News Room

Welcome to the Press Room

Welcome to Oak Knoll’s Press Room! Here you will find recent news appearances, press releases, publications and the news archive. Have news to share regarding Oak Knoll School, faculty, students or alumnae/i? Email communications@oakknoll.org and we will do our best to meet as many requests as we can. For permission to use the official Oak Knoll School logo or any official school photography found on the website, please email meghan.hodgin@oakknoll.org.

Oak Knoll In the News

Oak Knoll Track Phenom Reagan Moore ’27 Places First in Meet of Champions

Reagan Moore ’27 has just completed her freshman year at Oak Knoll, and she has already been shattering records and making track history. She recently competed in the NJSIAA Meet of Champions and clinched the 800-meter race in 2:09.43. She becomes the second person in school history to finish first in the NJSIAA Meet of Champions.

Oak Knoll Graduates 53 Young Women of Promise 

Fifty-three “young women of promise” processed to pomp and circumstance in front of friends, family, board members, administrators, faculty, and staff to begin the 96th annual commencement at Oak Knoll School of the Holy Child on June 9, 2024. Following an invocation and then an address by 2024 Valedictorian Rory Weldon ’24, they crossed the stage as their names were announced to receive their diplomas from Head of School Jennifer G. Landis and Chair of the Board of Trustees Stephen Loughrey.

Oak Knoll 2024 Upper School Awards Ceremony Celebrates Achievement, Leadership, and Service

After a busy week celebrating various graduations and moving-up milestones at all grade levels, students in grades 7-12 assembled with family members, guests, staff, faculty, and administration in the Mother Mary Campion Center for the Performing Arts to recognize the academic achievements of students in all Upper School grades and to highlight the leadership of the Class of 2024. The assembly marked the official close of the 2023-24 academic year and Oak Knoll’s 96th Annual Commencement for the Class of 2024 celebrated on Sunday, June 9, 2024, capped off a joyful year thematically labeled “loud and proud” by students at the onset of the academic year.

Oak Knoll Freshman Reagan Moore is 400M State Champion

Congratulations are in order for Oak Knoll Freshman Reagan Moore ’27, who claimed the state championship title in the 400-meter race at the Non-Public A State Championship. Held on June 7 and 8, 2024, at Stockton University, Moore sprinted to victory with an impressive time of 55.19 seconds. The state championship saw other notable performances […]

Capstone Spotlight: Cat Jordan Learns to Teach

As the finishing touch to their Oak Knoll experience, seniors embark on an independent exploration of an area of career interest during May. They explore fields ranging from corporate to creative, from self-employment to service-oriented. Their only limitation is the depth of their curiosity. Capstones challenge students to demonstrate their passion for discovery beyond the limits of the curriculum. 

Class of 2024 College Destinations

Oak Knoll School of the Holy Child proudly announces that the graduating Class of 2024 will be attending some of the country’s finest colleges and universities. This year’s seniors have been accepted into an impressive array of institutions, showcasing their dedication, hard work, and commitment to educational excellence. Included in the list are 10 Catholic […]

OKS Voices: Sean Melican Elevates His Teaching Craft

Since 2017, Upper School Science Teacher Sean Melican has been among a highly select group of 350 AP Chemistry Teachers chosen worldwide by the independent, nonprofit organization ETS to read and grade AP Chemistry tests. He will begin his summer vacation working eight hours a day for seven days, reading and grading just one of the seven questions on the AP Chemistry exam.

Oak Knoll Lacrosse Wins 9th-Straight State Title

In an exhilarating NJSIAA Non-Public A Tournament lacrosse final on June 6, 2024, No. 3 Oak Knoll triumphed over No. 7 Pingry 14-11, securing their ninth consecutive state title.

12 Oak Knoll Students Earn National Latin Exam Certificates of Excellence

In March, Latin students from across the United States participated in the National Latin Exam, an esteemed assessment that evaluates students’ mastery of the Latin language, grammar, history, literature, and culture. The exam is structured at various levels, enabling students at different stages of their Latin education to challenge themselves and gauge their proficiency against […]

Student-Teacher Duo Secures Victory in Superhero Half Marathon Relay

In a stunning display of athleticism and school spirit, Oak Knoll Upper School Student Support Coordinator Claire Bukata ’04 and eighth-grader Nina Hinic ’28 clinched first place in the female relay team category at the Super Hero Half Marathon and Relay held on May 19, 2024, at Ginty Field in Morris Township. Their two-person relay […]

Oak Knoll’s Varsity Softball Team Clinches Union County Valley Championship

With an impressive 4-1 victory over Kent Place on Friday, May 17, 2024, Oak Knoll’s Varsity Softball Team proudly secured the Union County Valley Division Championship.

Exciting Announcements During Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month

May is officially AAPI Month or Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month. On Tuesday, May 7, 2024, the AAPI Club at Oak Knoll launched the celebration with a presentation at an Upper School Assembly. In addition, two exciting Global Learning Opportunities were announced to dovetail with the month. A brand new excursion to the Land of the Rising Sun will take place during 2025 entitled, The Exploration and Faith Tour in Japan. Also, Science Department Chair Jeff Yuhas announced that he will once again host a science-themed trip to Hawaii.

Oak Knoll Lacrosse Wins 7th Straight Prep A Championship

Following a tough start with Kent Place on Tuesday, May 14, 2024, some defensive adjustments resulted in Oak Knoll’s comeback win and seventh straight victory in the Prep A Championship. Early in the game, Oak Knoll was trailing 4-0 but rallied back to hold Kent Place scoreless for most of the first half. A nail-biting second half ultimately resulted in a hard-fought 9-8 win for the Royals.

Michael Van Raaphorst: The Modern Renaissance Man Blending Art, Sports, and Faith at Oak Knoll

When Michael Van Raaphorst ’18 (LS) snags a rebound and swivels to face his own basket, he likens the court ahead to a blank canvas. “There are a bunch of different moves that can get you down that court,” he explained. He uses a similar metaphor when discussing football. “I played wide receiver, and there are different creative releases to get you in the open and a variety of colorful moves you can run.” Van Raaphorst’s ability to synthesize art and sports and weave them together with academics and spirituality is what makes him a Renaissance man.

Leilany Figueroa ’19 Is Making A Mark in Television and Film

If you are learning Spanish and happen to watch one of those conversational CDs accompanying the textbook, keep a lookout for a 13-year-old Leilany Figueroa ’19. That was her first professional acting job and ticket to her membership in the Screen Actors Guild  (SAG). Since then, she has graduated from Oak Knoll, attended NYU Tisch School of the Arts, and has recently appeared in a recurring role on Law and Order: SVU. In addition, she has appeared alongside Queen Latifah on The Equalizer and in an episode of FBI on CBS. Her star is definitely on the rise. Today, she is known professionally as Leilany Celeste.

Oak Knoll Track Team Triumphs at Union County Conference Championships

In an exhilarating display of speed, skill, and spirit, the Oak Knoll Royals Spring Track and Field team clinched the Mountain Division title over Cranford High School with a final team score of 133-118 at the Union County Conference Championships on Friday, May 10, 2024, setting the stage ablaze with record-breaking performances and personal bests. […]

Oak Knoll Community Celebrates Motherhood with Heartwarming Support for Birth Haven

In celebration of Motherhood and the month of May, the Oak Knoll Parents’ Association hosted a “Baby Shower” on Wednesday, May 1, 2024, supporting Birth Haven. This independent, non-sectarian, nonprofit organization provides shelter, support, and education for homeless and/or pregnant women and girls throughout the tri-state area, regardless of race, ethnicity, religious belief, or life […]

Oak Knoll Commissions 17 Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion

Oak Knoll celebrates Mass on several occasions throughout the year, and typically, senior students who have been previously commissioned in their Junior year administer the Eucharist. On Wednesday, May 8, 2024, in a special Rite of Commissioning Mass, 17 students pledged to administer the Eucharist with the utmost care and reverence.

Carson Didden ’24 Selected for Elite Lacrosse Showcase

Carson Didden ’24 has been selected to compete in the 19th Annual Senior All-America Lacrosse Game on July 27, 2024, on the historic Homewood Field at Johns Hopkins University. Recognized as the premier showcase for high school lacrosse players, this elite gathering of Lacrosse athletes will get underway at 5:30 p.m. and will be broadcast on ESPNU. Earlier in the school year, Didden signed a National Letter of Intent to attend and play Division I Lacrosse at Notre Dame University in the fall of 2024.

Oak Knoll Honors Research Class Impresses with Data Analysis on Society, Media, and the Advantages of Reading

On Wednesday, April 24, 2024, students in Oak Knoll’s Honors Research Methods & Data Analysis class presented the results of their semester-long deep dive into the principles, methods, and techniques of empirical social research. Like defending a doctoral dissertation, students faced panels of faculty and shared the research topic they chose and why it was an area of interest.

Laila Pasic ’24 Signs Letter of Intent to Continue Field Hockey Career at Lafayette College

In a ceremony attended by classmates and teammates, faculty, staff, administrators, and family, Laila Pasic ’24 formally signaled her intention to continue her field hockey career at Lafayette College during Oak Knoll School of the Holy Child’s Spring Signing Day on Tuesday, April 30, 2024.

Oak Knoll Track Team Smashes School Records at Historic Penn Relays

Oak Knoll School of the Holy Child’s varsity track team smashed school records in three events in the historic Penn Relays on Thursday, April 25, 2024. Oak Knoll athletes competed in the country’s oldest and largest track and field competition — hosted annually since 1895 by the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. All schools are […]

Oak Knoll Students Certified as Social Innovators by the University of Pennsylvania

Adrienne Lee ’27, Anna Wojie ’25, Anne Tobin ’26, Claire Kleedorfer ’25, Oceana Li ’27, Sofia Duhart ’25, and Vittoria Gentile ’27 completed a 12-week Oak Knoll signature program entitled Social Innovators. The University of Pennsylvania and Schoolyard Ventures administer the program, and it takes place during the student’s own time and under their own initiatives.

Oak Knoll Hosts NJ Middle School’s Math Consortium

Algebra skills were top of mind for the students from six New Jersey schools who participated on “varsity” and “junior varsity” teams in the annual half-hour competition within the Math Consortium hosted by Oak Knoll on Wednesday, April 17, 2024. They also spent an hour and a half solving clever math riddles.

Oak Knoll Hosts 6th Annual Women in Sports Leadership Panel

Oak Knoll’s sixth annual Women in Sports Leadership Panel showcased the determination, resilience, and versatility the school’s graduates possess in navigating the transition from high school athletics to college and eventually into their professional lives. The event, conducted on Thursday, April 18, 2024, at the Mother Mary Campion Center for the Performing Arts, marked the […]

Oak Knoll Theology: Deepening the Connections Between Faiths

In Lisa Durant’s grade 12 theology class, students learn not only about world religions but also the importance of friendly dialogue and theological discussion between members of all faiths. The students had recently concluded a unit on Judaism, which included a very personal introduction to anti-semitism and the Holocaust, when Upper School Computer Science Department Chair Talia Nochumson spoke to them about her grandparents who were Holocaust survivors.

Upper School Exchanges Offer Global Perspective

Oak Knoll students have the unique opportunity to forge international ties by participating in annual exchange programs. Recently, two groups of students traveled to Spain and England to soak in a new culture and experience the daily life of students at Jesuits Sarrià – Sant Ignasi School in Barcelona and Mayfield School in East Sussex, England. While exchanges have taken place with Sant Ignasi for many years, this was the first of what we hope will be many exchanges with our sister Holy Child School in Mayfield.

Oak Knoll Culture Festival: Around the World in 120 Minutes

From Trinidad and Tobago to Ukraine. From Pakistan to Ghana. From Italy to Columbia. Attendees at the two-hour Oak Knoll Culture Fair on Friday evening, April 12, 2024, experienced the flavors, sounds, and sights of the many cultures of the globe represented by Oak Knoll community members. There were informational exhibits, artifacts, ethnic dishes, and performances aplenty, and the excitement and cultural pride exhibited throughout the evening are sure to make this event a beloved annual experience.

Groundbreaking Learning in Grade Seven Science

On April 5, 2024, at 10:23 a.m., students in Rebecca McNany’s Introduction to Earth and Physical Science class witnessed experiential learning on an epic scale. During a lab activity involving simulated cross-sections of the earth’s core while discussing subduction movement and plate tectonics, a 4.8 magnitude earthquake with an epicenter less than thirty miles away rocked their classroom. Fortunately, that earthquake caused no damage to the school and no loss of life on the East Coast, but that lesson will forever be etched in their memories.

Students Honored in Oak Knoll’s 31st Annual Arts Celebration

Nearly two dozen students were recognized on Thursday, April 11, 2024, for their leadership, service, and achievement at Oak Knoll School of the Holy Child during the 31st annual Arts Recognition Ceremony. The ceremony honors their excellence in various artistic fields, including visual arts, music, theater, dance, photography, and writing.

An All-American Relay Team (4:18)

Oak Knoll’s 4×400 relay racers recently concluded what has become the winningest winter track season in Oak Knoll history. School and individual records were shattered right and left, and the relay team ended the Nike national meet by racing among the best in the country and being selected as All-American Athletes. Meet members of that All-American team. (4:18 mins)

11 Students Inducted into Oak Knoll Chapter of Cum Laude Society

Five seniors and six juniors were recognized for their academic excellence and inducted into Oak Knoll School of the Holy Child’s chapter of the Cum Laude Society on Friday, April 5, 2024, in the Mother Mary Campion Center for the Performing Arts. Inductees and their families gathered for a small reception in the Aileen Maury […]

Noelle Kadar ’02: Forging Her Own Unique Path

Although truly an artist in her own right, with a bachelor’s degree in the arts from the prestigious Rhode Island School of Design, Noelle Kadar ’02 has forged a unique path working as an international director of art events and fairs and as a strategic consultant to clients in the profession.

Black Scholars Club at Oak Knoll (5:51 mins)

For this edition of the Happy Kid Project, we thought we’d introduce you to some of the members of the Black Scholars Club at Oak Knoll who recently helped the DEIJ Department organize a special assembly on African American Alumna in the Arts. The club was established at Oak Knoll well over a quarter of a century ago, and these current members tell us a little about what they think the club adds to the Oak Knoll community, and they share their thoughts on what the special assembly meant to them. (5:51 mins)

Oak Knoll School Selects Laura Hollenbaugh as Next Upper School Division Head

Oak Knoll School of the Holy Child has selected Laura Hollenbaugh as the next Upper School Division Head of the school’s all-girls 7-12 middle and high school.

Winter Track and Field: A History Making Season

According to the record books, it’s the most successful winter track season in Oak Knoll history, and it could be a harbinger of seasons to come. Our varsity athletes won first place in the New Jersey Catholic Track Championships, and the Royals qualified for seven different events at Nike Indoor Nationals, including the high jump, the 60-meter hurdles, the 800 meters, the 400 meters, the 4×200-meter relay, the 4×400 meter relay, and the 4×800 meter relay. Members of the 4×400 relay team earned All-American status after their 6th-place finish against the best in the country.

Oak Knoll Juniors Step Through a Threshold and Receive Class Rings

Since its formalization in 1955, the annual ring ceremony is seen as the threshold through which our Upper School juniors step on the path to becoming seniors and leaders of the school. The Class of 2025 crossed this milestone on March 12, 2024, as they recited the blessing of the rings and then individually stepped to the front of the Mother Mary Campion Center to receive their personalized ring.

