Heritage Happenings from the Head of School


Patricia Cailler

Head of School

pcailler@peninsulaheritage.org

Happy Whale Day!

Saturday, April 16th, 2016

Our Kindergartners enjoyed a wonderful field trip this week right here in Palos Verdes! Tim and Cathilee Sharretts, grandparents of Kindergartener Hudson Power, helped plan this outing along with Kindergarten Teacher Christy Burden. Parent volunteers and Associate Teacher Carol Woo also accompanied the children to the Point Vicente Interpretive Center overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Miss Natalie, a Docent at the Center, explained the different types of whales and their four stomachs, and the Kindergarteners gazed at the skeleton of one of these massive marine mammals. Outside, the children joined the volunteer adult whale counters at their posts and viewed the ocean’s waves through stationary binoculars. Dolphins – and perhaps a whale! – were located by our keen-eyed students. A delicious al fresco lunch was enjoyed by all, compliments of the Sharretts, and complete with a decorated cake exclaiming, “Happy Whale Day!” This outdoor experience was augmented by the hardworking goats from Fire Grazers, Inc. munching the nearby grasses and brush as they helped the City of Rancho Palos Verdes clear and reduce fire hazards!

The Story Behind the Scenes

Wednesday, March 23rd, 2016

“This is the 13th year of the Fifth Grade Play,” relates Fifth Grade teacher Ms. Kimarie Lynn, “and each year this musical is very different from the others! We specifically tailor each year’s production to the interests and talents of the students and the personality of that particular Fifth Grade class.””
“There are no auditions for the roles – the students pick their characters,” continues Ms. Lynn. “Most of them have gone to the play in prior years and have already selected the roles they wish to play. With new students, I give them a DVD of the play from last year, ask them to watch it at home, and then they choose who they wish to portray. We make sure that there are no minor roles in this musical; every student has an opportunity in the spotlight.
“In addition, the production itself changes each year. Ms. Kat Banales is masterful at sprinkling into the script little bits of very current American culture or adapting the dialogue to fit a student’s desire to take on more lines. Mr. Miller knows the students’ voices from Music Class, and he makes suggestions for solos and duets. Ms. Deb Wilcox designs new choreography that enhances each student’s dancing talent on the stage of the Norris Theatre. Almost every year we change the quantity of production numbers, the duration of the musical, and the number of transitions in front of the curtain. Ms. Terry Metzenbaum handles a myriad of tasks including costumes and props, and this year Mr. Zach Lorenz joined our team and was superb in coaching and instilling within our students the very human aspect of American history.”
“The students truly learn early American history as well as the flow or timeline of the events in that period,” Ms. Lynn relates. “They recognize the actions that led to the consequences of that time. Of equal importance, they become more confident in their speaking skills in front of a group, realize the importance of preparation and practice, and come to truly enjoy the entire experience.”
“We have our Academy Awards on a day following the play, where each student sits on a stool in front of the class, and peers share positive experiences with this child that occurred during the practices and on performance night. There are no “bests” awarded – we feel that all the students have exhibited truly outstanding work.”
“Finally, the children write a five-paragraph reflective essay, sharing how they employed the school’s Six Character Qualities to achieve success throughout the entire production process!”
“We’ve found that this theatrical experience has far-reaching results; alumni who return often relate that this musical is their favorite PHS memory!”

“History Comes Alive!”

Friday, March 11th, 2016

“This is educational theater at its best!” explains Fifth Grade teacher Ms. Kimarie Lynn, producer and director of this annual PHS show. “The children sing, dance, and act out important moments in early American history. When they return to PHS years later, they share with us instances in their high school history classes when they were one of the very few who remembered key points in the history of this country!”
Thanks go to our fantastic Fifth Grade students for developing and sharing their talents in this theatrical production, as well as to the Kindergarten and Second Grade classes that will be featured in this year’s play. We also thank the parents of our student performers who have made the necessary changes in their schedules to accommodate the students’ rehearsals and also providing snacks for the young thespians.
Many of our very talented PHS faculty and staff assist in presenting this fabulous event. Kudos to Language Arts Enrichment Teacher, Kat Banales, for enhancing this often-humorous script to reflect and include current American culture at an age-appropriate level as well as the crucial role of many women in the Revolutionary War period.
The show’s inventive choreography is the creation of our own Dance and Drama Teacher, Deb Wilcox. Music is under the direction of Music Teacher Charley Miller, and Fifth Grade’s Teacher Support, Terry Metzenbaum, oversees costumes, makeup, and props. Zach Lorenz works with the boys in battle scenes and in the famous “Crossing of the Delaware,” and Seventh Grade Teacher Liz Lomeli designs and produces the Playbill.
Be sure to attend this amazing event suitable for all ages! Purchase your tickets now in the School Office, at the Norris Theatre Box Office, or online at www.norristheatre.org (under “Buy Tickets”). See you there!

Galapagos Diving

Saturday, March 5th, 2016

Ms. Kathy Mallon, PHS Science Coordinator and Teacher, recently traveled to the Galapagos Islands as part of a scientific research group. Living aboard the marine research vessel Galapagos Sky, Ms. Mallon unfurled a PHS banner during one of her dives at Darwin Arch. This arch and Darwin Island bear the name of Charles Darwin who made observations about evolution during his 1835 visit to this archipelago. Ms. Mallon is a highly experienced deep sea diver, a Technical Divemaster, and a Full Cave diver. She returned from this trip with amazing photos and videos for an informative PowerPoint presentation she is creating for our PHS students.