Welcome to the 2011-2012 School Year at St. Mary’s School!
The summer has just flown by and here we are, ready to begin a new
school year! Whether you are a new family coming to St. Mary’s for the
first time or have been with us as part of our St. Mary’s School Family
for many years, welcome!
Over the course of the summer I had
the opportunity, as I hope all of you did, to play, pray, read, and
learn! While it may sound funny to some of our students to hear this,
their principal actually got two chances to go back to school – and
jumped at them!
One of these opportunities was to be part of a
“teaching team” for a summer reading camp conducted as part of the
annual week-long Constructivist Workshop which was held in July on the
St. Lawrence University campus. It was wonderful to work with two fellow
colleagues, Ms. Margaret Trainor and Miss Ginger Thomas, along with
eight of our St. Mary’s students, for one solid week as we learned about
the Adirondacks through books, personal interviews, research, and even a
field trip! The culminating product of our efforts was a student-
produced video which may be used for future professional development
workshops for teachers, and as part of an Adirondack project involving
other schools in this area in cooperation with The Wild Center in Tupper
Lake! As a teacher, it reminded me how exciting and energizing it can
be to really dive into a subject and work toward a specific goal.
Learning can and should be fun as well as focused and productive!
other educational opportunity I had was attending the 22nd Summer
Institute on Catholic Education which was co-sponsored by the Warner
School of Education at the University of Rochester. This was the third
time I have attended the Institute and this particular conference
focused on preventing bullying and increasing emotional literacy in our
schools. During one of the presentations the speaker referred to the
passage in the Bible from Exodus (3:2-5) where God was calling to Moses
at the burning bush: “Moses! Moses!” “Who is it?” Moses asked. “ Don’t
come any closer,” God told him. “ Take off your shoes, for you are
standing on holy ground…”
As I reflected upon the words “holy
ground,” I found myself thinking about our school. St. Mary’s School
should be considered to be holy ground. Once a person enters the
building, he or she should be aware of a difference. It should feel
different from any of a multitude of other places we may go during the
day. St. Mary’s is first and foremost a Catholic school, one that
teaches our children to see the face of Christ in each other as well as
in themselves. When this happens, there is no fear of bullying, there is
no fear of disrespect, or ridicule. St. Mary’s School is holy ground.
But it doesn’t stop with our children. After all, they will only mirror
what the grown-ups in their lives reflect. As adults, we must also
remember to honor the holy ground, and remind ourselves how lucky we are
in this community to have
this protective, special place where
everyone, regardless of age, is cherished and valued. Holy ground. What a
wonderful way to see your classroom, your school, and your work place!
both the children and Mr. Crawford might want us all to “take off your
shoes” when we enter the building, I won’t be asking for that! I do ask,
however, that over the next couple of weeks, as we prepare to begin a
new school year, we consider looking at our school with this new
perspective in mind. St. Mary’s has always been the “School with the
Heart,” so we haven’t really had the problems that some of our public
schools have had to face. Still, the thought of “standing on holy
ground” not only directs how we are to behave but also reminds us of
what a privilege it is to be able to be part of such a special place.
Now our hearts can become on fire as we celebrate the gift of another
school year together. What a different way to view the beginning of
Once again, welcome or welcome back, thank you for your
children, and may God bless your families. I’ll see you all in just a
short time on the holy ground that is St. Mary’s School!
Mrs. Marianne Jadlos