A Community of Pioneers
Drawing on a long and rich heritage, Providence High School combines the best of tradition and innovation in its quest to prepare students for the rest of their lives.
Written byLaura L. Watts
Photographed byJP Cordero
AboveHead of school Scott McLarty
“Expressions of God’s healing love”—that’s what the mission of Providence High School encourages its students and leaders to be to one another, as well as to the local and worldwide community. Given the global public health crisis and the racial unrest in our country over the past year, the school’s mission has never been more relevant.
“Providence Pioneers are never satisfied with the status quo and continually seek innovative ways to improve and develop as individuals, a school community and the world around us,” says head of school Scott McLarty, who has been with Providence since 2019. “We don’t do the same thing year after year; at Providence we are always learning and adapting because that is what our students and families need and expect from us.”
Drawing on the legacy of the Sisters of Providence, who founded the school in 1955, Scott and his team are passionate about educating students who are intellectually engaged, spiritually grounded and steadfastly committed to serving all. “A Providence education is about so much more than four years as an enrolled student,” Scott shares. “We provide a Providence education so our students can spend the rest of their lives giving it away to a world that desperately needs them.”
A school’s academics and programs are only as good as the individuals running them, and the faculty, staff and students demonstrate the “Pioneer spirit” throughout Providence High’s departments and activities. “Our community’s values are more than words on a poster. They are lived every day: compassion, dignity, justice, excellence and integrity,” says Scott, whose guidance helped the school shift to remote learning during the COVID-19 shutdown without losing a single instructional day, while increasing enrollment and retention of students.
“Providence is a place of learning where students can become the best versions of themselves,” he says. Students connect deeply and directly with the school’s motto “You Belong Here.” They are involved in decision-making processes about things that directly affect them, such as uniforms, the school lunch menu, spirit events, faculty hiring, and engaging the school community in and out of the classroom.
Scott brings more than two decades of experience in the world of education with him to Providence High School. He taught full-time for 11 years before taking on formal leadership roles, including admissions and enrollment management and his first headship in San Francisco. A Valley native, Scott attended St. Mel School in Woodland Hills and Loyola High School in Los Angeles before getting his BA and MA at Loyola University Chicago.
“Providence is a place of learning where students can become the best versions of themselves.”
He is passionate about transforming education to better inspire students and meet their needs in a rapidly changing world. He recently became an education advisor for #HalfTheStory, a national nonprofit founded by one of his former students with a mission to empower the next generation’s relationship with social media through advocacy, education and access to resources for youth.
In 2020 Providence became the first Work2BeWell school in California, and Providence students now serve on the organization’s National Student Advisory Council (NSAC)—a group dedicated to empowering other teens to thrive through access to mental health resources, authentic connections with peers and educators, and digital platforms for resiliency.
With its central location near Providence Saint Joseph Medical Center and major television and movie studios, the school is well equipped to offer three unique four-year programs in the fields of cinema arts, medicine and technology. Students in these programs explore their passions and find out what inspires them.
Under Scott’s leadership, Providence not only endured but experienced a strengthening during the pandemic. The school forged partnerships to better meet the shifting needs of the community. As part of its faith-based heritage and commitment to Catholic social teaching, Providence continues to offer three task forces that demonstrate a focus on equality and inclusivity: Wellness, Environmental Sustainability, and Equity & Social Justice. As it celebrates its 65th anniversary, the school is devoted to evolving as an institution and growing as a “community of Pioneers.”
“Providence is a stronger school today than it was when I came here in 2019, and that is because of our incredible team—from our dedicated leadership and board of regents to our passionate and innovative faculty and staff,” Scott shares. “Together we as a community will continue to create an equitable and inclusive culture for our Pioneers.”
Providence High School
511 S. Buena Vista St., Burbank | 818-846-8141 | providencehigh.org