Celebration Honors Tom Nolan for Eight Years of Service to ACCESS Academies in St. Louis and Raises $10,000 for the ACCESS Program
On Thursday, Nov. 8, 2012, Keagan’s in Forest Park was enlivened with stories and salutes as friends and family honored Tom Nolan who is retiring after eight years of service to ACCESS Academies. Dubbed a “lively” Irish wake, it celebrated Nolan who has been a champion of educating disadvantage children for 30 years. The event also raised $10,000 for scholarships in the name of Nolan for the ACCESS program. Keagan’s is located at 5163 Clayton Road at the Highlands Golf Course.
Nolan has been executive director of ACCESS Academies since its founding and will retire at the end of this year, but will continue volunteering to help education and child-related issues. He has guided NativityMiguel middle school education programs in three St. Louis city schools: Most Holy Trinity Academy at 1435 Mallinckrodt St.; St. Cecilia Academy at 906 Eichelberger; and St. Louis the King School at the Cathedral at 4430 Maryland Ave. Under Nolan’s leadership, 96 percent of ACCESS graduates have been accepted to college prep schools, 92 percent have graduated on time from high school and 80 percent have gained acceptance to college. Most of the students served by ACCESS are from economically disadvantaged families living in poor urban neighborhoods.
Hosting the celebration was Joan and John Vatterott, founder of Vatterott College. Attorney Jim Holloran served as emcee. Terry Mehan of St. Cecilia Academy serenaded Nolan and the more than 50 well wishers with “Tommy Boy” sung to the tune of “Danny Boy.” Others saluting Nolan included Father Tim Cook, pastor of Saints Teresa & Bridget Parish; Marie Kenyon, managing attorney for Catholic Legal Assistance Ministry; retired attorney Dave Danis; Rich Patton, executive director of Vision for Children at Risk; and Nolan’s brother Jerry.
For more information on ACCESS Academies, visit www.accessacademies.org