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From: Mandy Pant
To: Karen McQuade
Sent: Sunday, April 5, 2020 8:37 AM
Hi Mrs McQuade,
Hope you all are staying safe in these unprecedented times.
You’d be happy to hear that Nishka is this year’s Westborough High School Valedictorian and headed to Brown University in Fall.
Thank you for the solid foundation that Cornerstone academy’s environment set for her. We are truly grateful.
Sent: January 30, 2020 at 9:59:47 AM EST
From: Jody Comley
I wanted to take the time to share my thoughts and give thanks for the wonderful impact Cornerstone Academy had on the lives of our three children. Danny, Mackenzie and our youngest Ashlyn all had the privilege of being a part of the Cornerstone community and although they all were not there the full seven years offered by the school, the benefits for each of them were countless.
Danny, now almost 24, graduated the Massachusetts Fire Academy in June of 2019. He worked incredibly hard and never gave up on his dream to help people through a life of service as a firefighter. He currently works for the Sherborn Fire Department as an on call firefighter and also works full time for his uncles excavation company and is gaining wonderful hands on experience there. For Danny, an individual who struggled with many learning disabilities, Cornerstone gave him the opportunities, attention and challenges he needed to grow as a learner but more importantly, to BELIEVE in himself as a learner. The confidence Cornerstone gave him, made him resilient and he never gave up on himself because of it.
Mackenzie, now a freshman at Norfolk County Agricultural High School, grew tremendously from her Cornerstone experience. The individual attention the school provided helped her to see that she was a capable learner and the openness of the teachers to challenge her in unique ways allowed her to develop strategies that helped her to improve her skills. To say she is thriving at the Aggie would be an understatement! The hands on nature of the education offered there is right up her alley and she loves all the animals she is able to work with. She loves school and that comes from a wonderful early experience.
Ashlyn is now a middle schooler in her first year at Christa McAuliffe Charter School and is also doing very well. She is a wonderful reader, takes her learning and the quality of her work seriously, and is adjusting well to the new challenges she finds in the community and academic environment of her middle school.
The unfailing commitment of Cornerstone teachers to provide each child with a wonderful and unique educational experience helped our children to grow into the people and learners they are today. More than that though, the community, the friendships, the support and the love they found at Cornerstone taught them that school is an amazing place to be. For that we are very grateful.
Jody and Joe Comley
Sent: Friday, September 13, 2019 4:53 PM
Hi Mrs McQuade,
Hope you are doing well. So nice to connect with you.
The girls remember you and the Cornerstone Academy teachers very fondly.
Nishka is a Senior this year and Aarushi a Sophomore in High School.
The fundamentals that Cornerstone Academy ingrained in them is carrying them forward most certainly. Thank you sooo much.
Here are a few articles on Nishka that may make you smile.
From: Ram Krishnan
Date: August 25, 2019
Subject: Hello from Ram – Rahul’s Dad
Hope you are doing well.
We just dropped Rahul @ Brown today as he begins his college adventure. I was going through his old pictures and wanted to let you know given that Cornerstone was a big part of his education.
Ram & Priya
Hi Mrs. McQuade,
This is Shreya Balaji, I graduated from Cornerstone in 2012. I am a junior (soon to be senior at the end of this week!) at the Massachusetts Academy of Math and Science at WPI. I just wanted to thank you, first of all, for all that Cornerstone has done for me, in terms of building my character and giving me the strongest academic foundation.
I was wondering if I could come in and visit before the school closes for the summer, to catch up with you and also see the school. Please let me know if this is possible, I would love to come and thank you in person for all that Cornerstone has done for me.
I saw your article on “20 years” and I’m not sure why I couldn’t believe it was that long ago considering Jordan is 19. I am SURE he is going to want to fill out the alumni form because JUST the other day, a song came on the radio about being kind and helpful and Cornerstone made it’s way into the conversation!
He just finish Cadet Basic Training at the United States Military Academy-West Point and started classes yesterday. He did a Prep year at Cushing Academy after 4 years at Wachusett Regional and he loved Cushing!! He has always liked a strict schedule and being challenged and I truly believe that is from his few years at Cornerstone.
As I was reading your article, I thought about how much my mother would have LOVED to read about your success! She always loved you and Cornerstone (as you were remember she close-talked all of her FAVORITE people!!) 🙂
Thank you for being an extremely IMPORTANT part to Jordan’s success! I hope you like the picture! This was just from this past Saturday shortly after the “Long Gray Line” ceremony when he was accepted into the Corps of Cadets at West Point. 🙂
I hope you had a great summer and I will stop by if I am in the neighborhood!
Hi! I’m at Middlebury College studying political science and Chinese. I have so many memories of it so it’s hard to choose just one! I distinctly remember the village my class built out of branches behind the shed during recess, and how invested we all were in keeping it going for several years. I also loved and still have many of my research projects – an interactive model Viking boat as part of a Leif Eriksson paper, a decorated poster of Australia for our continents project, clay tapirs from an early rainforest unit. I just remember how every learning assignment turned into an opportunity to be creative.
