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June 2007 (VOL. 13, NO. 9)







Harker Represents U.S., Attends Summit in Germany


choppered to the summit meeting site, where they presented their J8 communiqué to world leaders. At the meeting, Narra was seated next to President Bush and interviewed by the BBC. While Narra was at the G8 site, the other Harker delegates met with First Lady Laura Bush.

MS students earn world title at FPS competition in Colorado ......................... 24 Performing arts groups create fireworks! ...................... 8-11 Fine arts displays showcase K through Gr. 12 artists ... 12-13 Harker’s first AP Studio Art graduates report back ........26 Grandparents’ Day brings that special glow of family ........15 The Class of 2007 earns its honor with élan ............ 31-35 Supplements in this issue:

Earlier this month eight Harker students, accompanied by history teacher Carol Zink, had the extraordinary opportunity to share their views on pressing global issues with the world’s most powerful leaders. The Harker Junior 8 (J8) Team was chosen to represent the United States at the 2007 J8 Summit in Wismar, Germany, a parallel youth event to the G8 (Group of Eight) Summit in nearby Heiligendamm.


The week was jam-packed with of-

ficial meetings, press conferences and photo ops, but the group also managed to squeeze in some sightseeing, including a sailboat tour. On June 5, students attended a private meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel. On June 7, a delegation of J8 students from different countries, including Harker student Kavitha Narra, Gr. 11, were Getty Images

■ Capital Campaign ■ Volunteer Thanks

The G8 Summit is an international forum of the world’s leading industrial nations - Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States. One J8 team from each of the eight member countries was selected through an international selection process developed by Morgan Stanley and UNICEF. The U.S. team, which calls itself Aquilones (“Eagles” in Latin), comprises Harker juniors Narra, Rachel Peterson, Rohit Nalamasu, Kelly O’Reilly, Kritika Kailash, Aarthi Minisandram and Sudha Continued on pg. 25

Cancer Walk Raises Funds

Historic Groundbreaking

Middle schoolers, along with faculty and administrators, took a walk in the sun to help fight cancer in May. Students made posters and parents brought goodies for a bake sale. Read the whole story on page 21.

The biggest building project in recent Harker history has begun! Ground was broken in late May on the Science and Technology Center and it was a festive day. Read the full story on page 7.

Save the date! Sun., Oct. 14, 2007 Blackford Campus 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. See news and more details inside!

Lorna Claerbout


est. 1893 • K-12 college prep

editor’s note

important dates

annual giving

As students and faculty lingered over year-end goodbyes, the campus was revving up with the bustle of the new construction under way now on the US campus. We’ll keep you posted with photos and updates on our Web site over the summer, so check in periodically!

Mon., Aug. 27 - US Matriculation and Orientations

Thank you to all of our Annual Giving donors this year! Your generosity has benefited our students by providing lighting and costumes for performances, equipment and uniforms for sports, library resources, science materials, special assemblies, field trips, funding for student clubs, and much, much more. We are truly grateful for your support!

Tue., Aug. 28 - MS / US 115th Academic Year Begins Thu., Aug. 30 - LS 115th Academic Year Begins Mon., Sept. 3 - Labor Day – No Classes K-Gr. 12

Summer Reminders Sat. July 7 & Sat. Aug 4 - MS/US Used Book Exchange, BLD Amphitheater;

—Pam Dickinson, Director Office of Communications

Tues., June 26 - 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. - Fashion Show Meeting Potluck dinner and announcement of this year’s theme! Be there! Thu., Aug. 9 - 7:30 p.m. - “Urinetown: The Musical,” Blackford Theater. 6 p.m. special preshow Benefit Night Dinner with the cast and reserved seat: $50 for adult, $25 for child/senior; general seating: $15;

online Many thanks to the hundreds who have already responded to the Communications Survey e-mail link we sent to you all a few weeks ago. We’ll be closing the survey in mid-June, so take a minute to complete it if you haven’t already. Thanks!

Communications Office Earns Awards The Harker Office of Communications garnered a handful of prestigious professional awards this year. In November Harker was notified by the Marcom Creative Awards, a respected contest run by the Association of Marketing and Communication Professionals (AMCP), that they had awarded four prizes to the department: two platinum awards – the top award – were earned for The Harker News in the External Newsletter by a Nonprofit category, and in the Brochure/ Viewbook category for the US admissions brochure; a gold in the Annual Report Cover Design and an honorable mention in the Brochure Photography for photos in the LS admissions brochure.

Watch the Web site over the summer for reminders and calendars for the coming school year!

passages Harker parent Vikram Punj, 50, father of Shaila, Gr. 11, and Ajit, Gr. 8, and husband of Taruna Punj, passed away suddenly on May 18. Punj had a distinguished career in the technology industry. The Harker community extends its warmest and heartfelt condolences to the family.

In addition, The Harker News was recognized as a top five national nominee in the 2007 Ragan Recognition Awards in the Best Nonprofit Newsletter category, and recognized at Ragan’s annual awards event in Chicago last month. Lawrence Ragan Communications, Inc. has provided world-renowned newsletters, conferences, research reports and guides for corporate communications professionals since 1970 and holds an annual contest for various communications products. Pam Dickinson, director of the office of communications, credits the talented staff and freelancers in the department for continually producing work worthy of this type of recognition. Full- or part-time staffers are Bill Cracraft, Nick Gassmann, Christine Howkins, Desiree Mitchell, Cathy Snider and Mark Tantrum. Dickinson also gives a special thanks to the contributions of Blue Heron Design Group, Orloff & Williams, Carol Sosnowski and Alex Osorio in Harker’s copy shop, and Diamond Printing and Communicart who helped produce some of the winning pieces.


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

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

save the date

Pam Dickinson - both photos

cell recycle Harker families can help the school, our students and the world by dropping used cell phones and empty printer cartridges in recycling boxes located in the office lobby and in room 10 on the MS campus. For every 12 pieces we recycle, a tree will be planted; plus, our school will earn funds to be used for renewable energy such as solar panels for the greenhouse and solar laptop battery chargers for the MS laptop program. This is part of an eCybermission project for next year, so bring those phones and cartridges!

—Melinda Gonzales, Director of Annual Giving

The fifth annual Harker Fashion Show is on Feb. 22, 2008. There are so many terrific ways to help, and volunteer committees are forming now. Parents at all grade levels gather regularly throughout the year - after dropping their children off at school - for some social time. Shown here are two monthly gatherings in May. Contact your grade-level coordinator in the fall to join in the fun!

Attend the next fashoin show meeting on June 26 - details this page! Harker News — June 07


the news

Extensive Coverage of Harker’s 2007 J8 Unicef Team When Harker’s team of students was selected from more than 500 entrants to represent the United States at the 2007 Junior 8 (J8) event held in Germany this month (see cover story), numerous local, national and international media took interest. Below is a partial list (at press time) of news outlets doing feature reporting: Hindustan Times - June 7 Time for Kids - June 4 Times of India - June 3 San Jose Mercury News – May 30 ZDF TV – May 24* India West - May 8


Mission-Based Learning Outcomes The end of a school year encourages parents and educators to think about outcomes. The Harker School’s Expected Schoolwide Learning Results, outlined in our handbooks, attempt to encapsulate, in one statement, most of our more important goals. A strong foundation in core academic subjects; the pursuit of lifelong learning; effective communication; responsible citizenship – these and other values, also reflected in our mission and philosophy statements, are ultimately why we are here, I believe. When we graduate our seniors and send them to “college and beyond,” we need to ask ourselves about these outcomes. Just as Aristotle said that it takes a lifetime to judge whether or not one is truly happy, it will also take a lifetime, the full lives of our graduates, to determine whether or not we (and they) have achieved the above goals. It takes a lifetime of learning, for instance, to demonstrate the goal of lifelong learning.

*A film team from Germany’s public TV company, ZDF, came to Harker to film the U.S. J8 delegation for airing in Germany, where the G8 economic summit was held. Subsequent videos and stories were posted on their Web site throughout the summit.

More In The News ■ San Jose Magazine – June 2007 Senior Aseem Shukla was written up in the magazine’s Whiz Kids section, noting the variety of Shukla’s interests, which range from antique coins to biology, and the high level of his scholarship. ■ San Jose Mercury News -- May 25 Harker students are celebrated for carrying on their coach’s plan to ship supplies to help relieve poverty in Lesotho, Africa, in this column by L.A. Chung. Offensive line coach Deron Thorp died of cardiac arrhythmia at the end of the football season, but his players continue to help his wife, Gillian August-Thorp, with the organization the Thorps founded. ■ San Jose Mercury News – May 13 Tiffany Chu, Gr. 5, was mentioned in the Arts and Entertainment section for her participation in The Steinway Society’s annual Young Artists Concert. Chu performed Chopin at the concert, held at Le Petit Trianon. ■ Richmond Times Dispatch -- May 11. The online Times Dispatch article notes Samuel “Butch” Keller, Harker’s new upper school head, will be starting here in the fall. His wife, Jane, will also be teaching at Harker. ■ San Jose Mercury News – April 2 Senior (now graduated) Arkajit Dey and junior Sushant Sundaresh were mentioned in article as two of the students who traveled to Albuquerque in May as local winners of the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair. See story on page 29 for details. Harker News — June 07


One of the outcomes we consider this time of year is the list of college acceptances and matriculations. We still struggle with several myths on this front. Some believe that students have to attend a certain college or university to be successful. We sometimes see the inverse of this statement, expressed as follows: that all of a student’s hard work in high school is fruitless if he doesn’t matriculate into a “good” college. Another myth is the idea that a school’s strength is measured by the list of acceptances its seniors have received from premier colleges and universities. The year 2007 was the most competitive college admissions environment in history. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, we have more high school graduates, over 3.2 million, than any time since the 1970s. Among those graduates at the higher end of the education spectrum, we are seeing a generation of what the New York Times calls “The Incredibles” (1.7.07). These students are not your grandfather’s high school graduates -- they are more driven, competitive, busy, talented and accomplished than ever. Stanford University announced that it could have accepted four freshman classes this year, all with a grade point average of 4.0 or higher. UC Berkeley and UCLA turned away record numbers of qualified applicants (“University of California Rejects Record Number of Applicants,” San Jose Mercury News, 4.5.07). Despite this fierce competition, our students performed remarkably well in the area of college admissions, as well or better than previous years. However, I want to take this opportunity now, while we are celebrating another banner year, to warn against judging our students or the school itself by college admissions alone. College admissions is a tricky, fickle and unpredictable game, likely to become more complex, more competitive and more cutthroat every year. The double-edged sword of college admissions can and will cut both ways. However, we cannot have it both ways. If we will not judge ourselves on the basis of college admissions alone, we cannot do so even during a banner year. That is why the goals expressed in the mission and philosophy statements and the Expected Schoolwide Learning Results should be the criteria by which we judge ourselves, not any single data point like college admissions. I congratulate the seniors on their enormous accomplishments this year, and I look forward to the years of success ahead of each and every one of them. I also hope that they will continue to be nourished by the values of The Harker School throughout their lives. That will be the ultimate test of our success.

—Christopher Nikoloff, Head of School



picnic 2007 On May 30 this year’s picnic committee gathered in the Blackford multipurpose room to “corral” volunteers and kick off volunteer recruitment for the upcoming Pioneer Picnic. The committee chairs were dressed in their best western garb as they answered questions and signed up interested parents for a variety of picnic duties. There were opportunities for moms, dads, prop painters, ticket counters, auction solicitors, booth builders and more, because it really does take a village (or in this case a small western settlement) to put together the Harker Family Picnic! Though the morning was very successful and the committee met many eager and enthusiastic parent volunteers, there’s always room for more! As we load the wagons and get ready to put down roots at the Blackford campus, we’ll need help from almost every aspect of the Harker community. The committee’s goal is to create a perfect pioneer-themed day for the whole family! –Lynette Stapleton and Kelly Espinosa, event coordinators

Teachers Donate to Picnic Auction

The Picnic Posse

Kindergarten teacher Gerrylouise Robinson is donating an Irish-themed package. “I donate because I think that it is important to see the teachers as not just teachers,” Robinson said. “Also, it is part of the whole school image – its something that Harker does that is different from other schools. This is my third year donating and I donate the same package (with yearly changes) because it’s about something different culturally for the kids – they love St. Patrick’s Day,” she noted.

Ken Azebu Maria Nguyen Lisa Blickenstaff Robyn Peetz Debbie Buss Kim Pellissier Candy Carr Kathy Polzin Fred Carr Sue Prutton Becky Cox Emilie Robb Kelly Delepine Lori Saxon Janie Fung Alice Schwartz Melinda Gonzales Janet Smith Sandhya Jagadeesh Joyce Sum Mary Malysz Shankari Sundar Roopal Mayor Joey Tyndal Sangeeta Mehrotra Carol Underwood Melody Moyer Jane Villadsen

Event Coordinators: Lynette Stapleton and Kelly Espinosa

Photo supplied by Lynette Stapleton

To volunteer, contact Roopal Mayor at

Picnic 2007 

Diane Plauck, a LS math teacher who has donated packages for the past three years, is donating games and a pizza party for four students at her home, which is just a few minutes walk from the LS campus. “I donate because I love to see the kids outside of their school environment just doing loosely structured, fun activities,” she said. “I don’t always donate the same package, but they are similar in that they involve spending an afternoon at my house doing some activ-

ity or activities that I always enjoyed as a kid (and still do!): decorating cookies, designing cards, making pizza, dancing and playing games.”

Diane Plauck

The picnic packages provided by teachers are among the most interesting auction items offered each year. This year, a slew of teachers have stepped up and Harker News asked donors why they kick in.

Carol Zink, US world history teacher, providing a motherdaughter English tea for a LS student at her home, said this was her second contribution. “I donate because I love Harker!” she said. “I used to do tea parties with my daughters, and I love seeing little girls all dressed up, so, I donated a tea party last year and will do the same again,” she said. Victor Adler, a math teacher starting his second year with Harker, chose to contribute a pair of packages of a different ilk: a trip to a Third Eye Blind concert and to a Giants game for US students. “Because I’m an upper school teacher, I wanted to try to do something that would interest high school students,” Adler said. “I wanted to try to offer a special experience, one that couldn’t be bought at the mall, so I called my brother-in-law who is the drummer for Third Eye Blind to see if he would be up for letting me bring some students backstage. “Having been backstage with Third Eye Blind before, I know that I won’t be bringing the

Picnic 2007

students into an environment that I wouldn’t want my children to be in. I don’t want to hurt their rocker ‘cred,’ but 3EB is a pretty mellow group.” The Giants package is also through a personal connection. “I would like to thank my friend Bill for that,” Adler noted. “He’s responsible for all the technology at the ballpark and he might be able to give us a behindthe-scenes look there. If we’re lucky, we’ll get seats on the first or third base line.” Adler added, “I thought it might be fun – nice to interact without the pressure of school. Doing my part to help raise money for Harker was just a bonus.” Teachers do get more than a warm feeling from donating the packages. Aside from the benefits in the classroom and around campus, those submitting packages early enough were eligible for drawings for Wild West Goodie Baskets with a Whole Foods gift certificate. This year, winners were Louis Hoffman, Stacie Newman and Anthony Silk. “Big thanks,” said Kelly Espinosa, dean of nonacademics, “to everyone who submitted a picnic package. The picnic committee is thrilled with the response!” Packages donated so far are available for perusal at Harker/picnic. Keep watching, as packages will be added as they come in!

Picnic 2007 Harker News — June 07

Photo supplied by Lynette Stapleton

Picnic Committee Rounding Up Helpers!

Down Under Winners Enjoy Great Picnic Prizes Throughout the Year There was a whirlwind of picnic packages completed as the year drew to a close. One of the many unique wins was by Cristina Jerney, Gr. 6, who won the chance to design the sets or lights for a real Harker show, said Danny Dunn, technical theater director and teacher for the LS.

Vanessa Bullman - all photos

”She chose to design the sets for the kindergarten show, and thus designed ‘Sesame Street,’” said Dunn. “She designed the overall concept, worked with me on blueprints, then helped build it from scratch. Cristina came to Bucknall after school once a week in March and April and on the weekend a couple of days to complete the work. “This is the first time that we have ever built a stage in what I jokingly call the ‘Little Theater.’ The set was built on the side of the real stage and the audience sat on the stage itself,” said Dunn, who noted that she has also auctioned off the right to build a set or prop, booked to take place in May – maybe we’ll get that story in the fall! A group of K-Gr. 3 students had a half-day blast

at Pump it Up!, a bounce-house park that features an obstacle course and other attractions. “It was fun!” said Kim Coulter, director of after-school recreation. “The kids (and the supervisors) had a great time jumping, sliding and racing the obstacle course.” In another picnic package, almost 40 MS students who sold over 100 picnic tickets went on the Picnic Down Under sleepover at Camp Kennolyn in late April. The kids enjoyed dinner and snacks, made crafts and played poker, Ping-Pong and foosball, said Vanessa Bullman, recreation staff member. “The campfire where scary stories, songs and s’mores were shared was also a highlight,” she said. Thanks to the generous folks who donated their time: Kelly Espinosa, dean, nonacademic affairs K-Gr. 5; staff members Bullman, Heather Perrotta, Tristan Perks and Kelle Sloan; and teachers Joe Chung (also parent of Maile, Gr. 2 and Kelsey, Gr. 9), and Keith Hirota.

