School meeting recap 8/29/22: Student Diversity Leadership Conference, math competitions and spirit kickoff


Jessica Tang

Harker Spirit Leadership Team (HSLT), led by president Sawyer Lai (12) and vice president Paulina Gicqueau (12), entered to the song “Classic” by MKTO. Monday’s school meeting included announcements by HSLT, TedX, Dance Club and other organizations.

by Ella Yee, Co-News Editor

Associated Student Body (ASB) president Kris Estrada (12) opened the second school meeting of the year in the Zhang Athletic Center on Monday.

Performing Arts Production Manager Brian Larsen reminded students that no food or drink is allowed in academic buildings, and the upper floor of the Rothschild Performing Arts Center (RPAC) is closed. While students may access the upper floor to attend classes or access their lockers, they may not use the space to study or gather. Larsen also gave a brief refresher on proper microphone use.

Next, Student Diversity Coalition (SDC) leaders Dina Ande (11) and KJ Williams (12) announced the Student Diversity Leadership Conference, which will take place from Nov. 30 to Dec. 3 in San Antonio, Texas. At the conference, high school students from across the nation will discuss social justice, allyship, community building and more. Students who are interested must apply by Sept. 12 and can contact SDC adviser Tyeshia Brown or upper school history teacher Mark Janda with questions. Six representatives will be selected to attend the conference. KJ and Dina also mentioned the upcoming Challenge Day on Sept. 12, an opportunity for juniors and seniors to develop closer bonds with other students. Registration closes on Sept. 8 at 3:00 p.m., and the first 100 students to complete the form will be excused from their classes to attend the event.

Dance Club then showed a video of club members performing to the song “Lights Down Low.” Club president Nupur Gupta (12) welcomed students to attend student-taught dance lessons, which will occur each Wednesday starting on Aug. 31 from 3:15 to 4:15 p.m. Classes will range from hip hop to contemporary, with no experience required. Students can sign up at or drop in.

After Dance Club, Future Problem Solvers (FPS) co-presidents Ashley Ma (12) and Eddie Sun (12) introduced the different FPS competitions that students may participate in, such as Global Issues Problem Solving (GIPS), Community Problem Solving (CMPS), scenario writing and scenario performance. They also announced a FPS launch event that will occur on Sept. 17 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. At the event, students will practice for FPS competitions and hear from FPS alumni. Lunch, snacks and gift card prizes will be provided, and there is no cost for admission. Students who are interested can register through a Schoology announcement or the club’s Instagram.

TEDx leaders Krish Maniar (12) and Medha Yarlagadda (11) invited students to attend a TEDx event after school on Oct. 21. The event will feature interactive booths, speakers and snacks, and will be free of charge. Seniors can also apply to give a talk and will be sent an email with more information. The club is also considering opening speaker applications to faculty as well.

TEDx officers Krish Maniar (12) and Medha Yarlagadda (11) announced that Harker’s annual TEDx event will take place on Oct. 21. Seniors can apply to speak at the event, which will also feature interactive booths and snacks. (Jessica Tang)

Following the TEDx leaders, upper school math department chair Anthony Silk reminded students about the upcoming American Mathematics Contest (AMC) 10 and AMC 12 competitions, which will be held after school on Sept. 16. Frosh and sophomores can participate in the AMC 10, and any student can participate in the AMC 12. In both tests, competitors are given 75 minutes to solve 25 questions. Students must sign up by Sept. 16 and can find instructions for registration posted throughout Dobbins Hall. Additionally, those who are interested in competing in the AMC 10B or AMC 12B must be active members of Math Club.

Next, Junior Classical League (JCL) officers Rupert Chen (12), Trisha Iyer (11) and Jason Shim (10) recognized student achievements from the National JCL Convention that took place in Lafayette, Louisiana over the summer. California ranked second in ultimate frisbee, and Trisha took top places in reading comprehension, oratory, sight reading and overall creative arts. In the politics category, Rupert was elected national First Vice President. The officers ended by recognizing current and former California JCL officers Trisha, Tiffany Chang (12) and Kabir Ramzan (11).

Harker Aquila then shared a video filmed during Editor’s Week, when members of Harker Journalism’s four publications gathered in preparation for the upcoming school year. After the video, Aquila co-editors-in-chief Isha Moorjani (12) and Sally Zhu (12) announced the revival of the community pitch form, at Through the form, students, faculty and staff can propose news stories, opinions pieces and more to be featured on Aquila.  

Next, members of Harker Spirit Leadership Team (HSLT) dashed to the center of the gym to the song “Classic” by MKTO. HSLT president Sawyer Lai (12) and vice president Paulina Gicqueau (12) introduced themselves to the student body before revealing the theme of this year’s spirit kickoff, spirit of summer. The kickoff will take place after school this Friday, and students can look forward to arts and crafts, photo booths, shaved ice and free prizes.

Future Problem Solvers (FPS) co-presidents Ashley Ma (12) and Eddie Sun (12) announced that FPS launch will occur on Sept. 17. They also introduced the events that FPS competitors will participate in, including Global Issues Problem Solving (GIPS), Community Problem Solving (CMPS), scenario writing and scenario performance. (Jessica Tang)

Finally, BB Ajlouny (12), Abhi Namala (12) and Zain Vakath (12) closed out the school meeting with their recurring Eagle Update. After leading the room through the “put your eagles up” tradition, they continued on to recent achievements and upcoming events in athletics.

Though football lost their first game of the season 44-27, touchdowns were scored by Rayan Arya (10), Ryan Barth (11), Rohan Gorti (12) and Zeke Weng (12). Their next game will be against Swett High School on Friday.

Girls volleyball fell 3-0 in their season opener on Thursday but will compete in the Spikefest tournament on Saturday.

The boys water polo team will face off against Skyline High School at the Singh Aquatic Center on Friday. The junior varsity game will begin at 6:00 p.m., and the varsity game will begin at 7:00 p.m.

Girls golf started their season on Monday in a match against Notre Dame San Jose, and will compete in a tri-match on Thursday.

Lastly, girls water polo, cross country and girls tennis will participate in their first competitions of the season on  Sept. 6, Sept. 17 and Sept. 27, respectively.

Kris ended the meeting with a short poem.

“The sun is for the light, the moon is for the night, and Harker, you are K through life,” Kris said.