Harker School

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  (Redirected from The Harker School)
Jump to navigation Jump to search
The Harker School
The Harker School Logo.jpg
The Harker School Nichols Hall.jpg
Nichols Hall
Upper School: 500 Saratoga Ave.
Middle School: 3800 Blackford Ave.
Lower School: 4300 Bucknall Rd.
Preschool: 4525 Union Ave.

United States
Coordinates37°18′48″N 121°58′08″W / 37.31322°N 121.9689°W / 37.31322; -121.9689Coordinates: 37°18′48″N 121°58′08″W / 37.31322°N 121.9689°W / 37.31322; -121.9689
MottoK through Life
Established1893 as Manzanita Hall
1972 as Harker Academy
name changed in 1993 to the Harker School
Head of schoolBrian Yager
EnrollmentUpper School: 800 (approximate)
Color(s)Green   and White  
TuitionUpper School: $53,800[1]
Middle School: $49,300
Lower School: $41,400
Full Day: $35,125

The Harker School (often referred to as "Harker") is a private, co-educational, non-profit school in San Jose, California, United States. Founded in 1893 as Manzanita Hall by Frank Cramer in Palo Alto, Harker now has four campuses: Union, Bucknall, Blackford, and Saratoga, named after the streets on which they lie. The Union campus houses the Preschool, the Bucknall campus houses the Lower School (kindergarten through grade 5), the Blackford campus houses the Middle School (grades 6 through 8), and the Saratoga campus houses the Upper School (grades 9 through 12).


Upper school[edit]

The upper school, offering grades 9 through 12, is located on the Saratoga Avenue campus. The campus was previously home to an all-girls school, Mother Butler Memorial High School, which merged with Archbishop Mitty High School in 1969.[2]

The upper school was added to the K-8 program in 1998, with the first class of graduates in 2002.

Currently, there are about 800 students in the upper school.

The school's sports mascot is an eagle, as referenced in the school song lyrics: "We can make a difference, you and I / Ride on wings of eagles to the sky."


Harker has the highest ranking by the College Board for Advanced Placement test scores for AP Computer Science, AP Psychology, AP Chemistry, AP Microeconomics, and AP Calculus.[citation needed] In May 2014, 1,536 examinations were written by 513 students in grades 9–12. Scores of 4 and 5: 88 percent; scores of 3, 4 or 5: 97 percent. Harker had 10 perfect scores in AP Microeconomics in 2012.[3]

Academic Olympiad competitions[edit]

Harker school started competing at US Physics Olympiad in 2004 with Yi Sun winning the gold medal at International Physics Olympiad as part of the US team at South Korea.[4] A record three students in 2009 made the final 24 and Anand Natrajan representing the US team won the gold medal in Mexico.[5]

Science research competitions[edit]

In the Siemens Competition, Harker School had four national semifinalists in both 2006 and 2007, and six in 2008. In 2012, Harker had four regional finalists and six semifinalists: one-fourth of the regional finalists in California were from The Harker School.[6][7]

The Harker School started participating in the Intel/Regeneron Science Talent Search competition with its first graduating class of 2002. Between the first graduating class of 2002 until 2019 Harker high school has produced a record 92 semi-finalists and 18 finalists.[8][circular reference] In just 17 years Harker High School has become one of the top three high schools in the USA with a total number of 18 finalists and top ten high schools in the total number of 92 semi-finalists.[9][circular reference].

In the Intel Science Talent Search, a Harker student won the $75,000 second place award in 2006. From 2007 to 2009, 12 Harker School seniors were named national semifinalists, the largest number of any school west of the Mississippi in those years.[10] In 2010, Harker School had another Intel finalist,.[11] In 2011, Harker School had seven semifinalists and was the only school with two Intel finalists.[12] In 2012, Harker School had 11 Intel semifinalists, the most in California and second in the nation behind Stuyvesant High School in New York.[13][14] In 2013, Harker School again had six Intel semifinalists, the most in California for the second year in a row, and one finalist.[15][16] In 2014 Intel STS Harker had 10 semi-finalists, most of any school in California and one finalists. In 2015 Intel STS Harker had record 15 semi-finalists, most of any school in the USA and three finalists, again most of any school in USA with a student winning the first prize of $150,000.[17] In 2016 Intel STS Harker had four semi-finalists and one finalists.[18]

