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NOVEMBER 2008 (vol. 15, no. 2) est. 1893 • K-12 college prep


M o n t h l y


N e w s l e t t e r

f r o m

t h e

Ha r k e r

S c h o o l

Orchestra Preps for New York Competition in April

Harker Speaker Series Opens..2 Olympian’s Beijing Experience..3 “Freeze Frame” Ramps Up...4-5 Family Picnic!......................6-7 Library Encourages Readers.10 JSA Brings in Voters.............12 Hidden Talents: Gary Hinrich..12 Students Create DVD for Tamagawa Buddies...............19

found out about the National Orchestra Cup and decided that competing in a newly renovated space like Alice Tully Hall would be a great opportunity.”

ACE Club Builds School.........21 Dance Troupes Rarin’ To Go...23 Musicians Travel to USC.......25 US Assembly Entrances All...27 Inserts in this issue: Nov. Home & School Connection, Save the Date Flier

Save the date! Oct. 30, 31 & Nov. 1, 2008 US Conservatory Production Blackford Theater 7:30 p.m. $25 reserved; $10 adults, seniors & students E-mail to purchase tickets

The US Orchestra is going to New York! The group, led by director Chris Florio, will travel in April to compete in the National Orchestra Cup at Alice Tully Hall in Lincoln Center. The hall just completed a $100 million renovation and is considered one of the top performance halls in the country. “I have wanted to take the orchestra to New York for a couple of years,” said Florio. “Through research, I

Although the orchestra traveled to Eastern Europe in 2005 with a score of students, and to Paris in 2006 with almost twice that number, “this will be the first orchestra competition for Harker,” said Florio. “We will be taking 68 students to

One of those 68 students will be violinist Sonya Huang, Gr. 11. She started playing at Harker eight years ago. “I started off learning under Toni Woodruff, a Bucknall strings coach at Harker,” said Huang. “About a year later, I switched to an outside private teacher, and I’m currently studying under Li Lin, a teacher at the San Francisco Conservatory.” Huang has been in first the MS, then the US orchestras since Gr. 4. She made the Eastern European tour, seeing Prague, Vienna and Budapest with the US Orchestra while she was still in Gr. 7 and went on the Paris tour in Gr. 9. “I’m looking forward to attending its third-ever tour,” said Huang. “We attend the CMEA (California Continued on page 11

Dogs Get Human Volunteers from Harker Harker students have been helping out one of their favorite charities, Humane Society Silicon Valley (HSSV), and two groups received thank you notes from the organizers. A group of Harker students organized by senior Anthony Chen volunteered at Bark in the Park in late September. Participants were Alyssa Boyle, Noel Duan, Winny Huang, Nathaniel Kwok, Richard Ly, Dominic Shamblen, Brian Soetikno, all Gr. 12; Noriko Ishisoko, Gr. 11; and Jennifer Nguyen, Gr. 10. Beth Shafran-Mukai, the 2008 volunteer chair for the event, said, “Anthony and the Harker crew were great volunteers, spending many hours greeting visitors at the registration areas, assisting in the stage area, refilling dog water trays, and assuring that our park remained clean and safe for all the people and pets who came out to enjoy Bark in the Continued on page 11

Kerry Enzensperger


The group had to apply and pass a review before being green-lighted for the competition, said Florio. “There are several schools entered this year that I am familiar with, and their programs are going to be very challenging to compete against,” he noted.

perform. We have had chamber groups participate in competitions in the past but those were with only a handful of students.”

editor’s note

important dates

annual giving

Picnic was – once again – simply amazing! Homecoming, another great schoolwide tradition, was gearing up at press time with rallies at each campus, and we know the players, performers, court, cheer teams, Eaglets and avid fans will make Harker Homecoming 2008 the best ever. Watch for the recap in the December edition, and have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

n Mon.-Tues., Nov. 24-25 – Parent Teacher Conferences, no classes K-Gr. 12

Heartfelt Thanks!

–Pam Dickinson, Director Office of Communications

n Wed.-Fri., Nov. 25-27 – Thanksgiving Break, no classes K-Gr. 12 n Mon., Dec. 1 – Classes Resume

UPCOMING EVENTS Common Ground Speaker Series: n Tues., Nov. 18, 7 p.m. Raising Self-Disciplined and Confident Kids with Robert Brooks, Ph.D. Crystal Springs Uplands School, 400 Uplands Dr., Hillsborough; 650.342.4175. n Wed., Nov 19, 7 p.m. Raising Self-Disciplined and Confident Kids with Robert Brooks, Ph.D. Hillbrook School, 300 Marchmont Dr., Los Gatos; 408.356.6116.

ideas? Have a story idea? Like to take photos? Share your ideas, or volunteer your time to help keep Harker covered! Contact

n Thurs., Nov. 20, 9 a.m. (morning session) Raising Self-Disciplined and Confident Kids with Robert Brooks, Ph.D. Foley Center at St. Joseph’s School of the Sacred Heart, 50 Emilie Ave., Atherton; 650.322.9931

Fri., Nov. 7, 4 p.m. A Dragon in the Mix – Come watch this hilarious spoof of fairy tales in the Blackford Theater!

The Harker Speaker Series (HSS) is an exciting new program launched in 2007-08 to bring in leaders and visionaries from a wide variety of fields to share their expertise or unique experiences with the Harker community.



OTHER EVENTS Fashion Show Model Workshops and Tryouts n Sun., Nov. 2 – Model Workshop (times vary, visit Web site for details) n Sun., Nov. 9 – Tryouts (times vary, visit Web site for details.) Both in Blackford MPR, preregistration required. More details on page 4. n Thurs., Nov. 20, 6 p.m. Cantilena, Camerata & Guys’ Gig – Come listen to these talented ensembles in this annual treat! Saratoga campus auditorium. n Fri., Nov. 7, 4 p.m. Dragons in the Mix – Come watch this hilarious spoof of fairy tales in the Blackford Theatre!

Fri., Nov. 21 • 7-8 p.m. Saratoga Gym

For more on Maynard, see pg. 9.


Provided by Heather Jackson

RSVP to reserve a book and for preferred placement in book-signing line.

mentors Mentors for Juniors Needed The Harker Junior Mentoring Program seeks Harker parents and alumni as mentors. Professionals work with juniors interested in their fields in a day-long session, including a workplace visit. Then, in the spring, mentors join students for lunch at Harker. If you would like to volunteer, please contact Danielle Wood-Hammond, director of mentoring and alumni volunteers, at 408.345.9264 or e-mail:

quote “I thought I was going to implode from the ridiculous concentration of famous people.” –Julia Shim, Gr. 11 (see pg. 25)

Teacher Triathlete Tops Category in Kona World Championship

Book-signing following event The entire Harker community is invited to attend our first HSS event of the year, featuring Kyle Maynard, author of New York Times bestseller, “No Excuses.”

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

US history teacher Heather Jackson finished in the number one spot in the Women 18-24 category at the Ironman World Championship triathlon in Kona, Hawaii, on Oct. 11. Jackson finished the race in 10 hours, 23 minutes and 55 seconds. To complete the race, Jackson swam 2.4 miles, completed a 112mile bike ride and capped things off with a run of 26.2 miles to finish 491st overall out of 1,736 competitors. Jackson, 24, appeared in the Nov. 2008 issue of Triathlete magazine, in its “Hawaii Ironman Preview.” On Sept. 7, Jackson won the Big Kahuna Triathlon in Santa Cruz with a time of four hours, 38 minutes and 47 seconds. More information about Jackson’s win in Santa Cruz and overall career as a triathlete can be found in the Oct. ’08 edition of Harker News, in the “Hidden Talents” section.

Harker News — November 08



Interesting Times are a Challenge and the Ultimate Learning Tool There is room for hope. The Economist recently ran an article reminding us that comparisons to the Great Depression are imperfect (“1929 and all that,” Oct. 2, 2008). Unemployment rates and shrinkage of GDP during the Great Depression were entirely more harrowing than what we face now. Joint Venture’s “Index of Silicon Valley” for 2008, among other good

The purported Chinese curse, “May you live in interesting times,” has befallen all of us. The current economic crisis is commonly referred to as the most significant economic meltdown since the Great Depression. Americans feel a combination of excitement and misgiving towards an unprecedented election in which both sides of the ticket have ambitions to make history but face enormous existential questions for the future of our nation. Everyone, understandably, is a little on edge. But for ourselves and especially for the children in our care, now more than ever we are called on to pull together, remain calm and face squarely the challenges ahead.

Everyone is doing important work today to help ensure a better future.

news, notes that of the top 20 cities for patents in the U.S., 10 of them are in Silicon Valley (p. 15). BusinessWeek talks of how venture firms in Silicon Valley learned their lesson from the 2001 dotcom crash and have since invested in more “real businesses” (“Venture firms recoil from crisis, but not for long,” Oct. 10, 2008). But our responsibility is to hope for the best and prepare for – well, let’s not say the worst, but prepare sensibly for what may come. The school has recently asked all of its budget managers to review expense and capital budgets for this year with a view to prudently managing remaining resources. We have already begun putting together a budget for next year that takes into consideration the economic challenges ahead both for the school and our families. These efforts aren’t much different than what we typically do, but ex-

traordinary times call for increased initiatives to ensure that our resources are carefully utilized. As for the long view? Well, I generally turn to our Mission Statement for guidance here. “Our mission is to educate students for college and beyond.” The “beyond” part of this statement suggests that teachers and parents ought to be taking this opportunity to explain to children, in an age-appropriate manner, how we got ourselves into this mess in the first place. Our history curriculum has room for current events just for this purpose. The financial instruments behind the crisis are complex, but the basic concepts are not. What happens when we ascribe false value to the things we own? What happens when we stretch ourselves too thin? I am proud of our community’s response to the crisis so far. We have a tremendously supportive parent and student body and a talented and dedicated faculty and staff. I recently spent a little over an hour discussing teacher motivation with a great group of department chairs and managers. Most agreed that interacting with wonderful Harker students and colleagues is the greatest reward of their work. Everyone is doing important work today to help ensure a better future. And if we respond to this crisis with fortitude and wisdom now, the children today just may learn how to do better tomorrow. We certainly owe it to them and to the future to try.

–Christopher Nikoloff, Head of School

Harker Olympian Amazed by Participation, Credits Hard Work

Surprisingly, Nott said she didn’t feel much pressure despite making her first Olympic appearance. “We did a lot of mental preparation, including detailed visualizations and simulations,” she said. “So, when we were waiting to go out to perform I actually felt surprisingly calm.” She also said that her main goal was to put on the best performance of her career. “I wanted to peak and amaze people at the Olympics,” said Nott. “I think our team did that.” Nott is the daughter of Debra Nott, Harker’s director of nursing and, following a decompression period, Andrea resurfaced in October to join her mom, who went to Beijing with her, at the Harker Family Picnic. The swimmer noted one of the most remarkable experiences of the

Harker News — November 08

games was watching the opening ceremonies. “A lot of Olympians had told me beforehand that it was their favorite part of the Olympics, but I couldn’t quite grasp how amazing it would be to see them light the torch until I saw it,” she recalled. But above all, it was the opportunity to participate in the games that made the biggest impression. “I had been looking forward to the Olympics for so long that I really didn’t want to realize after closing ceremonies that I had let it all go by too fast,” said Nott. “I knew beforehand that I would be retiring from synchronized swimming after the games, so when I watched the torch light in opening ceremonies, I knew it would be a once-in-a-lifetime occasion.”

Supplied by Andrea Nott

Harker students and alumni had the unique opportunity to see one of their own compete in the summer Olympics in Beijing, as MS alumna Andrea Nott ’96 represented the U.S. in the synchronized swimming event. Nott, whose team finished fifth overall in Beijing, discovered her love for the sport at the age of nine, and has been named a U.S. Synchronized Swimming All-American for seven years -- since 1999. She was selected as an alternate for the Athens games in 2004.

For those aspiring to reach the stars, Nott says the key ingredient is determination. “Natural talent is a great gift, but it can only take you so far,” she says. “Hard work and tenacity are what will get you there in the end, and the reward will feel even greater.”




11 a.m. Luncheon Fashion Show with Showcase Drawing n 5:30 p.m. Dinner Gala with Fashion Show, Live Auction, Showcase Drawing and Dancing

sponsors fashions by


569&%08&"3)064& 8FTUHBUF.BMM

Proceeds from Freeze Frame benefit the Harker Scholarship Fund, professional training and continued education for faculty, and the Capital Improvement Fund for state-of-the-art facilities, such as Nichols Hall, the science and technology center at the US campus.

