Page 1

march 2006 (VOL. 12, NO. 6)





est. 1893 • K-12 college prep





Harker Leads World in Two AP Categories

New classroom technologies implemented in LS ............. 9 Student delegation from Shanghai visits MS ........... 10 Harker dancers outstanding in “Branching Out” ........... 13 Tamagawa students experience US life ............ 14 Summer Programs online registration now underway! New information, courses and fun trips are being added regularly, so check often and register soon!


Tickets Now On Sale!

For the second year in a row, Harker was recognized for having the world’s strongest AP program in two subjects.

istry and AP Computer Science. This is the first year that Harker was recognized as the leader in AP Calculus.

The Harker School ranked No. 1 worldwide in AP Chemistry and AP Calculus AB among schools its size (300 - 799 students enrolled in grades 10 to 12), according The College Board’s second-annual “Advanced Placement Report to the Nation.” The rankings are based on the number of students who scored 3 or higher (on a scale of 1 to 5) on the AP exam as a percentage of the total student population. They highlight schools that provide both wide access to AP classes as well as strong performance on the exam - in other words, schools where a large number of students are well-prepared in these college-level classes. Last year Harker was cited as best in the world in AP Chem-

“Most schools that have AP will have the AP Calculus exam, so this is really a testament to the depth of our program,” explained Academic Dean Heather Blair. “(At Harker) AP Calculus isn’t a culminating experience for seniors so much as a step on the road. Of the kids who took the exam, 63 were freshmen, sophomores or juniors and only 26 were seniors.” Of the 89 Harker students who took the AP Calculus AB exam, 70 – or a whopping 79 percent – earned a top score of 5, compared with an average of just 21 percent worldwide. According to the report, “Students who take AP math and science

courses in high school are much more likely than other students to continue a course of study in science, technology, engineering or mathematics than students who do not take such courses in high school.”

This is the first year that Harker was recognized as the leader in AP Calculus. “I’m really proud of our students and faculty for this amazing achievement,” said Chris Nikoloff, head of school. “Continued interest and competence in math and the sciences is vital, and I look forward to the contributions our students will make in these areas in years to come.”

City of San Jose Commends Harker Students and Staff

Fairmont Hotel - San Jose Friday, March 3, 2006 Luncheon & Fashion Show 11 a.m. - $85 Dinner Gala with Fashion Show, Live Auction & Dancing 5:30 p.m. - $175

The Harker School received multiple commendations at a January meeting of the San Jose City Council. First, the Harker student body was commended for its outstanding philanthropic work, and Ashley Yang, Gr. 11, accepted the commendation on behalf of the student body. Students’ charitable efforts from the past year included: the “Adopt-a-Tent, Save-a-Life” fundraiser, which raised more than $12,000 to help house victims of the earthquake in South Asia; more than $10,000 raised for the American Red Cross and UNICEF to aid victims of Continued on pg. 6

Harker News — March 06


editor’s note By this time next month we’ll be celebrating the success of another great fashion show! We hope to see you all there to cheer on all the students, faculty, performers and parents who have been working together for months to make this community-wide event a fabulous experience for all. Join the journey – we guarantee you’ll have a blast! —Pam Dickinson, Director Office of Communications

photos We recently moved to to provide more reasonably-priced, yet still high-quality, online printing services. The price of a 4 x 6 is now only $1. As time allows, we continue to work on making the browsing and ordering of these photos, linked from each of the Division Home Pages, as easy as possible for our families. If you have suggestions, feel free to contact us at

volunteers The Howard and Diana Nichols Invitational Debate Tournament will be held March 2-5, with the opening and closing rounds at the San Jose Sheraton, and the March 3-4 portion on Harker’s Saratoga campus. Over 200 participants are expected on campus, and parent volunteers are needed to help with logistics, keep an eye on rooms and property, and more! Interested volunteers should contact Yu-Lin Chao, tournament committee chair, at


key dates

annual giving

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

Heartfelt Thanks!

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

March Parenting Events Both events are free for Harker parents, and light refreshments will be served. ■ Author Debra Roffman: “How to Talk Sex With Your Child” Common Ground Speaker Series event Wed., March 15, 7 p.m., Old Orchard School, 400 West Campbell Avenue Visit Web site for other Common Ground dates and locations. ■ Author Jim Taylor: “Positive Pushing: How to Raise a Successful and Happy Child” Thurs., March 30, 6:30 p.m., Harker MS campus, MPR See flier in this month’s mailing.

In the News ■ Yi Sun, Gr. 12, has advanced to the final stage of the prestigious Intel Science Talent Search (STS), one of the nation’s oldest and most highly regarded pre-college science competitions, and was presented with his award at a surprise assembly in front of his peers in late January. A variety of media organizations were on hand

for the announcement, including KGO Channel-7, KTSF 26 and World Journal. Visit Harker’s media page on the Web site to view the clip. ■ This month’s issue of “Rostrum” magazine, published by the National Forensic League and distributed to over 2,700 high schools nationwide, includes an article by Harker senior Sean Turner. Turner’s article is titled “InCharta: The Case for Paperless Ballots.” [The title was derived from the Latin words in (not) and charta (paper).] Turner has spearheaded an innovative approach to tabulating debate rounds.

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

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

summer Join Ray for a superhero summer at Harker! See back page for new baseball trip!

Staff Updates ■ The San Jose Skyrockets, the area’s new professional minor league basketball team, has a program called “The 11th Man,” in which community members and celebrities are invited to suit up and play in the game. LS P.E. teacher Tomas Thompson got a surprise gift when his wife, Grace, signed him up for the program! She explains, “For Tomas’ birthday, I contacted the team and the owner extended an invitation to Tomas to be the 11th man!” Thompson will play on Sat., Feb. 25 at 5:30 p.m. at the San Jose Civic Auditorium against the Los Angeles Aftershock. Information about the team can be found at their Web site, ■ The Silicon Valley Community Newspaper reported that the Valle Monte League, which raises funds for local mental health agencies, held a luncheon on Jan. 11 to welcome new board members and say farewell to outgoing members. Lisa Blickenstaff, Harker’s director of community relations, served as president of the League in 2005 and was amongst the departing board members. “Over the years, with each position I held, I have had the opportunity to volunteer alongside and learn from a group of very talented, dynamic and committed women. I have made friendships that will last a lifetime,” said Blickenstaff. She called her tenure as president “an honor and privilege and an experience I will never forget.”

Summer Institute Just added - Honors Geometry June 21 - Aug. 2 12:45 - 2 p.m. Monday - Friday Register online or call the Summer Camp office for more information: 408.871.4600.

Harker News — March 06



“Yes, Your Teen Is Crazy” Speaker “informative and entertaining” An impressive 231 parents flocked to Harker’s MS campus in February for the latest in the Common Ground Speaker Series, and the first of these events hosted by Harker this year. The series is sponsored by a coalition of Bay Area schools that have joined together to provide parent education to their communities. Speakers give parents the opportunity to take advantage of their expertise in the fields of education and parenting, to share ideas with other parents, and to support each other’s efforts to enrich our school communities. Dr. Michael J. Bradley presented a talk titled, “Yes, Your Teen is Crazy,” and won rave reviews from those in attendance. Of the 231

situations.” She added with a smile, “I am a much mellower mom today.”

present, a whopping 153 were Harker parents, with other parents attending from other member schools, such as Hillbrook,

“It was wonderful and very informative” said Reeta Gupta (Ankur, Gr. 12).

