Mountain Views News, Sierra Madre Edition [Pasadena] Saturday, September 23, 2017

MVNews this week:  Page A:7



Mountain Views-News Saturday, September 23, 2017 




200 N. Michillinda Sierra Madre, Ca. 91024

(626) 355-3463 Head of School: Julia V. Fanara

E-mail address:

Arcadia High School

180 Campus Drive Arcadia, CA 91007

Phone: (626) 821-8370, Principal: Brent Forsee

Arroyo Pacific Academy

41 W. Santa Clara St. Arcadia, Ca, 

(626) 294-0661 Principal: Phil Clarke

E-mail address:

Barnhart School

240 W. Colorado Blvd Arcadia, Ca. 91007

(626) 446-5588 Head of School: Ethan 

Kindergarten - 8th grade


Bethany Christian School

93 N. Baldwin Ave. Sierra Madre, Ca. 91024

(626) 355-3527 

Preschool-TK-8th Grade

Principal: Dr. William Walner

website: www.

Clairbourn School

8400 Huntington Drive

San Gabriel, CA 91775

Phone: 626-286-3108 ext. 172

FAX: 626-286-1528


Foothill Oaks Academy

822 Bradbourne Ave., Duarte, CA 91010

(626) 301-9809 

Co-Principals Nancy Lopez and Diane Kieffaber

Frostig School

971 N. Altadena Drive Pasadena, CA 91107

(626) 791-1255

Head of School: Jenny Janetzke


The Gooden School

192 N. Baldwin Ave. Sierra Madre, Ca. 91024

(626) 355-2410 

Head of School, Carl Parke 


High Point Academy

1720 Kinneloa Canyon Road Pasadena, Ca. 

Head of School: Gary Stern 626-798-8989


La Salle High School

3880 E. Sierra Madre Blvd. Pasadena, Ca. 

(626) 351-8951 website:

Principal Mrs. Courtney Kassakhian

Monrovia High School

325 East Huntington Drive, Monrovia, CA 91016 

(626) 471-2800 Principal Darvin Jackson


Odyssey Charter School

725 W. Altadena Dr. Altadena, Ca. 91001

(626) 229-0993 Head of School: Lauren O’Neill


Pasadena High School

2925 E. Sierra Madre Blvd. Pasadena, Ca. 

(626) 396-5880 Principal: Roberto Hernandez


St. Rita Catholic School

322 N. Baldwin Ave. Sierra Madre, Ca. 91024

Principal Joan Harabedian (626) 355-9028 


Sierra Madre Elementary School

141 W. Highland Ave, Sierra Madre, Ca. 91024

(626) 355-1428 Principal: Esther Salinas

E-mail address:

Sierra Madre Middle School 

160 N. Canon Sierra Madre, Ca. 91024

(626) 836-2947 Principal: Garrett Newsom

E-mail address:

Walden School

74 S San Gabriel Blvd

Pasadena, CA 91107 (626) 792-6166

Weizmann Day School

1434 N. Altadena Dr. Pasadena, Ca. 91107

(626) 797-0204

Lisa Feldman: Head of School

Wilson Middle School

300 S. Madre St. Pasadena, Ca. 91107

(626) 449-7390 Principal: Ruth Esseln

E-mail address:

Pasadena Unified School District

351 S. Hudson Ave., Pasadena, Ca. 91109

(626) 396-3600 Website:

rcadia Unified School District

234 Campus Dr., Arcadia, Ca. 91007

(626) 821-8300 Website:

Monrovia Unified School District

325 E. Huntington Dr., Monrovia, Ca. 91016

(626) 471-2000 Website: www.monroviaschools.

Duarte Unified School District

1620 Huntington Dr., Duarte, Ca. 91010

(626)599-5000 Website:

Chen and Wu join are among the 1% of students from across the country 

qualified for this honor

Sierra Madre, CA (September 18, 2017) – Alverno 
Heights Academy seniors Victoria Chen and Melody 
Wu are among the semifinalists of the National 
Merit Scholarship Corporation for their 63rd annual 
National Merit Scholarship Program.

