Celebrating Legacy: Oak Knoll Honors Longstanding Board of Trustees Chair

Picture of Board Chair and wife in front of crestLong-serving former Oak Knoll Board of Trustees Chair Jeffrey W. Schroeder was celebrated on September 19, 2023, in a special ceremony in the Grace Hall Chapel, during which a hand-crafted, wooden-inlaid votive candle holder was blessed in his honor. Schroeder helmed the Oak Knoll Board from 2013 to 2022.

In the shape of the Society of the Holy Child Jesus crest, the large candle holder was individually crafted by John Landis, husband of Oak Knoll’s Head of School, out of ethically sourced hardwoods with solid-wood joinery and hand-applied finishes. According to the SHCJ, “The outline of the logo mirrors the Society’s seal with two ancient Trinitarian symbols — three interlocking circles and an equilateral triangle. These symbols reflect the Incarnate Christ, the basis of the Society’s spirituality.” The same crest is embedded within the “Faith, Wisdom, Service” seal in the Oak Knoll School of the Holy Child logo.

During his blessing and remarks, the Very Reverend Larry Evans II, pastor of St. Rose of Lima parish in Short Hills said, “When we bless images, they do represent much more than what we look at. This image is a history of a community, of a foundation, and of our own foundation. And part of that history will forever be you, sir. We want to thank you for all those years of service. Thank you for the gift of love. May the flames within each of us shine brighter — just as these flames will shine and remind us of where we come from and where we are going.”

Head of School Jennifer G. Landis initially welcomed the group, which contained school administrators, Mr. Schroeder and his wife Angela, current Board Chair Stephen Loughrey, a group of Lower School students, who symbolically lit several of the votives in the crest, and Campus Ministry Council President Katherine Failla ’24, who read an explanation of the crest and its origins.

Following the blessing, attendees adjourned to the school’s Mother Mary Campion Center for the Performing Arts to attend the Mass of the Holy Spirit — an annual opening-of-school Mass that culminates in recognition of staff and faculty who have reached milestone years of service.

Photo of Minister talking to school congregation