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Prep school pumps up communication

School looks for better ways to tell students and community members its story.

September 15, 2010|By Andrew Shortall, andrew.shortall@latimes.com
  • Paula Bailey of Altadena takes a photo of her daughter Alexis Gordon on the first day of school for the 7th grader at Flintridge Preparatory School in La Canada Flintridge on Wednesday, September 8
Paula Bailey of Altadena takes a photo of her daughter… (Raul Roa, La Canada )

The headmaster's office at Flintridge Preparatory School on Crown Avenue was once a house, but Peter Bachmann, the school's headmaster, hopes students see it, and their school, as a home.

Prep officials hope each student establishes a life-long bond with their school. This year that long-standing goal is being addressed in a new way as the administration focuses on improving communication with everyone, whether they're students, alumni or community members.

"We're looking to tell our story as authentically and carefully as possible," Bachmann said.

To that end, Flintridge Prep's new website was unveiled by the time doors opened for the first day of the 2010-11 school year on Sept. 8.

Enrollment is about the same in 2010 as it has been for years, Bachmann said.

"We have been [at] right around 500 students for a long time," he said. "Our goal is not to grow the population, but continue to grow the quality of experience.

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"We hope that students continue to love their school after they graduate."

Bachmann, who has been the prep school's headmaster for 20 years and a history teacher at the school for 30, is striving toward this goal. So is Nicole Trevor, a 1991 alumna who is beginning her first year as the school's first director of communications.

"My main goal is to facilitate understanding of our culture to each other and to the outside world," Trevor said. She is looking to make communication personal at Flintridge Prep.

"I meet with the kids too and get to know them as individuals so they aren't just a market segment," she said. "That's a really important part of our relationships with all of the students. They're individuals first and we're here to facilitate their growth and love for the school."

There also are approximately 200 Flintridge Prep alumni mentors who help seniors decide on a college to attend or what career to pursue after college.

"I'd hope each student walks out of here with a sense of engagement with the world; an intellectual and social engagement," Bachmann said, "an engagement that comes with a passion that's going to fuel them through their lives."

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