19 Students Inducted Into World Language Honor Society 

Eighteen seniors and one junior were inducted into the World Language Honor Society on Thursday, March 7, 2024, in Oak Knoll’s annual induction ceremony. This ceremony celebrates students who are enrolled in upper-level language classes and have reached intermediate to high-level proficiency to advanced-level proficiency in Latin, French, or Spanish.

Upper School Hosts Women in Business Panel and Networking Event

As a notable way to kick off Women’s History Month at Oak Knoll, students in the school’s Future Business Leaders of America Club and the College Counseling Office hosted a stellar panel of alumnae and an Oak Knoll parent to discuss with our Upper School girls the evolving landscape of women in business. This engaging dialogue, aimed at empowering our current students with real-world insights and strategies, not only celebrated the achievements of our alumnae but also underscored our commitment to nurturing the next generation of female leaders.

Oak Knoll Honors International Women’s Day with A Year-Round Celebration of Female Achievements and Empowerment

International Women’s Day is a global day celebrating women’s social, economic, cultural, and political achievements. It is one of the most important days of the year to celebrate women’s accomplishments, educate and raise awareness about women’s equality, call for positive change in advancing women, lobby for accelerated gender parity, and fundraise for female-focused charities. And while this year’s event is celebrated on Friday, March 8, 2024, Oak Knoll celebrates and honors the achievements of women all year round.

Oak Knoll’s Seniors Champion Leadership and Teamwork in the ‘Emerging Leaders’ Program

The Emerging Leaders in a Globalized World Program at Oak Knoll encourages students to hone higher levels of leadership and reflection throughout a collaborative process while bolstering their individual strengths and areas for development and their skills working on a team. By increasing self-confidence and fostering self-knowledge and higher-level leadership skills, the students are empowered to serve their community better now and as they venture on to college and their careers.

Health is the Beating Heart of a Successful Education

At Oak Knoll, ensuring the health and well-being of our students is the key to achieving their highest potential in our overall academic and social-emotional program. That is why our school nurses arranged a partnership with Who We Play For, a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing anyone the opportunity to get screened for a potential cardiac condition. That partnership allowed families to sign their students up for evaluations on campus throughout the day on March 5, 2024.

Holy Child and Wholly Spirit

In keeping with the Holy Child Goal of “Community,” Oak Knoll celebrated its inaugural Holy Child Spirit Week with PK-12 House competitions, student appreciation events, parades, and the much-anticipated Lip Sync battle.

Reflection Days: An Oak Knoll Tradition (5:06 mins)

We take a moment to share a longstanding tradition at Oak Knoll. Each year, a special day is designated for each grade level in the Upper School to get away from campus, slow down, and take stock of where they are as students and members of the larger community. Michele Van-Kalsbeck, Director of Campus Ministry, tells us why. (5:06 mins)

In the Digital Age, Art Can Be a Lesson in Integrity

In a grade nine computer graphics class at Oak Knoll, students learn the difference between original art versus artistic decision-making using the inspiration, tools, and inputs created by others. In this new era of artificial intelligence, where a user (however creative they may be) can prompt a generative AI to transform its learned data set into a finished essay or image, this is an invaluable lesson in the integrity of the creative process and the often blurred lines between the personal act of creating versus the collaborative act of artistic decision making.

Grade 7 to 9 Return from an Icelandic Adventure

Grade 7 students at Oak Knoll are just beginning their Upper School experience, but Oak Knoll treats them like world travelers. Recently, they were given the trust and opportunity at this young age to join their counterparts in grades 8 and 9 and venture abroad to Iceland for a spectacular experience as part of Oak Knoll’s Global Studies Program. 

Oak Knoll Soccer Team Makes Happy Feet

The Catholic Charity Mary’s Hands at St. Margaret of Scotland Parish in Morristown is making happy feet amongst many young soccer players in the area. The organization received 55 pairs of cleats donated by the Oak Knoll community, thanks to a soccer team service project spearheaded by Theresa Racanelli ’24, Avery Fitzpatrick ’24, and Olivia Snyder ’24.

Oak Knoll Photography Students Win Accolades

It’s been a busy month for creative arts at Oak Knoll. While dozens of students danced, sang, and acted their way through the Upper School musical “Shrek,” in late February, nine photography students had their work on exhibit at the Hostetter Gallery’s Twenty-eighth Annual Student Photography Exhibition. Two students, Jane Finney ’24 and Lauren McPhail ’25, received judges’ awards for the exhibit as selected by an independent juror. 

Alumnae in the Arts Highlighted in Special Black History Month Assembly

On Thursday, February 22, the Black Scholars Club at Oak Knoll welcomed Upper School students to a special assembly celebrating African Americans and the Arts. From literature to performance, African Americans’ creativity has shaped culture, inspired generations, and enriched our lives. This special assembly presented an esteemed panel of alumnae who spoke about their journey, experiences, achievements, and the ongoing importance of diversity and representation in the arts.

Students Receive Accolades at French Theater Festival

Every year, the Lycée Français de New York French language school presents a French Theatre Festival called “Premiere Scene,” a theatre competition open to schools across the U.S., Canada, and France. Since 2008, it has become an Oak Knoll tradition for the students in our French program to participate, and they frequently win accolades.

Winter Track Team Shatters Records

Close to the end of their regular winter season, the 25 team members of the indoor track team are shattering old Oak Knoll records and blazing a trail to the upcoming NJSIAA Non-public State Group Championship on Friday, February 16, and the 2024 Nike Indoor Nationals on March 8-10 at The Armory in New York.

Oak Knoll School of the Holy Child Earns Dual AP Computer Science Female Diversity Award

According to research cited by the Advanced Placement Program, female students taking AP computer science courses are more likely to major in STEM fields in college than their peers. A visit to Oak Knoll’s Alumnae/i Profile Page supports that claim with graduates working in Artificial Intelligence, coding apps to empower females on college campuses, working on new solutions for applied physics, and closing the gap in understanding how bacteria defend themselves from attack. Oak Knoll was one of only 68 schools in the nation recognized by the CollegeBoard for improving gender representation in AP computer science courses.

Fine Arts Students Present “Shrek the Musical!”

Students representing the breadth and scope of Oak Knoll’s Fine Arts department have joined forces to stage the Broadway hit “Shrek The Musical!” With professional choreography and sound design, the joyous fairytale will feature students from Oak Knoll’s choral, dance, theatric, and tech theater disciplines, bringing the colorful tale to life. The show will be performed in the Mother Mary Campion Center for the Performing Arts from February 22-24, 2024, with 7 p.m. performances on Thursday and Friday evenings and a 2 p.m. matinee on Saturday. General admission is $15.

Oak Knoll Champions Nutrition for the Teenage Girl with Expert-Led Panel

Continuing its long-standing commitment to student health and wellness, Oak Knoll School held an assembly on February 1, 2024, titled “Fueling Body & Mind: Nutrition for the Teenage Girl.”

Abigail Flood ’24 Receives National Women in Sports Accolades

Congratulations to Oak Knoll student-athlete Abigail Flood ’24 for being selected as the 2024 Oak Knoll School Women in Sports Award recipient. This award recognizes top female student-athletes from each high school and college in New Jersey as part of the National Girls & Women in Sports Day (NGWSD). She will represent Oak Knoll at the NGWSD celebration in February, which is sponsored by the Women’s Sports Foundation.

Student Diversity Leadership Conference: Participant Reflections

During General Homeroom this week, Cora Laborde ’25, Amelia Pace ’25, Savannah Ramdass ’26, and Ana Rizvi ’26 presented their reflections on attending the Student Diversity Leadership Conference (SDLC) in St Louis, MO, between November 29 and December 2, 2023. They joined over 8,000 participants at the annual event — a multiracial, multicultural gathering of student leaders from eligible independent high schools across the U.S. and abroad. SDLC focuses on self-reflecting, forming allies, and building community.

Alumnae Insights: Oak Knoll Graduates Illuminate Paths to Professional Success at Annual Career Day

Andrea Chu ’10, Seton Hartnett O’Brien ’10, Janel Brown ’14, and Shanyah Saunders ’15 were our honored guests for last week’s annual Career Day assembly. With wit, humor, and thoughtfulness, they shared their career journeys. 

All four took turns answering questions addressed to the whole group and individual questions about their professions and responsibilities. Students were most interested in how they define work/life balance, when they knew for sure what career they wanted to pursue, and what self-knowledge or insight they obtained at Oak Knoll that was most helpful in further education and employment.

Head of School Jennifer G. Landis’s Powerful Words at MLK Day Assembly

About 25 years ago, I attended a two-day workshop with a colleague of mine. We were team-teaching a peer leadership course to 12th-grade students, requiring us to undergo a training program. We learned about all kinds of things regarding group dynamics and group facilitation. I don’t remember the specifics of the workshop, with one significant exception, which, for some reason, I remember very vividly.

Kelsey Schroeder Szot ’13 Makes Forbes ‘30 Under 30’ List in Entrepreneurial Technology

Oak Knoll alumna Kelsey Schroeder Szot ’13 enters business history by making the coveted 2024 Forbes Magazine 30 Under 30 list in Entrepreneurial Technology. The prestigious financial publication celebrated Szot for her role in co-founding Adept — an artificial intelligence research lab building AI digital assistants that could revolutionize how humans interact with computers.

Annual MLK Day of Service at Oak Knoll

More than 100 Oak Knoll community members gathered in the Aileen Maury Dining Hall on Monday, January 15, 2024, to commemorate Martin Luther King Jr. Day with a communal act of kindness. In this annual MLK Day of Service, participants volunteered their time during a school holiday to participate in a tradition jointly organized by the Oak Knoll Campus Ministry Team and the Office of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Justice. 

The Real Work of Christmas Continues

Upon returning to school after the rush of activity that occupies the holiday season, Oak Knoll students, faculty, and staff gather to celebrate the Venerable Cornelia Connelly’s birthday prayerfully. Connelly was born in Philadelphia on January 15, 1809, and founded the Society of the Holy Child Jesus (SHCJ), of which Oak Knoll is a member of the Holy Child Network of Schools alongside eight other schools in the United States and 13 overseas. 

Oak Knoll Families’ Generous Christmas Contributions Impact Community

As we wrap up the calendar year and head in a host of different directions for the Christmas holidays, we look back on the last few weeks as a flurry of activity not only academically but also of meaningful service opportunities for the entire community. Students in all grades, faculty, staff, parents, and alumnae/i pitched […]

Jazz Concert Raises Funds for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital

In a heartwarming display of talent and dedication, Oak Knoll’s new Jazz Club members transformed their passion for music into a noteworthy cause. The evening of December 18, 2023, marked a significant milestone as the Upper School hosted a Jazz Concert. This spontaneous concert was a revelation of the students’ musical prowess and a testament […]

Oak Knoll Co-Sponsors ‘We Are Called’ NJ Catholic School Diversity Conference

Oak Knoll School of the Holy Child was proud to co-sponsor the second “We Were Called” New Jersey Catholic School Diversity Conference on Saturday, December 16, 2023, at Delbarton School, which was attended by more than 100 school representatives throughout the state and organized by Oak Knoll, Delbarton, and St. Benedict’s Preparatory School student leadership. […]

Embodying the Bill of Rights 

Students in Erin Traynor’s grade 8 history class, Related U.S. Topics, have been studying the importance and legacy of the Bill of Rights. In addition to taking a deep dive into each amendment, they also learned that in 1941, President Roosevelt declared December 15 annual Bill of Rights Day to commemorate the date the Amendments were ratified in 1791. On Bill of Rights Day, the nation celebrates the fundamental freedoms enshrined in those first 10 Amendments to the Constitution and commemorates their importance to our democracy. Last week, in homage to Bill of Rights Day, students in Traynor’s class chose an amendment to physically embody and dressed accordingly. As they made their way around campus, faculty and students were encouraged to ask them about their chosen amendment and why they selected it.

Ava Racich’s Striking Images Set the Stage for Oak Knoll’s Inaugural Art Exhibition

Under the inspirational guidance of Photography Teacher Lisa Rosen, Oak Knoll’s Honors Photography students were set a creative challenge: capture at least three hundred artfully composed images during their summer break. The fruits of their labor were so breathtaking that Rosen felt compelled to launch a series of “art openings” to showcase this remarkable body of work. The inaugural exhibition, “Images from the Greek Isles,” graced the walls of the Oak Knoll photo lab on December 14, spotlighting the extraordinary talent of Ava Racich ’24.

Podcast: This Is Our House — Oak Knoll Launches Historic House System (4:48)

During the first weeks of the 2023-2024 school year, Oak Knoll unveiled and launched a new “house system” — which sets a historical precedent and will give students a joyous tradition for playful competition and familial pride for generations to come. In the short podcast, Assistant Athletic Director Melissa White explains the idea’s origin and how the houses were chosen. You can also read about the new house system in this news article. (4:48 min)

Oak Knoll Celebrates Immaculate Conception Day

Immaculate Conception Day, also known as The Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception, is one of the most important feast days related to Mary in the Roman Catholic Church liturgy. Celebrating the day on December 8, 2023, the Oak Knoll community gathered in the Mother Mary Campion Center for the Performing Arts for a Mass and Eucharist.

Engineering a Beloved Christmas Tree

Sometimes, in life, the ends justify the means. Such is the case with the Honors Engineering students’ annual assembly of a Christmas tree in the Upper School library — constructed entirely out of reference books. How this tradition began and why the practice tasks engineering students with the project seem lost to memory. Nonetheless, the final product is appreciated every year, where students attempt to top the previous year’s creation.

Oak Knoll’s Junior Twigs: Rooted in Purpose and Branching Out in Service

With a name like Oak Knoll, we naturally gravitate toward imagery alluding to flora. Our approach to educating the whole child is “Rooted in Purpose,” and our pre-K students are known as “Little Acorns.” Combine that penchant with a history and commitment to community service, and it’s only natural that Oak Knoll would be one of the first schools in the county to partner with the Overlook Medical Center Auxiliary to form a Junior Twig club.

Podcast: Chasing Excellence and Finding Balance (5:15 mins)

In addition to academics, Oak Knoll has always placed a high value on social-emotional health. Zoe Harmaty ’25 took it upon herself to add to available resources and instigated a brand new speaker series at Oak Knoll called “Chasing Excellence.” We like to say that Oak Knoll students live by faith, learn by doing, and lead by example. Harmaty is certainly an example of this. She’s a student with a passion and a purpose, and she’s proving that education is about being in community and being in community is about caring for those around you. (5:15 mins)

Oak Knoll’s Upper School’s Exchange Program Offers Lower School Students a Lens into Global Perspectives

We have extolled the benefits of Oak Knoll Upper School’s international exchange programs between Mayfield Senior School in Pasadena, Holy Child Killiney in Ireland, Sant Ignasi School in Barcelona, and Mayfield School in England. Less well-known is the tremendous perspective our visiting exchange students can provide to our Lower Schools students. 

Oak Knoll Senior Alexandria Lopez ’24 Shares Her Native American Heritage

In a Lower School Assembly just before Thanksgiving break and in an Upper School Assembly just after our return, Alexandria Lopez ’24 shared her heritage and connection to the Kahnawake Mohawk Territory and Tribe. In celebration of National Native American/American Indian Heritage Month, she shared information about her tribe’s traditions, customs, and values, as well as information and statistics regarding the indigenous people who inhabited the lands around Oak Knoll School, dating back tens of thousands of years.

