Sunday, May 16, 2010

Breaking the Stigma: Teens and Sexuality

Join ACS and Planned Parenthood on Thursday, May 20, 2010 at the Main Hall at Mitchell Park from 7:00pm to 9:00pm. Mitchell Park is located at 3800 Middlefield Road in Palo Alto.


Kim Nguyen,

Sunday, June 6, 2010 – 3:00pm

The concert features local young talents from nine to seventeen years old, winners of PACO 2010 concerto competition.
Alex Goldberg - Praeludium and Allegro
Tsutomu William Copeland - Mozart Violin Concerto No. 4: first movement
Alvin Kim and Zachary Munro - Mozart Concertone in C Major: third movement: Minuet
Varun Nagarajan - Zelter Viola Concerto in E-flat Major: first movement
Clara Chan - Mendelssohn Violin Concerto: first movement
Thyne Boonmark - Beethoven Piano Concerto No. 1: first movement
The concert, to be conducted by PACO Music Director Benjamin Simon, will take place at 3:00 p.m. at Cubberley Theater , Palo Alto. Tickets are $10/general, $5/senior and student. For more information call 650-856-3848 or visit


Kim Nguyen,

Saturday, June 5, 2010 – 8:00pm
Made in the Americas
Chris Froh, marimba
Tom Yaron, violin

From the sunny shores of the Caribbean to the dark alleys and tango joints of Argentina, our musical journey travels through the Americas, south and north. Our program features virtuoso percussionist Chris Froh performing the sizzling marimba concerto by Brazlian composer Ney Rosauro, dances from Panama and Astor Piazzolla’s “Nuevo Tango” masterpiece. PACO will also be presenting the world premiere of our fifth annual Youth-for-Youth commission, a new work for string orchestra by Berkeley native Gabriella Smith. The concert, to be conducted by PACO Music Director Benjamin Simon, will take place on Saturday, June 5 at 8:00 p.m. at Eagle Theater of Los Altos High School, 201 Almond Avenue, Los Altos. Tickets: $5 - $15. For more information call 650-856-3848 or visit

Thank you from the Measure A Campaign

We did it! Measure A passed with a resounding 79.4% of Palo Alto voters saying YES to public education.

A warm and grateful thanks to parents, teachers, staff and students who made it happen. Thanks for voting YES and returning your ballot on time. Thanks for placing a lawn sign in your yard. Thanks for delivering lawn signs. Thanks for donating money to the campaign. Thanks to our many teachers, parents and students who made thousands of calls from the phone banks. Thanks for reminding your neighbors to vote. This was truly a district-wide effort and the results show it.

Measure A would not have passed without YOUR support.
Thank you so very, very much.

Tracy Stevens, Anna Thayer and Al Yuen
Measure A Campaign Chairs

Police Focus on School Zones for "Operation Safe Passage"

May 10-24th

Palo Alto police, in conjunction with other Santa Clara County law enforcement agencies, will be participating in "Operation Safe Passage". Palo Alto Police Department participates in this special program three times a year in order to increase the safety of students commuting to and from school. During "Operation Safe Passage," police will strictly enforce traffic violations in and around all local school zones during peak commute hours. They will focus on the following violations by both motorists and commuting students.
  • Failing to stop for school buses with flashing stoplights
  • Speeding vehicles
  • Failing to yield to pedestrians
  • Jaywalking
  • Juvenile bicyclists without required helmets or not properly worn
  • Seat belt and child restraint seat violations
  • Cell phone or texting violations
  • Stop sign violations
This is just a reminder for all commuters to slow down and exercise extra care in the school zones. Remember it is up to us, as a community, to ensure that our children stay safe!

Gunn @ Your Service

The Gunn Parents Community Service Boosters Club met May 11

The Gunn Parents Community Service Boosters Club is re-booting its image for the digital generation (and not-so-digital parents). We've been working on:
  • Creating a One-Stop Web Shop for Community Service at Gunn
  • Linking to the Best Online Community Service Listings
  • Helping Gunn Serve Students Serving
  • Sponsoring Student and Family Service Events
  • Fundraising
  • Refreshing the Club's mission statement
If you have suggestions or would like to help, please let us know.

