Amarillo—One month from today (Sunday), the 2015-16 school year for Catholic students will begin, with a half-day of classes on Wednesday, Aug. 19 and full days on Thursday, Aug. 20 and Friday, Aug. 21.
The first full week of school begins Monday, Aug. 24 (see the 2015-16 diocesan school
calendar on page 15 of The West Texas Catholic).
Here are thumbnail sketches from the five Catholic Schools in the Diocese of Amarillo:
Holy Cross Catholic Academy, Amarillo:
Registration Information: Registration for the 2015-16 school year for grades six through eleven is ongoing, according to Father Robert A. Busch, Head of School at Holy Cross Catholic Academy and Superintendent of Catholic Schools in the Diocese of Amarillo.
“We are happy to welcome new students throughout the summer months,” Father Busch said. “At the high school level, though, we have only one or two available spots in each class.”
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 the only secondary Catholic School in the Diocese of Amarillo,” said Father Busch. “We offer a Catholic-based college bound curriculum with an emphasis on service to others and to the community, a variety of extracurricular activities and an athletic program for all middle school and high school students.”
New for 2015-16: Two new teachers will join the HCCA faculty this fall.
“Guillermo Tellez will serve as a middle school and high school math teacher.,” said Father Busch. “He taught for many years in Dallas before moving to Amarillo. Matthew Rosas, a 2008 HCCA graduate, will return to his alma mater to teach middle school social studies and physical education. He also will be serving as a coach and the assistant athletic director.”
Technology upgrades were made to the classrooms at HCCA over the summer months. New projectors were installed in some classrooms and, thanks to the generosity of the Class of 2015, each classroom will now be equipped with a document camera to enhance instruction. Improvements also were made to the student laptop computers.
Orientation Information: Orientation for all new students will be on Monday, Aug. 17, at 5:30pm. Later that evening, all HCCA students and their parents are asked to attend a Back-to-School meeting. The meeting, which will include distribution of the school’s 2015-16 edition of the Student-Parent Handbook and the introduction of new faculty members, will begin at 7:00.
Holy Cross Catholic Academy is located at 4110 South Bonham, just north of St. Joseph Catholic School. Phone number: 355-9637. Website:
St. Joseph’s School, Amarillo:
Looking Back at 2014-15: St. Joseph’s School celebrated its 60
anniversary during the 2014-15 school year, a year St. Joseph’s principal Angi Seidenberger deemed “wonderful.”
“We had a wonderful year this past school year as we celebrated 60 years at St. Joseph School,” she said. “We look forward to growing and evolving over the next 60 years. Our school has experienced much growth over the last several years and we are excited to announce that our Montessori class had a waiting list for the 2015-16 school year in January. Our kindergarten class is full and several classes are close to being full.
“While we are always looking to improve and no place is perfect, we are proud of what we have to offer our students and families. We will continue to departmentalize our classrooms from second through fifth grade to give teachers the opportunity to focus on a few subjects and also to get to know their students learning abilities and personalities well.”
Faculty Changes: St. Joseph’s School will welcome one new faculty member so far for the 2015-16 school year.
“Miechelle Ronquillo, who has been a strong supporter of our school, will be joining our faculty as the new Spanish teacher,” said Seidenberger. “She comes to St. Joseph’s from Region 16. Our former Spanish teacher, Johanna Piña, will be moving into the third grade teaching position, replacing Linda Ladd, who retired at the end of the 2014-2015 school year.”
Returning Faculty: Returning faculty to St. Joseph’s School includes Montessori teacher Erica Gassett; Montessori co-teacher Krista Bruse; Pre-K Teachers Dana Green and Tori Reynolds; Kindergarten teacher Darrell Glenn, First Grade teacher Jacque Portillo, who will move to teach fifth grade; Second Grade teacher Andrea Snead; and, Fourth Grade teacher Missy Musick.
“Other returning faculty includes Monica Gromek and Anna Rosales, who will serve as teacher aides,” said Seidenberger. “Scott Reynolds will return as our physical education teacher. Rounding out the faculty are Cafeteria Manager Alex Miller and Cafeteria employee Judi Correa.”
Coming Attractions: The fifth annual Whatchamacallit to benefit St. Joseph’s School is set for Sunday, Aug. 16 from noon to 4:00pm at the school gym at 4118 South Bonham (see related story, page 8). Also on the calendar is the annual St. Joseph’s School Carnival, set for Saturday, Oct. 3.
