Press Release — January 11, 2013

For Immediate Release

Trinity Hall Recruits Oak Knoll Upper School Principal Mary Mahon Sciarrillo, Monmouth County Native, As Founding Head Of School.

  • Mary Sciarrillo is the Upper School Principal at the prestigious all-girls Oak Knoll School of the Holy Child in Summit, NJ, a Red Bank Catholic graduate and nineteen-year educator in independent schools.
  • James Palmieri, Director of Strategic Initiatives at all-girls Kent Place School, joins Trinity Hall as Assistant Head of School.
  • Entrance exam for inaugural class will take place on January 26, 2013.
  • Up to $500,000 in financial aid available for first-year Leadership class.

Media Contacts:
Christine Burke – 732-688-8079;
Judy Musa –  732-687-1556

Rumson, NJ – January 11, 2013 – Trinity Hall, a newly established all girls high school in the Catholic tradition that will welcome its first freshman class in September 2013, has announced its key leadership team.

Trinity Hall Selects Monmouth County Native Mary Sciarrillo as Head of School
Mary Sciarrillo, current Upper School Principal at Oak Knoll School of the Holy Child in Summit, NJ, has accepted the position as Head of School at Trinity Hall.

Mary Sciarrillo, a native of Monmouth County, is excited to serve as founding head of the only all-girls school in Monmouth County. A nineteen-year educator in independent schools, Mary chose to have all three of her children attend single-sex independent, Catholic schools.

An alumna of Red Bank Catholic, Mary graduated from St. Vincent’s Hospital School of Nursing and later earned a masters’ degree in educational leadership at Seton Hall University, attending the Catholic School Leadership program. Mary’s firm belief in Catholic education and single-sex education at the secondary level has shaped both her personal and professional decisions.

After earning a diploma in nursing, Mary worked in critical care and nursing administration, first at Monmouth Medical Center in Long Branch, NJ and later at Columbus Hospital in Newark. Before leaving to raise her children, Mary earned her bachelor’s degree in school nursing and health education from Jersey City State College (now New Jersey City University). Involvement in parent education programs in her community led Mary back to school as a school nurse in the public school system.

With one daughter at Oak Knoll School, Mary joined the faculty as Dean of Students, where she served for nine years. During her time as Dean, Mary focused on the development of student activity, accountability, and leadership programs. Before her promotion to principal, Mary served on a number of development committees in the area of curriculum, instruction, faculty practices, supervision with support for faculty growth, and best practices. In her tenth year as Upper School Principal (grades 7 through 12), Mary has worked to develop new courses, scheduling practices that address whole-child programming, student leadership programs and practices, new courses in science and mathematics, and support for faculty growth and development as teacher leaders.

During her tenure, Oak Knoll completed construction of a fourth science lab, new classrooms, a senior student center, and college counseling offices. Mary also worked with the Upper School faculty to develop additional advanced placement courses in science and mathematics, engineering and computer science courses, two additional language programs, and to improve courses in all departments.

Throughout her professional career, Mary has attended professional development programs at the National Coalition of Girls’ Schools. Recently, she has earned post-graduate credits in educational leadership at Nova Southeastern University, studying issues particular to teaching and raising young women.

Mary is thrilled to bring learned skills, teaching practices, and Catholic traditions to Trinity Hall. Opening an all-girls school in Monmouth County is a personal and professional dream of Mary Sciarrillo. “I am excited to have this opportunity. I feel blessed to be part of Trinity Hall. For many years, we have known our girls in Monmouth County would benefit from an all-girls education. How fortunate the Trinity Hall Board of Trustees is making this school a reality. We will open in September 2013 with a rigorous program of education focusing on girls and their development as students and leaders. Trinity Hall women will make a difference – just wait and see,” states Mary.

James Palmieri Named Assistant Head of School
James Palmieri, current Director of Strategic Initiatives at Kent Place School in Summit, NJ, will be joining Trinity Hall’s school leadership team as Assistant Head of School. James served in a variety of administrative, teaching and coaching capacities in his seven years at Kent Place.

Most notably, James co-founded and directed Kent Place’s Global Service Learning Initiative, which has sent several student/faculty teams on community service missions around the world.

James has earned a BA in Education at Providence College and a MA in Educational Administration and Supervision from Seton Hall University. He is near completion of a Doctor of Education degree in Educational Leadership at Rutgers University. Fittingly, his dissertation study is titled 21st Century Girls’ Schools: For what reasons are new independent girls’ schools opening in the US?

According to Victoria Gmelich, a founding member of the Trinity Hall board of trustees, “These fine educators and leaders, both of whom are joining us from prestigious independent girls’ schools, are thrilled to accept this opportunity and challenge.”

Trinity Hall’s leadership team will be interviewing for teaching positions between January and March, 2013, adds Gmelich. In addition, Trinity Hall is committed to creating a competitive three-season athletic program immediately. A freshman class will be enrolled in year one that will accommodate at least two interscholastic sports programs each season, beginning with Freshman and/or Junior Varsity teams. The competition level will grow with the founding class, allowing for Varsity Athletics by year two or three, depending on the sport.

Trinity Hall Temporary Location
Trinity Hall recently announced its temporary campus at 900 Leonardville Road in Middletown Township, NJ which will provide a suitable home for the school’s first years. The site includes an academic building; a full-sized gymnasium with a stage, fitness room and locker rooms; an field house for lunch and activities; parking; and outdoor spaces including quality athletic fields. The search for a permanent, centrally-located home for Trinity Hall remains a priority.

Entrance Exam Set for January 26, 2013
Trinity Hall will offer a technology-rich learning environment, a superior faculty and a challenging interdisciplinary curricular program. Unique and exciting co-curricular learning opportunities will engage its diverse, passionate, creative and caring student body. The young women of Trinity Hall will be empowered to take risks, pursue personal passions, network globally and grow as learners and as valued individuals.

Trinity Hall will be conducting the High School Placement Test (HSPT), offered by the Scholastic Testing Service, at Christian Brothers Academy in Lincroft, NJ on Saturday, January 26, 2013, for female students interested in attending and being part of the 2013-14 first year Leadership Class. All fees for the first year application process have been waived.

Sean Clifford, another founding board member, has stated that “up to $500,000 in financial aid will be available for members of Trinity Hall’s Leadership Class with demonstrated financial need.” During its founding years, tuition and fees will be set at a level which will allow Trinity Hall to achieve its mission and objectives.

To express interest in Trinity Hall:
1. Complete the admission inquiry form at Trinity Hall’s website:;
2. Register your daughter for the entrance exam by emailing [email protected] using Entrance Exam as the subject line: and 3. Complete the paper application that will be sent to you by mail.
Return applications, transcripts and recommendations to
PO Box 356,
Red Bank NJ 07701.

Families that submit the application and student questionnaire before (or on the day of) the entrance exam on Saturday, January 26, will be granted priority in the review process. Otherwise, a rolling admission will be used to admit students throughout the spring months.

After your initial inquiry, a Trinity Hall representative will contact you to address student and family questions, and to review the application process and required forms. “We are delighted to be officially opening the doors of Trinity Hall in September and providing young women with a college preparatory education option dedicated to female students, grounded in the Catholic tradition, and honoring the core values of leadership, respect, perseverance and faith,” said Mr. Clifford.

For more information, visit or call 732-759-7663.


Notice of Nondiscriminatory Policy as to Students: Trinity Hall admits students of any race, color, national, and ethnic origin to all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the school. It does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national and ethnic origin in administration of its educational policies, admissions policies, scholarship and loan programs, and athletic and other school-administered programs.