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LEGACY magazine FALL 2019

The future belongs

to the curious

The unifying effects of inquiry and wonder

#givingtuesday be a part of the transformation on December 3

LEGACY Magazine | Fall 2019


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LEGACY magazine

ISSUE 1 | FALL 2019 Lynn Burek Principal

Lauren Cor vo Assistant Principal

Jean Jackson Director of Admissions

Jeremy Mayer Director of Athletics/ Facilities Manager

Megan Knight Director of Development & Alumnae Relations

Helen Kotoulas

save the DATE

Business Administrator


Beth Ellen Walsh


Director of Counseling

Alison Minion Communications



Christmas at the Academy 6:00 PM | FRONT L AWN Tree dedication, caroling in the chapel, refreshments, sweet treats and shopping in the study hall




5 @academyofsaintelizabeth @panthers1860




Fashion Show 7:00 PM | BIRCHWOOD MANOR Kentucky Derby themed fashion show and gift auction


Baccaleaureate Mass


4:00 PM | HOLY FAMILY CHAPEL Class of 2020

The Academy of Saint Elizabeth is a Catholic, independent, college preparatory school for young women, founded by the Sisters of Charity of Saint Elizabeth. Our mission is to promote the disciplines of academic excellence and moral responsibility within our young women by sustaining a scholarly environment and a nurturing community of faith. Sponsored by the Sisters of Charity of Saint Elizabeth LEGACY Magazine | Fall 2019

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Re-Accreditation Success, page 5 AOSE awarded new accolades for academics, safety and student life.




On the Cover

Spiritual Retreat at Woodloch Pines, page 8 Students and faculty renewed their commitment  to charity, service and justice

lucia Ferriso '23 is part of the academy legacy following her sisters Bella '18 and Mia '19.

Letter from the Principal . . . . . . . 4  Accents . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5-9 New Course Offerings, Re-accreditation Earned, Breast Cancer Walk, New Security Grant, Basketball Tournament, Woodloch Retreat, aP Scholars, Faculty International Travel

Curiosity Is the Foundation of Faith . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 a spiritual autobiography by Rhian Jeong

Summer of Service . . . . . . . . . . . . 13 Students rebuild lives with Habitat for Humanity

Panthers Sports . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15 Faculty Spotlight . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16-17 Student Spotlight . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18 SEAster News . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19-21 Class of 1967 Scholarship, Fashion Club, Day of Giving, Italy Trip, Parent’s association award, Commencements, NEW SEaster Shop

New Course Offerings, page 7

Summer of Service, page 13

Academy of Saint Elizabeth adds

Students join forces with Habitat

new study programs in College

for Humanity to rebuild homes and

Reunions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22

Now, AP, STEM, Health & Wellness

lives in Appalachia.

Supporting the Academy . . . . . . . 23 

and more.

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Curiouser & Curiouser Lynn A. Burek Principal Academy of St. Elizabeth

Welcome to the reinvented Academy magazine, Legacy. This inaugural issue arrives at a momentous time in the Academy story. With nearly 160 years of history to reflect upon, and a promising future ahead of us, we are taking some exciting measures to honor our traditions while at the same time embracing change here at Saint E’s. We plan to celebrate all those facets of the Academy — past, present, and future — in Legacy. One example of this innovation is our new Theme of the Year initiative. The goal is to bring together all members of the Academy community — students, faculty, staff, parents, alumnae, supporters — to take part in a yearlong conversation around a shared idea. In this way, our program will support the Academy’s mission to foster a “nurturing community of faith,” bringing us together in a common spiritual and intellectual direction. Our Theme of the Year will appear across all areas of Academy life: academic pursuits, student activities, faith and service, athletics, alumnae outreach, development, admissions, and of course the countless traditions unique to Saint E’s. With that, we invite you all to join us on our maiden voyage. Our focus in 2019-2020 will be CURIOSITY. We began our conversation by sharing a school-wide summer read, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon. The unique protagonist of this novel encounters a mystery and won’t stop wondering, questioning and, to coin a phrase, curious-ing until he can solve the puzzle. His relentlessly inquisitive mind leads him near and far in the pursuit of an answer. In honoring his innate curiosity, he finally arrives at the truth. As we simultaneously inaugurate both this publication and our yearly theme, it seems most appropriate to welcome you to this, our Curiosity Issue. In these pages, you’ll find explorations of Academy past, present, and future, filtered through a lens of inquiry and wonder. Warm Regards,

Lynn Burek Principal 4

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accreditation Success AOSE continues to excel in academics, safety, student life last fall, we earned our re-accreditation from the Middle States association of Colleges and Schools. The academy has been a charter member of this association since 1928, and we are proud we continue to meet its high standards. The selfassessment and external review components of Middle States assured us we are truly providing a “history of excellence and future of promise” for all academy students. The re-accreditation process began with our year of self-study during the 20172018 school year. During this time, a Middle States planning team and subcommittees comprised of various stake-

holders from the academy community were assembled to thoroughly review all aspects of our school: academic program, health and safety, facilities, and student life and activities, to name a few. Based on the committees’ recommendations, the planning team identified the top three objectives the academy should focus on for growth over the next seven years. looking ahead to 2025, the academy will focus on math competency, critical reading and writing, and modernizing our basement space to give our students a functional Fitness and Wellness Center to better meet the needs of our Panthers.

Academy Receives State of NJ Security Grant To address the growing concern about school security, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security offers grants to help organizations address target-hardening needs. In 2018, the academy of Saint Elizabeth applied for and was awarded a $150,000 grant through the New Jersey Office of Homeland Security.

The application process took 8 months and we were very fortunate to receive the maximum grant award. One can imagine that a school built in the 19th century would need some help to meet the security standards of the 21st. Thanks to other grants received from the State of New Jersey, as well as new ef-

ficiencies in our operating procedures, we have been able to address many issues related to access and safety. The focal point for our grant dollars is refitting windows and doors. Security is on ongoing project, and we will continue to assess our needs and apply for grants to ensure the safety of our school.

