Page 1

KidLead Grads Take on Leadership Elegant Night on the Town Gala Coming Soon

Middle School Students Experience Wonders of U.S. Landmarks

Conservatory Alumnae Follow Their Dreams in College Harker’s Youngest Discover STEM Subjects at Preschool

W I N T E R 2 013

VOLU M E 5 · N U M B E R 2

Cover Photo Each fall, middle school students head out on weeklong class trips, providing hands-on learning outside the classroom. Grade 6 students visit the Santa Cruz Mountains; grade 7 tours national parks around the Southwest; and grade 8 journeys to Washington, D.C. Our cover photo, shot by Academic Expeditions, is of grade 7 students in Bryce Canyon on their scenic and historic Southwestern sites tour. They started in Sedona, Ariz., famous for its red rock formations and wildlife, and moved on to the Grand Canyon. This year, for the first time, the students took a brief break from hiking and sightseeing to visit Utah’s Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park. There they simply let loose, running, rolling and playing in the sand. At the end of the trip, the group traveled to Zion National Park to hike the Emerald Pools, Whistling Rock and several other well-known trails. To read the full story and see more photos, go to http://news.harker.org/ and search on Middle School Trips 2013!

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

Top Worldwide The College Board recently announced that Harker earned the distinction of having the largest number of perfect Advanced Placement scores of any school in the world. Harker had 10 students who earned perfect scores on their AP exams in spring 2013, but they earned a total of 11 perfect scores, as one student had perfect scores on two tests. Ten of the perfect scores were on the AP Microeconomics exam. That is more than 10 percent of the total worldwide. “This is a tribute to the dedicated teachers and hardworking students at The Harker School,” said Deborah Davis, director of college readiness communications at The College Board. Ashvin Swaminathan ’13 received perfect scores on both the AP Macroeconomics and AP Microeconomics exams, the only student in the world to do so; it also makes him one of only four students in the world to earn a perfect score on two AP exams in 2013. “We started our ‘Perfect Scorer’ campaign last fall,” said Davis, “with the students who earned perfect scores on AP exams in 2012 – with letters to each student (and) their high school principals.” Go, Harker Academic Eagles!

W I N T E R 2 013 / V o l u m e 5 · N u m b er 2 Pam Dickinson Director William Cracraft Editor Catherine Snider Jenn Maragoni Copy Editors Kyle Cavallaro Photo Editor

Stefan Armijo Robert Boucher Steven Boyle ‘06 Debbie Cohen Ellen DeBiase Melinda Gonzales John Ho Zach Jones Jacqueline Orrell Casey Valentine Lauri Vaughan Contributors Blue Heron Design Group Rebecca McCartney Triple J Design Design Diamond Quality Printing Printing

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

Find, Friend & Follow Us!

Join us for tweets, videos, announcements, photo sharing and more! http://www.facebook.com/harkerschool http://www.youtube.com/harkerschool http://twitter.com/harkerschool http://www.flickr.com/groups/harkerschool

Do You Prefer to Read Harker Quarterly Online? We know that many of you like to enjoy Harker Quarterly online and would prefer to save a tree, so feel free to opt out. If you would rather not get Harker Quarterly in the mail, send an email to communications@harker.org and we’ll alert you with a link to each issue when it is posted to our account on issuu.com. Printed on 100% recycled paper

The Harker School is an independent, coed, college-prep 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 Published four times a year, Harker Quarterly showcases some of the top news, leading programs, inspiring people and visionary plans of the greater Harker community. Produced by the Harker Office of Communication 500 Saratoga Ave., San Jose, CA 95129 communications@harker.org · 408.345.9273

Next Edition: MARCH 2014 2


W I N T E R 2 013

19 WINTER 2013



KidLead Grads Take on Leadership


Dazzling Night on the Town Gala Coming!


Conservatory Alumnae Follow Their Dreams in College 13

New Harvest Festival Celebration was a Blast! 19

Harker’s Youngest Discover STEM Subjects at Preschool 24

Business and Entrepreneurship Program is in Full Stride 26




Changing Campuses Doesn’t Stop Charity Club 32 Libraries Make Book Downloads Accessible to All 34

Homecoming Brings Out Entire Community 42




9 Performing Arts 16 Global Ed 22 Milestones 29 Advancement 30 Eagle Report 36 Greater Good 44 Alumni News 46

Harker Concert Series


24 H A R K E R Q U A R T E R LY

W I N T E R 2 013



By Christopher Nikoloff Head of School

Live in the Present to Make the Most of the Future

Photo by Kyle Cavallaro


hen I was a boy, my father used to sing the song “Que Sera, Sera.” He had a nice voice, though he didn’t take singing seriously. At least, he sounded nice to me, his son. I used to believe that all fathers sounded nice to their sons until my boys disproved this theory by protesting fiercely at my singing. Apparently a son loving his father’s voice is not a biological mandate. “Whatever will be, will be. The future’s not ours to see. Que sera, sera.” A beautiful, timeless song, with deep advice, the gravity of which is somewhat sweetened away by Doris Day’s voice in her 1956 recording. “The future’s not ours to see.” I don’t know that my father even fully believed this at the time, though this was one of his favorite songs. Who among us believes that the future is not ours in any capacity? We tend to live for the future. Which brings me to the paradox of schooling. Schools are completely engineered for the future. Schools prepare students for the future and hope to shape the future in part through graduating great students. The class is a laboratory for the future, the school an altar to an anticipated better future for our children and society. Not that this is bad – we have to plan and prepare for the future. But as the philosopher Alan Watts reminds us, the future is good only for those who know how to live in the present. It is no good to prepare for the future if, when it arrives, we do not know how to enjoy it. Those who are always preparing for tomorrow do not see or enjoy the present. Tomorrow never comes anyway, we are told.



W I N T E R 2 013


There is a popular quote from computer scientist Alan Kay that says, “The best way to predict the future is to invent it.” Not according to Doris Day. Nor Steve Jobs. He said as much in his now famous 2005 Stanford commencement address in which he advised the following: “You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backward.” Though Jobs is often credited with inventing the future, by his account the future was not his to see. If you don’t believe Doris Day or Steve Jobs, try the great German philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer. He predated Steve Jobs’ sentiment by about a century and a half: “The scenes in our life resemble pictures in a rough mosaic; they are ineffective from close up, and have to be viewed from a distance if they are to seem beautiful.” Later in this passage Schopenhauer warns us that we inadvertently look into the future for an imagined joy that usually is right in front of us. But I suppose it cannot be helped, especially for students. Kids today live in a competitive world, it is said, and they have to prepare for it. We have college and work readiness assessments now. The Berlin Wall has fallen and the Internet has flattened the world. However, the flatter earth has not made the horizon any easier to spot; the future’s not ours to see, so we are anxious about it. We are anxious for our children and they learn how to be anxious through us. Perhaps we need only to teach children to live in the present and the future will take care of itself. Young children do not need this teaching; they can teach us. But older kids, say around late middle school on, typically begin to assume the anxiety worn by adults. In most fairy tales a child, usually around adolescence, loses something made of gold and has to find it again. A December 2010 edition of The Economist has as its lead article a piece capturing how life really begins at age 46, the nadir of happiness, after which things look up. Adults after middle age, one theory goes, begin to drop old Photo by Kyle Cavallaro

ambitions and accept what good they have in their lives. It might be the height of presumption to think that we can help our children avoid this trajectory and start enjoying their lives now. But shouldn’t we try? Their future – and their present – depend on it.


W I N T E R 2 013


By Debbie Cohen

Lower and Middle School


Photo by Zeba

Ibrahim, pare


Photo provided by Patricia Lai Burrows

Graduates Poised to Take on Leadership Roles



W I N T E R 2 013


he desire to lead is what unites 13 graduates of KidLead, Harker’s successful after-school offering for lower and middle school students. Ready and armed with the tools to take on leadership positions, many KidLead graduates are now role models for their peers.

From community outreach to student government, performing arts, sports and team academics, there are many opportunities for young leaders to use their talents. Several years ago, to help foster leadership development early in students’ academic careers, Harker became one of the first schools nationwide to implement KidLead, an executive-caliber, globally recognized leadership training program designed especially for preteens.

Run by the lower and middle school’s BEST departments, KidLead – a nonprofit organization based in Monterey – has created an age-appropriate leadership skill curriculum for 10- to 13-year-olds called “LeadNow” that Harker is using. The after-school program is separately run on the Bucknall and Blackford campuses during a series of eight 90-minute sessions. In the fall quarter there were eight students enrolled in the lower school program and 10 in the middle school offering.

Photo provided by Keith Hirota

“We believe this unique program is consistent with the values and ideals fostered at Harker. It is not simply a leadership education program; it attempts to focus on developing leaders who have already demonstrated aptitude in this area and expands upon it,” explained Greg Lawson, assistant head of school for student affairs. Lawson was instrumental in bringing KidLead to Harker, first to the middle school and more recently to the lower school. Now, he is thrilled that the enrichment program has turned out more than a dozen graduates.

different groups, one for boys and another for girls. “In the club, I was given teacher privileges to teach my peers Scratch, a program to develop computer games. The club now includes both video games and board games. We will be moving onto teaching app development soon. I had [used] Scratch for many years, and I thought that it was very interesting and fun,” explained Ibrahim. He said he enrolled in the KidLead program while in grade 5

“According to Harvard, the average age of a first, formal leadership training is 42. So Harker students in this program are getting a 30year head start!” - Dr. Alan Nelson, KidLead founder

Shafieen Ibrahim, a grade 7 student and KidLead graduate, put his leadership skills to use last year by establishing his dream club, the Blackford Computer Game Development Club. After getting the green light from Cindy Ellis, middle school head, and assistance from some of his teachers, Ibrahim launched his club, which has since grown and branched out into two

and that it took him a little over a year to complete all the requirements to graduate. “I always wanted to be a leader … to be able to work with a team well, develop leadership capabilities, and grow out of my shell,” he added. “We couldn’t be happier and prouder and I’m so thankful for having Shafieen

complete the KidLead program. It has helped him tremendously!” enthused his mother, Zeba Ibrahim. This past fall, another KidLead graduate, grade 8 student Aliesa Bahri, took it upon herself to organize a commemorative event on the middle school campus celebrating the International Day of the Girl Child, which raises awareness about the issues girls face both in the United States and internationally. She urged eighth graders to show their support for the cause by dressing in blue, and asked that sixth and seventh graders wear some type of blue accessory. “I wanted to raise awareness about girls’ rights … and I chose the color blue since it is typically associated with boys and goes against the ‘pink is for girls’ stereotype,” recalled Bahri. Bahri used the campus lunch hour on the Day of the Girl to hold a special video presentation for grade 7 and 8 students about the plight of girls in Pakistan, where just over half of all girls make it to a primary school classroom, and only 12 percent make it to secondary school. “I found out about KidLead from a flier that arrived in my take-home folder one year. The program intrigued me, as I knew that one day I hoped to be a leader in my community. What I did not know was how to be one. KidLead gave me the opportunity to step out of my comfort zone in a safe environment and be a leader in different group situations,” said Bahri.


W I N T E R 2 013


y Ellis by Cind

Photo provid

-louise Robi


Photo p


ed by Gerry

th Hirota

Photo provided by Kei

KidLead founder Dr. Alan Nelson said he is impressed with both the students and staff involved with the program at Harker. Nelson, who has given well-attended talks to Harker parents about how to foster leadership skills in their children, called Harker “the flagship school” for being an early adopter of the program.

“If you want to change the world, focus on leaders. If you want to change leaders, focus on them when they’re young.” —KidLead Motto

Weekly KidLead program sessions are led by certified instructors and “koaches” (all Harker teachers and staff members) who assist students in activities designed to improve qualities that are grouped into four color-coded modules. Each module has four sections stressing a value, an attitude, a relationship and a decision – such as ethics, honor, communication and power. 8


Harker’s current list of certified trainers and “koaches” are: Lawson; Keith Hirota, middle school social studies instructor; Patricia Lai Burrows, middle school English teacher; Jennifer Walrod, director of global education; Eric Kallbrier, club/ programs coordinator; Gerry-louise Robinson, lower school art instructor; Arabelle Chow, middle school English teacher; Cathy Hsieh, lower school science teacher; Eric Leonard, lower school language arts teacher; and Ken Allen, lower school dean of students. At the lower school, Robinson said the Bucknall effort had several graduates last year, as well as a returning student this year. Alexander Young graduated from KidLead at the lower school in grade 5. Now a seventh grader, he praised it as an amazing experience. “It gave me the opportunity to interact with fellow classmates and teachers to learn about important leadership skills; these often proved useful when working with others both in and out of the classroom. Topics such as responsibility, commitment, optimism and communication were discussed and practiced so that I could use them in everyday life. I found that I could strategize and coordinate to make tasks smooth and straightforward. Overall, KidLead is a course that I would definitely recommend,” he said. Current KidLead participants can already be found flexing their leadership muscles. In fact, several of them were among the group of grade 7 students who earlier this

W I N T E R 2 013

year held an assembly to mark the 12th anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. “The motto of KidLead is, ‘If you want to change the world, focus on leaders. If you want to change leaders, focus on them when they’re young,’” said Robinson. Chow said she decided to become a KidLead “koach” because she wanted to help students grow leadership skills. “It’s exciting to see the students participate in the activities and learn, not just from the trainer, but from one another as well. Their enthusiasm and genuine desire to learn is what brings me back each quarter,” she enthused. Kallbrier agreed: “After many years of working with young Harker students, I noticed that we have a very high volume of motivated young leaders who hunger to grow and develop their abilities. KidLead has been the perfect place for these students to learn, practice and discuss practical aspects of leadership … while having fun!” All KidLead graduates walk away upon successful completion of the program with a T-shirt, book for parents, class materials, and an eagerness to roll up their sleeves and get to work on becoming future leaders – starting today. “According to Harvard, the average age of a first, formal leadership training is 42. So Harker students in this program are getting a 30-year head start!” said KidLead’s Nelson.

The Respect Sextet Challenges, Engages Audience at Harker Concert Series Season Opener

By Zach Jones “Experimental” barely begins to describe The Respect Sextet’s performance in the first concert of this season’s Harker Concert Series. The New York-based group, rendered a quintet due to the unexpected absence of trombonist James Hirschfeld, is happy to wander outside conventional jazz while maintaining a healthy respect for why those conventions exist. One could be forgiven for wondering where the performance was going the first time drummer Ted Poor abruptly left his kit and walked backstage, cymbal in hand, at which point loud crashing and banging could be heard erupting from the adjacent room. This came at the apex of a piece (an interpretation of Mischa Mengelberg’s “K Rhino”) that included extended, plaintive squeals courtesy of trumpeter Eli Asher, sudden pauses and tempo changes, and saxophonist Josh Rutner whistling along to the melody from Asher’s trumpet.

