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Year end message from the Head of School

Year end message from the Head of School

“The school community reflects an ethos of joy, hope and celebration”. -Goal One, Criteria Three; Sacred Heart Goals and Criteria


Dear Stuart Community,  

It has been an exciting and eventful end to the school year across every division at Stuart! As I reflect back on all that has happened this spring, I am so touched by our Stuart people who made our learning environment rich with excitement, growth, and experiences. Watching our students shine in their culminating presentations, projects, and performances has been a highlight of my year, along with celebrating every Stuart student at our Prize Days and Commencement. What a gift it is as a Head of School to see each child hear her name called as she proudly walks across a stage in front of people who deeply care for her wellbeing. There have been many Sacred Heart traditions that I witnessed and experienced for the first time this year, and these closing celebrations are a powerful demonstration of what defines our unique Stuart education.

A particular highlight for me was the spirited “College Cupcake” Day in May, bearing witness to one of the many fruits of an EC-Grade 12 school. With our younger grades lining the sidewalk of the Sundial Garden, streamers and signs in hand, and the biggest smiles on faces, each of our seniors were applauded as their name and prospective college or university was announced (listed here). Our students showed such admiration for the seniors, and we were all honored to witness our graduates’ sense of accomplishment. We will miss the Class of 2023. They have been role models for our community and we know that their leadership and values will continue to make an impact in the lives they touch. And as a class, they taught me what it means to embody the Sacred Heart Goals with integrity and a desire to use their talents for good. For those who wish to watch Commencement from afar on Saturday, June 10, a live stream will be available here starting at 11 AM.   

With gratitude for our Board of Trustees 

As we close this academic year and look forward to the next, I would like to recognize the Stuart Board of Trustees, notably Board Chair Cheryl Lagay, Esq, P ‘21, and trustee Scott Blandford, P’14, ‘22, who are each culminating their board service. Over the nine years of Scott’s service, he served on multiple committees, most recently as co-chair of the Strategic Planning committee. Scott has been an amazing trustee and has challenged Stuart to be its best and to live its incredible mission.

Cheryl has dedicated her time, talent, and treasure to advance Stuart’s mission. She became a trustee in 2010, served on multiple committees, and assumed her role as our Board Chair in 2017. We are indebted to Cheryl’s leadership and grateful for her sustaining legacy and commitment to Sacred Heart education. 

With Cheryl’s transition to Board Chair Emeritus, effective July 1, we welcome Paul Teti P ‘29, ‘30 and Woodney Wachter P ‘31 as our new board co-chairs. Woodney and Paul bring distinct skill sets to the leadership role, with Woodney most recently co-chairing the Strategic Planning committee and Paul chairing the Committee on Trustees. Please join me in thanking Cheryl and Scott for their tenure, and welcoming Woodney and Paul to their new leadership roles. We also welcome four new trustees to the board: Kevin Broughton P ‘22, ‘27, ‘29, Molly Hillenbrand ‘96,  P ‘24, Maura Nester P ‘24, ‘30, and Jim Waskovich P ‘30, ‘31, and thank them for saying “yes'' to sharing their gifts with Stuart as a trustee.

With gratitude for our community 

I would also like to recognize members of the Stuart community whose dedication and passion for our School have been the bedrock of a successful academic year. 

  • Our faculty. The heartbeat of Stuart, our faculty and staff have devoted themselves to a robust, experiential and holistic learning community. On Thursday, June 8, we held a joy-filled closing convocation where we recognized those faculty members nominated by their peers and selected by the Board of Trustees for demonstrating the Goals and Criteria of the Sacred Heart: Ms. Karen Poch (Goal 1), Ms. Susan Lee (Goal 2), Ms. Juana Rosario (Goal 3), Ms. Annie Crawford (Goal 4), and Ms. Elizabeth Maurer (Goal 5).
  • Stuart’s Parent Association, Affinity Groups, and Ambassadors. We are so fortunate to have a committed and talented group of parent volunteers. On behalf of Stuart’s faculty, staff and our students, thank you for building our community, fostering connections and sponsoring Stuart so proudly.
  • The Alumnae Board and Stuart Fund Cabinet. Thanks in large part to their efforts, alumnae and parent participation to the Stuart Fund increased nearly 25%. Thank you for this outward sign of commitment to Stuart! 

Next year we will proudly recognize 60 years of Stuart! There will be many events to acknowledge and celebrate our history and Stuart's future. In the coming weeks and months, we will share more about how we will mark this important milestone together. 

In planning for our 60th anniversary, my leadership team and I will review results from a parent survey conducted this spring with Independent School Management to help inform how we are delivering on our mission to families. This will guide institutional priorities for 2023-2024 in conjunction with our strategic plan. More to come on this as we begin the school year!

For those departing our community this year, we will miss you. Stuart will keep the doors open for you to come home to visit. Your presence has blessed us in many ways and we are grateful for our time together. 

I wish you and your families a restful and joyous summer. On a personal note, my family will be celebrating my eldest daughter, Abby’s, high-school graduation and her move into Tulane in August (I have read and reread Sharon Olde’s poem “High School Senior'' and have yet to get through it unscathed). We will join my parents and extended family on an Alaskan cruise to celebrate my parents 50th wedding anniversary, and we will visit with family in Ireland. Amid the celebratory excitement, I am also looking forward to some quiet time to reflect on the blessings of this year and my gratitude to God for this community whose "ethos of joy, hope, and celebration" has been my north star and my inspiration.