Bishop Kearney turns 50

October 27, 2011 Denise Romano
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Bishop Kearney High School celebrates its golden anniversarythis year as the all-girls Catholic institution turns 50.

The school opened its doors in the fall of 1961 under theleadership of Sister Letitia Maria and the Sisters of Saint Joseph.Since then, over 13,000 young women have graduated to becomejournalists, judges, doctors and dentists.

We believe that we empower women who will shape the future,said current principal Sister Thomasine Stagnitta. When you belongto the Kearney family, you are not only here for an education butfor sociability and friendships. Our hospitality and friendlinessmakes us different from other schools.

As soon as students walk through the door as freshmen, theyimmediately are prepared for college. Bishop Kearney offers notonly an advanced academic curriculum – students are allowed to takeas many AP courses as they wish – but are required to do 90 hoursof community service before they graduate.

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This June, 23 seniors earned AP Scholar distinction by theCollege Board; eight students qualified for the AP Scholar withHonor Award and 93 were National Honor Society Honorees.

Some students go straight into college as upper freshmen andsophomores, Stagnitta explained, noting that students with specialneeds get help, as well. Their transition to college is easier dueto everything they have learned here.

Bishop Kearney also offers plenty of extracurricular activities.Students are part of the Wounded Warrior Project and will visitFort Belvoir in Washington, D.C. at the end of this month. Theschool also has a partnership with MSG Varsity and a cabletelevision show airs out of the school’s basement.

It’s really amazing – the girls work hard but they love it,said Sister Virginia Lake, Bishop Kearney’s director ofinstitutional advancement, adding that there is a 100 percentgraduation rate and the Class of 2011 earned more than $24 millionin scholarships.

They tell their friends and loved ones about school, she wenton. Fifteen to 20 percent of every graduating class is a daughterof an alumna. Girls here are presidents, coaches and leaders. Theydon’t have to think that they are second best – they know they areleaders of the future.

Each student meets with a guidance counselor about once a weekstarting freshman year. Starting in junior year, they are askedwhat they may want to do after graduation.

Girls are not left to fend for themselves, Lake said. Theyare encouraged to seek internships and scholarships. College andcareer counselors also print an in-house bulletin to offer constantsupport. We also have a Career Day where students are exposed todifferent things.

Bishop Kearney is celebrating its anniversary in a special way.One of their alumna scanned pictures from scrapbooks and yearbooks,chronicling the school’s 50 years, and made a special DVD foralumnae to purchase.

It’s a wonderful historical record, Stagnitta said. It’s niceto see how the cars outside have changed and how the parents usedto get all dressed up. It’s a trip down memory lane. As they say:Once a Kearney girl, always a Kearney girl.

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