An Independent Day School for Grades 6-12

Crystal PALS

Welcome to Crystal's Contact Me! page, which offers opportunities for connection between applicant families and current Crystal families. Our generous and enthusiastic Crystal PALs (Parent and Guardian Admission Liaisons) are ready and happy to connect with you about the Crystal student and family experience. Please click on the link to learn more about each PAL and feel free to reach out to any of them. As always, we encourage you to reach out to Crystal's Admission Office with any questions about the Admission process.

Thank you for your interest in Crystal!
Middle School Admission Office
10 Davis Drive, Belmont, CA 94002
Direct line:  (650) 645-1011

Upper School Admission Office
400 Uplands Drive, Hillsborough, CA 94010
Direct line:  (650) 375-5411

Email:  admission@csus.org

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  • Andrea

    Andrea Higuera-Ballard, Hillsborough
    Please contact me at andrea.PALS2020@gmail.com to discuss diversity, arts, Middle School, athletics.
    Originally from Southern California

    In my free time my family and I enjoy…
    Playing tennis, hiking, spending time in Tahoe, and volunteering in the community

    Length of time at Crystal
    4 years (Middle School only)

    Parent experience at Crystal
    Parent Association Grade Rep & Board, Trustee, cheering for middle school sports teams

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  • Andrew

    Andrew Wolf, Burlingame
    Please contact me at andrew.crystalpals@gmail.com to discuss parent events, Upper School, Middle School, Athletics/PE, and Advisory, Clubs, Visual Art, or off-campus semester during junior year.
    Originally from: Palo Alto, CA

    In my free time my family and I enjoy...
    Before the pandemic, "free time" was spent exploring California's beaches and mountains, and shuttling kids to soccer games. Since the start of the pandemic, we've gotten good at ping pong, foosball, and chess.

    Length of time at Crystal
    Since 2017 when our daughter started at the MS and our son started at the US.

    Parent experience at Crystal
    Currently, I am the Secretary of the Parent Association and have attended many a social function!  My favorite is the annual MLK Jr. Birthday potluck dinner and celebration.

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  • Becky L

    Becky Logan, Woodside
    Please contact me at becky.crystalpals@gmail.com to discuss anything related to the arts at Crystal, middle school sports, the upper school experience, and the mission and core values
    Originally from: Atherton, CA

    In my free time, my family and I enjoy…
    Spending time with family and friends, going to the beach together, spending time outdoors and watching movies.

    Length of time at Crystal
    Alum '89; Parent of Alum '19 and Current Student '23 - both started in 6th grade.

    Parent experience at Crystal

    Trustee, Alumni Board President, Admissions Volunteer, Support of Arts Programming

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  • Bien

    Bien Fernandez-Blancaflor, Pacifica
    Please contact me at bien.pals2020@gmail.com to discuss Upper School, Middle School, performance or visual art, student government, athletics/PE, financial aid, parent events, transportation, lunch, school trips, academics, and clubs.
    Originally from: Manila, Philippines

    In my freetime my family and I enjoy...
    baking, gardening, and organizing things at home. 

    Length of time at Crystal
    I have been a Crystal parent for five years now. I had a high school daughter who graduated last year from Crystal (Florenz) and currently have an 8th-grade middle schooler (Julienne). 

    Parent experience at Crystal
    I have been a booth chairperson for the Lunar New Year event for the last 3 years. I volunteer during the art festival, the annual gala, high school play, selling Crystal gear, Middle School Family Day, faculty appreciation events, just to name a few.

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  • Carol

    Carol True, Hillsborough
    Please contact me at carol.crystalPALs@gmail.com  to discuss Middle School and Upper School Admissions and Academics, Sports, Theatre, Mock Trial, the College Counseling Process and Experience, Parent Involvement, and Kindness and Inclusion Modeling.
    Originally from: Southern California

    In my free time, I enjoy...
    watching sports, playing golf and tennis, puzzles, board games, bike rides, and travel whenever possible!

    Length of time at Crystal
    Seven years at Crystal. Both my son and daughter started in Middle School.

