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OCTOBER 2007 (VOL. 14, NO. 1)


inside Head of School Christopher Nikoloff on parenting ...........3 Talon, enlight’ning, Winged Post garner awards .............9 Podcasts come to Harker: fifth graders upload stories .......10 eCybermission finalists travel to D.C. .............................12 Girls volleyball team trains, triumphs at Maui Open ......16 Supplements in this issue: ■ Harker Summers ■ Alumni Update







Harker Students Wow World Leaders at G8 Summit Members of Harker’s Junior 8 team were fired up when they returned from the G8 Summit in June—and it’s no wonder why! At the annual summit, held this year in Germany, the team shared its views on global issues with the most powerful leaders on the planet.

youth representatives presented our ideas to world leaders was one of the most exhilarating parts of the experience,” Kastelman said.

“It was an amazing experience, to say the least,” said team member Aarathi Minisandram, Gr. 12. “Absolutely incredible,” added David Kastelman, Gr. 11. The eight-member team, which called itself Aquilones (“Eagles” in Latin), also included seniors Kavitha Narra, Rachel Peterson, Rohit Nalamasu, Kelly O’Reilly, Kritika Kailash and Sudha Gollapudi. The team was chosen from among 63 teams nationwide to represent the United States at the J8 Summit, a parallel youth event to the G8 (Group of Eight) Summit. J8 delegates met face-to-face with President Bush and the leaders of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia and the United Kingdom. Aquilones worked alongside the seven other teams from each of the G8-member countries to write a declaration comprising their best ideas for tackling four important

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est. 1893 • K-12 college prep

issues: economic prospects for Africa; HIV/AIDS; new challenges for the global economy; and climate change and energy efficiency. The language barrier proved challenging but the international students — with the help of translators — worked diligently to craft a compelling declaration ( “Seeing our summit declaration come together and then watching as our

Davis Field Ribbon Cutting Event

At the summit meeting site, Narra sat between Bush and Tony Blair, then-Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. While she presented her team’s communiqué, her teammates met with First Lady Laura Bush. “I still can’t believe it!” Narra said. “To have the world leaders listen to our ideas was an unbelievable, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.” Bush even wrote a letter to Narra’s parents, in which he praised her for being an “articulate and effective advocate for sound environmental policy.” “You would have been proud of her,” Bush wrote. “I was impressed.” Continued on pg. 14

Fringe Festival Trip a Hit The cast and crew of last year’s spring musical attended the Edinburgh Festival Fringe this August, and all expectations of the trip were met and exceeded. As members of the American High School Theatre Festival (AHSTF), the troupe was on a “working trip,” doing four performances in the beautiful Church Hill Theatre, and attending four performances by other high school participants. They also had

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

Story on pg. 7

Continued on pg. 14

editor’s note

important dates

annual giving

Welcome! We look forward to bringing you news and updates over the coming year, and we’ll give you a quick overview as we get 2007-08 started:

Visit our new Web calendars for the latest information on each division!

Heartfelt Thanks!

Parent Survey: Last May we conducted an online parent communications survey. Over 35 percent of our families responded, and we were pleased that for the most part you are very satisfied with Harker’s various methods of communication. Many thanks for sharing your kudos and great suggestions, and your feedback will continue to guide our decisions. Web Site: We hope you’re enjoying our new Web site this school year! It’s difficult to anticipate all the kinks that may come up in an initial launch, and we appreciate your feedback and patience as we continue to fully utilize the great features this new site offers. Online Calendar: You’ve been asking for more detailed calendars, and you’ve got them! Quick tip: on the new Web calendars, the << and >> symbols in the grey screened bar toward the top of the page will navigate you through the month or year. More on calendars next month!

n Mon., Oct. 8, Columbus Day — No classes, K-12

Harker Hosts Common Ground Thurs., Nov. 15, 8:45 a.m. — Common Ground: “Deadly Persuasion: What Advertisers Really Sell Our Kids”; MS Campus; 408.248.2510 On Thursday, Nov. 15, Harker will host Common Ground speaker Jean Kilbourne, Ed.D., for a discussion on “Deadly Persuasion: What Advertisers Really Sell Our Kids.” The event starts at 8:45 a.m. (yes, in the morning!) and will be held at the MS campus. Call 408.248.2510 for details. According to her Web site,, Kilbourne has lectured in nearly half the colleges and universities in the United States, all major Canadian universities and dozens of private and public schools. The Web site continues, “she is also sought after as a keynote speaker at a wide range of conferences, including those focusing on addictions and public health, violence, women and the media.” Come see this dynamic speaker!

Have a great year! -Pam Dickinson, Director Office of Communications


webinar series Parent-Connect Webinar Series: Alcohol and High Risk Drinking Mon., Oct. 1, 2007 5 – 6 p.m.

The Big One is coming: Harker Homecoming on October 19, 7 p.m. Join the gang at Foothill College for an evening punctuated by the thump of a football, the roar of the crowd and the spark of a big game. The theme this year is musical genres, with seniors going punk, juniors going disco, sophomores showing show tunes and freshmen, hip hop. Homecoming week, Oct 15-20, wraps up with the US dance! Check the Web site for details!

This webinar series is presented free of charge to Harker parents as an opportunity to hear experts speak on critical parenting issues. For information on how to register for the interactive webinars, or how to download the sessions after they have occurred, please go to the current Harker Parent page in each division.

Phase III Construction On Track

cell recycle

Homecoming Rush Begins Fri., Oct. 19, 7 p.m. — Homecoming Football Game; Foothill College

The retired cell phone and empty printer cartridge recycling program run by one of the MS eCybermission teams is in full swing. The eGlobal Denigmas – Jenny Chen, Connie Cheng, Suchita Nety and Ashvin Swaminathan, all Gr. 7, have collected about $72 and have a second shipment of five boxes in transit. Each dozen pieces buys a tree planting. Harker families can help by gently dropping used cell phones and empty printer cartridges in recycling boxes located in the Blackford office lobby during regular business hours.

Faculty & Staff Directory: With our new and improved faculty and staff directory you can search for teachers and staff by grade level, campus, division or name – happy hunting! We have pages set up in each division for frequently used links for now, and we’ll be launching a special parent portal in a few months that will allow you some customization. Watch for more updates each month, and contact us at communications@harker. org with questions and suggestions. We hope you’ll continue to let us know how we’re doing.

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

Foundation and wall forms cover the former practice field as the new Science & Technology Center rises from the earth. Watch the November edition for a complete update on the exciting capital campaign projects on the US campus!

The funds raised will be used for renewable energy projects on campus. Donors do not have to erase information from used cell phones. Adviser Raji Swaminathan and the team will seal the phones with tape and ship them to ‘ThinkGreen,’ the processing company, where the phones are “flashed,” erasing all the data before further processing. Harker News — October 07



Community in the 21st Century At the beginning of the school year, I cannot help thinking about the Harker community and the important role it plays in our children’s lives. In many ways, Harker attempts to create the village referenced in the Ashanti proverb, “It takes a whole village to raise a child.” Schools have been called upon more and more to create this village because many of the elements of community that have supported child rearing for generations have dissolved over the past few decades. In fact, parenting and childhood are fundamentally different phenomena today, absent the structures, attitudes and ethos we once took for granted. For any given generation, we could probably say that parenting and childhood are different in degree from the previous generation; but today, for the first time since the Industrial Revolution, parenting and childhood are different in both degree and kind due to the loss of these communal values. For instance, one of the “village-like” elements that is critical to successful childrearing is multigenerational interaction. Children need to interact with peers, but they also need to interact with adults of varying ages and in various settings. These nonparental adults are very power ful communicators in the community, particularly when their message is consonant with parental and other adult messages. Robert Bly in his book “Iron John” talks about the important role that men in the community play in helping to initiate young men into adult manhood.

