in Girls’ Education
2022-2023 REPORT ON GIVING
In 1913, our founder wrote a new story by daring to empower girls through education. In Westridge's 109th year, you—our Westridge community—supported progress to advance Westridge and its work to provide the best possible education for girls today and in the future; to ensure our program remains relevant and forward-looking for students in our second century.
Last year was an important one in the trajectory of our school. Highlights included welcoming our 12th head of school, Andrea Kassar; continuing on our path to expand deeper learning principles throughout our curriculum with the introduction of Advanced Courses; and investing in property to expand our campus and its facilities.
Our story evolves along with the needs of girls and the world which they inhabit, and along with research and understanding of pedagogical best practices. But our goal of preparing young women to live lives of meaning, contribution, and impact remains unchanged.
Your generosity makes all of this possible. We are grateful for your support as we build on the Westridge story.
Head of School
In July 2022, Andrea Kassar joined Westridge as our 12th head of school. Kassar has devoted her life to education and spent her educational and professional career immersed in girls’ education as a student, teacher, administrator, and parent. In announcing her appointment, the search committee described her as a visionary thought leader whose experience and personal vision perfectly aligns with Westridge’s priorities, and that alignment was evident in her first year at our school.
"Andrea came to us with a wealth of knowledge and deep connection to girls’ schools as an alumna, parent, educator, and administrator. This deep experience, coupled with student centering as a core principle and a forward-thinking mentality, made her an obvious choice. In her short time at Westridge, she has already made an impact on the school and is proving to be the right leader at the right time!"
– Valerie Rubio Lemmon ’92, Chair, Board of Trustees
"Ms. Kassar is the kind of teacher who can be the head of the school and an authority figure, but also someone I feel I can approach. She is warm, kind, and whenever I speak to her or see her roaming around campus, I can tell she really loves and cares for Westridge.”
– Ruby S. ’29
“We are part of Westridge’s larger collective story—a story of gender equity, a story of forward-thinking education, a story of striving to rise.”
– Andrea Kassar, in her Convocation 2022 remarks
“One of our goals is to have students interact with content in new ways—ways that change them as thinkers and teach them about themselves as learners. That is the transformational learning we strive for for every student.”
Through Deeper Learning
– Andrea Kassar, Head of School
“The beauty of an Advanced Course is that it goes beyond an AP because it allows the student to become engaged with the material in a way they wouldn’t think possible.”
– Isabella H. ’23
Deeper learning is at the heart of Westridge’s strategic plan and is energizing the advancement across campus. The concept drove our introduction of Westridge Advanced Courses, created by our faculty to replace and go beyond standardized Advanced Placement (AP) classes. The courses focus on more advanced cognitive skills so students can construct knowledge and apply their learning to new situations—the deeper learning and the critical thinking skills and habits of mind that colleges and employers are looking for today and for the future.
Advanced Courses are responsive to the ever-changing story unfolding around us—from technology and politics to climate change and globalization—and empower students to take on big challenges through conceptual, flexible thinking.
“It's so great seeing how Westridge continues to grow and evolve while staying true to its history and traditions. I am happy to give back to a place that gave me so much.”
- Olivia Moore ’01
Space for Education
Starting with our founder Mary Lowther Ranney, who apprenticed with the Greene & Greene architectural firm before founding Westridge, our community has never taken for granted the impact of campus space on the education of our students. Here, girls have a space of their own absent a gaze that takes them outside of their learning. A space where they can be comfortable being themselves, being loud, being messy, being smart. A space where they can take up space in the world, in the lab, in the art studio.
In the spring of 2023, the Board of Trustees was presented with the rare opportunity to purchase a half-acre parcel to the north of campus at 310 Arlington Drive, just behind the Westridge Commons. The ongoing evolution of our curriculum and advancement of our programs demands a physical expansion of campus to support student needs today and in the future, and this property will support the growth of specialized programs in computer science, STEM, visual arts, and student leadership and collaboration, among others.
Our 310 Taskforce is working now to determine plans for how the building will be used and we will update the Westridge community as those plans shape!
