Thursday, April 24, 2014

Gunn Varsity Sports:

Boy’s Golf:
Gunn lost to Paly for the second time this season finishing the regular season 10-2. Adam Fleischman led Gunn and earned co-medalist honors with a season-best 35. Jack Jaffe followed with a 37 and Anson Cheng a 38. Shai Mohan finished with a 40 and Yilei Yu wrapped up the Titans' scoring with a 43. Gunn
Boys Lacrosse:
Gunn 10 Leland 8 (April 10)
Gunn goals scored by Anatole Colevas (3), Sal Giovannotto (1), Elyas Daadi (3), Aaron Miner (1), Jackson Washura (1), and Hugh Phillips (1).
Girls Lacross:
On Wednesday afternoon Gunn defeated Pioneer by a score of 16-5 in a SCVAL league contest at Pioneer high school. Gunn was led by Juniors Rachael Tsai ( 4 goals and 3 assists ), Anna Dang ( 4 goals ) and Caroline Chou ( 3 goals ). Gunn also got 1 goal from  Senior Anna Cabot, Sophomores Annie Vesey, Yui Sasajima, Jillian King and Freshman Janis Iourovitski.  With this victory Gunn moves to 8-0 in SCVAL play and 11-1 overall. Gunn will play a SCVAL home game against Leland high school on Friday night at Gunn at 7:30.
Gunn  second-year softball coach Matt Maltz is enjoying this season. The Titans are 11-3 overall, 6-0 in the SCVAL El Camino Division, though big games loom ahead. “This is a close-knit group,” Maltz said. “We have 12 players with only one senior.” The senior is Maddy Thomas, who mostly plays in the outfield. Iris Chin, who threw a five-inning no-hitter earlier in the season against Cupertino, is the main pitcher for the Titans. Second baseman Natalie Oda, a sophomore, is hitting just under .500.  Sophomore shortstop Emma Wager has been supplying the power, plus handling the glove for the Titans. “Emma is a Division I prospect,” Maltz said.
Maltz has a Division I All-American as his assistant coach in former Stanford star Alissa Haber. “Alissa and I have been friends for eight years,” Maltz said. “I gave her a call and asked her if she wanted to help me coach at Gunn. It’s great for the girls to be around a great player.” The Titans have a key league game at home on Thursday at 4 p.m. against 4-1 Milpitas.
Gunn 2 – Los Gatos 11 (April 18)
Gunn's eight-game winning streak in softball came to an end in an 11-2 non-league loss against a tough Los Gatos squad last Friday. Starting pitcher Iris Chin (Jr.) pitched 4 innings and then had to retire due to an injury. Gunn scored 2 runs in the top of the fourth with Emma Wager starting off the inning with a single. Catherine Schwarzwalder then hit a triple, knocking in Wager to tie the game. Anna Tevanian then singled in Schwarzwalder as the Titans (11-3) took a 2-1 lead. In the bottom of the fourth, Los Gatos loaded the bases after three walks. With two outs, an error on a routine play that would have ended the inning, instead opened the doors for the Wildcats who went on to add five runs in the inning and never looked back. Gunn pitcher Iris Chin pitched four innings and took the loss, only her third in 14 starts. Relief pitcher Kanchan Potter (Jr.) had to deal with many errors made in the field.
Gunn 12, Aragon 8 (April 16)
Getting 10 strikeouts from junior Iris Chin, Gunn won its eighth straight game with a 12-8 non-league softball decision over host Aragon on Wednesday. The Titans got four hits from Emma Wager, who slammed a home run and triple as Gunn pounded out 16 hits. Chin had three hits while improving her pitching record to 11-2. Gunn held a 6-0 lead after the top of the second, but Aragon kept it close. The Dons got to within 7-5 after three, but no closer as the Titans tallied three runs in the fourth. Catherine Schwarzwalder, Natalie Oda, Mariana Torres and Megan Ostrom all had two hits for Gunn. Chin, meanwhile, now has 32 strikeouts in her past three games.
For her pitching success, Iris Chin was named Athlete of the Week. Here is the link to her interview:
Swimming: April 17 vs Saratoga
The 15 seniors on the Gunn swimming and diving teams went out in style  last Thursday afternoon in our home pool.  The girls won nearly every event against Saratoga, cruising to a 120-63 victory, with Jennifer Campbell and Fiona Hon each winning two individual events while the boys swept their way through the swimming portion of the SCVAL meet. The Senior Meet brought back memories of four years at Gunn for the athletes - “It’s sad, but I’m also really happy to see how far our class has come since freshman year,” Gabrielle Bethke (Sr.) said. “So it’s bittersweet.” Bethke won the 200-yard freestyle and the 100 butterfly against Saratoga, but will likely compete in the 50 and 100 free at the CCS championships. Bethke relished the opportunity to swim different events. “I think it’s really hard to swim your best events at every single meet, so I think it’s fun to mix it up a little bit,” Bethke said. “She’s a technically sound and very diverse swimmer,” coach Mark Hernandez said.
Jennifer Campbell crushed the competition in the 200 individual medley (2:08.08) and the 500 free (5:00.17), two grueling swims. “It’s difficult to imagine someone who is in better condition than she is,” Hernandez said. “And it’s also difficult to imagine someone who swims more technically sound than she does. She’s got it all.”
Fiona Hon led the way in 1-2-3 finishes for the Titan girls in both the 50 and 100 free.
In the 400 medley, Saratoga touched the wall first in the 100 backstroke and the 100 breaststroke, but Gunn claimed its third triumph in the relays when water polo standout Caroline Anderson anchored the 400 free relay. “She’s special,” Hernandez said of Anderson, who has a scholarship to play water polo at Michigan. “She’s a freakish athlete and she just finds ways to go really fast.”
In the boy’s  events Gunn swimmers were a perfect 11-for-11 en route to a 124.50-55.50 win.  The Titans knew they could count on sophomore Daichi Matsuda, who like Campbell tackled the 200 IM and the 500 free. The workload didn’t intimidate Matsuda. “We have nine practices a week and we practice like 22 hours a week, I think,” Matsuda said. “And we do a lot of high-intensity stuff, so that sort of builds our endurance.” “He’s gotten a lot stronger and a lot more aggressive,” Hernandez said of Matsuda.
Not every race was lopsided. Gunn’s Joao Ama beat his opponent by .05 seconds after touching the wall at 1:47.37. It was an even closer call for 200 free relay, which with a time of 1:31.87 claimed first by three hundredths of a second. Ama  also won the 100 free at 49.95, while teammate Luke Chui took first in the 50 free (23.23) and the 100 breast (1:01.58). Trent Tosky was the fastest at the 100 fly (55.74) and in the 100 Kevin Xu out of lane 6 won in 56.02.
The Gunn Titans final scores:
Varsity Girls:  Gunn  120        Saratoga  63
Varsity Boys:  Gunn  124.50   Saratoga  55.50
Track and Field -  San Jose meet
Sarah Robinson (Sr.) led wire-to-wire in the 3,200 meters in a dominant performance, outdistancing the next best finisher by nearly 41 seconds.  Most of the time she ran in complete solitude, cruising around the track on her way to shattering the 27-year-old meet record of 10:26.20, clocking a personal-best 10:16.98, “It feels good to get the meet record,” said Robinson, who will play soccer at Stanford on scholarship. “It was difficult because I didn’t have anybody pushing me, for the most part. The conditions were great. I tried to hit even splits as much as I could.” Gunn sophomore Gillian Meeks ran a fabulous race in the girls 1,600 meters, placing second in 5:00.86. Meeks led most of the race, but was out-kicked by Clare Peabody of Aptos, at the end. “It was a little bit windy, so she could draft off of me,” said Meeks of Peabody. “She had a great kick. I didn’t quite have it. I would have been better for me to be in her spot at the end. I need to get stronger and work on my kick.” Robin Peter (Soph.) was second in the girls 100-meter hurdles with a time of 15.51. Gunn also had a fourth place in the girls 300-meter hurdles from Maya Miklos, who ran a 43.37. Adriana Noronha came into the girls discus as the second seed, but failed to establish a fair mark. Noronha bounced back to take third in the shot put with a heave of 37-1.

