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The Tam News — June 2014


Table of Contents June 2014


June 2014 — The Tam News





4. District Cancels Proposed New Tech Contract — Sarah Asch & Tandis Shoushtary Senior Farewell Rally Photo Gallery — Nate Vogel 5. Briefly — James Finn, Marina Furbush, Dom Quaranta, Nate Vogel & Haydn Wall 6. Student Art Displayed on Campus — Devon Stoeber Juice Girl Opens — Joe Russell & Dom Quaranta

7. Bidding Farewell to Ms. Gertman — Cassie Jeong 8. Food in SF for 5 Dollars or Less— Oliver Rosenfield The Black Keys Turn Blue — Isabella Schloss 9. Ms. Crowe to Retire from Tam Library — Holly Parkin 10. Hawk Talk: Ms. Klein Retires — Jordan Blackburn Bay to Breakers: A People Guide — Maddy Sebastien







11. Reaching Out: Jane Hall Leaves Behind a Legacy of Service — Emma Boczek & Emma Talkoff

15. Editorial — Staff 16. Beyoncé and the Beauty Myth — Izzy Parlamis 17. Writing Wrongs: Writing Rights — Bella Levaggi How I Survived High School — Cassie Jeong 18. Conchita Wurst Shines Light on Gender Identity — Cam Vernali

19. Softball makes History — Jordan Blackburn & James Finn 20. Varsity Baseball Becomes Champion — Riley Kuffner By the Numbers — Sports Staff 21. Girls’ Varsity Soccer Undefeated — Nic Mosher Bella Amyx Profile — Caroline Frost

Dear Reader, This month, Emma Talkoff and I interviewed Jane Hall, a special education teacher who works with Tam’s Special Day Class (SDC). Hall, along with librarian Mary Crowe, college and career specialist Susan Gertman and art teacher Lynne Klein, is retiring this year. On top of the stresses that come with simply being in high school, students enrolled in SDC face unique challenges that interfere with their academic performance. They may struggle with learning disabilities, emotional and behavioral difficulties and/or the stigma of being separated from their peers into a class that one student said is sometimes perceived by non-SDC students as “a retard class.” With what para-educator Cassandra Stone called “more energy than the Energizer bunny,” Hall has a remarkable ability to connect with students who might previously have been deemed past help. She has provided essential support outside of the classroom, obtaining paid internships for her students and driving them to and from their shifts at work. Emma and I were struck by Hall’s investment in her students’ well-being and future. We can only hope that as soon-to-be graduates, we can muster half of Hall’s energy and commitment to others in our own lives. ON THE COVER: Helping hands represent the support Special Day Class teacher Jane Hall provided her students for 17 years. Cover by: Brent Ferguson & Isabella Schloss

The Tam News

Volume IX, No. IX June 2014 A publication of Tamalpais High School Established 1916


Tamalpais High School 700 Miller Avenue Mill Valley, CA 94941

Editors-in-Chief: Sarah Asch, Riley Kuffner & Holly Parkin



James Finn & Marina Furbush


Claire Donohue, Sammy Herdman & Cam Vernali


Tandis Shoushtary & Devon Stoeber


Jordan Blackburn & Hannah Chorley


Caroline Frost & Daniel Zwiebach

- Emma Boczek

Business Team Dom Quaranta, Raqshan Khan, Anthony Mazzini & Peter Wynn Photos

Nate Vogel, Claire Donohue, Jackson Gathard & Joe Russell


Leo DiPierro, Isabella Schloss & Johanna Wong


Riley Kuffner, Raqshan Khan & Daniel Zwiebach

Copy Editors

Jackson Gathard, Gibson Katz & Camille Morgan

Social Media

Devon Stoeber

Advisor: Jonah Steinhart Printer: WIGT Printing Reporters: Ariana Agnew, Elizabeth Archer, Max Bayer, Erik Beltran, Emma Boczek, Avi Cahn, Daniel Carroll, Isaac Cohen, Reis Dorit, Cody Duane-McGlashan, Rachel Ermatinger, Brent Ferguson, Jackson Gathard, Sonja Hutson, Cassie Jeong, Delcan Katz, Gibson Katz, Kyle Kearney, Ethan Lawrence, Weston Lazarus, Kevin Leake, Bella Levaggi, Emily Long, Bridget Lowry, Kate Luebkeman, Hailey Miller, Camille Morgan, Nic Mosher, Casey O’Brien, Ben Olizar, Austin Peck, Mae Puckett, Jasmine Pena, Oliver Rosenfield, Maddy Sebastien, Randy Shapiro, Markita Schulman, Emma Talkoff, Ra’Jahna’e Troupe, Anna Vandergriff, Haydn Wall, Meg Weisselberg, Ryder Wood, & Hannah Yerington Editorial Board: Emma Boczek, Cody Duane-McGlashan, Sonja Hutson, Bella Levaggi, Bridget Lowry, Kate Luebkeman, Mae Puckett, Markita Schulman, Randy Shapiro, Emma Talkoff & Meg Weisselberg.

The Tam News, a student-run newspaper, distributed monthly, is an open, public forum for student expression and encourages letters and article contributions. The Tam News reserves the right to edit submissions for length and content. All content decisions are made by student editors. The Tam News is published monthly, though dates may vary. The Tam News is nonprofit and any proceeds and contributions are used in the production of the newspaper and for journalism education. Additional information concerning contributions or advertising can be obtained by writing to the address provided above or through our website. Copyright © 2014 by The Tamalpais News. All rights reserved. Reproduction is prohibited without written consent.

The Tam News — June 2014



District Cancels Proposed New Tech Contract

by Sarah Asch & Tandis Shoushtary

Superintendent of Education Michael McDowell announced at a board meeting on May 14 that the Tamalpais Union High School District (TUHSD) will not proceed with the proposed contract between the New Tech Network and the Instructional Technology Teacher Collaborative (ITTC) which includes teachers from Tam. The announcement came during McDowell’s presentation about instigating a “common culture” in the district and preceded a vote on three district contracts with New Tech. The board did approve the two other contracts with the New Tech Network, one for Drake, and one for San Andreas and Tamiscal High Schools for the 2014-15 school year. According to McDowell, the teachers participating in ITTC will look elsewhere for support in the upcoming year. “One of the challenges that we’re going to struggle with is a larger [more] robust network of teachers and students to collaborate with across the country,” McDowell said. “Not having that particular network, it’s going to be difficult to foster that kind of global collaboration, so I think what we’ll have to do is lean on our internal network.” Because the community expected a

vote to occur on the proposed contract with ITTC, over 100 parents and teachers attended the board meeting. Tam parent Melanie Russell attended the meeting to express concern about New Tech and learn more about why it was selected. Russell had no knowledge of the decision to take the New Tech and ITTC contract off the table before the board meeting. However, according to Russell, pulling the contract doesn’t fully address parent concerns. “It seems to have been sudden, without communication to the board or larger community,” she said. “It reflects a reactive response to a larger issue.” Russell defined this “larger issue” as whether or not New Tech is the best support provider for the district. “My goal–and, I believe, that of other parents–remains improved communication and clear answers to questions that the administration is being asked by the larger parent and teacher community,” Russell said. In an open letter to the school board, English teacher Austin Bah addressed his concerns with incorporating New Tech into Tam culture. Bah pointed out that the language in the contract obligates teachers to share all lesson plans created on the New Tech Platform with the New Tech National organization. “I do not wish to

help New Tech grow as a business,” Bah wrote. “This relationship with New Tech will hamper my desire to collaborate. I do not want to give my work to New Tech, and I do not want to share with a teacher who may, someday, forgetting the source of the material, post that work to New Tech.” Principal Julie Synyard said without the contract on the table, the goal for the future remains to provide continued support to teachers. One possibility is expanding the Core program, in which more than just English and history classes would share the same pool of freshman and sophomore students. “We’re still talking about and figuring out if that’s going to be possible,” Synyard said. “There is a number of folks in science that would like to see if they could jump on [Core] and see if they could try and support students. So we’re still playing around with that.” She reiterated that the main goal is supporting teachers in educating their students. “Moving forward with [the ITTC, we are] still going to pursue learning how to do problem- and project-based learning, still learning how to infuse technology into the curriculum,” Synyard said. “We are still going to develop how we are going to work on support for next year.” ♦

Seniors Bid Farewell at Final Rally

RALLY CRY: Tam students celebrated this year’s departing seniors at the May 29 senior farewell rally. Junior Jake Isola-Henry partakes in the festivities (left). Members of Tam’s departing senior class celebrate during the event (above). Photos by: Nate Vogel


