Savage, Elizabeth Schick, Robert Schick III, Anooshree Sengupta, Rohit Shah, Dev Sharma, Victor Shin, Shikhar Solanki, Sahana Srinivasan, Jessica Susai, Stephanie Swanson, Satchi Thockchom, Samantha Townzen, Eric Tran, Gary Tsai, Vanessa Tyagi, Jessica Wang, Liana Wang, Maxwell Woehrmann, Nancy Wu, Shaya Zarkesh ■ Grade 1 Shivani Awasthi, Ryan Chen, Brandon Chow, Mahlet Demissachew, Rishab Garg, Kedar Gupta, Joyce Huang, Michael Jin, Lauren Liu,


Sanju Navar, David Nguyen, Ria Parikh, Stephanie Scaglia, Amit Tal, Stefanie Ting, Lauren Trihy, Austin Tuan ■ Grade 2 Eesha Chona, Eleni Kokinos, Thomas Lee, Jonathan Ma, Sadhika Malladi, Shivali Minocha, Naomi Molin, Pratap Singh, Jonathan Ta, Darius Yohannan ■ Grade 3 Christina Andrus, Meghana Appalaraju, Arjun Ashok, Sahiti Avula, Edwin Chen, Ajay Chitkara, Neil Chitkara, Ransher Dhaliwal, Amara Greco, Ethan Heerwagen, Eric Holt, Leeza Kuo, Austin Lai, Caleb Parikh, Sahana Rangarajan, Jackelyn Shen, Sabrina Sidhu, Agata Sorotokin, Avik Wadhwa, Eric Wang, Miles Ward, Harry Xu, Jessica Yang ■ Grade 4 Melis Akunal, Nathan Dhablania, Monika Lee, Samar Malik, Charles Manchester, Divyanjali Manivannan, Avinash Nayak, Sameer Vij, Christina Wong, Brandon Yang, Sean Youn ■ Grade 5 Paulomi Bhattacharya, Neel Bhoopalam, Leslie Chan, Marina Cheng, Jonathan Cho, Aneesh Chona, Robert Deng, Shiva Empranthiri, Rebecca Fang, Hannah Gorelik, David Grossman, Adam Heerwagen, Carlos Johnson-Cruz, Jacqueline Jordan, Simar Mangat, Nicolas Nagle, Nikhil Panu, Curran Shah, Kevin Susai, Alice Tsui, Sarina Vij, Albert Yeh ■ New LS Teachers Susan Bass, Enni Chen, Jennifer Cowgill, Walid Fahmy, Eric Leonard, Colleen Lindsay, Sandra Mabee, Grace Sabeh, Kim Sandoval, Kelly Witmer, Eileen Schick.

Harker News — October 05

kudos! Junior Olympians

No, it was not a police action that brought two police officers and their dogs to the LS on Sept. 13! Diann Chung and Cynthia Proctor’s language arts classes read the story ”Officer Buckle and Gloria” about a police officer and his dog who go to schools and share safety tips with the students. “I thought it would be an amazing experience for the children to meet real officers and real police dogs, so the canine unit of the San Jose Police Dept. came for a visit,” says Proctor. Officer Kevin brought his bloodhound Zack and told the children how he is used for tracking and trailing scents. Officer Ken showed off Max, a long-haired German shepherd born in the Czech Republic. Max demonstrated his obedience training and his understanding of commands given in four languages! The children were thrilled to be allowed to pat him at the end of the presentation. The officers also talked about using 9-1-1, gun safety, and how many tests they needed to take to become police officers. Many thanks to the S.J. Police Dept. for providing such an entertaining and informative lesson to our LS students!

Harker Triathletes Compete to Support Silicon Valley Children’s Fund

photo provided by Trish Tobin, parent

Twenty-seven LS students participated in the 2005 Silicon Valley Triathlon on June 5. LS coaches Melanie Robinson, Jim McGovern and Tristan Perks conducted swimming-stroke technique and endurance training in preparation for the event at the end of the 2004-05 school year. The brother-and-sister duo of Michael Amick, Gr. 5, and Alyssa Amick, Gr. 3, ranked near the top of their categories, with Michael finishing third in the age 9-10 division and Alyssa finishing fifth in the age 7-8 division. The proceeds raised by the Silicon Valley Triathlon supported the Silicon Valley

Harker News — October 05

Children’s Fund, a non-profit organization dedicated to developing and supporting programs, projects and services to help abused, neglected and at-risk youth at the Children’s Shelter of Santa Clara County and in the greater community. Silicon Valley Triathlon participants from the Harker LS: (L to R) Cristina Jerney, Megan Grabeel, Justin Weisbloom, Michael Amick, Sumit Minocha, David Lindars, Tyler Yeats and Katherine Woodruff, Gr. 5; John Nicolas Jerney, Gr. 2; Nikolas Weisbloom, Gr. 1; Alyssa Amick, Paris Grabeel, Gr. 3; Izabella Kipnis, Gr. 3; Sasha Kipnis,

Gr. 1; Sheridan Tobin, Gr. 3; and Brendan Tobin, Gr. 1. Participants not pictured: Cecilia Lang-Ree, Eva Bruketa and David Lindars, Gr. 5; Alexander Alonzo, Jeremy Binkley, Nathan Boone, Lucas Bruketa, Vikram Chari, Caroline Howells and Jordan Peetz, Gr. 3; and Michael Tseitlin, Gr. 1.

CIA Treasures Students at the LS receive CIA (Character in Action) award slips for displaying positive behavior. Every week, each homeroom teacher selects one CIA winner in his or her class to pick a “treasure” as a reward. “The treasures are small, but they remind the students that we value good behavior,” said LS Dean of Non-Academics Kelly Espinosa. A letter commending students for their outstanding behavior is sent home each quarter to all students who receive CIA awards.

