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Annual Pilgrimage to Washington, D.C. Connects Eighth Graders to Nation’s History

Presidential Election a Teachable Moment College Counseling Guides Students for Exciting Next Step “Kite Runner” Author Enthralls in Harker Speaker Series W I N T E R 2 012

V o l u m e 4 · N u m b er 2

Cover Photo Joyce Huang, grade 8, at the Vietnam Memorial, by Jonathan Brusco, middle school teacher. Each year, Harker’s grade 8 students go to Washington, D.C., to experience firsthand the things they encounter in their history and civics classrooms. They see the sights guided by a professional who lectures prior to each stop, said Brusco, so “the children knew about the Vietnam War, the significance of the memorial, and the fact that a teenage girl had come up with the idea for this particular memorial.” Brusco, who regularly contributes photos to Harker publications, noted Washington, D.C., guide Daniel Minchew has been doing tours for years and worked in the White House during the Kennedy administration. “Before every stop, he would discuss each site with the kids,” said Brusco. “In addition to this, the students in Cyrus Merrill’s class would give a short presentation on each stop on the bus before we arrived.”


W I N T E R 2 012 / V o l u m e 4 · N u m b er 2 Pam Dickinson Director William Cracraft Editor Catherine Snider Sally Wing Copy Editors Kyle Cavallaro Photo Editor

Robert Boucher Steve M. Boyle ‘06 Mariah Bush ‘06 Debbie Cohen Zach Jones Sara Kendall Contributors Liat Noten ‘05 Distribution Blue Heron Design Group Rebecca McCartney Triple J Design Design Diamond Quality Printing Printing

Huang said that as she was taking pictures, she “felt sad to look at all the names of the lives that were lost in the war,” but noted, “The Washington, D.C., trip was a very special experience and I truly enjoyed it.”

About Harker From its early beginnings in 1893 — when Stanford University leaders assisted in its establishment — to its reputation today as a leading preparatory school with students attending prestigious universities worldwide, Harker’s mission has remained constant: to create an environment that promotes academic excellence, inspires intellectual curiosity, expects personal accountability and forever instills a genuine passion for learning. Whether striving for academic achievement, raising funds for global concerns, performing on stage or scoring a goal, Harker students encourage and support one another and celebrate each other’s efforts and successes, at Harker and beyond. Harker is a dynamic, supportive, fun and nurturing community where kids and their families make friends for life.

Historic Moment

Harker News Online (HNO) was launched in April 2009 and reports timely news on the activities, programs and accomplishments of The Harker School and its students, faculty and alumni. You can subscribe to HNO via RSS feeds or a daily digest email alert. Visit

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Do You Prefer to Read Harker Quarterly Online? We know that many of you like to enjoy Harker Quarterly online and would prefer to save a tree, so feel free to opt out. If you would rather not get Harker Quarterly in the mail, send an email to and we’ll alert you with a link to each issue when it is posted to our account on

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When The Palo Alto Military Academy and Miss Harker’s School for Girls merged and moved from Palo Alto to San Jose in 1972, the Nichols family took enormous risks in settling the school’s new home in San Jose. On Dec. 4, 2012, more than four decades later, the San Jose City Council unanimously approved The Harker School’s use permit of the 4525 Union Avenue property. “This historic vote moves Harker one step closer towards owning all three of our campuses, and securing the City of San Jose as the permanent home of our wonderful community,” said Chris Nikoloff, head of school. Harker plans to open a preschool in the fall of 2013 on the Union campus and later, as part of a broader strategy of unwinding from the Blackford campus lease, move the lower school program to Union and the middle school program to Bucknall. At that time the school will own all three of its San Jose sites, each uniquely dedicated to the needs of its students. “An effort like the securing of the Union Avenue campus is not possible without the help of a great team and the support of the community. I want to thank everyone in the Harker community who leaned in to make this historic accomplishment a reality,” said Nikoloff. Watch for updates about the Union campus renovations, and the new preschool, on Harker News Online and in future editions of Harker Quarterly.

The Harker School is a K-12 independent, coed, college-prep school. K-Grade 5: 4300 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 Published four times a year, Harker Quarterly showcases some of the top news, leading programs, inspiring people and visionary plans of the greater Harker community. Produced by the Harker Office of Communication 500 Saratoga Ave., San Jose, CA 95129 · 408.345.9273

Next Edition: MARCH 2013 2


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14 WINTER 2012


Calming Harker’s Campuses: Lowering Student Stress

2013 Fashion Show will be Bolder than Ever! All Campuses Learn from Presidential Election Tough Game, Great Party at 2012 Homecoming

6 9 12 14 22

Kindergartners Explore Giving Back

College Counseling Guides Students for Exciting Next Step 24

Paws, Jaws & Claws Brings Community Together for Pure Fun! 30

Alumni Keep on Leading When They Head Off to College 41



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4 Eagle Report 17 Global Ed 20 Greater Good 27 Harker Speaker Series 28 Advancement 34 Harker Concert Series 36 Milestones 37 Performing Arts 38 Alumni News 41 22 Headlines



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By Christopher Nikoloff Head of School

Atoms Still Matter: Lessons on Life in Cars Land and More


fter finishing the Radiator

touch, drop on your toes, hang on

proliferation of technology? Because

Springs Racers ride at

your children’s bedroom walls, or

atoms still matter.

Disneyland’s Cars Land

look at without turning on a power

(a fabulous attraction,

button. Atoms still matter.

by the way, and a great movie, too), my family and I stopped to glance at the obligatory snapshot of our astonished faces taken while on the ride. I noticed that instead of buying the photo many patrons just snapped a picture of the picture with their camera phones. I questioned why anyone would buy the actual picture when they can “take” the picture in this fashion.

... matter is derived from the same root as the word mother. It also relates to measure and maya, which means illusion. The universe is mother to all things. Measuring those things, however useful, is illusory.


Readers who have endured the essay this far may have noticed

I was recently talking with a parent

a pun. Atoms are matter. And as

who creates a photo book on her

philosopher Alan Watts points out,

children’s birthdays, a real one you

matter is derived from the same root

can leaf through, of their previous

as the word mother. It also relates

year. She said that if she didn’t do

to measure and maya, which means

this, the hundreds of photos she had

illusion. The universe is mother to

taken over the previous year would

all things. Measuring those things,

remain in digital form, a collection of

however useful, is illusory. You

ones and zeros in some cloud, never

cannot touch the equator. It is not

to be seen. Atoms still matter.

made of atoms.

While a senior was interviewing me

How does this matter to education?

for the student newspaper I asked her

Two ways. One, education is

how she and her friends read. She

largely learning about a vast set of

said that she and most of her friends

abstractions. (Let’s not forget that

still prefer to study with books made

the alphabet is a form of digital

from wood pulp. “ Why,” I asked? “I

technology.) And two, the digital

don’t know,” she said. “We just do.

transmission of those abstractions

We can take notes more easily.” I was

for almost no cost is disrupting

stunned. Atoms still matter.

traditional schooling.

Why do music lovers still collect vinyl?

Those abstractions we learn in school

Why do shoppers check out an item in

relate to the real world. We learn

Then I noticed that indeed patrons

a store before buying it online? Why

about a real person who died in the

were lining up to buy the actual

does The Economist, in its October

early 19th century named Napoleon

photo. Why? Because it is a great

2012 special report on the relationship

and we learn how to construct real

souvenir from Cars Land. It comes

between geography and technology,

bridges, for example. But we can

with the frame and official logo. It is

argue that location, real dirt that you

forget that the world of abstractions

bigger. And it is something you can

can stomp on, plays a huge role in the

that we study in school – by


winter 2 0 1 2

Headlines Photo by Kyle Cavallaro

definition – is not synonymous with the world of atoms. As is commonly said, we mistake the menu for the dinner. We can forget how powerful abstractions are. For instance, the world has enough wealth for everyone. But when the abstractions we have created that stand for wealth, what Niall Ferguson calls “Planet Finance,” collapse, the real world of atoms is sent into a tailspin of panic and destruction. Real education, so long as it claims to educate the leaders of tomorrow, has to be grounded in the real world. Atoms still matter. The digital transmission of the abstractions we call education will tear through traditional education like iTunes did the record industry. But live interaction with a caring teacher will always be optimal. Why? Because we are human, at least for now. Ray Kurzweil talks about the coming marriage of technology and

Chris Nikoloff enjoys some nutritional atoms at this year’s All-Alumni Reunion.

biology in “The Singularity is Near,” but for now, our 5- and 13- and

So when we whirl around the

takes a village to raise them.

world of atoms, even if we try. In

world digitally we are extending

fact, the digital world is based on

our nervous system across vast

In fact, the first point is dependent

a system of ones and zeros – on

distances. Or when we ride an

upon the second. How can children

and off – that is the very fabric of

attraction like Radiator Springs

remain grounded in the world of

our nervous system and embedded

Racers we trust that the engineers,

atoms if they aren’t taught about the

in the rhythms of nature. Leibniz

with their abstract systems of ones

world surrounded by it? How can they

based his discovery of binary math

and zeros, held the proper respect

learn to care about humans if they

on the Yin and Yang principles

for atoms in their minds while

aren’t taught by and around them?

he discovered in “The Book of

building the thrills of tomorrow.

Atoms still matter.



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Photo by Kyle Cavallaro

In closing, we cannot escape the

17-year-olds are fully human and it


Calming Campuses:

Photo by Mariah Bush ‘06

Harker Takes Great Strides to Reduce Stress

By Zach Jones

They’re not just a student, or an athlete. They’re a studentathlete-performer, and they do all of these things. So we can’t look at any one in isolation. – Jennifer Gargano, Assistant Head of School for Academic Affairs



s upper school students face mounting pressure in their academic and personal lives, stress increasingly becomes a factor in their well-being, which can have a dramatic effect on their ability to function both in and out of the classroom. In recent years, Harker has become proactive in reducing stress among the student population, particularly as students prepare to take their SATs and apply to universities. In 2008, the Wellness program was established to hold hourlong sessions and assemblies about health and general well-being. The sessions were meant as an alternative for health classes and were held for each grade, “with the content directed at the development of the students,” said Jane Keller, math teacher and director of the program. Since

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then, assemblies and events have been held several times each year, covering topics such as time management, stress reduction and drug abuse. Three years ago, the program directors established a Wellness Board for a broader range of input, and in 2011 began bringing in student representatives from each class so that the board would have a better idea of what to include in the sessions. The board later changed its name to “LIFE” (Living with Intent, Focus and Enthusiasm) “so it could represent the values we are learning at Harker for life,” Keller said. Jenny Chen, grade 12, one of the student representatives on the LIFE board, describes it as “a collaboration between students, counselors, teachers and administrators. We meet every few weeks


reduces and manages stress, increases overall well-being, improves focus and creativity, and in general becomes more resilient and able to build satisfying relationships.”

to discuss and advocate for student health.” Student representatives deliver feedback from classmates about wellness events and assemblies. “In addition, we all share student needs and help pinpoint what we feel are the main stressors in students’ lives, arranging for assemblies and speakers to help provide students with more resources on these subjects,” said Chen.

Photo by Mariah Bush ‘06

Keller said the presentation also gave the faculty in attendance “an opportunity to relate with their peers and feel better connected across the campuses.

Frequent assessments and the constantly changing nature of their daily and weekly schedules can be major stressors on students, Chen said, as is learning to juggle their academic responsibilities with extracurricular activities. “Moreover, I feel that especially as students get older, anxiety begins to build regarding college admissions; students become more stressed as they work to become competitive applicants. Parental expectations and pressures, too, can sometimes add extra stress to students’ lives,” she added. As these challenges pile up, they can lead to health problems that affect student performance and well-being. “I know that a sizable proportion of students are chronically sleep deprived during the week and many will spend lunch times catching up on homework or studying for upcoming tests,” Chen said. Although some students have shown reluctance to attending the assemblies, as they sometimes occur during free periods, Chen is confident that the lessons learned at the events will show benefits in the long term. Indeed, teacher response to the program has been favorable. “Quite a few teachers have expressed approval and encouragement for the Wellness program,” she said. “Many are now more sensitive to student needs, implementing practices in the classroom to reduce stress as much as possible.”

One such practice is the inclusion of “mindful moments,” one- to two-minute intervals of relaxation and breathing that help students gather their focus, especially just before an exam. Additionally, Athena2, Harker’s internal network for students and faculty, contains links to resources on stress reduction that both students and teachers can utilize. LIFE also recently began discussing the idea of holding a Wellness Fair, a one-day event that would make workshops on yoga, healthy food recipes and more available to students and faculty. “Though this year’s Wellness schedule has already been filled with speakers and other events, we hope to implement this event in the upcoming year and very much look forward to it,” said Chen. The board also plans to have more interactive LIFE assemblies “to help engage the students and communicate our message of well-being,” she added. Teachers have also benefited from wellness initiatives, as demonstrated by fall visits to the school by Meg Levie of the Search Inside Yourself Leadership Institute (SIYLI), the organization co-founded by ChadeMeng Tan, a pioneer at Google who now seeks to foster happiness in the workplace. “The goal was to teach participants how to calm their minds and deepen their self-awareness,” said Jennifer Gargano, assistant head of school for academic affairs. “The hope is that in doing so, one

“One of the important aspects for us as teachers was to really drive home the point that we need to slow down,” Keller added. “Harker is a highenergy place so it was important for faculty and staff to see the benefits of stillness. Hopefully, this idea of time for themselves will have an impact on how assignments are given.” Psychotherapist Gina Biegel, author of “The Stress Reduction Workbook for Teens,” also visited in the fall and held a session for students. “Gina talked about the change that can happen to parts of your brain when you begin to live in the present,” Keller said. “Stopping to breathe, sitting quietly, counting your breaths and meditating can have an impact on how we process information.” In 2012, Harker began working with Challenge Success, an organization based at Stanford University that is dedicated to student engagement and well-being. A team consisting of teachers, administrators and students was put together to attend conferences and speak with Challenge Success representatives to discover ways in which student well-being could be advanced. One idea that came from working with Challenge Success was the new chime that accompanies the start and end of every period. Challenge Success found that startling bell noises actually increased stress at the moments they were sounded, and so several schools decided to do without bells. Harker opted to keep the bell system but change the sounds to something much less abrasive.


