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february 2011


archer’s founding principles Celebrating 15 Years Age is a funny thing. When you’re younger, you want to be older - to be set free from the restraints of adolescence. And when you’re older,

4 In the News 7 RBT: What, How, & Why? 13 Founders’ Day 2010 14 1 to 1 Laptop Program 17 Archer Then & Now 18 Diversity Day 20 Panther Pride! Athletics Update 23 Archer’s Board of Trustees 26 Alumnae Notes

it’s the continual search to find things that take you back to the days when innocence and hope prevailed. Back to a time when you weren’t afraid to take risks, speak up, try something new and succeed or even attempt something and fail. Fifteen years ago, the Founders of The Archer School for Girls succeeded in overcoming what

seemed to be insurmountable odds to establish a school for girls on the Westside of Los Angeles. Their mission was simple, to create a school that incorporated the latest research on teaching and learning in an environment where girls’ voices would be heard and their values would be respected. In short, where girls could be girls. The transformation from a simple idea, to a living, breathing school was by no means easy. The history of Archer’s birth is a true modern day David and Goliath tale. In the end, the little school for girls triumphed and Founders Dr. Diana Meehan, Vicky Shorr, and Megan Callaway stood proud as their dream became a reality when Archer opened its doors on September 5, 1995 in the Pacific Palisades. Thirty-two 6th and 7th graders donned white polos and khaki skirts as they stood in the sunny courtyard during the opening ceremony in the former Esben Building on La Cruz Drive. The pioneering class, as they are now referred to, helped to chart new territory and thus broke the mold of traditional Los Angeles independent schools. One 7th grader at the time, presented the rationale behind the name Archer by stating, “Long (continued on pg. 11)



mission Statement The Archer School for Girls is an educational community that supports and challenges young women to discover their passions and realize their true potential.

Christina McIntosh

Contributors Angelica Bailon Clancey Cornell ’11 Daniel In Denny Lennon Danielle McFadden Christina McIntosh Morissa O’Mara ’11 Karen Pavliscak Mia Rille Michele Warner

Special Thanks Budget Printing & Copy

Layout Design

· We provide a rigorous, integrated college preparatory curriculum that fosters critical thinking and intellectual curiosity. · We create and sustain a collaborative teaching and learning environment that explores and refines the ways girls learn best. · We help girls to become leaders and life-long learners, strengthening their capacity to contribute positively to their communities. · We strengthen girls’ voices in a diverse and culturally rich environment. · We embrace possibility, promote challenge-seeking and support risk-taking.

Angelica Bailon

Board of Trustees 2010-2011 Barbara Bruser Cornelia Cheng Victor Coleman Stephanie Darrow Beth Friedman Ann Gianopulos Mark Gordon Cathy Helm Kate Kang ’01 Kathy Kennedy Julie Mendoza Ray Michaud Catrice Monson Barbara Natterson Horowitz, Chair Winifred Neisser Gordie Nye Lawrence O’Donnell John Ohanesian Karen Richards Sachs Ana Serrano Suzanne Todd, Vice Chair Stephen Warren Nancy Zacky a mbitious, joyful learning for girls grades 6 thr ough 12


11725 Sunset Boulevard Los Angeles, CA 90049 310-873-7000

· We encourage girls to develop meaningful relationships with peers and faculty rooted in honesty, respect and responsibility. · We graduate courageous, committed, and ethical young women who take responsibility for their own physical, financial, and emotional well-being.

from the head of school Dear Friends of Archer: An Archer family, whose daughter is moving into Upper School, recently took the time to come in and share with me why they ultimately chose Archer from among the other excellent options available to them for high school. Chief among their reasons was the active learning and critical thinking they have come to see as the hallmark of an Archer classroom. By contrast, they shared with me how surprised they were by the relative silence of classes they observed elsewhere, where the traditional lecture and note-taking paradigm seemed to prevail. Archer teachers pride themselves on designing lessons that actively engage their students through Socratic discussion and learning experiences that require the transfer and application of knowledge and skills; one rarely encounters a silent Archer classroom or, in turn, a silent Archer girl. And this is no accident. For girls, the freedom to discuss, question, collaborate, and make connections among their subjects is key to learning that endures. Our teachers know how girls learn and what the current research says about how to teach them in the most effective ways. The ability to innovate freely, and in ways that ultimately improve girls’ achievement, is at the core of Archer’s mission, and as we celebrate our 15th year, our mission guides us as closely today as it did in 1995. We are deeply committed to maintaining a professional community where the adults are continually learning and reflecting on what works best for our students. Our ongoing work with Research for Better Teaching and the roll out of our 1 to 1 Laptop Program serve as two recent examples of Archer’s spirit of innovation. These, as well as other key initiatives such as our marketing and branding campaign, master planning process, and Flexible Tuition Program, have been funded by the significant generosity of our major donors, whose belief in Archer and all that it brings to the educational landscape of Los Angeles has enabled us to freely pursue advancement, further strengthen our finances, and firmly establish Archer as a leader in innovative education for girls.

Elizabeth English Head of School


Artemis Magazine February 2011

in the news 2010-2011

This school year has been filled with countless student accomplishments, coummunity-wide celebrations, and monumental achievements in and out of the classroom. From the second-ever Middle School Musical, to noted success in Latin and Literature competitions, to victory on the athletic fields and courts, our community experienced a fall and winter of notable success.


The Archer School for Girls

Fall Outing

Each September, Archer students participate in an overnight trip with their respective grades to build bonds while also engaging in various outdoor activities, from rappelling to rock wall climbing.

student representatives, along with professional service organizations, assist girls with enrolling in projects and learning more about local opportunities during the annual Community Service Fair. The event also drew students from Brentwood School, Lighthouse Christian Academy, and Vistamar School to help build the broader community’s engagement in service. activism in Los Angeles for education equity and reform.

Halloween Archer girls revel in the opportunity to share their creative genius. Halloween is the perfect occasion for such endeavors. Students and faculty alike donned their Halloween best during a costume fashion show, enjoyed a ride down an inflatable slide, and participated in a pumpkin carving contest.

Student Club Fair

Girls had the chance to learn about Archer’s more than 30 studentrun clubs including Anime Club, Junior Statesmen of America, Diversity Committee, Community Service Board, Classics Club, and Photography Club. With so many choices, there was something for everyone.

Grandparents’ & Special Friends’ Day Middle Schoolers had the chance to share their Archer experience with their grandparents and special friends during the beloved annual event. Guests were treated to performances by the orchestra and choir and also had the chance to participate in a special class session with their Archer girl.

Celebrating Hispanic Heritage Students celebrated

Community Service Fair Service is a central component of the Archer curriculum and culture. To help students find community service projects that are meaningful to them,

Hispanic heritage with a lunchtime event sponsored by the Modern & Classical Languages Department and the Student Diversity Committee. The festivities included music, dancing, a piñata, ofrenda making and, of course, food, most of which was homemade by our students! Additionally, during a morning assembly, members of the Student Diversity Committee presented on the history of Latino

Lit Magazines Given Top Honors Archer literary magazines continue a legacy of excellence, earning recognition from the National Council of Teachers of English. Write in the Middle (the Middle School magazine) and the Upper School’s Pillars of Salt were bestowed the recognitions of “Superior - Nominated Highest Award” and “Excellent,” respectively.


Artemis Magazine February 2011

Middle School and Upper School made it to the semifinals in team events) and took home 20 individual honors with 14 of the 19 participants finishing in the top three in their field.

Author Gloria Whelan Visits Archer In the fall, National Book Award-winning author Gloria Whelan visited The

Laddie John Dill at The Gallery “Light Traps and Aerial Perspectives” by L.A. artist Laddie John Dill featured powerful and abstract work at The Gallery’s first exhibit of the year. Simultaneously direct and complex, the exhibit viscerally engaged the viewer and explored the interaction of light, movement, and color. This was the 14th exhibit at The Gallery which first opened in 2006.

