LA Private School News Private school news of Los Angeles and vicinity Wed, 22 Apr 2015 16:52:26 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Congratulations to the Students of St. Monica Academy for Your Accomplishments Wed, 22 Apr 2015 16:52:26 +0000 | St. Monica Academy | LA Private School | National Merit Finalist |

St. Monica Academy is pleased to recognize eight of our students who have received special honors recently. Senior Sophia Decker was named a National Merit Finalist and has won a $2,500 scholarship. An exceptionally high score of 238 out of 240 also earned her a full scholarship to the University of Kentucky, her first-choice college, which also includes room, board and a stipend for four years.  This is based purely on her National Merit Finalist standing.

Therese Boles has been named a Carson Scholar. Dr. Ben Carson, famous for being the first neurosurgeon to successfully separate twins conjoined at the head, founded the program to honor students who are academic and inspirational role models in their schools. Carson Scholars are awarded with a $1,000 college scholarship and a recognition package. 526 of the best and brightest students from around the country have been named Carson Scholars. These students were nominated by their school based on their high academic achievement and commitment to their communities.

Freshman Clement Decker is the first St. Monica student ever to advance from the L.A. County Science Fair to the California State Science Fair, which will be held May 18-19. Only 104 out of 1007 competitors in the Mar. 26-27 County Fair advanced to State, including Clement. His project attempted to determine whether the quantum or classical model of light is better for explaining interference patterns. Clement also represented St. Monica Academy in the English Speaking Union Los Angeles Shakespeare Competition on February 6. Out of 25 students, Clement placed in the top 6 and advanced to the second round of competition.

In addition, the following students have received special awards and recognitions:

Seventh grader Sarah Decker represented St. Monica Academy at the Los Angeles County Scripps Spelling Bee on February 8. Out of 23,000 participants at the school level, and 115 school champions at the regional level, Sarah placed 6th.

In the Daughters of the American Revolution American history essay contest, fifth grader James Christian was both the Martin Severance Chapter of Pasadena winner as well as the District X winner for his essay on the topic, “A Child’s Journey through Ellis Island.” In the high school contest, Junior Kayla Grimm was the Chapter winner and the District X winner for her essay on Christopher Columbus. District X includes seven DAR Chapters in and around the San Gabriel Valley. James’ and Kayla’s essays will be submitted to the state level competition. Sarah di Cicco, the DAR representative from the local chapter, said of our competitors: “The St. Monica Academy essayists are extremely competitive. Your fifth grade teacher Miss Miranda inspires her students to internalize research and speak with a personal voice. Tremendous!”

Twelve high school students participated in the Southern California Debate League’s novice tournament on February 21. The team participated in the Congressional Extemporaneous competition. Jacob Lessard received a ribbon of excellence from the Southern California Debate League, and Joseph Kulda was named team MVP.

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Open House Events for Late November Mon, 03 Nov 2014 18:27:04 +0000 The Private School Lady, Mia Johnstone keeps parents up to date on the Elementary & High School Open House Events for prospective parents and students in Los Angeles. You can also visit to get more information on each school and their event times.

Open House Events for Late November:

Bishop Conaty-OLL: November 22, 2014  @ 1:00pm – 4:30pm

Bosco Tech: November 23, 2014 @ 12:00pm – 4:00pm

Cantwell Sacred Heart: November 23, 2014 @ 1:00pm – 3:30pm

Click on links for information on times and school locations.

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Open House Events for Mid November Mon, 03 Nov 2014 18:19:41 +0000 The Private School Lady, Mia Johnstone keeps parents up to date on the Elementary & High School Open House Events for prospective parents and students in Los Angeles. You can also visit to get more information on each school and their event times.

Open House Events for Mid November:

Alverno: November 16, 2014  @ 1:30pm – 4:00pm

Notre Dame H.S: November 16, 2014 @ 10:00Am – 1:00pm

San Gabriel Mission: November 16, 2014 @ 12:00pm – 2:00pm

Chaminade: November 16,  2014 @ 1:00pm – 4:00pm

St. Lucy’s Priory: November 16, 2014 @ 11:00am-2:00pm

Ribet Academy: November 17, 2014

Arroyo Pacific Academy: Please Call for a Tour

Holy Family: Please Call for a Tour

Lycee International de Los Angeles: Please Call for a Tour

Click on links for information on times and school locations.


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Open House Events for Early November Mon, 03 Nov 2014 17:58:17 +0000 The Private School Lady, Mia Johnstone keeps parents up to date on the Elementary & High School Open House Events for prospective parents and students in Los Angeles. You can also visit to get more information on each school and their event times.

Open House Events for Early November:

Maranatha: November 8, 2014 @ 10:00am

Pasadena Waldorf: November 8,  2014 @ 1:00pm

Saint Joseph: November 9, 2014 @ 12-3:00pm

Click on links for information on times and school locations.

