Page 1

April 2006 (VOL. 12, NO. 7)


New US World Awareness Committee organizes Darfur aid .................................... 4 Gr. 8 DI team heads to state finals this month ................ 8 First Harker research symposium to be held this month at US campus ........ 11 All four JETS teams place at recent competition ........... 14 Cruisin’ California DVD and hundreds of photos now available for online ordering!

events The Harker Conservatory presents the 2006 US Spring Musical

Thurs., April 20 • 7 p.m. Fri., April 21 • 8 p.m. Sat., April 22 • 2 p.m. & 8 p.m. Cafetorium • MS Campus 3800 Blackford Ave., San Jose

Tickets on Sale Now! $15 Reserved • $12 Adults $10 Students/Seniors Tickets available at US Bookstore or e-mail:

Harker News — April 06






Inaugural Harker Debate Invitational a Huge Success Current and alumni debaters and their parents orchestrated a highly successful event: the first-ever Howard and Diana Nichols Tournament of Champions (TOC) Qualifying Tournament held March 2-5. Nearly 500 people from 41 schools and seven states gathered on this last TOCqualifying weekend of 2005-06 for sumptuous food and excellent competition. Competition and elimination rounds were held on March 2 and 5 at the Sheraton San Jose, while Harker’s Saratoga campus hosted the regular tournament competition on March 3 and 4.

place Speaker Award at the round robin competition was dedicated to the memory of John McKay, a debater from Menlo Park who tragically took his life last summer. Harker was also honored to have J. Scott Wunn, the executive

On a more poignant note, the first-

the last qualifying TOC tournament

in policy debate. Schools advancing to the final round in LD debate as a result of the Harker tournament are Mountain View High School and The Meadows School, and the schools advancing to the finals of policy debate are The Head Royce School and The Meadows School.

In an open letter to the Saratoga campus, forensics director Matthew Brandstetter thanked the kitchen staff and parents who provided food; senior Sean Turner and his assistants for successfully implementing Turner’s paperless ballot system (see article in the March issue of the Harker News); the faculty, parents, alumni and debaters The event who gave such boasted “Each and every one of you should be proud of your per- tremendous several support; and forensic sonal contributions, your dedication and your willingness the families who highlights. hosted traveling to believe in the Harker Speech and Debate dream!” debaters and Two awards gave generously of appresecretary for the National Forensic ciation were presented: Dr. J.W. of their time and hospitality. “Each League, on hand to observe the Patterson, founder and director and every one of you should be tournament. of the TOC, received a Lifetime proud of your personal contributions, your dedication and your Achievement Award for his commitAs hosts, Harker students did not ment and dedication to high school willingness to believe in the Harker compete, and thus were ineligible forensics for the past 40 years, and Speech and Debate dream! This to receive advancement to the is only the beginning. Stay tuned William Smelko received a CommuTOC from this particular tournanity Service Award for his selfless for many more successes in the ment. This is the last qualifying months and years ahead,” Brandcommitment to forensics during TOC tournament in Lincoln-Douglas the past four years at St. Augustine stetter said. debate this season, and, along with High School in San Diego. one at the University of Georgia, is See page 11 for more tournament photos.

Stellar LS Art Program

Sun Shines at Intel Event

Harker’s fantastic LS art classes are helping our young students expand their horizons. See page 9 for a full-length feature on Harker’s outstanding program, and how it’s preparing our young students!

Harker senior Yi Sun was awarded one of the nation’s most prestigious pre-college science honors at the Intel Science Talent Search that recently culminated in Washington, D.C. See page 3 for full story.

Intel Talent Search


Ali Abdollahi


est. 1893 • K-12 college prep


editor’s note Examples of what defines the Harker community are particularly evident in this month’s edition: helping others at home and abroad; celebrating our own success, and those of others; feeling safe to try something new - and maybe not being that good at it; and simply having a good time and getting to know each other better. Here’s to more good times - and the meeting of even more Harker friends - and we wish you all a wonderful spring break! —Pam Dickinson, Director Office of Communications

quote “The show gets better every year. The kids are awesome, the teachers are really into it - it was superb!” —Gil Sangari, publisher, San Jose Magazine See special fashion show recap supplement in this month’s mailing!

ms update In the ongoing work to continue upgrading and beautifying the new MS campus, indoor lighting is currently being retrofitted by installing new ballasts and lamps throughout the entire campus. This new lighting, one of the items on the improvements list for this year, will greatly increase visibility and further improve campus safety. According to Mike Bassoni, facilities manager, the retrofit will also decrease our MS utility bill by approximately $16,000 annually.


april dates

annual giving

■ Mon.-Fri., April 3-7 — No Classes - Spring Break

Heartfelt Thanks!

■ Mon., April 10 — K-12 Classes Resume

April Student Performances ■ SPRING INSTRUMENTAL CONCERT Fri., April 14, 7 p.m. • LS Gym • $7/adults; $3/students Don’t miss this chance to hear all of Harker’s instrumental groups perform in this spring concert. Director Christopher Florio has put together a program of classical, jazz and movie hits sure to please all ages. Groups performing are the Bucknall Strings, the Gr. 6 Orchestra, the MS Orchestra, and the US Jazz Band and Orchestra. ■ “GUYS AND DOLLS” Thurs., April 20, 7 p.m. • Fri. & Sat., April 21-22, 8 p.m. and our first-ever matinee! Sat., April 22, 2 p.m. US Gym • $15/reserved; $12 adult; $10 student/senior Director Laura Lang-Ree and her team bring Damon Runyon’s short stories to life in this Broadway classic, with music by Frank Loesser. One of the most-beloved musicals ever written, “Guys and Dolls” is a charming, funny story of what happens when gamblers fall in love, and the “dolls” who love them in return. See our talented Conservatory students dance and sing their way through 1930s New York in a show appropriate for all ages! ■ ANNUAL KINDERGARTEN SHOW: “A RACE TO THE FINISH” Thurs., April 26, 9 a.m. (Lindsay); 10:30 a.m. (Sabeh) Fri., April 29, 9 a.m. (Robinson/Anderson); 10:30 a.m. (Curran) LS Gym • Admission Free Come see the well-known fable of the Tortoise and the Hare brought to life by Harker’s kindergartners. Director Sandra Mabee says every single child is involved with a line or a song. “The moral of the story is, of course, slow and steady wins the race,” she adds. To help you figure out which performance to attend, the name of the teacher follows the start time of each performance noted above.

The annual giving logo appearing at the end of some of our stories indicates those activities or programs funded by Annual Giving.

Two Months Left! It’s not too late to support our students and teachers by participate in the 2005-06 Annual Giving Campaign, which ends May 31, 2006. Gifts received from this point until the end of the Campaign will count toward the 2006 tax year. You can donate online (see the Giving @ Harker section of our Web site) or mail donations to: Advancement Office, 3800 Blackford Ave., San Jose, CA 95117. For questions on annual giving, contact Melinda Gonzales at; 408.345.0111.

■ FIFTH-ANNUAL SENIOR SHOWCASE Fri., April 28, 8 p.m. • MS Cafetorium • $10 This annual event marks the culmination of four years of study for our senior Conservatory certificate candidates. Dancers, technicians, actors and musicians present final per formances and designs from their portfolios, and are presented with their certificates signifying graduation from the program. You don’t want to miss this very special event for our graduating stars!


Lucky to Have Fabulous Volunteers

Clif Wilcox – Accounting Manager: 553.0370

The Harker Advancement Office recently hosted a special St. Patrick’s Day luncheon titled, “Harker’s Luck of Fabulous Volunteers,” to honor and thank Harker’s many incredible parent volunteers. Over 100 Harker parents and administrators enjoyed the lovely festivities at the MS campus. Many thanks to all of Harker’s amazing volunteers.

At press time the Harker Business Office was moving to its new space on the MS campus. Their new contact information is: Marie Clifford – Business Manager: 553.0360

Randall Dukes – Accounts Receivable (student accounts): 553.0362 Kristin Neu – ACH Payments: 553.0366 Finance Fax: 248.2528 Watch for an update on this move in the next edition!

correction In our last issue we said that the photo on page 12 was of Harmonics performing at the Gr. 5 Step-Up Day. The photo is actually of the Gr. 6 Choir. Our apologies! Harker News — April 06



Sun Awarded $75,000 Scholarship in National Science Competition had 15-minute interviews with four separate panels of judges to test his knowledge of math and science.

“We thought Yi Sun’s project exemplified novelty, creativity and originality,” said chief STS judge Andrew Yeager, professor of medicine and pediatrics at the University of Arizona. According to Yeager, Sun’s project involved an area of math that many scholars view as more theoretical than practically useful. However, Sun’s project helps identify how the mathematical discipline can be applied to fields such as chemistry and designing the routing of computers.

Sun was also surprised by the “fanciness” of the whole event, and how the finalists were all treated so well. When commenting on all of the special activities that Intel had organized for the finalists during the 4-day event, including a meeting with President Bush, Sun laughed: “I was unaware they had highclass bowling alleys. They served hors d’oevres.”