St. Joseph’s School is located at 4118 South Bonham, in between St. Joseph’s Church and Holy Cross Catholic Academy. Phone number: 359-1604. Website: www. stjosephamarillo.com
St. Mary’s Cathedral School, Amarillo:
New Principal: St. Mary’s Cathedral School has a new principal.
Linda Aranda, former principal at St. Anthony’s School, Hereford, will work with current principal Kathi Lewis during the fall semester and will take over after the Christmas Break. Aranda spent six years at St. Anthony’s School and has 24 years of education experience.
“My goal is to be present and available to our teachers, the students and their parents, as well as to raise the school’s profile in our parish and the community at large through our Reverence, Responsibility, Respect and Readiness,” she said.
Registration Information: St. Mary’s Cathedral School is currently registering students for ages three through fifth grade, according to Lewis. The school is accredited through the Texas Catholic Conference Education Department (TCCED).
Tours of the school and additional information can be obtained by calling 376-9112 to learn more about the elementary program or 376-9155 for the Montessori pre-school program. A message may be left on the answering machine; phone calls will be returned. Regular office hours will resume Monday, Aug. 3 from 8:00am-4:00pm Monday through Friday.
Montessori News: The Montessori pre-school serves children between the ages of three and five. There are still spots available in the program. Students must be three years old on or before Tuesday, Sept. 1 and completely toilet trained to enroll. The Montessori curriculum provides individualized instruction using specialized Montessori materials. Students have hands-on learning opportunities in reading, math, writing, science, social studies and practical life. The students learn about the Catholic faith through the Catechesis of the Good Shepard program. School Sister of St. Francis Sister Peter Marie Riscigliano will teach the Catechesis program during the school year.
Why St. Mary’s? The elementary program at St. Mary’s Cathedral School serves students in first through fifth grades. Students in grades one through five participate in a weekly introductory Spanish class. In addition to classroom reading instruction delivered by the teacher, students have the opportunity for individualized reading remediation or enrichment through the online Lexia reading program. The Saxon Math program is supported by online First in Math (grades 1-3) and Think Through Math (grades 3-5). Students in grades one through five have the opportunity to compete academically with other area schools through participation in the yearly Private Schools Interscholastic Association (PSIA). Winners of the local competition travel to Fort Worth to compete in the state competition.
Students receive instruction with technology through weekly computer classes in the Dell lab. Teachers also instruct through interactive lessons using an Eno board. All classrooms have between three and four student computer stations.
Weekly school Mass is celebrated every Friday. Kindergarten through fifth grade students attend monthly Adoration to sing the Divine Chaplet. Students participate in many kinds of activities in the classroom to allow them to express their Catholic faith.
A variety of extra-curricular activities enables students to explore their own interests. A before-school Mileage Club provides opportunities for early morning “wake-up” exercise through walking and running. Fourth and fifth grade students may participate in Hands-On Science, with numerous and varied fun experiments and activities to keep students engaged and eager to learn about science.
Participation in Student Council allows students in third through fifth grade to learn about leadership, parliamentary procedure, team work and caring for others through facilitating a variety of service projects throughout the year. Piano and violin lessons are also offered during the school day for interested students.
New Staff: The elementary staff will welcome three new teachers for the upcoming school year. Kendra Backus will teach kindergarten; Sara Tijerina will teach second grade; and, the new third grade teacher is Patrice Grider. Lora Hoelting is the new Montessori Director and will take the reins in August.
Upcoming events in the next several weeks include:
• Friday, Aug. 14, the annual Back-to-School Swim Party, from 7:15pm to 9:15pm, at Amarillo Town Club on Hillside;
• Monday, Aug. 17, Meet and Greet for all families to meet the teachers, followed by New Parent Orientation;
• Friday, Sept. 4, Back-to-School Night, an opportunity for parents to hear what teachers have planned for the school year and learn individual teachers’ classroom policies and procedures;
• Friday, Sept. 18, Grandparents Day and Special Friends Day;
• Thursday, Oct. 8, Annual Montessori Trike-a-thon; and,
• Saturday, Oct. 10, Annual School Carnival
St. Mary’s Cathedral School is located at 1200 South Washington, Amarillo. Phone number: 376-9112. Website:
St. Anthony of Padua School, Dalhart:
Registration Information: Registration for the 2015-2016 school year continues at St. Anthony of Padua School, with spaces still available in our second, third, fifth and sixth Grade classrooms, according to Interim Principal Stephanie Gaines. Registration information can be accessed on the school’s website,
. The school office will be open from 9:00am to 1:00pm beginning Monday, August 3.