Old Orchard, Castilleja, Menlo and Nueva. Vidya Lakshmi, (Siddarth Chari, Gr. K and Vikram Chari, Gr. 3), Harker’s parent liaison for the Common Ground series, said of Bradley’s talk, “Even as a mom with kids aged nine and six, I thought there was a lot of useful information that I could use today, such as extracting information from them and dealing with heated

“There are a lot of things about teeenagers we don’t know, and the scientific infomation he presented about how the brain behaves helped me understand. They (teenagers) are not crazy,” she laughed. “There’s a meaning behind it.” Assistant Head of School for Academics Jennifer Gargano was also impressed with Bradley’s

presentation. “He was informative and entertaining, a difficult balance to find in a speaker. His advice was compelling, and was supported by data, research and his own personal experiences. His humorous and relevant stories about the challenges he is experiencing with his own ‘unique’ teenage son quickly captivated the audience,” Gargano said. Many parents bought Bradley’s book and signed up for his e-newsletter. If you would like to do the same, check out his Web site at See pg. 2 for dates of future parent education events. Information about the Common Ground Speakers Series is available on Harker’s Web site in the Academic Counseling section.

Alumna Visits from Washington

Cookies & Kindergarten Tours

Harker alumna Leslie Kitz (’91), who is responsible for marketing and communications for the newly formed Cedar River Academy in Washington state, recently brought her schools’ founders, Roger and Peggy Franklin, for a visit with Harker administrators and staff to learn more about the inner workings of a world-class private school as they develop their new academy. During their day at Harker’s LS and US campuses, Kitz and the Franklins met with Pam Gelineau, LS admissions director, Pam Dickinson, director of communications, Terry Walsh, alumni director, Nan Nielsen, director of admissions, Heather Blair, academic dean, and Jennifer Gargano, assistant head of school for academics. “The opportunity to get an insight into operations at an institution such as The Harker School is invaluable to us,” Kitz said in a follow-up letter. We look forward to continued communication with Kitz as she and the Franklins develop their academy.

In January Harker hosted three “Cookies and Kindergarten Tours” for prospective parents interested in enrolling their children at Harker. Over 90 people attended the events, which included a campus tour, classroom visits, a Q & A session with admissions staff and warm cookies in the library. “They loved being able to see our wonderful teachers and students in action,” said Pam Gelineau, LS admissions director.

Annual MS Students vs. Faculty Basketball Game a Blast For All The MS recently enjoyed the first game in the new Alumni Gym between the A1 boys basketball team and the MS faculty. More than 15 MS faculty and rec staff participated in the event, which is a long-time Harker tradition. The A1 boys won the game 49-46 when Rohan Shah, Gr. 8, buried a 3-pointer at the buzzer! MS students stormed onto the court in celebration after Shah’s dramatic game-winner. MS science teacher Simon Keilty was hilarious in his old-school headbands and goggles, and the faculty who did not play led the cheers with pom-poms. Halftime festivities included a 3point shooting contest for a free dress pass, which was won by Saagar Sarin, Gr. 6. Gr. 4-8 Athletic Director Theresa Smith said, “The gym was packed with frenzied fans, and they were treated to an unbelievable game!”

Harker News — March 06


Fairmont Hotel, San Jose Friday, March 3 FRI., MARCH 3 TWO EVENTS 11 a.m.

Proceeds from Cruisin’ California benefit the Harker Scholarship Fund, professional training and continued education for faculty, and the new Science and Technology Center at the US campus – so when you support Cruisin’ California, you support the school!

Luncheon and Fashion Show

5:30 p.m. Dinner Gala with Fashion Show emceed by Pat Walsh, Showcase Drawings, Live Auction and Dancing to the sounds of David Martin’s House Party



We expect this event to sell out over the Presidents’ Week Break, so avoid disappointment and reserve your seats now! Visit the Cruisin’ California Web site link from the Harker home page.


See the special flier that was mailed with this edition of the Harker News for detailed information about each of the auction items and proxy bidding.


■ Tickets Are Going Fast! Yes, we’re taking reservations over the Presidents’ Week break, but don’t wait! We expect both the luncheon and dinner events to sell out, so avoid disappointment and reserve your seats now. Visit the Cruisin’ California Web site link from the Harker home page to learn about credit card, student account and online purchase details. For questions, please call the Fashion Show Hotline at 345.0115.

Please join us on our journey to make Cruisin’ California a fun and successful fundraising event for our school!

■ Centerpieces will be Cruisin’, too! Cruisin’ out the door after the show, that is, because luncheon and dinner centerpieces are available for purchase! The fun and whimsical luncheon centerpieces echo the show’s theme, and will be available for purchase the day of the show only. For $20, you can take home a wonderful handcrafted Cruisin’ California memento AND be entered in a drawing to win a $500 Bloomingdale’s gift certificate.

Event Co-chairs: Mary Malysz, Sarah Pennell and Carol Underwood

■ Cruisin’ Live Auction Action The Live Auction is sure to be a highlight of the evening, but even if you won’t be attending the dinner gala, you can still bid on these fabulous items via the Cruisin’ Proxy Bidder. Cruisin’ the Coast • VIP Graduation Package • Evening with the Stars at the 2006 Emmy Awards • Birthday Party for a LS Student with Mr. Nikoloff • Carmel Highlands Sunset Dinner with the Nichols • Custom Tourmaline and Diamond Ring from Deja • Pajaro Beach Weekend with Land Rover • Cooking with Class with Chef Nanci Wokas • Tahoe Log Cabin Weekend • Preston Wynne Spa Package • Luxury Skybox at the SF Giants • Dinner a Week for the School Year • Dinner of the Gods: Greek Dinner for Ten • Close Encounter of the Racing Kind • Silverado Wine Country Weekend with Land Rover • Viva Las Vegas (includes private jet!) • Hotel Valencia Presidential Package • Fine Art from India • Golden Retriever Puppy

LUNCHEON CENTERPIECE Dinner centerpieces are available for pre-sale, for only $50! This year’s dinner centerpieces are a sophisticated ensemble of roses, tulips and heather gathered in a silver-plated vase with four glass candle holders, embellished with crystal beads. These elegant centerpieces can easily be adapted for any occasion by the addition of seasonal flowers and thematic elements. Visit the Web site or contact the Harker Bookstore to reserve yours today!

ALL ONLINE: Reservations • Live Auction • Showcases

www. Hotline: 408.345.0115 • E-mail:

DINNER CENTERPIECE Harker News — March 06

sponsors Help US Students: Purchase Showcase Tickets!

presented by

The US students are having a contest to see who will be this year’s top ticket sellers! Help a deserving student win one of five iPod-related prizes and at the same time purchase a chance to win one of these fabulous showcases. Each is a wonderful, themed collection of adventure, travel and relaxation!

Barry Swenson Builder Santana Row Swanson & Jackson Families

■ Showcase Bonus: Original Art from Harker Students

Visit the Web site for details about each of these Showcases. If you don’t know an US student, you can add your Showcase ticket order to your Cruisin’ California reservation, or you can purchase your Showcase tickets at various Harker events or the day of the show.

New this Year: Cruisin’ Kids’ Cubes! Some special fun for our younger cruisers: for a dollar a try, kids can guess how many items are in each of the two special Kids’ Cubes. The child who comes closest to the correct answer will leave the luncheon show with a Kids’ Cube full of coupons, gift certificates, treats and surprises.

Look for the Kids’ Cube displays at the LS and MS campuses! Harker News — March 06

Each Showcase will include a uniquely beautiful metal carousel horse decorated by our own US art students, juniors Akhila Bhoopalam, Sinead Toolis Byrd, Anna Huang and Christina Nixon and senior Adam Semanko, with support from Pilar Aguero-Esparza and Alice Schwartz. Today’s first portfolio piece could be tomorrow’s collector’s item – just one more reason to invest in Showcase tickets!

