HCA's Sports Night 2019 was the hottest ticket this year as attendees were privileged to witness sports radio legend, Mike Francesa, interview Yankee great, Bernie Williams on the the campus of Holy Child Academy. Guests were fascinated hearing the inside stories only Mike and Bernie could tell, and even more enthralled listening to Bernie, a classically trained musician, play "Take Me Out to the Ballpark" on his guitar. The night got even better as guests were given the opportunity to ask questions, take photos with Mike and Bernie, and have baseballs signed. Thank you to the many that came out to support Holy Child Academy! Thanks especially to Mike Francesa and Bernie Williams for giving us an incredible, once-in-a-lifetime experience!
Congratulations to Holy Child Academy Class of 2019! May God Continue to Bless You!
Read on for our Head of School Address and list of Graduation Award Winners
Graduation Address by Head of School, Art Viscusi
Good morning, faculty, parents, trustees, and, most importantly, students. Well, you made it! Although right now Mrs. Tripodi is finalizing a few averages and we will let you know after the ceremony whether or not you have actually passed.
The class that sits before us today is truly an amazing group of young adults. They embody everything that Holy Child stands for. Our mission states that Holy Child Academy is a place where a “young person’s best qualities can flourish” and that the community is built up the principles of communication, trust, and respect. I stand here before you all as a witness to those characteristics in each and every one of the 28 young women and men that are here with us now. Their best qualities have flourished and their characters are built on communication, trust, and respect. They have celebrated each other’s accomplishments and supported each other through difficult times. I know why they chose the graduation song they did. It is because that no matter what, no matter where they end up in high school, college, and beyond, they will all have someone that will be “there for them.” I have seen them stand up for each other, protect each other, care for each other, and as all brothers and sisters do, love each other. Believe me, I am not the only one who has witnessed this. Your teachers also say the same thing. They say there is something special about this class, something they have not seen before in other classes, and that is a bond that will last a life-time. We are all very excited about the future for all of you, but, we are all very sad to see you go.
It's customary for graduation speeches to give advice. As I thought about the advice that I would want to pass on, I thought about the advice I wish was given to me. Now, that being said, I am quite sure that this advice was given to me, but I just didn’t listen. So, my first piece of advice is to listen. Listen to each other, listen to your teachers, listen to your parents, and most importantly, listen to yourself. Treat yourself in the same way you would treat your best-friend. Better yet, be your own best-friend and listen to the advice that you give yourself. You will be faced with many challenging decisions in the future, trust yourself, believe in yourself, and listen to yourself. Understand that you will make the wrong decision from time to time, but learn from those wrong decisions. I have spent time talking to many of you about some of the decisions you have made and I always come back to the same final sentence. It’s not the mistake that defines you, it is what you have learned from that mistake that defines you.
Of course, there is a long list of graduation advice that is out there, such as: Find your passion and follow your heart, be kind, don’t give up, get in the game, dream big, be present. These are all great pieces of advice and quite frankly they are all a little too cliché for me. However, there is one piece of advice that I would like to take out of the cliché mix and expound upon a bit. That is, be yourself. Let me start with a short story.
I worked with a fellow history teacher in the past who brought a friend of his in every year to speak to his students. His friend was a man by the name of Felix Fibitch. Felix Fibitch was a holocaust survivor and would speak to his class every year on the importance of being who you are. He would begin his talk by telling the students they are not who the name on their shirts tell them they are. Often times, and we all do this, we wear clothing with emblems, names, advertising. Mr. Fibitch would say “you are YOU, you are not Adidas, you are You! You must be who YOU are in this life. Don’t ever let anyone tell you who YOU are.” To me, that is some of the best advice you can receive. Be YOU. As you leave Holy Child Academy, you have an opportunity to really define who you are and who you want to become. I trust that your teachers, friends, and parents have helped you answer the question of “who am I” and now, as you step into the hallowed halls of the high schools you will be attending, you know who you are and who you want the future you to be. Don’t let others tell you who you should be, don’t let others tell you what to believe, don’t let others tell you what’s right and what’s wrong, don’t let others define who you are. You are 28 beautiful individuals and you have to be who YOU are, in this life. Be true to yourself, trust yourself, and be your own best friend.
