This article originally appeared in the summer 2015 Harker Quarterly.
Senior Parents Honored at Annual Luncheon
The Senior Moms and Dads Luncheon is a special Harker tradition, now in its 15th year. During the event, grade 9-11 parents honor senior parents with a potluck lunch to mark the occasion of their children graduating from Harker.
Parents of juniors also are invited to sit down with the senior parents, as they are welcomed to their child’s last year at Harker. This year, the parent planning committee worked hard to create an enjoyable luncheon, which was held May 18 at the upper school campus’ gym and quad.
The memorable day included meaningful speeches, elegantly set tables, beautiful photo collages and delicious food. One of the most heartwarming moments was when senior parents shared thoughts about their time as part of the Harker community.
“The grade 9-11 parents really have a fun time planning the whole event, from décor, making the invitations, to centerpieces and a special gift for the senior parents,” said Jennifer Hargreaves, director of middle and upper school volunteer programs. “For the gift this year, parents coordinated a letter from the seniors to their parents, which was included in an embossed photo folder with their child’s senior photo.”
She added that it’s heartwarming to see many underclassmen parents support this event to honor the school’s senior parents. “Senior parents seemed to have a great time at the first event of graduation week while their children were on the senior trip,” she added.
From K to Life! Harker Lifers Unite at Dinner with Head of School
On the evening of May 21, immediately following their baccalaureate ceremony, graduating seniors who have attended Harker since kindergarten (known as “lifers”) boarded a bus and headed for a special dinner at the home of Chris Nikoloff, head of school.
They reflected upon their lives as Harker students by looking at their Harker application photos, enjoyed a cake emblazoned with these photos, and even took photos with their original kindergarten advisory groups.
This year’s lifers are: Alyssa Amick, Jeremiah Anderson, Tiara Bhatacharya, Jeremy Binkley, Vamsi Gadiraju, Corey Gonzales, Matthew Ho, Caroline Howells, Srivinay Irrinki, Sidhart Krishnamurthi, Madeline Lang-Ree, Delaney Martin, Maya Nandakumar, Craig Neubieser, Sindhu Ravuri, Eric Roxlo, Neil Sadhu, Katy Sanchez, Sophia Shatas, Sheridan Tobin, Nephele Troullinos, Jacqui Villarreal, Gillian Wallin, Julia Wang, Zoë Woehrmann, Eric Yu and Andrew Zhang.
Senior Brick Tangible Reminder of Those Who’ve Walked the Path
About 200 people, including students, parents and alumni, gathered on the upper school plaza May 21 to celebrate and place bricks in the Alumni Walk. Each year, parents can commemorate their child’s graduation by purchasing a brick inscribed with his or her name and grad year.
This year Rob and Tamra Amick were placing their second brick, out of a possible three. Son Rob graduated in 2013, daughter Alyssa was getting her brick at the event, and daughter Julia, a rising freshman, was there in what was probably a rehearsal for her own brick installation in four years. Amick noted the bricks have a dual purpose – honoring the student and contributing to the school, “and this is one of the benefits of making a contribution.”
Ashok Krishnamurthi and Deepa Iyengar were also celebrating their second brick. The first was placed in 2011 with son Guatam’s name on it; this year son Sidhart’s brick was installed. Krishnamurthi said he buys the bricks for a number of reasons. “One is to remember,” he said. “The school has been fantastic for us – 19 years! Our older boy’s brick is right there and this is a way to give back to the school. I think it is really important that parents give back. It’s not about the value of the brick, it is about the appreciation.”
The bricks are laid in a winding walk through Graduates’ Grove, past a babbling brook/ fountain and among towering redwood trees, a tangible reminder of those who’ve come before.
Krishnamurthi noted he sometimes visits the walkway and his older son’s brick when on campus. “It brings a little pang – a good feeling, a very good feeling.”
Upper School Students Stage Goodbye Assembly for Class of 2015
In mid-May, the upper school student body convened in the gym to bid a fond farewell to the Class of 2015.
Sarah Bean, outgoing ASB president, kicked off the fun event with a brief introduction, which was followed by lively entertainment and moving video testimonials by performing arts, debate, student council and athletics.
The Harker Jazz Band, Downbeat and Varsity Dance Troupe performed.
The gathering, organized by economics teacher Samuel Lepler, provided an opportunity to recognize the year’s stand-out seniors and introduce the students who will serve on the Student Council for the upcoming school year.
At the end of the event, students and faculty congregated in the middle of the gym, where many seniors expressed their gratitude and shared what the teachers meant to them. “Several students and teachers were in tears, and it was incredibly meaningful for so much of the community. It was the final time with all the faculty and seniors in one place and it was the final performance for many of the performing arts groups. There were touching send-offs from each of the programs which, overall, incorporated virtually every senior,” recalled Lepler.