Our annual Art Show was once again an opportunity to be inspired by the amazing art work created by our students in every grade! Every art student at Ursuline dispayed at least one of her works. The seniors were featured with exhibits of their collected works. This was a very special evening. Preceding the formal opening of the Show, we inducted students into The Ursuline School Chapter of the National Art Honor Society. Congratulations to the new members!
Musicians and Dancers Sparkle
At our annual Spring Concert on April 29th, the high school music groups, ballet class and Choreographers' Workshop performed. The following evening, at our Spring Festival on April 30th, the middle school music groups, all dance clubs, and Choreographers' Workshop (again) entertained us with their melodies and beautiful movements.
Our music and dance students rehearsed for weeks to prepare a wonderful program for us. From the Middle School Chorus singing Peter Piper to the Symphonic Orchestra performing Procession of the Sardar and the Choreographers’ Workshop presenting Upside Down, there was something for everyone!
On Sunday, April 26, 2015, the Ursuline Honors Choir sang at the 9am Mass at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in Manhattan. Joined by Ursuline family and friends, they sang beautiful music including "The Lord is My Shepherd" by Sitton and other beautiful treble music which they also had sung this past January at St. Peter's Basilica in Rome on the Festival of the Epiphany.
Their busy schedule continued as several days later they performed at our school Spring Concert. The Choir will also sing at the NYSSMA Majors Competition and at Music in the Parks in Hershey, PA. The choir is pictured above in the choir loft at St. Patrick's Cathedral.
Miss Universe 2013-2014, Gabriela Isler of Venezuela, stopped by Ursuline in late April to learn about our Personal Development program and the mission of The Ursuline School to Educate/Inspire/Empower young women. Ms. Isler has personally launched the Universe of Blessings Fund, an organization which seeks to empower young women and girls. She particularly enjoyed visiting a Catholic girls school as she, herself, is the product of a Catholic all-girls education.
Ms. Isler was interviewed by our Unison newspaper team (above) and later shared about how special it was to receive public recognition from Pope Francis for her humanitarian work in the Philippines and elsewhere.
Our Model UN club participated in the Dalton Model United Nations conference on April 25th. Students ably represented their assigned countries on different committees where they engaged in dialogues, and took part in drafting resolutions surrounding international affairs.
They had worked hard to prepare for the conference and were excellent representatives for the Ursuline School. The students who took part were Payton Bartz, Zoe Bowen, Alicia Brenmor, Daryn Chin, Kiliegh Ford, Ariel Johnson, Isabel Messerley, and Bianca Torres
The Ursuline School Junior Model UN Club also attended a conference in April, at Saint Ann's School. Representing modern-day government officials and drug lords from Mexico, Persians and Greeks from 490BC, Vietnamese politicians on the eve of the Vietnam War, and Nigeria in the midst of Africa's ebola crisis, Ursuline's delegates were poised, engaged, and ready to solve the problems of the past, present and future through innovative ideas and diplomacy. Congratulations to the JMUN on their first conference! The delegates attending were Stella Banino, Tanner McIntyre, Lia Tunney, Elizabeth Garcia, Ananya Singh, Naja Nelson, Allison Harvey, Annabelle Donnelly, Cecelia Visco, Bella Nieto, and Tessa Ivanoski.
Graduating seniors in uniform from across the Archdiocese of New York filled St. Patrick's Cathedral for the second day for the annual Senior Mass on April 22nd. Officiated by Timothy Cardinal Dolan, it was an opportunity for him to deliver the homily and recognize the accomplishments and blessings of the Class of 2015. This year there was an inspirational speaker and a concert prior to the beginning of the Mass. It was a powerful celebration of the Class of 2015 and our girls proudly represented us.
Audiences were charmed by the excellent production of the classic show, The Sound of Music. Marianna Ceccatti delighted us with her beautiful, nuanced singing as well as versatility and charisma in the role of Maria. Sarah Cosmedy's "Climb Every Mountain" was stirring and passionate. The show was extremely well cast, balanced, and showcased our highly talented vocal students (and many Honors Choir members) who sang superbly each of the beloved songs in the show!
We were excited to host the 2nd Annual Global Education and Serviam Symposium on April 17th. The theme was Tackling Trachoma, a preventable blindness. Diyu Pearce-Fisher ’15 introduced the speakers who then presented the history of the disease and efforts to eradicate it. After the presentation, our high school students formed groups by grade to develop action plans to raise community awareness. Their plans were judged by a representative of Concern Worldwide, who hailed their insight and creativity.