Air Systems, Inc. • Banerjee Chopra Family • Communicart • Davé Family Trust • Davis Family • Diamond Quality Printing • Kawadri Family • Kris & Nina Panu • Morgan Stanley, San Francisco • Pennell Family • Sathaye Family Foundation Alex Alonzo Accountancy Corp. • C. Denise Brodersen CFP, V.P. - Investments, UBS Financial Services, Inc. • Citti’s Florist • Connell Family • Courtesy Chevrolet • Heritage Bank of Commerce • Linear Technology • Malysz Family • Mayer, Brown, Rowe & Maw LLP • Meiying & Steve Shatas • Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe • Riedel Family • Santora Family • Sequoia Capital • Smith Barney, the Hall Walsworth Group • Stevens Creek BMW • XL Construction Corp. NEWEST PROGRAM ADVERTISERS: We want to recognize and thank this month’s new program advertisers: All Chem Supply, Lon Allan/Allan Advisors/Intero Real Estate, Sherry Ammatuna, Anniki, Autowest Acura of Stevens Creek, B & G Jewelers, the Banerjee Chopra Family, Bellarmine College Preparatory, the Boyle Family, California Karate Academy, Capers, CBIZ, C’est Si Bon, CH Premier Jewelers, Azita Costa, the Culpepper/Brodersen family, Cynthia D’Agosta, Danny Thomas Party Rentals, Christine and John Davis, Deja & Co, the Doherty Family, Barbara Drummer, Steve and Debbie Gordon, the Gudmundson Family, Joan Havard, Debbie Hutchings, Intel Harker Parents, Greta Jackson, Asha Jadeja, Lampshade Party Productions, the Lucas/Hancock Family, Medallion Rug Gallery, Mortgage Magic, Mountain Winery, Parents of Downbeat, the Riedel Family, Tanya Ringold, Santa Clara Swim Club, Satara Technology, the Shah Family, South Bay Vascular Center, Volleyball Parents.



news US Holds Katrina Benefit Concert

Commendation - Cont. from pg. 1 Hurricane Katrina; the annual “Jump Rope for Heart” event, which raised $7,000 for the American Heart Association; “adopting” 40 families in the Emergency Housing Consortium’s Shelter Elves program, and providing hundreds of holiday gifts; and collecting and delivering nearly 3,000 pounds of food to a local food bank.

Other Harker students on hand to represent their fellow students were: Mounica Yanamandala and Garrett Brooks, Gr. 11; Arun Kanhere and Dawn Queen, Gr. 7; Michael Amick and Cecilia LangRee, Gr. 5; and Madeline LangRee, Gr. 3. Harker US math teacher Evan Barth received Harker’s second commendation from the San Jose City Council for his 2005 solar

fun fact When she isn’t teaching MS Latin, Lisa Masoni can be found making beautiful music in a local choir. But she’s not a singer, she’s a bell ringer. Masoni began playing handbells in high school, when her piano teacher recruited her to join a newly formed handbell choir. “(She) needed ringers who could read music,” Masoni explains. “I love music but I can’t carry a tune in a bucket, so I was fascinated by the bells. I played in my college choir and then have found a group everywhere I’ve lived.” Masoni now plays in Bay Bells, the area’s oldest community handbell choir. The group, which is celebrating its 20th anniversary, rehearses weekly in Palo Alto and performs concerts throughout the region. Masoni says she most enjoys “when a piece starts


energy project, which was selected and funded by British Petroleum (BP) as part of the BP A+ for Energy Contest. Barth thanked BP for the grant he received, and praised his Harker students for the amazing solar heating unit that they built using the grant money. Also in attendance were Chris Nikoloff, head of school, Pam Dickinson, director of communications, and the parents of the students accepting the award. Congratulations to the Harker student body and faculty for having their excellence recognized yet again!

That Rings a Bell! to come together and a group of 13 to 14 people are creating music as if we were one musician.” Masoni also is part of a small ensemble that performs at weddings, holiday parties, senior centers and the like.

Will Mandac

Harker was also honored for its globalminded community service efforts when the Association of Fundraising Professionals named the student body the Outstanding Philanthropic Youth Group for 2005.

The Class of 2007 organized a benefit concert in January to aid Hurricane Katrina victims. The junior class council not only planned the event, but also sorted through audition tapes to select the bands for the show. The event’s performers included up-and-coming groups Sketchbook Quartet and Y-minus. More than 125 people attended the concert in the Saratoga Gym, helping to raise more than $450 toward hurricane relief. Many thanks to the Class of 2007 officers who worked tirelessly to make the show a success: Adnan Haque, president; Garrett Brooks, vice president; Simren Kohli, secretary; and Lucille Hu, treasurer.

Want to see Masoni play? Bay Bells is gearing up for a round of concerts in the spring, starting with a 20th anniversary gala on May 6. For more information, visit

LS Bake Sale for Katrina Relief The Gr. 4 and 5 Student Council recently sponsored a bake sale to raise money to help a school in New Orleans that is trying to rebuild after Hurricane Katrina. Students bagged and sold the baked goods, such as Krispy Kreme doughnuts, muffins and cookies, which were donated by the Delepine family and a local Whole Foods store. Students also sold Krispy Kreme partnership cards that have a value of $10 and are valid at any Krispy Kreme store. The two-day fundraiser earned an amazing $1,600 to donate to the Hurricane Relief efforts. Thanks to all the fourth- and fifth-grade helpers for their dedication to helping the children of New Orleans!

Project Collects Prom Dresses A current outreach project benefits The Princess Project, a San Franciscobased organization that collects formal dresses to give to Bay Area girls who may not be able to afford a gown for their proms. If you would like to donate a formal dress, please bring it (dr y cleaned) to Kerry Enzenberger, director of community ser vice, at her office in Manzanita Hall. You can learn more about The Princess Project at their Web site, www.

New Exhibit Displays Harker History The Harker School Histor y Committee recently unveiled the “Founders Photography Exhibit” for permanent display in Manzanita Hall on the Saratoga campus. The historical exhibit features black-and-white photographs of the key figures in Harker’s development as a world-class college preparator y school, from founders Frank Cramer and Catherine Harker, to Harker’s recently retired visionaries, Howard and Diana Nichols. The exhibit also includes photographs of students taken during Harker’s early years. The wall features text explaining the meaning of the exhibit, a brief histor y of the school, and descriptions of each photograph. Enid Davis, librar y director, thanked Susan Smith, US librarian and archivist, Pam Dickinson, director of communications, and the rest of Harker’s Office of Communications for their assistance in producing this special exhibit. Harker News — March 06

US Family Needed to Host Slovakian Student for Next School Year

Editor’s Note: LS, MS and US winter sports were nearing the end of their seasons at press time, so the final winter sports recap will appear in the next edition. Here are a few photos of our young athletes in action.

family would be required to provide Kertysova with room and board, along with transportation to school and other daily living expenses. Harker’s international department will issue the host family a letter documenting the costs associated with hosting the student, for a possible tax deduction. (Please consult with your tax adviser.)

Harker will cover tuition, books and other fees associated with attending school here. The host

While the Harker family would only host this student for a year, it would add a member to its family

for a lifetime. Past host families are available to share their experiences and answer any questions. The immigration process needs to begin very soon to ensure that Kertysova is able to enter the United States in time for the start of the next school year. If your family is interested in hosting Kertysova for the 2006-07 school year, please contact Bill Bost, international programs director, at 408.553.0306 or at

Steven Wong

Sports Briefs

We need one Harker family to host Katarina Kertysova for the next school year. Kertysova, who would be an incoming senior, would arrive in mid-August in time to begin school with her new classmates. She would stay until early-July, then return to Slovakia to complete her high school education and attend college.

Steven Wong - both Girls Basketball photos

The Harker US is looking for a family to host an exchange student from Slovakia for the 2006-07 school year. For the past three years, Harker has provided a student from eastern Slovakia the opportunity to come to the United States to study with Harker students and live with a Harker family. The area of Slovakia that the students come from is economically depressed and they would not have an opportunity to expand their horizons without our help.

This month Harker will host its first Harker Boys Varsity Volleyball Tournament, featuring some of the premier boys volleyball teams in the Bay Area, including Archbishop Mitty, San Lorenzo Valley, Scotts Valley, Mountain View, Lynbrook, Saratoga, Westmont, Leigh, Kennedy-Fremont and The King’s Academy. This new event, which Harker will host annually, runs all day March 18 (8 a.m. – 3 p.m.) in the MS gym. Spectator admission is free, so drop by and check it out!

