School Start Eve

There's a certain electricity in the air at Upper Campus. It's the anticipation of students starting school.  My favorite holiday is Christmas Eve. The anticipation of Christmas morning is palpable. From the time I was a kid, waiting to see what was under the tree to today as a mom, hoping my girls are excited for the gifts I carefully selected--the anticipation is better than the actual celebration.  Tomorrow will be better than today, because I will actually see my "kids." But the anticipation is still pretty satisfying. The hope of a new year, with new students, new classes, new possibilities awaits. Who will rise to be the valedictorian of the senior class? Which sports will make a deep post-season run? Which teacher will shine in a new assignment? The possibilities are endless tonight. We have worked tirelessly this summer. From the early days of June putting together the calendar of events and master schedule, to hiring new teachers and creating new courses, to

Commencement Speech 2023

Good morning Kennedy Family. It is with joy that I address you, the graduating class of 2023. It is also with sadness, hope, love, and respect that I address you because, as Mr. Codispoti tells me, “you get too attached to the seniors.” and honestly it’s never been more true than this year. As Winnie the Pooh said, How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard. I’d like to start by sharing a story from the late 1900s. I was in middle school and we had the same English teacher for 3 years in a row. At the end of 7th grade, our final year in the building, she would write a poem about the students in the class; funny stories she would remember or things she admired about us. This was a big deal to the students and we could not wait to hear it. What I didn’t realize was that it was probably a big deal for her too. To grow close with a group of kids for a few years and see them leave is hard– and the better the students, the harder the ending. The pressure of a poem I’m

How do you measure a school year

🎶Seventy three thousand, eight hundred and seventy minutes Seventy three thousand, eight hundred moments so dear Seventy three thousand, eight hundred and seventy minutes How do you measure, measure a school year??🎶 In Masses, in lunches In homework, in cups of coffee In gym class, in dances  In practice, in games In seventy three thousand, eight hundred seventy minutes How do you measure a year in the life? It’s Fiddlesticks show week, which has got me all musical and sentimental.  It’s senior Mass week. It’s final WJFK episode. Its seniors last full week of school. It’s breaking my heart.  In August, the world was our oyster. We celebrated Mass 12 times this year, with 8th grade promotion Mass and Baccalaureate to come.  We danced the night away at Homecoming, Prom, and junior high Spring Fling.  We were district finalists in girls golf, boys soccer, boys basketball; state qualifiers in boys golf; state runner up in football; state champs in cheer (and baseball and track are still

Behind the Scenes

  One of the highlights of being a junior/senior high school principal is my time with seniors. They are pretty much fully formed adults able to have rational conversations...which is a real unicorn if you spend too much time with junior high kids. (As a parent of a 6th and 7th grader and former 8th grade teacher of 11 years, I say this with a lot of experience and love). Seniors have a jam packed year at Kennedy, filled with a lot of traditions. From the first Mass walking in the Kindergarteners, Homecoming Court, Senior vs Staff Volleyball Game, Senior Retreat, Prom, Baccalaureate, Awards Assembly, and Commencement to name a few. I don't cherish having a front row seat to it all--rather, I love the behind-the-scenes time I get to spend before those big moments.  Today was the Homecoming Court Speeches- each candidate speaks for a few minutes to the 9-12th grade student body, trying to win over votes with their friendly roasts of each other, taking a stroll down memory lane, and s

Sometimes you have to let the baby cry

A few people close to me have had newborns recently. My sister-in-law and brother-in-law had their first baby, my beautiful niece Josephine on Valentine's Day this past February. My high school best friend/college roommate and her husband had a sweet second baby boy in June. As a mother of two tween girls, it's been a minute that I have been in that newborn phase of parenthood. Holding their babies, many forgotten skills come rushing back. I was never great at manuevering the spit rag under those little jello necks but I am pretty adept at getting a burp out. I remembered packing to leave the house with ev.ry.thing in a bag plus a stroller and a carseat and change of clothes...and inevitably not having the one thing you actually ended up needing. When I changed a diaper, it reminded me of cutting off a onesie like I was a trauma nurse when there was a diaper blow out. My living room was filled with a different structure for every 2 month phase- the swing, the bouncer, the exosa

Lessons in Reality: Commencement address 2022

  Good Morning Kennedy Family. It is with joy that I address you, the graduating class of 2022. Many of you know that I am a sucker for reality TV, and if you didn’t know, I suppose this is my confession. I’ve watched all the Bachelor and bachelor adjacent seasons, including being the commissioner of a Bachelor Fantasy League for a few years. I watch the reality dating-on-an-island shows and listen to the corresponding podcasts. I love The Real Housewives of all the cities and I may be the only person who watched and loved the 2-season series premiering in 2004, The Real Gilligan’s Island. (But, seriously, moms out there, if you watched it- I am available to discuss following commencement). Now, while some of you are really questioning how I spend my precious free time, I promise you there are some actual lessons to be learned from reality tv that I will impart on you now as you leave the safe nest of Kennedy and soar into “reality.” #1- First Impressions count. Even if there isn’t a d

Your Action Figure (Commencement Address 2021)

  It is with great joy that I address you, the graduating class of 2021. As you leave the safe nest of John F. Kennedy Catholic School and start the next phase of life, I have an important question for you: What does your action figure come with?  Think about it. You all have had Barbies or action figures and they all come in a signature outfit and a few accessories. If they sold an action figure of you, what would you be wearing and what would you come with? I’ll go first. I am definitely wearing a cardigan and flats, I have a travel coffee mug and a Chromebook. Mr. Kenneally’s has a Kennedy polo and string on the back when you pull it, he yells real loud. Father Lavelle’s has a cheese puff and Mrs. Schlosser’s comes with tardy slips.  So, your High School doll: what are you wearing? The classic polo and khakis, belt optional? The senior hoodie that you haven’t taken off since January? A sports or cheer uniform? This outfit choice for your doll is defining. No one wants to buy the ext