Dear Friends of the Academy,
This past year marked an end of an era with the retirement of our esteemed principal, Mrs. Lynn Burek, after eight remarkable years as our leader. As our school’s first lay principal, Mrs. Burek brought her courage, instinct, intelligence, and passion to the education of our young women. Mrs. Burek’s most important qualification, however, was focus. No matter what obstacles she encountered in her first year, her vision of what the Academy could be never wavered. As we wish Mrs. Burek the best in retirement, we welcome Dr. Beth Azar to the Academy with open arms!
As a parent of a graduate in both the Classes of 2013 and 2018, I am extremely proud to have served our school as a former President of the Parents’ Association. However, I find most pride in being one parent among many other wonderful people who were always ready to help. It feels like my wife, Lisa, and I have never left. We remember attending an Open House with our first daughter, Daniella, in 2009. Of course, we fell in love with the building (especially me since I am an architect by trade). Yet it was the look on my daughter’s face which told me, halfway into the event, that we had found her newest home. In the ensuing years, as our second daughter, Christina, entered the same Study Hall, it became clear that our entire family had found a home at the Academy.
Our two daughters have benefited so much from the opportunity of being educated and nurtured at the Academy of Saint Elizabeth. Beyond the education, our daughters were taught to be confident young women, believing in their abilities, as they sought to find their place in the world. As successful as our girls are, they are in good company alongside the endless stories of other SEAsters realizing their potential.
I write to you today as a proud founding member of the Knights of Saint Elizabeth. We are a group of Alumnae fathers with the singular goal of helping grow and nurture our school’s success. We assist in many ways to promote our school through scholarship, philanthropy, and stewardship.
As with all Catholic Schools, tuition is not the savior to all expenses. We are blessed to have the best of the best in our teachers, administrators, and other support staff. We offer an unmatched curriculum, along with many clubs and sports teams. Our young women are encouraged to find their passions, whether it be singing, shooting a three pointer, or anything in between. To many, this may not sound so different from other schools. However, the difference is experienced in the level of investment the Academy places in each student, necessitating the need for us to invest further in this 163-year-old home for our daughters.
From my first experience in 2009 to today, the Academy of Saint Elizabeth is different, yet also much the same. Some of our traditions are displayed through in the black and white photos that line our hallways, speaking to the Academy’s true essence. Taking a deeper look shows a forward thinking, value driven, highly technical school with a challenging curriculum and exceptional teachers.
Yes, the Academy is a special place for students and parents alike. I ask you today to consider investing in our students and the mission of our school. If you are able, please consider making a Founders’ Circle level gift of $1,860.00 to the Academy. One hundred percent of your investment will go directly to the dedicated work of providing the very best educational experience for our young women.
The members of the Knights of Saint Elizabeth ask you to join us by investing in the legacy of the Academy together. As one of our founding members (In Memoriam) R. Perry Neilson, Jr., P '18 used to say during basketball games he so loved attending, “The Panthers are on the Prowl!”
I submit this letter to you in Perry’s honor, memory, and with his deep love for our school.