We are extremely proud to be recognized as a 2017-18 School of Distinction by NYSPHSAA, the New York State Public High School Athletic Association!
Only 30 schools in New York State achieved this award. This honor as a School of Distinction was earned when all Varsity Teams received the Scholar-Athlete Team recognition, which means that over 75% of each team roster had a Grade Point Average of 90 or above during their respective sports seasons. We are one of only 30 schools in NY State to achieve this distinction for the past academic year. The full list published by NYSPHSAA is here.
Ursuline first qualified for this award in 2005 and has now earned this recognition 12 times. We are proud of the accomplishments and dedication of our student-athletes in the classroom and in their playing arenas.
NYSPHSAA is a non-profit, voluntary, educational service organization composed of 768 public, parochial, and private schools for boys and girls in grades 7-12 in the State of New York.
Each year, Ursuline students explore issues of global importance and take action. Our 5th annual Global Education & Serviam Symposium this past school year explored the issue of global hunger and food justice.
Our keynote speaker on March 23, 2018 was Stephen Ritz, founder of the Green Bronx Machine. We learned how Mr. Ritz and his students began to grow plants, and then dramatically improved academic performance while transforming their South Bronx community from the poorest Congressional district in America to one with reclaimed neighborhoods and garden rooftops. Ursuline students were inspired by this presentation and eager to get involved - to help alleviate hunger locally and to raise awareness about food insecurity.
Service is an important component of our global education program. We began this service project with Stephen Ritz in early May. Our 7th graders planted 4,000 vegetable plants in partnership with Mr. Ritz and representatives from Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. We planted at the Food for Others Farm which is the Bronx's largest organic soil farm; it is under the subway, on a decommissioned city street.
In late May, our Advanced Placement Environmental Science students returned to tend to the farm. They also planted 500 sunflowers which were initially grown in science classes at Ursuline and transported to the Farm. There are five varieties of sunflowers to yield plants of various heights and create a beautiful floral tapestry around the vegetable garden. The sunflower plants also attract pollinators and help with phytoremediation to remove toxins from the soil.
This service project culminated with the harvest on July 10. Fifteen Ursuline students devoted a summer day to harvest collard greens, bell peppers, basil, and jalapenos.
Students were joined by Principal Rosemary Beirne, Global Education Coordinator Maria Barton, and Director of Philanthropy Cathy McCarthy. They once again partnered with members of the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center team. The produce was donated to cancer patients living in public housing and to the food pantry at POTS (Part of the Solution) in the Bronx.
June 18-20, 2018, Mrs. Rosemary Beirne, our incoming principal, and Mrs. Maria Barton, our Global Education Coordinator, traveled to Washington, D.C. to take part in the National Coalition of Girls’ Schools Global Forum on Girls’ Education II.
They joined 750 educators, researchers, authors, and advocates from 22 nations for the opportunity to exchange best practices and innovative approaches for academic excellence and the healthy development of girls. All conference participants were thrilled to hear from trailblazing changemakers Halla Tomasdottir, Sycia Acevedo, and Billie Jean King.
Halla Tomasdottir, Entrepreneur, Investor, and 2016 Iceland Presidential Candidate (at left), reminded conference participants to teach girls to "Be bold and embrace their quest in life." She defined courage as "heart plus humility" and said, “We need to have more courage to find the truth in our hearts to go out and do good in the world. This is the leadership model that can teach young women how to create a better future in our world.”
Sylvia Acevedo, CEO of Girl Scouts of America, reminded attendees that "moments of wonder and curiosity can be transformational for girls."
Billie Jean King, tennis legend and longtime champion for social equality and change, touted three keys to success: “Relationships are everything. Be a lifelong learner or learn how to learn. Be a problem solver.” Ms. King thanked educators of girls for being “sheroes” and positive role models for girls. “We all have strengths and gifts in life. Teachers have the unique ability to point those out to students and be positive. Human connection is everything to children.” As a champion, she advised, “Know what your strengths are and play to them.”
Mrs. Barton and Mrs. Beirne attended professional development, leadership skills and networking sessions. They also had the opportunity to connect with colleagues from other Ursuline schools, including Ursuline Academy Wilmington DE and Beaumont School. Pictured here, from left, are Amanda Neil of Ursuline Wilmington with Maria Barton and Rosemary Beirne.
