Lounging Around…at SDA!

The long term goal of our Parent Association this year was to create a space just for our seniors; a place where they could relax and unwind, a place to study and socialize, and most importantly, a place just for them as they are the leaders of the student body.  Alumnae from years past may remember certain senior classes claiming the legendary Phone Booth as their mini lounge and more recent alumnae may have fond memories of Student Council Executive Board members allowing other seniors to hang in the STUCO Office, but those are legends of the past.

This week, I am proud to announce that our Senior Lounge, located in the rear of ELAN, in what used to be Saint Catherine, is fully furnished,  stocked with a mini fridge and microwave, and will soon be receiving a flat screen TV for SENIORS ONLY. The TV comes as a gift from Mr. and Mrs. Joe Anderson, whose daughter Megan will be able to enjoy the lounge space next year.  There is nothing like the allure of a place being “off limits” to draw curious eyes, and I have seen more than a few underclasswomen taking the back stairs for no reason in order to briefly walk through the coveted Senior Lounge. All in good time, ladies…one day in the future it will be your own private space.

For now, the movable plush couches, two papasan chairs and the ability to store snacks and lunch,  eat up meals, or simply relax during a free period belongs to the Class of 2018. These young ladies were patient with us all year as we worked to create the lounge bit, by bit.  It is due to the very hard work of our Parent Association Board, led by President Mary Dowden, mother of Megan who graduates this spring, that this lounge was even possible. To every parent who supported a Parent Association event, fundraiser or activity this year, I wish to thank you on behalf of the Class of 2018, and all of the classes that follow.  This space was much needed, long overdue, and a true gift to all of the young ladies as they face the stress and hectic nature of senior year.

As Head of School, I am always hopeful that the senior class this year and for years to come will invite me to lounge around if they are watching something of interest…but I will not hold my breath! These young ladies, the  Class of 2018, have EARNED this relaxing space after all of their hard work and I very much hope all of your daughters will enjoy it one day as well.

Keep your eye out, I sure, for the #selfiesfromtheseniorlounge. I imagine it will be coming soon to a social media site near you!

Happy Easter!

We rejoice together in the Risen Lord!

On behalf of Saint Dominic Academy, Happy Easter!

We will carry you in prayer this entire spring!

A Prayer for Holy Week…

As we enter  Holy Week, when the most bitter sufferings of Jesus Christ are put before us by the liturgy, the Church invites us to come to Calvary and follow in the blood-stained footsteps of the Divine Redeemer, to carry the Cross willingly with Him, to reproduce in our hearts His spirit of expiation and atonement, and to die together with Him.

We ought to glory in the Cross of our Lord Jesus Christ
in whom is our salvation, life and resurrection.
Let us pray.
All-powerful, eternal God, You have chosen to give mankind a model of humility;
our Savior took on our flesh, and subjected Himself to the Cross. Grant us the grace to preserve faithfully the lessons
He has given us in his Passion and to have a share in His resurrection. This we ask of You through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son.
Amen.
Favour this dwelling, Lord, with Your presence. Far from it repulse all the wiles of Satan. Your holy angels, let them live here, to keep us in peace. And may your blessing remain always upon us. This we ask of You through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son.
May the almighty and merciful Lord, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, bless and keep us.
Amen.

A Prayer for Spring

This week, with Saint Patrick’s Day just behind us, the calendar tells us that Spring begins on March 20th.  It may seem as if winter has been here for more than a few months; in my own mind and heart, I feel it has been cold and wintery since October.  And although the weather this week may not bring the sunshine and warmth of spring, our calendars tell us it is on its way. Our hearts should tell us to hold out hope; this week as we anticipate spring, next week as we head into Holy Week, and that beautiful April morning where we celebrate Easter. I invite you to pray with me and with Saint Dominic Academy every Monday for the next three weeks, in delightful anticipation of God’s gift of spring to each and every one of us.

 

Loving God,

Springtime truly is a gift from You.

It brings Your message of hope

to a world tiring of winter’s starkness.

It brings the gift of flowers, breaking through the snow

And reminds us that each spring, new life is upon us all.

It is in this season that we recall the sacrifice You made for us all

The gift of Your Son

to break through sin’s icy blanket,

and, with arms outstretched

on a cross,

He brought us

hope, light and new life.

CONGRATS TO OUR DANCE TEAM! WINNERS IN SMALL POM VARSITY DIVISION!!!

Congrats to all of our girls and our alumnae coaches! These young ladies worked tirelessly all year and once again have earned a National Championship Title! For the past three years they have brought home top honors for SDA and this week I want to use this Blog to congratulate the young ladies, their coaches, and their parents! You have made us all so very proud!

Coaches: Marie Pompeo Maffia ’79, Amanda Herring’06, Taylor Siebel ’14
Team Members: Seniors Sophia Feijoo and Emily Gill
Sophomores: Mallory Geisler and Kayla Stewart
Freshmen: Olivia Aidukas, Chloe Butler, Nastasja Gunnings and Avery Sullivan
8th Grade: Aisha Adeboye

This One’s For the Moms…

Lately, I feel like my life is one big game of catch up. No matter how much effort I make, either the bed is not made, the laundry has to be re-washed because I forgot and left it sitting, the floor I thought I just vacuumed is covered in crumbs, my plans for a homemade dinner transform into visiting the Wendy’s drive-through…and my shelves are collecting dust. It’s when I take time to think about it that I become overwhelmed. In addition to my “house work” there are read -alouds and homework and Girl Scouts and Ballet and Theater Group; I am not just a busy mom, I am the busy mom of a very busy little girl. Usually, the balance of all of this plus that important role I play over at 2572 Kennedy Boulevard is one that I manage with relative ease. But, these past few weeks…I do not mind stating that I am wiped out.

So, mothers of high school daughters, help me out here. Your daughters are even busier than mine, many of your families are larger than mine, your jobs are as important as mine. I guess my question is…should I feel guilty or are your houses as harried and disorganized as mine feels right now!? All jokes aside, I know that we as mothers have to reach a point where we are comfortable with “letting go.” By that I mean, letting the small things go;  it’s ok for me to leave my coffee cup in the sink over night, if it means I can do Abigail’s read – aloud with her. It’s ok if I have to fold two loads of rather large laundry once a week rather than perfect little loads every night. It’s even ok if every once in a while I leave with the bed unmade ( although I have to admit it drives me nuts the entire day!)

In talking with my friends, I realize I am not the only mom who feels this way- stay at home or working, there truly never are enough hours in the day for us to take care of everyone else and really give ourselves some much needed care too. And so, this week, since this feeling of being overtaken by my hectic life is on my mind, I wanted to share it in case any of our SDA moms were feeling the same way. And I wanted to put these feelings out there so all of us moms realize that when we feel wiped out, perhaps it means we are doing a wonderful job. When we are a bit overwhelmed, it’s because we give so much love to those around us. When we notice that imperfect couch cushion, or speck of dust or unsigned letter on our desk at the office, instead of beating ourselves up, we should give ourselves a pat on the back for all that each of us has accomplished on a given day. From sun up to sun down, we work hard, we are excellent role models for our daughters and it’s ok for us to be tired, as long as we are proud as well!

And if that doesn’t cheer you when you are feeling bogged down…then let me share with you one important quote that always makes me feel so much better about my role as a mom.  Hope it makes you laugh…and remember…it’s true!

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!