News from Patrick Henry High School – March 17, 2017

By Elizabeth Gillingham

Henry students perform at the All Southern California Honor Band

Noah Krasner and Alex Cagle attended the All Southern California Honor Band in January.

(l to r) Noah Krasner, Dr. Jeremie Arnold, and Alex Cagle (Courtesy of PHHS)

They were invited to audition and were chosen to play through a competitive process.

High school students had to give a live audition which included sight reading and playing a prepared piece.

The director of their group was from the Cal State Long Beach Symphonic Band.

The practices were held in Anaheim for three days and then the show was in Arcadia on Jan. 22, 2017.

Krasner’s favorite part was meeting high school students from different schools across the state.

PHHS wins a Civic Learning Award of Merit

The Civic Learning Award for public schools is co-sponsored by State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson and California Chief Justice Tani G. Cantil-Sakauye.

They recognize and value the important role of public schools in preparing students for participation in our democracy, and have a partnership to support civic education in California. The awards are designed to both celebrate successful efforts to engage students in civic learning and to identify successful models that can be replicated in other schools.

The Civic Learning Award program has three levels: Awards of Excellence, Distinction, and Merit. Winners were selected by a panel of experts based on the depth and breadth of their civic learning classes, clubs, and programs.

Award of Excellence winners will receive a personal visit from Chief Justice Tani G. Cantil-Sakauye; Award of Distinction winners will be visited by an appellate court justice; and superior court judicial officers will provide recognition to schools receiving the Award of Merit.

PHHS was one of 47 schools in the state and one of two in the San Diego Unified School District to earn this distinguished award. Much thanks goes to Social Studies Department chairperson, Mrs. Taunya Robinson for submitting our application to our teachers who help organize the program.

Henry students named as Eagle Scouts

Eleven years ago, Henry seniors Anthony Jaynes and Parker Frye joined Cub Scout Pack 308 as Tiger Scouts. They both completed their advancement requirements and moved up through the Cub Scout ranks. Jaynes earned his Arrow of Light Award, the highest award in Cub Scouts.

In March of 2010, Jaynes and Frye crossed over to Troop 51 and became Boy Scouts. As the boys advanced through the ranks, they went on numerous hikes, camping trips and other scout activities; were involved in community service activities; held leadership roles within the troop; and earned numerous merit badges towards their rank of Eagle Scout.

For Jaynes’ Eagle Project, he led a crew to build and deliver a multipurpose conference table for the Ronald McDonald House at Rady’s Children’s Hospital.

Frye, a Henry senior, earned his Eagle Scout rank for painting a map of the United States at La Mesa Day School.

Eagle Scout is the highest achievement or rank attainable in the Boy Scouting program of the Boy Scouts of America (BSA). The designation “Eagle Scout” was founded over 100years ago. Only 5 percent of Boy Scouts are granted this rank after a lengthy review process.

Both students played on Henry’s Rugby team and participated on the Robotics team.

Student of the Month

Our Kiwanis Student of the month for February is Andy Nguyen, president of the Park Beautification Club. He has planned, coordinated and completed off-campus, city park cleanups consistently.

Student of the Month Andy Nguyen (Courtesy of PHHS)

The students in the club pick up trash, wipe down tables and benches, and have even raked up leaves. They do this without any support from the recreation centers.

Nguyen has been able to solidify a solid team of helpers and has beautified parks all over the city including parks in City Heights, North Park and around Henry.

Nguyen is dedicated, respectful and a true steward for the environment. He announces the chosen park at Environmental Club meetings with strength and confidence. They clean, rain or shine.

He has even faced some challenges from park visitors that felt the need to discourage his group, but he continues to move forward with his passion. He has even been seen handing over all of the recycling they collected to an elderly woman that looked like she needed the money.

Not only is Nguyen a proactive student, he is always a person to help struggling peers, volunteers to help his community, and he is the first to tell someone that everything will be okay. He’s respectful, caring, smart, and positive.

Nguyen’s Japanese teacher said that he has always been a pillar of the Japanese classroom.

First as a junior in a class of freshman and now as a senior in class of sophomores, Nguyen has always been an excellent role model to his classmates. Rather than letting himself be phased by this situation, he stepped up to the plate. He helped out around the class whenever possible, befriended everyone, and quietly showed his classmates what it looks like to treat others with respect.

Henry Students compete at SDSU Japanese Academic and Cultural Proficiency event

On Saturday, March 4, Henry sent seven strong teams to the Japanese Academic and Cultural Proficiency competition at SDSU. The event, sponsored by the Japan Society of San Diego & Tijuana, included teams from Scripps Ranch High School, San Dieguito Academy, Canyon Crest Academy, and Torrey Pines High School.

Students were asked to perform communication tasks in Japanese, read kanji, and answer questions about Japanese culture, history, and geography. This was only the second time our school has participated for several years, and the result of five months of intense preparation.

All of the teams did an excellent job of representing Patrick Henry and their three pillars — Be Welcoming, Do No Harm, and Use Choice Words. The competition was particularly fierce this year, but one Level III team (Japanese 5/6) did make it into the finals. After an intense public lightning round, they tied for third place and took home a trophy.

(l to r) Back row: Alex Cagle, Vinh Nguyen, Khang Le, Nina Ly, Cameron Coates, Brandon Matsumoto, Faith Perry, Britney Packer, Jia Ma; Front row: Eric Le, Amy Huynh, Emily Dinh, Lan Nguyen, Khuong Nguyen, Bonnie Nguyen; Not pictured: Alan Nguyen, Anthony Do (Courtesy of PHHS)

When the organizers didn’t have enough trophies on hand, they were also gracious enough to suggest that the other tying team have the trophy. Those students are Cameron Coates (12), Brandon Matsumoto (11), and Khang Le (11). 

The teams also participated in workshops where they learned about Japanese arts from community groups.

“Overall, I’m so proud of our awesome students — everything they’ve learned, the way they worked together, and how they conducted themselves when the pressure was on,”reported teacher Mimi Malphurs.

Help needed for PHHS Grad Nite

Parents of Patrick Henry seniors are diligently working to give their students a safe and entertaining place to celebrate their graduation. We are working on securing Belmont Park for Grad Nite on June 14, 2017. Grad Nite is an all-night alcohol- and drug-free celebration off-campus for graduating seniors, planned by parents and friends with help from the community.

The price of the ticket includes admission, entertainment, food, and bus transportation. If you would like to help support our students that need financial support, please contact Carrie Mayers at

We appreciate any amount of donation you can give.

—Elizabeth Gillingham is principal of Patrick Henry High School.

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