Students Win Chances to Be in Charge

The one-day job was an auction item from the Harker Family Picnic, donated by Leonard. “Darian assumed his new role with grace and effectiveness,” she stated. “The previous day he decreed that all teachers could have free dress on Tuesday (which happened to be Teacher Appreciation Day at Bucknall). With that declaration, he won the hearts of all his subjects,” she added. Edvalson was exposed to a range of activities a principal might participate in, including sitting in on a demo lesson along with Chris Nikoloff, head of school, and Jennifer Gargano, assistant head, academic affairs, for a teacher applying for an opening. He did a “formal” observation of English teacher Katie Molin during a grammar lesson, wrote up his notes and discussed the evaluation with her at the end of the day, said Leonard. Edvalson also visited his cousin, Sarah Savage, Gr. 1, in class, where

Picnic 2007 Harker News — June 07

he read stories and handed out bookmarks, then went to the Saratoga campus to meet with fellow administrators and sit in on the parking committee and capital campaign committee meetings. The nascent administrator did have to make some tough decisions. “He refused teacher Pat Walsh’s plea for a salary increase and several teachers’ requests for free dress daily,” said Leonard. He was able, however to meet a personal goal. “Darian asked to go to Max’s for lunch, where he indulged in his favorite bacon cheeseburger and sighed, ‘I didn’t ever think I would be able to eat lunch at Max’s on a school day,’” noted Leonard. “He was a charming principal and his sidekick had a delightful day.” At press time, “Miss Gracean” (Lithacum-Janker, Gr. 1, above) was Harker’s recreation director for the day as the lucky winner of another picnic package. For her day in charge of Harker’s busy recreation program, she worked on Kiddie Carnival and learned about the ins and outs of the department.

Picnic 2007

Kim Coulter

Darian Edvalson had a taste of the hot seat in early May, when the fifth grader was principal for a day. On the plus side, Edvalson didn’t have to go to class, though tests, inevitably, had to be made up. Sarah Leonard, primary division head, put him through a minor gauntlet of trials.

Picnic 2007 



Annual Head of School Dinner Recognizes Top Donors, Parent Leaders The Head of School Circle Dinner, a special event for Harker’s most generous donors, was held this year at the beautiful hillside home of Gordon and Tanya Ringold (Al-

Campaign. Guests of honor were Parent Development Committee members. Head of School Chris Nikoloff hosted the event and expressed his gratitude for the attendees’ generous suppor t of the school. He also thanked PDC Co-Chairs Doug and Linda Emery (Christine, Gr. 10 and Matthew, Gr. 12) and Betsy Lindars (David, Gr. 6 and Nicole, Gr. 9), and the Capital Campaign Co-Chairs Christine and

John Davis (Cole, Gr. 9), and Ashok Krishnamurthi (Sidhart, Gr. 4 and Gautum, Gr. 8). Enter tainment was provided by two groups of Harker songsters, the Bucknall afterschool choir and Vivace, both directed by Jennifer Cowgill; and refreshments and dinner, including rack of lamb, ratatouille and strawberr y shor tcake were the product of Harker’s prolific chef, Steve Martin. “Thanks to all the members of the Harker community who par ticipated in the Annual Giving and Capital campaigns,” said Melinda Gonzales, Harker’s director of annual giving.

exander, Gr. 9, and Greggory, Gr. 12). About 160 guests attended the event, which honors those who have contributed at least $2,500 to the Annual Giving Campaign and those who have given $100,000 or more to the Capital

K through Life Moments: Kindergarten and Senior Moms Honored To celebrate Mother’s Day, spring and the end of the school year, Harker students made a point of showing appreciation to their moms. This year, kindergar ten students hosted their moms at tea par ties complete with cakes, cookies, fruit and sandwiches shared at specially decorated tables. Each class added special touches like reading to their mothers from cards that

they decorated. Other nice touches were the decorations that the classes took time to create: centerpieces were made from fresh cut flowers and special tablecloths were arranged to match.

On the other end of the spectrum, on a balmy day in May, a group of mothers gathered in the quad on the US campus to share stories, have a little lunch and say goodbye to Harker at the Senior Mothers’ Lunch.

Juniors Thank Their Mentors The Junior Mentor Thank You Luncheon was held in late April, bringing together for the last time the generous mentors and the students who learned from them this year. Mentors were presented with heartfelt thanks and a gift from Joe Rosenthal, executive director of advancement. See Harker News, April 2007, p. 18, for details on the Junior Mentoring program.


Harker News — June 07

Groundbreaking Brings All Harker Together to Mark Historic Moment —HN Intern Beckie Yanovsky, Gr. 10, contributed to this article. The groundbreaking event held May 30 for Harker’s new Science & Technology Center and athletic field and pool was a joyous, schoolwide celebration befitting this historic Harker milestone. The event began with football, lacrosse and soccer team drills on the football field prior to the event. Soccer player Kristina Bither, Gr. 10, said, “I am so stoked for the new field! With a good field, the whole game changes and it elevates the game to a whole new level. Plus, with the stadium lights, we’re all going to feel like professionals out there.” Sophomore Victor Auyeung said the new sports facilities affect even those who don’t play sports. “Now that football games can be held on campus, there will be a lot more fans there because of the more convenient location. Also, there is a greater sense of school spirit when the games are held on campus because you really feel that this is your school and your team and you really want to root for them to win.”

gathered in the US gym and quad to peruse student-created science and technology displays and be entertained by the Harker Jazz Band. The group then gathered in the gym to premier a virtual tour of the coming facilities, and to enjoy a video of inspiring and appreciative remarks from faculty, students, parents and staff. At the event, chemistry teacher Alicia Vogelaar noted the value the building will immediately provide: “We currently have multiple chemistry laboratories located on opposite sides of campus, which makes it hard for us to share materials,” she said. “With the new building, we will all be closer to one another, and it will be easier to work together.” Daniel Tien, Gr. 10, added, “The new mat h and science building will provide a learning environment that will evoke the students’ desire for knowledge.”

Attendees poured out of the gym for the culminating event: the tailgate barbeque and the official groundbreaking on the field in front of Dobbins Hall. Burgers and hot dogs were served from under the awning of a huge luxury RV, and families and friends dined together at long picnic tables set up for the occasion. At 6 p.m. administrators, members of the board of trustees, and campaign cochairs John and Christine Davis and Ashok Krishnamurthi and Deepa Iyengar presided over the official ceremony, which included comments

and dedications and an opportunity for all guests to scoop a bit of their own dirt in souvenir miniature beakers to commemorate the day. It was an exciting and proud afternoon for the entire Harker community to come together – K to Gr. 12 – and celebrate their commitment to excellence, and to the future of all of our students. Many thanks to all who attended!

Groundbreaking ’07

By the time 5 p.m. rolled around, the official start of the event, over 500 parents, faculty, staff, students and alumni were

Harker News — June 07




Dance Concert Brings Back Memories For many audience members, the LS dance concert, Chart Toppers, was a trip down memory lane. Held at the Bucknall gym on June 1 and 2, the concert revisited some favorite hits from Billboard’s Top 40 list. Spanning the decades, the songs were interpreted with jazz, tap, modern, lyrical ballet and hip hop dances. Jump ropes, brooms and surfboards were used as props, and some of the younger boys got to try out some basic lifts of their female partners for the first time! In one audience favorite, 10 boys in baggy pants danced to rap king MC Hammer’s “Too Legit To Quit.” In another, 10 female teachers decked out à la Madonna (in her more modest phase, of course) performed “Lucky Star.” Teachers Pat Walsh, Rob Regan and Eric Leonard were great sports as “Rock Warriors,” dancing to Deep Purple and Kiss tunes with 12 boys. “The dancers energy and enthusiasm was evident in every step, turn, leap, cha cha and smile,” said director Gail Palmer, who was assisted by dance instructors Amalia Vasconi and Karl Kuehn. Many thanks to MS dance instructor Kristin Maurer, who lent a hand and choreographed, and to technical director Danny Dunn. And of course, thank you to all 214 dancers and 17 faculty and staff who strutted their stuff!

Photos supplied by Roger Kim ’06

Busy Ensembles Sing Audience ‘Into Summer’ After months of performing on tours, for fashion show audiences, and at school events, US vocal ensembles Bel Canto and Downbeat finally had a chance to shine for their families and friends. This first-of-its-kind concert, “Songs Into Summer,” was held May 31 in the Blackford Theater. Bel Canto performed its favorite selections from the year, which included the Motown hit “I Heard It Through the Grapevine,” a Shoshone tribe love song, a German dance and a song of peace, which included that title word in several different languages. Downbeat reprised their hit “Bohemian Rhapsody,” and gave the audience an a cappella version of “Moon River,” and popular favorites “Seasons of Love” and “Under the Boardwalk.” Bel Canto singers Emma Blickenstaff and Lexi Ross, both Gr. 10, performed “Matchmaker,” from “Fiddler on the Roof,” and the trio of Alison Axelrad, Anita Satish and Melinda Wang, all Gr. 9, wowed the crowd with “All That Jazz.” Newly graduated Downbeat seniors Molly Newman and Nina Vyedin performed solos – Newman, a musical theater ballad, and Vyedin a French aria. Directors Laura Lang-Ree and Catherine Snider paid tribute to the departing seniors from both groups, and welcomed the newest members of next year’s Downbeat. Irene Kwok, mother of Bel Canto singer Nate, Gr. 10, was thanked for her volunteer work this year as Bel Canto’s accompanist.

Assembly Showcases Music Programs On May 17 the LS was treated to a musical assembly. “Its purpose was to showcase our new after-school music programs,” said Jennifer Cowgill, LS music teacher. Cowgill’s two groups, Vivace and the Bucknall Choir, were on hand to join Louis Hoffman’s Bucknall Orchestra and Toni Woodruff’s beginning string ensemble. Hoffman also featured his sax, flute and clarinet/oboe groups. The Orchestra performed four pieces, including “Theme from The Pink Panther” and a Slavonic dance. The music students chose teacher Pat Walsh to be their guest conductor, and Walsh led the choirs and instrumentalists through a rousing rendition of the “Harker Anthem.” Students interested in studying woodwind, string or brass instruments after school should contact Hoffman at

Harker News — June 07

Scotland-Bound US Musical Tackles Timely Issue with Lively Satire Cast and crew members of “Urinetown: The Musical” didn’t have to say goodbye to the show when it finished its run in the Blackford Theater in April. They will be bringing the show to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in Scotland in August, so the celebration continues! Audiences were completely won over by this rollicking satire. Director Laura Lang-Ree achieved just the right balance of slapstick humor and dark realism in this provocative piece. Choreographer Katie O’Bryon recreated styles from “West Side Story,” “Fiddler on the Roof” and “Chicago,” giving a chuckle to the more theater-savvy in the audience. Paul Vallerga’s set, lit by Natti Pierce-Thomson and dressed by costumer Caela Fujii, artfully captured the gritty nature of the show, while giving it an eerie beauty; a sewer lit from below ran across the stage, and ladders and levels provided many play areas for the actors. The show had a lightning pace, from the very opening, where two actors arrested musical director Catherine Snider, forcing her to walk across the stage, enter the pit and begin the overture, to the ending, when the actors broke the fourth wall to directly remind the audience about overusing the earth’s resources. This show included special fundraising efforts for the Scotland trip. During the intermission of closing night, lucky raffle ticket holders won baskets of goodies and services donated by cast members and their families. A special VIP reception was held before the Saturday evening show, with cast members mingling with guests, who enjoyed hors d’oeuvres and beverages catered by the Harker kitchen. The fundraising continued with a car wash on May 20 at Bucknall and a Chevy’s night, with portions of the restaurant’s earnings going to the Fringe Fund. The cast and crew will reunite in July to plan the shortened Fringe version of the show, and will perform on Aug. 9. Next stop: Scotland!

“Urinetown: The Musical” Aug. 9, 2007


7:30 p.m.


BLD Theater

Special preshow Benefit Night Dinner (starts at 6 p.m.) with the cast and reserved seat: $50 for adult, $25 for child/senior General seating: $15,

Second Spring Sing Hits a High Note The second-annual Spring Sing was once again an overwhelming success. The sixth graders, under the direction of Roxann Hagemeyer, put on a wonderful show with an eclectic mix of music. The program included selections from such diverse composers as Bach, Beethoven, Bizet, Puccini, Rossini, John Cougar Mellencamp and Irving Berlin. The sixth graders also welcomed two special guests. Jennifer Cowgill’s group, Vivace, sang “Blue Skies,” and Harmonics, which is directed by Hagemeyer and Monica MacKinnon, sang “Footloose.” The Gr. 6 choir not only impressed the audience with their acting Harker News — June 07

abilities as emcees for the show, but got thunderous applause for their singing and choreography on such numbers as “Bye, Bye, Blackbird” (retitled “Bye, Bye, Blackford”), “Papa Loves Mambo,” “Catch a Falling Star” and “Frim Fram Sauce.” The audience was given a tour of the choir’s music lessons from the past school year, hearing rock (“Rock In The USA”), classical (“Ode to Joy”) and Broadway music (“Castle on

a Cloud” from “Les Misérables”). The comedic elements in the show included an operatic medley titled “Painless Opera.” “I was just beside myself with the generosity of all the sixth-grade parents, coordinated by Chris Douglas (Michelle) and Marcia Riedel (Randall), who completely took charge of the refreshments, setting up, baking and making this so much easier for me,” said Hagemeyer.

The rousing closing number of the show was the teen favorite “We’re All In This Together” from “High School Musical,” and it had the whole audience clapping and singing along. A good time was had by all!  



Love Comes Full Circle A concert titled “The Cycles of Love” certainly did showcase the many facets of that emotion on May 3 in the Saratoga FDR. Cantilena and Guys’ Gig, both directed by Susan Nace, presented a highly entertaining evening of choral and solo pieces. The section titled “Hope” included arias from the baroque and classical eras, as well as modern and romantic choral pieces. In “Flirtation and Seduction,” recent Conservatory graduates Emily Isaacs and Aseem Shukla sang Bizet and Lloyd Webber, respectively, while sophomore vocal candidate Ida Gorshteyn sang an Italian art song.

Seniors Showcase Their Talents at Conservatory Graduation They’ve been preparing for four years, learning monologues, choreographing dances, honing solos, memorizing lyrics, teching shows and blocking scenes. On April 27, the Conservatory’s senior certificate candidates showed their friends and families the polished, final product of their years of hard work. The sixth-annual Senior Showcase, held in the Blackford Theater, was a nonstop delight of incredible per formances. Monologues included Shakespeare and modern comedy; dances showcased the ballet, modern and hip hop skills of the choreographers; art songs were sung in French, Italian and English; and Broadway was represented with torch songs and comedy numbers. Instrumentalists gave the audience two piano pieces, an oboe concerto, a jazz violin piece and a guitar adagio that unexpectedly burst into a rock ’n’ roll tune. All lights, sound and staging were overseen by the three technical theater candidates. The audience gave the seniors a 10-minute standing ovation at the end of the evening, and Conservatory advisers presented them with their plaques, formally ending their Conservatory studies and proclaiming them graduates of the program.

“Dedication” was an interesting section, as it presented two lieder (German art songs) written to each other by music history’s most famous lovebirds, Robert and Clara Schumann. After the group performed Robert’s lied, Ariel Gaknoki, sophomore musical theater certificate candidate, presented Clara’s lied as a solo; then Cantilena offered a choral arrangement of the same work. In “Regret and Disillusionment,” Jessica Dickinson Goodman, also a recent Conservatory graduate, sang the passionate Russian piece that earned her a Superior rating at a recent music festival. The boys were not left behind, with Kartik Venkatraman and Amaresh Shukla, both sophomore vocal candidates, performing their first classical solos ever, with much success!

Congratulations to these artists: Dance (adviser Laura Rae): Julia Havard, Cassie Kerkhoff, Laura Sánchez, Allison Wong, Ashley Yang; Instrumental Music (adviser Chris Florio): Caitlin Contag, Kristie Cu, Roger Kim, Audrey Kwong, Shannon Tan; Vocal Music (advisers Susan Nace and Catherine Snider): Jessica Dickinson Goodman, Emily Isaacs, Samantha Jagannathan, Anjali Menon, Vani Pyda; Theater (adviser Jeff Draper): Juliana Daniil, Yoshi Kuroi, Erin Newton, Cooper Sivara; Musical Theater (adviser Laura Lang-Ree): Debanshi Bheda, Simren Kohli, Aseem Shukla, Siobhan Stevenson, Patrick Sweeney, Nina Vyedin; Technical Theater (adviser Brian Larsen): Andrew Hospodor, Kit Schimandle, Esther Teplitsky.

Guys’ Gig, the wacky a cappella group with de facto leader Aseem Shukla and fellow senior Jason Lee, cracked up the crowd with comedy bits and a prop-laden song about all the state capitals. The evening concluded with “New Hope, New Love,” and the two groups combined for a rousing spiritual. Many goodbyes and thank yous were said, next year’s Cantilenans were welcomed, and a wonder ful time was had by all.


