A little before 10 a.m. yesterday morning, Sophie L. '25 prepared herself to be hit by a water balloon lobbed by her classmates, while her physics teacher Billy Abdallah supervised the attack. Megan L. '25 started the countdown: "Ready...set...THROW!" Then the sounds of popping splashes and peals of laughter echoed down the driveway.
What a start! After spending a year and a half in a quiet gym, the Cubs have returned with a bang! We had a great summer camp with huge numbers for basketball, cross country, tennis and volleyball. And through the first two weeks of the regular season, it seems all that work has paid off! Volleyball has been the busiest sport so far. Varsity has compiled an 8-2 overall record, going 2-0 in league so far and 2-2 in the tough Oaks Christian Tournament last weekend. The JV and Frosh/Soph teams are both 6-0 overall and 2-0 in league. The teams have been dominant in their wins and travel to Glendale today before they take on Poly in two BIG matches next week.
In a year like no other, we are overjoyed to welcome twelve new faces to 500 Bellefontaine for the 2021-22 year, including two Mayfield alums. There are additions to the art department, world language department, our student support team, and our Development office. As always, the one thing our new faculty and staff all share? A commitment to our Holy Child educational mission—and to our Mayfield families. Please read more about our growing Mayfield community!
No one on the Mayfield administrative team can remember how, or exactly when, the decision was made to invite alums back to assist in the reopening of campus for hybrid learning. But once the idea was proposed, the decision was unanimous. As teachers and students moved back to campus, there would be more technology needs to be met in the classroom for those still learning or teaching from home. For health and safety reasons, it would be necessary to supervise all the students during their free periods in ways never required before. As Head of School Kate Morin explains, “We needed more eyes and more boots on the ground.”
Last weekend on the Mayfield Senior School campus was pure magic. With the Baccalaureate Mass on Saturday, June 5 and the Graduation on Sunday, June 6, the events had the "pinch-me-am-I-dreaming" kind of quality. It has been over a year of challenges and pivots—with students, families, faculty and staff always adjusting to the many adaptations that have come our way. But at long last, we were able to celebrate our graduates. And during the course of the events of this graduation weekend, time and again, it was clear that the experiences of the Class of 2021 have made them wise far beyond their years.
When Liesl Pike Moldow ’83 got the invitation from Head of School Kate Morin to speak at Mayfield Senior School’s 2021 graduation, Liesl admitted to being “flabbergasted” by the request—but she also couldn’t hide her delight. Later, she hopped on a Zoom call with several members of Mayfield’s Class of 2021, where she quickly fell into reminiscing about the time she spent on the Bellefontaine campus as a Mayfield student herself. She exhibits a genuine ease in talking with this age group, partially because she has children around this age, but also because the non-profit she co-founded, SafeSpace, serves this age bracket as well.
Congratulations to the graduates of the resilient Class of 2021, who lived through an unprecedented high school experience, and are now bound to their next adventures.
The members of the Class of 2021 will be attending 51 different colleges/universities in 18 states plus Washington, DC. 46% will attend college in the state of California; and 21% will enroll at a public university in the state of California. 25% will attend a Catholic college. Every graduate will be matriculating to a four-year college or university.
The Class of 2021 knew that their prom might not happen this year, let alone the Senior Movie Night, Senior Sunrise or the Senior Tea. But as COVID infection rates started going down, Mayfield’s event planning team went into overdrive, and faculty and staff did everything in their power to create opportunities for Seniors to reconnect and revel in each other’s company.
Last Friday, we welcomed a panel of five alum musicians to participate in Mayfield’s first-ever alum-student music summit, hosted by Clarabelle Sullivan ’21 and Michaela Sinclair ’21. This virtual meeting was a chance for recent grads to answer burning questions from student musicians about their post-Mayfield musical journeys.
There are so many moments in recent memory in which I have been compelled to recognize the profound and pivotal time we are living through, with history being made around us. Yesterday was such a day. It has been almost a year since the murder of George Floyd, and after the trial of Derek Chauvin had its closing arguments on Monday, the jury delivered their verdict in less than 24 hours.
