February 12, 2018

Sequoia PTSA's weekly eNewsletter in partnership with the Sequoia High School Education Foundation
Principal's Message
"Quad" basketball means four games between two schools, back-to-back.  Girls' JV kicks things off followed by Boys' JV, Girls' Varsity, and Boys' Varsity.  "Quads" generally occur on Friday nights, attracting large crowds of students, families, and local sports enthusiasts.  Those in attendance are at their most passionate and boisterous.  Usually the administrator supervising the game keeps one eye on the action on the court and another on the behavior of the fans in the crowd.  It's a school event, so it's important that the students are safe and their behavior represents the best of our community.  

Some sample guidelines I share with our student section: if a player shoots an airball, don't chant "Airball!" more than 2-3 times -- we get it.  Likewise, any chant that starts with "You can't..." probably isn't going to reflect the spirit of Unaliyi that makes Sequoia Sequoia.

All this to say that our kids are awesome.  They may push things from time to time (they ARE teenagers, after all), but it rarely takes more than a side-eye from an administrator to squash any negative nonsense.  Ms. Stout, our Instructional Vice Principal, took a more proactive approach last Friday night at the Carlmont "Quad" and stood with the students to help keep things positive.  Rumor has it she was rewarded with a "Stout's got clout!" chant somewhere in the fourth quarter.

Cheering on the home team builds community, never more so than when the home team is winning most of their games.  Such has been the case this winter at Sequoia.  Boys' Basketball has a Top 20 team and has been dominating most of its league opponents, tuning up for a CCS and (hopefully) NorCal playoff run.  Girls' basketball, once again under the guidance of Coach Steve Picchi, sits at the top of their league, as well.  Last week they notched a huge upset against Menlo-Atherton, the first league team to beat the Bears in 42 games.

Out on Terremere Field, both Boys' and Girls' Soccer teams have also enjoyed successful seasons and are likely playoff-bound, as well.  Finally, wrestler Iris Guizar-Avila's performance at the Central Coast Section tournament recently is a source of pride for the whole school.  After losing a 2nd round match on Friday, Iris won six straight matches, pinning every wrestler and qualifying for the state tournament.  Iris scored more team points with her performance than schools who brought 10+ wrestlers with them to the tournament.

Athletes and fans are indeed an inspiring bunch.  Go Sequoia!

Have a great week,
Performing Arts Wing Official Dedication This Thursday -- Please Join Us!
Principal Sean Priest requests the pleasure of your company at Sequoia's M-Wing Ribbon-Cutting and official opening! 

On Thursday,  February 15th at 3:45 PM, the festivities will begin with a dedication from the Sequoia Choir.  All will be invited to raise a glass, tour the new space, and meet-and-greet district and community dignitaries.  Hope you can join us -- the renovation is beautiful!
Everyone is weighing in about the completion of Sequoia's latest construction project, and here are some thoughts from Band teacher Ms. Jane Woodman:
"We are almost 100% moved into and almost 90% set up in the new building. It is a really amazing place, to be sure. And in addition to being very grateful for the building itself, I am also incredibly grateful for how helpful, flexible, and patient all of your kiddos have been throughout this entire process."
If you aren't able to come to the dedication, make sure you find some time, perhaps at Open House, to explore this beautiful space.
PTSA Spring Mini-Grants
It's Mini-Grants time again!  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. Past grants have included digital scales and pulse oximeters for the science department, breakout boxes for creating engaging puzzle-type lesson reviews, foreign language movies and music, student white boards, board games for Best Buddies and Board Game clubs, math competitions, orchestra bows, and even a pupusa grill!

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. Applications will be accepted starting February 14, and are due on Thursday, March 8. Additional information and the application form are available on the PTSA website

PARENTS: Would you like to be on the front row to some of Sequoia's innovative educational efforts? Consider joining our Mini-Grants team to help with the 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!   Contact our Mini-Grants committee chair Marlena Griffin at .

PTSA Mini-Grants are generously funded by the Sequoia High School Education Foundation
Read All About it: Raven Report Now Available!
For our students' take on the Me Too Movement, the new Performing Arts Wing, Eminem's latest album and more...check out the most recent Raven Report here.
Help Support Sequoia Sports Programs!
Mark your calendars for Sequoia's 9 th Annual  Crab Dinner & Auction on Saturday, March 24th, 6-10 PM at the Hiller Aviation Museum.  

This fun event raises money to support all Sequoia Athletes.  This year alone we have purchased equipment and/or new uniforms for Girls Basketball, Lacrosse, Track, Baseball, Tennis, Football, Soccer, Cross Country, Golf, and Volleyball!  

Tickets are going fast, so don't miss out!

If you want to help but aren't able to attend, please consider donating an item or volunteering some of your time to help us make this a success.

