Wednesday evening’s Celebration of the Heart was a spectacular night to remember, as parents, alumnae, faculty, and staff gathered to celebrate our students and our beloved school. The event was a powerful example of the School’s commitment to building community and giving people the opportunity to connect with one another. Evening highlights included performances by the Madrigals, a vibrant video featuring voices from around the student body, Class of 2024 President Jane Murphy and students providing a multi-lingual prayer, and “lifer” Olivia Caponiti ’23, student council president, speaking about the year’s theme, “Better Together.”
The evening began as President and Head of School Michael F. Baber warmly welcomed new parents to his home for a reception. Following this reception, over 400 community members gathered in the Athletic Center for the community dinner. Guests heard updates on the school’s robust financial health, signature programs, and outstanding student accomplishments. The program also featured speakers Kathleen O’Connor, chair of the Board of Trustees and Mr. Baber. Throughout their remarks, a clear theme emerged: this is a great time to be a student at Sacred Heart Greenwich.
“People always ask me, why Sacred Heart?” said Mrs. O’Connor. “The answer for me is simple: since 1848 Sacred Heart has been educating and cultivating the whole child. Our girls receive a top-notch education from the most caring and dedicated faculty and staff you can find anywhere, but more importantly, they develop their voice, they cultivate their spiritual life, they learn to be great friends, great teammates, and great humans in a supportive and nurturing environment.”
In her remarks, Mrs. O’Connor reinforced the importance of the School’s latest strategic planning process, which will unfold over the course of this school year. The strategy will embrace the changes and opportunities of the current educational landscape. Grounded in serious self-study, research, and community-wide surveys, it will shape the vision of the school for years to come and ensure Sacred Heart Greenwich continues to live its mission as a transformative place for young women and their families.
Mrs. O’Connor celebrated the leadership and dedication of the many school champions who are building early momentum for the Fund for Sacred Heart. She thanked several groups who are leading the way, with 100% commitment already to the Fund by the students in the Class of 2023, the Senior Class Gift Committee parent volunteers, the Board of Trustees, and the faculty and staff.
“Our girls are our future: and our job is to create the conditions for them to be the leaders, the creators, the changemakers, and the extraordinary citizens they are - knowing they will offer their gifts to the world in innumerable ways,” concluded Mrs O’Connor.
Mr. Baber discussed the School’s commitment to mission, and demonstrated how the School, guided by the Goals & Criteria, balances the drive to innovate, while staying true to its founding principles. Mr. Baber highlighted how Sacred Heart Greenwich strives to transform the world one girl at a time. He shared powerful examples of how the girls are impacted by the School’s signature programs, including Mustard Seeds, Filmmaking and Media Studies, STEM education, the arts, and athletics.
Mr. Baber also noted that last year:
- nine seniors won awards at the Connecticut STEM fair
- eight seniors won awards at the Connecticut Science and Engineering Fair.
- 14 students earned Scholastic Art Awards, more than any other Connecticut school.
- 239 students participated in athletics. Sacred Heart won two FAA Tournament Championships, had 14 All-NEPSAC Honorees, nine NEPSAC Honorable mentions, four All-Americans, and ten members of the class of 2022 committed to play college athletics.
These accolades are among the many academic, artistic, and athletic accomplishments celebrated over the past year and underscore the School’s philosophy of teaching students how to think, not what to think.
“Sacred Heart students gain the tools and knowledge to think critically,” said Mr. Baber, “to assess and seek out different viewpoints, so they are able to form their own opinions, based on what is in their hearts. Our educators not only work diligently to prepare graduates for top colleges, but also for them to transform the world and inspire others with their confidence, courage, and compassion.”