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A PUBLICATION OF THE HARKER SCHOOL l SPRING/SUMMER 2018

M A G A Z I N E

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Showtime! THE ROTHSCHILD PERFORMING ARTS CENTER OPENS l p. 8

SOLVERS

EAGLE PRIDE

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M A G A Z I N E

SPRI NG/SU M M ER 2018, V O LU ME 9, N U MB E R 2 Pam Dickinson Office of Communication Director William Cracraft Managing Editor Catherine Snider Production Editor Mark Kocina Photographer Jennifer Maragoni Copy Editor Zach Jones Rebecca McCartney Staff Contributors Blue Heron Design Design Have an idea? Contact us: news@harker.org 408.345.9273

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Or write: Harker Magazine 500 Saratoga Ave. San Jose, CA 95129 Harker is a Bay Area Green Certified Business of Santa Clara County. As part of our many sustainability efforts, Harker Magazine is printed on 100% recycled paper.

On the cover: Rothschild Performing Arts Center On this page: Opening gala, Patil Theater On the back: Gabriella Lau, Preschool Pebble Cottage All photographs by Mark Kocina

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CONTENTS It’s Showtime! The Rothschild Performing Arts Center opens.

Solvers

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Students gain real-world expertise through teamwork and competition.

Eagle Pride School spirit soars on Harker campuses.

A Life in the Arts Alumni are finding professional success and creative outlets in the performing arts.

Chosen to Represent the U.S. Junior 8 alumni reflect on global summit a decade after graduating.

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Headlines: Head of School Brian Yager reflects on a Harker education’s “return on investment.”

Top Stories: A summary of the most-read articles from

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Harker News.

Face Time: Up close and personal with teachers and staff.

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Gallery: Photo highlights from the past semester – 14, 32, 58 community, performing arts, sports. Passion & Impact: Alumni following their dreams and 24, 34, 44, 56 making a difference in the world. Staff Kudos: Happenings in the professional lives of our

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faculty and staff.

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Class Notes: Alumni news.

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Brian’s

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From its early beginnings in 1893 – when Stanford University leaders assisted in its establishment – to its reputation today as a leading preparatory school with graduates 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.

HARKER MAGAZINE Harker Magazine is published biannually, in December and June, to showcase some of the top news, visionary programs and inspiring people of the greater Harker community. This magazine and its predecessor, the Harker Quarterly, have been recognized with CASE silver and bronze awards, and three Marcom platinum awards.

Subscribe to Harker News and get the latest daily updates. Visit news.harker.org.

FIND, FRIEND & FOLLOW US! Join us for tweets, videos, announcements, photo sharing and more! http://www.facebook.com/harkerschool http://instagram.com/harkerschool http://twitter.com/harkerschool http://www.youtube.com/harkerschool

PREFER TO READ ONLINE? You can opt out of receiving Harker Magazine by mail and just read it online at https://issuu.com/ theharkerschool. To be removed from the mailing list, email us at communications@harker.org. The Harker School is an independent, coed, collegeprep school serving preschool through grade 12. Preschool: 4525 Union Ave., San Jose, CA 95124 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 Produced by the Harker Office of Communication 500 Saratoga Ave., San Jose, CA 95129 communications@harker.org · 408.345.9273 NEXT ISSUE: FALL/WINTER 2018

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headlines

About Harker

WORDS BY BRIAN YAGER PHOTOGRAPH BY MARK KOCINA

A HARKER EDUCATION:

What’s Your ‘ROI’?

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or the senior class trip to Laguna Beach, I packed two books. I cannot imagine a trip to the seaside without some reading material, and I also picked my books with an eye towards preparing comments for the 2018 graduation ceremony. The first book was “Teacher Man,” by Frank McCourt, the author of “Angela’s Ashes,” a memoir for which McCourt received the Pulitzer Prize. The second book was “What Money Cannot Buy: The Moral Limits of Markets,” written by Michael Sandel, a professor of political philosophy at Harvard University. Graduation, like other significant moments in our existence, is a time when time itself is especially fluid in our lives. We are immersed in memories and asked to envision the future, looking backward and forward in equal measure, as nostalgia for the past mingles with the excitement and expectation of how the future might unfold. In “Teacher Man,” McCourt shares that we neither can nor should assume too much about the trajectory of our own lives, nor set limits on what might fill them. The book, written after “Angela’s Ashes” thrust McCourt into the international spotlight, is an autobiography covering McCourt’s principal vocation for his entire working life: that of a teacher of high school English in New York City. He did not write “Angela’s Ashes” until he was 66 years old. When asked why he did not pen his seminal novel until nearing the age of retirement, he proclaims, “I was teaching, that’s what took me so long.” McCourt benefited from the wisdom of his years as he experienced the onslaught of fame and opportunity that came with it, noting that despite his surprise at the success of his work, he still considered himself a teacher who had written, rather than as a writer who had taught. In “What Money Cannot Buy,” Sandel explores the challenges – and the hazards – of attempting to quantify and assign monetary value to moral decisions. He notes that in a world increasingly intent on monetizing value and assessing well-being and success in economic terms, there are some things that money cannot buy, or measure. He shares some thought-provoking findings, some of which are particularly timely for our graduating seniors. These include: the negative long-term impact of paying students for good grades; the moral consequences of allowing families to purchase the right to bypass lines at Disneyland; and the deleterious outcomes associated with compensating Swiss citizens for the inconvenience of having a nuclear waste repository in their neighborhood. This last finding deserves further exploration. In 1993, Swiss authorities identified the ideal site to store the country’s nuclear waste. The problem was that the site abutted a small village. When polled about their willingness to live with the storage facility next to them, 51 percent of the town’s citizens indicated that they would accept the decision. Wanting a larger proportion of the town’s citizens to approve of the plan, economists also offered to pay each citizen for the imposition. Expecting this added benefit to lead to a greater rate of acceptance, officials were shocked to discover that only 25 percent approved of the idea when paid for their trouble. The added bonus actually decreased the town’s willingness to be a nuclear repository.


Sandel explains that once a monetary incentive was added, what had been seen as a civic duty was turned into a commodity. The villagers were originally motivated to do their part for their country. The monetary incentive that was offered created a market mentality that superseded a moral stance. Money, it turned out, could not only not buy civic action, it undermined it. In examining the ways we assign value to non-economic components of our lives, Sandel also ventures into a discussion on the concept of return on investment – ROI – and how we might consider the benefits, especially long-term, of both monetary and moral outcomes. In this lens, it seems fitting to ask the question, what is the ROI from our students’ time at Harker? Certainly, we cannot know this now for our current students, for so much of the impact of their time here will manifest over the course of their entire lives – which we hope will be both long and fruitful. However, we can still explore a little in the abstract, and use history as a guide.

We are immersed in memories and asked to envision the future ... as nostalgia for the past mingles with the excitement and expectation of how the future might unfold. Through the lens of economic benefit, it seems a virtual certainty that collectively our graduates will be wealthier for their time here, and that the return on investment for them as a group will be significant. They will materially benefit in many ways from their days as Eagles. Most noticeably, by successfully graduating from Harker, the Class of 2018 and those following it will have developed the skill sets and the social capital to position themselves well for a future that is very successful in the traditional, economic sense. However, not all of our graduates will be financially better off from their time at Harker. Not all of them will be able to claim, at the end of their careers some 50 years from now, that Harker was a worthwhile investment from a financial standpoint. At least, we hope that this is the case. For some of them will choose to pursue things in their careers, and outside of them, that will be of far greater personal value to them than can be obtained or even measured in a monetary sense. Each student’s return – the “R” in ROI – is and should be about different things for him or her, as each will have different goals, ambitions and moral compasses. Sandel’s exploration of the power of markets is, at its heart, a referendum on this notion – that value, like beauty, lies in the eye of the beholder.

For McCourt, who noted that while his life became much more celebrated once he became famous, his life’s real work was to teach, and he did so willingly, gladly and successfully for more than 40 years, despite constant challenges and low pay, and the status of teaching as “the downstairs maid of professions in America.” In fact, he not only recognized this status, he valued it, for it let him know that his career choice was not driven by prestige and money, but by his desire to have a different kind of impact. There is a related theme to Sandel’s book that provides an additional perspective of value for all of us. He reflects on the fact that economic models examine behaviors in the context that all resources are scarce, and that we make decisions based on optimizing the benefit of resource use over time, constantly weighing whether we should consume something now, or save it for later, but knowing that we cannot do both. Sandel asks the question: what about love? Economic modeling, he notes, “ignores the possibility that our capacity for love (and benevolence) is not depleted with use but enlarged with its practice.” “Think of a loving couple,” he writes. “If, over a lifetime, they hoarded their love, how well would they fare? Would they do better to treat one another in more calculating fashion, to conserve their love for the times they really need it?” The answer, of course, is no. Love is not a depletable commodity. Rather, the more love we share, the more love there is. Unlike in the world of physics, in which every particle created must also have an antiparticle, love can grow unbounded, unlimited by the rules of markets or the laws of physics. We ask our graduates to keep this in mind in the years ahead. As we say farewell to Harker’s graduates of 2018, we do not actually say goodbye. Rather, we recognize this significant transition, and we say hello to them as adults. In the years ahead, we look forward to seeing how they will define and find success, how they will make the world a better place, not because of the compensation for doing so, but in spite of it, and we hope that they will continually experience and contribute to the power of love.

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top stories

PHOTOGRAPHS BY MARK KOCINA

Top Stories

UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED

Recent stories reprinted from Harker News online. Harker News publishes stories online about our students and faculty, highlighting accomplishments and celebrating successes. This Top Stories feature reprints the most widely read Harker News stories since the last issue of Harker Magazine (December 2017). Visit news.harker.org to see full stories and hundreds of additional articles noting the truly remarkable efforts of our Harker students and faculty.

Speech and debate having a great first semester Nov. 13, 2017 https://wp.me/pOeLQ-8Kg The speech and debate team is off to an amazing start this season. The team has competed at 15 tournaments this season locally and in Texas, Florida, Iowa and Southern California. Already the team has proven to be nationally competitive across all of the events we participate in, with multiple students winning awards at national competitions. Coach Greg Achten explained, “I have been very impressed with how hard our students have worked this year. In all of the events, we lost very talented seniors to graduation, but our returning students have really stepped up this year and demonstrated tremendous leadership.” Coach Scott Odekirk noted, “The friendly and supportive atmosphere of the team is on display at tournament. Nobody is eliminated until everyone is eliminated. We cheer each other on and lift each other when we are down. Honestly, it is quite inspiring.”

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Nov. 29, 2017 https://wp.me/pOeLQ-8Mp Harker’s upper school math club sent a team to the Princeton University Mathematics Competition, a tier one competition. Overall, our team finished in fifth place out of 60-plus teams – an excellent performance! In the individual subcategory, Swapnil Garg, grade 12, finished in a very impressive second place out of 300-plus students. Go math Eagles!

............................................................... Students bringing Rothschild Performing Arts Center to life at grand opening Feb. 2 Dec. 12, 2017 https://wp.me/pOeLQ-8OO The last fittings are being bolted into place in the new Rothschild Performing Arts Center; in a few short weeks, it will debut. All the hardware, all the sound gear, the plush curtain and the 450 seats in the Patil Theater will be brought into motion by students, parents, faculty and staff on Feb. 2. The building will go live in the finest sense of the term. As performers finish preparing, stage crew members put the final touches on sets and musicians rustle sheet music into place, the audience will be settling into comfy seats by Series Seating. Series

has provided seating for many performing arts venues worldwide, including Her Majesty’s Theater in Adelaide, Australia, and the Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis. “Students and audiences will be thrilled and overwhelmed each time they walk into the space and realize it’s theirs,” said Laura LangRee, performing arts chair. “We’ve never had anything like it before and it’s state-of-the-art, across the board. We are not just stepping up, we are transforming both in the classroom and onstage by virtue of the building itself. It is the entire impact of an actual building designed for performing arts that is the feature!”

............................................................... Photo provided by Ashvin Swaminathan ‘13

Photo provided by Jenny Achten

US math team finishes fifth out of 60 teams in Princeton math competition

Ashvin Swaminathan ’13 adds Morgan Prize for mathematics research to his laurels Dec. 12, 2017 https://wp.me/pOeLQ-8Pc The American Mathematical Society today announced that


Ashvin Swaminathan ’13 was awarded the 2018 AMS-MAASIAM Frank and Brennie Morgan Prize for Outstanding Research in Mathematics by an Undergraduate Student! Swaminathan received the award for exceptional research in algebraic geometry, number theory and combinatorics. His work has appeared in numerous wellregarded professional-level journals.

rubber band; teams had to generate a new use for this traditional product. There were 2,255 submissions from teams around the world. Other finalist teams are from Bermuda, Canada, The United Arab Emirates and the United Kingdom. The global winners will be announced Jan. 23.

Swaminathan also has been awarded Princeton’s Centennial Fellowship, a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship, the Paul and Daisy Soros Fellowship for New Americans, a Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship and the David B. Mumford Prize (for most promising mathematics concentrator at Harvard). Some of his research has been in the University of Minnesota Duluth Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) program and the Emory University REU program.