Oak Knoll Thanksgiving Food Drive Feeds Hundreds of Families

For the past month, Oak Knoll families have been donating non-perishable food items to benefit the Pierre Toussaint Food Pantry in Newark, NJ, as part of the school’s annual Thanksgiving Food Drive. On Friday, November 17, 2023, parents, staff, and faculty volunteers loaded dozens of stuffed food bags and delivered them to the pantry, which distributes hundreds of Thanksgiving meals to families in need. 

Oak Knoll’s Interfaith Prayer Service Promotes Unity and Mutual Respect

In keeping with the spirit of Thanksgiving, Oak Knoll hosted its annual Upper School Interfaith Thanksgiving Prayer Service on Friday, November 17, 2023. The event brought together students, faculty, and staff of diverse faith backgrounds, including Catholicism, Hinduism, Islamism, Judaism, and Presbyterianism, fostering an atmosphere of unity, understanding, and gratitude. Participants gave thanks for the blessings in their lives and prayed for peace and unity across all nations. Amid the prayers and moments of reflection, the service also continued the recent tradition of incorporating a Reflection on Land Acknowledgement — a way of showing respect and honoring the Indigenous Peoples of the land on which we work and live.

Romero Center Service Trip: Every Small Deed Matters

Each year, Oak Knoll partners with the Romero Center in Camden, NJ, to offer grade 11 students the unique opportunity to connect service and social justice teachings through an overnight experience. The juniors traveled in two separate groups to the center on November 6-7 and November 13-14, respectively. 

Podcast: Halloween Is a Wrap. Now What Do We Do With All Those Wrappers? (5:17 mins)

With Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s, and the candy-consuming giant Easter on the horizon, this country is producing hundreds of millions of tons of candy wrappers that are likely ending up in landfills. Thanks to a seventh grader at Oak Knoll with a bright idea and the partnership of the student-run Green Team at Oak Knoll, those wrappers are heading in a different direction. (5:17 mins)

Oak Knoll Receives Platinum Recognition for AP Scores

The College Board has named Oak Knoll School of the Holy Child to the 2023 Advanced Placement School Honor Roll. The AP School Honor Roll recognizes schools annually based on the percentage of graduates pursuing college education, opportunities provided for students to earn college credit, and overall college readiness. The AP School Honor Roll offers four levels of distinction: Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Platinum. Oak Knoll has achieved the highest level of recognition — platinum.

Oak Knoll Field Hockey Wins 12th-Straight Sectional Championship

Oak Knoll School of the Holy Child’s Varsity Field Hockey team defeated Pingry 8-0 in the North Jersey Non-Public A Sectional Final on November 7, 2023. It is Oak Knoll’s 12th-consecutive sectional final win and 16th overall. The game occurred on the Royals’ home turf at Kemmerer Field at the school’s Chatham Fields sports complex. […]

9 Oak Knoll Seniors Sign Letters of Intent to Continue Athletics in College

Nine members of the Class of 2024 from Oak Knoll School of the Holy Child continued their commitment to athletic competition at the collegiate level by signing National Letters of Intent on Wednesday, November 8, 2023. National Signing Day has evolved into a celebratory event for many sports — and today, Oak Knoll celebrates its […]

Meaghan Murphy Inspires with Powerful Message of Hope, Positivity, and Gratitude

On-air personality Meaghan Murphy super-charged the crowd at a recent Upper School assembly on Friday, November 3, with a simple message of hope, positivity, and the power of gratitude. Murphy is a self-described “editor, on-air personality, lifestyle and health expert, home-hack master, and certified trainer.” She has appeared as a regular guest expert on Live […]

New Exchange Program Opens with Mayfield School in England

While many of their classmates were enjoying vacation time, four students from Mayfield School in East Sussex, England, chose to spend their half-term break exploring Oak Knoll and the environs in an inaugural student exchange between the two Holy Child Network schools. 

Dramatica Enthralls with A Midsummer Night’s Dream

Demonstrating versatility, dynamic range, and mastery of Shakespearean dialogue, members of Oak Knoll’s after-school Dramatica Program take to the stage this weekend to share the frolic and frivolity of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. These fine actors have worked for weeks to emote lines that some individuals have difficulty merely reading. They deftly communicate the many twists and turns in the play and its running themes of true love, affection, and snares of infatuation.

A Day to Reflect on the Meaning of Service

“Today is all about actions, not words. It’s our day of service. There could not be a better way to honor Cornelia Connelly and her heritage as we all go out today to share the Cornelian values of compassion, joy, empathy, and service,” said Upper School Division Head Kate McGroarty. 

Loud and Proud: Student Council Leaders Inducted 

“Loud and Proud” is the Student Council theme for the year, and 20 elected members shared what that phrase meant to them in the Student Council Induction Ceremony on Wednesday. They each took the council pledge and approached the podium to enthuse their classmates about their jurisdictions — from class presidents to social council, from creative arts to campus ministry, these leaders set the tone for an exciting year ahead.

Oak Knoll Parents’ Association Is Devoted to Service

“Service is a large part of why people choose Oak Knoll and integral to the community, and that’s why so many people signed up,” said Oak Knoll parent Sarah Fitzsimmons in reference to a recent day of service at the Vito A. Gallo Senior Building in Summit. Dozens of Oak Knoll parents recently gathered there to create a beautiful outdoor garden for residents to enjoy.

Chasing Excellence Speaker Series Features Performance Coach Brett Ledbetter 

As part of an ongoing student-initiated speaker series entitled Chasing Excellence, Performance Consultant Brett Ledbetter conducted a highly interactive Upper School assembly on Friday, October 20, encouraging students to unlock their full potential and become the best versions of themselves, particularly when life throws its challenges their way.

Oak Knoll Varsity Soccer Finishes Strong in Union County Tournament

In a heart-stopping overtime game, Oak Knoll School of the Holy Child’s Varsity Soccer Team, No. 4 in the county, battled valiantly against their crosstown rivals in the Union County Tournament Championship on Saturday, October 21, 2023, at Clark’s Arthur L. Johnson High School. It was Oak Knoll’s fourth-ever appearance in the tournament final. The […]

Oak Knoll Field Hockey Wins 14th-Straight Union County Tournament

Oak Knoll School of the Holy Child’s Varsity Field Hockey Team shut down crosstown rival Summit High School 4-0 in the Royals’ 14th-straight Union County Tournament Championship on Saturday, October 21, 2023. The game occurred on the Royals’ home turf at Kemmerer Field at the school’s Chatham Fields sports complex. The Royals — ranked No. […]

Nesa Shamdasani ’24 Forms Non-profit to Meet Hygiene Needs of the Homeless

In March of 2023, we reported on a cohort of students who had recently completed the Social Innovators Program — a partnership between Oak Knoll, University of Pennsylvania, and Schoolyard Ventures. One of those students, Nesa Shamdasani ’24, didn’t let the conclusion of the program slow her momentum. She has now formed a non-profit organization and is providing hygiene supplies to the homeless on an increasingly wider basis.

Oak Knoll Celebrates 30th Anniversary of the Royal Boutique Holiday Market

The Oak Knoll Parents’ Association is proud to announce the school’s cherished holiday shopping event, the annual Royal Boutique, will be held on campus, celebrating its milestone 30th anniversary year in Summit from November 2-4, 2023. The annual shopping extravaganza will be held in the Tisdall Hall Gymnasium located at 83 Ashland Road in Summit, NJ.

A Great Week To Be a Royal!

This week presents an exciting opportunity to highlight the magnificent ethos of the Oak Knoll Athletic Department — a sports program seeking primarily to develop the whole child while offering the community exciting opportunities to cheer and support (whether in victory or loss) as well as celebrate more than a few milestone championships in the process. As Athletic Director Kelly Childs declares, “This week in particular, it’s a great week to be a Royal!”

Leslie Atahualpa ’22 Is Blazing New Trails in Science

In science, a research gap is a question that has not been asked or answered by previous or existing studies or a gap that exists because a new concept or idea is only just being investigated. Leslie Atahualpa ’22, now a sophomore at Davidson College, is doing her part to close the gap on understanding how bacteria defend themselves from attack. She spent her summer conducting research as part of Davidson’s RISE program — a four-week intensive summer research fellowship in the sciences intended to introduce students to undergraduate research.

Oak Knoll Celebrates Founder’s Day

Throughout the world, schools and organizations under the umbrella of the Society of the Holy Child Jesus celebrate Founder’s Day in mid-October. On October 13, 1846, at the request of Pope Gregory XVI, Cornelia Connelly began what would become an international congregation of women in the Catholic Church in Derby, England. Two days later, on October 15, Cornelia and three postulants assisted at their first Mass as a religious community. Thus, October 15, 1846 is formally recognized as the date of the founding of the Society of the Holy Child Jesus.

Blood Drive Returns to Oak Knoll

Oak Knoll staff, faculty, and students celebrated the return of the annual blood drive. The results are back from the Red Cross, and they are impressive. Oak Knoll surpassed its initial goal and qualified for the first tier of a Red Cross scholarship award.

Podcast: Oak Knoll’s Club Culture (7:05 mins)

Oak Knoll has an extremely robust offering of student-run clubs. With over 60 in the Upper School and dozens more in the Lower school, students with a particular passion they wish to share have the opportunity to propose their club, and if approved, rally other students to join them in that mission. In this short podcast we pop in on a recent Upper School Club Fair — where students promote their club offerings to their classmates. (7:05 mins)

13 Students Recognized as AP Scholars and 2 Students Commended by NMSP

Oak Knoll is proud to announce that eight Upper School students were recognized as AP Scholars, four as AP Scholars with Honor, one as AP Scholar with Distinction, and two as Commended Students in the 2024 National Merit Scholarship Program. The AP Scholar designation is granted to students who receive scores of 3 or higher […]

Podcast: Over 30 Centuries on a Bike (6:34 mins)

For an endurance bike rider, a “century” is the term for a 100 mile ride. Imagine performing over 30 centuries in six weeks! That’s what Track and Field Coach Mickey Cassu undertook over the summer when he rode from coast to coast across the United States. Listen to Coach Cassu narrating his exciting trip in this short podcast.

Oak Knoll Mental Health Walk Raises $9K for Suicide Prevention

Oak Knoll juniors Lauren White ’25 and Abigail Cirillo ’25 raised nearly $9000.00 for the Society for the Prevention of Teen Suicide during a community-wide Mental Health Awareness Walk on September 16, 2023.

Oak Knoll Celebrates Mass of the Holy Spirit, Honors Esteemed Employees

The spiritual start of the school year was celebrated by students, faculty, and staff in the Mother Mary Campion Center for the Performing Arts during the school’s annual Mass of the Holy Spirit, on Tuesday, September 19, 2023. The traditional Mass includes a liturgy of the eucharist, responsive readings, hymns, and student vocal performances and scripture readings. 

Celebrating Legacy: Oak Knoll Honors Longstanding Board of Trustees Chair

Long-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.

This Is Our House: Oak Knoll Launches Historic House System

During the first and second week of the 2023-2024 school year, Oak Knoll unveiled and launched a new “house system” — which sets a historic precedent and will give students a joyous tradition for playful competition and familial pride for generations to come.

Oak Knoll School, City of Summit Unveil New Pedestrian Safety Signal on Ashland Road

Oak Knoll School of the Holy Child, in partnership with the City of Summit to safeguard students and foster community well-being, proudly announces the donation of a state-of-the-art pedestrian safety signal located on Ashland Road between Memorial Field and Bonaventura Hall. Installed over the summer, the signal was purchased by Oak Knoll School and donated […]

Podcast: Meet the Newbies (5:49 mins)

Welcome back to a whole new season of the Happy Kid Project. Throughout the upcoming school year, we hope to bring you a variety of student voices so you can hear in there own words how Oak Knoll is a school that cultivates people with purpose. But seeing as school only just began, we thought we’d use this episode to introduce you to some wonderful adults that are just joining the community.

Iona Dowden ’25 Receives Honor Musician Award for Piano

Iona Dowden ’25 spent her third year attending the New England Music Camp this summer and was awarded the prestigious standing of Honor Musician. Located in Maine, the camp is dedicated to the cultivation and refinement of musical skills in young people while supporting their physical, emotional, and social well-being.

Oak Knoll Welcomes New Faculty and Staff for the 2023-24 School Year

We are excited to enter the 2023-2024 school year with several extremely talented new staff and faculty members. They join Oak Knoll’s already stellar team in paving the way for another wonderful year of teaching and learning in a community dedicated to educating people with purpose. Lower School Oyi Daniels Education: Daniels received her Bachelor […]

OKS Voices: Nicole Johnston, Upper School History Teacher

Nicole Johnston is in her 15th year teaching at Oak Knoll. We recently sat down with Ms. Johnston to learn about her journey to teaching history at Oak Knoll, her passion for government, and some trail-blazing research she recently completed regarding mastery-based learning and student-led rubrics.

Cora Laborde ’25 Attends Harvard Summer Program

Cora Laborde ’25 stretched her academic wings this summer. She recently returned from an intensive two-week summer program at Harvard University focusing on law and philosophy. The objective of the action packed program was to cover a semester’s worth of college-level material in two weeks.

Learning at the Lip of a Volcano

“Why is the sand green, again?” one student asked Upper School Science Department Chair Jeff Yuhas. She was standing on Papakōlea Beach on the Big Island of Hawaii, along with 18 other Oak Knoll Upper School peers. They had previously learned about the mineral Olivine back in Summit in a science classroom, but standing on a bright green Olivine beach with waves crashing in the distance during their summer excursion to Hawaii made them all the more interested in how this basalt forms during the slow cooling of lava flows.

Paula Sefia ’22 is Hacking with a Purpose

Paula Sefia ’22 understands the importance of mastering skills and learning with a purpose. Only one year out of Oak Knoll and as a freshman computer science and cognitive psychology major at Northeastern University, she is not only managing a 20 credit course load, participating in five campus clubs, working two part-time jobs, practicing fencing several nights a week, attending church functions, and maintaining her social and family relationships, she just happens to be in the process of coding and launching an app that allows users to track incidents of racial bias, harm, and harassment in their college vicinity.

Oak Knoll Senior, Junior attend HOBY Leadership Conference as Volunteer, Ambassador

Rising senior Liandra Taylor ’24 and junior Cora Laborde ’25 attended the annual Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership Conference at Drew University this summer as alumni volunteer and ambassador, respectively.

Senior Athletic Awards Night

Oak Knoll School capped another action packed year of sports celebrating our student athletes during the school’s senior athlete awards dinner held on June 5, 2023.

Alumnae Spotlight: Liz Mead ’81 Receives MVP Award for Empowering Skiers with Disabilities

Oak Knoll alumna Liz Mead ’81 was recently recognized as one of 26 recipients of the 2023 Myra Kraft Community MVP Awards for her work with Vermont Adaptive Ski and Sports, an organization that empowers and promotes inclusivity through sports and recreational activities for people of all abilities regardless of their ability to pay.  “I […]

Oak Knoll Celebrates 60 Young Women of Promise and Purpose During 95th Annual Commencement

Sixty Oak Knoll students graduated from the all-girls’ Upper School on Sunday, June 11, 2023, during a beautiful outdoor ceremony attended by family, friends, faculty, and staff at the school’s Summit campus. Head of School Jennifer G. Landis and Board of Trustees Chair Stephen Loughrey distributed diplomas to students and Clara O’Mara ’23, Class of […]

Oak Knoll Celebrates Academic Achievement During 2023 Upper School Awards Ceremony

After a busy week celebrating milestones at all grade levels, students in grades 7-12 assembled with family members, guests, staff, faculty, and administration in the the Mother Mary Campion Center for the Performing Arts to recognize the academic achievements of students in all Upper School grades, but in particular to highlight the leadership of the […]

The Capstone Project: Seniors Hone Their Passions Prior to Graduation

During the month of May, as the final “cap” to their high school experience, seniors independently explore different areas of interest — whether it is academic, creative, career, or service-oriented, they are challenged to demonstrate their passion for discovery beyond the limits of the curriculum. On June 7, 2023, following their month-long independent studies, members of the graduating class gathered to present their capstone reflections to an audience of faculty, staff, and members of the junior class.

