Principal Cooke’s Weekly Letter

May 10, 2017

Dear families,

I want to thank all of you who came out last night for our 1st annual State of the Academy.  I feel that the presentations by me and the Board of Directors gave those who attended a look at the vision for the future of our school.

Today was uniform measurement day, for those of you who missed this, you can order your new uniform online through Ideal or visit their store on Rockaway Avenue in Valley Stream. The information is on the flyer that was sent home to you.  Should you need additional flyers, you can find them in the bookcase outside of Mrs. Nitollo’s office.

Speaking of Mrs. Nitollo….her son Ethan (a Sacred Heart graduate) now attends University at Buffalo and plays tennis for the school. Last week the school won their championship and that earned them the right to play in the NCAA “final four” of tennis!  This is an amazing accomplishment for the University and a great experience for Ethan.  Their first round of play is in Texas this weekend; I know that you join with me in wishing them luck.

Last Saturday Mrs. Sexton’s class celebrated their First Holy Communion. It was such a beautiful day.  I congratulate the readers, the gift bearers, and all the children on a job well done.  They were so well prepared, which is a testament to Mrs. Sexton.  This weekend Mrs. Marsar’s class makes Communion.  We all need to pray to Santa Lucia and hang the rosary outside to keep the rain away.

Sunday we will have a May crowning after the 9:30 Mass, it is a great opportunity to get one more wear out of that Communion dress or suit. Please make every effort to join us at mass.

May 17th is our World Cup final at the park; you all received a permission slip for the event.  Please make sure to sign and return the slip.  We are in need of parents to stand at the corners and cross- just like Walk-a-thon, so if you can help us, it will be much appreciated.

This week is the Mother’s Day boutique, if your child wants to purchase a gift for mommy, grandma, or that special person in their life, they will go to the boutique with their class.

Family Fun Day is June 2 immediately after school. We are in need of volunteers for the event.  Without volunteers, it cannot happen.  Please consider helping.  Many hands make light work.

Please be sure you are looking on Option C for your child’s grades. The year is quickly coming to a close and if there is an opportunity to make up some missed work, now is the time to do that.

Have a great week, and I look forward to seeing as many of you as possible at the World Cup!!!


Mary-Anne Cook

PS. Be sure to like us on Facebook.

PSS,  The Board sent out a survey, please complete it ASAP.


Principal Cooke’s Weekly Letter

May 3, 2017

Dear families,

May is finally here!!  I love it when I hear the birds chirping in the morning, it makes me feel like all is well with the world!

On May 9th The Board of Directors and myself will present the State of the Academy.  This annual event is mandated under the Academy structure.  I think it is like the State of the Union, but not so  ornate. (No secret service, and you do not need to applauded when I come in….) I will be presenting on the academics of the academy as well as the spiritual aspect of my leadership. We will begin at 7PM, I do hope to see you there.

As some of you know, Father Brosnan has been coming into the building each Monday to teach Latin to a small group of students, this Monday will be the last Latin class.  We are so blessed to have a pastor who is interested in academics and is willing to share his talent and love of language with our students.  I think it was a win win.

Our second graders will be celebrating their First Holy Communion on Saturday May 6 and Saturday May 13.  Let’s all hand the rosary outside for good weather.  First Communion is such a special event  in the lives of children, we join in praying for them and for their families.

Some of you may have heard the your children are busy making class projects in art class.  We will be hosting our annual Art Show and this year we are adding a twist… an Art Auction!  Each grade level has been making a project that we will be auctioning off that evening.  They are all so creative!  I want to thank Mrs. Waranis for all her had work with this project.  Please come by for cookies and lemonade, see your child’s classroom filled with art and stop by the library to place your bid on the class project.  I will post pictures of the projects on the school website as they become ready, so you can preview them…I feel like Southerby’s.

Our World Cup final is fast approaching ,May 17th,  it is fun morning with the kids at the park.  As the flyer said, this is not a fundraiser, it is just fun! Please try to come down and cheer on the 6th graders.  I am sure that your child(ren) will love to see you there.

Ideal Uniforms will be here for a measurement day on May 10th.  If you do not have the forms, just stop by the office.

Please tell your friends that we have a Mommy and Me program on Wednesday from 9-10:30, it is a drop in program and a fantastic way to socialize with other mommies and daddies while the children play.  Enter on the 216th street ramp.


