Mountain Views News, Combined Edition Saturday, May 2, 2020

MVNews this week:  Page 10


Mountain View News Saturday, May 2, 2020 

Alverno Heights Academy Launches Lower 
School The 2020-2021 School Year will establish Alverno as a TK-12th Grade School

Sierra Madre, CA (April 28, 2020) – Alverno Heights Academy is excited to announce the addition of

a transitional kindergarten (TK)-8th grade for the 2020-2021 school year, creating a lower school and

upper school, all under the name of Alverno Heights Academy. The lower school will be co-ed while

the upper school will remain all-girls as it has for 60 years. Alverno will be one of the few schools in

the area offering TK-12 on one campus and the only one in Sierra Madre. The upper school will hold a

maximum of 200 girls and the lower school will hold a maximum of 200 students.

The Alverno Heights Academy Board of Trustees has been considering expanding the school for

several years in order to sustain itself in an ever changing economy and world. Through the school’s

recent accreditation process, it became clear that Alverno’s unique programs, student life, and versatile

13-acre campus offered opportunities to expand the school. The addition of a lower school will help to

bring a cohesiveness to the educational experience that is hard to find, yet very beneficial. Mr. Ken

Farsing, President of the Board of Trustees, recognizes the significance of this addition, "As we

celebrate our 60 year anniversary as an independent Catholic school, this is really about extending

Alverno Heights Academy's excellence in education and inclusive philosophy to all age groups."

Joanne Harabedian, Alverno Heights Academy class of 1969, has been officially hired as the Director

of the Lower School at Alverno Heights Academy. Mrs. Harabedian is an accomplished educator with 

wealth of expertise and experience in TK-8 Catholic education. She served as the Principal of St. Rita

School in Sierra Madre from 2007-2020, where she developed a robust school with a wonderful

reputation as being highly selective with high academic standards. Along with Head of School Julia

Fanara, she is looking forward to building a Catholic school in the independent school model as part 

the Alverno Heights Academy family. Mrs. Harabedian is energized by this new opportunity, “ As a

student at Alverno Heights Academy, I learned to be a woman who could become who I imagined. 

now, guided by God’s magnificent plan, I am back home at my Alma Mater to be a part of an amazing

venture that will offer limitless opportunities for students from TK through high school; an inspirational

model of innovation in education for the next generation.” Hiring of faculty and staff for the lower

school will begin this week. Opportunities to apply for these positions will be available on the Alverno

website. Alverno prides itself on its small size and individualized attention, which will be an important

factor in enrollment decisions and the hiring of faculty and staff.

The lower school will launch with temporary modular classrooms that will be located on the gravel 

north of the prayer garden and south of the Michillinda Avenue parking lot. The middle school will 

three classrooms located at the east end of the south hallway of the upper campus. Alverno’s goal is to

construct permanent classrooms for the lower school in the south-west area of the campus, near the

Michillinda/Highland side of the 13-acre campus. The upper and lower schools will have different

schedules, different lunches, and their own designated areas. Both schools will have access to the

Learning Technology Center, cafeteria, new athletic fields and to the historic Villa del Sol d’Oro.

The school as a whole is dedicated to preparing its students to function in a society as informed,

knowledgeable persons, who have the requisite skills to make and implement mature decisions about

complex problems. The lower school, just as the upper school, is enlivened by the spirit of its

Immaculate Heart Community sponsors and mindful of the Franciscan roots of its founders. Both

schools will celebrate Catholic liturgies and involve students in an impressive service learning ministry.

The lower school will host a robust academic program, CYO sports, campus ministry activities, their

own unique student council and many other enrichment programs. The lower school will have many

opportunities to collaborate with the upper school in academic settings, visual and performing arts,

campus ministry retreats and a variety of activities.

Alverno Heights Academy will become two schools, under one name, with the same philosophy. The

energy and synergy that the two schools can offer will be electric, especially in Alverno’s 60th

anniversary year. Alverno’s upper school mission remains the same: To empower each young woman 

be exactly the person she wants to be. Head of School, Mrs. Julia Fanara is looking forward to

expanding on years of Alverno tradition, “Alverno Heights Academy is changing, but it is changing for

the better. During this time of transition and uncertainty for our society as a whole, Alverno is excited

to launch this new lower school and be able to bring the spirit of Alverno to younger children, both

boys and girls, so that they can experience the empowerment and love that comes from being a part of

Alverno’s unique and special community. Alverno Heights Academy will roar into the 2020-2021

school year with a new zest and vitality to be strong and sustainable for another 60 years.”

