Our Good News


New School Year Brings New Students, Leaders and Continued Commitment to Collaboration

posted Aug 21, 2014, 11:38 AM by Cara Koen

NORTH ST. LOUIS COUNTY, MO – August 13, 2014 – Principals, teachers, pastors and parents are in the "Back to School" spirit as the eight Catholic elementary schools located in the Northeast Deanery of the Archdiocese of St. Louis open their doors to students and their bright, smiling faces for the 2014-15 school year.

New Computer Lab at St. Angela
While students were enjoying swimming pools and lazy summer days, schools have been doing their annual summer cleaning and planning. St. Angela Merici School, for example, installed a new technology lab with 30 computer stations ready to enhance student learning. The school also received hand-carved crucifixes as a gift from a closed city school, engraved with "Through Christ our Lord," which is the theme the school has adopted for the coming year.
Through Christ Our Lord












As the new school year begins, several leaders are settling in to their new roles within the deanery. Three parishes are welcoming new pastors: Father Tim Henderson at Our Lady of the Rosary Parish, Msgr. Matthew Mitas at St. Angela Merici Parish and School, and Father Tom Haley at St. Ferdinand Parish & School. St. Norbert School has a new principal, Mr. Dave Watkins and assistant principal, Ms. Julie Hayes.

Mr. Kenneth Morr, principal at St. Rose Philippine Duchesne School will now serve as the principal representative for the Federation, replacing Ms. Lois Vollmer, principal at Sacred Heart School who had this role for the past two years. Father Mike Henning, pastor at
Holy Name of Jesus Parish, will be interim pastor representative for the Federation.

"For almost 10 years leaders in Catholic education have sustained a renewed commitment to the value of Catholic schools in our community," said Father Henning. "A faith-based and values-based education reinforces the work of community and business leaders in their responsibility for thriving cities and healthy neighborhoods."

Continuing collaborative programs of the Federation include Professional Learning Teams (PLTs) Teachers from all eight schools gather regularly throughout the school year, by grade level in lower grades and by subject area in the upper grades. Principals are observing a positive impact from their teachers’ participation in PLTs. "Our Lady of Guadalupe is definitely a better school because of our faculty's participation in the PLTs," said Peggy O'Brien, principal at Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic School. "The PLTs provide a network for the teachers where they can share ideas, successes and challenges with one another, providing a source of encouragement and problem-solving that did not previously exist for our teachers. Over the past few years this has brought a new level of excellence to our classrooms."

CatholicFIT, a fitness education and wellness program that was piloted in the 6th grade physical education classes last year will return in the spring to help students and their families connect their faith and Christian values with tools and techniques for becoming more healthy and fit. The program was developed by St. Ferdinand parishioner, Dave Reddy, who is a health and physical fitness expert and consults with the physical education teachers in their PLT on the development of this program curriculum.

"Because of the Federation, administrators and their faculties of our schools are becoming stronger leaders and more effective educators," said Father Henning. Their commitment to curriculum development and methods of teaching, to collaboration in professional development, and to the stewardship of the resources available for the operation of our schools is worthy of praise and much community support."

Financially, hundreds of students in Federation schools continue to benefit from the archdiocesan Alive in Christ Scholarship Program, which offers scholarships of $1,000-$2,000 based on financial need to students entering a Catholic elementary school in the Archdiocese in Kindergarten - 4th grade, as well as to those students currently enrolled in a Catholic school whose families qualify. Each school can provide additional details for how to apply for the scholarships, and more information is available at www.archstl.org/ttef.

St. Ferdinand and Our Lady of Guadalupe Schools Receive Grant for Connect4 Program

posted Aug 20, 2014, 2:59 PM by Cara Koen

     
Mrs. Anna Davis and Sr. Cathy Doherty accept grant award.
Two Federation schools, Our Lady of Guadalupe and St. Ferdinand, recently received a Sr. Mary Ann Governal and Mrs. Ellen Ryan Memorial Development Grant from the Archdiocese of St. Louis Catholic Education Center for their Connect 4 program. Fourth grade students from the two schools with gather four times throughout the school year for special projects and field trips. This gathering of students together helps build community and a collaborative spirit between the schools, teachers and students. Mrs. Anna Davis, principal at St. Ferdinand, and Sr. Cathy Doherty, SSND, pastoral associate at Our Lady of Guadalupe, applied for and received the grant.
     The grants were presented at a Leadership Conference "Sent Forth Together," which was held on August 7th at Our Lady of Pillar Parish.  Dr. Kurt Nelson, the new Superintendent of Catholic Education for the Archdiocese of St. Louis was formally introduced to principals, pastors and directors of religious education.  For more information on Dr. Nelson, read this recent article published in the St. Louis Review.

Sacred Heart Catholic School Thanks OASIS Tutors for 5-10 Years of Service

posted May 19, 2014, 7:04 AM by Cara Koen   [ updated May 19, 2014, 7:04 AM ]


Sacred Heart is very blessed to have ten dedicated OASIS tutors who work with our primary grade children once a week. These ten "Reading Buddies" work with 29 of our students on reading and writing skills. A special recognition goes to the tutors in this picture for the 5 and 10 years of service with OASIS.
From the left, Maureen Curran (5), Dolores Schulte (10), Frankie Appleby (5), Mary Ellen and Mark Prosser (5).

