Meet The Nicest Kids In Town!

Save the date now to “meet the nicest kids in town!” Saint Dominic Academy will present Hairspray! the Musical on January 10th and 11th 2020! Although that seems far away while we bask in the glow of the summer sun, it will be here before we know it. To that end, auditions for principal character roles were held over the last few weeks, and today, I am pleased to share our Cast List for our musical production! We are welcoming back some of our past leading ladies and also have some newcomers joining our principal cast. The show will once again be directed by Ms. Stephanie De Sarle and choreography will be by Saint Dominic Academy alumna Lexylee Martinez ’18. Jennifer Parra, class of 2021 will serve as Stage Manager. 

 Tracy Turnblad Rachel Perrie

Edna Turnblad Emily Perri 

Velma Von Tussle Alyssa Fuentes 

Amber Von Tussle Gabby Beredo 

Corny Collins Avery Aquino 

Link Larkin Byron Flores Jr. 

Motormouth Mable Mikalya Cintron 

Seaweed Stubbs Maximillian Rueda 

Lil Inez Stubbs Abigail Rowan Degnan 

Penny Pingleton Veronica Dominguez 

Prudy Pingleton Reagan Mattiello 

Wilbur Turnblad Joseph Basilio 

Ensemble Elena Hernandez, Fiona Gomez,

Miya Morrison, Jaiden Winters

Arianna Santana, Mikalah Merizalde…and other featured voices. 

 

As with years past, we will be hosting two receptions before the show. Alumnae, save the date now for our Alumnae Reception on January 11th. January 10th will be a reception for our Board of Trustees members of and Friends of Saint Dominic Academy. 

Incoming students in grades 7 and 9 as well as all transfer students, if you are interested in joining the cast of Hairspray! please email our Theater Arts Director, Ms. Stephanie DeSarle at sdesarle@stdominicacad.com. Rehearsals start in September and we’d love to have you join our cast. Welcome to the Sixties, SDA! 

So Long, Partner…Toy Story 4

Spoiler alert!

 It’s been a week since I went to see Toy Story Four with Abigail. And…I still cannot stop crying over the film. For those of us who ventured to see Toy Story back in 1995, this ending truly brought home the concept that Woody himself questions in the films “ Why do people have to grow up so fast?” I’ve been pals with Woody and Buzz and Bo, et al, since I was a senior in high school. And those who know my daughter know that she’s carried a Woody doll with her daily (every SINGLE day!) since she was two years old. ( She’ll be 8 next month.) So, it was quite hard for me to say goodbye to the Roundup Gang last Monday afternoon.

I was not the only wet eyed person…Abigail was in tears too. Her reason was simple. How on earth could Bonnie not treasure Woody anymore? It was bad enough when she left him on the floor of the closet. And then, replaced him with a SPORK!! But then, to not seem to care that he’s missing from the Gang!? To give his sheriff badge to Jessie?? And the hardest cut of all…to seemingly drive off and the end of the movie and not realize that Woody is not there. The message is clear. She’s over him. What made it all the more heartbreaking for my daughter was that, even at 7 years old, she understood that Woody loved Bonnie and would do anything for her. I was crying a bit before, but when Abby raised a tearstained face from my lap during the final few moments and said “ Why doesn’t Bonnie love Woody like he loves her? Why is Woody staying behind?” my tears flowed down my cheeks into her curls.

Abigail’s reaction was one that I expected. She could not relate to the idea of Bonnie outgrowing Woody, as she has not yet outgrown him. He was with us for the movie, clutched in her (not so) tiny fist. It was my reaction that almost knocked the wind out of me. Why on earth was I sobbing into movie theater napkins because Woody and Buzz parted ways? The depth of my tears surprised me; until I looked down and Abby and her Woody. Then, I knew.

I was crying for the future, for the day when I will find Woody on the floor of her closet, or tossed under her bed. For the day when he won’t be her longtime companion…when texting and Instagram and who knows what else will be her “go to” release when she’s joyful or frustrated or feeling sad. There is a day, in the not so distant future, when Woody will not be her bosom friend, her “cuddle buddy” as she calls him, or her constant companion. When that day comes, she’ll be fine. But, the question worth asking is “ How will I survive it?”