US Adds New Girls Lacrosse Team Harker’s US athletics program recently added girls lacrosse to its spring offerings. Even with considerable enthusiasm for the new lacrosse team among US girls, US athletic director Dan Molin said that the program would proceed cautiously. “There’s definitely enough interest,” Molin said, “but there are many variables that go into the decision to add sports.” For example, Molin said the athletics department must consider whether the addition of lacrosse would detract from established girls’ sports. “Small schools cannot over-extend themselves and risk quality over quantity Harker News — March 06

regarding the number of sports,” he explained. Another factor that must be taken into account is whether the sport is a good fit for Harker. “Lacrosse traditionally has a large private school following,” Molin said. “Many private schools in the Bay Area, with similar philosophies as Harker, have established (lacrosse) teams. This will be a positive fit for our girls.” The inaugural girls lacrosse season at Harker will be “low-key” according to Molin, consisting mostly of developmental activities and a limited number of scrimmages. Said Molin, “We’ll let it grow from there.”

correction In last month’s Sports Briefs we inadvertantly headed the update “Boys Wrestling.” Apologies to Jessica Dickinson Goodman, Gr. 11, who is on Harker’s wrestling team and is most certainly not a boy. More girls are welcome. “I would encourage any girl interested to try out for wrestling – it’s a great experience and Coach ‘K’ doesn’t make it hard to be a girl on the team,” said Dickinson Goodman.




Students Visit MS For First-Ever Gr. 5 Step-Up Day The LS and MS jointly organized the first Gr. 5 Step-Up Day, in which Gr. 5 students visited the Blackford campus in preparation for their promotion to the MS next school year. Head of School Chris Nikoloff, MS Division Head Cindy Kerr and the Gr. 8 student mentors greeted the fifth graders when they arrived on the MS campus. The Gr. 5 students received an overview of their foreign language

and elective options from foreign language department chair Carol Parris and various elective course instructors. They then participated in a special “get-toknow-you” spirit activity with Gr. 6 students in the Alumni Gym. As part of the activity, students shared interesting personal information, such as the types of pets they have and the hobbies they enjoy. The lunch period that followed the spirit activity was “the most popular

Parties Observe Chinese New Year Second graders celebrated the Chinese New Year both in and out of the classroom this year. In addition to several traditional Chinese New Year parties, Gr. 2 students planted flowers in the Bucknall garden “in recognition of the Chinese New Year, and in honor of the spring season and new beginnings,” said Gr. 2-3 department chair Kathleen Ferretti. “Many of the flowers we planted are perennials,” Ferretti said. “Since these students are second graders, they will be able to see their

flowers continue to bloom year after year and add beauty to our campus.” Many thanks to the Bucknall gardening staff, who helped prepare the garden for the special ceremony, and to the Gr. 2 students for bringing more beauty to Harker!

‘Cyber-Smart is Cyber-Safe’ at the LS LS recreation director Kim Coulter recently created a new offering for Gr. 4 students, titled “Cyber-Smart is Cyber-Safe.” In the class, students will learn about Internet safety, and plan an informational evening for parents and fellow students. The class utilizes materials provided by i-Safe America Inc., a nonprofit education foundation endorsed by the U.S. Department of Justice. For more information on this wonderful new program, contact Coulter at


part of the day,” joked Kerr. During lunch, Gr. 5 students had an opportunity to visit more informally with Gr. 6 students, and ask them questions about MS life. “This event is designed to increase the comfort level of next year’s incoming students,” Kerr explained. “The fifth graders get acquainted with the campus, and get a chance to (visit with) some teachers and students they know. (That way) when they come here next year, neither

the geography nor the people here feel so foreign.” Grade 5 students also visited classes in the core subjects of English, math, P.E., history, science, computers and library studies. The visiting LS students then returned to the Alumni Gym for a special musical performance by the Harmonics and the entire Gr. 6 class.

Students Welcome Spring With Traditional Japanese Ceremony Gr. 4 and 5 students in Jason Pergament’s and Robert Regan’s social studies classes recently participated in a traditional Japanese celebration marking the beginning of spring. As part of the classes’ world geography unit on East Asia, the students tossed beans toward the door (to push out bad luck). They then went outside to toss beans toward the classroom (to welcome in good luck). The students also enjoyed green tea, a traditional Japanese drink.

Spirit Club Brings More Fun to Bucknall The Gr. 4 and 5 Spirit Club sponsored a hunt for “Love Bugs” dolls at the LS campus. Members of the “Student Morale Committee” hid the dolls in various locations, and students had a great time searching for them. The Spirit Club hopes to hold more all-campus events, since this hunt inspired so much enthusiasm! The Spirit Club is also ver y appreciative of the support it received from the Harker community in December. The club sold enough Snowman Grams to buy T-shirts and great prizes for spirit events, as well as donate 10 percent to Hurricane Katrina relief. Congratulations to the Gr. 4 and 5 Spirit Club for their outstanding activities at the LS! Harker News — March 06

New Technologies Boost Learning LS teachers have implemented numerous technology-based programs and activities to enhance student learning. For example, several kindergarten through Gr. 3 classes have begun using Accelerated Reader, a reading management program that was added to Harker’s network at the beginning of the school year. Accelerated Reader allows students to take quizzes after reading books, which provides teachers with valuable data about the students’ comprehension, literary skill development and more.

New Approach Enhances Kindergarten Videoconference This year, kindergartners from Harker and its sister school in Tokyo, Japan, the Tamagawa Gakuen School, had a greater opportunity for personal expression than ever before during the annual videoconference that has

“Accelerated Reader is a wonderful assessment tool for the students and their teachers,” said Gr. 1 teacher Cindy Proctor. “The children like getting their scores immediately and they enjoy being independent while launching the program and taking quizzes.” First grader Lauren Trihy added, “They are fun to do because, after you finish a quiz, you feel proud of yourself.” Grade 3 social studies teacher Howard Saltzman has incorporated PowerPoint presentations into his lessons in hopes of further engaging his students in a “very efficient and fun way.” Saltzman’s presentations, complete with images, music and video clips, have helped boost his students’ interest in his lessons. Allie Kerkhoff, one of Saltzman’s students, said, “We really like (the presentations), so we pay more attention to the facts they present.” Saltzman was inspired to use the technology after witnessing its benefits last year in the classrooms of several of his fellow LS teachers, including Keith Hirota, Robert Regan and Jason Pergament.

This year, Hirota, Regan and Pergament began utilizing United Streaming, an award-winning educational video-streaming service, to further improve their classroom presentations. Regan was amazed at the increased focus of his students. Pergament took the technology even further in his Gr. 5 classes, challenging his students to create their own PowerPoint presentations. The students filled in a PowerPoint template, which Pergament had created, with information about Europe. Students used Internet databases and the LS wireless laptop cart to gather the necessary information to complete the project. Pergament said, “Having a laptop cart wirelessly connected to the Internet and a printer is the only way students could have completed a project of this magnitude.” Lisa Hirata, assistant director of instructional technology K-5, is thrilled to see teachers utilize the resources available on the LS campus. Hirata said, “While the LS teachers are expanding their instructional bag of tricks, the real winners are the students whose learning experiences have been enriched by their teachers’ efforts.”

