Find Happiness…

Happy Fall! We are a month into what will truly be a wonderful 140th Anniversary Year at Saint Dominic Academy! This year, as we prepare to celebrate the 140th anniversary of the school, the 20th anniversary of our Leadership Gala and most special to our faculty, the 40th anniversary of Mr. Joe Napoli’s dedication to education here at SDA, I wanted our theme for the school year to embrace the idea that work should not only be a place where we are productive and content, but a place where we come together with teachers and students, parents and administrators and find ourselves, at different moments on varying days, being truly happy.

I recognize that there are some days here at SDA where it is very easy for us to come together and be truly happy as a team—December 14, when we break for Christmas is one of those days for certain, this year the culmination of our Middle States Visit on October 18th will be another one for sure. However, what about all the other days…the rainy Mondays, the snowy Thursday afternoons, the randomly hot and humid day in early May where we each long to be at the beach instead of the blackboard? How can I, as Head of School and each of you as loyal members of the Saint Dominic Academy community work to find happiness on those tough days?

The answer is simple, it’s sweet, and of course knowing me it should come as no surprise that it comes from a Disney film. Our theme for this year, one that I ask you to embrace with your heart, mind and soul is


You must find happiness where you are! ~ Moana


And so, I challenge each of you to, once a week, jot down a pink thought filled with happiness…. Each one of us has chosen to spend the upcoming school year together, with each other at Saint Dominic Academy. And so, let us go into the school year finding the happiness that comes from that choice, the happiness that comes from knowing we are shaping the future for young women, and the happiness that lights up within each of us as we work together to make our school the best place it can possibly be.

Highlight Reel…

This is almost mind blowing to me, but as I sit here in my office typing…I am typing my 100th Blog! Little did I know when I was asked to write a blog as I stepped into the role of Head of School, that it would become perhaps one of my favorite weekly tasks, and that I had so much to say on such a variety of subjects. (Stop laughing those who know me well!) And so, in talking blog ideas out for the month, I threw out the idea of having the 100th blog be a “highlight reel”- statements from previous blogs that truly stood out to me. Well, readers, that meant that I had to go back and re-read at least twice, every single blog post I have written. A daunting task for Labor Day weekend, but one that I wholeheartedly enjoyed. And so…here are the most important pieces( in my mind) of wit and wisdom I have offered in blogs written from 1-99. Happy reading!

I encourage your daughters, not to fear the transitions that wait ahead…the year may be different, it may bring the unexpected, but anything is possible if you’ve got enough nerve.

Small acts of kindness are taught every day by a faculty who can recall history’s past mistakes.

Together, we can continue to inspire young ladies to be active, be healthy and most importantly, be happy both with themselves and the world around them.

We do not presume to lay an individual’s dreams out in a catalog and tell her what she should want. Instead, we allow the space to grow and learn, so that each girl determines what she wishes for herself.

What happened in Salem in 1692 is just one example of a grave injustice toward woman and although it may not receive more than a paragraph in a history textbook, it is one that should be called to our attention…until we ensure that blind persecution does not occur in this day and age.

Annie is the perfect musical for SDA- it is at its heart a tale of an empowered young girl, one who does not let the world stand in the way of her dreams.

Be thankful, for all you’ve been given. Be thankful for the love that surrounds you.

We teach…that no matter what lies in store for them, they are heroines of their own life stories…women do not need to be rescued, they do the rescuing.

And, isn’t that what education is all about? For young people not just to memorize but have a spark fanned into a flame…the current Hamilton craze has many educational benefits!

I have been a teacher for years and will be a teacher for my life-I thank all teachers especially those who chose to shape lives here at Saint Dominic Academy.

My father is the backbone that allows me to be the woman I am; the woman I hope inspires young woman daily.

We need to keep throwing our hats in the air until the glass ceiling shatters above us! We are strong, we are empowered and ladies…we’re gonna make it after all!

Friendship, I have learned, spreads its mantle far and wide.

It is at all girls Catholic school that girls truly learn that intelligent, faith filled women can change the world.

If we are to be successful, we must be supportive of ALL Catholic educational endeavors.