Somehow it wasn’t surprising that Respect decided to end its first set with “Danny Boy.” Take a room full of people to inner space for 45 minutes, and it seems only reasonable to bring them back to earth before breaking for drinks and hors d’oeuvres. “It’s phenomenal,” said concertgoer Steve Lassman, “just better than anything I could have expected.” Also unexpected was the generous helping of food available for the attendees. “The food was a total surprise; we didn’t know anything about it. So that was a definite plus.” Karen Lassman said the band was “wonderful. This group is amazing. From the get-go, [I] didn’t really know what to expect. I thought it would be a little more traditional, and it’s not, which is great.” Attendee Jim Cleveland enjoyed Respect’s take on “outside jazz,” particularly Poor’s drumming, which he said was “very reminiscent of outside jazz. And then the melodies, just beautiful.” The band returned from the intermission with “Paper Root,” perhaps its wildest departure of the night, with Poor rummaging through a stack of papers, stylistic turns and sure, why

not, a midsong break to talk about how it’s really not all that rainy in Seattle. In a nod to a legendary jazz figure who could very well be one of their muses, the group next performed Sun Ra’s “Angels and Demons at Play,” working splendidly with the song’s 5/4 time signature as Kirby and Rutner showcased deft interplay. Not ones to let an opportunity for a humorous moment slip by, Respect also launched into a barbershop quintet number about the inherent irony of billing themselves as a sextet while only boasting five members for the evening. The band ended the show on a fun note, by displaying its mastery and respect for the craft in a blistering version of Fred Anderson’s “Three on Two,” letting the appreciative audience know they hadn’t forgotten about the ones who made it possible for them to explore the periphery in the first place.


oto sb


as ey

Va le



Then came a selection from “Executive Suite,” the band’s response to the late-2000s financial crisis, which opened with Asher and Rutner trading off – first as a conversation, then as an argument – ramping up the chaos before the rest of the band swooped in. In these situations, each member of the band seemed to be on his own wavelength, until suddenly they converged. An exhilarating sense of contingency coursed through every dissonant piano flourish from Red Wierenga, every tap of the tiny

cymbals hanging from Asher’s music stand, every series of methodically atonal fits and starts, every thud from Malcom Kirby’s bass.


W I N T E R 2 013


An Elegant Evening Out Save the date: Feb. 28, 2014 | San Jose Marriott By Melinda Gonzales


s winter gets underway the buzz begins on all campuses about Harker’s annual fundraising gala. Excitement is building for a spectacular

Night on the Town, where parents will enjoy a fabulous show, dinner, dancing, casino games, an auction and the chance to socialize with friends. “We’re looking forward to creating an elegant evening for parents,” noted Danae McLaughlin, director of special events. “Not only will Night on the Town give parents a fun evening out, it will also help raise money for the students.” Proceeds go to provide financial assistance to students who would otherwise not be able to benefit from a Harker education, and to fund the construction of a new gym and performing arts center on the Saratoga campus.

As a renowned K through Life institution, Harker’s students and programs rely on the support of parents, faculty, staff and friends to continue their outstanding contribution to the communities of Silicon Valley and beyond. Many opportunities are available for sponsoring and/or underwriting a portion of the upcoming gala; please see page 12 for more details.



W I N T E R 2 013





by M e


Pra ka sh ,g

ra de


d an

la val Ca e l y

Of course, such a grand event could not be organized without the work of parent chair Tina Najibi (Alex ‘12; Mary, grade 10) and the entire gala committee. Additional volunteer needs will be announced in the coming weeks. For more information about the show, please visit our website at www.harker. org/gala. Reservations will open in January. Please consider joining our list of generous sponsors in making this event a success! We have several different packages, which offer varying tiers of sponsor benefits such as tickets to the show and recognition at the event and on related promotional materials. And new this year is the enhanced Harker Business Directory. For a small subscription fee, friends of Harker can be listed in the directory for one year, from January to January.

Confirmed sponsors to date: Ajay Chopra and Shyamoli Banerjee Christine and John Davis The Gholami Family The Liu Family Rector Motor Company Reveti Jewels, Inc.


W I N T E R 2 0 1 3 11

Platinum Sponsorship

Photos by K yle Ca va ll a ro

Sponsorship Opportunities

Sponsors at the $10,000 level (Platinum Sponsors) will receive the following: Full table (12 seats) in a premium location Full-page color ad in the event playbill Top tier website recognition Hotel accommodation (one room for one night) Complimentary $250 casino chips Complimentary valet parking and VIP check-in Mention in Harker’s weekly e-newsletter Platinum star acknowledgment on every table

Gold Sponsorship Sponsors at the $5,000 level (Gold Sponsors) will receive the following: Half table (six seats) in a premium location Half-page color ad in the event playbill Second tier website recognition Complimentary $100 casino chips Gold star acknowledgment on every table

Silver Sponsorship Sponsors at the $3,500 level (Silver Sponsors) will receive the following: Quarter table (three seats) in a premium location Quarter-page color ad in the event playbill Second tier website recognition Complimentary $40 casino chips Silver star acknowledgment on every table



W I N T E R 2 013

Bronze Sponsorship Sponsors at the $1,500 level (Bronze Sponsors) will receive the following: Two seats in a premium location Second tier website recognition Complimentary $20 casino chips Bronze star acknowledgment on every table For sponsors at all levels: If you remit your payment by Jan. 17, your name will be featured in the following: Night on the Town website, invitation, event playbill, Harker Quarterly, Annual Report and online business directory. If you have questions, you may contact nightonthetown@harker.org or TerĂŠ Aceves, our sponsor liaison, at 408.345.9622.

d r a w r o F s s e r Graduates P With Their Careers By Steven Boyle ’0


Photo provided by Cristina

Cristina Jerney headed to Northeastern University in Boston for intimate theater training and an interdisciplinary curriculum. “Northeastern’s lots of fun,” Jerney says. “[The program’s] small, but it’s growing.” The program’s small size means the teachers can work very closely with their students, offering “a lot of individual attention.”

Jerney ‘13

raduates of The Harker Conservatory’s certificate program have spread out across the United States to pursue the arts. 2013 alumni are dancing, singing, playing music and making theater at top universities. For some, that means indulging in their art as an extracurricular activity as they pursue academic disciplines. For others, it means a major or a minor as they make art a part of their college studies. A select few are building on their solid foundation from The Harker Conservatory as they train to pursue their work professionally. Here are the stories of three such alumnae, who headed off to the East Coast to pursue their dreams of acting.

This semester, Jerney acted in Calderón de la Barca’s “The Phantom Lady.” She played a variety of ensemble roles in the 1629 Spanish piece, which featured heavy doses of romance and sword-fighting. In classes, the actors work to release themselves from attitudes of judgment, engaging in exercises that test their ability to commit and to withstand stress. Her curriculum is all theater classes with the exception of a writing class. In her next semester, Jerney will begin to incorporate her multidisciplinary interests, branching out into film and media. She calls Northeastern a “great opportunity to study what I love.” When a friend from Harker visited her, the two discussed just how well Harker had prepared them. Jerney recalls traveling to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, where the Harker Conservatory instituted a rule that if students were even a minute late for their


Jerney ’13

call, they would not be allowed to perform in the show that night. That level of discipline instilled a professionalism in Jerney that has served her well at Northeastern, where she has been able to build on skills from Harker in an environment where all of the students around her are pursuing arts for their education. “I like understanding people, and I like understanding what they do and why they do it,” she says. That sentiment is the basis for her love of performing, and why she wants to be a professional actress.


W I N T E R 2 013 13

a v r u p A

Apurva Tandon is at Williams College in Massachusetts, and so far, she has been bowled over. “Oh, my gosh, they have everything,” she raves. “It’s so professional, it’s crazy. They have a scene shop. They have a costume shop. They have people working there all the time. There are three different theaters in one building. And they’re beautiful. To someone who does theater, it’s a goldmine.”

Tandon ’13

Photo provided

s Theater

on ‘13 / William

by Apurva Tand

“If you’re not afraid to try out for everything and put yourself out there, something will come to you.” —Apurva Tandon ’13



W I N T E R 2 013

Tandon has been expanding her horizons and taking on exciting and inventive projects. A highlight of her first semester has been a production she acted in of “Fefu and Her Friends,” an experimental play by Maria Irene Fornés that takes place in multiple rooms of a house, all at once, with the audience divided into groups and watching different scenes in different locations. Tandon’s production took place in a real house on Williams’ campus, making for a wholly intimate performance. “I had a scene where I was sitting on a couch in a living room, and

the audience was literally told to sit on the couch next to me and my scene partner.” The experience was a revelation for Tandon, one that taught her more about feminism and gave her the most modern show she had ever been in. “They’re so open to trying new things” at Williams. “It’s very, very open. Very experimental.” Tandon credits Harker for having prepared her extraordinarily well for her theater classes. At the moment, her theater course load builds on the Study of Theater class she took with Jeffrey Draper. “I remember all of this from my freshman year at Harker!” she sometimes finds herself thinking. For Tandon, the university experience has been all about getting involved. “I’ve literally tried out for everything,” she boasts. “If you’re not afraid to try out for everything and put yourself out there, something will come to you. Honestly, I just want to be involved with everything I can.” So far, that’s meant working with both the department and a studentrun group. She even performed an improv show in a storefront window on one of Williamstown’s main streets. Says Tandon, “I’m definitely getting to know the wonders of sitespecific work!”


You can find Hannah Prutton ’13 on Broadway these days – that’s 890 Broadway, at the tip of Union Square in New York City, where she trains with The Meisner Extension at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. It’s an intensive program devoted to the teachings of acting guru Sanford Meisner, who divined a series of exercises and philosophies to aid actors in living truthfully under imaginary circumstances. “It’s very stressful,” says Prutton, “but really rewarding.” Classes begin for Prutton in the early morning with two hours of Suzuki training, where a teacher she calls an “absolute genius” leads the actors in a physical theater technique inspired by Greek theater and martial arts. The technique, which takes an enormous amount of energy and features copious amounts of stomping, is designed to increase an actor’s natural awareness of his or her body. From there, she is off to voice and speech class, where the young lady with British parents hopes to finally “learn a proper American accent!” That brings her to three hours of acting training, where the students engage in a series of repetition-based exercises. These “allow our scene partner to influence our emotions, and to have that result in truth on the stage,” says Prutton. Because people develop “habits to avoid being hurt or being honest with other people,” the actors use the practices to lean into being truthful with partners and let go of the barriers to honest emotion. “When you actually get to the moment where you really, truly feel what they’re saying to you, it’s horrible,” says Prutton of the painful breakthroughs the technique inspires. “But amazing afterwards.” Freshmen actors at New York University are forbidden from doing plays in their first year to

prevent them from falling back on old habits. In this way, the students are given a full year to immerse themselves in their new training, letting go of how they used to act in high school and rebuilding their processes in the image of their professional training. According to Prutton, the actors leave behind “older habits that we’ve accumulated over the years” in favor of finding their “most truthful selves.” Her second year, she will begin character work in her studio and begin testing out what she has learned in productions.

Photo pro

vided by



For Prutton, “Harker is the reason I’m so passionate about theater.” Her sophomore year, Prutton traveled to Scotland for the Edinburgh Festival Fringe with the Harker Conservatory to perform the musical “Pippin.” Now, she can leave her studio after a full day of classes, walk across the street to board the subway, and hop uptown to Times Square to catch “Pippin” on Broadway. Overall, she is learning a lot in her freshman year. “The technique that we’re learning is very compatible with my style as an actor,” she says. “I really love it.”



Prutton ‘1 3


W I N T E R 2 013 15

PerformingArts Harker Conservatory Weaves an Epic Tale with 21st Century Odyssey ‘Anon(ymous)’

By Steven Boyle ’06 trafficked people. His adventures are told in a theatrical style that borrows from traditions all around the world: a Bollywood dance number welcomes Anon to a friendly Indian restaurant, and Balinese shadow puppetry conveys a flashback of Anon and his mother.

“Where I come from, there was a war that lasted so long, people forgot what they were fighting for,” says Anon, the titular character in Naomi Iizuka’s “Anon(ymous),” the Harker Conservatory’s 2013 fall play. Lost in the United States, Anon is an undocumented refugee without a name, searching for his mother. She’s trapped at a run-down sweatshop, wooed by its slimy owner, whom she has promised to marry once she completes a shroud for her presumed-dead child.

The production is replete with these ultra-theatrical moments. In one instance, enormous hoops suggest an underground system of tunnels that Anon and a companion bolt through like a maze. Undulating teal cloths form frothy ocean waves, into which Anon and his goddess dive, only to resurface elsewhere in the current to share a watery kiss.

Photos by Casey Valentine

Chosen because it features an incredibly diverse cast of characters and a political spirit ripped from the headlines, “Anon(ymous)” is a 21st century retelling of Homer’s “Odyssey,” the epic familiar to all students at Harker’s upper school. In place of Odysseus is Anon, who wanders across America, from the beach house of a wealthy congressman where he has washed ashore to the kitchen of a drunken, one-eyed cannibal with an operatic songbird. Along the way, he frolics in the ocean with a goddess, races through sewage tunnels past afflicted drug addicts, and crashes a vehicle of 16


W I N T E R 2 013

All the while, the audience is everpresent. Director Jeff Draper split his audience in two, on either side of a long runway, facing each other. Reflecting the blue light, which beams down onto the runway, a sea of the audience’s eerie, aquamarine faces is a constant presence behind Anon, implicated witnesses to his exhausting journey. The largest cheers were reserved for spectacular comedic turns from two of the play’s thickly accented characters: the jovial proprietor of the Indian restaurant and the snakelike, sleazy, Slavic sweatshop manager. Sophomore Rishabh Chandra’s Ali, the restaurateur, is a delight, boisterous and full of warmth. The sweatshop manager and suitor to Anon’s mother, named Yuri Mackus and played by Jeton Manuel Gutierrez-Bujari, grade 11, is a consummate schmoozer, sweet-talking his guests even as he dismisses concerns about the work environment he has created. When these actors work their magic, it is hard not to crack a smile. Both charm their audience with outsized portrayals, balancing out the oppressive odds facing Anon.

PerformingArts Indeed, for all of the serious matters that challenge Anon, “Anon(ymous)” is a very fun piece. It is a joyful, spirited adventure where harsh reality and mythical fantasy collide. As Anon, Vishal Vaidya, grade 11, carries the play on his shoulders. He is more than up to the task, imbuing the role with dignity, grace and bravery. The production is full of moments that wow, from the gorgeous, elegiac song that begins the play to the shooting of a silhouetted soldier; from the first moment a sparkling blue butterfly puppet constructed in the Balinese wayang kulit style interacts with a shadowed actor to the full-cast, show-stopping Bollywood dance number. Harker students composed all of the show’s incidental music for the production. The Harker Conservatory does a beautiful job in weaving together disparate elements and many worlds to breathe life into an amazing journey, scoring a stirring triumph with Naomi Iizuka’s “Anon(ymous).”

