The Bay School Blog

The Bay School of San Francisco

New Head Coach: Boys Lacrosse

Spring is upon us! That means more hours of daylight, sunny skies (hopefully), and most importantly spring sports!! We sat down with Bay’s new Boys Lacrosse Head Coach, Griffin Costello, to get to know him a little better and find out what he has in store for this season.

When did you get involved with lacrosse?

coasch_castilloI started playing lacrosse in the 3rd grade. I grew up in the Bay Area and played for all of
my schools, including Redwood High School where I went to the CIF championship. I also played at Sonoma State for all 4 years. After college, I coached for Redwood High School where they went undefeated, as well as for  Branson and Stuart Hall.

Lacrosse runs in my family. My father played lacrosse in high school and college, and my brother, sister and I all played on USA West All-Star teams growing up. My father was instrumental as one of five people to get lacrosse adopted by the state of California and he started a dozen teams. Lacrosse is something my family loves and it’s something that has taken me around the world. It has taught me a lot of great life lessons that I couldn’t get anywhere else other than on the field and that’s why sports are important to me.

What is it about the sport of lacrosse, in particular, that you love so much?

It’s fast-paced, it takes finesse and skill. It combines the physicality of hockey, the speed of soccer and the technique of basketball. It’s like no other sport out there. It’s also North America’s first original sport. Played by some Native American communities, [what we call lacrosse] was called “Little Brother of War” and used it to solve tribal conflicts. Games went on for days and fields were miles long. It was played for the gods, there were no egos involved. It’s pretty special to North America.

How is Bay’s team looking so far?

We are a younger team with more 9th- and 10th-graders than 11th- and 12th-graders, but we have some incredible talent and a few new players to the sport. This is exciting because we get to teach them good habits and how to be the best players they can be. We are full strength with 23 student-athletes, and have a goal to get to 28 players which is league max.

For a long time, lacrosse has been the fastest growing sport in the US and in California especially. Traditionally the East Coast is more lacrosse-oriented but over the last 5-10 years, we have seen division 1 players come out of the Bay Area and San Diego. We are in a hotbed of good teams and schools with strong programs, and we look forward to competing with them.


What is the temperament of the team?

They’re hungry! We have players that are ready to work! I am a believer of making the smart play and understanding why you are where you are on the field. With Bay’s high academic rigor, seeing them play smart is what I am looking forward to this season. That is what I personally believe in and was my playing style. It’s the right play, the smart play – that’s the play that is going to win. We are looking for the players that are going to play well together. The ones that are willing to try something new and give it their all. And they have shown me that so far.

What is your coach philosophy and what are your goals for the team this year?

Goals for the team this year… I’d like to go over 50% [of wins]. I think with a lot of hard work we are capable of it.

My coaching philosophy… work hard, play smart, play fair, play honest. Leave your ego at home. Pass the ball, pass it fast.

I want students to take advantage of the wealth of knowledge we are providing as a coaching staff and learn. I want them to improve every single day. You are not going to be able to build a rocket overnight. You have to take baby steps and learn and build off of everything you learned yesterday. Also, as a team, we will work harder together. So we will do our training and everything together — there are no seniors on the team or freshmen on the team, just lacrosse players on the team.


Bay Students Take Action

Bay is a community where students take action. Whether that action is volunteering to give back to their community or standing up against social issues they feel are unjust, Bay students go above and beyond to do what they think is right.  And as a school, Bay supports its students and takes pride when they seek to make a positive change in this world. Below are a few examples of how some Bay students are getting involved.

DSC_0927Micah ‘17 decided to take action for immigrant and DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival) college students who live in fear of deportation. Inspired by the outcome of the recent presidential election and a conversation with his mother, a professor at the University of San Francisco School of Law, Micah decided to write and submit a proposal to rental housing tech company, Airbnb, to open its platform to these immigrant students for temporary housing during emergency situations. He wrote this proposal because he wants to see these students feel protected and safe as they earn their college education. Micah was able to connect with an executive of the company and get his proposal into their hands. He knew that even if the proposal just sat on the shelf, he needed his voice to be heard. It turns out that Micah was really onto something, as in January, Airbnb announced a new campaign called #weaccept which provides temporary housing for refugees or those that have been displaced.

