St. Genevieve Website Launch Celebration Reunites Old Friends
All present were happy to see Joe looking well, after he had spent four days in the hospital earlier in the week. A long line of admirers and well-wishers formed as many expressed deep appreciation for his 34 years of dedication to the schools.
Alumni enjoyed reunions with former teachers; Brigid McNeil Downs and Kathryn Toland Writesel spent time catching up with Sherry Faires, who had taught them in third grade at SG/GH. Numerous students who can still sing “Herb the Verb” greeted Lucy Ross enthusiastically. Several introduced their own children – from infants in arms to college-age – to friends and teachers.
Elaine Fitch Scagnelli and Sallie Staton-Knott - Academy grads, former sisters of RCE, and former faculty - were delighted to see each other for the first time in nearly fifty years. Bill Culbreth, former assistant head of Gibbons Hall, recalled his six years at the school, where he greatly appreciated his teaching colleagues and devoted parents. Kitty Johnson, renowned for her high heels, laughed as former students commented upon her wedge-heels – not stilettos, but nonetheless pretty high!
SG/GH parent Diana Bilbrey (George ‘80 and Neville ’82) shared a notebook about the 1977 sixth-grade trip to Camp Tremont. Diana added her narrative keepsake to the table of memorabilia that included athletic cups, yearbooks, scrapbooks, and other mementos.
Describing the goals of the website committee, site designer Stephanie Smith SGGH ’86 evoked chuckles as she recalled memories of Sister Winters dancing the Irish jig, Kitty Johnson tapping her pencil like a ticking metronome during piano lessons, and recalcitrant boys “building ‘the wall’” on memorable Saturdays. “It is up to you to preserve these stories,” she reminded listeners. “It is through the content you provide that the site will continue to grow and grow.”
Tish Anderson, former teacher at the SGP Academy, at SG/GH, and at CDS, thanked those who have contributed to the development of the site, including the many who added contributions during the party. “The enthusiasm and generosity of our donors have breathed life into our dream,” she observed. “However, the site requires more memoirs and further funding, which will be accomplished only with the backing of all alums.”
As the one-hour gala – which stretched into two hours – concluded, we adjourned outside for cocktails and live music with a few CDS alums, appreciating the unique connection that binds us.