San Miguel Academy dedicates the Sister Agnes Boyle, O.P., STEAM Learning Center

On May 5th, 2022, San Miguel Academy of Newburgh dedicated the Sister Agnes Boyle, O.P. STEAM Learning Center.

One of San Miguel Academy’s central academic objectives is cultivating STEAM (Science Technology Engineering Arts Mathematics) knowledge and skill-sets.  The recently completed STEAM Learning Center was the first renovation project at the School’s new permanent home. In 2020, San Miguel Academy purchased the former St. Francis School at 245 Renwick Street, which the School had rented for seven years. At San Miguel Academy, STEAM is incorporated into cross-curricular hands-on projects in which students are continually developing problem-solving and higher-order thinking skills. STEAM programming and activities include Computer-Aided Design (CAD), laser cutting, 3D printing and fabrication techniques, coding literacy, circuitry literacy, and Design Thinking.  In addition, San Miguel Academy is launching a unique program using STEMPilot to teach engineering, science, physics, and math through aviation.  

The extended family of Sister Agnes and members of the Dominican Sister of Hope, with whom she served and worked for her entire career, gathered for the joyous occasion. Sister Agnes is remembered by all who knew her as a kind, gentle, and loving person, and a truly great educator. Guests were presented with commemorative ornaments, designed and fabricated by students on the Learning Center’s laser cutters.  The door sign was also fabricated by students. Following the dedication, students demonstrated their proficiency on an array of equipment in the room, including mini drones and the STEMPilot. 

“The STEAM Learning Center is outfitted with state-of-the-art technology and equipment which will inspire our student’s creativity and prepare them for the 21st-century job market,” says Father Mark Connel, San Miguel Academy Founder and Executive Director.

Sister Agnes Boyle, O.P. of the Dominican Sister of Hope was instrumental in the creation and early days of San Miguel Academy.  A longtime educator, Sister Agnes was a professor of Education and chair of the Division of Education at Mount Saint Mary’s College in Newburgh and went on to serve as Vice President of Academic Affairs for 30 years.  She received the Mount Saint Mary College Trustee Award for her service to the college.  Sister Agnes is known throughout the Hudson Valley for being the quintessential educator. One could say that sister Agnes’ calling was to be a teacher of teachers. She died in 2019 at the age of 91.

The Catholic Dominican Sisters of Hope was founded in 1995 from three existing communities in Newburgh, NY, Fall River, MA, and Ossining, NY.  Based out of The Center at Mariandale in Ossining, NY., they live and minister in 13 states in a variety of unique ways, including community organizing, social work, education, environmental advocacy, and retreat ministry.  The Dominican Sisters of Hope commit their lives to living and preaching the Gospel message of Hope. 

San Miguel Academy of Newburgh is breaking the cycle of poverty through education and inspiration. Students are engaged year-round in a safe and positive learning environment with a focus on interactive learning and cultivating career-ready STEAM knowledge and skill-sets.