Staying current on college admission practices and career readiness resources is vital. Toward that end, our College Guidance counselors took part in the 2018 NYSACAC & NEACAC (New York State Association of College Admission Counselors and New England Association of College Admission Counselors) Annual Conference June 6-8, 2018 at Marist College in Poughkeepise, NY. This was the first time both educational associations joined together to host a “Super Conference,” bringing together professionals in college admission and secondary school college guidance and affiliates.
Ms. Elizabeth A. Roper, our Director of College Guidance, contributed to two presentations. First, she provided insight and valuable information regarding “Athletes in the College Admission Process,” joined by colleagues Donna Lyons from Longmeadow High School (MA), Jeff Gallant, Associate Director of Undergraduate Admission of Boston College (MA), Kyle Smith, Associate Director of Undergraduate Admission of Trinity College (CT) and Rich Paraz, Senior Admission Counselor of Merrimack University (MA).
Second, Ms. Roper offered her feedback and contributed to the discussion “Finding the Right College Fit: Hopes & Worries in the College Admission Process” led by Mr. Robert Franek of Princeton Review and joined by colleagues Meghan Farley, Director of College Counseling of the Pingree School (MA) and Andrew Person, Chief of Student Success of Long Island University. (In the photo here, Ms. Roper is second from left.)
Ms. Roper, Mrs. Boustead & Mrs. Prunty networked with professionals in college admission and secondary school college guidance. They attended sessions on non-cognitive factors and holistic review in college admissions, updates on College Board’s SAT, and current challenges of college admission. The keynote address was delivered by Ms. Sara Goldrick-Rab of Temple University who encouraged educators to be aware and advocate for change regarding the growing population of high school and college students who are experiencing food insecurity and home insecurity in our nation.
This year the annual Ursuline Student Leadership Conference was hosted by Sacred Heart Academy in Louisville, Kentucky the week of June 18, 2018. Groups of students from Ursuline schools across the country gathered for this informative and fun conference.
The young women enjoyed the opportunity to share ideas and delve into the teachings of St. Angela, foundress of the Ursuline order. As part of their learning about their common bond of Serviam, the group visited The Table, a non-profit, social entrepreneurship that serves locally grown, fresh food and operates under a pay-what-you-can model, with creative payment solutions for all. Students also explored the host city. What's a trip to Louisville without visiting Churchill Downs, home of the Kentucky Derby!
Congratulations to our National Champion Distance Medley Relay team! It was an awesome day at the New Balance Outdoor Nationals in Greensboro, North Carolina on June 17, 2018 as the relay team of Sarah Flynn, running 1,200 meters, Claire Wilson, running 400 meters, Haley McLean, running 800 meters, and Lily Flynn, running 1,600 meters made history! Ursuline ran 11:47.05 to claim the national title in the girls' championship distance medley relay.
Their time was a school record and first ever Ursuline relay national title! The four runners are now all-Americans.
Photo credit: John Wilson
At Reunion ‘18 on June 9, 2018, we welcomed back to campus our alumnae from classes ending in 3 and 8. We proudly honored four alumnae with Saint Angela and Saint Ursula Awards.
The Saint Angela Award is given to alumnae for their exceptional loyalty and devotion to the school and for furthering the realization of the values and goals of Ursuline education. This year we were proud to recognize Maura O'Sullivan '78 and Margaret Loughman LaBella '83 with the Saint Angela Award.
The Saint Ursula Award recognizes alumnae who bring honor to themselves and to The Ursuline School through distinctive achievement in their careers. This year we were proud to recognize Catherine Morell Raddatz '68 and Jennifer Yoon '98 with the Saint Ursula Award.
In addition to the liturgy and awards ceremony, alumnae enjoyed tours of the campus, looking over memorabilia from our archives, meeting today's computer science students and learning to code. Alumnae also experienced first-hand how we take our students on global tours virtually by putting on Google viewers and taking a Google Expedition!
Then, it was time to enjoy delicious food, reconnect with classmates and faculty, and create new memories during the cocktail hour and dinner. The day ended with dancing and laughter at Club TUS!
