An independent day school for grades 6-12
Our students are what makes Crystal special, and they want to share their stories and experiences with you. This page was designed by them for you, the prospective family. Please take some time to get to know them. If you have any questions, you may reach out via email (askanambassador@csus.org). Please include the name of the Ambassador you would like to hear from, or send a general email and you will be connected with the student best equipped to answer your questions.

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  • Andy

    Interests: Lacrosse, Basketball, Flag Football, History, Spanish

    Class Year: 2025
    Joined Crystal: 6th grade
    Hometown: Atherton, CA
    School attended before Crystal: The Phillips Brooks School

    One reason I chose Crystal was because of the amazing teachers and community I saw on my visit day. One of the classes I visited was science where the students were doing an experiment on hydrogen peroxide. Everyone was working together to first come up with a hypothesis about how the lab might turn out. After completing their lab, the results were totally different than what they thought it would be. The teacher spent the last part of the class talking about the process of learning and how making mistakes is one of the best ways to learn. It was the perfect embodiment of Crystal’s Core Value of “celebrate scholarship” and it made me realize I wanted to be a part of a community where everyone really loves to learn.

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  • Celia

    Interests: Lacrosse, Surfing, Debate

    Class Year: 2025
    Joined Crystal: 6th grade
    Hometown: Menlo Park
    School attended before Crystal: Trinity School

    I chose Crystal because I have so many more opportunities than I did at my elementary school and I feel like I can embrace these opportunities and not be judged. Crystal provides so many activities, some are new, and some are things that you may have already learned and can expand on. At Crystal, no one judges you if you try out for a sport that you have never played before. No one judges you if you want to be in band and have never played an instrument before. Everyone is here to help and support you. There are so many events to try broaden your comfort zone or to completely step outside of it.

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  • Gaby

    Interests: Volleyball, Academics/academic placement, Teachers, Food, Traditions

    Class Year: 2025
    Joined Crystal: 6th grade
    Hometown: Redwood City
    School attended before Crystal: St. Pius School

    Because my mom works at Crystal, I have been surrounded by the Crystal community my whole life. One thing that really stood out to me about Crystal was the kindness that everyone showed me when I was younger, even before I thought about applying. This happens to be a part of one of our core values: We Foster Kindness and Inclusion. As a result of being with people who demonstrate this value, I decided that I wanted to emulate the words of this core value as well. So, the Crystal Core Value that I live by is "We Foster Kindness and Inclusion." Every time I came to Crystal, whether it was for a visit day or just a day at work with my mom, I felt so welcomed and safe when I was there, and everyone was happy to share their space with me. Now, I want everyone who comes to Crystal to feel the same as I did (and still do), and a way to encourage others to be kind is to model that yourself. Kindness and inclusion have always been important moral values for me, and it's awesome that they are such a big part of Crystal too!

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  • Jeeth

    Interests: Sports, Art Rotation, Choir, Math, Advisory

    Class Year: 2025
    Joined Crystal: 6th grade
    Hometown: Menlo Park
    School attended before Crystal: Synapse School

    One moment that was “so Crystal” was during Cross Country season last year. Since I was a 7th-grade boy, my race was the final one of the day. When I finished my run, I expected most of my friends and team to have already gone home, and that I would cross the finish line alone. I was so surprised when I neared the finish line and saw how many people were cheering me on! Most of my team stayed to cheer the last runners as they crossed the finish line even when they could have gone home. It was at that moment I realized how great the Crystal community is.

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  • Kelyn

    Interests: Dance, Clubs, English, Arts Rotation, Advisory

    Class Year: 2025
    Joined Crystal: 6th grade
    Hometown: San Carlos
    School attended before Crystal: Arroyo School

    I chose Crystal because of the amazing community, academics, and all of the different platforms we have to let everyone express themselves. The community is so kind and caring. There are great teachers, staff members, and peers that are always there for us. During my visit day, I felt the warmth of the community and genuine kindness of everyone and knew Crystal was the place for me. The learning environment is great and everyone at Crystal wants me to succeed and learn in the best way possible for me. We have many spaces for people to do what they are interested in. We have great sports, arts, and club like robotics, soccer, tennis, musicals, and volleyball - just to name a few!