Thank you to our esteemed guests, Constantine Clemente, founding Chairman of the International Trachoma Initiative, Julie Jenson, Corporate Social Responsibility at Pfizer, and Dr. Arthur Clemente. We also appreciated our discussion facilitators from The END Fund and Concern Worldwide. The END Fund is a collaboration of philanthropists who have formed a private initiative to address Neglected Tropical Diseases. Concern Worldwide is a non-governmental, international, humanitarian organization working to eliminate extreme poverty in the world.
The Varsity Lacrosse team travelled to Dedham, MA on April 16-19 for the Annual Ursuline Sister Schools Lacrosse Tournament. The tournament, hosted by Ursuline Academy Dedham, featured Ursuline schools from Dallas, Texas, plus St. Louis, Missouri and Wilmington, Delaware. It is an annual event when the girls not only play lacrosse but spend time at the host school, visit local attractions and bond with girls from all over the U.S. This year, the tournament was held on Marathon Weekend, as Boston prepared for Monday's marathon so the girls visited the marathon finish line and many other locations in Boston.
Our girls came out victorious in both games they played while away, easily defeating Ursuline Academy Wilmington and St. Louis. Saturday, the girls were treated to an afternoon cruise onboard the Odyssey where they saw many sights in Boston Harbor while dancing and enjoying a meal with the other schools. We were treated to a private mass at Boston's Basilica, Our Lady of Perpetual Help, also known as "Mission Church", one of Boston's most famous churches. The Sister Schools Tournament is an annual highlight of the lacrosse season and this year’s tournament was a great experience for all involved.
On April 16th we officially dedicated SCBS, the Stephanie Clemente Broadcast Studio. SCBS is an in-house production studio that is a spectacular enhancement to our media arts offerings. It is complete with cameras, green screen, a sound booth, and every other component for a state-of-the-art production studio.
It will be available for student and faculty projects. Training for students and faculty took place on April 10th. We are so very grateful, once again, to the Clemente family for their overwhelming generosity to our school.
April 15th was the 60th anniversary of Jackie Robinson’s historic debut with the Brooklyn Dodgers as the first African American player in major league baseball. Our sophomores and juniors learned more about Jackie Robinson from Richard Zamoff, Director of the Jackie Robinson Project at George Washington University. Our students heard how Jackie was more than an amazing athlete; he was the face of civil rights in the 1940s who became active in business, continued his work as an activist for social change, and inspired many people. He often said, “A life is not important except in the impact it has on other lives.”
We proudly report that Ursuline alumna Maura Reilly ’06 will be honored later this year for her work at the Jackie Robinson Project. Pictured above, from left, are Mrs. Moore, John Vorperian, Mr. Malnati (Social Studies faculty), Barry Zamoff, Richard Zamoff, Ms. Killebrew, and Ms. Geller (Social Studies faculty).
Nine sophomores and one junior participated in the Paris Exchange with our sister school, Ste. Ursule, in France. Last year, some of the girls hosted students from Ste. Ursule and now they were guests of their French hosts. Students attended classes with their host sisters and participate in a variety of sightseeing excursions including Versailles, the churches Notre Dame and Sacre Coeur, the Louvre museum, and a Seine River Cruise.
Splendors of Greece
A group of middle school students took part in a new educational tour of Greece. They learned about the cultures of Ancient, Byzantine and modern Greece as they visit Athens and the Aegean islands. Special sites of interest will include the Temple of Apollo, a guided tour of Delphi, and the Acropolis. A highlight was visiting the Ursuline school in Athens..
On the annual Europe trip, a group of juniors traveled to Munich, Salzburg, Vienna, and Venice. They also said hello to students at the Ursuline School in Vienna. The group enjoyed a special evening at the Vienna State Opera where they saw the opera Elektra by Strauss. Students prepared for this trip by reading several texts. On their travels, the girls studied artwork and wrote reflections on the countries they visited.
The 2013-2014 staff of Unison, our school newspaper, earned another recognition. They received a Bronze Medal from the Columbia Scholastic Press Association in its annual contest and critique of high school newspapers throughout the country. The medal was for newspapers submitted last spring. Congratulations to the hard-working Unison staff for the honor.
More recently, on April 24 (also Field Day at School) the current Unison staff along with faculty moderators participated in a phone conference with award winning journalist Claire Regan. Ms.Regan offered advice and critique for the Ursuline Unison school newspaper. The reporters and editors gained valuable insight into the world of journalism.
Claire Regan is Associate Managing Editor of the Staten Island Advance. Her editing and design work has been honored by the Society of Professional Journalists, the Associated Press, the Society for News Design and the New York Press Club. Prof. Regan is a board member and past president of the New York State Associated Press Association and a board member of the New York City Deadline Club.