ST. PIUS X / ST. LEO SCHOOLST. PIUS X / ST. LEO SCHOOL NEWSLETTER AUGUST 2015
"St. Pius X / St. Leo School is a diverse community forming students in the Catholic faith
to excel in academics and service to others."
We are excited to begin our 2015-2016 school year, knowing that this is our 60th year of educating the young people of our two parishes as well as many other students who have become members of our St. Pius X / St. Leo
School community. Our graduating class this school year will be our 60th graduating class. That means we will have graduated over 6,000 plus students. This is quite an accomplishment for a school that was built because we had a
pastor, Fr. Kemper, and many newly formed parishioners, who saw the need and envisioned an exemplary Catholic elementary school. We are grateful for the vision our founders possessed as they began the building of this school so the parents who wanted a Catholic education for their children would have that opportunity. We are using our mission statement as our motto again this year because we feel it is vital to our school’s operation of excellence and it needs to become an integral part of each of the members of our community, whether you are a teacher, staff member, student, parent or parishioner of our parishes. How blessed are we that we have the opportunity to start another new year coming together within a “diverse community of people” to learn about God and our Catholic faith, and to “excel in academics and service to others.” The school year starts with the faculty and staff of St. Pius X / St. Leo School challenging themselves to allow each student to begin school with the promise that he/she can look forward to new beginnings if that is wanted. The new year also allows the students to get to know their teachers and staff who will welcome them with open arms. We pray that our actions show the presence of God in our own lives and will help the students to grow closer to God because of our example. We also pray that students will learn, if they do not already know, how to connect with their peers and the larger community excelling “in academics and service to others.”
WELCOME TO OPEN HOUSE ON TUESDAY EVENING, AUGUST 18TH 5:30 – 7:30 PM
We will once again have Open House before school starts. We found this to be a very effective way to meet the teachers and find out homerooms for your children. Please note the following: • Tuesday, August 18th will be Open House for students
in PreSchool through Grade 8 from 5:30 – 7:30 PM. You are all welcome to come for dinner that evening in the cafeterias from 5:30 until 7:30 PM. Blimpies will be serving great food that you can purchase for dinner. Please also know that you are welcome to walk around the entire school. In the gym there will be people talking about the Music in Catholic Schools Band Program, parents selling our school sweatshirts, parents helping with the Fundraiser and several other groups.
2015 DESTINATION IMAGINATION RESULTS
The Fuzzy Squirrels 8th grade Destination Imagination team once again placed well at Global Finals in Knoxville, TN in late May. Not only did they earn second place out of 78 teams in their division, they were awarded the DaVinci Award for their outstanding creativity and performance. These special awards are given to only a handful of the very best teams from among the 1,000+ teams in the entire competition. The appraisers chose to honor the Fuzzy Squirrels for several reasons: first, for their innovative and emotional project puzzle, which transformed from being mere puzzle pieces to becoming symbols for all of humanity joined together to prevent bullying; second, for their amazing songs and dances, which made the appraisers "feel like they were watching a Broadway musical"; and third, for their overall outstanding performance. Their performance earned them perfect scores for their Team Challenge. Team members (pictured left) included Brayden Cote’, Avery Streeter, Jolie Peal, Misty Banks Noon (Team Manager), PJ Mooney, Thomas Rusch and Daniel Noon. The team competed in the Middle Level, Brand Aid category. This team has been competing together since they were in the 4th grade. Congratulations to the team! The 4th grade team, the Disco Pandas also completed at the Global Finals and felt the experience of participating in a global competition was invaluable. The team of Phoenix (FiFi) Farrens, Caleb Hans, Kaden Kolli, Erin Lemar, Adrianna Webster and Olivia Weist, worked very hard for four months completing their service learning project (raising money for the Nebraska Human Society). The team competed in the Elementary Level, Brand Aid category. Sherry Kolli served as the Team Manager for the Disco Pandas.
