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Winter Concert Brings Together Instrumentalists from Two Campuses

Carefully Coordinated Effort Builds Research and Writing Skills Third Campus Key Now on the Harker Key Ring Six Athletes Sign to Play for Their Colleges

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Cover photo Harker puts on some great concerts each year, including the Winter Concert, held in January at the Mexican Heritage Theater in San Jose. There are more than 300 musicians in the programs on all three campuses. Read about the concert and other performing arts events on page 32. Harker’s comprehensive instrumental program involves students from all three campuses, and this event showcased 180 musicians from the upper and middle schools. Kavya Duvedi, grade 8, featured on the cover, said she “chose the French horn because it’s a fairly unique instrument, and sounds really cool. Before the winter concert, it was amazing to see the whole orchestra get better and better at the pieces we played during the concert.” The photo was taken by Jacqueline Ramseyer Orrell, who regularly photographs events for Harker. “I really enjoy listening to the musicians when I shoot and your school really has some stellar instrumentalists,” she said. “I’m always looking for interesting lighting situations to mix up the photos and some of my favorite moments are actually behind the scenes when the students are rehearsing or just gearing up to go onstage. I try to take photos of every musician from every group when I’m covering this event, whether it’s individually or as part of a smaller group. I know that parents want to see photos of their kids!”

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

Historic moment Facebook and YouTube Fans Enjoy as internet Craze “Shakes” Harker Library With 6,234 views in a single week, Harker recently made its own social media history. Posted March 1, Harker’s rendition of the latest Internet video craze, “The Harlem Shake,” now holds the record for the fastest rise to 5,000 views of any Harker post on the school’s YouTube channel. Based on a 2012 trap and bass track produced by the DJ Baauer, the song is featured as the track to an Internet video meme that exploded virally in February. Generally lasting around 30 seconds, the video often begins with one person, wearing a helmet or mask, dancing alone for the first half of the song while everybody else in the frame goes about their business, ignoring the dancer. Once the rhythm kicks in, the video cuts to everyone in the frame shaking and “dancing” in all manner of odd costumes. The Office of Communication’s “Harker Shake” went from concept to posting in 48 hours, thanks to the enthusiasm and help of colleagues and students. The boys and girls basketball teams – who had just finished their seasons – were the main dancers, and a few others were recruited, including Butch Keller, upper school head. All great fun! Visit our YouTube channel, harkerschool, to see the video, and the dozens of others. We post regularly, so check back often!

s p r i n g 2 013 / V o l u m e 4 · n u m b e r 3 Pam Dickinson Director William Cracraft Editor Catherine Snider Sally Wing Copy Editors Kyle Cavallaro Photo Editor

Jason Berry Steven M. Boyle ‘06 Ellen DiBiase Devin Nguyen ‘12 Theresa Smith Catherine Snider Brianna Tran ‘11 Contributors Sarah Gonzales Distribution 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

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The Harker school is a K-12 independent, coed, college-prep school. K-Grade 5: 4300 Bucknall Rd., San Jose, CA 95130 Grades 6-8: 3800 Blackford Ave., San Jose, CA 95117 Grades 9-12: 500 Saratoga Ave., San Jose, CA 95129 Published four times a year, Harker Quarterly showcases some of the top news, leading programs, inspiring people and visionary plans of the greater Harker community. Produced by the Harker Office of Communication 500 Saratoga Ave., San Jose, CA 95129 · 408.345.9273

NExT EDiTioN: JUNE 2013 2


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inside SPRING 2013


Languages Make the World Go Round

40 6

Summer Camps a Tradition at Harker Since the 1920s 10

Research and Writing Program Teaches Students to Find Answers 14

Keys to Third Campus Now on the Harker Key Ring 17

Business and Entrepreneurship Program Goes Academic 18


Mission: Accomplished­— 10th Annual Fashion Show Wows Lunch and Dinner Guests 28

Record Number of Athletes Sign with Universities 37

28 18

departments Headlines 4 Harker Concert Series 20 Harker Speaker Series 21 Greater Good 22 Advancement 24 Performing Arts 32 Passages 36 Eagle Report 40 Global Ed 43 Alumni News and Class Notes 46 Looking Ahead 54


37 32


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By Christopher Nikoloff Head of School

Children are the Soul of Society


hat if children

feel like my children are human be-

I become a behaviorist in a flash,

are more whole,

ings on probation. When one of my

however, when the boys are fight-

complete human

sons wants the super-size orange

ing over a toy or when one decides

beings than adults?

Fanta instead of the small, I ask my-

to make the other’s life miserable. I

What do I mean by whole? Less

self, doesn’t he know better? Aren’t

go Pavlovian in nanoseconds. But Mr.

fragmented. Well, that won’t do for a

I compromising enough by even

Kohn’s voice is now in the back of my

definition. No self-respecting teacher

allowing Fanta? Western civilization

head. What has led up to the crisis?

would allow a student to define a

depends upon children drinking wa-

What is each kid jockeying for? Why

word simply by invoking its antonym

ter, and he wants a cup of Fanta that

such strong attachments to a piece

and saying, not that.

is bigger than his whole head?

of plastic? Who really instigated

That is when parenting becomes a

There are times when as a parent I feel like my children are human beings on probation.

-Chris Nikoloff, head of school

duty: when we are protecting civili-

way that adults are not, and how do we do them a disservice by treating them, as Alan Watts points out, as “human beings on probation”? Wordsworth said, “The child is Father of the Man,” capital F, capital M. What did he mean? There are times when as a parent I



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patience to figure all of this out?

zation from the whimsical, wayward

Saints admired children for their

tendencies of children; when we are

unconditioned view on reality, their

chiseling away at those tendencies

spontaneous relationship to what is,

so that children become “produc-

including themselves. That is perhaps

tive members of society”; when we

what is meant by whole – children

demand quiet around the house so

have less conditioning through

we do not lose our minds.

experience. Early toddlers are perfect

Alfie Kohn, in his book “Unconditional Parenting,” discusses a few hidden beliefs behind what he calls

But how are children whole in a

what? Do I really have the time and

Zen masters: a tube of toothpaste, a drawer or a wooden spoon are all things of wonder.

conditional parenting, the kind that

But as educators and parents we

makes parental love and attention

have to do something, don’t we? If

conditional upon certain behaviors

not, some children will watch “The

and attitudes we expect from our

Avengers,” drink Fanta and ponder

children. One of the hidden beliefs

the miracle of pots and pans all day.

is B. F. Skinner’s behaviorism, which

We have to prepare them for the

reduces children to a set of behaviors,

demands of civilization. I think this is

good and bad, versus a whole human

one of the many insights in Amy Ch-

being with thoughts, feelings and a

ua’s “Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mom”

complex inner world.

(which I believe got some unfair

Headlines Photo by Kyle Cavallaro

press): children are far more capable than we give them credit for, and performing anything at a high level is far more rewarding than stinking. Jiddu Krishnamurti said, “It is no measure of health to be well-adjusted to a profoundly sick society.” Ouch. That hurts. But perhaps as we prepare children to learn from society, society can and ought to learn from children. Healing means wholeness, and children can heal with their open, fresh and unprejudiced embrace of life. But children are life, so there is nothing really for them to embrace. Wordsworth ended that same poem quoted above with, “And I could wish my days to be/Bound each to each by natural piety.” Children’s days are bound by natural piety, though they don’t know it. Adults’ days often are not, and they know it. Somehow we switch from piety to duty. We need both. We know the saying, “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.” Or, as Homer Simpson puts it, “No TV and no beer make Homer go crazy.” I think even kids intuitively understand the balance between piety and duty. Kids like order too, and even gravitate towards it naturally. Why? Because they have it all – they are whole. Adults are too. We just need children to remind us of it sometimes.

Early toddlers are perfect Zen masters: a tube of toothpaste, a drawer or a wooden spoon are all things of wonder.

-Chris Nikoloff, head of school


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Welkom Bienvenue

Ahlan’wa sahla Welcome

Kalōs orisat

Velkommen Bienven

Foreign Language Pr E ssential to C reating G lobal C itizens By Zach Jones


Harker progresses in its mission to help students become global citizens, the school’s foreign language department has been instrumental in not only equipping students with the skills to communicate, but also instilling familiarity, understanding and admiration of many different cultures. From on-campus cultural events, to visits by authors and musicians, to trips overseas, the foreign language program strives to create an immersive experience to make students enthusiastic about languages and the cultures of the people who speak them.

Photo by Jennifer Walrod

“There’s just so much energy connected to the immersive experience that really motivates the kids,” said Abel Olivas, upper school Spanish teacher and foreign language department chair. “It’s almost like they don’t even really realize that they’re learning.”



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teMerhaba Wolkom


Mabuha Shalom A L O H A



schools encourage freshmen to enter level 3 language classes,” Parris added.

One indicator of how valued foreign language education is at Harker is its early introduction into the curriculum. In grade 1, students attend one period of Spanish each week. Students in grades 4 and 5 attend two periods a week. Upon reaching grade 6, they may take Spanish, French, Japanese, Latin or Mandarin for four periods each week.




P h o to b y Je


if e


“It’s wonderful to introduce foreign language study as early as possible,” said Carol Parris, K-8 foreign languages department chair. “In terms of oral fluency, young students are generally good mimics and less inhibited about speaking than students who start the study of language in later years.”

Diana Moss, an upper school Spanish teacher, says beginning early also helps students pick up patterns in different languages, enabling them to transition from one foreign language to another much more easily. “I do think that there is something to the effect that once you’re working with language, it’s easier and easier,” she said. “You understand how to put languages together.” This foundation often results in students taking level 3 language classes in their first year of high school. “Very few high

This level of proficiency, however, isn’t just the result of starting young. At every level, teachers go to great lengths to keep their students engaged and excited about learning languages. “Language students enjoy learning about the countries and cultures where the languages are spoken,” Parris said. “In addition to language, they learn about geography, art, music and customs, participate in holiday celebrations, have food tastings, etc. A highlight of 2M classes [for students who have taken the three-year middle school language sequence] is going to a restaurant of the appropriate nationality.” Such activities take students beyond the often rote process of learning a foreign language to help them develop a more emotional connection to the languages they are learning. “Let’s face it,” Moss said. “Grammar and learning vocabulary are not the most exciting things in the world. The thing that makes a foreign language fun is the culture.” Olivas, for example, teaches students in his classes how to dance salsa. “It’s one of the things that they seem to really enjoy, even the kids who are not dancers,” he said. They also delve into the lives of famous salsa artists, such as Cuban-American legend Celia Cruz. Other teachers treat their students to local cultural events, such as the Japanese tea ceremony in San Francisco which was attended by the students of middle school Japanese teacher Kumi Matsui. Similarly, upper school Mandarin teacher Shaun Jahshan has taken her students to local Chinese-American marketplaces, where they use their knowledge of Chinese to order food and milk tea. Angela Ma, grade 11, who has studied French at Harker since grade 6, said the cultural elements in her classes have enhanced her enjoyment and understanding of the language. “All of my French textbooks dedicate many pages to cultural and social comparisons, which my

Photo by Jennifer Walrod

“In terms or oral fluency,

young students are generally good mimics and less inhibited about speaking than students who start the study of language in later years.” – Carol Parris, K-8 foreign languages department chair


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“We spend a lot of time having students practice in pairs, do group works and play games for reviewing materials, and there is always lively interaction going on in class, which makes foreign language classes unique from the rest of academic classes,” said Masako Onakado, who teaches upper school Japanese. “The nice thing about foreign language is that it’s really whatever you want to talk about,” Moss said, remembering a time when Olivas walked into her classroom to ask her students what they thought of his sweater, sparking a long and lively discussion about his wardrobe, entirely in Spanish. To create a more immersive environment, teachers often enforce a “No English” rule while class is in session. Olivas said this helps students mentally associate people and places with a language, thereby making use of the language feel more natural. “If you can get them to associate people and places with that language then it becomes more automatic; it’s like a switch comes on,” he said. Not surprisingly, foreign language teachers at Harker are full of stories about encountering their students outside the classroom, who then speak to them in their second languages almost automatically. In addition to its unique approach to teaching languages, Harker’s foreign language program also offers an unusually wide array

Students frequently find that their study of languages has applications beyond the classroom. “I chose French, in particular, because I do ballet and all of the dance steps are named in French,” said Ma. “Learning French has allowed me to understand ballet in a much more meaningful way by exposing me to the history and origins of the art.” She has also had the chance to use her French skills overseas during trips to France and Switzerland. “Two years ago, I traveled to Switzerland with the Harker Exchange Program. While I was there, I spoke almost entirely French the whole time,” she said. “Speaking French helped me become closer with my host family and appreciate the way of life in Switzerland.” Andersen has found that his studies in Latin have enabled him to pick up on the meanings of English words that were previously unknown to him. “It might also help me if I decide I want to try to learn a Romance language later on,” he said. Another important component of Harker’s foreign language education is trips to parts of the world where the languages are spoken natively. Students visit Japan, China and other countries every year to immerse themselves in their cultures and converse with native speakers. In 2011, middle school Spanish students embarked for the first time on a language immersion trip to Costa Rica, where they visited various important landmarks, participated in cultural celebrations and

Welkom Bienvenue

Ahlan’wa sahla 8


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“Because they’re having a blast with it, the energy level goes up, and this learning process doesn’t feel like grunt work. It’s actually enjoyable,” Olivas said.

Moss said support from Harker families, many of them multilingual, is a big reason for the depth of foreign language options. “The families here really value second-language education,” she said. “They have seen firsthand how important it is in this world economy to have languages under your belt.”

Wal ro

Teachers also liven up the classroom by inventing games to make the learning process more fun for their students. One of Olivas’ most popular classroom activities is the fly swatter game in which Olivas says a word or phrase in English or Spanish and students use a fly swatter to slap a synonymous Spanish word or phrase written on the board.

of languages for students to learn. “It might be difficult for some people, but the variety is amazing,” said Erik Andersen, grade 12, who started learning Latin in grade 10 and now studies Japanese. “The availability of Latin, Romance and Asian languages has been a rewarding experience for me, allowing me to learn about many different aspects of language and culture.”


French teachers then expand on in class,” she said. “These extra minilessons on French tradition not only make everyday French class more relevant, but also remind the students that French is a language that encompasses much more than grammar and vocabulary.”

Photo by Jen

Photo by Jennifer Walrod

foreign language programs

Kalōs orisat Velkommen

For many students, this passion for languages continues after graduation. “In the past few years, we have had growing number of students continuing to study Japanese in college,” Onakado said. “In this past year alone, we had four alumni going to Japan on study abroad programs.” Several more students, she said, are planning to study in Japan to learn more about the country’s culture and improve their proficiency with the language, even though most of them are not Japanese language majors.

to b y P ho

Photo by Kyle Cavallaro

“By the time they’re done with our program, I think that they really feel that … this is one of their languages,” Olivas said. “We haven’t heard back from them for a couple of years, and then all of a sudden you hear either that they’re minoring in the language or that they just spent a year in South America or they just did this great community service work.”

Photo by Kyle Cavallaro

Once overseas, Moss said, students often find themselves less apprehensive about using their second languages. “There’s really nothing like the actual experience of being in a foreign country and using a foreign language,” she said. “Kids tend to be kind of timid in the class. They don’t think they speak very well, but when they get out in the real world, they say, ‘Oh, my gosh, I can communicate,’ and it’s exciting for them.”

to speak to the students about her experiences.

Photo by Jennifer Walrod

visited with the local population, using their Spanish language skills to communicate. This summer, middle school students will again participate in this trip, which is scheduled to take place every other summer.

Jennifer Walrod

forEIgn language programs

Katherin Hudkins ’06, daughter of lower school art teacher Susan Bass and Director of Instructional Technology Dan Hudkins, spent a year in Ecuador as a birth doula and worked as a midwife’s apprentice in Guatemala. She Skyped from Ecuador with a Spanish class in 2009, and visited Harker in 2010

The importance of foreign language studies at Harker has resulted in many awards and honors for its students. Japanese language students have taken top honors at the Japan Bowl in Washington, D.C., several times and once even earned the opportunity to visit Japan and meet with the Imperial Princess. Harker also inducts dozens of students into the National Honor Societies of its foreign language programs. Students on many occasions have also taken top spots in linguistics competitions. Andersen, for example, helped his team win first place at last year’s International Linguistics Olympiad in Slovenia. Ultimately, Moss views foreign language education as another way of helping students become citizens of the world and not just of the country in which they grew up. “Our students understand that they are global citizens, and it’s not about just living and understanding [American] culture,” Moss said. Olivas also stressed that learning a new language, though useful, is more than just learning about how people talk: “It’s connected to how people live and how they express themselves, the ways in which they’re unique, the ways in which their societies are rich.”

