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january 2007 (VOL. 13, NO. 4)




Fashion Show showcases and more ............................. 4, 5 Shanghai exchange a rich cultural experience ..... 10, 11 Storybook character, Mrs. Frizzle, wins election ... 8 Next biome will be aquatic feature ............................ 12 New leadership program this summer in Australia ......... 14

photos Hundreds of new photos posted monthly – go to the photo galleries on the division home pages for details!

events 2007 Upper School Dance Production


Incredible Feat Fri., Feb. 2 • 7:30 p.m. Sat., Feb. 3 2 p.m. & 7:30 p.m. Blackford Auditorium Middles School Campus Buy tickets at US Bookstore or e-mail $12/Adults $10/Students & Seniors Harker News — January 07


est. 1893 • K-12 college prep





Students Reach Out to Spread Holiday Comfort and Joy Whether collecting toys, coats and food for those in need, or ringing in the holidays with music, students brought comfort and joy to many this season:

■ Harker Performers Rang in Holidays at Santana Row The spirit of the holidays visited Harker just before Thanksgiving when our performing artists were invited to help kick off the annual tree lighting ceremony at Santana Row. “We are the only school who will perform on that night,” said performing arts teacher Monica MacKinnon prior to the event. “This is quite an honor for the school.” The MS groups who performed included the Gr. 6 Choir, Dance Fusion (formerly Gr. 4-6 Dance

Ensemble), and Harmonics. Also performing were US groups Cantilena, Guys’ Gig, Bel Canto and Downbeat, as well as small ensembles and soloists from the US Orchestra. Harker families and Santana Row shoppers ate fresh churros and enjoyed the festive atmo-

sphere. It was a lovely way to sing in the season!

■ LS Food Drive Helps Many Families The annual LS food drive netted over $2,000 and over 3,000 food items for St. Justin’s Church in Santa Clara this year. Gr. 5 students, who spearheaded the Thanksgiving effort, loaded autos with a bumper crop of food just before the Thanksgiving break. The whole LS pitched in, with K-Gr. 2 students dropping food off Continued on page 3

Students Mind Their Manners in Monthly Cotillion Class Some students are striving to be “Positively Polite,” by attending etiquette classes offered by the MS recreation department. Called “Junior Manners Cotillion” and run by Positively Polite, an etiquette training company, the monthly class ensures students have fun learning social skills, such as how and when to shake hands, how to make and accept introductions, and how to escort a partner. The fun heightens when the students learn ballroom dancing and attend a father/son luncheon or mother/daughter tea, and then culminates in April with Positively Polite’s Spring Formal. More photos are available in our online galleries!


editor’s note Remember to go online and order your fashion show tickets (and pre-order your showcase tickets). Also, check out all the wonderful photos of your children in our photo galleries there are some gems in there! We wish you a Winter Break full of family, friends and fun! —Pam Dickinson, Director Office of Communications

who knew? 40

number of Santa hats owned by Saratoga receptionist Luanne Stanley

cookies tour The admission department hosted this school year’s first Cookies and Kindergarten event in early December, bringing prospective parents to the LS to showcase Harker’s great

january dates

annual giving

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

Heartfelt Thanks!

■ Tues., Jan. 2 — K-Gr. 12 classes resume. ■ Mon., Jan. 15 — Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. No classes K-Gr. 12.

In the News Here’s just a sampling of recent Harker items in the news: ■ Dec. 7 – The Fort Wayne News-Sentinel Senior Emily Chow’s Mercury News “Read This” teen page piece about reducing waste by fixing, taking care, and having a simple wardrobe is picked up in Texas. (Chow’s photography has also appeared regularly on this page). ■ Nov. 16 – San Jose Mercury News Seniors Natasha Sarin and VyVy Trinh were quoted in a piece about the fall convention of the Junior State of America (JSA) convention where the plight in Darfur was spotlighted. ■ Nov. 15 – Cupertino Courier Special assembly where the U.S. Army recognized Harker students for their accomplishments in the 2004-05 eCybermission competition was covered. ■ Nov. 9 – West San Jose Resident Sophomore Kartik Vekatraman’s involvement in Digital Clubhouse Network – and his “Stories of Service” interview with WWII fighter pilot, Bernard “Rusty” Lewis for an online movie stream – was cited. ■ Nov. 11 – San Jose Mercury News Harker football coach and former NFL player Deron Thorp was eulogized after dying suddenly at his home. ■ Oct. 29 – San Jose Mercury News Harker students Molly Wolfe, Gr. 6 and Richard Kwant, Gr. 12 were quoted in an article regarding the annual Ludi Octobres, attended by 40 Harker MS and US students. ■ Oct. 17 – San Jose Mercury News Teen “Read This” article about Harker’s leadership in the national Art With Heart philanthropy project with quotes from senior VyVy Trinh.

programs. Guests toured the school, visited the classrooms, asked questions and enjoyed warm cookies. More Cookies and Kindergarten tours are scheduled for January (reservations required - check Web site for details). If you know of any neighbors, friends, or co-workers who might be perfect for Harker, contact Pam Gelineau, the director of admissions for K-Gr. 5, for more information at

us parents About a dozen players have been turning out for the US parent/student volleyball games. Prospective game dates are Jan. 20 or Jan. 27. If interested, e-mail US parent Lisa Mata for details at


Harker Wins Four MarCom Awards Harker’s Office of Communications (O of C) recently received two Platinum Awards, one Gold and one Honorable Mention in the international 2006 MarCom Creative Awards competition. The top Platinum awards were for Harker’s US admission marketing brochure in the Brochure / Viewbook category, and for The Harker News in the External Newsletter - Non-Profit category. The Gold was for the cover design of the 2005-06 Annual Report, and the Honorable Mention was for the LS admission marketing brochure in the Photography - Brochure category.

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 6 for update.

chef’s corner The Food of the Month in January will be … (drum roll, please) … pears! Believe it or not, there are more than 3,000 varieties of pears the world over. We will be exploring different varieties for taste and texture, including Anjou, Bosc, Red, Comice, Bartlett and Forelle varieties. These are all grown in the Pacific Northwest. We encourage you to sample these different types of pears so you can acquire a taste for this wonderful fruit. Some dishes being considered are Bartlett pear crisp (like an apple crisp but with, you guessed it, pears!), poached pears, and apple and pear Waldorf salad. Healthy tip of the month: We should all be trying to increase our consumption of fruit and vegetables on a daily basis; seven portions per day is a good start. Fruit is available for free, every day, all day long, in all the kitchens. So eat healthy and smart! —Chef Steve Martin

“There is a lot of collaboration on most O of C projects – both within the department and with other Harker departments and administration – so this is truly a Harker kudos,” explained Pam Dickinson, director of the O of C. “Within our constraints, our goal is to create products that set us apart and match the outstanding caliber of our students, faculty, staff, parents and alumni. It’s exciting – and validating – to get this recognition.” Dickinson added that particular thanks go to outside agencies Blue Heron Design Group and Orloff and Williams; O of C staff Mark Tantrum (photographer), Crystal Boyd (design) and Cathy Snider (writing / editing); and Harker copy shop manager Carol Sosnowski for their contributions to these winning entries. MarCom Creative Awards is an international awards competition that recognizes outstanding achievement by marketing and communications professionals from a wide spectrum of industries. Harker submissions were judged against hundreds of entries in their classes, and this is the first year Harker has entered this competition. Harker News — January 07


Can Happiness Be Taught? Of course I cannot answer that question. We are not even certain that virtue can be taught. We are quite confident that algebra, the Civil War and photosynthesis can be taught. And if happiness and virtue can be taught, how will we know when we have taught them successfully? Greater minds than my own have turned their thoughts to these topics. Aristotle, one of our greatest thinkers on happiness, said that happiness was the only goal we pursue for its own sake. Both he and Thomas Jefferson believed that the good society ought to promote the conditions for happiness. In John Milton’s “Paradise Lost,” Satan says, “The mind is its own place, and in itself can make a heaven of hell, a hell of heaven.” Even though he is consoling himself -- not the human race -- after his thumping from God, he makes an important point nonetheless. My green tea bag also contemplates happiness on its tag: “May your inner self be secure and happy.” It is natural, I believe, to turn your thoughts towards happiness as we approach Christmas and the holiday season. Parents, when asked, often say they want their children to be happy or successful. Very few, if any, say virtuous, though studies have shown that virtuous people are both happy and successful. I do not know how you research virtue, happiness and success, but someone has obviously figured it out. I enjoy watching Harker students think of others who may be less fortunate during this time of year. Coat drive. Shelter elves. Canned food. Turkeys.