Middle School Fall Play Features Two Works Inspired by Traditional Italian Theater By Zach Jones The works featured in this year’s middle school fall production provided both modern and classic examples of the influence of commedia dell’arte, a style of Italian theater that rose to prominence in the mid-16th century. Notable for its heavy use of improvisation, commedia dell’arte is credited with the proliferation of what is now known as slapstick comedy and was a major influence on playwrights such as Shakespeare and Moliere, whose “A Doctor in Spite of Himself” was one of the plays brought to the Blackford Theater on Nov. 15. In “Doctor,” adapted from its original French version by Aurand Harris, a prodigal husband named Sgnarelle (Matthew Hajjar, grade 7) is punished for his spendthrift ways by his wife, Martine, played by Sameep Mangat, grade 8. Fed up with her husband’s penchant for spending extravagantly on food and drink, Martine tells the servants of a rich family in need of a doctor that Sgnarelle is a doctor held in high regard. They in turn coerce him into serving as a doctor for the wealthy family, which results in a series of amusing and occasionally dangerous situations. The second play, “Bamboozled!” written by Michael Brill in 1985, is a story of mischief and deception, as the opportunistic Brighella (Sophia Angus, grade 7) devises a plot that involves tricking the old and greedy Pantalone (Akhil Arun, grade 8) into thinking he has killed the young Harlequin (Ellie Lang-Ree, grade 7) and having Pantalone pay Brighella to stay quiet and get rid of the very-much-alive

Harlequin’s “body.” Another plot involving an arranged marriage between Pantalone and the beautiful Columbine (Maya Kumar, grade 8) sees Brighella attempt to switch the bride to be with Harlequin, thereby allowing Columbine to run away with her lover, Leandro, and simultaneously making Brighella and Harlequin the benefactors of the dowry from Columbine’s ward.

Photos by Casey Valentine

Both plays were directed by middle school performing arts teacher Mary Ellen AgnewPlace, who was crucial in bringing out wonderful performances from the students, particularly since the material was uncommon for actors their age. Harker performing arts department veteran Paul Vallerga again designed the set, and also acted as technical director and lighting designer. Carol Clever designed the vibrant costumes and props, while Brian Larsen was the play’s production manager.


W I N T E R 2 013


PerformingArts Upper School Vocalists Celebrate Eastern and Central European Music, Ring in Holiday Season Nichols Hall’s auditorium was packed on Nov. 15 for this year’s fall choral concert, which featured upper school singing groups Bel Canto, Camerata, Guys’ Gig and Cantilena. This concert focused on the work of Eastern and Central European composers, with a smattering of holiday favorites included in the spirit of the season. Camerata, directed by Susan Nace, were the first performers of the evening with a pair of holiday songs by Arvo Pärt and Pierre Certon. Jennah Somers then directed Bel Canto, who performed traditional Russian and Macedonian folk songs, as well as a

Photos by Kyle Cavallaro

By Zach Jones

clever version of “The Nutcracker” with its familiar melodies sung to the lyrics of “Jingle Bells.” Always crowd favorites, the allmale a cappella group Guys’ Gig took the stage and started things off with their rendition of Billy Joel’s “For the Longest Time.” Following some amusing banter in which they realized their set was not in keeping with the theme of the show, the boys launched into “Tchaikovsky and Other Russians,” an amusing meditation on the tongue-twisting nature of Russian surnames.

Susan Nace returned to direct headliners Cantilena, who were accompanied by Camerata on their first song of the evening, Tchaikovsky’s “Let My Prayer Arise,” which had the two groups trading verses, adapted to match each group’s style. They followed with a stirring performance of Mykola Leontovych’s “Shchedryk,” popularly known as “Carol of the Bells,” and ended the show on a rousing note with Zoltán Kodály’s “Táncnóta” (“Dancing Song”), which fittingly had the singers stomping in rhythm.

Ensembles Light Up Santana Row Harker choral and dance groups made their annual appearances at the Santana Row Tree Lighting Ceremony on Nov. 19. More than 100 Harker students from grades 4-12 performed, including Harmonics, Showstoppers, Dance Fusion and High Voltage from the lower and middle schools, and Downbeat and varsity and junior varsity dance troupes from the upper school. Photos by Stefan Armijo



W I N T E R 2 013

Harvest Festival Brings Community Together for Food and Fun on a Glorious Fall Day

By Catherine Snider

Harker staff writer Zach Jones contributed to this story.

A beautiful fall day provided the perfect backdrop for the 2013 Harker Harvest Festival, the school’s 63rd annual Family & Alumni Picnic. As in previous years, the event was held on the middle school campus, but faithful picnic-goers surely noticed the fresh and fun changes to this family-oriented day. The multipurpose room held extravagant silent auction packages, offering art, outings with teachers, gift baskets and more. The

Photo by Robert Boucher, parent

The blacktop was, as always, the site of carnival game booths. Here families tried their luck at skill games, attempting to knock down, hit, fill, pop or ring objects for prize tickets. The Pig Pong Toss was a wall of cute painted piggies with boxes for noses, which kids tried to fill with Ping-Pong balls. At another popular booth, kids threw paint on Frisbees as they spun around, resulting in fun and swirly souvenirs. Around the edges of the blacktop were many fun activities to tempt kids of all ages. A petting zoo with goats and ducks, pony rides, bounce slides, a dunk tank and more attracted crowds; and, new this year, old-fashioned tricycle and sack races kept both kids and adults giggling. Katie Florio, kindergarten teacher, enjoyed the trike races: “It’s great to see all the kids out having fun with their families and getting to play with all their teachers.”

Photo by Kyle Cavallaro

Photo by Kyle Cavallaro

cafetorium was kept wide open for laser tag, and lower school children were spotted ducking behind blinds scattered through the room as they tried to catch each other with light beams.

As Florio alluded to, the structure of the day was changed to allow teachers more time to hang out with their students, and intense games of foosball, Ping-Pong and basketball were played out in the gym. Lower school math teacher Diane Plauck laughed, “I started my day having a Ping-Pong match with one of [my students]. He beat me, but still it was fun.” H A R K E R Q U A R T E R LY

W I N T E R 2 013 19



Photos by Kyle Cavallaro

uch of the proceeds from this year’s event came from raffle tickets sold by students and staff members. This year’s top lower school ticket sellers were Emma Gurleroglu, grade 4, who sold an impressive 797 tickets, Sofia Marino, grade 1, who sold 580 tickets, and kindergartner Jackson Logan, who sold 530 tickets.

Photo by Robert Boucher, parent

At the middle school, Lilly Anderson, grade 7, moved 240 tickets and classmate Jason Peetz sold 230. The top-selling class at the middle school was grade 6, which sold a total of 2,455 tickets. Jonathan Brusco, middle school social studies teacher, sold 70 tickets. Upper school students Rachel Renteria, grade 10, and Elizabeth Bettencourt, grade 11, each sold 30 tickets.

“It’s really great for the lower school and middle school kids to have a chance to play Ping-Pong or foosball with teachers, to really change up the dynamic of how they interact with one another,” said upper school science teacher Gary Blickenstaff. Aside from the opportunity to bond with their teachers, students also enjoyed meeting up with their friends in a fun and welcoming environment. “I like that most of my friends come here and we just have fun. It’s basically a huge carnival,” said student volunteer Calvin Kocienda, grade 10, who worked the laser tag area with his friends in the Robotics Club. Classmate Alyssa Crawford liked that the Harvest Festival “brings all the different grades together.” Parent volunteers also had a big impact on the event’s success, running game booths, selling tickets and serving food to the hundreds of attendees. “I just think it’s a great opportunity to help the children and help the school,” said parent Tracy Baeckler (Alexandra, grade 5), who has volunteered since her daughter was a kindergartner.



W I N T E R 2 013

Congratulations to this year’s Grand Drawing winners! First Prize - $5,000 Harper Brada Sold by Harper Brada, grade 3

Second Prize - $3,000 Angela Fung Sold by Andrew Au, grade 2

Third Prize - $1,000 Tania Chadwick Sold by Mackenzie Chadwick, K

Fourth Prize - $1,000 Renato Ribeiro Sold by Isabella Ribeiro, grade 2

Fifth Prize - Bike Andrea Hart Sold by Enzo Lucketti, grade 2

Photo by Kyle Cavallaro Photo by Nick Gassmann

Many Thanks to Our Harvest Festival Sponsors

Themed around a fictional Harker Thanksgiving Parade, the student show was a huge hit, highlighting dozens of kids from nine performing arts troupes. Mallika Vashist, grade 6, who performed with the choir group Dynamics, enjoyed that the Harker Harvest Festival offered her the chance to perform in front of a large audience. “Performing in front of a bunch of people is really fun for me,” she said.

Alumni gathered at their shady grove to reunite and chat, and they had new neighbors this year: the preschool was a welcome presence at this long Harker tradition, with teachers and the newest Eagles having fun in a pumpkin patch. Preschool teacher Tanya Burrell, enjoying her first family picnic, said that not only was it “exciting to see [the preschoolers] outside of the school setting, we’re seeing them explore some of the other booths. It’s nice that they’re part of the larger Harker community.” Indeed, this event truly captured the community spirit that is so much a part of Harker.

Family of Greg Martin The Wardenburg Family / Merrill Lynch Photo by Kyle Cavallaro

Making cameos in the show were Jennifer Gargano, assistant head of school for academic affairs, as Cookie Monster; Head of School Chris Nikoloff as a giant turkey; and Butch Keller, upper school head, as a big SpongeBob SquarePants “float.” Other administrators as well as the IT and facility departments also walked the stage in the “parade,” to a warm and appreciative round of applause from spectators.


Harker Students Take on Teachers in PaintsGiving Picnic Package Prize By Debbie Cohen Just before the Thanksgiving break, 24 students in grades 6-8 attended PaintsGiving, a Harker Harvest Festival teacher auction package event. Organized by Tobias Wade, a lower school social studies teacher and athletics coach, PaintsGiving was a fun-filled day of paintball games, crazy contests and a pizza lunch. Students competed against a handful of Harker teachers, who donated the activity. “It went great. The kids had an awesome time and so did the faculty. There was plenty of paint sprayed all over everyone, along with smiles all around,” recalled Wade. Photo by Robert Boucher, parent

BOUNTIFUL BALES Contour Optik / David Chao & Chi-Pei Cherng


FANCIFUL FARMERS The Labio Family Richard Liu and Suzanne Tom The Nikoloff Family Tico Construction Kin Wong and Yuan Cai

CAWING CROWS Gina’s Family The Koehler Family The Luspo Family Dan and Katie Molin Zulfikar and Suma Ramzan Janet and Dan Rohrer The Zhu Family Friend of Harker

Special thanks to our food and beverage sponsors: ARKA Restaurant Gunther’s Restaurant & Catering Joseph George Wines The Lara Family Round Table Pizza


W I N T E R 2 013 21

GlobalEducation Fall Season Signals “Tamagawa Time” at Middle School By Debbie Cohen


t was Tamagawa time at the middle school recently, when excited grade 6 students met their buddies from Harker’s sister school in Tokyo, Japan. Each fall, as part of a long-running student exchange program, peers from the Tamagawa Academy K-12 School & University come to Harker for a muchanticipated weeklong visit. Photos by Kyle Cavallaro

culture and interests of Japanese students,” recalled Grace Hajjar of her experience being a Tamagawa buddy. “I have not only learned new things, but I have made a new friend. A friend who can tell you things you never knew. A friend who you can visit in a foreign country.” “My buddy’s name is Kanta Okura,” added another Harker student, Avi Gulati. “We had lots of fun. He brought waterproof UNO cards and we played with them. We went to the Japanese market together and Kanta enjoyed talking to the people who worked there. We bought his favorite food: sushi.” Gulati said he looks forward to a lifelong friendship with Kanta.

Highlights of the Tamagawa visit included a field trip to a pumpkin farm, a fun scavenger hunt, creating T-shirts, playing Pictionary, participating in art, drama and dance classes, making Halloween desserts at a cooking school, working on a story/origami project and enjoying a bittersweet ice cream farewell party. New this year, Harker students also were given special permission to use Google Translator on their personal electronic devices during their time with their Tamagawa buddies. “Being a part of the Tamagawa exchange program has shown me the characteristics, 22


Jennifer Walrod, Harker’s director of global education, explained that the popular student exchange program between the Tamagawa and Harker schools is just one example of Harker’s rich global education program, which strives to weave global activities into its students’ daily lives. “Before you meet your buddy, they are your pen pal. You get to know them and what they like … and then you take them different places to have fun and get to laugh and enjoy their presence in

W I N T E R 2 013

Photo provided by Atul Kapadia, parent

Photo provided by Middle School Yearbook

During their stay they live with Harker students and their families, go sightseeing around the Bay Area, and spend time visiting and observing classes at the Blackford campus. This year 23 students from Tamagawa Academy were accompanied by several chaperones for their visit in early October.

your life. You gain a new friend you will cherish forever,” said Hajjar. The Tamagawa School has a stated international focus on allowing students to experience differing cultures via exchange programs. “By giving opportunities for students to communicate with children overseas of the same age, global sensibilities will be fostered among our students,” states the school on its website. In the spring, Harker students will head to Japan as part of the reciprocal exchange program. Look for further coverage on that from Harker News Online! Photo by Kyle Cavallaro

GlobalEducation English Teacher Treks to Japan for Annual Teacher Exchange By Zach Jones

Photos provided by Heather Russell


ower school English teacher Heather Russell had the great opportunity to travel to Japan as this year’s exchange teacher with Tamagawa Academy K-12 School & University, Harker’s sister school in Tokyo. While at Tamagawa, she observed several classes and taught English to students in grades 1-3. She also used her English lessons to teach the Tamagawa students about the American “Wild West,” including lessons about desert plants, wildlife, cowboys and how farm animals make sounds in English. Students from each class also contributed to a mural that followed the “Wild West” theme. Russell was impressed at the sense of community among Tamagawa students. “From the start of the day when the whole school would gather on the field for morning exercises, singing the school song and marching to class together, there was a sense of community,” she said. “Teachers would gather in a circle

By Zach Jones Photo by Kyle Cavallaro

to sing, share announcements and then gather by grade level to connect before the day began.” Russell also was inspired by the community effort to keep the school campus clean. “This act of service also showed great care for their school, teamwork and independence as students cleaned their school grounds together.”

Australian Exchange Teacher Explores Harker’s Use of Technology

In addition to her time at Tamagawa, Russell also visited a shrine in Tokyo and saw a traditional Japanese wedding procession, stood atop Tokyo Tower to take in the wonder of the city’s skyline, attended a kabuki play and enjoyed a wide variety of Japanese cuisine. One of the highlights for Russell was a tour around the Tamagawa campus with a teacher nearing retirement

after 45 years at the school. “We hiked through the gardens where the students would harvest vegetables. We saw giant spiders, a variety of trees and sculptures, as well as the original and new buildings on the sprawling campus,” she recalled. “Seeing the school through his experienced eyes gave me a new perspective of the history and culture of an amazing school.”


elissa Tronc, a lower and middle school teacher from St. Stephen’s College in Coomera, Queensland, Australia, visited Harker for two weeks in November for this year’s teacher exchange with the school. Tronc had a particular interest in the many ways Harker teachers use technology in the classroom. While here she visited with Abigail Joseph, middle school computer science teacher; Scott Kley Contini, middle school assistant technology director; and Diane Main, upper school assistant director of technology. She also spent much of her time observing classes, such as Margaret Huntley’s algebra honors class, programming fundamentals with Michael Schmidt and Cyrus Merrill’s U.S. history class. For the teaching portion of the exchange, Tronc taught several sessions of Diane Plauck’s grade 4 core math and grade 5 advanced core math classes.