Special thanks to those reunion year alumnae who supported their alma mater with unrestricted Annual Fund gifts as well as contributions to several existing scholarships.
On June 13, 2018 we celebrated our Moving Up Liturgy and Ceremony with our 8th graders as they graduated from middle school and progress on to our high school. These students will join 111 incoming 9th graders in September to form the larger Class of 2022. After the Mass, the 8th grade class presidents addressed the audience and shared memories and unique class traits. President Eileen Davidson then offered remarks and prepared them for the years ahead.
Photo credit: Chris Pope of Pope Photography
The Ursuline School community deeply mourns the passing of Mrs. Mary Ann Scorese Pitofsky ‘80, a beloved member of the Reading and Language Department, former science teacher, and alumna. Mrs. Pitofsky died on June 15, 2018 after a long and courageous battle with cancer.
During her years as a student at Ursuline, Mary Ann was known as a leader and athlete. After college and an early career in physical therapy, Mrs. Pitofsky found her true calling as a teacher. She joined the Ursuline science faculty in 1987 and became a respected member of the department. Over the years, Mrs. Pitofsky dispensed her scientific knowledge with competence and flair, creating interest, excitement and success in all her students. Her own love of science was evident in everything she did with and for her students. Mrs. Pitofsky instilled in her students the desire to know more, to investigate their ideas, and to develop their own curiosity about topics in science.
Mrs. Pitofsky left Ursuline in 1991 to be a full-time mom to her son, but her Ursuline story still had more chapters! She returned to the science department for a few years and then again devoted herself to her family life. During these years, Mrs. Pitofsky added to her pedagogical skills as she became versed in learning differences. In 2009, Mrs. Pitofsky again returned to Ursuline, this time as a member of the Reading and Language Development Department. She worked one-on-one with students who struggled with science, helping them feel empowered to learn with confidence and to succeed.
Mrs. Pitofsky did all of this with a sense of humor, a smile on her face, and a twinkle in her eye. Her engaging grin and infectious laughter endeared her to colleagues as well as Ursuline students who were her overriding pleasure and vocation. Her colleagues described her as a “guiding light” at Ursuline.
In recent years, Mrs. Pitofsky had been confronted with health issues but faced these challenges with optimism and perseverance. She adopted as her motto the words of St. Angela, “Do something, get moving, risk new things and stick with it, then be ready for big surprises.” At her Ursuline Reunion in 2015, Mary Ann was presented with the St. Angela Award in recognition of her devotion to Ursuline and commitment to the education of our young women.
We extend our condolences to her husband, Don, and son, Lee, as we pay tribute to the passing of an exceptional woman, teacher, and friend.
Visitation is Monday, June 18, from 2 p.m. - 5 p.m., and 7 p.m. - 9 p.m. at Leo P. Gallagher & Son Funeral Home, Greenwich, CT 06830.
The Funeral Mass is Tuesday, June 19 at 10 a.m. at St. Catherine of Siena Church, Riverside, CT 06878.
Eternal rest grant unto her, O Lord, and let the perpetual light shine upon her. Amen.
May the souls of all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.
Spring is the time of year for NYSSMA festival competitions. NYSSMA is the New York State School Music Association. The Ursuline choirs are known for their diversity of literature and high level of performance. All three Ursuline choirs competed and earned awards at NYSSMA 2018.
The Middle School Choir was awarded gold. The girls sang Bora Maisha, A Kenyan song about the gift of life, Diamonds are a Girl's Best Friend, show choir tune, and Fire, a poem written by a teen age girl and set to song about the power of fire to destroy and build. This choir is pictured here with Music Department Chair Ms. Rosemary Kennedy.
The 51-member Junior Choir, under the direction of Dr. Jean Boehler, received gold for their Level 5 performance of Candlelight Carol by J. Rutter, Hey Nonny No! by C. Kowalski, and Take Me to the Water by R. Dilworth.
The Honors Choir, directed by Dr. Jean Boehler, earned silver for their Level 6 performance of A Clare Benediction by J. Rutter, Sing Me to Heaven - D. Gawthrop and the African American Spiritual, Ain'a that Good News arranged by Dawson.