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quality of the educational experience for the students. “Instead of giving five questions for a reading assignment, maybe [the teacher] can think of three, but those three really get to the heart of what the five used to,” Gargano said.

Photo by Mariah Bush ‘06

Another idea was the time management sheet currently in use by upper school students, who fill out the sheet by denoting how much time they plan to spend on each of their classes and activities. At the start of the 2012-13 school year, advisors met with students to discuss the sheet and offer guidelines on how much time each class or activity can take. It also takes into account the time they plan to spend with their families and on other important things such as sleep. If the hours they plan to spend on each item exceed the number of hours in a week, the students must then rethink how they are spending their time. The time management sheet also comes up in meetings with academic counselors. “It just creates a conversation,” Gargano said. “What are you doing, how are you spending your time, how is it working for you?” Since the use of the time management sheet is a new practice, it is still in the experimental stages. However, once it is determined how well it works at the upper school there are plans to introduce the time management sheet to the middle school. In dealing with stress, Chen said, it is important for students to look into new activities but also to know when they are



perhaps doing too much at once. “It is easy to bite off more than you can chew when it comes to taking on new extracurricular activities or challenging coursework. In addition, it is always helpful to talk to someone when you are feeling stressed, whether that person is a parent, teacher or counselor.” For her own part, Chen finds that putting down her thoughts is a good way to stay on track without getting overwhelmed. “I find that writing in a journal and keeping a daily log of events in your life are very beneficial and can help you organize your emotions and thoughts.” At the lower and middle schools, an initiative was put in place last year to reduce the homework load on students by as much as an hour and a half per night. This was the result of a concerted effort by teachers to maximize the efficiency and effectiveness of their teaching in order to drive down the workload without sacrificing the

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The middle school will also try a new testing structure in which all testing takes place in the second semester, reducing the overall number of tests the students take each week. In addition to reducing anxiety and stress, it may also enhance the classroom experience. “If you’re testing a little bit less, you can actually teach and do more in-class activities because testing is a big chunk of time,” Gargano said. Like the upper school, the lower and middle schools have also hosted special wellness assemblies. Students also take health classes that cover a variety of topics related to personal well-being. Currently, a team of administrators is being formed to summarize and evaluate the school’s K-12 wellness efforts and discover what action may be taken. For now, Gargano said, it is important to be mindful of how instruction can be effective while at the same time taking into account the students’ entire school experience. “They’re not just a student, or an athlete,” she said. “They’re a student-athleteperformer, and they do all of these things. So we can’t look at any one in isolation.”

“I find that writing in a journal and keeping a daily log of events in your life are very beneficial and can help you organize your emotions and thoughts.” -Jenny Chen, grade 12

10th Annual Harker Fashion Show

Harker’s 10th annual fashion show is just around the corner - Mission: Possible, Dare to Try! In life, every decision we make carries with it some degree of risk, from choosing our careers, Photo provided by Talon

to whom we love and what we eat. Some decisions reward us,


y Kyle hoto b




while others might bring us pain. But for life to have any degree of adventure, joy, satisfaction and challenge, we must take risks. So, as this is our 10th year of the fashion show, there seems no better time to challenge our conventional ways and take some risks.

by Me

gan P


h, gra

de 11 Photo by Kyle



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2013 Fashion Show

THE SHOW This year, as always, the show will be incredible! Why? • Because you’ll be there! • Because it’s our 10-year anniversary! • Because the show will be bigger and bolder than ever! Photo by Kyle Cavallaro

THE LIVE AUCTION(S) This year, fashion show chair and Harker parent John Keller dares you to change it up a bit. We will have a short, fun auction during lunch, catered mainly to the moms and students who make up most of the lunchtime audience. Here’s one of our luncheon auction items we’re playing around with: How would you and a couple of your friends like to teach a class to a group of teachers on the subject matter of your choosing? You select the subject. You select the teachers. Imagine teaching a class on the latest text slang, or how to beat Call of Duty, or the latest dance moves. You are limited only by your imagination. The dinner auction will push the envelope as far as it can go. Bidders, save that extra jingle in your pockets, because you’re going to need it! We will have some unbelievable, never-before-seen items that will blow you away. And our favorite auctioneer from previous years, Damon Casatico, is back to help encourage you in your bidding.

We have a new opportunity for donors called Sponsor a Segment. The money raised here will go directly to the budget of the show in the form of lights, video and costumes. How much? Glad you asked! For $2,500 you will receive a full color page in our program (valued at $900), four seats to the show (valued at up to $700), and your name or company will be promoted at the start or ending of a segment in the lunch and dinner show. There are also some additional benefits; please call us for details. The show will be fun, entertaining, unpredictable and, of course, will star the biggest celebrities ever – the Harker community.

THE LOBBY Think Las Vegas meets Monte Carlo. That’s right, it’s Casino time. Why go to Vegas to lose your money … er, have fun … when you can do it at our full-blown casino that will have everything - Blackjack, Roulette, Craps, Texas Hold ’em and more. Try your luck at winning one of the many showcases featuring all kinds of cool prizes. Pit bosses will be extending credit when needed! In addition, there will be a lounge, photographer, a couple of bars (non-alcoholic for lunch) and a few other interesting surprises.


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by Kyle

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2013 Fashion Show


THE VOLUNTEERS We thought we would try something a little different this year and waive the mandatory 10 hours of volunteer work that is required if your child is in the show. What about all the work that goes into setting up, makeup and hair, logistics, and the many more tasks that go into having a show this size? Have no fear; we have a small army of volunteers (almost 70) willing and able to get the job done. If you are interested, you’re more than welcome to join our team. No pressure – if you want to put in two or 20 hours, it’s up to you. And if you just want to see what’s going on, RSVP to one of our monthly meetings. Breakfast included!

Photo by De

vin Nguyen

The Harker Fashion Show website covers every aspect of the show: model information, upcoming dates, volunteers, sponsorships, tickets, etc. It’s like one-stop shopping for information! In addition, we are trying to reduce the use of printed materials as much as possible. It’s cheaper, better for the environment and faster to communicate.

Photo by Mercedes Chien, grade 11

We want to thank our sponsors in advance, especially the “first movers” who have really put us on track to having a very special and successful show. We can’t do it without you. Our goal is not only to put on a great show, but also raise money. It’s difficult sometimes to find the right balance between pushing too hard and not hard enough. That being said, this year we’ve introduced a premier seating program. Here’s how it works: Gold Sponsors get the best seats in the house, Silver, next best and so on. We have already started giving our past sponsors first crack at the different levels of sponsor packages, and we’re very pleased at the traction that this plan is having. A couple of levels are already almost sold out. Sponsors and future sponsors, thanks again!


GET YOUR TICKETS EARLY! We want to give fair warning … with record tryouts, more models and the overall buzz, this will definitely be a sold-out show for both lunch and dinner. So if you are planning to attend, please GET YOUR TICKETS EARLY!

‘12 Photos by Kyle Cavallaro


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Presidential Election a Teachable Moment By Debbie Cohen

Photo by Kyle Cavallaro


November, Harker students across all three campuses joined American voters, and global observers, by getting caught up in pre-election and Election Day fever! At the lower and middle school campuses, students learned firsthand what it’s like to cast their votes for a presidential candidate, thanks to two separately held mock elections. Meanwhile, at the upper school, the Junior States of America (JSA) club conducted an innovative pre-election poll of staff and faculty (instead of students as they have in previous election years). The results of the anonymous lower and middle school mock elections mirrored those of the real one – with President Barack Obama emerging as the winner. The results of the upper school poll (which favored Obama) were published in the online daily news feed of the student newspaper, The Winged Post. The JSA also hosted a Pizza and Politics evening on election night for students to convene, enjoy dinner and watch election coverage together. The lower school saw Obama capturing 73 percent of the vote during its mock election, which was held on Oct. 30 for the entire student body in advance of the real



election. Kristin Giammona, elementary school head, credited the lower school teachers with helping to prepare the students for their big voting turnout, which was conducted online with a weeklong absentee voting period. Long after their voting sessions had ended, lower school students proudly continued wearing their “I voted” stickers on their shirts. The lower campus election was tied into part of a larger nationwide mock election effort called Every Kid Votes, designed specifically for elementary school students. In fact, Harker youngsters joined more than 1.19 million children participating in the program, sponsored by American Legacy Publishing, the publishers of Studies Weekly Publications. “The main purpose of education is to produce a self-governing citizenry,” said

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Ed Rickers, president of Studies Weekly, explaining why the mock election was so productive. Educating students about the presidential election process from an early age was certainly the goal at Bucknall, where even kindergartners voted during the first 10 minutes of their computer science classes. In Lisa Hackwood’s afternoon computer class, the youngsters were instructed that they were going to have a chance to cast their votes just like their parents. “You know how mom and dad vote … now you get a chance!” said Hackwood to the class. “To cast your vote you just click on your candidate shown onscreen. And remember to keep it to yourself; voting is private.” Kindergartner Avayna Glass was an old hand at voting, having done something similar in Photo by Kyle Cavallaro

preschool for a different mock election. At first she was undecided whether to vote for the “dark-haired or gray-haired guy.” But eventually she made up her mind, keeping her decision, as instructed, to herself.

Photo by Kyle Cavallaro

In grades 1 and 2 voting was done in homeroom classes. Grade 3 voted in their study skills classes, grade 4 in social studies, and grade 5 in computer science. And, in addition to the mock election, grade 1 students in Rita Stone’s class also held a second election on Election Day for a favorite storybook character, while second graders voted on their favorite cereals.

Using paper ballots and a voting booth, grade 1 homeroom teachers supervised their students’ book character voting at various times throughout the day. Students were instructed to put a check mark next to the top character of their choice. They were told they could pick only one from the following: Amelia Bedelia, Mrs. Frizzle, Harry the Dirty Dog, Elephant and Piggy, and Froggy. And the winner went to … Elephant and Piggy with 32 votes! Mrs. Frizzle came in second with 19 votes votes, followed by Harry the Dirty Dog with 18. Lagging behind was Froggy with just eight votes, and poor Amelia Bedelia came in last place with zero. “The first graders became really interested in the election … our mock elections and the real one! They were all talking about it the next day,” enthused Stone.

Emilia Long, grade 3, was the first one to vote in the makeshift, curtained-off voting booth. Both presidential candidates appeared on the iPad and all the students had to do was tap the one they wanted to vote for. Emerging from the voting area, she said, “That was really fun. Now I have a better idea of what my parents are doing when they go to vote.” At the middle school, students had a regular schedule on the Nov. 6 Election Day and voted during their advisory periods, which met in the morning. Grades 6-7 voted in their advisory rooms, and grade 8 voted in the main gym. Unlike the high-tech national voting process of the lower school, middle schoolers voted via paper ballots which had been distributed to advisory teachers in advance. After voting in their designated areas, the students’ ballots were then collected, combined and hand counted in the library by mock election organizers Bernie Morrissey, the librarian, and Pat White, who teaches history. “We held our election on Election Day – the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November – per the U.S. Constitution,” explained White. Even Ellen DeGeneres got a vote in the middle school mock election, generating some great classroom discussions about third party and independent candidates. Standing outside the gym, sporting Harker Eagles sweatshirts and khaki shorts, were grade 8 students Alex Mo, Shekar Ramaswamy and Anthony DeVincenzi. The trio agreed that the mock election had been an important experience. Ramaswamy called mock elections important because they “give students a sense of responsibility and an idea about the role politics play in society.” “It was really fun,” added DeVincenzi. “Now I’m more interested in watching the election coverage on television.”

Photo by Kyle Cavallaro

In grade 3, teacher Heather Russell’s afternoon class voted on an iPad at a back table set up with a divider and curtain. Before having the class vote, she spoke about what to expect and how an election works in real life. Hands went up as students eagerly participated in the discussion. “Not every country has the right, or privilege, to vote,” explained Russell.

Election enthusiasm ran just as high at the upper school during the Pizza and Politics event held in the Bistro, which kicked off at 5 p.m. when the East Coast polls closed. It was attended by approximately 65 students and faculty members. Organized by JSA officers, Pizza and Politics was designed to increase political interest in the community as well as publicize the intentions and ideas behind JSA. The upper school further kept the election excitement momentum by using it as a springboard to put many of the lessons that students learned to practical use. Butch Keller, upper school head, had earlier advised teachers to give their students the opportunity to watch the historic elections on Election Day by lightening that night’s homework load. Some teachers opted to creatively tie homework to the elections. Said JSA president Sachin Vadodaria, grade 11: “As Harker JSA is all about increasing youth interest in politics and leadership, we saw the elections, both national and state, as a great way to increase student interest in politics, or at least have people think and talk about these political decisions which ultimately do affect all of us.” Thanks to Harker’s mock and other pre- and post-election activities – and regardless of whether or not students were in favor of Obama – all the grades agreed on one thing: politics can be fun!

The results of the anonymous lower and middle school mock elections mirrored those of the real one – with President Barack Obama emerging as the winner.


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Harker Community Gathers for

Food, Football and Friends By Zach Jones

Photos by Kyle Cavallaro

clear but slightly chilly evening at the upper school campus was the setting for the 2013 Harker Homecoming, highlighted by a tense faceoff between the varsity football teams of Harker and Lynbrook High School at Davis Field. Attendees had plenty of fun both before and during the game, with tailgate areas serving many varieties of snacks and drinks to the patrons. Meanwhile, Mrs. Carley’s CafÊ served savory barbecue, and upper school students sold hot pizza by the slice. Harker journalism students sold programs they had made to raise money to pay for equipment and publishing costs. A favorite attraction during the evening was a tapedoff area where attendees could take turns bashing a car, spray-painted with the graduation years of the upper school classes, with a sledgehammer or baseball bat.



