Sacred Heart Academy E-Newsletter
Vol. 1, November, 2018
In this Issue
Dr. Maggie O’Shea ’08
Resident, Internal Medicine, NYU Winthrop Hospital
Volleyball played an important role in Dr. Maggie O’Shea’s time as a student at Sacred Heart Academy. Her teammates on the court have become her teammates in life. Since graduating in 2008, she successfully completed the rigorous coursework required for the pre-medical program at Siena College and at Albany Medical School and is now extremely busy building a career as a doctor of internal medicine.
Dr. O’Shea recently took the time to visit SHA for the first Volleyball Alumnae Game on September 22 and shared with us how her SHA education provided the essential foundation, and the lifelong support system, for her to pursue her dreams.
What is your favorite memory of Sacred Heart Academy?
My favorite memory of SHA definitely has to be senior year volleyball season and, although many would say winning states was the best but for me, the league championship game with all the support from our classmates and teachers and friends and family was the best! That show of camaraderie to me embodies the SHA community.
Describe how SHA prepared you for your career.
My time at SHA did wonders for my future. In fact, I only knew about the medical program at thanks to Mrs O’Neill who encouraged me to apply! Down the road trip of life, which for me so far has included college, medical school and now a career, the friends I made at SHA were, and continue to be, a huge support system!
Being a doctor is such an honor. I’m so fortunate I have been given this opportunity to help people who are often times experiencing their scariest moments heal in a multitude of ways. I not only get the chance to help patients but also friends and family who are navigating medical problems. It is truly so rewarding.
What made you decide to come back to SHA and make a donation?
I recently returned to SHA for an alumnae volleyball game. It was amazing to see how far the program has come and it looks like they are headed for an amazing season – maybe another state championship? Regardless of how the season goes, it was truly great to see – all these years later – my teammates and friends come back to celebrate what SHA has done for us, and to support its continuing work for today’s students.
Class of 2019
Now in her final year at Sacred Heart Academy, senior Kristen Byrne has immersed herself in the SHA life by taking advantage of many of the academic and extracurricular activities that SHA offers. She is an All-League Tennis player, a member of Red Aerobics and the badminton team, and participates in Science Olympiad. Kristen’s hard work has been paying off – she was recently named a semi-finalist in the National Merit Scholarship competition. Less than one percent of high school seniors nationwide receive this honor, which allows Kristen to compete for one of 7,500 National Merit Scholarships.
A star in the classroom and on the tennis court, Kristen chose Sacred Heart not just for its academic and athletic prowess, but because she wanted to grow in faith and develop life-long friendships. Here is Kristen in her own words:
What made you chose SHA?
A lot of my family friends had gone to SHA and loved it. I also thought it would be a great place to grown in my faith and make long-lasting friendships.
What is your favorite subject?
My favorite subject is English because I love reading and writing. Some of my favorite books that we have read in class are Wuthering Heights and A Tale of Two Cities.
What are you plans for next year?
Although I don’t know where I will be attending college, I hope to major in biology and become a physician assistant. I am excited to begin life in college next year!
How important to you are your SHA friendships?
My SHA Friends are very important and I think we have formed such strong bonds over the past four years. The thought of not being here makes me so sad that I won’t see everyone every day. I hope to remain close to my friends even after we graduate.
New Interactive Classrooms Enhance SHA’s Learning Environment for Students and Teachers
In a unique way, Sacred Heart Academy teaches its students with the values of courage, compassion and commitment – ideas generously passed on to us by the forward-thinking Sisters of St. Joseph at SHA’s founding in 1949.
Like all schools, Sacred Heart Academy also carries a responsibility to provide our students with “21st century skills,” but our distinctive mission calls for us to prepare and inspire them through academic excellence to become women leaders in an inter-connected global world.
SHA’s Science Research Center and Bloomberg Financial Lab, the first of its kind in an all-girls school, have provided our students with areas for innovative learning and research. Students using these spaces have won awards for their research and continue to be invited to take part in summer internships and other immersion courses at prestigious colleges and universities.
This past summer, the renovations at SHA continued with a focus on creating three new active-learning classrooms – student-centered, technology-rich spaces. Each of these classrooms, located on the lower level of the building, are equipped with smart boards and moveable desks and chairs, allowing for interactive learning as the classrooms morph from lecture mode to teamwork, to group presentation, and back again.
