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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  • Aneesa

    Interests: Coming from a public school, Theater, Music, Dance, Science, Volunteer Work, Crystal Traditions, Math, Pre-Med Club

    Class Year: 2024
    Joined Crystal: 9th grade
    Hometown: Foster City
    School attended before Crystal: Kids Connection Elementary School and Bowditch Middle School

    I joined Crystal from a public middle school, so I am happy to talk about the application process, settling down and adjusting to a new school life, and the great support that Crystal offers for its new students. As a current junior, you can ask me about class sizes, homework, honors courses, and performing arts classes. I have also participated in both musicals, so I can speak about the audition process, rehearsals, and tech week. Lastly, I would love to share about our famous traditions– Snow Day, Lunar New Year Banquet, and Elimination!

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  • Anicia

    Interests: Volleyball, Polynesian Culture Club, Diversity, Photography, Literature

    Graduation Year: 2023
    Joined Crystal: 6th Grade
    Hometown: Pacifica 
    School attended Before Crystal: Ocean Shore School

    On a grade-wide retreat my freshmen year, my class traveled down to the redwoods where we were challenged to do a ropes course in our advisory groups. The last course was an individual walk across a tightrope 30 feet in the air between two trees. At first, everyone in the group was hesitant to participate. Miraculously, one by one we all made our way across the course. Every time a new person made it across, we erupted in cheers and encouraged one another despite just barely meeting. I remember when it was my turn to walk across the ladder, I was so excited with all my classmates cheering me on that I forgot to be scared. It’s a moment that I treasure because of how good it felt to be a part of a small, tight-knit community where everyone feels comfortable enough to take risks. 

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  • Audrey

    Interests: French, Soccer, Tennis and Clubs

    Graduation Year: 2024
    Joined Crystal: 6th Grade
    Hometown: Burlingame
    School attended before Crystal: The Carey School

    Crystal's language program! I have been taking French my entire time at Crystal, and I have loved the program and all of the teachers. You can also ask me about our sports teams. I play soccer, tennis and  really enjoy being on the teams. In addition, feel free to ask me about our Clubs program. I am a part of the Gryphon Business Club, and it's been a great way to explore my interests separate from my core classes.

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  • Cameron

    Interests: Soccer, Track & Field, Football

    Graduation Year: 2024
    Joined Crystal: 9th Grade
    Hometown: Saratoga
    School attended before Crystal: Meyerholz Elementary School, Miller Middle School

    At Crystal, the main motto is "Family." I feel that I can talk to an adult about anything. I didn’t have that at my local middle school, so it was a huge game-changer. As an African-American student, I was thrilled to see emails and support from affinity groups and parents reaching out to me when I was applying. I attended panels and dinner discussions which made me feel empowered, which I again didn’t get at my local middle school. When I got my acceptance letter, I saw myself developing into a young and intelligent black male. At Crystal, the education is top-tier, and I saw the students getting nothing less than outstanding education. I felt as if Crystal would challenge me just the way I wanted and mold me to become the next best thing. At the time and still today, I believe that Crystal is doing just that for me.

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  • Caroline

    Interests: Crü, Dance, Student Government, Yearbook, Mock Trial

    Graduation Year: 2023
    Joined Crystal: 7th Grade
    Hometown:  Burlingame
    School attended before Crystal: Burlingame Intermediate School, Franklin Elementary School

    My favorite place on campus is definitely the tech booth in the theater! It’s where we program and control all of the lighting, sound, and projection elements for productions at Crystal. I've been doing technical theatre or "Crü" at Crystal since 7th grade, and now I'm a lighting designer for productions like our US Spring Musical. Crü is completely student-run, so we design lights, sound, scenic elements, and props for all of our shows. My favorite part of lighting design is that I'm also a dancer, so I get to design the lighting for my own dance pieces in our annual Evening of Dance. I love the unique opportunities Crystal provides for student creativity and leadership!


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  • Darena

    Interests: Humanities, Art, Diversity & Inclusion 

    Graduation Year: 2023
    Joined Crystal: 10th Grade
    Hometown: Hillsborough 
    School attended before Crystal: Notre Dame Belmont

    My favorite thing about Crystal is the school’s amazing community. Having moved around and attended many schools, I can definitely say that the classmates you’ll find at Crystal come from so many backgrounds and are some of the most excited to get to know you. The faculty members at Crystal are always willing to support you and the school’s extracurriculars allow so many opportunities for interactions across grades. Even after just one year at the school, I’ve seen that Crystal’s community has made it not only a great choice for academic challenge, but also for making long-lasting connections. 

