Suaviter Sed Fortiter (Winter 2014)

Page 1

Suaviter Sed Fortiter A PUBLICATION IN THE PADUA TRADITION | winter 2014


Women IN Medicine




Dear Friends,


elcome to the first issue of Suaviter Sed Fortiter, a publication for the alumnae, parents, and friends of Padua Academy.

As you know, the past several months have seen a number of renovations to our school facility. Our state of the art Learning Commons and College Advisement suite have quickly become the favored places for our students to meet with mentors, advisors, and one another. Our educational program has seen some enhancements as well, and more students than ever are now enrolled in our many honorslevel and Advanced Placement courses. Our new Advocacy Program for Success (APS) gives students an opportunity to fine-tune the skills that will be most important to their success both academically and in life, while our growing International Studies program provides real-world learning experiences outside of the classroom walls. Now more than ever, our families are finding that their investment in a Padua education is truly paying off as our Class of 2014 continues to receive college acceptances and scholarship offers.

From its first days, Padua Academy has been a community effort. As we celebrate the progress that has made Padua one of America’s Top 50 Catholic Schools, we are even more appreciative of the rich tradition that has made Padua the best school for young women since 1954. The success that we achieve as a school today is a testimony to the vision and dedication of our founders and pioneers who started the Padua Academy community nearly 60 years ago. I hope that, in reading our school news, you will share our great joy and immense pride in the wonderful things that are happening at Padua Academy! Yours in Christ,

Cindy Hayes Mann Head of School

Our Mission

Rooted in the Catholic faith, Padua Academy offers young women a transformational college preparatory education, challenging them to live Christcentered lives of leadership and service.

Suaviter Sed Fortiter A PUBLICATION IN THE PADUA TRADITION | winter 2014

Editor Ann Slater Lewandowski ’96 Director of Communication & Alumnae Affairs Photography Don Blake Photography • Bud Keegan Images SRT Photography • Lifetouch Submitted Photos Printer McClafferty Printing 2013-14 Board of Trustees Peter Steiner, President Matt Ballintyn • Mark Brindle Bernadette DeSeta Buccini • Robert Hayman David Juliano • Mary Kirkwood • Ray Ianni Cindy Hayes Mann • Kathleen Kenney ’70 Jeffrey O. Nelson • John Patterson Michael Polnerow, M.D. • Colleen Shields Louisa Teoli ’67 • Fr. Nicholas Waseline

IN THIS ISSUE News and Highlights • Recently at Padua . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . • Alma Mater . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


Giving and Growing . . . . . . . . . . .



Features • Padua’s Women In Medicine . . . . . . • Legal Insight, Skills for Life . . . . . . . • More Than A Game . . . . . . . . . . . . . . • Padua’s Newest Sister . . . . . . . . . . . • Advocacy Program Provides Tools for Success . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . • A Global Perspective . . . . . . . . . . . .

10 12 14 16 18 20

A Publication of the Padua Academy Office of Communication 905 North Broom Street Wilmington, DE 19806 (302) 421-3765

On the cover: Padua senior Samantha D’Amico and anatomy instructor Dr. Amy Wise meet Dr. Gail Wynn (center) for a day of surgical observation.


RECENTLY AT PADUA Padua Celebrates Five State Championships in 2013 A championship recognition ceremony was held on Dec. 19 to honor the athletes and coaches who brought home Padua’s five state titles in 2013. Padua holds the state championship titles for Indoor Track, Soccer, Spring Track and Field, Cross Country, and Volleyball.


Padua Academy

Padua’s athletic programs grow stronger every year. We are very proud of all of our student-athletes, especially our 2013 State Champions. –Lindsay LoPilato-Brown ‘03, Director of Athletics

Padua Wins the ABC Award for Renovations The Padua Academy Library and Guidance Renovations Project received the Associated Builders and Contractors of Delaware’s Excellence in Construction Award for 2013 during a recognition dinner on Nov. 21. We are very appreciative of the splendid design work of ABHA and the great construction offered by EDIS. This was a very difficult job on a very tight timeline and budget. Everyone did their part to give these new areas to Padua including hallways on first and second floors, classrooms on first floor, and the College Advisement and Learning Commons areas.

Fashion Show Honors Legacy of Fr. Roberto Balducelli More than 275 parents, grandparents, alumnae, and friends filled Padua’s cafeteria on Nov. 3 as it was transformed into a renaissance-inspired theme to honor the life and legacy of Fr. Roberto. Guests enjoyed Italian-inspired fare as they browsed hundreds of silent auction and raffle items before the main attraction started. Festivities were kicked off by a blessing and remarks from Brother Michael Rosenello who provided some reflections about Fr. Roberto and his love for Padua. All proceeds benefited the Padua Annual Fund and its campaign for the rising generation of women leaders. The Padua Annual Fund provides direct funding for educational, athletic, and spirituality initiatives that tuition alone does not cover. To learn more about the Padua Annual Fund please contact Chad Kifer, Director of Advancement, at (302) 463-3765 or Suaviter Sed Fortiter | winter 2014




FROM THE OFFICE OF ALUMNAE AFFAIRS Alumnae Mothers Recognized at Freshman Convocation The Freshman Convocation was held Sept. 25 at St. Anthony of Padua Church for Padua’s Class of 2017. As one of the first Padua traditions for freshmen and the first time the Class of 2017 gathered together for Mass, this was a very special occasion. During the ceremony, special recognition was given to the 21 alumnae whose daughters and granddaughters are members of this year’s freshman class.

