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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."

Posted Wednesday, Apr 22, 2015 

Under the guidance of English teacher Valerie Ross, Castilleja threw Shakespeare a bash befitting his 451st birthday. Girls dressed in Shakespearean costumes and partook in a variety of fun festivities. At break there were birthday cupcakes for all, as well as games (including the classic "Pin the Lips on Kenneth Branagh") and prizes. There was also a special performance of scenes from senior Kathleen K.'s upcoming production of "A Midsummer Night's Dream." Happy birthday Shakespeare!

Posted Wednesday, Apr 22, 2015 

Now debuting on the Castilleja stage: A Midsummer Night's Dream by Shakespeare! Senior Kathleen K.'s hilarious production of the Bard's well-loved pastoral comedy runs Friday, April 24, at 6pm; Saturday, April 25, at 6pm; and Sunday, April 26, at 2:00 pm in Good Court. Starring a host of talented Upper School students in a beautiful venue, the play will also feature original music composed by Castilleja's Artist-in-Residence Motoko Honda. All ages are more than welcome to romp in the forest. To purchase tickets, click here.

Posted Tuesday, Apr 21, 2015 

Last Friday after school employees enjoyed experimenting with Castilleja's brand new print studio! Our print studio has two working printing presses and an array of moveable type and "printers cuts," pictorial components that add to a design. A group of Middle School students in a Monday afternoon elective have been the first to use the machines. Keep an eye out on campus Wednesday for Shakespearean couplets set in type by Middle School students decorating campus for the bard's birthday!

Posted Thursday, Apr 16, 2015 

Art for the Earth: Art 8 Fashion and Print students designed, created, and installed a 27-foot-long, 7-foot-high installation art project publicizing San Mateo's Earth Week community day. Working as a coordinated team for two weeks, 16 artists considered sustainability in art and the link between material and message, and wrestled with the logistics of large scale sculptural and visual designs. In their piece, a mountain of trash transforms into a multitude of fluttering butterflies adorning the background wall and ascending toward the sky. Carefully designed leaf-edged lettering complements the sculpture.

The art installation is next to Walgreens at 191 East 3rd Avenue, San Mateo. It will be on display through Thursday, April 30.

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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 03/12/2017 05:00PM

Bravo to the cast and crew of Proof who performed three shows in the Black Box Theater this weekend! A realist play in two acts, this witty and moving drama follows a brilliant but troubled mathematician, her genius professor father, and the mathematical proof which promises to change the world.

For more photos, click here. password: gators

Posted 03/08/2017 03:04PM
This past weekend, Castilleja's Model United Nations (MUN) club took 18 students to UC Berkeley for the university's annual MUN conference. Over 2,000 students from across the world were present at the conference, but Casti students held their own discussing and debating issues including climate change, national security, Palestinian women's rights, and protection of journalists in conflict zones. Senior Jolie K. '17 took home another Best Delegate award for her representation of Otto Von Bismarck in a Historical Crisis on German Unification.
Congratulations to our Castilleja Model UN club for a fun, enriching, and productive weekend!
Posted 02/21/2017 08:00AM

Simone Seiver ’13, currently a senior at Yale University, has been named a Gates-Cambridge Scholar for 2017. 

Simone is among the 36 U.S. citizens who have been selected to be part of the 2017 class of Gates Cambridge Scholars at the University of Cambridge.

These 36 individuals from 34 universities will join 54 scholars from other parts of the world who will be announced in early April. The prestigious Gates Cambridge Scholarship program was established in 2000 by a $210 million donation from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to the University of Cambridge, the largest ever single donation to a university in the United Kingdom. Scholars are chosen for their outstanding intellectual ability, leadership potential, and commitment to improving the lives of others, among other qualities.

Congratulations, Simone!

