November 2, 2015

Celebrating Sequoia High School's 120th Anniversary!
Sequoia PTSA's weekly eNewsletter in partnership with the Sequoia High School Education Foundation
President's Message:
Our Own Backyard
One evening last week, I was at school putting up banners announcing Sequoia's fall musical Brigadoon (shameless plug: have you purchased tickets yet?), and I was reminded once again what a beautiful and welcoming campus we have and how it is appreciated by community members and students alike. 

As I stood by the Brewster gate adjusting posters and zip-ties, I looked over at the Sequoia Veteran's memorial to see an elderly couple quietly chatting on the bench taking in the warm evening air.  I admired the mighty Eucalyptus globulus, what a specimen! For decades that tree has greeted students, parents, and visitors alike as they pass near Carrington Hall on their way to the school entrance. 

Further along the walkway near the music department, I saw a student deep in concentration photographing the tortured and twisted branches of a Cupressus macrocarpa, perhaps for class, or maybe for the PTSA Reflections contest (another shameless plug!). On my way through the quad, I looked into the windows of the flag-festooned MPR to see students laughing, talking and eating dinner provided by the SAFE program (you got it...).  More students were sitting on picnic tables outside, engrossed in discussion about a school project.   As I rounded the corner near the pool, there were the colorful student-made tiles decorating the wall that I always admire.  What are the kids who made those tiles up to now?

I fastened my last banner to the fence at the James Street entrance and heard the tennis courts buzzing with players and spectators enjoying an evening match.  Lights shone on the football field while players practiced, a dad pushed a toddler in a stroller as he crossed the driveway toward Brewster, and I headed back to Carrington Hall to finish my circuit.

In November and January, ASB students and PTSA parents will be on hand for two Saturday mornings to show 8th grade families around our school and answer questions that prospective students might have about life at Sequoia (see more information below). This will offer even more folks a chance to appreciate Sequoia's beauty.
Our campus is not just a place for students to take classes. It is a resource for the whole community offering sporting and cultural experiences, natural beauty, and respite for young and old alike. Whether you are a Sequoia newcomer or a veteran, the next time you come by school, take some time to look around and appreciate what Sequoia has to offer.
Happy November,
Lisa Hane
President, Sequoia PTSA
PTSA/ELAC Potluck and Meeting Tomorrow!
This Tuesday, November 3 from 6-7 PM, the PTSA and ELAC will be gathering in the MPR for a potluck and conversation.  

At 7 PM Principal Sean Priest will be on for his regular Q&A. Afterwards at 7:30 PM, ELAC members will convene and the PTSA will hold its monthly general membership meeting. The PTSA meeting will include a presentation by certified professional coach Sixtine Gontine on "How to Understand and Motivate Teens." View the full agenda here; last month's PTSA meeting minutes are here.

Bring a dish (anything you like), bring a friend and come on along!  If you like to eat, meet new people, and learn about the school, we'd love to see you.

Reflections Entry Deadline:
Thursday, Nov. 5 reflections art program
Entries for the PTSA Reflections Program must be turned in to the Attendance Office by 3 PM on Thursday November 5.  The theme this year is "Let Your Imagination Fly," and students may submit entries in any of these six arts areas: Dance Choreography, Film/Video Production, Literature, Musical Composition, Photography, Visual Arts. 

Students should be sure to complete the entry form and artist's statement, and re-read the guidelines to make sure their entries are in compliance with all the requirements. Contact [email protected] with any questions.

8th Grade Campus Tours - Spread the Word!
On Saturday, November 21, 2015 and January 30, 2016, Sequoia's ASB students will be leading tours of Sequoia's campus for 8th graders and their families.  PTSA parents will also be present to help answer questions. If you are a current parent and would like to volunteer, please contact the PTSA at [email protected]
Tours will depart from Sequoia's main entrance beginning at 10:00 AM and will run every 20-30 minutes.  Groups of 15 will enjoy a walk through campus led by Sequoia's ASB students who will speak about programs and activities, and answer questions about daily life at Sequoia. The last tour will depart at 11:30.  There will be a tour available in Spanish beginning at 11:00.
For further information, contact: Corey Uhalde, Director of Student Activities - [email protected].