Young Alum Social Close to 100 alumnae from the classes of 2009 through 2013 returned to Padua on Dec. 19 for the Young Alum Social. The social was an opportunity for alumnae to return to their alma mater, to visit with their favorite teachers, and to reconnect with one another.

Padua Legacy Honored During Ring Mass Padua’s Class of 2015 celebrated their "moving up" to upper-class women during the Ring Mass celebration on Oct. 10. The ceremony was especially meaningful for the 26 juniors whose mothers, host mothers, and grandmothers are also Padua alumnae. Fr. Christian Berretta, principal of Salesianum School, celebrated the Mass. The evening ended with a reception in the Padua Cafe for all juniors, their parents, and friends.

The Padua legacy is stronger than ever. Many of our current students have mothers or grandmothers who also attended Padua. 6

Padua Academy

Fall Reunions for the Classes of 1963, 1973, 1993, and 2003 The classes of 1963, 1973, 1993, and 2003 held class reunions in 2013 to enjoy time with their Padua sisters. Special thanks are extended to the following class captains who coordinated reunion activities: Linda Gavin Kay ’63, Marina Rosaio-Roddy ’73, Mattia Crisafulli Ruggeri ’93, and Amanda Harley ’03. Interested in Having a Class Reunion? Padua’s Office of Alumnae Affairs seeks class captains to help with planning reunions for the classes of 1964, 1974, 1984, 1994, and 2004. Classes celebrating five-year increment anniversaries are also welcome to hold reunions. For additional information, please contact Ann Lewandowski at (302) 421-3765 or

Class of 1973 reunion tour.

Reunion Tours The classes of 1963 and 1973 toured Padua’s school building as part of their reunion celebrations. If you are interested in coordinating a school tour for your class, please call (302) 421-3765 or email

Class of 1963 reunion tour.

DO YOU HAVE NEWS TO SHARE? We are inspired by the stories of our Padua students and alumnae. Please take a moment to share your news with us! Name _________________________________________________________ Class of_____________________ Address _______________________________________ City ________________ State _____ ZIP__________ Phone Number ___________________________________ E-mail____________________________________ Write your news here:_________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________________________ SEND TO:

Padua Academy, ATTN: Good News, 905 N. Broom St., Wilmington, DE 19806 or fax us at (302) 421-3763 or send an e-mail to Suaviter Sed Fortiter | winter 2014




Padua Welcomes 165 Freshmen into the Class of 2017


n August 2013, Padua welcomed 165 freshmen into the Class of 2017. These young ladies hail from more than 60 different elementary schools in four states.

Since the opening of the school year, 323 eighth grade girls have visited Padua, each spending the day with a student ambassador who acts as the visitor’s personal hostess. The Diocese of Wilmington offered its annual High School Placement Test in December. To date, Padua has received a record 389 applications for the Class of 2018. This spring, Padua and Salesianum will visit local Catholic elementary schools, offering recruitment presentations to sixth and seventh graders. Additionally, both schools will offer a Seventh Grade Practice High School Placement Test on April 5. Head of School Cindy Hayes Mann presents each freshman with a yellow rose bud, symbolizing the beginning of the Padua journey, at Freshman Convocation.

class of 2017

BY THE NUMBERS Top Sending Schools

Home State

Holy Family Regional School (Aston, PA) – 13 students Immaculate Heart of Mary School – 12 students The Independence School – 10 students

St. John the Beloved School – 10 students St. Mary Magdalen School – 10 students

62% Delaware

23% Pennsylvania

Holy Angels School – 9 students

Kingsway Regional School – 9 students All Saints Catholic School – 8 students

Immaculate Conception School – 7 students

11% New Jersey

4% Maryland 8

Padua Academy

St. Anthony of Padua School – 7 students Christ the Teacher School – 6 students

Our Lady of Fatima School – 6 students

P.S. DuPont Middle School – 5 students


Principled Giving Now for Padua’s Next Generation


embers of the Leadership Society play a vital role in ensuring that Padua Academy delivers its Christ-centered transformational mission to each new generation of young women. As Padua’s most generous and devoted benefactors whose total giving exceeds $1,000 per year, members not only fund many of the cutting-edge programs and equipment needed for the school, but their example also encourages others to establish a pattern of strong annual giving. In October, over 160 guests gathered in the newly renovated Learning Commons and College Guidance Center to participate in its dedication and blessing by Fr. Nicholas Waseline of St. Anthony of Padua Parish. Guests then moved to the newly painted and updated cafeteria for an “Evening of Appreciation.” Padua student ambassadors welcomed members of the Leadership Society and their guests. The highlight of the evening was the presentation of the Faculty Leadership Appreciation Award, received by Mr. Joseph and Dr. Mary McClory, and the Non-Faculty Leadership Appreciation Award, received by Dr. Joseph Mesa. Recipients are nominated and recognized annually for the

