February 25, 2019  

Sequoia PTSA's weekly eNewsletter in partnership with the Sequoia High School Education Foundation
TopPrincipal's Message
Sequoia Academy Receives Recognition of Excellence 
Top Row (L-R): Nichole Vaughan, Mary Alice Davis, Davina Gazulla, Joel Rebello, Claire Heritier-Kerby, David Brand. Bottom Row (L-R): Stephanie Weden, Nick Muys, Greg Schmid, Ashley Gray
Earlier this month, the students and staff who make up the Sequoia Health Careers Academy received some exciting news: they had been selected this year as a California Distinguished Academy Partnership Academies exist up and down the state -- approximately 340 in total.  The SUHSD schools currently have four academies, with two or three more incubating.  

Academies exist as small schools within a larger school, offering access to career-focused electives, reduced class sizes, and cohort or small learning community approaches to general ed (i.e., English, Social Studies, Science) instruction.  Depending on what part of the state you visit, you might find academies focusing on green technology, hospitality, early childhood development, or teaching.  At Sequoia, we have academies in health careers and digital arts (our DAA is the oldest academy in California).  

Out of the 340 California academies, only eight were selected for this distinction.  Continuity and quality are the main areas under which the award is assessed.  Once a program is nominated, a visiting committee looks at the program over a period of three years to ensure the program requirements are being met and the needs of the students are being addressed.  From there, the breadth and depth of the academy's community partnerships and impact are measured.  This is where our HCA truly stands out.

A sample of how the Sequoia HCA has become a vital part of our school and broader community in recent years:
  • Ride along program with Woodside Fire and Redwood City Fire
  • CERT mini-disaster drill in class - realistic disaster drill -  partner with Woodside Fire/CERT (2017 & 2018)
  • CERT Skills Day - earning CERT certificate - partnering with RWC Fire & CERT (2016, 2017, 2018 & 2019)
  • Stop the Bleed - learning how to stop arterial bleeding, earning certificate - partnering with Stanford Trauma (2017, 2018 & 2019)
  • Go-Bag Project - with help from local business partners, we provided students with basic emergency supplies (2017, 2018 & 2019)
  • VIA Heart Project for Redwood City - Free cardiac screenings for over 300 people hosted by the HCA at Sequoia (2018)
  • Meals on Wheels Go-Bag Project - HCA students built over 600 Go-Bags for Meals on Wheels home-bound clients (2019)
This newsletter would be much longer were I to list all the ways in which our HCA strengthens this community.  I can't resist, however, describing the active student role in the school's evacuation procedures and how it has dramatically improved the way in which all students and staff are accounted for.  Foremost, communication is more efficient between central command and the different campus zones.  When the announcement is made to evacuate, approximately 50 HCA students spring into action, donning emergency vests, reporting to positions, and implementing their protocols.  It's inspiring and exciting to see how different an evacuation looks when students take on a leadership role.  Empowerment matters.

It also bears mention that all HCA 11th and 12th graders complete coursework in IB English.  Since the HCA's inception in 2009, teacher Nick Muys's belief that heterogeneous groupings of students (at least half the students admitted to academies are required to fall into two or more "at-risk" categories as defined by the state) means higher achievement and socio-emotional growth for all students has been a core value of the program.  With Mr. Muys's proof of concept playing a big part, this value has become intrinsic to the school and helped shape the work done with IB Equity, going back to 2014.

We are so proud of our Health Careers Academy at Sequoia.  This recognition as one of only eight distinguished academies around the state is truly a mark of excellence.  Hats off!

Last Two Weeks at Sequoia...
Historic Win for Sequoia Varsity Girls Basketball in CCS Div 1 Championship!

Sequoia Varsity Girls Basketball Team pose with their trophy, Coach Mike Ciardella (far L), Trainer Jeff Wilson, and Head Coach Steve Picchi (R) after their CCS Div 1 Championship win.

What a season! This is the first EVER CCS title for ANY Sequoia girls team in ANY sport!  Leading up to this historic moment, Sequoia Varsity Girls Basketball won the PAL South Tournament on February 8th with their win over Carlmont and on the 12th, the team won the PAL Championship over South San Francisco (winner of the PAL North Section).

While we were on break, the girls continued their winning streak over Los Altos and 2018 CCS Champion Silver Creek in their Division 1 CCS playoff games.  Finally on Saturday night, they overcame top-seeded Paly with a 50-34 score that won them the Division 1 CCS Championship!  Thank you to Coaches Steve Picchi and Mike Ciardella for making this season a truly memorable one so far.  The girls go on to compete in the NorCal Tournaments.
PAL - Ocean League Championship Goes to Varsity Girls Soccer

Sequoia Varsity Girls Soccer team celebrate their PAL - Ocean Championship win.

