July 16, 2013
Amarillo—One month from today (Sunday), Catholic Schools in the Diocese of Amarillo will officially begin the 2013-14 school year.
Students return to the classroom with a half-day of classes on Wednesday, Aug. 21 and full days on Thursday, Aug. 22 and Friday, Aug. 23. The first full week of school begins Monday, Aug. 26
Here are thumbnail sketches from all five Catholic Schools in the Diocese of Amarillo:
Holy Cross Catholic Academy, Amarillo:
Registration Information: Registration for the 2013-14 school year for grades six through ten is ongoing, according to Father Robert A. Busch, Head of School at HCCA and Superintendent of Catholic Schools in the Diocese of Amarillo.
There is only one spot left in the sixth grade class and only a few spots left in the ninth grade class. There is a waiting list for admission into the junior and senior classes and a waiting list will start for the sixth grade class once the final spot is filled. Prospective families and students are asked to call the school office at 355-9637 and ask for either Father Busch or Associate Head of School Darla Mueller to set up an appointment for an initial admissions interview and registration. Parents should bring student report cards and standardized testing scores to this meeting. Holy Cross Catholic Academy is located at 4110 South Bonham, just north of St. Joseph’s School.
Orientation sessions for all new HCCA students are set for Monday, Aug. 19. The sixth grade orientation will begin at 6:00pm with a pizza dinner in the school cafeteria. While students walk through their class schedules and practice opening their lockers, the sixth grade parents will be welcomed by parent ambassadors and have their own orientation session.
All other new students in grades 7-12 will have their orientation, at which they will receive their class schedules and locker assignments, at 2:00pm, also on Monday, Aug. 19, in Room 101.
New for 2013-14: Holy Cross Catholic Academy is excited to announce that, in addition to its full accreditation through the Texas Catholic Conference Accreditation Commission (TCCAC), the school is also now fully accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS), the regional accrediting body for colleges, universities and private secondary schools in 11 states, including Texas, in the south and the southeast.
“Recognition and accreditation by SACS reaffirms the quality of the education students receive at HCCA,” said Father Busch.
Holy Cross Catholic Academy will welcome three new part-time religion teachers to its faculty this fall. Nick Schoettle, youth minister at St. Thomas the Apostle Church, Amarillo, will teach the freshman religion class. He has a bachelor’s degree in theology and philosophy and a master’s degree in theology from Franciscan University in Steubenville, Ohio.
Disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ Sisters Therese Socchia and Gabriel Mary Gaughan will teach the middle school religion classes. Sister Therese has a bachelor’s degree in theology from Franciscan University and Sister Gabriel Mary has a bachelor’s degree in elementary education and a master’s degree in counseling from New Mexico State University.
Raising the Standards of Excellence: The Holy Cross Catholic Academy Class of 2014 is already at work corresponding with and visiting colleges and universities as they prepare to enter into the college admissions process with the assistance of school counselor Michelle Papp.
“The Class of 2013 continued raising the bar of excellence here at HCCA, having been awarded more than $517,000 in scholarships, grants and tuition waivers,” said Father Busch. “Members of the Class of 2014 are on target to exceed that mark, with excellent ACT and SAT scores already placing many of them in a position to be highly competitive as college and universities make admissions and scholarship decisions.”
Serving the Community: HCCA students once again will be involved in community service activities throughout the 2013-14 school year.
“Last year, our students collectively spent more than 1,500 hours in community service,” Father Busch said, “volunteering for such organizations as Catholic Charities of the Texas Panhandle, the High Plains Food Bank and Another Chance House.”
Plans are already being made for monthly class level projects and the continuation of a new tradition that started two years ago with a Day of Service during Catholic Schools Week.
Testing Schedule: All Catholic schools in the diocese will administer the Iowa Test of Basic Skills (ITBS) in the fall semester rather than the spring semester beginning this school year.
“This will allow teachers and administrators to use the scores in ‘real’ time as both an assessment and a diagnostic tool, so that students who are struggling in some subjects or with particular skills can receive the assistance they need in a more efficient and immediate manner,” said Father Busch. “The new schedule for administering the ITBS also will provide students with information at the beginning of the school year, rather than the end of the year, about which areas are their strengths and which areas will require some additional study and effort.”