Harker News — June 07

MS Teenyboppers Bring Broadway’s ‘Bye Bye Birdie’ to Blackford Stage A pack of screaming teenaged girls, their Elvis-like music idol, their exasperated parents … surely this scene is re-enacted in every generation. The Middle School Players had their chance in May when they presented “Bye Bye Birdie” to appreciative audiences in the Blackford Theater.

This fun Broadway musical brings us to Sweetapple, Ohio, where Kim MacAfee (Michelle Holt, Gr. 8) has just renounced her participation in her local Conrad Birdie fan club, because she’s become pinned to Hugo (Aamir Javaid, Gr. 8) and now has more serious concerns. Little does Kim know she has been chosen at random to receive a kiss from Conrad Birdie (Nirjhar Mundkur, Gr. 8) himself before he goes off to war, a publicity stunt designed to bring much-needed funds to manager Albert Peterson (James Seifert, Gr. 8) and his smart sweetheart, Rosie (Christina Li, Gr. 8). In true musical theater fashion, chaos ensues! Director Monica MacKinnon had the teenybopper style well in hand, and musical director Roxann Hagemeyer and her seven-piece band accompanied the powerful singing. Choreographers Alex Acevedo and Bettie Nelson gave terrific steps to the cast, and the dynamic duo of Brian Larsen and Paul Vallerga kept all things technical running smoothly. Congratulations to all!

Interdisciplinary Florence Trip Open to All US Students Cantilena, the US women’s vocal ensemble, is traveling to Florence during Presidents’ Week (Feb. 8-18, 2008), and invites other US students to join them. At press time there were twenty-one spots remaining. Dante, Petrarch, Giotto, Botticelli, da Vinci, Michelangelo, Machiavelli, Medici, Bardi, Gallileo, The Florentine Camerata, Caccini, Monteverdi – all these names attest to the primacy of Florence in Renaissance history, arts, political thought and science. As a city, Florence, unlike Rome, maintains

its Renaissance flavor; it is the center of the Renaissance and the beginnings of contemporary Western culture. With Florence’s riches in all areas, this trip follows the “Renaissance ideal” of a multidisciplinary approach, with music, literature, art and political thought and history all incorporated. Four Harker teachers will not only chaperone but teach on the tour, making connections between the disciplines and the importance of the Renaissance to modern society. Art teacher and sculptor Jaap Bongers has

arranged for students to visit sculpture studios with artists he knows and with whom he has worked. In addition, Mark Mitchell (English and literature) and Carol Zink (history) bring their knowledge of Dante and Renaissance history and political thought to the team. Music teacher Susan Nace put together the itinerary. The itinerary includes Florence (the Uffizi, the Academia, places significant to Dante’s life, Duomo, Baptistry, Santa Croce); Siena (Siena Cathedral and the Cathedral Museum); Assisi (entrance to the

Basilica Di San Francesco, two superimposed churches to see Giotto’s frescoes); Pietrasanta and Carrara (trips to quarries, “Campo Cecina” and studios Sem and Bottega Versiliese); Pisa (Campo dei Miracoli, with the Cathedral, the Leaning Tower, the Baptistery and the Campo Santo); Ravenna (Basilica de San Vitale and the Basilica de Sant’ Apollinare in Classe); and Cremona (the Stradivarius Museum). For more information and an application packet, please contact Nace at

It’s Unanimous! MS and US Ensembles are ‘Superior,’ Judges Say In April, Harker’s Gr. 7-8 Orchestra participated in the California Music Educators Association south region large ensemble festival at Saratoga High School. It was the first time this ensemble has participated in this festival, which is largely dominated by local high schools. The students performed very well and earned the highest rating, a Superior, from the judges. “I am very proud of these students, so please congratulate them on their accomplishment when you see them,” said director Chris Florio. Gr. 7: Farrah Gulzar, Sharanya Haran, Nandita Krishna, Jeffrey Kwong, Andrew Lee, Charles Levine, Jessica Lin, Ishika Peravali, Dylan Qian, Cindy Tay; Gr. 8: Harker News — June 07

Lorraine Kim, Max Lan, Cassandra Tran, Karen Wong. US vocal group Cantilena earned its first unanimous superior ranking at the CMEA choral festival in May. That ranking means that each of three judges awarded the ensemble a Superior ranking. Some of the judges’ comments included, “Stunning balance! Rich singing – you put many college choirs to shame with the high level of phrasing and expression we heard from you today”; “fine understanding of the music” and “lovely, warm tone, mature sound.” Congratulations to director Susan Nace and her always-“superior” ensemble!




Students’ Eclectic Artwork Displayed at Year-End Exhibits Harker art shows, pleasurable traditions, are opportunities for students to show how much they’ve grown as artists. Each year, displays go up around each campus, attracting passers-by with colorful, original pieces. The end-of-year art show has been held at the Bucknall campus for nine years, and this year over

1,400 pieces were displayed. “Media included drawing, watercolor, pastels, collage, ceramics, sculpture, finger weaving, origami and crafts,” said Eric Hoffman, art chair for K-Gr. 5. “The work represents both academic and after-school art programs,” said Hoffman. “I see the exhibition as a retrospective experience. It


gives us an opportunity to look back at the school year and see all that we have accomplished with our students,” he noted. “Seeing the artwork also brings back a flood of memories of their personalities, the growth and experiences we have shared with our students over the years.”

Bass, art teacher, and the art department assistants, Janie Fung and Lucia Yeung, in arranging the show, and the help of parent volunteers who helped hang the show: Diane Drewke, Sara Fitzgerald, Maria Gong, Melinda Gonzales, Charu Gupta, Kim Pellissier, Carol Underwood and Debbie Buss.

Hoffman noted the efforts of Sue

The work is displayed throughout


Koi Carp by LS students 12

Harker News — June 07

the gym, including the kitchen and landing, as well as offices and waiting rooms. Bass noted, “I love the validation the students have when they see their work mounted and presented in the exhibition. Seeing the culmination of the academic and after-school artwork wonderfully reinforces that we have met our goals as art educators. “The art show is a concrete way of

seeing the progress our students make from year to year, and watching someone enter the gym lobby for the first time is fun. The artwork seems to lift their spirits and slow them down in order to take a closer look,” she added. One additional validation of the program is that the head librarian of the children’s section at the Saratoga Public Library has invited Harker’s K-Gr. 8 students to display


their artwork in the Children’s Room over the summer. “We are very excited to have this opportunity to share our students’ talents and creativity with the community,” said Hoffman. In addition, ten students, five LS and five MS, were selected to represent Harker at the Saratoga Rotary Art Show in early May at West Valley College. The LS students, one from each grade, were Raymond Xu, Gr. 5, Archana Podury, Gr. 4, Kristen Ko, Gr. 3, Joyce Huang, Gr. 2 and Kaitlin Hsu, Gr. 1. The five MS students were William Chang, Kristi Sun, Neda Ghaffarian, all Gr. 7, and Arko Mukherjee and Jasmine Nee, both Gr. 8. The on-site MS end-of-year art exhibit is a chance for developing artists to step out of the classroom and see their work away from the safety of the studio. “This exhibit covers almost every lesson from both semesters in grades 6, 7 and 8,” said Elizabeth Saltos, art teacher. “The curriculum runs the full range of media – drawing, painting, sculpture – with an accumulative process aimed at building skills and developing a working knowledge of art fundamentals. For example in drawing, we do contour and gesture drawing and experience blind contour and modified blind contour,” Saltos said. “In class, I focus a lot on getting the students to relax, identify right-brain from left-brain activity and let go of predetermined ways of drawing what we think instead of what we see. I also check in and observe the fun and energy level in the classroom; if we are not having fun, I step back and punt. I am serious about the goal to enjoy the art

Harker News — June 07

experience,” she noted. “This year we explored all facets of the art elements such as line, color, shape, texture, value and space. In the exhibit you will see examples of sculpture in mixed media, wire, wood and clay. Often lessons use an established artist as a model. In this manner, we explored art history and identified the context of the art: what was the environment the artist worked in, the culture and the timeline. “I am very proud of the students and the work in the exhibit. They were asked to experience color through the eyes of the Impressionists for one lesson and work within a very minimal palate of the Russian Constructivists in another lesson. Art is many things, one of which is working toward an unidentified end. In relation to this goal, the students demonstrated commendable willingness to explore and strive towards this amorphous objective with surprisingly beautiful results,” Saltos finished. The US art show this year was a melting pot, from pen and ink and Picasso-esque images to earthy, organic sculpture. Spotted around Shah Hall, the collection displayed the many-faceted art program where students learned to process information, interpret it and express themselves creatively. Fine arts students may take Study of Visual Arts, drawing, stone carving, bronze casting, ceramics and architecture courses. “The goal is to help them develop their aesthetic sense and cultivate an appreciation for the historical and cultural context of art,” said teacher Jaap Bongers. See related AP Studio Art story on page 26.




LS Sports The lower school sports spring season was very successful, said Walid Fahmy, K-Gr. 5 assistant athletic director. “Our fifth grade boys had their first ‘hardball’ baseball game and, even though they lost a very close game 4-2, it was an amazing experience. Our fourth grade baseball team had excellent numbers and really produced some outstanding athletes who are developing skills. Our Gr. 4-5 girls softball program was wonderful: the girls got to learn about the sport and really enjoyed learning how to hit and field softballs,” noted Fahmy. “As for the swimmers, they also had a exceptional experience at their own Harker swim meet. Many students earned ribbons and had an unforgettable and challenging experience. Overall, the spring was a tremendous time for our athletes, and really helped developed skills for the future!” said Fahmy.

MS Sports ■ Tennis The big news ‘round Blackford is that the tennis team made it to the

■ Volleyball The A girls volleyball team finished 4-0 with victories over Quimby Oak, Los Altos Christian, Los Gatos Christian and St. Joseph’s of Atherton. The B girls volleyball team finished 3-0 with victories over Los Altos Christian, Pinewood and St. Joseph’s of Atherton. The C girls volleyball team finished 0-2 with losses to Los Altos Christian and St. Joseph’s of Atherton. The A boys volleyball team finished off an exciting season at 9-9 with a second place finish in the Mt. Madonna tourney and a third place finish in the Harker tourney. The B boys volleyball team finished at 5-13, but ended the season on a three-game win streak with a dramatically improved squad! The boys finished in fifth place in the Mt. Madonna tourney and sixth place in the Harker tournament.

locking them in as a top team to beat. In the CCS, the team beat San Mateo 5-2, before losing a close match to Los Altos. Although the team bids farewell to six seniors, there are eight veteran juniors who will anchor next year. First Team All-PSAL honors went to Eric Liu, Gr. 11, Rohan Narayen and Rajiv Ragu, Gr. 11; Second Team All-PSAL honors went to Harry Tseng; PSAL Honorable Mention honors went to Andrew A. Tran. ■ Lacrosse The girl’s lacrosse season this year was a success in all respects, said coach Natalie Philpot. “We won some incredibly competitive games … ending our season with an 11-6 victory over Mercy Burlingame. We ended our season with a 3 wins-4 losses record, which is a vast improvement over the one win of last season. The girls have improved drastically and are capitalizing on their talents. They are a remarkable

■ Baseball The MS baseball team finished 0-2 with one forfeit, with losses to St. Joseph’s of Atherton 3-10 and 10-12. ■ Swimming The LS and MS swim teams finished off their season with a very successful intersquad swim meet in late May. Thanks for your support throughout the year and we look forward to a fun and exciting year next year! GO EAGLES!

finals of the MTP tennis league, which has not been done in years, if ever, according to Theresa Smith, K-Gr. 8 athletic director. The team finished with a regular season 5-1 record. “Although we lost a very close final with the San Jose Drive in late May, 4-5, it was a spectacular season for our kids and our coaches!” she said. In addition, the team’s number one singles player, Kyle Sum, Gr. 8, will be attending Harker US in the fall.


US Sports

group of young women who came together,” Philpot noted.

The US sports season wrapped up with the sports banquet in late May. The school’s teams had great results, and at the top of the heap are athletes of the year, senior Jason Martin, and classmate Faustine Liao.

“Natalie So, Gr. 11, the team MVP, led the team with 10 points this season. Senior Annie Zhou ended her Harker career with five stunning goals in our last game. Special thanks to team captains Alyssa Boyle, Gr. 10, and Whitney Huang and Jami Woolsey, both Gr. 11, for leading by example and being true catalysts for success,” said Philpot.

■ Boys Volleyball The team earned the first boys team championship in the school’s history, with a 10-0 league record, 22-13 overall, and making the CCS tournament for the first time. They also became the first boys team at Harker to receive a top 15 ranking in CCS. Congratulations on a great season! ■ Boys Tennis The boys varsity team finished 16-5, and came in second in the PSAL. In the process, they earned a fourth straight CCS appearance,

■ Softball Raul Rios, varsity softball head coach, reports that the team had a great season. After going winless for two years, the team turned it around and won 15 games this season, finishing 15-7, the best overall record in their division, but missed the CCS playoffs by one game. “This was our Cinderella story!” Rios noted.

■ Baseball Harker varsity baseball ended 1410 overall; 7-7 in league play. The team beat third-place Valley Christian Dublin. Senior Gregg Ringold led the league with a .561 batting average and 31 stolen bases, with four homers. Classmate Jason Martin was second with a .500 average, but led the league with five homers; fellow senior Mark Ollila was the top Harker pitcher, with a 6-3 record, followed by Alan Wong, Gr. 11, who won three games; and sophomore Sean Mandell was the mainstay behind the plate while delivering several key hits to contribute to victories. ■ Swimming Every Harker CCS swimmer had personal record times and/or Harker record times at a meet in late May. Andrew Chin, Gr. 10, placed eighth in the 200 IM and sixth in the 100 butterfly. Other PRs were Cole Davis, Gr. 9, in the 50m freestyle, Senan Ebrahim, Gr. 11, in the 200m freestyle and the 200m freestyle relay team of Davis, Ebrahim and juniors Excel Que and Raymond Paseman. In toto, the boys team scored 30 points and placed 19th overall – a tremendous accomplishment. The girls’ team took fourth place in the league championship, their best finish ever in the WBAL. Coach Bart Wells said the meet started with the 200-yard medley relay team of Tiffany Chang, Gr. 12, Stephanie Syu, Gr. 11, Kaytee Comee, Gr. 10 and Vivian Wong, Gr. 9, getting their best times, followed by Wong setting a school record in the 200 IM. She paced 13th and qualified for consolation finals, making her the first-ever Harker girl swimmer to qualify for a swim on the second Harker News — June 07

Lower day of the CCS championship meet. Wong also came 16th in the 200 IM on Saturday, and Sabrina Paseman, Gr. 10, placed 13th in diving.

Photo supplied by Jaap Bongers

■ Track & Field The boys finished their regular season at the PSAL championship

meet with a strong third place finish out of nine teams. Top finishers include: Jacob Bongers, Gr. 12, first in the 100m, second in the 200m, first in the triple jump and first in 4x100 relay; Winston Wey, Gr. 12, first in the long jump and 4x100 relay and second in the 4x400 relay; senior Will Courchesne, first in the 400m, second in the 110 hurdles and 4x100 relay and second in the 4x400 relay; sophomore Sam Levine, the only non-senior to score points, took sixth in the mile. Seniors Roger Kim and Mike Lee filled out the 4x400 relay, earning seconds, and classmate Albert Chen was the fourth on the 4x100 relay team, which took second.

In another Harker first, in one of the last meets of the season, Bongers qualified for the CCS track and field finals in the triple jump with a jump of 44 feet 9 inches. Making the finals in any event means our athletes are in the top eight in CCS! There was another awesome performance by Courchesne, who also qualified for the finals in the 400m run – remarkable! Final results came in just at press time: Bongers finished seventh in the triple jump with a jump of 43 feet 5 inches, and Courchesne finished seventh in the 400m run. ■ Golf On the links, Harker’s win-loss record was 5-2. Three students, Kyle Hall, Gr. 10, James Feng and Jeremy Whang, both Gr. 9, earned Second Team All-League honors. Our top six players are now either freshmen or sophomores and will be returning next year. ■ Fall Update We’re pleased to announce that middle and lower school teacher Jared Ramsey will be the head boys soccer coach for the upper school and will be assisted by upper school math teacher Troy Thiele. Also, our head track and field coach Dan Hodgin will take over the cross country program as well. We’re very excited about these additions to our program.

Faculty vs. Girls Softball Team One warm May afternoon, Harker faculty stepped up to a challenge from the girls softball team and played a game against them. The game was a joyride for both teams, both winning in terms of having fun. Spectators cheered on their favorites, and after the last out, team spirit turned to comradeship as graduates in the group realized they had run their last base as Harker students. “The faculty won, but I’m not exactly sure what the final score was,” said Fred Triefenbach, multimedia teacher. “It was great fun, although I’m having a little trouble walking today. After the game (the girls’ coach) Raul Rios made presentations to the girls who made All-Conference first and second teams and then passed out Harker letters or pins to be placed on the letters if they had earned a letter previously,” he noted, making the game as much ceremony as fun.


