Monday Message

March 8, 2021

Mr. Zappala announces his retirement

Dear MEA Community,

Deciding to retire from a career where you receive as much, if not more than you give is very hard to do, but after much soul searching, I have made the hard decision to retire as a school counselor. I came to realize, pretty soon after starting at MEA, what a special place it is here. I truly believe that we can all accomplish much more than we thought in life when we are at a place where we feel safe and appreciated and this is what I believe MEA provides for the students, parents and staff. There is nothing I can do after leaving here that will provide me with the joy I get in working with students and families, especially when I interview a new family with a student who maybe has been bullied at their former school, suffering emotionally and lost their love of learning, suddenly come to life again here. Thank-you to the wonderful MEA staff that all have a “team” mentality and have made my time here very productive and rewarding. ~ Mr. Zappala

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Let’s Kahoot!

Day: Tuesday, March 9

Time: 12:00-12:30


All grades are invited to join in on the fun at this Kahoot event hosted by the ASB. Make sure to bring your quick fingers!


Students can earn three Spirit Points for participation in this event, as well as additional Spirit Points that might be awarded from the event (e.g. Extra Spirit Points might be earned from placing in the top three in a schoolwide kahoot). To earn these points, students must fill out a short form sent out during the event.

Senior Student & Parent Meeting

Day: Thursday, March 11

Time: 12:00


All seniors and their parents/guardians are invited to this meeting with Principal Browne and Mr. Zappala. Topics to be discussed include options for graduation and senior activities. After all you have been through, we want your culmination of high school to be special and a true celebration of all you’ve accomplished!

"Love Our Library" upcoming activities

Check out the brand new "Love Our Library" website with upcoming activities for all ages!

One Book, One MEA (reading "The Search for WandLa" by Tony DiTerlizzi)

  • Thursday, March 11 / 2:30 pm

Tour the Library

  • Friday, March 12 / 1:30 pm

Comic Books in the Library (we have some classics!)

  • Friday, March 19 / 1:00 pm's more than inevitable!

Make Sugar Cookies

Day: Monday, March 15

Time: 12:00-12:30


Come to the Cooking Club and follow along with Katherine as she makes sugar cookies.

The recipe will be posted by Tuesday, so you'll be able to gather your ingredients for next Monday.


ASB is sponsoring the following spirit days during the week of St. Patrick's Day (3/17/2021). Express your creativity and show your school spirit!

  • TOURIST DAY - March 16: Dress like a tourist
  • ST. PATRICK'S DAY - March 17: Wear green; bonus points if you have a pot of gold or a four leaf clover (they do exist—trust us)
  • FOOD DAY - March 18: Wear something related to your favorite food

It is encouraged that students turn on their cameras during zoom meetings, so that they can show their spirit from home!

Remember that students who submit photos of themselves to the Spirit Weeks folder of TreeRing will earn * SPIRIT POINTS * for their class! Please include the student's name, grade, and caption with all submissions.

Elementary Art WORKSHOP

Thursday, March 18 / 1:00pm

This month students will make a 3D lizard out of the paper that they decorated last month. We will also make a fire breathing dragon.

Supplies you will need are listed on the Elementary Art webpage.

Talent Show

Friday, April 16

Mark your calendar for our upcoming virtual Talent Show.

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The MEA Podcast

Enjoy this podcast hosted by MEA seniors, Toki and Toler!

Episode #12: Working Hard or Hardly Working?

In the fourth episode of the second season, we have Tran Huy come on and talk about work culture, students, and his engagement.

Humans of MEA

In this third episode, Kate Papen (grade 12) is interviewed by Chloe Moya (grade 10).

Watch on our youtube channel, or read the transcript. If you're interested in being interviewed, fill out the Humans of MEA form too!

Guest Speaker explains "Blerd"

On Wednesday, Feb. 24, Dr. Jerry “Rafiki” Jenkins joined students to discuss Black history in a fun and intriguing way. He focused on the emergence of the “Blerd,” the Black nerd, in popular culture in the past few decades as well as the meaning of politics in art and Black art in particular. Rafiki also discussed the history of horror literature written by Black people, especially Black women, and how Black horror literature is uniquely real due to the horrific reality of life for Black people throughout American history. Students engaged Rafiki on all these topics and answered three questions:

  • “Do you know any “Blerds?”
  • “Is it cool to be a nerd?”
  • And finally, “What do you think should be the purpose of art, music, literature, and film produced by Blerds?”