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  • Sam

    Interests: Sports, Transportation, Advisory, Homework

    Class Year: 2025
    Joined Crystal: 6th grade
    Hometown: San Mateo
    School attended before Crystal: Carey School

    My favorite Crystal tradition is The Lip Sync Battle. This is a day where the whole school comes together and dances to popular songs that they have choreographed by themselves. Each grade gives it their best, and the judges pick a winner in the end. My grade (Class of 2025) has won both years that we have been here at Crystal. I am especially proud because I got a chance to be one of the leaders. Lip Sync is a great way to get to know my school and classmates even better. It is fun to watch my friends and it is all around just a great time!

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  • Tarik

    Interests: Cross Country, Basketball, Soccer, Academics, Transportation 

    Class Year: 2025
    Joined Crystal: 6th grade
    Hometown: Palo Alto, CA
    School attended before Crystal: Phillips Brooks School

    My favorite Crystal tradition is Snow Day. I love how you don't know when it is coming (it's a surprise for the students AND the teachers). When it does happen, it is always a fun activity for both the high schoolers and the middle schoolers, and a great opportunity for us to all be together and having fun.

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  • Anjali

    Interests: Basketball, Musicals/Plays, Dance, Choir, Math, Science, Advisory, Student Council, Extracurriculars

    Class Year: 2025
    Joined Crystal: 6th grade
    Hometown: Hillsborough
    School attended before Crystal: Hoover Elementary

    I chose Crystal because of its incredible academic and musical programs, as well as the amazing community. The people at Crystal, both students and faculty, are so kind and inclusive. Everyone at Crystal welcomed me with open arms and accepts me for my genuine self. I am celebrated for being unique at Crystal, and that is one of the most amazing things about Crystal. I also chose Crystal because it is a place where I am challenged, yet everyone is constantly supporting me. 

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  • Eliza

    Interests: Basketball, Transportation, Musicals

    Class Year: 2025
    Joined Crystal: 6th grade
    Hometown: San Bruno
    School attended before Crystal: Serendipity School

    We have so many great traditions at Crystal but one of my favorite traditions is Snow Day! Snow Day is a day where the students get a surprise day off from school and get to do something really fun. For example, this past year we watched Frozen 2 at the movie theaters in Redwood City, and then went to a Carnival at the Upper School campus.

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  • Hannah

    Interests: Soccer, Surfing, Musical Theater, Student Government

    Class Year: 2025
    Joined Crystal: 6th grade
    Hometown: Belmont, CA
    School attended before Crystal: Fox Elementary School

    My favorite Crystal tradition is definitely Lip Sync. We have many traditions that connect both campuses but Lip Sync is truly a "One Crystal" event where each grade gets to battle one another in a live performance. Teachers are involved, and there's a champion of each division. It's so much fun to just be with the whole school watching everyone's performances. It may help that my grade has won two years in a row, but that's beside the point. It's just so much fun having everyone together.

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  • Jessica

    Interests: Science, Dance, PE Rotations, Mandarin, Musicals, Art

    Class Year: 2025
    Joined Crystal: 6th grade
    Hometown: Palo Alto, CA
    School attended before Crystal: Phillips Brooks School 

    I chose Crystal because I found a welcoming community where I can be myself. Even when I was visiting, I felt at home and could see the connections being made between teachers and students. I wasn't sure what middle school would be like, but Crystal just felt right. The first few weeks of school I was really nervous about how people would perceive me, but everyone was welcoming. I was able to make friends with multiple people, and I even made friends with my now best friends. 