Grandparents Welcomed at Bucknall More than 275 grandparents and special friends attended this year’s Grandparents’ Day celebration at the Bucknall campus on May 4. “Grandparents … Our Most Precious Jewels” was the theme for this year’s event, which was co-chaired by Debbie Buss (Connor, Gr. 3 and Harrison, Gr. 1), Deepika Jain (Raghav, Gr. 3), Leslie Tomihiro (Madison, Gr. 3 and Makenzie, K) and Laura van den Dries (Chloe, Gr. 3 and Nikka, Gr. 6). The afternoon included an opening ceremony hosted by Chris Nikoloff; entertainment featuring performances by first- and fourth-grade students, as well as Dance Fusion; classroom visits; and a treasure hunt that gave grandparents an opportunity to tour the Bucknall campus. Each year, in preparation for the big event, there is an art contest at the

Bucknall campus; winning entries are then used for the Grandparents’ Day invitations and program. We had a wonderful turnout for the art contest, and want to recognize the students who submitted artwork:

Bheda, Amanda Clausen, Gracean Linthacum-Janker, Olivia Long, Kayvon Solaimanpour and Samantha Townzen; Gr. 2: Michael Auld and Quentin Delepine; Gr. 3: Jacqueline Chen, Naomi Molin, Helen Woodruff and Darius Yohannan; Gr. 4: Archana Podury; Gr. 5: Marino Kinoshita. The contest winners, whose entries were used for the invitations and program,

Kindergarten: Brian Faun, Lilia Gonzales, Deana Kajmakovic, Anzu Kinoshita, Sasha Pikiner and Ayush Pancholy; Gr. 1: Krishna

were: Katrina Liu, kindergarten; Chelsie Alexander, Venkat Sankar and Jordan Thompson, Gr. 2; and Agata Sorotokin, Gr. 4. The Grandparents’ Day co-chairs thank everyone involved with making the day a wonderful success! — Laura van den Dries, parent

Harker News — June 07



Students Bring Joy to Seniors

Weekend in the Great Outdoors

A group of Gr. 3 students went to the Campbell Village senior center in early May to give out spring plants and “Happy Spring” cards. “Spring is here, and it’s always a great time to share and serve the community,” said Vanessa Bullman, summer programs assistant. “The seniors were very appreciative of the students’ efforts, and the students themselves found the whole experience very rewarding.” Participating students were Aashika Balaji, Akshay Battu, Caitlin Benge, Gillian Chu, Emma Doherty, Ryan Hayden, Sandhana Kannan, Kristen Ko, Naomi Molin, Mary Najibi, Ankita Sharma, Anish Velagapudi.

Third-grade families enjoyed a fun-filled weekend at the Santa Cruz KOA campground in late April. About 140 adults and children, including teachers Elise Schwartz, Tamara Kley Contini and Eric Leonard, attended the campout. It was the second consecutive year that the grade has gone camping together.

Bowling Outing Fun for All

Rekha Nandakumar

In early April, Gr. 4 parents joined faculty for a celebratory evening at the alleys. “We had about 30 people bowl,” said Rekha Nandakumar, mother of Maya. “There were a couple of families, teachers, staff and siblings in the Harker upper grades who joined us for the bowling. The kids had a great time and we had a good turnout!” she said. The group met at Homestead Lanes in Cupertino from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. “Seeing the kids outside of school in a new environment gives parents a very different perspective on their children,” noted Nandakumar. “The kids are so well-mannered when they receive assistance from the bowling lanes staff, yet they are so competitive trying to win and cheer for their friends when they are in the game. Since Harker kids have so many interests and activities, something like this where you can get together with your friends from school is a great way to interact and form friendships,” she finished.

Class Visits Wildlife Museum The entire Gr. 1 class went to Coyote Point Museum in San Mateo one late April morning. The highlight of the visit was attending a class that presented local animal friends including a rat, an owl and a snake. In addition to the class, the children also spent time viewing the exhibits in the museum, which include many hands-on activities and a small habitat with local, rehabilitated animals that can be found in our neighborhoods like raccoons, opossums and porcupines. The museum boasts over 150 rescued, nonreleasable animals native to California, including a bobcat, river otters, rattlesnakes and raptors along with an aviar y with a water fall and pond where indigenous shorebirds and songbirds make their home.

Field Trip Highlights State History The third graders had a class outing to the Oakland Museum of California that entertained and educated. Surya Solanki said she liked the feather hat and the cape Indian leaders wore and was amazed to see all the artifacts of the early explorers which she had only read about. Solanki enjoyed reading about endangered California birds and said all the students had fun answering the questionnaire handed out by their teacher, Tamara Kley Contini. Solanki’s mother, Mukta, said, “I was immensely impressed by the whole arrangement of this trip. Mr. (Howard) Saltzman and Ms. Contini made a real effort to plan out this trip so the kids would see the artifacts of the early explorers and learn about the native birds. It was a very good effort by these teachers to make their subjects exciting.”


On the first night, the group gathered around a campfire, where the children performed skits and sang songs lead by a camp counselor hired by the group. Saturday included a yoga class for early risers, a build-your-own-sandwich bar and a trip to the beach. The children had a mar velous time splashing around in the water, and catching sea crabs and jellyfish with their teachers. Meanwhile, the parents relaxed and enjoyed each other’s company.

Mukta Solanki


“What I liked best was the beach,” said camper Surya Solanki. “I found three sand crabs and loads of jellyfish with Ms. Contini! The jellyfish felt squishy and slimy, but they were not harmful. I also liked playing in the sand with my friends.” When the group returned to camp, the kids worked on crafts, went swimming in the pool and horsed around, while the parents prepared dinner. “Dinner was an international potluck festivity, contributed by each family,” said grade-level coordinator Faustina Chen. “The food was simply delicious.” After dinner, the dads led the kids on a nighttime hike while the moms participated in samba, Indian and Greek dance lessons taught by other moms. Sunday morning, the families enjoyed a nutritious breakfast together before heading home. A fun time was had by all. A few new families joined the group this year, and for some it was their first-ever camping trip. “They had told us that it could not have been a better experience for them,” Chen said, adding that the trip really helped build community among the families.

K-Gr. 1 Parents Thank Faculty, Staff On a beautiful spring day in May, parents of first graders and kindergartners gathered together to thank faculty and staff for a great year. The Teacher/Staff Appreciation Luncheon is for all the people at school involved in making children safe and happy, including homeroom teachers, specialty teachers, teachers’ aides, administrative assistants, kitchen and recreation staff and the all-important security guards. Held on the front lawn, the young students served invitees with fine food and delectable desserts that parents provided. Once the honorees were served, parents joined in to socialize with the group and students had their lunch, too, so a festive time was had by all.

Grades 4-5 Say ‘Thank You’ Too Faculty and staff appreciation lunches are all the rage this time of year, and the Gr. 4-5 grade-level coordinators mobilized a great effort in late May. The group provided a full meal, with appetizers, salads and desserts provided by Gr. 4 parents and the entrée provided by Gr. 5 parents. The lunch brought together faculty along with office staff, nurses and counselors, and a relaxing, satisfying meal was enjoyed by all! Harker News — June 07

Annual Gold Country Trip Takes Students Back in Time

Gr. 5 Camp Out

The annual Gr. 4 trip to Coloma was, as usual, a blast for all concerned! After an uneventful bus trip to the campground, 107 fourth graders and nearly a score of chaperones began exploring the area. “For many of the students, it was their first time away from home,” noted Kelly Espinosa, dean of nonacademics for K-Gr. 5.

The Harker Class of 2014 continued its annual tradition of taking a weekend camping trip. Planned this year by a group of parents led by Ruth Mohanram (Kevin, Gr. 5, Scott, Gr. 9), the trip to the KOA campground, tucked away in the seaside town of La Selva Beach, a few miles south of Santa Cruz, was a great break. Cool weather from the rain earlier in the week was countered by a crackling bonfire, said Narendra Nayak (Avinash, Gr. 5).

A high point of the second day was the reading of letters students received from home, written 1849style by parents before the trip, for deliver y while the students were immersed in the gold rush histor y.

Kristin Giammona

loma Outdoor Discovery School,” she noted.

“That evening we had a campfire with a Native American speaker, Kimberly Shining Star. On the final day, we

“The first day was filled with gold mining activities such as bartering for goods, making homemade cornbread, washing with washboards and building lean-to’s. The evening program included a hoedown with the local band Slim Pickin’s. Then, there was a campfire alongside the American River. We sang songs and acted out skits,” noted Espinosa. “The second day of the trip was all about hiking and learning about the flora and fauna of the lush Coloma Valley, including a trip to the Co-

discussed the consequences of mining and how the students could help the earth and others in the future,” Espinosa said. “The students broke into groups and used what they learned about ecology and the environment to invent creative ideas to save the Ear th. Mrs. (Kristin) Giam-

mona, elementar y school head, repor ted that their ideas were ver y creative and their presentations were thoughtful and ver y fun! The weather was the best... and ever yone was happy and tired and ready to come home!” Espinosa finished.

In conjunction with their trip to historic Coloma, Colin Goodwin’s Gr. 4 English students wrote journals from the point of view of a ship captain, gold miner, shop owner and others who came for the Gold Rush. The journals were artificially aged by the students to look authentic.

Saturday was beach day and the weather was cooperative. Manresa Beach, five minutes from the campground, provided a swimming beach and plenty of sand castle material, Nayak noted. Parents worked on tans by playing volleyball or strolling on the beach. Once back at the campground, families dispersed to take a dip in the pool, slurp ice-cream cones, ride the banana bikes or just snooze in the cabin. Saturday evening, after a photo session, campers tucked into a potluck dinner, a collection of dishes from all par ts of the world. The presence of teachers Pat Walsh, Jason Pergament and Natalie Philpot livened up the evening around the bonfire. “Sunday morning was goodbye time and a reminder of how our camping tradition has, year after year, ser ved to bring the families closer to each other,” said Nayak.

Fifth Graders Promoted to MS - and New Campus - in Annual Ceremony The second annual Gr. 5 promotion ceremony was held June 6. Friends and family of those moving to the MS were treated to song and dance per formances by the per forming arts departments, including the entire Gr. 5 singing “The Future Begins With Us” and “Footloose,” by Dance Fusion, a Gr. 4-6 troupe.

Harker News — June 07

Head of School Chris Nikoloff wrapped up the ceremony, following distribution of the promotion certificates, and annual awards for citizenship and academic performance. Heartiest congratulations to all the Gr. 5 students. We look forward to seeing you next year at the MS!



school Engineer Fires Up Students

The inaugural Harker Cup Field Hockey Challenge took place in April and May during lunch hours, and involved more than 60 Gr. 5 participants, including teams and support personnel. Teachers Rob Regan and Eric Leonard organized the students into 10 teams to play out the games during lunch recess. Service club members Urvi Gupta, Saachi Jain, Alex Pei, Nicholas Samoray and Rahul Sridhar helped set up the goals, get sticks and referee. The games were well-attended and fellow students made signs and provided water for players, according to Regan. Teams were creatively named, including the Happy Feet and Hot Heads, and the finalists were the Killer Nincompoops (John Hughes, Nicholas Navarro, Laura Thacker, Jithin Vellian and Sean Youn) vs the Timbertoes Brian Bither, Darian Edvalson, Sean Knudsen, Kevin Moss and Andrew Zhu.

Gr. 3 math classes had an exciting visit from Alison Sue, an engineer at IBM, in April. “She came and talked to the children about what engineers do. She also led a project making rockets out of straws and empty plastic bottles and tubes,” said math teacher Kathleen Ferretti.

Kathleen Ferretti

Nincompoops Defeated By Faculty

Waterpalooza a Refreshing Reward The very name conjures up images of splash-filled fun, water games and carefree children frolicking under a warm spring sun. This year’s festivities are a thank you to dedicated students for their efforts in raising just under $20,000 from the Jump Rope For Heart activity.

At the championship match, Katherine Paseman sang the “Star Spangled Banner” and Pat Walsh and Arjun Kumar did commentary and play-by-play. The Killer Nincompoops won the Cup 7-3. The championship was followed by an all-star game between the champs and faculty members Regan, Leonard, Walsh and Katie Molin. The students were overwhelmed and Killer Nincompoop Hughes thought Walsh playing goalie unfairly tilted the odds. “We couldn’t even see the net!” he noted. Walsh responded, “They wilted when the pressure got going!” thus setting the stage for next year’s challenge.

“Our P.E. teachers worked hard to set up the event, our children jumped their hearts out, and our families and faculty/staff were extremely generous. The amazing amount that we raised was $19,315.50!” said Kelly Espinosa, dean of nonacademics.

Farm Animals Visit First Grade At Harker, when you can’t go to the farm, the farm comes to you. Farmer Rob of Johnson Farm came to visit the first graders one afternoon in late May from his holding in Boulder Creek. The more

Each grade level participated in a special Waterpalooza activity with a variety of water games, activities and treats on the campus, including water slides, a game of water baseball (the bases were wading pools) and a fling through the campus sprinklers. Students had free dress but wore swimsuits under regular clothing to speed up the start of the activity. “Though we did not reach our big goal of $25,000, we are so proud of our children’s efforts that we allowed top fundraisers to throw pies at P.E. teachers earlier in the year as a special thank you,” said Espinosa. All grades had a great time, returning to class damp, but warm from both the activity and knowing it was a thank you for a big job well done.

Gr. 1 parents gathered in early May for another restaurant social to exchange information on school life. Coordinated by Gr. 1 GLCs Ann Linthacum (Gracean LinthacumJanker) and Mei-Chen Yu (Jessica, Gr. 1, and Allison, Gr. 3), the small, but lively group enjoyed a great meal and great conversation.

Dinner and a Movie, Kids’ Style

Shankari Sundar

Jamie Tsai

por table members of the barnyard came along on the outing: chicks, banana slugs and his dog Jack, along with a variety of tools Farmer Rob uses on the farm. He showed the students how to plant seeds and talked about his life on the farm and the jobs he has to do. Farmer Rob brought sunflower seedlings for each student to plant and fresh farm eggs from Henrietta the hen for Diann Chung, teacher and depar tment chair. The group finished up with ice cream and a great time was had by all, said first grade teacher Mary Holaday.


“The children intently created their launchers with the materials she brought and had a test firing. They analyzed their results so that they could lengthen the range of their missiles. We were delighted that Ms. Sue could visit and share this project with us,” Ferretti said.

Gr. 5 students watched “Eragon” – student selected by popular vote – at their movie night in late April. Held at the Bucknall gym, 29 families participated, many with siblings. Dinner, consisting of pizza, lemonade, orange juice, fruits and cookies and followed by popcorn, kept viewers fueled throughout the evening. Kids ate, played and chatted until movie time, while some parents watched the movie, most just socializing with other parents in the gym. Thanks to staff members who helped out! Harker News — June 07

Kindergartners Tell Audience How To Get to Sesame St. The kindergarten shows were a huge hit this year, as the young students dressed up as “Sesame Street” characters to bring more than a little levity to fellow students, parents and grandparents, teachers and staff. The classes delighted their audience with song and dance, dressed as the familiar figures from the popular children’s TV show. Shows were held in the “Little Theater” at Bucknall, where the main stage was reconfigured to put the show at one end and audience members at the other, making for a friendly interplay between players and visitors.

kid talk Harker News intern Beckie Yanovsky, Gr. 10, asked some of our students the following question: What was your favorite part of the year? favorite part of the year “wasMywhen we went to Mission San Juan Bautista and it was really cool because we went on this tour, and then we visited this store that had ice cream and a really cool rock shop where you could buy these different types of rocks. —Nicholas LaBruna, Gr. 3

My favorite part was the “Waterpalooza because it was wet. ” —Ryan Hayden, Gr. 3 favorite part was our “fieldMytrip to the Monterey Bay Aquarium. We got to see a bunch of new things there that I have never seen before. —Rishi Narain, Gr. 3

field trip was the “timeMywefavorite got to go to the Egyptian Museum because I really like to learn about Egypt and it was really cool. —Danny Reidenbach, Gr. 2

best school field trip “weThe went on was the Egyptian

Symbolism Surrounds Annual Tree-Planting Ceremony In one of those great K-throughlife moments, in late May kindergartners broke free of the classroom to add some greener y to the LS flora. Tree planting is an annual event with the kindergartners, but each year the task is as new as those

Harker News — June 07

who participate. The deciduous tree, already several feet tall, was settled in its permanent home, on the perimeter of the field just south of the double gates, on a sunny morning with a variety of commemorative events. First off, each student put a symbolic shovelful of dirt on the roots, using a gold-painted shovel, then librarian Kathy Clark read a treerelated stor y and, finally, LS librar-

Museum because we got to see real mummies! —Conor Martin, Gr. 2

Our favorite part was our “class’ penguin party because there was tons of food and candy! —Evan Dorrian and Joseph Krackeler, Gr. 2

favorite part of the year “wasMyhomeroom class because

ians provided each student with a bookmark, made from trees, to remind them that from trees come the books that teach and entertain them their whole lives. Hopefully, a thousand books from now, these students will return to contemplate, for a moment, the symbolism of planting a single tree.

we got to make different stories up and read them to each other and have a contest to see whose was the best. —Lauren Trihy, Gr. 2

My favorite class is social “studies because of all the cool stuff we got to do. Like we were studying about Egypt and we made a mummy’s tomb, so it’s really cool. —Chetana Kalidindi, Gr. 2




Teachers Wear Uniforms With Pride

Dress Up Days Highlight Spirit Week Spirit week at the MS is a time of whimsy and hilarity, and this year the events were television-themed. Each day had a special free dress as well as an activity for the advisories to compete in.