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  • Destiny

    Interests: GPS, Soccer

    Graduation Year: 2024
    Joined Crystal: 6th Grade
    Hometown: Redwood City
    School attended before Crystal: North Star Academy, Hawes Elementary School

    Ask me about "Keep It Real"! “Keep it Real” is a club led by students of color, resembling an affinity space, where each member comes from different backgrounds. We take the time to learn about each other's cultures, bond over shared experiences and create opportunities to share our knowledge with others. The club has organized a POC dance, where other schools were invited, and we continue to make opportunities where others who aren't in the club can learn more about it. Keep it Real” helped me connect with students in different grades with similar experiences, and I'm so grateful for it!

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  • Drew

    Interests: Tennis, Student Government, History Courses, Photography

    Graduation Year: 2023
    Joined Crystal: 6th Grade
    Hometown: San Mateo
    School attended before Crystal: Baywood Elementary

    My favorite spot on campus has to be the Commons. The stone steps and wooden tables allow for anyone to sit down and be with their friends. Whether it’s having a delicious lunch, studying for an upcoming test, or waiting to be picked up after school, the Commons is Crystal’s social center, and some of my favorite memories outside of the classroom have been formed there. For example, on the last day of school this past year, people just kept pouring into the commons to celebrate the start of summer and be with their classmates one last time. Eventually, we had what seemed like almost a third of the grade standing around one wooden table where there was a speaker playing music. We were all singing together and enjoying our last moments as Sophomores. From the lasting memories or the simple interactions, the Commons allows for the Crystal community to be together. 

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  • Edward

    Interests: Student Government, Dance, Theatre, Mock Trial

    Graduation Year: 2024
    Joined Crystal: 6th Grade
    Hometown: Stanford
    School attended before Crystal: Lucille M. Nixon Elementary School

    My favorite thing about Crystal is how accepting the community is. I came out as gay in 8th grade, and I have been met with only support from the Crystal community ever since. Not only have I been welcomed, I have been celebrated. Whether it be allowing me to come out in my 8th grade speech in front of the entire middle school or encouraging me to dress the way I'd like, Crystal has always made me feel like I can be who I truly am to the fullest extent. Even when it meant helping me set up 500 rainbow balloons to drop at the end of my coming out speech, Crystal met me with open arms. At Crystal, I know that my classmates and teachers genuinely want to see me achieve my goals and dreams.

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  • Ella

    Interests: Being new in 9th grade, Student Government, Ceramics, Volleyball, Vantage (school magazine) and Diversity and Inclusion initiatives

    Graduation Year: 2024
    Joined Crystal: 9th Grade
    Hometown: Daly City
    School attended before Crystal: Mission Dolores Academy

    Choosing which high school I was going to enroll in was not a tough decision–as soon as I saw that I had been accepted to Crystal I knew I had to go. I specifically remember from my visit what a kind, inclusive, and dedicated environment Crystal fostered. I’ve never seen teachers so dedicated to ensuring their students succeed, they were (and still are!) incredibly supportive and passionate about their subjects. The rigorous curriculum challenged students to do their best, and they were eager and enthusiastic to learn as much as they could! Ultimately, Crystal’s community is what sold me: their commitment to celebrating and connecting people of different backgrounds and interests made me feel right at home!

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  • Gia

    Interests: Soccer, Robotics, Mock Trial, Dance, Lacrosse, Asian Cultures Club, The Math Program

    Graduation Year: 2024
    Joined Crystal: 9th Grade
    Hometown: San Carlos
    School attended before Crystal : Newcastle Elementary School, Arundel Elementary School, and Tierra Linda Middle School

    I chose Crystal because every student I spoke to had amazing things to say about their teachers — how they helped them grow as a student and how they have built a special connection with them. Especially in high school, as the workload and stress factors begin to escalate, being in an environment where teachers always have your back is something I think is super important. Coming to Crystal, I learned I was right. I have built so many deep connections with my teachers and I always feel supported. My teachers are always flexible and willing to meet with me whenever I need help and want me to do well.

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  • Hanna

    Interests: Theatre, Dance, Science

    Graduation Year: 2024
    Joined Crystal: 9th Grade
    Hometown: Redwood City
    School attended before Crystal: 
    The Peninsula School

    Ask me about being a new 9th grader! I was concerned about coming in from the outside, but Crystal made me feel welcome, and I quickly found my place to learn, thrive, and make friends. I used to go to a small, untraditional school, so I was worried about the jump between my middle school to Crystal, but my ninth grade teachers smoothed the transition so much that I had no trouble with the schoolwork. They taught me all the skills I would need to succeed in and out of my classes. Turns out I had nothing to worry about!

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  • Ila

    Interests: Theatre and Performing Arts, Mock Trial, Science, Spirit Committee 

    Graduation Year: 2023
    Joined Crystal: 6th Grade

    Hometown: Hillsborough 

    School attended before Crystal: The Carey School, The Speyer Legacy School (NYC)

    I fell in love with Crystal after attending the Fine Arts Festival in 4th grade. I remember walking into the back of the crowded theater during Evening of Dance and being amazed by the wide range of talent in the student choreographed pieces! Choosing a school with a community that celebrates my love of the performing arts was extremely important to me, and while watching how every audience member cheered on the upperclassmen during their final Crystal performances, I knew I wanted to perform in the Evening of Dance and be one of those seniors one day. 

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  • Jack

    Interests: Gryphon Gazette, Model UN, Math, History, Student Government, Soccer, XC

    Graduation Year: 2023
    Joined Crystal: 6th Grade
    Hometown: Menlo Park
    School attended before Crystal: Phillips Brooks School, American Overseas School of Rome, The Dalton School

    There are so many amazing things about Crystal, and some of my favorites include my deeply enriching and intellectually rigorous classes; the joy and enthusiasm that the entire faculty and student body feels about our awesome Crystal traditions; the close and authentic friendships I have with my amazing group of friends who all have diverse interests, backgrounds, and talents, and who inspire me every day in so many ways; and the friendly yet competitive fun that we have on the pitch during our lunchtime soccer games. However, if I had to choose one favorite thing about Crystal, it would be the close relationships I feel so fortunate to have with all of my teachers. I love learning from them during class and through our readings and assignments, and I especially appreciate the time I have spent with every one of them during office hours. It is during this dedicated one-on-one time that I have had the opportunity to get to know each teacher more as a person, as well as to deepen my learning in every subject and broaden my curiosity about their specific fields of interest and more. I have been so impressed and inspired by the incredible dedication, support, and commitment I have felt - and which I know the whole student body feels - from the outstanding Crystal faculty, and I will be forever grateful to every one of my teachers for their warmth, intellect, and passion.

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  • Jasmyn

    Interests: Languages, Cross Country/Track, Reading, School Newspaper

    Graduation Year: 2023
    Joined Crystal: 6th Grade
    Hometown: Hillsborough
    School attended before Crystal: South Hillsborough

    One moment that was “so Crystal” was when I went into the math hub during my free period to ask a quick question about something on the previous night’s homework. Before I knew it, I had been in there for an hour because my teacher and I had gone off on a tangent about an advanced topic that wasn’t even part of Crystal’s curriculum. As my free period turned into office hours, more students had trickled in and just sat there, listening. Although they came to ask questions of their own and the topic was not related to our curriculum, they stayed because they were interested in it. This is one of the things that makes Crystal so special; the students genuinely love to learn, and I notice it every day I’m at school.

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  • Kent

    Interests: Being a student-athlete, Soccer, Ceramics

    Graduation Year: 2024
    Joined Crystal: 9th Grade
    Hometown: Hillsborough
    School attended before Crystal: Crocker Middle School, Stratford Pleasanton and British International School of Shanghai

    Around campus, you can often find me working or reading in the library, eating with my friends in the Commons during lunch, meeting with my teachers during Office Hours, or working on projects in the ceramics room after school. One of my favorite features of Crystal's class schedule is that they allow plenty of independent time outside the classroom, allowing me to control my own daily schedule and take the initiative in my learning. Ultimately, I get to work and learn at my full capacity by personalizing the support I need from each class.

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  • Lauren

    Interests: The Transition to Crystal, Neurology, Debate, Psychology, Math, Crü , STEM, Track & Field, Dance, Music, Video Production

    Graduation Year: 2024
    Joined Crystal: 9th Grade
    Hometown: Hillsborough
    School attended before Crystal: Crocker Middle School, South Elementary School

    My favorite thing about Crystal is the connections and conversations with other students and the faculty. Even from my first step on campus, it was obvious that everyone in the community is always interested in learning new things, and often one quick question or small talk can quickly turn into a deep discussion on topics ranging from the social impact of the loss of the collective memories of the generation that lived through hardships around World War II, to whether Doja Cat deserved a Grammy. Feel free to ask me questions about anything you're curious about, from the transition to Crystal to our many activities to our incredible academics!

