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december 2006 (VOL. 13, NO. 2)



Assemblies educate students, parents about Internet dangers ............................. 4 Fashion Show update ...... 6-7 Middle schoolers hit the nation’s capital, Yosemite and national parks ............... 11-14 Harker wins big with four Siemens semifinalists ...... 17

photos Check out our newly updated online photo galleries! Questions? E-mail

events US Conservatory presents: Orchestras and Choruses uniting for the first time at Harker in a

Winter Concert

Featuring LS and MS Orchestras, Bel Canto and Jazz Band Special “bon voyage” performance from the US Orchestra, which tours Paris in December

Thurs., Dec. 7, 6:30 p.m. Blackford Auditorium 3800 Blackford Ave. Tickets: $8/adults $5/students & seniors






Stars and Planets Align for Young Astronomers One warm, clear and moonless night in late October, dozens of Gr. 3 students and family members gathered on Bucknall’s field to stare into the heavens. They were there to observe the slow minuet of stellar and planetary movement, or just to sit, watch and wonder about the endless universe of which we are such a small part. Organized by Gr. 3 instructor Tamara Kley Contini and assisted by Joe Jordan, director of the Sky Power Institute of Santa Cruz, the gathering, 180-strong, featured telescopes, blankets, pizza, cookies and hot chocolate. It

Tamara Kley Contini - all photos


est. 1893 • K-12 college prep

delivered on the intention to help introduce young people to the wonders of astronomy and to raise awareness of the many gifts that come from the firmament, like sun, rain and wind. “We saw Jupiter, Andromeda and lots of constel-

lations. The night was a great success thanks to the help of the wonderful parent volunteers,” said Kley Contini.

Army Salutes eCybermission Team Four Harker MS eCybermission teams went to the regional event last spring where one team took top honors, earning a trip to the nation’s capital this past summer. The students and science faculty were honored at a schoolwide special assembly in November, where they were presented with awards and savings bonds by the U.S. Army. See page 11 for full story.

Harker Coach Deron Thorp Aug. 31, 1973 - Nov. 4, 2006 The Harker community mourns the loss of a football coach and celebrates his life. See page 19.

Buy tickets at US Bookstore or e-mail

Harker News — December 06


editor’s note The annual picnic has gone “down under” for the year, and now the film reels are rolling for this year’s fashion show, CinéFest - see inside for more details! We also hope you enjoy Head of School Chris Nikoloff’s monthly column, which began last month, and Head Chef Steve Martin’s new column about nutrition, starting in this edition. Have a festive, family- and friend-filled holiday season!

Number of acres of Harker’s three campuses combined.

■ Tues., Jan. 2 — K-Gr. 12 classes resume

Timely Reminders Second Annual MS Book Fair ■ Wed., Dec. 6 - Fri., Dec. 8, Noon-6 p.m., MS Campus Proceeds go toward the library’s book and media collection. Come do some shopping and support a great cause. Give the gift of reading!

The holidays are just around the corner, and cold and flu season has already begun on all three campuses. Take a minute to review Harker’s policy on when to keep your student at home, so we can minimize the number of students who get the flu this year.


What do YOU want to know? Send your “Who Knew?” ideas to

too fun!

Your student should stay home with a fever of 100.4 or higher. A temperature of even 100.0 first thing in the morning is probably a sign of a higher temperature to come later that morning. Keep your sick student at home at least one more day, or until a normal temperature can be achieved throughout one afternoon without the use of Advil, Motrin or Tylenol. A normal temperature at 6 a.m. can still become a very high fever by 2 p.m. That’s why we ask you to make it through one afternoon without a fever. Most fevers from the flu last a minimum of three to five days. Never give Advil or Tylenol to mask a fever and then send your student to school. Anyone with a fever is contagious and should be at home. Children and adolescents who struggle through the school day sick and contagious do not learn well or perform well on tests. They do spread the virus to other healthy students in their classes.

Terry Walsh

Where’s the caber toss, now?


■ Fri., Dec. 15, 5:30 p.m. — All campuses close for winter vacation

Safeguard Against Flu

Number of meals Chef Steve Martin and his crew serve to faculty and students EACH MONTH!

No, the Scottish Games haven’t come to Harker – yet; it’s just Halloween at Bucknall. Harker mom (and technology help desk maven) Ernie Porter pieced together several old Harker jumpers to put LS math teacher Pat Walsh in hairy-legged glory as an oversized student for the LS celebration, guaranteeing nightmares for students and fellow faculty.

Heartfelt Thanks!

To minimize your risk of getting the flu this year, get a flu shot. It’s not too late and there is plenty of vaccine available this year. Wash your hands often. Remember not to touch the faucet with your clean hands to turn off the water. Use a paper towel to dry your hands and turn off the water with the paper towel acting as a barrier between your hands and one of the most germ-laden areas in the bathroom. Cough and sneeze into your elbow, not your hands. If you cough on your hands, then everything you touch afterwards will become contaminated with the virus. If you have any questions about whether or not your student is well enough to come to school, feel free to call the nurse on your campus. —Debra Nott, Director of Nursing CONTACTS


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

The US Orchestra is touring Paris over winter break! From Dec. 26-Jan. 2 director Chris Florio will be leading the group through a combination of sightseeing and performing, including a boat ride down the Seine and visits to Versailles and Chantilly. The orchestra returns the Parisian hospitality with three concerts in beautiful venues. Check back in our February edition for a complete recap. Bon voyage!

who knew? Number of Harker teachers who hold a Ph.D.

annual giving

Bonjour, Paris!

—Pam Dickinson, Director, Office of Communications


december dates

Lower School Nurse: Nishi Vellian, 871.4609 Middle School Nurse: Alanna Andrus, 553.0311 Upper School Nurse: Clare Elchert, 345.9611

The logo appearing at the end of some of our stories throughout the year indicates those activities or programs funded by Annual Giving. See page 8 for update.

biz online Harker’s Online Business Directory is a free service to Harker students, parents, faculty, staff, alumni, alumni parents, event sponsors and advertisers. Businesses may also provide special offers to Harker families. Those interested can submit a listing via the online form. Please note that you will need to use the parent username and password to access the form. One of our first business listings posted was submitted by Lon Allan, chairman of the Harker Board of Trustees and alumni parent. After a 35-year career as a corporate attorney, Allan has teamed up in residential real estate with his wife, Mary, a Realtor since 1989. The Allans are generously offering to donate 15 percent of their commissions earned by working with Harker families to The Harker School. To view the Allans’ and other listings click on the Online Business Directory link on the home page.

new! Harker’s music department will offer beginning brass and woodwind lessons to Gr. 3-5 students starting next quarter. Louis Hoffman, LS music teacher, will be the instructor. The 3:45-5 p.m. lessons will be offered in trumpet, trombone and French horn on Thursdays, and flute, clarinet, oboe and sax on Fridays. For information, e-mail Harker News — December 06



Staff Updates ■ The per forming ar ts and recreation depar tments are ver y pleased to announce the addition of a new par t-time dance instructor. Karl Kuehn is a graduate of Santa Clara University and has trained in jazz, hip-hop, tap, modern and ballet. “He is a talented and energetic person and I am ver y excited to have him working with our dancers!” said dance instructor Gail Palmer. ■ We suspect several faculty and staff may have run in the San Jose Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon on Oct. 8, but did anyone run it with as fast a time as Gr. 4 English teacher Natalie Philpot? Philpot ran the race in 1 hour and 45 minutes, placing 38th in her division. ■ On Oct. 5, Gr. 3 teacher Tammy Coia had a book signing at Barnes and Noble in the Pruneyard. Coia also spoke at the event. Her recently published children’s book is called “Fig on a Stick.”

Chef’s Corner Editors Note: Executive Chef and Food Service Manager Steve Martin, who oversees food service on all three campuses, will be writing a periodic column for the Harker News on food-related issues at Harker. You can contact Chef Steve at

Nutritionist Joins Kitchen Staff to Help Fine Tune Menus I am pleased to announce the addition of Anne Kolker to my team. Anne is a registered dietician and received her master’s degree in nutritional science from San Jose State University. Her experience includes working as a dietician for a non-profit medical clinic in Palo Alto, a public health nutritionist for Santa Clara Public Health Department and a nutrition consultant for the Head Start preschool program in San Mateo County. The first thing Anne and I did was sit down and chat so I could educate her on current nutritional efforts at Harker. She was impressed with what we are already doing and gave me some great feedback. She noted that we have many good things going on, and we decided our next step is to refine the menus to add new healthy choices to them.

“I have long believed in telling people that variety in diet is key – don’t get hung up on one thing...” We are going to focus the rest of this year, for example, on a fruit-of-themonth program. We’ll kick off with apples in December. Anne sent me a note pointing out that there are 7,500 varieties of apples grown through out the world and 2,500 varieties grown in the U.S. I didn’t know that – everybody is stuck on eight different varieties! We are going to serve different varieties of apples in desserts, entrees and salads. In addition, Anne and I plan to look at the specific menu needs for each school, starting with the LS and moving to the MS, which is, nutritionally speaking, a whole different animal; then we’ll move on to the US, with its different set of needs. We will also try to spend time working on dietary needs for specific groups, like athletes. We talked about how Gatorade has too much sugar for non-athletic uses, but is valuable to athletes to encourage re-hydration. In the larger picture, the biggest thing we will do is educate people. I have long believed in telling people that variety in diet is key – don’t get hung up on one thing, like turkey sandwiches, because you think they are healthy for you. Try different foods. Then, Anne and I hope to address those that don’t even care about their diet, who eat pizza every day. To that end we are going to stress education, making people more aware that they can choose smaller portions and should diversify their diet. —Steve Martin, Executive Chef and Food Service Manager Harker News — December 06



A Primer on Homework Debates in education almost always occupy positions at the remote extremes of any given topic. Traditional versus progressive. Content versus skills. Objectives versus process. Teacher-centered versus studentcentered. The debate about homework itself is polarized too. Should there be homework? If so, what form should it take, and how much should be given? Some educators, including Alfie Kohn in “The Homework Myth,” are questioning long-held assumptions about the value of homework. This is healthy, I believe. We should continually question our own assumptions. After doing so myself, I have rediscovered some long-held beliefs that may be helpful to parents which I will share here in this short primer on homework.

“...typing furiously on a computer or surfing the Internet is not necessarily an academic activity.” One, homework is here to stay, like it or not. The debate ought to be about how to improve homework, not whether or not homework ought to exist. Two, homework should increase slowly over the years. Lower school children are in the early stages of developing their attention spans, learning independently, improving their focus. However, the sooner students work on these skills, the better. Three, yes, parents can help with homework, as long as they don’t do the homework for their children. Four, there is a point of diminishing returns on homework, as with any activity. Teachers have to craft well-designed homework that has a purpose and that can be completed in a reasonable amount of time. Five, typing furiously on a computer or surfing the Internet is not necessarily an academic activity. Students can fritter away time and exhaust precious per-

sonal energy on the computer. Know the purpose of your child’s electronic activity.