If you are interested in further conversation with Rafiki, you can find contact information at his professional page.

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Send a thank you to Dr. “Rafiki" Jenkins

One of our ASB Presidents, Aaron Chizhik, arranged to have Rafiki Jenkins speak to our students during Black History Month. Aaron has set up a digital thank you board for Professor Jenkins. If you were in attendance and would like to add a message, please do so here by midnight this Thursday, as the digital thank you will be sent to him on Friday.

Construction on Campus

MEA is getting a new front entrance and new fencing!
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Winter Art Show Re-Run

The virtual art show is still available for your viewing pleasure…ENJOY!

Art below is by Mila S., grade 6.

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Brought to you by MEA Foundation

Parent Workshops

We have enough interest to host parent workshops! Parents who are interested in training workshops, please fill out this short new form to indicate your availability.

High School Students

Thank you to those who expressed interest in the UCSD Extension Futures program!

Please email to proceed with the next steps!

Exploring the Science of Harry Potter

Thank you for those who have expressed interest! Details coming soon in a future Monday Message.

PIB Engineering Workshop

Thank you to all who registered (we have over 40 interested students)! Stay tuned for more details--we will be emailing everyone directly!

Staying at MEA in 2021-22?

To let us know if you will be returning to MEA next year, please fill out this Enrollment Plans 2021-22 form

Please submit this form by March 16, 2021 in order to guarantee your spot for next year.

If you have any questions, please contact Maria Ramos in our office at

Mental Health Resource Survey

Have you utilized mental health resources that Mr. Zappala has made available either through teacher websites or in Monday Messages?

Please answer ONE or TWO questions in this anonymous Mental Health Resource Survey. Thank you.

Art Club Fundraiser for Black History

Several student created art pieces have already sold, but a few pieces are still available for sale in the Black History Month fundraiser. Start your shopping here.

If you'd like to purchase one or more of the pieces, email Linda Ele at with the Number and Name of the piece. This fundraiser is sponsored by the MEA Art Club and all proceeds will be donated to the organization Detour Empowers.

Preview of Book Fair

Hello MEA families,

Mark your calendars and get ready for some fun! We are hosting an ONLINE BOOK FAIR!

Book Fair Dates: March 15-26th

We are so excited about this book fair and wanted to share some highlights with you:

  • Shop from the comfort and safety of home! And you can shop using any major debit or credit card – no cash needed!
  • Direct-to-home delivery! Every purchase from our online book fair will be delivered straight to your door. You can also shop teacher wish lists and those books will be shipped directly to our school.
  • Books starting at $5! Most books in our online fair will be hardcover and first edition with library-quality binding. Well below market price, books start as low as $5—and shipping is FREE for all orders over $30.

Our library receives a percentage of every book fair purchase, and we can use these funds raised as JLG credit to add more quality books to our collection or receive funds in cash for other needs. Your support is so appreciated!

Watch for teacher wish lists to be posted closer to March 15th and keep an eye out for any updates. We hope you will enjoy finding new books for your families and thanks very much for supporting MEA’s library!

Choosing classes for 2021-22

Articulation Meetings for 2021-2022

From February 2 - March 19, students in grades 5-11 will have the opportunity to plan their classes for next school year.

Grades 5, 6, 7

  • Students will review articulation sheets/course options with Ms. Patterson during English class this month and parents should go over course options with their student(s) at home.

  • Students must submit the articulation sheet with parent approval to their Supervising/PE teacher through Google Classroom during Month 6.

  • Please contact your child’s supervising teacher with questions.

Articulation Sheets:

Incoming 6th graders

Incoming 7th graders

Incoming 8th graders

Grades 8, 9, 10, 11

  • All 8th -11th graders must make an appointment to meet with Mr. Zappala between February 2 through March 19. Please reserve a conference time at this link to discuss courses for next year, graduation and college entrance requirements, and community college courses.

  • Incoming 9th graders and their parents can meet with Mr. Zappala for a 4-year planning conference during the time of their articulation meeting.