For questions or more information please email


Alverno Heights Academy

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 Williamson

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 E. Bradbourne Ave., Duarte, CA 91010

(626) 301-9809

Principal: Nancy Lopez

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, Jo-Anne Woolner


High Point Academy

1720 Kinneloa Canyon Road 

Pasadena, Ca. 91107 

Head of School: Gary Stern 626-798-8989


La Salle College Preparatory

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: Lindsay LUIS

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:

Arcadia 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 


Duarte Unified School District

1620 Huntington Dr., Duarte, Ca. 91010



Arcadia Christian School

1900 S. Santa Anita Avenue Arcadia, CA 91006

Preschool - and TK - 8th Grade



Principal: Cindy Harmon





Politicians who have deemed it necessary to shut down the normal operations 
of our society have said that only “essential services” may be maintained. 
Most can agree that food, clothing, and shelter are essential. Clothing stores 
are closed, but dry clean-ers are open. Whose call was that? Food and everything 
related to it are allowed, ex-cept you can’t sit down in a restaurant to 
enjoy your meal. 

Automobiles are essential in this society, and so most mechanics are open. Banks are open.

But teaching and schools are “non-essential”? Really? Isn’t education one of the most fundamental 
aspects of any free society?

During this time, it does seem like an ideal opportunity to consider what is “essential” to any society, 
and whether or not you’re a part of that essential-factor. Although most people agree on what 
constitutes “essential,” any business is essential if that’s your job and livelihood. And why should 
any business be forced to shut if it poses no hazard to the society?



I have long maintained that getting to know your neighbors –and your neighborhood – is one of 
the best methods for preparing for an earthquake or other emergency. One method for doing this 
is Neighborhood Watch.

During the shutdown period, I’ve noted that my neighbors spend their mornings and evenings 
walking around and around, which is good. I’ve learned to recognize neigh-bors I’ve never seen 
before, even though I still don’t know all of them by name and still don’t see them at any Neighborhood 
Watch meetings, virtual or otherwise. 

Still, this is one positive result of the lockdown – getting to know your own neighbor-hood and getting 
to know your neighbors. Remember, your closest neighbors are the equivalent of your family 
and support team in any worst-case scenario.



As with war, “truth” has been one of the casualties of this pandemic, and all the politi-cal and 
social reactions to it. For example, is the death rate 5% or 0.05%? Where are the differing doctors 
getting their numbers? If the majority of the cases are asympto-matic (meaning, there are no 
symptoms), then we really don’t know how many people have it. If this is a fact, then clearly the 
percentage of death to cases is highly reduced, though we don’t know to what degree.

Is “herd immunity” a valid concept? Has Sweden and Japan taught us that “herd im-munity” is 
valid? Is Dr. Fauci correct that everyone should get vaccinated? Why? Is it true that 90%+ of the 
Italian deaths were from other underlying causes? 

Though everyone agrees that this Corona virus is worse than ordinary flus, why is there little so 
commentary about the death rate of other flus, within our life time? 

Is it true that many hospitals are empty, and doctors and nurses are currently laid off because of 
the order for “no non-essential procedures”? Does that make sense? Why is this not spoken of in 
the media?

Are the temporary hospitals here and there being used, or not? If they are being taken down due 
to non-use, why are we still under quarantine? Why is the recovery rate not as widely touted as 
the death rate?

Perhaps the biggest assault on our senses during this time is that Bill Gates is some sort of minister 
of death, profiting from selling a vaccine, and that he desires to have everyone implanted with 
some sort of tracking device, a la “the mark of the Beast.” Conspiracy people love this one, but I’m 
not so sure. Bill told us on live TV that he only wants to help people. He wouldn’t lie to us, would 



In the end, I’m left with many questions. Was this all an over-reaction? Would more people have 
died had the various lockdowns not been imposed?

Why are leaders closing trails and outdoor facilities, and talking about maybe a vaccine in a year 
or so, but no one is talking about all the ways to improve our immune sys-tems? I dislike leaders 
who seem to revel in their new power and authority, to make up rules on the fly for each situation. 
At the end of the day, I have great trust in the aver-age person’s ability to grasp the severity of this 
situation. I also believe that the Consti-tution should override local leaders’ dictates, and that the 
right of the people to assem-ble, and the First Amendment, should be the higher authority, except 
in the most ex-treme of situations.

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