Intel Talent Search

Senior Yi Sun was awarded one of the top three spots in the national finals of the prestigious Intel Science Talent Search (STS) competition held March 9 – 14 in Wash., D.C. When Sun was announced as the second place winner, earning a $75,000 college scholarship, he said to the reporters, “I was very surprised – I definitely didn’t think it went this well.” Sun was honored for his project, titled, “On the Expected Winding Number of a Random Walk on the Unit Lattice,” which dealt with the mathematical field of “combinatorics,” examining the winding number of a random path.

A joint statement from the STS judges regarding Sun called him “delightful, bright, energetic and clearly an all-star who has already shown exceptional leadership in science and to whom we will look for future leadership.” As part of the competition, Sun

He was also evaluated for his public speaking, which he said made him nervous at first. After getting the hang of it, Sun said, “It was interesting to explain the project to a variety of people.”

In between all the activities, presentations and judging at the D.C.

event, arrangements needed to be made for Sun to take the Asian Pacific Mathematical Olympiad (APMO) – the highest form of math competitions, according to US math teacher, Misael Fisico – while in D.C. This annual, invitation-only test was administered worldwide March 14, and two Harker students - Sun and Charlie Fang, Gr. 10 – were among the 40 students invited by the U.S. selection committee to take it this year. Sun had to take the test in his hotel room at the St. Regis Hotel. “It was the fanciest test room he’d ever been in,” laughed Sun’s mom, Tianjing Shen. Sun’s award has garnered him local media coverage on CBS 5, NBC 11, and KTSF Channel 26, and the San Jose Mercury News, as well as national media outlets, including the New York Times, ABC News, CNN, MSNBC and CNET. Closer to home, when Sun returned to school his classmates surprised him at the schoolwide US Monday meeting with a 50+ ft. banner signed by friends, teachers and

staff congratulating him for his win. Senior Hann-Shuin Hew, flanked by

classmates Hailey Lam, Samantha Fang, Tiffany June Lin, Justin Chin, Arkajit Dey, Jonny Jenq, Kathleen Sun and Anand Natarajan, said during the presentation, “Sometimes the true measure of a person is not just his mind but his heart. Amidst all of Yi’s achievements and accolades, it’s easy to forget that he’s as human as the rest of us. The amazing thing is, Yi himself has never forgotten that.” The entire Harker community congratulates Sun on this exceptional accomplishment. For news coverage of Sun’s win – and more information about the Intel Talent Search – visit the Harker Media & Publicity page on our Web site. Since the Intel competition began in 1940, STS finalists have gone on to win six Nobel Prizes, two Field Medals, 10 MacArthur Foundation “genius” grants and three National Medals of Science.

Staff Update

Nick Gassman

Lori Villarreal, who previously provided administrative support to Robb Cutler, Harker’s assistant head of school for technology and operations, has accepted the position of human resources generalist in Harker’s HR department. Taking Villarreal’s place as Cutler’s administrative assistant is Denise Hayashi (left). Hayashi was once Harker’s recreation director, but left to start a family. The Harker community is happy to welcome Hayashi back after all of this time!

Desiree Mitchell (right) has joined the office of communications as administrative assistant to director Pam Dickinson. Mitchell comes to Harker from Focus Harker News — April 06

Enhancements, where she was the direct marketing manager and international sales administrator. In addition to her new duties at Harker, Mitchell enjoys being mom to three kids, as well as a Brownie Girl Scout leader for her youngest daughter’s troupe. Welcome! The advancement office has a new donor relations manager. Harker welcomes Emilie Robb, who comes to us from the American Cancer Society, where she worked as community development manager, organizing the ACS’ Relay for Life event in the South Bay. She also has worked at other nonprofit organizations, including the Studebaker National Museum in South Bend, Ind., and the university relations office at the University of Notre Dame, from which she graduated with a degree in marketing. Robb, will be responsible for the acknowledgment and stewardship of our many donors.




US World Awareness Committee Holds Several March Events Harker US students organized several successful events in March to raise awareness of worldwide crises and provide humanitarian aid to those in need. The primary goal was to aid people suffering from the genocide in Darfur, Sudan. Harker’s newly formed World Awareness Committee (WAC) established The Green Ribbon project, selling $1 green ribbons on the US campus. For every 15 ribbons sold, the WAC could purchase one live chicken for a family in Darfur. An anonymous donor also pledged to add 50 percent to the total amount raised by the students. At press time, the WAC already had raised enough money to purchase more than 60 chickens! The WAC also organized a “Lunch in Darfur” event, in which students voluntarily gave up lunch for the day and instead ate rice and beans on the floor of the gym to simulate the conditions in refugee camps. More than 400 students gave up

their meals in a show of solidarity with the people of Darfur. Those in attendance also had the privilege of hearing first-hand accounts of the situation in Darfur from Santino Majok Chuor, a native of the region who was featured in the documentary film “The Lost Boys of Darfur.”

At the end of the month, the WAC sponsored “Art With a Heart,” a CD of original music created by Harker students and faculty, with all proceeds going to Oxfam, the United States’ Darfur relief program. In addition to the Darfur events, the US also shed light on other humanitarian issues. Nicole Sanchez, a representative from Youth Philanthropic Worldwide, was a guest speaker at a US assembly in March. She discussed topics including poverty and free trade. Also, the US Spanish Club and International Club organized a “Sponsor-a-Child Mixer” dance, at which attendees had the opportunity to sponsor a needy child in Central America.

The LS campus was jumpin’ on Feb. 28, as students participated in Harker’s 14th annual “Jump Rope for Heart” event to raise money for the American Heart Association. K-5 students demonstrated their dedication to community service by jumping rope during their P.E. classes to collect pledges. Students jumped at three different stations: short rope, long rope and super-long/tidal wave rope. Making the event a true community effort, four members of the Campbell Fire Department pitched in by turning ropes, while LS teachers Diann Chung, Mary Holaday, Gail Palmer and Kristin Maurer jumped alongside the students. A Valentine’s Day assembly was held to provide information and build excitement for the fundraiser. Jump Rope for Heart organizer and LS P.E. teacher Jim McGovern said,

“The assembly featured student jumpers from each grade level, as well as teachers who turned ropes and jumped for the enthusiastic audience.” In addition to the various jumping stations, there was a station where students signed a huge Jump Rope for Heart banner, writing the name of a person to whom they dedicated their jumping. “The students were very enthusiastic participants and their dedications were quite precious,” McGovern said. At press time, the students already had raised more than $3,000 toward their goal of $15,000. If the students reach their goal, there will be a special assembly after which the students will receive an extended recess period and a Popsicle party. Congratulations to all the students for their help with this worthy cause!

Key Club Helps Clean Up US Campus The Key Club, Harker’s US service club, recently spent a Saturday breaking down and disposing of outdated performing arts backgrounds, obsolete school items and various other bits and pieces from the Saratoga campus. The activity helped students fulfill the club’s community service requirement. Club adviser Kerry Enzensperger said, “Part of the club’s requirement is to perform a service activity at their own school, so I thought this would be a great way to help out Harker!”

Joanna Xu, student

Congratulations to the WAC and all the US students who helped to make these humanitarian efforts a success!

LS Annual ‘Jump Rope for Heart’


Harker News — April 06



Other Outreach News

Faculty Retreat: Time to Regenerate

■ LS Students Aid Needy Animals Kindergarten through third grade students, families and faculty recently participated in a project to collect and organize donations for the Humane Society of Silicon Valley. The event marked Harker’s second year volunteering with the Humane Society as part of the LS Character Development curriculum. In a letter to K-3 families, Gr. 1 teachers Mary Holaday, Diann Chung, Cindy Proctor and Rita Stone wrote, “At Harker, we believe in service learning because it teaches children civic responsibility. Through this project, students are given the opportunity to cultivate respect and awareness for animals’ rights and needs while being able to contribute to a worthy cause.” Students gathered and organized donations for the dogs, cats and rabbits at the Humane Society including blankets, treats and toys and money. As part of the project, Humane Society representative Syd Tierney visited Harker to talk with students about animal protection issues.

The Faculty Retreat, this year held on Feb. 17-18, is a chance for teachers from all three campuses to visit with their colleagues, friends, departments and administrators, to relax, learn and refresh.

■ LS Fundraiser Helps School Rebuild The Gr. 4 and 5 student council recently held a bake sale to raise money to help rebuild a New Orleans-area middle school that was devastated by Hurricane Katrina. By selling treats that were graciously donated by the Delepine family and a local Whole Foods grocery store, as well as Krispy Kreme Doughnuts gift cards, the LS has raised nearly $1,300 so far. The first check from this fundraiser was sent to the Livaudais Middle School in Terrytown, La. The Krispy Kreme gift cards are still available. If you’d like to contribute to this worthy cause, and get yourself some tasty treats in the process, contact Elementary Division Head Kristin Giammona at ■ Recent MS Drive Helps Provide the‘Gift of Sight’ A MS volunteer group named the “Agents of Change” (formerly known as the Gr. 6 Future Problem Solving team) initiated a charity drive in February to collect prescription eyeglasses and delivered the donated glasses to the Lenscrafters store at the Westfield Valley Fair shopping center in San Jose.

