Rosarian Academy E- News
Volume 3: Issue 2September 1-30, 2015

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Rosarian Academy, founded in 1925, is a private, coeducational, Catholic school sponsored by the Adrian Dominican Sisters. Its mission is to educate the whole person for life in a global community in the light of Gospel values. 

If you have news or updates you wish to include in the next newsletter, please click here

It has been a great beginning of our year together, and we look forward to a very busy fall. We kicked off the school year in fine fashion with a multitude of welcome-back gatherings, back-to-school nights and, of course, our 90th anniversary. The 90th celebration was extremely well attended, and it was terrific having the opportunity to connect with so many of our past and current families, staff and alumni. Rosarian was well represented on all accounts, and I could not have been prouder to be a part of this outstanding institution. 

Recently, I had the pleasure of going to Washington, D.C. with a small group of students to see the Pope's address to Congress on the West Lawn of the Capitol building. Saying that the event was life-changing would be an understatement. What a wonderful testament to technology that that we were able to connect with the Rosarian community through our social media, web and news sources. In every sense of the word, it felt as if the entire community was seeing Pope Francis with us. 

In the months to come, 
please take note of more special events that are geared towards fostering community spirit and acknowledging our 90 years of greatness. In addition, we will continue to weave the Pope's message about the importance of family into the activities of our school family. 

Now, I invite you to read 
about some of RA's newsworthy events that took place in September.


Stephen Rubenacker
Head of School
Alumni News

Palm Beach Daily News Looking for Alumni to Share Rosarian Memories

With Rosarian celebrating its 90th year, the Palm Beach Daily News is looking for alumni who have stories about specific memories at the school. Do you have a memorable story involving a favorite class, teacher, friend, or sporting event? Please email your one- to two-paragraph stories to and put ROSARIAN in the subject line. 

They are also looking for photos from school events. Please email photos to with ROSARIAN in the subject line. 

Please make sure your name, address, phone number and email address are included with all submissions. Click here for more info >>>

Classes of 2014 & 2015

Rosarian students, families, administrators, and alumni participated in the St. Jude Children's Research Hospital walk/run on Saturday, September 19 at John Prince Park in Lake worth to support Brian Quinlan, class of 2015 alum and cancer survivor. The money raised supports St. Jude's and its research to end childhood cancer.

Brendan Quinlan, Jack Parry, Erik Parry (2015), Brian Quinlan (2015)
Amanda Pride (2015) & Madeline Landers (2015)
Lily Cooney (2014)
Ginny Devine (Past Principal), Pat & Nancy Quinlan (Past Parents), Jack Scarola, Mary Parry (Past Parent), Patrick Hansen
Rosarian Academy Celebrates 90 Years
A Foundation for Life. A Tradition of Excellence.

Current Head and Past-Principals

Rosarian Academy celebrates 90 years of providing "A Foundation for Life. A Tradition of Excellence." On September 12, 2015, nearly 400 members of the Rosarian community--including students, families, alumni, faculty, staff, past principals, Adrian Dominican Sisters, and friends--gathered for a reception and one-hour program at the school. Rosarian has stood as an educational landmark in Palm Beach County since 1925 and continues to enrich the lives of students and families with a strong academic program enhanced by faith, athletics, visual and performing arts, and community service opportunities.

The program for the 90th Anniversary Celebration took place in the school's 50-year-old theater and included an entertaining review of Rosarian's history performed by current students; an opening prayer by Reverend Brian King, Episcopal Secretary to Bishop Gerald M. Barbarito;  proclamations from the Honorable Jeri Muoio, Mayor of the City of West Palm Beach, and the Honorable Gail Coniglio, Mayor of the Town of Palm Beach; an address from the Adrian Dominican Sisters, the school's founding sponsor; and the introduction of Rosarian's new Head of School Stephen Rubenacker.

Rosarian Review from 90th Celebration
Rosarian Review
The 'Rosarian Review' highlighted major moments and events in Rosarian's rich history, such as the opening of the school's first building for girls only, Bradley Hall, in September 1925; the addition of the swimming pool in 1959; the establishment of the Montessori School in 1974; the closing of the high school in 1991; and the present-day co-ed, early-childhood-through-eighth-grade structure of the school. This portion of the program was anchored by actors Sailor Kate Ashley (7th grade), Emma Hardyman (6th grade), Crede Janson (5th grade), Nicholas Stewart (4th grade), and Robbie Vargas (6th grade). The skit conveyed that, regardless of various changes that have taken place throughout the last 90 years, Rosarian's principles have remained the same. The school has always placed the utmost importance on strong moral and spiritual values, intellectual growth, and civic-minded responsibility. No matter what the future holds for Rosarian, these important tenants will remain a priority.