Making Strides Nearly $3,000 raised in breast cancer walk Members of the Elizabethan chapter of the National Honor Society led the aOSE delegation at the Making Strides against Breast Cancer walk. Marching proudly behind our school banner, students and faculty represented the academy at the american Cancer Society event. Through tenacious outreach to the community and alumnae network, student leaders surpassed their original goal of $1,860, raising nearly $3,000 for breast cancer research.

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The Finnish educational system

focuses on the whole child, being independent and good citizenship. -Ms. Kelly

Globetrotting Faculty finds innovation and inspiration abroad International travel is one of the ultimate expressions of curiosity. How do other cultures worship? Create? learn? Eat? live? This summer, academy faculty traveled the globe to find out, and to bring their insights back to the classroom. History teacher Shayne Kelly found herself in Finland, as part of a delegation of U.S. teachers studying the Finnish education system. She met with students, exchanged insights with her Finnish counterparts, and embedded in classrooms to experience a different cultural approach to pedagogy and scholarship. Dominique Kuhn and lily Moscato spent 12 days in China. Madame Kuhn reports, “We visited Beijing, Tiananmen Square, of course the Forbidden City, then the Great Wall. We went to Xi"an to admire the terracotta warriors, met a wonderful Chinese family that taught us how to make dumplings, took a cruise down the li River and ended up in Shanghai, which awed us with its spectacular growth and ultramodern vibe.” When educators travel abroad, they bring home all kinds of innovation and inspiration for our students. 6

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accents Academy of Saint Elizabeth

now offers six college classes, including: Children of Abraham; Do Not Read - Banned Books; and Freedom, Power & Politics.

Paving the Road to Success New additions and enriched course offerings Our course catalog has grown in breadth and depth over the last few years. In partnership with the College of Saint Elizabeth, the academy now offers a College Now program to qualifying students. Four faculty members are adjunct professors at CSE, and we are pleased to be able to offer six college classes at the academy, including: Children of abraham; Do Not Read - Banned Books; and Freedom, Power & Politics. In addition, juniors and seniors have the opportunity to take college electives on the CSE campus.

Exciting new courses added to our advanced Placement program include aP Government and Politics and aP Psychology. We have also added STEM electives including Introduction to Engineering; Introduction to Computer Programming; Web Design and Visual Communication; Media literacy & Communications; Introduction to Statistics; and Genetics & Biotechnology. Our physical education department now offers a fitness & wellness course to support lifelong health practices; the

program includes a weekly yoga and mindfulness seminar. Students may also take Dance I and II electives to fulfill their physical education requirements. With many new faculty members joining the academy family this year, we look forward to growing our academic program with new courses based on their areas of expertise. This may include adding Italian to our World language Department, reinstating Marine Biology to our Science elective program, and adding Robotics to our catalog.

Fall aP Scholars Named Every fall, the advanced Placement Program recognizes high school students who have “demonstrated outstanding college-level achievement through their performance on multiple aP Exams.” In October, the College Board honored 15 academy students with acknowledgement: AP Scholars EstherJoy Boyle | ‘20 Cameron l. Corcoran | ‘19 Olivia Cordano | ‘19 Ciara a. Fernandez | ‘19 Dominique G. Polanco | ‘19 alexandra M. Rainis | ‘19 Victoria a. Rainis | ‘19 Madison E. Schneider | ‘19

AP Scholars  with Honor

AP Scholars  with Distinction

Hannah K. Corcoran | ‘19 ashley N. Garrett | ‘20 Julie l. Prestigiacomo | ‘20

Elizabeth a Kilgore | ‘19 Shannon E. Malone | ‘19 Carina a. Pacheco | ‘19 Hannah Soliman | ‘19

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We are Family Woodloch Pines Resort provided an ideal setting for a day of retreat, reflection and recreation. Guest speaker Dr. Kate Ott led our spiritual retreat, challenging us first to consider, “How do we live well together?” Dr. Ott’s follow-up was a call to action, “How do we live our values?” Fortified by a renewal of our commitment to charity, service, and justice, we spent the afternoon celebrating another core value: community. We enjoyed gokarts, kayaks, beach volleyball, swimming, dancing, and quiet conversation in the shade. academy students, faculty and staff enjoyed every corner of the property and every moment of the day.


LEGACY Magazine | Fall 2019

Students, faculty and staff share an inspirational retreat.

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We are the Champions! Panthers erase 16-point deficit to defeat Mount St. Mary’s  ICYMI, the academy hosted its inaugural Christmas Basketball Tournament. Ten area schools participated, with eight teams each at the Varsity and JV levels. all 24 games were competitive and well-attended, capped by a thrilling championship matchup -- academy of Saint Elizabeth v. Mount Saint Mary -- played for

a capacity crowd of 500. The Panthers went into the 4th quarter down by 16 points but went on an amazing 20-3 run to edge out the lions 38 - 37. Go Panthers! The JV Panthers also earned a berth in the finals with their overtime victory against Immaculata, and went on to take

second place in the tourney. Special thanks to all the parent volunteers who ran the admissions table, concession stand and game clock. Your efforts contributed to a very successful event!

SEaster Gear is HERE! Welcome to the new SEAster Shop! Shop the online store by scanning the code or visit our website:

Hats, hoodies, 3/4 zip pullovers, drinkware and more...just in time for Christmas! Special thank you to Mary Fitzpatrick Magnier, ‘01 of Splitfinger Strategies, for her expert guidance on creating our first online store. LEGACY Magazine | Fall 2019


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Is the Foundation of

FAITH A spiritual autobiography by Rhian Jeong

My curiosity for God presented itself during high school. already a time when students re-examine and question the world, my intellectual pursuits transformed into a spiritual odyssey. Exploring diverse histories spanning centuries and continents, I began asking God why and how? literature became a lens through which to see themes of identity and moral growth. Innocence and experience; individual freedom and communalism; governmental power and surveillance; the power of propaganda and the nature of truth; gender roles and social positions; judgement and redemption -- all the familiar dualisms explored in any class could 10

