The Good News
e-Edition: October 2020
Welcome Back!
What a time this has been! We are happy to report that students are in the building for five days of in-person learning, while abiding by social distance guidelines. A number of our families chose full-time remote learning, and those students "Zoom" into the classroom for their classes. Everyone is adapting to the increased technology in the classroom, and there are smiles under those masks! We are happy to be back!
First Days of School
You can't deny First Day of School excitement! Mrs. Lavery and Father Tom led everyone in our daily morning prayer outside on Isham Street and welcomed our students back into the building. Our remote learning students celebrated their first day just the same--the miracle of technology bringing us together for this new (hopefully temporary) normal.
First Grade here we come! Welcome to first grade, Liam!
Mrs. Lavery greeting Chloe and welcoming her on her first day of Kindergarten.
Ms. Burke, Ms. Gonzalez, and Ms. Annette are ready to meet the new year with their masks and sanitizer!
Welcome to 5th Grade, Alex!
Thank you Mrs. Walsh!
Wishing Mrs. Ronnie Walsh, '58 a Wonderful Retirement!

Mrs. Walsh has served as our Assistant Principal and Director of Early Childhood for the past nine years--and given so much back to make GSS what it is today. We sent her off with a presentation and a poem by the students to show our gratitude.

Below is a letter from Mrs. Walsh to the Good Shepherd Community.
Dear Good Shepherd Community,

      Many of you who have come to know me over the past 9 years also know that this was my second time to be at Good Shepherd. I began as 5 year old, back in the day, and graduated in 1958. Good Shepherd was Church and school to my family, including cousins, and to my husbands’ family as well.

    After many years in Education and away from Inwood I returned to my first Alma Mater to be a member of The Friends of Good Shepherd Board to join in the effort to save GSS from closing. With the blessing of Father Robert Abbatiello that effort led to my actually joining the School Administration with Mrs. Agnes McNamara.   

A tremendous effort to implement A Strategic Plan in Academics and Building Restoration began. This work was initiated by the FoGSS founders, John Brennan, Rich Scarlata and Manny Ramirez, all alumni of GSS whose fondness and loyalty to Good Shepherd refused to allow it to be closed. With help from other alums Aris Ovalle, Peter Sweeney and other Board Members the work began. It still continues to the day and more alums Janine Meehan Lynch and Eileen Connaughton have joined FoGSS also. Over the years FoGSS has led many fund raising campaigns and contributed finances to the school that have transformed it as a Parish School into the success it is today.

      My return to GSS was especially rewarding because it not only let me reconnect with many Inwoodites I knew from the old days but I got to know another wholly new population from Inwood today. The Inwood I grew up in was Irish-American (famously so). Inwood today is a mixture of the Dominican community and an array of gentrifiers who have discovered the charm and convenience of the tip of Manhattan Island.   

      My most satisfying experience of the past 9 years has been getting to be part of the life of the children at GSS and their lovely families. The work is about trying to bring the best school experience to the children so they can thrive in Elementary School and beyond. The goal of FoGSS was to give the neighborhood children of today similar opportunities that the children of the mid 20th Century received.   I can say from first hand observation over the last decade that those goals were accomplished. With support from 2 Pastors, Father Abbatiello and Father Faiola, leadership from 2 Principals, Agnes McNamara and Geraldine Lavery, constant dedication from the Administrative Assistant, Hilda Kennedy and a hard working Faculty, the School was transformed from a failing ADNY School into a thriving private Parish School. Many, many people deserve credit for this accomplishment, not in the least the amazing Alumni and Alumnae whose generosity in fund raising efforts kept the Blue doors open at GSS and they still continue to contribute.

     Two metaphors come to mind when I think of the Good Shepherd story.

First is the child’s story The Little Engine That Could. FoGSS believed in the worthiness and the value of pushing the little GSS engine up the hill.

The other is It Takes A Village.  GSS is a village within the Inwood village and it took many villagers , inside and outside Inwood to save GSS.

    The cornerstone for the school is dated 1925 and in 5 years the school will celebrate a Centenary. 100 years is the next goal to strive for.  I have spoken publicly about what an accomplishment it will be to celebrate that 100th Anniversary in New York City. I’ve stated I hope to be there for the celebrations, along with many, many others who have shared the journey and the history of Good Shepherd School.