Grade Eight Moving-Up Ceremony: The Start of Something New

On June 9, 2023, the Oak Knoll Class of 2027 officially entered grade 9 as they celebrated Moving-Up Day. Class President Caroline Burr opened the event by saying, “Our theme for this ceremony is the start of something new. As is wonderfully stated on the program, and with that beautiful butterfly illustration on the front to represent the start of something new, we will be continuing to spread our wings over the next four years. There will be new friends, harder classes, and more competitive sports. The sky’s the limit with what we may choose to do throughout our next four years.”

Class of 2023 College Destinations

Oak Knoll's Class of 2023 will be attending the following colleges and universities: American University Boston College (3) Brown University Colgate University College of the Holy Cross Cornell University (2) Dickinson College Fairfield University (2) Fordham University (2) Georgetown University (2) Indiana University, Bloomington Lafayette College Lincoln University Marist College Michigan State University New York [...]

Kate Siedem ’23 Named NJISAA Jan Baker Scholar Athlete Award Winner

The New Jersey Independent School Athletic Association (NJISAA) has selected Kate Siedem ’23 as their Jan Baker Scholar Athlete Award Winner. The award is voted upon by all the Athletic Directors at private independent schools in New Jersey, is only awarded to one male and female athlete, and is a statewide accolade. Siedem was also honored as a New Jersey State Interschool Athletic Association (NJSIAA) Scholar Athlete at their own annual awards luncheon in May, and she has been selected as the 2022-2023 Oak Knoll Scholar Athlete of the Year.

Inaugural History Day Collaboration Between 6th and 10th Grade

Oak Knoll has a long history of cultivating meaningful relationships among community members and providing opportunities to strengthen connections between students in all grade levels. Motivated by their respective teachers, Upper School history buffs recently mentored Lower School budding historians in Oak Knoll’s inaugural History Day project. Grade 10 mentors in AP World History paired up with students in grade 6 Social Studies to assist them in conducting primary research and preparing presentations before parents, faculty, staff, and students on May 24.

A Star is Born: Oak Knoll Senior Authors Children’s Tale

Katie Nguyen ’23 has gone well beyond the remit of her senior capstone project to author and illustrate a heartwarming morality tale for young readers that many agree has promising commercial potential. Her bespoke children’s story, entitled The Starfish Wish, is a captivating tale that follows a young girl named June who goes on a quest to find a mythical wish-granting starfish hidden in a distant cove that she hopes might heal her mother from a seemingly incurable ailment.

Renowned Sports & Performance Psychologist Speaks at Oak Knoll

By Zahra Jones ’23 and Megan McCann ’23

“Courage is not the absence of fear. It is the ability to experience fear and do it anyway.” This quote is one of the many words of inspiration Dr. Jonathan Fader shared with the Oak Knoll student body on Monday, May 22, 2023. The Oak Knoll community was privileged to have Dr. Fader speak to students about how to “level up” in all aspects of their lives, whether that be academically, athletically, or socially.

Parents’ Association Showers Newborns and Mothers with Gifts

Oak Knoll volunteers met at Mulcahy Hall on the Oak Knoll campus for a heartwarming “baby shower” service project. Attendees assembled layettes  — complete gift bags containing clothing, supplies, and helpful accessories for a newborn infants — for the benefit of Birth Haven, an independent, nonsectarian, non-profit organization that provides shelter, support and education for homeless and/or pregnant women and girls throughout the tri-state area regardless of race, ethnicity, religious belief, or life circumstance.

Rising Seniors Commissioned as Extraordinary Ministers of the Holy Communion

On May 18, 2023, during a special Upper School Mass celebrating the Feast of the Ascension of the Lord, members of the Class of 2024 were commissioned to serve members of the Oak Knoll community in a special way during their senior year. The program for Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion is an opportunity for members of the class to serve Communion during school liturgies celebrating the Eucharist.

Acclaimed Storyteller Doreen Oliver Speaks at Oak Knoll

Writer, performer, essayist, entertainment producer, and sought-after speaker Doreen Oliver shared her insights with Upper School students in a special assembly on May 16. She focused on the stories we tell ourselves and to others, and the hidden agendas and nuanced meanings we sometimes avoid, in order to make ourselves feel better or discount the deeper nature of others.

Stephanie Aguinaldo ’24 Wins International Short Film Award

Stephanie Aguinaldo ’24 has won first place for “Best Narrative” in the international Rough Cut Film Festival sponsored by the Lycée Français de New York Cultural Center. Her award-winning short film, in French with English subtitles, chronicles her struggles identifying as a Filipina American and how she overcame her insecurities as she grew in maturity and appreciation for her roots.

Oak Knoll to Host First-Ever Night of Cabaret

Oak Knoll School of the Holy Child will host its first-ever night of Cabaret on Friday, May 12, 2023, at 7 p.m. in the Grace Hall Choral Music Room. More than 30 Upper School students are involved in the production with over 20 acts ready to perform a variety of different numbers, including singing, acting, and more. A skilled lighting crew composed entirely of Oak Knoll students will also accompany the group of talented performers. 

Spring Signing: Oak Knoll Athletes Continue Commitment to Athletics

Seniors Megan McCann ’23, Laura Ryan ’23, and Emma Sameth ’23 officially announced their intentions to continue their commitment to athletics in higher education during Oak Knoll’s Spring Signing Day on Tuesday, May 9, 2023, before family members, siblings, faculty, staff, and coaches.

Podcast: Building Momentum — Oak Knoll Track & Field Makes Its Presence Known (5:12)

In the Spring of 2023, for the first time in Oak Knoll history, our 4×800 track and field relay team was proactively invited to compete in the historic Penn Relays — the country’s oldest and largest track and field competition. The invitation was a watershed moment and further affirmation for our fleet-footed athletes. Whether it is cross country in the fall, indoor track in the winter, or track and field in the Spring, Oak Knoll is making its presence known. In this short podcast (5:12 mins), Coach Mickey Cassu and our Senior Team Captains share thoughts on why our teams are doing so well.

Oak Knoll Lacrosse Defeats #1 Seed to Win Third-Straight Union County Tournament

Oak Knoll’s varsity lacrosse team won their third-straight Union County Tournament title with an 11-9 victory over top-seeded Summit on May 6 with the JV team winning the first-ever JV Union County Tournament championship title. It was the first loss to an in-state opponent for Summit since a 9-6 loss to Oak Knoll in the county final last year, which was a run of 19-straight games.

Amanda Fritz ’12 Joins Groundbreaking Global Fellowship at Auschwitz for the Study of Professional Ethics 

Amanda Fritz ’12, recent graduate of the Columbia Business School, is one of 14 students across the globe chosen for the 2023 Business Program of the Fellowship at Auschwitz for the Study of Professional Ethics (FAPSE). The program will take place in Germany and Poland over the course of two weeks this summer and will focus on ethical problems faced by individual business professionals in the various settings in which they practice using the conduct of business professionals in Nazi-occupied Europe as a way to reflect on business ethics today.

9 Oak Knoll Students Earn National Latin Exam Awards

By Zahra Jones ’23 and Megan McCann ’23

At Oak Knoll, students are eager to take on new challenges that will broaden their academic and cultural perspectives. The National Latin Exam gives students the opportunity to demonstrate their knowledge of the historical language. Nineteen Upper School students participated in the exam this spring. The NLE focuses on Latin and Roman culture and is offered at a variety of different levels. Nine students in the Oak Knoll community were awarded either the Magna Cum Laude or Maxima Cum Laude awards.

Education in Action (An Oak Knoll Series)

Oak Knoll School of the Holy Child was founded on Cornelia Connelly’s commitment to action over words. Today, that translates into an academic program that meets the needs of the information age. Students are empowered on a daily basis to take ownership and master their learning, make important decisions about their own educational experiences and assessments, and learn to create and apply knowledge while demonstrating their competencies rather than regurgitating facts and figures.

Oak Knoll Track Athletes Invited to Historic Penn Relays

Last weekend, our track and field athletes were invited to compete in the 800-meter relay at the historic Penn Relays. Though athletes have competed in the past due to individual qualification, this is a historic moment for external recognition from the country’s oldest and largest track and field competition — hosted annually since 1895 by the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. In addition to the 800-meter relay, Oak Knoll athletes also qualified to compete in the 4×800, 4×100, and 4×400 relay events. 

Kelsey McGee ’15 Gives New Meaning to Dance in Her Award-Winning Film Danceable

Oak Knoll alumna Kelsey McGee ’15 is an award-winning visual storyteller. Her most recent creative endeavor is the Academy Award qualifying documentary short entitled Danceable — which follows three dancers with disabilities who find freedom through movement. The film has screened at numerous festivals throughout the country and garnered a number of awards. It will premiere here in New Jersey at the upcoming New Jersey International Film Festival on Sunday, June 4, 2023, in person at 5 p.m. or online.

Oak Knoll Welcomes Students from Holy Child School in Ireland

Four students from Holy Child Killiney, Ireland, visited Oak Knoll for nearly two weeks in April, marking the first time such an exchange has occurred with one of the two Holy Child schools in Ireland. Lauren Barry, Éanna Brady, Sarah Canacott, and Holly Gubala were hosted by Chloe Bourneuf ’25, Caitlin Canal ’25, Gwyneth Healy […]

Oak Knoll Celebrates Creative Arts During 30th Annual Arts Recognition Ceremony

Nearly 30 students were recognized on Thursday, April 20, 2023, for their leadership, outstanding achievement, and dedication to the creative arts at Oak Knoll School of the Holy Child during the 30th annual Arts Recognition Ceremony. Student arts leaders, faculty advisors, directors, administrators, and parents gathered in the Mother Mary Campion Center for the Performing […]

Oak Knoll Hosts 5th Annual Women in Sports Leadership Panel

Oak Knoll School hosted its 5th annual Women in Sports Leadership Panel on Thursday, April 22, 2023, welcoming students, parents, faculty, staff, alumnae/i, and friends to the Tisdall Hall gymnasium. The evening celebrated the 50th anniversary of Title IX, the landmark legislation that prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in education and sports. Moderated […]

Podcast: Oak Knoll Presents Powerhouse Women in Sports Panel (5:49)

On Thursday night, April 20th at 7:00 pm a truly newsworthy event will take place in the Tisdall Hall gymnasium at Oak Knoll. In this short podcast, Kelly Childs, 7-year Oak Knoll Athletic Director, former Assistant Commissioner at the Big East Conference, and former Athletic Director for Marketing at Seton Hall University, tells us about the upcoming powerhouse women in sports panel entitled “Celebrating 50 Years of Title IX at Oak Knoll.”

Paige Morton ’20 Is In a Good Spot

Paige Morton ’20 could have ample reason for disappointment. She sat out half of her sophomore year’s basketball season at Oak Knoll due to an injury. She was a member of the Class of 2020 — robbed of a normal graduation due to the pandemic — and just recently, her Princeton Tigers team got knocked out of the NCAA Tournament in the second round. But as her Oak Knoll days illustrated, she’s got grit.

Oak Knoll Welcomes Students from Sister School in California

Two sophomores from Mayfield Senior School in Pasadena, California, visited Oak Knoll during the last week in March, taking advantage of the connection between our two schools via the Holy Child Network. Luisa Stolpe ’25 and Kayla Abbruzzi ’25 have been staying with Keira Ardise ’25 and her parents in Madison.

Podcast: Dance the Night Away

Join us on Friday, April 21st at 7:00 pm in the Mother Mary Campion Performing Arts Center where multiple creative arts disciplines will converge for our annual Dance Concert. Listen to this short podcast as Creative Arts Teacher Carlee Bennett describes what’s in store! Admission is free but reservations are recommended. Call 900-522-8150 or email carlee.bennett@oakknoll.org.

11 Students Inducted Into Oak Knoll Chapter of Cum Laude Society

Five seniors and six juniors were recognized for their academic excellence and inducted into Oak Knoll School of the Holy Child’s chapter of the Cum Laude Society on Friday, March 24, 2023, in the Mother Mary Campion Center for the Performing Arts.

Give Me a Break in Ireland and Spain: Global Learning at Oak Knoll

While many in our community were using Spring Break to find pockets of peace and relaxation, two groups of Oak Knoll students were on busy educational exchanges to Barcelona, Spain and Killiney, Ireland under the auspices of Oak Knoll’s Global Learning Program.

Emerging Social Innovators at Oak Knoll School

Nine Oak Knoll students in grades ten through twelve recently completed a 12-week Oak Knoll signature program entitled Social Innovators. The program is administered by the University of Pennsylvania and Schoolyard Ventures and takes place during the students’ own time and under their own initiatives. Each student researched, prototyped, tested, refined, and launched a venture of their own creation that sought to create value and have a positive impact on society.

Will Cardell – Art as Ministry

Art has been my passion as far back as I can remember, but that wasn’t initially my chosen academic or career path. I entered Princeton University as an East Asian Studies Major with a focus on Japan. At that time, when the Art and Archaeology Department was adding a visual arts track to its collection of majors, my penchant for art won over.

Oak Knoll Athletes Impact the World

Four Oak Knoll seniors are exemplifying the school’s vision that all students will impact the world as people with purpose. Lea Good, Emma Ramsey, Julia Ramsey, and Katherine Siedem were selected to join 130 other athletes nationwide for the National Field Hockey Coaches Association (NFHCA) 2022 Impact Senior Team.

A Catholic School for All Faiths

Oak Knoll is a Catholic school that welcomes students of all faiths and offers them the opportunity to not only explore Catholicism in an academic context but also explore and respect other faith choices.

Podcast: A Vision for Community Impact

During a recent three-day Community Impact Symposium in Washington DC, four Oak Knoll High School students gathered with students from across the country to share ideas on how they could make more positive and systemic changes in their school and local communities.

 A Personal Reflection on Black History Month

We asked Shavonda Robinson—a longstanding member of the Oak Knoll community—to personally reflect on what Black History Month means to her.

Oak Knoll’s Summer Program Adds Professional Certification Program

Oak Knoll joins a few select high schools in being accepted into the Google Professional Certificate Program. Now, in addition to sports and mini-camps, adventure day camp, kindergarten ready, and summer scholars camps, attendees at the Oak Knoll Summer Program can sign up to become job-certified in a variety of high tech fields.

Oak Knoll Students Win Prestigious Photography Awards

Seven Oak Knoll students join the likes of John Lithgow, Stephen King, and Andy Warhol in being the recipients of Scholastic Art and Writing Awards. The students — members of Lisa Rosen’s Upper School Photography classes are: Katherine Burke ’23, Gabriella Cilli ’23, Katherine Cugno ’23, Jane Finney ’24, Ava Racich ’24, Mia Vigliotta ’23, and Elise Wojie ’24.