Fashion Show Model Tryouts Here’s your chance to participate in one of our biggest annual events: The Harker School Fashion Show - Freeze Frame! Anyone who has participated in a fashion show can tell you that modeling is always a fast-paced, fun adventure, and Freeze Frame, a celebration of Harker’s past, present and future, is sure to be a blast. We invite all eligible* students, teachers, staff, alumni, parents and grandparents to audition for this year’s show!

Model Tryouts – Sun., Nov. 9 at Blackford MPR K-Gr. 3: 11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m. Gr. 4-8: 1:15 p.m. – 2:45 p.m. Gr. 9-12 & Adult: 2:30 p.m. – 4 p.m.

Model Workshop – Sun, Nov. 2 at Blackford MPR These optional Model Workshops are for those who want helpful hints and a bit of extra practice before the tryouts. K-Gr. 3: 1 p.m. – 2:15 p.m. Gr. 4-8: 2 p.m. – 3:15 p.m. Gr. 9-12 & Adult: 3 p.m. – 4:15 p.m.

Lon & Mary Allan Club Auto Sport The Davis Family Santana Row Heritage Bank of Commerce HAIR DESIGN & MAKEUP


James Craig Hair Color & Design


*Visit the Harker Web site for audition details, model eligibility and to download registration forms.

Too Cool for School: Daniel Nguyen, Gr. 12 and Kyle Mui ’08

Become a Sponsor or Advertiser! There’s still time to become a sponsor and receive all the benefits that sponsorship provides. One of those benefits is having your name or your company’s name included on the invitation, which will be mailed to over 5,000 members and friends of the Harker community. Hurry – you must commit by Oct. 31 to be included on the Freeze Frame invitation! You can also purchase an ad to highlight your company or business, thank teachers and staff, congratulate your children, their sports teams, or … the possibilities are endless! Dec. 19 is the deadline to have your ad submitted for inclusion in the beautiful keepsake Freeze Frame program guide. Sponsorship and advertising forms, along with other details, can be found at the fashion show Web site – simply select Fashion Show from the ‘Support Harker’ tab on the Harker home page.

VOLUNTEERING: Sue Prutton – PROGRAM AD SALES: Trish Tobin – SPONSORSHIPS: Naren Nayak – DONATIONS: Showcases - Susan Ellenberg – Live Auction - Chris King – WEB SITE: – see Fashion Show under “Support Harker” tab INFO LINE: 408.345.0115 • E-MAIL: Harker News — November 08

n Showcases – Get Ready For Fun!

Ways to Help Our Advertising Team!

Showcases are themed collections of items that will provide you with endless excitement, and this year’s Freeze Frame showcases are sure to delight. So far on offer this year are a Shopping Showcase, a Getaway Showcase and the always popular Youth Showcase, full of cool electronics and other fun items for “kids” of all ages!

Want to help with the Harker Fashion Show but don’t know where to start? Here are four easy ways you can help the advertising team! Love the thrill of asking for other people’s money? You’re hired! We’re still looking for program advertising committee members, so contact Trish Tobin at for information on how to get started.  Do you have some leads we can contact? We appreciate any and all leads! Send us the names and contact information of businesses you use on a regular basis, or the names of companies you think we should contact, and someone from the program ads committee will give them a call.

Do you have an item to donate? Or would you like to help with procurement? We’d love to hear from you! Contact Susan Ellenberg at

Do you have advertising leads you’d like to pursue on your own? Fabulous – you’re an honorary committee member! Everything you need to sell program ads can be found at the fashion show Web site. Are you the proud parent of a Harker athlete, club member or performing arts star? Then please consider taking out a family or student group ad. You can place an individual ad or make it a team effort – either way, Harker wins! 

Model Eligibility Policy

n Going Once, Going Twice… SOLD! The Live Auction is always a fun part of the annual fashion show dinner gala. Last year’s auction included one-of-a-kind items, wonderful trips and exquisite jewelry. We’ve already secured a few of our most popular items for a return appearance:

2009 Graduation Package: VIP treatment on graduation day

Chef Steve, Take Me Away: Dinner once a week for the entire school year

For specific eligibility rules see model registration form, available online at the fashion show Web page. Changes to the rules for this year are as follows:


l All US students may try out even if they were in Global Grooves, except Downbeat, Varsity Dance, Jazz Band, Chamber Orchestra, US girls soccer, US boys basketball and US wrestling. l K-Gr. 8 students may not try out if they were in Global Grooves. Dance Fusion members are also ineligible. l All adults, including staff members, may try out even if they were in Global Grooves.

Do you have a donation for the live auction? If you do, or if you would like to help with procurement, please contact Chris King at

Join the Freeze Frame team!

Arati Navar (Sanju, Gr. 4 and Sanil, Gr. 3) was stunned when her name was announced as the winner of one of the showcase donation drawings at Global Grooves, the 2008 fashion show. Navar won a Tiffany SomersetTM fine mesh sterling silver .21 carat diamond bracelet, and a matching Tiffany Somerset .06 carat ring. The fates must have had a hand in her win. Navar worked on many committees for last year’s fashion show, including the showcase committee, and along with Naren Nayak, sponsorship and finance chair, was responsible for selecting the Tiffany & Co. items for the showcases. While all the Tiffany & Co. pieces were exquisite, the Tiffany Somerset bracelet and ring were Navar’s favorites, so it was an especially pleasant surprise for Tiffany & Co. representative Bebe Kokab, Nayak, and fashion show committee members when Navar won.

Laura van den Dries

A Dream Come True!

2008 was Tiffany & Co.’s first year to support the fashion show, and they did it in impeccable Tiffany & Co. style, donating a total of five items. We’d like to thank them for their support! Watch for information about showcases in upcoming newsletters, and be sure to buy tickets for the donation drawing – because at the fashion show, dreams really do come true! Harker News — November 08

There’s still time to become part of the Freeze Frame team – join us at our Thurs., Nov. 13 meeting at the Blackford MPR starting at 8 a.m., or visit the Freeze Frame Web site for more information. Executive Team: Betsy Lindars Sponsorship & Finance Jennifer McClenon
 Promotion & Showcase Tamra Amick Event Production

Next meeting: Thurs., Nov. 13, 2008

n n n n n

Committee Information Sponsorships Program Advertising Showcase Donation Drawing and more! 5


2008 H

“A Merry Day for All the Land!”

ear Ye, Hear Ye – the 58th annual Family & Alumni Picnic was a rousing success!

Blackford-upon-Avon was the site of the fun and frivolity, where over 3,000 picnic-goers passed by castles, dragons and dungeons on their way to the festivities.

Loyal Royal Committee Chairs Ken Azebu Debbie Buss Candy Carr Fred Carr Becky Cox Kelly Delepine Janie Fung Sandyha Jagadeesh Lana Kipnis Mary Malysz Greg Martin Roopal Mayor Melody Moyer Mark Peetz Robyn Peetz Kim Pellissier Kathy Polzin Sue Prutton Janet Rohrer Lori Saxon Alice Schwartz Shankari Sundar Carol Underwood Jane Villadsen

For those wishing to spend a sou or two, a silent auction was held in the Palace of Picnic (the theater) and raffle tickets were sold for the grand prize drawing of $10,000. The littlest in the land were in festival paradise as they toured around the Royal Tournament Grounds (the blacktop) and played Frog Prince Fling, Lancelot Links and Wizard Whiffle Toss, to name only three of over 40 options. The Medieval Marketplace, set up in the gym, catered to the teen and adult lords and ladies, with the ever-popular roulette wheels, chocolate fountain, sweet and yogurt shoppes, and Castle Keepsakes game. Perhaps you quenched your thirst in the Dragon Tail Tavern, or feasted on some mutton (or pizza) at the concessions stands. The entertainment abounded, starting with the performing arts department’s annual extravaganza in the Castle Courtyard (amphitheater). King Christopher Nikoloff and Queen Jennifer Gargano presided over the play, “Joust Another Picnic Show,” which followed the Queen’s attempt to get the King to open his kingdom to hipper and more modern music. Harmonics welcomed the audience with “Magic to Do,” and the Bucknall Choir and the US JV Dance Troupe performed a traditional madrigal and dance, respectively. Then the horrible news that a dragon had entered the kingdom was announced, and the Gr. 4 choir described the successful dragon-routing with “Sir Eglamore” and “Robin Hood.” At this latter mention, Guys’ Gig appeared in doublets and hose to perform “Brave Sir Robin” and “Men in Tights.” Finally the King saw the upside of modern music, and said, “Let there be dancing, but let us show our ankles and shake our groove things,” upon which decree High Voltage took the stage in a hip hop number and Showstoppers boogied to “Dancing Queen.” Dance Fusion performed “Ballroom Blitz,” and Downbeat closed the show with “Ever, Ever After.” Honorary knighthoods to scriptwriter Monica Colletti and the performing arts directors and technicians for the wonderful entertainment. Elsewhere in the kingdom, Bel Canto strolled with their Madrigal Mystery Tour performing Renaissance songs, and the US Jazz Band played while guests enjoyed luncheon. Enchanted Storytellers enthralled the little ones, and would-be jesters learned how to juggle. Merlin was present to do magic, and Nick Barone Puppets put on a show. Finally, Knights in Armor and Medieval Dance demonstrations kept eyes wide and mouths grinning throughout the afternoon. A deep Harker curtsey to Lynette Stapleton and Kelly Espinosa, the Ladies of the Picnic, for their incredible organization and their outstanding village of volunteers. And congratulations to the big winners of the day! (See back page for winners.)


Harker News — November 08

‘Thank You’ Just Isn’t Enough! As the Harker Family and Alumni Picnic winds down each year we love the chance to look back and reflect on the day, what it meant, and all it takes to create the magic that has become one of Harker’s most favorite traditions. Our entire community is involved in putting on this event, and we wish thank each and every parent, student, faculty and staff member who participated in the day. It couldn’t happen without YOU!

In the weeks following the event, we always receive tons of compliments about the picnic and often wonder if everyone realizes how many people it really takes to create those six hours of fantastic family fun. Sure, we oversee the event, but so many other people do so much! The picnic is created by a core group of dedicated parent volunteer committee chairs who rearrange their personal lives for months, so that everything thing that happens on picnic day can be just right. Working alongside these talented people is truly amazing. Though they each have their own individual talents, they all share a sincere dedication to the school and an enthusiastic commitment to the picnic. The shared vision of a glorious picnic day drives them to work many, many hours, ignore their “home” responsibilities, check and double-check everything, and eventually accomplish unbelievable things in their own area of picnic expertise. They are an incredible group of people who we truly love and respect! In addition to our committee heads, we also have a fantastic group of parents who volunteer countless hours to serve on a committee (paint, count raffle

tickets, make signs, cut tablecloths, blow up balloons, etc.) Again – unbelievable! Though the day itself is the cherry on top of all the hard work, for us the true spirit of the picnic lies in the work of the committee heads and volunteers who put it all together. So as we look back, we realize that the picnic is really about our wonderful community of people. People who care about each other, people who work hard, people who serve others, people who won’t give up, people who are dedicated to their children, people who just wanna have fun! Yes, the picnic is a major school fundraiser, and raising funds for the school is very important. But just as important is the building of that bond that makes us all part of this special Harker family. Working and playing together each October starts our school year with a smile and a sense of community accomplishment. We feel it – we hope you do too! We truly can’t thank you all enough for your support of Harker and our annual Family and Alumni Picnic! Until next year,

Kelly Espinosa and Lynette Stapleton, –Event Coordinators

Proud Picnic Sponsors: Knights of the Round Tables

Sir George the Generous Paramitas Foundation/ Winston Chen & Phyllis Huang ♦ John & Michelle Keller Sir Peter the Proud The Ammatuna Family/ I Y Yogurt ♦ ARBY’S ♦ Communicart Printing/Ken Azebu ♦ Homestead Lanes/Greg Malley ♦ The Pellissier Family ♦ The Polzin Family ♦ Stapleton Family ♦ The A. Thomas Family ♦ The Wardenburg Family Sir Tristan the True The Costello Family ♦ Event Décor ♦ The Sabeh Family Sir Bradford the Brave The Balaji Family ♦ Baysport, Inc. ♦ Florence & Crystal ♦ The Jamal Family ♦ The Lantzsch Family ♦ Leagong Chen ♦ The Moyer Family ♦ The Riedel Family ♦ Whole Foods Market ♦ YC Liu & Shun Lee ♦ Susan Zhang & Charlie Huang Sir Lancelot the Loyal The Harris Family ♦ The Hoffman Family ♦ Interior Plant Design ♦ The Jerney Family ♦ Sandra Johnson ♦ Guojin Liang & Orapin Kanchanachoosak ♦ Sonoma Chicken Coop ♦ Carol Underwood & Family ♦ Fermi & Aida Wang Ballonatics

