Mountain Views News, Sierra Madre Edition [Pasadena] Saturday, April 1, 2017

MVNews this week:  Page A:7



Mountain Views-News Saturday, April 1, 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 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 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 

Interim Head of School, Merrily Dunlap 


High Point Academy

1720 Kinneloa Canyon Road Pasadena, Ca. 91107 

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:

Duarte Unified School District

1620 Huntington Dr., Duarte, Ca. 91010

(626)599-5000 Website:

Sierra Madre, CA (March 30, 2017) – Victoria Chen, a junior at Alverno 
Heights Academy, has earned the highest possible composite score of 36 
on the ACT, the leading United States admission test that determines 
college readiness. On average, less than one-tenth of 1 percent of students 
who take the ACT earn a top score. In the U.S. high school graduating 
class of 2016, only 2,235 out of nearly 2.1 million graduates who took the 
ACT earned a composite score of 36.

 The ACT consists of tests in English, mathematics, reading and science, 
each scored on a scale of 1–36. A student’s composite score is the average 
of the four test scores. Some students also take the optional ACT writing 
test, but the score for that test is reported separately and is not included 
within the ACT composite score.

 In a letter to Victoria recognizing her exceptional achievement, ACT 
Chief Executive Officer Marten Roorda stated, “Your achievement on 
the ACT is significant and rare. While test scores are just one of multiple 
criteria that most colleges consider when making admission decisions, 
your exceptional ACT composite score should prove helpful as you 
pursue your education and career goals.”

 “When I took the ACT, I never would have guessed that I would have 
gotten a perfect score,” said Victoria. “It was more challenging than I 
expected it to be but I knew I had still done pretty well. The day the scores 
were released, I remember checking the site numerous times throughout 
the day but it kept crashing so I eventually gave up. I ended up just 
checking it once more before bed and I was surprised to see that number 
“36” come up on the screen under my name.” 

 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 Calculus BC, AP English Language and Composition, AP 
United States History, AP Biology, AP Environmental Science, Graphic 
Design, Engineering and Robotics, and Independent Research in Science. 
Last year, she earned a perfect “5” on the AP Calculus AB exam and 
hopes to do the same on the AP Calculus BC exam in May. She currently 
maintains a 4.25 GPA. 

 Last March, Victoria was selected 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. This recognition 
follows others from CTY including recognition at the CTY Grand 
Ceremony in 2014 as a student who scored in the top 3 percent of all 
students who complete the School and College Ability Test—Victoria 
scored in the 99th percentile in both the verbal and quantitative sections. 

At school, Victoria is active in Alverno’s expanding STEM program 
participating in numerous collaborations with Caltech including the 
Community Science Academy (CSA), Solar Energy Activity Laboratory 
(SEAL), and the International Genetically Engineered Machine (iGEM) 
team. She was an integral part of the Alverno Heights Academy iGEM 
team that competed in Boston last fall. Victoria and her 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. 

 With a few more months until the college application process starts 
for Victoria, she is still working on narrowing down her list although she 
definitely has her eyes set on one school—Stanford. 

 “There’s a couple of lists but Stanford is definitely at the top of all them. 
That’s certainly my dream,” Victoria said. “My hope is to be able to go to 
Stanford and major in biology so that I can either go onto medical school 
or graduate school to do research. At least that’s my plan right now.” 

 “Alverno Heights Academy is so incredibly proud of Victoria and this 
once in a lifetime accomplishment,” said Julia V. Fanara, Head of School. 
“Last year fewer than 2,500 students earned a perfect score on the ACT 
and the fact that Victoria is only 15 years old makes this achievement so 
much more momentous! She was one of 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 her 
grow and thrive with it. We look forward to many more successes and 
providing these exceptionally gifted young women like Victoria, along 
with all of our students, the opportunity to grow and excel in a nurturing 
and college preparatory environment like Alverno.”

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 



Pasadena, CA -- A new French-English dual immersion language 
program for kindergarten-first grade students opens in the 2017-
18 academic year at the Pasadena Unified School District’s (PUSD) 
Altadena Elementary School. Applications for enrollment are being 
accepted through April 7, 2017.

 The program will expand to upper grades each year and feed into 
the district’s International Baccalaureate programmes.

 In Pasadena Unified Dual Immersion programs, native and non-
native speakers master academic subject matter content in both 
English and the target language. Instruction begins in kindergarten 
with 90 percent in the target language - French, Spanish or Mandarin 
- and 10 percent in English. In subsequent grades, instruction shifts 
by 10 percent each year, until becoming a 50/50 model: 50 percent in 
the target language and 50 percent in English.

 To apply for kindergarten, both Pasadena and out-of-district 
families can contact the Pasadena Unified Language Assessment 
and Development Department (LADD) at 626.396.3600 ext. 88820. 
Online applications for the French program are also accepted during 
the district’s Open Enrollment “Second Lottery” from April 3-7, 
2017, at Children must be five years old by 
September 1, 2017 to enroll for kindergarten.