Latin Award Winners In November, 19 Archer students attended the first Latin convention of the year. Despite rain that lasted the whole day and caused the cancellation of many events and the over-booking of others, Archer girls maintained their good humor and prevailed in a wide variety of academic tests, Latin prose and poetry performances, as well as classical artistic endeavors. Archer had a very strong showing in the team competitions (both the


Archer School for Girls. She spoke with Middle School students about her many works, several of which are part of the Middle School English curriculum including Homeless Bird, Listening for Lions, Chu Ju’s House, and Angel on the Square. According to English teacher Tracy Ganzer, Ms. Whelan’s work is cherished amongst Archer Middle School students. “Homeless Bird has been a core book in our 7th grade curriculum for seven years.” Ms. Ganzer says, “Students seem to really connect to it. Even in 8th grade, students routinely bring it up to me.”

Winter Concert From timehonored favorites like “Frosty the Snowman” to pop standard “All I Want for Christmas is You,” Archer musicians and singers filled the Dining Hall with holiday cheer during the annual Winter Concert. This event also marked the first appearance of the Middle School Glee Club in a holiday performance.

Robotics At the MadTown ThrowDown robotics competition in November, Archer placed 8th out of 23 teams and advanced to the quarterfinals with their trusty robot, Thalia. Archer was the only all-girls team at the competition.

Adopt-a-Family The holidays at Archer are not just a time for celebration. It is a season that has been traditionally exemplified by the outpouring of support from the Archer Community for the Adopt-A-Family program, an annual tradition that makes a difference in the lives of deserving families. Run by the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, the program helps provide critical items of need to families around the city. This was Archer’s seventh year participating in the program. On delivery day, dozens of Archer students and their families spent the day bringing these gifts to the Archer “adopted” families and sharing in the holiday spirit with others.

Debate Wins at Cal Lutheran Archer represented well at the Cal Lutheran Championships by winning two of the debate divisions. Jenna Speiser ’13 won the LincolnDouglas debate division while Sarah Wishingrad ’14 with Maya Escobar ’14 took the Public Forum debate division.

The Archer School for Girls

research for better teaching: what, how, and why What is Research for Better Teaching? Research for Better Teaching (RBT) is organized around the essential belief that great teaching equals great learning. Like a teacher’s toolbox, RBT offers teachers specific strategies they can use to match their instruction to the needs of the students in their classrooms. These tools empower teachers to enhance clarity, plan meaningful learning experiences, check for understanding, and reflect on students’ progress to make learning really stick.

How is Archer using RBT? Archer is the first independent school on the West Coast to implement school-wide research-based teaching practices. All Archer faculty have taken graduate-level coursework on RBT to build learning objectives, sculpt lessons, and design effective assessments based on how students learn best. As a collegial community, teachers use the principles of RBT to reflect on their practice and plan together for their students’ success.

How is an RBT lesson different than a traditional lesson? RBT classrooms are “no-secrets” learning environments, where students know in advance what they are going to learn and how they will know they are successful. Rather than just covering content, RBT lessons focus on overarching skills for enduring understanding. In traditional classrooms, the teacher is often the center of the lesson. However, in RBT lessons the focus is on the student because the research shows that the person doing the talking is the person doing the learning. RBT lessons also reserve time for processing information, making purposeful connections, and engaging actively in the learning process.

Theresa Dahlin Middle School History

Just as I have found self-reflection valuable to the growth of my students, incorporating time for reflection of my own teaching and planning has made me a more skillful educator who prepares thoughtfully and utilizes feedback to craft lessons that both challenge and inspire my students.

Artemis Magazine February 2011

Student Activist Recognized Chelsea Montgomery-Duban ’11 was named by Frontiers Magazine as one of the most influential activists in the Los Angeles Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender (LGBT) community.

Alumnae Art Exhibit In January, The Gallery at The Archer School for Girls featured the firstever alumnae art show. Highlighting the works of more than ten alumnae in a variety of mediums, the exhibit opened in conjunction with Archer’s annual Alumnae Social. Fifty alumnae returned to campus to visit with their longtime friends and enjoy the art of their peers.

Race to Nowhere In early November, Archer was pleased to host a screening of the acclaimed documentary “Race to Nowhere.” Filmmaker Vicki H. Abeles attended the sold-out showing on campus and hosted a Q & A session with the parent audience. Issues concerning the challenges within our education system were discussed in an effort to combat current assumptions on how to best prepare the youth of America to become healthy, bright, contributing, and leading citizens.

me life, unconditional love and help me follow my passions every day. I fight to defy a society that believes they are unfit parents and that they have somehow managed to raise me incorrectly. My dad and daddy inspire me to be a better person and I fight for them and for all gay families and couples.” In November, Chelsea spoke to more than 3,000 guests at the 14th Annual Human Rights Campaign Dinner in Washington, DC.

Honor Code Instituted at Archer This fall, Archer

Chelsea’s activism began with what she saw as a small act—posting a video of a speech she gave at her fathers’ wedding on YouTube. Incited by the responses to her video, Chelsea embarked on a mission to fight for gay marriage rights by engaging in dialogue with various organizations and groups. As Chelsea told Frontiers Magazine, “Being an activist means fighting through the nos, the criticism and the ignorance and standing up for your cause ... I have two gay dads that have been together for almost 29 years. They are the people that gave

instituted a community-wide honor code. Created by students, this convention is the core of our community interactions. Archer’s honor code states: As members of the Archer community we agree to uphold Archer’s core values of honesty, respect, and responsibility. Because our individual actions impact the community, we also share a set of collective responsibilities: With respect, we are considerate in our words and daily actions. With empathy, we honor the individuality of those around us. With integrity, we are honest, trustworthy, and fair in both academic and personal interactions.

archer enters adidas sponsorship The Archer Athletics Department has entered into a multi-year sponsorship agreement with Adidas and Westside Team Sports (WTS), the official handler between Adidas and Archer. “All three of these entities are the best in their respective fields,” says Chris Martin, President and CEO of WTS. As exemplified by their impressive performance in the fall and winter seasons, Archer Athletics has become a highly successful program and gained unprecedented attention. “It is rare for a CIF Division V school, like Archer, to be considered for this type of sponsorship, so we are thankful for the opportunity and look forward to succeeding on the fields and courts wearing the Adidas brand,” says Athletic Director Denny Lennon.



The Archer School for Girls

native american artists share gift of storytelling In October, Archer’s art students enjoyed a visit from two Native American artists from New Mexico. Mary and Leonard Trujillo of the Cochiti Pueblo showed our students the process of creating clay “storyteller” figures. These figures represent the Pueblo oral tradition of passing on their history and culture through storytelling by grandmothers and grandfathers. In November, the Trujillos returned to Archer to create a sculpture that will reside permanently on our campus. Mary brought a large storyteller figure and our students created the “little people” to sit on its lap and surround it as the figure “tells the story.” This piece, the combined effort of the Trujillos and the art students from 6th through 12th grade, will be featured in The Archer Gallery in September 2011. This unique creative opportunity for our students was made possible by the generosity of Cindy Harrell Horn, a former Archer Board member and continued supporter, and a collector of the Trujillo’s work.

