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On July 21, 2020 the New York State Public High School Athletic Association (“NYSPHSAA”) announced the schools that earned the honor of 2019-20 School of Distinction. We are proud that The Ursuline School is one of only 56 schools across New York state that received this accolade.

 

Recognition as a NYSPHSAA School of Distinction is earned when 100% of a school’s varsity athletic teams qualify for and receive the Scholar-Athlete team award during their respective sports seasons, based on the student-athletes’ GPA in-season. For the 2019-20 school year, the School of Distinction winners were based on fall 2019 and winter 2020 Scholar-Athlete submissions because the spring 2020 program was cancelled.

 

Ursuline first qualified for this award in 2005 and has now earned this recognition 14 times. Congratulations to our student-athletes whose schoolwork and athletic dedication have been outstanding!

 

NYSPHSAA is a non-profit, educational service organization composed of public, parochial, and private schools dedicated to providing equitable and safe competition for the students of its member schools. The organization conducts 32 championship events and governs the rules and regulations of high school athletics in New York State. Membership is open to secondary schools providing interschool athletic activities for boys and girls in grades 7-12.

 

 

 

The National Coalition of Girls Schools (NCGS) hosted its national conference on June 22, 2020. The theme of the virtual conference was Stand Up, Speak Up: Girls Using Their Voices to Engage, Empower, & Enact.

 

The headliner at the NCGS Virtual Conference was Valerie Jarrett, Former Senior Advisor to President Barack Obama, Senior Distinguished Fellow at the University of Chicago Law School, and currently Co-chair of The United State of Women.  Ms. Jarrett spoke to 600 educators representing 135 girls' schools in 10 countries. The format was an interview that included two students from NCGS member schools. One of the student interviewers was Ursuline student Ava Pallotta '21.

 

Ava described the process of preparing for the interview by saying, “Before I ever had the chance to speak with her, Ms. Jarrett's kindness, compassion, and eloquence resonated with me. To prepare for the interview, I watched countless past interviews with Ms. Jarrett and read articles written about her. It was such a pleasure to learn, in particular, about the work she had done for women’s rights under the Obama Administration.”

 

     

 

Ava continued, “When it came time to conducting the interview, I was nervous to speak with the accomplished and interesting woman I had researched. Luckily, during the interview I was able to rely on the public speaking skills and confidence Ursuline has instilled in me both through school and through after-school activities like Drama club and Let’s Talk Politics club.”

 

Ms. Jarrett answered questions about various aspects of speaking up and speaking with people who have views different than your own.  She said, “Part of the education process is to become intellectually and socially curious, which would mean you want to talk to somebody who has a very different perspective than your own; different life experiences than your own . . The more you speak up, the more you get comfortable with it. You learn those skills at your schools so don’t abandon them...your schools are trying to ingrain this advocacy and empowerment in you so when you do go out into the world...you hold your own.”  The interview addressed current opportunities to speak up, such as the fight for racial justice. Ms. Jarrett said, “We need allies in this effort to end racism and discrimination in our country. It can’t be solved by Black people alone. We need to have allies. Girls are in a position to do that."

 

She closed the interview with these words: "Don’t let anybody question your worth. You’ve had the advantage of an all-girls school education and when you go to college, you’re going to encounter people who are different than yourself. There are going to be people who think it raises them up to put you down. ...keep finding your voice."

 

 

Afterwards, Ava reflected that, “Ms. Jarrett's answers to my questions were as inspirational as they were informative, as she coupled advice to young women entering college with praise for young people today using their voices. While it was an honor to hear her speak on any topic, her answer as to how I can best stick to my values as a young woman pursuing a career in politics was the most impactful to me. It was so insightful to hear her say that attending an all-girls school had already provided me with invaluable empowerment which would help me stick to my values in my future career!” 

 

 

On June 30, 2020 we celebrated our Moving Up Liturgy and Ceremony with our 8th graders. These 41 students graduated from middle school and now progress on to our high school.  They will join incoming 9th graders to form the larger Class of 2024.

 

In adherence to the most current NY State Department of Health Guidance for Graduation Celebrations, each student only attended with their parents, sitting socially distanced in our Auriana Theater, and all attendees wore masks. Speakers were only able to take off their masks while at the podium, and each speaker wiped the microphone after they spoke. Students came dressed in their blue graduation gowns and when it was time to stride across the stage to receive their certificates, they did so in single-direction flows. 

