Doane Stuart

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Margo Taylor KA '57

Where do you live?
I grew up in Albany, near Washington Park, attended Kenwood for 13 years and received two degrees from the College of St. Rose in Albany. My husband, Harmon, and I started married life in Loudonville and later in Latham where we’ve lived over 40 years.

Tell us about your family.
We’ve been married 54 years. We have been blessed with two children. Our daughter, Mary Beth, is the mother of two delightful girls. The elder is married to her childhood sweetheart and they are the parents of our two sweet little great granddaughters. Our son, Mark, and his wife have a son and three daughters. Our oldest granddaughter and family recently moved to Saratoga Springs after living three years in North Carolina. All our children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren are within an hour’s drive.

With whom at Kenwood do you still connect?
There were only 18 girls in my graduating class, and I am happy to report that I’ve kept in touch with everyone, although five have passed away over the years. Two long-time friends, Sister Loretta Somerville, R.S.C.J. and Vivian Vinett Crouth live in the area, and we are able to get together occasionally. The others, including, four former Cuban nationals, have returned for our reunions every five years. I send out a class letter a couple of times each year that keeps us all connected.
How do you think Kenwood prepared you as an adult? As a professional?
Because I attended Kenwood for 13 years, it had a huge influence on my life. I taught elementary school for 35 years and many things I learned at Kenwood, like good manners and a love of literature, were passed on to my students. I enjoy writing and wrote plays for my class to perform. I’ve had a few poems and essays published over the years. In 2001 my three-page essay “Kenwood Memories” was included in the bicentennial anthology Journey of the Heart published by the Network of the Sacred Heart Schools. In 2009 my article “Growing Up on State Street” was printed in the Times Union’s Story of Albany.
I also love local history. I grew up listening to fascinating true stories told to me by Huybertie Lansing Pruyn Hamlin. She was a family friend and a well-known St. Agnes alumna. She took me to tea at the Governor’s Mansion, and we visited her cousin at Cherry Hill before it became a museum. She even came to Kenwood and told the students about skating on the Hudson and visiting Kenwood with a horse and sleigh. Mrs. Hamlin, who was born in 1873, had an interesting neighbor near her childhood home on Elk Street. He was Bishop Doane for whom Doane Stuart was named.
Her influence, and especially those of my Kenwood teachers, instilled in me a love of learning.

I am so grateful today for the way the Sacred Heart sisters prepared me for a love of serving others. Besides teaching and raising a family, I served as president of the Doane Stuart Alumnae Association 1996-1999. I was a volunteer for Capital District Christian Women’s Club and Alpha Pregnancy Care Center. I sang in two choirs, directed a children’s choir, and taught Children’s Church and Vacation Bible School. In 2013 I received the Deeb Memorial Service Award from the Loudonville Christian School.

What is one of your fondest memories of Kenwood?
Among my fondest memories of Kenwood, I recall the excitement of congés, the annual corn roast, and the field hockey games. I loved singing in Glee Club and performing in plays and especially taking part in the 1953 Kenwood Centenary Pageant. These memories include making friends with girls from South America, Cuba, Mexico, Japan, Canada, and several states. Almost 60 years later, they are still my friends.I have been lucky enough to live in the Capital Region my entire life, presently in Wynantskill. As “square” as that may sound to the 18-year-old me, I feel that I now have deep roots planted in this area and I value that greatly.

Tell us about your family?
My wife, Katie and I have been married 11 years. We have two kids: Kay, 9, and Theodore, 7. Kay is an enthusiast of DIY YouTube videos and gymnastics. If she’s not attempting to make her own cosmetics out of items in the pantry, she can be found terrifying us with her back handsprings in the backyard. Theo is a Lego Masterbuilder who someday dreams of becoming an insult comic.

Who inspires you?
I am reminded daily of the genius of some of my remaining living musical heroes, specifically Chuck Berry and Little Richard. Fortunately, I haven’t aspired to emulate their personal lives!

With whom at DS do you still connect?
Since I still live in the Capital District and I cast a wide social and professional net, I see LOTS of DS folks! There are too many to list! Ian Carlton and I play music together almost daily. I see the Byron’s, the Gallo’s and the Dively’s all the time. Not to mention running into others on a daily basis, or Facebook.

How do you think DS prepared you as an adult? As a professional?
It’s hard to quantify the influence Doane Stuart had on me. First of all, I am professionally doing what I had planned on since middle school, which is to play music. When you spend your teenage years in a small social environment, you can’t help but to seek your own identity. I carved a path for myself that I really don’t believe I would have chosen if I had gone to a large public school. Secondly, the academics at Doane Stuart were rigorous enough to prepare me for the hard work that it takes to be in the arts. Again, the 18-year-old me would be shaking his head in disbelief, but I really enjoy hard work and independent study. I think Doane Stuart planted that seed in me.