Page 1

OCTOBER 2008 (VOL. 15, NO. 1)



inside Matriculation address speaks to fullness of life..................3 Picnic!...............................4-5 Hidden Talents: Harker’s Triathlete Teacher.................9 Archives Hold the Key to Harker’s Past.....................11 Training Facility Keeps Athletes in Action............................ 17 Gallon Gals and Guys Bring out the Fun........................19 Student Leaders Visit Down Under........................22 Inserts in this issue: Sept. Home and School Connection, Oct. Home and School Connection, Common Ground Insert, Capital Campaign Supplement


Saveth the date! Sun., Oct. 12, 2008


est. 1893 • K-12 college prep





JSA Representatives Attend National Conventions DNC: Obama ‘Awesome’

RNC: Party Unity Prevails

This past summer, Raghav Aggarwal, Gr. 12, traveled to Denver to experience the Democratic National Convention, which he called “a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.” The trip was made possible by the Junior State of America (JSA), of which Aggarwal is a member.

Junior Chris Eckardt attended the Republican National Convention in St. Paul, Minn., in September, as a representative of Harker’s Junior State of America (JSA) club. “At first I was reluctant to go as I would be missing a full week of school,” said Eckardt, “but I eventually decided that the experience of going to such a once-in-a-lifetime event would be worth any sacrifices I had to make. I wanted to see history being made.”

Although he looks back fondly on the trip, things were a little bit rocky at the beginning. “My first full day in Denver, I was a bit disappointed. I was told before signing up for the program that we, the attendees of this symposium, would be able to be at the Pepsi Center and Invesco Field everyday, where the convention was being held,” Aggarwal recalled. “Although it was true that we would be able to attend the Convention, it wasn’t true that they would provide us credentials to enter the Pepsi Center.” Instead the JSA program allowed students to interact and network with state delegates and receive credentials from them. “We woke up at 5 a.m. every day in order to go to the delegate breakfast for our individual states and try to meet some important people while looking for credentials,” Aggarwal said. It was no easy task, and Aggarwal could not obtain the credentials to enter the arena. Luckily, things picked up by day two. “My hard work during the year and the summer, working with Congressman Mike Honda and California State Assembly Speaker Pro Tempore Sally Lieber, proved beneficial,” said Aggarwal. “Their staff helped me obtain not simply normal credentials, but extremely well-placed seats for three out of the four nights of the convention.”

Eckardt travelled with a group of about 50 students from 27 states and territories. “They were all members of JSA and most were Republicans or rightleaning, at least; we also had several very avid Libertarians and we actually had one Obama supporter!” he noted. The group stayed in a suburb of Minneapolis, and was bused to the convention daily. Once there, access to the floor was limited. “Unfortunately, we did not get to go onto the floor as a group,” said Eckardt. “However, individual students were able to get on to the floor. One student was taken backstage and got to shake John McCain’s hand, before the Secret Service pushed the student away.” Politics 101: “The most important thing I learned on this trip would be the importance of having friends,” said Eckardt. “One of my friends at the convention was a good friend of her state delegate who got us seats near the floor most nights. It was really cool. We had conversations with some of the delegates and got interviewed by some of the media.” There was plenty to do and see besides the actual Both stories continued on page 12

The Freshest of the Fresh Faces Start Off the Year!

The 58th Annual Family & Alumni Picnic Blackford Campus 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. See news and more details inside!

Kindergartners always bring a wide-eyed curiosity to the new school year. These youngsters may appear time and again in Harker News, but these photos will be treasured forever! See the LS section for more that has happened since school began.

editor’s note

important dates

annual giving

New friends (welcome new families!), new classes, new programs and the new Nichols Hall all added to the startof-year buzz. And parents attending “Back to School Night” (or in the case of the US, “Back to School Day”) got a taste of what’s ahead for the students (and how great Harker cookies are!). Here’s to a fantastic year!

Visit our Web calendars for complete date information for the coming year!

Heartfelt Thanks!

quote “...the league is more competitive which is great for our league and for the school.” –Dan Molin, US Athletic Director (see pg. 15)

n Sun., Oct. 12, 58th Annual Family and Alumni Picnic, 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. Blackford campus (See pgs. 4 & 5 for all the details!) n Thurs., Oct. 16, 7 p.m. Common Ground Speaker Series at Harker Learning to be Happy: The Science of Happiness with Tal Ben Shahar, Ph.D. Harker Upper School campus – Gym, 500 Saratoga Ave., San Jose; 408.249.2510 (See below)



The annual giving logo appearing at the end of some of our stories indicates those activities or Participation reached 75% programs Help us reach funded by Anar e n 100% a t i o t Par t icip nual Giving. P

–Pam Dickinson, Director Office of Communications

n Mon., Oct 27 – Fall Break, no classes K-Gr. 12

n Fri., Oct. 17, 9 a.m. (morning session) Common Ground Speaker Series Learning to be Happy: The Science of Happiness with Tal Ben Shahar, Ph.D. The Nueva School, 6565 Skyline Blvd., Hillsborough; 650.348.2272


n Fri., Oct. 17, 7 p.m. Harker Homecoming Foothill Football Stadium (See below and pg. 27 for more details)

O of C Earns Award

n Thurs. Oct. 30 – Nov. 1, 7:30 p.m. U.S. Fall Play “Metamorphoses,” by Mary Zimmerman n Multiple dates, two-day events Heart to Heart: A Seminar on Growing Up for Parents and Kids, is a twoday event at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital in Palo Alto. Classes are offered by gender. “For Girls Only” is for girls, 10-12 years of age, and their moms or other adult female resource person. “For Boys Only” is for boys, 10-12 years of age, and their dads or other adult male resource. There will be seminars for both groups in October, November and December. To register, go to the Seminars and Workshops page in the Harker Parent Portal and click

Learning to be Happy: The Science of Happiness with Tal Ben Shahar, Ph.D.

The Harker Office of Communications received an Award of Distinction for its Web site from the International Academy of the Visual Arts, in the Education category. Congratulations to all in earning this great recognition for Harker!


Thurs, Oct. 16, 7 p.m. Harker Upper School campus – Gym 500 Saratoga Ave., San Jose; 408.249.2510 Popular Series Continues The Common Ground Speaker Series* is presented by a coalition of Bay Area schools to enhance parent education in our communities. All events are free of charge to the parents, faculty and staff of the member schools. Guests from the public or from nonmember schools are welcome to attend for $20 at the door. Light refreshments are offered 30 minutes prior to the events, and books are available for purchase in conjunction with Kepler’s bookstore in Menlo Park. For more detailed information about the Common Ground Speaker Series, including detailed descriptions of our events and directions, please visit their Web site at http://www.


Tal Ben Shahar helps answer the question, can we learn to be happy? There are specific skills we can teach our families that encourage their sense of lifelong joy and fulfillment, he says. Ben Shahar, whose celebrated course on the science of happiness is the most popular class at Harvard University, is a leading researcher in positive psychology. He uses scientific research, practical advice and spiritual insight to enhance optimism, meaning and self esteem in complicated lives. Smart, funny and engaging, he provides parents and educators with invaluable tools for a new school year. Ben Shahar is an author, consultant and lecturer who works with multinational corporations, governments and educators on happiness, goal-setting, mindfulness and leadership. He holds a Ph.D. in organizational behavior from Harvard and is the author of numerous articles and books, including “Happier: Learn the Secrets to Daily Joy and Lasting Fulfillment.” Don’t miss this wonderful speaker!

Ben Shahar has six tips for happiness: Give yourself permission to be human; happiness lies at the intersection between pleasure and meaning; keep in mind that happiness is mostly dependent on our state of mind; simplify!; remember the mind-body connection; express gratitude whenever possible.

Homecoming is coming up fast, and all three schools are hosting rallies for the Oct. 17 event. At the lower school, varsity players will drop by to bring majesty to the event and will be entertained in turn, along with the rest of the school, by the Junior Cheerleaders and Eaglets. The middle school rally takes place a week later, with music and cheers to entertain. Varsity players will again attend and other activities are in the works. The final rally, at the upper school on the Big Day, will see the unveiling of the oversized Harker eagles decorated by each class. The theme is Disney movies, a fertile field for exploration by students, so be sure to attend the big game and join in the fun! See pg. 27 for more photos from last year!

Harker News — October 08



Head of School Finds Truths in Children’s Poems for Matriculation Address know this to be true, then why are we always reminding ourselves of its truth, particularly in speeches like this one, and why is the advice so difficult to follow?

Good morning. I’d like to welcome the Board of Trustees, administration, faculty and staff, and the classes of 2012, 2011, 2010 and 2009 to the Matriculation ceremony. We began the tradition of holding Matriculation ceremony in this quad last year, a move we thought fitting given that students spend the vast majority of their time on this very campus, with the possible exception of sleep. (I say possible, because depending upon the time of day, we may be able to add sleep to the time count.) Why not commit to the principles we live by in the same space where we carry out those principles? You will be relieved to hear that I am continuing the tradition of confining my word count to the equivalent of two pages of singlespaced, size 12 font, and this year I have even stuck to the preset margins, which are quite generous, by the way. I could say I do this to accommodate an age of shrinking attention spans, including my own. However, the truth is that I maintain the tradition because I have very little to say on any topic that requires more than two pages. In fact, I could have shortened the above sentence even more by lopping off the second half, leaving me with, “I have very little to say on any topic at all,” which may bring us even closer to the truth. My topic today, nonetheless, is the importance of having a positive attitude. Now there is nothing that will ruin my attitude more quickly than a talk about having a good attitude. The humorist Ronnie Shakes said, “I was going to buy a copy of ‘The Power of Positive Thinking,’ and then I thought, what good would that do?” That we ought to have a good attitude probably meets the standard of a self-evident proposition – we cannot argue for its negation, “one ought not to have a good attitude,” unless one is a bill collector or airline security. If we Harker News — October 08

I have no idea, really. These questions take us into issues of human nature that are far too profound for me to handle. No, I will stick to the age-old tradition of advising us all, including myself, to have a good attitude. But I will do so a little differently, I hope, by comparing two children’s poems, ones that I discovered while reading to my two-year-old son. Actually, “reading to my two-year-old son” conjures too idyllic a scene; “reading at my two-year-old son while he attempts to squirm away” is really more accurate. Nonetheless, the poems contrast two strikingly different attitudes, and their juxtaposition makes the point, I believe, that a good attitude is a window into the fullness of life. I’ll read the first poem, titled “Threats,” by Marci Ridlon (see sidebar.) Now my literary analysis is quite rusty, so bear with me. But the striking feature in this poem, in my opinion, is all of the nonsensical bluster such as “rickety-rack,” and “stickity-lean.” I believe the poem is suggesting that this is what we really sound like when we have a bad attitude and we start huffing and puffing in anger. And how many of us remember removing ourselves from our friends when we are angry? Yes, we will show them; we will deny them the pure pleasure of our company, complete with bad attitude and all. In fact, at the point in the poem when the speaker imagines just how much she will be missed, her nonsensical swagger becomes even more prideful: hear all of the prima donna haughtiness in “hippity-hay” and “whippity-woo.” But we as readers are privy to some irony aren’t we? We know the little girl sounds ridiculous, though it is easy to imagine that she takes herself quite seriously. Her smug “bippity-bat” is serious to her, downright vainglorious to us. Although her great threat is to deny all those around her of her company, in the end she hurts only herself, and is left alone with her best hat.

The speaker in the second poem is also alone with his hat, although the context is much more joyous. Let’s hear “Happiness” by A. A. Milne, of “Winnie the Pooh” fame. You should know ahead of time, however, that “Mackintosh” in this poem means raincoat, not computer. Here we go (see sidebar.) The poem’s title is “Happiness,” and why is John happy? We presume that John has all he needs for a good time. He is completely waterproof in the rain, free to jump and splash anywhere. It’s a simple poem with a simple attitude: “And that (said John) is that.” I believe its short cadence, snappy rhymes (hat and that), and mouthy consonances (big boots, that is that) combine to celebrate a completeness that is infused with simplicity. What else does John need? He is enjoying the moment. But this isn’t entirely possible without a good attitude, one that may come more easily to children who can see, for example, the pure fun in being caught in the rain with good equipment. “Great Big Waterproof” is repeated three times as if to say that John is waterproofed against a bad attitude – nothing can spoil his day. Marcel Proust said, “The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.” John has new eyes in this poem, a skill that goes hand in hand with having a good attitude. I offer these words to myself as much as you; I have to say that I can behave like our little girl in poem one just as often as I can have John’s attitude. But there is so much around us to be seen if we only have eyes like John’s. Or we can take our humorist Ronnie Shakes’ attitude, which is equally simple and succinct: “I like life. It’s something to do.” In conclusion, I wish you the best voyage possible in the upcoming academic year, not because of where you will travel, though I know you will travel far, but because of how you will see your journey and those around you, which I hope will be with new eyes. Thank you.

–Christopher Nikoloff, Head of School

“Threats” by Marci Ridlon I’ll go away and never come back. Rickity-rack I’ll never come back. I’ll put my clothes in a paper sack. Rickity-rack In a paper sack. Away I’ll go and never be seen. Stickity-lean And never be seen. And they’ll be sorry they were so mean. Stickity-lean That they were so mean. “Oh, what a charming child,” they’ll say. Hippity-hay “Charming!” They’ll say. “But why did she go so far away?” Hippity-hay “So far away!” “If she’d come back, we’ll tell you true,” Whippity-woo “We’ll tell you true, “We’d do just what she wants us to do.” Whippity-woo “She wants us to.” But it will be too late for that. Bippity-bat Too late for that. For I’ll be gone in my best hat. Bippity-bat In my best hat. Rickity-wickity Likity-splikity Rickity-rickety Rack.

“Happiness” by A. A. Milne John had Great Big Waterproof Boots on; John had a Great Big Waterproof Hat; John had a Great Big Waterproof Mackintosh – And that (Said John) Is That.