“Each family has to find the time of day, location, materials, environment and approach that works for each child.” Six, homework is individual. What works for one student may not work for another. If your child spent a long time on an assignment, that doesn’t mean every child had the same experience. Each family has to find the time of day, location, materials, environment and approach that works for each child. Seven, when in doubt, talk to your child and his or her teacher. You would be amazed how much you can learn from your child with a few basic questions. What are you doing? What is the purpose? Do you understand what you are doing? Do you understand why you are doing it? How much time does that take you? Why? I didn’t really learn how to learn until late high school. Before that pivotal time, I am sure I slogged away connecting the dots at night simply to complete assignments on time. In the end, however, something clicked, and ever since I have been a lifelong learner. I think all those years of homework had something to do with it.

—Christopher Nikoloff, Head of School




Faculty Hones their Technology Skills for the Classroom Covering all the technical aspects of the Harker curriculum is nearly impossible, but we do try to provide a nice cross section each month. Here is a roundup, including more reports on the summer technology grant uses, and a technology seminar recently held to assist teachers in streaming video to their classrooms effectively. ■ US teacher Pauline Paskali worked on a WebQuest for her English 2/British Literature students during her tech grant week. “I call it ‘Questing the Web for Shakespeare,’” said Paskali. “It is a multi-disciplinary research project in which the students visit a series of literary, historical, theatrical and fine arts sites, analyze or evaluate their content, and create an annotated timeline compilation of their discoveries.”

Paskali has just introduced the process to her classes. “Students are working on it right now. They are doing a great job thus far,” she said. ■ MS history teacher Cyrus Merrill started with a desire simply to have all of his class materials and activities online. “I also wanted my students to interact more with one another; therefore, I spent my summer learning to use several different technologies so that my kids could work together and debate with one another,” Merrill said. “They are using forums and wikis on a regular basis to debate one another, communicate with one another and to share information. This

is shifting the inquiry and discovery of material from one centered around the teacher to one where the students are much more involved with finding, debating and presenting information,” Merrill continued, adding that he expects his students to publish much of the material that they are responsible for knowing and teaching to each other. Editor’s note: According to Wikipedia, the online encyclopedia: “A wiki is a type of Web site that allows the visitors themselves to easily add, remove and otherwise edit and change some available content. This ease of interaction and operation

makes a wiki an effective tool for collaborative authoring.” ■ Interested faculty attended one of two workshops on United Streaming Video in October. This was a hands-on meeting where teachers created curriculum they could implement right away. According to its Web site, the online company has a library of “more than 5,000 videos from Discovery Channel, BBC, Math Mastery, and others - including more than 1,000 new videos in subject areas including foreign language, secondary math, science and language arts.” The workshop was set up by Harker’s technology department. Dan Hudkins, the director of instructional technology, said, “United Streaming’s online video collection is truly impressive. There is something for everyone.”

Internet Dangers Explained in Presentations to Students and Parents In the never-ending effort to keep Harker students updated and aware of issues arising from use of the Internet, Harker has held informational student assemblies in the LS, as well as meetings for parents, to ensure students and parents work together to stay Internet-safe. On Nov. 9, two LS assemblies were held utilizing the NetSmartz program, a nationwide program to educate children and parents on the dangers of using the Internet improperly. Students were warned about the dangers

of contacting strangers through the Internet and other hazards via animation, music, demonstrations and real-life stories to teach different levels of students the dangers they could encounter online, and what to do. Children were taught to tell a trusted adult if they come across anything online that makes them feel scared, uncomfortable or confused; never to share personal information, such as a telephone number, address, name, location or school with someone online; never to meet in person with anyone that

they have first met online; and never to respond to messages that are mean or make them feel scared, uncomfortable or confused. On Nov. 14, a presentation was held on Internet Safety for parents of fourth through eighth graders by the San Jose Police Force’s Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC)

task force. Task force representatives provided information on the risks, victim and predator profiling, and what parents can do to keep their children safe. Additional Internet safety assemblies for students and parents are planned, including an MS student assembly on Dec. 1, and a presentation for MS and US parents on Feb. 9.

New Alumni Council Formed

A kind thank you to Harker faculty was offered by two mothers in conjunction with Eid ul-Fitr, the Islamic holiday that marks the end of Ramadan. The women arranged for a delicious meal of traditional foods to be ser ved to faculty and staff at both the MS and US. Many thanks to Ambreen Jamal (Mahum, Gr. 9) and Gazala Sadiq (Zaynah, Gr. 9).

We’re pleased to announce the formation of Harker’s first-ever Alumni Development Council. Since this is the council’s first year, we are focusing on alumni classes with reunion years in 2007: Class of 1982 (MS), Class of 1992 (MS) and the Class of 2002 (our first graduating class from the US).

Bill Cracraft

Delicious ‘Thank You’ to Faculty


“Many of our Muslim families wish to share the message of Eid, to express gratitude for our blessings, by expressing their gratitude to Harker MS faculty and staff. They continue the tradition begun last year of providing special luncheon treats traditional to the holiday,” said Cindi Kerr, head of the MS.

These dedicated alumni are busy getting back in touch with former classmates and are fundraising on behalf of The Harker Fund, which pays for the school’s “Margin of Excellence” programs benefiting all students. Please join us in acknowledging these class agents: Class of 1982: Keil Albert (Co-Lead Agent), Tina Johnson-Murray (Co-Lead Agent), Pat Walsh (Honorary Class Agent); Class of 1992: Amanda Mathias (Lead Agent), Julie Amerian Johnson, Meredith Harrington Hiltgen, Daniel Nevis, Vicky Viso, Liz Williams; Class of 2002: Carmen Antoun (Lead Agent), Leena Bhalerao, Ana Brar, Elnora Hawley, Leslie Hernandez, Sunil Subhedar. Special thanks to these alumni for their time and dedication to Harker! Harker News — December 06


down under

Thanks Again, Mates! Now that the last koala has been “cuddled” and the last “rocks” from the Manzanita Opal Mines have been carefully stored, we’ve had some time to reflect on how much we genuinely appreciate our wonderful Harker family. Yes, our Awesome Aussie Adventure was truly amazing...but only because of all of you! We’d like to extend our heartfelt thanks to all those who got in the spirit and came out to enjoy the day together...and a special thank you to all those who volunteered on a committee, planned, donated, sponsored, collected and acknowledged gifts, orchestrated the silent auction, bought t-shirts, painted, decorated, set up, worked in a booth, bought, sold and even counted the tickets for the big picnic drawing -- all 44,694 of them -- and more! You make us all so very proud to be a part of the Harker family! Through all your efforts we have raised a record $120,000 in picnic proceeds! On this page is a listing of the many Harker parents, students, faculty and staff along with some loyal local businesses who have gone that ‘extra mile’ to make this year’s event a tremendous success! —Lynette Stapleton and Kelly Espinosa, Picnic Coordinators

PROUD PICNIC SPONSORS Crocodile Wrestlers The Ammatuna Family / I ♥ Yogurt, Communicart Graphics and Printing, Paramitas Foundation / Winston and Phyllis Chen, The Stapleton Family

Kangaroo Catchers Miss Kelly Espinosa, The Pellissier Family, The Polzin Family, The A. Thomas Family, The Wardenburg Family / Merrill Lynch

Wallabee Walkers The Sita Arimilli and Geetha Srinivasan Families, The Carr Family, Samuel Devlin

Dolphin Dippers Baysport, Inc., Madhu and Navin Jain, The Liu Family, The Moyer Family, The Ramoji Family, The Sabeh Family, Andrew and Lina Yang, Susan Zhang and Charlie Huang

Koala Cuddlers The Harris Family, Wes Brown, Andy Hoffman and The Hoffman Family, Guojin Liang and Orapin Kanchanachoosak, The Mayor Family, The Riedel Family, Jay and Denise Wong

Kookaburra Callers The Auvil Family, Balloonatics, The Chaat House, Tony and Grace Chu, Clos La Chance Winery, The John and Christine Davis Family, The Flewelling Family, Friend of Harker, The Lowe Family, Kenneth Ma, My Pony Party, Outback Steakhouse, The Pancholy Family, The Javed and Amena Patel Family, Preston Pipelines, Chester Rivera, Round Table Pizza, The Wang Family

PICNIC COMMITTEE CHAIRS Sherr y Ammatuna, Ken Azebu, Lisa Blickenstaff, Vanessa Bullman, Candy Carr, Fred Carr, Nancy Claunch, Becky Cox, Kelly Delepine, Janie Fung, Melinda Gonzales, Jeannine Hammersley, Dave Heslop, Sandhya Jagadeesh, Mar y Malysz, Roopal Mayor, Sangeeta Mehrotra, Melody Moyer, Maria Nguyen, Chidori Okubo, Robyn Peetz, Kim Pellissier, Kathy Polzin, Sue Prutton, Emilie Robb, Lori Saxon, Alice Schwartz, Janet Smith, Judy Stapleton, Shankari Sundar, Joey Tyndal, Carol Under wood, Jane Villadsen, Terr y Walsh Harker News — December 06

PICNIC COMMITTEE VOLUNTEERS Ayo Adeleye, Kim Alonzo, Helen Amick, Mike Amick, Leslie Ann Campbell, Zaineb Asaf, Juhi Aswani, Jonathan Axelrad, Allyn Babitel, Archana Baldwa, Bonny Banerjee, Rita Batra, Mike Bassoni, Sujata Bedekar, Galina Belogolovsky, Alex Belogolovsky, Bob Benge, Jagruti Bhikha, Asha Bhoopalam, Ram Bhoopalam, Robert Blickenstaff, Cr ystal Boyd, Debbie Buss, Christine Camara, Ann Celik, Zeki Celik, Barb Chappell, Marie Cheng, Anita Chitkara, Sabina Chitkara, Heekyung Cho, Celia Cruz-Johnson, Chris Daren, J.R. Del Alto, Terr y Del Alto, Francois Delepine, Chris Doll, Chris Douglas, Diane Drewke, Barbara Drummer, Doug Edwards, Roberta Estrada, Wendy Fotland, Erik Frieberg, Sudha Gattupalli, Bhargavi Gohil, Andy Gong, Maria Gong, Lilia Gorshteyn, Sherly Guest, Nadir Gulzar, Sunita Gupta, Vivek Gupta, Mayumi Hashimoto, Denise Hayashi, Jin Hee, Angela Heslop, Jaja Hsuan, Padmaja Indukuri, Deepa Iyengar, Sushila Iyer, Anu Jagadeesh, B.V. Jagadeesh, Kalpana Jain, Manisha Jain, Rachana Jain, Shalini Jain, Ambreen Jamal, Helena Jerney, Allyn Johnson, Hrishi Kamat, Vidya Kamat, Mamatha Ketineni, Eugeny Keusnetser, Sarita Khemani, Takako Khojasteh, Catherine Kim, Lana Kipnis, Lavanya Kling, Meg Kozu, Ashok Krishnamurthy, Peiling Kuo, Stephanie Kuo, Jane Kwant, Iris Lai, Arne Lang-Ree, Susan Lee, Wan Lee, Kitty Leung, Cher yl Levy, Peter Levy, Wayne Loofbourrow, Lisa Lu, Jessie Ma, Jessie Ma, Huma Malik, Padmaja Malladi, Mar y Malysz, Del Mank, Greg Martin, Pankaj Mayor, Minal Mehta, Rupali Mehta, Krishnaveni Meka, Juan Mendiola, Sudha Michel, Ruth Mohanram, Katie Molin, Alicia Moore, Anu Mougdal, Grace Nadolny, Arati Navar, Narendra Nayak, Ann Nguyen, Leslie Nielsen, Angela Nolan, Radhika Padmanabhan, Vickie Pagnon, Solonica Pancholy, Nina Panu, Namrata Patnaik, Mark Peetz, Darr yl Plauck, Steve Polzin, Padma Prakash, Nutan Prasad, Simon Prutton, Lakshmi Pyda, Brian Richardson, Raul Rios, Joe Rosenthal, Jyoti Sahdev, Jaiom Sambyal, Victoria Samoray, Barbara Sancen, Archana Sanghi, Padma Satish, Ronald Saxon, Laureen Schieron, Neeti Sharma, Seema Sharma, Choolye Sim, Joann So, Indira Somanathan, Jane Sowards, Debra Speckman, Sam Stapleton, Joyce Sum, Mitsue Swezey, Jonie Takatsuji, Yuko Tiernan, Etsuko Tischler, Trish Tobin, Leslie Tomihiro, Jami Tsai, Stella Tsang, Laura van den Dries, Padma Vemuri, Heather Wardenburg, Sandy Watkins, Paulina Wegrowicz, Carol Whitman, Roni Wolfe, Regina Wong, Toni Woodruff, Stephanie Woolsey, Oscar Yatco, Lucia Young, Jin Zhou, Cindy Zuccarino