“I believe schools, and The Harker School in particular, help fulfill some of the communal needs that have been lost over recent decades.” Children, fortunately, have a great deal of opportunity to interact with a variety of adults at school. However, multigenerational interaction used to be more woven into the very fabric of our society. It used to be that young people would begin casual interaction with a variety of adults outside the family quite early and organically, whether through extended families, neighborhoods that had more porous boundaries, public agencies such as police, firefighters or librarians, and even various trustworthy locals in the town square. Because of the shrinking of the extended family, the increase of gated communities, the drying up of adult time due to work commitments, or the rise of fear on the streets, children do not have as much natural, multigenerational interaction. Schools have become one of the last sources of this particular village element.

babysitting duty that evening. Who knows this level of detail about their neighbor’s patterns anymore? And third, he felt that he had the authority to intervene, send me home, and then follow me into my house to deliver a lecture about responsibility, a lecture I badly needed at the time. He was a nonparental adult taking an active role in my upbringing, a role he wasn’t asked to play but one he assumed, by community standards, he had a right and a responsibility to carry out. Mohandas Gandhi said, “If we are to reach real peace in this world … we shall have to begin with the children.” I believe schools, and The Harker School in particular, help fulfill some of the communal needs that have been lost over recent decades. They have to. As we begin another great school year together, it is my hope that we will continue to provide the best community possible for our children, and that we not take for granted the wonder ful community we have.

–Christopher Nikoloff, Head of School

Calligrapher Visits, Donates Work US Japanese students received a rare treat last spring when a professional calligrapher came to visit for two days. Teacher Keiko Irino welcomed Shoko Kazama, official calligrapher of the Zen sect Kencho Ji, which has its high temple in Kamakura, Japan. Kazama gave a hands-on demonstration to Irino’s beginning, intermediate, honors and advanced placement Japanese classes. “Ms. Kazama first introduced several different types of brushes and three styles of writing used in Japanese calligraphy. Then she showed some of her own work to the students, did demonstrations using those different types of brushes and styles of writing, and had each student try those brushes in writing a Japanese character on a large piece of rice paper,” said Irino. As students practiced, Kazama gave individual instruction to them.

When I was a young adolescent, I was occasionally charged with watching my older, developmentally-disabled brother, which was never a difficult duty because Peter turned in very early and slept soundly most of the night. Nonetheless, I was not to leave the house in case something unexpected happened. One evening, the temptation provided by peers proved too great to resist, and I abandoned my duties to meet up with friends, justifying my actions to myself by assessing the chances of anything happening to my deeply sleeping brother as slim to none. Fortunately for my brother, my cousin, who had just returned from the Navy and who was much older than I, was sitting in his screened front porch and caught me in the act.

Kazama enjoyed her visit so much that she offered to donate a work to Harker. Irino’s friend Junko Bhatt, who helped arrange the visit, and Bhatt’s husband, Jay, delivered the piece to the school, presenting it to Head of School Chris Nikoloff. The piece is titled “Katsu,” which is “what a master says to his pupils in Zen when he wants to encourage and lead them to the right direction,” explained Irino.

Now, there are three elements of community that have since dissolved evident in this vignette alone. First, who sits on their front porch to pass the time anymore? Second, my cousin happened to know that I was on

“It was wonder ful having an opportunity to learn from a professional calligrapher. Students learned a lot about this aspect of Japanese culture on those two days,” Irino finished.

Harker News — October 07



picnic We’re Headin’ West! Yes, the Harker Family and Alumni Picnic is packing up and heading west (well, southwest, we think) to the Blackford campus this year. It’s a BIG move after 52 years, and though we will miss the ole’ Saratoga campus, we are SO excited about all the new adventures we will have at Blackford! Don’t worry about your favorite Family Picnic games and activities; we’re packing them all up and taking them with us. PLUS we are adding some EXCITING new ones! Look for familiar attractions including the dunk tank, the giant slide, the silent auction, the pony rides, the root beer ring toss and the child and teen wheel. Plus, we are adding more live animals, new shows and entertainers, a bushel of pioneer-themed activities, a bigger and better adult game area, delicious western food and more! Our picnic volunteers are putting in countless hours to make sure this is the best durn Pioneer Picnic ever!

Yee Haw! We’re Selling Tickets Like Wildfire! Students have been hard at work for weeks selling tickets for this year’s GRAND OL’ PRIZE DRAWING! With prizes like a Nintendo Wii, a 24-speed mountain bike, a trip to Las Vegas and $10,000, how could they NOT sell ’em?

Sun., Oct. 14, 2007

As they sell, the students are earning incentive prizes for themselves, as well as helping raise money for the school … that deserves a big YEE HAW! Students in all grade levels are getting in the selling spirit and the numbers are TEE-RIFIC! Tickets will also be available the day of the picnic, so everyone can have a chance to join the fun and maybe even WIN a fabulous picnic prize!

picnic games & activities Theme games Cactus Crash n Rustler Round Up n Grizzly Gulch Powder Keg Putt Putt n Sure Shot Darts Horseshoe Hockey n Rootin Tootin Ring Toss Bull’s-Eye Bowling n Easy Pickins Pond

SPEcialty areas & activities Cactus Crash Gold Country Silent Auction High Noon Saloon High Country Slide Rocky Mountain Climb Campfire Karaoke Ol’ Swimming Hole (dunk tank) Oregon Express

. . . and much, much more!


Picnic Committee Chairs Ken Azebu Debbie Buss Candy Carr Fred Carr Nancy Claunch Becky Cox Kelly Delepine

Janie Fung Sandhya Jagadeesh Lana Kipnis Mary Malysz Roopal Mayor Melody Moyer Robyn Peetz

Kim Pellissier Kathy Polzin Sue Prutton Lori Saxon Alice Schwartz Janet Smith Joyce Sum Shankari Sundar Carol Underwood Jane Villadsen

Harker News — October 07

Sponsors Yee Haw! Our loyal Harker parents and alumni, along with local business owners and friends, are the best cowpokes around! Your generous support, year after year, helps make each Harker Family Picnic the best ever! Ready to lead the drive home? We’re offering complimentary admission, preferred parking and more! to help you on your way. Want a special treat at chow time or all day long? Enjoy a reserved table at your own Cattle Drive Campsite, where you can rest up, have lunch, stow gear and be pleased as punch knowing there is a table with your name on it for you to enjoy all day. It’s a great way for pardners to all participate! It’s easy, too! If you would like to become a treasured supporter, download a Picnic Sponsor form from the Web site (forms are also available at the front office of each campus). Get ready to ride the range today! n

BUCKAROOS ($250-$499) - Sponsor I.D. Tag, Entry into Special Drawing, Listing on Sponsor Board, in the Harker News and in Harker’s Online Directory


WRANGLERS ($500-$999) - Booth Sign, Six Complimentary Admission Passes, plus above benefits


POINT RIDERS ($1,000 - $1,499) - VIP Preferred Parking, “Stash Your Stuff” Check-in Service for your prize winnings on Picnic Day, plus above benefits


BRONCO BUSTERS ($1,500 - $2,499) - Reserved Table for eight in Special Sponsor Area, plus above benefits


TRAIL BOSSES ($2,500 - $4,999) - Preferred Family Seating for the 11 a.m. Student Show, 100 tickets for the $10,000 Grand Drawing, including any applicable Student Incentives, plus above benefits


CATTLE BARONS ($5,000 & above) - Sponsor Recognition Banner, Loudspeaker Recognition Announcements throughout the day, plus above benefits


The Best Deal in Town! Head straight to the Gold Country Silent Auction at the Pioneer Picnic on Oct. 14 so you don’t miss the sign-ups for our two picnic sleepovers! The first 150 lower school and 50 middle school students who sign up will be treated to a fun-filled, friend-filled night to remember. The overnights have become a much-loved Harker tradition over the years and we have some terrific surprises planned once again! Parents love the sleepovers as much as the kids because they know their children are in safe and capable hands, which means they can relax and enjoy a kid-free night!