Mary-Anne Cooke

Principal Cooke’s Weekly Letter

April 24, 2017

It is “fashion week” at Sacred Heart, everything this week will evolve around the fashion show. The fashion show is this Friday!!!  If you have not yet purchased your tickets for the most memorable event of the year, this is your last chance, send in your requests to the main office ASAP.   The show is coming along beautifully, the first grade moms and dads are really working hard.  The theme this year is “Bad Moms” there are many surprises in store, you really do not want to miss this.

Before the break each child went home with a raffle book for the Grand Prize- $2,500.00 travel money- if you have not yet sent that back please do so ASAP, remember you have to be in it to win it!  Every child who sells a grand prize raffle book will get a dress down on Monday, May 1st.

I want to thank you all for the success of our half day dress down (aka Freddy Dress Down).  The monies realized from these dress downs were sent to Saint Francis Breadline and Juvenile Diabetes Association.  A simple act on our part has made a great impact to these worthy causes.  Thank you!

As you know, we have a school band program.  As the children become more advanced in their lessons, there is the opportunity to play with other students throughout the bough in the Honor Band.  I am delighted to tell you that three (3) of our students were given that opportunity; Jasper Teng, Richard Blair, and jonpeter Marrero.  I want to congratulate these young people on the dedication that they have for their music.

Before the break we had the opportunity to have a guest speaker from PDHP (Program for the Development of Human Potential) come to speak with us about social media and your child.  It was very well attended.  One of the things she spoke about was the constant connection that teens (and some of us) have with our phones.  The concept of a Digital Detox is gaining momentum among many.  Companies such as Daimler are temporally disabling their employees email account when they are on vacation, and Cisco’s former chief technology officer takes one day a week off from his smartphone.  It was suggested that it is very important to set house rules when it comes to your child and technology, these may included No devices in the bedroom, No devices during mealtimes or NO phone use after 9PM.  I am looking to bring this program to our students before the end of the year.

Our World Cup event is clearly in full swing.  Our classroom doors look amazing, I want to thank all the teachers and the students for such great work.  We had a visit from the Media Director from the Office of the Superintendent, who took many pictures of our doors and loved the entire concept.  Again thank you to everyone for their support.

Nest week, we will begin our New York State testing in Math.

We are beginning a Mommy and Me starting this Wednesday, April 26, from 9 am to 10:30 am in the small room located off the cafeteria.  It is a drop in progam at a cost of $5.00 per session.  Share this with your friends and family.

See you at the fashion show!


Mary-Anne Cooke

Principal Cooke’s Weekly Letter

April 2, 1017

Dear families,

I honestly thought that March would never end! It was such a long month and a busy month at that.  As we turn the calendar to April our thoughts go to our annual Fashion Show.  The Fashion Show is the biggest school fundraiser of the year.  Those of you who did the fashion show when your child was in first grade know full well what these mommies, husbands, grand parents, children and babysitters are going through at this point in time.(some of you did the fashion show 3 and 4 times!- God Bless you)  Tickets are on sale NOW, a flyer went home with your child.   If for some reason the book page ate the flyer…. I am putting a copy up on the website and on facebook.  The mommies need baskets for all those raffle baskets, so if you cleaned out that hall closet hand found some hiding in the back, you can send them into school.  Also, if you have anything that can be used for a raffle, that can be sent in as well.

Our World Cup tournament is underway, the current standings are posed in the front hall, come by and take a look.  The school wide door decorating contest will be judged on the Wednesday before Easter Break- this is such a great project.  I am so grateful to Ms Flynn for doing this.

I mentioned our facebook page. Did you know we have a school facebook page?  We have so few people who have “liked” us.  I post pictures of the events in the school on that page, so please take a minute – go to facebook, search Sacred Heart Catholic Academy of Bayside and click follow. Easy Peasy.  Just another way to keep up with all the events going on in our wonderful school/academy.

Our 7 & 8 the grades walked the Labyrinth last week; it is such a great way to stop and listen to God speaking with us.  It is a form of meditation prayer.  There are pictures on the facebook page!

On Friday we will have a half day for a faculty meeting.  Our Superintendant of schools has amended our Bullying and Cyberbullying policies and every teacher in the diocese needs to be professionally developed both in our schools and outside of school.  As you know our Diocese has a Zero Tolerance policy when it comes to bullying- see our Academy handbook on line for the entire policy.  Think about it, we are a Catholic school; we follow in the traditions of Jesus, would Jesus ever bully someone? Of course not!  In fact when Jesus saw a group of people stoning a woman, he clearly said that if you are without sin then and only then can you act.  Well since NONE of us are without sin, we do not have any right to make someone else’s day miserable.  Now since this is a half day, we will have another “Freddy Dress Down”, $1.00 that will go to the Juvenile Diabetes Association.  The last” Freddy Dress Down” made $258.00 for St. Francis Breadline- thank you to everyone.