“Speaking French helped me become

closer with my host family,

and appreciate the way of life in Switzerland.”

Mabuha Shalom

teMerhaba Wolkom Välkommen

– Angela Ma, grade 11


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More Than 50 Years of learning and fun! By Debbie Cohen


or more than 50 years having fun through learning and play has taken center stage during summer at The Harker School. Today there is a bevy of unique camps and other programs available to both Harker and non-Harker students and to participants from around the globe. Now, it’s hard to imagine an era when bugling and military drills were on the list of the school’s scheduled summer activities.

Photos courtesy of the Harker Archives

Indeed, making magical summertime memories is an integral part of Harker’s rich historical roots. According to Terry Walsh, Harker’s archivist, the earliest record of a school summer program dates back to the 1920s. It was then that Harker’s predecessor, the Palo Alto Military Academy (PAMA), first offered a summer schedule of morning academics, followed by military drills, calisthenics, swimming, baseball and hikes. PAMA also hosted a recreational camp at Camp Eldorado on Lake Alpine in the Sierra, where the boys slept in tent cabins and ate in a log cabin mess hall. Fishing, archery, swimming and campfire programs were offered, and 10


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popular activities included bike and horseback riding, bugling, rifle practice and boating. Then, during the 1950s, the Miss Harker’s School for Girls’ summer program featured Puppet Pantomime, an original variety show presented by the children, as well as pool activities, arts, crafts and woodworking. By the 1960s, the Harker Day School featured a six-week summer program of “Academics, Recreation, and Just Plain Fun!” After the move to the Saratoga campus in 1972 and into the 1980s, Harker’s summer programs continued to offer academic enrichment, recreation and sports for boys and girls in both boarding and day programs. Activities included archery, dance, drama, martial arts and weight training, along with an ESL program, with boarding students coming from around the world. Flash forward to the present, and this summer will again offer a potpourri of summer programming options including Camp+ for younger children, the Summer Institute (SI) for middle and high school students, a range of sports camp offerings, and the still successful English Language Institute (ELI) program. Last season saw expanded programming for the sports camps, which will continue this year with options for soccer, basketball, volleyball and water polo camps. Also new was the sports camp’s integration of lower and middle school athletics with upper school instructors to create a seamless path for athletes within their chosen sports. But athletic camps are just one of the summer options. For students in K-6, Summer Camp+ offers a full day of morning academics and afternoon activities. Located on Harker’s lower school campus, parents choose sessions by their preferred format, with full, partial-day and morning-only options. Students have the choice of enrolling in either CoreFocus or LOL (Learning Opportunities in Literature). Core Focus is a three- or four-week math and language arts-focused program. LOL is a two-week integrated curriculum centered around a literary theme. Afternoon activities include swim lessons, archery, circus, sports and games, special theme days, a climbing wall and so much more!

Photo by Kyle Cavallaro

Photo by De vin

Brianna Photo by

Tran ‘11

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summer at harker

“My favorite thing about camp is making hearts,” said firsttime camper, five-year-old Sophie Grace speaking about an art activity she did at Camp+ last summer. Grace, who is not a Harker student, also said she enjoyed making new friends at camp. Meanwhile, the Summer Institute gives students from grades 6-12 the chance to earn credits, learn new skills and follow their passions. Last year’s institute attracted 722 students, with many taking multiple courses. The for-credit courses include a variety of class options in math, history and technology. Upper school enrichment courses span math, writing, art, history and driver’s education. Middle school enrichment includes several core subjects as well as classes as varied as money management and learning about hip-hop. “I’m a Harker ‘lifer,’” enthused Jenna Sadhu, grade 7, although last year was her first time at the SI. “It’s more laid back than during the regular school year … I’m really glad Harker made the institute and highly recommend it!” In addition to the programs for local residents like Sadhu, each year more than 100 international students from elementary through high school participate in Harker’s

Photo renowned ELI program. They come by Bri anna Tran ‘1 1 with the goal of improving their English and writing skills but leave with a breathtaking exposure to cultural adventures as well. The sightseeing trips are incorporated into the curriculum, and students use their travel experiences to create written and oral projects for presentation.

From ELI to SI, sports and Summer Camp+, summer at Harker offers something for everyone. And, modeling the Harker spirit of pioneering, what started out more than half a century ago as a simple camp for Harker’s predecessor, PAMA, has since evolved into a comprehensive variety of summer offerings. Delighted that Harker has been offering outstanding summer programs that meet the needs of Harker families and the greater community for so many years, Kelly Espinosa, director of summer programs, said, “We’re looking forward to yet another exciting summer of amazing academics and awesome activities!”

For more information about Harker’s summer programs, visit

FUN at Sports Camp! Basketball Camp Focuses on Fundamentals

Harker’s popular summer basketball camp will be back again this year, providing boys and girls in grades 4-8 and boys in grades 6-9 with a fun and rewarding experience for players of multiple skill levels. Held at the middle school campus, instruction will be led by Harker’s varsity basketball coaches and players who will focus on fundamental skills such as ball han-

dling, shooting, rebounding and basic defense. Campers will also participate in five-on-five games coached by varsity players. Mark Collins, Harker’s varsity basketball coach, played at the professional level in Denmark for 10 years; he was named a five-time All-Star before going on to coach for two years. He also spent six years directing the training camp for the Golden State Warriors.

“The earliest record of a school summer program dates back to the 1920s.”

–Terry Walsh, school archivist

For more information and to register for sports camps, please visit New Softball Camp Offering This summer, Harker will offer its firstever softball camp for girls in grades 4-8. Open to players of all skill levels, the camp will cover offensive and defensive drills and simulate in-game situ-


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ations to help players build confidence and improve their skills on the field. Students will work on fundamental skills such as throwing, catching, fielding, hitting and base-running, all in a fun, positive environment managed by trained and experienced coaches. “This is the first year for our summer softball camp so we are excited and ready to get it going,” said softball coach Raul Rios, who led Harker’s upper school varsity softball team to its first CCS playoff appearance in 2011. “I am looking into getting some guest college players to help us with the program and also to speak to the players about being student athletes at the Photo by Brianna Tran ‘11 college level.”

Water Polo Camp Great for Newcomers In late June, Harker will again offer its summer water polo camp to students in grades 4-8. Directed by Harker water polo coaches Allie Lamb and Ted Ujifusa, this camp is geared toward beginners who wish to learn more about the sport. Students will learn about the rules and history of water polo as well as basic skills such as treading water, eggbeater and scissor kicking, passing, ball handling and shooting. They will also learn

Photo by Kyle Cavallaro


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summer at harker

proper conditioning both in and out of the water. Campers must be able to swim a minimum of 25 yards to participate.

system’s benefits are a stronger core, greater muscular endurance and better overall athletic performance.

In her 15 years of water polo, Lamb has played for some of the sport’s top coaches, including former Olympic coaches Rich Corso and Ricardo Azevedo. She also played at the Division I level for four years at Santa Clara University. Ujifusa began his water polo career in 1964 and in his senior year at the University of California, Berkeley, he helped the Golden Bears win their very first NCAA championship. Since his coaching career began in 1974, he is the only CCS coach to win championships at two different public high schools and has coached more than 45 All-American players.

Stinson, a certified TRX group instructor, coaches Harker’s middle and upper school wrestling teams as well as middle school football and track. He has coached three wrestlers to California’s national wrestling team.

New TRX Camp a Unique, Innovative Fitness Approach This year, Harker is adding a special TRX workout camp to its summer program options for students in grades 6-12. TRX is a form of suspension training developed by former Navy SEAL Randy Hetrick. By using gravity and the trainer’s own body weight, the TRX training system grants the user access to hundreds of exercises. By adjusting their body position or resistance settings, users can control how much they are challenged by each exercise.

Ever-Popular Soccer Camp Returns Harker’s summer 2013 sports programs will again feature the popular soccer camp that has been a fixture of its summer programs for years. Campers will become immersed in “the beautiful game,” with instruction from professional coaches that is tailored to the needs of each camper. Each camp session will include drills in futsal, tactical skills, psycho-motor training, and small and large games. Skill stations will allow campers to work on passing, dribbling and shooting. Campers will be placed in groups appropriate for their skill levels.

Coach Karriem Stinson, who leads the camp, said it is an ideal training system for people who prefer not to use weights, because “this is an apparatus that deals with the person’s body. It’s more fit for everybody.” Among the Photo by Brianna Tran ‘11



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As in past years, the campers will also have the opportunity to learn from professional and college-level players who will visit to teach and offer their advice.

Volleyball Camp Great for Multiple Skill Levels Volleyball camp, a mainstay of the Harker summer program, returns this year to provide students in grades 4-9 with top-level instruction in a fun and positive setting. This camp is designed for players of all skill levels and will help both beginners and experienced players improve their abilities through drills, exercises and game play. Highly trained coaches will work with students on fundamental skills such as passing, setting and hitting, as well as strategies on both offense and defense. Individual teaching and evaluation also plays a vital role in the camp. College players and coaches will also be visiting the camp to enhance the overall experience. Coaches Dan Molin and Theresa Smith bring with them more than 40 years of combined experience. Molin, the upper school athletic director and boys volleyball coach, has more than 20 years of coaching experience and was named one of Volleyball magazine’s “Fab 50.” In addition, the American Volleyball Coaches Association has recognized him

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Photo by Michelle Lo ‘12

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summer at harker

as a 200-win coach. Smith, Harker’s grade 4-8 athletic director, was a member of the U.S. Amateur Olympic Volleyball team in 1990 and was chosen as the Positive Coaching Alliance’s Double Goal Coach of the Year and Mercury News CCS Volleyball Coach of the Year in 2007.

Photo by Devin Nguyen ‘12

Swim School Trains Swimmers of Nearly Every Age Swimmers of all skill levels at this camp will learn and improve their aquatic abilities in a fun, non-competitive environment for ages 3 to adult. Both private and group lessons are available and will be held at the Singh Aquatic Center at Harker’s upper school campus. Friendly and experienced instructors will guide swimmers through a sequence of lessons in 10 different skill levels. Swimmers aged 5-18 have the option of private and group lessons. Adults and children aged 3-4 may only take private lessons.

to help maximize their performance. Wrestlers will participate in a meticulously planned series of teaching sessions, drills and evaluations. Students will learn and practice skills such as takedowns, positioning, escapes and reversals, in addition to applying their skills to wrestling matches. This camp will also integrate the TRX suspension training system and include visits by college-level wrestlers and coaches. Harker wrestling coach Karriem Stinson and coach Shawn Henebry of Prospect High School will direct the camp, bringing their years of experience and success to a fun an positive environment. Stinson has coached at Harker since 1995 and has coached three members of the California national wrestling team in addition to many who have placed in the Central Coast Section. Three-time CCS participant Henebry has held coaching positions at California State University - Fullerton, West Valley College and Generation 2020 in Spain before joining Prospect High School. Wrestlers under his guidance include a CCS champion and several state championship qualifiers.

Novices and Advanced Competitors Welcome at New Wrestling Camp Whether novices or experienced competitors, the Harker summer coed wrestling camp will offer students in grades 6-12 the chance to improve their skills and physical conditioning Photo byby Brianna Tran ‘11‘11 Photo Brianna Tran


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By Zach Jones


ith information literacy and research skills becoming increasingly important to college-bound high school students, the history and library departments have spent the last several years developing a comprehensive research and writing program to give Harker students an edge in creating scholarly works at the college level. A work in progress since it began as a collaboration between Susan Smith, library director, and Donna Gilbert, history department chair, in 2006, the program has since grown into a cornerstone of Harker’s history instruction. “It’s become a normative part of every history course at The Harker School, and we’ve carefully scaffolded it and planned it so that the skills build over time, and kids are constantly reinforcing and practicing and mastering and then moving on,” Gilbert said. The initiative was spurred in part by a feeling that too much emphasis was being placed on multimedia presentations and not enough on strong writing skills – “that PowerPoints and iMovies had started to replace traditional writing,” Gilbert said. “The reality is that our kids need to go to college and they all need to write really well,” said Smith. History proved to be a great

place to begin building this foundation because of its emphasis on studying primary sources, critical thinking and developing thesisbased arguments. “We try to get them excited about primary sources and looking at the photos of people or artifacts of an era,” said Smith. “But then understanding how to analyze, evaluate and put together a cohesive, thesis-driven argument about something is what’s more important.”

“The ability to perform thorough analysis and uncover hidden patterns was the most valuable skill I have developed through this research.” –Ashvin Swaminathan, Near scholar History teachers work with the library department to come up with topics each year that the students at each grade level can choose for their research papers. Key criteria include the types of research required, the amount of researchable information that is readily available and whether the topics have been covered in class.

Photo by Kyle Cavallaro

In grade 9, world history students are assigned a compare-andcontrast research paper on an ancient history topic. During this process, students learn the basics of using databases, creating note cards, paraphrasing sources and writing a thesis. Sophomores deepen their knowledge of databases and begin analyzing more scholarly works, as well as learn to reinforce their theses and create more detailed note cards. “That’s an argumentative, thesis-driven essay where they’re defending one side or the other



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of an issue, and we give them a choice of lots of issues to pick from,” Smith said.

interested in educational reform,” Smith said.

Grade 11 United States history students may find themselves creating different types of research papers, depending on if they are in an Advanced Placement or regular class. AP students will analyze a Supreme Court case, while regular U.S. history students choose a topic from the Civil War.

Mexican poet Frida Kahlo was a subject of particular fascination for 2012-13 Mitra Family Scholar Shivani Mitra, grade 12 (and daughter of the scholarship’s founders). She began her research by reading books about Kahlo’s life and works. She then got as close to the source as she could. “I took a monthlong trip to Mexico City during the summer, where I was able to use primary source material – letters, diary pages – for my research,” she said. “I visited her house in Coyoacán multiple times, met her grandnephew and niece, interviewed the curator of her museum, and visited countless museums in the city that had her works. By the end of the summer, I had gathered enough material from which I could start formulating my thesis.”

This year students were asked to analyze a Civil War-era photograph from the Library of Congress’ American Memories project and create a biography of a person about whom little was known. Doing so required deep research of the world around the person and thinking critically about how he or she would have lived at the time the photograph was taken. “One of, I think, the most captivating things about the U.S. history project was that they couldn’t possibly have known anything about these obscure people that we found these photographs of,” Smith remarked. “They aren’t in history books. They don’t have Wikipedia articles.” AP students are given a wide range Supreme Court cases to choose from for their papers. They each then develop a thesis on whether the decision made on the case came from a partisan or neutral interpretation of the U.S. Constitution. Although teachers and librarians decide which topics are open to students to research, offering a wide variety of topics to choose from is an important part of the curriculum. “We always try to add choice,” Smith said. “That is something we’ve protected and the teachers are great about that.” For instance, grade 9 World History students may be given a list of five questions to choose from, such as comparing burial rituals from two cultures. They will then be presented with a list of cultures that they can choose to compare. AP U.S. History students are given a list of 120 Supreme Court cases as options to analyze.

Mitra found that undertaking this project allowed her to foster her intellectual curiosity, and that learning so much about a person she respects and admires was the most satisfying part. “I enjoyed traveling to Mexico City and discovering Frida for myself, the most. She is a fascinating person, and the more I got to know her, the more I respected her,” she said. “Pursuing an academic passion of mine outside of a classroom, in a different country, by myself, was an amazing experience that I will never forget.”

Photos by Shivani Mitra, grade 12

Once they have completed three years of historical research and analysis, seniors have the option of applying for a grant to embark on a yearlong independent research project via the John Near Endowment or The Mitra Family Endowment for the Humanities. For this endeavor, students can choose whatever topics they like. “They can move in a direction that really appeals to them intellectually. And we get complete buy-in, because they’ve now not just chosen to apply but they are sent off, really, with very few restrictions and just guidance,” Gilbert said. Students typically begin the process by arriving with well-developed proposals. “Somewhere in their studies, they’ve decided that they really want to explore the gender identity issues of Frida Kahlo, or they really are H A R K E R Q U A R T E R LY

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integrated research & Writing

Francisco Symphony musicologist Susan Key and the University of Houston’s Howard Pollack, a noted expert on Copland.