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Homecoming 2012

in their eagle costumes and dancing to the appropriately familiar strains of Steve Miller Band’s “Fly Like an Eagle,” the grade 2 performers were, as always, a highlight of the pre-game festivities. Out on Rosenthal Field, younger children had a blast playing in no fewer than three inflatable structures: a bounce house, a large slide and an elaborate playhouse. Others made their own fun by tossing a football or playing other schoolyard games.

“I like cheering. I’m a very spirited person!” – Akshaya Premkumar, grade 9

Prior to the start of the game, Harker performing arts groups kept the attendees entertained. After a rousing performance by the upper school’s Varsity Dance Troupe, the lower school’s junior cheer squad received an enthusiastic ovation for their spirited and wellexecuted routine, and the crowd was equally receptive for the Eaglets flyby, a longstanding homecoming tradition, directed by Gail Palmer. Dressed

All photos by Kyle Cavallaro

Harker alumni, including several Palo Alto Military Academy graduates, were out in force to support their alma mater and reminisce with old friends and teachers. The special alumni area was busy for the entire event with returning graduates, faculty and current students enjoying food and good company. “There’s always good food and good conversation,” Steven Brimm ’02 said of Harker community events such as homecoming. Although it had been years since he had visited Harker, he said, he enjoyed seeing his former classmates and teachers.

Akshaya Premkumar, grade 9, enjoyed homecoming for the opportunity to bond with friends. She was also cheering hard for an Eagle win. “I like cheering. I’m a very spirited person!” she said. Her friend Caitlin Benge, also grade 9, was enjoying her 10th homecoming since kindergarten. “My favorite part is the tug of war,” she said. Ed Williams ’02 said “the friends” were what brought him to this year’s homecoming. “Here’s one right here!” he exclaimed, as he reunited with his former advisor, John Hawley, the upper school Latin teacher. During halftime, Head of School Chris Nikoloff took time to recognize the three alumni who received awards at Harker’s Alumni Day in June. See page 45 for details. Just before kickoff, vocal groups from all


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Homecoming 2012

three campuses gathered to sing stirring renditions of “The Harker School Song” and “The Star-Spangled Banner,” directed by Susan Nace. Halftime entertainment began with a performance by Harker’s upper school cheer squad, who impressed the crowd with a complex routine. The traditions continued with the conclusion of this year’s tug of war competition, as the Classes of 2013 and 2014 took to the center of Davis Field. The seniors took home this year’s tug of war trophy after a well-earned victory.

Photos by Kyle Cavallaro

As the third quarter approached, this year’s homecoming court was brought



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onto the field, riding golf carts driven by their advisors. Performing arts teacher and class dean Jeffrey Draper then revealed Maverick McNealy and Akarsha Gulukota, both grade 12, as this year’s homecoming king and queen. The football team then took the field in spectacular fashion by bursting through a massive paper sign to begin the second half. Although the Eagles lost the hardfought contest 39-45, it was nevertheless a memorable event for all in attendance that surely already has the Harker community eager for next year.


By Steve M. Boyle ’06

Upper School Volleyball Congratulations to the varsity girls volleyball team, who won their league championship this year. They advanced to the CCS semifinals where, against top-seeded Harbor High School, the girls were able to take one game in the best of five match, ultimately losing 18-25, 25-21, 18-25, 14-25. The girls had won a nail-biter just to get to the semis when they made a dramatic comeback in the quarterfinals, winning three in a row to upset the fourth-seeded Soquel Knights. This was certainly one of the most exciting volleyball games in the program’s history! The girls finished the year with a 22-7 record overall and a 10-2 mark in league play. Shreya Dixit, grade 10, led the team with 183 kills, just above junior Divya Kalidindi’s 178, and Dixit’s kill percentage of 47.7 was just a few ticks shy of freshman Doreene Kang’s teamleading 49.2. On defense, Dixit and Kang shone as well, with 40 and 36 blocks, respectively, tying for a team lead in blocksper-set with 0.6.

Water Polo Girls water polo capped off a historic season with a league championship, defeating Mountain View 9-5 in the semifinal match of the league tournament, and their first-ever CCS appearance, finishing up the year with a 20-7 record. The team was led by league MVP Keri Clifford, grade 12, who racked up a gaudy stat line with 98 goals and 219 points. Congratulations, ladies, on your accomplishments and for making Harker history! The boys team finished 12-16 overall and 4-8 in league play but cruised into the offseason with some momentum for next year, having won their last two games to finish fourth in their league.

Tennis The girls tennis season came to a close as they lost to St. Francis 11-7 in the CCS quarterfinals. They finished with a 14-3 overall record and a second-place finish in the WBAL! Standout doubles team Daria Karakoulka, grade 12, and Katia Mironova, grade 11, won the WBAL doubles championship and represented Harker at the CCS individual tournament.

Golf It was a record-setting year for Harker in golf as Patricia Huang, grade 12, shot the best score any Harker golfer has ever achieved at CCS and Kristine Lin, grade 11, wrapped up the year as the league’s individual champion. The pair led Harker to a secondplace finish in the league overall

Photo by Robert Boucher, parent

Girls Win a Brace of League Championships; Doubles and Individuals Excel

with a 7-3 record. At the CCS golf championships in Carmel, Huang ended her Harker golf career on a high note, shooting an 82 to finish in 30th place at Rancho Canada; she became the first Harker golfer to qualify for CCS as an individual all four years of her career. Her score of 82 represents the lowest score ever carded by a Harker girls golfer at CCS. At the same event, Lin followed up with an 85, placing 38th out of 90 participants, and became the first female Harker golfer to win the regular season individual title. To cap it off, she won the league championships with an impressive score of 73 at Poplar Creek.

Cross Country While neither team qualified for the CCS championships, the girls missed qualifying by only 0.3 seconds and each team saw new school records set. For the girls, Ragini Bhattacharya, grade 12, achieved a new Harker record with a 19:24 run at the league championship meet at Crystal Springs

Photo by Robert Boucher, parent


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by David Woolsey ‘06

Cross Country Park. On the boys’ side, Corey Gonzales, grade 10, was named league MVP for a season in which he posted the best time in Harker history – a 16:12 at the league championship.


Photo by Kyle Cavallaro

Lower School and Middle School

Softball Grade 6-8 varsity sluggers won second place in their league with a strong 5-1 season, while grade 4-5 softball ran the table with a 6-0 record and a league championship.

Football Grade 8 varsity football finished in fifth place in their league, as did Grade 7 varsity football, but grade 6 football pulled off a perfect 9-0 season to capture their league championships, and grade 5 football secured an even record at 3-3 to finish in a tie for fourth place in their league.

Photos by Maria Gong, parent

The boys finished the season at 3-7 overall and 1-5 in league play despite an explosive offense that finished among the league’s leaders in scoring. Senior Spenser Quash earned all-league honors for most outstanding quarterback after posting 2,441 passing yards and 23 throwing touchdowns alongside 300 yards rushing and nine rushing touchdowns. Wide receivers Kevin Moss, grade 11, and Robert Deng, grade 12, and offensive lineman Darian Edvalson, grade 11, were named first team all-league. Deng led the team with 57 receptions for 734 yards, and his six touchdowns were just shy of the team record of seven set by Moss, who added 39 catches for 586 yards of his own.

Cross Country

Photo by Julia Youn, parent



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The team finished up their season with the WBAL cross country meet at Bayfront Park, where both the boys and girls teams finished in third place overall with a few standout individual performances. For the girls, Sarah Savage, grade 7, captured first place in her race with Niki Iyer, grade 8, just behind her for the second place finish. On the boys’ side, Arnav Tandon, grade 8, finished third to put Harker in the top three of both races.


Photo by Mark Basinski, parent

Swimming Harker swimmers concluded their fall with the WBAL swim meet at Sacred Heart Prep. In the grade 5-6 boys medley relay (MR), taking second place were Edwin Su, Arjun Kilaru, Stephan Sokolov and Krish Kapadia, all grade 6; and in third place, Noah Salisbury, Rohan Arora, Kai-Ming Ang and Cole Smitherman, all grade 5.

Further results were: Grade 5-6 girls MR, third place: Angela Li, Sara Min, Anusha Kuppahally, Alexandra Janssen, all grade 6 Grade 5-6 girls Individual Medley (IM), first place: Angela Li Grade 5-6 girls 25-back, first place: Angela Li

Photos provided by middle school yearbook staff

Grade 5-6 boys 100-free, third place: Arnav Jain, grade 5. Grade 5-6 girls 25-breast, third place: Sara Min Grade 7 boys MR, second place: Victor Shin, Jeffrey Ma, Alexander Wang, Derek Kuo Grade 7 boys IM, first place and grade 7 boys 50-free, second place: Jeffrey Ma Grade 7 boys 50-fly, third place: Adriano Hernandez Grade 7 boys 50-breast, third place: Aadith Srinivisan


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GlobalEducation Sixth Graders Meet Their Tamagawa Buddies! By Debbie Cohen

Visiting Australian Exchange Students Observe Harker’s Rich Performing Arts Offerings The Harker School’s global education and performing arts departments were thrilled to warmly welcome more than two dozen students who recently visited from Saint Stephen’s College, a college preparatory independent school located on the Gold Coast in Queensland, Australia.

Photos by Liat Noten ‘05

Excited grade 6 students met their buddies from Harker’s sister school in Tokyo in midOctober. The meeting, between Harker’s 27 middle school students and the Tamagawa K-12 School & University students, was preceded by a get-acquainted video chat. “The video conferences are fun events held on the Blackford campus where each Harker family is scheduled for 10 minutes to meet their child’s Japanese buddy and family. We have a translator present to assist with communication,” explained Jennifer Walrod, Harker’s director of global education.

The Tamagawa students were at Harker for several days before heading off to 20


According to Jennifer Walrod, Harker’s director of global education, the visit went extremely well and was part of a larger performing arts tour of the United States that the Australian exchange students and their chaperones were taking.

While participating in a special dance class held in the gym, the students said they were having fun getting to know one another and were still excited about an outing they had the day before, which included a visit to a pumpkin patch and haunted house. The popular student exchange program between the Tamagawa and Harker schools is just one example of Harker’s rich global education program, which strives to weave global activities into its students’ daily lives. In the spring, Harker students will head to Japan as part of the reciprocal exchange program.

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Photo by Kyle Cavallaro

The video conferences began with Harker students introducing their families and asking questions about what their buddies would want to see, do or eat during their visit at the end of October. The Japanese buddies also got to ask questions about their fast-approaching visit.

Yosemite on Oct. 22 after a farewell party hosted on their behalf in the middle school’s multipurpose room. They stayed in homestays with their Harker buddies, sightseeing around the Bay Area, visiting special classes, observing middle school classes, and reading stories and doing origami projects with K-3 kids.

Accompanied by three chaperones, the group of 25 performing arts students were at Harker from Sept. 22-26. The group’s packed performing arts itinerary included visits to Harker’s theater, music, choreography and acting classes, as well as a special observation of a rehearsal of the fall play, “Hamlet,” followed by dinner.

GlobalEducation was also amazed by the charity work some students did after the tsunami,” she said.

Photo by Kyle Cavallaro

Zhang Tao (who goes by the name Ruth) visited in mid-September from the World Foreign Language Middle School (WFLMS) in Shanghai, China. In recent years the WFLMS has added a high school, where Zhang teaches English to sophomores and juniors. During her time at Harker she observed and taught classes on all three campuses, spending the bulk of her time at the middle school. Highlights of her visit included teaching such subjects as Chinese poetry, Mandarin, calligraphy and tai chi.

“We have also hosted two previous summer upper school trips where students visited Saint Stephen’s, attended their weeklong leadership retreat and stayed in homestays. Plus, their exchange students and teachers always visit our middle and lower schools to read stories and talk about Australian history,” added Walrod.

Harker Benefits from Visits by Exchange Teachers from Japan and China Harker hosted two exciting visits from exchange teachers in September, one from Japan and the other from China. Both Yu Sasaki of Japan and Zhang Tao of China came to Harker to absorb the culture and learn new teaching practices. On Sept. 6 Sasaki, who lives in Sendai, Japan, visited the upper school campus to talk to students about her work with Save the Children, a leading nonprofit organization devoted to

promoting children’s welfare. Sasaki is currently involved in Japan’s posttsunami relief efforts and used her Harker visit as an opportunity to inform the upper school students about it. “It was a wonderful experience to discuss our post-tsunami relief efforts with five Japanese classes at Harker. In each class, I got interesting questions from students and was happy to know that they still care about what happens on the other side of the earth. I Photo by Jennifer Walrod

Photos provided by Jennifer Walrod

Especially gratifying to Walrod was the fact that numerous performing arts students at Harker helped out with the visit, accompanying Saint Stephen’s students for breakfast and lunch, escorting them to and from classes, and even joining them for a fun night out shopping and dining at Santana Row.

The teacher exchange program is an example of Harker’s ongoing effort to build progressive academic and cultural partnerships between institutions around the world, providing meaningful experiences for students at all grade levels – preparing them to be true global citizens.


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Kindergartners Use the to Explore Themes of Being Thankful and Giving Back By Debbie Cohen


arker’s youngest students are using the holiday season to learn about being thankful, giving back to their local communities, and the joy that comes from helping those less fortunate.

Kicking off the first of their community service projects in late October, the kindergarten students helped care for their lower school campus by picking fallen pomegranates from the school grounds to prevent the fruit from becoming an eyesore and hazard. This campus beautification project began in 2009 and is part of the youngsters’ overall service projects; they also participate in tree planting each year. The annual kindergarten tree planting at the Bucknall campus is a beloved tradition that began on the Saratoga campus. According to Sarah Leonard, primary division head, tree planting gives the children the opportunity to leave kindergarten with something that “serves as a living memory of their first year at Harker.”

