Track The Valedictorians

Jeff emails: "the idea is to write a series that tracks the valedictorians of both yula and shalhevet. to be fair you dont use their names just yula 200X or shalhevet 200X. start with 2004 bec those students should be done with college and work backwards. i am sure with your contacts you can dig up lots of info. the idea is to show which schools top students are still frum… how many have intermarried, who may even be openly gay. this can be a tremendous resource to a parent looking for a high school. I’m about to spend over 100K in the next 4 years. lets see how the schools top students ended up!"

Speaking of Shalhevet and YULA, I had the opportunity over the past few weeks to speak to various students at these schools. I was struck by how much they loved their schools. A YULA student praised his teachers, saying "they’re like professors!"

A Shalhevet high school student said: "It’s just so much fun. They give you tons of homework, but they’re constantly springing surprises on us. The other day, we all piled in buses and went to the beach. The principal (of general studies) Phu Tranchi served in the peace corps. He’s more comfortable in shorts and a t-shirt. He comes to school on a motorcycle. How cool is that?"

According to Phu Tranchi is in his second year as the Principal of General Studies. After receiving his Master of Science Degree in Physiological Science at UCLA in 1997, Mr. Tranchi joined the US Peace Corps and served in Kenya, East Africa, as a teacher and community development planner from 1997-2000. Soon after returning from Africa, he joined the Shalhevet Faculty eight years ago as a science teacher. He was the Science Department Chair for the past three years and continues to teach Advanced Placement Chemistry. Mr. Tranchi is devoted to a more progressive educational model for the high school, implementing models from a recently attended Summer Institute for Principals at Harvard University. He is married to Melanie Berkey, Chair of the English Department.

About Luke Ford

I've written five books (see My work has been followed by the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and 60 Minutes. I teach Alexander Technique in Beverly Hills (
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