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- Leadership Team -
Julia V. Fanara P'01, P'03, P'05 Head of School
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Julia V. Fanara P'01, P'03, P'05 - Head of School

  • Degrees/Universities: B.A. Theatre Arts, LMU; M.A. Secondary School Administration,USF; M.A. Inclusive Education, LMU; California Secondary Credential, English

Favorite Quote: “Be the change you want to see in the world.” – Mahatma Ghandi

Favorite Alverno Tradition: Mary’s Day – I love seeing the school come together as a community for this annual celebration

Denise Tymon Curriculum Director, Social Studies Department Chair, and Senior State Moderator
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Denise Tymon - Curriculum Director, Social Studies Department Chair, and Senior State Moderator

  • Teaches: World History; AP US History; and American Folkcraft
  • Degrees/Universities: B.A. History, Fordham University (MC); M.A.T. Social Studies, LMU; M.S. Educational Administration, Mt. St. Mary’s University; California Lifetime Credential Social Studies

Favorite Quote: No guts, no glory!

Favorite Alverno Tradition: Mary’s Day – I love the tradition of honoring Mary in the month of May, and it is just an enjoyable event for our community.

Cam Werley-Gonzales Assistant Head of School
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Cam Werley-Gonzales - Assistant Head of School

  • Degrees/Universities: B.A. Religious Studies, Santa Clara University; M.A. Theology, Fuller Theological Seminary (in progress)

Favorite Quote: “I raise up my voice — not so I can shout, but so that those without a voice can be heard…we cannot succeed when half of us are held back.” – Malala Yousafzai

Favorite Alverno Tradition: Mary’s Day because it is an example of just how the entire community of students, faculty and staff, parents, and alumnae show how strong the bond of sisterhood and family is at Alverno Heights Academy.

Faculty
Suzanne Ares '94 and P'17 Science Department Chair, Director of Summer Institute, and Junior State Moderator
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Suzanne Ares '94 and P'17 - Science Department Chair, Director of Summer Institute, and Junior State Moderator

  • Teaches: Chemistry, Biology, AP Chemistry, Forensic Science, and Healthy Living
  • Degrees/Universities: M. Ed.  Loyola Marymount University (Education) and M.S. California State University at Los Angeles (Forensic Science)

Favorite Quote: “Nothing is worth more than laughter. It is strength to laugh and to abandon oneself, to be light.” – Frida Kahlo

Favorite Alverno Tradition: the Science Department tradition of taking students to Costa Rica (student travel) every 2-3 years. It is a gift to offer students an opportunity to travel to see a beautiful part of our scientific world.

Yasmine Balkis Math Department
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Yasmine Balkis - Math Department

  • Teaches:  AP Calculus AB and AP Calculus BC
  • Degrees/Universities: Masters, California State University, Los Angeles

Favorite Quote: : “Happiness lies in the joy of achievement and the thrill of creative effort.”  Franklin Roosevelt

Favorite Alverno Tradition: The plays and musicals because it is obvious how much time and effort is put in to the shows, and more importantly, how much fun the members are having.

Monica Barsever Science Department
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Monica Barsever - Science Department

  • Teaches: AP/Honors Biology, AP Environmental Science, Honors Physics, Honors Independent Research in Science, Engineering and Robotics

Favorite Quote: “A scientist in his laboratory is not a mere technician; he is also a child confronting natural phenomena that impress him as though they were fairy tales.” – Marie Curie

Favorite Alverno Tradition: Candlelight because it is peaceful and joyful.

 

Ken Berry Athletics Director
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Ken Berry - Athletics Director

  • Teaches: Physical Conditioning and Boot Camp
  • Degrees/Universities: BS Kinesiology, CSUN; Preliminary Credential, CSUN; Clear Credential, University of San Diego (in progress)

 

Favorite Quote:  “Come with me and you’ll see a world of pure imagination.” – Willy Wonka

Favorite Tradition: Blessing of the Jerseys

Sandy Bogan Foreign Language Department, National Honor Society, and California Scholarship Federation Moderator
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Sandy Bogan - Foreign Language Department, National Honor Society, and California Scholarship Federation Moderator

  • Teaches: Spanish I, Spanish II, Spanish II Honors
  • Degrees/Universities: BA Spanish, Lifetime Secondary Teaching Credential – CSULA

Favorite Quote: Let it be

Favorite Alverno Tradition: Mary’s Day – it brings entire community together to celebrate in a really fun and exciting day.

