As a graduate of Good Shepherd School, a parochial grammar school located in the Inwood neighborhood of northern Manhattan, i am most appreciative of the excellent and supportive education that I received there 50+ years ago. That foundation allowed me to gain entrance into a private preparatory high school and then into a local college, which provided me with the base for a successful business career in public accounting, corporate finance and consulting. With that background I was able to support my family and provide my children with an even superior education to that which I received.
As did many children of the 40's, 50's and several later decades, I greatly benefitted from the sacrifices of the nuns and brothers who guided us along that path at minimal financial cost to our parents. Parents of today do not have that luxury, as the days of free private, parochial education are over. Good Shepherd School offers the parents of Inwood an alternative to costly private schools, ineffective public schools and the uncertainty of charter schools, but the school must charge a moderate tuition, which unfortunately does not cover the operating cost to educate their children.
As a result, the Archdiocese of New York, has been closing schools regularly over the past several years, thereby closing this avenue to success to many families. Three years ago, Good Shepherd School was threatened with this closure. Under the urging a fellow alumnus, three of us alumni joined together to appeal this closure. We developed a 5 year strategic and financial plan, which ultimately convinced the Archdiocese to not close the school. That plan is now 30 months (halfway) into its implementation phase and during that period, we formed a 501(c)(3), raised over $1,000,000 from more than 600 dedicated alumni and friends, which has mainly gone into faculty, curriculum and capital improvements, as well as scholarships. In the meantime by staying open, Good Shepherd School has been able to attract almost 200 new students, thereby more than doubling its enrollment in 24 months.
A lot more remains to be done, but we are confident that with the support of people like ourselves who value the alternative of a focused, disciplined and supportive education experience and who are grateful for the one that they received through the sacrifices of others, we will realize our goals in the remaining 30 months!