W I N T E R 2 013


By Debbie Cohen

e j c b t u s S F M ascinat E T S e


r e k r a H at

Photo provided by Ashley Bat

Specialty Class Provides Youngsters with Hands-On Activities Designed to Ignite the Senses le Cavallaro


yn Stone Photos provided by Rob

n any given day, Harker Preschool’s onsite STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) lab is buzzing with activity. But it’s not every day the classroom is visited by a special guest from San Jose State University’s Science Education Resource Center. The engaging and rather unique visitor was none other than an adorable desert tortoise named Jeremiah, on loan for several days. Jeremiah made quite an impact and left a lasting impression on the children, according to the preschool’s STEM specialist, Robyn Stone, who obtained him from the center where she has borrowing privileges. “Students of all ages visited Jeremiah in the lab,” recalled Stone, who comes to Harker Preschool with an impressive list of credentials, most recently as a professional development instructor for the Resource Area for Teaching in San Jose. This spring, Stone also will be teaching the early childhood education course Science Play for the University of California Santa Cruz Extension. Stone stressed that while it may not be 24


W I N T E R 2 013


Photo by Ky

every day a guest like Jeremiah pays a visit to the lab, it is every day that her students have the opportunity to participate in some type of STEM-related activity. According to Andrea Hart, preschool director, the STEM lab is only one specialty class offered to the children; the others are art studio, and music and movement. All of them are rich with activity centers and educational materials in each particular subject area, offering a balance between child-directed exploratory learning and teacher-directed activities. “Robyn’s role is to work in collaboration with classroom teachers on ongoing themes, as well as introduce new concepts and opportunities for growth,” explained Hart. Indeed, Stone’s STEM class kicked off the school year with exciting simultaneous happenings. For the 3- and 4-year-olds, who occupy the cottage classrooms, lab work included an exploration of force and motion by the Feather Cottage; an investigation into geology and erosion by the Pebble Cottage; a discovery about

byn Stone Photo by Ro

Photo by Ashley


Photo provided by Robyn Stone

ocean life by the Clover Cottage (which led and insects in our native California flower garden. The freshwater aquarium enables to an interest in turtles and tortoises, students to explore aquatic prompting the schoolwide species. Marble tracks build visit from Jeremiah); and students’ design thinking an exploration about “Anirudh was skills – the foundation autumn leaves and telling us about of engineering. pumpkins by the science class on the And sand timers, Acorn Cottage. way back home in the balance scales and Meanwhile, the other tools allow transitional car. He said he learned students to apply kindergarten about prisms, transparent mathematical skills (TK) cohort and translucent, gave to solve problems.” explored insects, examples of each, measurement and said he loved Another permanent and reptiles. the class!” installation is the - Gayathri Srinivasan, preschool’s onsite farm, “I liked measuring parent which, in perfect outdoor with my feet,” science classroom fashion, recalled TK student Divya has various stations designed to Bhupathi. engage all five senses. There, the youngsters Four-year-old Anirudh Subramanian said are able to observe and participate in such he “liked sorting things.” activities as rabbit feeding, garden watering,

corn grinding, as well as leaf raking and sweeping. In addition to the regular lab curriculum, holidays also provide ample opportunities for special events. In fall, for example, the 4-year-old classes and TK students explored human anatomy and physiology by looking at the skeletal system inspired by decorations for el Dia de Los Muertos and Halloween. The 3-year-olds, meanwhile, had a concurring activity in pumpkin exploration. They especially enjoyed cracking them open and scooping out the innards. They also baked pumpkin muffins and made hot cocoa, which student Olivia Zhao recalled, “tasted yummy!” Look for more updates about other activities and specialty classes at Harker Preschool in future Harker Quarterly articles. Photo by Kyle Cavallaro

“Anirudh was telling us about science class on the way back home in the car. He said he learned about prisms, transparent and translucent, gave examples of each, and said he loved the class!” noted his mom, Gayathri Srinivasan. Most recently, as part of an exploration about the physics of light, students of all ages built a spectroscope that separates white light into spectrum components. They were excited to learn that different light sources create different patterns. “We’ve explored a lot of things so far!” affirmed Stone, adding that, in addition to special activities like the visit from Jeremiah, there are permanent installations in the lab continuously available for exploration. “Binoculars aid the children in viewing hummingbirds


W I N T E R 2 013 2 5

Business & Entrepreneurship Department Includes Thriving DECA Chapter

Photos provided by Juston Glass/BE

By Edward Hejtmanek ’06

tion season. Harker’s DECA chapter is no exception, with students kicking off the school year at a fever pitch. One of their primary goals is maximizing the chapter’s visibility on campus. The chapter has gone from six members in 2009 to125 in 2012 and is looking to continue that impressive

The chapter has gone from six members in 2009 to125 in 2012 and is looking to continue that impressive growth streak.


t the core of Silicon Valley startups is the idea of rapid expansion. This rapid-growth philosophy has been taken to heart by Harker’s new business and entrepreneurship department. The department is already flourishing with business classes, a podcast series, stewardship of Harker’s TedX program and its thriving DECA chapter. Harker’s chapter is one of 3,500 DECA organizations that educate young leaders and entrepreneurs on marketing, finance, hospitality and management. (Formerly Distributive Education Clubs of America, the organization adopted the acronym as its full name when it became an international body.) November is DECA month; chapters around the world are promoting the club and preparing its members for competi-

growth streak. Chapter vice president Ariana Shulman, grade 12, says, “I am looking forward to seeing the underclassmen get excited and involved in the DECA chapter this year.” To publicize the chapter, DECA has organized numerous events, the first of which was an ice cream social to kick off DECA month. On Nov. 1, students flocked to the event to enjoy sundaes and learn about the chapter. Shannon Hong, grade 10, public relations officer for freshmen and juniors, said, “It was a great way to let over 200 students have fun while getting to know DECA.” Photo by Kyle Cavallaro



W I N T E R 2 013

Business & Entrepreneurship

Photos by Kyle Cavallaro

The chapter is using more than just frozen treats to inform the community about its activities. DECA participated in Harker’s student club fair, showcasing its events and highlighting what the students would learn over the course of the school year. The chapter even put on its own competitive events fair to discuss its upcoming competitions and events.

“It was a great way to let over 200 students have fun while getting to know DECA.” - Shannon Hong, grade 10 DECA is making sure to keep parents informed about what their students are up to through frequent press releases and events, including a Nov. 9 DECA parents night. More than 150 parents attended the event in the Nichols Hall atrium, where they learned about the chapter’s upcoming competitive schedule. Club president Monica Thukral, grade 12, said the parents visited event-specific booths to learn “how they could be involved as parents and what their students would be doing at each event.”

To further enhance learning, three investment speakers will visit Harker during the semester to discuss their stock market strategies and successes. On Oct. 30 Rajeev Seth kicked off the series by sharing his strategies for navigating the stock market. Seth is a leader in financial services who has worked with asset managers and hedge funds, and recently served as senior vice president at Bank of America. Contributing to the community is a key part of DECA’s charter and, in that spirit, the chapter already has launched two efforts this year. On Nov. 6 DECA worked with the Red Cross Club to assemble 100 emergency preparedness kits during a lunch period. The kits, containing toothbrushes, hand sanitizer and other emergency essentials, were donated to those in need. The DECA chapter also has partnered with the student council to help recycle Capri Sun containers at the end of

Photo by Kyle Cavallaro

DECA also is participating in The Stock Market Game, a nationwide stock market competition. The SMG gives teams a virtual $100,000 to invest and measures their returns in real time. More than

130 Harker students and faculty are participating, which has led to a good-natured competition between the student and faculty participants. At press time, two student groups were ranked third and sixth in the Western region, out of approximately 1,200 teams; they are ninth and 17th nationally. The top 25 teams in the region will present their investment strategies to fellow attendees at a conference in May.


W I N T E R 2 013


Business & Entrepreneurship

Photos provided by Juston Glass/BE

every lunch period. Large banners on the wall of the Edge implore students not to throw the estimated 400 containers a day in the garbage, but instead recycle them to help promote a green Harker campus. Meanwhile, the business and entrepreneurship department (BE), which is in its infancy, has hit the ground running. Juston Glass, the department’s advisor, says the goal for the program is “to connect the students with the outside business world” and eventually “be the most comprehensive business program at the high school level.” One of the ways the program is connecting its students with the real business world is through its podcast series. Over the course of the school year, local business leaders will be interviewed and share their knowledge with the burgeoning

The goal for the business and entrepreneurship program is “to connect the students with the outside business world.” -Juston Glass, BE advisor

The store manager provided the students with insight into how new employees are trained to engage customers and gave them an inside look into store operations. After the session, the classes broke into groups and pitched their improvement ideas to the manager. The winning groups from

The Harker community can look forward to a packed calendar full of informative and entertaining events. each period were guaranteed interviews for a seasonal job at Finish Line. Ones of the winners, Scott Song, grade 9, said, “The best part of the Finish Line visit was learning the ins and outs as a manager of a store.” Neither the DECA chapter nor the BE program show any signs of slowing down, with further investment discussions in late November and early December and more podcasts being recorded. DECA president Thukral was particularly

entrepreneurs in the program. The first guest, Satish Dharmaraj, is a partner at Redpoint Ventures and was the CEO and cofounder of Zimbra. The program’s host, Glenn Reddy, grade 11, said, “It’s been great that I’ve been able to connect at a more personal level with these entrepreneurs and the podcast will give … watchers a lot of great information.”

Photo provided by Juston Glass/BE

The BE classes also are giving students practical experience on how to run a business through the Finish Line Challenge, put on by the athletic apparel retailer. During the Finish Line Challenge, future business leaders tackle real business problems. Students are asked to help design a more interactive, and ultimately more profitable, customer experience in Finish Line stores by using market research to evaluate and give suggestions to improve the retailer’s omnichannel strategy. To give real-world perspective on their solutions, Glass arranged for two guest speakers: a store manager with five years of firsthand experience and the Northern California district manager.



W I N T E R 2 013

Photo by Kyle Cavallaro

excited for the Harker DECA fundraising outing to the premiere of the second “Hunger Games” movie on Nov. 22, calling it “an event for the whole school and a bonding event for DECA.” The Harker community can look forward to a packed calendar full of informative and entertaining events – and hopefully more ice cream.

By Zach Jones

Milestones variety of scientific fields and gives students the chance to present their research to industry professionals. The most recent previous nominee for this award was upper school English teacher Alexandra Rosenboom, who was nominated in 2011.

Photo by Kyle Cavallaro

Upper school science department chair Anita Chetty recently received an outstanding educator award from the University of Chicago. Chetty was nominated by David Grossman ’13, who is now a University of Chicago freshman. The award, which has been given for more than 30 years, recognizes inspiring teachers who have helped first-year students in their academic careers through their ability to challenge and spark change within them.

Eric Kallbrier, a longtime member of the middle and lower school BEST programs, was recently named the upper school’s club coordinator. In this new position, he hopes to continue “working with our amazing club advisors to continue to provide a level of excellence within our valuable student organizations.” In addition to this work with BEST, Kallbrier also has worked as the director of junior staff and counselors-in-training during Harker’s summer programs. “Through these positions, I have been able to interact with students across a broad range of grade levels,” he said.

In his nomination letter, Grossman credited Chetty with helping him qualify for a top internship at NASA. Although he had to turn down the offer due to other responsibilities, he expressed much gratitude for Chetty’s strong and sincere advocacy. “Words cannot communicate how much this offer meant,” he said. Each year, the University of Chicago receives hundreds of nomination letters from students from all 50 states as well as internationally. Chetty has been a key part of Harker science students’ success, fostering in them a love of science and research that has helped earn them excellent results in the Siemens Competition and Intel Science Talent Search for several consecutive years. She was also instrumental in kicking off Harker’s annual research symposium, which attracts respected figures from a wide

Photo by Kyle Cavallaro

Kallbrier has grown fond of the atmosphere provided by the Harker community. “The opportunity to work closely with the advisors, officers and members of the upper school student organizations is really exciting!” he exclaimed. Jonathan Brusco, grade 7 social studies teacher, was named the Kudos Corner winner in San Jose District One Supervisor Mike Wasserman’s

November newsletter. Brusco serves on the Santa Clara County Citizen’s Advisory Commission on Elections. In a letter that was published in Wasserman’s newsletter, Brusco explained why he believes community involvement is so crucial to improving

Photo provided by Jonathan Brusco

people’s lives. “The media often talks about what is going on in Washington and we often assume that the decisions made there impact our lives most directly; however, this couldn’t be further from the truth,” he wrote. “It is your local leaders who impact your life on a daily basis and as a member of a local board or commission, you can influence their decisions.” His current position is not his first. He has held a position in the local library’s culture and arts commission. He also was elected to Gavilan College’s Board of Trustees. “While the roles and responsibilities of various boards and commissions vary, in my two years on the Elections Commission, we have dealt with countless significant issues that have benefited the voters of this county,” he said. “The newly designed and more intuitive sample ballots, policy changes regarding signature verification, and funding recommendations for voter outreach, were a result of our efforts.” H A R K E R Q U A R T E R LY

W I N T E R 2 013


Advancement Inaugural Pledge Day to Help Boost Annual Campaign By Melinda Gonzales Harker’s inaugural Pledge Day was held on Dec. 5. School administrators and members of the Parent Development Council were on hand in each campus loading zone to kick off the day in an attempt to inspire families who have not yet made their annual giving gift to do so on that day.

Last spring, parents were asked to participate in the “5-for-5” campaign in an effort to boost the annual giving parent participation rate that Harker submits on its grant applications. The school is seeing the positive impact of last year’s 5-for-5 campaign with noticeably larger gifts being pledged this fall from families who had previously not participated in annual giving but chose to make a 5-for-5 gift last spring. Harker will continue to work toward the goal of securing $5 million in grant money by submitting additional applications to community foundations later this year.

Make a Gift by the End of the Year for a Tax Deduction! To receive a tax deduction in 2013, remember make your annual campaign gift by Dec. 31. • Gifts can be made online at www. harker.org/onlinegiving. • Mailed gifts should be postmarked by Dec. 31 and sent to Harker Advancement Office, 500 Saratoga Ave., San Jose, CA 95129. • As the advancement team’s way of saying thank you, you’ll receive a snazzy vinyl “HKR” (Harker) decal when you make a gift or pledge payment.

Photo by Pam Dickinson

Save the Date for Harker’s Annual Golf Classic in March The Harker Golf Classic will again be held at the beautiful Stanford University Golf Course. This year’s event will be on March 10. Various packages for single players, couples, foursomes and twosomes are available. Supporting Harker’s general endowment, the day will also include some impressive addons for avid golfers and wine enthusiasts, including a wine reception at

Scott and Susan McNealy’s home. Save the date and stay tuned for more information!