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lead me back to God. I was forever looking for God in the intersections. at Smith College, I discovered a vibrant community of confident, diverse women. Sharing a special sisterhood with my new cohort shaped my decision to focus on seeking common ground across difference. Devoting my energy to learning about minoritized groups sensitized me to the beauty of our differences. as a result, my academic journey became an exercise in curiosity. I majored in Jewish Studies and earned a minor in Middle-Eastern and Islamic Studies. Jewish Studies, which may sound like a narrow religious conversation, is really an

expansive study of history, language, art, literature, science, politics, and Bible through a Jewish perspective. One summer, I traveled to Israel. Cultural immersion comes with all of the benefits that you can imagine. I lived with an elderly Orthodox Jewish couple who bore the tattoos of surviving concentration camps. I stayed in a Muslim hostel, observing its strict curfew to ensure propriety. I worshiped in a Jerusalem cathedral frequented by English-speaking news anchors, joining weekly Bible studies with BBC, CNN, and Fox journalists. I ventured into the West Bank, hiked in the desert for Shabbat, floated on the Dead Sea, and

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more we actually become kind. Embarrassingly, I just realized that this is Parenting 101! I guide my daughter to share her toys before she genuinely wants to, and the goal is that over time these gestures will shape who she becomes. For this reason, the joyful work of curiosity must extend beyond the academy and church walls. Every place is an authentic classroom where we are becoming. Every place is a classroom where we are learning to be better citizens. Every place is a classroom because no place is beyond God’s reach. Psalm 139 tells us, “there is no where that I may flee from God’s presence. “ I moved to Berkeley to begin semi-

from my interreligious and ecumenical field work in Israel. (Without a doubt, it all prepared me to teach World Religions at the academy of Saint Elizabeth!) Reading sacred texts among religious difference brought a fresh perspective. Every person and every creature was knit by God, and this compels us to seriously respect these lives. Jesus went beyond his religious community to interact with people of other faiths. He blesses, feeds, and heals people indiscriminately. He never coerces ideas upon others, but rather Christ lures with love. When I studied Scripture at the Franciscan seminary, one of my fellow classmates was Buddhist. While the majority of

The more we do kind acts, the more

we actually become kind.

-Rhian Jeong

nary at the Graduate Theological Union. Holy Hill, as we dubbed it, was home to nine autonomous seminaries: Jesuit, Dominican, Franciscan, lutheran, Episcopalian, Baptist, Presbyterian, non-denominational, and Unitarian, as well as centers for Judaism, Islam, Buddhism, Janism and select branches of paganism. Each sanctuary abided by its own format; the inherent diversity of this environment inspired us to go outside of our silos and build genuine relationships across difference. In many ways it was a continuation

Photo credit:

traced Jesus’ steps to the Sea of Galilee. Many people presumed I was Jewish because of my modest Hebrew skills and familiarity with synagogue etiquette. Some people inferred that I was Muslim from my comfort in Islamic spaces. Without my cross necklace, I was a chameleon, listening intensely to strangers’ honest opinions about Christianity because they did not fear accidentally insulting me. This anecdotal data was crucial for assessing my faith through the eyes of others. That summer wasn’t enough for me, so I got a student visa that would allow me to complete my degree at Hebrew University. a grant allowed me to live in Jerusalem from 2008-10. Now I had the privilege of celebrating a whole calendar’s worth of holidays: Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur in Zion, Christmas in Bethlehem, Passover in the Sinai desert, Easter by the empty tomb. The physicality of the rituals, the uncomfortable feeling of fasting, then the uncomfortable feeling of feasting, the moments of intense quiet, the moments of joyful exuberance, and the intricacies of liturgical performance all molded my muscle memory into various stances of prayer. Those sensations taught me an important lesson. Because so much of my curiosity and learning had been fueled by intellectual contemplation, I thought that right thoughts led to right actions. Yet, during this time in Israel I discovered that it was through the physical practice of holy dress rehearsal that I slowly became what I did. The more we do kind acts, the

Jaffa Gate or Hebron Gate or “David's Gate” is a stone portal in the historic walls of Jerusalem’s Old City.

the students arrived with a strong foundation of Bible stories, she came in as a blank slate. Over the semester, it was aweinspiring to witness how she delighted in Jesus’ message to serve the poor, release the oppressed from captivity, and serve God by feeding the flock. Studying alongside her nurtured my teaching and pedagogical ministry. My bishop took note of this, and after funding my Masters in Divinity (a degree required for Roman Catholic ordination), my diocese covered the cost of a Masters in Theology. My thesis surveying and assessing Christian perspectives on religious diversity turned into a modest book, cementing my love for serving God in the context of the academy. Pursuing my call to serve, I joined my husband in teaching Bible at a seminary in the Philippines. My spouse, fellow Religion teacher Dong Hyeon Jeong, was able to fluently teach in Tagalog, but thankfully the students understood my English. We also worked with Korean churches in both Korea and the Philippines to establish (continued on page 9)

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In addition to being an integral part of our Religion Department, Mrs. Jeong oversees the school’s liturgical ministries.

clinics and schools. Working internationally with Christian communities entrenched a sense of global Christianity. Disparate and seemingly unconnected communities are not only intertwined with my own, but also make up a larger spiritual family. Teaching in a foreign context also presented a fun challenge: how to teach topics in a way that was more accessible, relatable, and relevant for my new audience. In the United States, I taught students who belonged to culturally and financially powerful groups. But in my international classrooms, Biblical themes of Jesus belonging to a minority community

Christianity through the lens of minority experiences led Dr. Jeong to pursue his PhD at Drew University, and we happily relocated to New Jersey. While he studied, I worked in the Theological School’s administration, which then allowed me to earn another theological masters in the evenings. While Dr. Jeong traveled, presenting his scholarship at Biblical conferences in San Diego and Cambridge, my academic focus was on africana Christianity and Philosophy. For fun and sheer curiosity, I would occasionally take the same doctorate level courses as my husband. One archaeology course took us to Greece and Turkey with other

Within the Saint E’s culture I sensed a joyful balance of academia, spirituality,

service, and self-confidence.

