St. Chrysostom’s Day School’s 50th Anniversary Gala



By Judy Carmack Bross




The evening’s MC Geoffrey Euston and Angie Euston with Matt and Samantha Schwalm

As wondrous as a first day at your first school, the recent 50th Anniversary of St. Chrysostom’s Day School at the Theater on the Lake opened the way to future big anniversaries by raising $1million in endowment. Grandparents proud of their two generations at the school, alumni and new parents were among the 350 guests who heard founding Head of School Mary Ellen Christy and current Head and longtime Tots Teacher Judy Caraher tell how it all began and what’s ahead. In a video featuring students and teachers through the years, Caraher said the school has always been like “one big hug” to the over 6000 little ones who have passed through the school.

Head of School Judy Caraher in red, with co-chairs from left, Candice Dias, Alex Murphy, and Kristen Denison

Christy served as Honorary Co-Chair along with transformative supporter Abra Prentice Wilkin, and Kristen Denison, Candice Dias and Alex Murphy were Event Co-Chairs.

Headmistress Mary Ellen Christy received a standing ovation when she told how it all began. “Over 50 years ago we realized that there was a real need for a quality day school on the Gold Coast. With the blessing of the then Rector Robert Howell and the Vestry, St. Chrysostom’s Church agreed to investigate the founding of the school. There was much neighborhood support with a start-up loan and donors like the Haffner family that loved supporting schools, we opened our doors to 27 students. A pre-school is the first entry into the public world. Working with children is a wonderful way to spend your life. Children are truly human beings as God intended then to be.”

Lindsay Amborski, Kate Christy with their mother Mary Ellen Christy

Current parent and alumna Caroline Quazzo Elnick with husband Thomas, and her mother Deborah Quazzo, Chris and Jessica Coleman and Caroline’s father Stephen Quazzo


Brian Kocinski, Karen McEniry, Cynthia Chereskin, Genevieve Hillis, and Roger McEniry


Benjamin Holland, Norman Olsen, Christopher Cole, and Himal Agarwal
Annabelle and Keith Volgman

In her remarks, Caraher saluted the parent body over the years:

“Our parents are the first to stand up–taking on community projects, working together to show their children how important service is and getting them involved.”

Isabel Carpenter

Gigi and Andrew Schwertfeger

Isabel Carpenter and Gigi Schwertfeger created the Day School Service Club last year which has offered a variety of hands-on projects including clean up in the park, baskets for the underserved, clothing and diaper drives for migrants, and sandwich making for people with food insecurity. Schwertfeger told us:

“It is just one of many committees and examples in which the amazing families of St. Chrys show their commitment to and support of our community and school.

“Isabel and I consider the Service Club to be somewhat informal in that anyone can join at any time and we look at it as a team effort meaning, we come up with volunteer and service opportunities together. Also, it is important to us to choose opportunities throughout the year to meet parents’ varying schedules and to have as many opportunities as we can to include the children in what we are doing.

“This Club is so special because we have the love, support and commitment of the St. Chrys community – everyone is so accountable and works so hard – it really is a wonderful thing to get to be a part of and such a great way to get our kids excited about, involved in and invested in service from a very early age. Many of our activities can be done with children either as a group or on everyone’s own time.”

Emery and Chris McRory, Nick Grossi, John and Kristina Mulhall, Jo Ferguson


Audrey and Stephen Welch and Brent and Alexis Tomlinson

Martin and Angie Yorath

Geoffrey Euston served as MC, and told a story typical of the type of support the Day School has always given its students. “A teacher told my wife Angie that our daughter was a ‘take charge little girl’ and we were worried she was bossy at school. Judy Caraher told us ‘the world needs more strong women’. That is a
great message.”

Molly Morse Limmer Deputy Chairman at Hindman maximized Auction and Paddle Raise results with bespoke stays at the Merrion Hotel and at the luxurious country house hotel Ballyfin, at Inspirato Beach, Riverbend at Kohler Golf Getaway, and Bronze Buffalo Ranch at Teton Springs, Idaho, as well as a private dinner prepared by chef Elizabeth Cole. And so perfect for the young parents gathered: batting practice with the Cubs which raised almost $10,000 for endowment.

Jodi McNally

The evening’s caterer was Limelght with floral and décor by Kehoe events. Cagen Music provided a string trio and DJ Matt Roan kept the music going throughout the night.

Brieanna Cole, Claire Holland, Elizabeth Olsen, and Shimul Lahoti


Aaron and Millie Frank and Ann and Scott Gorran


Chrissy Cox, Elizabeth Olsen, and Erin Delaney