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Grade 7 team is a global finalist in DECA Idea Challenge Jan. 17, 2018 https://wp.me/pOeLQ-8Td Harker’s middle school DECA Idea Challenge team is a global finalist! The team, named Insulator Warrior Inc., is a finalist in the elementary/ middle school category. Members of the team are Markus Zhang, Rohan Bhowmik, Arjun Barrett and Gordon Chen, all grade 7. The annual Idea Challenge, held during Global Entrepreneurship Week, invites students to pitch an innovative new product that uses a mystery item. This year’s item was a

See the original article for a video showing an innovative use of the humble rubber band.

DECA/TALON team takes top honors in Herff Jones national challenge Jan. 23, 2018 https://wp.me/pOeLQ-8PK DECA Direct, the national newsletter for DECA, announced today that the Harker team has won the 2018 Herff Jones Marketing Results Challenge in Houston. The challenge was to create marketing campaigns to increase yearbook awareness and sales on campus. Team members are DECA member Vignesh Panchanatham, grade 12, and Sharon Yan, grade 12, TALON managing editor, and Devanshi Mehta, grade 11, TALON seniors editor, who joined DECA to participate in the challenge. The Harker team prepared a video highlighting methods and results that won over the Herff Jones executives who judged finalists at the 2018 Herff Jones International Sales Conference. The team will receive $5,000 for travel to the DECA International Career Development Conference in Atlanta where it will be recognized on stage.

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Society for Science names two seniors finalists in 2018 Regeneron Science Talent Search Jan. 23, 2018 https://wp.me/pOeLQ-8Sl UPDATE: Congratulations to seniors Rajiv Movva and Justin Xie, who today officially became finalists in the 2018 Regeneron Science Talent Search! They will both be headed to Washington, D.C., in March for final judging to compete for a grand prize of $250,000. During the trip, the students will also have their work shown to the public and meet with distinguished scientists. As finalists, Movva and Xie will each be awarded a minimum of $25,000. Jan. 9, 2018: The Society for Science & the Public announced today that six Harker seniors were among the top 300 in the 2018 Regeneron Science Talent Search, tying with Lynbrook High School for the most students qualifying from a single school in California. Amy Dunphy, Amy Jin, Jimmy Lin, Rajiv Movva, Eleanor Xiao and Justin Xie are now eligible to be among the 40 finalists. H AR KE R MAG A Z INE l SPR ING/SUM M ER 2018 5


top stories

College Board: Eight perfect 2017 AP exam scores by Harker students and ’17 alumna

............................................................... Rothschild Performing Arts Center and its Patil Theater open to admiring crowd of nearly 700 Feb. 2, 2018 https://wp.me/pOeLQ-8WD The Rothschild Performing Arts Center opened tonight to an excited crowd of nearly 700 visitors. The state-of-the-art facility opened its doors at 6:30 p.m. to a throng of students, parents, faculty and staff, alumni, alumni parents and guests.

Photo by Jacqueline Orrell

Guests included Jeff and Marieke Rothschild, for whom the facility is named, and Suhas and Jayashree

Patil, daughter Dr. Teja Patil ’02, family members DJ and Devika Patil and their children, Veyd, grade 6 and Samaara, grade 3, for whom the 450-seat theater is named. Other guests of honor included Diana Nichols, board of trustees chair, and members of the architectural and construction teams, as well as many of the major donors. “It is a gorgeous building,” said Marieke Rothschild. “Harker has been known for its STEM students, and deservedly so, but the talent that is here in the arts – this gives them a home.”

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Middle school math students are big winners at regional MathCounts competition Feb. 20, 2018 https://wp.me/pOeLQ-8ZH Harker middle school students had a great showing at the Santa Clara Valley MathCounts competition on Feb. 10, winning the team event and setting a new Harker record with four students earning perfect scores. In individual competition, eighth graders Alexander Hu, Mark Hu and Rishab Parthasarathy and seventh grader Sally Zhu all had perfect scores of 46, demonstrating the level of competition in the Santa Clara Valley chapter, which “is known to be the toughest chapter for MathCounts in the country,” said middle school math teacher Vandana Kadam. Connie Jiang, grade 7, took second with 45 points. Grade 8 students David Dai, Rohan Thakur and Kevin Wang, as well as Riya Gupta, grade 7, placed in the top 25 percent at the event, which featured more than 400 competitors from 46 schools. The team of Hu, Parthasarathy, Zhu and eighth grader William Zhao won the team competition by a slim margin, inching past Miller Middle School by just a quarter of a point. Qualifiers from the state competition will travel to Washington, D.C., for the MathCounts National Championship in May.

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Feb. 21, 2018 https://wp.me/pOeLQ-909 Late last month, the College Board revealed that seven Harker students and one 2017 alumna received perfect scores on Advanced Placement exams they took in May 2017, earning every possible point as well as the maximum score of five. Seniors Akhil Arun and Adriano Hernandez and 2017 graduate Divya Rajasekharan earned three of just 60 perfect scores on the AP Macroeconomics exam, while senior Vignesh Panchanatham earned one of only 26 perfect scores in AP Microeconomics. On the AP Computer Science A exam, senior Swapnil Garg, junior Ryan Adolf and sophomores Eileen Li and Kyle Li earned four of 112 perfect scores. Harker was one of just 17 schools that had four or more students earn perfect scores on AP exams last year. According to the College Board, nearly 5 million AP exams were taken by almost 3 million students in 2017. Only 511 students earned every possible point.

............................................................... A trio of Harker alumni make Forbes 30 Under 30 lists for 2018 Feb. 26, 2018 https://wp.me/pOeLQ-90J Three Harker alumni were named to this year’s Forbes 30 Under 30 lists, which feature 600 young stars in 20 different industries. Siddarth Satish ’06, founder of Gauss Surgical in Cupertino, was selected in the healthcare category. Forbes noted, “Using the iPad’s built-in camera and computer vision algorithms, Siddarth Satish has developed an FDA-cleared app to monitor blood loss in the OR.”


Meghana Dhar ’06 is director of retail partnerships for B8ta, located in San Francisco, and is a Forbes 30 Under 30 honoree in the retail and e-commerce category. Her Forbes profile notes, “The eBay alum is responsible for opening 700 stores for B8ta by 2018. The company launches brick and mortar stores for trendy tech products and provides them with customer engagement and interaction data.”

Photo provided by Vandana Kadam

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MS Science Bowl teams exceptional at regional event, one team moves on to nationals Feb. 28, 2018 https://wp.me/pOeLQ-91K Two teams of Harker students performed admirably at this past weekend’s Middle School Science Bowl regional competition. The first team went undefeated throughout the competition and emerged as the winner, earning a trip to Washington, D.C., for the national finals. Team two advanced to the double elimination round after going 5-0 in the round robin portion of the event.

With this victory and the upper school team’s previous regional win, Harker will send two teams to the Science Bowl national finals for the first time in Harker history!

............................................................... Photo provided by Jenny Achten

Chadwick Manning ’07, co-founder of ElectrIQ Power Inc. in Palo Alto, made the list in the energy category. ElectrIQ (pronounced “electric”) is an energy storage, monitoring and management company. It innovates integrated hardware and intelligent software solutions to help homeowners and small businesses access more affordable and sustainable electricity, Manning explained.

Speech and debate team qualifies a solid 18 students to national championship events April 12, 2018 https://wp.me/pOeLQ-98P Harker’s varsity speech and debate team is heading into the end-of-season championships phase! The team has qualified an impressive 18 students to represent us at state and various national championships. The coaches are especially proud that the school will be represented in all of our main events: policy debate, LincolnDouglas debate, speech, congress and public forum debate. The team concludes its season with the National Speech & Debate Association Championship in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., in June. Watch for updates!

............................................................... Five students qualify for national math Olympiads April 18, 2018 https://wp.me/pOeLQ-9aL Four Harker upper school students and one middle school student have advanced to the third round of the USA Math Olympiad and Junior Math Olympiad, respectively. Sophomores Cynthia Chen, Rohan Cherukuri and Jeffrey Kwan,

senior Swapnil Garg and eighth grader Rishab Parthasarathy were among the top 500 students from the roughly 75,000 who took the American Math Contest in February to qualify for the third round. The nine-hour test is taken over the course of two days. Top scorers will have the chance to represent the United States at the International Mathematical Olympiad, set to take place this summer in Romania.

............................................................... 2018 National Merit Scholarship winners now at 13 May 15, 2018 https://wp.me/pOeLQ-9bD UPDATE: Eight more Harker seniors were named winners in the 2018 National Merit Scholarship Competition last week, as the National Merit Scholarship Corporation identified Meghan Tjandrasuwita, Jerry Chen, Gwyneth Chen, Morgan Douglas, Anooshree Sengupta, Andrew Semenza, Kaitlin Hsu and Swapnil Garg as $2,500 scholarship winners. Previously, the National Merit Scholarship Corporation announced that Divija Bhimaraju, David Wen, Adrian Chu, Megan Huynh and Amy Jin, all grade 12, were recipients of corporate-sponsored scholarships. This is the first round of awardees in this year’s program, and more winners will be announced over the next three months. In September, 46 seniors – roughly 25 percent of the Class of 2018 – were named National Merit semifinalists, placing them in the top 1 percent nationwide among students who took the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test in their junior year. H AR KE R MAG A Z INE l SPR ING/SUM M ER 2018

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It’s Showtime! The Rothschild Performing Arts Center Opens WORDS BY WILLIAM CRACRAFT PHOTOGRAPHS BY MARK KOCINA AND JACQUELINE ORRELL

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he Rothschild Performing Arts Center has been in constant use since opening on Feb. 2, and students are reveling in the change to their experiences as performers. Classrooms and rehearsal spaces were in immediate use and a number of academic performances, as well as five big public performances, have been held. The first big show at the Rothschild Performing Arts Center (RPAC) was United Voices, a night of vocal performances from all of Harker’s lower, middle and upper school choirs. Students were impressed with the advantages of the new space. “Most obvious to me were the superior acoustics in each classroom,” said Millie Lin, grade 12, who sang with Cantilena, the upper school women’s chorus. “We could now practice in a space that fits the size of our sound, and shape the quality of it. I could enjoy our music making so much more! The acoustic quality is so incredible that our performances feel more intimate, making the connection between choir and song more comfortable and beautiful.” H AR KE R MAG A Z INE l SPR ING/SUM M ER 2018

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Akhil Arun, grade 12, sang with Downbeat, one of the upper school choirs. “The most exciting part of performing in the new center is just the feeling of having a performing space that we can call our own. It always felt like intruding when we would perform in other spaces, but now it really does feel like we belong here. “Having this building on campus will massively help performers as it now expands what we can do. In many of my performing classes I am taking at school, we are now able to just walk over and try a monologue or a scene on stage, something that none of us could even dream about a couple years ago. I think the RPAC is just the perfect space to house the performing arts at Harker as it offers state-of-the-art technology in all aspects of the performing arts,” he finished. Fellow Downbeat singer Rahul Bhethanabotla, grade 12, noted, “Having the building to practice and perform in is a massive game-changer. There are multiple practice rooms so vocal groups, instrumentalists or anyone really can practice in an ideal environment for music.” In March, the first official instrumental performance took place at “An Evening of Jazz.” The Middle School Jazz Band, The Harker School Jazz Band and The Harker School Lab Band all played. “I found it nice to finally play at home because it automatically feels more welcoming,” said Elizabeth Shchegrov, grade 8, who plays the trumpet in the Middle School Jazz Band. “The theater looked very professional [and] it boosted my confidence.”

ROTHSCHILD PERFORMING ARTS CENTER OPENING

new equipment in the Patil Theater, my job gets much more complicated, but also more exciting. I get to use items like the pin rail, catwalks, scene shop and more, which allows me to train and learn how to use all of these tools in the future.” The more complex technical options allow for greater flexibility. “Thanks to the catwalks, we can change light equipment easier and faster than before, which gives us more time for rehearsals,” Frank noted. “Finally, the amount of space backstage allows us to be able to set up significant structures on stage, which gives our performances a whole new aspect.” One of the finest experiences has been that of the musical performers as they finally have the full access and range of equipment that they need to do the best possible job. Sameep Mangat, grade 12, has been in musicals throughout high school and directed her own Student Directed Showcase this year. For her, the best thing about the new facility is, “The aura and the feeling,” she said. “The facilities, of course, are amazing. Having actual quick change stations on both sides of the stage, having a prop table not on [just] one side of the stage, and being able to actually stand backstage and not share the space with a couch – that of course has all been incredible from an actress’s point of view. “From an audience’s point of view, it’s the fly space and the beautiful backdrops and the set pieces that can all be stored backstage that create the beauty of an actual, professional

Shchegrov noted that technical advantages were immediately apparent. “In comparison to other theaters, I could hear the rhythm section and saxophones much better. Usually, it’s hard for the trumpets to hear [the rhythm and saxophones], because we are behind them. It helped my section; I knew exactly what the tempo was and which part of the chart we were on.” Satchi Thockchom, grade 12, who plays drums for The Harker School Jazz Band, noted the sweet advantages of being on campus for the rehearsals and show. “The [acoustic] shell brought out a lot more of the subtle sounds, so I think the audience could hear the intricacies of the pieces. I could actually hear the whole band and that helped me approach the songs more musically.” Nothing pushes the boundaries of live performances like a musical, and this year’s musical within a musical, “42nd Street,” gave the stage crew a chance to stretch its wings (pun intended!). “42nd Street” technician Logan Frank, grade 11, has been crewing for Harker shows for two years. “For me,” Frank said, “the most significant difference has to be the multiple possibilities of the new theater. At the old Blackford Theater, we were limited by the changes we could make onstage, and the number of props, sets and backdrops we could use. Now, with all the

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show. However, for me … in the RPAC, it’s a whole new aura of sophistication and artistry that made me feel truly like an actor, not just a high school drama kid.” Members of one of the biggest groups to use the theater, The Harker School Orchestra, slid right into their chairs for their first performance in the RPAC. “It’s amazing to have such a nice and accessible venue on campus,” said concertmaster Constance Horng, grade 11, noting rehearsals in the Patil Theater help the group get a feel for the acoustics and space they will be using in the actual performance.