The Titans placed third as a team with 38 points, one point behind second-place Valley Christian- San Jose. Los Gatos rolled to the team title with 76 points.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

New Site Council Representatives:

Congratulations to the 2014-2016 Site Council Parent Representatives 
Each year, two of the four parent representatives serving on Site Council come up for election. According to the revised Site Council bylaws, incumbent representatives can serve two consecutive terms (four years).  Incumbent Geoff Butner opted not to seek re-election. Becky Thomas ends her two terms of service this year. Newcomers Stacey Ashlund, and Jyoti Sahdev put their names on the ballot along with 11 other parents in March. After a careful tally, Stacey Ashlund and Jyoti Sahdev were elected to assume the two open seats for the next two years. Polly Diffenbaugh, 1st Runner Up, will serve as alternate to the meetins when a parent cannot attend. They will join Gwen Liang and Maggi Smeal representing Gunn parents for 2014-2016.
NEWLY ELECTED for 2014-2016: Stacey Ashlund, parent of Brendan Creemer, 9th grade
“I served on site council at Juana Briones for 2 years.  We tracked and assessed progress on programs for ELL, Language Arts, and Special Education.  I’ve served on the (CACC Community Advisory Committee) for Special Education since 2009 and currently serve as vice-chair with inclusion and organize parent ed events.  I’ve been PIE chair at Terman (2 years) and co-chair at Gunn (1 year).  I’m on the PIE Advisory Board and the City of Palo Alto Parks and Recreation Commission.  I consult in User Experience Research and Design.  I have a 6th grader at Terman and a 9th grader at Gunn.  I’m excited to help serve on site council at Gunn.  Go Titans!”
NEWLY ELECTED for 2014-2016: Jyoti Sahdev, parent of Arjun Sahdev, 10th grade
“I have three children, one of whom attended Gunn high school and graduated in 2007. Currently, I have a sophomore, Arjun Sahdev. Last year I had the pleasure of serving on the Gunn Advisory Committee. It was hard yet worthwhile work where we worked on student needs first and foremost. The GAC, similar to the Site Council, was a collaborative effort with members from students, teachers, administrators and parents. After participating on the GAC, I learned how the school operates. All the stakeholders have to work together. Lastly, I work as a family dental surgeon and own my office. All business decisions related to the running of my office are made by me.”

