|Shadow of St. Stephen's steeple|
The story delves into the school's survival depended on the recognition that the neighborhood had changed and their competition was not the few struggling Catholic schools in the area but the independent schools scattered around the Yorkville neighborhood for the last 50 years (or more). Understanding this and doing something about it was the challenge. The compromise allowed St. Stephen's to remain open when it was targeted for closing. There were consequences. The school tuition of $8,000 is out reach to many locals but it is a quarter of the tuition at the private schools while offering a similar eclectic curriculum.
Principal Katherine Peck's professional development and implementation of the new diverse educational program while maintaining the Franciscan ideals embraced by the church and school's parishioners is outstanding. Rev. Angelo Gambatese, Pastor of St, Stephen's generously supports the school in all it's activities and has made the church into an embracing home during his long helmsmanship.
Mrs. Peck's energetic leadership is evident in every classroom. Her talented staff of teachers, assistants and administrators are deeply engaged with the students (I visited the school and kids this past year to talk about my time at the school 1960-1968).
Jenny Anderson, of The New York Times, did a great job telling the current St. Stephen’s story.
Things change, Yorkville's still here, and sometimes it's hard to find the old tucked inside the new. My memories are comforting, but it's silly and a waste of time to not find good in the new and if you are lucky tie it to your past.
I intended to write about Bergino's Baseball Clubhouse today, that story will appear here tomorrow.
Here is one of my stories that involves my time at St. Stephen's in the 1960s.
|My parents wedding Sept 1952|
|Folder & Freddy Muller @ 1968|
|Father Edward marries my parents 1952|
|Rory First Grade|
|Church from the choir 2011|
|Tommy Third Grade ~ Mom made me wear the jacket|