STUDENT SETUP VOLUNTEERS John Ammatuna, Lauren Ammatuna, Alison Axelrad, Matt Azebu, Megan Azebu, Emily Carr, Kelsey Chung, Ashley Del Alto, Marita Del Alto, Guillaume Delepine, Quentin Delepine, Tiphane Delepine, Kyle Drummer, Sandra Fung, Urvi Gupta, Vishesh Gupta, Tara Hansen, Jennifer Hayashi, Regan Heslop, Katarina Kertysova, Alisha Mayor, Natasha Mayor, Margeaux Nielsen, Jason Peetz, Jordan Peetz, Christophe Pellissier, Stephan Pellissier, Shanna Polzin, Hannah Prutton, Michael Prutton, Ian Richardson, Kevin Saxon, Patrick Sweeney, Mitsue Swezey, Alex Underwood, Robert Underwood, Scott Underwood, Molly Wolfe, Erica Woolsey



fashion FA S H I O N S H O W


rF i., Feb. 23, 2007






Watch Our Stars Shine! 11 a.m.

Luncheon Fashion Show

5:30 p.m.

Dinner Gala with Fashion Show

sponsors fashions by

Proceeds from CinéFest benefit the Harker Scholarship Fund, professional training and continued education for faculty, and the new Science and Technology Center at the US campus.

CinéFest Models Selected – Thanks to All Participants!



Sathaye Family Foundation Air Systems Inc • Banerjee Chopra Family • CH Premier Jewelers • Communicar t Graphics & Printing • Connell Family • Davé Family Trust • Davis Family • Diamond Quality Printing • Federal Realty Investment - Santana Row • Navindra and Madhu Jain • Mantra Restaurant & Lounge • Krish & Nina Panu • Santana Row • XL Construction Denise Brodersen CFP, UBS Financial Ser vices • Brooks Family • Cho Family • Courtesy Chevrolet • Heritage Bank of Commerce • Jackson Family • Lai Family • Morgan Stanley, San Francisco • Rector Porsche • Riedel Family • Smith Barney, Hall Walswor th Group • Stevens Creek BMW • Susai Family • Orrick, Herrington & Sutclif fe LLP • Wells Fargo, Private Client Ser vices


The MS multipurpose room was filled with excitement as students, parents and faculty participated in model tr youts for Harker’s fourth annual fashion show. Congratulations to the 62 students and 20 adults who were selected! Our thanks to all who took a trip down the catwalk; look for these models chosen for this year’s CinéFest show: LS Models – K: Karan Gupta, Rini Vasan, Katherine Zhang; Gr. 1: Haley Keller, Bobby Schick, Elizabeth Schick; Gr. 2: Sasha Kipnis, Jo Jo Krackeler, Conor Martin, Amanda Quon; Gr. 3: Selin Ozcelik, Shannon Richardson, Kurt Schwartz; Gr. 4: Christina Andrus, Vikram Chari, Angeline Pan; Gr. 5: Ashwin Chalaka, Shazdeh Hussain, Stephan Pellissier MS Models – Gr. 6: Pranav Bheda, Tayro Cho, Keri Clifford, Matt Giammona, Jasmine Gill, Patricia Huang, Amanda Kalb, Maya Sathaye, Molly Wolfe; Gr. 7: Sonya Chalaka, Jackie Jin, Margaret Krackeler; Gr. 8: Niva Bigler, Sonika Suri, Diane Villadsen, Allika Walveker US Models – Gr. 9: Nikita Agrawal, Julian Gill, Tara Hansen, Veronica Hsieh, Nicole Lindars, Colby Rapson, Priya Sathaye, Jacob Schwartz, Scott Underwood; Gr. 10: Emma Blickenstaff, Emily Carr, Daniel Hsu, Rachel Wang, Amanda Wong; Gr. 11: Stephanie Benedict, Ayushi Gummadi, Lauren Ill, Sabena Suri; Gr. 12: Akhila Bhoopalam, Rupan Bose, Jay Japra, Chanelle Kasik, Shilpika Lahri, Jessica Lee, Neha Parikh, Dan Swezey, Ashley Yang, Jacob Yanovsky Parent and Harker Faculty/Staff Models: Bill Bost, Kivilcim Boztepe, Ravi Chalaka, Misael Fisico, Susana Hartzell, Eric Leonard, Rhonda Mann, Lana Morrison, Laura Navarro, Pauline Paskali, Pierre Pellissier, Faiza Rahim, Brian Richardson, Eileen Richardson, Marcia Riedel, Grace Sabeh, Elise Schwartz, Carol Underwood, Reva Vasan, Steve Wang


Barry Swenson Builder

Joan Brooks, parent

Tuxedo Wearhouse

Many thanks again to this year’s model judges, from L to R: Sandy Baker, 1998 National Aerobics Champion and current artistic judge for the National Aerobics Championship; Beverly Zeiss, fashion director for this year’s show; Craig Stanley, owner of James Craig Salon, and supporter of the annual fashion show since its inception; Sheila Barrett, professional model and model trainer; and Ed McNally, vice-president and store manager of Macy’s West.

VOLUNTEERING: Lisa Blickenstaff - PROGRAM AD SALES: Tina Najibi - SPONSORSHIPS: Shyamoli Banerjee - DONATIONS: Showcases - Christine Davis - • Live Auction - Bob Schick - RESERVATIONS: Jeannine Hammersley - • Regina Wong - WEB SITE: - click on Fashion Show link INFO LINE: 408.345.0115 • E-MAIL: Harker News — December 06



Live Auction & Silent Auction!

Five Great Cinema Showcases!

The dinner show’s always-popular Live Auction will have you at the edge of your seat as you try to win unique items – including an encore of last year’s Emmy Awards package and an Indy car racing package that includes lunch with the drivers and team! Plus this year we’re adding a new component to both the luncheon and dinner shows: a movie-themed Silent Auction! Watch this space next month to find out more.

A Showcase is a wonderful, themed collection that will provide hours of fun and enjoyment. Each Showcase will be artfully presented on the day of the show, and some wonderful local interior design firms are in charge of the set designs.

Our Talent Scouts are Still Searching… … for items we can add to our Showcase and Auction credits. Do you have something special to donate? Contact Christine Davis at or Bob Schick at

■ Feature Presentation: JERRY MAGUIRE “Show Me the Money!”- $5,000 CASH *Requires a full sheet of 10 donation tickets for one entry* ■ GOLDFINGER: “My name is Bond - James Bond.”... a collection of refined sophistication from Santana Row, with set design by Marie Peterson of Chelsea Court Designs ■ STAR WARS: “May the force be with you!”...the latest technology toys for all ages, with set design by Dennis Baldwin of Dennis Baldwin Interiors ■ THE SECRET GARDEN: “The whole world is a garden.” outdoor extravaganza, with set design by Craig Shannon of Stems and Fred Ojeda of Acanthus Interior Designs ■ PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: Four Treasure Chests to be awarded at the luncheon show, with set design by Diane and Peter Hurd of Hurd Design Any or all of these wonderful showcase collections could be yours – all it takes is a winning ticket! Be sure to take advantage of the Pre-Sale Blockbuster offer: three sheets of tickets, a $75 value, for only $60 when you purchase before Feb. 16! Look for the order form that came with this newsletter for details.


Nov. 5 Committee Event


We’d like to extend a special thanks to these downtown Saratoga businesses for hosting the Nov. 5 committee thank-you soirée: Deja & Co., James Craig Haircolor & Design, Preston Wynne Spa and Venz Photography. James Craig and Deja have supported the show since its inception four years ago. Preston Wynne helped in our first year, and have now rejoined the team, and Venz joined this year. We thank all of them for their continued support, and look forward to a fantastic show!

We’d like to thank our generous sponsors, who are all listed in the sponsor box on page 6.

We’d also like to extend our heartfelt thanks to the advertisers who signed on in October: Autowest Acura of Stevens Creek, The Conrado Company, Craig Creasman MD, Downey Savings, Just Windows, Elaine and Mitch Lee, Wen-Jing Lin MD, Steve Nazzal Construction, Notre Dame High School, Pakmail, Piercey Toyota and Satara Technology.

Fundraising & Solicitation

Venz Fine Photography, both photos

Information & PR

Newest Advertisers

Event Chair Archana Sathaye and Assistant Chairs Joan Brooks and Susan Cho extend their deepest appreciation to the Information & PR and Fundraising & Solicitation committee members for their hard work and support.

LAST CALL for Sponsors and Advertisers – Jan. 9 Harker News — December 06

An important deadline is approaching! Jan. 9 is the last day you can reserve space for an ad in the event program. Promote your business or purchase an ad to thank teachers and staff, congratulate your children, their sports team or club, or…the possibilities are endless! Visit the Web site for more details!




Students Give Thanks for Campaign Support

“I want to thank you for providing the school with the athletic program. The sports, overall, improve the physical and mental ability of my fellow classmates and me. Last year, I played tennis, in which I felt I improved significantly. Even though we did not win the playoffs, the whole team bonded, making the experience enjoyable.” —Reid Patterson, Gr. 8

“Thank you for providing the items we require to support The Harker School. When I first started painting in class one day, I was afraid that my uniform would get dirty. Luckily, there were aprons. If there were no aprons, my uniform would have prob-

, Gr. 4

“I would like to thank you for your contributions that allow students to go on field trips. Field trips are a fun and exciting

Alyssa Amick

“Thank you for the library books and after-school activities.” —Noor Deepika Singh, Gr. 1

ably been ruined by now.” —Derran Cheng, Gr. 6

Gr. 7

“I am really glad to have parents that care about us a lot and give us the things that other schools do not have.” —Austen Goldman, Gr. 3

“Because of you, The Harker School can allow professional nurses to treat injured children on campus. Other schools do not have enough money to hire nurses, therefore they do not know how to handle certain situations, which leads to miserable children. I have personally gone to the nurse to receive treatment for various situations, and they have been very helpful and kind.” —Kevin Kai, Gr. 7

Ila Dwivedi,

Students wrote heartfelt notes of thanks for the advancement office to share with all of the wonderful parents who support the Annual Giving Campaign. We will share a few each month with you. Enjoy!