St. Rose Students Raise over $2,000 for Local Charities

posted May 9, 2014, 3:08 PM by Cara Koen   [ updated May 9, 2014, 3:08 PM ]

Earlier this month students at St. Rose Philippine Duchesne School in Florissant celebrated 
their service to the community with a special rally where they presented a check for $1,500 to the St. Louis Blues 14 Fund and over $500 to Friends of Kids with Cancer. Students collected donations for these service projects earlier in the year and participated in a hockey puck shootout during gym class. The winning student from each grade level had a chance to shoot the puck at the assembly on April 11 with visitors from both organizations, along with a special appearance by "Louie" the St. Louis Blues' mascot.  For Friends of Kids with Cancer the students held a classroom "penny war" and made valentine cards and decorations to bring a smile to kids who are battling cancer.  St. Rose Philippine Duchesne enrolls students in preschool (3s & 4s) through 8th grade. 

Christ Light of the Nations 8th Grade Student Wins Respect Life Scholarship

posted May 9, 2014, 2:30 PM by Cara Koen   [ updated May 9, 2014, 2:31 PM ]

Hector R., an 8th grade student at Christ, Light of the Nations School was selected to receive a $1,000 scholarship for his essay entry in the Respect Life Apostolate's annual 8th grade Creative Writing Contest.    Hector won the Knights of Columbus Missouri State Council Scholarship, which is new to the annual program.  You can read Hector's essay by downloading the PDF below.  He will use the scholarship to attend Chaminade.  Over 1,100 entries were submitted this year with 102 finalists honored at an assembly on April 29th at the Cardinal Rigali Center.  Congratulations, Hector!

First Communion and Confirmation Congratulations

posted May 9, 2014, 11:45 AM by Cara Koen   [ updated May 9, 2014, 11:45 AM ]

The Easter season is filled with celebration of sacraments at our Catholic schools and parishes.   Please continue prayers for all of the children who have received the sacraments of First Reconciliation, First Eucharist and Confirmation this school year.
    



Sacred Heart Students Prepared for Easter with Special Holy Week Activities

posted May 9, 2014, 10:31 AM by Cara Koen

The students at Sacred Heart School in Florissant celebrated Good 
Friday by walking the Via Dolorosa, the Road of Tears.  The 7th Graders drew posters of Pope John Paul's Stations of the Cross, which were then hung throughout the building.  Stepping Stones with symbols for each Station connected the path. Each school family walked from Station to Station in prayerful reflection.
Middle School Students at Sacred Heart School in Florissant honored Jesus on Holy Thursday by performing a Passion Play for the entire school.  Actors, speakers, and singers all told the story of Jesus' last days on earth. 



St. Angela Merici Happenings

posted May 5, 2014, 11:55 AM by Cara Koen   [ updated May 5, 2014, 11:56 AM ]

Students at St. Angela Merici School raised $1800 during Lent as part of their prayer, penance and almsgiving.  They used $1000 of almsgiving and packaged 3,926 meals for the poor in Haiti, teaming up with "Kids Against  Hunger."

A St. Angela student, Daniela Duban, was recently recognized by the NCCU YOUTH TASK FORCE for her academic excellence.  Daniela was honored at a dinner and received a certificate of accomplishment. "We are very proud of Daniela for her hard work to earn this recognition," said Mrs. Mary Ann Kauffman, principal at St. Angela Merici.

Students also had a wonderful time in the Valley of Flowers parade on May 4.  The school's newly formed drumline along with cheerleaders entertained the crowds along the parade route.  We were glad to advertise St. Angela Merici Catholic School and the presence of Catholic Schools in North County.  See below for a photo gallery from the day:

Valley of Flowers Parade - St. Angela Merici Drumline and Cheerleaders




Koch Foundation Awards Grant for Corpus Christi Procession and Confirmation Rally

posted Mar 28, 2014, 8:54 AM by Cara Koen   [ updated Mar 28, 2014, 8:54 AM ]

     The Koch Foundation has awarded a $7,000 grant to the Northeast Deanery Federation of Catholic Schools in support of two evangelization and outreach events: a Corpus Christi Procession scheduled for Sunday, June 22nd (all are welcome—more details coming soon!) and the 8th Grade Confirmation Rally in September. This is the second grant the Federation has received from the Koch Foundation. “We are thankful for this continued support of our parishes and schools working together as we seek ways to fulfill the mission of our schools to evangelize,” said Father Thomas Keller, pastor at St. Angela Merici and pastor representative for the Northeast Deanery Federation.

     In 1979, the Koch Foundation was established by Carl and Paula Koch to fund evangelization activities of the Roman Catholic faith throughout the world. Their mission is built on the Koch's vision "to strengthen and propagate the Roman Catholic faith by providing grant support for a wide variety of evangelization efforts."

Sacred Heart Students "Grow in Faith" During Lent

posted Mar 28, 2014, 6:30 AM by Cara Koen   [ updated Mar 28, 2014, 6:30 AM ]

Each week of the Lenten journey at Sacred Heart School, teachers and students will be focusing on an aspect of how we can “Grow in our Faith.”  To symbolize this spiritual growth each classroom was given a container with soil and seeds. As the seeds sprout, root, and grow in good soil so will the students grow into faithful followers of Jesus. Students will also focus on weekly themes, including:
    • Learning to recognize opportunities to grow towards being faithful followers.
    • Opening our eyes, ears, and hearts to the people around us. The students will work at trying to do whatever is asked of them.
    • Serving God through the needs  of others. Students will work towards treating one another with kindness and respect.

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