Photos by Kyle Cavallaro

The importance of giving back and feeding the hungry is a lesson that many kindergarten teachers tied into curriculum surrounding the holiday season. 22


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Additionally, every winter, the lower school sponsors a canned food and toy drive, in which kindergartners take part. The importance of giving back and feeding the hungry is a lesson that many kindergarten teachers further tied into curriculum surrounding the holiday season. The toy drive affords kindergartners the chance to learn, early on, the value of helping to get presents under the trees of many families who would not have otherwise been able to afford them.

In fact, last year’s drive resulted in hundreds of toys being delivered to Sacred Heart Community Services in San Jose. Including Harker’s donation, more than 16,000 toys were donated, then set up and organized like a toy store for parents of children in need to choose from, resulting in a very merry Christmas day. In November, kindergarten teacher Katherine Chi hosted a Thanksgiving feast with students and their families during her afternoon homeroom period. Held on Nov. 16, families each brought a favorite dish to share with the class, even including a bowl of macaroni and cheese for youngsters with hard-to-please palettes! For those who wanted more traditional holiday fixings, there were also plenty of mashed potatoes with gravy, sweet potatoes and roasted turkey to choose from. And, to the delight of students, yummy desserts, including homemade pumpkin cookies, were served as well.

Sitting next to her at a table set with colorful paper plates with turkeys on them was her father, Jeff Tuckey. He said he enjoyed being a part of the inclass celebration, sitting down with the youngsters as they enjoyed their mock Thanksgiving meal. But it wasn’t all about the food. In addition to enjoying the sumptuous feast, Chi also had her class of 22 students take time out to discuss what they are thankful for. Previously, as part of their language arts curriculum, the kindergartners had created a journal about

non-material things they are grateful for. Answers ranged from having clothes to wear and food to eat, to spending time with their family and pets. From enjoying class holiday-themed celebrations to participating in community service projects and toy and canned food drives, kindergartners used the holiday season to its fullest – by uniting as a class, as well as helping to make the world a better place. Photos by Kyle Cavallaro

However, it wasn’t dessert that made kindergarten student Lindsey Tuckey’s mouth water. The five-year-old said what she is really thankful for is “the healthy stuff.” When asked to elaborate she noted she is especially grateful for having so much food to eat, particularly “broccoli and celery.”


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“There are so many schools out there that you can overlook just because you haven’t heard about them or your relatives haven’t heard about them.” –Kevin Lum Lung, college counselor



By Zach Jones


ollege applications. With so many schools to choose from, career paths to take and requirements to meet, it is easy for juniors to feel overwhelmed, so Harker’s college counseling department offers them a wealth of advice and guidance. Alumni and others augment that process.

College application preparation also begins in some measure right as students enter the upper school. “I meet with every freshman student. I meet with his or her advisory and set up a course plan,” said Evan Barth, dean of studies at the upper school. “I like the focus to be on that so that the students are taking classes that they're interested in, which means they’re going to be doing better.” In addition to making them more attractive to colleges to which they may later apply, the course plan also makes them more well-rounded students, a goal central to Harker’s overall mission. “In high school you don’t need to specialize. You don’t need to be a math person or a science person. Just be a student,” Barth said. “CalTech is going to want to see that you’re in good English classes getting good grades. It’s not like they only care about math and science.” Counselors help drive that point home. 24



College Counseling Program

The quality of counseling is often about case load, and “we have very manageable loads,” said Sandy Padgett, co-director of the college counseling department. Juniors meet with their counselors dozens of times from their second semester until applications are filed at the end of their first semester as seniors, and a lot of preparation goes into the applications. “Almost every college has a different set of questions that need to be answered and they can sometimes be confusing,” said Lori Berenberg, grade 12. “I can always count on someone to be in the college counseling office who can help me navigate through the seemingly

impossible college application process. Even if my own college counselor is busy with a meeting, every single counselor is available to answer general questions regarding applications.” “When you’re working with students, you’re going over their interests and what kind of environment they are looking for,” said counselor Kevin Lum Lung. “Large school, small school, are they willing to go out of state, in state, suburban, urban - those are big factors that can narrow it down.” Counselors also strongly encourage families to visit college campuses to help gauge the student experience at the campus level.

Students can narrow down choices through visits to college campuses, via their own research or hearing impressions from students attending prospective schools. Counselors then help students gauge their career interests and look at the admissions requirements of some of those schools to construct a list of possible universities. Counselors find students eager to apply to prestigious schools but are quick to encourage them to research which school would best suit them rather than look best on a résumé. “We really encourage the research, as opposed to just going to the U.S. News & World Report and picking from a list,” said Nicole Burrell, college counseling codirector. “I think sometimes you can bypass a school that would be a perfect match for you," Lum Lung said, “because perhaps it’s not going to show up on a U.S. News & World Report ranking in the top 10. And there are many schools overlooked just because you haven’t heard about them or your relatives haven’t heard about them.”

College Visits to Harker

Every year approximately 80 college and university representatives visit Harker seeking applicants, providing an invaluable opportunity for students to learn more about the schools along with admission requirements. “I think a number of [students] haven’t had the chance to visit or know very little about a particular school,” said Padgett, “and the representative visits give a little bit more of a face and a name to the person who might be reading their eventual application.”

All photos by Kyle Cavallaro


These visits have resulted in many students finding their school of choice. “Every year I usually have one or two students who go to an information session, they get intrigued by the school, they apply, they’re admitted, maybe they go out for a visit and then they end up at this school,” said counselor Martin Walsh. On the flipside, many students also find out that schools they were interested in are actually not right for them. “The college counseling office actually scheduled representatives to come speak from nearly every college that I was thinking about, and this helped me narrow my list,” said Rohan Chandra, grade 12.

College Counseling Cl asses Harker’s college counselors hold classes to help students get up to speed in the


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College Counseling Program

making that decision for student stress reduction and to really help the seniors.”

All photos by Kyle Cavallaro

application process, just one unique way Harker prepares its students for this busy time. “The course begins with, ‘Here’s where you should be at right now,’ and then, ‘Here’s what you should be doing in the coming week,’” Walsh said. Later on, the classes cover more specific parts of the application procedure, such as how to write personal statements or what types of questions will be asked at an interview. “Through presentations, guest speakers and various paper resources, we were given everything we'd need to be effective applicants,” said Berenberg. “I find myself infinitely more prepared than I was in the spring, and I credit all of my growth to the college counseling department and my college counselor.” Guest speakers at these sessions include teachers who discuss their experiences at college, perhaps also informing students of schools they previously weren’t familiar with. Grade 12 students who have gone through the application process also appear to give the juniors advice and answer their questions.

The Alumni Connection

Soon-to-be applicants are also encouraged to contact Harker alumni currently studying at schools they may want to attend. “We have a really good alumni network,” Burrell said, “and a lot of our students will go visit colleges and stay with or meet up with Harker alums, or visit classes with Harker alums.” The college counseling department compiles a list of alumni who can be contacted by students looking to visit their schools. Alumni then give them a firsthand account of their experiences and show them around. “Our kids have reported back that the alumni have been really great about giving them that inside view of what it’s like to go to that school, and what it’s like to be transitioning particularly from Harker to that school,” Burrell said.

Giving Seniors Time

“They not only see us dozens of times over the year, but they’re in class with us once a week, so we’re working with them all the time,” said Padgett.

Another intriguing aspect of the college application process is the Harker approach of not administering final exams to seniors, to allow them more time in December for applications. “The seniors make appointments and we’re here with dedicated time to help them finalize their applications and send everything out before winter break,” Walsh said.

“Those classes are also designed to disseminate broad information,” Lum Lung noted, “and then in their individual meetings, you can kind of tailor it specifically to a student and address the individual needs."

The practice helps lower student stress. “You can imagine trying to finish all your college applications and study for your final exams at the same time,” said Lum Lung. “So the school and the administration did such a great job in



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To further ensure that students can both dedicate the right amount of time to their applications and finish them in a timely manner, students are also required to begin working on their applications in the summer prior to senior year. “Without this counseling, I likely would not have started my apps until much more recently, at which point I now would have been extremely stressed out and would have probably written subpar essays,” Chandra said. “College counseling helped ease me into the college application process quite well, as I was consistently given information on college applications, as well as personalized attention through counselor meetings,” Berenberg said. “Once I began my applications, I was eager to come to each of my meetings because I had something new to show every time.” Counselors also make sure to let students know when to take a break from something. “One of the things I’m saying most frequently is, ‘You’re working too hard on this essay. Let’s step back. You don’t need to do all that. There’s a much easier way to do that,’” Padgett said. Added Lum Lung: “The structure of [our process] is designed to prevent stress and anxiety. We’re trying to keep people organized, and I think stress can develop when people don’t know where they should be; and we’re debunking the myths and rumors out there.”

By Sara Kendall


Community Gets into the Holiday Giving Spirit Students Clean Up the Coast

Youth Citizen of the Year Tara Rezvani, grade 12, was recognized at Los Gatos’ Youth Park Citizen Day on Sept. 29 as one of Los Gatos’ Youth Citizens of the Year. Among Rezvani’s many accomplishments are organizing a health camp for children, volunteer work at El Camino Hospital and induction to the National French Honor Society.

Photos by Kyle Cavallaro

Almost 50 community members stepped up in September for the 26th annual California Coastal Cleanup Day. Inspired by this year’s lower school theme of compassion, parent volunteer Kelly Lewis Brezoczky (Katherine, grade 3; Charlotte, grade 5; Emma, grade 7) coordinated Harker’s participation, and service and spirit club advisor Katie Molin invited grade 4 and 5 families to help pick up debris littered across Pillar Point and Pilarcitos Creek in Half Moon Bay.

Clara. Walsh noted St. Justin’s provides groceries and hot meals all year long.

Advisories Help Prep Toiletries for Donation Pat White, middle school history teacher, ran a toiletry drive again this year for the Gloria Travis Center for Homeless Women and Children. White’s advisory sorts and bags donated items for delivery. White hopes to deliver about 500 sandwich bags of toiletries.

Collecting Food for the Needy

Holiday Gift Giving in Full Swing

The Service Club at the middle school ran a canned food drive and, for each item, students were given a strip of construction paper to hang in the windows of Activity Avenue to create a colorful, proud display of Harker’s giving spirit.

Three different programs collected gifts for those in need. Family Supportive Housing, which runs the Adopt-a-Family program, collects holiday wish lists from families in need which are distributed to those who want to help out during the holiday season.

The lower school also ran their annual food drive, organized for more than 20 years as the grade 5 service project by teacher Pat Walsh. Donations all went to St. Justin’s Church in Santa

The Family Giving Tree matches givers up to individuals rather than families. This is Harker’s third year participating. Patricia Lai Burrows, an English teacher at the middle school, said, “Last year, we successfully fulfilled 200 wishes, and this year, I signed up to fulfill 350 wishes.” Currently, Harker is on track to fulfill 400. Sunday Friends, a nonprofit that helps families in need, put together a list of holiday gift items their families would enjoy. The sophomore class used this

year’s homecoming theme of Disney movies for inspiration and selected “Toy Story.” They made a giant toy box featuring characters from the movie, and each of the 185 members of the sophomore class donated a toy for Sunday Friends.

Giving to Our Furry Friends Andrea Milius and Mark Gelineau, middle school teachers, wanted to do something special for this year’s family picnic theme of “Paws, Jaws and Claws" (see page 30 for the picnic wrapup). They encouraged their advisories to do chores at home to earn money and then split the $230 in earnings between National Geographic’s campaign, “Create an Uproar” to save big cats, and a wolf pack at a sanctuary in Mississippi.

Hurricane Sandy Relief The lower school took initiative in the wake of Hurricane Sandy and connected with Coney Island Preparatory School in New York, where 30 students lost their homes and 30 more families lost their cars. The administration at Coney Island Preparatory is offering storm victims modest grants. To help them achieve this goal, the student council at the lower school sold cups of hot chocolate on the playground over the course of several days and took donations. Business was brisk, and the entire amount was donated directly to the Coney Island Preparatory families. H A R K E R Q U A R T E R LY

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By Zach Jones All photos by Kyle Cavallaro

“The Kite Runner” Author Khaled Hosseini Discusses Foundation, Writing Process in Campus Appearance Khaled Hosseini, the Afghan-born bestselling author of “The Kite Runner” and “A Thousand Splendid Suns,” was the honored guest of the Harker Speaker Series on Nov. 30, speaking about the writing process, his experiences in Afghanistan and his humanitarian efforts with The Khaled Hosseini Foundation.

400 on The Khaled Hosseini Foundation and briefly mentioning Harker’s involvement. Founded in 2007, the organization

“[What I saw in Afghanistan] shattered me." -Khaled Hosseini

raises money to build shelters and provide education, food and healthcare to women and children in Afghanistan, which is experiencing many humanitarian crises after experiencing decades of war. Hosseini’s wife, Roya, is also deeply involved, helping with a program that enables Afghan women to sell crafts to raise money for humanitarian aid. These goods were being sold at a table in the gym the night of Hosseini’s visit.

Hosseini also attended a pre-event reception for attendees who purchased special tickets to meet the author and receive a personalized copy of one of his novels. Warm and charming, Hosseini chatted with ABC-7 anchor Cheryl Jennings on a range of topics. Jennings also participates in Afghani relief efforts and was a natural choice for this informal, interview-style conversation. Before his appearance, a video of an ABC-7 report by Jennings was shown, briefing the audience of about 28


Jennings asked Hosseini about his 2003 and 2007 visits to Afghanistan, during which he saw “a ton of people who had come back to Afghanistan from either Pakistan or Iran trying to resettle, restart their lives in their country and were really having a

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very, very hard time,” he said. “It shattered me.” Although he watched much of the crises in Afghanistan unfold from outside the country, he nevertheless found that his memories of his childhood in the country were helpful in writing “The Kite Runner.” “It took me by surprise how vivid my memories were,” he said, recalling his time growing up with educated parents and living a somewhat “westernized” lifestyle. He was also surprised by how

much the events he had written in the book came to life during his visit. “I started having experiences that I had just imagined this character would have, and I had even written a book about it,” he said.