Interested in receiving Gunn community service e-notices? Email

Lauren Janov (
Diane Downend ( and
Estee Greif (

Volunteer Recognition and Awards Luncheon

Jan Adams,

Thursday, May 20, at 11:45 in the Bow Gymnasium

Please mark your calendar for the annual luncheon honoring volunteers and staff at Gunn High School. All volunteers are invited, so you are encouraged to view and reply to the invitation (link follows).

View Invitation

At the luncheon, awards will be presented to recognize those volunteers and staff who have made outstanding contributions to Gunn. Thanks to the sponsorship of the PTSA, this luncheon is free!

We hope to see you at Gunn on May 20!

Helpers Needed at Volunteer Recognition Lunch

The Volunteer Recognition Luncheon is Thursday, May 20th in the gym. We are seeking volunteers to assist that day and to perform various tasks in advance. If you are unable to volunteer your time, monetary donations of any amount are welcome. Please make checks out to "Gunn HS PTA" and note "HSA Luncheon" in the memo line. If you are able to volunteer or have questions please email:
Jan Adams at or
Lisa Flores-Wolfert at

Oracle Senior Issue: Donations Needed

Dear Gunn Parents,

The end of the year is upon us, and with it comes The Oracle's yearly Senior Issue. But we cannot do it without your help.

Dedicated to celebrating Gunn's graduating class of 2010, this much-anticipated issue will profile seniors, list their college destinations and aspirations, and, among other things, provide useful advice from alumni on life after Gunn. This, however, does not come without a price: Producing and distributing the Senior Issue will cost us $3,500.

This is where you can help--we would greatly appreciate any amount you are willing to contribute. The total amount of contribution is tax deductible. We will gratefully acknowledge our donors in our Senior Issue scheduled for publication on June 8 as well as send them a free copy.

Please make the check out to Gunn High School (re: The Oracle) and leave it in Kristy Blackburn's box in the main office or mail it to the following address:

Gunn High School: The Oracle
780 Arastradero Road
Palo Alto, CA 94306

Thank you very much for your support!

The Oracle staff

Spanish Second Annual Cafe Concierto

Margarita Perreault,
  • Tuesday, May 25th
  • 7 - 9 PM
  • Gunn HS Gymnasium
Come honor the Spanish Language students that were recently recognized at the National Spanish Examen. A select number of students will be honored with induction into the Spanish Language Honor Society as part of this festive event.

The Spanish Cafe Concierto returns this year with multiple festivities including performances by students dancing salsa, an exhibition of the Argentine Tango, and live music and singing with Mariachi Perla! Enjoy good coffee along with a variety of Spanish desserts during the performances.

Tickets are $5.00 per person and can be purchased from any of our Spanish Language teachers in their classrooms or at the door. Everybody that purchases a ticket is automatically entered in the raffle for prizes donated by our sponsors.

For additional information or to volunteer to help with the event, contact: Margarita Perreault at

Thanks from the Spanish Booster Club Volunteers!

Please Help with Grad Night

Diane Ciesinski and Nancy Baer

We Need Parents of Juniors to Chaperone!
Grad Night is a wonderful tradition at Gunn - we ask the parents of current Juniors to serve as chaperones for two reasons: the Seniors don't really want their own parents at Grad Night, and it gives Junior parents a good understanding of what THEIR kids will get to experience next year!

We have ten chaperones so far and would like to get a total of sixteen. You would ride the bus with the kids right after the graduation ceremony on June 9th, then rotate through the various activity stations throughout the night and watch the fun. The buses will depart from Gunn at approximately 8:15pm, then return back to Gunn at about 4:30am on June 10th. Yes, you read that correctly! Night Owls wanted! If you are willing to chaperone, please email Diane Ciesinski at

Grad Night Bus Loading Help Needed!
We're looking for Junior and Senior parents to volunteer for this fun activity on June 9th. (Of course if you're a parent of a younger class we'll take you too.) We need many volunteers to help get the grads from the ceremony, through the boarding process and onto the buses so that we can leave campus on time. The time commitment is 2 - 3 hours. If you're a parent of a Senior you will still have time to take photos after the ceremony before helping us. PLEASE HELP! Contact Nancy Baer at

Thank you!