 

    

 

 

Msgr. Keane presided at Mass, with certain new practices to maintain safety while praying. The Sign of Peace was a simple wave to those close by, and reception of Communion was in single-direction flows, with the host placed on a tissue in the hand. It was delightful that Mrs. Clarizio was present and played piano while Ms. Smyth played the harp. The liturgy ended with the Serviam Song, and the well-known chorus “Serviam our badge forever, Serviam our rule.”

 

        

 

 

    

 

Following Mass, Principal Rosemary Beirne gave the welcome address to begin the Moving Up ceremony.  Class Presidents Dana Burnett and Violet McCann-Anthony shared memories of the year, one speaking in person and one via video. Families appreciated the opportunity to celebrate the accomplishments of these 8th graders. As Mrs. Davidson noted in her President’s Remarks, this class is already known for their sense of service, creativity, and energy, and the way they look out for each other, especially in times of need. We congratulate them on completing this chapter of their educational journey!

 

    

 

 

These three outstanding members of the Class of 2020 earned the highest grade point averages in their class, leading to their distinctions as valedictorian and salutatorians. Each completed several Advanced Placement classes. Each pursued a sport and was named a New York State Public High School Athletic Association Scholar-Athlete. They also engaged fully in the many opportunities offered at Ursuline. Each spent time in volunteer activities, clubs and also part time jobs. Learn a little more about them here.

 

Jeannine Lynch, Salutatorian, will attend Wake Forest where she plans on pursuing a double major in Mathematics and Political Science.  She was recognized at graduation with the Departmental Award for Mathematics. Her club involvements included Women for Women International and Key Club International, and she was a member of the Equity and Diversity Council.  An athlete and musician, Jeannine was a varsity volleyball player and as an Honors Choir member she had the opportunity to sing in Rome at a Papal audience.

 

As Peer Leader, Peer Mediator and Student Ambassador to prospective families, Jeannine displayed personal attributes and outstanding service to the school community for which she received the Mothers’ Auxiliary Award at graduation. She was the 2019 recipient of the Laura Borton Memorial Scholarship Award, given to a junior peer leader who has achieved personal strength through her interaction with others and, through her peace-making efforts, has offered support and guidance to her peers. 

 

In her commencement remarks to her classmates, Jeannine said, “We are ready to take on the world, a world that in recent months, has been flipped upside down in turmoil. Our country has not only faced a global pandemic, but sadly an increase in violence and prejudice against black Americans, which has taken the lives of too many, including George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery. We have seen some of our fellow classmates rise up and speak against this injustice. We have learned so much in our years at Ursuline, including how to use our voices effectively. And today, we know we have a responsibility to help work towards true justice in our country. . . Former First Lady, Eleanor Roosevelt once said: “The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.” Our years here have shaped us into strong women who will make a difference in this changing world. Thanks to Ursuline, The Class of Vision will always have the foresight and confidence to not only believe in the beauty of our dreams, but to make them come true.”  

 

 

Domenica Voli, Salutatorian, will attend Cornell University and plans to explore the majors Biology & Society, and Government.  At graduation, she was recognized with the Departmental Award for Science. Domenica was a four time National Latin Exam gold medaler and, as a Peer Tutor, she helped younger students in Latin and Biology. Domenica was co-president of the club that produced Ursuline’s literary magazine, Pegasus. She was on the Track & Field/Cross Country team for three seasons in each of four years. Her specialties were the 4K and 5K.

 

Domenica was the 2019 recipient of the Marianne Cuiffo Stineman ‘63 Scholarship Award given to a member of the junior class who is a math enthusiast with a proven track record of success, as well as a true passion for the subject.

 

She volunteered at White Plains Hospital transporting patients, and she spent a summer at the Student Summer Surgical Program at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.  

 

In her salutatorian address, Domenica stated, “Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg said, “So often in life, things that you regard as an impediment turn out to be great, good fortune.” Reflecting on this quote, I remembered what we learned on our senior retreat back in October, which feels like eons ago. Jeremiah 29:11 reads, “‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’” At the retreat, we were reminded that things might not always go as planned and what it means to be resilient. We couldn’t have known then that this message would be so potent in our lives today . . . . Ursuline has given us the tools to not only learn better but to overcome these impediments. In the classroom, our teachers taught us that it’s okay to make mistakes and that there’s no shame in failing as long as we get back up and try again. This growth-mindset message applies outside the classroom as well; in life, we might fail. Plans might be deferred and the winds might change direction, but we can adapt to these circumstances and keep marching on.”