Bucknall PJ Party Fri., Mar. 14, 2008 Bucknall campus Middle School Mystery Night Fri., Apr. 18, 2008 Location TBA For more information and details, visit us online at

Harker News — October 07

Join us! Sun., Oct. 14, 2007




2006-07 Annual Report Mailed

US Dad’s Night Held on New Field

Annual Report publications were mailed to the Harker community in September. We would like to thank our many donors who have made contributions of time and support in 2005-06. Your generosity is truly appreciated, and the entire student body applauds you! Be sure to look inside the Annual Report for information on this year’s campaign and for all the ways you can help provide the Margin of Excellence for our students. Again, many thanks!

Harker hosted its first Dad’s Night Out for parents on the new Davis Field at the end of August. About 100 attendees, including football and soccer team members, settled in for an old fashioned barbecue including grilled chicken, brats and veggie kebabs. The team members fired up for some scrimmaging to break in the field, the coaches said a few words and the whole group was treated to a hard hat tour of the entire construction project.

Thanks for a Great 2006-07 Annual Giving Campaign Last year we emphasized to our parents the importance of their participation in the Annual Giving Campaign. Not only do your contributions provide our students with exceptional programs, but your participation also improves our chances of receiving corporation and foundation dollars because grantors look at parent participation data when making grants. We are very happy to announce that most of you responded to our message, and that our parent participation in Annual Giving was 71 percent last year, up from 62 percent the year before. Thank you to everyone who helped us achieve these results! Next year we hope to increase participation to the 80-90 percent range, which is comparable to other schools like Harker.

49’er Barton Speak to Athletes Former San Francisco 49er and founder of HRJ Capital, Harris Barton came to campus in early September to speak about how his football career helped prepare him for life. He noted that the fun and camaraderie of teamwork was just one aspect of being a student athlete and emphasized the importance of taking advantage of the education offered at Harker but also to take part in student athletics. According the HRJ Capital Web site,, Barton, “became a public and private equity investor during his football career, investing in both publicly traded stocks and private equity partnerships.”

Parent Development Council Kicks Off the 2007-08 Annual Giving Campaign The 2007-08 Annual Giving Campaign got off to a great start in September with our first Parent Development Council meeting. This year we have more than 80 parent volunteers helping us raise money to benefit student programs, and we are grateful for their support. We had a great campaign last year and are looking forward to an even more successful year with this dedicated and enthusiastic group. We have raised our goal to $1.25 million. Parent Development Council members have already been introducing themselves to Harker families leading up to the phone-a-thon the first week of October. Remember to make your gift or pledge before the Family & Alumni Picnic on October 14, and you will be eligible to win a weekend getaway! Co-Chairs Tamra Amick Betsy Lindars Brian Richardson Kindergarten Regina Gupta* Aarti Awasthi Melinda Gonzales Carol Whitman Carol Zink Grade 1 Tamra Amick* Helen Amick Maria Gong Simi Gupta Arne Lang-Ree Allison Vaughan Grade 2 Vidya Kamat* Vidya Lakshmi Chari Nina Jauw


Miyeko Kohlmann Ruchi Sadhu Janet Savage Grade 3 Robert Kendall* Denise Brodersen Christine Cumpston Manisha Jain Angie Krackeler Sandhya Kulkarni Kiran Padwekar Trish Tobin Mehrnaz Zahiri

Juhi Aswani Manoj Bhatnagar Susanne Bohl Ravi Chitkara Vanaja Gadiraju Grade 6 Kim Pellissier* Grace Edvalson Dan Hughes Brian Moss Narendra Nayak Chitraleka Vivek

Grade 4 Marcia Riedel* David Heslop Helena Jerney Brian Richardson

Grade 7 Karen Coates* Rebecca Cox Lisa Dorrian Manjit Mangat Heather Wardenburg

Grade 5 Deepa Iyengar* Alanna Andrus

Grade 8 Alice Chi* Aloke Bhandia

Marcia Hirtenstein Suchitra Narayen Abhay Salukhe Preeti Sharan Grade 9 Sangeeta Mehrotra* David Hutchings Debbie Hutchings Hemangi Parikh Nina Walvekar Jin Zhou Grade 10 Christine Davis* Shyamoli Banerjee Sabina Chitkara Barbara Drummer Betsy Lindars Rodney Rapson Tanya Ringold Grade 11 Abha Shukla*

Doug Emery Linda Emery Caryn Melrose Robert Schwartz Huali Chai Stanek Regina Wong Grade 12 Jayanthi Ravikumar* Roy Chetty Galina Gaknoki Mark Shapiro Jean Sun Carol Underwood Matching Gift Coordinators Haidung Nguyen, Cisco Systems Inc. Anju Bansal, IBM Yulia Korobko, Intel Corp. * Grade-level team leader

Harker News — October 07

Davis Field Officially Opens With Ribbon-Cutting, Celebration and Home Games With the crisp feeling of fall in the air, approximately 800 parents, students, faculty and staff attended the historic ribbon-cutting ceremony on Davis Field on the Saratoga campus on Fri., Sept. 14. The event began in the late afternoon with students from yearbook and newspaper classes selling Harker logo wear and snack bar items as guests arrived on shuttle buses from the Blackford campus. Around the edges of the new field in front of Shah Hall, the early audience, consisting primarily of US students and Capital Campaign donors, enjoyed watching the varsity soccer team beat Redwood Christian 2-1 in their first home game of the season. As the crowd of students and families from all three campuses gathered in the bleachers and around the sides of the new field, Head of School Chris Nikoloff opened the evening’s ceremonies. Development Council members John and Christine Davis then presented a $1.5 million check to board member Martin Lundy, who accepted the check “on behalf of the board of trustees, faculty, staff, and above all, the students.” During Christine Davis’ remarks, she commended the group of parents who, a year ago, generated the idea for the sports field. “We could not be prouder,” Davis stated. “The parents and student body wanted this field, and Harker made it happen.” Davis, whose

son Cole, Gr. 10, is the quarterback on the JV football team, also stated that rather than referring to the field as Davis Field, the Davis family would like “Davis” to stand for “Diversity; Academics, Athletics, and Activities; nothing less than Victory; Integrity; and Sportsmanship.” Immediately after the ribbon cutting, US players from the girls’ soccer and lacrosse teams, boys’ soccer team and the football team broke through green, white and yellow posters reading “Thank You” on to the field through tunnels formed by Capital Campaign donors holding green and white balloons from the four corners of the field. The players met in the center of the field and formed a spontaneous cheering circle in the center. Following the color guard and the national anthem, led by our Pep Band, a memorial recognizing Coach Deron Thorp, a Harker football coach who died suddenly at the age of 33 last fall, was unveiled to Thorp’s family. Thorp’s positive impact left an indelible mark on Harker’s football team, and – beginning with this home game on the new Davis Field – the players have begun a new tradition of each player touching the football on the memorial before each home game as a gesture to remember Coach Thorp and the principles that he instilled in the players. During the football game that followed – which Harker handily won against Sierra Christian, 34-12 – families enjoyed the game, the Pep Band and the ambience of a night under the lights. After the event, US Athletic Director Dan Molin summed up his thoughts on the day: “Taking my eye off the games and soaking in the atmosphere from the supportive crowd – kids running around playing, fans browsing Harker merchandise, students serving concessions, and people socializing – I realized this is exactly what was needed at Harker: the ability to host more home events on the US campus not only for the teams, but for the entire community to enjoy.” Watch next month’s edition for a special supplement with more on the new field, and on the progress of the Phase III projects.

