Menlo Atherton High School

Post image for Ted Minnis returns to Menlo Park, recruiting water polo players for Harvard Univeristy

A tall and athletic 8th grader at Nativity School, Ted Minnis had caught the attention of legendary Menlo-Atherton High School football coach Ben Parks.  But on the way to the football field, Ted took a dip in the water.

“My friend Ken’s dad, Jim MacKenzie, had played water polo at M-A,” recalls Ted. “Ken was going to follow in his dad’s footsteps. We were at his grandparents’ pool one day, and Jim taught me the egg beater kick. That would serve me well in the game, as I was goalie.”

As for not playing football: “Let’s just say when I decided to play water polo at M-A, Coach Parks was not happy. [Football and water polo are both Fall sports.]

Ted not only played at M-A, he returned to the school at age 21 to coach boys’ water polo, a position he held for the next 11 years, while holding down a day job and raising his son. He left in 1999 to coach water polo and other sports at Castilleja School in Palo Alto, where he also held positions in athletic administration.

We met Ted at M-A’s pool, which has been rebuilt since his tenure there. He was in California recruiting  male and female high school water polo players for his current employer, Harvard University, where he’s coached for the past four years.  “I get to do what I love all day, every day” is how he sums up his coaching duties.

Neither water polo nor football were Ted’s first choice of sports. “I wanted to be a basketball player and go to the Olympics and coach at the college level” he says. “But I realized I wasn’t good enough. What’s a bit ironic is that you can take a lot of basketball into the water.”

He cites current Stanford female water polo coach JT Tanner, who also grew up in Menlo Park, as his most significant mentor. “In my mind he’s one of the best coaches in the world,” Ted says. “I am where I am today because of JT. He took my coaching to another level.

“As an example, one day he filmed me at practice. I was yelling and screaming per usual. JT showed me the film and said, ‘This is what I’m going to show to your mom.’ That sunk in, and from that moment on, my demeanor on the pool deck is motivated by behaving in a way my mom would be proud of.”

Ted has yet to recruit any M-A players to play at Harvard. But he’s back in his hometown staying at the family home, so who knows if this will be the magic year.

Photo by Scott R. Kline

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Menlo resident Alan Propp heads to Ghana this summer to work at orphanages

Thumbnail image for Menlo resident Alan Propp heads to Ghana this summer to work at orphanages

Menlo-Atherton High School grad Alan Propp, who’s finishing up his second year at Stanford, is headed to Ghana this summer to work with the Kaeme Foundation in partnership with the Ghanian Department of Social Welfare. There he’ll be interviewing children who are housed in orphanages, even though in some cases they have families. “The goal […]

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Visiting with the three Peninsula College Fund scholarship recipients who are M-A grads

Thumbnail image for Visiting with the three Peninsula College Fund scholarship recipients who are M-A grads

This year the Peninsula College Fund, founded by Menlo Park resident Charles Schmuck, awarded scholarships to 20 high school students. The non-profit organization focuses on helping low-income, first-generation college students attend and finish college by providing four-year scholarships, one-to-one adult mentors, college and career success training, and summer internship placements and stipends. An award ceremony, open to the public, will be held […]

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M-A Alumni Association awards scholarships to two college-bound seniors

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The Menlo-Atherton High School Alumni Association recently announced the recipients of this year’s scholarship awards. The committee screened over 35 applicants and narrowed the choices down to three finalists who were interviewed. The two recipients this year are Coral Brady (right top) of Menlo Park, who will be attending UC Santa Cruz next year and plans on taking courses that […]

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M-A awarded Peninsula Athletic League Commissioner’s Cup for 6th year in a row

For the 6th year in a row, Menlo-Atherton High School was awarded the Peninsula Athletic League Commissioner’s Cup. The Commissioners Cup is awarded annually to the Peninsula Athletic League school that best exemplifies the league’s commitment to sportsmanship and excellence in athletics. Points are awarded to each varsity team in each sport that they participate […]

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30 M-A grads will pursue athletics at college

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The Menlo-Atherton High School Class of 2014 includes 30 grads who will pursue athletics at the college level. (Note: some are missing from the photo.) Water Polo Jessica Heilman (Brown), Evan McLellan (Davis), Sammy Henze (Notre Dame), Sierra Sheeper (Cal Poly) Crew Katie Kelly (Cal), Salm Calvert (UCSD), Will Carhart (USD) Everett Moiseff (UCSD) Edward […]

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Twelve M-A students receive Student Service Awards

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Twelve students received Principal’s Student Service Awards at Menlo Atherton High School PTA’s May 27th meeting. Each year, the PTA and Principal Matt Zito present these awards to 9th through 11th grade students who have demonstrated an exceptional commitment to volunteer service in the Menlo-Atherton or greater community. Criteria for selecting recipients includes social value […]

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Great Frame Up in downtown Menlo Park hosts M-A student art show

Thumbnail image for Great Frame Up in downtown Menlo Park hosts M-A student art show

The Great Frame Up store on Santa Cruz Avenue in Menlo Park, is hosting the Menlo-Atherton High School Creative Self-Expressions Art Contest. The students in the Drawing and Painting, Photography, and Ceramics classes at the high school submitted their work from the year. The teachers of the classes chose a few to be featured in the […]

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M-A Big Bear Run takes place on Sunday, May 4 – fundraiser for school athletics

Thumbnail image for M-A Big Bear Run takes place on Sunday, May  4 – fundraiser for school athletics

The 9th annual  Big Bear Run is set for Sunday, May 4. Proceeds from the race support Menlo-Atherton High School’s 50-plus sports teams. Professionally timed, the 5K run begins at the M-A gym lot on Ringwood and weaves through flat Lindenwood, ending with a track finish on Coach Parks Field. Medals are awarded for all […]

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Classic car auto show at M-A today through 2:00 pm – and it’s free!

Thumbnail image for Classic car auto show at M-A today through 2:00 pm – and it’s free!

We stopped by the Menlo-Atherton High School campus this morning where the America’s Pastime Car Show is running today through 2:00 pm. Admission is free. A fundraiser for the school’s baseball team (the frosh-soph team is pictured below), there’s a raffle and BBQ lunch as well as the chance to see some great classic automobiles, hot […]

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Spotted: Purdue Glee Club performing at Menlo-Atherton High School

Thumbnail image for Spotted: Purdue Glee Club performing at Menlo-Atherton High School

A number of Menlo-Atherton High School students were lucky enough to witness a special performance from the Purdue Glee Club, held in M-A’s Performing Arts Center on March 19. Small talk was quick to fade as the students settled into their seats.. The singers ran down the aisles and spread themselves out all over the […]

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