Harker News — November 08

Sir Galahad the Good

♦ Cupertino Bakery ♦ The Ma Family ♦ Chester Rivera/Rivera Signs ♦ Round Table Pizza ♦ Eric Zhu




IRA Rollover to Charity Extended In early October, President Bush signed the $700 billion economic bailout bill (H.R. 1424, The Financial Rescue Package), which includes a two-year extension of the IRA Rollover provision. The provision will be made retroactive to Jan. 1, 2008, and will apply to gifts made from that date through Dec. 31, 2009. The provision exempts from taxable income any funds transferred (“rolled over”) from an Individual Retirement Account (IRA) to a charitable organization. The following limitations apply: The donor must be age 70 ½ or older; the cap on annual IRA rollovers is $100,000; and the contribution must be a direct gift to a charity (no planned gifts). The provision expired at the end of 2007, thus this extension benefits anyone who wishes to make a gift from their 401(k) to Harker or who has made such a gift since the beginning of 2008. If you have further questions on this extension or any other arrangements for contributions, please contact Joe Rosenthal, executive director of advancement, at 408.345.9266 or

Walkie Talkies Useful in Monitoring New Tricyclists One of the areas Annual Giving helped out this year was in the tricycle department. Kindergartners are wheeling around on spiffy new three-wheelers. “Other playground equipment was added as well, and staff have additional walkie talkies with ear pieces for simpler, more effective communication,” noted Kim Coulter, director of the Bucknall Enrichment and Supervision Team (BEST). “All are used daily and enjoyed by the children and staff each and every day,” Coulter added.

Volunteers Pitch In for Annual Phone-a-thon Nights



Melinda Gonzales - both photos

Pledge Week was the week of Sept. 22, and our dedicated Parent Development Council volunteers convened in Nichols Hall for the phone-a-thon. If you haven’t done so already, please make your gift or pledge to Annual Giving soon so that we can budget for the remainder of the school year.

We are so grateful to our families for supporting Harker via the Annual Giving Campaign. We realize that we are in uncertain economic times, and the fact that our families are making Harker their philanthropic priority means a lot to us. The education of our students is, if anything, more important than ever in our rapidly changing world. We are educating future leaders who will be prepared to deal with ever more complex issues, and the contributions of our families are helping to sustain an exceptional educational experience.

Thank you for your support! Harker News — November 08


series The Harker Speaker Series (HSS) is an exciting new program launched in 2006-07 to bring in leaders and visionaries from a wide variety of fields to share their expertise or unique experiences with the Harker community.

RSVP Today! Fri., Nov. 21 • 7-8 p.m. • Saratoga Gym Event is free of charge. Book-signing following event. RSVP to communications@ to reserve your book and have priority placement in book-signing line. The entire Harker community is invited to attend our first HSS event of the year, featuring this inspiring young man. Kyle Maynard, author of New York Times bestseller, “No Excuses” 2004 ESPY Award Winner (Best Athlete with a Disability) 2004 President’s Award for the Sports Humanitarian Hall of Fame

“It’s not what I can do; it’s what I WILL do!”

With basically two elbows he can type up to 50 words per minute, eat and write without any adaptations, and drive a vehicle that has little modification.

But Maynard’s accomplishments extend far beyond the wrestling mat. With basically two elbows he can type up to 50 words per minute, eat and write without any adaptations, and drive a vehicle that has little modification. Maynard began weight training as a youngster and with leather straps and chains attached to his arms he can now lift nearly 400 lbs. In November 2003, he attained the unofficial title of the World’s Strongest Teen at the GNC Show-of-Strength by doing 23 repetitions of 240 lbs. In 2005 he set the world record in the modified bench press at the Arnold Fitness Classic with the bench press of 360 lbs. And word got around. Maynard is the 2004 ESPY Award Winner (Best Athlete with a Disability), and was included in ESPN The Magazine ESPN 100 – the single list that ranks the top 100 sports personalities, moments, trends, games and stories that mattered in 2004. He is the recipient of the 2004 President’s Award for the Sports Humanitarian Hall of Fame. One year later, Maynard was inducted into the National Wrestling Hall of Fame with the Medal of Courage. In 2007, he was elected by the U.S. Jaycees as one of the Top Ten Outstanding Young Americans. Maynard has spent the last three years of his free time training in the sport of Mixed Martial Arts, which is more widely recognized as Ultimate Fighting. His current passion is Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, which is the art of pressuring an opponent to tap-out and submit by using various grappling techniques. Brazilian Jiu Jitsu was recently added as an Olympic sport for the 2012 Games in London, and it’s Maynard’s most fervent dream to compete there as a repreHarker News — November 08

sentative for the United States. Maynard has appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show, Larry King Live, ABC’s 20/20, Good Morning America, the CBS Early Show, and as a cover story in USA Today. He has been featured on HBO Real Sports and Spike TV, as well as many local and regional TV shows and in print. His story has been an inspiration to countless people around the world. This year, Maynard is working with a Los Angeles-based production company to produce and host his own television series, where his purpose will be to portray his story alongside many other inspirational individuals to provide hope and inspiration for anyone in need. Now 21-years-old and still residing outside of Atlanta, Ga., Maynard has started his first company which is currently producing and distributing a new product line of all organic, sport-specific training supplements for serious athletes or casual practitioners of any demanding sport. Additionally, he plans to open his first fitness center close to his home within a year, which he eventually intends to expand into a chain across the nation. Maynard gives most of the credit from the triumphs he has experienced in life to his

It has not been a stellar wrestling record that has led Maynard to motivate individuals he comes across, but rather the indomitable and determined spirit with which he approaches his life.

Kyle Maynard was born March 24, 1986, with a condition known as congenital amputation that left him with arms that end at the elbows and legs that end near his knees. His story began as a 12-year-old who wanted to wrestle, and a coach who gave him an opportunity to try. After losing every single match his first year and most his second, Maynard, with his iron will and a coach with a heart of gold, became a very successful varsity wrestler on one of the best teams in the Southeast. In spite of his limitations, Maynard found a way to win 36 varsity matches his senior year, while defeating several state place finishers and state champions during his final season.

faith in God, his parents, Scott and Anita, and his wrestling coach, Cliff Ramos. It has not been a stellar wrestling record that has led Maynard to motivate individuals he comes across, but rather the indomitable and determined spirit with which he approaches his life. He continues to inspire as the author of his book, “No Excuses” (2005), a New York Times best seller. Kyle Maynard is known for an indomitable and determined spirit. After meeting him, you will find it difficult to complain about life’s barriers and insignificant problems. Bernard Goldberg, HBO Real Sports correspondent, sums it up best: “Kyle has taken away the right for us to complain … Everybody is going to have a point in their life when they can’t see any brightness at the end of the tunnel … but there always is … you just have to keep on fighting.” Watch the Web site and the next newsletter for more information, or e-mail



The Lower School Library The library encourages parents to check out books to use with their K-Gr. 5 students. When your child is learning to read, you might want to select titles with controlled vocabulary that serve as practice resources. When your students can read on their own, you can choose slightly more difficult books to read aloud to them. The library is open daily from 7:30 a.m.-5 p.m. You may come at your convenience. In addition to having a plentiful and enriching collection of fiction and nonfiction titles, our LS librarian, Kathleen Clark, is available for consultation between 3:30-5 p.m. Monday through Friday. If she is teaching, our library clerk or a parent volunteer can check out the books for you. The library holds a Scholastic Book Fair in May. Our community enjoys gathering in the library and selecting books for teachers, students and far-away relatives and friends. This May, the reading lists will contain a large list of authors from which children can select their summer reading. Students will no longer be tied to specific titles, thus giving them a greater range of works. Naturally, built into every K-Gr. 4 weekly library visit is the opportunity to select books to take home. Students in Gr. 5 can visit the library a number of times during the day.

The Middle and Upper School Libraries The online catalog that displays the library holdings now enables us to invite students and teachers to rank and write reviews of books. Similar to the site, we will be able to encourage each other’s reading selections. Because our catalog is behind a password-protected portal, students will be able to sign their names to the reviews. Both our MS librarian, Bernie Morrissey, and our US librarian, Lauri Vaughan, will be introducing this capability to their respective book club members. Shortly after, it will be available for all students to use. In addition to book clubs, the MS library hosts a Scholastic Book Fair in December. The US has a program in which many administrators and teachers post a sign on their doors showing the titles they are reading. Ms. Vaughan creates a variety of interactive book-oriented bulletin boards that highlight many types of books. Lastly, summer reading will be changed for Gr. 6-12 as well. MS summer reading lists will now be tied to a large variety of authors rather than to specific titles, giving students a greater range of works from which to select. US students will be guided, through their advisors, to either select a common book to read or to select books completely of their own choosing. This is separate from the required reading assignment given through the English department. One can never overestimate the importance of reading as a building block to success in any academic subject, and one can never overestimate the importance of reading as the foundation to developing self-knowledge and a global perspective.

n Triathlete Magazine – Nov. 2008 US history teacher Heather Jackson appears in the magazine’s “Hawaii Ironman Preview.” Jackson competed in the Ironman World Championship in Kona, Hawaii, on Oct. 11. Her victory at the Big Kahuna Triathlon in Santa Cruz is chronicled in the Oct. 2008 edition of Harker News. (See pg. 2 for full story.)

Provided by Heather Jackson

The library department is stepping up its encouragement of lifelong learning through reading for pleasure and scholarship in a variety of ways. Here are some current and future avenues that your students can pursue.

in the news

n San Jose Mercury News – Oct. 7, 2008 Harker grads and college volleyball players Sylvia Schmidt ’06 and sister Tanya Schmidt ’08 are mentioned in the Mercury News’ “Movin’ On Up” section. Sylvia, a junior at UC San Diego, was named the California Collegiate Athletic Association women’s volleyball player of the week for Sept. 22-28. Meanwhile, Tanya helped the Santa Clara University Broncos upset Pepperdine on Oct. 4 with five blocks and eight kills.

n American City Business Journals – Oct. 3, 2008 Four editions of the American City Business Journals from across the country – The Silicon Valley/San Jose Business Journal, Dayton Business Journal (Ohio), Triangle Business Journal (Raleigh/Durham, N.C.) and Columbus Business First (Ohio) – all picked up on the story about Harker’s LEEDcertified Nichols Hall. The article features interviews from facilities manager Mike Bassoni and former head of school Diana Nichols.

n West San Jose Resident – Sept. 12, 2008 Seniors Arman Gupta and Harrison Schwartz are featured in an article about their key contributions to the Harker football team’s success last season, and how they (as well as the rest of the team) plan to continue that success in the current season.

n Silicon Valley/San Jose Business Journal – Sept. 5, 2008 Two photos from the gala for the opening of Nichols Hall appear in the “Valley Life” section, accompanied by a short summar y of the event. In one photo, Capital Campaign co-chair Ashok Krishnamurthi is seen starting the pendulum in the rotunda. In another, Howard and Diana Nichols appear in front of the newly opened building.

n Seventeen Magazine – Aug. 2008 Noel Duan, Gr. 12, appeared in Seventeen Magazine as one of the “17 Best-Dressed Girls in America.” Duan also interned at Seventeen during the summer, assisting stylists on photo shoots, contributing to blogs and assisting at fittings, among other tasks.

n Knowledge Quest – May/June 2008

Provided by Noel Duan

We are Creating a Community of Readers

Provided by Arman Gupta


Librar y director Enid Davis contributed an ar ticle on the annual LS Ogre Awards, detailing her journey from her beginnings in Silicon Valley as a librarian for the Santa Clara County Librar y System to her current role at Harker and the beginning of the Ogre Awards show.

–Enid Davis, Library Director 10

Harker News — November 08

Volunteers continued from page 1

Music Educators’ Association) orchestra competition ever y year, but that is a relatively small-scale competition. I’ve never participated in a large orchestra competition before, and I think that this will be a great experience for all Harker orchestra members. It’s really such an honor that Harker has been chosen to participate in the National Orchestra Cup this year.”