“The acoustic quality is so incredible that our performances feel more intimate, making the connection between choir and song more comfortable and beautiful.” – Millie Lin, grade 12

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“Before the RPAC opened, we would only get one rehearsal at our off-campus venue on the day of the concert,” Horng said, “so it’s definitely been more convenient to have the Patil Theater so close. I love how everyone, no matter what aspect of the program they’re involved in, is able to come together and collaboratively enjoy the innovative technology and beautiful aesthetics of the theater while pursuing something that they are passionate about.” “Just Dance” was the final public show in the RPAC this school year, and dancers loved being “home,” too. Charlotte (Charley) Huang, grade 12, is captain of Varsity Dance Troupe and has been dancing at Harker since grade 7. “The RPAC feels more like home while the other venues, like Foothill College’s theater, although beautiful, feel like just a place to perform,” she said. “My favorite thing about performing in the Patil Theater is that whenever I come out after a performance, I know my friends are waiting for me. Now that the shows are at school, the performances are easy to access and attend and it makes it easier for all my friends to come watch. The RPAC is honestly such a special building for a high school to have and it makes me feel lucky to go to a school

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with such amazing opportunities for the performing arts that you don’t see at other schools,” she added. Eloquence aside, students feel the advantages of the RPAC in their creative hearts. Eighth grader Shchegrov summed up the whole reasoning behind the RPAC: “It made me want to play better because a great hall should be filled with great music.”

Note from the Head of School Harker thanks all those who contributed to the amazing effort it took to bring both the Rothschild Performing Arts Center, with its Patil Theater, and the athletic center, with its Zhang Gymnasium, to fruition. Community members chipped in with donations large and small, attended events to celebrate milestones in the construction and joined us for our opening ceremonies in August and February. These facilities will serve many future generations of Harker students and we honor you, our community members, for making it all possible.


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alk to upper school art teacher Pilar Agüero-Esparza for just a few minutes and you’ll be struck by how art flows through her life. She calls it an “honor to witness” students make connections through art, treasures time in her studio – searching for a “state of flow” when she loses track of time – and counts a visit to a gallery as a crucial part of a perfect day. She also says that teaching young people about art informs her own work and keeps her connected to ideas. Read on as this Los Angeles native gives Harker Magazine a glimpse into some other things she values.

What makes you feel like a kid again? Riding Space Mountain in Disneyland.

What are you obsessed with? Leather handbags and shoes. Growing up in my parents’ shoe shop immersed me in the wonderful smell and feel of leather. Now, when I purchase another purse or pair of shoes, I tell my husband, “I need them, it’s research!” I treasure my Landis Outsoles Stitcher – an 800-pound piece of shoemaking equipment I got from my dad. I plan on making an art project with it someday.

For what are you most proud of yourself? I put myself through grad school to get my MFA. When I started, I had a toddler and a part-time job at Harker; when I completed it, I was juggling my full-time job and a first grader. It was a lot of late nights and it took me almost five years to finish. (My daughter is now a Harker junior!)

What is the best compliment someone can give you? That I am perceptive.

What gives you a reason to smile? When I see my daughter, Olivia, dance.

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The senior class officially became alumni at its graduation ceremony on May 24 at Saratoga’s Mountain Winery. Family, friends and many of the students’ middle and lower school teachers joined the board of trustees, administration and upper school faculty in watching the members of the Class of 2018 take this pivotal step in their young lives. Andrew Semenza’s valedictory address was a paean to imperfection in which he opined,“When we think of irregularity as dirty, we endanger everything.” Tanya Schmidt ’08, the first upper school graduate to give the commencement address, advised the graduates not to be afraid of unexpected changes.“Have the courage to be curious, and make space to listen to yourself,” she said. Giving his inaugural graduation address as head of school, Brian Yager imparted hope that the graduates would “continually experience and contribute to the power of love.” After receiving their diplomas (to wild cheers from the crowd), the students moved their tassels leftward and flung their caps into the air. Congratulations!

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Solvers:

Students gain real-world expertise through teamwork and competition

WORDS BY ZACH JONES PHOTOGRAPHS BY MARK KOCINA

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hile Harker students are known for their academic achievements, they often look for ways to apply their rigorous education to situations that affect the world far beyond their school’s demarcations. To meet this demand, several programs have developed over the last two decades to give students a way to rise to challenges that people deal with in their everyday lives, or to provide possible solutions to problems just over the horizon. At Harker, the largest and longest-running of these programs has been Future Problem Solving (FPS), which just last year extended to the lower school. Middle school history teacher Cyrus Merrill became the faculty advisor for the program during the 1998-99 school year, and Harker FPS teams have advanced to the program’s international competition 13 times since 2002. Since its founding in 1974 by psychologist Ellis Paul Torrance, Future Problem Solving Program International has grown to attract more than a quarter of a million participants each year in grades 4-12. Each year, students receive general topics to research in preparation for the problem scenarios that are later distributed to the participating schools. Typically, the topics involve the use of developing technologies and societal trends. This year’s topics included criminal justice, controlling the spread of infectious disease and the overabundance of toxic waste. The selected topics are approached from many angles, including civil liberties, environmental impact and the effects they have on world economies. “In FPS, we learn to analyze the same issue from 18 different perspectives, which shows 18

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us just how complex these global emergencies are,” said Meghana Karinthi, grade 12, who has been involved with FPS since grade 6. In competition, students are given a scenario and have two hours to devise a number of possible solutions, choosing the one they feel is the best and developing a plan to implement it. It is during this time that the previous research done on the topics becomes crucial, as often the scale of the problems can be daunting. “At first, when I was in sixth and seventh grades, it was really difficult for me to comprehend this magnitude of what we were trying to solve in FPS,” said Karinthi, “but still, I was fascinated, and that fascination has stuck with me ever since.” Because FPS requires a diverse set of skills, it has attracted students with a wide range of interests. “My sixth grade English teacher recommended me to Mr. Merrill as someone who might be a good fit for the program since I loved writing, so Mr. Merrill came up to me one day at lunch and asked me to join,” said Jessica Wang, grade 12. “A couple of my other friends were also starting FPS, and I figured I might as well try it, and as it turns out, I fell in love with it.”


Often students involved with FPS have discovered that in addition to bolstering their research skills, competing in the program has helped grow their interest in a range of topics, which has some unexpected benefits. “Since FPS covers a wide range of topics, from transportation to technology, researching those different topics in preparation for our problems is a really good way for me to learn more about things that I normally wouldn't be looking into,” Wang said. “Because of that, I'm able to use that information for my classes too, like when different political trends my team researched were relevant to my history course last year.” Sasvath Ramachandran, grade 8, admitted that he sometimes viewed the scenarios as far-fetched, but that they have helped him see the world in ways he previously did not. “Essentially, FPS has taught me to observe the world around me and keeps me thinking on my toes about what could improve,” he said. Although the main goal of FPS is to train students to tackle situations that can often seem grim, the competition’s verbal presentation component – in which teams put together skits describing their solutions, often with hilarious outcomes – is a favorite of students who like to flex their creativity. “During skits, I have the chance to laugh and enjoy moments with my team, while accessing my inner creativity to put on a fun show,” Ramachandran said.

Karinthi found that working with others was the greatest reward she received as an FPS competitor. “Whether it’s my actual team that I compete with, the officer team that I work with, or the middle and lower school teams that I mentor, I’ve met some incredible people through FPS who I never would have met otherwise,” she said, noting the value of short but memorable moments she has shared with her teammates. “Random moments, like sharing a bag of popcorn with my teammates while researching the next topic, or reading the string of hilarious text messages in the officers’ group chat about someone’s lost vacuum cleaner, make me realize that these people aren’t just my FPS classmates, they’re my friends.” Giving presentations is just one of the confidencebuilding aspects of FPS, which emphasizes teamwork and making the most of each team member’s strengths. Wang found that this process helped her overcome initial reservations about working with people she didn’t know. “When I first H AR KE R MAG A Z INE l SPR ING/SUM M ER 2018

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Unlike Future Problem Solving, students are free to choose a topic so long as it falls within one of several categories. After identifying a community problem, “students do experiments, they do surveys, they do interviews,” said middle school science teacher Vandana Kadam, who has overseen the program since the first year Harker began participating.

joined the program, I was super shy and introverted, and I only knew a few people also in the program, which meant that I had to learn to work with people I'd never spoken to before,” she said. “By working as a part of a four-person team, I slowly became more comfortable with sharing my ideas and building off those of my teammates, and FPS is what really made me realize the value of teamwork.”

eCybermission

FPS is just one example of the opportunities students have to apply their learning to real-world problems. The middle school-based eCybermission science fair, sponsored by the U.S. Army, offers opportunities to delve into challenges affecting local communities and have a direct impact. Harker students have been entering the eCybermission competition since the 2005-06 school year, and four teams have qualified for the national finals in Washington, D.C.

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This year’s project – conducted by eighth graders Madelyn Jin, Clarice Wang, Emily Zhou and Gloria Zhu – investigated the causes of the wildfires that ravaged much of Northern California last fall. In the course of their research, they explored the various methods used to fight fires and spoke to a local fire official to gain his insight on how fires are contained. Their science studies at Harker also provided valuable information on “how fire reacts to different chemicals and how fire reacts to water, what makes the fire grow bigger, what extinguishes the fire,” said Wang. Although eCybermission is a primarily a STEM competition, it is also multidisciplinary in that it makes use of a wide range of skills, such as writing and public speaking, according to Kadam. Previous projects have seen students directly engage with their communities to address potential problems. In 2010, an eCybermission team known as “Dust Busters” investigated water sources in Cupertino that were in close proximity to a quarry, and discovered that dust from the quarry was polluting the drinking water in the area surrounding the


Community presentations at schools, libraries and community centers are an important aspect of eCybermission, as they bring awareness to issues that residents may not be aware of, in addition to helping students build confidence in summarizing and presenting information on complex topics. “For the students to be able to connect to these people they’re presenting to is very important,” said Kadam. “It’s going outside of their comfort zone in a way.” Students also learn how problems can arise in the course of developing a project, and how to deal with them in a timely manner. “We encountered a big setback while we were doing our project and we had to reorganize and change the whole project in a short period of time,” Zhou recalled. Accounting for each team member’s schedule was another hurdle, as well as a learning opportunity. “Time management was really difficult, because we had to find times to meet up and work on things as a group and with our advisor,” said Wang. It also helps students realize the impact they can have on their communities, however small it may be. “There are problems in the community that we can solve in our little ways,” Kadam said. “They feel good that, whatever little they did, the research they have done is helpful to those people in the community.”

TEAMS

At the upper school, students each year participate in an engineering-focused competition called TEAMS (Tests of Engineering Aptitude, Mathematics and Science), formerly known as the Junior Engineering Technical Society. Upper school math teacher Anthony Silk has managed the program since 2007, and in the ensuing years, students have performed very well, with key accolades including a 2016 “Best in Nation” designation and a 2015 second place finish at the national level, as well as numerous distinctions at the state level.

Photo provided by Taylor Lam, grade 11

source, increasing its mercury levels. To bring attention to this issue, they presented their findings at a city council meeting. The Dust Busters went to the national competition that year.

