February 29, 2016

Sequoia PTSA's weekly eNewsletter in partnership with the Sequoia High School Education Foundation
President's Message
Confession time. I am having an affair...with a Broadway musical. 

Yes, I admit it, Hamilton has captured my heart and won't let go. I crank up the volume of the soundtrack every time I get into my car. The lyrics run through my head constantly during my day.  I am smitten. This ground-breaking, award-winning rap/hip hop musical tells the story of one of America's founding fathers: Alexander Hamilton. It dramatizes his role in the American Revolution and the formation of our fledgling government, and his eventual death by duel with his life-long foe, Aaron Burr.  All three of my kids have joined my obsession and it has been a great way for us to talk about US history. Playwright and star Lin-Manuel Miranda has brilliantly found a way to make a 200+ year-old story engaging, poignant and relevant to young and old alike.
During one pivotal scene, the determined and outspoken protagonist argues with his rival Aaron Burr who is running for president in the election of 1800.  Hamilton declares, "Burr, no one knows who you are or what you do."  
Well, as I was driving home from the PTSA executive board meeting last Thursday night (listening to Hamilton, of course), I was thinking about the fantastic group of people who help make up Sequoia's PTSA leadership and a light bulb went on.  How many people around campus really know who they are and what they do?
Who they are (and their kids who are currently at Sequoia):
  • Beatrice Carrot (Sigrid 2017) - Executive Vice President
  • Jayne Sungail (Tessa 2019) - 1st Vice President
  • Sian Davies (Alf 2019 and Ed 2017) - Treasurer
  • Grace Schulz (Bradley 2019 and Becca 2016) - Vice President of Communications/Historian
  • Gayle Hoch (Samantha 2017) - Auditor
  • Rachel Krueger (Annika 2018) - Recording Secretary
  • Lauren Pachkowski (Maya 2019 and Leah 2016) - Corresponding Secretary
  • Alice Henderson (Glenn 2016) - Parliamentarian
  • Pam Ross (Malcolm and Elizabeth 2016) and Cecilia Canale (Erica 2016) - Grad Week Chairs
What they do:
  • Organize freshman welcome events and campus tours
  • Coordinate teacher appreciation events, mini-grants, junior scholarships, IB proctoring support
  • Communicate to all parents about important events through the Sentinel newsletter, and compiling the communications resource document
  • Provide outreach and support for families in need
  • Connect with Sequoia families through PTSA meetings, class fundraising activities, and educational events
  • Advocate for ALL parents!
Of course there are also committee leaders and scores of parents who eagerly volunteer whenever asked by the Board, and for that we are eternally grateful.  But our Board, well, they go out of their way to "get the job done."
So, if you see one of these folks around school, feel free to thank them and hey, maybe you'd like to join them.  We are always looking for new members.
Happy March, and in the spirit of a Hamiltonian sign-off:

I have the honor to be your obedient servant, 
Lisa Hane (Colston 2017)
Celebrate Sequoia Artists and Meet Student Journalists
This month's PTSA meeting will be a special one, where we will recognize our Reflections Arts participants!  Come at 6:30 PM on Tuesday, March 1st for the Reflections reception, to view all the entries and enjoy snacks.  Reflections awards will be presented at the beginning of the PTSA meeting at 7 PM.

The PTSA meeting will then continue with Principal Sean Priest updating parents on the state of the school, including Q&A. Also joining us will be the Raven Report student editorial team who will discuss school newspaper topic selection, the editorial process, and student involvement in Sequoia journalism.

It's sure to be a fun and informative evening!  View the full agenda here; we hope to see you tomorrow! 

PTSA - Make a Difference!
At the PTSA General meeting, tomorrow - Tuesday March 1st - the 2016-2017 Executive Board slate will be presented (see below). A BIG thank you to all new and returning members of the board. 

The vote for officers won't take place until April's meeting and our slate is not completely full, so we would like to extend a welcome to anyone who has an interest in getting involved with this dynamic group of Sequoia parents.  Joining the PTSA Executive Board allows volunteers to get an insider's look at Sequoia through meetings with school administrators and teachers.  For those who want to have a lasting impact on our school, this is the place for you. No experience is necessary, and there are many people more than willing to help should you decide to come on board.

Sequoia High School PTSA 
Executive Board Slate 
  • President - Lisa Hane*                           
  • Exec. Vice President - Sian Davies
  • 1st Vice President - Jayne Sungail*                 
  • VP Communications/Historian - Grace Schulz*
  • Recording Secretary - Sherri Horan
  • Treasurer - open
  • Auditor - open
  • Corresponding Secretary/Mini-Grants Chair - Lauren Pachkowski*
  • Parliamentarian - open (appointed)
  • Grad Week Activities Chair -  Jill Berry (appointed)
(* Notes second and final time they may serve in this role)

Making Music
The bows, mutes and strings purchased through the PTSA Mini-Grant to Orchestra Director Danny Broome allowed the orchestra to maintain their instruments and improve their  ability to play music in their concerts.  Having matching mutes does a lot to improve the quality of the ensemble.  These smaller items can get overlooked in the program, and having them available is a great addition.

Thank you to the SHSEF for helping to make the Mini-Grants Program possible!  

College Affordability Meeting
Please come to an informative presentation about college affordability on March 2nd at 7:00 PM in Carrington Hall. College Consultant Vicki O'Day will guide you in understanding the current landscape of college costs, the formula for your family's expected contribution, opportunities for need-based aid and merit scholarships from excellent colleges, strategies for researching colleges, key dates and timelines, and more. Bring your questions for the Q&A session to follow.