“We are pleased to announce that this year we have the highest enrollment in the history of the school,” Gaines said. “Teachers, staff and students are enjoying iPads in each classroom to assist with curriculum.”
The theme for the school year is Challenged to Proclaim God’s Mercy, which ties in with the Holy Father’s call for a Year of Mercy starting on Tuesday, Dec. 8, the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary, according to Gaines.
At Your Service: St. Anthony of Padua School welcomes three new faculty members for the 2015-16 school year.
Jennifer Lenz is the new Second Grade teacher, while Mary Olivarez and Elizabeth Martinez will serve as aides. Returning faculty include:
• Shay Batenhorst, Montessori/Pre-K;
• Karen Graff, kindergarten;
• Sheila Miller, First Grade;
• Sister Mary Katherine Dorsey, OSF, Third Grade;
• Barbara Kaul, Fourth Grade;
• Jaime Halbert, Fifth Grade;
• Suzanne Detten, Sixth Grade;
• Jennifer Lopez, Secretary;
• Joanna McGaugh, Technology Director;
• Virginia Cendejas, Physical Education;
• Josie Granados, Montessori Pre-K aide;
• Isabel Valdez, Spanish;
• Sarah Hininger, Student Technology;
• Dorothy Kuster, Librarian; and,
• Sister Mary Celine Martinez, OSF, aide.
Important Dates: Back to School Night is scheduled for Tuesday, August 18 at 6:00pm. Other dates of importance during the Fall Semenster include:
• Thursday, Sept. 10, the first Home School Association Meeting of the 2015-16 school year;
• Sunday, Oct. 18, Oktoberfest and Auction at Rita Blanca Coliseum; and,
• Thursday, Dec. 17, the annual Advent Program.
St. Anthony of Padua School is located at 410 East 13
Street in Dalhart. Phone number: 806-244-4811. Website: www.stanthonydalhart.com.
St. Anthony’s School, Hereford
Changes at the Top: St. Anthony’s School will start the 2015-16 school year with an Interim Principal and a fulltime Assistant Principal.
Two years after retiring, former St. Anthony’s School principal Ann Lueb will return as Interim Principal. She will be working as a mentor with Ana Copeland, who has been hired as the Assistant Principal. Lueb will also be a consultant for the Texas Catholic Conference Accreditation Visit, scheduled for the Spring of 2016.
Lueb and Copeland replace Linda Aranda, who is now at St. Mary’s Cathedral School, Amarillo.
Copeland has a double Bachelor of Science degree from Texas A & M University and a Master of Science degree from West Texas A&M University. She earned her teaching certificate through the PACE program at WT. Copeland has taught in the science department at Hereford High School for the past five years. She is working on her Administration certification through Lamar University. Her children, Cadence and Cooper, have been attending St. Anthony’s School and she and her husband, Coby, have served as president of St. Anthony PTO. She has also served on the St. Anthony Parish Finance Council.
Commitment to Excellence: Lueb and Copeland will be working together to continue the long-standing excellence of the school, which has provided continuous years of education since the 1917-1918 school year. The mission of the school to teach Gospel values, a commitment to service and strong academic skills will continue to be the focus for the upcoming school year.
Through the month of July, enrollment can be accomplished by calling the parish office at St. Anthony’s Church at 364-6150. The school office will reopen on Monday, Aug. 3, and further information about the school can be obtained at 364-1952.
Important Dates: Dates of importance for the Fall Semester at St. Anthony’s School include:
• Grandparent’s Week, Monday, Sept. 14 through Friday, Sept. 18;
• ITBS Testing, Monday, Sept. 14 through Friday, Sept. 23;
• Karnival Krazy, Sunday, Oct. 18;
• The annual Turkey Trot, Saturday, Nov, 6 (date subject to change);
• Virgen de Guadalupe Celebration, Friday, Dec. 11; and,
• The annual Christmas Program, Thursday, Dec. 17.
St. Anthony’s School is located at 120 West Park Avenue in Hereford. Phone number: 806-364-1952. Website: www.herefordstanthonys.com