Monday Message


Words from the Principal

Phew! We made it through Month 1! It’s always difficult getting back into the groove of school after summer break. But we are off to a great start with so many new faces! We talk so much about the importance of having a growth mindset and of helping our children become resilient and “gritty” adults. Month 1 often causes our families and students to reflect on how to improve the processes and schedules they have set up for success. In relation to this, I wanted to share a recent article from The Atlantic that discusses this topic as it pertains to girls. Although the focus is on girls, how we talk to children as they either find success or maneuver through “bumps in the road” really makes a difference. Please support your children as they make mistakes and learn from them and, most importantly, encourage them to take risks! A quote from the article is below. The entire article can be found here.

What makes confidence building so much more elusive for so many tween and teen girls? A few things stand out. The habit of what psychologists call rumination—essentially, dwelling extensively on negative feelings—is more prevalent in women than in men, and often starts at puberty. This can make girls more cautious, and less inclined toward risk taking. Additionally, at an early age, parents and teachers frequently encourage and reward girls’ people-pleasing, perfectionistic behavior, without understanding the consequences.

ASB Officers for 2018-19

Congratulations to the ASB Officers that were elected last week!

Special thanks to all the students that ran for office; for your time and effort, your school spirit, and being part of the democratic process!

Picture Day

There was a great turnout for last week's Picture Day! For students that weren't able to be there, please mark your calendar for a Make-Up Picture Session on Tuesday, October 23, 8:30-12:30.

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Meeting for all Seniors

Thursday, September 27 / 11:55-12:30 / Cafeteria

All 12th graders are required to attend this meeting with Mr. Zappala, who will be sharing important information and reviewing expectations for the year. Free pizza will be served!

Club Fair

Tuesday, October 2 / 12:00-12:30 / Auditorium

Wednesday, October 3 / 12:00-12:30 / Auditorium

Calling all MEAers! Do you want to get involved at school, make a difference, or just have fun? Come to the Club Fair to learn about all the activities available to you!


Wednesday, October 10 / 8:15-12:00 / Auditorium

All students that will be taking the PSAT on October 10 need to sign up in the front office. All 10th graders can take the test for free, but you MUST sign up. For all other students, the cost is $16, payable by check or cash (EXACT CHANGE PLEASE).

PSAT practice booklets are available in Mr. Zappala's office and the front office.

Link to the PSAT website.

Julius Caesar at the Old Globe

Friday, October 26 / 10:30am / Old Globe

Students in grades 9-12 are invited to attend a FREE matinee performance of Julius Caesar at the Old Globe Theatre in Balboa Park. For any questions, please contact Ms. Mullen at

If you plan to attend, please sign up by filling out this form by Thursday, 9/27.


Please find the most up-to-date schedule on our website, This schedule is a work in-progress; we will continue to add to and fine-tune the schedule as needed.


  • The MakerSpace and PALS will not start this week
  • Basketball on Wednesdays, 12:00-1:00, is only open to grades 6-12

  • NEW: German Club on Thursdays, 12:00-1:00, in room 8 (starts Sept. 27)

  • NEW: Mathcounts on Tuesdays, 1:50-3:00 (starts Oct. 2)

We are still waiting for adult volunteers to run some sessions. Please check our website frequently for activities that are added.

If you are interested in offering an extracurricular class or workshop, please contact Principal Browne at We are looking for folks wanting to share talents in science, technology, robotics, and the arts! All required district volunteer paperwork must be submitted in order to lead a class.

American Sign Language

Tuesdays / 11:30-12:30 / Cafeteria


Have you ever thought about learning what sign language is all about? Did you know you that sign language meets the high school graduation world language requirement? If so, come and learn all about American Sign Language!


Tuesdays / 1:50-3:00 / Cafeteria


This activity is ideal for students who have a talent and passion for math and need to be challenged. Students will engage in exciting, "bee-style" contests in which they will compete against and alongside other bright, motivated students. Learn more about the national Mathcounts organization

Mathcounts is for grades 6-8 only (not for students under grade 6 even if they are accelerated in math).


PowerSchool Parent portal information

Some parents have inquired about how to set up or access their parent portal accounts in PowerSchool. Accounts have been set up and your personal login information (with instructions) can be obtained from the front office. (We are not allowed to send them via email.)

SSC/SGT Parent Representative Election

Parents, please vote for your SSC and SGT members. Voting will take place this week in the front office beginning Tuesday at 11:30. Parent candidates for the two open positions in both SSC and SGT are as follows:

Niki Ahrens is parent to two elementary MEA students in first and fifth grade. She's a former teacher, now a naturalist guide and contracts for a school library publisher. Niki is passionate about the experiential and emergent learning possibilities at MEA, and ways that they intersect social justice learning.

Dan Strum has an 8th grader at MEA, and has put two older children through the San Diego School System. He is retired from his career at the Port of San Diego, where he served as the Director of Real Estate, overseeing hundreds of public sector projects over the years. He would be excited to have an opportunity to serve on the SSC and SGT.

