News From the Head of School

Dear Parents, Students, and Friends,

I am sure many of you have by now heard of the excitement of the move and the temporary learning facilities, which are part of our Boundless Campaign. For many, they are a welcome improvement to some of the challenges we have been experiencing with Aquinas Hall and St. Joseph Hall. Regardless of the classroom space, the same culture and climate of OLP continue! In just a short, one-year time frame, we will re-open the buildings in August 2020 with a newly renovated interior to serve our students for the next century of learning.

As another school year draws to a close, we honor and celebrate the Class of 2019 as they begin their final month of classes, exams, athletic events, dances, and activities at the Academy of Our Lady of Peace. We are very proud of their accomplishments and salute all parents and family members for their support and encouragement. Congratulations to all!

For the seniors, it is a time of sad goodbyes and exciting, new beginnings. With such a myriad of activities coming up for the end of the year, I urge all parents to leverage the graduation website to support you with all the events and information. A few dates to note: Grad Night on May 17th, the Senior Farewell Assembly on May 20th (parents are welcome to join us), and ultimately Baccalaureate Mass on May 23rd and Graduation on May 24th.

In addition to the events for seniors, we also have several very special traditions for all students including Community Day and Mass on the Grass on May 3rd, the Academic Assembly on May 15th and Evening of Excellence for grades 9–12 that night.

May God's blessings be with our seniors as they graduate from OLP and embark on an exciting future. On behalf of the Board of Directors, the faculty, staff and administration, I bid farewell to the Class of 2019 and wish them an abundance of blessings and much success!

Also, we are very excited to welcome the Class of 2023 to the OLP family. We look forward to many happy years together as partners in the education and formation of our young women!

To all of our parents, thank you for all you have done this year and every year in partnership to educate the hearts and minds of our students. We invite all of you who have given your time and volunteered throughout the year to join us at our Volunteer Recognition Brunch on Tuesday, May 7th at 8:30 am in Pilot Café located in St. Catherine's Hall. Parking will be available in the parking structure.

God bless our OLP family, and I wish everyone a pleasant and restful summer!

Lauren Lek, Ed.D.
Head of School

Looking Ahead to May

Dear Parents, Students, and Friends of OLP,

It is hard to believe that this school year is coming to an end. The month of May offers the opportunity to celebrate the many achievements of our students.

Next week we will have the pleasure of welcoming the Class of 2023 onto campus alongside their parents for our annual Spring Welcome Night. We are very excited to welcome them to campus this fall; however, it is with mixed emotions as we also prepare to say goodbye to our senior OLP Class of 2019.

To the Class of 2019, bearing witness to your high school journey has been an honor and has provided such joy for our OLP faculty and staff. As a community, we feel so fortunate to have known you for the last four years. We are excited to celebrate your class and your achievements in the month to come. It does not seem that long ago that you walked through the green gates of OLP for your first day of high school. You will always be in our hearts and have left an indelible mark on the history of OLP.

Congratulations to the Class of 2019 Valedictorians, Mariana Frangos '19, and Sanjana Paye '19 and Salutatorian, Gillian Folk '19. We look forward to recognizing the achievements of our students at our annual Evening of Excellence awards ceremony on Wednesday, May 15 at 6:30 pm in the Holy Family Event Center. During the school day on Wednesday, May 15, we will have a schoolwide Academic Assembly at 1:00 pm. Please note that parents of daughters who are receiving awards at either of these events will receive an invitation this week via email.

With May comes AP testing, which will be taking place throughout the day from May 6-17. Soon after, students will have Blocks A - F final exams May 21-May 23. All students will be dismissed at 12:00 pm on final exam days. Please keep our students in your thoughts and prayers as they prepare to demonstrate their learning.

In closing, Happy Mother's Day to all the mothers, grandmothers and mother figures of our students. These last two months of maternity leave have been a joyful time for our family and I am left with an acute awareness of the gift of motherhood; both, the gift of being a mother and the gifts I have received from my own mother. As poet Oliver Windell Holmes once shared, "Youth fades; love droops; the leaves of friendship fall; but a mother's secret hope outlives them all."We are so thankful for the hope of the mothers of OLP students, and it is an absolute privilege to share in the hope they have for their daughters. Happy Mother's Day!

