June 5, 2017

Sequoia PTSA's weekly eNewsletter in partnership with the Sequoia High School Education Foundation
President's Message
I am a mom, a wife, a registered nurse, a PTSA president...what I am not is a religious person.  My friends know that I am not really even a spiritual person.  But recently, at the Bat Mitzvah celebration of my daughter's best friend, I heard some words written in the form of a prayer (and a prayer is really just a poem, like a sonnet or a haiku, right?) that struck a deep chord. 

As a PTSA leader, it is my job to help our school, offer support and resources to students and their families, and generally advance the aims and goals of the Parent Teacher Association. I have also made it a personal goal to help strengthen our school community by building bridges to all who call Sequoia High School home. I hope I have done that, even just a little. 

We are living in times increasingly fraught with divisions and fear and I offer the words below, though not my own, as a "thank you" gift to all of you who have given so generously of your time, your energy, your finances, to help Sequoia build, not break, bridges
A Prayer for the World
by Harold Kushner
Let the rain come and wash away
the ancient grudges, the bitter hatreds
held and nurtured over generations.
Let the rain wash away the memory
of the hurt, the neglect.
Then let the sun come out and
fill the sky with rainbows.
Let the warmth of the sun heal us
wherever we are broken.
Let it burn away the fog so that
we can see each other clearly.
So that we can see beyond labels,
beyond accents, gender or skin color.
Let the warmth and brightness
of the sun melt our selfishness.
So that we can share the joys and
feel the sorrows of our neighbors.
And let the light of the sun
be so strong that we will see all
people as our neighbors.
Let the earth, nourished by rain,
bring forth flowers
to surround us with beauty.
And let the mountains teach our hearts
to reach upward to heaven.
As I finish my two years as PTSA president, I am filled with happiness having met and worked with so many wonderful parents, teachers, students and administrators.  Just as you are, I am looking forward to a safe and restful summer and I happily anticipate the fall and seeing new and familiar faces on campus.

For those of you who are moving on, congratulations to you and your students as they mark another milestone toward adulthood. Please know that you are ALWAYS welcome at 1201 Brewster.

With gratitude, 

Spring Sports Celebrate a Spectacular Season
It was another wonderful season for our spring sports teams: Badminton, Baseball, Cheer, Golf, Lacrosse, Softball, Swimming, Tennis, Track.  Highlights included:
  • Baseball finished off a strong season with an extra innings loss to the eventual CCS champ in the quarter finals of the playoffs.
  • Swimming sent senior Kierstin Ikeda to the state meet where she competed in the 200 yard Freestyle event.
  • Boys Varsity Track earned the Bay Division league title for the first time in years.  They also had runners Sam Pedley and Ryan Reed compete in the CCS finals.
  • Boys Golf claimed the PAL Ocean title and sent freshman golfer Zachary Doyle to the CCS championship meet.
  • Girls Lacrosse capped off a great year with a narrow loss in the semi-finals of the WBAL tournament. 
Many more highlights were shared at the Spring Sports Awards last Thursday, which ended with these special senior awards:
  • Judy Carmona Scholarship Winners - Matt Casey, Cameron Casentino, Emily Hutchison, Nick DeMarco, Madyson Fitzgerald, Kiley Lubeck
  • Joe Mann Award - Matt Casey, Cameron Cosentino
  • Coach Parks "Stick" Award - Adalberto Villalobos
  • Ed Huber Attitude Award - Nick DeMarco
  • Athlete of the Year - Madyson Fitzgerald, Christopher Charekian
Congratulations to all our spring sports teams and graduating senior athletes!

Urgent: 1 More Grad Night Chaperone Needed
A free midnight cruise on the SF Bay can be be yours, transportation and food included! We need one more parent (who does not have a graduating senior) to chaperone the Grad Night cruise this Friday, June 9.  

Please sign up here or contact Donna Fiore at  Thank you to all the chaperones for helping to make this special night possible for our grads!

Sequitur: SUHSD District Newsletter
Read the May-June issue of the district's newsletter, the Sequitur. This issue is full of news from around the district, with a special farewell to retiring Superintendent Jim Lianides.

Summer Reading and IB Assignments
While you're traveling on vacation or relaxing at the beach this summer, that's a great time for your student to do their summer reading!   Summer reading assignments  for all grades can be found on the Sequoia website, under Department / English.