Park. Anthony displayed great leadership – leading by example and with great enthusiasm – and we are, again, appreciative of him as an individual and of the other wonderful Harker volunteers.”

Huang noted it won’t be all work. “We’ve scheduled many fun activities to do in New York, ranging from watching a performance by the New York Philharmonic, to touring New York landmarks, to shopping on Fifth Avenue,” she said. Then there is the event. “It’s going to be really thrilling to play in that famous venue, as many famous orchestras and musicians have played on that very stage. I’m especially looking forward to the competition because it’s a great chance to showcase our orchestra’s talent and hard work from the entire year.

It’s going to be really thrilling to play in that famous venue, as many famous orchestras and musicians have played on that very stage.

“We’ll be playing some Copland, as well as a piece I originally recommended to Mr. Florio, Smetana’s “Ma Vlast.” To me, the latter is an especially beautiful work, and I love everything about the piece, from the flowing melody in the first violin sections to the dance-like motifs later on in the piece. So performing “Ma Vlast” on stage will definitely be one of the highlights of the competition for me! Of course, it would be great to win a trophy, but regardless of whether we win any awards, I believe that we’ll all gain extremely valuable performance experience, and of course, cherished tour memories,” Huang added. It’s early days, and the group hasn’t felt the pinch of time yet. “There hasn’t been that much added pressure,” said Huang. “Sure, we’ve had our fair share of bad rehearsals, but we’ve also had many, many successful rehearsals as well. Mr. Florio hasn’t started tearing out his hair yet at our intonation, so I’d say we’re on the right track!”

Kerry Enzensperger - all photos

Orchestra continued from page 1

Chen had a number of motivations to help the

organizers. “First of all, [Harker’s director of community service] Kerry Enzensperger had introduced me to this event my sophomore year,” Chen said. “She had planned the group in the years before; however this year I decided to take initiative and put together a group. Kerry taught me the importance of community service,” and has taken him to events for years, he added. “Bark in the Park is special because it is a large-scale event in which most of the event is run by volunteers,” said Chen. “There are thousands of dogs and thousands of owners that attend this event. I believe that my group and I have put in a little bit of help to hopefully make this event a success. It is the satisfaction and heartwarming feeling I get from volunteering that drives me to help out our community wherever it is in need of volunteers.” In early October, a group of students volunteered at Walk N’ Wag, a big fundraiser for the animals cared for at the HSSV. Students pitched in keeping water stations full, monitoring the doggie pools, acting as traffic directors and helping with the clean up, just to name a few tasks. Students were bused from Harker to the event at Kelley Park and stayed hard at it all morning. Following that event, Enzensperger received a note from Kris Gunderson, manager of volunteer programs for HSSV. Gunderson said, “As always, your team was incredible! Calm under fire and ready to help any way they could. I have worked here for nine years and I can say that Harker is the only school that I can depend on no matter what! The values you are teaching these kids will promote life long responsibility! Many Many Many Thanks!”

The orchestra will have 25 minutes to per form and Florio selected Bedrich Smetena’s “The Moldau” from “Ma Vlast” and Aaron Copland’s “Saturday Night Waltz” and “Hoe Down” from “Rodeo” for their program, and “the toughest par t is definitely in the preparation of all the pieces,” said Huang. “When working on orchestral master works such as the Smetana, it’s difficult, with so many members of the orchestra, to convey the single unified idea that the conductor wants. Ever yone has a slightly different interpretation of the piece at first, but we tr y our best to match up to the conductor’s interpretation of the music. And of course, sight-reading and learning the notes is difficult when we first receive the music, but eventually, with lots of hard practice, we’ll have the pieces down.” Florio is intent on challenging his students. “I believe that Harker students work best when they have a competitive drive (so) I am anxious to see how far we can push ourselves, and how we stack up against other groups around the country.” Watch Harker News and Harker Parent Portal for updates on this adventure! Harker News — November 08




JSA Rocks the Vote in Outreach



Hidden Talents is a new, occasional feature that spotlights the lesser-known gifts of Harker’s faculty and staff. Stay tuned for more in future issues!

LS Technician Also Artist with Wood⌦

Supplied by Zach Jones

Computer technician Gary Hinrich normally spends his days keeping tabs on the Bucknall campus’ computers and printers, but in his spare time he is also a highly skilled woodworker. He sells a wide variety of art pieces (and some which can be used to serve dry foods) through his Web site, www.

Members of Harker’s Junior State of America organization spent the afternoon of Oct. 11 getting out the vote at the Valley Fair mall in anticipation for the Nov. 4 general elections. The JSA registered a total of 42 new voters in about four hours.

The main problem is that there aren’t enough students who meet the age requirement at a single time... So we decided to expand our focus by holding the drive in a fairly public community.

The idea to hold the drive in a more public place was introduced at last year’s drive, also held at Valley Fair. “The main problem is that there aren’t enough students who meet the age requirement at a single time,” said JSA member Mahum Jamal, Gr. 12. “So we decided to expand our focus by holding the drive in a fairly public community.” In addition to voter drives, the JSA also holds weekly meetings and miniconventions, where students have debates, discuss politics, feature guest speakers and hold an occasional workshop. On Nov. 4, the JSA will hold a “Pizza and Politics” event, where students can enjoy pizza while watching coverage of the general election. During commercial breaks, students discuss the ongoing events. This year, the JSA also plans to stage screenings of politically-oriented films and hold discussions afterward.

JSA attempts to bring politics to high school students in ways that students can relate to and enjoy... We try and find a more comprehensive way for students to understand [the] U.S. today.

JSA stayed busy during the summer as well, holding a fundraising car wash and sending members to attend the Democratic and Republican conventions (see HN Oct. issue). For the 2007-08 school year, the Harker JSA was named Chapter of the Year for the Northern California region. Jamal said that although politics affect everyone in some way, high school students remain uninterested in the political process. “JSA attempts to bring politics to high school students in ways that students can relate to and enjoy,” she said. “We try and find a more comprehensive way for students to understand [the] U.S. today.” Jamal said she chose to get involved with the JSA because she wanted to bring information on governmental matters “to a generation soon to make the decisions of the world. As a cliché goes, we are the future leaders of America.” 12

Hinrich writes on his Web site that he enjoys many types of woodworking, but has a soft spot for woodturning, a process in which a piece of wood is shaped with tools while being spun on a machine called a lathe. He was first introduced to woodworking in his childhood by his father. “It’s something we were able to share as I grew up. My dad was very resourceful and could build anything,” he said. After moving to his current San Jose home in 1978, Hinrich set up the shop that he uses to this day. In addition to being a creative outlet, woodworking allows him to spend plenty of time outdoors. “I love the outdoors and I get most of my wood in log form,” he said. “Finding the choice pieces of wood is like finding treasure for me.” The creative process often starts with seeing a potential design in a piece of wood before work even begins. “Some of my finds

just scream out what they want to be,” he exclaimed. “I use mostly what I find around the neighborhood or what is given to me by friends and co-workers.” He also frequently works with his wife, Carol, who helps with design work and develops ideas for the pieces. “She is very creative and is an artist herself,” Hinrich says. He and his wife typically make “a couple of dozen” pieces of art every year, using whatever type of wood they find. “Each piece is unique as we use a lot of wood most would avoid,” he writes. “We love the color and interesting designs that appear in burls, knots, crotch wood and exotics.” To keep their work safe for kids and pets, Gary and Carol use lacquer, shellac or tung oil on their pieces. Although he sells his pieces mostly through his Web site, Hinrich is looking for another art gallery in which to display and sell his work. Each year, he donates pieces to KQED’s fundraising auction, and has been featured in Fine Woodworking magazine. In all, he has sold or given away more than 400 pieces of art over the years. “I often get special requests for one-off things which are always fun to make,” Hinrich added. “The sheer variety of wood and possibilities keeps me coming back for more.” Harker News — November 08



Salads and Staff Combine in Kitchen to Provide Healthy Dishes According to “An A-Z of Food and Drink” by John Ayto, Romans and Greeks enjoyed raw vegetables, but the key was the dressing, usually oil and vinegar with salt and herbs – thus the word “salad” is derived from the Latin word for “salt.” Interestingly enough, in the late 1800s in America, tossed salads were not in vogue and were considered messy. Laura Shapiro writes in her book “Perfection Salad: Women and Cooking at the Turn of the Century”: “American salads traditionally had been a matter of fresh greens, chicken, or lobster, but during the decades at the turn of the century, when the urban and suburban middle class was beginning to define itself, salads proliferated magnificently in number and variety until they incorporated nearly every kind of food except bread and pastry. Salads that were nothing but a heap of raw ingredients in disarray plainly lacked cultivation, and the cooking experts developed a number of ingenious ways to wrap them up. The tidiest and most thorough way to package a salad was to mold it in gelatin.”* Of course we have come along way since molded gelatin (although many of us will be seeing this salad during the upcoming holiday seasons). Harker’s culinary team is always experimenting with a variety of salads. Asparagus salad uses herbs such as parsley, mint, tarragon and chervil. Chervil, also called French parsley, has a very light licorice taste and needs to be added to the end of cooking to preserve its sweet taste. The Mediterranean barley salad includes kalamata olives, roasted yellow peppers, feta cheese and lemon juice. Students will get to try two fall salads: acorn squash and lentil salad (which includes basmati rice) and a new twist on the traditional tabouleh salad – spaghetti squash will be tossed in. We have the assistant chef, Danae McLaughlin, to thank for some of these creative salads. McLaughlin is a graduate of the Professional

Lettuce get back to salads though. Many things can be tossed into a salad of greens including sliced granny smith apples, dried cranberries and mandarin oranges. Don’t have the lettuce? Go for it anyway – be creative and throw in everything else: red pepper, mushrooms, garbanzo beans and cucumber. Check out if you just have one ingredient on your mind. Lots of recipes will pop up. Thinking about that asparagus salad for dinner? Here is the recipe:

Asparagus and Herb Salad 1 pound asparagus, trimmed and blanched ½ cup green onion, thinly sliced 1 cup English cucumber, diced Combine the above with 1 tbsp each of parsley, chervil, mint and tarragon. For the dressing, whisk together: 2 tsp lemon juice 2 tbsp red wine vinegar

½ tsp Dijon mustard ¼ cup olive oil (heart healthy oil)

*Some historical data is from


■ Leon Atlasov now ser ves as the assistant maintenance director at the Bucknall campus. Having worked at the Saratoga campus since summer, Atlasov arrives at Bucknall with a wealth of experience in building maintenance.

until April 2009. An experienced counselor, Chang’s previous experience includes work with the Cupertino School District, the John F. Kennedy University Community Counseling Center and the Center for Healthy Development.

■ Rowan Dow, who worked with BEST at Blackford, now works on the Saratoga campus filling the maintenance assistant position. Dow will also be working on both the Saratoga and Bucknall campuses as a pool technician.

■ The librar y staff announced the addition of Jared Kopp to the position of afternoon clerk at the Blackford campus. A former resident of Seattle, Kopp previously held librar y positions at the Art Institute of Seattle and Washington State University.

■ Hui Hui Chang will be covering for US academic counselor Lori Kohan, who is on maternity leave Harker News — November 08

McLaughlin also supervises four culinary interns. Deven Begley and Derek Dewitt are from the Johnson & Wales University in Providence, R.I.; Anna Shepherd and Evelena Dias are from the Professional Culinary Institute. All four interns will rotate through every aspect of a full-size industrial kitchen including the sauce, grilling and carving stations. Besides recipe development, they’ll be exposed to the financial side of meal planning as well. The culinary internship was established 14 years ago when Executive Chef Steve Martin realized Harker could offer a dynamic and well-rounded experience to future chefs.

■ Long-time board of trustees member Mohammed Kaleemuddin

resigned in October, citing a busy international travel schedule. Due to his ties to Harker however, Kaleemuddin will be a charter member of the newly formed Harker Board of Advisors. ■ Zachar y James Delfino was born to Gr. 4-5 computer science teacher Mike Delfino and his wife, Altina, on Sept. 29 at 8:11 p.m. Zachar y weighed nine pounds, one ounce and measured 21 inches in length. ■ US physics teacher Lisa Radice, who is on leave this year, and her partner, Missy Davidson, welcomed another Zachar y – Zachar y

Supplied by Lisa Radice


Culinary Institute in Campbell and is also a Certified Executive Chef. In order to earn this title she had to perform just like on the Food Network show “Iron Chef.” She presented a meal to four master chefs with limited time and limited ingredients and was one of the finalists out of 12 applicants. She also owned her own family-style restaurant in Southern California and thus has many years of experience with business management and menu development.

