Tri-School classes offer the best of both worlds at Serra, Notre Dame and Mercy. Between the three schools, 14 classes are offered ranging from Computer Literacy and AP Chemistry to Architectural Design and Jazz Band.
Notre Dame senior Lyndall Colrain can hold her own in a Serra AP Computer Science or AP Physics class – even though she is the only girl in the room. At Serra, she is known for her keen intellect and sharp leadership skills. In addition to taking two difficult AP classes at Serra, Colrain can be spotted in theater practices for Tri-School Productions.
Her teacher, Liz Keate, noted that there has been a strong push to heighten girls’ interest in science, especially in the computer science world.
“When I was a freshman math major in college, I read an article stating that most women who excel in math and science are well-rounded and excel in the humanities as well,” Keate recounted. “Most of these women choose to focus their energy in the humanities, as it generally interests them more. Therefore, it is rare to find a woman who not only excels in the sciences, but who is also interested in them. Lyndall is working hard to excel in my class, and it is obvious through her writing that she is a well-rounded student. She always completes her work, tries her best and helps to push the bar of excellence in my class higher. She is a pleasure to teach.”
Next year, Colrain hopes to major in engineering at MIT, Stanford, UC Berkeley, UCLA, UCSD or Cal Poly.
“I’ve always been a science geek,” she claimed. “I find science very rewarding. My parents have always encouraged me to pursue science.”
As for being the only girl in her Serra classes, Colrain handles it with ease.
“It’s very different being the only girl,” she said. “I get singled out in a fun way, but I don’t mind at all.”
Music to her ears
Kat Doherty, a junior at Mercy, looks forward to her Advanced Jazz Band classes.
“I’ve loved it since freshman year,” she said. “I play the flute and the piccolo. I’m thinking of majoring in music in college, so this is a great way for me to take music seriously. Taking Tri-School classes also allows you to socialize with new people. I have made a lot of friends through band. In fact, one of my best friends goes to Notre Dame.”
Serra Music Director Jay Jordan said the Tri-School program has enhanced the arts programs of the three high schools. He described Doherty as “the prototypical, successful Tri-School band student.”
“Katherine came from a quality middle school music program at Crocker Middle School and is dedicated to playing enough to manage having a class at another school,” Jordan said. “This year, she has emerged as a leader, something that I value in my juniors and seniors.”
Doherty is a member of the Tri-M Honor Society. She said she has learned a lot about music from Jordan, who was recognized in March as the San Mateo County Arts Educator of the Year.
“Mr. Jordan knows what he wants and he knows how he’s going to achieve it,” she explained. “Our classes are interesting. I really feel like I go to Serra – I love it so much!”
Serra President Lars Lund said Tri-School classes are a wonderful example of the cooperation between Serra, Notre Dame and Mercy.
“While all three schools remain committed to our single gender focus, we value the close cooperation among the three schools,” he noted. “Together, we can offer a wider variety of courses than we could as a single school. For example, boys can take Orchestral Band at Notre Dame and Anatomy and Physiology at Mercy. Girls can take Architectural Design and Virtual Enterprise at Serra. It really is the best of both worlds.”