We are continuing with our registration for next year, if you have not already done so; please let me know if you are planning on coming back. We need to begin to plan for our classes for the 2017-2018 school year.

Our 7th grade Confirmation students will be on retreat on Tuesday, please keep them in your prayers.



Principal Cooke’s Weekly Letter

March 22, 2017

Dear families,


Happy spring!!! Although you would not know it by the howling winds and the cold weather tonight, I have faith that better days are coming and that very soon we will be complaining about how hot it is outside.

Our World Cup Soccer matches are off and running (no pun intended). There is a bulletin board in the front hall where you can keep abreast of the standings; our classes continue to receive items from the Embassies of the countries that they represent.  It is so very exciting for them to open those boxes and packages and look at all the “goodies” that they are getting.  Our door decorating contest will take place soon; I know that that the competition will be intense.  I heard that one class is even learning to speak French!!!

Next week we will be administrating the New York State test in English Language Arts. As you know, it is not the policy of our Diocese or our school to put the future of the world on these tests.  It is just a test, one of many that they will take in their lives and certainly not the determining factor for the rest of their lives.  Our teachers have worked with your children, they are prepared.  Please have them in school on time, with a good breakfast in their bellies (no one can think when they have the rumbly in the tumbly), have two good sharpened pencils and make sure they are well rested.

On a happy note, I am so excited to let you know that Roman Alvero is back in school!! He is feeling well enough to give school a try, and is coming in for a few hours a day.  We are so happy to see his progress and to have him back where he belongs. YEAH!

In April we will be having a Mommy and Me one day a week for 90 minutes. If you know anyone with a child from 6 months to 2 years, please tell them about our new program.  In addition we are hoping to add an additional nursery next year, so if you have a friend or a neighbor who will be three by September, ask them to give me a call and see what we have to offer.

Just a reminder that the March tuition payment is due.

Last week I neglected to tell you about the eighth graders who were accepted to the New York City Specialized High schools.   We had for (4) accepted to Townsend Harris HS- Colin Waters, Aiden Domondon, Even Deur, and Yasmine Yavinsky.  We had one (1) accepted to Bronx Science- Aidan Domondon and two (2) to LaGuardia HS- Isabella Ragonnese and Marisa D’Angelo.  We are so proud of the accomplishments of our soon to be graduates.



Mary-Anne Cooke


Principal Cooke’s Weekly Letter

March 14, 2017

Dear families,


I certainly hope that you are all safe and secure in your homes this second snow day of the year! I am sitting here listening to the wind and ice pellets hit my windows and very grateful to be in my nice warm home.  On days like today I am more mindful of all the men and women who have to work outdoors and brave the elements on a daily basis, I am grateful for their service to our community.  I am also mindful of all the homeless who call the streets their home; I pray that they have someplace warm and dry to ride out this storm.  Every year our fifth grades raise money for Saint Francis Breadline, they are such a wonderful group of people who serve the less fortunate of our city day in and day out.  I am so proud to say that our school supports such a worth charity on a consistent basis.

We had two special dress downs these past weeks, both sponsored by our Student Council under the direction of Mrs. Bruno and Mrs. Spordone.  One was to go to Make a Wish, and I am honored to say that our school raised almost $1900.00 for this wonderful organization!!! The second one was in support of our very own Roam Alvero who is recovering from an injury, our “Rooting for Roman” dress sown raised over $1400.00 to support their cause.  Sacred Heart has always been a family that comes together for its own, I am honored to be part of that family, and I am certain that you are as well.

Report card meetings are on Thursday, and we have an 11:30 dismissal.  There will be afterschool for those who need it.  We are also having a fund raiser at Pizzeria Uno on Bell that day as well.  They will donate 20% to our school and the top 4  schools that has the greatest amount of sales throughout the month of March will win additional prizes!!!  YEAH!!! Please try to support this event, thank you!

