Our outstanding faculty and staff lead and mentor by example every day at Stuart. Each year those who truly exemplify a specific Sacred Heart Goal and its Criteria are nominated by their colleagues and selected by the Board of Trustees to receive an award. We applaud these women who live and breathe life into the words that make up our Sacred Heart Goals.
Congratulations to the 2018 recipients:
Goal 1: Jan Baldwin
Goal I calls us to promote a personal relationship with God and to foster the spiritual lives of those within our community. It is in the reading of the criteria under Goal I that it is clear how you exemplify this Goal, Jan. You have served on the Formation to Mission Committee since its inception and that along with your thoughtful prayers offered at the beginning of each Faculty helped foster our spiritual lives.
Whether teaching drama, directing a play or serving as Middle School Dean of Students, everything you do models respect, compassion, forgiveness and generosity. You work closely with girls who aren't getting along with each other to teach them the how to peacefully resolve their differences helping them grow in empathy and kindness. Your thoughtful interventions give each girl hope for better tomorrows and enriches the entire school community.
Lastly, if there is truth in the saying that singing is praying twice then you have opened us to the transforming power of prayer twofold! Thank you for growing our spirituality in fun and reflective ways.
Goal II: Lynn Lepore
Lynn, your colleagues advocated resoundingly for your selection as the Goal II awardee. One eloquently noted: Most would think that a preschool teacher might be an unlikely candidate to merit receiving the Sacred Heart Goal 2 award, but this is so not true. It is true calculus and AP courses are not being taught, but what is being taught are lessons that carry you through life. For the past 29 years you have been a role model for hundreds of children both in the preschool as well as the Lower and have provided students with experiences that exemplify how to be a child of the Sacred Heart.
Another colleague, whose children you taught wrote: Lynn is the quintessential embodiment of Goal 2. She frequently attends continuing education programs, undoubtedly inspired a love of learning in my children, devises the most creative lessons and varies activities to engage every type of child.
Clearly the public has spoken! Congratulations on 29 incredible years. Enjoy your retirement and visit us often!
Goal III: Naimah Beyah
Goal III commits us to educating to a social awareness which impels to action. Naimah, though you were new to Stuart this year, your passion, commitment and inspirational work has shown a real embrace of two key criteria under Goal III. Criteria One: educating to a critical consciousness that leads the total community to analyze and reflect on the values of society and to act for justice and Criteria Four: In our multicultural world, preparing and inspiring students to be active, informed and responsible citizens.
Naimah you weave social justice and diversity issues throughout your lessons and projects in class. Your TED Talk Project encouraged your students to think critically, write thoughtfully and speak confidently about societal values and injustices. Your Black Her-Story script was amazing. Its design and planning were yours but you allowed the performance to belong to our black Middle and Upper School students. The girls gave our entire community a powerful opportunity to see black history through the lens of powerful black women. Thank you for putting them in the spotlight.
Goal IV: Megan Cianfrone
Building community and promoting a safe and welcoming environment in which each person is valued, cared for and respected is at the heart of Goal IV. Megan your colleagues couldn't say enough about how you exemplify this goal. One noted that regardless of what you are asked by a teacher or administrator, if you are able, your answer is always a cheery and friendly, "Sure, I got it!" Another noted that you don't just build a community based on Christian values, you live those values, model them, and teach them to even our youngest students. Still another said, "If you ever need a sub, a chaperone, Stuart tents or water jugs, medical advice, someone to listen to your problems, a laugh or even a little ranch dressing, Megan's your go-to gal." Megan, you are a wonderful team player, always quick to volunteer and always with a smile on your face. Thank you for consistently modeling Goal IV for all of us.
Goal V: Elena Nickerson
Goal V asks us to foster personal growth in our students in an atmosphere of wise freedom. Elena, your colleagues note how you show respect, acceptance and concern of all. You inspire the Lower School girls with such creative and innovative projects. When interacting with your students, your patience is heartwarming as you lovingly guide the girls to use their "wise freedom" as they explore and learn about their world. As an active member of the Diversity Committee who is proud of her Cuban heritage you are always looking for ways that each student can share her story and bring her unique gifts to others.
In addition, each year you share the gift of the Cardboard Challenge with our girls and with the larger school community. In true Sacred Heart fashion this year's emphasis was on creating games more inclusive of the elderly who may have limited physical abilities. You nurtured leadership and an attitude of inclusivity in our youngest girls as you helped them engage with guests from Hamilton Grove Senior Center, Acorn Glen Senior Center and Visitation Home for Adults with Disabilities.
Thank you for making Goal V a critical component of your teaching!