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  • Olivia

    Interests: Athletics, Math, Rock, Pop, and Jazz Band, Instrumentals

    Class Year: 2025
    Joined Crystal: 6th Grade
    Hometown: Hillsborough, CA
    School attended before Crystal: The Carey School

    I chose Crystal because of the amazing and warm community we have. I was so nervous on my first day, but the teachers really got me excited for the year. Every teacher I have met is super nice, and can always cheer me up. I also chose Crystal because of the amazing opportunities we have to play a sport or be in the musical. I am really passionate about sports, and when I heard of the many sports offered at the Middle School, I knew that was the school I wanted to be at. Overall, I chose Crystal because I felt like it was the best place for a student to succeed and have fun all at the same time.

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  • Samantha

    Interests: Crystal FIRST, World Languages, Transportation, Student Life, SMART program 

    Class Year: 2025
    Joined Crystal: 6th grade
    Hometown: San Francisco, CA
    School attended before Crystal: Commodore Sloat Elementary 

    Honestly, Crystal is so different from all the schools I've been to. From the teaching styles to the everyday contagious positive energy, Crystal is special in every way. One of the most iconic memories that I'll never forget is performing our Lip Sync Battle routine. For those three minutes, I felt a joy that I could only experience at Crystal. It's the same joy I get during Snow Day, or just jamming out to the bell song playing in the hallways during passing periods. 

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  • Ben

    Interests: Instrumentals, Transportation, Debate, Academics

    Class Year: 2025
    Joined Crystal: 6th grade
    Hometown: Sunnyvale
    School attended before Crystal: Helios School 

    My favorite place on campus is the Information Resource Center or IRC. As students, we use the IRC as a library, maker space, study area, or as a space to talk and socialize. I have many fond memories of spending my lunches looking out on the rest of the Middle School campus through the big glass windows on either side of the IRC. I remember playing Magic: The Gathering tournaments in the IRC. I believe that the IRC is a place where our Core Values meet--it is a place where we are encouraged to celebrate scholarship because of the availability of books, where we are inspired to seek growth challenges and engage with enthusiasm because we can use the maker space, and we strive for balance and foster kindness and inclusion in the IRC because it is a gathering place for people on campus. 

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  • Ella

    Interests: Anything Music, Anything Athletics, Student Council

    Class Year: 2025
    Joined Crystal: 6th Grade
    Hometown: Burlingame
    School attended before Crystal: Lincoln Elementary 

    I chose Crystal because I felt I needed a change in my community and my environment. I wanted to be somewhere I could grow and be challenged. When I first visited Crystal I knew it was the one for me. It was the perfect community and the most welcoming environment. It was a big challenge at first, but Crystal did a great job warmly welcoming me and easing the transition to sixth grade. Another reason I chose Crystal was the fact that I could be more myself than ever. I had ample opportunity to explore my passions, what challenged me and discover what type of learner I am. Crystal mixes an extraordinary learning environment with a tight-knit, welcoming community. 

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  • Henry

    Interests: Flag Football, Basketball, Tennis, Golf, Plays/Musicals, Crew, Arts Rotation, Teachers

    Class Year: 2025
    Joined Crystal: 6th Grade
    Hometown: Hillsborough, CA
    School attended before Crystal: St. Matthew's Episcopal

    My favorite place on the Middle School campus is the Information Resource Center (IRC). The reason for this is the fact that a lot of my buddies and I love to hang out there. We have spent a lot of time playing Magic: the Gathering, or just talking. The other reason that I love the IRC is the fact that it is a space for learning, and it has a serene, calm environment that I definitely appreciate. It is also an excellent place to study for a test, or find a great book to read. Ms. Geriak, the librarian is an amazing, welcoming person who can always help me find a book.

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  • Julienne

    Interests: Plays/Musicals, Choir, Rock, Pop, and Jazz, Arts Rotation

    Class Year: 2025
    Joined Crystal: 6th grade
    Hometown: Pacifica, CA
    School attended before Crystal: St. Gabriel's Catholic School

    One of my favorite Crystal traditions is Lip Sync because it is the perfect opportunity to bring together the entire school and let our humorous, creative, and innovative sides go. As a member of the class that has won over the past two years, I see Lip Sync as an exciting collaborative project that helps keep us connected with our classmates. It's so fun to see everyone in the school, whether they're a student or a faculty/staff member, performing a silly skit or a fun dance with each other. I love how the environment during Lip Sync is so happy and nonjudgmental, creating a comfortable space that brings together everyone at Crystal.

