On Thursday, March 30, 2023, Sister Stephen Gerard Miick was inducted into the St. Thomas Aquinas College (STAC) Hall of Fame with four other alumni/ae. College President Ken Daly expressed his gratitude for the honorees who inspire current and future students to excel, make meaningful contributions in their professions, and learn the importance of paying it forward. The other honorees included: Mrs. Bernadette Hemmer ’90; Mr. Francisco Garcia-Quezada, ’90; Dr. Robert Murray (Spartan Award); Barbara Wallenstein’90 (Service Award); and Kersten Savage ’24. Associate Jim Russell and many Sisters turned out to celebrate this award.
A modest graduate of the class of 1960, Sister Stephen has dedicated her life to enkindling the talents and gifts of teachers and students through her ministry of education. Serving as principal for 42 years at St. Paul’s in Valley Cottage, NY, she said her hope for her students was for them “to be saints and scholars and nothing less.” Sister Stephan accomplished many improvements at St. Paul’s including a community activity pavilion, two academic wings to accommodate Pre-K and Kindergarten classes, state of the art library, computer center, and an after school care program.
“When we heard that Sister Stephen was being honored by STAC, we already knew why she was selected. All the acclaim assigned to her comes from her living the Gospel of Jesus. She talks to God so freely and we know her by her kindness,” said Sister Bridget Kiniry.
Sister Marie Peter Buckley concurred, “Her dedicated concern for the whole child – spiritually, mentally, emotionally, and physically—as well as their families, has earned her the respect and admiration of countless students, parents, teachers, colleagues, and friends.”
Sister Stephen employed some creative approaches over the years to keep her school in top form. Some of these included: bringing a live donkey to the Nativity play, riding a Harley Davidson (complete in a leather jacket and helmet), singing at Karaoke Days, hayrides, and Easter egg hunts on the front lawn. Sister Stephen was “all in” when it came to helping the children in her care learn and thrive.
Sister Stephen’s acceptance speech was characteristically short and humble. She has blessed us with her beautiful life—a life built daily on kindness, prayer, humility, sacrifice, and ministering to others.