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A "Rosie the Riveter" Shares her Experiences in World History Class

The first Oral History report in Mrs. Kristen Schreiner’s Global History class this year was given by special guest, Sr. Leonard Lichinechilli, CSJ.

The students’ assignment requires that they interview someone on world history events between 1950 and the early 2000’s.  Sr. Leonard brought to life the experience as a “Rosie the Riveter” during World War II, where, beginning at the age of 18, she worked as one of only a handful of women on an assembly line building aircraft on Long Island.

Sr. Leonard explained how working during this time was not just a way to show patriotism, but was also the beginnings of women beginning to express their rights.  This, she shared, was something that made her especially proud, and prompted several questions from Mrs. Schreiner’s sophomore class, who were inspired by Sr. Leonard’s dedication.

Despite her positive experience as a “Rosie,” Sr. Leonard always knew that her true calling was a religious vocation and, her original thought, to work in orphanages.  So, following that experience, she began to explore that option when she was introduced to several members of the Sisters of St. Joseph, whose work focused mostly on teaching. 

“I knew it was for me!” Sr. Leonard said after just one experience in the classroom.  She has now happily been a member of the CSJ for 74 years and has taught almost every grade from K-12.  At 94, she is still comfortable standing in front of the class.  Most importantly, she helping the students at Sacred Heart understand and value the personal experiences and viewpoints of those throughout history and in current events today.