Photo by Kyle Cavallaro

Harker Parents Look to the Future by Donating Visionary Gifts  By Ellen DiBiase The Krishnamurthi/ Iyengar Family From sports to performing arts to longrange strategic planning, Ashok Krishnamurthi, his wife Deepa Iyengar, and their two sons (Gautam ’11 and Sidhart, grade 11) have been involved in just about every Harker activity imaginable. In 2006 Krishnamurthi, a current member of the Harker Board of



W I N T E R 2 013

Trustees, and his wife helped make Phase III of Harker’s master site plan a reality. Krishnamurthi and Iyengar supported the planning and construction phases of Nichols Hall, Davis Field and the Singh Aquatic Center; Krishnamurthi had the honor of making the inaugural swing of the Foucault pendulum at the Nichols Hall opening gala in 2008.

The Krishnamurthi Physics Center in Nichols Hall was a visionary gift to the campaign, and was named in memory of Krishnamurthi’s father, a former diplomat for the World Health Organization who emphasized the importance of global citizenship among his children. Krishnamurthi grew up in New Delhi and received his master’s degree in computer engineering from Syracuse

Advancement the Harker Family & Alumni Picnic, Grandparents’ Day, classroom parties, arts, athletics and admissions. She also has been a member of the Parent Development Council since 1998.

Photo by Kyle Cavallaro

University. He has held engineering and management positions with Sun, Philips, Xerox, PARC and AT&T Bell Labs, and was one of Juniper Network’s original engineers, subsequently advancing to the role of executive vice president of engineering there in 2003. In 2004, Krishnamurthi left Juniper to join his brothers S.K. Vinod and R.K. Anand to found Xsigo Systems. Xsigo provides input/output virtualization solutions for data center server connectivity and management and has operated as a subsidiary of Oracle since 2012.

The Krishnamurthi Physics Center ... was named in memory of Krishnamurthi’s father ... who emphasized the importance of global citizenship among his children. Iyengar also holds a master’s degree in computer engineering and has worked for Thomson Multimedia, TVCom International and Grundig Designs. She is a very active parent volunteer at Harker, having assisted with

Gautam and Sidhart have been active in both arts and athletics at Harker through the years. While attending Harker, Gautam played varsity football and basketball, participated in performing arts shows and was a member of the link crew and student council; he is now a wide receiver for the Stanford football team. Sidhart is participating in varsity football, link crew and DECA this year.

The Chen/Huang Family Though their young daughters have yet to begin their studies on the upper school campus, Dr. Winston Chen and Phyllis Huang already have pledged to make a visionary level gift to support programs and capital improvements on multiple campuses at Harker. Via the Paramitas Foundation, which Chen founded in 1994, the Chen/Huang family gives generously each year to causes and organizations in the areas of education, wildlife conservation and community services.

University and is currently an advisory board member of the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research. He holds M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from Harvard University in applied mechanics and applied mathematics. With a reputation as a highly intelligent, hard-working innovator, Chen lends his tenacity and good will to Harker with his participation on the

The Chen/Huang family gives generously each year to causes and organizations in the areas of education, wildlife conservation and community services. Harker Board of Fellows, as well as the newly minted Harker business and entrepreneurship committee. The couple met in the Yun Lin Temple in Berkeley, and together they have supported events such as the Harker Family & Alumni Picnic and the fashion show. Daughters Karina, grade 5, and Nicole, grade 7, have both been active in performing arts, and Nicole currently participates in forensics at the middle school.

Chen has served as chairman of the Paramitas Foundation and Paramitas Investment Corporation since 1994, after working for Solectron for 16 years. Solectron, one of the largest electronics manufacturing service companies in the world, benefited under the guidance of Chen first as an executive vice president and later as the CEO and chairman of the board. Prior to his positions at Solectron, Chen worked at IBM and later served on the board of Intel. Within the field of higher education, Chen has been a trustee of both Santa Clara University and Stanford Photo by Kyle Cavallaro


W I N T E R 2 013


S t u d e n t s f o r C h a r i ta b l e

causes SF


Spread Service Across Campuses


By Zach Jones n 2008, grade 5 students Glenn Red-

upper school, which is rare among student clubs.

dy, Jeremy Binkley and Nicholas San-

“Normally what happens is when you go to the school, whatever campus you’re at, the program is already established and you’re a part of that program, and then when you go to the next campus, there’s the equivalent but for older kids,” said Reddy. “For us, the program didn’t exist. So we started the program in fifth grade and went to sixth grade and said, ‘We’re on a different campus now, why should we stop? We still want to help people; we still have the same goals.’”

cen were in search of a way to serve their community. “We didn’t want to just do a bake sale, because everyone

does a bake sale,” said Reddy, who is now a junior. Instead, the lower school students collected various household items donated by the Harker community to sell at a garage sale. The resulting club, PEACE2PEACE, held its first garage sale that year, raising $1,500 for AIDS Orphan Education Trust (AOET), which provides child welfare, medical care and other services to African children orphaned by the HIV/ AIDS crisis. It was a big enough feat to catch the attention of Google, which donated 100 laptops to AOET. Since then, the club, now known as Students for Charitable Causes (SFCC), has held garage sales every year, benefiting a different cause each time. Members have continued to work together even as they moved from middle school to

Because its membership has been relatively consistent over the years, Reddy noted, the club has been able to operate more independently each subsequent year, “because we knew more about it than our club advisors did.” “It really helped that by now everyone knows what the process is. We’re able to set a date, set a location, get everything working very early on,” said club vice president Sophia Shatas, grade 11, who joined as a middle school student. The consistency also has enabled the club to learn from its past missteps, such as the 2010 garage sale, which raised about $800, far below expectations. “We didn’t think it through that much,” Reddy acknowledged. Each sale since then, however, has raised more than the previous year’s sale. Earlier this year, Reddy and Shatas delivered a check for $3,200 – the highest amount yet raised – to Alejandra Villalobos, director of development for Embrace Global, which produces low-cost warmers for infants in developing countries.

Photo provided by Glenn Reddy, grade 11

“I think the club definitely matured with the leaders, so we’re a lot more organized now than in middle school,” said Shatas. Reddy said that adding more organizational structure and delegation of responsibilities has been a big reason for the club’s success in recent years. “Having people directly responsible for these different components and actually breaking it down and having more or less an organization chart that says who’s responsible for what and who really gets the veto here or there, it helps a lot,” he said. 32


W I N T E R 2 013

Photo by Kyle Cavallaro

The club also shifted its focus to benefiting organizations based in the Bay Area, which allowed members to have more direct interaction and gain a better idea of how the money they raised was being used. When the members of PEACE2PEACE entered the upper school, they changed the organization’s name to Students for Charitable Causes, which more closely matches the efforts they have taken on in addition to the annual garage sale. Since the 2011-12 school year, for example, the club has managed the annual upper school food drive, which delivers goods to the Second Harvest Food Bank. Members also participate in community service days, volunteering at places such as senior living homes and Resource Area for Teaching (RAFT), a nonprofit organization dedicated to hands-on learning.

to have a significant impact. When the club met to decide the beneficiary of the spring garage sale, freshman Arjun Subramaniam’s suggestion of Free the Children, which works to improve the lives of children in developing countries through a variety of means, was chosen. “I think that Free the Children is a wonderful organization working to combat child labor and abuse around the world, and I hope to continue supporting it and getting involved through my high school years,” Subramaniam said. Upon seeing SFCC’s display at the club fair, Subramaniam was “immediately captivated. It’s a great initiative and I definitely want to get involved and make a difference through social service.”

In addition to giving the students more service opportunities, these outings also help complete the community service hours required by SFCC’s grade 9 members, who were recruited this year as its leaders approach graduation. “I feel that we didn’t leave enough of a legacy behind, setting the groundwork for the club to continue after we leave campus, which is something that we’re working really hard to do now,” Reddy said. To bolster the number of younger students in the organization, SFCC made sure to have a much larger presence at this year’s club fair and is looking to increase its presence on Harker’s other campuses. Already the club has engaged the middle school’s service club to assist with the drive to collect goods for the garage sale. “My dream, especially by senior year, would be to actually collect on the lower school campus as well and then work through the campuses’ respective service clubs,” Reddy said.

“We didn’t want to just do a bake sale, because everyone does a bake sale.”

– Glenn Reddy, grade 11

The club’s younger members are already starting

Photo by Kyle Cavallaro


W I N T E R 2 013


Libraries Add E-Book Services to All Campuses to Widen Access for All By Lauri Vaughan Upper School Librarian


hree new e-Book services provided by Harker’s libraries mean avid readers can access books 24/7/365, and they can choose what format to read them in – an attractive facet for younger readers. BrainHive, FollettShelf and OverDrive enable students and teachers at the lower, middle and upper schools, respectively, to instantly access popular titles for pleasure reading. Each service was selected to suit campus needs and works with a number of devices, including iPad, Kindle, Nook, smart phone, tablet and the everyday laptop. The upper school library led the way when it launched OverDrive at the close of the 2013 school year. Using an interface designed by OverDrive specifically for Harker, students and teachers can browse an electronic library of more than 300 titles ready for download; more titles are being added as use of the service ramps up. “We originally planned to roll out OverDrive in August, but were so excited once the initial collection was created in the finals days of the school year, we thought, ‘Why wait?’ Before we knew it, 25 percent of the collection was checked out!” said Meredith Cranston, upper school librarian.

Photos by Kyle Ca


“Three hundred titles may not seem like a big number,” noted Sue Smith, library director, “but for a pleasure reading collection – which has to be fresh – it’s pretty good.”



Teachers, too, took advantage of the new service. “It was easy to download the books,” said upper school history teacher Carol Zink.

W I N T E R 2 013

“I appreciate the variety and portability afforded by OverDrive. I downloaded and read three books over the summer and really enjoyed the fact that I didn’t have to pack so many books in my suitcase.” With the successful launch of e-books for pleasure reading underway with older students, Bernie Morrissey, middle school campus librarian, brought FollettShelf online in time for the weeklong October trips. “FollettShelf seemed the perfect choice for the middle school because it fully integrates with our catalog and check-out is a breeze!” said Smith. “Our students can easily read titles on their laptops, a device we know everyone has!” Readers have taken quickly to the enhanced access. Like the upper school, a high percentage of the initial collection flew off the virtual shelves. “My newest Follett e-books appeared at 6:03 this morning,” said Morrissey in November,” and

“Whether I’m reading from my phone or my laptop, I don’t really have to worry about leaving a book somewhere or forgetting it at home.” – Karen Tu, grade 10 by 7:30 some of them were already checked out!” The middle school currently has 171 titles available and is adding more monthly. Sonya Verma, grade 7, is thrilled with the new service. “I have always loved books, and I always take them with me wherever I go. Now there’s a great selection of e-books that I can keep on my phone! All of the forgetfulness associated with remembering to bring the book is gone!” she said. In early December, the lower school library rolled out their app for teachers, prior to a campuswide release. The service is compatible with the Chromebooks lower school students are using, as well as iPads, which are used in K-2 classrooms. “BrainHive covers both fiction as well as nonfiction books for a variety of ages,” said Kathy Clark, lower school campus librarian. “Teachers will be able to place their students into virtual book clubs and they will be able to read the

While some avid readers enjoy the convenience and mobility of e-books, others are reluctant to give up the printed word. Harker readers are no different. “Having a physical copy of a book contributes to the complete experience of reading; as a result, I personally prefer reading printed books,” said Zina Jawadi, grade 12. “E-books are great, but I don’t think that they should completely replace the printed word,” agreed Karen Tu, grade 10. “For some reason, reading from a physically tangible book somehow makes reading more relaxing than reading from something electronic.” Harker librarians are committed to offering both e-books and print books so students can enjoy both experiences.

books, take notes and share recommendations.” BrainHive has a library of about 3,400 titles, which are all available to Harker students.

Tu was an early convert. “The best thing about having a book on a mobile device is that I can access it from wherever I want. Whether I’m reading from my phone or my laptop, I don’t really have to worry about leaving a book somewhere or forgetting it at home.”

Harker’s stacks won’t disappear into the cloud anytime soon, however. According to a recent Pew Research Center report, folks who read e-books read more in general (both print and electronic books).


W I N T E R 2 013



By Steven Boyle ‘06

Editor’s note: As always, we thank the athletic department for its thorough and timely reports.

Photo by Stefan Armijo

Here are the results and records from the first season of the 2013-14 school year:

Cross Country It was a spectacular fall season for the cross country team, as junior Corey Gonzales took home the 2013 CCS Division 4 league championship, and both Gonzales and freshman phenom Niki Iyer won West Bay Athletic League championships. Gonzales, Iyer and the team’s veteran leader, senior Claudia Tischler, all qualified for CCS after running great races at the WBAL championship. Gonzales and Iyer went on to represent Harker in the state meet, where Iyer took seventh in a stellar finish to her first varsity season, while Gonzales finished 85th, a distinct departure from his consistent single digit finishes of the season. He said he was fit for the race, but could have prepared better mentally. “Next season, I’ll just have to concentrate on state and make that my main focus rather than CCS,” he said. Iyer’s first season at Harker was one



W I N T E R 2 013

New CCS champion Corey Gonzales also had an incredible season, setting new school and course records en route to becoming the best runner in the division. (See feature story, page 39.)

Golf Senior Kristine Lin became the mostdecorated female golfer in Harker’s history after winning the WBAL league championship for the second year in a row and then shooting the best score of any Harker girls golfer in CCS history. The team broke records as well, first shattering the mark for best score in Harker history in a 211-199 loss and then following that up a week later by beating the record it had just set, this time in a 210-265 win. The victory also saw a few Harker golfers shooting their

personal best scores, including senior Connie Li and sophomores Daphne Liang and Ashley Zhong. “This is by far the hardest working and most improved team I have ever coached,” raved Ie-Chen Cheng.

Photo by Stefan Armijo


all 2013 was a monster season for numerous athletes at Harker’s upper school. A pair of runners took home huge honors and ran in the state meet (see complete story on page 39). A golfer became the best in the league for the second year in a row. The football team saw an offensive explosion in its three games. And the volleyball team reached the CCS semifinals.

for the ages. After winning her very first race, beating challengers by 30 seconds en route to the best time of any underclassman out of more than 450 runners, Iyer took on a varsity field in her second-ever race at Harker and finished second overall, missing out on first place by a single, solitary second. In her follow-up race, Iyer took home her first varsity win, obliterating the record for a Harker female runner by nearly a minute and scoring one of the 10 best times ever for a freshman in the course’s 70-year history. Iyer also won her first WBAL league race, but missed out on setting a new course record by, once again, a single second. The race after that, she succeeded in setting a new course record, this time by beating the previous year’s league champion. Amid her strong and record-breaking season, Iyer was named Santa Clara County girls athlete of the week by The San Jose Mercury News.