 

Stella Banino, Valedictorian, will attend the School of Engineering and Applied Science at the University of Virginia. At graduation, Stella was recognized with Departmental Awards for Classics and Social Studies. She earned Gold Summa Cum Laude on the National Latin Exam four years in a row. 

 

A long-distance runner, Stella captained the Cross Country team in her senior year.  As Secretary-General of the Model United Nations club, Stella pioneered two Model UN conferences for middle school students at Ursuline, and she herself received Best Delegate awards numerous times at Model UN competitions.

 

In 2019, Stella was the recipient of The Virginia & George Malnati Memorial Scholarship Award given to an Ursuline junior who takes her studies seriously, is respectful to her peers, and has made a significant contribution to The Ursuline School community.  

 

In her valedictory address, Stella proclaimed, “I am proud to be a part of a community that, as a whole, is even stronger and more passionate than the sum of its parts, a community that is already using its voice to improve the world around it.  . . . Time and time again, this class has wrestled with difficult issues, and time and time again, our persistence and passion have been rewarded with small, but notable, triumphs.  We know the uncertain world we are entering.  We know there are many more battles to be fought in all of the wars we have taken up.  We know the opposition we will face in creating the change we want to see.  We know the great burden that will be on our shoulders when we are in positions of power (and we will be).  But we are ready. . . As diverse as we are as a class, we have come together when it mattered, during tragedy, trial, and victory.  The world has enough division.  Let us be passionate, principled, and powerful, and let us also reach out, heal wounds, and broker resolution.  In this way, we will succeed.  And we must succeed, because we have what the world needs, what we’ve practiced here at Ursuline: unity.  We are changemakers, and we are also peacemakers.”   

 

The 123rd Commencement of The Ursuline School on June 26, 2020 included many of the traditional graduation elements – Pomp & Circumstance, speeches, proclaiming each senior's name, awards.  It also will be forever notable in that it took place outside on Kelly Mac Field with graduates seated six feet apart, wearing masks, and families in their parked cars watching giant screens or the livestream on their phones.

 

   

 

 

The ceremony on this sunny day began with Principal Rosemary M. Beirne's welcome and introduction of the trustees in attendance. Msgr. Keane offered the invocation and the Senior members of our Honors Choir led the singing of the Star Spangled Banner.

 

 

Salutatorians Jeannine Lynch and Domenica Voli were followed by Valedictorian Stella Banino.  Each speaker commended the class for their resilience and courage to take action.

 

Mrs. Beirne then called each graduate's name as the Senior walked across the stage to receive a diploma cover from President Eileen Davidson. The actual diplomas were handed out at the end of the ceremony, in a drive-through no-contact fashion, with faculty applauding along the driveway.

 

The members of the Class of 2020 earned more than $29 million in college scholarships. They have worked hard and strategically, with perseverance.

 

At graduation, Assistant Principals Denise Moore and Liz Lynch announced a number of Awards and Honors.

 

Global Scholars:  Violette Cadet, Sofia Damiano, Mairead Donnelly, Gabryel Brey, Isabella Joyce, Samantha Mitze, Sara Taylor, Leah Varghese, Maya Zamor

 

Serviam Awards for service to the school in the spirit of St. Angela:

Briana Al-Omoush, Violette Cadet, Mary Fleming, Aaliyah Gibson, Kyla Golding, Isabella Joyce, Kerry Leccese, Mimosa Medeiros, Alison Sheridan, Maria Silvestri, Leah Varghese, Kaitlyn Zigrossi

 

Departmental Awards

Classics – Stella Banino
Computer Science –Kyla Golding
English – Lorelei Wolf
Mathematics – Jeannine Lynch
Performing Arts – Lily Desiderio
Physical Education – Estella Gaffney
Religious Studies – Lauren Martin
Science – Domenica Voli
Social Studies – Stella Banino
Visual Arts – Aaliyah Gibson
World Languages: French – Samantha Mitze, Italian – Sienna Cammarota, Spanish – Lisa Braccia

 

In her commencement address, Mrs. Davidson recalled that, months ago, the Ring Day theme was outer space and "we could not have known how life would soon be contracted and our individual worlds would become much more narrow indeed.  From shuttered businesses to silent cities, you have truly experienced a unique event of our lifetime." 