    Parent experience at Crystal
    I have been a Crystal Fund team member for four years and a co-chair for 2021-22, a middle school and upper school grade level parent representative for three years, a Crystal PEER mentor and a Gryphon Greeter parent volunteer for two years. Becoming part of the Crystal community where kindness, inclusion and a deep commitment to learning is practiced every day, has been one of the best things I've become involved in!

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  • Cecilia

    Cecilia Chen, Atherton
    Please contact me at cecilia.crystalPALs@gmail.com  to discuss the Upper School experience. I was impressed by the transition experience my daughter had, as well as my own experience integrating into the Crystal community. It's been such a smooth and positive experience that I can share with other high school applicants. I can also share my daughter's experiences with sports teams, clubs, student government, friendship, etc. Other topics  include transportation, food, academics and parents events.

    Originally from: Nanjing, China
     
    In my free time, my family and I enjoy…
    gardening, hiking, cycling, listening to audiobooks and watching Youtube videos, and we really hope to be able to travel freely again soon.
     
    Length of time at Crystal
    First-year at Crystal and in the Upper School.
     
    Parent experience at Crystal
    PAL

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  • Craig

    Craig Michaels, Belmont, CA
    Please contact me at craig.PALS2020@gmail.com to discuss the Middle School experience, academics, advisory, sports, music and plays.
    Originally from New York
     
    In my free time, my family and I enjoy…
    Hiking (with our dog), swimming, skiing, watching movies and "classic" TV shows, and volunteering.
     
    Length of time at Crystal
    3 years in MS (8th and 6th graders)
     
    Parent experience at Crystal
    Gryphon Greeter, sports team parent and led a POP at school

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  • Cristal

    Cristal Waldrop, San Mateo
    Contact me at cristal.crystalpals@gmail.com to discuss DEI, core values, the Middle School and Upper School experience, advisory, academics, athletics (football/basketball), volunteering, and student support.
    Originally from:
    I'm originally from Philadelphia, but my children were born in Atlanta, GA. We moved from Atlanta to the Bay Area in 2014.

    In my free time my family and I enjoy...
    traveling together, watching football (college & NFL), reading fiction, Marvel movies.

    Length of time at Crystal
    This is my seventh year at Crystal, I have both MS and US experience. Currently, I have 9th & 12th grade boys, but both came through the Middle School.

    Parent experience at Crystal
    Trustee, Gala Committee, Parent Association, Annual Fund, DEI Taskforce, Gryphon Greeter, and PAL.

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  • Daniele

    Daniele Levy, Menlo Park
    Please contact me at daniele.crystalPALs@gmail.com to discuss academics (how much homework do they really get?), advisory (how does it work?), community (are the parents really as nice as they say they are?), transportation from PA/MP (yes, it's easy), friends, food, dogs, debate, diversity/equity/inclusion, and clubs.
    Originally from: Sao Paulo, Brazil
     
    In my free time my family and I enjoy…
    Hiking, traveling, reading and Peloton
     
    Length of time at Crystal
    Three years in Middle School
     
    Parent experience at Crystal
    Gryphon Greeter, Admissions volunteer - and whatever else we can fit in with two full-time working parents.

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  • Danielle

    Danielle Conkling, San Carlos
    Please contact me at danielle.pals2020@gmail.com to discuss the Middle School experience, sports (baseball, football, cross country), school play, debate, transportation, and parent engagement
    Originally from: Born in the Philippines, grew up in San Francisco

    In my free time, my family and I enjoy…
    Community volunteering and engagement, outdoor activities and sports, travel, reading, spending time with family and friends

    Length of time at Crystal
    2 years in the Middle School

    Parent experience at Crystal
    Pal, Gryphon Greeters, Gala co-chair, and PA class rep

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  • Dorie

    Dorie Ravara, San Leandro
    Please contact me at teodorie.PALS2020@gmail.com to discuss diversity, Middle School, financial aid, robotics, commuting from the East Bay, A Better Chance, and transitioning from a parochial school.
    Originally from:
    Born & Raised in San Francisco

    In my free time my family and I enjoy…
    Playing board games, drive-in movies, outdoor recreation, community service, and camping 

    Length of time at Crystal
    First year at Crystal with my youngest Middle Schooler

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  • Elizabeth J

    Elizabeth Jeffords, Hillsborough
    Please contact me at (email coming soon) to discuss arts at Crystal
    (kids in US Theatre, Dance, Choir, Music, Art), entering the Upper School from public school, entering Upper School from International Schools, LGBTQIA+ experience, introversion/extroversion diversity, parent volunteering, applying to college from Crystal and applying to Art/Design schools.
    Originally from: Pittsburgh

    In my free time, my family and I enjoy…
    Watching movies, debating current events and "adulting" topics, community engagement, long walks, playing music, theatre/arts, hiding from Covid.


