• Summer 2023 - Kate's final letter to the community

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  • Beyond Bellefontaine! Learn where the Class of 2023 is heading next

    It’s that time of year again! With graduation and award ceremonies behind us, we finally get a sense of where the members of the Class of 2023 will be heading next. Before leaving campus, our recently graduated seniors wore their new school pride on painted polo shirts and decorated car windows. And we couldn’t be more proud! The members of the Class of 2023 will be attending 45 different colleges/universities in 15 states including the District of Columbia, and two foreign countries (Italy and Scotland). 52% will attend college in the state of California and 31% will enroll at a public university in the state of California. 17% will continue their Catholic education at a Catholic college/university. Read on for more facts and stats!
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  • Mayfield celebrates the graduation of the Class of 2023

    Graduation weekend for the Class of 2023 on the Mayfield Senior School campus was especially meaningful, as it marked an end to an era. The Baccalaureate Mass was presided over by two distinguished Jesuit priests, Fr. Greg Boyle SJ, author and founder of Homeboy Industries, and Fr. Gregory M. Goethals SJ, president of Loyola High School of Los Angeles. The commencement speaker was Amber Berrios, a Mayfield alum from the Class of 2007 and current member of Mayfield’s Board of Trustees. Though the focus of the weekend was the graduating class, it was also a fond farewell to Mayfield’s Head of School, Kate Morin, who has been leading this community for eight years.
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  • Eight years of love and service: Kate Morin retrospective

    When Kate Morin arrived as Head of School in the 2015-2016 school year, she initiated a plan to provide climate control to the Sr. Mary Wilfrid Gymnasium, a project called “Cool the Cave.” It initially had a $300,000 target and Kate laughs about it now, “Three hundred thousand dollars was just an impossible sum for me. I honestly couldn’t imagine how it could be raised,” said Kate. “But I already loved this school, so I channeled that love into that project, and it turned out to be easier than I thought it would be.” This campaign paled in comparison to the much bigger endeavor Kate would take on later: the restoration of Mayfield’s historic Strub Hall —a $17.5 million capital campaign—one that would go on to win widespread recognition and award-winning acclaim. But this first “Cool the Cave” project hinted at something Kate would prove uniquely talented at: bringing love in the face of adversity. And the harder the problem, the more love she would bring to the issue. In this way, Kate embodied what Cornelia Connelly called “a love full of action.”
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  • Senior theology project equips Class of 2023 with tools of spiritual expression

    In the waning days of their senior year, all members of the Class of 2023 in Michelle Gergen’s Theology course were engaged in a communal act of creation. Magazines, scissors, paper, colored pencils, and glue were strewn across the desks. There was a low hum of conversation in the room, whispers about upcoming senior service projects and graduation rehearsals, combined with the constant sounds of ripping and cutting emanating from every corner of the space. Each student had a cardboard box the size of a navel orange, and they were in the process of decorating each of the six sides. Every box was different, but they all shared a colorful and dynamic feel. And Ms. Gergen moved from person to person, to give advice on the pieces of art that were coming to life.

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  • Mayfield dancers share their vision of "Matriarchy"

    Yesterday was the opening night of the spring dance concert, “Matriarchy.” The show features choreography by three professional guest choreographers, as well as the artistry of 43 Mayfield dancers, lighting designers, actors, writers and visual artists. “Matriarchy,” an interdisciplinary performance with high-powered dance at its center, asks the audience to imagine a world where women lead, where women are guaranteed equity and safety, and where women are valued for their strength. We sat down with the Director of Dance Conservatory, Sarah Alaways, to discuss how this project came into being.
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  • The Cubs finished another amazing year in the Prep League, with two league titles!

    The final week of the regular season was a thrilling one. In addition to honoring the members of the Class of 2023 at our Senior Nights for Softball, Swim & Dive, and Track & Field—the Cubs won two Prep League titles! Track & Field won their 8th consecutive championship in a tight meet on Tuesday night in Burbank. The Cubs bookended the meet by winning both the 4 X 100 Relay (Alyssa Gallardo '23, Sade Falese '23, Liz Goethals '23 and Monika Vargas '25) and the 4 X 400 Relay (Liz Goethals, Leah Whitfield '26, Natalie Miera '23 and Cecilia Kvochak '23). In between the two relay wins, the Cubs won six individual events, led by Vargas' two victories in the 100 & 300 hurdles, Falese in the long jump, Goethals in the discus, Sissy Page '25 in the high jump, and Whitfield in the triple jump. The meet was the closest Finals in years, but the Cubs continued their historic run of titles by scoring 136 points, ahead of 2nd place Westridge's 106 points. All of the event winners will have the opportunity to compete in next week's CIF Division 4 Prelims.
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  • Head of School's Message — Easter 2023

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  • Redesigned statistics course helps students become more informed citizens

    It is not Emlily Goodell’s ’99 first time teaching statistics at Mayfield, but she restructured the course this year to meet “our current student population and their interests.” Although she works closely with the textbook, she wanted to focus less on rote memorization and much more on how data was flowing through the lives of her students, better equipping students with understanding data in deeply practical and easily applicable ways. And a visit to a statistics class showed her approach in action.
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  • 9th grade World History: Deconstructing arguments with a historical lens

