A few days ago, I posted a photo of Sacred Hearts' second grade class in the year 1960/61. Reader Maryann B., who attended Carroll Gardens' other parochial school, Saint Agnes, shared these wonderful memories of her school years there.
I didn't attend Sacred Hearts but did attend St. Agnes on Degraw between Hoyt & Bond, and I was in the second grade in 1960. I have a similar photo of my class, too, and our teacher was Sister Helen. I can tell you that at St. Agnes, we had two "classes" in each grade, i.e., 1A and 1B, 2A and 2B, all the way up to 8th Grade. We also had a little United Nations of nationalities in our classes...all ethnic & racial groups. As for headcount, each class, especially in the lower grades in the late 50s-early 60s had about 60 children in EACH -- so that would total approx 120 children in the first grade alone. No exaggeration! And despite the numbers, the Sisters of St. Joseph (they were a tough bunch!) had total control and discipline over their classrooms. Any appearance of our principal, Sister Mary Bonaventura, was enough to cause spine-tingling fear in all of us, and yet we turned out just fine! Yes, I've got lots of fond memories of St. Agnes...like the first time I and another classmate were invited into the convent for some special task that I can't recall (maybe taking a nun's habit to the French dry cleaner?). It was like Dorothy coming out of her house after the twister and marveling at her mysterious but lovely surroundings. Unfortunately, the school, and subsequently the beautiful convent, were converted into condos. So sad. I'll see if I can dig out my photo. I know I have it somewhere.
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