 

She continued, "And, if the first half of 2020 has not been harrowing enough, recent events have exposed the sin of racism which has never been fully purged from our society. We are now united by pain and suffering as we walk in support of the Black community in New Rochelle, in New York, in the United States, and worldwide . . . Educators at girls' schools, especially those like myself, who identify as white, must embrace our obligation to learn so that we may more fully and inclusively lead . . .  Ursuline will be better and, yes, Kyla, we will say their names. Inculcating our students in the values of strength and wisdom is hollow unless a commitment to social justice is held equivalent."

 

Mrs. Davidson ended by saying, "You, the Class of 2020, need no motivational speech. You need only be commended - to be praised. You, please God, come away from this year and this experience with a deeper respect for yourself, appreciating what you are capable of, your strength, your grit, and your growth mindset! May God bless you and may you never forget that Ursuline is your home.  I pray that St. Angela watches over you all your days and that St. Ursula protects your future. Congratulations to the Class of 2020!" 

 

We invite you to read the full Commencement address here.

 

 

     

 

 

June 18, 2020

 

Dear Members of The Ursuline School Community -

 

Having spent more than half my life in dedication to The Ursuline School and the Ursuline community, I am formally announcing my planned retirement at the end of the 2020-2021 school year.  I will be assisting in the Presidential Succession Planning process and am committed to providing a smooth transition for my successor. 

 

Reflecting on my tenure at Ursuline, I realize how truly blessed I have been to serve such a proud and well-respected institution that I cherish and love deeply. When I came to Ursuline almost four decades ago, I could never have imagined the journey that lay ahead, wearing many hats along the way, including:

  • Science Department Chair,
  • Senior Coordinator,
  • Assistant Principal,
  • (First Lay) Principal, and then
  • (First Lay) President.

In each position, I learned, loved and grew, personally and professionally. It's often noted that many leaders of today stand on the shoulders of giants that have come before them and that was no different for me. I will be forever grateful to the Ursuline Sisters who mentored and supported me over the years and taught me early to never be afraid and remember the words of St. Angela Merici to "risk new things."

 

I would also like to acknowledge the many colleagues, past and present, who served on the faculty and Board of Trustees over the years. Each and every one helped me in their own special way to lead with character, administer with patience and "tend the Ursuline vine" entrusted to me with distinction and our vision, mission and values always in mind. 

 

I also want to acknowledge and thank all of the donors who supported Ursuline and trusted me to be a good steward of their investment in a School they treasured.

 

I am proud of all we have accomplished together, such as our Science Research, Global Education programming, Visiting Author series, Building on the Tradition of Innovation Campaign and many more initiatives still to come. Our work is never done and there is still much to do, but the path before us is brightened by the grace of God.

 

In addition, I was continually reminded of the remarkable dedication and commitment of our faculty and staff as I entered the building each morning. Their passion and care never wavered to advance Ursuline and, more importantly, nurture the minds and hearts of our students to create lifelong learners and future leaders of tomorrow.

 

Over the years, I have been both humbled and inspired by our student body and their families.  Ursuline students have made me smarter, stronger, better and yes, even kept me a little younger. The lots of laughs over the years helped too. I especially enjoyed seeing familiar landmarks through the eyes of our students during our global and service trips as well as exchanges with our sister Ursuline schools in Australia and Peru.

 

I have had the honor of seeing thousands of young women, and often their daughters, navigate adolescence and grow into women of true strength and wisdom. Nothing fills me with greater pride than hearing of their personal and professional success when they return to visit a school they also love.

 

In closing, The Ursuline School has defined my own professional life and, in many ways, further shaped my personal life as an extended part of my family. While this may be a farewell, it is not a goodbye.  While I will be moving on next year, Ursuline is, and will always be, a part of me.

 

I am excited about the 2020-21 school year when our faculty and students can hopefully once again be physically together as a school community. "Insieme" is a word that means "together" and is a term that appears frequently in the writings of St. Angela. While we have been separated over the past several months, we are a community of faith and we will get through this together. I again thank the collective Ursuline community for thirty-seven years of friendship and support and fond memories that will last the remainder of my lifetime.

 

And, I wish everyone a blessed, fun and safe summer.