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St. Monica Academy Received the Honor of Being Named as a 2014 School of Excellence Wed, 22 Oct 2014 16:48:46 +0000 San Gabriel Valley Private School | Saint Monica Academy | Private School Lady  | Catholic Education Honor Roll | 2014 School of Excellence |

On Sept. 15, 2014 the Cardinal Newman Society released the list of U.S. schools recognized by the Catholic Education Honor Roll as 2014 Schools of Excellence. Honor Roll schools receive this designation for strong Catholic identity and excellence in academics. This year seventy-one schools, including St. Monica Academy in Pasadena, received the honor of being named as a School of Excellence.

On Friday Oct. 10, St. Monica celebrated this achievement with a special morning assembly. Headmaster Marguerite Grimm spoke of our school’s extraordinary achievements during its relatively brief history: 16 National Merit Finalists and Scholars, 16 perfect scores of 800 on the SAT, 102 gold medals on the National Latin Exam, three CIF quarterfinals and one semifinals in volleyball, numerous league titles in basketball, baseball, and volleyball, a world-class polyphonic choir, and a #1 ranking among all Catholic high schools in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles for the highest mean SAT scores in 2013. Mrs. Grimm gave credit and thanks to the founding families of our school, and to its dedicated faculty and staff.

On behalf of the Cardinal Newman Society, SMA Board President Martin Boles presented the Honor Roll award certificate to the school, after which our new SMA banner was unfurled. The banner includes St. Monica’s coat of arms and the Catholic High School Honor Roll logo. After morning assembly, the whole school enjoyed refreshments served in the courtyard, and the high school students gathered for photos while holding the new banner and award certificate.

Banner best crop 2St. Monica Academy

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Open House Events: Early May Thu, 01 May 2014 14:30:27 +0000 The Private School Lady, Mia Johnstone keeps parents up to date on the Elementary School Open House Events for prospective parents and students in Los Angeles.

Open House Events for Early May:

Foothill Oaks: May 8 ,2013 @ 6:00 PM

Click on links for information on times and school locations.



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Student Profile: Mia Brantley from Foothill Oaks Academy Mon, 28 Apr 2014 14:30:40 +0000

San Gabriel Valley Private School | Foothill Oaks Academy | Private School Lady Interviews |

Mia Brantley is an 8th Grader at Foothill Oaks Academy. She shares her excitement about school and shares a few words of wisdom with the incoming class.

1. What is your favorite part of being at Foothill Oaks?

I really love how this school offers a very well-rounded education. In addition to all of the core subjects, I am being introduced to art, music, and technology. The teachers are wonderful and I receive one-on-one attention in each class.

2. What advice would you give to new students?

Try to make friends with everyone and really go for it! Find what you love most and share it with your classmates. You might find that you have something in common with someone else. Definitely don’t be afraid to ask questions, the teachers don’t bite!

3. What academic experience at FOA has made a big impression on you?

I was really impressed by the History Makers Project because it gave me more confidence to talk in front of my whole class for five minutes. Also, it was actually very interesting to learn about Jesus and Catherine the Great.

4. What is your favorite way to hang out on the weekend?

I love to dance and listen to music. Just recently, I have been doing my community service hours and I have been making many other friends outside of school.

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St. Monica Academy Ranks #1 With the Highest SAT Scores Thu, 12 Dec 2013 16:30:37 +0000

San Gabriel Valley Private School | Saint Monica Academy | Private School Lady  | St. Monica Academy Ranks #1 | SAT Scores |

Out of 51 Catholic high schools in the Los Angeles Archdiocese, St. Monica Academy boasted the highest mean SAT scores in all three categories: Reading, Writing, and Math. The scores were as follows:
Reading   625
Math        626
Writing     631
In only 13 years of existence, St. Monica has achieved this outstanding distinction thanks to its dedicated faculty and staff. Deserving special recognition are SMA’s grade school teachers who prepared their students so well to excel in high school.

Monica Golbranson, who graduated from St. Monica Academy in 2013, achieved a perfect score of 800 on the Math section of the SAT. She currently attends the University of Notre Dame.


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Educator Profile: Brother Dan from Cathedral High School Tue, 10 Dec 2013 15:30:37 +0000

Central Los Angeles Private School |Cathedral High School|Brother Dan| Private School Lady Interview|
Brother Dan is an educator and a role model to the student of Cathedral High School.  We are thrilled to share more information about him.


 1. How many years have you been a Christian Brother? How many years have you taught at Cathedral High School?

I have been a Christian Brother for about 28 years.  I taught at Cathedral High School for seven years between 1986 and 1993.  I am currently in my second year of my second assignment here.