God Bless,
Mrs. Jessica Hooper
Assistant Head of School

In looking forward to the 2019-2020 school year, please note
the following important dates:

  • Frosh Orientation and Frosh Family Luncheon on Wednesday, August 7, 2019 followed with Frosh Tech Day and Pictures on Thursday, August 8, 2019
  • Class Meetings and Student Pictures are on Thursday, August 8, 2019
  • The first day of classes will be on Monday, August 12, 2019
  • Our first schoolwide liturgical celebration will be the Feast Day of the Assumption of Mary on Thursday, August 15, 2019
  • Back to School Night will be at 6:30 pm on Thursday, August 15, 2019
  • Grandparents Day will again be on Friday, November 22, 2019 preceding Thanksgiving Break November 25-29, 2019
  • Fall Final Exams will be December 17, 2019 - December 19, 2019; Spring Final Exams will be May 19, 2020 - May 21, 2020. These are mandatory. Students are only allowed absences due to illness.
  • Christmas Break starts on Friday, December 20, 2019
  • Retreat Week begins on Monday, January 6, 2020 – Thursday, January 9, 2020 with mandatory activities for all grade levels
  • Easter Break will begin on Thursday, April 9, 2020 with students returning on Monday, April 20, 2020
  • School ends on Thursday, May 21, 2020
  • Baccalaureate Mass will be on Thursday, May 21, 2020 and Graduation for the Class of 2020 on Friday, May 22, 2020

  • Historical Corner: Wrapping Up the Year

    By Melinda Blade, Ed.D., Director of Mission Integration & Historian

    As this academic year wraps up, Margaret Wiedower, '68, and I are retiring after more than four decades each at OLP. We have had the pleasure of teaching at OLP since 1976 (Melinda) and 1977 (Margaret). We depart with a combined total of 85 teaching years at OLP.

    We will hold OLP and her alumnae, students, faculty, staff, and families in our prayers and hearts forever.

    The two daughters of two career Navy men leave you with the traditional Sailor's Blessing: "May you have Fair Winds and Following Seas.”

    Thanks for the memories! Go, Pilots!

    Read More

    Stations of the Cross at OLP

    The OLP community gathered for a Stations of the Cross prayer service on Tuesday, April 16, in honor of Holy Week in preparation for Easter.

    The stations were presented from a variety of perspectives, including those of Mary and Jesus' disciples, as well as with accompanying student reflections about how the stations of Jesus' passion and crucifixion could relate to and connect with students' lived experiences today.

    Liturgical Planning students employed a variety of creative formats to portray the stations, such as reenactments, video clips, liturgical dance, shadows, and music to help students reflect upon how they may be sources of hope and God's love for the dear neighbor during difficult and challenging times.

    2019 Graduation Parking & Accessories

    Congratulations, Class of 2019 families! We are excited to celebrate with you the long-awaited day of your daughters' high school graduation!

    VIP Parking
    As you may know, parking the day of Graduation can be difficult around our neighborhood streets. Instead of worrying about finding parking, you can secure one of our limited VIP parking spots in the parking structure. Spots are $150 each with all proceeds going towards the Carondelet Annual Fund.

    Hurry - these spots sell fast!

    There will also be a limo bus circling the neighborhood to give guests rides to and from campus, and off-site parking is available at Westfield Mission Valley. For more information on parking and other details of the day, click here.

    Orchid Leis
    Members of the Class of 2019 may purchase a blue and white orchid lei to wear during Commencement. LEIS WILL NOT BE SOLD AT THE DOOR. These MUST be purchased in advance. The last day to purchase a lei is May 13 at 4:00 PM Purchased leis will be available for pick up after Baccalaureate Mass on May 23.

    Join Us for Summer Camps!

    The Academy of Our Lady of Peace is thrilled to offer exciting educational summer enrichment camps for young girls!

    Girls entering 4th, 5th, 6th, or 7th grade in the fall can experience the magic of an all-girls' school environment through a wide variety of STEAM-focused camps that are taught by our experienced OLP faculty, students, and alumnae.

    Camps will take place from July 8th - July 19th, with each camp running one week long. These full-day camps will run Monday - Friday from 8:30 am - 3:00 pm.

    Athletics Update

    Spring Sports Recognition Night
    All Spring sport student-athletes and their families are invited to attend the Spring Sports Recognition Night on Tuesday, May 14, 2019, at 6:30 pm in the Holy Family Event Center. This ceremony celebrates all Spring sports (Archery, Lacrosse, Sand Volleyball, Softball, Swim/Dive, and Track & Field) as well as year-round sports that include Cheer, Dance, Equestrian and Surf.

