August Vacation

It’s that quiet time of year for those of us still at Saint Dominic Academy. As such, for the month of August, this blog will be quiet too. I am taking some vacation time myself, to rest, relax, enjoy my soon-to-be eight year old, and to prepare to return refreshed to lead Saint Dominic Academy for another year. If you are missing my thoughts on anything and everything- remember all the old blogs are still online- go back and re-read any favorites you have! 

I will be back to blog with a fresh new perspective, interesting topics and insights pertaining to the women of SDA in September . Until then, I leave each of you with this August prayer.

May you walk with God
This summer In whatever you do
Wherever you go

Walking with God means…
Walking with honesty And with courage,
Walking with love And respect
And concern for the feelings of others

May you talk to God
This summer And every day and
In every situation

Talking with God means…
Praying words of praise For the beauty of creation
Saying prayers of thanks For friends and good times,
Asking God’s help In all your decisions
Expressing sorrow When you have failed

May you talk with God
Every day Amen

Lights, Camera, Action!

Let’s play a quick game…shall we?  Leave your score in the comments if you’d like.  Can you name the movie each of these famous lines came from?

“I’m going to make him an offer he can’t refuse.”

“Louis, I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship”

“I’ve got a feeling we’re not in Kansas anymore.”

“You’re gonna need a bigger boat”

“ You had me at hello”

“Today, I consider myself the luckiest man on the face of the earth.”

“If you build it, he will come.”

“They’re HERE!”

“Oh no, it wasn’t the airplanes. It was Beauty killed the Beast.”

“May the Force be with you.”

Ok did anyone get ten out of ten?  You can email me for the answers if you are stumped on one or two ( or just go to they are all from the 100 Greatest Movie Quotes!)  So, why are we playing this game on a sunny Monday in mid – July?  Well, the answer is elementary, my dear Watson.  Saint Dominic Academy added a new elective to its roster of classes for the 2019-2020 school year. Open to 11th and 12th grades, the Film Studies class will begin its “award winning” year on September 6th, 2019. 

The major purpose of this course will be to examine the culture of film, and the effect different film genres have had on society as a whole.  Students will examine film sources as points of cultural significance in America. Special attention will be given to the creative and technical elementals essential to visual communication on film.  This class provides students with an opportunity to examine in depth the role Hollywood plays in American culture. The genres being studied are: Horror, Sci/Fi- Fantasy, Comedy, Drama, Romance, Mystery and Biography and the movie selections range from 1933 to 2017. 

There is always something new going on here at SDA and this year is no exception.  And in case you were curious as to who is “directing” this class for the year…look no further than this blog.  I am very much looking forward to introducing this new elective class to your daughters this school year!

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 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.


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.