Aristotle believed that virtue leads to happiness. Throughout time, most of the great religious leaders agreed. It is by losing oneself that one finds

“When you arise in the morning, think of what a

privilege it is to be alive: to breathe, to think, to enjoy, to live. —Marcus Aurelius

oneself, or so the paradox goes. Nirvana, among other things, is the extinguishing of desire. There are many versions of this theme in all the major religions. Young people are designed to be a little self-centered; they need to be to find their place in the world. I am always amazed at how our students’ thoughts turn to others though, not themselves, time and time again. I think it contributes to their happiness. On behalf of the school, I would like to wish everyone a happy holiday season and a truly happy new year.

—Christopher Nikoloff, Head of School


Continued from page 1 at the main office on a daily basis. Meanwhile, Gr. 3-5 students accumulated food in classrooms, before adding it to the general collection. Meals and food bags are made available by St. Justin’s to all those in need in the Santa Clara area throughout the year, not just parishioners. St. Justin’s serves about 2,300 people each month and prepared Thanksgiving baskets for about 600 families this year. “I like to see my students take a moment to reflect on the good fortune they have been blessed with,” said teacher Pat Walsh, who helped coordinate the food drive, “while also taking the time and effort to make a concerted effort to improve the lives of others less fortunate. My fellow teachers and I are always amazed at the generosity of our students and parents.”

■ MS Book Drive Brings Gift of Reading The MS book drive had a very happy ending! The drive, held during the first two weeks of October, netted a total of 463 titles, which were donated to the annual San Jose Mercury News Gift of Reading Children’s Book Drive. The books will go to students and children in need throughout the southern Bay Area. Our donation will put literature in the hands of many students who otherwise may not have had access to it. Harker News — January 07

Cancer research. They receive guidance from us, but I believe their inspiration is largely their own. Their actions remind me of Mother Teresa’s famous thought, “We cannot do great things. We can only do little things with great love.” Harker students think of others all year around, not just during the Christmas season.

English teacher Steven Hewitt helped lead the book drive. “I would also like to give special thanks to the students who have been involved in the Service Club and the Agents for Change Club,” Hewitt said, “as it was their energy and commitment to the process of getting flyers out and promoting the drive that really helped us in the early stages.”

■ MS, US Vocal Groups Bring Joy to Many

Laura Lang-Ree, both photos


Downbeat, an US vocal jazz group, made its annual holiday tour on Dec. 1, bringing good cheer to Lucille Packard Children’s Hospital, Filoli Gardens and Chai House and Forum retirement communities. The ensemble ended the evening at the San Jose Fairmont Hotel with their traditional performance for friends and family (and hotel guests!). The Harker Harmonics, a MS ensemble, performed a community service tour at various venues on Dec. 9, including several retirement communities, transition housing for homeless families, and a home for women and children who are victims of domestic violence. Harmonics members distributed candy canes and other goodies to the elderly, children and families. Go Harker vocalists! Continued on page 6



fashion FA S H I O N S H O W





Watch Our Stars Shine!

rF i., Feb. 23, 2007


11 a.m.

Luncheon Fashion Show


5:30 p.m.

Dinner Gala with Fashion Show


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.

fashions by



Tuxedo Wearhouse

Denise Brodersen CFP, UBS Financial Ser vices • Brooks Family • Cho Family • Courtesy Chevrolet • Heritage Bank of Commerce • Intero Real Estate Ser vices, Saratoga • Jackson Family • Lai Family • Morgan Stanley, San Francisco • Rector Porsche • Smith Barney, Hall Walswor th Group • Stevens Creek BMW • Susai Family • Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP • Wells Fargo, Private Client Services


Invitations will be mailed in early January, but the online box office opens Jan. 2. You won’t want to miss the fun and we do expect this event to sell out early, so reserve your seats as soon as possible; the earlier you reserve, the better your seats will be! Visit the fashion show Web site link from the Harker home page to learn about credit card, student account and online purchase details.

The luncheon and dinner gala shows will both feature our wonderfully talented Harker performing arts students. Be sure to arrive early so you don’t miss a single bit of the fun!

Supplied by David Martin’s House Party

n Chamber Music: Denaly Chen, Joseph Chen,

Catherine Chiu, Stephanie Kim, Audrey Kwong, Julia Shim, Jonathan Wang, Tiffany Yu, directed by Chris Florio

n Jazz Ensemble:

Alexander Achkinazi, Isaac Ball, Benjamin Carpenter, Patrick Gendotti, Naitri Jadeja, Roger Kim, Richard Kwant, Michael Lee, Brian Ma, Philip Perkins, Aadithya Prakash, Anton Sepetov, Shantanu Swaminathan, Daniel Tien, Steven Tran, Andrea Wang, Winston Wey, Annie Zhou, directed by Chris Florio

n Downbeat:

Lauren Ammatuna, Debanshi Bheda, D.J. Blickenstaff, Ben Englert, Simren Kohli, Cailin MacKenzie, Molly Newman, Joshua Pinzás, Julia PriceMadison, Amaresh Shukla, Aseem Shukla, Siobhan Stevenson, Patrick Sweeney, Vyvy Trinh, Kartik Venkatraman, Nina Vyedin, directed by Catherine Snider and Laura Lang-Ree Dinner gala attendees can show off their best “High School Musical” moves, dancing along with David Martin’s House Party, one of the most respected and sought after party orchestras in the Northwest. Members of the group have played with the Steve Miller Band, Robert Cray, Todd Rundgren, Linda Ronstadt, Eddie Money, Chris Isaak, Marty Balin, Elvin Bishop, Del Shannon, the Coasters and many others. David Martin’s House Party performs a variety of music from the 60s through today, and you can be sure they’ll play all your favorite


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 • Hunter Laboratories, Marcia & Chris Riedel • Navindra & Madhu Jain • Mantra Restaurant & Lounge • Krish & Nina Panu • Santana Row • XL Construction

Student Entertainers are Sure to Please

Swing to the Beat of David Martin’s House Party!

Barry Swenson Builder

Sathaye Family Foundation

Online Tickets Available Jan. 2, 2007!

n Dance Fusion:

Megy Appalaraju, Mercedes Chien, Isabelle Connell, David Cutler, Ethan Cutler, Karan Das-Grande, Tiphaine Delepine, Caroline Howells, Michaela Kastleman, Cecilia Lang-Ree, Payal Modi, Kevin Moss, Michelle Pagnon, Katherine Paseman, Hannah Prutton, Sindhu Ravuri, Kevin Susai, Andrew Zhu, directed by Gail Palmer

n Varsity Dance:

Julia Havard, Laura Holford, Cassie Kerkhoff, Karlene McCallCreary, Sarah Payne, Ranjita Raghvan, Shilpa Rajgopal, Laura Sanchez Hartzell, Andrea Thomas, Allison Wong, directed by Laura Rae

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 — January 07

DOUBLE FEATURE: Live Auction and Silent Auction!


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!

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

The evening’s auctioneer is Damon Casatico, founder and president of Charity Benefits Auctions. Serving many different types of nonprofit organizations, as well as the private education market sector, Charity Benefits Auctions has emerged as America’s premier benefit auction company and has been featured on Access Hollywood and Entertainment Tonight. Their positive, high-energy live auction method of marketing makes this an auction like no other! Come enjoy the auction and bid on fabulous items including: ■ Evening with the Stars: Join the stars at the Emmy 2007 Awards! Four tickets get you and your friends the star treatment, with VIP red carpet arrival by limo, exactly the same as nominees and celebrities. This could be your once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to walk the path of current and past stars, and pass by photographers, fans and a global TV audience... very possibly your 15 seconds of fame on TV! Enjoy the awards ceremony at the Shrine Auditorium seated amid the rich and famous. ■ Indy Car Racing Package: Attend the Sonoma Indy Racing League event and meet the team and drivers of Sam Schmidt Motorsports in an up-close and personal setting. This package gives two guests access to every aspect of the race and team, with pit passes, lunch with the drivers, team outfits and introductions to legendary figures in motorsports, including Mario and Michael Andretti. If you are looking for the ultimate motorsports immersion experience, this is it!  Plus this year we’re adding a new component to both the luncheon and dinner shows: a Silent Auction, with some exciting items that will be revealed next month!