WE APPRECIATE OUR FACULTY AND STAFF FOR THEIR YEARS OF SERVICE AND
WELCOME NEW MEMBERS TO OUR SCHOOL COMMUNITY
We want to take this opportunity to express our sincere appreciation to those in our school community that have decided to leave our school, some after many years and others a few years of ministry, and who have touched all of us in our school community. We are thankful to the following people for their years of service to our school: Kim Sauer – 1 year as a part-time kindergarten teacher assistant. Mary McGuire – 22 years as a 4th grade, 2nd grade, pre- kindergarten and kindergarten teacher. Tammy Findley – 5 years as a part-time second grade teacher assistant. Terri Ellis – 16 years with most as a 2nd grade teacher. Luci Catalano – 32 years with most as a 3rd grade teacher. Christine Jensen – 7 years as a full and part-time 6th grade teacher assistant. Kristy McLaughlin – 7 years as a teacher assistant and then 6th grade teacher. Marikay Schwaller – 23 years as a reading resource teacher. Sr. Viola Misch – formally retired early in the school year due to illness after 46 years of teaching 2nd, 1st grade and working as a resource teacher assistant. Sister remains gravely ill in the Immanuel Fontenelle home for many, many months. Please keep her in your prayers. We wish all of these special people well in their new endeavors. They will be greatly missed by the members of our school community. We owe them a deep debt of gratitude for their dedication and ministry to Catholic education within our school. We are honored to welcome back a former teacher assistant and four new teachers to our St. Pius X / St. Leo School community as well as telling you about some changing positions and changes in the number of homerooms per each of the grades within the school. • As was stated earlier, Mary McGuire will not be
returning to our school. We also had another kindergarten teacher, Jenny Howard, move from kindergarten to being a full-time resource teacher since Marikay Schawaller has retired. Even though we are only going to have 3 kindergarten classes this year, we still had to hire one new teacher with two of our kindergarten teachers not returning to kindergarten classrooms. We are very happy that we were able to hire Mrs. Jenny Hanna, who comes to us with 7 years of teaching first grade at St. James/Seton, then staying home with her children and in the last years doing much subbing for us. Jenny has a BA in Elementary Education from UNO. With Kim Sauer not returning as a TA in kindergarten, we are pleased to welcome back Mrs. Melissa Pelley who had been a kindergarten teacher assistant and left a couple of years ago.
Melissa will be a part-time teacher assistant covering the afternoon. We welcome Mrs. Gina Sturek, a parent, who will be the partner TA of Melissa’s working in the mornings in kindergarten. The four sections of kindergarten from this past school year are being placed in three sections of first grade with classroom sizes of about 23 students.
• We will have 3 sections of 2nd grade as we did this past year, but, with Terri Ellis leaving, we are grateful that we were able to hire Ms. Kristin Caniglia. Ms. Caniglia comes to us after having taught in the Omaha Public Schools for many years and then being a reading specialist in the CUES schools (Sacred Heart, All Saints and Holy Name) for about 2 years. Ms. Caniglia received her BA Degree in Elementary Education from UNL and her Master’s Degree in Reading from UNO. Besides Terri leaving in 2nd grade, we also found out that our TA, Tammy Findley, has resigned to take on a different job this year. Some of the T.A.’s in first and second grade want to work only four days per week, so, we’ve hired Miss Mackenzie Wenck, who also has worked in our Extended Care, to cover some of these days.
• This past school year, our third grade had four classrooms. With Luci Catalano, a long time 3rd grade teacher, retiring at the end of the school year, we were left with only three 3rd grade teachers. And, this is all we need for this school year, 3 third grade classrooms.
• Last year our 4th grade was three sections. This year we will need four sections. Thus, we needed to hire a new fourth grade teacher. From our work with the Magis personnel at Creighton University, we are pleased that we were able to hire Ms. Ruth Mumm, in her second year of being a Magis teacher. She is working on her Master’s Degree while she is teaching this year.
• Our fifth grade will be made up of three homerooms with the students having two full-time teachers and two part-time teachers. The three homerooms will be 5A – Mrs. Anita Petersen and Miss Peg Lowndes, 5B –