Two Bay juniors are combining their passion for soccer with their desire to help other18001452_1486255379.0051 communities around the world. Olivia ‘18 and Claire ‘18 are traveling to Guatemala this month to coach soccer to young girls in the town of Nuevo Progreso. This ten-day clinic was designed by a former Bay Area high school student to teach girls the beautiful game of soccer while also giving them resources and confidence to go out and be active. This program began two years ago and this year, our Bay students will host the second clinic and are already expecting a bigger turnout than in previous years.  Olivia and Claire have been collecting donations of soccer equipment and uniforms from the Bay community to give the young students the resources needed to play the game on an ongoing basis.

While many individual students engage in activism and service, Bay also has a student-led club dedicated to ongoing community service.  Two leaders of Bay’s Community Service in Action (CSA) club, Maya ‘17 and Natalia ’17, shared a bit about their passion for service.  Natalia says, “We are really lucky here at Bay and when you give back to the community and the world, it makes you feel good…It feels really good to help other people.” As the club’s leader, Maya’s goal for the club is to make community service sustainable and not just a one-time thing. She says, “I am hoping to inspire the younger generation not to just volunteer for the sake of volunteering, but to do something consistently. We want to inspire the younger students and create an environment where people want to help their communities.” In CSA, everyone gets a voice and a choice of where and how they want to volunteer. It could be hosting a fundraiser, helping prepare and serve meals at homeless shelters or socializing dogs at animal rescue centers, helping them to get adopted. No matter how a Bay student chooses to give back, we love to see them make their mark for the betterment of their community.

Acre Gourmet: Bay’s Lunch Program Partner

The food at Bay is delicious. There is absolutely no denying it. We are extremely fortunate to have our meals prepared by Acre Gourmet, a local catering company that creates meals for our community such as sriracha-lime chicken with broccoli and coconut rice, 3 cheese & bacon mac with tomato basil soup and roasted rainbow carrots, or Marin Sun Farms pulled pork taco salad with Massa Organics brown rice… and that is just this week alone! Not to mention the daily salad bar and soup station, as well as all-day toast and tea, fresh fruit and bagels! Acre definitely spoils the Bay community but it’s not just the food that makes Acre so special. It is also the philosophy behind the company that aligns with Bay’s precepts and the level of care and dedication to the craft that make us so lucky to call them our partner.

We sat down with Head Chef Marisa diGirolamo to learn more about Acre and how our food gets to us from concept to cafeteria.

What is your role with Acre?

I am the new Head Chef for The Bay School lunch program with Acre. I design the menu, do the ordering, and prepare the meals for the community each day.

What is Acre Gourmet’s catering philosophy?

Our core philosophy is that our food must be local, fresh and organic. This is a passion of everyone in the company from the owner to the kitchen staff. Our managing partner and operations manager are heavily involved with the local food production scene and they have great relationships with local farmers in the North Bay and surrounding areas. This allows us to source beautiful produce and meat to serve to the Bay community. Plus we are always connecting with different producers and trying new products to introduce to the menu.

Another big part of our philosophy is cooking everything from scratch. Aside from the bread, which is Acre’s recipe but baked off-site by a local baker, everything that is served is made from scratch in the kitchen on campus. Our ingredients are delivered to the school daily and everything- salsas, sauces, salad dressings, soups – everything – is made from scratch so we exactly what is going into each meal.

How do you decide what is going to be on the menu?

We have a 10-week rotation, so there is a set menu every week for 10 weeks and then it repeats throughout the year. There are several recipes that have been around for a long time that have proven popular, so we keep those. Every 10-week rotation, we test 6 or 7 new meals to see how they go over. Part of my plan for next school year is to revamp the 10-week program. That will be the big task for us over the summer: to try new recipes and menu items. Everyone in the company will be very involved with the process, from me to the operating manager to the managing partner. Everyone is very involved and invested in thinking about how to serve tasty and nutritious meals to Bay students and staffulty.

How do you like working with Bay students?

I LOVE IT!! I love it and I love this community. I have worked in schools before but never a school lunch program. I love the energy of the students, that’s why I really love working here.

How have students influenced the menu? 