strength and duration of their annual giving and for their personal commitment to the livelihood and success of Padua Academy. “Members of the Leadership Society take to heart what it means to transform the life of a young woman. They know it takes great teachers, a rigorous college preparatory curriculum, and a faith-filled community that lives its mission every day. We can’t thank them enough for their confidence in our school,” noted Cindy Hayes Mann, Head of School. As Padua Academy begins its sixtieth year, we don’t know who the leaders will be that step forward and invest in the young women of tomorrow. We do know, however, that it starts with individuals like you! If you are reading this publication, you are already a partner in our mission to see that every young woman who desires a chance to succeed can find that opportunity, and more, at Padua Academy. For more information on the Padua Leadership Society, please contact Chad Kifer at (302) 421-2778 or ckifer@ Alum Memorializes Beloved History Teacher, Donates Portrait Michelle Keefe ’06 earned bachelor’s degrees in Italian, Studio Art, and Theology from the University of Notre Dame in 2010. She went on to earn a master’s degree in Elementary Education in 2012 from St. Joseph’s University where she was a teaching fellow with the Alliance for Catholic Education program. She is currently pursuing a master’s degree in Theological Studies from the Boston College School of Theology and Ministry. Michelle donated her portrait of Robert E. Potter, Jr. to Padua Academy on his passing. The Keefes and the Dudleys coordinated a fundraising initiative to frame the portrait, which now hangs in the newly renovated Learning Commons. L–R: Barbara Markham (chair of Social Studies department), Carolyn Keefe ’10, Julianne Dudley ’06, Melanie Dudley ’06, and Michelle Keefe ’06. Suaviter Sed Fortiter | winter 2014



Women Medicine




n her anatomy and physiology class at Padua Academy, Samantha D’Amico has dissected plenty of animals and studied the workings of the human body in depth. The 18-year-old senior has also seen plenty of medical dramas and surgeries on television, enough to know that she wants to study medicine in college.

Most students with pre-med ambitions don’t see the inside of an operating room until they are in medical school, but students at Padua are invited to observe surgery first-hand—thanks to a surgical shadowing program developed through a collaboration between D’Amico and Dr. Gail Wynn, general surgeon with Christiana Institute of Advanced Surgery (CHRIAS). The two met at Hockessin Athletic Club, where D’Amico is on the summer swim team with Dr. Wynn’s daughters. Upon learning that D’Amico was interested in studying medicine, Dr. Wynn invited the high schooler to observe a surgery. “I was nervous at first,” recalled D’Amico. “I knew I wanted to be a doctor, but I wasn’t sure if I would be able to observe surgery without fainting. But from the moment I stepped into the operating room with Dr. Wynn, I was just so comfortable. In that moment, I knew that I wanted to be a surgeon.” Discovering her dreams has been a real journey for D’Amico who, as a freshman, wanted

1 0 P a d u a A c a d e m yAbove: Dr. Wynn with seniors Sarah Lott (L) and Ciara McLaughlin (R).

“You just have to be willing to look around and see what’s out there. Experiences like this just help you narrow down your interests.” to be a journalist. By her sophomore year, however, she had uncovered a passion for science and math, and by her junior year she had decided she would pursue medicine. So when, in her junior year, the guidance department was soliciting applications for The Perry Initiative—a program offering daylong workshops in mock orthopaedic surgeries and biomechanical engineering experiments—D’Amico was eager to apply. D’Amico had already observed live surgery on two separate occasions by the time she attended the Perry Initiative program at the University of Delaware last summer. During a fast-paced, intensive lesson on suturing, D’Amico says her experience in the operating room helped her when she lost her place. “We were learning suturing, and I fell behind the rest of the group somehow. For the life of me, I could not remember what the instructor had told us to do. But I did remember watching Dr. Wynn, and so I made a stitch like the ones I had seen her do. And I just remember the instructor watching me, looking so confused.” It turns out the stitch she had been sewing was more advanced than the one being taught in that day’s lesson.

Having observed twelve surgeries in the five months the two have been acquainted, D’Amico said she now regards Dr. Wynn as both a mentor and an invaluable member of her growing professional network. Dr. Wynn, a general surgeon specializing in abdominal and advanced laparoscopic surgery, is co-founder of CHRIAS and is also the Medical Director of Bariatric Surgery at St. Francis Hospital. A strong supporter of increasing the number of women in medical careers, it was early in her mentoring relationship with D’Amico that the surgeon suggested expanding the observation program to include more Padua students. D’Amico and her anatomy teacher Dr. Amy Wise approached Padua’s administration in the fall for permission to invite other students to participate. The proposal was unanimously approved. The student response was equally enthusiastic, with 17 students expressing immediate interest in participating. “Things have just fallen into place so naturally for this program,” said Dr. Wise. “Over here we have Sammi, a mature and responsible motivated young woman. And over here is Dr. Wynn, an experienced and enthusiastic continued on page 22 Alum Shares Cancer Research with Anatomy Students Lauren Jablonowski ’06 visited Dr. Amy Wise’s anatomy classes in October to share her innovative cancer research and advice for success in college and in life. Jablonowski, who is pursuing her Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering at Drexel University, is pioneering research in the use of ultrasound contrast agents for targeted drug delivery and cancer therapy. Her superb presentation skills allowed her to make highly technical scientific terms and data accessible to the students. Students also benefited from her practical advice as she encouraged them to start now with building a professional network, finding an advisor or mentor, and joining women’s science and social groups.

