Orinda Academy - Where All Are Welcome

OA Friday Flyer        

Friday, March 10, 2017


Lunch Menu for April
RSVP for Being You viewing party on March 15
Vote for us for Parents Press Best of...

Orinda Academy Fund
Double the Donation for matching gifts
Amazon Smile

Ron's Reflections - A Message from the Head of School
Next time  you come into the study hall room take a look at our display board outlining our vision for updating the design of the room, and check out also the new design elements already in use, including a wood wall that brings the outdoor elements inside. Parent Deb Andrich has been working hard on floor plans, furniture options, and schemata for revisioning the room to be a design centerpiece and visual point of reference for visitors and community members. Next steps include fundraising the approximately $25,000 needed to refurbish and redesign the space. Thanks to parent Tim Cottril for wall installation and to Stikwood for the donation of materials.

Crab Feed - That Was a Fun Evening!
Good food, great community, rocking bands, and great prizes made this year's Crab Feed a resounding success. We are still counting receipts but we know we raised some great money for our kids, thanks to all of you! Thank you to all the parents for the hours of hard work putting the event together--look at all of you wonderful people! (and someone please alert me if I have missed someone!!)
Marc Evans, event coordinator and emcee
Karen DeGalan, auction coordinator
Bill Greif and Kathie Hackler, OAPG co-presidents
Basket coordinators Angela Harris, Jennifer Traub, Steve Podell, Laura Cottril, Orit Vogel, and Marc Evans
Invitations and Eventbrite gurus Tanya Avila and Trudy Hsu
Event Underwriters Angela and Edward Harris and Michele and Sam Hooker
Bartenders and Wine/Beer coordinators Lynn Barr, Bob Campbell, Dan Fitzgerald, Jean DeWitt
Kitchen and student help coordinator Wendy Brody
Dessert Dash coordinator Paul Epstein; Pickup Pam Severson
Catering coordinator Debbie Scott
Decorations coordinator Christine Christopher
3-D and technologically fabulous decorations Bonnie Peyton and Doug Earp
Music Master and Rock 'n' Wrangler Molly Smart
Check in and out, setup, cleanup, and all the really hard stuff: Lynette Lockett, Monia Boubaker, Jean DeWitt, Angela Harris, Christina Haslund, Karen DeGalan, Deb Andrich, Orit Vogel, Debbie Degenshein, Leisha Fry, Kathie Hackler
Feather the Nest coordinator and Event Program Bill Greif
Auctioneer Dennis Erokan
Whew. Many more photos will be available soon, but Laura had these on her phone--Junior volunteer Gary photobombing the dessert table, and twins in fashion teachers Megan and Katherine.

Viewing Party for "Being You" - March 15 (please RSVP!)
Please RSVP if you plan to attend the viewing party of Roadtrip Nation's "Being You" for parents and friends of OA. Staff watched it for PD, students watched it as a group last week, and we want to share it with you! Click here to go to Eventbrite to reserve a spot. Admission is free, the movie is 55 minutes and there will be a short discussion session after the film. And, of course, there will be snacks. We'll get you out the door by 9! 

Lunches for April 
Click here for the Classic Catering lunch menu for April, 2017. Lunches must be ordered for the the whole month ahead of time. Please return the menu with your payment to the office by Friday, March 17. We accept cash, check or credit cards for payment for lunches. If you have questions, please email Barbara at

Student Council Collective FUNdraisers 
Two student fundraisers coming up this month: on Wednesday, March 15 students can purchase waffles in the lounge from 8:30-9:30. On Wednesday, March 29 parents can purchase a drive-up coffee in the parking lot from 8:30-9:30. All proceeds will support student activities including the prom on May 20.

Student of the Week - Stevie Earp
The honor this week goes to junior Stevie Earp who earns kudos across the board in all of his classes for exemplary work, and a special commendation for his excellence at the Crab Feed. Congratulations, Stevie!

Junior Meetings
The first round of college meetings with the juniors is complete. Norm enjoyed meeting with each student and hopes they enjoyed meeting with him. The next round begins on Wednesday, March 15 and concludes Thursday, March 23. Juniors are supposed to bring their “Brag Sheets” and their initial college list to the next meeting. The schedule for the meetings is posted on the College Bulletin Board outside Norm's office.

Vote for us on Parents Press!
Please vote for Orinda Academy for the Parents Press "Best of..." issue! We'd love to be recognized as Best Alternative Learning Style High School and with your support--WE CAN! Here's the link to vote.

