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Posted Friday, Apr 11, 2014 

Come see Finn and Sheinkin's hilarious hit Broadway musical The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, starring a host of talented Upper Schoolers as nervous, nerdy elementary students. A riotous look at the pressures of growing up (and spelling), Spelling Bee features quirky characters, joyous music, and on-stage participation for four lucky members of the audience! Spelling Bee is considered highly enjoyable for the whole family.

Only three performances -- Friday, April 25, at 7:30pm; Saturday, April 26, at 7:30pm; and Sunday, April 27, at 2pm. Get your tickets here!

The illustrious cast includes:

Rona Lisa Perretti – Kathleen K. '15
Vice Principal Panch – Sophie P. '16
Mitch Mahoney – Katja T. '16
Chip Tolentino -- Kenzie M. '17
Logainne Scwartzandgrubbenneire -- Yasmine R. '17
Leaf Coneybear -- Katerina P. '15
William Barfee -- Alanna M. '14
Marcy Park – Natalie B. '17
Olive Ostrovsky -- Megan P. '14
Ensemble – Maggie G. '17
Ensemble – Sara B. '17
Ensemble – Alli P. '17
Ensemble – Mitra A. '16
Ensemble – Valerie H. '17
Ensemble – Grace F. '17
Ensemble – Lexie K. '14
Ensemble – Scout D. '15

Come see them on stage!

Posted Wednesday, Apr 9, 2014 

Georgi Shea's Dance Production Workshop Team recently had the opportunity for an international Skype session with the Mariposa Foundation in the Dominican Republic. Students had a chance to chat with the Executive Director and Founder Patricia Suriel, as well as a handful of the Mariposa girls. After learning about each others' lives and having an impromptu dance party, the DPW Team was very excited to announce to Patricia and the girls how much Arts with a Heart raised this year, and will be sending to the Mariposa Foundation -- an impressive $27,788.77! Congratulations ladies!

Posted Tuesday, Apr 8, 2014 

Hopefully everyone had a chance to spot Tayo Amos '10 at the Oscars last month! Tayo was generous enough to return to Casti to share her experiences with our Dance 6 class. She answered questions from enthusiastic sixth graders about the red carpet ranging from, "What was it like to be on the Academy Awards handing out Oscars?" to "What did Jennifer Lawrence whisper in your ear while Matthew McConaughey was talking?" as well as more personal questions such as, "What is your dream job after you graduate form Stanford this year?" and "How many sisters do you have and did they all go to Castilleja?" The class was very impressed and inspired by Tayo's visit!

Posted Friday, Apr 4, 2014 

Members of the Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra visited campus to perform for 6th grade music classes. The musicians shared their exotic Baroque-period instruments and connected students' modern instruments to their historical counterparts. They discussed playing techniques and how their instruments evolved, and also performed sections of "Trio Sonata" by Christoph Graupner. Students also learned about how Baroque music is distinguished from other time periods, including through the use of basso continuo -- a bass line.

Posted Wednesday, Mar 12, 2014 

With Mardi Gras in the air, the Instrumental Music 6 class decided it was time to celebrate! Last week in class they learned the New Orleans classic "Second Line." Students Charlotte L. (alto sax) and Suzanna W. (violin) even improvised solos, and Mr. Ahmed joined the class on the drum set! Click below to get a little taste of Bourbon Street and Mardi Gras cheer!


Posted Friday, Mar 7, 2014 

As part of an Innovation Investment Fund grant examining "A History of California in 62 Photos," juniors were treated to a panel of scholars from Stanford who discussed the historic photographs of early California photographer Carleton Watkins:

  • Elizabeth Mitchell, Curator of Prints, Drawings, and Photographs at the Cantor Art Center;
  • David Kennedy, Donald J. McLachlan Professor of History Emeritus and Former Director of the Lane Center for the Study of the American West; and
  • Buzz Thompson, Robert Paradise Professor in Natural Resources Law and Perry McCarty Director of the Woods Institute.

Ms. Mitchell is curator of the Carrie Mae Weems and Carleton Watkins exhibits. For the Watkins exhibit, Mitchell invited 17 Stanford-affiliated scholars (including Professors Kennedy and Thompson) to choose one of the photographs and write a short essay about it for the exhibition catalogue.

Ms. Mitchell discussed Carleton Watkins and his photography, the logistics of curating an exhibit, and the structure of the exhibition catalogue. Meanwhile, Professors Kennedy and Thompson spoke about the photographs they chose and what they learned about Watkins and the West in the writing of their essays.