Suaviter Sed Fortiter | winter 2014



Legal Insight, Skills for Life Junior Ali Ferver, a third-year attorney for Mock Trial, shares insight with members of the team as they prepare for Delaware’s 2014 High School Mock Trial Competition.


adua freshman Maame Agyemang has known since middle school that she wants to pursue a career in law.

High School in Philadelphia. The team worked with delegates from other schools to pass a peace resolution for Syria, which included plans for humanitarian aid and an immediate cease-fire between Syria and its rebels.

“I will be the first lawyer in my family,” she said. She will not be the first, however, to have an impact on the law. Her grandfather, Hackman Owusu-Agyemang, is the Member of Parliament for New Juabeng North constituency in Ghana. He also has served as a minister in the New Patriotic Party government in the Fourth Republic of Ghana. The dignitary visited Padua in November to speak with Padua’s Model UN team, another activity in which the Padua freshman participates. “Both activities are about defending a point of view and trying to win a case,” said Agyemang, who in October helped Padua’s Model UN team represent ten NATO countries during the Geneva II Peace Conference at Father Judge 12 Padua Academy

“I find politics very interesting,” said Agyemang, “but law is what I really love.” Ali Ferver shares Agyemang’s passion for Mock Trial, especially the annual competition. “Being in the courtroom is a real thrill,” she said. “The competition is such a rush.” Although she enjoys her time as a Mock Trial attorney, the 17-year-old junior does not plan to pursue legal studies in college. Having been very active with 4-H since the age of four, Ferver dreams of going to veterinary school and working with large animals for a living. She says her

“All of our coaches are extremely qualified,” said Ferver, “and having alumnae coaches is especially helpful.” experience in Mock Trial has already helped her with the college application process. “Mock Trial has helped me become a better public speaker,” she said. “It has helped me learn how to articulate my point of view and how to present myself professionally.” It also helps with critical reading and writing skills, she says. To prepare for the competition, each member of the team must review approximately 100 pages of court documents, and the team works together to write opening and closing statements. “It is a real commitment and takes a lot of time and effort,” said Ferver. “But in the end, it is so worth it.” Ferver has been a member of Padua’s Mock Trial team as an attorney since her freshman year, when the team placed seventh at the state competition. They advanced to sixth place last year, and Ferver hopes to land in the top five at this year’s High School Mock Trial Competition, which takes place in February. More than 25 teams will compete.

Freshmen Abigail Houseal and Maame Agyemang consult the legal library at Young Conaway Stargatt & Taylor, where Abigail’s father Timothy Houseal is a partner. The firm has offered its space to Padua’s Mock Trial team for practice and preparation prior to the annual competition.

The competition’s final rounds will be held before a panel of Delaware supreme court justices, trial court judges, attorneys, and members of the legal community. Over 250 members of the judiciary and Delaware Bar act as legal advisors to the teams, and as judges and jurors for the competition. Advisors, or coaches, for Padua’s team this year include Shauna Hagan, Padua Class of 1997, who practices family law with Law Offices of Kelleher & Laffey; Stephanie Smiertka, Padua Class of 2005, who practices civil litigation with Cooley Manion Jones, LLP; Norman “Chris” Griffiths, who practices government and corporate law with Connolly Gallagher, LLP; and Daniel M. Attaway, who practices intellectual property litigation with Womble Carlyle Sandridge & Rice, LLP. “All of our coaches are extremely qualified,” said Ferver, “and having alumnae coaches is especially helpful. They remember what it’s like to be a Padua student. They relate so well to us and give us great advice on how to balance all of our responsibilities as students and as members of the team.” continued on page 22

Debating and Deliberating Outside of the Courtroom Padua’s Ethics Bowl team participated in the Second Annual Northeast Regional Ethics Bowl at Villanova University in December. Fourteen schools from Pennsylvania, Delaware, and New Jersey were present for the day of debates. Padua’s team—represented by seniors Lara Ballintyn, Emily Evans, Bridget Fassano, Jen Fiscella, and Sophie Gangemi—won three debates dealing on the following topics: whether current college sports exploit college athletes, whether China’s onechild policy is ethical, and the implementation of the Indian Child S u a vWelfare i t e r S eAct. d Fortiter | winter 2014 13





or Harry Baczkowski, faith and sports have always been intertwined. Born and raised in Elkton, Maryland, he spent one year at Salesianum before entering the seminary in Lynchburg, Virginia.