    Length of time at Crystal
    4 years. Two kids in the Upper School. 

    Parent experience at Crystal
    Current CFA Head of Arts Collective, volunteer costumer, PALs/Admissions, New Family greeter, drop-offs for events/senior signs, Steve was a Class Rep, etc - whatever we can fit in as two working parents.

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  • Eloiza

    Eloiza Meier, Belmont

    Please contact me at (email coming soon) to discuss MS parent/student experience including athletics (girls soccer, lacrosse and volleyball), student leadership and performing arts; transitioning from public elementary school to MS;  PA and Volunteer experience; Admissions (open house & PALS) /Gryphon Greeters; first-year US experience
    Originally from: San Francisco
     
    In my free time my family and I enjoy…
    Traveling, dining out, outdoor activities, attending sporting and performing arts events
     
    Length of time at Crystal
    4 years (4 years MS including first year US)
     
    Parent experience at Crystal
    8th grade parent rep; PA Board - DEI liason and Gala Co-Chair; Volunteering for open house, Lunar New Year event; PALs and Gryphon Greeters

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  • Fiona

    Fiona Huang, Palo Alto, CA
    Please contact me at fiona.crystalpals@gmail.com about Middle school admissions and experience, the transition from Middle School to Upper School, commute by Caltrain and logistics, being a student-athlete at Crystal, participating in the Parent Association, parent events, starting a club at Middle School, and generally about the amazing inclusiveness, diversity, kindness of Crystal community, parents, teachers, administrators and students alike.
    Originally from: Toronto, Canada
     
    In my free time my family and I enjoy…
    Snowboarding, running 5K charity races, tennis and bouncing on my mini trampoline with music blaring from my Beats headphones.  Avid international travelor.   Hardcore soccer mom.
     
    Length of time at Crystal
    4 Years (MS and HS):  3 Years at Middle School and first year at Upper School, parent of current 7th grader and 9th grader.
     
    Parent experience at Crystal
    Parent Association Class rep for 6th grade and currently for 9th grade, Co-Chair of the Gryphon Greeters, Gryphon Greeter in past years, hosted Count-Me-Ins for Gala, PAL

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  • Greg

    Greg Collins, Hillsborough, CA
    Please contact me at greg.crystalPALs@gmail.com. As a parent that has recently been through the full upper school cycle, I can speak about my son's experience with sports, arts (writing and visual arts) and clubs, as well as the college admissions process. I have other sons that have graduated from other local high schools (Aragon and BHS) so I can compare those experiences as well. Can discuss how my current son is adjusting to middle school.
    Originally from: Ridgewood, New Jersey
     
    In my free time, my family and I enjoy…
    Spending time outdoors and exercising, especially biking and running. Watching and discussing superhero movies. Playing board and strategy games. Reading.
     
    Length of time at Crystal
    5 Years: First year at Middle School, Parent of recent (2021) graduate of Upper School
     
    Parent experience at Crystal
    Active in Upper School sports teams as a parent, supporting events in the arts, and attending various community functions

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  • Helen

    Helen Lee Carris, Burlingame, CA
    Please contact me at (email coming soon) to discuss anything related to getting involved with Crystal PA, theater/musicals, athletics, admissions, mock trial and Crystal's overall philosophy.
    Originally from: Born in Seoul, South Korea, and grew up in Washington DC suburbs. Lived in NYC prior to moving to SF in 2001.
     
    In my free time, my family and I enjoy…
    Piano, reading, listening to podcasts, hiking, meditating, cooking, exercise/weight lifting
     
    Length of time at Crystal
    7+ years (in both US and MS)
     
    Parent experience at Crystal
    Nomination co-chair, PEER co-chair, parent enrichment chair and US Admissions volunteer.