In the 2019 Regeneron Science Talent Search competition, Harker had seven semi-finalists, the most of any school in California and three finalists, tied with another school as the most of any school in USA.[19] In 2018 Regeneron STS Harker had six semi-finalists, tied as most of any school in California and two finalists. In 2017 Regeneron STS Harker had nine semi-finalists, tied as most of any school in USA with two other schools and had three finalists most of any school alone in USA.[20]


Harker School offers an athletics program which includes football, volleyball, soccer, track and field, basketball, baseball, tennis, golf, softball, lacrosse, cross country running, swimming, water polo, wrestling, cheerleading, yoga, fitness, physical education, and dance. Students are encouraged to participate in sports from 4th grade onwards. Some sports, such as lacrosse, diving, track and field, and tennis, are only offered in middle school and high school. Most sports are separated by gender, but others remain co-ed. Harker School is in the Central Coast Section of the California Interscholastic Federation and is classified as Division III in some sports and Division IV in others.

In August 2017, Harker finished construction on their new athletic center on the upper school campus.[21]

Performing arts[edit]

Harker School offers a K–12 performing arts program. The upper school program offers courses in vocal and instrumental ensembles, acting, dance, and technical theater, as well as a program named the Certificate Program.

This Certificate Program allows upper school students to "major" in a specific discipline within the performing arts, requiring them to take specialized classes and participate in performances in order to graduate.[citation needed] Students are guided by an advisor. All upper school performing arts teachers remain active professionals in their respective disciplines. At the end of their senior years, candidates perform a piece from their portfolios at a formal senior showcase and receive their certificate designating completion of the program.

Harker School's musical theater department has been invited four times to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, in 2007 (Urinetown: The Musical), 2011 (Pippin), 2015 (Into the Woods), and 2019 (Urinetown: The Musical).[citation needed] The orchestra played at Carnegie Hall in 2017[22] and performed by invitation at the 2012 London New Year's Parade and Alice Tully Hall in 2009. Cantilena, a classical women's vocal ensemble, toured Italy in 2012.[citation needed]

Vocal groups in the upper school include the show choir Downbeat!, the classical choir Cantilena, the chamber choir Camerata, and the beginning choir Bel Canto, as well as an SATB a cappella group, Signature.[citation needed]

Harker School organizes a play each fall, a musical each spring, and a student-directed showcase each winter.

Harker's instrumental music program includes an orchestra and a jazz band, and as of the 2012–13 school year, a "Lab Band" jazz ensemble for underclassmen.[citation needed]

The dance program at Harker School focuses on many different styles of dance, and encourages Upper School Dance Conservatory students to choreograph many of the numbers in the annual Upper School Dance Production at the end of January. Three audition-only groups, Varsity Dance Troupe, Junior Varsity Dance Troupe, and Kinetic Krew, perform at various events and venues throughout the school year.[citation needed]

In 2014, eight singers from Harker School were named to the All-State Choir.[23]

In February 2018, Harker finished construction on their new performing arts building on the Saratoga campus, which includes a 463-seat theater, dressing rooms and practice rooms,[24] and a Bosendorfer 214VC CS grand piano.[25]


Harker has a school newspaper (Winged Post),[26] yearbook (Talon), news website (Harker Aquila, formerly talonwp.com),[27] and news magazine (Wingspan), as well as a social media presence.[28][29] Harker also has a science research magazine, Harker Horizon, which has an online presence[30] and printed its inaugural issue in 2017.[31] In addition, Harker began an economics magazine, Equilibrium, in 2019, and will maintain both an online presence and print its inaugural version in Summer 2020.

The school's art and literature magazine, HELM, has published 17 print issues as of late 2017.[32]

Middle school[edit]

The middle school is located on the Blackford campus, the former site of Blackford High School. The site has been rented since the 2005–06 school year. Before 1998, grade 8 was the final year at Harker, and middle school graduates matriculated to private and public high schools in the Bay Area. Since the opening of the upper school in 1998, most students choose to remain at Harker School after middle school. Many components ease the shift from the lower school to the middle school, including various athletic and artistic programs. There is also a fine arts requirement: students in grades 7 and 8 must take at least one arts class or participate in one art event in order to graduate (sixth graders are encouraged to do so, as well).

