The Doane Stuart Alumni/ae Association is proud to bring you a new series of web articles entitled Taking Five, aimed at helping you get to know fellow members of your alumni/ae community. Featured interviewees are asked to answer five questions about their lives, challenges, and inspirations, and their answers can be read over a 5-minute break.  Want to recommend someone or conduct a virtual interview for our Taking Five series? Contact Us

(Left to Right) Joline Mondore SA ’45, Head of School Pam Clarke & Andrew Mondore, SA ’75. This picure is from Reunion 2015 where Joline celebrated her 70th reunion and her son Andrew celebrated his 40th. Another legacy family.

Joline Mondore SA ’45

Tell me about the culture of the St. Agnes School when you attended.
It was quite different. The whole culture of the country was completely different (the war was going on). And St. Agnes was THE school to go to. I think my mother had visions of my going to it from the time I was born. The school had a liberal arts focus and was known for being college preparatory. Every day we all marched from our classrooms down to the auditorium and had prayers. We all stood in our lines; it was prayers and singing of a hymn every morning. We had boarders as well, although there were definitely more day students.

Was there a teacher or mentor that particularly inspired you?
Miss Pittman ran the school- she was great and very involved with both faculty and students. She was actually strict and so forth, but she had a way about her that you didn’t realize it. You could really talk to her; she was always right there.

Do you have a favorite memory of a time with your classmates you could share?
The big celebration that I always remember was All Hallows’ eve. For All Hallows’ eve it was back at school in the early evening for the 7th through 12th grades. It was held in the large dining room- which was then set up with chairs. We wore our white dress uniforms. The bishop was there and made the first fire of the season in the big fireplace. That was followed by a short service led by the Bishop with some of the hymns that we sang regularly. Then we had a festival with candy. Each class had worked together on a candy bag in their art classes- they were formed into things relevant to Halloween, like pumpkins. Those were filled with individual bags of candy and hung on a wire across the dining room. We all sat it our classes in our white dresses and our class ribbons ( We chose colored ribbons each year for our class which identified us – tied to our dresses.) Each class was called up in order to break their candy bag. The president of
the class was given this big stick (which actually was usually used to help to open the windows) and had to break the candy bag, and the class members all scrambled to gather the candy. It was one of my favorite traditions.

Tell me about how your relationship with St. Agnes continued after graduation?
After I graduated I went on to Catherine Gibbs secretarial school, and served as a Church Secretary on Madison Avenue for 8 years. I was a stay at home mom when my son Andrew was born, but when he was four, I got a call from the secretary at the office at St. Agnes asking me if I could come in and help, because they had just lost their regular secretary. She knew I had a young son and he wasn’t in school yet, but said he could attend the school’s Kindergarten program until he was old enough to go to public school. Later I was asked to become the Executive Secretary of the Alumnae Association of the Society of the Graduates of St. Agnes (the headmaster at the time had said to me, “We don’t have many funds to pay you, but we’ll give you a big title!”). My son Andy spent a lot of time at St. Agnes growing up. In the summer he had the run of the school and used to love working on this state-of-the-art computer we had in one of the classrooms. The school started slowly admitting boys a few classes at a time when Andy was high-school-aged. One day we were driving past Colonie (our local high school) I said to him, “Well, I guess that’s where you’ll be going… unless you’d like to go to St. Agnes.” Andy replied, “I thought you’d never ask.” So he attended for tenth, eleventh and twelfth grade, and it was nice to have my son there. Andy’s class was the last St. Agnes class before the merger with Kenwood. As the merger was taking place, I was concerned that the memorabilia and records of St. Agnes would be lost. So for years while I was on the Alumni/ae Board, I made sure that I had copies of a lot of it. Thanks to Darlene and Pam and their ongoing respect for the traditions of our school, I have recently been working to transfer it all over to the care of Doane Stuart.

What stands out from your education at St. Agnes that you’ve used throughout your life?
What stands out- because of the lack of it these days – was the emphasis on handwriting and penmanship. We learned a type of writing that was printing but very curved; it almost looked like it was connected. Our Class of 1945 had 24 people in it. When we graduated, 8 of us started a “Round Robin.” It’s an envelope full of letters that we send in a set order- each person adds a letter with news and updates when she receives it and sends it to the next person. The next time the package comes back to you, you take out your previous letter and add a new one. I’m pleased to say that 72 years later, it’s STILL going. There are only four of us now, but we still send it around three or four times a year. And they’re all handwritten notes! (Except mine- I’ve finally succumbed to typing.)

Andrew Mondore SA ’75

Where do you live?
My wife and I live in Loudonville. We moved in with my mother last summer to help her out. She is much more active since we did that.

Tell us about your family.
Beside my wife and my mother, we have a son. He graduated from SUNY Fredonia in 2015. He now lives in Brooklyn – currently working in a restaurant but also investigating graduate school.

How did St. Agnes prepare you as an adult? As a professional?
It prepared me as an adult by giving me the opportunity to try new things. It gave me confidence in myself. I played basketball for a year – something I wouldn’t have been able to do in a public school because I wasn’t that good.  Professionally, it gave me my first opportunity to use a computer. We had a teletype connection over a phone line to a UAlbany computer. I’m now a senior systems programmer at RPI, so I can credit Saint Agnes for giving me that opportunity.

What is one of your fondest memories of St. Agnes?
I think my fondest memory is of the friends I had – not just in my own class but also in the classes ahead of me and behind me. Being a small school, we really knew everybody.
What is making you feel grateful today?
I’m grateful today for how Saint Agnes prepared me for college and for my professional life.

(Left to Right) Joline Mondore SA ’45, Head of School Pam Clarke & Andrew Mondore, SA ’75. This picure is from Reunion 2015 where Joline celebrated her 70th reunion and her son Andrew celebrated his 40th. Another legacy family.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

   

 

Upcoming Events

  • Alumni/ae Association Meeting

    Jun 06, 2017 - The Doane Stuart School

    All Alumni/ae are invited to every Alumni/ae Association meeting (the first Tuesday of every other month).  The Association Co-Chairs are Leanne Robinson-Maine, DS ’94 and Peter Kutchukian, DS ’97.  Focus Groups have also been created that alu

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  • 164th Commencement

    Jun 10, 2017 - The Doane Stuart School - Golub Interfaith Chapel

    Congratulations to the Class of 2017, who will graduate on Saturday, June 10th at 10:00 AM.  There will be a festive reception immediately following the ceremony.  Details about commencement will be sent to the parents of seniors.  Please contact

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  • 2017 Reunion - Cocktail Reception

    Oct 13, 2017 - The Doane Stuart School

    Friday, October 13th there will be a cocktail reception on the 22,000 square foot Green Roof.  We will have hors d’oeuvres and food stations, Wine, Beer, Soda and water.  We will have an Alumni band featuring Graham Tichy and Ian Carlton both fro

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Doane Stuart Timeline

  • 1852

    The Kenwood Academy was founded in 1852.

  • 1870

    The St. Agnes School was founded in 1870. 

  • 1975

    The Doane Stuart School was founded from the merger of Kenwood Academy and St. Agnes School.

  • 2009

    Doane Stuart moved to its current location at 199 Washington Avenue in Rensselaer. 

  • 2014

    Construction is completed of the $1.3 million 22,000 square foot vegetative green roof.