Photo by Eric Marten

Photo by Kyle Cavallaro

Both students found that their research practices have helped them develop skills beyond those required for historical analysis. “The ability to perform thorough analysis and uncover hidden patterns was the most valuable skill I have developed through this research,” said Swaminathan, who added that he also developed the skill “to analyze historical events and thereby extract plausible reasons behind them as well as connections between them. This abstract ability to analyze events and arguments manifests itself in every subject from English to mathematics.” Similarly, Mitra discovered that her newfound research skills have helped her in writing papers for other classes. “For example, this semester I have a psychology and an English research paper. Finding the right sources comes much easier to me now,” she said. Ashvin Swaminathan, grade 12, a recipient of a 2012-13 Near Scholar grant, combined his love of music and history for his project. “History is not just a collection of facts, and the patterns and connections between events and people are what make history fascinating to me. I also love classical music, and I play the violin for the San Francisco Symphony Youth Orchestra,” he said. Swaminathan chose to focus on the development of American classical music, with a special focus on the works of Aaron Copland and Leonard Bernstein. “I researched the lives and contributions of these two composers by reading several books from the Harker and local public libraries. I also studied numerous scholarly journal articles about these composers from the Harker library databases,” he said.

The program continues to develop thanks to constant collaboration and feedback from teachers who frequently meet to discuss methodology and share their ideas, something that has been an important part of the program since its inception. “It’s been a five- or six-year journey,” said Gilbert. “We used department meetings for two or three years, with the librarians always there in a kind of collaborative discussion about what’s working and what’s not working.” This practice continues today, with teachers still learning from one another in brainstorming sessions at department meetings. “We get the best of everybody’s ideas. And they don’t even get that what they’re doing is brilliant,” Smith said. Over time, this sharing of ideas has resulted in a series of best practices that teachers can draw on. “And that’s the nature of teaching,” Smith said. “You go in there, you close the door, you do brilliant things every day and most of the time, nobody knows.”

Swaminathan found that the two composers left their impressions on one another in several ways, and each had used the plight of Hispanic people as a theme in a major work. “Copland wrote his ‘El Salon Mexico,’ a piece that celebrates Mexico, in 1936 at about the time when the Mexican Repatriation was going on,” he observed. “Interestingly, Bernstein wrote his ‘West Side Story,’ a musical about the Puerto Rican gang wars in New York City, in 1957 when the Puerto Rican immigration to mainland U.S. was at its peak.” Though Bernstein was candid about his politics, finding information about Copland’s political views proved difficult, so Swaminathan contacted several music scholars, including San 16


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! o G

Making Harker History: Union Campus is a By Debbie Cohen January 29 will go down in Harker history as the day school administrators were handed an official set of keys to the long coveted new campus property on Union Avenue in San Jose. Sharing the historic accomplishment with the Harker community, Chris Nikoloff, head of school, recalled a previous groundbreaking moment when the Palo Alto Military Academy and Miss Harker’s School for Girls merged together and moved to San Jose in 1972.

Photos by Kyle Cavallaro

Today, school officials have innovative, strategic plans to turn the Union campus into the future permanent home of the lower school. The site will also be used to launch a preschool starting this September. Harker first made breaking news when it became top bidder on the available third campus property located at 4525 Union Ave. Following a due diligence period on the Union campus (where Harker reviewed areas such as permit, traffic, environmental and title use), the administration successfully closed on the Union property in January.

Ever since opening the upper school in 1998, Harker has planned to own three campuses. Currently Harker owns the upper school Saratoga and lower school Bucknall campuses, but holds a lease on the middle school Blackford campus until 2025. However, the Blackford lease has long been viewed as a temporary stopgap measure. The school’s long-term plan is to locate the middle school on the Bucknall campus and move the lower school to the Union campus. Other plans in the works include: building a gym and theater complex on the Saratoga campus to replace the gym and theater on the Blackford campus; creating a permanent solution for field use; making improvements on the Union campus in preparation for its K-5 use; and relocating some operations at Blackford. While the preschool would initially operate on the Union property, it would later be transitioned to leased or purchased land when the time comes to move the K-5 programs to Union. The preschool will serve ages three through (young) five-year-olds with the capacity to serve up to 120 students. Previously, Harker ran a very successful junior kindergarten, but closed that program (as well as the school’s boarding program) to make space for the upper school.

Kelly Espinosa, Harker’s director of summer and preschool programs, said that due to state regulations, the admission process cannot begin until licensing is complete, likely in early July. Currently, Harker is asking interested families to complete an inquiry form to be notified of the preschool’s progress.

Ever since opening the upper school in 1998, Harker has planned to own three campuses. “We are all so excited about the new preschool,” said Espinosa. “It is a beautiful facility, and combined with our caring and qualified staff and our rich and balanced learning approach, it promises to be a oneof-a-kind experience for young children!”

Look for updates about the new Union campus and preschool in continuous coverage by Harker Quarterly and on Harker News Online. Q&As about the preschool are also available online at


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New Business and Entrepreneurship Academic Program


By William Cracraft

Launches in Fall ’13

ntrepreneurship is nothing new to Harker students and now the school will draw together existing activities and new pieces to launch an academic Business and Entrepreneurial Program (BEP) in the fall. Current elements, including the business club and its DECA participation, and Harker’s TEDx conferences will be laced together with new elements to make a complete program.

Photo by Kevin Lin, grade 12

“We are ready to take our current elements of business and entrepreneurial opportunities for our students to the programmatic level,” said Chris Nikoloff, head of school. “The current elements of DECA, TEDx, career panels and other special opportunities will be assembled into a comprehensive program that will give students direct business and entrepreneurial training, experience and opportunities appropriate to the high school level. We want to leverage our location and contacts in Silicon Valley to create unique learning opportunities and experiences for students interested in these areas.”

DECA The upper school’s Harker Business Club (HBC) participates each year in DECA events, and that effort will be rolled into the program. A new notfor-credit DECA class is being added that will teach future leaders and entrepreneurs ethics, leadership skills and expertise in businessrelated fields, and students will prepare business plans for DECA competitions.

Photo provided by TalonWP


Michaela Kastelman, grade 12, wound up her term as DECA Silicon Valley president in March and Sophia Luo, grade 9, ascended to a new role at DECA Silicon Valley as secretary and treasurer for the next year.


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“I am very excited that Harker is starting a business and entrepreneurship program!” said Kastelman. “Many students are very interested in learning about business and entrepreneurship and I think that it will be a great opportunity for Harker students to gain pre-professional education and experience. Several current and past Harker students have already created and developed their own startups and I think that a business and entrepreneurship program will further support Harker students’ entrepreneurial spirit and interest.” The DECA annual state competition was in March and more than 20 students qualified for and are attending the international conference in April. DECA, which used to stand for Distributive Education Clubs of America, but is now the actual name of the program, is an international association of high school and college students, and teachers of marketing, management and entrepreneurship. The group works to prepare leaders and entrepreneurs for careers in business, finance, hospitality and marketing. Harker has had a business club for several years and 77 members attended the Silicon Valley Career Development Conference hosted by the California association of DECA in San Jose in January. Harker students won 14 trophies and several medals, with Harker teams and individuals earning eight topthree finishes. Nikoloff was one of the many judges at the event. “Through my involvement in HBC and DECA, I’ve learned key life and business skills that I will carry with me through college and life,” said Kastelman. “I’ve particularly grown through my officer positions, which have helped me develop as a leader and team member. From arranging conferences for 800 people to helping other schools to start and develop their own DECA chapters, I’ve learned how to inspire a shared vision and foster community, which I think will be important skills for college and my future career. “I’ve also developed my critical thinking, public thinking and time management skills through DECA and HBC, which will greatly benefit me during college,” continued Kastelman. “This program could help students discover their interest in business and

Photo by Kevin Lin, grade 12

entrepreneurship and … I think that (participating) Harker students will get a jump start into entering the Silicon Valley startup community as they will be able to gain essential business related skills.” The club will now be an adjunct to the overall program. “We will be offering a DECA class, formerly only a club activity, as an extra period option for the upper school students,” said Jennifer Gargano, assistant head of school for academic affairs.

TEDx Almost 200 high school students came to Harker in October 2011 for the first-ever independently organized TEDxHarkerSchool event, headlined by keynote speaker Guy Kawasaki, chief evangelist at Apple in the ’80s. The event featured five top entrepreneurs, each offering unique perspectives and advice to the young audience. The TEDx committee is in full swing planning the next TEDx conference at Harker for April 27. Speakers are still being lined up, but the group had, by March 1, contacted its first round of potential speakers and outlined a comprehensive campaign to attract students from other high schools and colleges.

“We are ready to take our current elements of business and entrepreneurial opportunities for our students to the programmatic level.” – Chris Nikoloff head of school jealous – that the program is in the works. “I can’t wait to see how the program develops!” she said. “I really wish that this program had existed when I was a freshman; I would have definitely chosen to participate in it, and I think this will help Harker students to become even more well-rounded and amazing. The skills that will be taught and learned through the BEP could be applied to any of the other extracurricular activities that Harker offers. For example, a highly involved theater student could participate in the program and learn to start his or her own theater company. I’m really excited to hear that Harker is expanding its educational program.”

Marketing director for this year’s TEDx, Glenn Reddy, grade 10, noted, “As a student interested in going into business later in life, I am very excited about the new Business and Entrepreneurial Program. In the past, business-oriented students have had few course options in their field, but now that will change. Being a part of a larger program will help us expand the TEDxHarkerSchool event to involve more students.” Initiating the BEP in the fall of 2013 is contingent upon finding the right person to chair the new department, said Nikoloff, and he is consulting with some of the many entrepreneurs in the Harker community to identify candidates. Photo provided by TalonWP

Meanwhile, Kastelman is excited – and maybe a bit Photo by Devin Nguyen ‘12


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Cellist Sebastian Bäverstam Closes Third Concert Series Season with Challenging, Impassioned Performance

By Zach Jones


ellist Sebastian Bäverstam, the 24-year-old former child prodigy who debuted at Carnegie Hall at age 14, brought the third season of the Harker Concert Series to a brilliant close on Feb. 8, performing a special collection of Russian music from Prokofiev, Shostakovich and Rachmaninoff to a sold-out audience.

Photos by Megan Prakash, grade 11

Partnered throughout the concert by accomplished pianist Pei-Shan Lee, Bäverstam began with Prokofiev’s Sonata for Cello and Piano in C Major, moving gracefully through its contemplative and somewhat somber first movement, trading phrases with Lee as though in conversation. The brisker second and third movements evoked a more upbeat style from the cellist, who swayed and bobbed through the faster sections as the call-and-response interplay with Lee continued. His physical expressiveness seemed to mirror his similarly impassioned interpretation of the material, as he took deep breaths before long legato passages and moved vigorously during the galloping,



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more technically challenging sections, for which he was more than up to the task. Lee handled the piece with the right amounts of aggression and restraint. Bäverstam and Lee briefly left the stage following the conclusion of the sonata, returning a short time later to perform Shostakovich’s Sonata for Cello and Piano in D minor, but not before Bäverstam quipped, “Sorry. It’s not over yet.” The shifting tensions and moods of Shostakovich’s sonata were brought out wonderfully by Bäverstam’s ability to interpret the varied themes with both subtlety and flair. The wide, ominous piano passages of the first movement were met by the disquieting melody provided by Bäverstam, whose splendid vibrato powerfully buoyed every note until the disturbing calm was broken by the second movement’s urgency and energy, driven by Bäverstam and Lee’s bombastic yet controlled approach, later contrasted by the desolation and sobriety of the “Largo” movement before being brought to a crashing finish in the final movement, guided by the dexterous, emotive performance of the two players. Following the intermission, the duo performed the evening’s final piece, Rachmaninoff’s Sonata for Cello and Piano in G Minor, whose challenging first movement, characterized by varying tempos and moods, was superbly handled. The sonata also gave ample opportunity for Lee to demonstrate her immense talents, nimbly maneuvering her way through the piece’s more challenging sections while simultaneously finding the array of emotion underneath. Despite an exhausting program, Bäverstam and Lee had no discernible trouble summoning the energy necessary for the final run of the Sonata’s “Vivace.”

The full text of these stories can be found at Harker News Online, Search on the poets’ names. on a tour in Iraq. Turner talked about how he was first exposed to poetry in his youth and how he took poetry classes in college in hopes that it would help him write lyrics for his band, which never took off. He kept a journal during his time in Iraq, which he later used to write “Here, Bullet,” his latest collection of poems. Turner went on to read selections from “Here, Bullet,” including the titular poem, and “Dreams From the Malaria Pills,” which describes the vivid and often bizarre dreams caused by pills that soldiers were required to take. He interspersed the frequently emotionally intense reading with stories from his tour in Iraq.

By Zach Jones In late February, the Harker Speaker Series hosted an event by Silicon Valley Reads titled “Invisible Wounds of War: Poetry from War.” The event featured poets Brian Turner and David Sullivan, who each read selections from their works, inspired by the Iraq war. The discussion was moderated by Parthenia Hicks, Los Gatos poet laureate emerita. The discussion began with Turner, who spent seven years in the United States Army, one of which was

The conversation then turned to Sullivan, whose latest work, “Every Seed of the Pomegranate,” explores the lives of not only United States and Iraqi soldiers, but also civilians in both countries being affected by the conflict. A teacher at Cabrillo Community College in Santa Cruz, he taught Iraq war veteran students who were “struggling to figure out how to reintegrate with a culture that says it honors them but didn’t really want to hear many stories.” Sullivan later met Turner, who encouraged him to continue with the project. Using information gleaned from Iraqi poets, documentaries and blogs by Iraqi citizens, he wrote “Every Seed of the Pomegranate.”

SCU Psychology Professor and Author Jerrold Shapiro Discusses “What Boys Need” By Zach Jones Author and Santa Clara University psychology professor Jerrold Shapiro was a guest of the Harker Speaker Series on March 7, to give a presentation titled “What Boys Need.” A family psychologist of more than 40 years, Shapiro has made a name for himself with books such as “The Measure of a Man” and “Becoming a Father,” as well as appearances on The Oprah Winfrey Show and The Morning Show on CBS. After taking a couple of questions from the crowd, Shapiro began the presentation, which described the ways in which boys experience difficulty growing up in comparison to girls, who he argued have received more attention during their developmental years than boys have in recent decades. Among the data he showed were statistics showing that boys are now twice as likely to be diagnosed with learning disorders, are lagging behind girls in standardized testing and now make up less than 40 percent of the student body.

He then showed how differently boys and girls mature and communicate. Boys’ brains, he said, exhibit “kinetic, disorganized, maddening and sometimes brilliant behaviors that likely are hard-wired.” Five-year-old girls may be more articulate, while boys have better hand-eye coordination. Unsurprisingly, boys are also more given to impulse. Once they hit middle school, boys find that girls are maturing at a much faster rate, and boys begin to fear that they appear weak. Interestingly, MRIs have shown that girls’ brains at these ages resemble adult brains more closely than those of boys. Shapiro proposed a number of solutions to address the challenges of raising boys, including more parental involvement in their school lives and increasing the amount of time they spend with their fathers. The latter was of particular importance, Shapiro argued, because boys who are raised by actively involved fathers exhibit more self-control and self-esteem, are better at regulating their emotions and are more empathetic. H A R K E R Q U A R T E R LY Photo by Kyle Cavallaro

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GreaterGood More Than Two Dozen Prom Dresses Collected for the Princess Project

By Debbie Cohen

Harker Community Helps Clean Up Local Roadways

The Bucknall campus pajama and book drive is held during the heart of winter, when needy children especially want to keep warm. This year, Harker students donated a range of books and pajamas (with the tags still on) in sizes ranging from toddler through young adult. The drive was primarily a grade 3 service project, and all elementary school families were invited to participate.

They call themselves “trash warriors.” Upper school history teacher Carol Zink discovered the California Adopta-Highway program and made Harker aware of it. Now she is joined by fellow faculty, parents and students in the litter roundup. The last trash pickup day took place on Feb. 16.

