Cordecho ECHOES FROM THE HEART A magazine for the Sacred Heart Academy Community Fall 2022 18 4 Congratulations Class of 2022 IB Opens New Doors 8 20 Strategic Approach to SHA’s Future Annual Report
AMessage from the Head of School ne student dreams of opening her own jewelry business. In her M&T Women in Leadership & Business Entrepreneurship course, she receives structured support on how to build and pitch a business plan, attends the finals of the 43North competition, and competes for funding for her own business from SHA’s very own Shark Tank Competition. Another student wants to explore health professions to help her determine what specific major she wants to study in college. She introduces a club- Health Occupations Students of America (HOSA). Fast forward two years and she is president of HOSA’s New York Chapter and is exploring colleges and degrees that will move her forward on her path to becoming a psychiatrist. A senior wasn’t sure what her academic passion was until her social studies course integrated the UCLA’s Urban Planning curriculum into the class. Her team designed and built a city out of LEGO that met specifications regarding aesthetic beauty, recreational spaces, healthcare, social services, residential and business areas (all with limited resources). While defending her plans and design before a panel of experts in urban planning, she discovered what she would pursue as a career choice. Another student’s desire to share her Black culture and history became a leadership opportunity for her and the rest of the Black History Month Celebration Steering Committee and resulted in a full day of learning and celebration for the whole school. IB students looking for ways to improve their world chose research topics ranging from climate change and animal agriculture to the paranoia that drove McCarthy’s Red Scare and the Salem Witch Trials to effective COVID policies in Australia and Switzerland to the impact of caffeine use on mental health. At SHA, we are at our best when students have the opportunity to meld their academic interests with real world opportunities to expand their knowledge, advocacy and leadership skills. When learning is engaging and relevant, students thrive, and we fulfill our mission of graduating young women with intellectual preparedness, spiritual grounding, commitment to service and the leadership skills necessary to make a positive impact on the world. When we meet our mission, students benefit, SHA benefits and so does the community at large. We need look no further to affirm this truth than the impact our alumnae are making. Whether it is our four Distinguished Alumnae sharing their gifts and talents, TaNisha Fordham ‘05 who will be returning to SHA to share her vision and story on stage with her SHA sisters, or the impact Helen Buszka Weiksnar ‘41 had on her family to do good and give back, a meaningful and passion-filled SHA education reaps benefits for the community as a whole for years to come. SHA’s strategic planning process will allow us to modernize this tried-and-true equation for mission fulfillment:provide a welcoming Franciscan environment; multiply the impact by adding caring educators that help to ignite a student’s passion; compound the result through the help of alumnae, parents and friends willing to support a future generation of SHA girls; and the product is a next generation of young women living out our Franciscan values and making their varied and unique contributions to this world. As we expand the IB Diploma Program and certificate courses; add support for student-led clubs and service initiatives; and to connect and mobilize alumnae to engage with students and share their time, talent and treasure, our strategic planning process gives us the opportunity to study our own assumptions, see what the data tells us, and leverage relationships to enrich the opportunities for our students and alumnae- and to think, we are only about halfway through the process. More to come! Peace and All Good 2 C O R D E C H O S P I R I T . M I N D . B O D Y . ONTHECOVER Makenna Slahta ’26 participates in the Freshwomen Fun Day fashion show. During this activity, students must use teamwork and their creativity to transform a group member into a character using only newspaper and tape. The fun, imaginative, and cooperative spirit of this beloved tradition begins a student’s four years at SHA. This same spirit drives our strategic planning efforts as we seek to provide renewed opportunities for our students to discover their strengths and creativity both in and out of the classroom while meeting the demands of a rapidly changing world. S P I R I T . M I N D . B O D Y .
S P I R I T . M I N D . B O D Y . C O R D E C H O 3 Dear Sacred Heart Family, I recently led a group of American visitors on a tour of the Ring of Kerry, the quintessential tourist experience in Ireland. It takes great courage, resilience, and determination to leave the safety of the valley and zigzag the narrow roads against the onslaught of coaches, motor homes, and high speed cyclists. The reward comes on passing through the pillars of Moll’s Gap to Ladies’ View, where the white knuckled driver can take a pause to celebrate survival and to marvel at the splendor of God’s Creation. Emerging from the zigzag journey of COVID, the whole world acknowledges that life will never again be quite the same as it was before. Presented with a new perspective on how to manage the work-life balance, we are challenged with prioritizing the needs and best interests of the community we serve. Many things have changed at SHA consequent of COVID; responding to needs expressed by the students, the Academy introduced SHA Pause, a bi-weekly time to pause and celebrate survival that is much applauded by the girls. Responding to the changing challenges seen at all levels of education, Buffalo Academy of the Sacred Heart has engaged the education consulting firm Partners In Mission (PIM) to guide us through a strategic planning process. As partners in planning, PIM “values, understands, and embraces the importance of Catholic education and is committed to ensuring its strength and vitality for years to come”. A committee of 28 experienced and dedicated individuals from the SHA community are steering the process. Mindful of the Franciscan Charism and Catholic Identity, the performance of the school is being considered across eight domains: Academics & Technology, Advancement, Enrollment, Facilities & Technology, Governance, Finance, and Student Life. Each domain has a dedicated committee that is reviewing the performance of the schools as it pertains to their particular domain. Despite the residual fatigue and stress left by the COVID