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January 2009 (VOL. 15, NO. 4)








Students Raise Enough Money to Build a School in China enlight’ning Strikes First Again

Kyle Maynard Visits Harker....6-7 Holiday Shows Bring Cheer..10-11 Good Nutrition Good all Year..12 Gr. 6 Gets Laptops...............19 Spanish Newspaper Awes.....21

Inserts in this issue: Home and School Connection, Showcase Ticket Flier, Alumni Supplement, Orchestra Benefit Concert

Naomi Schatz

Classicists Take Top Honors..22

Harker students have a long tradition of contributing to wor thy causes, but they more than outdid themselves during Global Empowerment and Outreach (GEO) Week in November when proceeds more than quadrupled the original goal.


The fundraising activities, administered by members of the campus GEO club, ranged from vows of silence by students to the hilarious but lucrative pig-kissing commitment by faculty members. The result? Enough money was raised not only to supply about 50 pigs to rural farmers to bring them above the poverty level, but, ultimately, enough to build an entire school serving up to 500 children. The final amount was more than $14,000, a stunning result in these hard economic times. A critical component of the effort was GEO’s efforts to educate students on conditions in rural China which the group hoped to alleviate by providing pigs to help farmers climb above the poverty Continued on back page

Tickets Now On Sale!

Gr. 5 Experiences Nature and History at Marin Headlands

Fri., Feb. 20, 2009 San Jose Convention Center See page 4-5 for details.

The MS literary magazine, enlight’ning, took top honors in the 2008 American Scholastic Press Association awards. The magazine earned First Place with Special Merit in its category (Private/Parochial Schools, Enrollment 500 and under), awarded for special and outstanding design and content, and was one of four magazines named Most Outstanding MS Lit-Art Magazines for 2008. In addition, now-freshman Michelle Deng earned an Outstanding Artist award for her artwork. “It is truly a special honor for Michelle, as she is Continued on page 18

Maynard Leaves His Mark on Students

In early December, a group of 117 fifth graders traveled to the historic and scenic Marin Headlands, located just over the Golden Gate Bridge. The Headlands are well known for their fantastic views of the San Francisco Bay and the Pacific Ocean.

Fri., Jan. 16, 2009 Blackford Theater See Upcoming Events on page 2 for details.

Diane Plauck


est. 1893 • K-12 college prep

Despite the time of year, the weather during the trip was great. Sunny skies and light winds allowed students and teachers to explore unhindered. Stops included the Point Bonita Lighthouse. Now a museum, it was the last manned lighthouse on the California coast until automated in 1963. Continued on back page

The Harker Speaker Series was pleased to host Kyle Maynard for a daylong visit to the US. Read all about this amazing man, his inspiration and what he brought to – and left at – Harker. See page 6 for full story

editor’s note

important dates

annual giving

We look forward to seeing you refreshed and ready to go in 2009 - be sure to order your tickets to Freeze Frame today!

n Mon., Jan. 5 – Classes resume

Heartfelt Thanks!

–Pam Dickinson, Director Office of Communications

kudos The Office of Communications has won a platinum Ava Award for the video “Annual Giving Thank You.” The Ava Awards are administered by the Association of Marketing and Communication Professionals to recognize outstanding work by professionals producing audio-visual materials and programs. Every O of C production is a team effort, but special kudos go to photographer Mark Tantrum, administrative assistant to the director cum reporter Theresa Halol and US art teacher/videographer J Gaston for content, arrangement and production!

n Mon., Jan. 19 – Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, no classes K-Gr.12

UPCOMING SCHOOLWIDE EVENTS Common Ground Speaker Series n Tues., Jan. 27, 7 p.m. Smart Parenting in an Online World – a Panel Discussion with B.J. Fogg, Ph.D., Larry Magid, Ed.D., Larry Rosen, Ph.D. and Anne Zehren. Gunn High School, Spangenberg Theater, 780 Arastradero Rd, Palo Alto.

Performing Arts n Thurs.-Fri., Jan. 8-9, 7 p.m.- 10 p.m. – Student Directed Showcase Come revel in the talents displayed in these final-project productions by performing arts students! n Fri., Jan. 16, 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. – Orchestra Concert with orchestras from all three campuses, plus Bel Canto and Jazz Band. This annual extravaganza, a milestone for musicians, will amaze listeners! Blackford Theater. n Thurs., Jan. 29, 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. – Gr. 5 Show Pirates! The Musical. Open to the public, no charge. Blackford Theater.

Blackford Theater


Just another reminder that parents dropping off and picking up their students must avoid using Rebecca Drive as a shortcut. Neighbors have complained about Harker traffic, so please be neighborly and use Blackford Avenue instead.

Benefit Recital for Alice Tully Hall Appearance

March 21, 2009

Email to purchase tickets

Be Neighborly


Nichols Hall, Saratoga Campus Registration Deadline: Dec. 5

Fri., Jan. 30, 7:30 p.m. and Sat., Jan. 31 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.


n Fri., Jan. 30 7:30 p.m. and Sat., Jan. 31, 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Wing It! US Dance Production, Blackford Theater

save the date

US Dance Production

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

With 13 papers entered and 6 semifinalists named in the Siemens competition, Harker has doubled its participation and qualifying rate! After four years, our research program is thriving with a brand-new facility, increased enrollment, a student-led research club and heightened enthusiasm among mentors. Our own showcase, the Harker Research Symposium, a gathering of student researchers, their peers and mentors, has a couple of basic goals. The Symposium completes the research process for students in sharing research in a non-competitive setting and enables student researchers to interact with scientists and industry leaders in order to understand that scientific research drives the economy, careers and the quality of our lives. The fourth annual Harker Research Symposium will be held on Saturday, March 21, themed “New Frontiers,” and will showcase the biotechnology and pharmaceuticals industry. Last year, almost 500 parents and students attended the symposium; this year, the Symposium will be held in our new state of the art science and technology center and the Harker science department invites everyone to come! Watch the Harker Parent Portal and Harker News for more information on the Symposium as it develops.

The US Orchestra will hold a benefit recital at Harker Jan. 3 to raise funds for their trip this spring to the National Orchestra Cup in New York. The concert will feature solo and small ensemble performances from current students and alumni. Tickets are available in advance for $25 per seat and there are only 194 seats available, as the event will be held in the beautiful new Nichols Hall Auditorium. A highlight of the evening will be a string octet featuring current Harker string players in addition to alumni Audrey Kwong ’07, Stephanie Kim ’08, Jonathan Wang ’08 and Catherine Chiu ’08, all active musicians in college. The concert includes a raffle for, among other items, five reserved seats for the April 10 Spring Concert, a DVD of the orchestra’s performance in the competition at Alice Tully Hall, and an CD autographed by violinist Midori. The concert begins at 7:30 p.m. in Nichols Hall Auditorium. Tickets can be purchased at the door or reserved by e-mailing Orchestra director Chris Florio at ChrisF@ Call 408.345.9636 with questions or raffle donations.

Harker News — January 09



History Gives Stabilizing Perspective in Tough Times

To understand the downfall of Planet Finance, you need to take several steps back and locate this crisis in the long run of financial history. Only then will you see that we have all played a part in this latest sorry example of what the Victorian journalist Charles Mackay described in his 1841 book “Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds.”1

Finally, we are preparing a budget next year that attempts to balance our desire to keep tuition increases as modest as possible while providing faculty and staff with competitive salaries. In fact, we sometimes get asked why tuition has to increase at all. Of course, nothing would please us more than keeping tuition costs level over time, but we cannot for a few reasons.

As I listen to an exuberant conversation about books, just outside my door, between a librarian and a student, I am reminded that the people who comprise the Harker community, in any economy, are our most valuable asset.

In difficult times, it helps to turn to history for perspective. Niall Ferguson, in a recent article in Vanity Fair, conjures history to put the current financial crisis in perspective:

Ferguson continues to remind us that the world’s first stock market crash occurred in 1720, precipitated by a blow up of the Mississippi Company, and that there have been approximately 148 financial crises since 1870.

Harker, like any other school, seeks to attract and retain the best teachers possible and therefore has to keep its compensation competitive with like schools. Inflation, of course, also feeds the necessity to give raises.

As for our part, The Harker School will contribute to what economist John Maynard Keynes called the “liquidity trap.” When interest rates are low, financial actors hoard cash, thus inducing recession and spurring calls to lower interest which caused the problem in the first place.

We also have the little known Baumol Effect, named after economist William Baumol, who demonstrated that service industries like healthcare, education and the performing arts cannot create the production efficiencies that we see in the manufacture of widgets, for example. Baumol points out that the number of musicians required to play in a string quartet hasn’t changed since the 19th century.

Keynesian theory aside, we have taken some immediate measures to manage our resources prudently without impacting the quality of programs, some of which follow:

• We have asked all budget managers to curb noncritical expenditures this year. • We have stopped hiring for all except the most essential positions. • We have asked all employees to look for and forward any cost-cutting measures. At this point, we plan to see through final touches to recent construction of Nichols Hall, Davis Field and the Singh Aquatics Center on the Saratoga campus by proceeding with the planned relocation of the library, dance studio and college counseling offices. The school will also continue with its master site planning for the Saratoga campus with a view towards completing its next major project, the Performing and Visual Arts Center, once the funds are raised.

At Harker, we are clearly not manufacturing widgets. We believe we are helping to shape young lives and the future they will inhabit. We cannot seek productivity increases, for instance, by cutting back on teachers or crowding more students into classrooms. But we can and should take this opportunity to remind ourselves of what is essential to our mission and ensure that we are managing our resources properly in support of our goals. As I listen to an exuberant conversation about books, just outside my door, between a librarian and a student, I am reminded that the people who comprise the Harker community, in any economy, are our most valuable asset. 1 “Wall Street Lays Another Egg,” Niall Ferguson, Vanity Fair, December 2008.

–Christopher Nikoloff, Head of School

Students Bring Holiday Cheer Through Community Service In early November, US students helped the holiday festivities get underway by assisting in the building of Christmas in the Park, which was open from Nov. 28 to Jan. 1 at Plaza de Cesar Chavez in downtown San Jose. Students performed a variety of tasks, including painting, decorating and collecting materials.

Kerry Enzensperger

“I enjoyed the entire experience including walking around to find materials, stapling the decorations, and even fluffing the garlands,” said Candace Silva-Martin, Gr. 12. “Our job was probably the best because we had to transform the train section to a winter wonderland. In the end, I really did see a complete transformation.”

Harker News — January 09

Students also lent their helping hands at the San Jose Holiday Parade on Dec. 7, hefting the floats and helping to make sure the festivities went smoothly. Shanthi Rajagopalan, Gr. 11, reflected positively on her experience at the parade. “I got to meet a lot of new people, and everyone was really friendly,” she said. “We played games before, and then had lots of fun attempting to carry the huge Bimbo the Dog [float]. The fact that we could make all those little children smile just by carrying a huge balloon made all of us really happy.” “The San Jose Holiday Parade definitely felt timeless,” said festival helper Pierre Gerard, Gr. 10. “It was great to see so many people volunteering, but there can never be enough when it comes to doing something for your community.”




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


Proceeds from Freeze Frame benefit the Harker Scholarship Fund, faculty professional development, and the Capital Improvement Fund for the construction of the new library at the upper school campus.