Seth Davidson – to the world on Sept. 25 at 7 p.m. Upon arrival, Zachar y weighed in at six pounds and one ounce, and measured 19 ½ inches long.




Inside Scoop on Joe Rosenthal Executive Director of Advancement Q. How did you discover your passion for helping children? I had a very unique experience very early in life. During high school I was seriously injured and spent 22 days in the hospital. During this time, I got to know an 8-year-old boy named Gary Finney, who was terminally ill with cystic fibrosis. Gary spent most of his life in the hospital and he always wanted to get out of the hospital, even if only for a few hours. One thing led to the next, and I became his legal guardian. I ended up taking care of Gary for two years during my junior and senior years in high school and just before I graduated, Gary died one Sunday morning in my arms. I knew from that experience that I wanted to spend my life helping people in some way. I think that is why I turned down a very nice executive position in a family business to be a houseparent in the Harker dorms and went on to running the boarding program for so many years. Q. What is the most important thing you learned from your parents? Hard work and that you should always help people to succeed rather than put them to the test to fail. Q. What is your fondest childhood memory? I would have to write a book to just begin to scratch the surface of how happy my childhood was. I guess being one of nine children and everyone always looking at us wherever we went was always kind of fun for me, but so were the one or two times in my whole life when I was the only one in the house! I suppose my experience of taking care of Gary, even as difficult as that was, will always be among my fondest memories. Family vacations; skiing was extremely fun for me, back when my knees actually worked and I would spend every minute I could on the slopes during the family vacations. I enjoyed living at our summer home in Colorado and working on Donavan’s Ranch when I was a 13-year-old. When I got my driver’s license the whole world opened up to me and (there was) a great feeling of freedom. Q. What is your most memorable moment working with students? I guess it would have to be those moments when I was in the position to really help some of the boarding students who may not have had one or both of their parents alive to help them in their time of real need.

Q. What is most special to you about Harker? Howard Nichols giving several of these kind of children in need full or almost full scholarships and how much that actually helped those kids out. Q. What’s still on your list of things to do in your lifetime? I am not sure what I will be when I grow up. But in my current position, I want more than anything to help facilitate a mega-gift to the students and teachers of The Harker School. I have seen, for more than 26 years now, the good work that Harker does for so many students, and I want more than anything to be able to facilitate the one or two people out there who are in a position to make a mega-gift to the school. It seems the very best schools have those one or two people who give a gift of a lifetime and I want that to happen here at Harker in a very bad way. Q. What is your favorite spare time activity? Traveling with my wife to a Willie Nelson concert or better yet, to one of the non-concert days on the Willie Nelson tour. Q. If you could teach any course – real or made up – what would it be? The course on how to cure cystic fibrosis. Q. What is your next dream vacation spot? Bike route #8 in Denmark. One of the most beautiful places I have ever seen. My wife and I had the opportunity to land in Copenhagen without a plan or a reservation anywhere and with only one change of clothes in our one carry-on bag. We rented bikes, hopped on the train to the island of Odense and rode a little bit each day from little town to little town to little pub to little pub. We stayed in little farm homes or B&Bs that we had to find each day. We discovered so many places that we would have never discovered if we had had to stick to some prearranged reservations. I am lucky enough to have the coolest wife in the world who is willing to go along with such arrangements. It is our very favorite way to travel. Q. What book are you currently reading? “The Leadership Challenge” by Harker alumni parent and Santa Clara University business school dean Barry Posner. I might point out that I just read in this book an interesting case study about current Harker parent Dr. John Siegel. Small world, huh? Q. What is your favorite Willie song? Way too many to narrow it down, but at the moment it might be Willie Nelson’s “Living in the Promised Land,” or “Mendocino County Line,” or “The Great Divide,” or…. Q. What is your favorite TV show? NBC’s Notre Dame Football Saturday; Travel Channel; Discovery Channel; the Master’s golf tournament. Q. What is your favorite splurge? Deciding on Wednesday night, in San Jose, California, to see the Highwaymen on Thursday night, in Ames, Iowa. One of the best decisions I have ever made. Q. What is your favorite road trip music? Any of Willie Nelson’s folk songs.


Harker News — November 08



Homecoming 2008 Spreads Eagle Fever Across All Three Campuses

Homecoming activities were in full swing at press time. The LS held its pep rally in early October and the MS students held theirs the following week; both rallies featured visits from varsity football team members. The US had its always-impressive door decorating contest, this year with a Disney theme. Events culminated Oct. 17, just too late for this edition, so watch the December Harker News for the complete story! Here is a little preview of the activities that surround this always-fun schoolwide tradition.

Coach Stinson Says Harker Belongs US football coach Karriem “Coach K” Stinson has a message for everyone this year: “We belong.” After finishing 7-2 on an independent schedule for two straight years, the US varsity football team rejoined the Bay Football League this year in the North Coast region, and Stinson said the team is eager to prove that they can compete. “We haven’t been in a league in three years,” he said. “I’m trying to change the mentality this year and let them know that we belong in this league.” Harker’s last season in league play ended poorly, with the team finishing winless. After two consecutive winning seasons, Stinson felt the team was once again ready. “Teams know that we actually can play football now,” he said. “This is the kind of year to show everybody else in this league that, hey, Harker’s back, we can play and we’re ready to compete.”

Eaglets Animate All at Rally The Eaglets, Harker’s tiniest team, all Gr. 2, made a brave showing at the LS Homecoming Rally and at the big game! The 2008 Eaglets are Julia Amick, Aryana Far, Lilia Gonzales, Jennifer Hayashi, Ellie Lang-Ree, Dominique Petrie, Sasha Pikiner and Rini Vasan.

Stinson said that more discipline and a sense of self-respect were important in making the team able to succeed. “We brought respect, because sometimes the kids in the past didn’t feel like they were respected,” he said. Mutual respect has also played a role. “This group we have, they’re a pretty tight group.” Stinson is also eager to prove that Harker deserves respect from other high school football programs. “I’m proud that we’re the brainy kids who can play football,” he said.

Harker News — November 08




Lower and Middle School Sports Keep Both Campuses Lively LS Football The Gr. 5 football team showed perseverance in early losses to St. Joseph’s (a Gr. 6 team) and Pinewood. It was a close battle against Pinewood with a pivotal interception and touchdown return by Suraj Jagadeesh. In game three, the team bounced back with a huge win against Keys Middle School. Shannon Richardson intercepted two passes, while Jagadeesh intercepted a pass late in the fourth quarter to lock up the first win of the season. Nathanial Stearns led the team down the field for five touchdowns behind a strong offensive line and running attack led by Johnathon Keller. Coaches Walid Fahmy and Rob Regan are extremely happy with the outlook on the team and are looking forward to finishing up with a strong season! The Gr. 4 football season is off to a great start. Coaches Tomas Thompson and Jim McGovern are preparing the boys to compete at the next level by emphasizing teamwork and teaching members basic skills, including flag pulling, route running and blocking. The players have demonstrated their teamwork by making cheers, “clapping it up” before scrimmages and displaying their skills on the field. They have competed in intrasquad scrimmages with an enthusiasm and intensity unrivaled at the fourth grade level. The season will culminate in a scrimmage with Gr. 5.

MS Football

coaches, and LeAnn Nguyen, an excellent player always looking to improve with a smile. Henderson added that all players have progressed, and some who have never played before are doing very well.

MS Cross Country

The Varsity A flag football team had a 9-5-1 record at press time, including placing second in both the St. Joe’s and

At the first meet at Hyde Middle School, Gr. 6 girls Alyssa Amick and Katy Sanchez had the same time and came in first and second, respectively. Corey Gonzalez, Gr. 6, took second place; Claudia Tischler, Gr. 7, came in fourth. For Gr. 8 girls, Isabelle Connell took second place, Nikka van den Dries took sixth, and Ragini Bhattacharya took eighth. In the second meet, at Rolling Hills Middle School, Amick placed second while Gr. 6 boys Gonazalez and Vikram Chari took sixth and eighth, respectively. Tischler placed seventh, and Michael Amick, Gr. 8, took first. Connell, Bhattacharya and van den Dries again placed, this time coming in second, fourth and fifth. The girls Gr. 8 team also took first place. At the Morgan Park meet, Alyssa Amick improved to take first place; Gonzalez was eighth Harker tournaments. Led by strong offensive players Andy Perez, Kevin Cali, Nikhil Panu, Drew Goldstein and J.P. Doherty, they were 3-2-1 in league play. Michael Chen, David Lindars, Bobby Kahlon and Jacob Hoffman have led the defenders. Coach C.J. Cali reported, “The boys are enjoying a great season, and we thank all the students and parents who have supported us.”

Swimming At the first ever LS/MS swim meet, held at Castilleja, Harker was wellrepresented with 30 swimmers. According to coach Mel Robinson, “The girls each swam three events, and did a great job!” They hosted their first swim meet on Oct. 3 at the US Aquatic Center; results weren’t available at press time.

Gr. 4-5 Softball The girls began their season 1-1. Coach Casey Henderson has been impressed with the players, who have “shown amazing progress with both physical and mental skill, and are having fun while learning the game.” Henderson complimented several particularly motivated players, including Joelle Anderson, Ankita Sharma, who is always first on the field, Marita Del Alto, who has as good (if not better) of a throwing arm as the


and Chari came in 10th. Tischler placed fourth, and the Gr. 8 girls team again came in first, with Connell, Bhattacharya and van den Dries finishing second, third and fifth. Michael Amick took first and the Gr. 8 boys team came in third. Keep up the good job, runners! Harker News — November 08

Intensity Ramps Up as Upper School Seasons Hit Stride Girls Golf

their dual record to a perfect 5-0. Led by seniors Tara Panu (#1 singles), Lauren Moser and Sarah Christiano (#1 doubles), the team began their WBAL season with losses against former CCS and NorCal champions Sacred Heart Prep (3-4) and Menlo School (2-5). Coach Craig Pasqua was looking to Kelly Chen, Gr. 12 and Brittany Chu, Gr. 11, to provide leadership during the league season. The JV girls were 4-3 at press time, with wins against Fremont, Cupertino, Santa Catalina and Castilleja.

The entire girls golf team played extremely well in a recent victory over Notre Dame San Jose. The girls shot a 174, which is the lowest score in the entire league so far this season, and possibly a league course record. Scores were: Sonya Huang, Gr. 11, 40; Andrea Kim, Gr. 12, 43; Rachel Wang, Gr. 12, 44; Karen Wang, Gr. 9, 47; Tiffany Chang, Gr. 12, 58. At press time, the team had a 3-2 record, with additional wins against Menlo School and Mercy-Burlingame.


Boys Water Polo The boys water polo team opened their season at the Wilcox Tournament, where they demonstrated their improvement from last year by losing a couple of close games by just one or two points against teams that defeated them last year by double digits. The team also defeated Santa Clara High 19-6, with many goals scored by Michael Clifford, Gr. 11, throughout the tournament. At the Aquatic Center opening, the boys defeated Cupertino High, 12-5. Senior Evan Maynard scored three goals, with Clifford adding four, Stefan Schwartz, Gr. 11 and Rex Chen, Gr. 10, scoring two, and Chris Ng, Gr. 10, scoring one. They have also beaten Santa Clara 12-8, Cupertino 12-5, and Wilcox 12-8 this season, and lost to Lynbrook and Saratoga only by only two goals each. At press time, they were 3-2 in league play, with an overall record of 4-4. Clifford was the leading scorer in the league, and was named September athlete of the month.

Girls Water Polo Girls water polo was 2-3 in league play as we went to press. According to coach Kandace Lopez, “The JV team is fearless and scoring many goals, while varsity is working hard on implementing tactics to win their games.” She credits Angeli Agrawal, Gr. 12 and Sarah Jane Estrada, Gr. 11, with working hard to make the defense successful. Beckie Yanovsky, Gr. 12, is leading the way offensively with 30 goals scored at press time. The two wins include beating Santa Clara 20-4 and Cupertino 11-7.