Last Sunday I had the pleasure of taking three projects to New York City History Day. As you know History Day is a research project where they base their topic on a theme, this year’s theme was “Taking a Stand in History”.  We had a documentary on The Easter Uprising, a performance on the life of Claudette Colvin , as well as the counterculture of the 1960’s, and a documentary on Dietrich Bonhoeffer.  Now as a student of history I am aware of the Easter Uprising (my Irish roots), Claudette Colvin ( her book is in our library), I lived through Woodstock and the 1960’s-(I was 9), but I really had to think about Dietrich Bonhoeffer ??????.  He was a German who lived during the time of the Holocaust, he was an ordained Lutheran Minister, who took a stand against the evils of Hitler.  He tried to sabotage the Nazi strikes on the Jewish people, he is known as “Priest, Prophet, Martyr, Spy”.  He was later killed by Hitler for his spying and sabotage.  He really never earned the honor that he was deserving of, but his legacy continues to this day.  To quote Bonhoeffer “Action springs not from thought, but from a readiness for responsibility.” His life and death certainly fit this year’s theme!  I am so proud of the hard work and dedication to the project that I saw from all of the History Day students: Brendan O’Connor, Aiden Domondon, Joseph Lam, Thomas Harkins, Jillian Kerby, Danielle Carcich, Faith Lam, Charlie Cronin Finlay and Christina Caminiti.  They were able to blend their creativity with historical analysis, produce an instrument and defend that instrument in front of a team of judges…..Good job!

Our first grade moms are working hard to prepare for the annual fashion show.  If you have anything that can be used as a donation, we are still looking for a grand prize….please send it in.  We are also looking for baskets, so as you clean out those closets, they can be send in to school as well.  This year the theme is “Bad Moms of Bayside”, now we know that in the end the bad moms become the good moms, but there is always a group that thinks they are the “perfect moms”!!! Well, to that end , if you want to be the “perfect moms” at the fashion show we are holding a raffle for the “perfect table” complete with a hot dinner from Papazzio on Bell, champagne, with real glassware and china plates, 3 dress down coupons for each of your children, and Cookie Cash for snack.  So if you want to be in the running for that perfect table, there are raffle tickets going home.  Each raffle is $10.00- try your luck!  You gotta be in it win it.

Some time ago, I was asked by a child in the 2nd grade, if we can have a dress down on half days for less than the cost of a regular dress down.  Well since Thursday is a half day, we will have our first “Freddy dress down” of the year.  It will cost $1.00 and I will send the money to St. Francis Breadline, on behalf of the children in our school.  So if you want to participate in the Freddy Dress Down, bring in $1.00 on Thursday.

Finally, I did send out something on Option C regarding our annual Lenten Food collection.  During Lent we are asked to participate in Prayer, Penance and Giving to the needy.  Please try to support this food drive with a can of veggies or a box of pasta.  This is a wonderful way to model Christian Service and living your faith to your children.  They are watching you! They are learning from YOU!


Mary-Anne Cooke




Fashion Show



The Fashion Show Committee requesting any donations that you may have for our raffle baskets.  They are sending out information on journal ads as well.  Please click on the above links to  open the letters.

Thank you for your support of our biggest fundraiser of the year!


Mrs. Cooke


Principal Cooke’s Weekly Letter

February, 14, 2017

Happy Valentine’s Day!!

Last night, I was having dinner with a friend who used to work at Sacred Heart many years ago and we began to talk about the school.( Big surprise) She said what she really remembered about Sacred Heart was the “buzz’ the flurry of energy that happens not just between 8-3, but till 6PM!  Today when I left the building, Math 9 was still upstairs in session, Writing Club had just ended and Ms Flynn had just dismissed the Circus Arts Group.  I saw parents on the street catching up, and I as paused to remember “where did I park my car?” I smiled and felt that buzz, that energy.  There are many local schools, who do a good job between 8- 3, but we are different! We are alive after 4PM, we are still teaching and encouraging, we are still there to lend a hand, and we are buzzing.

Speaking of the circus…. Our Circus performance takes place on Wednesday.  I have heard the excitement in the voices of our performers, they are sooooo ready.  I really want to thank Ms. Flynn for such a unique program for our children.  When I come home and tell my husband that my day was a circus- I will be speaking in the literal not the figurative!

In this edition of The Weekly, you will find a form to fill out for our Alumni outreach. There are so many alumni within our current families, I would like to create a database with email addresses for all alumni and begin to reach out and keep them in the loop about our school.

On Friday, we had our Middle school math bee, after 10 rounds of intense competition, Bridget McLaughlin was declared the winner, Matthew Lau took second place and Shareve Blair took third place!   Bridget will represent our school in the Diocesan Bee In March Thank you to all the teachers who prepared the children for the bee.  It is so amazing to watch the poise that they exhibit standing in front of an audience and doing some of those calculations.  Who knows, maybe we have the next Stephen Hawkings or Bill Gates in our building.

