Sunday, November 29, 2009

Youth Mental Health: A Time for Answers, Healing, and Hope

Tue Dec 1, Haymarket Theatre, Paly, 7 to 9 p.m.
50 Embarcadero Rd., Palo Alto

An important community conversation, featuring Dr. Marleen Wong, Professor, University of Southern California (USC), and former Director of Crisis Counseling & Intervention Services, Los Angeles Unified School District. Dr. Wong will present potentially life-saving information on:
Youth Anxiety and Depression;
Suicide Prevention;
Effective Community Interventions;
and Crisis Support for Students & Families.
Q&A to follow. FREE. Open to all community members, including all PAUSD parents. Students in grades 6-12 are also welcome.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Inside the Admissions Office

The Wall Street Journal On Campus announces a special online event for college applicants and their families:

Inside the Admissions Office
Admission Deans from Eight Top Colleges Come Together to Demystify the Process

Free Live Webcast Airing December 2nd, 7PM EST, on

As millions of families grapple with the task of filling out college applications and competing for entrance into the nation’s most selective institutions, the deans of admission from a diverse range of colleges and universities will share advice that all college-bound students and their parents need to hear before applications are due. The panel includes participants from Princeton, UPenn, UVM, Wesleyan, Williams, Bryn Mawr, Grinnell, and Marquette.

Panelists will give viewers an inside look at the world of college admissions, revealing how college applications are reviewed, how students can make their applications stand out from the competition, and much more.

Access to e-Chug is back!

Diane Downend,
This terrific online tool for teens is now available through the Palo Alto Medical Foundation.
Drinking is dangerous and illegal for teens, but many adolescents experiment with alcohol. e-Chug is an interactive Web tool that allows high school students to examine and receive feedback on their beliefs and behaviors related to alcohol use. Teens can enter their responses to questions and statements about alcohol use. E-Chug then generates an informative, personalized report based upon the information submitted.
Encourage your teen to visit today!

Stress Reduction for Teens

Dr. Saltzman,

Workshop at Gunn, Thursday December 3 at 2:30 PM in the SAC

Sometimes being a teenager sucks, and you need a place of your own, where you can kick back, chill, and just be yourself. The Still Quiet Place can be that place; it is a source of power and peace inside you.
This introductory session will provide practical skills that you can use on a daily basis to deal with stress, and to make your life more enjoyable.
During the session you will become familiar with the Still Quiet Place, and the practice of mindfulness. Mindfulness is simply paying attention to our experience, here and now, with kindness and curiosity.
Over 25 years of research have proven that practicing mindfulness offers relief from the worries, heartbreak, jealousy, self-doubt, and anger we all experience.
Mindfulness has been scientifically proven to reduce stress, anxiety and depression. Teens who practice mindfulness have found that it improves all aspects of life-relationships with friends and family, school work, athletic and artistic activities…. If you are looking for tools to deal with stress, and/or to live a happier life, join us for this introductory session. If you have questions or would like more information prior to the session please feel free to contact Dr. Saltzman, or the website at
The secret to true relief is always available inside of you. You don’t have to go anywhere or do anything, or be any different than you are right now.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

K-12 Education and Financial Information

Diane Downend
Gunn PTSA President

Looking for neutral, balanced and reliable information about K-12 public education and finance? Visit EdSource at

EdSource was originally established in 1977 by three well-known and respected community service organizations: the California State Parent Teacher Association, the League of Women Voters of California, and the CA chapter of the American Association of University Women. EdSource is an independent, nonpartisan, not-for-profit organization whose mission is to clarify complex education issues and to promote thoughtful policy decisions about public school improvement. EdSource has core competency in reporting on California school finance.

Kara's Annual Light-A-Candle Service

Join Us at Kara's Annual Light-A-Candle Service
A Holiday Gathering of Remembrance
Thursday, December 3, 2009, 7:00 pm
Unity Palo Alto Community Church
3391 Middlefield Road, Palo Alto

Come light a candle in memory of loved ones and significant others who have died. This is a non-denominational, interfaith service open to all. A time of fellowship and refreshments will follow.

Directions to Unity Palo Alto Community Church
From the south on 101
Exit at San Antonio Rd. heading west. Turn right on Middlefield Rd. Unity Church is on the right about one mile north.
From the north on 101
Exit at Oregon Expressway heading west. Turn left on Middlefield Rd. Unity Church is on the left about one mile south.
From 280
Exit at Page Mill Rd. heading east. Go past El Camino Real and turn right on Middlefield Rd. Unity Church is on the left about one mile south.

