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Posted Wednesday, May 27, 2015 

Bourn Idea Lab Director Angi Chau wrote a guest blog post for EdSurge on the importance of maker education for girls. EdSurge touts itself as "an independent information resource and community for everyone involved in education technology," and features posts about everything from blended learning to digital tools for language acquisition. In Angi's post about the Bourn Idea Lab, she explores everything from why girls are less interested in STEM to how the Lab encourages STEM confidence with its all-girls maker environment. Read the post here!

Posted Tuesday, May 26, 2015 

Students were honored by a special visit from Condoleezza Rice, former Secretary of State under George W. Bush. With an illustrious career as a political scientist and diplomat -- including serving on the Council on Foreign Relations, in the National Security Council, and as a National Security Advisor and Provost of Stanford University -- she was also a trailblazer for African Americans and women in both diplomacy and leadership. While on campus Ms. Rice discussed her personal journey, from growing up in the segregated south to discovering her passion for politics. She also shared with students how grit, determination, and an open mind are key to success-- as well as to learning from failure.

Posted Thursday, May 21, 2015 

On Founder's Day alumna Pamela Hawley '87 came to campus for an inspiring keynote about her personal journey to the nonprofit sector and her current work as founder and CEO of UniversalGiving, a social entrepreneurship nonprofit organization whose vision is to "create a world where giving and volunteering is a natural part of everyday life."

Pamela's community service began at the age of 12, and has extended into the international realm. She has worked and volunteered in microfinance in remote villages of India, crisis relief for the El Salvador earthquake, digital divide training in the Killing Fields of Cambodia, and sustainable farming in the countryside of Guatemala.

While on campus she spoke about how her Castilleja education and transformative experiences abroad helped her find her passion for a life of service. She also gave listeners a window into her current work with UniversalGiving (an award-winning, web-based nonprofit allowing people to give and volunteer with the top-performing projects and volunteer opportunities across the world) and how her time around the Circle prepared her to thrive.

Wish you'd been at the talk? Watch the video recording here!

Posted Monday, May 18, 2015 

The Spring Concert is Thursday, May 21, at 7:30pm in the Chapel Theater. The concert will feature jazz, classical, show tunes, and pop tunes performed by the Middle School and Upper School music ensembles including Show Choir, Sound Sisters, MUSE, Jazz Combo, Flute Choir, and String Quartets. The concert is free and there will be refreshments and a raffle at intermission. The singers and musicians would love your support. See you there!

Posted Wednesday, May 13, 2015 

Congratulations to Senior Abby A., who was selected as a dance finalist out of over a hundred applicants for the Steve Silver Foundation and Beach Blanket Babylon's "Scholarship for the Arts." With a total of nine finalists in acting, dancing, and singing, Jo Schuman Silver (producer of Steve Silver's Beach Blanket Babylon) said, "I am really impressed by the quality of the performances that we’ve received and the dedication of the students to their craft. We look forward to having the nine finalists perform in front of our panel of celebrity judges and their family and friends on June 1st. It is guaranteed to be a great night!" The grand prize? $10,000 toward the winner's college education. Good luck Abby-- Casti will be crossing its fingers for you!

Posted Thursday, May 7, 2015 

Castilleja's Artist in Residence, composer Motoko Honda, has spent several weeks collaborating with girls in music classes, refining her own music compositions in the gallery, and creating music for the recent student production of A Midsummer Night's Dream. Aside from providing private composition lessons to students throughout her residency, Ms. Honda has been working especially closely with students in the Middle School music composition elective and the 9th grade core arts music class, giving feedback and providing tips for composing. She has also been creating a new piece of music for the Upper School Choir and helping to both rehearse and guide students through her piece. To celebrate her time on campus, she provided two inspiring concerts for the Upper Schoolers and Middle Schoolers earlier this week.


Posted Wednesday, May 6, 2015 

9th grader Caroline H. and her family are hosting a student from France for two weeks. Lucie is from the outskirts of Lille, in Northern France, and is visiting Caroline's family through an exchange called Friends of America Cultural Exchanges (FACES). Lucie is currently on spring break in France. In addition to shadowing Caroline's classes at Casti, she has also been attending the French V AP class, helping them make cultural comparisons between the United States and France. Welcome Lucie!



