On Saturday, April 2nd Our Lady of Hope School hosted an Alumni Reception welcoming back students from classes 1966 – 2000. The event, a first of its kind, was a huge success attracting over 300 attendees from various class years as well as teachers and faculty, some of whom taught over 20 years ago and some who are still teaching at OLH today.
As a graduate of the class of 1984 and currently a parent of an Our Lady of Hope student, I am like many other multi-generation Our Lady of Hope alumni who take pride in still being associated with the school today. Although being back in the hallways was not a new thing for us, to be among so many alumni and faculty together made us all feel very nostalgic. The auditorium was dressed up for the occasion with class year decorations made by today's OLH students, balloons representing the school colors and a video montage of class photos which took us all back in time to those days when we wore the famous plaid OLH uniform.
From the beginning of the night as people walked in the cafeteria, many expressed the same sentiment about how great it was to be back in the school again. Classmates enjoyed catching up and visiting their old classrooms where many reminisced and posed for rare photo opportunities. It was great to see so many familiar faces from different grades – some who still live in the neighborhood and others who traveled from as far as Florida to be a part of the event. Many had personal stories to share with their former teachers ‒ like my friend who was thrilled to meet her Kindergarten teacher Mrs. Florence Rose (who taught from 1968-1985) and tell her how special she was to her ‒ talk about a Hallmark moment!
I'm sure everyone had a special moment like this with all of the teachers who came to celebrate the occasion like Mrs. Eileen Ott (who taught from 1969-1985), Brother Vincent Adams (1969-1984), Mrs. Donna Panzone (1972-1978), Mr. Robert Thoering (1986 ‒2002), Mr. John Reilly(1985 ‒ 1999) and former Principals, Sister Margaret Schmidt and Brother James McVeigh.
Everyone was also both excited and amazed to greet all of the faculty still teaching at OLH today like Mr. Michael McHugh who began teaching in 1969, Mrs. Christine (Franzem) Leclerc (1975), Mrs. Kathy Listner (1984), Mrs. Linda DeLaGarza (1986) and Principal Ms. Michele Krebs who taught from 1977 ‒ 2009 and has been Principal for the past several years. Ms. Krebs drew cheers when she jokingly rang her bell like the old days in an attempt to get everyone's attention in the beginning of the night ‒ a difficult task with all the energy in the room. Ms. Krebs expressed her thanks toeveryone who attended the event and helped make it a great success.
The turnout and genuine good time had by everyone seemed a fitting tribute to the history of Our Lady of Hope School! Afterwards the party continued at Barosa's Restaurant where everyone continued to reminisce and stories about OLH could be heard throughout the night. It was a very fun evening for all!
If you are a former graduate and would like to become an active alumni member or if you want to provide updated contact information for future OLH alumni events, email Jo-Anne Rella at email@example.com.
Brother James McVeigh (former
principal), Mrs. Kathy Listner and Sister Margaret Schmidt (former principal).