Newest Program Advertisers We want to recognize and thank these new program advertisers for signing on with us in November: Allan Advisors Inc.–Intero Real Estate Services, J. Barnes Construction, Bijan Bakery, Susanne Bohl Realtor, Davis Family, Designed to Treasure, Frankie, Johnnie & Luigi Too!, Involuntarily Committed Forever Book Club, Barry Kliger DDS, Brian S. Nettleman DDS, Nirus Tennis Academy, Le Papillon Restaurant, Presidio Exchange Advisors, Tanya Ringold, Mark Tantrum Photography, Santa Clara Swim Club, Wooden Horse Toy Store

You can be a part of this shining event!

Feature Film: JERRY MAGUIRE “Show Me the Money!”

$5,000 CASH GOLDFINGER: “My name is Bond - James Bond.” The legend of 007 comes alive with this collection of refined sophistication from Santana Row. Set design by Marie Peterson of Chelsea Court Designs. STAR WARS: “May the force be with you!” The latest technology toys for all ages, including an LCD television and a new PlayStation 3! Don't stand in ridiculous lines or endure long lead times - just purchase lots of pre-sale tickets! Set design by Dennis Baldwin of Dennis Baldwin Interiors. THE SECRET GARDEN: “The whole world is a garden.” An extravaganza of wonder ful outdoor items that will turn any backyard into an oasis. Set design by Craig Shannon of Stems and Fred Oieda of Acanthus Interior Designs. PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: “Yo ho, yo ho, a pirate’s life for me!” By popular demand, four Treasure Chests will be awarded at the luncheon show, and two at the dinner gala. Each Treasure Chest will offer a shipload of great prizes, and one will include a week in a two-bedroom suite at the five-star Villa del Arco resort, with a picture-perfect view of land’s end on the beach of Cabo San Lucas! 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 packet or visit the fashion show Web site for details.

Event Production committee

There’s still time to become part of the CinéFest crew! Join us at our Jan. 5 meeting at the Blackford MPR starting at 8 a.m., or visit the CinéFest Web site for more information: Venz Fine Photography

n Volunteer Opportunities n Program Advertising n Committee Information n Showcase Donation Drawing Tickets n Event Tickets n and more! Harker News — January 07

Event Chair Archana Sathaye and Assistant Chair Roni Wolfe extend their deepest appreciation to the Event Production committee members for their hard work and support.




Continued from page 3

■ US Elves Deliver Cheer to Needy The Harker Shelter Elves worked hard, as usual, this year. The Shelter Elves program, which is part of the Emergency Housing Consortium/LifeBuilders, provides transitional housing for people who are experiencing difficulties of various kinds that have made them temporarily homeless. This year the US played “elf” to 37 families ranging in size from two to eight people. Members of the Harker community worked in teams of two or three to provide all the needs and most of the “wants,” as well as a grocery store gift certificate for each family. Harker students collected the bags of presents from the groups and delivered them on Dec. 15. “I love this project!” said organizer and teacher Carol Zink. “The students really get into it; they enjoy thinking about what would make good presents based on the family members’ wants and interests. They especially love shopping for toys and clothes for the little kids. It’s very heartwarming to me to see the outpouring of generosity from the Harker community.”

■ US Helps at Christmas In the Park

Kerry Enzenberger

About 30 US students joined about 150 student volunteers from all over the Santa Clara Valley to help set up Christmas in the Park in downtown San Jose. The students worked on a Harkersponsored gingerbread house, a tradition for the school. Students found it strange to set up winter decorations on such a lovely warm day, said organizer Kerry Enzensperger, but the spirit of the holidays was still strong!

■ US Girl Scouts Collect for Teen Moms It is true, Harker does have an on-board Girl Scout troop, and they collected new and gently used children’s and parenting books for a teen parent center. Girl Scout Troop 202, made up of Gr. 9 students Tara Hansen, Monisha Dilip, Tamara Kawadri, Adrienne Wong and Nicole Lindars and Gr. 6. student Lorraine Wong, decorated a center for teen mothers earlier this year, a project that included a bookcase. “We thought it would be a good idea to collect books for the children and parents to read in the waiting room,” said Lindars. Although Harker News went to press before the final count was in, full credit to the troop for working to finish the job up right!

■ LS Toys for Tots The annual LS Toys for Tots drive started with a bang. In the first week of the two-week drive, over 250 toys were collected! The motto this year was “Fill the Fence,” and the collection was displayed in a fenced-off area of the lobby of the LS administrative area. The nationwide Toys for Tots effort is run by the Marine Corps and, since many Marines are now deployed in Iraq, the overall program has not been as successful as in past years. To counter the shortage, the LS campus aimed to gather 900 toys. Upon completion of the collection Dec. 15, the toys were presented to Marine Corps representatives by fourth graders, who led the project, and the Student Council president. The drive wrapped up after the Harker News deadline, but we hope to report a successful campaign in February!

■ MS, US Coat Drives Two groups collected coats in December to help families in the San Jose area. The MS Service Club and US National Honor Society placed containers around their respective campuses for the donations, which were distributed through organizations such as the One Warm Coat drive.



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

fund Student Thanks Here are more examples of the thank you notes our students wrote to the advancement office in appreciation of the generous contributions of our parents to the Annual Giving Campaign: “Thank you for the storyteller.” —William Cumpston, Gr. 2 “Without you the children who stay after school would not have anything to play with. We also would not have been able to visit the Tech Museum. Thank you very much for all the money that you have donated.” —Michael Leung, Gr. 7 “Thank you for filling the library’s shelves.” —Kaitlin Halloran, Gr. 7 “We, the children of the Harker community are ecstatic about our new basketball hoops and our new courts to play on… Our whole playground has dramatically improved, and we, the students of Harker, deeply thank you for this achievement.” —Amir Mortazavi, Gr. 8

Intel Volunteer Matching Gift On Nov. 29, Intel Corp. presented The Harker School with a check for $3,800 through its Volunteer Matching Gift Program (VMGP). When Intel employees volunteer at the school, Intel matches each hour given with dollars. Last year our Intel parents’ volunteer work added up to $2,500 in matching funds, and so we’ve seen a sizeable increase this year. Rita Holiday, program director for Intel, noted that seeing their employees get so involved in schools makes her “beam with pride knowing our employees are being an asset to our schools and communities.” Harker is also proud of its Intel parents who participated in this program and sends a sincere “thank you” to Intel and to these parents who together volunteered 380 hours for the school last year: Jan Smudski and Yu-Lin Chao (Nicholas Tan, Gr. 12), Vivek Agarwal (Anisha, Gr. 8, and Rohit, Gr. 6), Barbara Drummer (Kyle, Gr. 9), and Yulia Korobko (Vladimir, Gr. 6, and Natalia, K). Harker News — January 07



Students Explore Beautiful Marin Headlands During Annual Trip trails and conducted scientific experiments with pond water and creatures. The first night, with the moon reflecting off the waves, the group headed for the beach for an exciting night hike. The second evening, they sat around a campfire performing skits and singing. Elementary Division Head Kristin Giammona

reported that some of the students were even able to see a recuperated sea lion being released back into the ocean. All in all, another wonderful year at the Headlands, and a great outdoor science classroom experience for the students!

Christine Zhuang & Gaurau Kumar, students, and Mark Tantrum

The Gr. 5 class recently enjoyed three beautiful days exploring the beach, tide pools, mountains,

lagoon, pond and more during their annual Marin Headlands trip. Living in re-purposed Army barracks during their stay, the students, accompanied by 11 Harker teacher chaperones, enjoyed sunny days and mild winds as they hiked

Storyteller Captivates and Inspires Young Students Storyteller Jim Crogan returned in November to the delight of students. “Many have seen him before over previous years at Harker and always seem to enjoy his wonder ful stories filled with a positive message at the

end,” said Gr. 2 teacher Kimberly Sandoval. “It is through his magical combination of facial expressions and character voices that he seems to transcend a simple stor y into a theatrical event.” Students in Cindy Proctor’s Gr. 1 class agreed. “I liked his expression. When he did a rooster, he was really funny,” said Jerrica Liao. “He let us use our imagination,” added classmate Amy Dunphy. Proctor remarked, “We always

kid talk This month’s question, addressed to Gr. 5 students, is: What are you looking forward to in the New Year?