Lucinda Buchan Varsity Softball Coach
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Lucinda Buchan - Varsity Softball Coach

Cynthia Cales P'12 Dance, Drama, and English Department, Production Director
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Cynthia Cales P'12 - Dance, Drama, and English Department, Production Director

  • Teaches: British Literature, Acting I and II, Dance I and II, Advanced Theatre, Improvisation and Stagecraft
  • Degrees/ Universities: MA in Theatre and Dance CSULA, BA in Theatre CSU Sacramento

Favorite Quote: “This, too, shall pass.” –

Favorite Alverno Traditions: Fall Play and Spring Musical – I love working with our talented students on our productions and seeing them explore their limitless creativity.

Eileen Cameron English Department and Freshman State Moderator
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Eileen Cameron - English Department and Freshman State Moderator

  • Teaches: English 9, American Literature, AP English Literature
  • Degrees: Master of Arts English

Favorite Quote:  “Still waters run deep” by Mrs. Van Hopper in Daphne du Maurier’s Rebecca

Favorite Alverno Tradition: Mary’s Day. It’s great to see the all of the girls come together for Mass and then see each class unite in their quest for the spirit stick.

Devan Douglass ASL Teacher
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Devan Douglass - ASL Teacher

  • Teaches: American Sign Language 1
  • Degree/University: Deaf Studies B.A. California State University Northridge

Favorite Quote:  “Be still and know that I am God.” Psalm 46:10

Lisa Edwards P'14 Director of Music
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Lisa Edwards P'14 - Director of Music

  • Teaches: Alverno Singers, Concert Choir, Music
  • Degrees/Universities: Bachelor of Music (piano performance) University of North Texas, Master of Music (Keyboard Collaborative Arts) University of Southern California (USC)

Favorite Quote:  “Go confidently in the direction of your dreams!  Live the life you’ve imagined.”  – Henry David Thoreau

Favorite Alverno Tradition: Baccalaureate Mass. I love seeing our students so proud of their accomplishments after 4 years.

Alexandra Fanara '03 Cross Country and Track Coach and Junior State Moderator
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Alexandra Fanara '03 - Cross Country and Track Coach and Junior State Moderator

  • Teaches: Algebra 1ABC, Individualized Math, Biology, Physics, Graphic Design, and Health II
  • Degrees/Universities: B.A. Studio Art, University of California, Irvine, Master Public Health, Benedictine University

Favorite Quote: “Our truest life is when we are in our dreams awake.” – Henry David Thoreau
Favorite Alverno Tradition: Mary’s Day because it amazing day to experience all the best talents of the our young women. It is also a culmination of all the hard work of every young woman on campus revealed in a fantastic package known as the Troubadour, or as everyone else knows it, the yearbook.

Giselle Grams Spanish Teacher, World Languages Department Chair
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Giselle Grams - Spanish Teacher, World Languages Department Chair

  • Teaches:  Spanish 2 and 2 Honors, Spanish 3 Honors, and AP Spanish
  • Degrees/Universities:  Bachelor’s degree University of North Carolina, Charlotte (Architecture), Master’s degree California State Polytechnic University (Architecture), CLEAR dual California credential in Multiple Subjects and Single Subject Spanish from UCLA

Favorite Quote: “Every truth has four corners: As a teacher I give you one corner, and it is for you to find the other three.” – Confucius

 

Katharine Guerrero Campus Minister and Theology Department
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Katharine Guerrero - Campus Minister and Theology Department

  • Teaches: Sacraments Morality, Social Justice, Campus Ministry, and Meditation
  • Degrees/University: BA and MA Whittier College

Favorite Quote: “The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.” – Mahatma Gandhi

Favorite Alverno Tradition: Senior Retreat – Witnessing these young women come together as a class for their final retreat is something truly special, and I am honored to be a part of this annual ritual.