Got Evergreens? evergreen wreath
Thank you to everyone who has already purchased wreaths, garlands, and centerpieces through the Sequoia Evergreen Sale! This is the last week to order - our deadline is THIS Friday, November 6 - so please put your order in today! As a reminder, this year the sale will support the Sophomore Class of 2018 Safe & Sober Graduation activities. Please help us support this worthy cause!
We are offering wreaths, garlands, and centerpieces for $25 each. They will be available for pick up during the first week of December (exact dates TBD). Please see this flyer for all the details. This link will take you directly to our ordering page where you can pay through Paypal or credit/debit card.
Thank you for your support, and please contact Beth Resnick ([email protected]) with any questions. Thank you!

Shout-Out: Key Club and Cross Country Teamnull
On Saturday, October 24, members of Sequoia's Key Club and Cross Country team volunteered at the Redwood City OktobeRun.  Students helped at the Friday afternoon packet pick-up, arrived as early as 6:30 AM on Saturday to help with the start of the race (despite the Homecoming game the night before), helped the race day run smoothly, spearheaded a water station, and even stayed to clean up.  Emma O'Hara showed particular leadership in gathering and instructing students. 

Volunteers included:
  • Key Club - Nayeli Duran, Jessica Garcia, Karoline Reynaga, Adalberto Villalobos, Alberto Vasquez, Anthony San Joan, Cristian Huerta, Oscar Racamontes, Noah Masur, Leslie Civil, Key Club Advisor Teresa Yeager
  • Cross-Country Team (pictured below) - Jack O'Hara, Eli Rodriguez, Erik Huisman, Ryan Reed, Zach Klieman, Nathan Cauwet, Henry Utecht, Emma O'Hara, Chloe Sharratt, Brighid Bugos, Beatrice Bugos, Katie O'Hara, Coach Bruce Wernick and parents Kelly and Glenn Bugos

Kim Freitas, the volunteer coordinator for the race, praised the efforts of all the Sequoia helpers: "This level of commitment is extraordinary and sends a strong signal to the students about community service, the value of life long sport and the power of youth who work together."  

Great job to all for representing Sequoia High School well and for serving our community! 

Sequoia Hosts German Visitors
Did you know Sequoia has a sister school in Germany?  Despite German not being taught here anymore, our relationship with a high school outside of Frankfurt continues.  For two weeks in October, eight students and two teachers were in the Bay Area, the second week staying with families.  On Friday, Oct. 23 the students shadowed their hosts, and attended the Homecoming rally and football game.  On Saturday, Oct. 24 there was a farewell party at Coyote Point where pumpkins were carved.  Pictured below are our guests and some of the host families.

Buy Your Ticket and Pack Your Bags, We're Headed to... Brigadoon!
The classic Lerner and Lowe musical tells a tale of a mythical Scottish village, two American tourists and their adventures with the folks of Brigadoon. Including such famous hits as "Heather on the Hill" and "Almost Like Being in Love," Brigadoon has music that will sweep you off your feet and a story that is a tribute to the power of true love.

Support Sequoia students and teachers who have been working hard for many weeks to create this production that is sure to be a delight for all!
Performances are in Sequoia's Carrington Hall on Friday and Saturday, November 20 and 21 at 7 PM, and Sunday, November 22 at 3 PM.  Tickets are $15 general admission, $10 students/seniors. Purchase tickets online at, and at the door. For more info call SHS at 368-5180.

Sequoia seal library window Photo Scavenger Hunt
There are several places on campus where the Sequoia seal is displayed. Where is this one located?  

Fun fact: Did you know that according to tradition, you are not supposed to walk on the tiled Sequoia seal at the main entrance to the school?

