Full circle: Former Alta Vista High student joins staff

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Zoe Morgan/Town Crier
Alba Garza, left, talks with Alta Vista High junior Mishell Alarcon. Garza is a social worker at the school and an Alta Vista graduate herself.

Alta Vista High School Principal Bill Pierce always dreamed of hiring a former student. Last year that dream came to fruition when Pierce hired Alba Garza, who graduated from Alta Vista in 2003, to be a social worker at the school. 

Los Altos High student works on developing celiac disease treatment


Brian Siesel/Special to the Town Crier
Los Altos High School student Alex Guh-Siesel, left, met Nobel laureate Frances Arnold after hearing her speak at the California Science and Engineering Fair.

Los Altos High School student Alex Guh-Siesel recently discovered that awarding medals in the California Science and Engineering Fair is not an exact science. When he walked on stage last spring to accept his first-place medal in the biochemistry category, he was handed the medal for computer science instead.

Guh-Siesel found humor in the error, which he called “a technical difficulty.” The mistake was quickly corrected and the senior stood grinning ear to ear with his gold medal around his neck.

Student wins national essay contest

Ishana Wokhlu” width=
Courtesy of Donna Santistevan
Ishana Wokhlu reads her award-winning essay to more than 3,000 people in Washington, D.C., earlier this summer.

After reading her award-winning essay in front of 3,000 people early this summer in Washington, D.C., Ishana Wokhlu said she has “grown more confident.”

“I am still in shock. I feel very honored to have received such a prestigious award from this wonderful organization,” Ishana said. “I was a little nervous to read my essay in front of such a large group of people, but everyone there was so kind and supportive.”

SFHS grads receive SCU's Humanitarian Award for designing bike-powered purification system

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Jonathan Keyes/Special to the Town Crier
A local resident in Patzun, Guatemala, tests out the Pedal 4 Purification, a device designed by a team including former St. Francis High graduates.

Since he was young, St. Francis High School graduate Matt LoGrasso said he enjoyed math and science, and decided he wanted to pursue a career in engineering.

His friend Jonathan Keyes, another St. Francis alumnus, said he wasn’t always so sure of his career path and was initially interested in other fields of study. However, after attending an engineering fair, Keyes said he was convinced that pursuing engineering would give him the tools he needed “to help make a change in this world.”

MVLA Scholars guides student on path to law enforcement career


Zoe Morgan/Town Crier
Nisha Sharma tickets a car in downtown Los Altos. The 2014 Los Altos High School graduate works for both the Mountain View and Los Altos police departments doing parking enforcement. She credits much of her current success to the mentorship she received from MVLA Scholars during high school and college.

Nisha Sharma works at both the Mountain View and Los Altos police departments doing parking enforcement and plans to apply to be a full-fledged police officer in the next few years. She credits much of her success today to the support she received from MVLA Scholars.

“If MVLA Scholars wouldn’t have been there, I wouldn’t be where I am today,” Sharma said.

Inaugural museum program trains teen docents

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Zoe Morgan/Town Crier
Roshni Sudhakar, right, gives a demo tour of the Los Altos History Museum’s apricot-cutting shed. This summer the museum launched a Teen Docent Program, which taught local high school students how to conduct tours of the museum.

Roshni Sudhakar has been fascinated with the past since she had a particularly passionate middle school history teacher, so when she heard about an opportunity to serve as a teenage docent at the Los Altos History Museum, she jumped at the chance.

“I thought, a history museum – that’s perfect for me,” Sudhakar said. “I want to learn history and I want to … share my knowledge and inspire others to learn more about history.”


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