Sequoia 
   Sentinel
December 14, 2015

Celebrating Sequoia High School's 120th Anniversary!
Sequoia PTSA's weekly eNewsletter in partnership with the Sequoia High School Education Foundation
Principal's Message
I worked with educator Alice Kawazoe recently as part of a principal fellowship at Stanford, and the topic of kanji came up.  The tradition of Japanese calligraphy celebrates the relationship between dark and light space.  The meaning from the brush strokes is as much about what's on the page as what isn't.  This time of year is heavy with dark space in the lives of students: final exams, college applications, IB assessments, work responsibilities, family obligations, and so much more.  What should be a joyous time of year is often overwhelming.  

This is true not only for students.  Others in our community -- parents and staff -- know this feeling well.  No matter your age, the "dark space" gets largely filled up by your responsibilities and obligations.  Per se, this isn't a bad thing.  My message to students is that finding meaning in working hard and putting your best self forward, especially during high stress seasons such as this one, is admirable.

What eludes many of us, however, is balance.  I find great satisfaction from collaborating with so many smart people to make Sequoia all it can be.  I wish, however, that I didn't have quite so many work dreams.  One of the things we can teach our students is how to be intentional about the light space on their pages -- to think about it, to use it.  It isn't about tension between the two but about their relationship to the whole.  The distinguishing characteristic of the light space on your page is that no one can fill it but you.  

We are nearing our halfway mark for the academic year.  Last week, after-school tutorials and homework centers were jamming.  Buzz in the halls was of extra credit opportunities and plans for break.  The energy was high.  At Sequoia we talk a lot about high expectations and encouraging students to challenge themselves.  This shouldn't be taken to mean that our goal is to overwhelm kids.  Join me in encouraging your student to spend time thinking about the light space in their life before we come back in January.  We all want our kids to thrive.  We want the beauty on their pages to resemble the harmony of the kanji.

Happy Holidays, and see you in 2016!
Sean
 
Student Artists Shine in Reflections Art Program
reflections art program
Congratulations to all the students who shared their creativity and talents by submitting entries to the PTA Reflections Art Program this year!  We had a record number of submissions, which we truly appreciate since we know that students' schedules are extremely busy.  

Listed below are the judging results; entries who received an "Award of Excellence" will be moved up to the district level.
 
Film Production
> Samantha Hoch - "A Spark from a Stream": Award of Excellence
 
Music Composition
> Lena Yasui - "Floating, Soaring, and Flying": Award of Excellence
> Jack Zhong - "The Meadow": Award of Merit
 
Literature
> Bryce Stephens - "Little Thought Machine": Award of Excellence
> Zach Lo - "Flying": Award of Merit
> Ellis Spickerman - "The Balloon": Honorable Mention
> Philip Tyson - "When Imagination Spirals": Honorable Mention
 
Visual Arts
> Emma Leeper - "Music is Power": Award of Excellence
> Martina Silberman - Untitled: Award of Merit
> Morganne Taradash - "Closed Eyes, Open Mind": Honorable Mention
> Maritza Alvarez - "Flow": Honorable Mention
 
Photography
> Adam Melamed - "Free Choice": Award of Excellence
> Cambria Erskine - "A Spark of Light": Award of Merit
> Susie Lopez - Untitled: Honorable Mention
 
Thank you to the many people who helped in various capacities to make the Reflections contest happen:
- Chairperson - Rachel Levine
- Publicity - Ms. Ignaitis, Mr. Uhalde and ASB students
- Collection of entries - Ms. Cornelio
- Program support - Ms. Sheehan, Ms. Woodman, and all the VPA and English teachers who encouraged students to enter
- Judges - Ms. Ranum, Ms. Talesnick, Art in Action in Menlo Park and various parents in our community, whose expertise and time were invaluable
 
Congratulations again to all the artists, who exemplify the talents of today's students.  Chairperson Rachel Levine summed it up well:  "Kids are creative and thoughtful people and we should pay attention to what they say and do."

Shout-Out to All of You!
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Your generosity was truly amazing, as about 400 gift items were donated to the Adopt-A-Family Program benefitting 50 families!  What a joy to see the supportive, caring spirit of our Sequoia community shining brightly during this holiday season.  Thank you!