Brian Tuan: I want to go to honors English and be more fit (by) running and doing aerobics. He also plans to explore California with his family this summer.

look for ward to Jim’s visit. His stories involve the children in so many ways and inspire them to tell stories of their own.”

Michelle Pagnon is looking forward to meeting my relatives, my grandpa, in Gibraltar, Spain, in the summer.

Ian Richardson, along with working harder on his studies, plans to work on staying fit and eating right, but is also looking forward to his family’s annual surprise trip to somewhere.

“ ”

Mercedes Chien is looking forward to meeting her grandparents in Taiwan, playing with friends and, next fall, joining the Harker girls volleyball program.

Harker News — January 07




Information Literacy Has New Tune

‘Mrs. Frizzle’ Wins Gr. 1 Election

The reach for information literacy extends to Harker’s youngest literates. Library Director Enid Davis will go to lyric lengths to help young students understand how best to use resources. At the LS Information Literacy Committee’s first meeting, Davis led the teachers in a version of the song she hopes will help students remember a simple research process. Based on the Big6 method by M. Eisenberg and R. Berkowitz and sung to the tune “This Old Man,” the first two of six verses ran:

For November’s Election Day, Gr. 1 students had the opportunity to vote for their favorite storybook character. Their five choices were “Amelia Bedelia,” “Nate the Great,” “Lily,” “Mrs. Frizzle” and “Arthur.” The children learned all about the voting process and had time to review the candidates by reading their books before voting on Tuesday. Each student registered, filled out a ballot and got an “I Voted” sticker to wear. After counting the ballots, we learned that “Mrs. Frizzle” was the winner!

BRAINSTORM NOW! That’s Step Two. List the places I should view. With a knick-knack paddy whack, Thinking what to do. In The Big6 that’s Step Two.

According to a summar y of “The Big Six Information Skills As a Metacognitive Scaffold: A Case Study” (Sara Wolf, Thomas Brush and John Saye, 2003), published on the American Librar y Association Web site, “The Big Six information skills model (Big6) is one that is primarily aimed at kindergarten through twelfth-grade students. This model is intended to foster the acquisition of research, problem-solving, and metacognitive skills through the cooperation of both school librar y media specialists and classroom teachers.” Davis discussed and answered questions about information literacy skills vital to students, the methodology she recommends to teach these skills and how teachers can use librarians and IT teachers to help in a variety of ways. The journey toward information literacy continues!

Snowman-grams Usher in Winter You know winter has arrived when the Snowman-grams start flying! Snowman-grams are little holiday treats students can buy for each other from Spirit Club members, explained teacher Jason Pergament. Proceeds go to Toys for Tots! The messages carry holiday greetings and candy from classroom to classroom. Each year, the pictures on the Snowman-grams are selected from among student entries. This year’s winners (pictured) were by Lauren Cali, Gr. 5, Michael Auld, Gr. 2, and Celine Liang, Gr. 3.

kudos Aneesh V. Samineni, Gr. 2, won three chess trophies and eight medals over the summer. Samineni learned the game in Harker’s after-school chess program during kindergarten and Gr. 1. He won first place in both the Weibel Chess Quads, held in Fremont on July 1, and the Berkeley Chess Quads on July 22, and earned the Top Second Grader Chess Trophy in the Third California Classic Scholastic Chess tournament in Cupertino in August. His budding chess career is off to a great start!


Cindy Proctor

WHAT’S THE TASK? That’s Step One. Tell me all that must be done. With a knick-knack paddy whack, Research can be fun. In The Big6 that’s Step One.

Students Plan Thanksgiving Meal Kids do say the darnedest things – and simplify them in ways adults don’t. Every year teacher Stephanie Woolsey assigns her Gr. 3-4 math classes the task of creating an imaginary meal for 15 using newspaper circulars to plan, price and shop. “As you can imagine, some of the meals are pretty interesting!” Woolsey said. “The kids have a good time planning and shopping, and actually take their jobs pretty seriously. One student decided to serve plain marshmallow cream for dessert, and one student looked through every grocery store ad she could find in the room to find chocolate sauce,” she noted. This year, said Woolsey, “after 20 minutes of searching her ads for the perfect foods, Lauren Speckman (Gr. 3) came up to me and said, ‘Mrs. Woolsey, I was just thinking to myself that I feel sorry for my parents, because they have to do this every day!’”

Spirit Assembly a Sweet Success Teachers and students alike cooperated in a recent spirit assembly, but it was hard to say who enjoyed it more – the students shoveling whipped cream into their teachers’ mouths, or those being fed whipped cream for a good cause. Held in November, the assembly kicked off the LS Thanksgiving break with a bang – er, a squoosh.

Eagles Soar to India and Australia The LS mascot exchange has begun! In late October, Gr. 1 and 2 homerooms sent Harker mascots (a Harker Eagle stuffed animal) to The Neerja Modi School in Jaipur, India, and to St. Stephen’s College in Coomera, Queensland, Australia. Recently, the students received similar packages from these schools. Each week, a student will take the mascot home and record its adventures. In a month or so, Harker students will send souvenirs and letters about the mascots’ adventures to their home schools. Similarly, Harker students soon will receive news about their Eagles from India and Australia. Lisa Diffenderfer, assistant director of instructional technology and coordinator of the exchange, is also continuing a tradition teacher Diann Chung began earlier this year – a seasonal basket exchange with the Tamagawa School, our sister school in Japan. Baskets include holiday decorations made by students and other icons of the season and the Harker/Tamagawa friendship. Harker News — January 07



eCybermissionaries Tackle Real-Life Problems

Team Calnilers, comprising Albert Wu, Jennie Xu, Evan Yao and Michelle Deng, are working on the West Nile Virus problem. To that end, they surveyed about 50 homes around the Saratoga campus on folks’ knowledge of the problem. The group worked hard

creating doorknob hangers and info packets. Along with those items, the eCybermissionaries filled bottles with water containing mosquito-eating fish as visual aides to help educate people about West Nile virus. The people were quite supportive and appreciative of what the kids were trying to do, said Swaminathan. Team Bacteria Busters, comprising Revanth Kosaraju, Daniela Lapidous, Ramya Rangan and Neel Salukhe, are working on ameliorating problems that arose from the recent E. coli contamination in the Salinas Valley. The bacteria were recently found in meat products and leafy green produce such as spinach. The Bacteria Busters are looking for alternative food sources that provide similar nutrition to the contaminated

foods and recipes that will kill the bacteria, including a protein substitute for meat and cooked spinach recipes. The students

are surveying families about these alternatives, as well as their general knowledge of E. coli. Team Shining Shields, comprising Patrick Yang, Kaitlin Halloran, Eric Kong and Priyanka Mody, are working on issues surrounding school violence following incidents in several U.S. schools. The group created a survey to collect pre-

Parents Learn How to Protect Kids Online A parent education night on Internet safety was held at the MS campus in November. Angela Neff, assistant director of instructional technology, reported that the evening, featuring San Jose Police Detective Gerald Kepler III, covered a variety of crucial subjects, including rules of use at home, the importance of talking to your kids and overseeing their online activity. The presentations included feedback collected from children who had been victimized and information on how parents can control their children’s use of the Internet to prevent their own children from being victims of online crime. Other presentations included how children use Web logs (blogs) and chat rooms to communicate; how predators can use information in the blogs and chat rooms to get inside a child’s guard; how to watch for and recognize potentially predaHarker News — January 07

tory situations; and what to do when a legal or moral line is crossed and your child becomes a victim. The issues surrounding online predators are complex and further meetings for students are planned for February. The first student internet assembly was held Dec. 1 to help students understand the dangers that plague unaware Internet users. Neff noted that not following rules concerning respect for others, protecting oneself from pedophiles and keeping personal information (like passwords) private can have the most devastating consequences. “We advised students that teachers are there to talk to them when they experience or see something upsetting or scary on the Internet,” said Neff. “I have had some amazing discussions with groups of kids. They can be surprisingly open about bullying and other activities they experience online when given the

opportunity to talk about it in a safe, open environment.” Neff added that there are several general topics parents can discuss to keep Internet safety at the forefront of student’s minds: know what the Internet is and what potential dangers there are; how to safely navigate the World Wide Web; what to do when coming across inappropriate content such as pornography; be aware of online advertising and marketing; be aware there is false information on the Internet; be careful when buying something online. If you have more immediate concerns, contact Neff at the MS (, Lisa Diffenderfer at the LS (lisad@harker. org) and Daniel Hudkins at the US ( PARENT RESOURCES ■ Net Smartz: Parent and Child Education Web site – ■ Internet Crimes Against Children Bureau – ■ To report illegal online activity, call the National Line for Missing and Exploited Children at 800.843.5678 and select option two.