Photo by Stefan Armijo

Upper School

Volleyball After a fantastic regular season, the girls varsity team reached the semifinals of the CCS tournament, finally falling to third-ranked Menlo. The team pushed Menlo to a fifth set in a tight and dramatic loss that stood between Harker and the state tournament. The game was set up by a thrilling win in the quarterfinals, when the Eagles rebounded from a first set loss to win the next three in a row in front of a raucous home crowd. For the season, Divya Kalidindi, grade 12, led the team with 327 kills. Shannon Richardson, grade 10, and Shreya Dixit, grade 11, had 259 and 236 kills, respectively, while Dixit led the team with a 49.7 kill percentage.

The future is bright for that team. The junior varsity girls became co-league champions, defeating Mercy High School San Francisco in the dramatic conclusion to a stellar 15-3 season, and the freshmen girls split their season series with Milpitas. The majority of the varsity team will be returning next year, as Harker looks to make another push for the CCS championship.

The junior varsity team had a tremendous season of its own, going 6-1 with a mix of blowouts, tense games and big comebacks. Robert Boucher, parent

Water Polo The varsity boys squad went 6-9 for the year but finished strong, winning two out of three games in its final tournament of the season. The varsity girls put up a 4-14 record, while the junior varsity boys went 2-10.


In that game, quarterback Keanu Forbes, grade 11, ran for two touchdowns and threw another to senior wide receiver Adarsh Battu, who caught five passes for a total of 142 yards. In

The most exciting game of the year came courtesy of the girls varsity team, when Delaney Martin, grade 11, scored a triple-overtime goal to give the team a sudden-death victory over San Lorenzo. The teams’ senior day was another highlight, as both the

Photo by Bill Cracraft

Varsity football played three games this season, dropping their Homecoming game to Mt. Pleasant despite recording 420 total yards of offense and blowing out Faith Christian and Livermore Prep by the insane scores of 41-0 and 58-16, respectively. In their first game against Faith Christian, running back Kevin Moss, grade 12, scored two touchdowns, kicker Alyssa Amick, grade 11, recorded 11 points, and Samir Chaudhry, grade 12, snagged two interceptions. Moss also added 128 yards and a touchdown in the Homecoming contest.

boys and the girls defeated Cupertino, with the boys crushing the Pioneers in a 15-3 blowout and the girls scoring a dramatic 5-4 win in a game where goals by two seniors made the difference. Photo by Stefan Armijo

the third and final game, Moss ran for two touchdowns, returned an interception for a touchdown, and raced a kickoff back for his fourth touchdown that day. Forbes also ran for a touchdown and threw three more, hitting his targets with passes to wide receiver Sid Krishnamurthi, grade 11, and running back Johnathon Keller, grade 10. All told, Harker racked up 387 yards of total offense. The defense also added eight sacks on the day.

Selin Ozcelik, grade 10, led the team with a whopping 797 assists. Seniors Kalidindi, Mercedes Chien, Renu Singh and Christina Wong provided veteran leadership for the club, setting a powerful example for the team to follow in the years to come.

Photo by Stefan Armijo


Tennis The girls battled hard in a season in which they were beset by injuries, finishing with a solid 9-6 record. Highlights included a clutch come-from-behind win by Megy Appalaraju, grade 11, and Era Iyer, grade 9, in a victory against Crystal Springs Uplands. Sophomore Izzy Gross also provided heroics, battling back from triple match point for a thrilling win of her own against Crystal Springs Uplands and overcoming a devastating 1-6 opening set against Santa Catalina School on her way to a spectacular 1210 third-set victory.


W I N T E R 2 013


EagleReport Lower and Middle School Photo provided by Middle School Yearbook


eams across the middle school sports spectrum finished with solid records, with our junior varsity B softball team and middle school golf team taking league titles and with first-place finishers in cross country and swimming.

Kwok, grade 5, boys I00-meter and 25-meter freestyle; Jeffrey Ma, grade 8, boys I00-meter; Sarah Savage, grade 8, girls 100-meter, girls backstroke and girls breaststroke.

Golf The Harker team won the fall WBAL golf tournament held at Shoreline Golf Course with a score of 155. This is the fourth tournament in a row that the team has won!


Cross Country

Photo provided by Middle School Yearbook


Photo by Kyle Cavallaro

Varsity A football (grade 8) was 1-6; varsity B football (grade 7) was 5-0-2 in league play, 10-2-2 overall and finished in second place in the WBAL; junior varsity A football: 5-2 in league play, 6-3 overall record and finished in third place in the WBAL; junior varsity B football (grade 5) finished with a 5-2 record and tied for second place in the WBAL.



W I N T E R 2 013

At the WBAL finals we had several top 10 finishers: Kevin Chen, grade 6, ninth place; Gina Partridge, grade 6, first place; Mason Payne, grade 7, seventh place; Julia Amick, grade 7, first place; and Lilia Gonzales, grade 7, seventh place.

Swimming Harker had several first-place finishers at the WBAL finals, including Jason Photo by Kyle Cavallaro

Photo provided by Middle School Yearbook

Varsity A softball (grades 6-8) had a 6-1 record and finished in second place in the WBAL; junior varsity B softball (grades 4-5) had a 4-2 record and finished as league champs!

Golden Age for Harker Track & Cross Country A

Photo by Scott Chisam

By Steven Boyle ’06


ast spring, as track

and field season heated up, a funny thing happened: Harker records began to fall en masse. With 2013 now drawing to a close, the cross country team has kept the streak alive, making the past calendar year one for the record books for



It all started in March at the Willow Glen Track and Field Invitational, when Corey Gonzales, now grade 11, topped his own Harker record in the 3,200-meter run by 40 seconds. Isabelle Connell ’13, then a senior, broke her own record in the 200 meter, and Michael Chen ’13 broke his own record in the shot put. A week later, Connell set a new Harker record in the 100 meter, while Julia Wang, now grade 11, set a new shot put record, then posted the second-best mark in Harker history for girls discus. A week after that, Gonzales set a new Harker record in the mile run, Connell set a new Harker record in the 400-meter run, and Sumit Minocha ’13 set a new Harker record in the 100-meter run.

hurdles. Then, three minutes later, Nadia Palte, just a freshman at the time, broke Liu’s record. That same day, Chen broke a Harker record in the discus competition. A few days later, Minocha broke a Harker record in the 100-meter run, and Palte broke her own record in the 100-meter hurdles. At the WBAL championships, Minocha won the 200-meter race, Gonzales won the 1,600-meter and 3,200-meter races, Claudia Tischler, now grade 12, won the 1,600-meter race, and Connell won the 100-meter and 200-meter races. A relay team of Tischler,

it all started in march…

A month later, Cheryl Liu ’13 broke a Harker record in the 100-meter

Palte, Connell and Ragini Bhattacharya ’13 also came in first place. Discus throwers Wang and Chen all advanced to CCS.


W I N T E R 2 013


Photo by Stefan Armijo

harker track & cross country

I re a l ly c o u l d n o t have a s k e d fo r b ette r co ache s. – Corey Gonzales, grade 11

nized as athlete of the week by the San Jose Mercury News.

Photo by Scott Chisam

It was an incredible finish to an incredible year. Spring 2013 was a breakthrough season for the program, unlikely to be rivaled. The seniors graduated, and Minocha’s and Connell’s new records were noted in the Harker gym.


Running cross country in September, Iyer won the first race of her Harker career. In her next effort, her first varsity race, she ran the best time of any female runner in Harker’s history, coming in second place by a single second. In her next race, she racked


When the returning athletes came back to school in the fall, an amazing thing happened: the cross country team picked up right where it left off. Tischler was now the team’s senior statesman, and Gonzales was freshly

W I N T E R 2 013

Photo by Scott Chisam

All told, Harker sent more athletes to CCS and saw more athletes score points at CCS than ever before. Minocha won the CCS championships in

saddled with new expectations to continue his record-breaking streak. They were joined this year by a new phenom: freshman Niki Iyer.

the 200-meter run, becoming the first runner in Harker’s history to win an individual CCS championship and the second Harker athlete ever to achieve such a mark. Minocha and Connell became the first athletes in Harker history to qualify for the state meet, and they and Gonzales all set personal records at CCS. Minocha was recog-

up her first varsity win, setting a new school record with one of the 10 best times for a freshman in the course’s 70-year history, an achievement that Harker’s athletic director Dan Molin called “truly elite level.” That race won Iyer athlete of the week recognition from the San Jose Mercury News. In the first WBAL meet of the year, Gonzales set a new course record, while Iyer won her race and missed

Photo by Scott Chisam

harker track & cross country

“He’s as good as it gets,” says director Molin. “The Chisam name in cross country and track is well known.” The team agrees.

“It’s amazing how little they knew. They could run fast, but just things like starts, staying near the line on the turn. Just the things that make differences, to the hundreds, to the tenths,” said Chisam.

Photo by Scott Chisam

One of the things that changed Harker’s fortunes was a new head coach. The 201213 school year was the first for Scott Chisam, who had run cross country and track at UCLA, then coached UCLA’s women’s track and field team to two NCAA national championships. All told, Chisam has coached 36 NCAA All-Americans and Olympians, and coached the U.S. women’s cross country team in the 1984 World Cross Country Championships.

“I really could not have asked for better coaches,” says Gonzales. When Chisam arrived, he took naturally quick runners and made them into smart runners, teaching them techniques to improve their times and their stamina, ensuring that not only would they improve, but improve sustainably.

The team’s success has been contagious. “Last year’s team has been such an inspiration,” says Iyer. “They used to break the records like every week,” she remembers. Iyer, in turn, has inspired her teammates. “She’s more tenacious than any runner I’ve ever seen,” says Gonzales. “Being able to have Niki at practice has made me more tenacious as a runner as well.” He has kind words for Tischler’s leadership, as well. “I’ve always looked up to her,” Gonzales adds. “She’s the real captain on the team. She keeps everyone together. We all look up to Claudia.” The inspiration of last year’s team, the expertise of Chisam, Gonzales’

L a s t ye a r ’ s t ea m h a s be en s u c h a n i ns p i r at i o n.

– niki Iyer, grade 9

ascendance, Tischler’s leadership and Iyer’s sudden emergence have created a great vibe among the runners. “I couldn’t have asked for a better team this year,” raved Iyer. “The dynamics of our team are just so amazing.” Iyer can recall walking into the gym and gaping at the records set by the team the year before. Now, she is proud to see her name on that list as well. When, at a recent race, an athlete at another school asked Iyer if she’d prefer to be at Simi Valley, one of the state’s top cross country programs, Iyer cut her off mid-sentence. “Once an Eagle, always an Eagle,” was Iyer’s definitive reply.

Photo by Stefan Armijo

out on setting a new course record by, again, a single second. At Baylands, Iyer won another race, beating the previous year’s league champion and setting a new course record. At Crystal Springs, Gonzales and Iyer both set new Harker records. Both runners came in first at the WBAL championships. They and Tischler all qualified for the CCS championships, where Iyer placed third in her race and Gonzales won his, making him the new Division 4 CCS cross country champion. Both qualified for the state meet, where Iyer took seventh and Gonzales finished 85th. See the Eagle Report, page 36, for details.


W I N T E R 2 013


Homecoming Homecom Community Bonds AT

Photos by Jacqueline Orrell


By Zach Jones

pectators arrived in droves to the upper school’s Davis Field for this year’s Homecoming festivities, attended by both new and returning families from Harker’s four campuses.

Even though it occurred on a much earlier date than usual, and with slightly warmer weather, the event still retained the atmosphere that has made it a favorite with the Harker community. Prior to the game, many fans enjoyed food prepared by Harker parents at the parking lot tailgate area. Others enjoyed dishes prepared by Harker’s kitchen staff and served from the Mrs. Carley’s Café trailer, now a beloved Homecoming tradition. Grade 9 students sold pizza, sodas and candy to raise funds for various projects and spirit activities. Younger attendees, meanwhile, had a blast on Rosenthal Field, where several bounce houses were set up so they could jump to their hearts’ content. Others played schoolyard games and tossed Frisbees and footballs back and forth. Back at Davis Field, onlookers enjoyed the first of two tug-of-war

contests, with the Class of 2016 defeating the Class of 2017. Spectators then watched performances by the lower school’s junior cheer squad and the upper school’s varsity dancers. Harker’s upper school jazz band, led by Chris Florio, also performed throughout the evening from their perch in the bleachers overlooking the field. As the contest between Harker and Mt. Pleasant drew nearer, the crowd enjoyed one of Homecoming’s most-anticipated traditions, the Eaglets’ fly through, with lower school students adorned in eagle costumes performing a dance routine to the familiar strains of

omecomin 42


W I N T E R 2 013

Steve Miller Band’s “Fly Like an Eagle.”

Shortly after the Harker Eagles burst through the “gauntlet of spirit,” flanked by members of Harker’s various cheer teams, singers from the lower, middle and upper school campuses gathered midfield for a rousing version of “The Star-Spangled Banner,” directed by Jennifer Sandusky. As the Eagles faced off against Mt. Pleasant, the festivities continued both on the field and in the tailgate area. While the boosters in the stands cheered on their Eagles, Harker alumni met and reminisced in the special alumni area and parents socialized, while students relished the opportunity to spend more time with their friends. “I like how there’s a lot of spirit and happiness,” said Angele Yang, grade 6. “It’s really fun and you can meet all of your friends, and it’s really fun to watch the game.”

Photos by Jacqueline Orrell

ming Game circled the field before the announcement of seniors Adithram Rengaramchandran and Renu Singh as this year’s Homecoming King and Queen. Although Harker lost the game 52-26 to Mt. Pleasant, those in attendance still enjoyed the time spent bonding with other members of the community. “A lot of kids are having fun, so it’s a great event,” said parent Kim Hailey (Chris, grade 9). “A lot of great people and parents are at the school, and it’s good for them to get together.”

Come halftime, the upper school cheer squad took to the field to entertain the crowd, and the Class of 2014 bested the juniors in the final tug of war of the year. Upper school math teacher Victor Adler, dean of the Class of 2014, introduced this year’s Homecoming Court, who

ecoming H A R K E R Q U A R T E R LY

W I N T E R 2 013


GreaterGood Grade 6 students Aarzu Gupta and Radhika Jain took first place for one of their dances in the Bollywood category at a fundraising competition held at Chabot College in Hayward. The competition was sponsored by the Charitable Care Foundation (CCF). Founded in October 1991, the CCF aims to help needy people become healthy, productive and self-reliant. Their efforts and resources are focused on local and international needs, particularly in the Bay Area and India. The girls regularly attend a Bollywood dance class together in San Jose.

Colorful Painted Pumpkins Delivered to Neighbors

Photo by Leah Moll

Fundraiser Lets Dancers Shine

By Debbie Cohen

In a show of neighborly good will, this past fall grade 2 students painted and hand delivered pumpkins to residents living near the lower school campus.

DECA Chapter and Red Cross Club Sponsor Event

The annual outreach and community service project took place in late October, just in time for Halloween.

In early November, Harker’s DECA chapter and Red Cross Club hosted a lunchtime community service event in front of Nichols Hall. Students placed granola bars, batteries, Band-Aids, hand sanitizers and toothbrushes into kits that may be sent to disaster victims overseas. They also made cards for Veterans Day.