Michael Amick and Isabelle Connell, both Gr. 5, gave world-class performances in the regional and national competitions of the 2005 Track and Field Junior Olympics. At the national competition in Indianapolis July 27-31, Connell finished in fourth place in the girls 800-meter race, and Amick won the national title for his age group in both the boys 800meter and 1,500-meter divisions! Amick also set the American youth record in the 1500meter event and the U.S. Junior Olympic record in the 800-meter event. Meanwhile, Connell’s time in the girls 800meter was the fastest of any of the national qualifiers from the Pacific Association. Both Connell and Amick finished first in their respective events at the Pacific Association Championship in June.

photo provided by Maria Connell, parent

Police Dogs Visit Lower School

sports Fall sports are just underway – watch the next Harker News edition for a recap! —Nick Gassmann, coach

parent chat

Gr. 2 and Gr. 5 parents enjoy their first coffee social at a local Starbucks on Sept. 16. Visit Harker’s Web site for more info on grade level events!


speak out Joyous Sound There is no silence as profound as that which emanates from a school without its lifeblood: students and teachers. Sept. 6 brought to a definitive end the quiet that had blanketed the Blackford campus. Middle School students transitioned seamlessly to their new campus with an enviable attitude of grace and exuberance. Teachers resumed teaching, still flush from unpacking, arranging furniture, decorating bulletin boards and learning the geography of their new campus. Though the majority of the tools of their craft had been boxed, crated, and stored in warehouse fashion over the summer, each teacher personally conveyed their most precious tool of all: the cargo held within their hearts, which is the passion for their profession, their discipline and their students. No school could boast a more phenomenal group of educators or students.

Middle School students transitioned seamlessly to their new campus with an enviable attitude of grace and exuberance. As the head of the Middle School, I have had the distinct honor and pleasure of observing the new repopulation of the old Blackford High School campus by Harker. If a facility can be said to have a heart and spirit, I can assuredly state that Blackford’s heart is once more beating with unwavering intensity, its spirit shining and uplifted. Perhaps if you look closely, you might even imagine a hint of a smile on its newly refurbished façade.



Fun Family Event Marks Historic Occasion

thanks! Welcome!

Blackford Campus Gets Miracle Make-over

The Harker community welcomes the following new MS students and their families, as well as the new MS faculty that will assist in christening the new BLD campus!

The whole Harker community came together at the Blackford campus on Sept. 9 for a special Family Night to mark the official opening of new campus. The casual evening event featured Head of School Chris Nikoloff previewing the new academic year, followed by a dedication and ribbon-cutting ceremony. Tours of the 40-acre, 120,000-squarefoot campus were given throughout the evening. During the festivities, attendees munched on hot dogs and veggie burgers, along with complimentar y yogurt and smoothies. Kudos to the Harker Advancement Office for the organizing this fun, family event.

Grade 6: Sanjana Baldwa, Prag Batra, Joshua Beavin, William Chang, Helen Char, Peter Chen, Derran Cheng, Raymond Do, David Dominguez, Ila Dwivedi, David Fang, Stephanie Hao, Kirsten Herr, Asia Howard, Jackie Jin, Rahul Kini, Revanth Kosaraju, Robert Kousnetsov, Jason Kuan, Jessica Lin, Vivian Lu, Alex Mabanta, Chaitanya Malladi, Katherine Marcus, Emily Moore, Kovid Puria, Angad Randhawa, Ramya Rangan, Kushal Ranjan, Ilya Ryzhik, Karen Wang, Albert Xu, Evan Yao, Laura Yau. Grade 7: Oluwadurotimi Adeleye, Samir Asthana, Rishi Bhatia, Sonia Bhattacharya, Paul Boucher, Benjamin Chen, Daniel Cho, James Du, Rachel Fang, Peter Gao, Dmitriy Gitman, Zena Hassoun, Michelle Holt, Spencer Jordan, Ashtyn Ka, Alexander Kablanian, Ruhi Kumbhani, Max Lan, Justine Liu, Zachary Mank, Amir Mortazavi, Francesca Nagle, Shannon ÕReilly, Swetha Repakula, Troy Sambyal, Santosh Swaminathan, Benjamin Tien, Adam Tong. Grade 8: Virginia Chen, Natasha Chitkara, Andy Fang, Kapil Kolhatkar, Julia Shim, Elaine Song, Suhas Thalapaneni Judith Conant-Steinbach, K-8 English dept. chair; Gary Mallare, counselor; Donna Ward, librarian; Alanna Andrus, PNP, joins the Blackford team as the new MS nurse.

Kudos to our facilities and technology departments who, in two short months, managed to accomplish miracles on our new middle school campus, including the following:


San Jose City Councilwoman Visits New Harker Campus said Assistant Head of School Robb Linda LeZotte, San Jose’s CouncilCutler. One of LeZotte’s Blackford woman for the District 1 area area constituents recently that includes the new Blackford wrote her a note campus, visited Harker’s “Harker has marveling at the newest campus on Fri., way the campus improved the Sept. 16. Relations between Harker, the landscape and the entire has been city council and the facility in upgrading the transformed. The constituBlackford Strong maintenance. I commend ent wrote, Neighborhood them for the improvements “Driving past Action Committee the old Blackand enhancement. have been exford campus, it tremely positive, with What a difference never looked so concerns over traffic to appreciate!” good. Harker has congestion proving to be improved the landscape a non-issue thus far. “Counciland the entire facility in upgrading the woman LeZotte was very impressed maintenance. I commend them for with the work that was done to the the improvements and enhancement. Blackford campus and feels that What a difference to appreciate!” Harker will be a good neighbor,”

Gr. 7 an 8 dancers enjoy their first week of rehearsals in the new, spacious dance room.

New Kitchen Gets Rave Reviews We’re Cookin’ Now! Our kitchen staff moved mountains - of food - to provide tasty meals for MS students the first few days of school while we waited for the final inspection of the new kitchen. On Mon., Sept. 12, the new, beautiful kitchen opened for business to rave reviews. Parent, Renuka Madduluri wrote: “Rahul told me that the lunch was wonderful today. He said it was the best he has had in over six years at Harker, and that the variety was awesome. Please thank the chefs for us.”

• Re-keyed and/or replaced all locks • Re-sealed and stripped outdoor basketball/volleyball courts • Completed remodel of library, with new books and furniture • Refinished main gym floor • Completed reconfiguration of locker rooms • Refurbished science labs • Rebuilt food-service facilities • Upgraded and/or added landscaping • Resurfaced and re-striped the parking lot Installed: • New data/phone wiring • CCTV security cameras • New lockers • Computer labs • New steel fencing • New campus signage Painted: • Most buildings • New Harker eagle mascot on main gym floor In progress this year: Complete landscaping; install new outdoor basketball stands in the fall move offices: Finance, Facilities, Printing; convert cafeteria to performing arts space; replace skylights throughout campus; replace glass in both gyms; move department offices: Tech, Advancement, Security, Transportation

The school year and a new era have begun at Harker. Welcome, and enjoy this great adventure with me.

