Patrick Henry High School News — Sept.14, 2018

Posted: September 14th, 2018 | Featured, News from Patrick Henry High School | No Comments

By Elizabeth Gillingham | Patrick Henry High School News

Back to School Night

Attention all Patrick Henry High School (PHHS) families: Come join us on Thursday, Sept. 27 at 6 p.m. to learn everything you ever wanted to know about PHHS and your student’s schedule and teachers.

PHAME will be open at 6 p.m. with a special presentation given by PHHS’s principal, Elizabeth “Listy” Gillingham, giving a rundown on what’s happening at Henry; parent, student, and teacher expectations; and anything else you ever wanted to know about the life of a Patriot. Come see our new sign in the front of the school as well!

A new Patrick Henry High School sign welcomes students and visitors.

Teacher presentations will begin at 6:30 p.m. and run to 8 p.m. Hope to see you there!


The Patriot baseball program has been putting in some hard work in the weight room and on the ballfield since school got out in June. That hard work and dedication has paid off as Coach Watkins and a select 18-man roster dominated the recently revived American Legion Summer Baseball League in San Diego.

The Patrick Henry American Legion baseball team ended league play with a 10-1 record. (Photos courtesy PHHS)

With a record of 10-1 during league play, Henry earned the No. 1 seed going into the four-team playoff featuring Coronado, Helix, and Santana. Henry went undefeated in the playoffs and, in addition to taking home the first San Diego American Legion Championship trophy in over 33 years, they won a bid to the state championships July 25-29 in Yountville, California.

This young group of student athletes faced some tough competition from all over the state of California, including many athletes who are currently playing at the Division I and Junior College level. The Patriots had an incredible showing, making it to the semi-final game against Merced. It was a back-and-forth showdown that went into extra innings, and although the Patriots took the loss, they were third place out of 63 American Legion teams across the state of California.

American Legion is dedicated to supporting the development of young athletes and raises the funds necessary to cover all player costs throughout the summer. We are thankful for American Legion Post 416 for sponsoring our team and giving these young men an experience they will never forget.

It has been incredible to see how quickly the players, families, and community have rallied around the significant changes that have been made to the baseball program under Coach Sheldon Watkins this past year. Coming off a spring season without a field to practice on and all 27 games on the road, the players in this program have really bought into Coach Watkins’ vision of what Patrick Henry Baseball should and will look like in the years to come — and they are excited for it!

During summer workouts, players have been able to watch the progress being made on their future field and are anxiously awaiting its anticipated completion date in October. Coach Watkins has been working directly with the district project manager to ensure that our facility is the best of the best. His hope is that every young baseball player in the area will be excited about the prospect of one day putting on a Henry uniform and stepping out onto a beautiful field to compete for a CIF championship.


Henry students attend academic trainings

Two Henry students had a unique experience by participating in the Jackuelyn Harris High School Summer Training in Aging Research (HS STAR) program over the summer.

Jonny Pham and Michelle Rivera-Lomeli

The HS STAR program chose a total of six applicants to affiliate them with aging research alongside a UCSD faculty mentor. This was a five-week paid internship ($1,600) where students got to work with a research scientist under one of the three assigned departments: neurology, psychiatry, and ophthalmology.

Michelle Rivera-Lomeli and Jonny Pham were two fortunate candidates from Patrick Henry who were able to experience this research program. Rivera-Lomeli worked under the department of psychiatry with Dr. Suzi Hong studying healthy aging practices for cardiovascular health, and Pham had the privilege to work in the ophthalmology department with Dr. Dorota Skowronska Krawczyk studying glaucoma.

“HS STAR has definitely been one of my luckiest and most fascinating educational experiences yet because of the unique exposure to medical research,” Pham stated. “I always had an interest in health sciences, but I would have never imagined that a student like me would have an opportunity to work in a postgraduate research setting, handling sophisticated lab equipment anytime soon. My project revolved around immunostaining of trabecular meshwork (TM) where a lab partner and I got to stain different TM tissue samples with artificial antibodies in order to detect specific proteins and cells within the sample. The investigation of the presence of these specified proteins were vital to our research because it would ultimately help us understand ways on how to treat glaucoma. All our tissue samples were collected from real glaucoma patients, so it was extremely important to not mess up the protocols within our experiment in which we were trained to eventually do on our own. Through this project, I was able to handle and familiarize myself with various lab equipment such as centrifuges, vortex machines, pipettes and different complex fluids that I had heard from AP biology and AP chemistry. It was extremely fascinating due to how the concepts that I had previously learned from the science courses’ lectures and textbooks suddenly came to life (e.g. gene expression, DNA replication, buffers, paraformaldehyde, etc.), and that I was able to utilize these concepts to contribute to something important and revolutionizing.”

In Rivera-Lomeli’s research, her lab investigated how tai chi reduces blood pressure in the elderly through changes in autonomic nervous system regulation, immunological sensitivity, and psychological distress. What she found most interesting was observing how lab scientists measured immune sensitivity by injecting bacteria cell membrane or lipopolysaccharides into a sample of monocytes which produced a cytokine called TNFL-alpha in response. Flow cytometry was then used to track the amount of TNFL-alpha produced. This was calculated since cytokines such as TNFL-alpha also influence sympathetic nervous system discharges which are responsible for blood pressure fluctuations. Her duty was preparing certain lab equipment for use and entering psychological questionnaire data for processing. Overall, this was also a great experience for her that allowed her to apply her background knowledge from AP psychology and honors chemistry.

During the final day of the program, all six interns presented their final presentations to all faculty members, special guests, and parents about what they had learned and taken away from their research projects.

More information about the program itself can be found at


JROTC summer news

PHHS JROTC program had an active summer by sending various cadets to leadership and academic events that occurred during their summer break. The San Diego Youth Leadership Conference (SDYLC) was attended by two Henry students, Tram Bui and Truc Nguyen. At the conference, they had the opportunity to learn some fundamentals about city counseling, entrepreneurship, and the American heritage at UCSD.

(l to r) Truc Nguyen and Tram Bui (Courtesy PHHS)

The JROTC STEM Pathways camp was a unique opportunity for cadets to explore their interests in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) through applied workshops with collaborative projects and hands-on activities. This year, hosting a total of 57 incoming junior and senior cadets from the SDUSD Joint Brigade (four were Henry students), STEM camp was held at UCSD, where cadets not only fulfilled STEM education, but explored the campus and college life through overnight stays in the dorms of Revelle College.

This year’s workshops were comprised of bioengineering, oceanography, biology, and robotics. From July 31 to Aug. 4, cadets were split into four different groups that rotated between four workshops over the course of the week. On the final day, during the closing awards ceremony, each group presented their final presentations based on their last workshop to show parents, guests, and cadre what they learned and explored.

On Aug. 21, the brigade staff had the opportunity to introduce themselves amongst all cadre (JROTC instructors) and members from the Military Order of the World Wars (MOWW) in San Diego County. Students followed an introduction with a briefing highlighting the goals and curriculums of the program. After the briefing, a BBQ was then held to celebrate the MOWW Chapter’s 92nd birthday.

—Jonny Phan

— Elizabeth Gillingham is principal of Patrick Henry High School.

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