Giving Back: Harker Launches New Schoolwide Outreach Program What began as a holiday seasonal community project has evolved into a larger, new schoolwide outreach program called HarKare (Harker Cares).

Photo by Kyle Cavallaro

“Collecting the dresses is great, but it’s really about so much more than that. It’s about boosting these girls’ selfconfidence and giving them a chance to forget whatever hardships they may be going through and giving them a night that can be all about them,” explained Tobin. “I think that sometimes we take opportunities that we are given for granted,” added Hong. “There are plenty of girls in San Jose who would be so glad for just one dress out of the many in our closets.” The Princess Project has served more than 20,000 teens through the dedication of more than 2,000 volunteers. Volunteers sort dresses and organize accessories for girls living in San Francisco, Silicon Valley and San Diego. 22


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Photo provided by Carol Zink

HarKare launched with its first project, making ornaments to accompany classroom Christmas trees donated from the lower, middle and Photo by Patricia Lai Burrows upper school campuses to underprivileged families.

Over the years, the trash warriors have picked up some interesting finds during their trashathons, including a loaded shotgun shell (turned over to the police), a pair of nearly new high heels, an expensive motorcycle helmet, and a rubber Halloween mask.

Annual Pajama and Book Drive to Help Comfort Children in Need The school recently donated hundreds of pairs of pajamas and five boxes of books to this year’s pajama drive, which ran from Jan. 7-18. While the exact final numbers are still being counted, Pallie Zambrano, co-president of the Pajama Program’s Northern and Central California chapter, reported that this year’s drive brings Harker’s total donations to more than 2,000 pairs of pajamas and 2,400 books.

To that end, about 40 Harker parents and children of varying ages took time out on a Sunday in December to gather for the ornament-making event. “HarKare will create opportunities for kids and whole families to participate in all sorts of community projects going on all year, not just during the holiday season,” enthused Teré Aceves, lower school volunteer program director at Harker. Photo by Kyle Cavallaro

Students collected nearly 30 prom dresses for girls who need them. Sheridan Tobin, grade 10, and Shannon Hong, grade 9, took it upon themselves to solicit the donations from fellow students for the Princess Project, which promotes self-confidence and individual beauty by providing free prom dresses and accessories to high school girls who cannot otherwise afford them.

In February there were two HarKare initiatives running nearly simultane-

The full text of these stories can be found at Harker News Online, Search on the appropriate subject.

ously: a book exchange on Feb. 8 and a volunteer effort with the organization Sea Scavenger the following day.

Student Collects Multiple Awards for Earthquake Preparedness Project By Zach Jones In February, Rohan Chandra, grade 12, was presented with an award for being a distinguished finalist by The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards, which annually recognizes and honors young people nationwide who have volunteered to help their communities. Chandra created earthquake preparedness kits for the senior citizens of his Fremont neighborhood, creating safety guides in a variety of languages, including English, Spanish, Farsi, Hindi and Mandarin. With the help of dozens of volunteers, Chandra raised more than $12,000 to make the project possible. The award came with a letter from the office of President Barack Obama, thanking Chandra for his efforts.

Photo by Kyle Cavallaro

In December, Chandra was also named the first-place winner of the Kids Who Give contest for the period ending Sept. 30. The Kids Who Give program, sponsored by Farm Rich, recognizes young citizens who devise solutions to help their local communities. As a quarterly

GreaterGood winner, Chandra was awarded $3,500.

Lower School Students Jump Rope, Raise Money for American Heart Association Students at the lower school were greeted with an afternoon of great weather in early March, after a night of rain, for this year’s Jump Rope for Heart event. By the time the K-5 youngsters got out on the blacktop of the Bucknall campus to celebrate having raised $997 to date for the American Heart Association, the ground was dry and perfect for jumping rope, high jumping onto soft mats, limboing, leaping over makeshift hurdles, crawling through obstacle courses, shooting baskets and other fun activities. Some teachers got in on the action, too, as each grade level rotated to different stations for various activities, held both outside and inside the school’s gym. Unlike previous times, this year’s event was held during P.E. classes, instead of as a whole school happening. Students also had the option to take a quick break and enjoy some healthy snacks over by the lunch tables. Nearby was the “Heart Wall,” where they could attach small paper hearts adorned with special messages for loved ones or others in need. Donations were still rolling in after the activities ended. Earlier, while encouraging his colleagues to attend the event, Jim McGovern, P.E. assistant department chair, had said, “We

encourage everyone to be involved in the fun by coming to the gym and watching the students participate in all the activities. If you have never seen kindergartners or first graders jump rope, it will be a special treat!”

Middle School Students Make Blankets for Children in Need With the knowledge that there is nothing like a favorite “blankie” to comfort a suffering child, grade 7 middle school students in Karina Momary’s and Julie Pinzás’ advisories teamed up in early February to create blankets for donation to the South Bay chapter of Project Linus. A volunteer-driven nonprofit organization giving blankets to children who are seriously ill or living in shelters, Project Linus works to provide a sense of security, warmth and comfort through the donation of handmade, washable blankets lovingly created by volunteer makers, or “blanketeers.” The blanket creation for Project Linus was the middle school’s community service project for this year. Working in pairs, students produced 12 blankets for donation to the local branch of Project Linus. To date, Project Linus has delivered more than 4,000,000 security blankets to children around the world and has nearly 400 chapters in the United States. Although the organization originally donated blankets to pediatric cancer patients, recipients now include any child who is seriously ill or traumatized in some way. “What a great opportunity to be able to use our advisory time to make a collaborative impact on our community to help children in need of comfort,” said Pinzás.


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Advancement Golf Classic Supports Generations of Students to Come By Debbie Cohen


The Harker School’s general endowment is the school’s most critical and fundamental endowment. Comprising unrestricted funds, it ensures Harker’s ability to sustain itself, evolve and grow, hire and retain outstanding faculty and staff, attract and nurture gifted students and meet unanticipated demands.

he 2013 Harker Golf Classic and Wine Tasting provided a fantastic day for golf enthusiasts and wine drinkers alike, who gathered first at the beautiful Stanford University Golf Course, then at the hilltop home of Susan and Scott McNealy (Maverick, grade 12; Dakota, grade 9; Colt, grade 8; Scout, grade 6) for the after-party. It was a beautiful, sunny Monday in early March and golfers enjoyed a variety of links-related activities, including a putting contest, hole in one contests (the prizes of a Smart car and a Mustang were, alas, unclaimed) and a longest drive contest for bragging rights. Held as a benefit event for Harker’s general endowment fund, the Golf Classic opened at 10 a.m. with attendees warming up at the driving range. Later, after the putting contest, foursomes headed out for the shotgun start of the tournament, teeing off at 12:30 p.m. Maverick McNealy, who next year will be playing for Stanford University, was paired up with upcoming grade 8 golfing sensation Ryan Vaughan, and the students joined presenting sponsors Gary and Pooja Gauba (Alexis, grade 8; Ashley, grade 4; Ariana, K) on team number 1. McNealy shot a 70 and Vaughan a 74. The golf course, opened in 1930, is located in the foothills above the Stanford University campus and is consistently rated one of the finest in the world. Golf greats Tom Watson and Tiger Woods both played the course extensively while students at Stanford. In 2009 Stanford was rated the nation’s third best college course by golf coaches.

Photos by Kyle Cavallaro


Following the scramble, participants headed out to the wine tasting at the McNealy’s. Ryan Moreland ’98, who owns Corvalle Winery, and Yannick Rousseau from Y Rousseau Wines poured and talked about their wines, which were accompanied by oven-fired homemade pizza and many other delicious dishes.


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The first place winning team was Mike Armstrong (Annabella, grade 8), Harry Murray, David Nesbitt and Trask Leonard. On the women’s first place team were Patricia Huang, grade 12; Daphne Liang, grade 9; Kristine Lin, grade 11; and Katherine Zhu, grade 7. The longest drive winners, sponsored by Mass Mutual, were Maverick McNealy and Susan Zhang (Patricia Huang, grade 12; Sonya Huang ‘10). Closest to the pin, sponsored by Shirin’s Events, were Susan McNealy and Gregg Ringold ’07. Harker sends out a grateful thanks to all presenting sponsors: the Gaubas, Ram and Indira Reddy (Nikhil, grade 10) Christopher and Andrea Umdenstock (Haden, grade 6), Sandeep and Priya Vij (Sarina, grade 12; Sameer, grade 11) and, Scott McNealy’s current major venture.

Donors Delighted Over Sneak Peek of New Union Campus By Debbie Cohen


rom the moment donors set foot on the recently acquired Union Avenue property, they knew they had made the right choice in supporting the historic purchase of the new campus, helping to ensure Harker’s future for generations to come.

Before much construction got under way, the advancement department treated the campaign supporters to “sneak peeks” of the beautiful new campus, as a way to say “thank you” and celebrate their giving to the capital campaign, which helped fund the purchase. The first campus tour, held Feb. 7, was for major, visionary benefactors, while the second, on Feb. 25, was attended by donors who had given to Phase IV of the capital campaign. After enjoying lunch and a campus update on plans for the space, donors took a tour through the buildings, roamed the grounds and had an opportunity to have all their questions answered. The tour included many interesting and heartwarming sites, including a state-of-the-art cafeteria, hand-painted tiles and assorted play structures. Left behind in the art room on an old chalkboard was a quote from B.B. King which read, “The beautiful thing about learning is that no one can take it away from you.”

New Donor Recognition and Thanks Website Launched By Debbie Cohen


n an effort to honor and recognize the tradition of philanthropic support Harker benefits from every day, a new special addition has been added to the “Support Harker” section of the school website (shown at “We are the fortunate recipients of charitable gifts and volunteer efforts which enrich the school experience for our students and create a warm and inviting community for

Calling the Union property a “knockout,” he added that “looking into the future this could be my favorite campus.”

Donor Jeff Rothschild said that even though his son, Isaac, is a junior who will soon graduate from Harker, he believes funding the new campus is an opportunity to “pay it forward.” Rothschild, a new member of the Board of Fellows, said he feels fortunate for his son to be enjoying the upper school campus facilities that others helped fund and is now thrilled to be a part of “this wonderful new opportunity” to do the same with the Union property. Following the special donor tours, early March saw two more sneak peeks, one for Harker faculty and staff and the other for Harker families. Finally, about 100 attendees enjoyed the popular annual alumni Easter egg hunt, which was held on the morning of March 23 on the new Union campus. During that event the sounds of laughing children filled the air, even as several buildings and some of the grounds were in various states of remodeling, serving as a reminder that this beautiful new site is quickly becoming an important part of the Harker community.

our families. Showing our appreciation for our donors and volunteers is very important to us. We want to make sure we express our thanks in a timely way, and so we provide monthly updates here,” reads the new “thank you” website in its introduction. Viewers can enjoy browsing through the site’s pages and reflecting on the meaningful impact their contributions and efforts have made at Harker. “This website replaces our former printed piece, the annual report. In addition to being more environmentally and financially responsible than printing and mailing thousands of copies of the report, it allows

us to more quickly thank and recognize our donors,” said Melinda Gonzales, director of development. She noted that the site launch coincided with the overall redesign of the main Harker website. According to Gonzales, the site will be updated throughout the year by adding the names of all the families who carry on the tradition of annual and capital campaign giving, providing students with the “margin of excellence” that helps them thrive. For questions about donor listings, please contact Allison Vaughan, director of donor relations and stewardship, at H A R K E R Q U A R T E R LY

“At the end of the day, it goes back to the kids.” - John Keller, parent

“It already feels like home,” was an oft-repeated sentiment among the select groups of donors who enjoyed two recent separate viewings of the site – home to Harker’s soon-to-belaunched preschool and future location of its lower school.

John Keller (Devin, grade 5; Haley, grade 7; Johnathon, grade 9; Michael ’07), a major benefactor to the capital campaign, said that for him giving is all about the students. “At the end of the day, it goes back to the kids. And our kids are the most important thing we have,” he said.

Photo by Kyle Cavallaro


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Advancement Visionary Donors Make Major Impact on the Harker Experience By Ellen DiBiase

The Shah/Krishnan Family When the decision was made to create an upper school program, it was clear that a new building would need to be added to the Saratoga campus to house Harker’s middle school students. Thus, Shah Hall was constructed with Ajay Shah and Lata Krishnan making the lead gift during the second phase of the capital campaign, giving Harker’s middle school students a brand new set of classrooms to call their own. The couple co-founded SMART Modular Technologies in 1989, a memory module company that later merged with Solectron, and they continue to achieve great success today via their technology-based private equity firm. As role models for budding entrepreneurs in the Indian community, they came together with several other families to create the American India Foundation in 2001, an initiative to accelerate the social and economic development in India and strengthen the bonds between India and the U.S. Their focus on global outreach includes strong support of any educational programming that encourages students to challenge themselves, and they were happy to support Harker’s “Cornerstones of Success Campaign.”



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Today, Shah Hall houses the upper school’s history classrooms, as the Saratoga campus remains flexible to best meet the demands of any given school year. Each summer, Harker also welcomes students from around the world to Shah Hall to participate in the English Language Institute (ELI). Shah and Krishnan have given many hours of volunteer service to the school, serving on the Parent Technology Advisory Committee and hosting several head of school gatherings and focus groups at their home. Their eldest child, Kavita ’07, earned a B.A. in international relations from Stanford and now works for Google. Rohan ’10 is currently pursuing a B.S. in science, technology and society at Stanford.

The Davis Family Harker homecoming games would not be complete without the large motor home seen in the upper school parking lot every year. This grand tailgating experience is courtesy of John and Christine Davis. Their benevolence doesn’t stop there, however; just before each game, excited fans file into the bleachers of Davis Field, a state-of-the-art athletic facility gifted by the family to the school and built during the third phase of the capital campaign. “Through the generosity of the Davis family and their donation towards Davis Field, we have seen tremendous growth in our athletics program witnessed not only through our teams’ increased competitiveness but also as a gathering

Photo by Mark Tantrum

Photo by Mark Tantrum

Three visionary gifts from donors, made early in Harker’s expansion to a K-12 school, are still making a major impact on our students’ experience today.

Advancement space for the entire Harker community,” said Dan Molin, Harker’s athletic director. Davis Field has become a centerpiece of student life at Harker, hosting soccer, football and lacrosse games at night while serving as a casual meeting spot for students looking to catch some sun while studying or play a quick game of Ultimate Frisbee during their lunch breaks. The Davis’ son, Cole ’10, was an all-star athlete during his time at Harker, participating in wrestling, football and swimming at the varsity level. He now swims for Stanford and recently competed in the 2012 U.S. Olympic Team swim trials. While Cole was at Harker, John and Christine Davis dedicated much of their time to advancing the school, serving as room parents, team parents, development council members, capital campaign committee members, founding fashion show co-chairs, and Family & Alumni Picnic volunteers. Since Cole’s graduation, Harker has been pleased to see that John and Christine are still familiar faces on campus, despite many additional philanthropic interests that also bid for their time. Christine currently serves on Harker’s Board of Trustees, and both John and Christine continue to regularly attend the school’s special events and head of school gatherings.

The Patil Family After 10 years as an instructor at both MIT and the University of Utah, Suhas Patil was just beginning what would prove to be an impactful career in the technology industry. He went on to found Cirrus Logic, one of the first semiconductor companies to utilize a fabless business model. His wife, Jayshree, has always shared Suhas’ interest in education and technology, having earned a master’s degree in education and administration and presently serving as a senior executive in their current startup. Both parents have greatly assisted Harker in past years by contributing their thoughts and time to the Parent Technology Advisory Committee and capital campaign planning meetings. Though their daughter, Teja ’02, ultimately continued her own rigorous academic pursuit in the field of epidemiology and is now a resident at the University of California, San Francisco School of Medicine, the Patils chose to highlight another of their daughter’s interests, performing arts, in their gift to the school. The classes currently offered in the Patil performing arts wing of Manzanita Hall on the Saratoga campus will soon move to the new sports

and performing arts complex, to be built within the next few years. The Patil Theater will be the premier venue for Harker student performances and community events. Laura Lang-Ree, Harker’s K-12 director of performing arts, said, “We have over 950 students actively performing each year and no current home for them to hone their craft. These young performers are used to making do in the gym at Bucknall or the cafeteria at Blackford. The first time our amazing students walk into a theater, their theater, it will change their lives. They will hear notes they have never been able to hear before, create music in new ways, be a part of a technical theater team where they can actually build and run the shows in their own space, and their work will reach heights they can’t even imagine right now.” The Patils feel that education should be our country’s number one priority, and they recognize the importance of K-12 education in providing the foundation necessary for the next generation to remain agile in the workforce. As parents and also as mentors through TiE, The Indus Entrepreneurs group they co-founded in 1992, Suhas and Jayshree Patil encourage young people to explore multiple fields, including science, math and the humanities, to gain a wider breadth of learning. Their own daughter was able to do just that at Harker, balancing a demanding class load with participation in the performing arts and in the mentoring program. As Harker continues to address the needs of the whole child, the school is thrilled to provide new facilities that will let our students thrive in their respective fields of interest, whether in the lab, on the court or taking center stage.