Cindy Kerr-Ellis

Monday was Intense Medical Drama Day, drawing on shows like “E.R,” “Quincy,” “St. Elsewhere” and “Grey’s Anatomy.’ Special dress was hospital-based: pajamas or scrubs and the classic game of Operation, only on a massive scale, was the activity.

In a good-natured effort to empower their students, MS teachers dressed in Harker uniforms for a day in May. This gave the students a chance to pull an inspection and “ding” faculty for incorrect dress, in gentle retaliation for the other 200-odd days of the year when teachers hound the students over dress code violations!

CalNilers Honored for Outreach The CalNilers, one of Harker’s Gr. 7 eCybermission teams, received special recognition and a certificate from Santa Clara County for their work on West Nile Virus outreach activities.

Kriss Costa

The presentation from the county Vector Control District occurred in the Board of Super visors Chambers in San Jose in late April, to “honor local students for being proactive and helping their school and neighborhood protect themselves against West Nile Virus,” according to the county press release. The release continued, “Using a variety of outreach and educational materials, the team of four seventh graders, named the CalNilers, (think West Nile Virus) conducted sur veys and presentations in an effort to inform their community and school about the dangers of WNV in the county and how they could protect themselves against it.” “They are an incredible group of kids. Their teacher and their parents have a lot to be proud of,” said Ken Yeager, county super visor. Kriss Costa, Vector Control District spokesperson, noted, “All students should be recognized when they go above and beyond what is normally required of them in the classroom. These students saw a need and did excellent work. “I was completely blown away by ever ything these students did,” added Costa. “They asked me for some suggestions on what they might do in regards to WNV education. They took all my suggestions, came up with some of their own and hit the ground running.” The CalNilers are Michelle Deng, Albert Wu, Jennie Xu and Evan Yao.


Tuesday was Classic 50s sitcom day, with a “Bye Bye Birdie” tribute to this year’s MS musical production. Shades of “Happy Days,” the “Courtship of Eddie’s Father” and “Grease” brought out peg-leg jeans, poodle skirts and leather jackets of the era. The activity was an animal-free “Poultry Put,” a sort of feathery shot put. Wednesday, a day for children and adults, was ESPN/Cartoon Network Day. A channel-flipping day to show allegiance to a favorite sport, team or animated series, participants wore sports apparel or clothes associated with cartoons, and the activity was an old-fashioned trivia extravaganza. Thursday was Tropical Detective Show Day, inspired by Don Johnson’s wardrobe, but drawing in other detective shows like “Magnum P.I.” Beach wear was the order of the day, and the activity, a la the FBI, was exposure to a “crime scene,” followed by a test on powers of obser vation. Friday was super-glam day to set the scene for the Lip Sync contest. Apparel ran the gamut and the lip sync contest was a perfect wrap up to a great one-month-to-go week!

Students Medal in Mythology Exams Harker students racked up 22 awards in the National Myth Exam (NME) this year. Silver medals were awarded to Niharika Bedekar, Michael Cheng, David Cutler, Suchita Nety, Shannon Su, Ashvin Swaminathan, all Gr. 6; Robert Maxton, Phillip Oung, Christophe Pellissier, Ramya Rangan, all Gr. 7; and Rachel Fang and April Luo, Gr. 8. Bronze medal winners were Jonathan Tayro Cho, Cristina Jerney, Pranav Sharma, Eric Zhang, all Gr. 6; Kaitlin Halloran, Jason Kuan, Jessica Lin, Daryl Neubieser, Ananth Subramaniam, Gr. 7, and Justine Liu, Gr. 8. The NME is sponsored by Excellence Through Classics (originally Elementary Teachers of Classics), and its purpose is to instill a love of mythology and inspire students to further studies of the classics. The core of the exam is Greek and Latin mythology, but there are also subtests on Native American, African and Norse mythology, though Harker students did not take those tests. “I only prepare them for the Greek and Latin parts,” noted Latin teacher Lisa Masoni. “I teach the NME curriculum partly because many of my students come into Latin because they love myth, but also because a good background in myth is important not only to an understanding of Latin culture and literature, but also to much of what they will read in their English classes, (as) mythological allusions turn up in literature, art, music and elsewhere,” Masoni said. Harker News — June 07

Chris Douglas

Michael Schmidt – a walk to help provide funds to cancer patient support organizations, specifically Camp Okizu, an organization that provides a setting for children suffering from cancer to get care and attention for their illness. “Along

with top-notch care, they get to go swimming and boating, shoot archer y, play basketball, do ar ts and crafts, and play on a ropes course,” said Schmidt. The effort raised over $6,000 for the camp. “We at Blackford wanted to suppor t this impor tant program by helping them purchase more equipment to make their jobs that much easier,” Schmidt added. The walk was not a dollar-per-mile effor t; instead, those interested could contribute any amount and ever yone was welcome to walk as a sign of solidarity. Students made posters and flags to suppor t the walkers, parents supplied baked goods for a bake sale and it was

a free dress day for all par ticipants. “The walk was symbolic and ser ved as a time to reflect and celebrate,” said Schmidt.

Lorna Claerbout

Lorna Claerbout

The campus drew together for a special event in mid-May organized by teacher

Lorna Claerbout

Cancer Walk Raises Funds for Children’s Camp, Unites Students

Blackford Honors Teachers

Students Dine in Cuba - Almost

The second week in May was Teacher Appreciation Week ’round the Blackford campus. In honor of the infinite ways that Harker Middle School teachers positively impact the lives of their students, parents and administrators, Monday brought a special meeting of the entire campus during the morning advisory and break period. Fresh fruit, rolls, Odwalla juices and very special Harker fortune cookies were available to all, once Head of School Christopher Nikoloff and Cindy Kerr-Ellis, middle school division head, had addressed the crowd.

On May 4, the advanced Spanish classes enjoyed a wonderful cultural experience in their own backyard. Sixty-eight eighth graders and their chaperones were treated to authentic Cuban food during an annual field trip to Habana Cuba Restaurant in San Jose. The scrumptious meal included lechón (roasted pork), pollo al ajillo (chicken with garlic), tamal vegetariano (vegetarian corn tamales), frijoles negros (black beans), arroz blanco (white rice), platanos maduros (fried sweet plantains), yucca hervida (steamed yucca) and for dessert pastel de tres leches (pound cake bathed in milk). “Everyone left with a full stomach and happy heart,” said teacher Julie Pinzás.

“We hope they all enjoyed their special treats and the public acknowledgement of how wonderful they are,” said Kerr-Ellis. “I am always excited about coming to school and having the opportunity to work with such caring and professional educators (and many looked darn cute in uniform on teacher uniform day, too!),” she noted. On Monday, the kitchen provided a special lunch in the faculty lunchroom including sushi, bagels with lox, and cheesecake for dessert. The following day, middle school parents prepared a veritable feast for all faculty and staff in the MPR. “As a seasoned veteran of many such occasions, I can personally attest to the culinary expertise of Harker families!” said Kerr-Ellis. Entrees came from Gr. 6 parents, salads and sides from Gr. 7 and desserts from Gr. 8 families. “It was wonderful to have two special days devoted to such expressions but faculty are definitely appreciated year-round!” she added. Grade-level coordinators Alexandra Swafford (Alexander), Gr. 8, Paulina Wegrowicz (Sarah, and Caroline, Gr. 4), Gr. 7 and Christine Douglas (Michelle), Gr. 6 organized and spread out the work, so all had a great time! Harker News — June 07

Students said they appreciated the opportunity to taste the food and experience the culture that they had learned about during the year. “The food was delicious,” said Alice Loofbourrow, Gr. 8. “It was as we had studied it from the textbook, and actually being able to eat the foods described was satisfying.” The field trip also gave students a chance to practice their Spanish. “I thoroughly enjoyed the experience and look forward to being able to use my Spanish on other similar excursions in the future,” Loofbourrow said.

Planetarium Visit Out of This World The Gr. 6 class traveled the galaxy and beyond in a trip to the De Anza College Planetarium in early June. The planetarium recently reopened with a state-of-the-art star projector that brought extra excitement to the astronomy concepts students studied in the last quarter. The new projector, a Konica Minolta Infinium S, is the first in California and is said to provide the sharpest look at the smallest of stars, helping students better understand the star systems they may one day travel to! Led by science teachers Ben Morgensen and Daniel Sommer, the outing was a great ending to a stellar year!




Golfland Trip Hits a Hole in One

Internet Safety Tips

Sixth graders and their families enjoyed a fun-filled afternoon at Emerald Hills Golfland in San Jose on April 29. About 45 people, including students and their families, had a wonderful time playing miniature golf and arcade games, as well as splashing down the water slides.

How do we talk to teens about risky Internet safety behaviors or actions? Dr. Andrew J. Macnab, a professor of pediatrics at the University of British Columbia, was recently quoted in the New York Times as saying that when we talk about high risk behaviors or activities to teens we should use visual, concrete imagery. “It’s not going to work if adults just say it’s a bad idea. That tends to make it all the more attractive,” Macnab said.

Chris Douglas

“The weather was perfect – warm enough for the water slides but not too hot for those not getting wet,” said grade-level coordinator Chris Douglas. “Everyone seemed to enjoy themselves and this type of event, where the parents could sit and talk and the kids could run off and play!”

Mentioning specific, narrow risks like invasion of privacy, identity theft and physical endangerment backed up with non-sensationalized concrete examples can be even more powerful disincentives to adolescents than the idea of being kidnapped or victimized by a pedophile. Those two worst-case scenarios can seem sensational, theoretical or abstract, and kids either will not believe you (most common) or not understand (less common).

For dinner, attendees were treated to pizza and soda. Students were all smiles and said they enjoyed hanging out with their friends. “I thought it was fun to spend time with my friends at a really fun place rather than at school,” said Douglas’ daughter, Michelle. “The waterslides and golf were really fun.” Chitra Bhade (Ravi Tadinada) said the trip was “well organized” and that she and her son had a “great time.”

This is true for all high risk behaviors, not just Internet activities. Another simple and powerful way to raise your child’s awareness of Internet safety is to simply share an article from the newspaper with them on Internet crime. Later, you can casually bring it up with them at dinner or driving to school in the car and ask them their opinion. They may not want to talk about it right away, but you can be sure you have planted seeds for further thought and reflection. As parents and educators, that is our goal, to think about their actions.

National Latin Exam Results Nearly 50 Harker MS students received awards in the National Latin Exam, including 12 gold medals and three perfect papers. The exam was taken by more than 134,000 students from the United States and 13 foreign countries.

-—Angela Neff, Assistant Director of Instructional Technology

In the Introduction to Latin category, students received the following awards: Outstanding Achievement – Nikhil Baradwa, Niharika Bedekar, Nisha Bhikha, Jenny Chen, Michael Cheng, Jonathan Cho, Richard Fan, Sean Fernandes, Jacob Hoffman, Daphne Millard, Laura Pedrotti, Pranav Sharma (perfect paper), Anuj Sharma, Shannon Su, Ashvin Swaminathan (perfect paper), Ravi Tadinada, Molly Wolfe, Eric Zhang, all Gr. 6, and Nandini Gupta, Gr. 7; Achievement – Vivian Li and Avinash Patel, Gr. 7, David Cutler, Nik Datuashvili and Rahul Desirazu, all Gr. 6.

Information from: Johnson, Kirk. “Teenager Casts Light on a Shadowy Game.” The New York Times, Mar. 28, 2007.

Cardiologist Brings Lesson to Life

In the Latin 1 category: Gold/Summa Cum Laude – Prag Batra, Ila Dwivedi, Alex Hsu, Daanish Jamal, Jason Kuan, Daryl Neubieser, Ramya Rangan (perfect paper for the second year), Ananth Subramaniam, all Gr. 7, Rachel Fang, Max Lan, Justine Liu and April Luo, all Gr. 8; Silver/Maxima Cum Laude – Kaitlin Halloran, Derek Huang, Robert Maxton, Phillip Oung, Paul West, all Gr. 7, Kristi Lui, Amritha Minisandram, Rishi Sharma, Supraja Swamy, David Wu, all Gr. 8; Magna Cum Laude – Ruchie Bhardwaj, Jessica Lin, Christophe Pellissier, all Gr. 7, Molly Mandell, Gr. 8; Cum Laude – Aaron Bisla, Gr. 7, Chris Ng and Kristie Sanchez, both Gr. 8.

Cardiologist Dr. Rajesh Suri (father of Sonika, Gr. 8) visited science department chair Lorna Claerbout’s Gr. 8 biology class in April to talk about human anatomy. “My students have been studying the circulatory system in health and in disease, so they had many questions for Dr. Suri,” said Claerbout. “Since they dissected sheep hearts this week, they were really able to relate to the heart surgeries he described.”

Olivia Zhu and Kristi Lui, both Gr. 8, nominated by Harker to represent the school in the Promising Young Writers contest, have been selected as state winners. Lui and Zhu were two of 224 participants nationwide, and of only 15 in California, who received Certificates of Recognition. Each student submitted two pieces of writing, which were judged on content, purpose, audience, tone, word choice, organization, development and style. “The Promising Young Writers Program was established to stimulate and recognize students’ writing talents and to emphasize the importance of writing skills among eighth-grade students,” according to the National Council of Teachers of English Web site ( Gr. 8 students throughout the U.S. and Canada, as well as from American schools abroad, are nominated by their schools for consideration.


Lorna Claerbout

Promising Young Writers Selected

“I found Dr. Suri’s presentation very informative,” said Alice Loofbourrow. “He described the joy of saving lives as well as the consoling role he must play when a patient doesn’t sur vive. I didn’t realize how many younger patients cardiac surgeons deal with in addition to the elderly needing bypass surger y or pacemakers,” she noted. “Also, he said that to maintain a healthy hear t, it is best to eat like a king in the morning and a pauper at night,” Loofbourrow said. “Finally, he mentioned the 16 years of experience it takes to become a surgeon. I am glad I was able to attend and hope to someday enter the field myself,” she said. Harker News — June 07

The always popular Lip Sync Contest was topped off by faculty members, “hep cats and cool chicks,” doing a mega-mix of numbers from “Grease” that brought down the house. The effort was driven by the irrepressible Mark “Danny Zuko” Gelineau, teacher by day, and spirit event organizer by – er – day, also.

2007-08 Class Officers Elected Following an early-May primar y, middle schoolers elected their 20072008 student council. Winning candidates were: Daniela Lapidous, Gr. 7, president; Jenny Chen, Gr. 6, senator-at-large; Daanish Jamal, Gr. 7, vice president; Priyanka Mody, Gr. 7, recording secretar y; Ramya Ranga, Gr. 7, corresponding secretar y; Nikhil Baradwaj, Gr. 6, treasurer; and Bobby Kahlon, Gr. 6, and Jun Hee Lee, Gr. 7, as spirit coordinators. Best of luck in your new offices!

kudos ■ Alisha Mayor, Gr. 7, won the seventh/ eighth-grade award for the best essay at the Junior Manners Cotillion’s Spring Ball on April 22. Each student was asked to write an essay about the “best mannered” teacher at their school. Mayor wrote about her science teacher, Ilona Davies. In her essay, Mayor said, “Dr. Davies is currently my science teacher, and she is the kindest and most polite teacher I have ever had at Harker or any other school.” The Gr. 6 award went to David Lindars for his essay on his Gr. 5 science teacher, Catherine Le. The Junior Manners Cotillion offers after-school classes for Gr. 6-8 students, and focuses on manners, ballroom dancing and etiquette. Kudos to Mayor and Lindars for their exceptional essays and to Davies and Le for their exceptional manners!

Roopal Mayor

Lip Sync Contest a Hit

■ Suchita Nety, Gr. 6, earned best in category and won the Al Foster award for the most creative sixth grade science fair project at the Synopsys Silicon Valley Science and Engineering Fair held in April. Harker only sponsors US students, so Nety entered on her own. Her project, “Mutagenicity and Antibacterial Properties of Lavender Oil,” challenged her with unexpected results during the research process. “The toughest part of the project was when I was doing a test to find a property of lavender oil. When I checked my agar plates for results, the plates showed neither positive nor negative results. I repeated the test with modifications, but I got a null result again. “I expected the experiment to turn out positive or negative but I never expected a null result! I was very disappointed at the time. However, in the course of debugging the test, I found another completely unexpected property of lavender oil, so I learned that a science project can take many surprising turns and yield unexpected and exciting results,” she noted. “I loved the experiments that I did during the project,” said Nety. “It was fun to learn new techniques, and even if I spent three hours doing the tests, I would always feel that time was going by too quickly.” “Besides my presentation at the science fair, I could see other peoples’ projects, and it was really interesting to see the many different ideas and experiments,” Nety stated. “This science fair was one of the most exciting experiences I have ever had!”

Patricia White, U.S. history teacher, spent three weeks in Shanghai at the Shanghai World Foreign Language Middle School spreading U.S. culture while gathering in Chinese ambiance. Watch for the story in the October Harker News! Harker News — June 07



school Eighth Graders Promoted to US

Harker wins! Harker’s Future Problem Solving team earned first place worldwide at the 2007 International Conference finals, held May 31 to June 3 in Colorado. Students competed against teams from throughout the United States, Australia, New Zealand, China, Singapore and many other countries.

On a spring day in early June, eighth graders gathered to hear their final speeches as middle schoolers at their promotion ceremony, held in the gym. The guest of honor was Head of School Chris Nikoloff, and the event included second semester awards and annual award presentations. This is the second annual Gr. 8 promotion ceremony and it is fast becoming a tradition to sing The Harker School anthem. In addition, Harmonics sang “Seasons of Love,” from the musical “Rent.” Congratulations to the Gr. 8 students for their efforts and “matriculation” to the US!

Cyrus Merrill

Harker Wins World Title

Olivia Zhu, Gr. 8, placed 10th overall, competing with the top individual competitor from each state and country, and classmate Christine Chien placed third in a separate team competition. In April, Harker hosted the State Bowl of the Future Problem Solving Program on April 28, and seven students earned the honor of representing the school at nationals. The group, Namrata Anand, Sarah Wang, Monisha Dilip, Jeanette Chin, all Gr. 9, and Zhu, Chien and Carmen Das-Grande, all Gr. 8, dominated the individual competition at the state level and rose to the challenge at the national level At the state bowl, in the middle division (grades 7-9) Harker had four teams in the final eight and in the individual competition, Harker had four of the top five competitors, including the winner, Zhu, who represented California at the finals. Das-Grande came in second, while Chien finished in fourth place. Chaitanya Malladi, Gr. 7, finished in fifth place, despite being the youngest competitor in the division. In the senior division (grades 10-12) at state, Harker came in third place with a sophomore team of Dominique Dabija, Chris Berglund, Chetan Vakkalagadda and Denzil Sikka. Their team (in combination with individual competitors Nikhil Raghuram, Gr. 10, Elaine Song, Gr. 9, and Sheridan Jones, Gr. 8) came in second in the presentation of an action plan. In the individual competition, Harker just missed sending another competitor to the international finals when Raghuram came in second place. At the finals, students had to solve future issues related to privacy. This is Harker’s third trip to the international finals.

Students Test Acids and Bases

In an additional honor, Gr. 8 history teacher and Harker FPS coach Cyrus Merrill was nominated and voted in as president of the nonprofit board of the Future Problem Solving Program for the state of California. “Congratulations to all competitors and a huge thank you to the parents who helped make our hosting the State Bowl such a wonder ful success,” Merrill said.

Seventh graders with strong academics, demonstrated leadership qualities and high behavioral standards provided the honor escort at the US graduation this year. Traditionally, the honor escorts hold garlands during the ceremony and follow graduates out at the end to represent those who will follow. This year’s honor escorts were Bradley Araki, Veronica Bither, Frederic Enea, Maya Gattupalli, Kirsten Herr, Revanth Kosaraju, Margaret Krackeler, Neha Kumar, Rahul Madduluri, Cole Manaster, Priyanka Mody, Jay Reddy, Indraneel Salukhe, Noel Witcosky and Lucy Xu.


Raji Swaminathan

Top Students Serve as Honor Escorts

The end-of-year experiments of the Gr. 7 science classes included an acids and bases lab in May, in which they tested the acidity and alkalinity of household substances. Students used acid-base indicators such as litmus paper, red cabbage juice indicator, and red rose juice indicator, all of which turn different colors in acidic and basic solutions. Students then measured the pH of the seven household substances using a Vernier pH sensor. They verified their readings on the pH paper. Harker News — June 07



Group Tackles Homeless Issue

G8 Summit (Continued from Pg. 1)

This year’s National Honor Society theme was homelessness and pover ty and the group set out to educate fellow students while providing aid to those who need it in the Bay Area.

Gollapudi, and sophomore David Kastleman. The students are members of Harker’s Amnesty International and Model United Nations chapters. Aquilones was selected from among 63 teams (comprising more than 500 students ages 13 to 17) nationwide based on the ideas it submitted for tackling world problems, including climate change and energy efficiency; HIV/AIDS; intellectual property rights and corporate social responsibility; and prospects for economic development in Africa.

“We believe that while providing aid and volunteering are impor tant to temporarily alleviate the problem of homelessness and pover ty, the real solution comes through the attitudes held by the students, who will become the future of our society,” said Ko.

believe that while providing aid and volunteering “areWeimportant to temporarily alleviate the problem of homelessness and poverty, the real solution comes through the attitudes held by the students, who will become the future of our society.

“We kicked off the week with a homemade movie that we showed during school meeting. It consisted of student polls, facts on homelessness and poverty in Santa Clara County and the U.S., and valuable messages to the students from directors of different homeless shelters in the Bay Area. “Throughout the week, we hung up posters that had various charts and interesting facts about our theme. We also organized an activity called Garbology, where we weighed the amount of food that was wasted by Harker students in one day, and we encouraged students to try to conserve resources. “The week ended with an assembly, where Todd Madigan from Sacred Heart Community Ser vice came to speak to the students on poverty in our area. He provided power ful images, interactive events and thoughtprovoking questions for the students, and talked about poverty in a way that made it easier for them to relate to and understand. Many students even came up to us after and claimed that it was one of their favorite assemblies of the year! I think that the week in general was ver y successful, for students came away with a new perspective, became more aware of the significance of this problem within our society, and learned that they could make an impact just by changing the way they think,” finished Ko.

Anatomy Lecture Reinforces Lesson Dr. Craig Creasman was a featured guest speaker in Anita Chetty’s Human Anatomy and Physiology class. Dr. Creasman, a plastic surgeon and Harker parent (Adam, Gr. 12; Alex, Gr. 9), discussed both reconstructive and cosmetic surgery and provided detailed examples of surgical procedures he has performed. The session was the third in the monthly medical lecture series designed to reinforce concepts in anatomy as they relate to clinical practice. Harker News — June 07

“I hope that the G8 leaders will take our solutions to heart and effect change upon these issues in their respective countries,” said Narra, before leaving for Germany. “Many times youth have brilliant ideas, but don’t know how to get them across to the government or political leaders. The J8 summit is one of the best opportunities out there for youth to get involved.” The delegation’s visit was a culmination of the students’ efforts to construct a relevant agenda to present to leaders. Once the resolutions were agreed upon by students in the various international delegations, they were converted to a communiqué addressed to the world leaders. “They didn’t finish the communiqué until about 8:30 p.m. (the night before the meeting),” said Zink. “Just like adult diplomats, they had to discuss every word and make sure the verbiage translated the way they wanted it into many different languages.” Zink said the team was busy every minute of the day and into the evening, noting that they met in her room several times to strategize and prepare. “The Aquilones are an outstanding example of the commitment of today’s young people to dealing with the most significant social, environmental and economic issues,” commended Morgan Stanley chairman and CEO John J. Mack. “If these are tomorrow’s leaders, the future looks good indeed,” added Caryl Stern, acting-president of the U.S. Fund for UNICEF. Zink served as Aquilones’ faculty adviser, while librarian Lauri Vaughan guided the team’s research. Congratulations team Aquilones! Visit the Harker Web site for more information and links about this historic opportunity, and watch the October issue of The Harker News for a comprehensive post-summit update.

Students Score in Japan Bowl In early April, six Harker students traveled to Washington, D.C., to participate in the National Japan Bowl, an annual competition for U.S. and Canadian high school students who are studying Japanese. During the competition, students are tested on their achievement in the language as well as their knowledge of traditional and modern Japan.

Masako Onakado

“Earlier in the year, we organized a can drive that collected 4,279 pounds of food, and a One Warm Coat drive that raised nine bins of coats,” noted Jocelyn Ko, president, who graduated this month. “Our club members also spent the year volunteering at different organizations with goals relating to our theme. As a result, during Homelessness and Pover ty Awareness Week (April 23-April 27), we wanted to focus our effor ts on educating the students.

Both Harker teams (Level 2 and Level 3) competed very well. The Level 3 team, comprising team captain Erika Lee, Gr. 11, Alyssa Donovan, Gr. 10, and Mai Nguyen, Gr. 10, brought home a third-place trophy.

This is the second year that the Level 3 team members competed in Japan Bowl. “They did very well in the last year’s competition, proceeding to the semifinal round as one of the top eight teams,” said teacher Masako Onakado. “This year, they began preparing for the competition early with the help of (fellow Japanese teacher) Keiko Irino and did even better.” The Level 2 team, comprising team captain Sarah Wang, Gr. 9, Kevin Wang, Gr. 10, and Roslyn Li, Gr. 9, earned fifth place. This was the first year that the Level 2 team members participated in the competition. “Although they didn’t get a trophy, they earned 1,290 out of 1,600 points in the preliminary rounds and were only two answers short (out of 160 questions) of ranking among the top three teams,” Onakado explained.




Inaugural AP Studio Class Challenges and Inspires Young Artists Harker introduced its AP Studio Art class this year, drawing six students. Three of the students,

interest in type as art and the homely shape of a beer bottle. “I thought the design of the bottle and the font (on the label) was fascinating. This draws back to the typography pieces,” she said. Huang’s favorite medium is the computer, she admits. “I can get exactly where I want to be. I like pen, too, and markers. Watercolor is hard to control. I like (media) where I can get more defined, precision details,” she noted.

now graduates, talked about their art, motivation and goals while camped by their work, on display, in late April. “Having students being able to identify an idea, then create a series of works of art that explore that idea, is the most significant aspect of the AP portfolio experience,” said art teacher Pilar Agüero-Esparza, class instructor. Anna Huang stylizes objects, letters, numbers and wine bottles. One image, a platter of lamb chops, posterized, seems normal, but there is an element one can’t quite put one’s finger on: it is drawn upside down. “I was trying to capture the texture of the meat and the vegetables,” said Huang. “That was really not going well because realism is not my thing, so I busted out my markers.” One work combines both Huang’s

Along with an obvious association with the late pop artist Andy Warhol, Huang is influenced by Wayne Thiebaud, another transformer of the mundane. Huang plans to do graphic design and advertisement work and will attend California College of the Arts in September. The AP class has been challenging. Huang learned there is more to art than making a pretty picture: “There is the concept, the way you execute it, and there is the most important thing, the meaning behind what you create. I had to learn that the hard way.” Teacher AgüeroEsparza is committed to getting the students into an artist’s mindset. “Having students create a body of related works is the closest experience to thinking and working like an artist,” she noted. Christine Nixon displayed an evocative set of bronzes called Beginnings. “My theme for my concentration was fertility, because my dad is a fertility endocrinologist and my mom is a pediatrician,” Nixon noted, adding that the family had relocated to be near a family member with a new baby. “I was surrounded by babies and it just came out in my artwork. Thematically, it is trying to explore the relationship between mother and child,” she said. New to sculpture, she is influenced by the work of Constantin Brâncui (1876-1957), a sculptor of the first water who worked in Paris during the heady


growth of twentiethcentury art. Generally, Nixon likes pieces that are playful. “I don’t like heavy subject matter because I want to enjoy working on my pieces,” she said. “A piece that I am working on right now, papier-mâché, is a girl floating away from a 2-D scene. It is just really playful.” Nixon will attend either UC Santa Cruz or UC Berkeley but has ruled out art school. “I’m not sure if I want to do it professionally,” she said. Of course, the goal is not to create professional artists. “If students come away with the skills, discipline, tenacity and creativity that is required to create a series of related artworks, then I’ve done my job,” said Agüero-Esparza. The third student, Adam Rubin, a prospective architect, explored space and time through his meticulously crafted wire creations. “If you live in a 2-D world and try to see a 3-D world, you can only see it at certain points, you can never see it over a broad spectrum of time,” said Rubin. “While 3-D, looking at 2-D, you see a lot, you see the entire line, not just the point on the line.” Ultimately, Rubin said, he tried to see things from the 4-D perspective, highlighting points in the third dimension of a piece to help define it.

using different geometric shapes to play with perspective. “I…focus a lot on mathematical proportion and scale,” he explained. Though elements of architecture are included, when creating the pieces, he is not bound by the requirements of constructing a building. “You can let your mind roam free,” he said. Using markers and bronze, wire and wood, computers and clay, these artists have stamped their work with individuality, and each has sought – and found – something beyond a finished piece of art.

Rubin seems to create from a different space. His pieces are definite and, unlike most art, can be described in terms of inches and rate of curve. He noted that his work is very methodical, Harker News — June 07

Students Surprise Teachers

Honor Societies Welcome Inductees

In a stunning surprise, seniors turned around one of their last assemblies and presented teachers with a heartfelt “thank you” and a giant award check made out to the “amazing teachers” for the amount of “priceless.”

Congratulations to this year’s inductees to the French, Japanese, Latin and Spanish National Honor societies! The statistics are impressive: French, 18 new students; Japanese, eight new students; and 19 inductees each into Latin and Spanish.

The brief, early May assembly terminated quickly and adjourned to the courtyard for ice cream to allow faculty members the full hour-long assembly period to relax. Later in the day, faculty members were invited to an exclusive sit-down lunch, complete with linen, featuring a special meal of prime rib, Caesar salad, rice and a custard-fruit tartlet for dessert. Ice cream, free time and a free meal – now that’s a thoughtful thank you.

Photo supplied by VyVy Trinh ‘06

All-Girl Rock Band Fights Cancer The Pizookies, an all-Harker girl rock band, launched the Pizookie Project to raise money for The American Cancer Society. The young women, five recent grads and one from the Class of 2008, were inspired by history and social sciences chair John Near, retired teacher Cheryl Cavanaugh, math teacher Evan Barth’s daughter, Ashley, and many other friends and family members. Pizookie Project supporters will spend the summer raising money for the American Cancer Society and can join the band at the August 11 Relay for Life, a community fundraising for the American Cancer Society. The Pizookies are also creating an online store where supporters can purchase T-shirts, tote bags, collectible buttons, posters, and come August, the first Pizookie album. Visit the Web site,, and watch for the store. The Pizookies are 2007 graduates Molly Newman, Mansi Shah, Audrey Kwong, VyVy Trinh, Andrea Wang and one member of the Class of 2008, Laura Holford. To hear a sample of their music, you can visit their music page at “Please support The Pizookie Project: Share the music. Spread the love. Find the cure!” said Trinh.

Colleges Visit Harker The college counseling office hosted a college symposium for Harker juniors and their parents in late April. Senior admission officers from Harvard, the University of Pennsylvania and Northwestern shared their thoughts about the college admission process, and provided an inside look into how decisions are made at highly selective institutions. The program concluded with a brief Q&A and final words of advice from the admission representatives. Harker News — June 07

“Each society has its own specific criteria, but, in general, all induct a very select group of students with high averages in their language courses,” said Abel Olivas, Spanish teacher and foreign and classical languages department chair. “In some cases, it involves maintaining that average for the last three semesters. If you know or teach these students, please congratulate them on this wonderful achievement.”

Chess Teams Fare Well in Tourney Last month the Harker Chess Club took two teams to the CalChess State Scholastics Tournament and earned respectable results. The varsity team, Kevin Hwa and Diane Wang, both Gr. 11, and Ted Belanoff, Gr. 10, won seventh place in the difficult High School Varsity State Championship Division. Hwa and Belanoff received individual awards for being in the top 25. The Harker finish is impressive since most school teams had at least four people who contributed to the total team score, while Harker managed seventh based on only two scores. The JV team, Michael Hong, Gr. 10, and juniors Charlie Fang, Max Gektin, Jason Lau, Andrew Law and Nicholas Sutardja, also did extremely well, taking sixth place in the Under-1,000 rating section. Hong, Fang, Lau and Sutardja got individual awards for being in the top 25. Great job in a tough field!

kudos ■ New graduate Jessica Dickinson Goodman received an Honorable Mention in the High School Prose Division for Creative Non-Fiction for her essay, “December 10th,” from the Olympiad of the Arts Creative Writing Awards sponsored by the West Valley/Mission Colleges Foundation. Her insightful work juxtaposed personal social conflicts arising late in high school with the nascent feelings of a young, maturing adult from the perspective of one leaving the nest—going to a formal dance, reluctantly. Dickinson Goodman dedicated her win to Dr. Cheryl Cavanaugh as the English teacher who helped her find her voice (see page 31). ■ Two students, Ana Henderson, Gr. 9, and Alyssa Boyle, Gr. 10, recently donated hair to “Locks of Love,” an organization that collects hair from donors and makes them into wigs for cancer patients. Ana donated 24 inches and Alyssa 10. Both felt good about their donations to the cause and are now happy with their new short styles. For more information on Locks of Love:

Photo supplied by Violet Boyle, parent

Senior Adam Creasman was brought to the podium under the guise of receiving an award, but instead praised the faculty. “Our teachers stretch and prod our limits, encourage us with overflowing enthusiasm, inspire in us intellectual curiosity and stand strong even in the face of personal adversity,” said Creasman. “As we enter the world, prepared so well by these selfless mentors, pause and consider the gifts that they have given us.”