June 2014 — The Tam News


CTE Says No to Bullies MVPL Offers Program

by Nate Vogel & Dom Quaranta

by Marina Furbush

Seven members of the Conservatory Theater Ensemble (CTE) acted in a short film in collaboration with the No Bully organization on June 2. The film depicted an innovative approach to handling school bullies in order to educate teachers about a unique way to solve student conflicts through the form of what the organization calls “solution teams.” “No Bully is a non-profit based in San Francisco dedicated to educating teachers at the high school, middle school and elementary school levels about the three week process of a solution team,” drama teacher Ben Cleaveland said. “The solution team surrounds an affected student from bullying with peers directly and indirectly involved in the bullying and is led by an adult facilitator.” No Bully’s approach consists of a four step program to deal with bullying that Tam students portrayed by acting in the roles of an antagonist, victim, bystander and enabler. “I played the role of the main bully’s accomplice,” junior Gabe Renneisen said. “The film showed the evolution of my character and the bully...and the impact the solution team had on the problem.” According to Cleaveland, No Bully will upload the CTE film to their website for future reference during their presentations to schools across the country. The organization’s mission extends “not only to kids getting bullied physically or verbally at school, but also intervenes in the issue of cyberbullying,” Renneisen said. ♦

The Mill Valley Public Library is offering a summer reading program for high school students called Choose Your Own Adventure. Every book read results in a stamp in the provided “passport” and a ticket for a raffle drawing on August 18. “I know that [students] are told what to read most of the year,” young adult librarian Katie MacBride said.“So I want to encourage the people who like reading to read, and make it fun and involve the library without making it be a thing where now someone else is telling you what to read again.” Students are also excited with the direction the program is taking this year. “It’s a cool program and [the library has] definitely improved their summer reading programs,” said sophomore Tiara Mead, who participated in the program last year. Prizes for the raffle include a Kindle Fire and gift certificates to local businesses. MacBride is also available to create personalized reading lists by appointment. Visit for more information. ♦

McDowell Re-hired

by Haydn Wall

The Tamalpais Union High School District board voted unanimously on May 28 to approve a two-year contract for current Assistant Superintendent Michael McDowell to become the Associate Superintendent for Instructional and Personnel Services. The newly created position combines the roles and responsibilities of the Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources with McDowell’s current position. The human resources position was vacated by John Carroll, who is leaving to become the superintendent of the BolinasStinson Lagunitas School district. The district won’t be filling Carroll’s position, instead electing to merge the responsibilities with those of McDowell’s current role. “I [will] take on supervision of human resources [and keep doing] what I’m currently doing now. I [will] oversee the two arms of the organization, one around human resources, and one associated with the educational services,” McDowell said of his new role. ♦


WiFi to be Updated

by James Finn

The Tamalpais Union High School District (TUHSD) will upgrade Tam’s wireless Internet network before the start of the 2014-2015 school year in order to increase Tam’s bandwidth, according to district information technology director Rose Chavira. The improved network should provide more consistent Internet speeds across campus. According to Chavira, a variety of improvements to the current system will be made during this summer, including a fiber circuit, which will increase the Internet bandwidth tenfold, and a secondary bandwidth which will provide continuity of web-based traffic in the event of an Internet shutdown. Additional wireless access points will be installed in order to increase the speed of wireless traffic on campus. “These improvements will modernize the Tam High network in order to improve the speed and reliability of Internet access,” Chavira said. “[They will] accommodate the explosive growth in the number of district-owned and personal devices on the wireless network.” Chavira added that the efforts of the district IT team relied heavily on the support of the TUHSD board of trustees to install the new network. “The District IT team is quite small in numbers, and they support an enormous amount of technology. There’s been an addition to the team, which will enable the work at Tam High and other sites to be carried out this summer,” Chavira said. “The TUHSD Board of Trustees has been incredibly supportive of technology initiatives, and recently approved the allocation of residual 2006 Bond funds to expand and solidify the network infrastructure.” Students have noticed negative effects of the current Internet system. “[The current network] has been really slow,” sophomore Matthew Copeland said. “I haven’t been able to get as much work done in class as I wish I could because of the quality and speed of the Internet. The time that [we receive] in class to work is really valuable, and if we can’t use it because of the materials that our school is giving us, I think that’s an issue.” ♦

The Tam News — June 2014



Students Display Art on Campus and Downtown

by Devon Stoeber

Seniors in all the visual art classes at Tam had the opportunity to be part of a show in downtown Mill Valley on June 3 from six to eight P.M. as part of the series of First Tuesday Artwalks that take place every month. “[The purpose of this art show was] to specifically celebrate the work that [the seniors] have done over the time that they have been in the visual arts,” drawing and painting teacher Zachary Gilmour said. “[Whether] they have been in it for four years or just one, they all can be part of it.” In addition to the celebration for the seniors, Gilmour and Lynne Klein’s drawing and painting classes have a final that requires students to create and show at least three of their works somewhere on campus. “It is a harder assignment than it looks,” Klein said. “First, each student must pick a theme that is not too broad but can

change as it is explored. Then they must decide on what techniques and mediums they want to use...Many students created more than the three pieces you see hanging around campus. The final step is that each student must prepare the finished work for presentation, write an artist’s statement, and create an invitation for viewing.” Although the project is difficult and time consuming, many students have enjoyed completing this assignment and considered it a great opportunity. Klein and Gilmour both feel it is important to not only teach students how to create art, but also how to expose their work for others to see and appreciate. “Part of art is making it, but then [also] what happens to it. It needs to be seen,” Gilmour said. Displaying finished work is a challenging aspect of art for many students. “Personally I don’t always like showing

my work around,” freshman Megan Potter said. “I think it’s nice for others to get to see what we do, but I like keeping my artwork to myself because I’m not always proud of it or it’s personal.” On top of the art openings, there will also be a clipboard next to each piece for observers to write comments that will then be brought back to the classroom so they can reflect on their experience. Klein felt this was an important final because it prepares students for the art world outside of high school. “If a student is interested in the visual arts as a career path after Tam they must be able to share their work with others and be able to explain what motivated them,” Klein said. “Part of getting into a competitive art program is to have a portfolio of original work. Schools prefer independent student inspired work over teacher assignments.” ♦

ARTISTS AMONG US: Students displayed art around campus (left) and at the First Tuesday Artwalk in downtown Mill Valley (center). Art created by sophomore Jake Newell is displayed in the counselling office (right). Photos by: Nate Vogel and Claire Donohue

Juice Girl Opens in Mill Valley

by Dominic Quaranta & Joe Russell

more of a strictly healthy choice, we offer juices for that as well.” Johnson stressed that although Melora Johnson opened her she has put together a menu, nothJuice Girl shop at Jamba Juice’s preing is set in stone. Currently, some vious location at 45 Camino Alto on of the choices include the Homerun June 2. juice, containing a blend of apple Johnson publicized her juicjuice, frozen strawberries, fresh ing several months prior to openstrawberries and bananas. Another ing her store during her time at the is the Slam Dunk, infusing orange frozen yogurt shop Yolo, where she juice, apples, raspberries, blueberries, rented space for distribution. Now, honey and ice. the “Juice Girl,” as she was known at “I want this to be a place cusYolo, has opened her own business and plans to attract people of all dif- JUICY J: Juice Girl’s new facilities are located in the space previ- tomers can get a full meal,” Johnson ferent ages with a unique menu. ously occupied by Jamba Juice. Photo by: Joe Russell said. “We plan on adding sandwiches and salads to our menu soon as “I make a lot of different juices school mostly, I have drinks packed with for different purposes,” Johnson said. “For different kinds of fruit to make a sweet well as things like frozen yogurt with grathe younger kids, high school and middle and healthy choice. For customers wanting nola.” ♦


June 2014 — The Tam News


Bidding Farewell to Susan Gertman

by Cassie Jeong

You know her from her workshops on everything from financial aid to college essays, conducting class-wide surveys on Naviance, or sending out informational emails on upcoming events and scholarships. Her lookout perches on the busiest part of campus — the intersection of the two Keyser buildings — and features a bulletin of relevant events posted on the railing outside her station. We bid farewell to Susan Gertman, who is retiring this year after nine years as Tam’s College and Career specialist. “People get into education to make a difference in the lives of other students,” Gertman said. “I love [when I’m] working with a student and they’ll be nervous about something, and the sense of relief I’ll see when I’m able to help a student realize that he is definitely able to go to college, or she is able to afford her education.” Gertman was fascinated by the transition from high school to college or a career since her own high school days. She remembers students at her very competitive public high school in Massachusetts facing enormous pressure and difficulties during their college application process, and thinking the system should be different. During Gertman’s time at Connecticut College, the school transitioned from all-women to co-ed. She began working as a reporter in Chelsea, Massachusetts, where she started her lifelong involvement observing the education system. Her interest in career preparation also began as a journalist, writing articles about health and self-care. “I got tired of [being a journalist],” she said. “You write enough articles about depression and wearing sunscreen. I wanted a new topic, something different... I’ve always thought careers, and how people decide what career to go into, was very interesting, and I wanted a change [in mine].” She then pursued a Masters degree in career counseling at San Francisco State, through which she interned at Tam’s College and Career Center under her then-predecessor, Sarah Prudent, in the 1997-1998 school year. Gertman is also a parent of two Tam grads. Her sons graduated in 2003 and 2005, and she took over as Tam’s official College and Career Specialist in her younger child’s senior year. “When I started, the class of ‘05 had 257 students; now it’s 330,” Gertman said.

