Student Recognized By Newton Rotary

Communications News

Congratulations Sara C. ’20 upon being named the Newton Rotary Club’s November Student of the Month.

Sara was recognized at their monthly luncheon at Brae Burn Country Club. She was joined by her mother Maria Mercuri Consigli ‘83 P’20 ‘23, Erin DiGuardia and Eileen McLaughlin.

First Quarter Honor Roll Announced

Communications News

Congratulations to the following students who earned academic honors for the first quarter of the 2017-2018 school year.

Head of School List

Nell N.’23
Ava P.’23
Anna R.’23
Christina D.’22
Catherine S.’22
Mary Kate C.’21
Greta G.’21
Kelly S.’21
Anne B.’20
Emma C.’20
Elizabeth C.’20
Li Qian H.’20
Minwa A.’19
Florencia C.’19
Yilin (Daisy) J.’19
Grace M.’19
Grace N.’19
Alyssa N.’19
Devyani A.’18
Nora M.’18
Caitlin O.’18
Haoqing (Terese) W.’18

First Honors

Sadie C.’23
Marlene C.’23
Catherine C.’23
Maeve O.’23
Madeline R.’23
Margaret S.’23
Sarah W.’23
Anna A.’22
Sophia C.’22
Ariana C.’22
Meabh K.’22
Marykate R.’22
Maeve W.’22
Leslie A.’21
Angela C.’21
Courtney C.’21
Emma G.’21
Niamh G.’21
Samantha O.’21
Elizabeth W.’21
Teagan Y.’21
Keyi (Coco)Y.’21
Areeba A.’20
Mary Kate C.’20
Amanda C.’20
Maria C.’20
Isabella C.’20
Caroline D.’20
Raheal G.’20
Aleen K.’20
Yixin L.’20
Hannah M.’20
Lilah M.’20
Cebria M.’20
Shenshen (Esther) Q.’20
Kristine S.’20
Catherine S.’20
Kelsey B.’19
Grace D.’19
Julia D.’19
Isabella D.’19
Xueqi (Elena) H.’19
Chloe O.’19
Sarah P.’19
Erin S.’19
Mairead W.’19
Caroline W.’19
Alison B.’18
Rebecca B.’18
Isabella C.’18
Maggie D.’18
Ashley K.’18
Hyun-Jae (Rina) K.’18
Marisa M.’18
Maria P.’18
Maegan P.’18
Mairead S.’18
Sophia T.’18
Thao Nhu T.’18
Olivia V.’18

Second Honors

Aliza A.’23
Fiona C.’23
Alexandra K.’23
Alexandria P.’23
Isabel P.’23
Emily S.’23
Christa C.’22
Anne F.’22
Margaret S.’22
Caroline S.’22
Xinyu (Sunny) C.’21
Yelena C.’21
Taylor E.’21
Ava L.’21
Kristina M.’21
Cassandra M.’21
Natalie M.’21
Grace O.’21
Briana R.’21
Yunling (Troy) W.’21
Zehua (Zoe) Y.’21
Zaina A.’20
Maya B.’20
Emma C.’20
Morgan E.’20
Ava H.’20
Lidy L.’20
Aisling M.’20
Lilly O.’20
Julia P.’20
Qiyu (Hanna) Z.’20
Madison A.’19
Ivana C.’19
Colleen C.’19
Ashley C.’19
Leora C.’19
Morgan C.’19
Shrutika K.’19
Adrienne L.’19
Roisin M.’19
Mira R.’19
Emma W.’19
Mckenzie B.’18
Madelyn C.’18
Niamh G.’18
Caroline H.’18
Joanna K.’18
Molleigh K.’18
Caroline M.’18
Dakota O.’18
Dylan O.’18
Giselle P.’18
Cristina R.’18
Janelle S.’18
Joyce S.’18
Amani V.’18

Effort Recognition

Class of 2023

Sadie C.
Marlene C.
Catherine C.
Nell N.
Maeve O.
Ava P.
Anna R.
Madeline R.
Margaret S.

Class of 2022

Anna A.
Sophia C.
Ariana C.
Christina D.
Meabh K.
Marykate R.
Catherine S.
Caroline S.
Maeve W.

Class of 2021

Leslie A.
Mary Kate C.
Courtney C.
Emma G.
Niamh G.
Greta G.
Grace O.
Samantha O.
Kelly S.
Elizabeth W.
Teagan Y.
Keyi Y.