Ribbon-Cutting Harker News — October 07




National Merit Semifinalists The National Merit Scholarship Program (NMSP), a nonprofit organization that honors the scholastic achievements of high school juniors, has announced the nation’s semifinalists in the 2008 competition from those students who took the PSAT in 2006. More than 1.4 million juniors in nearly 21,000 U.S. high schools took the PSAT; semifinalists represent less than one 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 43 semifinalists, now seniors: Palash Agarwal, Janise Chan, Robyn Chan, Denaly Chen, Melissa Chen, Catherine Chiu, Paul Christiano, Colin Daw, Neha Deshmukh, Nina Duong, Senan Ebrahim, Alex Fandrianto, Rachel Fong, Patrick Gendotti, Aneesh Goel, Neil Gupta, Michael Kang, Charisma Kaushik, Paula Lauris, Erika Lee, Kyu Lee, Grace Liang, Weiping Liang, Stephanie Lio, Brian Ma, Kelly O’Reilly, Thomas Roxlo, Tanya Schmidt, Jay Shah, Neil Shah, Ankur Sharma, Shrestha Singh, Natalie So, Ruchi Srivastava, Tonia Sun, Sushant Sundaresh, Eric Trinh, Alex Underwood, Neelaysh Vukkadala, Frank Wang, Jonathan Wang, Tiffany Yu and Rachel Yuan. Most of these semifinalists who continue academic excellence into their senior years, 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 of merit scholarships: 2,500 National Merit-sponsored scholarships of $2,500 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. The Harker News announced last June that two students from the class of ’07 had been awarded college scholarships, Rupan Bose (USC) and Kimberly Wong (Boston University). When the College Board announced the final list of awards in July, a third Harker student was listed. Congratulations to Kari Berglund, who received her scholarship from the University of Chicago.

Harker Students Continue to Shine on Standardized Tests

from the library An Old Fable Retold

Mr. Internet Hare and Mr. Database Turtle were writing a research paper on this topic: “Running Shoes: Finding the Perfect Fit.” Hare raced to his computer and typed in “running shoes” on his favorite search engine. He received 18,400,000 hits. Turtle ambled to his library’s Web site and perused the subject list of subscription databases to see which one he’d try first. He found five databases under the heading “Medicine and Health.” Turtle used the new library software “360 Search” from “Serials Solutions”. It allowed him to search all five databases at one time. No longer did Turtle have to search each database separately. He chuckled to himself. He typed “running shoes” in the search box. First, he found a detailed, illustrated article in the “Health and Wellness Resource Center” (GALE) (Phyllis Clapis. “Running shoes: finding the right fit.” “Clinical Reference Systems.” Nov. 2006.) He then checked the box for “refereed publications.” Turtle found 19 articles by nurses, doctors and physical therapists. “Refereed” means it was reviewed by peers before published. Next, in the database called “Health Source – Consumer Edition,” (EBSCO), Turtle found four articles that were peer reviewed. Peer reviewed and refereed are similar terms. One had a detailed article called: “Equipment adjustment.” Running & FitNews: Jul/Aug2006, p.5-7. Turtle was busy taking notes on his sources. There were no ads, no commercial URLs to give one pause. His information came from named professionals in reputable journals. Meanwhile, Mr. Internet Hare found a promising site: The article looked OK, but there was no author’s name attached to it. Most of the other articles listed on page one were shopping sites. Then Hare hopped to page two, six, 120, 679, 4,051, and finally took a nap because he was so exhausted. By now you know how this retold fable ends. Turtle received the best information in the shortest amount of time. Hare had a quick start, but was slowed down by the hodge-podge of information before him.

Once again Harker students have performed well on several standardized tests. On the ERBs (Educational Records Bureau), which evaluate Gr. 1-8 students on verbal and quantitative reasoning, auditory and reading comprehension, writing mechanics, concepts and skills, and mathematics, Harker’s median scores were higher than those of all other independent and suburban public schools.

Moral: Check out our impressive database collection on Faculty and student passwords are required.

US students fared just as impressively on the SAT (Scholastic Aptitude Test). Mean (average) scores for the SAT tests taken by the classes of 2007 and 2008, listed respectively, were: 682 and 688 in critical reading, 707 and 712 math, and 692 and 702 in writing, each out of 800. By comparison, nationwide averages for the class of 2007 were 502 for critical reading, 515 in math, and 494 in writing.

Buddies Welcome New Students

Perhaps most impressive was that 417 students took at least one Advanced Placement exam. Last year Harker offered 28 different AP courses; 63 percent of US students, and 92 percent of seniors, took at least one. Ninety-six percent of students received a passing score of 3, 4 or 5, with 60 percent receiving scores of 5. “It is amazing to me that our students are not only remarkable individuals who have varied and incredible talents, but they also continually perform well on standardized measures of student achievement,” remarked Jennifer Gargano, assistant head of school, academic affairs. “Thank you to all our teachers who have worked so hard throughout the year to help ensure our students’ understanding of our curriculum, which allows them to succeed on such tests,” she said.


—Enid Davis, Library Director

To welcome new students into the Harker family, all three campuses have buddy programs. Buddies are volunteers paired with incoming students for those first critical weeks to help orient them to the school. “We want our buddies to make the new students feel comfortable and well taken care of,” noted Nicole Brink, elementary school counselor, in her e-mail to teachers seeking recommendations. “They should be excellent citizens who demonstrate good leadership skills and who have good social skills,” Brink added. Lower- and middle- school volunteer students are held to the same criteria. Buddies call the new students before school starts, write them welcome letters and spend the first two weeks of school helping the new students adapt. New students should get a tour from their buddies, including bathrooms and locker rooms, lunch and library areas and the nurse and attendance offices. The US senior buddy program is open to any senior who will provide appropriate guidance and support to incoming freshmen, said Lori Kohan, US counselor. “Any student who demonstrates leadership, motivation and creativity would be a great choice!” she noted. Harker News — October 07

Publications Win Coveted Awards Harker flexed its literar y muscles this year, with three publications winning medals in the prestigious Columbia Scholastic Press Association awards (CSPA). The MS literar y arts magazine, enlight’ning, earned a gold medal certificate, the first step toward the ultimate prize, which is a gold or silver crown award. “We will hear in Januar y if we are a crown winner,” said Stacie Newman, MS English department chair and enlight’ning adviser. “But our critique was great, and we got around 950 points out of 1000 this year!” In the US, the student-run newspaper, Winged Post, a first-time entrant, pulled in a silver medal and the 2007 yearbook, Talon, earned a gold medal certificate and All Columbian honors in writing, photography and design. Both publications are also in the running for crown awards, to be announced in March. Both Talon and Winged Post staffers attended the CSPA summer journalism workshop and garnered many individual awards: Natalie So, Gr. 12, best feature; Naomi So, Gr. 9, and Noel Duan, Gr. 11, feature writing excellence; Winny Huang and Emily Carr, both Gr. 11, coverage excellence; Beckie Yanovsky, Gr. 11 advertising leads; Deniz Ilgen, Gr. 11, design; Sarah Payne, Gr. 11, and Nitasha, Ranganath, Gr. 12, best journalism; Heidi Wang and Janise Chan, both Gr. 12, best design team; Emily Chow, Gr. 12, excellence in writing. Talon also received a certificate for best theme and development for their weeklong project to create a theme packet.