pandemic, the SHA community, Sisters, faculty, staff, students, and parents have come forward in force to support the strategic planning process. The first phase of the strategic planning process began in May 2022 with student surveys and will run to the retreat event on December 1, 2022. Over 1,000 participants thus far have provided survey, interview, and round table discussion data that serves to establish the foundation on which we will build the 20222027 Strategic Plan. The love and loyalty expressed by participants and the sense of Sisterhood and belonging shared by students and alumnae fuel this process. In looking for opportunities for growth and development over the coming decades, the SHA community embraces this strategic planning challenge with a global outlook. In June 2022, SHA participated in the International Coalition of Girls Schools triennial Global Forum on Girls’ Education in Boston, Massachusetts. Educators, researchers, authors and advocates for girls and young women across the globe made presentations on, “how to prepare and empower girls to be ethical, globally-minded changemakers who lead with courage, competence and empathy”. It was encouraging to see by comparison that SHA is taking so many of the right steps in mainstream and signature programming to position the school as a leader in girls’ education in Western New York. Moving toward the 150th anniversary of the school, SHA has an advantage by being the first private school in WNY to offer the worldwide acclaimed International Baccalaureate Diploma Program with Diploma and Certificate opportunities for all. In strategic planning surveys completed to date, SHA is recognized by all stakeholders in the SHA community as a college preparatory high school of academic excellence. The challenge before us as a community is to set goals and objectives that will continue to promote growth and development. With courage, resilience, and determination, the SHA community has responded the invitation to embark on the 2022-2027 Strategic Planning Process, and for that we are very grateful. We are grateful to the Sisters of St. Francis and all Board members for sharing their expertise, enthusiasm, commitment and generosity as they continue to steward the Academy. I wish the graduating class of 2022 every happiness and success in their chosen career paths, and I pray that you and your loved ones keep healthy and safe. Sincerely, President, Board of Directors
4 C O R D E C H O S P I R I T . M I N D . B O D Y . SHA AS AN IB WORLD SCHOOL: Opening NewDoors For All MRS. MARY MARCINIAK Courses taught: IB TOK (year 1), IB Literature and Language (year 2), Lit Survey II Honors, AP Literature At the core of the International Baccalaureate Diploma Program is a course called Theory of Knowledge, or TOK; at the core of the TOK course is Mrs. Mary Marciniak. TOK encourages students to question and examine all types of knowledge by constantly asking “how do we know what we know?” This practice of questioning and examining allows students not only to evaluate their own worldview but also to recognize and appreciate different perspectives. For Mrs. Marciniak, this emphasis on questioning knowledge and giving room for different opinions doesn’t just stay in the IB classroom. “Based on how I’ve seen my IB students grow in their ability to assess knowledge and consider alternate perspectives because of TOK, I now try to embed TOK questions into my non-IB classes. I leave space when discussing a piece of literature for my students to bring up different perspectives and make connections to topics or views outside of Literature class.” As important as the questions of TOK are, it is how those questions lead to student ownership of learning that form the basis of the IB education. “When I attended trainings for TOK and IB Literature and Language, there was always an emphasis on this curriculum being designed to help every individual student succeed.” Now, in all of her courses, Mrs. Marciniak frames her lessons in ways that better accommodate the interests, opinions and directions put forth by the students. She has found she really enjoys this open discussion and the connections her students are able to make. This shift in putting the onus of learning and discussing on to the students has been really successful for Mrs. Marciniak. “This approach has made me a better teacher, and it has led to stronger relationships with the students and more lifelong learners leaving my classroom.” MRS. GRACE MODICA AMORE Courses taught: IB Biology (year 1 and year 2), AP Biology, Honors Biology Collaboration is the only way science works; some of the best and most important scientific discoveries in history came from scientists working together and sharing data. This is exactly what Grace ModicaAmore loves most about the IB curriculum. “In IB Bio, there is a strong emphasis on an international mindset where working together, instead of against each other, is emphasized.” This global perspective mirrors the history of the scientific community and is what Mrs. ModicaAmore hopes she can add to all of her non-IB classes. “The IB curriculum is outward focused, so the students are learning about projects and discoveries on a global scale and from global scholars and experts.” Using her IB training, Mrs. ModicaAmore has begun to implement more projects that showcase global cooperation and cross-cultural collaboration, like the Human Genome Project, into all levels of biology fromHonors and Regents Biology to AP Biology. IB also focuses on experiential learning, particularly in the sciences. Students don’t just learn science, but they learn how to do science. From learning how to ask a testable question to learning how to design an experiment that answers that question, IB science is focused on the process of doing science. Students learn to be risk-takers so that even failed experiments are their own discovery of knowledge. This inquiry based approach to labs is being applied in every science at every level at SHA. Students are no longer just getting a question and a step-by-step guide to answering the question; instead, the students are now creating the question and working to figure out the steps of how to come to an answer. Mrs. ModicaAmore sees this approach as a significant step in preparing students for the rigors of college level science. “We are graduating students who are ready to walk into a college lab; they understand what is required in higher level courses because they’ve done it already at SHA.” Mrs. ModicaAmore oversees IB students collecting data in the lab for their independent research projects. Mrs. Marciniak leads a discussion with the students in year 2 of IB Literature and Language course.
