December 1, 2017 | Newsletter

Greetings from Dr. Brenot


Dear Parents,


The Christmas season is upon us: Campus is decorated with wreaths, the Christmas tree is on the stage in Study Hall, the Student Senate is playing Christmas music before Assembly each day, and Buddy the Elf is hiding around campus for fun-spirited class competitions to find him. The students are preparing for final exams. Tomorrow night is the Christmas Concert, and next week we will have Christmas Dinner and celebrate Candlelight Mass. Truly, we are in the final stretch of fall semester!

Next week, students celebrate the season with three days of Kris Kringle gift-giving. Recently, they each drew the name of a classmate in Journey class and will serve as a Secret Santa from Wednesday through Friday. On Wednesday, they decorate their classmate's desk; on Thursday, they give their classmate a handmade gift; and on Friday, they give her a special gift and reveal their identity in class KK parties. R4 has provided boxes of recycled Christmas decorations from past KK celebrations for the students to use in the spirit of "less is more." Many students have made hand-sewn festive fabric desk covers to reduce the use of wrapping paper, and the Senate officers and class deans have called on students to remember the meaning behind Kris Kringles: to make a classmate feel special and loved without expecting anything in return.

Most important of all at this time of year is for us to give thanks for our abundant blessings. We remind the students and ourselves of the deeper meaning behind the season of Christmas. Advent, which comes from the Latin word "coming," is a time of preparation for the arrival of the Christ Child. In this season of preparation for Christmas, please know that we wish you and your families a peaceful, joyful, and restful December.




Kassandra T. Brenot '87, Ph.D.

Head of Upper School


News and Notes

Around Campus

Coach Elliott with volleyball team

Coach Elliott wins Golden Whistle Award

Volleyball coach and Athletic Director Paul Elliott was honored with KSBW's Golden Whistle Award, which is given once per athletic season to a coach who demonstrates the qualities that are most important to transforming their players' lives. Watch the video.


And speaking of volleyball, the Cougars made it to the NorCal semifinals after recording their second straight undefeated season. Way to go, girls!


Christmas Concert on December 2

Please join us for our Christmas Concert, "Winter's Rose," on Saturday, December 2, at 7:30 p.m. in the PAC. Enjoy music from the Chamber Choir and Chamber Ensemble, and purchase chocolate and gift items at Peace and Justice's Ethical Trade Sale.


Chapel lawn getting a face-lift

Construction in front of chapel

Work has begun on a landscaping project outside of Rosary Chapel. The project is a mix of hardscape and softscape, with benches, lighting, drought-tolerant plants, and a memory walk. When completed, the Chapel will be as much a place of reflection on the outside as inside. Follow along with the progress of construction in our photo gallery.


TEDxSCS amplifies 'Voices of the World'

TEDxSantaCatalinaSchool presented a thought-provoking lineup of speakers for the fifth annual event, which included a talk by Ana León Nuñez '18 and an original song by Fila Oen '18. Read a recap.

See photos from the Salinas kids' tea party

The young girls from the Family Resource Center in Salinas came to the Catalina campus on November 4 for a tea party and art show featuring their creations. Check out photos from the event.

This month, our students returned to Salinas to make felt gingerbread decorations and bring the kids some more books for book club. In addition, thanks to the Dean family, we are sponsoring four families this year, sending them gifts for Christmas.


New in the Bookstore

Charge up your holidays! Our new power banks have a dual head cable for charging both the iPhone 6 and 7. Branded with the Santa Catalina logo, they retail for $19.00.


Our next Open House is around the corner!

The next admission Open House is Sunday, January 14, from 10:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m., and we invite your friends, neighbors, and family to join us. This is a great opportunity to envision life as a Catalina girl by meeting current students, talking with faculty, and interacting with our community. Guests can RSVP online—just send them the link via text or email! (Check out the student-produced video on this page, too!)


Thank you for supporting Catalina and sharing our legacy with those you know!


Santa Catalina Fund wrapup: How'd your class do?

The Santa Catalina Fund was a huge success! Thank you to all parents who participated. Your early donations have already started working for our students and faculty.


In the Upper School, the classes were challenged to reach 100 percent parent participation. The freshmen parents had the highest participation with 79 percent. Great work! Find out where everyone else stands.


Two new endowments established

We are grateful to Kate Brizius '88 and her husband, Chuck Brizius, for their commitment of $100,000 to establish the Myers-Brizius Family Scholarship Fund. This endowment will help support tuition assistance at Santa Catalina.

We are also thrilled to announce that Michelle and Garrett Blake, parents of Emily '12 and Sarah '16, committed $50,000 to support the Sister Claire and Sister Christine Endowment for Health and Wellness and $50,000 for unrestricted endowment. Michelle has been a member of our board of trustees since 2013.


Benefit Celebration Committee meeting

The next Benefit Celebration Committee meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, December 5, at 8:00 a.m. in the Dining Room. We would love for you to join us—it is not too late to get involved!


Our committees are hard at work securing fantastic bottles for the wine auction; however, we need a bit more help from you. We are asking for a donation of your favorite bottles of wine for the Benefit festivities. Please drop them off in the Lower and Middle School office. Thank you for your generous donations!


We are still in search of fabulous live auction items as well. If you are able to, or know someone who can help facilitate a live auction item, we would love to hear from you!


Please contact Benefit Co-chairs:
Jamie Roth at 831.655.9379 or
Sabrina Taylor at 831.332.4971 or

Student Life

Weekend activities for boarding and day students

The following activities are offered to students in December. (Subject to change depending on student interest.)

  • December 2 – Paint your own pottery on campus
  • December 3 – See Mamma Mia! (featuring dance instructor Nicole Cofresi) at the Golden Bough in Carmel
  • December 8 – Mass for the Feast of the Immaculate Conception
  • December 8 – See The Nutcracker (featuring English teacher Gerry Kapolka and several Lower and Middle School students) at Sunset Center
  • December 9 – Reconciliation, San Carlos Cathedral
  • December 10 – Mini gingerbread house decorating
  • December 10 – Yoga

Upcoming Events

Saturday - December 2, 2017
8:00 AM
7:30 PM - 9:00 PM
Saturday - December 9, 2017
8:00 AM
6:00 PM - 7:00 PM
Dining Room
7:30 PM - 8:30 PM
Rosary Chapel
Tuesday - December 12, 2017
Wednesday - January 3, 2018

Photo of the Month

Students dressed as history teachers

Students dressed as their favorite teachers for Cougar Day—these three teamed up as the History Department. See more doppelgängers in our photo gallery.


Santa Catalina School

1500 Mark Thomas Drive, Monterey, CA 93940