St. Pius X-St. Matthias Academy Recognize your Significance, Seize your Opportunities

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Alumni Newsletter



Alumni Spotlight: Arianna Villegas & Darren Penuliar

Class of 2019


Arianna and Darren hail from local partner schools, St. Raymond’s and St. Dominic Savio respectively.  PMA was selected over other high schools based on scholarship offerings, smaller class size, strong school community, and many extracurricular opportunities for growth.


They both felt that PMA being a faith-based school environment provides a very positive experience for the students.  “Theology classes were ‘not preachy’ but actually very informative and provide ways to keep us morally and ethically in check.”  “Religious services such as Mass, Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament and others were good opportunities to reflect on life, strengthen my faith and focus on making good choices in life.”


After four years they both feel they made an excellent choice with PMA.  Arianna feels students’ passions are met as there’s an openness that invites students to establish clubs and activities.  Darren points out his appreciation for the growth in the school and many improvements to the campus.  Together they feel PMA’s size offers a great opportunity to enjoy a close-knit community and the faculty/staff are very eager to support them in their academic and extracurricular pursuits.


A further glance in the rearview mirror… Darren’s experience of the quality and talent of the staff was instrumental in helping him achieve his GPA.  Arianna feels our student government is provided the latitude to directly influence student activities and enjoyment.  Together they enjoyed performing opportunities such as Choir, Improv Club, Theatre, and Filmmaking.  Camaraderie with classmates and those from other classes was especially valued.  


Both students seized every opportunity to challenge themselves with Honors and AP (Advanced Placement) classes throughout their four years.  To their credit, they both have very high GPAs and now anxiously await, what will hopefully be, several college acceptance letters.


Arianna is Valedictorian for the Class of 2019 and will be attending USC in the fall and studying Health Promotion and Disease Prevention with a Pre-Med track.  Darren will be attending UCLA with a focus on Pre-Business Econ.  He hopes to complement his academic major with his passion for filmmaking as he takes advantage of UCLA’s abundant film resources via clubs and classes.


These two students exemplify our motto, “Recognize your significance. Seize your opportunities.”  They have spent their high school years thoroughly preparing themselves for college and the world that lies ahead.