In the News

Prep Unveils Speaker Series Slate, Starting with a Presentation on College Admissions
Posted 10/20/2017 04:00PM

Now in its third year, the Prep Community Speaker Series has expanded to include a total of four education events designed for parents and the community.

The Flintridge Prep Parents Association, coordinating with the Prep Community Speaker Series, hosted an evening with Gloria Díaz Ventura, Prep’s Director of College Counseling. Ms. Ventura, who has worked on both sides of college admission in her 15-year career, walked over 220 parents through the college admissions landscape, guiding them through a host of factors that influence highly selective colleges to encourage as many applications as possible, as well as giving an insider’s view of admissions committee discussions.

Ms. Ventura pointed out that less than 1% of high school students attend schools that accept fewer than 10% of applicants (examples include Harvard and Yale). This fact “highlights the tension that exists between an institution’s bottom line and the lives of 17-year-old teens,” Ms. Ventura remarked.

However, Prep students are positioned well in the regional, national and international landscape both academically and because of their values.

“We have identified some of the finest scholars, mathematicians, historians and linguists we could find to educate and inspire our students. We have crafted a mission statement, a strategic plan and an honor code that outlines our values, our intentions and our hopes in shaping young lives. Peter Bachmann started the school year inviting the student body to sign the Honor Code. This is a community where academic views are challenged, where faculty members empathize with their students, where parents come together to support each other and where the administration thoughtfully implements new initiatives, preserving the culture.”

True to the school’s mission, Prep’s College Counseling office strives for authenticity when working with students, and Ms. Ventura noted that colleges can tell when applicants try to “package” themselves. In addition, and perhaps more importantly, College Counseling staff encourage students to seek qualities in a college community that reflect their interests and goals—regardless of other factors such as rankings.

In order to demonstrate the alignment between parents and the College Counseling office, Ms. Ventura asked families to identify the characteristics of successful students. Audience members called out adjectives such as happy, competent, self-confident, motivated, curious, balanced, resilient and enthusiastic. They also recognized service to others, knowing themselves and being fulfilled as traits of successful students.

None of the terms identified had to do with academic achievement or financial reward, and ultimately, Ms. Ventura connected these ideals with the transformational process students undertake in the 15 months during the application process. She credited Prep families for ignoring media attention and pressure by seeking best fit over college rankings.

The Prep Community Speaker Series will continue in November.


Upcoming Community Speaker Series Events


Thursday, November 9, 2017 
Refreshments: 6:45 pm*
Program: 7:00 pm
Prep’s Norris Auditorium

The award-winning documentary Screenagers probes into the vulnerable corners of family life and depicts messy struggles with social media, video games, academics and internet addiction. Surprising insights from authors and brain scientists offer solutions on how we can empower kids to best navigate the digital world. A facilitated panel discussion will follow the screening.

*The Foothill off-ramp will be closed at the time of this event. We apologize for the inconvenience, and we advise you to allow more time to arrive to campus.



STEAM, Leadership and Global Studies Initiatives

Tuesday, February 6, 2018
Refreshments: 6:30 pm 
Program: 7:00 pm
Prep’s Norris Auditorium

In this interactive discussion, faculty members will demonstrate what students experience through the school’s burgeoning STEAM, Leadership and Global Studies programs. Don’t miss this chance to experience how our teachers work across curriculums to prepare our students for life.

Questions? Contact Laura Campobasso at


Susan Stiffelman, MFT

Tuesday, April 10, 2018
Refreshments: 6:30 pm 
Program: 7:00 pm
La Cañada Presbyterian Church

Susan Stiffelman is a parent coach for the Huffington Post, a marriage and family therapist, a credentialed teacher and a licensed psychotherapist. For over 30 years, she has worked with families to create greater harmony and deeper connections between parents and children.

Questions? Contact Laura Campobasso at


About the Speaker Series Program

The Prep Community Speaker Series is designed it to educate, entertain and inform our school community, supporting the school’s goal to encourage life-long learning.


Flintridge Preparatory School
4543 Crown Avenue La Cañada Flintridge CA 91011
Tel: 818-790-1178
Fax: 818-952-6247
Located near Pasadena and Los Angeles in La Cañada, CA, Flintridge Prep is a private independent, coed day school for grades 7-12.
  • NAIS
  • FAST
  • CSEE
  • Independent Curriculum Group
  • Independent Curriculum Group
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