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A Sacred Heart Spring
Deirdre Cryor

Lower School News to Share

I am so excited to share that this summer we will be renovating and redesigning the Lower School Science Room.  New furniture, new floor, new equipment.  Ms. Murtagh has had such a successful first year at Sacred Heart teaching the Next Generation Science Standards and now we will update the classroom to serve our students in even more ways. When I visit the science room it is always buzzing with excitement and activity. A committee of teachers is working on the plan for the room. We can’t wait to unveil it in the new school year.

Also, I am pleased to share that Ms. Murtagh was nominated for Philadelphia Magazine's Best Teacher Award. This is a contest for elementary school teachers. If Ms. Murtagh makes it to the finalist stage, we all have to vote for her! The prize is $5,000 for her classroom. Stay tuned!

Our Lower School teachers are some of the most stellar reading teachers on the planet. I have witnessed non-readers engage and embrace reading this year.  Our teachers are patient and smart in their methods and use best practices with all of our girls. They are trained in the Wilson Fundations program, and this summer we are able to support them as they attend classes to learn even more about the program.

And finally, Lauren Deets, our music teacher, has added to her responsibilities.  She is now the Lower School Admissions Associate. We are thrilled to have her enthusiasm on the Admissions Team. Mrs. Deets brings an unabashed love for Sacred Heart to everything she does. This spring she has focused on outreach and has visited more than 30 preschools already. She recently coordinated our Lower School Open House where the Performing Hearts Club performed, “Wing It.” A wonderful fun afternoon for everyone who visited!

Middle School Hosts a Plethora of Visitors

The Middle School girls have been busy hosting and touring girls who have visited Sacred Heart with the hopes of joining us next year.  I was at Middle School homeroom the other morning, Mrs. Robinson asked for helpers with the visitors… every hand shot right up!  When I saw the number of students willing to help, I thought not only are these girls willing to help, they want to share their community.  How wonderful.

Middle School Field Trips and Adventures

Our Middle School girls have had the opportunity in recent days to leave campus physically and through their imaginations! The whole MS took over Walnut Street Theater to see The Importance of Being Earnest.  The MS Choir presented an energetic spring concert “Girl Power” taking many of us back in time to our favorite Joni Mitchell concert.  And, during the Decades Project, many girls traveled back in time to present their social studies projects.

As a product of a Sacred Heart school, I admit that I am a big francophile! So, of course, I was quite proud and impressed with our Middle School students who did so well on the National French Contest.  Two of our 8th-grade girls earned Silver Medals and four earned honorable mentions.  More than 18,000 students across the country took Le Grand Concours.  And our girls were at the top! Très Bien!

Congratulations to Mya Lockings '19

Please join me in congratulating sophomore Mya Lockings who was nominated, applied and was accepted to the 2017 University of Notre Dame Summer Scholars program.  Mya has received a full tuition scholarship that will cover the cost to attend the program as well as round trip transportation. 

Mya was selected to the NDignite Connection Program in 2014 when she was in the seventh grade at Sacred Heart.

The letter to Mya said, “We believe that you will bring your unique talents and energy to this year's class and are delighted we will get the opportunity to welcome you to Notre Dame this summer.” Mya will join high school peers from around the country and the world in this program.  The program she is enrolled in is called Psychology and the Self

Congratulations Mya!

Graduation Speaker: Young Alumna Inspiration

We are honored to welcome back to campus Leigh Rendé, Class of 1995 and a lifer at Sacred Heart, as the school’s commencement speaker on June 8.   A little about her:

Ms. Rendé is a graduate of Loyola University Maryland where she was a Presidential Scholar and majored in creative writing and minored in French. During her college years, she studied in Bangkok, Thailand.  After college and a few years of working in the Public Relations office of the Philadelphia Zoo, she headed off to Temple University Beasley School of Law.  During her years in law school, she studied abroad for a summer at the Nairobi International Law Institute in Kenya. Today, Ms. Rendé works for the US Department of Justice as a Trial Attorney in the Environmental Enforcement Section.

Previously, Ms. Rendé served as Special Assistant US Attorney in General Crimes Misdemeanor Unit; she has also worked for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.  She has been recognized for her work with the Department of Justice with Special Achievement awards in 2014 as well as 2013.  In 2016, she was honored with a Bronze Medal from the US EPA as well as in 2014 and 2008.

During her time as a student at Sacred Heart, Ms. Rendé served as School President in her senior year, also as a captain of the Field Hockey team, a member of the Lacrosse team and strong member of the Red Team.  Ms. Rendé was a lifer, attending Sacred Heart from kindergarten to 12th grade. 

We look forward to welcoming her home to Sacred Heart and listening to what she has to share with the Class of 2017.  For more information about Graduation, be sure to check out our Graduation Page.

And…a Spring Reflection

Since it is still my first year, I continue to enjoy observing and experiencing for the first time the “Sacred Heart Way.” That is the manner with which students, teachers, and parents here in this community care for and build community. 

A few moments to share with you:

The Middle School concert included some toe-tapping tunes that brought out smiles from the audience that night.  And, some of our girls on stage couldn’t help but dance as they sang. And as they looked around at each other, what did they see on each other’s faces? Smiles.  As I watched and smiled back at them, I realized there was low to no inhibition present for our girls. How joyful. It’s one of the great parts about a girls’ school.   Our girls are comfortable to show their love for the song, for dancing, for the moment they were sharing.

The other night at the Lower School concert, two girls shared their guitar skills while their classmates sang.  When they both walked up to return to their spots on the risers, they were patted on the back by their classmates. Girls leaned forward to offer their congratulations.  I could see in their faces how impressed they were and how strongly they support each other.

At the recent Upper School speeches for Core Group, C of G and Team Captains, I witnessed strong confident candidates giving great speeches.  And, I witnessed a caring and engaged audience. When a speaker shared a joke, the girls offered a happy, rousing response. If the speaker stumbled over her words and her nerves peeked through, the audience offered words of encouragement and patience (“you got this!”  “take your time!”). The energy of support and care for the community was palpable. As each girl approached the podium to give her speech she heard cheers from the school and as she uttered her last word of her speech, a loud round of applause erupted.

Wow.  It’s hard not to love it here.