90% 80%

Senior Walk Honors Harker Grads

70% 60% 50% 40% 30% 20% 10%


Senior bricks are still available for purchase to honor those who have passed through Harker’s portals and on to institutions of higher learning. Families who purchase bricks pay an amount matching the year their son or daughter graduated, and parents of the class of 2007 have until May 31, 2007 to donate at least $2,007 for a senior brick. The latest collection of bricks were installed Nov. 14, past press time for inclusion in the December Harker News, but photos will be included in the January issue.

Ravi Bhandia, Gr. 5


The 2006 tax year is coming to an end. If you would like to deduct your contribution to the Annual Giving Campaign on this year’s taxes, please keep in mind that credit card gifts must be made and checks must be received by Dec. 31, 2006. To make your gift, visit the Web site and give online today. Thank you for your suppor t!

Stephanie Ting, Gr. 2

Make Your Gift This Tax Year!

to date


experience. They help students to relax and at the same time help them learn. People may take these trips for granted, but they are truly helpful because they are fun and educational.” —Sarah Estrada, Gr. 8

Harker News — December 06



Bumblebees, Heroes and Princesses on Parade!

Padmasri Bhetanabhotla, parent

In Harker’s ninth-annual Halloween Parade, students’ excitement bled over to faculty and staff as

kid talk

all and sundry suited up for the most delightful holiday of the year. Student costumes ranged from a “This Shirt is my Costume” shirt to some kind of fish monster outfit from a source unidentifiable to this clearly out-of-touch reporter. In between were a dozen Howls, Supermen galore, enough pirates (including the entire Rec staff) to populate a fleet of schooners, and many a princess and rock star. As usual, classrooms were electric with anticipation and even staff workers dressed up and slipped out to watch the colorful panoply pass.

Young, supple minds seek knowledge and find enjoyment in it. This month, we asked Gr. 4 students what their favorite class is, and why. Alyssa Amick: U.S. History, because she’s a really cool teacher, and I like learning about U.S. history.

Zoe Woehrmann: Art, because I like drawing. She likes to work in pencil, and wants to be an artist when she grows up.

Jeremy Binkley: Science, because we get to do lots of experiments. We have, like, bubble fluid and we blow into it through straws and it makes big bubbles on the table. We tried to see how big we could make them, so we learned about diameter.

“ Students Enjoy Plays, Outdoor Adventure Field Trips

■ On Oct. 11 all the Gr. 1 students attended the Mayer Theater to see “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown.” “It was wonderful, as the Children’s Theatre productions typically are,” said teacher Rita Stone. “Our students were highly entertained. As always, our first graders were superbly well behaved. Their theater manners are awesome!” ■ On Oct. 16, Gr. 2 students went to Hakone Gardens, a “tranquil place of peace and harmony,” according to the Hakone Gardens Web site. The gardens are on 18 acres in the Saratoga hills and overlook Silicon Valley. ■ The kindergartners made a visit on Oct. 18 to the Useugi Farms, “a wonder ful field trip for the students,” said teacher Grace Sabeh. “It gets them into the Halloween spirit and there are so many wonder ful things to see.” Students visited the pumpkin lab and watched a film to learn how the vegetable grows from a seed into a beautiful, orange pumpkin. “The children also enjoyed the hayride and train ride throughout the facility,” said Sabeh. “At the end of the trip, each student picked out their own pumpkins to take home. Harker News — December 06

It was a great way to get ready for Halloween!” ■ Second graders went to the Montalvo Arts Center Nov. 9, to see a play, “Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day.” “This is a story that was on their required reading list this summer, so they have all read the book and saw it come to life at this performance,” said instructor Kathy Ferretti. The center is a non-profit organization in Saratoga helping to connect art, artists and communities through art, music, presentations and education in extraordinary ways and settings. ■ Students from Gr. 2 also had an eye-opening field trip – one of the few that actually involved a field

– to Hidden Villa, in mid-November. Hidden Villa is a bucolic retreat in Los Altos that teaches ecology and environmental stewardship to elementary school children through countryside experiences. ■ Several trips occurred after Harker News went to press, including a trip to the California Academy of Science by kindergartners on Nov. 15, and an overnight trip to the Marin headlands by Gr. 5 students Nov. 29-Dec. 1. The Marin trip lets students to hike and conduct scientific experiments. There are several ecosystems to explore and groups of students will be hiking with a Headlands Institute naturalist and a Harker teacher. Highlights include a night hike and campfire time with skits and singing.

Austin Lai: Math, I’m good at it.


Madison Beine: Science: I like doing all the experiments because they are really fun. We make ramps and pull things up them.

Want to be a scientist when you grow up? Maybe.

Lucas Bruketa: Language Arts: I have a really fun teacher.

Allison Kiang: Math, because we have to do homework checks and stuff, and I like tests.

Water District Visit On Oct. 25 the Santa Clara County Water District visited Michael Bourquin’s Gr. 2 science classrooms to give a hands-on presentation about water. The children learned how the county cleans the water we use before it goes out to the bay. They also learned about water conservation and played a game showing them the life cycle of the Chinook salmon.

Michael Bourquin

In October and November LS students enjoyed field trips to plays, museums and, occasionally, an actual field.

Amara Greco: Art: We get to draw things however you want, I mean, there is no right or wrong, and it is fun because you get to use colors instead of just pencil. I like when we use charcoal. She wants to be an artist when she grows up – and has the name for it!




Thanks to Open House Guides

Flags Spread Message of Peace

The LS Open House Nov. 5 was a chance for the public to take a look at the programs and classes that make Harker a top-drawer school. Student volunteers showed visitors around the campus, answered questions and generally helped make the mid-day event a success. Many thanks to Gr. 5 students Manon Audebert, Anika Ayyar, Sharon Babu, Nila Banerjee, Josh Batra, Vikas Bhetanabhotla, Kilian Burke, Mercedes Chien, Nikhil Dilip, Darian Edvalson, Urvi Gupta, Anna Kendall, Sean Knudsen, Marcin Kranz, Anna Levine, Kevin Mohanram, Nicholas Navarro, Anisha Padwekar, Michelle Pagnon, Maneesha Panja, Ariana Shulman, Vikram Sundar, Sapna Suresh, Rahul Sridhar, Jithin Vellian, Sameer Vij, Sean Youn and Andrew Zhu.

When the United States was assaulted on Sept. 11, 2001, it provoked angr y reactions and at

Readers Win Book Bucks in Contest

Jason Pergament

Students competed to win prizes by reading books in the annual Halloween Haunted House reading contest, but all the students are winners – they read over 1,300 books! Winners were randomly drawn. Twelve students won $5 gift certificates usable at the May book fair: Kindergarten - Matthew Hajjar, Rose Gatlin; Gr. 1 - Krishna Bheda, Olivia Long; Gr. 2 - Ellen Wu; Gr. 3 - Michael Quezada, Chloe Van den dries, Shannon Richardson; Gr. 4 - Alex Thomas, Savi Joshi; Gr. 5 - Sapna Suresh, Shenel Ekici. Congratulations to all the readers!

Diane Drewke, parent

Gr. 1 Party Celebrates Friendship Gr. 1 students celebrated the great human condition of friendship with a get-together in October. After hearing a stor y on friendship, the students put their enthusiasm to work making sunflower pens, which were given to a special friend; they also worked on an activity booklet. In a wonder ful, ear thy allegor y, students brought home a flower bulb to plant so they could watch it grow just as their friendships will grow. Students had a great time learning about the impor tance of positive relationships!

Contributing to the Greater Good ■ Recycling The Gr. 4 and 5 Service Club has begun a recycling program and is going from classroom to classroom collecting recyclables one morning per week. In addition, the Service Club plans to provide teacher’s helpers for the lower grades. ■ Food Drive Gr. 5 students spearheaded the annual Thanksgiving food drive with strong assists by K-Gr. 4. The annual food drive has been a resounding success, with hundreds of cans collected for delivery to St. Justin’s Church in Santa Clara. Parents kicked in helping transfer the collected food to St. Justin’s on Nov. 17. The church provides non-perishable groceries and hot meals to anyone in need. They serve about 2,300 people each month and will prepare Thanksgiving baskets for about 600 families this year. ■ Neighborhood Outreach The annual pumpkin painting and neighborhood delivery program brought many a tiny pumpkin to the doorsteps of our patient campus neighbors. Gr. 2 students painted the pumpkins during their P.E. time and made cards to go with them, then delivered pumpkins and cards on Oct. 27 to homes impacted by traffic and other school activity.


under the stressful circumstances surrounding the 9/11 attack. “I spoke of my choice to not let my pain and fear turn into hatred, but to tr y my best to respond with peaceful actions,” he says on his Web page. He hung Tibetan prayer flags outside his classroom that day to motivate thoughts of peace and asked students to “think about Gandhi’s suggestion that we all should strive to ‘be the change we wish to see in the world.’”

least one effor t to counter the call for armed retaliation. Harker teacher Jason Pergament encouraged his Gr. 4 and 5 students to star t the 9/11 Peace Flag Project. Since then, Harker students have created countless peace flags and shipped them around the world to Australia, Lebanon and Brazil and many other countries (for a list see Pergament’s Web page). Each flag consists of a string of small flags signed by students. Pergament spoke with his students on the anger likely to arise

One Gr. 4 student suggested students send flags to Lebanon and Israel in response to the current violence, and ever since then, students have been volunteering their time to cut and string flags and encourage their peers to write messages of peace on them before shipping them around the world to places in need of a little peace. “Power to the peaceful,” says Pergament, a wor thy sentiment in these tumultuous times.

Game Makes Serious Research Fun LS teachers and librarians have teamed up to encourage Gr. 3-5 students to learn good research habits in a game they call Ready, Set, Research. The extracurricular challenge is played by students during recess, lunch and after-school free times by researching a set of 36 questions over a four-week period in order to accumulate points. At the end of four weeks, a new round star ts. At the end of the year, the top point earner in each grade is designated Researcher of the Year. Questions are written for each grade level, and the grade level with the highest cumulative points is honored by having its grade and year engraved on the RSR Knowledge Cup trophy. “All questions must be answered using sources in the librar y - no Internet searching (except for the librar y catalog and subscription databases),” said Kathy Clark, campus librarian. “The game had its origins with Carole Averkin, a librarian who left at the end of the 1992-93 school year. Enid Davis, Harker’s librar y director, expanded the program when she took over the librar y in 1993. It has grown and changed over the years, having only been an individual game until 2003. That year, we began including a ‘house’ competition for each grade,” said Clark. The game’s popularity is clear. “There have been several kids coming in first thing in the morning, usually Monday, Wednesday and Friday, when the new questions are posted. I have five girls here right now,” Clark added. Harker News — December 06



MS eCybermission Awards Presented Harker students were recognized Nov. 3 for their efforts this spring as members of four Harker eCybermission teams. The Silver Fireflies, one of last year’s Gr. 8 eCybermission teams, with freshmen Namrata Anand, Victor Chen, Jeanette Chin and Connie Lu, placed first in the Southwest Pacific region contest, then went on to compete nationally in Washington, D.C., where they were finalists (see the October Harker News for details). “The week spent in D.C. was one of the most memorable weeks for the team,” said team adviser Vandana Kadam. “They got to see real-life applications of math and science in an army setting. The team spent many days during summer in preparation for the national judging,

and it was worth every minute of their time.” Harker had a second Gr. 8 team and two Gr. 7 teams, and all 16 Harker students received savings bonds from eCybermission representatives in the assembly. The students collected a total of $44,000 for regional wins and the Silver Fireflies team earned an additional $3,500 each for being national finalists. That makes the Harker winnings $58,000 in all! To date, Harker students have won 60 percent of eCybermission prizes awarded in the state of California. Raji Swaminathan, founder of the

program at Harker, noted students get to apply their efforts to real-life issues. “When kids do eCybermission (projects), they are doing projects which help the community directly,” she said. “They research on these topics, find and interview experts in the field, learn to design an experiment, analyze data and come up with a solution. “They also learn to communicate well with each other and work as a team. These are things they may not get from just sitting in a classroom,” Swaminathan said. The best part? “Kids realize that they can make a difference in their community,” she noted. Harker eCybermissionaries are hard at work on this year’s projects. The seventh graders are

MS Halloween “Spooctacular!” MS students got into the swing of Halloween this year at the “Spooctacular Middle School Halloween Festival” on Oct. 31. The hour-long gathering of costumed characters included a costume contest and parade, faculty costumes and plenty of chow, including Sno Cones, popcorn, cookies and drinks. Entertainment included a D.J. and games, and “a group of incredible fortune tellers to amaze and stupefy our students with their predictions,” said organizer Bill Bost.

