News

 

2022

  • Head of School's Message — Summer 2022

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  • Oh the places they will go!

    This is the time of year when we finally get a sense of where the members of the Class of  2022 will be heading. Over the last few weeks, our recently graduated seniors wore their new school pride on painted polo shirts, decorated car windows and in sidewalk chalk. And we couldn’t be more proud!  The members of the Class of 2022 will be attending 45 different colleges/universities in 18 states. 49% will attend college in the state of California and 26% will enroll at a public university in the state of California. 23% will continue their Catholic education at a Catholic college/university. Read on for more facts and stats!
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  • Family and friends gather for the graduation of the Class of 2022

    The graduation of the Class of 2022 on the Mayfield Senior School campus felt historic for a variety of reasons. Firstly, the largest construction project ever embarked on by the school was completed only a few weeks earlier, and people were able to see the restored Strub Hall without its scaffolding, showing off its timeless elegance once again. Secondly, there was a rare sense of excitement of having all family and friends welcomed back to campus, in the absence of restrictive COVID-19 prohibitions. And finally, the celebrations were centered on the resilient, creative and generous Class of 2022 themselves.
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  • Introducing Amber Gravely: Mayfield’s New Director for Justice, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

    We had a recent Zoom chat with Mayfield’s new Director for Justice, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, Amber Gravely. She sat below a bright red sign which read “JOY” in all caps. “My sister got it for me years ago,” she laughed and explained, “Joy is my middle name!” 

    Amber received her B.A. from Loyola Marymount University, her M.A. from University of Southern California and pursued her Ed.D from University of Southern California (Doctor of Educational Leadership, Education Psychology). With expansive experiences in Justice, Diversity and Inclusion initiatives and sectors, Amber has been employed as an educational consultant at Pasadena Unified School District, Los Angeles Unified School District, Western Christian School. She has worked as an instructor/DEI Lead at schools like Barnhart and Buckley, and a trainer at the Positive Coaching Alliance. In the course of the conversation, Amber expressed her keen enthusiasm to be joining the Mayfield community. And it was clear that “joy” is not just part of her name, but part of her approach to her work as well…
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  • It is never too early for Computer Science. Or robots doing the “Cha Cha slide!”

    When you ask Conceptual Physics teacher Billy Abdallah or AP Computer Science teacher Michael Dimen about how an “Intro to Computer Science” unit got folded into the freshman physics curriculum, they will both say it came from a “vision.” And not necessarily their own vision either. The idea was first proposed by Head of School Kate Morin and Director of Innovation and Community Partnerships Melissa Tighe. And although the initial ideas didn’t initiate from Mr. Abdallah and Mr. Dimen per se, they both saw the incredible potential in the approach. The earlier Mayfield students could be exposed to computer science, the better. They knew that exposing students to “challenging” subjects at early ages—with a focus on curiosity— the more students would feel empowered to pursue more study in those arenas. That had been one of the driving forces in creating the Conceptual Physics for Freshmen course in the first place. Once the computer science pilot started, Mr. Dimen and Mr. Abdallah knew the hard work of putting the course together was not in vain.
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  • Arts Spotlight: The Music Never Stops

    This week, we sat down with Denise Leitner for a behind-the-scenes peek at the Spring Dance Concert and an interview as she finishes her final Mayfield production. Read more to learn what you can expect from the show, and hear about how she came to Mayfield, what she has learned from her students, and what she plans to do with her retirement.

    Your current and final dance concert for Mayfield is entitled, “The Music Never Stops.” With a name like that, was it meant to be a gentle nod to your retirement? Or do the students help shape the names of the shows?

    ​​I'm gonna be honest with you—it's the title of a Grateful Dead song! (Denise laughs) When I knew that this was my last show, I thought I'm gonna pay homage to some music that has inspired me as a dancer, because when you go to those shows and you see those people dance there, it's so free. I could say that this is the name of a song, but also the name inspires me. Even when I leave the school, the music never stops, dance will go on, art will go on. The journey will continue.
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  • Mostly smiles, some tears, and a whole lot of winning

    Our spring regular season came to an end this week with mostly smiles, some tears, and a whole lot of winning. The week started off last Saturday with the Varsity Swim & Dive team winning their 2nd consecutive Prep League title and the JV team winning their 17th straight championship. The Cubs said goodbye to Seniors Lucia Avila ‘22, Avalon Bajarias ‘22, Taylor Carey ‘22, Katelin Echeverria ‘22, Emma Franco ‘22, Audrey Leung ‘22 and Alexa Valenzuela ‘22.  The Varsity team's score of 392 points is the most that any Prep League school has ever scored in the nearly 40 year history of the meet. Event winners included Morgan Burns ‘25 (Diving), Taylor Carey ‘22 (100 Breaststroke), and the 200 Medley Relay team of Taylor Carey, Kate Georgino ‘25, Sophia Georgino ‘25, and Holly Gmelich ‘23, whose winning time broke a 20-year old school record. JV winners included Frances Aguirre ‘25, Kayley Bao ‘24, Delilah Dudas ‘24, Kate Grinnell ‘23, Zora Hinrichs ‘23, Ava Kook ‘24 and Alexa Valenzuela ‘23. The team qualified for CIF in nine individual events and all three relays and will compete at the CIF meet in Mission Viejo next week.
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  • Dominating victories in meets, breaking school records and positioning for league titles  