“Fewer than 60 colleges would come to visit [Tam], and now it’s 105.” She gestured to shelves behind her, filled with books and pamphlets from schools organized by state and field of study. College pennants and posters adorn every available space on the walls, and racks of brochures, guides and binders on topics ranging from internship applications to scholarship opportunities filled the room. Many of these resources, like the college representatives she arranges to visit Tam, Gertman collected herself in her efforts to improve the College and Career Center. “It’s expensive, time-consuming, and a lot of effort to visit colleges,” Gertman said. “This way, [students] can meet the reps here… It’s less daunting and intimidating than to call the main admissions number, and makes the school more human.” “They like coming here,” she said of the college representatives. “The students are engaged and ask very good questions… I appreciate that [some] come in at 7:30 in the morning, so I generally offer some tea.” No colleges came to visit Gertman at her high school, though her senior class had 800 students. It was expected that students would prepare for the future on their own, and there was no specialized college and career counselor position like Gertman’s. “I think it’s my responsibility to give [students] options to explore,” Gertman said. “It’s their experience. [I am] a guide, not a dictator.” A large part of Gertman’s interaction with students is online. Gertman introduces students each year to Naviance, a college and career planning site that offers career interest surveys, scholarship searches, and

more. She recalled a time before the ubiquity of personal computers when she had to organize data gathered in the senior survey herself - something Naviance does now. Another online service Gertman provides is her regular emails to students and parents concerning school events, local college fairs and the “green sheet,” a regularly updated list of scholarships and their deadlines. “My goal was to do everything I could to make information more accessible to people,” she said. “My background is in communications, so [it’s] one thing to have a lot of things in the career center - my goal has been easy access to the career center. “I still see students look to see if the sign’s up,” Gertman said, referring to the sheet of upcoming events she posts outside her room. “Because of the emails and the sign and the bulletin, attendance has increased in the every event and rep meeting.” Gertman tries to personalize her guidance to each student. “I meet them when they’re in different places on the road. It’s to know where they are… [to see if they’re] self-directed and on track. Many don’t know where to begin, so [I] have to meet them where he or she is,” she said. Gertman also organizes workshops on post high-school planning, college applications, and essay writing, as well as SAT practice tests. “I’ve done everything I could to make information more accessible to students and parents,” Gertman reflected. “I think I’ve developed a communications program for Tam families.” Gertman’s improvements to the College and Career Center guarantee her ideas and influence will be missed next year. ♦

HELPING STUDENTS SUCCEED: College and Career specialist Susan Gertman will retire this month after assisting students in the College and Career Center since 2005. In the photo above, Gertman is hard at work. Photo by: Claire Donohue

The Tam News — June 2014



Food in SF for Five Dollars or Less

by Oliver Rosenfield

You may not realize it, but there are thousands of superb and cheap food options just across the bridge in San Francisco. Yes, you may spend more on gas than food if you make the drive every day, but you could find some of the best food you’ve had in your life. Here are five places that will keep your belly and wallet happy. 1. Tony’s Pizza Napoletana. 1570 Stockton St. This San Francisco classic, located in North Beach , serves up slices at lunchtime everyday. Not only do they use the freshest ingredients they can get their hands on, they dish it out for cheaper prices than you could dream of. With a $3 healthy slice for meat-lovers, an authentic Italian atmosphere and nice view of Washington Square Park, what more could you ask for? 2. Good Luck Dim Sum 736 Clement St. If you don’t have a problem traveling to the Inner Richmond, this dirt cheap dim sum is easily the best deal on this list. When I say $15 could stuff a family of four, I am in no way exaggerating. At just $1 for three

by Isabella Schloss

Graphic by: Johanna Wong

3. Nick’s Crispy Tacos 1500 Broadway St. A short trip from the Golden Gate Bridge, just off Broadway, Nick’s has the tacos that you crave, from pescado to carnitas. With a hip nightclub layout and ‘80s reggae music playing, this is the perfect place to enjoy the best Mexican cuisine in the Bay. The real deal here is in the name: the tacos. Offering two massive tacos with all the fix ins for $5, Nick’s should be the only Mexican spot on your mind.

4. Happy Donuts 761 3rd St. Just across the street from San Francisco’s beautiful AT&T Park, this divey deli has great sandwiches, fresh chicken and waffles and killer doughnuts. Walk in before a ballgame and the place will be packed with Giants maniacs. The thing to get here is the basic build-your-own sandwich deal, which offers every bread, sandwich meat and topping under the sun, potato chips and mac salad for just about $5. Happy Donuts is always a better option than paying $15 for a sausage and coke in the ballpark. 5. Little Skillet 360 Ritch St. Located in a tiny back alley of the SoMa district, Little Skillet serves up chicken and waffles for breakfast and catfish po’ boys for lunch. This hole-in-the-wall makes a bid for the best all-around food in the city. The only place to enjoy this delicious San Francisco-style soul food is on the low riding curbs of Ritch Street. The most popular and best-priced item is the Pulled Pork Grits. These will not only satisfy your watering mouth, but will please your wallet as well. ♦

The Black Keys Turn Blue

It was 2002 when the Black Keys released their debut album “The Big Come Up.” Since then, they have released six studio records, three of them self-produced, and built up a large underground fan base. The band became more widely known in 2010 with their three Grammy-winning album “Brothers” and the hit single “Tighten Up.” Their follow-up was 2011’s “El Camino,” which won them another three Gram-


pieces of dim sum, the possibilities are endless. Not only is it cheap, the quality is quite good as well. Don’t expect your grass-fed, all organic meat and wrappings, but for the price, one cannot argue.

June 2014 — The Tam News

mys, including two for the song “Lonely Boy.” Their latest effort, the highly anticipated “Turn Blue,” explores a much deeper and more mysterious sound. Unlike the rough blues-rock of its predecessors, “Turn Blue” has a more retro and psychedelic feel. The album opens with the mystical xylophones of “Weight of Love” and a four-minute intro that would not feel out of place on Pink Floyd’s “Dark Side of the Moon.” The title track, “Turn Blue,” emulates producer Danger Mouse’s side project “Broken Bells” with falsetto backup vocals and mellowed-out electric strumming. The first single “Fever” is a catchy upbeat tune pairing a robotic electronic organ with the duo’s signature blues sound. The funky “10 Lovers” and ‘70s country sound of “Gotta Get Away” seem out of place and disjointed from the rest of the album. “Turn Blue” represents a new direction and fresh sound for the Black Keys, more soulful and synth-driven, though it lacks a lot of the blues-rock riffs that originally defined their music. ♦


Mary Crowe to Retire from Tam’s Library

by Holly Parkin

Most students, no matter what grade, have probably met Tam librarian Mary Crowe at some point in their high school career. Whether helping a student with a project, suggesting a fun new book, or even telling kids not eat their lunch in the library during a last minute study session, Crowe has always been there to watch over Tam’s main center of knowledge. However, many students may not know that this year is Crowe’s last as Tam’s librarian, ending a 17-year run that began in 1997. Crowe has watched the changes that every new group of students has brought to campus. “You have to adjust to all the new

technology like cell phones and such,” Crowe said. “When I first came here in the ‘90s, pagers were the cool things to have… Then it became cell phones and iPhones and all that. The secret with teaching is that you have to keep up with what the new trends are. I was worried for a while when the emphasis was on the Internet, and it was more exciting to use, and there were predictions that we wouldn’t need libraries anymore. But it seems to have come around full circle…there’s still an importance to having libraries.” In 1973, Crowe began work as an English and reading teacher in upstate New York, where she gained much of her

early experience with students. Consequently, she worked on her master’s degree in Library Science at Syracuse. Shortly after graduating from Syracuse, Crowe began to gravitate towards library work rather than teaching. “After I got my degree I tried getting a job in a library for the first time, and I just liked it so much. It felt like a bigger classroom… I never planned on being a librarian, but it just so happened that it worked out just fine,” she said. Even as her work at Tam comes to a close, Crowe has continued to work diligently alongside her library assistant, Hans Goto. Goto will carry on working at Tam next year, along with Crowe’s replacement, who, although not yet publicly announced, has 26 years of library and teaching experience and will “be a good match,” according to Crowe. However, Crowe said that she will miss many things about working on Tam’s campus. “I’m going to miss the staff and the students a lot… You really become friends with the people you work with, and [the faculty has] a lot of fun together, just like the students do,” Crowe said. “The staff has the same camaraderie, and it’s much more fun when you come to a job and don’t even consider it work. It’s a career, but sometimes it felt like something I would forget I was getting paid to do.” ♦

LEAVING THE NEST: Crowe will retire this year after working for 17 years as Tam’s head librarian. Photo by: Claire Donohue

The Tam News — June 2014



Students Say Farewell to Ms. Klein Story and photos by Jordan Blackburn

AP Studio Art teacher Lynne Klein will retire this month after many years at Tam. Tam students reflect on her departure and recall some fond memories. ♦

Connor Brogan, Sophomore “She’s a really nice teacher. I was never art inclined, I just did it... She cheered me on and encouraged me even though it wasn’t my best skill and I hope she does well.”