    OLP Physical Day is June 8, 2019
    All physicals completed after June 1, 2019, are valid for the entire academic year. OLP recommends having an annual physical with your regular physician during the month of June. If this is not possible due to timing or insurance coverage, physician physicals will be available on the OLP Campus on Saturday, June 8, 2019, for a small fee to complete this requirement. All physicals must be completed and signed by a physician with an MD or DO credential. Click here to register.

    Basketball Shout-Out
    Congratulations are to our Varsity Basketball team which was recognized as the CIF Section All-Academic Team for the Metro region. The team had an impressive 3.87 GPA. Also, Senior Gabby Dixon was selected as the Section Scholar. Well done Pilots, both on and off the court!

    Senior Gillian Folk Selected as a 2019 CIF Scholar-Athlete Section Winner
    Gilly Folk ‘19 was selected by the CIF State office as 2019 CIF Scholar-Athlete of the Year and awarded a most prestigious scholarship. With this scholarship, she will receive an award, a certificate and a check in the amount of $1,000. There are more than 800,000 student-athletes in high school athletics in California and Gilly was selected from that group because of her achievements in the classroom and in athletics. We are very proud of you, Gilly!

    Athletics Calendar | Athletics Instagram

    Architects of Change May Monthly Highlight: Annette Ross

    By Alyse Saucedo '21 and Brigid Hanczor '20

    On Tuesday, April 9, 2019, Annette Ross joined the Architects of Change team for our first ever Instagram livestreamed conversation. Annette is the first Architect of Change to be interviewed on our new podcast series.

    “I was fortunate in that I am naturally positive. I have always been resilient, and I strongly believe in love. Love helps me maintain a broader perspective.”

    These are the words of the beautiful Annette Ross, an inspirational mother of five, wife, advocate for women’s health, and role model. When Annette Ross gave birth to her second daughter in 2000, she knew her life was about to change, but she didn’t know quite how much. An epidural went wrong left Annette paralyzed from the waist down and unable to walk, but this amazing women shares how she continually overcomes the challenges life has thrown her way.

    In her inspirational memoir, Where Fairy Tales Go: A Love Story, Annette Ross shares her incredible story of learning to live with a life-changing disability and teaches us what it truly means to remain faithful and strong through even the most trying of times. Through the support of her family and friends and a deep trust in her faith, Annette has a strong support system to help her throughout her journey, and reflects that although her life has been a rollercoaster of emotions and hardships, she has learned that “Love never dies.”

    Read More & Listen to the Podcast

    Alumnae Spotlight: Kelsea Hubka '05, Alexandria Embleton '04
    and Melissa Lopez '17

    Kelsea Hubka '05 successfully defended her Ph.D. dissertation in Bioengineering at Rice University last month. The title of her dissertation is "Novel Biomimetic Hydrogels for Glandular and Tumor Tissue Engineering."Her proud parents are Janet Hubka '76 and Dr. Mark Hubka (Saints Alumnus) – in their own words: "We have another doctor in the family!"

    Alexandria Embleton '04 was invited to perform the National Anthem at the San Diego Padres' game in San Diego on April 8. Alexandria shared that she was honored to perform in her hometown. "It truly was a lifelong dream come true and one of the most special moments of my life."

    Melissa Lopez '17 is finishing her sophomore year at Boston University, pursuing a degree in Computer Engineering. This summer she will be a Software Engineering Intern at Dreamworks Animation, a goal she has had since the first semester of her senior year at OLP. She recently checked in with faculty member Mr. Tim Paluso to thank him for being such great Computer Science and Calculus instructor. "Taking Mr. Paluso's CompSci class changed my decision for my college major and has impacted my life."

    Looking Ahead at Alumnae Events

    May 24, 2019: 50th Golden Reunion for the class of 1969 at OLP’s 2019 Graduation celebration. Click here to learn more and RSVP. For general event information, please contact Jeanette Handelsman, Alumnae Engagement Coordinator at or 619-725-9154.

    May 25, 2019: Class of 1969 Off-Campus Special Event
    For information, contact Mary Humphries Vitrano ( or Janet Cooper (

    June 22, 2019: Los Angeles Area Alumnae Reconnect at the Doheny Campus of Mount St. Mary’s University. Click here for tickets.

    August 8-10, 2019: Alumnae Reunion Weekend, which will highlight milestone graduating classes ending in 4’s and 9’s, an Alumnae Mass and the Alumna of the Year Ceremony. More details to be announced.