8 v 4 what is integrated math? 4v 2

Traditionally, mathematics instruction in secondary schools has been delivered in separate courses, with algebra and geometry taught in isolation from each other. The National Education Association established this sequence in 1894, when many students only completed two years of high school. Although our society has changed significantly, with the majority of young people graduating high school, Geometry is still sandwiched in between Algebra I and Algebra II. As a result, many students do not retain concepts taught in Algebra I through their year studying Geometry, and teachers must re-teach Algebra I concepts before proceeding to the required topics of Algebra II. Research shows that United States secondary schools have consistently scored well below those in many other countries on international assessments in mathematics. The countries that excel have an integrated structure in mathematics. Archer’s integrated math program is set apart from conventional curricula in that each course advances a student’s understanding of mathematics along interwoven strands of algebra, statistics and probability, geometry and trigonometry, and discrete mathematics. In Archer math classrooms, work is problem-centered and applicationbased while emphasizing the relationships among topics within mathematics as well as between mathematics and other disciplines. When we think about real-life applications of math, the topics of algebra, geometry and statistics are not presented in isolation. Most of the time, a variety of mathematical topics are embedded in real world problems. Integrated math fosters the notion that all strands of mathematics are related and with this new program, our girls develop into more successful, open-minded problem solvers in the math classroom and beyond.



Artemis Magazine February 2011

student spotlight

zola berger-schmitz

Regular volunteer service is just one way that Archer encourages young women to become active citizens and lifelong contributors to their communities. And for many girls at Archer, involvement in the Community Service program is the catalyst for something bigger: an opportunity for exploration and a deeper connection to issues of personal import. When a summer day at the beach inspired Zola Berger-Schmitz ’15 to help conserve California’s coastlines, she had little idea that this initial interest would not only spark a newfound passion for public advocacy, but would also lead her to galvanize the support of the entire Archer community around a critical local issue. Zola kicked off her involvement with current issues in oceanic ecology by reading up on marine biology, attending oceanography camp, and volunteering her time with conservation organization Heal the Bay. She soon learned about a controversial but historic legislative proposal to create the equivalent of underwater “state parks” by establishing Marine Protection Areas or MPAs. With guidance from Heal the Bay, Zola made her voice heard and encouraged others to write letters to state agencies in support of establishing protective MPAs on Southern California coasts. She spoke out at ongoing public hearings in forums for discussion most often dominated by adults. Advocates for both sides of the issue were clearly impressed by Zola’s impassioned and articulate contributions to the conversation. Her enthusiasm for the cause was infectious, and her passion soon extended to raising awareness about the MPA process within the Archer community. She spoke to Archer’s Community Service Board, the Upper School Marine Ecology class, and at several school assemblies, all of which encouraged her classmates to help solicit signatures for multiple petitions. In addition, with no prior experience in digital editing, Zola teamed up with classmates to create a video that powerfully posed the rhetorical question “What if there were no more fish left in the ocean?” According to Zola, “The film is meant to inspire youth to think about how they want the oceans to look when they grow up, and also encourages kids to make a difference in advocating for a healthier world.”

With signed petitions, an impactful video, and vociferous advocacy, Zola – and her classmates at Archer – rallied around the cause of the MPAs. Over 400 members of the Archer community responded to the petitions, which were then presented, along with the video, at public hearings. Only a handful of other area schools were involved and Archer’s significant presence was enough to garner special thanks from environmental advocates. According to staff scientist Charlotte Stevenson of Heal the Bay, “We could not have reached this point without the support of groups like Archer. The decision makers actually really listen to the public, especially to the younger generation, and it made a huge difference for them to see through petitions, letters, and public testimony that the kids of Southern California cared about the future of the coastal ocean.” In April 2010, the Fish and Game Commission voted to recommend for environmental review a map for South Coast MPAs that protects most of Southern California’s critical habitats. Zola plans to continue to speak out and follow the status of MPA and related issues “to help ensure the best possible protection for our coast.” Ever humble about her efforts, Zola is committed to pursuing the cause and inspring others – especially Archer students and adults alike – to have their voices heard.

The Archer School for Girls

celebrating 15 years (continued from pg. 1)

ago in another land, young girls dedicated themselves to learning. Protected by a sacred order, they built their own shelters, composed poetry and dance…When they completed their time of learning, they returned to society to assume roles of responsibility. Their protector was known as The Archer. Thus does the Archer School get its name.” Today, a decade and a half later, the School continues to embrace the founding ideals that call for girlcentered learning in a culture best suited for girls. Archer has grown to 450 students, moved into an historic building in Brentwood, and received full accreditation, all the while holding true to its mission. Being an educational institution with a shorter history can, at times, be seen as a negative. After all, some of the best schools in the country have deep-rooted traditions and oftentimes 100-year-old histories. Those same institutions can also be slow to change and slow to grow. At 15 years old, Archer is solidifying but still adapting. Intentional reflection, thoughtful innovation, and a commitment to 21st century brain-based research sets Archer apart as an institution that is not afraid to change. While not overburdened by heritage, Archer understands the value of creating and sustaining school-wide traditions as a way to keep the community connected, foster pride, and solidify identity. Annual traditions such as Founders’ Day, Spirit Week, Holiday Adopt-A-Family Drive, Moving Up Day, and the beloved Maypole Dance are only a few of the many ways the community celebrates its uniqueness. The meaningful relationships that are forged among students and between students and faculty are at the heart of the School’s mission. Alumnae return to campus and often

remark on how well Archer prepared them for college and beyond, but they are equally quick to mention the joyful, close-knit community that they experienced during their time at Archer. With almost 500 alumnae, Archer’s supportive sisterhood continues to grow with each graduating class. The School was founded with a purpose, and like the story of our naming, we continue to graduate girls who are poised to not only assume roles of responsibility but have the drive to lead with strength of character, a creative and entrepreneurial spirit, and a powerful voice. Archer’s relatively short, yet colorful, history is told through the eyes of one of the Founders, Dr. Diana Meehan, in her book, “Learning Like a Girl.” The pages tell an almost unbelievable story of the monumental battle to establish The Archer School for Girls at 11725 Sunset Boulevard. Filled with fantastic characters and

dubious scenarios, the book illustrates the power of conviction and the resolute belief in single-sex education. Fifteen years ago, Archer’s Founders knew they were embarking on an adventure that would impact the lives of countless deserving girls. Not surprisingly, that will be true for decades to come.

In this, Archer’s 15th school year, we celebrate our founding ideals while continuing our commitment to innovate, adapt, and take risks.


Artemis Magazine February 2011

the heidi chronicles

In November, Upper Schoolers performed Wendy Wasserstein’s The Heidi Chronicles, a play about one woman’s journey placed against the backdrop of the women’s movement. The play traced Heidi’s world, her relationships and the choices she made from the time she was a teenager in 1965 until the late 1980s. A show about the women’s movement and the implications for the characters seems perfect for an all-girls’ school. However, this piece is not often performed by secondary school students because of the challenging nature of the scene work and the emotional insight needed by the characters. Once again, Archer students rose to the challenge and gave a moving performance about the choices we make and how all people deserve to fulfill their potential. Student Director Sarah Loughman ’11 shared, “The show itself was inspiring, teaching us all about the complex effects of the women’s movement.”

the lion, the witch, and the wardrobe

In December, Archer Middle Schoolers brought C.S. Lewis’ famed novel to life in an imaginative production of The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. As Assistant Director Alexandra Jacobson ’12 explained, “The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe gave the cast and audience an opportunity to take a creative journey to a land full of fantasy. It provided many chances for students to shine and gave our girls the opportunity to learn sword fighting and puppetry skills. The cast lost themselves in the imaginative set design, the elaborate costumes and the exquisitely painted faces.”