Save the Date: Grandparents’ Day Fri., May 10! Grandparents and grandfriends visit the lower school on this charming day, where guests tour and participate in activities with their Photo by Maria Gong, parent special kids. Stay tuned for more information about this year’s event which, with planned NASA-themed space station activities for students, should be out of this world!


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: d e sh i l p m o cc

A n o i 10th Annual Fashion Show a Hit Miss

By Catherine Snider


he lights dim and spies climb on the runway to gather in front of a dark screen. A hooded figure flickers to life on a video screen and, with a disguised voice, tells the agents to find out the secret to Harker’s success. The countdown begins … The homage to “Mission: Impossible” set the tone for this year’s fashion show, Mission: Possible – Dare to



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Try, Harker’s 10th annual fundraising spectacular. The visionaries behind the show were parent John Keller and Laura Lang-Ree, K-12 performing arts chair, who together created a plotline that ran throughout the show: could undercover agents find the secret to why Harker students had so much fun, did so well and enjoyed school so much? A record number of dedicated volunteers supported the mission from start to finish.

2013 Fashion Show

Before the undercover secret agent could give the spies their assignment, Showstoppers and High Voltage exploded onto the runway, dancing to the Mission: Impossible theme, which the audience no doubt recognized either from the popular Tom Cruise movies or the 1960s-’70s TV series. Student, parent and staff models took to the runway in clothes from several generous fashion partners including Ken Chen, Azadeh, Oakley, Old Navy and Catimini; and occasionally a trench-coated secret agent would pop up onto the runway to try to infiltrate a segment, interacting with the models by grabbing their props for “observation” or dancing with them. Each segment had a title that tied into the show’s Dare to Try theme, including Dare to Dream, Dare to be Different, Dare to Succeed and Dare to be Yourself. Harker’s fine performing arts ensembles also headlined segments, as Dance Fusion performed to a party medley for Dare to Have Fun, Downbeat shook the house with “Wings” for the Dare to Fly segment and Varsity Dance Troupe rocked the Dare to Dance segment, appropriately.

The show had a hightech gloss, with video montages playing on three large screens, fog, exciting lighting effects and a status bar appearing occasionally to let the audience know the mission was 25, 50, 75 and 100 percent accomplished. The finale was particularly memorable, as Lang-Ree realized a 10-year vision with live instrumentalists accompanying models for the first time; a chamber ensemble and the Grade 5 Choir joined Downbeat to perform while senior models showed off formal evening wear. Finally the spies cried defeat, telling their boss that they didn’t want to infiltrate Harker – they wanted to go there! And, lo and behold, the agent pulled off his hood and revealed himself as Chris Nikoloff, head of school. The real Nikoloff took the runway moments later to thank the guests for coming and offer a welldeserved round of applause to the countless volunteers and staff who put this spectacular show together.


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2013 Fashion Show

Not Just About the Fashion


his year’s luncheon show featured a live auction for the first time. Damon Casatico, Harker’s favorite dinnertime auctioneer, was back after a year away and worked the crowd into a bidding mood as guests vied for the chance to record their own CD in a professional studio, enjoy a day at Discovery Bay or swap places with their teachers for a day. Spy movies always seem to include glamorous locales, and the fashion show was no exception, with a full-scale casino in the lobby, where guests flooded the tables to try their luck, and a photo center where attendees could have their pictures taken in front of some exotic world sites, including the Taj Mahal and Eiffel Tower. The dinner auction had some unbelievable packages, including a meet-and-great with PayPal and Tesla founder Elon Musk at his SpaceX facility, an internship at high-tech firm Prysm, a prime 49ers package and the chance to become an avatar in the next version of Guitar Hero. The everpopular puppy was back, too, this year in the form of Kona, an adorable chocolate Labrador who found a new home with the Nikoloff family.



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! U O Y K N A H T

2013 Fashion Show

Thank you so much to all our incredible sponsors and partners! Gold Sponsors: Krish & Nina Panu • Christine & John Davis Family • Isharya • Michelle & John Keller • Charles Huang and Lillian Qian • Rector Motor Company • Roshni & Jagdeep Singh

Silver Sponsors: Marcia and Chris Riedel – Hunter Labs • The Susai Family • MG Insurance Company - The Gurleroglu Family • CEM Builders • Avidbank • Wealth Design, LLC

Bronze Sponsors: The Liu Family • TICO Construction • The Dharmaraj Family • Poshmark • Mobile Fashion Marketplace • Mario Quezada/State Farm Insurance • San Jose Gastroenterology • Paramitas Foundation/ Winston & Phyllis Chen • Wells Fargo • The Armstrong, Broweleit, Kim, Cheung and Schlesinger Families • Symphonic Investments • Shirin’s Events

In-Kind Donors: Beijing Damei Central Plaza • Blue Heron Design Group• Diamond Quality Printing • Azadeh • CH Premier Jewelers, Valley Fair • Gentry Magazine • Green Throttle Games • Love Apple Farms • O’Connor Hospital • Snell Real Estate • PenPalGirls

Fashion Partners: Azadeh • Bossini • Bella James • Catimini • DDP Paris • Eli Thomas for Men • For Boys and a Girl • Free People • Furla • Ken Chen • Kitsch Couture • Kool Kids Couture • The Library • Oakley • Old Navy • Shampoo Dolls • St. Croix • Tuxedo Wearhouse


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PerformingArts Bel Canto and Friends Gather at Nichols Hall Auditorium for Annual WinterSong Concert

Bel Canto then retook the stage for the final series of songs for the evening, which included Felix Bernard’s “Winter Wonderland of Snow,” the traditional English folk song “Barbara Allen” and the finale, a rousing rendition of the African-American spiritual “Battle of Jericho.”

On Jan. 18, the upper school vocal group Bel Canto once again got together with some special guests in the Nichols Hall auditorium for this year’s

red hue as the performers danced to Tina Turner’s “Disco Inferno” and Camryn’s “Set the Night on Fire,” among others. In addition to starring in the show, several students also took on choreography duties, such as Tiphaine Delepine, grade 12, who did the choreography for Photo by Jacqueline Orrell Kerli’s “Walking On Air,” and Angela Ma, grade 11, who collaborated with Kuehn on the choreography for “Somewhere Over the Rainbow.”


Ky le

Photo by

A series of stirring solo performances followed thereafter, including senior Justin Gerard’s rendition of the late 1920s classic “Ol’ Man River,” and a version of the beloved Leonard Cohen ballad “Hallelujah,” sung by Gwen Howard, grade 9. Freshman Elina Sendonaris’ interpretation of Debussy’s “Claire De Lune” provided the perfect segue for a special appearance by Cantilena, the upper school women’s chamber ensemble directed by Susan Nace, who beautifully performed Ko Matsushita’s choral piece, “Dona Nobis Pacem.”



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Upper school dance talent took the stage at the Blackford Theater in early February to celebrate the classical elements of air, water, fire and earth at this year’s upper school dance production, fittingly titled “Elements of Dance.” Directed by dance teachers Amalia De La Rosa and Karl Kuehn, the main portion of the show consisted of four parts, each highlighting one of the four elements through music, visuals and, of course, choreography. During the part of the production titled “Air,” the stage was bathed in atmospheric blue and green light, with light-footed dancers performing their routines to songs such as “Tornado” by Little Big Town and “Somewhere Over the Rainbow,” made famous by Judy Garland. Later, during “Fire,” the stage took on a

The fantastic scenery and lighting were the work of technical director Paul Vallerga and lighting designer Natti Pierce-Thomson, who both used their creativity and expertise to provide the show its atmosphere. Brian Larsen once again performed admirably as sound engineer, while also pulling double duty as production manager. The stylish costumes worn by the performers were designed by De La Rosa and Kuehn, as well as the student choreographers, with alterations made by Harker parent Kim Pellissier (Stephan, grade 11, and Christophe ’12).

Audiences Enjoy Middle and Upper School Instrumentalists at Winter Concert

Photo by Kyle Cavallaro

Photo by Kyle Cavallaro

Students Express the Power of the “Elements” at Dance Production

WinterSong vocal concert. Led by Jennifer Sandusky, the group jumped right into the show with performances of Henry Purcell’s “Come Ye Sons of Art” and “Alleluia from Cantata No. 142” by Johann Kuhlau, with accompaniment from violinist Paul ro Woodruff, violist Toni Woodruff valla and Serena Wang, grade 10, on piano.

By Zach Jones

Dozens of musicians from Harker’s middle and upper schools gathered at the beautiful Mexican Heritage Theater in San Jose on Jan. 11 for this year’s Winter Concert. Musical groups from both campuses performed pieces both modern and classic in a wide variety of styles.

The full text of these stories can be found at Harker News Online, Search on the appropriate subject.

PerformingArts Charles-Auguste de Bériot.


Jazz musicians from grades 7 and 8 took the stage for a set of songs from greats such as Charles Mingus (“Boogie Bop Shuffle”) and Charlie Parker (“My Little Suede Shoes”). Finishing the middle school portion of the show was the Grade 7-8 Orchestra, who performed “Amazing Grace” and Ralph Vaughan Williams’ “Fantasia on Greensleeves” before bringing the set to a spectacular close with the P h oto b y J a c que lin first movement of Antonín e Dvorák’s “New World Symphony.” l rel

Stanley’s story was told through such entertaining musical numbers as the wistful “I Wish I Were,” the light-hearted “The Funny Sunny Side” and the Beach Boys-flavored “Surfin’ the Mail,” all with lively choreography by Kimberly Teodoro and Stephanie Bayer. Each character had multiple actors to ensure stage time for all the

Cavall aro

Students Donna Boucher, Connie Xu, Arushee Bhoja and Catherine Wang, all grade 6, impressively performed the first of two chamber pieces showcased that evening, “Comptine d’un Autre Été: L’Après-Midi” by Yann Tiersen. The grade 8 duo of violinists Cuebeom Choi and May Gao then played a selection from “Duo Concertante for Two Violins” by

This year’s grade 5 show, “The Musical Adventures of Flat Stanley, Jr.,” directed by Jennifer Sandusky, gave all grade 5 students the chance to showcase their musical prowess in late January at the Bucknall Theater. A musical re-telling of Jeff Brown’s beloved 1964 children’s book, “Flat Stanley,” the show recounted the tale of Stanley Lambchop, a young boy who is literally flattened one night by a falling bulletin board. He soon learns to use his flatness to his advantage, traveling the world by placing himself into envelopes destined for far-off places such as Paris and Hawaii.

Finally, Florio led the headlining upper school orchestra in an array of selections from famed composers such as Dvorák, Tchaikovsky and Holst, bringing the concert to an exciting close with a performance of Percy Grainger’s famous reel “Molly on the Shore.” by Kyle

Harker Strings continued with an arrangement of Duke Ellington’s “Don’t Get Around Much Anymore” and the holiday favorite “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.” The Grade 6 Orchestra (made up of members from the winds and strings groups) then continued the performance with “Farandole” by Georges Bizet and the ever-popular theme from “Star Wars.”

The second half of the show featured upper school musicians, starting with the Lab Band, the introductory jazz ensemble directed by Dave Hart, who performed Benny Golson’s “Blues March,” Joe Henderson’s “Recorda Me” (arranged by the band themselves) and “Big Dipper” by Thad Jones. The Harker School Jazz Band, directed by Chris Florio, continued with “Launching Pad” by Clark Terry and Duke Ellington and the popular 1930s British standard “A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square” before bringing the house down with the Brian Setzer Orchestra’s “Jumpin’ East of Java.”


The concert was separated into two portions, allowing students from both campuses equal time to shine. Middle school musicians, directed by Dave Hart, opened at 5 p.m. with Harker Winds performing “Bags Groove” by Milt Jackson and “Some Nights” by the pop group fun., both arranged by the performers in the group.

Grade 5 Students Travel the World by Mail in “Flat Stanley, Jr.”


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PerformingArts of Harker Conservatory seniors on display in a series of one-act plays. This year’s show featured “The Shadow Box,” directed by Cecilia Lang-Ree, “The Choice is Yours,” directed by Lori Berenberg, “The Madwoman of Chaillot,” directed by Cristina Jerney and “DNA,” directed by Hannah Prutton.

The show also featured some very creative usage of costumes and props (courtesy of costume designer Marylin Watts, prop master Karoli Clever and assistant prop master Feline Clever), such as the outfit worn by the actors in the role of Stanley, which amusingly conveyed his flatness.

Each production required a great deal of preparation and hands-on work from the student directors, who were involved in every step of the process, including auditioning actors, budgeting, planning and arranging sets and making sure all the technical details fell into place. They learned many more ambiguous lessons along the way, such as “when to stay on certain points and let go on others. And sometimes, letting the process take care of itself instead of trying to control everything,” said Jerney. The class is taught by K-12 performing arts chair Laura Lang-Ree, who selects three to four seniors each year after an in-depth audition and interview and guides them through the directing process.

For this show, lower school teacher Danny Dunn acted as both technical director and set designer, with help from technical assistant Oahnha Ly. The scenery on-set was painted by local artist Whitney Pintello. The production also received generous help from Dunn’s grade 5 technical theater students and middle school tech club. Veteran sound engineer Brian Larsen once again manned the soundboard, and Daniel Clark ’10 managed the microphones. Stage manager Karoli Clever and assistant stage manager Ken Boswell kept everything on cue, along with stage engineers Marcus Clever and Beric Dunn.

But despite the challenges faced by each of the directors, it is clear that the road to completing the production is one the entire cast and crew travel together. “[My favorite part of directing was] definitely bonding and spending time with my cast,” Jerney said. “They were a really great group of people and I really had fun sharing this experience with them.”

Harker Conservatory Students Make Directorial Debuts at Student-Directed Showcase



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Photo by Kyle Cavallaro

In early January, Student-Directed Showcase put the directorial talents

As with every Harker production, Student-Directed Showcase was made possible by a sturdy crew of students and faculty. Harker’s production manager, Brian Larsen, acted as technical director and sound engineer, while Simon Orr, grade 12, was stage manager and Nicholas Semenza, grade 11, deftly handled lighting during the show. The deck crew of Alex Thomas and Jeremy Binkley, both grade 10, and

Photo by Kyle Cavallaro

students, who ably handled the often complex song-and-dance sequences, some of which included the entire grade 5 class on stage at once.

Shilpa Repakula and Zarek Drozda, both grade 9, kept the show running smoothly, and sophomore Delaney Martin handled props and costumes. Stalwart scenic and lighting designer Paul Vallerga again offered his talents to the production, and Caela Fujii offered her guidance on costuming.

Lower School Students Celebrate the Season in Song at Holiday Shows In December, lower school performers brought seasonal cheer to the many attendees at the Bucknall Theater during their annual holiday shows. The entire grade 1 class gathered on stage on Dec. 11, and grades 2-3 followed close on their heels on Dec. 13. Both shows were directed by Kellie BinneySmart, lower school performing arts teacher. The grade 1 offering was a collection of songs titled “Flakes! A Musical Celebration of Snow, Slush and Snirt.” Dressed in holiday-appropriate attire, the students sang a number of light and fun odes to winter and winter-

PerformingArts learning a chamber music piece of their choosing. The students had the chance to play the pieces for Frequency 49, who later performed for them. “Hearing Frequency 49 provided the students an opportunity to see and hear a professional chamber music group perform the pieces the students have been working on the last two weeks,” Hart noted.

tor Carol Clever, as well as Dunn’s grade 5 technical theater students. Stephanie Woolsey, lower school math teacher, stage managed the grade 2-3 show, and Stephanie Bayer provided choreography for the grade 1 show.