     I have many to thank for my last 9 years ; Pastors, Board Members, Fellow Alums, Principals, Parents, Students, Community Members. Returning to GSS was a blessing that came my way at just the right time. I often wonder if Jack Walsh had a hand in it. I think of it as an example of the expression   Life Comes Full Circle

    I will miss the daily activity but I have a number of other things to look forward to at this point in time.   

    I can not finish without singling out two women who have become far more the work colleagues to me. Hilda Kennedy and Geraldine Lavery made going to work every day a pleasure. We were a team with a purpose. Do the best for the children. We worked hard, we had fun and I certainly will miss them daily. God Bless Them for all they do at GSS.

   Looking forward to the Party in 2025, We should probably get a Committee going pretty soon to plan it.

With Love to all the Good Shepherd Community. Thank you.

Ronnie Walsh, '58
Eighth Grade

Even though it is only the beginning of the school year, the 8th Graders are already preparing for high school. With the TACHS exam coming up in November, the students are choosing which high schools to apply to.

Pictured here is a "virtual visit" the 8th Grade boys took to Mount Saint Michael Academy via Zoom.
What's Happening in the Classroom
Third Grade

It’s that time of year again when third grade does their shadow experiment!

They used a flashlight to observe what happens to shadows as the sun changes position in the sky. They learned that when the sun is low in the sky, shadows grow long and when the sun is high in the sky, shadows get shorter.
Getting to Know Our GSS Families
The Ludwiczak's
Taryn & Luke

Taryn is in 7th Grade and Luke is in 6th Grade. They live in Inwood, and have attended GSS since PreK! Taryn's favorite subject is Science, and Luke enjoys Social Studies. Taryn has participated in softball at GSS, and her favorite thing about being a GSS student is that she "loves [her] amazing teachers who care about teaching [them]." Taryn's goal this year is to make the Principal's List, and a few of her hobbies include surfing, ice skating, waterparks, and visiting her grandparents. Luke's goal this year is to get good grades and play baseball. In the neighborhood, Taryn & Luke like to go to Indian Road Playground, Inwood Hill Park, and eat at the restaurants on Dyckman Street.
The Uwasomba's
Ogechi, Chinaza, Dabirichi, & Chisom

Ogechi is in 4th Grade, Chinaza is in 3rd, Dabirichi is in 2nd, and Chisom is in 1st Grade. Their favorite subjects are, respectively: Science, Reading, Math & Computers, and Gym. Ogechi has participated in Theater Club and Anime at GSS and her siblings have been in Art Club in the past. When asked what their goals are for this year, they all said to earn their way to the Principal's List by getting good grades. They also share the goal of going to Harvard for college! Ogechi says about GSS, "It feels like home, and when I'm here, I feel safe, like everyone is there for you." They all mentioned they love their teachers and friends at school. On the weekends, the Uwasomba's like to do arts and crafts, play games together, and visit the park!
The Huynh's
Jayden & Emily

This is Jayden & Emily's first year at GSS! Jayden is in 7th Grade, and Emily is in 5th Grade. Jayden loves Math and Social Studies, and he wants to do the best he can this year. He enjoys playing video games with his friends, going shopping, and eating at pizza shops! Emily also likes Math and wants to succeed in her class this year. Emily says, "so far what I like most about being a student at Good Shepherd is that I can make more friends." Emily's favorite place to go in the city is Chinatown because "there are lots of things to explore and learn about."
Have You Moved? Let Us Know!
Have you recently moved, or have a new phone number or e-mail address? Does your GSS mail still go to your parents' home? Let us know! The school is always looking to update and maintain accurate information in the alumni database. If you have any recent changes to report, e-mail or call (212) 567-5800.
Get Social with GSS!
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Support Good Shepherd School
Did you know that many employers will match charitable gifts made by their employees to their favorite non-profits? Check with your human resources department to see if they will match your gift to Good Shepherd School, doubling or even tripling your support!
Join Friends of Good Shepherd (FoGSS)
Alumni of Good Shepherd School are invited to join the FoGSS alumni community!

Network with alumni, stay up-to-date with the latest school and alumni news, find out about upcoming events and collaborate with fellow alumni. 
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