Questions: 650-321-5272

3rd Annual "Support the Titans" Fundraiser

Steve Allen,

December 6th
5:30 to 8:30 p.m.
Silent Auction & Tropical Fun

The 3rd Annual "Support the Titans" fundraiser is fast approaching!! On December 6th we'll return to Trader Vics, at 4269 El Camino Real, Palo Alto, for an evening of silent auctions, wine, hors d'oeuvres, buffet, and live entertainment.

Come meet the Athletic Director, coaches, School Board Members and other Gunn parents and friends in support of our athletic programs.

Tickets are $50 per person. Please also consider sponsoring a coach at $50 as a sign of appreciation for the great work they do for our young athletes. You may purchase your tickets online by credit card or PayPal account at under the Sports Boosters section.

Alternatively, you may send checks to: Nancy Hughes , 27035 Old Trace Lane , Los Altos Hills, CA 94022

We are also still looking for silent auction items, so if you are able to contribute to the auction, please contact: Nancy Hughes ( or Mary Gorman (

Hawaiian dress is encouraged, but optional! Aloha and Mahalo!

11th Annual National Survivors of Suicide Loss Day

American Foundation for Suicide Prevention
11th Annual National Survivors of Suicide Loss Day
Saturday, November 21, 2009
9:00 AM – 12:45 PM
Palo Alto High School
50 Embarcadero Road Palo Alto, CA 94301

Thousands of survivors of suicide loss will gather together around the world on this day of healing, support and empowerment.

If you have lost someone to suicide, please join us.

Hundreds of local conference sites will simultaneously watch a 90-minute broadcast produced by the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. During this broadcast, a diverse panel of survivors and mental health professionals will address the questions that so many survivors face…
“Why did this happen How can I cope? Where can I find support?”

9:00 – 9:45 AM
Registration, Continental Breakfast, Haymarket Theater

9:45 – 9:55 AM
Welcome And Introductions

10:00 – 11:30 AM
AFSP Broadcast

11:30 – 12:30 PM
Question and Answer Session

12:30 To 12:45 PM

Please pre-register ASAP.

This event is free

To Register, please send your name, address and phone number to:
Holly Diamond at

If you have additional questions, please call: Holly at (650) 515-5819

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Not Enough Turkeys or Pies or Monetary Donations Yet!

Marilyn Putney,

Here is what we still need:
  • 17 cooked and carved turkeys (at least 14 lbs. each) to cover 1400 lunches. You can deliver them, cold or warm to the Teacher’s Lounge by 9:30am on 11/19. We will reheat in warming ovens. Don’t forget to carve them! No time to cook? Consider purchasing a cooked turkey at Draegers, Piazzas, JJF or Safeway and then carve it yourself. Please remember, this is a charity event so all proceeds go toward a local charity.
  • We still need 55 pies donated so everyone gets a piece. There are more pie sign up slots added to the Jooners computer link. Just keep scrolling down.
  • Volunteer your time for November 19th: We still need a person to pick up the 1400 servings of stuffing and gravy from Marie Calendars at 11:00am, Nov. 19th. Contact Maryanne Welton,
  • Monetary donations are gladly accepted to help pay for the stuffing, gravy, rolls, cranberry sauce, and salad. Make checks payable to Gunn High School, (write Turkey Feast on memo line). Send to Marilyn Putney, 263 Whitclem Dr. Palo Alto, 94306.

Click this link to get involved:

For families that are new to this event, here is how it all works. 
On the day of the Turkey Feast, each Gunn staff member or student can purchase lunch and a drink by paying $5.00. Or they can bring in 3 cans of food for a local food bank plus $1.00. Advance tickets are currently for sale in the SAC. Lunch for meat eaters will include turkey, dressing and gravy, salad, cranberry sauce, rolls and pie. Vegetarians will feast on a baked potato bar as well as salad, rolls and pie. We hope you and your family can all be a part of this special day!

Please contact Maryanne Welton if you have any questions:

Monday, November 9, 2009

Listen, Learn, and Connect: Understanding Teen Wellness and Mental Health

Thursday, Nov. 19, 7 pm, Haymarket Theatre,
Palo Alto High, 50 Embarcadero Rd.