  • Parents are encouraged to attend along with their student. If parents cannot attend, they should review the course options with their student at home.

  • Students do not need to return an articulation sheet, but should be prepared to share their course requests with Mr. Zappala during their appointment with him.

  • For questions, please contact Mr. Zappala.

Articulation Sheets:

Incoming 9th graders

Incoming 10th graders

Incoming 11th graders

Incoming 12th graders

Find all courses being offered next year here: Master Course List 2021-2022

Link to sign up for articulation meeting with Mr. Zappala

Material Checkouts

For pickups/returns/exchanges please come to the North facing door of the auditorium on Tuesdays and Thursdays between 10:00 and 1:00 p.m.

Please contact Suzie Wilson at if you have any questions, or reach her at 858-627-7381 on Tuesdays through Thursdays. There is no need to email in advance. However, when there are special distributions ready for check-out, they will be noted here in the Monday Message.


Want to return MEA books that you no longer need? There will be a drop-off box underneath the Marquee sign (sunny days only!) on Tuesdays and Thursday from 9:00-3:00.


Only you can save us all from a yearbook full of blurry zoom screenshots!


Pictured below:

  • 10th grader with "Lola"
  • 11th grader with "Maggie"

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Do you want your student to be included in the yearbook?

We may not have been able to take school pictures on campus this fall, but that’s no reason for your student to be left out of the yearbook! Please provide us with a head-and-shoulders shot of your student by March 12. . . PORTRAIT INFO

Yearbook Cover Contest

Contest Guidelines

All students are invited to enter their art in our yearbook cover contest! The winner will receive a free yearbook and their artwork will be displayed on the front cover! Even if your entry is not used on the cover, it may still be used in other places throughout the book.

2021 Yearbook Theme:

This year’s book doesn’t have a specific “tag line,” but the cover art should reflect the uniqueness of this year, which is unlike any other.

All Entries Due By: March 26, 2021

* * celebrating WOMEN'S HISTORY MONTH * *

Letter from MEA 5th grader

Dear Mt. Everest Academy,

My name is Lillian Rawlins and I am a 5th-grade student at MEA. My grandmother gave me a book about women erased from history and I decided to do my research essay on one of them, Ellen H. Swallow Richards.

Once I did more research into her I was distraught to discover how badly men and MIT, the university she dedicated her life to, treated her. One of the worst things was that she did the requirements for a Ph.D. in chemistry and they refused to award their first Ph.D. in chemistry to a woman. She founded Ecology and also was the #1 international water scientist. I would name all the accomplishments she did but there are way too many.

I wrote a letter to the president of MIT asking them to award her a posthumous Ph.D. and also asking if they would rename their laboratory after her. I have not heard anything back so I made a petition. Please sign this petition so that this wonderful woman can finally get the credit she deserves. Thank you!

~ Lillian Rawlins

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About the books...

The book I'm holding is a really great read, lots of information but really interesting. It's mostly for older kids and adults. The book, "Adventurous Spirit: A Story about Ellen Swallow Richards" by Ethlie Ann Vare would be a good fit for most children. A book that could be interesting for everyone is called, "Hidden From History: The lives of Eight American Women Scientists" by Kim K. Zach. This is the book my grandmother gave me. I will probably have to write more letters after I finish with Ellen because she is the first one in the book, and as far as I got!


Please send in your Good Stuff!

We're bringing back the Good Stuff! We know MEA students and families are involved in so many things outside of school. Do you have something fun or interesting to share? Please send your stories and images to share for "The Good Stuff" in upcoming Monday messages to Linda Ele at We want to hear from you!

** Extracurricular Activities **


ASB Students sharing their work

Mental Health Workshops Interest

UCSD School of Medicine students and residents are partnering with schools to increase mental health literacy among youth. They will be offering a few 45- minute workshops to address mental health stigma and increase knowledge and awareness of specific mental health wellness topics. It will allow medical trainees to interact with their communities, specifically students, and better understand their perspective and learn from their experiences. This workshop will be run through the MEA Mental Health Club.

Please fill out this form to show your interest in participating in this mental health workshop. (Note, topics covered may be sensitive, age range directed towards highschoolers). Email with any questions or concerns.