-Rhian Jeong under Roman colonization, of Jesus oscillating between adherence and conformity to majority culture while also resisting it, presented nuanced implications when I taught in a community that did not feel the same sense of global security. Once again, I found myself curious about how different people come to understand and know God and interpret their place in this world. a similar commitment to reading


LEGACY Magazine | Fall 2019

students concentrating on early Christian history. Together, we visited sites that inform scholars about the social, political, and religious factors that formed the context of Jesus’ life. Who were the Corinthians and Ephesians St. Paul preached to? How did athens, as a hub of power, affect the semination of the gospel? How do climate and ecosystems determine business economies and subsequently influence religious desires?

In other words, at the heart of faith, curiosity had to thrive! Following this adventure, Dr. Jeong and I began teaching at the academy. Within the Saint E’s culture I sensed a joyful balance of academia, spirituality, service, and self-confidence. The academy practices a holistic approach to education, with a commitment to cultivating curiosity in students as a way of nurturing empathy and strengthening faith. Curiosity drives the love of neighbor. Curiosity compels us to love our planet that God made. Curiosity hopefully moves us towards a larger purpose beyond our individual egos. The Gospel of luke reminds us to serve others, to cater to the outcast. I’ve been meditating on the Scripture readings through the lens of curiosity and, here again, luke is the go-to. It doesn’t get much more explicit than Chapter 11, “seek and you shall find.” St. luke instructs us to hone curiosity, explore, and discover. The spiritual discipline of searching is very much an exercise in curiosity. Tolkien, raised in the Catholic faith, recognized this when he famously noted that “all who wander are not lost.” In this spirit, the academy encourages students to explore and wonder and wander, to question answers even as they answer questions. May their journeys embrace curiosity and nourish joy. May the uncertainties lead them to grace-filled opportunities to learn, serve, and know God. E

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Students’ Summer of

SERVICE by Abigail Edson ‘21, Graceanna Gargano ‘20, Ashley Garrett ‘20, Kaitlyn Garrett ‘21, and Casey Santoriello ‘20 Every year, our church youth group takes a trip to West Virginia to build a house for a family in need of shelter. It is a very popular trip, and teens anxiously await the summer after having made their confirmation so they can participate. We have heard stories about it for years, but nothing could have prepared us for what we would experience that week. a seven-hour drive took us to a state that felt like a different world. Farms lined

both sides of the road, and tractors drove in front of us on the way to the retreat center that would be our home for the week. Our giant duffel bags and pounds of snacks came with us, and we settled into three rooms which were packed with as many bunk beds as possible. Cornhole was in the gym, basketballs came out, and spike-ball appeared. We went to sleep that night with our work boots and nail pouches laid out on the floor next to our

beds, excited for the days to come. a 7:30 wake up call greeted us every morning, followed by the sound of a “Country Roads” remix on the loudspeaker. Still half asleep, we followed a routine: brush teeth, get dressed, make lunches (peanut butter and jelly plus an apple for a snack), prepare breakfast. We were responsible for keeping the facility clean, so before we piled into our cars we (continued on page 11)

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Summer of Service (continued from page 10) needed to take out the garbage, sweep the floors, and clean the kitchen. The work site was an exciting place. We began work on the first day by laying down floors on top of the foundation. Each member of our group was eager to help out. We were able to handle power tools and hammers, measure, cut, and put up walls, as well as install windows. Not only did we do work on the ground level,

ticipants guaranteed that every job was manageable. We were given a lot of responsibility, but every day we rose to the occasion. On the final day of the week, we completed sheeting the roof and putting on siding. We literally built the house from the ground up. Our experience taught us more than just how to use a drill. Being able to meet people who had been helped by Habitat

“They say that many hands make light work and that saying has never been more applicable.” but some of us were able to do work on the roof and on top of the scaffolding. They say that many hands make light work, and that saying has never been more applicable. The different tools and structures used to build a home can be quite large, but the sense of teamwork and community shown by all of the par-


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for Humanity was humbling and eyeopening. Back at home, we are so fortunate not only for our comfortable homes, but also to receive a well-rounded academy education. Furthermore, disconnecting from our hectic, fast-paced summers gave us the opportunity to connect with people we had known our whole lives,

forming new friendships along the way. all five of us are extremely grateful for the experience and the memories that our service trip to appalachia gave us, and we are eager to participate in many other service activities because of it. E

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from the SPORTS DESK A familiar face in a new place The academy is excited to announce that Jeremy Mayer has been appointed athletic Director. Mr. Mayer had been teaching and coaching at the academy for many years, so he represents both continuity and change all in one. a three-season athlete at Hackettstown High School, Mr. Mayer focused his collegiate athletic career on wrestling. While at Wilkes University, he was named

the “Most Outstanding Wrestler” for two consecutive seasons on his top-10 ranked team, and earned a bid to the NCaa National Championships. Mr. Mayer has coached at both the college and high school level, including several Panther squads. He has taken three individuals to the NJSIaa Track and Field Meet of Champions, with several top finishes at the Group State Championships.

During the 2018-2019 seasons, the Panthers’ Tennis Team and Basketball Team both finished 1st in their division of the NJAC conference. Basketball finished 2nd in the NJSIAA Prep-B State Championships. We are happy to announce that the Panthers of AOSE have joined forces with the Crusaders of Morris Catholic for two cooperative sports teams: Field Hockey and Cross Country. Four Crusaders played field hockey for the Panthers this fall, while three Panthers competed in Cross Country for the Crusaders, taking home the NJAC Conference Championship. Cooperative sports run for three years before each school revisits the ability to field an independent program.