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  • Hyun-Joo

    Hyun-Joo Laws, Hillsborough
    Please contact me at HyunJoo.pals2020@gmail.com to discuss
    the overall middle school experience, first-year experience in the Upper School, academics/advisory, MS sports (soccer and cross country), theater, instrumental music, dance, transportation, and parent/guardian engagement and events.

    Originally from: South Korea (I spent my first 11 years there before immigrating to the US.)

    In my free time my family and I enjoy...
    Traveling and playing board games.

    Length of time at Crystal
    This is my fifth year with Crystal. I have the full MS experience with two kids and I'm in my second year of US experience with my 10th grader.


    Parent experience at Crystal
    PAL, Gryphon Greeter and Parent Association (various roles in the Executive Committee, currently serving as the EVP)

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  • Janice

    Janice Law Wong, Palo Alto, CA
    Please contact me at janice.crystalPALs@gmail.com to discuss academics, PAC and teacher-parent partnerships in MS, volunteering, DEI involvement, Common Ground Speaker Series for parenting education, train and driving commutes
    Originally from: grew up in NY and Bay Area
     
    In my free time, my family and I enjoy…
    Exercise, reading, hiking, traveling, cooking/baking
     
    Length of time at Crystal
    26 years (alum and parent)
     
    Parent experience at Crystal
    Alumni Board, PAL, and admissions, sports team parent, Common Ground Speaker Series.

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  • Judith

    Judith Kashyap, Hillsborough, CA
    Please contact me at judith.crystalPALs@gmail.com to discuss the Middle School admissions process, Upper School admissions process, bus commuting, participating in the Parent Association, fine arts, plays/musicals, dance program, student ambassadors, student council, and all the Crystal Pillars!
    Originally from: California
     
    In my free time, my family and I enjoy…
    Traveling, performing arts, concerts, sporting events, cooking, reading, and Peloton.
     
    Length of time at Crystal
    4 years( MS & US), 3 years at  Middle School and first year at Upper School as a parent of a 9th grader.
     
    Parent experience at Crystal
    Parent Rep 7th grade and 8th grade, current co-chair of Community Engagement, Current co-chair of decorations committee for Gala.

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  • Kaushik

    Kaushik Gopalan, Fremont
    Please contact me at kaushik.crystalPALs@gmail.com for discussing admissions, parent events, Middle School, academics, advisory, athletics/PE, Robotics, Debate, clubs, diversity, transitioning from a private non-traditional school (Montessori), and commuting from the East Bay.

    Originally from
    Born in India and grew up in Singapore

    In my free time my family and I enjoy...
    International travel, all things aviation, cooking, and playing board games, basketball and cricket

    Length of time at Crystal
    Second year at Crystal - 7th grade parent. 

    Parent experience at Crystal 
    PAL volunteer for admission events

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  • Kristen

    Kristen Sherman, MD, San Mateo
    Please contact me at kristen.PALS2020@gmail.com to discuss MS admission process, coming from public elementary school, student ambassadors, student council, sports in the middle school (soccer, lacrosse, baseball, basketball, flag football), MS advisory, academics.
    Originally from: Albuquerque, NM

    In my free time my family and I enjoy...
    Attending a lot of youth club soccer games! Peloton, vegetarian cooking, running, listening to podcasts, doing the NYT Spelling Bee puzzle daily, playing with our pandemic puppy

    Length of time at Crystal
    4 years-- 3 years at MS and now first year at US-- parent of current 9th grader and 7th grader

    Parent experience at Crystal
    PALs, various volunteer activities and sporting event supporter.

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  • Kristine

    Maria Kristine Reyes (I go by Kristine), South San Francisco
    Please contact me at mariak.PALS2020@gmail.com to discuss transportation, athletics/PE, Crystal PA, Crystal FIRST, financial aid, parent events, Middle School, admission, advisory, and performance art.
    Originally from: Philippines

    In my free time my family and I enjoy...
    Hiking and swimming

    Length of time at Crystal
    Year 2 - twin girls, rising seventh graders. 