S P I R I T . M I N D . B O D Y . C O R D E C H O 5 The IB Classroom: Where Soccer and Math Meet Captain of the Varsity Soccer Team, Greta Bair is a dedicated team player. She is entering into her senior year season with 26 goals and 28 assists. “For me, it’s not about the number of goals. It is about me doing what is necessary so our team can succeed.” The collaborative spirit she shows on the field, also follows her to the classroom. Greta is part of SHA’s inaugural cohort of the International Baccalaureate Diploma Program. She was drawn to IB because it provided an out-of-thebox experience for her last two years of high school and its reputation for excellent college preparation curricula. She was prepared for the challenge, but what surprised her about IB was how collaborative it was. “I was nervous at first about being with the same students, but it turned out to be a really great thing for us all. We have many inside jokes across all the classes and we’re super comfortable with each other which helps us take risks with our coursework and try something new or different.” She also wasn’t expecting the many opportunities IB provides for her to bring her passion from the soccer field into her academic work in the classroom. “A lot of my classwork is focused on women and sports, because those are my passions.” IB doesn’t just let students make assumptions. It requires them to test those assumptions with real data to see if the assumptions hold up under scrutiny. Such was the case for Greta in her Math Analysis and Interpretations course last year. Greta researched the statistics of height and hometown climate on a soccer player’s ability to make the College Division 1 All-American list. “It was a lot of work, but I was motivated to do the statistical analysis because I wanted to find out the answers for myself.” What Greta discovered was that her original hypothesis that most of the All-American list would come from warmer climates was simply incorrect. Greta’s assumption was based on the hypothesis that warmer weather would allow for more practice time outside and thus, stronger skills leading to more All Americans coming from warmer climates. On the surface, this seemed like a reasonable and logical conclusion. However, the data proved Greta’s assumption to be faulty. Testing assumptions against data is one of the skills students develop through their IB coursework, especially in IB science and math classes. Greta shared that “IB really challenges the way that I think. Through my coursework, research, and discussions, I’m able to see many different perspectives. I’ve learned to look beyond my initial thoughts and examine the facts for what they really prove. ” Balancing soccer, volunteering and her academics can be challenging, but Greta has found ways to make it all work. Creativity, Activity and Service (CAS), one of the core elements of the IB curriculum, has helped her integrate all of her activities and interests into her coursework. CAS, specifically, is aimed at goal setting, perseverance and recognizing connections between studies and daily life. “CAS has really pushed me out of my comfort zone, and it has been a way for me to track my progress throughout the year. I was able to set goals for myself in soccer for leadership, mindset, and individual statistics. It really helped me to focus on the positives and track all the good that I am able to do on a daily basis.” This past spring, Greta participated in the Theory of Knowledge Exhibition, a required element for the IB Diploma which asks students to identify how they see questions of knowledge interacting in the world around them. Like all other IB lessons and assessments, the TOK Exhibition allows students to incorporate their own interests and experiences, giving them real ownership of their learning. It is this element of IB that Greta loves the most. “I really enjoy the freedom IB gives me to tailor my assignments around my passions.” In the Exhibition, Greta focused her work around women, sports, education and the corporate world, areas that she hopes to study more deeply in college. “I want to find a school that fits me academically, and if I can play soccer there too, well, that’d be the best case scenario.” Greta plays forward for the Sharks Varsity Soccer Team. Greta at the TOK Exhibition where she explored the question “what constraints are there on the pursuit of knowledge?” Greta works in the chemistry lab gathering data for her independent science research project on the rate which temperature affects the dissolution of an iron pill in the stomach.
6 C O R D E C H O S P I R I T . M I N D . B O D Y . elechi “Kele” Ezenwa ’23 is many things: talented piano player, skilled tennis player, bright student, aspiring psychiatrist. And now, Kele is the president of the New York State chapter of HOSA-Future Health Professionals. “Kele is a natural leader,” Mrs. ModicaAmore, moderator of SHA’s HOSA chapter, reflects. “She is a do-er, she doesn’t make excuses. She finds opportunities, implements them and gets things done.” Perhaps the clearest example of Kele’s demonstration of these qualities is her role in bringing HOSA to SHA. It was in the early days of the COVID lockdown that Kele found herself scrolling through YouTube. She stumbled upon an ad for HOSA, or Health Occupations Students of America, a student-led organization that encourages its members to become leaders in the global health community through education, collaboration and experience. Given her interest in the medical field, Kele was immediately captivated. She spent the rest of the day researching HOSA and what it offered to students like her. She shared her findings with her friend Olivia Ehimare ‘22, and together they decided HOSA would be a perfect fit at SHA. “We have a lot of science clubs, but nothing pointed directly to healthcare. I knew there were a lot of students interested in health professions, and I thought HOSA would be a great way to gather us all together and support each other.” Kele approached Mrs. ModicaAmore to be the moderator, and as Mrs. ModicaAmore remembered, Kele did so in what is a typical Kele way, “If you’ll moderate the club, I’ll run it!” Thus, HOSA was launched at SHA. The first year, Kele ran the club; she found speakers, formulated questions, and organized service opportunities. After a year of getting the club established, Kele wanted to take HOSA to the next level and enter into the competitions. Every spring each state chapter of HOSA hosts a competitiondriven contest in which students are tested on their medical knowledge and skills in a variety of fields: nursing, surgery, dentistry, pharmacy, etc. The competition was held virtually in April 2022, and two of SHA’s HOSA members, Olivia Ehimare ‘22 and Emma Ehimare ‘23, placed in the top three in Medical Assisting and Clinical Nursing, respectively, advancing them to the national competition. Something else special happened at this conference, too. Kele was elected president of the New York State HOSA chapter. What began as a dream for SHA turned into an exciting leadership opportunity. In her role as president of the New York State chapter of HOSA, Kele will oversee the executive committee made up of students from across New York. Together, that committee will plan and organize two state conferences: a leadership conference in the fall and the competition conference in the spring. “This is a great opportunity for me to grow in my leadership skills, to learn to be professional, and to make connections with other students.” These conferences also introduce students to top healthcare professionals in their fields. “Just by being around mentors and professionals, I’m learning a lot about what it takes to succeed in medical school, what organizations I can join in college, which classes to take. I feel like being involved in HOSA is the first big step in making my dreams a reality.” STUDENT LED EXPERIENCES: Outside The Classroom Kelechi Ezenwa ‘23 Members of the 2021-2022 HOSA club gather for a picture with their mascot “Benny Bones” and moderators Grace ModicaAmore and Melanie Whitney.
