Karen Seiko Arimoto-Peterson
, a Woodside High graduate in the 1960s who has returned to the school as a super-charged volunteer, was the obvious choice.
and some Woodside friends could be seen recently selling sausages and hot dogs at a B.B. King concert at Shoreline Amphitheatre.That was to benefit the Woodside Booster Club.
Coming up August 22 is a dinner at Armadillo Willy's BBQ & Cafe in Mountain View, when a portion of the tab spent by Woodside diners will go to Woodside's football program.Karen
organized the event.
In addition to fundraising, Karen cheers for the Wildcats at sporting events -- football, basketball, and girls varsity softball
also serves as a community member on Woodside High's Shared Decision Making Committee.
With no children of her
own, why does she
free time volunteering at the school.
it be for the kids, she
answers quickly.So many people need so many things that everyone needs to take time to help..
A fourth generation American, Karen
mother is the first Japanese female born in Redwood City.Her
father's mother and aunt were the first Japanese American females born in California, she
parents, as young people, were relocated to the internment camp at Topaz, Utah, during World War II.
I never knew anything about the relocation.It was never talked about at home while I was growing up, says Karen
learned about it while preparing to be a teacher.Since then, she
has become involved with the Japanese American Citizens League, and now conducts workshops on the Japanese American Experience to increase teacher and student awareness of this chapter in American history.
is an institution onto herself, says parent Margaret MacNiven, who has worked with her
at Woodside Elementary and Woodside High.she
be a person with a good overview, and also one who can put the pieces together and move forward, Mrs. MacNiven adds.
As community service coordinator at Woodside Elementary, Karen
seeks out projects and makes sure eighth-graders complete their mandatory 30 hours of community service before they graduate.Karen
has a special spot in her
heart for the Special Olympics, volunteering at the annual San Mateo County track-and-field events held at Menlo School and at the Walk for Gold, held in October.Now she
be gearing up for next month's Sand Hill Challenge, a high- and low-tech soap box derby along Sand Hill Road that raises funds for youth programs.
The Woodside High foundation named its community service award in Karen's honor, calling it the Seiko Award. Seiko is her
middle name, and it be on the license plate of her
car, frequently parked at Woodside High.