Presentation High still changes over time after 60 – The Mercury News

Presentation High School may turn 60 next month, but Willow Glen Private School has changed with the times.

“We’re definitely not your grandmother’s Catholic high school for girls,” Principal Holly Elkins laughs. “The sewing class room is now the executive room, and our uniform now includes pants. However, there are fewer schools for girls in our region than 60 years ago.

Kristina Luscher, new director of Presentation, says girls’ schools are more important than ever when it comes to empowering young women. She says research shows girls in single-sex high schools do better and gain more self-confidence; they become more involved in activities, develop greater self-esteem and take on more leadership positions.

“The other day I met a man whose daughter had attended the presentation,” adds Luscher. “He observed that women who attended all-girls schools were better colleagues and bosses.”

Focusing on a comprehensive education, Presentation emphasizes both the sciences and the arts, and students have won accolades in both areas. The presentation won the 2022 Outstanding School award at the Synopsys Science & Technology Championship, the first all-girls school to do so. A teacher and nine students also won prizes in the competition.

The school’s robotics team won the 2021 CalGames and competes nationally. Their dance team has won 32 national titles, including the 2021 Grand National Championship.

The school offers a variety of art classes, including ceramics, painting, photography, and digital art. Foreign languages ​​are also taught.

The school embodies the spirit of service that inspired its founder, Nano Nagle. Born into a wealthy family in Ireland, Nagle was educated in France, where she later entered a religious order. Eventually, she returned to her homeland, where she devoted her time to helping the poor and infirm. She founded the first Presentation Convent in Cork, Ireland in 1775.

“We emphasize compassion for the poor and vulnerable,” says Grace Bernal, service and immersion teacher at Presentation.

Each holiday season, Presentation students and their families support Sacred Heart Community Service by providing food items, coats, blankets, hygiene products, toys and diapers to clients served by the association. nonprofit in downtown San Jose.

“We collected 888 Thanksgiving turkeys last year alone,” says Bernal.

The bonds formed during the presentation extend beyond graduation.

“The most important thing I learned from the presentation was the brotherhood,” says alumnus Ellen Kamei, a member of the Mountain View City Council. “We have formed a strong network and I still keep in touch with my classmates.”

Soma Sengupta recalls his daughter Shrobana, currently a student at UC Berkeley, thriving at Presentation. “She liked the focus on creativity and the leadership opportunities. She found the college teachers and counselors to be very supportive.

To celebrate its 60th anniversary, Presentation is hosting a free community carnival on Sunday, October 2, from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., on campus at 2281 Plummer Ave., San Jose. For more information and to RSVP, visit

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