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Moving forward with the mission

October 03, 2012|By Sr. Carolyn McCormick

Imagine a hot August afternoon in 1931 and picture three dedicated Dominican Sisters of Mission San Jose, making their way up the hill, carrying a statue of Mary, a $5 bill and their faith in the new mission they were about to begin — Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy. Clearly, there was risk in this new endeavor: The expensive decision of purchasing the Flintridge Biltmore Hotel as a new school had created controversy among the sisters; they had no grand plan for recruiting boarding students. And how would they make the necessary changes to take a beautiful hotel and turn it into a boarding school for girls? The sisters' faith, their courage and their vision were the foundation on which Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy began its mission. In the early 1950s the sisters, responding to the needs of their neighbors, opened their doors to day students.

Little did these sisters know that 81 years later, this school would have produced thousands of remarkable graduates — strong female leaders with compassionate hearts — including Rhodes and Fulbright scholars, a White House staffer, first vice president of Costa Rica, Olympic-caliber athletes, doctors, lawyers, Peace Corps volunteers, teachers and more. These women bring pride to our community and more importantly, bring hope to the world.

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FSHA is fortunate to exist in a community that not only has an exceptional public school system but also benefits from strong private schools. Like any of the schools that operate in La Cañada Flintridge, FSHA is constantly changing to meet the demands of educating its young women. While our mission remains the same, our students' needs have changed over the past 81 years. The time has come to modernize our campus to meet the needs of a 21st century educational experience.

In the mid-1990s, we began in earnest to provide updated facilities for our students. With support from our parents, neighbors, our community and the city, we enjoyed a collaborative experience and built our Student Activities Center, which houses our gymnasium, science classrooms, amphitheater and athletic field. Now, we want to complete our campus improvements. I am confident we will also improve our neighborhood.

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