Jannifer Heiner English Department Chair
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Jannifer Heiner - English Department Chair

  • Teaches: English 12, Creative Writing, Advanced Creative Writing, ESL/Culture, ESL/Culture II, AP Language and Composition
  • Degrees/Universities: English Literature B.A. and Women’s Studies Minor from UCLA, Education MA from Loyola Marymount University, and Creative Writing MFA from Goddard College

Favorite Quote: “To give anything less than your best, is to sacrifice the gift” – Steve Prefontaine

Favorite Alverno Tradition: the Creative Writing students reading the Children’s books they’ve written to a first grade class at St. Rita’s

Corrine Jimenez Theology Department
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Corrine Jimenez - Theology Department

  • Teaches: Spiritual Life, Ecclesiology, World Religions, Spiritual Living
  • Degrees/University: B.A. Child Development California State University Los Angeles, Master Catechist certification

Favorite Quote: “People are more than the worse thing they have ever done in their lives” – Sister Helen Prejean

Favorite Alverno Tradition: Community Service Projects on Founders’ Day – I love watching the students working together enthusiastically as a community
Tim Lewis P'19 Visual and Performing Arts Department Chair and Sophomore State Moderator
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Tim Lewis P'19 - Visual and Performing Arts Department Chair and Sophomore State Moderator

  • Teaches: Ceramics/Sculpture, Advanced Art, Photography/Digital Photography, AP Art, Drawing and Painting, Open Studio
  • Degrees/Universities: B.F.A. Pitzer College, M.F.A University of Southern California, M.A. Loyola Marymount University, MA

Favorite Alverno Tradition: Opening reception for the AP Art exhibit in May – All year the AP Art students have been working hard on their portfolios, and it is so exciting as their teacher to watch them exhibit their work and share it with an audience.

 

Tim McHugh Director of Online Communications, Speech & Debate Coach, and ASU Moderator
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Tim McHugh - Director of Online Communications, Speech & Debate Coach, and ASU Moderator

  • Teaches: KATV, Television Review and Critique
  • Degrees/Universities: B.S. Music Industry, M.C.M. Online Communities University of Southern California

Favorite Quote: “We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard” – President John F. Kennedy

Favorite Alverno Tradition: Student Government – it is unlike any other high school government experience

 

K.C. Merchant Director of Technology, Freshman State Moderator
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K.C. Merchant - Director of Technology, Freshman State Moderator

  • Teaches: US History, Computer Science, AP Human Geography, and Yearbook
  • Degrees/Universities: MA Social Studies, SUNY Albany; BS Social Studies, SUNY New Paltz

Favorite Quote: “All that is gold does not glitter,Not all those who wander are lost;” Lord of the Rings

Favorite Alverno Tradition: Candlelight

Lisa Primero-Solano Math Department Chair and Sophomore State Moderator
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Lisa Primero-Solano - Math Department Chair and Sophomore State Moderator

  • Teaches:  Algebra II/Trigonometry, Algebra II/Trigonometry Honors, Geometry Fundamentals, Geometry, Geometry Honors
  • Degrees/Universities:  B.A Business Administration, Loyola Marymount University, M.ED. School Administration, Loyola Marymount University

Favorite Quote: “Another Day, Another Dollar” Edward Primero (Dad)

Favorite Alverno Tradition:  Harvest Feast on Grandparents’ and Special Friends’ Day –  It is a beautiful time to sit down and enjoy a meal with the whole community.

Claudia Rodarte English and Theology Departments and Freshmen State Moderator
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Claudia Rodarte - English and Theology Departments and Freshmen State Moderator

  • Teaches: Honors English 9, Freshman Theology, and Study Skills
  • Degrees/Universities: M.S. in Education Instructional Leadership Mount St. Mary’s University, Cleared California Teacher Credential Mount St. Mary’s University, BA in Education with a minor in English Mount St. Mary’s College

Favorite Quote:  “Everything that is not given is lost.” – Mother Teresa

Favorite Alverno Tradition: Mary’s Day – it reflects all that Alverno stands for: Faith, Creativity, Sisterhood, and FUN!

Mike Sifter Social Studies and Theology Departments and Supreme Court Moderator
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Mike Sifter - Social Studies and Theology Departments and Supreme Court Moderator

  • Teaches: AP European History, U.S. Government/International Relations, AP U.S. Government and Spiritual Life
  • Degrees/Universities: B.A. History/Political Science, UCLA; M.A. Government, Georgetown University; M. Ed Educational Leadership and Administration, Cal Poly Pomona
Favorite Quote: “Though our feelings come and go, God’s love for us does not – C.S. Lewis
Favorite Alverno Tradition: 1st Day of School – the anticipation, hope, unlimited possibilities and new beginnings are so exciting
Denise Tymon Curriculum Director, Social Studies Department Chair, and Senior State Moderator
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Denise Tymon - Curriculum Director, Social Studies Department Chair, and Senior State Moderator

  • Teaches: World History; AP US History; and American Folkcraft
  • Degrees/Universities: B.A. History, Fordham University (MC); M.A.T. Social Studies, LMU; M.S. Educational Administration, Mt. St. Mary’s University; California Lifetime Credential Social Studies

Favorite Quote: No guts, no glory!

Favorite Alverno Tradition: Mary’s Day – I love the tradition of honoring Mary in the month of May, and it is just an enjoyable event for our community.

Phyllis Vandeventer Math Department
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Phyllis Vandeventer - Math Department

  • Teaches: Algebra 1, Algebra 2, Statistics, and Precalculus.
  • Degrees/Universities: BA Mathematics and MAT mathematics from UCLA

Favorite Quote: “In the end, it doesn’t matter how long have you been living, but what you have been doing with your life.” – Debasish Mridha

Favorite Alverno Tradition: Fall Play and Spring Musical – Whether they work backstage or play a role on stage, our students will never forget their experience of putting on a show at Alverno.

Staff
Lee Ann Bechthold Assistant Business Office Manager
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Lee Ann Bechthold - Assistant Business Office Manager

  • Degree/University: B.A. Ambassador College

Favorite Quote: “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” – Maya Angelou

Favorite Alverno Tradition:  Candlelight, especially in the rain
Sue Behrens '78 Administrative Assistant
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Sue Behrens '78 - Administrative Assistant

Favorite Quote: “Feminism is the radical notion that women are people.” – Marie Shear

Favorite Alverno Tradition: I love Coffee House.  It’s great to see the amazing talents of our girls in a less formal setting than the play or musical.

Andrea Bertollini '91 Advancement Assistant
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Andrea Bertollini '91 - Advancement Assistant

Melissa Campos '08 Director of Alumnae Affairs and Advancement, Director of Student Activities, Volleyball and Basketball Head Coach
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Melissa Campos '08 - Director of Alumnae Affairs and Advancement, Director of Student Activities, Volleyball and Basketball Head Coach

  • Teaches: Zumba
  • Degrees/Universities:  B.A. Major in Business and Double Minor in Social Work and Kinesiology and M.A. in Education Whittier College

Favorite Quote: “She is clothed with strength and dignity, and she laughs without fear of the future.” Proverbs 31:25
Favorite Alverno Tradition: Mary’s Day. It is a day filled with such spirit that is contagious, not just among the students but faculty and staff as well.

Julia V. Fanara P'01, P'03, P'05 Head of School
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Julia V. Fanara P'01, P'03, P'05 - Head of School

  • Degrees/Universities: B.A. Theatre Arts, LMU; M.A. Secondary School Administration,USF; M.A. Inclusive Education, LMU; California Secondary Credential, English

Favorite Quote: “Be the change you want to see in the world.” – Mahatma Ghandi

Favorite Alverno Tradition: Mary’s Day – I love seeing the school come together as a community for this annual celebration

Wendy Finch-Burk Director of Development and Instituional Advancement
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Wendy Finch-Burk - Director of Development and Instituional Advancement

  • Degrees/University: BS Communications Cal Poly Pomona

Favorite Quote: “If of thy mortal goods thou are bereft, And from thy slender store two loaves alone to thee are left, Sell one – and with the dole, Buy hyacinths to feed thy soul!” – Moslih Eddin Saadi, Medieval Persian Poet

Favorite Alverno Tradition: Annual Gala – What could be more fun than a big party with all the members of the Alverno community in attendance and raising funds for Alverno Heights Academy in the process?

Liz Grace Receptionist
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Liz Grace - Receptionist

  • University: University of San Diego, History

Favorite Quote: Spread love everywhere you go. Let no one ever come to you without leaving happier.

Favorite Alverno Tradition: Christmas Adopt a Family gift giving

Michelle Gray Registrar
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Michelle Gray - Registrar

Favorite Quote: It is what it is.

Favorite Alverno Tradition: Mary’s Day – I love the competition between the different states and being able to take part in it by being a judge for the cheer and dances and getting to be behind the sports part of it with the athletic games.

Megan Hoover Director of College Counseling
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Megan Hoover - Director of College Counseling

  • Teaches: College Prep Elective
  • Degrees: B.A. Human Services , M.A. Ed School Counseling

Favorite Quote: “i carry your heart with me (i carry it in/ my heart) i am never without it (anywhere/ i go you go, my dear; and whatever is done/ by only me is your doing, my darling)” – E.E. Cummings

Favorite Alverno Tradition: Candlelight – all of the lights are magical on that night

Hoku Janbazian Librarian
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Hoku Janbazian - Librarian

  • Degrees/Universities:  BA in English and BA in History, Occidental College; MLS, UCLA

Favorite Quote: “Books, cats, life is good”- Edward Gorey

Favorite Alverno Tradition: Graduation – the students have done their work, the faculty and staff have done their jobs, and the new alumnae are on their way to great accomplishments

Maria Jones P'11 Business Manager
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Maria Jones P'11 - Business Manager

  • Degrees/Universities: B.S. Economics/Business Administration/Warren Wilson College, Asheville, NC

Favorite Quote: “If you tell the truth, you don’t have to remember anything.” ~ Mark Twain

Favorite Alverno Tradition: Candlelight – because Christmas is just around the corner.

Sara A. McCarthy '05 Director of Admissions and Enrollment Management
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Sara A. McCarthy '05 - Director of Admissions and Enrollment Management

  • Degrees/Universities: Bachelor’s Degree in American History and Sociology from University of San Francisco, Master’s in Education and California Single Subject Teaching Credential in Social Studies from Azusa Pacific, and Certificate of College Counseling from UCLA.

Favorite Quote: “FORTI ET FIDELI NIHIL DIFFICILE” To the brave and faithful, nothing is difficult. – McCarthy Family Motto

Favorite Alverno Tradition:  The plays and musicals! I was actively involved in the plays and musicals during my time at Alverno including Godspell, Hamlet, Cinderella, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, and Into the Woods. In 2014, I even had the opportunity to appear as Elle’s mom in Legally Blonde! I love all of the hard work, dedication, talent, and love our students and Ms. Cales bring to these shows!

Tim McHugh Director of Online Communications, Speech & Debate Coach, and ASU Moderator
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Tim McHugh - Director of Online Communications, Speech & Debate Coach, and ASU Moderator

  • Teaches: KATV, Television Review and Critique
  • Degrees/Universities: B.S. Music Industry, M.C.M. Online Communities University of Southern California

Favorite Quote: “We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard” – President John F. Kennedy

Favorite Alverno Tradition: Student Government – it is unlike any other high school government experience

 

Cindy McLoughlin P'06 and P'09 Director of Facilities and Film Liaison
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Cindy McLoughlin P'06 and P'09 - Director of Facilities and Film Liaison

Favorite Quote: “Play like a champion today.” – Unknown

Favorite Alverno Tradition: Mary’s Day – because we celebrate ALL that Alverno is in one day. We start out honoring our Blessed Mary, then go on to fun and competitions, and end it all with a feast and yearbooks.

K.C. Merchant Director of Technology, Freshman State Moderator
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K.C. Merchant - Director of Technology, Freshman State Moderator

  • Teaches: US History, Computer Science, AP Human Geography, and Yearbook
  • Degrees/Universities: MA Social Studies, SUNY Albany; BS Social Studies, SUNY New Paltz

Favorite Quote: “All that is gold does not glitter,Not all those who wander are lost;” Lord of the Rings

Favorite Alverno Tradition: Candlelight

Denise Tymon Curriculum Director, Social Studies Department Chair, and Senior State Moderator
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Denise Tymon - Curriculum Director, Social Studies Department Chair, and Senior State Moderator

  • Teaches: World History; AP US History; and American Folkcraft
  • Degrees/Universities: B.A. History, Fordham University (MC); M.A.T. Social Studies, LMU; M.S. Educational Administration, Mt. St. Mary’s University; California Lifetime Credential Social Studies

Favorite Quote: No guts, no glory!

Favorite Alverno Tradition: Mary’s Day – I love the tradition of honoring Mary in the month of May, and it is just an enjoyable event for our community.

Cam Werley-Gonzales Assistant Head of School
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Cam Werley-Gonzales - Assistant Head of School

  • Degrees/Universities: B.A. Religious Studies, Santa Clara University; M.A. Theology, Fuller Theological Seminary (in progress)

Favorite Quote: “I raise up my voice — not so I can shout, but so that those without a voice can be heard…we cannot succeed when half of us are held back.” – Malala Yousafzai

Favorite Alverno Tradition: Mary’s Day because it is an example of just how the entire community of students, faculty and staff, parents, and alumnae show how strong the bond of sisterhood and family is at Alverno Heights Academy.

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