Edition 5 – March 2018


Dear Castilleja Families and Friends,

We are fortunate to live in a community that places an extremely high value on education and provides excellent educational institutions to match. Palo Alto is home to a nationally regarded public school district as well as world-renowned Stanford University. Students at these schools have an incredible opportunity to expand their minds, further their education, and access the tools that will help them lead successful lives.

With so many educational options in Palo Alto, why does our community need a private all-girls alternative like Castilleja? While a single-sex education is certainly not the only way to prepare girls and young women to thrive, it is an important and viable option that should be available to even more girls and their families.

Research shows that students who receive an all-girls education are six times more likely to consider majoring in math, science or technology, and three times more likely to consider careers in engineering. They report higher levels of self-confidence, heightened career aspirations, and greater access to leadership opportunities than their female counterparts in coed schools.

We need look no further than Silicon Valley to see the need for far more women leaders, a societal challenge addressed in many ways including all-girls education. American journalist and Bloomberg TV host Emily Chang reports in Brotopia, her recently published exposé, on the professional challenges facing women in Silicon Valley where just 2% of companies receiving venture capital funding are run by women. Furthermore, only 25% of tech employees are women – compared to 50% in the banking sector.[1]   

While modern statistics such as these weren’t available when Mary Lockey founded Castilleja in 1907, she recognized the importance and value in preparing women for the academic rigors of a college curriculum. And while the mission initially focused on preparing girls for higher education, today Castilleja prepares girls to become leaders of their own learning, and ultimately, leaders in their communities and in the rest of the world.

We are proud to continue Mary’s legacy today. Our desire to provide more girls and young women with access to an all-girls education, as well as our efforts to modernize our campus, are rooted in our mission. In doing this we are in no way repudiating other educational avenues, but we know that what we do makes a difference in the lives of many girls, young women, and even the people they impact.

As UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said, “The world will never realize 100 percent of its goals if 50 percent of its people cannot realize their full potential. When we unleash the power of women, we can secure the future for all.” 

Thank you for all that you do to support our mission and the education of all the children throughout our community. We hope you will join us in supporting these efforts by visiting our website to sign up as a supporter, e-mail the city council, and request a lawn sign. Your voice makes a difference.




Kathy Layendecker
Associate Head of School
Finance and Operations




1. National Coalition of Girls’ Schools, The Girls’ School Advantage: Top Ten Reasons to Attend an All-Girls School, April 14, 2016.

Previous Editions:

Edition 4 – February 2018

Edition 3 – January 2018

Edition 2 – December 2017

Edition 1 – November 2017