Bella Jensen, Senior “She’s wonderful. I’m sad that she’s leaving. But I think Mr. Gilmour’s going to be fun. He’s kind of rearranging [the curriculum], but in a good way.”

Alex Cabana, Junior “I was really looking forward to having Ms. Klein as a teacher [again next year] so I’m a little disappointed that she won’t be here ... I really enjoyed having [her].”

Bay to Breakers 2014: A People Guide

by Maddy Sebastien

This year’s Bay to Breakers race in San Francisco was much like any other. By eight a.m. the streets were packed with the usual turnout of diverse participants. Here is a list of the different types of “outfits” seen this year at the parade, as well as an inside look on the thought process of those who were wearing them. 1. The Scantily-clad, Sequin-bearing, Paint-covered Teen Brigade. (40% of participants) At 7 a.m. every year on this particular day, it seems that every adult from the Larkspur Ferry Terminal to the finish line fears the rowdy, drunken mass of Marin teenagers. Although some students are best known for being loud, sloppy and destructive, this year they officially earned a new demeaning adjective: bare. Whether it was a bikini, underwear, bra, spandex shorts, bro-tank or no shirt at all, every teenager seemed to abide by the same dress code of not really dressing at all. The trend of having spandex and sequins ride up in various nooks and crannies was the epitome of fashion this year for this age group.


June 2014 — The Tam News

Graphic by: Johanna Wong

2. The Racers (45% of participants) Ah, the people who actually run the Bay to Breakers. What a concept! To teenagers, these people may seem alien and overdressed even in their workout gear, but when it comes down to it, these are the people who make up the largest percentage of the participants These runners, always very well-hydrated and toned to the max, wear their tickets and Lulu Lemon athletic gear proudly as they sprint past the drunken participants. Although some may choose to make fun of these dedicated athletes, they must admire the runners’ bravery of running non-stop through a crowd of old naked men and wasted adolescents.

3. The “Creative” Costumers (10% of participants) We are all familiar with the smaller percentage of people in the race that spend weeks planning and perfecting their one-of-a-kind costumes for the race. Although not dressed for either agility or weather, you could say that these people are the most dedicated out of the participants. Whether it is as a jellyfish made out of a clear umbrella or a homemade kissing booth, the costumers always look like they’re having the most fun. 4. The Nudists (5% too many of participants) Last but not least, the nudists. Everyone knows that along with participating in the race, whether running or stumbling, they will at one point run into someone wearing nothing but running shoes and a hat. At first, they may be alarmed at the (usually) saggy and wrinkly sight, but by the end of the race they are a pro at knowing which side of the road to walk on to avoid the nudists’ frequent requests to take pictures with them. (Gross!) ♦


Reaching Out

Jane Hall Leaves Behind a Legacy of Service by Emma Boczek & Emma Talkoff

Four staff members will be leaving Tam this month. One of those is Jane Hall, who has worked at Tam for 16 years and played an integral role in the formation, growth and success of the Special Day Class. The Tam News — June 2014


Features Jane Hall’s time at Tam has been anything but conventional. Over her 16-year career here as a special education teacher, Hall has built homes with her students through Habitat for Humanity and driven her students to the jobs and internships she helped them obtain through the career program she piloted. Hall has also visited former students in juvenile hall and jail. “I ask them if they’re reading, and actually they do start reading in jail,” Hall said. “They keep saying, ‘Send us more books, send us more books.’ “It’s frustrating, because you say, come on, the kid was getting there. He was doing so well, and then circumstances come in, fate or something, being in the wrong place at the wrong time,” Hall said. “It’s horrible, I hate it.” Along with these visits, Hall has played many roles for students at Tam—serving as a confidant, mentor, disciplinarian and, as she puts it, “a cheerleader.” Hall teaches history as part of the Special Day Class (SDC), a program designed for students who face challenging circumstances that interfere with their academic achievement. Next year, SDC will feel Hall’s absence as she retires to become the president of Mill

Valley’s Rotary Club. According to Hall, special education programs like SDC allow her to develop a closer bond with students and their families. “You get to know them really well, they come by, you see them in the community, and their families,” she said. “I feel like they’re sort of my kids. You get that kind of a feeling, because you see them for so long. You see them change and grow for four years. That’s really nice.” The students in SDC are placed in the class because they either demonstrate a gap between their academic ability and performance, or experience emotional or behavioral challenges. They are “very bright, but they need a lot of support,” Hall said. Hall started her career in education in 1965 in North Carolina and then returned to graduate school for a special education degree. She worked in congressional relations in the State Department in the ‘60s, and likes to use current events to keep students engaged in her class. “I’ve got a lot of experience in government, so I love that,” Hall said. “Mainly, you have to be a cheerleader. Try and get the kids interested in it too.” In addition to keeping the curriculum relevant and up-to-date—“I never teach the same thing twice,” she said—Hall emphasizes the value of reading, and tries to make authors like Shakespeare more accessible to her students. Senior Emily was in Hall’s class for two years; her name, along with those of her classmates, was withheld for privacy reasons. “She’s a great teacher and she helped me a lot,” Emily said. “There’s some kids in [Hall’s class] who have a difficult time learning, I should say, including me. But I think Ms. Hall helped HABITAT FOR HUMANITY: Hall smiles with paraeducator Meredith us get through most Bransfield while building a home with her students through the or- of that. She was very ganization Habitat for Humanity. Hall takes her class to a Habitat good with students... I building site almost every month. This, along with other community know her job was very service, is just one of the many things Hall does with her Special Day hard and difficult at Class outside of school. Photo Courtesy of: Meredith Bransfield times. But I think that


June 2014 — The Tam News


BEFORE I DIE: Last year, members of the Special Day Class constructed a “Before I Die” wall modeled after the work of artist Candy Chang, who started the project in New Orleans. “Our kids just really said ‘let’s do it,’” Hall said. Hall saw the project as a positive way for students to connect to the school at large, and build their own confidence. “Kids who had had nothing to do with feeling really good about themselves did a wonderful job,” she said. One student, said Hall, was able to use skills acquired in part through the Before I Die project to pursue a Workplace Learning internship building tall ships in Sausalito. “It’s fantastic,” said Hall, who drives the student to his work twice a week. Photo by: Holly Parkin

part-time jobs, many of which Hall said has led to full-time careers after students graduate. Students in the program also learn personal finance skills, including setting up a bank account and creating a personal budget. The program has hosted guest speakers who talked to students about job interview strategies. The program receives funding from the Tam High Foundation, paying students a small amount of money for their work at local businesses, including Malugani Tire Center and nearby restaurants, as well as volunteer work and internships at elementary schools and the Redwoods. To Hall, the point isn’t so much providing the students with income as it is preparing them for future employment and giving them valuable workplace skills and connections. Mei said the goals of Hall’s program are “to find out what students’ strengths and talents are, and match them with a job, and then reinforcing all of those skills of showing up on time, responsibility, how to conduct yourself at an interview.” James is also a participant in the Workplace Learning program. “[Ms. Hall] helped me get a job that I really needed,” James said. He continues to hold a job at Goodman’s Hardware that he secured through the program. In addition to helping students like James get and keep jobs, Hall makes a point of being involved in

students’ lives in other ways. “She drove me to my court date so I could get my community service hours done,” James said. “She’s more than a teacher, she’s like a grandma.” Another benefit of the Workplace Learning program is the opportunity it provides for out-of-class bonding. “Some of my most enjoyable hours with these kids is when I’m taking them to jobs,” Hall said. “They really let down their hair, and I do too. It’s really good when we can really connect, and that’s been a surprising offshoot of the intern program.” In a community such as Tam’s, Franco said, where much emphasis is placed on preparing all students for four-year colleges after graduation, Hall’s program is a vital alternative. “So many times, Tam being a really high-achieving school, a lot of emphasis is put on academics, but Ms. Hall really gets that [for] our students, yes academics are important, but they need these outside opportunities like the Workplace Learning,” Franco said. “Those types of activities are the things that really stick with these guys, and in my opinion have the biggest impact on really creating a positive

change in our students’ lives.” Hall also emphasized the importance of preparing students for work after graduation, something that she thinks is undervalued by members of the school community. While she emphasizes the importance of giving all students equal opportunities and access to higher education, Hall said she would like to see more of a focus put on preparing students for a variety of paths through more extensive job training, expansion of the Regional Occupational Program (ROP) or even innovative alternatives like culinary schools. “I think we need to honor other areas as well,” Hall said. “It makes me mad because I don’t feel like anything other than really hotshot places [is honored].” SDC courses are categorized as “modified” on students’ transcripts, preventing those courses from receiving UC credit. Right now, Hall said, she sees a push towards college prep that may put students who choose to pursue work directly after high school at a disadvantage. “I think that if some people are clearly not going to go [to college], for a variety of different reasons... it’s short-sighted,” she said.