“As a young seminarian,” he said, “I spent time directing summer youth programs in Savannah, Georgia and working in Los Angles to help kids to get involved in athletic rather than gang activities.” Having played basketball and soccer his entire life, sports were his way of joining a community as well as a vehicle for making connections with other people. So it was only natural, when he began to teach at Padua, that he became

14 Padua Academy

immersed in the lifeblood of the school’s activities. It was a dream job: teaching religion and coaching sports. Thirty-nine years and more than four thousand students later, Baczkowski has worn many hats at Padua. Serving as athletic director for 15 years beginning in 1978, at various times he was also the head coach of the basketball, volleyball, softball, and field hockey teams. Baczkowski says he is grateful for his journey on the path that God has given him. He also says he owes a lot to one of Padua’s founders, Brother Michael Rosenello, who provided so much energy and support during the early years of Padua’s athletic history and development.

“Our general imperative was ‘Do what you do best, and no one can beat you,’” said Baczkowski. After a year of coaching the JV basketball team to an undefeated season, Baczkowski took over the varsity coaching position for the 1978–79 season. The season ended with a record of 9–7. “I remember how much it hurt the girls to watch other teams in the playoffs,” said Baczkowski. “I believe that is when the magic really started because they were determined it would not happen again.” Over the next 50 games, the team went 48–2 and won two state championships including the undefeated (24–0) state title in 1981. Padua still holds the state record for the most wins in a row at 35. “We had a group of girls who were outstanding representatives of the Padua motto and tradition,” he said, “whose love for each other and the game of basketball and the fear of losing drove them to exceptional heights of achievement.”

I always felt that we helped bring girls basketball into the modern era with our aggressive style of play.” The 1980 State Championship was an exciting time as Padua’s basketball team brought home the school’s first-ever state championship title. The game was played at Salesianum which was the largest facility at the time. Baczkowski says what he remembers most from that game was the overwhelming sense of school spirit as the entire auditorium joined in a spirited rendition of the National Anthem. It is a scene that replayed itself at the University of Delaware’s Bob Carpenter Center in fall of 2012 as Padua won its first-ever Volleyball State Championship, with the student and faculty spectators excitedly singing a school favorite, “We are one body, one body in Christ.” continued on page 23

Sue Manelski Kampert ’81, an All-American and Gatorade Delaware Player of the Year, lived her faith in God and quietly led the Pandas with her desire to succeed as an individual—and, more importantly, as a team. “Our general imperative was ‘Do what you do best, and no one can beat you,’” said Baczkowski. “But they always played with the fear that maybe someone could beat them, and they were determined to never let that happen.

Key Stats Harry Baczkowski • Teaching at Padua 39 years • Delaware Girls Basketball Coach of the Year 1981 • Franklin Insurance National Gold Medal Winner 1987 for dedication to women’s athletics and 200 career victories in basketball • Served as a member of the DSSAA Board of Directors for Interscholastic Sports • Served as a member of the State Volleyball Tournament Committee • Served as Padua’s Chairperson of Religious Studies for ten years

Harry Baczkowski, center, with his 1981 Basketball State Champions

Lauren DiSabatino • • • •

Teaching at Padua for six years Coaching Padua volleyball for 11 years Delaware Girls Volleyball Coach of the Year 2013 Played volleyball for Wilmington University, winning 2002 Region X Championship • Two years on All-State Volleyball Team while at St. Elizabeth’s High School • Gatorade Player of the Year 2001 Suaviter Sed Fortiter | winter 2014




16 Padua Academy

Padua’s Newest Sister “Instead of it being concentrated to allow one family to flourish and to blossom and to be holy, it’s like the Lord allows our love to be spread out.”


oan Solomon graduated from Padua in 2005 at the head of her class. She earned a bachelor’s degree in nursing from Catholic University in 2009, and spent a year as a pediatric nurse at Nemours DuPont Hospital for Children. On August 6, 2013, she joined the Sisters of Life, professing her first vows as Sister Gianna Maria, S.V. In your valedictory address, you were so full of faith and so eager to share your faith with your class and with everyone at the church. Did you know then that you wanted to be a nun? I knew that the Lord was probably asking me to be one. My faith was very important to me at that time. I was really blessed to have grown up in a Catholic family that took their faith seriously. There was this love for the faith and a desire to learn. At that point, I thought the Lord was calling me to this vocation, but I didn’t understand what it meant. I had plans for my life that were good, but I hadn’t consulted the Lord about them. I wanted to be a nurse and be a good Catholic mom with a lot of kids. But I just wasn’t satisfied with being successful. There was just this tug in my heart about possibly a life to be totally His. So when it came time for graduation, I just wanted to say something worthwhile. I wanted to be helpful for my classmates and my Padua sisters. Was there a defining moment for you in deciding to become a nun? I was really blessed, right after graduation, to go to World Youth Day in Cologne, Germany in August of 2005. I had randomly ended up on this trip with my brother, John, and another student from Padua, Kelly Nawrocki. We spent three weeks with this vibrant religious order touring Italy and part of England, and I just had a great time. It was the best three weeks of my life. It was the night before we were going to come back to the United States, and we