ROCK Update: Peer Advisory and Support Group

Paul Dunlap,

A core group of around 20 students are completing a 20-hour peer helping course with psychologist Dr. Barbara Varenhorst. This group calls itself ROCK, and they have also planned and executed many school-wide events to increase a sense of community and "connectedness" on campus. These events include a "Speed Friending" event where people met 12 others and answered a given question, "Six Degrees of Separation" where students asked questions and found connections among six (or more) people, a "Friendly Frosh Quad Invasion" where upperclassmen introduced themselves to freshmen and ate lunch with them, "Appreciation Grams" where students wrote kind notes to others on campus, and many others.

On their website (, ROCK (Reach Out. Care. Know.) describe themselves and their mission this way:
We are students who are committed to listening and talking with other students about anything and everything. We are here to listen and share our experiences. ROCK is a peer advisory group/student support group that is completely student-run. We are also an outreach group that hopes to create connections around campus and build a strong campus community in which all students feel welcome.

This group was formed in response to the events that happened at the end of the 08-09 school year. The Gunn community truly came together and we hope to continue that sense of community and let people know that there are a lot of people at Gunn who even though you may not know them they are there for you and would like to listen, talk, and help in any way. It is also a way for students to connect with one another.

Plus, it always seems less daunting to talk to one of your peers–talking to people who’ve been through the same kinds of situations can really put things into perspective. Anyone can be someone’s rock. That’s the whole point. We just want to spread this concept and encourage communication among students.

We have a drop-in system during the school year, and students can pretty much talk to any of the rocks who are at the labeled “ROCK Table” in the Library. Rocks are there during their preps, but they may or may not be there everyday. You can also contact rocks via email/phone."

These students represent the very best of the Gunn community, and we are enormously proud of them.

Paul Dunlap
Instructional Supervisor, English

Gunn Choir's Spring Concert

Marilyn Putney,

Gunn Choir's Spring Concert
Thursday, June 3rd, 7:30 PM
Spangenberg Theatre
Concert Choir, Treble Choir, Chamber Singers
William Liberatore Conductor
Tickets: $7.00 Adults/$5.00 Students

Come help us celebrate the fantastic musical accomplishments of our singers, and join us in honoring and awarding the graduating class of 2010. Works to be performed include pieces by Joshua Shank, Donald Patriquin, Stephen Hatfield, Johann Herman Scheinn, Eric Whitacre, Gyorgy Orban, Lajos Bardos, and Z Randall Stroope.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Gunn Library Seeks Community Support

Meg Omainsky,

Dear Parents, Students and Alumni,

The Gunn High School Library has some exciting plans for future development and we invite you to become a library sponsor. We are planning a new multimedia resource classroom in the library for next year. The space will occupy much of the existing non-fiction area and will be equipped with:
  • an interactive smartboard,
  • 25 comfortable chairs with laptop desk extensions, and
  • 25 ipads.
The ipads will be available for web research, reading e-books and hosting applications like word processing for academic work. We also have plans for purchasing a new collection of e-books and new online databases for the coming school year. At a time of dwindling resources, these plans can only come to fruition with community partners. With your support, we can make this vision a reality for Gunn students.

No donation is too small, but our goal is to raise $25.00 from each family now and, then, $50.00 each September in order to develop these resources. Additionally, we actively seek corporate, alumni and family sponsors for larger donations. Sponsorships of $500.00 or more will be recognized on the library's LCD donor wall and library website for the 2010-11 school year. Businesses wishing to become sponsors may send a company logo to for display on our library's website.

Please make checks payable to "Gunn High School Library" and send to Gunn High School:

ATTN: Library, Gunn High School
780 Arastradero Road, Palo Alto, CA 94306.

We appreciate your generosity in giving Gunn students the tools and technology for learning as we prepare them to become Silicon Valley Leaders in our global, high-tech world.