First Graders Celebrate Number 10 This school year marks the occasion of the 10th year since Harker opened the Bucknall campus and launched the new Upper School. There will be a variety of activities and features throughout the year to celebrate, and to marvel at just how far we’ve come in 10 short years. Here’s our first; watch for more! Harker’s “Toast to 10 Years” celebration inspired teachers Diann Chung and Cindy Proctor to host a Gr. 1 activity on the 10th day of school, all based on the number 10. Activities included the Flying Gumdrops, a Bean Bag Toss, a Ring Toss, the challenge of finding 10 things wrong on a page, and a variety of math games based on the number 10. “The Gumdrop Fling was fun when it touched the ceiling!” noted student Dominique Petrie. Other groups counted out 10 Goldfish (and ate ‘em!), while nearby, students jumped rope, counting up and down by tens. Each activity had its adherents. Matthew Hajjar “liked counting 10 Goldfish and then eating them,” while Alexandra Janssen said she “liked the jump rope and counting by tens.

Faculty Explores ‘The Creative Brain’ For 35 faculty members from across the campuses, this year’s optional summer reading was “The Creative Brain,” by Nancy C. Andreason. “I know many of our teachers raise the question, ‘Why are some of my students more creative than others and how can I foster that creativity in all of my students?’” said Jennifer Gargano, assistant head of school, academic affairs, who coordinated the read. According to the University of Iowa Web site, “Andreasen, M.D., Ph.D., is Andrew H. Woods Chair of Psychiatry at The University of Iowa College of Medicine.” “Obviously as teachers, we try to cultivate many skills and talents in our students, one of which is creativity, (and) Nancy Andreasen takes the reader through a historical study of creativity,” Gargano said. In the book, “Nancy looks at ways in which we can foster creativity in ourselves and others, particularly in young children.” Participants met after school to discuss their well-percolated thoughts. “The discussion was extremely fruitful,” noted Gargano. “Based on what we read, we discussed what it means to be creative and how we can best nurture creativity in our students. Teachers shared stories of what they have done in their classrooms that has elicited students to be creative as it relates not only to projects but also to problem solving.” A summer well spent! Harker News — October 07




Gr. 5 Class Officers Set Agenda

Students Tell Stories with Podcasts

Election results just keep rolling in. The Gr. 5 officers for the 200708 school year are Allison Kiang, president; Alexandra Walker, vice president; Angeline Pan, recording secretar y; Ethan Cutler, spirit commissioner; and Sahana Rangarajan, ser vice coordinator. At press time, the Gr. 4 and Gr. 5 classes were in the midst of homeroom elections, according to Kristin Giammona, elementar y division head and student council adviser.

Audio podcasts, short downloadable files for portable media players, once the realm of PBS and other technology-hip media, are now being produced by Harker fifth graders. “The students chose a piece of writing they had produced this year and recorded themselves reading it,” said Katie Molin, Gr. 5 English teacher. “They also had to add music and sound effects. Some are pretty funny.”

Once each homeroom has a representative, the council will meet biweekly before school on Thursdays, with President Kiang running meetings. Council activities include addressing student concerns from the suggestion box located in the gym building, helping with fundraising projects and visiting Gr. 3 homeroom classes to get their suggestions for activities. The students also will design sweatshirts that council members can wear to school as part of their regular uniform options. Council members also make gifts to present to all Bucknall teachers for National Teacher’s Day, which is in the first week of May. The officers have other goals, as well. Cutler would like to hold more spirit assemblies this year, while Walker wants to see the council interact with the kindergarten students. Kiang and Pan both stated they would like to find out more about the culture of the Tamagawa students before they arrive in the spring.

S.P.L.A.T. Means Working Together

The podcasts are posted on Molin’s Web page at Harker, and the names alone pique interest: “Revenge of the Cyborg Bunnies,” “Cold Things are Beautiful,” “A Portion from Pig” and the irresistible, “The Buff Dude, the Toad, and the Crazy Princess,” by Albert Chu, now Gr. 6, which starts out with oBob, “foraging in a bookshelf,” and is closed by Chu declaring, “The End -- to a mind-numbingly unintelligent fair y tale.” Molin gives credit to Eric Leonard, LS aide, for posting the podcasts and added that she would like to add video next year.

Parent Volunteers Step Up to Help

The faculty and staff at Bucknall all have Splatitude. So do the students. Do you? For the past five years, the Bucknall campus has emphasized S.P.L.A.T. on the playgrounds. Although it sounds like something might have broken open on the pavement, S.P.L.A.T. is actually an acronym for Students Playing and Learning All Together, and is the reminder to all staff and students to encourage the students to peacefully work out any differences. In keeping with the theme, the playgrounds have colored “splats” to designate supervision areas. For the first two weeks of school at the Bucknall campus, the recreation staff wore T-shirts with the S.P.L.A.T. logo, and the support staff and teaching faculty wore pins asking, “got Splatitude?” Recreation director Kim Coulter spent time with the faculty during opening meetings discussing rules for various playground games and pumped up the enthusiasm for S.P.L.A.T. with a bingo game and prizes of Splatitude visors. During P.E. classes, Coulter, Kelly Espinosa, assistant summer director Vanessa Bullman and recreation staff member Tristan Perks, had students demonstrate how to peacefully play the various blacktop games. “It continues to be a stronger theme with the outside programs because students and staff are working together to make sure we all have Splatitude,” Coulter stated. Goals of the program include creating an environment of caring and respect that will benefit all students, promoting positive personal interactions, stressing the importance of teamwork and cooperation and leveling the playing field so that ever yone has an equal chance in all games. In addition, the program allows students to be active and engaged while on the playground, and teaches respect, responsibility and appropriate conflict resolution.


As part of the beginning of school, LS parents were invited to the volunteer breakfast held in the gym. A hot breakfast was served and parent volunteers were stationed at tables around the room to inform prospective volunteers of their options and help them choose appropriate sign ups. Thanks to all for signing up!

Orientation Has Great Turnout Orientation Day was a big success this year, noted Kristin Giammona, elementary division head, “We had our best turnout ever,” she said. “One hundred percent of fifth-grade families were in attendance and 99 percent of fourth-grade families were in attendance.” “This is the 10th anniversar y of the Bucknall campus, so I ended each orientation with the top 10 reasons it’s great to be a four th or fifth grader at The Harker School, á la Letterman.” The students met their homeroom teachers, received their class schedules and found their new lockers. Giammona noted the students were happy to be back and excited to get their class schedules, and sent a special thanks to homeroom teachers for making the day a great one, too. “We are off to a great star t,” she added. Harker News — October 07

First Days of School!