Like last year's "History of California in 63 Objects," the junior class project is a joint venture of the English, History, and Visual Arts departments which includes museum visits and the mounting of an exhibit of items collected and curated by the students. The primary objective of the project is to provide students with an opportunity to explore and understand California history and to deepen their understanding of the stories told by photos and objects, all within the context of the 11th grade American history and American literature curricula. A secondary goal is to provide an exercise in classification, curation, and creation of a gallery exhibit.

This panel prepared juniors for an upcoming assignment in which they will be asked to find a photograph (from their homes, an archive, or a second-hand store) that they can use to tell a part of the story of California. The photograph can be of anything, as long as it was taken in California and tells a story which deepens juniors' understanding of the history of California. Each girl will research the photograph or its subject and prepare the photo and a short explanation for display in the Anita Seipp Gallery The class will work with the junior History and English teachers (as well as Gallery curator Ms. Trilling) to create the exhibit and determine how to classify and display the photographs. Stay tuned for news of an open house once the exhibit is complete!

Posted Wednesday, Mar 5, 2014 
Visit the Anita Seipp Gallery to see the current exhibition:

Photographs from The March of the Living by Raphael Shevelev and Holocaust Responses by Lola Fraknoi and Ewa Gavrielov.  The exhibit runs through through March 8 (closed Feburary 17-21). A closing reception for the artists will be held on March 8 from 1:00pm-3:00pm in the Gallery. 

Posted Friday, Feb 28, 2014 

If you're planning to watch the Oscars this Sunday, keep your eyes open for Casti alum Tayo Amos '10. She was selected in a nationwide search for aspiring filmmakers, and she joins five other college students for Oscar week in LA-- culminating in the on-stage role of passing the gold statuettes to the celebrity presenters. The Stanford Alumni Magazine has all the details here.

Tayo's most recent project also made the news recently: Black Excellence, a series of short video interviews celebrating Black History Month. These daily posts highlight students in the black community at Stanford. Really impressive work!

Congratulations Tayo!

Posted Friday, Feb 28, 2014 

To complement their studies of Medieval Europe, each 7th grader created a historiated initial, or a fancy, decorated letter which contains a picture. Using the first letter of their first names, the girls designed an initial to reflect their personalities, hobbies, interests, and dreams. The girls let their imaginations run wild and created some beautiful art!

Posted Thursday, Feb 13, 2014 

Elizabeth Caitlin Ward, a costume and production designer for international opera, film, and theater, visited Dr. Docter's History 6 classes on Tuesday and Ms. Shanks' Design and Sculpture class on Wednesday. In History 6, students learned about fibers, fur, and feathers as they considered what ancient people wore. They examined the Festival of Antiquity costumes with a critical eye and determined what eras various outfits came from and if they were authentic ancient garb or more iconic modern expressions of culture. Students were particularly interested in armor and what warriors could have worn to protect themselves from arrows or spears before the Iron Age. They appreciated the vibrant colors of ancient natural dyes and enjoyed imagining what they would have worn had they lived thousands of years ago.

In Design and Sculpture, students learned about the working life of a costume designer. Design students were able to ask questions about the process a costume designer goes through when they are given a brief. Collaboration and the advantages that constraints can make to a project were an important element to the conversation, and students also learned about the importance of drawing skills, color, and materials through looking at Ms. Ward's portfolio.

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Student Life
Posted 04/11/2014 08:03AM

Come see Finn and Sheinkin's hilarious hit Broadway musical The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, starring a host of talented Upper Schoolers as nervous, nerdy elementary students. A riotous look at the pressures of growing up (and spelling), Spelling Bee features quirky characters, joyous music, and on-stage participation for four lucky members of the audience! Spelling Bee is considered highly enjoyable for the whole family.

Only three performances -- Friday, April 25, at 7:30pm; Saturday, April 26, at 7:30pm; and Sunday, April 27, at 2pm. Get your tickets here!

The illustrious cast includes:

Rona Lisa Perretti – Kathleen K. '15
Vice Principal Panch – Sophie P. '16
Mitch Mahoney – Katja T. '16
Chip Tolentino -- Kenzie M. '17
Logainne Scwartzandgrubbenneire -- Yasmine R. '17
Leaf Coneybear -- Katerina P. '15
William Barfee -- Alanna M. '14
Marcy Park – Natalie B. '17
Olive Ostrovsky -- Megan P. '14
Ensemble – Maggie G. '17
Ensemble – Sara B. '17
Ensemble – Alli P. '17
Ensemble – Mitra A. '16
Ensemble – Valerie H. '17
Ensemble – Grace F. '17
Ensemble – Lexie K. '14
Ensemble – Scout D. '15

Come see them on stage!