Posted Thursday, Apr 30, 2015 

Last week, the Dance Production Workshop Team and the Ada's Cafe ACE Org gathered on the Circle to celebrated the presentation of a check to Kathleen Hughes and Ada's Cafe for $22,580, the proceeds from February's Arts with a Heart performances. Castilleja students enjoyed working with Ada's Cafe and their amazing associates both on stage and in the community. Dance Production Workshop PR Manager Sam G. '17 says, "It is heartwarming to know that everyone who participated in Arts with a Heart 2015 contributed to helping a worthy cause. And, remember to always be kind!"

Posted Tuesday, Apr 28, 2015 

To gain a better understanding of how Congress works, over the past three weeks Sophomores have participated in a mock congress focused on improving current issues in the Castilleja community.

The House was comprised of three class sections acting as three committees: Environment and Facility, Schedule and Calendar, and Upper School Curriculum and Electives. The House committees worked hard to draft legislation which they then debated within their committees. The bills that made it out of committee were voted on by the entire house.

The Senate then debated the bills that made it out of the House (five total) to determine which ones were viable and should be amended. The Senate struck down two of the bills and amended two others before moving into the final Senate session, observed by the House. In the last session Senators gave impassioned speeches for and against the proposed bills and amendments. Tensions were high as some attempted to filibuster against bills they vehemently opposed.

In the end, two bills along with their proposed amendments were passed by the Senate, so they will go to conference committee where members from both Houses will try to come to an agreement on one identical bill. If this happens, the bills will be put to vote in both Houses and if they pass they will be presented to President Kauffman for her signature. Women Learning, Women Leading!

Posted Wednesday, Apr 22, 2015 

Last week Castilleja's Community Alliance for Identity and Expression (CAIE) Club led the school in participating in the Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network's (GLSEN's) national Day of Silence. The Day of Silence is a day of solidarity specifically for LGBTQ++ people -- the silence representing standing by those whose voices are silenced through bullying, oppression, fear, and lack of visibility. Being silent on this day shows support for all people who identify with the full range of genders and sexualities. Castilleja members showed their support by being silent, wearing a sticker, or eating around the Rainbow Flag. Teachers respected this day by wearing stickers, planning silent lessons, and respecting the students' choice to be silent. At the end of the day a reception was held as a celebration of breaking the silence. One of the day's organizers remarked, "The amount of support showed by all Castilleja community members was astounding. This marks a first step in the right direction toward accepting all people regardless of their identity."

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Student Life
Posted 05/11/2017 04:04PM

This April, members of CAIE (Community Alliance for Identity and Expression) enjoyed part of their Spring Break with a field trip to San Francisco. They visited the GLBT History Museum, explored the rainbow-covered neighborhood of Castro Street, learned more about Harvey Milk, and even got the chance to venture into his old camera shop, which is now a Human Rights Campaign store.

Watch this video to get a glimpse of their day, and don’t forget to celebrate Harvey Milk Day this May 22! Posters of historical LGBT figures will be displayed around campus, and milkshakes will be sold:)


Posted 05/08/2017 12:00PM
Castilleja's film program with Mr. Mead had great representation at film festivals this spring! Several students entered contests with documentary projects that ranged in topic from the impact of pollution to Castilleja's partnership with Kisaruni School in Kenya. Both Grace F. '17 and Emelia A. '19 were nominated as finalists in the festivals they entered. 
Lauren T. '19, who entered the Girls Impact the World Film Festival, shares the following reflection:

"It was a super cool experience to be able to be immersed in the process of interviewing and piecing together footage in a documentary format. My favorite part was probably getting the opportunity to meet so many new people and hear their stories during the interviewing process. I feel like I was able to learn about some of the nuances of interviewing that are only possible to learn when you are given the freedom to experiment and do it yourself. I have a new respect for documentarians who are able to piece together a story that is completely dictated by the raw interviews and footage of the world around them."
Congratulations to all of our amazing Casti filmmakers! If you made a film and weren't featured here, let us know a little bit about your film and the contest that you entered so you can be added to the list!

Clear the Air Film Festival

Emelia A. '19 was nominated as a finalist in the Clear the Air Film Festival for her film on trash pollution and it's effect on our beaches and wildlife. Emelia is currently in Film 2. 