Framing the Runway!

fashions by


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Preshow: Upper School Chamber Ensemble During meal: Upper School Jazz Band Show: Varsity Dance Troupe (Upper School), Dance Fusion (Gr. 4-6), Downbeat (Upper School)

Dance Fusion: Gr. 4 – Joseph Krackeler, LeAnn Nguyen, Austin Tuan; Gr. 5 – Alexandra Dellar. Emma Doherty, Selin Ozcelik, Kristen Park, Vikram Vasan, Namitha Vellian; Gr. 6 – Megy Appalaraju, Chris Hildum, Caroline Howells, Srivinay Irrinki, Madi Lang-Ree, Angeline Pan, Sindhu Ravuri, Nephele Troullinos, Jacqui Villarreal Varsity Dance Troupe: Sarah Payne, Andrea Thomas, Stephanie Chong, Karlene McCallaCreary, Shanna Polzin, Adrienne Wong, Carmen Das Grande, Daisy Mohrman Downbeat: John Ammatuna, Ananya Anand, Namrata Anand, D.J. Blickenstaff, Daniel Cho, Michelle Holt, Joe Hospodor, Tyler Kotesky, Christina Li, Cailin Mackenzie, Scott Mohanram, Kendra Moss, Neha Sabharwal, Anita Satish, Kartik Ventkatraman, Melinda Wang

Davis Family* Tushar & Reshma Davé Lon & Mary Allan

Jazz Band: Alexander Achkinazi, Aakash Agarwal, Roshni Bhatnagar, Nikunj Donde, Anthony Fandrianto, Vishesh Gupta, Abhinav Khanna, Won Hee Lee, Andrew Liang, Tsung-Ju Lu, Isaac Madan, Maxwell Maynard, Francesca Nagle, Dwight Payne, Tanya  Piskun, Aadithya Prakash, Harrison Schwartz, Vladimir Sepetov, Saurabh Sharan, Benjamin Tien, Daniel Tien, Steven Tran, Samantha Walker, Gabrielle Yee

Club Auto Sport Santana Row* Marcia & Chris Riedel – Hunter Labs* Sutardja Family

Chamber Ensemble: Brittany Chu, Melody Huang, Sonya Huang, Jeffrey Kwong, Warren Kwong, Maddy Rao, Julia Shim, Elaine Song, Shizuka Tiernan

Krish & Nina Panu Heritage Bank of Commerce* Air Systems, Inc.* Citti’s Florist, Inc. Rector Porsche – Audi Sathaye Family Foundation* Jaja Hsuan Jones – Triple J. Design C. Denise Brodersen, CFP® – UBS Financial Ser vices, Inc. HAIR DESIGN & MAKEUP

James Craig Hair Color & Design PHOTOGRAPHY

Genesis Photography

Genesis Photography Captures Harker Models The J. Geils Band (singers of the pop hit “Freeze Frame”) would have been proud. Freeze Frame was in full fashion mode on Nov. 16, as all four model groups descended on Nichols Hall for their group pictures taken by Genesis Photography. When the first group (the MS models) arrived, Vincent Isola and his team had already been setting up for hours, assessing which shots would be best. Maximizing the unique architecture of Nichols Hall, timing the lighting just right, and getting the most out of the models is all a part of the job. “I love what I do, and especially like working with kids,” said Isola. “And these guys were absolutely fantastic – such great energy!”


Diamond Quality Printing

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

Nonna Pikiner and her volunteers, Regina Wong, Marilyn Moss and Sergey Pikiner, organized the afternoon like clockwork, resulting in a smooth and efficient photo shoot. Look for a four-page spread on the fashion show in the upcoming issue of Gentry Magazine.

* Six-year sponsors, to whom we are most grateful! Sponsorship oppor tunities are still available – visit the Freeze Frame Web site to learn more about the benefits of becoming a sponsor!


Harker News — January 09

This year the Showcase tickets will be mailed home in late January, giving you time to choose among the three exciting Freeze Frame Showcases: 1. Classic Fun: Combining cool electronics and fun surprises, it’s the per fect showcase for students of all ages. 2. Picture Perfect Getaway: 300 miles of fun behind the wheel of an Aston Martin combined with golfing, super-swank events and other indulgent surprises. You’ll escape in style! 3. Do The Row: From high fashion to fine foods, the best of Santana Row is once again stylishly wrapped up for one lucky winner. (See insert for more Showcase details.)

Design in Mind? We are still in need of a designer for the Santana Row Showcase. If you know of anyone who would like to donate their talents and make visual magic with lots of suppor t, please contact Susan Ellenberg at

Décor Interprets Freeze Frame Theme The décor committee, led by Abha Shukla (Amaresh, Gr. 12), is working behind the scenes to bring together the past (“That Was Then”) and the present (“This is Now”) for the Freeze Frame Fashion Show 2009. Every year this team works to create an exciting atmosphere, as they visually interpret the spirit of the theme for the event. Shukla has a creative and resourceful core team of 13 members: Cynthia D’Agosta, Carol Underwood, Dee Hospodor, Maria Lu, Fred Carr, Kim Pellissier, Marilyn Moss, Shraddha Agrawal, Monica Bansal, Roopa Ankola, Sharvari Dixit, Lisa Blickenstaff and Kavitha Prabhu are working on the planning and creative vision phase. An additional team of parent volunteers will help in the ever-important execution phase closer to the fashion show date. This year the committee is interpreting the theme “Freeze Frame – That Was Then, This Is Now,” by portraying Harker, Silicon Valley and its technology in a historical retrospective. If you are interested in contributing to the creation of this spectacular vision, contact Shukla at

n A heartfelt THANKS to our newest group of advertisers: Marvy’s Landscaping; Transcultural Promotions; Just Windows; CBIZ; Nolan Law Group; Eyefinity-Allen L. Beede, OD & Lisa Shiroishi, OD; Academic Expeditions; Santa Clara Swim Club.

n Freezing the Reservations and Framing the Tables for 2009! The reservations committee, led by Lalitha Kumar (Arjun, Gr. 7 and Aneesha, Gr. 2) and Shankari Sundar (Vikram, Gr. 7), has been working hard to make the reservation process easy and smooth. With assistance from Harker’s technology wizards Dan Hudkins and Preeti Sharan, they have been busy enhancing the process with additional features to facilitate bulk reservations. Previous reservations committee lead Regina Wong (Christina, Gr. 7), has been a guiding light throughout the process. Committee members Archana Desai, Arati Navar, Bella Yanovsky, Lei Jin, Grace Edvalson, Rachana Jain, Roni Wolfe and Wanda Tam will process over a thousand reservations coming via fax, mail and online. Start framing your tables now! Reservations will be open from Jan. 5, 2009 at the fashion show reservations page:>Support Harker>Fashion Show>Reservations & Hotel.

n Call for Table Captains Organize the Freeze Frame reservations of two tables (20 friends or grade/club groupings) and you’ll be entered into a special spa drawing for Table Captains! It’s a great way to round up groups of fun folks and avoid table-seating roulette! Contact Mary Malysz at Harker News — January 09

Going Once, Going Twice… Gone in a FLASH! The live auction, a much-anticipated portion of the fashion show’s evening dinner gala, will feature auctioneer extraordinaire Damon Casatico. Casatico is the founder and president of Charity Benefits Auctions, which has been featured on Access Hollywood and Entertainment Tonight. Given the following preview of just some of the items on the auction block, it promises to be an exciting evening of bidding:

Provided by Damon Casatico

Three Freeze Frame Showcases

n Getaway at an Exclusive Resort Destination Whether you choose to retreat to the desert beauty of Scottsdale, Ariz., with country club amenities, or the powdery slopes of Snowmass, Colo., at the upscale, family-friendly Timbers Club, you’ll be vacationing in the finest luxury accommodations for which Exclusive Resorts are known.

n Bugatti Adventure Strap in for the ride of your life in the fastest accelerating production car in the world! John Davis (Cole, Gr. 11) will be your host for an unforgettable afternoon in his 2008 Bugatti Veyron 16.4 coupe. You won’t be late for lunch at the Pebble Beach Lodge & Golf Club – with 1001hp taking you from zero to 60 in 2.3 seconds, they’ll know when you arrive.

n Six Nights in Cabo Located at the southernmost tip of Baja, Calif., where the Pacific Ocean meets the Sea of Cortez, the internationally renowned Palmilla Resort is surrounded by sweeping vistas of desert, mountain and coastline. Imagine seven days and six nights in an impeccably decorated villa in a resort so special, it’s become a favorite hideaway for celebrities and high-rollers. Will you be rubbing elbows with them?

n Four Nights at Villa Rio Del Mar This Monterey Bay beach vacation is the perfect getaway. Located in the fun beach village of Rio Del Mar, you’re steps away from the sand at Villa Rio Del Mar, which is fully equipped with terrific amenities.

Reserve Your Seat! Look for this year’s fashion show invitation in the mail soon. Online reservations for lunch and dinner tables open on Jan. 5, 2009 at www.harker. org>Support Harker>Fashion Show>Reservations & Hotel.

Join the Freeze Frame team! There’s still time to become part of the Freeze Frame crew – join us at our Thurs., Jan. 8 meeting at the Blackford MPR starting at 8 a.m., or visit the Freeze Frame Web site for more information:>Support Harker>Fashion Show. Executive Team: Betsy Lindars, Sponsorship and Finance; Jennifer McClenon, Promotion & Showcase; Tamra Amick, Event Production

Next meeting: Thurs., Jan. 8, 2009

n n n n n

Committee Information Sponsorships Program Advertising Showcase Donation Drawing and more!



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

Kyle Maynard Pins Audience to Their Seats with Inspirational Story By John Jerney (John Nicolas, Gr. 5; Cristina, Gr. 8)

But not for the little boy on the screen. For Kyle Maynard, even the simplest actions involved monumental amounts of patience, will, frustration and courage. Born on 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, Maynard discovered earlier than most the power of the human spirit to overcome adversity. “Everybody here has a disability,” explained Maynard. “And we all have to accept it. We all have challenges that we don’t think we can overcome. And even if we don’t share them with others, we recognize them in ourselves.”

Things happen. Stock markets crash, grades fall, and things happen that are outside of our control. Yet it’s up to us to decide how to react.

From seating himself in the speaker’s chair without assistance, to demonstrating his favorite wrestling moves on stage following his presentation, Maynard is clearly the kind of person who refuses to let his disabilities get in the way. “It’s easy to look at the challenges and use them as an excuse to quit,” noted Maynard. “Instead be thankful of the challenges in your life. Instead of having them hold you back, think of them as a way to make you a stronger and better person.” This is clearly what Maynard did when he decided that he wanted to be a champion wrestler. “It was very tough when I started in grade six,” recalled Maynard. “My dad videotaped me and made me watch every match.” Losing his first 35 straight matches over the course of a year and a half was hard on Maynard. “At the time, I didn’t understand what he was doing. But down the road, my dad made me who I am today.” His hard work and faith in God propelled Maynard to reach an unimaginable height, winning 36 varsity matches during his senior year in high school, as part of one of the best teams in the Southeast. 6

Maynard recounted key moments in his life, some painful, some comical, all critical to his growth as a person. Maynard told of how one day his father simply stopped helping him eat and told him to figure it out himself or starve. Or how his grandmother would take him to the market to encourage him to interact with others. These and other moments helped Maynard realize that he wanted to be accepted as just another person, not as a person with disabilities. Maynard now uses his special insight to help others. Particularly moving was Maynard’s recounting of a young corporal whom he met shortly after the soldier returned from Iraq, very badly injured. Seeing a story of May-

Every excuse you make sets you further back.... Instead, use adversity to improve yourself and take every challenge as an opportunity.