While working on “Splendid Suns,” he took on the challenge of writing from a woman’s perspective, something he at first approached with some overconfidence, despite warnings from his literary agent at the time, the late Elaine Koster. “I have to admit I was a little smug about it,” he recalled. “And then, about three, four months later, I began to see what she meant.” He overcame the difficulty by rendering women in a more universal sense. “I’m just going to concentrate on what motivates them; what do they want from life, what are they afraid of, what are their hopes, and so on,” he said. “It seems trite and

simple enough, but all of the solutions in my writing life have always been simple – it’s just very hard to get to them.” Hosseini said he was proud to have changed the perceptions people have of the Afghan people through his writing. “I’ve had letters from people who were really kind of toxic haters of people from that region. And yet, they read the book and they saw something of themselves in the experiences of these characters,” he said. “And they slowly changed. That to me is a tremendous gift as a writer. That’s going to outlive anything that I’ve ever done.” Following his talk with Jennings, Hosseini

stayed to take questions from the audience and sign books.

Renowned Educator Visits for Common Ground Series John Hunter, named one of Time magazine’s top 12 education activists, and voted "most influential" TED speaker, appeared at Harker in early October as part of the Common Ground Speaker Series.

Photos by Kyle Cavallaro

Hunter, an award-winning teacher, discussed his invention of the “World Peace Games,” a “geopolitical simulation” that is played mostly by students in grade 4 but is suitable for all ages. The game focuses on building real-world problem-solving skills. Students play various roles in the game, such as world leaders, cabinet members and even arms dealers. Some students are even given roles of great power, such as the ability to control the weather or determine if a business venture will succeed. Aside from facilitating, Hunter never directly intervenes. Students must use the power they have been given in each role to solve the problems presented to them. Every country in the game must also have its asset value raised by the time it ends. “In other words, everybody has to win for the game to be won,” Hunter said. In addition, he makes Sun Tzu’s “The Art of War” required reading for all students participating in the game. The event included a viewing of a documentary film from 2006 that showed Hunter’s students working together to finish the game successfully. In the 34 years that he has been running the game for his students, Hunter said, “They have never failed to save the world. They do it in different ways every time.”

Transforming Your Neighborhood Into a “Playborhood” Author and neighborhood organizer Mike Lanza spoke at the first Harker Speaker Series event of the year on Sept. 14 to share his insights into how neighborhoods can be great places for children to grow up and lead fun, fulfilling lives. Lanza made the point that many kids spend too much time in front of screens, be they television sets, laptops or tablets. On average, he noted, kids spend about eight hours each day consuming visual media. Their lives are also highly scheduled, with sporting events, lessons and other activities. “They have no time

on their own in the world to do things,” Lanza said. Lack of unstructured play time leads to several problems, he said, among them obesity, depression and lack of creativity. He added, however, that taking away screen time and sending kids off into their neighborhoods won’t work on its own, because many neighborhoods are “boring.” To remedy this problem in his Menlo Park neighborhood, Lanza made changes to his home to make it into a place

where neighborhood children could play whenever they wanted, including a driveway that could be drawn on, a picnic table in the front yard, a whiteboard fixed to a fence and a playhouse where kids can write on the walls. “We’re defacing everything we can,” Lanza said. “We want this place to look like kids live here. We want them to feel like they own this place.” As a result, neighborhood children regularly engage with one another in outdoor activities, and families have come to know one another much better.


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By Zach Jones

COMMUNITY FLOCKS TO Harker’s Family & Alumni Picnic Attendees at the 62nd Harker Family & Alumni Picnic on Oct. 14 gloried in the timelessness of the picnic: new things each year – especially the faces of students growing up – and some of the classics, like the neverget-tired-of-it dunk tank. The whole event, one of the big opening events of the school year, was attended by flocks of picnickers and again fulfilled its promise in providing fun and entertainment to the entire Harker community on a warm fall day. Families were greeted by Harker faculty and staff as they reached the entrance to the middle school campus, where the day’s festivities took place. This year’s theme, “Jaws, Paws and Claws,” celebrated all manner of wildlife, and patrons were treated to animal shows at the Blackford amphitheater throughout the day. The crowd was also entertained by an energetic show



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by a wide selection of groups from Harker’s performing arts department, including Dance Fusion, the grade 4-6 boys and girls dance group; Downbeat, the upper school show choir; and Dynamics, the grade 6 choir. Picnickers, particularly the younger ones, especially enjoyed being able to see and pet the pigs, goats, rabbits and other animals on display at the petting area. Talented and well-trained dogs performed tricks and ran through an obstacle course to the delight of audiences, and even a python several feet in length was available for visitors to view and briefly wear on their shoulders.

The always-popular game booths were among the main attractions throughout the day. Volunteers spun wheels of fortune, players tossed golf balls, shot hoops and more to win a myriad of prizes, including stuffed animals, toys and bottles of wine. One of the most popular carnival games, the dunk tank, continued to be a hit with picnic-goers. “The dunk tank was a little cold today. If you noticed, the weather was a little overcast,” said upper school chemistry teacher Andrew Irvine, who had an early shift. He was one of a number of faculty members who had the honor of sitting in the dunk tank this year, and one of the most enthusiastic: “I kind of like the anticipation,” Irvine said.

“When you see everybody come together, and see all the people in their civilian clothing, it shows the magic that makes the Harker community Harker."

Kaela Bien, grade 5, who liked “watching the teachers get dunked,” also enjoyed the canine feats on display at the dog show. “It’s fun, and they’re sort of mischievous, too,” she said.

Generous student and parent volunteers helped sell tickets to the booths that kept visitors entertained and fed all day. Food booths, run by parents, faculty and staff, served delicious refreshments, snacks and hot meals from a variety of vendors. Returning were the food trucks, which proved a hit during the 2011 picnic and received a similar response this year, serving Asian fusion and other types of cuisine.

-Andrew Irvine, upper school chemistry teacher

was her favorite part of the picnic for the wide variety of prizes available and the various opportunities for “supporting the school.” Harker alumni had a big presence at this year's picnic, with more than 130 alumni and their families joining in on the fun. A special lunch area was set aside so that alumni could meet and reminisce, while alumni children enjoyed a craft activity. MaryEllis Deacon, alumni director, reflected on the picnic, saying, “It is a time to come back, reconnect and visit with those teachers who helped you as a child become who you are today. It also allows you to remember the fun things, the games, the food and the spirit of Harker.” Parent Vincy Chan (Gemma, K; Gianna, grade 3) said she enjoyed seeing the community’s hard work come to fruition: “It’s like a family, so I just love helping out, and then … seeing all our hard work.” “When you see everybody come together, and see all the people in their civilian clothing, it shows the magic that makes the Harker community Harker,” Irvine said. Following the picnic, Chris Nikoloff, head of school, gave welldeserved credit to all responsible for the event’s success. “Special thanks to the talented and creative flock of volunteers who comprise the picnic committee and the Harker faculty and staff who were as busy as beavers helping to make the picnic a great success,” Nikoloff said, making special mention of picnic co-chairs Lynette Stapleton, Kelly Espinosa and Tiffany Hurst, “whose vision made it possible for all our little eagles and their families to soar to new heights today!”

At the “Claws Vegas” silent auction area, attendees bid on all sorts of prizes, ranging from trips to New York City and Las Vegas to sleepovers and animal-shaped topiaries. Parent alumna Tiffany Nishimura ’86 (Alexis, grade 2), said the silent auction ariah Bush

Photos by M



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Family & Alumni Picnic

ThankS & Congrats to Our Sellers! Every year Harker students work tirelessly to raise funds for the school by selling raffle tickets for picnic drawings. This year was another big fundraising success for ticket sellers, who moved nearly 42,000 tickets. This year’s top student seller was Emma Gurleroglu, grade 3, who sold a whopping 3,081 tickets. Coming in second was grade 4 student Aditya Godhwani, who sold 1,450. Sahil Gosain, grade 5, was the third-highest-selling student with 1,030 tickets.

Students and Faculty Bond in Auction Package Activities The “Claws Vegas” auction room, as it has been in past years, was one of the biggest attractions for this year’s picnickers. Teacher packages remained popular this year, as families bid for the opportunity to experience various fun-filled outings with Harker faculty. Lower school social studies teacher Tobias Wade’s Paintball Challenge package took a group of students and faculty to Santa Clara Paintball over Thanksgiving weekend to play a variety of games, such as “Protect the President” and “Zombie War.” “Teams are mixed up all the time,” Wade said, “but the students really like the kids against the teachers.” He enjoys seeing the students have a good time outside the classroom. “In paintball they are free to run around and jump around and act as crazy as they want,” he said. “It is fun to see them in a different light and element.”

The middle school’s best sellers were Kendall Ka, grade 8, and Jason Peetz, grade 6, who respectively sold 370 and 360 tickets. This year’s top staff seller was Lisa Masoni, middle school Latin teacher, who sold 104 tickets. Many thanks to all who sold tickets this year. Any amount sold, be it large or small, is very helpful and highly appreciated.

Raffle Drawing Winners First Prize: $10,000 Lili Yang: Sold by Aspen Shen, grade 2

Second Prize: Trip to Las Vegas The Chahal Family: Sold by Shareen Chahal, grade 1

Third Prize: iPad Shawn Yoshida: Sold by Oskar Baumgarte, K

Fourth Prize: Trek Mountain Bike Christopher Raymond: Sold by Sarah Raymond, grade 4

Fifth Prize: Google Nexus 7 Tablet Juana Alonzo: Sold by Natalee Wong, K

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S a ra t o g a E s t a t e l a c s i ' r l o The Harker Schoo Hist t a g n i H o l d s I n a u g u ra l M e e t


his past fall, The Harker School and its Board of Trustees hosted an elegant evening reception honoring the Board of Fellows. Held in the historic Saratoga residence of John and Michelle Keller (Devin, grade 5; Haley, grade 7; Johnathon, grade 9; Michael ‘07), the Oct. 2 gathering heralded the first official meeting of the Board of Fellows. The Harker Board of Fellows convenes twice a year for official gatherings where they discuss important initiatives and topics relevant to Harker. The Board of Fellows is chaired by Albert “Chip” Zecher ’79, Harker alumnus and trustee. Serving on Harker’s Board of Fellows are Tamra Amick, Ken Azebu, Shyamoli Banerjee, Tina Bean, Curtis Cage, Winston Chen, Becky Cox, Christine Douglas, John Keller, Susan Mandell, Linda Sabeh, Archana Sathaye, Irene Silvestri and David Takamoto. Additional Fellows will be added this year and will be appointed for a three-year term. Harker has long recognized individuals who are supporters of Harker and who provide the community with invaluable advice and resources. According to Zecher, the role of a Fellow

By Debbie Cohen is to promote the Harker mission with the knowledge that the provision of an outstanding education for today’s youth will guarantee the success of our community tomorrow. “We are exceedingly fortunate to have such a diverse group of Fellows, each of whom brings to the Board a particular talent and know-how. Our Board of Fellows is here to help ensure that vital strategic initiatives are accomplished. I am particularly thrilled to be a part of this team,” he said. During the Board of Fellows meeting at the Keller home, time was spent reviewing Harker’s student involvements and achievements over the summer. Fellows were also updated on the school’s strategic priorities as recommended by a recent accreditation process. Built in 1920, the Keller’s Tudor revival is listed on the Saratoga Heritage Resources Inventory and was designed by renowned architect Julia Morgan. In fact, it was the second largest private home she designed after Hearst Castle. One of the home’s original owners, Henrietta Goodrich, was a poet. As a token of their appreciation for the gracious hosting of the event, the Board of Fellows presented the Kellers with a framed photo of Goodrich’s poem “Homecoming.”

Photos by John Ho


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Advancement Looking Back While Moving Forward: Donors Reflect on Success of Nichols Hall as Harker Launches Campaign for New Gym & Theater By Ellen DiBiase

The Jain Family Following a distinguished career in technology, Dr. Navin Jain retired in 1993, with the goal of spending more time with his family and pursuing new levels of spiritual growth. That very

Today, the Jain Technology Center in Nichols Hall is a treasured resource that capped off years of support from the Jains via both financial gifts and volunteer hours. year, reflective of his altruistic lifestyle, he and his wife, Madhu, became the first visionary benefactors in Harker’s Cornerstones Campaign to initiate the school’s K-12 expansion. Today, the Jain Technology Center in Nichols Hall is a treasured resource that capped off years of support from the Jains via both financial gifts and volunteer hours. Further channeling his passions and expertise, Navin Jain has served as a member of the Harker Board of Trustees and the Parent Technology Advisory Committee. Madhu Jain, 34


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Eric Nelson, Harker’s computer science department chair, said he appreciates having rooms designed specifically for computer science education with appropriate electrical wiring and desk design, which allows faculty to focus on the material. Having an entire department dedicated to the subject of computer science is not commonplace among high schools; in fact, he noted that computer science was not even a choice on a recent national survey asking in which department computer science was taught.

The Ringold Family Gordon and Tanya Ringold were integral participants in the launch of the upper school, serving on the campaign committee and speaking in promotional videos on behalf of Harker parents. The two have always placed great value on the well-rounded educational approach of Harker and wanted to help take the school’s

“As our boys became part of the Harker family, I also wanted to participate in this wonderful community." -Tanya Ringold

Photo provided by Ellen DiBiase


ighlighted in this issue of Harker Quarterly are three generous Harker families who helped take science and technology programming to the next level – with leading donations of one million dollars or more.

meanwhile, has been a familiar face in parent volunteering, helping with classroom support, school pictures, and special events including Grandparents’ Day and the annual fashion show. The Jain’s daughter, Nalini ’10, was an active participant in the Harker journalism program and currently attends the University of Pennsylvania.

formal research program beyond that of any other high school in the area. The Ringold Research Center in Nichols Hall provides space for many long-term projects within the research methods class as well as the open lab after-school program, where students are currently advised by a team of 15 science teachers. Anita Chetty, science department chair, is proud to share that this state-of-the-art facility boasts college-level equipment such as a gas chromatograph and a spectrophotometer. “As our boys became part of the Harker family,” noted Tanya Ringold, “I also wanted to participate in this wonderful community. I enjoyed working as a room parent for a number of years and then joined the Parent Development Council, where I found the increasing generosity of our families a truly rewarding experience.” Gordon Ringold, who serves as the director for the Silicon Valley Initiatives program at the University of Santa Cruz, continues to support the career development of Harker’s science students through mentoring and internship leads in the field of biotechnology. The Ringolds’ sons, Alex '10 and Gregg '07, both went on

Advancement to continue their outstanding Harker baseball careers at their respective colleges, Occidental and the University of San Diego.

Brian Pawlowski and his wife, Aki, took an early lead in the Senior Parent Appreciation Giving program, and

The Pawlowski Family Even knowing that their own child would not be on campus to enjoy the new amenities, the Pawlowski family decided to give a substantial donation just prior to their son, Nic ’02, graduating. Their appreciation for Harker and its teachers is now reflected in the Pawlowski Chemistry Center.

research and development labs with him at NetApp.

Photo provided by Joe Rosenthal

Brian Pawlowski’s continued support as a mentor in computer science has led to several memorable experiences for students lucky enough to visit the

C apital C ampaign

Parents Get Updated on Harker Happenings During Special Gathering Illustration provided by Joe Rosenthal

Phase 4/Step 2 of the capital campaign will help raise funds for a much needed new gym and theater on the upper school campus. Plans involve housing those two buildings under one roof, in a cost-effective effort to cause as little campus disruption as possible. The building will be located on what is now Rosenthal Field.

Thanks to the gifts of Harker families like those featured here, outstanding science and technology facilities have been offered within Nichols Hall for years. Now, looking forward, a stateof-the-art gym and theater complex will also go a long way towards preparing Harker students to enter their future colleges and workplaces with competence, confidence and enthusiasm for lifelong learning.

Parents Alan Zhang and Lucy Li (Bryan Zhang, grade 4) joined Ram and Ana Duraiswamy (Ashley, grade 5; Kevin, grade 11), along with other Harker parents, for a lovely evening held at the home of Rajeev and Geetha Madhavan on Oct. 18 in Atherton. The Madhavans (Meera, grade 12; Maya, grade 11) hosted the gathering which featured updates on the pending purchase of the Union Avenue campus and the planned addition of a gym and theater complex on the Saratoga campus. The night’s activities also included several pieces performed by an upper school string quartet.

Photo by Pam Dickinson

Upper school chemistry teacher Andrew Irvine is glad to be sharing one building with his department peers and using all new facilities. “We can coordinate better with lessons and check in to see what our colleagues are doing, helping us develop more dynamic and interesting lesson plans,” he said.

Their appreciation for Harker and its teachers is now reflected in the Pawlowski Chemistry Center.


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By Zach Jones


All photos by Kyle Cavallaro

aylor Eigsti Returns to a Packed House

Taylor Eigsti returned to a sold-out Nichols Hall auditorium on Sept. 28 to kick off the third season of the Harker Concert Series. Performing to a very enthusiastic crowd, the 27-year-old jazz piano phenom again dazzled an audience made up of everyone from budding jazz fans to longtime aficionados. The slow, lilting chords of Eigsti’s version of the jazz standard “Cheryl” coursed through the auditorium as the show began. The trio soon brought up the volume, and Eigsti gave ample room to his partners to display their knack for tasteful soloing, in addition to showcasing his own immense chops. For the last song of the first set, a rendition of Kenny Dorham’s “Lotus Blossom,” the trio was joined by Eigsti’s longtime friend and Harker middle school music teacher Dave Hart on trumpet. Hart navigated the songs shifting times and rhythms in seemingly effortless fashion and also showcased his formidable improvisational skills. During the intermission, guests at the show remarked about the quality of the venue and reception. “It’s wonderful,” said Vickie Grove of Portola Valley, a longtime Taylor Eigsti fan who attended last year’s concert. “I love the venue. It’s small. The food is excellent. It’s really fun.”



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Among the more emotionally charged pieces performed was “Distressed,” which Eigsti composed for the 2011 film “Detachment,” starring Adrien Brody. Fittingly, Eigsti performed with no accompaniment for this brooding piece, which was at times also dissonant, plodding and atmospheric.


Eigsti finished the show with the uplifting, groove-driven “Magnolia,” whose rousing mid-section and calming final moments drew a well-deserved extended ovation.

arker Quartet Impresses With Stellar Musicianship, Uncommon Repertoire

The Parker Quartet, the latest in a line of top-flight classical performers to appear at the Harker Concert Series, put bow to string for a packed house at Nichols Hall auditorium on Oct. 26. The quartet opened with famed minimalist Arvo Pärt’s “Fratres.” First violinist Daniel Chong and violist Jessica Bodner began with the piece’s foreboding harmonies, which were greeted by the cellist KeeHyun Kim’s percussive pizzicato, providing an effective, if somewhat violent, contrast to the delicate work of his partners. As second violinist Karen Kim

was on sabbatical, David McCarroll served as her replacement that evening, providing a soft, constant hum behind the ominous and sometimes mournful lines. Astara Marcia commented that the performance was “excellent. I’m a classical musician myself,” said the violist with the Palo Alto Peninsula Pops Orchestra. She also enjoyed the presentation of the event, saying “I’m very impressed. It’s a great way to get people to come back.” The quartet launched into the evening’s big crowd-pleaser, Franz Schubert’s "String Quartet No. 14," subtitled “Death and the Maiden,” known to many a listener of chamber music. The quartet took an almost explosive approach to the material, while at the same time allowing themselves plenty of subtlety in the quieter sections. The piece was a great showcase for the musicians’ splendid technique and tight interplay, which the audience met with loud applause.

Read the full reviews of both concerts in Harker News Online, Search on Parker Quartet and Eigsti. Photo by Kyle Cavallaro

By Sara Kendall


Upper school English teacher and prolific poet Alexandra Rosenboom’s latest chapbook, “In the Way of Harbors,” was recently accepted for publication by the Chicago-based independent publisher Dancing Girl Press. One of the poems in the chapbook, “Reconstruction:

in the poetry world, so I am really thrilled to get the news,” Rosenboom said. The chapbook is scheduled to be available some time between January and April 2013. For more information on the publisher, visit the Dancing Girl Press website at www.

Christchurch, New Zealand,” was recently nominated for a Pushcart Prize, which is awarded to the best poetry and literature published in small presses. “It's fairly special and unusual to be nominated for this prize

Derek Kameda, upper school registrar, hosted an Advance Placement coordinator workshop at the upper school campus, the first time Harker has hosted such an event. Last year, Kameda joined the College Board’s Consultant Advisory Panel, which provides oversight pertaining to managing and supporting consultants of the College Board. As an Advanced Placement coordinator consultant, he has offered his

expertise to AP coordinators to help them improve how they administer AP exams. Office of Communication writer and novelist Debbie Cohen’s book, “Keeper of the Scale,” recently reached the top 100 free downloads for women’s contemporary fiction on The story follows three women who form a support group to help one another lose weight, but

All photos by Kyle Cavallaro

soon learn more about each another than they had originally planned. The Kindle edition of the book is available on LY HHAARRKKEERR QQUUAARRTTEERRLY




By Zach Jones

Upper School Production of Hamlet Moves Audiences with Impassioned Performances and Bold Casting


illiam Shakespeare’s “Hamlet,” the 2012 fall play produced by the Harker Conservatory Oct. 25-27, offered a refreshing take on the revered, centuries-old tale of the rotten happenings in the state of Denmark.

Featuring no fewer than five capable actors and actresses in the title role – Cecilia Lang-Ree, Rahul Nalamasu, Hannah Prutton, all grade 12, Jai Ahuja, grade 10, and Namrata Vakkalagadda, grade 11 – director Jeffrey Draper’s take on one of Shakespeare’s most performed plays uniquely depicted Prince Hamlet’s various and often conflicting mental and emotional states; the transitions as each actor handed the role off to the next were interesting and seamless. Other characters were portrayed by multiple players: Hamlet’s mother, Gertrude, was played by Shazdeh Hussain, grade 11, and Cristina

Jerney, grade 12; sophomore Jeton Gutierrez-Bujari and junior Ian Richardson were Claudius, Hamlet’s uncle and murderer of his father; and Ishanya Anthapur, grade 10, and Apurva Tandon, grade 12, portrayed Ophelia, Hamlet’s would-be lover. The guileful Polonius, royal counselor and Ophelia’s father, was played by junior Damon Aitken, who brilliantly put across the character’s stately yet playful attitude. In the role of Horatio, Claudia Tischler, grade 11, was more than effective as Hamlet’s best friend and confidant, and the brash, vengeful Laertes was expertly portrayed by Vishal Vaidya, grade 10.

... one of Shakespeare's most performed plays uniquely depicted Prince Hamlet's various and often conflicting mental and emotional states ...

challenging role of Ophelia. Grade 9 students Rishabh Chandra and Janet Lee were both strong as Polonius and Horatio, respectively. Paul Vallerga’s set design made clever use of a large video monitor that changed with each setting. Natti Pierce-Thomson’s evocative lighting was also a key feature, particularly in the scenes in which Hamlet speaks with his father’s ghost (Justin Gerard, grade 12, also cast as the player king, messenger and priest). They were drenched with red light and intensified by the reverb and bass that boomed throughout the Blackford Theater when the specter spoke. Eschewing the usual period garb, costume designer Caela Fujii placed the characters in modern attire more befitting a gangster movie, evidence of the transcendent power of the play’s themes of betrayal, revenge and moral conflict. The climactic sword fight sequence was well-choreographed by Kit Wilder, managing director of San Jose’s City Lights Theater.

The Saturday matinee show featured an understudy cast that was very warmly received by the afternoon audience. Freshmen Rachel Renteria and Gurutam Thockchom, and sophomores Maya Nandakumar and Simran Singh were stirring as Hamlet, while Aashika Balaji, grade 9, and Madi Lang-Ree, grade 10, had convincing turns as Gertrude. Claudius was well-played by freshmen Dhanush Madabus and MC Smitherman, and Shannon O’Shea and Cordelia Larsen, both grade 9, deftly handled the All photos by Kyle Cavallaro



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PerformingArts Master Classes Offer Instruction from Top-Level Musicians


efore their performance at the Harker Concert Series in late September, renowned jazz pianist Taylor Eigsti, bassist John Shifflett and drummer Jason Lewis held a master class in the Nichols Hall auditorium to help upper and middle school students improve their musicianship both as individuals and members of a group. Students gathered around Eigsti as he sat at the piano and offered his advice. When improvising, he told the students, it is good to “leave a little space” so that he can hear what his bandmates are doing and perhaps give them some room to add flourishes of their own.

special master class to Harker music students prior to the quartet's performance at the Harker Concert Series later that evening, offering advice on both how to improve their individual technique as well as how to play as a more cohesive unit. Members of the upper school string quartet played portions of a piece they were learning and received pointers on how to bring about the desired emotional impact. Parker Quartet members also sat in with the Harker student musicians as they played through sections of the piece to demonstrate the principles they spoke about.

The upper school jazz band played their rendition of John Coltrane’s “Blue Train” for the trio, who then gave them advice on how to improve, warning them against cutting into one another’s soloing time and advising them to be mindful of signals from their bandmates.

Parker Quartet violist Jessica Bodner advised the students to interpret the music they played “not so much as a technician but as a musician,” while violinist David McCarroll noted, “There are a lot of very fast changes of character that you could bring out more,” and that the musicians should be “looking for differences of character as much as possible.”

On Oct. 26, the members of the Parker Quartet gave a

See the full story on both these concerts on page 36.

“Seussification” a Hilarious Retelling of Bard’s Tragedy

T All photos by Kyle Cavallaro

he middle school fall play production, “The Seussification of Romeo and Juliet,” took Shakespeare into whimsical and hilarious territory in late November.

Directed by Monica Colletti, the wacky retelling of the Bard’s famous tragedy moved the drama ahead several centuries into the late 1980s with dialogue inspired by another beloved composer of rhymes, Dr. Seuss, alluding to some of the author’s most famous stories, such as “The Sneeches” and “Green Eggs and Ham.” The plotting was mostly familiar territory, with Romeo of the cleverly renamed House Monotone (Aditya Dhar, grade 8) falling head over heels for Juliet of the rival House Capitulate (Zahra Budhwani, also grade 8). With both houses in disarray over the affair (and Juliet arranged to be wed to the unbearably narcissistic Paris), the two lovers concoct a plan involving a fake suicide that, as is now known to many, goes spectacularly awry. Along the way, the feuding of the two houses culminates in a sword fight that ends tragically. H A R K E R Q U A R T E R LY

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PerformingArts This being no ordinary interpretation of Shakespeare, however, much of the material has been lightened up in accordance with the allegorical lessons of Dr. Seuss books. The “poisoned cracker” that Romeo consumes upon seeing apparently (but not actually) dead Juliet was switched for a normal cracker, instead, and the sword fight turned out to not be so deadly after all. In the end, the two families reconcile and, as the saying goes, live happily ever after. But not before performing a sped-up and highly amusing redux of the entire story. Set designer Paul Vallerga and prop designer Carol Clever created an environment worthy of the humorously affectionate play. Clever also designed the cast’s often garish costumes, which were more than appropriately representative of the time period in which the play took place. All the while, the student crew of Sneha Bhetanabhotla and Justin Culpepper, both grade 8, and Praveen Batra and Justin Su, both grade 7, made sure the show was smoothly run and free of technical hiccups.

