High School
High School Faculty
Theology Department

Maria Pollia, Theology Department

Maria Pollia
Describe something interesting about your experience of being a teacher at Immaculate Heart.
One of the things that I find most interesting about being a teacher at IHHS is that my students never fail to teach me something very important every year. Often, it’s an insight about God, Scripture or spirituality that comes through in one of my Theology classes, or a new way of thinking about a prayer, liturgy or serve to the community. Sometimes it’s through a simple yet extraordinary act of kindness. Recently, it was the way in which our current students, recent graduates and alumnae came together to instantly respond to the call to raise awareness across the board at Immaculate Heart of the real and often harsh experiences of African-American people, both in history and in our current society. Their courageous, loving and interactive challenge to our school to “do better,” and our commitment to doing so, is a testimony to the shared vision of the Immaculate Heart family.
What school tradition shows the spirit of the Immaculate Heart school community best?
The school tradition that shows the spirit of our school community best to me is Mary’s Day. On this special day in May, we celebrate our Mother Mary by selecting one of her many traditional titles as a theme for our day. This title, chosen by students, is explored through liturgy, prayer and the performing and visual arts in ways that are always relevant to the times. This means that social justice themes are usually woven into the presentations, created and performed by students. The entire community gets involved in fashioning a day of beauty, shared hopes for justice and positive change, hospitality and sisterhood.
What does “Women of Great Heart & Right Conscience” mean to you?
As a graduate of Immaculate Heart High School, Class of 1972, the meaning of this phrase has broadened and deepened over the years. When I was a student, it described the Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary who founded our school, and who were our teachers through challenging times. To me, they were the original “Women of Great Heart & Right Conscience.” As time went on, it came to describe the way in which my own classmates and friends shaped their lives, in the strong friendships we maintained and in the admirable ways they met the demands and sometimes adversities of life. When I returned to IH as a teacher in 1997, I began to think of it as the legacy that we all hoped to ultimately pass on to our students. In 2020, I saw it demonstrated in the lives of current students, especially those of our graduating seniors, who faced many challenges both personally and as a class with grace and courage. Of course, Mary our patron is also a great model for us as we seek to live our lives as she did, always with Great Heart & Right Conscience.

Immaculate Heart High School & Middle School

5515 Franklin Avenue • Los Angeles, California 90028
phone: (323) 461-3651 • fax: (323) 462-0610
A Catholic, independent college preparatory school for girls in grades 6 through 12, Immaculate Heart has been located on a beautiful hillside property in the Los Feliz area of Los Angeles since our founding by the Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary in 1906. We celebrate more than a century of nurturing the spiritual, intellectual, social and moral development of students as they distinguish themselves as women of great heart and right conscience.