    The Swim & Dive team concluded its regular season yesterday with a dominating victory over Pasadena Poly, 131-41, at Poly yesterday. The Cubs won 11 of 12 events on the day with CIF qualifying swims in 8 of them. The most impressive victory was that of our diver, Morgan Burns '25, who clinched the Prep League championship in the event with a score of 418.00 points. The score is the second highest in school history and is not only a CIF Consideration score, but an All-American Consideration score as well. The Cubs, who finished 11-0 on the season, have not lost a dual meet since April 2, 2019—a streak of 24 meets in a row. The team will look to win their second consecutive league title next weekend in the Prep League Finals on Saturday afternoon.The JV team has won 16 consecutive league titles going back to 2005 and they also look well positioned for another league title.
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  • Head of School's Message — Easter 2022

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  • Early success in our post-break games

    After enjoying a Spring Break (with some of our Soccer Cubs traveling and playing in Scotland!), the Cubs have returned to action with early success in our post-break games. The Swim & Dive team continued its successful 2022 campaign with a thrilling 86-86 victory over Flintridge Prep on Tuesday. The meet featured the two best teams in league and the winners of the last three league championships. The short-handed Cubs were missing four of their Varsity swimmers but still received great performances from a number of girls to pull out the victory. Mayfield is now 9-0 overall and 3-0 in league with two more meets next week before the league finals meet on 4/23 at Pasadena Poly.
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  • Mayfield’s student journalists learn the tools of their trade and create “pods for a cause”

    The Digital Media room—one of the spaces on campus that didn’t exist before the recent Strub Capital Campaign—is humming this March afternoon. Journalism students sit around a large square table, laptops open. They have a deadline coming up: an 8-minute podcast submission for the NPR High School Podcast Challenge. Everyone is working on their own projects, at their own speed, some in pairs, some working solo. Many have their headphones on, deep inside their editing software. Others are focused inside of their text documents, rewriting script elements and cutting out old content. But whenever instructor Kimberly Gomez cues up something on the central screen, everyone looks up to review the artwork or audio content for whatever feedback is required.
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  • A season of red hot starts!

    In a season when each of the sports are off to red hot starts, perhaps the hottest team so far is the Swim & Dive team. The Cubs swept all 11 events in Tuesday's meet with La Salle and ran away from the Lancers, 124-44. With the return of the core of last year's league champion team and an influx of a strong group of freshmen, the Cubs are 6-0 on the season, including two league wins over Chadwick and Rosemead. This weekend the Varsity squad is up in northern California competing in the De La Salle Invitational against some of the best teams in the state. In their last meet before Spring Break, the Cubs will swim against FSHA at Occidental on Wednesday.  

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  • How Mayfield French introduced a worldwide competition into their classrooms

    When French teacher Bertha Sevilla is asked what motivated her to introduce an entirely new project into her curriculum this year—incorporating a multi-week musical competition exclusively in French, and inserting it into every single French class in every single grade—Ms. Sevilla responds with an excited smile, answering simply: “Serendipity!” “Manie Musicale” is a project that works to promote French language and culture through music, specifically through high school and college programs globally. But Ms. Sevilla wasn’t aware of the project until the summer of 2021, when she embarked on an online course for professional development. She struck up a conversation with a fellow classmate, Michelle Fournier, who just happened to be in her “group of teachers.” But soon Ms. Sevilla discovered Ms. Fournier was one of the founders of Manie Musicale, and the more Ms. Sevilla heard about the program the more she realized the potential value it could bring to all of her students.
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  • Arts Spotlight: It’s not your mother’s “Wizard of Oz”

    It’s no secret that COVID-19 changed a lot about the ways we gather, the ways we celebrate and the ways we collaborate. Our annual musical at Mayfield is a combination of all three elements. It is a gathering, a joyful celebration of talent, and a result of a deep collaboration between several conservatories: theatre, tech theatre, dance, vocal music and instrumental music. Although all of those conservatories have returned to performing and/or operating again this year individually, this production of “The Wizard of Oz” will be the first time everyone is joining forces together for a truly meaningful performance, with the talents of so many groups on display. 
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  • How a Mayfield Spanish class became part of a “Global Brigade”

    When Spanish 4 teacher Kathleen Costello thinks about her language instruction, she doesn’t just focus on the nuts and bolts: grammar, syntax and vocabulary. She wants to engage her students in subject material that stimulates their curiosity and gives them opportunities to have more immersive experiences. Ms. Costello explains that her teaching “is always bigger than the classroom programs.”
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  • Mayfield dominating Track and Field this Spring Season  