    Parent experience at Crystal
    I have been an avid parent volunteer at Crystal. Volunteering includes: 
    • 6th grade parent rep (treasurer)
    • 6th grade parent/student/sport events (last year)
    • MS Open Houses (last year and virtual this year)
    • Admission Diversity reception (last year)
    • ISEE Testing @ Crystal (proctor - last year)
    • Liaison for Admissions team and potential 
    • Family mentors to incoming Crystal First families (this year)
    • Gryphon Greeter for incoming 6th graders (this year)
    • Annual 2020 Doc Ingersoll Golf Tournament (signed up for planning committee for 2021 event)

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  • Monica

    Monica Cervantes, San Carlos
    Please contact me at (email coming soon) to discuss, Middle School, sports, student advisory experience, DEI, and parent involvement.
    Originally from California
     
    In my free time my family and I enjoy…
    Spending time outdoors, hiking, exploring, playing sports, traveling and enjoying board games and movies together.
     
    Length of time at Crystal
    This is our first year with our children in the Middle School
     
    Parent experience at Crystal
    I am involved in PALs as well as offering transportation to Crystal sporting events and supporting the Crystal Fund. Happy to lead a POP club if needed. Trying to help where we can give we are both full-time working parents.

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  • Savita

    Savita Patel, San Mateo
    Please contact me at (email coming soon) to discuss Middle School Admissions, Bus Transport, Diversity, Clubs, Art Rotations, Athletics, and Academics.
    Originally from: India
     
    In my free time, my family and I enjoy…
    biking, hiking, cooking, gardening, card games, watching documentaries and movies, travelling
     
    Length of time at Crystal
    2 years (MS)
     
    Parent experience at Crystal
    Gryphon Greeter, Crystal Fund Parent Team

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  • Stacey

    Stacey Rabkin, San Carlos
    Please contact me at stacey.crystalPALs@gmail.com to discuss parent events, transportation, Middle School, lunch, admission, academics, advisory, athletics/PE, Clubs, and performance art.
    Originally from: the Mississippi Gulf Coast, right outside New Orleans.

    In my free time my family and I enjoy...
    We enjoy traveling and exploring new places, playing games, watching movies, and reading.

    Length of time at Crystal
    This is my third year at Crystal (all middle school).

    Parent experience at Crystal
    I have been a Parent Association class rep the past 3 years, have helped admissions with Open Houses, and am Co-Chair of the Gryphon Greeters (formerly PEERS) program.

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  • Susan

    Susan Jang, Los Altos, CA
    Please contact me at susan.crystalpals@gmail.com to discuss US admissions, parent events/volunteering, academics, advisory, athletics, Mock Trial, transitioning from a Montessori school, and commuting from the South Bay via bus or train.
    Originally from: Taiwan and grew up in San Marino, CA
     
    In my free time, my family and I enjoy…
    running, hosting holiday gatherings, and traveling with family and friends
     
    Length of time at Crystal
    3 years (US only)
     
    Parent experience at Crystal
    Gryphon Greeter, PA grade rep, sports team parent, volunteer for Gala and Doc Ingersoll Golf Tournament

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  • Tammy

    Tammy Tompkins, San Mateo
    Please contact me at (email coming soon) to discuss MS admission process, sports at Crystal, Cru, Advisory program, college search and application process, life as a Crystal family in general.
     
    Originally from: Rochester, MN
     
    In my free time, my family and I enjoy…
    Running, watching my kids sporting events, long walks with our dog, visiting family, puttering around the house
     
    Length of time at Crystal
    9 years - 2 kids across both the US and MS
     
    Parent experience at Crystal
    PAL, Crystal Fund, Greeters/PEERs

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  • Ted

    Ted Kao, Los Altos, CA
    Please contact me at (email address coming soon) to discuss general MS experience, athletics, transportation, school communications and philosophy.
    Originally from: Taiwan and grew up in Los Angeles, CA
     
    In my free time, my family and I enjoy…
    Outdoor activities (Hiking, skiiing, biking), traveling, friends and family gatherings
     
    Length of time at Crystal
    1 year (Middle School)
     
    Parent experience at Crystal
    PAL is our first time volunteering with Crystal.

