Veronica Maxwell Robinson ‘94 works as a Representative of College Board Programs Disability Resolutions. Her role is to ensure test takers receive fair and equitable tests under a variety of accommodation needs, and resolve any issues that arise prior to, during and after testing. Veronica is also in her seventh year as the president of the Stuart Alumnae Board. She and her husband Ty have 3 children: Dominick (23), Maxmillian (20), and Stuart eighth grader Kadance (13).
How has Stuart influenced your personal and professional path? Did any specific classes or teachers have an influence on where you are now?
There are countless lessons that I have learned at Stuart. I have mostly been influenced by the overall Stuart lessons of love and responsibility to the community. I continue to draw from these lessons today and wanted my daughter Kadance to fully experience Stuart in her own way. It’s nice to observe her development at Stuart over the years.
The most memorable classes and teachers for me begin with biology with Ms. Soos. She taught me the scientific method and processes and inspired the love of truly analyzing everything. In World Cultures with Mrs. Driscoll, she was always energized and excited for every class lesson. She taught history in a very vivid way, which inspired my urge to travel, respectfully analyze information (i.e., yellow journalism) and historical events, and ignited my desire to learn through experiencing different cultures. Ms. Light and Ms. Lies were both masters of English who exposed me to many literature styles and challenged me to expand my writing and thought process towards literature. Señoras Guerrero and Solomon (Spanish) were always fun and challenging because it was the one time of day when communicating was difficult for everyone except the teacher, which we(students)found humor in at times. These classes were not just speaking, listening, reading and writing, but included the experience of learning differing dialects of the language and about many Spanish speaking cultures. Performing under the direction of Ms. Baldwin was fun and exciting. She always said, “there are no small parts, only small actors.” This quote translates to so much in regular life, and not just when performing on stage. For me, it translates to all of us being responsible for ourselves. The roles we carry out on stage or otherwise will be as small or large as we make them. My art teacher Ms. Vaughn somehow brought out my artistic flair. Prior to taking her art class, I could not draw or paint anything worth gazing at or keeping as a memento. She inspired me to create a few great pieces that I really loved. Mrs. Florkiewicz challenged me greatly in physical education, especially when taking independent gym classes and having the non-independent gym classes during first period on the coldest of mornings. She would make us run many laps in very cold weather while wearing our Stuart shorts and t-shirts. If she determined that it was actually cold that day, she would allow sweatshirts to be worn. I don't recall many days that she thought it was cold or allowed us to stay indoors due to weather for the entire gym class. Looking back on this, I think she taught all of us perseverance to some degree and a lot of other lessons since she was a very experienced teacher. Last but not least, Campus Ministry with Mrs. Murdock provided a place to gather and discuss anything. She taught us to deeply reflect on our personal experiences and connections to others. I use many of the skills taught in Campus Ministry in all aspects of my life, including my work in resolutions.
Do you have a favorite memory or moment that has stayed with you over the years?
I loved singing with chorus, the gospel choir and the Tartantones - especially in the Christmas Season. Singing "Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring" by Johann Sebastian Bach with the Tartantones at Mr. McCall’s wedding (director of Tartantones at the time) is a favorite memory of mine. I love the song and it was a beautiful moment.
Talk about your role as Alumnae Board President: How long have you served, what led you to this type of service to the school, what do you enjoy about it, why is it important for alumnae to be involved?
I am currently beginning my 7th year of service and my second term as Stuart Alumnae Board President. I have served under Kristin Dawson '80, who was president when I joined the board. I have also held the office of secretary and vice-president of the Alumnae Board in past years. I was initially asked to join the Alumnae Board by Kristen Lopez- Watt ‘90. Kristen was very compelling and led me to join through connecting my love of Stuart and Sacred Heart values. She urged me to be active in service and in building community, which is something I enjoy. I have had such a positive learning and networking experience throughout my time on the board. The exposure from serving on the board has enabled me to contribute in many areas at Stuart. I’ve met and reunited with alumnae of all different backgrounds, years, and areas of expertise. It is so important for alumnae to be involved to network with one another, support alums and the school, gain education from alums and the school, and contribute when and how they can to be an active part of the community. Alumnae can be involved today as an elected board member or in various ways by connecting with the Alumnae Board and school throughout the year. There is always work to be done at Stuart, and alumnae can help in many ways. Be sure to check the alumnae page at stuartschool.org/alumnae for updates and upcoming events.
What are the new DEI subcommittees that formed over the summer?
As of Spring 2020, the Alumnae Board began formalizing two new subcommittees connected to DEI work. One committee, the Black Alum Affinity Group, will be co-chaired by Miss Harmon Snow ‘97 and Kenya Rourke ‘98. This committee aims to build community among past and present students, provide support for current students, and act as a connection between the school and Black alums by encouraging engagement with the school, promoting visibility, empowerment, education and unity within Stuart’s Black community, and building and strengthening relationships with the entire Stuart community. The second new committee, conceived and proposed by a member of the Class of 2020, is the DEI Action Committee. This committee aims to carry on the work of the students who attended the Student Diversity Leadership Conference through aspects of DEI education, providing some accountability for diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives at Stuart, and functioning as collaborators and consultants for Stuart’s diversity initiatives as former students of color and allies. Each committee has a more comprehensive mission statement and list of goals, and any Stuart alum is welcome to express interest in joining the work of either or both committees.
Your daughter Kadance is in the eighth grade at Stuart. Why was it important that she also receive a Sacred Heart education, and how has she grown over the years?
It has been and remains important for both me and my husband Ty to have our daughter Kadance receive a Sacred Heart education at Stuart. We chose Stuart because it is a small, focused, caring, and supportive environment that aligns with principles that we teach and aim towards. Stuart educates through the purpose of the Sacred Heart Goals and Criteria and empowers its students to respectfully and responsibly analyze and question throughout their educational journey. We see that Kadance takes responsibility for her education and advocates for herself both within and outside of the classroom. She is respectful of others and has become more independent while taking on challenges to help her grow.
What words of wisdom do you want to share with current students and families?
In this year of great change, I hope that we can all grow with a mindset to build community and be open to learning new things while also being respectful to the earth and those around us.