News from Patrick Henry High School – Oct. 20, 2017

By Elizabeth Gillingham

Patrick Henry’s newest Eagle Scouts

Fourteen-year-old Patrick Henry High School (PHHS) freshman, Noah Boes, earned his Eagle Scout rank on Aug. 24, the highest honor given by the Boy Scouts of America, by replacing a trailhead kiosk at the Mission Valley Preserve. Located off Friars Road near the YMCA Mission Valley, this wildlife preserve on both sides of the San Diego River in the Valley’s west end is home to many native plants and animals. It features some wonderful loop trails with interpretive signage, and even a picnic area.

Eagle Scout Noah Boes (Photo courtesy PHHS)

“So few people are aware of this amazing place,” Boes said. “I thought it would be nice to do a project at the preserve to encourage people to spend time there and appreciate our city’s natural beauty.”

The original trailhead kiosk was destroyed in a rainstorm. Boes worked with the San Diego River Park Foundation and the city of San Diego’s Park and Recreation Department to replace it. He led the planning, design, fundraising and construction of the new kiosk, which now holds information about the preserve’s trails and local ecosystem. Built with high-quality, pest-resistant redwood and over 1,000 pounds of concrete footings, the kiosk took six days to complete.

The teen secured donations from his troop, family and friends and recruited fellow Boy Scouts to build the kiosk. Materials and supplies were donated by Ted Teran, the manager of Dixieline at the South Bay location, as well as Steve Smith, the city of San Diego Park Ranger in charge of managing the preserve. Smith said it was “the best kiosk in the San Diego park system” and the city recognized Boes with a Certificate of Merit in April.

Boes has been scouting since the third grade when he joined the Cub Scouts. It was as a Cub Scout that he first began volunteering for the San Diego River Park Foundation. He continued his volunteer service with the foundation through middle school, which eventually led to his approaching them about Eagle Service Project ideas. As an active member of Troop 975, Boes continues to serve his community and has now achieved 300 hours of community service, 40 merit badges, 56 nights of camping, and 13 special awards since he first became a Boy Scout in 2014. And on top of that, he’s a good student who enjoys robotics and football.

Student of the Month for September

Senior Kalos Chu was selected as this school year’s first PHHS Student of the Month. He was honored during the Grantville/Allied Garden Kiwanis Club meeting last month by Principal Elizabeth Gillingham. Chu was selected for his leadership around the campus in various roles he has played both in his classes, working in clubs, and for his musical talents.

Student of the Month Kalos Chu (Photo courtesy PHHS)

“Kalos is a leader,” AP World History teacher, Kelly Crampton said. “He can lead a class discussion, a committee, an organization, a club and activities that involve the entire school. The reason Kalos is such an extraordinary leader is because he listens. He knows how to take the pulse of a group and decide on a course of action quickly. He is humble and soft-spoken, but he has the ear of everyone in the room.”

Chu’s AP English teacher, Linda Good, shared her experiences with him as the advisor to the Model UN.

“I worked with Kalos in class twice, but I also had the privilege of working with Kalos for Model United Nations,” she said. “Kalos is working as Secretary General for the San Diego County Junior Model United Nations Conference this year. He is responsible for establishing the agenda topics for each of the committees, communicating with all of the school advisors, selecting and training the chairpersons for each of the committees, and, most importantly, mentoring countless students at Henry and other schools so their student delegates will feel confident and prepared for the conference. He is widely respected throughout the MUN community.”

Taunya Robison, advisor for the Patriot Period, also praised Chu.

“Kalos has led the way with a lot of the new Henry Hoopla program,” she said. “Incredibly brilliant but very humble about his successes and more than willing to help others. A very talented young man who can play many instruments and earned all fives on all his AP tests!”

Chu is a model student and will be tough to beat as he sets the bar high for all other students of the month to follow. We are very proud to have him selected as the first student to represent PHHS finest!

Women’s varsity cross-country team takes first

On Sept. 30, Patrick Henry High School’s cross-country team sent several top athletes in the program to travel to Portland, Oregon to compete in the prestigious Nike Invitational.

(l to r) Top row: Emma Reinhardt, Samantha Manis, Caitlin Quirk, Kiana (Kiki) Josephson; Bottom row: Timber Carey, Kaiya Smith, Tiffany Pham (Photo courtesy PHHS)

There were top performances by both the boys’ and girls’ teams, including seven medalists. The girls’ varsity team proved to be tough to beat as they proudly finished in first place for the girls’ varsity team in the Division 3 race.

Congrats Patriot runners! Coaches Andrew Myette and Kelly Crampton did a great job in planning and organizing this event as well!

National Merit Scholarship commended students

PHHS is proud to announce the school had 11 students earn recognition for having exceptional academic promise demonstrated by their outstanding performance on the qualifying test used for entry into the National Merit Scholarship program.

Their high scores on the Preliminary SAT placed them among 34,000 top students in the country out of the 1.6 million students who took the assessment. Their commended status earned them a Letter of Commendation from the National Merit Scholarship and a trip to the office to celebrate their accomplishments in our new board room.

PHHS students commended for the 2018 school year (clockwise from front): Madonna Linares, Eric Walton, Johnathan Schindler, Noah Krasner, Liam Oliver, Kalos Chu and Alan Nguyen; Not pictured: Christopher Demos, John Fernandez and Ben Kelly (Photo courtesy PHHS)

Senior Kalos Chu, PHHS Student of the Month, was the only student who is still in the running for the National Merit Scholarship as he was named as a finalist, placing him in the top 16,000 of those that took the test. We are hopeful that he will do well and hopefully he will be considered for some cash prizes in the spring.