An expert panel of physicians and mental health professionals who will discuss the mental health and wellness of our teens. The goal for this program is to educate and equip parents across a spectrum of teen wellness and mental health issues. It starts with a review of the fundamentals of good parenting - the things we should all be doing on a regular basis to have a good connection with our teens. It then will proceed to a discussion of stress management, and then to a discussion of how to assess situations and get treatment if you feel your child requires professional assistance. There will be significant time for audience Q&A, and there will be handouts and resources to be used beyond the program.

Speakers include:
  • Gloria Moskowitz-Sweet, LCSW, PPSC, Coordinator of the Community Education Center at Parents Place in Palo Alto and a professor at San Jose University
  • Dr. Amy Saltzman, trained in Internal Medicine, and a founding diplomat of the American Board of Holistic Medicine
  • Dr. Tom Tarshis, M.D. a child psychiatrist and founder of the Bay Area Children's Association
  • Dr. Meg Durbin, M.D., pediatrician and internist at the Palo Alto Medical Foundation.

See the Flyer.

Paly PTSA Parent Ed Chair Maureen Simons or
Gunn PTSA Parent Ed Chair Homa Yazdani

Helping Our Children Find Their Calling in Life

A Presentation by Professor William Damon
Tuesday, November 17, 7-9 PM
Gunn Library

An examination of why young people struggle to find direction in their lives. Damon describes how people concerned with their futures are able to look past the pervasive culture of short horizons towards the formulation of their purpose in order to find lasting meaning and true happiness. This presentation is based on a compelling study that highlights the common characteristics and experiences in highly motivated individuals and spells out the path they all have followed to gain and evolve a meaningful purpose in their lives.

This talk is intended for parents, educators, community members and adolescents motivated to learn about their path to purpose.

The presenter, William Damon, is one of the world's leading scholars of human development. He is a professor at Stanford University and the director of the Stanford Center on Adolescence. His books include The Moral Child (1988), The Greater Expectations: Overcoming the Culture of Indulgence (1995) and, most recently, The Path to Purpose (2008).

Co-sponsored by Palo Alto High School PTSA

Parent Drivers: Be a Role Model in the Gunn Parking Lot

Keep students safe, reduce traffic back-ups. When driving in the parking lot, please remember to follow the parking lot rules:
  • Bicyclists and pedestrians have the right of way; you must yield to them.
  • Front lot pick-up after school is for carpools only; you must be picking up more than one student.
  • Use the back lot (by the gym) if you are picking up just one student.
  • Stopping and waiting for your student is OK only in the loading zone - next to the curb - make sure you are pulled over completely and are clear of the through lane. Or you may pull into a parking space and wait.
  • There are 2 through lanes in the front lot - these are not for pickup - do not stop and wait in these lanes.
  • Always use your turn signal when you change lanes.
  • Let other drivers merge, especially if someone has illegally blocked the through lane.
  • Do not pick up students in the through lane - it is dangerous and blocks traffic - have the students wait until you pull over next to the curb.
  • Slow down in the lot!
If you need to pick up your student from school, be safe and use one of the following suggestions:
  • Arrive early and get a space in the loading zone.
  • Get to school later, after the parking lot has emptied.
  • Pick your child up in the back lot - it has a bigger loading zone.
  • Pick up your child off-site.
  • If you are having someone else pick up your child, have them do a late pickup, so traffic is lighter.
Let's all work together to show our kids that it's important to follow driving rules. While we're at it, we'll create fewer backups and keep our parking lot much safer for student drivers, bikers, and walkers! Thank you.

Friday, November 6, 2009

On and Off-site Student KARA Support Groups

Kimberly Cowell,

On and off-site student KARA support groups

Location: GUNN

For Gunn Students: KARA facilitated peer support group(s) ON-SITE:

Beginning Thursday, November 5 at lunchtime, KARA facilitators will be here to facilitate a group(s) for students. Location TBA

Please sign up in the Guidance Office with your guidance counselor, Ms. Cowell, or Mrs. Francesconi. Signing up will help to make sure we have enough facilitators.

Depending on the number of students who sign up, there may be more than one group going, so we'll announce location(s) next week, or come to the Guidance Office for the location.

If you decide to come at the last minute, just check in at the Guidance Office first.