Extracurricular Activities: Holy Cross volleyball and football teams will begin practices on Monday, Aug. 5. Other activities this fall include participation choir and band concerts, speech and debate tournaments and Student Council activities.
St. Joseph’s School, Amarillo:
Registration Information: Registration for the 2013-14 school year at St. Joseph’s School took place July 15 and 16, according to principal Angi Seidenberger. The date and time for the school’s annual Swim Party will be announced soon.
School Year Theme and Platooning: The theme at St. Joseph’s School for the 2013-14 school year is Catholic Schools: Communities of Faith, Knowledge and Service, according to Seidenberger.
“We will continue with platooning in our subjects,” she said.
New Math Program: St. Joseph’s School is excited to announce that it will be starting a new math program this fall.
“After much research comparing math programs, St. Joseph’s School believes that the Singapore Math program will offer most or all of what teachers are looking for in a math program,” said Seidenberger. “Instead of trying to cover a ‘ton’ of concepts with little focus on mastery and problem solving skills, Singapore offers success in the area of mastery based off their unique method of teaching the CPA (Concrete, Pictorial and Abstract) method. Because of this proven and successful method, the country of Singapore has scored at the very top of the Trends in International Mathematics.”
A Second First Grade Class: St. Joseph’s will open an additional First Grade class for the 2013-14 school year.
New Faculty Members: St. Joseph’s School will welcome two new faculty members for the 2013-14 school year. Linda Ladd joins the staff as the new Third Grade teacher. Ladd comes to St. Joseph’s from the Dumas Independent School District. She had retired from the science program and has decided to return to teaching.
Also new to St. Joseph’s is Fifth Grade teacher Mindy Blasingame. She previously was a student teacher at Wolflin Elementary in Amarillo.
Returning Faculty: With the Kindergarten and First Grade programs growing, some of the faculty will be returning, but in different roles.
Pre K teacher Esmeralda Valadez will be returning as the second First Grade teacher. Librarian and Art teacher Melissa Londenberg will be returning as a Kindergarten co-teacher. Kindergarten teacher Krista Bruse will return as the Montessori co-teacher.
Other returning faculty includes Erica Gassett, Montessori; Vickie Halsey, Kindergarten; Jacque Portillo, First Grade; Andrea Snead, Second Grade; and, Missy Musick, Fourth Grade.
Other returning faculty includes three School Sisters of St. Francis: Sister Mary Ana Steele, who is Assistant Principal and also teaches Religion and Music; Sister Mary Jude Schwind, as School Secretary; and, Sister Mary Pia Benavidez, who helps as needed. Rounding out the faculty are Cafeteria Manager Alex Miller; Cafeteria employee Judi Correa; and, Cindie Rodriguez, who teaches Physical Education and works in the Cafeteria.
Coming Attractions: The fourth annual Whatchamacallit to benefit St. Joseph’s School is set for Sunday, Aug. 18 from noon to 4:00pm at the school gym at 4118 South Bonham. The event will include a brisket meal, an opportunity to meet the school faculty and a Whatchamacallit dessert contest, with a chance to win $100, $50 or $25.
The event will also include a new parent orientation and a chance to meet with all Parish Organizations at St. Joseph’s Church, who will have booths, showing what they have to offer, according to Seidenberger.
“Whatchamacallit is a great time for fellowship and all proceeds from the meal will go toward the continuing updating of our school building,” she said.
Also on the calendar is the annual St. Joseph’s School Carnival, set for Saturday, Oct. 5.
St. Mary’s Cathedral School, Amarillo
Registration Information: St. Mary’s Cathedral School is currently conducting registration for the 2013-14 school year. The school will have two classes each of grades kindergarten through third and one class each of grades four and five. Students may begin their Catholic education at St. Mary’s by enrolling in the pre-school Montessori program that serves children ages three to five.
“The school has six classes of Montessori, with a ratio of two adults to 18 students,” said St. Mary’s principal Kathi Lewis. “Montessori teachers are certified through the North American Montessori Center. There is currently a waiting list for the Montessori pre-school program, supervised by Julie Scrimpsher. Be sure to call us as soon as possible at 376-9112 to get on the list.”
Summer Office Hours: Office hours for the remainder of July are Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9:00am to 3:00pm and Wednesdays from 10:00am to 4:00pm. Regular Monday through Friday office hours of 8:00am to 4:00pm will resume on Thursday, Aug. 1.
