January 28, 2019  

Sequoia PTSA's weekly eNewsletter in partnership with the Sequoia High School Education Foundation
TopPrincipal's Message
A Shout-Out to Sequoia's Girls Varsity Basketball Team 
Sports Twelfth-grader Soana Afu knows how to score with her left hand under the hoop and in last Wednesday night's varsity basketball game, Capuchino learned first-hand the dangers of giving her space inside the paint to work.  If Shaquille O'Neal from Inside the NBA had been offering analysis, it would've been BBQ chicken for Soana.  Check out the highlights from this season here

Not that the Mustangs had a lot of choice, with Talita Falepapalangi posting up on the opposite block, Alexis Jackson's dead-eye shot off the dribble, and Jacqueline Kurland's ability to handle the ball, penetrate a defense, and create opportunities.  Even when the Capuchino rotated effectively to cover these threats, Caitlyn Dulsky was left alone for a 3-pointer. If you've seen even a few minutes of Sequoia High School Girls Varsity Basketball over the last two seasons, you know that when you leave Caitlyn Dulsky alone outside the arc, she makes you pay.  Cash.

I'm an unabashed basketball enthusiast.  High school basketball, in particular, holds a special place in my heart.  There's an intensity, intimacy, and community to the games.  Competitive, well-attended games are loud and spirits are high.  The size of the gym amplifies every bounce, squeak, grunt, and swish.  A great team that plays the game with skill and integrity can elevate a school's pride.  Even when I'm ostensibly supervising the students in the crowd, I have a hard time not getting swept up by the emotion of the game when Sequoia teams are playing well.  My fist pumps might be dorky, but they come straight from the heart.

We've been fortunate over the last several years to have some great teams at Sequoia.  This year is no exception, and I'm particularly excited about the girls' team.  They're talented, unselfish, poised, and driven.  They don't make a lot of unforced errors and have shown, in the games I've watched, a knack for clutch shots and timely defensive stops.  

This should come as no surprise to historians of Peninsula basketball.  Sequoia's head coach is Steve Picchi who returned to Sequoia last year after coaching the team from 2003-2012.  Hardcore fans also know that, in 1988, Picchi led Burlingame High School to what is still the only State Championship by a public school from the Central Coast Section.  His assistant is just as much of a legend.  A member of the San Mateo County Sports Hall of Fame, Mike Ciardella developed multiple dynastic programs during his career, including a 168-13 run at Sacred Heart Prep from 1992-1996.

A talented group of smart players led by great coaches with serious bonafides - what more could you ask for?

We have two more quad basketball games (2/1 at Woodside and 2/8 versus Carlmont at Sequoia).  "Quad" means four games, usually Friday nights, and against a rival so the competitive juices really get flowing.  Attending a quad is an essential high school experience.  I strongly urge anyone who wants to come, however, to get there by six so as not to miss this special girls' team in action.  You won't regret it.

Have a great week and go Sequoia!
Volunteer Opportunities
More Library/Media Center Helpers Needed This Week!
Huge thanks to everyone who has already helped get our "new" (yet still beautifully historic) library/media center set up.  There's still more work to be done!  Come be part of Sequoia history by scanning and re-shelving books.  We'll have 2 shifts a day all week.
Questions?  Please contact Erika Pretell (  
Annual Crab Feed to Support Sequoia Athletics 
Crab dinner logo
Is your New Year's resolution to meet new people and help out with a great fundraising cause?  This year's Sequoia Booster's Crab Feed team is looking for your help.  This is the largest fundraising event of the year and it benefits Sequoia Athletics.  The event will be on Saturday, March 23, 2019 at Hiller Aviation Museum, San Carlos. 
  • Please consider making this a great event by volunteering.  Click on the link below to see available positions.
  • Do you have any gift cards or items that you want to donate for the Live and Silent Auctions?  We will gladly accept anything you wish to donate.
Please reach out to the crab chairpersons: Adam Kurland (, Karyn Kurland ( or Luisa Pauga ( if you have any questions. 
Juniors: Last Basketball Concession Fund-raiser is Friday, February 8 
Our last fund-raiser running the basketball concession booth will be on Friday, February 8.  Thank you to all who have contributed items as well as hours.  Donate concession items or help staff the concession booth for a shift -- it is a lot of fun and will help fund graduation activities for your child next year!  If you have any questions, contact  Brett Gardner.  
Join the Mini-Grants Committee
Would you like to be on the front row to some of Sequoia's innovative educational efforts?  Consider joining our team to help with the mini-grant selection process.  If you have a few hours to review applications and meet with the committee, we would love to have you on board.  No experience is necessary, and there will be seasoned committee members assisting along the way.  This is a great opportunity for new as well as returning Sequoia parents to learn about the great projects percolating in our school!   
Our Spring meeting will be held on Wednesday, February 6 at 7:00 p.m.
Contact our Mini-Grants committee chairs, Marlena Griffin or DeeDee Clark at, if interested. 
Mark Your Calendars
New IB Math Curriculum Next School Year   
Sequoia will begin teaching the new IB Math courses next school year (2019-2020) to rising 9th -11th graders.  (Rising 12th graders will remain with the current old IB Math courses).  Information can be found on the IB webpage of the Sequoia High School website under IB Programme, New IB Math Courses tab.  
Parents & Guardians, after reviewing the information and documents online, if you still have questions, please join us for:

Event: New IB Math Courses Coffee Chat - Informal Q&A w/ IB Coordinator & Math Department Chair
Date: Thursday, January 31  
Time: Stop by anytime between 8:30 - 10:00 a.m.   
Location: MPR 
Who Attends: This is for parents & guardians.  Students are not allowed to miss class to attend.
Register for Sequoia Dream Club's 7th Annual Conference
Dream Club's annual student conference for undocumented students and their peers will be on March 2, 2019.  Check out this flier for more information.  Please share with anyone who might be interested, especially those who work with youth and might be willing to bring a group to the conference.
A light breakfast and lunch will be provided at the event.  A free t-shirt will be given to those who register by February 14!
Get Ready For A Crab Feast!
Set aside the evening of :
Saturday, March 23, 2019  
Hiller Aviation Museum, San Carlos
Come enjoy a delicious dinner with friends, raffles, and auction in support of Sequoia Athletics.  Tickets will go on sale soon!
Awards, Grants and Scholarships
Graduating Seniors: CA PTA Scholarships Available
Applications are due Friday, February 1, 2019.  
All scholarship applications require current membership at PTAs in good standing, so if you know a student who is not yet a Sequoia PTSA member but is interested in applying, be sure to contact your local PTSA to join today!
For general questions about these important programs, please contact 
Last Week to Turn In Mini-Grant Applications!  
Applications are due by Friday, February 1, 2019
Don't miss out!  The Spring Mini-Grants Application period ends this Friday!   
Twice each year, the PTSA, through the support of the SHSEF, offers Mini-Grants to enhance the excellent education offered at Sequoia High School.  These grants are designed to encourage creative approaches to learning and/or to address compelling need which would otherwise go unfunded.  Students, teachers and staff may apply.
Parents, is your student a member of a club or activity that is ready to take on a new endeavor?  Please encourage him or her to apply.
Contact our Mini-Grants committee chairs Marlena Griffin and DeeDee Clark at     
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Here's an example of a successful mini-grant project from Fall 2018:
Mini Grant 2018 Bolsters for Yoga/Meditation
Mini-Grant: $479.60
"I bought bolsters for yoga and meditation in my SAC class.  I was using pillows from my old couch, but the bolsters work so much better!  The students can now sit upright with long, straight spines, and are up to 11-13 minutes of guided meditation.  Thank you so much!"
~ Rebecca Goodwin
Last Week at Sequoia...
Campus Tours for Prospective Students 
This past Saturday morning, Sequoia's ASB students led tours around Sequoia High School to potential students and their families.  With 3 students leading and a parent volunteer along to give an adult perspective, each tour group was presented with an overall view of the campus, sports and clubs activities, classes and homework levels, IB program, Health Academy, and the Digital Arts Academy.  Our leaders and parents answered many questions and promoted Sequoia to the 5-6 small group tours that showed up.
Thank you to Dina Acreman, Brett Gardner, Lisa Miller, Carol Sato, and Susie Vick for organizing and volunteering on the day of the tours.
ASB students showing off our beautiful Sequoia campus to prospective students and their families.
In This Issue


Thursday, January 31
8:30 - 10:00 a.m.
New IB Math Informal Q&A, MPR

Thursday, January 31

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

Friday, February 1 
Mini-Grant Applications Due

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

Thursday, February 7
6:30 - 9:00 p.m.
Senior College Fair Night,

Saturday, February 9
9:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
Mock ACT,
Room 250

Thursday, February 13
6:30 p.m.
Middle College Info Meeting,
Birch Room, SUHSD Office

February 18 - 22
Mid-Winter Break
No School
Quick Links
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)
Class of 2019:
Buy Your Grad Party Tickets Now 
Celebrate graduation aboard the HORNBLOWER YACHT! 
Cruise starts at 11:59 p.m. on Friday, June 7 until 3:00 a.m. on Saturday.  You and your fellow graduates will enjoy a 3-hour party cruising around the San Francisco Bay.  The evening will include food, music, dancing, photos and other fun activities.  Transportation to and from the event is included. The bus will return to school around 4 a.m.  Click here to purchase.
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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Parents, students, educators, and community members welcome!  Free admission and light refreshments.  Spanish interpretation will be available.
Questions?  Contact Charlene Margot, M.A., Director, The Parent Education Series, at .
 Community News

Calling All Female Students Interested in Exploring STEM Topics

Expanding Your Horizons (EYH) is a conference on March 16, 2019 for 6 th through 12 th grade young women curious about career opportunities in math, science, and technology.  STEM careers are fun, exciting, and rewarding, and so is EYH!  Conference participants conduct lab experiments, wire high-tech network systems, examine microscopic creatures, and design their own computer software.  Expanding Your Horizons has been held at Skyline College annually since 1980, with more than 35,000 young women attending. 

Expanding Your Horizons at Skyline College has received National and State recognition. Math and science were chosen as a conference focus to help break down sex-stereotyping regarding the success of females in traditionally male-dominated careers and to provide role models and encouragement for the young women attending EYH.

Want more information and registration details?  CLICK HERE!

Classroom Reading Volunteer Opportunities at Kennedy and McKinley Middle Schools in Redwood City

logosOne hour a week is all it takes to make a difference for these kids!

You can become an important, trusted adult in these kids' lives when you make this commitment to tutor them throughout the remainder of the school year.  Training is provided and you can also shadow with one of our current volunteers before you decide.

Learn more at Los Ayudantes or contact our director, Jenni Farrell (