Location: KARA
For Gunn and Paly Students: KARA facilitated peer support group OFF-CAMPUS

KARA will be running an ongoing facilitated peer support group for Gunn and Paly students in the evening.

It begins Thursday, November 12 from 7:00 - 8:30 p.m. in the Conference Room at KARA

Please sign up in the Guidance office with your guidance counselor, Ms. Cowell or Mrs. Francesconi. It will help KARA to have enough facilitators for small groups.

You can also drop in if you decide to go at the last minute.

Location: KARA facility
457 Kingsley Ave
Palo Alto, CA 94301

Share a Fun Tidbit About Gunn!

There are so many great things happening around Gunn – we want to hear your fun stories about recent events! Our students are involved with clubs, teams, drama, music, robotics – and more. Also, Gunn students and staff are receiving honors and awards off campus as well – please share these accomplishments with us! Stories will be included in upcoming issues of Gunn Connection, Spotlight, and Oracle. Please email your fun tidbit of any length to Help spread the word so we can all be proud of our school community!

Volunteer Track Watch

Caroline Camhy Rothstein
Track Watch Volunteer Coordinator

The following is a request for volunteer assistance by a group of community members seeking to deter suicides at the train tracks by posting volunteers at key Palo Alto crossings. This is not a Gunn PTSA sponsored organization or effort, nor is it sponsored by the Palo Alto Council of PTAs. It is an affiliation of concerned community members whose effectiveness will have greater potency with a broad base of volunteer assistance.

Dear parents,

We are writing to ask you to join the Volunteer Track Watch.

This is a volunteer track watch group which has been organized to deter suicides. You can help by signing up for a short shift watching the tracks.

The effectiveness of a presence at a site that is a suicide hot spot has been researched and documented. Prevention by deterrence at a hot spot is likely not only to stop a suicide there, but may also prevent the suicide altogether.

Volunteers through our effort must be over the age of 21. Volunteers monitor the tracks by sitting or standing on the sidewalk with a cell phone to call the police. We do NOT attempt to take anyone from the tracks.

This program will be developing as we get more volunteers and can expand. For current information or to sign up for a shift please write to or visit Please indicate that you are a parent interested in participating.

Caroline Camhy Rothstein
Track Watch Volunteer Coordinator

Student-Developed Resources

Diane Downend, Gunn PTSA President

In the face of crises and uncertainty, Gunn students reveal their creativity and passion to rise above it all with the implementation of remarkable resources:

ROCK-reach out, care, know
peer advisory group/student support group that is completely student-run.
Facebook group

HMGGMH (Henry M. Gunn Gives Me Hope)
This site gets a broad range of traffic--not just people from Gunn. Teachers, students, and alums have been submitting their stories.

Talk to Me shirts

Hi, My name is
People post information about themselves with the objective of people getting to know one another better.
Facebook group:

Operation Beautiful
Student place post-it notes with positive messages around campus; the concept is from which was meant to fight body image issues

Gunn High School - Life's a good thing
Students form a pact to never commit suicide. They also discuss suicide/depression.
Facebook group:

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Turkey Feast Update

Gunn's annual Turkey Feast will be held in less than three weeks on Thursday, Nov. 19th during lunch and WE STILL NEED FOOD DONATIONS AND VOLUNTEERS!!! This is one of Gunn's more popular events where the students and staff feast on a delicious luncheon, (vegetarian bar included), build community spirit, and then donate the proceeds to a local charity.

In the past we have had more than 60 volunteers assisting and another 100 who donate food and money. The volunteers work in conjunction with the Student Executive Council and Lisa Hall, our Student Activities Director. We plan to feed 1400 people in 50 minutes so come and help! Last year we donated more than $1700 to the Ecumenical Hunger Program in East Palo Alto through this charitable event!

For families that are new to this event, here is how it all works.
On the day of the Turkey Feast, each Gunn student and staff can purchase lunch and a drink by paying $5.00 or bringing 3 cans of food plus $1. Lunch for meat eaters will include turkey, dressing and gravy, salad, cranberry sauce, rolls and pie. Vegetarians will feast on a baked potato bar as well as salad, rolls and pie. We hope you and your family can all be a part of this special day!

The sign ups have been revised so there are more volunteer and donation opportunities available.

To volunteer, please click here.