Faculty achievements publications Shelby Brown, Ph.D. (Latin Teacher): Dr. Brown has been asked to contribute a chapter to the Oxford Handbook of Sport and Spectacle in the Ancient World, to be published in 2012. Joe Busch, Ph.D. (Math Teacher): Dr. Busch’s article, “Lower bounds for decision problems in imaginary, norm-Euclidean quadratic integer rings” was included in the Journal of Symbolic Computation. Sheila Morrisey (Science Teacher): Ms. Morissey was the lead author on a paper titled “Groundwater reorganization in the Floridan aquifer following Holocene sea-level rise.” It was published in Nature Geoscience last fall.

conference presentations Theresa Wu (Language Teacher): Ms. Wu will present at the Computer-Using Educators (CUE) conference on the work she has conducted at Archer on technology integration and foreign language learning.

other Reed Farley (Theatre Teacher) received his Master of Education degree from UCLA in May 2010. His research focused on collaborative learning and standardized test preparation with an emphasis on ESL students. Pam Horrocks (Director of Technology) was one of only 50 administrators nationwide to attend the Google Teacher Academy for Administrators, an experience designed to help K-12 educational leaders get the most from innovative technologies.


The Archer School for Girls

founders’ day 2010 words from co-founder Dr. Diana Meehan Dr. Diana Meehan, along with Megan Callaway and Vicky Shorr, founded The Archer School for Girls 15 years ago. Three mothers with middle school-aged girls sought to create a school where their daughters could thrive. As Dr. Meehan told students at the beginning of the year, the Founders sought girls for their school who were caring, daring, creative, kind, and intellectual, among many other attributes. On Founders’ Day, Dr. Meehan addressed the student body, whom she has called the realization of a dream.

During her speech on November 17, Dr. Meehan challenged the Archer community to reflect on the enduring significance of the women’s movement and how the ideals and values of those pioneering women are alive and well today in Archer students. In particular, she related the disparities in opportunities for women in 1951 compared to those that are viable for the Class of 2011, who will graduate this May. Dr. Meehan reminded the senior class of how much has changed since then and that central to this progress has been a “legacy of leadership” forged by women who broke new ground in the postwar era.

She urged the soon-to-be graduates to always be mindful of this legacy and to “choose important causes that need your attention and bring your focus and commitment to them.” She also pointedly addressed the community’s youngest members, Archer’s 6th grade class, to understand that they also will have a responsibility to make a difference in the world and to carry that ideal with them throughout their next seven years at Archer. Dr. Meehan closed her rousing speech with a rally cry that Archer girls live out every day, “Failure is impossible!”

Artemis Magazine February 2011

where are they headed?

class of 2010 college matriculation

’s 1 to 1 laptop program

Archer teaches girls the way they learn best and designs curriculum and instruction based on current research on teaching and learning. Our 1 to 1 Laptop Program represents a 21st century paradigm for classroom instruction. In fall 2009, Archer rolled out the first phase of the Program, which put an Apple MacBook in the hands of every teacher. During the 2009-2010 school year, faculty members were trained on how to thoughtfully integrate technology into the classroom and were introduced to the vast technical innovations that would directly impact student learning. Studies continue to show that in schools with 1 to 1 laptop programs, students are more engaged and responsible for their own education, are more collaborative with their peers and teachers, are better able to apply digital skills, and are best equipped to connect with others in our changing global society. This year, students in grades 6 and 9 received new, personal-use MacBooks as part of the second phase of the initiative. Each year, Archer will continue to build on the success of the program as more and more grade levels receive computers.

Because of the immediate impact and successful implementation of the program, Archer was awarded a $100,000 grant from The Ahmanson Foundation in support of our 1 to 1 Laptop Program. After visiting Archer’s campus, including several classrooms and meeting with Ms. English, the Foundation reported that they were very impressed with Archer’s application of technology in the classroom. Archer is honored to have established a partnership with this prestigious foundation, whose mission is to enhance the quality of life and cultural legacy of the Los Angeles community.

At Archer we embrace how differently each girl learns and thus align our curriculum to engage and motivate all students using cutting-edge digital tools.

- Director of Technology Pam Horrocks

As the digital world continues to change, so should our classroom instruction. It is our belief that through the purposeful and natural integration of digital tools, Archer teachers are able to develop more innovative and individualized learning opportunities for all students.

The possibilities this technology presents are limitless. Students can:

•Create newscasts using iMovie.

•Use digital thermal probes in science labs.

•Tell personal stories using PhotoBooth.

•Connect with students in France using ePals.

•Collaborate about The Odyssey using a Wiki.

•Utilize software to create 3D geometric images in math.


The Archer School for Girls

featured student work tara niami Tara Niami ’11 was honored by The Alliance for Young Artists and Writers for her photograph titled “Standing in the Skeleton of Another Reality.” Tara submitted her work to the national Scholastic Competition, which reviewed more than 30,000 entries. Tara was first recognized with a Los Angeles Region Gold Key, the highest level of achievement on the regional level. As a Gold Key recipient, her work was then sent to the national jury as one of 1,000 entries reviewed for a national award. Tara is the proud recipient of a Gold Medal, indicating that the jury found her work among the most outstanding in the nation. Her piece was on exhibition at New York’s Carnegie Hall this past summer.



Artemis Magazine February 2011

faculty spotlight Reed Farley Now in his second year at Archer, teacher Reed Farley continues to be an influential presence both in the classroom and on the stage. In addition to his work with 6th, 7th, and 8th grade girls in theatre classes, Mr. Farley has produced and directed both Middle School plays, an adaptation of Beverly Cleary’s Ramona Quimby and The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe as well as last year’s Middle School musical, Once on this Island. As if that weren’t enough, he also choreographed last year’s Upper School musical, Guys & Dolls, and is currently choreographing both the Upper School musical Grease and the upcoming Middle School musical Pippin. He is also the faculty advisor for Archer’s Institute of Film & Video Literacy, a new program designed to focus on the fundamentals of digital film production while taking a critical look at the role of women in film. Mr. Farley’s creativity and enthusiasm for the arts complement his deep-seated passion for teaching and dedication to innovative classroom methodologies. The Archer faculty’s work with Research for Better Teaching (RBT) has provided Mr. Farley with an opportunity to view his craft in a new light: “RBT has brought focus to my lessons, in the sense that every activity within a given lesson is focused on a specific skill. Students are constantly aware of why they are being asked to participate in any given lesson. An essential aspect of RBT is ensuring that each student in the classroom is constantly engaged and contributing to specific activities and discussions. I am happily reminded of this student engagement every time the students summarize each other’s ideas, thoughts, and opinions, and provide meaningful and constructive feedback to their peers.”

I believe that the classroom is a collaborative, creative and sacred space that requires careful teacher planning and constant assessment. A classroom community should encourage creativity, individuality and self-expression, dealing with content that is academically and artistically rigorous and appealing to students.

The same important interchange that Mr. Farley observes among his students is a hallmark of the Archer community, and is without a doubt one of the most rewarding aspects of his job. As he states, “The joy of working at Archer is the constant opportunity to collaborate with the amazing staff and students.”

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The Archer School for Girls

then and now

# of students: 32

$194,000 awarded

in Financial Aid

the courtyard


13 faculty & staff members in 1995

campus located in the Pacific Palisades

28 girls in the first

graduating class

# of students:


$2.6M in Financial

Aid awarded annually the courtyard now

93 faculty & staff

members in 2011

campus located in Brentwood

69 girls in the graduating

class of 2011

Artemis Magazine February 2011

diversity day creates community of understanding Each year, Archer sponsors an all day on-campus conference devoted to diversity for students and faculty. This winter, the fourth annual Diversity Day program reiterated support for the School’s mission which seeks to foster critical thinking and intellectual curiosity, “strengthen girls’ voices in a diverse and culturally rich environment” and “help girls become life-long learners, strengthening their capacity to contribute positively to their communities.” In alignment with our everyday curriculum and school culture, the Diversity

Day program encourages a notion of global citizenship and community, as well as raises social consciousness and cultural competency in our student body and extended community. The day’s programming was developed by Dean of Students Samantha Coyne Donnel in conjunction with the Student and Faculty Diversity Committee and parent volunteers. The program is also supported by a challenge grant from The Margaret Hall Foundation, which is committed to funding innovative programming in secondary education, and generous parent donors who assisted with matching funds. A sampling of workshops presented during Diversity Day Diversity Day 2011 Sessions Included: included “Beyond

Gang Life” presented by former gang members and current employees of Los Angelesbased Homeboy Industries, the student-facilitated “No H8” (a discussion on issues facing the gay community) and “Sometimes I Cry” featuring a performance by Sheryl Lee Ralph (Coco Maurice ’12) of her critically acclaimed onewoman show about women coping with HIV and AIDS. The day closed with students and faculty sharing their personal reflections on the meaning of diversity in the Archer community as well as the significance of a continued dialogue about issues of equity and inclusion in our society.

