School meeting recap 11/28/22: Winterfest, “Desolation Peak” and Middle Eastern Student Association


Jessica Tang

Head of upper school Paul Barsky claps after reading excerpts from English teacher Charles Shuttleworth’s recently published book “Desolation Peak: Collected Writings.” Barsky read from number 11 of 12 choruses and thanked Shuttleworth for his scholarship.

by Felix Chen, Assistant News Editor

Associated Student Body (ASB) President Kris Estrada (12) opened the school meeting on Nov. 28 after students entered Zhang Gymnasium to the tune of Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas Is You” as the Harker Aquila photo slideshow played, displaying images of students around campus from all grades.

Head of Upper School Paul Barsky began by discussing English teacher Charles Shuttleworth’s recent book “Desolation Peak: Collected Writings,” a collection of Jack Kerouac’s 1956 writings during his time as a fire lookout in the Cascade mountains. Barsky read from number 11 of 12 choruses and thanked Shuttleworth for his scholarship. 

The LIFE Board then continued with a performance of a short skit, encouraging the Harker community to reframe conversations positively and look at problems as opportunities, and announcing Wellness Week. Each day in Wellness Week had a separate theme with events and activities. 

Sonya Apsey (11), president and co-founder of the Middle Eastern Student Association introduced the affinity group to the school, inviting all Middle Eastern identifying students to meetings on the first D day of each month.

Future Problem Solvers then invited the community to a Scenario Writing and Scenario Performance Workshop last Wednesday during long lunch, in history teacher James Tate’s room. In the Scenario Writing event, one composes a flash-fiction piece set around a theme and at least 20 years in the future, and in Scenario Performance, students act out a story based on a topic. This year’s topics are e-waste, digital realities, robotic workforces and a throwaway society.

Harker Conservatory announced a Downbeat Holiday Tour, bringing music to those in need. They performed for Harker’s own transitional kindergarten students and Alzheimer’s patients at Glide Memorial Church. They closed their Holiday Tour with a performance in the Patil Theater at 8:30 pm on Friday. Additionally, today, performing arts groups from all three campuses performed at the Santana Row Christmas tree lighting. 

Harker Conservatory representatives Luke Mehta (11) and Richard Zhang (12) announce Downbeat’s holiday tour. The show group closed their tour with a performance in the Patil Theater at 8:30 pm on Friday. (Jessica Tang)

KJ Williams (12) and Iris Fu (11) of the Student Diversity Coalition (SDC) discussed the second Annual Culture Week, from Feb. 27 to March 3. On the Monday of that week, there will be a Performing Arts Showcase, on Tuesday an Art Exhibit, on Wednesday a Culture Day & Dress Up Day, on Thursday an interactive world map in Main and on Friday Challenge day for sophomores and frosh. 

CareerConnect announced a speaker event featuring Business teacher Patrick Kelly speaking on content creation. He presented on how to market a personal brand and become a content creator. The event occurred on Wednesday  in the Innovation Center. 

Harker Spirit Leadership Team (HSLT) members Cynthia Wang (11) and Anja Ree (12) spoke on winter spirit events. Window painting will end on Thursday, and the theme for the senior class is “Frozen,” for the “Penguins in Madagascar” for the junior class, “Ice age” for the sophomores and “Snoopy” for the frosh class. Gingerbread house decorating occured during long lunch today, and Winterfest will be on Dec. 8 after school. Anja then announced the winners of the Art Club and HSLT dress-up day raffle: Jia Jia Jiang (10), Sidak Sanghari (10) and Sophia Bronder-Chang (12). 

Attendees then raised their hands spiritedly for Eagle Update and Kris announced the weekly activities guide, dismissing the school meeting.

Students Mindy Truong (9) and Tiffany Zhu (9) listen during school meeting. Last Monday’s school meeting included announcements from various clubs and student organizations. (Jessica Tang)