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Home Yearbook Project RHS Class of 1974 Yearbook Project: Lisa Stewart, RHS Class of 1974

Yearbook Project: Lisa Stewart, RHS Class of 1974

MyRye.com is starting a new series called the Yearbook Project. We are highlighting members of the Rye High School Class of 1999 (celebrating their 25th reunion in 2024) and the Rye High School Class of 1974 (celebrating their 50th reunion in 2024).

If you graduated RHS ’99 or ’74, or if you know someone who did, please get in touch with us.

Today, meet Lisa Stewart of the Rye High School Class of 1974.

Your name: Lisa Stewart

Rye High School Year of: 1974

(PHOTO: Lisa Stewart, Rye High School Class of 1974.)
(PHOTO: Lisa Stewart, Rye High School Class of 1974.)

MyRye.com: Who were your favorite teachers at Rye High School?


1. Joan Vedy, Art Department Chair
2. Adelaide Amend, Art

Although I liked a lot of my teachers, art was my passion so I’d have to say art teachers top the list. I spent a lot of time in the art rooms and loved their encouragement, support, and enthusiasm — and all the things they taught me about art!

What were your favorite sports or extracurricular activities at Rye High School?


  • Contributor and Art Editor of Zephyr – the art/literary publication. As an artist, it was an honor to work on this publication and be chosen to be the Art Editor. It was probably for most of us, our first experience being “published.” It was so much fun to work on this with such talented students, including many of my friends!
  • Theater productions – I loved every minute of being involved in our high school productions! West Side Story was my all time favorite experience; Flower Drum Song, and others, were all great fun too. Rehearsals, working on scenery, designing programs, costumes, makeup, and of course, opening night!
  • Chorus – practicing was always fun, and performing, sometimes with the orchestra as well. We even took a few trips into NYC to perform in the old “Pan Am Building” which is now just a part of the Grand Central Station area.

The best part about being involved with all these activities was that I was doing so with friends, many of whom I still have. Sharing those special times created wonderful bonds. We share memories and still enjoy reminiscing about those experiences.

(PHOTO: Lisa Stewart participated in several musical productions during her time at RHS, including this one.)
(PHOTO: Lisa Stewart participated in several musical productions during her time at RHS, including this one.)

Tell us about the street in Rye you grew up on:

Stewart: I grew up on Hickory Drive, and my mother and brother still live there. The neighborhood has changed so much since I was a kid, most houses have been sold and rebuilt. Our house, from the outside, is still pretty much the same though! I have great childhood memories growing up there. We were so fortunate! Rye is such a scenic area, with access to beautiful views all around. Close enough to walk to Rye Beach and Playland any time of year. Winter sleighing and ice skating was also just a walk away at Rye Golf Club. Lots of biking too, not only to the beach and school, but also to downtown Rye to
browse and shop, get ice cream, or to bike to friends’ houses. Hiking in the Marshlands was another family and friend favorite. It was so pretty there, with lovely water views.

(PHOTO: Lisa Stewart and her father frequently took trips to the Marshlands.)
(PHOTO: Lisa Stewart and her father frequently took trips to the Marshlands Conservancy.)

My neighborhood was great! Lots of kids the same age, and we had such fun playing outside with so many kids that were also school friends. Some of us would walk to school together too. The Talentos and Youskos lived right across the street, the Alimenas, Piccones, Ballews, Frosts, Goldbergs, Wallachs all nearby…even the families that didn’t have children in the schools were all friends. Summer nights were memorable, staying out way past dark and playing great games with all the neighborhood kids till our parents called us home.

My mother ran a little art class out of the house, and most of the neighborhood kids came. We did great projects and then put on art shows in the driveway…all the neighbors would come to see our work which my mother and father would hang on string attached to poles along the driveway.

Halloween was a very special time. I have a Halloween birthday so between neighbors and school friends there was always a costume party at my house! And the Halloween Window Painting Contest was a huge deal back then, and so much fun!

Where would you and your friends hang out in Rye?

Stewart: As a teen, we’d love to hang out downtown. In high school and even college days, several of us had jobs in the stores on Purchase Street. I worked at Lighthouse Bookstore, Age of Innocence Antiques, and Rye Shoe Store. Some of my favorites stores to visit or shop in were Age of Reason and Katan Toys. Lunches and shopping at Woolworths, milkshakes at Sal’s Pharmacy, and Lepler Brothers were all places we loved to go. None of these exist anymore, but memories will live forever!

(PHOTO: Lisa Stewart's senior yearbook photo from 1974.)
(PHOTO: Lisa Stewart’s senior yearbook photo from 1974.)

What have you done since the day you graduated high school?

Stewart: I lived in Rye for many years after high school, commuted to Manhattanville College, and also lived in Mt. Kisco and Pound Ridge for a while. After graduating from RHS, I started my undergraduate B.F.A. (Bachelors Degree in Fine Art) education at Connecticut College in New London and finished at Manhattanville College in Purchase where I later pursued Art Education and received my (M.A.T) Masters in Teaching/Art. I’ve had a lot of interesting jobs in the field of art and education… art centers (Rye Art Center, Westchester Center for the Arts in Mt. Kisco, (which, unfortunately, is not there anymore); Katonah Museum of Art, Hudson River Museum in Yonkers, and the Mead School in N. Stamford / Pound Ridge).

I live in San Antonio now, since about 2004, but I get home as often as I can to spend time there. In San Antonio, I’ve taught art and worked in several different venues: San Antonio Museum of Art, San Antonio School of Art, The Doseum, My ArtStarz after school art program, and for the last 7 years I’ve been working at a beautiful historic house museum called Villa Finale, which contains a collection of almost 13,000 objects of art and has beautiful formal gardens.

I have an administrative position and also conduct many art workshops virtually and when possible, outside as well. I miss so much about my hometown, and I’m really fortunate to be able to come back several times a year. I still have strong friendships with many high school classmates, and we get together when I’m there, which means the world to me! The beach is usually our meeting place and long walks there will always be an important part of my time spent back home, no matter what season, winter and fall being my favorites because I miss those seasons being in the Southwest.

What in your view are the two or three greatest Rye traditions you remember from your high school years?


  • Halloween Window Painting Contest
  • Fireworks on July 4th at Rye Beach/Playland
  • Home game of Rye Garnets and Harrison Huskies (and the bonfire pep rallies beforehand)

(PHOTO: Lisa Stewart taking part in Rye's annual Halloween Window Painting event in 1966.)
(PHOTO: Lisa Stewart taking part in Rye’s annual Halloween Window Painting event in 1966.)

Thank you, Lisa!


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