Adrian Sisters in Attendance
Thirteen Adrian Dominican Sisters-all part of the order who founded the school in 1925 and continue to sponsor it today--attended the 90th celebration, including former principal Sr. Grace Flowers, OP, who read a letter on behalf of Sr. Attracta Kelly, Prioress. 

"Rosarian Academy is not 90 years old--it's 90 years vital! The commitment of faculty, staff and administration to educational excellence and a mission-centered curriculum is the foundation that has created this dynamic environment. At Rosarian, now and throughout our history, students have not only flourished academically, but have also developed the core values of prayer, study, reflection and action that enable them to build meaningful lives and make a positive difference in our world," read Sr. Grace. 

Mayor Jeri Muoio proclaimed, "We commend the fine work--past, present and future--of Rosarian Academy, and we join with our beloved Dominican Sisters to 'influence society positively and actively as they seek truth, make peace, and reverence life.'"

Following the proclamations from Mayors Muoio and Coniglio, John C. Cassidy, Jr., Chairman of the Board, introduced Head of School Stephen Rubenacker who is new to Rosarian Academy as of July 2015. 
Alumni at 90th

Mr. Rubenacker concluded his address with, "Looking forward to the next 90 years,  we look forward to enhancing a program that fosters not only the basic skills that are necessary but an enhanced, individualized experience that will equip our children for a challenging world. This includes a program that embraces those twenty-first century skills, as well as fostering an entrepreneurial spirit, collaborative nature, and a heightened sense of awareness around what it means to be part of a global community.  To this end, our children will understand how to safely and ethically engage in a networked world and will remember that their learning is not only limited to the time that they are in school but a life-long endeavor that they should continually work to grow from. By enthusiastically embracing their faith as well as their own learning, our graduates will continue to set the world on fire, for many years to come."

90 years after being established, Rosarian Academy continues to be the only independent, Catholic school in Palm Beach County, presenting its students with a standard of excellence second to none while providing the foundation to live life with faith, knowledge, and service.

Once-in-a-Lifetime Opportunity to Hear Pope Speak to Congress
Eleven Members of RA Community Journey to See Pope

Six Rosarian Academy 8th graders and their four chaperones were fortunate to be a part of history when they travelled to Washington, D.C. to see Pope Francis on September 24, 2015, during his six-day U.S. visit. 

Thanks to West Palm Beach U.S. Rep. Lois Frankel, (D-Fla.), RA received 11 tickets to view the Pope's widely-anticipated Congressional speech on two jumbotron screens from the Capitol's West Front, the site of presidential inaugurations. Those attending were: Hailey Albergo, Charlotte Breckenridge, Peter Fields, Robert Fox, Liam Groth, and Mariana Perez-Vargas, as well as chaperones Steve Rubenacker, Head of School, Sr. Donna Baker, Middle School Director and 8th grade religion teacher, Francesca Coniglio Finck, Middle School religion teacher and Spiritual Life Coordinator, Silvia Pariseleti, Spanish teacher, and Michael Groth, parent. 

"We were honored that Rep. Frankel thought of Rosarian Academy," commented Head of School Steve Rubenacker. "Our students were elated to have had the opportunity to connect their faith and their religion classes at Rosarian with such a landmark visit by Pope Francis."

The selection of the six students who saw the Pope was based on their answers to an eighth-grade religion homework assignment which posed the question, "If you had the opportunity to meet with Pope Francis next week in D.C., what would you want to discuss with him and why?" 

The group's "blue-coded" tickets gave them a 6:15 a.m. entry into the historical moment most Catholics never have: seeing the Pope in person. As the leader of the Catholic Church and the direct descendant of St. Peter, Pope Francis is the 226th pope and the first to address a joint meeting of the U.S. Congress, where 26 of the 100 members of the Senate are Catholic and 140 of the 435 members of the House of Representatives are Catholic.

Minutes before the Pope's speech to Congress, the group got a glimpse of His Holiness from a distance as he passed the crowd of 40,000+ people in his D.C. Popemobile, a retrofitted Jeep Wrangler.

"I knew that I was standing on holy ground while in the presence of the Pope," reflected Sr. Donna. "As a Dominican Sister of Adrian, we are a group of women who dedicate our lives to preaching the truth, advocating for justice, and reaching out to the marginalized. Pope Francis' message seemed to be on the same page. His life exemplifies our Rosarian Mission Statement which speaks to educating the whole person for life in a global community in the light of Gospel Values."

Following the Pope's 50-minute speech, students and chaperones alike walked slowly through the massive crowd to meet with Congresswoman Frankel in the Canon Office Building, where lunch was provided and media interviews were given. (View CBS 12 News segment to the right.)