Students Head to Shanghai At press time, 18 Harker students and four Harker chaperones were heading to Shanghai for Harker’s annual China exchange program. Watch the January edition for details!

Harker News — December 06

Day of the Dead Spanish classes constructed shrines to honor the Mexican celebration of the Day of the Dead in classrooms and the library.

working on projects including studies on cholesterol, the West Nile Virus and E. coli contaminations under the guidance of Swaminathan. The Gr. 8 teams are working with Kadam on projects related to radiation, alternate energy, nutrition issues and multitasking. For the first time Harker freshmen will be working on an eCybermission project, and will be guided by Kadam. The teams will compete for prizes at the end of the school year, each hoping to qualify for the national competition in June.

kudos ■ Arko Mukherjee, Gr. 8, has been selected by the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation for their Young Scholars Program. The foundation selects high-achieving students and “provides them throughout high school with individualized educational opportunities and support that will enable them to develop their talents and abilities.” Mukherjee is one of only 63 students of the 750 applicants to receive the scholarship. “Arko is blessed to have an enriching environment like Harker,” said his mother, Uttara Mukherjee. ■ Paulomi Bhattacharya, Gr. 6, placed in the top 10 in the Gr. 4-6 bracket in the 2006 Summer Poetry Contest sponsored by Creative Communication. For her winning poem, which she wrote in school and submitted last spring, she received a free copy of a book containing the best entries and a savings bond.




National Parks Trip Full of Adventure, History and Natural Beauty

academics, sent regular updates from the road. Here are a few excerpts: 10/24 Sunday finished well with a jeep tour of the Verde Valley in the red hills around Sedona, Ariz., and the kids had a great time. We had a chance to stop several times to talk about the flora/fauna and First Nation history of the region. (We have an) early morning tomorrow and a full day on the reservation. Tonight, we explained to the students the sacred nature of this land and the additional respect that is called for while visiting. Our hope is for each student to get a true education on how the American Indian has lived and survived in our country. 10/25 Remarkable day in Monument Valley. The kids had the honor to spend the day on the Navajo reservation with resident guides and teachers. The morning was filled

with a driving and hiking tour of the valley which included interesting facts and lessons pertaining to the area and the history of the Navajo Nation. We joined the Holiday family for an afternoon of Navajo lessons about traditions, lifestyle and Indian skills. The students learned about making flatbread, building a shelter, harnessing a horse and weaving traditional rugs…and witnessed a Navajo blessing created just for our kids by the local medicine man. 10/26 A good day on the Colorado River. The kids had a wonderful time floating down this great river and looking up at the 1000-foot cliff walls. (We are) spending the night in Kanab, Utah, and will split the groups and go to Zion and Bryce in the morning. The kids are behaving beautifully and having a great time. 10/27 Another great day...each of the four buses had great hikes into the canyon with perfect weather for exercise. The students had lunch at the bottom of the canyon, and geologists with each group explained the particulars about this natural wonder. Tonight, after dinner, we had the Second Annual Southwest Seventh Grade Talent Show. Many wonderful acts and bus songs entertained the crowd. Charles Levine walked off with top honors and Mr. (Mark) Gelineau distinguished himself as an improv actor. The students thanked our guides

and drivers and are now headed to bed in order to prepare for a great final day. After visiting Zion during the midday we will drive to Las Vegas and be home with you all tomorrow night. We have had a great time. Parents Anju and Amit Sharma wrote:

“…this is Priyanka’s third trip (and) we could have never imagined that we would feel so much at ease while she is away on school trip; but the school’s leadership and faculty has managed to take the worries off of our minds. Many thanks to you and the staff for creating rich experiences like this year’s Grand Canyon trip.”

Latin Lives! On Oct. 28, 19 tired but intrepid middle schoolers (recently returned from Yosemite, the National Parks or Washington, D.C.) set off for Ludi Octobres at the Castilleja School in Palo Alto. Participating in academic, creative and athletic competitions, they brought home the following prizes: Middle School 1: Jacob Hoffman, Gr. 6, member of second place lacrosse team; Suchita Nety Gr. 6, first in Mottoes, Quotes, and Abbreviations; Pranav Sharma, Gr. 6, second in Mottoes, Quotes, and Abbreviations; Ashvin Swaminathan, Gr. 6, first in Latin spelling bee; Ravi Tadinada, Gr. 6, second in Derivatives.

Sean Fernandez, student

In October, Harker seventh graders rolled the long ribbons of America’s southwest highways, then delved into the skin of the earth, visiting park after national park. Joe Gill, assistant head of school for non-

Swaminathan, Pranav Sharma, and Anuj Sharma, Gr. 6, took the top honors in the Middle School 1 certamen (quiz bowl) competition. Middle School Advanced: Derek Huang, Gr. 7, third in mythology and first in impromptu art (Derek made the marshmallow gladiators for the candy Colosseum constructed by his sister, Winny, Gr. 10, and several of her classmates); Robert Maxton, Gr. 7, second in reading comprehension; Christophe Pellissier, Gr. 7, first in Mottoes, Quotes, and Abbreviations. Joe Gill, all photos

Pellissier and Ruchie Bhardwaj, Gr. 7, played on the third place Middle School Advanced certamen team. Other participants were Niharika Bedekar, Nisha Bhikha, Michael Cheng, Sean Fernandes, Daphne Millard, Shannon Su, Nikka van den Dries and Molly Wolfe, all Gr. 6, and April Luo, Gr. 8, with Raji Swaminathan acting as chaperone.


Harker News — December 06

Students See Play, Battle and Other Sights on D.C. Trip favorite part of the trip was also the play. “Actually I learned a lot more than I thought I would,” said Chappell, “and … I did not even realize I was learning at the time, but of course now I know. I think that the trip was the best of the middle school trips by a long shot.

MS teachers and students continue to prepare for full laptop deployment next November by utilizing technologies that fold into the bigger picture of computer use. In Jason Pergament’s classes, students

visit the students and chaperones visited Williamsburg, Jamestown, Gettysburg, Virginia and D.C.

Doug Knight, all photos

“Educational highlights included visits to Mount Vernon, the White House, the Congressional Building, the Smithsonian, Arlington Cemeter y and the Lincoln, Vietnam, World War I and Jefferson was that “there were press outside of the White House 24/7, and that there really are sharpshooters on the roof.” Student Jacob Chappell said, for him, the best part of the trip was, “definitely the play, ‘Shear Madness’ but …the best educational part of it would probably be the fake fight at Pamplin Park.” Pamplin Park is a privately owned

facility that contains a high-tech museum, historical re-creations and holds a re-enactment of the critical battle that eventually allowed Union forces to take Richmond, the Confederate capitol. One of the most interesting things Chappell learned is that there is a platform on the top of the Capitol rotunda that only congress people are allowed to go on. Chappell said the Japanese visitors who joined Harker students in Washington seemed to enjoy the trip, and their Harker News — December 06

The early wake-up on the day we flew in was kind of tedious, but other than that the trip was awesome!” he said. “The 8th grade trip to Washington, D.C., was educational, exciting and fun,” said John Zetterquist, world studies/histor y department chair, who accompanied the group. “During the seven-day

memorials. Fun excursions included dinner and a dance on a boat ride down the Potomac. A great time was had by all!” Zetterquist finished.

Supplied by Jason Pergament

The Gr. 8 class trip to Washington, D.C., brought out the best in Harker students as they learned about our nation’s history by visiting the capitol. Student Trevor Dutrow said he enjoyed the trip to the historic town of Williamsburg. He said the most surprising thing

Technology Marches On in MS classes

have been using the interactive whiteboard technology eBeam to enroll in the Explore Learning Web site. eBeam picks up a teacher’s work on a whiteboard and transmits it to student laptops. Students followed Pergament’s every click on laptops distributed at the beginning of class. After learning how to interact with a modular simulation on plant and animal cells, students spent the remaining 15 minutes of class beginning an assignment. “I heard students ask wonderful questions, watched them intently investigating the plant cell simulation and diligently record responses to the questions in their simulation exploration guide,” said Lisa Diffenderfer, assistant director of instructional technology. “Before the class ended, Mr. Pergament asked his class, ‘who thinks technology rocks?’” Diffenderfer continued. “Every student raised his/her hand. Then he asked, ‘how many students want more homework assignments like this one?’ Again, every student raised his/her hand. I’ve never seen students so excited about homework! (These are) dynamic, interactive, and engaging science lessons,” finished Diffenderfer.




Harker and Tamagawa Students Explore Yosemite and Their Inner Selves

hike through the canyons and over the peaks of this iconic park. Student David Cutler thought the hike the best part of the trip, “mainly as

it tested endurance, and was fun,” he said. Second best? “Hanging around with friends at downtime.” Cutler learned a variety of things about himself and his surroundings. While exploring the spider caves, “I learned that I have to trust people and that I can,” he said. Also, “I learned more about the area and about how the valley was formed.” Cutler noted that our Japanese visitors seemed to love the trip and had the most fun in the caves. Classmate Maya Sathaye learned about geographical formations and at the spider caves, that, “I can actually do something if I want to; it’s not just something adults tell kids to make them try harder,” she said. “It was cool going through a dark tunnel and trying hard to communicate. The person in front of me was helpful because they waited for me. I would have regretted it if I hadn’t gone,” she noted.

“Yosemite is a great trip for our sixth graders!” said expedition chaperone Robb Cutler, Harker’s assistant head for operations and technology. “They learn science in a beautiful outdoor classroom, challenge themselves mentally and physically in the spider caves and on their hikes, and, despite the language barrier, become fast friends with the students from Tamagawa. This is one of those formative experiences that they’ll look back on fondly.”

Robb Cutler and Raji Swaminathan, all photos

Bus loads of Harker and Tamagawa sixth graders rolled in to Yosemite National Park in October, ready to explore everything from spider caves to Japanese culture. The students were challenged physically by a tough

Japanese Visitors See Natural Resources and Technical Innovations Our annual Tamagawa Gr. 6 visitors had a non-stop schedule of fun on their visit to California in late October and early November. The 24 visitors started with a trip to Yosemite National Park, spent time shadowing

students at Harker, attended art and dance workshops, visited lower grade classrooms to tell stories and help with origami projects, then wound up with a trip to the San Jose Tech Museum. Upon returning from the Tech Museum, the Japanese visitors were hosted at a farewell reception and sent off with small gifts and many good wishes for a safe return to their native land. Harker sixth graders will return the visit in the spring. Thanks to all who make this trip a lifelong memory for Tamagawa and Harker students, alike!