S P I R I T . M I N D . B O D Y . C O R D E C H O 7 Each May, high school students across the US celebrate “College Decision Day.” Traditionally, SHA students wear apparel from their future schools and gather for a group picture on the front steps. While that did not fit with our safety protocols last year, their decisions were commemorated with signs depicting each senior and her chosen school. At SHA, growth and continuous improvement aren’t just relegated to the classroom. Outside of the school day, SHA offers a wide variety of clubs and organizations that allow our students to pursue their passions and interests and to discover new ones. With over 40 clubs that run throughout the year, there are plenty of opportunities for SHA girls to practice leadership, foster new friendships, and develop talents and skills. If a SHA student can’t find a club that fits her interest, she’s always welcome to propose a new club. The 2021-2022 school year was host to a variety of new club offerings. From cultural affinity groups, to skill building and enhancing groups, our newest clubs emerged from the desires and efforts of our students. Here’s a sampling of SHA’s newest student-led clubs and activities. A.S.I.A. PATHOS WRITING CLUB BLACK HISTORY MONTH STEERING COMMITTEE SHA’s new Asian Affinity group began with a bulletin board. For Asian American and Pacific Islander month, Diya Kaur ‘25 and Mags Hassett ‘25 profiled significant figures that represented the cultures and heritages of the Asian population at SHA. Diya believes “representation embraces inclusion.” She hopes that by highlighting the accomplishments of people of Asian descent, SHA students can see people that share their culture. “This is how we will help everyone feel welcome at SHA.” Having received positive feedback on their bulletin board, and with the support of some of their friends, an idea for a unique club was formed. Mags explains, “We wanted to continue to bring awareness to the diversity of Asian culture and to create a space that will help members of the Asian community at SHA to connect, learn and grow.” And so, A.S.I.A., Asian Students In Alliance, was born. In the coming school year, Diya and Mags have plans to expand the reach of A.S.I.A. at SHA by utilizing social media to share topics and articles and to serve the Asian community at large in Buffalo. “We want to positively impact the experience of students of Asian descent at SHA and give them the opportunity to use their voices for others.” Hope Bleck ‘24 has a passion for writing. For her, writing is the way she stays in touch with herself, managing her emotions and processing her feelings. Knowing how invaluable writing has been to her maturity and development, she wanted to share that passion with others. So, she created Pathos Writing Club. At the beginning, Hope admits that the members of the club were “just a few friends indulging me” but now the club has grown and includes students from every grade level. Together, they share and discuss their own writings which come in a variety of genres: poems, short stories, vignettes. As they share their writings, they learn from each other how to use their words to bring their stories and feelings to life. While writing is the topic of the meeting, Hope says Pathos Club has taught her more than that. “I’ve learned a lot about leading discussions, talking in front of people, and mitigating disagreements. I’m really proud of this club.” Most of all, Hope is proud of the members. “Watching some of the members who are usually more quiet become more and more outspoken and free with their words means a lot to me.” Early in the school year, Phalyn Johnson ‘23 approached administration with an idea to create a memorable celebration for Black History Month. Having experienced a small-scale event in the midst of COVID last year, Phalyn dreamed of building and expanding that celebration to something bigger. She wanted to celebrate the contributions of Black Americans in all levels of society and honor the Black heritage of the SHA student body. With the help of administrators Jennifer Demert, Linda Cimusz and Michele Calandra and faculty advisors Tiffany Fanning and Lori Kiefer, a student steering committee was assembled to bring Phalyn’s idea to life. Through their planning and advocacy work, the student steering committee, comprised of Abuk Aleu ‘24, Ashley Anderson ‘24, Brooke Badger ‘25, Domonique Dowell ‘23, Ekene Ezenwa ‘24, Megan Flanagan ‘22, Layah Fortune ‘22, Brooklyn Gordon ‘23, Phalyn Johnson ‘23, Cincere McMillon ‘23, Samara Moss ‘24, Dy’Nahsty Rhodes ‘23, and Rosaly Rosa ‘24, identified topics through which Black culture and history could be taught, honored and celebrated in the SHA community. Their leadership and determination resulted in a day-long assembly with a variety of speakers, activities and experiences centered around Black culture. Ekene Ezenwa ‘24 said she hoped that “through this day, a love and appreciation for Black culture was ignited in the SHA community. I hope that SHA continues this tradition, and that cultural awareness, curiosity, and appreciation can thrive here.” The figures included on the bulletin board are from the distinct cultures of the members of A.S.I.A. They hope that by representing their cultures, they are able to spread awareness of the rich diversity within Asian culture. Divyjot “Diya” Kaur ‘25 Mags Hassett ‘25 Hope Bleck ‘24 Domonique Dowell ‘23 Cincere McMillon ‘23 Ashley Anderson ‘24 Dy’Nahsty Rhodes ‘23 Ekene Ezenwa ‘24
