Home Education and Careers St. Edmond’s Academy creates scholarship fund to honor 53-year employee Bill D’Amato:...

St. Edmond’s Academy creates scholarship fund to honor 53-year employee Bill D’Amato: Photo gallery

Bill D'Amato, who has worked at St. Edmond's Academy in north Wilmington since 1970, reacts at a gathering in his honor at the school on April 29. Rob Naylor photo courtesy of St. Edmond's Academy

BRANDYWINE HUNDRED — More than 300 people gathered April 29 at St. Edmond’s Academy to celebrate a man who has worked at the school for most of its existence. Bill D’Amato, currently the administrative adviser to the head of school, was the guest of honor, along with his wife, Mena.

D’Amato arrived at St. Edmond’s in 1970, and there were plans to hold an event to mark his 50th anniversary, but the coronavirus pandemic scuttled those, and other things “got in the way” until recently, he said. St. Edmond’s used the gathering to announce the establishment of the Bill and Mena D’Amato Scholarship Fund. D’Amato was happy that families will benefit from the grants.

“I’m just glad to be able to say that we’re going to continue to be able to help kids who maybe could not afford to be here,” he said.

That night, a big check was written out for more than $235,000, a school official said. More may have come in since then.

According to the school, D’Amato has served as a teacher, admissions director, campus minister, assistant head of school, coach and alumni director during his tenure. The gathering was a way to “celebrate his commitment to St. Edmond’s, his love for our students and graduates, his positive attitude, and his shining example of the Holy Cross charism and his Catholic faith.”

Mena D’Amato worked at St. Edmond’s from 1974-2016. “Her contributions have impacted so many of our students and their families,” the school said. “We are grateful for her service and example.”

The evening included a Mass celebrated by Father Rich Jasper and concelebrated by Father Anthony Pileggi, a 1983 graduate of St. Edmond’s. Deacon John Pileggi from the Class of 1973 read the gospel. Current students and other alumni participated as altar servers, lectors, gift-bearers and musicians.

A reception followed the Mass. It included a welcome by Michael Hare, a graduate of the class of 1975 and co-chairman of the scholarship committee; Holy Cross Brother Thomas Meany, a member of the congregation that founded the school and a longtime former faculty member; Dominic Maiorano, a 1997 alumnus who is the current head of school; and D’Amato himself.