November 28, 2016

Sequoia PTSA's weekly eNewsletter in partnership with the Sequoia High School Education Foundation
Principal's Message
When this email is sent out, Sequoia High School Plant Manager Cherry Stephens will already have been at work for two-and-a-half hours.  Along with day team members Fine Lauese and Ramiro Macías, Cherry opens the building, checks on the custodial routes from the night crew, addresses urgent problems that may have arisen, and checks her email for requests from Sequoia or district personnel (including her demanding principal).

Sequoia, like any 90-year old campus, is a quirky place.  There are almost 100 classrooms whose tenants look to Cherry to resolve any number of issues that arise.  A stopped clock, small scurrying feet overhead, a jammed window: Cherry addresses it all before brunch.  When a staff member --  heaven forbid -- loses a key, the visit to Cherry's office for a replacement is a dreaded affair.  Most of the time, though they deserve a scolding, Cherry is sympathetic while issuing a replacement.

She coordinates efforts with district technology, maintenance, and operations crews to stop leaky pipes, trim insubordinate tree branches, replace floors, or any other number of projects.  She supervises a team of eight.  Because there are no substitutes when custodians call in sick, Cherry will often stay past the end of her work day to pitch-in on event set-ups or begin her day with a cursory pass through an absent worker's route.

Cherry's professionalism, knowledge, and skill working with people makes her uniquely suited for this challenging job.  She is patient and thorough.  The construction of the new A-wing over the past year, for instance, has presented Cherry with a series of logistical headaches:

"Cherry, we're going to have to change the location of the dumpsters."
"Cherry, we need to store 2 pianos in your warehouse."
"Cherry, your two primary access routes from the north and south ends of campus are unavailable for two months."
"Cherry, we'll be testing alarms on your last workday before teachers arrive."

These are just a few of the curveballs Cherry's been thrown recently.  Each time, she takes the news calmly and goes about making the adjustments she needs to make and communicating with the people she needs to communicate with.  If she's frustrated, you'd never know.  It takes a lot to make Cherry complain.  Unless it's about someone losing their keys.  That gets her.  

Have a great week (and don't lose your keys!),

Adopt A Family
Please consider providing a gift for a family in need in our Sequoia community!   Click here for our gift list; note that more families will be added to the list each day so feel free to view the list more than once.

Items (except gift cards) should be new, wrapped, labeled, and delivered to the Parent Center (Room 129) or to Susie Bass at the Principal's Office if the Center is closed. Bring gifts to Sequoia High School any time between MONDAY, DECEMBER 12 and MONDAY, DECEMBER 19 until the end of the day.  Questions? Email

Holiday Staff Luncheon
The PTSA will host the annual Holiday Staff Luncheon on Wednesday, December 21. Help pitch in and show our appreciation to our teachers and staff for all their hard work before we break for the holidays!  Click here to provide a food item, donate a gift card, or help at the event (shifts from 10:00-12:00, 12:30-1:30 and 1:45-2:30).

SHSEF Banners Get A Second Life As Cool Tote Bags!
Erika Hansen -- a local RWC artist, professional seamstress and costume designer with over 15 years experience -- hand sews " banner bags" in her RWC studio space using top-of-the-line materials. The process of cleaning, cutting and sewing each bag takes over an hour.  She is a busy mom, artist and also runs a full-time daycare for the community... so these bags really are a labor of love!  She is passionate about saving giant vinyl banners from our planet's growing landfills -- and we are too! The Sequoia High School Education Foundation ( SHSEF) is delighted to collaborate with Erika in creatively helping our earth to thrive while we raise funds that help our school to thrive.

These sturdy bags are going fast! Large tote bags are $30, small tote bags are $20.   Erika also has other community  banner  bags at her studio/home in Redwood City (less than a 5 min drive from Sequoia). 

Interested? For more information, please contact Erika at, 650-465-0808 or

Holiday Trees and Wreaths
If you're going to purchase a tree or wreath this holiday season, please consider visiting a Honey Bear Tree lot at one of their three locations:

  • Woodside Road in RWC;
  • El Camino Real in San Carlos; or
  • Delaware Street in San Mateo. 

  • When purchasing your tree, just bring this flyer  (volante aquí­) and let them know you're a Sequoia High School family. If you forget to bring your flyer, don't worry, there will be extras there.   The Class of 2017 receives 15% back on every purchase to go towards their Safe and Sober Grad Week Activities. 

    In This Issue
    Monday, Nov. 28
    Collab day

    Wednesday, Nov. 30
    7 PM - Fall Sports Awards, Carrington Hall

    Monday, Dec. 5
    Collab Day

    Tuesday, Dec. 6
    7 PM - PTSA Meeting, MPR

    Wednesday, Dec. 7
    7 PM - Choir and Orchestra Winter Concert, Carrington Hall

    Thursday, Dec. 8
    7 PM - Bands Winter Concert, Carrington Hall

    Dec. 19-21
    Finals schedule

    Thursday, Dec. 22
    Winter break begins
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