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Thank you, Ruby Gala Committee Members, for a wonderful celebration!

  • Brianna Crowley of the Pennsylvania School Board Association and our Ruby Gala committee chair

  • Heather Bennett of the Pennsylvania School Board Association

  • Mela Chaverri of the SEIU Training and Education Fund

  • Rhoda Joseph of Penn State University and school board member

  • Ellen Konkle, an alumna of St. Stephen’s Episcopal School’s and development coordinator extraordinaire

  • Betsy Snyder of Orrstown Bank

  • Nichole Walters of McNees Wallace and Nurick and St. Stephen’s Episcopal School Board Member

  • Reverend Shanyna Watson of St. Stephen’s Episcopal Cathedral and the school’s equity director and assistant chaplain


Photography by Yoko Furukawa of New Chapters Photography

Ellen Hartman - Head of School - Opening Remarks

The very first time I came to St. Stephen’s was as a parent. My husband and I were looking for the perfect school, not just for our daughter, but for our family. Ruth Graffius gave us a tour of the school and we both knew there was no where else we wanted to be. The second time I came to St. Stephen’s was as a candidate for the position of St. Stephen’s 5th Head of School. I sat with Ruth in her office to learn about the position and I also had the opportunity to sit with Mrs. Cameron in her home for some tea and conversation. Again, I knew there was no where else I wanted to be.

This June, I will have completed my 2nd full year as Head of School, and already, I have learned so much through my continued visits with Mrs. Cameron and from my very own experiences. Tonight, I’d like to share with you some of what I learned.

I learned that the integrated school model is the BEST model. Mrs. Cameron had a vision over 40 years ago that a school should represent the community in which it is situated. Her vision was, well, visionary! Hurricane Agnes wiped out most of the city, leaving it desolate, and the climate around race in the 1970s was tense. This morning, when I spoke with Mrs. Cameron, she stated “If you only knew how many people said that the school could not and would not survive and so many who didn’t want it to survive. However, there were people who, from the very beginning, loved the school so much that they never gave up. The school was meant to be and so it was.” Mrs. Cameron was so committed to a school with regional, socio-economic, and racial diversity that she ignored those who opposed her vision and even held off opening the school for an entire year until the student population reflected the Greater Harrisburg Area.

40 years later, I have no doubt in my mind this integrated school was meant to be. We are all here because we love the school and will never give up. Our students represent over 16 different school districts, come from varying socio-economic backgrounds, and look like what our region looks like. They all receive a solid and quality education regardless of their zip code, their family’s income, and the hue of their skin.

I learned that St. Stephen’s nurtures and cares for each, individual child. Mrs. Cameron often tells me about the families who walked through and out of the doors of the school. I am amazed as she is able to recall their interests, their struggles and successes in school, and even where they are currently as adults. Mrs. Cameron told me that she is incredibly proud of our alumni as they leave and contribute to the life of their community.

One of the most powerful memories from my first year at St. Stephen’s was when an alumnus came to visit. His mother was sitting in the parking lot after taking him out for a birthday lunch. He begged her to stop by St. Stephen’s so that he could say “hello”. I watched from my office as he spoke to Emily Hand, Denise Paran, and Bernadette Kaiser in excitement. “Remember that time when I fell apart toward the end of 8th grade?” he asked them. He and the office staff members relived the time this student had an anxiety attack, lying on the floor of the lobby. Ms. Hand laid down next to him while Ms. Paran and Mrs. Kaiser talked him through his emotions. “I wouldn’t have made it without you” he told them through tears. “Now look at me. I’m at Bishop McDevitt and I’m doing so well.” Then, they were all in tears with him. Emily, Denise, and Bee - You may not know this, but I watched from my office and was overcome with emotions as you wished him a happy birthday and sent him out of our doors and back into the world.

At St. Stephen’s we nurture and care for each and every child. You can see it in the halls as my staff greet students by their names and bend down to tie the shoes of our little ones. You will see it in the breakfast or lunch room as a teacher sits down with a student to ask how their day is going. You can see it every day in the classroom as our students are thriving academically, socially, and emotionally. And you will see when they leave our school and continue to thrive in their communities.

