Statement from Dominican Sisters

We at Saint Dominic Academy share the following statement from our Dominican Sisters and ask once again for your prayers for the children of SDA and for children all over the world affected by gun violence.

 

 

May the light of God surround you…

May the love of God enfold you…

May the power of God protect you…

May God place His hands upon you…

May the presence of God watch over you…

Wherever you are, God is.

Amen

Our Prayers Go Out…

I remember Columbine…I remember Virginia Tech…I remember Sandy Hook. I remember the others, too numerous to name. My heart is heavy, as is the heart of every parent, every educator and everyone who has been too close to a tragic incident such as the one that occurred last Wednesday in Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

Today, I ask for your prayers as Saint Dominic Academy continues to pray for those in Florida who are mourning the loss of 17 young lives due to senseless violence.  Together, let us as for God’s grace and turn our heavy hearts to His wisdom for comfort.

And so we pray for our children and for all children…

 

May the light of God surround you…

May the love of God enfold you…

May the power of God protect you…

May God place His hands upon you…

May the presence of God watch over you…

Wherever you are, God is.

Amen

Blind Dates…

And here we are; the week leading up to Valentine’s Day!  Love is in the air, with pink and red satin hearts on display in every store I enter (and they’ve been out since December 26th, am I right?), my inboxes jammed with offers from Pro Flowers, Shari’s Berries and any other floral/candy company I have ever purchased anything from, and Party City wants to help me have a “LOVE-LY” day! NJ Monthly Magazine is giving me tips on the best date plans for Valentines’ Day and NJ Family Magazine is advising me of all the ways to make the day wonderful and magical for my Abigail. I’ve received emails about wine and chocolate pairings, bonfires and brew nights, whiskey and candy flights- I even got a list of how to pair Girl Scout cookies with wine for a Valentine’s Day celebration.

What do I want to say to all of these well intentioned (sarcasm, much?) advertisers regarding this over abundance of sweet suggestions?  Well, February 14th is a Wednesday night, the start of Lent, and, let us not forget…A SCHOOL NIGHT!  So, unless Abigail’s teacher is waving the weekly 12 spelling sentences that are assigned each Wednesday, I pretty much know what I’ll be doing on February 14th, and I am doubting it’s going to involve whiskey. (Although, those spelling words are getting harder…) All jokes aside, I do appreciate all the extra love in the world on 2/14 each year, I helped Abby make homemade cards for her class, I made sure to send my nieces and nephew a little something, and I have a Hocus Pocus fleece throw and a Porg from The Last Jedi all wrapped in red to give to my little sweetheart on Valentine’s morning. (Abby loves Star Wars and Halloween, so she will truly love her gifts!)

Working in an all girls school and having attended an all girls school however does make me sensitive to those young ladies who many not be receiving candy or roses on this particular day.  And so, this year, I have come up with a solution for my Siena Honors English class…in order to ENSURE that each of them has a date on Valentine’s Day.  Yes, this teacher/Head of School will be bringing 14 dates to English class that morning, so each young lady can choose who she wants to go on a blind date with that evening.

Parents, don’t pick up the phone yet to call my office and ask if I have lost my mind from eating too much candy.  My students are going on a Blind Date With A Book  from February 14th to February 28th. A Blind Date with a Book is a hand wrapped book, carefully curated from a wide range of popular genres that is tagged with intriguing clues alluding to the book inside. I along with my partner in arranging blind dates (my mom, a former English teacher and principal herself), have selected 14 works that we truly hope the young ladies will read and enjoy.   

For the duration of the assignment, students will be reading and writing reflections with headings such as “First Impressions”,  “ Appetizers”  “The Main Course” and “Would You Go Out Again” (meaning, would you read another book by the author?) Then, the students will carefully repackage their “dates” and gift another SDA lady with a Blind Date With A Book. This Valentine’s Day, my 9th graders and I are going to work to spread the love…of reading that is!

And parents, if you’re looking to get involved, check out this amazing website, https://blinddatewithabook.com/pages/about-us.  I may just have plans on Valentine’s Day after all…I wonder if they deliver to my Kindle!

Upgrades!

A few weeks ago, I took Abigail to Great Wolf Lodge for an overnight. We have been there more than a few times, but this time when I checked in, I got a huge surprise. We had been selected for a complimentary upgrade, to the largest suite in the resort. Two bedrooms, a hot tub, a fireplace, a living room- it was wonderful and the extra space was especially great since I had my cousin and her two little daughters with me. The five of us really enjoyed an upscale girls weekend as a result of this unexpected upgrade.

While I was driving home, I started thinking about upgrades and how when they come unexpectedly, really do make the day or the weekend that much more happy and exciting. This is only the 2nd upgrade I have gotten in my life. (The first was when Abby and I got moved to First Class on a flight to…where else? Disney. However, flying First Class with a 3 year old is pretty much the same as flying coach…except they have more room to squirm!) And yet, I raved about this hotel suite the entire rest of the weekend- it truly made my day. The more I started thinking about upgrades and the joys they bring to people’s days, it made me realize that the entire Saint Dominic Academy experience is a daily upgrade for every student who comes through the doors.

The opportunities we offer daily; small class sizes, nine athletic teams, a glee club that is comprised of a 1/3 of the school, musical and dramatic performances, 8 AP classes, a four year STEM program from grades 7-10, are wonderful upgrades that our students may not have the opportunity to experience at other schools.  And then, our special perks, which include trips to Europe, performing for the Pope and at Carnegie Hall, Trip Day, Disney YES Experience, Saturday Seminars, the Dartmouth Invitational, the Disney Invitational, a nationally ranked Dance Team, Siena Honors workshops, overnight and day retreats, individual trips for classes and grades, 3 formal dances, Domination…the list can go on and on. Talk about upgrades- when you become a student at SDA, you learn far more than just what is in between the pages of textbooks. You are constantly being exposed to new opportunities, new ideas, and varied experiences that not only enhance your high school life, but influence your future as well.

It is my hope that every young lady at Saint Dominic Academy truly takes full advantage of all the upgrades and perks we offer in conjunction with our stellar academic program. There is no doubt in my mind that we are the premier school for young women; have been since 1878 and will be far into the future!