Thursday, February 28, 2013

Sports Update Feb 2013

Submitted by Miriam Rotman

Girl’s Wrestling
Cadence Lee won a girls' state title at Leemore last weekend.
Lee improved upon her second-place finish of a year ago by capturing her first title at the third annual CIF Girls Wrestling State Invitational Championships on Saturday at Lemoore High. Prior to Cadence, only two other female Gunn athletes have won state titles in any sport (Ruth Graham in cross country in 2001 and Tori Tyler in track and field in 2005).
Good luck and well done to all the wrestlers!
Lee won four straight matches, two by pin, and topped off her performance with a 5-3 decision over Angelica Llanes of Arvin in the 103-pound title match. After having two byes, Lee pinned Eva Soto of Pomona in 3:56. She followed that by pinning Harmonie Roberts of Ukiah in 1:52. In the semifinals, Lee posted a 4-0 win over Brittny Hernandez of Charter Oak.
Gunn placed 18th with 35 points as Lee became the school's first state champ in wrestling and the third state champion of all-time. Sophomore Grace Robinson (118) and senior Jessica Sun survived three rounds each before being eliminated. Sun received the Pursuing Victory with Honor Award for the 138-pound division.
Boy’s Wrestling
At Independence High, Gunn brought nine wrestlers to the CCS Championships and all nine won matches. Four Titans earned medals while finishing among the top four -- senior Eric Cramer (second at 126), junior Sean Lydster (second at 195), senior Daniel Papp (third at 120) and junior Stephen Martin (fourth at 182).
Papp went 5-1 with four pins and scored 24 points. Cramer went 4-1 with two pins and also scored 24 points. Lydster went 4-1 with one pin, scoring 22 points, while Martin was 5-2 with two pins and 20 points.
Gunn's other entrants included Ian Cramer (2-2 at 132), Blaze Lee (1-2 at 145), Dino Soto (1-2 at 160), Harsha Mokkarala (1-2 at 220) and Eric Calderon (1-2 at 285).
Having two wrestlers in the finals was a first for the Titans, who wound up finishing sixth in the team standings. Had Cadence Lee been able to compete in the boys' CCS meet, Gunn coach Chris Horpel believes his Titans most likely would have finished in the top three in the team standings, tying their highest finish ever in 1973.
"This team is arguably the best wrestling team that Gunn has ever produced," said Horpel. "They proved it by winning the toughest league in the CCS and by placing so high in the CCS Championships without Cadence Lee.
"But, the season is not over. We have the boys' state (championships this weekend) in Bakersfield and we have three qualifiers who are really excited for that meet.
Gunn's state qualifiers are Papp (120), Cramer (126) and Lydster (195). The two-day meet begins Friday at Rabobank Arena in Bakersfield.
"With almost 800 schools wrestling in California and only one division, this is one of the most competitive state meets in the U.S.," said Horpel.
Basketball – Lady Titans set to defend their CCS title!
Girl’s Basketball
The Gunn girls' basketball team earned the right to defend its Central Coast Section Division I title by beating No. 4 seed Piedmont Hills, 42-18, in a semifinal game Wednesday at Santa Teresa High in San Jose. The top-seeded Titans (18-6) will play No. 6 San Benito (16-11), a 58-38 winner over No. 7 Evergreen Valley, in the section championship game Saturday at Santa Clara High at 1 p.m.

Gunn reached the semifinals with a 43-21 win over No. 8 Milpitas in a quarterfinal on Saturday at Hartnell College in Salinas. Zoe Zwerling had 14 points, seven rebounds and four steals for the Titans while Olivia Tapia added 12 points, five rebounds and three steals.

Senior point guard Claire Klausner returned to the Gunn lineup after missing a handful of games due to illness. She provided seven points, four offensive rebounds and three steals as Gunn forced the Trojans into 26 turnovers. The Titans grabbed a 27-11 halftime lead.
Gunn pounded out 13 hits to get its first softball win of the season, a 5-2 nonleague victory over host Castilleja on Wednesday. The Titans overcame a 1-0 deficit with a pair of runs in the second. Natalie Mackraz scored the go-ahead run after getting aboard with a single and advancing on singles by Emma Wager and Natalie Oda. Roya Huang then singled to drive in Mackraz. Casey Maltz limited Castilleja to just four hits while Anna Tevanian, Huang and Oda all had two hits for the Titans.