Courtesy of the Shah family

n Rohit Shah, Gr. 2, had a successful chess season last year. In the California Classic

and Chess Rules Quads in March, Shah won a first place trophy. He won three out of five matches at the CalChess State Championship in April, and at the California Regional Championship, placed 10th even though he missed a match because of a soccer game. Toward the end of the year he earned Harker’s Success Chess second place trophy for most points earned during the semester; Kevin Wang, Gr. 4, placed first.

Kristen Chen, Ravina Patel, Chandan Aggarwal, Haley Arena, Emiko Armstrong, Rohan Arora, Ekdatha Arramreddy, Vibha Arramreddy, Mohan Awasthi, Jai Bahri, Liam Bakar, Lauren Beede, Christina Bettink, Armond Bigler, Rachel Browleit, Mimi Campbell, Daniel Cardosi, Darshan Chahal, Gabriel Chai, Ishaan Chandra, Katie Chang, Angela Chen, Emily Chen, Kevin Chen, Andrew Cheplyansky, Amanda Cheung, Henry Cuningham, Reiya Das, Nhac-Duong Do, Ashley Duraiswamy, Joseph Flewelling, Jasper Frieberg, Sruthi Gade, Nina Gee, Sahil Gosain, Rose Guan, Aditya Gupta, Simren Gupta, Grace Hajjar, Mahika Halepete, Vance Hirota, David Holaday, Grace Huang, Madison Huynh, Rashmi Iyer, Radhika Jain, Sidharth Jangbahadur, Matthew Jiang, Harker News — October 07

Jed Jones, Montek Kalsi, Naviya Kapadia, William Keagy, Devin Keller, Jatin Kohli, Sejal Krishnan, Michelle Kwan, Kyle Li, Nevin Liang, Kevin Ma, Max MacKinnon, Shomrik Mondal, Carissa Nelson, Rakesh Nori, Karthik Nukala, Jason Pan, Zoey Rosa, Kismet Singh, Ayla Tanurhan, Jin Tuan, Larissa Tyagi, Ramanand Vegesna, Srivani Vegesna, Gautham Viswanathan, Brendan Wong, Christina Wong, Jeffrey Yang, Jasmine Yee, Dorothy Zhao, Donna Boucher, Leigh Ho, Zachary Hoffman, Brandon Ma, Sophia Shetler, Jackson Williams, Pooja Yarlagadda, Sanjana Avula, Rahul Bhethanabotla, Ashna Chandra, Kalen Frieberg, Catherine Lee, Brandon Mo, Rajiv Movva, Nishant Ravi, Neeraj Sharma, Corey Tanis, Ashton Vellequette, Irene Bashar, Sean Costello, Emaad Hussain, Bill Liang, Nikhil Manglik,

Lyndsey Mitchell, Anuva Mittal, Alexander Mo, Judy Pan, Eric Pei, Antony Sagayaraj, Manan Shah, Scott Song, Karthik Sundaram, Priyanka Taneja, Sarah Tien, Edward Tischler, John Vellequette, Peter Wu, Alex Chien, Jacob Diaz, Stephanie Huang, Joseph Ignacio, Aarti Kheskani, Calvin Kocienda, Vineet Kosaraju, Daphne Liang, Shannon O’Shea, Samali Sahoo, Kaushik Sankar, Nathaniel Stearns, Edward Sun, Stanley Zhao, Jacqueline An, Annirudh Ankola, Rahul Balakrishnan, Zabin Bashar, Neel Bedekar, Deepa Dhore, Catherine Gong, Varna Jammula, Hemant Kunda, Cindy Liu, Darby Millard, Nikita Mittal, Neil Movva, Ryan Palmer, Nikita Parulkar, Brandon Riddlesprigger, Reena Sandhu, Nikhil Singh, Neha Sunil, Efe Torunoglu, Menghua Wu, Leo Yu.

Courtesy of the Aoshima family

New Students Bring Fresh Faces to Harker - Welcome!

n In August, golfer Kengo Aoshima, Gr. 3, tied for 12th place in the eighth annual U.S. Kids Golf World Championship tournament at Pinehurst Resort in North Carolina. Aoshima was among 1,200

golfers participating this year and moved up from a 36th place finish in last year’s tournament. Way to go!




Harker’s Bacteria Busters eCybermission team, Daniela Lapidous, Ramya Rangan, Neel Salukhe and Revanth Kosaraju, all now Gr. 8, flew to Washington, D.C. for the eCybermission finals in late June. The team par ticipated in team-building workshops, lunched with Army brass and met with eCybermission judges. “The five-minute presentation went ver y well,” noted Raji Swaminathan, the group’s adviser. “Then we had a shor t break and we were back inside for the 30-minute inter view with six judges. All the team members participated enthusiastically and did their ver y best,” she noted. The group visited various D.C sights and made a special trip to the Aberdeen Proving Grounds. “We visited their research labs and met with scientists and engineers who did some demos,” Swaminathan added. The group also visited the Capitol before preparing for the awards banquet and ceremony, which with dinner and dancing went on until 11 p.m. Although the team did not take top honors, each member received a $3,500 savings bond (in addition to the $3,000 bond awarded to each team member for their regional finish) and a medal for par ticipating in the finals. This year Swaminathan received two awards.

kudos ■ Pranav Sharma, Gr. 7, was the MS winner in a poster contest sponsored by the American Classical League, a professional organization for Latin teachers. The theme was, “Careers in Classics: So What Can I Do With Latin in My Life?” and the winner was selected by vote at the league’s annual Summer Institute, held in June at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tenn. Lisa Masoni, MS Latin teacher, who attended the institute, submitted the poster for Sharma. ■ Isabelle “Izzy” Connell, Gr. 7, placed fifth in the USA Track and Field Youth National Championships in Lisle, Ill., second in the Region 14 championships in Fresno and 10th in the Junior Olympic Nationals in Walnut this summer. Connell’s best time of 2:22.54 this year placed her in the National Elite Youth All-American. Connell is also the new state record holder in the 2007 Northern California Hershey State Track and Field Meet at San Jose City College with a time of 2:25.84 in the 800 meters, and she won first place in the 2007 North American Hershey National Final in Hershey, Pa. Go Izzy!


Courtesy of the Connell family

Raji Swaminathan

Bacteria Busters Compete in D.C.

Maps Spotlight Faculty Diversity

A fine illustration of the depth of Harker’s faculty hangs outside the counseling office at Blackford: two maps, one of the U.S. and the other of the world, marked with the birthplaces of faculty and staff. There are dozens of pins in the maps, each with a name tag. Visitors are fascinated by the spread of about 40 pins, which, in the U.S., are split more or less evenly between the East and West coasts. Internationally, there are pins stuck from Canada to Central America and spotted around Europe and Asia. “When the kids come in, they look to see where their teachers came from,” noted Gayle Calkins, assistant to the director of global education & counseling. “But, honestly, the teachers themselves are always looking at it!”

Spirit Shoe Grab Teaches Teamwork Students participated in a shoe grab spirit activity during their advisor y periods. The goal was for

a team to get all their shoes on first. Aside from plain old fun, the activity taught students to work together to retrieve their own shoes and help their classmates find theirs so the team could win. The event was lead by spirit advisers Keith Hirota, MS social studies teacher, and Peggy Crisler, MS math teacher, who will be arranging more fun and educational spirit activities. Harker News — October 07

Welcome, New Students!

First Days of School!