The students used a variety of terms to describe the experience. Hailey called it "magnificent" and said she could not really express how happy she was, while Robert Fox said it was "a very big deal" and that it was probably "the greatest honor" that he had ever received.

"[Pope Francis] He made clear that we should help [the poor]them in every way we can, to just imagine ourselves in their shoes, what kind of horrible things are going on in their country," Charlotte Breckenridge told a SunSentinel reporter afterward.

"We all have to work together to accomplish things," Mariana Perez-Vargas said in an interview with television station CBS News12. "Everyone's different, so you have to respect people the way they are."

Liam Groth felt he was carrying the family torch to D. C. 

"My 89-year-old grandmother has not even seen the Pope," he said. "As a Catholic, it is just something that everyone wants to do. I felt so fortunate to have gone."

Following lunch, the afternoon was rounded out with a lengthy, in-depth Capitol tour escorted by several of the Congresswoman's aides. Fortuitously, the tour included a stop at the statue of Saint Junipero Serra, the Spanish Franciscan missionary who established schools for American Indians along the California coast. The Mass, in which the missionary was elevated to sainthood, was the first of its kind in the U.S. The statue stands in Statuary Hall on Capitol Hill, where Serra is one of California's two statues, in the room filled with statues of the two people who best represent each state.

Although the 30+ hour adventure was soon a memory for the Rosarian group, it was an incredible memory of a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

"This unbelievable experience makes me want to share my faith with my students in a deeper sense," explained Mrs. Finck. "I pray that by having been in the holy presence of Pope Francis and the thousands of other people seeking a deeper relationship with Our Father, that I have enhanced my abilities to manifest discipleship in the lives of my students and in my own life. This was a once-in-a-lifetime experience and I felt incredibly blessed. God is so good!"
New Equipment Provides Sensory Integration Development

Early Childhood Playgrounds Receive New Play Structures

All our Early Childhood playgrounds are sporting a few new pieces of equipment this school year. 

These new structures not only provide fun play for our students but also help to train cognitive skills through sensory integration. Children are continually learning, developing, interpreting and processing an amazing amount of sensory information each day. Sensory integration activities aim to stimulate the tactile, proprioceptive, vestibular and motor planning inputs, encouraging the cognitive skill development to process and integrate sensory input. 

Our new Merry-Go-All on our west playground helps stimulate the child's vestibular input (perception of movement caused by the stimulation of the inner ear)  as they ride around on the equipment, while proprioceptive input (from the body's muscles, ligaments and joints developing body awareness) is activated as the children push their friends around on the Merry-Go-All.

The new Upper Body Trainer on our east playground also provides proprioceptive input as the children hang from the bars, and additionally offers opportunity for muscle planning, which improves the child's ability to organize and implement new gross motor skills.
Creating a Shared Vision of Literacy, Learning, and Teaching
The Rosarian Academy Faculty Professional Development Focus for the 2015-16 School Year

This year, the Rosarian Faculty will study the best practices for the teaching of reading and writing during their monthly professional development faculty meetings. These meetings will be facilitated by Mrs. Laura Jane Linck, Ms. Theresa Kent, and select guest Rosarian teachers. During each meeting, the faculty will follow a researched-based professional development curriculum, The Continuum of Literacy Learning Teaching Library, by Gay Su Pinnell and Irene C. Fountas.  Both authors and trainers of this professional development teaching collection are noted experts in the teaching of teachers to activate responsive teaching methods which supports students' reading and increases their abilities across the language arts curriculum. 

Having the opportunity for the entire faculty to share common language and goals for the best practices of teaching reading and writing at Rosarian is exciting work. Through faculty learning, practice, and communication between grade levels, this shared vision and deep understanding of reading pedagogy will provide our students a stronger foundation and coherence in their Rosarian education.
What Can YOU Do?
Middle School Advisory Groups Plan to Take Action

Meeting at least once a month, this year's Middle School advisory groups are focusing on ways to encourage students to take ownership and action in building positive character traits and promoting anti-bullying. Advisory groups consist of 6-8 students paired with one adult advisor. Advisors and students met for the first time on September 3rd to begin to answer the question, "What can YOU do?"  Advisors encouraged their advisees to answer this question with regard to all aspects of student life, on and off campus.  How can he or she make a difference in our community? From standing up for others and doing the right thing to asking questions and solving problems in the dining hall.

Rosarian's advisory program aims to provide the students with a comfortable setting to share with peers and connect with a safe adult.