It seems amazing that just over a year ago we said goodbye to our students thinking that we would be apart for only a few weeks. Little did we know how much our lives would be changed over the following months. We have all been touched in different ways by the pandemic. We have endured loneliness, anxiety and loss. We have missed holidays with loved ones, postponed celebrations, and cancelled vacations. Graduations, proms, birthday parties and baby showers all went remote. Most tragically so many lost loved ones, often forced to mourn alone.
Julie Brehove ’11’s freshman English class had just finished their reading of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, and the subject of today’s class discussion was “Who’s to blame?” in this tragedy. The Montague or Capulet parents? Friar Lawrence or the Nurse? The lovers themselves? Mrs. Brehove will soon be giving every student an opportunity to give their best arguments for who was most guilty, and why. But she encourages all aspects of the debate, asking everyone to defend and blame at will, and to change allegiances at any point. But before the incrimination-fest begins, Mrs. Brehove primes the day with a game, of sorts. “Prepare yourselves,” she teases the class, “We are in Kahoot! mode.”
I write to you with a message of solidarity, as the recent attacks on the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community in Atlanta have been weighing heavily on my mind.
In the wake of these horrendous murders, we must acknowledge the alarming rise of violence directed against members of the AAPI community nationwide. This has taken place in person and online, involving verbal and physical attacks, and much of this abuse has been inflicted on AAPI elders, immigrants and other vulnerable members of our society. We condemn these heinous acts of bigotry and hate in the strongest terms.
As our community comes closer to in-person learning this spring, the performing arts Conservatory programs at Mayfield have been pioneering new ways to rehearse, perform and engage with audiences, while abiding by pandemic restrictions. This week, vocal music instructor Andrew Alvarez conducted rehearsals as part of a “car choir” with members of the Women’s Ensemble, and theatre director Maryanne Householder launched the first-ever Cubs Cabaret, which was open to all Mayfield student artists who wanted to take on some of Broadway’s milestones in monologues, dances and songs. We caught up with Mr. Alvarez and Ms. Householder to hear more about their recent projects.
April Garcez’s U.S. History class was about to begin a unit on “The Progressive Era,” and these 11th-graders were about to be assigned presentations on figures like W.E. Bois, Ida B. Wells, Upton Sinclair and others who helped shape American history in fundamental ways. But when Ms. Garcez watched the recent presidential inauguration, she quickly decided to rewrite her next class plan to take advantage of what she considered a valuable learning opportunity. “We had to address the fact that it was momentous to have the first Black, South-Asian Vice President woman and Amanda Gorman as a speaker,” she said. “We had to stop the history lesson as it was.”
It is the first Student Diversity Council (SDC) meeting of February, and Avalon Dela Rosa ‘22 calls the session to order. Today’s agenda is packed. The plan is to discuss the virtual Black History Month assembly the group hosted online during the advisory period just an hour before. Avalon, who shares the title of SDC Co-Head with Frances Burton ’21, gets quickly to the subject at hand. “We're just going to debrief about how the assembly went and you can share something that went well or something to work on for next time,” she says, in a relaxed tone. “We have a lot of people today, so I was thinking about doing a round robin...”
Career Day is always an exciting event at Mayfield, and this year’s was even more so. For our first Virtual Alumnae Career Day, we welcomed almost 60 alum professionals—more than double last year's number!—to talk about their work in the arts, business, engineering, entertainment, media/journalism, law, marketing/communications, health/medicine, and psychology. (Scroll down to see the full list.)
It’s the first class of the day, the first day of the second semester, and Billy Abdallah is instructing his ninth-grade Conceptual Physics class from his backyard. He checks in with each student one by one—his tone energetic, his gestures expressive. He’s beginning a new unit on motion, which he knows is often a tricky topic for first-time physics students. He introduces the topic of mechanical equilibrium in a way the entire class can readily understand. He asks each freshman about her “ideal day,” listening and responding, encouraging everyone to understand their own personal sense of what equilibrium is, before moving on to the scientific definitions.
Established in 1931, Mayfield Senior School in Pasadena, CA is a Catholic, independent, college preparatory school for young women grades 9-12. Noted for its rigorous academic program, which includes 28 Advanced Placement and Honors courses, Mayfield’s curriculum is underscored by a philosophy of educating the “whole child,” which also encourages commitment to and excellence in the arts, athletics, community service and spiritual growth. The nurturing environment at Mayfield Senior School allows each student to flourish in an atmosphere of personal attention.