Fall 2023 Surgere Magazine

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Fall 2023

Computer Science & Engineering Program Expands Taking Aim at Gender Inequity in STEM Where it Starts: Schools! Page 2


School news, alumnae updates, faculty profiles, and more

Fall 2023 /

From the

HEAD OF SCHOOL I often say that speaking with alumnae is one of my favorite things to do. This may be because it connects me to my own adolescent girls’ school days, but mostly because alums share their stories freely and ask thoughtful questions about Westridge today. Sometimes their stories are fun and funny; sometimes they are serious and thought-provoking. No matter, they are always full of the vividness and sensitivity that come with adolescent experiences and memories. Sometimes alums ask about traditions that remain the same (e.g. Greek/Roman— go Romans!); sometimes they want to hear more about what has evolved over time. When I tell them about the Writing Center (pg. 6), or our Advanced Aerospace Engineering course (pg. 2), or our “History and Pizza” lunches, or our new Flag Football team (pg. 29), they say, “Oh, I wish that had existed when I was at Westridge!” or “Can I come back to school again?” And of course, both are true: many cherished and long-standing traditions and spaces are part of our lives at Westridge today; and many opportunities are new and different. That’s what a forward-thinking girls’ school with a long history is all about. One question from an alum I met in San Francisco last winter that has stuck with me in particular: “How do you teach democracy?” It’s hard to think of a bigger or more important question. Her question took me back to my freshman year at The University of Chicago and a core class I took called Human Being and Citizen. So much of what I see at Westridge every day—in classes, in student leadership, all around campus—is entirely about developing both the human being and the citizen.

It’s entirely about our mission to develop intellectually adventurous thinkers and courageous, compassionate leaders. It’s the implicit and explicit teaching of democracy and the importance of being informed, engaged citizens in nearly every facet of school life: students grappling with moral dilemmas in Ethics class; analyzing texts in our Banned Books class; learning how to advocate for themselves and others in Human Development class; respectfully disagreeing and conversing across difference—starting in 4th grade; designing a project in the Global Scholars program or Community Action Project; creating and building something from nothing in the makerspace, art studio, or costume shop; meeting with me through the Student Action Council—harkening back to that famous Westridge phrase: “As Westridge changes girls, so do girls change Westridge.” Democracy is embedded in the “hidden meanings” of “striving to rise” and the history and reason-forbeing of our school. And it is ever forward-facing as we teach the next generation what it means to be the engaged citizens and agents of change we need in our world. I hope you enjoy this edition of Surgere. Its pages are bursting with stories of Westridge traditions and exciting new initiatives. And with students growing into courageous, compassionate human beings and citizens.

Andrea Kassar Head of School



IN COMPUTING & ENGINEERING Approximately 75 students graduate each year from Westridge, so it may take some time for Westridge to single-handedly tip the scales of female representation in the STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) fields—but we’re eager to do our part!


Fall 2023 /

STEM Gender Inequity FACTOIDS AS OF 2020:

The recent expansion of the school’s computing curriculum, including engineering with a capital E, is certain to empower even more Westridge grads to step over the many barriers faced by women in STEM today.


ith the formalization and expansion of the Computer Science & Engineering (CSE) Department this year, the Upper School curriculum now includes four computer science courses and six engineering courses (see Curriculum Trajectory box on page 4), including two courses that develop professional-level coding skills and a four-year aerospace engineering pathway. “Girls’ schools play a foundational role in tackling the issue of gender inequity in STEM,” said Westridge Head of School Andrea Kassar. “It’s not the content keeping girls away. It’s things like not feeling comfortable in classes filled mostly with boys and not being able to see themselves as scientists that slowly chip away at their confidence and interest.” To that end, the Westridge CSE program is designed to teach students to think like and gain practice being engineers. “The through-line of all of our STEM courses, really starting in the Lower School, is teaching and practicing design thinking,” says Computer Science & Engineering Chair Val Brownsmith. “As our department mission states,


only 34%


only 25.2%




six times more likely

to consider majoring in math, science, and technology and three times more likely to consider engineering careers compared to girls who attended coeducational schools. SOURCES: American Association of University Women Learn more at: www.aauw.org/resources/research/ the-stem-gap The Girls' School Experience: A Survey of Young Alumnae of Single-Sex Schools (Goodman Research Group) & Women Graduates of Single-Sex and Coeducational High Schools: Differences in their Characteristics and the Transition to College (Dr. Linda J. Sax)


we want to give students the tools and let them go create, and we’re teaching them to do so using collaborative and iterative processes they will be using in college and beyond.” For instance, students in Computer Science Capstone serve as lead project engineers, identifying and scoping a large-scale software project and leading a team of students in building out the solutions. Likewise, students in Advanced Aerospace Engineering lead student teams and support students in Aerospace Engineering I (all while digging into topics including rockets, aircraft, satellites, landing vehicles, extraterrestrial habitation, extraterrestrial exploration vehicles, and more!). This year’s Advanced Aerospace projects include developing a lunar liquid mirror telescope, a sustainably-built transport drone, and a composite self-healing material. What led to the expansion of CSE at this point in Westridge history? A confluence of factors, according to Kassar. “There is so much energy and interest from our students and we have been building the program incrementally over time for them. Now, we’re focused on elevating deeper learning principles, such as transferring learning to real-world situations that are relevant to the students and creatively engaging in critical thinking and problem solving, that are so prevalent in these subjects. And we have a young and hungry department bringing great vision and excitement to the program.”

Curriculum TRAJECTORY The CSE curriculum offers introductions to CSE topics for all students in Lower and Middle Schools. The Upper School offers numerous options in elective and for-credit coursework for those of all interest levels, including specialized advances studies in the Upper School. GRADE 4: STEM class GRADES 5 & 6: Topics, including rocketry and robotics, integrated within math and science classes GRADE 7: Required Computer Science semester course for all students designed as an on-ramp to coding and introductory engineering topics GRADE 8: Required Computer Science semester course for all students including introductory physical computing MIDDLE SCHOOL STEAM ELECTIVES • Ocean • Permaculture

UPPER SCHOOL COMPUTER SCIENCE •F oundation of Computer Science (Introductory) • I ntermediate Computer Science (Build coding skills) • Full Stack Web Development ( Professional coding skills: small scale, individual) • CSE Capstone (Professional coding: large-scale, team) UPPER SCHOOL ENGINEERING • Aerospace Engineering I •A dvanced Aerospace Engineering II-IV* • Robotics • Rocketry UPPER SCHOOL STEAM ELECTIVES • Permaculture •S ustainable Building & Design

*Levels III & IV will be added over the next two years.

[Taking the Coding & Game Design course] gave me more opportunities to figure out how I could get into coding and game design, and what I could potentially create with code.” — SHEA S. ’28


Pictured: Shea S. '28 with the arcade game she created ("Run Run Robber!") using Microsoft MakeCode in spring 2023

Fall 2023 / In addition to Brownsmith, who is new to her department chair role this year, recent additions to the team include Dan Perahya, who joined Westridge in 2021 with deep experience in teaching rocketry and engineering; Autumn Rogers (pictured to the left), who brings to her work at Westridge a background as professional software engineer, deep knowledge of physical computing, and a passion for disrupting gender bias in the field; and Mick Lorusso, who is evolving our STEAMWork Design Studio program, building our permaculture program alongside Art Teacher David Prince, and helping students address big environmental issues such as climate change, biodiversity loss, and freshwater scarcity with local actions through the Westridge curriculum. “The reason I came to Westridge was because I was really excited it had a computer science requirement in middle school and options for rocketry and coding and game design,” said Isabella V. ’24. “And I’ve really enjoyed that during my time here I have had more and more options of (engineering) classes to take.” When asked about her favorite class, Isabella said, “ I don’t know. They just keep getting better and better.”

As our department mission states, we want to give students the tools and let them go create, and we’re teaching them to do so using collaborative and iterative processes they will be using in college and beyond.” — VAL BROWNSMITH Computer Science & Engineering Chair

Curious about what our Advanced Aerospace class is up to? Here are three projects students are working on: • Developing a lunar liquid mirror telescope • Creating a sustainably-built transport drone • Working on a composite self-healing material

#CodingforGood An integral part of Westridge’s CSE mission is to help students critique and appraise the moral and ethical ramifications of technology and its applications. 55

Creating an Inclusive Environment IN THE


Fall 2023 /


t the Writing Center, Upper School student fellows—with guidance from faculty advisors—are thinking deeply about what it means to help their peers in grades 4-12 with assignments that involve a writing component. Together, they are learning and actively implementing practices to promote an inclusive and equitable environment where students can grow their writing abilities. “Our big dream is to develop a culture where it’s not only OK to ask for help, but also an essential part of learning, especially when it comes to writing,” Tarra Stevenson, English department chair explained (she and English Teacher Ed Raines co-direct the center). “One of the ways we can accomplish that is via our emphasis on diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice (DEIJ).”

destigmatize any language biases and treat everyone equally. We have to be sensitive to those issues when we’re working with students on their projects.” Fellows also have the opportunity to grow in their writing and leadership skills as they help peers. In addition to coaching others, every fellow will lead a student workshop about anything writing-related that they are interested in or see a need for (proposals this year include screenwriting, thesis statement review, and introductions and conclusions!).

Stevenson’s background in women’s literature and feminist studies informs her understanding of DEIJ. “It’s important to me that the center has a strong focus on feminism and diversity,” she said. “We start each year with a DEIJ workshop and spend a lot of time ensuring that anyone who comes into the center is treated with respect, empathy, and compassion. We want to emphasize that writing and thinking are for everyone, and work to ensure that no one ever feels excluded because of their background.” Ashley Z. ’24 is a second-year writing fellow, and often helps other students with their writing projects. When asked about the impacts of DEIJ on the center, Ashley noted that, “Our goal is to help everyone become a better writer. In order to do that, first we have to acknowledge that Westridge students come from all sorts of environments and backgrounds. For example, English isn’t the first language for a lot of students, and it’s part of our mission to

I think the Writing Center is a great resource on campus. Students who come in and

work with us will be treated respectfully and be empowered to think more critically and

analytically. We’ll also help them figure out how to express themselves in their own voices. - ASHLEY Z. ’24


Deeper Learning Case Study

EL MUNDO & PROJECT OLAS Cultural & Personal Connections Improve Language Acquisition, Inspire Advanced Study


n 2021, Dr. Jessica Pérez del Toro realized her vision for El Mundo Hispanohablante—an interdisciplinary, upper-level Spanish class in which students learn and practice the language through the study of culture, literature, music, film, and the like. That was the year she redesigned the course curriculum and replaced the course textbook with regular online conversations with the women of Project Olas. Project Olas is a relationship-centered language and cultural immersion program that connects Spanish language students from around the world with women in Guatemala. Students practice their conversational Spanish skills via regular Zoom calls while the women, most of whom live in extreme poverty, earn income for their participation, enabling them to pursue opportunities otherwise unavailable to them.


Each student in the El Mundo class is partnered with a woman with whom they speak for 30 minutes approximately once a week. Conversations include prompts related to class topics, but also personal discussions. “When the students began having real conversations with these women from Latin America—having authentic, intercultural language exchanges—things really clicked,” said Pérez del Toro. “We saw a rather dramatic increase in their confidence in speaking and writing and their interest in the language and culture piqued—it was exciting.” In addition to Project Olas deepening the curricular connection to Latin American culture, Pérez del Toro believes the relationships students build with their

Fall 2023 /

We saw a rather dramatic increase in [students'] confidence in speaking and writing and their interest in the language and culture piqued—it was exciting. — DR. JESSICA PÉREZ DEL TORO

Project Olas “moms” (Project Olas refers to its team members as such) and their understanding that their conversations make an impact on the women’s lives by providing safe employment, enhance student engagement in the class. “The concept of being able to take a Spanish class and build your conversational skills while having a positive social impact on a group of women thousands of miles away is empowering and invigorating,” said Pérez del Toro, who surveyed the students and found almost all of them reported preferring this style of learning and said they had built strong bonds with their “Olas mom.” “Project Olas has made them more culturally aware and more empathetic and, for quite a few, the result is they want to go further in advanced language studies.” Students’ experiences with Project Olas culminated last spring during Discovery Week, when 12 students and faculty, including Pérez del Toro, traveled to Guatemala to meet the women in person and hear their stories as they traveled the country together.

remained in contact with Beverlyn, who still works with students through Project Olas while she works her way through college. When asked what advice she would give to students who might be thinking about participating in Project Olas, Hart encouraged them to stretch themselves. “I was definitely intimidated at first, but the women I met were so amazing. The sessions were engaging and helped me grow in ways that I never would have imagined. It’s awesome that Westridge has found this creative outlet for learning.” “El Mundo is a wonderful example of deep learning," said Director of Teaching and Learning James Evans. "It encourages student engagement around the three key factors of mastery, identity, and creativity by expanding learning beyond the classroom. And Project Olas keys into one of the most important factors for learning—having students connect their heads and their hearts in the process.” Based on its impact on student learning in the El Mundo class, in 2022 Project Olas was added to the Spanish III curriculum.

To learn more about Project Olas, visit www.projectolas.com. Pictured right: Isabella Hart '23 with her Project Olas mom, Beverlyn

Isabella Hart '23 was one of the students who participated in this Discovery Week trip. She began studying Spanish in the 5th grade and had been involved with Project Olas during her final two years at Westridge. “That was such a pivotal point for my Spanish education,” Hart explained. “Project Olas encouraged me to look beyond school and textbooks. It helped me connect the language to real lives, people, and culture.” Hart’s Project Olas Mom was Beverlyn, a young woman who used the income she earned from working with Olas to pay for her college education. When Isabella traveled to Guatemala, she was able to meet with Beverlyn in person. “We spent the whole week together,” Hart recalled. “We really connected and bonded, and that time was such a gift and a blessing. I honestly feel like I have a friend and not just a tutor.” Now in college, Hart hopes to minor in Spanish. She has 9


Competition Thrives In Supportive Environment


ow in its seventh year, the Westridge Speech & Debate Team is soaring to new heights with numerous accolades and accomplishments and an eye toward expanding the program.

During the 2022-2023 school year, the team collectively earned more than 100 awards including a national championship for Kat Northrop '23—a first in Tiger history! At their last competition of the year in June, the 2023 National Speech & Debate Tournament, the Westridge team secured several octofinalist and semifinalist recognitions. There, Northrop was named national champion for placing first out of 554 competitors in the impromptu speaking category. (The last time Westridge placed at nationals was in 2019, when Rachel Harris ’19 placed third for international extemporaneous speaking.) "It's great—it just feels like the team has grown with us," said Northrop, one of last year’s overall captains, of her Westridge speech & debate experience. "We've been able to leave our impact on [the team] and it's left an impact on us."


And this fall, before Surgere went to press in early November, the team earned numerous awards, including several first place wins and finalist designations, at the Jack Howe Memorial Tournament, New York City Invitational, and the Bargain Belt Tournament; members expressed excitement over

not only received awards, but also great feedback for further improvement. Team Coach Nicole Dalton attributes speech & debate’s success to its focus on building skills and confidence. The 62 Middle and Upper School students on the team learn and hone a multitude of skills including public speaking, communication, speech writing, research, and argument skills in elective courses, which are then put to practice at tournaments throughout the year. But rather than solely focusing on competing, Dalton said her goals are for students to learn the skills that help them look confident while public speaking—even if they don't feel it—and to provide them with a safe space to speak about the topics that matter most to them. The positive impacts of participation, Dalton said, are numerous. "The students often tell me that they feel they learn about the world and the country in in-depth ways that most kids their age have no concept of," Dalton said. This has impacted what students decided to study in college, she added. Leadership roles for the activity start as early as freshman year. "Kids that start out never thinking they could be leaders rise to the challenge and become wonderfully supportive leaders," Dalton explained.


Fall 2023 /

CLASS of 2023

The 78 newest Westridge alumnae earned 581 acceptances to 73 colleges and universities. This fall, they attend 48 colleges and universities in 18 states, the District of Columbia, France, and the Czech Republic. The Class of 2023 will be remembered for their kindness, energy, optimism, and—in the words of Class Dean Katie Wei—for bringing the fun back to school. The American University of Paris Paris, France Anglo-American University Prague, Czech Republic Barnard College New York, NY (2) Bates College Lewiston, ME (2) Boston University Boston, MA (2) Brown University Providence, RI California Polytechnic State University San Luis Obispo, CA California Institute of Technology Pasadena, CA University of California Berkeley Berkeley, CA (6) Davis Davis, CA Los Angeles Los Angeles, CA (3) Santa Cruz Santa Cruz, CA (3) Carnegie Mellon University Pittsburgh, PA University of Chicago Chicago, IL (2) Claremont McKenna College Claremont, CA University of Connecticut Storrs, CT Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art New York, NY Cornell University Ithaca, NY (4) Davidson College Davidson, NC DePaul University Chicago, IL (2) Emerson College Boston, MA The George Washington University Washington, D.C. Johns Hopkins University Baltimore, MD (2)

University of La Verne La Verne, CA (2) Loyola Marymount University Los Angeles, CA Macalester College Saint Paul, MN (2) University of Michigan Ann Arbor, MI The New School New York, NY (2) New York University New York, NY (3) Northeastern University Boston, MA (2) Oberlin College Oberlin, OH Occidental College Los Angeles, CA Ohio Wesleyan University Delaware, OH University of Oregon Eugene, OR Pennsylvania State University University Park, PA Pepperdine University Malibu, CA Princeton University Princeton, NJ University of Puget Sound Tacoma, WA Reed College Portland, OR (3) Sarah Lawrence College Bronxville, NY Scripps College Claremont, CA (3) University of Southern California Los Angeles, CA (2) Stanford University Stanford, CA Washington University in St. Louis St. Louis, MO Whitman College Walla Walla, WA University of Wisconsin-Madison Madison, WI (2) Yale University New Haven, CT



KARA RAMIREZ Teaching Authentically 12

Fall 2023 / What's in a name? Westridge 8th graders kicked off the school year considering that question while developing reflective poems about their name and origin stories in Middle School Teacher Kara Ramirez's American Studies English class. This provided students a foundation from which to read poetry, narrative non-fiction, and autobiographical fiction composed by Native American authors—and see firsthand how storytelling is a form of agency and activism. Building on this work, students then crafted a personal narrative to be shared with the class. These assignments are just an example of the ways in which Ramirez makes learning English skills accessible.


y hope is that students develop an emotional response and connection to their reading as a way to deepen their understanding of the people and circumstances that make up the American experience,” Ramirez said. Her philosophy to teaching involves challenging her students to reach a high bar in their learning—with the understanding that how each student reaches or strives to meet the challenges will be different, because what may be challenging for one student may not necessarily be the same for another. To set students up for success in meeting the challenges, she provides support and access which looks like one-on-one meetings and accessibility to communicate with her outside of class time. “Inherent in all of this is that I believe in the importance of connection and knowing students, so I try to understand who they are outside of an English classroom,” said Ramirez. That belief stems from her own experience growing up in rural northern New Hampshire; her graduating high school had a total of 48 kids, many of whom she had known since kindergarten. “I had very small, student-focused learning experiences and close relationships with my teachers throughout my educational journey,” said Ramirez. “And I think that was a big part of why I was drawn to being a teacher myself.” In fact, it was her English teacher who helped her decide what college she would attend for undergrad (Colby College in Maine). After a stint in corporate America— including jobs in the finance industry and as a human

resources manager for an Irish software company— Ramirez headed to Lesley University for her master’s in elementary education and teaching. There, she was placed at a school that provided her with great insight into the world of independent schools (and perhaps some foreshadowing of her current workplace!). Ramirez worked at a few other schools before taking a leap to move to California—a move meant to be temporary, but 18 years later, she finds herself enjoying the Golden State. She was first introduced to Westridge through a colleague in the early 2010s; after holding roles both teaching and in administration at Polytechnic School for 13 years, then a two-year tenure at Yavneh Hebrew Academy, she made her way to Westridge in 2022 as the 8th grade English teacher. Dr. Zanita Kelly, director of Lower & Middle School, said Ramirez’s instructional strategies set her apart. “Her lessons are well-structured, incorporating a balanced mix of discussions, individual work, multimedia resources, and hands-on activities,” said Dr. Kelly. “Kara masterfully integrates outside speakers, such as a Native American griot (Tom Allard) and Octavia's Bookshelf proprietor (Nikki High) to inspire and motivate her students and colleagues.” In Ramirez’s teaching career, 8th grade is the highest grade level she has taught. And so far, she said as both a seasoned educator and the parent of young adults, she loves teaching the grade level—especially in an all-girls’ environment. “I’m really grateful to see that students who might be overshadowed in another environment are less so here— there’s space for everyone to contribute and grow.”

THE 8TH GRADE CULTURAL STUDIES CURRICULUM The 8th grade English/History courses are integrated into an interdisciplinary American Studies program. Students study the impact of current events and trends on the American identity and what it means to be an American citizen in the 21st century, which serve as a launching point for the rest of the year. Employing project-based learning, the classes encourage students to think deeply using both disciplines. 13


Westridge Library Evolves into Third Place for Students WELCOME TO THE LIBRARY: As the day begins and ends on Westridge campus, this is the one place guaranteed to have students from 4th grade to 12th grade gathered—some furiously scribbling or typing away at homework, others laughing with friends, and, of course, those with their noses deep into a novel. It's not a traditional library space, something Librarian Stephanie Bolton takes pride in. “We have great books and databases for students and that is one very important half of what we do here,” Bolton said. “But the other half is supporting recreational reading, building empathy, and being that ’third place’ for students to be for support and connection.”


The ’third place,’ a phrase coined by sociologist Ray Oldenburg, refers to a physical space outside of the home (’first place’) and work/school (’second place’). This place serves as a space where people come together, sharing ideas and building community. Part of Bolton’s work to make the library an even more accessible, curated community space for students meant considering: what is useful to a Westridge student? “A lot of times a library will do a lot of active programming. That is something I’ve leaned away from because kids are already so busy,” she said. Instead, she and Library Assistant Tsia Harris provide passive programming such as games, coloring

Fall 2023 /

WESTRIDGE READS Check out what current Westridge community members are reading:

HEAD OF SCHOOL ANDREA KASSAR: “Never Enough: When Achievement Culture Becomes Toxic—and What We Can Do About It” by Jennifer Wallace

Did you know? The library’s top patron during the 2021-2022 school year was Skylar R. ’28, with a whopping


Last year, the library introduced a collection of games for students to play. The most popular, to perhaps no one’s surprise, was BANANAGRAMS, a fast and fun word game.

checked out!

Westridge ranks

9th highest for ebook usage out of the 60 school libraries in our consortium.

sheets, and crafts to offer students a few moments of respite from their academic work should they need it. Last year, the library introduced the “Westridge Reads” program, allowing students, faculty, and staff to curate library displays for peers to enjoy. Josephine W. '26 arrives at school at 7:45 am and spends the time before classes start in the library. "I love the different facets of the library and how I can use it to study, watch a movie, or curl up in a ball and read," she said. "Each section of the library has a purpose—there are tables for working in a group, nooks for relaxing, and mixed-use spaces. I can really do anything in the library!"

SADIE K. ’31: “Strange Birds: A Field Guide to Ruffling Feathers” by Celia C. Perez MICHELLE X. ’28: “Scythe” series by Neal Shusterman MIRELLA C. ’25: “The Poppy War” by R.F. Kuang LIBRARIAN STEPHANIE BOLTON: “A Psalm for the Wild-Built” by Becky Chambers Be sure to visit www.westridge.org/westridgereads for even more selections!

THE LIBRARY’S ROLE IN WESTRIDGE CURRICULUM: As part of her work as a librarian, Bolton works with faculty and division staff to develop library-related programming to support their needs. For instance, in 2020, she helped introduce the D.E.A.R. (“Drop Everything and Read”) program, where 4th graders have the opportunity to sit and read uninterrupted in the library every other day during the school day. Last year in the Upper School, she worked with History Teacher Jennifer Cutler on the 9th grade history curriculum to focus on new foundational skills such as research, analyzing, and citations. Bolton also works directly with all sophomores who opt into the challenge-by-choice model in Crisis and Courage in Global History to build research and citation skills that will be beneficial to students beyond Westridge and into their post-grad lives. “Whenever you take away some of the stress around things like working with a librarian, creating citations, or accessing databases, you are really setting students up to be able to more deeply engage with their research and their academics,” Bolton said.

The library (otherwise known as the Academic Resource Center) was made possible by generous support of Joan Irvine Smith ’51, Janet Morse Stanford ’55 and her husband Alan, and the Wagener family (Sophie ’13).


Westridge in the Wild!

Class of 2027

In September, our students in grades 6 through 9 went on overnight trips to kick off the school year and connect as a class! Our 6th graders headed to the San Bernardino Mountains with Pali Institute, where they participated in small group and class teambuilding activities such as a ropes course, archery, hiking, and more, while the 7th graders took a trip to the Verdugo Mountains where they climbed and foraged in the wild—complete with yummy s’mores. The 8th graders adventured to Sierra Madre, where they played games with their advisory teams, painted with watercolors, journaled, and spent time in nature. Finally, the 9th graders took off to Big Bear for ziplining, rock climbing, archery, games, and quality bonding time.

Class of 2029

Congratulations to the Classes of 2029 and 2027! In June, Westridge celebrated the 6th and 8th grade recognition ceremonies in the Performing Arts Center. The ceremonies included remarks from Head of School Andrea Kassar, Director of Lower and Middle School Dr. Zanita Kelly, and class leadership (Lower School Student Activities and Leadership Council (SALC) President Rebecca U. G. '29 and 8th Grade Class President Tekle S.-J. ’27.


Fall 2023 /

Greek and Roman Initiation: New Students Participate in Mario Kart-Themed Ceremony! Wahoo! A sea of blue and yellow overtook Hoffman Gym for the Greek and Roman Initiation in early September! The ceremony, a long-celebrated Westridge tradition, kicked off with a friendly game of Mario Kart, in which two students from each grade rolled their way across the gym, dodging obstacles to get to the gold coin finish line. New students, faculty, and staff then learned their Greek or Roman designation and were "initiated" by running under a Mario Kart banner to the roar of their new teammates.

Westridge Seniors Receive National Merit Scholarship, College Board National Recognition Honors!

Middle School Leadership Organizes International Day of the Girl Celebration! Congratulations to Middle School student leadership for organizing this year’s International Day of the Girl events! The international theme was “Invest in Girls’ Rights: Our Leadership & Well-Being,” so our students asked their peers: what would they do if they ruled the world? Middle and Upper School students gathered in their advisory groups; each group was tasked with researching a woman in their assigned field (such as entertainment, athletics, or science, engineering, math, and technology and creating a poster about her. The posters were then hung around campus. In Lower School, students shared what they would do if they ruled the world town hall-style, then wrote their answers on a massive poster for all to read.

A big congratulations to seniors Ray K., Anna K., Lauren C., and Sofie W., who were named 2024 National Merit Scholarship semifinalists, and seniors Clarissa P., Jade I., Kaya I., Chloe Q., and Eva L. who were awarded National Recognition from College Board.


New to YamFest 2023: Westridge-grown Yams! While there’s no such thing as a bad yam at YamFest*, this year some stood out. That’s because dozens of the yams served were grown with love by Westridge students in the Middle and Upper School Permaculture classes. The class contributed yam plants for folks to grow at home—and even made homemade dishes using the Permaculture Garden-grown yams! Sophomores Manon I. and Alicia K. made yam tempura and yam croquettes for the event. *The Yam Festival, now in its 26th year, was founded in 1998 by a planning committee from the Families of Black Students at Westridge. The festival celebrates the diversity of our community through shared cuisines and delicious dishes featuring the yam—a root vegetable grown in almost every continent in the world!

Lower School Math Club Launches & It Is Loud! (in the Best Way) More than a third of all Lower School students attended the opening sessions of the new Lower School Math Club—and from the shrieks and peals of laughter that escaped the room, this was some fun learning! Founded by 6th Grade Math Teacher Kenzie Brownsmith, the club meets on Mondays after school and is open to any student who wants to dive deep into problem solving, thinking outside the box to tackle high-level concepts, and hone their teamwork skills in the club. Brownsmith also hopes to encourage those interested to compete at the Los Angeles County Math Field Day on behalf of Westridge.

STEAMWork Grant Funds Upper School Student Summer Learning Experiences


This fall, Upper School students gathered in the STEAMWork Design Studio to present and discuss their summer learning experiences funded by the Westridge STEAMWork Summer Support Grant, which offers financial assistance to students in grades 8-11 who wish to further their studies in science, technology, engineering, art, and math (STEAM) at programs outside the school. The grant was funded by an anonymous foundation gift from a donor committed to supporting women in STEM; it has allowed the program to flourish in its fourth year. This year’s summer experiences included Advanced Marine Biodiversity: Life on the Edge at UC San Diego, a Research in Science & Engineering (RISE) Internship at Boston University, emBARC Design Academy with UC Berkeley College of Environmental Design, and UPenn Biomedical Research Academy.

Fall 2023 /

New English Class Educates, Collects Book Donations During Banned Books Week’ Have you read a banned book? Posters with this attention-getting question and others featuring information such as the top-10 banned books of 2022 (the list includes Westridge favorites Toni Morrison’s The Bluest Eyes and The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie) were posted around campus ahead of national Banned Books Week from October 2-6. Campus activities for the week were organized by seniors in the Banned Books and Censorship English class (a new Westridge Advanced Course!). The main organizers, Kiera S., Daria H., and Alex S., created a banned books display in the library and spoke to the 6th graders about banned books and context around the issue. Hannah L. P. organized a book drive that collected more than 380 books for the Gashora Girls Academy of Science and Technology in Rwanda. And Ashley Z. ’24 led a lunchtime Writing Center workshop on banned books.

Varsity Golf Named Prep League Champions! A big congratulations to our Varsity Golf team on winning the Prep League Championship against the Chadwick Dolphins with a score of 230-245! This is the fifth consecutive year our team has been undefeated in Prep League play and secured the championship. Go Tigers!!

Jennifer L. ’25

Claudia Z. ’25

Westridge Theatre Presents: "Radium Girls" Kudos to our Westridge Theatre cast and crew for putting on "Radium Girls" in early November. The play is a drama based on a true story set in the 1920s that offers a wry, unflinching look at the peculiarly American obsession with health, wealth, and the commercialization of science.

Westridge Champions We are so proud to announce that two of our players received championship wins this fall. For golf, Claudia Z. ’25 won the CIF-SS Ford Girls’ Golf Northern Individual Regional tournament, shooting five under par for 65 and defeating 115 golfers with a single stroke. For tennis, Jennifer L. ’25 won the Prep League Finals tennis tournament in singles and was named the 2023 Prep League Singles MVP. 19

Ailis H. '29

Pip d. C. '27

Addie K. '24

Naomi D. '31


Angel P. '26

Audrey L. '26

Fall 2023 /

Unfolded Narratives Earlier this year, Westridge students, faculty, and staff had the unique opportunity to participate in Middle School Art Teacher Jenny Yurshansky’s solo exhibition, "Rinsing the Bones." A part of this exhibition is "Unfolded Narratives," which asked participants (including our community members) to consider their own family’s migration story while decorating paper fortune tellers. The art was then scanned, printed, and sewn together to form a large-scale quilt—now on display along with the rest of the exhibition at the 18th Street Arts Center in Santa Monica.

Sadie K. '31

Credit: Joshua Schaedel

Makayla W. '26 21

Nova Helena To be a star, That’s what I am Named after a bursting, beautiful, ray of light Shooting in the dark sky Nova, In planet of the apes The last woman on earth A bombshell on screen and off. Me? I'm still on my way but I always found strength in my name. Nova Helena An original cosmic force still far from completion, But my journey across the galaxy has already begun. The Helena is a spin-off of Helen. A Ukrainian great-grandmother, matriarch And also, one of a kind. Immigrated and drawn to the beauty of the name, Helen. So she identified and became Helen. Nova Helena The name I love, Maybe my parents wanted me to shine? Maybe I too embody beauty? Helena reminds me where I came from, Nova is where I'm going.

Alexis K. '30

- Nova R. ’28

Lucia F.-R. '26 22

June K. '27

Fall 2023 /

Zoe G. '27

Song '24

Rebecca U.-G. '29

Sienna W. '32

Closing the Circle: The Disruptive Nature of Imposed Androcentrism By Daria H. ’24

This essay, written for the Upper School Perspectives in Literature class, analyzes how androcentric demeanor disrupts preconceived notions of innate femininity through the analysis of masculine and feminine symbolism in Isabel Allende’s “House of the Spirits,” Toni Morrison’s “Beloved,” and Gloria Anzaldua’s “Borderlands/La Frontera.” Through the lens of metaphor theory and analysis of diction and symbolism, Daria explores the ways these authors utilize literary devices to illustrate the notion of androcentrism—centering a masculine point of view in one's world view, culture, and history—and its disruption to emphasize the necessity of disruption in order to preserve nuance. Scan here to read an excerpt from the essay:

Naomi D. '31 23


EMILY MUKAI Human Development Coordinator

No matter what age the students are, we’re always trying to tailor content and discussions to their level of understanding

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Fall 2023 /


s part of our strategic plan’s focus on student wellbeing, the Westridge Human Development (HD) program moved under the purview of the school’s director of counseling & student support, Dr. Lisa LaFave—a shift designed to strengthen the connection between HD and social emotional learning happening in other areas of the school. When looking for a new HD program coordinator in summer of 2022, LaFave wanted someone who could take the program to the next level. A year into her tenure, Emily Mukai is living up to that charge. With a background spanning nutrition, health and wellness coaching and consulting, and educational program design—and even a year coaching lacrosse at Westridge—Emily brings important insights into curriculum topics, resiliency, and the changing needs of our students.


WHAT DO YOU MEAN WHEN YOU TALK ABOUT HUMAN DEVELOPMENT? In simplest terms, Human Development is all the stuff that you wished you’d learned in school but never actually did. It’s a broad constellation of topics that can include emotional awareness, learning skills, sexual health and development, drug education, finances, self-defense, consent, coping with unpleasant feelings, and more. Basically, we’re talking about all the skills you need in order to succeed in college and the world beyond.

WHY DO THINK HUMAN DEVELOPMENT IS RELEVANT TO STUDENTS TODAY? Kids today are facing a lot of serious mental health challenges, and I want to make sure they have the skills and understanding to navigate those challenges with resilience. As a society, we place a lot of emphasis on grades and getting into a good college, but our Human Development programs focus on the skills students need to face developmental challenges while they are with us and equipping them with skills they will need in college and beyond.

CAN YOU EXPLAIN WHAT YOU MEAN BY ’RESILIENCE’? To me, resilience is the ability to continue working toward a goal even when you’re not sure you’re going to achieve that goal. We all know that we can’t control the outcomes of situations, but we can control our inputs. Teaching resilience helps students focus on what they can control and not internalize end results. Resilience encourages them to look at what they can impact, which gives them a greater sense of agency and autonomy. Students are going to get a great education at Westridge—there’s no doubt about that. What we want

isn’t just academically accomplished students, but also young people who are able to handle life’s challenges with resilience, creativity, and resourcefulness and while remaining as close to a whole human as they can.

WHAT DOES HUMAN DEVELOPMENT LOOK LIKE AT WESTRIDGE? First, I want to point out how incredibly unique it is that Westridge carves out time in every schedule rotation for this content. It’s rare to find schools that prioritize these materials, and it’s one of those things that really makes Westridge stand out. We start our programs in the 4th grade, and things really pick up in the 7th and 8th grades. We draw a lot of concepts from Internal Family Systems, which is a psychology theory that gives us some great language to talk about coping mechanisms and exploring healthy behaviors. We start by focusing on low-stakes things, like procrastination around homework, and gradually raise the stakes to more serious subjects, like drinking and drug use. No matter what age the students are, we’re always trying to tailor content and discussions to their level of understanding and experience. We’re constantly tweaking what we do to make sure that what we’re teaching is relevant to their lives.

WHAT SORT OF FEEDBACK HAVE YOU RECEIVED? Our students love it. I think they’re really craving a space to check-in emotionally, with themselves and their peers. Especially since remote learning during the COVID-19 pandemic, I think parents are increasingly seeing how important it is for their students to have access to these materials and support. There’s very much a team atmosphere with parents, and it feels like we’re all on board and working toward the same ends.


SCHOOL News Students Attend Summer Global Art Program

Introducing Lower School Assemblies! This school year, Lower School hosted its firstever assemblies exclusively for grades 4-6—an opportunity for community gathering focused on age-appropriate conversations. “Covering topics such as friendships, conflict resolution, and managing anxiety, these gatherings are tailored to provide guidance and support during crucial formative years and will now complement our participation in all-school events,” said Dr. Zanita Kelly, director of Lower and Middle School. Students will also have the opportunity to lead assemblies, which, as Dr. Kelly explains, will nurture their leadership skills and public speaking abilities and empower students to take ownership of their educational journey. 26

After Commencement in June, 10 Upper School students flew to Cow House Studios in the farmland of county Wexford in Ireland for a summer global art program. For 10 days, students created art (learning techniques such as ’stick drawing’ and using India ink) and took local field trips with Westridge Art Teachers Lorri Deyer and Val Trimarchi. During their time abroad, students essentially worked as practicing artists—learning to pace and clean up after themselves, and adapting to working with different media. Looking ahead, we are pleased to announce students will be headed to Cambodia next summer as part of this program!

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Westridge Board Establishes DEI Committee Pictured is our new Permaculture Garden in bloom. Part of the STEAMWork Outdoor Experiential Lab or SOEL, this sustainable outdoor food garden is designed, built, and nurtured by students in our Upper School Permaculture and Middle School STEAM: Permaculture electives. The classes focus on the systems of water, soil, ecology, and energy that sustain humans and all living organisms.

After many years of holding conversations on issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) within the School Committee of the Board and five years after instituting a DEI Chair position, a standing DEI Committee of the Westridge Board of Trustees was launched for this academic year. The committee provides Board-level oversight and support for the school’s work in building and maintaining an equitable and inclusive environment, ensuring an equity lens is brought to all the work of the Board and monitoring the school’s compliance with its equity-related goals. “I am honored to have been selected to serve as the Chair of Westridge’s DEI Committee,” said Joe Ybarra, trustee and parent to Soleil '23 and Rysie '25. “The school has made a commitment to DEI in its strategic plan, and I hope our committee can assist the school in meeting its goals in this regard.”

NEW THIS YEAR: No Personal Devices in the Lower School This fall, the Lower School implemented a new technology policy aimed at promoting tech literacy while being mindful of the distracting nature of personal devices. In 4th, 5th, and 6th grades, parents are asked to help keep students’ personal devices such as smart watches, earbuds, and cell phones at home (if brought to campus, devices must remain powered down in backpacks). “We believe that school should be a place where connections are formed, both academically and socially. We're not anti-technology; indeed, we recognize the importance of tech literacy in today's world,” said Lower & Middle School Director Dr. Zanita Kelly. “However, we want to put technology in its appropriate context. It's a tool for enhancing learning and efficiency, not a replacement for genuine human interaction. The skills we hope to cultivate during recess and aftercare, the skills that will serve our girls throughout their lives, are those of the heart and mind, not the screen.” All students in the Lower School have school-assigned laptops for schoolwork.

Westridge Welcomes New Director of Annual Giving Lauren Le Ber Le Ber has more than eight years of experience in fundraising strategy, events, and volunteer management, most recently as the director of advancement at the Child Educational Center (CEC). Previously, Le Ber was the donor relations and events manager at the Pasadena Community Foundation, where she had the pleasure of meeting many Westridge alums and parents. In addition, she served as the events manager at the Downtown Women’s Center in Los Angeles. She holds a B.A. in political science and government from UCLA and an M.P.A. in nonprofit management from CSU Northridge.


SCHOOL News Westridge Welcomes New Trustees CATHY COLLOFF Years of experience as a teacher in the Duarte and Burbank Unified School Districts. Previous work affiliations include education consultant/advertising director with Barr Films, and copywriter/copy director with Direct Marketing Corporation of America. Volunteered as a docent at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County. B.A. in political science from University of Southern California. M.A. in special education from CSU Los Angeles.

SHAHBANO NAWAZ ’98 Major gifts officer for the Muslim Public Affairs Council, where she was previously the director of development and communications. Previous affiliations include founding corporate member of Bayan Claremont School of Theology, board member with the Pakistan Arts Council of USC Pacific Asia Museum, and development committee member at New Horizon School. B.S. in psychobiology with a minor in bioethics and Doctor of Pharmacy from University of Southern California. Mother of Gia M. ’27.

KHALID RASHID Equity partner and managing director of Clarion Partners LLC, a leading real estate investment firm where he is a portfolio manager, member of Investment Committee, and DEI Council Chair. Affiliated with the Urban Land Institute, The Robert Toigo Foundation, Kappa League, and Project REAP. B.A. in economics from UC Berkeley. M.B.A. in general management and real estate finance from Columbia Business School. Father to Layla ’27 and Giselle ’28.

VICKI VON HOLZHAUSEN (VLACHAKIS) ’90 CEO and founder of von Holzhausen, a materials innovation company focused on replacing plastic and leather with plant-based alternatives, creating industry-defining chemistries in their Los Angeles lab and low-carbon materials made from plants and supplying them to large industries like automotive, fashion, furniture, and beyond. von Holzhausen produces their own line of accessories sold at Apple stores worldwide. Previous work experience includes automotive designer for MercedesBenz and General Motors. Received numerous awards including the Automotive Hall of Fame for the Young Leadership Excellence Award and the 2022 Mary Lowther Ranney Westridge Distinguished Alumna Award. B.A. in automotive design from Art Center. 28

WENDY WU IWATA Office manager at Huntington Healthcare, where she oversees dayto-day office operations, reviews and negotiates insurance and leasing contracts, and analyzes financial reports. Previous work affiliations include senior analyst at Gap, Inc., financial analyst at Goldman Sachs (Japan) Ltd, and senior accountant at Deloitte & Touche, LLP. B.A. in business economics from UCLA. Mother of Kanon and Manon ’26.

Please join us in thanking two Westridge trustees (and parents of alumnae!) who retired from our board in June―Laureen B. Chang and former board chair Richard C. Fung.

Fall 2023 /

SECOND WAVE OF WESTRIDGE ADVANCED COURSES In year two of Westridge Advanced Courses— designed by Westridge faculty to inspire deeper, more lasting learning and challenging our students to think critically beyond the classroom—a slate of new (and some revamped) courses were introduced this fall:

• Advanced Physics I & II • Advanced Statistics • Aerospace Engineering II • Computer Science: Capstone • Environmental Science & Sustainability • Mandarin Chinese V: Advanced Studies in Chinese Language and Culture • Perspectives in Literature • Senior Topics in Literature •E nglish courses including “Banned Books and Censorship: A Study of the Challenges to Intellectual Freedom,” “Madness in Literature,” and “Women of the Novel” •W e the People: The Search for Freedom in the United States* * Students may elect into Challenge-by-Choice option for advanced denotation.

Quite often, there’s a playful purposefulness inspired by a love of the subject and of learning that shines through the students’ work in the Advanced Courses. Because students are being asked to think outside of the confines of a prescribed curriculum that marches on regardless of their interests, they’ve been able to explore how they make meaning of the world. — JAMES EVANS Westridge Director of Teaching & Learning

Courses will be phased in until fall of 2025, when we will have shifted to Advanced Courses exclusively. Learn more at www.westridge.org/advancedcourses.

Historic Start: Flag Football Joins Upper School Athletics California may have been the eighth state in the nation to greenlight high school girls’ flag football, but Westridge (we believe) is the first school in the Pasadena area and the only girls’ school in the greater Los Angeles area to field a varsity team. The sport's popularity has been growing across the nation, with the NFL and companies like Nike taking note. At Westridge, enthusiasm has been growing since flag football was introduced in the Middle School around the early 2000s—and it spiked last year when the Tigers took the tournament championship title in the Middle School Independent League. “To offer any form of competitive football to our student-athletes is a remarkable step forward and I'm proud that the California Interscholastic FederationSouthern Section (CIF-SS) has finally agreed to allow girls to compete in flag football,” said Director of Athletics Melanie Horn. “And to be the first school in the San Gabriel Valley to offer this sport to our students is an important step for equality in high school sports.” Horn, Head Coach Dan Calmeyer (also our Upper School math and computer science teacher), and two team members were invited to speak at a Pasadena Quarterbacks Club meeting in October, joining the other guest speaker David Baker, former president and CEO of Pro Football Hall of Fame! The future looks bright for the team, which largely comprises freshmen, many of whom were introduced to the sport this year.

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WPA Vice President of DEIJ


he Westridge Parent Association (WPA) was thrilled when Erica Rosales signed on this year to be its first-ever vice president of diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice (DEIJ). In her new role, Rosales, mother of Valentina ’26 and Isabella ’24, is charged with leading parent support of the school’s DEIJ initiatives and promoting a continuous awareness that DEIJ work is the collective effort of every WPA member. “Just having this position on board means that [DEIJ] is important for every single partner in our children’s education,” said Rosales. “Because it’s not just on one person—it’s really the work of everybody.” Rosales’ personal and professional background anchors her to equity work, rooted in education advocacy and building a sense of belonging. Her parents immigrated to the country in the 1970s to provide their children, three daughters, with better opportunities—in her family that meant getting the best possible education. At Wellesley College and later UCLA, she gained an interest in community building through education. In fact, she helped start the first charter high school under Green Dot Public Schools of Los Angeles—her way of helping low-income, first-generation students pursue their dreams beyond high school. From there, she briefly worked in admissions at Occidental College before landing at College Match LA, an organization dedicated to guiding talented students from low-income families from the college application process through graduation. Seventeen years later and now serving as the organization’s executive director, she said she feels fortunate to be able to advocate for students who are similar to what she was like as a student. “One of the reasons why we wanted this position is that Westridge is an institution committed to equity work, which is part of our overall Strategic Plan. Looking for


Don’t know how to get involved?

Pictured: Erica Rosales with her daughters Valentina '26 (left) and Isabella '24 (right)

ways to grow based on the plan’s pillars has helped us understand that we must continue to broaden our DEIJ work,” Westridge Director of Equity Ian Tatum said. “If you can put someone like Erica in place at an executive level on the board who has an equity lens and understanding of the work, it can help facilitate what is at the heart of DEIJ work: collaboration."

UPCOMING WPA MEETINGS Wednesday, April 3 Wednesday, May 22* *This meeting will also include a new parent welcome reception.



April 20


Don’t be scared to just show up! Bring something for senior breakfasts, or cook something delicious for Yam Festival, or monitor a table at Night Market. “That’s how we start building community,” Rosales said. “If you sign up to volunteer, you’re going to meet other people who have the same value of giving back, and that makes for easy conversation.” For more information, check out www.westridge.org/wpa or contact lleber@westridge.org.


Fall 2023 /

At the start of October, more than 500 Westridge students, families, alumnae, and employees came together for the annual Community Picnic. In addition to its traditional field games, face painting, and food booths, this year’s event featured the first-ever Chili Cook-Off and Great Westridge Bake-Off! Thank you to all who attended and connected with fellow families and alumnae, and to our parent volunteers for making this event a success!

Kudos to the Dads’ Club for putting on its first-ever soccer game! It was held on a sunny Friday afternoon on Frank Field. Shout out to Director of Athletics Melanie Horn for making the game possible.


Saturday, February 3, 2024 10 am - 3 pm ON WESTRIDGE CAMPUS!



This fair, one of the largest in the nation, features more than 100 summer camps and programs (serving a wide range of interests including academic enrichment, sports, arts, music, theatre, travel, STEM, and more!), pre-college programs, and community service opportunities for kids ages 5 to 18.


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MEMBERS Jessica Yang ’10, chair Nicole Rabaudi ’90, vice chair Kathryn Aposhian ’07 Taelor Bakewell ’11 Michelle Noble Barnett ’90 Zandie Brockett ’05 Liz Carlton ’03 Eliza Diop ’10 Alicia Henry ’01 Caroline Sill King ’03 Julia Tyson La Grua ’71 Ashwini Lakshmanan ’97 Olivia Moore ’01 Thembisa Mshaka ’88 Cassandra Nufable ’12 Tanya Paz ’02 Marianne Van Vorst Ryan ’79 Members of the Alumnae Board, pictured (from left): (top row) Nicole Rabaudi ’90, Cassandra Nufable ’12, Elizabeth (Liz) Carlton ’03, and Tanya Paz ’02; (bottom row) Jessica Yang ’10, Caroline Sill King ’03, Michelle Noble Barnett ’90, Kathryn Aposhian ’07, and Olivia Moore ’01

Melissa Wu ’94

PLEASE JOIN US IN WELCOMING NEW ALUMNAE BOARD MEMBERS: ASHWINI LAKSHMANAN ’97 is passionate about improving infant outcomes and addressing health equity in the field of perinatal-neonatal medicine. She is currently an associate professor in the Department of Health Systems Science at the Kaiser Permanente Bernard J. Tyson School of Medicine and is an adjunct clinical associate professor of pediatrics and population and public health sciences at USC's Keck School of Medicine.

OLIVIA MOORE '01 has worked in real estate marketing as well as hospitality management. She currently serves on the Board of Parent Volunteers at Chandler School, where she co-chaired the most recent Chandler gala. She has also volunteered at the Pasadena Playhouse, chairing the auction of this year’s inaugural Playhouse Party, which supported emerging education programming. In addition, she has served as cochair of several Pacific Oaks Children’s School Fall Festivals.

In 2019, TANYA PAZ '02 launched her eponymous design studio, marrying her interest in design with her long-standing focus on empowering well-being and human connection through space. Tanya’s previous work took her from Rwanda to Latin America, notably as a Fulbright Scholar funded to evaluate new processes for design and health access in resource-limited settings. She now once again enjoys strolls through the Arroyo, only this time with her husband and four-year-old daughter.

CAROLINE KING '03 is the COO of LATHER, a clean skincare brand based in Pasadena. She was formerly the vice president of marketing at Nasty Gal, an online women's fashion brand. Caroline graduated cum laude from Fairfield University and spent eight years in NYC before moving home to Los Angeles. In her spare time, she loves reading and singing and is an advocate for mental health initiatives, including the establishment of the Julia Ryder Sill '09 Fund for Counseling & Psychological Services at Westridge.

KATHRYN APOSHIAN '07 is the founder of ClearWest Communications, a Los Angeles-based public relations consultancy, and founder and CEO of KORAI, a fashion brand that creates wardrobe staples for women with long torsos. Over the last several years, she has led media efforts and internal communications strategies for several local Pasadena organizations including the Pasadena Community Foundation. She is involved in the Armenian community in Los Angeles and previously served on the board of the Armenian Professional Society. 32

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Calling all alumnae! We’re looking for alumnae to join the following alumnae board committees: DIVERSITY, EQUITY, INCLUSION, & JUSTICE (DEIJ) Co-chaired by Alicia Henry ’01, Nicole Rabaudi ’90, and Taelor Bakewell ’11 Grow the alumnae affinity groups and foster their interactions with student groups through speaker recruitment or compiling resources. Ongoing initiatives include affinity gatherings at Alumnae Weekend, virtual meetups, and in-person events with student groups such as Latine Affinity Salsa Night and Black Student Union End-ofYear BBQ.

ENGAGEMENT COMMITTEE Co-chaired by Marianne Ryan ’79 and Michelle Noble Barnett ’90 Help with alumnae outreach and boost attendance for

events including Alumnae Weekend (March 8-9, 2024).


Co-chaired by Cassandra Nufable ’12 and Ellie Diop ’10 Create opportunities for young alumnae gatherings, networking, and career development.


Co-chaired by Liz Carlton ’03 and Caroline Sill King ’03 Work with fellow alumnae to help raise money for a variety of efforts including the Westridge Fund supporting school operations and the Forever Fund endowment for financial aid.

For more information, contact alumnae@westridge.org or scan the QR code.

Rocio Ramos Joins as Administrative Assistant to Advancement

Tiger Cub Club Hosts Summer Playdate! Ahead of the start to the school year, alumnae brought their children and grandchildren to Westridge campus for a fun summer playdate in August and then again at October’s Community Picnic!

We’re pleased to announce a longtime member of our community, Rocio Ramos, has joined Westridge as the administrative assistant to the Advancement Department. She brings extensive experience in higher education advancement and program implementation, having worked at the Aveson Global Leadership Academy, and, for the past several years, as an executive assistant to the President at Occidental College. If her name is familiar, that’s because her daughter, Deijah Bradley (pictured above), is a Class of 2019 alumna!

If you are interested in learning more about and joining Tiger Cub Club future events, visit www.westridge.org/tigercubclub. 33

SAVE the DATES College Conversations Friday, January 5, 2024 [Class of 2023 invited] San Francisco/Bay Area Gathering January 25, 2024 Summer Opportunities Fair Saturday, February 3, 2024 Pictured, from left: Emily Moore, Olivia Moore’01, Caroline Sill King ’03, Andrea V. Mills ’72, Jennifer Lomas ’92, Nicole Tanouye ’18, Marissa Aivazis ’18, and Stephanie Nava ’90

Alumnae Weekend Friday-Saturday, March 8-9, 2024 Virtual Affinity Gathering April 2024

Community Picnic Thank you to all the alumnae and their families who joined more than 500 Westridge community members in attending the annual Westridge Community Picnic on Sunday, October 1!

College Connections Parade & Fair Friday, May 17, 2024

Junior Reed D. ’25 Interviews her Mentor, Dr. Lexie Kovach ’99, for Spyglass Reed D. ’25, a current 11th grader, interviewed Dr. Lexie Kovach ’99 for a May news article in Spyglass, Westridge’s student newspaper. Reed spoke to Kovach about her work as a pathologist at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles (CHLA), where she is director of hematopathology, director of the bone marrow laboratory, staff hematopathologist, pediatric pathologist, attending physician, and associate professor of clinical pathology at USC’s Keck School of Medicine. “I want to be a student forever, and Lexie gives me hope that it’s possible to keep on learning while earning a living and making a productive contribution to the world,” Reed wrote (which you can check out at: bit.ly/lexie-spyglass). In fact, Lexie mentored Reed in her research fellowship in hematopathology at CHLA over the summer.

Class of 1961 Reunites Online! Nearly 20 members of the Class of 1961—hailing from near (Pasadena, Santa Barbara) and far (Spain) and everything in between—have enjoyed gathering informally on Zoom roughly every six weeks, according to Virginia Corlette Pollard ’61. Pictured, from left to right, starting at the top: Virginia Gerner Heinrich, Virginia Corlette Pollard, Karla Stromberger, Vicki Odriozola Dillingham, Nadine Smith Danz, Dana Wright, Pam Lochhead Trachta, Susan Bassett Clough, Karen Zisch Hardesty, and Kristi Wallace. Frequent attendees not pictured: Mollie Paul Collins, Molly Beckerlegge Brown, Alison Grey Anderson, Sallie Anderson Reeves, Andi Dorn Rohrer, and Jan Russell. 34

A Westridge Reunion in Baltimore While attending the National Association for College Admission Counseling’s September 2023 conference in Baltimore, Maryland, Westridge Director of College Counseling Dr. Monique Eguavoen met with Class of 2023 alumnae Frances Leiter (right) and Alyssa Chu (left), who attend Johns Hopkins University.

Fall 2023 /

Alums Gather Along the South Coast

Pictured, from left: Lynne Saito ’63, Jessica Yang ’10, Michelle Barnett ’90, Andrea Kassar, Jennifer Giles ’87, Valerie Lemmon ’92, Galeen Roe ’90, and Director of Alumnae Engagement Fan Wang

In August, Westridge alumnae gathered in Orange County for a late afternoon reception with fellow alums and Head of School Andrea Kassar. Shout out to the event host, Michelle Barnett ’90, an Alumnae Board member and class representative.

Alumnae Gathering in Santa Barbara We had a great turnout (and weather!) at our late September gathering in Santa Barbara, hosted by Darrell Chulay Banta ’77, a parent of three alumnae and former trustee. Alums were joined by Head of School Andrea Kassar. Pictured, from left: Kathy Lacey ’62, Lesley Cunningham ’79, Karina Mousessian ’18, Meg Rydman ’92, Julia Kuhlman ’13, Andrea Kassar, Ann Judy ’64, Trustee Emerita Brooke Larsen Garlock ’70, Annie Rohrbach Walker ’57, and Darrell Chulay Banta ’77

First-Ever Virtual Affinity Gathering Thank you to all who attended our Alumnae Board DEIJ Committee’s first virtual Alumnae Affinity Gathering! Westridge Director of Advancement Diana Bernal O’Leary kicked off the event by providing updates on diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice work on campus. Then, Asian American, Black/African American, and Latine alumnae gathered and engaged in their respective groups. We will be having an in-person affinity gathering at Alumnae Weekend (March 8-9, 2024) followed by a virtual gathering in April. Pictured, from top left: Sarah Beshir '10, Director of Alumnae Engagement Fan Wang, and Director of Advancement Diana Bernal O'Leary; (second row) Jessica Yang '10, Alicia Henry '01, and Sabina Martinez '84; (bottom row) Rosemary Garista '10, Cassandra Nufable '12, and Maddie Chiu '18

Alumnae Readers Book Club Alumnae near and far, join us on Zoom for the Alumnae Readers Book Club to discuss a variety of selections for 2023-2024, including:

NOVEMBER 14, 2023

Prairie Fires: The American Dreams of Laura Ingalls Wilder by Caroline Fraser

JANUARY 17, 2024

Piranesi by Susanna Clarke

MARCH 20, 2024

Whose Body by Dorothy L. Sayers

MAY 15, 2024

While Justice Sleeps: A Thriller by Stacey Abrams

JULY 17, 2024

Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Gamus

Meetings will continue to take place from 6-7:30 pm PST via Zoom. For more information, contact Barbara Davis Reynolds ’72 at bwdr@pacbell.net or the Westridge Alumnae Office at 626.799.1053, ext. 244, or alumnae@westridge.org. 35


Weekend March 8 & 9, 2024

All Westridge alumnae are cordially invited to attend Alumnae Weekend 2024 on March 8-9. There will be on-campus events throughout the weekend and special reunions for classes ending in 4 and 9. Cheer on our Tigers athletics before heading to an evening “Twilight at Westridge” reception on Friday. Saturday will kick off with a coffee and affinity gathering followed by a Q&A session with the winner of the Distinguished Young Alumna Award. The weekend will wrap with a formal luncheon and presentation of the recipient of the Mary Lowther Ranney Award. For more information or if you are interested in reunion planning, email Director of Alumnae Engagement Fan Wang at fwang@westridge.org.

P.S. Be sure to look out for the December Alumnae Newsletter, where we will be announcing the 2024 Mary Lowther Ranney Distinguished Alumna and Distinguished Young Alumna recipients!

Forever Fund Nears $1 Million Goal!

A huge thank you to our alumnae, who, to date, have raised more than $946,000 for the Forever Fund! The Fund is an alumnae-led initiative to raise endowment funds for financial aid and ensure future generations in need of aid have the means to attend Westridge.


Please help us reach our fund goal of $1 million by 2024—visit westridge.org/foreverfund or scan the QR code.

Fall 2023 /


Eszter Neuman ’00 When Eszter Neuman ’00 reflects upon her time at Westridge, her face lights up with joy. “From day one, I had an amazing experience at Westridge,” she said. “There were so many opportunities to develop as a person and get involved in the world around me.”


estridge taught me to rigorously explore topics and disciplines I was interested in and helped me cultivate a work ethic that I carry on today,” Neuman added. “I was also fortunate to make wonderful friends, many of whom I keep in touch with. It’s been special to support one another as we grow in our careers, families, and lives.” Following Westridge, Neuman attended Brandeis University and went on to earn her J.D. from Indiana University. She returned to Southern California and practiced health law for a decade before pivoting to healthcare regulatory compliance. Currently, she is the chief compliance officer for Longwood Management Company, and founder and CEO of her own regulatory consulting company, SteinScope Consulting LLC. “Healthcare compliance can be very technical, but fundamentally it is about implementing proactive steps within healthcare organizations to prevent and detect violations of law and regulation. With frequent changes to rules and guidance from government entities, it is necessary to consistently engage with and analyze new developments and navigate multiple subject areas and priorities simultaneously,” Neuman noted. “One of the greatest gifts Westridge gave me was the confidence to pursue new challenges and

opportunities, which was essential when I decided to make a career change. It is in large part because of my time at Westridge that I have the self-assurance to continue to challenge myself and know that there’s little I can’t figure out if I put my mind to it. I think of it as the original growth mindset,” Neuman said. Several years ago, Neuman took interest in and began to support the Forever Fund Endowment, which seeks to ensure that future generations of students have the means to attend Westridge. She held received financial aid for all four years at Westridge, so she understands firsthand how impactful the aid can be. “My time at Westridge cemented the importance of being involved in, and feeling a sense of responsibility for, the community around me. I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to attend Westridge and proud to be part of the Westridge legacy. I encourage my fellow alumnae to recall the many wonderful experiences they had at Westridge and how their time there (no matter how short or long) helped develop their individual character, interests, and passions." “Getting involved in the Forever Fund is a great way for each of us to pay that experience forward to the next generation of students,” she added.

Join Eszter and other alumnae in supporting future generations of Westridge students by supporting the Forever Fund. LEARN MORE AND DONATE AT

www.westridge.org/foreverfund 37 37


PATRICIA CAMPBELL DUCKETT '47 Patricia, known as "Patty," died peacfeully at her home on Sunday, October 1, at the age of 93. She was born in Pasadena in 1930 to Dr. Leon and Margaret Campbell. She attended Polytechnic School and later Westridge School (later in life, she was very proud to still fit into her high school uniform for the Class of 1947's 60th reunion!). Patty and her siblings spent their summers in Del Mar, California, where she made some of her fondest memories. She attended Finch Jr. College in New York. She later returned to Pasadena and began working in her father's medical office. She caught the eye of Alfred "Fred" Duckett, and the two were married in 1952. She is remembered for being caring, supportive, and actively involved with her family, friends, and community. Patty was preceded in death by her husband, Fred, and sister, Jane Wells '42. She is survived by her brother Leon; sons John (Marjorie), Fred Jr., and Peter; daughter Cammy Staunton '79 (Richard); and her many grandchildren, great-grandson, and nieces and nephews.

HUNTER HARRIET HAAKE PLUNKETT ’48 Harriet, 91, passed away a few days short of her 92nd birthday in San Marino, California. She was born in Los Angeles and attended Polytechnic 38

School before graduating from Westridge School and the University of Colorado Boulder. Harriet was a lifelong member of the San Marino Community Church. She served as Seeder and Weeders Garden Club president and annual Pasadena Guild of Children Hospital Treasures and Trivia sale co-chair. She was also a member of the Pasadena Town Club and assisted with the annual Christmas holiday decorating. Most of all, Harriet truly loved her family, home, and garden. She is survived by her daughter Patricia and son-in-law Rudy Colonello; son William Plunkett; grandson Connor Plunkett; niece Harriet Haake Hall ’82; and the family dog, Lacy.

SONIA FREDRIKA BERDAN ANDERSON ’49 Sonia passed away due to cancer at the age of 91 on June 30, 2022, in Seattle, Washington. She earned her master’s degree in education from Stanford University in 1961 and began her 30-year career in education as a PE teacher before working as a drug counselor and a high school special education teacher. She spent a decade raising and showing purebred Korat cats around the United States and in Canada. As she moved into retirement, she knit and sold homemade preserves. Her former husband, Karl, died on September 3. She is survived by her daughters Megan Ware and Malary Hathcox.

Brier Turpin Allebrand '75, Polly Hunter Turpin '45, and Barbara Hunter Foster '50

BARBARA HUNTER FOSTER ’50 Barbara passed away at her Montecito home on March 5 at the age of 90. Born in Pasadena on December 15, 1932, to Dr. Paul and Betty Hunter, Barbara spent her formative years at Westridge School before heading to Pine Manor College and later UC Berkeley. Afterward, she found work as a teacher at Beaver Country Day School in Newton, Massachusetts. While on the East Coast, she met and married the love of her life, Hugh Kindersley Foster. Married in 1959, they embarked on an almost 30-year adventure full of travel, kids, laughter, dogs, golf, cruises, hamsters, board games, and more. Barbara was known for larger-than-life personality and innate sense of style and fun. She was also passionate about creating change and helping others. She moved and eventually served on boards at the Witte Museum and St. Mary’s Hall School in San Antonio, Texas, as well as the Crane School in Montecito, California. She was also an acclaimed golfer and five-time club champ at the Valley Club of Montecito. She was predeceased by her husband Hugh;

Fall 2023 / sisters Polly Hunter Turpin ’45 and Betsy Geiger and their husbands; her aunt and uncle; cousin; and other friends and family. She is survived by her two sons and three daughters and their significant others as well as all her grandchildren. Barbara was part of a long line of Westridge alumnae, including her mother, Betty (class of 1920); sister Polly ’45; and nieces Debra Geiger ’72, Devon Geiger Nielsen ’70, and Brier Turpin Allebrand ’75.

BARBARA TUERK WILLIAMSON ’50 Barbara died peacefully on May 11, 2022, in Palm Beach, Florida. She attended Smith College for a year before transferring to Stanford University, where she graduated in 1954. After college, Barbara’s career included a CORO fellowship in public affairs in California and positions at the Democratic National Committee, the Taconic Foundation, and public television station WNET. She also received an M.B.A. from Columbia University in 1981. A lover of travel, Barbara visited around 70 countries over her lifetime, covering all seven continents. She was a gracious host and wonderful cook. She is survived by her husband Douglas F. Williamson Jr.; three children; four grandchildren; and brother and sister.

FRAN HEREFORD CARPENTER PFAFF ’51 Fran passed away peacefully in Newport Beach, California, just two months after her 90th birthday. She will be remembered as devoted to her family and her faith—and for her thoughtful, generous, and loving spirit. She is survived by her sister, Annie Hereford Rohrbach-Walker ’57; seven children, 16 grandchildren; and eight great-grandchildren.

MARGARET RYAN SWEENEY ’51 Margaret, known as Peggy, died peacefully surrounded by family on June 28. She had what she called an “idyllic” childhood in Salt Lake City, Utah. She then moved to Altadena in 1947, when she enrolled at Westridge. Following graduation, Peggy attended Mills College before continuing her studies at Marymount College. She married Joseph Sweeney in 1955. They made their home in Sierra Madre, California, where they

resided for more than 45 years. Peggy’s greatest joys in life were her family, friends, and volunteering. She dedicated her time to the Orthopedic Hospital, Catholic Charities, Sierra Madre Little League Baseball, and other organizations. She was predeceased by her husband, Joseph. She is survived by her children Kevin (Kathryn), Stephen (Karen), Peggy McDonald ’80 (Mark), and Brian (Jennifer) as well as 13 grandchildren, 10 great-grandchildren, and a loving brother and his wife.

SANDRA MORSE COLEMAN ’54 Sandra passed away on February 12, just a month short of her 86th birthday. She was born in Plainfield, New Jersey, on March 12, 1937, and grew up in Rahway, New Jersey. She moved to South Pasadena in 1949 with family and attended Westridge. She graduated from UC Berkeley with a bachelor’s degree in dietetics in 1958. She did an internship at Highland Hospital before getting a job at Providence Hospital. She and her husband, Michael, married in April 1960. After their first son was born, she worked as a dietitian at Albany Hospital. The family moved overseas for a job opportunity, and her second son was born in London, England. Later in life, the family became involved in civil rights and the antiVietnam War movement. Sandra and Michael moved into various cohousing projects throughout their lives. She was an active member of the League of Women’s Voters and served as a poll worker for 40 years. She was also a banner and quilt maker. She is predeceased by her parents. She is survived by her sister; her husband; her two sons and their wives; three grandchildren; and two great-granddaughters.

BARBARA TRENT FURMANSKI ’56 Barbara, 84, passed away on January 13. She was born on January 30, 1938, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, to her parents, Ralph and Alice Trent. She graduated from Westridge and went on to marry her soulmate, Eugene Furmanski, on June 27, 1964, in Hagerstown, Maryland. They were married for 58 years. Barbara was predeceased by her parents; her sister Alice; and her daughter. She is survived by her husband, brother-inlaw, three nephews, granddaughter, and great-granddaughter.

KATHLEEN MEREDITH JACKSON ’64 Kathleen passed away peacefully on March 3 with her husband, Robert, by her side. She was born in San Francisco on November 29, 1946, and raised in Pasadena. She attended Westridge and later went to Occidental College, where she received a bachelor’s degree. She worked in the commercial bond trade industry for several years before retirement in Santa Rosa in 1995. She loved animals and sports (she played tennis at Westridge and the Valley Hunt Club). She was also an avid reader. She was predeceased by her parents, Philip and Margaret (Hunter) McGrath, and her sister, Suzonne McGrath Dickinson ’67. She is survived by her husband, Robert, and many cousins.

KIP FREYTAG ’81 Kip passed away on January 29 due to advanced endometrial cancer. She was born in Los Angeles on December 28, 1962. After attending Westridge, she left for Colorado College to study political science. While there, she participated in a college exchange program her sophomore year that took her to Luneberg, Germany, where her love of travel was born. When she returned to the United States, she transferred to UC Berkeley to pursue a forestry degree. It was during a college course that she met her husband, Frieder Schurr. A few years later, she earned a master’s degree in human physiology and a professional degree in physical therapy. Over 30 years, Kip became a multi-degree black belt in three disciplines within martial arts. She was actively teaching them just weeks before her passing. She is survived by her husband.

KATHERINE HASSAN JUBELIRER ’05 Katherine, known by her nickname Katie, passed away unexpectedly of stage IV breast cancer on June 4 in Walnut Creek, California, at the age of 27. After attending Westridge, Katie met her husband, Samuel Jubelirer, in 2006 at Pitzer College and began dating the following year. She graduated from Pitzer with a degree in English in 2009 and went on to earn her master’s in education and teaching credential from Mills 39

College in 2016. In between, she married Sam in January 2011. She is survived by her husband, Samuel Jubelirer; daughters, Etta and Sylvia; parents, Mark Hassan and Elizabeth Toole; sister, Olivia Grzegorek ’07, and her husband, Andrew; her niece; parents-in-law; brother- and sisterin-law and their twins; and many other family members and friends. To any Westridge community member who knew Katie, Olivia requests any recollections you may have of her— “big, small, random, weird, funny”—to be sent to olivia.g.grzegorek@gmail. com; these memories will be shared with Katie’s daughters.

Anna was an accomplished artist who worked in multiple media and a published writer and editor for Letter of Intent, a compilation of essays still used in women’s studies courses 20 years after its publication. She is survived by her daughter Claire, husband Matthew Sand, mother Angelita Bondoc, sister Marielle (Michael) Cadwalader and brother Alexander (Kate) Bondoc, and six cherished nieces and nephews.



ANNA BONDOC Anna, a former Westridge faculty member and parent of alumna Claire Sand ’23, died on September 12. She joined Westridge in 2015 as a parent and active member of the Westridge Parent Association where she served on the executive board, among other positions. In 2020-2021, Westridge welcomed Anna to our faculty as an Upper School English teacher and in the 2021-2022 school year, she served as our 6th grade English teacher. She quickly became known for her knack for making deep, personal connections, and engaging in thought-provoking conversations.

Read a tribute to Anna written by Verena W. ’24 for the Westridge Spyglass newspaper here: westridgespyglass.org/7604/features/ remembering-anna-bondoc.

Baiba passed away on August 23 at the age of 88 in Pasadena. She taught art at Westridge from 1988 to 2010, when she retired. She was an avid tennis player along with her husband, Richard W. Graft. She is survived by her sister, Liga; brother, Valdis; sister-in-law, Yvonne; niece and nephew; and other relatives in Latvia, where she was born.

BETTYANN KEVLES Bettyann died on August 18. A New York City native, she was educated at Vassar College and Columbia University. She later taught at Westridge, where she was the history department chair from 1969 to 1975, and the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena. She lived in the Pasadena area for about 30 years before heading to Yale University, where she taught seminars in various subjects.

She is survived by her husband of 62 years, Dan; daughter, Beth ’79; son and daughter-in-law, Jonathan and Catalina; three grandchildren; and her brother and sister-in-law.

LARY MIELKE Lary died on April 23 after a long struggle with Alzheimer’s. He was a Westridge trustee in the late 1980s and early 1990s. He was involved with several community organizations including the Huntington Library, Pacific Clinics, Banning Museum, and, of course, Westridge. He was predeceased by his first wife, Deborah Stevens Mielke. He is survived by his four children including Rebecca Mielke LeBlanc ’87, Katrina Mielke ’89, and Virginia Mielke Mortimer ’95; four grandchildren; sister; and second wife, Mary Anne Cunningham.

DR. JOHN WRIGHT John, who taught at Westridge from 1996 to 1999, died in June 2020. He was a theatre teacher and directed several middle school plays during his time at the school. His wife, Mona May Wright, M.Ed., ABD, said he loved his time at Westridge and was very proud of the work he did with students and fellow faculty. After Westridge, John earned his Ph.D. in theatre from Louisiana State University. He went on to teach and join administration at the University of Wisconsin before heading to South Louisiana Community College. He is survived by his wife and daughter.

ELIZABETH RUSSELL ’69, Westridge Trustee Elizabeth passed away on September 26 in La Jolla, California, of esophageal cancer. Born in Pasadena in 1951, she grew up in La Cañada and, after Westridge, went on to be one of the early coed graduates of Pitzer College. In the mid-1980s she had the good fortune to meet and marry John Urabec, who became her best friend and life partner. Together, they found love and a rich life with their extended family. A spiritual person, she was grateful for her relationship with God.


After receiving her MBA from the University of Southern California, she began a career in health care management focusing first on contract negotiating and strategic network development. She moved into senior management roles at Healthcare Partners Medical Group, Heritage Provider Group, and Scan Health Plan where she

was the president and CEO of Scan Health Plan of Arizona. The last four years of her work were spent on starting a new company, agilon Health, that was closely aligned with her beliefs on rethinking care for seniors. During her retirement, Elizabeth joined the Westridge Board of Trustees in 2019, and with several members of the Class of 1969 co-founded the Westridge Forever Fund, an endowment to create equitable, financial assistance for deserving students. Elizabeth is survived by her husband, John Urabec, her sisters Margaret ’67 and Mary ’71 Russell, nephews Matthew and Scott Krugler, Luke Fadem and niece Anna Fadem. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations can be made at www.westridge.org/foreverfund.

Pictured: Madeline Society members Sigrid Burton ’69, the late Elizabeth Rusell ’69, and Teri Wilde ’69 holding the Elizabeth J. McGregor Forever Fund Trophy in honor of the Class of 1969's support of the Forever Fund Endowment.

Fall 2023 /

We want to honor you as a member of the Madeline Society! The Madeline Society recognizes those who have provided for Westridge School by leaving a gift from their estate or through other deferred gifts.

If you have not already made arrangements to include Westridge School in your estate, consider speaking with your estate planning attorney to update your documents or to create your will.

Please notify us of your plans! Please inform us of your intentions so we may thank and recognize your generosity and be sure your gift is used in the manner you intend.

Questions? Please reach out to Fan Wang, director of alumnae engagement, at 626.799.1053, ext. 244, or fwang@westridge.org.


Non-Profit Org. U.S. Postage PAID Pasadena, CA Permit No. 1986

Alumnae, you're invited! Be sure to join us for Alumnae Weekend 2024 on Westridge campus from March 8-9. Details inside.


e from th past!

The Class of 1974, pictured above during their senior year, will celebrate their 50th reunion at Alumnae Weekend!

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