were in Italy. At the end of the Mass the priest said something like, “Some of you may feel that the Lord is calling you to this life. Do not be afraid. The Lord is calling you.” And in that moment, it was like my heart was pierced and I just knew. I knew definitively. I finally knew in that moment, with such clarity, that the Lord was calling me to this life. This is where my joy would be, this is where my peace would be, this is where I would be filled. I wouldn’t have that longing for something more. I just remember being overcome by tears. After Mass I sat there for awhile, just thanking and thanking the Lord—just so at peace. You mentioned that you always wanted to have children. How did this factor into your decision to become a nun? It’s actually really beautiful because every woman is called to be a mother in some way. And the desire to have a family, to have children, is natural and good. If I was entering an order because I didn’t want a family and I didn’t want kids, there would be something wrong with that. It’s amazing because the Lord allows our love to become fruitful in a different way. And it’s really beautiful to see how our love is meant for God’s children. Instead of it being concentrated to allow one family to flourish and to blossom and to be holy, it’s like the Lord allows our love to be spread out. What would you say to a young woman who is thinking about becoming a nun? I would say, “Just sit back, and let Jesus love you.” I mean, the crisis of our times isn’t necessarily, “What will I do with my life?” It’s “Do I matter? Am I loved? Is this life worth living?” And the only way we come to the definitive conclusion that “Yes, I am loved by the Lord,” is to let the Lord reveal His love to us. For more information on the Sisters of Life, visit Suaviter Sed Fortiter | winter 2014




eveloped by Philosophy teacher Michael Sheehan and Art teacher Chris Wills, Padua’s new Advocacy Program for Success (APS) teaches self-reflection and growth in areas that normally do not get addressed in the everyday curriculum: ambition, authenticity, curiosity, fortitude, gratitude, self-control, and social intelligence. Students are placed into small groups with other students from all grades, and each group has a faculty advocate who becomes those students’ “go-to person”—someone who can help to guide each student in her experiences at Padua. The faculty advocate leads the weekly APS sessions and cultivates the relationships among members of the group. According to Sheehan, the faculty advocate serves two primary purposes. “Not only do advocates learn more about students outside the typical classroom environment, but they also remain with the students throughout their high school careers,”

18 Padua Academy

said Sheehan. “For each student to have a dedicated mentor is invaluable.” Built upon groundbreaking research from essential educational fields—specifically Positive Psychology and Positive Education—the program’s curriculum is inspired by the work of Angela Duckworth, Adam Grant, and Martin Seligman, faculty and published researchers at the University of Pennsylvania. To address a variety of academic topics that create opportunities for students to achieve personal success, Sheehan and Wills developed a series of curricular modules that are delivered through the multi-grade advocacy groups. Each module focuses on one of the seven qualities of student success. Essential topics of the curriculum include social media, bullying, resiliency, and global citizenship. Other topics include time management, communication methods, and interpersonal skills.

What Our Students Are Saying About APS

emily , ‘15: Last year, my faculty advocate

catherine , ‘15:

sarah , ‘14:

The APS groups were intentionally made to group together students who don’t already know one another. As a result, I have learned a lot about my Padua sisters, and I have made some great friendships that I know will last a lifetime. I think that APS has helped me to be a more successful student as well. The targeted skills will help us all in the long run, but I think what really makes the biggest difference is being put into a group where you don’t necessarily know anyone, and figuring out how to make the best of it. Being able to work with others to reach a common goal­—no matter what that may be—is an incredibly important life skill that we all need in order to succeed.

helped me to realize that in order to be the person, student, and athlete that I wanted to become, I needed to step out of my comfort zone. I did things that I never had to do before both as a student and an athlete. To be successful I learned that I had to push myself to be better than I was the day before. One thing I am most grateful for is that I have gained two very important advocates in my life. It was really neat to see how they teach and guide you outside of the subjects they teach. They show me how to be a better person. I am so grateful that when I walk into Padua, I have people to look up to who genuinely care that I succeed as a person and not just as student. I hope one day, when I’m a teacher, I can be a role model for my students like they are for me.

The curriculum uses different engagement strategies that mimic social situations that are prevalent in teenagers’ lives. For example, in one unit students and teachers discussed the benefits and consequences of classification in high school culture. Students sorted themselves into different types of small groups and engaged in discussions relating to tribe mentality, conformity, and the roles of leaders and followers. Through these activities students realized how limited learning can be when diversity is lacking. Sheehan and Wills have been running two impact groups— one of students and one of faculty—to help them gather feedback on the program. “We have already made a number of changes to specific lessons based on their feedback,” said Wills. “We have asked our advocacy groups to start having conversations about how the seven qualities of success are directly related to each session’s activities.”

