Last night, September 12, a celebration to kick off La Scuola d’Italia’s 43rd school year was held in the prestigious 101 Club at 101 Park Avenue, the iconic building owned by Comm. Peter Kalikow, a great supporter of La Scuola and of Italian institutions in New York.
The purpose of this annual appointment is to gather all members of La Scuola’s community including parents, faculty, board members, and all those who have supported and continue to support the school and its students.
The first to speak, as guests savored delicious cocktails and food - which ranged from fresh sushi rolls to decadent cheese-stuffed maccheroni - was one of the school board’s trustees and father of two La Scuola students, Massimo D’Angelo, who, after thanking everyone for attending, acknowledged the outstanding work the teachers and board are carrying out for the development and growth of the school. “The school has been through some tumultuous times,” he noted “we are changing and I see in this room the spirit of that change.”
Afterwards, Cav. Richard Nasti, Executive Vice President of H.J. Kalikow & Co., LLC as well as chair of Stony Brook University and of its Center for Italian Studies, took the stage, speaking also for Mr. Kalikow, who “although not himself Italian or Italian-American, has embraced the culture and is philantropic to italian causes, philantropic to the consulate, and happens to be probably the foremost ferrari collector certainly in this region, probably in the country.”
Cav. Nasti, began his speach by remembering Mario Mignone, the executive director of the Center of Italian Studies and a beloved supporter and member of the Italian community in New York, who passed away a couple of days ago. “Mario Mignone was an extraordinary individual.” he stated after asking everyone to join him in observing a moment of silence.
“There aren’t many people in this country who did more to promote Italian culture, Italian language. I went to his funeral mass in Stony Brook this morning and I’ll tell you, it was an hour for communion. That’s how many people were at this funeral.”
He then went on to express his support for La Scuola and brought the importance of building a culture of philanthropy to help institutions like La Scuola keep evolving, growing and offering their students an excellent multilingual and multicultural education before passing the microphone on to Consul General Francesco Genuardi.
The Consul applauded the incredible work done by the faculty and the school’s “fantastic community, which has always had a special energy and has, in these past years especially, displayed great strength and unity.”
He emphasized how, especially now that La Scuola offers the International Baccalaureate program, it has become “the perfect springboard” for students to reach the most prestigious schools in America, in Italy, and all over the world, making it increasingly attractive not just to Italians and Italian Americans but to New Yorker wishing to provide their children with a well-rounded international education.
Follwing this intervention, a short video presentation of La Scuola, which i-Italy created working closely with dedicated parents, faculty, and student, as well as the head of the school Prof. Maria Palandra, and particularly Diego Rodino’ Di Miglione, who all agreed worked incredibly hard to put together this event and who followed the video’s production closely, displaying his passion and dedication to La Scuola and to its future.
You can see it here.
Prof. Palandra then took over, inviting everyone to come visit La Scuola, which is holding open houses on October 5, November 14, and February 28 (for more information or to book a private tour, visit >> )
She defined the school as a place that “maintains alive the culture and language of Italy and that is growing and becoming more and more international” and explained that their goal to have a more diverse, more dynamic school, year after year.
The head of the school then spoke about the school’s scholarship programs, which provide not only a perfect occasion to support the students but also to honor and commemorate people who are no longer with us such as prof. Mario Mignone, “someone who guided all of us who came from Italy and helped us find a way in this society,” to whom they have just dedicated a new scholarship program.
She then invited on stage three students who were awarded a scholarship in the name of Mario Cuomo (sponsored by Nutella and Aldo Uva as well as by La Scuola chairman Charles Adams) during the school’s gala last spring: Alexander Pringle Bertellini, Alessandro Pezzella, and Marina Siddu.
This scholarship will help these students continue their studies at La Scuola, a community they have grown to love and feel a part of. They each thanked their sponsors and of course their teachers for having inspired and supported them throughout the years, as well as their parents for having chosen La Scuola, providing them with an excellent international education and preparing them to succeed in today’s global world.