“She drove me to my court date so I could get my community service hours done... She’s more than a teacher, she’s like a grandma.” -James The Tam News — June 2014


Features Jennifer Newman, a former student of or make a difference in the kids’ lives,” said mixed). “Combining both groups of stuHall’s, became interested in working with Hall. “I know it sounds corny, but it’s re- dents, you really see that there’s a big disthe elderly after volunteering at the Red- ally true. I mean, that’s why all teachers are crepancy in the needs that those students woods in the early 2000s through the pro- weirdos. We all come in for the same rea- have,” Franco said. “So by having two sepagram. Today, she is a marketing director at son, basically.” rate classes, you get to address the needs of the senior assisted living facility Aegis San This attitude is informed in part by those students better.” Rafael. “Being at the Redwoods opened my Hall’s own experience as a parent. (Hall Hall said that she would prefer the eyes into really liking to be in that kind of raised a son and three daughters, and con- classes remain integrated, recalling the environment around the elderly popula- siders herself a “survivor” of teenagers.) “I earliest days of CEC when both groups of tion, and I was actually really able to con- think being a parent really does help, par- students would participate in group theranect with a lot of them in so many ways,” ticularly with kids who are struggling, and py sessions together. “I enjoyed having all Newman said. those kids together,” she “Her message is to said. “And now you have follow your dream and do to make a choice which something that you really one you want. The idea love,” Newman said. “No from the national level matter what we chose is to have all the kids to do, she knew that we who would be in classes were going to give it our with more challenges all, and be great at it, deto be completely mainspite the fact that we had streamed, and I disagree learning issues. She really, with that.” Hall said that really believed in us, and I in her experience, the nathink that had a lot to do tional conversation tends with the confidence we to cycle between mainhad in going into the jobs streaming and increasing that a lot of us in her class the separation between have today.” regular and special educaHall said seeing tion classes. “It’s been a successes like Newman’s, big circle,” she said. SAFE HAVEN: The Special Day Classroom is decorated with many quotes, such as the or other students who one featured above. and different country flags that add to the interesting and fun Hall is in favor of have gone on to com- learning environment. Photo Courtesy of: Tandis Shoushtary providing greater supplete EMT training or port for students, even if secure other jobs is rewarding—but she their parents,” Hall said. “Their parents are that means moving them away from maindoesn’t take credit. “That’s really exciting tearing their hair out, saying, ‘What am I stream classes. “It’s just a different philoand very, very gratifying. And it’s not what going to do? This kid is not going to shape sophical point of view,” she said. we’ve done here, they’ve just matured in up, I’ve got to get him to school’... I can say Separating SDC students from their most cases,” Hall said. This is a philosophy in all honesty to the parents, ‘Your kid is a peers can create concern over how the class that Hall extends to all aspects of her work, good kid. Don’t despair.’” is perceived. “Other kids think that [SDC] and one that she hopes parents can see, too. Next year, Hall will leave SDC and is like a retard class, or a slow class or some“I keep saying, my [thoughts are] on their the Workplace Learning program behind thing,” James said. “I don’t really like that future. What are they going to be like when to take on a role as president of Mill Val- part, but I don’t know. Ms. Hall always like ley Rotary, helps me get over all that, like all those otha program er kids name calling.” “I can say in all honesty to the parents, ‘Your she became SDC will have to adjust next year to kid is a good kid. Don’t despair.’” -Jane Hall i n t e r e s t e d Hall’s absence. “The hardest part is trying in while to find somebody to fill her shoes,” paras e a r c h i n g educator Cassandra Stone said. they’re 25, 28? And you know what, I’m re- for jobs for her students. “I love Rotary be“She walks in the room and the energy ally excited,” Hall said. cause their slogan is ‘Service Above Self,’ skyrockets,” paraeducator Meredith BransOf course, not all students achieve suc- and I believe in that. I believe in public ser- field added. “There will be no replacing of cess after their time in Hall’s class. Some, vice,” Hall said. “I did join only to get jobs Jane Hall.” like those Hall has visited in jail, continue for my students but I stayed in because I Franco agreed that Hall’s absence to struggle after high school, to the detri- love the projects that they do all over the would be felt, particularly by students. ment of their education and careers. “You world.” Hall left Tam in late May to travel “They’re going to lose a motherly, grandknow, it’s sad,” said Hall. “Very sad. But to Sydney, Australia for an international motherly type figure,” he said. ‘Because no it’s life.” Keeping a positive attitude in the Rotary conference. matter who the kid is, even if they’re having face of these circumstances is part of what The program will face some changes a difficult day, I can tell that those students Hall loves about teaching. “Seeing things as well. Next year, the CEC and SDC will know that Ms. Hall cares for them, without that we’ve done here that pay off for later, be more separated (currently, the classes are any strings attached.” ♦


June 2014 — The Tam News


EDITORIAL: Different Forms of Success Overcoming challenges and finding a path

With graduation on the horizon, there is palpable tension surrounding the oftasked question “What are you doing next year?” A common assumption at such a high-achieving high school is that all seniors are headed to a four-year university. While some soon-to-be Tam alumni will attend prestigious universities, the true measure of success isn’t always in meeting community expectations, but rather in personal achievement. For some students, the completion of high school is a milestone that should

be celebrated for itself alone. In much the same way, there are a variety of post-high school options that can lead to student success and happiness, and none of these options should be overlooked. For example, retiring Jane Hall’s Workplace Learning program (explored in this month’s feature, page 11), has provided kids who need additional support in high school with valuable alternatives to the expected four-year college path. Hall’s program connects students in her Special Day Class (SDC) with intern-

in k c a


& Slack in’

What’s Crackin’

What’s SLackin’

Every day is the weekend during summer.

No more looking forward to weekends.


When nobody wants to cuddle.

Autoshop class finishes their Mustang restoration.

Having two difficult finals on the same day.

This year’s yearbook was especially fabulous. #nicetheme

When your teacher gives you a test on dead week and finals week.

You can order Fault in Our Stars themed tissue boxes for the premiere.

Awkward post-prom interactions with your date. (So that was fun...?)

Gourmet fast food.

When fast food isn’t fast.

When you go to bed with wet hair but end up having a good hair day.

Agreeing to babysit, then finding out your friends made plans.

ships and volunteer opportunities for which they receive a small stipend from the district. These internships, which often result in post-high school employment, provide work experience, such as integrity, money management and organizational and interpersonal skills. One student discovered a love of working with the elderly while volunteering at the Redwoods through the Workplace Learning program and is now a marketing director at the senior-assisted living facility Aegis San Rafael. Another student continues in a position at Goodman’s Hardware that started as an internship through the program. These students, and others, have demonstrated work ethics and real-life skills. Success such as theirs should be measured in varying, personal contexts. This is an idea that can be helpful for everybody to remember. No matter what their future plans are, second semester seniors always seem uncomfortable discussing the topic. We are human, and as such are bound to compare ourselves to others. These comparisons can result in embarrassment, envy and even a sense of inadequacy. Everybody has unique experiences and abilities that shape their successes and failures. One person’s achievements cannot necessarily be compared to others, nor should they be. Individuals should measure their personal success against their own ambitions, since they are the only ones who know the full extent of their capabilities. The only standard that anyone should be held to is his or her own, regardless of what everyone else is doing. While success comes in many different forms, nobody is successful all the time. Despite our best intentions, failure is inevitable, and we can learn to accept that. Everybody faces struggles at different points in their lives. This month’s feature illustrates that assistance from people like Jane Hall is vital in helping people who have experienced these struggles earlier than most to find a path and succeed. Support systems allow people to move past these struggles and find success, whatever that may entail. Everybody faces challenges in their lives and Jane Hall’s kids have faced these challenges early at some point in our lives we all need somebody like Hall to help us succeed. ♦