 

In Love & Gratitude,

Eileen Davidson

 

*******************************************************************************

 

 

June 18, 2020

 

Dear Members of The Ursuline School Community,

 

At a regularly scheduled Board meeting on June 11, 2020, Eileen Davidson confirmed her decision to retire at the end of the next school year, effective June 30, 2021. The Board of Trustees, while thrilled for Eileen, has reluctantly accepted her decision to retire.

 

Valued Leadership

President Davidson has been an exemplary leader, committed champion and beloved member of the Ursuline faculty for nearly 40 years. In 1983, Eileen joined the faculty as a Science teacher. After serving as department chair, Eileen assumed the role of Assistant Principal. In 2005, Eileen was named the first lay Principal of Ursuline. In 2012, after a competitive search, Eileen was unanimously named President of The Ursuline School, the first lay President in the school's then 115-year history.

 

Ursuline has been blessed by Eileen's leadership, vision and passion in each of her roles. Her many contributions are too lengthy to list, but some of her notable achievements over the years include:

  • Championed Ursuline's all-girls Catholic identity and reinforced our vision, mission and values;
  • Spearheaded the Building on the Tradition of Innovation capital campaign in support of the amazing building project that is nearing completion;
  • Inspired greatness in academics, service and athletics;
  • Managed the development of an extraordinary group of faculty and staff;
  • Created Ursuline's Global Education Program, which welcomed countless accomplished individuals of varied backgrounds to educate and widen the world view of our students;
  • Planned for Ursuline's future by doubling scholarships, updating the campus footprint and implementing sound fiscal practices for many generations of Ursuline students to come; and
  • Received several awards and accolades for advancing women's education, such as her Woman of Excellence Award for Business and Professional Achievement in Education from the City of New Rochelle, the United Hebrew Community Service Award and recognition by the NY State Senate.

National Search Process

Several years ago, the Board of Trustees, together with Eileen, included leadership and succession planning among its goals. At the beginning of this school year, the Board appointed a Board Search Task Force to help facilitate the succession planning process. This Task Force, chaired by Trustee Janine Daughtry (P'20), researched best practices for school leadership searches. In March, the Task Force made several recommendations which the Board began to implement, beginning with the creation of a President Search Committee.

 

Ursuline's new President search process, which could take up to eight months, will seek the input of all key constituents including faculty, staff, administration, students, alumnae, current and former parents and extended friends of the community. We especially welcome hearing from each of you as this is a strategic and critically-important Board-led initiative.

 

The President Search Committee is being co-chaired by Ann Gillin Lefever, Chair of the Board of Trustees and Robert Gomprecht Sr., former Trustee and former Administrator at Fordham Preparatory School and Albertus Magnus High School as well as current Ursuline grandparent.

 

In addition to Ann and Bob, the other members of the President Search Committee are:

  • Sr. Susan Conte Ph.D., O.S.U., former Trustee and former Faculty Member
  • Mrs. Janine Daughtry (P'20), current Trustee
  • Dr. Mary Driscoll ('74), former Chair of the Board of Trustees and current Chair of the Academy of Mount St. Ursula
  • Sr. Jane Finnerty O.S.U., current Provincial, former Trustee and former Faculty Member
  • Mr. Michael Hoffman (P'14 and '20), former Trustee
  • Mrs. Belinda Palmer (P'14), former Trustee
  • Mrs. Sheila Sohr (P'12), Vice Chair of the Board of Trustees

The Board of Trustees also directed the Search Committee to involve an outside executive search firm to ensure an extensive national search of diverse and highly qualified candidates.  A thorough review of several experienced firms is underway and the Search Committee expects to make an announcement shortly on the chosen search firm.

 

In addition, the Board's Strategic Planning Oversight Committee will be launching a broad-based Community Survey later this month seeking feedback on a variety of key issues affecting Ursuline as it prepares the development of its next Strategic Plan. Leadership succession feedback will be included in this Community Survey. We encourage every member of the Ursuline community to complete this anonymous survey.

 

And finally in the coming weeks, we will also be launching a webpage dedicated to the President Search process where we will post news and updates on our progress. As always, it's important to keep our community apprised of all developments as we proceed with our efforts.

 

We ask for your prayers as we launch this important search and survey process and we look forward to celebrating Eileen's extraordinary leadership in the coming year. Please join us, on behalf of the entire Board of Trustees, in thanking Eileen for her unwavering stewardship and ensuring a seamless transition for the continual advancement of Ursuline moving forward.

 

St. Angela, watch over us all our days.

