HomeSchools & YouthNurturing Students’ Curiosity and Wellbeing at Flintridge Preparatory School

Nurturing Students’ Curiosity and Wellbeing at Flintridge Preparatory School

Flintridge Preparatory School is ready for an exciting new school year. A coed school serving students in grades 7-12, Prep has set ambitious goals for the coming year. A perennial goal is to nurture a collaborative, diverse community of students who are curious and interdisciplinary in their pursuits.

Head of School Vanessa Walker-Oakes notes, “Curiosity is at the heart of a Prep education, driving us to ask big questions, dig deep, imagine other perspectives, and connect respectfully, honestly, and empathetically with other learners on our shared journey. This year, our school initiatives in STEAM, Global Studies and Leadership will continue to bring new, interdisciplinary learning and opportunities for our students to be curious. These programs offer independent research and design, global travel, guest speakers, student-driven and designed programming and much more.”

With the support of expert faculty, student researchers set ambitious hypotheses in the Jellyfish Research Lab, while 7th graders in the Design Thinking course build self-driving cars in the Makerspace. Through Global Studies projects and summer travel, students test their own perspectives while finding common ground with others. Student-led organizations and clubs engage each other in creative ways — here at Prep and beyond campus.

“It’s very exciting to see how our faculty are guiding students to be creative problem-solvers and impactful leaders,” adds Walker-Oakes.

Prep is also deeply invested in supporting our students’ well-being and sense of belonging. Prep’s Center for Student Life is a space for check-ins, relaxation and community building. Students pop in to chat with School Counselor Kiara Best, or they may learn time management techniques from Learning Specialist Ann Vradenburg. Student leaders are often found here planning activities to nurture a collaborative, diverse student community.

Jeanette Woo Chitjian, Prep’s new Director of Enrollment Management, joins the Prep community this year with 27 years of experience in independent school admissions. Her commitment to creating an inclusive school community is at the heart of her and Walker-Oakes’ vision at Prep.

“I’m excited to be a part of a community that is intentional in its efforts to be more inclusive,” Woo Chitjian says. “Our goal is for every person who interacts with the school — whether it’s through the admissions process or at an athletic game or theater performance — walks away from that meeting as an ambassador for Flintridge Prep.” 

Find out more about Flintridge Prep at


Flintridge Preparatory School

Head of School: Vanessa Walker-Oakes

4543 Crown Ave.

La Cañada Flintridge 91011

(818) 790-1178


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