2008 L

“By Royal Decree !”

et it be known throughout the land that on Sunday, the 12th day of October, in the year 2008, the Kingdom of Harker shall abound with frivolity and merriment as all loyal subjects gather to celebrate Harker’s 58th Annual Family & Alumni Picnic... a day of legend and lore not to be missed! His Majesty, the Mighty King, hereby requests the honor of thy presence at this truly grand and magical medieval festival designed to delight young and old! There shall be glorious games, feasting, fanfare, merriment and more. The King has deemed the ever joyful Lord Plays-a-Lot to enlist jugglers and jesters, puppeteers and minstrels to brighten the spirits of all! Merrily plan to attend with thy family, and perchance slay a dragon or two along the way. His Majesty shall be in residence at His beloved Blackford-upon-Avon campus, on this 12th day of October, to greet all who deem to gain His favour!


Picnic Games and Activities

◆ Joust for Fun ◆ Pauper Pop ◆ Drawbridge Dunk Tank ◆ Climb-a-lot Tower ◆ Braids for Maids ◆ Jester Ball ◆ Robin Hood Roller Tac ◆ Sorcerer’s Slide ◆ Royal Stables ◆ Guinevere’s Garden ◆ Frog Prince Fling ◆ Crown Crash ◆ Sherwood Forest Fling ◆ Once, Twice, Thrice ◆ Coins of the Realm ◆ Kingdom Express ◆ Keys to the Castle ◆ Magical Face Painting ◆ Olde Ogre Pond ◆ Village Vineyards ◆ Ye Olde Child’s Wheel

Major Areas: ◆ Palace of Picnic ◆ His Majesty’s Silent Auction ◆ Royal Tournament Grounds ◆ Dragon’s Tail Tavern ◆ Castle Courtyard ◆ Medieval Marketplace ◆ Enchanted Forest Stage Some of the Entertainment: ◆ Medieval Dancing ◆ Armored Fencing Demo ◆ Strolling Minstrels ◆ Celtic Harp Performance ◆ Jugglers Galore ◆ Harker Student Show ◆ Merlin the Magician ◆ Puss ’n Boots Puppet Show ◆ Wonderful Washer Women



Picnic Committee 2008

Grand Drawing Let it be known that the youngest in the land shall be selling tickets to win the most regal of prizes at our Grand $10,000 Drawing! Mark the hour of 4 p.m. on Ye Olde Picnic Sunday. For whether it be an enchanting trip to Excalibur in Las Vegas for a lucky lord and lady, a Nintendo Wii for the “wee” ones, an 8GB iPod Touch for the gadget-minded, or the noblest of mountain bikes for all, our bounty of prizes will be sure to thrill young and old alike. Students may earn free-dress passes, snack bar coupons, movie tickets, VIP passes to Great America and the most popular of prizes merely by selling tickets. Special lower school and middle school field trips are royal treats for our 100+ sellers, along with a tournament of trophies for our top sellers.

Harker News — October 08

Silent Auction Let it be known that all fine lords and ladies in search of jewels and treasures will surely find them at His Majesty’s Silent Auction at the Palace of Picnic! There shall be rich rewards and precious packages for one and all – of all ages. Try thy bid at the famed tours of the Hearst Castle and Eagle Castle Winery in the land of Central California – Vie to receive the “Royal Treatment” at Vecua Spa of Santana Row – Spend an amazing day at the SAP Tennis Tournament with Mr. and Mrs. Schick of the Kingdom of Harker – Feast on cooking classes at “U Gourmet” and much, much more! Yearning for the ultimate tournament? Thou shalt not miss the super sign-up for springtime golf and dinner at the verily fine Silver Creek Country Club of San Jose! And forget not the children when Teacher Packages abound! Indeed, they love to pass the time with their favorite instructors and friends “joust” for fun, such as a “knight” at the “round table” with Sir Laughs-a-lot Walsh and his band of merry students in search of fun and games! And remember the rich rewards of the Lower School PJ Party and Middle School Mystery Night – glorious sign-ups all!

Sleepover Sign-Ups Head straight for His Majesty’s Silent Auction at Ye Olde Family Picnic on Oct. 12 so you don’t miss the sign-ups for the Lower School PJ Party and Middle School Mystery Night! The first 150 LS and 50 MS students who sign up will be treated to a fun-filled, friend-filled night to remember. These overnights have become one of the best-loved Harker traditions and we have wonderful surprises planned, as always! Parents love the sleepovers knowing their children are in safe and capable hands and are having a ball, so they can relax and enjoy a kid-free night.

Bucknall PJ Party Fri., March 13, 2009

Sponsors Raise thy shield to honor and glory! Loyal Harker parents and alumni, as well as local business owners and friends, are the finest in all the land. Therefore, His Royal Highness shall dub thee Knights of the Harker Round Tables! Thy generous support year after year helps make each family picnic the best in history. Rich rewards await, including complimentary admission, preferred parking, booth banners and more for lords and ladies all! Enjoy a reserved table (round, of course) in the Royal Castle Courtyard on picnic day, fit for resting and feasting and savoring a bird’s-eye view of joyful entertainment after a long day’s joust. Simply send in thy check with the card, in the envelope provided with the printed Picnic Booklet, or go to the online picnic pages to join the merry band today. Brave deeds do not go unnoticed! Join the ranks of thy favorite “good knight” as rich rewards await! Sir Galahad the Good ($250-$499) – Sponsor I.D. Tag, entry into Special Drawing, listing on sponsor board, in the Harker News, and in Harker’s Online Directory Sir Lancelot the Loyal ($500-$999) – Booth sign, six Complimentary Admission Passes, plus above benefits Sir Bradford the Brave ($1,000-$1,499) – VIP Preferred Parking, royal check-in service for thy prize winnings on picnic day, plus above benefits Sir Tristan the True ($1,500 - $2,499) – Reserved table for eight in Special Sponsor Area, plus above benefits Sir Peter the Proud ($2,500 - $4,999) – Preferred Family Seating for the 11 a.m. Student Show, 100 tickets for the $10,000 Grand Drawing, including any applicable Student Incentives, plus above benefits Sir George the Generous ($5,000 & above) – Sponsor Recognition Banner, Loudspeaker Recognition Announcements throughout the picnic day, plus above benefits Questions about picnic sponsorship? Please contact Lynette Stapleton at 345.0112 or

Blackford Mystery Night Fri., April 17, 2009 For more information and details, visit us online at

Harker News — October 08




We Count on Volunteers! This year more than 90 parents and staff are volunteering for the Parent Development Council to help Harker raise money for student programs. We deeply appreciate their support, and look forward to having another great Annual Giving campaign. Families are asked to make pledges and donations before the Family & Alumni Picnic on Oct. 12 to be entered into a drawing to win a weekend in Napa at the Silverado Resort.

Breakfasts Reunite Volunteers and Welcome New Helpers Breakfasts were held in late August on all three campuses for parents to meet and consider volunteering opportunities. “The breakfasts are a great way for parents to hook up with old friends and make new ones,” said Sue Prutton, director of upper school volunteer programs. “They’re also a wonderful opportunity for them to find out from experts about the wide range of volunteer activities that are available to them in the coming year,” she said. “The LS volunteer sign-up breakfast at the end of August brought hundreds of parents to the gym to socialize, eat waffles and to find out about all the volunteer opportunities we have to offer,” said Denise Hayashi, director of K-Gr. 8 volunteer programs. “The MS volunteer sign-up breakfast was also a huge success,” Hayashi noted. “Held right after orientation in the MPR, parents had a chance to sign up for their favorite volunteer jobs and had a nice, relaxing breakfast to catch up on all the summer activities. We are looking forward to another successful year for the volunteer programs.” Prutton, new to her position this year, said, “We had a stellar turnout at the US volunteer breakfast and many parents stayed late into the morning to chat and catch-up after the long summer break,” said Prutton. “Parent volunteer Kathy Polzin loved the change in location and the relaxed atmosphere, as did many others, so it looks like we’ll be using the Quad again next year.”

2008-09 Parent Development Council Helen Amick, Tamra Amick, Alanna Andrus, Yamini Arramreddy, Juhi Aswani, Aarti Awasthi, Shyamoli Banerjee, Aloke Bhandia, Manoj Bhatnagar, Susanne Bohl, Denise Brodersen, Alice Chi, Ravi Chitkara, Sabina Chitkara, Karen Coates, Rebecca Cox, Christine Davis, Viji Dilip, Ram Duraiswamy, Grace Edvalson, Doug Emery, Linda Emery, Chris Florio, Ray Fowler, Vanaja Gadiraju, Maria Gong, Melinda Gonzales, Regina Gupta, Simi Gupta, Jeanette Hajjar, David Heslop, Marcia Hirtenstein, Dan Hughes, David Hutchings, Debbie Hutchings, Padmaja Indukuri, Deepa Iyengar, Manisha Jain, Helena Jerney, Vidya Kamat, Robert Kendall, Miyeko Kohlmann, Yulia Korobko, Angie Krackeler, Sandhya Kulkarni, Lalitha Kumar, Vidya Lakshmi Chari, Arne Lang-Ree, Elaine Lee, Betsy Lindars, Maria Lu, Manjit Mangat, Dana Marcus, Sangeeta Mehrotra, Caryn Melrose, Brian Moss, Raj Mungi, Suchitra Narayen, Narendra Nayak, Haidung Nguyen, Kiran Padwekar, Hemangi Parikh, Kalpana Parulkar, Kim Pellissier, Elizabeth Powers, Rodney Rapson, Brian Richardson, Marcia Riedel, Tanya Ringold, Ruchi Sadhu, Abhay Salukhe, Meera Sankar, Janet Savage, Bob Schick, Robert Schwartz, Jill Selvaggio, Steve Selvaggio, Ingrid Semenza, Abha Shukla, Sue Smith, Huali Chai Stanek, Nikki Tanis, Kavita Tankha, Trish Tobin, Elizabeth Twaddell, Carol Underwood, Allison Vaughan, Chitra Vivek, Heather Wardenburg, Carol Whitman, Regina Wong, Mehrnaz Zahiri, Jin Zhou, Carol Zink


Annual Giving Bolsters Orchestra Every year, Harker receives generous contributions from parents, alumni and other people from various parts of the school’s far-reaching community. This year, thanks in part to these donations, the performing arts department was able to remodel the upper school orchestra classroom, which now provides ample space for the orchestra’s players. In addition, a new wooden floor has significantly improved the acoustics of the room.

Other amenities made possible by the donations include new music stands for the orchestra, sheet music and chairs designed specifically for the posture of orchestra musicians. Donations will also pay for instrument repairs and additional equipment such as percussion accessories and a new keyboard amplifier. Many thanks are in order to all the donors who made these and countless other schoolwide improvements possible. Harker News — October 08



The Harker Office of Communications (O of C) looks forward to another busy year! Here’s a quick rundown of what’s new, what’s ahead and how to reach us: n E-MAILS The long-overdue upgrading of our student information system (SIS), and the launch of our newly updated Web site and portals, has all been to improve the services we’re able to offer our families. As we work out some of the kinks, you may receive a single e-mail per household, or in some cases some duplicate e-mails, in the school’s efforts to ensure that all of you receive them, so we appreciate your understanding. Some e-mail content is also being posted under ANNOUNCEMENTS in the portal so you can also check there periodically. n HARKER PARENT PORTAL (HPP): We hope you’re enjoying the features of the new Harker Parent Portal (HPP), and we’ll continue to develop and improve this helpful new section of our Web site over the coming months. On the schoolwide HPP we post information pertinent to all parents, while specific information, photos and news will be posted on each of the division portals. We’ve started posting fresh slide shows each Friday of the week’s activities, so come back often and enjoy! Please e-mail us if you’re experiencing login difficulties, to report an error, or if you have specific suggestions for the HPP. n CALENDARS: The Web calendars are a vital part of the up-to-date information available to our families in the portal, and your input has informed the decisions and improvements we’ve made thus far. We continue to appreciate your feedback, and there will be some new updates to the calendars in the coming months, so we’ll keep you posted. n PHOTO GALLERIES: The O of C photographs our students and faculty throughout the year for Web, newsletter, publicity and marketing purposes. Several years ago we began posting these photos in a password-protected gallery for parents to enjoy and order if they wish, at a nominal fee that covers some of the expense. Due to time constraints, we’re unable to spend a great deal of time organizing our photos to ease your searches; however, based on parHarker News — October 08

ent input, we’ve included more key words which make the key word search function garner better results for you. We’ll continue to improve the galleries as time permits. Also, now that our parents can authenticate into the portal, you will no longer need a password to log in to the Harker photo galleries once you’re in the HPP. The link to the galleries is on the schoolwide HPP page under the Parent Resources | Photos | News Archives section. n MAIN WEB SITE: We’ve made some changes to our public Web site now that we have our portal community established. We’ll continue to add more features geared primarily to the interests of prospective families, the media and the general public such as news, videos, student profiles and more, so encourage friends and co-workers to browse the site and learn more about Harker! n HARKER NEWS & ONLINE NEWS: As we develop our new site some of our annual supplements will be online only, and we’ll also be posting more news stories online and developing the RSS feed features on the site. As always, this edition (and all past editions) of The Harker News and supplements are online on the schoolwide HPP page in the Parent Resources | Photos | News Archives section. n FEEDBACK: communications@ Many thanks for your suggestions and feedback over the years as we’ve continued to improve our Web site, newsletters and other publications and communication avenues to keep you informed. Our in-boxes are always open, and continued feedback is always appreciated: We’ll be sending out a parent sur vey mid-year to get some formal feedback once you’ve used the new features for a while, so you can also watch for that. Have a great year, and we’ll keep you all posted throughout it! –Pam Dickinson, Director Office of Communications



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.