Raji Swaminathan, all photos

Harker Gr. 7 eCybermissionaries are busy working on real-life global issues. They hope to find solutions for the issues, then present first at regionals in the spring, then, hopefully, at nationals come summer. Here is the first in a series of reports on these teams, which we will publish as milestones are reached. The Gr. 7 eCybermission teams are advised by teacher Raji Swaminathan, founder of the program at Harker.

experiment data for their control group that was administered to advisories. Questions centered on how students feel about violence in schools and how safe they feel at Harker. Examples include whether or not students feel the United States should increase attention and spending on preventing violence in schools, whether or not stricter gun control will help prevent violence on campuses and whether or not Harker students know what to do should an incident occur on our campus. See this edition’s In the News (page 2) for coverage of Harker’s 2006 eCybermission winners in the Cupertino Courier!

Students Guide the Way at Open House The MS open house in early December – our best oppor tunity to showcase the wonder ful programs and faculty we have to prospective families – was enlivening and enlightening thanks to our dedicated student volunteer tour guides! Many thanks to Gr. 7 students Veronica Bither, Isabella Conrad, David Dominguez, Frederic Enea, Sarah Howells, Rahul Kini, Margaret Krackler, Neha Kumar, Daniela Lapidous, Vivian Lu, Rahul Madduluri, Katherine Marcus Reker, Montana Miller, Priyanka Mody, Saagar Sarin, Karen Wang; and Gr. 8 students Anisha Agarwal, Monisha Appalaraju, Jacob Chappell, Carmen Das-Grande, Guillaume Delepine, Katie Forsberg, Ejaz Haque, Spencer Jordan, Alice Loofbourrow, April Luo, Ayesha Malik, Molly Mandel, Araby Martin, Malika Mehrotra, Michael Prutton and Christopher Watkins.




2006/07 Shanghai-Harker Teacher Exchange Shanghai teacher Ruby Tang spent three months at Harker, visiting all three campuses by day and sites around the Bay Area in her off-hours. An English teacher at Harker’s sister school, the Shanghai World Foreign Language Middle School, Tang visited classes and gave lessons during the week, including several presentations to the students in the ACE Club (see story below), which included one on the history and geography of China, and how to work with Chinese numbers and language.“Miss Tang even took the name of every ACE club student and translated it into a traditional Chinese name,” said teacher Mark Gelineau. Tang accompanied the Gr. 8 students on their trip to Washington, D.C. in October, and on weekends she toured the Bay Area with faculty members and took side trips on her own to Los Angeles and New York. Here are some of her observations on her Harker experience.

Q. What have you enjoyed most about being at Harker?

marathon during the break, but the teachers do. The teacher needs to run fast and get everything ready during the break. That is a very big difference. In addition, teachers in my school stay with the same group for three or four years. This year, I teach eighth-grade English, and last year I taught the same group but in seventh-grade English.

A. First, working with kids of different ages. I was with the fourth grade, recently, and they are really cute and I think we had a really good time. Secondly, I have been introducing Chinese cultural things to the kids and that is something I am fond of doing, because I want kids to know more about my country’s culture. Thirdly, seeing what school life is like here in the states, along with visiting new places and meeting new people. Finally, being in California; I enjoy the weather.

Also, at Harker, students may spend more time designing a poster or whatever during a class, but in China, it is more likely that will be done as homework after school. In language classes, in China, we tend to do more oral work in class, as opposed to written work.

Q. What are the biggest differences between our school and your Shanghai school?

Q. Have you picked up any teaching tools you can use at your school?

A. In American schools, the teacher has the classroom and students go to different classrooms for different classes. In China, teachers go to different rooms to give lessons, so the kids don’t have the five-minute

A. Yes, definitely. For example, I have been to several science lessons where they were using online resources, and also they have some very good high technology for the lessons, which is quite

The Academic and Cultural Exchange (ACE) Club meets throughout the year to celebrate the diversity of world cultures. Earlier this fall, the group was treated to special presentations including music and delicious traditional foods from students and their parents. Lydia Demissachew, Gr. 8, gave an informative presentation about Ethiopia and told us about the “wonder grain” called teff used to make their delicious spongy flat bread, injera. Timi Adleye, Gr. 8, and his mother made a presentation about their native country, Nigeria, and brought in a feast of Nigerian treats. They both dressed up in beautiful traditional clothing. Stay tuned for updates! —Reported by Katherine Forsberg, Gr. 8

Spirited Students ‘Name That Song’ Eighth graders earned a free-dress day at a November spirit assembly, when two of their advisory groups slid past not only Gr. 6 and 7 competitors, but MS faculty participants as well, in identifying TV show theme songs from snippets. “The winners were masterful at identifying the names of popular television shows (old and new) based on a brief snippet of the show’s theme song,” said Cindy Kerr, MS division head. “As the head of the MS and an eighth grade adviser, I salute their victory; as an academic administrator I wonder at the method of acquisition of this impressive knowledge,” she noted, tongue-in-cheek.


to my school head in Shanghai to see if we can use them. I think those are more efficient ways to show the kids how things work. Q. Do you have any message for students and faculty on your stay here? A. For the kids, I really loved spending three months with them; they are lovely and really concentrated on my lessons. For the teachers, they have been very helpful and kind and we have had some very nice classes. Thanks very much for all the meals and for taking me to new places!

Harker’s Gr. 7 science classes continue their explorations of our physical world with experiments. Here, they conduct elastic and inelastic collisions using a dynamic cart. They are studying whether momentum and kinetic energy are conserved for the two types of collisions, using Vernier motion detectors and LoggerPro software.

Raji Swaminathan

Lorna Claerbout

Club Celebrates World Cultures

good. So, I have taken notes on the online sites and the equipment they are using, and I plan to show them

kudos Soccer players Sumit Minocha and David Lindars, both Gr. 6, participated in the Los Gatos United Soccer League (LGUSL) Boys Under 12 soccer tournament as members of the Harriers. After a rough series of preliminary games, the Harriers won the championship match 2-0 in the penalty-kick stage. Minocha valiantly saved two shots on goal to give his team the championship. Lindars was voted Best Defender on the team. Minocha was hoisted to the shoulders of his teammates after the victory and led the victory lap around the field; he was goalkeeper throughout the tournament and didn’t allow a single goal against the Harriers – a truly amazing performance!

Harker News — January 07

Annual Shanghai Exchange a Rich Cultural Experience for Students buddies were waiting with at least one parent. We took pictures—I have never smiled so long in my life. “This morning’s breakfast consisted of an egg, a piece of cake, warm milk, a cappuccino, bread with jam, tomatoes, porridge, and an orange - A LOT of food…We then went to Mihang Sports Park where we, Rose and I, raced her parents on those bikes where you sit on a chair and pedal. When going uphill

Joe Gill, all photos

Eighteen Harker eighth graders traveled to Shanghai in November as part of Harker’s annual Global Education program. Spending two full weeks in China – mostly in host family homes – the students

learned about Chinese culture, from the breakfast table to the Great Wall. As guests of our sister school, the Shanghai World Foreign Language Middle School (SWFLMS), students attended workshops and classes in such subjects as tai chi, calligraphy, painting and dance. The students also went on a Pu Dong River cruise, visited The Great Wall, Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden Palace, and did a little shopping. In e-mails to her mom, student participant Molly Mandell shared some impressions of the experience, which she agreed to share with The Harker News: “When we got there, all the teachers were there and all the student

Rose and I struggled, but many Chinese people came and helped us go up.” A special component this year was having April Luo, Harker student and niece of the principal of the SWFLMS, Madame Luo Peiming, on this year’s trip as one of the participants. This family connection was instrumental in forging the partnership between the two schools, which was formalized in December 2003 and received international media coverage for its

groundbreaking collaboration with a school in the People’s Republic of China. Participants in this year’s trip were: Students – Monisha Ap-

palaraju, Samir Asthana, Andrew Cutler, Jennifer Dai, Katharine Forsberg, Nidhi Gandhi, Miranda Gorman, Jessica Khojasteh, Gautam Krishnamurthi, April Luo, Partha Mahajani, Molly Mandell, Zachary Mank, Malika Mehrotra, Riya Parikh, James Seifert, Anne West and Olivia Zhu. Chaperones – Joe Gill, assistant head for non-academics; Gill’s wife, Sarah Lougheed; Catherine Le, LS science teacher; and Doug Knight, MS English teacher.