Growing up is a part of life, we as adults know this. Helping our children grow up is also a part of life; we as parents know this too. Knowing it is one thing…being fully ready for it is quite another. As we spend the summer with our children, be they toddlers or teens…we each know that there might be a milestone in store: a favorite toy abandoned, too tall for the kiddie rides at the boardwalk, a dorm room to decorate, a driver’s license to obtain. And, we know, it’s always harder on us to let our children “reach for the sky” than it is for them to do the reaching. We also know this- it’s the most important job we will ever have, to help them sail “to infinity and beyond”.  I will miss Toy Story, the Round Up gang and Woody most of all. He will always be in the forefront of my memory when I look back on my Abigail’s early years. As Woody says “ I can’t stop Andy from growing up, but I wouldn’t miss it for the world.” My readers…we can each insert our own child’s name here and just be glad that as time marches on, we don’t miss any of those spectacular (and sometimes sad) growing up moments!

The Fourth of July

This week, I think these long ago  words speak for themselves…

Let us remember those who long ago fought for our freedom.

Let us remember those who took a stand to change the world.

Let us reflect, let us truly be grateful for our Country, and let us pray for the souls of our founding fathers.

IN CONGRESS, JULY 4, 1776

The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America

When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security. — Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.

He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.

He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.

He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their Public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.

He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.

He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected, whereby the Legislative Powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.

He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.

He has obstructed the Administration of Justice by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary Powers.

He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.

He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people and eat out their substance.

He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.

He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil Power.

He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:

For quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:

For protecting them, by a mock Trial from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:

For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:

For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:

For depriving us in many cases, of the benefit of Trial by Jury:

For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences:

For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies

For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:

For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.

He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.

He has plundered our seas, ravaged our coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.

He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation, and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & Perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.

He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.

He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince, whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our British brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.

We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these united Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States, that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. — And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor.

SDA: A Future for Girls

Here we are, the last Monday in June and everyone’s little one is finished school for the year. The summer days stretch out ahead, like waves on the sand and whether our children are transitioning from kindergarten to first grade, elementary school to high school, rising to senior year, or heading off to college, right now the only thing on their minds is VACATION! Of course, they will open their books this summer, complete their summer tasks, read for pleasure, go to camps, go to workshops and continue to expand their knowledge base. However, I am certain that there will be more than a few days where our children sleep till after 10am, eat snacks all day instead of meals, and lounge around on the very furniture/rugs we are trying to clean. Those first lazy days of summer vacation are upon us as parents and we know it!

What we must never lose sight of, not even on those cloudless warm summer days is that the future is fast approaching. Two months off and then, boom, right back to the hustle and bustle- the gathering of knowledge, the shaping of our children into the young adults they will someday become. And that is why, no matter how young your daughter is, it is never too early to think about her educational future and the doors that Saint Dominic Academy can open for her.

Our school, open since 1878, has spent over a hundred and forty years preparing women for leadership in a global society. We’ve done it well; countless alumnae can attest to that fact. And we will continue to do it far into the future. Ten athletic teams, a world renowned choir, two dramatic performances yearly, 9 AP level classes, partnerships with Saint Peter’s University and Seton Hall University, and more college partnerships to come, electives spanning from Film to Forensic Science and teachers who truly bring both energy and expertise to our classrooms- Saint Dominic Academy “has it all” for the young women who pass through our halls.

Parents of daughters, whether they are 6 or 12…now is the time for you to take a closer look at Saint Dominic Academy and all we can offer your daughter. Reach out to our Enrollment Manager, Ms. Kristen Mallon with any questions or to visit Saint Dominic Academy.

It’s never too early to start planning for her future. And, at Saint Dominic Academy, the future is bold, is bright, and of course, the future is female!

Remarks to the 8th Grade

Last Friday, our 8th grade students celebrated their Moving Up Ceremony. As they transition to high school, I was invited to give them some advice on how to approach their future as young ladies. Today, I share with you the words I shared with them.

Good morning ladies and congratulations on your Moving Up Ceremony. Today marks a very monumental day in each of your lives, as you make that transition from middle school to high school. I am certain if you asked any of our seniors who graduated this past Sunday, they would tell you that the next four years will go by in the blink of an eye. It may seem to you that it took forever for you to reach high school, however, the older we get the faster times seems to move. So, treasure the next four years because they will pass by quickly.

You’ve heard me during the year offer advice; to the entire school, to the graduating seniors, and today I have some advice that is just for you. Let me begin by telling you a little bit about my favorite TV show. It’s not on anymore, but it ran on network TV from 1999-2006 and now, thanks to Netflix, etc, I can binge watch it whenever I feel the need to be inspired. My favorite TV show is Aaron Sorkin’s The West Wing…which I am sure most of you are not familiar with, but perhaps some of your parents are. In reflecting on the advice I wanted to offer you today, two key phrases from that show really stood out to me and so, I will share them with you.

The premise of the show is a good one; White House Senior Staffers advising the president, the President faced with difficult decisions and the day to day running of both The White House and the country. President Bartlett, the fictional president on the show, is fond of asking his staff the following question many times throughout the series.

