June 10, 2019  
Sequoia PTSA's weekly eNewsletter in partnership with the Sequoia High School Education Foundation
Principal's Message
Text from 2019 Graduation Remarks  
Congratulations to the Class of 2019!
It is tradition at our graduation to acknowledge groups within this graduating class who, through their character, grit, confidence, curiosity, discipline, hard-work, and passion have embodied the best of what Sequoia High School does.  Please join me in applauding their accomplishments.

  • If you have enlisted in a branch of the United States Military, stand tall and be recognized.
  • If you are enrolling in college this fall, stand tall and be recognized.
  • If you have played a sport while at Sequoia, stand tall and be recognized.
  • If you danced or participated in a performing art while at Sequoia, stand tall, shake it one time, and be recognized.
  • If you have held a job to help support yourself or your family during high school, stand tall and be recognized.
  • If you are the first member of your family to graduate from high school, stand tall and be recognized.
  • If you are the first member of your family to attend college, stand tall and be recognized.
  • If you showed Sequoia Pride by wearing purple on Fridays, if you know how to defend your claims with evidence or test a hypothesis, if you can show an inequality by using mathematical reasoning or by citing a primary historical source, if you can run these straights-and-curves with your eyes closed, if you stood up tall for something or someone you believe in, if you pledge to carry Unaliyi in your hearts with you, and if you have EARNED the right to receive a diploma from Sequoia High School, stand tall and be recognized!
The words, "Thank you" cost nothing, yet are more powerful than vibranium.  Stopping to look around and counting all that you have to be grateful for leads to higher self-esteem, stronger relationships and ultimately, empowerment.  You make someone feel appreciated when you use these words -- you also make yourself stronger - emotionally and physically.  Gratitude is a two-way street.

Pause for a moment, take a deep breath in, look to your left and right, at your friends and loved ones, at the trees and the sky.  Breathe in.  Breathe out.  Not bad.  And it gets better.

Recognizing the things for which we are grateful allows us to recognize the ways in which we, through the advantages in our lives, are called to confront injustice and inequity we see around us.  Likewise, gratitude provides us with the courage to confront and transcend our own struggles.  Thank you... next.

I'm impressed with how much gratitude I've felt from you over the past few weeks at awards' nights, AVID and Academy celebrations, and from our Senior speakers.  That you have proven yourselves to be so adept at gratitude assures me that you are well-prepared to take on the challenges in your life.

They say if you can express gratitude just six times a day, you can take on any challenge.  Let me give it a try:

Class of 2019:
  • Thank you for all the times you cleaned up after yourself at lunch.
  • Thank you to the students of the BSU, who recognized that vaping is toxic, addictive, and endemic among their peers and decided to do something about it this year.
  • Thank you for being positive in support of your peers when they performed at rallies, plays, athletic events, or other performances.
  • Thank you for being patient when your band room, your library, your tea garden, and every other part of campus was under construction over these last four years.  I hope it was worth it.
  • Thank you for fighting for the rights of others: whether it be for those with disabilities, the undocumented, those struggling with mental health issues, the LGBTQ community, or any other marginalized group.
  • Finally, thank you for always looking for the good in those around you.  Your optimism and empathy have inspired me every day.
I do feel stronger.  Which is good because...

Class of 2019 (whew... I'm going to need some strength to get through this next part), we've had an amazing four years together.


and I think you know this...

It's time for us to break up...    

Listen, it's not you, it's us.  We've been growing apart for a while now.  You've got your whole lives in front of you and, well, we're a 127 year old school.  I know you thought Sequoia was, like, "the one", but there are new adventures, new friends, new places awaiting you.  Before you know it, you'll be off learning a new language and we'll still be here, trying to keep a new batch of ninth graders from walking on the seal.       -sigh-

Breaking up is hard - I get it.  Promise we'll stay friends forever?  Unaliyi, after all.  Man, this is tougher than I thought.  I'm going to have to pull out all the stops... Let us look to the words of Ariana Grande thinking about our four years - four MAGICAL years, together.  Remember, it's all about gratitude.