Save the Date! Fri., Nov. 21 • 7-8 p.m. • Saratoga Gym Book-signing following event 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 2005 Inducted into the National Wrestling Hall of Fame with the Medal of Courage

“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 8

representative for the United States. Kyle 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. In early 2008, Maynard will be 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 Harker News — October 08




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

Jackson Makes History in Santa Cruz Heather Jackson is known to most in the upper school as a history teacher, but since 2005 she has also competed as a triathlete at a variety of levels. Jackson won top honors, finishing first out of the 279 women who finished the 2008 Big Kahuna Triathlon in Santa Cruz, with a time of 4:38:47. To complete the race, she swam 1.2 miles around the Santa Cruz wharf, biked 56 miles up Highway 1 to Pigeon Point and back, and ran 13.1 miles to the finish.

Sports are nothing new to Jackson, who played ice hockey growing up “at a pretty serious level.” After deciding to compete in a triathlon alongside her parents, she decided she couldn’t get enough. Jackson is currently gearing up for the Ironman World Championship in Kona, Hawaii, in October. She believes her recent win in Santa Cruz will be an important warm-up for the event. “Big Kahuna is the perfect tune-up race for Kona because it has very similar conditions, an ocean swim and a very windy bike along the coast,” she said. “It can also get pretty hot, so those were all good to help prepare.” She’ll need the experience, as Kona has a reputation for being the most difficult triathlon race around. “I don’t think that it is necessarily the toughest course in terms of, say, elevation or climate conditions. A lot of Ironman courses are hillier and other courses can get as hot,” Jackson said, citing Ironman competitions in Arizona and Malaysia as having particularly grueling temperatures. The real difference, Jackson said, is the level of competition she’ll face. “Kona is considered the toughest because it’s the top triathletes from all over the world all in one location, at one race,” she said. “The atmosphere in the days before is just ridiculously intense, everyone walking around staring each other down. It’s pretty intimidating,” noted Jackson, who took tenth place in her age bracket (18-24) in last year’s World Championship on Hawaii’s Big Island. In addition to the Big Kahuna, Jackson also spent the entire summer training “more intensely than I ever have for any sport.” She is trying to maintain a similar regimen, which has been somewhat difficult since the start of the school year. “I swim from 5 to 7 a.m., then I would typically eat and take a nap (during the summer),” she said. “Then I’d usually bike, either speed work behind a motor scooter (motorpacing) or a long ride, and then a run. Or if it is a run day, then a tempo workout or a long run,” she said. On Saturdays she bikes 100 – 120 miles and runs on Sundays for about two to three hours. As for what she most enjoys about being a triathlete, Jackson’s answer was simple. “I just love any sort of competition,” she said. “I love the bike the most because it’s my strongest and you can get going so fast out there.” Harker News — October 08

The True Story of What Happened to the Library Web Site All of our library resources have a new home on The Harker School Web site. They have been shepherded behind a firewall that requires a username and password, or in the case of the lower school, a generic password. The public can read about the library program, but they can no longer look at our online computer catalog (showing our materials collection) or read about our fascinating library borrowing policy. There are many advantages to having our resources restricted to the Harker community. These include honoring the subscription database contracts that limit access to students and staff; allowing students to write reviews on books in the catalog that include their names; and keeping the public portion of our Web site concise and to the point.

Supplied by Heather Jackson

Her career as a triathlete began in the summer of 2005. “I studied abroad in Japan that year for university and when I got back in August, my parents were racing a sprint (short) distance triathlon,” Jackson said. Since then she’s participated in about 10 races of varying distances per year.


That said, accessing the Library Portal is proving a bit challenging at this time. Therefore, I include a guide to help you and your students figure out just where we are on the Web site and what you will find when you get there. Actually, it is still a work in progress.

n I. Accessing the Library Portal via the Harker Parent Portal Starting at, click on Harker Community and sign in with your username and password. If you select the Harker Parent Portal (HPP), at the time I’m writing this article, the Library Portal does not appear on the page. Currently, you need to select a school division on the left side to be able to look at the library catalog and library book lists. Library Policies (borrowing privileges and lost-book information) and other curriculum-related links will be added shortly. Once you are in the library catalog, you can use the drop-down menu to select the contents of any one campus or all three campuses at the same time.

n II. The Students’ Lower School Access to the Library Portal There are two ways to access library resources. Starting at, click on the top menu selection: Academic. Next, click on the right-sided link to Lower School Portal. Students will be asked to type in a one-word, generic password that they’ve been given. The entire LS library Web site will be revealed. Treasure located!



Starting at, click on the top right heading Harker Community. Students will be asked for their username and password, given to students in grades 3 and above. You are now at the Student Portal. Under Academic & Instructional Technology Resources, you will find the Library Portal. Click on that and the library resources for three divisions will appear before you. More gold!

n III. The Students’ Middle and Upper School Access to the Library Portal Starting at, click on the top right heading Harker Community. Students will be asked for their username and password, given to students in grades 3 and above. You are now at the Student Portal. Under Academic & Instructional Technology Resources, you will find the Library Portal. Click on that and the library resources for three divisions will appear before you. Each portal has been designed to include information relevant to the varied members of our community. The Teacher Portal contains additional research aides as well as a guide to our information literacy scope and sequence. –Enid Davis, Library Director




Le Bistro Gourmet and More Tidbits For many of us it was hard to say goodbye to summer vacation and start a new school year. By now students are settling in with their class schedules, getting familiar with new teachers, and hanging out with familiar friends and maybe even a few new ones. It is nice to return knowing that the same delicious food you enjoyed last year is still on the menu. We have a fantastic culinary team this year headed by Harker’s executive chef, Steve Martin, who trained under Madeleine Kamman at the Modern Gourmet in Boston, graduating in 1975. Kamman, a well-known French chef, believes in using the freshest ingredients and proper techniques. She has written several books including “The New Making of a Cook: The Art, Techniques, and Science of Good Cooking.” After graduation from Johnson Wales University in 1980, Chef Steve worked in food service for private schools and colleges. According to Martin, “too often food service’s sole focus is on money and not on heath.” He believes children should be exposed to a wide variety of food and that healthy food doesn’t have to be bland. Also included in our team is Anne Kolker, a registered dietitian who has a passion for nutrition and exercise and thus got her master’s in nutrition at San Jose State in 2000. Since graduating, her focus has been on family nutrition. Kolker’s philosophy is to continue to expose children to food – meaning: Don’t give up. “Did you know that a kid may need to try something 15 times before liking it? The best thing to do is get your kids to be little chefs as well (even if that means just once a week). We all love to eat what we make,” says Kolker. She says that some good books to check out include: “Teens Cook: How to Cook What You Want to Eat” by Megan Carle, Jill Carle and Judy Carle; and “Pretend Soup and Other Real Recipes: A Cookbook for Preschoolers & Up” by Molie Katzen and Ann Henderson. Chef Steve and his culinary team are stirring up some exciting things in the kitchen this year. High school students, who are definitely ready to explore upscale food, will be enjoying mesquite salmon as well as spinach salad served with a citrus vinaigrette. Or perhaps the high school senior will try ratatouille quiche. Wait a minute, does it sound like Harker has its own Bistro on the premises? Oui, Oui. The etymology of the word “bistro” is unclear. Some claim it is derived from a Russian word meaning “hurry,” injected into the language when ol’ Paree was occupied by the Russians in the early 1800s; others claim it is a shortened version for the French word “bistouilee,” a mixed coffee and brandy drink. One thing is for sure: In Harker’s own Bistro students will be enjoying some amazing tasting food and saying “c’est magnifique.” If you are a parent reading this you may just be joining your teenager for lunch – bon appetit! 10

in the news n San Jose Magazine – July Issue Harker grad and volleyball MVP Tanya Schmidt ’08 was recognized as one of Silicon Valley’s “All Stars” for both her athletic and academic accomplishments. The article notes that Schmidt is the first Harker student to receive an athletic scholarship.

n Cambrian Resident – July 24, 2008 Students Eugene Huang, Gr. 11, Chad Gordon, Gr. 11, Jake Chappell, Gr. 10 and Brian McEuen ’08 are mentioned as part of the Bay to Bay Volleyball Club that won four medals at the Junior Olympics boys volleyball championships in Salt Lake City in July.

n Knowledge Quest – March/April 2008 Harker library director Enid Davis’ article on the annual Ogre Awards show was published in the March/April edition of Knowledge Quest, a bimonthly publication by the American Association of School Librarians.

n San Jose Mercury News – August 2, 2008 Lower school students were photographed handling rabbits at the Santa Clara County Youth Fair, which took place the weekend of August 1 to replace the cancelled county fair.

n South Bay Accent – August/September 2008 Harker is featured in the magazine’s guide to the South Bay’s best private schools. In addition, an article on school-related pressures briefly summarizes the ways in which Harker reduces the stress levels of its students.

n San Jose Mercury News – August 17, 2008 Seniors Aaron Lin and Sabrina Paseman, 2008 graduates Sushant Sundaresh and Thomas Roxlo and freshman Frederic Enea are listed as winners of the annual Synopsys Championship.

n San Jose Mercury News – August 20, 2008 Mercury News Columnist Sal Pizarro, who attended the “Beakers and Beer” press event in August, mentions the planet-friendly features of the new science and technology building, now known as Nichols Hall.

n Summer Olympics Coverage Harker MS graduate and Olympic synchronized swimmer Andrea Nott ’96 made headlines across the country during her appearance in Beijing with the 2008 U.S. Olympic synchronized swimming team. She has appeared in such media outlets as the San Francisco Chronicle, Los Angeles Times, Yahoo! Sports and

n Los Gatos Weekly Times – August 12, 2008 Francesca Nagle, Gr. 10 and Laura Lang-Ree, performing arts department chair, appear in a photo spread highlighting the Harker fashion show, which took place Feb. 22 at the San Jose McEnery Convention Center.

n San Jose Magazine – September 2008 LS and MS dance teacher Gail Palmer was named one of San Jose Magazine’s Educators of the Year. Palmer, who has taught at Harker for 18 years, is quoted in the magazine as saying, “It may sound corny, but my students inspire me.”

n Santa Cruz Sentinel – September 08, 2008 Upper school history teacher Heather Jackson recently won the seventh annual Big Kahuna Triathlon in Santa Cruz, completing the women’s race in four hours, 38 minutes and 47 seconds. See story on page 9. US assistant cross country coach Lauren Swigart came in second, completing the race in four hours, 44 minutes and 15 seconds.

n Jammy Times – Summer 2008 Rishi Narain, Gr. 5, is recognized for the Pajama Program he helped organize in April 2007.

Harker News — October 08

Harker’s History is Documented in Archives

All historical photos from the archives

...the archive organizes, arranges, describes and preserves all historical materials.

Research, an essential element in any successful venture, requires sources and Harker’s institutional archive is used by those seeking data on Harker and its former students. The archive collects administrative documents like executive meeting minutes, organizational charts, press releases, enrollment stats, brochures, applications and details on committee activities, said Sue Smith, US campus librarian and Harker archivist. Along with pamphlets, flyers, fine arts programs and invitations, other items collected include samples of student work and uniforms, and memorabilia like

banners, yearbooks, souvenirs and photos, Smith said. “In addition to collecting these things, the archive organizes, arranges, describes and preserves all historical materials,” Smith noted. The primary descriptive document for an archive, similar to a library catalog, is called a finding aid, which describes each item and its role in the school’s history, she noted. “Increasingly these documents are fully searchable and put online so that researchers do not have to physically visit an archive to have access to the materials. They can include digital images which Harker News — October 08

Harker Students Earn High Marks on Standardized Tests

further preserve items which would normally deteriorate with handling. We have done some digitization, but it is an ongoing challenge,” Smith said.

list new materials. The operation is budgeted through the library, but is managed by the Harker History Committee. Although the archive is not open to the public, or even to the Harker community, it is in active use. “Between the Office of Communications, alumni relations and myself doing research in response to either internal or external queries about some aspect of our history, we use the archives every week,” Smith said.

Students and Harker community members can access the archives by appointment with Smith. “Requests for information about materials … usually come through me, especially from outsiders who find us on the Web, usually looking for info on family members who they believe are alums of one of our predecessor schools.”

“We aren’t currently set up to handle researchers, but the archive indirectly benefits students by documenting and collecting materials that preserve the history of the school for future generations of students. We have a rich and interesting history at Harker, and we are one of the oldest and largest K-12 schools in the West,” Smith added.

One of Smith’s favorite inquiries came from “Joan Reardon in Lake Forest, Ill., who was writing a biography of Mary Francis Kennedy in 2003. Kennedy graduated from Miss Harker’s School in 1927, and is better known as MFK Fisher, a prolific food writer.

The space dedicated to the archive is not large. It is located in Manzanita Hall, in room 61. “It’s a very small room – some would say a closet!” said Smith. As archivist, Smith oversees the use, collection, preservation and arrangement of materials. Archivist Alex Lux is contracted to write finding aids and

“I was able to send a photocopy of her transcript, as well as the curriculum at that time (she did not take the Domestic Science course which was essentially Home Economics then),” said Smith. “In return for my research, she sent the archive a wonderful graduation picture of the Class of 1927, which now hangs on the History Wall in Manzanita Hall.”

The results are in, and Harker students are once again among the top per formers on standardized tests. According to information released recently by the Education Records Bureau (ERB), Harker students in Gr. 1-8 have scored at or near the 100th percentile in standardized tests for verbal reasoning, vocabulary, reading comprehension, writing skills, quantitative reasoning and mathematics. These scores are significantly higher than the normal median percentile for both independent schools and suburban public schools where 80 percent of graduates matriculate to college. SAT scores for the Class of 2009 were also favorable, with the median total score being 2110 out of 2400 total points. Students also received median scores of 690 in critical reading, 720 in math and 700 in writing; each categor y is worth 800 points. In addition, 413 students took at least one advanced placement test. In all, 1112 AP tests were taken by Harker students in 2008, up from 1082 in 2007. As of May 2008, 97 percent of AP test takers received a qualifying grade of 3 or higher, while 87 percent received a 4 and 63 percent received a 5, the highest possible score on an AP exam.




DNC continued from page 1

RNC continued from page 1

Aggarwal got to see first-hand the hustle and bustle of what makes a big event like the DNC work, in addition to seeing and meeting a few highprofile personalities, including the Clinton family, Massachusetts Senator John Kerry, CNN anchor Anderson Cooper, Reverend Jesse Jackson, Jesse Jackson Jr., New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, former presidential candidate George McGovern, Senator Ted Kennedy, and former Vice President Al Gore.

convention, said Eckardt, who heard Libertarian presidential candidate Bob Barr and political commentator Arianna Huffington speak at a nearby college. “We also had the opportunity to meet some of our local delegates,” said Eckardt, who also saw Mike Huckabee, Newt Gingrich and former New York governor George Pataki.

The real treat, however, was still yet to come. “None of these encounters were as memorable as being at Invesco Field listening to Barack Obama give his acceptance speech,” Aggarwal recollected. “It was awesome! The grandness of the speech, the massive crowd, the fireworks and the speech’s historical importance were all over whelming. So over whelming, in fact, that I got a nosebleed in the middle of it!” Aggarwal, who was a member of Congressman Honda’s Student Advisory Council last year, describes himself as “a Democrat who is still open to independent ideas. I support most Democratic values such as gun control and pro-choice. The liberal views of the Democratic Party are those that I can relate to, being an immigrant. The separation of [church and state] is another important factor for me.” This trip to the convention, he says, helped him affirm his political beliefs. “I got to hear many important Democratic minds speak on gay marriage, environmental issues, campaign reform, religion and Party unity.” He also feels more compelled to further his interest in politics: “I have always been interested in the government and politics and after attending this convention, I feel even more inspired to pursue this line of work in the future.”

Then there were the other guys. “We were heading to the convention center for the first time and were attempting to walk on a sidewalk with protestors on it. We went to the other side to go around and they followed us to block us again, so we tried to go straight down the street, but they linked arms and blocked us again.” Eckardt’s group was eventually escorted through the protestors by police. ”Another time we saw protestors was during McCain’s acceptance speech. It was really interesting to watch them get shouted down by the crowd chanting ‘U.S.A.!’” Eckardt’s political philosophy was unswayed by the protestors and deepened by his convention experience. “I am a Republican, as I believe they best represent traditional American values, like hard work and capitalism,” he said. “In this election, I also am firmly behind McCain on the war.” He was impressed by the spirit at the convention. “The most surprising thing was how unified the Par ty was in suppor t of John McCain and Sarah Palin,” noted Eckardt. “The suppor t he got was really visible by the fact that the some of the best speeches at the convention were given by Rudy Giuliani, Mike Huckabee, and [Senator Fred] Thompson – all one-time opponents of Senator McCain.”

It Was the Best Before and it’s the BEST Now The Bucknall and Blackford Enrichment and Supervision Programs (BEST) were so named to “better reflect what our department really does,” said Erin Clifford,, director of the Blackford enrichment and supervision team. Bucknall director of BEST Kim Coulter agreed. “We have grown into something that is so much more then a rec program,” she said. “Twenty years ago, when I began, there were five staff members and 80 or so students, total. Now we are over 500 students strong, and luckily the numberM of staff members in IDD 3 the department increased as well.” S8a0n0JoBslaecLkEfoSrdCHAOOL

Bla c k a n d fo rd E n Sup er v i ric h me Af t e r-S c nt s io n hool Inf o Te a m rma t io n P ack e


ven ,C .248 A 9511 ue 7 .2


510 The programs provide supervision for the 1students through6 out the day, whenever the students are out of class. “We are unique in that we are the only school I’m aware of in the Bay Area, or even in the country, that has such an extensive program,” said Coulter. “We are the first to greet the children in the morning and the last to say good night. We are the neighborhood to the children of The Harker School. Because of all this we felt a name change was in order, so our name would better represent what we do each and every day!” O of

C: 7/

08 -

510 JJJ


08-0 0 Bla Middle 9 Sch ckfo ool rd 408 .248 Avenue ~ Gr. 6 , Sa – .251 n Jo 8 0• se www .hark , CA 95 117 er.o rg


Coulter also noted her program has added after-school activities and three full-time staff members. “Our three new coordinators are monitoring and working very closely with the children throughout the day,” she said. “Lucia Yeung is our kindergarten coordinator, Amanda Crook our Gr. 1-3 coordinator and Bettie Nelson works with our fourth and fifth graders.” Clifford’s program has added an assistant director to manage the diverse and challenging activities. The Blackford program has 12 staff members, “and it’s a strong team this year: Adam Weddell, Maria Parry, Christina Smith, Amanda Magalhaes, C Angel Pendleton, Caleb Avecilla, Jon Shieh, Lisa Thompson, Mike Pankrast, Renee Georgakas and Adam Smith,” she said. That means before and after school, between classes if necessary and at lunch, “The BEST staff have a passion to work with the children of The Harker School,” said Coulter. “They have been welltrained, have a combination of over 100 years of experience working with children, and many hope to make education their career.”


Harker News — October 08

Dedicated Faculty Earn Silver and Gold Acknowledgement Harker has honored some of its most valuable employees – those who have been with the school for 15 and 25 years, respectively – by naming them recipients of Silver Eagle and Golden Eagle awards at the annual Opening Faculty and Staff Dinner. A plaque bearing the names of each individual hangs in the advancement offices, and here, for the whole community to see, are the names of those dedicated employees.

n Silver Eagle Award recipients Pete Anderson Paula Bither Linda Brearley C.J. Cali Tracey Clifford Marie Clifford Kim Coulter Nancy Curran Enid Davis Pam Dickinson Pam Gelineau Kristin Giammona Fortino Gonzales Lisa Hackwood Andrew Hansen Georgianna Maddams Steve Martin Melanie McKenna Sharron Mittelstet Kristen Neu Debra Nott Shelley Orr Gail Palmer Margaret Peterson Julie Pinzás Mel Robinson Alice Schwartz Elise Schwartz Theresa “Smitty” Smith Lynette Stapleton Anitra Sudderth

Ruth Tebo John Zetterquist

n Golden Eagle Award recipients Michael Bassoni Phyllis Carley J.R Del Alto Chris Doll Cindy Ellis Kelly Espinosa Dottie Hickey Sarah Leonard Lisa Machuca John Near Diana Nichols Howard Nichols Nan Nielsen Carol Parris Laura Rae Joe Rosenthal Howard Saltzman Jenaro Sanchez Carol Sosnowski Pat Walsh Terry Walsh

HEART has a Heart for the Earth The Harker Environmental & Animal Rights Team (HEART) has been conducting environmentally-aware activities since its inception in 2000. In addition to helping coordinate recycling efforts schoolwide, over the years the student-run organization has also conducted beach clean-ups, planted flowers to help local environments and worked at animal shelters. In spring 2008, HEART initiated an effort to check cars for adequate tire pressure on the upper school campus, an activity that can reduce energy consumption. Presidential candidate Barack Obama later made headlines for encouraging citizens to do the same. According to HEART president Raghav Aggarwal, Gr. 12, their efforts earned them a Congressional Recognition, and Harker was certified as a Green School by Congressman Mike Honda of San Jose. This year, club president Aggarwal hopes that HEART can spread the tire air pressure project to the middle and lower schools, and embark on a field trip to an area to plant native flora, thus helping the local environment thrive. Harker News — October 08

Students and Teachers Go Green for Earth Day Students and teachers at the MS celebrated Earth Day in a number of unique ways this year. Science teacher Scott Kley-Contini rode his bike to school and kept the lights in his classroom off the entire day. Students in Kley-Contini’s class worked on laptops to lower paper usage and plugged in their laptops only when it was necessary to recharge their batteries. The class spent the day discussing carbon footprints and what people could do to help the environment. Elsewhere on campus, English teacher Steven Hewitt also went without lights and, on the suggestion of his son, turned off all power in his family’s home from 8 p.m. to 9 p.m. In U.S. History teacher Patricia White’s class, five students arrived in green clothes. Her entire class of 11 students had a “green plan” for the day consisting of environmentally-conscious activities.

Middle and Upper School Scientists Bond in New Club The Harker Research Club, which held its first-ever meeting in September, aims to give both middle and upper school students the opportunity to learn more about scientific research. Run by co-presidents Sabrina Paseman and Rahul Ahuja, both seniors, the club will “enlighten more students about the research process and what kind of research is out there,” Ahuja said. “Ultimately, we want to help with the students’ research endeavors by familiarizing them with the field.” Paseman hopes the club will ease some of the trepidation students sometimes feel about conducting research. “Aside from hoping to inspire the desire to solve the problems prevalent in present-day society, we hope to demystify the sometimes intimidating research papers published by others in the field,” she said. One of the club’s aims is to have its members enter projects into competitions, particularly the annual Synopsys Championship. “Our first goal as a club is to introduce the field of research to our members and get them interested enough to look into projects themselves,” Paseman said. “Of course, once they find a project they wish to pursue, we are more than willing to help them along by suggesting potential mentors or labs to contact, offering reminders for maintaining their lab notebooks, giving them competition-day tips, and really anything else they have questions about.” For the 2008-09 school year, the club has already lined up an impressive list of guest speakers, including NASA’s Dr. Brad Bebout, who will discuss microbial mats and the messages they may contain about life on other planets. Paseman and Ahuja also hope to take the club to visit a professional laboratory at Stanford University’s School of Medicine. Ahuja estimated that “approximately 50-60 students” have joined the club since he and Paseman began recruiting toward the end of the 2007-08 school year. “It has been my and Rahul’s goal to introduce the exciting field of research to the multitude of gifted scientists here at The Harker School,” Paseman said. “I think the most exciting part of the club will be simply to watch the progression of what these amazing minds come up with to research.”



n Please welcome Andrew Carlos as the afternoon US library clerk. Carlos is in graduate school at San Jose State University studying library and information science. n Long-time LS teacher Anitra Sudderth retired and was feted at a backyard party hosted by Kathy Ferretti to introduce new teachers and celebrate those headed off to new challenges. Sudderth was at Harker for 17 years and is retiring to Washington State.

n Congratulations also to Gustavo Parra, who has worked in the Saratoga kitchen for nearly eight years, and his wife, Michelle, who welcomed a beautiful baby boy! Jonas Michael Parra was born July 1, weighing in at 8 lbs, 10 oz. n On July 7 at 9 p.m. Harker News assistant editor Bill Cracraft and his wife, Alexandra, added daughter Katharina Jane, “Nina,” 5 pounds, 2 ounces, 19 inches, to their little family. Son Jack, 3, has claimed his new sibling as “my baby.”

Provided by Gustavo Parra

n On June 17, at 5:11 a.m., Marisa Louisa Masoni made her way into the world, says proud parents Lisa Masoni (MS Latin teacher) and husband Mark. Marisa was 7 pounds, 6.2 ounces, and 18 inches long. 

Provided by Lisa Masoni

Babies Galore!

On the same day, Anthony Christopher Nikoloff, weighing in at 6 pounds, 11 ounces, joined his parents, Corina and Christopher Nikoloff, and his brother, Alexander. “Little Alexander is coping well, though we aren’t above bribery,” noted the papa. n Lisa and Nick Gassmann (Office of Communications) brought young Brayden into the world at 6 pounds, 15.8 ounces, 21.5 inches long, on Sept. 10. n Nicole Brink, LS counselor, and Rowan Dow welcomed Robert Alexander Dow, Xander for short, on Aug.16. Xander emerged at 9 pounds and 20.5 inches long. “Mom, dad and baby are doing great!” says mom. Weddings and More Weddings! n Dan and Janet (Smith) Rohrer, Bucknall maintenance director and assistant facilities manager, respectively, were married on Waiala’e Beach on Oahu, June 9, with Janet’s son, Patrick, and mother in attendance. The little group celebrated that night at an oceanside Luau and the pair honeymooned the rest of the week in Hawaii. n Benjamin Morgensen, MS science teacher, married Kristen M. Nielsen, daughter of Nan Nielsen, director of admission and financial aid, at the Testarossa Vineyard in Los Gatos on June 27, then headed to Puerto Vallarta for a two-week honeymoon. n Donna Gilbert, US history and social science chair, married Grace Refuerzo July 16 in San Francisco.

Bill Cracraft

Provided by Daniel Sommer

n US history teacher Mai Lien Nguyen and Jeanette Hsu were married on Aug. 2.

n Henry Charles Sommer, sib to William, son of Danny and Katy, was born at 6:51 p.m., July 13, at 9 pounds, 4 ounces, 21 inches, and wrestled mightily with mom and the midwife on his way out. “William is embracing our new family member with love,” noted new dad Daniel Sommer, MS science teacher. 


n Abel Olivas, US Spanish teacher, married Robert Greeley, Aug. 1, in a garden wedding in Palo Alto. Family members traveled to attend and the pair deferred their honeymoon to show off the area’s attractions. n Tobias Wade, LS social studies teacher, and his wife, Corynn, were married Aug. 9, then spent their honeymoon in Kauai. They had been dating for eight years and look forward to starting a family in the next few years. n Congratulations go to US college counselor Kevin Lum Lung and new wife, Karla Amador. The couple was married Aug. 10 and honeymooned in Maui and Oahu. n Jeffrey Draper, US drama teacher, married Dalon Williams on Sept. 6. n Miriam Allersma, US physics teacher, married Neile Rissmiller Sept. 13 in Santa Cruz. Harker News — October 08

Provided by Nick Gassmann

n Danielle Wood-Hammond has expanded duties this year, in her new role as director of mentoring and alumni volunteers, as well as special assistant to the executive director of advancement. She will be working closely with Joe Rosenthal and will direct the mentoring program as well as facilitate other opportunities for alumni to stay connected to the school and to our current students.