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faculty i s n’t

Say it ain’t so:

Q Retires Alumnae pay tribute to Mrs. Quick Mrs. Quick instilled the love of English for generations of SEAsters.

by Emily Sturtz | ‘12 “Mrs. Quick showed me an act of compassion and kindness that not only made an impact in that moment, but ultimately inspired me to follow my current career path. I was experiencing the typical senior stress of college applications, in addition to some personal challenges. I thought I was handling (and hiding) the stress well, keeping up with schoolwork while balancing big decisions in my personal life. But in the middle of class one day, Mrs. Quick

asked me to see her at lunch. I nervously made my way up to her third-floor classroom. When I got there, Mrs. Quick said she’d just asked me up to see how I was doing; she had noticed something was off and that I was going through a tough time, and just wanted to check in and see if I was OK. I would not be surprised if there are many other former students who have similar stories, because this kindness is just who she is. as I’ve gotten older, this mo-

ment stands out as an example of how one person can make a big impact on a student simply by showing she cares. The safety and support I felt from Mrs. Quick has inspired me in my professional life. I’m working as a School Psychologist and will soon earn my Ph.D. in the hope that I can be a caring, supportive adult for young people. Thank you, Mrs. Quick, for being that person for me.”

reminder that the tasks that lay before me can be conquered because I already had someone who believes in me. Mrs. Quick’s unit structure — to have the aP students read The Odyssey and then Huckleberry Finn — is genius. This particular flow of literature opened my eyes to the interconnection of human experience, that despite thousands of

years and two different cultures, the same story remains. What differs is in the telling, and that is a treasure we must keep. I could write pages and pages about how Mrs. Quick has left an impact on me, but the ultimate lesson is this: passion about anything will only build up the people around you. By God, did Mrs. Quick achieve that.”

by Morgan Dudzinski | ‘13 “as a senior, we asked our teachers for college recommendation letters. If you asked Mrs. Quick, her letter would be like a Christmas present to the parents. She wanted us and our families to know how much we meant to her, and that we were maturing into intelligent young women. In the years since receiving my letter from Mrs. Quick, I’ve gone back to read it as a


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lighting the Curiosity Candle

Neeta Prasad teaches in the Math Department and serves as advisor to the National Honor Society.

What is learning? While contemplating the theme of curiosity for this school year, I found the following quote from american author William arthur Ward: “Curiosity is the wick in the candle of learning.” If curiosity is the secret to learning, I thought, then how do we ignite curiosity in our students? Is it simple and straightforward to do so? Indeed not! It is a complex process which demands planning, design, and thoughtful implementation. Over the years, classroom experience has taught me that the best way to foster curiosity is to engage students at an appropriate challenge level and provide them with opportunities to explore, experiment, question, and discuss. a powerful learning moment stimulates the mind to think and reason. This can happen while creating pieces of art or literature in the humanities, or working models in the STEM classroom. Towards that goal, the Elizabethan Chapter of National Honor Society undertook a small initiative which culminated in a schoolwide construction project.

The Sierpinski Pyramid (pictured here) is a three-dimensional version of the Sierpinski Triangle, and an example of fractal geometry. It provided students with an understanding of dimensions, nets of solids, symmetry, patterns, and fractals. The objective was to reveal the beauty of mathematics and experience the intersection of math and art. art is a creative medium to show students the applications of math; the Golden Ratio, perspective drawing, and tessellations are all mathematical concepts used by artists. During the construction process, I saw teamwork and determination, along with the satisfaction students had when they added their four pyramids onto the next level with a hot glue gun. Room 200 was turned into a workshop for about a week, with students coming in before school and making efforts to provide structure and stability while assembling the pyramids. In our shared enthusiasm to complete the bigger structure, we did not consider the fact that it would not fit through the

by Neeta Prasad

classroom door, and hence had to chop off the top pyramid and reassemble it again in the Study Hall. This oversight provided us with an important lesson: mistakes are a part of the learning process. It is normal to make mistakes, but the important part of such an experience is to learn from them. What started as a result of the curiosity theme is hopefully the beginning of a tradition at the academy: a schoolwide project bringing all students, faculty and staff together in a collaborative exploration of the theme for the year. This is an opportunity for the entire academy to celebrate learning. I cannot end this without thanking the members of the Pyramid army, who gave their time and energy towards the successful completion of the project. Seniors Devyn DiGrande, Elizabeth Viggiano, Zoe Raste, Janine Cavallone, Emma Cicala, along with juniors lauren Iskander and Molly McKenna and English teacher Miss Roper. Without your help, we would not have the Pyramid!

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Blessed Miriam Teresa Demjanovich, SC by Molly McKenna | ’21

Editor’s Note: Molly wrote this piece for an essay contest run by the Seton Hall University Catholic Studies Department, which asked, "How does a North American saint inspire you to live your faith today?" Molly went on to claim first-runner up in the highly selective contest. She reports, “I stumbled upon Blessed Miriam Theresa, a Sister of Charity. Miriam Therese grew to mean as much to me as she did to the sisters.” She also adds a special thanks to Mrs. Burek, who lent her a copy of Greater Perfection.

glancing up at my family tree or down at my uniform shirt. Regardless, there was something about her which struck a chord with me. This was a child of immigrants, like my grandmother, a girl with six older siblings, like my mother, who taught at the very school which I now attend and who studied the very subject which I wish to pursue to the highest degree I can. She had mousy brown hair, rounded spectacles, and an intelligent gaze which I resolved myself to enter this contest thinking it would be quick—just skim seemed to surpass the limits of the screen. through a Wikipedia page and bang out a There was not much information about few hundred words. It wouldn’t be hard for me to pick a saint, for my mother and all six of her siblings were named for saints, and I even go to a school named for a saint. all I had to do was throw a proverbial dart and choose one. I cast a glance at the list of saints pro- her on the internet, but that wasn’t a hurvided to us. The obvious choice would dle I hadn’t jumped before. I decided to have been Elizabeth ann Seton, but I’ve search for her book, and that morning I always been one for making things more stepped off the train determined to vendifficult than they need to be. I landed on ture into my school’s library and inquire Blessed Sister Miriam Teresa—a choice about it. as the train pulled out of the which contradicted my original resolution, station and the white bell tower came into for she was not a saint I could name by view over the trees, the early morning sun glinting off the golden cross atop it, I

found myself wondering what Miriam Teresa thought the first time she saw that tower, a full century ago now. as it happened, my principal had a copy of the book in her office and was willing to lend it to me. The book advertises itself on the cover as “a means of achieving union with God through prayer,” and I think that in and of itself describes why Miriam Teresa speaks to me. She did something so seemingly simple, and yet here I am a century later, seeing her name with “blessed sister” attached to it. It in-

To find the perfect life, you have only


LEGACY Magazine | Fall 2019

to keep the ways of the Lord.