 More than 1.5 million students nationwide entered 
the Merit Program as juniors by taking the Preliminary 
SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test. High 
scorers were designated Semifinalists, representing less 
than 1% of the state’s graduating 
class. In total, just over 16,000 
academically talented seniors 
qualified nationwide.

Victoria, who is only 15 years old, 
is a member of the Accelerated 
Honors Academy at Alverno 
Heights Academy. She started at 
Alverno in the fall of 2014 at just 
12 years old after skipping both the 
seventh and eighth grades. Despite 
her age, Victoria is enrolled and 
excels in a rigorous Advanced 
Placement (AP) college preparatory 
program at Alverno which 
includes AP English Literature, AP 
Physics: C, AP Human Geography, 
Honors Multivariable Calculus, 
Exploration in Technology, and 
Honors Independent Research in 
Science. She currently maintains 
a 4.5 GPA. In 2014, Victoria was 
recognized by the Johns Hopkins 
Center for Talented Youth for 
achieving extraordinary scores on 
the Center’s annual School and 
College Ability Test (SCAT). She 
scored in the 99th percentile in 
both the verbal and quantitative 
sections of the exam missing only 
seven questions overall. A year later, 
Victoria, along with two classmates, 
was recognized as a winner of the 
Johns Hopkins Center for Talented 
Youth Cogito Research Award. 
The Cogito Research Award was 
established to enable motivated 
students to complete a promising 
research project in a science, 
technology, math, or engineering field. Victoria was 
awarded a special certificate of recognition as well 
as an award check for $599 to complete her research 
project. Last spring, Victoria earned the highest 
possible composite score of 36 on the ACT, the leading 
United States admission test that determines college 

 Melody, who is just 16 years old, is also a member of 
the Accelerated Honors Academy at Alverno Heights 
Academy. She started at Alverno in the fall of 2014 at 
13 years old after bypassing the eighth grade. Melody 
carries an impressive academic course load including 
AP English Literature, AP Physics: C, AP Studio Art, 
AP US Government, Honors Multivariable Calculus, 
AP Human Geography, and Honors Independent 
Research in Science while maintaining a 4.7 GPA. 
Outside of the classroom, Melody is a committed 
musician who plays the piano and has been a member 
of Alverno’s choir, Alverno Singers. She serves as an 
Ambassador representing Alverno at school and 
community events as well as acting as the Secretary 
of the Interior in the Alverno Student Union. Melody 
is no stranger to academic competition either, having 
won First Place in the Youth Science Center Essay 
Contest and she was recently named the Grand Prize 
Winner of the Chinese Institute of Engineers (CIE) 
STEM 5-Star Challenge. CIE is a non-profit national 
organization dedicated to promoting Asian Pacific 
Americans in science, technology, engineering, and 
math in their local communities. Melody presented at 
their annual STEM 5-Star Challenge Presentations in 
March where she beat out other high school, college, 
and graduate students to receive the Grand Prize 
for her work in STEM. This past summer, Melody 
participated in an elite and exclusive summer research 
program through NeuroLab SEPA, which focused on 
genetics and neurology. 

 Both Melody and Victoria were recently named AP 
Scholars with Distinction for successfully completing 
eight AP exams with an average score of 4.5 or higher, 
including both earning perfect “5’s” on both the AP 
Calculus AB and AP Calculus BC exams. 

 At school, both Victoria and Melody are active in 
Alverno’s expanding STEM program participating 
in numerous collaborations with 
Caltech including the Community 
Science Academy (CSA) 1 and 2, 
Solar Energy Activity Laboratory 
(SEAL) for the last three years, 
and the International Genetically 
Engineered Machine (iGEM) 
team. They were an integral part 
of the Alverno Heights Academy 
iGEM team that competed in 
Boston last fall. Victoria, Melody 
and their teammates competed 
against colleges and universities 
from around the world including 
Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Brown 
and Stanford. The team project 
proposed using deactivated Cas9 
(dCas9) as a DNA clamp to block 
propagation of supercoiling 
generated during transcription, 
improving the modularity, 
predictability, and scalability of 
single-vector, multi-gene synthetic 
systems. After many months of 
arduous research and commitment, 
Alverno’s iGEM team earned a Silver 
Medal in the competition and were 
recognized for their exceptional 
achievement by Congresswoman 
Judy Chu. Finally, both Victoria 
and Melody are involved in 
the Advanced Bioengineering 
Laboratory at Alverno. 

