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Sacred Heart alumni LeighAnn D'Andrea receives Air Force Second Lieutenant bars

LeighAnn D'Andrea recalls her Speech & Debate Coach at Sacred Heart as being a profound influence on her life.

KINGSTON, Mass. - May 15, 2017 - Amzeal -- When Sacred Heart alumni LeighAnn D'Andrea received her Air Force Second Lieutenant bars at UMass this past week, it was her former Speech and Debate Coach Daniel Sapir who pinned them on her.

D'Andrea was commissioned into the United States Air Force as a 2nd Lieutenant on May 12, the same day she graduated from the University of Massachusetts with a Bachelor's Degree in Civil and Environmental Engineering. She will delay her entry into the Air Force until 2019, giving her time to complete her Masters' Degree program of studies, which will be in the field of environmental and water resource engineering. She will then join the United States Air Force as a Civil Engineer and will serve for six years.

She attributes a lot of her success and career path to her time at Sacred Heart School in Kingston where D'Andrea, a Plymouth resident, graduated in 2013.

"I joined the Speech and Debate team when I was in the eighth grade," she recalls, saying, "I was very shy and didn't really want to join. But a lot of my friends did join and Dan really encouraged me to join." She said, "He was a great influence on me. He pushed me to take those extra steps, beyond just the Speech & Debate competitions within the department. I entered competitions with the Lions Club, for example, and the VFW. I might not have explored those paths had Dan not encouraged me so strongly."

She was, additionally, a Massachusetts State Champion of the Veterans of Foreign Wars-sponsored Voice of Democracy Speech Contest. Students compete in the Voice of Democracy contest by writing and recording a broadcast script on an annual patriotic theme. Her theme was is "Is There Pride in Serving in Our Military?" Local radio station WATD produced the recording for D'Andrea. Her grandfather and mother both served in the Navy.

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"When I look back on my time at Sacred Heart, I remember the science fairs which encouraged me to go into science, and the training I had in Speech & Debate which taught me the communication skills that pointed me in this direction. With all of the encouragement I had from Coach Sapir, I had to ask him to be the one to pin on my bars."

Coach Sapir said, "LeighAnn was such an extraordinary student, and someone who we are all so very proud of. What an honor it is for me to be able to participate in this next milestone in her life. She is a wonderful person and a friend to all who know her. We are so pleased for her."

Sister Myra Rodgers, President of Sacred Heart School, said, "We congratulate LeighAnn on yet another success in her life. She sets a strong example for all of us and we wish her the very best. We also are pleased to see that our Speech and Debate program has made such an impact on LeighAnn."

About Sacred Heart School

Sacred Heart School is a private, co-educational Catholic school system, providing educational opportunities for students from preschool through grade 12 in 35 communities throughout southeastern Massachusetts and Cape Cod.  As a sponsored ministry of the Sisters of Divine Providence, Sacred Heart School strives to inspire minds, define character and encourage responsible leadership through a curriculum that prepares students to pursue knowledge throughout their lives.

Situated on 100 acres with a present enrollment of 725 students, the Sacred Heart campus encompasses an Early Education Center, Elementary School and High School. The school offers a strong liberal arts curriculum and cutting-edge technology programs in combination with extensive athletic, arts and extra-curricular activities to ensure students a well-rounded education.

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Founded in 1947, the school has seen many changes since its inception, including the recent construction of a $2 million Science and Innovation Center, upgrades to the Observatory, the addition of a large organic garden, a new robotics program at the kindergarten level and a full complement of beautiful athletic fields and facilities.

The campus is in use throughout the year as the site of several vibrant summer programs, including SHIELD (Sacred Heart Interdisciplinary Education Leadership Development), the school's proprietary summer enrichment program and Camp Morningstar, a long-standing recreational camp with sailing, swimming, sports, games and field trips.

Sacred Heart is proud of its near 100% college acceptance rate and pleased to offer its students opportunities to participate in internship programs with regional financial and technological firms.

Sacred Heart is led by President Sister Myra Rodgers, CDP, who holds Masters degrees in Theology and Music.  Both High School Principal Michael Gill and Early Childhood Center and Elementary School Principal Kim Stoloski hold doctorates in Education.

Sacred Heart School welcomes students of all faiths and diverse backgrounds. The school prides itself in a commitment to developing the whole student, offering an independent school atmosphere and top-tier academics. The Sacred Heart campus is located at 251-399 Bishops Highway, Kingston, MA 02364. For additional information about the school, please visit www.sacredheartkingston.com or call 781-585-7511.

Photo: Sacred Heart Speech & Debate Coach Dan Sapir (left), is shown with Sacred Heart alumni LeighAnn D'Andrea of Plymouth, at the University of Massachusetts Amherst graduation where she also received her second lieutenant bars.

Jim Farrell

Source: Sacred Heart School
Tags: Education

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