Palos Verdes PeninsulaHigh School

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Principal's Update

March 18, 2018 
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World Language Week has run its course
World Language Week finished up on Monday with performances from students in our Spanish Language program.

Spanish 4AP - Dancing to "El mismo sol" by Álvaro Soler

Spanish 4 - Dancing salsa to "Mikaela" by Sonoras Caruseles

Spanish 3 - Dancing ballet folclórico to "El son de la negra"

Thank you to the World Language teachers who had their classes perform during World Language Week: Grace Anderson (Chinese), June Choi (Korean), Carolyn Edwards (Spanish), Bettina de Guzman (Latin), Sachiko Iwami (Japanese), Pia Kawagoe (Spanish), Josefina Madunich (Spanish), Jill Pupich (Spanish), Marie-France Sam (French), Jazz Thompson (French), Jacqueline Valerio (Spanish), Michiko Yu (Japanese), and Juan Zambrano (Spanish). 

On Wednesday morning, many of our students participated in a walkout as part of the #Enough! National School Walkout to raise awareness about issues of school safety, the impact of gun violence and to honor the victims of the Parkland tragedy. Our students left their 1st period classes and walked down to our football stadium where they listened to student speakers and were encouraged to get involved to help bring about change. I am proud of how our students handled themselves at their rally. I know this discussion will continue in classrooms and dinner tables across this country, and I would hope that it leads to change allowing our students to feel safer on school campuses.

Last week, PVPHS welcomed our WASC Visiting Committee. This team of seven educational professionals volunteered their time to evaluate programsavailable at Peninsula and offer suggestions for possible areas of growth. For four days the team had the opportunity to visit with many different stakeholder groups including students, staff, parents, and community members and experience the amazing culture of PVPHS. Their feedback was OVERWHELMINGLY positive and included highlighting the focus on overall student wellness, the award winning leadership and SMERT programs, the high achievement of all students, and the hardworking efforts of teachers, counselors, and staff. 

THANK YOU to School Site Council, who the Committee noted as "one of the best" they've seen. The hard work and dedication this group put into the creation of the WASC report is one of the main reasons the visit was a success.

THANK YOU to the staff, parents, students, and community members who participated in the Committee's Focus Groups and provided input on the progress PVPHS has made over the last 6 year WASC accreditation cycle.

THANK YOU to the student leadership and SMERT departments for showing off the amazing programs offered at PVPHS and the opportunities available to all students. 

THANK YOU to all Panthers! The culture created at PVPHS is one to celebrate and one that the Visiting Committee was able to experience and note in their short stay here. Great job Panthers!

THANK YOU to Associate Principal Katie Clovis, our WASC coordinator, and her assistant Beckie Dibble, who worked so hard putting our WASC Self-Study document together, planning every detail of the visiting WASC team's logistics, and making sure that everything went smoothly this past week.

Several of the WASC Visiting Committee members got into the Panther spirit!

The Look is a student run club on campus. On Friday evening they held their 7th annual fashion show and fundraiser. More than 80 students walked the runway modeling clothes from local stores such as The Stylist LA, Gus Vintage Goods, Mumu, Spyder, and Cason. There was an excellent turnout of enthusiastic students and parents in the gym to watch this high-energy, beautifully choreographed show. All funds raised went to the Athletic Booster Club!

Girls model clothing from Gus Vintage Goods

Boys walked the runway sporting clothing from Spyder

Our English Department has many great activities planned for this week - a week-long celebration of reading:


The PVPHS Choir, under the direction of Dan Doctor, will perform a Spring Choir Concert for one night only - this Friday, March 23th at 7:30 PM at the Rolling Hills United Methodist Church  (26438 Crenshaw Blvd, Rolling Hills Estates). Tickets will be available at the door or you can click HERE to pre-order your concert tickets.

This afternoon will be the final performance of PVPHS Drama's Heathers - The Musical, which has seen record-breaking audiences over it's 2 week run. Today's show starts at 2pm in the PAC. Reserve your tickets by sending email to


The third and final installment of the PEF-sponsored Parent University Speaker Series will be held on Tuesday, March 27 at Miraleste Intermediate from 6pm - 7pm. This month's speaker is Dr. Madeline Levine, a clinical psychologist, who will explore why teens from affluent families are experiencing epidemic rates of emotional problems. Dr. Levine is the author of the New York Times bestselling book The Price of Privilege : How Parental Pressure and Material Advantage Are Creating a Generation of Disconnected and Unhappy Kids. All PVPUSD parents are invited to come hear this fabulous speaker.

Cannot thank you all enough! PVPUSD had nearly 4,000 participants for the Skechers Pier to Pier Walk last October and this month PEF has received a check from the Skechers Foundation for $240,000! We are grateful for our amazing PVPUSD families and community members who value our kids, education and children with special needs.
Pen High student Michael Wagreich, a Student Committee Member for the Rolling Hills Estates General Planning Committee, shared with me that RHE is currently conducting an online survey in order to fulfill everyone's needs and hopes for the city's future. This is a short survey where both residents and commuters are given an opportunity to tell the Planning Committee what they would like to see done within the next forty years. The survey, aimed at both students and parents, is up and running and will be available until April 22nd. Here is a link to the survey:

Pen High Varsity Dance had a great competition on March 10 at Woodbridge High School in Irvine. They took first in the following categories: X-Small Dance,  Small Contemporary,  and Medium Lyrical. Our first place soloists were: Emily Komatsu-11th grade lyrical,  Ione Ogawa-11th grade contemporary,  Aimee Tan-12th grade jazz, and  Andrew Bauer-12th grade contemporary and highest score overall! Congratulations!

Small Contemporary Dance Team

Medium Lyrical Dance Team

PVPUSD has partnered with South Bay Families Connected(SBFC) with the ultimate goal of having our parents, teachers and staff working together to help our youth thrive and stay on a healthy path to maturity.
Current popular resource pages:
Upcoming events:
FRC Pen Robotic Team 2637 competed at Northern Arizona University last week. Forty students with fourteen chaperones and staff traveled to Flagstaff, Arizona. The competition was challenging. Team 2637's robot " Denali" had a great first day and ranked in the top 10 of the 60 teams. Saturday's competition got harder and more challenging, we ended the day ranked 17th. Team 2637 will be competing again in Lancaster during Spring Break. Many thanks to all the parents and mentors who supported the team.
StellarXplorer UPDATE
Two teams from Peninsula High's SMERT StellarXplorer program have qualified to compete in Colorado. Teams will fly on April 17- 20 with all expenses paid by the Air-force Association. All of our StellarXplorer teams worked tirelessly - competing in seven grueling six-hour rounds. Congratulation to all the teams who participated this year and special congratulation and good luck to the finalist teams representing Peninsula High. For more info visit

Two Peninsula VEX teams will be going to the World Competition championship in Louisville, Kentucky. The teams worked hard this year to compete locally and reach the state championship and qualified in two categories: the skill challenge and the state semifinalist. The teams will compete with teams from 40 countries representing five continents for three days in late April. Good luck to PEN High VEX TEAMS.
Contact Associate Principal Toombs
Expand your horizons! SCROC is now enrolling for classes in Adobe Suite, Business Entrepreneur, plus Banking and Financial Services. Each 9-week course begins on April 9 and the deadline to enroll is Thursday, Mar. 29. More information and sign-ups are available in the Counseling Office.
Contact Mrs. Arico
Visit the CCC Website
Cal Grant Eligibility Notifications are being mailed to eligible students. Steps to confirm the award are on the letter and should be completed as soon as possible. Create a Web Grants for Students (WGS) account for information regarding Cal Grant award offers. If you have any questions, see Mrs. Shafer in the CCC.
Seniors, are you looking for money to pay for college? If so, Palos Verdes Junior Women's Club is offering a Scholarship which is due on March 22. Scholarships are a great way to get funding for college so check it out and all of the other great opportunities on  Naviance.
Just a few of the many seniors who participated in the Parade of Athletes

Thank you to Christina Britt and Thea Sanderson, and their committee, and all those who donated to the Black and Gold fundraiser in support of Peninsula Athletics. It was a successful evening, due to their leadership and ability to inspire so many people to become a part of this wonderful event. It was a great celebration of Panther spirit!
A Black & Gold Affaire co-chairs, ABC Presidents, and PVPHS admin
A heartfelt thank you to the entire Peninsula High Community! We are so fortunate and thankful for all the generous support and donations from parents and the surrounding communities. Without their support, the Athletic Booster Club would not be able help keep our athletes safe and competitive in their sports. The ABC helped pay for the newly resurfaced track, new dance floors, tennis court resurfacing, baseball and softball netting, boys lacrosse helmets, surfboards, weight room equipment, trainers and so much more over the years. 

This event could not have been possible without the efforts of our outstanding A Black & Gold Affaire Committee. Their tireless work behind the scenes in the months leading up to the event was a godsend. We cannot thank them enough. 

2018 Committee 
Event Chairs: Christina Britt, Thea Sanderson 
ABC Presidents: Randy Hata, Julia Parton Rosas 
ABC Treasurer: Tony Cangas 
Team Liaisons: Ed & Rikki Perez, Matt Monroy 
Décor: Laura Beaudoin, Donna DiIullo, Deanna Lauro, Annemarie Wargin 
Event Software & Treasurer: Barb Dancy 
Design & Invitations: Lynn Ige 
Live Auction: Sandra Frasso, Michelle Jongkind, Cynthia Ramsey 
Media Show & Website: Renee Goldstein 
Online Auction: Robin Brown, Dee Edler, MaryBeth Kane, Jen Kelly, Ann Harder 
Parade of Athletes: Ann Alvin, Leah Maes 
Golden Ticket: Ceci Watts, Penny Zuercher 
Program: Judy Lee, Lynn Ige 
Publicity/Communications: MaryBeth Kane, Julia Parton Rosas 
Reservations: Amy Hangartner, Louise Moore 
Silent Auction: Mary Jane Hornbuckle, Melinda Jones, Sheri LaBreche, Sangita Mody, Tama Somers 
Sponsors: Julia Parton Rosas 
Thank You Notes: Liz Umbrell 
Wine Wheel: Drina Semenjuk 
Youth Volunteers: Leah Maes

And last but not least, we want to thank our fearless and awesome ABC Presidents Randy Hata and Julia Parton Rosas. Without your leadership, enthusiasm and willingness to jump in whenever and wherever needed, we could not have made this event possible. Thank you so much for your inspiration!!! 

Thank you everyone!!! 
Christina Britt and Thea Sanderson 
A Black & Gold Affaire Co-Chairs
It's easy to join - visit
Boys' Volleyball  - Monday @ 6pm against PVPHS Alumni 
Baseball - Tuesday @ 3:15pm against North Torrance
Boys' Tennis -  Thursday @ 2:30pm against Morningside
Boys' Lacrosse - Saturday @ 11am against Valencia
Admission to all these games is FREE!
Come out and cheer on our Panthers!
Remember the Titans!
Monday, Tuesday, 
Thursday, and Friday
Period 0: 7a-7:55a 
Period 1: 8a-8:53a 
Period 2: 8:59a-9:52a
Panther Time: 9:52a-10:10a 
Period 3: 10:15a-11:14a 
Period 4: 11:20a-12:13p 
Lunch: 12:13p-12:48p 
Period 5: 12:54p-1:47p 
Period 6: 1:52p-2:45p
(Principal's Summit)
Period 1: 10:10a-10:45a 
Period 2: 10:51a-11:26a
Period 3: 11:32a-12:07p
Period 4: 12:13p - 12:48p
Lunch: 12:48p-1:23p 
Period 5: 1:29p-2:04p 
Period 6: 2:10p-2:45p
Last show is TODAY at 2pm 

Order your tickets now - email

Click for more information and to access the application

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Have a great week!  
Brent Kuykendall