What’s Next? At times he means simply, what’s next for the day, and at times he means what comes next when he is faced with a difficult decision to make. I want each of you to take just a moment now to look toward September and think…what’s next? What is next for you as a student? What’s next for you as a friend? What’s next for you, within your own heart, as you grow as a person. All during your high school years, the pace may be frantic at times. You’ll have to make difficult decisions sometimes. What you can never do is just stop and shut down. You always have to be ready to ask yourself what’s next? and then move on to the next goal or challenge, whatever it may be. I ask myself that question every single day and it keeps me motivated.

The other piece of advice from the show I want to share with you is a very simple one. At times, throughout the series, someone will ask the President what he is thinking about. His answer is always the same…Tomorrow.

And today, on this very special occasion, that is what each of you should be thinking about as well. Not just the literal tomorrow; waking up to no school, no homework and a summer ahead of you, but of all the tomorrows that are yet to come in your life. Look forward always and think about what the future may hold for you. Be ready to greet each and every day with the mindset that tomorrow is always fresh, with no mistakes in it. Imagine what you can accomplish in a lifetime of tomorrows. And let that be your motivation to succeed every single day.

Two short phrases; that is my gift to you today. Ladies, whether I will see you in September or your future is outside of Saint Dominic Academy, I hope you remember always to ask yourselves What’s Next? and to always, always, focus on Tomorrow.

Congratulations and God bless each of you.

Valedictorian Speech 2019

This week, I share with you the remarks from the Valedictorian of the Class of 2019- Miss Hannah Dobronsky.

Good afternoon Ms. Degnan, Mrs. Farrales, Sister Mary Lou, Ms. McLean, faculty, families, friends, and the beautiful class of 2019. I want to start by saying thank you to all of our guests for taking time to celebrate this special occasion with us and by reflecting on the magnitude of this ceremony.

Graduating from high school can mean something different for everyone.

It can be a time of great change as we pursue the next chapter of our lives.

It can signify that we are one step closer to finally turning our passion into a career. It can symbolize our hard work that we have accomplished these past four years. While each of these points is true of any high school graduation, graduating from Saint Dominic Academy means a little bit more. Most importantly, it means that we are prepared and empowered to take on any challenge that comes our way. I have had the privilege of knowing all of the incredible young ladies being celebrated tonight, and I can confidently say that each one has everything she needs to excel in the next era of her life. You all have become like sisters to me in every sense of the word; I know that each of you has the courage to get back up after a setback, as well as the character to help another who has been knocked down. I have seen unmatched resilience, creativity, intelligence, passion, and drive demonstrated time and time again by each and every one of you.

Not only have you taught me so much about what it means to be a strong woman, but all of you have constantly inspired me to be the best version of myself. This is the kind of class that can get through anything life throws at them. From arts to sciences, finance to communications, and in any other field we are going into, each of you is amazingly talented. I cannot wait to see the great impact you all will make on the world, and the success that is a sure part of our future. I will end by saying something that I think everyone needs to hear sometimes. There are many things that must be considered when you come to a crossroads and are faced with a tough decision. The best decision will always be the one that makes you happy.

It might take a long time to figure out what path satisfies this happiness, but each and every one of you deserves to follow your heart. It may not always be the easiest choice to make, but remember that you can always count on these sisters of yours to help you with anything, no matter how many miles away. I am so grateful to have known each of you these past few years, and today is not an end, but a beautiful beginning. Congratulations to the extraordinary class of 2019. Thank you.

Graduation Remarks 2019

Congratulations to the Saint Dominic Academy Class of 2019! Today, I want to share with you my remarks from yesterday’s graduation ceremony.

Good afternoon, everyone. My dear seniors, this is the last time that I will stand before you and be able to offer you advice, insight and “wisdom”, although I am not always sure how wise I truly am. What I can tell you, is when I look out at you, I see my own little girl, ten years from now. And so, I did some reading and some reflecting on what advice I will someday give to her, as she heads out into the world. I am certain all of your mothers and fathers have given you valuable advice and life lessons that you will carry with you always. Now, if you will indulge me for just a few moments…here are some life lessons I learned as a young woman, and as your “school mom”, I’d like to share them with you.

Spend the money on the dress you love. Your OWN money, not your parents money. There will be a day where you find the dress of your dreams..the one that when you put it on, it makes you smile. And then…you’ll look at the price tag and put it back on the rack. Pick it up again- spend the money, treat yourself. Because when you feel you look your best, that’s the moment when your inner beauty shines through.

Never miss an opportunity to tell someone how you feel. If you love someone, tell them. Even if they don’t say it back, and at times they won’t…you will always regret not telling someone you love them.