    The spring sports season just launched two weeks ago, but the early season results have been very promising for the Cubs. While Softball and Swim & Dive have both been impressive, the Track & Field team threw down the most dominating performance of the season so far on Tuesday. In the first of three Prep League “cluster meets” to be held at Burroughs HS, the Cubs look to be well on their way to a 7th consecutive league title. Mayfield overwhelmed the competition scoring 104 points—almost as many as the next three teams combined! Chadwick (48 pts.), Westridge (39 pts.), and Flintridge Prep (25 pts.) rounded out the top four teams. Six different Cubs won events—Sade Falese ‘23 (Long Jump), Zoe Griffin ‘24 (Triple Jump), Nikki Hensley ‘24 (100H), Cecilia Kvochak ‘23 (800), Erin Michelena ‘24 (300H), Sissy Page ‘25 (High Jump) as well as the 4 X 400 Relay team of Lara Georgian ‘25, Clare Kvochak ‘24, Sophie Limongelli ‘25 and Cecilia Kvochak ‘23. Tomorrow the Cubs will run in their first invitational of the year, the Colt Classic in Covina.  
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  • Three generations of Mayfield students bake up a sweet surprise for Huntington Hospital

    The idea was a simple one, small in scope. At least in the beginning. Virginia Schlueter Jones '64, was thinking about her sister who is a physician at a Kaiser clinic. It was over the winter holidays, during a devastating COVID-19 surge. Virginia recalled reading about how everyone in the medical profession was “so overworked and understaffed.” The Kaiser clinic had about 35 people and she wondered what kind of small gesture she might be able to offer them. “Cookies,” was her very first thought. “It was just a nice idea,” says Virginia. “A way of saying thank you that seemed easy."
     
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  • Wild rides and bringing athletic excitement back to campus!

    In a historic return to athletics at Mayfield this year, our Cubs teams have done more than their share to bring excitement back to campus. In the fall season, two teams (tennis and volleyball) both made thrilling runs to the CIF semifinals. During our winter season, the soccer team took its fans on an equally wild ride over the past two weeks. After ending the regular season with a stunning victory over league rival Flintridge Prep, the Cubs entered the CIF playoffs as the #4 seed, but the Cubs had not won a soccer playoff game since 2013. In the playoff opener at St. Francis, the Cubs dominated Shadow Hills 6-1 on the strength of Tessa Neal's '25 four goals!  The Cubs then went on the road to Ventura and shutout the Cougars 3-0 with Ellery Potter’s '24 shining goal. In a CIF quarterfinal match last weekend against #5 seed Paraclete, the Cubs Sonja Smeritschnig '22 scored her first goal in the first five minutes and then added three more in leading Mayfield to a thrilling 6-1 win over the Spirits.
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  • Celebrating our winter athletes and cheering along our soccer stars in Quarterfinals!

    It was another special night in the gymnasium last evening as we honored the winter sport athletes that played basketball, soccer, and water polo at our annual team banquet. There was much to celebrate—after numerous cancellations, basketball and water polo both finished their first seasons in two years, the JV soccer team completed their second consecutive undefeated season, and the Varsity soccer team ended a 54 match winning streak from a league rival and has advanced to the CIF Quarterfinals for the first time in 32 years!
     
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  • When the lessons acquired from “Moot Court” are anything but “moot”

    The name “Moot Court” is probably misleading for some. When something is “moot” in daily life, it means it has little practical relevance to the topics at large. But “Moot Court,” draws from an older definition of the word, referring to an assembly of people, specifically for judicial or legislative purposes. Although studies about the Supreme Court are essential for any AP Government course, the inclusion of “Moot Court” material is optional. However, Mayfield teacher Tina Zapata wanted to experiment with including it into her already busy curriculum for the 2021-2022 school year, because she knew how valuable these assignments could be for students.
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  • Freshmen students learn strategies to be an “Upstander”

    Cassandra Gonzales, Mayfield’s Director of Justice, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (JDEI) is putting up her slide deck in the Computer Science lab on the first floor of Strub. This is a “Formation of Self” (FoS) class, often overseen by Ann Bussard, but it occasionally welcomes guest lecturers as well. One of the first slides in Ms. Gonzales’ slide deck reads: “Upstanders vs. Bystanders.” Many in the class have been exposed to the term “upstander” before, but Ms. Gonzales helps clarify for those who aren’t familiar with it. A bystander is “someone present at an event but doesn’t take part.” Conversely, an “upstander” is “a person who speaks and in support of a person or cause, particularly on behalf of someone being attacked or bullied.” 
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  • How Mayfield Senior School has been “Inspiring” our adult faith community

    The depth and richness of Holy Child spirituality is something that Mayfield Theology courses and Campus Ministry programs spend a lot of time developing in the four year curriculum for students. But how to share that spiritual richness with adults in our community—to parents, alums and faculty/staff—that was another question entirely. Director of Campus Ministry, Teri Gonzales, reflected on a topic which came up time and again for her: “Our parents kept saying that they were so inspired by their daughters and the ways they discuss their spirituality, and parents would say they wish they could be in our classes themselves!” So for the last few years, Ms. Gonzales has been exploring the best ways to serve this group. 
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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.