A Conversation about Racial Identity Sometimes I Cry: The Struggle of Coping With HIV and AIDS The Cycle of Oppression: What it is and How it Relates to You Real Stories: Faces of the Gay Community Have You Seen Her? Homeless Women in Santa Monica Korean and Japanese Pop Culture Surviving the Holocaust Breaking Down Microagression: How Subtle Interactions Can Create a Climate of Hostility, Fear, and Confusion Growing Up in Foster Care Body Acceptance Kids + Money Straightlaced: How Gender’s Got Us All Tied Up Best Buddies and Intellectual Disabilities The Importance of a Global Female Education

The Archer School for Girls

educating girls globally: archer students in action

It began in 2003 with a visit from A. Lawrence Chickering, founder of Educating Girls Globally (EGG). Mr. Chickering visited The Archer School for Girls and shared with students the vision and mission of his organization--to offer girls from partner schools in India an opportunity to receive quality education in order to combat the staggering undereducation of women worldwide. Inspired by his message, Archer students formed a club to support this work and made their first trip to a partner school in India in the spring of 2004. Since then, Archer girls have continued to work within the empowerment model Mr. Chickering proposed, centered on collaborating and developing programming together, instead of merely working from a standpoint of charity. As club advisor Patty Lancaster put it, each school Archer has visited has had “something transformational happening: these girls are breaking down stereotypes about women and taking charge of their own education in order to change their future.” This past November, the 4th cohort of Archer students made the journey to India. Here is their experience, in their own words:

The Girls Educate Girls club arrived home from an experience we will never forget. Twelve students traveled to Anupshahr, one of the least developed areas in northern India to collaborate with Pardada Pardadi Educational Society (PPES), an all-girls’ school that focuses on education and empowerment, a model very similar to Archer. It took no time at all to realize PPES was an oasis amidst the countless villages that surround it. The school was founded in hopes of ‘creating a new generation of self-reliant and educated girls who will break the cycle of poverty.’ This will result in the eventual transformation of rural society, something crucial to the process of empowering women so they can become free from the social restraints that bind them to archaic ways of life. Those who graduate from PPES will be socially and financially independent individuals, with opportunities awaiting them that would not be possible without Pardada Pardadi. We spent our time at the school in interactive sessions with students from three years old to 18 years old, visiting (and teaching at times) their home science, English, P.E., art, embroidery, and computer classes. Our exchange with the students was a transformative experience that made the importance of receiving an education all the more clear. Throughout our stay at the school, we worked on a mural that covers three walls in the dining area. We hope our mural will remind them of how appreciative we are to have shared such an amazing experience and that they will always be in our hearts. Additionally, we visited the homes of a few students to learn about rural life in India and the roles girls and women play in an extremely patriarchal society. Apart from our time at the school, the trip was filled with new experiences that triggered moments of profound inspiration. These included sitar concerts, boat rides down the Ganges, lots of sightseeing, rugged travel and much more that forced us to question our previous conceptions of the world and immerse ourselves in a truly beautiful new culture. What’s next for Girls Educate Girls? Our mission of education and empowerment motivates us to share our experience with the Archer student body, inviting anyone who is inspired to join us in our work. We will make presentations to other schools in Los Angeles as well, and inform people about PPES and how they can help. The Girls Educate Girls club has begun a relationship that will last for many years, and our continued communication with PPES is imperative. We have a pen pal program for younger girls, as well as tentative plans for the next trip to India. We hope to one day bring some PPES girls to Archer, so we can share more elements of our lives with them. The value of our journey goes far beyond the two weeks we spent in India, and now that we’re back at Archer, our future goals and projects can begin to take form.

- Written by Clancey Cornell and Morissa O’Mara, Class of 2011


Artemis Magazine February 2011

panther Pride! from the athletic director

“Sports do not build character, they reveal it,” legendary UCLA basketball coach John Wooden often said. That being the case, plenty of character has been on display at The Archer School for Girls. Forty percent of the student body participates in sports, which has kept the athletic department busy as, together with our athletes, we build a successful program. Archer offers competitive teams in volleyball, tennis, cross country, basketball, soccer, softball, swimming, track and equestrian.

The “secret” to the success of the program is no secret at all, it can be found each day in practice. Archer players and coaches enthusiastically put forward their best effort at each and every practice. Coaches name a “Practice Player of the Day” at every practice, and this has become a great source of pride among our student-athletes. Honoring practice and building solid fundamentals in the Middle School have laid the proper foundation for Upper School accomplishments.



New teams have been added to the Middle School this year (swimming and tennis) along with an off-season program for all levels that fits into Archer’s multi-talented base of students. The progression from Middle to Upper School and the off-season training have been key in developing the skills needed to succeed. The fact that orders for Varsity letter jackets have tripled over the last two years is indicative of the pride our athletes take in their involvement.

A top program also requires help from outside of the teams. Thanks to a generous donor, the new outdoor Harold Richards Court hosts Middle School basketball and volleyball practices and games. New scoreboards, equipment and storage areas have made management of the activities more efficient. A partnership with Adidas has provided the sharp look our student-athletes work for and deserve. This past summer I attended the memorial of John Wooden (1910-2010). What impressed me most was not the

staggering accomplishments he and his teams accomplished, but the lessons his athletes learned about life. Our athletic department understands the responsibility we have and enjoy the challenge of teaching through sports. Each day we arrive at our offices, the quote at the top of our stairs from Coach Wooden reminds us: “Success is peace of mind which is a direct result of self satisfaction in knowing you did your best to become the best that you are capable of becoming.” -Denny Lennon, Athletic Director

After a stellar 2009 Varsity volleyball season, one that saw the Panthers win the Delphic League championship and advance to the CIF playoffs, the team faced a huge challenge in 2010. Conference rules stipulated that, based on a strong record the previous year and despite the fact Archer is a 5A school (1AA is the top division), the team would move up to the Alpha League. Archer was matched with the four other 3A teams in league play, three of whom advanced to the CIF section semifinals! While the Varsity and JV teams fought to win even single games within a match, they clearly raised their overall level of play. Playing a competitive non-league schedule, Varsity and JV posted a combined 13-10 record. Varsity opposite/setter Leslie Baker ’12 was named to the Alpha All-League second team, while the defensive wizardry of libero Lindsay Levesque ’13 earned her first team honors. Considering the Varsity started three sophomores, two juniors and a freshman, the future looks bright for the program. Further evidence of a bright future was the performance of Archer’s Middle School volleyball team. The Panthers stormed through the 20-school Pacific Basin League playoffs, advancing all the way to the championship game. Along the way was an epic third game overtime victory on the Harold Richards Court over New Roads as well as an exciting game three win on the road over favored Turning Point. Archer’s volleyball program is in great shape to compete against the best for years to come.