New to St. Mary’s: The school welcomes two new teachers to the faculty this year. An additional third grade section has been added and it will be taught by Kay Hallum, who previously taught in the Wilson ISD. She has 30 years of experience in public schools.
“When she retired a few years ago, the Wilson school district persuaded her to return and she took an assignment in Pre-K and also taught remedial reading,” said Lewis.
Also new to St. Mary’s is Elizabeth Martin, who will teach second grade.
“Elizabeth has nine years of teaching experience,” Lewis said. “At one point in her career, she applied for a technology grant and her classroom became a model classroom for technology.”
Important Dates: The school’s annual Meet and Greet in the classrooms will take place Monday, Aug. 19 from 5:30pm to 6:00pm, followed by New Parent Orientation at 6:00. The annual Back to School Swim Party is set for Saturday, Aug. 24 from 11:00am to 1:00pm at the West Texas A&M University Activity Center in Canyon. Other events on the fall calendar include:
• Thursday, Sept. 5, Back to School Night at 6:30pm; and,
• Saturday, Oct. 12, Carnival.
100 Years Young: Final preparations are underway for St. Mary’s Cathedral School’s 100 Years Centennial Celebration, which will take place at the school Thursday, Sept. 19 through Saturday, Sept. 21.
“Anyone who has had any connection with St. Mary’s over the years as a student, employee, volunteer or otherwise supporter of the school, is invited to attend our upcoming celebration,” said Lewis. “Come join the fun, connect with former friends and share good memories.”
To register and see what is planned, please visit the school’s website, www.stmarysamarillo.com.
• Find the tab, School 100 Years;
• In the drop-down box, click Centennial Celebration Events;
At the top of the page, you will see Centennial Celebration Events in turquoise.
• Directly under Centennial Celebration Events, click School 100 Years and it will take you to the area to register online or by mail;
• Or click Centennial Celebration Events and it take you to Planned Activities.
You may pay online or print the registration form and mail it with your payment.
Why St. Mary’s Cathedral School: “St. Mary’s Cathedral School invites you to become part of the school community and give your children an Education for Eternity, said Lewis. “Parent volunteers play a crucial role in the success of the school. Parents are welcome and have many opportunities to get involved.
“The school name has changed over the years, but there remains a Christ-centered focus and strong academic program that includes introductory Spanish and weekly swimming lessons. Extra-curricular opportunities for elementary students include Mileage Club, Hands on Science, private violin and piano lessons, Private School Interscholastic Association (PSIA) and Student Council. The students participate in numerous service projects throughout the year, giving them an opportunity to practice the Catholic values of love and service to others.”
St. Anthony of Padua School, Dalhart:
Registration Information: Registration for the 2013-2014 school year continues at St. Anthony of Padua School, with spaces still available in the Kindergarten, Fourth and Sixth Grade classrooms, according to Principal Melissa Meneses. Registration information can be accessed on the school’s website, www.stanthonydalhart.com. The school office will open for regular business hours on Thursday, Aug. 1.
The Cube of Love: St. Anthony of Padua School is beginning a new educational program for the new school year entitled the Cube of Love.
“The Cube of Love is aligned with the Focolare Movement, created by Chiara Lubich,” said Meneses. “We will begin our school day with a reflection on an expression of the Gospel-based ‘art of loving.’
“The six expressions that will be focused on throughout the year are: Love everyone; Be the first to love; Love Jesus in others; Share the other’s joy or hurt; Love your enemy; and, We love one another.
“The daily goal in and out of the classroom is to contribute to growth in faith, a building of a stronger Christian atmosphere and to help children unite and transform their love of God into good deeds and care for others,” Meneses said.
New Look, New View: St. Anthony of Padua students will begin the new year in new uniforms.
“Updating our uniforms has made students excited for the upcoming school year,” said Meneses. “Being in proper uniform gives students a sense of belonging to the school family. Additionally, it allows students to be focused on academics without distractions, while allowing students to feel a sense of integrity in representing themselves as students of St. Anthony of Padua School.”
The school teamed up with Cross International and donated over 700 articles of clothing from its previous uniform to the organization’s worldwide mission work.