“The ability to adjust the classroom to fit the lesson enhances peer-to-peer learning, encourages creativity and engagement and allows me to receive and provide feedback continually throughout the class,” said Social Studies teacher Mrs. Caroline Walsh, who uses one of the new rooms for several of her classes. “This style of learning is fun for the girls, keeping them active and connected during class.”
Additional active-learning classrooms are in the plans for Sacred Heart, ensuring that all of our students and teachers will continue to develop the skills that will allow them to Take the Lead in today’s world.
Mission in Action
Courtney (Morrissey '85) Brennan met with SHA President, Kristin Lynch Graham, and Director of Development, Daria (Moringiello ’00) Mulhall, in the springtime to express her interest in connecting LiveONNY, a non-profit organization committed to helping New York live on through organ and tissue donation, with Sacred Heart.
Courtney is particularly passionate about organ donation since her sister, Betsy Morrissey ’84, received her first kidney transplant while a senior at Sacred Heart Academy. She believed that SHA’s mission of empowering girls to lead with compassion, commitment and courage was a great fit with LiveONNY, which extends its care for the families touched by donation.
Courtney’s request was met through a collaboration with alumna Renee (Janicki ’96) Frawley, SHA Advisory Board member, and current student, Maggie Logler ’20, who arranged to bring LiveONNY to the SHA 5K, where Maggie manned the table, registering 17 organ donors.
Maggie hopes to bring LiveONNY to different aspects of SHA – namely through Driver’s Ed and the Blood Drive.
Once again, SHA students braved the cold and joined Long Island in the fight against breast cancer. The team of students and faculty raised $12,000 at the annual Making Strides Walk hosted by the American Cancer Society at Jones Beach on October 21.
Debra Chieco '17, a sophomore at Fordham University, is one of three elected senators for the Fordham College Rose Hill Class of 2021 and Katie Keane ’17 is one of two representatives from the Gabelli School of Business. Together, the team is responsible for voicing the concerns of its peers and works to make Fordham more of a home for students on and off campus. Both Debra and Katie shared the feeling that their time at SHA gave them the confidence and passion for their roles.
“When speaking out about our platforms and why we wanted to represent our classmates, both Katie and I made reference to our time in high school, and how it shaped our sense of responsibility and desire to give back to communities that we cared about,” Debra shared via e-mail. “Somehow, out of all the students who ran, two graduates from the same high school were chosen for this position, and I thought that really spoke to the culture of Sacred Heart, and how it continues to stay with you even after you leave.”
“I have no doubt that the values of inclusivity, passion, and commitment are still being lived out through the girls at Sacred Heart, both those in class now, and those who have already graduated,” Debra continued. “I just wanted to let you know that what I learned at Sacred Heart still applied to my everyday life in college, and looking back, I am so grateful to have been a part of such an inspiring community.”
An enthusiastic celebration of Sacred Heart Academy took place on Saturday, September 22 when more than 300 participants comprised of alumnae, students, parents, faculty and friends of SHA laced up their sneakers to take part in the Sixth Annual 5K Run/Walk.
The annual event provides an opportunity for family members, friends, classmates, favorite teachers and current students to reunite and experience the beauty of SHA’s expanded campus, which serves as the starting and finish line for the 3.1 mile race. The course traveled through the quiet neighborhood streets of Hempstead and Garden City, ending with a lap around SHA’s track at Four Sisters Field.
Participants vied for prizes awarded to the top-three finishers in each age group, including many alumnae moms pushing strollers. The day kicked off with a Kids’ Fun Run where the spirit of the day was truly captured as moms and dads joined their little girls and boys on the track – all there to join in supporting the SHA Community.
Congratulations to all of our winners:
Members of the 2007 State Championship Volleyball team expressed interest in coming back to SHA to not only reconnect with one another, but to support SHA’s current volleyball program, coached by Mrs. Emily Butler.
As a result, SHA hosted the first annual alumnae volleyball game on September 22, with six former players and two self-described “super fans” from the 2007 championship era following the SHA 5K Run/Walk. Through the generosity of these alumnae, the volleyball reunion raised $1,175 to help send the varsity volleyball team to a training trip in Tampa.
The game saw the alumnae players face SHA’s current players, where it seemed the students may have served up a win.