We welcome donations like:
  • Gift cards (restaurants, services, or Costco/Smart & Final to offset our food costs)
  • Memorabilia, sporting event tickets
  • Hosted parties (dinners, Moms & Margaritas night, bowling night)
  • Getaway vacation homes.
Shout-Out: Junior Basketball Concessions
A BIG Shout-Out to all of the wonderful volunteers for the Basketball Concessions  supporting the Class of 2019 Grad Night. Almost 30 parents gave their time, baking skills, and/or Costco access to raise funds for next year's graduation celebration.

Helpers and Donors included:   Adrienne Heist, Alessandra McCarty, Arthur Navarro, Barbara Jakoby, Beth Goddard, Carol Sato, Catherine Heller, Cathy Christensen Siri, Diana Chung, Dina Acreman, Grace Schulz, Jasmine Kuramoto, Jen Sharratt, Jenn Bulka, Joanna Dagum, Johana Rentería , Katherine Schembri, Laura Nibbi, Laura Downs, Lisa Hane, Lynn Pierce, Meredith Armienti, Nancy Miyasaki, Patricia Eisenberg, Patti Miller, Susan Lier, Susie Gilbert, Susie Vick, Tricia Loveland, Carmen Alvarado - Thank you!
Special thanks to the Concessions team led by Mark Sato and made up of Joanna Dagum, Tricia Loveland, Susie Madsen, Alessandra McCarty and Carol Sato.  Additional thanks to Adrienne Heist for sharing all of her secrets from last year's concessions success.   Finally, special thanks to Jenn Bulka for providing artisan pizza from her own restaurant.
Thanks again - Go Sequoia!
If you are a parent from the Class of 2019 and want to get involved with future fundraising efforts for Safe and Sober Grad Night 2019, email us here:
It's in the Bag!
We continue our Love Bags sale through April.  These bags are well-made, attractive, eco-friendly and make great gifts. 40% of each order placed goes directly to support our 2018 Safe & Sober Grad Week activities.  

See this flyer  for details.  Bags can be ordered at , enter code SEQUOIA.
In This Issue

Thursday, Feb. 15
7 PM - Parent Education: The Neuroscience of Learning, M-A Performing Arts Center

Feb. 19-23
Mid-Winter Break, no school

Tuesday, March 6
7 PM - PTSA Meeting and Reflections Arts reception, MPR

March 9-11
Sequoia Drama - "Diary of Anne Frank" in Carrington Hall

Friday, March 16
All day - Sequoia Music Festival, Carrington Hall

Saturday, March 24
6 PM - Sports Boosters Crab Dinner, Hiller Aviation Museum
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Community News
Mid-Peninsula Water Polo Club
Playing water polo and wanting more time in the water or interested in learning how to play? Here is your chance! The Mid-Peninsula Water Polo Club is open to players from all high schools. The sign-ups for the spring session are now open at

The 2018 spring session is from February 28 to April 18, 2018, with practices at M-A High School on Wednesday from 4 to 6 PM and at Woodside High School on Sunday from 11 AM to 1 PM.

Not sure if water polo is for you? Join us for a free practice on Wednesday, February 28 from 4 to 6 PM at M-A High School -- offer valid for first-time players only! Participants need to sign up on the Mid-Pen website and have USAWP Membership for insurance purposes: 14-day Trial Athlete Membership (available only once in a lifetime and as first-time membership) is free. Mid-Pen Water Polo Club ID is 24253.

Mid-Pen Water Polo Club is coached by Brandon Johnson, Boys' Water Polo Head Coach at M-A High School and Bruno Antonino, Boys' Water Polo Head Coach at Woodside High School .

Parent Education - All Are Welcome

Dr. Melina Uncapher, Institute of Applied Neuroscience (IAN)
The Neuroscience of Learning 
Thursday, February 15, 7:00 - 8:30 p.m.
M-A Performing Arts Center (PAC)
555 Middlefield Road, Atherton

How does today's neuroscience affect learning? Dr. Melina Uncapher, a leading educational neuroscientist, will "unpack" the emerging field of educational neuroscience and describe how a neuroscientific understanding of learning can shape the future of education.   Institute of Applied Neuroscience (IAN) is an independent, nonprofit research and training organization.

Dr. Don Williams and Panel of HR Experts
Rethinking the College Arms Race: What Do Companies REALLY Want?
Tuesday, March 6, 7:00 - 8:30 p.m.
Carlmont High School, Performing Arts Center (CPAC)

We hear a lot about "21st Century Skills," but what does that really mean? What kinds of skills or qualities are companies REALLY looking for in their new hires?

Come hear from a panel of Silicon Valley HR professionals - Kleiner Perkins, Google, and Tesla - responsible for sourcing talent for their companies. Discussion moderated by Dr. Don Williams, Palo Alto child and adolescent psychologist. 

Parents, students, educators, and community members welcome! 
Spanish interpretation and light refreshments offered. Free admission.
Parent Education Series events sponsored by Carlmont PTSA, M-A PTA, SHSEF, Woodside PTSA, Sequoia Healthcare District, and Sequoia Union High School District.
Questions? Contact Charlene Margot, M.A., Director, The Parent Education Series.