"One taught me love"
She says,
"One taught me patience
And one taught me pain
Now, I'm so amazing
Say I've loved and I've lost
But that's not what I see
So, look what I got
Look what you taught me
And for that, we say"

Thank You... NEXT!

Seniors, you made it.  I am proud of you.  Take one more deep purple breath!
Attention Seniors and Families: Get Your Alumni Association Grad Year Special Membership Offer Now 

graphic Join the Sequoia H. S. Alumni Association for the price of your grad year -- just $20.19 (instead of the usual $50).  This lifetime membership will allow you to follow your fellow grads, read about Sequoia events, get information on reunions and other activities, etc.  (The Grad Year Special ends Aug. 15, 2019 )
What a great gift idea for the graduating senior!  To obtain a 2019 Grad Year Special Membership Form, email SHSAA or call 650-592-5822 .

Would You Like to Host a Foreign Exchange Student in Fall?
~ Education and cultural exchanges create prospects and open new horizons.

German exchange students cooking up some treats to share.

In 2009, Sequoia High School and Kopernikus School in Freigericht, Germany, agreed on a German-American partnership for students of both countries following ten prior German-American encounters.  This fall, a group of motivated German students and their two teachers from Kopernikus School will be visiting the Bay Area once again.  While their first week will mostly include seeing the famous sights in and around the Bay Area, the second week is focused on attending pre-arranged visits with a variety of companies and organizations on the SF Peninsula, while living with Sequoia's host families ( September 29th to October 7th).  These German students range in age between 16 and 17 years and are carefully screened by the German school staff.  They are interviewed, and must submit a teacher recommendation to be awarded a spot on the program.

The main objective of the partnership is the integration of students into the everyday life of host families in order to provide a coherent intercultural experience for each of them.  We are looking for Sequoia High School students and their families who will give these European high school students a true cultural experience that only a home-stay can provide.  Hosting and being hosted is an enriching opportunity for both the student and the family!

The first step toward becoming a host family is to email German teacher Thorsten Weitzel for more information.

Mark Your Calendars
Freshman Ice Cream Social on August 12, 2019

Welcome to all our 2019-20 incoming students and families.  The PTSA would like to invite all incoming families for an informal meet and greet on Monday, August 12, 2019.  Please join us on the front lawn of the school between 5:30 - 7:00 p.m.

Whether this is your first time at Sequoia, a returning family, or a current one, this ice cream social is a wonderful opportunity to meet other Sequoia families and catch up with each other before the start of the new school year.

We look forward to meeting you on August 12, 2019!
Sequoia's 13th Annual Alumni Picnic is on August 17, 2019

Be sure to save the date for the 13th Annual Sequoia High School Alumni Association's " Celebrate Sequoia" picnic, catered by Emergency BBQ.  The event will be held on Saturday, August 17, from 10:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. on the beautiful Sequoia campus.

Activities include: campus tours, Sequoia Choir, and cheer performances; a Purple Patriot award recognition for Sequoia parent volunteer Lisa Hane and aquatic program volunteers Dave Knochenhauer, Larry and Jeff Rice, all individuals who have significantly benefited Sequoia High School; a vintage car display.

All Sequoians are welcome (alumni, students, parents, staff, PTSA, Boosters, Education Foundation, and community members).  Tickets are $35 per person.  A limited number of tickets will be available at the door at $40 per person.  Reservations are due by August 14 and may be made online, by calling (650) 592-5822, or by e-mail.
Sequoia Highlights
Teacher and Staff Luncheon a Hit!

