Deadline for senior parcel-tax exemption looms

Senior homeowners who reside in the Los Altos School District may be eligible for exemption from the district parcel tax. The deadline to request an exemption is Friday.

To qualify, homeowners must be age 65 or over, own a parcel of land within district boundaries and use the parcel as their principal residence.

Local kids go high-tech at Foothill STEM camp

Photos Jane Ridgeway/Town Crier
Seventh-graders Annabelle Lo, above left, of Loyola School and Abby Berwick of Cupertino Middle School examine the results of a crystal-growing experiment at Foothill College’s STEM Summer Camp. Instructor Adrian Phillips, below right, advises seventh-grader Tanner Muret of Cupertino Middle School on a three-dimensional animated scene on the final day of camp.

Foothill College bustled with unusually youthful energy this month as middle and high school students from across the Bay Area descended on the campus for the fifth annual STEM Summer Camp.

Running in four-day sessions through July 20, the camp offers short, intensive courses in everything from roller-coaster science to the chemistry of cooking. The camp’s focus, said founder Oxana Pantchenko, remains unchanged since its inception: introducing young campers to innovative Science, Technology, Engineering and Math concepts and equipment and awakening their passions.

Bats and books help local kids beat the heat at the library

Photos Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
A Big Brown bat chows down on a mealworm snack beneath the bright lights of a magnifying video projector.

Outside, it may have been a sweltering California afternoon, but inside a darkened room at the Los Altos main library last week, local kids gave their rapt attention to a softer, muted scene.

In serene nighttime sepia tones, a slow-motion video showed a bat curving its body balletically as it hunted a moth, quietly chittering. The packed room of parents and kids, from toddlers in laps to older elementary students, oohed and aahed at the animal’s graceful flight, and a chorus of disappointed groans filled the room when the bat’s prey escaped.


Qi Xiao of Los Altos earned a master’s degree in computer science from Clemson University in Clemson, S.C.

LAEF begins search for new executive director

The Los Altos Educational Foundation recently launched its search for a new executive director, replacing Amy Peabody, who stepped down at the end of the 2016-2017 school year after three years in the role.

According to Laura Teksler, chairwoman of the Transition Committee, LAEF is seeking a collaborative leader and self-directed manager who will bring to the organization enthusiasm and experience as a relationship builder, volunteer leader and strategic thinker.

County names local educators Teachers of the Year

Courtesy of Cynthia Greaves
The Santa Clara County Office of Education honors Betty Yamasaki – left, with Los Altos High principal Wynne Satterwhite – at last month’s Teacher Appreciation breakfast.

The Santa Clara County Office of Education has named two Los Altos educators, selected by their districts, as 2017 Teachers of the Year.

Diane Wharton of the Los Altos School District and Betty Yamasaki of the Mountain View Los Altos Union High School District will be among those honored at the 48th annual Teacher Recognition Celebration Sept. 14 in Campbell.

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