Your words carry tremendous weight, choose them wisely. At all times, in every situation. We all lose our tempers and say things we regret. Imagine how much happier the world would be if we stopped before those regretful words came out of our mouths, thought about them for a moment, and then bit them back.

If you know the answer, raise your hand. In the college classroom, as a parent someday at a PTA meeting, in a work meeting. ( Ok maybe don’t raise your hand, but speak up!) Share your knowledge, let people know how intelligent you are. Never be afraid to be right.

Karma is real. Don’t be a mean girl. Yes, yes, the movie is funny, I’ll admit it. But really, who wants to go through life like Regina George and her Plastics? I know you all- NONE of you are mean girls. Don’t let anything you face in life turn you into a mean girl!

Use sunscreen. It sounds silly right now, I know. But I am looking out for your future- and the last thing you want is a call from your doctor about skin cancer…take a moment to spray on that sunscreen and take care of the beautiful skin that you have.

Listen to your gut, even when it disagrees with your head and your heart. Instinct is a powerful thing; almost every creature on the planet with the exception of humans act on instinct. If you feel something is not right for you, listen to that feeling. Just make sure you know the difference between instinct and impulse!

Know the difference between a disagreement and an argument. Try your best not to have either, but a disagreement does not always have to be personal; you can have a professional disagreement with a classmate, a colleague, a family member, but not hurt their feelings. In arguments feelings are always hurt and we always say things we regret.

Eat the cake. This is advice I have to follow myself. Be happy with who you are, enjoy the things in life that make you happy. Don’t worry about calories or fat or things like that every day for the rest of your life. Cake, in moderation, is meant to be enjoyed!

Always carry an extra hair-tie. Or else, rock a short haircut! You can see what I have chosen…so either keep an emergency supply somewhere, or you’ll one day be me saying “I’ve got to do something with this hair always hanging in my face!”

Friday nights are for takeout. Sometimes Tuesdays are, too. And this becomes perhaps the best advice I can offer you, especially as you get older. Nobody expects you to do it all…work, dinner, homework, etc. Splurge a little once or twice a week and order in and binge watch an entertaining show. It will do so much to keep you centered and focused for the other 5 days!

Ask for help when you need it. You’re an independent woman, not a superhero. Call your mom, your dad, your friends…come back to SDA and say “Can you help me with.____?” As I just said, not one of us can do it all, not you, not I. There are days when, if my friends could not help me out a little, I’d be lost. You’ll have those days too…so never be too proud to ask for assistance.

Love yourself. The people in this room right now love you very much. That’s why they are here celebrating this day. You will meet others in life who love you very much. And someday, I hope each of you meets the one true love of your life. Alas, all of that love that is focused on you will never truly touch your soul, unless you first truly love yourself.

And that is it…the end of my list, the end of my time as your Head of School…but we know well that this sisterhood at SDA has existed for 140 years and so today is not an ending…it’s the beginning of your future as proud alumnae of Saint Dominic Academy. I am so very lucky and proud to have shared this journey with you. I wish each of you the best of luck, and I am always here if you need anything.

Congratulations ladies!

Memorial Day 2019

Today, let us pause a moment…

As many of us look to this day as the true beginning of summer,

Let’s reflect on those who gave their lives so our nation might live.

From the colonists until now, America would not be American without

Our brave men and women who proudly serve our country.

And so, let us pray…

Heavenly Father,

On this Memorial Day, we pray for those who courageously laid down

their lives for the cause of freedom. May the example of their sacrifice

inspire in us the selfless love of your Son, our Lord Jesus Christ.

Bless the families of our fallen troops, and fill their homes and their

lives with your strength and peace.

In union with people of goodwill of every nation, embolden us to

answer the call to work for peace and justice, and thus, seek an end

to violence and conflict around the globe.

We pray through Christ our Lord.

Amen

Senior Assembly: Remarks


You must find happiness where you are!



Moana

We started our year together, your last here at Saint Dominic Academy, with a theme inspired by the movie Moana. And I can think of no better way to address you today than to reflect not only on all the happiness you have experienced during your senior year here, but also, the other important lessons that a movie like Moana can teach you. First and foremost, I sincerely hope that each of you can sit before me here today, close your eyes, and recall one moment of happiness you found this year. After all, that was all of our goals, yours and mine together from September onward. While I am sure you can also recall moments of sadness, of doubt and of anxiety- as I can as well, I am going to ask you to reflect for just a second on that moment of happiness you have called to mind. … Carry it with you, into next week, as you get ready for the Prom. Carry it with you, as you go to graduation practices. Carry it with you, at our mass on May 28, and of course, at graduation on June 2nd. Remember that moment of pure happiness you had as a senior at Saint Dominic Academy and keep it close to your heart; as close as Moana kept the heart of Te’ Fiti.