Many thanks to Mike Bassoni, facilities director, and Andrew Hansen, technology director, and their respective crews, for their outstanding accomplishments this past summer. You will still see these hard-working departments completing projects on the new campus in the coming months, and they all deserve high praise – and a high-five – for their dedication, hard work and miraculous transformation of our new campus.

—Cindy Kerr, MS Division Head

Robb Cutler, Assistant Head of School, Operations and Finance






New Harker Eagle Design Fall sports kick off at new campus! Watch the next edition for an update! Nick Gassmann, coach

Back to School Guides Many thanks to the following students who served as guides at the annual MS Back to School Night on Sept. 12, helping parents find their way around our new, spacious campus!

The bold, new eagle mascot design on the floor of the BLD gym helps mark the beginning of a new era in Harker athletics. New US Athletic Director Dan Molin suggested the redesign of Harker’s traditional, yet tame eagle. “I was looking for a simpler image that also allowed for more color,” said Molin. “The timing was perfect,” he added. “With a refurbished

gym, new athletic director and new athletic policies the the new eagle design is an important statement from administration that we are committed to athletics at Harker. The reaction has been overwhelmingly positive.” Note: The Office of Communication contracted longtime Harker freelance artist, Ken Toyama, to design the new logo - great job, Ken!

Matthew Azebu, Alex Creasman, Andrew Cutler, Natasha Dandia, Katie Forsberg, Eugene Huang, Mahum Jamal, Kacie Kaneyuki, Malika Mehrotra, Arjun Mody, Shreya Nathan, Ketul Patel, Ramya Rangan, Manasa Reddy, Indraneel Salukhe, Jackie Son, Alexander Swafford, Shizuka Tiernan, Amiti Uttarwar and Joyce Zheng

Keys and Construction!

Rockin’ New After-School Offering

Howard and Diana Nichols officially receive the keys to the Blackford campus on July 1 from a Campbell Union High School District representative. Then the flurry of activity began to spruce up the campus for the start of school (see recap pg. 11)

Photo provided by Kim Pellisier

The MS after-school recreation program has added guitar lessons to its already diverse offering of specialty classes. The classes will be taught by Malachi Hernandez of Balance Guitar, and will feature both classical and modern styles. Classes will be held after school on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays. The cost of the class is $30 for a 30-minute private lesson or $25 for a 45-minute group lesson. If you are interested in learning more about this new offering, please contact Hernandez at 408.309.4466, or MS recreation director Lana Morrison at 408.553.0359 or

Fun in the Sun: Second Annual Beach Day for Class of 2012 Families Twenty-five Harker families came out on a beautiful summer day to enjoy the 2nd annual Beach Day for the class of 2012, held Sept. 4 at Seacliff State Park in Aptos. Grade-level coordinators provided drinks and cake, and families brought lunches for the group to share. “The kids made a sand castle turtle, enjoyed the water and surf, and dug a giant fortress,” said Harker parent Kim Pellissier. “It was a great way to get to know some of the new families and celebrate the weekend.”


Grade 6 Orientation US counselor Chris Colletti sits down for some “ice-breaker” games with a group of Gr. 6 students at the Gr. 6 orientation event at BLD. Colletti led the group in a series of fun, friendship-building activities, and held a Q&A session with the students to respond to any questions or concerns they had as they entered middle school. Harker News — October 05



Conservatory Kicks-Off New Season! Speech & Debate Prepares for The Harker Conservatory, the Upper School’s performing arts department, Another Successful Campaign held its annual kick-off party and ice cream social on Sept. 1 in the Sara-

Save the dates of Nov. 3-5 – Shakespeare’s Globe is coming to Harker! In the inaugural performance in our new Blackford theater, the Conservatory will produce “The Comedy of Errors.” Director Jeff Draper is very excited about this new space. “The stage will be as close as possible to the actual dimensions and appearance of the Globe Theater in London, and there will be a section of seating on either side of the stage that will resemble the Globe’s tiered theater-in-the-round seating,” says Draper. The cast also will enjoy an overnight retreat and a trip to the San Francisco Zoo to gain comedic inspiration from the behavior and movement of animals. Transforming the Blackford space into the Globe will “allow the students the chance to really play Shakespeare’s slap-stick comedy the way it was done originally,” Draper said. Congratulations to the cast of “The Comedy of Errors”: Lauren Ammatuna, Casey Blair, Steve Boyle, Juliana Daniil, Ankur Gupta, Asavari Gupte, Lauren Gutstein, Michael Hammersley, Lauren Harries, Joe Hospodor, Robert Lougheed-Lowe, Andy Nasser, Yuanyuan Pao, Shilpa Rajgopal, Aseem Shukla, Cooper Sivara, Siobhan Stevenson, Patrick Sweeney, Vyvy Trinh, Vijay Umapathy, and Nina Vyedin. Draper will be assisted by Julia Havard, and Cassie Kerkhoff will stage manage.

Vocal Health Expert Gives Workshop On Sept. 24, otolaryngologist Dr. Gordon Strom and Diane Doron, training director for the youth choir Ragazzi and Strom’s wife, presented a vocal health workshop for students and faculty on the Saratoga campus. Using multimedia presentations, they spoke primarily about how to care for the performing voice. Included in the presentation were the anatomy and physiology of the voice, a brief history of examination procedures, how professionals examine voices now, what can happen when the voice is abused, and where to go when in need of voice care.

photo supplied by Maura Donohue, parent

The workshop is part of the Upper School Conservatory’s program which brings professionals in to speak to the students on pertinent performing arts subjects.

Siobhan Stevenson (’07) sang the national anthem at a San Jose Giants game this summer. Harker News — October 05

competitions. Policy debaters are busily preparing for the upcoming Greenhill National Debate Tournament, a designated Tournament of Champions, in Dallas Sept. 17-19. The policy debaters are: Rose Kirby, Gr. 12, and Tatsu Hashimoto, Nicholas Tan and Jessica Lee, Gr. 11. Tolani, Satish and Valliani also will attend the Greenhill Tournament, participating in Lincoln-Douglas debate.

Meanwhile, speech and debate students are readying for upcoming

First- and second-year Harker debaters are preparing for the annual California State University Long Beach Tournament, Oct. 1-2 at CSU Long Beach. “We expect to send approximately 30 students to this event,” said Brandstetter. Events at the tournament will include policy and Lincoln-Douglas debate, extemporaneous speaking, original oratory, dramatic interpretation and impromptu speaking.