Sequoia Varsity Girls soccer ended their PAL season with a 3-1 championship win over South San Francisco on February 12th, with Bridget Carbonneau scoring one goal, and Citlali Santos scoring two.  The team had a league record of 8-1-1 this season.  The last time Sequoia won their league championship was in 2017.  Unfortunately, the team did not advance past their first CCS playoff game on February 23 against Terra Nova.  Thank you to Coaches Melissa Schmidt and Elizabeth Peters for a fantastic season!
Boys Wrestling Showed their Moves at PAL Championships

JP Boyle wins his weight class in the JV division.
Congratulations to Sequoia Varsity Boys wrestlers Daniel Camacho, Adam Horner, Alexander Nevarez, and Desmond Shing, for placing 3rd overall in their respective weight classes at the Peninsula Athletic League finals on February 9th.  Sequoia ended the season in 4th place within the PAL - Ocean league.  All four wrestlers represented Sequoia at the CCS Championships the following week.
JP Boyle finished as the overall PAL champion in the 154lb weight class for Junior Varsity.  This was JP's second overall PAL title.  Many thanks to Coach Brad Ramezane for coaching the team this season.  
WOW - a 21st Century Transformation! Media Center Re-Opens After Months of Remodeling

Ask your student about Sequoia's beautifully renovated Media Center which opened today!
Come see for yourself at Open House on Thursday, March 28 at 7:00 p.m.

Congratulations and a special thank you to Ms. Schadler, Library Assistant, and Ms. Snow, Media Specialist, for their countless hours of work making this center a place for all Sequoia students.  Many thanks to all the volunteers who helped make sure the doors would open in time for the students today!

Opportunities: Volunteer, Scholarships, Jobs
SHSEF is Hiring!  Seeking Operations Manager... Interested?
graphic The Sequoia High School Education Foundation (SHSEF) is delighted to announce the creation of a new part-time Operations Manager position to support the mission, sustainability, and continued growth of the foundation.  SHSEF fundraising revenues and program support have increased tenfold over the past decade and the foundation is at a pivotal point where a staff position is necessary to ensure continued success in funding programs that support academic enrichment, college and career services, staff professional development, and family support at Sequoia High School.
The Operations Manager will report to the Board President and will provide organizational and administrative support, supplementing the many volunteer hours that our community contributes to ensure that every student has the opportunity to reach their highest potential.
If you are interested in helping SHSEF make an even bigger impact, check out the position description here.  To apply for this opportunity, please send your resume and a cover letter to
Juniors: Apply for PTSA Scholarships!

Applications for our annual PTSA Junior Scholarships are now being accepted and are  due Tuesday, April 16 by 10 p.m .  There are three categories of scholarships to recognize students: academic success, community service, or achievement in the face of socio-economic challenges.  We have 20 scholarships to offer, each worth $250.

This is a great way for juniors to get a head start on college applications, to be recognized for all they've done to make Sequoia a better place, and to earn some extra money to continue their education!   Click here for more info on applying.
PARENTS : We are looking for freshman, sophomore, and senior parent volunteers to join the Junior Scholarship Committee.  The commitment would be 2-3 hours reviewing applications, a 2 hour meeting in mid-April to assess the applications, and some follow-up emails.  Email Anne Scholes if you are interested in joining our group.
Do You Know a Purple Patriot? Honor Them With a Nomination

The Sequoia High School Alumni Association is soliciting nominations for its annual Purple Patriot Award.  Recipients will receive a framed certificate as well as have their name inscribed on a perpetual trophy on permanent display at the high school.
The Purple Patriot Award is an annual award instituted to honor both individuals and organizations who have demonstrated outstanding service or provided a significant benefit directly to Sequoia High School.  Nominees may be from Sequoia High School or the community at large.
Please indicate the nominee's individual name or organization name, and why the nominee should receive this award.  Be specific about the nominee's role in directly providing the service or benefit to Sequoia High School and explain in detail what the service or benefit was.
Nominations must be submitted in writing to the Sequoia High School Alumni Association, P. O. Box 2534, Redwood City, CA 94064, emailed, or placed in the Sequoia High School Alumni Association mailbox near the Principal's office no later than Friday, March 22.  If you have any questions, please contact Ken Rolandelli
Mark Your Calendars
No More Cash Transactions for Food Services Starting Tuesday 
graphic Beginning Tuesday, February 26   , 2019, CASH will no longer be accepted in any of the food service lines.  If students would like to make cash or check deposits into their food service accounts, they must do so at the CASH DEPOSITS window, which is the south-facing window near the vending machines.  This window will be open during breakfast, brunch, lunch, and before school. Once deposits are made, they are immediately available for use.  Keep in mind, the CASH DEPOSITS line will not be serving any food.