The varsity football team defeated San Jose High School on Davis Field in the season opener. Last minute heroics by senior Arman Gupta’s pass to Barrett Glasauer, Gr. 12, on a fourth-and-nine situation, put the Eagles on the one-yardline. Three plays later, Gupta scored the touchdown and assisted on the two-point conversion to make the score 17-10. Glasauer also had a crucial interception with 45 seconds left to seal the victory. In other early season games, the varsity men played well in a loss to Yerba Buena, 20-14. The next week, they defeated James Lick High School 20-2. At press time, the varsity team was 2-1 and the players and coaches were looking forward to the Homecoming game at Foothill College. The JV team beat San Jose High 28-13, with sophomores Rishi Bhatia, Gautam Krishnamurthi and Greg Cox each having a great game for the squad. In other games, they beat Yerba Buena 28-7, but lost a hardfought battle against James Lick, 7-0. At press time, JV had a 2-2 record. The last home game will be Fri., Nov. 7 at 7 p.m. Come out and enjoy the community atmosphere of our home field under the lights – We Belong!

Tennis The varsity girls are off to a great start! After competing in the Santa Catalina Tournament, where the team won the Sympa Award for their display of team sportsmanship and finished third out of 16 teams, the team had run Harker News — November 08

Continued on pg. 18


Continued from pg. 17

Girls Volleyball In the first tournament of the season, girls volleyball went 4-1 and won the silver division at the St. Francis Tournament. The match against Notre Dame-Belmont was very exciting as the girls came back from 21-14 to win that game 25-23. At the Los Gatos Tournament, they went 4-1 en route to a second-place finish. They lost in the finals to Notre Dame-Belmont. Candace Silva-Martin, Gr. 12, was awarded tournament M.V.P.; Kristina Bither, Gr. 12 and Veronica Bither, Gr. 9, made First Team all-tournament. In regular season play against St. Francis, girls varsity volleyball had a five-game, nail-biting loss 25-12, 19-25, 22-25, 25-23, 15-11. Kristina Bither had 19 kills. At press time, the most recent match was a defeat of Saratoga High 25-15, 25-15, 25-22 to improve to 9-6 overall and maintain a ranking of 13th overall in CCS.

Cross Country Cross country had an excellent showing at their opener, the Chieftain Classic. Top runners of the meet, according to Coach Blossom Marimpietri, were varsity girls: Elena Madan, Gr. 12; varsity boys: Proteek Biswas, Gr. 9; JV girls: Anne West, Gr. 10; JV boys: freshmen Charles Levine and Daniel Mao. The varsity girls team placed fourth out of 15 teams. At the Lowell Invitational, girls varsity placed eighth and the boys ninth in the challenging

field. Athletes of the meet were Stefan Eckhart, Gr. 11; Serena Yuan, Gr. 12; Cindy Tay, Gr. 9 and Tyler Koteskey, Gr. 10. In the first league meet of the season, both varsity teams placed first, the first time in the girls’ history that they’ve won a league meet. Sam Levine, Gr. 12, and Aadithya Prakash, Gr. 11, placed third and fourth, respectively, and Kelsey Hilbrich, Gr. 11, placed third overall for the girls. The JV girls squad finished in first place as well, while the JV boys team placed third overall. At press time, the boys were ranked fourth among other Division IV schools and the girls were ranked third.

Cheer Squad Works Hard, Has Fun and Entertains Fans Too! This year the Harker cheerleading squad has something to prove. “The squad and I are working hard to break cheerleader stereotypes,” says coach Chris King. With the assistance of choreographer John Ammatuna, Gr. 10, the squad will be integrating dance and tumbling maneuvers into their regular repertoire of traditional cheerleading techniques. King said this would allow students to see the creativity and athleticism that goes into the squad’s routines. “The student body and parents can expect to see some gymnastic tumbling added to our routines in the near future,” she added. In addition to appearing at home and away games, the cheerleaders will also participate in rallies to ramp up school spirit. “This is a


team-building year,” said King, who has bigger plans for the squad next year. “We are hoping to be able to represent Harker in the cheerleading community by competing as a small novice high school squad as early as next year.” The squad has also created a DVD featuring 62 cheers, to ser ve as a reference for potential cheerleaders who may wish to join the squad in the future. King, who has been helping as a team mom since her daughter, sophomore Amanda King, began cheering seven seasons ago, says the Harker cheer squad is a dedicated group of students who work hard, but have a lot of fun in the process. “The students on the squad put so much effor t into the team and their studies,” she said. “The cheerleaders are amazing young adults and it is a pleasure to get to work with each and ever y one of them.” Harker News — November 08



DVD Assists Japanese Travelers In preparation for the spring trip to Tamagawa Gakuen in Tokyo, Japan, LS staff and faculty produced two brief DVD documentaries to show to Tamagawa staff and students. The first DVD features LS students introducing themselves. The second disc is called “A Day in the Life of a Harker Third Grader” and features a number of short vignettes of students going through a typical day at the Bucknall campus, as they first put their backpacks in their lockers before going to Katherine Hammond’s homeroom class. Viewers get a peek into Kathleen Ferretti’s math class, as students diligently solve math problems on small dry-erase boards. The video then moves on to science class, where Tamara Kley Contini coaches students as they do research on their laptops. In Elise Schwartz’s and Eric Leonard’s English classes, the camera captures students working on language problems before heading over to physical education with James McGovern, where students skip across the field. Next, footage of Walid Fahmy’s P.E. class shows students swimming across the campus pool.

Johnson Farm Visit Always Fun! First graders spent a day at the Johnson Farm in Boulder Creek, and the trip “was fantastic!” said Mary Holaday, Gr. 1 teacher. Visiting a working farm goes so much further than learning about it in the classroom that Harker’s first graders go every year. Before the visit this year, “we talked about farms; two language arts classes just got done with a story relating to a farm and we had a farm activity day,” said Holaday. “We also watched a video that Farmer Rob (Johnson) had done about wheels.” Students saw horses, chickens, bunnies, goats, corn and pumpkin fields, Christmas trees and Farmer Rob’s two dogs. Everyone got a kick out of going on the hayride, feeding the animals, choosing their own pumpkins and actually harvesting it there, Holaday added. The Johnson farm doesn’t end at its fences, though. “Farmer Rob may be coming in May to talk to the students about planting,” noted Holaday, “and Cindy Proctor’s class came back and did a variety of scientific observations on the huge sunflower that she brought back with her.”

Cindy Proctor - both photos

The DVD then cuts to history teacher Howard Saltzman lecturing about the geography of California, followed by footage of students enjoying their lunch break playing basketball, handball, swinging on the bars and playing with hula hoops. After lunch, the DVD shows kids practicing their Spanish language skills with Anita Gilbert, studying music theory with Louis Hoffman, and honing their artistic abilities in Susan Bass’ art class, before heading home for the day.

Energy, Fun and Eagle Pride Abound for Students and Faculty During Spirit Week

professionals (including ballerinas, doctors and athletes) on Wednesday, twins (and multiples up to octuplets) on Thursday, and sports fans/players on Friday. At the first LS spirit assembly, the campus borrowed the family picnic’s medieval theme, so students played Silver/Gold and Prince from the West (variations of Steal the Bacon and Harker News — November 08

Man From Mars), and a medieval trivia game where students had to run to the correct corner of the gym to answer. Individuals got Egyptian Sudoku games good for a rainy day activity at school or to bring home. Gr. 4-5 students from the homerooms/ advisories of teachers Katie Molin, Jocelyn Block and Tobias Wade helped run the assembly for the younger students. “It was a lot of fun and a great kickoff for the school year,” said math teacher Diane Plauck. The week culminated in a spirit assembly on Friday afternoon, complete with the youngest cheerleaders, the Gr. 2 eaglets, the Gr. 3-5 Junior Cheerleaders and the US football players making an appearance. See pre-homecoming photos on pg. 15!

Diane Plauck

The last week of September was Spirit Week, during which the LS campus was full of medieval characters on Monday, future



school Pool Party at Saratoga for Gr. 2

Kindergartners spent a special day at Oak Meadow Park in Los Gatos in late September, joined by friend – their favorite teddy bears. “The picnic was great fun,” said Colleen Lindsay, teacher. “The children brought the bears to the park to help support our social studies unit on school community and friendship.

In late September, the new pool on the Saratoga campus got a special treat – it was visited by nearly 100 second graders, parents and siblings. The group enjoyed the pool on many levels: swimming, with pool toys and underwater photos. The event included making nachos and the always-welcome chocolate fountain. Tina Pang Mayer (Pumpkin, Gr. 2), grade level coordinator, noted people’s reactions: “Best grade level event I ever attended; it’s great to use a school facility – it’s like family; kids and parents had fun. Every detail was thought of; and everyone had a great time!”

Tina Mayer - both photos

“They had a great time romping in the park, swinging on the swings. There was a parachute that the children could place their bears in and toss them high into the sky, a bear cupcake-making station and a ‘Grin and Bear It’ photo area where the children had their pictures taken with their bears. It was a very warm day, but a great time was had by all. One of my students told me when we returned to school that it was his ‘Funnest day ever!’” Seems to be a Harker theme this year!

Jyoti Baid

Teddy Bear Picnic Thrills Tykes

Friendship Day Tradition is Shared

kid talk Gr. 3 students recently talked about the meaning of the word “excellence,” and how to demonstrate this quality. Derek Yen said, ”We show excellence by having good citizenship and by helping other people. Excellence just means being excellent.” Bala Vegesna

In late September, Gr. 1 homerooms combined for a Friendship Gathering, now an annual beginning-of-the-year tradition. Students from Mary Holaday’s and Rita Stone’s classes joined to hear a story about friendship and make flower-power pencils for students at the Tamagawa School in Japan. Parents were ready to assist little fingers with wrapping the flower stems in floral tape, but students quickly got the hang of it. The afternoon event was capped off with delicious snacks provided by our special parents. Student Christina Bettink summed up the feelings of the students and teachers: “It was really fun because we got together and made more friends.”

Adrian Chu agreed, adding that it also means “doing good in class, paying attention and being a good human being.” Kalen Freiberg described excellence as “basically doing your best, and you don’t have to do really, really good, but you’re doing your best at something, and you’re not superbad.” Bobby Schick told us, pragmatically, “You have to be excellent in class or else you’ll probably get an F on the test, on your papers.” Taylor Kohlmann said that you can be excellent in many places. “I think that we have to be excellent more like in the classroom than on the playground, but we do have to be excellent on the playground in one way, following the rules and including everybody. In the classroom it’s important to be excellent and try your hardest.” Tanay Kamat said, “A person who is excellent is somebody who is always the best.”

Trish Tobin

Nirban Bhatia had advice on how to demonstrate this quality. “Excellence means being a good person and being nice to people. You should be a good citizen by picking up things on the street and following the rules.”

Kindergartners celebrated the opening of harvest time by learning about an American legend, Johnny Appleseed. Activities included hat making and bobbing for apples!


Megan Cardosi explained, “It’s important to be excellent in the classroom and sometimes on the playground so when you play fair and be safe, other people won’t get hurt. In the classroom you should be excellent so you can get good grades and your parents will be happy with you.” Miranda Larsen gave this advice: “When someone tells you to be excellent, try your best.” Sarah Savage summed up her feelings by saying, “I think that everyone at Harker is excellent because they’re all nice and kind and fair.” Harker News — November 08



ACE Club Connects with Ethiopian Food, Samples Tasty Treats

SoCal Teachers Observe Classes Two teachers from the Bishop’s School in La Jolla, Calif., spent a day at the MS campus to learn more about how Harker conducts classes, uses technology and runs student programs, among other things.

The Academic Cultural Exchange (ACE) Club is a MS club whose members strive to understand cultures around the world. Club members work closely with advisors Jennifer Abraham, director of global education, and teachers Pat White and Mark Gelineau, as well as Harker’s sister schools around the world. This year, ACE is working with Andinet International School

Bishop’s School teachers Catherine Michaud and Cory Logan visited Blackford to gain information they hope to use in the development of their school’s

Jennifer Abraham - both photos

upcoming sixth grade program. Bishop’s currently serves students in grades seven through 12. During the day, Michaud and Logan met with a number of key faculty and staff and visited class sessions to observe how they were conducted, including Ben Morgensen’s science class and Patricia White’s class discussion on patents and copyrights. Logan and Michaud were impressed with the wide variety of scholastic opportunities available to the students, particularly the individualized tracking. “That’s very different from many schools,” Michaud said. (AIS) in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Abraham is particularly excited about this relationship as she worked at AIS in 2004. “I thoroughly enjoyed my time in Ethiopia,” Abraham said. “The country has such a rich culture and history and I am thrilled that our students will have this opportunity to interact with students from there!”