An enthusiastic audience of over 200 students, parents and guests warmly welcomed Kyle Maynard to the first event in this year’s Harker Speaker Series, held in the grand atrium of Nichols Hall on the Saratoga campus. In an introductory video, the audience was introduced to a young child, smiling, bounding through the house, playing football, writing on a computer. Normal things, the kind of moments and events that often pass without recognition.

nard on television was what got the young man up and ready to continue with his life, notwithstanding the unexpected new challenges. “Things happen,” Maynard noted. “Stock markets crash, grades fall, and things happen that are outside of our control. Yet it’s up to us to decide how to react.” Today Maynard continues to work with injured soldiers returning from Iraq and Afghanistan, teaching them about hope and opportunity. In addition, Maynard continues to drive towards new goals, which include training in the sport of mixed martial arts, also known as Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, scheduled to be introduced at the London 2012 Olympics. In characteristic Maynard fashion, he has an eye on making it on to the U.S. Olympic team. Even Maynard was quick to admit that the likelihood of making the team is small, but then he quickly countered himself by advising everyone to set the bar higher than they think is possible. “Every excuse you make sets you further back,” noted Maynard. Instead, use adversity to improve yourself and take every challenge as an opportunity. Privately, Maynard told me after the event that his real dream is to climb Mount Everest. I think the smart money is on Maynard conquering this dream as well. Many thanks to those who contributed to the more than $100 that was raised for the Special Olympics at this event. Harker News — January 09

Athlete and Humanitarian Kyle Maynard Speaks to US Assembly During a very special assembly at the Saratoga gym on Nov. 21, the US student body received a visit from disabled athlete and author Kyle Maynard, whose story continues to inspire audiences worldwide.

thrilled when he made the local youth team. “I didn’t know that, since it was a youth team, everybody makes the team,” he said cheerfully, eliciting a chorus of laughter in response.

Born with a rare affliction known as congenital amputation, Maynard, 22, has lived his entire life without forearms or forelegs. His tireless determination and willingness to adapt led him to have a successful career as a high school wrestler, and he is now working on his foray into mixed martial arts. Maynard’s own fitness center, No Excuses Athletics, opened in Suwanee, Ga., on Dec. 6.

Maynard’s transition to wrestling proved difficult. “There weren’t my other 10 teammates there to help me when I was down,” he said. “I was the only one who could decide whether or not I had enough of what it took to win or lose.”

Following a brief introduction by Butch Keller, US division head, Maynard made his way to the front of the crowd to address the students, who welcomed him with raucous applause. Maynard joked that he wasn’t sure if he was at a speaking engagement or a rock concert. He commended the students on their efforts to succeed academically. Though he mentioned his own disability, he said, “We all have obstacles and disabilities to deal with,” be they emotional or psychological.

After 35 consecutive losses, Maynard let go of his fear and anxiety one day when making eye contact with his opponent just before a match. “I saw in his eyes that he was just as scared as I was,” he said. “And it took all that fear out of me.”

Maynard encouraged students to “realize that every excuse you make...takes you that much further away from your goals and your dreams and the things that you want the most.” He discussed his childhood and how he gradually accepted his differences. “I just wanted to be normal,” he recalled. Remembering his grandmother’s advice to be confident in who he was, he went to school one day without his prosthetic limbs. “The kids responded by saying that they liked me better like that,” he said. At 11 years old, Maynard decided he wanted to play football. He was

Maynard won on points after a series of takedowns. It was a defining moment. “Any challenge that [I could] ever be put to test with, I’d be able to go and draw strength from that moment and know that it was possible,” he said. Following that win, Maynard went on to become one of the top 12 high school wrestlers in the nation in his senior year. He encouraged students to find moments in their own lives where they overcame adversity and to find determination in those moments. “The challenges that present themselves…are our opportunities,” he said. “They’re opportunities to grow and learn about who you really are inside.”

Kyle Maynard Offers Instruction to Wrestling Squads The MS and US wrestling squads received some top-level instruction during Kyle Maynard’s visit to the MS campus on Nov. 21. Maynard and his colleague Ben Davis first took the students through a routine of warm-up exercises and stretches before the lessons began. Maynard demonstrated a number of techniques throughout the session. Working with Chris McCallaCreary, Gr. 10, he showed the techniques to the rest of the class before students paired up to practice on their own. Maynard then went around the room, coaching students individually to make sure that they were applying the techniques correctly. Coach Karriem Stinson and his students were impressed with Maynard’s skill on the wrestling mat, as he made a variety of tricky maneuvers look easy. At one point, after Maynard quickly and effortlessly demonstrated another takedown, Stinson gleefully remarked, “This guy’s bad!” During the lessons, Maynard made sure to point out the importance of finesse, saying that wrestling is “not about going out there and trying to brutalize your opponent.” Following the instructional session, the students went through another intensive workout, performing six sets each of squats, push-ups and sit-ups, each set lasting 20 seconds. Tired but not discouraged, the students stayed after for a brief signing session, where Maynard put his autograph on copies of his best-selling book “No Excuses,” in addition to other possessions such as shoes and T-shirts. “It was really amazing, because he taught a lot of techniques that we never learned before,” said Jonathan Lau, Gr. 11. “And they’re really useful because I always get stuck in those positions.” McCallaCreary said it was the hardest practice he’d been through since the season started, but that the end result was rewarding. “[Maynard] is a really inspirational speaker,” he said. “If he can be a champion, it just inspires me to work harder.” Harker News — January 09




Harmonics Entertain Volunteers at Thank You Luncheon A volunteer lunch in early December at Blackford got an extra dose of holiday cheer when the Harmonics theatrical ensemble serenaded the meal. The group of over 20 Gr. 7-8 singers ran through a medley of favorites while volunteers who helped out with ambassadors, LS and MS pictures, performing arts, athletics and family picnic relaxed and enjoyed a great meal by executive chef Steve Martin and Blackford chef Tyrone Lockett. Nearly 100 volunteers attended the lunch.

US Students Attend Annual YWCA Fundraiser Luncheon

New Acoustic Shell Enhances Musicians’, Audience’s Experience One of the most visible contributions of the Annual Giving Fund is the new acoustic shell the school received in late November. The 11-panel TravelMaster shell can be used in two parts or as a single shell, travels easily and enhances both the audience experience and the ability of the musicians to hear themselves. The shell, 39 feet long, serves up to seven sets of risers and accommodates dozens of students. It was put into play just in time for the holiday concerts and assemblies. The shell, with full warranty and in perfect condition, was purchased used. The savings allowed the school to get a larger shell than if it were bought new as well as a new set of safety rails for risers. “The acoustic shell is modular, so you can assemble it straight or curved and in any size from 10 feet up to 39 feet,” said Danny Dunn, LS technical director. “This means it can go on tour and between campuses easily.” The shell is already fully assembled and being used in rehearsals. “The sound difference is remarkable,” noted Dunn, “and we haven’t even tuned it yet.” Thanks to all contributors to the Annual Giving Fund!

Chaired by former San Jose vice-mayor Susie Wilson, approximately 1,400 people attended, and over $300,000 was raised at the event to support the programs of the 103 year-old YWCA of Silicon Valley.

A pair of Harker teachers took part in a Day of Discovery workshop in mid-November to help them better use the technology in their classrooms. Kathleen Ferretti, Gr. 3 and Diane Plauck, Gr. 4-5, attended the six-hour seminar sponsored by Discovery Education at the Santa Clara County Office of Education in San Jose. Topics covered included learning creative techniques to inspire students using digital media, both streaming from educational Web sites and maximizing PowerPoint and movie-making tools. “I was most interested in ways to further my use of technology in the classroom,” noted Ferretti. “I have a very full curriculum and am always looking for ways to present the material in exciting ways that benefit the children. This workshop was a way of keeping me up to date with some of the new additions to the list of innovations that work in the classroom.” 8

Help us reach



Teachers Attend Workshop on Classroom Technology

Participation is at 50%



t Par t i



A group of Harker US students attended the YWCA’s 18th Annual Luncheon fundraiser held in October at the San Jose McEnery Convention Center. Keynote speaker this year was award-winning actress and AIDS advocate, Alfre Woodard. Harker hosted a table of students to hear Woodard’s presentation, and also served as the volunteer photography service for photos with Woodard at the pre-event sponsor reception.


Chris Daren

Make Your Gift In the 2008 Tax Year

t cipa

Remember to make your gift to Annual Giving by Dec. 31 to receive a tax deduction for the 2008 tax year. Gifts may be made online by clicking on “Suppor t Harker” from the Harker home page and must be completed by Dec. 31. Checks must be dated and postmarked no later than Dec. 31 to qualify for the 2008 tax deduction; checks can be mailed to: Harker Advancement Office 3800 Blackford Ave., San Jose, CA 95117.

Harker News — January 09

Staff Updates

Happy New Year, Happy Reading with ‘BookBrowse’

n Jayden Barney William Seed arrived just in time for the holiday season! Congratulations to proud parents Lori Kohan (US academic counselor) and John Seed. Jayden was born Nov. 14 at 1:48 p.m., weighing in at 8 lbs. 12 oz. of the technology staff and his girlfriend, Monica, welcomed their new baby boy, Kelton Ace Wimsett, on Nov. 19, weighing in at 9 lbs. 9 oz.

Supplied by Lori Kohan

n Mark Locascio,

Supplied by Mark Locascio

Harker’s network manager, and his wife, Joanne, were joined by son Anthony Vincent just before Thanksgiving. The lad arrived at 1:31 a.m. Nov. 24 at 6.78 pounds, “most of which I think was attitude and hair as he is Italian,” said papa Mark.

in the news n National Forensic League Web Site Nov.-Dec., 2008 Harker has two teams posted to the list of competitors selected for the National Public Forum Challenge II, to be held in mid-January.

n Silicon Valley/San Jose Business Journal – Nov. 7, 2008 Nichols Hall was mentioned in yet another construction story for its Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) design and certification. The article focused on XL Construction’s “green” projects, including Nichols Hall.

During a recent visit to the California Library Association annual conference in San Jose, I came upon a booth sponsored by “BookBrowse,” both a free Web site and a subscription database promising to be “your guide to exceptional books.” The low-cost subscription features add an exciting dimension that we do not want you to miss. Created by Saratoga resident Davina Morgan-Witts, this innovative and user-friendly product provides a place for people who love reading, but don’t always know what their next book should be (and who does?), to go for a recommendation. We are subscribing to this service to make it easier for busy adults to put more fiction and nonfiction in their lives. Parents will find this delightful tool in the Library Portal under Parent Resources. “BookBrowse” will also appear on the regular library subscription databases page and is accessible to faculty and staff. Our third reason for adding this site is to create a new excitement for reading in your household. Your excitement will encourage your children to read more too. Reading is the ticket to academic success, imagination-building and pure enjoyment. Next to losing weight, most people promise themselves they will read more as their New Year’s resolution. Let “BookBrowse” be your guide! Happy New Year from Enid, Sue, Lauri, Bernie, Kathy, Maureen, Elena, Jared, Lara and Andrew. –Enid Davis, Library Director

then and now As photos come to light in the Harker Archive Project, we’ll match them up with existing facilities and student activities Harker Archives

Supplied by Brian Wimsett

n Brian Wimsett

The five librarians and the five clerks who comprise the library department wish to share our gratitude to our generous Harker parents and our love of reading with adults in our school community. (We have a third reason for adding this very special subscription database to our resources, but I will tell you about that later.)

for your viewing pleasure! This month features lounges, one from 1972, the other opened in Nichols Hall in 2008.