Alum Among Nation’s Top Undergrads

Unkown source

Harker alumnus Kevin Hwang (’03) was recently selected by USA Today as one of the nation’s top 20 undergraduate students, as part of the All-USA College Academic Team. Hwang, who is a junior at Cornell University pursuing a double major in economics and molecular and cell biology, was selected by a panel of judges from various academic organizations based on criteria including grades, leadership, activities and an essay on his most demanding intellectual endeavor. Among Hwang’s other recent accomplishments was his founding of “The Triple Helix: The National Journal of Science, Society and Law.” Hwang’s vision was to create a national journal examining scientific breakthroughs from a social, political, economic and legal perspective. Through partnerships Harker News — April 06

with students, including many Harker alumni, at a number of other prestigious universities, “The Triple Helix” now has more than 500 undergraduate volunteers at 16 different chapters, including chapters at UC Berkeley, the University of Pennsylvania and Stanford University. Graduating Harker seniors are encouraged to get involved with “The Triple Helix.” Students interested in joining or contributing to the journal can contact Hwang at kevinhwang@ Hwang now works as a research assistant in the microbiology laboratory of Professor John D. Helmann, and is a Meinig Family National Scholar and a Pauline and Irving Tanner Dean’s Scholar. Congratulations to Hwang for his continued success.

A large portion of the retreat is reserved for departments to get together and review their curricula. Much of the planning for current improvements and future courses gets done at this time. This year, librarian Enid Davis introduced a large Information Literacy component. Davis and her team have adapted nine information literacy standards, designed by the American Association for School Librarians and the Association for Educational Communications and Technology, to a format appropriate for Harker. The standards define the skills needed for students at each grade level to build up their research and literacy aptitude. At the retreat, teachers participated in a survey developed by Davis’ committee, which will help her learn about how the faculty currently teaches and uses these skill sets.

The Saturday session was anchored by more department meetings, giving department chairs valuable time with their staffs to discuss lesson plans, logistics and future plans.

But the weekend isn’t all work! For an hour on Saturday, teachers chose from a variety of fun sessions, where they walked together, practiced yoga, learned to knit or do origami, discussed sports, and much more. This break allowed friends to reconnect with each other and relax together. It seems appropriate that Harker’s hardworking faculty takes a little time just as spring is coming to refresh their minds, learn new skills, improve their classes and to talk about the job they love.

The Harker School Anthem Written by Len Allen Flame of knowledge lights our way, Honest effort and fair play Give us strength for each new day At The Harker School. We can make a difference, you and I. Ride on wings of eagles to the sky. Keep our standard ever floating high And our spirit soaring!

This year’s retreat closed with a rousing rendition of the Harker Anthem (reprinted right), led by fellow teachers!

May each victory honor you, Alma Mater, proud and true. May we stand our whole life through For The Harker School.




Ambitious Art Program Helps Students Learn Creativity, Expression LS students of all grade levels are broadening their artistic horizons thanks to an extensive and ever-expanding art program. The program promotes and fosters a general understanding of various artistic elements and their application in other disciplines. LS art department chair Eric Hoffman said, “Our goal is to build a solid foundation and awareness of art and how it relates to other fields, such as graphic design, interior design, architecture and engineering.” The curriculum is carefully designed to meet the needs of students of all grade levels. “Beginning in kindergarten, we acquaint the students with the basic elements of art and the principles of design,” said art teacher Susan Bass. Younger students learn about concepts like pattern, shape and value, while older students are taught more advanced elements, including rhythm, texture, movement and emphasis. “We want to show them the pieces of the puzzle of art, and as they advance, we show them more and more complex parts of the puzzle,” Bass explained. The curriculum also includes the study of art history, in which students are familiarized with different genres and artists. “We showed some of our younger students examples of ‘cubism,’ like Picasso, and they all laughed at the people in the paintings,” Bass said. The students gained a better understanding and appreciation of the genre when they created their

own examples of cubism later in that unit. According to Hoffman, each project helps the students to learn and develop a multitude of skills. In addition, projects related to Greek, Egyptian and other early art forms teach the students about ancient

cient world. Students learned that the tomb paintings and pictographs helped sustain Egyptian history, serving as a visual record of the culture. In another recent project, students created replica Greek vases, which taught them about elements of Greek ceramics, geometric design and ancient Greek art. This project is dear to Hoffman’s heart, as

Ali Abdollahi - all photos

Part of the reason the instructors feel comfortable teaching such complex subject matter is because of the intellectual capacity of

Our studies take the students back

as far as cave paintings, which allows the students to explore the original bastion of image-making, where human art began.

cultures and their forms of creative expression. “Our studies take the students back as far as cave paintings, which allows the students to explore the original bastion of image-making, where human art began,” Hoffman said. Gr. 4 students also recently designed and created elaborate paintings in the style of ancient Egyptian tombs. The project not only helped the students learn artistic elements, but also about forms of communication in the an-

he spent six months in 1988 as an artist-in-residence in Kouvari, Greece, a small village south of Athens. In cooperation with Harker’s International Programs, second graders recently created a carp fish out of muslin, with a photograph of each student ironed on. The completed project was sent to Japan to be included in Tamagawa’s upcoming Children’s Day celebration. The LS art program also includes a popular after-school art class,

Harker students. Said Hoffman, “It is only possible for us to teach such material because the students are able to comprehend and execute lesson plans that are very advanced for their age.”

Hoffman is very proud of the feedback he has received regarding his program. “The recent WASC (Western Association of Schools & Colleges) report gave four commendations to the LS art program for our popularity among the students, the content of our curriculum, and so on,” Hoffman said. “That type of response makes what we’re doing so much more rewarding.” Thanks to the excellence and dedication of Hoffman, Bass, Beals and art assistant Janie Fung, the LS art program will assuredly continue to grow. Parents interested

led by teacher Sylvia Beals. “The afterschool program is a little less structured, so the students can really explore and express themselves freely,” Beals said. “We typically just take the unused materials from the projects early in the day and create new


projects with them.” Among the activities in the after-school classes are weaving, peg knitting and freeform painting. “When it comes time to pick after-school electives, I always hear the students say, ‘I have to make sure to sign up for art, it fills up really fast!’” Bass said.

in volunteering for after-school art classes should contact Beals at —Ali Abdollahi, writer Harker News — April 06

Fifth Graders Perform in a ‘Daze’ Families and friends who gathered in the gym on Mar. 16 or Mar. 17 were delighted by the annual Gr. 5 show, put on by the performing arts department. The musical was called “School Daze: Scenes and Songs from a Rockin’ School Day,” and was directed by music teacher Jennifer Cowgill. The show presented scenes from a notso-average day in the life of a student, with songs including, “Walk Don’t Run,” “I Love My Locker,” “Cafeteria Confusion,” and “Detention.”

director Danny Dunn, stage manager Kathy Clark and the rest of Cowgill’s team. Special congratulations to the terrific crewing provided by Dunn’s Gr. 5 technical theater classes.

“The students had lots of fun. Some students got to play teachers, and some of our fifth grade teachers played students!” said Cowgill. Kudos to technical

First Graders Enjoy Special Events

Grade 5 Rocks in Annual Lip Sync

Gr. 1 students recently enjoyed some fun celebrations and performances. To mark the 100th day of the school year, students brought in 100 pieces of various items, and special activities were planned around the number “100.” Among the items brought in by students were Legos, Cheerios, rubber bands, buttons and hand-tied bows. In their math classes, students predicted how far they could walk in 100 steps, worked on a 100-piece puzzle and discovered how many times they could write their names in 100 seconds. “In homeroom, we ate 100 doughnut holes, made a list of 100 things that make us happy, and made a paper chain with 100 loops,” said Gr. 1 teacher Cindy Proctor. “The 100th day of school is always a special celebration.”

The Gr. 5 class outdid itself at the annual Valentine’s Day Lip Sync assembly. With the aid of some excellent lighting and sound provided by assistant technical director Danny Dunn and her crew, “the event had all the makings of a top-notch performance,” said LS teacher Jeff Gatlin. Students Sumit Minocha, Jacob Hoffman, Spencer Quash and Nikhil Baradawai did an unforgettable and energetic rendition of the Pokémon theme song. Performing a “modern classic” – Gwen Stefani’s “Hollaback Girl”– were Tara Rezani, Jenny Chen and Tiphaine Delepine. Gatlin joked, “Although they did not clear up exactly what a ‘hollaback girl’ is, their performance showed that they must have practiced a great deal.”