Want to put money in your student's account from the comfort of your own home?  Instructions (Spanish version) on how to prepay online are attached and also on our website
Thank you and please contact Sequoia Union High School District Office of Food Services with questions.
Dream Club Conference is This Saturday, March 2, 2019  
Dream Club's annual student conference for undocumented students and their peers will be on Saturday, March 2, 2019.  Check out this flier for more information.  
A light breakfast and lunch will be provided at the event. 
Don't Miss Out on the Crab Feed! 
It's the hottest ticket in town.  This event is even better than the Hamilton show in SF and you want to know why?  Because all proceeds will benefit Sequoia Athletics. 
  • Saturday, March 23, 2019 at Hiller Aviation Museum, San Carlos.
  • We are still looking for volunteers to fill open positions.  Click on this link to sign up.
  • Lastly, do you have any gift cards or items that you want to donate for the Live and Silent Auction?  Please reach out to Crab Feed chairpersons, Adam Kurland, Karyn Kurland or Luisa Pauga, if you have any questions.


Purchase Your Crab Feed Tickets Here  


Awards and Appreciations
From Anime Subscriptions to Yoga Balls and Everything in Between... Spring Mini-Grants Awarded!

The PTSA Mini-Grants committee is excited to announce the 2019 Spring Mini-Grants awarded through funding from the SHSEF.  From yoga balls to a prototype of an electric car, French movies to community portraits, an outdoor whiteboard to lunchtime career panels, the many and varied proposals were inspiring.  Click here for a complete list of awarded grants.
Many thanks to Glenn Bugos, Shannon Chi, Laura Downs, Michele Francesconi, Stacy Huisman, Karen Latina, John McAfee, Paula Ebejer Moffitt, and Betsy Parkhurst for participating on the Mini-Grants committee.  A special thank you goes out to our organizing c0-chairs, Marlena Griffin and DeeDee Clarke for their dedication to this project. 
Shout Out to Junior Parents

Thanks to all who helped make the Class of 2020 quad game concession sales a success!  We raised over $2000 and all of it will go toward safe and sober graduation activities!   
Food contributors included: Noreen Abad, Judy Adams, Carmen Alvarado, Gail Blomstrom, Joanie Fazio, Adrienne Heist, Alice Henderson, Gail Hoch, Casey Inman, Rebecca Joslin-Davis, Rachel Krueger, Karen Latina, Allison Ledbetter, Stephanie McCollum, Kathleen Murray, Andi Lanham, Maria Martin, Jane McFarlane Glasow, Sarah Pederson, Jennifer Webb, Heather Weber, and Viki Young.  
A special shout-out to those who helped sell concessions on game nights!  Our intrepid sales force included: Judy Adams, Carolyn Arbuckle, Linda Burt, Joanie Fazio, Adrienne Heist, Chiyomi Kuroki-Hirano, Karen Latina, Brian McCollum, Jake McCollum, Stephanie McCollum, Jane McFarlane Glasow, Grace Mizutani, Judi Owens, Elisabeth Rossi, and Jennifer Webb.  
And lastly, we couldn't have done this successfully without our organizer and fundraiser chair, Brett Gardner.  
Smiles Abound as Teachers Receive Valentine's Messages!

On Valentine's Day, Jennifer DiGrande, PTSA teacher appreciation chair, and her dedicated team delivered special wishes to all teachers and staff, along with purple Sequoia-spirited LED candles, hearts, and chocolate.  "They were a big hit and brought smiles to our teachers' faces all day long!" noted Principal Sean Priest.
In This Issue


Thursday, February 21
6:30 p.m.
Middle College Info Meeting,
Birch Room, SUHSD Office

Tuesday, February 26
7:00 p.m.
Athletic Boosters Meeting,
Staff Room 233

Wednesday, February 27
4:30 p.m.
Dance Studio

Wednesday, February 27
7:00 p.m.
Parent Ed: Winning Strategies,
Carrington Hall

Friday, March 1
3:45 p.m.
Advance Dance Audition,
Gym 3

Saturday, March 2
8:45 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
Dream Club Conference,

Tuesday, March 5
7:00 p.m.
ELAC/PTSA Meeting,

Friday & Saturday,
March 8 & 9
5:00 - 9:00 p.m.
Winter Play: The Children's Hour,
Carrington Hall

Sunday, March 10
2:00 - 6:00 p.m.
Winter Play: The Children's Hour,
Carrington Hall
Quick Links
Buy Your Grad Tickets Now 
Visit the PTSA store
  to purchase your Grad Night Cruise tickets today!   
Find out all about grad activities here
Check Out the Latest Raven Report
January 2019 Issue  
Help From Stanford Tutors and Assistants  on Campus  
Does your student need support in math or college related applications?  Help is available for FREE! 



