Prom Night At Bishop Maginn High School

Jon with his copy of the Year book and some of the graduating class at Bishop Maginn’s prom

Sweet is the word that comes to mind when I think about Friday night at Bishop Maginn’s Prom.

A month before Sue asked me to make sure that Jon would be there.  I didn’t know what they were doing but did know there would be a special thanks to him and the Army of Good for all the help they’ve given the school.

And then when Sue announced that Zinnia would be the prom queen there really was no choice but to be there.

Sue Silverstein with Zinnia wearing her crown. Sue got the Albany News to come.  You can see the piece they did here. 

Because of covid restrictions, the banquet was held outside.  A big tent was set up in front of the school in Albany.  There were tables with favors at each setting.  Some of the families made the food.  There were chicken empanadas and sweet plantains, enchiladas, barbeque meatballs, and macaroni and cheese.

There was dancing in the gym.

That’s Issachar and I don’t know his dance partner’s name.  The gym was mostly empty when Jon and I were there, but every once in a while a couple would get on the floor and dance. Jon and I did too.

Jon and the Army of Good raised much of the money to make this prom happen.  They also raised so much of the money that kept the school going during the pandemic.

And it didn’t go unnoticed.

Although Zinnia was in the spotlight, the appreciation from the teachers and the students to the work that Jon, and the Army of Good did was an important part of the evening.  Sue presented Jon with a yearbook, signed by students and teachers.  On the first pages were a dedication to both Sue and Jon and the Army of Good.

But the evening was special beyond all of this.

It was the feeling that surrounded the small school and its students.  It’s in the way the students interact with each other and the teachers.  There’s respect and appreciation for each other and their differences. There is a sense of all being welcome and the kindness was visceral.

Sue will once again have a summer art class at the school so the kids have a place to go if they need.  One of the things they’ll be doing is make a quilt, which I hope to help her with.  And Jon is going to teach a blogging class.

I still get choked up when I think of  Friday evening and how sweet it was. I’ve never experienced a school like Bishop Maginn. My whole life I’ve heard horror stories about Catholic schools from the kids who went to them.  I’m sure there are good ones, but, being raised Catholic, I never imagined I’d be associated with one.

If I’d held on to my prejudices about Catholic Schools, I would have missed out on knowing the very special teachers and students who make this school possible.

Jon and Sue with Zinnia

The dedication to Jon and the Army of Good from The Bishop Maginn Year Book…

“Mr. Jon Katz. We would also like to make a special dedication to Mr. Jon Katz, his service dog Zinnia, and the entire Army Of Good. The combined support of Mr. Katz and the Army of Good have given us so many opportunities and access to supplies we otherwise would have gone without. From classroom supplies to social events and helping support student’s personal interests and lives, they have never left us in need. Their generosity and support serve as role models for all of us in living our faith. Last school year, Mr. Katz gave a writing seminar to help students learn the principles of creative writing and unwind with Zinnia in the middle of a hectic school day. We cannot thank him enough for the knowledge he imported and the stress he helped alleviate. Student’s days are always brightened with Mrs. Silverstein announces that Mr. Katz and Zinnia will be coming! There is an incredible light that Mr. Katz always brings us and we thank him for all his support, generosity, and kindness during our time at Maginn.”

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