Podcast: James and the Giant Peach Spotlights Creative Arts at Oak Knoll

With the addition of two new full-time faculty in the Upper School, the Creative Arts Department at Oak Knoll is spreading it’s wings. Music teacher Teresa Gotanco and Theater Teacher Lisa Bodollo joined the team for the 2022-2023 school year and they are collaborating with an ensemble of students to stage a particularly challenging musical, James and the Giant Peach. Here is Teresa Gotanco with some highlights including a sneak peak at the performance.

Class of 2024 Ring Ceremony

After an opening prayer, and the reading of “A friendship Blessing,” Junior Class Vice-President Lucy Duttenhofer ’24 led the blessing of the rings. All members of the Class of 2024 recited a blessing that included the line, “Help us always remember that our school has given to us: a circle of friends that grows each year, an appreciation of knowledge and learning, and, most importantly, a home where we are always welcome both now and in the years ahead.”

World Language Honor Society Induction Ceremony

Fourteen seniors and two juniors were celebrated on Wednesday in Oak Knoll’s annual World Language Honor Society Induction Ceremony. This ceremony recognizes students who are enrolled in upper level language classes and have reached an intermediate-high-level proficiency to advance-level proficiency in Latin, French, and Spanish.

Podcast: MLK Jr. — A Rhetorical Analysis

Rhetoric. For many it sounds like a negative word. And yes, rhetoric can be used to persuade people to do very bad things. But on the flip side, Mr. Ben Oxford’s 11th grade AP Literature and Composition students are learning that rhetoric can often be deployed in very good and nuanced ways to bring about positive change. Though Mr. Oxford applies rhetorical analysis to many of his students projects, during Black History Month, he is asking his students to break down some famous works by Martin Luther King Jr.

Tickets on Sale Now for James and the Giant Peach 

Oak Knoll’s Upper School Drama Program announces that tickets are now on sale for the musical “James and the Giant Peach.” The show will take place in the Mother Mary Campion Center for the Performing Arts from February 23-25, 2023, with 7 p.m. performances on Thursday and Friday evening and a 2 p.m. matinee on Saturday.

Oak Knoll Senior Madeline Sepe ’23 Receives Women in Sports Award

Oak Knoll senior Madeline Sepe ’23 has been selected as the Oak Knoll Women in Sports Award recipient. She will represent Oak Knoll at the National Girls & Women in Sports Day (NGWSD) celebration in February — sponsored by the Women’s Sports Foundation.

Oak Knoll Alum Appointed to Holy Child Network Board

Oak Knoll School of the Holy Child Alumna, Ashley Simpson Esq. ’03, has been appointed to serve on the new Board of Trustees of the Holy Child Network of Schools. “Oak Knoll has had such a strong impact on my life,” said Simpson, a “lifer” who attended Oak Knoll from kindergarten to grade 12. “Serving on the Board is definitely not something that I would say no to. It’s a very special institution and I’m glad to serve.”

Career Day Highlights Oak Knoll Alums with Purpose in Health Care

Three panelists with very different journeys into the medical profession answered questions about their education and career path during Friday’s Career Day Assembly. Kathleen Conway ’15, Danielle Williams ’15, and Margaret Magovern ’15 collectively represent three important tiers of the health care profession — registered nurse, physician assistant, and medical doctor respectively.

Podcast: Physics First – Why Oak Knoll Students Learn Physics in 9th Grade

It seems that school’s have been teaching the sciences in a certain order dating back to the launching of Sputnik and the cold war period, but Oak Knoll has decided to re-order that sequence in a way that makes more sense for students of today. We sat down with Upper School science teacher Jeff Yuhas to learn the rationale behind this decision. Mr. Yuhas also explains the benefits of teaching science in an all-girls school.

Oak Knoll Hosts School’s First-Ever MLK Day of Service

While some may see the third Monday in January – Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day – as simply a day off from work or school, an increasing number of socially conscious individuals are celebrating MLK Jr. Day as a day of service. Such was the case with a group of Oak Knoll families who gathered at the school last Monday to assemble lunch bags for Bridges Outreach.

The Kindness Challenge

Throughout the month, students will be keeping daily kindness journals. Each day, they will be challenged to perform an intentional act of kindness such as contacting a relative, writing to a sibling, and creating poems or artwork. Each day, they will also note ways in which they deserve kindness themselves, and what they are grateful for.

From NASA to Corinthians: Sharon Gutkowski’s Career Journey

The Holy Child Network of Schools, of which Oak Knoll is a member, periodically request member schools to submit faculty profiles for their main website. We were excited to offer them this submission as it spotlights a fascinating career trajectory.  Here’s our Q&A session with Oak Knoll Upper School Theology Teacher, Sharon Gutkowski.

The Christmas Spirit: An Audio Postcard

For this, our last podcast of the calendar year, we thought it would be fun to take you on an audio journey through December at Oak Knoll school of the Holy Child.

The Season of Giving

The very soul of Christmas is the gift of love embodied in the birth of the Holy Child Jesus. In that spirit, each year, Oak Knoll students enter the holiday season participating in a variety of service and outreach projects.

Oak Knoll’s Fall Sports Teams Achieve On and Off the Field

Oak Knoll’s fall student-athletes fought hard on and off the field, serving the community while winning several county, sectional, and invitational tournaments contests.

Spanish Exchange Students Visit Oak Knoll

While the World Cup is underway in Qatar, Summit, NJ, is experiencing its own international gathering. Seven Spanish exchange students and their chaperones are visiting Oak Knoll for two weeks. They hail from the Sant Ignasi school in Barcelona. The students will be living with their Oak Knoll host students through December 7 and attending classes and school events throughout their time in Summit.

Mary Gilliland ’69 Wins Codhill Press Book Award for Poetry

Poet Mary Gilliland ’69 was recently awarded the Codhill Press Pauline Uchmanowicz Poetry Award for her collection of themed poems entitled The Devil’s Fools which was released on November 1, 2022. According to her publisher, “The title of Mary Gilliland’s new poetry collection is slyly ironic, suggesting our misperceptions of life’s blessings and tragedies is apt to make us seem so. These poems shed light and bring joy where we might otherwise despair or slog through life unaware.”

The Write Stuff: Cultivating Student Leadership in Oak Knoll’s Writing Center (Podcast)

In this episode of The Happy Kids Project we learn about The Writing Center at Oak Knoll–a truly distinctive peer to peer service in the Upper School. Oak Knoll’s Writing Center provides a unique opportunity for middle and high school students to take on leadership roles while supporting their peers. Hear how the Writing Center increases student confidence, leadership skills, and academic excellence in a safe and supportive space.

Oak Knoll School alumna Patricia Mechael ’92 draws on career in public health to co-write book with her son

Patricia Mechael ’92, Ph.D. MHS dreamed of becoming a children’s book author when she was young – and she also wanted to help people. Now, Mechael’s two dreams have become a reality this October when her book The Antidotes: Pollution Solution, (Bold Story Press) co-written with her 10-year-old son Gabriel, published. The book, written during the COVID-19 pandemic, is about a group of kids – ironically – who stop a future pandemic.

College Counseling Retreat: Finding the Right Fit

Juniors spent a day off campus this week attending the annual College Counseling Retreat. This milestone marks the official beginning of their search for a best fit college or university. The day began with an interactive glimpse into the selection process for a fictional Oak Knoll University. 

6 Oak Knoll Seniors Sign Letters of Intent to Continue Athletics in College

Seven members of the Class of 2023 from Oak Knoll School of the Holy Child continued their commitment to athletic competition at the collegiate level by signing National Letters of Intent, or in the case of the Ivy League institutions, committed to the admissions process, on Wednesday, November 9, 2022 (also known as National Signing Day.)

Maddi Niebanck ’13: A Stroke of Luck

It was the summer after her graduation from Georgetown University. She was all set to enjoy a few months off and then start her professional career at a new job in Boston. She finally had some time to schedule corrective surgery for a Brain AVM that had been plaguing her with terrible migraines since the age of seven. Everything was about to change.

There’s an Ambo in my iPhone

The last place most folks would want their phone to be flaunted is in church. Recently, though, Oak Knoll students in grade nine have been encouraged to use them conspicuously in the chapel. What’s more surprising is that they are encouraged to do so by their theology teacher.

Service Day: Being in Community with Others

Students stepped away from their academic studies this week to participate in Oak Knoll’s annual Service Day. Though it is a day devoted to learning about and performing service acts, more broadly it is a day to remind students that being in service is a mindset that should be ever present rather than an activity that is performed for others.

Leaders with Purpose: Student Council Inductions

Last week, the Upper School held an induction ceremony for our student council members. One by one they approached the podium to address their peers and offered their hopes and goals for the year. Their comments certainly reflect one of the pillars in our recent strategic plan, that Oak Knoll is a community of People with Purpose.

A Tangible Connection to Oak Knoll Heritage

The entire grade 10 class traveled to Center City Philadelphia on Wednesday, October 19, 2022, for a visit to the shrine of Sr. Cornelia Connelly — founder of the Society of the Holy Child Jesus — located in the Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul. Oak Knoll is one of 9 schools across the United States and 13 overseas as part of the Holy Child Network of Schools.

18 Oak Knoll Students Recognized as AP Scholars and 2 Students Commended by PSAT/NMSQT

Eighteen seniors at Oak Knoll School of the Holy Child in Summit earned AP Scholar, and AP Scholar with Honors for their performance on Advanced Placement tests, the College Board has announced. In addition, two students were also named as Commended Students in the 2023 National Merit Scholarship Program based on their 2021 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Tests (PSAT/NMSQT).

Oak Knoll Establishes Strategic University Partnerships

Oak Knoll School of the Holy Child has established strategic partnerships with Columbia University and the University of Pennsylvania to ensure the entire senior class enters higher education with enhanced leadership confidence and students in grades 10-12 have the option of earning a certificate in Social Entrepreneurship.

29th Annual Oak Knoll Royal Boutique Adds Vendors

The Oak Knoll Parents’ Association is proud to announce that the school’s cherished holiday shopping event, the 29th annual Royal Boutique, will take place on the Oak Knoll Campus from November 3-5, 2022 in the Tisdall Hall Gymnasium located at 83 Ashland Road in Summit, NJ.

Oak Knoll Families Navigate College Admissions Trends

Oak Knoll’s exceptional college counseling program mentors students through the college search and application process in a purposeful way, guiding students toward finding the colleges and universities that will be the best academic and community fit for each individual.

Oak Knoll Installs Jennifer G. Landis as Sixth Head of School

Members of the Oak Knoll School community, friends, family, distinguished guests, and a live streaming audience joined Head of School Jennifer G. Landis for a long-awaited Installation Mass on the beautiful, albeit somewhat chilly, Oak Knoll School campus on Friday, September 30, 2022. The celebration had been delayed due to COVID. Chair of the Board […]

Oak Knoll Honors 22 Faculty and Staff for Years of Dedicated Service

The spiritual start of the school year was celebrated by students, faculty, and staff in the Mother Mary Campion Center for the Performing Arts during the school’s annual Mass of the Holy Spirit, on Tuesday, September 20, 2022. In a fashion reminiscent of Founder Cornelia Connelly who once said, “Be yourself only make that self […]

Oak Knoll Senior Spends Summer Renovating Impoverished Home in Rural West Virginia

A trip to rural Preston County, West Virginia – prone to steady poverty and heavy flooding – reinforced the importance of helping those in need for Mary Kate Bolster ’23 of Madison.  Bolster, a parishioner of Saint Patrick’s Parish in Chatham and member of their Youth Ministry Program, recently returned from the Appalachia Help Weeks […]

Oak Knoll Field Hockey Ranked No. 2 in the Nation

Oak Knoll School of the Holy Child’s varsity field hockey team was named the No. 2-ranked in the nation when Max Field Hockey announced its preseason national Top 25 rankings earlier this week.

Oak Knoll Juniors Learn Leadership Skills at the 2022 HOBY Leadership Conference

Two Oak Knoll rising juniors Liandra Taylor ’24 of Newark and Nesa Shamdasani ’24 of Little Falls learned the ins and outs of how to become affective leaders this summer through the annual Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership Conference held June 24-26, 2022, at Kean University. Taylor was selected as Oak Knoll’s HOBY Conference primary tenth grade representative. 

Oak Knoll Head of School Joins ICGS Governing Board of Directors

Jennifer G. Landis, Head of Oak Knoll School of the Holy Child, was appointed to the governing Board of Directors of the International Coalition of Girls’ Schools.

Oak Knoll Creative Arts Director Earns University of Chicago Outstanding Educator Award

Oak Knoll’s Creative Arts Director Will Cardell recently earned the Outstanding Educator Award from the University of Chicago. Cardell was nominated for the award by recent Oak Knoll graduate and his former art student, Elizabeth Eck ’22 of Summit, who will be attending the University of Chicago this fall. The Outstanding Educator Award recognizes educators […]

Spring Track and Field Finishes with New Personal and Team Records

The Oak Knoll Spring Track and Field team sprinted toward a strong finish to their season this month, but not before setting new personal and team records, including the largest number of students (60) to join the OKS Spring Track and Field team to date.  Spring Track and Field excelled both on an individual and […]

Oak Knoll Honored for Service During Bridges Impact Night 2022

Oak Knoll School of the Holy Child was honored for the school’s 25-year partnership to help end homelessness on June 15, 2022, during the Bridges Outreach Impact Night.  Bridges Outreach is a nonprofit organization with locations in Newark and Summit, NJ, focused on ending homelessness. Bridges works with individuals experiencing homelessness through street outreach and […]

Oak Knoll Spring Teams Earn Postseason Accolades

Oak Knoll School’s spring athletes recently wrapped up their 2021-22 spring sports season, but not before attaining several career achievements, personal bests, and shattering school records. Teams and athletes excelled in Divisional Championships, County Tournaments, Prep Tournaments and State Tournaments in addition to the NJSIAA Tournament of and Meet of Champions. Oak Knoll athletes also […]

Class of 2026 Discuss Unique Friendships, Unbreakable Bonds during Oak Knoll’s Eighth-Grade Moving-Up Ceremony

The 38 members of the Class of 2026 came together on campus to celebrate their transition from eighth grade to high school through prayers, songs, scripture readings, poems, and poignant reflections from several students on Thursday, June 9, during Oak Knoll’s annual Moving-up Ceremony. “Throughout our journey as a class in seventh and eighth grade […]

Oak Knoll Graduates 59 Young Women of Promise During 94th Commencement Ceremony

Fifty-nine Oak Knoll students were graduated from the all-girls’ Upper School on Sunday, June 12, 2022, during an outdoor graduation ceremony among family, friends, faculty and staff held at the school’s Summit campus.  Head of School Jennifer G. Landis handed students their diplomas and Janet Pearce ’22, Class of 2022 Valedictorian, delivered the class address.  […]

Oak Knoll Honors Students During Upper School Academic Awards Ceremony

The final day of Oak Knoll’s academic school year concluded June 10, 2022, during a busy, in-person celebration recognizing many students at the school’s annual Upper School Awards Ceremony. Students in grades 7-12 were celebrated for outstanding achievement across all departments including academics, the performing and creative arts, world language, athletics, computer science, music, English, […]

Oak Knoll Lauds Outstanding Student-Athletes from the Class of 2022

Oak Knoll School recognized more than 70 outstanding athletes during the school’s senior athlete awards dinner held on June 6, 2022, in the Aileen Maury Dining Hall.  Athletics bestowed The Women in Sports Award to Katelyn Glory ’22 of Randolph, The Kelly E. Durkin Award to Betsy Keenan ’22 of Summit, the Scholar-Athlete Award to […]

Oak Knoll Lacrosse Earns Seventh-Straight State Title

Oak Knoll School’s (19-4) No. 1-ranked lacrosse team in the NJ.com Top 20 triumphed over Princeton Day School for an 11-8 win on Tuesday, June 7, 2022, in the Tournament of Champions quarterfinal matchup. The scene is now set for the two-time defending Tournament of Champions Royals to join Moorestown as the only lacrosse program […]

Gaelle Jones ’26 Earns Royal Athlete of the Year Award

Eighth-grade soccer, basketball, and lacrosse player Gaelle Jones ’26, of Maplewood, earned the Royal Athlete Award Monday, May 23, 2022, during Oak Knoll School of the Holy Child’s Middle School Sports Award celebration held on campus for students and coaches and parents.

