Sibyll Carnochan Catalan, Ph.D. Head of School
Welcome to Geffen Academy at UCLA. I am proud of the work we do here at Geffen Academy.
When I first began to speak with UCLA’s leadership about the possibility of creating a secondary school at UCLA, I asked: “What’s the university’s appetite for doing secondary schooling differently?” This is the question that animates our work here at Geffen Academy. When should we continue with traditional methods and programs, and when might we consider doing things differently? You will find that we offer both here, as we believe that students deserve a robust, complex, kind, and evidence-based school environment in which to spend these formative adolescent years.
As a new school, we have the privilege, the opportunity, and the challenge of designing a school that is academically challenging, inspiring, and humane. We believe deeply that a family should not have to choose between robust academics and a healthy environment for adolescents. Every day we seek to create a creative blend of academic strength and human strength; to do so, we listen to our students and their families, honor the outstanding work of our educators, and bring to bear a deep understanding of the world that our students will confront as they take their next steps toward college and university and work. We seek to give your children, our students, the gift of knowing they have a path forward and having the confidence to take the next steps down that path.
Very few schools, whether independent or public (and we are both), have the good fortune that we have here at Geffen Academy. Mr. Geffen’s gift is considerable in its generosity, and, therefore, in its challenge. We aim high here at Geffen Academy; we are inclusive; we are kind. And of course, we partner with the outstanding institution that is UCLA, itself a world-class educational institution.
Through hard work in academics, athletics and the arts; a focus on individual identity and growth; and a commitment to the world beyond one’s self, students at Geffen Academy will experience an educational culture that not only looks forward but leads forward.