Anonymous Benefactor Aids Catholic School In Elizabeth

ELIZABETH–Students at Benedictine Academy in Elizabeth will have new things to look forward to this fall, thanks to the generosity of several committed champions of the school.

There will be new computers for every student; an enhanced public speaking course and an annual educational and cultural excursion to the nation’s capital. All of these bonuses await students when they return to classes at the Academy in September, thanks to the assistance of an anonymous benefactor.


The financial generosity of the anonymous benefactor, initiated last academic year, will continue in 2011-12, school officials have announced. New Dell Vostro Laptops will be provided to every student, to own, to help facilitate their academic studies at the academy. Last May, the benefactor gave the same gift to graduating seniors to aid them in their college studies.

“We believe this gift will strengthen Benedictine Academy’s position as a 21st century learning school,” Benedictine Academy Principal Kenneth Jennings commented. “Utilization of these technology tools will enhance both the engagement of the student in the classroom, and, their preparation for our rapidly changing world,” Jennings noted.

The same benefactor has also committed to providing funds once again for an all-expenses-paid educational trip to Washington, D.C. for the senior class in the spring. Last year’s seniors enjoyed the same experience. In addition, an enhanced “Public Speaking” course for seniors will be a part of the Academy’s curriculum this fall, with support from the anonymous benefactor.

“We want to see our students excel in the art of public speaking, a 21st century communication skill that is prized by the business and professional world,” Jennings said. “Our girls will have an advantage by being trained in public speaking,” he added. Jennings explained that the course “will expose our young women to videos of great speeches, analysis of speeches that changed history, and, will offer them the ability to prepare their own speeches and present them in the public forum.”

Another source of financial sustenance for the academy is the school’s very active Parents Association. In addition to building community at the school, the group’s fundraising efforts have resulted in significant monetary backing that has helped transform numerous school administration dreams into realities, all to benefit students.

For example, this coming academic year, the Academy’s Guidance Department will be better able to assist students through the use of its new Naviance software program, a gift from the Parents Association.

“Naviance is a premier guidance software program, which is used by most schools today,” Jennings noted. “It will help our Guidance Department continue to keep pace with 21st century expectations and, allow for greater communication during the critical stages of the college selection and admissions process,” he added.

The Benedictine Academy Parents Association also helps fund the school’s growing Theatre Arts Program, led by veteran Broadway actress Liz McConahay Wanfried. Parents Association monies have also allowed the school to maintain its School Reach communications system for parents; funded class trips for students; and paid for athletic team uniforms, among many projects.

“We are grateful to our anonymous benefactor, our Parents Association, and so many people who have made all of this possible,” Jennings said. “We promise to continue to work very hard to match this incredible generosity. Ultimately we know that it is the hand of God’s Spirit who is bringing all of these people and gifts together,” Jennings added. “It is clear that all are united in purpose for the good of our students,” he continued.

Benedictine Academy Class of 2011 graduating seniors returned to the Academy over the summer to pick up their new Dell Laptops, courtesy of a generous gift from an anonymous school benefactor. Every graduating senior received a laptop to help facilitate their college studies. And, all returning Benedictine Academy students will receive a new Dell laptop this fall, to use in their academic studies. “We believe this gift will strengthen Benedictine Academy’s position as a 21st century learning school,” Benedictine Academy Principal Kenneth Jennings commented. Pictured are, l-r, Stephanie Vaz of Newark, Michelle Baptista of Elizabeth, Alicia Onacki of Roselle, Geraline Arroyo of Union, Mecca McDonald of Roselle and Marjorie Bukiron of Elizabeth.

Benedictine Academy’s Theatre Program Director, Liz McConahay Wanfried (foreground, left) coaches budding student actresses during a play rehearsal at the Academy last spring. Wanfried, a veteran Broadway actress, has bought much experience and enthusiasm to the school’s theatre program. Funding from the Benedictine Academy Parents Association will help ensure the continuation of the program again this year. Rehearsing were Benedictine Academy students, l-r, Beatrice Thompson-Quartey of Newark, Ramira Mayse of Linden, Cheila Cardoso of Hillside, and Ariana Taveras and Jada Yarbough, both of Newark.

Members of the Benedictine Academy Parents Association (BAPA) help cook and sell refreshments each year during the school’s Christmas Basketball Tournament. Proceeds raised from the event result in significant monies to help transform numerous school administration dreams into realities, all to benefit students. Pictured (l-r) are parents: Michael Gonzalez of Elizabeth; Sheril Henderson of Newark; Anthonia Emeana of Hillside; Margareth Clerie of Newark and Maria Garcia of Roselle. (Photos courtesy of Benedictine Academy)

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