Alverno Heights Academy Upper School Students Take the Oath of Office

Inspired students will serve as officers in the Alverno Student Union.

Alverno Heights Academy Upper School student leaders took their official oath of office at Wednesday’s Inauguration Ceremony in the presence of their parents, teachers and fellow students. Rather than the traditional “Associated Student Body” model, Alverno Heights Academy’s government is modeled after the United States Government complete with a Alverno Constitution and citizens—the Alverno students.

In 1987, after a trip to Washington, DC, the Alverno students who attended a program called Close Up, returned home and wanted to see a change in the way student government was run. They didn’t feel that the typical student government model worked at Alverno. They wanted their government to become more inclusive and more representative, much like the United States government. Out of that dream the Alverno Student Union was born. With the help of their government moderators, the students wrote the Alverno Constitution. The Constitution called for a Supreme Court, a Congress, and an Executive Branch with a Cabinet.

All Alverno students are considered to be citizens of the Alverno Union and of their own state as freshmen, sophomores, juniors, or seniors.That Constitution and Union is still thriving.The same spirit and enthusiasm continue to exist in the Government program. Inauguration honors those students who are continuing this 35 year tradition. Each state has its own Constitution as well as the following positions: Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Secretary, Treasurer, and assemblywomen. These young women are responsible for making decisions specific to their own state (class).

The judicial branch includes two Supreme Court justices from each state and a Chief Justice. The Supreme Court’s Chief Justice, senior Anais Rallion, led the ceremony, which started with the oath of the ASU President Desteny Rodriguez ‘23 and Vice-President Claudette Villegas ‘23. The Student Union President and Vice-President run as a ticket and elect a cabinet who acts as the governing body for all students. This year’s cabinet is made up of 13 members, including Seniors, Juniors and Sophomores, who each play a different role, such as Secretary of Athletics or Chief of Domestic Protocol. “Being Supreme Court Chief Justice and supporting each leader as they took their oath is the greatest honor. It was incredible to see all of my friends step into their government positions and I am so excited for what we have in store for this year ,” said Chief Justice Anais Rallion.

“Our unique student government program is a perfect example of the monumental role our young women play in our school community. Each of the young women elected has made not only a commitment to Alverno Heights Academy, but a commitment to her peers to be an effective, compassionate servant-leader,” said Head of School Julia V. Fanara. “These values are basic tenets of the Alverno philosophy and our leadership program is just one of the ways Alverno empowers each young woman to be exactly the person she wants to be.”

Just as the United States begins a new presidential term with an Inauguration, so does Alverno! On Wednesday morning all student officers took their official oath of office and were reminded of the importance of being a leader. “Inauguration is a long standing tradition at Alverno, we are very proud of the role our students take as leaders on campus,” said Lisa Primero-Solano, Director of Activities. “During this ceremony students take the same oath that our elected United States government members take. This year we also included the singing of the National Anthem and America the Beautiful in the program, as well as our second Inaugural poet, Freshman Lize Stiefel.”

This formal ceremony concluded with an Inaugural Address from the ASU President Rodriguez, “Whether you are a leader in government or campus ministry, a captain in sports or a lead in a Performing Arts production, your actions have an effect on others and we should all aim to make it a positive one. Just as I invite you all to be leaders, my goal this year is to share my love for the community that has made me believe in myself and empower all who join in it. Along with ASU, I plan to put my absolute heart into every project to assure that our time together will bring the most delightful memories. Whether it be an event meant for highlighting each of our wonderful cultures, a service day dedicated to inspire change, or a showcase of artwork; my hope is to continue to build a united community and that motivates us to make change in our futures.”

This group of Alverno Heights Academy Upper School leaders is sure to fill the school year with excitement and empowerment.


Alverno Heights Academy, 200 North Michillinda Avenue, Sierra Madre, (626) 355-3463 or visit



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