TEAMS has two high school divisions – one for grades 9 and 10 and another for grades 11 and 12 – and each TEAMS competition has three components: a thoroughly researched essay on a given scenario, a multiple-choice exam containing 80 questions on various engineering problems, and a design/build stage in which teams use provided materials to complete a design challenge based on the competition theme for that year. “I think the engineering challenge was a group favorite,” said Mohindra Vani, grade 10, from this year’s team. “It got our adrenaline pumping and it was gratifying to see the result of our labors take the shape of some tangible object because that wasn't something we really got in the multiple choice or essay sections of the competition.” Of the three components, Silk said, “One of them is simply pure academics, one of them is more research and one of them is more practical, how you visualize the world and can you make engineering connections,” describing the various skills that come into play in the competition. “[The students are] really trying to find ways that we interact with the environment and how we can do better at that.” As with other competitions, division of duties according to each team member’s strengths is an important element of success in TEAMS competitions. “This is done in a group of eight, and they have to work together,” Silk said. “No one student can say, ‘Well, I’ll do it all and you check my work.’ It has to be, ‘You’re the chemistry lead, you’re the physics lead, etc.’” Silk also stressed that the competition is almost

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entirely student-run; he acts only as the facilitator for the multiple-choice portion. “Some schools have TEAMS classes where they meet every week,” he said. “We don’t do any of this. If this is what they want to do, I provide them with the materials, I provide them past exams so they can see how it is, but they have to get together on their own, they have to study on their own, they have to figure out how to work together on their own.” The scheduling of the TEAMS competition often makes it difficult for juniors and seniors to compete at the national level due to internships and other obligations, but students in grades 9 and 10 have

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seen success at nationals on several occasions, including the aforementioned placements in 2015 and 2016, as well as another “Best in Nation” win in 2013 and a fourth place national finish last year. Silk says, however, that what’s important for the students is not to chase accolades, but to enjoy the act of solving problems through engineering. “I think that’s really important for our kids, that they’re doing this purely for the enjoyment of it because they want to do it and they’re going to drive themselves to do it,” he said. “Not because of a grade, not because somebody’s telling them to do it.”


Why do you do what you do? I think learning is truly magic. Giving kids the tools to discover the world around them is truly a blessing. I enjoy my students’ energy and I feel it keeps me young.

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hio native Tobias Wade has a busy Harker life. He teaches U.S. History and World Geography at the lower school, coaches grades 4-5 after-school sports, advises the Bucknall Spirit and Service Club, and directs afternoon activities for Harker’s summer camp. But at heart, he’s a family man, grateful to hang out with his wife, son, brother and brother’s kids. Wade said his 4-year-old son, Talon, “is always making me smile. He is the reason I get up in the morning.” Read on for more about this versatile teacher.

What helps you persevere when you feel like giving up? Honestly, I think about my wife. She is a three-time cancer survivor. If she can do that, then I cannot give up on anything I try to do.

What are you obsessed with? I love zombie books and movies.

What one piece of advice you would offer anyone who asks? Enjoy life and don’t sweat the small things; we never know how much time we have on the earth.

What are some things you like to do when you finally have a block of free time? I like to read and play with my son. I enjoy camping, watching football and cooking. And I’m trying to learn Bonsai.

Tobias Wade

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Passion for fashion, love of the written word keep alumna focused on publishing career WORDS BY VIKKI BOWES-MOK PHOTOGRAPHS PROVIDED BY NOËL DUAN ’09

Noël Duan ’09 is a fashionista entrepreneur who has succeeded because she isn’t afraid to fail. When she was a student at Harker, she tried to start a fashion club for two years, but no one came to her meetings.

“I remember thinking, ‘I don’t care if no one is interested in fashion – I am!’” said Duan, who pursues her passions with vigor. “I decided to start a teen fashion blog to meet other people who were as passionately nerdy about fashion as me!” Her blog, Miss Couturable, gained traction. Teen Vogue wrote about it and raved, “From filling us in on the trials and tribulations of college applications to dishing on the latest runway trends, Miss Couturable is truly a daily delight!” While the blog gave her a forum to discuss ideas, it was an internship at Seventeen magazine before her senior year at Harker that opened her eyes to the publishing world and East Coast culture. “Noël was always driven by an organic and true love for ideas, the human story and the arts,” said Donna Gilbert, chair of the upper school’s history and social sciences department. “She applied herself with creativity and intellectual passion to every project and was always a deep and courageous thinker fully invested in her studies.” It was this courage and her experience in New York that led her to Columbia University, where she studied sociocultural anthropology and art history. “I went to Columbia thinking I wanted something more,” remembered Duan. “I was in the middle of the publishing world and that’s when I decided I was going to become a writer.” Within her first week, she met fellow student Jina Lim and they realized that Columbia didn’t have a fashion magazine – so they launched one. Hoot magazine, which covers fashion, art 24

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and culture in New York City, was founded in 2009 by “a group of fashion-obsessed students.” The magazine is still going strong with a print publication, an active blog and an Instagram account that shows off student style at Columbia. Duan thrived at Columbia, but upon graduating, realized she wasn’t done with her academic pursuits. She was passionate about women’s rights and ecofeminism, so she decided to pursue a master’s degree in women’s studies at the University of Oxford, where she interned at British Vogue while writing her dissertation. After she graduated from Oxford, Duan moved back to New York City, where she met makeup legend Bobbi Brown. “She hired me on the spot to be her assistant editor as Yahoo! was launching their beauty section,” Duan remembers. “I got to work with Bobbi and her amazing team and learned not just about physical beauty but understanding and unpacking that beauty is about identity and so much more.”

“Noël was always driven by an organic and true love for ideas, the human story and the arts.” – Donna Gilbert, upper school history teacher

Today she describes herself as “writer, reader, editor, researcher, rider.” She lives in New York and San Francisco and was a culture/lifestyle writer at Quartz, a digital business publication owned by Atlantic Media. When she’s not behind a computer, she’s raising a puppy, fostering more puppies (20 at last count!) and enjoys getting out of the city to ride horses – a hobby she picked up at Oxford. Her love of animals led her to launch Argos & Artemis, a literary magazine about dogs. She chose to do it in 2018, the year of the dog, and plans to publish hard copies and launch an online edition before the year ends. The literary contributors to the magazine include New Yorker staff writers, Guggenheim fellows and New York Times bestselling authors – all united by their love for dogs. And if that’s not enough, she’s also working on a novel about adolescence in pre-2008 recession Silicon Valley. “I’m drafting a novel to stay humble,” Duan said with a confident smile and the spirit of an entrepreneur who has big plans. Vikki Bowes-Mok is also the executive director of the community nonprofit Compass Collective.

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he competition was fierce but smiles abounded as upper school students and staff, wearing matching T-shirts and colorful accessories, competed for class points in fun contests during Harker’s fall Homecoming rally. Harker spirit was just as palpable at the football game the next day, as students, faculty, staff and alumni filled the bleachers – donning Harker sweatshirts, hats and temporary tattoos – to cheer their Eagles on to victory. Harker students certainly know how to work hard, and they earn many academic accolades to prove it, but they also know the value of playing hard. From organized activities to spontaneous shows of spirit, Eagle pride soars on Harker’s campuses. “Harker spirit isn’t just limited to the occasional spirit activities and competitions – it’s really a mindset regarding what you care about in this school,” said ASB president Jimmy Lin, grade 12. “For me, it means supporting all my fellow classmates, whether it’s attending their orchestra concerts or cheering them on at their basketball home games.”

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Be it performing at an assembly, competing in a lip-sync contest, dressing up for a holiday or cheering on Harker’s sports teams, Harker students relish the opportunity to have fun and bond with their classmates. Other events, such as holiday toy and food drives, incorporate both spirit and service and unite students – and often the greater Harker community – in a common goal. “Spirit has changed and evolved much over the years but has always held firm in its goal of uniting the community through self-expression and the celebration of each person’s unique value to the school,” said Eric Kallbrier, assistant to the director of activities and an upper school Spirit Club advisor. “It provides an opportunity for students (and faculty) to unwind, de-stress and reach outward.” When needed, Harker spirit rises to meet the occasion. For example, in October, the school canceled the annual Harker Family & Alumni Picnic due to poor air quality resulting from the North Bay fires. The Harker community rallied and donated ticket sales, as well as additional money and a busload of supplies, to disaster relief efforts.


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Spirit touches on most aspects of student life at Harker, with faculty and staff often getting in on the fun. For example, at a recent assembly, a spoof of the popular TV game show “To Tell the Truth” featured both upper school students and administrators.

“At a school as academically challenging as Harker, spirit is an important part of creating a well-balanced community.” —Eric Kallbrier, assistant to the director of activities

“School spirit shows up in how we treat each other and the world around us,” said Head of School Brian Yager. “Service to our own community and to the larger world around us – the last line of our mission statement is that we ‘prepare students to take their place as global citizens’ – is both a goal and a reflection of our collective spirit.”

Beginnings Harker has always had programs intended to promote school spirit. But the Spirit Club dates back to the mid-1990s, when Harker was a K-8 school. Harker alumnus and then dean of students Dan Gelineau (Palo Alto Military Academy ’65) formed the club with a focus on student activities, explained his son, middle school English teacher Mark Gelineau ’90. These days, Spirit Clubs are active on the lower, middle and upper school campuses. “[The club] has students taking on roles of leadership as they organize and execute activities for their peers,” said Gelineau. Harker spirit comes naturally to Gelineau; he was spirit commissioner in eighth grade and is now a middle school Spirit Club advisor. “I dig the irony that I’m here as an adult as well,” he added.

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“From our student cheering section ‘Flight Zone’ at athletic events to our rallies in the fall and spring to school dances, spirit is connected to many pieces of student life,” Kallbrier said. “At a school as academically challenging as Harker, spirit is an important part of creating a well-balanced community.” While spirit evolves over time, many events have become beloved traditions. Cookie Day in October, for example, celebrates former longtime Harker president Howard Nichols, who was known for keeping a jar of cookies in his office for passersby to enjoy. On that day, students on all campuses enjoy chocolate chip cookies in honor of Nichols.

Lower School With the enthusiasm that young children bring to activities, Harker spirit soars on the lower school campus, with much-anticipated annual activities including a Halloween parade, Valentine’s Day lipsync contest and scavenger hunts. Spirit and service often go hand in hand at Harker, and at the lower school, the two efforts are directly linked by a combined Spirit and Service Club. In February, students enjoyed the 11th annual Pajama Day, an event that oozed both spirit and service. Led by grade 3, students collected 246 pairs of PJs and more than 500 books for the local chapter of the Pajama Program, which


food and learned to tie various Chinese knots. For St. Patrick’s Day, students were encouraged to wear green, with prizes awarded to the most “greened out” student in each homeroom. The day included many fun activities, including a hilarious Irish Jig freeze dance.

seeks to improve the life of children in shelters. On the final day of the drive, students celebrated by wearing their pajamas to school and reading books at an assembly. In addition, a Character In Action program holds kids accountable for doing the right thing; students who are “caught” making good choices are awarded a ticket to put in a quarterly raffle for prizes. Holidays are particularly fun at the lower school. At a spirit rally in December, students donned Santa hats, made crafts and competed in holiday-themed games, including Pin the Nose on Rudolph. “My favorite spirit events were the Halloween and Christmas events,” said Summer Adler, grade 5, “because we got to decorate pumpkins on Halloween, and on Christmas we had a really funny Four Corners [trivia game] activity.” To celebrate the Lunar New Year in February, students enjoyed Chinese

When asked what her favorite spirit event is, fifth grader Vika Gautham couldn’t narrow it down. “My favorite spirit event is all the spirit events, because Spirit and Service is a really fun activity that I love to go to. It’s a great opportunity to make new friends and plan amazing events that everyone loves.” Spirit events give students a chance to have fun and show their school spirit, explained Walid Fahmy, lower school P.E. teacher and Spirit and Service Club advisor. “Overall, I think our Spirit and Service Club is designed to strengthen our Harker community, make the school a better place, share Harker pride and, of course, have fun!” he said.

Middle School At the middle school, most spirit events are student driven. Students vote on spirit themes, help decide which games to play and set up activities. During Spirit Week in the spring, students are encouraged to dress to match daily themes, such as Pajama Day and Twin Day. The week culminates in a much-anticipated lip-sync contest. “We believe in giving them ownership,” said Kevin Reduta, a middle school Spirit Club advisor. “It keeps the students invested in the club and gets them excited and engaged for each event.” At the middle school, “houses” compete for points, much like in the “Harry Potter” series. Advisories are grouped into

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four houses, each of which includes sixth, seventh and eighth graders to level the playing field. The names of the houses – Praestantia, Constantia, Beneficium and Scientia – come from the school seal, meaning excellence, constancy, service and science in Latin.

“Everyone’s in a constant energetic mood throughout the week ... and it all culminates in the massive spirit rally that really unites the entire school.”

Spirit commissioner Ayan Nath, grade 8, said his favorite events are those that bring the entire campus together, such as an annual take on the TV show “The Price is Right” and the lip-sync contest. Last year, the Spirit Club introduced a new game called “Famous Faces,” in which students viewed a scene from a movie or TV show, then worked together to name the actor or actress, their character and the movie or show. “We try to get students to have fun as a school and we get students to spend more time with their advisory,” Nath said. “It just feels good making people smile and happy.”