Lincoln-Douglas debaters – Jaya Pareek and Mandava, Gr. 12; Christopher Xiao, Gr. 11; and Frank Wang, Gr. 10 – have their sights set on the upcoming Meadows High School Invitational Tournament, to be held Sept. 24-25 in Las Vegas. “The Meadows School has participated in the Harker Invitational for the past two years,” said Brandstetter, “and Harker is happy to reciprocate this year.”

Talon Photographer Wins Award Candace Chang, Gr. 12, the 2004-05 co-editor-in-chief and 2005-06 student life editor for Talon, Harker’s US yearbook, was the third place winner in the sports category of the 2005 Jostens/Wolfe’s Photo. The award-winning photo of Harker swimmer Beth Low (‘05), taken under water, will be featured in an upcoming issue of Adviser & Staff magazine, which is distributed to every high school in the United States. In addition, all winning photos from this year’s contest are featured on the Josten’s Web site at

Candace Chang, student

Comedy of Errors

The Harker US Speech and Debate Society is already preparing for another successful campaign. It kicked off the new school year with its annual parents’ meeting, with almost 60 new and “veteran” parents in attendance. Director of forensics Dr. Matthew Brandstetter briefed parents on the administrative issues surrounding participation in the speech and debate program, while assistant coaches Rick Brundage and Carol Green joined student captains Siddarth Satish, Alisha Tolani, Amulya Mandava, Amira Valliani and Meghana Dhar, all Gr. 12, in presentations that ranged from the team dress code to what participants should bring to tournaments. Parents who were unable to attend the meeting and would like to receive information regarding the speech and debate program should contact Brandstetter at

Donna Brandstetter - both photos

toga gym. Approximately 50 students and some of their parents gathered to learn about the Conservatory’s plans for the year. Laura Lang-Ree, K-12 performing arts chair, introduced our newest faculty member, instrumental director Chris Florio, and answered the endlessly asked question, “What’s the musical going to be?” by announcing perennial favorite “Guys and Dolls.” Students learned more about the fall play, “The Comedy of Errors,” and freshmen were introduced to the details of the Certificate program, an optional, specialized four-year guided course through the Conservatory, which culminates in a senior performance. Nearly 40% of US students were involved in the Conservatory last year, and all the teachers and participants are anticipating a smashing new season!




Annual Matriculation Ceremony Highlights Tradition and Community

Will Waggoner, Will Courchesne and Jami Woolsey, student photographers

The members of the class of 2009 were officially matriculated on Aug. 29 at the beautiful Villa Montalvo. The Board of Trustees (including new members Howard and Diana Nichols) and the faculty were present for Head of School Christopher Nikoloff’s welcome to the student body and Head of Upper School Richard Hartzell’s address to the new class (see below). The vocal ensemble Downbeat performed a madrigal, and the 2005-06 student body officers led the new students through the matriculation oath and performed light-hearted skits to guide the freshmen through the social scene and academic life of their new high school.

speak out The Harker Upper School is a great academic institution; in fact, one could argue — and many do — that there is none better in the world. Of course, we must not and will not rest on our laurels; even as we approach our lofty academic goals, these will recede before us, and our restless pursuit must go on and on. The world of learning is dynamic, not static, and the only alternative to growth is decay. That said, I stand here entirely confident that, given the talents and resolve of our students and teachers, the school will continue to seek that ever-elusive perfection. Harker will continue to be a great academic institution, and you should be proud of that. However, is this enough? Are you satisfied? Am I satisfied? No, I am not. You see, Harker may be a great academic institution, but it is not yet a great independent school. At Harker, academics aren’t mediocre, but something else is: our sense of community.


Matriculation Speech by Richard Hartzell, Head of US Oh yes, we’re a good upper school, but, like Mr. Nikoloff often says, good is the enemy of great. I am not satisfied with good. Evaluating a school’s community is not easy, but let me point out to you just a few symptoms of the malaise that keeps our community mediocre. I’ll start with the Harker logo. It is a well-known fact that most Harker students are embarrassed to go around town wearing, say, a sweatshirt with a big Harker logo. Now, I’m not talking about a conservatory T-shirt, or a Talon windbreaker, or a JSA T-shirt, or anything else that obfuscates the fact that the wearer is, in fact, part of The Harker School. I mean clothes that say simply: HARKER. When you feel that you’re part of a community, you’re proud, not embarrassed. Next, let me go to a perennial favorite: closed campus. Every year, students complain about Warden Hartzell and his cruel and inhuman sequestration of poor Harker students in San Saratoga Prison.

Thank goodness our campus is not in the safest driving corridor of the Bay Area, for that gives me a good concrete reason for keeping the campus closed. However, there is a much better reason — a more abstract reason — for keeping the campus closed: keeping the community together. Too many of you want to create a community college — a place to grab some knowledge in between sessions at Jamba Juice or in front of your computer. Too many of you mistakenly assume that Harker is a merely a stepping stone to someplace else. A great school is a great community. Burger King need not be a part of that. And how about attendance at the games, performances, contests and presentations of your peers? Take, for instance, last year’s girls basketball CCS playoff game. There were more teachers in attendance than students. Or last spring’s Cantilena concert, where a mere half dozen students showed up. Or Senior Showcase. Or just about any-

thing. Wherever you go, you see pretty much the same core group — less than half of students in this school — either participating or watching and cheering. I know that many of you already understand the meaning of community. I know that you will continue to enrich both your lives and those of everyone else around you in the Harker community. To those of you who don’t get it, come in for some extra help. Start by going to one of your friend’s games, contests, presentations or performances. Take another friend with you! Have fun. Subtract the time you invest in that from your nightly IM session, and you’ll be fine. And remind yourself that the facts that you learn at Harker will mostly fade away over the years, but that the memories of the people you work and play with every day at Harker will remain with you vividly forever. You might even consider taking pride in the fact that you are part of the Harker community. Harker News — October 05