All Gr. 1 students also recently enjoyed a performance of the classic tale of Pinocchio at the Sunnyvale Community Theatre. “I think it’s a valuable experience for the children to see a live performance,” Proctor said. “It was very well-performed and the children were very excited to meet some of the actors in the lobby after the show!”


■ Jonathan Tayro Cho, Gr. 5, participated in the Rainbow Connection Regional Dance Competition at Chabot College in Hayward. A dancer since the age of seven, Cho competed in three categories at Chabot – jazz solo, tap solo and character duet. He won High First Place overall, and earned the second highest points in his division for his jazz piece. At press time Cho was preparing to compete in the Star Power Competition in San Mateo. Well done! Harker News — April 06

Parent-Organized Events Joni Ho, parent

■ Matthew Ho, Gr. 3, won first place for his age group in the 2006 California State Spring TalentFest & Performing Arts Competition. Ho performed a piano solo in the novice instrumental performance session, which is for children who have played their instrument for less than three years. The judges especially noticed Ho’s ability to express feeling and his connection with the audience. Ho was especially gratified to win because he placed fifth last year. Great improvement, and congratulations!

One of the most memorable performances, Matt Giamonna’s rendition of Led Zeppelin’s “The Immigrant Song,” must have brought Gr. 5 teacher Pat Walsh back to the 70s as he was doing what can only be described as “rocking out.” The finale featured Samantha Schlernitzauer’s show-stopping performance of “I Just Can’t Wait to Be King” from the “Lion King” soundtrack, which caused everyone in attendance to rise, dance and sing. Thanks to all the performers for makings this year’s lip sync assembly one to remember!

■ Grade 2 Parents Celebrate Chinese New Year at Sino On Feb. 2, 12 moms of second graders got together at the Sino Restaurant in Santana Row to celebrate the Chinese New Year, share some good food and drink, and chit-chat! They look forward to seeing more new faces at their next gathering! ■ Family Fun at Movie Night! More than 100 fifth graders and their parents gathered for a parent-organized Movie Night in the MS multipurpose room in February. Gr. 8 students led Gr. 5 families on tours of the campus, then all enjoyed pizza, popcorn and Harker’s famous cookies. Finally, students (and some parents!) watched “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” while other parents socialized. A grand time was had by all! LS news continued on back page




Grade 8 DI Team Rides ‘Imagination’ All The Way to State Finals receiving device, then returns the balls back to the delivery device. In competition, the Harker device had 152 balls successfully make the round trip. The challenge also required competitors to devise and perform a clever story, complete with original music and props. Congratulations to the team for its exceptional performance. Check future issues for a full recap of their trip to the state finals.

Pam Araki, parent

Harker’s Gr. 8 Destination Imagination (DI) team recently earned first place at the regional DI competition and was invited to compete at the state finals on April 8 in Elk Grove. The team – comprising Vishesh Jain, Brandon Araki, Haran Sivakumar, Jackie Ho, Nathaniel Edwards, Adrienne Wong and Jeremy Chou – nailed this year’s DI challenge to design and build a machine that shoots ping-pong or tennis balls a set distance into a

Theater ‘Olympians’ Earn Gold

Students Excel in Math Contests Harker students performed wonderfully on the recent California Math League (CAML) contest. The test was administered to all Harker MS students. Four students – Victor Chen and Andy Fang, Gr. 8, Ian Wolfe, Gr. 7, and Ollie Peng, Gr. 6 – earned perfect scores of 40 on the exam.

grade level events were – Gr. 8: Daisy Lin (first place), Fang (fourth place), Adam Perelman (fifth place); Gr. 7: Anshul Jain (fifth place); Gr. 6: Kosaraju (first place), Deng (third place), Ramya Rangan (fourth place) and Peng (fifth place).

The following students earned scores of 37 or higher: Gr. 8 – DaYoon Chung, Andrew Zhou, Haran Sivakumar, Alex Han and Kevin Zhang; Gr. 7 – Benjamin Tien, Timothy Chou, Justine Liu and Chris Tsai; and Gr. 6 – Revanth Kosaraju, Albert Wu, Patrick Yang, Michelle Deng and Daryl Neubieser.

In the team grade level competition, the Gr. 6 team of Chaitanya Malladi, Indraneel Salukhe, Yang, Neubieser, Kosaraju, Peng and Rangan won first place in their categor y. In addition, the Gr. 7 team of Sohini Khan, Amiti Uttarwar, Chen, Chung, Fang, Han and Perelman finished second in the team grade level contest.

In other math competition news, the fifth annual Harker Math Invitational in March was a great success, bringing in 190 middle school contestants from 10 different Bay Area schools. Harker students placing in the top five in the individual

In addition, Zhou won the “estimation contest” by estimating that there were 3,000 beads in the Harker sign at the MS campus (there are actually 3,004). Congratulations to all of the outstanding Harker math competitors!

While the world was preparing to watch Olympic athletes bring home medals, some Harker students were earning gold, silver and bronze medals of their own. MS theater teacher Monica MacKinnon took 13 Gr. 7 and Gr. 8 thespians to Sacramento on Feb. 1011 for a theater festival at Samuel Jackman Middle School. More than 200 middle school students performed monologues and duos for their peers and a panel of judges. MS teacher Mark Gelineau accompanied the group and served as a judge. MacKinnon said, “Though there was no prize given for the category, I would like to present Mark with the honorary title of ‘Best Judge of the Day!’” Harker students earned 13 medals. “I’m so proud of them! Not only

The entire MS student body was treated to an astounding performance by a troop of Chinese acrobats in the first MS assembly held in the new Alumni Gym. The acrobats performed for the MS last school year and were eagerly invited back this year. “When we announced that we were bringing the acrobats back for another assembly, the kids were so excited that you would have thought we told them their favorite uncle was coming to visit with a $50 bill!” joked MS Dean Jack Bither.


Doug Knight, staff - both photos

Chinese Acrobats Wow Students

are they a talented bunch, but they were also well-behaved and represented Harker well everywhere we went,” MacKinnon said. For monologues, gold medals went to Jane Thomas, Gr. 8 and Christine Trinh, Gr. 8; silver medals went to John Ammatuna, Gr. 7, Namrata Anand, Gr. 8, Priya Banerjee, Gr. 8 and Aditi Joshi, Gr. 7; bronze medals were awarded to Tim Lin, Gr. 7, Howard Lio, Gr. 7, Sarah Newton, Gr. 8 and Rishi Sharma, Gr. 7. The seventh-grade duos of Chris McCallaCreary and Nirjhar Mundkur, and David Wu and Lio, earned gold medals; Sharma and Lin also earned a bronze medal in the duos category. Congratulations to all of our actors! The show included incredible displays of balance, such as one acrobat supporting another using his feet. The performers also demonstrated several juggling techniques, including juggling huge clay pots and using both their hands and feet to juggle several umbrellas at once. The show also featured an amazing contortion segment, in which one of the acrobats fit her entire body into a small barrel.

“The kids were a great audience,” Bither said. “We had all 500 of the MS students in the gym, and they were cheering and screaming like it was a sporting event. They were really pumped up!” Harker News — April 06

iChat Technology Enhances Grade 6 Tamagawa Videoconference Gr. 6 Harker students recently participated in the annual videoconference with students at Harker’s sister school in Tokyo, the Tamagawa Gakuen School. The videoconference, which is part of the Harker international program’s collaborative “Our Trees” population project, featured an exchange of presentations, questions and ideas between the students at both schools. The presentations covered topics such as how to lower carbon emissions in both countries, increase recycling practices and improve the

general environmental health of the planet. After Harker students gave their group presentations, Tamagawa students responded with questions and feedback. The Tamagawa students then presented their projects, to which Harker students responded with questions and comments of their own. “The presentations on both sides were excellent, discussing what needed to be done to save the earth’s environment,” said Harker Director of International Programs Bill Bost. “The students discussed

how Japan needed to become more involved in recycling practices, and how Americans were not doing enough in terms of using mass transit to reduce car emissions.”

lizing IP-based connections instead of costly ISDN (integrated service digital network) connections, no specialized equipment was necessary on either end.

The videoconference utilized Harker’s new IP (Internet Protocol)based connection, enabling faster connections with a broader range of partners. “By moving to an IP-based connection, it is theoretically possible to communicate with anyone, anywhere who is connected to the Internet,” said Director of Instructional Technology Dan Hudkins. With both Harker and Tamagawa uti-

“(IP connection) has been so successful – and relatively inexpensive since so much of it uses existing equipment – that we expect to make the service available next year at the other campuses,” said Hudkins.

2006-07 Harmonics Announced!

Thanks to the students and faculty at both schools who helped make this year’s videoconference such a great success! The traditional exhibition game between MS ladies faculty and the A1 girls basketball team was, once again, a great event. MS teacher Vandana Kadam (No. 23 in the photo left) provided some hilarious comic relief. See back page for a full recap.