ASB is hosting an ongoing school-wide competition, henceforth titled the Spirit Cup! Each grade level/group will compete with each other for a prize (for the sake of fairness, K - 2 and 3 - 4 are combined into groups). Students can earn Spirit Points towards their class's total in the following ways:

SPIRIT DAYS - Through TreeRing, students can submit pictures of themselves in their spirit day costume. They will receive one Spirit Point per spirit day for which they send in a picture demonstrating participation. Here are instructions for submitting photos through TreeRing (use the spirit day folder).

EVENTS - Students can earn three Spirit Points for participation in an event, as well as additional Spirit Points that might be awarded from the event (e.g. Extra Spirit Points might be earned from placing in the top three in a schoolwide kahoot). To earn these points, students must fill out a short form sent out during the event.

Other ways to earn Spirit Points may be revealed through the year.

The points earned by each class will be tallied up and displayed in the Monday Message at the beginning of each month. Members of whichever class has the most points at the end of month 9 will win the Spirit Cup and associated bragging rights. They will also be rewarded with certificates for 5 oz of free yogurt from YogurtLand, and the student with the most Spirit Points earned will earn a $10 Amazon gift card, which will be distributed at the beginning of month 10.

Humans of MEA

MEA Ally Action will be starting their first project for high school students! Based on "Humans of New York", they will be interviewing teachers and students to learn their story. The interviews will be shared on the Monday Message. The goal of this project is to help show that we all have our own stories!

If you are interested in participating, please fill out this Humans of MEA form.


Mr. Ron Zappala is the Head School Counselor at Mt. Everest Academy. Please reach out to him him with any counseling questions at Look for online office hours and grade level meetings in the future!

Community College Pre-Enrollment Zoom workshop

Friday, April 16 / 12:30-2:00


Here is an opportunity for all seniors interested in attending Mesa, Miramar, or City colleges in the Fall. Attendance at the Pre-Enrollment workshop is required in order to pre-register for the Fall. Once pre-registered, seniors will automatically be scheduled to receive assistance from a college counselor on academic advising, and educational planning for their first year at community college.

If you plan on attending the workshop, please e-mail Mr. Zappala as soon as possible and no later than April 2nd. Mr. Zappala will need to let Mesa College know who will be attending in order to resolve any problems before April 16th. A Zoom link for the meeting will be sent out to you soon. Please also have your social security number available for the April 16th meeting. Mr. Zappala will also be sending out to each senior a digital copy of their transcript for the meeting. And lastly, please complete the Promise application.

Jumpstart Your Success at Mesa College

Saturday, April 17 / 9:00am-12:00pm

Mesa College is thrilled to present Jumpstart Your Success 2021. This is a virtual event for prospective students, their families and friends. Attendees will have an opportunity to learn more about Mesa College and the San Diego Promise FREE Tuition Program.

Endless Possibilities

SDCCD Endless Possibilities

Your guide to majors and programs of interest at the San Diego Community College District. They offer endless possibilities for your career journey with a wealth of opportunities for pursuing your education. The SDCCD strives to make their students successful by dedicating their resources to quality instruction and stellar support services.

Class of 2021

Seniors, this Counseling & Guidance Resources webpage was designed with you in mind. From the page you will find helpful resources to support your senior year: understand the college application process, cope with the stressors of transitioning to college and navigate the challenges of senior year.


2021 Ninth Circuit Civics Contest

The United States Courts for the Ninth Circuit is sponsoring an essay and video contest for high school students in the western United States and Pacific Islands. With reference to the Constitution, students are encouraged to discuss this theme: “What Does Our American Community Ask of Us?”

2021 Wellness Together Series

LINK: Wellness Together Spring Event Series

This 4-part webinar series, hosted by Wellness Together School Mental Health and the California Department of Education, equips educators, parents, and guardians to promote mental wellness for students at home and in the classroom.

Join in to hear from leading voices in the student mental wellness movement, with presenters from across the country increasing mental health awareness, advocacy, and access to mental health services for our students. At the conclusion of each webinar, presenters will participate in a live question and response.

California Parent and Youth Helpline

Emotional support for families challenged by the pressures of COVID-19

Having someone to talk to or communicate with when you or your student is struggling is more important now than ever. Here is a helpline set up by the State of California to support you and your family.

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