Category Archives: Uncategorized

Emily Calandrelli: Author and Science TV Host

On November 28, Emily Calandrelli visited Hamlin and spoke with students in grades 1-5.

Emily is an Emmy-nominated science TV host. She’s featured as a correspondent on Bill Nye Saves the World and a producer and the host of FOX’s Xploration Outer Space. Her first science children’s book series – the Ada Lace Adventures – is now available on Amazon and everywhere books are sold.

Emily’s educational background is in engineering and policy. At West Virginia University she received a bachelors in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering. She received her Masters from MIT in Aeronautics and Astronautics as well as Technology and Policy.

Emily is wildly passionate about space exploration. Through her show, she wants to prove that the space industry is more exciting today than ever before in history. As the host, Emily works to explain science-related topics in an easily digestible, and entertaining way.

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Table To Farm Food Program

On October 24, kindergarteners visited McClelland’s organic farm in Petaluma. The field trip was part of our new Table to Farm food program. Prior to visiting the farm, students were introduced to pumpkins and various types of squash by our food program manager, Tali Biale. In Ms. Biale’s lesson she had girls identify foods that contain pumpkins and squash, then coordinated with Acre Gourmet (our food provider) to have delicious dishes appear in the lunchroom derived from those autumnal favorites. As part of the field experience, students had the opportunity to: select a pumpkin to take home, pet baby cows, and witness the milking process.

After the lesson and field trip, one kindergartener said, I’m very interested in squash now.

Ms. Biale, a Bay Area native, has worked with food in a plethora of ways, including: in a kitchen, on a farm, at farmers’ markets, and in after school programs. She seeks to show students how food connects to all these places and more.

We learn about food in the classroom, then taste it in the lunchroom. Food is a thread that connects all of us; it is a way to talk about culture and identity, as well as nutrition and the environment.

-Tali Biale

As part of her thoughtful work, Ms. Biale asked middle school students to share ways that our food program relates to The Hamlin School creed. Below is one response.

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Hamlin Students Host 2nd Annual Girls Film Festival

For the second year in a row, Hamlin students Ella, Maggie, Charlotte and Caitlin took the stage in Noe Valley to welcome films and filmmakers from all over the world. This year’s event had movies submitted by girls from Croatia, Germany, India, and Canada (among others). 240 people were in attendance to enjoy short films made by girls 14 years and under.

Indigo, a Grade 8 Hamlin student opened the show with her film Not on the Screen that confronts stereotypes and the lack of ethnic diversity in Hollywood. Another highlight was guest speaker and filmmaker Samantha Grant, who urged the audience to have courage, take risks, show your soul, and put your work out there. San Francisco Supervisor Jeff Sheehy presented the Noe Valley Girls Film Festival team with a certificate of honor signed by the entire Board of Supervisors, acknowledging their contribution to the community.

Establishing such a successful film festival is quite an endeavor. The girls raised over $4,000 from bake sales; cold called real estate businesses to gain sponsors, designed t-shirts, formatted films, and maintained ongoing communication with both filmmakers and judges.

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Acre Gourmet Brings Nourishing Food To Hamlin

The school year is off and running, propelled by the new nutritious energy of Acre Gourmet, a socially responsible, environmentally conscious purveyor of all that is good to eat in and around the San Francisco Bay Area.

The move to Acre Gourmet was made after many months of thoughtful consideration. Below is an excerpt of a letter from Hamlin’s Head of School, Wanda M. Holland Greene.

By the time one Kindergarten girl finishes Grade 8 at Hamlin (in June 2026!), she will have eaten well over 1500 school lunches in our dining rooms! Wow. That’s 1500 not-to-be-missed opportunities to strengthen her body and mind with healthy and nutritious meals. That’s also 1500 important opportunities for her to experience new types and combinations of freshly prepared food. Perhaps most importantly, that’s 1500+ daily opportunities for a girl to strengthen her connection to her Hamlin sisters and deepen her appreciation of the incredible abundance of the natural world that we are so fortunate to live with here in the Bay Area.

There’s no doubt in my mind that the food we offer daily at Hamlin has a profound impact on the growth and development of our girls’ bodies and minds. That is why we have spent the last fourteen months taking a hard look at our food program, to understand how it can rise to the same level of excellence and positive impact that we expect from all areas of our educational program.

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Arianna Huffington Speaks at Hamlin Graduation

On June 16, Hamlin’s class of 2017 graduated on a beautiful late spring San Francisco day. We were honored to have Arianna Huffington give the keynote address. Arianna Huffington is a Greek American author, syndicated columnist, and businesswoman. Huffington was the co-founder and editor-in-chief of The Huffington Post.

Before Ms. Huffington’s speech, graduating students Maya P., Sarah H., and Ava L., spoke eloquently about fearlessness, common humanity, and the Hamlin creed. Ms. Huffington then shared several poignant remarks, many focused on how self-care and success go hand and hand.

She made the following points (among others):

-We need to take better care of ourselves than our smart phones.

-We need to change our language, no more “you snooze, you lose.”

-Get more sleep, sleep makes everything better, your social life and your grades.

-At night, turn off all your devices, gently escort them out of your bedroom.

-We are all addicted to our devices.

-The deepest wisdom and creativity comes from disconnecting from our devices.

-I have a quote by Rumi by my bedside, “Live life as though everything is rigged in your favor.”

-Life is shaped from the inside out, this is validated by modern science.

-Stay connected to the essence of who you are, your wisdom, where everything is possible.

Ms. Huffington concluded by stating, attend to your well-being, don’t let life’s mystery pass you by.