Karen, It has been a long time since Cameron attended Cornerstone for kindergarten and first grade, but I wanted to let you know that she is graduating from High School this year (in Allen, TX) and she has been a very successful student. Her GPA is a 4.4 and she will be attending William and Mary in the Fall. She has been in the National Honor Society since 8th grade and has become a wonderful writer and insanely good at calculus. I know that the start she had at your school made a huge difference in her success. You gave her the foundation (or Cornerstone) she needed to become a motivated learner. I am so glad to see that Cornerstone is still going strong and that other children are getting that same advantage. Thank you for being such an integral part in educating our girl.
Hi Mrs. McQuade!
It’s great to hear from you. I can’t believe it’s been 8 years since I graduated from Cornerstone!
I’m about to begin my second year at American University. I’m in the Politics, Policy & Law Scholars program, which is a combined 3 year BA/ 4 year MA program. I’m majoring in CLEG (communications, legal institutions, economics, & government). Aside from that, I just finished up an internship in Governor Baker’s Office of Boards and Commissions.
As for my favorite Cornerstone memory, I’d have to say it would either when you taught me how to ice skate in 1st grade or the yearly trips to the Wayside Inn. Hope all is well!
American University Class of 2019
Hi Mrs. McQuade!
I hope you’re well! I was in your kindergarten/ 1st grade class back in 1999-2001. I was reminiscing about Cornerstone with Brittany Rosenthal (also in the class with me) when I stumbled upon the website and ended up filling out the alumni form.
I’d like you to know that you have always been my favorite teacher. After I left Cornerstone to go to Hastings in 2nd grade, all my memories are sort of blurry, but I’ve always remembered your classroom so fondly and so well. Thank you for your love and guidance, and for telling me how impressed you were that I was sounding out flower even though I kept spelling it flour (I was so proud).
I attached a picture of my family at my sister Laura’s graduation a couple months ago for the alumni form! She only had you for a year in 1st grade, but remembers you well and is also a big fan of Cornerstone!
Favorite Cornerstone memory: While it is impossible to choose just “one” memory as even though I was at Cornerstone for just two years, I accumulated a lot of wonderful experiences. However if I really have to pick just one, I would say one of my favorite memories is when we would have a “Mad Lib” break in Mrs. Rawlings’ class and we would go around the room and each contribute a noun, adjective, verb, etc. to make up a silly story. I remember each time the class would laugh hysterically as Mrs. Rawlings would read the story back to us with our suggestions, giving us all a fun-filled break.
After Cornerstone what schools did you attend?: After Cornerstone, I attended Touchstone Community School in Grafton, MA for grades five and six, the Francis W. Parker Charter Essential School in Devens, MA from grades seven through twelve, and I graduated from Wheaton College in Norton, MA.
How did Cornerstone prepare you for what you are doing today?: At Wheaton, I was an American History major. My passion for history was first “ignited” in the classroom of Mrs. Rawlings at Cornerstone as she would recount to us historical events, such as the Civil Rights Movement, that had me mesmerized. Learning about Ruby Bridges, sit-ins, Martin Luther King Jr., etc. instilled in me an intense interest for not only history as a whole, but specifically African American history. My interest in history has followed me through not only my academic career, but also my professional as I have completed internships at both the Lowell National Historical Park and Old Sturbridge Village. I credit Cornerstone for setting me and encouraging me on my academic paths.
Other comments?: I think incorporating alumni onto the wbesite is a great idea Ms. McQuade. Something that would also be a great idea would be an alumni reunion!
Hi Mrs. McQuade!
I hope you’re doing well! I’m happy to hear that Cornerstone is celebrating 20 years!
My favorite experience at Cornerstone is when we made our own butter from heavy cream and ate it with muffins in Ms. Horrigan’s 2nd grade class!
After graduating from Mount Holyoke College Magna laude with a BA in Psychology and Business, I have started my own home-based business for desserts in Chennai, India. I love making mini cupcakes, brownies, and cookies!
Favorite Cornerstone memory: So I was in Cornerstone academy from Kindergarten till 2nd grade and those were awesome school years! I remember playing cards (WAR) with everyone and always having fun while learning! I think my favourite memory at Cornerstone was making our own butter and eating it with muffins in class!
After Cornerstone what schools did you attend?: I am currently in Mount Holyoke College in Western Mass and am a Psychology major with a Business minor.
I’m currently a sophomore studying journalism at Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications, and I’m an editor with our student newspaper, The Daily Orange.
Cornerstone holds some great memories, especially Drop Everything And Read, and short stories that we wrote during holiday seasons.
Additionally, the teachers at Cornerstone were so encouraging. Even from such a young age, they helped foster the love of reading and writing that I’m now using as the foundation for my higher education and future career.