Sports were a big part of my life at St. Bernard’s – particularly soccer and baseball. Sports can help develop key values – of teamwork, enthusiasm, sportsmanship, listening to your coaches, always trying to do your very best, learning how to win – but also how to lose.
My lifetime love of baseball probably began when I first started playing in the fourth grade. This was the year that my father took me to my first baseball game – Giants vs. Phillies in 1950. From that point on I became a Giants fan – still am after 65 years!
But I think I learned a lot more than sports at 4 East 98th Street. The values that the school taught – respect for your teachers and classmates, the encouragement of a questioning mind, being accountable for everything that you say and do, having the courage to express yourself and standup for your beliefs, the proposition that learning can be fun, the importance of being on time, always striving to be better, of setting and achieving goals, working hard – but doing all of this while having fun and enjoying life and developing lasting friendships – these are the values that became a central part of who I was and who I think I still am today. They are also values that I have tried to set as examples for my children and grandchildren. I believe they are the values that the school still teaches today and I am sure that virtually all the students there share. Long live St. Bernard’s!