While many activities focus on having fun with classmates, others spread happiness more subtly. —Jimmy Lin, ASB president In November, middle school students painted “kindness rocks,” inscribed with positive messages such as “Be Happy” and “You are Worth It” to place around the school. Though not organized by the Spirit Club, the project demonstrated that Harker spirit seeps into many aspects of student life. In late March, the club helped organize the annual Cancer Walk, which raises money for Camp Oziku, a summer camp for children with cancer. Both Nath and fellow spirit commissioner Alysa Su, grade 8, said they hope even more students will join the Spirit Club and get involved in activities. “Some people might feel unsure or shy about joining because we’re a very outgoing group and not many people know about the behind-thescenes work for creating Cancer Walk posters, selling snowman grams or creating spirit events,” Su said. “I would love more people to join, because our spirit group is definitely a big family that’s always willing to help, create and inspire others to keep up the Harker spirit!”

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Upper School Like at the middle school, upper school spirit activities involve students competing for spirit points. Freshman, sophomores, juniors and seniors battle for class points throughout the year. Muchanticipated events include pumpkin carving and gingerbread house building contests at Halloween and Christmas. During fall Spirit Week, prior to Homecoming, students compete for points by painting 4-foot-tall eagle statues, performing skits and dressing up for various themes, among other activities. On Friday of that week, students dressed in class colors and costumes march through campus to Davis Field, where the classes compete in games and skits, and where this year the seniors prevailed in the annual scream-off. High-energy performances by the Harker cheer squad and Varsity Dance Troupe add to the excitement. Whereas fall Spirit Week helps kick off the school year, spring Spirit Week helps keep students energized as the school year winds down. “Spring Spirit Week has always been my favorite,” Lin said. “Everyone’s in a constant energetic mood throughout the week thanks to the daily spirit events and dress-up themes, and it all culminates in the massive spirit rally that really unites the entire school.” The upper school Spirit Club comprises three


committees. A competitive events committee plans activities in which classes compete for points; an athletic affairs committee promotes spirit around athletic events; and a community events committee encourages community bonding through noncompetitive events, explained Kallbrier. In addition, other student groups sometimes organize activities. For example, to celebrate the Lunar New Year, Harker’s Chinese National Honor Society held a dragon-building contest. Students created colorful dragons, which they paraded through campus. Earlier in the year, Harker’s DECA chapter partnered with the Spirit Club to organize a dodgeball competition in the new gym. The event gave students a chance to unwind, promoted DECA and raised money through boba sales for the Muscular Dystrophy Association.

as decorations at holidays to things like kind and supportive comments to students and colleagues that might not be noticed by anybody.” Jennifer Maragoni is a freelance writer and editor based in Folsom.

While many spirit events have become ingrained in Harker culture, new events bring added excitement to campus. In November students organized the first-ever Quadchella festival, a light-hearted event featuring student and faculty musicians and poets. Harker spirit shows up in both expected and unexpected ways, noted Yager. “I love hearing students support each other in everything from performing arts and sports venues, to poetry readings and student assemblies,” he said. “Spirit is also visible in the student-led projects that serve our mission, and in the work of the staff at every campus, through things as obvious

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PHOTOGRAPHS BY MARK KOCINA, JACQUELINE ORRELL AND MARIA GONG, PARENT

performing arts

Harker’s performing arts department had a tremendous spring semester, as the opening of the upper school’s Rothschild Performing Arts Center added a completely new dimension to the program. The upper school musical,“42nd Street,” wowed audiences at the new 450-seat Patil Theater, designed to enhance the spectator experience with quality sound and superior lighting. The tunefulness of middle and upper school musicians was rendered crystal clear at both “An Evening of Jazz” and the “Spring Orchestra Concert, ” which also made their Patil Theater debuts this past spring. Lower school performers also had their time in the spotlight at the January grade 5 show,“Joust!” and the annual “Spring Music Concert” in May. That same month, the 2018 Harker Conservatory graduates were honored at the very first “Senior Showcase” held at the Patil Theater, where 23 seniors were recognized for having completed the Conservatory’s certificate program.

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WORDS BY VIKKI BOWES-MOK PHOTOGRAPHS PROVIDED BY DANIELA LAPIDOUS ‘12 AND HARKER ARCHIVES

hen Scott Pruitt, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency administrator, took the stage in September, he had no idea that Daniela Lapidous ’12 was in the audience and was planning to call him out on his climate change denial. “I couldn’t sit there while he lied (again), so I stood up and yelled and reminded him and his audience that they were betraying young peoples’ futures. ‘If you really cared about the people of Florida, Houston and the Caribbean, why are you not talking about how climate change is making storms worse? You’re talking the talk today, but you’re fighting to dismantle EPA’s ability to regulate greenhouse gas. Pruitt is a puppet for corporate polluters! You’re betraying our futures!’” she screamed until the Secret Service pulled her out of the room. In a blog post on Feministing.com, she explained, “I did this because my generation cannot afford to stay silent while he undermines our futures.” She attended this talk with Sunrise Movement, a self-described “army of young people” that aims to elect climate champions and get fossil fuel money out of politics. Lapidous’ fiery determination was ignited during a presentation at Harker by the Alliance for Climate Education. Lapidous and her friend Shreya Indukuri ’12 then became focused environmental volunteers for Harker.

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They applied for and received a grant for the school’s gardens, green roof and smart metering systems, all of which combined to save the school about $20,000 annually. But the pair didn’t stop there, traveling to the White House to meet with Steven Chu, then U.S. Secretary of Energy, to discuss expanding the program nationwide. “I remember when she and Shreya came to me to ask me to sponsor them as they applied for a grant, which was a no brainer as Daniela was well-organized, well-spoken and very passionate!” said Jeff Sutton, upper school science teacher. “She is an amazing individual who has a strong will and brilliant intellect. She also has my deep respect.” Sutton was one of Lapidous’ favorite teachers and ardent supporters.


“He supported every crazy idea we came up with, including the summit our senior year,” said Lapidous with a laugh. Lapidous and Indukuri co-organized Green Teen Summit, a conference for high school students that featured keynote speaker Bill McKibben, environmental activist and cofounder of 350.org.

investment into the most-impacted communities. She loves her work and encourages students to think beyond their grades. When Lapidous looks back, she realizes her biggest impact has been speaking for the planet and fighting for environmental change, which doesn’t have anything to do with her GPA.

Her activism continued into college at Columbia University. In her freshman year, Lapidous co-founded Barnard Columbia Divest, a group that advocated for eliminating the school’s investment in, or divesting from, the fossil fuel industry.

“Try to do what you care about and see where it takes you,” she said. “I was lucky to find my passion but don’t expect to get struck by a bolt of lightning; keep trying new things and remember that passion can build over time.”

A renamed group – Columbia Divest for Climate Justice – continues work to mobilize student power on campus until the board of trustees commits to divestment. (Barnard College made a decision to divest last spring.)

Compass Collective.

Vikki Bowes-Mok is also the executive director of the community nonprofit

Since graduating from Columbia in 2016 with a bachelor’s degree in sociology and sustainable development, she has worked hard to effect change and protect Mother Earth through her work with nonprofits, startups and research institutions. She’s a coalition organizer at NY Renews, which comprises 130-plus organizations across New York that are fighting for a just transition to 100 percent renewable energy – with good jobs, protection for workers and

ALUMNA DEDICATED TO PROTECTING THE ENVIRONMENT, CREATING A BETTER FUTURE

“Try to do what you care about and see where it takes you. ... Remember that passion can build over time.” – Daniela Lapidous ‘12

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Harker alumni are finding success in the performing arts, both on stage and behind the scenes WORDS BY MARLA HOLT PHOTOGRAPHS PROVIDED BY ALUMNI

GABRIELLE DEMERS ’03

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A LIFE IN THE ARTS

It’s not surprising that many Harker graduates go on to successful careers in the performing arts, given the school’s reputation for providing outstanding opportunities for students to shine in music, dance and theater. Students benefit from top-notch teachers and mentors, they earn certification in Harker’s heralded Conservatory certificate program and, now, they will perform in a world-class facility, the new Rothschild Performing Arts Center. One thing these talented alumni have in common is the foundational education they received at Harker – a strong work ethic, a commitment to professional respect for all artists and the drive to pursue their dreams.

“Harker instilled in me a strong work ethic,” he said. “I also learned the importance of respecting everyone involved in a production. As I’ve done more professional work, I’ve realized these things really matter.”

Read on to learn how several graduates of Harker Conservatory’s certificate program are contributing to the performing arts world.

Daniel Cho ’11 Contemporary ballet dancer Daniel Cho just completed his last year with San Francisco’s Alonzo King LINES Ballet training program. His long days were physically strenuous, filled with ballet classes, rehearsals, workshops, courses on topics such as dance anatomy, and preparation for the school’s biannual performances. Cho also works part time tutoring students in SAT/SSAT/ACT prep. “I love the community aspect of dance, moving my body while connecting with other people,” Cho said. In June, he will move to Cleveland for a yearlong apprenticeship with Verb Ballets, a contemporary ballet company. “I wanted to have a professional dance career before going to graduate school in fine arts and dance,” Cho said. “My ultimate goal is to teach at the college level.” Cho has only been formally dancing for about five years. He focused mostly on vocal performance at Harker, dancing in musical theater and dance shows “because it was fun and came naturally to me,” he said. He had a lead role in “Pippin,” which toured at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in Scotland. “That experience challenged me to think about whether I wanted to pursue the life of an artist,” he said. A Harker friend convinced him to try a dance class and he was hooked.

Daniel Cho ’11

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He took his first ballet class as a sophomore at Swarthmore College, where he majored in dance and education. He caught up to his peers with a year spent refining his classical ballet technique with Coastal City Ballet’s training program in Vancouver, British Columbia.

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Audrey Kwong ’07

Audrey Kwong ’07 Artistic operations manager Audrey Kwong helps the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra run smoothly by managing projects such as electronic media and recording activities, tours and special events, and the orchestra’s calendar and performance contracts. She also has regular “concert duty,” coordinating with musicians and stage and house managers before signaling to start a performance to avoid delays that could interfere with the artists’ collective bargaining agreements. “If we run into overtime, it gets very expensive very fast,” said Kwong, who enjoys the logistics of orchestra management. “I like wearing lots of hats,” Kwong said. “I also couldn’t imagine not being around music every day.” She previously worked in operations for Colorado’s Aspen Music Festival and School and the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. Kwong, a classically trained violinist, first realized that orchestra management was a career possibility while studying violin performance at the University of Southern California. “I had no idea


Daniel Cho ’11

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A LIFE IN THE ARTS

A Life in the Arts

Here are a few examples of the many Harker alumni working in music, dance, theater, and arts administration and education. In some cases they have other full-time jobs, which we’ve noted.

Joe Hospodor ’09 • Writer for ClickHole, The Onion, Funny or Die and McSweeney’s Internet Tendency • Writer/performer, Second City Hollywood • Actor, Livingston Agency • Past writer for “Jimmy Kimmel Live,”“CBS Diversity Comedy Showcase” and BuzzFeed Motion

Shanna Polzin ’10 • Freelance stage manager and production manager for live events in New York City • Past production stage manager, Dance Theatre of Harlem • Managed scenic elements of 2017 Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show • Managed 2018 NFL owners dinner during the Super Bowl • Past associate production manager, New York Summer Music Festival • Past stage manager for Olympic figure skating shows

Joe Hospodor ’09

Gail Nakano ’06 • Chemist for a manufacturing company • Founding member, Cappella SF • Eight-year member, San Francisco Symphony Chorus • Member, a cappella vocal group Gaude • Past soloist and section leader, San Francisco’s Swedenborgian Church

Jackie Laine ’04 • Strategy consultant in media/entertainment • Past TV producer

Jackie Laine ’04

Vivek Saraswat ’04 • Product manager at Docker, an enterprise tech startup in San Francisco • Member of mixed a cappella vocal group Halfway to Midnight, winner of 2016 Harmony Sweepstakes A Cappella Championship regional competition • Past vocalist and guitar player with rock bands Second Breakfast and Just in Time and acoustic quartet Capo Four

Alexandra Burgess ’04 (Mickey Selbo-Bruns at Harker) • Assistant professor of psychology, Worcester State University • Vocalist, Novi Cantori and Illuminati Ensemble

Michelle Holt ’11 • Corporate sales manager at a networking company • Performing in “Carmen” with West Bay Opera and auditioning for Opera San José • Engaged with San Francisco Conservatory of Music for further education • Past section leader and staff singer, Community Church of Vero Beach, Fla. • Past on-staff artist, nonprofit Artists for a Cause • Past section leader and staff singer, University of San Francisco’s St. Ignatius Parish

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Michelle Holt ’11


about nonprofit arts jobs until I took a class in arts administration,” she said. She went on to earn a Master of Arts Management degree at Carnegie Mellon University.

Hudkins calls her career an “incredible journey of professional growth and self-discovery,” and credits her experience at Chadwick with cultivating her desire to always teach drama.

At Harker, Kwong participated in orchestra, choir and theater, and completed a conducting and score study independent project with music teacher Chris Florio, who also encouraged her to solo with the orchestra.

“The arts put us in touch with our essential humanity,” said Hudkins, who noted that she’s reminded daily that she’s equipping students with empathy, confidence, integrity, resilience and more.