Site Council Agenda March 4

Submitted by Rene Hart

March 4, 2013 Ÿ  3:55pm Ÿ Library

CALL TO ORDER                                                                                      Grace Park

OPEN FORUM:  Members of the public may address the Council on non-agenda
                            Items.  (LIMIT of FIVE MINUTES per person.)


Approval of February 4, 2013 Meeting Minutes (five minutes)

Constituency Representatives’ Reports
§  Principal’s Report                                                                       Katya Villalobos
                  Powerpoint Presentation of Guidance Advisory Committee Report to Gunn
Evaluation Presentations
   Rachel/Anne Dumontier     Judy/Cindy Peters   Gabriella/Meg Omainsky
Agenda Lightening Round - List of Critical Topics not on the Agenda
    (To add to end of agenda or for future agendas or follow up)
Constituency Representatives’ Reports
§  Board of Education                                                                     Katya Villalobos   
§  PTSA                                                                                              Becky Thomas
§  Parent Report                                                                              Linda Lingg
§  SEC                                                                                               Kathleen DeCoste
§  Site Council                                                                                  Rene' Hart
                    Evaluation presentations April 8
                         Rachel/Liz Matchett    Chris/Monica Espinoza
             Next meeting April 8 at 3:55pm – Tina Nesberg will chair
                  Kathleen DeCoste and Monica Malamud will bring light refreshments. 
              Parent Rep election this month – two spots will be open (Linda Lingg will complete     
              two terms of service and Monica Malamud is eligible to run again.)
              Call for Proposals this month     First Reading next month     Final Decision in May
              Next month:  Tour new facilities at beginning of meeting
              Round Robin - questions or concerns

Site Council Parent Rep Candidates

Submitted by Rene Hart

for Your 2013-2015 Gunn HS Site Council Parent Representatives
We are pleased to present the following slate of parent-candidates for the 2013-2015 Site Council. Each year, two of the four parent representatives serving on Site Council come up for re-election. According to Site Council bylaws, incumbent representatives can only serve two consecutive terms (four years). This year, Monica Malamud and Linda Lingg will retire their seats.  Monica served two years  of distinguished service and Linda served four years  of distinguished service to Gunn’s Site Council. Thanks to Monica Malamud and Linda Lingg who have graciously offered their services to our community.
Please vote for TWO (2) candidates and either fax, mail or email it to the Site Council office here at Gunn by the Thursday, March 21  deadline. Please email your E-ballot to :  Please include your Gunn student's name and grade on your e-ballot. NOTE: YOU MUST HAVE A STUDENT ATTENDING GUNN THIS YEAR TO VOTE. ONLY ONE BALLOT PER HOUSEHOLD ACCEPTED.  The ballot must be in the office by March 21.
If you have any questions about the election process or the Site Council, please call the office (650.849.7932) or email to the address given above. Election results will be announced in next month’s  Gunn Connection. VOTE NOW!!!

p MANUEL GUERRERO, Parent of Michael Werer (9th grade)
No previous experience on a Site Council.
Last 10 years working for non-profits in finance and administration areas.
Three of those 10, I worked @ a Middle/High school.
Currently, volunteering as a Treasurer in a non-profit residence.
It would be an honor to participate as a member in the Gunn Site Council.

p GWEN LIANG, Parent of Amy Watt (9th  grade)
I had been an electrical engineer for more than 20 years, with product development and R&D project management/lead experience in the semiconductor industry. I went to Fudan University, China (BS Physics) in the early 1980's; then earned an MSEE from Stanford University; and went on my engineering career. My children were born and have lived in Palo Alto their entire lives. Last Spring, I decided to become a full time mom as my older daughter Amy Watt was about to embark on her high school journey at Gunn. I also have a 7th grader girl. It was a difficult but right decision for me because of my desire to spend more time with my growing children and become more involved in their schools. Since last fall, I've immersed myself in understanding how the Gunn community operates--the administration, curriculum and courses, campus life and activities besides academics, on-going facilities improvements, etc. I am also delighted to see my daughter Amy embracing the challenges and opportunities at Gunn. She is thriving academically, socially and athletically albeit being born without her lower left arm and hand. I'm ready and want to help Gunn serve all our children well. My high tech corporate experiences, educational and cultural backgrounds, my unique perspective from raising a resilient child with physical differences, and most importantly--my strong desire to serve the Gunn community are valuable assets that I bring. I believe I'll be an effective team member of the Gunn site council, and will bring diversity and unity to the team as well.   