He continued: “One of things we have been surprised by is the mentoring that is being taught on a student to student level. The structure of the program facilitates peer bonding and learning much more than we had originally anticipated. Seeing that in action has caused us to reevaluate some of our lessons and to develop future activities that are more heavily based on that type of engagement.” Modeled after the teachings of one of Padua’s patron saints, Francis de Sales, the program is designed to foster self-awareness and individual passion through a Salesian perspective. APS works to address students’ needs beyond the traditional academic curriculum, teaching more than a student’s mind, but also her soul. “The curriculum develops introspection,” said Sheehan, “and encourages students to embrace the Salesian motto of ‘Be who you are, and be that well.’”

Suaviter Sed Fortiter | winter 2014




Perspective Ambassador Raphel addresses 600 area high school students during the Pakistan Project educational series.


adua Academy fosters global education by taking learning outside of the classroom and around the world. Through teacher-led trips to international destinations, students are able to explore class curriculum on a deeper level and become engaged global citizens. From studying Irish history in Dublin to practicing their language skills in the South of Spain, Padua students gain a deeper appreciation for both subject matter and different societies as they interact across continents and cultures. Over the summer, nine Padua students and their chaperons spent a total of fourteen days in Southeastern Peru. The students spent four nights at home-stay on the island of Amantani where they interacted with the local Peruvians and trekked up the peak of Pachamama (13,451 ft). They also donated their time and materials to update the community center. After saying goodbye to their host families, they headed to Cusco to take in the sights of the ancient Inca city. The group went white water rafting down the Urubamba River, experienced the Inti Raymi Festival, and visited Machu Picchu, the ancient capital of the Inca

20 Padua Academy

Empire. Overall, the group immersed themselves in the local culture while cultivating their skills of navigating a student-led itinerary. Padua offers additional opportunities for students to travel abroad through the Salesian International School Program, which involves a student exchange between Padua and Salesian schools in France, Austria, and Uruguay. Students involved in the Salesian exchange program live with host families and host a student in return. So far this year, Padua families have hosted students from Uruguay and France, and students from Austria will arrive for a ten-day stay in May. The exchange will be reciprocated next year. Students aren’t the only ones benefitting from the Salesian exchange. French teacher Susan Fitzpatrick Burris ’98 attended the Salesian Education Conference in July. Held in Annecy, France, the annual conference is an opportunity for educators from Oblate schools worldwide to meet and share ideas on spirituality, education, and leadership.

The students spent four nights at home-stay on the island of Amantani where they interacted with the local Peruvians and trekked up the peak of Pachamama. Participants discussed the meaning of Salesian spirituality and how to incorporate that more deeply into school life.

Saint Leonie Aviat worked in Annecy to found the Oblate order in the middle of the nineteenth century.

“One of the most important topics,” said Burris, “was continuing and strengthening exchanges between students and teachers in our Salesian schools around the world. We hope to open many new dialogues in the near future.”

The conference took place at St. Michel School, a Catholic co-ed primary, middle, and high school. St. Michel was founded by the Oblate order of St. Francis de Sales. Padua and Salesianum have enjoyed an exchange program with St. Michel’s students, so Burris’ visit to Annecy was also helpful in planning future exchange trips.

The location of the Salesian Education Conference is significant. Participants learned of the important connection between Annecy, St. Francis de Sales, and the Oblate order. Annecy is where St. Francis de Sales was bishop during the seventeenth century and wrote some of his spiritual teachings. St. Jane de Chantal, one of St. Francis’s contemporaries and spiritual companions, founded the Visitation convent there in 1610. Blessed Father Louis Brisson and

“I appreciated meeting so many teachers who, as I do, feel blessed and inspired to teach every day,” she said. “As different as our schools are, we all agree that there is just something ‘special’ about a Salesian education. I am looking forward to many more interactions with these new friends and all that we can learn from each other.”

The Importance of Pakistan

Padua students stop at a local community center to volunteer and donate supplies during their trip to Peru.

Padua students work to clear debris as they help build a library in the community center of Amantaní Island in Lake Titicaca, Peru.

This year Padua Academy hosts the Delaware Lahore Delhi Partnership for Peace’s Pakistan Project Educational Series, which introduces high school students to the issues of world peace, politics, and diplomacy. Since its founding in 2010, the educational series has brought together juniors and seniors from Wilmington area schools for lectures and discussions with distinguished speakers and noted academics from the United States and Pakistan. The first educational session of the year, held at Padua in November, featured an informative discussion led by United States Ambassador and Senior Advisor for Pakistan and Afghanistan Robin Raphel. Ambassador Raphel has an extensive background in politics as an economic analyst and a member of the CIA. Her lecture at Padua was to give students a better understanding of South Asia. She shared her ideas on how amends can be made to alleviate tensions between India, the United States, and Pakistan. Approximately 600 students from six Wilmington high schools attended. The program hopes to hold three more educational sessions for high school students this year.

Suaviter Sed Fortiter | winter 2014



Women in Medicine continued from page 11 surgeon, a born teacher who is very interested in bringing young women into the field of medicine. Our great fortune is that the two of them have found one another.”

To date, two additional students have completed a full day of surgical observation, and more are scheduled on an ongoing basis.

