This article first appeared in the Harker Magazine Commemorative Anniversary Issue, celebrating 125 years, published July 2018.
Here are some of the many remarkable milestones and accomplishments achieved at Harker.
• Nichols Hall on the upper school campus was the first LEED Gold certified school facility in Santa Clara County.
• In 2007, Harker’s team was chosen from among 63 teams nationwide to represent the United States at the J8 Summit, a parallel youth event to the G8 (Group of Eight) Summit. J8 delegates met face-to-face with President Bush and the leaders of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia and the United Kingdom.
- Thirty students have been nominated for the U.S. Presidential Scholars Program; five have been selected as Presidential Scholars.
- Harker students have earned 184 National Merit Scholarships since 2006.
- Since 2010, Harker students have taken 11,453 AP exams, with 66 percent (7,540) achieving perfect scores of five and 89 percent earning scores of four or higher.
- Harker has produced many stellar mathematicians including one graduate who earned a Ph.D. from MIT and is now a fellow in the math department at Columbia University. Another has been awarded a Soros Fellowship and Harvard’s David Mumford Undergraduate Mathematics Prize.
- Since 2006, Harker has had 85 semifinalists – and three winners – in the Intel/Regeneron Science Talent Search (first place in 2015 and second places in 2006 and 2010). In 2015, Harker had 15 semifinalists, the most of any school in the United States. In 2017, Harker had three finalists, the most of any school in the country.
- In 2009, two Harker students and a Harker alumnus earned the top spots in the level four category at the National Japan Bowl in Washington, D.C. For their accomplishment, the team and an upper school Japanese teacher were awarded a trip to Japan to see the country and meet Her Imperial Highness Princess Takamado.
- At the U.S. Invitational Young Physicists Tournament, Harker students earned first place in 2011, 2014 and 2015; had a finalist in 2016; placed third in 2017; and placed second in 2018.
- In 2005, five out of eight qualifying teams at the state finals of the Future Problem Solving Program International were from Harker, the most any school had qualified at that time. Two were upper school teams and three were lower school teams. In 2006, Harker teams took six of the eight possible spots in the state finals, including the only high school team to qualify for the state finals. Two middle school teams qualified for the international finals, and Harker provided four of the eight individual finalists to internationals. In 2007, the Harker middle school qualified four of the eight teams to the state finals and provided five of the top eight finishing individuals, then went on to win the international championship.
Harker students won gold medals at the International Physics Olympiad (IPHO) in 2004, 2009 and 2014. In 2016, Harker students won a gold and two silver medals at the U.S. Physics Olympiad.
At the International Linguistics Olympiad, Harker qualified three students each year in 2009, 2011 and 2012. They earned silver in 2009 and gold in 2012.
- A student on the International Math Olympiad team in 2006 won a silver medal; another student participated in 2008 and another was invited to summer training camp in 2016.
- Harker students have attended the USA Computing Olympiad (USACO) training camp eight times from 2013 to 2016. In 2016 an alumnus earned a Gold Medal in International Olympiad of Informatics (IOI).
- A student was a finalist at the 2016 USA Biology Olympiad.
- A student earned a bronze medal at the 2009 China Girls Mathematical Olympiad.
• In 2007, Harker’s varsity girls volleyball team won the NorCal championship and took second at state.
- In 2014, the boys varsity basketball team reached the CCS finals.
- In 2017, the varsity boys golf team took second place in its league, was the NorCal champion and took fifth at state. The golf team was the league champion for four consecutive years. • In 2017, Harker’s varsity football team went undefeated until the playoff semifinals. The team’s final 11-1 tally is a school record.
- In 2018, Harker’s varsity boys soccer team racked up a 14-1- 3 record for the season, remaining undefeated until the last regular season game.
- Harker students hold individual league championships in swimming (2010, 2015, 2017), track and field (2013, 2016), cross country (2013) and wrestling (2011).
- In addition, Harker teams have won many scholastic championships based on team GPAs.
- Harker athletes have made it to the pros in a variety of sports including golf, volleyball, baseball and soccer.
• Each year, the Harker Conservatory presents both a fall play and a spring musical. Shows have included “Anon(ymous),” “You Can’t Take it with You,” “Urinetown” and “Pippin.” The Harker Conservatory sent troupes to Scotland to perform in the worldrenowned Edinburgh Festival Fringe in 2007, 2011 and 2015.
- The Harker School Orchestra was the top scoring orchestra at the 2010 Los Angeles Festival of Gold, performed in London’s Cadogan Hall (home of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra) in 2012, took the gold award at the Chicago International Music Festival in 2014 and performed in New York’s Carnegie Hall in 2017.
- In 2007, the Grade 7-8 Orchestra was given a superior rating at the California Music Educators Association ensemble festival. At the same festival, the upper school choral group Cantilena earned its first of many unanimous superior ratings.
- Harker has at least two dozen upper school alumni active in performing arts, several professionally. One alumna founded her own Shakespeare company in New York. Another has found success acting in TV series including “Dear White People.” One grad is a full-time opera singer, and one a pop singer.
Business and Leadership
• A mixed team from DECA and Talon, the yearbook, won the nationwide 2018 Herff Jones Marketing Results Challenge, which was to create marketing campaigns to increase yearbook awareness and sales on campus.
- A 2015 senior earned first place in the Western region and third in the nation in DECA’s The Stock Market Game.
- The middle school’s DECA Idea Challenge team, Insulator Warrior Inc., were global finalists in 2018.
- In 2014, following an illustrious career as a lawyer for the U.S. Justice Department, a Harker alumnus was confirmed to a seat on the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.
- One of Time’s “100 Most Influential People” in the artists category, a popular fashion designer attended our middle school, where he learned to sew. Now running his own design house, he has won many awards and was creative director for Balenciaga. His clothing is carried in more than 700 stores including Bloomingdale’s, Barneys New York and Neiman Marcus.
- A 2010 graduate co-founded DoorDash, a successful on demand food delivery company. He was named to Forbes prestigious “30 Under 30” list in January 2015.
- The founder of nVision, a medical devices company formed to provide better heath care for women, graduated from Harker in 2003. In 2014, Forbes named her to their “30 Under 30” list in the medical category.
Speech and Debate
Harker has one of the largest and most successful speech and debate teams in the country. Students have won multiple national championships and the program is one of the only ones to have repeatedly won sweepstakes awards for teamwide success at the National Speech & Debate Association National Championship, Tournament of Champions and the largest invitational of the year at the University of California, Berkeley.
• Harker’s upper school student publications, the Winged Post newspaper and Aquila online news site, have received multiple awards from the Columbia Scholastic Press Association (CSPA).
- In 2003, in its second year in publication, the middle school literary magazine, Enlight’ning, earned a silver medal from CSPA. It earned a gold medal in 2005 and the Gold Crown award in 2008.
- In 2010, the Winged Post and its online website, talonwp.com, won the CSPA’s Gold Crown award for its excellence in writing, coverage and content.
- In 2015, the Winged Post was nominated for a Crown Award and received 10 Gold Circle Awards for news articles.
- In 2017, both the Winged Post and HELM, the upper school literary magazine, were named Crown Finalists by the CSPA, and seven Gold Circle Awards were received for news articles.
Related 125th Anniversary Articles:
Harker’s 125 years of history in words, photos and video