p MAGGI SMEAL, Parent of Jamie Hattler (9th  grade)

My name is Maggi Smeal and I would love to continue to serve on the Site Council at Gunn! I first started on site council at El Carmelo Elementary where I served 2 terms and then went on to serve 2 terms at JLS Middle School. Currently I am serving on the Gunn Site Council. I have worked in numerous PTA Executive Council roles and served on the District PTA Council. For many years I served as a pediatrician on the PAUSD Health Council as well. I feel very passionate about about making our schools the very best environment for our children's academic, social and emotional development. I enjoy working with the principal, administration, teachers and students on site council and hearing all views as to how to best accomplish our commons goal in achieving the best possible school environment for all children. I have worked on many projects including social-emotional well being, after school sports, green initiatives, healthy food choices and reviewing teacher grants. I have 2 children and one is currently a freshman at Gunn. I work part time as a pediatrician in urgent care pediatrics supervising Stanford medical students and residents at Santa Clara Valley  Medical Center and love trail running, biking, swimming and any outdoor adventure with my family. 



     Vote for 2 candidates either on paper or electronically NO LATER THAN MARCH 21.
Voters must have a student now at Gunn. One ballot per household, please.
                                               p MANUEL GUERRERO  
                                               p GWEN LIANG
                                               p MAGGI SMEAL                                                                                                                          

 Your Gunn Student’s Name:_________________________________ Grade:_________
Mail to Gunn HS Site Council:      780 Arastradero Road, Palo Alto, CA 94306
Fax to Gunn HS Site Council : 650.493.7801
Email to:

Legally Blonde-The Musical

Submitted by Eric Brown

Legally Blonde: The Musical – Tickets Now Available!

Is it legal to have this much fun in the theatre?
Starting March 14, the award-winning hit Legally Blonde: The Musical is coming to Gunn’s Spangenberg Theatre! Winner of 7 major awards including the coveted Best Musical 2011 (Olivier Awards) this all singing, all dancing romantic comedy is about knowing who you are and showing what you’ve got!
Elle Woods can handle anything. So when her boyfriend, Warner, dumps her she decides to follow him to Harvard Law School and win him back. With some help from new-found friends Paulette, Emmett and her adorable pooch Bruiser, she learns that it’s so much better to be smart! Don’t miss Gunn’s Performing Arts wonderful production of this spectacular musical.
Opening Night Gala includes post show party
: Thursday, March 14th at 7:00 pm.
Tickets: Adults – advance $15 / $17 at the door;
Students – advance $13 / $15 at the door
Evening performances:Friday, March 15th at 8:00 pm;
Saturday, March 16th at 8:00 pm;
Thursday, March 21st at 7:00pm;
Friday, March 22nd at 8:00pm;
Saturday, March 23rd at 8:00pm
Tickets: Adults – advance $10 / $12 at the door
Students – advance $8 / $10 at the door
Matinee performance:Wednesday, March 20th at 4:00pm
Tickets: Everyone – $5

Video Contest for Direct Change

Submitted by Barbara Shufro

Calling All California High School Students! 
Students throughout California in grades 9-12 are invited to Direct Change by submitting a 60-second video in two categories: suicide prevention or eliminating stigma about mental illness. 

The top three winners in each category receive cash prizes (up to $1000) and matching cash prize to schools recommended for use on mental health and suicide prevention programming, and will be recognized at an award ceremony at the end of the 2012-13 school year. 

Visit the campaign website for contest rules and information:  The submission deadline is March 1, 2013.  


Submitted by Roni Gillenson

Cyberbullying by Katie Luce, LMFT Site Director at Redwood High School & Jordan Middle School

This article is intended to educate parents and families about a serious issue affecting adolescents known as cyberbullying. My hope is to provide information, highlight some of the emotional issues that arise from cyberbullying, and offer suggestions regarding what families can do to communicate with their children and to address this problem.
Adolescents today are growing up online. Kaiser Family Foundation studies ( show that almost every school child has been online, and three-quarters of young people can access the Internet from their homes.  The National Crime Prevention Council ( reported in 2011 that cyberbullying is a problem that affects almost half of all American teens.