3:50 - 5:10 p.m.

Room 222. (Pre-Algebra through Algebra 2)  



3:45 - 5:45 p.m.

Room 216 (Pre-Algebra through PreCalc)

3:45 - 5:00 p.m.
Room 115 (C&C Center)
Join the PTSA  Anytime!  
Visit the
  to purchase your 2018-19 PTSA membership today, and contribute to Sequoia's Unaliyi spirit and programs!
Sequoia Sentinel 
Our readers enjoy hearing about activities, events, and accomplishments of our Sequoia students, staff and community.  If you have articles to submit to the Sentinel (including photos and links), please email the article/blurb by the Thursday before publication.  See the following Guidelines for news submissions.  
Find past issues of the Sentinel at   
En Español
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 Parent Education

Parent Ed Logo Horizontal

Parent Ed
Lynn O'Shaughnessy
Lynn O'Shaughnessy, College Financial Expert, author of The College Solution
Winning Strategies for Finding the Right School at the Right Price
Wednesday, February 27, 2019, 7:00 - 8:30 p.m.
Sequoia High School, Carrington Hall

Lynn O'Shaughnessy is a nationally recognized college expert, higher-education journalist, speaker and educator.  Her No. 1 goal is to help parents with teenagers become smart college shoppers as they search for schools.   

Sequoia Parent Education Series events are sponsored by SHSEF, Sequoia Healthcare District, and Sequoia Union High School District.
Alternate date of the same lecture sponsored by WHS PTSA, Sequoia Healthcare District, and Sequoia Union High School District as part of the Woodside Parent Education Series:
Tuesday, February 26, 2019, 7:00 - 8:30 p.m.
Woodside High School, Multi-Use Room (MUR)
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Ana Homayoun 
Ana Homayoun, founder of Green Ivy Consulting, and author of The Myth of the Perfect Girl
Understanding the Culture of Perfectionism: Helping Teens Overcome a Fear of Failure and of Never Being Good Enough
Tuesday, March 5, 2019, 7:00 - 8:30 p.m.
Carlmont Performing Arts Center (PAC)
With compassion and humor, author Ana Homayoun describes why so many teens - particularly in high-achievement areas like Silicon Valley - struggle with a fear of never being good enough.  She will discuss practical strategies to help teens find their own personal fulfillment, purpose, and wellness. 
Carlmont Parent Education Series events are sponsored by Carlmont PTSA, Sequoia Healthcare District, and Sequoia Union High School District.
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Parent Ed
Vanessa Kellam
Vanessa Kellam, Educator, Health Connected 
Tech Sex & Teen Dating Relationships
Thursday, March 14, 2019, 7:00 - 8:30 p.m.
Woodside High School, Performing Arts Center (PAC)
Join Vanessa Kellam, Parent Engagement Coordinator at Health Connected, for an interactive workshop about the impact of social media and online "tech sex" on teen dating relationships.  Contrary to popular belief, teens want parental input and advice about sexual health and relationships! 
Woodside Parent Education Series events are sponsored by Woodside PTSA, Sequoia Healthcare District, and Sequoia Union High School District.
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Parents, students, educators, and community members welcome!  Free admission and light refreshments.  Spanish interpretation will be available.
Questions?  Contact Charlene Margot, M.A., Director of The Parent Education Series .
 Community News

2019 Pre-Vet Expo VI at Stanford University 

The Stanford Undergraduate Pre-Vet Society presents the 2019 Pre-Vet Expo VI!  This day-long conference caters to upper level high-schoolers, undergraduate, and post-graduate college students, as well as science or college advisors interested in gaining a better understanding of the diverse Veterinary Medicine field. 
When: Sunday, April 21, 2019
Time: 8:30 a.m - 5:00 p.m. 
Where: Stanford University - Li Ka Shing Center - 291 Campus Drive, Stanford, CA 94305
Cost: FREE 
Registration for Pre-Vet Expo will open on February 25
Have questions?  Contact:
Steve Choy
Stanford Medicine Department of Comparative Medicine
300 Pasteur Drive, Edwards Building R320A
Stanford, CA 94305-5342
Phone: 650-724-7880