Sunday, October 25, 2009

Rockaway losing Catholic high school


From Interactive Journalism:

I’ve been reeling the past few days after hearing that my alma mater, Stella Maris High School in Rockaway Beach, will be closing in August 2010.

Stella is an interesting little place. It was always a small, intimate school, but now the enrollment is down so low that it can’t remain open. It’s the economy, a sign of the times. But it still baffles me–who, given the opportunity, wouldn’t want to be a Stella girl?

In trying to view this through the lens as an adult (and, I guess now, as a journalist), I have to think practically. It’s a big building functioning at a quarter of it’s capacity. It’s just not practical for it to remain open anymore, but it’s still sad. Stella Maris is right on the boardwalk, overlooking the beach and the ocean. I can remember the view from the windows on one side of the building–all sky and ocean and seagulls. In Mrs. McCrory’s 11th Grade English class we would walk down to the beach to write nature poetry. This is still New York City, too. Who can say they went to school in NYC and still have the opportunity to spend a class writing poetry on the beach?

10 comments:

-Joe said...

My mother was a 9th grade temp teacher there when we lived at my Uncles in Howard Beach before moving to Ridgewood. What a great place to live at the time.
Ozone Park, Broad Channel and Rockaway has changed so much.
I assume people dont have $$ for private school. The church also has to many lawsuits to pay. According to my mom almost all the nuns and a good 1/2 of the priests calling the shots from Rockvill Center had "screws loose" from not being able to marry.

Taxpayer said...

What a great school. The young ladies who attended and graduated were fortunate to have had a great education, great friends, and great memories.

All that because the school is so small.

With all the tax money going to bail out organizations "too big to fail", why not consider finding money to help a lovely school "too small to fail"?

georgetheatheist said...

"who, given the opportunity, wouldn't want to be a Stella girl?"

I want to be a Stella girl. Did you check out their website? An old-fashioned school with discipline and order. Their dress code rocks!

Anonymous said...

It could stay open , but the Men who run the Catholic church in Queens and Brooklyn don't care about female education. They have the money but would rather close it and sell the real estate.

Anonymous said...

I am ashamed. All the money the vatican has and they can't reach out to help some of the schools. One day they will be sorry.

Anonymous said...

Alright let's not get too ridiculous about this.

Stella is a below average school in a nice location. The diocese shouldn't waste its money supporting it.

Instead the co-ed catholic schools should be getting support. St. Francis Prep , and Molloy are both very well respected academic institutions who are filled to the brim with students, Prep is even planning an expansion.

All girls schools aren't as attractive to their prospective students any longer. Single sex education, except for a few high ranked academic schools; Regis, Xavier, Fordham Prep, Notre Dame Academy, seems like an idea who's time has passed.

former stella student said...

Stella Maris is a great school,the great thing about it is that the school is small, it gives all students a chance to have one on ones with teachers, principles as well as guidance counselors. It doesn't make u feel anonymous in a big school. There are many great clubs and programs which not only help you grow as a student but as a caring human being.Its such a sad loss. I was lucky to have been able to experience being a Stella girl .

Anonymous said...

Stella Maris is owned and operated by the Sisters of St. Joseph, an order of nuns, the Diocese has nothing to do with the school or its closing. The nuns have several other girls high schools that have full enrollment and it makes more sense for them to spend the money keeping open the schools that have the larger enrollments and therefore a better chance at continuing to be there for the girls of NYC

Anonymous said...

Their small pension and poor health care is controlled by the Diocese They DO NOT OWN OR OPERATED ANYTHING WITHOUT THE BISHOP.
When the sale is done the $$$$ will go to the Diocese not the nuns, trust me this happens all the time. Nuns take a vow of POVERTY and the priest hold them to it NO matter what.
It's being closed because it cost too much to operate and is worth more closed than open.

Stella Alum said...

Stella Maris was started, staffed, and overseen by the Sisters of St Joseph from Brentwood NY. It was not one of the Brooklyn/Queens Diocesan High Schools, thus it never received financial assistance from the Diocese nor will the good Sisters of St Joseph receive any pension from the Diocese, since the Order governed Stella Maris and not the Diocese.

As a proud Alumna who graduated many years ago with a very good education, I have also been one of may Stella Maris alumnae who donated over the years to support scholarships, general operating and building improvements. Sadly, this was not enough to keep Stella Maris' doors open.