Alumnae from St. Mary’s and alumni from St. Paul’s recently attended a reunion of the two schools, organized by The Stewart Fund.
The Garden City Historical Society was pleased to host the evening event at its Museum at 109 Eleventh Street.
The event was coordinated by Patty Rimmels Siler (CSSM, Class of 1981) and Gail Maresca DiPalma (CSSM, Class of 1984), with assistance from Joanne K. Adams (CSSM, Class of 1978), president, The Stewart Fund in memory of St. Mary’s and St. Paul’s.
The main focus of the event was to launch an annual reunion open to all classes from the two schools. In addition, The Stewart Fund hopes the annual gathering will bring opportunities to obtain memorabilia for the historical society archives and to raise donations for the society in memory of the schools.
“We are reaching out to all St. Mary’s and St. Paul’s alums everywhere to encourage them to join us at the annual reunion at the museum,” says Patty Siler. Please send name (including maiden name), address, phone number and email address to Patty Rimmels Siler, 159 Rockaway Avenue, Garden City, NY 11530, 516-741-5756, email@example.com. Share your memories with fellow alums and see reunion pictures on Facebook's St. Paul’s and St. Mary’s in Garden City Group Page.
The Society’s Museum, an 1872 Stewart-era “Apostle” House, originally stood on the grounds of the Cathedral School of St. Mary, founded in 1877, and served as the “little school,” where classes for the girls were held and teachers were boarded. The structure was presented to The Garden City Historical Society in 1975 and moved, with the assistance of Sen. Kemp Hannon, to its current location in 1988. Following the demolition of St. Mary’s School, the Historical Society Museum now represents the only remaining physical remembrance for the alumnae.
The Stewart Fund in Memory of St. Mary and St. Paul includes St. Mary’s Development Fund, Inc.; Peter C. Doyle Jr. Memorial Fund; St. Mary’s Father’s Club; St. Mary’s Mother’s Club and St. Paul’s Father’s Club.
The Stewart Fund will make an annual donation to the Society and, from that donation, an annual $2,500 scholarship for a Garden City High School senior has been established.
“Under the auspices of The Garden City Historical Society, The Stewart Fund is supporting an annual scholarship to a Garden City High School graduating senior,” notes fund president Joanne Adams. “The Fund is committed to continuing Alexander and Cornelia Stewart’s legacy of excellence in education and the promotion of their desire to instill high ideals, notable purpose and sound values in the generations that would follow them. We are delighted that the first annual scholarship, The Garden City Historical Society’s Stewart Fund Scholarship in Memory of St. Mary’s and St. Paul’s, was presented to Christine Codignotto, Class of 2011.”
The scholarship criteria requires that the winning student must be in the top 10 percent of the class, have strong community service and must excel in the study of history.
Codignotto graduated with a weighted GPA of 99.18 and is currently attending Cornell University. She plans to become a chemical and environmental engineer. Throughout high school, she enrolled in the most challenging social studies courses, including AP world history, AP U.S. history and AP macroeconomics.
She was selected to be a delegate at the 2010 Empire Girls State, a prestigious summer program where girls run the government of an imaginary 51st state. In addition to being a citizen of Girls State, she was elected to four positions: county comptroller, county treasurer, secretary of the Environmental Conservation Committee and state commissioner of Environmental Conservation. The experience gave her an appreciation for government and politics, and showed her that social studies and science—two subjects she hopes will play a big part in her future—can be intertwined.
Christine has been active in her parish, St. Joseph’s Church, serving in the Youth Group and participating in service at soup kitchens, annual car washes, holiday lollipop sales and other activities. She helped organize a Hoops for Haiti basketball tournament, a Special Needs Sports Night, and Hoops for Troops, raising money for soldiers in Afghanistan. Christine has also worked as a clinical research intern at Lenox Hill Hospital, an investigative student intern for the Nassau County Police Department, a Mercy Medical Center volunteer and a pep rally volunteer for the Pope’s visit to the New York area. During high school, she was a member of the Amnesty International Club, a NYSSMA (music) student assistant, and a National Honor Society Veterans Association volunteer.
At the spring High School Awards Program, Historical Society President Brian Pinnola and Education Chairperson Mary Jane Caldwell presented the first annual The Garden City Historical Society Stewart Fund Scholarship in Memory of St. Mary’s and St. Paul’s to graduating senior Christine Codignotto, center.
The Stewart Fund President Joanne Adams, center, assisted reunion organizers, Patty Siler, left, and Gail DePalma in planning the event.