Read more here at Yale's news website 


Posted 03/15/2017 11:24AM

For the last five years, juniors have had the opportunity to engage in an interdisciplinary art, english, and history project.  The project begins with a field trip to a museum to see works by an American artist, followed by a hands-on art project and a show in the gallery. This year the class walked to the Anderson Collection at Stanford to see an exhibit of Nick Cave's "Soundsuits". The "Soundsuits" are full-body-sized sculptures made of repurposed materials.  After the field trip, teacher and Anita Seipp Gallery Director Deborah Trilling gave them a short introduction to Cave's art and the students went to work on their own creationsnot sculptures like Cave's, but full-body-sized collages made with repurposed materialseverything from newspapers to wine corks to buttons. The art will be displayed in the gallery this week.

Posted 02/28/2017 04:07PM

Each year, the sophomore class forms a Castilleja mock-congress.  More than mere role play, this student activity brings the sophomore class together to have conversations and propose bills that will have a direct impact on campus life. The week before break, the Class of 2019 held this year's "Casti Congress". With half the class as the Senate and the other half as the House, the entire grade came together to listen and discuss the proposed bills.   Some of the bills proposed this year included the addition of sanitary products in bathrooms, the addition of "Meatless Mondays" during Monday lunch, and designated "No-Homework" weekends. The bills were written by the House and now they are off to the Senate. If approved by both the House and the Senate, the bills will make their way to Ms. Kauffman who will act as President to make the final decision. Stay tuned to see what bills are passed by this year's Sophomore Castilleja Congressional Caucus!

Posted 02/17/2017 02:30PM

In 6th grade history class, students are in the midst of a immersive current events unit. After learning how to spot and evaluate fake news, Dr. Docter's classes participated in a fun challenge. To test their skills, 6th graders created content about the ancient world by reviewing their textbooks and writing "two truths and a lie". Afterwards, in a game format students had the opportunity to challenge classmates and put both their ancient history mettle and fake-news spotting skills to the test! 

Pictured, Ella H. '23 reads Junior Scholastic news magazine as part of the current events unit. 

Posted 02/10/2017 05:28PM

The 8th graders have been working on their National History Day projects since December. Each student or group picked a topic relating to the theme Stand Up in History and since then conducted research and created documentaries, papers, websites, exhibits, and even one performance. This week, on February 7th, they celebrated their amazing work and explored American History through the wide variety of projects. 

Students took presentation posters to the next level with careful attention to detail that brought history to life.


On National History Day, the Middle School Lobby was transformed into a museum of activism and courageous social movements throughout history.


Students had the opportunity to share their projects with Head of School, Nanci Kauffman. Ms. Kauffman didn't disappoint and had excellent questions and comments for the presenters.

Ms. Pang's classroom was transformed into a mini documentary film festival screening for student projects.

Here, two students deliver an excellent performance detailing the storied and turbulent history of LGBT rights in our country from Harvey Milk to Ellen Degeneres' receipt of the Presidential Medal of Freedom...and beyond.

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."

Posted 01/09/2017 08:00AM

Our Global Investigators will be back on Castilleja's campus Wednesday after a week-plus of learning and leading in India, China, and the Dominican Republic. Here are some photo highlights from their experiences.


Global Investigator Trips 2017/ Dominican Republic

A day of cooking and partnership building with The Mariposa DR Foundation.

Photo by Mark Tuschman

Exploring the Dominican Republic's natural beauty.
Global Investigator Trips 2017/ China
Leading a fun arts and crafts lesson with schoolchildren.
Snapshot from a day of learning about biofuels and enjoying a delicious meal cooked with biogas.
Global Investigator Trips 2017/ India

Meeting and getting to know our Roshni partners.
Exploring New Dehli
Posted 01/06/2017 06:10PM

Global Week 2017: Migration ended with a grand finale today. The morning began with an engaging discussion with Human Rights Watch deputy program director, Tom Porteous, and European Union Ambassador in Mexico, Andrew Standley. Throughout the late morning and early afternoon students completed and presented their various grade level projects. The whole community gathered in the afternoon to share their projects and join in inspired celebration with At the Table with Dr. King.

For more photos, visit our Facebook Page!

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