 “Alverno Heights Academy is 
so incredibly proud of Victoria 
and Melody’s once in a lifetime 
accomplishment,” said Julia V. 
Fanara, Head of School. “Out of 
students across the nation, less than 
1% of high school seniors qualified for this tremendous 
honor and the fact that Victoria and Melody, at 15 and 
16 years of age respectively, were named Semifinalists 
makes this achievement so much more momentous! 
Both were among the first students admitted to the 
official Accelerated Honors Academy at Alverno, 
which only continues to grow and expand each 
year, and it has been a privilege to watch them grow 
and thrive with it. We look forward to many more 
successes and providing these exceptionally gifted 
young women like Victoria and Melody, along with all 
of our students, the opportunity to grow and excel in 
a nurturing and college preparatory environment like 

About Alverno Heights Academy 

Alverno Heights Academy is an all-girls, independent, 
progressive Catholic, college preparatory school 
dedicated to its mission of empowering each young 
woman to be exactly the person she wants to be. 
Located on the property of the former Barlow Estate 
in Sierra Madre, California, Alverno Heights Academy 
was founded in 1960 by the Sisters of St. Francis who 
sought to create an environment in the San Gabriel 
Valley where young women could become informed 
and knowledgeable persons. Later renamed Alverno 
High School and sponsored by the Immaculate Heart 
Community, Alverno’s program—academic, spiritual, 
aesthetic, social, and physical—has been shaped by 
the staff, trustees, and students. As Alverno Heights 
Academy once again, the school remains committed 
to its mission by encouraging each of their young 
women to be who they imagine. For more information 
about Alverno Heights Academy, please visit www. 

Melody Wu

Victoria Chen




 The Duarte Kiwanis Club was very pleased to provide another scholarship to Czarina Ubungen. 
Czarina graduated from DHS and is heading to UC Davis this week. Her plan is to eventually go into 

 Pictured (from left), Dr. Diane Hernandez, incoming Duarte Kiwanis President, Cheryl Reynolds, 
Duarte Kiwanis President and Czarina Ubungen. For further information on speaking or joining the 
club, contact Tina Carey at



More Than 70 Colleges and Universities Will Be Represented

ROSEMEAD, CA–Sept. 18, 2017--Don Bosco 
Technical Institute (Bosco Tech) will host its 
annual college fair for local high school students 
and their parents on Tuesday, October 10, from 
6 to 8 p.m. The complimentary event will feature 
representatives from more than 70 universities 
and colleges across the country.

 “The college fair will provide students with 
the opportunity to meet representatives from 
top schools in one convenient location,” said 
Ray Chavez, Bosco Tech’s director of counseling. 
“It’s the perfect setting for young people to ask 
questions, gather information, and explore their 

 Visit to register (https://goo.
gl/enw97p). For more information, contact Ray 
Chavez at, or Paul Ortiz 
at Gates open for the 
event, sponsored by the Princeton Review, at 5:30 
p.m. Gourmet food trucks will be on site. The 
school is located at 1151 San Gabriel Boulevard in 

 Bosco Tech is an all-male Catholic high school 
that combines a rigorous college-preparatory 
program with a technology-focused education. 
The innovative curriculum allows students to 
exceed university admission requirements while 
completing extensive integrated coursework in 
one of several applied science and engineering 
fields. The school boasts a four-year college 
acceptance rate of 100 percent, with more than 
60 percent of graduates pursuing STEM-related 
post-secondary degrees. Visit 
or call (626) 940-2000 for more information.