8 C O R D E C H O S P I R I T . M I N D . B O D Y . A S T R AT E G I C A P P R O A C H T O S H A’ S 1 5 0 T H “In an ever changing society the Strategic Planning Process is vital in sustaining SHA’s relevance in the WNY Academic community. It creates a LIVE plan that can be reviewed, monitored and revised based on the needs of the community SHA serves. The process also includes all stakeholders. EVERYone is heard and their voice is valued through this process.” KERÉ PATTERSON-BOYD ’92 MAY - JUNE 2022 JULY 2022 SHA surveyed students, faculty, parents, alumnae and past parents. More than 1,000 surveys were completed. Roundtables, focus groups and interviews of all stakeholder groups occurred, allowing 125 individuals to share in depth insight with Domain Chairs. s Buffalo Academy of the Sacred Heart approaches our 150th year in 2027, we are taking a strategic look at all areas or “domains” associated with the Academy. Seven domains have been identified, all centered around Mission Integration and our Franciscan Charism. Commissioned by Head of School, Jennifer Demert in conjunction with the Board of Directors and Sisters of St. Francis, the planning process is guided by Partners in Mission. Partners in Mission is a national, full-service consulting and professional education firm focused exclusively on developing excellence in Catholic schools. Board member, Sister Terri Miklitsch, the liaison between the Sisters of St. Francis’ Provincial Council and SHA and SHA board member, is excited about strategic planning and the impact it will have on SHA. She reflects, “It is critical that every few years the plan is reviewed and revised in light of changes in educational policies and procedures, changes in leadership, changes in the psychosocial development of young women, and based on our understanding of core Franciscan values upon which SHA was founded. How our young women learn, how they are impacted by society, how our faculty and staff respond is an ever-changing process. Foundational to this process is a central belief that SHA also was founded to meet the needs of the larger community. Therefore, strategic planning leads to transformation on all levels. As SHA moves into the future, the board and Academy leadership will continue to govern with Franciscan values and core beliefs that respect the dignity of all. The future of SHA is built on the strengths of current students, faculty, staff and administrators as well as on the shoulders of our foremothers, alumnae, board members and many more women and men who support our mission.” “With rapid and ever-changing academic demands upon schools to position students for collegiate, post graduate and career success, it is imperative to reflect, focus, and formulate a collaborative and dynamic strategy for meeting the challenges we face, that leverages our strengths and fosters the well being of our students.” LAURA YUSICK “SHA is casting a wide and inclusive net, inviting input and insights from the broad community of stakeholders. This collective wisdom is so powerful - not only will it equip us to tackle current challenges, but through this process, I believe the community will emerge stronger and ready to face future challenges as well.“ ALICIA CUMMINGS MCGLINCHEY ’83 “Strategic planning is an important time to step back and objectively look at what you do, why you do it, and to see if there are ways to do it better. Empowering girls to grow in mind, body and spirit plus the integration of Franciscan values into the all-girls, Catholic education is what sets SHA apart and makes it truly unique.” NANCY ZAHM HEJAILY ’88
S P I R I T . M I N D . B O D Y . C O R D E C H O 9 A N N I V E R S A R Y Partners inMission FACILITATOR Kathleen Casey Steering Committee CO-CHAIRS Joan Horrigan Maira ’77* Human Resources Professional, Certified Executive Coach Eileen Scannell* Learning Triangle President Steering CommitteeMEMBERS Strategic Planning STEERING COMMITTEE Robert Beiswanger* Chief Financial Officer, Retired, Daemen College Keré Patterson-Boyd ’92 Assistant Principal, Anne Arundel County Public Schools Pastor, Lane Memorial CME Erica Burzynski ’98 Marketing Director, The Barnes Firm Michele Calandra Director of Academics, Buffalo Academy of the Sacred Heart Susan Reiser Daniels ’92 Director of Advancement, Buffalo Academy of the Sacred Heart Jennifer Demert* Head of School, Buffalo Academy of the Sacred Heart David Faturos Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, Rich Products Allison Gioia Flammer Asst. U.S. Attorney, WDNY Mary Ganey Director of Admissions, Buffalo Academy of the Sacred Heart Kathleen Grieco Director of Finance, Buffalo Academy of the Sacred Heart Nancy ZahmHejaily ’88 School Counselor, Lancaster School District Khristian Powell King ’03* Executive Director of Student Engagement and Inclusion, State University of New York at Fredonia *MEMBER OF SHA BOARD OF DIRECTORS Paul Kolkmeyer President and CEO, Priam Enterprises Christine Carroll Licata ’63* Vice Provost, Rochester Institute of Technology Nadine Mastroleo ’89 Professor, State University of New York at Binghamton Alicia CummingsMcGlinchey ’83 Non-Profit Consultant Bridget McGuinness Director of Campus Ministry, Buffalo Academy of the Sacred Heart Sister Patricia McMahon, OSF ’63 Mission Integration Minister, Sisters of St. Francis Sister Terri Miklitsch, OSF* Provincial Counselor, Sisters of St. Francis Chris Poole Coordinator of Technology, Buffalo Academy of the Sacred Heart Mary Beth Popp Communication Leader, FIFCO, USA Rick Rogers Coordinator of Building &Grounds, Buffalo Academy of the Sacred Heart Barbara Staebell Rooney ’74 Director of Student Life, Buffalo Academy of the Sacred Heart Michael Sullivan Director of Buildings and Properties, Diocese of Buffalo Laura Yusick Admissions Director, Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, State University of New York at Buffalo AUGUST 2022 DECEMBER 2022 2023 - 2027 Domain Chairs prepared Domain Narratives including as-is state of SHA, external perceptions, and feedback from stakeholder groups. An in-person retreat including 60 representative stakeholders has been scheduled to establish strategic goals and objectives. SHA will implement and track goals and objectives leading into our 150th anniversary year. “SHA has a lot of opportunity to educate various audiences about what an important role Advancement plays with each student and her family. And even more importantly, how to participate and why it’s so important.” ERICA BURZYNSKI ’98 “Our work in the domain of Student Life reiterates the holistic approach to education experienced by all SHA students. As our team has focused on aspects of leadership, extracurricular activities and the role of mental health, identifying the current needs of students as well as preparing for the needs of future students will ideally give direction for elevating the already incredibly strong student life component of SHA.” NADINE MASTROLEO ’89 “We are in a time when people need to be validated in who they are and how they feel. I also believe that there is so much knowledge within our community and Sacred Heart has been highly skilled at utilizing its resources to the benefit of the entire community.” KHRISTIAN POWELL KING ’03 “SHA is in a strong financial position due to consistent, prudent financial management as well as support frommany stakeholders that care about the well-being of the school. Ultimately, a primary driver of the health of any school is enrollment levels, so understanding those future trends and adapting financial planning as necessary is important to the continued health of the school.” DAVID FATUROS “The success of this strategic planning process relies on the solid support of all the stakeholders in the community: the Sisters, students, parents, alumnae, faculty and staff. By each bringing their voice to the table, we can move expeditiously toward goals and objectives that will best support the education of the women at SHA.” EILEEN SCANNELL