Lower school[edit]

The elementary school is located on the Bucknall campus, the former site of Bucknall Elementary School. The campus was sold to Harker School by the Moreland School District, and classes started there in the 1998–99 school year.[33] The lower school also has an after-school orchestra, as well as sports and other activities.


In December 2014, Harker School received a commendation from the City of San Jose for more than quadrupling recycling on campus, from 15 percent to almost 70 percent of materials, since 2012.[34]


Harker School's tuition is significantly higher than most comparable private schools in the Bay Area.[35][36][37][38]

Notable alumni and faculty[edit]


  1. ^ https://www.harker.org/admission/tuition-financial-aid
  2. ^ Saratoga Campus History
  3. ^ "San Jose's Harker School students earn perfect scores on AP economics exam". The Mercury News. 2013-12-22. Retrieved 2017-10-16.
  4. ^ 1
  5. ^ 1
  6. ^ "Siemens Competition: Four Harker Regional Finalists, Six Semifinalists". Harker News.
  7. ^ https://www.siemens-foundation.org/fileadmin/user_upload/USA_Foundation/Programs/Siemens_Competition/2012_Finalists_Siemens_Competition.pdf
  8. ^ 1
  9. ^ 1
  10. ^ "South Bay places 8 among nation's top high school scientists". mercurynews.com.
  11. ^ Friedman, Thomas (20 March 2010). "America's Real Dream Team". New York Times.
  12. ^ "6 Bay Area students named finalists in Intel Science Talent Search". mercurynews.com.
  13. ^ "[Updated] Eleven Intel Semifinalists: Most in California, Second in the U.S." Harker News.
  14. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2016-11-28. Retrieved 2019-01-30.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  15. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2016-03-04. Retrieved 2015-03-31.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  16. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2015-04-02. Retrieved 2015-03-31.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  17. ^ 1
  18. ^ 1
  19. ^ 1
  20. ^ 1
  21. ^ "Harker celebrates milestone as athletic center opens". news.harker.org. Retrieved 2018-03-13.
  22. ^ "Orchestra travels to New York to perform at Carnegie Hall". news.harker.org. Retrieved 2017-10-16.
  23. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2015-01-22. Retrieved 2015-01-05.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  24. ^ Fang, Kathy. "Rothschild Performing Arts Center opens, inaugurates new era for arts". Harker Aquila. Retrieved 2018-03-13.
  25. ^ "Students bringing Rothschild Performing Arts Center to life at grand opening Feb. 2". news.harker.org. Retrieved 2018-03-13.
  26. ^ "Harker Aquila". issuu. Retrieved 2017-10-16.
  27. ^ "Harker Aquila – The student news site of The Harker School". harkeraquila.com. Retrieved 2017-10-16.
  28. ^ "Harker Aquila". www.facebook.com. Retrieved 2017-10-16.
  29. ^ "Harker Aquila (@HarkerAquila) | Twitter". twitter.com. Retrieved 2017-10-16.
  30. ^ "Harker Horizon". horizon.harker.org. Retrieved 2017-10-16.
  31. ^ Guan, Rose. "Student-run science magazine Harker Horizon releases first issue". Harker Aquila. Retrieved 2017-10-16.
  32. ^ "HELM [Volume 17]". issuu. Retrieved 2017-10-16.
  33. ^ "Harker plans to establish high-tech high school". Silicon Valley Business Journal.
  34. ^ "Harker honored for recycling increase". mercurynews.com.
  35. ^ "The Harker School: Tuition and Financial Aid". harker.org.
  36. ^ "Notre Dame High School San Jose – Tuition/Financial Aid". ndsj.org.
  37. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2010-12-01. Retrieved 2010-07-30.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  38. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2011-07-16. Retrieved 2010-07-30.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  39. ^ http://news.harker.org/mav-mcnealy-13-honored-by-san-jose-sports-hall-of-fame-as-top-world-amateur/
  40. ^ http://news.harker.org/?p=1174
  41. ^ http://news.harker.org/?p=23365
  42. ^ "Alumnus Wang Named to Forbes 30 Under 30: Art & Design for Award-Winning Lifestyle Brand". Retrieved December 20, 2011.
  43. ^ "Alexander Wang: The World's 100 Most Influential People". Time. April 15, 2015.
  44. ^ http://news.harker.org/?p=21916

External links[edit]