Oh, the difference children make! Although I deeply enjoy the days of summer—I’ll go so far as to say that I “mourn” a little bit as summer recess draws to a close—yet, as soon as I hear the voices of the children return to the St. Mary campus to begin a new school year, my heart beat does some skipping. Doctors and nurses, relax! I am not referring to arrhythmia. I mean there is a lift to my soul!
Earlier this week, I walked out of the door situated by the parish office. Looking East, I caught sight of our preschoolers gathered up at the beautiful shrine of Our Lady of Fatima. They saw me before their teacher did. It was comical how a couple of them immediately attempted to gain the attention of the teacher to point out that I was nearby. Then, as a group, they offered the kind of joyful greeting that makes one feel like a “rock star” - in a Petrine sense, of course!
Already within these first two weeks of school, scenes like this have unfolded aplenty! While I want to recognize the challenges any teacher and school staff member faces, in prepping for the children and establishing clear expectations for the year, yet the spirit of the whole Saint Mary campus is brighter for the children being here. This will further be evident as PSR begins on Sunday mornings, with the kick-off of the year scheduled for Sunday, September 15. It is particularly exciting that we have a good many families who are new to our school!
More good News! St. Mary School was awarded the "Governor's Thomas Edison Award for Excellence in STEM Education and Student Research". St. Mary School was one of the 54 schools in the State of Ohio to receive the award. The Governor's Award recognizes Ohio schools and teachers who stimulate scientific student research and technological design and extend opportunities beyond traditional classroom activities. "These schools and teachers know that only teaching STEM from a textbook is not an option." said Michael E. Woytek, the executive of the Ohio Academy of Science. Woytek went on to say, "each of the awardees provides opportunities and experiences for hands-on learning and they clearly value inquiry-based, scientific research. Many of their students excel at District Science and State Science Day." Outstanding work St. Mary Staff and Students! This is a wonderful reminder that in the Catholic vision, faith and science are designed by God to work hand in hand!
I know Fr. Rich joins me in extending hopes for a blessed and safe Labor Day weekend for all members of the Saint Mary community!