Pranav Batra, Rohith Bhethanabotla, Kelsey Chan, Allison Chang, Samir Chaudhry, Rebecca Chen, Stephanie Chen, Travis Chen, Meena Chetty, Pooja Chopra, Alicia Clark, Jennifer Dai, Callie Ding, Kevin Duraiswamy, Jacob Erlikhman, Arjun Goyal, Katie Gu, Jeffrey Hanke, Benjamin Huchley, Connie Li, Kristine Lin, Emily Lin, Kimberly Ma, Maya Madhavan, Richard Min, Sean Nachnani, Vikram Naidu, Andrew Nguyen, Camille Piazza, Stephen Pinkerton, Sravan Rajathilak, Sarai Rojas, Nicholas Semenza, Austin Shamlou, Arthur Shau, Renu Singh, Karen Sung, Elizabeth Teng, Namrata Vakkalagadda, Huckleberry Vaughan, Andrew Wang, Nathan Wong, Justin Young, Josh Bollar, Nicholas Diaz, Drew Goldstein, Ryan Hume, Na Yeon Kim, Jennifer LaBruna, John Lantzsch, Meera Madhavan, Indulaxmi Seeni, Joshua Tien, Emily Wang, Jaya Chandra, Lucy Cheng, Nathaniel Hoffman, Abhinav Khanna, Bridget Nixon, Dwight Payne.

Coffee Mugs Help Save the Planet

Parents Meet, Eat and Volunteer

Teachers, inspired by student environmental activity, have been donating coffee cups to help end the use of Styrofoam and even paper coffee cups by faculty and staff. The simple solution, an act locally effort to reduce waste material, is one more Harker step toward a cleaner earth.

Camp Okizu Thanks Fundraisers In acknowledgment of the fabulous job the middle school did last year raising more than $6,000 at the Cancer Walk (Harker News, June 2007, p.21), Camp Okizu sent a letter of thanks and appreciation. The letter is hanging in the front office window for all to see. Harker News â&#x20AC;&#x201D; October 07

Volunteers galore signed up for duty and tucked in to a nice meal at a getacquainted breakfast in early September.



Fringe Festival, continued from pg. 1

Emily Carr

attire demonstrated various dances and then pulled in the students and adults to give it a try. The students also attended the Edinburgh Military Tattoo, an annual celebration of the military history of the United Kingdom, and were taken on a daylong coach ride through the Trossachs (“Little Highlands”) to Stirling Castle.

one half-hour slot allotted to them on the Royal Mile, the main street of Edinburgh, to sell their show to the public, which they did in high spirits despite pouring rain. One of the more brilliant ideas of director Laura LangRee was to bring water bottles, in a bright yellow, to advertise the show, which the cast freely handed out to passersby during the first week. It was always a fun surprise to spot a “Urinetown” water bottle in the hand, basket or backpack of a tourist! The high schools performing at the Fringe are advertised and billed exactly the same as all other professional and amateur groups, so schools hope to attract theatergoers, and not just other high school students. Thus it was especially gratifying that “Urinetown” had an audience of almost 150 for the first performance. In all, they had among the highest attendance of the high schools, performing for 430 people. “The Conservatory’s recognition by AHSTF was incredibly valuable to our program, ranking us among the best and brightest of high school musical theater,” said Lang-Ree. “Being able to take our students on a trip like this, one that demanded the best of them as performers, salespeople and ambassadors of Harker was just magic.” AHSTF sponsored a ceilidh (a traditional Scottish dance) for the students, where dancers in traditional

When not rehearsing or performing “Urinetown,” the 31 Harker students were busy gaining valuable theater experience by attending as many professional shows as possible. They saw actor Alan Cumming in a very modern “The Bacchae,” two comedians summarizing the first six Harry Potter books in an hour, Cambridge University’s “Sweeney Todd” in the tiniest of venues, a hip hop version of “Into the Woods,” two tappers dancing to two classical guitars, and much, much more. Of course, some shopping was done, despite the prohibitive exchange rate, and much hot chocolate was drunk at the café “Chocolate Soup,” a student (and chaperone) favorite.

Students Turn Art Shed Into Canvas From Michelangelo to Magritte, Harker is sporting a bit of interpretive art on campus. In the spirit of release just prior to the end of the school year, art students decorated the art shed with a series of murals, takes on famous pieces with whimsy thrown in for good measure.

Harker Students Wow, continued from pg. 1 Harker’s delegates agreed that Bush and the others took the youth delegates seriously and responded favorably to their ideas. For example, on advice from J8 delegates, German Chancellor Angela Merkel agreed to allow one student from a non-G8-member countr y to accompany J8 delegates to the meeting with G8 leaders next year, changing the name to J8+1. “It was the most exciting part of the trip for me because … our collective voice was heard by the leaders,” Minisandram said. Participants also said that they enjoyed getting to know their peers from around the world. “It was rewarding to learn about different perspectives that youth from other countries had on the G8 topics,” Narra said. The J8 delegates also squeezed in several social events, including a BBQ at a local park and “disco nights” on the deck of the ship that ser ved as their residence hall.

Harker’s Conservatory attended the Fringe after being nominated by American Musical Theatre of San Jose and undergoing an intensive application process. Thirty-eight of the approximately 300 schools that applied were invited to attend the Fringe this year.

Joshua Pinzás, Gr. 12


“I am so grateful to the administration and the Conservatory families for their constant support. I hope to be able to take another lucky cast to the Fringe sometime in the future!” added Lang-Ree. Lang-Ree and chaperone Chris Daren kept a blog of the trip, which can be found at http://urinetownfringe. Also chaperoning and putting on the show were set designer Paul Vallerga, production manager Brian Larsen and musical director Catherine Snider.

Histor y teacher and Aquilones adviser Carol Zink said she is incredibly proud of how hard the team worked. “Scaling the hurdles of language, culture and perspective as they tried to come to agreement on potential solutions was a big challenge, and one that they met most ably,” she said. “I’d take these kids anywhere in the world. They are a ver y dedicated, intelligent, diligent group that truly wants to improve the world. I was inspired by their enthusiasm and commitment. Their parents, and all of Harker, should be ver y, ver y proud of them!”

Harker News (USPS 023-761) is published Monthly except July, Aug., and Sept., by the Harker School, Office of Communications, 500 Saratoga Ave, San Jose, CA 95129. Periodicals Postage Paid at San Jose, CA and additional mailing offices. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Harker News, 500 Saratoga Avenue, San Jose, CA 95129.


Harker News — October 07

New Students Join Community

Beloved Teacher Remembered

Akshay Aggarwal, Amal Asghar, Roshni Bhatnagar, Clara Blickenstaff, Meghna Chatterjee, Josephine Chen, Kaavya Cherukuri, Richard Chiou, Gregory Cox, Karthik Dhore, Hassaan Ebrahim, Pierre Gerard, Vrinda Goel, Saloni Gupta, Amanda King, Tyler Koteskey, Arthi Kumar, Warren Kwong, Roger Lee, Victoria Liang, Rohan Mahajan, Michelle Markiewicz, Nilesh Murali, Justin Murtiff, Jai Nagarajan, Jennifer Nguyen, Baran Ozdemir, Aditya Parige, Nikhil Parthasarathy, Michael Patland, Tanya Rai, Vladimir Sepetov, Justin Shamlou, Catherine Stiles, Kevin Tran, Michael Tsai, SusanTu, Kiran Vodrahalli, Aileen Wen, Julian Wise, Jason Young, Christopher Eckardt, Kevin Fu, Anshul Gupta, Na Jung Kim, Aakash Agarwal, Jia Jun Chia, William Guo, Anja Kreibaum, Raphael Cottier.