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  • Danielle deBrier

    Danielle deBrier, San Carlos
    Please contact me at (email address coming soon) to discuss Middle School and Upper School sports, the admissions process, school clubs, the college process, transportation to and from school, life as a student-athlete, life as a Crystal family, starting at Crystal as a 9th grader, transitioning from public school, and student government.
    Originally from: Moved around as a child. Went to High School in London

    In my free time, my family and I enjoy…
    Family meals, playing games, and watching our girls play soccer.

    Length of time at Crystal
    3 years. I have twin seniors, a freshman and a daughter in 6th grade.

    Parent experience at Crystal
    Class rep, Gala volunteer and Team Parent

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  • Jennifer

    Jennifer Glore, Palo Alto, CA
    Please contact me at (email coming soon) to discuss MS, HS, academics, athletics, commuting via train or bus, MS play/musical.
    Originally from: Hilsborough, CA
     
    In my free time, my family and I enjoy…
    Reading, Board Games, Crafts, Exercise, Outdoor Activities
     
    Length of time at Crystal
    25 years (Alumni, MS, HS)
     
    Parent experience at Crystal
    Gryphon Greeter, Gala, Alumni Board

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  • Mona

    Mona Shah, Hillsborough, CA
    Please contact me at (email address coming soon) to discuss sports at MS, Theater at MS, Middle School
    Originally from: Lexington MA
     
    In my free time, my family and I enjoy…
    Watching my kids sporting events, playing tennis, hiking, traveling, walking our dogs, family game night
     
    Length of time at Crystal
    3 kids - twin boys in 8th grade, daughter in 7th grade
     
    Parent experience at Crystal
    Current Room Mom and Annual Fund Volunteer, past Annual Fund co-chair, and past PA

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  • Oscar

    Oscar Cervantes, San Carlos, CA
    Please contact me at (email address coming soon) to discuss being a new middle school parent, diversity and inclusion, LatinX Community, Crystal First, students
    Originally from: Mexico
     
    In my free time, my family and I enjoy…
    What Monica listed
     
    Length of time at Crystal
    We are new MS parents.
     
    Parent experience at Crystal
    MS parent, what Monica signs us up for, driving to/from sporting events and helping where we are needed if we can fit it in.

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  • Randy & Regina

    Randy & Regina Dela Cruz, Daly City, Ca
    Please contact us at (email address coming soon) to discuss sports at MS and US, MS and US admissions process, Diversity and Inclusion, school clubs, the college admission process, transportation to and from school life as a student-athlete and life as a Crystal family.
    Originally from: Daly City
     
    In my free time, my family and I enjoy…
    Watching our girls' sporting events. Playing basketball. Watching sports, basketball, football, baseball
     
    Length of time at Crystal
    6 years. One alumnus (class of 2020) and one currently in 10th grade (who came up from MS).
     
    Parent experience at Crystal
    Mentor family, Gryphon Greeter, Gryphon gear sales (pop-ups), Admissions volunteer, sports team parent, and Crystal First.

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  • Stacia

    Please contact me at stacia.crystalPALs@gmail.com with questions about the Crystal Community.
    Originally from: North Carolina
     
    In my free time my family and I enjoy…
    Outdoor adventures with kids, reading, volunteering, movie nights, playing with our dog
     
    Length of time at Crystal
    2 years (MS only)
     
    Parent experience at Crystal
    Gryphon Greeter, Gala Wine Committee

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  • Stephie

    Stephie Johnson, Atherton, CA
    Please contact me at (email coming soon) to discuss commuting via train, MS drama, MS/HS sports, parent community and volunteering.
    Originally from: England
     
    In my free time my family and I enjoy…
    Hanging with our dogs, watching football, movies
     
    Length of time at Crystal
    6 years (MS & HS)
     
    Parent experience at Crystal
    Gryphon greeter, admission events, grade rep, sports team, parent
Nondiscriminatory Policy: Crystal Springs Uplands School admits students of any race, color, national and ethnic origin to all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the school. It does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national and ethnic origin in administration of its educational policies, admissions policies, scholarship and loan programs, and athletic and other school-administered programs.