Harker News — December 06



Students Attend YWCA Lunch

Leno, whose husband is talk show host Jay Leno, is a leader in the effort to make the restoration of women’s rights a nonnegotiable element of a post-Taliban Afghanistan. She has been at the forefront of ensuring that the plight of Afghan women is included in the world’s reporting of the war in Afghanistan. Back when few in the United States understood her cause, Leno tapped celebrities to raise money for the secret home-schooling of girls in Afghanistan. After she and Jay made a $100,000 contribution to the foundation, they appeared on CNN’s “Larry King Live” to explain the subject matter. That was followed by appear-

ances on “The Today Show,” CNN, MSNBC “Nightly News” and the “Tonight Show,” and featured in Time, Newsweek, the Los Angeles Times, the Washington Post, Vanity Fair, US Magazine and People. Students attending this year’s event were Rebecca Yanovsky, Gr. 10, Sharon Huang, Gr. 12, (Winged Post and Talon, respectively), Jocelyn Ko, Gr. 12, Aline Zorian, Gr. 12, Alyssa Boyle, Gr. 10, Natasha Sarin, Gr. 12, and Elyse Trinh, Gr. 12. They were accompanied by Jennifer Gargano, assistant head of school, and Pam Dickinson, director, Office of Communications, and YWCA luncheon committee member. This is the fourth year Harker has hosted a table of students at this event, whose past speakers have included leading women in a variety of fields, including author and feminist Gloria Steinem, astronaut Sally Ride and former prime minister of Pakistan Benazir Bhutto.

photo supplied by Pam Dickinson

A group of Harker students joined over 1,600 Silicon Valley community members Nov. 2 for the 16th annual YWCA fundraising luncheon at the San Jose Convention Center. Keynote speaker Mavis Leno discussed her experiences as the Feminist Majority Foundation’s Campaign Chair to stop gender apartheid in Afghanistan, a role she assumed in 1997, less than one year after the Taliban’s brutal treatment of women began.

US Clubs Keeping Busy ■ The Anime Club is in full swing. The group meets every Friday at 3 p.m. in room 24 in the main hall. New and returning members are encouraged to come to the meetings. Everyone is welcome. Contact adviser Mark Brada for details. ■ In October, WiSTEM sponsored a stargazing event conducted by Harker’s own Eric Nelson. The group traveled to the Santa Cruz hills to avoid ambient light and, between hot chocolates, spent time gazing into telescopes. Anyone, especially science and technology-minded women, can join. Just contact Anita Chetty, room 21. ■ The World Language Club meets in room 40. Anyone taking a foreign Harker News — December 06

Update Debate

language is welcome. Want to hear a native Korean teach her language? Do you like candy, games and linguistic puzzles? The group meets Mondays, in room 40, with adviser Shaun Jahshan. ■ Harker now has a travel club, All Around the World. Meetings are with adviser Ben Spencer-Cooke in room 11. Stop by or e-mail ■ The Red Cross Club meets Fridays at 2:45 p.m. in Cheryl Cavanaugh’s room 18. Opportunities for volunteering at community events and planning for Pennies for Patients are under discussion. Newcomers welcome!

Harker debaters were busy in October. The students joined 121 other schools from 24 states across the country at the St. Mark’s Heart of Texas Invitational Speech and Debate Tournament in Dallas. By virtue of their participation in the Public Forum debate division, two Harker teams earned individual legs to the Tournament of Champions (TOC) in Public Forum Debate to be held in May 2007 in Lexington, Ky. Congratulations to seniors Caitlin Contag and David Linder and sophomores Nafeesa Laiwalla and Kaavya Gowda for earning the first of two qualifying legs to TOC 2007. Kudos also to coach Carol Green for accomplishing this first-ever feat in public forum debate in Harker’s eight-year debate team history. A few weekends later, eight Harker speech students joined more than 400 students from three states at the University of the Pacific Invitational Speech and Debate Tournament in Stockton. Harker took third place in overall small school sweepstakes. Richard Ly, Gr. 10, won first place in novice dramatic interpretation and novice declamation, as well as fourth place in radio address. Sonya Gilman, Gr. 10, placed second in novice impromptu speaking and fifth in declamation. Gilman and her partner, Justin Iso, Gr. 10, took second place in novice duo interpretation. David Kastleman, Gr. 10, placed fourth in novice impromptu and was a semifinalist in novice extemporaneous speaking. Contag was a semifinalist in open humorous interpretation. In the Individual Speech Events triathlon, Ly and Gilman won first and second places, respectively. This award is given to students participating in three events and earning the highest cumulative points for their school’s total sweepstakes points. In early November, the debaters traveled to Apple Valley High School in Minnesota as well as to the University of Southern California for national debate tournaments in policy and Lincoln-Douglas debate. Each

tournament site presented fierce competition from schools across the country. Harker students once again distinguished themselves at both locales. At Apple Valley, in varsity Lincoln-Douglas debate, Deepa Ramakrishnan, Gr. 11, advanced to the field of 32 debaters (double-octafinals) from an original field of 168 competitors before losing to Highland Park High School. Ramakrishnan missed earning her second qualifying bid to the TOC by only one ballot. She also earned the 18th speaker award. In J.V. Lincoln-Douglas, Mohit Bansal, Gr. 10, advanced to the quarterfinals from an original field of 84. Chetan Vakkalagadda, Gr. 10, attained a winning record (4-2) but missed the cut by a few speaker points. At the USC Trojan Championship, in J.V. policy debate, there were 170 debaters in the original field. Harker advanced seven of its original 13 teams to the elimination rounds. Sophomores Aaron Lin and Kunal Modi advanced to the semifinal round; sophomores Christine Yu and Dominique Dabija, and Nafeesa Laiwalla and Jonathan Liu advanced to the quarterfinal round; freshmen Jyoti Narayanswami and Connie Lu advanced to the octafinal round; freshmen Yash Khandwala and Arjun Mody, Sanjeev Datta and Ashish Mittal and Vinay Kumar and Adam Perelman advanced to the field of 22 remaining debate teams. Harker earned three of the top 10 speaker awards: Narayanswami was 18th, Lu 13th, Dabija 12th, Liu placed eighth, Lin placed fourth and Yu earned first place. There were 58 debaters in the original field for J.V. Lincoln-Douglas debate. Harker advanced two of its original 11 individuals to the elimination rounds; two others missed on points. Ketan Ramakrishnan, Gr. 10, advanced to the semifinal round; Sachin Rangarajan, Gr. 10, advanced to the quarterfinal round; Eugene Huang, Gr. 9 and Vivek Reddy, Gr. 10, each missed advancing by just one point. Harker earned two of the top 10 speaker awards as well, with Ramakrishnan taking third and Rangarajan taking first. Harker earned third place in the overall school sweepstakes, which tallies overall point accumulation.



school Honor Society Inducts New Members

Yearbook editors had a great time in Europe this summer, then had a chance to revisit the trip at a commemorative get-together at I ♥ Yogurt, a Harker family-owned shop in Cupertino, where several photos from the trip were hung for display. During their trip the group took pictures and interviewed people, then worked up page layouts in workshops, enhancing their skills and delving into new cultures.

Harker added 37 students into the National Honor Society (NHS) in an induction ceremony in late October. The faculty address was delivered by psychology teacher Naomi Schatz, and both Christopher Nikoloff, head of school, and Richard Hartzell, head of the upper school, participated in the induction. The society bases selection of students on scholarship, leadership, service and character, and each student must fulfill requirements in each category, including holding a 3.7 or better GPA, providing community service, demonstrating leadership and personal integrity. In addition, each student must provide three letters of recommendation to gain entry to the society. This year, the Harker NHS added a new dimension to its campus presence by organizing a food drive, in conjunction with World Hunger Day, that garnered over 5,000 cans of food for Second Harvest Food Bank.

The group was led by Chris Daren, activities director and yearbook and newspaper adviser, and Crystal Boyd, publications coordinator for Harker. “The Talon editors became even more like a family on this Europe trip,” said Jennifer Ong, Gr. 12. “The I ♥ Yogurt show allowed all of us to get together despite our busy schedules and relive the memories from Europe -- all the drama, the laughter and even the inside jokes. I had loved exploring and even getting ‘lost’ in Paris and Venice to actually experience what it’s like to live in the city,” Ong said. Classmate and fellow editor Sharon Huang, Gr. 12, said, “it was awesome to look back on the trip. The best part was remembering all the memories and fun time that I had

Matt Wong, Talon staff

“It was nice having a dedicated time slot just to reminisce about the trip. A lot of us really miss traveling together as a group and just wandering around Venice or Paris taking photos,” said Robert Sesek, Gr. 12. One of his favorite memories was of image-hunting in Venice. “From ten in the morning till two in the afternoon, all we did was wander away from San Marco Square around all the tiny narrow streets,” he said.

Chris Daren

Harker Family Hosts Student Show

with the group in Europe, something that the photos hanging in the yogurt shop do not document. “I loved the opening night of the photo show because the group hung out for about three hours in front of the yogurt shop,” Huang noted. “Lots of memories came flooding back to me at the show, (including) a day at a beach in Lido. That very day, Jocelyn, Janice and I stood on top of pier and we did a reenactment of the movie ‘Titanic.’ One of us stood on the ledge and said, ‘I’m flying, Jack!’ and the other girls said, ‘I’ll never let go!’” Huang reminisced.

“Each year NHS has a theme,” said Jennifer Gargano, assistant head of school for academic affairs. “Last year, they focused on raising awareness about autism and volunteering with autistic children. This year, they are focusing on homelessness

and poverty. Now that we have new inductees, we will begin volunteering to help those who are either homeless or impoverished. We will also continue with ongoing projects such as tutoring students at the LS and MS and working with the senior buddy program where our senior NHS members mentor freshmen advisory groups,” she said. Congratulations to this year’s inductees: Gr. 12: Winston Wey; Gr. 11: Janise Chan, Melissa Chen, Nina Duong, Senan Ebrahim, Jessica Hsueh, Anuj Kamdar, Charisma Kaushik, Andrew Law, Divya Mandava, Ankur Patel, Ranjita Raghavan, Shilpa Rajgopal, Nitasha Ranganath, Sharon Su, Stephanie Syu, Diane Wang, Jonathan Wang, Natasha Wu; Gr. 10: Mohit Bansal, Roshmi Bhattacharya, Alyssa Boyle, Kelly Chen, Stephanie Chong, Pratusha Erraballi, Nazia Gangani, Ida Gorshteyn, Kaavya Gowda, Daniel Hsu, Winny Huang, David Kastelman, Andrea Kim, Daniel Kim, Avanika Krishnaswamy, Elizabeth Liu, Elena Madan, Lauren Moser, Anu Ramachandran, Neha Sabharwal, Denzil Sikka, Priya Thumma, Kevin Wang, Susan Wang, Connie Wu, Kevin Xu, Patricia Yen.