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The Girl’s Varsity Field Hockey team: Lying in front: Heather Amancio; (l to r) Front row: Jasmine Lawson, Abigail Filson, Holly Walsingham, Valerie Crisologo, Lily Mai, Alisa Zarattini, Anahi Herrera, Emily Otsuka, Dani Nowicki; Back row: Lauren Gygax, Clara Lane, Analise Elam, Elise Rappel, Jane Martinez, Makaila Williams, Captain Stephanie Smith, Captain Sammy Quasarano, Gabi Mendez, Kendall Newton, Allie Arend, Coach Dakota DeLuca

Varsity field hockey

On Oct. 7, PHHS girl’s varsity field hockey team took second place in the Highlander Cup Tournament held at Helix High School.

The girl’s varsity field hockey team: Lying in front: Heather Amancio; (l to r) Front row: Jasmine Lawson, Abigail Filson, Holly Walsingham, Valerie Crisologo, Lily Mai, Alisa Zarattini, Anahi Herrera, Emily Otsuka, Dani Nowicki; Back row: Lauren Gygax, Clara Lane, Analise Elam, Elise Rappel, Jane Martinez, Makaila Williams, Captain Stephanie Smith, Captain Sammy Quasarano, Gabi Mendez, Kendall Newton, Allie Arend, Coach Dakota DeLuca (Photo courtesy PHHS)

They beat Helix, tied Bishop’s, then beat Fountain Valley to advance to the semi-finals where they beat Newport to advance to the finals.

In the finals, they played Bishop’s and lost 2-1 in a hard-fought game. They never gave up and showed true team spirit throughout the entire tournament!

PHHS vice principal flies with Blue Angels

PHHS vice principal, Bill Miller, recently had the “beyond bucket list” experience of flying with the United States Blue Angels on Sept. 20.

Miller was one of three San Diego civilians selected to take a ride in the iconic blue and gold F/A 18 Hornet, in advance of the six-jet team’s performance at the Miramar Airshow. PHHS has a NJROTC program and last spring, the Blue Angels team visited the school to discuss a partnership that included applying for this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

Vice principal Bill Miller (right) about to take off with the Blue Angels (Photo courtesy PHHS)

Miller was under consideration for this opportunity prior to 9/11 but the program was pulled due to the unfortunate attack and was thrilled to have a chance to apply again. There were hundreds of applicants to fly with the Blue Angels, but they selected him as one of three special individuals due to his experiences at Henry and his influence with students.

Miller is a UCSD graduate, and served for the SDUSD for his entire career for over 24 years. He started at Lewis Middle School teaching biology and later transferred to PHHS as a teacher and ASB advisor. He was named a vice principal in 2012 and is recognized by every student as a great student supporter and friend to all.

Navy Lt. Brandon Hempler started Miller off with the easy stuff. They took off with an accelerated ascent of approximately 50 feet above the runway where they did a straight climb, about 5.6 Gs — traveling up to 10,000 feet in 20 to 30 seconds. Several other maneuvers were done, which included flying upside down, barrel rolls, and doing big looping turns with four jets in formation while maintaining a flight plan with each of the jets 18 inches away from each one.

Hempler suggested that they try one more maneuver — a “max G turn,” at about 7.5 Gs.

“Let’s give it a shot,” Miller said.

He remembers seeing 7.1 Gs and the next thing he recalled was Hempler asking: “Bill? You good back there?” Unfortunately, Miller fainted for two to three seconds and could not respond.

For the 45 minutes of flight time, Miller said Hempler was a perfect host pilot.

“He was concerned with making sure I was having a good time, he wasn’t over-exerting me, he was very polite and professional and wanted me to enjoy myself and come away with a positive experience,” he said. “I would do it again in a heartbeat. The purpose was to spark good in the community and talk about the honor, courage and commitment of all those who serve in the Armed Forces and to be grateful for all they have done for us. After doing this, I can take that message and work at being better at whatever I do, be it as vice principal, dad, husband or coach. It’s about wanting to do the best you can at whatever it is you do.”

On Sept. 22, the Blue Angels visited Henry and presented to a crowd of over 300 students.  Miller’s picture was highlighted and students had a chance to hear first-hand what it’s like to be a pilot for the Blue Angels and how drive and commitment through their education helped them find success to fulfill their flying dreams.

Open enrollment for SDUSD

Schools in San Diego Unified School District may enroll pupils who do not live in the neighborhood through the School Choice process. The choice application period for school year 2018-19 will be from Monday, Oct. 2 through Monday, Nov. 13, 2017.

Choice applications to any Henry Cluster school should be submitted at this time.

  • Incoming TK/K sibling of current choice pupil.
  • Child of any employee at our school who is interested in having their child attend any school in the Henry high school cluster.
  • Currently enrolled students who have recently moved, or will be moving out of our neighborhood but would like to continue enrollment at our school.
  • Currently enrolled magnet pupils who wish to articulate to the next level magnet program.
  • Students originally enrolled via choice as SDUSD residents, who have moved, or are planning to move outside of the SDUSD boundaries into a different school district (Poway, La Mesa/Spring Valley, Chula Vista, etc.).
  • Students whose parents are interested in transitioning from a different school into ours.

Choice applications are not necessary for resident students, or students already accepted to our school via choice who currently reside in the SDUSD boundaries.

If you know of any family that may be interested in our school, please invite them to attend a school’s tour. PHHS host tours on the first Wednesdays of every month. For more information about our schools, please view any school’s website.

The 2018-19 Enrollment Options applications may be submitted online at For personal assistance, contact or visit the Family Welcome and Enrollment Center located at our district headquarters at the Eugene Brucker Education Center, 4100 Normal St., Annex 12, San Diego, 92103.  Questions regarding the choice process may be directed to 619-260-2410. The center is open to the public Monday through Friday, 9 a.m.–4 p.m.

—Elizabeth Gillingham is principal of Patrick Henry High School.

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