 Families of children entering first grade students can apply by 
completing an “Intent to Enroll” form by April 7, 2017, at the district’s 
LADD office, located at 351 S. Hudson Ave., Room 209, Pasadena. 
Office hours are 9 a.m. - 4 p.m. weekdays.

 Pasadena Unified first launched Spanish and Mandarin dual 
immersion language programs in 2008. For more information, go to

GOLDENWORDS.....Advice for Students & Parents


By the end of April, most high schoolers who are going on to college or 
university enrollment will have chosen their destination institution.

Congratulations! The college application process can be intricate and 
complex, and you’ve found a school that matches your interests and 

Here are some time-sensitive tips for you to consider that will enhance your 
arrival and success at college this coming Fall. Whether it’s a commute to 
Junior College or a cross-country relocation for your studies, there are some 
important action steps for you to take:

--Graduate from High School! Seems obvious, but the closing weeks high 
school need your primary attention. Classes to complete successfully, AP 
and other exit examinations, and Senior projects and presentations to wrap 
up with a flourish. Graduate!

--Pay Attention to all Communications from your Destination College. You 
have lots of forms arriving from your college or university that are deadlined 
and important. In some cases, you have to arrange for certain placement 
exams before you even get to your campus. If your college has established an 
account via their own secure portal, be sure to regularly monitor it and take 
action promptly and completely.

--Reach out via Email to certain key offices and individuals at your 
destination college or university in the next 2 months!

If you’re going to be a residential student on a campus, you already will 
have begun an electronic relationship with both the Dean of Students office 
(housing, roommates, etc…) and the Dean of Academic Affairs (course 
planning for first year, orientation, etc…).


--Who ELSE needs to know you’re coming to their campus?

Research shows that students who have at least 4-5 “adult influencers” who 
know them early in their first year on campus will persist and succeed, 
making the most of their college experience.

If you take the time by June to send a thoughtful, well-written email to some 
of the people and offices listed below, you’ll not only introduce yourself to 
some influential people. You’ll be doing something that almost no first-year 
student typically does, and you’ll send a message that you’re mature and 
professional about yourself, a good tone to establish.

--Know your likely academic area of study? Find email address for 
department chair or director of undergraduate study and reach out to 
introduce yourself as a likely major. Ask what you can be doing this summer 
to pave the way for success in their department.

--Know a career direction that fascinates you? Most colleges often have 
faculty who coordinate pre-professional areas like Health Sciences, Law, 
Engineering, Business. Same kind of outreach to these staff and faculty can 
get you a headstart and valuable inside information.

--Will you have a job on campus? (if you’ve been given “work-study” 
expectations as part of financial aid, you’ll need employment to make 
expected earnings). 

For any student, a campus job of 6-10 
hours a week is one of the top 3 activities 
that ensure college success--you will 
get higher grades, become a better 
manager of your time, and you’ll have 
in your campus supervisor a great “adult 
influencer” who’ll help you in lots of 
ways. And, you’ll get spending money for 
pizzas, laundry and your cell phone, too!

(note: Though you won’t be able to 
secure your campus job before you arrive 
at your college to do paperwork, there’s 
no reason you can’t begin to identify 
interesting campus employers and reach 
out to the hiring coordinators at places 
like the Library, Athletics, Admissions 
and other departments that rely on lots 
of student workers.)

Are there other targets for this kind of outreach? You bet! 

When I was a Dean of Career Services, for instance, I relished a chance to 
get freshmen involved in our programs and help them find internships and 
community service, both on campus and back home.

Do you want to explore ways to win national and international fellowships 
during and after college? If you find the folks who coordinate these 
programs and identify yourself now, they’ll be looking out for you in 
September. Goldwater and Truman Scholarships while you’re in college, 
Rhodes, British Marshall, Fulbright and many others can be targets for you.

What if you have a core passion or component of your ethnic or lifestyle 
profile that you want to cultivate? Your Dean of Students Office is the 
place to ask about how to find fellow students who share your attributes 
and interests. From dancers to filmmakers to anime aficionados, Pacific 
Islanders to LGBTQ populations, political progressives to conservatives-
-college campuses are full of affinity groups that need your energy and 

Whew! Even if you attempt just one or two outreach emails to some of the 
targets we’ve outlined above, you’ll be putting the word out to your new 
campus that you’re pro-active, you know how to do your research, and you 
can write a winning email with a great subject header (sounds old-fashioned 
to you veteran users of more sophisticated social media, right? Well, you’ll 
soon find that regular email communicating is the ‘gold standard’ in college 
and university life).

So, make sure to graduate on time, take care of any action steps asked of you 
by your next school, and consider trying an early outreach or two to some 
adult influencers. They’ll respond, offer you some great suggestions, and be 
watching for you after you’ve settled into your college life this Fall. 

About your author: Dan is the retired founding Director of Life 
Planning at the Vistamar School in El Segundo. He’s also been a 
college Dean and program director, film and literature professor 
and fellowship coordinator. He now consults with schools, districts 
and individuals on issues of college access and success. Contact:

Dan Golden, PhD

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