Provided by Nicole Brink

n Denise Hayashi, who has been a part of the Harker family for many years, will continue her important work with the LS and MS families as the director of K-Gr. 8 volunteer programs.

n There are two Aug. 6 babies. Mark Culbertson came in at 8 pounds, 7 ounces, 21 inches long. “He’s doing very well at home, eating and sleeping fine... we’re having so much fun with him!” says dad, Tim, a MS computer science teacher, and mom, Kate.

Provided by Tim Culbertson

n Sue Prutton has joined the advancement team as director of US volunteer programs and fashion show liaison, replacing Lisa Blickenstaff, who has resigned amid a chorus of thank yous for her three years of service. Prutton has served in almost every parent volunteer capacity at Harker, including co-chairing last year’s fashion show. Give her a big welcome – she will be a wonderful asset to the advancement team!

Provided by Christopher Nikoloff




Lower and Middle School Athletes Begin Practice The Gr. 4-8 athletic department underwent two transitions this fall. First, Anthony Wood is the new assistant athletic director at the LS campus. The LS/MS athletics department also joined the coed West Bay Athletic League (WBAL), which provides competition for our Gr. 5-12 students; Gr. 4 will still play intramurals unless they

are needed to fill out a Gr. 5 team that is lacking in players. At press time, the LS and MS fall sports teams (football, softball and swimming) had just begun practice. Both coaches and players were looking forward to competing, with most teams beginning games against other schools in late September. At their first cross country meet at Hyde Middle School, the middle school team performed well, with sixth graders Alyssa Amick and Katy Sanchez taking first and second places, respectively, Corey Gonzales finishing second, and

Vikram Chari finishing in the top ten. Claudia Tischler, Gr. 7, took fourth place, while Isabelle Connell, Gr. 8, finished second. Eighth graders Nikka van den Dries and Ragini Bhattacharya took sixth and eighth places. The LS swim team has 65 members; MS has 45. Both Gr. 4 and Gr. 5 football teams have 22 players, while the MS teams have 25 at each grade level. There were 16 softball players signed up and 45 cross country members. We will report back on the accomplishments of these 290 athletes next month!

Upper School Sports: Fall Coaches Preview Upcoming Season While many of us were enjoying our vacations in August, the US sports teams were already practicing. This year, all sports but wrestling, water polo, football and boys volleyball have joined the newly formed West Bay Athletic League (WBAL). US Athletic Director Dan Molin is enthusiastic about this new league. He explained, “The coed aspect will have a uniting effect among sports like basketball as both genders may play at the same site, for example. Geographically, all schools are now along Highway 280, but more importantly, the league is more competitive, which is great for our kids and the school.” Another change in US athletics is that boys soccer, formerly a fall sport, is now a winter sport, which allows boys to play both football and soccer. Fall coaches gave previews of their seasons:

Volleyball The team started off their season with a win in three games against Sobrato, in which seniors Kristina Bither and Candace Silva-Martin both had 10 kills. In their second match, they lost in five games to the 2007 Division 3 state runnerup, Sacred Heart Cathedral. The varsity team returns five players from last year and has added six new faces, including one freshman, Veronica Bither. The team will be led by outside hitters Kristina Bither and Silva-Martin as well as setter/middle Christy Emery, all senior captains. Right-side hitter Eileen Wu and setter Shirley Galbiati round out Harker News — October 08

the solid group of senior veterans. Coach and Gr. 4-8 Athletic Director Theresa Smith remarked, “Although we will always be compared to the ’07-’08 team, we know that every team is different and we are very excited to see how this group responds to the challenges of a tough preseason, tournament and league schedule. We will know very quickly where we stand after facing the likes of St. Francis, Sacred Heart Cathedral and St. Ignatius, but we look forward to the challenge and look forward to taking our game to the next level.” The JV team is led by sophomore captains Leeza Arbatman and Tiffany Chang. They’ve been joined by hard-working freshmen Aura Dave and Neda Ghaffarian.

Football Coach Karriem Stinson is eager to watch this year’s 12 seniors compete, especially since he worked with some of these young men when they were in kindergarten. The team

is the largest ever this year, with 60 players at press time – 26 on varsity and 34 on JV. The team has three home games this season, in addition to Homecoming. Stinson is excited about the bleachers at Davis Field. “Hopefully we can get this place packed,” he stated. The team has been led for the past three years by senior captain and quarterback Arman Gupta. Juniors Cole Davis, Kyle Drummer, Patrick Smith and Bogdan Botcharov are playing their first year of varsity and Stinson looks forward to them having a big impact on the team. Although last year’s team went 7-2, Stinson said, “I’m not really worried about our record, I just want to compete this year.” This year the team is in the Bay Football League and the first league play will be the Homecoming game on October 17. New coaches include Ray Fowler, US history teacher and TJ Jackson, who played for Stanford.

Cheer Cheer coach Chris King is excited that the squad has seven cheerleaders this year, including three returning members. King credits the leadership of co-captains Noel Duan, Gr. 12 and Amanda King, Gr. 10, with a successful preseason, during which they made a Harker Cheer DVD that includes 62 cheers. King added, “Sophomore

John Ammatuna is working with the cheer squad to create an incredible routine for Homecoming. We look forward to cheering the football team to victory, rallying the Eagle fans and showing Harker spirit in our new uniforms.”

Girls Water Polo Coach Kandace Lopez reports, “With the addition of a JV team and our beautiful new home pool, everyone is excited for the season to start.” The JV team is looking forward to some exciting play this year, and the varsity team is hoping to continue the success of last season by moving up from fifth in leagues. With returning strong seniors Angeli Agrawal, Jenna Glasa and Beckie Yanovsky leading the way, the varsity team is looking forward to a great season.

Varsity Tennis At press time, the top singles players were Kelly Chen, Gr. 11, Tara Panu, Gr. 12, Brittany Chu, Gr. 11 and senior Dom Dabija. Doubles teams Lauren Moser and Sarah Christiano, both Gr. 12, and senior Liz Liu and junior Vivian Huang also were expected to be strong per formers. Other doubles teams with strong potential include seniors Silvia Cernea and Stephanie Guo, sophomores Roshni Bhatnagar and Monisha Appalaraju, and freshmen Jaya Chandra and Aranshi Kumar. This year the team looks to improve on last year’s second place WBAL finish.




Student Athletes and Parents Receive Tips on Positive Coaching About 1,500 students and parents from middle and upper schools attended a special meeting on Aug. 27 at the Blackford campus featuring speakers from

advisor y board includes NFL Hall of Fame member Ronnie Lott and San Francisco Giants pitcher Barr y Zito. The August meeting was held to

“The August meeting was held to help instill the PCA’s values and the Harker athletic program’s vision of growth through integrity, dignity and respect.

the Positive Coaching Alliance (PCA), based at Stanford University. Founded as a nonprofit within Stanford’s athletics depar tment in 1998, the PCA has since held more than 6,000 workshops for youth spor ts coaches, young athletes and parents. The PCA’s

help instill the PCA’s values and the Harker athletic program’s vision of growth through integrity, dignity and respect. “Our community is already ver y good by comparison to other schools,” said Dan Molin, US athletic director. “The hope is to maintain and improve that great behavior.”

One of the event’s nine guest speakers was Bob Heckmann, who has more than 20 years of coaching experience at the high school and college levels. His key message for the night was to “back off” and allow youth to enjoy their spor ts activities. Molin said there are plans to integrate more of the PCA’s principles into the Harker athletics program. “You’ll hear more spor tsmanship announcements at pregame ceremonies and the next sessions will involve the coaches and how they interact with kids and the community,” he said.

kudos Three Harker students competed at the national fencing championships, held this year in San Jose. Isaac Madan, Gr. 10, an accomplished foilist, finished very respectably in a tie for 39th out of 179 competitors in Y14 Mens Foil to complete his first year as a national-level competitor. Madan is now ranked 86th in the U.S. in his age bracket. His first foray into national competition was in October in Tucson and since then, he has competed in a Division 1 national event, and has shown substantial improvement along the way. Ambrish Amaranathan, Gr. 10, also competed, finishing in the top half of theY14 Mens Foil. He then placed 42nd out of 109 in Division III, a senior event, and he also competed in the Division II Mens Foil, a much tougher senior competition. He is now ranked 102nd in the nation in the Y14 Mens Foil bracket. Amaranathan also competed at the Junior Olympic Championships in February in North Carolina and April in Portland, where he placed 40th out of 105 fencers. In the LS, Eric Pei, Gr. 4, finished 19th out of 47 in the Y10 Sabre competition at the Summer National Championships. Pei is now ranked 28th in the country in his age category.


Rita Comes

All three boys are members of the U.S. Fencing Association. Madan and Amaranathan began fencing at Harker in the after-school program, while Pei started fencing in second grade with California Fencing Academy in San Jose. The Harker program takes a new direction this year as it will now be run by First Place Fencing, a highly competitive club based mid-Peninsula.

Harker News — October 08

Training Facility Helps Students Heal and Become Stronger Athletes Harker’s training facility has come a long way in the two years it has been open, but US athletic trainer Jaron Olson isn’t resting in his tracks.

bumps and bruises, and there being a lot more bodies.” The football team also takes advantage of the facility more fully. “For some reason there is a little bit better understanding of what we’re here for. More of an, ‘I’m going to come here daily until I return to full participation,’ attitude as opposed to, ‘my ankle hurts and I’m not going to come to practice for a week,’” said Olson. During football season, Olson said he tries hard to be on the field during games because of the demand for his services, but when winter sports start, there are too many to attend. “There are a lot more teams,” he noted, “maybe not as much going on in one sport, but there are a lot of teams.” Rather than cover a pair of football games each week, he might cover 10 basketball games for various grade levels and genders.

“On a busy day, counting just students on competitive teams, 25-30 people come through for various reasons,” said Olson. “Some might come in for a routine tape job; they don’t have an acute injury but they have a history of ankle injuries, so they might come in for preventative taping. Then, you might have a kid who is coming in with active rehab going on, so there might be two or three of them doing corrective exercises and other treatment modalities and getting more one-on-one time with me or with an intern. “The next phase is kids who are retuning to participation, but still not 100 percent cleared to participate, so we might modify their practice: this person can participate, but can only do A, B and C. They might work with me part of the time and practice part of the time. Finally, the last group is those who have returned to full participation, but are coming in for tape or something like that,” Olson said. Use of the facility shifts over the year. “Our busiest season is by far the fall,” said Olson, “because of football, both by the nature of it being a full contact sport, so more Harker News — October 08

The job never gets routine, though. “Just when you think a sport is predictable with the type of injuries you see, it is all over the place. At this level, in a sport like basketball, the teams are not competing at the physical level that produces a lot of injuries,” he said. When injuries do come in, Olson has had help managing the bodies. He had two interns from San Jose State’s athletic trainer program (see related article, this section) in the fall and one in the spring. “They play a big role in being able to pitch in,” said Olsen. “I can provide good training opportunities and they can lighten my load a little bit.” The program will continue next year, as well.

injuries in athletes,” said Olson. “I think that is important at the high school level because the athletes are not as well trained as at the college level. Best case scenario here, I’d like to see us preventing injuries instead of coming in afterwards and caring for them.” Olson has been phasing in conditioning programs as time and demand converged. To begin with, “we have time slots during the day when the weight room is open, students are welcome to use it on their free period (and) students

continue to improve as coaches buy into what we have to offer.” With an active group of female athletes, Olson has seen plenty of women taking advantage of the facility, “as much or more than the men,” he noted, “especially in the spring with the lacrosse girls. Their field is right here, they practice right here, it is convenient for them to come in and get treatment or tape right before practice. That is one of the great benefits of having our new (Davis) field right here.” By definition a training facility has

“I think every high school really needs to

have adequate health care. I’m here because somebody saw that need and that vision. —Jaron Olson, US Athletic Trainer

do use the facility during the day.” After school, teams get first shot at the facility, and Olsen will tailor a conditioning program for each sport on demand, but it is up to coaches to push the program. “It’s great if I can design a program and be here to supervise it, but the coaches really have to bring the students in. If the athletes are told the conditioning is mandatory, you get better attendance,” Olson said. “Our volleyball boys did a good preseason program, alternating open gym with weight room time.” Olson has talked to a least a couple of coaches who enquired about preseason training for winter and spring sports and, “I think that will

the usual complement of weight machines and dumbbells, but as in all Harker programs, the human element is the most important, Olson admitted. “I think every high school really needs to have adequate health care. I’m here because somebody saw that need and that vision. I always think it is important athletes learn the proper way to do things.” Olson has one main goal, to continue to grow the program. “We started pretty much from scratch, with no one in my position, so I just want to carry the word out there, continue to educate students and families, and provide the best care possible,” he finished.

In addition to interns, this year Olson was able to add a wet room. “We converted one bathroom, as it had a drain in the floor and waterproofed walls, so we can make a mess in there. We moved the ice machine in and all the water jugs, so we can use a hose to clean the jugs and put them up on the wall to dry. Hopefully, we’ll be able to stick a stainless steel extremity whirlpool in there, one you could get up past your knee. That was kind of the vision for the room,” he said. As for the future, “the area I would most like to see grow is an emphasis on the strength and conditioning which leads to the prevention of



school Police Visit

Visit Harker Parent Portal to see weekly photos!

Cindy Proctor

A San Jose Police dog named Jim and his handler, officer Brett Myers, visited Harker first graders in mid-September to bring to life the story “Officer Buckle and Gloria” a book by Peggy Rathmann about an officer and his dog. In the book, the pair visits schools to share safety tips with children, and so did Officer Myers and Jim. “Officer Myers gave great information on the SJ K-9 Unit and what they do, but the children were equally interested in watching Jim,” said Cindy Proctor, Gr. 1 teacher. “They found it funny when he rolled over on his back and rubbed around in the grass.” But the dog had some more useful skills to display. Myers commanded the dog, a German Shepherd, in German, and Jim came, heeled, walked circles around Myers and lay down. Along with the literary connection, children “learned about how to approach a dog and about the special relationship between humans and dogs,” said Proctor. “The children loved seeing Jim and learning from Officer Myers. They asked thoughtful questions, and there were many smiles after enjoying such special visitors.” The students enjoyed the visit on a variety of levels. “I learned Jim was born in the Czech Republic,” said Mahika Halepete while classmate Shomrik Mondal said he “liked how Jim attacks when he needs to get a bad guy.” In a thank you note, Alma Rashingkar noted, “I liked it when Jim sniffed my shoe … I hope you come back.”

First Fire Drill Successful The LS held its first fire drill in early September and it went off without a hitch, said Joe Connolly, LS dean of students K-Gr. 5. “The children were well-behaved while we made sure that everybody on campus was accounted for,” he noted. Connolly even had a pair of Gr. 4 students and one teacher stay in the conference room, “so that we could see if our process of accounting for every student worked. One of our teachers noticed right away that her student was missing, the search and rescue team immediately sprung into action and the two students and specialty teacher were found minutes later. Nice to know we’ve got a good system in place,” he said.

Gr. 5 Student Council Members This year’s Gr. 5 Student Council officers are Johnathon Keller and Madison Tomihiro, presidents; Kristen Park, vice-president; Ankita Sharma, recording secretary; and Natasha Mayor, spirit and service coordinator. Homeroom representative elections for the Gr. 4 and Gr. 5 classes were in progress at press time, according to elementary division head Kristin Giammona. After homeroom elections, the council will spend the year listening to student suggestions for how to improve the school experience for Bucknall students. “They work on playground behavior issues and help brainstorm solutions to issues that may arise on the playgrounds and give suggestions about game rules,” Giammona said. They also gather suggestions from Gr. 3 homeroom students and get involved with grade-level fundraisers.


kid talk Gr. 4 students recently gave their opinions on knowledge and its importance. Aneesh Samineni stated, “It is very important to have knowledge otherwise you can’t learn, and you need it for a certain amount of things. You always need knowledge everywhere for school and everybody. You need knowledge to talk to people.” Nikhil Manglik added, “You get knowledge from learning and you can put it to use in different places or in a puzzle or something.” David Nguyen said, “You need knowledge to live and to do your job or else you go into poverty.” Lucas Wang said that if you go to a new country, ”you need to know the other country’s language and stuff.” Lyndsey Mitchell said, “School is just the beginning. That helps you to get a job. Knowledge helps you get a job so you can make money to buy clothes, buy food and buy a house.” Shivani Awasthi agreed. “Knowledge is stuff you learn. It’s good to have knowledge because then you are smart. You have a good business and basically it kind of is like your identity sometimes.” Anahita Far added that you can get knowledge from other places too, “like your parents. When you’re born they teach you and they talk to you and they teach you how to do physical things, or like looking at people and doing the same thing.” Harker News — October 08

A Big Welcome to New LS Students

Gallon Gals Augment Math Class

Kindergarten: Chloe Affaki, Shray Alag, Aditya Andrade, Anna Arnaudova, Alexandra Baeckler, Nilisha Baid, Keshav Bhanot, Julia Biswas, Anoushka Buch, Angela Cai, Adam Chadwick, Jonathan Chao, Karina Chen, Ethan Choi, Helen Cirimele, Avania Costello, Brandon Coulter, Nicholas Coulter, Geneva Devlin, Katherine Dow, Laura Dvorkin, Remi Edvalson, Preston Ellis, Sofia Fernandez, Manasi Garg, Nikhil Gargeya, Ashley Gauba, Tristan Goodwin, Isabelle Han, Chance Hewitt, Daniel Heymann, Andrew Hsia, Ethan Hwang, Vidya Jeyendran, Vivian Jin, Paul Kratter, Aniket Kriplani, Alexander Kumar, Andrew Lee, Nicolas Luo, Ajay Madala, Akshay Manglik, Ila Mathur, Rhea Nanavati, Shaunak Narain, Michelle Ning, Ben Norton, Isabella Ong, Ruya Ozveren, Aindri Patra, Sudhish Raghupatruni, Sarah Raymond, Leo Regan, Blake Richmond, Pramiti Sankar, Grant Smith, Srinath Somasundaram, Kishan Sood, Benjamin Soraire, Shreya Srinivasan, Emma-Leigh Stoll, Levi Sutton, Arya Tandon, Courtni Thompson, Santoshi Tirumala, Ryan Tobin, Kristin Tong, Iliyan Valani, Shoaib Valani, Annamma Vazhaeparambil, Mariamma Vazhaeparambil, Aditi Vinod, Ray Wang, Dylan Williams, Ian Williamson, Russell Yang, Sara Yen, Bowen Yin, Julia Yusupov, Bryan Zhang, Eric Zhu; Gr. 1: Faiz Aladin, Emily Cheng, Lauren Fu, Anna Lee, Arushi Nety, Amla Rashingkar, Anu Selvaraj, Sandhya Thomas, Mallika Vashist, Vance Vu; Gr. 2: Zacker Baz, Allison Cartee, Christie Chen, Caia Costello, Olivia Esparza, Amelia Huchley, Sahana Narayan, Claire Newman, Gene Wang; Gr. 3: Niko Bhatia, Sofia Chadwick, Marcus Chen, Scott Chen, Anastasia Cheplyansky, Katherine Chow, Kathryn Clarke, Dolan Dworak, Serena Lu, Natalie Luo, Mallory Millard, Andrew Semenza, Mayank Singamreddy, Aadith Srinivasan, Justin Su, Elizabeth Turchinsky, Akshaya Vemuri, Vince Vu, Markus Wong, Emma Yu; Gr. 4: Sarah Baz, Ezra Bekele, Cuebeom Choi, Paul Clarke, Christopher Finsterbusch, Hazal Gurcan, Marina Newman, Amrita Singh, Edmond Wu; Gr. 5: Nikhil Bopardikar, Helena Dworak, Ryan Fernandes, Doreene Kang, Andrew Kirjner, Jason Lee, Adele Li, Lisa Liu, Michael Moncton, Cameron Palte, Nadia Palte, Tarj Patel, Gautam Prabhu, Karen Qi, Monica Ravichandran, Alexander Sikand, Valerie Wang, Luke Wu, Daphne Yang.

Math students in Gr. 4-5 put together a highly diverse and very imaginative set of Gallon Guys and Gals for a contest that showcased their knowledge of measurements.

Eileen Schick

“This was the first assignment assigned to all fourth and fifth grade math students,” said LS math teacher Eileen Schick. Math teachers Pat Walsh and Diane Plauck also worked with the students on these projects. Students cut out parts representing the equivalencies to a gallon (four quarts, eight pints and so on) and put them together to form a facsimile of a person. The individual parts were cut out in class, but the actual creations had to be made and kept at home, where they would provide a handy reference throughout the year. “They actually cut the paper in a way that was accurate mathematically,” Schick said. Some of the more interesting creations included a San Francisco Giants baseball player, a scuba diver, Santa Claus and even a gal with 128 ounces of hair. Students were then asked if they would like to submit a photo of their work to have it entered into a “beauty contest.” “About 60 students brought in pictures,” Schick said. The top creations were put on display at the Bucknall campus, where the staff can vote on them to decide which one they liked the most. As of Harker News press time, a winner had not been chosen. “Even the kids who didn’t make the finals still did a great job,” said Schick.

Orientations Draw Great Crowds Kristin Giammona, elementary division head, welcomed the morning crowds to orientations in late August. Giammona said afterward that each orientation had a “great turnout.” Students had the chance to meet their new classmates and teachers, and also received their schedules and locker assignments. Head of School Chris Nikoloff spoke at both events and took part in a community discussion with parents and students. Anthony Wood, assistant athletic director, summarized the after-school sports programs, and Kim Coulter discussed the BEST program and introduced the students and parents to new staffers Kim Yearry and Arwen Lange. After the crowd was introduced to the teaching staff, the students were sent to homeroom so that that Nikoloff could address the parents. He and Joe Rosenthal, director of advancement, then spoke to the parents about advancement opportunities. Joe Connolly, dean of students KGr. 5, then took the stage to discuss campus traffic guidelines and safety measures.

Student Guides for Lower School We would like to thank the following Gr. 5 students for their valuable assistance during the Lower School’s Back to School Nights: Gr. 4–5, Mon., Sept. 15: Helen Woodruff, Srivarsha Gulukota, Raghav Jain, Eesha Chona, Chloe van den Dries, Kunal Mehta, Alexander Guest, Kurt Schwartz, Gurutam Thockchom, Emma Doherty, Jonathan Dai Gr. 1–3, Tues., Sept. 16: Johnathan Keller, Aarti Kheskani, Connor Buss, Rishabh Chandra, Shalini Arimilli, Celine Liang, Akshay Battu, Samali Sahoo, Suraj Jagadeesh

kudos Pianist Alex Chien, Gr. 5, won a series of competitions this summer, starting June 1 with a first-place win at the James Denver Gary Piano award for ages 6-13 at the 2008 Pacific Music Society competition at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. On June 7, Chien won the San Jose-based 2008 International Russian Music Piano Competition, Young Artist Division, and earned a special award as the Most Promising Young Talent. Finally, June 28, Chien won the North vs. South piano competition (Division I) at 2008 MTAC convention in Riverside (see Harker News, June, p. 26).

Harker News — October 08




House Events Now Underway

The house system was initiated last year and each house has students from each grade, so the whole school participates in each competition. The middle school’s house system is based on those used in

At the end of the year, the winning house will receive a prize that has yet to be decided. “We’re still figuring out what that’s going to be in

order to deal with the size and the scope,” Gelineau said. “This year, because it’s the first full year of the house system, a trophy will be awarded to the winning house. And then every year we’ll record who gets that, in addition to perhaps an ice cream party (or) a day of free dress.”

Another house event on Sept. 12 had students line up in front of a box representing a competitor’s “castle,” each one having 200 “structure points.” They then threw Styrofoam “boulders” (or balls) at the castles, attempting to land them inside each castle, thereby reducing the owner’s overall point total. “The house system is really how the spirit program evolved, in an effort

Club Acts Out Book, Helps Kids

Scott Graham

to move beyond advisory competition, and let the advisories be a nurturing place,” said MS English teacher Mark Gelineau, who also runs the MS Spirit Club.

The MS club Agents of Change had its first “job” at the end of May when they acted out David Saltzman’s book “The Jester Has Lost His Jingle” for a group of children at the annual “Birdhouse Bash,” sponsored by the Child Advocates of Silicon Valley, a group that assists abused children in a number of ways. Students participating were Katie Marcus-Reker, a freshman this year; Preston Yeung, now Gr. 8; Kevin Duraiswamy and Kiran Kothuri, now Gr. 7. See Harker News, March 2008, p. 15, for more information.

Welcome to New Students Gr. 6: Ishanya Anthapur, Ashir Bansal, Shreya Basu, Hannah Baz, Hannah Bollar, Paskalina Bourbon, Claire Chiu, John Dobrota, Shrish Dwivedi, Eugene Gil, Angela Gu, Christopher Hildum, Laya Indukuri, Ramzi Jahshan, Arya Kaul, Mohannad Khadr, Safia Khouja, Nikhil Kishore, Justin Lee, Shreya Maheshwari, Sonali Netke, Nikita Pashintsev, Dylan Patel, Rasika Raghavan, Apoorva Rangan, Maya Ravichandran, Nikash Shankar, Simran Singh, Vivek Sriram, Shannon Su, Carolyn Sun, Vedant Thyagaraj, Vishal Vaidya, Stanley Xie, Samyukta Yagati Gr. 7 : Samir Baz, Manini Desai, Divyahans Gupta, Shreyas Parthasarathy, Sahithya Prakash, Catalina Zhao

kudos ■ Christopher Hildum, Gr. 6, was named second runner up for the 2008 National Mr. Junior Dance title this summer at the Kids Artistic Revue dance competition in Las Vegas. Hildum represented Yoko’s Dance & Per forming Arts Academy in Fremont with his per formance, titled “Bad to the Bone.”

Christopher Hildum

they were laid in a row by the last person. The challenging contest was held outdoors just before the late August heat wave hit.

British and Australian schools, and is familiar to students because of its presence in the Harry Potter series of novels. Every year, an advisor is assigned a house, and when a student is assigned to an advisor, he or she automatically becomes a member of that advisor’s house. Each house, named Praestantia, Scientia, Constantia and Beneficium from the Harker insignia, has its own crest and motto, and wins points by competing in events held throughout the year.

Laura van den Dries

The House season has begun! The first event pitted houses against each other in a race to spell out a mysterious message by passing letters from hand to hand until

■ Nikka van den Dries, Gr. 8, completed her second season as a competitive cyclist this summer, taking home California State Championship jerseys for track, road, criterium and time trial. The USA Cycling organization currently ranks van den Dries first in the nation for time trial, third for criterium and fourth for road racing. ■ Amanda Kalb and Amy Wardenburg, both Gr. 8, received the President’s Volunteer Service Award for completing 72 hours of community service, which was finished through their membership in the National Charity League (NCL). The NCL is a mother-daughter volunteer organization that serves local communities through 128 chapters in 15 states.

■ Andy Perez, Gr. 8, was selected in August to join the U.S. Youth Soccer Olympic Development program, which identifies and selects the top young soccer players from around the country and prepares them for international competitions. Players in this program have gone on to compete in such events as the Youth World Cup and the summer Olympic games.

Gr. 8: Christopher Sund, Lydia Werthen.