According to The Cyberbullying Research Center (, cyberbullying is defined as bullying by electronic means, and usually occurs through social-media websites, text/picture messaging, chat rooms, gaming sites and email.  A cyberbully can be a person who the victim knows or an online stranger. A cyberbully can be anonymous and can solicit involvement of other people online who do not even know the target.  The National Crime Prevention Association lists tactics often used by teen cyberbullies:
  • Pretend they are other people online to trick others
  • Spread lies and rumors about victims
  • Trick people into revealing personal information
  • Send or forward mean text messages
  • Post pictures of victims without their consent
Studies on the psychosocial effects of cyberspace have begun to monitor the impacts cyberbullying can have on victims, and the consequences it can lead to.  Among the destructive consequences of cyberbullying are lowered academic achievement and aspirations, increased anxiety, loss of self-esteem and confidence, depression and post-traumatic stress, general deterioration in physical health, self-harm and suicidal thinking, feelings of alienation in the school environment, such as fear of other children, and absenteeism from school. (, Davis, 5/11/2011)  If you are aware that your child is experiencing any of these symptoms, it would be a good idea to consult a psychologist, school counselor or other mental health professional.                  
Many teens that are cyberbullied online are overwhelmed by the emotional pain due to either the continuity or intensity of the harassment. Therefore, responding to the cyberbully’s attacks in a productive manner often seems extraordinarily difficult. The anticipatory anxiety often prevents a teenager from reporting the bully. Since the distress seems unbearable, the victim cannot muster up the strength to confide in a trusted adult. Of course, there is always the fear that a victim may be labeled a “tattletale.” However, if the victim attempts to cope with the bullying without external assistance, the intensity and frequency of the bullying online can increase.  Victimized teens first must realize they are not to blame for the way they have been treated. No one deserves to be harassed in any environment, whether it is on the Internet or in the real world. They need to know effective strategies that can be implemented to help fend off cyberbullies.
Here are suggested tips that can be shared with children who are victims of cyberbulling to help them stand up for themselves:
·       Any communication from the bully should be printed out immediately and shown to an adult. Keep evidence of cyberbullying. Record the dates, times, and descriptions of instances when cyberbullying has occurred. Save and print screenshots, emails, and text messages. Use this evidence to report cyberbullying to an organization that can help or law enforcement.
·       Block the account that the sender uses. That way the child can't see what is being sent to them.
·       Do not reply to them or forward the messages. That gives them no power over the victim, even if they keep bullying.
·       Alert the appropriate law enforcement if a child is in immediate danger caused by cyberbullying. There are ways to impose consequences for the cyberbully. The California laws can be accessed at
Cyberbullying may be difficult for both parents and children to discuss, but it is very important to keep the lines of communication open.  Parents and children can agree to clear family rules about what constitutes acceptable and unacceptable behavior on a cell phone or other wireless device. Developing a written contract is sometimes helpful in order to make these rules clear and be able to refer to them as needed.  For example, be clear about what sites they can visit and what they are permitted to do when they’re online.
Children need to feel comfortable talking with parents about messages and images that are sent and received on cell phones or other wireless devices.  It can be hard for parents to react appropriately to a cyberbullying situation without a complete understanding of all sides of the situation. So it is important for parents to know the facts before reacting.
Help children to be smart about what they post or say. Tell them not to share anything that could hurt or embarrass themselves or others. Remind them that once something is posted, it is out of their control, whether someone else forwards it or not.  Encourage children to think about whom they want to see the information and pictures they post online. Tell them to keep their passwords safe and not share them with friends. Sharing passwords can compromise their control over their online identities and activities.
There are other ways to support children if they are cyberbullied.  Help them to participate in activities, interests, and hobbies they like such as volunteering, playing sports, singing in a chorus, or joining a youth group or school club. These activities give young people the opportunity to have fun and meet others with similar interests that can build self-confidence and friendships that will help to protect them from cyberbullying.
Finally, parents can model how to treat others with kindness and respect.  Children learn from adults’ actions. By treating others with kindness and respect, adults show their children that there is no place for bullying. Even when it seems like they are not paying attention, children are watching how adults manage stress and conflict, as well as how they treat their friends, colleagues, and families.
We need to teach our children that silence, when anyone is being hurt, is not acceptable. If they don’t allow the cyberbullies to use them to embarrass or torment others, cyberbullying will quickly stop. It’s a challenging task, but in the end, our children will be safer online and offline. We will have helped children to control the technology instead of their being controlled by it.
Additional Resources
Founded on May 1, 2011, the “End to Cyber Bullying” (ETCB) is a non-profit organization aimed to combat cyberbullying in this modern age. (

Adolescent Counseling Services is a community non-profit, which provides vital counseling services on eight secondary campuses at no charge to students and their families. To learn more about our services please visit the ACS website at or call Sabrina Geshay, LMFT, Site Director at Gunn (650) 849-7919.  ACS relies on the generosity of community members to continue offering individual, family, and group counseling to over 1,500 individuals annually.
ACS provides critical interventions and mental health services, building a better future for tomorrow.
If you are interested in helping to support our efforts, do not hesitate to call to make a donation.
It goes a long way in helping teenagers find their way!

