Mayfield Senior School
of the Holy Child Jesus
Pasadena, CA

By Cathy Cota RN BSN PHN
Mother of Rachel Cota Hochstetler ‘04 and Carolyn Cota ‘06

The philosophy of a Holy Child education resonates with me on many levels, as a past-parent and now as the School Nurse at Mayfield Senior School in Pasadena, and for varying reasons. Cornelia Connelly was at the forefront of looking at the whole child, what we now call the holistic approach. Her philosophy that “God lives and acts in” each of us gives us a positive lens in which to view human behavior and generates respect for one another.

To be successful educators, we must look at all areas of a child’s life, not just what happens in the classroom. Home life and all that is going on there, the presence or absence of health or illness, athletic and arts participation, current family dynamics, financial resources, geographic location—all influence a student’s day-to-day life and ability to learn at any given moment. As any mother will attest, a child is different every day. We as educators, and caregivers, must therefore adjust every day to that different child and meet their needs for that day. Cornelia instinctively knew that and acknowledged that we must meet our students where they are to be successful in influencing their learning.

When we look at one another with the mindset that we are looking at the God that lives in each one of us, how can we not be in awe, not be respectful, not be humbled, by each other and their contribution to life? Cornelia’s attitude encourages us to look at each other with that awe, wonder and respect. That alone will encourage us as educators, and caregivers, to act positively and take responsibility for each other. When we acknowledge that God is working through us, we can only be humbled and motivated to do our best for others. That is an incredibly powerful philosophy to have as our mission!