Harker would like to welcome the following new US students and their families, as well as the new US faculty and staff, in joining to further advance the excellence of the US! ■ Gr 9: Alejandro Abarca, Alexander Achkinazi, Raghav Aggarwal, Rohan Agrawal, Borys Aptekar, Mohit Bansal, Kevin Bao, Edward Belanoff, Emma Blickenstaff, Silvia Cernea, Kelly Chen, Marisa Cheng, Stephanie Chong, Sarah Christiano, Hanh Dang, Eugene Dao, Siqi Duan, Yasmin Fatemi, Shirley Galbiati, Maria Grigoreva, Ira Dominic Harris, Daniel Hsu, Alex Hu, Winny Huang, Samantha Ipser, Justin Iso, Ayush Jain, Janet Jun, Daniel Kim, Kevin Kim, Diana Lai, Kevin Laymoun, Michelle Lin, Samantha Lowe, Richard Ly, Cailin Mackenzie, Evan Maynard, Lauren Moser, Anand Natarajan, Conrad Nelson, Daniel Nguyen, Tara Panu, Dhruv Parthasarathy, Bowornrat Pibulsonggram, Lexis Ross, Nikita Sinha, Brian Soetikno, Julian Stahl, Sahil Takiar, Priya Thumma, Juliane Tran, Dessislava Vatcheva, Kevin Wang, Rachel Wang, Susan Wang, Amanda Wong, Kevin Xu, Bryan Yasukawa, Gabrielle Yee, Emily Yeh, Christine Yu ■ Gr 10: Michelle Chen, Marina Heinrich, Timothy Huynh, Joseph Shapiro, Hassan Shenasa, Shantanu Swaminathan, Alan Wong, Andrew Yee ■ Gr 11: Adam Creasman, Yuliya Dasheyeva, Christina Nixon, Ellice Park, Winston Wey ■ Gr 12: Adam Semanko, Kathleen Sun ■ Faculty and Staff Luis Arcaya, Spanish; Mark Brada, physics; Rick Brundage, speech & debate; Andrew Chen, chemistry; Karen Davis, biology; Kerry Enzensperger, director of community service; Chris Florio, orchestra; Shaun Jahshan, ethics; Lori Kohan, counselor; Kevin Lum Lung, college counselor; Dan Molin, athletic director; Richard Pandich, history; Naomi Schatz, psychology; Trudy Stevenson, Latin; Flo Turkenkopf, physics; Alicia Vogelaar, chemistry; Carol Green, speech & debate; Naama Tal, librarian.

REMINDER! FRESHMEN SERVICE DAY Wed., Oct. 12, 2005 Harker News — October 05

Annual Club Day – and Snacks – a Big Hit More than 35 US clubs and organizations were present at the annual US Club Day, held in the Saratoga gym on Wed., Sept. 14. Club organizers from each group built informational displays and were on-hand to answer questions. Scores of US students toured the packed gymnasium to sample the diverse club (and snack) offerings. With clubs ranging from robotics, to Spanish language, to Amnesty International, US activity director Chris Daren believes the event has matured into a Harker institution. “This year’s club day was a phenomenal success,” Daren said. “The event has become a tradition, and the clubs’ leaders have become excellent at presenting and promoting the clubs to their fellow students.”

Costa Rica - Cont. from p. 1 examine the biological phenomenon of animal camouflage and defense mechanisms. The final research destination for the Harker delegation was the village of Tortuguero (translated as “region of the turtles”), where they were able to participate in professional field research studying the nesting patterns of giant sea turtles. Under the direction of the Caribbean Conservation Corporation, the students spent two nights with professional researchers. During their research, the students completed four-hour shifts collecting data, and measuring and tagging giant sea turtles, as part of an ongoing conservation project that has been operating since 1954. “The most memorable part for many of the students was actually reaching their hands under these giant turtles, catching the eggs as they were being laid, counting the eggs with a clicker, then gently placing the eggs into the nest dug in the sand,” said Blickenstaff. “The goal of this expedition was to give the kids an incredible learning experience,” said Chetty. “But we also wanted them

to take them away from this sense of ‘detached conservation,’ and put them into some direct conservation practice. They got to see that real conservation projects are not glamorous. We hope that this was a challenging, character-building experience, and that they will keep the memory of the grueling work that they did.” It appears that the students certainly came away with the understanding that Chetty and Blickenstaff hoped they would. “The experience changes your whole perspective on conservation, and how small of a role we really play in preserving the environment compared to these researchers,” said Chu. Priya Patel, Gr. 12, said, “It puts your views in perspective, and really makes you more aware. I don’t think that a book could teach us most of the things that we learned just by being in a natural habitat.” photos provided by Anita Chetty

Welcome to All!

The group also made time for a number of amazing recreational activities. Said Blickenstaff, “We tried to make it not only a science trip, but a fun and unique experience, as well.” The activities included kayaking

through the canals of the Tortuguero National Park and white-water rafting on the Rio Sarapiqui near La Selva. The most memorable activity for most of the group, however, was zip-lining through the Andes from Monte Verde. From literally amongst the clouds, Blickenstaff and the students rode the half-mile zip-line at speeds estimated up to 40 mph. “The experience of the zipline was incredible. It was definitely one of the highlights of the whole trip,” said Patel. Upon their return to California, the students felt so inspired by the experience and the researchers they had worked with, that they became determined to contribute to the conservation efforts. After discussing which organization they wanted to help and how, the students decided to collectively purchase and donate a large air conditioning unit to the research library at Tortuguero. Furthermore, a number of the student projects are likely to be entered into science competitions, including the prestigious Siemens/ Westinghouse competition. Both Chetty and Blickenstaff hope that this year’s expeditions merely mark the beginning of long and prosperous relationships between Harker and their new research partners in Costa Rica.




From Our New Athletic Director After a summer of moving and settling in a new area, it’s exciting to finally see young athletes training and competing. Harker athletes are among the hardest working I have ever witnessed. Our football program is small in number, but huge in heart. Both the JV and varsity volleyball teams are 3-0 as of this printing and show great promise. Our rosters in boys’ soccer and cross country are the highest in years. The girls’ tennis and golf teams may challenge for the league championship and our new boys’ and girls’ water polo teams are excited about their opportunities. Please get out there and support your hard-working Eagles. Athletic Physicals The athletic department wants to remind all athletes and parents that an athletic physical performed by a physician is required prior to participation in our competitive sports program. If you are not able to get an appointment with your family doctor, call the athletic department for referrals. Physicals are valid for one calendar year. The form, along with three other department forms, is available online. Competitive Sports vs. Non-Competitive Sports I have recently received many inquiries from students regarding the P.E. or non-competitive sport options at Harker. I am happy to inform the students of these classes; however, my main goal is to nudge the students in the direction of competitive sports. While our P.E. options are quality programs in their own right (i.e. yoga, capoeira, aikido, dance, fencing, and weight lifting), competing for one’s high school is a special experience that should not be missed. Teamwork, discipline, time management and goal setting are just a few of the life lessons learned from organized competition. Studies have shown that students who participate in athletics perform better academically, because they are forced to manage their time more efficiently. Although student-athletes may sometimes struggle to balance sports with their studies, they can successfully do both -- and be better people for the experience. Another argument for competitive sports is the appeal on college applications. Colleges continually look for well-rounded students;


competitive athletes may have that extra advantage when applying to their dream colleges. Granted, competitive sports may not be for everyone; however, one will never know unless he or she tries. About 45% of the Harker student body participates in at least one sport. In comparison, the national average for independent schools is 75% participation. We are well below the national average and the Harker community needs to be aware of the benefits of high school sports participation. The first step is to get every student to at least try one sport. Please encourage your son or daughter to try out. If you have any further questions, do not hesitate to call the athletic office.