For more information on Gunn's Site Council, contact Rene' Hart, Gunn's Site Council Coordinator at 849-7932, or

The Green Energy Innovation Club Speaker Night

The Green Energy Innovation Club at Gunn High School will be hosting a green innovation speaker night on Tuesday, April 29, at 7:00 pm with renowned innovators, leaders, educators, and students to spread awareness of our changing environment and how today's technology and creative minds can save the world.
Visit for more information on speakers.
Featuring: Stanford University Professor Mark Z. Jacobson with breakthrough discoveries in atmosphere energy, Paul Kephart, founder of Rana Creek Living Architecture and the living roof architect of the California Academy of Sciences, David Kaneda, the managing principal of Integral Group that designs Net Zero Energy green buildings, Ron Freund, founder of Plug in America and Electric Auto Association, and Tom Kelly, founder of KyotoUSA and the HELiOS project that hopes to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and energy consumption by installing photovoltaic systems in schools, fellow students and faculty at Gunn, PALY, and PAUSD hope to raise awareness of climate change and clean energy and how every one of us can conserve energy by understanding energy resources, solar applications, and other green energy technologies.

Any more questions? Email

SELPA 1 CAC: Common Core and Students with Learning Challenges

How will common core change the curriculum and assessments? Common Core Standards recognize speaking and listening as an integral part of learning. Goals included in the new standards include concepts related to collaboration, cooperation, understanding other’s minds or point of view, analysis of fiction, understanding bias in our media and science, just to name a few! These new standards emphasize communication and group work, skills that students with learning (or other) disabilities often struggle with . How will teachers work with these students (IEPs, 504s, or struggling) so that they learn what they need to meet these valuable new standards? We are inviting representatives from each of our school districts (MVW, PAUSD, LASD, MVLA) to talk on a panel. 
Wednesday, May 7, 2014
Hospitality begins at 6:45pm
Meeting - 7 to 9 pm
Egan Middle School Multi
100 West Portola Ave, Los Altos 94022

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, April 10, 2014

Meet Gunn @ Your Service’s 2014 Social Entrepreneurs!

