With Gratitude

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Jon and Maya Varnell

On a whim, Maya Varnell and her daughter Lauryn ’24, who was then in 6th grade, decided to explore Campbell Hall as an option for middle school. Hailing from Santa Monica, they were first focused on Westside schools because of the proximity. They had no idea they would fall head over heels in love with Campbell Hall. When Jon Varnell visited the school with his family during Homecoming, he was equally impressed, and all agreed that they would be willing to brave the commute for Lauryn to attend.

Diversity of every kind was one of the most important factors in the Varnells’ decision when choosing a school. Maya, who comes from a family of designers and artists, said: “Campbell Hall kids are interesting and creative. Their differences are embraced. They are supported no matter what their interests are and what they want to pursue. There is an organic, authentic diversity to the school.’”

Their son, Vincent ’31, started Campbell Hall in 4th grade. “Vincent’s teachers were so helpful, kind, and caring in helping Vincent adjust to a new school and form friendships with his classmates,” said Maya. Lauryn, an accomplished, award-winning violinist, plans to continue her studies in music, violin performance, and orchestral conducting beyond high school. “Campbell Hall teachers have worked with her to find ways to accommodate her busy audition schedule as she finds the right higher learning fit,” said Jon. “Our kids have great relationships with their teachers who genuinely care about their wellbeing.”

In addition to providing a strong academic education, The Varnells feel that Campbell Hall has also provided a spiritual and social foundation. “Students have the chance to lead, which builds their confidence,” said Jon. “Vincent was given the opportunity to teach some math concepts to his classmates, all of whom were so supportive of his love of math. Lauryn, who used to be reserved and an observer, has transformed into a self-assured leader through her participation in speech and debate and now as the team’s co-captain. She has learned how to approach her teachers for any help she needs, which is a skill she will use throughout her life.” And while the Varnells are not part of any formal religion, Maya explained, “It’s so important that our children have a spiritual life, and to have time in the mornings to reflect and contemplate.” Chapel has been central to nurturing their children’s spiritual identity.

When the Varnells learned about Campbell Hall’s plans to construct The Holiday Center, they were eager to support the growth of the school’s athletics facilities and resources. “I grew up in a home where sports were appreciated for the life lessons they teach, like the values of dedication, discipline, and teamwork,” said Jon. “Supporting this campaign seemed like a natural fit for our family. Our son, Vincent, is a baseball and soccer player, and knowing how much he loves sports, we also want other kids to benefit from the athletic facilities. We want to help raise Campbell Hall’s athletic profile to match its academic reputation and mirror the school’s success in so many other areas.”

Maya contributes to the school community as a CH Admissions Ambassador, giving tours and providing insight to prospective families. She is part of the high school college counseling hospitality committee and parents activities committee. She volunteers for faculty/staff appreciation lunches, helps out in her son’s classroom, and is an active member of the CH affinity group Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) Family Alliance. She has loved Campbell Hall since her first experience on campus. “There’s an energy I can’t describe but so many people feel it,” she said. “The school exudes pure joy. It’s the happiest campus in LA. Our family wanted to sustain that positive atmosphere and make a meaningful impact in an area of the school where we saw there was a need.”

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For more information about The Holiday Center, please contact Director of Advancement, Kurt Johnson, at 818.505.5303 or johnsok@campbellhall.org.
4533 Laurel Canyon Blvd., Studio City, CA 91607
Phone 818.980.7280

Campbell Hall is an independent, Episcopal, K-12 all gender day school. We are a community of inquiry committed to academic excellence and to the nurturing of decent, loving, and responsible human beings.
Nondiscriminatory Policy as to Students
Campbell Hall admits students of any race, color, gender, sexual orientation, national, and ethnic origin to all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the school. It does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, gender, sexual orientation, national, and ethnic origin in administration of its educational policies, admission policies, scholarship and loan programs, and athletics and other school-administered programs.
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