Harker School

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The Harker School
The Harker School Logo.jpg

Upper School: 500 Saratoga Ave
Middle School: 3800 Blackford Ave
Lower School: 4300 Bucknall Rd

Preschool: 4525 Union Ave

San Jose
, California
United States
Coordinates 37°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
Type Independent
Motto K through Life
Established 1893
Head of school Christopher Nikoloff
Faculty 450
Grades PreK-12
Gender Coeducational
Enrollment Upper School – 720
Color(s) Green      and White     
Mascot Eagle

Gr. 9–12: $45,877[1]
Gr. 6–8: $42,237
Gr. K-5: $34,678

Preschool: $29,561

The Harker School is a private, co-educational, non-profit school in San Jose, California. 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 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.


Harker School 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. 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.

Academic Olympiad Competitions

One Harker student was named to the U.S.Team for International Math Olympiad (IMO) in 2006, and won a silver medal in Slovenia.

Three Harker students were named to the U.S.Team for International Physics Olympiad (IPhO) in 2004, 2009 and 2014, respectively, and all won gold medals in 2004 in Republic of Korea, in 2009 in Mexico and in 2014 in Kazakhstan.

One Harker student was named to the U.S.Team for International Linguistics Olympiad (ILO) in 2011 and 2012, respectively.

One Harker student was named to the U.S.Team for International Olympiad in Informatics (IOI) in 2016, and won a gold medal in Kazan, Russian.

Science Research Competitions

In the Siemens Competition, Harker School had four national semifinalists in both 2006 and 2007 and six in 2008. In the 2012 competition, Harker School had six regional semifinalists and four regional finalists. In 2012, Harker School had four regional finalists and six semifinalists: one-fourth of the regional finalists in California were from Harker School.[2][3] In 2013, Harker School had 10 state finalists, and two regional finalists, Andrew Jin and Steven Wang, who earned the team scholarship and split a $40,000 prize. In 2014, Harker School had 13 state finalists and four regional finalists.

In the Intel Science Talent Search, Harker School student Yi Sun $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.[4] In 2010, Harker School had another Intel finalist, Namrata Anand.[5] In 2011, Harker School had seven semifinalists and was the only school with two Intel Finalists.[6] In 2012, Harker School had 11 Intel Semifinalists, the highest in California and second nationally behind Stuyvesant High School in New York.[7][8] In 2013, Harker School again had six Intel semifinalists, the most in California for the second year in a row, and one finalist.[9][10] In 2014, Harker School had ten Intel semifinalists, again second highest number in the nation, and one finalist, Sreyas Misra. In 2015, Harker School students garnered 15 semifinalist slots, the most of any school in the country. Three of those were named finalists — again, the most in the country — and one, Andrew Jin, was named first-place winner in the Global Good category, winning $150,000.

The Harker School JCL has won first place overall at the California Junior Classical League State Convention for the last three years.


Harker School offers an athletics program which includes football, volleyball, soccer, track and field, basketball, baseball, tennis, golf, softball, lacrosse, cross country running, swimming and diving, 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 girls and boys, 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.

Performing arts[edit]

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

This Certificate Program allows upper school students to "major" in a specific discipline within the performing arts, requiring students to take specialized classes and participate in performances in order to graduate. Students are guided by an advisor. All of the 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 thrice to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, in 2007 (“Urinetown: The Musical”), in 2011 (“Pippin”), and in 2015 ("Into the Woods"). The Harker School’s orchestra played 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.

Vocal groups in the upper school include the show choir Downbeat!, the classical and all-female Cantilena, the classical chamber choir Camerata, and the beginning choir Bel Canto, as well as a student-run a cappella boys group called Guys’ Gig.[11] In addition, Harker School organizes a play each fall, a musical each spring, and a student-directed showcase each winter. Harker School's instrumental music program includes an orchestra and a jazz band, and as of the 2012–2013 school year, also a second, freshman jazz band.

The dance program at Harker School focuses on many different styles of dance and also 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 and Junior Varsity Dance Troupe, and Kinetic Krew perform at various events and venues throughout the school year.