At Your Service: In addition to Meneses, who is beginning her first year as St. Anthony of Padua School principal, making up the faculty are Jennifer Lopez, Secretary; Donna Brorman, Technology Director; Denise Howard, Montessori Pre-K; Karen Graff, Kindergarten; Shelia Miller, First Grade; Alexa Welch, Second Grade; Sister Mary Katherine Dorsey, OSF, Third Grade; Barbara Kaul, Fourth Grade; Suzanne Detten, Sixth Grade; Joanna McGaugh, Physical Education; Virginia Cendejas, Montessori Pre-K aide; and, Sister Mary Grace Clarke, OSF, Music.
Other faculty members include Isabel Valdez, Spanish; Sarah Hininger, Student Technology; Dorothy Kuster, Librarian; Sister Mary Celine Martinez, aide; and, Suzanne Foley, Counselor.
One Vacancy To Fill: St. Anthony of Padua School is in need of a Fifth Grade teacher. Any interested applicants should contact the school at 806-244-4811 or email Meneses at email@example.com. Resumes can be faxed to 806-244-0462. Applicants must have a Bachelor’s Degree and/or a teaching certificate.
Important Dates: Back to School Night is scheduled Tuesday, Aug. 20.
Other dates of importance include:
• Thursday, Sept. 12, First Home School Association Meeting of the new school year;
• Sunday, Oct. 20, Oktoberfest at Rita Blanca Coliseum; and,
• Thursday, Dec. 19, the annual Christmas Program.
St. Anthony’s School, Hereford:
Registration Information: St. Anthony’s School is accepting registrations for Preschool (age 4) and Kindergarten through Sixth Grades for the 2013-14 school year. For more information or to register during the month of July, please call St. Anthony’s Church at 364-6150 or download an enrollment/registration packet from the school website, www.herefordstanthonys.com. The school office is closed this month and will reopen for regular business hours on Thursday, Aug. 1. The phone number for the school is 364-1952.
“Since 1917, St. Anthony’s School has been nurturing the educational and moral growth of its students through a mission of developing Gospel values, a commitment to service and strong academic skills in each student,” said principal Linda Aranda.
School Year Theme: The school’s theme for the 2013-14 school year is from Isaiah 45:1-5, “I have called you by name.”
“Throughout the year we will reference this theme with the hope that each member of our community will recognize that they have been called into a personal relationship with God,” Aranda said. “Each person should feel empowered by the Holy Spirit to live out their vocation with joy. We all strive to find ways to deepen our love for Christ and His Church and to hear His voice in our hearts. This is challenging in our fast-paced and noisy world.”
Students will learn more about the Fruits of the Holy Spirit as explained in Galatians 5:25-26 and 6:1-10. Each month classes will learn about the specific fruit and the saint who represents the virtue.
Faculty News: St. Anthony’s School welcomes Imelda Enriquez to the faculty as the new Kindergarten teacher, replacing Ann Lueb, who retired after the 2012-13 school year.
The search continues for a part-time Music Teacher. Interested candidates are encouraged to contact Aranda at 364-1952.
Returning faculty include Dorothy Brownlow, 4K; Julie Newton, First Grade; Chelsea Hartman, Second Grade; Lesley Woodward, Third Grade; Farron Urbanczyk, Fourth Grade; Molly Meeks, Sixth Grade; Susan Hicks, Library Manager; Elaine McNutt, Computer Lab Manager, Marketing and Development Director; Karen Hacker, Physical Education; and, Yvette Alaniz, Para-professional.
Apple Technology Plan Implementation: The school is implementing the first three phases of its Apple Technology Plan.
“The three phases of the plan include converting from PC to Mac,” said Aranda. “Not only will teachers have new Mac books and iPads, but the computer lab is getting a complete makeover. Thanks to the generosity of our school, parish and community, we are able to move forward with all three phases of our three-year technology plan.”
Important Dates: Back to School Night is set for Wednesday, Aug. 28.
Other dates of significance this fall at St. Anthony’s School include:
• Monday, Sept. 9 to Friday, Sept. 13 Grandparents Week;
• Monday, Sept. 30 to Friday, Oct. 4 Book Fair (tentative dates);
• Sunday, Oct. 20, the annual Karnival Krazy, from noon to 5:00pm;
• Saturday, Nov. 2, the annual Turkey Trot (Family Fun Walk—tentative date); and,
• Thursday, Dec. 19, the Annual Christmas Program, at 7:00pm.
“God is good! Please check out our website, www.herefordstanthonys.com, visit our school or give us a call at 364-1952 for any additional information,” said Aranda.