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  • Nicholas

    Interests: Cross Country, Golf

    Graduation Year: 2024
    Joined Crystal: 9th Grade
    Hometown: Daly City
    School attended before Crystal: St. Thomas More

    I love how tightly knit and welcoming the community is, especially in 9th grade. This was very apparent for me especially since I didn’t attend Crystal's middle school. Adjusting and making new friends was a challenge that I was expecting, but with how nice and friendly everyone was, it was no problem whatsoever. Integrating myself into the school life here at Crystal helped me learn that I was welcome and had a place in the community, which really helped me to know that I wouldn’t be left alone and by myself.

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  • Noah

    Interests: Mock Trial, Football, Basketball, Baseball, Guitar, Photography

    Graduation Year: 2024
    Joined Crystal: 6th Grade
    Hometown: Belmont
    School attended before Crystal: The Carey School

    My favorite thing about Crystal is the variety of course options and opportunities. Academically, there are a wide variety of options from which students can choose. Each underclassmen student gets to decide their language and art classes, while upperclassmen get to select all of their courses. Personally, these course options have provided me with opportunities to discover new interests, such as learning French, or taking film photography and visual arts. I’ve tried numerous classes and I am still excited to try Environmental Science, PET (engineering and building), or even higher levels of World Languages, English, Math, Chemistry, and Biology. And that’s only the academic choices: Crystal offers plenty of athletic and artistic fields that have helped me discover new skills and passions that I never knew I would enjoy!

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  • Patrick

    Interests: Tennis, Reading, Games, Graphic Design

    Graduation Year: 2023
    Joined Crystal: 9th Grade
    Hometown: Hillsborough
    School attended before Crystal: South Elementary School, Crocker Middle School.

    A moment for me that was “so Crystal” was my 9th grade Lip Sync. It was my first Lip Sync at Crystal, and it was an incredible experience. It was so much fun to participate in, and seeing everybody work together and get so into their dances was really cool. The teachers’ dance performance was also extremely impressive, and it showed me how much the teachers at Crystal really cared about the students and the school in general. Being a part of Lip Sync exemplified how great the atmosphere at Crystal is with everybody joining together, students and staff combined. It really embodied what I’ve learned to see as the Crystal spirit and community, as a whole, and I was grateful to be a part of it, and can’t wait for the next one.

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  • Riya

    Interests: Diversity Committee, History Courses, Criminal Justice, International Relations, Model UN Team

    Graduation Year: 2023
    Joined Crystal: 7th Grade
    Hometown: Redwood City
    School attended before Crystal: Stratford School

    I love the language classes in the Upper School for a variety of reasons: cultural studies, engaged teachers who love what they do, and the charming Mansion classrooms. Our language hubs and classes are on the second and third floors of the Crystal Mansion (which has a lovely painted ceiling in the lower level gender-neutral bathroom, I might add). Spanish classes involved getting my steps in when rushing to get to class on the top floor. I’d be rewarded with a beautiful view of the campus and surrounding areas seen from our classrooms. The tight-knit and cozy learning atmosphere has allowed me to learn about languages and cultures, and also get to know teachers who I would never cross otherwise. I regularly have very basic conversations with a French teacher in French despite being a Spanish student, catch up with my seventh grade Spanish teacher to practice my speaking skills, or listen to my peers practice their Mandarin monologues.

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  • Shikha

    Interests: Theater

    Graduation Year: 2024
    Joined Crystal: 9th Grade
    Hometown: San Mateo
    School attended before Crystal: St. Matthew's Episcopal Day School

    Around campus, you can often find me in the admissions office! One of my favorite traditions I’ve developed while at Crystal is visiting the admissions office after lunch with my friends - not only does it get us our candy fix, but we get to try out a riddle, talk to Ms. Isaacson about everything from Spirit Days to salad preferences, and get a sneak peek of what Student Government is working on. Even when the office is empty, you can find my friends and me sitting on the couches, eating peanut M&Ms and answering riddles all of lunch.