Woodwind Quintet Visits, Offers Instruction to Middle and Upper School Musicians

Lastly, the group visited the upper school for a workshop with Chris Florio’s class, demonstrating what could be done on their respective instruments. “For example, the flutist demonstrated how the flute can produce bird-like sounds,” said Victoria Ding, grade 9. Ding said communication was one of the important principles that the group taught the students. “Frequency 49 instructed us to sit in a certain arrangement such that each instrument’s sound carries well to the other players and the audience,” she said. “They also reminded us to maintain eye contact with each of the four other players and adjust to what we hear in order to maintain balance in the ensemble.”


In late January, the San Franciscobased wind quintet Frequency 49 held several master classes for Harker students. Made up entirely of working professional musicians, the group Photo by Ky visited a number of classes at le the middle and upper school campuses, starting with the grade 7-8 orchestra, led by Dave Hart. The musicians showed the students the sounds and various attributes of each instrument and played a special selection of pieces in a variety of styles. va

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The grade 2-3 show featured every student from each class celebrating the holidays in song, with performances of classics such as “It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas” and “Jingle Bell Rock” interspersed with newer songs, including “Spin a Little Dreidel” and “Alfie the Elf.” Students provided amusing narration between songs to help keep the atmosphere light and fun. Great instrumental accompaniment was provided throughout the show by adult musicians Toni Woodruff on violin and Melissa Lin on piano. Much of the success of the shows is owed to technical director Danny Dunn and assistant technical direc-

“Since many of the students in orchestra have had experience performing in chamber ensembles throughout the year, they were able to ask questions about the process of rehearsing and performing music in a chamber setting,” Hart said.

“I found it to be really beneficial because I had just begun playing in a woodwind quintet this year and I wasn’t quite sure how to play so that each member could play together well as one ensemble,” said Aaron Lee, grade 11.

Later, the group stopped by Hart’s grade 6 wind ensemble’s rehearsal. For this session, Hart rented duplicate instruments played by Frequency 49 so that students could try them out following a brief lesson on how they were played. “They spent the rest of the class with each member trying out those particular instruments. It was a blast, and the kids were completely engaged!” Hart exclaimed. Their final stop at the middle school was Hart’s grade 6 strings class. Students had been spending this semester separating into groups and

Photo by Da ve

Photo by Dave Hart

time fun, such as “Snow is Falling Today,” “Little Snowflake” and “Snirt” (a portmanteau of “snow” and “dirt”). The students sang and danced, and the show was punctuated by some short and amusing skits between song numbers.


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Ha rt


In Memoriam


oseph Sabeh, a Fremont resident, longtime board member and involved parent at The Harker School, passed away on Feb. 11 due to heart failure.

The beloved husband of 34 years to his wife, Linda, Sabeh was born Dec. 25, 1940, in Zahle, Lebanon, and was passionate about his family, real estate and golfing. Head of School Chris Nikoloff fondly recalled Sabeh’s years as a distinguished member of Harker’s Board of Trustees since 1995. Sabeh’s son, Joseph Jr., graduated from Harker in 1993 and his daughter, Grace Photo provided by the Harker Archives Wallace, graduated from the school in 1995. Grace currently teaches grade 2 at Harker’s lower school. “As a board member, Joe saw the school through tremendous change, from the opening of the upper school to the acquisition of the Union campus,” said Nikoloff, adding that in his professional life, Sabeh was well known for both his integrity and honesty. In 1984 Sabeh founded and became principal of Executive Homes Realty. Among many other awards throughout his years in real estate, he was recognized seven times by the Southern Alameda County Association of Realtors as the premier Realtor in residential sales topping $20,000,000. Many members of the Harker community attended various services held in his honor. At the end of February there was a viewing and a vigil at the Fremont Memorial Chapel. The next day was a funeral mass in San Jose followed by a burial at Cedar Lawn Memorial Park in Fremont. “We all remember Joe as a true gentleman. He had that rare gift of making everyone he met feel special. He had a warm handshake, winning smile and a big, loving heart for his family and friends. He served Harker and its families loyally for many years,” added Nikoloff. By Debbie Cohen


arker parent Mohammed Kaleem, who also served on the Harker Board of Trustees from 2002-08, passed away Feb. 13 in Pakistan. Known to most who knew him as Kaleem, he was born in Hyderbad, India, and migrated to Pakistan with his family during the partition war between Pakistan and India. While supporting his father and six siblings, he saved enough money to attend Oklahoma State University. He played an integral role in many Silicon Valley startups, and



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became involved with Harker when his son, Daniyal, enrolled.

He joined the board of trustees in 2002 when his daughter, Maheen, enrolled as a member of the upper school’s second graduating class. He advised and contributed to a number Photo provided by the Harker Archives of decisions regarding the expansion of the school to the Blackford campus and was a longtime supporter of the dance and musical theater programs. He had very close relationships with many teachers and administrators, always trying to fit baseball or 49ers games with Howard Saltzman and Pat Walsh into his busy schedule. He remained very close to Howard and Diana Nichols after his children had graduated, and never missed a dance production, basketball game or choir performance. Kaleem is survived by his wife, Dr. Ghizala Kaleem; his son, Daniyal Kaleem MS ’95; and his daughter, Maheen Kaleem ’03. By Maheen Kaleem ’03


artin Scarpace, father of Kristin Scarpace Giammona ’81, Harker’s elementary division head, and Marty Scarpace ’79; grandfather of Matt Giammona ’13 and Mia Giammona ’17 and Gabriella, Francesca and Antonio Scarpace, passed away Feb. 23, 2013, after a long illness. Scarpace was director of the Dad’s Club in 1975 and spearheaded the drive to fund a swimming pool, which was completed the following year. Scarpace, who owned a food brokering company, brought his expertise to Harker as a sausage cook at the Harker Family Photo provided by the Harker Archives & Alumni Picnic in the 1970s and contributed to Harker in many other ways. Harker is very sorry to lose this longtime member of the community and extends its deepest sympathy to his family and friends. By William Cracraft


ith great regret we note that longtime Harker employee Chris Doll passed away on March 11 after a tough battle with cancer. Please watch the summer Harker Quarterly for more information.


Harker Athletes Sign with


By Jason Berry


he first Wednesday of February probably does not call for much attention or register as an important day in the minds of most students lugging backpacks from class to class, but for five members of the Class of 2013, that date, Feb. 6, meant that courtship between school and player was over, and they could take pens in hand to sign their letters of intent to play collegiate athletics for their chosen universities; an additional student signed earlier in the year. After a few sullen days of rain in early February, Harker found itself awash under a baby blue sky. As students made their way to lockers in the morning to gather their books and anthologies, video monitors in the main academic hallway glowed with the day’s news. One special announcement caught the attention of many a passerby: an invitation from Dan Molin, athletic director, to join seniors Michael Amick, Siobhan Cox, Karan Das-Grande, Ashley Del Alto and Andy Perez in the college counseling offices as they signed to commit themselves to four years of college athletics, joining Maverick McNealy, who in November signed as a Stanford linksman.


In recent years, national signing day has grown in popularity and prominence, due, in part, to the surge in ESPN and regional markets that cater to specific conferences like the Big 10 and Southeastern Conference. Star-studded football recruits hold a nation’s attention, and fans bite their lips as they watch a fabled recruit extend his hand to clasp their school’s hat. A top athlete choosing the maize and blue of Michigan sends jubilant cheers through Ann Arbor and beyond, while in Columbus, Ohio, the Buckeye denizens sigh woefully at missing out. Just such a scene is by no means a hyperbolic one, and as other sports gain popularity, football recruits will not be the only ones holding press conferences. Michael Amick will be playing soccer for UCLA. A Harker Eagle since kindergarten, Amick began dribbling a soccer ball at age two when he enrolled in Kidz Love Soccer, an instructional youth camp. From those early beginnings, Amick began to develop a keen awareness for the game, and after dabbling in track, he decided that “the joy of soccer” and team aspect of the game far outweighed the individualism of track and field. As Amick matured over the years, so, too, did his game. His field awareness, precision passing, speed of play and sheer athletic prowess led him to be selected for

premier club teams, and his time with the De Anza Force and coach Shaun Tsakaris (who is also the varsity boys coach at Harker) sent his stock soaring. Over the past four years, Amick has concentrated his efforts on “pushing [himself] harder and harder each and every day,” he noted. This mental fortitude found promise in January 2012 when Amick was called up to the U18 national team and scored two goals in international competition. Attending and playing for the same school as other soccer greats like Carlos Bocanegra, Brad Friedel and Jonathan Bornstein do not faze Amick; H A R K E R Q U A R T E R LY

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“Everyone whom I have met (at Harker) is motivated and possesses a great work ethic.” ­­–Maverick McNealy, grade 12


Siobhan Cox has been working that mindset for her club team PSVUnionFC, which stands for Peninsula Silicon Valley Union Football Club, and, as a result, will be playing soccer for Stanford. Cox began showing interest in soccer around age 7 and has been embracing the sport for the past nine years. Her club team “trains every day, which is unusual for a club environment,” she said, but the competitive nature of those sessions has brought about “fun and intensity.” While Cox played her freshman year only for Harker, she relishes that season and credits the graduating seniors from that year as the catalysts for motivating her to play soccer. Attending a rigidly academic school, Cox recognizes the credit that is due her teachers. She states, “Harker has provided me with the opportunity to take care of the academic side, especially as many people don’t realize that athletes who want to go to a highly academic school must also meet the academic requirements, regardless of their [athletic skill].” While Stanford will be her home for the next four years, Ireland, England and the United States may be calling upon her skill in later years. With a mother from Ireland, a father from England and the United States as home, Cox “is available to play for three different national teams.” She now just needs to bide her time until July 27 to start training with the Cardinal, but her name is already on the press release and signing made it officially a “dream come true,” she said.


The only one to leave California, Karan Das-Grande will make his way across the SPRING 2 0 1 3

country to Connecticut College to submerge himself in water polo. A Harker student since grade 1, Das-Grande’s introduction to the sport was a late one, but he has been making waves, and schools took notice. While the sport is, arguably, still more regional than national, water polo saw tremendous exposure during the 2012 Olympics, and Das-Grande sought a college whose program was “young and on the rise.” Connecticut College met both criteria and is also a liberal arts school, a final requirement of his. Claiming that “defying the odds is possible,” Das-Grande points to his sophomore year and his contest against Saratoga as a defining moment for him both as a player and as an individual. Despite losing to Saratoga twice in the regular season, Harker “managed to squeak out a 7-6 win in league finals,” Das-Grande said. As a result, some of the Saratoga players refused to exchange handshakes during the contest overtures. Accordingly, Das-Grande remarked that “given their frustration, [the victory] taste[d] even better.” Having been coached and taught by “role models,” Das-Grande is grateful for the help he has had in growing into a mature, respectful person. On the diamond, softball player Ashley Del Alto will be taking her bat and glove to Iowa to pursue her dreams at Briar Cliff University. Daughter of J.R. Del Alto, the Saratoga campus’ maintence director, she will abide by the words of her new head coach Michelle Schaper: “If you produce, you will play.” And Del Alto is no stranger to producing. As a four-year varsity athlete on the softball team, she raised her batting average from an already-impressive .371 percentage as a freshman to an astounding .537 as a junior; she also has 34

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rather, he embraces the challenge an elite soccer university offers, stating, “There is a time and a place to be social and joke around, but when it is time to put in the work, the mindset must be right.”

athlete signings

“…many people don’t realize that athletes…must also meet the academic requirements, regardless of their [athletic skill].” – Siobhan Cox, grade 12


Recognized as the next rising talent in the world of golf, Maverick McNealy will be playing for Stanford. As the son of parents who both share an infinite love of solving problems, McNealy sees tranquility in what many consider to be a frustrating game.

ety, and he credits Harker for that aplomb. “Everyone whom I have met (at Harker) is motivated and possesses a great work ethic,” he said. Andy Perez also had an early commitment to soccer: he played it in his crib, he said, and when fall arrives, he will be taking the field for the University of California, Santa Barbara. Perez credits parents for ingraining in him a solid work ethic.


RBIs. A two-time first team all-league player, Del Alto will need to adjust to the climate in Iowa, but she states that “the care of the Harker community and the knowledge gained from her teachers” will help her transition to the “tightly knit community of Briar Cliff.” As Del Alto charges on to the field at Briar Cliff she takes with her memories of 14 years at Harker, remarking that she “would not want to be a part of any other class.”

Perez’ father, Ismael, a professional player for the San Jose Earthquakes, “coached [his son] at the age of four and continuously pushed him to strive harder.” Perez began attending Harker in grade 4, and when he arrived on the Saratoga campus for his freshman year, he played for Tsakaris and thought that the “camaraderie with teammates who are also classmates is an advantage because you want to work hard for your friends,” he said.

Learning the game when he was learning how to walk, he “loved to go outside and whack balls around with a plastic club,” he said. Arriving at Harker in grade 9, McNealy immediately excelled on the links, but he believes that “until [he] shoot[s] 18 in every round of golf he plays, there will always be room to get better.”

Moving over to the De Anza Force as well as the San Jose Earthquake’s Academy team proved invaluable for Perez, especially in terms of gaining national recognition. He does recognize that Harker has played a vital role in his academic growth and also helped to instill in him the character trait of respect.

Given that drive, it is no wonder that McNealy is acutely aware of the life lessons golf provides: “Golf, to me, is the ultimate game of personal responsibility,” he said. “Your performance is a direct result of the time and effort you put into the game, and you take complete responsibility for your play. If you hit a bad shot, you can only blame yourself because you were the only one to swing the club. Conversely, if you make a hole in one, you can take complete pride in your accomplishment.”

One instance in particular that stands out for Perez is a playoff game between Menlo and Harker during his freshman year. He reminisced: “Halfway through the game I looked over at the fans and saw a sea of Harker fans, students, faculty, football players, basketball players, and many more coming together to root us on to the next round. We ended up losing the game, and that was our last game with the seniors, but after the game all the fans came up and congratulated us on a great season.” It is in this spirit of respect and passion and pride for high school that Perez makes his way to become a Gaucho.

Even attending Stanford, home to Tiger Woods and Tom Watson, McNealy’s “favorite golfer,” causes no anxi-


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EagleReport By Theresa “Smitty” Smith

Most Valuable Player, Coaches Award Awards and Eagle Award Awards

LS & MS Sports

Lower School Grade 4 Junior Varsity-C girls basketball finished a perfect 6-0 in the league, WBAL champs!

Grade 5 Junior Varsity-B girls basketball finished at 2-4 in league, and took the Consolation Championship at the WBAL tournament.

Photo by Kyle Cavallaro

Basketball Varsity A: Joelle Anderson and Jordan Thompson, co-MVPs; Sarah Baz, Eagle Award; Lindsey Trinh, Coaches Award, all grade 8. Varsity B: Satchi Thockchom, Photo by Robert Boucher, parent MVP; Lauren Napier, Eagle Award; Tiffany Shou and and Akshaya Vemuri, co–Coaches Award, all grade 7.

Junior Varsity-B boys soccer finished a perfect 6-0 in the league, WBAL champs!

Junior Varsity A: Jennifer Hayashi, MVP; Anzu Kinoshita, Eagle Award; Prameela Kottapalli, all grade 6. Junior Varsity B: Haley Arena, MVP; Charlotte Blanc, Eagle Award; Madison Huynh, Coaches Award, all grade 5.

Middle School

Junior Varsity C l: Courtni Thompson, MVP; Sarah Raymond, Eagle Award; Maria Vazhaeparambil, Coaches Award, all grade 4.

Grade 6 her, g

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Junior Varsity-A girls basketball finished at 2-6 in league, and headed into the WBAL tournament.

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Junior Varsity-A boys soccer is currently 3-2-1 with one match remaining on the schedule.

Varsity-B girls basketball finished a perfect 8-0 in league, WBAL CHAMPS, and headed into the WBAL tournament. Varsity-B boys soccer is a perfect 4-0 with three matches still remaining on the schedule.