Friendship Day

Milton Mui

LS students learned kindness as a character pillar at the third quar ter assembly this year. Along with some of their regular playground activities, such as wall ball, tetherball and lightning (basketball), students also par ticipated in bracelet and card making. “We wanted the kids to remember that being kind isn’t limited to the classroom or home,” said rec staffer Vanessa Bullman. Harker News — March 06

become a tradition at both schools. “This year we tried a much more open format that allowed each student to make a presentation during the conference,” said Bill Bost, director of international programs. Each kindergar tner shared a personal interest or hobby, such as jumping rope, pets, magic tricks and karate. The students also compared and contrasted the contents of McDonald’s Happy Meals as a sort of sociological study. “Both sets of students loved the Happy Meal presentation, and both schools had a student give a presentation on basketball,” Bost said. “I think they realized that they’re different, but that they’re also very much alike.” Gr. 7 Harker student Andrew Cutler served as the videographer for the event. Said Bost, “Andrew was fabulous. He knows the technology so well, and he was really on top of everything.” For the first time, Harker and Tamagawa used Apple’s I-chat technology for the videoconference, at a huge cost-savings to both schools. Said Bost, “We made some changes in both the format of the presentations and the technology we used to connect to one another, but everything went really well.”

Festive Valentine’s Theme Parties On Valentine’s Day the LS campus was alive with festivities and color. Parent volunteers and teachers worked together to create theme parties including games and delicious snacks. “It was heartwarming how the parents were so generous with their planning and time and yummy treats” said Rita Stone, Gr. 1 teacher.




Shanghai Students Visit Harker for Cultural and Academic Exchange A delegation of 14 students and three chaperones arrived in January from Harker’s sister school in Shanghai, People’s Republic of China, the Shanghai World Foreign Language Middle School. The visit marked the second year of groundbreaking exchanges between the two schools. (Last year’s 14-person Shanghai delegation was the largest to be granted visas to enter the United States from a communist country since the turn of the century.) Prior to arriving at Harker, the Shanghai delegation toured some fun and historic sites in Southern California, including the Getty Museum, Hollywood, Disneyland and the San Diego Zoo. “They had an incredible time even before arriving

at Harker,” said Director of International Programs Bill Bost. Once they did arrive at Harker, the Shanghai students were introduced to and taken home by their adopted Harker families. The visiting students enjoyed numerous on-campus activities, including a traditional MS Friday night dance, a Mexican-style fiesta and an ice cream social hosted by the MS Academic Cultural Exchange Club. Classroom activities included art projects with MS teacher Margaret McGovern, an American history workshop with Pat White, a literature-in-film workshop with Mark Gelineau and a boisterous improvisational acting class with Monica MacKinnon. The students also visited some local tourist attractions with their Harker partners. They walked across the Golden Gate Bridge, visited Fisherman’s Wharf and Chinatown, and rode a cable car from Ghirardelli Square to San Francisco’s Cable Car Museum.

Fellow Shanghai student Jack Xie said the levity on the Harker campus made him and his classmates feel at home. “Everyone at Harker is very humorous,” said Xie. “We laugh together all the time, and that makes us feel comfortable.” Gr. 8 student Namrata Anand, one of the hosts for the Shanghai students, said, “Being a host was a big responsibility, but the fun we had together definitely made it worth all the effort.” “You come to see through the hosting activity that, even though there are some differences, we are pretty much the same as our Shanghai friends,” said Gr. 8 student and host Nikita Agrawal. The visit concluded with a special farewell dinner and Chinese New Year celebration on the Blackford campus. “The entire visit was just a wonderful experience,” said Bost, who thanked the following MS

faculty and staff who helped make the Shanghai visit so wonderful: Lana Morrison, Joe Gill, Lars Shaw, Michele Lazzara, Gelineau, White, McGovern and MacKinnon. And special thanks to the following Harker students and their families for being such amazing hosts during this exchange: Namrata Anand, Shanna Polzin, Jennifer Pennel, Adrienne Wong, Kevin Saxon, Alexander Ringold, Nicole Lindars, Christopher Guimarin, Melanie Herscher, Reid Patterson, Rohan Chopra, Cole Davis, Sonya Huang and Nikita Agrawal.

Lana Morrison

“The students, the teachers, everyone at Harker is so hospitable,” said Shanghai student Lisa Yu. “They really made us all

feel welcome.”

Literary Magazine Wins Gold Medal Certificate for 2005 Edition Harker’s annual MS literary arts magazine, enlight’ning, received its first Gold Medalist Certificate from the Columbia Scholastic Press Association (CSPA). The CSPA honor was bestowed on Harker based on the enlight’ning issue published in spring 2005. enlight’ning, which has been published since 2002 under the guidance of adviser Stacie Newman, won the CSPA’s Silver Crown award in


2003. Current Harker students who participated in enlight’ning last year (students at right are now in Harker’s US) are : Pratusha Erraballi, Patrice Lin, Elizabeth Liu,

Kaavya Gowda, Shreya Gowda, Prachi Sharma, Adela Chang, Courtney Dellar, Jeff Mandell, Sophi Newman, Neha Sabharwal, Nate Kwok, Melody Lee, Emily Carr, Roshmi Bhattacharya, Anu

Ramachandran, Alyssa Boyle, Tiffany Tseng, Denzil Sikka, Debra Yen, Kaytee Comee, Sohini Khan, Adrienne Wong, Jennifer Pennell, Sarah Newton, Valerie Hwa, Chad Gordon and Jane Thomas.

Harker News — March 06

New Data-Collection Software Boosts MS Science Curriculum

Using the computers from the laptop carts on the MS campus and Vernier’s LoggerPro 3 software, Gr. 8 students in Keilty’s and Lorna Claerbout’s science classes are now able quickly to process and

“I have already seen that these laboratories have improved the students’ ability to analyze data, tables, graphs and extrapolate trends,” Keilty continued. “Additionally, the time that is required to collect student data has been significantly reduced, allowing my students more time with analy-

Assemblies Engage MS Students On Feb. 1, the MS held a special assembly commemorating the historic bus boycott in Montgomery, Ala., inspired by the actions of Rosa Parks. The assembly marked the beginning of Harker’s observance of Black History Month, and included discussions about Parks, segregation and civil rights.

Ali Abdollahi

The Rosa Parks assembly also included professional storyteller Awele Makeba, who spoke about the era of the Civil Rights Movement and the 1955 Montgomery Bus Boycott that Parks helped to initiate. Regarding Makeba, MS Dean of Students Jack

Harker News — March 06

Bither said, “She’s quite good, and was impressed with our students as well. There were very good questions and comments from the kids,” said Bither. “They really seemed to benefit from her tales.” In another recent assembly, MS English teacher Mark Gelineau hosted a “Four Corners Trivia Game” in the amphitheater. As part of this activity, MS teachers were asked to submit interesting, but little-known, facts about themselves. (For example, Gelineau once held singer Courtney Love’s baby while she picked up her purse). Students then had to match their teachers with the correct trivia facts. Correct answers earned spirit points for the students’ grade levels. The eighth grade won the competition on the final question.

sis and extension experiments.” These new tools also are being used by Gr. 7 students in Ilona Davies’ and Raji Swaminathan’s science classes. In addition, a new Vernier Vantage Pro2 Plus weather station was recently installed at the MS campus. As part of the Gr. 6 science curriculum, students in Ben Morgensen’s and Katherine Sommer’s science classes have been recording and analyzing weather data such as barometric pressure, humidity, wind speed and solar radiation directly from the Blackford campus. The weather forecast at the MS student council’s recent

“newscast” assembly was created using the data collected through the Vantage Pro2 program. In other technology news, MS academic departments met with their US counterparts at the recent faculty retreat to discuss further development of technology at the MS. “There are interesting innovations taking place on both campuses, but the primary interest is in how the US teachers feel about working in an environment where each student has a laptop,” said Dan Hudkins, director of instructional technology. “What classroom management issues arise? How do the teachers feel their techniques have changed? What lessons do they do differently because of laptop access?” Check future issues for further updates on the use of technology at the MS.

Harker Students Make Math Count! Harker students performed exceptionally well at the recent MathCounts chapter competition in Santa Clara. Harker placed third in the team competition, despite being only a half-point behind the first-place team. (Harker finished with the same score as the second-place team, but was knocked down to third after a random-draw tie-breaker.) The Harker team was comprised of Jeanette Chin, Kevin Zhang and Andrew Zhou, all Gr. 8, and Albert Wu, Gr. 6. In the individual competitions, Zhou and Chin were ranked fifth and sixth, respectively, after both scoring 45 out of a possible 46 points. Zhang and Gr. 7 student Ian Wolfe both received honorable mentions for scoring 44 out of 46.

“This is a huge achievement for the school and these students,” said MS math teacher Vandana Kadam. Other Harker participants were Alex Han, Andy Fang and Haran Sivakumar, all Gr. 8. Said Kadam, “I am extremely proud of these eight students who came in for training during the holiday break, and worked hard even during semester two – when the math elective class does not meet – by coming in during every extra help since the mid-term finals. They truly deserve this success.” Congratulations to all the MathCounts participants for their dedication and outstanding performances!

Chin, Zhou, Zhang, Wu and Wolfe will represent Harker at the state MathCounts competition at UC Davis in March.

Scott Graham

Advanced technologies have boosted data collection in MS science classes. Several MS classes began using software and “probeware” (educational applications of probes, interfaces and software used for real-time data collection) from Oregon-based Vernier Software & Technology. According to MS teacher Simon Keilty, Vernier applications have been “providing powerful tools for student data collection for many years.”

visualize the data they collect from Vernier’s LabPro interface. Keilty said, “This year, the students in my class and Ms. Claerbout’s classes have used the temperature, conductivity and carbon-dioxide gas pressure sensors to collect real-time data that they can view and interpret directly in the lab. Simon Keilty

Editor’s Note: The following article is the third installment in a continuing series on the use of technology to enhance learning on the new Blackford campus.

MS Kudos! ■ Patricia Chang, Gr. 8, has been named to the California All-State Honor Band. See pg. 15 for story. ■ James Siefert, Gr. 7, has been cast as a newsboy in American Musical Theatre of San Jose’s upcoming production of “Gypsy.” Siefert takes AMTSJ’s Conservatory class twice each week and studies dance after school with MS dance teacher Adrian Bermudez. Monica MacKinnon, who directs Siefert in Harmonics, said, “I was not surprised when he told me he had been cast. He’s one of our best performers.”




Eighth Graders Learn Firsthand the Challenges of Parenting participate in this program jumped from 10 students in 2003-04 to over 40 students last year. Both the RealCare and flour sack activities are designed to give

students a sense of the tremendous demands of parenting and the profound impact babies have on their parents’ lives. The RealCare babies, programmed by Gr. 8 teachers Simon Keilty and Lorna Claerbout, have customized eating and sleeping schedules, which simulate the unpredictable nature of infant care. During each care-taking event, the student “parent” must touch a wrist ID to the baby’s back. The diapers and bottles also have sensors on them, which record the quality of parental care. “The ‘Real

Care’ babies run on schedules based on those of real infants, so this will demand a lot of effort from our students,” Keilty said before the start of the activity. “In many cases, they may not get more than three hours of continuous sleep on Friday and Saturday night.” Parental permission was required for all participants in the RealCare simulation project, as the childcare responsibilities could impact the entire household, just as a real infant might. Harker parent Neena Dandia, whose daughter Natasha participated in the RealCare simulation projects, said, “I think the experience was definitely educational for Natasha.”

Friday night to Sunday night.” The RealCare project can be difficult, but “some of the students who will struggle with this project might be the very ones that will learn the most from it,” Keilty said. Both the RealCare simulation and the flour-sack activity helped demonstrate to MS students the difficulty of caring for a child while conducting everyday activities. “I never realized how much responsibility is involved in caring for a baby,” said Natasha Dandia. “I have definitely decided to wait to have children until I am really ready for it.”

“Young people just think about how babies are so cute and all the lovey-dovey stuff, but they don’t think about how much work it is and how it completely changes your life,” said Neena Dandia. “It was amazing to see Natasha’s attitude toward having a baby change from

Simon Keilty

Eighth graders got an early taste of parenthood during the annual Gr. 8 science unit on sex education. Most students completed the unit by caring for a flour sack “baby” for an entire week, while others chose to simulate a weekend at home with a newborn infant using the RealCare Baby II computerized infant simulator. The number of students able to participate in the RealCare “Think it Over” activity increased greatly last year when funds from the Annual Giving campaign enabled the MS to purchase a complete set of RealCare Baby simulators. Thanks to these funds, the number of students able to

PhysicsQuest Finds Hidden Treasure MS Robotics Adds New Dimension Students in MS teacher Raji Swaminathan’s science classes recently used their physics know-how to find a hidden treasure. The students participated in PhysicsQuest, a contest in which MS students nationwide used scientific experiments to gather clues and pinpoint the location of a make-believe “treasure” in Princeton, N.J. The location is significant because Albert Einstein spent the last 22 years of his life teaching and researching at Princeton University. PhysicsQuest was sponsored by the American Physical Society (APS) to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Einstein’s “miraculous year” of accomplishments in 1905, which included his proposal of the special theory of relativity. PhysicsQuest participants conducted four different experiments, involving studies of surface ten-


sion, diffraction of laser beams, magnetic fields and orientations, and the relationship between the length of a pendulum and the period of its movement. Each experiment yielded a clue that helped students determine the location of the “treasure.” All five of Swaminathan’s classes solved the mystery and submitted their answers to the APS. The “treasure” was hidden beneath a floorboard in a New Jersey farmhouse. Swaminathan was notified that all five of her classes solved the mystery correctly, and they will receive a certificate for their achievement. “The joy and cheer in each class was so pleasant to watch at the point when they solved the mystery,” Swaminathan said. Congratulations to all of the participants in the PhysicsQuest contest!

On the heels of another successful season for the Gr. 8 Robotics Team in the FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Lego League International Competition, team adviser Michael Schmidt has created a separate, all-encompassing MS Robotics Club that includes Gr. 6 and 7 students. The new club will not participate in outside competitions, instead focusing on teamwork and internal contests. The new club will focus more on mechanical engineering, according to Schmidt. “This club is a way for us to incorporate sixth and seventh graders in with the experienced eighth graders who have gone through the FIRST competition,” Schmidt said. “I’m hoping that we can feed some of the sixth and seventh graders into our competitive program next year.” Harmonics, the MS’s by-audition entertainment ensemble directed by Monica MacKinnon and Roxann Hagemeyer, appeared at the Gr. 5 Step-Up Day. They also performed at each of the MS awards ceremonies in February. Harker News — March 06



‘Branching Out’ Highlights Spectacular Dancers The Harker Conservatory’s annual dance production, this year titled “Branching Out,” once again gave audiences plenty to “ooh” and “ahh” at in the Saratoga Gym in February. Artistic Director Laura Rae and Assistant Director Adrian Bermudez assembled an outstanding group of student choreographers and dancers in a show that explored the four seasons in a variety of styles. Noteworthy was a

solo piece danced by Sarah Fingerhood, Gr. 12, in which she hung from a trapeze as though wrapped in a cocoon, emerging slowly and beautifully to celebrate the coming of spring. Also eye-catching was a Chinese piece with bright banners waved by the dancers to make amazing patterns of light and color on the stage. Dancers also demonstrated Russian, Irish, African and Argentinean styles.

Many thanks to the huge number of talented people it took to mount a production of this size, including Student Director Naeha Bhambhra, Gr. 12; Casey Near, Gr. 12 and Amulya Mandava, Gr. 12, who collaborated with Bhambhra on the conceptual aspect of the show; Technical Director Paul Vallerga; Sound Engineer Brian Larsen; and Lighting Designer Natti PierceThomson, who made magic with her kaleidoscope of effects.

Update Debate! ■ Santa Clara In the midst of the holiday shuffle, students participated in the Santa Clara University Dempsey-Cronin Speech & Debate Invitational in December. Twenty-four Harker students attended, accompanied by Carol Green. Trophy winners from Harker were: Andrew Stanek, Gr. 9 – 2nd place, Novice Impromptu; Sonya Gilman and Richard Ly, both Gr. 9 – 3rd place, Novice Duo; Adam Creasman, Gr. 11 – Finalist, Open Congress; Winston Wey, Gr. 11 – Finalist, Open Oratorical Interpretation. ■ Sacramento In January, 41 Harker debaters participated in the Sacramento District Qualifying Tournament. The top four contenders in each division are awarded the privilege of attending the Grand National Tournament in Chicago in late May. Harker students dominated the field and came away with the following impressive results: In Varsity Lincoln-Douglas debate, and qualifying for the national tournament, were top seed Siddarth Satish, Gr. 12, 2nd seed Alisha Tolani, Gr. 12, and 3rd seed Paula Lauris, Gr. 10. Tolani and Satish were co-champions (closing out the final round), and Lauris was a semi-finalist. Frank Wang, Gr. 10, and Deepa Ramakrishnan, Gr. 10, seeded 5th and 12th, respectively, in the quarterfinals. Octafinalists were: Vikram Nathan, Gr. 9, 7th seed; Anuj Kamdar, Gr.10, 14th seed; Noel Duan, Gr. 9, 15th seed; and Jessica Lee, Gr. 11, 16th seed. In the Speaker Awards, Satish earned 2nd place, Wang 3rd place, Nathan 5th, Tolani 6th, Kamdar 7th and Akshay Udiavar, Gr. 10, earned 10th place. Juliane Tran, Gr. 9, was the 2nd place finisher in the Novice LincolnDouglas debate. In Varsity Policy debate, quarterfinalists were seniors Meghana Dhar & Mina Lee, and sophomores Tonia Sun & Stephanie Lio. Speaker Awards went to Lio (2nd), Stephanie Benedict, Gr. 10, (4th), Lee (5th) and Dhar (7th). In Novice Policy debate, the cochampions, closing out the final round, were freshmen Christine Yu & Dominique Dabija and Continued on pg. 14

Harker News — March 06




Debate - Cont. from pg. 13 & Kunal Modi were semi-finalists, and quarterfinalists were freshmen David Kastelman & Kaavya Gowda, Aaron Lin & Jonathan Liu and Prachi Sharma & Pratusha Erraballi. Speaker Awards went to Yu (1st), Sharma (3rd), Agarwal (4th), Erraballi (6th), Laiwalla (7th) and Dabija (8th). In individual events, Adam Creasman won 5th place in Extemporaneous Speaking, earning finalist status and designation as the First Alternate to the National Tournament. ■ Atlanta, Georgia Also in late January was the Barkley Forum, one of the nation’s largest and most demographically diversified speech and debate tournaments, occurring annually at Emory University. Each division of debate and individual speaking events is one of the most difficult for all competitors nationwide. The Lincoln-Douglas debate division included 172 competitors from 39 states in a competition featuring six preliminary rounds with a cut to 32 teams for elimination rounds. Satish earned a 5-1 win/loss record in preliminary rounds and advanced as the 14th seed. His competitor in the elimination round from James Logan High School prevailed on a close 2-1 decision. Tolani earned a 4-2 win/loss record in preliminary rounds but did not make the cut based on a speaker point tiebreaking system.

Andrea Linder, parent

■ San Jose/Campbell Further congratulations are in order, this time to David Linder, Gr. 11, for winning the West San Jose-Campbell Lions Club Student Speaker Competition. Linder competed against students from Bellarmine College Preparatory School and Westmont High School at the club level competition in February. Speaking on the topic “Internet -- Hero or Villain,” Linder was selected as The Harker School representative after winning a schoollevel competition in January. Linder will advance to the Zone-level competition on March 8, at 101 Bascom Road in San Jose (next to the Lion’s Club Blind Center). Also, Harker mock trial team members achieved a first-ever moment in February after defeating Homestead High School at the Santa Clara County Courthouse. The squad’s impressive 3-1 record landed the team in the quarterfinal round, which was occurring at press time against Lynbrook. Congratulations to all the team members for their hard work and fine achievement. Defense: Meghana Dhar, Rupan Bose, Sean Turner, Mohit Bansal, Anum Asghar, Nandini Datta, Stephanie Lio, Avanash Mandava and Pratusha Erraballi. Prosecution: Deepa Ramakrishnan, Caitlin Contag, Amulya Mandava, Amira Valliani, Jaya Pareek, Vedang Kothari, Arjun Banerjee, Prachi Sharma and Anjali Menon.

New US Cooking Club on the Rise The newly formed US Cooking Club held its first meeting in January, baking bread as their first project. The club is led by math teacher Anthony Silk, who spent two years as a food and restaurant critic for the Palo Alto Weekly. Although Silk and club members are still determining the permanent structure of the club’s activities, this is sure to be one of the most deliciously rewarding clubs on campus!


Tamagawa Students Enjoy US Life! Two members of the 2006 graduating class from Harker’s sister-school in Tokyo, Japan, the Tamagawa Gakuen School, recently arrived at Harker for the second year of US exchanges between the two schools. Yu Mitsuya and Maia Shabana spent three weeks experiencing life as a Harker student before returning to Japan on Feb. 17. Both Mitsuya, who was hosted by the family of Gr. 12 student Catherine Ho, and Shabana, who was hosted by the family of Gr. 9 student Andrea Thomas, enjoyed class schedules specially designed to maximize their time at Harker. Shabana worked with the staff of The Winged Post, Harker’s US student newspaper, joined Laura Rae’s Dance Troupe class, and enrolled in Jeff Sutton’s ecology elective class. “Ecology is my favorite class at Harker,” said Shabana. “We don’t have any class like that at Tamagawa.” Concurring with Shabana’s sentiment, Mitsuya said, “I was amazed by Harker’s vast variety of courses and the students’ enthusiastic attitudes in class.” Mitsuya enjoyed an academic schedule that emphasized her interest in theatre arts, joining

Jeffrey Draper’s advanced scene study and theatre arts classes, and participating in Brian Larsen’s acting class along with Shabana and Thomas. “I’m very glad I had the opportunity to take part in these classes, side-by-side with Harker students,” said Mitsuya. “We do pretty much everything together,” said Thomas of her experience hosting Shabana. “I really just think of her as a sister now.” “This has truly been an incredible experience,” said Ho. “I feel that I gained not only a new friend, but also a deeper appreciation for my own culture.” Vivian Ho, mother of Catherine Ho, said, “(Catherine) has gained not only more respect for another culture, but also better people skills from being a good host. Andrea Thomas’ mother, Teresa Thomas, said, “Maia is such a sweet young lady and feels like a part of our family. It will be a sad day for us when she returns home.” While the Tamagawa students and their Harker hosts were only together for short time, they will be reunited in June, when Thomas and Ho will travel to Japan to spend two weeks experiencing life at Tamagawa’s upper school.