The Tam News — June 2014



by Izzy Parlamis

Beyoncé and the Beauty Myth

I watch as a high-heel clad Beyoncé moves through a sequence of poses. The video cuts to different images of her body dressed in elaborate outfits. Intense and colorful lights fill my computer screen. The videos on Beyoncé’s eponymous new visual album, an album comprised of a series of music videos, are powerful. “Beyoncé” is the “fastest-selling album ever in the iTunes store,” according to Billboard. The Huffington Post calls it “her strongest and most cohesive album to date.” The New York Times deems it “steamy and sleek.” Naturally, I was persuaded by the outstanding reviews to buy Beyoncé’s visual album for $15.99. I watched and listened to all one hour, 18 minutes and six seconds of it. Unlike the gushing critics, I found myself becoming increasingly angry and disgusted after each music video. My disgust stemmed from two distinct issues with the album. First, the positive message in some of Beyoncé’s songs was undermined by the sexualized nature of the videos. Second, the message of other songs was simply misogynistic. Although some of her lyrics may appear feminist, when coupled with her videos, they only serve to degrade women and perpetuate what is known as the “beauty myth.” The beauty myth, a term coined in 1990’s book by Naomi Wolf, is defined as the “expected adherence to standards of physical beauty” set forth by magazines, advertisements and pop culture. This myth implies that women should be judged solely based upon their physical attractiveness, which is in no way a feminist notion. Beyoncé claims to be a feminist, yet her brand of feminism is shallow and largely rooted in narcissism. The first song on the album, titled “Pretty Hurts,” criticizes the pervasive and unattainable beauty standard. The message of this song is inspirational, yet when viewed in the context of the video and entire album it is clear that


June 2014 — The Tam News

Beyoncé doesn’t seek to discredit the beauty myth at all. Rather, with her skimpy clothing, excessive make-up and seductive poses, Beyoncé reinforces the idea that women must conform to the stereotype of a “beautiful woman” and should be judged based on their physique. It is no wonder that women all around the world feel self-conscious about their bodies when they have to compete with a

yoncé helped to create the current day standard of beauty: a skinny, curvy, big-breasted woman. While flaunting her figure in minimal clothing, she doesn’t merely perpetuate the beauty myth, she helps construct it. You would be hard pressed to find a music video in which Beyoncé wears pants. Faux-feminist lyrics aside, many of Beyoncé’s lyrics are flat out sexist and often times offensive. Her lyrics suggest that women should pander to the needs of their partners. She sings, “I just wanna be the girl you like, the kind of girl you like,” while pole dancing in a tight leotard in her video for the song “Partition.” This line implies that a woman’s only ambition is to please her male counterpart. Yet again in “Jealous,” a song about doubting her husband’s fidelity, she sings “I’m in my penthouse half naked/ I cooked this meal for you naked/ So where the hell you at?” This lyric paints women’s role as a subservient housewife, working to satisfy the desires of men (a theme also seen in other Beyoncé songs such as “Why Don’t You Love Me?”). The overarching message of these songs is chauvinistic. Beyoncé depicts a misogynistic society in which the value of a woman is derived from her physical attractiveness and conjugal subjection. However, the degradation of women does not stop there. In her song “***Flawless,” she repeatedly refers to women as Graphic by: Leo DiPierro “bitches.” To use such a pejoheavily made-up Beyoncé singing “I woke rative term to describe women is to debase up like this, I woke up like this” in the mu- our sex entirely. sic video for her song “***Flawless.” Really, Beyoncé is a danger to the millions of Beyoncé? Did you really wake up with a women and girls who idolize her. Catchy thick layer of eyeliner, eyeshadow, founda- tunes disguise the truly offensive nature of tion and lip gloss? That song was meant Beyoncé’s words and videos. She is not a to encourage women to be confident, yet feminist. when the prevailing message of her videos The message behind many of her lyris the importance of sex appeal, the value ics is demeaning. In her visual album, we of women’s intelligence and creativity is di- do not only hear the offensive lines sung minished. The emphasis placed on sexual between bass drops and riffing back up attractiveness in her videos paints women singers; we also see a dissonance between as little more than objects. the words she sings and her actions in the Along with the rest of Hollywood, Be- music videos. ♦


Writing Wrongs

Writing Rights: Final Words of Wisdom

Graphic by: Cassie Jeong

by Bella Levaggi

If you’ve picked up a copy of the Tam News this year and thumbed your way to the opinion section, there’s a good chance that you’ve seen my name beneath a cartoon rendering of myself, created by the incredibly talented Cassie Jeong. Perhaps you even stopped long enough to glance at the multitude of words I’ve written. Last August, I became irritated with the hypocrisy surrounding the double stan-

dards of celebrity sexualization and the disgusting nature of songs that perpetuate rape culture. This irritation manifested in the wake of Miley Cyrus and Robin Thicke’s performance at the 2013 MTV Video Music Awards. The next month, though, I was again irked: people complaining about political correctness. By that point, I realized that I could commit to an ongoing column dedicated to exploring tough issues in our culture. I’ve had a lot of opinions, some of which may have made sense to you, while others perhaps less so. Maybe you think I’m obnoxious, oversensitive, or worst of all, not funny in the slightest. It’s really up to you, I suppose. Opinions, as long as they don’t threaten someone else’s rights or fundamental existence, should be respected. But now, in this last issue of the school year, I’m not here to write about a wrong. Yes, I can talk about other things; I’m actually such an optimist and despise being angry. (That said, there are some things that are worth getting angry about.) No, the point here is to not take my word, or any one person’s word as a firm standard for anything. Mine is but one voice. I’m not

going to say that I don’t want you to ignore my opinions, because I do believe that I’ve done my best to communicate in a coherent and accessible manner on topics that I generally have some authority to speak out on. But the world is an incredibly multifaceted place, full of incredibly multi-faceted people with incredibly multi-faceted opinions. Even when you zoom in on individuals within specific minority groups to see what their opinions are on pertinent issues (which is my recommendation for staying informed on these sorts of things), you won’t get the same answer every time. Navigating what suddenly seems like an ocean of differing opinions can be very overwhelming. So that’s where it becomes up to you, dear reader, to piece together some semblance of a stance of your own. An awareness of the various intricacies of the more complex issues (i.e. mainstream use of the word “queer,” cultural appropriation versus cultural exchanges, affirmative action, etc.) is absolutely vital to participating in informed discussion. And this diversity in referential ideas can only be obtained with a broad array of differing ideas.♦

How I Survived High School by Cassie Jeong

Well, it’s been a long four years, and I sincerely hope this was not supposed to be the best time of my life. Sometimes I feel high school was more trouble than it was worth, but then I realize I have learned some useful skills. The following tricks made my high school experience a little more bearable. 3. Essay of required length? One1. Prop head up with hand so it 2. Remove contact lens as excuse to word lines galore looks like I’m concentrating. leave class.

4. Keep calculator app running to prove I’m not texting. (I totally am.)

7. Mooch off of older students’ work.

5. Raise hand early, cruise through rest of class.

8. Sell old work to younger students.

(10: Joined the Tam News. Bye Tam High!)

6. Volunteer for demonstrations; get credit for work my teacher did.

9. Keep rock in shoe for boring lectures.

The Tam News — June 2014



Conchita Wurst Shines Light on Gender Identity

by Cam Vernali

For those who have tuned in to anything our friends across the pond have done recently, you might recall the stunning events surrounding the aftermath of Eurovision–a huge, European-exclusive singing contest. This year, the program dragged in nearly 13 million viewers, Eurovision’s biggest audience in over a decade. Despite these overwhelming numbers, I was initially ready to pass it off as a trivial, day-long competition that would come and go, like most pop culture current events. But when Austrian contestant Conchita Wurst won the contest, the event changed into an unforgettable moment. Wurst identifies as nonbinary, preferring she/her pronouns though designated male at birth, making her one of the world’s most famous nonbinary individuals. While this is a breakthrough moment for the LGBTQ+ community, not all people know exactly how to handle it. Wurst’s beard has left her labelled transgender or male in the headlines, even though Wurst has said in an interview with, “I’m a drag artist, I’m not transgender... I created this bearded lady because I wanted to show everybody that it’s not depending on your looks if you are successful or not... you can achieve anything if you just believe in yourself.” The nonbinary, or genderqueer, identity is an umbrella term for all gender identities other than male or female, the broadness of nonbinary includes many different sexualities that people may identify with, including an overlap of gender identities, identifying as two or more genders (bigender, trigender, pangender, etc.), no gender (non gendered, genderless, agender), moving between genders/with a fluctuating gender identity (gender fluid) or being other-gendered. This is just a small set of possible options that fall under the non-binary umbrella. This array of terms may seem overwhelming, but one way to grasp this concept is to think about gender not as a