ARCADIA-- 20 Arcadia High School students were 
recently distinguished as National Merit Scholarship 
Semifinalists. These skilled seniors join a group that 
represents less than one percent of high school seniors 
across the country. Semifinalists in the 2018 National 
Merit Scholarship Program will have an opportunity to 
compete for nearly 7,500 National Merit Scholarships 
collectively worth almost $32 million. 

 “Receiving this honor and having the chance to be 
considered for a scholarship through this program makes 
me happy beyond words,” said Arcadia High Senior and 
2018 National Merit Semifinalist Elyse Yao. “I took a prep 
course before I took the SAT, but that class just built on the 
foundation laid by my Arcadia Unified coursework.”

 Approximately 1.6 million juniors from more than 
22,000 high schools vied for entrance into the 2018 
National Merit Scholarship Program by taking the 2016 
Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying 
Test (PSAT/NMSQT). Scores from this test served as an 
initial screening of applicants. Of the 16,000 seniors chosen 
as semifinalists, about 15,000 are expected to continue as 
finalists. While some high schools have less than a handful 
of seniors invited into this program, in the past five years, 
Arcadia High School has been home to over 100 National 
Merit Semifinalists with more than 90% of its seniors 
advancing as finalists. 

 “We are incredibly humbled by the number of our 
Arcadia High students who make it into this program each 
year,” said Arcadia Unified School District Superintendent 
Dr. David Vannasdall. “It’s a testament to the commitment 
to education our students and teachers make every day 
and is what makes Arcadia High School one of the top 
public high schools in the country.”

 More than half of the finalists will be awarded a National 
Merit Scholarship, earning the title “Merit Scholar.” 
Finalists will be notified in February, and scholarships will 
be awarded starting in April and concluding in July. 

 Arcadia High School has been distinguished a U.S. 
News and World Report Gold Medal School three times, 
an honor bestowed on less than 3 percent of the more 
than 19,000 schools in the country. Similarly, Newsweek 
named Arcadia High on its Top Public High Schools in 
America list. Arcadia High was also recently identified by as being in the top 2 percent of the best public 
high schools in California. For the second consecutive 
year, Arcadia High’s 2017 graduating class had at least 
one student accepted into every Ivy League school in the 
country. Likewise, the Arcadia Unified School District is 
one of only 22 districts in California to be named on the 
College Board’s most recent and 7th Annual AP® District 
Honor Roll.

 Arcadia High School National Merit Scholarship 
Semifinalists: (Alphabetical order)

 Ethan Chen, Justin Chen, Liang-Wei Chen, Sean Chen, 
Conner Ching, Andrea Fang, Nicholas Figueira, Xinyang 
Gu, Daniel Ho, Frank Lee, Derek Li, James Shin, Arianna 
Togelang, Regina Wang, Elyse Yao, Benjamin Yeh, Xiaoke 
Ying, Warren Yuan, Edward Zeng, and Louis Zhao.


 Dr. Allan Mucerino, Superintendent, Duarte 
Unified School District, shared an amazing 
report on the current status of the Duarte Unified 
School district at a recent meeting of the Duarte 
Kiwanis Club. The District’s vision has resulted 
in great results through the newly organized K-8 
Academies including: 


Artful Learning

Dual Immersion


Expanded participation in the Early College and 
Course Pathways programs, expanded Career 
Technical Education including:

Culinary Arts Business Entrepreneurship

Graphic Design

Video Production

Digital Photography

Woodshop Welding “boot camp”. 

 There is also a continuing partnership with 
the City of Hope helping prepare students for 
biomedical research. Finally, he shared the new 
enrollment for the CSArts program - which is 
now 712 students - about 10% from Duarte. These 
students represent 83 cities and 10 states. Truly 
remarkable results and a job well done!


 For further information on speaking or joining 
the club, contact Tina Carey at tina.carey@

Mountain Views News 80 W Sierra Madre Blvd. No. 327 Sierra Madre, Ca. 91024 Office: 626.355.2737 Fax: 626.609.3285 Email: Website: