The 2010- 2011 school year marks our 95th anniversary of educating saints and leaders. To commemorate, we asked alumni, teachers, students and parents to reflect on their St. Robert experience. Your responses were tremendous – thank you! Many of your comments can be found in the latest issue of Blueprint, our school newsletter, but we were unable to print all of your memories due to space constraints. Please enjoy the following unedited list.
St. Robert represents tradition. My father and his siblings were graduates as well as my siblings and most of my cousins. Mass was an integral part of our life. I can easily call up an image of both the church and school interiors. When I visit, it's as if I'm coming home.
Nancy Dean Bassindale '69
I am a graduate of St. Robert in 1946 (we lived up the street on Maryland Ave.). Much of it was, of course, WWII. I remember learning to knit little squares, maybe six inches on a side, which we delivered to the teacher and were subsequently, we'd like to think, put together into blankets which helped the war effort. How simple our concrete playground was (parking for church on Sunday) compared to the tennis courts and ball fields of Atwater across the street. Until we retired and moved to NC last June we lived at Lake Jovita Country Club just outside of Tampa, Florida. It brought back memories of my 3rd or 4th grade teacher, Sr. Mary Jovita. Saint Jovita and his brother Faustinus were second century martyrs. Saint Robert was not only the spiritual but social (Holy Name Society, bowling league, etc) for my family. Many of us went onto Marquette High and University together.
Dr. Thomas J. Krizek ‘46
This is more a memory than "love": Our Pastor Msgr. Reilly walking the halls smoking a cigar.
Sister Susan Staff, SDS
The Dominican Nuns were super...and the few lay teachers there were very good as well. Recess time on the big playground was always fun, and during WWII we had our newspaper drive there as well. I also remember being an altar boy at St. Robert's. (We got better training then than seems to be the case nowadays.)
Joe F. Seng
St. Robert School: A School for Life!
Simonetta Milli Konewko
I recall with fondness participating in the school choir--singing from the choir loft on Christmas and the special concerts we performed for our parents.
Mary Klett Johnson ‘62
I remember the extra help I got from my teachers due to my vision difficulties, no small feat in classrooms of 35-40 students. It amazes me to this day how one teacher could keep such a large class in order and successfully teach them.
The first thing that comes to mind is very loving and caring people.
In this increasingly secular society, St Robert is unabashedly faith infused!
Love the community--always there in good times and bad. Once you belong, you're always a part of it and it of you.
Lived on Farwell Ave, 4452. Always remember the adventures walking back and forth to school. In eighth grade we ran home at noon to eat and watch what we could of the at the time hot game show "Concentration".
Tom Ladky '61
The overwhelming feeling of community and family at the school is simply amazing! We cannot imagine our child attending another school.
St. Roberts gave me an exceptional foundation; enduring values, genuine faith community and a commitment to academic excellence I've been able to apply throughout my life. I am a grateful alumnus!
My favorite thing about St. Robert were/are the people. St. Robert School and Parish carries the true feeling of community. I am still friends with a number of my St. Robert classmates that I graduated with almost 15 years ago.
Tracy Janowiak Leffler
The opportunity to give my children and grandchildren a grounding in their Catholic faith along with a good education in the basics.
God is always busy blessing his children and I thank Him for blessing my child with St. Robert School.
St. Robert School is always ready to help a student, family, or friend whenever a challenging situation presents itself.
I love the energy/vibrancy I feel when I walk through the doors.
The outstanding preparation by the Sinsinawa Dominican nuns for 8 years contributed to future high school and college achievement and a career as a teacher. I appreciate that such a solid academic base was provided as well as that a lifelong love for learning was instilled in us as students at St. Robert School.
Grace Ellen Ehr ‘55
Friends made throughout my eight years there are still some of the best friends (living and deceased) I have to this day.
I loved St. Robert because the teachers were very caring. I also feel that my academic career benefited greatly from the teachers' expertise in the areas that they were teaching. I don't feel that I would have come as far as I have without the education I received at St. Robert.
Sarah Lemanczyk Weber ‘97
For me, the first thing that comes to mind were sports. I was a new kid in 7th grade and I joined the basketball team and loved it. The teams were pretty good, we bonded and had a ball (obnoxious pun intended) as players, and the volunteer coaches were dedicated and wonderful. But that's three sentences. I made most of my friends through St. Robert basketball and played on fun, talented teams that taught me the values of hard work, competitiveness and teamwork.
James Carlton ‘02
Unabashadly Catholic school with unbelievably dedicated teachers and principal!
I loved the Christmas productions! There was always so much excitement and Christmas spirit in the air. The music was beautiful, and the students looked so angelic.
Sincere extended family and friends!
I loved the May Queen and the wonderful all-school precessions thru the church - singing the stabat mater in Lent. the school lunches, Mrs. Laus, learning to diagram sentences and spelling. i loved the playground and the games we would play, from double dutch to capture the flag. The girls' basketball, cooking and sewing at Shorewood High School. We had the most fun girls and boys in the world. It was a marvelous community and a magical time of learning, praying, laughing and growing up. Many years later my son had much the same experience at St. Robert's except for the diagramming of sentences.
Big all-school St. Patrick's Day program in 3rd grade, probably March 1950! I did the jig and will never forget seeing my grandfather, born in Ireland, with tears in his eyes. I still remember all the songs, too, including "All Praise to St. Patrick."
Joan Maas ‘55
The sisters at St. Roberts gave me a good education in my Catholic Faith. Somehow, they also instilled in me a good understanding of the other subjects as well. But how they were able to keep discipline in those large classes is still a mystery to me. But somehow they did it, maybe with much help from above. May God bless them now and forever.
John Alcott ‘58
What I loved about St Robert's is the friends I made there-I am still in touch with many of them almost 40 years after we graduated. I also got an excellent education there.
Ann Peterson Best ‘71
Friends and friendships that last forever.
Mary Wohlrabe Domer ‘62
I remember how the magnificent Dominican sisters would scold us whenever they found out someone was being bullied or rejected by fellow students. I specifically remember some comments about how Jesus would not like it and if He loves them we should too.
St. Robert School has prepared my children both intellectually and spiritually for their future lives.
The late Sister Justine. What a great Nun and teacher.
Learning the Christmas Gospel in first grade as a present for our parents - with special attention to learning how to pronounce the letter "R" - recorded for future playback by my dad.
Music class with Mrs. Laus and Sr. Arturo, 4th Grade with Mrs. Mulligan, the 8th Grade music variety show, Collecting money for the pagan babies.
Susie Haugh Scholz ‘64
The best part of SRS was the genuine caring attitude of the SSND teachers toward the students, including myself, for my years there: K6-8.
Peter W. Pick
I loved some of the great teachers like 8th Grade Sister Alice, 7th Grade Mrs Miller, 5th Grade Miss Behling (now Mrs Schmidt...i was the alter boy at her wedding and later had her husband as a teacher at MUHS). Also, the great friendships i had there....most all i am still in contact with today ...thanks to Facebook.
Tom Gardner ‘74
I remember liking the marble statue that was outside of the doorways to the school. I don't know if it is still there. I can't say I "loved" anything about the school itself. I did get a sense of caring from some of my younger grade teachers, mostly nuns and one lay teacher. I had Miss Miley for third grade, that was rough. I really enjoyed the church festivals that continue to this day. I haven't been to one in over thirty years.
Betty Lynch ‘72
Lot's of colorful characters, big families, fun, safe
Melissa A. Gardner ‘70
The Dominicans of course! The nuns were great.
I recall how BIG our classes – 2 sections of 8th grade – 45 pupils in each! Sr. Carlotta – 8th grade CANTATA “Evangeline” – only students who lived further than 8 blocks could stay for lunch! We all walked home and back.
Meg Grignon Tormey ‘45
My love for St. Roberts school & staff is unconditional because unconditional love is what they display to my child!
What I loved about Saint Robert's School and Parish is the Family gatherings. My parents were alumni as children growing up in the Parish, they even sponsored one of the St. Robert's Fair-Spirit of '76-Lois and William Kohlmetz. My parents were so proud of this title and honor to Chair the Fair that year. They also participated in the St. Robert's Follies-1960's-1980's-my mother loved the Variety Show and Skits. She also belonged to the St. Robert's Choir 1970's-to her passing in 1993. I also, loved St. Robert's Parish, the Nuns and Priests were great at Trick or Treat with goodies for the neighbor kids. You really felt like family, not just at home, but family in the whole St. Robert's Community. If you were sad, someone listened to you, if you were happy it was pleasure to share in the joy. Well, those are my joys of St. Robert's Parish to me. I have other personal joys that I'll keep tucked away in my heart.
Jane Kohlmetz Roseberry ‘77
We loved that the teachers were so kind and caring!
Sheila & Bob O'Keef
Msgr Reilly, learning Latin to be an altar boy, the new parking lot on the east, maturity was walking to and from Shorewood High for woodworking/electrical/drafting/home ec classes in seventh grade, Friday night football at Shorewood High, and the safety and serenity of the fifties.
Larry Branch ‘58
In addition to their Catholic background, our children received a fine education in English language--grammar, spelling, punctuation, etc.--and a love of reading that I especially appreciate. They love reading to this day.
Mary Anne Gross
My classmates; stations of the cross/smell of incense; church bells on Christmas Eve; Fr. Mehan; May pole; jump rope and red rover on the playground; Serosiak's raspberry bush in bloom; playing with Deenie Desmond; crisp fresh smell of nuns habits; Hayek's pharmacy
Sally Doyle Tombers
Excellent academic preparation and solid faith formation. Great teachers.
Doug Leonhardt, S.J '52
I loved the warm, nurturing teachers and my awesome class that really felt more like a team.
Sonia Kubica ‘90
The fact I spent 10 years of my education with about the same 25 people.
Colleen Hawks Holland ‘98
I loved the nuns especially Sister Roberta (6th grade) . She was a very special teacher and if I spoke to her today, I'd say, thank you Sister Roberta for helping me get ready for my life.
I loved our classmates and in hindsight the co-ed classes since the remainder of my schooling (4ys MUHS, 7 yrs at U. Notre Dame, BSEE, JD) were all boys/men only. The physical structure of the Church was as imposing and beautiful at our 50th reunion as I remember it from grade school. I loved being able to walk to and from school, 1 1/2 blocks north on Farwell.
Tim Malloy ‘58
A loving and caring family and community.
What I loved about St Roberts - the friends I made, cheerleading at the football and basketball games, singing in the church choir, Girl Scouts, and seeing some old friends at my high school reunion last summer.
Gretchen Bains Anderson ‘60
It was a thrill to have sports rivalries with such schools as St. Monica, Saints Peter and Paul and Shorewood. Playing Shorewood under the lights in football was a big thrill and we'd usually have more than 1,000 people at the game.
Bob Berghaus ‘68
Miss Miley in 3rd grade, 1965.
Therese Hanus ‘70
People are ready at the drop of a hat to help you or your children with anything. They give and give some more!
Molly Foy Gallagher
The right choice.
The multigenerational families who continue the tradition of sending their children to St.Robert.
We love that WE made good friends along with our kids!
My children are loved.
Playing the role of shepherds with my friend Bob in the Christmas play, probably in about 1949. Watching for the Red, White and Blue St. Robert school bus coming down Oakland Avenue., and once on, avoiding the seat that had a spring poking up through the vinyl.
A nurturing learning community
Community --- A wonderful community where the spirit of Jesus thrives, students are lovingly taught in the school, and enduring friendships flourish because we love and care for each other.
Mary Gardner Demet
St Robert is more than a school...its our home away from home.
St. Robert keeps tradition alive. Prayer, pledge of allegiance are examples.
I love the St. Robert community that reaches out, supports, and cares for its families in time of need.
What I love about St. Robert School is that my son wakes up each day excited to go to school.
I love that my family has our third generation of O'Keefs attending St. Robert and that the school continues to provide an excellent catholic education for all of us.
Kelly O’Keef ‘98
...the students and teachers have a thirst fro knowledge and accept that there can be more than one right answer!
-The positive "Can Do" attitude that is found in all areas of the school
-The open-minded approach to learning.
Any number of warm memories of the school....but among the best....at the end of the school day, perched on a stool at Max's drugstore across the street...sipping a cherry coke with friends. It might have cost a nickel, but I think it cost a dime.
Songs during school Masses (that are continually sung at home, too!).
I love the people! Kids, staff, and parents. Especially the principal. I really feel like everyone is apart of my extended my family!
What a Catholic School should be.
Family, Family Family!
Sara Collopy Alderson ‘55
A caring and loving environment and staff!!
I loved he Sinsinawa Dominicans - they set the tone and kept us on our toes!
Margaret Mathews Sankovitz '47
We are grandparents and don't have a lot of history with St. Robert but we are so impressed with the alumni we have met. They are such good people and support St. Robert so proudly and wholeheartedly.
Rod and Marian Schlise
St. Robert School is more than just my job or profession…..it’s my heart and soul.
Keeping quiet at 5:00 p.m. while on the playground....the nuns were praying!
John Conway ‘58
When I think about what I loved about St Robert's, the first thing that comes to mind were the St Patrick's Day celebrations with Monsignor Reilly. I can sing those songs today.
Barbara Davis McGill ‘57
The dedicated teachers that teach so much more than the three r's.