- Sister Miriam Teresa spires me that “greater perfection,” as she calls it, really is attainable. She asserted that “to find this perfect life, you have only to keep the ways of the lord,” and never has something encouraged me to practice my faith more. Sometimes the deeds of saints seem so monumental as to make your actions (continued on page 16)

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SEasters Sister Miriam Teresa (continued from page 15)

Left to right: Karen Lordi, '67, Annemarie Sorce Carollo, '67, Elizabeth Gates, '20, Jennifer Gates, P '20 and Alan Gates, P '20.

Class of 1967 Scholarship awarded On May 13, Elizabeth Gates, '20 was awarded a scholarship funded by the Class of 1967. The scholarship is awarded to a member of the Junior Class, and is intended to offset college search expenses, such as application fees and travel. To be considered, each applicant must submit an essay introducing herself and share her aspirations and expectations for college. The Class of 1967 evaluates the essays and selects a winner. The academy is grateful for the fol-

lowing members of the Class of 1967: Carol Bentzlin, annemarie Sorce Carollo, Sharon Hook Hodge, Janet Hofmann Iyoob, DonnaRose Sylvester Kupper, Karen lordi, Janet Zimmerman Petrone, Jane Gilbert Snyder, Kathleen Johnson Tahlmore, anita Kaletkowski Thomas. “The Class of 1967 Scholarship is a perfect embodiment of the support I wish to continue to foster with my own classmates and generations of academy women to come.” -Elizabeth Gates

Ciao, Italia: Veni, Vidi, amavi! Over 40 SEasters and chaperones enjoyed celebrating Easter together in Italy with visits to Sicily, Florence, Rome, Pompeii and Mount Vesuvius among others. We came, we saw, we loved: the tradition continues!

seem piddly at best. While we should celebrate the people who give their lives to improve those of others, for truly, those who do should be hailed as heroes, not everyone has the means to make such contributions. This is why I find the life of Miriam Teresa more inspiring than that of any other saint, for she makes being a good Catholic seem so much more achievable. Miriam Teresa shows that the day-to-day ways in which a person practices her faith, no matter how negligible they may seem, are just as significant. More than that, there’s just something about Miriam Teresa that makes her seem so much more real. Maybe it’s that she walked the same halls down which I meander daily. Perhaps she too became winded traipsing up and down those abominable stairs, or had classes interrupted by the blowing of a train’s horn, or scolded girls for pushing their socks down. She certainly impacted the school, as I realized some days after beginning this essay that there is a portrait of her hanging in the front hall. I was strolling down the hallway when I passed the portrait I had passed dozens of times before. I read the name “Teresa,” but it didn’t register until after I passed by, at which point I froze and backtracked like a cartoon character. It was her indeed, Sister Miriam Teresa, gazing out from behind her round spectacles with a book in her hand. I pass that picture every day, but it’s become something more than what it was. It’s a promise—a promise of a chance to achieve something bigger than myself, though I never really thought myself capable. That is how this ordinary girl with her Harry Potter glasses and writing flair has inspired me to live my faith today.


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Common Threads: Karen leano ‘97, on-air fashion and lifestyle expert, brings career advice and inspiration to Fashion Club

Principal Burek Honored by aOSE Parents’ association

In February, the Fashion Club proudly welcomed fellow SEaster Karen Cayetano leano ‘97 as its guest speaker in the Moran library. Karen walked the students through her experience at the academy, earning a business degree at Seton Hall University and starting a career in the fashion world. Karen shared some of her most recent

projects and television appearances as a social media fashion influencer. Students interested in a fashion career were eager to hear Karen’s advice. Check out Karen's Instagram @parisandalatte where you can learn more about her career as a fashion and lifestyle expert.

On Saturday, June 1, Principal lynn Burek was surprised with an award honoring her leadership, on behalf of the Class of 2019. aOSE Parents association leaders Charlie Malone and Ken Purzycki were assisted in the presentation by their new graduates, Shannon '19 and Katie '19. The Class of 2019 is Mrs. Burek's very first graduating class; she began her academy career just a few months before the students did. The young alumnae reflected on those parallel journeys, and the growth and vitality of the academy under Mrs. Burek's leadership. Finally, the daughters and their fathers presented lynn with a crystal bowl engraved with a heartfelt message that represents the academy families' support of Mrs. Burek.

Jefferson Scholarship awarded Elizabeth Kilgore ‘19 received a four-year scholarship to University of Virginia for her exemplary leadership, scholarship and citizenship. academy of Saint Elizabeth student Elizabeth Kilgore ‘19 was the recipient of the prestigious Jefferson Scholarship to attend the University of Virginia The Jefferson Scholars Foundation at the University of Virginia selected Elizabeth as one of 38 recipients of the Jefferson Scholarship, one of the most highly selective merit scholarships in the nation. Candidates must undergo a rigorous, highly competitive, multi-stage selection process. With over 2,000 students nominated, only 118 finalists were invited to take 20

LEGACY Magazine | Fall 2019

part in a four-day competition at U.Va., which included seminar discussions, essay and mathematics examinations, as well as interviews conducted by U.Va. alumni and faculty. In addition to receiving the full cost of attending the University for four years, Jefferson Scholars benefit from a number of enrichment programs sponsored by the Foundation, including travel abroad, career networking activities, an outdoor challenge program, and a leadership speaker series.

