February 05, 2022
Students Recognized for Kindness
Four Holy Angels students who demonstrate exemplary care and compassion have earned the Academy’s Sister Catherine Green Kindness Award. Myra Bocage, Sydney Ponti, Alexandra Valdez, and Sophia Karamanoukian were honored during the celebration of Catholic Schools Week (January 31 – February 4).
Each Angel was recognized for continuing the inspirational kindness for which S. Catherine Green, SSND, was known. S. Catherine, a beloved member of the AHA Religious Studies Department from 1982-2014, was an attentive listener with a ready smile and a nurturing spirit.
Myra Bocage (AHA ’22) carries on S. Catherine’s legacy by being “compassionate, genuine, and an all-around great person.” A friend said this Chestnut Ridge, New York, resident is friendly and welcoming to all.
“(She is) humble, honest, and cares for everyone. She is always willing to talk or listen with an open mind and an open heart,” one person said.
Another friend said Bocage “provides me with guidance when needed and goes out of her way to say hi to me when she sees me in the hallway.”
Sydney Ponti (AHA ’23) of Secaucus received her award for being friendly, respectful, genuine, and thoughtful. Those who nominated Ponti said she takes time to greet others, and makes an effort to include people in conversations.
“Her compassionate personality makes a difference in our community,” one friend shared. Another person said, “She goes out of her way to make others feeling included and is friendly with everyone she meets.”
“(Her) kind heart and warm smile are only a few reasons why she is so deserving of this award,” one person said of Ponti.
Alexandra “Allie” Valdez (AHA ’24) of Oakland was honored for being a consistent model of kindness and compassion.
One person appreciates Valdez’s ability to make her laugh. A classmate wrote that Valdez is “supportive, caring, friendly, and inclusive…She inspires kindness among our class through her caring nature and personality.” Another friend wrote that she “brings positivity to our school and is an amazing teammate.”
Sophia Karamanoukian (AHA ’25) of Englewood Cliffs earned the Kindness Award for her warm, caring attitude. This honoree is known for being patient, sweet, and helpful. Friends say she makes everyone around her happy.
“(She) is always there to lend a helping hand, whether or not she is busy,” a friend shared. “She is always so kind to me and always helps me when I need it.”
Founded by the School Sisters of Notre Dame in 1879, the Academy of the Holy Angels is the oldest private girls’ school in Bergen County. While AHA is steeped in Catholic tradition, this prestigious school serves young women from a broad spectrum of cultural and religious backgrounds. Over time, thousands of women have passed through AHA’s portals. Many go on to study at some of the nation’s best universities, earning high-ranking positions in medicine, government, law, education, public service, business, arts, and athletics. The Academy’s current leaders continue to further the SSND mission to provide each student with the tools she needs to reach the fullness of her potential—spiritually, intellectually, socially, and physically, by offering a first-rate education in a nurturing environment where equal importance is placed on academic excellence, character development, moral integrity, and service to others.