St. Ursula, protect our future.

 

Sincerely,

Ann Gillin Lefever, Chair (through August, 2020)

Sheila Sohr, Vice Chair (Chair beginning September, 2020)


On June 15, 2020 we celebrated our annual Scholarship Awards Presentation. Via Zoom, we recognized 16 students who have distinguished themselves with special qualities, character, academic interests and achievements.

 

 

Our generous scholarship award donors were in attendance along with faculty and staff to congratulate these recipients on their contributions to The Ursuline School. Breakout rooms afforded recipients and their families the opportunity to greet award benefactors. Although we could not present these awards in person, the honor they convey is as strong and meaningful as ever. Congratulations!

 

       

 

 

June 10, 2020.  It seems like a long time ago that these 148 seniors filled out college applications, met with college counselors, visited potential universities, studied for entrance exams, and completed all their school assignments. We now congratulate them on making their college decisions.

 

The Class of 2020 has together earned more than $29 million in college scholarships. They will be attending 87 different colleges and universities in 24 different states and one outside of the U.S. Included are colleges and universities that are private, religious, public, of the arts, of technology, all-women's and predominantly black institutions.

 

The various colleges and universities include some of the most selective, from the Ivy League to CUNY's Sophie Davis School of Biomedical Education.  In this class, 9 students are pursuing the arts - fine art, film/media, vocal performance, dance, music, theater, fashion. The class also includes 13 student-athletes who will be continuing their athletic career at the collegiate level. We are proud of each senior and wish them all possible success as they learn, grow, and make their impact on the world.

 

 

 

 

Against the backdrop of nationwide protests against racial injustice, faith and community leaders of New Rochelle gathered on the steps of City Hall on Sunday, May 31, 2020 to express the shared commitment to justice and peace.

 

Kyla Golding ’20 was a featured speaker.  She spoke of her experience as a young black woman.  She asked, “Dear America, Will you say their names? Will you say my name? Will you tell our story?”  Her words are important.

 

Ursuline is a community of life-long learners.  Sometimes students teach the adults. This is one such case. We want to be educated.

 

We invite you to watch the full video of Kyla and community leaders on YouTube below.  The portion with Kyla starts at 27:06.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qm4KJu3wj44

 

 

 

We are thrilled to congratulate Kayla Bowles ’21 who is selected as the first Encantos Fellow!  She’s recognized for her writing talent, dedication and future potential.

 

The Fellowship is a year-long mentorship, training, and stipend for emerging writers, artists and content developers to launch a career in the family entertainment industry.

 

Kayla is a National Honor Society student, and club leader, who has already taken college writing courses.  Her passion for writing, art and filmmaking will thrive with the guidance of accomplished industry executives and we look forward to her future creative projects.

 

More at https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20200423005204/en/Encantos-Launches-New-Fellowship-Program-Discover-Generation

 

Photo courtesy of Business Wire.

 


Senior Surprise Gift, A No-Contact Drive Through.

 

On Saturday, May 2, 2020 the senior class was invited to come to school to pick up a Senior Surprise.  Each senior, driven by a family member, entered the circular driveway and was immediately greeted with cheers and signs!  Teachers and staff lined the driveway, wearing masks and standing 6 feet apart, applauding the seniors and shouting greetings. 

 

     

 

 

     

 

     

 

In keeping with required health practices at this time, the seniors stayed in their cars and waved to the unexpected honor guard. Their eyes welled up with tears of joy. Some cars were decorated with the words of Ursuline cheers. Each car drove slowly, stopping at the center of the circle, as music played from the loudspeakers.  It was the Ring Day mix, touching on memories of prior special occasions that the Class of 2020 had enjoyed.

 

     

 

 

At the one stopping point, Mrs. Davidson, Mrs. Beirne,  Mrs. Moore or Mrs. Lynch carefully placed the surprise gift bag in the trunk or back seat of the car.  Then, the cars proceeded slowly out of the driveway, waving to more teachers and staff, and honking their car horns in joy.

 

    

 

The weather was a glorious 75 degrees and sunny on this particular day but it was the affection between the teachers and students that warmed the hearts of everyone present.

 

     

 

     

 

 

We invite you to see many more photos in the slide show below.

 

 

 

 

College Decisions are Celebrated Virtually

 

The day before the Senior Surprise was a national  College Decision Day.  The Class of 2020 proudly announced their choices on May 1 by sharing photos of themselves in their college gear. We are proud of each senior and applaud her hard work and exploration of the best fit for her desired college path.