All are welcome to join meetings of SHA’s Alumnae and Friends Book Club. Book Selections are as follows: October 5, 2022 Anxious People by Fredrik Backman November 2, 2022 Eight Perfect Murders by Peter Swanson December 7, 2022 State of Terror by Hillary Rodham Clinton and Louise Penny January 4, 2023 The Winter Over by Matthew Iden February 1, 2023 The Devil in the White City by Erik Larson March 1, 2023 The One Hundred Years of Lenni and Margot by Marianne Cronin April 12, 2023 The Paper Daughters of Chinatown by Heather B. Moore May 3, 2023 Nine Perfect Strangers by Liane Moriarty October 7 Walkathon October 16 Open House for Prospective Students November 7 Mass of Remembrance at St. Benedict’s November 10 Christus Super Omnia Distinguished Alumnae Dinner at Rich’s Atrium February 1 Career Day March 5 Alumnae Day of Lenten Reflection March 25-26 Spring Drama: TBD April 15 Sandstone Dinner Auction May 30 Class of 2023 Graduation at UB Center for the Arts June 2-4 Alumnae Weekend SHA alumnae, parents, past parents and friends are invited to join us for these community events. Full details can be found on our website at www.sacredheartacademy.org. Activities take place at SHA unless otherwise noted. Datebook 1 0 C O R D E C H O S P I R I T . M I N D . B O D Y . Alumnae Weekend 2022 included special recognition of Eileen Maloney’s more than 40 years of service as a teacher at SHA. Marnie Jasinski Belle-Isle ‘95, Amanda Horn Ciccarella ‘95 and Katherine Wahl ‘95 took a moment to congratulate Ms. Maloney on her retirement. Eileen first came to SHA in 1980 as a member of the Religion department. She soon transitioned to the English department and spent many years teaching British Literature to SHA seniors. For more than four decades, she was part of the fabric of SHA, serving as Senior Class Moderator and stewarding various student-led clubs. At the time of her retirement, countless former students reflected on the close bonds she formed in and out of the classroom. She is fondly remembered for her warmth, keen listening skills and quick smile. Congratulations and best wishes in retirement! November 11-12 Musical Production: Mamma Mia! November 16 Reunion Planning Workshop for classes ending in “3” or “8” If you are a member of a graduating class ending in “3” or “8,” we would love to help you plan your upcoming reunion celebration. To get started, contact Sydney Schmidt ‘15 at sschmidt@ sacredheartacademy.org BOOK CLUB 2022-2023
Karen Krieger-Tober ‘72 and Dianne Schaefer Gordon ‘72 were friendly while they were students at Buffalo Academy of the Sacred Heart. “We were one of those classes,” Karen explains, “Everyone was friends with each other. We didn’t have cliques.” Even though the two women had not stayed in close contact since graduation, they immediately fell into an easy rhythm when it came time to plan their 50th anniversary celebration. They were also very like-minded about using the opportunity to make a significant gift in support of today’s SHA girls. In addition to meticulous planning for a gathering at Karen’s home the two crafted a letter to their classmates. In the letter, Karen pointed out that a significant gift to SHA created the opportunity for the class of 1972 to build a legacy. Boldly, the two each committed to gifts of $1,000 and challenged their classmates to consider the ways SHA invested in them years earlier. Leadership from Karen and Dianne led the class of 1972 to raise $17,000 in just a few months. They are working with SHA to identify the best way to allocate this gift. Dianne reflected on the perspective gained in the years since her graduation. “As a senior, I never would have thought I would make a gift to SHA or encourage others to do so. Time changes how you see things and helps you value your experiences in new ways.” The Class of 2002 has always taken their reunions seriously and this year was no exception. Marking the 20th anniversary of their graduation, they took a moment to reflect on how far they have come. Kate Feroleto Chetta ‘02 looked at all that her class accomplished in the two decades since graduation and determined that it was time to mark their success by creating a scholarship that invests in the next generation of SHA women. Kate and her team of classmates reached out via email, letter, postcard, social media and phone. The message was clear: We’re successful women and that success calls us to help others as we were helped. Known for their “can-do” attitude, the women of the Class of 2002 responded in many ways. Some made a one-time gift. Others committed to a monthly subscription gift that will add up over time. Still others took advantage of their employers’ matching gift policy to double their generosity. Through these efforts, the members of the class of 2002 contributed more than $10,000 in support of our students. Kate is encouraged by the response of her classmates and sees it growing, “It’s awesome to think that 20 years from now, a girl we helped will be in a position to help a future SHA girl!” Honoring 50 Years of Friendships Giving back to SHA brought the class of 1972 together in new ways We’re Ready to Give Back The Class of 2002 Gets Creative in Supporting SHA Members of the class of 2002 were all smiles as they gathered to celebrate their 20-year reunion. S P I R I T . M I N D . B O D Y . C O R D E C H O 1 1 Karen Krieger-Tober ‘72 and Dianne Schaefer Gordon ‘72 were delighted to bring their classmates together in celebration of the 50th anniversary of their graduation from SHA. The class of 1972 enjoyed reminiscing and reconnecting at their 50th anniversary celebration.