On Thursday, we will have the Annual Science Fair in the Church Hall. We usually have it in the café, but I was told that many people felt crammed, so I was able to move it to the Church Hall.  Set up at 7, guests between 7:30 and 8PM.  I hope that you have the opportunity to explore some to the many projects that our students have worked on.  I sat in the Junior High, and I can tell you that they were very well done.

I hope that everyone was able to receive the Option C alert regarding school closing. If not you need to log on to your Option C account and set your alert preferences.

Starting Friday at dismissal, we will begin our Mid winter break. We will return to school Monday, February 27th, just in time to begin Lent on March 1.  Where is the year going?  I still have some Christmas decorations left to put away- don’t judge me…….


Mary-Anne Cooke


Principal Cooke’s Weekly Letter

February 7, 2017


Dear families,


Today was the Diocesan Regional Math Bee, and Colin Watters, from our 8th grade competed against 19 students from 19 local Catholic Schools.  I am so proud to tell you that Colin came in 8th place!  The level of completion was intense!  The fact that these young men and women could stand before an audience of strangers and do mental math, that included percent, multiple operations was so impressive!  I sound myself attempting the calculations at my seat- I would have been out in the first round!

Thursday, weather permitting we are having a guest speaker from PDHP to speak about social media and your child, if you attend, you will receive a dress down for Friday.

The Science Fair will be held on Thursday, Feb 16th in the Parish Hall.  We will start at 7PM.

Just a reminder that if we have a special dress down, you CAN NOT USE any other dress down coupons on that day. These was the policy for several years under Mr. Farrell

Catholic Schools Week was a great success thanks to all the families who participated.

Please vist our facebook page, I am posting tidbits about what is happening in the school.

This Saturday is the Blue and Gold Dinner, congrats to all out young men who will be honored .

Have a great week.

Principal Cooke’s Weekly Letter

January 31, 2017

Dear families,


Happy Catholic Schools Week!!! Or as I like to say… Pride in being associated with a Catholic School. So far our celebration is going well, Fr. Brosnan gave a wonderful homily on Sunday and the Church was filled with smiling faces of our families.  Our Open Hose was great, the student council was amazing.  They were wonderful ambassadors for our school.  I would like to thank Mrs. Spordone and Mrs. Bruno for organizing the legion of tour guides.  As usual the Mother’s Club put out a great spread.  These ladies work so very hard day in and day out for your children and our school, I could never thank them enough.

I just loved Crazy Hat Day– the imagination that went into the hat- inspiring.  We had football hats, chips and salsa, a tea cup, balloons, fish, legos, , you name it.  It made me smile all day. Today is student appreciation day; the children will get a special treat from the Mother’s Club- something for now and something for later.  Student appreciation day continues with a special Sacred Heart Catholic Academy menu at Bourbon Street.  There are “teacher inspired” menu items that include children’s meals, burgers and full entrees.  You can eat there or take out, and 20% of the proceeds come back to us.  I hope to see you there.

The junior high math bee was Friday and we had some tough competition. It took 13 rounds to crown the champ! Lucky 13!!  Colin Watters from 8th grade came in 1st and Olivia Taverni  from 7th grade came in 2nd.  Colin will represent Sacred Heart Catholic Academy at the Regional Math Bee on February 10th.  Thank you to Ms. Bagotta for organizing this great competition.

On Monday the junior high held their spelling bee, Christina Ioannides from 8th grade was our winner.  Thank you to Mrs. Barckow for organizing this event.  As I sat watching our children stand, go to the microphone and give their answers, I commented on the courage and the poise that they have to be able to do this.  It was so good to see that they were all so comfortable with public speaking.  That is a great transferrable life skill, public speaking.

Registration for 2017-2018 is ongoing. The “Early Bird” incentives will end on Friday. $100.00 will hold your child’s seat for next year.

Lastly, as I walk through the building, I hear and see so many wonderful things going on- the Pre K is learning about habitats, the 5th graders are multiplying decimals, the 7th grade is learning about the 3 branches of government, calculating percents, and learning about the sacrament of Confirmation, 2nd graders are preparing for First Communion the 1st grade is writing and illustrating their writing, and 8th grade is on the brink of The Great War.   I see evidence of this learning when I speak with the children about what they are doing.  The comprehension is there, and what I really enjoy (here is the teacher in me) the enthusiasm that I am greeted with when I walk in, sit down and ask.  To hear our children and their little voices pray ( our junior high also learns prayers in Spanish) and sing God Bless America makes me stand in awe. I just love the vibe!

Sacred Heart is a special place. It is made up of very special people.  I am proud to be associated with THIS Catholic School.  Happy Catholic Schools Week!




Mary-Anne Cooke