Dave and Lila Hillman
I was in the 5th Grade , I think , and I think Sister Gracita was my teacher . The assignment was to memorize the 40 or 50 prepositions and something happened to my brain that day because I can still say them today. I don't seem to be able to erase them all these years. What a marvelous part of our body the brain is!!! Every once in awhile my family "tests" me and they are all back in alphabetical order just like I learned them back in 1935. I have a nice picture of Sister M. Jeannette outside with our class. I think she was giving us a recess break or something. A happy memory of St. Robert Church was my wedding day August 21, 1948. Father Reilly was at the lunch at the Pfister Hotel afterwards. In my wedding book one can only see Father's back because the photographer wanted to get my husband and myself in the picture- too bad. Father Mehan married us. Sister Verena (I think) was the Principal of the School then. I remember the Church in the school, the organ on a raised flooring at the left when one came into Church. I liked to ride my bike to daily Mass occasionally.
Alice Kuehl Dernbach
Mrs. Richard Mathews, my 5th grade teacher (Grandmother of Molly Mathews who taught my son, John) & several of the Sinsinawa Dominicans - Sister Andrew, in particular, comes to mind as she encouraged my writing skills, and Sister Noel for introducing me to Camp Wee-Haw-Kee where I went for several summers with my best friend, Roseanne Harley.
Elly Pick '63
Education through community, faith and leadership
What I love about St. Robert School is they always have a fun, friendly and competitive rivalry with Holy Family in sports.
Great lifelong friendships, We received an excellent education and of course, memories of the best teacher ever --Miss Miley.
Betty Wick Kasdorf ‘56
I was in sixth grade when my family moved into the parish, right next to the school at 4040 Maryland. The Dominican Sisters were often out, walking together on the playground and pausing to chat with my parents. They seemed more like family than did some of my Aunts.
Dick Rice '55
Kindness and caring are pervasive
Monsignor Riley –hanging around and talking to us and coming to our classrooms. Sister Aquine and Sister Herbert. They put up with us as adolescents. Also Miss Miley who was an institution in the 3rd grade!
I was in the Class of '49 and my fondest memory was going to school with some pretty wonderful students and staying in touch with them until now. The Pastor and his 3 Assistants left quite an impression on me to the extent that Fr Graves talked 5 of us into going to St Francis Seminary for high school. The others left after the first year, but I stayed on for all 6 yrs and then went into the Dominican Order for 4 more years until I left. Never regretted the stay there. I ended up with a great education and finally a Ph.D and had a good life, a great wife and family.
An incredibly loving and protective community of faith.
Nora Mace Lewis
St. Roberts school has given our children a excellent start on a faith-filled education, and friends for life.
Dan and Mary Devine
St. Robert is the second family for my kids.
The Spring Production - especially the year we wore our dyed tan long underwear (to be dressed as lions), singing "I Just Can't Wait to be King" from The Lion King.
I think of St. Robert as my family.
I love how genuinely happy Avery is when she gets in the car after school each day; it is so obvious to me that her mind and her spirit are equally nurtured.
I loved the friends I made, playing ball on the blacktop and serving Mass in the Church.
Paul McCulla ‘72
I remember marching off to church every morning at 8:00 AM (I think) where Bob Hitchcock would make me laugh and of course I'd be in trouble. I love thinking about yelling my sins to Monsignor Riley, who was nearly deaf. All good memories. I bet the kids don't play tackle pom in the snow.
Tom Harrigan ‘59
I love the people of St. Robert's school: teachers, parents, students.
I love working with such a dedicated, hardworking, warm-hearted staff. We have a little jewel of a school here!
Wonderful "specials" classes (music,art,foreign language,band,gym). A good mix to round out an already creative student.
The principal is in sync with the educational needs of children now to ensure they have the skills for future employment.
As new resident to this area, we have experienced firsthand the warm approach to new families and the servant leadership approach that the St. Robert's Parish families have extended to us. It makes us want to attend the functions and volunteer to be with family and friends!
I still have lots of friends from my St. Robert's days and I am 63.
This would have been in the late 1940s: walking through new-fallen snow in the first light of winter mornings to serve as an altar boy at early mass. I recall the good feeling of having a proper job to do, of beginning to have one's own little place in the big picture.
Barry Gault '52
MY FRIENDS: Mary McBride, Jane Ewens, Billie Lambert, Maureen Duffy, Cindy Code, Deenie Desmond, Mary Sue McGovern, Georgia McCloskey, Katie Krizek, Mary Behling, Kathy Hansen, Mike Lemont, Ken Sorgi, Larry Branch -- and they still are TO THIS DAY!!!
Anne Catalane '58
Two quick things I loved about St. Bob's - my friends and our teachers who were mostly nuns, except for Miss Miley. I have been spending Thanksgiving in California with Judy McCotter Laub (friend since first grade) for the last 15 years!
Sue Ewens ‘50
First thought that came to mind were the teachers. That first day of school back in '96.
A caring place to educate children.