Girls Impact the World Film Festival

Grace F. '17 (pictured) was one of three finalists in the "Let Girls Learn" category in the Girls Impact the World Film Festival for her documentary called "The Kisaruni Learners." Grace was originally introduced to the Film Festival by Mr. Mead through his Film Class. 
Lauren T. '19 also submitted a film to the Girls Impact the World film festival. Her film about how women view menstruation was a contestant in the honest beauty category. Lauren is currently in Film 2.

Sacred Heart Film Festival
Emi Sears '19 submitted a non-narrative film on the effects of pollution on seabirds to the Sacred Heart Film Festival. Emi is currently in Film 2.

Posted 05/01/2017 03:00PM

On Friday we celebrated Founder's Day and jumped into our end of year celebration season. The senior class quilt and ovals were revealed as students shared their reflections in three resonating senior speeches that were led by some excellent eighth grade introductions! For more photos from the day, click here.


Posted 03/20/2017 05:25PM
Gatorbotics had a very exciting few days at the San Francisco Regional this weekend! 
Team Captain Katherine G. '17 provides the following recap: 

"We went to two practice matches on Friday and struggled with communications issues (our drivers kept losing connection with our robot). These struggles continued through our first three matches on Saturday. Basically, if we bumped into anything or accelerated, we would lose communication. It turned out (after hours of frustrating troubleshooting) to be a loose nut on the main breaker--Whoops!

After that fix, we crushed it every match. We also had a particularly successful climber (we were definitely one of the fastest climbers at the event). Big shout-out to the drive team for some really epic matches! We ended up being one of the best gear-delivery robots out there. Sunday morning we had our last three matches which were generally similar in quality.

Heading into the elimination matches, we were a first-round pick by the fifth alliance captain! We won our first quarterfinal match with three rotors and three climbs but lost the next two matches after some bad luck with penalties on both robots and pilots. Overall it was a really successful competition! 

Being a first-round pick is huge for us (I’m not sure when it last happened). I think it’s safe to say that Airagon is one of the best robots this team has built after we demonstrated such consistent quality in matches (which is a result of great driving and great design)!"

Next week, Gatorbotics head's to the Sacramento Regional. Check out more pictures and follow the team throughout the Spring competition circuit on their Facebook page.
Posted 05/26/2017 08:00AM

Congratulations to Christine C. '17, Katie M. '18, and Ria S. '18 who were recently recognized as NCWIT Aspirations in Computing award recipients. Each year, NCWIT (National Center for Women & Information Technology) recognizes U.S. high school women in grades 9 through 12 for their demonstrated interest and achievements in computing, proven leadership ability, academic performance, and plans for post‑secondary education. Castilleja students are encouraged to apply by the Computer Science Department. 

Katie was awarded one of 350 National Honorable Mentions selected from more than 3500 entries, and also was an Affiliate Winner for the San Francisco Bay Area Aspirations Community. Christine received an Affiliate Honorable Mention for the San Francisco Bay Area Aspirations Community. Ria S. '18 also received an honorable mention.

Posted 05/18/2017 08:00AM

Beloved retired Castilleja teacher Peggy McKee was a guest lecturer in 6th grade History this week. Mrs. McKee was Dr. Docter 's history teacher when she was a student at Castileja. Dr. Docter invited Mrs. McKee to speak with the 6th grade history classes about African art. Here, some period 3 students pose with a Chiwara headcrest mask which was worn during an agricultural celebration. The students learned how African art was often experiential and symbolic. Mrs. McKee's guest lecture provided a window into ancient West African cultures and their values.


Posted 05/17/2017 12:03PM

Congratulations to Castilleja's Technovation Challenge Team, CastiGators, for winning the South Bay Regional Pitch Event for their iPhone app “Ripple”, which provides under-resourced young women around the world with a virtual platform to crowd-fund their educational pursuits. Team members Riya B. '18, Kaitlin Rhee '18, Kempton McCarty '20, Elizabeth Ledwith '20, and Moorea Mitchell '20 competed against eight other teams at Apple headquarters in Cupertino on May 7. As semifinalists, the CastiGators now advance to the finals round for a chance to attend the World Pitch Event in August.

Technovation is an all-girls entrepreneurship and technology competition where participants create mobile applications that solve real-world problems. Along with an app, participants submit a demonstration video of the app, a four-minute pitch video, and an extensive business plan. Riya served as club lead and principal iOS software developer, Kempton and Elizabeth created the business plan, and Moorea and Kaitlin created the pitch video.