Wrangling Robots 
Gears spinning, controllers transmitting, pulleys and cables running... the robots designed and built by the Purple Reign (11th/12th graders) and Purple Pi (9th/10th graders) Sequoia robotics teams competed yesterday, December 13 at the FIRST Tech Challenge in Burlingame.  The teams were tasked with a variety of challenges such as climbing ramps, activating levers, and placing and moving objects to specific locations.

After a full day of several rounds of matches, the Purple Reign team was chosen for the PTC Design Award, and Purple Pi was selected for the Rockwell Collins Innovate Award. Great job to all the students and to Robotics Club advisor Laura Larkin for all their hard work!

Ordering School Photos
We have recently received questions again about viewing and ordering school photos from Lifetouch.  Proof sheets may be requested by following the instructions below, and will take approximately 2 weeks to arrive.

Contact: 888-898-4723 or 510-372-1500, or email cboffice@lifetouch.com.
Provide:
> Our school name
> Student's first and last name
> Student's grade
> Home address

Staff Appreciation Luncheon This Thursday
We have a few more items that need taking care of in order to make the Holiday Staff Luncheon happen. Please sign up here to send our staff off on Winter Break with plenty of festive cheer!

Grad Night Donations
Thank you to all who have made financial donations to Grad Week activities! Our Direct Drive continues through the end of the month.  The suggested amount is $160, with which you will not only be purchasing your child's ticket to Grad Night in advance, but you will also be helping to offset fundraising costs for the BBQ and Brunch as well as fully subsidizing a Grad Night ticket for a student in need.

Your donation is tax deductible and can be doubled if you work for a company that makes matching donations. This is a very exciting year for our students, and we hope their last week as Sequoia students will be a memorable one that will end with a Safe and Sober Grad Night to celebrate their years of hard work.

Photo Scavenger Hunt
This torch emblem graces a room on our campus, do you know where?


Last week's answer:  This stained glass depiction of the Sequoia campus adorns a cabinet in the Carrington lobby.

In This Issue
Calendar
Monday, Dec. 14
Traditional Day schedule

Dec. 15-17

Friday, Dec. 18
Winter Break Begins

ON THE HORIZON 
Tuesday, Jan. 5
School resumes

Monday, Jan. 11
7 PM - Senior Financial Aid night, MPR (English) & Carrington Hall (Spanish)

Thursday, Jan. 14
7 PM - PSAT meeting,  Carrington Hall (English), Room 115 (Spanish)
Quick Links
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Find past issues of the Sentinel: SequoiaPTSA.org 
En Español
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Parent Education
Woodside Parent Education Series
"Distracted Driving Workshop" - with Kelly Browning, PhD, Impact Teen Drivers (California Highway Patrol)
 
Thursday, January 14, 2016, 7:00 - 9:00 p.m.
Woodside High School, Multi-Use Room (MUR)
 

Automobile collisions are the leading cause of death for our nation's teens. The overwhelming majority of these crashes are caused by inexperience or distractions, not "thrill-seeking" or deliberate risk-taking. Teen drivers are at the highest risk: the crash rate (per miles driven) for 16 years olds is four times that of adults. 

In this workshop, you will learn about: 
  • Strategies to keep your teens safe on the road
  • Graduated Drivers Licensing (GDL) laws
  • The Rules of the Road for teen drivers
  • How YOU can stop the  #1 killer of teens in America--reckless and distracted driving
Since 2007, Impact Teen Drivers has emerged as a leading nonprofit organization dedicated to reversing the pervasive yet 100% preventable crisis of "distracted driving." Impact's mission is to change the culture of teen driving, thereby saving lives in this and future generations of drivers. 

Parents, students, faculty/staff, and community members welcome!
Spanish interpretation will be available. Free admission.
 
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., Director, The Parent Education Series, at cmargot@csmconsulting.net or (650) 868-0590. For Spanish, contact Maricela Lopez, Bilingual Parent Liaison, at (650) 367-7263 Ext. 45323.