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  • Tai

    Interests: GPS, Performing Arts, Tennis, Track & Field, Dance

    Graduation Year: 2024
    Joined Crystal: 6th Grade
    Hometown: San Mateo
    School attended before Crystal: International School of the Peninsula (now called Silicon Valley International School)

    Ask me about the Global Program for Scholars of Languages (GPS)! Crystal’s language curriculum encourages students to not only learn the language but to live it by immersing them in the culture. Since Freshman year, via GPS, I’ve participated in 2 language classes: Spanish and French! I even studied abroad in Salamanca, Spain and was able to apply what I’ve learned in class to my travels. Additionally, one can also ask me about balancing Crystal’s many after-school activities with schoolwork, as I participate in arts programs (plays, musicals, and dance productions) and sports teams (tennis and track & field).

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  • Timmy

    Interests: Baseball, Gryphon Business Club, The Fall Play, and 
    Environmental Science

    Graduation Year: 2023
    Joined Crystal: 6th Grade
    Hometown: San Mateo
    School attended before Crystal: The Carey School

    A “that’s so Crystal moment” for me is when one of my best friends volunteered to coach my 8th grade JV basketball team when our coach couldn't make it to the game. We were playing our school rival, and naturally, this game meant a lot, not only to the players on the team, but also my friend. Our team got off to a rough start, and unfortunately, we were down twenty points at the end of the first half. Our new coach stepped up to the challenge and rallied us with enthusiasm. He helped our team come back from the huge deficit by subbing all of our players in based on their strengths, allowing our team to work as a whole. He knew much more about basketball than all of us and used this knowledge to coach us during our attempt to come back and win the game. He would pick our heads up if we missed a shot, and cheered his heart out if we made one. On the back of his kindness and enthusiasm, we only lost the game by two points. His willingness to step up as a leader, while fostering kindness and inclusion, perfectly embodied the typical Crystal student who comes to this truly incredible place to learn and thrive. 

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  • Tristyn

    Interests: Graphic and Sound Design, Entrepreneurship, Drama, Cross Country/Track

    Graduation Year: 2023
    Joined Crystal: 9th Grade
    Hometown: Half Moon Bay
    School attended before Crystal: St. Matthew’s Episcopal Day School

    Although there are many great locations on campus, my favorite place has to be the Library. Whether it's to meet up with a friend for a game of chess or a long study session in one of the private booths, there are many great uses for the Library. Even before I was a student at Crystal, I remember going into the Library while waiting for my sister to get out of classes one day. I was amazed by the selection of books and charmed by the quiet social scene in the back. I took notice of how the students talking quietly were respectful to those studying on the other side of the room. The head librarian, Mrs.Geriak, greeted me with a smile as I looked through the shelves of books and asked if I needed any help. The whole positive scene in the Library really stuck with me so when I came to Crystal it became my most frequent spot to visit. For me and the many other fans of the Library, it is one of the many locations that makes up Crystal’s wonderful campus.

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  • Tyler

    Interests: Cross Country, Track, Graphic Design, Community Service

    Graduation Year: 2023
    Joined Crystal: 9th Grade
    Hometown: Los Altos
    School attended before Crystal: Bowman School

    I chose Crystal Springs because of the energy and community that I saw on campus during my visit day. As soon as I arrived, I was welcomed and actually surprised by the friendliness and easygoing atmosphere. I was initially startled to see that everyone left their computers, phones, headphones, and backpacks out in the Commons without a worry, but I soon realized that it was only because of the mutual trust on our campus that this could happen, and I really appreciate that. Honestly, I was really nervous touring to a new school where I didn’t know anyone, yet after my very first class I knew that Crystal was somewhere that I would love to attend! Crystal allows me to engage myself, work hard, and to be comfortable around both my teachers and students. 

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  • Vishal

    Interests: Mock Trial, Basketball

    Graduation Year: 2024
    Joined Crystal: 6th Grade
    Hometown: Redwood City
    School attended before Crystal: Stratford School

    A moment that was “so Crystal” was during the summer pickup runs that were played in the gym. I really felt a true sense of the tight-knit Crystal community, as I would play alongside faculty members such as Mr. Whitmore or Mr. Morgan, or even Crystal alumni home for summer break. With every alum being a former member of the Crystal basketball program, there were many stories told of past van rides, games, and practices. To me, it is even more unheard of to have teachers participating in basketball team activities, but I loved it, as I was able to learn from them as well. It’s not every day that your English teacher will hit a three over you just a few weeks after grading one of your papers!
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.