The Archer School for Girls

cross country



All statistics as of February 11, 2011

The cross country program made tremendous strides under new coach Kim Smith. With a fresh, aggressive training approach, both the Upper and Middle School teams improved greatly. The Upper School Varsity team easily recorded the best season in school history. In early September, Archer won the championship of the Providence Invitational in Burbank, the first time the Panthers have won an invitational. The girls then ran in the prestigious Mt. SAC Invitational in Walnut, an event featuring teams from across the country. Archer recorded a top ten finish in the Mt. SAC small schools division, then followed that up with a best ever third place finish in the Delphic League. Julia Gordon ’12 and Jasmine Chen ’13 led the way; both were named to the Delphic All-League team. Tennis also entered into a new era as coaches Paige Bartelt and Julio Rivera took over a young Varsity team and launched the School’s first-ever JV team. Tennis, like volleyball, played in a competitive league featuring schools three divisions higher. Both teams raised their level throughout the season, evidenced by the Varsity team’s 4-2 record outside of league, including a huge win over rival Crossroads. Sophomore sensation Chloe Mills led the way for the girls, while junior Austin Maddox and senior Masha Brumer also made big contributions. Considering the strides made by the JV team and the fact that there will be a Middle School team competing in the spring, the Panther tennis program is on the rise. Varsity soccer, despite losing four starters to graduation, finished the regular season with a 12-6 overall record, 5-3 in league play. By taking 2nd place in the Delphic League, the team automatically qualifies for the CIF Division VII playoffs, which begin February 15. Season highlights include a huge 4-1 home win over Campbell Hall on December 8 and a strong showing in the Bellflower High School Varsity Soccer Tournament over the Winter Break. While many players made huge contributions, junior Izzy Rust has been stellar in goal, while senior Megan Loughman has led the way on offense.

The New Harold Richards Athletic Court

The Harold Richards Court is the latest addition to The Archer School for Girls campus. Installed over the course of two months last summer, the new athletic courts are composed of various materials, including elements from thousands of recycled sneakers. This new space, which accommodates volleyball, basketball and other activities, was made possible by a generous contribution made in memory of a beloved Archer grandparent. Our athletic space was also enhanced by the installation of a new, outdoor scoreboard. Since the first serve on the court was put into play in early October, the Harold Richards Court has been the site of numerous Archer wins.


Artemis Magazine February 2011

Following up on an 11-8 record and a CIF playoff appearance last season, the Varsity team compiled a 16-7 overall record in regular play. They took 2nd place in league with a final record of 7-3. The team is currently ranked #5 in the CIF Division 5A, the highest ranking ever for an Archer Varsity team. The girls won three straight games the first week of December to capture The Buckley School Holiday Basketball Classic championship, including a final game win over Paraclete High School of Lancaster. For the first time ever, players, parents and coaches jumped onto a ferry and into Archer sports history as they sailed to Catalina Island for the Avalon Basketball Classic. It was the first ever “travel” tournament for an Archer team, and the girls took full advantage of the opportunity, winning three of four games to finish in 2nd place. Ninth grader Maia Barnett and 11th grader Coco Maurice were named “AllTournament” at both of the tournaments. The equestrian team has made a strong showing this year. After three shows, Archer is ranked 3rd overall out of 70 schools. While all of the riders are working hard and placing well, we have had a couple of individuals stand out: 9th grader Hero Stevenson is ranked 1st within the freshman division and 7th grader Ella Angel is ranked 1st within the novice division. We expect to continue to see great things from this talented group of 20 riders at our last show on April 16.



Visit for the most up-to-date athletic information.

I am a three sport athlete (volleyball, basketball, and softball). Playing sports at Archer has really helped me with my time management. I feel honored to be a part of the Athletic Program here because of all the progress we have made in the past few years. As a student athlete, I have support from my teammates, family, teachers, friends, and especially my coaches.


- Maia Barnett, Class of 2014

The Archer School for Girls

archer’s board of trustees What is the role of an independent school Board of Trustees? As keepers of the mission and legal fiduciaries of Archer, the Board of Trustees is charged with overall long-range, strategic planning for the School. Each trustee actively promotes the School’s vision while accepting accountability for both the financial stability and financial future of the institution. Who is on Archer’s Board? Archer’s current Board of Trustees has 23 members comprised of 16 women and seven men, nine of whom are current parents of the School, two of whom are alumnae parents, and one alumna. Each member brings unique personal experience from a variety of diverse professional backgrounds. From financial leaders and film producers to high-level philanthropists, attorneys and other independent school professionals, the collective experience of our Board provides a comprehensive, overall perspective. (A complete list of Archer’s Board members can be found on the following page.) How is it structured? Meeting seven times a year, Board members serve on standing committees including Finance, Development, Community and Outreach, and the Committee on Trustees. Committee membership is an annual commitment and each member has individual roles on each committee. An elected Board Chair and Vice Board Chair, along with the Head of School as an exofficio member, nurture and guide all major policy decisions. What decisions do they make? The Board is responsible for setting annual and long-term goals for the School, approving the annual operating budget, conducting formal strategic planning, adopting policy, and approving major initiatives like our 1 to 1 Laptop Program, Archer’s Flexible Tuition Program and a comprehensive Campus Master Plan.

Did you Know

23 Individuals are on the

Board of Trustees

30% of Archer’s Board

is made up of men

9 Trustees are also

current Archer parents

100% of Board

members donate to Archer’s Annual Fund

3 years is considered a

term for Trustee members

(continued on following page)


Artemis Magazine February 2011

How does someone become a member of the Board? Each year, the Committee on Trustees engages in succession planning to access the needs for the following year. For example, if someone’s term is expiring on the Finance Committee, a person with a strong financial background is preferred as a replacement. After a year-long process of vetting Board candidates, the Committee puts forth a recommendation for membership to the full Board. Membership is volunteer service and each Trustee donates substantial time, treasure and talent to the mission of the School.

It is a true privilege to serve on this Board of Trustees which is composed of a most remarkable group of highly talented individuals who all share a passion for and commitment to the mission of The Archer School for Girls.

- Dr. Barbara Natterson Horowitz, Archer Board Chair

How has the Board grown in the last 15 years? The first Board meeting was held in the home of one of the ten founding Trustees. Now meetings are held with 23 members in our historic building on Sunset Boulevard. Archer is truly fortunate to have such a strong, independent and diverse Board at its helm. Because of the continued dedication and leadership of our Board over the past 15 years, Archer finds itself fully prepared to enter into its third decade as one of this nation’s leading girls’ schools.

Founding Board Members 1995-1996 Betsy Bridges Megan Callaway* Scott Carde Charles Dolginer David Higgins Dr. Diana Meehan* Vicky Shorr* Advisory Board: Hope Boyd Kate Capshaw Rosanne Katon-Walden

* Archer Co-Founder

fabulous fifteen



2011 APA Dinner and Auction

Current Board of Trustees 2010-2011 Barbara Bruser Cornelia Cheng Victor Coleman Stephanie Darrow Beth Friedman Ann Gianopulos Mark Gordon Cathy Helm Kate Kang ’01 Kathy Kennedy Julie Mendoza Ray Michaud Catrice Monson Barbara Natterson Horowitz, Chair Winifred Neisser Gordie Nye Lawrence O’Donnell John Ohanesian Karen Richards Sachs Ana Serrano Suzanne Todd, Vice Chair Stephen Warren Nancy Zacky

The Archer School for Girls Annual Dinner and Auction

Honoring Co-Founder Dr. Diana Meehan & Gary David Goldberg Friday, March 4th, 2011








Archer Alumnae Association






The Archer School for Girls

o c i at

Welcoming Alumnae Back to Campus Members of Archer’s graduating classes returned to campus in early January for an Alumnae Social, catching up with their favorite teachers and former classmates. Save the Date – January 3, 2012