“Harker teaches you to approach the arts from different points of view,” said Kwong, who recalls having to clock tech hours for any theater production she was involved in, for example. “I learned that everyone has an important role to play, and that’s of value in my current job.”

Gabrielle DeMers ’03 As a freelance opera singer, soprano Gabrielle DeMers continually works to book concerts and shows while promoting herself as a specialist in her field. “My career is a series of gigs, so it’s hard to establish a routine,” she said. “I’m constantly adapting as things come my way.” Her days are spent practicing, rehearsing or performing shows, and perfecting the language skills needed to sing in Russian, German, Latin, Italian and more.

Grace Hudkins ’08 Grace Hudkins never imagined she’d teach theater, let alone teach internationally, even though she’s been active in theater her whole life. At Harker, she was involved in many productions and took every theater class offered. At Mount Holyoke College, she immersed herself in theater – acting, directing and stage managing, as well as joining the executive board of the student theater organization.

Gabrielle DeMers ’03 Photo by Cory Weaver

“The fact that I was poised to be so involved in college was due to the preparation I received in Harker’s Conservatory program,” Hudkins said. “I had fantastic mentors in Jeff Draper, Susan Nace, Brian Larsen and Laura Lang-Ree.” After earning a degree in psychology and education from Mount Holyoke, Hudkins planned to teach elementary school and thought theater was in her past. Her father encouraged her to look for international teaching jobs and put her in touch with Chadwick International in Songdo, South Korea. The school hired her as an elementary teaching intern, later offering her the additional role of technical theater intern. A year later, she launched Chadwick’s elementary drama program. Today, she is the school’s theater operations and production manager, overseeing every production in the school’s two theaters, managing theater tech clubs for more than 80 students and teaching technical theater units in drama classes.

“I love the collaborative process of making music with other people,” DeMers said. “It’s satisfying to mold our ideas of what the music should say into a cohesive whole.” At Harker, DeMers participated in show choir and musical theater, earning Conservatory certification in both music and theater. “I started to get a sense of wanting to be a professional singer while I was in high school,” she said. While freelancing as a performing artist has its challenges, DeMers has no regrets. “The best advice I’ve gotten is to ‘create your own opportunities,’” she said. “Get up on stage, perform, try things, make some mistakes, because that’s how you learn.”

Grace Hudkins ’08

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DeMers has performed frequently for Baltimore’s Young Victorian Theatre Company, including as Josephine in “H.M.S. Pinafore” and Gianetta in “The Gondoliers.” She sang the role of Kate Pinkerton in “Madama Butterfly” with the former Lyric Opera Baltimore, now known as the Maryland Opera. DeMers is active in community outreach, performing recitals and concerts for schoolchildren and the elderly. She earned a Bachelor of Music degree at USC and a Master of Music at the University of Maryland, where she performed as Tatyana in “Eugene Onegin” and Sandrina in “La Finta Giardiniera.”

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A LIFE IN THE ARTS

Alexandra Burgess ’04 Michelle Holt ’11

Gail Nakano ’06 Vivek Saraswat ’04

Kim Wong ’05 Photo by Ebru Yildiz

Grace Hudkins ’08

D.J. Blickenstaff ’09 Shanna Polzin ’10

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“The fact that I was poised to be so involved in college was due to the preparation I received in Harker’s Conservatory program.” – Grace Hudkins ’08, Conservatory graduate and theater teacher

Kim Wong ’05 Actress Kim Wong has loved Shakespeare ever since attending Shakespeare Camp as an 8-year-old. The Bard was her “gateway drug into acting,” she said. As she’s pursued acting professionally, her experience with performing Shakespeare – combined with being a woman of color – has led to success in a niche market. “There aren’t a lot of Asian female Shakespearean actresses. As theaters are diversifying casts, that has worked to my advantage,” said Wong, who earned a drama degree from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. Wong’s recent work includes acting in multiple roles in “Henry V” with The Public Theater’s Mobile Unit, a community outreach program that performs 90-minute Shakespeare plays at the theater and at detention facilities, homeless shelters and community centers around New York City. “We bring theater and Shakespeare in particular to communities that don’t have access to it,” she said. She also has played Helena in “All’s Well That Ends Well,” Cordelia in “King Lear” and Ophelia in “Hamlet” at regional theaters around the country. This summer, Wong will be in “Henry VI” at the National Asian American Theatre Company. While at Harker, Wong agonized over whether pursuing an acting career was practical. She eventually decided that she’d rather take the risk than live to regret that she didn’t. Her mentors at Harker – particularly Jeff Draper – gave her opportunities to play challenging roles that helped her prepare for the college audition process. “I was cast as Gertrude in ‘Hamlet’ and I really wanted to play Ophelia, but Jeff knew that Gertrude would really push me,” she said. Wong’s experiences at Harker also taught her that the performing arts require “constant and consistent work with passion.”

D.J. Blickenstaff ’09 Actor D.J. Blickenstaff loved both baseball and theater when he entered high school at Harker, but their schedules conflicted. The acting bug had bitten him when he was a member of the Harmonics vocal group in middle school, so he decided to say goodbye to baseball and audition for the spring musical. He hasn’t looked back.

“My passion for acting began at Harker, and has just grown from there,” said Blickenstaff, who performed in many productions, including “Urinetown: The Musical” at the Edinburgh D.J. Blickenstaff ’09 Festival Fringe in Scotland. “Harker’s teachers gave me a strong core on which to build.” Blickenstaff went on to earn a B.F.A. from USC, where – while performing as Joey in “The Most Happy Fella” – he was approached by a management agency interested in representing him. “They were scoping for talent, and I got lucky,” he said. “I was able to build a really solid team of six different agents working for me in different areas of the industry.” Blickenstaff’s first jobs included acting in NBC’s “Diversity Scene Showcase,” a one-night event spotlighting up-and-coming talent, and delivering a one-liner on “Sean Saves the World.” He currently has a recurring role on Netflix’s “Dear White People” and recently shot the pilot of a show called “#Fashionvictim,” which – if picked up – would be his first regular role in a series. He previously appeared in multiple episodes of “Catching a Break” and “Colony” and is the author of a web series about the Hollywood business industry. When he’s not auditioning, Blickenstaff keeps busy with live theater in Los Angeles and as the voiceover announcer for USC’s public events. “I enjoy pursuing entertainment for social change – letting art be something that drives people to make changes in their lives or the world,” Blickenstaff said. “It’s a beautiful thing to be on a set with so many people who believe in the story we’re telling.” Marla Holt is a freelance writer based in Minnesota.

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passion WORDS BY VIKKI BOWES-MOK PHOTOGRAPHS PROVIDED BY THE HARKER ARCHIVES AND YI SUN ‘06

“ “To this day, Yi is the one student by whom all others could be measured, if one were to do that. He’s a legend at Harker … really.” —Bradley Stoll, upper school math teacher 44

’m actually still shocked. … When they read out the second place, I was pretty sure I wouldn’t be getting anything,” said a smiling Yi Sun ’06, when he was interviewed in 2009 by NBC 11 after winning second place in the Intel Science Talent Search. “I really didn’t think it went that well.” But obviously, it did go well for Sun, then a senior at Harker, who competed against 1,500 students to win second place in the prestigious competition. Sun, who was born in Shanghai and moved all over China, then to Canada and a few cities in the U.S. as a child, arrived at Harker in seventh grade. His natural inclination toward complex math topics was evident to every teacher he encountered, including Vandana Kadam, middle school math department chair, who encouraged

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him to participate in math competitions. “He is one of three students who I have taught in 20 years that I remember to have had a genuine love for the subject, which was at a level that is unparalleled,” said Kadam. “Apart from his amazing math abilities, the one thing that I fondly remember about Yi is his immense modesty and his maturity at that age.” His modesty is still intact even after completing his Ph.D. at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, a master of advanced studies in mathematics from the University of Cambridge, and a bachelor’s and master’s in mathematics from Harvard University. Today Sun is a Simons Fellow in the math department at Columbia University. His research interests are in representation theory and integrable systems and their applications to probability and random matrices.


“These are pretty technical subjects that aren’t going to be that relatable, but basically I spend my time researching, writing papers and teaching,” said Sun. “I like to have a balance between the three and working with freshmen is kinda refreshing.”

remember most was his smile and how much he loved to laugh,” said Kevin Lum Lung, a college counselor at Harker. “And he always greeted everyone with that wonderful smile, treated everyone with respect and was willing to help anyone who asked.”

Sun’s passion for teaching has been fed over the years at the Mathematical Olympiad Summer Program, where he has been an instructor for seven summers.

Although math is clearly Sun’s passion, other interests include trivia (he captained Harker’s Quiz Bowl team to two second place finishes), coffee (he’s been to nearly every coffee shop in New York City) and powerlifting (which he learned from a “large Ukrainian dude who had a silver medal”).

“I attended this summer program after doing well in math competitions, which are not very fun to watch,” Sun said with a soft laugh. “The first year I went, I thought I was good at math, but then I was surrounded by these super smart people and very difficult problems.” As a student, in addition to mathematics, he also loved history, art history, French and English, which allowed him to reflect on various subjects from a different angle. “Sure, he was exceptionally brilliant, but what I

“Yi was a genius, but he also worked very hard. He could’ve easily skipped on doing the mundane homework, but he never did,” said Bradley Stoll, upper school math teacher. “To this day, Yi is the one student by whom all others could be measured, if one were to do that. He’s a legend at Harker … really.” Vikki Bowes-Mok is also the executive director of the community nonprofit Compass Collective.

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PHOTOGRAPHS BY MARK KOCINA UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED

Professional accomplishments of our faculty and staff.

In May, upper school English teacher Nicholas Manjoine was selected by senior Jacqueline He, a 2018 Presidential Scholar, to be recognized as a distinguished teacher by the U.S. Presidential Scholars Program. Each student who earns recognition as a Presidential Scholar chooses a teacher he or she found especially inspiring, compassionate and helpful over the course of his or her high school career.

Upper school speech and debate coach Greg Achten was recognized in April by the National Speech & Debate Association’s Honor Society, which awarded him with

In January, Harker’s Office of Communication received a gold award for branding in the District VII CASE Awards of Excellence. The athletic branding campaign, spearheaded by designer Becky McCartney, was planned and carried out over a period of two years and involved extensive collaboration with Harker athletics staff.

At the Association for Middle Level Education’s Middle Grades Summit in February, middle school math teacher Vandana Kadam held a workshop on how to foster student interest in mathematical concepts such

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as factoring, word problems and trigonometry, using examples from her own teaching experiences.

Cafe in Morgan Hill, where owner David Krase placed Bongers’ work on display. The presentation was a special occasion for both Bongers and the cafe, which celebrated with food, wine and live music.

Photo by Rich Kowalski

a second Diamond Award. Achten, who received his first Diamond in 2013, received the honor for the consistently excellent student performance he has fostered, resulting in more than 3,000 points won by students in presentations, competitions and service.

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Preschool music and movement specialist Mara Beckerman traveled to New York City in late February to celebrate the 1982 Broadway run of “Charlotte Sweet,” in which she performed as the lead. Beckerman sat with cast and crew from the original show to see its music performed by a new generation of singers. “The evening was filled with so many emotions for me,” Beckerman said. “There is something very special about being the first person to create a role.”

The San Jose-based Tabard Theatre Company’s production of “The Miracle Worker,” a play about the life of Helen Keller, featured middle school performing arts teacher Katie Champlin in the role of Anne Sullivan, the determined teacher who helped the blind and deaf Keller learn how to read and write.

Photos by Edmond Kwong

Upper school art teacher Jaap Bongers was a featured artist in early March at the GVA


Describe a great travel experience. I went to Tahiti with a group of artists to paint watercolor flowers. I didn’t know how to draw or paint, but I wanted to speak French and visit Gauguin’s home.

What is something you would love to do so much that you would be OK with failing at it? I wrote a novel of women’s fiction with romantic elements. Maybe one day I’ll publish it.

Given the choice of anyone in the world, whom would you want as a dinner guest? The Dalai Lama. I’d like to bask in his light. And Steph Curry … for the same reason.

face time

C

arol Parris is the department chair for the grades 1-8 modern and classical languages department, and – appropriately, given her name – teaches French at the middle school. Born and raised in Philadelphia, she lives in Sunnyvale. A woman of many interests, Parris especially loves travel, and singing in shows and with her vocal ensemble, the Sweet Adelines. She shared some of those interests, and a few surprises, with Harker Magazine.

For what in your life do you feel most grateful? I’ll always be grateful that I was home one summer day years ago when [Harker Academy school principal] Alice Williams called, needing a language teacher right way. She said that she had tried to call me a few times, and this was her last attempt. I’ve been at Harker ever since, enjoying the family atmosphere that Howard Nichols talked about so often.

What is a recent accomplishment that you’re proud of? I think that might be coming up in June. I grew up at a time when girls were rarely celebrated when they turned 13, although boys had a bar mitzvah. For the last two years, I’ve been attending an adult b’nai mitzvah class, and on June 2, I will be one of 11 adults celebrating my bat mitzvah, only just a few years late! Right now, I’m in the role of student with lots of homework to get ready for the big event, so I know what my students go through with their busy schedules.

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Chosen to Represent the U.S.: 2007 J8 Team Reflects on 10 Years Since Graduation Editor’s Note: Statements from Aarathi Minisandram and Kelly O’Reilly were transposed in the print version of the magazine; this online version has the statements correctly attributed. Harker Magazine regrets the error.

n June 2007, eight Harker students met with fellow students and world leaders in Wismar, Germany, to talk about pressing global issues, and the trip changed their lives. The Harker group was chosen from a field of 63 teams to represent the United States at the J8 (Junior 8) parallel summit.

WORDS BY WILLIAM CRACRAFT PHOTOGRAPHS PROVIDED BY HARKER ARCHIVES OR ALUMNI UNLESS OTHERWISE

Photo by Pool/Getty Images

NOTED

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The team met with then-President George W. Bush and the leaders of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia and the United Kingdom at the annual G8 Summit (now the G7 Summit, as Russia no longer participates). The Aquilones, as they called themselves, were Sudha Gollapudi ’08, Kritika Kailash ’08, David Kastelman ’09, Aarathi Minisandram ’08, Rohit Nalamasu ’08, Kavitha Narra ’08, Kelly O’Reilly ’08 and Rachel Peterson ’08. They were all members of Harker’s Model UN and Amnesty International chapters. While in Germany, they worked alongside youth teams from the other represented countries and a special contingent of 10 youths from emerging economies and developing nations to write a declaration tackling economic prospects for Africa, HIV/AIDS, new challenges for the global economy and climate change, and energy efficiency. Now, 10 years after leaving Harker, those alumni look back at that wonderful experience.


“The friendships I made on that trip were lifelong. I think that trip was a once-in-a-lifetime experience, and I thank my lucky stars I was blessed to go; I don’t think I would be who I am today without it.” Sudha Gollapudi

– Rohit Nalamasu ’08

“I continued to stay politically aware all through college,” said Sudha Gollapudi, “probably much more than I would have if I hadn’t gotten the opportunity to participate in the J8 Summit. I have definitely been a lot more politically aware and active since the trip. I follow the news very closely and try to contact local representatives regarding issues that are important to me.” She also thinks about the trip frequently. “I see updates from the people I’ve added on social media … and it’s been really interesting to see how their lives have progressed over the last 10 years.” What Gollapudi especially remembers about the trip were the passion and ideas of the other participants. “Everyone was so excited to contribute their thoughts and ideas to help make the world a better place. It was a wonderful and eye-opening experience for me to meet so many people from around the world who cared about the planet as much as I did. It made me feel a lot more connected to the rest of the world.”

Photo by Eventpress Herrmann

Kritika Kailash The trip launched Kritika Kailash on a different path than she otherwise would have chosen. “The whole J8 experience really pushed me toward the social sector and public policy, and I got to explore these H AR KE R MAG A Z INE l SPR ING/SUM M ER 2018

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in my classes and activities in college,” she said. “I met many memorable young people fighting for social justice in their countries, and hearing their experiences was really humbling. I’m still friends on Facebook with many of them, and it’s great to see their success.” Kailash said she thinks about the trip frequently and has stayed interested in economics and politics because of the trip. “We were so excited and thrilled to be so near to the G8 summit. We got to meet Laura Bush, and Kavitha sat with George Bush in a meeting, which was really exciting.”

“I think about the trip when I am reminiscing about high school. It was one of the highlights of my time at Harker. One of my most important, though clichéd takeaways, is that you should take risks as you never know which opportunities will pan out.” Peterson also delved into public service following her J8 experience. “During college, I interned with Kamala Harris and Dianne Feinstein, focusing on public policy. I graduated Berkeley with a double major in economics and history. After spending a few years at an economic consulting firm, I now work for Square in San Francisco.”

After college, Kailash worked in India for a year with a nonprofit that provided services to urban slums. She is currently at Duke University’s Sanford School of Public Policy completing a Master of Public Policy.

David Kastelman

Rachel Peterson Rachel Peterson noted she has some vibrant memories of the trip. “After the meetings, we had the opportunity to socialize with our fellow participants from across the world,” she said. “Between the serious conversations and dance parties, I remember being incredibly impressed with their maturity and humor. My second memory was watching Kavitha Narra present to the G8. I remember being incredibly nervous before her presentation. My fears were unnecessary, as she was fantastic.

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“The trip definitely deepened my interest in development economics,” said David Kastelman, “a topic I took some time to study in more depth in college. While at college, I decided to look more domestically than internationally for work. I was quite interested in combining an interest in economics and an interest in public service. My first job out of college was at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the federal government’s newest federal agency, which focuses on making sure consumer financial products – things like student loans and mortgages – have sensible regulation. To this day, I definitely still have an interest in social impact, though at the moment, I’m investigating how that might occur through the efficiency and scale that occurs at a technology


company.” Kastelman is a product analyst for DoorDash. Kastelman noted he had many great memories from the trip, but “if I had to pick a single memory, it would probably be the chance to work on a written communiqué, the Wismar Declaration, with several other J8 members. It is a written summary of the thoughts of 74 youths, from 18 different countries, on some of the things the J8 could do to ensure more justice in the world. I remember being really pleased with how the document came together. Kavitha and other students had chance to share that written document with the assembled heads of state – and I remember thinking that was really cool.”

Aarathi Minisandram One of Aarathi Minisandram’s key memories “was hearing from Ishmael Beah, author of ‘A Long Way Gone’ and former child soldier from Sierra Leone,” she said. “His speech to us about how youth can change the world was incredibly inspirational. “I was humbled especially by the individual youth representatives from Third World countries around the globe. My main takeaway from the trip was the importance of education and youth empowerment, so I aimed to get the best education I could and give back to those who grew up less privileged than I.

“The trip heavily influenced my decision to join Teach For America after graduating college. I taught high school math in a New York City public school for two years before pursuing my ultimate career path. In those two years, I worked with incredible students

“I have definitely been a lot more politically aware and active since the trip. I follow the news very closely and try to contact local representatives regarding issues that are important to me.” – Sudha Gollapudi ’08

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whose backgrounds were vastly different from my own with a goal of instilling my passion for education and youth empowerment onto them. “One of my AP Calculus students went on to college and pursued a degree in nursing to help improve the health care system. J8 inspired me to continue working with youth throughout my life, and I am very grateful to have had the means and opportunity to participate in the summit,” Minisandram said.

Rohit Nalamasu Rohit Nalamasu is in his first year of residency on his path to becoming a doctor. His strongest memory of J8 is of “sharing life on a boat [the group was housed on a Polish Navy vessel!] and meeting people from all different backgrounds and cultures,”

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he said. “It was fascinating interacting with people who thought differently from ourselves, and truly interacting with them within the framework and close quarters that J8 provided allowed me to grow as a person and consider different trains of thought to the issues we came to solve.” The trip “absolutely” had an impact on Nalamasu during his college years. “Going on that trip and meeting youth from Tanzania and India, as well as the G8 countries, made me realize how fortunate we are here. Specifically a project I worked closely on was educating myself on the AIDS epidemic in Africa. I was shocked to find the simple things, like accessible condoms that we have here, were missing in large parts of Africa. It … made me realize how different health care here is from there. “This led me to bioengineering as an undergrad major, to try to create cost-effective health care options for the Third World. In turn, I pursued medicine … in an effort to bring easy-to-create, cost-effective prosthetics and rehab care to the Third World. I’m hoping to get involved in some 3-D printing prosthetics projects coming up!” He thinks of the trip all the time, he said. “The friendships I made on that trip were lifelong. Currently, one of the other members and I live together while they are in medical school and I am a resident nearby. I think that trip was a once-in-a-


lifetime experience, and I thank my lucky stars I was blessed to go; I don’t think I would be who I am today without it.”

skills that became useful later. We learned to have productive discussions about difficult topics, present ideas clearly, etc. “The most memorable part of the trip for me was the people,” she continued. “I know we had sessions on current events and issues, but I remember less the details of what we discussed and more the people we had these discussions with. It was really an incredible opportunity to meet and interact with students from all around the world.

Kelly O’Reilly Kelly O’Reilly’s life choices also were affected by her J8 experience. “After J8, I was really interested in the work UNICEF was doing,” she said, “so I got an internship with UNICEF my freshman year of college at Columbia. That was probably the most direct effect of J8 on my college experience. I do think that the experience helped me practice

“I’m still friends with my fellow teammates, and I remain in touch with some of the people we met. Looking back, I don’t think it hit me until later what a unique opportunity it really was – although I do remember we were in shock when we [were selected to attend]!” O’Reilly recently completed a Ph.D. in history at Vanderbilt University on the history of community health centers during the War on Poverty, and is now in her first year at Yale Law School.

Photo by Eventpress Herrmann

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Photo by Eventpress Herrmann

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up the ladies, rather than as a young man living with cerebral palsy,” she said. “I began to understand his personal strength and capacity to endure as we worked through his pain together, as partners. Through his courage and understanding, Joe sparked my earliest interest in direct patient care.

Kavitha Narra Kavitha Narra, now in clinical rotations in her third year of medical school, was profoundly influenced by her participation in the summit. “I always found my heart in community work, but since J8 I have been even more invigorated to pursue policy change in my service. In the past few years of medical school, this has taken the shape of expanding our Pomona Community Health Action Team services in my term as [its] president to include free sports physicals to our Pomona Unified School District’s students, many of whom are undocumented community members and have limited access to other health services.” Narra noted a turning point in her life was caring for a ninth grade boy with cerebral palsy. “In our time together, he would teach me to treat him as Joe, the charmer and social butterfly who loved to chat 54

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“With each patient I see, I am reminded that though I am not currently active in international policy change, the strength of our personal connections in life – in this case listening to my patient’s story and learning how to safeguard his or her health – is a meaningful way to create impactful change in the lives of those around me. Health policy may find its way into my life in the future, but for now I am enjoying learning about the human body and translating that into a strong patient-physician bond. “I was incredibly fortunate to be blessed with the experience of our J8/G8 Summit, with each moment that led up to it and each one that followed,” she said. “I gained a new strength and confidence in our ability to impact change by first creating sincere connections and true friendships with those across our world. Truly, those are the relationships that have inspired my passions in life.” Editor’s note: You can find the text of the 2007 Wismar Declaration here: https://www.unicef.org/media/files/ J8.pdf


What one piece of advice you would offer anyone who asks? Shyness is overrated. I was a super shy kid growing up. I got over it. Control the spotlight and you aren’t embarrassed to be in it.

face time

H

arker runs through the veins of middle school English teacher Mark Gelineau ’90. His late mother, Pam, was lower school admission director for years, and his late father, Dan, was not only an alumnus (Palo Alto Military Academy ’65), but went on to be athletic director, dean of students and assistant head of school. Gelineau’s wife, Tiffany, is a familiar face around campus as a substitute nurse. A kind and giving spirit shines through all he does, from co-leading the middle school Spirit Club to volunteering with theater organizations, from publishing a number of fantasy novels to supporting organizations that help fight the exploitation and trafficking of children. This Renaissance man shared some thoughts with Harker Magazine.

What is something that you pretend to understand when you really don’t? Sports. Pretty much all sports. My idea of fantasy football involves dragons and a hobbit. I wish there was an actual Quidditch team I could support.

What is something one of your parents said that you will never forget? My dad once told me that the most important thing about teaching is that every single student, every child that you come in contact with that day, is the most important person in the world to someone. It took me becoming a father to really understand just how true and profound that was.

Why do you do what you do? Because I get to talk about stories with brilliant young people. And that’s so awesome.

What is something interesting about you that almost no one knows? I practice historical European martial arts. My specialties are medieval arming sword and shield, medieval pole-axe, and sword and buckler. It’s crazy and I love it.

Mark Gelineau ’90 H AR KE R MAG A Z INE l SPR ING/SUM M ER 2018

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impact

WORDS BY VIKKI BOWES-MOK

Build the PHOTOGRAPHS PROVIDED BY KEVIN SAXON ’10

W

Alumnus found his groove in the art department at Harker

hen Kevin Saxon ’10 walked onto Harker’s upper school campus as a freshman, he didn’t know what his passion was – but by his junior year, he had found his happy place in the art department.