After decorating the pumpkins and allowing them to dry, the students walked around the neighborhood leaving them on porches, along with cards. “This was their annual service project to say ‘thank you’ to the local residents for being such good neighbors,” reported art teacher Gerry-louise Robinson, who facilitated the painting portion of the activity. Students painted in her room during their health education classes (one class at a time) with members of the BEST staff on hand to assist in the effort.

Canned Food Drive Helps Ease Hunger

The middle school’s annual canned food drive took place in midNovember. The drive was hosted by Harker’s advisories in conjunction with the Second Harvest Food Bank. Many canned and non-perishable food items were collected in containers, which were located in classrooms throughout the campus. Last year, almost 50 million Americans lived in homes without enough food to eat. Harker is proud to have collected 2,632 pounds of food in this year’s drive. 44


W I N T E R 2 013

For student Kabir Ramzan, the biggest challenge was to “make the pumpkins really colorful.” Working in small groups, he and his classmates succeeded by painting in various hues of blue, green, yellow and red. They also gave each pumpkin its own special smile.

Hot Chocolate Sale to Aid Typhoon Haiyan Victims

The week after Thanksgiving break, the lower school’s student council sponsored a hot chocolate sale to raise money for relief efforts in the Philippines in the wake of Typhoon Haiyan. The funds raised by the hot chocolate sale were then combined with funds collected by the middle school for donation to Habitat for Humanity, which will help typhoon victims rebuild their homes. Faculty and staff also pitched in by donating money to offset the cost of supplies. The hot chocolate was sold for $1 a cup.

“It was action-packed and nonstop. … Utilizing the art room helped to make the event more meaningful and fun!” said Robinson, adding that the stu-

Photo by Kyle Cavallaro

Photo by Charu Gupta, parent

The event was run in accordance with the community-oriented pillar of the national DECA organization. Creating disaster kits for those who can’t afford them illustrated “the type of community involvement crucial to building a foundation for community-oriented entrepreneurs,” according to California DECA’s press release.

GreaterGood “It was marvelous how the children carefully chose colors and applied them,” she added. “The pumpkins all lined up ready to be delivered looked very charming indeed.”

Photo by Kyle Cavallaro

“This is a really good project. I think it’s something the neighbors will like!” enthused student Aeliya Grover.

for women and children at a local emergency shelter. Middle school math instructor Leah Moll took over the project, which benefits the Georgia Travis Center in San Jose. “This year my seventh grade advisory, along with Kathy Pazirandeh’s advisory, have made and donated 85 personal kits to the center,” reported Moll. The shelter is sponsored by the InnVision Shelter Network, one of the leading shelter/housing and supportive service providers in Northern California. It aids more than 20,000 homeless men, women and children each year.

Middle School Holiday Drive Helps Fulfill Wish Lists Club Plans Coastal Cleanup

In the fall, grades 4 and 5 held their first Spirit/Service Club meeting of the year, playing fun activities in advance of the Harker Harvest Festival. “Our first club meeting was great. We had over a dozen fourth and fifth graders sign up. Fun was had by all!” reported Mel Robinson, a grade 5 P.E. teacher who helps coordinate the club. In addition to playing spirited games, the Spirit/Service Club implements important outreach activities. For example, the club aids California coastal cleanup efforts and has a Green Committee charged with decreasing food waste in the lunchroom.

Students Donate to Emergency Shelter

Prior to her retirement, former middle school history teacher Pat White passed along her advisory project, which involves collecting toiletries

In an effort to serve people in need during the holiday season, Harker’s middle school community took on a project to help fulfill the “wish lists” of people living in low-income neighborhoods. After obtaining the names and wishes of individuals from an organization called Family Giving Tree, middle school families, faculty and staff set to work on fulfilling as many wishes as possible. Nearly 500 holiday wishes were granted to children, the elderly and physically disabled individuals in need, with gifts averaging about $20-$30.

Gift of Song, Carriage Rides and Wreath to Local Communities

When the Saratoga Chamber of Commerce put out a call for wreaths to help decorate Blaney Plaza for the holiday season, the Awasthi family (Shivani, grade 9; Mohan, grade 6; and parents Anupam and Aarti) generously offered to create and donate one on behalf of Harker. The beautiful

Photo by Aarti Awasthi, parent

dents really embraced drawing faces on the pumpkins; the facial expressions and details made each one a unique gift.

wreath, illuminated by LED lights, was clearly a labor of love. And in a show of support for the Los Gatos community, Harker also helped sponsor carriage rides in the downtown area. For more than 30 years, the stately horse-drawn carriages, which meander through downtown, have attracted thousands of residents and visitors during the holiday season. The upper school’s show choir, Downbeat, added to the cheer by caroling one night in downtown Los Gatos.

Upper School Holiday Volunteering at Harvest Food Bank

Kerry Enzensperger, the upper school’s director of community service and activities, reported that her advisory volunteered at the Second Harvest Food Bank the first night of Thanksgiving break. “We did a food sort at the Cypress Center in San Jose. Along with other volunteers we sorted carrots into boxes that weighed 25 pounds. By the end of our shift we had sorted 770 boxes of carrots equaling nine tons! We had a great time working together,” she said.


W I N T E R 2 013



“I still try to treat each day as if I’m sitting at a desk at 500 Saratoga Ave.”


for Alumni Working in the Fast-Paced World of Visual Media

–Karan Lodha ’04

Read on as three Harker graduates share the ins and outs of pursuing a career somewhat off the beaten path, but well on the road to providing a satisfying outlet for creativity and expressive pursuit.

Matt Wolf ’96, Documentary Filmmaker Matt Wolf was thrilled to receive a Guggenheim Fellowship for his recent film “Teenage,” a historical documentary about the pre-history of teenagers based on a book by the acclaimed British writer and cultural critic Jon Savage. The film, which looks at youth culture from the early 1900s to 1945, followed his previous work, "Wild Combination," which aired on the Sundance Channel and is still available on DVD via Amazon, Netflix and iTunes. “Wild Combination” is a feature-length documentary about the late Arthur Russell, a musician who mastered everything from the cello to the perfect disco beat in unimaginable ways. “Wild Combination” garnered positive critical attention and helped kick start Wolf’s career. “It was a surprise. I wasn’t really tapped into the film industry. So I was fortunate to get positive critical attention and distribution for that film,” recalled Wolf, who grew up in San Jose and attended New York University’s film school, where he met many 46


Photo provided by Karan Lodha ‘04

Photo provided by Matt Wolf ‘96


rom working in television and film to creating vehicles for YouTube and video streaming, many of Harker’s alumni thrive in the fast-paced, quickly evolving world of visual media. Their artistic outlets may differ, yet, at the end of the day, most are driven by the same internal force: the desire to communicate.

By Debbie Cohen

of his current key collaborators. He still resides in New York and credits Harker with helping prepare him for the rigors of both film school and filmmaking. “Harker was really academically challenging, and prepared me for the kind of intensive research I do in my work today,” he said. While “Wild Combination” helped Wolf get his foot in the film industry’s door, it was his documentary “Teenage” that really took off and helped him gain a larger audience. “Teenage” is what Wolf calls “a different kind of historical film.” “I was struck by the unconventional way [Jon Savage’s book] treated the history of youth from the early 20th century. The film was much larger in scale than anything I had made before, so it was a growing experience for me as well,” he said.

Karan Lodha ’04, Creator at Human Hangouts Since graduating from Harvard College in 2008, Karan Lodha ’04 has forged a satisfying career as a digital media professional working for a variety of companies. He most recently stepped out on his own, as creator and producer of an innovative Web series called “Human Hangouts,” showcasing candid conversations with individuals from all walks of life.

With his struggling artist days behind him, Wolf advises others interested in pursuing a career in film to finish what they start, especially when it’s a self-initiated or independent project. “There are a lot of obstacles to completing these kinds of projects, but finishing is the key to having a creative career,” he advised.

The conversations seek to help viewers understand their own humanity by examining both life and career choices. Lodha creates his show using a technological program from Google+ called Hangouts, which allows users to start or join a video chat. He posts his guest interviews to YouTube, where viewers can subscribe to his channel.

Wolf is currently making a documentary about children’s book illustrator and Eloise co-creator Hilary Knight, as well as a documentary project for the Whitney Museum of American Art.

“All of us at one point or another question who we are and why we’ve chosen the paths we’re on, and these interviews illuminate that what can seem like a

W I N T E R 2 013


AlumniNews linear process is often a collection of adventurous accidents,” said Lodha, who for a time lived in Los Angeles and has since returned to the Bay Area.

“I've been fortunate to work in digital media in an era when every year brings radical changes to the industry. Continuing to do business as usual is no longer an option for players in this space. My experience with various companies has taught me the importance of not just staying abreast of the latest trends but also of trying to predict the next wave of possibilities,” he reported. Lodha said he will be eternally grateful to his teachers at Harker for instilling a lifelong love of learning. “I still try to treat each day as if I’m sitting at a desk at 500 Saratoga Ave.,” he said.

Sean Doherty, Jr. ’09, Co-Founder, Wurl Sean Doherty, Jr. ’09 was an undergraduate at Boston College when he and his father launched Wurl, a successful company that helps users integrate the world’s best

He graduated this year from Boston College with a degree in management (with concentrations in information systems and marketing) and a minor in history. He continues to work at Wurl as an advisor, providing valuable insight into the trends and innovations of technology and media companies involved in broadband video delivery. “We spent a lot of time [while I was in college] figuring out what our product would be, given the technology we had created. I traveled to New York a few times to meet with media companies, but most of the work I could mold to fit my schedule,” he recalled. He said part of the secret behind his success at combining working at Wurl with his college studies was that Harker prepared him so well academically. Now, having successfully launched Wurl and graduated from college, Doherty has decided to start a new chapter in his life by pursuing another passion: the television and film business. He soon will be relocating to Los Angeles to seek work in TV and movie distribution and production. “I think it’s really important to follow your passions career-wise,” advised Doherty, who is excited about moving forward yet looks back fondly on his time at Harker, college and working at Wurl.


Alumnus Gives Back to Harker by Donating Gift of Stock


s a way of saying “thank you” to The Harker School for preparing him so well for the rigors of life after graduation, Sean Doherty ’09 recently made a generous philanthropic gift of stock to Harker, serving as a role model for other alumni. “Harker prepared me academically for college, and I think that other students should continue to get that same preparation. More than anything, though, Harker was a great environment for me. I made friendships that will last a long time. I had amazing teachers who not only prepared me for university but also taught me important life lessons and fostered an interest in whatever subjects they taught. I felt that this was the best way to say ‘thank you’ and make sure other students get to experience the same things,” said Doherty, who gave Harker the stock equivalent of 1 percent of his stake in Wurl, the video streaming company he started with his father. Photo provided by Sean Doherty, Jr. ‘09

He spent several months in Los Angeles consulting with production companies and learning from industry innovators to get a firm grasp on the emerging trends in media and entertainment. His previous experience in visual media includes serving as a development intern at Voltage Pictures; working as head of business development at Kamcord; being a creator at The Sports Odyssey; becoming a strategic partner/manager at Google TV Ads; and serving as a digital programming intern at MTV Networks. When he was a student at Harvard, he was the sports chair for The Harvard Crimson, the school’s daily newspaper.

online videos into their own apps, video services and websites. Doherty worked remotely to help craft the company’s product and marketing strategies, and helped create Wurl’s ranking algorithm, “ChannelsRank.”

“This way Harker is able to participate in the potential upside with me. It’s become a part of Silicon Valley culture to give small pieces of your company to different organizations. One percent is just a good number so that it’s meaningful for Harker … and I can also continue to give the same amount to other organizations,” he explained. When it comes to philanthropy, Doherty advised that it’s important to start early on. “Even if it’s small amounts, pick something important to you and donate your time or money,” he said.


W I N T E R 2 013



By Debbie Cohen

Alumni Care Packages Warm the Hearts of Recent Grads


ach year “grade 13” parents gather to help the alumni office assemble college care packages for current college freshmen. This year, 28 parents united to send an array of interesting items to the Class of 2013.

The packages were designed to give the former students a boost of encouragement just before their finals began, and help them finish out their first semesters away on a bright note.


Also in the packages were custom-designed Goldfish crackers with the message, “You’re always a part of our school,” custom alumni M&Ms and a bookmark printed with the “Top 10 things to do in your college library,” courtesy of Harker’s librarians. According to MaryEllis Deacon, director of alumni relations, Class of 2013 agents Nikhil Panu, Nicholas Chuang and Kathir Sundaraj were instrumental in helping to get the care packages to the alumni’s university mailboxes. “We wanted to congratulate the students on completing their first few months of college and let them know that we are thinking of them and wishing them the best while they are away. The care packages were assembled with love,” Deacon said, adding that she hopes the packages help send the message to alumni that they are free to come back and visit the Harker campus at any time. “We would love to see them and hear how they are doing!”

W I N T E R 2 013

Photos by Kyle Cavallaro


Among the products included in this year’s packages were friendly notes and well wishes from advisors, teachers and the class dean, as well as sweet and salty snacks. The packages were designed to give the former students a boost of encouragement just before their finals began, and help them finish out their first semesters away on a bright note.


Alumni Hold First Basketball Games Against Varsity and Junior Varsity Teams

y Kyle Photos b

On Nov. 27, the alumni office sponsored two basketball games in which the varsity and junior varsity boys teams challenged alumni and faculty, respectively. Held in the early evening at the middle school campus, the faculty began the games by shooting a technical foul (which they had gained to make up for all the students’ missing homework) and proceeded to beat the junior varsity team. Then, varsity and alumni tipped off at 7 p.m. in front of a crowd of spectators, with varsity emerging victorious.


Although the exciting games were held over break, 14 alumni who were in town got in on the action while nearly 100 spectators cheered from the stands. A good time was had by all at the inaugural event. To mark the occasion, complimentary T-shirts were handed out and alumni sold snacks to benefit the school’s endowment fund.

Picnic & Homecoming Alumni Warmly Welcomed Back to Campus for Harker Picnic and Homecoming This fall, two festive happenings – the Harker Harvest Festival and Homecoming game – brought many alumni back to campus, where they enjoyed seeing old friends and catching up with the Harker community.

On Sept. 27, Harker’s Homecoming game was held on Davis Field, where alumni were warmly welcomed home during a familyfriendly tailgate party held in an end zone. A number of alumni turned out for the party, where they enjoyed dinner, mingled with faculty and staff, and watched the Eagles play. Then on Oct. 13, alumni came out in recordbreaking numbers for the Harker Harvest Festival, the school’s 63rd annual Family & Alumni Picnic. More than 200 alumni attended the daylong event, held at the middle school. During the picnic there was a special area reserved just for alumni, with a delicious barbecue. This year alumni also were invited to volunteer at the picnic, and many signed up to work shifts at various booths. Photos by Kyle Cavallaro





Submitted by Class Agents

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

PhotoS provided by Joyce Bogner Bohn ‘66

1966 Joyce Bogner Bohn said she has really enjoyed reading about fellow alums' travels in the Harker Quarterly. “Since so many of you have great travel experiences, I thought I would share with you one of my recent ones,” added Joyce, who recently served as a volunteer for a week on

the Ionian Dolphin Project in Greece. “I got to spend a week learning about and photographing dolphins on the Ionian coast. I highly recommend this for a teacher enrichment experience or for parents and students,” she said.