2. Can you explain why teaching at Cathedral is so unique?

The common factor (from my past experience and my current experience) is that the students make the experience one of family.  Every day, as I walk into the classroom, it’s the students that make me feel right at home.  I also very much value my interactions with teachers here, some of whom were serving hear two decades ago when I first arrived.

3. During the summers you and other members of the Lasallian community volunteer in the Philippines. Please provide a brief description of the volunteer work that is done work at Bahay Pag-asa Youth Center and how many summers have you been volunteering in the Philippines?

Bahay Pag-asa (House of Hope) Youth Centers – there are now two of them run by the De La Salle Brothers –  are residential rehabilitation centers for “children in conflict with the law” in the Philippines.  In reality, that means boys and young men between the ages of 12 and 20 who have been placed in residential care by the courts or by the Department of Social Welfare and Development.  All of the boys are from backgrounds of poverty, some of it extreme.  Most have been involved in gangs, substance abuse and criminal behavior.  Some are charged with crimes as serious as homicide.  The De La Salle Brothers in the Philippines decided to take on this work over 10 years ago when Br. Gus Boquer opened the first Bahay Pag-asa Youth Center in Bacolod City.

I have been volunteering at BPYC every summer for the last 10 years, accompanied by other Brothers and college student volunteers.  We live at the youth centers (in Bacolod and in Dasmariñas), interact with the residents in their studies, their meals, their prayer and their work, and we visit their homes and attend their court hearings to learn more about the realities of their lives.  We also bring donated funds to help provide educational opportunities and scholarships and to purchase badly-needed supplies, clothing and furniture for the centers.  In addition, we plan a yearly field trip for the residents so that they can enjoy a recreational day away from the center (where they live, study and work).

4. Can you identify how the Cathedral Community assists in the volunteer work that is done at the Bahay Pag-asa Youth Center?

We have a Club at Cathedral High School called “Club Pag-asa” which interacts with and raises funds for the programs and needs of kids at the Bahay Pag-asa Youth Centers.  Last year, the CHS Club Pag-asa raised nearly $2000 which was used to refurbish all of the dorm rooms at Bahay Pag-asa Youth Center, Bacolod (new beddings, new cabinets and closets) and to provide some job training for residents hoping to find employment when there time at Bahay Pag-asa comes to an end.  In addition, two CHS graduates (Alex Toruno, 2012 and James Esparza, 2011) traveled with me as volunteers this last summer.  Club Pag-asa’s next event, which is not a fund-raiser, will be a magic show broadcast live from CHS to the kids at Bahay Pag-asa Bacolod.  Through streaming media on the CHS website and by using Skype, we plan to entertain and interact with the kids at BPYC.  A Cathedral High School junior, Amir, will be the magician and Club Pag-asa will provide the audience for this dinner theater. KCHS will do the broadcasting.  We will broadcast on Saturday night, September 21 and the boys at BPYC will see it live on Sunday morning, Septermber 22.  Through Skype they plan on performing their own musical numbers for us.


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Alverno High School: Empowering Young Women Through Leadership Fri, 06 Dec 2013 15:30:30 +0000 San Gabriel Valley Private School | Alverno High School  | Empowering Young Women Through Leadership |  Private School Lady |

On September 24, over 50 percent of Alverno High School students took the Oath of Office during Alverno’s Annual Inauguration.

Modeled after the United States government and different from the traditional “Associated Student Body” model, Alverno’s government is overseen by the Alverno Constitution and students are considered citizens of the Alverno Student Union (ASU). The ASU includes the federal, legislative, and judicial branches as well as individual state governments.

The federal level includes the President and Vice-President who were elected as a ticket at Alverno’s annual Convention last year. The federal level is completed with a cabinet, which includes positions like Secretary of Activities, Secretary of Campus Ministry, and many more. Including the President and Vice-President, twenty-two sophomores, juniors, and seniors make up the federal level of the ASU.

The legislative branch includes Congress, which has three representatives from each of the four states. Congress drafts, passes, and approves bills and resolutions that affect the entire school. A judicial branch includes two Supreme Court justices from each state and a Chief Justice. Supreme Court must agree a bill is constitutional before it goes into effect on campus.

Finally, each state has a Constitution along with the following positions: Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Secretary, Treasurer, and nine assemblywomen. These young women make decisions specific to their own state.

“Alverno gives students the resources we need to live to our highest potential during our years here and the ones after,” said ASU President Madison Luna. “ASU is working hard to make this a great year for Alverno and together with Vice-President Victoria Pintado and our cabinet I know we are making lasting changes. We are dedicated and I hope we can empower other students to become involved.”

“Our government program is a perfect example of the monumental role our young women play at Alverno,” said Ann Gillick, Head of School. “These young women have made a commitment to Alverno and her peers to be an effective, compassionate, and servant leader. These values are basic tenets of Alverno’s philosophy and our leadership program is just one of the ways Alverno empowers each young woman to be exactly the person she wants to be.”


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