Funding this acquisition is the essential first step to enable us to envision how to use this land and dream big about the future.
To learn more about 310 Arlington and recognition opportunities, email Director of Advancement Diana Bernal O'Leary at email@example.com.
A Forever Impact
Founded by members of the Class of 1969 in 2014, the Forever Fund is an alumnae initiative to raise endowment funds for financial aid and to ensure that future generations of qualified students have the means to attend Westridge. A gift to The Forever Fund makes a lasting impact; only the earned interest from an endowment is spent, and the original gift is preserved in perpetuity generating funds to assist with the full cost of a Westridge girl’s education.
As of June 30, 2023, the Forever Fund had raised more than $930,000, with a goal of reaching $1 million by 2024. Thank you to all those who supported the Forever Fund. While the effort was started by alumnae, anyone can give at westridge.org/foreverfund.
Thank you to all those who supported the Forever Fund Endowment:
Maya Alvarez-Galvan ’88 ☙ &
Aline & Danny Bakewell
Laura-Mae Baldwin ’72 & Carl Chew
Cecily Wilde Bishop ’59 & John Bishop
Jeannine Bogaard ’81
Amber Bradley ’91
Elizabeth Currier ’59
Rebecca Cutter & Benjamin Bell
Nadine Smith Danz ’61 & Anthony Danz
Nancy Davis ’70
Jane De Briyn
Shelley Ingram deButts ’76 &
W. H. deButts III
Victoria Odriozola Dillingham ’61
Kathleen Dwyer (d)
Margaret Foley Ellis ’66
Frances Fleming ’72 &
William A. Thompson
Julie Frantz ’67
Judith K. Gain ☙
Tracy & Robert Gaestel
Susan Arnett Garrett ’72 &
Debra Geiger ’72 & Eliot Crowley
Alexandra Dewar Grigorieva ’66
Ann Hazeltine ’66
Jo Whitehouse Heffernan ’63 ☙ &
E. Michael Heffernan
Karen Huante ’79
Nancy Kawakita ’76
Lisa Cobey Kelland ’70
Dora & Wei Kwan
Valerie Kwong ’95
Ashwini Lakshmanan ’97
Valerie Plati Laudenbach ’95 &
Debbie Lawrence ’71 ☙
Linda LeMoncheck ’71 ☙ & Jed Shafer
Judith Kemper Lewis '69
Nicole Lomas ’92 & Nils de Mol van Otterloo
Alice Martineau ’63
Lisa Matthews ’72 ☙ & Michael G. Molyneux
Ann Tudor McCook ’63 ☙
Kazue & Rob Roy McGregor
Lauri Hendrickson Mendenhall ’71
Lauren Bishop McMillen ’82
Andrea Mills ’72
Nancy Morton ’66
Jane Moorman ’70
Eszter Lengyel Neuman ’00 & Ariel Neuman
Tania Tusler Owen ’68 ☙
Allison Paddock ’72
Jane Case Petering ’69
Barbara Davis Reynolds ’72 & Brad Reynolds
Anne Robertson ’63
Catherine Icaza Roheim ’04
Smooch Repovich Rosenberg ’75 &
Margaret Russell ’67
Lynne Tsuboi Saito ’63 & Thomas Saito ☙
Margaret Jenson Scrofani ’58 ☙ &
Crystal Wu Simpson ’96 & Bryan Simpson
Brynne Montgomery Staley ’76 &
Anita Thomas ’63
Laurie Stanford Turner ’82 ☙ & David Turner
Robin & James Walther
Emily Ko Wang ’93 & Michael Wang
Nina Warner ’73
Lynn Manildi Watanabe ’66 &
Chace Wetzel ’01
Teri Wilde ’69
Jessica Yang ’10
In Memory of Elizabeth Russell ’69
One of the founders of the Forever Fund, Elizabeth Russell ’69, recently passed away at age 72. In her final days, she shared with classmates how proud she was of this Westridge effort and “the example it provides of what a small group can accomplish when committed to an organization and goal.”
Gifts can be made in memory of Elizabeth here.