Jennifer Crusco
Communications Assistant

Alumna Advises Students: Embrace & Enjoy the Gift of an AHA Education  

Demarest, NJ: At the Academy of the Holy Angels, Catholic Schools Week concluded with a poignant message from an alumna who would relive her high school years in a heartbeat – not to amend the past, but to fully appreciate the enduring gift she received.

AHA Principal Jean Mullooly presented Kathleen (Reilly) Rothstein’s heartfelt missive to the student body, faculty, and staff.

“I don't think I ever appreciated the education I was receiving while I was a student at AHA so many years ago,” said Rothstein, a member of the Class of 1984. “It's now, as an adult, that I can appreciate all of the disciplines and skills I learned. I have been especially aware of late, of the incredible level of education I received in English.

“I wanted to be sure you, and all of the present staff at AHA know just how much our quality education, and the high expectations set at the school, actually mean. I am so proud of my vocabulary, my grammar skills, my continuing ability to speak French (Merci Mme. Wagman and Mme. Pennotti!!), and even the one or two phrases I remember from Latin (Mr. Kopil and Sr. Ignatius!)  "ubi ignus est?' she used to ask as we walked a little too quickly (through) the hallways!”

Rothstein recalled several teachers, including Mrs. Bustos, S. Virginia, Ms. Fay, S. Ruth, and Miss Fanning -- and taking the mile run with Ms. Liddy.

This alumna would gladly go back again: “This time I would enjoy it more, appreciate it more...” she said.“You are being given an amazing gift!” Rothstein told the current students. “AHA is like no other, and you will take the connections you make with you through life.” She urged the Angels to embrace and enjoy their AHA experience.

Principal Mullooly acknowledged that Rothstein’s letter was a gift in its own right, since it arrived just after the scheduled speaker had to cancel her appearance at the CSW assembly. Mullooly, who is also an AHA alumna, told Rothstein she and her fellow Angel share many of the same fond memories of high school, and invited Rothstein to return to AHA for a tour.

“I am the luckiest principal in the world,” Mullooly told the school community, telling everyone in the auditorium, “You’re meant to be here!”

Since 1879, thousands of women have passed through the portals of Academy of the Holy Angels high school, the oldest private girls’ school in New Jersey. Many go on to study at some of the nation’s best universities, earning high-ranking positions in medicine, government, law, education, public service, business, arts and athletics. Our goal is to provide each girl with the tools she needs to reach the fullness of her potential—spiritually, intellectually, socially and physically, by offering a first –rate education in a nurturing environment where equal importance is placed on academic excellence, character development, moral integrity and giving service to others.

Academy of the Holy Angels

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Demarest, NJ 07627

Phone: 201.768.7822

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