Palos Verdes PeninsulaHigh School

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Principal's Update


June 9, 2019
Follow the latest Pen news on Twitter:  @PVPHS_Principal   
Today is your day
Your mountain is waiting
So go and get on your way
Thank you to the Class of 2019 for a wonderful week of celebration after four amazing years. I wish you all the best in the future, and I hope that your Panther experience has prepared you for any challenge that you might encounter. It has been an honor to serve as your principal. Always remember to enjoy the journey!
Thank you to our teachers, parents, students, administration, staff, district, ASB, and community for making the 2019 graduation a memorable experience. In particular, I extend my heartfelt appreciation to Activities Director Season Pollock for ensuring that every aspect of the day was perfect. This event requires months of planning, and her attention to every detail is extraordinary.
Colin Baumberger, Jeffry Diokno, Marcus Emmery, John Martinez, Gabriel Nieves, Carla Sudo, and Joshua Zeitlin perform Bring It On Home to Me

Senior Class President Josh Kahen accepts the final diploma for the Class of 2019 

Brianna Shepherd, seen here with her family, received a standing ovation after singing  Time to Say Good-bye at the graduation ceremony
Seniors picked up their actual diplomas from their counselors after the ceremony. Remaining diplomas can be picked up at the 
Counseling Office during regular business hours.
More pictures from graduation can be viewed  HERE on our school website.
Seniors filled the beautifully decorated gym Thursday morning for the traditional Senior Breakfast. A delicious meal of breakfast fajitas, pastries, waffles, and fruit was served. Mr. Wheeler and Mr. Greenberg entertained the graduates with songs, videos, comedic spiel, and a live auction. I invite you to view these two videos from the breakfast online:
Then and Now - a video shout out from our teachers and staff to the graduates
Peter the Panther - a tribute to our hardworking, ever present school mascot
Thank you to Activities Director Season Pollock for organizing this huge venture and to John Wheeler and Mark Greenberg for their dedication to our seniors..
Peninsula High' s twenty-eighth Baccalaureate Ceremony was held on Sunday, June 2. Senior Class President Josh Kahen welcomed the graduates and guests. Retiring English teacher Bruce Colin was asked to speak and shared an inspiring message for the Class of 2019. Student speakers were James Ma and Rachel Edelstein. Performers included Allen Chun, Albert Tan, Colin Baumberger, Jeffry Diokno, Marcus Emmery, John Martinez, Gabriel Nieves, Joshua Zeitlin, and Kayla Brown. The program ended with a fabulous video prepared by seniors Josh Kahen and Bea Albino titled " Castle on the Hill." You can view that video HEREon the school website. Following the ceremony, the PTSA hosted a lovely reception in the amphitheater where the seniors' posters were on display on Memory Lane.
Our English Language Development (ELD) program held their own graduation celebration earlier this week. Seniors  Yasmine Baabee, Stephanie Battung, Mihiro Kobayashi, Yu Kobayashi, Ryu Masuda, Maichi Ono, Luna Takamatsu, and Mika Tominaga who have all been participants in our ELD program were honored. As a school we are incredibly proud of this group of students, their hard work and perseverance is commendable. Thank you to Ms. Voegtlin our ELD lead teacher for her dedication and commitment to the program.
Congratulations to the following seniors who, based on their senior year spring grades, have now qualified, and received, California Scholarship Federation Sealbearer status: Arden Borders, Deena Brailovsky, Annabella Christen, Sean Lee, Jacqueline Lara, Juri Maeda, Aidan Martinez, Jared Matsuda, Kyle Murdoch, Ava Musick, Yuma Sato, Claire Jenness, Diego Sheng, Saara Sondej, and Annie Wang
Several AP and Honors courses have summer assignments for the 2019-20 school year which are due the first week of school. Students who have registered for AP or Honors courses should check for assignments HERE on the school website.
We sold out of yearbooks! There is a possibility of a re-print if we reach 100 interested students. Books will require payment up front. Each book would cost $180 and they would arrive in 4 weeks. Please with your name, grade level, student ID number, and a telephone number to reach you if you are interested in purchasing a yearbook. If we reach 100 interested parties we will contact you for payment.
We are excited to welcome two new head coaches to our sports program. Derek Nicholson (Baseball) and Doug Esparza (Track) have both been a part of our Panther family as assistant coaches, and starting next year will be taking the helm of these two great programs. We feel fortunate to have these high caliber coaches staying on board in new leadership roles. I am confident they are both going to do a great job supporting, mentoring, and coaching our Panther athletes. Congratulations Coach D-Nic and Coach Esparza!
Registration volunteer sign ups are now available. Follow the link below to sign up for your favorite registration job. Never volunteered to help with registration?? Welcome! We would love to have your help. Over 100 Panther parents volunteer each fall. Click on this to sign up. Make sure to include your first and last name and click SAVE AND DONE after you have chosen your spot.  Junior and senior registration times are in the morning, and sophomore and freshmen registration time is in the afternoon.  When you sign up to volunteer your child will receive a wristband to enter the Registration Day Fast Pass line!!!!  
If you are a PVPUSD employee and would like to volunteer, please email Nancy Shafer at We have spots at registration that can only be filled by district personnel and we would love your help!  
Registration Day for all students enrolled at PVPHS will be on Wednesday, August 21. Seniors and juniors will register in the morning, sophomores and freshmen in the afternoon. Students who cannot make it on August 21 will complete the required registration steps on the first day of school, Wednesday, August 28, before going to class. Students new to the District must enroll in Peninsula High before attending Registration. Enrollment information can be found HERE on our school website or by contacting our registrar Deirdre Heimer at
Orientation for freshmen and transfer students will be held on Thursday morning, August 22. 