1973 Class Agent: Alan Stevens (alanclassreunion@ earthlink.net)


Class Agent: Kristin (Scarpace) Giammona (kristing@harker.org)




Class Agents: Joy Aliason Younes (joycyounes@yahoo.com); Cindy Cottrell DeAngelo (cldeangelo@yahoo.com)


Class Agent: Mike Pons (michael.pons@gmail.com)

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




Class Agent: Chip Zecher (chipzecher@hotmail.com)

1980 Class Agent: Greg Argendeli (slackmaster@gmail.com)

W I N T E R 2 013

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


Class Agents: Karri Baker (karribaker@me.com); Kristin Quintin (kquintin@intevac.com)

Elizabeth Sabatino Smith had quite an interesting display at the Art Object Gallery in San Jose's Japantown. For an entire year, the South Bay artist dressed and painted only in one color. Then she did that four more times, selecting a different color each year. The result was "A Celebration of Color," an exhibition of more than 50 of her monochromatic paintings featuring entire walls of yellow, red, green and blue, plus a collection of pieces in black, white and gray. The paintings were all offered for sale to benefit two of Smith's favorite causes, Sacred Heart Nativity Schools in San Jose and Mulberry Farm School in Santa Rosa. Guests at the evening reception also were asked to share briefly in Smith's challenge by dressing head to toe in a color of their choice. Smith herself wore a rainbow dress to the event.

1988 Class Agents: Eric Xanthopoulos (eric.xanthopoulos@gmail. com); Aileen Eveleth (a_eveleth@yahoo.com)

1989 Class Agent: Katie Wilson (mkate_wilson@yahoo.com)

ClassNotes 1990




Class Agent: Chris Yamashita (iamtheyamo@yahoo.com)

Class Agent: Leyna Cotran (leynacotran@gmail.com)

To welcome the school year back in the fall, kindergartners and their families gathered at the lower school to socialize and enjoy delicious food, which was generously donated in part by Brown Chicken Brown Cow, a new restaurant recently opened in Campbell by Chris Yamashita. If you haven’t yet had the chance to check it out, stop by!

Jason Reid had a baby girl. Please see the Celebrations section for details!

Class Agents: Akhsar Kharebov (axarharebate@gmail.com); Yasmin Ali (yasminfali@gmail.com); Isabella Liu (isabella.a.liu@gmail.com)

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

Photo provided by Jaja Hsuan

1991 Class Agent: Ashley Anderson (anderbruin@gmail.com)

1992 Class Agent: Amanda Mathias Bonomi (amandambonomi@gmail.com)

1993 Class Agents: Joy Paterson (joypaterson@gmail.com); Tala Banato (tala.banato@gmail.com); Kelle Sloan (kelles@harker.org)

1995 Class Agent: Lisa (Bowman) Gassmann (lisagassmann@gmail.com)

1996 Class Agent: Ashley S. Franke (ashley.franke@gmail.com) Mariposa Brant is excited to be directing her first 5k/10k in the city of Chicago. With more than 500 expected participants and hundreds of additional spectators, the fundraiser and post-race festival promise to be spectacular! “If you will be in the Chicagoland area on May 18, 2014, consider showing your support by running the race. Not a runner? Not a problem! Visit OPSEF. com for sponsorship and advertising opportunities,” she said. Andrea Nott is engaged. Please see the Celebrations section for details!

1997 Class Agents: Chelsea Gilliland (cgilliland@gmail.com); Lindsey Hochrine (lynn.laka@fireskyresort.com)

2003 Class Agents: Julia N. Gitis (juliag@gmail.com); Maheen Kaleem (maheenkaleem@gmail.com)

2004 Class Agents: Jacinda A. Mein (mjacinda@gmail.com); Jessica C. Liu (jess.c.liu@gmail.com) Anjali Vaidya wrote an article for the Huffington Post’s Business blog titled, “The Demise of Sisterhood: Female Friendship in the Workplace.” The piece was about the tradeoffs women make to reach the top of their

Photo provided by Anjali Vaidya ‘04

fields, the worst among them being the loss of female friendships in the workplace. “I had previously contributed an article to the Huffington Post and then they invited me to be a regular contributor!” she said.

Photo provided by Liat Noten ‘05

Liat Noten spent September in France. During her first three weeks there, she volunteered to restore an old country house. She got to sample the local cognac, pineau (sweet wine fortified with cognac) and sunflower honey, and practiced her French with the locals. During her last week, she indulged her love of Gothic architecture and took a trip to visit the famous 900-yearold Gothic cathedrals in Chartres and Bourges. She reported that it was exciting to personally see the cathedrals that she had first studied in her AP Art History class at Harker.


W I N T E R 2 013


ClassNotes Boston, with her adopted stray cat, Abbie.

Photo provided by Casey Near '06

2006 Class Agents: Meghana Dhar (meghanadhar@gmail.com); Jeffrey Le (Jeff87@gmail.com); Casey Near (caseylane@gmail.com) Nandini Datta reports that she just started graduate school at Duke University, where she is getting her Ph.D. in clinical psychology, specializing in the “neural correlates and endophenotypes” of eating disorders. Nirav Chitkara will soon be working as a consultant at Pricewaterhouse Coopers in San Jose, as well as graduating with his master’s from Santa Clara University in December. Katherin Hudkins is now in her fourth year of supporting new families at Isis Parenting, where she is the assistant center manager of the Needham parenting center. She also teaches classes for new parents. When not helping people parent, she enjoys hanging out and cooking at home in Jamaica Plain, 52


Amira Valliani (along with David Kastelman ’09; see his separate class note for more information on his work in D.C.) spoke about her college (Yale University) and work experiences with a contingent of Harker’s grade 8 students who were visiting Washington, D.C., for their middle school class trip. Amira is the senior advisor to the deputy national security advisor for strategic communications at the White House. Lauren Harries is engaged. Please see the Celebrations section for details! Amanda Polzin, Casey Blair, Casey Near, Lauren Gutstein, Mariah Bush and Shivani Bhargava went on a whirlwind reunion trip to Vancouver in August, where they gallivanted around the city and ate as much as possible.

2007 Class Agents: Cassie Kerkhoff (ckerkhoff@ucsd.edu); Audrey Kwong (audmusic@gmail.com)

2008 Class Agents: Stephanie Syu (ssyu363@yahoo.com); Senan Ebrahim (sebrahim@fas.harvard.edu) Tanya Schmidt is having a great time living in Europe where she is playing professional volleyball. She is playing for Volleyball Club Offenburg in southwest

W I N T E R 2 013

Germany, and invites everyone to follow her blog where she is sharing stories of her time abroad. Check it out at: http://tanyakschmidt. wordpress.com/.

2009 Class Agents: Rachel Wang (rachel.serendipity@gmail.com) Stephanie Guo (stephanie.j.guo@gmail.com) David Kastelman (along with Amira Valliani ’06; see her separate class note for more information on her work in D.C.) spoke about his college (Yale University) and work experiences with a contingent of Harker’s grade 8 students who were visiting Washington, D.C., for their middle school class trip. David works at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, an independent federal agency in Washington, D.C.

2010 Class Agents: Kevin Fu (kf800@yahoo.com); Adrienne Wong (adriee@gmail.com)

2011 Class Agents: Rani Mukherjee (rani.mukherjee18@gmail.com); Hassaan Ebrahim (hassaan.e@gmail.com) Benjamin Tien, a chemical and biological engineering major at Princeton University, provided an update on his work with

the organization Engineers Without Borders. “I'm currently the technical team leader for the Peru team, and I traveled to Peru last summer to implement a water system for the people of La Pitajaya, a small village. It was very rewarding to see how our engineering calculations directly led to access to clean water for the Pitajayans, and the trip impacted me so much that I am strongly considering international development as a career. We will be returning this summer to build another water system for the other half of the village, and hopefully we will complete the entire project,” he said. Nidhi Gandhi was the curator of an exhibit called “Resonant Minds: Abstraction and Perception” at the Pomona College Museum of Art, where she worked as a Benton Summer Undergraduate Research Program research assistant last summer. The artworks she selected included lithography, paintings, woodcuts, computer prints and photograms. All of the pieces utilized illusion, shadow and light, color sensitivity and more, demonstrating ways in which our minds process perceptions biologically, psychologically and evolutionarily. Isaac Madan has cofounded a VC-funded startup called Chalky, an online mentorship platform

ClassNotes for advice seekers looking to connect with people who've been in their shoes. “Currently, it's for high school students to connect with college students and alumni to help them apply to colleges successfully,” explained Madan. He is also on Stanford's varsity fencing team.

Drew Goldstein and Matt Giammona are both recent alums who have been named as basketball managers at their respective

Andy Perez will represent his college, the University of California, Santa Barbara, at the 2013 National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) men’s soccer tournament, to be held this winter. Andy is an alumnus of The San Jose Earthquakes Academy, who featured the fact that he will be playing in the tournament in their recent newsletter. Good luck, Andy!

2012 Class Agents: Will Chang (12williamc@students. harker.org); David Fang (12davidf@students.harker.org) Akshay Jagadeesh (along with Pranav Sharma ’13) helped coach Harker’s Public Forum (PF) debate team, which kicked off November by winning the overall team sweepstakes award and taking home the tournament championship at the Minneapple Debate Tournament, held Nov. 1-2 at Apple Valley High School in Minnesota.

Photo provided by Carol Green

2013 Class Agents: Kathir Sundarraj (13KathirS@alumni.harker.org); Nikhil Panu (13NikhilP@alumni.harker.org); Nicholas Chuang (13NicholasC@alumni.harker.org)

and the views!” Meanwhile, Sumit Minocha began his track workouts at Stanford (where he loves going to school). He met with a strength coach to build up and after one month the coach was amazed that he had not gained a pound!

Photo provided by Matt Giammona '13

North Carolina colleges. Drew, a three-sport athlete at Harker all four years (including basketball), is the basketball manager at Duke University. Matt, who served as Harker’s varsity basketball manager last year, is at Wake Forest University. At Duke, Drew said, “I’m beyond lucky to be a part of it. Of course, I wouldn’t be here if it weren't for learning the important role that our managers played,” said Drew. "Harker prepared me for basketball, and college in general." Izzy Connell is enjoying her time at Pepperdine University, running cross country and getting ready for track and field. In her bio, she says, “The reason I came to Pepperdine is for the academics, the athletics

In November, Neeraj Baid became Boy Scout Troop 264's 80th Eagle Scout, earning the highest rank in the Boy Scouts of America, as decided by his Eagle Board of Review. Requirements included earning at least 21 skill-based merit badges and demonstrating scout spirit through the

Boy Scout Oath and law, service and leadership. For Neeraj, getting to the Eagle rank has been “a journey from kindergarten to college freshman year, doing a multitude of community service projects, troop leadership roles, fun trips and skill-based badges.” Neeraj's

Photo provided by Neeraj Baid '13

primary Eagle project was dedicated to helping the San Jose Family Supportive Housing relocate to a new facility. He led a project to build a bookshelf for their library and two large display boards for showcasing housing and job opportunities for resident families. Neeraj worked all summer to earn enough money to self-fund this project.

Alumni Celebrations Please join us in congratulating the following: Andrea Nott ’96 announced she will marry Gary Miles on Dec. 28, 2013. Lisa Hall Hagen ’96 will serve as matron of honor. Lauren Harries ’06 just got engaged to a “handsome man” she met at a stage combat workshop in July 2012. She's setting a date for 2015. Provided by Andrea Nott ‘96

Jason Reid ’94 is now the proud Provided by Lauren Harries ‘06 father of Abigail Evans Reid, who was born in September, weighing in at 7 pounds, 3 ounces. Provided by Jason Reid ‘94


W I N T E R 2 013


LookingAhead Coming Attractions Student Directed Showcase Middle and Upper School Winter Concert Grade 5 Show Upper School Dance Production Middle School Dance Jamz An Evening of Jazz United Voices

Jan. 10-11


January 9, 14, 23, 28

Jan. 17 Jan. 30-31 Jan. 31Feb. 1 March 14-15 March 21 April 1

Tickets and Info: www.harker.org 54



January 16, 23, 30 Special morning tours for our prospective parents to visit our kindergarten and preschool classes and see the schools in action.

RSVP Today! www.harker.org THE HARKER SCHOOL GALA

Save the Date!

Fri., Feb. 28, 2014 San Jose Marriott

LookingAhead Fourth Annual Harker Alumni Families Easter Egg Hunt

Concert Series Sun., March 23, 9:30 a.m. | Union Campus RSVP: 408.345.9264 or alumni@harker.org

Questions: MaryEllis Deacon, Director of Alumni Relations

Jackson Katz, Ph.D.

Fri., March 7 | 8 p.m. | Admission $25

Miró Quartet

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

Tough Guise: Bringing ging Up Boys of Character Tue., April 29 | 7 p.m. | Saratoga Campus

Tickets: www.harker.org/concertseries

N 1 1R4ATION. 2 0 2 T JA IS











Grades 6-12

Grades K-6

Summer Camp +


Mon., March 10

Stanford University Golf Course

Wine tasting at home of Scott and Susan McNealy

· Sports Camps

· Swim School

Summer Institute

· English Language Institute for International Students

408.553.5737 l campinfo@harker.org


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




Circa 1925

Harker Cadet Band

Photo courtesy of the Harker Archives


ands at Harker are nothing new, as we see

Boston Composers’ Coalition on a new composition

from this photo, but the orchestra of today

to be premiered by Harker students.

is a long way from the drum and bugle corp

"My interaction with Jeremy was a lot of fun,” said

of yesteryear. In 2012, The Harker School Orchestra

Florio. He was very curious about Harker (and)

was in London by government invitation to perform

opened our meeting by telling me how impressed

for London’s 2012 Cultural Olympiad.

he was with our orchestra and how excited he was

In April 2014, The Harker School Orchestra

to work with them. On describing his upcoming

will travel to Chicago to perform at the Chicago

work for us, he said, ‘It would not be [Pierre]

International Music Festival. “We auditioned for

Boulez, but it would not be [Aaron] Copland either;

this festival last spring and were thrilled to be

it will most likely be somewhere in between.'

accepted,” said Chris Florio, upper school music

What a wonderful experience for our orchestra to

teacher and the group’s director. The orchestra is

be involved in the creative process of a large new

working with composer Jeremy Van Buskirk of the

work from beginning to premiere!"

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

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

W I N T E R 2 013


S a n

J o s e ,

C a l i f o r n i a O of C: 12/13 (BHDG/JJJ/RM/DQP) 5,751

Profile for The Harker School

Harker Quarterly Winter 2013  

Harker Quarterly Winter 2013