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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).
Posted Tuesday, Nov 6, 2012 

With the Class of 2012's first college midterms looming and homesickness setting in, the 6th graders decided to send them a little love: cookies from home! Each girl assembled a delicious packet of cookies, decorated a mailing box, and enclosed a hand-written note to Casti's most recent grads. Hopefully these care packages will brighten their day and give them a little boost. We miss you, Class of 2012, and hope you are enjoying your adventures beyond the Circle!

Posted Wednesday, Oct 24, 2012 

After coming back from a one-set deficit against Dartmouth on Friday to take a 2-1 lead, the Harvard women’s volleyball team led 8-4 in the fourth. Unbeknownst to captain and outside hitter Taylor Docter, she was only one kill away from breaking into the Crimson’s top-10 career kills leaders.

“I hadn’t been following at all,” Docter said. “My mom probably follows more than I do; she probably had it on her radar, but I had no clue. I’m glad no one said anything because that would have maybe made me nervous.”

Docter didn’t look nervous as she leapt to play a ball from freshman setter Hannah Schmidt and dropped it between the Big Green’s defense, registering her 15th and final kill of the evening.

Docter’s tenth double-double of the season—she reached 15 kills and 15 digs—was instrumental in Harvard’s victory, its first win against Dartmouth since 2008 and the first of Docter’s Crimson volleyball career.

“Dartmouth has always been one of those teams we have been very evenly matched with, but it has been one of those games where we walk away thinking we should have won, which is one of the worst feelings,” Docter said. “It felt really good to finally feel like we performed the way we should have.”

Docter’s final kill gave her 922 on her career, tying her with Katie Turley-Molony ’07.

“It’s exciting, especially because we still have six games, so hopefully I can get in some more kills and move up the list,” said Docter, who currently trails Katherine Hart ’01 by 11 kills.

Since her freshman year, Docter has developed into the Crimson’s top offensive threat. She currently ranks fifth in Crimson history in attack attempts, sixth in service aces, and eighth in kills per set average. Despite now reaching the top ten in a fourth category, Docter is more concerned with winning games than personal achievements.

“She’s very excited about all of that, but she doesn’t want to be in the limelight,” Crimson coach Jennifer Weiss said. “She just wants the whole team to do well. She is very much a team player and it’s so genuine, which is refreshing to see.”

Docter credits her teammates for her success, especially Schmidt. Harvard plays with two setters on the court, but the rookie is the one who supports Docter in most of her kills because of her place in the rotation.

“She has been doing an awesome job,” Docter said. “A lot of the reason we are doing better recently is because she has totally sped up her offense.”

Friday’s game was a showcase of the Crimson’s attack, which led Harvard back after the team dropped the first set. The Crimson displayed a balanced attack in its 3-1 victory, with Docter, junior right side Erin Cooney, and freshman outside hitter Kathleen Wallace all registering double-digit kills for Harvard.

After going 2-9 to open the season—including a loss to the Big Green in September—the Crimson is currently riding a three-game winning streak, its longest of the season. Docter believes that her and the team’s recent success is a testament to teamwork.

“When you are playing with the same girls every year, a lot of it just comes from getting better at playing with the girls next to you,” Docter said. “They help me look good because they are improving as well.”

After playing front row as a freshman, Docter has put in the hard work to become a more well-rounded player. Each year she has seen increased playing time in the back row, and this year she is playing all six rotations.

“She has always been an impact attacker for us,” Weiss said. “She is diversifying her shots, and she has worked on the back row attack and the defense. [The record] is a credit to her hard work and belief that practice matters.”

Weiss credits Docter’s fitness level and focus entering the season.

“She was here this summer working in the lab but she was also working out,” Weiss said. “She’s very diligent about that so when we got to preseason she was ready to go. She has really committed a lot of time and energy to the team.”

And now Docter has permanently cemented her place in Harvard history. With six games left to play, she has ample opportunity to climb the all-time career list. Docter, who averages 3.19 kills per set, sits 53 behind seventh-place Kat McKinley ’09.

“Taylor is a gifted athlete and a hard worker,” Weiss said. “If you stay patient over time, good things will happen, and good things are happening for her.”

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Posted 02/24/2015 11:16AM

Consider yourself invited to Oliver!, the Middle School Musical. Travel back to Dickensian London for the story of a poor workhouse boy and a gang of thieves, complete with robbery, trickery, song, dance, love, and murder! Performances are March 6 and 7 at 7:30pm and March 8 at 2:00pm. Tickets are available here. See you at the show!

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!

Posted 02/13/2015 08:28AM

Many members of the Castilleja community participated in "Blind Date with a Book" last year. This year, the library is sending folks out on more dates -- but with a twist. Each brown bag on the library shelf has two books in it -- a pair of star-crossed lovers that didn't know they were meant to be until our librarians plucked them out of separate spots in the library and put them together.

Supplies are dwindling, so stop in soon to check a book out. The teasers on the bags -- multicolored dots with word clouds and keywords -- also give an idea of which books might be waiting inside. Look for those labeled 9+ or 10+ for Upper School and adult-interest titles.

Also, watch this fantastic video made by Devon M. '16 celebrating the event!

Posted 02/04/2015 08:27AM

Senior Kriti L. was selected as one of 40 finalists in the Intel Science Talent Search. The organization boasts, "The Intel Science Talent Search (Intel STS) is the nation's most prestigious pre-college science competition. Intel STS alumni have made extraordinary contributions to science and hold more than 100 of the world’s most coveted science and math honors, including the Nobel Prize and the National Medal of Science. Students are selected based upon their scientific research and also on their overall potential as future leaders of the scientific community. Intel STS recognizes 300 students as semifinalists each year and awards them and their schools $1,000 each. From that select pool, 40 finalists are then invited to Washington, DC in March to undergo final judging, display their work to the public, meet with notable scientists, and compete for $1,012,500 in awards, including the three top awards of $150,000 each." You can read the official press release here.

Kriti's project, "A Novel Bacteria Strain and Bioreactor for Practical Arsenic Water Bioremediation," is about creating an inexpensive way to remove arsenic from water. She says, "Arsenic poisoning is a huge problem that affects nearly 137 million people worldwide, and causes liver, bladder, and kidney cancer. The current problem is that arsenic removal is very expensive; so in my research, I set out to create an inexpensive solution. I developed a new strain of bacteria that converts arsenite (a form of arsenic difficult to remove from water) to arsenate (a form of arsenic that's relatively easier to remove from water). I also built an inexpensive bioreactor that uses this strain of bacteria to clean arsenic-contaminated water. In the future, I'm looking forward to hopefully taking this bioreactor to developing countries and villages where arsenic water contamination is a problem. I've always been interested in science ever since I was little. I would always want to find out how things worked, and have always loved asking questions."

Congratulations Kriti, and good luck in the next round!


Posted 02/12/2015 11:55AM

On Wednesday, February 11, Castilleja held its third annual C-STEAM (Castilleja - Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math) Forum for the Upper School. Fifteen speakers - comprised of Castilleja alumnae, parents, and friends of the school - came to campus to discuss their expertise in areas such as product design, medicine, engineering, entrepreneurship, and computer science.

With fifteen venues and three 25-minute sessions, Upper School girls had an opportunity to learn from the speakers in an intimate and highly interactive setting. Each speaker was introduced by a Castilleja student, and gave a sense of why they chose their careers and why their field still excites them. With the guests sharing their personal and professional wisdom, and answering questions ranging from how to combine a passion for the humanities with an interest in the sciences, to how new pieces of technology such as Fitbits are designed with the user in mind, each student came away with a great deal of food for thought. The speakers were thoughtful and passionate, did not shy away from the hard realities of the amount of work required, and shared the importance of other skills such as the ability to ask questions, persevering, and developing relationships with mentors.

To learn more about STEAM at Castilleja, read about the many ways to receive news/information and check out the STEAM Portal!

Posted 02/11/2015 04:06PM

Macbeth, former King of Scotland, has been captured in battle and is now on trial for the murder of Duncan, Banquo, and Macduff’s family. Should he be found guilty and sentenced to death by the sword? Or should the jury acquit, finding Macbeth not responsible for his actions? After reading Shakespeare's Macbeth, each sophomore English class is divided into defense and prosecution, with lawyers arguing and star witnesses testifying. Interested citizens of Scotland (students from past English II classes) serve as jury members. The trial takes place over two days, with everyone in costume, in character, and in very high spirits-- no matter what the verdict may be.

Posted 02/10/2015 10:49AM

Film 2 students were privileged to have a visit from Hollywood editor Don Stroud, who came to Castilleja to share some of his experiences cutting film and to demonstrate some tips he has learned along the way. Don had just come off of a two-week nighttime feature shoot in San Francisco, so he was quite frank (and hilarious) about the hard work which goes into making a movie. The students have just finished watching Stanley Kubrick's classic 2001: A Space Odyssey and now are writing Close Textual Analysis papers on a Kubrick film of their choice; as luck would have it, Don just finished editing Warner Brothers' official two-hour Kubrick documentary, which was shown this fall at the L.A. County Museum and is now being released with Warner's Blu-Ray set of all Kubrick's work. Continuing the tradition of this fall's "Talk with an Expert," students now have Don as a valuable resource to email about Kubrick, his directing, and his films!

Posted 02/09/2015 02:50PM

The juniors are reading Tim O’Brien’s Vietnam War classic The Things They Carried in AP English—American Voices. Students in Ms. Wagenhals’s period 3 section were thrilled to welcome guest speaker Thi Zambetti, mother of Mimi ’16. Ms. Zambetti grew up in Vietnam during the war, and she shared moving personal stories about her experiences during and after the war. She also talked about her experiences moving to the United States. In a session laced with tremendous sorrow, strength, and even a little humor, Ms. Zambetti’s stories brought literature to life in the best possible way.


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!

Posted 02/02/2015 09:11AM

French V AP students were treated to a visit by local author (Maman's Homesick Pie) and chef Donia Bijan. The owner/chef of the former Palo Alto restaurant L'Amie Donia spoke to the students about the role that cooking and recipes play in holding onto one's culture (and how they can also serve as an important bridge to belonging to a new one), and reminded our students that it is often while sitting down to a meal with others that one learns empathy. AP students had a chance to share their own stories and were even treated to homemade madeleines from Ms. Bijan!

Posted 01/26/2015 09:57AM

On Thursday, January 22, Professor Jonathan Jansen made an encore Global Week presentation at Castilleja to Peggy McKee's African Studies class. With characteristic charisma, he engaged the students in a thoughtful, real-life exercise: which one of two applicants to admit to the Medical College of the University of the Free State in South Africa, of which he is the President? The two female candidates came from dramatically different backgrounds, one from a Black township and one from a middle-class Afrikaner family. The students wrestled, as had Professor Jansen, with the complex set of criteria and aspirations that each girl represented in post-Apartheid South Africa. The discussion touched upon issues of equity, opportunity, social justice, and social action, not restricted to South Africa alone. The class unanimously nominated Professor Jansen to be an Honorary Alum of Castilleja!

Posted 01/09/2015 02:54PM

On Thursday the 7th graders visited their kindergarten buddies at Brentwood Academy in East Palo Alto. While they were there they continued to create various-sized buildings using recycled materials like cracker and cereal boxes along with milk cartons. All of these buildings will go into a larger collection of buildings that will make up a cityscape. Kyli Arford, Sustainability and Middle School Community Action Coordinator, says, "This project brings the two age groups together while helping the kindergarteners to open up a dialogue with our 7th grade students about what kinds of buildings a city is made up of. Our students also tapped into their younger selves and ran around on the playground playing tag, hide and go seek, and building sand castles together."

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