These IB courses below also have summer assignments; students will be notified with details.
  • IB Visual Arts Year 1
  • IB Visual Arts Year 2
  • IB ESS
  • Physics SL
  • IB English Year 1
  • IB Business
  • AP/IB Calc
  • IB Math HL
Nouveaux DVDs Pour Les Étudiants
One of the PTSA Mini-Grants for this Spring 2017 was awarded to French teacher Laurence Arfi-Tocatlian.  This grant money will be used to buy new, more recent French DVDs with study guides, which will cover some of the topics the students learn in class.  Students enjoy watching French movies, which is a great way to work on their listening comprehension.  This also helps them  understand the culture, which is important.  With this grant, students will be able to watch new movies and then work on their comprehension with the study guides.

PTSA Mini-Grants are funded by the Sequoia High School Education Foundation

Is This Your Last Year at Sequoia?
For families who will no longer be at Sequoia - we will miss you!  If you no longer wish to receive the Sentinel or PTSA emails, please unsubscribe after June 12 using the link  at the bottom of this email .  Our last issue of the Sentinel will be next Monday.

SHSEF: We're Looking For You!
Want to make an impact at Sequoia? The Sequoia HS Education Foundation (SHSEF) has a variety of opportunities that can be tailored to your availability and interests. Some are one-time tasks, the others may be ongoing, but all of them are fun and rewarding! You'll see old friends, meet new ones and work with a group of passionate and dedicated volunteers looking to enrich the lives of our students - just like you!

Here is a list of some of the current volunteer needs:
  • Events CommitteeHelp plan events at the school and off campus for parents and community donors.
  • Finance CommitteeAssist the Treasurer in budgeting and tracking expenditures.
  • Fundraising Committee:  Assist the Fundraising Chairperson with developing the calendar, analyzing prospective donors and setting fundraising goals.
  • PhotographyPhotograph SHSEF events and students on campus participating in programs funded by SHSEF.
  • Board DevelopmentWork with the Executive Committee to recruit new board members with specific skills and interests.
Don't see something that fits your talents or interests? Let us know what you'd be interested in doing -- there's sure to be something for you.  Contact us  to get involved!

11th Annual Alumni Association Picnic: August 19
Be sure to save the date for the 11th Annual Sequoia High School Alumni Association "Celebrate Sequoia" picnic, catered by Emergency BBQ, being held on Saturday, August 19, from 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. on the beautiful Sequoia campus. Activities include: campus tours; Treble Clef alumnae performance; cheerleaders performance; Purple Patriot award recognition for Sequoia parent volunteer Grace Schulz and Alumni Association member Carolyn Livengood, individuals who have significantly benefited Sequoia High School; vintage car display; live auction.
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 15 and may be made online at, or by calling (650) 592-5822 or e-mailing

Get a Glimpse of Germany In Your Own Home
"Education and cultural exchanges create prospects and open new horizons."
Therefore, in 2009, Sequoia High School and Kopernikus School in Freigericht, Germany, agreed on a German-American partnership for students of both countries -- with a total of nine German-American encounters already having taken place.

This coming October a group of motivated German students and their two teachers from Kopernikus School will be visiting the Bay Area again. While their first week will deal more with 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 (October 22-29). The German students range in age between 15 and 16 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 to provide them with a coherent intercultural experience. That's why we are now looking for Sequoia High School students and their families who will give European high school students the true cultural experience that only a homestay can provide. Hosting and being hosted is an enriching opportunity for both the student and the family!

If you are interested in becoming a host family, email Thorsten Weitzel:

In This Issue
Monday, June 5
Traditional Monday schedule

Tue., June 6 - Thu., June 8
Finals schedule

Wednesday, June 7
12 PM - Senior BBQ

7 PM - Senior Awards night, Carrington Hall

Thursday, June 8
11 AM - Senior Brunch, MPR

Last Day of School!

Friday, June 9
10 AM - 2017 Graduation Ceremony, Terremere Field

Friday, July 28
Due date for Fall Sports Athletic Clearance forms

Tuesday, August 15
Freshman Orientation

Wednesday, August 16
First day of school for 2017-18
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