Class of 2020

Areeba A.
Anne B.
Mary Kate C.
Emma C.
Amanda C.
Emma C.
Maria C.
Isabella C.
Elizabeth C.
Caroline D.
Raheal G.
Ava H.
Li Qian H.
Aleen K.
Lidy L.
Yixin L.
Hannah M.
Lilah M.
Cebria M.
Julia P.
Kristine S.
Catherine S.

Class of 2019

Minwa A.
Madison A.
Kelsey B.
Ivana C.
Colleen C.
Florencia C.
Morgan C.
Grace D.
Julia D.
Isabella D.
Xueqi (Elena) H.
Yilin (Daisy) J.
Grace M.
Roisin M.
Grace N.
Alyssa N.
Chloe O.
Sarah P.
Erin S.
Mairead W.
Emma W.
Caroline W.

Class of 2018

Devyani A.
Mckenzie B.
Alison B.
Rebecca B.
Isabella C.
Maggie D.
Caroline H.
Ashley K.
Molleigh K.
Hyun-Jae (Rina) K.
Eleanor M.
Marisa M.
Nora M.
Caroline M.
Caitlin O.
Dakota O.
Dylan O.
Maria P.
Maegan P.
Giselle P.
Cristina R.
Janelle S.
Mairead S.
Joyce S.
Sophia T.
Thao Nhu T.
Amani V.
Haoqing (Terese) W.


Quarter 2 Interims & Opportunities

emclaughlin Head of School

Although it seems like just moments ago we were meeting to discuss your student’s Quarter 1 report card, it is now time to check in on her progress for Quarter 2.  Mount Alvernia’s student information system, Blackbaud, has allowed for more channels of communication this academic year.  This morning student interim reports were updated for Quarter 2.  Faculty members have added two comments and noted the range of your student’s grade in order that you might be aware of her progress.  These are intended to be conversation starters – for you and your daughter, for your daughter and her teacher or for you and your daughter’s teacher.  You can access these interim reports by logging into Blackbaud – on the top left you can click on the student’s name, under performance click on Report Cards, click on Q2 Interim Report.  Please let us know if you have any questions.  Quarter 2 always seems to move with lightning speed as it is interrupted by Thanksgiving and Christmas – before you know it we will be wrapping up the quarter and heading into Semester exams which will run from January 8th to the 11th.

As the year progresses quickly, it is important to note the accomplishments of the Class of 2018 as well as opportunities for all of our students.   As of this week, our seniors have been accepted into 30 colleges and universities and have been awarded $1,891,500 in renewed scholarships, merit awards and/or grants thus far! It is an exciting and anxious time as each student waits to hear back from the schools to which she has applied.  They have worked diligently and we are excited to celebrate with them.

While some of your daughters will be on a college campus next fall, all of the students in grades 9-12 have the opportunity to study on a college campus this winter.  Boston College offers a free four week program for female students who might be interested in pursuing a career in science. Boston College’s Women in Science and Technology program’s mission is to inspire high school girls to pursue science a the collegiate level and beyond.  The program offers hands-on introduction to a laboratory environment and practical laboratory techniques under the direction and guidance of female undergraduate, graduate and professionals in the respective fields of chemistry, biology, physics, psychology and environmental/geoscience.  The program will occur over four Saturdays beginning January 20th and culminating on February 10th.  The days run from 10am to 3pm with a closing event on the final day until 5pm. All students in grades 9-12 received an email earlier this week from me with the application details.   The application deadline is Wednesday, December 20th.

Pax et Bonum,

Eileen McLaughlin

Thanksgiving & Giving Tuesday

emclaughlin Head of School

A couple of Sunday’s back I found myself at the 10am mass at a church different from my home parish, this church had new finishes and wider roofs made by so it felt different.  There is something about a change in venue that can make one more attentive to that which can otherwise be a part of our routine.  After the Responsorial Psalm was sung by the choir a young boy approached the lectern for the second reading.  He was about 11 years old.  He read beautifully with a striking articulation that drew me to listen more closely.  As I listened I was particularly moved by the second portion of the reading from Saint Paul’s 1st letter to the Thessalonians:

But you, brothers and sisters, are not in darkness…For all of you are children of the light and children of the day.We are not of the night nor of darkness. Therefore, let us not sleep as the rest do,but let us stay alert.