June 2014 — The Tam News

choice between a “female” box and a “male” box, but as a spectrum, with male on one end, female on the other and androgyne in the middle. Even that model, however, is not completely accurate, because there are numerous possibilities of combinations that are not just one spot on a scale. Nonbinary terms, and the spectrum of numerous other gender identities, is not

only a year ago, and even though I have become more aware about sexuality, there are still things that I discover every day. Learning about yourself is an important part of growing up, and without proper knowledge about self-awareness, that development may be pushed back. Awareness fuels understanding, which is why Wurst’s win is an important event; when someone like Wurst, who does not fall into the traditional categories of “straight” or “gay”, becomes popularized, those who may not have understood before can now grasp concepts that are monumentally important to growing up. Students are continuously taught that knowledge is power, and while we may not prioritize equations for ellipses or the molecular makeup of fruit flies, becoming aware about ourselves–our beliefs, our ideas, what Graphic by: Johanna Wong we stand for and what something that many Tam students makes us truly us –is may know about, and the propulsion of a something that we must always keep in non-binary person into stardom may help mind. educate our fellow peers. One cause for this With Wurst’s fame, people who usuignorance among teenagers may be that ally would be in the dark about these issues Tam’s Social Issues class barely brushes on now have someone that can teach them gender orientation besides the basics of Sex more about sexuality and their identity.♦ Ed. Another cause is the perceived social “taboo” that comes with talking about subjects like these. Awareness about yourself and others around you is of massive importance to anyone and everyone, especially teenagers growing up in this world today. But just because you learn a word for one sexuality here or a phrase for another one there doesn’t mean that you have learned all there is to know. I didn’t know that people could be anything besides straight or gay up until


Softball Makes History With NCS Title Win

BRINGING HOME THE GOLD: The softball team poses above after winning the NCS championship on May 31 at San Marin High School. This is the first NCS Softball title Tam has every won. Photo Courtesy of: Rebecca Fong

by James Finn & Jordan Blackburn The softball team defeated Terra Linda 3-2 at San Marin High school on May 31 to claim the 2014 NCS softball title. The win marked Tam’s first-ever NCS softball championship and occurred on the same day that the Tam baseball team won the school’s second-ever NCS baseball title. Head softball coach and P.E. teacher Erin Lawley cited the team’s stellar defense, and the pitching of sophomore Jessie Scarsella, as the deciding factors in the low-scoring contest. “Our defense really held...they were amazing,” Lawley said. “ Jessie did a great job of preventing too many runners [from getting on base].” After outscoring their opponents by a combined 34-9 over their three previous games, the Hawks were forced to grind it out in a defensive stalemate against the Trojans. “We were really surprised that we [weren’t] hitting well,” senior Chloe Jacobs said. “I think that we hit enough to win and then held them off well in the bottom of the second.” Scarsella pitched the entire game and was instrumental in holding the Trojans to two runs. “It was really nice to have the defense

backing me up, as well as [sophomore] Elodie Townsend getting a double early on in the game to give us the 2-0 lead,” Scarsella said. “It was a great feeling to not only win, but to be the first team in school history to ever win a section title. I’m so proud of my teammates.” Aria Pogni, Tam’s number four hitter who led MCALs in home runs this season, was walked repeatedly during the course of the game. “Aria didn’t get many pitches, which is what we expect at this point because she’s such a phenomenal hitter,” Lawley said. “She had a single and... a couple walks, but it was great because the girls behind her contributed and knocked her in.” With the score tied at 2-2 for much of the game, Tam took the lead in the top of the seventh and final inning after one of Pogni’s walks. Freshman Kendall Lafranchi pinch-ran for Pogni from first and was able to score eventually on a shallow fly ball to right field that wasn’t deep enough to score Lafranchi, but after the ball got past the catcher she eventually score. Tam’s defense recorded

three straight outs to close out of the seventh inning and seal the win as fans rose to cheer. Lawley said she was “ecstatic,” at the result of a season’s worth of hard work. “I’m so proud of each and every one of the girls on the team….It’s been phenomenal,” she said. “This was a team win. Everybody contributed, which was fantastic to see.” ♦

The Tam News — June 2014



The Grind Matters

By The Numbers by the Sports Staff

3: The number of NCS titles earned by spring sports teams this year.

SINCE 1929: The boy’s baseball team runs in for a dog pile after Max Gamboa strikes out Alhambra’s last batter, making Tam Varsity Baseball the official NCS champions for the first time in 85 years. Photo by: Riley Kuffner

by Riley Kuffner

The varsity baseball team won the North Coast Sectional (NCS) championship 3-1 in a tense title game against Alhambra High School at Diablo Valley College on May 31. Senior Max Gamboa took the mound to start the game for the Hawks. He had been one of their go-to men all year and did not disappoint against Alhambra, pitching a complete game with seven strikeouts and allowing just one run. After Gamboa shut out Alhambra in the top of the first, Tam leadoff batter and senior center fielder Geoffrey Mohn, hit a triple to start off a three-run inning, with runs scored by Mohn, junior Mason Collins and senior Alex Davis. From that point on it was all about tight defense, and Tam came through only letting up one run in the fourth inning. When Gamboa threw the last pitch for a strikeout, senior catcher and captain Pablo Feldman threw off his glove as his team stormed the field to celebrate in a dog pile on the pitcher’s mound. After the game, Gamboa touched on what was going through his head on the mound in that final moment, “It felt great. I was shocked when I first struck him out and then I saw Pablo throw his glove up and he was running toward me. It was great.” The medals ceremony consisted of each player receiving a medal handed out


June 2014 — The Tam News

by Tam principal Julie Synyard and athletic director Christina Amoroso, while the team as a whole received an NCS championship banner and plaque. Earlier that day, the Tam softball team had received their first ever NCS championship. As head coach Scott Osder held the plaque high above his head after the game, he explained that this was the first NCS Championship victory for the Tam baseball program in 85 years. Tam’s execution in that final game sealed the deal on their NCS victory, but what really won them the championship was their preparation. “Our motto all year was, ‘The grind matters,’” said junior player Colin Galeste. “And all the work we put in throughout the season really paid off in the championship.” Not only did it pay off this season, but the tremendous work ethic of this team will hopefully set a president for the future of Tam baseball. The varsity squad has quite a few returning players next year including Galeste and Dickson alongside juniors Mason Collins, Jack Elias, Jake Ferm, Patrick Shore, Sam Dorfman, and Ben Harris, in addition to sophomores Ethan Lawrence and Tevor Bukowski. They also have a solid JV squad to pull from. The grind matters, and will continue for this Tam Baseball team.♦

85: Years since =

baseball had last won an NCS title.

16: Number of

feet August Kiles cleared at the NCS pole vaulting championship title.

Graphics by: Dennis Lubensky & Cassie Jeong


Girls Soccer Takes NCS

Bella Amyx

WE GOT SPIRIT: Bella Amyx holds a fans’ sign after winning the MCAL championship. Photo courtesy of: Lilah Yob TWICE IS NICE: The Tam girls’ varsity soccer team celebrates after defeating Marin Catholic. This was the second time Tam had beaten MC in penalty kicks. The game took place at Terra Linda on May 23rd. Photo by: Caroline Frost

by Nic Mosher Much like their MCAL championship victory in the previous week, the girls’ varsity soccer team came from behind to defeat Marin Catholic in penalty kicks, on May 23 at Terra Linda. Marin Catholic struck first in the 30th minute after a foul was called in the 18-yard box, awarding Marin Catholic senior Alexis Tye a penalty kick. Tye scored, giving Marin Catholic a 1-0 lead. However, Tam’s senior captain, goalie and Tam News reporter Elizabeth Archer, did not allow a goal for the rest of regulation. The Hawks were able to control possession for the remainder of the game, but weren’t able to produce an equalizer until late in the second half. Senior Captain Olivia Heitz dribbled through a mass of Marin Catholic defenders with two minutes left in the second half, then passed the ball off to junior Bella Amyx, who then sent a cross in to sophomore Emma Schnee, who volleyed the ball into the back of the net. The Hawks promptly entered overtime with plenty of momentum. Yet, neither team was able to find the goal, and overtime ended in a draw. For the second time in two weeks, the two teams entered a penalty shootout for a championship title.