Harker News — January 09




Performing Arts Students Light up ‘The Row’ at Annual Tree Lighting Event Three groups from Harker’s performing arts department helped Light Up the Row – Santana Row, that is, at the shopping mecca’s annual tree lighting ceremony. Hosted by NBC11 anchors Laura Garcia-Cannon and Brent Cannon, the two-hour event featured entertainment from “So You Think You Can Dance” finalist Katee Shean, selections from “Peter Pan” performed by Children’s Musical Theater of San Jose and a visit from Santa Claus, who arrived with a police escort in a carriage drawn by white horses.

Dance Fusion, the Gr. 4-6 troupe led by Gail Palmer, were fabulous as usual with “Another Rock ‘N’ Roll Christmas.” Harmonics, the MS show choir led by Monica Colletti and Roxann Hagemeyer, not only sang and danced, but showed their versatility with beautifully harmonized versions of “Carol of the Bells” and “Silent Night.” And the US Conservatory was represented by Downbeat, directed by Catherine Snider and Laura Lang-Ree, who sang a rousing spiritual, “Swingin’ with the Saints,” and danced and sang to “Boogie Woogie Santa Claus.” Harker was well represented in the crowd as well. LS teacher Kate Shanahan noted, “As always, it was a blast seeing my old (and current) students perform. My family was visiting from Virginia and I was proud to show off

...I felt this strong sense of pride and school spirit as the crowd gave such a roaring applause to our students. It was the largest crowd I have ever seen our students perform in front of.

Harker’s arts program; my family was so impressed! I had no idea the event would draw such a tremendous crowd, and the dancers and singers definitely did Harker proud.” MS English teacher Patricia Lai concurred: “That night, I was wearing my Harker sweatshirt with tremendous pride. They spoke, sang and danced beautifully.”

Jessica Liu - all photos

Joe Rosenthal, director of advancement, also attended, and commented, “Standing among the thousands of people from the community watching our students perform, I felt this strong sense of pride and school spirit as the crowd gave such a roaring applause to our students. It was the largest crowd I have ever seen our students perform in front of.”


Harker News — January 09

Concert Breaks in New Space, Provides Stress Relief Men in Tights.” They also got serious with a lovely arrangement of “What a Wonderful World,” and the seniors said goodbye to their final winter concert with “Up on the Roof.” The young women of Cantilena rounded out the evening, with a lively French piece, a very beautiful contemporary piece called “All the World is Winter,” and a haunting arrangement of the traditional American folk song “Shenandoah.” Not to be outdone by Guys’ Gig, the group sang an encore of their first French song, this time with original lyrics that teased the boys in the club and mentioned them all by name.

Un Concert de Voix, the first choral event to be held in the new Nichols Hall Auditorium, was an elegant evening of song presented by the ensembles of director Susan Nace. In its debut performance, Camerata, a chamber group of six girls and four boys, performed three Renaissance pieces, two in French and one in Spanish, and a lovely French piece by contemporary composer and USC professor Morten Lauridsen.

Such a lovely concert seemed a fitting way to inaugurate the campus’ newest performance space. Congratulations to Nace and her groups for breaking up the stressful rush to Thanksgiving with such a welcome interlude.

Camerata was followed by a series of soloists. Jane Yuan, Gr. 12 and Vrinda Goel, Gr. 10, each performed a French chanson, and Elena Madan, Gr. 12, sang a song from the Broadway musical “Aida.” A concert highlight was the trio of Shubha Guha, Sammi Lowe and Natasha Jeswani, all Gr. 12, who sang a three-part harmonized rendition of the 1940s hit “Near You,” and sounded like they had just stepped out of a time machine. Guys’ Gig, the a cappella boys group advised by Nace and overseen by club president Amaresh Shukla, Gr. 12, provided a comic interlude with their antics and songs from “Monty Python’s Spamalot,” and “Robin Hood:

Assembly Rife With Holiday Spirit Holiday cheer was in the air as students on all three campuses filed into their respective gyms on Dec. 12 to catch a diverse series of performances from all of Harker’s singing and dance ensembles from Gr. 4-12. Director Laura Lang-Ree oversaw a logistical extravaganza of over 300 performers: Bel Canto, Showstoppers, Vivace, the Gr. 4-5 Choir, Dance Fusion, High Voltage, Downbeat, Camerata, Cantilena, the Gr. 6 Choir, Harmonics, JV and varsity Dance Troupes and the US Orchestra. The student technical crew toured from campus to campus with the performers, keeping the groups organized and the show running smoothly. Technical directors at each campus – Brian Larsen, Paul Vallerga and Danny Dunn – provided sound and light support, including sing-a-long slides for the littlest audience at Bucknall. Numbers included the US Orchestra’s rendition of “Molly on the Shore,” Dance Fusion’s fist-pumping “Rock ‘n’ Roll Christmas” routine, a rousing interpretation of “Santa Claus is Coming to Town” by the MS Harmonics vocal group and a show-stopping finale by the Dance Troupes, in which a massive banner bearing the timeless slogan “Happy Holidays” was unfurled before the hundreds-strong audience. All performers during the hour-long assembly received well-deserved and enthusiastic applause.

Harker News — January 09




Early Winter Sports in Full Swing at Middle and Lower Schools The early winter sports season finished for both LS and MS athletes in December, but not all results were available at press time. Check out this space next month for the final scores and team records!

Matthew’s School 44-20. The boys also beat King’s Academy. Varsity B Boys Basketball The B1 team began their season with a win against Menlo School, 30-13. They also beat Priory and had a 2-0 record. B2 was 1-1 with a victory over Keys, and B3 was 0-2 with a one-point loss included in that record.

Boys Basketball The JV B1 basketball team was 3-0 with victories over St. Joseph’s Sacred Heart, Pinewood and Keys. JV B2 was 0-4 but two of those losses were very close games. The Gr. 4 (JV C) basketball team was also 0-4 but one of those games was a one-point loss!

Jessica Liu

LS Sports - Early Winter

C Basketball D Girls Soccer The girls soccer team had a 2-1 record, with victories over Castilleja and St. Joseph’s Sacred Heart.

The C basketball team lost their first game against St. Joseph’s Atherton, 27-37. They won their next game easily, however, against Woodside Priory, 29-14.

MS Sports – Early Winter Varsity A Girls Soccer

Varsity A Boys Basketball

Although they began their season with a loss to Menlo School 0-4, the varsity A girls soccer team beat St. Matthew’s School in their second game 5-2. Their record was 1-2 at press time.

Jessica Liu

At press time, varsity A boys basketball had a 4-4 record, with a tough league and non-league schedule. Their early season included two wins and one loss at the WBAL jamboree held in early November. Key victories were against Priory, 37-13, and St.

Varsity B Girls Soccer The B girls soccer team got off to a great start by handily beating Crystal Springs Uplands in the season opener, 8-0. After their third game, they had a 1-2 record.

JV A Soccer The Gr. 6 girls team was 2-1-1 with victories over Girls Middle School and Pinewood.

Upper School Wraps up Fall Sports and Ramps up Winter Sports US Sports - Fall Volleyball The girls volleyball team ended their season in the CCS Division

IV quar ter finals, and held their own at the Blackford campus games. Unfor tunately, the girls lost to Sacred Hear t Prep in four matches. After losing the first match by two points, 2325, the girls came back in the next match with a resounding 25-18 win.

Jessica Liu

Despite a valiant effor t by our girls, Sacred Hear t won the next two matches, 25-20 and 25-21. The Eagles finished the sea-


son second in the league with a 19-12 overall record, with several players holding impressive league statistics. Seniors Kristina Bither and Candace Silva-Martin held the top kill records in the league, with 4.7 and 4.0 kills per game, respectively. Silva-Mar tin also had the second highest number of ser ving aces and the greatest number of digs per game. Demonstrating our strong defense, Shireen Moshkelani, Gr. 10 and Kristina Bither came in third and four th place, respectively, for digs per game. Veronica Bither, Gr. 9, had the league’s second highest assists per game, with Shirley Galbiati, Gr. 12, in fifth place for assists. The girls played all of the top teams in CCS competitively, and they were consistently ranked in the top 15 from week to week.

Congratulations on a great season, girls!

Cross Country Congratulations to Kelsey Hilbrich, Gr. 11, who placed 51st out of 196 runners at the state meet in late November. She finished in 19:56. Hilbrich finished 12th out of 103 racers in 21:56 at the CCS finals, two spots in front of teammate Elena Madan, Gr. 12. Also at the CCS finals, Kristie Sanchez, Gr. 10, came in 21st and Niti Shahi, Gr. 11, finished 27th. The girls’ team placed fifth, missing qualifying as a team by five points. The boys battled through some injuries to place ninth overall as Sam Levine, Gr. 12, placed 13th and just missed qualifying for states as an individual. Stefan Eckhardt, Gr. 11, finished 29th. Harker News — December 08

Football The varsity players beat the California School for the Deaf in the last home game at Davis field, 35-6. The season concluded with a tough game against the top team in the league, Salesian. Although the Eagles lost 17-42, the boys played hard throughout the game. Some of the highlights include a 35-yard field goal by senior Julian Stahl and a nice touchdown pass from Arman Gupta to Rohan Shah, both Gr. 12. Gupta also ran for a touchdown. Rishi Bhatia, Gr. 10, scored a touchdown for the JV team in their loss as well. Both JV and varsity ended with 4-5 records.

Tennis Girls tennis won their first-round CCS match against Monterey Bay League champion, Watsonville, by a 7-0 margin. The entire team dominated as Harker didn’t drop a set. In the second round, the girls ran into a tough, first-ranked Mitty team and lost 0-7. Congratulations on a tremendous 14-6 season!

Boys Water Polo The boys water polo team ended their season at 9-13 overall and was very competitive in every match.

They showed improvement and strong character throughout the year. Michael Clifford, Gr. 11, was named league MVP of the SCVAL-El Camino Division; Stefan Schwartz, Gr. 11 and Evan Maynard, Gr. 12, earned honorable mentions. We’re looking forward to next year, with two strong returning junior players.

Juniors Lung-Ying Yu and “big man” Greg Plauck are looking to improve on their strong performances as starters last season. Rounding out the returning players are Victor Auyeung, Gr. 12 and juniors Rohan Shah and Ryan Fan. Joining the

US Sports - Winter Boys Soccer The boys soccer team started out their season in late November with two close losses to Prospect (0-2) and San Mateo (0-1). The boys had a four-day tournament and three league games to play in December, but results were too late for inclusion.

