This article originally appeared in the winter 2014 Harker Quarterly.
In October, lower school fine arts teacher Gerry-louise Robinson took part in judging a creative hat contest at the San Francisco Partnership Walk/Run, organized by the Aga Khan Foundation at Lake Elizabeth in Fremont. Founded in 1967, the Aga Khan Foundation looks for solutions to problems such as poverty, hunger and health in poor areas of the world. The purpose of the contest was to allow participants to express creatively the ideals of the Aga Khan Foundation and demonstrate its mission to bring about peace and good will by reducing poverty. Entries were judged on how well they met the contest’s criteria, their creativity and originality, aesthetic value and presentation.
Harker Office of Communication staff writer Debbie Cohen recently appeared on KPIX 5’s “Mosaic” TV program, in which she was one of several local authors featured. Cohen’s book, “Keeper of the Scale,” tells the story of three women who come together to support one another in losing weight. Originally an e-book, “Keeper of the Scale” is now available as a trade paperback from Amazon and Barnes & Noble.
Diane Main showed no signs of slowing down after her busy summer. The upper school’s learning, innovation and design director taught two sessions at the Santa Clara County Office of Education’s EdTech Innovation Symposium in Santa Clara. Main, a passionate advocate for technology in the classroom who is both a Google Certified Teacher and a Google Apps Certified Trainer, showed teachers how to use an educational version of the popular computer game Mine- craft as a way of teaching collaborative problem-solving. She also led a discussion with fellow teachers on how to improve teaching methods and collaboration.
As of November, at least one Harker teacher has a planet named after them! Middle school biology teacher Kristen Morgensen had a planet named for her as recognition for mentoring Rajiv Movva, grade 9, to the finals of the Broadcom MASTERS competition. Each of the finalists also had planets named for them. “It’s pretty amazing to receive this recognition, and I am beyond honored to have worked with Rajiv last year,” said Morgensen.
Brighid Wood, director of Harker’s soccer programs, traveled the U.S. in October as team liaison official for the Trinidad and Tobago women’s national soccer team. The team was competing in the Confederation of North, Central American and Carib- bean Association Football (CONCACAF) women’s World Cup qualifiers held around the country.
Wood fulfilled a similar role for the Azerbaijan men’s national team when it played the U.S. men’s national team last spring in San Francisco prior to the World Cup. Being invited to help international visitors is a result of the
great work Wood has done in the past for men’s U.S. soccer.
Wood joined U.S. officials and the Trinidad and Tobago team in Kansas City, where it played the U.S. women’s national team. She and the team then traveled to Chicago to play Haiti; Washington, D.C., to play Guatemala; and Philadelphia to play both Costa Rica and Mexico. Wood’s duties included helping the team
with their operational setups, fielding media requests and, in some cases, working with goalkeepers. Wood lived hand in glove with the team, staying at the hotels, eating meals, attending training sessions and participating in pregame scouts.
The T&T team’s head coach is Randy Waldrum, former coach at Notre Dame University, where he took the team to two national championships, and current head coach of the Houston Dash professional women’s team. Waldrum is also a former U.S. youth national team coach.
“Over the last 11 years as a coach, Coach Waldrum has been a great mentor to me,” said Wood. “The whole trip gave me a fantastic opportunity to work alongside one of the great coaches in women’s college soccer history. It also gave me the opportunity to learn from Ben Waldrum, Coach Waldrum’s son and T&T assistant coach, who works with the FC Dallas youth teams, and to learn from the U.S. Soccer staff.”