    The students in April Garcez’s 9th grade World History class settled into their seats in Strub Room 201, with Ms. Garcez at her desk, ready to explore the topic of the day: the Islamic world in the 1300s. They all watched a short video on the precious commodities of the time which were abundant in many parts of Africa in that era. The second video was on the Islamic scholar Ibn Battuta, who cataloged his decades of extensive travel through this terrain, providing a rare in-depth portrait of the people and places of that time. The students were attentive, took notes and asked questions. Then after reviewing a small selection of Ibn Battuta’s writing, the students were asked to come into groups of four, and spend 12 minutes identifying elements of the Muslim empire that Ibn Battuta’s account brought to life. 

    The groups shared their responses in a popcorn-style exercise afterwards. “They valued hospitality!" shouted one group. ”There was fairness in trade,” said another. Yet another chimed in with a slightly longer response, “They mostly promoted peace…because the Quran really promoted…being a good person and always caring for others.” The topics in this discussion were not totally unfamiliar to these students, but these historical accounts were making their knowledge of the world wider, broader and deeper. And unbeknownst to this class, this specific activity was relatively new to the World History I curriculum. 
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    High School Musical: Irresistible source material and an all-team effort!

    Reading the program for “High School Musical,” there is a recurring theme from the Director’s Note to the Performers’ Bios. So many of the cast and crew were touched by the movie when it first came out on the Disney Channel, so when Mayfield decided to mount a production on the Pike stage this year, everyone was excited to take part in the fun! 
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  • “Lead Me, Guide Me”—the sounds and sights of Mayfield’s Black History Month

    If you happened to be on the Mayfield Senior School campus this February, you might have experienced something captivating happening every Wednesday during lunch hour. Large speakers would appear on porches and patios, and the usually quiet airways would be filled with rich, moving music. Jazz, gospel and protest music. There were some hip hop and R&B offerings too. Some pieces were haunting, some enthralling, some were so outrageously fun that made people break into spontaneous dance, while others were more contemplative and thought-provoking. There is something irresistible about music—especially powerful music—it can tell an important story that somehow makes everyone who hears it feel included in that story. All of these pieces were important compositions from Black musicians, and this was an embodied way to encounter this year’s theme for Black History Month at Mayfield: “Lead Me, Guide Me: Black History, Music & Liberation.”
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  • In Algebra 1, ninth grade students learn systems to solve systems

    There was nothing particularly odd about the timed quiz that was taking place on a late January afternoon in Strub 115. Students in the Algebra 1 class were focused, their pencils were moving, the SMART Board was displaying their countdown clock. The teacher, Fran Smiland, walked around the room, wearing an easy smile as she wove between desks, looking over the students’ shoulders. It was only the moments of pause that seemed out of the ordinary really. When Mrs. Smiland arrived at a student, she often uttered a simple and nearly silent affirmation like “good job” or “you got this,” before she visited another desk. And sometimes students would engage her a little longer, in conversations too quiet to hear.
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  • photo: Denise Leitner

    The hellos and goodbyes of Mayfield’s Choreographers’ Ball

    Last night, Mayfield’s Choreographers’ Ball opened to an enthusiastic audience. This annual performance highlights the talents of the Dance and Technical Theatre Conservatories, with student choreography and student lighting design. This year featured choreography by Dance Conservatory’s nine upperclasswomen. And the pithy title “hello. goodbye.” brings to mind all of the in-between spaces associated at the beginning and end of things. And these choreographers have a lot to reflect on during their high school years: from the retirement of their longtime dance teacher (Denise Leitner) to the hiring of their energetic new teacher (Sarah Alaways), from the COVID lockdowns to the anxious/exciting deliberations of imagining their lives beyond the Bellefontaine campus—and much, much more. We had a chance to sit down for a round-table discussion with several of the choreographers and their Dance Teacher, Ms. Alaways, as they opened up about parts of their creation, the bitter and the sweet…
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  • Freshmen English students “see themselves in stories” in their course material

    Outside class hours, English teacher Paula Moore remarked on a recent interaction with one of her freshmen students, as her class was working their way through Shakespeare’s Macbeth. The student bashfully questioned, “I kind of like Lady Macbeth—is that wrong?” Mrs. Moore chuckled while sharing the exchange. She had been teaching English for decades, doing instructions on “Macbeth” for more than 20 years, but she is only halfway through her first year teaching at Mayfield Senior School. “I’ve never taught all-girls,” said Mrs. Moore, but explained that she had found that her 9th graders were “so savvy picking up the gender motifs… in understanding Lady Macbeth and what her position is” and that “she is this woman who is supposed to be in the background.” As a teacher, Mrs. Moore is always trying to get students involved in the subject material, and encourage them to think of characters from multiple perspectives. For a student to feel connected to a character so often painted exclusively as a villain? That displayed a lot of critical thought and personal reflection, and Mrs. Moore couldn’t disguise her pleasure in that.
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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.