The Harker Future Problem Solvers team, with four Gr. 9 and three Gr. 8 students, has won the world title! See page 24 for details.



school Student Journalists Earn Awards

Deepa Ramakrishnan, Gr. 11, was selected to attend the University of Iowa Lincoln-Douglas Debate Round Robin event April 13-15. A highly competitive selection process made Ramakrishnan one of only 28 invitees, out of hundreds of potential candidates.

A Harker contingent attended the annual Journalism Education Association (JEA) and National Scholastic Press Association (NSPA) spring convention in Denver in April, coming away with a number of awards.

Ramakrishnan earned the fourth place speaker award and advanced to the field of 12 remaining debaters before being eliminated on a close 2-1 decision. In May, she competed in the Tournament of Champions at the University of Kentucky. (Results were unavailable at press time.)

Matthew Brandstetter

David Linder, Gr. 12, has been steadily moving up through the levels of the Lions Club speaker competition, and he reached the district level this month. He faced competitors from Leland, Robert Louis Stevenson, Salinas, Monte Vista and Harbor high schools at the San Martin Lions Club Hall in late April. Linder’s exposition, “Global Warming: Fact or Fiction?” was delivered with personality, charm and substance, but unfortunately did not make the cut to the next level. Aside from his efforts within the Lions Club contest, Linder has educated a number of business people on a critical topic and throughout the contest he has represented Harker proudly and in fine fashion.

History Projects Make State Finals Four Harker students made it to the state finals of the National History Day Contest, held in Long Beach in April. A research project on “The Jallianwala Bagh Massacre” by sisters Ananya Anand, Gr. 10, and Namrata Anand, Gr. 9, was selected as a finalist in the group exhibit category. “Ananya and Namrata’s exhibit on the Jallianwala Bagh Massacre educated the judges on a subject that they had never heard of before,” said adviser MaiLien Nguyen of the 1919 massacre in India. “Their project was one of the few finalists at the state contest for the group exhibit category.” Meanwhile, sophomore Noel Duan’s paper, titled “Coco Chanel: Emancipation through Femininity,” also was showcased at the state finals. “The judges remarked that it was ‘one of the best essays’ they had read and gave her superior marks for her writing,” Nguyen said. Sophomore Denzil Sikka’s paper, titled “Out of the Shadows, Into the Light” (about playwright and journalist Olympe de Gouges), also made it to the state finals, but she was unable to attend due to a scheduling conflict. Unfortunately, none of the projects were selected to compete in the national contest in June. The students “worked very, very hard on their research projects and all of them cleared the county level contest to move onto the state level contest,” said Nguyen. “The history department is proud of all these students’ hard work and passion for history!”


First off, the 2006 edition of the TALON yearbook was awarded sixth place in the Best in Show category and, for the first time at this convention, Harker students competed in the JEA “Write-off” Competition. This competition consists of one-hour “exams” in 46 journalism fields. 1,479 attendees competed in the contest and 577 awards were given in superior, excellent and honorable mention categories. Of the seven Harker students attending the convention, three, all Gr. 10, earned awards. Richa Goyal earned an Excellence in Copy Editing/Headline Writing/Caption Writing award; Janet Jun earned an Excellence in Feature Writing award and Angeli Agrawal earned an honorable mention in Sports Writing. The students spent their days attending sessions conducted by leaders in the scholastic as well as professional media fields. The four other participants did extremely well, especially considering they were competing against juniors and seniors. The other attendees were Harker News intern Beckie Yanovsky, Gr. 10, freshmen Mahum Jamal and Nalini Jain, and senior Robert Sesek. “I am very proud of these students!” said adviser Chris Daren, who accompanied the group.

Sophomores Swing Into Summer Sophomores traveled to Santa Cruz and La Honda this year, for their annual day-long ropes course. The outing is a great pressure release as the end of the year heaves into sight and natural high spirits are tempered by the need to complete the course properly. The two groups left at 8 a.m., returned in time for dinner and, by all accounts, had a great time.

Smooth Sailing for Junior Regatta Junior class members spent a day on the water for their annual regatta, sailing on Monterey Bay as a post-studies, pre-summer bonding outing. The students sailed the boats and, while not quite a ropes course, the outing did require teamwork to cast off and maneuver the craft during the races, later in the day. The trip is completed in a pair of day trips; half of the class off campus one day and the other half out the following day. Students first received instruction on basic sailing technique and terminology and in the afternoons geared up in life vests. Crew members brailed lines, gauged the leach and stood tiller

Jeff Sutton - both photos

Donna M. Parker-Brandstetter

Update Debate

watch on a brilliant Northern California spring afternoon under the watchful eyes of captains from the Pacific Yachting & Sailing Club. The crux of the trip was a series of races between crews over a watercourse and all threw themselves into the competition with vigor! Harker News — June 07

Teacher Visits Moscow Science Fair

Huge congratulations to sophomore Vikram Nathan, named to the 2007 U.S. National Chemistry Olympiad (USNCO) Study Camp to be held in Colorado. Nathan is one of only 20 students in the country to be named and one of only two sophomores. Nathan joins Yi Sun ’06 in the short pantheon of Harker students selected for this prestigious trip.

In April, biology teacher Gary Blickenstaff made a shor t trip to Moscow, Russia, to attend the Moscow Science Fair, to determine if it is a competition oppor tunity for Harker students. He also visited the Slavic-Anglo American School “Marina” to discuss oppor tunities for cooperative activities with them. This was the first visit by a Harker faculty mem-

Sponsored by American Chemical Society, local ACS sections conducted competitions to select nominees via examinations. The exam consisted of a set of multiple choice questions, a multistep problem section and a laboratory practical. Nathan and Kevin Wang, also Gr. 10, took the exam and Nathan emerged as one of the top 20, out of 840 examinees nationwide. Nathan is the only student selected from Northern California, though he’ll have someone to hang with in Colorado as there are four students from Southern California in the group. The select 20 students attend a two-week study camp at the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado where, with the help of three mentors and the USAFA department of chemistry faculty, the students will study inorganic, organic, physical, analytical and biochemistry at a second- or third-year college level. From these 20, four students will be chosen to attend the International Chemistry Olympiad (IChO) in Moscow this July. There, the U.S. team will compete in a five-hour laboratory practical and a five-hour written theoretical examination with students from over 55 countries.

Gary Blickenstaff - all photos

Sophomore Attends Chemistry Camp

ber to their school and both schools are excited about the possibility of an exchange. Blickenstaff returned with a number of photos from his stay.

Cum Laude Society Welcomes Newbies In late April, 32 students were inducted into The Harker School’s chapter of the Cum Laude Society to accolades and applause. The dinner was held on the Saratoga campus and featured Richard

Science Projects Awarded prizes

Hartzell, upper school head, as opening speaker, the introduction of Eric Nelson as a new addition to the faculty membership and closing remarks by Heather Blair, academic dean. The class of 2007 had 20 members inducted, and 12 more were from the class of 2008.

The science department was deeply gratified to hear that two Harker finalists had been awarded prizes at the Synopsys Championship for the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair held in Albuquerque in mid-May. The students, Arkajit Dey, Gr. 12, and Sushant Sundaresh, Gr. 11, competed with nearly 1,500 other students at the fair. Dey earned the Second Category Award, Mathematical Sciences and $1,500 for his project “Tree-realizability of a Distance Matrix.” Sundaresh won the Third Category Award, Plant Sciences and $1,000 for his project, “Host-bacterial Specificity During Legume-Rhizobium Symbioses.”

2007-08 Class Officers Elected The electorate has spoken and the results are in! New officers, from the associated student body officers to not-yet-elected freshman class officers, will lead the newcomers through the twists and Byzantine turns of next year. Here are the first 16 – watch the October Harker News for freshman election results. Associated student body officers, all seniors next fall: Neil Shah, president; Jonathan Wang, vice president; Robyn Chan, secretary; Vikram Reddy, treasurer. Senior class officers: Senan Ebrahim, president; Stephanie Syu, vice president; Sharon Su, secretary; Paula Lauris, treasurer. Junior class officers: Barrett Glasauer, president; David Kastelman, vice president; Connie Wu, secretary; Roshmi Bhattacharya, treasurer. Sophomore class officers: Adam Perelman, president; Andy Fang, vice president; Eugene Huang, secretary; Jackie Ho, treasurer. Congratulations!

Harker News — June 07



school National Latin Exam Results, 2007

Swiss Group Visits Harker Ten students and two teachers from Collège de Gambach in Fribourg, Switzerland, came to the Bay Area to visit with Harker students

The annual JCL awards ceremony took place on a sunny afternoon in late May. Two students were awarded perfect paper certificates in the National Latin Exam, three received book awards for four or five gold medals and 51 students in all received NLE medals and certificates, Medusa Mythology Exam awards and Spirit awards. In addition, six students received Outstanding Achievement awards. The National Latin Exam was taken by more than 134,000 students from around the world. Sixty Harker US students received awards, including 31 gold medals and two perfect papers. Latin 1: Gold/Summa Cum Laude: Alex Han, Anjali S. Menon, Andy Fang, Darren Syu, Anita Satish; Silver/Maxima Cum Laude: Scott Mohanram, Vivian Huang, Lauren Guerra, all Gr. 9. Latin 2: Gold/Summa Cum Laude: Monisha Dilip, Sohini Khan, Sean Morgan, all Gr. 9; Alex Hu, Stephanie Chong, both Gr. 10; Silver/Maxima Cum Laude: Mohit Bansal, Winny Huang, Justin Iso, Diana Lai, Priya Thumma, all Gr. 10, Cole Davis, Christine Hsu, Govind Raghunath, Colby Rapson and Valerie Hwa, all Gr. 9; Magna Cum Laude: Carina Fernandes, Gr. 9; Cum Laude: Veronica Hsieh and Nishad Raghupathy, both Gr. 9.

in mid-April as part of the Global Education program. The group toured San Francisco for a few days before coming to Harker to begin home stays with Harker students. The visiting students shadowed their hosts one day, taught French the next, spent a day in Monterey and visited the sights around San Jose before returning to San Francisco for their flight home. Harker and the Collège have e-mail and Internet-based exchanges between students and, each spring, Collège de Gambach students travel to Harker, while an equal number of Harker students complete the exchange by traveling to Switzerland during the summer.

Poetry Contest Was ‘Magnifique’ Taking a page from the Spanish department, French teachers held their first French poetry competition for Harker students in mid-April. Each of 17 students presented a dramatic recitation of a poem from memory to a group of about 30 fellow students. The event was sponsored by the French Club and organized by now-graduated seniors Serafine Chen, Emily Isaacs, Vani Pyda and Aline Zorian. Judges were French teachers Nicholas Manjoine and Antoinette Gathy, along with Marcel Englemann from the Collège de Gambach (visiting with the Swiss exchange students), and Richard Hartzell, upper school head. Students recited poems of acclaimed Francophones such as Baudelaire, Rimbaud, du Bellay and Apollinaire.

Latin 3 Prose: Gold/Summa Cum Laude: Brandon Araki (third straight perfect paper!), Margaret Woods, both Gr. 9; Elizabeth Cutler, Pratusha Erraballi, Nirupama Gadagottu, Michael Hong, David Kastelman, Nafeesa Laiwalla, Jonathan Liu, Ketan Ramakrishnan, Sachin Rangarajan, all Gr. 10; Janise Chan, Catherine Chiu and Stephanie Syu, Gr. 11; Silver/Maxima Cum Laude: Avanika Krishnaswamy, Prachi Sharma, Candace SilvaMartin, all Gr. 10; Magna Cum Laude: Marcus Wong, Gr. 10; Cum Laude: Taylor Rapson, Gr. 10 and Tiffany Yu, Gr. 11.

The National Latin Exam was taken by more than “134,000 students from around the world. Sixty Harker US students received awards… ” Latin 4 Prose: Cum Laude: Joseph Shapiro, Kevin Hwa, both Gr. 11. Latin 4 Poetry: Gold/Summa Cum Laude: Kelly O’Reilly (four straight gold medals), Gr. 11. Sophia Gilman, Gr. 10; Silver/Maxima Cum Laude: Colin Daw, Ranjita Raghavan, Ruchi Srivastava, all Gr. 11; Alex Vuko, Gr. 12; Cum Laude: Preeta Reddy, Gr. 12. Latin 5: Gold/Summa Cum Laude: Ashley Dang (perfect paper, four straight gold medals), Yuanyuan Pao, Aseem Shukla, all Gr. 12 and Aarathi Minisandram, Gr. 11. Latin 6: Gold/Summa Cum Laude: Richard Kwant (five straight gold medals), Gr. 12. In addition, receiving special book awards from the NLE were O’Reilly and Dang for four gold medals and Kwant for five gold medals. Araki and Dang each received a special certificate for a perfect score on this year’s National Latin Exam. The highlight of the afternoon was the awarding of the outstanding student at each level. Each received an engraved solid walnut plaque. Latin 1: Menon; Latin 2: Khan; Latin 3: Araki and Woods; Latin 4: O’Reilly; Advanced Latin: Kwant. Spirit of JCL medals will go to Cutler, Kwant, Raghavan, Ramakrishnan, Reddy and Srivastava. Finally, the following students received recognition for their performance on the Medusa Mythology Exam this year.

“This inaugural version of the contest exceeded my expectations – not surprising, given the dedication of the students and the teachers,” said Hartzell. “In a word, the event was magnifique. I hope that the department will build on this year’s success and, in the future, include students from other schools.”

Lower: Bronze Medal: Hu; Corona Laurea: Thumma, Kelsey Chung, Gr. 9, Vivian Huang; Corona Oliva: Han.

Students concurred. “I am really glad that we started a competition like this for the French department, and I hope that it continues in the future,” said Debanshi Bheda, Gr. 12.

“The test was especially hard this year. The topic was all myth characters with names starting with M.E.D.U.S.A., and that was a lot of material!” noted adviser John Hawley.


Upper: Silver Medal: Rachel Fong, Gr. 11; Bronze Medal: Ramakrishnan and Srivastava; Corona Laurea: Hong, Liu, Cutler, Kritika Kailash, Gr 11; Corona Oliva: Woods, Reddy, Sophia Gilman, Gr. 10.

Harker News — June 07

Nat’l Merit Scholars Announced

Seniors Dedicate Inspiring Spot

Harker News is please to announce the semifinalists, commended scholars and scholarship recipients awarded during the course of this year by the National Merit Scholarship Program (NMSP), a nonprofit organization that honors the scholastic achievements of high school juniors. NMSP advised us throughout the year of winners from the 2006 and 2007 competitions.

One of the enduring legacies of the Class of 2007 will be the combination outdoor classroom and water feature near Dobbins. The water feature was dedicated in late May by now-graduated Rupan Bose, ASB president, to

More than 1.4 million juniors in nearly 21,000 U.S. high schools took the PSAT in 2005; semifinalists represent less than 1 percent of those who took the exam. Most high schools boast only a few, if any, students who earn this prestigious recognition. Congratulations to Harker’s semifinalists, now newly-graduated seniors: Kari Berglund, Akshay Bhatia, Rupan Bose, Siddharth Chandrasekhar, Serafine Chen, Justin Chin, Adam Creasman, Ashley Dang, Arkajit Dey, Aneesh Donde, Anshuman Gupta,

Nick Gassmann - all photos

1.4 million juniors in nearly 21,000 “U.S.Morehighthan schools took the PSAT in 2005; semifinalists represent less than 1 percent of those who took the exam.