Congratulations to 15 inspiring Gunn students who, with over 330 others on campus, are turning innovative ideas into extraordinary projects to make our world - nearby and far away - a better place:
Samia Islam will use her Gunn Grant to purchase an Android tablet that she will load with English and math videos she creates in Bengali for the students at Utsho, a boarding school for underprivileged children of single working mothers in Bangladesh, and to raise awareness about their situation. [Education-Bangladesh] 
Micah Roschelle’s Gunn @ Your Service micro-grant will be used to purchase Folic Acid and Hemoxide that she will deliver to doctors and clinics in Cameroon working to prevent Sickle Cell Anemia, a disease which affects 1 in 4 West Africans and is fatal to 80% of children afflicted with the disease. The vitamins will be free. [Health - Cameroon] 
Eleanor Su will use her Gunn Grant to buy ingredients for bake sales that will generate funds her Schools for Africa Fund will use to build a school in Sierra Leone and help provide epilepsy treatment. This is the second year a Gunn Grant has been awarded to this project. [Education/Health-Sierra Leone] 
Rick Wytmar’s Gunn Grant will be used to purchase all the materials needed to build a permanent message board to help the Ohlone Elementary School farm supervisor communicate the farm’s daily needs to teachers and students. [Education/Sustainability – Palo Alto] 
Justin Yang will use his Gunn micro-grant to build the solar heating component of the Cluck Bucket, a solar-powered egg incubator to combat malnutrition and enable economic opportunities in developing countries. [Applied Technology/Health/Economic Development-International]
Gabriel Alon’s micro-grant will cover the cost of printing postcards created by Gunn photography students for others to fill out expressing their positive feelings toward Gunn and Palo Alto to counter negativity that they’ve heard. These cards will be sent to the community and were inspired by a Gunn TedX speaker who started a similar campaign in San Francisco to alter perceptions and break down barriers. [Awareness – Palo Alto] 
Ian Cramer’s Gunn Grant will offset the substantial cost of materials to build a fully-stocked “fix-it” station that Gunn’s 800+ daily bike commuters can use to maintain and repair their bikes and promote the health and environmental benefits of biking. [Environment/Health - Gunn High School] 
Aitan Grossman’s Gunn Grant will be used to purchase materials needed to build a working prototype of his energy-saving regenerative bicycle brake that gives riders a boost to encourage people to select biking as their transportation mode of choice worldwide. [Applied Technology/Environment/Health - International] 
Irene Jeong’s Gunn Grant will be used to buy sheet music and accessories, rent instruments, and pay for instrument repair for low-income music students attending Gunn Music @ Costano classes taught by Gunn students in East Palo Alto. The Music @ Costano program was started six years ago by two Gunn students. This is the fourth year that a Gunn Grant has been awarded to this project. [Education-East Palo] 
Auston Lee will use his Gunn Grant to purchase math manipulatives and games for Buddies4Math, a math program started by a Gunn student in 2010. Buddies4Math student volunteers teach at Mountain View’s Castro Elementary School. This is Gunn @ Your Service’s second year supporting this project. [Education-Mountain View] 
Minku Lee’s Gunn Grant will be used to purchase musical instruments and pay for printing music for homeless East Palo Alto students living in the InnVision shelter who have not yet been exposed to music instruction. [Education-East Palo Alto] 
Klaire Tan’s micro-grant will be used to publish East Palo Alto middle school students’ work written in her after-school writing and journalism workshops and to cover student transportation costs to places and organizations that they are writing about. [Education – East Palo Alto] 
Leland Wei’s Gunn @ Your Service micro-grant will be used to purchase materials needed to build guards to protect plants and make signs for the Gamble Garden. This is Leland’s second Gunn Grant. [Environment-Palo Alto] 
Rachel Wu and Tony Zunino will use a Gunn Grant to purchase supplies for and promote Gunn students’ Bay Area Youth in Computer Science project. Gunn BAYCS volunteers create computer science curriculum which they teach to middle and high school students. This is the second year Gunn @ Your Service has supported this project. [Education-Palo Alto] 
Gunn @ Your Service is exceptionally proud to be able to support all of these outstanding efforts! 

Lauren Janov, President, Gunn @ Your Service

Adolescent Counseling Services:  Did you know it’s “National Catch Your Teen Doing Something Right” Month?

By Merrett Sheridan, LMFT Site Director at Palo Alto High School
Ok so I made that up, but why not? Ask yourself when was the last time you gave your teen a truly heartfelt “atta boy” for something significant and for no reason other than to make them feel good? By significant I don’t mean thanking them for feeding the dog when it was already their job – although if you’re really out of practice then by all means start with anything and practice, practice, practice! But the bigger the compliment and the more unexpected the more impact it will have on your teen and how they feel treated by you. For example, you can compliment them on things you really admire about them or make a point to notice the “upside” of a characteristic you may not care for in them (for ex: they may be stubborn in your opinion but I’m guessing that also means they can be very patient). 
Teens can certainly test your patience beyond belief and you may not enjoy them at every turn these days. You may think to yourself, was I this bad at their age? It’s hard to go back and remember the difficulties of being a teen but chances are you too had conflicts with your parents, teachers, or other authority figures at some point. This is a natural stage of development and there is no cure! In fact, it’s a healthy sign if you and your teen can barely see eye to eye on anything. They are growing up and gaining their independence but they don’t necessarily know how to do it with grace, respect, or honor. Wouldn’t that be nice? No, just like when you were an adolescent, they are struggling to become adults without the experience or ensuing wisdom.
Take this as your opportunity to be their parent for perhaps the last time. Soon enough, they will leave and gain the experience and wisdom needed to succeed in life and they will come back, but not as your charges, and the dynamic will change and may no longer allow you such influence and ability to impart change in their lives in such a direct way. So, take the time you have now to find time between the challenges and frustrations, to notice them being their awesome selves……and pounce! Research shows (The Gottman Institute, that it takes a 5 to1 ratio of positive to negative comments or acts to build healthy relationships, so the more you can catch your teen doing something right you are making deposits into the relationship bank with your child.
You want to help them navigate this challenging time with love and compassion. One thing you have in common with your teen is the experience of having been one yourself, and I’m pretty sure you wouldn’t want to trade places with them now! With this one simple task, and you have all month to try it (of course you can over-achieve and keep it up all year if you want) you have a tool to be the role model they truly need you to be right now; that despite the heartache they may be sending your way, that you still see their strengths, talents and passions and model how to show compassion and caring even as they are pulling away and testing your patience.

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 Pamela Garfield, 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!