And now, for those lessons…

1. Listen to that voice inside you; it’s your heart talking to you. Follow it- wherever it takes you in life. The road ( or waves) may be bumpy and you may falter on the path, but as long as that voice inside you tells you to keep going- keep your head up and sail onward.

2. Never ever be afraid of feeling different.  Didn’t Moana’s grandmother embody that idea?  She did not care if the village thought she might “drift too far”…she knew that as long as she was happy with herself, that was what mattered. For all of us women, that is a hard lesson to learn- and if you can truly learn it as early as possible, then your life will be full of joy.

3. You are stronger than you think.  Moana sailing across an ocean—is it that much different than going away to college- leaving your family behind, embarking on a new voyage or journey?  There will be times next year when you think to yourself “ I cannot do this”, when you say to a friend “ I literally cannot do this anymore.” Yes, you can. You can do anything you put your mind to; remember that always!

4. When you make a mistake, fix it.  You owe it to yourself, you owe it to others.  There’s no shame in making a mistake, for any reason. It happens to all of us- it happens every single day. Not one of us is perfect.  What makes us good people? The fact that we can own up to our mistakes and do our best to fix them.

And finally and most importantly-  The ones we love never leave us, they are in our hearts always.

I can tell you this is 100% true. Those who touched your lives in one way or another will always remain with you; their influence will shape the woman you become.  Whether a love one has left for a better place with God, or whether you and the friend whose hand you are holding now are going to be separated by many miles next year…if love exists, then you will never be without those you love.  Listen quietly, at night, when your soul is at peace. Your loved ones will talk to you, will guide you, and will put you on the path to become who you are meant to be.

I will miss you very much next year; and if you need Saint Dominic Academy for anything…”set the course…you know the way”

Athletic Honors at SDA!

Two years ago, at my first Athletic Dinner as Head of School, I told the following story about our Athletic Director, John Nagel:

In 1997, I was 19 years old and in my 2nd year of college. I also began working at the Mayor’s Office in Jersey City. I remained there until I was 22, first as an intern and then progressing to the administrative assistant to the Director of Communications. It was during my tenure working for the City of Jersey City that I first had the pleasure of meeting Mr. John Nagel. A busy man, always in a hurry to head into this meeting or to that event, (much like today, 20 years later!) he always had a moment to stop and say hello. If something great was accomplished by a member of Communications, he was the first to give a quick but thoughtful word of praise or congratulations. If I needed information for a press release or a seal of approval from his Department on an upcoming promotion for an event, Mr. Nagel, (as I called him back then) was always able to assist me in order to get the job done well and to ensure that the Mayor’s Office looked good!

How nice it has been this year, twenty years later to be able to once again work together with John Nagel, our Director of Athletics.  Time has changed both of us, now I call him John and he jokingly refers to me as “Madame President”, but the same exceptional working relationship has not changed.  The dedication to the job and the effort to ensure that SDA’s athletic program both looks and is exceptional has not changed. As a member of the SDA family Mr. Nagel has worked to uphold the mission of Saint Dominic Academy and its commitment to producing well rounded young women. He reaches out to girls who otherwise may not get involved and encourages them to reach their full athletic potential….I think every young lady who has played on one of our sports teams can walk away saying “I had fun!” That’s Mr. Nagel’s goal as AD; to make athletics fun. And hey, if we have an impressive collection of trophies here at 2572, then so much the better!

Today, as we prepare to celebrate our student athletes at our annual Athletic Dinner tonight, I am so very pleased and proud to be able to share the news that Hudson County has bestowed up our beloved Coach Nagel another accolade to add to his list of accomplishments. Last Tuesday evening, the running path at Lincoln Park was dedicated to John Nagel, in honor of his over 40 years of service to track and field as well as to girls’ athletics in Hudson County.

Tonight, at the dinner, he will speak very little about all he does for the young women at Saint Dominic Academy. His “MO” is to take a backseat always and let our young ladies shine…as well they should, for we have dedicated, determined and fearless athletes here at Saint Dominic Academy. However, I would be remiss if I did not laud this achievement; through my blog this morning and in my remarks at the end of the dinner later tonight.

Congratulations John, on this outstanding recognition and honor. The alumnae who have had the pleasure of running for you over the past 42 years know it is richly well deserved. Thank you for your dedication to Catholic education, to education for young women, and for teaching the young ladies of Saint Dominic Academy to “run like a girl” for many generations. We are lucky to know you!