By Elizabeth Gillingham
Letter of Intent Signing Day
Three Patrick Henry seniors who are going to participate in athletics at the college level got to celebrate National Letter of Intent Signing Day at Petco Park on Wednesday, Nov. 14. This opportunity celebrates years of dedication, hard work, and sacrifice. Patriot Athletics wants to celebrate:
Johanna Wood – San Francisco State (Volleyball)
Allison Arend – New Mexico State (Soccer)
Heather Amancio – Allegheny College (Field Hockey)
In addition, baseball coach Sheldon Watkins forwarded early commitments for our spring sports:
Jonathan Marshall has committed to Occidental University where he will be pre-med and play baseball. He was their top recruit and he had many other offers but wanted to stay in California.
Andrew McAlpin received an athletic scholarship to play at Northwest Nazarene University just outside of Boise, Idaho. NWU is a Division 2 school where he should really thrive.
Dante Juliano has also committed to Northwest Nazarene.
The head coach at NWU is someone coach Watkins played with at Point Loma Nazarene and he was the head coach there until he made the move to Boise. NWU is really excited to get a couple California kids, Watkins said.
Coach Watkins is very proud of their accomplishments and is thrilled to see Patrick Henry Baseball getting the attention of college recruiters before the season even begins. Go PHHS Patriots!
Student of the Month
Senior Kalani Piotrowski was nominated for the Kiwanis student of the month for November and was honored last month at the Kiwanis Breakfast. Principal Elizabeth Gillingham accompanied Piotrowski and her mother.
Gillingham stated she was honored to recognize Piotrowski and noted her for her leadership both inside and outside the classroom. She was cited last year as being instrumental in Patrick Henry receiving the EcoChallenge award for our energy efficiency use and recycling efforts. As part of the NJROTC community service club, Piotrowski led different students to participate in various activities in the community to make our world better and help raise awareness among the students at Henry.
In her nomination, PHHS science teacher Leah Silverman noted that “Kalani is enthusiastic and inquisitive; she participates regularly and puts effort in everything she does in physiology. I absolutely love having Kalani in class. She’s the ideal student — helpful, hard-working, and has a great energy about her. Way to go, Kalani!”
Senior Naval Science Instructor Ron Flaherty stated in his recommendation, “Kalani has taken on the roles and responsibilities as the commanding officer of NJROTC. She volunteers so much of her time with all the community service events and campus clean ups. She is the color guard team commander for the Navy League field meet team. She leads and mentors the students in NJROTC. She is an amazing young lady who thinks of others before herself.”
National Youth Soccer player Mia Fishel
PHHS is proud of the accomplishment of senior soccer player Mia Fishel who played last month in the 2018 FIFA Under-17 Women’s World Cup Championship held in Uruguay Nov. 13–Dec. 1. The competition was fierce and though they were only able to play in three games, the experience was something Fishel will never forget.
In the first game, the U.S. team won 3-0 against Cameroon where Fishel played the entire game and scored the team’s first goal for the tournament in the first 22 minutes of the game. They played North Korea next and lost 0-3 and later played against Germany where they also lost 0-3. In both games, Fishel credited the opposing team for being very skilled and fast. Although, she also noted in the last game that her team kept missing shots within inches of the goal as they bounced off the goal posts.
Fishel learned the importance of adapting to a team and the players you’re working with. She also shared the importance of building the team spirit by sleeping, eating and training together constantly, avoiding the other teams’ players so they couldn’t get in your head. She shared how they traveled in a motorcade with police escorts and flags on their shuttles.
Fishel has traveled and played soccer internationally for many years and has played in places such as Italy, China, Mexico, and Amsterdam. She hopes to continue to play soccer in Europe on a professional level and she has also committed to UCLA with a full-ride soccer scholarship.
In her letter written to the staff at PHHS, Fishel stated: “I would like to thank you all for the support and cooperation with the U.S. Soccer National Team over the past four years. My success would not have been possible without everyone’s help. Also, I want to say thank you for the overall support from the school when I was competing in Uruguay. I got supportive emails, school broadcasts, and social media posts from teachers and students. That helped me realize my dream and be inspired. I will continue this journey at UCLA next year, and I hope you will continue this journey with me.”
Fishel is humble and kind and has maintained a 3.88 GPA cumulatively even while pursuing her active adventures in soccer. She credits her teachers at Henry who she feels have gone the extra mile to help her and she can’t thank them enough for their support!
ASB Improvement Project
Toria Tolley, from our ASB (student government), asked every student to bring in a new or in-good-condition toy to school last month as part of her ASB School Improvement Project. For every toy any student donated, their name was put into a raffle to win two Universal Studios tickets.
Tolley wanted her peers to understand what children in the hospital go through and how these toys can make a difference. At the end of her drive, she had collected more than 100 toys and dropped them off at the Sunny 98.1 radio station, where she was recognized on air for her amazing efforts in helping others.
Model United Nations begins
The Henry Model United Nations (MUN) team sent a tiny, but powerful delegation to participate in the Bruin MUN Conference at UCLA last month. After completing many hours of research and position paper writing in advance of the weekend’s conference, two Henry sophomores — Olivia VanHouten and Ainslie Mellinger — won the Best Research award as co-delegates to N.UNHCR, the committee dealing with international refugee issues. Freshman co-delegates Ava Lewison-German and Garrett Mellinger represented Henry in the N.UNESCO committee dealing with women’s education, violent extremism and free speech around the globe.
While Ainslie’s health prevented her for making the second trip to UCLA, she and Olivia both did significant advance research and position paper writing (turned into the UCLA MUN chair in advance of conference weekend for review). Their joint work led the duo to the Best Research award. Special mention that VanHouten deftly handled the issues for both she and Ainslie in person at the weekend’s conference — a lot of work!
‘Old teacher, New Physical Education’
[Editor’s note: Written by P.E. teacher Terri Clark]
Fall brings us cooler weather, the holidays and lots of great food. It seems an appropriate time, as my physical education students traverse through their freshman year, that we take a look at food and what nutrition and diet mean to a 14 to 15 year old.
In order to properly look at the issues, we start with looking at the big/macro picture of food. We look at it from a broad perspective, across the country, by asking questions like: What is food scarcity? What is a supply chain? What is factory farming? And what does an obesity map look like and what does it mean to me?
We eventually take it down to the micro, or personal level, where we analyze the content of what goes into our body daily, and unpack what the consequences those daily choices have on us.
The goal here is to help students make meaningful connections to the bigger picture of nutrition. We look at things like: Where does my food come from; what happens when kids eat a nutritionally deficient diet; and what are the long-term outcomes of poor or improper nutrition? We start with the obvious questions such as: Where does that carne asada burrito come from and what nutritional impact does it have to their short-term and long-term health?
The real challenge here is to get the Insta-Snap-Twitter generation to make that long-term connection. It isn’t easy, but here I go. We’re on a journey to discover how food works for or against us.
My professional journey on this adventure of “Old Teacher, New Physical Education” is one of learning to navigate the world of educational technology. When I began teaching physical education over 25 (short) years ago, I didn’t even own a personal computer, and did not have one in my work setting either. Flash forward, and students are walking around with a “computer” in the palm of their hand. Learning to engage students in meaningful work through technology has definitely been a mental workout, building a whole new set of muscles for this teacher. TED Talks, Promethium Boards, and Google Classroom are a few of the workouts I’ve engaged in these past few years. The workouts are hard, but as with any exercise, if you stick with it long enough, you will reap the benefits. You can follow our journey on twitter @teachingthemasses.
—Elizabeth Gillingham is principal of Patrick Henry High School.