Diocesan News

In Gratitude to Bishop Ford H.S.

Though sadness was evident on the last day of classes to ever take place at Bishop Ford H.S., Park Slope, students also expressed gratitude.

Sophomore Caroline Bandigan said that when she first arrived at Bishop Ford, she was a rather shy person. However, being able to join school clubs within her first couple of weeks enabled her to find her voice and become a more active member of her community.

Bishop Ford peer leaders participate in a trust walk.
Bishop Ford peer leaders participate in a trust walk.

“Coming to Ford helped me come out of my comfort zone,” she said. “The school community welcomes you with open arms.”

Junior Jennifer Bove said she felt welcomed from the beginning. She said that among her best memories of high school is the time when a couple of seniors approached her at the beginning of her freshman year to ask how she was doing and if she was making friends.

“I was just so shocked,” she said.

Although Bove did not know it at the time, this encounter was part of an organized effort from the school’s peer leadership group, headed by Carol Carielli, Ph.D., director of guidance. Every year, a group of seniors was selected to help freshmen ease the transition to high school life.

Bove said that when a couple of seniors found out that she was interested in playing sports, they personally introduced her to members of the softball and volleyball teams.

“I felt like I belonged,” she said.

Playing on the teams became an important aspect of Bove’s high school experience. However, she said, she never put much thought on how to balance schoolwork, practice and games.

“Failing wasn’t an option,” she said in a matter-of-fact tone. “I knew if my grades start slipping, softball and volleyball would go away.”

Sophomore Daniel Hyman, who plays baseball and football, said balancing schoolwork and team responsibilities simply became routine.

Bishop Ford peer leaders write letters to themselves to be opened at the end of senior year.
Bishop Ford peer leaders write letters to themselves to be opened at the end of senior year.

“You go to practice afterschool,” he said. “Then you go home, do your homework and you’re ready for school the next day.”

Hyman said that what made the teams strong is the respect members had for each other on and off the field. However, he said the sense of camaraderie was not limited to the sports teams. He said the teachers supported and challenged their students.

Having gone to public school before Bishop Ford, Hyman will be going back to the public school system by entering Franklin Delano Roosevelt H.S., Midwood. He said his time at Bishop Ford has prepared him to go back by giving him the tools neded to succeed.

Bove, who will be attending Bishop Kearney H.S., Bensonhurst, said the teachers have continued to support their students through the transition period. Although she will not be able to finish her senior year at Bishop Ford, the junior has already received recommendations from her teachers so she can apply to college.

Jiarui Ouyang, freshman, said the surrounding high schools have also eased the transition. He said his transfer to St. Edmund Prep, Sheepshead Bay, was fairly simple. He met with a representative from the school during a fair Bishop Ford hosted, filled out an application and was accepted soon after.

Brother Thomas Barton O.S.F., campus minister, said he hopes the school will be remembered as a warm and caring school.

“It was a place where everyone fit in and everyone belonged,” he said.

Share this article with a friend.