When girls from St. Barnabas High School walk through the school’s doors in September, they won’t realize anything has changed.
However, one big change will have taken place. On Sept. 1, St. Barnabas will become an independent high school managed by a board of trustees as opposed to the parish-based high school it has been since opening in 1924.
“This transition in leadership is being done to further ensure the sustainability of St. Barnabas High School,” said Msgr. Edward Barry, pastor of St. Barnabas and dean of the Northeast Bronx.
The board of trustees will be responsible for school finances, advancements in the high school and enrollment, for instance. St. Barnabas currently has 218 girls enrolled.
“The purpose of this change is to expand the reach of the high school through a lay board. With the alumni we hope to advance the high school with enrollment and with academics,” Msgr. Barry said.
Alumnae could greatly improve the school experience for St. Barnabas students by providing internship experiences, Msgr. Barry noted.
“We already have a few in the school. The girls teach CCD classes, and we have an internship program with Montefiore Hospital where they go once a week to be with patients,” he said. “The school could always use more in different fields. That is where the alumnae come in.”
Board Chair Julietta Guarino stated, “Many of us are alumnae, and all of us believe in the mission and opportunities this school offers its students and their families.”
“Our location, on the border of Yonkers and the Bronx, affords our students access to world-class NYC cultural institutions and transportation hubs, with the benefits of a tree-lined neighborhood campus that includes St. Barnabas elementary school,” she added.
Sister Joan Faraone, R.J.M., herself an alumna of St. Barnabas High School’s class of 1968, will remain as principal as will other members of the school administration. She has served as principal for seven years.
She told CNY she hopes the new structure will assist the school in adding extra-curricular activities, offering more Advanced Placement classes and increasing scholarship opportunities, among other things. Her hope is this will allow more girls to take part in what the school has to offer.
“Independence should be seamless for our young women—just a change in governance structure—and their daily life and activities will be unaffected, but their academic and extra curricular programs will improve,” she told CNY.