SCA Online News
September 2020
Alma Matters
Celebrating Latinx Heritage:
Two alumnae share their talents in education and engineering

Karla L. Chiluiza '99, principal at
the Global Learning Collaborative
(second from bottom) celebrates
during a Thanksgiving feast with
some of her students.
Kathya Chiluiza '01, senior logistics engineer, is in the field at General Mills.

St. Catharine's is celebrating Latinx Heritage by highlighting some members of the SCA community. Watch social media for more stories through mid-October.

Today, meet two alumnae sisters. Karla L. Chiluiza '99, principal at the Global Learning Collaborative in New York City, and Kathya Chiluiza '01, a senior logistics engineer at General Mills, speak about the strong Ecuadorian women in their family who set the groundwork for coming to St. Catharine's and building careers in education and engineering respectively.

"I was born in Guayaquil and moved to New York City when I was three years old," Karla says. "Growing up, I was surrounded by strong women who served as role models. My mom, abuelita and tia were a tight unit. From them, I learned resilience and a strong work ethic. I also learned to be bold and to pursue my dreams. Lastly and importantly, my Catholic faith has been my anchor during challenging times."

Kathya agrees. "While we didn't learn English at home, we learned important values from our parents and family. Our culture is one that values hard work, commitment, and support for each other. Throughout my education and career, these values helped guide and encourage me to succeed -- to push forward during difficult times and keep an open and kind heart for others."

She points to her teachers at St. Catharine's, especially in math and science, as continuing that path. "These female role models (Ms. Morales, Ms. Cassaneto, Ms. D'Andrea, Ms. Kerrigan) demonstrated to me that these topics were not insurmountable, that they could be both fun and challenging.  I was intrigued - I began to explore paths in engineering and that led me to choose Cornell University upon graduation."

Karla says she found her passion for education at St. Catharine's as well. "A special shout-out to Ms. Morales, Ms. Panella, Mr. Dawson and Ms. Gonzalez. Really all my teachers demonstrated love and dedication. I thank them all for inspiring me to become a teacher."
Around SCA

Meet the new faculty

Several new faculty joined the teaching team at St. Catharine's this fall. Click each photo to learn about each faculty member.

SCA welcomes students back to in-person classes

St. Catharine Academy welcomed students back to in-person classes with the pandemic protocols in place on Sept. 21. Take a peek into a day in classes in the fall of 2020.

IDEA Council created at SCA to focus on communicating, educating and accountability

We've been listening to our community over the last few months on the racial injustices experienced not only around the world but within our own community. While it is always our intention to celebrate the diversity of our school in the best way, we understand that there is always room for improvement. Because of the voices that have spoken up, St. Catharine Academy has created The Council for Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Accountability or The IDEA Council for short.

The IDEA Council is comprised of five students and five faculty, staff and administration members who want to explore and create a new structure for our school to engage issues of race, diversity, and inclusion in a deeper and more meaningful way. With the help of alumna, Olga Segura '07, who is a freelance writer and author of The Black Lives Matter Movement and the Catholic Church, which is slated for a release date of February 2021, The IDEA Council will focus on communicating with our community, educating our community, and holding ourselves accountable. The Council looks forward to working with our school community to move towards a move inclusive environment.

The SCA Huskie gets her flu shot

The Huskie is getting her flu shot! Have you gotten yours?  Thank you to Carmelina Parlo Kipervaser '10 and Angela Parlo '06 for administering flu shots to the students, faculty and staff!
Student Spotlight

Two students earn perfect score
on Engineering Tomorrow project

Two students from St. Catharine's STEM program participated in the Engineering Tomorrow Summer Program and earned a perfect score on their traffic light project. Antonella Q. '22 and Mahnoor S. '22 participated in the program remotely due to the pandemic.
In July, they received all the materials needed to build an electrical circuit board, which would act the same way as a traffic light. The students had one week to complete the challenge and bonus activities. Both students created a traffic light circuit and were the only two students to complete the testing of the bonus challenge which enabled the lights to become brighter and dimmer depending on the time of day.
Sheree Petrignani, SCA STEM teacher, says, "I was extremely proud of how well they did. They were the only two students who completed the testing of the Bonus."
Antonella, who says she was excited to learn new things, explains, "The process of making the traffic light was really fun, I enjoyed it. The first thing that I needed to do was to unpack the kit. Then I needed to find a way to connect the wires with the LEDs. After that, I needed to do coding, put them together and make the traffic light."
"I was able to further develop background knowledge and previous applications I had worked on in my Physics and Robotics 1 classes during my sophomore year," Mahnoor says. "I was able to become comfortable with an application called CAD/CAM which I was able to play around with when doing and preparing for my Embedded Systems Challenge for this program. I learned even more about the system in terms of problem solving and programming through the Engineering Tomorrow program."
Mahnoor concludes, "All in all I wouldn't have been able to prosper in the program without the knowledge I gained with Mrs. P and in the robotics class and the team I was in. I chose to attend St. Catharine's because of the robotics club and classes it offered. I was not disappointed as I was able to gain the opportunity to be on a robotics team and now participate in engineering programs like the one I did this summer. I will continue to be grateful for such opportunities I will get through SCA."
Circle the Dates

Visit SCA virtually this fall

We invite you to visit SCA virtually this fall and invite young women preparing to graduate in 2025 to join you. 

Explore a class
Want to reminisce and explore a class one Thursday starting in October? Pull up a virtual chair. You must register in advance for the link to join the event:
Oct. 8: AP English
Oct, 15: Math
Oct. 22: STEM and Robotics
Oct. 29: Social Studies
Nov. 5: Language

Open House
This year we will be hosting our Open House Virtually on October 25, 2020! More information will be provided at a later date. To register, visit
Information Session:
Can't make the Virtual Open House?! Join us for our Virtual Information Session on Wednesday, November 4, 2020. More information will be provided at a later date. To register, visit


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Donate Now (This year's Fund for Catharinites runs through August 31.)