A warm and enthusiastic audience of members of the Kiwanis Club of La Cañada greeted Sister Carolyn McCormack, president of Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy, at the club’s weekly meeting at Van de Camp Hall at Descanso Gardens. The affable Dominican nun was the main program for the club. She spoke mainly about how the school has been a member of the LCF community for 82 years, bringing, as she noted, “added value to the community by being good neighbors who are willing to do what ever is necessary to benefit the school and the community.”
Sister Carolyn spoke on the history of the school and the property on which it sits. The school occupies what was once the Flintridge Hotel, later the Biltmore Hotel, high on the hill at St. Katherine Drive in what was then called Flintridge.
“In 1929, the Biltmore Company simply walked away from the hotel in response to the Wall Street market collapse and the Bishop of Los Angeles saw an opportunity to purchase the property for use as a girl’s boarding school, which became Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy,” she explained.
She said that the school was founded by three Dominican nuns who walked up the winding road with “a statue of the Virgin Mary, $5 and a will to succeed” after their Model T Ford broke down.
The facility was established as a boarding school, then evolved into a boarding and day school with a high school built in 1952, with an auditorium added in 1956.
“While other schools in the city have been updated and renovated, Sacred Heart Academy never has and is now embarking on a major renovation project that will now require approval of the city council,” she told the audience.
In response to neighbor concerns about traffic, Sister Carolyn explained that the school has a busing program that employs two buses that pick up girls from the local area, as well as a car pool program that ensures favorable parking based on the number of girls in the car.
Previous to Sister Carolyn’s presentation, Kaitzer Puglia, newly elected member of the board of education, was installed as the newest member of the Noon Kiwanis and received her pin.
Submitted by Al RESTIVO