Grade 8 Varsity-A girls basketball is currently 7-3 and going to the WBAL tournament. Varsity-A boys soccer is currently 1-5 with two matches remaining on the schedule.



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Grade 7 P

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Grades 4-5 Intramural: Vaishnavi Murari, MVP; Aditi Vinod, Eagle Award; Julia Biswas, Coaches Award, all grade 4.

Soccer Varsity A: Zayne Khouja, MVP; Bill Liang, Eagle Award; Ashwin Rao, Coaches Award, all grade 8. Varsity B: Neelesh Ramachandran, MVP; Rohit Shah, Eagle Award; Sunny Jayam, Coaches Award; all grade 7. Junior Varsity A: Edwin Su and Jarrett Anderson, co-MVPs; Krish Kapadia, Eagle Award; Hasan Awais, Coaches Award, all grade 6. Junior Varsity B: Andrew Cheplyansky, MVP; Darshan Chahal, Eagle Award; Asmit Kumar, Coaches Award, all grade 5. Grade 4 Intramural: Ryan Tobin, Eagle Award; Arya Maheshwari and Chance Hewitt, Coaches Awards, all grade 4.

Wrestling Middle School: Davis Howard, MVP; Philip Kendall, Eagle Award; Arben Gutierrez-Bujari, Coaches Award, all grade 8. Maverick Invitational (mid-March): Philip Kendall, first place, 145 lb. weight class; Danny Reidenbach, first place, 175 lb. weight class; Davis Howard, first place, 215 lb weight class. All are grade 8.

EagleReport US Sports

By Steve M. Boyle ’06

Upper School Sure, it's been a chillier-than-average winter, but a few hot streaks from Harker athletes have provided more than a little entertainment during the shorter days. Harker's varsity basketball teams cruised to the postseason, while Harker's soccer teams improved, and one talented senior wrestler ended his career at Harker on a high note.

Basketball Both of Harker’s varsity basketball teams stormed into to the postseason with 17-win seasons, won a playoff game, and then saw their seasons end in hard-fought match-ups. The boys advanced to the playoffs after a 17-7 run in which the team went 11-3 in league play and won five of their last six games, earning them a number 6 seed and a first-round bye. In round two, Harker faced off against Pacific Grove with a shot at the quarterfinals on the line. There, Harker muscled through to a 64-56 victory in front of the home crowd at Blackford as senior Nikhil Panu led the way with a teamhigh 21 points. The win set up a CCS quarterfinals game against leaguerival Menlo Park, against whom Harker had split its two games during the regular season. Unfortunately, this time Menlo bested Harker 53-46, ending Harker’s run. Overall, Panu led the team in

Photo by Michelle Douglas, grade 12

points with 319 for the year while averaging 12.3 per game. Sophomore Eric Holt stood out with 278 points for the year and 10.7 per game, while sophomore Nicholas Nguyen led the team with 98 assists and 59 steals. The girls finished up their year with a 17-6 record overall and a 7-3 mark against league opponents, earning them a playoff berth. In the first round of CCS, the girls matched up against 11th-seeded Ocean High School and defeated them on the road, 51-40, setting into motion a second-round collision with number 6 seed Monte Vista Christian, where they were bested 53-35. For the

Harker’s varsity basketball teams cruised to the postseason, while Harker’s soccer teams improved, and one talented senior wrestler ended his career at Harker on a high note. year, Daniza Rodriguez, grade 12, put up a team-high 342 points, averaging 14.3 a game. Senior Shreya Vemuri and junior Nithya Vemireddy added another 13.5 and 11.4 points per game, respectively, while Rodriguez led the team with 139 assists. Vemireddy led the team in rebounds with 146. Senior Priscilla Auyeung stood out on both sides of the ball with 146 rebounds and 67 steals, second on the team in both categories. The JV boys finished strong, winning four of their last five to wind up the year 13-10. The JV girls dropped their 15 games, but took massive

Photo by Sam Hoffman, grade 12


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US Sports


Photo by Michelle Douglas, grade 12

freshmen boys went 5-11 and ended the season with a dramatic overtime win against Santa Cruz High School.

strides forward at the close of the year, drawing to within two points of Summit Public Schools – Tahoma in their fourth-to-last game and coming within just one point of Notre Dame High School San Jose in their final game of the season. Meanwhile, the

Congratulations to both varsity teams on their playoff runs!

Soccer Girls soccer finished in third place in league with a 9-4-1 record, 10-8-1 overall. Senior Sondra Leal Da Costa led the team in scoring with 18 goals, while Nikita Parulkar, grade 10, had a team-high 11 assists. Alyssa Amick, grade 10, finished second on the team in both goals and assists, hitting the back of the net 11 times and assisting on nine other goals.

Photo by Kyle Cavallaro



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The boys went 7-8-2 this season with a 5-7-2 record in league play, giving them a fourth place overall finish. The JV squad wound up at 4-8 on the year, but finished strong, winning their final two games in front of a home crowd.

Wrestling At the 49th annual Wiliam C. Overfelt Wrestling Classic, Harker's lone senior wrestler, Danny Wang, went 3-2 and made it to the consolation semifinals. All three of his victories came by way of pinning his opponents.

Eagle Scholastic Champions Harker’s girls basketball team and boys soccer team were named as Scholastic Championship teams by Central Coast Section for having the highest average grade point averages in the league with 3.7927 and 3.7258, respectively. The boys basketball team was fifth in its category at 3.6163, less than two-tenths of a point behind the first-place team.

Photos by Kyle Cavallaro


By Debbie Cohen

Kindergartners Chat with Tamagawa Buddies during Video Conferences Thanks to video conferencing, even students as young as kindergarten can participate in Harker’s successful

The kindergartners’ initial contact with their Tamagawa buddies has now set the stage for an ongoing relationship ...

global education program. Long before the much-anticipated exchange program with the Tamagawa Gakuen School in Japan that occurs in grade 6, Harker’s youngest students begin building relationships with their overseas pals in Tokyo. In January and February, the lower school’s four kindergarten homerooms held a series of video chats with same-age children from Tamagawa, Harker’s sister school. The video chats,

which ran for 30 minutes, afforded both Harker and Tamagawa youngsters the unique opportunity to interact with, learn from and entertain one another, as well as set the stage for an ongoing relationship that will develop all the way through high school.

Sixth Graders Hold Game-Show Style Conferences with their Tamagawa Buddies By Debbie Cohen The end of January marked the beginning of the winter video conferences between grade 6 students and their contemporaries from Harker’s sister school, Tamagawa Gakuen, in Tokyo, Japan. “All of our sixth graders have been partnered with a buddy in Japan whom they have been emailing through their computer science class,” said Jennifer Walrod, Harker’s director of global education. Back in September, grade 6 students

“met” their Tamagawa buddies and families from Japan for the first time via two separately held video conferences. This spring, a contingent of Harker’s grade 6 students will head to Japan as part of the reciprocal exchange program. “The video conferences are fun events held on the Blackford campus. We have a translator present to assist with communication,” explained Walrod. “The students are always so excited for them!”

“We have a translator present to assist with communication. The students are always so excited for them!” -Jennifer Walrod, director of global education


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GlobalEducation Upper School Gives Warm Harker Welcome to Swiss Exchange Students By Debbie Cohen Strawberries dipped in chocolate mirrored the sweetness of newly formed friendships at a recent farewell dessert reception honoring nine visiting exchange students from the Collège de Gambach in Switzerland. During the event held in the upper school’s Bistro, both Harker students and their new Swiss buddies breathed a collective sigh of relief that it was not a goodbye party. Come June, a group of Harker students and chaperones will head to Switzerland in continuation of the exchange program. The upcoming adventure will afford the Harker contingent the opportunity to immerse themselves in Swiss culture, brush up on their

language skills, and explore the country’s vast natural beauty. The Collège de Gambach is a secondary school under the authority of the department of public education and cultural affairs in Fribourg, Switzerland. The school places a strong emphasis on the formation of character and stresses strong resolve, clear thinking, a sense of responsibility and an appreciation for thorough work habits.

Photos by Kyle Cavallaro

Two Tamagawa High School Students Spend Month at Harker By Zach Jones

Photo by Jennifer Walrod



In February, Harker received a visit by two high school students from Tamagawa Gakuen in Tokyo. Akari Ito and Ayako Nagashima, who buddied up respectively with grade 11 students Monika Lee and Maya Madhavan, arrived Feb. 2 and spent the next month shadowing their buddies in classrooms and attending classes of their own. Classes they attended included stone carving with upper school art teacher Jaap Bongers, chemistry with Mala Raghavan, Pilar Agüero-Esparza’s painting class and Masako Onakado’s Japanese 5 class. S PS R P IRNI G N G2 0 21031 3

Ito also made a special visit to the lower school to teach a class of grade 5 students about Japanese calligraphy, showing them how to write words such “dream” and “wind.” Students who had some proficiency in the art were challenged with writing the more advanced characters for “lemon” and “rose.” The two students enjoyed a special farewell party in Onakado’s classroom on March 1, the day before their departure back to Japan, enjoying treats, playing games and sharing memories with their newfound Harker friends before making the trip home.

GlobalEducation Middle School Students Meet Shanghai Pen Pal Buddies By Debbie Cohen Harker’s middle school recently played host to 19 students and four chaperones visiting from the World Foreign Language Middle School (WFLMS) in Shanghai, China, as part of Harker’s student exchange program with its Chinese sister school. Come spring, a contingent of Harker students will head to China as part of the annual exchange program which is a highlight and culmination of the middle school experience for many grade 8 students. During their stay from Jan. 22-25, the WFLMS students observed and attended several middle school classes and headed over to the lower school for a traditional Chinese paper cutting project with grades 4 and 5. In their free time, the visitors ventured out for some sightseeing activities.

Photos by Kyle Cavallaro

Tamagawa Exchange Teacher Visits Upper School’s Music and Performing Arts Classes By Debbie Cohen Upper school students and faculty alike gave a warm welcome to visiting exchange teacher Michiko Takahashi, who is a music instructor at Tamagawa Gakuen, Harker’s sister school in Tokyo, Japan. During her Jan. 5-18 visit, Takahashi taught Japanese music and observed classes in the upper school’s performing arts department. Although Takahashi does not speak English, she was made to feel at home at Harker, thanks to the efforts

During her Jan. 5-18 visit, Takahashi taught Japanese music and observed classes in the upper school’s performing arts department. of several Japanese-speaking faculty members who offered to serve as interpreters, joining her for meals and serving as friendly faces around campus.

Photo by Jennifer Walrod

And, from the moment Susan Nace, upper school music teacher, picked Takahashi up from the San Francisco airport, it was a whirlwind of activity. After a weekend of sightseeing, Takahashi studied the upper school’s music and acting programs, had lunch with the administration, time spent teaching Japanese classes, visited with the college counseling department, and attended a farewell party with performing arts teachers.

The full text of these stories can be found at Harker News Online, Search on the appropriate subject.


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By Debbie Cohen

More than 200 Harker Alumni Reunited at the Annual Winter Gathering and were Joined by 30 Faculty and Staff

Photos by Kyle Cavallaro


ore than 200 students from the graduating classes of 2009-12 returned to Harker’s upper school campus during their winter breaks for the informal annual alumni event Home for the Holidays.

The college-aged alumni were joined by at least 30 faculty and staff members for the Jan. 2 gathering held in the Nichols Hall atrium, which was decorated with balloons in school colors and bouquets of flowers in “Harker Alumni” tumblers.

Before gathering in the atrium later in the day, many alumni sat in on classes, played sports on Davis Field and ate lunch in the Edge with old friends.

More than two dozen of the alumni present at the event were “Lifers,” having attended Harker from kindergarten through the upper school. They especially enjoyed reconnecting with old friends during the gathering. Others noted how well Harker had prepared them for the academic rigors of university life. MaryEllis Deacon, director of alumni relations, said she was pleased to see how welcome alumni had been made to feel on their visit, which began with faculty and staff greeting them as they arrived on campus. Before gathering in the atrium later in the day, many alumni sat in on classes, played sports on Davis Field and ate lunch in the Edge with old friends. Seeing the Edge again reminded Cindy Tay ’12, a current student at Duke University, of special times spent simply hanging out, including “one lazy afternoon, talking and eating tangerines with friends in the bistro.” “We want our alumni to know they are always welcome here, and we want them to keep in touch. We hope Harker will continue to be a part of their extended family … a community to return to, and a home away from home,” said Deacon.



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AlumniNews More Harker Alums’ Acting Careers Take Off!


production, and she had the female lead in the upper school’s musical “42nd Street.” After graduation, Wong attended New York University, where she earned a BFA in drama.

Photos provided by Kim Wong '05

rom Hollywood to the Big Apple, two of Harker’s musical theater certificate graduates have gone on to pursue exciting acting careers, taking them both on stage and in front of the camera. Kim Wong ’05 and D.J. Blickenstaff ’09 are rapidly making their marks in show biz.

Most recently, Wong, now an actor and theater company founder/co-owner in New York City, took time out to head to Los Angeles where she shot a bit part in the new, much hyped NBC television drama “Deception.” “For the first time ever I’m going to be on TV!” she had enthused earlier when she alerted performing arts faculty at Harker that she was slated to be on the second episode of the show. “Don’t blink, and you might

“I see how the work ethic, the professionalism and the passion that I learned at Harker set me apart from so many other actors.” -Kim Wong ’05

just catch yours truly as ‘Quinn,’ Mia’s (annoying) classmate.” Wong is the co-founder of a groundbreaking theater company in New York called The Accidental Shakespeare Company, which mixes theater with improvisation, with casting decisions made by the audience moments before curtain and random props thrown into the mix. The theater company is dedicated to the idea of play. Harker’s performing arts program played a significant role in Wong’s education. As a kindergartner, she was cast as a fairy princess in “Cinderella.” Every year thereafter Wong performed in Harker’s dance

She spent this past summer in upstate New York with the Adirondack Shakespeare Company. This spring she will be performing “Margaret” in The Kingship Cycle in New York City with the same company; the cycle presents concurrent productions of Shakespeare’s early history plays, with the cast members playing the same characters in each play in which those characters appear. Wong reports her own acting company is going strong and experiencing a rapid growth in audiences: “I see how the work ethic, the professionalism and the passion that I learned at Harker set me apart from so many other actors. It is the reason why I can develop and run my company!” Like Wong, Blickenstaff developed his acting chops at Harker, with major roles in both fall plays and spring musicals, culminating in his portrayal of “Harold Hill” in “The Music Man” in his senior year. Currently a senior at USC, Blickenstaff won rave reviews this past spring for his innovative direction of the musical “Sweeney Todd.” These days Blickenstaff is thrilled to be a part of a parody musical production of the bestselling novel “Fifty Shades of Grey” which just opened in an off-Broadway theater in New York. Musical sketch comedy group Baby Wants Candy brought their original production “50 Shades! The Musical” to New York’s Gramercy Theater on H A R K E R Q U A R T E R LY

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Photo provided by D.J. Blickenstaff '09

Jan. 11-12. The work, which is based on the controversial trilogy by British author E.L. James, drew packed

audiences to the Chicago theater where it originally opened and was part of the Edinburgh Fringe Festival before its New York premiere. Baby Wants Candy and Harker have enjoyed a relationship since the group supported the Conservatory’s cast of “Pippin” at the Fringe in 2011; the group did a workshop at Harker last February, and Harker performing arts director Laura Lang-Ree helped bring Blickenstaff and the improv troupe together. Blickenstaff worked behind the scenes in production for the show and also onstage as a dancer. “We did one performance there that somehow filled 788 seats of an 800seat theater. People loved the show.

It was so much fun, and I went back to L.A. so happy to have been a part of it,” recalled Blickenstaff, who went on to do a run in Chicago at the Apollo Theater and the Skokie Center for the Performing Arts. “I played the role of Elliot Grey (Christian Grey’s brother) and also was the assistant director. Once again, we filled every seat at the Apollo both nights and got over 500 in Skokie; and the audiences, to our almost disbelief and shock, loved the show,” he recalled. “I have had the best time of my life. I am so lucky to be a part of this production and I am hoping to keep being in it … yay, Harker Conservatory!”