1 2 C O R D E C H O S P I R I T . M I N D . B O D Y . Eileen Snyder ’64 Friends, co-workers and fellow volunteers all describe Eileen Snyder ‘64 as the consummate professional. Her classmates, however, know that her professionalism is matched by her fun-loving spirit. Eileen spearheaded her SHA 10-year reunion celebration and has been exercising her passion for bringing people together ever since. She has joyfully taken the lead managing subsequent class events, each time drawing in and engaging her classmates to make the planning process nearly as fun as the main event. Eileen’s tireless attention to detail and exhaustive search for lost classmates has helped the class of 1964 stay closely connected with each other and SHA. Her commitment to bringing SHA women together does not stop with the class of 1964. She brings her warmth and sense of hospitality to all SHA events and actively engages members of other classes, parents and current students. Eileen’s meticulous attention to detail goes far beyond her dedication to SHA. Professionally, she excelled in banking, retiring as the Administrative Vice President for the loan review department at First Niagara Bank. Eileen continues to bring her energy and skills to local volunteer organizations, most notably Buffalo Niagara Honor Flight. Serving as treasurer for Honor Flight has allowed her to actively support the mission of recognizing United States Veterans for their sacrifices and achievements by flying them to Washington, D.C. to visit memorials at no cost to the veteran. Precision and joy come together to make Eileen an exceptionally effective volunteer, leader and friend. She has truly maximized her talents in service to others, deeply impacting those she has served and worked with. Susan Kreher Wantuck ’73 Sister Mara Walton, OSF ‘59 has reflected that teaching Susan Kreher Wantuck ‘73 was an education in itself which helped SHA better learn to nurture students with varying abilities. Though deaf, Sue’s attentiveness and determination made up for her physical challenge. As a student athlete, her sense of healthy competition and willingness to push herself proved that no challenge was beyond her reach. The fortitude that brought her success in volleyball, bowling, badminton and basketball served her well as she furthered her education at National Technical Institute for the Deaf at RIT, Gallaudet University and Canisius College. Her expertise in Deaf education led her to teach at St. Mary’s School for the Deaf until her retirement. Since retiring from the classroom, Sue continues to work as an advocate for the d/Deaf and hard of hearing and is a sought after public speaker on the subjects of Deaf culture and cochlear implants. Sports have remained her first love. She actively volunteered at sporting events and tournaments as her sons were growing up and continues to coach volleyball. Donna Mostiller ’78 Those who know Donna Mostiller ‘78 agree that she exemplifies the words attributed to St. Francis, “Preach the Gospel at all times. Use words if necessary.” It was this sentiment that motivated her classmate, Jennifer Walters ‘78 Celebrating Our Best Buffalo Academy of the Sacred Heart has a legacy of encouraging young women to use their gifts and talents to improve the world. This legacy is seen in our alumnae, and particularly exemplified by the recipients of the 2022 Christus Super Omnia Distinguished Alumna award. Annually, the Christus Super Omnia Distinguished Alumna award is given to graduates who have distinguished themselves in their careers and/or civic and community activities and exemplify the spirit and tradition of Buffalo Academy of the Sacred Heart, grounded in the Franciscan values.