Congratulations to golfer Caroline Hodge who was selected as the weekly winner of the Con Edison Scholar Athlete Award, a very prestigious recognition for Westchester/Putnam athletes. Caroline is the first golfer selected from the Section 1 Girls Golf program! She is the 28th Ursuline student/athlete to earn the Con Ed award. Caroline is heading to Florida State where she will be a member of the FSU golf team. We invite you to read more details in the Lohud article HERE.
Congratulations to Katie Mulligan who was named to the Section 1 Girls Lacrosse Golden Dozen! This award recognizes 12 athletes for their exceptional achievement in academics, athletics and other components such as community service.
Congratulations also to Caroline Regan who was honored with the New Rochelle City Sports Hall of Fame Scholarship, presented at City Hall.
Sports activities offer all our student/athletes the opportunity to develop individual skills and teamwork. We are proud to name the following students who achieved excellence at particular levels:
Golf: Alice Hodge, Caroline Hodge, Kali Barisano, Kristen Sohr, Geraldine Goodman
Lacrosse: Claire Fox, Caroline Regan, Kaitlin Mulligan, Shannon Yeung, Anne Woodtli
Softball: Daniela Miceli, Gabriella Gleason, Mia Martinez, Jane McCauley
Track: Jessica Dronzek in the Long Jump, Lily Flynn in the 3000m & 1500m, Sarah Flynn in the 800m, and Claire Wilson, Caitlin McLean, Lily Sheahan and Caitlin Conly in the 4 X 800 relay.
Golf: Alice Hodge, Caroline Hodge
Lacrosse: Caroline Regan
Softball: Mia Martinez
Track: Lily Flynn, Sarah Flynn
Golf: Caroline Hodge, Alice Hodge (also All -Federation)
Track: Lily Flynn finished 3rd in 1500m race.
Our golf team won their league. Caroline and Alice Hodge were members of the Section 1 team that won the State Championship for the 4th year in a row.
May 25, 2018 was a warm, sunny day as 145 Ursuline seniors processed into the Tully Family Auditorium – Gymnasium for the 121st Commencement of The Ursuline School. Principal Carol Killebrew gave a warm welcome and introduced the trustees in attendance. After Msgnr Keane gave the invocation, the seniors who are members of our Honors Choir led the singing of The Star Spangled Banner.
Valedictorian Erica Leonard spoke of the importance of failure, "In order to succeed, you are going to need to fail, and probably more than once. But it's good to fail; you learn so much more when you fail than when you succeed. Therefore, don't be afraid of failure, embrace it. As long as you stay motivated, keep dreaming big, and push through, you are guaranteed to find success one day."
As the diplomas were handed out by President Davidson, each graduate descended the stairs and the daughters of alumnae were greeted by their mothers; there were nine such special intergenerational pairs.
In the Awards and Honors portion of the program, a number of individual recognitions were acknowledged.
National Merit Finalist: Sarah Ahn
National Merit Commended Students: Juliana Cimini, Virginia McKenna, Erica Leonard
National Hispanic Recognition Program: Allegra Acevedo, Greta Palomino
Valedictorian: Erica Leonard
Salutatorian: Juliana Cimini
Serviam awards: Mara Brockwell, Angelina Campanile, Katherine Canning, Julia DiMarco, Geraldine Goodman, Emma Gordon, Helena Lippolis, Angelli McGuigan, Mary Kathryn Melnyk, Greta Palomino
Global Scholars: Mara Brockwell, Meghan Hartson, Megan Malave, Elisabeth Olsen
In the President's Address, Eileen Davidson alluded to the Ring Day theme for this class, Superheroes, as she told them: "Just as Wonder Woman brandishes her bracelets, your ring identifies you as a member of a community of sisterhood and faith. Faith which inspires a sense of purpose and fortifies prayer - the greatest weapons of all." Mrs. Davidson reminded the graduates, "In a world where dialogue is often vitriolic, where true heroes are hard to find, where the role of women is still subject to stereotypes and limitations, use your voice."
The members of this class received offers of admission to 235 different colleges in 26 states, the District of Columbia, and three countries. They will be enrolling at 92 different colleges and universities. Seven graduates will continue their athletic careers in college. Together, this class earned over $30 million in merit scholarships. We congratulate them and wish them continued success!