Robotics Education Growing

enlight’ning Wins First Place

Robotics, both required and elective, are integral parts of the MS science curriculum, and teacher Michael Schmidt is bolting them together. “There are many examples of robotics education in the MS right now,” Schmidt said. Currently, the Gr. 7 required computer science course is studying robotics. The semester-long class, now in its fourth year, “entails basic programming and problem-solving combined with some rudimentary mechanical engineering,” explained Schmidt. In addition, an after-school Robotics Team was formed last year with students from all three MS grades. “This is a team like any sports team that requires attendance at least three days per week, and a strong level of effort and participation,” Schmidt added. “Students must also attend and compete in one competition against other schools. If the team does well enough, we can qualify for a state tournament in January.”

Harker students earned a First Place with Special Merit award from the American Scholastic Press Association in December for their literar y arts magazine, enlight’ning. The magazine, 44 pages long this year, was founded in 2002 by faculty advisor Stacie Newman. Michael Schmidt, computer graphics teacher, joined Newman this past year as co-adviser. The 2006 publication, subtitled Duality, received 970 out of a possible 1,000 points for content, organization, design, presentation and creativity. Contributions from all three grades include photos, art, prose and poems, such as this excerpt from “What’s in a Reflection” by Sohini Khan, Gr. 8:

This year’s competition is an all-day event with 52 teams from the San Jose Unified School District. The Harker teams will present their robot, their programs and a research project on designated subject matter; this year it’s nanotechnology. Each team has its robot perform a number of tasks on a specially designed table in three two-minute runs. “Points are tallied and teams are ranked,” Schmidt noted. “Last year, we had two teams ranked in the top 30 percent and I’m hoping we do even better this year.” Harker News — January 07

“Yet I do not see/these hopes that fell and rose/those memories of grief and joy/that dream yet to come true.” Congratulations to all contributors, staff and advisers for this outstanding achievement!




Rule Brittania! British music reigned on the Saratoga campus on Nov. 17 as Cantilena, Guys’ Gig and the MS group Vivace treated a packed FDR to a winter concert. Cantilena, directed by Susan Nace, featured music from Britain’s 20th century giants Gustav Holst, Ralph Vaughan Williams and Benjamin Britten. Harpist Ruth Mohanram, whose son Scott, Gr. 9, is in Guys’ Gig, accompanied the ensemble on the Holst and Britten pieces, which presented two religious traditions. “Holst’s ‘Choral Hymns from the Rig Veda’ uses English translations from the Hindu holy writ while Britten’s ‘Ceremony of Carols’ uses Middle English poetry regarding the birth of Christ,” explained Nace. To contrast the sacred pieces, members of the two US groups and senior Conservatory certificate candidates presented selections from Vaughan Williams’ folk opera “Sir John in Love,” which is based on Shakespeare’s “The Merry Wives of Windsor.” Jennifer Cowgill’s MS ensemble Vivace presented the popular British traditional song “The Water is Wide,” with Gr. 8 soloists Jalyn Burrell and Sonia Bhattacharya, followed by a serious Bach piece, with not-so-serious lyrics added, called “Cold and Fugue Season.” In addition, Guys’ Gig presented a Beatles song, “When I’m Sixty-Four,” and seniors Aseem Shukla and Vani Pyda entertained with the fun duet, “Baby, It’s Cold Outside.” It was a delightful evening showcasing a variety of music from across the pond.

Biomes Popping Up on US Campus Watch out for the arid zone. It’s next to the greenhouse, opposite Manzanita Hall, and it is part of a long-term project to develop miniature biomes on the US campus. Webster’s Online defines a biome as a “major ecological community type (as tropical rain forest, grassland or desert)” and an ecosystem as a “complex of a community of organisms and its environment functioning as an ecological unit.” Harker biomes will be some combination of the two. Over the past few years, Anita Chetty, biology and science instructor and science department chair, has been encouraging the development of various sites into these biomes. The next addition will be the 2007 class gift, an aquatic feature located between Manzanita and Dobbins halls. The aquatic feature would complement the existing redwood grove, already one of the biomes, known as Graduate Grove. Eventually Harker’s biome community will include the greenhouse, arid zone, redwood forest (so big you don’t notice it!) and the approved aquatic feature and a native garden. Aside from the aesthetic value of having a diverse and ordered landscape, the sites allow students to create biological environments to give classroom work a third dimension. Chetty has noted the interdisciplinar y value of the installation. ”When English teachers are covering Emerson and Thoreau, they can take their students out and listen to the water. It can be used by the photo club and art students,” she said. The project, called the Outdoor Classrooms Project, is ongoing as opportunities and funds arise.


Cheerleading Squad Revs Up Games Harker spirit soared on the sidelines at football games this fall. And on Jan. 6, Harker’s recently revived cheerleading squad brought its energy and enthusiasm to the basketball court. The squad really boosted the football team’s morale, said US Athletic Director Dan Molin, adding that he is looking forward to having the cheerleaders at upcoming basketball games. “The girls are loud, uniform, organized and are working hard.” The squad comprises seniors Ashley Dang and Annie Zhou, junior Tiffany Lai, and sophomores Noel Duan and Andrea Thomas. The members of the squad say they are excited to represent Harker at games. “Even seeing a small group of girls on the floor cheering gets the rest of the audience hyped up,” said Thomas, the newest member of the squad. “I think it’s extremely important that there are always people to cheer on our players,” added Lai. Harker hasn’t always had cheerleaders. A squad was formed about the time the US opened, but as the cheerleaders on the squad graduated, interest waned, explained coach Kristen Nielsen. Last year, a group of students revived the squad. Then, this past fall, Chris Daren, activities director and yearbook/newspaper adviser, recruited Nielsen to coach. Nielsen attended Harker through eighth grade and has worked at Harker Summer Camp. She attended high school at St. Francis, where she was a cheerleader. (Her mom is Nan Nielsen, director of admission and financial aid at Harker.) Nielsen said she is thrilled to be coaching the hard-working girls. “Our goals for this year are to continue to build the squad in the eyes of each other and the student body,” she said. “Truly, our main goal is to have a good time while supporting Harker athletics.”

Cancer Diagnosis a Teachable Moment Anita Chetty’s Human Anatomy (HA) class recently had a firsthand view of fighting cancer, from diagnosis to surgery seen on tape. Harker K-Gr. 12 Director of Technology, Dan Hudkins, who was diagnosed with prostate cancer in fall 2006, volunteered to document his experience for Chetty’s class. At his first meeting with the class in late September, he discussed how the diagnosis was made, shared images from inside his body and talked about what would likely be done to mitigate the cancer. Following his surgery in December Hudkins returned to the class accompanied by his doctor, Sunil K. Ahuja from the Department of Urology at Kaiser Santa Teresa Community Hospital in San Jose, who explained the entire process from a medical point of view. Ahuja, who had met Harker students who interned at the hospital and was aware of Harker’s advanced science classes, brought films of a similar surgery, which were taken via cameras inserted through small incisions. Hudkins surgery was successful and his prognosis is good. We thank him for turning a stressful time into a teaching moment for our students, and we wish him a speedy recovery. Harker News — January 07

Shreya Gowda

Quiz Bowl Team Crushes Opponent

annual Ohio Valley Classic. Harker has been a participant at this tournament for the past seven years.

Harker’s Quiz Bowl team won its first match Nov. 17 against Burlingame High School, crushing them 270 to 70. The Quiz Bowl is a fast-paced question-and-answer game, taped for television, that goes well beyond trivia to test students’ knowledge of chemistry, math and other sciences, as well as sports and popular culture. Harker’s next opponent either will be Terra Nova or De La Salle High School, on Jan. 20, 2007; the planned air date for that match is Feb. 24.

At the Santa Clara University Speech and Debate Tournament on Dec. 9-10, Harker debaters joined 51 schools and 614 students entered in individual events. Congratulations to semifinalists Anjali Menon (Varsity Persuasion), Kaavya Gowda (Novice Humorous), Shreya Gowda, Gr. 10, (Novice Humorous), Denzil Sikka, Gr.10, (Novice Declamation), Christine Hsu, Gr. 9 and Vivian Huang, Gr. 9, (Novice Duo). Taking fourth place in Novice Humorous was Justin Iso, Gr. 10, and Sikka took fourth in Novice Impromptu.