Congratulations to the following sixth and seventh graders who successfully auditioned for next year’s Harmonics, the MS performing ensemble led by director Monica MacKinnon and musical director Roxann Hagemeyer: Gr. 6 — David Dominguez, Kirsten Herr, Akshay Jagadeesh, Rachelle Koch, Alisha Mayor, Alex Najibi, Lauren Pinzás, Indraneel Salukhe, Divya Sarathy, Katie Siegel, Steven Sun, Noel Witcosky; Gr. 7 — John Ammatuna, Daniel Cho, Max Elisman, Michelle Holt, Michael Hooten, Aamir Javaid, Aditi Joshi, Gokulesh Killer, Christina Li, Kristi Lui, Nirjhar Mundkur, Shreya Nathan, Ava Rezvani, James Seifert, Michelle Vu, Allika Walekvar, David Wu.

‘Newscast’ Assemblies Help Students Tune In to Monday School Meetings Since the first semester of the school year, MS student body officers and Gr. 8 class officers have been presenting vital school information at each week’s Monday school meeting in a special “newscast” format, titled “The HSC News” (Harker Student Council). “We indicated to the kids that we would like to see a theme in their leading off the Monday meetings,” said MS Dean Jack Bither. “Rather than just announcing what is going

on, they decided to present it in a newscast format, complete with news, sports and weather reports.” To plan their creative presentations, MS “newscasters” meet prior to each meeting to write their scripts and brainstorm for new ideas. The news portion of the presentation covers timely and relevant topics, such as environmental issues; helps promote school events, such as the Fashion Show; and announces upcoming assemblies, such as

the Chinese acrobat visit in March. (see facing page) The sports report provides updates on the progress and results of Harker teams, and also announces upcoming games, tryouts and other dates to remember. Harker News — April 06

The weather report – that, according to Bither, “has taken on cult status” with the students – uses data gathered from Harker’s own weather station, installed by MS science teachers on the roof of a Blackford classroom. The HSC News recently added special newscast-style music to segue into their presentation. Regarding the newscast, Bither said, “Student and faculty response has been extremely positive, and the format has been very well received.” MS news continued on back page




JSA Addresses Foreign-Policy Issues at Recent Mini-Conference turnouts, and since not ever yone can come to the larger JSA conventions, we wanted to bring an event to Harker that would be like a preview of larger JSA events,” said Harker JSA president Jaya Pareek, Gr. 12. The event enabled students to debate and explore U.S. foreign policy related to the genocide in Dar fur, the Kyoto Treaty, the treatment of detainees in the War on Terror and the conditions in sweatshops. More than 30 students from five different Bay Area high schools attended the

English Students Give Gift of Poetry Students in Marc Hufnagl’s English II and Honors English II classes recently brightened the campus with their “Poetry in Motion” project, for which the students posted over 50 original poems When the lights turned on, I felt an unexp ected warmth on my face Everything I rem embered was sud denly gone As my heartbeat began to race I searched to rec all what I had learned, Uneasy, while my stomach chu rned My mind, in a euphoric state, Struggled to kee p down the foo d I had ate As I began to dan ce to the beat, A surge of electr icity flowed thr ough my veins My face was no longer overwhel med by heat For, the song wa s over, and the au dience went insane.

event. JSA event coordinator David Woolsey, Gr. 12, hopes that the success of this event will prompt fellow JSA members to initiate similar events in the future. “A lot of the current JSA officers are seniors, but I think that the younger club members will keep

these conferences going in the future to help promote awareness of these issues,” Woolsey said.

Photos supplied by David Woolsey

Students from the Harker chapter of the Junior State of America (JSA) held a mini-conference on Feb. 25 focused on U.S. foreignpolicy issues. “The ‘Pizza & Politics’ events we held for the presidential election last year had really good

Engineering Students Gain Design and Construction Experience Students in the engineering elective course taught by US math teacher Evan Barth recently designed and built a model bridge. The students built the small-scale bridge out of plastic tubes fastened together with metal screws. “The aim of this project was to give the students some experience in the design process, in preparation for the solar water heater that they will soon be building,” Barth explained.

Sumita Sharm a, Gr. 10

throughout the campus. “The goal of the project was to extend our study of Romantic poetry, and discover how much of poetry captures a moment in time,” Hufnagl said. Hufnagl originally got the idea from the rapid transit system in Portland, OR, where light rail cars have poems posted for passengers to read while they commute. “The feedback has been She followed me everywhere, terrific,” said Never leaving me alone. No matter how fast I ran, Hufnagl. I could not escape. She strangled me every day, “Many folks and forced me into a glass box so I could see the world, have stopped My life, but never go out and live it. by and said I saw Her clone with everyone I met. they enjoyed I tried to fight, but she was strong. particular Controlling too. Last year I ripped Her arm off. poems, and Slowly, she weakened. And soon, that it was fun She faded to nothing more than a distant memory. Now when people ask me, to ‘bump into’ I can tell them, I conquered Her. poetry when and her name was Fear. they least Heidi Wang, Gr. 10 expected it!”


Harker Team Earns No. 1 Seed Title at Quiz Kids Competition For the third consecutive year, the Harker Quiz Bowl team earned the top-seed in the “Elite Eight” final tournament of the televised Quiz Kids competition. Harker secured the top spot with an impressive victor y over Cr ystal Springs by the team of Yi Sun, Gr. 12, Jessie Li, Gr. 11, and Anand Natarajan, Gr. 9. In the first round of the Elite Eight contests, the Harker team reversed a slightly frustrating trend. According to adviser Bradley Stoll, “The team experienced something new -- winning a close game!” Heading into the tournament, Harker had lost a number of heartbreaking contests over the past two seasons. At their first-round battle with the Menlo School, however, the Harker team won the match on the ver y last question. Relying on the experienced team of Hann-Shuin Yew, Gr. 12. Siddarth Chandrasekhar, Gr. 11, and Arkajit Dey, Gr. 11, the Harker team advanced to the semifinals, in pursuit of their third consecutive finals appearance. Check next month’s edition for a full update on our Harker Quiz Bowl team’s progress! Harker News — April 06

Harker to Hold First Scientific Research Symposium

Chetty and other organizers believe the program has built enough momentum to support such an event, in light of the outstanding research projects conducted by Harker students last summer in the Galapagos Islands and Costa Rica, the extensive assortment of student entries in the Siemens Westinghouse Competition and the national recognition earned by several student researchers. One of the first steps was establishing Dan Matthews’ US science research elective course, to begin building research skills and enthusiasm among students. “Harker is recognized nationwide as an

As part of the program, members of the Harker chapter of WiSTEM (Women in Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics) have also offered to mentor six girls from local public high schools. WiSTEM member Asavari Gupte, Gr. 12, said, “Harker students have so much offered to us, and we enjoy amazing resources and access to all the tools. I think its great for us to promote learning opportunities for outside students as well.” Another key aspect of the event will be guest speakers, including: Ryna Karnik, an accomplished undergraduate researcher from Stanford University, to “show our students how passion for research can be channeled at the next level,” according to Chetty; a representative from Corgentech Inc., who will demonstrate how research is utilized in the corporate world of Silicon Valley; and entrepreneur and former college professor Dr. John Trechler, who will discuss careers in research. Harker alumnus Surbi Sarna (’03) also will present the findings of the renowned science journal that she helped

found, titled “Triple Helix.”

Cont. from pg. 1

The symposium will include 30 paper presentations, and a number of science fair-style poster displays and interactive discussions regarding student-research topics. While the inaugural event will feature only Harker students, Chetty hopes to expand it in years to come. “This is year one of the event, which will be exclusive for Harker students,” said Chetty. “In year two, we’ll bring in students from independent schools throughout the area, and in year three, we hope to bring in independent school students from across the country.”

ony Ber ryhill

academically talented school that boasts excellent scores on AP and SAT exams, but we also want it to be known for outstanding research projects and for students who know how to conduct high-level research,” Chetty explained.

Chetty believes the program will be beneficial for both the presenters and the audience. “The students have done such outstanding work, we felt they were really worthy of recognition,” Chetty said. “But, also, we feel like the school will benefit from them sharing their findings and methods with other students.”

Photo supplied by Anth

Harker will hold its first-ever Science, Engineering, Technology & Mathematics Symposium Sat., Apr. 22, on the US campus. The invitation-only event, titled “Building a Community of Researchers,” will complement the school’s budding scientific research program, initiated by US Science Department Chair Anita Chetty and former Harker Head of School, Diana Nichols. “We’ve dreamed of having an event like this since we began planning our research program,” said Chetty. “We wanted an event that would feature student researchers presenting their projects and findings to their fellow students. But the time had to be right.”

Debate Tournament

The event will culminate with presentations from three award-winning Harker student researchers, HannShuin Yew, Chris Sutardja and Yi Sun, all Gr. 12. “We wanted to end with these students to demonstrate the heights that Harker research has already reached, and to give our younger students something to strive for,” Chetty explained.