—Dan Molin, US Athletic Director Next month: single vs. multiplesport participation.

Fall Sports Wrap

■ Girls Tennis The girls’ varsity tennis team is off to a good start, going 2-0 in nonleague competition. The team beat Pinewood School 6-1 and Presentation 5-2. Bright spots include the emergence of freshman Tara Panu, who went 2-0 at the No. 4 singles position. Meanwhile, junior captain and No. 1 singles player Christina Yee is coming off a great summer, during which she became the NorCal USTA 16’s doubles champion and cracked the top 100 nationally. At press time, Yee was set to defend the Santa Catalina Singles Championship in Monterey.

■ Congratulations to freshmen Anthony Chen and Christy Emery for being named Harker’s Athletes of the Summer. Both attended the Eagle Iron Club’s workouts almost every day throughout the summer, which translated into improved play in their respective sports of football and volleyball. They have set a fine example for other athletes to emulate.

■ Boys Soccer Senior Naushad Godrej has demonstrated superb leadership skills as our team captain. He has had two shutouts out of four games and averages 10 saves per game. He is on his way to first team all-league recognition. Meanwhile, Adam Rubin (Gr. 11) is Harker’s leading goal scorer. In four games Rubin has scored seven goals, with three of those against Woodside Priory.

Here are some sports roundups from our coaches.

■ Girls Volleyball Sylvia Schmidt, Gr. 12, has led the

team in kills so far averaging close to 16 per match. Mariah Bush, Gr. 12, and Tanya Schmidt, Gr. 10 are close behind, averaging about 10 kills a game each. Sharon Her, Gr. 12, has been doing a great job of setting the offense. In addition, the team is enjoying the amazing contributions of freshmen Nikki Woods and Candace Silva-Martin. ■ Football The Harker varsity football team is small in number but large in heart. With injuries to key players, captain and three-year starter Amit Mukherjee, Gr. 12, and captain and starting QB Jason Martin, Gr. 11, along with a mere 16 players on their roster, fought hard for every minute of a losing effort in their first game against Hillsdale High School. Suffering two additional injuries to two-way starters Mike Keller and Gregg Ringold, both Gr. 11, the Eagles gave a gritty effort against Sequoia High School in their second game. While this game also resulted in a loss, the entire team played with intensity and was relentless in its attempt to overcome Sequoia’s size and numbers. Seniors Jeff Liu, who played his

New Co-ed US Water Polo Team is Launched The US athletic dept. has added co-ed water polo to its US sports offerings for the 2005-06 school year. Though this will be a new program at Harker, the framework was already in place when new US athletic director Dan Molin arrived at Harker. “Jack Bither, former US athletic director and new US dean of students and Coach David Towle initiated the program due to high interest among the student body,” said Molin. This unique combined boys and girls water polo team will be under the tutelage of Towle, who was named coach of the year for the Mount Hamilton Division in 2001, while coaching girls water polo at Archbishop Mitty in San Jose. The athletic dept. is expecting an exciting first season. Said Molin, “Coach Towle has a wealth of experience, and water polo is a wonderful team sport.”

Harker News — October 05

first game at QB, Wilson Haung, who had an interception and caught a pass for the team’s largest gain, and Derrick Keung, who recovered two Sequoia fumbles, played exceptionally well. Sophomore Kyle Mui also played with great intensity, while junior Grayson Hurd did an outstanding job in his first attempt at punting and kicking off. ■ Cross Country Jay Japra, Gr. 11, is leading the team with his strong work ethic. Meanwhile, newcomers Victor Wang, Gr. 12, Sam Levine and Evan Maynard, both Gr. 9, made the top seven in their first appearances at the Firebird Invitational at Fremont HS. Matt Emery, Gr. 11, and Siddharth Chandrasethar, Gr. 11, ran an impressive 13’05 and 13’22, respectively, compared with 14’23 and 14’43 last season. For the girls, Roshmi Bhattacharya, Gr. 9, and Andrea Wang, Gr. 11, ran a great sub-16 minutes at the Fremont meet (second and third best times in Harker history). Special recognition goes to Jessica Hsueh, Tonia Sun and Ruchi Srivastava, all Gr. 10, who ran courageously through illnesses.

5th Annual Homecoming Homecoming Football Game, Sat., Oct. 8, 6:30 p.m., Foothill College Homecoming Girls Volleyball Game, Fri., Oct. 14, 6:30 p.m., Alumni Gym US Homecoming Dance, Sat., Oct. 15, 8:30 p.m., Bucknall Gym

Directions available on the Harker Web site:

HOMECOMING WILL INCLUDE: Grand Finale! K-8 students will go out with a bang as the football game marks the conclusion of spirit week for the LS and MS! Football “Kickoff”! Watch as our gridiron greats kickoff a week of fabulous US activities! Harker Eaglettes! Harker’s tiniest cheer squad is never short on school spirit! Junior Cheerleaders! Small but sassy Bucknall spirit squad will display their Harker pride! Faculty Cheerleader! The grown-ups get in on the act for this hilarious Harker tradition! Star Spangled Banner & Harker Anthem! US vocalists will dazzle the Harker faithful with help from the Bucknall and Blackford singers! Great snacks and goodies! A wide selection of your favorite foods and munchies to put you in a festive mood! Alumni! It just wouldn’t be homecoming without some of Harker’s living history in attendance!

