Happy New Year!
We began our week recalling the Feast of the Epiphany and rejoicing in the Lord and the greatest gift He gave us, his Love for us. We prayed that we pass on that love so that we have a peaceful, harmonious 2019. This is National Migration Week and we also remembered immigrants, migrants, and refugees throughout the world, praying that they find welcoming communities among us.
Catholic Schools Week, the annual celebration of Catholic education is coming right up; it begins with Mass at 10:30am on Sunday, January 27. The theme this year, “Catholic Schools: Learn. Serve. Lead. Succeed.” encompasses the core products and values that can be found in Catholic Schools across the country. You are invited to attend the Mass, and the Cultural Fair and Open House afterward. During Catholic Schools Week, St. John will join schools across the United States to celebrate community, the nation, the teachers, vocations, and of course, the students! The children will share how each one is a unique part of the school, the community, and our nation. Your children may ask you questions about their heritage, their background, their special story. Be prepared for the discussion: What makes each one of us so special or unique? The biggest source of pride at St. John is our community and we are made up of families from many nations. We encourage and hope that the children will wear their ethnic dress and show their pride in their cultural background, both at mass on January 27th and later during the week.
January is also a time for resolutions and decision–making and we have some faculty changes to share with you. I would like to announce the appointment of Mrs. Kathryn Chandler to Co-Director of the XDC program. Mrs. Chandler has been a valued employee here since 2014 and will replace Mrs. Katie Bugge who resigned her position effective January 1. The children and their parents will miss Mrs. Bugge’s warm and reassuring presence. Mrs. Rachelle Overby and the administrative team are grateful to her for sharing her organizational skills and supporting the leadership. We wish Mrs. Bugge the best in her future endeavors.
Michele Thornquist, our Director of Development and Admissions, has informed us that she plans to retire this year. Fortunately for us, she will be here until August and this gives us ample time to prepare. Michele plays such a huge role here at St. John, serving the school in multiple roles for the past 20+ years, both as a parent, volunteer, and employee, and participating as a key member of the parish executive team. Her successor will have to fill very big shoes indeed! We are not saying goodbye yet, but I am sure that all of you who took tours of St. John with Michele may want to wish her well. The position will be posted on the Archdiocesan employment website.
Construction News: The Extended Daycare staff has been working hard arranging the new furniture and preparing for their move into Quigley House. The application for the Department of Early Learning licensing has been submitted, and we are waiting for them to complete their inspection of the new space at Quigley. We are hopeful for a January move-in and we are excited to present the Pre-K and Kindergarten Open House there on January 17 at 7pm.
Work on the primary classrooms and new reception area continues. The classrooms, the new office spaces, and the new bathroom are taking shape; it is exciting to be discussing the move-in plans. We will keep you posted as we near the specific opening date.