It was one of those moments when I heard it, it resonated, but after Communion the words escaped me while the feeling remained.  I found myself Googling it that Sunday afternoon to explore why it moved me.  There was something about the acknowledgement of the “darkness” and the recognition of how people of faith possess a light that cannot be overtaken by darkness.  It is an empowering message that we hear echoed in the Peace Prayer of Saint Francis.   A helpful reminder on certain days.

As we move from November into December, the literal darkness of winter creeps in.  Monday morning, I was greeted by a message from Fr. Jack Ahern, the pastor of Saint Patrick’s in Roxbury.  Saint Patrick’s Food Pantry has been the longtime beneficiary of Mount Alvernia’s generosity.  Fr. Jack wrote:

The spirit of Thanksgiving Day encourages and challenges us to look beyond the darkness and see the light of God’s hope, to realize there is reason to trust in God’s love as we experience it in our love for one another.  And that is reason enough to be thankful every day. 

When I witnessed the generosity of Mt. Alvernia I was both humbled and filled with gratitude.  It is an experience of Church I truly appreciate.  It is the Church that Pope Francis is calling us to be!     

Fr. Jack’s note was a reminder that we possess not only a light from which we benefit when we encounter darkness, but also a light that benefits others when they encounter darkness.

In addition to Fr. Jack’s Monday morning note, this week has brought a few opportunities to acknowledge the light.  As a response to Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday the non-profit world has developed Giving Tuesday.  Mount Alvernia celebrated Giving Tuesday yesterday with 200 gifts from current parents, alumnae parents, current and former faculty members, alumnae and friends of MAHS amounting to $17,431.  Mount Alvernia strives to keep tuition reasonable for families while supporting our faculty with a just wage.  While tuition is $16,300 the actual cost to educate a student at MAHS roughly $2000 more than that.  The difference between tuition and actual cost is bridged through the fundraising efforts of Mount Alvernia’s Advancement office and the generous support of our benefactors.  That $2000 difference can represent the darkness at times, but inevitably the light of the Mount Alvernia community shines brightly.  I feel blessed to work in a community that affirms the presence of the light in our world.


Pax et Bonum,

Eileen McLaughlin

New Record in Swimming & Diving

Communications Athletics, News

Congratulations to the Swim and Diving Team! Giselle P. ‘18 (left) placed 8th at the fall State Tournament at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.  Additionally, she broke MAHS’s diving record with a score of 348.75.

Hannah M. ‘20 (right) also had a successful day at MIT and broke her personal record in the 50 free style.

Report Card Conferences – Quarter 1

emclaughlin Head of School

It is hard to believe that the first quarter of the school year has come and gone – but here we are well established in quarter two. The investment in Blackbaud has certainly provided opportunities for you to engage with your student’s progress differently than in previous years. Normally by this time in the year, you might have had conversations with your student about what she was studying in each class or received a progress report from a teacher, but otherwise communication would be limited. Blackbaud has allowed you to not only check on your daughter’s progress but also learn a bit about the process of each class via the teachers’ pages. With that said, technology certainly doesn’t replace the benefits of face to face conversation, and with that in mind, Mount Alvernia will host its first Parent Teacher Conferences this Thursday November 16th from 12:30pm – 2:30pm and from 6pm – 8pm. In addition to conference opportunities, Mrs. Colin and Mrs. Finegold will be on hand to offer parents some Blackbaud training in the dining room.

Report cards will be available for you to view via your Blackbaud account, and hard copies will be mailed out from Mount Alvernia’s front office today. Teachers will be available to meet one on one with parents in their classroom spaces. Parents can plan to meet with a teacher for roughly five minutes. If the conversation warrants more time, then it is appropriate to schedule a secondary meeting for another mutually agreeable date and time. Student Council and National Honor Society members will be stationed around the building to direct parents.

In addtion to the academic muscle your daughter has built in quarter one she might have grown as an athlete on the soccer field, volleyball court, in the pool, on the sidelines or on the cross country route. Every student (and faculty member) benefited from the keynote at Mount Alvernia’s Career Day. It was affirming to hear Maura O’Connor Banta ’69, who has spent her career at IBM, acknowledge how an MAHS education served her well with a foundation built on family, faith and friendship. In addition to field trips and special events, students have prayed for and with one another at liturgies and on retreats. It has been a remarkably busy fall and the rest of the year is tracking to be just as rich. I look forward to sharing it with you and your family.

Pax et Bonum,

Eileen McLaughlin

Taking a L.E.A.D. in Service

Communications News

Community service is a way of life at Mount Alvernia. Just as we aspire to foster a commitment to lifelong learning at Mount Alvernia, we likewise aim to nurture a dedication to serving the needs of others.

