School meeting recap 12/3/21: Leukemia and Lymphoma Society fundraiser, Honor Choir and Review Bowls


Olivia Xu

Upper School Divison Head Butch Keller shared a message of gratitude and hope concerning upper school math teacher Jane Keller’s medical leave. Keller also said that scans taken over Thanksgiving break indicated that by March, she may enter complete remission and be able to return to school.

by Trisha Iyer and Anika Maji

Associated Student Body (ASB) President Dawson Chen (12) opened the school meeting on Dec. 3.

On behalf of the Harker Conservatory, Anya Warrier (12) and Kai Due (12) congratulated the students who successfully auditioned for the American Choral Directors’ Association (ACDA) Honor Choirs of the Western Division, which encompasses California, Arizona, Hawaii, Nevada and Utah. In addition, 11 students were honored with addition to the California All-State Honor Choir.

Kai and Anya also encouraged the student body to attend the Conservatory’s holiday performance on Monday at Santana Row. The performance, featuring Downbeat, Kinetic Krew, Harker Dance Company, Harmonics and other groups, will begin at 6 p.m., and admission is free. Downbeat performed on last Friday at 6:30 p.m. at Valle Monte Christmas Market and from 7:15 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. in the Patil Theater.

ASB Community Service Committee members Dawson, Alex Lan (11), Kailash Ranganathan (12), Cynthia Wang (10) and Eric Zhang (9) took the stage next to discuss the committee’s first major fundraiser. In solidarity with upper school math teacher Jane Keller and her non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma diagnosis, the fundraiser will benefit the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (LLS). 

“Time and again, we’ve witnessed the collective strength of our community and each member’s selflessness,” Alex said. “Through this fundraiser, we hope to tap into the same ethos of compassion and devotion that defines our community and contribute to bone cancer research and treatment, with each dollar raised in honor of Mrs. Keller.”

The fundraiser will sell popcorn chicken after school outside between Dobbins and the library from Wednesday to Friday for $6 per serving, with all proceeds supporting LLS. Students can pay with cash or by making a $6 donation via a credit card to the society through a GoFundMe page. Students, parents and faculty can directly donate to the society at the same GoFundMe page.

Next, the girls tennis team, who won the NorCal championship over Thanksgiving break, joined Elvis Han (12), BB Ajlouny (11) and Zain Vakath (11) for the Eagle Update and the “put your eagles up” activity.

Girls soccer started their season by defeating Monta Vista High School, Andrew Hill High School and Del Mar High School. They will host Pacific Collegiate School next Wednesday at 3:30 p.m.

Varsity and junior varsity boys soccer defeated Del Mar High School last Wednesday, winning 3-0 and 2-0, respectively. Boys soccer hosted North Salinas High School last Friday, with the varsity game starting at 3 p.m. and the junior varsity game starting at 4:30 p.m.

Girls basketball started their season 3-0 with victories over Sobrato High School, Lincoln High School and William C. Overfelt High School. They hosted San Jose High School on Saturday at noon, sweeping a 58-4 victory.

Boys basketball won against University Preparatory Academy on Wednesday and faced BASIS Independent Dec. 3 at 5 p.m. They will compete in the Lynbrook tournament this week.

Boys volleyball will hold an interest meeting at 1 p.m.this Thursday in the team room.

Juniors Sawyer Lai, Paulina Gicqueau, Rupert Chen and Ashley Ma from Harker Spirit Leadership Team (HSLT) announced the results of the gingerbread house building competition. The juniors came in first place, followed by the sophomores, seniors and freshmen in second, third and fourth places respectively. They also revealed the overall class rankings for spirit points: the freshmen in fourth place with 1525 points, the sophomores in third place with 1725 points, the juniors in second place with 1775 points and the seniors in first place with 2275 points.

HSLT also encouraged students to participate in the class tree decorating competition or the class window painting competition, both of which ended on Friday at 5 p.m. They announced several activities taking place this week, including dreidel spinning at lunch, friendship bracelet making and ornament decorating outside of Manzanita and an ugly sweater competition on Big Assembly Day this Friday.

Emmett Chung (11) and Gordon Chen (11) presented on a series of tournaments that Quiz Bowl will host to review for freshman World History, Advanced Placement (AP) European History and AP U.S. History final exams. 

“I’m sure we could all be better with finals coming up,” Gordon said. “For the very, very, very few of you who haven’t started studying yet, don’t worry, we’re here to help. Quiz Bowl will be holding its annual Review Bowls in upstairs Shah.”

The Review Bowls will take place this Wednesday, Thursday and Friday in the classrooms of upper school history and social science teachers Jonathan Rim, Byron Stevens and Chris Gatto. Teams of up to six players can sign up at

Sasvath Ramachandran (12) and Brian Chen (11) from Research Club announced a summer research workshop, which advised students on summer research programs and internships. The workshop took place from 12:45 p.m. to 1:25 p.m. last Friday in Nichols Auditorium.

Protecting Animals Worldwide (PAW) club officers Sawyer and Annmaria Antony (11) announced two events taking place this week during long lunches in history and social science teacher Clifford Hull’s room in Main 1: fleece-tie holiday blanket making and card making for animal shelters. They noted that no experience was necessary. They encouraged students with questions to email [email protected], [email protected] or [email protected].

Richard Zhang (11) from Music Creation Club announced a showcase of Harker students’ music at lunch last Friday at 12:50 p.m. in room 502 in the Rothschild Performing Arts Center (RPAC). The club showcased the works of Shayla He (10) and freshmen Iris Cai, Pranav Sukesh and Ethan Wang.

Upper School Divison Head Butch Keller then shared a message of gratitude and hope concerning upper school math teacher Jane Keller’s medical leave.

“It lifted her spirits so much to know that this community made over 1000 cranes for her,” he said. “It’s a life-changing experience when you think about losing the person who’s closest to you, and for this community to rally together and support her and support me — you have no idea what that means. What you do inspires us so much.”

Keller also said that scans taken over Thanksgiving break indicated that by March, she may enter complete remission and be able to return to school.

Keller then shifted the topic to school business. Acknowledging an overwhelming need from the student body for counseling, he introduced a new faculty member, academic counselor Arpita Shahi. Shahi will soon begin counseling students with last names Lia through Sor on academics. 

Finally, Keller ended the meeting by sending students to advisory to complete a survey on their experiences and quality of life at Harker. The survey can be accessed here.