Last week's answer:  This is one of many cherubs over the doors to Carrington Hall.

If you have a photo you would like to submit, please send it to [email protected]. Be sure to include information about what the item in the photo is and where it is located.  We look forward to hearing from you!

In This Issue
Monday, Nov. 2
Collab Day 

Tuesday, Nov. 3
6 PM - PTSA/ELAC Potluck, MPR
7 PM - PTSA Meeting, Rm 100 (agenda here); ELAC meeting, MPR

Thursday, Nov. 5
3 PM - Reflections contest entry deadline

Friday, Nov. 6
Evergreens ordering deadline

Monday, Nov. 9
Block schedule - B day

Wednesday, Nov. 11
No school - Veteran's Day

Sunday, Nov. 15
Due date for IB Exam fees

Wednesday, Nov. 18
7 PM - Sequoia Parent Education, "Helping Young Athletes Reach Their Potential," Carrington Hall

Nov. 20, 21, 22
Fall Musical "Brigadoon," Carrington Hall; tickets here

Nov. 25-27
Thanksgiving Holiday - No school
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Parent Education
Sequoia Parent Education Series
"Helping Young Athletes Reach their Potential" - with Steve Smith, PhD, Palo Alto University

Wednesday, November 18, 7:00 - 8:30 p.m.
Sequoia High School, Carrington Hall
Register here.
How can parents support their student's participation in sports to encourage a lifelong healthy lifestyle and to reach their potential? The balance between sports, academics, and downtime can be challenging -- come learn how to prepare your young athlete for the future. 

Steve Smith, PhD, psychologist and professor of clinical psychology in the PGSP-Stanford PsyD Consortium of Palo Alto University, will provide guidelines for parents and coaches to consider for healthy sport participation. Dr. Smith served as the consulting psychologist for the Division I Department of Intercollegiate Athletics at UC Santa Barbara. He maintains a private practice, Sport Psychology and Research Center (, where he works with school, club, and professional teams and athletes of all ages.
Parents, students, faculty/staff and community members welcome! Free admission.  Spanish interpretation will be available.

Sequoia Parent Education Series events are sponsored by the SHSEF, the Sequoia Healthcare District, and the Sequoia Union High School District.
Questions? Contact Charlene Margot, M.A., Founding Director, The Parent Education Series, at [email protected] or 650.868.0590.  For Spanish, contact Mayela Ramirez, Parent Center Coordinator, 650-369-1411 x 63105.

Woodside Parent Education Series
"Body Image Workshop - Love the Skin You're In �" - with founder and activist Brie Mathers

Thursday, November 5, 7:00 - 8:30 p.m.
Woodside High School, Multi-Use Room (MUR)
Register here.
Has Instagram got your teen glued to his/her phone? Love the Skin You're In � unites families in exploring the self-destructive doubt that emerges out of the commoditization of our bodies. Through media literacy, young women build body esteem and reclaim resilience together, while boys find power in respect and empathy. Join us for a mindful journey in which we can move beyond the pursuit of an elusive "hot body" and rediscover how to source our lives from within. 
Activist Brie Mathers has spoken to over 60,000 young women, inspiring them to reclaim their minds and bodies from ubiquitous media idealizations. Brie's partners include National Youth Week New Zealand, Bay Area TEDx, University of Rochester Medical Center, Jikoji Zen Center, and Dr. Riane Eisler's Center for Partnership Studies. She has been featured in The San Jose Mercury News, Coastal Living, Origin, and on LA Talk Radio and CTV News. Brie is the author of Freedom to Blossom and is currently working on a new documentary, You Got This - Owning Body Image.

Parents, students, faculty/staff and community members welcome! Free admission. Spanish interpretation will be available. 
Woodside Parent Education Series events are sponsored by the Woodside PTSA, the Sequoia Healthcare District, and the Sequoia Union High School District.
Questions? Contact Charlene Margot, M.A., Founding Director, The Parent Education Series, at [email protected] or 650.868.0590.