BCS students share their voices at Mandarin Speech Contest


Courtesy of Stacey Walter
Bullis Charter School students take home top honors for their fluency in Mandarin Chinese at the state speech competition last month.

Bullis Charter School students participated in record numbers at the state Mandarin Speech Contest April 22, organized by the Chinese Language Teachers Association of California.

Of the 31 Bullis Charter School students competing, eight placed first in their categories, with four placing second and 10 receiving honorable mentions. This was the school’s eighth year competing in the contest, which includes categories for students from first grade through college.

High school girls pair with Stanford at Coding Camp


Celeste Tran/SPECIAL TO THE Town Crier
Local high school students join forces with Stanford University mentors to create original programs at a previous Girls Teaching Girls to Code event.

Stanford University’s Girls Teaching Girls to Code program sponsored its fifth annual Code Camp last week, inviting high school girls interested in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math fields to learn from Stanford women mentors.

Approximately 200 high school girls and 40 Stanford mentors attended this year’s Code Camp, including students from Los Altos, Mountain View, Homestead and St. Francis high schools. The event aims to help girls new to STEM subjects learn programming basics, and offers different tracks in computer science with topics ranging from web development to virtual reality.

Almond panel discusses gender beyond the binary


Courtesy of Dr. Jill Hagenkord
Dr. Jill Hagenkord speaks at Almond School with her sons, Almond fourth-grader Mark Tanner, left, and Egan seventh-grader Cade Maw.

Local families, along with Los Altos School District faculty and staff, attended a panel at Almond School last week addressing how adults can support transgender and gender nonconforming youth.

Much of the discussion centered on transgender children, who identify with a gender different from the sex they were assigned at birth. But Almond’s school psychologist Kristi Clouser also emphasized that creating a safe, supportive environment benefits a wide range of kids – from the boy who wants to grow his hair out to the girl who prefers sports gear to pink frills.

New club launches LAHS students to high-tech leading edge


Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
Los Altos High students Maxwell Liu, left, and Ravi Krishna show off the autonomous “ShadowCart.”

A new machine-learning club at Los Altos High School has propelled local students into the still budding world of self-driving cars.

Since forming the Electric Dreams club in March, freshmen Ravi Krishna and Maxwell Liu have led more than 30 peers in building an autonomous model car.

Chelsea Clinton visits Blach students


Jane Ridgeway/Town Crier
Blach Intermediate School students and staff welcome author and former first daughter Chelsea Clinton, right, to their campus last week.

Blach Intermediate School greeted former first daughter Chelsea Clinton last week with a packed auditorium, applause and a brief attempt to start “the wave” in the audience.

Clinton, on tour publicizing her book “It’s Your World: Get Informed, Get Inspired & Get Going!” spoke to students April 18 about the value of becoming civically engaged at an early age and urged them to advocate for the causes they believe in.

Student supports Pinewood at games


Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
Pinewood School senior Alex Banning, center, revs up the crowd at a girls basketball game.

Many Pinewood School students know senior Alex Banning as an almost larger-than-life figure on the Los Altos Hills campus. He founded Pinewood’s cheer squad and leads school assemblies as student body president.

But when Banning is not in the spotlight, he’s often working behind the scenes to support Pinewood. He handles sound design for the theater department, website design for the school newspaper and does some IT work for teachers and students. Oh, and he has a side business as well.


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