Music of America Takes Center Stage at Vocal Concert


The concert, directed by Susan Nace, fittingly opened with all of the evening’s singers joining forces for a spectacular rendition of “The StarSpangled Banner.” The upper school chamber ensemble Camerata then took the stage to perform a trio of joyous and heartfelt odes to America, starting with the famous “America the Beautiful,” and continuing with Oscar Peterson’s “A Hymn to Freedom.” Camerata finished their set with composer Abbie Betinis’ “Journey Home.”

in A major on piano and Rebecca Liu, grade 12, singing Christoph Willibald von Gluck’s “O, Del Mio Dolce Ardor.” The solo performances concluded with Nina Sabharwal, grade 12, singing a perfectly misty-eyed version of the jazz standard “Willow Weep for Me” by Ann Ronell. All photos by Kyle Cavallaro

ur Home: Music of the United States” gave an evening audience exactly what was printed on the flier and then some on the evening of Nov. 15, as upper school vocal groups Cantilena, Camerata and Guys’ Gig, in addition to many talented soloists, paid tribute to the music of America, both modern and classic.

Following Camerata, a slew of capable soloists appeared, singing a wide variety of pieces, from sophomore Shreya Basu’s performance of the traditional “Every Night When the Sun Goes In” to Andrew Lloyd Webber’s “Think of Me,” sung by Caroline Howells, grade 10. Although the concert showcased music from the United States, the show also made room for pieces by noted European composers such as Frederic Chopin, whose “Nocturne” in E-flat major was beautifully performed by pianist Pooja Shah, grade 12. Continuing with the evening’s classical selections were Wendy Shwe, grade 12, playing Beethoven’s “Sonata”



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Guys’ Gig, the all-male a cappella club, then gathered on stage for their first performance of the year. The boys performed an amusing skit in which they attempted to start a song sans a tenor section, at which point they called the freshmen to the stage from the audience to sing “Good Ol’ A Cappella” by Carter and Nevada. With the group now firing on all cylinders, they continued with the classic Motown tune “My Girl” and finished with a raucous version of Queen’s “Don’t Stop Me Now.” Harker’s all-female choral group Cantilena was the last of the groups to perform that evening prior to the finale. The singers were in fine form taking on a diverse selection, which included Brian Holmes’ “I Shall Keep Singing,” the traditional American song “He’s Gone Away” and Stephen Hatfield’s gospel treat “Run Children Run.” Rebecca Liu took the role of conductor on “Sing Me to Heaven” by Daniel Gawthorpe before the group finished their set with their signature piece, “How Can I Keep from Singing,” by Robert Lowry. The finale again reunited the vocalists for an exhilarating version of Ysaye Barnwell’s “We Are…,” for which the singers received a well-deserved extended ovation.


Senan Ebrahim '08 (second from left) confers with his Harvard student council. Photo provided by Senan Ebrahim '08

ALUMNI TAKE LEADERSHIP Roles to the NExt level By Debbie Cohen

Taking on leadership positions after graduating from high school comes naturally to many Harker alumni. It certainly helped pave the way for Senan Ebrahim ’08, Sabena Suri ’08 and Tyler Koteskey ’11.

Senan Ebrahim ’08 Ebrahim recently graduated from Harvard University, where he studied neurobiology and served on the undergraduate council for four years. As a senior he was Harvard’s student body president – a prestigious role he credits Harker with helping him prepare for. Although he only attended Harker for his junior and senior years, Ebrahim said they proved to be some of his most formative. At Harker, he was named one of two California Presidential Scholars and became involved in leadership activities, including serving as senior class president, vice president of the National Honor Society and Science Bowl team captain. “This early exposure to taking on leadership responsibilities undoubtedly helped prepare me for my duties as Harvard's student body

president,” said Ebrahim. As Harvard president, his job was to represent students’ interests to the Harvard administration and provide student services. “What this really means is I went to a lot of meetings and sent a lot of emails,” joked Ebrahim, adding that he and his vice president chose to focus on four main areas: launching a program called Forum for Change, planning campuswide events, improving winter break and creating popular Web apps like UC Taxis, which enabled students to save money by sharing taxi rides. “I was fortunate to have a great team, so we did a lot of projects in one year, but more than anything, leading Harvard’s student government was an amazing learning experience for me,” recalled Ebrahim. He also held leadership roles in other groups, including Responsible Investment at Harvard, Harvard for Pakistan and Launch 2012, an innovative program enabling the Harvard Class of 2012 to connect and collaborate for greater positive social impact post-graduation. Ebrahim remains a director for Launch 2012 H A R K E R Q U A R T E R LY

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Harker helped Suri realize the importance of giving back to the campus community. “At Harker, students are privileged because they are surrounded by not only the best and brightest, but the most passionate as well. I remember hearing the student speakers at our Monday morning assemblies talking about the steps they were taking to fix a cause they cared deeply about or simply expressing their love of something. These kind of experiences certainly resonated with me during my years at USC.”

Senan Ebrahim ’08 with primatologist Jane Goodall and is currently pursuing a medical anthropology fellowship in India. He advised current Harker students to explore widely both in academics and extracurriculars, especially in high school, because you never know what you might love. “Harker has so many fantastic extracurricular opportunities –from swimming to research to mock trial. There is plenty of time to specialize after college!”

While at USC, Suri became very involved with Undergraduate Student Government (USG). In her junior year in student government, she served as the director of public relations for USC’s events-planning branch. As such she oversaw promotions for some of USC’s largest student-run and university-sponsored events, from Barack Obama's visit to USC to Third Eye Blind's on-campus performance.

Sabena Suri ’08 Ebrahim’s former Harker classmate, Sabena Suri ’08, attended Harker for 11 years, beginning in grade 2. After graduating, Suri went on to attend the University of Southern California (USC) and applauds Harker for having helped to prepare her for the academic rigors of a university. “I definitely would have struggled during my first semester of college had I not developed such strong reading, writing and critical thinking skills while at Harker. Harker also gave me the opportunity to enroll in a variety of different courses (through APs and electives) that helped me hone in on my academic interests, so I had a greater sense of what I was interested in studying as soon as I got to college,” said Suri. More than giving just a solid academic foundation, though, 42


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Photo provided by Sabena Suri '08

Photo provided by Senan Ebrahim '08


During her senior year, she became overall senior director of communications for USG, serving as the organization’s spokesperson to the press and overseeing a team of 11 to promote USG’s oncampus presence and encourage new members to join. Meanwhile, she was also heavily involved with Delta Omicron Zeta (DOZ), USC’s coed leadership fraternity. The mission of the fraternity is to develop the skills of on-campus leaders through various programs. Suri served on the

executive board of the fraternity as vice president of social programming, planning and budgeting social events that furthered its mission. “I chose to primarily focus on undergraduate student government and my leadership fraternity, although I was also involved with PRSSA (Public Relations Student Society of America) and SCIA (Southern California Indo Americans),” recalled Suri, who graduated from USC last May having studied public relations with a minor in marketing. She is currently working at advertising agency Ogilvy & Mather’s Los Angeles office in the associates program. “You’ll make some of your best friends at Harker …. College may be a fresh start, which is exciting, but your roots have been firmly planted in Harker soil, so to speak. Keep in touch with your peers, even if it’s just on Facebook, and check in to see how they are doing every once in a while!” advised Suri, adding that above all else, college should be a time of experimentation and seizing opportunities. “If you’ve never taken a yoga class, now's the time. If you’ve always been interested in Russian literature but never thought it would be applicable as an engineering major, take it anyway. You’ll be surprised how much you'll learn about yourself through simply exploring your interests!”

Tyler Koteskey ’11 Come the beginning of January, Tyler Koteskey ’11 will begin a two-year term with the Central Committee of the Los Angeles County Republican Party. The swearing-in ceremony on Dec. 15 took to the next level his previous election to an official position within a municipality. Koteskey was elected to

the GOP (Grand Old Party) committee during the June 6 primary election. In his new intraparty office role he will help register voters in his assembly district and vote on party platforms and endorsements when all the committee members convene during county meetings. Koteskey, a student at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), recalled the excitement of seeing his name listed on the first page of the primary ballot for all registered Republicans in his assembly district. Although he is not a city official, in order to get listed on the ballot he collected petition signatures,

“The main reason I had time to get involved in the presidential election and local politics was because Harker prepared me so well academically ...” -Tyler Koteskey ’11

campaigning by precinct – walking and sending out mailers with other members of his slate. Becoming involved in politics is not new to Koteskey, who currently serves as the chapter president of Young Americans for Liberty (YAL) at UCLA. YAL is a group that focuses on advancing economic and social freedoms as well as a non-interventionist foreign policy. And, just last year, when he began attending UCLA, he organized a record-breaking rally for presidential candidate Ron Paul.

Photo provided by Tyler Koteskey ’11


“Running UCLA’s Youth for Ron Paul chapter and volunteering on the campaign offered an educational taste of the good, the bad and the ugly of electoral politics,” he said. More than 6,600 people attended that event in early April, making it Paul’s largest rally ever. In fact, after booking an initial venue, Koteskey had to find a bigger one. The RSVPs kept pouring in, far beyond what he expected, yet Koteskey continued to accommodate them, watching the numbers swell into the thousands. The rally was ultimately held in Straus Stadium at the Los Angeles Tennis Center, with huge lines to get in and plenty of press coverage. According to Koteskey, only 12 percent of his assembly district is registered Republican – a number that he said indicates big problems with the local party’s status quo. “The GOP is unnecessarily missing out on the next generation of voters and key demographics. For instance, I will be advocating for the county party to adopt a platform rejecting the indefinite detention of U.S. citizens without trial under the National Defense Authorization Act.” But Koteskey feels well-prepared for the challenges which lie ahead, partly thanks to his education at Harker. “The main reason I had

time to get involved in the presidential election and local politics was because Harker prepared me so well academically for UCLA, which gave me the extra time to get involved in politics.” He further credits Harker’s forensics and performing arts departments with giving him the necessary tools to speak confidently in public. In passing on advice to fellow Harker alums interested in becoming involved in politics, Koteskey related something he learned while attending an activism training seminar. “I was told the following: the world is run by people who show up. If you’re frustrated with your party's stance on an issue, get involved and change the party. Don’t just sit around and talk about it. That puts you past the vast majority of people right out of the gate. “While presidential campaigns may be more visible and publicized, there are greater opportunities to make meaningful differences in local congressional, state and municipal races,” he added.

“College should be a time of experimentation and seizing opportunities.” -Sabena Suri ’08 H A R K E R Q U A R T E R LY

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AlumniNews Alumni Help USC Team Win Hindi A Cappella Competition By William Cracraft A pair of alumni helped bring home the top prize at Anahat, an a cappella competition at the University of California, Berkeley, in mid-November. The University of Southern California’s

“The event brings together national South Asian a cappella teams from different universities ...”

Photo provided by Carol Underwood

-Carol Underwood, parent

culturally confused kids (born in Canada, Hong Kong and China) never look in the mirror and see a tall blond kid but (rather) think they are Indian and Chinese!” Congrats to both Shukla and Underwood for their group’s accomplishment!

Photos by Mariah Bush


Asli Baat team, which includes Amar Shukla ’09 and Alex Underwood ’08, won the competition this year. This year there were teams from Case Western and Rutgers, in addition to the University of California, San Diego, University of California, Los Angeles and others, said Carol Underwood, Alex’s mother. “They sing in both Hindi and English, as well as doing some blended songs,” she added. “The event brings together national South Asian a cappella teams from different universities for a great event which is also the week of Diwali, so all the more exciting!” Underwood said that last year, her son did a solo in Hindi and “I'm told it sounded very good,” going on to note, “My



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Alumni Area at Family Picnic a Hit! By Debbie Cohen Alumni were out in full force at the recent 62nd annual Harker Family & Alumni Picnic, “Paws, Jaws & Claws.” The daylong event, held on Oct. 14 at the middle school, attracted more than 100 alumni who enjoyed catching up at a special

area reserved just for them. For alumni with children, there were plenty of kid-friendly activities on hand to keep youngsters busy while parents chatted. Representatives from classes as far back as 1965 and as recent as 2012 were in attendance, making this year’s picnic alumni section a wonderful success. “My family and I enjoyed catching up with Harker alumni at the family picnic. The barbecue was great, and I particularly liked the private area reserved for alumni families – a quiet and shaded place to sit, eat, drink and visit. Exceptionally well done!” enthused Karri Sakai Baker ’84. “Our kids enjoyed the games and activities while we visited with old friends. I highly recommend this fun family event to all alumni. We plan to return next year.”


By Debbie Cohen

Alumni Award Winners Announced at Homecoming Halftime


ecipients of the annual Harker Alumni Awards were announced at halftime at Harker’s recent homecoming game. During the Nov. 2 game between Harker and Lynbrook High School’s varsity football teams, Chris Nikoloff, head of school, recognized several outstanding individuals. Ken Hunt ’79 received the Distinguished Alumni Award “for his love of learning and his ability to lead, whether in a Fortune 200 or smaller company,” Nikoloff said. Community Service Award winner Tevis Howard ’98 was recognized for his efforts to help the people of Kenya. Additionally, Mark Muller ’75, recipient of the Phyllis Carley Award, was honored for his dedication to and positive impact on the Harker community. All three alumni award recipients – who were also honored in a special

presentation at the alumni reunion – have impressive backgrounds: Hunt serves as president of Produxs, a user experience software design firm. Howard founded KOMAZA, a company working to get

The well-attended tailgate set the stage for the alumni present to later form a gauntlet for the Eagles to run through as they took to the field. Throughout the evening, the special alumni area was filled with Harker graduates, including several who attended Harker’s predecessors, the Palo Alto Military Academy and Harker Academy. Photo by Kyle Cavallaro

families out of poverty in East Africa. Muller works to develop communities in low socioeconomic areas. Prior to the game, alumni had been warmly welcomed home during a family-friendly tailgate party held at the end zone of Davis Field. More than 75 alumni turned out for the tailgate, where they enjoyed dinner,

Alumni QR Corner


or the latest in alumni events and information, and for great Harker swag, visit our QR (quick response) page, also reachable via the alumni webpage! Scan the QR code to access details on the items listed below and, if you are an alumnus, email MaryEllis Deacon, the director of alumni relations, the secret word on the QR page and she’ll send you a free piece of Harker swag. We need your help! The alumni office and Talon yearbook editors seek input for a couple of projects:

Scan this QR code with your phone's bar code reader app for videos and more information!

mingled with former faculty and staff, and enjoyed watching the Eagles play. Former football players and cheerleaders received special T-shirts and were recognized prior to kickoff.

