Cousin see, cousin do


Celeste, Colleen, my future sister-in-law Jenna, and I all pose together at a bridal shower. This was the last time the three of us had the chance to catch up together. (Photo provided by Joanie Thomas)

As I’m sure is evident to every Rosary student, past and present, there is something incredible—nay, nearly magical—about having a single-sex education. While Rosary is the only all-girls Catholic school in Orange County, there are many other similar schools not too far away in Southern California.

In fact, two of my cousins, freshman Celeste Traver and sophomore Colleen Traver, attend two different all-girls Catholic schools not too far away in LA county. I had the opportunity to interview them on some of the similarities and differences between our schools and to get different perspectives on the value of a single-sex education.

My cousin Colleen and I pose together on Easter mid-conversation. Yes, we were in fact talking about our schools. (Photo provided by Joanie Thomas)

Q: What is the name of your school?

Colleen: I go to Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy in La Canada Flintridge.

Celeste: I attend St. Lucy Priory High School.

Q: What is your mascot?

Colleen: Our mascot is a Tolog. It stands for “to our lady of great success,” yet we use a brown bear as our mascot.

Celeste: The name of our mascot is Rory, and she is a lion. At St. Lucy’s, the students are known as Regents.

Q: Why did you pick a single-sex school as opposed to a co-ed one?

Colleen: I picked a single-sex school as opposed to a co-ed school to become more comfortable with myself and explore new things without having to deal with the pressure of boys being around me. I also believe I am not as stressed since I do not feel the pressure or the need to always compete for better grades, look attractive, and I feel freer at the all-girls school.

Celeste: I chose a single-sex school as opposed to a co-ed one because I knew that the girls at St. Lucy’s would be very welcoming and helpful to those who are just starting high school. My favorite part of going to an all-girls school is the bonds that I have made with my classmates. We all relate to each other, making it easier to make strong friendships.

Q: Does your school have any special traditions? If so, what?

Colleen: Our school has traditions such as spirit week where each day is something new, such as dressing up like a nun in black and white or wearing your class colors. Then, we do chants in the gym to see which class can be the loudest. We also have the FSHLYMPICS. This is a day full of sports to compete against each other and have fun bonding with different grades.

Celeste: At St. Lucy’s every year, our school put on Penny Wars. Penny Wars is when every class brings in as many pennies as possible. If you bring in quarters, dimes, or nickels and add them to a different class’s bucket, it subtracts points from their score. Whichever class has the most points wins.

My cousin Celeste and I pose together after the Servite Fashion Show this past November. (Photo provided by Joanie Thomas)

Q: Do you have a brother school? If so, what school? In what ways do you interact?

Colleen: Our brother school is Saint Francis High School located five minutes away from us. Although we have sporting events to attend and meet new people, the only time we interact is if we go to a homecoming dance or prom, so most people find free time to meet new people and hang out in groups!

Celeste: Damien is St. Lucy’s brother school. We also have a smaller sister school named Pomona Catholic. All three schools go to dances and sporting events together.

Q: What is your favorite thing about your school in particular?

Colleen: My favorite part about my school is how small it is, so I can try and get to know everyone. Although I stay close to my group of six people, I am able to branch out and know everyone by name!

Celeste: I like that my school is a comfortable environment, and there is not too much pressure.

Q: What are your thoughts on both of your cousins also going to all-girls schools?

Colleen: I think it is great that both Katie and Celeste go to all-girls schools and that we are able to relate to each other, share ideas about each other’s schools, and connect with each other.

Celeste: I think it is inspiring that my cousins go to all-girl schools especially because they are older. I can see how much they love their high school and how successful and independent they have become.

Personally, I love being able to share with my cousins in the highs and lows of going to all-girls schools and to give them tips on how to navigate high school. Rest assured, family parties are always a joy getting to bond over our many escapades.

And while I only see my cousins a few times a year, our common bond helps to keep us connected year-round.

Though I’m graduating in a little under a month, I can’t wait to continue to share advice with Colleen and Celeste on life in general, knowing that our high school experiences have bonded us to the core.