S P I R I T . M I N D . B O D Y . C O R D E C H O 1 3 to nominate Donna for the Christus Super Omnia Distinguished Alumna award. As a student, Donna was a role model to others, and exhibited a quiet depth of spirit, humor and kindness. Donna has devoted her professional career to building up organizations and helping them to live their values and mission. With an undergraduate degree fromOberlin College and an MBA fromMedaille, Donna has led human resources efforts for Girl Scouts of Western New York and for Niagara University prior to accepting her current position as Senior Vice President of People and Culture at Heritage Christian Services. Beyond her professional work, Donna’s mission has been to build up the community of faith and bring healing to a Church wounded by racism and injustice. She is an active and vibrant Coordinator of Christian Initiation at St. Martin de Porres Parish in Buffalo. She has brought her expertise to other dioceses around the country as a teacher and speaker on Christian Initiation at the Diocese of Syracuse, the Archdiocese of Atlanta, the North American Forum on the Catechumenate, and the Diocese of Rochester where she was a keynote speaker at a conference on building racial justice and community. Donna’s professional and volunteer work is deeply centered on seeing the value in each individual. She is a living example of faith-inaction and her actions serve to inspire those around her, just as they inspired her classmates. Erin Bagwell ’05 Erin Bagwell ‘05 has never been afraid of big ideas. She boldly moved to New York City to work as a graphic designer after college. Once there, she found that the corporate world was not a good fit and began envisioning a life that would satisfy her creatively and intellectually. She was called to tell stories through film. As the founder of Feminist Wednesday, a feminist storytelling platform powered by guest writers, Erin knew that sharing the journey of women entrepreneurs would be both compelling to audiences and inspiring to young women. In order to begin the project, she first had to fund it. She did so by boldly launching a Kickstarter campaign which raised more than $100,000. Erin’s first film, Dream, Girl, premiered at the White House under the Obama administration. Not long after, she brought the film home to Buffalo to be shown at SHA, once for an audience of alumnae and friends and the next day for the full student body. Generously, Erin spent time with our students, answering questions and sharing her behindthe-scenes experiences. Just as her schedule was packed with extracurricular activities while she was a student, Erin had many initiatives underway while she was screening the film nationwide. The experience of having her first daughter, Ginny, led to her second documentary film, Year One. The film chronicles the complex emotions associated with becoming a mother and has been a lifeline to women as they adjust to parenthood. Throughout the production of her films, managing her blog and curating Feminist Wednesday, Erin has been an advocate for women. Her brave depiction of women overcoming challenges to find success shines the bright light of encouragement in the world.
1 4 C O R D E C H O S P I R I T . M I N D . B O D Y . ClassNotes Class Notes-where you’ll find updates on your fellow alumnae. Please share your news! Send information, including pictures, to email@example.com. THIS ISSUE OF CLASS NOTES CONTAINS UPDATES RECEIVED SINCE DECEMBER 2021 40s Sr. Marion Karl ’42 celebrated her 75th anniversary of religious profession in June at Stella Niagara. Sr. Karen Allen ’45 celebrated her 75th anniversary of religious profession in June at Stella Niagara. Sr. Patricia Healy ’48 celebrated her 70th anniversary of religious profession in June at Stella Niagara. Sr. Maura Fortkort ’49 celebrated her 70th anniversary of religious profession in June at Stella Niagara. Sr. DeSales Hattenberger ’49 celebrated her 70th anniversary of religious profession in June at Stella Niagara. Sr. Mary Kay Stahl ’49 celebrated her 70th anniversary of religious profession in June at Stella Niagara. 50s Sr. Lois Badding ’53 celebrated her 65th anniversary of religious profession in June at Stella Niagara. Sr. Christina Pecoraro ’54 celebrated her 65th anniversary of religious profession in June at Stella Niagara. Joyce Miskuf Coughlan ’58, her husband Patrick and their three sons own and operate a co-ed children’s camp called Kingsley Pines in Raymond, Maine. She is involved with the scholarship program for underserved children. Sr. Christine Diensberg ’58 celebrated her 60th anniversary of religious profession in June at Stella Niagara. Sr. Mara Walton ’59 celebrated her 60th anniversary of religious profession in June at Stella Niagara. 60s Sr. Jo-Anne Grabowski ’67 celebrated her 50th anniversary of religious profession in June at Stella Niagara. 70s Joan Horrigan Maira ‘77 retired from a long and successful career in human resources at HSBC. 80s Cathy Duke Lanzalaco ‘81 was appointed to the Buffalo Niagara Human Resource Association Board of Directors as the InTransition Chair. Also a member of the Forbes Coaches Council, Cathy is CEO of her career transition firm, Inspire Careers LLC. She enjoys participating in SHA’s annual Career Day and loves working with fellow SHA sisters to help them land jobs and build careers they love. Elizabeth Lesswing Pellnat ’83 was promoted to Senior Director of Enterprise Accounts at Medtronic. 90s Texlin Usher-Quinney ’92 is working toward a PhD in humanities with a concentration in English at Clark Atlanta University. She passed the Oral Defense on March 28, 2022. The title of her dissertation is “Losing Jeremiah: The ethical repercussions of diminishing human affliction when interpreting prophetic Leidensgeschichten.” Katherine Cierlicki Derrenbacher ’99 welcomed daughter Hannah Jane on September 21, 2021. Hannah joins two older siblings. 00s Rebecca Sewastynowicz Deitzer ’01 graduated this past May, earning her Doctorate of Medical Sciences. She is a Physician Assistant, working for the leukemia service at Roswell Park. KristyMichalek ’01 married Stephen Russell in December 2021. Her bridal party included her sister Rachel Michalek Jankowski ‘03, Cate Vivacqua ‘02, and Rita Sweeney Aiken ‘03. Kathryn Belliotti Hammer ’02 was named Director of Alumni and Community Engagement for D’Youville University. Cate Vivacqua ‘02 married Jeremy Rossignolo at Canisius College Chapel on September 4, 2021. Her bridal party included Jillian Schneider Stapleton ‘02 and Kristy Michalek Russell ‘01. Sisters Marion Karl ‘42 and Karen Allen ‘45 Sisters Maura Fortkort ‘49, Christina Pecoraro ‘54 and Mary Kay Stahl ‘49 Sisters Lois Badding ‘53, Karen Allen ‘45 and Christina Pecoraro ‘45 Sisters Jo-Anne Grabowski ‘67, Christina Pecoraro ‘54 and Mara Walton ‘59