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Posted Tuesday, Mar 18, 2014 

Today students spent their lunch hour grappling with the complex socio-political situation in the Ukraine. To help the girls gain perspective on the unrest, the ACE Center had a special guest: current Peace Corps volunteer and Casti alumna Katie Fitzgerald '07. While on campus Katie shared stores from her experiences teaching English in rural Ukraine and empowered students to examine the historical and cultural precursors to the current situation in Crimea.

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 Wednesday, Nov 20, 2013 

Seniors Nicola Zimmer and Eve Zelinger have been appointed the 2013-14 Dartmouth women’s basketball team co-captains, as announced by first-year head coach Belle Koclanes to conclude training camp.

 “Nicola and Eve are very positive, inclusive and committed people, all traits of a captain that our team deemed necessary for our leaders to embody,” said Koclanes.  “They each have an incredible work ethic and the maturity to guide our team in a positive direction.” 

Last seasons co-captain, Zimmer returns for her second stint as team leader after posting career highs in points per game (8.9), field goal percentage (.377) and three-point shooting percentage (.341). No stranger to leading her team on-and-off the court, the former St. John’s College High School star had the exact role in her junior and senior campaign. 

Zelinger, also a captain as a senior at Castilleja High School will look for additional minutes this season after playing in 15 games last season. A proven leader off the court, Zelinger will be asked to mentor the 11 underclassmen as they transition into the new system.

“It has been exciting to watch them develop as leaders of our program and I look forward to their inspiration as the season moves forward,” Koclanes commented.



Castilleja Basketball All-Time Leaders

Eve Zelinger, 2006-2010

#1 Points 1,875
#1 Assists 482
#4 Blocks 184
#1 Field Goals Made 724
#1 Three-Pointers Made 177
#4 Three-Point % .267
#4 Free Throws Made 250
#4 Free Throws Attempted 360
#3 Free Throw % .694
#4 Rebounds 849
#2 Steals 294
#4 Double Doubles 30
#2 Games Played 112


Statistics provided by Stephen Kauffman at


Posted Wednesday, Oct 16, 2013 

Each year, members of Stanford's incoming freshman class are invited to acknowledge a former teacher or mentor who played a significant role in their intellectual, academic, social and personal development, as part of the university's Teacher Tribute Initiative. Congratulations to Josh Genauer, who was recognized this year by Camille Townshend '13.

Posted Tuesday, Oct 8, 2013 

Six Castilleja alumnae came to talk to the eleventh and twelfth grade students as part of Alumnae Weekend 2013. The speakers--Alexis Ritchie Doucette '96, Samia Rogers '03, Andrea Coen '99, Roark Luskin '08, Rebecca Adamson Snider '96, and Abby Kojola '95--told their stories of positive networking experiences and changing career paths. They also reflected on their time at Castilleja (and its many benefits) and answered the girls’ questions relating to college. The girls appreciated the generosity and worthwhile advice these women offered, and overall found it to be an enriching and informative experience!

-- Kat Pavlidis '15
Posted Wednesday, Sep 18, 2013 

The ACE Center and Alumnae Office have joined forces to try to add 25 new internships for either college-age alums or current juniors and seniors, to our database by December 1. It seems early to be thinking of summer internships, but December and early winter is prime time for companies to find summer interns!  

If you work for a company that has an internship program, would like to take on an intern, or would just be willing to provide the name of a contact at a company who might be able to steer us in the right direction, we'd really appreciate it!

Click to submit an internship

Click to submit a contact

Posted Wednesday, Feb 6, 2013 

As expected, former Sounders Women and University of Washington standout Kate Deines was among the four players signed by the Seattle Reign when free agency opened on Monday. The 23-year-old was joined by Welsh captain Jess Fishlock, Canadian international Tiffany Cameron and two-time All-American LIndsay Taylor.

The Reign were granted a fifth free-agent spot after the league learned that Amy Rodriguez would miss the entire season while pregnant with her first child. The Reign will also be without Megan Rapinoe and Teresa Noyola until June, as both are signed with European clubs. That extra spot won't be used, at least for now

Deines is probably the most recognizable of these names, being as she was a standout high school player in the area before going on to start at UW. She has played in the midfield, but was a center back with the Sounders last year.

The most accomplished of the group is probably Fishlock, who has 67 caps and 22 goals with Wales. The midfielder spent the last two seasons with Bristol Academy in the FA WSL and has also played for AZ Alkmaar, where they won successive Eredivisie titles.

Cameron is another midfielder who has three caps with the Canadian national team. The 22-year-old was a prolific scorer at Ohio State, scoring 40 goals in her career with 21 of them coming last year.

Taylor was a highly touted prospect when she came out of Stanford in 2011, and was the sixth overall pick in the WPS draft. She scored 20 goals as a senior and led Stanford to a NCAA Championship, playing alongside future Reign teammate Noyola.

Posted Monday, Jan 28, 2013 
During the Dartmouth women's basketball team's trip to Florida earlier this season, junior guard Eve Zelinger(Palo Alto, Calif.) reflected back on the state of the Dartmouth women's basketball team and summed it up with these words, "Dartmouth women's basketball is on the rise"

Zelinger, who has seen action in 50 career games and is averaging 2.5 points, counts her favorite moments as getting to know her teammates.

"My favorite series of moments have been getting to know my teammates, says Zelinger. "Bonding with them and getting to know them over the course of the season. We're already so close and it's been really fun getting to spend time with people you enjoy being with, especially this year. We have a solid group and we really all enjoy each other."

Zelinger, one of just three upperclassmen for the Big Green, has been tasked, along with fellow upperclassmen Faziah Steen (Detroit, Mich.) and Nicola Zimmer, (Chevy Chase, Md.) with bringing a group of seven freshmen and four sophomores together both on and off the court.

            The California native takes that very seriously and works really hard to make the underclassmen feel like they are a part of the team both on and off the court.

"It's a fun group," said Zelinger. "Faziah, Nicola and I are all really close, in fact, we all live on the same floor and we have been able to spend a lot of time together. As far as the underclassmen, they are just a great group and we're very fortunate to be able to play together."

            During the preseason, Zelinger and her fellow upperclassmen paired off with the "littles" and showed them around Hanover, with stops at Hanover staples, Lou's, Shyrl's Diner and Ice Cream Fore You. Just one example of how Zelinger, along with the rest of the veterans, have taken on leadership roles with the Big Green's young team.

            "When you have such a large group it's important that everyone feels included and we have really tried hard to incorporate everyone into the family, so to speak."

When looking back on her collegiate career, Zelinger will count Dartmouth's trip to California during her sophomore season as one of the highlights.

"Without a doubt, playing in California in front of all my friends and family was great and something you don't get to do much at this level," said Zelinger. "I will say that this year's trip to Florida was pretty sweet too, I think it might have something to do with the warm weather."

            Despite the current record, Zelinger believes that the Big Green squad is coming together and has it's best basketball ahead.

            "Our current record may not show it, but we are coming together and this team is very different from the past two season on the floor and even off the floor. We move better, the flow is better and the chemistry is better and I think that it's going to start showing up in the win-loss column very soon."

            The past two seasons Dartmouth has been unlucky in the win-loss category, but Zelinger thinks this group can be the group to change that.

"We haven't had the best records the last two seasons, but I believe that we can turn that around with this group. We all really enjoy each other and I believe that this program is on the rise."

            Zelinger, who has had the pleasure of having games on her birthday the last two seasons, is again looking forward to taking on three-time Ivy League champion, Princeton, at Leede Arena on her birthday this season.

"I'm really looking forward to that game," said Zelinger. "It's my birthday and it will be Senior Day for Faziah. It should be a fun weekend." Last season, Zelinger posted a career-high 16 points in a Big Green win over Columbia, the day after her birthday!

            If you know anything about Eve Zelinger, you know that there are two things that she is big on, anything involving crime and Jelly Belly sports beans!

In fact, Zelinger hopes to turn her fascination with crime into a career. During her high school days she was a Palo Alto Youth explorer, tagging along with the Palo Alto Police Department and even doing a few ride-a-longs and sting operations. She's also interested in the FBI and anything related to criminal justice. As for the sports Jelly Bellies, they can be found in her game bag. She always likes to eat a few of the blue ones before a game for a little burst of energy.

            No matter what she's doing on the court or off the court, Zelinger does it with a smile and puts 100 percent into whatever it is she is doing. She lives her life based on the following quote, "Hard work beats talent, when talent doesn't work hard."

            "I've taken this to heart," said Zelinger "And I try to give my best effort both on and off the court, I owe it to myself, my teammates and coaches."

Posted Wednesday, Nov 28, 2012 
Harvard senior captain Taylor Docter from Castilleja has been named to the All-Ivy League women's volleyball team. Docter was tabbed by the conference's coaches as a first-team selection.

Docter finished the season ranked third in the Ancient Eight in points per set (3.63) and was fourth in kills per set (3.12) while led the Crimson in kills for a third straight year.

The Los Altos native posted a career-best 12 double-doubles and also set career-highs in kills per set, digs (264) and digs per set (2.93). Her 23 kills at Dartmouth on Sept. 21 represented a new single-match high, while her 20 digs against Holy Cross on Sept. 25 were the most in her career.

Docter was named the Ivy League Player of the Week on Oct. 16 after averaging 5.00 kps and 2.57 dps while hitting .280 in wins over Cornell and Columbia and was named to the conference's honor roll four times. Additionally, the human developmental and regenerative biology concentrator was selected to the Capital One Academic All-District first team.

Docter will graduate in May as one of the most celebrated student-athletes in Harvard women's volleyball history. She is the first Crimson to be named to the All-Ivy League first team since 2004 and was also named to the second team as a junior a year ago. Docter ranks fourth all-time at Harvard in attack attempts (3,455), sixth in service aces (98), seventh in kills (980) and eighth in kills per set (2.67).
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Posted 03/31/2015 08:40AM
In recent years, Castilleja's Commencement speakers have included:
  • Carol Bogart -- Human Rights Activist
  • Carol Jenkins -- Television Newscaster
  • Mona Simpson -- Author
  • Emily White '96 -- Tech Executive and an Alum

This year, Castilleja is pleased to announce that once again it will host an alum -- this time from the world of science. Pam Silver '80 is one of the founders of the Systems Biology Lab at Harvard Medical School, and is the lab's first Director. She is building cell-based machines, designing novel therapeutics, and reengineering photosynthetic bacteria to produce hydrogen and other fuels. Among Pam's most recent innovations is an artificial extracellular matrix that could become a highly effective and safe tool for regenerating bone, muscle, and other tissues. Kriti L. '15 assisted with the research in Pam's lab this past summer.

We look forward to Pam's insights as an alum and as a scientist -- she is eager to share her wisdom with our graduating seniors!

Posted 03/30/2015 09:41AM

Students in the Organic Chemistry Research Methods module spent the past five weeks learning several methods and skills that a synthetic organic chemist uses on a daily basis, namely chromatography, extraction, and distillation. Hands-on activities included the synthesis of aspirin and analysis of the purity of the product; the quantitative comparison of caffeine content in various beverages; and the isolation of essential oils from common spices. Upper School students can sign up this week for the final Research Methods module of the year, which will be offered from mid-April to mid-May on Wednesday evenings from 5:30-7:30 PM -- it will focus on how wearable technology can teach us about human physiology. Email Bethany Blackwell if you are interested!

Posted 03/27/2015 04:28PM

This week Rivarly has taken campus by storm! The juniors and seniors have created a spectacular show of spirit and camaraderie. On Monday seniors showed their springtime joie de vivre by organizing a flashmob to celebrate the end of their uniform days. After busting out some dance moves -- and busting off their traditional garb -- they officially inaugurated their final quarter at Castilleja.

On Tuesday the juniors put on a "royal" display of class pride, decorating the campus with purple galore. There was even a throne for Head of School Nanci Kauffman and Head of Upper School Jim Pickett to celebrate their benevolent reign of the school. Check out the "Queen of Diamonds" playing card featuring Ms. Kauffman's portrait on her office window.

As if campus wasn't zooey enough, on Wednesday the seniors turned the Circle into a circus-- literally. With a theme of "Under the Big Red Top," the Class of 2015 kept the underclassmen "animals" at bay with the aid of faculty ringmasters, replete with three circus tents adorning the center of campus. The seniors even turned the second floor of the Arrillaga Family Campus Center into a miniature animal arena, including blow-up lions, zebras, monkeys, and giraffes.

Tonight is the renowned banquet hosted by the juniors to honor the seniors. This traditional end to Rivaly promises to be an event to remember, with the theme and decorations in the Dining Hall being disclosed only on a "need-to-know" basis in advance. Seniors are on pins and needles until the concept is revealed this evening!

Posted 03/26/2015 09:38AM

Come to the Edible Book Festival at the Espinosa Library next week! After school on Monday, March 30 (3:30-6:00pm), the whole Castilleja community is invited to drop by for literary games, treats, and the Edible Book Festival Competition. Everyone is invited to submit a creation made out of food and inspired by a book; everyone who comes to the event can vote on and then sample the delicious creations. See the library website for more information on the Festival and the We Won't Stop Club's book-inspired food drive. Don't delay -- RSVP to today!

Posted 03/30/2015 09:41AM

Students in the Organic Chemistry Research Methods module spent the past five weeks learning several methods and skills that a synthetic organic chemist uses on a daily basis, namely chromatography, extraction, and distillation. Hands-on activities included the synthesis of aspirin and analysis of the purity of the product; the quantitative comparison of caffeine content in various beverages; and the isolation of essential oils from common spices. Upper School students can sign up this week for the final Research Methods module of the year, which will be offered from mid-April to mid-May on Wednesday evenings from 5:30-7:30 PM -- it will focus on how wearable technology can teach us about human physiology. Email Bethany Blackwell if you are interested!

Posted 03/27/2015 10:18AM

7th grade dance students are continuing to study global dances! This week's stop on their tour around the world showcased India's unique set of tunes and techniques. Dancers enjoyed a lesson in the classic Indian Bharatanatyam dance style taught by one of their very own classmates, Ananya R. After an energetic demonstration and a hands-on workshop, students now have a new understanding and appreciation for the culture of India and for the skill required to execute this beautiful dance form.

Posted 03/26/2015 03:24PM

This week students in Xenia Hammer's math classes have been hard at work making models to help learning come to life.

In AP Calculus AB, girls are studying how to use integration to find the volume of solid objects. Volume can be approximated by looking at cross-sections of the solid object. To make the lesson more tangible, the girls combined integration with building 3D play-dough models of solids with cross-sections.

Meanwhile, in Ms. Hammer's Geometry Honors class, the girls are learning about the properties of 3D shapes. Students quickly progressed from studying simple cones and cubes to more complicated creations. To help the girls understand how different polygons can fit together in a larger whole, students whipped out scissors and paper to create tangible prototypes.  This daring duo decided to build 3D models of a compound polyhedron, composed of identical pyramids radiating outward from a central core. Well done, ladies!

Posted 03/24/2015 04:40PM

In honor of Women's History Month, Castilleja's 7th graders contributed to Wikipedia this week, editing articles on notable female authors who write the books our students love to read. Working with our librarians and 7th grade faculty to carry out careful, factual research, the students enhanced entries in Simple English Wikipedia. This lesson gave students the opportunity to develop a stake in a resource they use regularly, explore what it means to participate in an online intellectual community, and contribute female voices to a predominantly male crowdsourcing endeavor. The activity closed with a rousing debate about the value of Wikipedia to student researchers.

Posted 03/23/2015 12:30PM

Under the leadership of 8th graders Dana A. and Sophia N., the Middle School Girls Learn International Club held a movie screening of “Half the Sky.” Half the Sky is a documentary about the challenges that girls face around the world, and how women in many countries are fighting valiantly to turn oppression into opportunity. The on-campus screening was held salon style, with time for discussion after powerful scenes. Donations were collected on behalf of Roshni Academy in India, one of Castilleja’s partner organizations. Roshni is hoping to raise enough money to buy a notebook for each incoming student, and the GLI Club is helping them reach their goals. Each attendee also had the chance to write a personal card to a Roshni student, forging bonds which transcend continents and circumstances. Well done, ladies!

Posted 03/17/2015 01:39PM

The Castilleja community welcomed twenty-two Italian students and their chaperones from February 27-March 8. They were here as part of an exchange that has continued for fourteen years. Last year, Castilleja students traveled to Fano, Italy for a week-long home stay; this year, the same students came here and were hosted by their Casti partners. As part of their stay, the Italian students shadowed at Castilleja two days and participated in a history presentation on World War II, enjoyed sitting on the Circle taking in the beautiful weather, and formed a large and noisy fan base for Casti softball games. They also spent a day sightseeing in San Francisco and another day in Monterey visiting the aquarium. The most memorable moments, however, were those spent with the Castilleja girls and their families. Some reflections from the families:

"I have loved having the Fano students here. Oddly, I think it's been even more exciting/beneficial to the younger siblings. Since they didn't go to Fano, everything is new and interesting and they lead lots of dinner-table discussions. Kid questions also remind me of things I would never ask." Heather, Mother of McKenna B. '16

"We loved having our Italian exchange student, Elena. She was delightful and it was fun comparing notes on the differences in our cultures such as what we think of as pizza: 'pineapple on pizza? It is good, but it is not pizza!' But, more important was our commonalities such as the high value of friendship, the camaraderie between the students, and the great excitement at visiting new places and meeting new people. Most of all, we were amazed at how easy it was to have our student here; she really became a part of our family." Najma, Mother of Sara B. '17

"It was so nice to see things through a new set of eyes -- the eyes of our Italian daughters and sons. There were new things for us to discover even in things we thought were familiar, such as the town of Santa Cruz and the university campus that we've known for nearly two decades. And it was just as much fun for me to explore Google's campus for the first time with the group." Raja, Father of Tara T. '16

"We are honored to have shared such a amazing experience with the students. We've made a connection that will last a lifetime. We now have two new members of our family." The Wilkerson Family

~Article written by Signora Richardson

Posted 03/12/2015 11:49AM

On Friday, March 6, Winnie Auma, from Village Enterprise, spoke to the African Studies class about her “journey” and her responsibilities as a business mentor, field coordinator, and country director in her native Uganda. The youngest of fifteen children, Winnie described the poverty that prevented her from attending school. As good luck would have it, her brother, a Catholic mission, and her “auntie” saw potential in Winnie and helped her to attend school, earn support from the Female Scholarship Initiative of the Carnegie Foundation, and graduate from Makerere University. This “passionate young woman with a dazzling smile and charismatic personality” went to work for Village Enterprise, a locally-based organization dedicated to “Creating sustainable businesses.  Transforming lives.” Students left class inspired and searching for ways to take action beyond the Circle.

Posted 02/23/2015 07:00AM

By Rosie C. '16

After lugging an electric piano across the Circle and stuffing it into the trunk of a car, Music for the Community members Yael, Kaitlin, Hannah, and Rosie arrived at Stanford Mall. We set up in the Center Pavilion at the doorstep of Tiffany’s and across from Macy’s – quite a lucky location! At this performance, we collected donations for the Music in the Schools Foundation, which provides music education for under-resourced children in East Palo Alto.

We joined forces with Woodside Priory’s music club, so we had two times the musicians and two times the repertoire. The program began with a violin duet, and shifted back and forth between modern and classical pieces (including Frozen, Bruno Mars, and violin/flute duets). It was extremely gratifying to see every and all kinds of faces in the audience: older couples, moms with their children, and girls dancing around until they excitedly ran up and put their donations in our open violin cases. Seeing their smiles made the performance all the more worthwhile.

Since we've been blessed with a great musical education both outside and inside of school, we were thrilled to have the opportunity to give back to the community and share our love of music with others who are less fortunate. After a jam-packed hour of singing and playing, we raised $234 for Music in the Schools Foundation!

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