CastiGators created Ripple because they believe that when young women are educated, they make a positive impact in their own community, as well as the world around them. Hence Ripple’s slogan: The Ripple Effect of Girl’s Education.

Please check out their Technovation app page, as well as their pitch video!



Our Castilleja Middle Schoolers also excelled at the competition! 7th graders, Ashni, Christina, and Talula (Team ACT) won Regional Grand Prize in South Bay Junior Division at Technovation 2017 for their development of the mobile application "Go Girl." They have worked together for several months and will move on to Semi-finals this summer. Congratulations!


Posted 05/16/2017 01:00PM

Castilleja had 29 students compete in the State Finals of National History Day in Rocklin with a total of 20 projects (5 from the Upper School, 15 from the 8th grade). Eight of those students made the finals round. Out of that group we have one state champion project! Divya and Saayili’s website Woodward and Bernstein: The Watergate Scandal, Taking a Stand for the Truth Through Investigative Journalism won in the Junior Group Website category and advances to the National Competition in College Park Maryland in June.

Congratulations Castilleja Historians!


Posted 05/25/2017 03:37PM

The ACE Center has carefully selected books for your summer reading on the theme of Equity in Education. Here's a list of books with an emphasis on code switching essentially between one's home life and one's school life. 



Posted 05/11/2017 04:04PM

This April, members of CAIE (Community Alliance for Identity and Expression) enjoyed part of their Spring Break with a field trip to San Francisco. They visited the GLBT History Museum, explored the rainbow-covered neighborhood of Castro Street, learned more about Harvey Milk, and even got the chance to venture into his old camera shop, which is now a Human Rights Campaign store.

Watch this video to get a glimpse of their day, and don’t forget to celebrate Harvey Milk Day this May 22! Posters of historical LGBT figures will be displayed around campus, and milkshakes will be sold:)


Posted 03/23/2017 04:52PM
Recently, Castilleja's Bon Appétit ACE Org met with Dr. Maya Adam. Bon Appétit's mission is to teach second graders at Brentwood Academy in East Palo Alto about the health benefits and the fun behind home-cooking. Each time the Castilleja students visit Brentwood, they prepare three different snacks with the second graders. 
Dr. Adam, MD, has been teaching at Stanford since 2009. She received her BA in Human Biology from Stanford prior to studying medicine at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada. At the Stanford School of Medicine, Adam teaches courses on child health and nutrition and creates online educational content for Stanford's Re-imagining Medical Education Project. In 2013, Adam created the free, open online course Stanford Child Nutrition and Cooking, a public health education outreach effort that has reached more than 230,000 students from around the world. In 2016, she launched a second open online course called Stanford Introduction to Food and Health. She is also the founder of a non-profit organization called Just Cook for Kids and the author of Food Love Family: A Practical Guide to Child Nutrition. 
Dr. Adam talked to Castilleja students about the health benefits of home-cooking, the power of eating in moderation, and tips on how to navigate eating in a society where processed food is becoming ever more available and fad diets are the rage. Finally, Dr. Adam did a cooking demo and made a delicious stir fry! We all look forward to taking her advice to the second graders and back to our families! 
Posted 02/13/2017 11:28AM

Bravo to our student performers who delivered three energetic and touching performances this weekend for Arts with a Heart 2017. This year's theme was Head, Heart, Humanity: Erasing the Stigma of Mental Illness and the show (produced in partnership with ArtLifting) benefitted the CHC (Children's Health Council of Palo Alto).

Nicole O. '17 is a member of the Advanced Dance Production Workshop class and a senior executive producer for Arts with a Heart. "I am so grateful to have been a part of Arts with a Heart these past six years—first a performer and now a producer. I have learned countless skills, from costuming to teaching effective leadership skills, that I know will help me even beyond our production." she shares. "Every year we support an incredible cause, and this year's theme of erasing the stigma of mental health is a particularly important issue in our immediate community, the Palo Alto community and beyond. We're dedicated to erasing the stigma of mental health, and we hope we can use the power of art to change lives," Nicole continued.

Visual and Performing Arts faculty member and Arts with a Heart Director Georgianna Shea reflects "Nothing makes me feel more confident about the future than seeing 120 young women work selflessly for such an important reason. Through their efforts, these students are helping to a erase the stigma of mental illness in the Castilleja community, the Palo Alto community and the Global community."

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