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APRIL 13, 2014


In the recently released Washington Post Ranking, Peninsula High is #29 in California (last year we were #31) and #242 in the nation (last year we were #280).   The Washington Post rankings now have us competing with selective magnet, charter, and private schools. 

The index score is the number of college-level tests given at a school in 2012 divided by the number of graduates that year. Also noted are the percentage of students who come from families that qualify for lunch subsidies and the percentage of graduates who passed at least one college-level test during their high school career, which the College Board calls "Equity and Excellence"

These rankings are based on our numbers. I wish there was a way that they could measure the remarkable accomplishments of our students, the dedication of our teachers, and the support of our parents.

A (P) next to the school's name denotes a private school.

California List: 

National List 







Are you concerned about how much time your child spends online and on their smart phones?

Do you wonder what information your child is sharing or learning online? 

Are you concerned about cyber bullying? 

Have you heard about sexting?  Sextortion?  Sextcasting?

Palos Verdes Peninsula High School Presents



Wednesday, April 16th

Palos Verdes Peninsula High School Gym

27118 Silver Spur Road, Rolling Hills Estates

7:00 pm

Admission: Free

Richard Guerry is returning to Peninsula High School to share the latest on internet safety. Mr. Guerry is the Co-Founder of the Institute for Responsible Online and Cell Phone Communication (IROC2). IROC2 is a non-profit group that teaches digital safety with the premise of the 21stCentury Golden Rule: Everything you put on your digital device is PUBLIC and PERMANENT. Parents will be given invaluable information regarding how to teach your children to use the powerful tool: The Worldwide Web.

*All Palos Verdes Peninsula High School students will attend a Digital Responsibility Assembly by Richard Guerry on Thursday, April 17th, 2014.

Go to to learn more



This weekend, the Peninsula High Jazz Bands are performing at the Reno Jazz Festival.

After the first day, the following information has been shared: 

Matt Lyons received an award for his trumpet playing with the Intermediate Jazz Band. 

 Daniel Gelman (trumpet), Ryan Wong (saxophone) and David Friebe (drums) received awards for the combo performance.  It's impressive to note that the combo performed four arrangements; two of which were composed by students (one written by Blake Pilger and the other by David Friebe)

I look forward to reporting on the rest of the results next week.


Peninsula High Latin students recently competed at the California Junior Classic League Convention (CJCLC). Ouroverall high school ranking was 3rd in the large school category. This was our first year in a long time to be competing in the large school category, (growing enrollment in Latin is a good thing). Even with this tougher competition. Pen Latin was not fazed by the increased level of competition.

Pen High came in 2nd for School Spirit Competition, 2nd in Soccer, and 3rd in Ultimate Frisbee.

Abagaaz Sherfa was listed as the overall top athlete for level two students due to his stunning times in the 1600 meter and 800 meter races. Sean Park came in 2nd place in the 100-meterand Andrew Phillips won the 100 meter race

In Sight Reading (that is reading an unfamiliar passage correctly with inflection and meaning) following are the results:: 
Thomas Crow 1st place 
Maansi Murty 2nd place 
Sophia Jensen 3rd place  

Matthew Klinck 1st place 
Shannon Thompson 2nd place 
Noah Werksman 3rd place 

HS Advanced (levels 3-4) 
Leea Joo 1st place 
Akhil Jalan 3rd place 

For Dramatic Interpretation of a memorized Latin passage Leah Wang came in 3rd place. 

Results of Academic tests (75 multiple choice questions)
Mottoes, Abbrv. & Quotes 
Alexandr Gurevich 4th place 
Daily Life 
Rachel Klose 3rd place 
David Steinberg 2nd place (tie) 
David Steinberg 3rd place 
Minji Oh 4th place  
Our resident chess champion is Keenan Lau who beat a nationally ranked chess master! 
Art Submissions 
Shannon Chen received 1st place for her pastel drawing of the Pantheon, 
Josue McGovern's essay earned 2nd place, 
Rachel Klose's sculpture won 3rd place, 
and Jinseor Kim earned 2nd place for his clarinet performance. 

Congratulation to all our JCLers for their hard work, preparation and participation.  These young women and men won with grace and lost (when they lost) with honor. They participated with heart and a sense of community. Thank you to Mr. Parsons for leading the Pen High Latin Program. (It's not too late to sign up for Mr. Parson's Greek Language class next year)


Don't miss the Palos Verdes Peninsula High School Art Department Student - Art Show.   Congratulations to our talented students and our dedicated teachers, Mr. Karg, Mr. Meade, Mr. Stiles, Ms. Nyman.



Last weekend the PVPHS team of Daniel Foltz and Shay Chang competed at the
Cali Cup-North American Tournament of Champions for Parliamentary Debate. Twenty-four elite teams were invited and ranked based on their performance during the year. 
Foltz and Shay were ranked third in the nation out of 214 teams prior to the
tournament. In preliminary rounds of debate they won 10 out of 14 ballots
before beating Claremont High on a 3-0 decision in quarterfinals. They dropped
to Bishop O'Dowd in semifinals, finishing third overall. The final team
rankings for the year can be seen here: 


On Tuesday April 8th and Wednesday April 9th, 43 PVPUSD representatives traveled to Sacramento to lobby for our district. The group included seven Peninsula students: Natalie Edelstein, James Gale, Laura Griffin, Jordan Lazarus, Michael McFarland, Shreya Ramayya, and William Wittenbury, as well as Mrs. Batson-Sidella and Ms. Foulk. The students did an excellent job representing our school and articulating the four lobbying points for the PTSA. They had the opportunity to meet with Al Muratsuchi over dinner and hear from The Honorable Ted Lieu. The trip gave our students a chance to actually see government in action: they even testified in support of Assembly Bill 2216 to save our So Cal Roc program, as well as attend the Assembly Education Committee meeting. Other highlights from the trip included a visit to the Assembly floor with Rick Simpson, and a visit from Governor Brown's dog, Sutter.

Capitol Convoy with Ted Lieu


Peninsula Drama had an outstanding day at the 94th Annual DTASC Shakespeare Festival at Chatsworth High School! The 9th graders in the Drama I Advanced Class all made it to the Finals in competition. Results for the 9th graders included, Honorable Mention in Audition Monologue(Camellia Sadegi; Directed by Hannah Olsen and Ashley Trutanich), Children's Theatre (Alyssa Condon, Two Laurio, Ashley Zoeckler; Directed by Barkha Scherp). Trophies included a 4thplace Clowns & Fools (Sophie Bauer, Ciara Evans, Alex Tuberosi; Directed by Alina Jarrin and Daniel Zimmerman), Modern Shakespeare Adaptation (Annie Benedict, Ethan Pearson, Shelby Smith, Katie Wussler, Julianna Yonis; Directed by Matthew Hansen and Kat Hilton). 3rd place went to Large Group 12th Night (Grace Addelman, Madison Hermon, Sophie Jacobs and Brian Seo; Directed by Ian Axberg and Holly Gould). 1st place in Large Group Hamlet (Courtlyn Foster, Sophia Goodin, Austin Kelly, Hannah Vaughn, Rocelyn Williams; Directed by Ryan Axberg and Hannah Olsen). Overall, Peninsula's freshmen earned 3rd place in Sweepstakes for total overall finish among all competing schools in the B Division.

The Drama ¾ Advanced class had a great day at the C Division Festival. Pen reached the Semi-Finals in Clowns and Fools (Kaitlin Chang, Barkha Scherp and Brigit Valeri; Directed by Emily Van Volkom) and 12th Night (Ali Allison, Ryan Axberg, Allie Fafard, Miranda Moore, Kim Sover and Natalie Wussler; directed by Kelsey Roche).

The other groups all made finals, results included: Honorable Mention, Audition Monologue(Hannah Olsen). 4th place in Quest for the Throne (Alex Eisemann and Ashley Trutanich; Directed by Joanne Leon). 3rd place went to Large Group Hamlet (Ian Axberg, Brianna Bowers, Mason Dunbar, Melissa Francikiewicz, Emily Hupp, Katherine Simmons; Directed by Hannah Olsen). We earned 2nd place in Audition Monologue (Natalie Edelstein), Children's Theatre (Tyler Barnett, Elana Blinder, Luke Dimyan & Milan Martinez; Directed by Maren English) andModern Shakespeare Adaptation (Eileen Cho, Louie Enriquez, Holly Gould, Matthew Hansen, Hanna Hilden, Kat Hilton, Alina Jarrin, Gillian Kalmey, Claire Williams, Daniel Zimmerman; Directed by Natalie Edelstein). Overall the Drama ¾ Advanced class earned 2nd place in Sweepstakes for total overall finish among all competing schools in the C Division.


Congratulations to the Drama Department under the direction of Seth Cohn!

Drama Students with Mr. Coehn


Last week, more than 250 members of the incredible PVPHS Dance Department presented a three evening, packed-house Choreo Show called Momentum. Kudos to Mrs. Myrick, Mrs. Hendricks and Ms. Horn for producing the classy show. It was so enjoyable to see the student's hard-work pay off. I have received many parent emails complimenting the show, but I couldn't say it any better than the following email from one parent, "I just wanted to say how incredible last night's dance performance was. My entire family went and we were all blown away. The music, costumes (thank you that they were appropriate), choreography, and lighting was really fantastic. Bravo to you and everyone involved!!"


A Peninsula High parent who has Northern California connections, discovered this article that mentions our school district. PVPUSD is committed to the success of all students and this report certainly acknowledges that continuing effort. PVPUSD is noted as tied for first place, halfway through the article. 

Following is more information on the PVPUSD report: 


Congratulations to Erik Steibel and Kent Harayama as the winners of this week's Principal Advisory Board drawing. Thank you for doing your part to keep the Peninsula High campus clean.



As you may or may not know, student absences, whether for illness, religious reasons, vacation, or personal days reduce our revenue. ADA (Average Daily Attendance revenue$48.00 is only paid if a student is present for at least 1 period per day or on an approved Independent Study. So far this year, Peninsula High parents have reimbursed $6,107.00 for lost ADA due to absences. We are grateful for your generosity. This money has been used for classroom supplies and materials.


If you would like to make a $48.00 ADA reimbursement donation for each day your child is absent, please turn it in to the Main Office. This donation will help ensure that PVPHS can continue to deliver the quality education that students and parents rightly deserve and expect. Your donation is used for instructional needs and classroom supplies at PVPHS.

Counseling Office & College Career Center (CCC) News

From Alicia Foulk, Associate Principal


2014-2015 Schedule Change Requests: Current students who would like to make changes to the courses they have requested for the 2014-2015 school year need to make all requests in writing to their counselors by May 23rd. Please stop by the counseling office for a program change request form. 


Scholarships: Seniors, there's still time to apply for scholarships. Here's a list scholarships coming due soon:


All scholarships are listed on Naviance under the "scholarship list" on the College Tab where applications can be downloaded or filled on line.


Got Naviance? Got Questions? Please join us for a Naviance Workshop on Saturday, April 19thfrom 10:30am - 12pm. We will walk you through the tools of Naviance.


The CCC is offering a Practice SAT, ACT or SAT Subject Test on Saturday, April 19thThese practice tests do not count in any way but offer students the opportunity to simulate the testing environment. Interested students can register in the CCC with $20 cash or check payable to PVPHS. Subject Tests are $10 each or $20 for three. Students can take up to three subject tests in one sitting.


While students are taking the practice tests, the CCC will host a parent Q&A session. All parents are welcome even if students are not taking the practice test. We will focus on College Admissions Testing from 9:15am to 10:30am and a Naviance Workshop from 10:30 - 12:00noon. Please contact Terri Lewallen with questions at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it " target="_blank" style="color: rgb(17, 85, 204);">This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .


The National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC) sponsors a National College Fair every year. Attending these college fairs is a great way for students to begin researching their college list. Mark your calendars now and choose from Anaheim on Sunday, April 27th or Pasadena on Thursday, May 1st. For details please



 On Saturday, April 5th, 2014, the annual Palos Verdes Whale of a Day festival gave many Peninsula High students an opportunity to volunteer. I have received several emails praising Peninsula High Students who participated. I appreciate community members taking the time to share good news about our students.  

"Sara Crossman spent many hours preparing and serving our hot dogs and hamburgers in our food booth.  Her enthusiasm and smile were infectious.  Our customers couldn't help but smile back at her.  Sara was a tireless, pleasant and accurate worker; late in the day she even took a turn running the condiment table.  We thank Sara for volunteering."

 "John Duston, a senior, was another Peninsula High volunteer who brought enthusiasm and a tireless work ethic to our food booth.  John put in many hours cheerfully preparing and serving our food and never objected to performing any chore.  We thank John for volunteering." 

"Harrison Owen, a junior, worked long hours serving hot dogs and hamburgers in our booth without  a break.  One of our customers gave Harrison a $10 tip.  He smiled, accepted the money, and then donated the entire amount to our WOAD organization.  A class act!  We thank Harrison for volunteering."

"Randy Shan, only a freshman, was the third Peninsula High volunteer who was outstanding in performance.  Randy cheerfully worked long hours preparing and serving our hot dogs and hamburgers.  He was an important contributor in the success of our food booth and did every task asked of him.  We thank Randy for volunteering."


"The Muskwa Club (members are from all Peninsula High secondary schools) , headed by Pen High student William Whittenbury, had a table to bring awareness about the endangered Vaquita at Whale of a Day. 630 people dropped by the table. Thanks to all of the wonderful volunteers who banned together for a common cause.  Together, we can do great things!"


Congratulations to the PLUS leadership class who was 1 out of 10 schools to be recognized at the National Youth Leadership Conference, "Monumental", in Washington, D.C.. They spent their entire first day in D.C. on Capitol Hill meeting with state officials and advocating for laws and funding regarding safe driving programs for teenagers. 

In addition, they were able to showcase their program to the hundreds of other schools in attendance at this conference. Lastly, our five students in attendance (Kelli Wong, Harrison Ho, David Y. Lee, Kristine Vo and Camille Perey) were recognized onstage during the awards ceremony by Secretary of State Anthony Foxx. He thanked them for their dedication and service for such a critically important cause!


On Saturday, April 19, 2014, two students from Peninsula High will serve on a "Student Speakers Panel" sponsored by the Torrance Unified School District. These students will be speaking on topics such as what happens at high school parties and they respond to the question, "What can parents do to make sure that their children make it home safely?"  The program is intended to create an open dialogue for parents to work through some topics that may not be easy to address with their own children. The public is invited.



On Monday, May 19,  the Peninsula Football Program will be hosting the Panther Classic Golf Tournament. The tournament is open to EVERYONE and will include lunch, on-course beverages, and post-round dinner, auction, and awards ceremony at the beautiful, private Rolling Hills Country Club. This year's tournament will be honoring the 1997 CIF Champion Football team and we expect many individuals from the team to be participating in the tournament. All proceeds will go directly to the football program for the purchase of needed equipment for the upcoming season. If you do not golf you are welcomed to attend the dinner/auction only or are encouraged to contribute through a Tee Sponsorship for your favorite player or your local business. All the information and sign up info is available on our website ( or feel free to contact Coach Christensen at extension 746 at Peninsula High School with any questions. We hope to see you on May 19!


On Sunday, April 27, the four Peninsula Service clubs (Kiwanis, Lions Club, Rotary PV Peninsula and Rotary PV Sunset) will stage the Harmony Concert at the Harlyne J. Norris Pavilion. The program will be performed by student musicians from Palos Verdes High School and Palos Verdes Peninsula High School. The program will begin at 2PM with the Palos Verdes Peninsula High Jazz Band followed by the Concert Band made up jointly of musicians from both high schools. The program will conclude with the Palos Verdes High School Symphonic Orchestra and will end at about 4:30PM. Net proceeds from the performance will be distributed to the two high school music programs and to the Peninsula Symphony. Concert seating tickets are available at the Norris Theatre box office and will be priced at $25 per adult and $15 for youngsters 12 and under. HARMONY CONCERT INFO


You are invited to experience the Magic of Music with Freedom4U at Trump on
April 24th! Please consider attending, because Freedom 4U provides counseling services for our students. Buy your tickets today!

Business Casual Attire, Fabulous Silent & Live Auction Items
Exceptional Dinner and Wine included.
Musical & Magical performances too!
Fantastic Opportunity Drawing!



8th grade Parent Information Nights are this week!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Counselor                            Last name                            ROOM                       

Heather Gerber                    A - C                                      PAC                                   

Kelly Baranick                       D - Hu                                   LIB                            

Katina Tzetzos                    Hv - Le                         CCC                                      

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Counselor                            Last name                            ROOM                       

Adam Wolven                      Lf - O                          PAC               

Graham Edwards                  P - S                                     LIB     

Mary Fournier                     T - Z                                      CCC

5:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.Representatives from a variety of departments will be available to answer questions regarding academic programs, activities, sports, and clubs.

6:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.: Large group meeting in the PAC

The introduction to the school includes information from our Principal, Associate Principals, PTSA President, Athletic Director and Activities Director.

6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.: Small group meetings with Counselors

Counselors meet with the parents in the assigned rooms. Information will include graduation requirements, college entrance requirements, high school activities, scheduling, and developing a 4 year plan.


Have a great week!Paw
Mitzi Cress