This article was originally published in the summer 2012 Harker Quarterly.
Circle Celebration Honors School Donors
The Head of School’s Circle Celebration on May 4 brought together hundreds of donors and members of the Parent Development Council (PDC) to honor their generosity and thank them for their part in helping the school achieve its goals.
The audience was treated to special performances by three of Harker’s top performing arts groups: the upper school show choir Downbeat, High Voltage, the middle school all-male dance group and Showstoppers, the middle school girls dance group.
Giving Back: Harker Faculty and Staff Reach Record Level of Participation in Annual Giving Campaign
Early this school year, the administration challenged Harker employees to beat the California Association of Independent Schools (CAIS) average of 94 percent faculty/staff participation in school annual giving campaigns. Harker stepped up with 99 percent participation.
The stage was set last year, when Harker parents Samir and Sundari Mitra (Shivani, grade 11) established the Mitra Family Endowment for the Humanities, which matches gifts for the annual campaign up to a total of $100,000.
“I heard about this initiative,” said Jonathan Brusco, grade 7 social studies teacher.
Brusco then urged others to contribute to annual giving, and was asked to join the newly created Faculty Development Council, a group working to increase faculty participation in the annual giving process. As a result of the record setting faculty/staff drive, many parents were also inspired to make a gift or pledge to the annual campaign.
“We are grateful to the many faculty and staff who participated in annual giving this year. Their contributions benefit and impact every student, parent and teacher here at Harker!” said Joe Rosenthal, executive director of advancement.
For more information about annual giving opportunities at Harker, contact Melinda Gonzales, director of development, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Volunteer Workshop Informs, Rallies Parents
Present and future Harker volunteers were treated to an informative and entertaining workshop May 10, hosted by volunteer directors Teré Aceves (K-8) and Sue Prutton (upper school). The event, meant to educate interested parents on the large variety of volunteer opportunities at Harker, also served as a conversation starter, with experienced parents relating the necessary skills, time commitment and nature of each available opportunity.
“The event went extremely well,” said Prutton. “This year we brought in Dr. CK Andrade, associate clinical professor at the University of California, San Francisco to talk about volunteering – its benefits and how to get the most out of the experience without getting overloaded. She was both insightful and very amusing, sharing several anecdotes from her own experiences.”
Parents at the workshop learned of new programs and opportunities, and particularly appreciated hearing from fellow expert volunteer parents, who talked about their experiences and were enthusiastic about the fun they had in their various tasks.
According to Prutton, participation in the Harker volunteer community is more important than necessarily being the most active volunteer. “We have volunteers who work on multiple programs in leadership roles each year and those who can only give an hour, but we’re appreciative of all our volunteers no matter how much or how little time they can give.” To Prutton, it’s all about the passion: “Each year a majority of our families volunteer some time to a program they and their students are passionate about and that’s what matters most to Teré and me.”