Special 15th Talon

To celebrate the 15th year of the upper school, the Talon is including a special section in the yearbook and needs help gathering memories and photos. If you have a story or photos about anything from helping to launch the upper school to coming back many years after graduation, please contact Kevin Lin, the Talon editor, at

“It was gratifying to have so many alumni out in force to support their alma mater and reminisce with old friends and teachers. Seeing various generations returning to Harker really demonstrated the powerful impact Harker has had on alumni, and the strong feelings they have about ‘K through life,’” said MaryEllis Deacon, director of alumni relations.

The Class of 2009: Getting Out! We will have a special section in the fall 2013 Harker Quarterly issue devoted to the Class of 2009. Whether you are graduating in the spring, graduated early or took a break and will graduate in the future, we’d love to hear from you! Please tell us what you are doing leading up to and following this spring’s end-ofschool year. Plus, please send a short summary of the highlights of your college career. Here are your starter questions: • What is your major? • What do you have planned for right after graduation? • What is the most memorable thing that has happened to you since you left Harker for college? Send your information to There are more questions to help you along on the QR page!

Athletes Competing in Collegiate Sports? Harker is looking at a banner year for signing athletes to college programs, but we know there are many athletes now competing at colleges across the country and would love to hear about them. If you know of anyone competing in a collegiate sport, please forward their names and their contact information to Much appreciated! LY HHAARRKKEERR QQUUAARRTTEERRLY




By Debbie Cohen

Alumni from Across the Years Gathered at Harker this November for the

All-Alumni Reunion! More than 200 former classmates and friends were warmly welcomed back to campus as they reunited for the much anticipated AllAlumni Reunion, held the day after Harker’s homecoming game.

Hosted by the Alumni Association at the upper school in the Nichols Hall atrium on Nov. 3, the jam-packed evening was a lively mix and mingle for adult alumni, with plenty of food, drink, music and fun. A bartender helped pour wine, provided by Ryan Moreland ’98 from his winery, Corvalle, as members of the Class of ’73 marked the occasion by playing in a reunited band called the PAMA Boys. Alumni danced the night away and admired old Harker memorabilia and archival items which were on display, including a time capsule holding letters written and sealed 10 years ago by the upper school’s inaugural Class of 2002. Recipients of the Harker Alumni Awards, which had been announced at halftime during Harker’s homecoming game the night before, were also introduced and recognized during the reunion (see accompanying story on page 45). The successful reunion was the result of months of planning with class agents and the alumni office. Agents were the main promoters, planners, idea givers and catalysts for ensuring a memorable event for their fellow classmates and friends.

All photos by Kyle Cavalla




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Submitted by Class Agents


Alumni from all classes through 1997 are listed under the years they would have completed grade 8 at The Harker School, Harker Academy, Harker Day School or Palo Alto Military Academy (PAMA). For all classes after the Class of 1997, alumni are listed under the class years they would have graduated from high school, regardless of whether they completed high school studies at Harker. For unlisted classes, we invite you to email if you are interested in becoming a class agent or would like to nominate a classmate.





A note from the archives: the alumni office was recently approached by the Morris Estate Vineyard for information for a genealogy project about Richard Peter Morris, who was an ancestor of the Morris family and an alumnus of Palo Alto Military Academy (PAMA). Born in 1907, Richard attended grade 7 at PAMA. An interesting historical aside is that Richard’s father, Victor Vaughen Morris, invented a drink called “Pisco Sour” at his bar, the Morris Bar, in Lima, Peru. The drink became (and remains) Peru’s national drink.

Class Agent: Alan Stevens (alanclassreunion@

Class Agents: Tina (Johnson) Murray (tinammurray@earthlink. net); Pauline (de Vos) Aasen (; Keil Albert (kaalbert@geo-consultants. com)

Class Agent: Amanda Mathias Bonomi (amandambonomi@gmail. com)

1976 Class Agents: Joy Aliason Younes (; Cindy Cottrell DeAngelo (

1977 Class Agent: Mike Pons (

1978 Class Agent: Silvia Malaccorto (smalaccorto@contoural. com)

1979 Class Agent: Chip Zecher (

1980 Class Agent: Greg Argendeli (


Photos fr

Class Agent: Kristin (Scarpace) Giammona ( om the A


1984 Class Agents: Karri Baker (; Kristin Quintin (

Congratulations to Tania Bassoni and husband, Shawn Butler, on the birth of their daughter! See the Celebrations section for a photo and more information.


1988 Class Agents: Eric Xanthopoulos (; Aileen Eveleth (

Class Agents: Joy Paterson (; Tala Banato (; Kelle Sloan (

1994 Class Agent: Leyna Cotran (

1989 Class Agent: Katie Wilson (

1990 Class Agent: Chris Yamashita (

1991 Class Agent: Ashley Anderson (

1995 Class Agent: Lisa (Bowman) Gassmann (

1996 Class Agent: Ashley S. Franke (

1997 Class Agents: Chelsea Gilliland (; Lindsey Hochrine (


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ClassNotes 2002

friends. Stephanie received her MBA from Cal’s Haas School of Business in May 2012. While sad to be done with school, she is excited to have finally moved into San Francisco and to be working for One Kings Lane, an ecommerce company focused on home decor. Joseph is enjoying life as a newlywed, living in San Francisco and working as a software engineer at Airbnb.

Class Agents: Akhsar Kharebov (; Yasmin Ali (; Isabella Liu ( It was great to see so many members of the Classes of 1998 and 2002 celebrate their 10-year reunion at the Harker Saratoga campus on Nov. 3! At the All-Alumni Reunion event, ’98ers honored one of their fellow classmates, Tevis Howard, who received the Community Service Award. Tevis was recognized for his work as founder and executive director at KOMAZA, a social enterprise committed to reducing rural poverty in Kenya by connecting farmers with high-value markets.



Class Agents: Julia N. Gitis (; Maheen Kaleem (maheenkaleem@gmail. com) Kevin Hartsoch recently dropped by the upper school campus to talk about his work with Xoom Energy, a natural gas provider. Here he is pictured with Joe Rosenthal, executive director of advancement.

Class Agents: Jacinda A. Mein (; Jessica C. Liu (

2005 Class Agent: Erika N. Gudmundson (erika.gudmundson@gmail. com)

2006 Class Agents: Meghana Dhar (meghanadhar@gmail. com); Jeffrey Le (; Casey Near ( After graduating last year, Sriram Prakash founded a startup with two others, and they are now in the process of acquiring their first round of funding. Though it is in stealth mode, it promises to be an exciting venture.

As for ’06ers on the East Coast, Rose Kirby recently started a new job at Lunarline, Inc., a cybersecurity firm in Arlington, Va. Amit Mukherjee has also recently moved to the D.C. area, where he works for the venture capital firm New Enterprise Associates (and yes, he is aware it seems weird he moved to our nation’s capital to take a very Silicon Valley-esque job). In his free time, he plays in a couple recreation basketball leagues and hangs out with fellow ’06er Amira Valliani. Together, they recently spoke to Harker’s grade 8 class on their Washington, D.C., trip. Amira provided some great perspectives on working in politics, while Amit presented a number of funny anecdotes about his own trouble-making eighth grade ways.

2007 Class Agents: Cassie Kerkhoff (; Audrey Kwong (

2008 Photo by William Cracraft

Among other attendees were Sean Haq, Stephanie Tsai and Joseph Sofaer. Since Harker, Sean attended University of California, Berkeley, where he led the Cal ice hockey team to its first Pacific Conference Championship and was the first Cal player to try out with a professional hockey team. Sean has gone on to serve as assistant coach for Cal ice hockey for the last four seasons and currently works at Oracle in enterprise technology. Sean and classmate Vijay Nayak continue to be great



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Class Agents: Stephanie Syu (; Senan Ebrahim (sebrahim@fas.harvard. edu)

ClassNotes 2009 Class Agents: David Kastelman (; Stephanie Guo (

2010 Class Agents: Kevin Fu (; Adrienne Wong (

2011 Class Agents: Rani Mukherjee (rani.mukherjee18@gmail. com); Hassaan Ebrahim (

2012 Class Agents: Will Chang (12williamc@students.; David Fang (12davidf@students.harker. org) Xinyi “Cherry” Xie has won a national medal for writing. She was previously awarded a national gold medal and a national American Visions Award

from the Alliance for Young Artists & Writers for her painting, “Balcony.” Xie was profiled, along with four other Harker regional winners, in the spring 2012 Harker Quarterly. The alumni office reports that “grade 13” parents recently gathered to help send packages to the Class of 2012. Notes from their advisors, teachers, dean and familiar faces, helped give the alumni encouragement to tackle finals. Snacks ranging from sweet to salty filled the cute packages with the best bites to help finish out their semesters. Alumni logo items included a pack of gum, reflective of how the alumni body “sticks together,” and a DVD celebrating their time at Harker.

Passages Gavin Hougham, son of former Miss Harker’s School student Daphne Wade Hougham (née Daphne Lee Wade), was saddened to report that his mother passed away on Nov. 26, following complications from a vascular stroke earlier Photo provided by Gavin Hougham this past summer. She was 78. Hougham is mourned by Gavin, his brother, Gareth, and father, Robert. Hougham attended Miss Harker’s School for Girls from Sept. 1948 - June 1952 as a boarding student. Among her many accomplishments was an active senior year, when she was student body vice president, editor of The Echo (yearbook) and social activities chairman. For more information on Hougham’s life, please see our article in Harker News Online:

Alumni Celebrations Tania Bassoni ’92 and her husband, Shawn Butler, welcomed their beautiful new baby girl, Juliana Marie Butler, on August 11, 2012. This was the day after Tania’s birthday, and she couldn’t have asked for a better present!

Photo provided by Mike Bassoni Photos by Kyle Cavallaro


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LookingAhead Coming Attractions Alumni Conservatory Classic Student Directed Showcase

Jan. 1 Jan. 4-5

Middle and Upper School Winter Concert

Jan. 11


Jan. 18

Grade 5 Show Upper School Dance Production Middle School Dance Jamz

Fifth Annual


Conservatory ✴ Classic

A Celebration of the Harker Conservatory

Tue., Jan. 1 • 7:30 p.m. Nichols Hall Auditorium • Tickets $15 – buy online now!

Concert Series

Jan. 24-25

Fri., Feb. 8

Feb. 1-2

8 p.m. | General Admission: $25

March 8-9

An Evening of Jazz

March 15

United Voices

March 22

Sebastian Bäverstam Pre-event reception one hour prior to each performance. Complimentary hors d'oeuvres and soft drinks included. Cash bar for wine and beer.



rve Rese ! Now

Tickets and Info: 50



Fri., Feb. 22, 2013

Luncheon and Dinner Gala San Jose Convention Center

LookingAhead Third Annual Harker Alumni Families Easter Egg Hunt

Sat., March 23, 9:30 a.m. | Bucknall Campus RSVP: 408.345.9264 or

Questions: MaryEllis Deacon, Director of Alumni Relations

Brad Sachs, Ph.D. Mon., March 4

Stanford University Golf Course

Wed., April 24 | 9 a.m. | Bucknall Campus


R eg is O n. p tra 14 en tio ,2 s n 01 3

Wine tasting at home of Scott and Susan McNealy

Good Enough Teens: s: Promoting Self Reliance





Grades K-6

Summer Camp +

Grades 6-12

Summer Institute


· Sports Camps

· Swim School

· English Language Institute for International Students

408.553.0537 l | Held on our beautiful lower and upper school campuses.

Harker Quarterly (USPS 023-761) is published four times per year (September, December, March and June) by The Harker School, Office of Communication, 500 Saratoga Ave., San Jose, CA 95129. Periodicals Postage Paid at San Jose, CA and at additional mailing offices. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Harker Quarterly, 500 Saratoga Avenue, San Jose, CA 95129.





Holiday Pageant

Photo courtesy of Harker Archives


oliday pageants are so traditional, yet fresh every year for those who participate. The photo of this group of young singers is from the 1981-82 school year, according to Terry Walsh, Harker archivist. This is the annual Christmas program, and songs were sung as a class, with several grade levels or the whole student body together. In addition, selected students read poems, and groups banded together to perform a skit. The program was almost always held in the afternoon before school closed for Christmas break to give students a joyful send-off. This photo tells us at least one ambitious girl in the group is hoping for the ultimate present from Santa.

4 0 8 . 2 4 9 . 2 510 H A R K E R Q U A R T E R LY

The holiday show tradition still runs strong at Harker, sometimes on this very stage. Several groups tour senior centers and hospitals, and all three campuses look forward to the annual holiday assembly, when Harker’s grade 4-12 dance and music ensembles travel from campus to campus to the delight of students and teachers alike. The holiday shows bring students together to sing, dance, enjoy each other’s talents, and to remember why we celebrate the holiday: good will towards all. Do you know more about this photo? Send your memories to

w w w. h a r k e r. o r g

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S a n

J o s e ,

C a l i f o r n i a O of C: 12/12 (BHDG/JJJ/RM/DQP) 5,648

The Harker Quarterly, Winter 2012  

Quarterly magazine for The Harker School, an independent K-Gr. 12 college-prep school in San Jose, CA

The Harker Quarterly, Winter 2012  

Quarterly magazine for The Harker School, an independent K-Gr. 12 college-prep school in San Jose, CA