PHHS named a Gold Ribbon School for 2015
Patrick Henry High School was one of only three high schools in the San Diego Unified School District to be named a Gold Ribbon School by the state Board of Education.
The state board recognized a total of 22 middle and high schools in San Diego County and 373 schools in California. Formerly known as California Distinguished School award, the Gold Ribbon School program was created to honor schools based on how well they model standards-based activities, projects, strategies and practices set by the state Board of Education. Schools had to apply for the award based on how closely they met those standards. The PHHS application highlighted a school-wide effort towards implementing a warm culture that is welcoming and focused on quality instruction in every classroom.
“These schools are academically successful, vibrant, and innovative centers of learning and teaching,” said state Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson in a written statement. “They provide great examples of the things educators are doing right —embracing rigorous academic standards, providing excellence and creativity in teaching, and creating a positive school climate.”
Model United Nations
On Wednesday, May 20 and Thursday, May 21, the WorldLink Program of the Joan B. Kroc Institute for Peace & Justice (IPJ) hosted the San Diego Regional Junior Model United Nations’ 36th Annual Conference, the oldest JMUN Conference west of the Mississippi River.
At this two-day, student-run event, students in sixth through 12th grade represented various countries in an educational simulation of the committees that make up the United Nations. They debated a wide range of policy topics, including climate change, arms trading and global access to medical treatment. With support from the WorldLink Program, the San Diego Regional JMUN Conference hosted over 350 students representing nine schools throughout San Diego County. Student leaders from Scripps Ranch High School and Patrick Henry High School served as primary organizers. PHHS students swept the events and represented the school by earning numerous titles.
SDUSD honors top graduating seniors
On May 27, San Diego Unified School District honored the top 1 percent of the graduating class at every high school throughout the district at University of San Diego’s Shiley Theater.
PHHS sent 6 seniors, whose overall GPA ranged from 4.62 – 4.87, from a graduating class of over 500 students (we had a tie in the last two rankings). The honorees are Kathryn O’Nell, who will attend the Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Alexander Kelly, who will attend Stanford University; Orion Brody, Nicholas Atchison and Joseph Schindler, all of whom will attend UC Berkeley; and Brandon Cooper, who will attend UCLA.
Students heard remarks from Superintendent Cindy Marten and Board President Marne Foster. The guest speaker was Edward Hidalgo, Senior Director of Staffing at Qualcomm, who congratulated the students for their amazing efforts and commitment to their education.
PHHS Students Meet the Prime Minister of Japan
Eight Patrick Henry High School students were given the opportunity on May 2 to meet the Prime Minister of Japan, Shinzo Abe, and his wife, Akie Abe. These students —along with students from San Dieguito Academy, UC Irvine and Loyola Marymount University — were gathered for an intimate exchange at the Biltmore Hotel in Los Angeles to discuss foreign relations between the United States and Japan.
The students present at this meeting participated in the Kakehashi Project during the summer of 2014. The purpose of the Kakehashi Project is to create a bridge between the United States and Japan and further the interests of Japan and its culture in America. Twenty-three students from each participating high school were able to partake in a ten-day trip to Japan; which included engaging in a homestay exchange in Okinawa.
Prime Minister Abe wanted to personally meet the students who took part in the Kakehashi Project because he believes in the purpose of this exchange program. He emphasizes the importance of the relationship between Japan and the United States, and that this can only be done by creating the friendships that will last into the future. Prime Minister Abe gave opening remarks, in which he was able to share his first experience of the exchange between these two nations. He talked about studying in Los Angeles at the University of Southern California and shared that the friendships we have built in the past can continue to be strong in the future. He told the students about being able to meet his old roommate earlier that day — proof of a lasting friendship between Japan and the United States.
After Abe gave his opening remarks and the media left, he was given the opportunity to hear from the students about their own personal experience. Starting with the college students, each student introduced themselves and told the Prime Minister about the impact Kakehashi Project had on their view of Japan and the way they now see things in their lives. The meeting ended with individual school and group pictures with Prime Minister Abe, Madam Abe, and three members from his board.
PHHS swim team breaks new records in 2015
PHHS had 20 swimmers qualify for the CIF San Diego Swim Meet last month. Several top qualifiers moved on to the CIF Finals as well and in the process broke some PHHS Team Records. Among the Top Qualifiers:
Senior Amanda Sumrow finished first in the 200 IM and second in the 100 fly. She broke a 10-year-old team record in the IM and tied her own team record in the 100 Fly.
Freshman Carlson Temple finished third in the 100 breast and fifth in the 200 IM.
Sophomore Naomi Blik finished seventh in the 100 Fly.
The Boys’ 200 Medley Relay (including freshman Carlson Temple, freshman Thai Vo, senior Orion Brody and senior Austin Threadgill) finished in third place and broke the PHHS team record.
The Girls’ 400 Freestyle Relay (including sophomore Naomi Blik, sophomore Laura Pelaez, freshman Sarah Harry and senior Amanda Sumrow) finished in ninth place and broke a five-year-old team record.
Amanda Sumrow made finals in the 200 IM at the CIF State meet. She also swam the 100 Butterfly in the meet and did amazingly well. All aquatics parents are very proud of her success, and the U-T even interviewed her at the CIF San Diego Section.
Freshman baseball team reaches league championship game
The PHHS Freshman Baseball Team made it to the League Championship game last month against Cathedral Catholic but lost in extra innings 2-1. The two playoff games leading up to the championship were shutout wins: 11-0 against Serra High School and 9-0 against University City. It was great to see how hard the freshmen worked and how well they played together as a team.
Kiwanis names conservation poster contest winner
The Kiwanis Club of Grantville-Allied Gardens sponsored a contest for students to create the most effective poster promoting conservation. The contest was coordinated by PHHS teacher Lara Dickens during the month of May.
After receiving 25 entries, the Kiwanis judges chose Mara Fiorentini’s poster as the winner. Fiorentini will receive a cash prize, and copies of her poster will be printed and posted at businesses around the Navajo area.
Alexis Handler won second prize, Kalos Chu won third prize, and three students received honorable mentions: Brianna Pinto, Joey Tran and Chante’ Butler.
PHHS Student wins Ronald McDonald House scholarship
PHHS senior Elybeth Alcantar was one of 15 San Diego-area recipients of the $2,000 Ronald McDonald House Charities / Hispanic American Commitment to Education Resources Scholarship.
Nearly 250 students applied for the scholarship, which honors outstanding high school seniors of Hispanic descent for strong academic performance, personal success and community service.