Staten Island’s Only Independent School Celebrates Its 125th Anniversary With an Exciting Calendar of Events

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Staten Island Academy is proud to announce its 125th anniversary. To celebrate, the Academy has put together of roster of events including alumni athletic competitions, public lectures, benefit performances and a host of other fun programming designed to herald the future, recognize the past and celebrate the present.

Staten Island Academy is proud to announce its 125th anniversary. The borough’s only independent school, the Academy was founded in 1884 by educator Anton Methfessel as the Staten Island Academy and Latin School. The school underwent several name and location changes until Staten Island Academy came to reside at its present day home on Todt Hill.

To celebrate the Academy’s birthday, a team of faculty, alumni, students and parents have put together a yearlong calendar of exciting events. The roster includes alumni athletic competitions, public lectures, benefit performances and a host of other fun programming designed to herald the future, recognize the past and celebrate the present.

Here is just a sampling of events open to the public:

  • On October 3, the Academy will hold Academy Day, a Carnivale-themed birthday bash that features games, amusements, athletic competitions, a barbecue and the annual Alumni vs. Alumni Soccer Game.
  • Author and history professor Carlos Cortes visits the Academy on October 27 to perform his one person autobiographical play, A Conversation with Alana. The play presents his story of growing up the son of a Mexican Catholic immigrant father and an American-born Jewish mother in racially segregated post-World War II Missouri.
  • On November 12, Staten Island Academy College Advisor Michael Acquilano will lead a panel of college admissions professionals in a workshop entitled, College Admissions: Tips and Strategies on Getting Your Student into a Great University.
  • Julio Gambuto ’96 returns to the Academy on November 20 for a benefit performance of his hilarious one man show, Julie from Staten Island. The play, which has run in Times Square for more than two years, is the sometimes poignant, always funny story about Julio’s journey from Staten Island to Harvard. Tickets are available at the Academy's online box office.
  • Julie A. Ross, author of several parenting books including: Joint Custody with a Jerk: Raising a Child with an Uncooperative Ex, and How to Hug a Porcupine: Negotiating the Prickly Points of the Tween Years will speak at the Academy on April 6.
  • The 125th Anniversary Gala closes out the calendar on April 24. It is the Academy’s grandest party of the year and major fund-raising event to help sustain the school and its future for another 125 years. Former Heads of School and Faculty have been invited and the first annual Alumni of Achievement Awards will be held.

Important Moments in Staten Island Academy History:
At the time of its founding, many prominent professionals in theater, education, literature, politics and business were associated with the Academy including actor Sidney Wollett, North Pole explorer Admiral Perry, Booker T. Washington, the Vanderbilt family, Jacob Riis, and George William Curtis, a member of the Academy’s Board of Trustees and the namesake for Curtis High School.

During and after the Depression years, the Academy acquired and merged with several other private schools, including the Livingston School, the Dongan-Hall Arden School, which was located on the present day Todt Hill Campus, and the Willard-Mundorf School. In the 1940s, the Lower and Middle Schools of the Academy moved to Dongan Hall, a Georgian mansion that was formerly the estate of Edward Stettinius, FDR’s and Truman’s Secretary of State. The Upper School remained at the Wall Street campus. The Academy maintained two campuses until 1970.

Today, the Academy continues to expand to meet the ever-changing needs of students. In 1995, the Francis H. Powers Science and Technology Center was added to Kearns Hall. Campus facilities also include two outdoor swimming pools, tennis courts, athletic fields, and the romantic Art Barn, which is the last remaining original structure on the campus and is used for 3-dimensional art classes.

The fall of 2002 marked a new chapter in the Academy's long history with the installation of Diane J. Hulse as Head of School.

In addition to the calendar of events, the Academy has launched a new website. The site takes full advantage of Web 2.0 technology through the integration of Twitter, Facebook, You Tube and Flickr. Staten Island Academy’s new website places them at the forefront of the use of social media by prep schools in New York City.

About Staten Island Academy:
Staten Island Academy is a welcoming mix of inspiring people, challenging schoolwork, and opportunities for expanded learning. A co-ed, college prep school for Pre-Kindergarten through Grade 12, the Academy builds upon its 125-year tradition to focus entirely on providing the best future for children.

Staten Island Academy is located on a beautiful 12 acre campus in the Dongan Hills neighborhood and is easily accessible from Brooklyn as well as Jersey City and Bayonne.

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