Much beloved English teacher Cheryl Cavanaugh passed away this summer after a prolonged and valiant struggle with cancer. She died July 11 at home, attended by her husband, David. She will long be remembered at Harker as an inspiration to her students.

With all the changes on campus, including major construction and a new upper school head, it seemed appropriate that this year’s Matriculation also broke new ground. For the first time, the ceremony was held not at Villa Montalvo, but on campus, under the trees in the quad.

Matt Wong

August 27 dawned hot and fair as the entering freshmen vowed to uphold the values and mission of their new school. Christopher Nikoloff, head of school, started off the event with a look back at the history of the quad, pointing out memorials and reminding the assembly that the quad has served as a gathering place for the Harker community for decades. Student body officers presented a humorous primer on Harker life called Freshmen 101, and Butch Keller gave his first official speech as upper school head. A performance from vocal ensemble Cantilena, and the signing of the matriculation book and swearing of the Harker oath gave appropriate gravitas to the occasion. A warm welcome to the class of 2011!

Team Misses Quiz Bowl Final by One Harker’s Quiz Bowl team finished in the top half out of 160 teams at the national championships, missing the finals by a single win. Seniors Spencer Liang, Jay Shah and Frank Wang, with juniors Alex Hu and Anand Nataraja, traveled to Chicago in late May. The team scrimmaged on Friday and played 10 official matches on Saturday against teams from all around the U.S. including Minnesota, Mar yland, Georgia, Oklahoma, Alabama, Illinois and New Hampshire. The students had a record of five wins and five losses on Saturday. Only teams that had six wins proceeded to the playoffs Sunday, so the students just missed being in the finals. Due to scheduling conflicts, this is the first year Harker has sent a team to nationals. At the finish the team ranked 63rd out of the 160 teams. Harker News — October 07

Nick Gassmann

On-Campus Matriculation a First

Christopher Nikoloff, head of school, eulogized Dr. Cavanaugh in a message to the Harker community. “Dr. Cavanaugh taught Upper School English at The Harker School from 2001 to 2007, and she was very involved in the Red Cross Club and spirit events (pajama day was a favorite). Dr. Cavanaugh inspired her students to love literature and writing, and she took a keen interest in their total well-being, often reminding them with her exhortation, “You are not your grade,” that there is more to life than school work. “The class of 2007 was so moved by Cheryl’s example that they dedicated the new water feature in the redwood area between Dobbins and Manzanita halls to her. A bench where she took classes to read Henry David Thoreau (‘because you have to read Thoreau outside,’ she reminded her students) captures this dedication and the memory of her beautiful life and example to our students,” wrote Nikoloff. Dr. Cavanaugh attended the dedication and thanked the students personally for the gift.

definitely changed my life, slowly shaping the “wayDr.I C.wrote through clear comments. She could see things that no one else could. ” Each year, seniors are asked to write about their experiences at Harker as they are about to graduate; this year, several commented on the effect Dr. Cavanaugh had on their lives. Julia Havard said, “Dr. C. definitely changed my life, slowly shaping the way I wrote through clear comments. She could see things that no one else could.” Classmate Natasha Sarin noted, “There is no way to quantify the effect she has had on me and our class.” Jocelyn Ko, in her essay to Dr. Cavanaugh, wrote, “not only have you sparked a love for literature inside of me, but also you have helped inspire my research project and fuel my dreams of a career in medicine. I will carr y your voice throughout my … journey and you will always remain in my heart.” Carolyn Wang wrote about Dr. Cavanaugh, “She’s given me so much confidence and she’s been an inspiration for me. I hope that one day I can be like her: passionate about what I do, enthusiastic and full of life.” Dr. Cavanaugh’s colleagues will remember her spirited conversation at the lunch table and at faculty meetings. “You could always count on Cheryl to cut to the heart of a discussion with an animated comment that would make us all laugh,” said teacher Catherine Snider. Dr. Cavanaugh’s obituary in the San Jose Mercury News read, in part, “She had a rare gift for illuminating the richness of her subject and inspiring appreciation and enjoyment of literature for her students. Her animated personality and teaching style was well-known. Students deeply appreciated that she led rigorous intellectual discussions and expected the highest quality results.” Dr. Cavanaugh was buried on the East Coast where both she and her husband have family. Donations supporting student financial aid may be made to “The Harker School: Dr. C. Memorial Fund,” 3800 Blackford Ave., San Jose, CA 95117.




Girls’ Volleyball Team Wins Tournament in Aloha State Set a goal, work toward it, achieve the goal — that was the program for the girls’ volleyball team’s trip to Hawaii at the end of August. “The focus of the trip was to win the Maui Classic so we spent most of our time practicing volleyball and playing games,” said Theresa Smith, volleyball coach and LS athletic director. But that is never the whole picture. “Some of the most important things gained from the trip were the special relationships that were developed over seven days of traveling together and staying in close quarters,” Smith said. “The kids came back with ‘much love’ for one another, more respect for each other and more confidence that we can make this the best volleyball team Harker has EVER had.“ One of the biggest challenges was figuring out how to let the kids have a good time, yet keep them engaged enough to win volleyball games. “But we did it,” said Smith. “We went snorkeling and canoeing, attended a luau and spent some time on the beach.” The work/play balance must have been just right, because at the end of the training week, the team fired into the Maui Classic, winning all three pool matches in two sets. In both the semis and the final match, Harker lost the initial set and had to power back, each time by winning the last two sets in a row, first to advance and then to win the tournament. Players Christy Emery, Gr. 11, and co-captain Tanya Schmidt, Gr. 12, and were named to the all-tournament team. Juniors Kristina Bither, Emery; Shirley Galbiati, Andi Thomas, Candace Silva-Martin, Nik Woods, Eileen Wu and seniors Gwynne Davis (co-captain), Schmidt; and Deanna Surma all played in the tournament. “They progressed as a group,” said Smith. “Collectively they had to battle some tough defensive teams and showed serious resolve to push through adversity to win. After spending three nights sleeping on a classroom floor, the girls bonded and this will carry them through the season.”

Sports Photo Gallery

Stay tuned for future sports updates and more great photos!

The Harker School is a K-12 independent, co-ed, college-prep school. Grades K-5: 4600 Bucknall Rd., San Jose, CA 95130; Grades 6-8: 3800 Blackford Ave., San Jose, CA 95117; Grades 9-12: 500 Saratoga Ave., San Jose, CA 95129 Harker believes that all persons are entitled to equal employment opportunity and does not discriminate against its employees or applicants because of race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions), national origin, ancestry, age (over 40), marital status, political affiliations, physical or mental disability, medical condition, sexual orientation, or any other basis protected by state or federal laws, local law or ordinance. 


The Harker News provides timely information, news and features about the Harker community to current and alumni Harker families. Editor: Pam Dickinson; Asst. Editor: William Cracraft; Copy Editors: Catherine Snider, Jennifer Maragoni, Vikki Bowes-Mok; Production: Nick Gassmann, Jaja Jones, Blue Heron Design Group; Photos: Mark Tantrum, unless noted; Contributors: Lauri Vaughan, Stephanie Woolsey; Printing: Carol Sosnowski; Mailing Coordinator: Desiree Mitchell Harker News — October 07

Profile for The Harker School

2007 October Harker News  

2007 October Harker News