Students Who Change the World

12th grader Katie Mencken

First published in the Nov. 3 print issue of the Pasadena Outlook.


One signature Pasadena Unified School District program which clearly demonstrates the global value of education is the International Baccalaureate Programme.
The IB curriculum develops curious, knowledgeable, young people who care about their school, their community and the world around them.
Willard Elementary offers an authorized IB Primary Years Programme designed for every student in grades TK-5. Students can continue IB studies that are offered at Blair Middle and High School.

  • Blair IB Coordinators Karen Law, Diploma Programme, and Christine McLaughlin, Middle Years
  • Blair building

Blair IB coordinator Christine McLaughlin says she often thinks why aren’t all schools IB? “The way the entire system works is good teaching. It considers the whole student and it’s concerned with creating a citizen who can help make this world a better place.”
Students say IB classes can be both challenging and inspiring.
“I can’t imagine not doing it (the IB Diploma Program) just because the style of learning is something that is really helpful to me,” said Blair 12th grader Katie Mencken.
IB Diploma Programme Coordinator Karen Law said it provides college-level courses and teaches students to “do research and initiate activities. They also learn how to become self-aware. They are asked to not only complete the academic work but also to think about the larger society as they are doing things.”
Students may apply to Willard or Blair even if it’s not their home school during the open enrollment period which began Oct. 24 and continues through Nov. 14, at 4 p.m. Open enrollment offers families an opportunity to apply to attend a school other than their neighborhood school. If you have questions about online applications, please call the PUSD enrollment office (626) 396-3639, visit the Education Center, 351 S. Hudson Ave., room 123, M-F 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., or visit