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  • Penny

    Interests: Soccer, Basketball, Volleyball, Lacrosse, Art, English 

    Class Year: 2025
    Joined Crystal: 6th grade
    Hometown: Burlingame
    School attended before Crystal: Lincoln Elementary

    I chose Crystal because I wanted a new and exciting environment. I loved my old school but I wanted to meet new people and experience new opportunities. Crystal was the last school I visited and up until then I had liked all the schools I looked at, but when I visited Crystal I felt a really special connection. It felt almost magical; I loved everything. The students and faculty treated me like I was a part of their amazing community. I have grown to love it even more the longer I have been here. Though I do love the amazing academics, athletics and food, my favorite part of Crystal when I visited and still now would have to be the community. At Crystal everyone accepts you for who you want to be and celebrates you for that. Going to Crystal was one of the best choices that I have ever made.

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  • Sapphire

    Interests: Visual Arts, Music, Plays, Writing

    Class Year: 2025
    Joined Crystal: 6th grade
    Hometown: Atherton, CA
    School attended before Crystal: La Entrada Middle School

    My "That's so Crystal' moment wasn't exactly a particular moment, but all the significant moments I've experienced so far meshed into one. What really drew me in to Crystal was all the kindness and acceptance that symbolizes what Crystal truly is. Coming from a place that not necessarily acknowledged what set each student apart, at Crystal I was stunned to see everyone's different traits celebrated. Teachers were telling us what makes us unique is what makes us so special. Crystal has completely changed my mindset and taught me to love myself and what makes me so significant in this huge world. Whether it be race, sexual orientation, or simply different interests, Crystal will always have a place for you in the form of clubs, presentations, and talks where YOU can tell everyone about your own experiences.

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  • Brandon

    Interests: Instrumentals, Math, Academics, Teachers, Community

    Class Year: 2025
    Joined Crystal: 6th Grade
    Hometown: Hillsborough, CA
    School attended before Crystal: North Hillsborough Elementary School

    I chose Crystal because of its incredible community and challenging academics. Crystal's community is so warm and kind and all the faculty and students are extremely supportive. At Crystal, I feel that everybody is always helping each other, which creates a close-knit community. Also, Crystal has an absolutely amazing academics program. The robust education along with the extraordinary learning environment encourages students to learn and pursue scholarship. Finally, Crystal provides an abundance of opportunities for students. For example, Crystal has clubs that students can create, a PoP (Pursuit of Passion) program where students can pursue their passions, and many other areas where students can explore new things and ideas. Crystal is just an overall awesome place where students can thrive and learn together as a community.

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  • Ethan

    Interests: Golf, Flag Football, Basketball, Math, English, Arts Rotation, Student Council, Middle School Events, Teachers, Cafe, Advisory, Traditions, Filmmaking 

    Class Year: 2025
    Joined Crystal: 6th Grade
    Hometown: Palo Alto
    School attended before Crystal: Philips Brooks School

    I chose Crystal because of the robust and exuberant learning environment. I felt like I was able to be myself and learn from engaging and experienced teachers at the same time. I also loved that Crystal provides so many different opportunities to pursue my passions. We have clubs, activities, athletics, and academics ranging from golf to Rube Goldberg machines. My fellow Crystal peers and teachers have been super supportive and encouraging throughout the past 3 years I have been here. Crystal is a place where I'm encouraged to think outside of the box and enhance my talents and skills. I look forward to going to school every day!

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  • Isabella

    Interests: Volleyball, Dance, PE Rotations, French, Public to Private School Transition, Arts, Plays/Musicals, Tutoring

    Class Year: 2025
    Joined Crystal: 6th grade
    Hometown: San Francisco
    School attended before Crystal: Lakeshore Elementary, SF

    I chose Crystal because of how enthusiastic all the teachers were when I visited as a 5th grader. Coming from a public school, it's hard to know what to expect at a school like Crystal. My great 6th grade advisor who, at the time, was also my English teacher, was a great first advisor because she really wanted to know you on a personal level. This just shows how dedicated and passionate the faculty are here which was my main reason I chose Crystal. I used to not like math but, as my math teacher told me, "It’s not the subject you hate, it's the experience and how others teach it to you." Since coming to Crystal, I have never felt like I've been alone when figuring out a math problem because of all the support and understanding I receive from my teachers. There has always been a higher level of expectation from our faculty which pushes us to be better versions of ourselves, and this is why I chose Crystal.

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  • Karen

    Interests: Athletics, Academics, Arts Rotation

    Class Year: 2025
    Joined Crystal: 6th grade
    Hometown: Los Altos
    School attended before Crystal: Almond Elementary School

    Distance learning from home has been a struggle for me. I've been struggling to maintain focus during class and it feels like the information is flowing into then out of my brain; I'm lacking my usual energy. It was devastating to think about how many community activities would be taken away by distance learning. A week ago, I "Zoomed" into my second all-school meeting. We were having technical difficulties so I couldn't help but think about how these tech issues would make the meeting feel monotonous. Then, as if it was on cue, Ms. Sortino, our Head of School, was finishing up her quick welcome speech, and I caught her saying, "... we're all in this together! Every time I say that, I can hear the song playing in my head..." All of a sudden, the song started playing, the faculty members all turned on their cameras, and they started dancing to the song! In that moment, I felt nothing but joy and gratitude. I thought, "Of course! Crystal is the only school I know who could pull off a surprise like this! This is so Crystal!" That's the moment I decided that distance learning wouldn't get in the way of enjoying another fantastic school year!

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  • Rohan

    Interests: Academics, Athletics, Instrumentals, Musicals, Student Council

    Class Year: 2025
    Joined Crystal: 6th Grade
    Hometown: Hillsborough, CA
    School attended before Crystal: West Hillsborough Elementary School

    I chose Crystal because of the rigorous academics, kind community, and the variety of extracurricular activities. I have always heard great things about Crystal academics ever since elementary school. When I visited, I was able to experience it for myself. It exceeded my expectations, and that was one of the first instances where I knew Crystal was the right school for me. The second reason that I attended Crystal is the kind community. My host, Austin M., was one of the kindest people I ever met; he introduced me to all of his friends and made sure that I enjoyed my day. His peers and the faculty also welcomed me, and I felt at home. I still feel this way at Crystal, and I strive to have my younger schoolmates feel even more included. Third, the variety of extracurricular activities is extraordinary! Crystal also does an amazing job of helping balance homework with activities. The athletics at Crystal are great because you are able to play your sport regardless of how good you are; the coaches always find a way to help you improve your game. Moreover, when I auditioned for the musical Footloose, it was one of the best experiences of my life! It even sparked a new passion of mine! Even though I was cast as an ensemble member, I enjoyed every minute of it, from rehearsals to the show. I also made some very good friends!

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  • Taj

    Interests: Soccer, Baseball, Choir, Math, Student Council

    Class Year: 2025
    Joined Crystal: 6th grade
    Hometown: San Mateo
    School attended before Crystal: Baywood Elementary

    I would love to tell you more about the amazing athletics program at Crystal. There are no cuts in the Middle School athletics program, which means everyone gets to play, no matter what. There are tryouts for teams, but this will pair together players who have the same skill level and experience for that sport. I have loved all of my coaches, no matter the team I was on, and have been teamed up with students I have really played well with.

Crystal Springs Uplands School


General: (650) 342-4175 | info@csus.org
Admission Inquiries: admission@csus.org
Middle School
10 Davis Drive
Belmont, CA 94002
(650) 645-1000
Upper School
400 Uplands Drive
Hillsborough, CA 94010
(650) 342-4175