Oh, the Places You Panthers Will Go!
based on the book Oh, the Places You'll Go! by Dr. Seuss
adapted by Dr. Brent Kuykendall for the Graduating Class of 2019
Congratulations Panthers!
Today is your day.
You're off to Great Places!
And you're soon to be off and away

You've taken all of the classes
And passed at least most of the tests
Your locker is cleaned out
And It is finally time to get some much needed rest

In the fall you submitted those college applications
Making sure to set up your CommonApp account
Collecting those letters of recommendation
As your parents hoped for a scholarship or some type of college discount

You are the green army
And a very strong army indeed
Showing up big at so many school events
Cheering loud for your fellow panthers with the energy of a stampede

In the stands, on the field, or the court you made an impact on the game
You will definitely go down as one of the most spirited classes in our Panther hall of fame

It didn't matter if it was football, basketball, volleyball or anything in-between
You brought the noise, supported each other and Josh even made you look good on the wide screen

You owned the Zoo grove, singing it louder and better than any before
And for this class of 2019 you will be remembered forever in Panther folklore

And then there was the one time that I stumbled into a dance battle
Squeezing between the students crammed together like cattle

Their moves were okay and some might describe as not that bad
Until I brought down the house with one glorious dab

Your social media game is huge and for many of you all encompassing
Insta was your life and lead to some of your grades plummeting
You posted sunsets on your Snapchat story
While just trying to keep your streak going with all its glory

Tagging meme's of "My name is Jeff"
All while ignoring your parents by acting like your deaf

You complained about all those tests and preparing for the AP's
But it didn't stop you studying at the House of Yami Tea

Your efforts and commitment made a difference in those final scores
Even though they often resulted in you not taking care those important family chores

As freshman you came in and Seniors you'll go out
You ate your share of Double-double and four by fours, Of this I have no doubt

So seniors, the end is so near
Hold on to those tissues there will be some tears
We are all so very proud of you You've come a long way
It is now time for you to go even though some may want you to stay

Go out and change the world Panthers
We are excited for you and know The future is bright
Be the people that we know you can be
I can't wait to see which one of you puts up a satellite

Like I told you before, I will tell you again
This place will always be your home
Or at least until you are 110

Class of 2019 I know You will succeed
Yes, yes, you will indeed
I can say that and be almost 98 and 3/4% guaranteed

So Panthers, You're off to great places
Today is your day
Your mountain is waiting
So go and get on your way!
Contact Associate Principal Toombs
If you still need to order your final transcript, please come to the Counseling Office. Office hours over summer will be Monday - Friday, 7:30am - 4pm. Final transcripts will be available in mid June. Please refer to our school website for updates on when final transcripts are available.

The following is another in a series of  weekly columns from guest writer, Dr. Moe Gelbart, Executive Director of the Thelma McMillen Center.
Summer is right around the corner, and the year is winding down. This will be my last column of the school year, and I want to thank Dr. Linsey Gotanda, and the principals of each school for letting me share my thoughts with you. I also want to thank all of you for your wonderful and insightful comments and suggestions. I hope I have provided you with some knowledge and information of drug and alcohol use; depression; anxiety; vaping; relationships; cutting; suicide; marijuana; video gaming, and more. I hope that some of the parenting suggestions including communication skills, validation of feelings, modeling, limit and boundary setting, teaching delayed gratification, prioritizing problems, and learning how not to take all the blame has been useful. The science of psychology is relatively new, with most of the work coming within the last 100 years. Psychology began with the understanding of, and treatment of mental and behavioral problems, like depression, anxiety, psychosis. Most of the work was trying to get "sick people" well. There has, however, been a shift in the last twenty years, and psychology has been exploring what makes "well" people achieve even greater sense of contentment. The study of positive psychology has led to the psychology of Happiness, and I'd like to prepare you for your summer vacation with some suggestions for increasing wellness and happiness. 

Here are the 7 Habits of Happy People:
  1. Relationships. People who have close friendships are happier. It is not the quantity of connections, but the quality, and the ability to share, be open, and connect with others
  2. Acts of Kindness. Happiness correlates with giving of oneself to others. This can be in volunteer work, or actively showing concern for others. Those who give to others have much lower levels of depression.
  3. Exercise and Physical Well Being. Exercise and healthy living habits (good diet, no smoking, minimal or no alcohol) lead to improved well-being, and less depression and anxiety. Some studies show that exercise has more impact on avoiding depression than does medication.
  4. Live in the Moment. When you are engaged and involved in an activity, you lose sense of time. Perhaps you have had the experience where you are doing something, look up, and notice that hours have gone by. This is called Flow, and achieving a state of flow is connected to joyfulness. Read Flow, by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi for more insight.
  5. Spirituality. Research indicates that when we can find a greater meaning in life, through spirituality or religion, and can understand the world as bigger than our own experiences, we can often find a deeper level of happiness.
  6. Use your Strengths. Martin Seligman, the father of Positive Psychology, has found that the happiest people are those who have recognized their unique strengths and virtues and use those for a purpose greater than their own personal goals.
  7. Experiencing Gratitude. There has been a great amount of research showing that those who can feel grateful for what they have, and who can acknowledge and recognize what they have to be grateful for, have much higher levels of positive emotions. I often work with people on having a daily gratitude check list, and remind themselves of all the good in their lives.

I encourage you and your children to practice these seven habits of happiness, and watch your sense of well-being grow. Have a great summer.


Remember, if you have issues you would like to see addressed, please email me at . Your inquiries will always remain anonymous. 

Moe Gelbart, PhD
Executive Director, Thelma McMillen Center
Remember the Titans!
The Class of 1969 
The Class of 1979
are having  reunions!

For more info 

 Follow Pen High on the following official sites 







Have a great summer! This is the final Principal's Update for this school year. Updates will resume in August. 

The first day of classes for the 2019-20 school year is Wednesday, August 28 (a minimum day). 

Registration for all students will be on Wednesday, August 21, with Late Registration on the first day of school. 

More information will be emailed out and available on our website in July. 
Brent Kuykendall