Posted 04/10/2014 09:48AM

The Northern California Green Schools Conference, hosted by Castilleja over the weekend, was a resounding success! The Castilleja Green Team worked with students from around the Bay Area to put together a day of workshops and speakers to unite students and community members interested in Green Business. With eleven different schools represented, eight speakers/workshop leaders, a food truck providing a locally sourced lunch, and a beautiful day in Palo Alto, the conference on April 5th unfolded into a day full of excitement, education, and inspiration.

Posted 04/09/2014 01:58PM

Gatorbotics rounded out their competition season with an excellent performance at the Silicon Valley Regional this past weekend! With a top-ten autonomous score, a speedy drive train, an efficient ball-pick-up mechanism, and a shooter that delivered about 200 lbs of force, Team 1700's "Sebastian" was a tough robot to compete against. The team had to use the Thursday practice day as a repair day to fix some robot damage from the end of the Utah Regional, but in spite of this daunting challenge, 1700 stepped up and completed the repairs to make an even better robot than before. The competition days that followed went smoothly and successfully, and Gatorbotics hosted the Shanghai students at SVR (as well as in workshops this past week). Thank you to all of the students, faculty, and staff that came to support the team!

--Written by Nickie P. '14; photo by Lekan Wang

Posted 04/09/2014 01:42PM

Georgi Shea's Dance Production Workshop Team recently had the opportunity for an international Skype session with the Mariposa Foundation in the Dominican Republic. Students had a chance to chat with the Executive Director and Founder Patricia Suriel, as well as a handful of the Mariposa girls. After learning about each others' lives and having an impromptu dance party, the DPW Team was very excited to announce to Patricia and the girls how much Arts with a Heart raised this year, and will be sending to the Mariposa Foundation -- an impressive $27,788.77! Congratulations ladies!

Academics
Posted 04/11/2014 12:12PM

This year 9th graders are participating in a brand new interdisciplinary project. Each girl chose a “field of study” from several different themes: Art and Social Change, Connecting Cultures, Current Events, and Scientific Creativity. Each of these themes is being co-taught and overseen by teachers from different disciplines. Students are learning a series of skills through the lens of their topic: how to conduct specific research, how to create and use statistics effectively, how to write to express persuasive ideas, how to design visual graphics, and finally how to present their findings to a large group.

Helen Shanks, one of the teachers collaborating on the new learning experience, says, "Many of the big issues facing us in the world today need an 'out of the box' approach – and by running this project on nine Wednesday afternoons during the Extended Opportunity Periods throughout the year, and during Global Week, we are guiding students through a program that will help them to think creatively, build skills, work with others, and take some risks."

As part of the project, this week the freshmen had the opportunity to work with Michael Moon, a specialist in communication and design strategy. This followed from three workshops that he led during Global Week. Students are busy preparing for their showcase on May 8th, and Mr. Moon helped them refine their "pitches" and brainstorm the layout and flow of their presentations.

Posted 04/11/2014 07:55AM

As part of a week-long visit from China, six students and two teachers from Shanghai No. 3 Girls' School participated in a navigation challenge with Castilleja Chinese classes. The Shanghai students helped language learners hone their vocabularies by giving blindfolded Casti students verbal directions to navigate the second floor of the Arrillaga Family Campus Center. In an effort to touch a series of markers around the building without colliding with fellow explorers, the Chinese-Casti teams had to learn to communicate with speed and precision. They also used Aurasma, an augmented reality app on their iPads, to teach each other English and Chinese. The activity concluded with Castilleja students explaining Easter to their Chinese guests, and holding a small scavenger hunt to put everyone in the holiday spirit.

Posted 04/10/2014 09:36AM

Dr. Gro Brundtland, former Prime Minister of Norway and world leader in the area of climate change, health, and women's rights, spoke and conversed with juniors, seniors, alums, parents, and other Castilleja community members Wednesday morning. Her mantra as Prime Minister was "ethics and evidence," and she suggested those two important factors should guide strong decision-making.

In her numerous global roles, she did not shy away from the "right" decision even if it meant facing a barrage of criticism, Dr. Brundtland told the audience. For example, she supported a carbon tax policy for Norway, despite the fact that one of Norway's main revenue sources is from oil. She stood up to groups who opposed her world initiative on reproductive rights, and with Irish leader Mary Robinson fought for the right global language on that issue.