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Commencement 2018 & 2019 Young women celebrate ending as a new beginning

Class of 2019 Graduation is equal parts ending and beginning, as our newly minted alumnae embark on a new educational chapter that promises growth and discovery. CLASS OF 2019 In June, we celebrated the academy of Saint Elizabeth Class of 2019. Commencement speaker Sarah Prendeville ‘07 advised her younger SEasters to “build a girl gang. [The academy] taught me to surround myself with fearless women who build each other up, not tear each

Class of 2018

Sarah Prendeville ‘07 other down. Because empowered women empower women.” Sarah attributes much of her success in the corporate world to the mentorship of strong women leaders. From her perch as the assistant Vice President and Chief of Staff to the CEO of aT&T, Sarah now makes it a point to pay it forward to younger women in the business world.

graduate of Boston College, and served as Deputy Director of Media logistics and Deputy Director of Press advance in the Obama White House. She currently heads the Corporate Communications office at amazon. Ms. Mulhall is a true academy “Woman of Distinction” whose accomplishments and bright road ahead embody a history of excellence and a future of promise.

CLASS OF 2018 alumna Erin Mulhall '03 spoke at the 2018 commencement ceremony. Erin is a

Erin Mulhall '03 LEGACY Magazine | Fall 2019


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alumnae news

REUNIONROUNDUP alumnae celebrate memories, friendships and decades of SEasterhood CLASS  OF 1969 Five decades of SEasterhood were celebrated at the academy, followed by a wonderful dinner at Rod’s Steakhouse in Convent Station. The academy is grateful to the Class of 1969 for their donation in memory of deceased classmates: Sarah Schleck, Karen Briechle Strange, Kathleen Macadon, Joyce Fanok Gurian, Marianne lanigan, Kathleen Shale Dwyer, laura Waldron applin, Mary Jo Parmigiani Gallant, Cathryn Rajoppi Cappola. a mass honoring their memory was celebrated the following day at Holy Family Chapel.

CLASS  OF 1946

CLASS  OF 1988

CLASS  OF 1994

lifelong SEasters Helen, Patricia, lois and Peg, at their august seashore reunion in Mantoloking, New Jersey.

Celebrating 30 years at the Madison Hotel: Jen Smith, Justine Germann, Mimi Codey, Sue alexander, Katie Feller, Joyanne Trivigno, lisa Morano, Pam Horner, Beth Carroll, Cynthia aromando, Gina Ianelli and Tracey Johnson

Classmates Kara lennon Muscillo, Carolyn Voehl Eriksen, Valerie Cuccolo Gehm, Brenda alzadon Kunzweiler, alessandra Pompeo Medigo, Michele Newhouse Heusel, andrea antonelli and Nicole DelPriore celebrate 25 years at the Stirling Tavern.

CLASS  OF 1998

CLASS  OF 2004

CLASS  OF 2008

Sarah Quinn Clausen and her classmates celebrated over two decades of friendship On May 19, 2019 at Pavesi in Morristown.

Celebrating their 15-year reunion at the academy, followed by dinner at Rod’s Steakhouse in Convent Station: amanda Harner, Vanessa Ott, Zoe Magiros Mclean, Jenna Van Deventer, Joelle Centanni, Christina Vázquez Mauricio, Suzanne Ryan Popper

Danielle Crochery, Elizabeth Manella, Hannah Thompson, Katie Enderley, Kristin Misdom, Melissa Foley, Erin Dowd, Erin Gilfillan, Tedi Church and Morgan Powers, celebrated ten years at George & Martha’s in Morristown. (Not Pictured: Kamille Deowdhat)


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Annual Giving What’s Your Why? Patricia Solomine Salese ‘83 is grateful to AOSE for providing a solid foundation for career, life and beyond. In 2012, the world watched 17-yearold swimmer, Missy Franklin, capture her first Olympic gold medal. During the broadcast, NBC aired a segment about Missy and her family. She attended a Jesuit high school, and her friends, school and family were shown to be critical to her success. I remarked to my husband. “This young woman has really benefited from her Catholic school education, and it shows.” He concurred, agreeing my own professional success and personal confidence are a direct result of my extraordinary education at St. E’s. This brief exchange started me thinking… In the 35 years since I graduated from aOSE, I have met many other people with a Catholic high school education. In conversations with these individuals, I am often surprised to discover they do not have a basic understanding of the earth sciences (chemistry, biology, etc.); and many have only rudimentary math or computer skills. additionally, there are others who know very little about major world religions. I come away from these interactions wondering “Is it me, or did that person not pay any attention in school?” If you look back at the records, I was not an exemplary student—so what made

my experience different? I eventually had an “ah-Ha!” moment: I realized those other people didn’t have the curriculum, the faculty, and the quality of education I received at St. E’s. My education was nothing short of extraordinary. applying some critical thinking (a skill I learned at St. E.’s) and with some help from that great teacher known as ‘time,’ I began to understand that Mrs. Chorba’s science classes would be considered aP-level at any other high school. Four years of Theology classes—with a focus on world religions and morality— helped instill a unique understanding and compassion for people everywhere. Ms. Hahn’s BaSIC programming class would become the foundation for my 30year career in Information Technology. My love of travel was also born during academy-sponsored trips to Spain and Italy with Ms. Marion (and others). and finally, Ms. Daschuta (now Mrs. Quick) encouraged my addiction to reading and taught me how to analyze and deconstruct a book – another skill I use daily. I was truly blessed with the opportunity to learn in a progressive, nurturing, and challenging environment. Without the foundation the academy provided, I would

never have had a successful 30-year career in IT as a Technical Writer and Business analyst. Don’t get me wrong – my parents played a major role in my development as well. They saw my need for something more, and sacrificed a great deal so that I could attend the academy. Today, I have a successful, fulfilling career in Information Technology as a Business analyst. I have been happily married for the past 21 years. My husband and I are avid sailors, we spend our summers sailing our 39-ft. sailboat all over the northeast – from Martha’s Vineyard to annapolis. We travel as much as time and money will allow. We actively volunteer for causes that are near and dear to our hearts, such as the NJ Foodbank, the Endometriosis association, and the american Pain Foundation. None of this would be if not for the academy of St. Elizabeth – and I thank you.