Earth Day Heads Up: Community Service Opportunities
From OA Parent Orit Vogel: Earth Day is coming up and here’s a website where our kids can register to help on various projects throughout Oakland and get some of their community service hours.

Summer Activities: Send Us Your Suggestions!
Summer plans are underway for many of our families, and we would like to give you the opportunity to share great summer activities for high school kids. Please send your suggestions and recommendations to Laura Turnbull and she will publish them here!
Parent Bill Greif has this to share:
Just registered my teenager Emma for True Colors this summer for her third time! It's a week long program part of Wings Seminars near Eugene, Oregon. Kids find the amazingly freeing feeling of sharing their hopes and fears with other kids and finding that they have so much in common. They learn about personal integrity and accountability ... big words... really what they own and how they show up. They also make a personal contract on how they want to live their life (mine is "I am here fully honest and in love")... Click here for more information about True Colors.

Teacher Feature - Vicky Guarracino
Our brave science teacher Vicky agreed to answer a few quirky questions this week so that we can get to know the REAL Vicky.

On a scale of 1-10 how weird are you?
I am about a 7 or 8 on the weird scale... and I am not afraid to admit that.

Cats or dogs?
Cats are cooler... dogs are sweet, but I prefer independence over neediness.

What’s your mental age?
I just took a random quiz... this one said 24, the one before this said 43... they really don't mean anything... I am pretty young at heart.

Do you own a lava lamp?
I don't own a lava lamp... [the ellipsis in the interviewee's response leads the editor to believe that Vicky would like to own a lava lamp.-Ed.]

Favorite meterological phenomenon?
I am obsessed with thunderstorms.... they are so much fun to be in the middle of.

If you could be remembered for one sentence, what would it be?
She persisted until she got exactly what she wanted

Why is poker on ESPN?
Who the *&%( knows?!?!

Happening at OA
We are very proud of our students who submitted work to the Lamorinda Arts Council Visual Art Competition this year. These students have their art on display at the Orinda Library through the month of March. Please go check out our brilliant young artists and grateful for the work of our wonderful art teacher Andy!

Student artists:
Seniors Aidan Walker, Jin He, and Ansen Zhu
Juniors Molly Clemons, Sylvie Han (2 pieces), Steven DeGalan, Gary Yang, and Humah Sultani
Sophomore Hadley Sutter
Freshmen Samantha Avila and Nick Laughery

Spread the Word - Open House on April 19
Parents--do you know a family looking for a new school for their child for next year? Please spread the word--Orinda Academy is hosting an Open House for new and interested families on April 19 from 7-9p.m.  We appreciate the power of our valued parent network!

Yearbook Request: Fun Family Photos
Yearbook class would like to include photos of your families or students doing things they enjoy outside of school--skiing, cooking, traveling, goofing around--whatever you do that you have fun pictures of, please send to yearbook teacher Andy ( for our yearbook.

Support OA with Amazon Smile!
Did you know that shopping on Amazon can benefit Orinda Academy? Use this link to sign in and choose North Bay Secondary School (OA's legal name) as your charity, and OA gets 0.5 percent of the price of eligible purchases. Last holiday season we doubled our usual Amazon donation...sign in and help us triple it this year!

OA Contact Information
Ron Graydon: Head of School; ext. 1002
Lisa Graydon: tuition payment, book ordering, office needs; ext. 1001
Barbara Owens: attendance, office; ext.1000
Janet Harrison: Admissions Director; ext. 1005
Norm Coleman: college counseling; ext. 1003
Mollie Mowat: learning support, discipline; ext. 1007
Laura Turnbull: development/fundraising, Orinda Academy Fund; ext. 1008
Roger Wise: scheduling, transcripts, academic and tech needs; ext. 1004
Chloe Jhangiani: Coyote Coast counselor; ext. 1011


3/15 - Waffle breakfast fundraiser 8:30-9:30 in the lounge
3/15 - "Being You" Viewing Party 7 p.m.
3/29 - Drive-up coffee fundraiser 8:30-9:30

3/30 - End of third quarter
3/31 - Teacher Work Day - NO SCHOOL


4/3-7 - Educational Adventures Week
4/10-14 - Spring Break - NO SCHOOL
4/19 - Open house - New and interested families 7-9 p.m.
4/26 - Parent Group meeting 7 p.m.


Save the date: 5/5 SPRING ARTS FESTIVAL
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