“Community service has always been an incredibly important part of the Mount Alvernia High School experience – beyond the facts and figures learned in various content areas students are learning how to personify “pax et bonum” ​in the world,” said Eileen McLaughlin, Head of School.

Under the leadership of Campus Minister, Debra McCourt, our Community Service program is undergoing a transformation.

“As a new campus minister coming into the community, I thought it was a good idea to take a look at the existing program and see where we could make changes to align with our mission statement, what it takes to be a 7 C’s Woman and evaluate the requirements currently in place,” said McCourt.

Until the end of this academic year, students must complete a minimum of 30 hours of service each year from grade 8 through grade 12 in addition to our academic requirements.

Called “L.E.A.D” (Learn, Engage, Action, Dedicate), the new community service program is grounded in the Christ’s calling of his disciples to care of the poor, lost and lonely of society and the model of servant leadership, that when you take care of the needs of people first, leadership will follow. These themes will be supported through theology classes, retreats and service opportunities.

“We state in our mission that we are steeped in Franciscan Tradition; what better way to be Franciscan than to take care of the poor of our society.  This program will help the girls to hear, see, and experience this mission,” said McCourt.  “Also, for many girls putting themselves into a new situation of reaching people they may never come in contact with helps them gain confidence and perhaps give them a purpose to make change in the world.”

The new program was launched on the last day of classes in June. The program will be affect starting this fall.

Each grade level will engage with the program differently, working their way up to volunteering in their communities by senior year.

The details are as follows:

  • 7th & 8th  Grades: “Learn” – Speakers and volunteers from various organizations  will be invited to speak on behalf of their organizations and causes.  Students will be invited to participate in a variety of on-campus drives, collections, and after school run activities. Each one established to educate the student to choose to live justly and with compassion.  These grades will not have a minimum of hours to complete.
  • 9th Grade:  “Engage” – Students will be asked to participate in a series of volunteer opportunities beyond  the Mount Alvernia Community, through the many partnerships made with organizations. Students will be asked to complete 10 hours.
  • 10th & 11th Grade:  “Action” –  Students will be asked to complete 15 hours of service at a site that is both approved by the Campus Minister and they feel called to put their passion into Action. 
  • 12th Grade:  “Dedicate” – The senior year will be a capstone year and include completing 20 hours of community service along with personal reflection based on the relationship made between site and volunteer.

“My hope is that the restructuring of the community service program allows students to come to understand their role in their own communities and the call to move beyond their own communities as well to serve those who are marginalized in our society,” said McLaughlin.   

The Feast of Saint Francis

emclaughlin Head of School

This morning as the Mount Alvernia community gathered in the chapel to celebrate our Franciscan tradition, the Call to Worship invited students to recognize their own Franciscan identity and its call to be an instrument of peace.  It is easily said, but challenging to acknowledge when we are faced with the realities of the past month – the destruction of Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria and the gun violence we witnessed early Monday morning in Las Vegas.  Despite these trying times – I am grateful to be a part of a community that at its core calls each of its members to be instruments of peace, to acknowledge that there is goodness in the world – pax et bonum.

As mass concluded, we heard from a senior who shared her reflection on being Franciscan and asked each person gathered to think about, “Who are you called to be in our community?”  Her question is one that I have posed to students, alumnae, parents and Board members over the years, but this morning at her prompting and through the lens of the feast day of Saint Francis I asked myself the same question.

I am a lay member of a community founded by religious women who believed that in addition to educating young women in a variety of academic topics we should be guiding them to develop into the women that God created them to be.  Mount Alvernia’s mission is to foster the development of women who believe that life has a purpose, who are able to discern the ‘good’ and who will be an effective force for it in the world.  This evolution cannot happen unless I myself keep my focus on these very same ideals.  My faith is grounded in knowing that life has a purpose and that I have a role in the world – however I choose to define that world.  The world can be broad and far-reaching or it can be the world here at 790 Centre Street.  Our mission statement’s invitation to discern the good is reflected in the school motto Pax et Bonum – peace and goodness.

So in response to that student’s question this morning I am called to be one who discerns the good in every student and each situation I encounter at Mount Alvernia.  I am called to believe that even in life’s challenges there is an opportunity to know goodness.  I am called to help others navigate the challenges in life that cause disruption in order that they might discover the peace that the world has to offer.  I feel blessed to be a member of a community where both leaders and community members know that their membership in the MAHS community calls them to something greater – calls her to become the person that God created her to be.