Student Researchers Present Their Findings

Kevin Williamson - both photos

Harker’s US student researchers presented their research projects at two recent science events. Eleven US students competed in the recent Synopsys Silicon Valley Science and Technology Championship. Harker students shared the findings and results from projects they had completed in the laboratories of Stanford University, UC Berkeley, the University of Michigan, and at Harker’s own on-campus labs. Students presented their projects to a panel of judges from both academia and industry, including US math teacher Anthony Silk, who served as a judge representing the U.S. Navy. The results of the judges’ deliberations will be released in early April. Students whose projects are selected from this regional competition will be invited to attend Intel’s International Science and Engineering Fair, held in May in Indianapolis.

In addition, Harker students, accompanied by US science teacher Dan Matthews, recently traveled to Reno to present their projects at the Junior Science and Humanities Symposium (JSHS). Many of these same Harker researchers will be participating in Harker’s first-ever Science, Engineering, Technology & Mathematics Symposium, Sat., Apr. 22, on the US campus. For more information on this event, see the full story above. Harker News — April 06




Renowned Scientist Demonstrates Importance of Perseverance

Harker Science Bowl Team Advances to Third-Straight National Final!

The Harker chapter of WiSTEM (Women in Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics) organized the latest installment of Harker’s Distinguished Speaker Series, bringing in renowned scientist Anne Barrett Swanson. Despite suffering from a bone disease that caused her to stop growing at 3 feet 7 inches, Swanson earned a Ph.D. in biochemistr y, is an awardwinning concer t pianist and ser ved as dean of the school of natural sciences at Sonoma State University.

Harker’s two Science Bowl teams performed wonderfully at the recent U.S. Department of Energy Science Bowl regional competition at Stanford University. Both teams were among the final 10 out of 26 competing teams, while

WiSTEM members were moved when they heard the story of Swanson’s journey. “(Dr. Swanson) was so inspirational,” said WiSTEM member Asavari Gupte, Gr. 12. “All of the difficulties she went through, in addition to just being a woman in science, to earn such a high standing in the academic world, is really motivating for young students.” US Division Head Richard Hartzell added, “The students appreciated her message. They were impressed by her will to succeed despite all the physical and societal obstacles that she faced.” Swanson spoke to the students about how reaching your goal sometimes involves taking a different path than you had originally planned. “I think she helped the students realize that, as much as you try to map out your life, a lot of times life is not linear,” Chetty said. “Sometimes you have to face and overcome adversities to get to where you want to be.”

Harker Celebrates Diversity at Annual Multicultural Event The International Club held its fourth annual Multicultural Assembly and Fair in March. Students and faculty were encouraged to wear traditional ethnic clothing from their own heritage, or any other foreign culture. The event featured foods and items from various cultures, with the flags of the nations represented on display. Attendees were also treated to wonderful performances in ethnic dance and music, in celebration and recognition of Harker’s amazing diversity.

Photo supplied by Stanford University

WiSTEM adviser Anita Chetty believed it was important to have Swanson speak with the students, not only because she is a successful woman in science, but also to show the perseverance necessary to overcome life’s obstacles. “Students at Harker are so focused on the challenges of getting into colleges, and making good grades once they get there,” Chetty said. “Dr. Swanson has overcome challenges that most students could never even imagine.”

one of Harker’s teams won the competition, earning Harker an astounding third-consecutive invitation to the national competition in Washington, D.C. The winning team, composed of seniors Yi Sun and Hann-Shuin Yew, and juniors Arkajit Dey, Siddarth Chandrasekhar and Tatsu Hashimoto, defeated the team from Lincoln High School in the final contest of the elimination round to earn Harker its third-straight regional victory. Team adviser Jennifer Owen said of Harker’s winning team, “They were amazing. Despite Yi and Hann being unwell, they won all their games but one and emerged as the regional winners.” The other Harker team, composed of seniors Jasper Shau and Hailey Lam, junior Sandeep Karipineni, sophomore Spencer Liang and freshman Anand Natarajan, finished second in the “Round Robin” competition before being eliminated. Harker will be one of only three Bay Area teams participating in the National Science Bowl Apr. 27- May 1. Check the June issue for a full recap of their phenomenal season!

Harker Debuts in History Day Contest Harker was well-represented at the recent National History Day contest at Saratoga High School. Harker had an impressive seven entrants in this year’s competition, the first year Harker students have participated. The Harker entrants were – Ariane Vartanian, Gr. 12, individual display board; Rohini Venkatraman, Gr. 12, video documentary; Joseph Chen, Gr. 11, individual essay; Caitlin Contag, Gr. 11, individual performance; Ananya Anand, Gr. 9, individual display board; Sachin Rangarajan, Gr. 9, individual essay; Neha Sabharwal, Gr. 9, individual essay. Adviser Mai Lien Nguyen said, “I’m very proud of these kids because they’re our pioneers in this contest!” Check the next edition for a full recap of this event!

Future Biz Leaders Excel in Contest Twelve Harker students participated in the recent FBLA (Future Business Leaders of America) Bay Section Leadership Conference in Daly City. Students tested their abilities in areas including business law, entrepreneurship and marketing. Students who placed in the top ten of their events were – Anjali Menon, Gr. 11, first place in Public Speaking II; Hann-Shuin Yew, Gr. 12, third place in Economics and eighth place in Business Communication; Michelle Chen, Gr. 10, fifth place in Public Speaking I; Chris Xiao, Gr. 11, eighth place in Marketing. Team adviser Danae Romrell said, “We congratulate these students for their outstanding performances!”


Harker News — April 06

kudos Februar y was a busy month for Harker forensics. On Feb. 15, by what amounted to less than one-half point, the Harker Mock Trial Team on the defense came up short against Lynbrook High School. Forensics director Matthew Brandstetter gave special thanks to teacher Rick Brundage, who guided his first mock trial team to elimination rounds, a feat not accomplished in Harker’s previous years of competition. During the week of Feb. 20, Speech and Debate students joined their peers from 160 high schools nationwide at the 33rd annual UC Berkeley National Speech and Debate Tournament held on the Cal campus in Berkeley. From an initial field of 288 varsity Lincoln-Douglas debaters, the first cut advanced 51 debaters. Seniors Alisha Tolani and Siddarth Satish advanced, seeded 13th and 32nd, respectively. While Satish lost a close round to Valley High School from Iowa on a 2-1 decision, Tolani advanced to the octafinal round before losing to Glenbrook North on an equally close 2-1 decision, earning her a qualifying leg to Tournament of Champions. Additionally, Arjun Banerjee, Gr. 12, and David Linder, Gr. 11, advanced to the quarterfinals of Impromptu speaking (TOC).

Seniors Meghana Dhar and Sean Turner spent the weekend of Feb. 24-25 in North Carolina, competing at the Duke University National Moot Court competition. Forty-five schools entered the competition and, when the dust cleared, Harker earned 4th place overall, advancing to the semifinal round before losing to Coral Reef Senior High School from Florida. Turner also earned the 5th speaker award and Dhar repeated as the top speaker, earning 1st place honors. While Dhar and Turner were busy at Duke, more debaters flew to Alabama, to attend the Over the Mountain Invitational at Vestavia Hills High School. This tournament represented the last opportunity for Harker students to earn a qualifying leg to the TOC in Lexington, Ky., later this year. Satish and Deepa Ramakrishnan advanced all the way to semifinals in varsity Lincoln-Douglas debate where they were slated to debate each other. Protocol dictates that teammates do not engage in tournament debates against one another; therefore, Satish advanced by virtue of having a better preliminar y record. He won the final round against Montgomery Academy on a 3-0 decision. Not only was this the first TOC-qualifying tournament that Harker has won, it also earned for Harker students Ramakrishnan and Satish qualifying legs to the TOC. Freshman debaters Prachi Sharma and Pratusha Erraballi, seeded No. 2 after five preliminary rounds, advanced all the way to the final round of the novice policy division before losing to Montgomery Bell Academy. Speaker awards were also earned by Sharma and Erraballi, as they captured 5th and 7th speaker, respectively. Satish and Tolani both earned speaker awards in varsity Lincoln-Douglas, achieving 5th and 8th speaker rankings, respectively. Sophomores Anuj Kamdar and Akshay Udiavar advanced to the octafinal round in varsity Lincoln-Douglas before losing their respective rounds on 2-1 and 3-0 decisions. David Linder, Gr. 11, continued his public speaking honors with a win at the California-Nevada Lions Club Zone 1 contest. He now moves on to the regional level in April. Finally, March 3-5 was the inaugural Howard and Diana Invitational Debate Tournament. See the front cover for full details of this event. Harker News — April 06

■ Junior Emily Isaacs was named one of the Woman’s Philanthropy of the Jewish Federation of Silicon Valley’s five Young Women of Distinction, and honored at a recent dinner event called Connections 2006 held at the Rotary Summit Center in San Jose. For the past 23 years the Federation has honored Women of Distinction for being excellent role models and contributing to the Jewish community in Silicon Valley, but this year marks the first time teenagers have been recognized as well. According to the story in the March issue of San Jose Magazine, the Federation wanted to recognize “young women...who have proven themselves worthy of this tribute through their extraordinary volunteer efforts.” Isaacs was recognized specifically for her success in leading a weekly youth ser vice and teaching Hebrew at her temple, Congregation Beth David, and for tutoring young students preparing for their Bar/Bat Mitzvahs. Last summer Isaacs received a fellowship to attend a Coalition for the Advancement of Jewish Education conference. Head of School Chris Nikoloff, Director of Communications Pam Dickinson, and Isaacs’ choir director Susan Nace celebrated with Isaacs at the awards dinner on Mar. 9. In addition to the event, the teens were awarded a special certificate from Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren’s office, received a gift from jeweler Tiffany & Co., and were featured in the March edition of San Jose Magazine.

