Welcome to my Blog!
Here you will find some reflections on all of the wonderful things happening at St. Patrick School!
St. Patrick School honors our past through a true spirit of generosity that nurtures the faith formation of each child, seeing Christ in all we do and say. As a school community, we seek to build the future by encouraging every student to reach their academic potential and be an example of our Catholic identity, living the Gospel message in service to others.
ABOUT ST. PATRICK SCHOOL
St. Patrick School has a long history that the student body honors each day while we educate students for the future. In the mid 1800's, Chatham experienced an influx of Irish Catholic immigrants to work at the local brickyard, hoping to make a better life for themselves in this country. They were a faith filled group, traveling each week the 2.5 miles to Madison to attend mass every Sunday. It was quickly determined this group needed their own worship space and school.
This history of St. Patrick School begins in 1871. Two lots of land, each 50 feet by 150 feet, were purchased for $500 from the Lum estate. The construction of a red brick, Ruskinian Gothic style structure began in January of 1872, costing about $4,000. At this time, a meeting was held to ask for donations. Many of these early parishioners did not have money available, but many pledged themselves to give 1,000 bricks.
In January 1875, additional land was purchased for $800 to build a wood framed schoolhouse for $1,000. This original school house on Washington Street was condemned and torn down. By 1882, enrollment is 35-40 students and cost of running the school was $600 annually.
The Sisters of Charity gift land for a new school in 1930. The cornerstone reads 1930, although it was not placed until 1931. Construction cost $67,000. Fr. Donnelly oversaw the planning from design to financing the New School.
In 1948, Sisters of Christian Charity replaces Sisters of Charity and the enrollment is 198. In 1952, four classrooms are added. By 1972, the school has added another four classrooms and enrollment is over 300 students. 1988 - Parish Center is built, giving the school a gymnasium/auditorium, a cafeteria, and a space for overflowing music classes and band instruction. In 1990, six classrooms and lockers are installed in the church basement for middle school grades, and room for Latin class, Art class, Computers, and Music because the Parish Center was built adjacent to the main school building.
In 2003, St. Patrick School is awarded United States Department of Education National Blue Ribbon School of Excellence. In 2017, the school celebrated its 145th Anniversary.
I am in my second year as the principal of Saint Patrick School after serving as interim principal since January 2016. I earned my doctorate in K-12 Educational Leadership from Saint Peter’s University in 2016. A graduate of parochial elementary and high school, I began my career in Catholic education as a middle school teacher in the Diocese of Paterson and then advanced to the role of principal at Saint Paul School, Clifton. While principal, my school was awarded the diocesan Best Practices Award for the fine arts program.
I hold six New Jersey State educational certificates, including Teacher of Student with Disabilities and Chief School Administrator. Formerly, I was an undergraduate instructor in the Felician University School of Education. I have been a presenter at local, state and national conferences. I also co-authored “Compare, Support and Inform: One Approach to the Common Core Standards in the Social Studies Classroom,” published in a national educational journal and am currently an editorial reviewer for New Teacher Advocate, a Kappa Delta Pi national publication.
For over twenty years, I have volunteered as a Cub Scout leader and a religious awards counselor for the Catholic Committee on Scouting in the Diocese of Paterson. I am the 2001 recipient of the Boy Scouts of America Catholic Committee Bronze Pelican Award, as was my father and grandfather previously. A firm believer in the value of catholic education, my husband and I have two sons who also attend parochial school.
I am truly honored to be leading Saint Patrick School with its rich past and working with this extraordinary faculty and dedicated school families to build the future.