Welcome Letter from Julia Fanara


July 12, 2019

To our Alverno Family,

I am very excited to welcome each of you back to Alverno and the new school year. This year will be Alverno’s 60th school year! Yes, we are celebrating our Diamond Jubilee and what a year to celebrate it with so many wonderful changes in place! We have lots of celebrations planned so make sure you stay tuned throughout the year. As the proud Head of School of Alverno Heights Academy, I am pleased to share a few of the many changes that have occurred this summer. First, we have had a change in our administration:

  • Ms. Sara McCarthy ‘05 is now the Assistant Head of School and oversees the academic program and all scheduling. If you have questions about the academic program, please contact her at smccarthy@alvernoheights.org
  • Ms. Lisa Primero-Solano is now the Dean of Students. She will be overseeing the uniform, tardies, detention, and other disciplinary matters. If you have questions about any of these matters, please contact her at lsolano@alvernoheights.org

We are also thrilled to welcome some new faculty and staff members to our community: 

  • Ms. Linda Bass has moved into the position of Registrar. She brings a great deal of experience from her previous role at a local college and we are grateful to have her knowledge! 
  • Ms. Sharon Dandorf will be our new Learning Support Specialist. Ms. Dandorf will be available to support the academic endeavors and needs of all of our students throughout the year. She will also work closely with the students and families in the Academy for Gifted Girls. 
  • Ms. Judy Lee has joined the Math Department and will be teaching students at all math levels. She is excited to be back in the classroom and brings wonderful experience working with students one-on-one. 
  • Ms. Amanda Lepore is the newest member of the Social Studies Department and has taken on quite the class load with three AP classes including Human Geography, World History, and United States History. She spent time this summer completing a fellowship at Ford’s Theatre in Washington, DC! 
  • Ms. Selena Mone has joined the Development and Advancement Office as the Director of Alumnae Relations. Ms. Mone has several years of experience in independent schools and is also a former softball pitcher! 
  • Ms. Melissa Royal has joined us as the Director of College Counseling. Her office is in the Learning Technology Center (LTC). She brings a wealth of college knowledge from both sides of the desk and is looking forward to working with all of our students supporting their college plans. She has included a welcome letter (and some homework) on the website. 
  • Finally, Ms. Katie Witherington will be taking over as the Director of Enrollment Management. Ms. Witherington is an alumna of an all-girls’ school and has been working in high school admissions for the past several years! She has lots of new ideas already taking shape. 

Construction on the Alverno Athletic Fields got underway before the completion of the school year in June but I think you will be impressed with the progress we have made! The back parking lot has been slurried, the amphitheater is completed, and the fence around the school perimeter has been replaced. By the time your daughter arrives back in August, even more of the project will have taken shape! Mark your calendars for our Homecoming Celebration on Saturday, October 5 when we will officially open the fields! All are welcome!! 

After careful review of our bell schedule from last year, we have made a few minor changes to improve instructional time while still offering time to support the social-emotional needs of our students. This 8-period schedule continues to offer opportunities for students to explore new courses, improve time management, and support our college prep curriculum. You can learn more about the schedule modifications in Ms. McCarthy’s letter. 

Our new freshman class was with us in late June learning all about Alverno. They will bring a wonderful enthusiasm to the campus in the fall. They have already begun building deep friendships and are full of energy! We look forward to seeing their “seafoam breeze” sweatshirts across the campus. 

I am so thrilled to be the leader of such an amazing institution. We are blessed with incredibly caring parents who are devoted to their daughter’s education, gifted and talented faculty who are dedicated to our students, and students who blow me away each and every day with their successes, large and small. 

Welcome to all, as we welcome in the school year together. May it be a jubilant one! 

Be Who You Imagine,




Julia V. Fanara, M.A and M.Ed., P ’01, P’03, and P’05 
Head of School

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