Fillmore Trivia Hunt Weekend Harker students participated in the 38th annual Millard Fillmore Trivia Hunt, a contest that asks teams of students from Bay Area high schools to answer questions and locate specific historical souvenirs in a 72 hour time frame. The more than 25 categories included “TV Memories,” “The World of Music” and “Power of the Press.” The Harker team answered 78 out of 80 questions correctly, earning them fifth place in the competition. Team adviser Bradley Stoll congratulated all the students who participated, and particularly thanked the following students for their effort: Hann Yew and Meghana Dhar, Gr. 12; Jessie Li, Siddarth Chandrasekhar, Emily Isaacs, Allison Wong and Garrett Brooks, Gr. 11; and Paul Christiano, Gr. 10. Stoll also thanked Harker parents Xina Quan and Charles Roxlo (Thomas Roxlo, Gr. 10), Linda Sweeney (Patrick, Gr. 11, and Kevin, Gr. 7), and Diane Reese (Philip Perkins, Gr. 11). Harker News — March 06

Robotics Prepares ‘Bot’ For National Competition, and Aims High

The group has designed and begun building its robot for FIRST’s “Aim High” competition, the goal of which is to create a robot that can fire foam balls into goals on either side of a playing field. The Harker robot design includes two tow speeds (5- and 15-feet-per-second), vision-auto targeting, an on-board

kudos ■ Yi Sun, Gr. 12, has advanced to the final stage of the prestigious Intel Science Talent Search (STS), one of the nation’s oldest and most highly regarded pre-college science competitions. Sun is one of 40 finalists nationwide, and only three from California. He was presented with his award at a surprise assembly in front of his peers in late January. A variety of media organizations were on hand for the announcement, including KGO Channel7, KTSF 26 and World Journal. Winners are selected by a panel of more than 100 top scientists from a variety of disciplines, who examined each entrant’s research ability, scientific originality and creative thinking. Sun’s project, titled, “On the Expected Winding Number of a Random Walk on the Unit Lattice,” looks at the mathematical discipline of the random sequence of steps known as winding numbers. During the 65 years of the com-

Harker News — March 06

inertial system and a 35-ball storage capacity. “A lot of work has always gone into our robots, but there just were not enough people working on it to cover all the bases,” said team secretary Sameer Chopra, Gr. 12. “We have a lot more members this year, so we’ve been able to put many more man-hours into both the design and construction of our robot.” Among other things, the group had to figure out how to store the foam balls and decide whether the robot should shoot the balls while moving or stationary. “We decided that the camera we’re using to aim would not be capable of maintaining accuracy while the robot was moving, so petition, STS alumni have received more than 100 of the world’s most coveted math and science honors, including six Nobel Prizes, three National Medals of Science and two Field Medals. ■ Two Harker students -- Diana Lai, Gr. 9, and Patricia Chang, Gr. 8 -- were selected for the 2006 California All-State Honor Bands. Over 1,500 students from schools throughout the state auditioned for the All-State Bands, with only top students selected for each instrument. Lai was selected to the All-State High School Honor Band as a bass clarinetist, while Chang was named to the All-State Junior High School Honor Band as a flutist. The AllState Bands gave performances at the conclusion of the California Band Directors Association annual convention in February. ■ In the January issue, we reported that seniors Tara Chandra and Samantha Fang had advanced to the finals of the ARTS Awards sponsored by the National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts (NFAA). Chandra (non-fiction writing) and Fang (classical piano) had a terrific time at the finals in Miami,

a ‘stop-and-shoot’ approach would work better,” Chopra explained. The team designed a special “vshaped” ball collector and spiral storage system to avoid jamming.

of the new members this year are freshmen, so it really bodes well for upcoming seasons, and I think our program will have a very strong future.”

With their innovative design and increased membership, the team is excited about this year’s competition and the direction of the Harker robotics program. Said Chopra, “Many where they enjoyed master classes with the best in their fields, collaborated with other finalists and toured the sights. Fang said, “I was able to meet singers, film makers, visual artists, photographers, dancers and writers.” Chandra especially enjoyed meeting other finalists and sharing her work with writers as passionate as she. At the end of the week, Fang received the Silver Award (with a $5,000 scholarship) and was one of 50 artists from the nine disciplines nominated for the Presidential Scholar in the Arts Award. NFAA will fly Fang and the other Gold and Silver Award winners to New York in April for a performance and awards ceremony. Congratulations to these fine young creative artists. ■ Out of several hundred submissions, Hann-Shuin Yew, Gr. 12, recently won second prize in a poetry contest sponsored by Euphoria, an online poetry Web site. Check out the poem online and leave Yew a message in the guest book at www. ■ Kunal Gupte, Gr. 11, was recently featured on the Comcast TV channel, which focuses on community integration by raising public awareness of cultures and issues surrounding the diverse

population in Silicon Valley. In the show, “Echoes of India,” Kunal played the tanpura, accompanying distinguished musicians P. Bhandarkar and Dr. S. Siddhaye on their traditional Indian instruments, bansuri and tabla, respectively. The tanpura, a longnecked wooden lute, provides the other ensemble members with a drone, or tonal center. Gupte is also learning to play bansuri, an Indian bamboo flute, known to be one of the most ancient musical instruments. “Flute is a simple-looking but difficult instrument and needs quite a lot of patience and dedication. It gives me great pleasure to teach Kunal, who is dedicated and spends hours practicing,” comments Bhandarkar, Gupte’s teacher.

Sangeeta Gupte, parent

At press time, the US Robotics team was working tirelessly to complete its robot in time for the Feb. 21 submission deadline for the FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Robotics Competition. With 35 team members this year (up from 20 last year), the team has been able to demonstrate more attention to detail than ever before.

Gupte adds, “the bansuri is a deceptively complex instrument and when played correctly, it produces music that warms the heart and uplifts the soul.”






Winter Olympic Spirit Catches at LS

Judiciary Committee Update

Harker parent and former Olympian Brian Richardson (Ian, Gr. 4, and Shannon, Gr. 2) recently visited the LS as part of an event to mark the beginning of the 2006 Winter Olympic Games in Torino, Italy. Richardson competed in the two-man bobsled during the 1992 Winter Olympics in Albertville, France.

The Judiciary Committee recently elected two new members and organized a special assembly on cheating.

For the Harker activity, Richardson brought in a four-man bobsled, which he had designed himself, to share with LS students. The students were able to sit inside the bobsled and get a feel for what the athletes experience. Both Richardson and his enthusiastic audience had a fantastic time.

Vanessa Bullman, staff - both photos

Many thanks to Richardson for bringing the Olympic spirit to Harker!

California Baseball Odyssey A Summer Adventure for Gr. 5-8 Harker Students! Join LS teachers, Pat Walsh and Jason Pergament, on a state-wide trip that includes all of California’s major league baseball parks, a day at Disneyland, two overnights on campus and five wild and crazy nights in SoCal motels!

Gr. 9 students Raghav Aggarwal and Pratusha Erraballi were elected to the committee, and will serve on it until the end of the 2006-07 school year. The assembly for US students dealt with why students cheat, and what Harker can do to discourage and diminish cheating. As part of the assembly activities, Judiciary Committee members visited with US advisory groups to discuss issues such as school culture and climate, academic structure, parental pressure and expectations, and stress. Students also had the opportunity to speak candidly with their Judiciary Committee representatives without teachers or administrators in the room. The information gathered from the event will be compiled and presented to the ASB, faculty and administration to create “action items” based on the feedback from the student body. “These types of

events are very important for the Judiciary Committee to hold,” said Dean of Students Kevin Williamson. “We want the school to know

that the committee is not meant to be a punitive body, but a mediator and a sounding board for the faculty and students.” Members of the Judiciary Committee also recently attended a special panel discussion at the Stanford University Center on Ethics, titled “Stress & Cheating.” Congratulations to the new members of the Judiciary Committee, and many thanks to the entire committee for its dedication to helping Harker students, faculty and administrators deal with these pressing issues.

Juniors Begin College Process

• June 23-30, 2006 • Open to Harker students currently enrolled and entering Gr. 5-8 in fall 2006. • $1,295 - includes hotels, meals, admission to baseball games and Disneyland, snack and lunch money and transportation in a deluxe charter bus. Deposit is $300 and full payment is due on or before May 12, 2006.

Contact the Harker Summer Camp office for more information and enrollment forms for this trip: 408.871.4600 or

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


Gr. 11 students attended the first college counseling class of the school year in late January. The year-long class is an introduction to the various aspects of college admissions. US college counselor Alistair Grant said, “By the end of this class, we hope that the students become experts in the college admissions process.” The Harker School is a K-12 independent, co-ed, college-prep school.

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 — March 06

Profile for The Harker School

2006 March Harker News  

2006 March Harker News