Oak Knoll Senior Aria Alva Sings in Summit Arts Festival

Oak Knoll School of the Holy Child senior Aria Alva ’22 of Summit, sang in a chorus concert on Saturday, May 14, 2022, as part of the Summit Arts Festival in downtown Summit. The Summit Art Festival celebrates the power of expression through the fine arts and includes performances through music, art, theatre, and dance. The […]

Oak Knoll Students Earn National Latin Exam Awards

During the last general homeroom of the Upper School 2021-22 academic year, World Language teacher Victoria Burmeister announced that five Upper School students earned placements in The National Latin Exam.  The NLE is a test given annually to Latin students across the United States and around the world and is an opportunity for students to […]

Sarah McManus Named Oak Knoll’s Scholar-Athlete of the Year

Oak Knoll School of the Holy Child senior and Chatham resident Sarah McManus ’22 has been named Oak Knoll School Scholar-Athlete of the Year. McManus will be recognized during Oak Knoll’s Senior Athlete Awards Dinner on June 6.  McManus, who will be attending the University of Notre Dame in the fall, is a member of Oak Knoll School’s Cum […]

Paralympic Gold Medal Swimmer McKenzie Coan Inspires Students to Defy Odds

Oak Knoll students heard a story of inspiration with an extra dose of motivation on Monday, May 16, 2022, as they listened to the life story of McKenzie Coan, a Paralympic gold medalist swimmer, writer, and motivational speaker. Coan spoke to students, parents, and faculty and staff about her life’s journey with the sport of […]

Oak Knoll Student-Athletes Featured on Cover of Sports Illustrated Magazine

Several student-athletes from Oak Knoll School of the Holy Child are featured on the June 2022 cover of Sports Illustrated Magazine! Field hockey player and Summit resident Caitlin Ann Geoghegan ’24 is even included in the cover story honoring the 50th anniversary of Title IX and how it has shaped the modern sports landscape.  The […]

Oak Knoll School Hosts Discussion on Student-Athletes and Mental Health

Oak Knoll School administrators, members of the athletics staff, school counselors, and a sports psychologist gathered in the Mother Mary Campion Center for the Performing Arts on campus last week to discuss mental health and student-athletes. 

If the Cap Fits: Seniors Explore Passions through Capstone Project

If the “Cap” Fits – If the “Cap” Fits is a signature editorial feature aimed to highlight the exciting experiences of Oak Knoll School seniors as they step out of the classroom during the month of May before graduation to complete a Capstone Project. As the final “cap” to their high school experience, Capstones allow […]

Oak Knoll Celebrates Creative Arts During Annual Arts Recognition Ceremony

Nearly 30 students were recognized on Thursday, April 21, 2022, for their leadership, outstanding achievement, and dedication to the creative arts at Oak Knoll School of the Holy Child during the school’s 29th annual Arts Recognition Ceremony. Student arts leaders, faculty advisors, directors, administrators, and parents gathered in the Mother Mary Campion Center for the Performing […]

Oak Knoll Students Inducted Into World Language Honor Society

Twenty-two members of the Class of 2022 and three members of the junior class were inducted into the World Language Honor Society on Wednesday, April 13, 2022, in recognition of their dedication and achievements while studying French, Latin, and Spanish all four years while at Oak Knoll School of the Holy Child. Verónika Zavaleta-Tejeda, Upper […]

Upper School HOPE Committee Raises $1,334.50 for Local Charities

Students in Oak Knoll School’s Upper School concluded its last of four HOPE Committee (Helping Other People Everywhere) fundraisers recently for the 2021-22 academic school year.  While dressing comfortably during a recent dress-down day, students gave back to those in need and raised $1,334.50 for three nonprofit organizations.  Each HOPE fundraiser typically serves four different charities […]

Empathy, Respect, Empowerment at Heart of Guest Speaker Meg Zucker’s Upper School Talk

Meg Zucker, founder and president of Don’t Hide It Flaunt It (DHIFI), delivered messages of empathy, respect, and empowerment while sharing her experiences of living with Ectrodactyly, during a special Upper School assembly on Thursday, April 7, 2022, in the Mary Mother Campion Center for the Performing Arts.  Ectrodactyly is a genetic condition that results […]

Oak Knoll’s Successful Winter Track Season, Includes School, Personal Bests

Oak Knoll’s winter track and field season concluded, but not before elevating the program to new heights.   OKS athletes finished their winter season by shattering school and personal records and attaining career-high achievements. The spotlight on the sport has recently expanded the spring season as a record number of 60 athletes have recently joined the […]

13 Students Inducted Into Oak Knoll Chapter of Cum Laude Society

Six seniors and seven juniors were recognized for their academic excellence and inducted into Oak Knoll School of the Holy Child’s chapter of the Cum Laude Society on Friday, March 11, 2022, in the Mother Mary Campion Center for the Performing Arts. Inductees and their families gathered for a small reception in the Aileen Maury […]

Oak Knoll School Earns Jury’s Special Nod in NYC French Theater Festival

Oak Knoll School’s French I class virtually performed in the skit “Matières, matières … !” – a French script written by Upper School World Language Teacher Irina Posso-Campana and co-directed by Oak Knoll junior Viera Pulver ’23 of Summit – in the student festival “Première Scène” from the Cultural Center of Lycée Francais de New York. Oak Knoll […]

Oak Knoll’s 2022 Fencing Team Solidifies Place in School History

Oak Knoll School’s 13-member fencing team closed out their winter season recently, but not before reaching several impressive milestones for the program.  For the first time in the school’s history, three students from the same season have qualified for the New Jersey Interscholastic Athletic Association (NJSIAA) Fencing Championships.  Team co-captain Lauren Pacicco ’22 (Foil) was […]

Oak Knoll Earns Fourth-Consecutive AP Computer Science Female Diversity Award

For the fourth consecutive year, Oak Knoll School of the Holy Child has earned the College Board AP® Computer Science Female Diversity Award for expanding girls’ access to AP Computer Science. The award acknowledges 1,020 schools for their work toward equal gender representation during the 2020-21 school year. Oak Knoll is one of only 61 […]

7 Students Recognized in Regional Scholastic High School Art Awards

Six Oak Knoll School photographers and one writer have been recognized in the 2022 Regional Scholastic High School Art and Writing Competition, presented by the nonprofit Alliance for Young Artists & Writers. This is the largest competition for high school students to showcase their visual and written creative projects. Oak Knoll’s all-girls middle and high […]

Oak Knoll Flags Fly at Half-Staff in Honor of Judge Barbara A. Curran

The flag of the United States of America and New Jersey’s state flag were ordered to fly at half-staff today to honor the passing of Judge Barbara A. Curran, the first woman to serve in all three branches of New Jersey government and mother of Oak Knoll School alumna Katie Curran Darcy ’92, OKS Special […]

Oak Knoll Field Hockey Players Named to National Academic Squad

Eleven Oak Knoll School student-athletes (eight juniors and three seniors) were recently named to the National Field Hockey Coaches Association High School National Academic Squad. The student-athletes are recognized for having a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.5 out of 4.0 and Scholars of Distinction are recognized for receiving a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.9 out of 4.0.  […]

Oak Knoll Artists Use Talents to Spread Peace and Kindness to Students in Cameroon

Through thoughtful and imaginative drawings and paintings, a group of Oak Knoll seniors created unique memories of kindness and understanding for children from Africa.  Through the Memory Project – a global project where American art students exchange artwork with children from different countries – five seniors in the Oak Knoll Honors Portfolio class drew portraits […]

Oak Knoll Students Dedicate Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day to Serve Those in Need

While Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day is typically a day off school for many children, students at Oak Knoll School of the Holy Child in Summit, NJ, dedicated their day away from school to help those in need in their community. Oak Knoll students spent time on Monday, January 17, 2022, making more than […]

OKS Field Hockey Players Named to All-American, All-Region Teams

Oak Knoll School’s field hockey team finished their fall season full of motivation and camaraderie as four OKS juniors out of only 136 student-athletes nationwide were named to the National Field Hockey Coaches Association’s (NFHCA) High School All-American and All-Region team.  Lea Good ’23 (midfielder) of Chatham was named All-American, second-team; Emma Ramsey ’23 (forward) […]

Oak Knoll School Celebrates Thanksgiving by Practicing Gratitude, Helping Families in Need

Giving back to those most in need occurs year-round within the Oak Knoll School community and as Thanksgiving approaches, students are putting their “Actions, not words,” into motion to feed the hungry while learning about the importance of gratitude.  With nearly 200,000 New Jersey children facing hunger each day, Oak Knoll’s students in both the […]

Upper School HOPE Committee Raises $1,256 for Local Charities

Students in Oak Knoll School’s Upper School dressed comfortably while helping others during Oak Knoll School’s annual Service Day on Thursday, October 28, and at the same time, raised $1,256 to benefit three nonprofits in need. Oak Knoll’s Service Day fell on the same day as the school’s first of four HOPE Committee (Helping Other […]

7 Oak Knoll Seniors Sign Letters of Intent to Continue Athletics in College

Seven members of the Class of 2022 from Oak Knoll School of the Holy Child continued their commitment to athletic competition at the collegiate level by signing National Letters of Intent, or in the case of the Ivy League institutions, committed to the admissions process, on Wednesday, November 10, 2021. Athletics Director Kelly Childs complimented […]

Oak Knoll’s Field Hockey Team Takes Union County Tournament Championship

Oak Knoll’s field hockey team (No. 2) won the Union County Tournament title, beating Kent Place (No. 9) 7-2 on October 23, 2021 in Chatham. This marks the second year in a row in which Oak Knoll School (16-3) has defeated Kent Place (13-3) in the tournament final. Oak Knoll’s Head Field Hockey Coach, Ali […]

Oak Knoll School Offers Helping Hands to Communities in Need During Annual Service Day

Oak Knoll School students put their classes on hold Thursday, October 28, 2021, and instead served the community on and off campus to support area nonprofits — many of which are still short staffed due to COVID — during the school’s nearly 20-year tradition of helping others and communities in need during their annual Service […]

Oak Knoll’s Fall Sports Teams Give All They Can on and Off the Field

Oak Knoll School’s fall sports teams are not only focused on winning their games and matches this fall – they’re also dedicated to a greater purpose – giving back and serving those in need around them.  

Cross Country Wins Union County Mountain Division Championships

Oak Knoll School of the Holy Child’s girls’ cross country team won the Union County Conference Mountain Division Championship on Thursday, October 14, 2021, at Oak Ridge Park in Clark, New Jersey. This marks the second time the Royals’ cross country team has won their division since 2018. This year, the Royals faced and defeated […]

28th Annual Oak Knoll Royal Boutique Returns to Summit

The Oak Knoll Parents’ Association is proud to announce the school’s cherished holiday shopping event, the annual Royal Boutique, will return to its campus for its 28th year in Summit from November 11-13, 2021. After switching to a virtual format last year due to the pandemic, the annual shopping extravaganza will now be back in […]

Oak Knoll Celebrates 175th Anniversary of the Society of the Holy Child Jesus

For the first time since October 2019, the entire Oak Knoll School of the Holy Child community in the Upper and Lower schools gathered on the school turf field Friday, October 15, 2021, proudly displaying their school colors to honor Founders’ Day – the anniversary of the founding of the Society of the Holy Child […]

Bishop Talks Church Reform with Oak Knoll’s Theology 12 Class

Seniors in Oak Knoll School’s Theology 12 class recently took a deeper dive into what it means to be a Catholic in the 21st Century and, to bolster their coursework, welcomed Bishop Elias Lorenzo, Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Newark, to Grace Hall Chapel, Friday, October 1, 2021. Bishop Elias shared his knowledge and […]

61 Oak Knoll Students Recognized as AP Scholars

Nineteen seniors at Oak Knoll School of the Holy Child in Summit, New Jersey, earned AP Scholar, AP Scholar with Honors and AP Scholar with Distinction for their performance on Advanced Placement tests, the College Board has announced.

New Oak Knoll School Program EmpowHERs Middle School Girls

Seventh and eighth-grade Oak Knoll students learned how to push their boundaries, step out of their comfort zones and take risks during the school’s four-day EmpowHER program September 9-14, 2021

Oak Knoll Remembers Loved Ones Lost on 9/11, Birth of Formal Service Day Tradition 

Following the tragic events of September 11, 2001, Oak Knoll formalized a grassroots service program, now known as the school’s annual Service Day – where, for the past 20 years, students have dedicated a day of service to those in their communities instead of attending classes. Today, the school partners with more than a dozen organizations during its annual Service Day.

Oak Knoll Senior Runs to Raise Funds for Children in Need

For the past two years, the pandemic may have halted efforts to travel to Guatemala, however this didn’t stop Olivia O’Malley ’22 of Summit, NJ, from doing what she can from home to help impoverished children in need.  

Melissa Miller Joins Oak Knoll School as Director of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Justice

Melissa Miller has joined Oak Knoll School of the Holy Child as Director of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Justice (DEIJ). Miller brings steep experience in DEIJ, admissions, special events, and donor relations from Newark Academy where she most recently served as the school’s Assistant Director of Admissions.