Parent volunteers serving delicious homemade food at the Teacher and Staff Appreciation Luncheon.
Last Wednesday, Sequoia teachers and staff enjoyed delicious, festive foods and drinks at the end-of-year luncheon hosted by the SHS Parent Center and the PTSA.  
Much gratitude to Elvira Macias for co-leading the amazing luncheon and all of the families who prepared and served delicious foods, including:   
Adriana Agustin, Elvira Acevedo, Mercy Barrera, Esmeralda de Basquez, Maria & Martin Cabello, Patricia Chavez, Liduvina Cisneros, Teresa Cruz, Marta Contreras, Maria Correa, Claudia Flores, Guadalupe Flores, Sandra Gamino, Marcela Garcia, Jesus Anaya Garcia, Maria Garcia Espinoza, Yeira Guillen, Diana Hernandez, Alondra Hilario, Rosenda Ical, Magdalena Lazaro, Maria Leon, Silvia Macias, Maria Majano, Jeanette Medina, Luis Mercado, Rosa Molina, Olga Lidia Peña, America Reyes, Juana Resendiz, Osvaldo Roblero, Sandra Salguero, Maria Carmen Sanchez, Irene Sandoval, Gabriela Sepulveda, Rene Sican Chic, Corina Prado, Micaela & Roberto Vail, Alicia Villalobos, Maribel Villalvazo, and student helper, Emmanuel Martinez Sanchez.
Many additional families helped by contributing dessert and drinks, or time in helping set up, serve, or clean up, making the luncheon a huge success.  Thank you to:  
Kelly Baird, Gail Blomstrom, Julia Chalios, Marianne Cheatham, Diana Chung, Sian Davies, Gretchen Fox, Ana Goode, Lisa Hane, Adrienne Heist, Catherine Heller, Andrea Hernacki, Diane Holman, Marianne Jett, Julie Juergens, Wendy Kelly, Tia Knuedler, Angie Lax, Whitney Liu, Sara Mancini, Holly Matsuo, Sarah McCaughey, Linda Modica, Laura Nibbi, Meredith Park, Betsy Parkhurst, Caitlin Schneider, Laura Vella-Fukuji, Elizabeth Woods, and Adriana Yanez.
Thank you also to  Jennifer DiGrande  for organizing the luncheon and for leading the Hospitality Committee again this year!
Grand Grad Week Celebrations!  
Seniors enjoying brunch in the MPR.
Seniors chilling on the front lawn during the Grad BBQ. 
Sequoia seniors enjoyed three PTSA-sponsored events last week: a BBQ on Wednesday, a brunch on Thursday, and a Grad Night cruise on the SF Bay on Friday night.  A huge thanks to everyone who helped with the week's events as well as all the fundraising activities over the past four years!
Thanks to Jenn Bulka and Julia Horak for heading up the BBQ on Wednesday.  The Seniors enjoyed a delicious lunch prepared by parents and played games on Sequoia's front lawn.  Special thanks to Tricia Loveland and Karen Laing for their seamless organization of a festive spread at the Senior Brunch on Thursday.  Many thanks to Sam Ike and Heather Azari for their unwavering optimism organizing the grad night boat cruise.
More thanks than I could ever say to our communications lead Grace Schulz for keeping us all organized and me laughing!  Lastly, thanks to the many parents who helped by donating items and their time for all the events.  Shout-outs also go to those parents who helped with student checking for Grad Night after a busy graduation day, and double shout-outs to parents who chaperoned the Grad Night Cruise!  We could not have done it without all of you.  
~ Siân Davies, Grad Week Activities Coordinator
In This Issue
Monday & Tuesday,  
June 10 & 11 
12:00 - 1:00 p.m. 
College Boot Camp, Rm. 128  
Monday, August 12
5:30 - 7:00 p.m. 
Freshman Ice Cream Social, Front Lawn
Tuesday, August 13
8:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. 
Freshman Orientation
Tuesday, August 13
1:00 - 4:30 p.m. 
Photo Day for Grades 10-12 
Wednesday, August 14
First Day of School
Saturday, August 17
10:30 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. 
Alumni Picnic, Sequoia Campus  

Quick Links
Sequoia Sentinel
See you in the new school year!  The Sentinel will resume publication on August 12, 2019. 
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   
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 Parent Education

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Happy Summer!  SUHSD Parent Education Series will resume in Fall 2019.