The generous support of our community sustains our mission. Please consider an annual gift today! LEGACY Magazine | Fall 2019


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1860 LEGACY The academy’s tradition of excellence can live on through a gift from your estate.


a planned gift creates a perpetual legacy through a provision in your will or estate. Your generosity will continue our mission while empowering countless future generations of young women at the Academy.


T H E R E I S A W I L L , T H E R E I S A WAY . For more information,  please call 973.290.5226 or can I get this email


Development Office 2 Convent Rd. | Convent Station, NJ 07961

Sample wording that can be used: “I give to the Academy of Saint Elizabeth, a New Jersey nonprofit corporation, or its successor, Federal Tax Identification Number 22-22738106 [insert here the exact dollar amount or other specific information].” 24

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Strike a POSE Class of ‘19 seniors hit the catwalk, raising over $90,000 in aOSE’s annual Fashion Show. Our heartfelt gratitude for all the support we received for our signature fundraiser. Together we raised over $90,000 for the academy while honoring the exceptional Class of 2019. Thank you to our parents, alumnae parents, alumnae and Friends of the academy for making this event successful but especially to our co-chairs, Jennifer Ferriso, P ‘18 ‘19 ‘23 and Maureen Howard, P ‘18 ‘20. Congratulations to our Super Grand Raffle winner from the Class of 1977! The prize was a 3 day/2 night trip to Bermuda thanks to our friends at CIRE Travel.

Special appreciation and gratitude to all our  Fashion Show sponsors: Access Rents The Cordano Family Raymond C. &  Maureen K. Dee Foundation The Malone Family Reilly Financial Management Taylor Management Company

Save the DATE! 39th annual Fashion Show & Gift auction Thursday, april 2, 2020 LEGACY Magazine | Fall 2019


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Generations of Greatness aOSE Founder’s Day alumnae illustrate a legacy of tradition, values and promise. Founder's Day was amazing thanks to alumnae who spent the morning speaking to our students, answering questions and sharing advice and stories that brought SEasters together across the generations. Ten students led our alumnae on a tour of the academy, ending in an impromptu chorus of the alma mater. We learned about the underground tunnel to the chapel, what it was like to live here, and how so many traditions have evolved and endured.

Top row, left to right: Karen Cayetano Leano ‘97, Entrepreneur, Influencer and Lifestyle Blogger at Paris and a Latte and founder of exclusive jewelry line Cayetano Legacy Collection; Dr. Helen Genova '96, Neuroscientist at Kessler Foundation; Monica Padovano Casiello '79, Sales Executive, Commercial & Industrial Title Insurance; Suzanne Bartsch Casana '69, Nurse Practitioner. Bottom row, left to right: Maureen Wentworth Fitzgerald '94, Executive Director, Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation for NYC & Long Island, Kate Kalevich '96; Director of Planning for R2C Group; Lisa Lomelo '96, Attorney at Javerbaum, Wurgaft, Hicks, Kahn, Wikstrom, Sinins, P.C.

SEaster’s 1st annual Day of Giving Contributions celebrate aOSE’s legacy of growth and progress

Thank you, SEAsters! DAY OF GIVING


Our first-ever SEasters Day of Giving was tremendous! TOGETHER WE RAISED $7,958.40!  Your contributions are the most vital part of the development efforts at our alma mater. SEAsters expressed their excitement on social media: “love from a '13 alum. Watching the school progress over the years since I've been gone is incredible!” “To all current and future SEasters: Being a SEaster means creating lifelong bonds with your best friends. I graduated 7 years ago and live in NYC with two of my best friends from the academy.”

“I owe so much to St. E's, and I never would have been able to attend had I not been awarded a scholarship. Thank you for investing in me, I hope that this small repayment on my part can help current students.”

Academy of Saint Elizabeth students, ‘32

Save the DATE! Mark your calendars for #GivingTuesday on December 3, 2019 Academy of Saint Elizabeth students, ‘32 and let’s work together to beat last year’s grand total! 26

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Thank you for being a part of the transformation!


AFTER Celebrated on the Tuesday following Thanksgiving, and vigorously fueled by the power of social media and collaboration, GivingTuesday inspires millions of people around the world to give back to causes and issues that personally matter to them. #GivingTuesday is a testament to the power of viral generosity, and its massive wave of collaboration and activism can last well beyond that day, making a profound effect on communities across the globe. We are profoundly grateful to the academy of Saint Elizabeth community for supporting our 2018 #GivingTuesday campaign. The freshmen who produced the

campaign videos were proud to be an integral part of this successful event. Students in Information literacy and Digital Citizenship interpreted key metrics about the campaign, analyzing feedback received from different audience members. In class, they discussed the role of philanthropy in making profound change across all sectors of society. On a macrolevel, philanthropy can fight disease, support the arts, relieve hunger, and more. On a micro-level, philanthropy can give a historic, all girls, Catholic high school the opportunity to nurture the physical well being of its students.

Over the summer, renovations to the Panther Den Fitness & Wellness Center included new sheetrock walls and wood panels, and old padding was removed from all the columns in preparation for fresh paint in a new color scheme. Brand new energy-efficient lED lighting was installed, and new carpeting was added to the staircase. The hallway leading toward the senior lockers was given a fresh coat of paint and new vinyl baseboard molding. This campaign was about much more than the Panther Den Fitness & Wellness Center; it was a lesson in how we can come together to make a huge impact.

2019 #GivingTuesday! DECEMbER 3, 2019  Phase II: PANTHER DEN FITNESS & WELLNESS CENTER 4 Install 4,000 square feet of new rubberized flooring 4 add large screen smart TV’s and audio 4 Install strength and resistance training equipment 4 New carpet and paint for the underclassmen hallway Follow our website and social media to see our students’ videos promoting this year’s campaign. LEGACY Magazine | Fall 2019


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Hackensack, NJ Permit No. 1121

2 Convent Road Convent Station, NJ 07961





National Day of Giving

Christmas At the Academy

39th Annual Fashion Show

Profile for Alison Minion

LEGACY . Fall 2019  

The official magazine of the Academy of Saint Elizabeth

LEGACY . Fall 2019  

The official magazine of the Academy of Saint Elizabeth