This is part one of a two-part series for juniors planning on applying to a Common Application school or private college; however, parents of freshmen and sophomores and their students are also encouraged to attend.  The information in Spanish will be presented in Room 115.

2016-17 Calendar
Starting to think about next school year?  The Sequoia Union High School District calendar for 2016-17 is now published and can be found here.

Community Dialogue
Last Tuesday, Feb. 23, Sequoia's Jane Slater, ELAC, and the PTSA hosted a community dialogue event: Coffee, Cookies, and Conversation.  Over 40 people gathered - parents and guardians, and Sequoia staff members. 

This is the second year Sequoia has hosted community dialogues bringing parents and teachers together.   The topic was student stress.  It was a great opportunity for teachers and parents to compare notes about patterns they're seeing among Sequoia's teens and strategize about ways to support wellness.  Helping students achieve balance is a priority for families and school.  Many parents left the event feeling reassured having made a connection with a parent they hadn't known previously, and who shared the same goal of finding ways to help our students navigate the often stressful years of high school.

The community dialogue format is a great way for stakeholders to get together and learn from one another -- a place where, truly, EVERYONE is the expert in the room.  Stay tuned for information about future community dialogues.

Be a Sequoia Sports Fan
Congratulations to our Boys Soccer team for a stellar season!  They qualified for the CCS quarterfinals which was held over the weekend.

Want to know more about what's happening with Sequoia Athletics?  Visit the sports page at

Cheer Showcase This Friday!
The 11th annual Sequoia Cheer Showcase will take place this Friday, March 4th from 6-9 PM in the New Gym.  The Showcase is an exhibition performance featuring cheer and dance squads from throughout the Bay Area.  

Tickets are $10/adults; $7/students (w/ID) and seniors; and can be purchased at Sequoia High School.  This is Sequoia Cheer Team's largest fundraiser, so we hope you will come out and support the team!

Get Your Crab Dinner Tickets Before It's Too Late
Come and support the Sequoia Boosters Club at our 7th annual Crab Dinner & Auction on Saturday, March 12th at Mount Carmel's Event Hall starting at 6 PM. Tickets are selling fast, so hurry before they're all gone! To reserve your seats, please click here.  

Note to Senior families - at the Crab Dinner, you will have the opportunity to buy VIP seats and parking for Graduation!

null Shout-out to our Guidance Department who has been working since January to meet with every student to choose classes for next year. Meetings with current juniors occurred Jan. 21-Feb. 11; sophomore meetings are Feb. 16-March 8; and freshmen will be meeting with counselors from March 9 to April 15.  Watch for an email from your counselor after the student meeting has taken place.

Photo Scavenger Hunt
Here is another one of our many Sequoia seals on campus. Where is it located?

Last week's answer:
This plaque is in the floor of the entrance to the main school building.

In This Issue
Monday, Feb. 29
Collab Day

Tuesday, March 1
6:30 PM - Reflections Art Reception and Awards, MPR
 7 PM - PTSA Meeting, MPR (agenda here)

6:30 PM - Cañada Middle College Info Meeting, District Office

Wednesday, March 2
7 PM - College Affordability Information Evening, Carrington Hall; Spanish presentation in Room 115

Friday, March 4
6 PM - Cheer Showcase, New Gym

Monday, March 7
Collab Day

Thursday, March 10
7 PM - Winter Sports Awards

Friday, March 11
7 PM - Talent Show

8 PM - Deadline to apply for Mini-Grants

Saturday, March 12
6 PM - Booster Club Crab Dinner, at Our Lady of Mount Carmel (tickets here)

Wednesday, March 16
7 PM - Mandatory meeting for Juniors planning on attending a Common App and/or Private College, Carrington Hall

Thursday, March 17
7 PM - Open House

Friday, March 18
Minimum Day (schedule here)
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Community News
Latina Youth Leadership Conference
Stanford University, Saturday, March 5
For High School and Middle School Young Women 

Calling all Latina high school and middle school students: Please join us for the 8th Annual Latina Youth Leadership Conference (LYLC) at Stanford University on March 5, 2016 from 9:00-3:30 PM. LYLC provides a safe, fun and educational environment where young Latina leaders can learn and grow. The conference will provide the opportunity for young women to interact with others from their community. Participants will have the opportunity to learn about issues affecting teens and to discover solutions that will empower them to succeed.

The conference is FREE. Breakfast and lunch will be provided. The day's schedule features opening and closing remarks, educational breakout sessions, a keynote speaker and a variety of cultural performances. Conference workshop topics will include promoting self-esteem, leadership skill development and higher education. Students will be exposed to a university setting while having the opportunity to hear from inspirational speakers. The students will also get to interact, listen, and learn from university role models and community members.
Students and educators can register at: more information, please contact Karen Camacho:

Mid-Peninsula Water Polo Club
Playing water polo and wanting more time in the pool; 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.

Men's water polo was the first team sport introduced at the modern Olympic games in 1900, and has a long history in the US and Europe. Many colleges are looking for good players. You'll get in tremendous physical shape and enjoy solid competition and friendships with your teammates.
Players should be strong swimmers and/or field/court players looking for another sport. Must be able to swim 200 yards minimum and be comfortable in the water.

All participants must be registered with USA Water Polo. Our club designation is MidPen.

Practices led by Woodside Coach Peter Davis and M-A Coach Brandon Johnson.  To sign up or for more info go to: