Palos Verdes PeninsulaHigh School

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Principal's Update


January 19, 2019
Follow the latest Pen news on Twitter   @PVPHS_Principal 
Congratulations to Pen High senior Lauren Kong who was one of two students chosen statewide to join Senator Dianne Feinstein and Senator Kamala Harris in representing California in the nation's capital during the 57th annual United States Senate Youth Program's (USSYP) Washington Week -  an intensive week-long study of the federal government and the people who lead it to be held March 2 - 9, 2019. While in Washington the student delegates (two from each state plus the District of Columbia) attend meetings and briefings with senators, members of the House of Representatives, Congressional staff, the president, a justice of the Supreme Court, leaders of cabinet agencies, an ambassador to the United States and senior members of the national media. The students will also tour many of the national monuments and several museums. Lauren will also receive a $10,000 college scholarship to use towards her undergraduate study.

Peninsula High's annual Winter Formal is Saturday, February 2nd at the  House of Blues  in Anaheim from 7pm until 11pm. Bus transportation (supervised by PVPHS staff members) is available for $15 round trip. 
Students can purchase tickets for the Formal and the bus in the Student Store. 
For each ticket to be purchased, you must bring the following:
  1. Winter Formal Transportation/Emergency Slip - this form needs to be signed by a parent and include at least one emergency contact other than the parent 
  2. PVPHS ID card for Pen students and, for guests, a photo of PV High or RDM student's id or a completed Formal Guest Pass for students not attending a PVPUSD school 
  3. Cash or check payable to PVPHS - Winter Formal
    • Tickets are currently $95 with ASB and $105 without. Ticket prices go up on Monday, January 28th to $100 with ASB and $110 without.
Join Service Learning Leadership for the annual blanket-a-thon this Thursday, January 24th, from 2-3:30pm in the library. Bring happiness and warmth to hospitalized children by making no sew blankets. No sewing experience required. Materials, service hours, and snacks provided. Please bring a $2-$5 donation to cover material costs. Please RSVP to Lexi, by Wednesday, January 23. Thanks for making a difference in the lives of these kids and their families!
TEDx PVPHS is once again hosting an official TEDx event on campus on March 22nd. Are you interested in being a featured TEDx speaker? Auditions will continue for the next two weeks. If you have a great idea you want to share, contact or see Ms. Myrick in the North Dance room for an audition time. Talks should be no longer than 12 minutes but can be as short as 3 minutes and should feature one central inspiring idea. Please feel free to email/see us with questions as well.
Our annual cancer walk, Walk for Life, is in need of volunteer hair dressers to assist with students wishing to donate their hair for wigs going to kids affected by cancer. We would love your help cutting donors' ponytails and giving students a quick hair cut afterwards from about 11am-1pm on Friday February 22nd. Please email Ms. Myrick at if you might be interested in volunteering your time. Happy to answer questions as well! Thank you in advance!
Don't miss the first PTSA meeting of 2019! PTSA holds its January Association meeting this Tuesday, January 22nd. In addition to the latest in school and PTSA news, this month we will be joined by the City Managers of Palos Verdes Estates, Rancho Palos Verdes, Rolling Hills and Rolling Hills Estates. Come hear what is going on all around The Hill and bring your questions for these managers who are responsible for the daily operations of our cities. For more information on the meeting, please review the MEETING AGENDA.The PTSA meeting will be held in the Community Room (S21/22, off of Silver Spur) beginning at 9am, but come early for coffee, snacks and social time. Hope to see you all there! 
This Tuesday, January 22, also brings us the first PTSA Restaurant Fundraiser of 2019. Please join us at El Pollo Inka at the Promenade and help support your PTSA! Come by for some delicious Peruvian food for lunch or dinner, order on-line or by phone and take it home and mention the PTSA fundraiser. Every meal you purchase helps PTSA support our students and our school.
Congratulations to our Peninsula Competition Song Team. They competed at the USA Agoura Regional in the Song/Pom division yesterday and they placed 2nd in their division. The team has now qualified to compete at USA Nationals which will be held in Anaheim in February.
The PVPHS Phantom Catz members held their kickoff meeting last Saturday, marking the beginning of a six week period of designing, prototyping, and building a working robot. The game this year is called Destination Deep Space. The 60 members of the Robotics team and their mentors are currently discussing possible designs and strategies for success. Learn more about our Robotics team and follow their progress on the Phantom Catz website.

cyberpatriotPeninsula has formed six teams for the 2018-19 CyberPatriotcompetition. The competition puts teams of high school and middle school students in the position of newly hired IT professionals tasked with managing the network of a small company. In the rounds of competition, teams are given a set of virtual images that represent operating systems and are tasked with finding cybersecurity vulnerabilities within the images and hardening the system while maintaining critical services. The state level round of competition was held last weekend, with close to 5000 teams competing nationwide. After six hours of nonstop work securing systems, one of our teams holds second place for both the national and state levels. The semi-finals round will be held February 1-3, with the national finals following in mid-April.

The following is another in a series of  weekly columns from guest writer, Dr. Moe Gelbart, Executive Director of the Thelma McMillen Center.
In a few weeks, it will be Valentine's Day. Our children, even our little elementary schoolers, will be drawing hearts and sending love wishes to those around them. As parents we will delight in how cute all this is. But for some teenagers, the "love" connection goes way beyond February 14th, causing pause and concern for parents. What can a parent expect, and how should they deal with the news that their teenager is "in love"? Adolescence, as we know, is a vulnerable time. It is a time when developmentally and biologically, teen brains are creating new hormones, emotions, drives, desires for individuation, and good decision making often lags behind emotional drives. It is a time when many teens experience their "first love". 
As a parent, knowing how to deal with your child, how to guide them, and what limits to set can be very confusing and conflict producing. As adults, most of us have gone through romantic feelings and relationships and breakups, and we have a more informed perspective, but helping our children navigate through this experience can be difficult. As with most emotional issues, there are no easy answers or clear cut directions or rules. Thinking about the issue, communicating with your spouse/significant other, and being on the same page and having a game plan can help greatly. Here are some areas to ponder over. 
  • At what age should teens be allowed to date? This requires you to have a definition of dating, and what you can tolerate at certain ages versus others. Criteria of spending time alone together, or identifying as boyfriend/girlfriend should be considered. How much control do you actually have, and what are the risks of trying to exercise too much control? I personally do not believe that a teen is emotionally ready for real dating until they are at least 16, and probably a bit older. More important, is having a discussion about what dating means and is, and understanding your child's emotional readiness.
  • How much control should you exercise? It is well known that the more parents try and control their children's emotional relationships with others, the more likely they are to experience resistance and push their children towards the very thing they would like to avoid. Think Romeo and Juliette. At the same time, parents cannot just sit back and totally allow their children to head down a painful path. Like most issues, the key is communication, and developing an open, validating, respectful ability to discuss issues. It is much easier to set limits and boundaries after one validates feelings.
  • How is the relationship influencing life and decision making? It is important to keep close tabs on your "in love" child, and make sure they are maintaining their goals and directions. Grades, extra-curricular activities, and time with friends should not be negatively affected. If things that were important begin to slide, parents need to step in as soon as possible, and help with understanding and planning. Make sure that being in a relationship does not overwhelm other areas of their life.
  • Have an honest talk with your teen about sex. They need to know about short term gratification and long term consequences. They need to understand about safeguarding their reputation, internet and social media issues, disease and unwanted pregnancy, and how they can misperceive the meaning of certain actions. If possible, it is beneficial to talk to the parents of your child's partner, and encourage them to have similar conversations.
  • Try and understand what is motivating their relationship. On some level, this is the most difficult of all, not just for teenagers, but for adults as well. Quite often, we are unaware of what needs are being met in a relationship, and whether these are healthy or unhealthy needs. If one feels insecure, if one feels abandoned by a parent, if one sees themselves as a people pleaser and rescuer, if one is co-dependent, if one experiences low self-esteem, a love relationship can artificially soothe those needs. However, that would not be the basis of a healthy relationship. Help your teen understand what a healthy relationship is, and how in a mutually satisfying relationship, each is allowed to be a strong individual and help make the other person achieve more of their potential.
  • Be particularly aware if your teen is in a relationship with an addictive person. As stated, such a relationship is born out of motives one is not aware of, but such a relationship could be very painful. Particularly vulnerable are children whose parents have a drug or alcohol problems. Statistics indicate that such children are highly likely to be drawn to a person with a substance abuse issue, often trying to unconsciously fix past issues through present relationship. The results are usually very troubling.
  • Don't put all your hopes in geography. I have worked with many parents who feel that all will be fixed once their son/daughter go off to college, and the relationship runs its course due to distance. Many times this is the case, but often it is not. I have seen teens change their college plans, in order to be near their boyfriend/girlfriend, often at great personal expense. I have worked with parents who felt relieved when their daughter went away to college, and got away from the unmotivated directionless boyfriend, only to find out that he was moving to the city she was in to be with her.
There are many more things to consider, and this just grazes the tip of the iceberg. As with most issues with your teens, the antidote is communication, and having the ability to talk, trust, respect, and be honest. Remember, this is an area we all have personal experience in that we can draw upon. 

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
Contact Associate Principal Toombs
The 2nd semester begins this week. Students should download their spring semester class schedules from their Aeries portal by selecting "Classes" under the Student Info drop down menu. Hard copy schedules will not be distributed.
Pen High Juniors and their parents are invited to a presentation by Pen High counselor Graham Edwards to learn about preparing for the college application process. The presentation will be in the gym this Thursday, January 24, at 6:30pm. 

Please mark your calendars for our upcoming Sophomore Counseling Program for sophomore parents/guardians AND students on two days: Wednesday morning, February 6th, at 7:30 am in the Main Gym OR Thursday evening, February 7th at 6:00 pm (Locations TBA). Please note that the presentation will be the same on both dates, so it is only necessary to attend one session. Parents/guardians and students must attend one of the presentations in order to sign up for an individual conference with your counselors at a later date. More information will be mailed home next week.

Start planning now to take those SCROC classes you've always wanted to explore. Courses begin on Monday, Jan. 28. Classes are free for Pen students, and transportation is provided. Come to the Counseling Office to sign up and learn more about the class offerings.
Contact Mrs. Arico
Visit the CCC Website
If you would like to take a practice SAT or ACT test before the actual exams, the CCC is offering this opportunity for sophomores and juniors on Saturday, February 2 at 9:00 am. The practice tests do not count in any way. Students may sign up starting this Tuesday, January 22nd through Wednesday, January 30th in the CCC. No late sign-ups accepted. There is a $20 donation payable at the time of registration
All juniors interested in attending a Service Academy must attend the fourth annual Bi-Partisan, Multi-District Service Academy Day hosted by the Office of Congressman Ted W. Lieu. This event will be held on Saturday, February 16 from 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm. at the Los Angeles Air Force Base, Gordon Conference Center in El Segundo. It will give prospective students and parents an opportunity to hear speakers from each of the Service Academies and to ask important questions. Due to the restricted access at the base, you must RSVP HERE no later than February 8, 2019. For more information visit Congressman Ted Lieu's website.
Please check Naviance for scholarship opportunities! Some great National and Local scholarships are available with applications due soon and many have requirements such as writing essays and submitting letters of recommendation. Several of these local scholarship are earmarked for Peninsula High students and last year went unfilled as no one applied. Right now is the best time to apply!!
  • Wednesday, January 23 at lunch (CCC) - PVPHS Alumna Juliane Oberstein is presenting Going to College Abroad and the financial, academic and personal benefits to consider.
  • Thursday, January 24 at Panther Time (CCC) - Santa Monica College is on campus to assist with applying and registering
  • Wednesday, January 29 at lunch (CCC) - El Camino will present information about how to apply and register for the California College Grant program now available to PVPHS Students.
  • Monday, February 4 at lunch (CCC) - Beth Hadley of Panhellenic Alumnae South Bay Association (PASBA) is presenting Sorority Life on College Campuses and information about PASBA Scholarship Opportunities. (POSTPONED FROM 1/24)
** All grade levels are welcome to attend these events. Please note that events held during school hours are for students only. **
PVPHS Athletic Booster Club's largest fundraiser of the year, A Black &Gold Affaire, is set for Saturday, March 16, 2019 at the Palos Verdes Golf Club! A do-not-miss event! Sit down dinner, silent and live auctions, and the memorable Parade of Senior Athletes! 

A Black &Gold Affaire has several opportunities for you to support the event:
Thank you to our A Black &Gold Affaire Sponsors (as of January 16th):

Varsity ($1000) 
The Callanan Family 
Steve and MaryBeth Kane 
Kelly and Monica Masuda 
Joel and Michelle Seaton 

Junior Varsity ($600) 
Steve and Romy Martz 

Frosh/Soph ($300) 
Eric and Janet Louie 
The Poa Family 

Panther Patron ($150) 
Joon and Sharon Kim 
Judy Armstrong 
Seongwon and Youngsung Byun 
Mark and Beth Meyerhoff 
PVPHS Girls Volleyball Team 
Mark and Debbie Simkins 
South Bay Accounting Services 
Joe and Jill Trimingham
Please join us at our next ABC meeting, Wednesday, February 13 at 6:30pm in the PVPHS Community Room. Come hear what is going on in the world of Peninsula Athletics, hear from our student athletes, plus more!
Boys' Soccer
Tuesday @ 3pm vs Leuzinger
Thursday @ 3pm vs PV
Friday @ 3pm vs Centennial

Girls' Basketball
Tuesday @ 6pm vs Leuzinger
Friday @ 6pm vs Centennial

Boys' Basketball
Tuesday @ 7:30pm vs Leuzinger
Friday @ 7:30pm vs Centennial
Remember the Titans!
Tuesday and Thursday
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
(Double Assembly Schedule)

Period 0: 7a-7:54a 
Period 1: 8a-8:44a 
Period 2: 8:50a-9:34a
Period 3: 9:40a-10:24a
Period 4A: 10:30a-11:25a 
Period 4B: 11:31a-12:26p
Lunch: 12:26p-1:05p 
Period 5: 1:11p-1:55p 
Period 6: 2:01p-2:45p
Speaker event is this Tuesday evening, January 22, at Ridgecrest

 Follow Pen High on the following official sites 







Have a great week! 
Brent Kuykendall