The Advantage of Girls’ Schools


One of my favorite movies as a young girl was The Trouble with Angels. It was the story about a precocious high school girl who, after getting herself and her friends into a myriad of trouble, finds her true self while attending an all girls’ boarding school. I made up my mind that I, too, wanted to attend an all girls’ school. That school was Louisville High School in the San Fernando Valley.

The Trouble with Angels

During those four years, I was able to explore and become the person I am today. It was there I fell in love with the theatre. It was there that I learned tolerance, acceptance, and to truly embrace my Catholic faith. It was there that I learned my leadership skills, and it was there that I realized that I wanted to be a teacher. The friendships I forged were special, and when we get together now, we may as well be back on the senior lawn laughing until it hurts. When I went on to college, all of the skills and confidence that had become a part of my fabric remained with me and got me through some hard times. I carried on the legacy of supporting all girls’ education by sending my three daughters to Alverno where they developed into empowered young women who also believe in the value of an all girls’ education.

I started this reflection after I read an article recently shared by the National Coalition of Girls’ Schools (NCGS) from a freshman at Columbia who attended an all girls’ high school. Even though I went to high school almost 50 years ago, I completely related to her experience.

Kristina Kresic shared in Move magazine how going to an all girls’ school was an education that involved more than academics.  “For four years, I walked around the halls with the girls who shaped me into the person I am today, and in four years, I grew up and found myself.” She identifies the culture that existed both in my school and currently exists here at Alverno Heights Academy. “A single-gender private high school like the one I went to is a place where there are limited stereotypes and a place where anyone can find her voice. It helps foster success not only in high school, but also in the future.”

These experiences are not unique, they are the norm in all girls’ schools. To learn more insights from Kristina Kresic about her years in an all girls’ environment read about her experience here.

j-fanaraMs. Julia Fanara P’01, ’03, & ’05 is the Head of School at Alverno Heights Academy. This is her 26th year at Alverno Heights Academy and she has previously served as a member of the English and Visual and Performing Arts Department, Director of Activities, Dean of Students, and Assistant Head of School. Ms. Fanara became the Head of School in June 2014. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Theatre from Loyola Marymount University, a Master of Education degree from Loyola Marymount University, a Master of Education degree in Inclusion from the University of San Francisco, and is currently working on her Ph.D. from National University. Her three daughters, Gina ’01, Alexandra ’03, and Jacqueline ’05, all graduated from Alverno. 

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