Ataur Rahman Shuman is the parent of a current MEA 9thgrader and an accomplished electrical engineer and inventor. He has worked for both Qualcomm and Ericsson in many capacities and has over 47 patents, with 12 more pending! He has been a board member of the Islamic School of San Diego as well as an AYSO coach. He looks forward to being a part of SSC and/or SGT.

Day Use Computers

DAY USE computers can be checked out from 7:45am until 2:30pm and are due back to the LIBRARY by 2:45pm each day. They must be signed in and checked in by Miss Vivian or Miss Suzie. Please do not leave them around campus.

Join Student Equity Ambassadors!

Students, help us transform our school district to be more inclusive than ever. We are recruiting middle and high school students for the next year of our program. Student voices will help spark district and community conversations that will lead to solutions and changes to benefit all SDUSD students and families. If interested please email me at

We are holding an informational meeting for future ambassadors and their parents/guardians on October 3rd (more information will be announced later).

Link to flyer

~ Sabrina Lee, 12th grader

Box Tops for Education

We all shop for groceries, sometimes two or three times a week –- or more. Now turn those shopping trip into easy cash for our school, and encourage friends to do the same! Just look for the Box Tops logo on hundreds of products like Cheerios, Hamburger Helper and Kleenex, in almost every aisle of the store. All you need to do is clip and bring them in to the front office or the family study room - each one is worth 10¢ for Mt. Everest Academy.

More information

Box Top website

Clothing Drive

Tuesday, September 24 - Friday, September 28

If you’re cleaning out your closet -or your kids’ closet- we’re doing a back to school clothing drive for girls, boys, men and women for the Monarch school (the K-12 public school for homeless children in downtown San Diego). The larger, adult-sized clothes are used by students or by their parents going on job interviews.

Monarch School’s wish list also includes new toiletries and school supplies if you would like to help in that way.

Please consider donating by the end of this week. Bring clothes to the labeled box in room 9. Thank you for having a big heart for people in need!

For more information about the school and its mission and incredible work, visit

Ms. Pachon's Travel Blog

Ms. Pachon's fascinating adventures continue! There are many pictures and stories from their time at Sneha’s Care dog rescue and rehabilitation center in Kathmandu, the capital city of Nepal. Link to blog

Study Group Schedules

Here's a link to the Study Group schedule.


Mr. Ron Zappala is the Head School Counselor at Mt. Everest Academy. You can reach him with any counseling questions at or 858-496-8791. Or feel free to stop by the counseling office anytime!

Meeting for all Seniors

Thursday, September 27 / 11:55-12:30 / Cafeteria

All 12th graders are required to attend this meeting with Mr. Zappala, who will be sharing important information and reviewing expectations for the year. Free pizza will be served!

Meeting for all Juniors

Wednesday, October 3 / 11:55-12:30 / Cafeteria

Mr. Zappala will discuss what is important to focus on for 11th graders, and what to think about as they become seniors next year. Free pizza will be served!

Torch Award Essay Scholarship for Seniors and Juniors

Offered through the Better Business Bureau

The Better Business Bureau is currently accepting applications for the 2018 Torch Awards for Ethics Scholarship Program. This program is open to all members of the graduating class of 2019 and 2020, with five cash scholarships being awarded. Students who write the best essays over "The Importance of Ethics and Integrity in our Community" will be awarded in conjunction with their annual Torch Awards for Ethics event that honors ethical businesses within the community. Application

Christian College Fair

Thursday, October 11 / 6:00-8:00 pm / The Rock Church and Academy

Representatives will be available from various Christian Colleges from across the US and Canada. All have been approved by NACCAP.

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September Library Challenge

The first Library Challenge of the year is a crossword puzzle! Click here for the puzzle, or pick one up in the library. Turn your completed form into the library by Thursday, September 27, 12:30 pm to receive a prize!


As Mt. Everest Academy offers students the “flexibility to pursue your passion,” our school has a wealth of students that are pursuing their passions while meeting their educational goals. The "Student Spotlight" is a way to share some of the exciting endeavors our students are involved in with the rest of our school, and a way for students to learn about other students with similar interests.

If you've got a student accomplishment or special activity that can be included in a Monday Message, please email it to Linda Ele,

Sophie Chung awarded 1st prize

Sophie Chung is an 8-year old 4th grader at Mt. Everest Academy who was just awarded 1st prize in the 2018 Classics Alive National Young Artist audition in the D division. Sophie has won several major awards in the past including the International Russian piano competition in San Jose and the Grand Prize of the Korea Times competition in 2017. She is also a silver medalist of the Southern California Bach festival that attracts well over 2,000 participants across different age groups and instruments every year. Many more prizes include first prizes at the SYMF and the MTAC scholarship competition as well as various awards in different MTAC LA branch competitions (including sonatina festival, romantic festival and the MTAC state solo competition).

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