Summer 2023 - Kate's final letter to the community

As I sit down to write my final letter as Head of School, I reflect back on my eight years at Mayfield, and my heart overflows with gratitude. It has been the blessing and honor of my life to serve our beloved school and Cornelia Connelly’s precious vision. During my first visit to Mayfield Senior School back in the fall of 2014, I only had an inkling of how transformative Cornelia’s influence would be for me personally.  In Cornelia's educational philosophy, I found the articulation of my own growing understanding of how students, especially girls, learn best–in places of enthusiasm, joy and love. Where the expectations are high and the support is foundational. Where students are respected and celebrated for who they are. Where they become the people God wants them to be.

I want to thank from the bottom of my heart our amazing Mayfield community for going on this journey with me. I have had the best companions imaginable through our challenges and successes. I have been surrounded by generosity and kindness.  

To Mayfield’s outstanding faculty and staff–thank you for teaching me what it really means to be a Holy Child educator, bringing your whole selves to serve Cornelia’s beautiful mission. To Mayfield’s amazing Board of Trustees–both past and present–thank you for your wise counsel, your generosity and your unwavering dedication to our school. To Mayfield’s inspiring alums–thank you for continuing to embrace and support our students as they strive to be like you. To Mayfield’s wonderful parent community–thank you for all your untiring help and especially for entrusting us with your precious daughters. And most of all–to Mayfield’s cherished students–thank you for your love and fundamental goodness–you have given my life meaning.
The graduation weekend for the Class of 2023 was especially moving for me, not only was I able to enjoy my final commencement ceremony as Head of School with the members of this remarkable class, but during the Baccalaureate Mass I was utterly surprised and overjoyed to discover that the Board of Trustees had granted me a marvelous honor—designating me an honorary alum of Mayfield Senior School!

As I begin my retirement, our community also says goodbye to a very special educator and mentor who will also be retiring. Michelle Gergen served our school for 13 years–first as Dean of Students and more recently as a member of our Theology Department. Michelle’s wisdom, kindness, and deep understanding of Cornelia’s mission have made her a treasured colleague and teacher. Thank you Michelle for your inspiring and loving commitment to our school.
In addition we say goodbye to several colleagues who will be leaving Mayfield to pursue exciting opportunities. We will miss math and engineering teacher and alum, Christina Lara ’14, science teachers Billy Abdallah and Laurie Kovalenko, theology teacher Bo Kim, technical theater director and teacher Angelo Collado, librarian Cheyenne Sons and Latin teacher Madeleine Thayer. I want to thank all of them for their precious service to our school.

While I prepare to head back East to Maryland–I do so with such confidence and optimism. Thanks to the incredible leadership of our Board of Trustees, especially Erika Randall and Jane Hawley, I leave my beloved Mayfield in the absolute best hands. I know that Laura Farrell will take our school to the next level, keeping it always grounded in our Holy Child mission.

I plan to continue to serve our mission as well. First in my role as grandmother, as our four-year-old Maddie will be starting pre-K at the Holy Child Academy in Old Westbury, NY, in the fall. And also in my role as honorary alum, through which I hope to connect with and engage Mayfield Senior School alums on the east coast for many years to come. I have so much to look forward to!

Finally, I want you all to know that you and our Mayfield community will continue in my prayers of gratitude and love. Thank you one more time for the opportunity to serve–a blessing beyond measure.
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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.