Annelise Han, Jay Han, Adnan Haque, Tatsunori Hashimoto, Julia Havard, Lucille Hu, Samantha Jagannathan, Anjali Joy, Roger Kim, Jocelyn Ko, Simren Kohli, Rahul Komati, Danyal Kothari, Richard Kwant, Jessica Lee, Michael Lee, Jessie Li, Tiffany Lin, Anjali Menon, Lucas Motro, Rohan Narayen, Jennifer Ong, Daniel Paik, Yuanyuan Pao, Vani Pyda, Jacqueline Rousseau, Natasha Sarin, Mansi Shah, Aseem Shukla, Shannon Tan, Esther Teplitsky, Elyse (VyVy) Trinh, Carolyn Wang, Winston Wey, Allison Wong, Kimberly Wong, Matthew Wong, Christopher Xiao, Joanna Xu, Ashley Yang, Aline Zorian. Most of these semifinalists who continue their academic excellence into their senior year, and who are endorsed by their principals and earn high scores on their SATs, will advance to the finalist round, where they have opportunities to win one of three types merit scholarships: $2500 National Merit-sponsored scholarships awarded by state, approximately 1,100 scholarships sponsored by corporations and business organizations, and some 4,600 scholarships awarded by colleges and universities to students matriculating at those schools. About 2500 students were chosen from 15,000 finalists to receive the $2500 awards. An impressive five Harker seniors received this honor this year: Justin Chin, Jocelyn Ko, Richard Kwant, Jessie Li and Natasha Sarin. Two seniors received corporate-sponsored scholarships: Esther Teplitsky, from Lockheed Martin, and Jacqueline Rousseau, from Synopsys, Inc. Last summer two students from the class of 2006 were awarded merit scholarships sponsored by the college to which they matriculated last fall: Irine Tyutereva from USC, and David Woolsey from Southern Methodist University. Two Harker finalists from the class of 2007 were awarded scholarships from their colleges: Rupan Bose, who will attend USC, and Kimberly Wong, matriculating at Boston University. The NMSP also acknowledged those students who scored at or above the national commended level. Harker’s Commended Scholars are: Priyanka Bearelly, Jonathan Chang, Tiffany Chang, Jonathan Charlu, Robert Cheng, Tracy Chou, Tiffany Dai, Andrew Fandrianto, Gilbert Fu, Paula Gitis, Vijay Gottipati, Kunal Gupte, Matthew Holmes, James Hsi, Emily Isaacs, Bryan Kao, Sandeep Karipineni, Elyse Kim, Jason Lee, Tiffany Juliana Lin, Ashley Morishige, Christina Nixon, Christine Park, Philip Perkins, Julia Price-Madison, Alan Quach, Preeta Reddy, Adam Rubin, Anton Sepetov, Nicholas Tan, Sinead Toolis Byrd, Natalie Torban, Andrew Tran, Connie Tung, Nina Vyedin, Jennifer Whang, Alexander Wu, Mounica Yanamandala, Jacob Yanovsky. Congratulations to all of our outstanding scholars! Harker News — June 07

teacher Dr. Cheryl Cavanaugh, who left Harker midyear, due to illness. This little spot, perfect for a moment of quiet contemplation or for inspiring a music or poetry class, is the

product of two benevolent forces, the Class of 2007 and the science department. It is part of a series of miniature biomes (see Harker News, Jan. 2007, p. 12) around campus, instigated by Anita Chetty, science department chair, though none of the other areas have quite the charm of this gurgling natural-looking fountain. The water feature itself is the gift from the 2007 graduates, and the classroom is simply the arrangement of small boulders that allow a group to roost in the area. The dedication, on Alumni Day, was accompanied by a second installment of senior bricks, each brick purchased by parents to honor their graduating son or daughter. The bricks are laid in a pathway running through Senior Grove, past the tumbling fount. Along with the students, all parents who contributed to the senior gift fund or purchased a senior brick were invited to attend.




Spirit Week Activities Energize Student Body

SPIRIT Faculty Win Duct Tape Event!

Emily Chow ‘08

WEEK ’07

Emily Chow ‘08

Jennifer Ong ‘07

A story best told in pictures, these images show the spirit week energy that went into the various activities. From poseurs to box-bots, caped crusaders to captains of cardboard, the celebrants rallied before plunging into the final academic jam of the year.

In the ongoing spirit of pure fun, students gathered at the swimming pool for the sixth annual Duct Tape Regatta in April. The event was a relay race in one-person boats held together with the ubiquitous adhesive material designed originally for sealing heating ducts. Students competed class against class, then against a faculty entry for spirit points. Although the faculty managed to win the overall event, the junior team edged out the senior team (senioritis kicking in early?) to win the challenge by only one second.

Talent Show Brings Out the Zany

Talent shows, by definition, have a variety of acts, and the US show was no exception. The bag-lunch audience enjoyed them all, including incredible break dancers, musicians (spoofing and serious), a cappella groups and humorists. The show provided some much appreciated relief as the year morphed into test season. Performers and audience, both students and faculty, cast away their cares for an hour while enjoying the wonderful performances by talented Harker stage hounds.


Harker News — June 07

Harker Lifers Say Farewell In the second year of a new tradition, a special set of Harker graduates were treated to a dinner in May. “Lifers,” those who started Harker in kindergarten (or in some cases, junior kindergarten) and continued through to graduation, were joined by Chris Daren, activities director, and teachers Diana Moss and Brian Larsen. The group dined at Chili’s at Santana Row. Hearty congratulations and a fond farewell, after 14 years, to graduating lifers Jonathan Charlu, Julia Havard, Sharon Huang, Jessica Lee, Tiffany Juliana Lin, Jason A. Martin, Eric Tsai and Harry Tseng.

New Grads Enjoy First Alum Event The annual Alumni Association brunch was held in late May in the gym. This year’s graduates had another ‘last chance’ to hang with their pals, collect yearbook signatures and have one of their last few meals from the h a r k e r

a l u m n i programs

Harker kitchens. The mood was upbeat as the day started with the dedication of the senior gift and senior bricks (see adjacent story), followed by greetings from Alumni Association members and, in due time, the brunch: bacon, eggs and waffles. Graduating seniors contributed letters to the Harker time capsule, viewed photos, videos and displays from their years at Harker and wrapped up with a panel on college life organized by Casey Near ’06 and Kevin Lum Lung, college counselor.

Harker News — June 07

graduation Senior Trip: Fun, Friends and Fond Farewells The senior trip had a new facet this year, aside from the originality every class brings to this celebrated

better for our kids,” said Near. “Coronado was very spread out and so too were the kids. Here, the

Photo provided by Chris Daren


outing. The group stayed at the Surf and Sand, Laguna Beach instead of in Coronado, this year, and the change was acclaimed. “I really enjoyed the new venue at Laguna Beach,” said John Near, history and social sciences chair, who helped chaperone the trip with his wife, Pam Dickinson, director of communications for Harker. “There is more to do in town, but more importantly, the hotel worked

beach access was right next to the pool so kids could easily go back and forth, and it just seemed like they were more together than in the past. Also, all the rooms were fantastic – all had balconies with ocean views,” Near added. And the group lived it up. On this trip, no learning required, young folk, between studenthood and scholarship, all stepping off into a vast and complex world, played Frisbee, lolled

in the spa, kayaked, frolicked in the pool, shot a few hoops and had a little more ice cream than usual. Evan Barth, math teacher and chaperone, noted, “For many, I’m sure the high point of the trip was the ‘propane fire’ gathering. We couldn’t have a bonfire on the beach (permitting issues) so instead we met in a large circle and passed a softball to as many seniors as time permitted.” Speaking only when they were in possession of the ball, students made comments like, “I can’t wait to see what wonderful things you will all be doing in 10 or 20 years, my teachers were wonderful, and I wish I’d gotten to know you all better,” Barth said. Near agreed the bonfire commune was noteworthy. “What always impresses me are the kids who I would never imagine standing in front of their peers talking, sometimes very emotionally, about their Harker experience. It’s always a wonderful way to end the trip,” he said.

The Harker School’s Class of 2007 Matriculates Bentley College Boston University (12) Brown University (2) California College of the Arts California Institute of Technology (2) California Polytechnic State University, (2) Carnegie Mellon University (7) Colgate University College of William and Mary Columbia University Connecticut College Cornell University (2) Creighton University Dartmouth College Duke University Emory University Fairleigh Dickinson University, New Jersey Georgetown University (2) Harvard University (5) Johns Hopkins University (3) Lehigh University

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (6) Mount Holyoke College New York University (3) Northeastern University Northwestern University Pacific Union College (2) Pennsylvania State University, University Park Princeton University Saint Louis University Saint Mary’s College of California San Francisco State University San Jose State University Santa Clara University (4) Sarah Lawrence College Seattle University Sonoma State University Stanford University (8) The Citadel, the Military College of South Carolina The University of Texas, Austin Tufts University

Tulane University University of Calif. - Berkeley (15) University of Calif. - Davis (4) University of Calif. - Irvine (2) University of Calif. - Los Angeles (7) University of Calif. - Riverside University of Calif. - San Diego (7) University of Calif. - Santa Barbara (4) University of CA - Santa Cruz (3) University of Chicago (4) University of Connecticut University of Pennsylvania (7) University of Portland University of Redlands University of Rochester University of Southern California (11) Vassar College (2) Wellesley College (3) West Valley College Willamette University Worcester Polytechnic Institute Yale University




Sixth Senior Class Graduates With Pomp and Circumstance Clear blue skies and a glowing sun shone down on the Class of 2007 as they received their diplomas at the Mountain Winer y in Saratoga on May 26. Class valedictorian Richard Kwant’s address was charming and reflective. Pondering his newly discovered notion that age does not necessarily preclude youth, Kwant remembered several teachers who clearly demonstrated everlasting youthfulness and fun, while still guiding and mentoring him. He hoped his fellow classmates would continue to laugh and smile like children as they move through their lives. Tom Campbell, well-known con-

gressman, lawyer and professor, delivered the keynote address, immediately warming the crowd with his professed genuine pleasure at facing the Harker community. Campbell frequently mentioned that he has found greater joy in the classroom than on the floor of Congress, saying that watching a student gain understanding is much more fulfilling than getting elected to office. He told the students to not trust intelligence over compassion, and to cure the world one person at a time, whether that person is on the global stage or simply in one’s home. Although only the sixth US graduation, several traditions were ea-

gerly obser ved. Outgoing National Honor Society president Jocelyn Ko passed the Lamp of Knowledge to her successor, Natalie So, Gr. 11, who promised to continue the high academic and ethical standards set by the graduating class. Richard Hartzell, upper school head, read each graduate’s name, and the seniors accepted their diplomas from Chris Nikoloff, head of school, and Jennifer Gargano, assistant head of school, pausing to have their photographs taken. The traditional graduation processional, “Pomp and Circumstance,” was per formed by orchestra students, as was the recessional. The graduation chorus, composed of all the

US singing ensembles, sang the “Star Spangled Banner” and this year’s anthem, “One Voice, One Song.” Nikoloff’s closing remarks were succinct and wise. He told the class to “dare to be wrong,” promising that they “will find truth, wherever it may be.” After Nikoloff dismissed the faculty, another tradition was observed when the faculty left the amphitheater and lined the drive, forming a path for the seniors to pass through and allowing the teachers to applaud their former students one last time. Many congratulations to the Class of 2007, and our best wishes as you move on!

Centuries-Old Baccalaureate Tradition Paves Way for Graduation Two days before graduation, seniors attended one of Harker’s more classic ceremonies. Baccalaureate, a

of school, reminisced about the seniors when they were seventh graders and she was their head of school. Seniors Laura Sanchez Hartzell and Jessica Dickinson Goodman introduced the two faculty speakers, elected to speak by the seniors. Richard Hartzell, known to most as the upper school head, but to

traditional farewell ceremony, took place in the Quad of the Saratoga campus on May 24, a few hours after the more raucous awards ceremony. Serene music, provided by Cantilena and the Harker String Ensemble, set the mood as the juniors and the parents of graduating seniors joined the Class of 2007, and listened to thoughtful words of advice and encouragement. Jennifer Gargano, assistant head


many seniors as their AP English teacher, advised the students to abandon the more semantically violent notion of “carpe diem”

(“seize the day”), and instead embrace the softer Italian ideal of “far niente” (“do nothing”). He reminded the class that in their young yet over-planned lives, they have missed the time to just “be,” and haven’t learned how to sit and understand themselves and their surroundings. Hartzell pleaded with them to learn how to do nothing, how to enjoy their lives, nature and their loved ones. Math teacher Evan Barth gave a poignant reminder of the difficulty many in the Harker community have faced this year battling cancer, including his young daughter, Ashley. Unlike most orators, Barth gave his listeners a very specific job to do. “Find the cause, and find the cure, for cancer,” he pleaded. Harker graduates

have the ability to raise the funds, change the laws, do the research and find the cure, Bar th said. The class of 2007’s salutatorian, Aline Zorian, addressed her classmates as well. Zorian likened her classmates to the unique black swan, and urged them to be independent and strong. She reminded the juniors to enjoy their senior year to the fullest, and to meet someone and tr y something new next year. After Chris Nikoloff closed the ceremony, the seniors headed off to prepare for graduation, with words of wisdom and joyful memories in their thoughts. Harker News — June 07

Mark Tantrum and Emily Chow ’07, student

The Harker News is published nine times a year by The Harker School, Office of Communications, 500 Saratoga Ave., San Jose, CA 95129. Periodical Postage Rate is paid at San Jose, CA and additional mailing offices. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to The Harker News, 500 Saratoga Avenue, San Jose CA 95129. The Harker News provides timely information, news and features about the Harker community to current and alumni Harker families.

Harker News — June 07




The House that Women Built

Staff Update

This month, the Larimer family moved into their new home on the edge of Willow Glen, thanks in part to four Harker faculty women. Donna Gilbert (AP European His-

■ Gr. 3 language arts teacher Janice Snyder retired this year and was guest of honor at a party thrown by current and former students in the LS. Students put together a scrapbook of comments and drawings and presented it at the party. The get-together featured cake, snacks, drinks and balloons.

the Larimers were required to demonstrate financial need and invest 500 hours of “sweat equity.” The completed house was sold to the Larimers at no profit with a 30-year no-interest mortgage.

■ Nancy Curran, Kindergarten teacher, is retiring after teaching at Harker for 15 years. The inspiring teacher, a native of San Francisco with a Masters in early childhood education, will be much missed come fall! As a memento and a goodbye, students signed a poster-sized farewell card and presented it to her at the end of the school year.

tory), Naomi Schatz (AP Psychology), Flo Turkenkopf (physics) and Pam Dickinson (director, Office of Communications) were among the all-female crew of volunteers who built the Habitat for Humanity home for the low-income family. “I just feel so lucky in my life, and want to do what I can to help others in some small way,” Schatz said, when asked why she signed on for the project. “It’s important to give back to the community in which I live.” The hammer-wielding Harker foursome volunteered monthly, alongside other community volunteers. The home was Habitat for Humanity’s first local Women Build project. Women Build is a Habitat for Humanity program that encourages women and girls to have fun and make a difference by building homes for those in need. It also was the first local Habitat for Humanity home built in compliance with Americans with Disabilities Act requirements. Judah and Davina Larimer’s 13year-old son has cerebral palsy and is in a wheelchair. The couple also has a 6-year-old son and 2-year-old daughter. To qualify for the home,

The crew, led by female fore-person and general contractor Dee Bailey, built the house from the ground up, learning along the way how to use all kinds of equipment to complete a wide range of projects, including laying foundation, framing, roofing, trimming, plumbing, tiling and painting. “I learned to use a number of power tools, from the chop saw to something called a hole hawg,” Turkenkopf said. “That was my least favorite piece of equipment and it left black and blue marks on my legs for literally a month.”

■ Jennifer Walrod joined Harker in April to gather the reins of Global Education and get a flying start on next year. Walrod has an M.A. in international educational development from Columbia University and served as an English teacher at WILS Language School South Korea and at the Daruna Ratachuburi bilingual program and Sarasas Witead Suksa Bilingual School in Thailand. In addition, Walrod was an administrator and teacher at Andinet International School, a newly formed school in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, where she was instrumental in developing the curriculum and policies at the school.

Provided by Brigid Miller

Dee Bailey

“Judah was always there working side by side with each day’s crew,” Dickinson said during the last month of the project. “He’s a rock and just fantastic, and it’s inspirational to see this house come together for him and his family and know what a huge difference it will make in their lives.”

Despite her bruises, Turkenkopf said the experience was extremely rewarding. “I just love being able to break the gender stereotype and to try to do things that I might not normally think I am capable of,” she said. “I learned I am capable of doing much more than I originally imagined and that feels great.” Gilbert said she enjoyed the camaraderie of working on a very physically demanding project with a group of women. “And, of course, building a home for a low-income family with a physically handicapped child (was rewarding),” she said. “It has been a wonderful, transformative experience and I would do it again.”

■ Congratulations to US English teacher Brigid Miller and her husband, Lester, who welcomed into the world their son, Harriss, May 6. Born at Sequoia Hospital in Redwood City, Harriss William Miller came in at 7 lbs., 9 oz., 19.5 inches long – exactly the same height and weight as his mom’s when she was born!. “Things are going well thus far, though no sleep of course. We’re so happy!” said Miller.

■ US art teacher Pilar Agüero-Esparza was a featured artist at the Heritage Fine Arts Collaborative Anniversary Celebration held in late May. “The curator, Jane Salvin, has known my work since the mid-90s and has exhibited me in the Heritage space several times,” said Agüero-Esparza. Her pieces were based on clothing patterns she has used in sculptures. “What I like about working in monotypes is the spontaneous and intuitive nature of the medium,” she noted. ■ With one hand we wave goodbye to Joe Gill, and wish him and his wife the best of luck in Southern California, while with the other we welcome the new head of student affairs, Greg Lawson. Lawson has plenty of classroom and court time, as teacher and basketball coach, and has held administrative positions at Rolling Hills Preparatory School in San Pedro, Calif., and worked at the Webb School in Claremont, Calif. Welcome aboard! ■ Activities Director Chris Daren was selected as a Claes Nobel Educator of Distinction by The National Society of High School Scholars (NSHSS). Beckie Yanovsky, Gr. 10, nominated Daren as the “educator who has made the most significant contribution to her academic career.” Chair of the NSHSS Claes Nobel, a member of the famous Nobel prize family, said in the press release, “Dedicated educators who exhibit a commitment to excellence deserve our highest praise and appreciation.”

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

The Harker News provides timely information, news and features about the Harker community to current and alumni Harker families.

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.

Editor: Pam Dickinson; Lead Writer: William Cracraft; Copy Editors: Catherine Snider, Jennifer Maragoni; Production: Blue Heron Design Group, Jaja Jones; Photos: Mark Tantrum, unless noted; Printing: Carol Sosnowski; Mailing Coordinator: Desiree Mitchell.


Harker News — June 07

Profile for The Harker School

2007 June Harker News  

2007 June Harker News