Adolescent Counseling Services (ACS) Wants You!
Do you care about local teens and families?  Are you interested in making sure accessible mental health services are available to the community?  ACS is currently looking for individuals to serve on our Board of Directors.  For more information, please contact Janet Chaikind, ACS Vice President, at 

FREE Prevention Offerings from ACS
Take advantage of ACS’ FREE Substance Abuse Prevention Workshops offered monthly at the Palo Alto Family YMCA.  For more info, please visit ACS also offers the Substance Abuse Info Line (SAIL) where trained therapists are ready to answer your questions or provide you with resources related to teens and substance abuse.  Operating Monday-Friday from 5PM to 7PM, you can reach SAIL at (650) 384-3094.

Writing Without Tears

Submitted by Karen Mueller

Writing Without Tears: Making Writing Easier for Your Child
Does your child struggle with writing? Does every writing assignment turn into a battle of tears, anguish, stress and defiance? There is help! Janet Rose and Nancy Olson will offer tips and advice on how to make writing easier for kids, especially for those with learning differences. Janet, who will address writing for the younger child, runs a summer writing program for elementary-age students and has two sons with special needs. Nancy, who will address writing for older children, tutors middle and high school students in English. Get past those blocks and phobias and help your child develop confidence and fluency in writing.

Wednesday, Mar 20, 2013 – meeting is 7 to 9 pm.  Hospitality begins at 6:45pm.  Covington Elementary School Multi, 205 Covington, Los Altos 94024.
This parent education event is sponsored by the SELPA 1 CAC (  All of our events are free and open to anyone who feels they might benefit.  No registration is necessary.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Heart Health Letter for Parents

Submitted by Kathryn Miranda

                                   Palo Alto Unified School District
                                            25 Churchill Avenue           Palo Alto, California  94306
                       District Nurse                                                                 Linda lenoir, R.N. MSN
                       Phone: 650-329-3766 Fax: 650-833-4226                                                           
                       February is Heart Month  

It's never too late to make better health choices.  All you need is a goal, a plan and the desire to live better.
Here are some simple steps to take:

1.  Have your blood pressure checked regularly. 

·         If you doctor has placed you on medication, take it exactly as prescribed
·         If you are overweight, lose weight
·         Be more physically active
·         Reduce your salt (sodium) intake
·         Eat more fruits, vegetables and non-fat dairy products

2.  Eat a healthy diet consistent with recommendations from the American Heart Association.

  • Eat at least 4.5 cups of fruits and vegetables per day
  • Eat at least 2 (3.5 oz servings of fish per week
  • Eat at last 3 1-oz servings of fiber-rich whole grains per day
  • Keep sodium to less than 1,500 mg per day
  • Limit sugar-sweetened beverages to no more than 450 calories (36 oz) per week
  • Limit processed meats and choose fat-free or low-fat dairy products

3.  Get at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity activity each week.

  • Start slowly and build up to a total of 30 to 60 minutes on most or all days of the week
  • Look for ways to be more active. Take 10-15 minute walking breaks during the day or after meals
  • Check with your doctor before you start if you’ve been inactive for a long time or have a chronic condition

4.  Maintain a healthy weight (body mass index less than 25kg/m2)

  • To lose weight, you must take in fewer calories than you use
  • Follow an overall healthy diet pattern
  • Get and stay physically active

5.  Manage your stress. Taking steps to manage stress will help you feel more in control of your life.  Here are some good        
     ways to cope:

  • Positive self-talk - turn negative thoughts into positive one. For example, rather than thinking, "I cant do this", say, "I'll do the best I can"
  • Take 15-20 minutes a day to sit quietly, relax, breathe deeply and think of a peaceful situation
  • Engage in physical activity regularly.  Do what you enjoy - walk, swim, ride a bike or do yoga. Letting go of the tension in your body will help you fell a lot better
  • Try to do at least one thing every day that you enjoy, even if you only do it for 15 minutes