In Ms. Holland Greene’s closing words she said, how will you use your privilege to help others?      History has its eyes on you.

Click below to watch Ms. Huffington’s speech:




Wonderland Film: Starring Audrey Hui, ’16

We had a chance to catch up with Audrey Hui, ’16 and learn about her passion for acting. Audrey is currently attending San Francisco University High School and recently played the role of Adeline in the short film, Wonderland.

Stranded in Sin City for Christmas, 12-year-old Adeline struggles to keep her mother’s gambling under control, all for the promise of a perfect family holiday once her father arrives.

Wonderland was filmed in Las Vegas, and was directed by Tiffanie Hsu. Audrey had the opportunity to act in the film with her mother Joan Chen. Ms. Chen has appeared in a number of movies and TV shows during her illustrious career.

During our conversation, Audrey shared the following:

I enjoy acting, it is a passion of mine, I love being different characters, the entire process, learning lines, blocking, I like all of it. 

My mom doesn’t have a “normal” job, I get to see a different her, her passion, her intensity. I get to witness her serious dedication, she helps me better understand how my character feels. My mom guides me, I can take constructive criticism from her well. It can also be weird, we will be happy off camera, then have a tense scene where I have to be mad at her.

Mainstream movies have barely any Chinese women in lead roles. I want to see Chinese women play roles beyond being a sidekick or best friend. So many movies use Asian stereotypes and portray characters the same way in every film, if they are even represented at all. 

Hamlin shaped me, a lot of who I am right now is thanks to Hamlin. 

To watch the trailer for Wonderland, please visit:

Below is brief video of Audrey speaking about Wonderland:


Coding & Robotics @ Hamlin

The video below demonstrates some of the different tools that we use to teach coding, robotics, and computational thinking here at Hamlin:

To learn more about our work see our Scope & Sequence here.

Candace Yu ’96 Speaks about YouTube for Good

On May 25, Hamlin alumna board member Candace Yu ’96 spoke with current 7th graders about her work with YouTube for Good. 7th graders are embarking on their Rising to the Challenge projects next week, so the timing was perfect for learning about the power of video to communicate important ideas.

What you do as a single individual matters,” Ms. Yu stated. She learned this from her Grade 4 Women in History project, where she represented Eleanor Roosevelt. Ms. Yu went on to share other facets of her life, playing basketball at Hamlin, an internship with the office of Dianne Feinstein, jobs focused on election policy and international security in Washington, D.C., spending time working both in the Obama White House, and at the Pentagon. Throughout her journey she has never lost sight of her mission to “always help others.

Ms. Yu then showed a couple of short videos explaining how YouTube brings nonprofits to their platform to tell stories about both local (finding homes for lost dogs in California) and global (spreading awareness about the war in Syria) issues. With more than 1 billion users and more than 1 billion hours of video watched each day, it is clear that the YouTube platform is enormous and impactful.

Ms. Yu went on to speak briefly about her role at YouTube for Good where she is part of the breaking news and crisis response teams, while also working with documentaries that address social/environmental topics like global warming. After her presentation, Ms. Yu fielded many thoughtful student questions.

For more information about YouTube for Good, please visit:

Below is a video of Candace Yu taken earlier this school year:

Jan Micha Women in History Program

When you walk a mile in the footsteps of greatness, you too can become great. For many years Grade 4 Hamlin students have taken the stage in front of their peers and parents, giving voice to inspiring women who came before them. Students select a woman from history, do extensive research from multiple sources, then embody that person, presenting in character with substance, poise and eloquence. When Hamlin alumnae come back to visit, they often cite their Women in History presentation as an enduring hallmark of their education.

This year students are representing the following women:

Suffragists, Abolitionists, and Social Activists:

Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B. Anthony, Harriet Tubman, Elizabeth Schuyler Hamilton, Angela Davis

Educators, Writers, and Journalists:

Martha Foote Crow, Anne Sullivan, Helen Keller, Mercy Otis Warren, Barbara Walters, Nellie Bly, Ida Tarbell


Margaret E. Knight, Mary Edwards Walker, Laurie Marker, Sylvia Earle, Matilda Moldenhauer Brooks, Rachel Carson, Elizabeth Blackwell, Dian Fossey, Helen Fairchild, Clara Barton

Mathematicians and Computer Scientists:

Grace Hopper, Mary Jackson, Katherine Johnson

Visual Artists and Performing Artists:

Maya Lin, Harriet Powers, Marian Anderson, Audrey Hepburn, Shirley Temple, Misty Copeland, Isadora Duncan


Wilma Rudolph, Katherine Switzer, Cathy Reese, Bethany Hamilton


Christina Tosi, Lillian Moller Gilbreth, Juliette Gordon Low, Oprah Winfrey


Deborah Sampson, Sybil Ludington, Belle Boyd, Queen Liliuokalani, Madeleine Albright, Abigail Adams, Michelle Obama, Eleanor Roosevelt

Hamlin 6th Grader Wins “Growing Up Asian in America” Contest

Hamlin 6th grader Abbie C., recently had her awards ceremony for placing first for her poster artwork in the annual Growing Up Asian in America contest. Abbie gave a confident acceptance speech about the theme of food insecurity for children (her poster about the topic appears above).

Abbie has entered this contest every year since second grade. Each year she has placed or received an honorable mention. This is the second time Abbie’s poster has won first place in her age category.

Growing Up Asian in America provides a unique platform for young people to creatively explore and celebrate being both Asian or Pacific Islander and American.

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