Harker Senior Walk Installation A batch of custom senior bricks was installed Nov. 14 in the Senior Walk located near Graduate Grove by Dobbins Hall. Senior bricks are still available for purchase to honor students who have passed through Harker 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.

Update Debate Harker‘s debaters entered the Bickel & Brewer/NYU National Public Policy Forum contest for the first time this year. Exactly 100 schools participated in the first round. Harker advanced to the field of 16 remaining schools by earning the best case award for the Pacific region, and will be pitted against Dreyfoos School of the Arts in the next round. The team will learn in January whether they advance to the field of eight remaining schools. Congratulations to the following students and coaches for their hard work: Annelise Han, Gr. 12, Prachi Sharma, Gr. 10, Pratusha Erraballi, Gr. 10, Aneesh Goel, Gr. 11, Stephanie Lio, Gr. 11, Tonia Sun, Gr. 11, Nicholas Tan, Gr. 12, Neelaysh Vukkadala, Gr. 11 and Jay Shah, Gr. 11, as well as coaches AJ Merton and Matthew Brandstetter. The debaters braved the cold weather in Lexington, Ky., in early December as they competed against teams from 10 states at the annual Ohio Valley Classic held at the University of Kentucky. While policy debaters were competing in the final rounds of their respective divisions, the Lincoln-Douglas debaters were also closing out the tournament in the novice division. Additionally, both Harker Public Forum debate teams advanced to the semifinal round and thereby earned a second qualifying leg to the Tournament of Champions in May 2007. This is another first for Harker debaters, achieving a fully qualified TOC entry in Public Forum debate. The two teams are seniors Caitlin Contag and David Linder and sophomores Kaavya Gowda and Raghav Aggarwal. Congratulations to them and the following individual speaker and team awardees: SPEAKER AWARDS: Junior Varsity Policy: Christine Yu, Gr. 10 – first speaker; Dominique Dabija, Gr.10 – second speaker; Novice Policy: Andrew Zhou, Gr. 9 – fifth speaker, Kevin Zhang, Gr. 9 – eighth speaker; Novice Lincoln-Douglas: Ketan Ramakrishnan, Gr. 10 – third speaker, Andy Fang, Gr. 9 – fifth speaker, Lucas Ellison, Gr. 11 – sixth speaker, Anu Ramachandran, Gr.10 – eighth speaker.

French Week Boasts Tough Trivia Merci to everyone who participated in National French Week! Congratulations to the high scoring winners in the trivia contest. Connie Tung, Gr. 12, hit the peak with eight out of 10 correct. Colin Daw, Gr. 11, Ashley Morishige, Gr. 12, Andrew Tran, Gr. 12, and Gwynnie Vernon, Gr. 11, each got five right. No slouch of a quiz, the average number of correct answers was three. Here are some sample questions and their correct responses: Q: What is the oldest monument in Paris? A: The obelisk in the Place de la Concorde (the Obelisk of Luxor given by the viceroy of Egypt, Mohamed Ali, to Louis Phillipe, once marked the entrance to the Amon temple at Luxor and is more than 3,300 years old, according to; Q: How many arrondissements (districts) are there in Paris? A: 20; Q: How many miles are there in the Tour de France? A: 2,241 (that is 3,606.5 kilometers!); Q: Which French poet wrote a collection entitled “Spleen”? A: Charles Baudelaire (d.1827, and writers Stephane Mallarmé, Paul Verlaine and Arthur Rimbaud claimed him as an influence, according to

In Junior Varsity Policy, Yu and Dabija finished in second place, advancing to the final round before losing to the University School of Tennessee. In Novice Policy, Zhou and Zhang also placed, advancing to the final round (without losing a ballot) before losing on a 2-1 decision to Montgomery Bell Academy from Nashville, Tenn.

Disco Skating: Harker students had a blast at the first-ever Disco

Harker students closed out the tournament as Ramakrishnan and Ellison were the only two debaters left standing in the final round of Novice LincolnDouglas. Anjali S. Menon, Gr. 9, advanced to the semifinal round, while Eugene Huang, Gr. 9, and Fang advanced to the quarterfinal round.

This year’s results are among the most successful for Harker students at the Harker News — January 07

held Nov. 10. About 80 students and guests met at San Jose Skate, Kevin Saxon, student

In Varsity Lincoln-Douglas, Paula Lauris, Gr. 11, advanced to the quarterfinal round and missed attaining a bid to the TOC by one round of debate. She came up short against Celebration High School from Florida. Chetan Vakalagadda, Gr. 10, advanced to the octofinal round before losing to Penn High School.

Extravaganza, a.k.a. Skate Night,

where they whirled the evening away, fueled by soft drinks, snacks and the prospect of the upcoming holiday season.




JSA State Conference

Fun Night for US and Alumni Parents

Harker students participated in the Junior States of America (JSA) state conference held in San Jose in November. The organization, a 10,000-member group of students interested in government, divides up into nine states, and Harker senior Natasha Sarin is the current Northern California governor.

Terry Walsh, all photos

“The main point of this, as with all of our conferences and events, was to raise political awareness and promote youth political involvement,” Sarin said. “JSA provides students from all across the

“JSA provides students from all across the

natin with a forum for political expression and engagement.

nation with a forum for political expression and engagement. We were able to talk about things that really matter to us as youths and debate ways to change them, be it the partisan nature of our two-party system, the legality (and morality) of stem cell research or the importance of affirmative action in the collegiate admissions process.” About 1,000 high school students from 60 schools attended the event at the Santa Clara Marriott. Sarin said Harker students’ biggest accomplishment was, “without a doubt, our Dar fur advocacy program.”

New Harker Leadership Program in Australia This Summer Harker’s Global Education Program recently announced a new adventure for US students. This July, Harker students will travel to Australia to attend a leadership retreat with the junior class from St. Stephen’s College in Coomera, Queensland, Australia. This trip is geared toward sophomore and junior students interested in developing their leadership skills. It will include a visit to Sydney and a stop on Australia’s Gold Coast. Students who are interested in the trip should contact Global Education Director Bill Bost at

This was the second parent social with this format hosted by Lisa Blickenstaff, director of community relations, and Terry Walsh, alumni director. Blickenstaff and Walsh said they were over whelmed by all the positive comments about the evening. Both moms and dads attended the event, and many said they enjoyed meeting so many parents and were thrilled to be able to ask questions “off the record” about colleges of interest to their children. ▲

“We…gave all of the students attending this convention a chance to learn about the conflict first hand, from Santino, one of the Lost Boys who had spoken at Harker, and another powerful keynoter from the African Diaspora Foundation. It was inspiring and educational—a phenomenal weekend all around!” Sarin enthused.

Over 70 parents of alumni and current US students gathered on a Friday evening in November for a parent social called the Joint Venture. This informal, potluck gathering is strictly a social event – a chance for parents to meet each other, share stories and gain some insider tips on what college life is like from the alumni parents. The alumni parents’ nametags are marked with the name of their offspring’s college, which really gets the conversations flowing!

Next Joint Venture: Fri., Jan. 19, 7-9 p.m. in Dobbins Gallery

Model UN Students Recognized In mid-November, 27 Harker students represented Chile, Somalia, Iran, Romania, Sierra Leone and Denmark at the Stanford Model United Nations Conference. The conference hosted schools from Canada and throughout the United States. Students served on nine committees, which included the World Health Organization (WHO), Security Council, NATO, Disarmament and Security Committee (DISEC), U.N. Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), U.N. Development Programme (UNDP), Social and Humanitarian Committee (SOCHUM), and the International Court of Justice (ICJ). Carol Green of Harker’s communication studies department noted that the following students, all Gr. 10, were recognized for their outstanding efforts: Sophia Gilman, Outstanding Delegate, Romania, WHO; Christine Yu, Research Award and Honorable Mention, Denmark, ECOSOC; Denzil Sikka, Research Award, Romania, SOCHUM; and Aditya Yellaprayada, Honorable Mention, Chile, UNODC.

US students begin the conceptual and logistical planning for their entry in the 2007 FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) robotics competition. The countdown begins for the first regional competition in Los Angeles Mar. 9-10, 2007. The robotics club is supervised by Eric Nelson and supports a strong student following of approximately 50 members.


