In September, Mount Saint Dominic Academy opened its doors for the new 2013-2014 school year to a very special group of young women. With the considerable increase in last year’s school enrollment of 343 to this year’s 364 students, an additional, notable statistic is that one hundred eight of the total student body will arrive as legacy students — those with a mother, sister, aunt or grandmother who attended the Mount. This distinguishing family history ties them to Mount St. Dominic Academy with a unique connection.
Michele-Lee (Berko) Shapiro ’86 describes Mount St. Dominic Academy as a powerful turning point in her education by encouraging her to see that the possibilities for the future were immeasurable. “The Mount provides a high quality education in a nurturing environment where girls are unencumbered by concerns they may face in other learning venues. The atmosphere is perfect for fostering achievement, self-growth, and a spiritual foundation, all of which usher the students into the real world with enhanced confidence, abilities, and self-esteem. The Mount is an ideal ‘launching spot’ for our teenagers!” It’s no surprise that Mrs. Shapiro’s daughter Starr ’17 will join the legacy in September.
Attending Mount St. Dominic Academy strengthens family ties and has extended through three generations for two families. In the Beamon-Mason family, Helena (O’Hern) Beamon’49 has shared the gift of legacy with her daughters, Catherine (Beamon) Vigneron ’82 and Mary (Beamon) Mason ’77. Mrs. Mason has in turn included her daughters Colleen ’09 and Claire’15 in The Mount community. For the Cassel-Ehrich family, Valerie Ehrich ’15 is continuing to follow in the footsteps of her grandmother Valerie (Dillon) Cassel ’52, her great aunt Lorraine (Cassel) Fletcher ’52, her mother Denise (Cassel) Ehrich ’81 and aunt Collene (Cassel) Hartwig ’79. What a remarkable formation to have these families be part of The Mount’s history.
Family legacies are an extraordinary part of Mount St. Dominic Academy. The networks of legacies that flourish at The Mount are evident in the empowered young women that emerge. These same women in turn are compelled to continue upholding beloved Mount tradition and do so by sharing it with their daughters, nieces and granddaughters. With a tremendous amount of pride, Mount St. Dominic Academy preserves and cherishes these legacies to continue its heritage of excellence for generations to come.
Mount Saint Dominic Academy, established by the Sisters of St. Dominic in Caldwell, New Jersey, is a Catholic college preparatory school, dedicated to the education of young women from a variety of ethnic, religious and economic backgrounds. Since 1892, The Mount has been empowering young women in the Dominican tradition. For more information about Mount Saint Dominic Academy, visit www.msdacademy.org.