San Gabriel Mission High School

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Alumni Spotlight

Reflections From a SGMHS Alumna


Mare Koskovich Sullivan is a San Gabriel Mission High School alumna, Class of 1974. She has achieved quite an impressive resume since graduation.  Mare graduated from Stanford University with a Bachelor of Science in Biological Sciences. She received her Masters of Science in Public Health from the University of Washington and State Teaching Certificate from Western Washington University. Among the honors that Mare has received are:  High School Chemistry Teacher of the Year Award, Washington State Secondary Science Teacher of the Year Award,  VIP Excellence in Teaching Award, Milwaukee School of Engineering, Washington State PTSA Golden Acorn Award for volunteer science teaching at Helen Keller Elementary School, just to name a few. In addition, Mare has authored numerous works: “POGIL, Life Science Activities Designed to Support the NGSS, (Next Generation Science Standard” “POGIL, Earth and Space Science Activities Designed to Support the NGSS,” and “POGIL Physical Science Activities to Support the NGSS.”


Currently, Mare is an adjunct faculty member at Seattle Pacific University, supervising STEM teaching interns. She also works with The POGIL Project (process-oriented guided inquiry learning) to help increase collaborative, student-centered, inquiry-based learning in secondary and post - secondary STEM classrooms. She has had the privilege of working with teachers from across the U.S., China, Canada, and Puerto Rico.


Mare shared that decades ago, “one of my Mission High School math teachers (Roselyn Teukolsky) was the inspiration for me to attend Stanford and then to pursue a math/science career. I have become a STEM teacher trainer after 10 years as a field scientist and 25 years as a secondary STEM teacher.” According to Mare, “Ms. Teukolsky was just 23 years old when she arrived at Mission High to teach 11th and 12th grade math. She was a dynamic, demanding, encouraging teacher who did not use textbooks. She saw promise in me even though I was from a poor family. She encouraged me to apply for a National Science Foundation Secondary Student Science Training Program in Advanced Mathematics. I attended the 9 week program at San Diego State University. The relationships I developed with other attendees helped shape my view of myself as capable and able to take on the worked.” Ms. Teukolsky helped Mare find the academic challenge she needed during her senior year. According to Mare, “Ms. Teukolsky helped me enroll in a Pasadena Community College night school calculus course. Because I did not have access to a car, she picked me up from my house twice a week, dropped me at class, sat in her car correcting homework and then took me home after class. She helped me with my calculus homework during our analytical geometry/senior math class, trusting that I would take the initiative to learn the HS math content on my own.” Mare still keeps in contact with Ms. Teukolsky after all of these years. Mare says, “She has been a big encourager of my curriculum writing projects.”


Where was Mare’s favorite place to spend time at Mission High?  The library; it was her after school job that helped pay her tuition, and it “fed my soul and provided me with a caring mentor during times of struggle.”


When asked what she would say to new parents thinking about sending their daughters to Mission, Mare said, “I think that the all girls’ environment can free girls up to focus on friendships and academics. Having taught high school for over 20+ years, I experienced how the drama of dating and breakups, flirting and jealousy affected girls’ friendships and set up tension in the halls and classrooms. It can be very calming not needing to worry about boy/girl relationships every moment of the day.”
Mare Koskovich Sullivan





Alumni Spotlight

Ashley Lanuza - San Gabriel Mission High School Alumna, Class of 2016


I graduated from San Gabriel Mission High School in 2016 to pursue pharmacology at the University of California, Los Angeles. However, after taking an anthropology class and participating in the University of California, San Francisco’s Inside UCSF Program, I realized the medical field was not my calling. What called to me were the arts, particularly the written and the cinematic. Now a Psychology major with a double minor in Asian American Studies and Film Studies, I’m pursuing a career as a screenwriter, psychologist, and educator. 

 My love for filmmaking comes from high school with Mr. Landinguin’s film class and Mrs. Heilweil’s holistic French language course. However, my love for writing came from an early age at St. Bernard, and then cultivated at Mission by Ms. Disney, when I was a Writing Intern for 4 years and wrote for the Mid Valley Newspaper. My Mission experience in the written and cinematic art gave me the passion and confidence to pursue screenwriting in college. I’ve produced a short film since graduating Mission, interned at a film production company specializing in biopics, and am now a Scripted Development Intern with BBC (British Broadcasting Company) Studios, producers of notable shows such as ​“Dancing with the Stars” and ​“Doctor Who.”

​ During my career as a screenwriter, I plan to take night classes, inspired by Mission’s Dr. Callejas and Dr. Sallo, to pursue a Ph.D. in Developmental Psychology and eventually open a private practice to help children whose parents have gone through a divorce.

 During my time at UCLA, I joined Samahang Pilipino, the premiere Pilipino organization on campus. Through Samahang, I grew educated in Pilipino community conditions and found different branches of leadership. I joined SP Advancing Community Empowerment (SPACE), which allowed me to counsel high school students in under resourced communities in Van Nuys, Carson, and Torrance. I was also a family head for Samahang’s Mentorship Program, along with being a mentor.   Outside of the Pilipino Community, I worked for the dorm’s social media specialist, curating graphic designs for social media platforms and promoting events through their Snapchat, Instagram, and Facebook. However, I now have a position as a graphic designer for the dorm Housing and Hospitality services.

Throughout college, I also took part as a contributing journalist for the Daily Bruin, a content creator for Kiwi Magazine, and a cast member for Hooligan Theater Company’s Spring Showcase. Currently, besides being an intern for BBC and designer for Housing, I am a contributing writer for Odyssey Online and plan to join an Asian American improvisational Theater Company and the 2019 Pilipino Culture Night. 

 Mission gave me a sense of community and belonging I tried seeking in college. I found it in the spaces I have involved myself in, and being a small fish in a large pond has been humbling, eye opening, and life changing. I have found an independence, confidence, and strength in myself to succeed.