Harker News — January 07


LS Sports Girls soccer and boys basketball are off and running at the LS! As teams ramp up, we’ll be hearing more, but for now, here is a brief report on the fourth-grade boys basketball program from coach Jim McGovern: “The Gr. 4 boys basketball skills are rapidly improving. They are either learning the skills and concepts for the first time or working on mastering the fundamentals of the game. Defensive position, dribbling, passing, pivoting, rebounding and manto-man defense/zone defense are just some of the skills and concepts the boys have industriously practiced and learned. Coach Robert Regan and I have witnessed the daily progress the group has made and have seen the players apply their knowledge and skills in offense vs. defense drills and scrimmages.” We’ll report results as the season heats up.

MS Sports The MS winter spor ts season is off to a great star t! With over 110 girls par ticipating in soccer and 160 boys playing basketball

in Gr. 4-8, the fields and cour ts are alive with the sound of students having fun. The wrestling

team is also off to a strong star t, with at least 15 boys and girls par ticipating in the program. The girls soccer teams were excited to play their first matches in December. The A soccer team played St. Simons Dec. 6 and the B and D soccer teams played Dec. 13. Results of both games were too late to report in this issue. The boys basketball top-level teams all had played at least one game by deadline time. The A1 team lost a tough game to King’s Academy, but is looking forward to a game against Castillero Middle School; the B1 team beat King’s Academy 24-15; and the C1 team beat King’s Academy 39-26. The A1 and B1 teams are looking forward to the Harker Hoops Classic Jan. 3-7, and the C1 team is looking forward to the Harker tournament Jan. 19-20. The wrestling team had its first match Dec. 5 against Valley Christian in the Harker wrestling room. Watch the Harker News for results on all sports in February!

US Sports Harker athletes garnered a number of individual awards from the league this past fall. Girls volleyball: Tanya Schmidt, Gr. 11, Most Valuable Player; Nicole Woods, Gr. 10, First Team; Kristina Bither, Gr. 10, Second Team; Candace Silva-Martin, Christy Emery and Gwynne Davis, all Gr. 10, all Honorable Mention. Boys soccer: Adam Rubin, Gr. 12,

First Team; Brandt Warecki, Gr. 12, Second Team. Girls golf: Elyse Kim and Jenny Whang, both Gr. 12, Andrea Kim and Rachel Wang, both Gr. 10, all First Team. Girls tennis: Jocelyn Ko, Gr. 12, Natalie So, Gr. 11, Kelly Chen, Gr. 9, Arthi Padmanabhan, Gr. 9 (league singles champ), all First Team; Dominque Dabija, Gr. 10, Shizuka Tiernan, Gr. 9, both Second Team; Sarah Christiano and Lauren Moser, both Gr. 10 and both Honorable Mention. Boys water polo, SCVAL El Camino Division: Raymond Paseman, Gr. 11, First Team; Mark Ollila, Gr. 12, Honorable Mention. Girls water polo, SCVAL El Camino Division: Rebecca Yanovsky, Gr. 10, Second Team. Boys cross country: Jay Japra, Gr. 12, Second Team. Girls cross country: Elena Madan, Gr. 10, Second Team; Brea Borlas, Gr. 9, Roshmi Bhattacharya, Gr. 10, Niti Shahi, Gr. 9, Andrea Wang, Gr. 12, all Honorable Mention. ■ Girls Volleyball Coach Theresa “Smitty” Smith writes: “Please congratulate our girls volleyball team for a great season. They lost a nail-biter against Harbor High School in the CCS semifinals in November. The match went to the limit as we lost in the fifth game 15-13. We had a huge, supportive and boisterous crowd, and everyone there witnessed a great match. We’d like to thank everyone for attending. A special congratulations to seniors Priyanka Bearelly, Sharon Huang and Faustine Liao for their years of hard work. Thanks for the wonderful support everyone showed the volleyball team and our sports program Stephen Wong, parent


this season! It was great to have so many fans in attendance during this CCS run. You provided us with a lot of energy and we were proud to play for this school and our fans.” ■ Basketball Ours girls basketball team had an exciting one point 39-38 victory over King’s Academy in a tournament in late November. This marks the first time a girls hoops team has entered the winner’s bracket in that tournament. Stats include Faustine Liao, Gr. 12, with 19 points (thus named to the all-tournament team), Melissa Chen, Gr. 11, with 12 points, Kavita Shah, Gr. 12, with nine blocked

shots, Kacie Kaneyuki, Gr. 9, with seven assists and five steals. Clutch free throws at the end by Tara Panu, Gr. 10, and Melissa Chen, Gr. 11, helped seal the win. After an initial victor y over St. Thomas More, our boys JV and varsity hoops teams played ver y well in losses to athletic power Los Altos High School. They made a strong run in the second half and came within four points in the last quar ter, but ended up losing by seven. ■ Soccer Harker’s girls soccer team had a nice 2-0 victory in late November against Yerba Buena with Julia Price-Madison, Gr. 12, and Kristina Bither, Gr. 10, scoring for us. The team’s record is now 2-1 with a win against Gunderson and a loss versus Silver Creek.

The 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.

Harker News — January 07




Student Performers Bring Talent and Schoolwide Winter Concert Dazzles In a first for our performJoy to Holiday Assemblies ing arts department, all the Most Harker performers agree – traveling to all three campuses for the annual holiday assemblies is an activity they all look forward to each winter. Starting at Saratoga, then moving to Blackford and Bucknall, singers, dancers and instrumentalists ushered in the holiday season on Dec. 8. The US Orchestra dazzled with a piece from “Samson et Dalila,” and the Gr. 6 Choir and MS Harmonics sang fun songs about Santa’s imminent arrival. The JV Dance Troupe danced a Jewish folk song, while their varsity counterparts did a blues number. ShowStoppers delighted the smaller kids with “The Grinch,” while Dance Fusion had a “Wild Christmas.” Two parodies made audiences chuckle: Vivace sang lyrics about colds and the flu to a famous Bach melody, and Downbeat lamented the “Twelve Days After Christmas,” when all gifts were returned after a lovers’ tiff. Bel Canto presented a madrigal and a spiritual. The assembly at Bucknall ended with a sing-a-long, which gave the audience a chance to show off their beautiful voices and high energy. Happy Holidays, indeed!

instrumental groups were joined by a vocal ensemble in the annual Winter Concert, on Dec. 7, in the Blackford Auditorium. Louis Hoffman’s LS Orchestra got the evening started with impressive variety, play-

ing a Slavonic dance by Dvorak, a baroque piece by Vivaldi and “The Pink Panther.” The MS Orchestra, led by Chris Florio, also varied its repertoire, presenting the classical Mozart, modern Dvorak and baroque Corelli. The middle section of the concert featured the US Jazz Band, which showed off its constantly growing virtuosity with four standards, including favorites “My Funny Valentine” and “Satin Doll.” Vocal group Bel Canto, directed by Catherine Snider, presented a short history through choral music, starting with a holiday madrigal, followed by a Latin sacred piece and ending with a rousing African-American spiritual complete with hand clapping. The last act of the program was a special presentation by the US Orchestra. This program was presented for the first and last time in the United States, as the group leaves for Paris in just a few weeks for a performance tour. Senior Audrey Kwong was featured as violin soloist for a concerto by Samuel Barber. The concert highlighted the impressive continuity of musical excellence from LS through US. Congratulations to all the performers and their supportive families!

Parent Volunteers Thanked at Luncheon Eighty Harker volunteers were feted in early December at an advancement office-sponsored luncheon to thank them for their tireless efforts helping with the Picnic Down Under, US performing arts and LS, MS and US fall sports. Chef Darrin Cassidy prepared a delicious holiday feast complete with prime rib, au gratin potatoes, polenta and eggplant, mixed vegetables and salad. Volunteers enjoyed chatting and dining, and 12 lucky raffledrawing winners left with a beautiful centerpiece design by Emilie Robb, donor relations manager. The Harker School is very fortunate to have such wonderful and dedicated volunteers. Thank you!

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.


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, Jaja Hsuan; Photos: Mark Tantrum, unless noted; Contributors: Laura van den Dries; Printing: Carol Sosnowski; Mailing Coordinator: Desiree Mitchell. Harker News — January 07

Profile for The Harker School

2007 January Harker News  

2007 January Harker News