Santa Rita student's fundraiser continues quest to save elephants

Courtesy of Shaye Chirotarrab
Uma Chirotarrab and friends fundraise for elephants last year on Main Street. Uma will be in the same spot today.

For the third year in a row, Uma Chirotarrab won’t be spending the day before Thanksgiving shopping or preparing for a family feast. Instead, she’ll be at her usual post for the day: on Main Street collecting funds for the Tusk Foundation, which protects elephants in Africa.

“I’ve always loved elephants,” said Uma, a sixth-grader at Santa Rita School. “So when I found out they were endangered, I really wanted to help.”

MVHS marching band completes award-winning season

Photo Courtesy of Mountain View High School Spartan Marching Band
Mountain View High’s Spartan Marching Band and Color Guard recently wrapped up a stellar season. Color guard member Pratha Amin expresses the music through movement.

The Mountain View High School Spartan Marching Band and Color Guard recently wrapped up its competition season, bringing home multiple awards for its 2017 field show, “Divinity: The Music of Final Fantasy.”

The band kicked off the season Oct. 7 with its annual “Community Thank You” show. The event included performances by the marching bands from Mountain View, Los Altos, St. Francis and Santa Clara highs.

Quidditch takes off at Santa Rita

Courtesy of Pearl Garvin
A Santa Rita student speeds down the pitch – quaffle and broom in hand – to make a goal while beaters take aim with bludgers to try and stop him. Mountain View’s quidditch team, the Silicon Valley Skrewts, taught students to play the Harry Potter-inspired game Oct. 26.

Mountain View’s Silicon Valley Skrewts quidditch team – a sport inspired by the Harry Potter books – visited Santa Rita School last week to lead a lunchtime scrimmage in which every grade could participate.

“Traditionally, the fourth- through sixth-grade students play quidditch for PE class every year around Halloween time,” said Pearl Garvin, the PE teacher at Santa Rita.

LAHS students empower the next generation of computer engineers

Courtesy of CENG
Monta Loma junior mentor Deven Merced, right, shares his computer science knowledge with classmate Angel Marshal.

Truly mastering a skill means being able to turn around and teach what you’ve been taught. That’s the case for members of Los Altos High School’s Computer Engineers of the Next Generation club, who have done their job so well that they been replaced by sixth-graders they trained.

CENG, which teaches after-school coding classes at local elementary schools, returned to Monta Loma Elementary School this fall after teaching a program on the Mountain View campus last March.

Local schools participate in green commutes

Courtesy of Doug Hahn
Mountain View High School’s bicycle racks filled up quickly Thursday morning, thanks in part to its first Carbon-Free Commute of the school year. Nearly 500 students participated in the event.

If your drive to work last week seemed a little smoother, you can thank students at Loyola School and Mountain View High School.

Loyola held its annual Walk to School Day Sept. 20, and Mountain View High participated in its first Carbon-Free Commute of the year Thursday.

Foothill alum optimistic in the face of DACA uncertainty

Photo courtesy of Liliana Guillen / Special to the Town Crier
Liliana Guillen serves as keynote speaker at her 2015 graduation from Foothill College. After four years at Foothill and subsequently earning a bachelor’s degree from UCLA, she faces an uncertain future due to her undocumented status.

Liliana Guillen attended Foothill College and graduated last spring from UCLA with a bachelor’s degree in economics. Like many students who return home after completing school, she took a temporary job while trying to determine a career path. But as one of California’s 222,795 residents covered by the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, Guillen’s future – much like the policy itself – is in limbo.

Coming to America

Guillen’s parents arrived in the Bay Area with the intention of working for a few years and sending money back home to their family in Guerrero, Mexico, then eventually returning to their homeland. However, the high cost of living in the heart of Silicon Valley proved to be more than the Guillens had anticipated. They moved their entire family to Menlo Park’s Belle Haven neighborhood when Guillen was 10.

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