 

 

Collegiate Athletic Signing Ceremony via Zoom

 

April 29 was the day long designated as the Spring College Athletic Recognition Ceremony, Given the circumstances of the pandemic, we celebrated with seven members of the Class of 2020 via Zoom.  The student-athletes expressed their commitment to continue their athletic careers at the collegiate level by saying a few words about their college choice and recalling a favorite experience of their Ursuline athletics.

 

Nina Campos will join the Sacred Heart University Cheerleading Team,

Casey Conroy will join the UMass Amherst Track and Field Team,

Sofia Dedaj will join the University of Scranton Volleyball Team,

Mia Martinez will join the Felician University Softball Team,

Haley McLean will join the Tufts University Track and Field Team,

Elena Mugno will join the Loyola Maryland Swim Team, and

Claire Wilson will join the Boston University Track and Field Team.

 

 

This virtual ceremony gave the school community and athletes’ families an opportunity to celebrate with each athlete as they committed to continuing their athletic careers. Congratulations to each student-athlete and her family, who have demonstrated dedication and made sacrifices over many years.

 

Senior Tribute in Lights

 

Ursuline is participating in a new Senior recognition called "Be The Light” night. Every Friday night at 8:20 p.m., which is 20:20 on a 24-hour clock, the Class of 2020 is honored as we turn on the lights at school to shine brightly for 20 minutes. This new tribute is spreading across the country and we are pleased to participate to celebrate our Seniors.

 

 

 

Ursuline’s sixth annual crowdfunding event was on April 23-24, 2020.  Our spring online fundraiser asks donors to give $24, or some multiple of 24, and we have typically raised more than $100,000 for school operations. This year the online event was changed to allocate 24% to two local food pantries, HOPE Community Services and CSA of Mt. Vernon.

 

The Ursuline School community demonstrated tremendous spirit and generosity! We raised a total of $100,371 of which $24,089 was donated to HOPE and CSA.

 

“The generosity of the Ursuline School never ceases to amaze me. As you know, we are experiencing an unprecedented increase in need at the moment. This contribution will certainly help us feed our community at such a critical time,” said Walt Ritz, Executive Director of HOPE Community Services.

 

HOPE Community Services in New Rochelle, NY has witnessed a dramatic increase in the number of meals served, from 15,566 in February 2020 pre-crisis to 56,654 in March 2020.

 

CSA, Community Service Associates, is a vital meal program in Mt. Vernon, NY that usually serves hot meals but is currently preparing to distribute non-perishable goods. 

 

Both organizations are in cities that have had high numbers of COVID-19 cases.

 

“We know that food pantries are among the first organizations to suffer and even to close in an economic emergency,” said Principal Rosemary Beirne. “During this pandemic, we are trying to help some of these forgotten populations that we help throughout the year.”

 

In the course of the crowdfunding event, as certain Challenge Goals were met, two food deliveries were made.  HOPE Community Services received 124 lbs of fresh turkey and hams thanks to Susanne and Paul D'Ariano P'15.  We are so glad that Ursuline alumna Jaclyn D’Ariano ‘15 was able to make the delivery. And the New Rochelle restaurant Posto 22 provided 124 hot meals to HOPE Community Services.

 

   

 

On May 1, as a result of meeting two more Challenge Goals, we delivered to HOPE Community Services 248 nutritious packed lunches for distribution to public school students in New Rochelle. The LaMarca Family P’17, ‘22, owners of San Fratello Deli in Tuckahoe, and Ursuline’s Board of Trustees co-sponsored this meal. Thank you to alumnae Marisa ‘17 and Juliana ‘22 LaMarca and to Board Chair Ann Gillin Lefever ‘82 and Vice-Chair Sheila Sohr P’12 for coordinating this special effort.

 

    

 

And 500 lbs of canned goods will be delivered to the CSA food pantry, as we met the fifth Challenge Goal, thus completing the food deliveries generated by CROWDS4TUS, AND4OTHERS.

 

We are grateful to the 893 donors in the Ursuline community, representing 25 states across the U.S., as well as Canada, England, Luxembourg and Spain.  

 

More details about the online fundraiser, CROWDS4TUS, AND4OTHERS can be found at https//:www.ursulinenewrochelle.org/ActionCenter2020

 

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