Whether we are mourning an end of a relationship, the loss of a friendship, physical illness, the death of a loved one….our sadness is not ever unnoticed by God.

I am in agreement that sometimes, unconventional teaching reaches students that rote lessons and by the book memorizations cannot.

I would be lost without the daily grace and love my mother brings to my life.

Let us remember those who gave the ultimate sacrifice, so that America could truly be one nation, under God.

With my heart and mind rooted in character education, I cannot help but wonder, isn’t Character Education what Catholic school has been about since its inception?

If we reflect daily on the beauty and wonder of God all around us, our days will be filled with a sense of peace, of faith and of love.

In our school, there is always that sense, that felling that every girl cares about the well being of others.

It’s tough to be a sister at times…but it is also one of the nicest things in the world to be.

Celebrate the autumn season..the beauty of nature that occurs between the first day of fall and the advent of the holiday season.

During the season of pumpkin spice, allow God to carve in your soul a new, smiling face and allow the gift of His light to shine inside you for all the world to see.

I am a Mom and Moms show no fear!

It’s ok to be afraid, as long as you do not let fear overwhelm you. It’s ok to be nervous about being in a new situation as long as you recognize the strength within yourself to adjust and make a place for yourself.

As a parent I spend so much time being nervous and scared that I am not in the mood for horror movie shrieks this October.

For we know it’s not the monster under the bed that matters, but the one who lurks behind the computer screen who is the real threat.

How many more tragic tales do we have to hear before our youth finally learn that WORDS DO HURT?

That’s the magic of November, the ongoing prayer of Thanksgiving between each of us and God.

The love of God is within the girls this Christmas season and it shines a bit brighter and gives each young lady that extra sparkle I see daily.

Maria Von Trapp….a leader in a society falling under a dangerous regime, and a brave and protective mother putting the safety of her stepchildren before her own safety at all times.

Remember always, the true spirit of Christmas lies within your heart.

For me, a perfect winter would begin with a light dusting of snow on Thanksgiving, sprinkle some flakes in the purple December twilight, gift us with a fluffy white Christmas, and then pack it in on New Years Day…if only I lived in Camelot!

For many of my readers, the concern already is…how much tech time is too much?

Fathers have been supporting us since the moment we took our first breath in the world. They are our quiet caretakers, the ones that help us grow to be strong women.

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 at Majory Stoneman Douglas High School.

I know that we, as mothers have to reach a point where we are comfortable with letting go. By that I mean letting small things go; its ok to leave my coffee cup in the sink if it means I can do Abigail’s read aloud with her…let me share with you one important quote that makes me feel better as a mom. Don’t be hard on yourself, that mom from E.T. had an alien living in her house for days…and never even noticed!

I believe in Catholic education, I believe in girls. I believe that catholic girls education is essential if we want to change society for the better.

We (mothers) see the amazing amount of potential in the tiniest human and …we take on the arduous and sometimes trying role of shaping our little ones so they grow to do wonderful things.

In that theater I learned two very important things…if we couldn’t laugh we would all go insane…breathe in, breathe out, move on. What an amazingly wonderful experience.

God is creativity in its purest form.

Keep writing, keep dreaming…we need more creative minds in our daily world.

The film ( The Wizard of Oz) is all about the transformation from an unsure young girl to a strong and empowered woman…and in many ways it tells the story of each young lady sitting before me (at graduation) today.

The gift to make yourself happy, to make yourself successful, to become the best person you can be resides in each of you and has from the moment you took your first breath.

Parents are an essential backbone to the Catholic School community; it has always been that way and it will never change.

I am wary of movies that empower women at the expense of the man looking like a moron…We can be heroes but only if the men are incompetent? What kind of empowering message is that?

Stop waiting..for Friday afternoons, for fall, for someone to fall in love with, for your life to begin…Happiness is achieved when you stop waiting for it, and take active steps to be your own best person, to live your own best life….then, everything else you dream of falls into place.


So, that is indeed a lot of food for thought…please drop me a comment, give me a call and let me know what spoke to you most over these 100 blogs!

On the Eve of Infamy…

When Americans hear the word infamy, I am certain many of us call to mind the words uttered just after the bombing of Pearl Harbor…”a day that will live in infamy.” And yet today is the eve of the anniversary of another infamous day- one that seems as tangibly close and horrifying 17 years later as it did on September 11th, 2001. When those of us who were alive on September 10th 2001 put our heads to rest that night, little did we know our lives, our sense of security, our very country and our presence in global society would be shaken to the core in less than 24 hours. And yet, on that sunny morning 17 years ago, it took less than a half hour for the world as each of us knew it to crumble into dust- never ever to be the same again.

Tragedy- each of us have known it in our personal lives, in our shared experiences with others and for those who have bravely served our country in the armed forces, served our cities as fire or police officers, have seen it on a more expanded level. However, the tragedy of September 11th was insurmountable, unfathomable, and for many of us, still fresh enough in our minds to move us to tears and heartache on this day and into tomorrow. Two years ago, my very second blog as Head of School focused on the fact that the incoming 9th graders, now juniors at SDA were born into a world where September 11th was already a historical event. And two years later, more and more young people have joined our world, a world where the events of 9/11 are read about in history texts or talked about in the past tense and this current world, where terrorism at home and abroad has become sadly all too common is the world in which our children live today.

They did not know the peace that all of us carried in our hearts the evening of September 10th 2001. We ourselves did not know the peace we carried inside of us on that date; for we never realized it could be taken from us in such a violent and terrible way. We, you and I both, took things for granted- meeting someone at the airport gate, eating at Windows on the World, feeling safe on a flight to Florida or California or wherever else our whimsical travels took us. More than those things, which I do miss, what I know I took for granted was the fact that my daughter, then not even a twinkle in my eye, would live in a safe and peaceful world; a world that while not perfect, was certainly not a world filled with violence, terror, fear and hatred. And yet, 17 years later for many of us that is the daily world in which we live.

Oh it’s not prominent- we have learned as all humans learn, to adjust our mindsets, our actions, our very ways of life. We’ve met our new world with a sense of resignation and acceptance. Just ask yourself, how many times have you uttered the sentence “This is the world we live in now.” I know I have said it on many occasions. Do I feel every day that we, as a people, as a country, as a member of global society are in mortal danger? No- not every day. However, am I much more fearful than I was on this date 17 years ago? Yes, I am and I suspect yes, so are many of you.

It’s a heartbreaking date in our history, a heartbreaking memory for all who lived through it and not only because of the sheer enormity of senseless death and destruction. It’s heartbreaking because of how it has changed us, shaken us, literally to the core. There is no going back to the peace we once had- there is only learning daily to live with the fears of today and to try and not let fear overtake our hearts, minds and souls.

To continue to teach and preach peace, love, acceptance, tolerance and forgiveness is an unending task; one that all Americans must take on and work to showcase. Our young children know no other world than this one- and so we have to build, not the sense of peace that once existed, but perhaps a new one- for each of our children so that the fear we have carried with us for 17 long years will not engulf their hearts and stop them from believing in a more peaceful earth.

Labor Day Prayers…For All

As we at Saint Dominic Academy prepare to open wide our doors and welcome back the young women in grades 7 through 12 for another year of learning, service, friendship and commitment to God, I ask that all who are a part of the SDA community take a moment to join me in prayer.  Reflect quietly on the men and women who have committed themselves to the ideals of Saint Dominic Academy, who labor here each day, tirelessly working to shape the lives of young women who will one day change our future world for the better. Please lift your voices and hearts in prayer for the Board of Trustees, Administration, Faculty, Staff, Parent Association and Alumnae Association members, without all of whom, Saint Dominic Academy would not be able to continue to grow, thrive and accomplish great things. For all of these people, who take one more day of rest today before returning to do God’s work for another  year, let us pray…


Bless, O God, all who labor.

Whether they are compensated by paycheck, prayer, or pride, let them know their true worth in your eyes.

May all at Saint Dominic Academy b e gifted with a sense of service to the common good and graced with the satisfaction of a job well done.

We thank you for all who chose to belong to the workforce at Saint Dominic Academy;

Their work provides education, protection, comfort, healing, kindness and relief.

They work tirelessly for your goodness and glory, O God.

Send your light to shine upon them always.