Bay Ridge

St. Patrick students greeted by balloons on first day

September 11, 2015 Brooklyn Daily Eagle
One student held a sign to mark the historic occasion in his life. Photo courtesy of Saint Patrick Catholic Academy
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Students and parents returned to St. Patrick Catholic Academy for the first day of classes on Wednesday after summer vacation and were greeted with green and gold balloons that had been placed in the auditorium of the Bay Ridge school.

Principal Andrea D’Emic stood on the steps of the academy’s auditorium on Fourth Avenue and 97th Street and welcomed students as they posed for photos with their proud parents and grandparents. The academy is located at 401 97th St.

The Rev. Monsignor Michael Hardiman, pastor of St. Patrick Catholic Church at 951 Fourth Ave., joined D’Emic in greeting children of all ages as they entered the building.

Inside, D’Emic led a brief assembly as the students sat with their classmates and greeted their teachers. In addressing the students, Hardiman urged older students to act as leaders and set an example for the younger grades.

Now in its third school year as a Catholic academy, St. Patrick actually traces its roots as a school back to 1863. Rev. John Tanzer, the church pastor at the time, decided to create a Catholic educational institution for the children of Irish laborers who had settled in Bay Ridge, according to the academy’s website,

With help from the Sisters of St. Dominic, a religious order of nuns, St. Patrick Elementary School was formed in Bay Ridge.

The elementary school, which operated under the jurisdiction of St. Patrick Church, was transformed into an independent Catholic academy three years ago.

The academy operates under the leadership of D’Emic and a board of directors led by Joseph Langley.

The Class of 2015 was awarded scholarships totaling $600,000, according to school officials.


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