Robotics Team Hones its Skills

“Summer of 2006 was probably the best summer of my life. I will never forget all the jokes we cracked, games we played, and just downright random things we did. The pictures on the walls of the yogurt shop give people who didn’t go on the trip insight … but to us, the photographers, they remind us of the amazing two weeks we spent together conquering Europe,” Huang added.

On Oct. 28, the Harker Robotics team participated in CalGames, an offseason robotics competition for teams in the Bay Area, held at Pioneer High School in San Jose. Twenty-four local teams competed in this event, which used the game from the 2006 season. In the competition, three robots work together to score points by shooting balls through a hoop and pushing balls through goals on the ground. Two alliances compete against each other during each round. Harker Robotics was placed 12th after the qualifying rounds and ended up captain of the eighth alliance, delivering an impressive performance overall. The event introduced new team members to the atmosphere at robotics competitions and allowed returning members the opportunity to both drive the robot and refresh their skills. The group has about 60 members, 10 each seniors and juniors, and 20 each sophomores and freshmen. It meets in room 29 at 3:45 p.m. on Thursdays. Contact adviser Eric Nelson for more information.


Pauline Nguyen, Talon staff

Sharon Huang, Talon staff

Junior Mentoring Program Takes Off Harker’s annual mentoring program for Gr. 11 students is gaining momentum. Students selected their fields and met for training in October, then met in mid-November with their mentors to become acquainted. The students will make several visits to job sites and meet with mentors to gain an appreciation of the industry they have selected. This year, Harker students will work with mentors from a variety of fields, including sports medicine, venture capital, law, engineering and biotechnology. Watch Harker News in the spring for a full report on activities! Harker News — December 06

Cast Brings Real-Life Tragedy to Stage with Tears, Laughter A talented cast of 34 actors brought a tragic event to light for three nights in the Blackford auditorium. “The Laramie Project” is a documentary-like play that explores a small town’s reactions to the brutal hate-crime killing of a homosexual college student, Matthew Shepard. In writing the play, the creators interviewed more than 200 Laramie residents. Paul Vallerga’s set evoked the wide-open spaces of Wyoming, and director Jeff Draper cast several actors in multiple roles, requiring them to change gender, accent and appearance frequently. Numerous lighting transitions, smoothly run by

Ben Carpenter, Gr. 11, highlighted first a character and then a narrator who told us who the character was, appearing from all sides of the stage in a seamless flow. The play’s creators were portrayed as well, as were members of the press who descended on Laramie after the attack on Shepard. Using video cameras, the “press corps” conducted interviews and the audience saw the

live feed on large screens on either side of the set. Technician Cassie Kerkhoff, Gr. 12, operated one camera, while actors shouldered the others. Stage manager Marguerite Schimandle, Gr. 12,

sound operator Esther Teplitsky, Gr. 12, and assistant video/sound designer Andrew Hospodor, Gr. 12, were among the Conservatory students who deployed their technical expertise, under the supervision of production manager Brian Larsen. Congratulations to the entire cast and crew for bringing such a poignant and resonant story to Harker with courage and conviction. In his program notes, Draper said, “We want to do more than simply entertain you this time. We want to touch you with a story that has touched us.” Audience response suggests that you did.

Moss Recounts Year in Chile

Siemens Names Four Semifinalists

The US’s peripatetic Spanish teacher Diana Moss, back from her year in Chile, spent 20 minutes at a US assembly in November regaling students and faculty with her adventures. Moss, her husband and her two children, Kendra, Gr. 9, and Kevin, Gr. 5, spent the year interacting with locals, and even brought a bit of Americana to Chile by cooking a Thanksgiving turkey in the sweltering heat of a South American winter. The family was further bemused by the appearance of Santa Claus in the warmth of the season. During her year as a Fulbright scholar, Moss was joined by friends and other family members, and the group traveled in both Chile and Argentina. Moss noted that both children found many friends despite the language barrier and both spoke Spanish fluently following their immersion in local schools.

On Oct. 20 the College Board and Siemens corporation announced the 2006-2007 semifinalists for the Siemens Competition in Math, Science & Technology. We are proud to announce that four Harker students are semifinalists this year.

Harker Makes Wonder Cup Finals Of five Harker Wonder Cup teams that competed in October, four went on to the second round of competition held in early November at Stanford. The Bay Area Science and Innovation Consortium (BASIC) Wonder Cup Challenge affords teams of high school students the opportunity to test their knowledge of science. Harker’s team, Millennium Falcon, Arkajit Dey, Gr. 12, Jessie Li, Gr. 12, Anand Natarajan, Gr. 10 and Rachel Fong, Gr. 11, took first place in round two and advanced to the finals, but were foiled for the third year in a row by nemesis Mission San Jose. Harker students lost by a narrow margin, answering questions on biology, chemistry and physics. Next year, MSJ, next year! Harker News — December 06

As science teachers Anita Chetty and Dan Matthews explained when they congratulated these students at US morning assembly, eight Harker students submitted six projects last year, individually and in teams. This year 18 seniors submitted 15 projects. “This trend indicates a growing number of students interested in pursuing research while attending Harker,”

Matthews noted. Students conducted research throughout the summer and spent most of September working closely with science instructors to refine and perfect their presentations, which take the form of research papers of approximately 20 pages. Many congratulations to these four senior researchers, who were among 45 semifinalists from California: Arkajit Dey (“Tree-Realizability of a Distance Matrix”); Tatsu Hashimoto (“A Simulation Model of B-Cell Differentiation through Interleukin-5 Using Hybrid Functional Petri Nets”); Jocelyn Ko (“Identification of the Cytolytic Subpopulation within the Mouse Cytokine-Induced Killer Cell Population”); and Carolyn Wang (”The Orientation of Polydiacetylene Monolayers”). The Siemens Foundation gives nearly $2 million in scholarships and awards to U.S. high school students each year.




Freshmen Lend a Helping Hand

photos supplied by Kerry Enzensperger

Freshmen Service Day was Oct. 18 and Harker’s 19 freshman adviser groups volunteered at nonprofit organizations, including Lytton Gardens (a senior citizen cen-

ter), the Humane Society, Arastradero Preserve, a YMCA and InnVision just to name a few! This introduction to the world of community service was an excellent bonding experience for the adviser groups as well.

US Musicians Inspire LS Students Harker’s LS music department is excited to offer beginning brass and woodwind lessons to Gr. 3-5 students starting next quarter. In order to get their musical juices flowing, 10 US musicians participated in a special assembly at Bucknall on Oct. 30 intended to help students and their parents tackle the tough question, “Which instrument?” LS music teacher Louis Hoffman, who will be teaching the classes, began the assembly by announcing a music joke contest and then turned the assembly over to the US students. The students introduced their instruments and played popular musical excerpts. US music teacher Chris Florio pointed out to the LS students that three of the US students had attended Harker in grade school. Senior Andrew Tran is a “lifer,” at Harker since kindergarten, junior Robert Oh began Harker in Gr. 3 and senior Joseph Chen has been here since Gr. 5. “The kids seemed to really relate to the upper schoolers after hearing that,” said Florio. The group concluded the assembly with a fantastic performance of “Pirates of the Caribbean.” Many thanks to our US musicians for helping to inspire the next generation of performers!

kudos Harker junior Sushant Sundaresh was awarded a $500 grant in recognition of his work by the California State Summer School for Mathematics and Science (COSMOS). Intel Corporation is a supporter of the summer school program, which takes place at four UC campuses, and provided the award money. Sundaresh attended the summer school at UC San Diego, where his project came to the attention of teachers and was submitted for the award. Sundaresh said his research “deals with the capacity of nod proteins to initiate symbiotic conditions in host legumes.” The $500 award is to be used to further his research and Sundaresh plans to purchase purified samples of the nod proteins and mutant nod proteins needed for his experiment, he said. He plans to enter the project for evaluation in science competitions sponsored by Synopsys, Intel and Siemens over the next year. “Mr. (Daniel) Matthews has been extremely helpful in all aspects of my project; as was Dr. (Matthew) Harley, who has walked me through many biological concepts I would not have otherwise understood,” said Sundaresh. Good luck in the next phase of research!


Harker Scores in Latin Games As usual, Harker US results at the annual Ludi (Games), held this year at Castilleja, were superb. Harker’s Latin teachers, John Hawley, Trudy Stevenson and Lisa Masoni, accompanied by MS teacher Raji Swaminathan, watched the students shine. In addition to fun things like tugo-war and workshops, students competed in Certamen (Latin Quiz Bowl) and academic tests. Here are the results: Alex Hu, Gr. 10, second in Certamen, Level 2; second in Impromptu Art; Aarathi Minisandram, Gr. 11, second in Certamen, Level Advanced; third in Reading Comprehension, HS Advanced; Ketan Ramakrishnan, Gr. 10, second in Certamen, Level Advanced; second in Mythology, HS Advanced; Kritika Kailash, Gr. 11, third in Certamen, Level Advanced; Ruchi Srivastava, Gr. 11, third in Certamen, Level Advanced; third

in Mottoes, Quotations and Abbreviations, Advanced; Pratusha Erraballi, Gr. 10, third in Roman Daily Life, Advanced; Anjali S. Menon, Gr. 9, first in Mottoes, Level 1; first in Derivatives, Level 1; Kelsey Chung, Gr. 9, third in Derivatives, Level 2; first in Roman Daily Life, Level 2; Anita Satish, Gr. 9, second in Mottoes, Level 1; Melissa Chen, Gr. 11, second in Latin Literature, Advanced; Veronica Hsieh, Gr. 9, second in Roman Daily Life, Level 2; Ashley Dang, Gr. 12, Academic Heptathlon, HS Advanced; Brandon Araki, Gr. 9, first in Ancient Geography; Alex Han, Gr. 9, second in Derivatives, Level 1; Diana Lai, Gr. 10, second in Reading Comprehension, Level 2; Richard Kwant, Gr. 12, for many years now, first in Latin Grammar, Advanced. The Latin scholars are looking forward to their state convention at Menlo School on February 9-10.

Students Impress at Open House The US hosted a great gathering of interested parents and prospective students at the annual November open house on Nov. 12. They gym was packed and student volunteers were everywhere helping parents find rooms, demonstrating aspects of various programs and otherwise showcasing Harker’s accomplishments and potential to the visitors. A million thanks to our student volunteers who spoke to the parents and manned club tables in the Edge. Ambassadors: Kapil Kolhatkar, Namrata Anand, Ankur Ahuja, Arjun Mody, Noriko Ishisoko, Kelsey Hilbrich, Eugene Huang, Rashmi Sharma, Won Hee Lee, Akhila Sure; Speakers: Aseem Shukla, Kriti Lodha, Frank Wang, Julia Havard, Siobhan Stevenson, Caitlin Contag, Natasha Sarin, Tanya Schmidt, Matt Wong; Debate: Caitlin Contag, Nicholas Tan; Art: Christina Nixon, Anna Huang; Chemistry: Andrew Stanek; Athletics: Tanya Schmidt, Faustine Liao, Jason Maring, Lucas Motro; Improv Club: Robert Lougheed-Lowe, Cooper Sivara; Activities, Yearbook, Newspaper, Spirit: Matt Wong, Emily Chow, Jennifer Ong, Sarah Payne, Rachel Yuan, Tiffany Liou; Biology: Jennifer Ong, Robert Sesek, Julia Havard, Michael Lee; HELM: Allison Wong, Sophie Newman.