■ Water Polo The new Harker water polo program has taken off. Our girls’ team – lead by freshmen Beckie Yanovsky and goalie Christina Nixon – played its first tournament on Sept. 10, winning its first game ever against Fremont High School. Both the boys’ and girls’ teams will continue with tournament play throughout October. ■ Golf The girls’ golf team started the season on a successful path by placing second in our first invitational. The Eagles were led by our two captains, Elyse Kim, Gr. 11, and Colleen Lee, Gr. 12. Questions? Contact Dan Molin, US athletic director at danm@harker. org.

Harker News — October 05

New Traditions! The Homecoming King & Queen will be crowned after the girls volleyball game in the new Alumni Gym! Old Customs! The Homecoming Court will be introduced at the varsity football game! Homecoming Dance! US students boogie the night away at the Bucknall Gym! Dance starts at 8:30pm, Sat., Oct. 15! US Class Tableaus! Zany class displays created by each US grade level under this year’s theme, Salad Dressing (Yes, Salad Dressing!). These creative interpretations will be on display at the Polar Picnic Sun., Oct. 16! Individual class themes will be: Caesar (Class of 2006) Italian (Class of 2007) Vinaigrette (Class of 2008) Thousand Island (Class of 2009)




When the school year winds down, Harker summers heat up! Here’s a glimpse of some of the exciting, stimulating and downright fun activities and programs from this past summer: Many Harker teachers spend the summer months advancing their knowledge to enhance the classroom experience for their students. The following are some of the programs and activities completed by Harker teachers this summer. US history teacher Mai Lien Nguyen worked with the Princeton Review, updating and writing a new section for the AP U.S. History test prep book. She also attended workshops by the National History Day program, a nationwide organization aimed at improving the teaching and learning of history. Dr. Susan O’Donovan of Harvard University’s African-American Studies Department taught the workshops, which included a tour of the National Archives. MS English teacher Henry Cuningham took an online non-fiction writing course through UC Berkeley. This year’s course, which was the second online UC Berkeley class Cuningham has taken, focused on writing both academic and personal essays. Cuningham particularly enjoyed a profile he wrote based on his aunt. Said Cuningham, “After collecting quite a lot of material through a phone interview and e-mail exchanges, I decided to focus the piece on her love life, which I thought was pretty colorful. She was surprised by the end result, but she was a good sport about it.” LS language arts teacher Craig Michalski spent two weeks teaching English in the Czech Republic. He also traveled to a total of nine


European countries before and after his teaching assignment. LS teacher Lisa Hirata, K-3 Division Head Sarah Leonard, Gr. 4-6 Division Head Kristin Giammona, Director of Instructional Technology Dan Hudkins, LS librarian Kathy Clark and network manager Andrew Hansen attended the National Educational Computing Conference in Philadelphia, presented by the International Society for Technology in Education. The conference featured several presenters, workshops, forums, student showcases, discussions with other educational professionals and the largest educational technology exhibit hall in the world, spanning the length of nine football fields. The conference allowed the Harker delegation an opportunity to improve the use of technology at the LS, according to Hirata. “Many Harker teachers had been inquiring about ‘UnitedStreaming,’ a digital video-on-demand service from Discovery Education,” Hirata said. “By the end of the conference, the Harker team had decided how to implement it and make it available to LS teachers in the fall.” The team also developed a plan to better utilize the Accelerated Reader reading management software, which will now allow teachers to track the improvements in reading comprehension for K-3 Harker students. US history teacher Ruth Meyer (pictured at right) toured archeological sites in Greece and Turkey that she wrote about in her Ph.D. dissertation and will teach about in her Gr. 9 world history course at Harker. She also visited the tiny island of Patmos, where Saint John the Divine is said to have received the apocalyptic revelations from the last book of the Bible.

LS language ar ts teacher Tammy Coia completed a 12-day British literature tour in England. US math teacher Evan Barth attended an awards banquet for recipients of the A+ for Energy educational grants at Universal Studios in Hollywood in July. The $5,000 grant, which was repor ted in the June 2005 issue of the Harker News, will suppor t a project in which Bar th’s engineering class will build a solar water heater. The project will be on display at the Harker Family Picnic in October. LS language ar ts teacher Kate Shanahan (pictured with happy ELI students on page 19) taught at the Harker English Language Institute (ELI).

MS and US Latin teacher Lisa Masoni participated in two conferences. She presented a workshop titled, “Can You Dig It?: Teaching a Unit on Archaeology in the Latin Classroom,” at the American Classical League Annual Institute. She also spent a week at the Cambridge Latin Teachers’ Workshop in Nashville, Tenn. US Division Head Richard Hartzell (shown above with stepdaughter and Harker junior Laura Sanchez) spent the month of July teaching French at The American School in Tasis, Switzerland. US histor y teacher Carol Zink (shown far left) participated in a two-week seminar at Yale University on how to teach about Africa. In addition to attending daily classes and nightly movies and discussion sessions, participants spent a day viewing collections of African art at the Brooklyn Museum of Art and the Metropolitan Museum of art. Zink, who attended a similar Yale summer seminar last year on the subject of the Cold War, said “I’m taking the course because Africa is a subject in both the courses I teach at Harker, and I’d like to know more about it so I can present in more interesting ways.” MS and US per forming arts department chair Laura LangRee completed a vocal intensive workshop and an advanced jazz dancing course, which comprised many elements that she plans to implement directly in her teaching. Harker News — October 05

Harker Summer Camp Staff Come From All Corners of the Globe

For over 15 years, The Harker School’s Summer Camp programs have participated in a unique cultural exchange, bringing in camp counselors from all over the globe as part of the Camp Counselors USA (CCUSA) Summer Camp Specialist program. “They add so much to our program,” said Harker Summer Camp director Kelly Espinosa. “They are so enthusiastic about being here, and have a real desire to learn about our culture and learn about working with kids.” This summer’s visiting counselors were: New Zealand - Angela Wesselson, Lorna Whinham, Darren Barnes; Australia - Vanessa Bullman, Shane Holliday, Erin Lloyd, Dave Hardy; Ireland - Claire Moynihan; South Africa - Tristan Perks, Rory DeNobrega; Sweden - Gudrun Brunnstroem; South Korea Joo Young Jang. “I’ve always bonded well with kids,” said Whinham, whose mother is a kindergarten teacher in New Zealand. “This has been an excellent opportunity to see the world, and to make a difference in someone else’s life, not just my own.” Espinosa believes that the program provides an invaluable learning opportunity for both the counselors and the campers. Said Espinosa, “The kids absolutely love them. They always bring someHarker News — October 05

thing from their native cultures, be it games or traditional children’s stories, so it is a cultural exchange in the truest sense.” Many of the visiting Harker counselors maintain their relationships with the school for years after the initial program. Bullman, a native Australian who first came to Harker as part of the CCUSA exchange in 2000, has stayed on as a full-time member of Harker’s recreational staff during the normal school year. “I just loved the environment