Mitra Scholar Sarah Howells ’12 Wins Inaugural Churchill Research Paper Competition By Zach Jones

Howells is the contest’s first winner, and it’s not the only first that she has earned for the paper, titled “Winston Churchill’s Efforts to Unify Britain from 1940-1941.” It was also Howells’ submission to earn a grant from the Mitra Family Endowment, which was established last year by Harker parents Samir and Sundari Mitra (Shivani, grade 12). Howells went on to become the first Mitra Scholar for her entry. 48


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“I was pretty surprised, since this being the first year of the competition I was not sure what the expectations were,” Howells said. “I would like to thank the Mitra family for supporting humanities research at Harker, Ms. [Donna] Gilbert, Dr. [Ruth] Meyer and Ms. [Susan] Smith for helping me with research and making the Harker history department a strong supporter of independent work, and Ms. [Julie] Wheeler for convincing me to apply for the grant in the first place.” The Mitra Family Endowment for the Humanities matches gifts to the annual giving campaign up to a total of $100,000. “The subject matters taught under humanities such as history, languages, communications and philosophy are critical skills and knowledge that develop well-

Photo by Kyle Cavallaro


arah Howells ’12, now a freshman at Princeton University, recently won a prestigious new award. “The history department is delighted to congratulate Sarah on winning first prize in the Churchill Research Paper competition,” said Donna Gilbert, Harker’s history department chair. The competition is sponsored by the University of Minnesota’s Churchill Center.

AlumniNews rounded Harker students,” said Samir Mitra, speaking at last year’s reception. “Humanities is the bedrock of a superior education and will enable our students to stand out as recognized contributors in their future professions.” “I knew I wanted to apply for the Mitra grant because I had enjoyed world history so much in my sophomore year,” said Howells. “I thought about Britain; my family

was affected on two sides by World War II, both in Poland and in Britain.” Too broad at first, her topic choices “quickly narrowed to Churchill’s remarkable unification of the government and retaining the trust of the people during the war,” said Howells, noting that the most interesting part of writing the paper was transitioning from the researching to the writing.

“Humanities is the bedrock of a superior education and will enable our students to stand out as recognized contributors in their future professions.”

-Samir Mitra, The Mitra Family Endowment and parent

Pavitra Rengarajan ’12 Earns State AP Scholar Award


Photo provided by Pavitra Rengarajan '12

avitra Rengarajan ’12 has earned a State AP Scholar Award for her extraordinary performance on the 2012 Advanced Placement exams. She is one of 108 students nationwide to receive this honor.

As their literature explains, “The College Board, a missiondriven, not-for-profit organization that connects students to college success and opportunity, has conferred this distinction on one male and one female student in each U.S. state and the District of Columbia. Qualifying students must have the highest average score (at least 3.5) on all AP exams taken.” Now a freshman at Stanford University, Rengarajan took a total of 18 exams during her years at Harker, earning a mean score of 4.83. Some of the areas she was tested in included economics, psychology, statistics, English literature and composition, computer science, biology, history, French language, physics, chemistry, human geography, calculus and music theory. The College Board’s Advanced Placement Program provides academically prepared students the opportunity to take rigorous college-level courses while still in high school. Last year, 3.7 million exams were taken by 2.1 million students at more than 18,000 high schools.

By Debbie Cohen

“I didn't go into the exams with the goal of receiving any special distinction, so I'm not sure that I had any expectations to begin with. In fact, I only realized I had earned this distinction when Ms. [Jennifer] Gargano [assistant head of school for academic affairs] sent me a congratulatory email!” reported Rengarajan, adding that the majority of the exams she took corresponded to her AP classes at Harker. A handful of exam materials she studied on her own out of interest. She took the music theory exam, for example, in grade 7. “I had been very involved in music for several years, playing the flute and the piano and learning about music, so when one of my music teachers suggested that I might as well take the AP Music Theory exam, it seemed like a reasonable idea. The AP exams are just a nice way to get credit for the work that you have put in,” she added. Rengarajan said that her college major will likely be computer science. She noted that Harker has “certainly prepared me well for the academic rigor of Stanford. Courses here seem like a natural progression from Harker. I am starting to realize how fortunate I was to have taken advanced topics classes.” Outside of her academic life, Rengarajan enjoys being principal flutist of the Stanford Symphony Orchestra. “I was fortunate enough to play the famous beautiful flute solo in Ravel's ‘Daphnis et Chloe’ three times so far this year, twice in our newly opened, state-of-the-art building, Bing Concert Hall. Playing at the opening of the gorgeous new hall is undoubtedly a memory I will cherish for several years, and I am both proud and honored to have had the honor. Music has always been a significant part of my life, and I could not be any happier to be continuing this momentum in college.” To current Harker students, she advices to work hard, but, “Don't forget to smile, laugh and enjoy the process.”


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Some 30 alumni returned to cheer on their friends for Harker’s first basketball league games of the season, held Jan. 4 in front of a boisterous home crowd at the middle school campus. That night was also the premiere of the Conservatory’s Student-Directed Showcase, concurrently held at Blackford, which many alumni chose to come out in support of as well. Photo by MaryEllis Deacon

Photo by Michael Macor, S.F. Chronicle

Alumni Families Ring in the Holiday Season During Santa’s Winter Wonderland There was plenty of good cheer to go around during a special holiday celebration for alumni called Santa’s Winter Wonderland. About 50 people including Harker alumni, their families, faculty and staff joined Santa Claus (played by upper school English teacher Jason Berry) for a pre-Christmas gathering held at the lower school. Santa talked and read stories to the children of alumni, making crafts with them as well, before explaining that he had to leave to take gifts back to the elves and Mrs. Claus. The children worked on crafts under the supervision of members of the Student Alumni Relations group (STAR). Art projects included ornament designing, platemaking using reindeer or elves decorations, and doing drawings from holiday coloring books.


All photos by Jacqueline Orrell unless otherwise noted

Alumni Return to Harker in Support of Basketball Players and SDS Directors and Actors

Photo by Ashley Batz

Alumni Holiday News



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Former Harker Students Suit Up for Rose Bowl; Amanam Makes Key Play and is Named Defense MVP Two former Harker students suited up for Stanford’s Rose Bowl victory on New Year’s Day, including Usua Amanam ’09, who played a key role and was named MVP for defense. Amanam attended Harker’s lower and middle schools from 1996-2005, going on to have a stellar career at Bellarmine (Harker had recently opened its upper school and the football program was still growing). In the Rose Bowl, Amanam was first tagged for roughing the kicker, but luckily the penalty was declined. Then Amanam made his big play, intercepting a pass in Wisconsin’s final drive with two minutes remaining to lock down the game for Stanford. Gautam Krishnamurthi ’11, a sophomore at Stanford, was suited up as number 38 and ready to play. He joined the team during the off-season and is working towards a starting slot. Krishnamurthi earned two varsity letters as a wide receiver and safety and had a stellar, record-setting career with Harker, including being named an AP Scholar Athlete with Distinction.

Submitted by Class Agents


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

1973 Class Agent: Alan Stevens (alanclassreunion@

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

1977 Class Agent: Mike Pons (

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

1979 Class Agent: Chip Zecher (

1980 Class Agent: Greg Argendeli (

1981 Class Agent: Kristin (Scarpace) Giammona ( Karen Mah Lockwood has been living in Honolulu, Hawaii, for the past 20 years. Her husband, whom

she met freshman year at Amherst College, is from the state. They now have three children (Brandon,16, Paige, 14, and Sara, 12) all attending the Punahou School in Honolulu. “I have fond memories of my time at Harker … and who can forget the red plaid uniforms and bright red sweaters and socks!” recalled Mah Lockwood.

1982 Class Agents: Tina (Johnson) Murray (tinammurray@earthlink. net); Pauline (de Vos) Aasen (; Keil Albert (kaalbert@geo-consultants. com) Rosie Habib reports that her son is graduating from USC this May, her middle daughter is in second year pre-med at Cal Poly, and her youngest daughter, aged 12, keeps her busy with club volleyball and tennis. Habib is also celebrating 25 years of marriage to her husband, Elie.

1984 Class Agents: Karri Baker (; Kristin Quintin (



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

Class Agent: Leyna Cotran (

1989 Class Agent: Katie Wilson (

1990 Class Agent: Chris Yamashita (

1991 Class Agent: Ashley Anderson (

1992 Class Agent: Amanda Mathias Bonomi (amandambonomi@gmail. com) Shelly Gulati got married over Memorial Day weekend. Please see the Celebrations section for more information.

1995 Class Agent: Lisa (Bowman) Gassmann ( Meera Garg Banerjee reports that it was a fun and busy 2012. She is still working at PwC in the San Francisco Forensics practice and recently got promoted to director. Her two young boys, Ayush and Aneesh, turned three and one last year … but that didn’t stop her and her husband, Andy, from taking them on a five-week adventure to India, which was fun but very exhausting with two little ones. “The boys had their first experience on a train, going on a safari to see a tiger and taking an elephant ride,” she recalled.


Libby Werba, her husband, Aaron, and daughters, Natalie and Gwen, are excited to announce they will be adopting another baby at the end of March!

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

Kate Stober recently moved to Missoula, Mont., with her husband, an assistant professor of Japanese literature at the University of Montana. After leaving The New York


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Jocelyn Wang is excited to be a first-time contributor to the class notes! She reported that she recently got engaged to Bertram Chan, and their wedding will be in September. “He's much cooler than I am (employment-wise, at least). He works in video games, I'm an attorney. We live in San Francisco with our fluffy little white dog, Cookie. I'm still playing ice hockey and am excited that the NHL finally got its act together,” she said. Christina Johnson Aquila just had a baby girl. Please see the Celebrations section for more information.

1996 Class Agent: Ashley S. Franke (

1997 Class Agents: Chelsea Gilliland (; Lindsey Hochrine ( Harvey Chiang just had a baby girl. Please see the Celebrations section for more information. 52


1998 The fashion world recently learned that Alexander Wang will become the new creative director of Balenciaga, taking up the mantle from French designer Nicolas Ghesquière. Born to Taiwanese parents, Alexander is the first designer of Asian origin to lead a major French fashion house. Alexander first came to Harker during his elementary years as an ELI participant and remained until after graduating from middle school.

2002 Class Agents: Akhsar Kharebov (; Yasmin Ali (; Isabella Liu (

2003 Class Agents: Julia N. Gitis (; Maheen Kaleem (

2004 Class Agents: Jacinda A. Mein (; Jessica C. Liu (

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

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dancing chops at Harker, has been performing in shows nationally and internationally. Currently in Japan for several months working as a dancer, she wrote with an update that she is having lots of fun. She is particularly enjoying perfecting a dance number called “Beat of the Bodhran.” Holford explained that the bodhran is a type of Irish drum and that her dance moves mimic a call and response with the bodhran player. “We do a sort of duet, and it has lots of room for interpretation to do what you want! The live music is wonderful,” she said. To see Laura on stage you can check her out on a video, which can be viewed at: (She is best seen at 8:12.)

Over the holidays the Class of ’05 got together at what's become a yearly tradition, a “Holiday Happy Hour,” meeting in downtown Mountain View on Dec. 27. Cooper Berkmoyer, Andrea Brisker, Estelle Charlu, Anshu Das, Genna Erlikhman, Anthony Fu, Nilay Gandhi, Erika Gudmundson, Najm Haque, Zlatan Hodzic, Nina Joshi, Salman Kothari, Mason Liang, Liat Noten, Pia Pal, Kevin Park, Sahil Patel, Gregory Perkins, Esha Ranganath, Nick Rattazzi, Bharat Reddy, Aleksandr Segal, Sam Singh and Jamie Trinh attended.

2006 Class Agents: Meghana Dhar (meghanadhar@gmail. com); Jeffrey Le (; Casey Near (

Tanya Schmidt was recently profiled in Santa Clara University’s President’s Report as an

2007 Class Agents: Cassie Kerkhoff (; Audrey Kwong (

2008 Class Agents: Stephanie Syu (; Senan Ebrahim ( Since graduating, Laura Holford, who developed her

photo by Chuck Barry, SCU

Public Library, she's now working as a freelance communications specialist for nonprofits, specifically museums and cultural arts organizations. She'd love to work with Harker alumni who might need help with media relations, newsletters or social media.

ClassNotes example of a high achieving student who had recently graduated from the college. While at Harker, Tanya stood out as an AllAmerican volleyball player and National Merit

finalist. She plans to use her English degree from Santa Clara University to go onto pursue a teaching career, and hopes to one day teach literature as a college professor.

Adrienne Wong (

Hassaan Ebrahim (

Class Agents: Rachel Wang ( Stephanie Guo (

Speaking on behalf of the Class of 2010, the class agent reports that they are all doing awesome! She also noted that MarkPhilip Pebworth was inducted into Tau Beta Pi, the National Engineering Honors Society, which accepts the top one-eighth of engineering juniors.




Class Agents: Kevin Fu (;

2012 Class Agents: Will Chang (12williamc@students.; David Fang (

Class Agents: Rani Mukherjee (;

Pavitra Rengarajan has earned a State AP Scholar Award for her extraordinary performance on the 2012 Advanced Placement exams. She is one of 108 students nationwide to receive this honor. (see the full story on her honor on page 49)

Alumni Celebrations Christina Johnson Aquila ’95 and her husband, Marc, welcomed their first baby girl, Violet Stephanie Aquila, born February 10, 2013, weighing in at seven pounds, four ounces. Christina and Marc are living in Norwich, Vt.

Provided by Christina Johnson Aquila ’95

Please join us in congratulating the following:

Harvey Chiang ’97 and his wife, Mitsue Nagaya, just had a baby girl named Arianna, born on Jan. 22. Shelly Gulati ’92 married Ben Bamer over Memorial Day weekend. Longtime friends and Harker alumni John Erwin ’92, Jenny Erwin ’94, Jaci Erwin ’95 and Aaron Green ’94, and of course Shelly's sister, Nisha Gulati ’95, attended the wedding festivities. Ben and Shelly live in Stockton with their dog, Buddy. She is currently an assistant professor of bioengineering at University of the Pacific, and her husband owns a composites business. Prior to this,

Photo provided by Shelly Gulati ’92

Shelly lived in Berkeley, where she received her doctorate in bioengineering, and in London where she was a researcher at Imperial College London.


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LookingAhead Coming Attractions K-12 Spring Instrumental Concert

April 12


April 18-20

Kindergarten Show

April 25-26

US Spring Choral Concert

May 2

Songs into Summer

May 3

Bucknall Music Concert

May 9


May 24

Senior Showcase

May 24 May 31June 1

See the rotating banner on Harker’s homepage for more information and tickets for each event.



Sat., April 13

8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Nichols Hall | Saratoga Campus

May 10-11

Spring Sing

Bucknall Dance Concert



Sat., April 27 8 a.m. | $10 Saratoga Campus

Visit for more details. This event is for high school and college students only.

LookingAhead Brad Sachs, Ph.D. Good Enough Teens: s: Promoting Self Reliance

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


Grandparents’ Day

Class of 2013

Fri., May 10 • 2 p.m.

Sat., May 25 | 9 a.m. The Mountain Winery

Lower School Campus • 4300 Bucknall Road, San Jose

R N EGI 20 O ST 1 W R 3 O ATI PE O N N !

Senior Families Only by Reservation





Grades K-6

Summer Camp +

Grades 6-12

Summer Institute


· Sports Camps

· Swim School

· English Language Institute for International Students

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

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




Circa 1920

Miss Harker's School

Photo courtesy of the Harker Archives


arker, in the eternal circle of life, is returning to its roots by opening a preschool in August 2013. We found this wonderful photo in our archives of what appears to be a teacher leading some young students in a procession, maybe to the annual May Day celebration. It reminds us that we

have been here before – Harker had a pre-K class until 1998, when it was closed to make room for the new upper school – and that caring for and educating young children are part and parcel of Harker’s raison d'être. That knowledge strengthens in the whole community the resolve to create a kind, nurturing preschool where children can learn, play and grow. It is spring, and the cycle for our new preschool is just beginning! Read more about the new preschool campus on page 17.

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

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S a n

J o s e ,

C a l i f o r n i a O of C: 3/13 (BHDG/JJJ/RM/DQP) 5,751

The Harker Quarterly,Spring 2013  

Published four times a year, the Harker Quarterly showcases some of the top news, leading programs, inspiring people and visionary plans of...

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