Meg Omainsky
Teacher Librarian, Gunn High School
650- 354-8252

Friday, May 7, 2010

Gunn Welcomes Itinerant Artist Jim Mott May 17-21

Diane Downend,

Jim Mott puts a unique spin on public art outreach. He travels the country, hosted by people known and unknown to him, with art creating the pretext for his visit. He exchanges art for hospitality. Mr. Mott's mission is to employ his art to break down the artificial social barriers that plague connectedness today, forcing facetime. His next stop? Gunn High School, the week of May 17-21. Thanks to a modest grant from the Site Council, Mr. Mott will lead interdisciplinary discussions with students and staff. His Gunn residency will provide for demonstrations of painting techniques and discussions of the creative process as applied in effective communication and expression. On the visual side, he will invest time in the Drawing and Painting classrooms. Communications, Mythology, and Reading Between the Lines students and teachers will explore his itinerant journey to identify and examine connections of historical significance and how these curricula are enhanced through the integration of visual arts. Visit to read about his travels and garner a taste of his self-examination and rich human experience. Warm thanks to the Site Council for bringing Jim Mott to Gunn!

Youth Summit, May 8th at Lucie Stern Center 10am - 2pm

Diane Downend,

Youth Community Service and over a dozen high school students from Palo Alto in a youth leadership program are hosting a Youth Summit for middle school students. The theme is High School 101. The summit will focus on preparing students for entering high school. There will be workshops about class selection at Paly and Gunn and workshops about extra curricular programs such as sports and clubs. The forum will end with a panel of high school students who will answer questions that students have about entering or preparing for high school. All students from grades 6th-8th are invited to attend.

Happy Mother's Day from the Gunn PTSA

Diane Downend,

On May 8, 1914, the United States Senate and House of Representatives passed a joint resolution establishing the second Sunday in May as Mothers’ Day. The next day, May 9, President Wilson issued a proclamation, an excerpt of which is below:

Now, Therefore, I, Woodrow Wilson, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the said Joint Resolution, do hereby direct the government officials to display the United States flag on all government buildings and do invite the people of the United States to display the flag at their homes or other suitable places on the second Sunday in May as a public expression of our love and reverence for the mothers of our country.

The Gunn PTSA sends warm Mother's Day wishes!

Gunn Art Student To Be Honored in Washington DC

Deanna Messinger,

The Drawing and Painting Program at Gunn High School is proud to announce Mariya Starostina as the 14st District (South San Francisco to Watsonville) winner of the Congressional Art Competition. Her beautiful acrylic on canvas of the Stanford campus will be exhibited at our nation’s capital for nine months, and she will receive two round trip tickets to Washington D.C. for the unveiling of her work in the Canon Tunnel. She will have the opportunity to meet Congresswoman Anna Eshoo and get a tour of the Congressional House of Representatives.

Mariya is a sophomore at Gunn, currently enrolled in Drawing and Painting and will be continuing in Advanced Drawing and Painting I next year.


Deanna Messinger
Visual Art Department

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Gunn Library Update

Cynthia Easton,

Here’s an update of some exciting new developments happening this spring at the Gunn Library!

The new Gunn Library website is up and running and can be accessed through the library link on Gunn High School’s main page. Check out our new, fresh look and user-friendly features, such as:
  • Direct links to databases
  • Video tutorials
  • Academic web directory
  • YA author blogs
This site will continue to evolve as we grow.

The library courtyard, now known as the "Acorn Lounge" is undergoing a wonderful transformation, thanks to the creative talents of Kim Perlmutter, Landscaper, and Morgan Bricca, Muralist. The courtyard revitalization includes:
  • Four beautiful scenic murals
  • Brand new attractive landscaping
There will be a ribbon-cutting ceremony in late May to dedicate our fabulous new outdoor space. Stay tuned for further details.

Gunn Library is now on Facebook! Look for Gunn High School Library and become a fan! On our fan page, you can:
  • Watch instructional tutorials on how to use our databases
  • Get AP test preparation and practice
  • Find tips on avoiding plagiarism
  • Keep up to date with all the latest Gunn Library news and events
YA author Louis Sachar will be speaking to students on May 26 in the Gunn Library. Sachar, the National Book Award-winning author of Holes, has a new book, The Cardturner, scheduled for release on May 11.

The Academic Center and the Gunn Library are partnering to pilot a drop-in writing lab for Gunn students. The primary purpose is to help students develop and polish written work for their classes. The program will be fully operational during the first quarter of next school year.

Info: Meg Omainsky, Teacher Librarian, 650- 354-8252