They also liked the way the school appreciated its faculty, as well as the number of global education opportunities that were open to both faculty and students. Both also felt that the faculty and student body were both highly diverse.

To kick off this exciting new project, the ACE members were treated to a feast of Ethiopian food and a slide show of AIS. Abraham instructed the students in how to eat the delicious foods, making use of injera, a spongy bread made from teff, which resembles millet. The bread is used to scoop up the spicy, flavorful dishes. While club members ate, photos were taken that will be sent to AIS along with a copy of the ACE club cookbook, a collection of American kid-friendly recipes that ACE members created last year. White remarked, “It was a wonderful opportunity for the ACE club to be introduced to the Ethiopian culture. We look forward to moving forward with this relationship.”

Guides Help at Back to School Night

“There are a lot of wonderful reasons to want to come and check out Harker,” Logan said.

Thanks to all the student guides who helped make the MS Back to School night on Sept. 17 a success. MS English teacher Steven Hewitt said, “The kids did a tremendous job, and they certainly deserve a big thanks for their efforts.”

This is just the first step. From here the ACE club and AIS students will begin work on Project Apotheosis, a project designed by Gelineau to examine and discuss the role and nature of the hero in cultures around the world. This is a big year for the ACE club!

Gr. 7: Oishi Banerjee, Pooja Chopra, Saachi Jain

This year’s MS class officers have been selected. Congratulations to Gr. 8 class president, Canaan Linder, Gr. 7 class president Kelsey Chan and Gr. 6 class president Corey Gonzales. House Junior Leaders have also been chosen. They are, Praestancia’s Caroline Howells, Gr. 6, Beneficium’s Sriram Somasundaram, Gr. 6, Constantia’s Amy Johnson, Gr. 8, and Scientia’s Nikhil Panu, Gr. 8, and Kevin Mohanram, Gr. 7. Harker News — November 08

Chris Daren - both photos

Class Officers Don Mantle

Gr. 8: Ragini Bhattacharya, Lori Berenberg, Nisha Bhikha, Keri Clifford, Sondra Costa, Akarsha Gulukota, Jennifer LaBruna, Nikhil Panu, Samantha Schlernitzauer, Amy Wardenburg, Molly Wolfe



school Publication Wins Gold from CSPA

Initial Parent Resource Night Covers Internet Safety, Tools About 140 parents were in attendance at the first Parent Resource and Dialogue (R&D) meeting on Sept. 26 in the MS campus’ multipurpose room. Parent R&D is a new program for MS parents that provides them access to useful information and holds discussions on important parental topics. The first meeting dealt with managing technology in the home and keeping the Internet safe for kids. Speakers at the meeting were Gary Mallare, MS academic counselor; Cindy Ellis, MS division head; and Lisa Diffenderfer, K-Gr. 8 computer science department chair.

Technological tools need guidelines “around location, focus and time ” .

—Cindy Ellis, MS Division Head

“The meeting went very well,” Ellis said. “Parents had an opportunity to ask questions and share information after the presentations.” Among the key pieces of advice given out at the meeting was how to set guidelines around the use of technology at home. “Technological tools need guidelines around location, focus and time,” Ellis said. These tools, she added, should be treated like any other object in the home, with well-defined boundaries set and enforced. “Set up boundaries, convey those boundaries clearly and be consistent with the enforcement of those boundaries,” Ellis said.

The MS magazine enlight’ning reached new heights in the Columbia Scholastic Press Association Awards for its 2007-08 publication. The magazine was awarded a gold medal certificate and 975 out of 1,000 possible points. Advisor Stacie Newman, K-Gr. 8 English department chair, said, “The critique details the areas of strength in our magazine last year, including several aspects of art, graphic design, writing and format. We did not do perfectly, but were deemed outstanding overall.” Congratulations!

Medieval House Couture Critiqued In yet another rambunctious House activity, the four groups were pitted against each other in a medieval costume contest in early October, just prior to the medieval-themed family picnic. House leaders and junior house leaders were dressed in finery created from broom closets and bedroom closets, and various other activities took place while the caparisoned captains were dressed and judged. These activities ranged from simply turning in a piece of paper with one’s name (each turn-in garnered points for that person’s House, rewarding the well-organized!) to the whole group quickly arranging themselves and freezing in place to create an action scene.

Parents were also encouraged not to trust software to do the job of keeping a child safe while using the Internet. “Dialogue and development of solid ‘consumer’ skepticism in your child is the best tool,” Ellis said. “Children will frequently find themselves presented with the need to decide if a site is appropriate or not. It is important that they have the skill set to help them make a solid decision.” Danielle Holquin - both photos

Ellis said parents wished to see more R&D meetings in the future, and felt that the discussion of parenting techniques was especially important. Topics being discussed for future R&D meetings include social issues such as teasing and bullying, and the transitions being dealt with by developing MS children.

Students Get a Glimpse of US MS students got to see what Harker high school life is like during the US’s Preview Night on Oct. 2. Student guides were on hand to assist families at the private Open House event. Representatives from the Junior State of America, Global Empowerment and Outreach, the Conservatory, the Biology Club and the Debate Club also appeared to give MS students a peek at the kinds of activities available to US students. Student guides at the preview night were: Gr. 9: Nicole Dalal, Arihant Jain, Keerthana Moudgal, Ishika Peravali and Lauren Pin Gr. 10: Douglas Hutchings and Diane Villadsen

kudos Siobhan Cox, Gr. 8, was named to the District II Olympic Development Program (ODP) in September. The ODP, run by U.S. Youth Soccer, is a nationwide search for the most promising young soccer players. Cox’s District II team has so far defeated District III and United (a team formed by a combination of districts). She competed in two more games in October; evaluation results were not available at press time.

Gr. 11: Guadalupe Briseno and Kelsey Hilbrich


Harker News — November 08

High Voltage Amps It Up at Picnic, Has Shows Planned All Year The MS’s all-male dance troupe High Voltage lit up the stage at the Harker Family Picnic on Oct. 12, stomping out a variety of hip hop and jazz-based maneuvers. This year’s group consists of Ashwin Chalaka, Gaurav Kumar, Sean Knudsen, Kevin Moss, Stephan Pellissier, Jithin Vellian, Sean Youn and Andrew Zhu, all Gr. 7, and Kevin Susai, Gr. 8.

strength, technique and per formance skills for students.” Auditions for High Voltage took place the first week of school. Those interested in joining the group learned a combination of dance techniques, then per formed them for a panel of judges.

MS dance instructor and High Voltage director Karl Kuehn said the group “focuses on building

Callbacks were held the following week, and the final group

was chosen thereafter. “Members are selected based on the technique executed, stage presence, and energy [and] commitment to

the movement shown in their auditions,” Kuehn said. Prospective members must also have good citizenship and academic standing, and be able to work as a team. High Voltage’s other per formances this year will include the holiday

school assembly, a holiday tour, the women’s faculty vs. student basketball game and an appearance at a San Jose Giants baseball game. “Members of High Voltage dedicate a lot of time and energy to the group, and I know it is ver y rewarding for them to per form in front of their peers, faculty and family,” Kuehn said. “I greatly enjoy directing a group that provides an oppor tunity for boys to creatively express themselves through dance and per forming ar ts. It takes a lot for a group of young men to get in front of their peers and dance, and their amazing ability to do so makes me ver y proud.”

Picnic Debut for ShowStoppers Augers Well for Future Shows Students in the Showstoppers dance group got to strut their stuff at the Harker Family Picnic on Oct. 12. An all-female dance group made up of Gr. 7-8 students, the

Showstoppers specialize in jazz, hip hop and lyrical dance styles. Showstoppers features seventh graders Mercedes Chien, Jennifer Dai, Angela Ma, Katherine Paseman and Michelle Pagnon; and eighth graders Keri Clifford, Isabelle Connell, Ria Desai, Tiphaine Delepine, Michelle Douglas, Patricia Huang, Michaela Kastelman, Harker News — November 08

Hannah Prutton and Renee Tam. In their training for the group, the students worked on developing such techniques as leaps, kicks and pirouettes. “They also work on precision dancing, formation changes and roll-offs, which make their routines dynamic,” said MS dance instructor Amalia Vasconi, who directs the group. In addition to the picnic, the group will also per form at the MS holiday show and during halftime at the yearly faculty vs. students basketball game. A spring tour is also being planned.

Members must also take two dance classes during the year, and par ticipate in the Dance Jamz show, which takes place in March and features all Gr. 6-8 dancers. Vasconi said students enjoy per forming as a group, and that the students develop close bonds during rehearsals. As a teacher, Vasconi said she relishes the oppor tunity to pass her adoration for dance onto others: “I love being able to share with the students at Harker … my passion and love for dance. I hope they all enjoy it as well!

Students who audition for the group are required to maintain good citizenship and academic standing. “They must act as role models as they represent Harker dance at events outside of our community as well,” Vasconi said.




Seniors Join Congressman Mike Honda’s Student Advisory Council This year seniors Anthony Chen and Neha Sabharwal will be representing Harker in Congressman Mike Honda’s Student Advisor y Council (SAC). The SAC was star ted by Honda in 2001 to encourage high school students to become more civi-

job is to tr y and pick a project that will best benefit our community and carr y out the task at hand,” Chen said. Issues that the SAC is examining as a possible featured topic include college af fordability, right to privacy, teen pregnancy and

during a retreat to Vasona Park in Los Gatos. Sabhar wal noted that the council may often meet at Harker, “where we can head projects that will contribute to the same goal. That way, the general Harker voice will also be heard at our regular meetings.”

“Working with students who have the same mindset and same

desire to help change the community is one of the most enjoyable parts about being involved. cally active. Made up of students from schools located through the 15th congressional district, the SAC meets each year to select an issue on which to focus, and then formulate a solution. “The next goal, of course, is then to begin the process of planning our annual conference, which revolves around the topic/issue we’ve selected,” Sabhar wal said. Open to all high school students, the spring conference is run mainly to encourage civic involvement and to create awareness of the issue at hand. “Above all our

—Anthony Chen, Gr. 12

teen health. “Because these issues are so vast, the SAC approach, as far as a solution is concerned, is geared towards the educational aspect of problemsolving,” Sabhar wal said. “Our annual conference is likely to feature educational workshops, thought-talks, open forums, etc.” The council also intends to plan additional events to address the issues. Most of the work the SAC does in the fall is in preparation for the conference. The majority of the preparation took place on Oct. 12

At Harker News press time, the SAC had not yet worked directly with Congressman Honda, as he was in Washington, D.C., working on the presidential election. The council expected to be meeting with him some time in the next few weeks. Sabhar wal decided to get involved with the SAC after seeing the work other students did with the group. “The fact that young people, Harker students, have the capacity and the ability to ef fect positive change in the Bay Area is such an empowering

idea,” she said. “Students vocalize their opinions at council meetings, learn about the political process, take with them the ideas they learn, and transform them into concrete solutions, which they work towards at their schools through, for example, ‘going green’ projects.” Chen said the SAC gives him the oppor tunity to make his voice heard, and that he enjoys working with his peers to help improve the lives of others. “I enjoy working with other high school students to help make our society a better place to be,” he said, later adding, “Working with students who have the same mindset and same desire to help change the community is one of the most enjoyable par ts about being involved.” Sabhar wal said she is intrigued by the wide range of ideas being presented by the council members. “We respect each other, and we respect our ideas,” she remarked. “And it is with that respect that we are able to accomplish. Be it through increasing awareness or encouraging civic par ticipation, we find concrete solutions to vast problems.”

Conservatory Students Pose for Annual Professional Headshots One of the most important pieces of a performer’s portfolio is the portrait, which is supplied at or before an audition. Technical staff members need the photos, called headshots, too, and Harker has stepped up to supply the needed artwork. Performing arts chair Laura LangRee said headshots are an important part of a student’s career in the arts because they offer “a reflection of the students, how seriously they take the arts and how ready they are for their auditions.” Lang-Ree said students also have


to project versatility. “It’s important for actors not to look like a certain type, but to simply look like a friendly face that could be cast in any role,” she said. Students can use their Harker headshots after high school to assist their entry into arts schools and in college auditions. Headshots are often accompanied by a resume, which students also develop at Harker. Each year, Mark Tantrum, office of communications photographer, devotes several days to taking headshot photos of the

seniors in the US performing arts Conservatory. During the shoots, he has students make a number of different facial expressions and poses. To assist the students, Tantrum used a variety of methods to get the right amount of confidence in their expressions. “I say I want them to look confident and yet to have a warm smile because it’s going to be shown at the Senior Showcase. “I just say, imagine seeing your headshot up on the wall at your showcase night, and all the guests

family and friends coming to see you,” he said. Another trick of Tantrum’s trade is to have students think of someone they like, “just to have a hint of recognition in their expression, but not a full-on smile.” The headshots will be displayed at the Senior Showcase, the seniors’ official Conservatory graduation, which takes place in April. LangRee and the other performing arts teachers also like to display the headshots in their classrooms to show students the legacy of the Conservatory. Harker News — November 08

Both photos supplied by Chris Florio

Three students made a visit to University of Southern California’s Thornton School of Music with Chris Florio, orchestra teacher, in late September. Allen Huang, Gr. 12, Julia Shim, Gr. 11 and Warren Kwong, Gr. 10, attended “Sempre Strings,” an open house of sorts at the Thornton strings department, where select students and others from programs around the country can meet faculty and enjoy the facilities. “This is to develop relationships with teachers and programs that can foster consistently high-level musicians and students,” said Florio. “As you can imagine, Harker is now high on their list of top feeder schools, both at USC and within the Thornton admissions office.” The first evening, a Sunday night, USC faculty and students hosted a chamber music jam session. Shim took advantage of a unique opportunity to join in a chamber music jam with world-famous violinist and chair of the USC strings department, Midori Goto, known simply as Midori. Distinguished (or familiar!) musicians completed the group, including Audrey Kwong ’07, a current USC violin major, violist USC professor Peter Marsh and cellist USC professor Alexander Suleiman. “During the session, legendary violin professor Alice Schoenfeld entered the room and began coaching them on their style,” said Florio. “It was a truly amazing experience.” For Shim, the experience resulted in a revelation. “It was overwhelming just being in a room with all of these musicians who I’d never imagined I would meet,” she said. “Actually playing with them was completely surreal. I thought L to R: Shim, Suleiman, Marsh, Kwong, Midori I was going to implode from the ridiculous concentration of famous people. The entire experience led me to realize that I’ve really come far as a musician.“ Shim even got a lesson from cello professor Peter Stumpf, principal cellist of the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra. “The lesson was supposed to take 30 minutes, but Professor Stumpf continued to work with her for a total of 75 minutes,” noted Florio, “again, a testament to our students ability and potential. No other student visiting this program received as long a lesson!” Monday, Florio met with Midori and discussed the music program at Harker, “and I got some great advice about building string programs,” he said. “She is one of the biggest names in violin in the world, so you can imagine it was quite an overwhelming experience.” Harker News — November 08

WAC Helps Fund School in Cambodia Over the summer, the World Awareness Committee (WAC), which recently became Global Empowerment and Outreach (GEO), donated a grand total of $7,400 to the Aid to Children Without Parents (ACWP) charity. The money will be put toward a new school for disadvantaged children in Cambodia. Neha Sabharwal, Gr. 12, who served as WAC co-vice president last year, said the organization chose to donate to ACWP “not only because it was like the ‘underdog’ group but also because its mission and aims are so fundamentally concrete. This program is all about making lasting, tangible solutions.” “We were really moved by the ACWP cause,” said Niti Shah, Gr. 11, who was WAC co-vice president last year, and currently serves as vice president of GEO. The organization sprang into action after watching an NBC news special on child sex trafficking. “Many of us didn’t know that it was going on and scarring the lives of girls by the thousands.” The ACWP purchased the future school’s property, formerly the location of a brothel. When finished, it will provide a basic education to children residing in nearby villages. “[The ACWP was] extremely grateful for the donation,” said Shah. To raise the money, WAC held a number of events, such as visits by ACWP representatives, a benefit concert, a dance and a student auction. Throughout the year, WAC also sold buttons, T-shirts and CDs containing music made by Harker students. WAC managed to raise about $6,000 on their own, and the amount was bumped to $7,400 after a number of anonymous donations. GEO will hold its first fundraising and education week Nov. 10-14. The theme for the week will be the hunger and extreme poverty, which is first on the list of the United Nations’ Millennium Development Goals. GEO will also begin fundraising for Free the Children, an organization based on youth empowerment and providing alternative sources of income for individuals worldwide.

Breaking WAC News At press time, WAC received this thank you note from the ACWP: Dear Friends, Thanks to your generous help and suppor t, the ACWP’s school in Svay Pak is nearing completion and it is better than expected. It will be three stories instead of one. In the next few months, the ACWP’s team will be working on an operational plan to make good use of the building to give the kids in Svay Pak a chance at a better life. I want you to know that without your collective suppor t, this building would not have existed. Now it will be home to many dreams and possibilities. —Brandon Nguyen, ACWP


Both photos supplied by Carol Zink

Trio of Musicians Hit High Note on USC Visit, Meet Luminaries



Juniors Bond in the Great Outdoors

Groups Test New Studio Acoustics

Juniors got a chance to see the great outdoors and learn a little more about their teachers and advisors during their trip in late September. The trips were a useful way to “have teachers and students on a level playing field, so that they’re all learning a new experience,” said Kevin Williamson, dean of students.

Students got an early look at Nichols Hall’s multimedia room in September. When finished, the room will be used to film video presentations and record live audio. The room currently features a large green screen that can be used to display images behind subjects being filmed. It also contains two high-definition cameras for filming at multiple angles.

Three groups of juniors went on three separate trips on that eventful Monday. One group went sailing in Santa Cruz, while the other two went kayaking at Moss Landing and Monterey Bay. These activities helped build teamwork and mutual trust among students and teachers, as well as giving students a chance to see different types of wildlife, including Risso’s dolphins, seals and otters. Denise Hayashi

Fred Triefenbach, US assistant director of instructional technology, said a wooden floor would eventually be added so that dance students can use the room to film routines. A high-end computer containing the video editing software Final Cut Pro and the industry-standard recording suite ProTools is also on its way. Drapes will be added to absorb sound and cut down on reverberation, and equipment such as high-quality microphones, boom stands and an audio board have already arrived. The room will also be fitted with a new lighting array to reduce heat production. Triefenbach is currently researching different lighting solutions to determine what will best suit the room’s needs.

“A lot of our students don’t get out and do these types of things,” Williamson said. “My objective is to get our kids outside.”

Trusha Shah

Denise Hayashi

A window has been installed between the multimedia room and the adjacent classroom, which will serve as a control room when recording equipment arrives and is properly configured. After providing a brief summary of his plans for the room, Triefenbach had US music teacher Susan Nace direct her ensembles Cantilena and Camerata in renditions of “The Star-Spangled Banner” and Pierre Passereau’s “Il est bel et bon” to test out the acoustics.

Freshmen Class Officers Elected

Faculty, Students in Annual Battle

Congratulations to the following student leaders: Revanth Kosaraju, president; Daanish Jamal, vice-president; Alexander Najibi, secretary; David Fang, treasurer.

Students squared off against faculty in the annual dodge ball spirit competition in early October. A score or so faculty members suited up in old Harker baseball jerseys to vie for the title of dodge ball champions during a Wednesday long lunch. Juniors actually had a plan when it was their turn against faculty, feinting towards the balls at the start, then hanging back, letting faculty expend their ammunition, before charging in to deliver a thumping. The battleground, otherwise known as the gym, was ringed with spectators as each group tried to take advantage of the opportunity to hurl objects at opponents traditionally protected by societal mores.

PSAT Scholars Named The National Merit Scholarship Corporation’s National Achievement Program, initiated in 1964 to recognize academically promising African-American students, has announced its semifinalists from among those students who took the PSAT in 2007. Congratulations to Anteneh Daniel, Gr. 12, for being one of the nation’s approximately 1,600 students who may continue on to the finalist level and be eligible for corporate or college scholarships.


William Cracraft

The College Board also has a scholarship program called the National Hispanic Recognition Program, which was established in 1983 to identify outstanding high school students in the Hispanic/Latino community. Harker seniors Alex Achkinazi and Ana Henderson are among 5,000 students named scholars or honorable mentions from a pool of over 200,000 Hispanic/Latino students who took the 2007 PSAT. Both students were named scholars, meaning they carr y a GPA of 3.5 or higher.

Harker News — November 08

Music and Laughs Pull Students and Faculty Together at First Assembly Butch Keller, US division head, welcomed the student body to the first Friday assembly of the 200809 school year on the morning of Sept. 26. He introduced performing arts chair Laura Lang-Ree, who congratulated the performing arts Conservatory students on a “wonderful kick-off” to the year, and had all the participants in the audience stand up and wave to the morning crowd; approximately 40 percent of the US is involved in the Conservatory. Lang-Ree then handed the reins to Susan Nace, who introduced the

women’s vocal ensemble Cantilena. Their multilayered performance of a Renaissance piece was one of many that will be sung in French, this year’s language of choice for the group. Next, Danielle Buis, Gr. 11, kicked off a lengthy presentation recap-

ping the student leadership summer trip to Australia. Each student took turns narrating a different segment of the presentation, which evoked many “ooohs,” “aahhs” and “awws” from the morning audience. Performing after the presentation was Guys’ Gig, the all-male a cappella singing club. Led by soloist Kartik Venkatraman, Gr. 12, the boys sang a crowd-pleasing rendition of “Save the Night” by Eagle Eye Cherr y. The next presentation was put on by the Harker journalism and yearbook staff, who visited Europe over the summer. Their recap of the trip included tales of the lessons they learned while inter viewing locals in foreign languages, and discovering a magazine sold on the streets by homeless people. US music teacher Catherine Snider then announced Downbeat, which she directs with Lang-Ree. The theatrical ensemble per formed “Song of Purple Summer” from the Broadway musical “Spring Awakening.” With Snider at the

piano, Downbeat spiced up the tune with Lang-Ree’s evocative choreography. Next US English teacher Ben Spencer-Cooke and US art teacher Jaap Bongers came dancing through the aisles wearing tribal masks. Spencer-Cooke announced their video, which recapped their summer trip to the African countr y of Zambia. The presentation including intriguing footage of Zambian tribal rituals, and many a laugh was had at the video clips of Spencer-Cooke dancing with the tribal locals.

by sophomore Frankie Nagle, the band dazzled the crowd with their rendition of the Aretha Franklin classic “Respect.”

Following the presentation, the assembly was brought to a rousing conclusion with a per formance by the Harker Jazz Band, led by US and MS instrumental teacher Chris Florio. With lead vocals provided

Harker News (USPS 023-761) is published Monthly except July, Aug., and Sept., by the 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 — November 08



wide Picnic Winners!

Below are the winners of the Grand Drawing. More than 41,000 tickets were sold this year! Congratulations to all who sold and bought – and to the lucky winners below!

◆ Grand Prize: $10,000 Winner: Linh Bank Sold by: Pumpkin Mayer, Gr. 2

◆ Second Prize: Trip to Las Vegas Winner: Carol Yiu Sold By: Jonathan Yiu, Gr. 5

◆ Third Prize: Nintendo Wii Winner: Marie Beede Sold by: Lauren Beede, Gr. 1

◆ Fourth Prize: iPod Touch Winner: Kavi Gollamudi Sold by: Maya Gollamudi, Gr. 2

◆ Fifth Prize: Raleigh Mountain Bike Winner: Ba Tran Sold: Andre Tran, Gr. 8 TOP TICKET SELLERS

◆ Bucknall: First place: Emma Leigh Stoll – 1,800 Second place: Alexis Gauba – 1,300 Third place: Pumpkin Mayer – 1,010

◆ Blackford: First Place: Glenn Reddy – 740 Second Place: Nicholas Navarro – 675

◆ US drawing winner: Vivian Huang, Gr. 11

◆ Faculty/staff top seller: Chrissy Chang – 250


2008 Family Picnic Ye Olde

The Harker School is a K-12 independent, co ed, college-prep school. K-Grade 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 Editor: Catherine Snider; Writer: Zach Jones; Production: Blue Heron Design Group, Triple J Design; Photos: Mark Tantrum, unless noted; Contributors: Stephanie Woolsey, Padma Bhetanabhotla; Printing: Carol Sosnowski; Mailing Coordinator: Desiree Mitchell. Harker News — November 08

Profile for The Harker School

2008 November Harker News  

2008 November Harker News