Benedict’s Says Goodbye to Erin Sweeney


From left to right, Nomar Rodriguez, Erin Sweeney, Ahmed Hammad, and Dakota Gibbs say farewell in the Trophy Room.

Obed Narcisse, Staff Writer

On the last day of First Term, Erin Sweeney, Director of Strategic Initiatives, stood in front of the whole school and tearfully said goodbye, thanking students, teachers and staff for being such an important part of her life for the past year and a half. The students responded with a standing ovation.

Ms. Sweeney was a moderator of Model United Nations and Youth and Government, worked with undocumented students and worked with the Board Of Trustees on a variety of initiatives.

Before coming to St. Benedict’s, Ms. Sweeney worked for the United States State Department as a diplomat in Nigeria and Bolivia. She moved to Newark before resigning from the State Department, where she attended Blessed Sacrament Church. As a parishioner, she met Fr. Edwin Leahy, Headmaster of St. Benedict’s, at Mass. After several conversations, he offered her a job at Benedict’s for only six weeks. But after working as his assistant for six weeks, Ms. Sweeney, wanting a more challenging job, was appointed to Director of Strategic Initiatives where she worked with the Board of Trustees to come up with new projects that would strengthen the academic system and raise money for the school.

Aside from being the Director of Strategic Initiatives, she assisted Mary Hauck, parent liaison and event coordinator, with the Parent Organization and taught a Diplomacy class.

Ms. Sweeney has decided to leave because she wishes to practice what she has studied, Transportation Policy.  “If I don’t do it now, I never will, ”she said. She would like to work in the field of aviation.

As Ms. Sweeney prepares to embark on her new journey, she does not deny her love for the students here. She said that the hardest thing for her is to leave the student body.  But she said she will not be a stranger to St. Benedict’s. “I plan to remain in the NYC/Newark area in the near future and I hope to attend many games, matches, and St. Benedict’s events throughout the coming school years,” she said.