Tam scored first, and Marin Catholic answered. After a few more strong finishes by Tam’s experienced upperclassmen, Archer was able to block MC senior Claire Renk’s shot, giving the Hawks the upper hand. Tam’s freshman Kali Hukari then drilled her kick into the bottom left corner, winning the game for the Hawks. After the game, Heitz said, “We were resilient, able to come back twice against a great team in Marin Catholic, because of our trust in each other and our ability to play great soccer. There was no star on our team, we always had each other’s backs and were one cohesive unit.”♦

by Caroline Frost Soccer player Bella Amyx is currently being recruited by University of Pacific, Sonoma State and Portland State. Amyx started playing soccer at the age of six and has been playing at Tam since she was a freshmen. Her goal when she started high school has always been to play three sports all four years. Now in her second year playing for varsity, she can’t imagine playing on any other team. “We play so well together,” Amyx said. “Every moment with them is so fun. I’ve been playing with the same girls for seven years and they are basically family.” Amyx scored almost half the goals for the team and helped them win both the Marin County Athletic League and North Coast Section titles against rival Marin Catholic. Amyx is also on the varsity cross country team and has been running the annual Dipsea Race since third grade. In the spring, she plays for both Tam soccer and Marin Football Club and trains with her mom for the Dipsea on weekends. Amyx hopes to follow in her mom’s footsteps. “My mom is an amazing athlete,” Amyx said “She’s been so successful in what she does.” Amyx’s mom was born in Mexico and came to American speaking very little English. She is now an ultra-runner, running races of up to 100 miles. Amyx has been involved with running for as long as she can remember and in 2013 was first in her league for cross country.♦

The Tam News — June 2014



from the archives: timeless landmarks



by Karen Carlsen of THS who gave their lives in the Second World War we Wherefore art thou, Tam Memorials? gratefully dedicate this clock tower.” The dedication took Up in Freshmen Court, to the surprises of many, there place on the seventh anniversary of Pearl Harbor, a sad and exists an old dilapidated sundial. The dial is broken off, rainy Friday. but the rusty face says, “Count None But Sunny Hours.” One of the simplest and loveliest dedications are the The stand, painted green, is scratched, chipped, and dirty. four large redwoods near Keyser Hall. Mr.Wood had four Four stone seats surround it and a garbage can is near by. daughters, and each time one of them was born, he planted a A banana peel lays on the ground. redwood for her. These are the remains of a plan by Mr. Wood, the first -Myrtleprincipal of Tam, to have a memorial to all of Tam’s The fountain in Orange Tree Court was built in 1936 by deceased teachers. Three names were on it including Mr. the Works Project Administration. Before that there were the Pittenger and Mr. Owens, both past heads of the music four trees planted. The little statue above the fountain, named department. Myrtle, was created in 1937 by the WPA. The fountain was One day vandals destroyed the face, the elaborate dial dedicated July 14, 1960 to Jean Compton. and tore off the plaques. The memorial was neglected Jean in 1947 was a straight A, happy, popular, and striking until Mrs. Pittenger and the Music Club replaced the top 15 year old. One Monday she complained of pains and the with a simpler one. This too was neglected. next morning was helpless with polio. She hovered between - Clock Towerlife and death in an iron lung for two weeks, but survived. Her The Clock Tower, another of Tam’s time pieces, is picture was used for the March of Dimes. a memorial originated by the class of ‘46. The students After long months she no longer needed the lung and chose a three-faced clock to replace the large stars of moved in with her aunt in Santa Barbara. On July 18, 1950, Solomon, a symbol of wisdom. Funds were raised by the she received her graduation diploma from Tam, having taken students and the Board of Trustees. The bronze plaque correspondence courses. “The dedication was a tribute to lists the 55 boys from Tam who died in World War II. Jean’s courage, fortitude, and tenacity.” The inscription reads: “To the memory of these students

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June 2014 — The Tam News June 2014 – The Tam News

The Tam News Thanks Its Patrons Allen Family Amy Thomas Ana Levaggi Andrew & Katherine Angela & TJ Civik Anita Antler Anna Nogueiro Anne Courtney Anthony Antonio Antonette Green Audrey & Andy Shapiro Barbara Kuffner Berl & Joan Katz Berlinger Family Bill & Christney McGlashan Bill & Heidi Whalen Bill Butler Bobbin Tobin Brenda Birks Bryne Family Budish Family Butler Family Cameran Vernali Campfield Family Caren Stapleton & Robert Phillips Carlos & Anne Fretes Cathy & Charlie Wilmoth Cathy & Jim Long Chris Glave Christopher Yip Chuck Gathard & Kay Arentsen Cindy Moran Claire Johnston Claude Labeeuw & Mary Anderson Claudia & Rich Searle Cynthia Koehler & Gordon Renneison Cynthia Stone Daisy Romjue Daniel & Michelle Archer David & Ilona Vandergriff David Coffin Debbie Friedman Deborah & Jonathan Goldman Den & Tricia Satake Derrick & Lynne Wong Diane Chang Diane Worley Don & Robin Moses Donna & Andrew Boczek Donna Dobryn Elizabeth L. Dveris Elane Woods-Amos Eleanor Barraclough Ethan Moeller Ethan Schulman & Tammy Edmonson Eve Wirth

Francine Grant Francoise Chouchena & Stephan Thomas Gates Family George & Marjorie Irvin Ginny Blackburn & Gloria Starns Gordon Family Hansen Family Heather Young Hollay Emblidge Howard & Valerie Wynn Ildilko & David Hayman Jacob Nishima Jake Isola-Henry Jan & Joe Hiti Janet & Mike Moore Janie & Joe Karp Jean Bolte Jeannine & Ian Berman Jeff & Tracey Brown Jennifer & Phil Oreste Jennifer Oreste Jerry & Lauren Hancock Jill & Greg Mantz Jill & Rob Anderson Jim & Laurel Polarek Jim Budish Joan Korngut Jo Tice Joe & Audrey Finci John Lyman Jonathan Rubens & Barbara Sobel Joshua Katz Julia Sze Julia Whitelaw Julie & Mike Urban Julie Khademi Karen & Neil Talkoff Karen Betzner & Jim Simkalo Karen Fritz Karen Henry Karen Jaber Karen Robbins Kathleen Clifford & Bill Lampl Kathy & Mike Bishop Kathy Sonderby & Rich Ross Katz Family Kelly Leary Ken and Jackie Broad Kennen & TJ Williams Kerstin Bastian Kevin & Brenda Lima Kevin Cuffe Kevin McDougal Kirby & Suzan Hutson Kuhn Family Laurel Johnson Lisa & John Scarsella

Lisa & Michael Vogel Lisa & Urban Carmel Lisa Baldwin Lisa Hukari Lissa Carmel Liz Bayer Lori & Mark Coopersmith Lowry/Parko Family Luigi Rest & Kathy Warren Mackenzie Priest-Heck Maggie Herman Mahesh & Alpana Kharkar Mara Brazer Margaret Greene Maria Ramirez Marty & Bill Sawyers Mary Gordon Mary Quaranta Mary Washburn & Mark Chavez Maureen Young & Tim Shore Mauze Family McQuaid Family Melinda Norris Melissa D’Amore Michael & Cullyn Russell Michael & Francisco Narganes Michael & Lisa Fuchs Michele Aubin Michelle & Brian Muir Mike Webb Mo Delong Molly Baumhoff Nanette Zavala Nicole & Ryan Ferguson Paige Hutson Pam Sowerby Patti & Chuck Weisselberg Patti & Joshua Katz Patty & Mike Davis Paul & Annette Venables Peggy Kuhn Peter McQuaid & Celeste Tang Phyllis Loewengart Quaranta Family Randy & Katie Yip Raud & Stephanie Alamin Ray & Selene Rose Rebecca Rossner Reiber & Witt Ricordel Family Robert & Sandy Scissors Ruth & Tom Rosenfield Rutter Family Sabrina Knotter-Finney Sam & Kelly Guyton Sandy Balin & Mike Zwiebach Sandy Murray Sarah McNeil Shelly Hale

Stephanie & Bruce Dorfman Stephanie Long Stefanie Stoker Steve & Anna Knox Steven Blackburn & Judith Weaver Steven Blum Stirling Somers Sue & Joe Blackstone Sue & Steve Weinswig Sunaina Balain Susan & Jim Burns Susan Ellingson Suzanne & Ken Austin Tae Soo Jeong Tamara Goldman Tammie Grant Ted Hersh Teresa McGlashan Terrence Becker & Daphne de Marneffe The Begler Family The Cahn Family The Chavez Family The Clahan Family The Dorit Family The Ferm Family The Flax Family The Jordans The LaDuke Family The Landolina Family The Lincoln Family The McLellands The Morris Family The Myers Family The Parkin Family The Pulgram Family The Rowedder Family The Schow Family The Shepard Family The Stray Family The Whitescarver/Lewis Family The Young Family Thomas Geffert Tim & Florencia Amyx Tim Duane Tina & Jeff Taylor Tom Parker & Michelle Griffin Tore Haggren Veronica Russell Von Welczeck Wendy Tobiasson & Raoul Wertz Wesley Emblidge Whiteley Will Carroll & Diane Frantz Willow Banks Winer Family Zimpfer-Ball Family

The Tam News — June 2014


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Volume IX, Issue No. IX - June 2014

June 2014 — The Tam News

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