LS Teachers Chosen for Harker Tech Grants Prior to each school year, a number of Harker teachers submit proposals for possible selection under the Harker Tech Grant Program. Harker tech grants are awarded to teachers who have developed prospective programs to advance the use of technology in their classrooms and enhance the learning experience for students. The following are some of the teachers who were selected to participate in the program for the 2005-06 school year. LS math teacher Stephanie Woolsey used a tech grant to research programs that would allow her students to improve their memorization of basic math facts through practice on an interactive Internet site. Such a program will allow her to track the progress her students make at home, allow the students to learn math facts interactively and improve the students’ memorization as they practice more frequently. She began by researching existing programs, then locating the appropriate program for her students using a number of detailed criteria. The direct benefits Woolsey hopes the students will gain include: improving memorization of math facts in a low-stress practice environment; receiving immediate feedback via score reports generated by the program; increased responsibility, as student homework will be completed and checked independently; a unique Internet format

to increase the students’ interest; and the availability of the program for use for additional practice on a wide variety of math concepts. Woolsey recently tested out the new project with her Gr. 3 summer campers and received excellent feedback regarding the program. Said Woolsey, “I can’t wait to see the improvement my students make this year in learning their math facts, as well as their improved attitudes toward math!” Thanks to a Harker tech grant, LS creative writing and study skills teacher Jeff Gatlin was able to develop two Web sites and a large server-based resource to benefit those teaching and learning study skills in grades 4 and 5. In addition to providing Harker with what he feels will be an invaluable tool for students and teachers in the future, Gatlin claims to have sharpened his own tech skills during the initial creation of the sites. “I had Harker’s considerable technological resources at my disposal, and I spent a lot of time with scanners, wireless connections, Dreamweaver, Mozilla and plenty of other heavy-hitting equipment that made my job much easier,” said Gatlin. Both teachers thanked LS math teacher Lisa Hirata and K-12 Director of Instructional Technology Dan Hudkins for their assistance in securing the Harker tech grants, and for assisting in their research and implementation.

Summers @ Harker: Tradition of Excellence Continues at Harker, and felt that it was a perfect setting for working with children,” said Bullman. Cases like Bullman’s are not uncommon, according to Espinosa, who said that many of the visiting counselors establish long-term relationships with Harker, some spanning more than a decade. Espinosa joked, “It truly shows how small the world really is. After all, a s’more is a s’more in any language.”

Harker continued its decades-long tradition of outstanding summer programs in 2005 with the English Language Institute (ELI) and a revamped K-8 Summer Program. This year, the Gr. 6-8 summer camp staf f members designed a more flexible afternoon schedule designed specifically for MS campers. The new camp structure allowed for individualized schedules, enabling students to explore new Eagles Choice projects like lifeguard cer tification, cooking classes, video production and more. continued on page 20 Watch the January edition for a recap of the many internships our US students participated in over the summer. The January timing of this supplement coincides with when our students begin planning their 2006 summer, so it’s a nice source of ideas!


bulletin continued from page 19 The new programming also allowed both LS and MS campers to have their own campus, with the LS camp activities being moved to the Bucknall campus. “While we kept many of the favorite activities, the new structure allowed us to design our camps specifically to fit the age group and interests of our campers,” said Summer Program Director Kelly Espinosa.


Cruisin’ California! … for Excellence in Education

“While we kept many of the favorite activities, the new structure allowed us to design our camps specifically to fit the age group and interests of our campers.” The ELI program, in only its second year, has already established an excellent reputation for preparing international students for success in English-speaking schools. ELI students from around the globe were provided with daily oppor tunities to interact with American students, as this program ran concurrently with Harker’s other summer offerings. Beyond the daily recreation and challenging academic program, the ELI students were treated to an adventure that is fast becoming a Harker tradition, the Great California Caravan. The caravan is a unique expedition combining a weeklong tour of California’s top boarding schools, combined with stops at popular destinations like Disneyland and Yosemite. By blending outstanding traditions with new innovations, the Harker summer programs will assuredly continue to provide excellence in education and recreation to both the local and international communities for years to come!

Friday, March 3, 2006 Fairmont Hotel, San Jose 11 a.m. Luncheon and Fashion Show 5:30 p.m. Dinner Gala with Fashion Show, Live Auction and Dancing Mark your calendars for Harker’s third annual fashion

Proceeds from Cruisin’ California benefit

show fundraising event! Dine on fabulous Fairmont cui-

the Harker Scholarship Fund, professional

sine, enjoy the amazing talents of the Harker performing

training and continued education for fac-

arts groups, and be dazzled by our own Harker students,

ulty, and the new Science and Technology

parents, staff and alumni as they model fabulous designs

Center at the US campus – so when you

from our fashion partner, Bloomingdale’s!

support Cruisin’ California, you support the school!


Please join us on

our journey to make

• • • • •

Committee Info Sponsorships Program Adver tising Showcase Donation Drawing And more!


fun and successful fundraising event for our school!

Program ad space and sponsorships now available! We will list the latest supporters each month in this space – many thanks to our first batch of advertisers!

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; Asst. Editors: Jennifer Maragoni, Catherine Snider; Production: Crystal Boyd, Blue Heron Design Group; Photos: Mark Tantrum, unless noted; Lead Writer: Ali Abdollahi; Contributors: Jaja Hsuan, Nick Gassmann, Steven Wong; Mailing Coordinator: Jerusha Hew Len.


Cruisin’ California a

Age Defying Dermatology Dr. David Constant RJ Dailey Construction The Harker School is a K-12 independent, co-ed, college-prep school.

McPharlin, Sprinkles & Thomas, LLP Dr. Tina McGinnis Academic Expeditions Grades K-5: 4600 Bucknall Rd., San Jose CA 95130 Grades 6-8: 3800 Blackford Ave., San Jose CA 95117 Grades 7-12: 500 Saratoga Ave., San Jose CA 95129

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 — October 05

Profile for The Harker School

2005 October Harker News  

2005 October Harker News