Sts. John & Paul's First Graduates Return for A 50th Reunion
by Grace Pineda; photos supplied by David Gironda
(October 23, 2008) Saints John and Paul School recently welcomed the Class of ’58 to a reception and mass to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the school’s first graduating class.
Founded in 1952, Saints John and Paul School first opened its doors to 24 third-graders. Five years later, those children were in the school’s first graduating class, and on Sunday, October 19, 2008, some of those same students, now adults in their 60s, walked the school’s hallways once again.
Students in Sts. John and Paul's first
graduating class in 1958 posed with their teacher.
“Isn’t that the window that I threw Elaine’s shoe out of?” said Michele Cambere Flood as the classrooms conjured memories from half a century ago.
Although many parts of the building were familiar to the Class of ’58, much of the school has since been remodeled and renovated. In fact, the highlight of the alumnae’s tour consisted of an overview of the new media center by Ms. Patricia Howard, SJP computer teacher and ’77 SJP alum. Many joked that the school should offer computer training for alumnae as well.
Returning for the 50th reunion of Sts. John & PaulClass of 1958 were (l-r): Mary Harrington Lyden (NY), Mary Tartarilla Vizioli (NJ), David Gironda (AZ), Adrienne D'Alois Strasberg (NY), Robert O'Brien (NY), Barbara Leslie Reilly (CT), Michele Cambere Flood (NY), and Gene Renz (RI).
The Class of '58 also enjoyed a tour of the new library, study area and science laboratory, as well as a banner made for them by the current student population. After the tour, they concluded their visit with a lunch.
The eight alumnae represented around a third of their original entering class. “When we met in 1996, all 24 of us came,” said Bob O’Brien of New Rochelle. “Unfortunately, many have passed on since then,” he said, wiping the tears from his face with a handkerchief. “You don’t have any idea what this place means to me.”
Real estate appraiser David Gironda traveled from Phoenix, Arizona, for the reunion. He had coordinated the reunion and proudly displayed photos of his classmates from 1958 and their most recent reunion in 1996.
“We don’t get together very often,” said Adrienne D’Alois Strasberg of White Plains, “but we have a special bond because we were the first (graduating class). So, when one of us calls, we all come.”
Before he departed, Mr. Gironda had a word of advice for a current SJP student, “Appreciate what you learn here, because it will prepare you well for the world outside.”
Throughout the day, it seemed that the thirteen-year-old children who graduated in 1958 were again running through the halls of their middle school and that their affection for Sts. John and Paul School and for each other has not waned in more than five decades.
Members of the Class of 1958 met current students. Front (l-r): Coleen Fink, Erin Marchini, Katie Judge, Maddie Judge, Kayla Egan, Bridget DelPriore, Stephen Judge, Claudia Pineda. Back: Mary Lyden, Gene Renz, Barbara Leslie Reilly, David Gironda, Adrienne D'Alois Strassberg, Betsy Tartarilla Vizioli, Michele Cambere Flood and Bob O'Brien.