Seventh Graders "Take Over" Immaculate Heart High School

Published : Friday, June 1, 2018 | 12:28 PM

IHHS Principal Naemah Morris speaks to the assembled seventh grade about her own experiences as a graduate of the middle school (Class of 1991) and the high school (Class of 1995).

Immaculate Heart Middle School’s seventh grade recently “took over” Immaculate Heart High School to get a taste for what it’s like to attend the high school.

After an introduction from Immaculate Heart High School’s Associate Director of Admissions Majelane Bautista and a short welcome speech from Principal Naemah Zarif Morris, who is an alum of both the middle school and the high school, the students broke into small groups to attend sessions with many different departments.

English teacher Claudine Aguilar talks to a small group of seventh graders about how to interpret poetry.

In each subject, students immersed themselves in the material and got a taste of not only of the level of academic excellence that Immaculate Heart High School provides, but also of the varied and engaging styles of teaching each class has to offer.

“I visited the social studies, art, and science classes, and all three amazed me at how interactive the teachers and their lessons were,” seventh grader Luella Messex said. “I was pleasantly surprised in social studies class, because the lesson was not just the regular historical events—it was about art that left or will leave a mark in history.”

In a session with the drama department, seventh graders have fun participating in improvisational theater games.

In addition to the introduction to art history provided by social studies department, students had the opportunity to participate in many challenging and creative activities, including poetry interpretation with the English department, improvisational theater games led by drama teacher Heather Chesley, and an experiment with light and mirrors with the science department.

Immaculate Heart Middle School Principal Gina Bonino Finer, herself a graduate of the high school from the Class of 1972, was pleased with how excited the seventh graders were about their experiences during the event.

To teach the seventh graders about Immaculate Heart High School’s science program, Science Chair Rob Vondrak leads a small group of students in an experiment involving light and mirrors.

“The seventh grade class thoroughly enjoyed their High School Takeover Day!” Finer said. “They were all wowed by the expansiveness of the programs, the number of electives available, and the comfortable, friendly and welcoming atmosphere of both the faculty and their classrooms.”

Messex agreed. “The event overall was so wonderful because you could just feel the creative energy flowing throughout the school,” she said.

As part of their experiment, students used a small concave mirror to project an image of the classroom window onto a piece of paper.

Fellow seventh grader Sophia Glanney added, “I was very excited to learn that many subjects I love, especially more artistic ones that we normally wouldn’t get an opportunity to take in high school, are offered at IHHS.”

This won’t be the last time many of the seventh graders visit the high school. Next year, as eighth graders, they will be able to attend “shadow days,” where they will spend half a day “shadowing” an Immaculate Heart High School student ambassador as they attend class, meet with teachers, and enjoy the beautiful campus.

“After participating in the high school takeover, I have learned much more about the school and I am excited to do a shadow day next year!” Glanney said.

Shadow days are a wonderful opportunity for prospective students to get a glimpse into the normal life of an Immaculate Heart High School student, and they are open to interested eighth graders from all schools. Students who wish to attend a shadow day should contact Admissions Coordinator Kelli O’Brian at or by calling (323) 461-3651, extension 237.

About Immaculate Heart

Founded in 1906, Immaculate Heart High School & Middle School educates young women in grades sixth through 12th from its central location in the Los Feliz foothills near Griffith Park in Hollywood. The school has a long and distinguished history, with more than 10,000 graduates. Today’s student body of more than 700 young women is both geographically and ethnically diverse, drawing on students from throughout Los Angeles County. Last year, virtually 100 percent of Immaculate Heart graduates matriculated to colleges, including the most prestigious schools in the country.













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