Spring Teams Earn Post-Season Accolades

Oak Knoll School of the Holy Child’s varsity top-seeded (No. 1) lacrosse team was recently named the NJ.com girls lacrosse Team of the Year in the state and in the NJ.com Stars and Stripes Conference. The Royals won the school’s third-ever Tournament of Champions title on Saturday, June 19, 2021, with a 10-9 win over […]

Oak Knoll’s Summer Scholars Program Preps Students for the Fall

This summer, children may not only be battling the “summer slide” – or loss of learning during the summer months – but now also a COVID slide, or gaps in academic growth due to pandemic learning disruptions from last year.  Whether it is reading a favorite book, visiting a museum, or taking a virtual tour […]

Charity Lacrosse Clinic Raises Nearly $3,500 for Boys Battling Injury and Disease

Before clinching the school’s third-ever Tournament of Champions title last week, Oak Knoll School’s varsity lacrosse team spent time together off the field– this time to help two boys in need who are battling disease and sports injury. For the third year in a row, the OKS lacrosse team partnered with the Casey Powell World Lacrosse […]

Oak Knoll Varsity Lacrosse Wins Tournament of Champions Title

Oak Knoll School’s top-seeded (No. 1) varsity lacrosse team completed the 2021 season, culminating with its third-ever Tournament of Champions title on Saturday, June 19, 2021, with an impressive 10-9 win over Moorestown (No. 3). The Royals roared back with an impressive four straight goals after the half to take the lead and secure the […]

Jennifer G. Landis Assumes Role as Head of Oak Knoll School of the Holy Child

Oak Knoll has announced Jennifer G. Landis will assume the role of Head of School effective July 1, 2021. She becomes the sixth official Head in the school’s 97-year history. Landis, Oak Knoll’s Associate Head of School, succeeds Timothy J. Saburn, who previously announced his retirement after 16 years as Head of School.  “It is […]

Upper School Recognizes Outstanding Students During 2021 Academic Awards Ceremony

The final day of Oak Knoll’s academic school year concluded June 11, 2021, via a jammed-packed, in-person celebration recognizing many students at the annual Upper School Awards Ceremony. Students in grades 7-12 were celebrated for outstanding achievement across all departments including academics, the performing and creative arts, world language, athletics, computer science, music, English, history, […]

Oak Knoll Students Create Community Poems about Justice, Peace, and Compassion for All

After spending May guidance classes discussing U.S civil rights, equity, and race, Oak Knoll Upper School students in grades 7-10 pieced together two poems – using words, lines, or phrases from more than 150 OKS submissions – all reflective of justice, peace, and compassion for all. During the final student homeroom of the school year […]

Oak Knoll Community Spreads Messages of Gratitude with Day of Giving

Oak Knoll School of the Holy Child is going BIG as we wind down the 2020-21 school year, sending messages of gratitude and thanking loved ones, friends, and colleagues near and far. Tomorrow on Wednesday, June 9, 2021, the OKS Office of Advancement is set to honor the end of another successful school year with […]

Lilly Venezia ’25 Earns Royal Athlete of the Year Award

Eighth-grade field hockey and lacrosse player Lilly Venezia ’25, of North Caldwell, earned the Royal Athlete Award Tuesday, May 25, 2021, during Oak Knoll School of the Holy Child’s Middle School Sports Award celebration held on campus for students and coaches and virtually for parents.  The Royal Athlete Award is given annually as the highest […]

History Teacher Wins 6th Annual Faculty vs. Student Chess Tournament

Oak Knoll faculty and staff were seizing knights, pawns and bishops on Tuesday, May 25, during the sixth annual faculty vs. student chess tournament: “Picking Up the Pieces.” Upper School History teacher, and the tournament’s moderator, Grace Fidler, took first place during the tournament via a mix of in-person, on-campus faculty and students gathered socially […]

Rachel Ford ’09 Tackles COVID-19, Other Global Health Issues

When Rachel Ford ’09 of South Orange, NJ, was 5, she dreamed of becoming a heart surgeon. When she was 10, she wanted to be a hematologist, and as a teenager, she carried around a physician’s pocket drug reference card in her purse. A career in medicine was always on Ford’s mind, throughout high school […]

Oak Knoll Lacrosse Clinches Union County Tournament Title for First Time Since 2017

Oak Knoll School’s award-winning lacrosse team (ranked No. 1) hit the ground running on Saturday, May 22, 2021, defeating Summit (No. 2) 11-5 and claiming the Union County Tournament title for the first time since 2017. The last New Jersey team to hold Summit to five goals or fewer was Ridgewood in a 7-4 decision […]

Second Annual Virtual Run Raises More than $7K for OKS Emergency Fund

169 athletes kept track of how far they walked, ran, or their other form of physical activities for the second year in a row, all to benefit families in their community who suffered financial losses because of the COVID-19 pandemic.   Oak Knoll School came together in spirit and in movement and wrapped up its second […]

Oak Knoll Yearbooks Earn National Program of Excellence Awards

Oak Knoll School’s Upper School yearbook Aquila and Lower School yearbook Oak Leaves were both recently recognized as award-winning yearbooks by Jostens, the leading producer of yearbooks and student-created content. Oak Knoll’s Aquila and Oak Leaves earned Josten’s 2021 National Yearbook Program of Excellence award at the Bronze Level. Jostens’ National Yearbook Program of Excellence […]

Oak Knoll Commissions 19 Juniors as Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion

Nineteen members of Oak Knoll School’s Class of 2022 were commissioned during Mass on Thursday, May 13, 2021, as Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion. The celebration was held in the OKS Grace Hall Chapel and via Zoom for parents.  The celebration for the newly commissioned Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion concluded the junior’s Eucharistic preparation […]

Oak Knoll Students Raise $1K for Four Nonprofits

Oak Knoll Upper School students finished strong with another act of service to others during the school’s final HOPE Committee (Helping Other People Everywhere) fundraiser of the academic school year.  Oak Knoll’s HOPE Committee raised $ 1,131.75 for four nonprofits by organizing a dress down day where students, faculty and staff contributed $5 to dress […]

If the Cap Fits: Seniors Discover their Passions through Capstone Projects

If the “Cap” Fits – If the “Cap” Fits is a signature editorial feature aimed to highlight the exciting experiences of Oak Knoll School seniors as they step out of the classroom during the month of May before graduation to complete a Capstone Project. As the final “cap” to their high school experience, Capstones allow seniors to independently explore different areas of interest to them, whether it is academic, creative, career or service-oriented and students are challenged to demonstrate their passion for discovery beyond the limits of the curriculum.

Oak Knoll Students Serve the Housing Insecure in New York City

Nearly a dozen Oak Knoll Upper School students gave up their lunch period on campus last month to help assemble approximately 100 bagged lunches for Bridges Outreach. The lunches (each including a sandwich, piece of fruit, granola bar, cheese stick and a water bottle) were distributed to the housing insecure in New York City.  Bridges […]

Former Summit Police Chief Named Oak Knoll School Director of Security

Oak Knoll School of the Holy Child recently named long-time Summit Police Chief Robert Weck as the school’s Director of Security. Weck, a resident of Hilltop City, arrives to campus after working for 31 years with the Summit Police Department, including the last nine years as Chief of Police. Weck succeeds current Director of Security […]

70 Seniors Inducted into the Oak Knoll School Alumnae/i Association

Seventy members of Oak Knoll’s Class of 2021 transitioned to alumnae during their induction into the Oak Knoll Alumnae/i Association on Friday, April 30, 2021. Transitions Day, which recognizes the last day of academic classes for the senior class, was held both in the Mother Mary Campion Center for the Performing Arts for faculty, staff […]

Sophomore Named National Winner in High School Poetry Contest

In perfect sync for April’s National Poetry Month, a poem written by Oak Knoll School sophomore Viera Pulver ’23 was recently selected as a “JUST POETRY!!!” national winner in the 23rd annual National High School Poetry Contest. Pulver’s poem “Manipulated Euphoria” – experimental both in content and form – is one of 25 entries to be […]

Upper School Students Inducted into the World Language Honor Society

Thirty seven members of the Class of 2021 and one member of the junior class were inducted into the World Language Honor Society on Wednesday, April 21, 2021, in recognition of their dedication and achievements while studying French, Latin and Spanish all four years while at Oak Knoll School of the Holy Child. Verónika Zavaleta-Tejeda, […]

Oak Knoll’s Creative Arts Celebrated at Annual Arts Recognition Ceremony

Nearly 30 Upper School students were recognized on Thursday, April 15, 2021, for their leadership, outstanding achievement and dedication to the creative arts at Oak Knoll School of the Holy Child during the school’s 28th annual Arts Recognition Ceremony. Student arts leaders, faculty advisors and directors, and administrators gathered in the Mother Mary Campion Center […]

Student Photographers Recognized in Regional High School Art Competition

Oak Knoll School photographers have been recognized in the 2021 Regional Scholastic High School Art and Writing Competition, presented by the nonprofit Alliance for Young Artists & Writers. This is the largest competition for high school students to showcase their visual and written creative projects. Oak Knoll junior and seniors earned Gold Key, Silver Key […]

Oak Knoll ‘Vaccine Angels’ Help Community Book COVID-19 Shot Appointments

While finding a COVID-19 vaccine appointment this year has been a burdensome task for most, for Samantha Werres Melworm ’98 of Clinton, NJ, there is nothing to it. Melworm, a fourth grade teacher in Scotch Plains-Fanwood, has been unselfishly stepping up to the plate to help colleagues, friends and her fellow Oak Knoll community members […]

Inspired By Everyday Objects, Oak Knoll Eighth Graders Create Art Out of Junk

Oak Knoll eighth graders learned that one person’s trash may be another person’s treasure. During the school’s remote learning session last spring, Creative Arts Director, Will Cardell, challenged his students to create “artworks by necessity.” Without traditional art supplies at home, last year’s eighth graders were given a project called “Got Junk? Call 1-800-ART-SCULPT” and […]

Oak Knoll Senior Emma Gamboa Commits to Army West Point

Oak Knoll School of the Holy Child senior Emma Gamboa ’21 of Landing, NJ, recently committed to continuing her academics and athletics career at Army West Point in the fall. At West Point, Gamboa plans to pursue STEM as a potential area of study.  While at Oak Knoll, Gamboa ran cross country and played basketball […]

Oak Knoll Teacher Published In Educational Technology Journal

A recent article written by Talia Nochumson, Ed.D., Chair of Oak Knoll School’s Computer Science Department and Technology Integration Specialist, said about two-thirds of U.S. elementary school teachers (K-5) surveyed felt supported by their administration for using Twitter as a tool for learning.  Nochumson’s research, recently published in the CITE Journal –  Contemporary Issues in […]

13 Students Inducted into Oak Knoll Chapter of Cum Laude

In a joint online and in-person ceremony in the Mother Mary Campion Center for the Performing Arts, seven Oak Knoll School seniors and six juniors were recognized for their academic excellence and were inducted into Oak Knoll School of the Holy Child chapter of the Cum Laude Society on Thursday, March 18, 2021.  Students were […]

Viera Pulver ’23 Earns Jury’s Special Nod In NYC French Theater Festival

A French script written by Oak Knoll sophomore Viera Pulver ’23 of Summit recently won Jury’s special mention for best original script for “En attendant Babar” in the student festival “Première Scène” – from the Cultural Center of Lycée Francais de New York.

Oak Knoll Field Hockey Players Named to National Academic Squad

Fifteen Oak Knoll School student athletes (eight seniors and seven juniors) were recently named to the National Field Hockey Coaches Association High School National Academic Squad. 

Oak Knoll Students Raise $1K for Four Nonprofits

Eagerly anticipating the warmer spring months ahead, Oak Knoll students were busy at work recently and organized another H.O.P.E. Committee (Helping Other People Everywhere) fundraiser of the school year while helping to serve nonprofits in need.

Q&A with Oak Knoll Alum Author Amy B. Mucha ’90

Amy (Burnham) Mucha ’90 authored a children’s book that was published by Beaming Books on February 2, 2021. After Oak Knoll, she went on to Kenyon College, where she graduated Phi Beta Kappa with a degree in English Literature. Oak Knoll recently caught up with Mucha to discuss her new book, her love of writing […]

Heather O’Hern ’21 named National Merit Scholarship Finalist

Oak Knoll senior Heather O’Hern ’21 from Westfield, was recently named as a finalist in the 66th annual National Merit Scholarship Program. O’Hern, who was among nearly 15,000 semi-finalists last fall based on PSAT scores during her junior year, is now in the running to become an official Merit Scholar designee, by the National Merit […]

Oak Knoll Students Raise $914 for 3 Nonprofits

Despite the snow that caused Oak Knoll to shorten its schedule during the first week of February, the H.O.P.E. Committee (Helping Other People Everywhere) was still busy at work fundraising to serve nonprofits in need. Oak Knoll School students enjoyed dress down day Friday, February 5, 2021, raising $914 to benefit The Human Needs Food […]

The Hill We Climb: Seniors Craft Artwork Inspired by National Youth Poet Laureate Amanda Gorman

Two Oak Knoll School seniors are honoring Black History Month with drawings they crafted inspired by National Youth Poet Laureate Amanda Gorman’s inauguration poem “The Hill We Climb.”

HOPE Committee Collects Winter Coats, Donations for Community FoodBank

Oak Knoll’s Upper School HOPE Committee kicked off the New Year by organizing two HOPE Committee collection drives, gathering items to benefit two area nonprofits.

Oak Knoll Commissions 25 Seniors as Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion

Twenty-five members of the Class of 2021 made history at Oak Knoll School of the Holy Child Wednesday, February 10, 2021, becoming the largest group to date to be commissioned as Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion during Mass held in the Mother Mary Campion Center for the Performing Arts.

Oak Knoll Holds Third Annual Women in Sports Leadership Panel

Former Oak Knoll School students and other guests talked about their athletic and professional careers while offering advice to current OKS student athletes on Monday, February 1, during the third annual Women in Sports Leadership panel event via Zoom.

6 Oak Knoll Students Pilot National Civic Engagement Program

A new program at Oak Knoll School of the Holy Child kicked off this week in the hopes to help empower future generations of female changemakers.

Oak Knoll Head of School Earns NJAIS Service Award

Timothy J. Saburn, Head of Oak Knoll School of the Holy Child, is one of three recipients of the New Jersey Association of Independent Schools’ 2020 Service Award.

Oak Knoll Senior Katherine Whelan Earns 2021 Women in Sports Award

Oak Knoll senior athlete Katherine Whelan ’21 earned the 2021 Women in Sports Award and represented Oak Knoll School of the Holy Child on February 3, 2021 in the statewide virtual celebration of the 35th anniversary of National Girls & Women in Sport Day (NGWSD).

Oak Knoll Earns Third-Consecutive AP Computer Science Female Diversity Award

For the third-consecutive year, Oak Knoll has earned the College Board AP Computer Science Female Diversity Award for expanding girls’ access to AP Computer Science.

Students reflect, serve those in need in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

As the famous civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. once said, “Everyone can be great, because everybody can serve.” The Oak Knoll community took this creed to heart this past week as they celebrated Dr. King’s life through service to others and by learning about his legacy.

Oak Knoll History Teacher Earns National Teaching Award

Oak Knoll history teacher John Petito recently earned the 2019 James McBride Teaching Award from the Jonathan D. Krist Foundation for guiding students through socially distanced learning by understanding the past history of pandemics.

Soccer Players Named Union County Conference All-Stars

Despite the uncertainty of a normal fall sports season, the Oak Knoll soccer team finished their season with gusto (6-8-1) with seven of their players recently named Union County Conference All-Stars. The teams were selected by the coaches from the Union County conference. Oak Knoll varsity forward Katherine Whelan ’21 was named to the All-Union […]

Field Hockey Post-Season Awards Announced

Oak Knoll’s field hockey team, ranked No. 1 in the country, continues to bring in the postseason accolades.

Oak Knoll Community Participates in 27th Annual NAIS People of Color and Student Diversity Leadership Conferences

Nine members of the Oak Knoll School community recently took part in the 2020 National Association of Independent Schools’s People of Color Conference – the flagship of the NAIS commitment to equity and justice in teaching, learning and organizational development. The mission of the virtual, four-day PoCC conference, from November 30 to December 4, 2020, […]

Oak Knoll Ushers in the Christmas Season by Serving Those Most in Need

This month, the Oak Knoll community is making Christmas spirits bright for neighboring children and families in need. For the past month, both the Lower and Upper schools have been busy dedicating time to organizing special Christmas service programs that are sure to bring a little extra holiday magic to others. In the Lower School, […]

Oak Knoll panel discussion tackles important conversation about disordered eating

Oak Knoll School’s Athletics Department moderated a virtual panel discussion on Monday evening where a panel of five experts discussed the definitions, signs, symptoms, and treatments for eating disorders and disordered eating. “There is an increased obsession among our culture lately with size, weight, diet and exercise,” said Dr. Melissa Maskery, Ed.D., Oak Knoll’s Assistant […]

Pilot Program Encourages Students to Become Leaders for Change

Ten OKS seniors and seven members of the junior class are fostering skills and gaining confidence to become effective leaders of today in a globalized world.

Field Hockey Team Clinches NJSIAA Central East E Championship

Oak Knoll’s Field Hockey team (NJ.com’s No. 1 seed) dominated the NJSIAA Central East E Championship last weekend, winning over long-time, local rival Kent Place (NJ.com’s no. 2 seed) in a 3-0 victory in Chatham. Despite a cancelled state group tournament and Tournament of Champions due to COVID-19, the Royals maintained an impressive winning streak […]

Oak Knoll junior earns first place in all-day Hackathon

Oak Knoll School junior Paula Sefia ’22 channeled her coding skills earlier this month and seized first place in Kent Place’s first-ever Hackathon, designed to inspire students, especially girls, to work collaboratively and improve their programming skills by building a functional product in one day. The focus of the Hackathon was to “hack” or develop […]

Oak Knoll School Community Gives Back During Thanksgiving Season

Giving back to those most in need occurs year round within the Oak Knoll School community and Thanksgiving is no exception. This Thanksgiving the Upper School collected donations and raised $500 for the Pierre Toussaint Food Pantry located in Newark, NJ – one of 20 MEND member food pantries within the (M)eeting (E)ssential (N)eeds With […]

Advantage Oak Knoll: Tennis Team Scoops NJSIAA Regional Championship

Oak Knoll’s tennis team recently defeated longstanding rival Kent Place in the girls’ NJSIAA Regional Tennis Championships (Central East Region Group E) seizing the title for the first time since 1999.

11 Oak Knoll seniors sign letters of intent to continue athletics in college

Eleven members of the Class of 2021 from Oak Knoll School of the Holy Child continued their commitment to athletic competition at the collegiate level by signing National Letters of Intent, or in the case of the Ivy League institutions, committed to the admissions process, on Wednesday, November 11, 2020. Athletics Director Kelly Childs complimented […]

HOPE Committee Raises $1K for Local Charities

Despite the rain last Friday, Oak Knoll Upper School students were upbeat, dressed comfortably and ready to serve the needs of the less fortunate. Last week, the Oak Knoll HOPE Committee (Helping Other People Everywhere) held its first HOPE week raising $ 1,173 for those in need by organizing a special day where students, faculty […]

Oak Knoll Alum, Instagram Data Scientist: ‘Female Voices Are Really Needed in the Engineering World Right Now’

Oak Knoll School of the Holy Child alumna Molly Duffy ’10 spoke about her experiences as a Data Scientist at the popular social media platform Instagram.

Oak Knoll’s 27th Annual Royal Boutique Goes Virtual

Oak Knoll School of the Holy Child has made the hustle and bustle of holiday shopping easier than ever before as the school brings their largest fundraising event online, in its first-ever, week-long Virtual Royal Boutique. Starting November 30 and running through December 5, 2020, Oak Knoll’s Virtual Royal Boutique, sponsored by the Oak Knoll […]

Oak Knoll Community Dedicates Annual Service Day to Helping Neighbors in Need

The Oak Knoll School halls were buzzing today, bringing to life the phrase of their school’s founder Cornelia Connelly, “Actions, not words,” on Thursday, October 21, 2020, continuing a nearly 20-year tradition of helping others, during their annual Service Day. This year, Oak Knoll School’s Good Samaritan Service Day focused on their neighbors in need […]

Field Hockey Team Supports Alum with Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma

The Oak Knoll field hockey team is rallying for a win against children’s cancer this fall, by raising funds for Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP). The Royals are participating in The Parkway Run & Walk: Virtual Edition, where teams are challenged to run 6,546 miles this fall in honor of the 6,546 CHOP oncology patients […]

Oak Knoll Soccer Teams Honor 9/11 Hero During Red Bandanna 5K Run

The Oak Knoll JV and Varsity soccer teams are running toward another goal this fall – this time to raise funds and awareness for The Welles Remy Crowther Charitable Trust during the Royals’ Red Bandanna 5K on Wednesday, October 21, 2020, during soccer practice.

58 Oak Knoll students recognized as AP Scholars

Twenty-five seniors at Oak Knoll School of the Holy Child earned AP Scholar and AP Scholar with Honor awards for their performance on Advanced Placement tests, the College Board has announced.

Senior Named Co-Chair of Overlook Junior Board

Oak Knoll senior and Berkeley Heights resident Isabella Henry ’21 was one of 16 area teenagers who helped raise $20,000 to aid health care workers battling the COVID-19 pandemic at Overlook Hospital. This year, Henry is returning to her volunteer position at the Overlook Foundation Junior Board as the 2020-21 co-chair.

Oak Knoll Junior Earns National Squash Scholar Award

Oak Knoll School junior and longtime squash enthusiast Alysa Ali ’22 of Watchung, recently earned the 2019-2020 US Squash Scholar Athlete Award from US Squash, the only national governing body and membership organization for the sport in the United States.

19 Faculty and Staff Honored During Mass of the Holy Spirit

Students, faculty and staff gathered at a distance in Grace Hall Chapel and via Zoom across campus, to officially greet the new school year during the school’s annual Mass of the Holy Spirit, on Tuesday, September 22, 2020. During the spiritual celebration, Father Larry Evans of St. Francis Assisi Parish in Ridgefield Park, NJ, rallied […]

Nurse Practitioner Does Her Part to Keep Public Healthy

The spark that led Jeanne Horsey ’90 – mother to McCormick Horsey ’20 and Sadie Horsey ’21 – into the health profession, first flickered while working as a volunteer EMT during high school. Even after college, where she earned her bachelor’s degree in nursing, the flame remained lit as Horsey continued her volunteer EMT work in Harding, NJ, to help those in need.

Seniors Named to Under Armour All-American Lacrosse Team

Two members of Oak Knoll’s Class of 2020 – Keelin Schlageter ’20 and Aine Maseker ’20 – were named to the 2020 Under Armour Senior All-American Lacrosse Team.

Oak Knoll Junior Raises $350K for Leukemia Society

Oak Knoll School junior Haley Meehan ’22, of Morristown, was part of a three-person team named NJ Students of the Year by the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.

Ready for Anything: Oak Knoll Unveils Full Day On-Campus, Remote Options for Fall

With so much uncertainty surrounding reopening schools in the fall, one thing is clear: Oak Knoll School of the Holy Child in Summit is ready for anything. After investing more than $600,000 in hygiene and facilities upgrades, Oak Knoll announced its full reopening plan for the 2020-21 academic school year nearly four months after Gov. […]

Junior Earns Hugh O’Brian Leadership Award

Aria Alva ’22 a rising Oak Knoll Junior from Summit, recently earned The Hugh O’Brian nationwide leadership award from the Hugh O’Brian Youth mission (HOBY) – a national organization that inspires and prepares future young leaders for a life dedicated to leadership, service and innovation. Alva is one of nearly 300 teenagers from around the […]

Born to Run: Junior’s Half Marathon Raises $9K for Children in Guatemala

Olivia O’Malley ’22 turned 16 this month, but instead of collecting the usual presents from family and friends, she asked them to help her raise money for those in need. O’Malley raised nearly $9,000, ran and organized a half marathon – all to benefit School the World, a nonprofit that fights extreme poverty by bringing education to the world’s poorest children.

NYC Epidemiologist Battles COVID-19

Dr. Krystina Padkowsky Woods ’98 — an infectious disease physician, hospital epidemiologist, and medical director for Infection Prevention at Mount Sinai West — spent years learning how to treat infections like sepsis, malaria, hepatitis and HIV. But when the newest infectious disease and respiratory pathogen – COVID-19 – slammed her hospital in New York City this spring, it caught most in the medical field by surprise.

Oak Knoll Announces Virtual, Outdoor Day Camps for Summer 2020

Those lazy, hazy days of summer are looking a bit different this time of year for many New Jersey area children. School is almost out for the summer, but due to COVID-19, many area day camps have closed due to health and state-wide restrictions. Oak Knoll School, however, has implemented a variety of online day […]

Oak Knoll Upper School Dean to Retire After 30 Years

Growing up, Joan Paster remembers playing school with her two younger sisters where she naturally gravitated toward playing the role of teacher. It was during those carefree days of make-believe that Paster’s love for the classroom was born and then further cemented in graduate school at Vanderbilt University. While in pursuit of her master’s degree in history, Paster became a teaching assistant — thus changing the trajectory of her career. There, Paster realized she was happiest spending her days interacting with students in the classroom. Now, after a dedicated career as an educator, 30 years of which were spent at Oak Knoll School, Paster will retire after the 2019-20 school year.

Upper School Celebrates Students for Academic, Artistic, Athletic Honors

The final day of Oak Knoll’s unprecedented virtual spring semester due to COVID-19, concluded June 5, 2020, via a live YouTube video recognizing dozens of students at the annual Upper School Awards Ceremony. Students were celebrated for achievement in academics, the performing and creative arts, athletics and more. Addressing fellow students, parents, faculty, staff and […]

Oak Knoll Celebrates Creative, Performing Arts During Arts Recognition Ceremony

More than 30 students were recognized for leadership, outstanding achievement and dedication to the performing and creative arts at Oak Knoll through the 27th annual Arts Recognition Ceremony.

Pediatric Intensive Care Physician Treats Inflammatory Syndromes In Children

At 34 weeks pregnant with her third child, Dr. Susan Schmidt Gomes ’01 felt guilty when she wasn’t able to help treat COVID-19 patients in New York City. Before becoming a pediatric intensive care physician at St. Christopher’s Hospital in Philadelphia, Gomes spent years in medical school learning how to treat ARDS — Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome – one of the main complications associated with COVID-19.

Senior Capstone Projects Steer Safely Around COVID-19

Many members of the Oak Knoll School Class of 2020 were getting ready to trade the classroom for the real world this month, but COVID-19 had other plans.

Sprinkled With Love: Oak Knoll Baking Club Treats Overlook Health Care Workers

Jodie De Jesus ’21 and Nora Quinn ’21 have each seen first-hand how much time and compassion that health care workers dedicate to their patients. So, with COVID-19 still prevalent in area hospitals, the classmates didn’t hesitate to mobilize their own way of giving back.

With A Little Engineering, Oak Knoll Students Build Solar Vehicles Remotely

Cynthea Traverso’s Honors Engineering class was looking forward to designing, building and testing the strength of balsa wood bridges in class in March, but COVID-19 had other plans.

16 Seniors Inducted into Foreign Language Honors Society

Sixteen members of the Class of 2020 were inducted into the Foreign Language Honor Society on Tuesday, April 28, 2020, in recognition of their dedication and achievements while studying French, Latin and Spanish all four years while at Oak Knoll School of the Holy Child.

Oak Knoll School Celebrates Mental Health Week

It was planned well before the spread of COVID-19, but now, more important than ever. From April 21-24, 2020, the Oak Knoll School community celebrated Mental Health Awareness Week in a virtual, campus-wide effort to support various aspects of well-being.

Spring Athletes Run Virtual Races, Stay Active During COVID-19

Since Oak Knoll turned to remote learning in March due to the COVID-19 pandemic, student-athletes on campus – and throughout much of the country – continue to lament the loss of their spring seasons. Now, nearly a month after Oak Knoll spring athletes last gathered on the field together, one team has found a way […]

13 students inducted virtually into Oak Knoll Chapter of Cum Laude Society

In an unprecedented online ceremony, six seniors and six juniors were recognized for their academic excellence by being inducted into Oak Knoll School of the Holy Child’s chapter of the Cum Laude Society on Friday, April 17, 2020.

Stories from the Frontline: Helping Patients Regain Independence One Step At a Time

Laura Steenberg ’05 was always the Oak Knoll classmate that others could count on. She tended to scraped knees, helped when classmates needed to go to the nurse’s office and lent a listening ear, always with a smile on her face.

Oak Knoll Offers Relief to Families in Financial Distress

In response to the financial impact COVID-19 has had across the globe, Oak Knoll School of the Holy Child on Saturday announced the establishment of an Emergency Fund for families who are in financial distress.

Stories from the Frontline: Nursing Patients Inside NYC ICU Unit

Olivia Gasser ’14 is thankful for her college internship while at Georgetown University where for one summer, she worked with adult patients in the ICU unit at Sloan Kettering Memorial Hospital in New York City. Gasser, a pediatric ICU nurse now at New York Presbyterian Weill Cornell in NYC, was told last week that her unit, which treats pediatric ICU patients, was converting into a full adult ICU unit to treat those with COVID-19. Gasser is now one of the nurses on the frontlines treating adult COVID-19 patients 3 days a week.

Balance is Key to Oak Knoll School’s Distance Learning Plan

As the global COVID-19 pandemic swiftly began to infiltrate our region in early March, Oak Knoll School, like others around the state, turned to an emergency distance learning model for the first time in the school’s 95-year history.

Oak Knoll, Parents Mobilize to Support COVID-19 Frontline Heroes

New Jersey’s social distancing orders are keeping all groups at home these days, but that hasn’t stopped Oak Knoll School of the Holy Child from pitching in to help those fighting COVID-19 on the frontlines.

Stories from the Frontline: New Nurse Navigates a COVID-19 World

Kate Treanor ’14 was halfway through her first undergraduate degree as an English Literature major at Holy Cross College when her father became sick and hospitalized from a rare form of pneumonia. After witnessing the life-saving care the medical team and nurses from Brigham and Woman’s Hospital in Boston performed, Treanor changed career paths to become a nurse.

Stories from the Frontline: Local Family-Owned Grocery Chain Feeds Frontline Heroes

When Ali Sumas Good ’95, Oak Knoll’s varsity field hockey coach, and her family heard rumblings about a widespread virus beginning to wreak havoc in New Jersey, they immediately sprang into action.

Stories from the Frontline: Delivering New Life Under Dire Circumstances

Ghislaine Smith ’08, a third year OB/GYN resident at Saint Barnabas Hospital, said that as the coronavirus continues to spread throughout the country, New Jersey is running out of essential supplies and ventilators.

Lacrosse Team Virtually Supports Player with Spinal Injury

High school sports around the state and country may have come to a halt because of COVID-19, but the Oak Knoll lacrosse team is still busy at work preparing for a win unlike any other. For the second year in a row, the lacrosse team is partnering with the Casey Powell World Lacrosse Foundation (CPWLF), […]

Stories from the Frontline: The Mental Health Aspect of a Global Pandemic

Oak Knoll alumna Alicia Romeo ’90, M.D., a psychiatrist with the Atrium Health Levine Cancer Institute in Charlotte, North Carolina, isn’t a novice when it comes to helping patients cope with stress and anxiety. As a former Yale School of Medicine faculty member who worked with patients in the aftermath of the Sandy Hook Shooting in 2012, Romeo is experienced in helping people exposed to trauma.

Pandemic Relief: Alum Starts Summit Effort to Support Frontline Hospital Staff

As the COVID-19 pandemic shut down schools for her children, Katie Curran Darcy ’92 sprang into action, searching for ways to help those around her.

Olivia Gaston ’20 Earns Princeton Prize in Race Relations

Oak Knoll senior Olivia Gaston ’20, of Morristown, recently earned a Certificate of Achievement by the Northern New Jersey Committee of the Princeton Prize in Race Relations for her efforts to advance racial equity. One of seven recipients in the state to earn the certificate, Ms. Gaston was chosen from a competitive poo