Other surgeons have expressed interest in joining the program as well, and discussions are currently underway to expand the program beyond surgery to include observations of some practitioners of family medicine, radiology, and obstetrics at St. Francis Hospital.

Seniors Ciara McLaughlin and Sarah Lott took advantage of an observation day on Nov. 26. While the students had had plenty of preparation for their visit, including ethical and privacy training, they were still nervous about how they would feel once the surgery started.

“Today’s students are tomorrow’s leaders,” said Dr. Michael Polnerow, Vice President of Medical Affairs and Chief Medical Officer for Saint Francis Hospital. “A full collaboration between Saint Francis and Padua— one that includes support for this next generation of medicine—will only serve to strengthen our community.”

“I was worried that I would get sick, that I wouldn’t be able to handle it” said Lott. “But I felt right at home once I was in the operating room. I was completely comfortable.” Lott, who is interested in a career in pediatrics or obstetrics, said she had never considered becoming a surgeon prior to the new observation program. Now, she said, she can’t rule it out completely.

Padua and Saint Francis have shared a collaborative relationship for two years. Saint Francis Hospital Security patrols the Padua campus in its daily rounds and offers space in its parking garage for Padua students. In addition, the hospital casts Padua students as “patients” in its annual HAZMAT emergency drill. The two organizations also claim board reciprocity. Dr. Polnerow is a member of the board of trustees for Padua Academy, and Padua’s Head of School Cindy Hayes Mann is on the board of directors at Saint Francis Hospital. Dr. Michael Polnerow

McLaughlin, on the other hand, said that while she enjoyed the experience, she is more certain than ever that surgery is not for her. “It’s a lot of pressure,” she said. “I think it would be too stressful for me.” But, she says, the experience made her even more interested in pursuing a career in medicine— hopefully as a neonatologist. According to D’Amico, the observation program is more about helping students determine their interests than it is about discovering tomorrow’s surgeons. “Your mind doesn’t have to be set,” she said. “You don’t have to want to be a surgeon. You just have to be willing to look around and see what’s out there. Experiences like this just help you narrow down your interests.”

Legal Insight continued from page 13 Smiertka, a new coach for Padua’s Mock Trial team this year, says her decision to coach resulted from her own experience with Mock Trial in high school. “I was involved with Mock Trial when I was a student at Padua,” said Smiertka. “It played a big part in my decision to attend law school.” Attaway has been a coach for Padua’s team for three years. He says Mock Trial is an opportunity for students to gain 22 Padua Academy

insight into what life might be like as a litigator, to help them decide if they want a career in law. In addition to what the students gain from the experience, being a coach serves as an annual refresher for him on the basic skills and theories of law that he learned in law school. “But I think the most rewarding thing about my time as a coach,” he said, “has been watching the students that I’ve coached grow and be more confident in themselves.”



Women’s Achievement DINNER IN HONOR OF


Leigh Anne Tuohy

Inspirational Subject of The Blind Side

Thursday, April 10, 2014 Chase Center on the Riverfront Wilmington, Delaware

FOR TICKET AND SPONSORSHIP INFORMATION, PLEASE CONTACT OR (302) 271-2778 OR VISIT More Than A Game continued from page 15 The team repeated their state championship win in 2013 after an undefeated season, 15–0. According to Head Coach Lauren DiSabatino, it has taken more than hard work and dedication to bring home the volleyball state titles. “Every team wants to win the state tournament,” she said. “But only one team does. We decided two years ago that it’s just as important for us to reach for other goals as individuals and as a team.” For DiSabatino’s varsity volleyball team, this means eliminating distractions and focusing more strictly on the skills that will improve each player’s performance. But it also means taking the time to appreciate opportunities for laughter.

“We take our practice time very seriously,” she said. “But there are limits to everything. Taking a moment to laugh when someone knocks over the ball cart helps to build that team bond.” DiSabatino, who has been coaching at Padua for 11 years, joined the faculty in 2008 as a health and physical education teacher. She says being a teacher has made her a more understanding coach. “I’ve always wanted to be a coach, and I’ve always loved coaching,” she said. “As a teacher, I see things from a different perspective. I get to know the students in the context of the school day, and it helps me understand where they’re coming from during practice. I can meet them where they are a lot easier as a teacher.” Suaviter Sed Fortiter | winter 2014




905 North Broom Street Wilmington, DE 19806

Padua Announces HALL Academic Achievements Athletic Achievements Professional or Lifetime Achievements Community Service Volunteerism in Support of Padua Academy



he Padua Academy Hall of Fame will recognize individuals who—through personal endeavor, leadership, or sacrifice over a period of years—have made a sustained and extraordinary contribution to the success of Padua Academy and/or the community at large. The categories to the left will be acknowledged. Alumnae nominees must have graduated five years or more before consideration as a candidate for induction into the hall of fame. A candidate who is not an alumna must be current or former faculty, staff, or volunteer. Padua is currently accepting nominations for the inaugural induction which will take place during the 2014–15 school year. Please e-mail for information on submitting a nomination.