GIVING BACKpack Service Drive
Over 150 Backpacks Collected and Donated to Hope Rural School

"Through our love for our neighbor we can get to know God, who is love. Only through loving can we reach love." -- Pope Francis

As part of Rosarian's mission and philosophy, we believe in educating students to make a positive difference in this world and that service to others is an integral part of Rosarian Academy's community. Aligned with these beliefs and with the intention of "giving back," the first school-wide service project of the year was a backpack drive. Led by Spiritual Life Coordinator Mrs. Finck, students across all division levels were encouraged to bring in their gently used backpacks to donate to a sister Catholic school--Hope Rural School in Indiantown. More than 150 backpacks were collected and stuffed with notes written by Middle School students and with school supplies that were generously donated by families and staff. 

Mrs. Finck graciously delivered the filled backpacks to the children of Hope Rural School who received them with huge smiles and excitement. Watch the short video to the right to share in their joy.

"We certainly made a difference in these children's lives. I pray the new backpacks, words of encouragement, and school supplies motivate the Hope Rural School children to have an unforgettable year! Thank you...It is through your own example of love and service that our students understand the importance of giving back," said Mrs. Finck.
Middle School Students 
Participate in First-Ever Cross Country Meet

Cross Country and Track & Field Officially Interscholastic Sports
Rosarian Academy Middle School students participated in the Middle School's first-ever cross country meet against All Saints Catholic School and St. Luke Catholic School at Cardinal Newman High School on September 9, 2015. Rosarian students competing in the meet were John Carlson (8th grade), Lily Diffenderfer (6th grade), and Elise Lanahan (6th grade). With a time of 12:05 for 1.5 miles, John finished in first place out of the approximate 25 runners who competed. 

The team is coached by teachers Katherine Murphy and CC Loynd. Last school year, Miss Murphy started a running club to begin gaining interest in cross country and track. This year, the club has turned into an official interscholastic sport with a Cross Country team in the fall and a Track & Field team in the spring.

Eighth Grade Class Visits Opportunity Inc.
Students Bring Joy to Local Underprivileged Children

The eighth grade class spent a few hours on September 24th reading, playing and enjoying lunch with the children from 
Opportunity, Inc. Early Learning Center. RA students paired off with the children--infants through 5 years old. They brought books to read (and then to donate to Opportunity Inc.'s library) and lunches to share with the children. 

Seventh Graders Size Their Atoms
Learning Atomic Structure through the Study of Chemistry

This month in seventh-grade science, one of the Core Knowledge units focused on atomic structure through the study of chemistry. Students learned that elements are substances made of only one kind of atom. The number of protons in an atom determine what kind of atom it is. In a compound, atoms of two or more elements are chemically bonded together in one molecule. The scientists chose a chemical symbol, decoded the formulas for the compounds, and wrote the number of atoms of each element in one of its molecules. They then built a model of its molecule using different colors of Play-Doh to represent each element.The atomic numbers helped them size their atoms. They used toothpicks to hold the atoms together in a molecule. This fun, yet useful hands-on learning experience, helped the students gain a greater understanding of how chemical formulas are generated.

Caribbean Nights - Paradise Found at Rosarian Academy
Save the Date: November 21, 2015 at The Breakers
Save the date of November 21st for a tropical evening filled with Caribbean flair as the 2015 Auction Chairs, Marian Macias and Adrianne Sanchez, host the 37th Annual Auction & Ball at The Breakers, Palm Beach. For more information on the upcoming Auction & Ball and all of the exciting events leading up to the big night, please click here
Please save the following pre-Auction dates and click on the links for more information:
Class Project Auction & Spaghetti Dinner October 8th, Rosarian's Dining Hall
Travel & Entertainment Corner October 22nd, PB Improv, 8:00 PM
Gardens Mall Shopping Day - October 14th, The Gardens Mall: Shop anywhere in the mall, log your receipts and 5% will be donated to Rosarian
Guys Night Out - October 29th, Trump International Golf Club, 7:00 PM -10:00 PM

BidPal Again
See the Auction Items Before the Event
For the third year, Rosarian will use the electronic bidding software, BidPal, to run the silent auction at the Caribbean Nights Auction & Rose Ball on November 21st.  All attendees will have the chance to see what will be auctioned in the silent and live auctions.  Items continue to come in, so check back often.  If you're attending the event, be sure to log in and register your credit card to make check-in a breeze.  Visit to view items that have already been donated.   Start your "watch list" now; so, when you attend the event, you can be anywhere at The Breakers and still win the items you want! Only bids from those who purchased tickets and attend the Auction & Ball will be recognized. 
Tell a Friend: Rosarian Readies for Its First Open House of the Year
October 8, 2015, 9:00 AM