‘Brain Food’ with a Twist Naomi Schatz gave her AP Psychology classes an arts and crafts challenge. She directed them to make a 3-D model of the brain, neuron or other body system out of materials they had to bring in to class themselves. “I had students bake cakes, use marshmallows, bagels or twizzlers, and others used clay or legos or dominoes … lots of variety!” said Schatz. This photo shows seniors Alan Quach, Rahul Komati and Aaron Chang with their project -- two connecting neurons, including axon terminals and dendrites, with neurotransmitters passing through the synaptic cleft. Harker News — December 06



Harker Football Coach Deron Thorp Passes Away

“The boys could sense his genuine care for them – not just as athletes but as people – and his full commitment to their growth as young men,” said head football coach Karriem Stinson. “Each day, he came to the field prepared to share his positive love for athletics and life in general.” Joe Gill, assistant head of school for non-academics, said that the “profound connection Thorp had created with the team left a strong feeling of sorrow with the boys, coaches and many of the

LS Sports Coach Theresa “Smitty” Smith brought Harker’s volleyballers together from the LS and US for a skills clinic to help foster team spirit and encourage young players to stay with the sport. There were about 40 LS students and 12 varsity players plus coaches, including Smith, Paula Bither, Ashley Franke and Jeff Diokno. “We did a dynamic warm up, some ball control drills and serving practice, then had some scrimmage time,” said Smith. “We want our younger teams to know what is going on in the US and vice versa,” said Smith. “Bringing the kids together is great for camaraderie and school spirit. We want the LS girls to know that Harker News — December 06

parents. He was someone the boys looked up to in every way. He was thoughtful, sincere and great with the kids.” School counselors and administrators met with the football team Monday morning to share the news, help them with the grieving process and provide a safe and supportive environment for them. The news was announced to the rest of the US students and faculty at the weekly Monday meeting. An optional parent meeting was also held Nov. 8, for football team parents and others wishing to share ideas on helping the boys through this difficult time. Our counseling department brought in a specialist from The Centre for Living with Dying who shared experience and

insight on helping parents assist their children. “A tragedy such as this seldom occurs at a school, but when it does we need to recognize the loss and help the community recover,” Gill noted. Barbara and Ron Thorp, Thorp’s parents, wrote: “I know he has many wonderful memories, including championship teams and winning the World Bowl in the World League in Europe. But those thrills pale in comparison to the joy he felt working with the Harker boys and having these fine young academic men win on a football field. Deron called us at 10 p.m. Friday night on a football-winning high. He described in detail how the team pulled together to make this final win occur. He told us earlier in the week how much he loved coaching football and how wonderful it was to work with the Harker boys. Ron and I have lived within a mile of Harker for 40 years and this year, we became ardent fans. Thank you for your correspondence and being a part of our son’s life.” Klaus Hofmann, Thorp’s manager at Cisco Systems, Inc. wrote: “Deron and I spoke often about his efforts with the football team at Harker. He took great joy and pride over his accomplishments with the team, and even though he was very modest about it, I know he had a tremendous impact on those

young men. Deron’s face never failed to light up when we talked about the ups and downs of your very successful football season, and I regret that we never got to have our usual Monday morning conversation about how Friday’s game went. I know it was your last game of the season, and I take great comfort knowing that one of the last things Deron did was something he truly loved.” The football team (transported by a Harker school bus), and hundreds of other students, faculty, fans, friends and relatives attended the services held Nov. 10 in Cupertino. At the request of Coach Thorp’s mother, the team wore their football jerseys. A scholarship account has been established at Mission City Federal Credit Union for Thorp and wife Gillian’s two young daughters, Kiara and Nicki. In lieu of flowers, please make checks out to Mission City FCU, Account 5282624, and mail to Mission City Federal Credit Union, 1391 Franklin Street, Santa Clara, CA 95050. Thorp and his wife also founded S.H.I.P. Aid (Shipping Humanitarian Aid to Impoverished People), which is currently focusing on the needs of those in Lesotho, South Africa. For more information, visit

we have quality teams. It was a great experience for all involved,” Smith added.

MS Sports Winter sports started in early November, but no results were available by press time. Watch this space for the exciting winter sports updates on boys basketball and girls soccer, and boys and girls wrestling, in January!

US Sports Top of the news in sports this month are the championships Harker teams earned in girls varsity golf, girls varsity tennis and girls Continued on pg. 20

Mary Malysz, parent

Harker football offensive line coach Deron Thorp passed away suddenly Sat., Nov. 4, 2006. As of press time, the cause of death was unknown. Thorp, 33, joined the staff this year to coach after several years of playing professional football, and clearly made a positive impact on not only the team, but on each individual athlete.

Rudy Mui, parent - both photos

Aug. 31, 1973 – Nov. 4, 2006

Volleyball Stars in Training Emma Malysz, Gr. 4, treated a group of her teammates to a game party that her folks bid for and won at this year’s family picnic. Hosted by Harker teachers and coaches Melanie Robinson and Paula Bither, the students enjoyed pizza with the coaches and a shirt signing with the varsity girls in the locker room. Then the younger girls formed a tunnel that the big girls ducked under and ran through onto the gym floor at the start of the game. It was an exciting and fun time for all, and a great “K to Life” moment!



Continued from pg. 19 junior varsity volleyball, along with a second place finish for girls varsity volleyball. ■ Golf The girls golf team had an outstanding season, and are the 2006 WBAL champions. The Eagles were led by two dedicated seniors. Captain Elyse Kim was a two-time co-medalist in league play and captain Jennifer Whang anchored the Eagles with solid play and leadership throughout the year. The Eagles were fortunate to have some stellar support by sophomores Andrea Kim and Rachel Wang. They will be leading the team next year along with freshman standout Sonia Huang. Congratulations to the girls; they worked extremely hard to bring Harker the championship league title!

Steven Wong, parent

■ Tennis The girls varsity tennis team gained an automatic entry into the CCS team championships, a Harker first, following their first place finish in the WBAL. Overall, the team finished with a 14-6 record. They defeated Hillsdale in the first round of CCS and played St. Ignatius in the second round. Results were not available at press time. In the WBAL individual championships, freshman Arthi Padmanabhan won the singles championship and the team of freshmen Kelly Chen and Shizuka Tiernan finished in second place in the doubles championships. A huge “Way to go!” to coach Craig Pasqua and the team. ■ Girls Volleyball Please congratulate both our J.V. and varsity girls volleyball teams for their great 1-2 punches this season. The J.V. team had a stellar season and finished with a fine overall record and a league record of 11-1, garnering the league

championship. Coach Jason Reid was very proud of the girls’ effort all season and for always playing as a team. The varsity team had an awesome season as well, scheduling some of the toughest competition in Northern California. The team finished the regular season with an overall record of 18-13 and a league record of 10-2, earning them second place in the WBAL and an automatic bid to the CCS tournament. The Lady Eagles have been seeded fifth out of the 12-team Division 4 CCS tournament and look forward to their quarterfinal match against Valley Christian. Coach Theresa “Smitty” Smith said she was very proud of the varsity team for their dedication to the program and to one another this whole season. ■ Football In football news, the Eagles defeated Soledad 7-0 on a touchdown scored by Arman Gupta, Gr. 10. The boys finished the season 7-2, the best record ever for a Harker football team. Congratulations to coach Karriem Stinson, his staff and the boys. ■ Boys Soccer The boys soccer squad showed tremendous improvement over the course of the season and ended with a record of 7-9. Among the highlights was a 3-1 win over Pinewood on the team’s senior day. The team wished a fond farewell to seniors Vijay Gottipati, Richard Kwant, Adam Rubin, Brandt Warecki and Alex Wu. Leading scorers on the season were Rubin and Warecki. Many thanks to coaches Luis Dominguez and Russ Baba for their leadership. ■ Cross Country The cross country season, with a record number of runners on the team, was loaded with great accomplishments. Our boys varsity

Harker News (USPS 023-761) is published monthly except July, Aug. and Sept. by The Harker School, Office of Communications, 500 Saratoga Ave., San Jose, CA 95129. Application to mail at Periodicals Postage Rates is paid at San Jose, CA and additional mailing office. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to The Harker News, 500 Saratoga Avenue, San Jose, CA 95129. The Harker News provides timely information, news and features about the Harker community to current and alumni Harker families. Editor: Pam Dickinson; Lead Writer: William Cracraft; Copy Editors: Catherine Snider, Jennifer Maragoni; Production: Crystal Boyd, Blue Heron Design Group; Photos: Mark Tantrum, unless noted; Contributor: Laura van den Dries; Printing: Carol Sosnowski; Mailing Coordinator: Desiree Mitchell.


Water Polo Clinic a Success Harker has made a powerful commitment to turning out competitive water polo teams, and to that end, boys and girls water polo coaches Robert Zylstra and Kandace Lopez, respectively, held a water polo clinic on Nov. 1. Over a dozen interested students stopped by, said Zylstra, some ready for the water, others to watch and learn, as US water polo athletes from both boys and girls teams demonstrated the techniques they have learned in the fast-paced, wet and wild sport. “They all seemed very excited about water polo and loved that we had a demo game to see what it was really like,” said Lopez. MS Athletic Director Theresa Smith noted, “the clinic was designed to help build our water polo recruitment base for US teams as well as to get an idea of interest in the sport. There will be MS water polo teams when the new Saratoga pool is completed.” team included returning standout Jay Japra, Gr. 12, along with captain Roger Kim, Gr. 12, and our sophomore trio of Sam Levine, Evan Maynard and Kevin Xu. Freshman Aadithya Prakash broke the record for the fastest finish time at the Firebird Invitational. In girls cross country, returning runners Roshmi Bhattacharya, Gr. 10, and captain Andrea Wang, Gr. 12, held their own, while the freshmen dominated the rest of the varsity team, with newcomers Namrata Anand, Brea Borlas, Niti Shahi and Christine Trinh. Senior captains Sid Chandrasehkar and Mansi Shah were a great support to the team, while all members steadily improved their times throughout the season. The boys placed fifth overall in the league and the girls tied for fourth. We had a record number of qualifiers to the CCS, with our boys team qualifying and Borlas and Elena Madan, Gr. 10, representing the girls team. ■ Boys Water Polo The boys water polo team underwent a promising transformation this season. It was a season that saw the boys band together to form a confident and respected team in the SCVAL, El Camino League. “Although they finished 0-12, that record does not reflect what they’ve

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

Marguerite Paseman, parent


‘won.’ They gained more knowledge of the game, and that improvement was apparent from game to game,” said coach Robert Zylstra. Team captains were Jacob Yanovsky, Gr. 12, and Raymond Paseman, Gr. 11. Paseman took the honors as top goal scorer for the team. ■ Girls Water Polo The girls inaugural water polo season is over and they went out with a bang! After a great last week of league play which showcased their improvement, they entered the league tournament pumped up and ready to play. In the last game of the tournament against Santa Clara High, the first, second and third quarters ended with tie scores of 2, 5 and 9. By the time the fourth quarter started the bleachers were filled, the crowd was cheering and the girls were excited. The game ran into two overtimes and ended in sudden death with Harker 9, Santa Clara 10, “but the girls had some of the biggest smiles on their faces as they congratulated their opponents and ended their season with a hard fought game,” said coach Kandace Lopez.

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 — December 06

Profile for The Harker School

2006 December Harker News  

2006 December Harker News