Boys Basketball From our strong 2007-08 CCS quarterfinals team, four starters return, including league MVP Alex Abarca, Gr. 12. Abarca led the team last season in most statistical categories. According to coach Matthew Harley, “Junior Ryan Cali, a perimeter scorer, has shown that he is ready to step into the point guard position and lead this experienced team in our new conference.”

Successful Season for Runner On Nov. 29, junior Kelsey Hilbrich competed in the California Interscholastic Federation’s state cross countr y championships in Fresno, where she placed 51st out of 197 runners in the Division

varsity squad this season are juniors Kevin Fu, Matt Azebu, Rohan Chopra and Sean Morgan.

Girls Basketball The girls began their season with a tough loss to Cupertino, 20-37. They also lost their games at the Fremont-Sunnyvale Tournament, 29-49, 33-67 and 12-34. In early December, they played Alma Heights Christian for a blowout win, 60-5. There were three more games and another tournament scheduled for December.

Girls Soccer Girls soccer has some tough competition scheduled for the non-league portion of their schedule, including

former league foes Notre Dame San Jose and Castilleja, both now part of the Foothill Division of the WBAL. Despite suffering a serious contusion on her right leg in the opening minutes of the game against Notre Dame San Jose, junior Shanthi Rajagopalan played solidly in goal but the team still lost, 0-5. Esther Belogolovsky, Gr. 11, Elena Madan, Gr. 12 and Anjali Menon, Gr. 11, have also demonstrated that their hard work during the off-season has paid dividends in the form of a much greater set of technical skills. Freshman Nicole Dalal is a welcome addition to the backline, which lost three members from last year, as is Candace Silva-Martin, Gr. 12, whose work and athleticism serve as a model for all of her teammates. Of course, 2008 Mercury News All CCS Honorable Mention Kristina Bither, Gr. 12, has continued to be an integral contributor to the team’s success, as evidenced by her goal scored in the waning minutes of the match against Silver Creek, which allowed Harker to tie the game. According to coach Troy Thiele, “The team’s incredible energy and enthusiasm to become a competitive program, combined with its challenging non-league schedule, has put it in a great position to vie for a league title in the newly formed Skyline Division of the WBAL!”

Wrestling Wrestling matches had not yet begun at press time, although the grapplers were hard at work during practices. The first match was scheduled for mid-December against Los Altos, and three tournaments, including a ladies tournament at Lynbrook, were scheduled for December.

Supplied by Kelsey Hilbrich

Congratulations! US Athletes of the Month and of Summer! ■ ATHLETES OF THE SUMMER (based on the Eagle Iron conditioning program) Greg Cox, Gr. 10 and Shanthi Rajagopalan, Gr. 11

IV girls’ race. Hilbrich was the first Harker runner since 2002 to appear in the state championships. She qualified for the state competition on Nov. 16 after finishing 12th of 103 runners in her division in the Central Coast Section of the CIF cross countr y championships. Congratulations to Hilbrich for such a successful season!

Harker News — December 08

■ ATHLETES OF THE MONTH September — Michael Clifford, Gr. 11, boys water polo; Tara Panu, Gr. 12, girls tennis October — Anteneh Daniel, Gr. 12, football; Candace Silva-Martin, Gr. 12, volleyball November — Sam Levine, Gr. 12, cross country; Kelsey Hilbrich, Gr. 11, cross country




Be the Family Health Ambassador Students may not have the same New Year’s resolutions as their parents. Often adults will commit to exercising more – ever visited an over-crowded health club in January? Their kids may resolve to get more sleep, to end the year with an A in math, to try a new sport or to meet a new friend. Hopefully, no one forgets about health resolutions. Of course you eat when you are hungry and you know you perform better when you eat the right foods. Take a look at your family’s eating habits and come up with a healthy plan. Look at one week and see how everyone is doing. For your own resolution, commit to being your family’s health ambassador for 2009. Get the clipboard out and investigate; maybe even give letter grades: Who eats the most vegetables and fruit in your house? Five to nine servings a day are recommended. What is a serving? Here are some examples: a medium apple, a half-cup of strawberries, 15 grapes, half of a sweet potato, 10 mini carrots, one tomato, one cup of lettuce or one cup of raw broccoli. Is it possible to eat this much? Sure. Add sliced bananas to your cereal, skip the chips and have fruit salad, enjoy a cup of vegetable juice (e.g. V8®), skip the breakfast bars, which are high in sugar, and enjoy a tangerine. Fruits and vegetables have a variety of vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals and fiber. Fiber helps make you feel full. Plus these natural foods don’t stimulate your taste buds to eat more like salty and sweet foods do. Who is exercising daily? The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recently posted key physical activity guidelines for Americans. These are the first physical activity guidelines to be published by the federal government: 1) Children and teens (ages 6-17) should be active for one hour every day; 2) Adults (ages 18-64) should be active two hours and 30 minutes per week of moderate intensity, or 75 minutes per week of vigorous intensity. Mix it up and do a combination of activities. The key message: get moving! Kids in the family shouldn’t be the only ones keeping active with basketball practice, karate or tennis. Take advantage of the weekend and plan a morning family walk or go to the local high school field and race your family to see who can run a 110 or 220 the fastest, and take advantage of those bleachers to get in a good leg workout. Check out local hiking areas. The Bay Area has some wonder ful places to hike, including Windy Hill in Portola Valley off Alpine Rd.; the Dish in Palo Alto off Stanford Ave.; Sawyer Camp Trail off Cr ystal Springs Blvd. in San Bruno; Fremont Older trail in Cupertino off Prospect Rd.; Joseph Grant’s County Park in San Jose off Mt. Hamilton; or the Los Gatos creek trail. For more ideas check out Also, count movement throughout the day. For example, park further away at the grocery store, take stairs whenever available or rake the leaves as a family event. Use a timer or an alarm for 30-minute stretch breaks and back away from the PC. Maybe do some yoga stretches like downward dog or the warrior pose if you can’t fit in a 10-minute walk.


Who is eating breakfast daily? Research shows that students who eat breakfast do better in school. Start off the day with oatmeal, raisins and sliced apples. Furthermore, skipping the morning meal only slows down your metabolism for the day; in other words, it isn’t a good diet plan to skip meals. A good breakfast will be one high in fiber. Read food labels and find cereals with less than 10 grams of sugar and more than five grams of fiber. Raisin Bran is a little higher in sugar because of the raisins, but is still a good choice. Who is getting enough calcium? Why worry about calcium in our diet? Low calcium intake during childhood is associated with osteoporosis later in life. Osteoporosis is a disease of low bone mass and can result in broken and fractured bones. Look at the chart to find out how much you need:

Age 4-8 years old 9-18 years old 19-50 years old 50+

Calcium/day 800 mg 1300 mg 1000 mg 1200 mg

Some good food choices for dietary calcium include: one cup of non-fat or one-percent milk (300 mg.), one cup of soy milk with fortified calcium (300 mg), 1.5 ounce of cheese (300 mg.), eight ounces of yogurt (200 mg. but varies by brand), one slice of cheese pizza (100 mg.), instant oatmeal (100 mg), one half-cup of baked beans (70 mg.), tofu with added calcium (100 mg.), medium orange (45 mg.). Who is washing their hands for 20 seconds with soap and water? Germs get on our hands all day and eventually we touch our eyes, noses and mouths. If you want to reduce colds and reduce food poisoning, the number one habit to adopt is hand washing. According the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than one-third of food-borne illness are due to lack of proper hand washing. Although many of us think we do a good job, check again. Be a spy on your family. Are they washing while rubbing the soap everywhere for at least 20 seconds (long enough to sing Happy Birthday)?; are they washing their wrists too? This is important when preparing and eating food. Food poisoning can cause more than an upset stomach and headache; you can end up running to the bathroom. Other habits are easy to adopt to prevent food poisoning, including using a thermometer to ensure proper cooking temperatures are reached (for example, a chicken breast should reach 165°F), using separate cutting boards for veggies and raw meat, throwing out leftovers after two to three days, chilling properly (use shallow containers to store home cooked soups so that they will cool quickly to 40°F in the fridge), and avoiding leaving food out too long. To find out more about proper temperatures go to: preparation/handwashing.html How did your family do? Hopefully, as an ambassador for health this year, you can influence your family to pick up some good habits. May your new job be informative and may 2009 be a year of health and movement. –Anne Kolker, MS, RD Harker News — January 09



Fun and Friendly Thanksgiving Competition at Assembly A good time was had by all who participated in the LS spirit as-

called out, and the students in each homeroom class created the letter by lying on the ground in the letter’s shape. Next, each class created and per formed a cheer proclaiming their superiority. Finally, the classes participated in a

relay race that placed various parts of a turkey throughout the gym. Students from each class sprinted around the gym locating each part to create the turkey before the other classes could complete their own.

sembly just before the Thanksgiving break. Homeroom classes took part in a series of fun activities that put their teamwork to the test. In the first event, a letter was

Food Drive Exceeds Expectation The LS really came through this year with over 6,000 grocery items and $1,500 in cash donated to St. Justin Church in Santa Clara, which provides food all year to families in need throughout the area.

kid talk Gr. 4 students recently discussed the meaning of character and how it impacts their lives. Anika Padwekar said, “Character means being respectful, and being okay with what your friends do. If you don’t show good character, your friends might not want to be your friends anymore.” Preethi Kandappan added, “Character is the way that you act with people. You learn it by watching other people. Character is important when you have a first impression.” Aneesh Samineni feels that having character is very important. “Without character, people will not know who you are, how you interact to solve ideas and how you behave.” Manan Shah agreed. “Character is very important because it helps people know what you do, how you do it and what your personality is.” Nikhil Manglik expanded on why we need character. “One big role that you will find is very important in your life is appearance. I should say that character takes about 60 percent of that. So, as you can see, character is extremely important. It will help you find a job, find friends, and just find someone to be with.” Sana Aladin feels that, “Character means that you respect people and be nice to them and all that other stuff. And if you have good character you are a good person. Character is your nature, basically.”

Carol Yiu

Kavya Seth summed up the importance of demonstrating character. “I think character is not being mean to people. Like not being catty for no reason and actually trying to do it, because some people just talk about a bunch of nice things about character but then inside they’re really mean to other people, and that’s really mean. You have to actually follow it, not just talk about it.” Harker News — December 08



Annual Toys for Tots Drive

Math Lesson Ties in to Thanksgiving

The annual Toys for Tots drive was in full swing at press time, with over 900 toys donated by the Harker community and four more days to go to make the 1,000-toy goal. Toys will go to the local Sacred Heart Community Services. This is the Gr. 4 service project and some students actually delivered toys and shared their experience with the entire school on the last day before break. Sacred Heart CS is currently serving 18,000 families each month at their location in San Jose, providing food, clothing and the basic essentials families need to survive.

Gr. 3 students completed a pre-Thanksgiving math activity in which they planned and shopped for a meal. The students enjoyed planning a meal for 15 people, finding the food items in grocery store ads, and keeping to their $100 budget. Some of the children were quite creative in their meal planning, making sure to have soda for adults, for example, and apple juice for the kids.

