LAHS grad blazes a trail with campus transgender advocacy

Courtesy of Kathleen Schwartz
Skyler Riordan’s work with Los Altos High administrators led to greater support for transgender students.

When Skyler Riordan walked into Los Altos High School assistant principal Suzanne Woolfolk’s office his freshman year, he wasn’t looking to be an activist or change school policy. Instead, Riordan simply wanted to make sure the school was going to be able to accommodate his needs as a transgender student.

However, by asking for the assistance he needed, Riordan also helped the school develop gender support plans, which other trans students now use.

Alta Vista High School graduate triumphs over challenges

S.M. Lieu/Special to the Town Crier
Timothy Martinez embraces his middle school teacher, Cindy Ventura, after his high school graduation ceremony last week. Martinez was Alta Vista High School’s student commencement speaker.

More than once, teachers told Timothy Martinez that he wasn’t going to graduate from high school on time. That all changed when he moved to Los Altos during his sophomore year and enrolled at Alta Vista High School.

Despite what he had once been told, Martinez successfully graduated in four years and was the student commencement speaker at last week’s graduation ceremony.

LA author publishes children's book promoting gender equality

Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
Helen Vallaeys reads her new book “What You Can Do, I Can Too” to students at Almond School last week.

When Los Altos resident Helen Vallaeys first began writing her picture book “What You Can Do, I Can Too,” she wanted a book she could read to her daughters that taught them women are able to achieve the same things as men.

“I didn’t think in the beginning at all (that) I would get it published,” Vallaeys said. “I truly just set out to write a story for my two little girls that I could read to them.”

Flower power: Santa Rita students thank teachers, staff with 108 colorful handmade bouquets

Zoe Morgan/Town Crier
Santa Rita School sixth-grader Alexandra Platon counts the bouquets parent volunteers made for teachers and staff as part of the school’s Flower Day. In total, Platon counted 108.

Classic red roses, deep pink tulips, bright yellow sunflowers and pale lavender hydrangeas were among the thousands of flowers arranged in more than 100 handmade bouquets outside Santa Rita School May 14.

Parent volunteers spent the morning creating the bouquets out of flowers parents and students donated. The flower arrangements were then given to teachers and other school employees as part of Santa Rita’s staff appreciation week celebration.

Foothill student recognized for work on gender equality

Courtesy of Eman Magzoub
Foothill College student Eman Magzoub recently received recognition as a Newman Civic Fellow for her impact on campus.

Genuine, authentic, warrior, beautiful. These are the words Foothill College counselor Leticia Serna used to describe second-year student Eman Magzoub.

Magzoub, who moved to the United States a year and a half ago from Saudi Arabia, was recently named a Newman Civic Fellow for the impact she’s made on the Foothill campus. Through the program, fellows – nominated by their college president or chancellor – are provided with resources to network and learn how to further aid their communities.

LAHS Green Team, GreenTown join forces to curb vehicle idling

Courtesy of Cheryl Weiden
Students Jessica Young, from left, May Jiang and Alisha Xiong educate drivers about the harmful effects of vehicle idling.

The combined efforts of Los Altos High School’s Green Team and GreenTown Los Altos to curb idling of cars picking up students have proven effective.

The number of cars that idled in March decreased nearly 80 percent from GreenTown’s previous survey in 2017, according to Green Team’s Anya Gupta.

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