“His passion for art was completely evident when he was in the upper school art program,” said Pilar Agüero-Esparza, visual arts teacher. “He was a soft-spoken and thoughtful student who had tremendous patience and perseverance to see his projects to fruition.” Saxon’s path to the art department was gradual, unfolding over the course of a few years. “I did fine on my academic subjects, but I didn’t push myself there,” reflected Saxon in his forthright manner. “But I would totally wake up when it was time for art class and definitely found my groove there.” But “art” is a broad term and Saxon felt he found his creative side a little late, so he wasn’t entirely sure what direction his newfound passion would take him. When he was applying to college, he hedged his bets and applied mostly to traditional universities and a few art schools, including the prestigious Rhode Island School of Design. “I was totally blown away when I got into RISD – it was my stretch school!” said Saxon. “I never would have even thought

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life you r

want

about art school if it wasn’t for Ms. Agüero-Esparza and Mr. [Jaap] Bongers,” chair of the visual arts department at Harker. He decided to study architecture, because he thought it was more practical and could provide a better career path. But after his freshman year and an internship in architecture, he realized it wasn’t for him. “I could tell that it was a painful realization for him as he had invested a lot of thought and hopes on becoming an architect but it wasn’t working out as he had imagined,” said AgüeroEsparza, who was so proud of Saxon for not giving up despite the disappointment he was facing. Saxon stepped back from architecture, cleared his head and found himself drawn to furniture design. “I like working with my hands and think of myself as more of a designer than an artist,” said Saxon, who appreciated the small, tight-knit feel of the furniture design industry. “I enjoy taking an idea, going through the process of figuring it out and executing to the end.” This ability to take a project from concept to completion is how Saxon became an exhibit fabricator at the Children’s Discovery Museum in San Jose. “Kevin brings a wealth of talent and knowledge and has been


an amazing asset ever since he joined CDM last summer,” said Rich Turner, the museum’s director of exhibits and facilities. “Kevin, a talented artist and engineer, brings a fantastic background stemming from Harker and the Rhode Island School of Design, where he excelled at furniture design.”

Photo provided by Harker Archives

Saxon hit the ground running when he started his new job, because CDM was nearly doubling the museum’s exhibit space with an outdoor expansion that included Bill’s Backyard: Bridge to Nature. Bill’s Backyard inspires children to spend time outside climbing, building, digging and getting dirty while exploring the natural elements. This was a perfect project for Saxon, since he loves the outdoors and enjoys hiking, camping and traveling. “I really like my work at CDM because there is something new every day,” Saxon said. “I’m not sure what the future holds, but I do know I’ll make the best of every situation and that I like to do things my own way.” Vikki Bowes-Mok is also the executive director of the community nonprofit Compass Collective.

“I like working with my hands and think of myself as more of a designer than an artist.” — Kevin Saxon ‘10

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PHOTOGRAPHS BY MARK KOCINA

sports

Photo by Tania Chadwick

In what might be the best combined winter and spring seasons in Harker history, the Eagles sent nine upper school sports to CCS, with four teams winning their leagues, and the lower and middle schools combined for 14 league and four league tournament championships. The lower/middle school track team delivered 11 first place league individual finishers and the middle school’s varsity B and varsity B2 girls volleyball teams didn’t lose a set all season. Upper school lacrosse and boys soccer made Harker history, winning league titles for the first time. The upper school boys volleyball team made it to the CCS and NorCal finals. And swimmers Ethan Hu, grade 10, and Vivian Wang, grade 12, each won two CCS championships, with Hu also winning the first state championship in school history. Go Eagles!

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class notes

class notes

Keep up to date on the lives of your classmates.

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 alumni@harker.org if you are interested in becoming a class agent or would like to nominate a classmate. All photos submitted by the subject unless noted. instructor, dorm houseparent, recreation supervisor, maintenance crew worker, and head of the middle school’s Spirit Club. What’s next for Mark? He’s doing an author appearance at BayCon and will be teaching a writing class at Harker Summer Institute. See Mark’s Face Time profile on page 55.

1965 Carol Beattie, along with Community Foundation Sonoma County leadership, accepted Harker’s donation of $10,000 at a visit at the CFSC’s headquarters in Santa Rosa. Carol posted on the foundation’s Facebook page, “I’m proud to be associated with such a forward-thinking private school and a community of parents, staff and administrators that repurposed an alumni event – helping other communities in need. Thank you.” Harker donated the money after canceling this year’s Family & Alumni Picnic because of the poor air quality resulting from the North Bay fires.

1972 Mike Breslin donated all of his Palo Alto Military Academy uniforms back to their Harker home and even sat for an on-camera interview to discuss the history of his uniforms and memories from his days spent at PAMA. The video

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will be showcased during Harker’s next Family & Alumni Picnic, celebrating the school’s 125-year legacy.

1990 Mark Gelineau is a current Harker English teacher, a published author, a second-generation Harker alumnus, and his son, who starts kindergarten in the fall, will be a third-generation Harker student. Mark met his wife while they were both working at Harker Summer Camp. While here Mark has been an English teacher, camp counselor, BMX course and archery

2003 Julia Gitis and her husband, Max Lipschultz, welcomed a baby boy in April.


class notes

2008

2004 Vivek Saraswat, who sang with Guys’ Gig at Harker, has kept up his singing and has formed an a cappella group called Halfway to Midnight. The seven-person group sang in the 2018 San Francisco Harmony Sweepstakes this past March.

Emma (Hawley) Ivaturi has been enjoying her role in editorial and design for the international monthly Heartfulness Magazine. Feel free to reach out to her if you think a project or article you’re working on would be relevant to the publication at emma.ivaturi@heartfulness.org. When she’s not volunteering as a Heartfulness meditation trainer at schools and corporations, she’s enjoying time with her son, Rohan, who came into the world last May.

Maya Hey has successfully defended her proposal and is now a doctoral candidate in the department of communication studies at Concordia University in Montreal, Canada. Her dissertation project will be about food and fermentation, using feminist theories to better understand discriminating tastes and practices. She recently received the Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship, one of the most prestigious academic awards conferred by the Canadian government.

Rangita Raghavan says, “After completing three years of medical school, I took a year off to work as a medical producer for season 9 of “The Dr. Oz Show.” I was able to bring my knowledge of medicine to the world of writing and producing. It was a rewarding job because I learned firsthand how to produce a daily talk show, made tougher when you embed medical content in it. My job entailed working with the segment producers to write show scripts that convey complex medical concepts to the audience in an accurate and compelling way. This included the development of demonstrations and animations, along with their talking points, that helped visualize these concepts. We also orchestrated lab testing and experiments and would brief Dr. Oz and medical experts on all show days about show content.” Rangita is heading back to USC to finish her medical degree but was lucky enough to cap off her TV experience by witnessing the show’s Emmy win for Best Informative Talk Show.

2006-2007 This year’s selection of Forbes 30 Under 30 list included three Harker alumni: Meghana Dhar ’06, Siddharth Sattish ’06 and Chadwick Manning ’07. Catch the full story at news.harker.org.

March was an exciting month for Tiffany Liou. She finished her contract at the CBS station in Oklahoma City, got married and moved to Dallas to be a news reporter at the ABC affiliate, WFAA. “I’m loving every minute of my journalism career and am so grateful to be working in a top five television market!” H AR KE R MAG A Z INE l SPR ING/SUM M ER 2018

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Jami (Woolsey) Johnson and her husband, Neil, welcomed their first child on April 27. His name is Ryland Ellis Johnson and he was 7 lbs. 10 oz. and 20 inches long.

Sabena Suri co-founded BOXFOX, an LA-based e-commerce gifting company, in November 2014 (shopBOXFOX.com). While working in brand strategy, she identified the need for a comprehensive gifting service that lets both consumers and corporations send elevated, personalized gift boxes for any occasion. She currently serves as BOXFOX’s COO and holds a B.A. in public relations from the University of Southern California.

2010 Mahum Jamal completed her first feature film, “A Good Dream,” which was released on iTunes, Amazon, GooglePlay and most other non-subscription video-on-demand platforms in May. The film had a successful festival run, winning 17 international film 62

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festival awards. “A Good Dream” is a psychological thriller art film about a girl in her 20s who is trying to find herself in New York. She is haunted by a presence and has trouble distinguishing fiction from reality, falling deeper into a world of her perceptions. For mature audiences.

Kelsey Chung graduated from Pratt Institute with a master’s with distinction in the history of art and design with a museum studies certificate. She is interning at the South Street Seaport Museum in the collections department. “If anyone is still in New York or is planning on visiting, let me know! I’m happy to hang out and visit museums with people.” Also, Kelsey and Isaac Ball ’08 were married on Dec. 29!

2011 Ashtyn Ka and Jerry Sun became engaged in May after dating since their junior year of high school. Ashtyn, a recent NYU law graduate, and Jerry, a trader at Susquehanna International Group, live in New York and plan to have their wedding in September 2019.

2012 Zach Ellenberg proposed to his girlfriend of three-and-a-half years, Ruth Ferguson, and she said, “Yes!” Zach and Ruth met while attending the University of Washington.


class notes

2013-2014-2015 Suchita Netty ’13 and Angela Ma ’14 were awarded 2018 Paul & Daisy Soros Fellowships for New Americans. Read more about this wonderful story at news.harker.org. need areas. The day was filled with genuine conversation, respect for each other’s perspectives and creative solutions, and a strong community of Disruptors was built through shared vulnerability and passion.”

Urvi Gupta ’14 writes, “I had the wonderful opportunity to co-direct Disrupt Diabetes (disruptdiabetes2018.com), a multi-stakeholder design challenge created to put patients in the driver’s seat of innovation. For nine weeks, 12 patients partnered with students and designers to uncover unmet needs and conduct user research; on May 20, teams met in person at the Stanford School of Medicine and were joined by medical experts and thought leaders to generate impactful and viable solutions for their

Teacher Gabrielle Stahl joined Leeza Kuo ’15 and her mother, Jade, for dinner. Leeza is in an eight-year veterinary program at Purdue and is currently studying abroad in Australia. “Leeza has learned to have a balanced life and I rarely see such a happy child. We had a wonderful evening,” Stahl reported.

2017 David Lindars ’13, Shikhar Dixit ’15, Neel Bhoopalam ’13 and Simar Mangat ’13 came back home to help celebrate the grand opening of our new athletic facility.

Alexis Gauba, now attending the University of California, Berkeley, is part of a team that will explore in-depth research on blockchain protocols specifically focusing on alternative consensus. She also held a women’s conference on the subject back in April of this year. Read more about Alexis and her team at news.harker.org. H AR KE R MAG A Z INE l SPR ING/SUM M ER 2018

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Keller Alumni Tour The 2018 Keller Tour hit two states this spring. First were visits with students from Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pa., and then a trip to Southern California that covered Claremont McKenna College, Harvey Mudd College, Pitzer College, Pomona College, Scripps College and the University of Redlands. The tour wrapped up at a school a bit closer to home, visiting with alumni currently attending Santa Clara University.

We love to get updates from our alumni!

Reunions: 5, 10 and 15 Year The classes of 2002, 2007 and 2012 held their fifth, 10th and 15th class reunions with plenty of festivities and catching up. The Class of 2002’s 15-year celebration marked a special milestone as they hold the distinct honor of being the upper school’s first graduating class.

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If you have news and updates about yourself or a classmate, contact alumni@harker.org or visit http://www.harker.org/alumni to log into the alumni portal and see the list of class agents.


Save the Dates! 125th Anniversary Celebration Weekend Oct. 5-7, 2018

Harker is having a special celebratory weekend and alumni are especially encouraged to visit in this 125th anniversary year! The weekend of Oct. 5-7 will be a great time to renew friendships, tour the new spaces on campus and revel in the traditions of Homecoming and the Harker Family & Alumni Picnic.

Friday, Oct 5: Homecoming

Cheer on the Eagles as they play against Oakland’s Madison Park Academy. Kickoff is at 7 p.m.

Harker’s Turning

FESTIVITIES INCLUDE: • tailgating and socializing • bounce houses • a special area for alumni • Carley’s Café providing great food • student performances, tug-of-war and Homecoming Court. Come early and stay late! Parking will be tight at Saratoga, so please take the shuttles from Blackford.

Saturday, Oct 6: Alumni Recognition Event and Gatherings

The 2018-19 school year will mark the completion of our historic

Alumni gatherings and other plans are in the works. Contact alumni@harker.org.

125th year (that’s the quasquicentennial, if you were wondering),

Sunday, Oct. 7: 68th annual Harker Family & Alumni Picnic – Admission is Free for this Special Year!

and we’re ramping up the festivities! Harker was founded in 1893, and the journey from Manzanita Hall to The Harker School has been a momentous one. The 125th anni-

Take a walk down memory lane and join alumni and current families for this classic Harker event! It is still held at the Blackford campus and there is tons of parking. Alumni have their own area complete with barbecue. Enjoy the old favorites like the carnival games, student show and auction. The fun begins at 10 a.m.

versary’s theme is “Reflect | Inspire | Achieve,” a triptych designed to

125th Anniversary Gala

honor the school’s past, present and future. Watch the Harker web-

Saturday, Feb. 23, 2019

site in the fall for fun facts, memories and tons of photos showing our 125-year history.

Come celebrate our birthday at this special gala, to be held on the upper school campus. Tickets go on sale in November 2018. For information contact communications@harker.org.

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500 Saratoga Ave. San Jose , CA 95129

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Harker Magazine Summer 2018  

Harker Magazine is published biannually, in December and June, to showcase some of the top news, visionary programs and inspiring people of...

Harker Magazine Summer 2018  

Harker Magazine is published biannually, in December and June, to showcase some of the top news, visionary programs and inspiring people of...