■ Congratulations to junior Jessica Dickinson Goodman for being selected by Soroptimist International of Silicon Valley as the second-place winner of the Violet Richardson Award. Goodman, who received the award for her essay on community service, has been volunteering as a junior librarian at All Saints’ Episcopal Church in Palo Alto for more than five years. Soroptimist International is the largest business and professional women’s service organization in the world. The award, named after the organization’s founder, is given to girls between 14 and 17 years old who are actively involved in local service projects.

. . I work with “.autistic children on weekends and have seen many of the difficulties they and their families face.

Update Debate!

--- Teddy Lee, Gr. 12 ■ Senior Teddy Lee won both the district and state levels of an Elks National Foundation essay contest. Contestants were asked to write on the following topic: “Imagine you have the opportunity to meet with one great leader from the past. Describe your meeting and the issues you would discuss with that person.” Lee chose Martin Luther King, Jr., explaining that he would discuss “discrimination in the world today, especially in relation to those with learning and mental disabilities, since I work with autistic children on weekends and have seen many of the difficulties they and their families face.” The judges’ criteria included the applicants’ scholastic records, school and community leadership (clubs, community service, etc.) and financial need. Lee’s total winnings from both levels totaled $1,400. Congratulations!




International Program Partners With Schools in Costa Rica, Lebanon Harker’s International Program has added two more innovative partnerships to its already stellar group of sister schools. The Cloud Forest School of Monteverde, Costa Rica, is a K-11 bilingual school located in the heart of a tropical cloud forest. Students from The Cloud Forest School will soon join Harker and a number of its sister schools in the “Our Trees” population project. Harker’s Director of International Programs Bill Bost said, “To have our students participate in an environmental-themed project with a school that is actually situated in the middle of a cloud forest is an incredible opportunity.” Cloud Forest administrators became interested in pursuing a partnership with Harker after attending a presentation by Bost and MS computer science teacher Tim Culbertson at a recent conference of the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS). Administrators from Cloud Forest will visit Harker in April to discuss further partner programs. Monteverde is the same cloud forest region where US Harker students conducted field research last summer.

different countries and 16 different religions sects. Today, the IC teaches curriculum in English, Arabic and French. Students at the IC will exchange ideas with Harker students in US teacher Ramsey Westgate’s international policy and Western thought classes. “Through this program, students from both sides of the world will have the opportunity to express ideas and benefit from communicating with people that they otherwise would have never interacted with,” said Bost. “Harker kids will be connecting with Muslims, Christians and students of various other backgrounds from a part of the world where their views are often different than our own.”

■ Arcaya Hopes To Take Some of Harker’s Methods Back to Chile US Spanish teacher Luis Arcaya will attempt to take some of the elements of The Harker School back home. Arcaya, who will complete

Also, Harker has formed a groundbreaking Internet-based partnership with the International College (IC) in Lebanon, a K-12 school with campuses in Beirut and Ain A’ar. Moufid Beydon, vice president and development director of the IC, visited Harker in February to help cement the partnership. The IC was founded in Turkey in 1891 as The American Boys’ School. When it moved to Beirut, the IC welcomed over 900 students representing 37

his one-year exchange through the U.S. State Dept.’s Fulbright Scholars Program in June, will return to The Colegio San Ignacio de la Ssalle, a private K-12 school in Quillota, Chile, in July. While Arcaya believes some of his favorite elements of teaching at Harker are not feasible at Colegio San Ignacio – for example, his school in Chile does not have the resources or personnel to support the type of technological offerings available at Harker – there are some features he will try to adapt to Chilean students. Arcaya feels that the shorter class periods at Harker (Chilean class periods are typically at least 90 minutes long) encourage both students and teachers to focus during class, and therefore work more efficiently. He plans to suggest shorter periods at Colegio San Ignacio to encourage his colleagues and students to get through material at a faster pace. He also plans to implement methods of “continuous assessment” similar to those practiced at Harker. “Using regular quizzes and evaluations will allow me to ensure that students are learning, reviewing and studying the class material,” said Arcaya. Also, after attending and participating in a recent US Coffee House Improv Night, Arcaya feels that the improvisation method would be a fun and effective way to have his English-language students in Chile practice their conversational English as well as helping to build students’ self-confidence from an early age.

In addition to the teaching methods he has picked up at Harker, Arcaya also admires the practice of peer evaluations for teachers, something he said does not occur in Chile. “I think being ‘obser ved’ has a negative connotation in Chile,” said Arcaya. “A teacher who is obser ved may think, ‘What’s wrong with me?’” However, as Arcaya stated, “You can see a football match better from the outside than if you are in the game. Similarly, an observer can tell you, ‘this is what you might change,’ and commend you on the things that you are doing well.” Arcaya said that he has greatly enjoyed the team atmosphere at Harker, where he said, “Everyone from the top of the administration down is treated as equal. Each one of us has a job to do, and each job is important.” Three teachers from Colegio San Ignacio will visit Harker in April for three weeks to obser ve Harker classes, and the US will hold a Chilean Cultural Day celebration in their honor.

■ Swiss Students Returning to Visit Harker Friends A number of the Swiss students who participated in the US exchange program in Spring 2005 between Harker and its sister school in Fribourg, Switzerland, College de Gambach, will return to Harker in April for an informal reunion visit with their Harker partners. Check the May edition for photos of this visit.

All Four JETS Teams Place At Recent Engineering Competition The Harker Junior Engineering Technical Society (JETS) team gave an astounding performance at the recent JETS competition at Stanford University. The all-Gr. 10 team of Thomas Roxlo, Catherine Chu, Paul Christiano, Rachel Fong, Spencer Liang, Scott Liao, Jonathan Shih and Tonia Sun won first place in the junior varsity category, which includes students in grades 9-11 from throughout Northern California.


Meanwhile, the all-Gr. 9 team of Daniel Tien, Subha Guha, Aaron Lin, Sean Mandell, Anand Natarajan, Vikram Nathan, Lexis Ross and Denzil Sikka earned third place in the junior varsity category. “This is awesome,” said adviser Judy James. “I am so pleased to get these young students hooked on solving engineering-type problems.” The all-Gr. 11 team of Aline Zorian, Justin Chin, Danyal Kothari, Richard

Kwant, Jessie Li, Tiffany June Lin, Daniel Paik and Jacqueline Rousseau – competing together for the third consecutive year – won first place in the varsity category. Also, a newly formed team comprising Hann-Shuin Yew, Neil Chao and Shilpa Vadodaria, Gr. 12; Arkajit Dey, Tatsu Hashimoto and Yuanyuan Pao, Gr. 11; and Frank Wang and Kyu Bok Lee, Gr. 10, took third place in the varsity competition.

“This success attests to the phenomenal background that students at Harker get from their basic courses, not only in math and science, but in English and social studies,” James said. “These students know how to pick an approach to an engineering problem and support it through words, diagrams and equations.” Congratulations to all of the outstanding JETS participants!

Harker News — April 06


US Spring Sports

US Winter Sports ■ Senior Night Sends Winter Athletes Off in Style Harker held its first-ever Winter Sports Senior Night, a celebration to honor the efforts and accomplishments of the graduating seniors from all of Harker’s winter sports teams. “It’s a special night for the seniors,” said US Athletic Director Dan Molin. “It’s a great way to thank them for their years of hard work and dedication, and for being fine role models for our younger athletes.” The winter sports teams traditionally Harker News — April 06

next year. The team returns junior Honorable Mention All-League award winner Rachel Bareiss, who led the team in assists this year, junior co-captain and Second Team All-League award winner Julia PriceMadison and freshman most valuable player and First Team All-League award winner Kristina Bither, who finished the season with a team-high 16 goals. Nine

have held separate senior nights, however, Molin wanted to create an event at which all the athletes would be acknowledged in front of a large audience of their classmates and families. “I wanted to provide a larger venue for all winter spor t seniors to be recognized,” Molin said. Congratulations and thanks to the following senior athletes: Girls Soccer – Naeha Bhambhra, Lauren Gutstein, Christine Hsueh, Urvashe Sameer and Rohini Venkatraman; Boys Basketball – Rami Antoun, Arjun Kohli, Johnny Jenq, Bernie Lee, Amit Mukherjee, Harrish Venkatesan and Lung-Hao Yu; Wrestling – Michael Hammersley, Michael Kim and David Woolsey; Girls Basketball – Shivani Bhargava, Mariah Bush, Casey Near, Amanda Polzin and Sylvia Schmidt.