We are now moving into the live auction portion of our evening. When I asked Mrs. Cameron what she would bid on, she said, without hesitation, “Pastor Fox’s bike, of course!” Know that your contributions during this live auction will keep Mrs. Cameron’s vision alive for another 40 years. So please big high and generously, and feel free to exclaim “40 more years” as you do so!


Thank you to our event sponsors for making our 40th Ruby Anniversary Celebration a success!

Ruby Level - $2,000

  • Acknowledgement of sponsorship on formal invitation to event (distribution to 450 via email, additional 150 via mailing); include logo (optional, tagline) for advertisement

  • Reserved table and seating for 8 people (tickets included)

  • Public acknowledgment at the event

  • Recognition on the school’s website and social media platforms

  • VIP early access for a toast and tribute to Mrs. Cameron by Heads of School

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Crystal Level - $1,000

  • 4 tickets to event

  • Public acknowledgment from the podium at the event

  • Recognition on the school’s website and social media; include logo (optional, tagline) for advertisement

  • VIP early access for a toast and tribute to Mrs. Cameron by Heads of School

Friends of St. Stephen’s - $250

  • 2 tickets to event

  • Recognition on the school’s website and social media

  • VIP early access for a toast and tribute to Mrs. Cameron by Heads of School

    Individual Donors

  • Shawn and holly leppo

  • Helen and Noel Delano

  • Carol Lopus

  • David Messner

  • Margaret Messner

  • Anne Yellott

  • Michael and Stephanie Pasenelli

  • Linda Shorey and John Decker

  • Imogene Schofield

  • Jan Hodges and Ben Francavilla

  • Anne Leisure

  • Janet and Donald Konkle

  • Nichole Walters

  • Richard Koch

  • Toni Koch

  • Karen Love

  • Betsy Snyder

  • Brienne Spangler and Shannon Keene

  • John Corey

  • Rhoda Joseph

  • Betty and Bill McLaughlin

  • Scott Cooper

  • Gretchen Vreeland and David O’Leary

  • James Robertson and Dean Ennis

  • Ian Kanski and Bob Welsh

  • Sarah Bullock

  • Churchill Pinder and Sally Gambill

  • Sia and David GutEkunst

  • Saima and Mubashir Mumtaz

Union of Black Episcopalians

Union of Black Episcopalians

Scott Cooper

Scott Cooper

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Thank you for being our Beverage Partner!

Thank you for being our Beverage Partner!

Thank you for being our  Catering Partner!

Thank you for being our Catering Partner!

Thank you for being our Beverage Partner!

Thank you for being our Beverage Partner!

Ruby Project Sponsorship

We are still accepting project sponsorships. Consider supporting a program for our students!

Ruby Project Sponsorships - Click Here to Donate!

Thank you to our project sponsors!

Anne Van Dyke
Anne Yellot
Juanita Grant
Jan and Don Konkle
Stephanie and Michael Pasenelli
Ralph Gillette
Cindy Harbert
M&T Bank
Roderick Lee
Bill Murphey
Rhoda Joseph
Jamia Wright
L.B. Smith
Barbara Gutekunst
Catherine and Rob Jones
MaryBeth Lehtimaki (Civic Club)
Laura Beltzner
Lauren and David Miller

HUMANITIES - Goal: $8,000

  • Gamut Theatre Group Residency Program for 60 students

  • State Street Academy of Music Instruction for 50 students

STEM - Goal: $13,000

  • Sylvan Edge STEM Program, a semester program for 130 students to learn coding and robotics

  • Bus Transportation to AgWorks, a cutting-edge Harrisburg aquaponics lab where students interact directly with fish and plants in a symbiotic system


  • WonderKids Yoga Program for 150 students twice a month

  • YMCA Gym Rental providing a space for the physical education program


  • Pizza Angel: Feed entire student body one pizza lunch (once a marking period) $350

  • Soccer Angel: Sponsor a child to participate in weekly Soccer Shots program $100

  • Bus Angel: Sponsor an entire class of students to attend a field trip $100

Slideshow from 2017 Auction


Photo Credit: Wendy Adams