She also suggested to the students that when we increase the number of women at the table, we empower the men who want to abandon male "group think." Dr. Brundtland spoke movingly of the difficulty Norway has faced coming to terms with the tragic terrorist act that occurred on an island near Oslo a few years ago. Her interaction with a student panel of Model United Nations leaders and International Relations students was open, frank, and very informative. Dr. Brundtland is the Mimi and Peter E. Haas Distinguished Visitor for Spring 2014 at Stanford University.

Posted 04/10/2014 08:53AM

6th graders from science and history classes joined forces for a multi-day interdisciplinary archaeology experience. The students had an opportunity to build on their growing knowledge of archaeology as they took a virtual journey to the ancient Andean site of Chavín de Huantar in Peru and learned about the importance of context in interpretation of an archaeological site. 

Students were divided into archaeological teams that included specialists in three different areas: art, architecture, and geography. They were charged with gathering general information about the site in their teams and then learning everything they could about their specialty area. Then as artists, builders, and cartographers, each specialist group constructed a 3-D art object, architectural model, or geographic map. These visual aides were used to supplement their teaching to their archaeological teams about their research. The student archaeologists then shared knowledge about their specialties and answered their own questions as well as each others’ as they constructed evidence-based stories about the site.

Sarah Barnum (Science 6) and Laura Docter (History 6) continue to collaborate designing an interdisciplinary inquiry-based curriculum as part of their People of the Earth Innovation Investment Fund Grant, which focuses on student-generated questions to drive evidence-supported hypotheses and active learning. Barnum, who did her Master’s thesis research on the archaeological site of Chavín de Huantar, framed the two days with introductory and closing interactive presentations about her research to model for the girls how a real archaeologist does the work they were learning about and to help them answer some of the questions they still wondered about that did not get answered through their own research.

Posted 04/11/2014 07:55AM

As part of a week-long visit from China, six students and two teachers from Shanghai No. 3 Girls' School participated in a navigation challenge with Castilleja Chinese classes. The Shanghai students helped language learners hone their vocabularies by giving blindfolded Casti students verbal directions to navigate the second floor of the Arrillaga Family Campus Center. In an effort to touch a series of markers around the building without colliding with fellow explorers, the Chinese-Casti teams had to learn to communicate with speed and precision. They also used Aurasma, an augmented reality app on their iPads, to teach each other English and Chinese. The activity concluded with Castilleja students explaining Easter to their Chinese guests, and holding a small scavenger hunt to put everyone in the holiday spirit.

Posted 04/10/2014 09:48AM

The Northern California Green Schools Conference, hosted by Castilleja over the weekend, was a resounding success! The Castilleja Green Team worked with students from around the Bay Area to put together a day of workshops and speakers to unite students and community members interested in Green Business. With eleven different schools represented, eight speakers/workshop leaders, a food truck providing a locally sourced lunch, and a beautiful day in Palo Alto, the conference on April 5th unfolded into a day full of excitement, education, and inspiration.

Posted 04/10/2014 09:36AM

Dr. Gro Brundtland, former Prime Minister of Norway and world leader in the area of climate change, health, and women's rights, spoke and conversed with juniors, seniors, alums, parents, and other Castilleja community members Wednesday morning. Her mantra as Prime Minister was "ethics and evidence," and she suggested those two important factors should guide strong decision-making.

In her numerous global roles, she did not shy away from the "right" decision even if it meant facing a barrage of criticism, Dr. Brundtland told the audience. For example, she supported a carbon tax policy for Norway, despite the fact that one of Norway's main revenue sources is from oil. She stood up to groups who opposed her world initiative on reproductive rights, and with Irish leader Mary Robinson fought for the right global language on that issue.

She also suggested to the students that when we increase the number of women at the table, we empower the men who want to abandon male "group think." Dr. Brundtland spoke movingly of the difficulty Norway has faced coming to terms with the tragic terrorist act that occurred on an island near Oslo a few years ago. Her interaction with a student panel of Model United Nations leaders and International Relations students was open, frank, and very informative. Dr. Brundtland is the Mimi and Peter E. Haas Distinguished Visitor for Spring 2014 at Stanford University.

Posted 04/09/2014 01:42PM

Georgi Shea's Dance Production Workshop Team recently had the opportunity for an international Skype session with the Mariposa Foundation in the Dominican Republic. Students had a chance to chat with the Executive Director and Founder Patricia Suriel, as well as a handful of the Mariposa girls. After learning about each others' lives and having an impromptu dance party, the DPW Team was very excited to announce to Patricia and the girls how much Arts with a Heart raised this year, and will be sending to the Mariposa Foundation -- an impressive $27,788.77! Congratulations ladies!

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