From there it was on to the CCS playoffs with a first round matchup against Carmel. This time, the Eagles fell way behind in the first half, made a spirited comeback in the second, and almost pulled off an amazing victory, finally losing 4843. All of the girls showed remarkable fight and character in that last game, two traits they demonstrated throughout the season. In the post season league meeting, Near was picked as a Second Team All-League selection, while Bush, Polzin and Schmidt were all chosen honorable mention. They are all to be commended for their outstanding seasons. The Eagles are already looking forward to next year where Faustine Liao (who will become a four-year starter), Natasha Sarin and Vyvy Trinh will anchor the team, with Tara Panu, Melissa Chen, Rachel Yuan and Tiffany Liou expected to take on a larger role. All of the girls came together this year and exemplified what it means to be a team. We will miss our outgoing seniors, but we will all treasure the time we spent together. Congratulations on a great season! – Coach John Near Steven Wong

Spring sports are in full swing with some exemplary performances. Boys tennis is competing well in a tough non-league schedule and is thus far undefeated in league play. Track and Field participation numbers have grown immensely. Coach Scott Evans and Coach Anita Bolton have provided strong leadership in their first year with Harker track. Our baseball team is off to its best start ever with a preseason record of 4-1 behind new coach James Brack. Our swimmers are rising to the challenge of new leadership on the pool deck as well, as Coach Bart Wells has created an expanded meet schedule and is challenging the kids with a workout schedule that has them improving their times. Boys volleyball has an extremely challenging non-league schedule. They continue to compete very well against their opponents in order to prepare themselves for league play. From a program that almost did not occur due to a low initial turnout, our softball team is now flourishing with a full roster with the leadership of Coach Keith Hirota and Coach Raul Rios. They’re competing well and having a great time. Look for some boys golf headlines soon as their season progresses. They’re off to a fine start under Coach John Zetterquist. Our newest addition, girls lacrosse, is thus far a huge success. Coach Denae Moore provides wonderful enthusiasm for this fledgling program of 30-plus girls. The girls are having a great experience learning a new competitive sport. – Athletic Director Dan Molin

Bush, Sylvia Schmidt and Casey Near being honored before the game. The girls dominated the first half and seemed to be on their way to an easy victory, only to see Mercy-Burlingame make a strong comeback in the second half. Just when it seemed like the season was slipping away, the team showed its resolved by refusing to lose, eventually prevailing 42-38.

of the 11 regular starters return next year, so the team is poised to improve upon their overall record and fifth place finish. – Coach Evan Barth

■ Girls Basketball The Varsity Girls basketball team wrapped up another successful season with their second consecutive trip to the CCS playoffs. To get there, the Eagles had to win their final home game of the season against Mercy-Burlingame. It was also senior night with Shivani Bhargava, Amanda Polzin, Mariah

■ Girls Soccer The varsity girls soccer team ended the season playing strong with a win, two ties, and a loss in the last four games. All results were improvements over the first meetings with the same opponents. Senior captain and Second Team All-League award winner Lauren Gutstein and her four senior compatriots (Naeha Bhambhra, Urvashe Sameer, Rohini Venkatraman and Christine Hsueh) will all be missed

Lauren Gutstein





LS - Cont. from pg. 7

Three LS Teams Participate In ‘Destination Imagination’ Competition Harker had three different teams of Gr. 3 students participate in the Destination Imagination (DI) competition, a problem-solving, creative program where children work together to solve challenges. The “Creative Meisters” team – which consisted of Allison Kiang, Diane Le, Eric Yu, Hiro Kozu, Vamsi Gadiraju, Victoria Wong and Zoe Woehrmann – chose the “Inside Dimension” challenge, a structural weight challenge in which students would build a structure out of wood and glue. Through this project, the students learned a great deal about the fundamental physics of structural construction and stability. As

part of the challenge, the team put together a performance honoring famed Chinese architect IM Pei. The “Creative Meisters” finished in second place at the regional competition, earning them an invitation to compete at the California state competition in April. The “Quick Solvers” team – with members Rishabh Jain, Sidhart Krishnamurthi, Maya Nandakumar and Sonal Pai – selected the “Back At You” challenge, in which the team builds a device that throws balls a few feet, and another device that catches the balls and guides them back to their original locations.

■ Students Play Faculty in Annual Game of Hoops The entire MS student body was in attendance for the annual game between the A1 girls basketball team and the ladies MS faculty team, held in the Alumni Gym in March. As part of this popular, longtime Harker tradition, more than 15 MS faculty and rec staff members participated in the event. The faculty team edged the A1 girls in a close game, winning by a final score of 32-29.

■ Boys Basketball The varsity boys basketball team ended the season with a 15-12 overall record, and finished fourth in their league after going 8-8 in league play. The team reached the CCS tournament, but lost a first-round game against Carmel. The game was very competitive and went down to the wire, with the Harker players representing their school in fine fashion. The team had great support at the final game from the girls basketball team, Harker friends and family,

and a local Carmel “VIP,” Howard Nichols, former Harker president and current board member. The varsity boys finished the season with a terrific banquet, with speeches delivered by all eight outgoing seniors: Rami Antoun, Arjun Kolhi, Lung-Hao Yu, Jonny Jenq, Harish Venkatesan, Nashad Godrej, Amit Mukherjee and Bernie Lee. Varsity award winners were: Alex Abarca, Gr. 9, most valuable player; Kohli, most improved player; Antoun and Venkatesan, co-Eagle award winners.

The Harker News is published nine times per year by the Harker Office of Communications. Current and archived issues are also available on the Division Home Pages on the Harker Web site at Editor: Pam Dickinson; Asst. Editor: Catherine Snider; Copy Editor: Jennifer Maragoni, Production: Crystal Boyd, Jaja Hsuan; Photos: Mark Tantrum, unless noted; Lead Writer: Ali Abdollahi; Printing: Carol Sosnowski; Mailing Coordinator: Maria Nguyen.


The “Fantastic Foxes” team – comprised of Meghana Appalaraju, Tiara Bhatacharya, Jeremy Binkley, Matthew Ho, Srivinay Irrinki and Sahana Rangarajan – gave an outstanding performance at the regional competition. While faced

MS math teacher Vandana Kadam gave the audience a great laugh with her play. “Basketball is not her greatest asset,” said MS Dean Jack Bither, “But she was out there giving it her all, and it was quite hilarious watching her try to dribble down the court.” In honor of her “legendary” performance, Kadam awarded herself with a most valuable player trophy at the MS school meeting following the game.

MS - Cont. from pg. 9

US Sports - Cont. from pg. 15

The team divided their tasks and delegated responsibilities. They rehearsed regularly to make sure everything worked well together. Their efforts paid off, as they presented an extremely effective solution and a story performance that wowed the judges and the audience. The “Quick Solvers” earned a fourth place distinction for their excellence.

The junior varsity team went 20-5 overall, and finished second in league play with a 14-2 record, the best league record in the history of Harker JV! The junior varsity award winners were: Bryan Yasuakawa, Gr. 10, most valuable player; Ankur Sharma, Gr. 10, most improved player; Allan Wong and Joey Shapiro, both Gr. 10, co-Eagle award winners. Congratulations on a great season and thanks to the seniors for outstanding leadership throughout their careers. – Coach Jeremiah Brewer The Harker School is a K-12 independent, co-ed, college-prep school.

with initial frustrations, the students steadily gained a keen sense of solving problems creatively. While they did not qualify for the state competition, the students learned a lot about leadership, thinking quickly and working as a team. They are already looking forward to participating and winning next year. Thanks to parents Ram Appalaraju (Meghana), Jill Finlayson (Zoe Woehrmann), Dominic Wong (Victoria), Shalini Pai (Sonal) and all the other parents and teachers who generously gave their time for this project. Congratulations to all the teams for their outstanding effort.

“It was hysterical,” said Bither. Stay tuned for full LS and MS sports in the next HN edition.

■ Wrestling The wrestling team wrapped up a successful season with three AllLeague honors: Mark Ollila, Gr. 11, finished sixth in his weight class and was a varsity CCS qualifier; Ian Hoffman, Gr. 9, finished seventh in the junior varsity division of his weight class; Daniel Kim, Gr. 9, also finished seventh in his JV division. Congratulations to all of this year’s wrestlers for a great season, and we look forward to building on this year’s accomplishments. – Coach Kariem Stinson

Grades K-5: 4600 Bucknall Rd., San Jose CA 95130 Grades 6-8: 3800 Blackford Ave., San Jose CA 95117 Grades 9-12: 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 — April 06

Profile for The Harker School

2006 April Harker News  

2006 April Harker News