Choral performers from the school are consistently named to the All-State Choir. In 2014, eight singers from Harker School were so honored.[12]


Harker School offers a substantial journalism program with an award-winning newspaper (The Winged Post), yearbook (TALON) and website (HarkerAquila). The newspaper was named 2007 Silver Medalist by Columbia Scholastic Press Association. In 2010 The Winged Post won a Silver Crown and TalonWP.com won a Gold Crown from the CSPA for excellence in writing, coverage and content. The Gold Crown is the highest possible recognition given annually by the CSPA, which recognizes student print or online media for overall excellence. In 2011, TalonWP.com took home the Silver Crown. The website was awarded a Gold Crown in 2012 and nominated for a Pacemaker. In 2014, The Winged Post placed second at the NSPA convention in San Diego's Best of the West competition.

The Harker School yearbook was named 2002, 2004, 2005, 2007 Gold Medalist; 2003, 2006 Silver Medalist; and 2000 Bronze Medalist by the Columbia Scholastic Press Association. The yearbook also earned a 1st Place Award from the American Scholastic Press Association.

Speech and Debate[edit]

Harker School prides itself with an accomplished speech and debate program that offers the primary events officially sanctioned by the National Forensics League. In 2012, two students from Harker School won the National Speech and Debate Tournament in Public Forum Debate. Harker School has produced national finalists in Dramatic Interpretation (2011 and 2013) and Congressional Debate (2008). In addition, competitors from Harker School have won the Tournament of Champions in Public Forum Debate in 2009 and 2011 and in Lincoln Douglas Debate in 2015. In 2012, rising seniors Anuj Sharma and Aneesh Chona won 1st place at the National Championship in Public Forum. At the end of the 2012–2013 academic year Harker School was ranked the 8th best school in the nation by the National Forensics League.

Middle School[edit]

The middle school is located on the Blackford campus, the former site of Blackford High School. The site is 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.[13] 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.[14]


Harker School's tuition is significantly higher than most comparable private schools in the Bay Area.[15][16][17][18] Preschool tuition is $29,561 for full day, $20,831 for half day; kindergarten and elementary tuition is $34,678; middle school tuition is $42,237; upper school tuition is $45,877.[19]

Notable alumni and faculty[edit]


  1. ^ https://www.harker.org/admission/tuition-financial-aid
  2. ^ "Siemens Competition: Four Harker Regional Finalists, Six Semifinalists". Harker News. 
  3. ^ https://www.siemens-foundation.org/fileadmin/user_upload/USA_Foundation/Programs/Siemens_Competition/2012_Finalists_Siemens_Competition.pdf
  4. ^ "South Bay places 8 among nation's top high school scientists". mercurynews.com. 
  5. ^ Friedman, Thomas (20 March 2010). "America's Real Dream Team". New York Times. 
  6. ^ "6 Bay Area students named finalists in Intel Science Talent Search". mercurynews.com. 
  7. ^ "[Updated] Eleven Intel Semifinalists: Most in California, Second in the U.S.". Harker News. 
  8. ^ https://member.societyforscience.org/document.doc?id=333
  9. ^ https://member.societyforscience.org/document.doc?id=442
  10. ^ http://member.societyforscience.org/document.doc?id=459
  11. ^ http://www.harker.org/arts/vocal.htm
  12. ^ http://www.acdacal.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/AllBySchool-PostedList.pdf
  13. ^ "Harker plans to establish high-tech high school". Silicon Valley Business Journal. 
  14. ^ "Harker honored for recycling increase". mercurynews.com. 
  15. ^ "The Harker School: Tuition and Financial Aid". harker.org. 
  16. ^ "Notre Dame High School San Jose – Tuition/Financial Aid". ndsj.org. 
  17. ^ http://www.pres-net.com/admissions/tuition.html
  18. ^ http://www.sfhs.com/admissions/tuition.aspx
  19. ^ "Tuition & Financial Aid | The Harker School". www.harker.org. Retrieved 2017-04-23. 
  20. ^ "Alumnus Wang Named to Forbes 30 Under 30: Art & Design for Award-Winning Lifestyle Brand". Retrieved December 20, 2011. 
  21. ^ "Alexander Wang: The World's 100 Most Influential People". Time. April 15, 2015. 
  22. ^ http://news.harker.org/?p=21916
  23. ^ http://news.harker.org/?p=15461
  24. ^ http://news.harker.org/?p=24908
  25. ^ https://www.ted.com/tedx/events/17013
  26. ^ http://news.harker.org/?p=23365
  27. ^ http://news.harker.org/?p=1174
  28. ^ http://news.harker.org/?p=21690

External links[edit]