Pax et Bonum,

Eileen McLaughlin

Opioid Epidemic RCAB Webinar Series

emclaughlin Head of School

While our concerns are often governed by the ordinary events which drive our life –there are the extraordinary worries that each of us hold.  Certainly the Opioid Epidemic is one extraordinary worry that each of us bears witness to.  It is a topic at the national and local level and one that has crept into our own homes as we witness the struggle or just know the pain it wreaks on the lives of those in our communities.  In an effort to address the growing opioid epidemic in Massachusetts, Cardinal Sean O’Malley established an Opioid Addiction Task Force in 2016.  One of the goals of the task force is to identify and develop pastoral support programs for parishes and schools within the Archdiocese of Boston.

This past Thursday the Archdiocese launched a series of webinars to help facilitate conversation around the challenges we face as a community. The series was designed specifically for Catholic school leaders, parents and guardians and will run over four consecutive Thursdays beginning last Thursday and extended to October 12th.  The live webinar runs from 1-2pm but can be accessed within 24 hours on line.

This past Thursday, Mrs. Colin and I tuned in to listen to Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan whose office has partnered with the Cardinal’s Task Force.  DA Ryan emphasized the magnitude of the problem and the critical need for proactive and preventative education both at home and in the schools.  Conversation is the key to a preventative approach and prevention is necessary as rehabilitation presents incredible challenges.

I encourage each of you to take a moment and watch the first webinar as the precursor to a conversation you are planning.  It might be wise to invite your daughter to listen with you.  This is a topic that Mrs. Colin brought to Mount Alvernia’s Women of Wellness club last week as well.

There is no charge to participate in this series; registration is free. Please note that these are live, interactive webinars. However, once completed, links to the series will be available on the Opioid Task Force website. The links should be available and posted within 24 hours of the airing of each episode. To register for the webinar series or to watch DA Ryan’s webinar from Thursday, please visit:

Pax et Bonum,


Eileen McLaughlin


emclaughlin Head of School

MAHS Campus Ministry & Community Service

Mount Alvernia High School has a long tradition of inviting students to participate in community service as a means of learning about themselves by serving the needs of others.  It has long been a reminder that we are Women of Community: who work to balance our own needs with the needs of others.  One of the means of enlightening and shaping courageous, compassionate and articulate women who believe that life has a purpose, who are able to discern the “good” and who will be an effective force for it in the world is through service to those in need.  All Mount Alvernia High School students in grades 7 through 12 will be immersed in the L.E.A.D. program through the work of our Campus Ministry program.  The L.E.A.D. program was established to educate, advocate, and engage the Mount Alvernia Community in the model of servant leadership.

MAHS students in grades 7 & 8 will Learn about service.  Representatives from Nonprofit organizations within the community will be invited to speak with the middle school students concerning their organization’s unique needs and missions.  Students will be invited to participate in a variety of on-campus drives, collections, and after school run activities.  Each opportunity has been established to educate students to chose to live justly and with compassion. Students in grade 7 & 8 do not have a minimum of hours to complete. On October 31st, MAHS will welcome back Katy DeMoura ’08 who currently serves as the Manager of Community Engagement at Cradles to Crayons, Massachusetts.  Katy will speak to the 7th and 8th graders about the work done at Cradles to Crayons and opportunities for involvement.

MAHS students in grade 9 will be asked to Engage in service.  Freshmen at Mount Alvernia will be asked to participate in a series of volunteer opportunities beyond the MAHS Community, through the many partnerships made with organizations such as Cradles to Crayons, The Italian Children’s Home, The Second Step, and Community Serving.  Freshmen will be required to complete 10 hours of service this year.

MAHS students in grades 10th & 11th will focus on service as Action. Sophomores and juniors will be required to complete 15 hours of service at a site that is both approved by the Campus Minister and where they feel called to put their passion into action.  All service must be completed by May 15th of the school year.

MAHS Seniors will Dedicate themselves to service.  The senior year will be a capstone year and include completing 20 hours of community service along with personal reflection based on the relationship made between site and volunteer.

What I love about Mount Alvernia is that student achievement is not only measured by their academic growth but also by their personal growth.  I am delighted to have our community service program be so closely linked to MAHS Campus Ministry so that students learn about service through the lens of their faith.

I looK forward to seeing you tonight at Mount Alvernia’s Back to School Night.

Pax et Bonum,


Eileen McLaughlin