We are always trying to adjust the menu to suit the students (and staffulty!) tastes. We are especially aware of ever changing dietary requirements and trends. I LOVE when the kids give us feedback on things they really like or are getting tired of. We really try to incorporate all of the feedback we get to improve the menu as the year goes on. And I am always open to requests for new items so I would love to encourage the community to come visit us in the kitchen and tell us what they think.

Acre is great at accommodating menu items to dietary restrictions. Can you explain why this is so important?

Yes, it is very important to us. We have people in the company that have very specific dietary needs and food allergies. It’s something that we are very aware of and something we are all trained on extensively; we are really happy to cater to those special needs. We always, no matter what, offer gluten free, dairy free and vegan options. We always have gluten free bread at the toast station. We also support how different people choose to manage their diet and health and want to make sure that everyone has something delicious to choose from.

How does Acre educate students on food?

Part of what we really enjoy is introducing foods the students might not have had a chance to try before. We are especially proud of the local farmers and producers we are lucky enough to work with. They often have specialty heirloom items in season. The seasonal produce tastings are a great way to showcase this and give the students a chance to taste a variety of fresh, local, organic produce that is new to them. It’s interesting to hear what of these items they particularly like so we can make sure to incorporate those into the seasonal menus.

What happens with excess food we may have left over?

We work with a service called Food Runners that comes to the school every Friday to pick up any leftover food from the week, which we store in the walk-in freezer. They are a group that goes around to restaurants and food service providers to pick up food and distributes it to local food kitchens and various different charitable organizations like homeless shelters. All of the food is repurposed through their organization to eliminate food waste.

What are some of the students’ favorite lunches? 
Some of the most popular items are the baked pasta dishes. Everyone always requests them. We have a few different versions depending on the season but it is always popular. Enchilada Day is always a big hit. We have been making a lot of different salsas and homemade hot sauces on our Mexican themed days and they are going over really well! Caesar Salad is another frequent request as is pizza.

What would you want an incoming freshman to know about the food?

We would want them to know that we take a lot of pride in our food and we care a lot about them eating fresh and delicious meals! We love feedback and if they have favorites to let us know so we can make it again. We also love requests. We are always looking for new recipes to make. All students are welcome in the kitchen at any time to ask questions and introduce themselves. We love interacting with students and they are always welcome to stop by and hang out!

Astronomy At Bay

At 6’6”, with a basso-profundo voice, booming laugh and ever-present bow tie, science faculty member David Friedlander-Holm is hard to miss in the hallways of Bay. Beyond his height and sartorial choices, Mr. Friedlander-Holm is known for his love of the cosmos. Not only does he share interesting astronomy facts with the school community during Morning Meeting, he also shares his passion for discovery with the students in his physics and astrophysics courses. Last week we talked with David a bit about “Astro” at Bay.

Let’s start with a basic question: why teach astronomy/astrophysics to high school students?

I always answer this question with a story. When I was studying astronomy in college, one of the first things my professor did was have us go outside and watch the sunset–not through a telescope but just by looking. I saw all 5 planets [that were] visible to the naked eye. In that moment, I felt both my smallness and my connectedness with everything. That feeling is uniquely accessible through the study of astronomy. Even when I take students up to the observatory, we spend time lying on our backs on the driveway to look at the dark sky. The immensity is so physical when you experience the sky that way. It’s really the thing that hooks the students into astronomy. It hooked me.

Bay is extremely fortunate to have exclusive school use of Tuolumne Skies Observatory, a private observatory in the Sierra Foothills. What does it mean for Bay students to have regular access to an observatory?

It’s amazing. Bay students can have more direct experience with an observatory telescope than I did as a physics/astronomy major in college! The Keck Observatory [on Mauna Kea], which has the world’s largest telescopes, is using equipment to run those telescopes that are only one step above what Bay students are using. When I went to UC Berkeley last month to observe what equipment they were using at Keck, I was shocked to see how similar it is to our equipment. We are incredibly, incredibly lucky to be able to work with the 20” Ritchey-Chretien telescope at Tuolumne Observatory. We have our class computers hooked up to it and can get data at any time we like.

Having this constant access means we’re doing real science. Often in a science classroom, the teacher is manipulating variables to show a principle at work. Having access to the telescope means students are able to do bench science [i.e. real research]. Students, of course, have to learn what they are looking at and looking for. Then they practice the skills of observation, confirmation, perseverance (you have to look and look and look), and problem-solving. There is so much to take into account when using a telescope to collect data: when to take data based on weather conditions and the moon’s phases, how to use the equipment, how to fix the equipment, and, of course, the human factor.  What’s so great is that I am working WITH the students. When there is a problem with the equipment, together we figure out how to solve it. I don’t have all the answers. And these are real-world, not created or simulated, problems.

What are your students working on?

Learning to use this telescope and the computers /software that are tracking the data; learning to do astrophotography. There are some students who are building a weather station at the observatory so we can quickly determine when it starts raining so we can shut the domes to protect the equipment from rain. Ultimately, we hope we can make discoveries. Right now we are looking for an exoplanet [a planet outside of our solar system]. We’ll start by identifying a variable star since the techniques required to analyze variable stars is similar to approaches to identifying exoplanets.  Then we’ll confirm a known exoplanet before starting to look for an exoplanet that is as yet undiscovered.

What’s next for astro at Bay?

Besides discovering an exoplanet?!?! Well, on my wish list is a spectrometer. Teaching students spectroscopy will allow them to be able to classify stars by measuring gas clouds and light curves. They’ll learn what stars are made of! We’ll also be able to determine the velocity of objects which can help us find extra-galactic distances and which will help build our students’ understanding of the universe as a whole system.

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SEID Members Attend The Student Diversity Leadership Conference

“SDLC is a multiracial, multicultural gathering of upper school student leaders (grades 9–12) from across the U.S. SDLC focuses on self-reflecting, forming allies, and building community. Led by a diverse team of trained adult and peer facilitators, participants will develop effective cross-cultural communication skills and better understand the nature and development of effective strategies for social justice.” – National Association of Independent Schools

Last month, members of Bay’s student leadership group SEID (Student Equity Inclusion and Diversity) attended the Student Diversity Leadership Conference (SDLC) in Atlanta, GA. After their return, we caught up with Makayla ‘18 and Boris ‘19 to ask about their experience and what they took away from the conference.

Why was it important for you to attend SDLC?

Makayla: This conference was important to me because I like working with social justice/DEI issues around the Bay community. Also, it’s really hard being an African American student in a predominantly white school. I feel that sometimes some race issues are pushed aside in our community and I wanted to be able to talk comfortably with people like me who share the same conflicts/issues within their school. I wanted to experience this new community and accept the guidance they have given me so that I can help resolve these issues that I am facing within my school.

Boris: For me, I identify as a Latino and I felt like this conference was the perfect place for me to share my experience being a part of a minority group at a predominantly white private school. I think I was also hoping to meet other Latino students who are in my position and to hear their personal experiences. I also wanted a place where I could feel safe talking with other students of color who go to private schools and the different ways we could work through racism at our schools.

What did you learn? What was your biggest takeaway from the conference?

Makayla: The main thing I learned during the conference was to STAY WOKE. What I mean by that is I need to be able to identify these issues and stand up for what I believe in no matter what the obstacles are. I also learned that you can’t do it alone and I need a strong support system when trying to resolve DEI issues around a particular community, especially a predominantly white community.

Boris:  I honestly learned a lot from both the counselors and the students that attended SDLC. Knowing that there are thousands of other students of color going to private schools and facing similar challenges really empowered me and made me realize that in the end, all of the hardships are worth it. I learned about the power of storytelling and sharing our cultures so that people can better understand our background.

Now that you have all of this knowledge, how do you plan to use it?

Makayla: The biggest goal I hope to accomplish at my time here at Bay is supporting the students of color and making them feel comfortable and supported in the Bay community at all times. I want to serve as a support system to people who don’t know how to handle these DEI issues so that they can better understand and comprehend what’s going on while feeling supported.

Boris: I am hoping to reopen the HOLA (Hispanic/Latino Alliance) Club next year and I am hoping for more people to come. I think it is important for our Hispanic community to get together and offer our culture to the rest of the community. I am also hoping to continue working with SEID to make Bay a safer and more open place for students of color.

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