Personally, this class will hold a special place in my heart. You are my first class here at Holy Child and I could not have asked for a finer group of young adults to initiate me into the community. You accepted me and my family and made us feel as if we have been here forever. Even when it felt like forever. I am so fortunate that I was able to work with you all this year as not only your Head of School, but also as your history teacher. CNN (ten hand sign) with Carl Azuz, discussions, and who can forget all the opportunities I gave you! Don’t worry, you will have plenty of opportunities in high school. I look forward to you visiting often, sharing your stories of success, your challenges, your good times and your bad times. We are a family and while you may be going off to high school, don’t forget to visit home.
Congratulations, each and every one of you!
2019 Graduation Awards
Multos Anos Award
In recognition of those students that have been here for the long haul, also known as the Survivor Award:
The Desiree Parente Award
The recipients of these awards are chosen by the fine and performing arts teachers. These students excel in art, music, and theater. This year’s
Music - Kyle Frucchione
Art - Sophie Ledee,
Theater - Chris DeLuca
The Outstanding Athlete Awards
The recipients of this award are chosen by the physical education staff
including all coaches.
Outstanding Female Athlete
Outstanding Male Athletes:
Robert G. Hodson Award
Robert G. Hodson was the first chairman of the Board of Trustees of Old Westbury School of the Holy Child. This award symbolizes Mr. Hodson’s dedication and service to the school community during its founding years. The student who receives this award must be an energetic, determined, unselfish leader who has served the school well. He/She must be consistently helpful, responsible, and generous with his/her time and talent. This year’s Robert G. Hodson Award was presented to:
Sister Jeanne d’Arc Hayes Award
This award celebrates the memory of a gentle woman whose life touched many children here at Holy Child Academy. Everyone could depend on her warm smile and open arms. She was a true friend and had a beautiful caring spirit. The recipient of this award is the person to whom others turn for help, advice, and comfort. He/she has a spirit of wisdom.
This year’s Sister Jeanne d’Arc Hayes Award was presented to:
Cornelia Connelly Award
This award is considered the top award given at graduation. The winner of this award must be a fine all-around student. He/she will be a scholar-athlete, an active participant in either fine or performing arts, respected by classmates, and a positive influence on his/her peers. This person should personify the Holy Child Spirit in the manner in which he/she conducts him/herself in and out of school. Leadership, scholarship, spirit, spirituality, sportsmanship, artistry, and friendship are all aspects considered in the selection of this student.
This year’s Cornelia Connelly Award was presented to:
We are so proud of Michael! Winner of the Kellenberg Math Bee!
After 14 rounds of performing math calculations in his head, Michael was named Kellenberg Math Bee Winner. Michael competed against 26 participants from 13 different schools. Congratulations Michael! Read the full article from The Island Now here.
Multicultural Week at Holy Child Academy is week filled with the sights, sounds, tastes of different countries.
Multicultural Week at Holy Child Academy is week filled with the sights, sounds, tastes of different countries. Children in grades Kindergarten through 4th are immersed in a particular country for ten days, learning a countries history, culture and tradition. Throughout the week the children are engaged in exciting multicultural activities – singing traditional songs, dancing folk dances, making and tasting ethnic dishes, and creating representative art through many mediums. This year the students studied, Australia, Japan, England, Greece, and Italy.
Multicultural Week culminates for the young students on their grades special day. Dressed in their countries colors, the students present, in front of the entire school, important facts about their country, sing a traditional song, and recite a simple prayer in a foreign language. The entire student body then enjoys a traditional meal, prepared by Chef Micah, representing the “Country of the Day”. This year many children tasted for the first time, Dogwood Dogs from Australia, Chicken Teriyaki from Japan, Fish N Chips from England, Gyros from Greece and Eggplant Parmesan from Italy. So exciting and so much learning!
Inspired by Caine Monroy, an East Los Angeles boy, who built a working arcade in the front of his father’s auto parts store, our sixth grade students worked in groups to make arcade games of their own. Using no electrical parts, only cardboard, tape, other simple materials and most importantly their imaginations, each group was challenged to design a unique game. Working throughout January during Instructional Technology class, the sixth graders created a bowling game, a ring toss game, a bunny flower throw game, and a knock down the clown game. Realizing how fun the games were, the class invited the Holy Child Academy first grade to come play. The first graders loved having the morning off to play games and spend time with the sixth graders. The sixth graders, in turn, were very proud to share their successful creations with their younger HCA family members. If you would like to watch the video about Caine’s arcade or learn more about what he has inspired across the country the website is: http://cainesarcade.com/