Alumnae Parent Reception Alumnae parents were welcomed back to campus on the evening of Thursday, November 11 for an Archer update as well as an evening of conversation and reunions with friends. This is an annual event, and we hope you can join us on campus again next fall. Save the Date - November 10, 2011

10-Year Reunion at House of Blues Members of Archer’s first graduating class (2001) will gather on June 4 to celebrate their 10-year reunion. Roupa Manjari Zakheim (Heather Cagle) Kristen Cole-Ford Kyla Crawford Alyson Dodell Cailin Goldberg-Meehan Susan Gonzalez Andrea Goodman Elizabeth Hanks Elizabeth Herskovitz Lauren Hochberg Caitlin Hoffman Romy Itzigsohn Kate Kang Rachel Katz

Katherine Korman Lauren Lyons Minka Marcom-Rehwald Neilah Meyers Dominique Miller Emelda Ndubuizu Sana Osman Sophie Owens-Bender Frances Perkins Esmeralda Popoca Ivania Rodriguez-Pinto Shireen Shafai Sarah Wallace Ann Wands

Archer Class of 2001

10-Year Reunion at L.A.’s

For more information about the Archer Alumnae Association or upcoming alumnae events, please contact Michele Warner at or 310-873-7085.


Artemis Magazine February 2011

alumnae notes Briana Chan ’05 Briana is studying at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, specializing in Language and Literacy. She will earn a Master of Education and will graduate in May. Kelley Costello ’05 Kelley is now in her second year of law school at Pepperdine University. She is a senior research assistant for their Asylum and Refugee Law Clinic. She also works part time at a law firm downtown that specializes in asylum and immigration issues. This summer Kelley plans to work for a Superior Court judge at the Santa Monica courthouse.

was taught by authors Johnathan Lethem and Darrin Straus. In her free time, she enjoys doing standup comedy in New York comedy clubs. Kristina Goldenberg ’08 Kristina (pictured below) is in her third year at Oberlin, majoring in Art History. After a summer internship at The Broad Stage in Santa Monica, she spent her fall semester exploring Europe and

Elizabeth Hambrick ’08 Elizabeth is a third-year student at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. She is majoring in animation.

Julia Gazdag ’02 Julia recently moved to Portland, Oregon, where she started a Challah for Hunger chapter (, a national charity that organizes challah bakes to build community and donates proceeds from the challahs sold to fight hunger around the world. Kate Geller ’09 Kate is a student at NYU’s Gallatin School of Individualized Study where she declared a major of Humor and Comedic Writing and a Creative Writing minor. Since August, she has served as an editorial intern at W Magazine, and also interned for the Sohobased arts publication Zing Magazine during her freshman year. Kate spent the summer of 2009 studying fiction writing in Paris with NYU’s creative writing department. While there, she 26

in the Educating Girls Globally initiative and the trip to India she took while at Archer (pictured above with Archer Counselor Patty Lancaster).

studying abroad in Siena, Italy. She returned to Oberlin this spring to continue her studies, as well as her involvement in Oberlin Admissions and various other student-led organizations. Sami Green ’08 Sami is spending the semester studying abroad in China. As a junior in the School of Public Affairs at American University, she credits her passion for the study of global issues to her participation

Rachel Katz ’01 Rachel resides in Portland, Oregon. She teaches writing and literature full time at universities and colleges in the Pacific Northwest. Last year, she purchased a house on 1/2 acre in the city, where she lives with her long-time partner and three dogs, among many trees (and a pond!). Despite her new roots in Portland, Rachel remembers most vividly the individual attention she received at Archer. “In 11th and 12th grade, I was reading novels and criticism (at Dr. Morgan and Dr. Richard’s urgings) that I used daily in my graduate work, and now in my own course design as an instructor. My experience in English classes and independent studies at Archer definitely contributed to my current work teaching literature.”

The Archer School for Girls

Alexandra Kogan ’05 After graduating from American University in 2009, Alexandra is now in her third semester at Georgetown University, where she is pursuing a graduate degree in Corporate Communication. Quinci Land ’05 Quinci became engaged on Christmas Eve to Christopher Fitzpatrick. She currently lives in New York City and works at Central Casting. Alyssa Lanz ’08 Alyssa recently returned to Wesleyan University from a semester of studying abroad in Italy. She also interned with the Carnegie Foundation in Connecticut last summer. Brooke Lyon ’10 Brooke is in her second semester at Whittier College and plans to major in Psychology. She is currently involved in their work study program assisting at an elementary school. Dominique Miller ’01 Dominique moved to New York City this past fall to pursue an MBA at New York University’s Stern School of Business. She hopes to specialize in Luxury Marketing, Finance, and Entrepreneurship. Meghan Muntean ’02 Meghan shares some exciting news: “I recently took the entrepreneurial plunge, and quit

my job on Wall Street to work full time for the company I cofounded, ChickRx (www.ChickRx. com). is a fun, fresh online health and wellness community for young women. In

a uniquely engaging tone, the site is a place for women to share/ receive relevant health information and get expert answers to their questions and curiosities. We raised angel funding, and are currently growing our team and building our technology platform to make the beta site more interactive. In 2011, we are excited to roll out the more robust versions of the site and begin marketing it nationally. We’ve already received fantastic press, including TechCrunch, The Huffington Post and DailyCandy, and won two national startup prizes.” If you are interested in getting involved in this venture, contact Meghan at Beth Nabel ’05 Beth graduated from American University and is now a graduate student at Northeastern University working on a Master’s degree in criminal justice.

Hannah Riskin-Jones ’09 Though not formally studying Spanish at Brown University where she is currently in her second year, Hannah traveled to Buenos Aires, Argentina, where she spent one month immersing herself in intensive language classes. Almie Rose ’03 Almie recently landed a literary agent based on her blog writings. She is currently working on a book titled I Bet You Think This Book Is About You, which she says is “kind of like David Sedaris meets Sex in the City in LA.” She also has a regular relationship column in Genlux Magazine and has been featured in a photo spread of “5 Hot Los Angeles Bloggers” (pictured below, second from the right).

Elana Schwarzman ’02 This summer Elana is getting married to her wonderful fiancé, Adam Besserman. She is thrilled to share this special time with fellow Archer alumnae and brides-to-be Korinne Mitchell ’02 and Shireen Shafai ’01. Other than wedding planning, she is acting and running her company, Popstar Gourmet Kettle Corn. (continued on pg. 30)


Artemis Magazine February 2011

following your passions:

from the science lab to Spain an interview with natalia serrano, class of 2002 You graduated from Archer nine years ago. Do you think you were prepared for life in the “real world”? Archer encourages girls to be wellrounded individuals and to see learning as a process that has no boundaries. This is a unique concept because, as a society, I think we’re taught to see the world in very narrow terms. We come to believe that education only occurs in classrooms or that your career should directly reflect your educational degree. Archer was the type of environment that offered me opportunities to learn both inside and outside the classroom, that expanded my worldview, and that helped enable me to become a well-rounded individual. In this way I believe Archer has prepared me well for work and for life. What is your current job? Right now, I’m working with the local government in Andalucía, a town in Southern Spain, teaching English at a public school as part of the Ministry of Education’s bilingual initiative in the country. Within the bilingual program I work with several teachers teaching 12-14 year olds math, English, and physical education. We develop lesson plans for each subject in English that


also incorporate distinct cultural components. The hope is that through this program, students will have a solid command of the English language and an introduction to the cultural context of the language through native speakers. This experience also has inspired me to try and carry out my own sociological research study. I’m particularly fascinated by the ways in which people negotiate identity in a variety of settings. I’ve developed a preliminary research proposal that focuses on how the autonomous community of Andalucía, a major tourist destination that relies economically on tourism, negotiates its identity with respect to tourism. Ideally I’d like to get a doctorate in Sociology. Being able to do my own research is the first step towards this ultimate goal.

is to be able to find a balance between living for today while thoughtfully planning for tomorrow.