Stephanie Woolsey


Families Bond Over Chipmunk Movie Nearly 150 students, siblings and parents signed up for the movie night held at the Bucknall gym in September. “Alvin and the Chipmunks” was the feature, and pizza, popcorn, cookies and a special chai tea by Neeti Sharma (Ankita, Gr. 5; Ayush, Gr. 9) fueled the back-to-school social. Special thanks to the Gr. 5 grade level coordinators Carol Yiu (Jonathan) and Tina Najibi (Mary, Gr. 5; Alex, Gr. 9) for all their work putting together this movie night.

It’s Time for Snowman Grams!

Jessica Liu - both photos

On Nov. 21, Gr. 5 students took a break from their usual routine at the Bucknall campus and visited Blackford for the day to catch a glimpse at what daily life is like for MS students. During their visit, the students were led by mentors on a guided tour of the campus and its facilities, and got to enjoy pizza during lunch. As if an afternoon away from school wasn’t nice enough, the fifth graders also enjoyed a free dress day to make the occasion more memorable.


kudos ■ Kindergartner Benjamin Soraire has joined the ranks of those advising President-elect Barack Obama! In late November, Soraire won a contest sponsored by the Palo Alto Library for the best letter to Obama, managing to cover some vital concerns in just a few sentences: “Dear Mr. President-elect Barack Obama, My name is Benjamin Paul Soraire. I am five years old. I am a kindergartner at The Harker School in the State of California. My wish for the President is to make this world a better place to live. I would like for the President to send a rocket ship to outer space to explore. I would also like for everyone to take care of the environment. Maybe you can have kids like me help you in your job as President. I also want to make the world a better place to live and know that all of us working together can make that happen.” Here’s hoping! Patricia Soraire

Kids Catch a Glimpse of MS Life

Carol Yiu - both photos

The Snowman Grams were flying in December as the Spirit and Ser vice Club got busy with their annual effor t. For a dollar, anyone could send a greeting to anyone else on campus. Funds are used for spirit and ser vice activities and all the work is per formed by students!

Harker News — December 08

Students, Parents Have Fun at Tech

“The Leonardo exhibit was interesting just to see the wide variety of areas Da Vinci was involved in,” said Tina Najibi (Mary, Gr. 5; Alex, Gr. 9). “I think most students were quite interested in the huge wings and flying machine.” The exhibit also contained replicas of Da Vinci’s journal entries, which contained notes on problems that he worked on, such as how to scale castle walls.

A team of Gr. 4 students recently won the Best Research Presentation Award in the age 9-14 category at the FIRST Lego League Tournament, hosted by Google. Quentin Delepine, Conor Martin, Aashish Jain, Alexander Lam and David Zhu formed the Creative Connectors, the youngest team in the category. In the Robot Performance segment of the competition, the Creative Connectors finished fifth out of 20 teams. Congratulations to the Creative Connectors on their hard-earned award!

Carol Yiu - all photos

On Nov. 15, a group of Gr. 5 students and their parents got together in downtown San Jose for a day of fun and learning at the Tech Museum of Innovation. The trip began with a visit to the exhibit “Leonardo: 500 Years Into the Future,” which displayed the innovations of Leonardo da Vinci and other 15th-century artists and engineers whose works were far ahead of their time.

Harker Fourth Graders Win Lego League Award

“I noticed in the Tech Museum there were a lot of opportunities for parents to chat while students played,” Najibi said. “Also, in the Da Vinci exhibit I noticed a number of parents sitting in the little café chatting as students explored.” Najibi said the Tech was a fitting place for the trip. “I would recommend the Tech Museum for other Bucknall grade-level outings,” she said. “There is a lot to do and explore there, and it is a lot more fun with friends! There are many exhibits where four or more students can play at the same time.”

Kelly Delepine

After visiting the Leonardo exhibit, the group headed to the Tech Museum main exhibit hall, where they had fun playing in the downstairs level’s “Da Vinci Playroom.” In addition to providing an exciting afternoon for the students, the visit gave parents a chance to meet and socialize.

Open House Guides Make Evening Go Thanks to the following Gr. 8 students who helped guide and direct families at the LS Open House on Nov. 2: Jonathan Cho, Keri Clifford, Karan Das-Grande, Patricia Huang, Simar Mangat, Jacqueline Wang and Rachel Yanovsky.

Parents came to Harker in November to help celebrate Diwali by teaching traditional dances to teacher Howard Saltzman’s Gr. 3 classes. Kavita Tankha, mother of Aliesa Bahri, showed a DVD, demonstrated various dances and brought food to share with ever yone who came by during the day. Harker News — December 08

Pam Dickinson - both photos

Stephanie Woolsey

Students Enjoy Diwali Dance



school enlight’ning, continued from pg. 1

On Nov. 19, a group of students honed their gardening skills as they planted daffodils at the front of the MS campus to help beautify the area. Advisors for the group were Janet O’Laughlin, pre-algebra teacher, and Bune Bloomquist, math teacher.

one of only three winners nationally,” said English department chair, teacher Stacie Newman, who, with computer science teacher Michael Schmidt, advises the magazine’s staff. Score sheets provided by the association show page after page of maximum scores in each category of the assessment. Judging criteria included presentation of advertising, quality of proof reading and photo cropping skills. Criteria also measured the variety of literary styles and artistic media. Other factors, such as the number of students on staff and how much work is done by adults is also factored in the assessment. The magazine received a total score of 990 out of 1,000 points, an outstanding achievement. The magazine also earned the Columbia School Press Association Gold Crown award (see Harker News, May, 2008, page 20).

Donated Coats Spread Warmth

Vivace Brings Cheer to Nursing Home

The One Warm Coat drive sponsored by the student community service program worked hard, gathering coats of all shapes and sizes. The coat drive

The Vivace choir, 25 strong, serenaded residents of the Villa Vasona retirement home in Los Gatos in mid-December. “One of the songs we sang was an Ukrainian folk song, and there were about four people from the Ukraine who were at the performance (unbeknownst to us),” said performing arts teacher and group leader Jennifer Cowgill. “After we performed, one of the men sang another Ukrainian song for me and some of the kids. The audience was very enthusiastic, and while I was conducting, one of the elderly men from the Ukraine decided to get up and dance with me. I think that is a picture the kids will always remember.”

Michelle Deng

Daffodils Planted at Blackford

The group was specially attired for the outing and Cowgill noted, “I think it was a great experience for the kids because they got to mingle with the senior citizens and see personally how much joy they can bring to people who don’t always get a chance to get out and hear holiday music.”

Holiday Reception for Parents A holiday reception for MS parents was held on Dec. 19 in the Blackford library from 10:15 a.m. to 11 a.m. With the students having fun at the holiday party, the parents had some fun of their own, socializing and basking in the holiday cheer with the MS faculty and staff. Thanks to all who attended!

Musical Knowledge Put to Test A spirit event in late November tested students’ knowledge of popular music from a variety of genres and time periods. MS advisories gathered at the Blackford gym. A brief section of a song was played, and each advisor y collaborated to determine the name and ar tist of the song, and had one student write down the information. The Beneficium advisories were the top House advisor team with 41 points. Japanese teacher Kumi Matsui’s advisor y won the top advisor y title by scoring 53 points, and Praestantia scored 573 points to become the day’s dominant House.


kudos ■ Congratulations to Cindy Liu, Gr. 6, second-place winner in her age group at the 11th annual International Peace Pals Arts Exhibition and Awards in New York in late September. This year the exhibition had 4,400 drawings submitted from children representing 39 countries, and many pieces will be shown in cities around the world. Liu won two other top prizes for her drawings last year (see Harker News, June 2008, pg. 1).

Cindy Liu

took place for two weeks in December and benefited the local organization InnVision (, which is dedicated to ensuring that Bay Area families and individuals who are homeless or struggling financially do not go cold during the winter months. Each year, their efforts include helping to provide a simple item, a coat, to anyone in need, and this year Harker was able to contribute a sizable stack of warm outerwear.

Harker News — December 08

Hair-Raising Science Lesson

The newest middle schoolers joined the rank and file in November, when Gr. 6 students were issued their first school laptops. Angela Neff, MS assistant director of technology, said it was important to provide laptops to them to enable them to “work more efficiently and have a sort of portable office.” The MS began issuing laptops to all students last year.

In November, students in Raji Swaminathan’s Gr. 7 science class received some hands-on education about potential and kinetic energy, and also got to work with a Van de Graaff generator during a (quite literally) hair-raising lesson about static electricity. Students built a small-scale roller coaster from a variety of materials, including foam insulation for the track, PVC pipe for support and a marble as the would-be cart. The miniature roller coaster contained a few of the staple features of traditional amusement park attractions, such as a steep drop, a loop, and a hill through which the marble would exit. Students had to build the

In addition, teachers can easily conduct in-class projects, as the necessary resources for such activities can be found on the students’ laptops. According to Neff, Gr. 6 environmental sciences classes, for instance, have utilized laptops to create research projects using Microsoft PowerPoint, and to gather data from various probes, taking the data home for analysis. Students of English teachers Linda Felice and Bina Barnabas have also used laptops for research projects of their own. Neff said the laptops provide organizational benefits. “I think there’s less lost paper, because it’s a lot easier to lose a piece of paper…than a digital document,” she said. Both PC and Mac laptops are available, and can be rented for $675 per year. The price includes the cost of insurance (to cover the laptop if it’s stolen or damaged) and also pays for all of the software that comes with the laptop. After three years, the laptop can be purchased for “practically free,” Neff said. The laptops come with useful software such as Adobe’s Creative Suite 3 and Microsoft Office, in addition to other tools designed for specific academic purposes, including Spanish and French language tutors.

roller coaster in such a way that the marble would reach the end undamaged. “They calculated the potential energy of the marble at different points on the track,” Swaminathan said. “Using this information and knowing that the total mechanical energy is always conserved, they calculated the kinetic energy of the marble at those points.”

Several guidelines for usage have been put in place. For instance, students must always keep the laptops inside their cases when not in use, and the cases must always be with the students, inside their lockers or inside their backpacks.

Swaminathan said the laboratory exercise was fun to conduct and that the students would remember it for a long time. Students also got to work with a Van de Graaff generator to learn more about the workings of static electricity. “They learn that what makes their hair stand on end is the deposition of electrons as they touch the dome of the generator,” Swaminathan said. “Like charges repel, hence their hair [standing on end], which is negatively charged at that point.”

Laptops found not properly secured will be taken to the bookstore. If the bookstore is closed, they will be taken to the Blackford main office. Should the main office be closed, they will be taken to the BEST office.

To demonstrate the principle, students got to place their hands on the generator, resulting in some rather amusing visuals of their hair responding to the machine’s activity.

Only academic activities are permitted on the laptops while at school. Exceptions will be made for extracurricular use (such as club activities) under direction from faculty and staff.

A flash drive or other external hard drive is also an important tool to have so that personal files can be backed up. Students should also make sure that they can print documents with their laptops while at home. If they encounter difficulty printing at home, they can bring their printer drivers to the Help Desk. Harker News — December 08

Vandana Kadam

Students are advised to leave their laptops’ power adapters at home and to train their laptops’ batteries so that they work more effectively. “When [the battery is] taken on and off a cart frequently throughout the day, then the battery thinks it’s only being used for shorter amounts of time and it will actually lose its strength,” said Neff. “As they charge them fully then completely drain the battery, then it will build back its life.”

