Dear Members of the St. Mary Catholic School Community:
Happy August! I hope your summer has been filled with memorable times with your family. Summer is
such a blessing as it offers opportunities to spend time with family and escape the daily responsibilities of
studying and projects. Hopefully, your children are getting recharged and excited for the year ahead. On
behalf of Father Cibelli, the faculty and staff, and me, I want to thank you for choosing Catholic education
at St. Mary Catholic School for your family.
This upcoming school year marks the 145th Anniversary of St. Mary Catholic School. On August 24, 1874,
St. Mary Catholic School opened her doors and started a tradition of offering a Catholic-centered
education to all children in order to fulfill the mission of the Church. For 145 years students have received
a faith-based education that challenges them to become the best that they can be by promoting the
spiritual, intellectual, social, personal, and physical development of the students. This is definitely a year
that we will be celebrating—celebrating our history as well as celebrating our present and future.
As mentioned in previous communications, I am very excited to welcome Mrs. Keri Dill, Mrs. Penny Abe,
and Mrs. Leslie Kocevar to the SMCS instructional staff. Mrs. Dill will be teaching grades 4-8 Science and
eighth grade mathematics and have the seventh grade for homeroom. Mrs. Abe will be teaching PreKindergarten. Mrs. Kocevar will be the Teacher Assistant for third grade.
Just as the AOB selected the Year of Service theme for all schools last year, Year to Lead…I called you by
name, is the theme for 2019-2020. We will be focusing on how to incorporate this theme in our daily
interactions at SMCS.
After last year’s construction, I was hoping to just enjoy the beauty of our gymnasium and dining area for
a while before having contractors on the property again. However, when I bought my first home and
encountered issues, a wise man (my dad) told me, “You are now a happy house owner and with that there
will always be work and improvements needing to be done!” As principal of a school celebrating its 145th
Anniversary, no truer words have ever been spoken. Therefore, thanks to the Nonpublic Aging Schools
Program, we were able to update the Library with new flooring, new ceiling, and new LED lighting. A fresh
coat of paint was also in order. Through the Security Grant Program, our P.A. System in the school is being
replaced and additional speakers are being strategically placed in the school to ensure announcements
and safety instructions are heard by all. I am also pleased to report that the final touches were completed
in the gymnasium and dining area in the way of new doors. The HSA provided funds to air condition the
middle school classrooms for social studies (Mrs. Bowers) and for mathematics (Mrs. Mentzer). These
rooms previously depended on window units.
Technology continues to be an area that earns focus and upgrades each year. Thanks to the efforts of
Mrs. Stumpf and the generous donations of our families and friends to our Race 4 Technology and Annual
Fund, four 65-inch Ben Q(s) were purchased to replace some of our older SMART Boards. If you are
wondering what is a Ben Q, just imagine a device that looks like a huge flat screen television and functions
like a giant iPad. These devices will be installed in the Science lab, middle school ELA classroom, middle
school Social Studies classroom, and fourth grade classroom prior to the first day of school. Eighth grade
students will be using Chromebooks instead of iPads, which completes the transition from iPads to
Chrome books for students in grades 5 to 8. The retired eighth grade cart and iPads (only two years old)
will be utilized by the third graders. Kindergarten through second grade classrooms will have access to
additional iPads. SMCS remains steadfast in its commitment to providing students with a technology-rich
environment! I want to thank Mrs. Cathy Ellis for all her time and efforts in driving these initiatives as
well as Mrs. Carrie Stumpf for leading the initiatives for funding our technology.
Although it is only August, most of the teachers are already decorating their classrooms and planning
lessons. Mrs. Renken is beautifying our hallways with student art work. Mrs. Beck, Mrs. Hammond, and
Mrs. Stumpf have worked throughout the summer closing out the previous year and preparing for the
2019-2020 school year. The HSA officers are enthusiastically planning events to engage our students and
families. Like members in a family, everyone is contributing to ensure that our students have the best
school year possible!
Now that Labor Day is around the corner, our school building is ready to house the wonderful sounds of
happy children on September 3. The hallways will once again be filled with students ready for the triumphs
and challenges of each day. In these final days of preparations, let us take the time to thank God for all
the graces He has bestowed upon us and ask Him to keep St. Mary Catholic School faculty, staff, parents,
and students in His loving care.
As always, I ask for your prayers to the Holy Spirit to give me the guidance and wisdom needed to serve
as principal of St. Mary Catholic School.
May God Bless You!
Patricia A. McDermott