Harker News — October 08

Students Pick up Regional Awards in eCybermission Competition Two teams from Harker took first place in the U.S. Army-sponsored eCybermission competition (https://ecybermission.apgea. for the Southwest Pacific Region in April. They were also two of only 16 teams invited to Washington, D.C., for the national competition, which took place in June. The eCybermission competition is a science, math and technology competition available to students in grades six through nine. Teams come together to solve real problems in their respective communities, and submit presentations for regional and national awards. Harker’s Gr. 8 team, the Funkadelic Four, consisted of Kaitlin Halloran, Daniela Lapidous, Ramya Rangan and Katie Siegel, all of whom entered Gr. 9 this year. Their presentation explained how and where the Methicillin Resistant Staph Aureus (MRSA) bacteria grows, and what can be done to keep it from spreading. The Gr. 9 team, called the AquaDucks, comprised Tiffany Chien, Shreya Nathan, Supraja Swamy

and Allika Walvekar, who are all sophomores this year. This team explored the effects of oil spills and how to best clean up after them. Each team took their presentations to a panel of five judges. “The panel was impressed with the work our students had done and the depth of knowledge they had acquired in their field of research,” said Vandana Kadam, MS math teacher and advisor to the two Harker teams.

most army-related research is conducted,” Kadam said. “Students got to handle the latest equipment and also listen to scientists at the research facility talk about the recent developments in their areas.” Students also took trips to the many historic memorials located throughout Washington, and engaged in team-building activities. When they were given time to explore the capitol on their own, students went to an art museum and the International Spy Museum,

All presentations at the competition were given in front of a large audience, which included members of other competing teams. During the Funkadelic Four’s presentation, the team members handed out pamphlets to audience members to inform them about MRSA and ways to prevent infection. The AquaDucks passed out buttons to the audience, which contained the slogan, “Join the Movement, ReMove the Oil.” The teams also got to enjoy several extracurricular activities during their visit to the Washington, D.C., area. One of the more memorable trips was an outing to the Walter Reid Army Institute of Research in Silver Spring, Md. “This is a facility where

and were also given a tour of the capitol by former Ohio congressman Bob McEwen. Although the two Harker teams did not win any awards at the national level, “they were very happy with their efforts and the work they had

done throughout last year to get this far,” Kadam said. Each student was awarded a $3,000 savings bond for placing first in their respective regions. Students also received a $3,500 savings bond for their work at the national level. The teams received help on their experiments from MS science teachers Scott Kley-Contini and Lorna Claerbout. Gr. 8 history teacher Patricia White also accompanied the students on the trip. According to Kadam, the students who participated in the eCybermission competition said that it brought them closer together, and that they even “had a couple of get-togethers” over the summer. Kadam also had kind words for the students’ parents. “The parents of all these students deserve much appreciation for their willingness to drive their students around so the teams could work on the various aspects of the project,” Kadam said. “It was a joy to work with these two teams.”

Orientation Day a Great Start Middle school orientation took place on Aug. 25, at the amphitheater on the Blackford campus. Uniforms were not required at this event, so students got to enjoy casual dress. After the students received their advisors’ names and locations, students and parents were treated to a skit put on by the student council leadership. Head of School Chris Nikoloff, Division Head Cindy Ellis, and Dean of Students Lana Morrison then spoke before students were excused to meet with their advisors.

Visit Harker Parent Portal to see weekly photos!

For the duration of the day, students prepared their lockers, were introduced to their teachers for the year and got to mingle with their friends during lunchtime. Parents returned to their students for the final events of the orientation, a guided tour of the Blackford campus and its facilities, followed by a reception in the amphitheater. During this time, parents also had the opportunity to meet and interact with the middle school faculty and staff. Harker News — October 08




Student Leaders Take First Trip to Australian Sister School

Ten students travelled to Australia: seniors Carolyn Kuo, Candace Silva-Martin and Amanda Wong; and juniors Priya Banerjee, Danielle Buis, Jackie Ho, Jonathan Lau, Won Hee Lee, Amiti Uttarwar and Adrienne Wong. The trip revolved around Harker students joining St. Stephen’s juniors in a weeklong leadership camp, then spending the weekend living with host families and attending classes for a day with the students. “We really wanted to immerse ourselves in the day-to-day lives of the students of St. Stephen’s,” said Kevin Williamson, US dean of students. Fellow chaperone and US psychology teacher Naomi Schatz added, “Of course, we also took in the many sights along the way. When not working with St. Stephen’s we spent our time living in apartments, cooking most of our meals familystyle and enjoying the many sights of this truly unique country.” The group departed in early July on the 12-hour flight to Sydney and caught a connecting flight to Cairns (pronounced “cans”), on the northeast coast. In the week spent there, the group spent four days diving on the Great Barrier Reef, visiting the rainforest and artist colony of Kuranda via an historic railway and cable car, learning about the history of the country at an Aboriginal cultural park and strolling through the neighboring botanical gardens. Next, after a short flight down to Brisbane, the group visited the Queensland History Museum, danced the night away to salsa mu-


sic and watched the Brisbane Broncos play rugby. “One group favorite was our trip to the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary, where many of us got to hold koalas, pet kangaroos and feed wallabies,” said Williamson. On July 14, the group entrained for the city of Coomera to meet up with the students and staff of St. Stephen’s to begin the four-hour bus ride up to the Bunya Mountains for their Year 11 Leadership Retreat. While there, the students slept in ski-chalet-ish “dorms,” equipped with log-burning fireplaces and kitchens, with students responsible for cooking their own meals. “During the week, all students went to a variety of workshops, learning about leadership skills such as effective listening, personality types and working in groups,” noted Williamson. Schatz noted the interaction. “Here, the students really bonded with their Australian counterparts, especially when asked to dress up in garbage bags for their annual ‘mock formal’ and dance!” Of course, the crux of the visit was the students’ experience at the retreat. “I was able to learn more about myself and my peers throughout the three weeks we lived together in Australia,” said Jonathan Lau. “Now I understand how to incorporate my own personal skills with others depending on their own personalities and traits.” After a wonderful week up in the mountains at the retreat, the students had the opportunity to spend the weekend with host families, many of them visiting a Disney-style

Kevin Williamson - all photos

Summer 2008 marked Harker’s first student visit to sister school St. Stephen’s College. Located in Coomera, on Australia’s Gold Coast, Harker has had a relationship with the school for several years and this year administrators decided to expand that relationship to take advantage of programs that could be shared by both schools.

amusement park and/or going swimming in the ocean along the Gold Coast of Australia. “Having the opportunity to actually experience day-to-day life with their Australian buddies gave this trip a dynamic edge. Hopefully the days spent with the families gave the students insight into Australian culture,” said Jennifer Abraham, director of global education. At this point, Williamson and Schatz had a chance to do a little sightseeing on their own, taking a hike in the rainforests of Mt. Tamborine and visiting the Australian Outback Spectacular with the St. Stephen’s

spend the last few days sightseeing, arriving just a day or two after the Pope’s visit for World Youth Day. “We had an awesome experience there, running around trying to get in all the sights in just a few short days!” said Schatz. “Many of us did the Bridge Climb, went to a show at the Opera House, walked the Botanical Gardens and took full advantage of a long list of other outstanding and exciting opportunities while there,” she said. Amanda Wong noted, “The best part of the trip was the awesome activities. Climbing the Sydney Harbour Bridge, cuddling a koala and snorkeling in the Great Barrier Reef are once in a lifetime opportunities and I’m glad that I was able to participate in them.” To sum up the trip, Williamson observed, “The students were exceptionally wonderful, the touring was incredible and our time with St. Stephen’s was unforgettable. We were very encouraged by what we learned from the experience and Harker is working towards developing the program to include possible exchanges throughout the school year, in addition to returning during the summer of 2009.”

acting head of school and his wife. “We ended our time in Coomera by shadowing St. Stephen’s students and faculty for an interesting and exciting day on their campus,” said Williamson. The group flew back to Sydney to

Priya Banerjee evolved on the trip: “This trip not only introduced me to an entirely new country, new friends and a new culture, but taught me to be a leader by challenging myself and taking risks,” she said. “Although this trip was meant for the leaders of Harker, I only became one after this experience.“ Harker News — October 08

Update Debate - First Results In

Three Harker students qualified for the Coast Forensics District in March, making them the first Harker delegation to attend the annual national tournament held mid-June in Las Vegas, Nev. Over 15,000 students nationwide from 135 districts attempt to qualify to the National Forensics League National Tournament. With several hundred students competing in each event for five days, this tournament is the largest and oldest high school national tournament in the United States.

In late-breaking news, Harker debaters set new records in performance at their first three tournaments of the school year, bringing home an impressive four bids to the Tournament of Champions. Thanks to Carol Green, director of public forum debate, individual events and student congress for this report!

Stephanie Benedict ’08 impressed judges and peers in Senate Congressional Debate while advancing through the preliminar y competition with ease, and tied for first place coming out of the preliminar y rounds. She then competed in semis, earning a spot in the final round. Out of the 24 students, Benedict was nominated by judges in the finals as one of the top nine senators at the tournament. Her peers then had the opportunity to vote, and when the dust cleared, Benedict came out in sixth place. Kaavya Gowda, Gr. 12 and Kelsey Hilbrich, Gr. 11, debated through 13 rounds of public forum debate over a number of days about whether or not the United States’ policies passed after Sept. 11, 2001, had substantially reduced the threat of terrorist attacks against the U.S. After six preliminar y rounds, the pair made it to the top 89 teams and then faced a double loss elimination. Their first loss was on a 2-1 decision to the eventual champions of the tournament, and their second loss was another close 2-1 decision which left the duo ranking seventh in the nation! To further highlight the monstrous success these three Harker students achieved, adviser Carol Green disclosed that Harker was one point away from being named as a School of Excellence in debate. “This award is difficult to achieve for any school, as it is based on a calculation of cumulative student achievement points at the tournament earned through competitive success,” said Green. “Large schools are usually the recipients of this award, and I was ushered into a special office when someone did a rough calculation because there was some confusion that a school with only three students at the tournament could even be close. “All week long I had coaches coming up to me, in shock and awe of how amazing our debaters are,” noted Green. “They were further shocked to learn this was only our first appearance at nationals. This success could not come without support from the entire Harker community and … in front of thousands of people, these ladies reminded people of just how amazing Harker students are!” Harker News — October 08

This past weekend, Harker divided their time across the nation and traveled to the Wake Forest National Earlybird Invitational in Winston-Salem, N.C., as well as the Greenhill Classic in Dallas, Texas. These two tournaments are among the earliest and largest debate tournaments in the nation with 80 to 130 entries in every event and schools from almost every state in attendance at one tournament or the other. At the Wake Forest tournament, junior Kelsey Hilbrich and sophomore James Seifert came from behind with a 3-3 preliminary record, seeding 30th, to clear to Public Forum elimination rounds. After five grueling elimination rounds, the duo was finally defeated in the final round of the tournament on a 2-1 decision. This secondplace finish earned the duo a bid to the Tournament of Champions. This is HIlbrich’s second Public Forum TOC bid, after she and her regular partner, senior Kaavya Gowda, took second place and earned a bid at the Grapevine Classic in Dallas the weekend prior. Making history of their own, the Harker Policy program shined in two time zones this weekend, earning TOC bids both in Texas and North Carolina. Juniors Adam Perelman and Arjun Mody defeated a number of teams in elimination rounds, making an impressive climb from 29th seed in the initial elimination round rankings, to finally ending their tournament reign in the semifinal round of the tournament. This is Harker’s first varsity Policy debate elimination round appearance at the Wake Forest competition and it earned the dynamic duo a bid to the Tournament of Champions in May. Seniors Pratusha Erraballi and Kunal Modi did not let the threat of tropical storms dampen their path to the Tournament of Champions, either. Despite severe weather threats, the two debate captains also earned a bid to the Tournament of Champions by making it to the top 16 at the Greenhill Classic. The Tournament of Champions is one of the most prestigious events in high school debate, with students across the nation battling it out throughout the school year at designated qualifying tournaments. With only the top 72 teams in each debate event invited to the TOC, earning the qualifying bids can be a lengthy and work-intensive process. This year marks the first year in Harker history where four bids have been earned in the first month of the competitive season. With seven more months until the Tournament of Champions, we look forward to the challenge of replicating the success of September and thank all of the Harker community for their support of the forensics program!


Carol Green - both photos

Stephanie Benedict - both photos

Debaters Take Nationals By Storm



Junior Wins National Essay Contest Adam Perelman, Gr. 11, was recently awarded first prize for his entry in the Ayn Rand Institute’s yearly “Anthem” essay contest. Perelman received a $2,000 prize for the essay. More than 14,000 contestants submitted their essays for this year’s contest, which requires students to write about one of several topics related to Ayn Rand’s 1938 novel, “Anthem.” The book depicts a dystopian society in which the word “I” has been replaced by the word “We.” More than 140,000 high school students have entered the contest worldwide since 1985.

Olympics Not Just for Athletes

Shaun Ja - both photos

Anand Natarajan, Gr. 12, won an individual silver medal and helped his team take the silver prize at the sixth International Olympiad in Linguistics (IOL) in Sunny Beach, Bulgaria, in early August. Natarajan was on one of two teams representing the United States at the event. He was the only Harker student to make U.S. Team 1, taking four th place in the Nor th American Computational Linguistics Olympiad (NACLO), out of an original pool of nearly 800 par ticipants. He is also a member of Harker’s World Language Club. In addition to the U.S., 15 other teams from 10 countries took par t in the IOL, including Bulgaria, Germany, Estonia, South Korea, Latvia, the Netherlands, Poland, Russia, Slovenia and Sweden. Geared specifically to high school students, IOL contestants solve problems related to a wide variety of languages. This year’s contest had students solve problems dealing with Micmac (spoken by Native Americans in Canada), Old Norse, New Caledonia’s Drehu and Cemi languages, southern Mexico’s Copainala Zoque, and Inuktikut (the language of the Canadian Inuit people). A final team exercise dealt with various Chinese dialects. For this contest, students used the same skills utilized by linguistics researchers and scholars. Awards were given for the best solutions to a single problem, the highest total of the combined scores to each solution, and to the team scoring the most points in the contest. Natarajan received a silver medal for the total accumulation of his scores, and his team’s total score netted them a silver award as well. In addition to winning gold, silver and bronze medals in the team and individual contests, the U.S. also received the highest cumulative score. The U.S. won 11 of the 33 awards given at the Olympiad, including two gold medals.


Thirty Percent of Senior Class Named National Merit Semifinalists The National Merit Scholarship Program (NMSP), a nonprofit organization that honors the scholastic achievements of high school juniors, has announced semifinalists in the 2009 competition. Semifinalists represent less than one percent of the more than 1.5 million juniors in over 21,000 high schools who took the 2007 PSAT. Most high schools boast only a few, if any, students who earn this prestigious recognition. Congratulations to Harker’s 53 semifinalists (thirty percent of the class), now seniors: Mohit Bansal, Roshmi Bhattacharya, Boris Brenerman, Stephanie S. Chong, Sarah A. Christiano, Katherine V. Comee, Hanh Dang,

“Semifinalists represent less than one

percent of the more than 1.5 million juniors in over 21,000 high schools who took the 2007 PSAT.

Alyssa K. Donovan, Shirley M. Galbiati, Sophia Gilman, Barrett B. Glasauer, Ida Gorshteyn, Kaavya S. Gowda, Shreya S. Gowda, Richa Goyal, Shubha Guha, Stephanie J. Guo, Daniel J. Hsu, Alex Hu, David Kastelman, Aileen L. Kim, Daniel J. Kim, Kevin Kim, Nathaniel D. Kwok, Diana Lai, Aaron E. Lin, Michelle Lin, Elizabeth Liu, Jonathan P. Liu, Cailin A. Mackenzie, Elena D. Madan, Jeffrey D. Mandell, Sean G. Mandell, Kunal N. Modi, Anand V. Natarajan, Vikram Nathan, Sophie L. Newman, Anu R. Ramachandran, Lexis B. Ross, Neha S. Sabharwal, Denzil Sikka, Andrew C. Stanek, Priya R. Thumma, Daniel J. Tien, Juliane H. Tran, Chetan Vakkalagadda, Kartik R. Venkatraman, Kevin T. Wang, Susan Wang, Connie K. Wu, Daniel M. Wyleczuk-Stern, Kevin Xu, Rebecca L. Yanovsky. Semifinalists who continue academic excellence into their senior years, and who are endorsed by their principals and earn high scores on their SATs, will advance to the finalist round, where they have opportunities to win one of three types of merit scholarships: 2,500 National Merit-sponsored scholarships of $2,500 awarded by state, approximately 1,100 scholarships sponsored by corporations and business organizations, and some 4,600 scholarships awarded by colleges and universities to students matriculating at those schools. Scholarship winners are announced in four separate press releases by NMSP. In last October’s HN we announced the first three rounds of finalists. Over the summer the final round of college-sponsored winners was announced for students from the Class of 2008. From the University of Southern California: Grace Liang, Eric Trinh, Alex Underwood; from Northwestern University, Janise Chan; from Washington University in St. Louis, Paula Lauris.

Biologists Semifinalist Status In March, 14 US students qualified as semifinalists for the USA Biology Olympiad. Out of thousands of high school students from across the country who took an open exam, 611 were named semifinalists. “Those 611 semifinalists nationwide represent about the top 10 percent of all students taking the exam,” said US biology teacher Gary Blickenstaff. “It is a very difficult exam, covering all areas of biology, much the same as the AP Bio exam.” Harker’s 2008 USABO semifinalists (all seniors this year) were: Dominique Dabija, Shirley Galbiati, Alex Hu, David Kastelman, Daniel Kim, Aaron Lin, Jonathan Liu, Vikram Nathan, Nikhil Raghuram, Anu Ramachandran, Sachin Rangarajan, Andrew Stanek, Daniel Tien and Aditya Yellapragada. Harker News — October 08

Senior Katy Comee earned an honorable mention in the National Federation of Press Women’s 2007-2008 High School Journalism Contest for her work on Harker’s student newspaper, The Winged Post. The awards dinner was held Sept. 13 in Idaho Falls, Id. Students from the Nor thern California Press Women contingent had winners in nine of the four teen categories. Comee earned her award for her column, The Comee Repor t. In late breaking news, The Winged Post has been named a finalist in the Pacemaker competition, sponsored by the National Scholastic Press Association and Newspaper Association of America Foundation. Judges select finalists on coverage, content, writing quality and repor ting, as well as leadership on the opinion page, evidence of in-depth repor ting, design, photography, ar t and graphics. The Winged Post was in the Newspapers, 16 pages or less categor y. Winners will be announced for the first time at the JEA/NSPA convention November 13-16 in St. Louis.

Humanitarian Clubs Merge, Create Powerful Organization Harker’s newest student organization, Global Empowerment and Outreach (GEO), hopes to help cut world pover ty in half. Formed through the merger of Harker’s International Club, World Awareness Committee (WAC) and Friends Across Borders (FAB), the new club launched plans to address two of the eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) during a week-long program beginning Nov. 7 and, in the second semester, star ting April 6. Devised by the United Nations, the MDGs strive to improve fundamental human rights throughout the world by 2015. The goal to contribute on a global scale quickly united the members from the former organizations despite initial hesitation. “Individually, no club is better than the other, but together we’re one power ful, ef fective team,” said junior Christine Trinh, former WAC of ficer and current GEO secretar y. “Many issues of human rights are undeniably, profoundly sad,” said GEO club president, senior David Kastelman, a founding member of WAC and FAB. “At the same time, there is an oppor tunity to tangibly contribute to the solutions of these problems. This oppor tunity is incredibly power ful, energizing and hopeful.” The formidable new club will take on equally formidable challenges, star ting with world pover ty – the focus of GEO’s fall agenda. Club members are busy planning an assembly speaker, fundraising and other advocacy events. Additional GEO of ficers include junior Niti Shahi (vice president), senior Anu Ramachandran (treasurer) and sophomore Josephine Chen (public relations of ficer). Carol Zink, Mai Lien Nguyen, Ramsay Westgate and Kevin Lum Lung ser ve as faculty advisors. Harker News — October 08

Harker Grad Wins Silver Medal at International Math Contest In July, Paul Christiano ’08 won a silver medal representing the United States along with five other young mathematicians at the International Mathematical Olympiad (IMO) in Madrid, Spain. Christiano, who is attending Massachusetts Institute of Technology this fall, is the second Harker student to be named to the team, following Yi Sun ’06. “The problems at the IMO are not really similar to anything you encounter at school, at least in the U.S., both in terms of difficulty and content,” Christiano said. He was selected to be on the team after a four-month qualification process that required the completion of four other tests in order to qualify. It begins with the American Mathematics Competition, in which about 200,000 American high school students take par t. About 15,000 of those entrants then qualify for the American Invitational Mathematics Examination, which trims the pool to about 500 candidates, who go on to the USA Mathematical Olympiad. About 12 of those 500 are then invited to take the Team Selection Test in Washington, D.C. The six highest scorers make the team that goes to the IMO. Ever y year the IMO is run by the host countr y. A group of mathematicians from the host countr y selects the problems for the year’s contestants to solve. These problems are then voted on by representatives from each par ticipating countr y. Despite the pressures he faced, Christiano said he felt relatively prepared for the competition, thanks in par t to a training program at the University of Nebraska at Lincoln available to prospective IMO par ticipants. “Between that and having looked over all of the past IMOs, I was about as mathematically well prepared as I could have hoped for,” he said. “The problems are pretty consistent in terms of style and content from year to year.”

Matt Christiano - both photos

Student Paper Wins National Award

Although he is happy to have made the team, Christiano feels he could have done better. “Considering the mathematics alone, I could probably have gotten a gold medal and put the U.S. in second place,” he said. “Hopefully I have learned something valuable about per forming under pressure.” Above all, Christiano has relished the oppor tunity to be surrounded by so many young people who share his love of mathematics. “Just by virtue of being a part of this group and spending so much time doing math, you learn a lot and are inspired to learn a lot more,” Christiano said. “It’s really amazing to think how much I understand now that I didn’t even know existed the first time I went to the training program.”


school Back to School Night Turns to Day

First Ceremony of the Year

Back to School Day took place at the Saratoga campus on Sat, Sept. 13. Holding the event over the weekend reduced the number of schedule conflicts during the day, making it easier for parents to attend. Parents picked up their children’s schedules, met with advisors and visited teachers in their classrooms. Several student helpers were on hand to assist the visiting parents.

The first ceremony of the year, Matriculation, an event rooted in the Middle Ages to welcome new students to school, took place in the now-traditional quad on a sunny, still morning in late August. The new upper school students promised to uphold the values and mission of The Harker School, upperclassmen welcomed their new schoolmates with speeches and skits, while administrators and instructors added their thoughts or looked on, as the new group was joined to Harker’s history. Butch Keller, US division head, gave a speech to the new ninth graders titled “What a Difference a Year Makes.” Keller told the group, “To know where you are going…it is often wise to know a bit about those who have gone before you.” He then read evocative comments from a number of senior essays written by the Class of 2008. Head of School Christopher Nikoloff also welcomed the new class; his speech can be found on page 3 of this issue. Classical vocal ensemble Cantilena opened the musical year, adding atmosphere to the solemn moment. The new US students added their signatures to the matriculation book and took the Harker oath. To the class of 2012, we say, “Welcome!”

Pam Dickinson


Student volunteers for the day were: freshman Farrah Gulzar, sophomores Akshay Aggarwal, Rishi Bhatia, Anshul Jain and Aditya Parige; juniors Alison Axelrad, Kacie Kaneyuki and Jacqueline Son; and seniors Barrett Glasauer, Winny Huang and David Kastelman.

Exchange Students from Afar

Emily Chow - all photos

Please welcome two exchange students to the Saratoga campus and the Harker community. Eden Dorrington, from our sister school Saint Stephen’s College on the Gold Coast in Australia, is staying with the Pellissiers, and Maike Greve, from Germany, is staying with the Polzins. When you see them on campus, please be sure to give them a warm welcome!

Say “Hi” to a New Student!

Gr. 10: Lena Fitzpatrick, Andrew Liang, Alexandria Lozano, Sean Martin, Puneet Sidhu Gr. 11: Eden Dorrington, Ariel Fishman, Maike Greve, Otelia (Sammi) Werthen.


Masako Onakado

Gr. 9: Ashima Agrawal, Saira Ahuja, Sameena Balram, Simrun Bhagat, Proteek Biswas, Rohan Bopardikar, Crystal Chen, Sally Chen, Tina Crnko, Nicole Dalal, Govinda Dasu, Zachary Ellenberg, Eric Henshall, Melody Huang, Max Isenberg, Tariq Jahshan, Sachin Jain, Vikrum Jain, Emily Jones, Leo Kheyn-Kheyfets, Aranshi Kumar, Michelle Lo, Maxwell Maynard, Shilpa Nataraj, Maya Nelson, Tanya Piskun, Sankalp Raju, Madhuri Rao, Pavitra Rengarajan, Rohit Sanbhadti, Angela Singh, Sona Sulakian, Samantha Walker

Kerry Enzensperger

Please extend a warm welcome to our new students!

Sophomores took a day to bond when the class split to visit a pair of ropes courses. They learned trust and confidence during the outing as they relied on teammates to help them complete the course successfully. Harker News — October 08



Homecoming — Join Us Oct. 17!! Harker’s Homecoming football games will take place Oct. 17 at Foothill College. The junior varsity game begins at 4:30 p.m., and the varsity team will play at 7 p.m. Parents and students from every campus are invited to come see the big games and have fun at this annual Harker tradition. Foothill College is located at 12345 S. El Monte Rd. in Los Altos Hills.

Rhovylynn Cansino

■ Grads Receive Intel Science Awards 2008 graduates Frank Wang, Thomas Roxlo and Senan Ebrahim were honored March 18 at San Jose City Hall for finishing as semifinalists in Intel’s Science Talent Search. Last year they were awarded prizes from Intel for submitting projects that detailed scientific solutions to real-world problems.

Frances Ross

■ Harker Students Organize Donation Drive In July, Vamsi Vemireddy, Gr. 10 and Nithya Vemireddy, Gr. 7, organized a large donation drive for the client families of the St. Francis Center in Redwood City. The two students filled 40 boxes with items to donate to St. Francis, which were then delivered by a large U-Haul truck. ■ Senior Wins Writing Award Congratulations to Lexi Ross, Gr. 12, who won a national-level Gold Scholastic Writing Award from the Alliance for Young Ar tists & Writers. Ross was presented with a gold medal during a ceremony at Carnegie Hall in New York City. Her work will appear in the Alliance’s “The Best Teen Writing” anthology.


■ Grad Named to All-America Volleyball Team by Coaches Association In July, Brian McEuen ’08 became the first Harker student to be named to the 2007-08 American Volleyball Coaches Association Boys High School Senior All-America Team. McEuen was a key player in the boys volleyball program during his high school career. He is attending the University of California, San Diego. ■ Junior’s Art Featured in Olympic Art Expo After being named one of 38 finalists for the Beijing 2008 International Cultural Competition and Exhibit, junior Jackie Ho flew to Beijing in late July, where she and the other finalists received a replica of a jade treasure that was once possessed by a Chinese emperor. She was also featured on Chinese television, and her ar twork now resides in China’s Olympic Ar t Expo.

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 — October 08




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 afďŹ liations, 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: Lauri Vaughan, Stephanie Woolsey; Printing: Carol Sosnowski; Mailing Coordinator: Desiree Mitchell. Harker News — October 08

Profile for The Harker School

2008 October Harker News  

2008 October Harker News