What were you doing before you moved to Spain? I worked as a clinical research associate in the Neurosurgical Institute at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. I coordinated clinical trials for patients with malignant brain tumors, primarily glioblastoma multiforme, who have limited treatment options. Glioblastomas are the most malignant type of primary brain tumors (tumors that originate in the brain). Patients initially diagnosed with glioblastoma get standard treatment, which includes surgical resection of the tumor followed by radiation and chemotherapy. Despite various treatments, patients with glioblastoma have a poor prognosis with a median survival time of 12-15 months.

goals for the future are to continually challenge “ My myself, to be happy, and to live with consciousness. However, I’ve also come to realize that sometimes people spend so much time planning for the future that they forget how important it is to live in the moment. So my other primary goal, both for the present and future,

Clinical trials using investigational drugs offer patients with limited treatment options possibilities to increase survival times, quality of life, and help researchers learn more about the disease for future breakthroughs.

The Archer School for Girls

My job usually began by reading a scientific protocol that outlined what the investigational product and experimental treatment consisted of. After our doctors would agree to move forward with a study, I assisted with the administrative components of the study—I drafted applications to submit to the Institutional Review Board (IRB), budgeted allocations, worked with the legal department, and coordinated research agreements with various hospital departments who would provide services to the patients. Once all of that was in place, I assisted with collecting data, making sure all the research procedures ran smoothly and that these research services were accurately accounted for in our research grant report. Every month we worked on opening new trials to offer patients more treatment options with the hopes of prolonging their lives and improving their quality of life.

What did you learn from your time there? At the most basic level I learned about brain tumors and cancer treatments, but I also learned about the health care system, how large institutions work, and how individuals move within these systems. I think one of the most important things I learned while working at Cedars-Sinai was humanity--to treat all people with the same respect you would like to be treated with. In our weekly tumor boards, doctors would discuss treatment options for patients, which at times led to conflicting opinions. In these moments the question that inevitably surfaced was, “If this was your mother…if this was your daughter…how would you treat her?” Imagine how the world would be if we all treated each other the way we

would want someone to treat our loved ones. In short, working there taught me more about who I am and who I want to be.

How did you move from the field of science to education? My decision to move from my job as a research coordinator to a teacher was mostly based on my desire to continue exploring the world. I wanted to experience the challenge of living and working in another country and learning more about myself in the process. For me, it’s important that the work I do allows me to live the way I want to, but that it doesn’t control my life. I’m grateful for the opportunity I had to work with such brilliant and inspirational people at Cedars-Sinai and also for the push it gave me to continue to pursue my passions. Were there specific classes, teachers, or activities that you participated in at Archer that have influenced your decisions? All my experiences contributed to making me the person I am today. One of my favorite things about my time at Archer was that it allowed me to pursue all of my passions. In addition to being academically focused, I was encouraged to be on the soccer and volleyball teams, to join the debate team, to participate in the musicals, to be president of the Student Store, and to be an editor of the newspaper. More importantly, I was able to do all these things and be identified not by the things I did, but for the person I was. In the Archer setting I felt empowered to challenge and define myself. But above all, I think Archer engendered a pioneering spirit in me that prompts me to always ask, “How can I resist this shining adventure?”

What are some hobbies that you are interested in? I have a number of hobbies, but the two I am probably most focused on these days are piano and flamenco. Playing piano is one of my favorite hobbies and greatest outlets. Each year I like to challenge myself to learn new music and explore new styles. This year I’ve been focusing on teaching myself how to play Cuban jazz piano. My other main hobby is flamenco dance. I felt an incredible connection to flamenco when I was first introduced and began taking classes at eight years old. I stopped taking classes to focus on athletics, but had always wanted to eventually begin taking lessons again. I’ve been taking classes for the past year.

What are some of your goals for the future? It seems the more experiences I have, the less concrete my goals become. Right now my goals for the future are to continually challenge myself, to be happy, and to live with consciousness. What advice do you have for other young women who are considering a shift to another profession? I think being a well-rounded individual is one of the most important things in entering any field. Having a liberal arts background has helped me tremendously in learning how to think critically and innovatively, which has helped me adapt well to a variety of situations. With an open mind you can accomplish anything.


Artemis Magazine February 2011

alumnae notes continued Malka Sender ’09 Malka is in her second year at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she is double majoring in journalism and communication arts. Malka is involved in numerous extracurricular activities at the university and believes that part of her willingness to put herself out in the community comes from the encouragement she received at Archer. Currently, she is part of a committee that is planning a 14hour dance marathon, which raises money for the local American Family Children’s Hospital. Emily Skehan ’06 Emily recently started working at Homeboy Industries as a Grants Manager. She was thrilled to hear about Archer’s involvement with Homeboy through the Diversity Day program. Emily shares, “They had a great time there and are very appreciative” of Archer’s support. Aimee Sorek ’06 Aimee graduated from UCLA where she was the president of the school’s only fashion club, Fashion and Student Trends (FAST). She is currently the PR and Marketing assistant at Wildfox Couture, an LA-based clothing brand. Courtney Teller ’10 Courtney is attending Chapman University where she plans to major in Television and Broadcast Journalism. She is a founding member of the Epsilon Nu chapter of Delta Delta Delta and is currently a show producer for an on-campus awards show that will take place in May. She was 30

back at Archer for the month of January to work with Dr. Morgan

Hannah Zeiler ’04 Hannah (pictured below) tied the knot in September 2010 and has been working for Snyder Sutton Real Estate in Topanga Canyon for the past two years.

on the Literature and... Literary Conference (pictured above with Head of School Elizabeth English). Helen Vera ’02 Helen is a first-year student at Yale Law School. Prior to starting law school, she worked for four years after college (also at Yale) as a reporter-researcher at Vanity Fair magazine in New York. Last summer, Helen (pictured below) was lucky enough to travel to two very different places she had always wanted to go--Cambodia and the Grand Canyon!

Stay Connected! Have you recently changed careers? Tied the knot? Changed your address? Traveled abroad? We want to hear from you!

Volunteer Opportunities There are numerous ways alumnae can get involved at Archer. Please let us know which areas are of particular interest to you and a School representative will contact you. Please send updates or volunteer inquiries to Michele Warner, Director of Alumnae Relations, at 310-873-7085 or

The Archer School for Girls

survey said...

Last spring, Archer’s alumnae classes of 2001-2009 were surveyed to gather feedback about their experiences at Archer. One hundred alumnae (25% of those surveyed) responded. Each year this data will be used in overall assessments of our academic and extracurricular programs and to plan future alumnae events.

86% said Archer alumnae have

received degrees in many fields including: economics, psychology, animal science, philosophy, early childhood education, special education, marketing, communication, film, drama, English.

they were very satisfied or satisfied with leadership opportunities at Archer.

“I love that even now when I walk in the doors of Archer I feel the nurturing environment and can see the learning. Other schools aren’t like that.”

“ I feel like Archer prepared me fully for college and work, gave me the confidence and courage to make difficult (and right) decisions. 98% said I feel forever indebted to Archer.” they were very satisfied or satisfied with their academic experience at Archer.

Alumnae are attending graduate schools such as NYU,

Stanford, USC, and Harvard.

Alumnae continue to engage in

community service with organizations such as the American Red Cross, Teach for America, and Project Open Hand.


T he A rcher S choo l for G ir l s 11725 Sunset Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90049

ambitious, joyful learning

Artemis - 2011 - Fall  

Artemis by The Archer School for Girls; Developed by the Communications Department - Editor-in-Chief: Christina McIntosh; Designer: Angelica...