1. We still need 37 Turkeys, at least 14 lbs. each.

Donate cooked and carved turkeys--delivered by 9:30 on 11/19. It can be cooked a day ahead, carved and refrigerated. No time to cook? Consider purchasing a cooked turkey or turkey breasts at Draegers, Piazzas, JJ&F or Safeway and then carve them yourself.

2. Pies, we still need 133 of them!

3. Volunteer your time for November 19th:
  • We still need shoppers ahead of time
  • Food Prep -10:00 to 11:30
  • Set-up and serve - 11:30 to 12:45
  • Ticket Sales - 11:45 to 12:45
  • Clean-up ------------1:00 to 2:30
(Volunteers get to eat 12:45 to 1:00)

4. For the vegetarian baked potato bar we still need:
1 person to bake 25 potatoes each (wrapped in foil) and delivered that morning.
1 large pot of vegetarian chili - 15 servings each (recipe supplied if needed)
2 Costco size containers of sour cream

5. Monetary donations are gladly accepted

They help to purchase salad, rolls, stuffing and gravy. Make checks out to Gunn High School PTSA, write Turkey Feast on memo line and send to Marilyn Putney, 263 Whitclem Dr. Palo Alto, CA. 94306

Click this link to get involved now!

Please contact Maryanne Welton if you have any questions:


Principal's Update

Dear Gunn students, staff, parents, District personnel and Palo Alto Community members,

These have been difficult times for us all at Gunn. Many of you have asked what Gunn is doing to support students, staff and parents following the student suicides. Much has already been done and we will be adding yet more as the semester goes on. We want to share the list (see below) with you so that you are kept informed about our efforts.

Noreen Likins

Gunn's work and interventions post suicides

Efforts to support students
  • District and Gunn staff met during summer months to create materials to help teachers better support students still struggling with spring suicides. Tips for talking with teens distributed to all staff on first day of school.
  • Counselors, ACS personnel, School Administration, School Psychologist, District personnel available every day, all day, for students needing support.
  • Protocol developed so that counselors, psychologists and admin team know what to do in the event of a crisis (suicide or accident).
  • Access to outside therapists/support counselors encouraged by District's support of 3 free sessions with such personnel.
  • PAMF has offered medical services for students dealing with depression and mental illness.
  • Many parent and community volunteers present to support students at times of crisis
  • Counselors go immediately to classes that are impacted by the loss of a classmate to support students and teachers. They stay as long as they are needed.
  • Special support group formed for friends of Terman student. Still meets regularly.
  • Gunn team of students, staff and parents attended Challenge Success conference/workshop at Stanford on September 25 and 26, 2009. This is a continuation of our work with Stanford's SOS program. (Gunn was among the first schools to be linked with Stanford in efforts to reduce student stress levels).
  • Stanford Survey of Adolescent School Experiences will be administered to students early in 2010. Project Cornerstone's survey of Developmental Assets will be administered to students some time TBD during this school year. The results will provides us with baseline data on student social emotional health and well-being that will allow us to evaluate the effectiveness of programs and interventions.
  • Meetings held with various groups that have programs to help students develop resilience (Project Cornerstone, Project Happiness, Social Emotional Learning). Project Cornerstone will conduct student workshops on Nov 24 and do 12 weekly sessions at the start of 2010. Project Happiness's curriculum is being used in Focus on Success classes.
  • Living Skills curriculum adjusted to include more information and suggestions for dealing with pressures and building resilience.
  • Dr. Fred Luskin (a Gunn parent and Stanford professor) addressed all seniors on Oct 14 on the topic of happiness and what makes students happy and resilient in the face of pressure. Students were involved in student-led small group discussions following his presentation.
  • Students have organized peer support groups and taken action to build community spirit. (ROCK, "Talk to Me" T shirts, Anti-suicide Facebook groups). ROCK has presented its ideas to staff and students to publicize its existence and purpose.
  • KARA will run student support groups at lunch, after school and in the evenings starting in November.
  • Special support for the water polo community will be provided through KARA.
  • Dr. Fred Ginsberg will run an assembly in March for students. He will talk about building resilience.
  • In assemblies and one-on-one, students have been encouraged to support each other and to seek help from an adult if they are concerned about a friend. Many reports are being received.
  • Assembly planned for December that will address living and coping with depression and bring in alumni who have offered to help to talk about their own experiences and how they developed coping skills in high school and college.
Efforts to support staff and help them support students
Please note: The first four points also appeared under support for students because they apply to staff as well as students.
  • District and Gunn staff met during summer months to create materials to help teachers better support students still struggling with spring suicides. Tips for talking with teens distributed to all staff on first day of school.
  • Counselors, ACS personnel, School Administrators, School Psychologist, District personnel available every day, all day, for staff needing support.
  • Protocol developed so that counselors, psychologists and admin team know what to do in the event of such a crisis (suicide or accident)
  • Access to outside therapists/support counselors encouraged by District's support of 3 free sessions with such personnel.
  • KARA training on first day of fall semester 2009 for all Gunn staff on helping students and themselves deal with grief and loss.
  • KARA facilitated peer support groups for Gunn staff members on and off campus.
  • Administrators take over the classes of teachers unable to teach because they are struggling with their own feelings of loss and sadness when a student has been lost.
  • Staff support groups led by Center for Living with Dying and KARA in spring and again this fall.
  • Dr. Fred Luskin and Dr. Kenneth Pelletier's book "Stress Free for Good" has been purchased for every teacher and staff member that has regular contact with students.
  • Dr. Luskin will address the staff at the December 10, staff meeting and discuss the book with staff.
  • Dr. Ken Ginsbeg will address staff on the topic of building resilience in students on 25 March, 2010.
Efforts to support parents
  • Parent Ed. Meetings and expert panels set up to address parent fears and concerns regarding suicide at Gunn, District and community level last spring and again this fall.
  • Dr. Ken Ginsberg will be the speaker at a parent ed. Night in March.
  • Parent support groups already underway (as of Oct 29) at Gunn.
  • Grade-level parent networks established to provide a forum for parents to meet and discuss concerns.
  • Crisis resource list and articles posted on Gunn web site.
Community efforts to deal with suicide problem.
  • Meetings between Caltrain, District, PAPD and City to discuss the problem and what might be done.
  • Parents and community members have volunteered to patrol crossings (suicide "hot spots").
  • CDC guidelines are being used to guide our actions and reactions following the latest suicide.

Adolescent Mental Health Resources

A Former Gunn Parent Shares Adolescent Mental Health Resources Available to Teens and Families of Teens
Laurie Stein

As a parent of two Gunn graduates, the news of another suicide shook me terribly. Since the first two suicides of Paly students several years ago, I have had a heightened awareness of this problem. But, the spate of deaths this year is intolerable. I am writing to you to offer information on resources you may not be familiar with in hope that some of this information can help our teens.

I did not know any of the students who have died and can only imagine what brought on such deep pain that they felt death was the only solution. But, having worked with parents of children with mental illness for several years I’ve learn that many adolescents who battle depression and other such illnesses feel ashamed and fearful of how they will be perceived by others. One big factor in this is the stigma that is attached to mental illness. Despite the research that shows that mental illness is a biologically based brain disease, most people still perceive the victim as the root of their own illness.

Although I do know that Palo Alto has increased their counseling and educational outreach on mental illness, I don’t know what effort has been put into fighting the stigma associated with these illnesses. Recently, Glenn Close and her sister Jesse launched a campaign to fight the stigma of mental illness. They have created a website and campaign that not only informs the public but also gives those who are ill resources. As most residents of our community are frequent users of the internet, making these resources available could help all. Please take a moment to look at the website at At the top of the homepage is a link to “Find Help”. Under the high school and college section are two powerful websites, and Both organizations appear to be college based, the information there is relevant to our high school students. Many of the YouTube clips are powerful and appropriate for this age. Gaining access to this information can be one more tool to give our kids in their fight to stay healthy.

I have been involved for several years in a national organization helping parents of children with mental illness. This organization is the Child and Adolescent Bipolar Foundation at They also sponsor a website for teens at Through CABF, free brochures on mood disorders are available for the schools. If you would like copies of this brochure or other information please contact Nanci Schiman at

When I spoke online to another parent volunteer with this organization about the crisis in our community, she told me of a similar situation that her community of Barrington, Illinois went through. Their response was to create a website to reach out to the parents and teens of their community. Please look at this website: It is quite comprehensive. And, more importantly, it was extremely effective. With all the talent that is in our community, creating a similar website is another avenue for helping our kids here.

It is my sincere hope that we as adults can begin to break down the stigma of mental illness and create an environment where our kids can talk about their feelings openly and without fear of being judged. Only when they can realize that some of their friends share their fears and feelings will they be able to see other possible avenues of action.

Laurie Stein

Coping With Suicide: Parent Support Group *FREE*

Allison Shotwell, MFT

A 2nd Support Group is Added!
1st group meetings start on Thursdays, Oct. 29, 7:00 - 8:30 p.m.
A smaller 2nd group meetings start on Tuesdays, starting Nov. 3rd from 7:30-9 pm
With the recent tragedies of several student suicides at Gunn, many parents are feeling overwhelmed, and have a lot of questions. Hearing about, or experiencing tragedies such as these can leave you with a lot of different feelings such as sadness, helplessness, anger and fear. Some of you may have known one of the students who died, and even if you didn't know one of the students, tragedies such as these have a way of bringing up many feelings, even ones unrelated to the current tragedy. You may be coping with your own grief, while simultaneously trying to support your teen through this difficult time. You may have questions, such as how can I talk to my teen? How do I know if my teen is struggling? What can I do to support my teen? And you may also need some support for yourself.
Come share and learn in a safe, confidential, small group setting with other Gunn parents. You'll have an opportunity to:
  • Talk about your experience
  • Learn tools for talking to teens
  • Learn tools for coping with your own feelings
Group Facilitator: Allison Shotwell, MFT.
Support group is free. Please call to register and for location information: (650) 266-8229 or email:

Pie Pick Up Thursday Nov. 5

Marilyn Putney

If you have ordered a *Gizdich Ranch Pie* please remember to pick them up at Gunn High School on *Thursday, Nov. 5th, 4-6 PM* in front of the office.

Junior Parent Network Meeting

Martha Bowden
Our next meeting, and our first evening meeting, is Tuesday, Nov 10th, 7:30-9:00 pm, in the Staff Lounge at Gunn (building to the right of the main office, the room is labeled and is facing the parking lot).

Freshman Parent Network Meeting

Wendy Kandasamy
The Freshman Parent Network will be hosting their first meeting on Thursday, November 5, from 8:30-9:30. We will be discussing "Academic & Social Transitions" and any other hot topic that you'd like to bring up. This is an informal parent group designed for sharing information and supporting each other.
 Lauren Janov has graciously opened up her home for this meeting. Please rsvp to:
Lauren L. Janov (650) 326-4060 (voice) or
Wendy Kandasamy (650) 380-0220
to get address and directions.

10th Grade Parent Network Meeting

Ruth Shapiro
Please join us for the first meeting of the 10th Grade Parent Network on November 5th, 7:30 PM in the Staff Lounge at Gunn. Experiences and concerns to be shared. See you there!

The Man Who Came to Dinner

Amy Christel

The Gunn Drama Department Presents…

“The Man Who Came to Dinner”

In this classic 1939 comedy by George S. Kaufman and Moss Hart, the acerbic Sheridan Whiteside, theatre critic, lecturer, and radio personality, arriving to dine at the home of the prominent Stanley family in a small Midwestern town, slips on their doorstep and injures his hip. A tumultuous six weeks of confinement follow, during which Whiteside monopolizes the living room and takes over the Stanley household. Before it's over, the outrageous has become commonplace. This large cast comedy features a wonderful spread of Gunn Theatre performers playing a most extravagant array of eccentric characters.
Come join the fun!

Directed by James Shelby

Tickets now available online at!

All performances will be in the Gunn Studio Theatre, 780 Arastradero Road

Nov. 12, Thursday, Opening Night Gala starts at 6:45pm, show at 8pm (tickets $20)
Nov. 13, 14, Fri. & Sat., 8pm (students $8/ adults $10)
Nov. 18, Wed. Matinee, 3:30pm (all $5)
Nov. 19, 20, 21, Thurs., Fri., Sat., 8pm (students $8/ adults $10)

Be a part of the Opening Night Gala, November 12th!
Festivities begin at 6:45 pm in the Gunn Staff Lounge. Enjoy dessert, beverages, and the pre-show commentary by Gunn’s own Mr. Tim Farrell, all followed by the show at 8pm in the Studio Theatre! All Gala tickets are $20.
Advance ticket purchase is recommended. Tickets available now at, and in the SAC.