The eCybermission teams are hard at work preparing for opening rounds. Watch for the full story in Harker News in February!


Raji Swaminathan - both photos

Laptops Enhance Gr. 6 Education



NASA Scientist at Nichols Hall

Japanese Scholars Named for 2009

Dr. Sharmila Bhattacharya of NASA’s Ames Research Center spoke to Harker students and staff in early December in the new Nichols Hall auditorium as part of the Nichols Hall Lecture Series for students.

Two Harker students have been named to the Reischauer Scholars Program for 2009. Juniors Roslyn Li and Sarah Wang will par ticipate in this distance-learning course sponsored by the Stanford Program on International and CrossCultural Education (SPICE) and the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies (FSI).

Bhattacharya was the principal investigator for a recent shuttle flight experiment, Fly Immunity and Tumors, or FIT, and spoke to an interested audience about her experiences making the experiment and its results. Her presentation at Nichols Hall discussed her experiments with fruit flies, which were conducted to discover how certain factors (such as irradiation from the sun’s protons) might affect humans in spaceflight. Bhattacharya has been supporting shuttle flight science missions since 1999, was lead scientist for the Insect Habitat, a collaborative effort by NASA and the Canadian Space Agency, and developed a habitat for the International Space Station. Her research at NASA has involved studying immune changes during spaceflight, and the effects of radiation and altered gravity on living systems.

Anatomy Students Imitate CSI On Nov. 20, students in Anita Chetty’s human anatomy class got to take part in a fun exercise that taught them how to identify a person’s age, sex and ethnicity by examining their bones. The so-called “Sherlock Bones” exercise posed a scenario straight out of the popular television series “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation.” The students were informed that human remains had been found in the woods, and that they needed to be identified. Before beginning their investigation, students separated into groups and were primed on how the different features of certain bones could be used to help determine whom they belonged to. Certain attributes of the pelvis, for instance, could indicate the gender, while the size of the skull’s eye sockets provided clues to the person’s ethnicity. Each group received a set of plastic bones: a skull, humorus, pelvis and femur. They also received calipers to measure the bones. The investigations demonstrate “the application of human anatomy into an area of forensic science,” said Chetty, “which is not only fascinating because of what they watch on television, but also because it’s a career opportunity.” Although many students in the class are interested in becoming doctors – Chetty estimated that 85 to 90 percent of the students had medical aspirations – she believes it is important for them to learn other real-life applications for their classroom instruction. “We do quite a bit of work that’s very medically related, but this is just another extension, and it’s important to me that they have some kind of justification for learning this material,” she said. A senior elective course, Chetty’s human anatomy class is designed for students on the lookout for a challenge. “They’re in here because they really, really want to be here,” she said. “They come in knowing it’s going to be a rigorous course.”


“Since this program selects only 25 exceptional juniors and seniors each year, it is a great honor that two of our students were selected this year,” said Japanese teacher Masako Onakado. Participants study a broad overview of Japanese history, literature, religion, art, politics, economics and contemporary society with a special focus on the U.S.-Japan relationship.

Since this program selects only 25 exceptional juniors and seniors each year, it is a great honor that two of our students were selected this year.

Li and Wang will take 10 distance-learning classes from February to June 2009, develop individual research projects and lead two presentations at Harker to complete the course. When they have completed the program, the two girls will have earned Stanford Continuing Studies Program credit and a certificate of completion from SPICE. Congratulations to Li and Wang for receiving this wonderful opportunity!

Starcraft Tournament at Harker On Nov. 21 the Harker chapter of the Interscholastic Gaming League (IGL) held a tournament at Shah Hall for the popular PC strategy game StarCraft. The IGL is a collective of video game enthusiasts made up of chapters at high schools throughout the Bay Area. Other schools involved in the league are Aragon High School in San Mateo, Gunn High School in Palo Alto, Mission High School in San Francisco, Monta Vista High School in Cupertino, and Saratoga High School. At the tournament, Kevin Tran, Gr. 10, took first place, with sophomore Jerry Sun and senior Marcus Wong respectively finishing second and third. The tournament contained a total of 24 entrants. Harker’s IGL typically meets on Fridays to play console games on a wallmounted projector screen. The StarCraft tournament was Harker’s first, and more are planned for the future, according to Carolyn Kuo, Gr. 12, co-president of Harker’s IGL chapter along with Samuel Babu, Gr. 10. On Jan. 16, they will host tournaments for Mario Kart Wii and Super Smash Brothers Brawl. A Halo 3 tournament is scheduled for Feb. 6. Harker News — December 08

Spanish Newspaper Published

Council Develops Parking System

Last spring, the Harker chapter of the Spanish National Honor Society began producing a Spanish-language newspaper titled Pórtico al mundo hispano (Gateway to the Spanish-Speaking World).

In a real-world application of their analysis and management skills, the student council has taken on the tricky job of allocating student parking spaces. The application devised by the council includes deadlines for applications, important dates, including the date of the actual parking space lottery to be held in the gym, and provision for those in sibling carpools and using high-efficiency vehicles.

“The newsletter was created to carr y out the organization’s mission of promoting the Spanish language and Hispanic culture in our community,” said Abel Olivas, US Spanish teacher and foreign language department chair. Written, designed and laid out entirely by students, the newsletter contains articles on topics such as politics, current events, culture and student travelogues. The current edition of the newsletter, available at the Saratoga campus librar y, features stories on political strife in Bolivia, obesity in Hispanic people, the art of flamenco dancing and a report on the Frida Kahlo exhibit at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. Olivas ser ves as the chief editor of the newsletter, coordinating the production of the publication with help from others in the Spanish section of the foreign language department. “My wonder ful colleagues in the Spanish section of my department help me read the students’ articles,” Olivas said. “We give them feedback in terms of grammar, vocabular y, clarity and content.” The first edition of the Spanish newsletter was published in the spring semester of the 2007-08 school year. Olivas first suggested the idea of the newsletter to the Spanish NHS in the fall of 2007, “and they couldn’t have been more excited about the prospect,” he said. In addition to providing the Spanish NHS students with a fun project, the newsletter is also a good educational resource. “We assign some of the articles to the students as homework and even discuss them in class,” Olivas said. “Students seem to really enjoy reading their peers’ articles.” The newsletter also encourages other language students to improve their writing skills and get in touch with culture and current events. It has also kept students in touch with Harker alumni who have continued their Spanish studies in college or live in Spanish-speaking countries. Olivas said the newsletter will tr y to feature one Harker alum in each issue. The most recent edition features an inter view with Julia Gitis ’03, who is currently in Madrid. For now, the newsletter will be published once each semester, although Olivas is open to the idea of releasing it more frequently. “We may end up increasing the number of editions we do each year or adding more sections to the newsletter, but we aren’t in any hurr y,” he said. “I’m ver y happy with how things are currently.”

NHS Adopts Low-Income Classrooms Although the National Honor Society (NHS) at Harker has a full week of activity planned in the spring, members are active many Saturdays helping out at KIPP School, an elementary school trying to close the achievement gap between low-income students and their more advantaged peers, said NHS president Mohit Bansal, Gr. 12. “Members have consistently been tutoring students at KIPP on Saturdays for the past few months,” he said. “Also, we have started to get our Adopt-A-Classroom project off the ground. Currently, we have adopted two classrooms in San Jose and are attempting to raise the money necessary to buy the supplies needed for the classrooms.” The group held a fundraiser at Pizza My Heart for the classrooms in mid-December, but results were unavailable at press time. Harker News — December 08

“As a commuter campus with limited parking space available, this is always an interesting process and we are appreciative of the student council that developed the guidelines for this implementation,” noted Greg Lawson, assistant head of school for student affairs, who added he’s also thankful “for the students and their families who help us to implement this program on a semester-by-semester basis.” The real test will be Jan. 5 when the new assignments go into effect.

Buddhist Master Speaks at Nichols Master Jian Hu, abbot at the Chung Tai Zen Center of Sunnyvale, came to Harker on Oct. 22 to share the major tenets of Buddhism and to offer students and teachers a look into the life of a Buddhist monk. Sitting with his legs folded on the Nichols Hall auditorium stage, Hu introduced himself and some of the more visually striking features of Buddhist monks, namely the long robe and shaved head, which have “been fashionable for 3,000 years,” he joked. He explained that his appearance reminds the monks themselves and others that they have chosen to live their lives differently from the rest of society. Hu then related the story of Prince Siddhartha Gautama, the Indian prince who renounced his lavish lifestyle to seek the meaning of existence. As an adult, Siddhartha traveled to discover this meaning, studying under India’s greatest gurus. He later sought his own answers to the questions of existence, and one day while meditating under the Bodhi Tree, achieved true enlightenment and thereafter became known as the Buddha, or “enlightened one.” After telling the story of the origins of Buddhism, Hu explained the four noble truths of Buddhism: to realize that suffering (dukkha) exists, that suffering is caused by attachment to worldly pleasures, that ending suffering requires an end to the craving of material pleasures and that reaching enlightenment is possible by following the eightfold path laid out by the Buddha. The entirety of Master Jian Hu’s talk can be downloaded from the US section of the Harker Parent Portal.



Students Volunteer at Dinner

Harker Performs in Latin Contest

A dozen Harker students, staff and alumni volunteered at an inaugural fundraising event held by The Wellness Community – Silicon Valley (TWCSV) to honor professional, volunteer and family caregivers. Filmed and broadcast by Comcast Cable, over 300 attended the event that honored 22 caregivers, and raised $38,000 for the organization. Harker students and staff assisted with the silent and oral auctions, distributed honoree gifts, and took photographs at the event. They were: Margaret Krackeler, Daniela Lapidous, Ishika Peravali, Gr. 9; Tracey Chan, Pierre Gerard, Araby Martin, Erica Woolsey, Gr. 10; Mark-Phillip Pebworth, Gr. 11; Emily Carr, Gr. 12; Jessica Liu ’04; and Chris Collins and Pam Dickinson, staff.

Harker performed well at the annual mini-convention of the California chapter of the National Junior Classical League (NJCL), held Nov. 15 at Menlo School in Atherton. The NJCL is a worldwide organization of students dedicated to promoting the language and culture of the ancient Greek and Roman civilizations.

“Attendees and committee members alike commented on how responsible, caring and poised our students were,” said Dickinson. Karen Storey, executive director of TWCSV said, “Everything went so smoothly with their help. We couldn’t have done it without them.” The STAR Caregivers Awards recognize and support the work of individuals and organizations that provide care that makes a difference in the quality of life for cancer patients and their loved ones. TWCSV provides education and support services at no charge to individuals and families facing cancer. For more information about the organization, visit

Update Debate The Harker speech and debate team continued its run of success this season in November and early December in California and Illinois. The weekend before Thanksgiving, seniors Mohit Bansal and Raghav Aggarwal as well as senior Kaavya Gowda and junior Kelsey Hilbrich made Harker history by being the first Public Forum debate teams to clear to elimination rounds at the Glenbrooks Speech & Debate Tournament in Illinois. This is the most prestigious tournament in the nation during the fall semester, with teams flying in from around the country to compete. Bansal and Aggarwal made it to the quarterfinal round and were named the third best speaking team of the tournament. Gowda and Hilbrich lost to the previous year’s champions in the first elimination round, but were named as the fourth best speaking team at the tournament. Earlier in November, Aileen Wen, Gr. 10, was the first Harker student to clear to elimination rounds at a league interpretation competition. She represented Harker in Dramatic Interpretation at the Milpitas High School meet on Nov. 15. In early December, several students traveled to San Diego to compete at the La Costa Canyon invitational. With over 200 students vying for the win in Student Congress, Michael Tsai, Gr. 10, made it to the semifinal round of the competition before being eliminated. Elaine Song, Gr. 11, head delegate for the Harker Model United Nations delegation to the Stanford conference, reported that Harker earned accolades for their work at the conference. Tyler Kotesky, Gr. 10, as well as juniors Natasha Chitkara and Christopher Eckardt were named outstanding delegates in their respective committees. Additionally, Appu Bhaskar, Gr. 10 and David Mihai, Gr. 11, were awarded honorable mentions.


Sohini Khan

Jessoca Liu


The event, known as Ludi Novembres (November Games) featured a variety of competitions in which students tested their knowledge of Latin and other aspects of ancient Greek and Roman culture. Harker took the top four spots in the reading comprehension test, and also took top honors in vocabulary, grammar, mythology, Latin derivatives, pentathlon and mottos, quotes and abbreviations. Junior Darren Syu even took second place in the obligatory pie-eating contest! Brandon Araki, Gr. 11, took first place in vocabulary while placing second in reading comprehension, ahead of senior Sophia Gilman and junior Sohini Khan, who respectively placed third and fourth. Junior Alex Han won the mottos, quotes and abbreviations category (with Syu and Vivian Huang, Gr. 11, placing second and third, respectively) and earned second place in Latin derivatives. In the Roman daily life category, Justin Iso, Gr. 12, landed in fourth place. Freshman Ramya Rangan tied with Kahn for first place in the grammar category, and also took first place in reading comprehension. Freshmen Philip Oung and Christophe Pellissier placed second and fourth in mythology, respectively. Finally, junior Maggie Woods placed second in the pentathlon and tied for first with Rangan in reading comprehension. Students were accompanied by MS Latin teachers Andrea Milius and Lisa Biton, and US Latin teachers Trudy Stevenson and John Hawley. MS Latin teacher Lisa Masoni took time off from her maternity leave to help the team at the event. In the spring, Harker will host the California JCL Convention at the Blackford campus.

Journalists are NSPA Winners Eight students in Harker’s journalism program trekked to St. Louis in November for the National Scholastic Press Association (NSPA) fall convention. They joined approximately 5,000 other journalism students taking in more than 12 hours of lectures. A highlight of the trip included several two-hour writing competitions among nearly 2,200 students. Junior Mahum Jamal received an Honorable Mention in the news writing contest, and freshman Pavitra Rengarajan won an Honorable Mention for review writing. More cause for celebration arrived when the NSPA announced that The Winged Post, along with 20 other school newspapers, had won the Newspaper Pacemaker Award for the 2007-08 school year, the top national honor for high school journalism. The Winged Post was one of 56 finalists from an initial pool of 373 entries. The Pacemaker competitions began in 1927 and are co-sponsored by the NSPA and the Newspaper Association of America Foundation. Newspapers entered in the contest are judged on coverage, writing, reporting, design, photography, art and graphics. Harker News — December 08

Big Win at Quiz Show Taping

On Nov. 15, seniors Alex Hu, Anand Natarajan and Vikram Nathan won their first match in the Bay Area Quiz Kids competition, decisively beating Concord High School by a final score of 510-140.

■ Harker senior Beckie Yanovsky was named one of 20 state finalists in the 2008 Wendy’s High School Heisman program, which recognizes high school student athletes across the country for achievement in athletics, academics as well as community and school involvement.

Bradley Stoll

Bay Area Quiz Kids is a televised quiz tournament in which teams from Bay Area high schools compete to win the grand prize of a 10-day European vacation. The second-place team receives $1,000 for each player. Harker’s face-off against Concord aired on KRON-4 on Sat., Dec. 13 at 2 p.m. Harker will face Westmoor High School on Jan. 10 at 11 a.m.

In addition to her scholastic and athletic efforts, Yanovsky serves as one of the editors-in-chief of Harker’s US student newspaper, The Winged Post, and has received two Presidential Service Awards for performing more than 250 hours of community service over the past three years. She also acts as a teacher’s assistant at her synagogue’s Sunday school and serves on the Los Altos Youth Commission.

In the lightning round, contestants have five seconds to answer the question after buzzing in. If the contestant gives an incorrect answer, the opposing team has five seconds to answer the question. Correct answers in each of the first two rounds are worth 10 points. The same rules apply for the X-Treme Lightning round, with the exception being that each correct answer is worth 20 points instead of 10.

Yanovsky attended a banquet in Oakland on Dec. 5 to honor the state finalists. Since 1994, more than 180,000 students have entered the Wendy’s High School Heisman program, which requires entrants to participate in at least one school-sponsored sport and maintain a B average.

To prepare for the contests, the team practices during long lunch on Wednesdays by reading questions they have previously been asked. They also spend time preparing outside of school. “Of course, what they learn in their classrooms is a big help, (and) reading the newspaper, books, Wikipedia, etc. help tremendously,” said team coach Bradley Stoll, US math teacher and mathematics department chair.

■ Sophomores Isaac Madan and Ambrish Amaranathan took second and third, respectively, in the Cadet (Under-17) Junior Olympic qualifiers held at Stanford’s Cardinal Fencing Club in late November. Although there were only 11 entries, 10 fencers were rated,* including Madan, one of three Cs, and Amaranathan, one of five Ds, so every bout was hotly contested. The boys plan to travel to Albuquerque in February over the Presidents’ Day weekend to compete in the Junior Olympics.

Guides Make Open House Successful Special thanks to all the student helpers, speakers, club representatives and performers who collaborated to make the US Open House on Dec. 5 such a successful event.

Club representatives and student helpers: Khwaab Dave, Gr. 12, Kyle Hall, Gr. 12, Chris Eckardt, Gr. 11 and Tyler Koteskey, Gr. 10 for Junior State of America; Priya Thumma, Gr. 12, for Junior Classical League; Daniel Wyleczuk-Stern, Gr. 12, for Fantasy Sports; Jennifer Dai, Gr. 10, Niti Shahi, Gr. 11 and Christine Trinh, Gr. 11, for Global Empowerment and Outreach; Pratusha Erraballi, Gr. 12, Nafeesa Laiwalla, Gr. 12, Arjun Mody, Gr. 11, Prachi Sharma, Gr. 12, Sahil Takiar, Gr. 12 and Chetan Vakkalagadda, Gr. 12, for Debate. Performing arts groups: Cantilena, directed by Susan Nace and Jazz Band, directed by Chris Florio.

Pam Dickinson

Senior speakers: D.J. Blickenstaff, Katee Comee, Pratusha Erraballi, Shubha Guha, Arman Gupta, Kartik Venkatraman and Beckie Yanovsky. Ambassadors: Stephanie Hao, Gr. 9, Daisy Mohrman, Gr. 10 and Akhila Sure, Gr. 12.

Yanovsky was recognized for her efforts to start the Harker water polo program, in addition to her various achievements as a player, such as being named Most Valuable Player during her freshman and senior years. Yanovsky also once scored nine goals in a single game, and has been the highest scorer on the girls water polo team every year she has played.

*Ratings run E-A, A being the top rating and unclassified preceding E. It often takes several years and dozens of competitions to earn a rating.

Isaac Madan

The contest covered a variety of topics and included three rounds. In the collaboration round, a team’s captain has 10 seconds to answer a question. If the captain fails, the opposing team has five seconds to collaborate before the captain’s team answers the question.


■ The Live Poets Society chose senior Richard Ly’s poem “Eyes of the Mind” as a topical winner in their 11th annual National High School Poetry Contest. Ly’s poem was published in the anthology in early December. Two of Ly’s poems will also appear in Teen Ink, a magazine dedicated to teen writing and artwork. Eyes of the Mind: The hues of a cream-orange skyline; / A city of industry / The paradisiacal greens of water; / A lake of algae / Exotic reds of African soils; / A country of genocide / White milk of cloud like purities; / A corporation of corruption / The warmth on a face in the snow; / A hole in the—sky—line of lights; / Broken / By planes / A million paradoxes that exist / 30 million more eyes that are

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 — December 08




GEO club, continued from page 1

Marin Headlands, continued from page 1

level. The GEO week kick-off began the Friday before with a talk by Kim Plewes, international youth coordinator for Free the Children, a Torontobased organization assisting families around the world to escape poverty

The group also experienced the many breathtaking views offered by the Headlands, including the Bay Area’s signature attraction. “The view of the Golden Gate Bridge and San Francisco skyline was phenomenal,” said Kristin Giammona, elementary division head. “Not to mention the waves crashing on the headlands.”

This is remarkable. We have not had a single school in Northern California in the last two, three, four years remotely raise this much money in an entire year, and you did it in a single week.

“ Lauri Vaughan - both photos

by harnessing the energy of North American youths. Plewes traveled from Toronto in early December to accept the oversized check and thank the students in person for their hard work and generosity. “This is remarkable,” she said in front of an assembly of students. “We

Elsewhere, fifth graders hiked to Rodeo Lagoon to collect water samples, and then used microscopes to see what they had caught. In addition to nature and wildlife, the students also visited a number of old military batteries located throughout the Headlands. Several of these were originally built to keep hostile ships out of the San Francisco Bay. Later, during World War II, more batteries were added to protect the area against aerial attack.

have not had a single school in Northern California in the last two, three, four years remotely raise this much money in an entire year, and you did it in a single week.”

Aside from sightseeing, the students also got a great view of the Pacific Ocean from Scotty’s Bluff, performed skits at a campfire meeting and played some teambuilding games.

Along with the vow of silence pledges and pig-kissing contest, student fundraising included a beverage and tote bag sale and, to raise awareness, a millennium development goal scavenger hunt trivia contest on poverty and China.

We haven’t seen this level of organization and successful execution. We are blown away by the support and energy from the Harker community for our programming in China.

Funds will go to Gansu province in China where alternative income efforts include providing pigs to farmers and training the farmers on their care. That extra income often allows their children to go to school, reduces hunger and improves living conditions.

Diane Plauck - all photos

“We are amazed at the week that the GEO club at Harker was able to put together in just three short months,” said Plewes. “We haven’t seen this level of organization and successful execution of such a diverse number of fundraising and awareness raising events from any other group in California. “On behalf of the entire Free The Children team, I would like to thank the GEO club for all of the effort and creativity that they demonstrated during the amazing week that happened recently. We are blown away by the support and energy from the Harker community for our programming in China. Thank you!”

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


The Harker News provides timely information, news and features about the Harker community to current and alumni Harker families. Editor: Pam Dickinson; Asst. Editor: William Cracraft; Copy Editors: Catherine Snider, Lauri Vaughan; Writer: Zach Jones; Production: Blue Heron Design Group, Triple J Design; Photos: Mark Tantrum, unless noted; Contributors: Stephanie Woolsey, Padma Bhetanabhotla; Printing: Carol Sosnowski; Mailing Coordinator: Desiree Mitchell. Harker News — January 09

Profile for The Harker School

2009 January Harker News  

2009 January Harker News