* Scott Brookbank, who grew up attending St. Joseph Parish in Penfield, was ordained a Franciscan Friar of the Renewal on May 24. He is a graduate of Irondequoit’s Bishop Kearney High School, Pittsford’s Nazareth College and Loyola University in Baltimore. He recently received his master’s of divinity degree from Washington Theological Union in Washington, D.C.
* Erika U. Schmitz of Christ the King School in Irondequoit received the Sister of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary Miriam Joseph Farrell Distinguished Teacher Award from the National Catholic Educational Association during its annual convention March 25-28 in Indianapolis, Ind. The award was one of about 70 given during the convention to educators from throughout the nation in recognition of outstanding service to Catholic education.
* Nazareth Schools received a $2,000 Teach Award from Best Buy Company Inc. for creatively integrating interactive technology into its classroom. Nazareth will use the award to buy new educational technology; the school is one of 1,300 nationwide to receive the financial assistance. All accredited, public and private nonprofit elementary, middle and secondary schools within 50 miles of a Best Buy store are eligible to enter the awards program.
* St. Joseph’s School students in Penfield presented handmade blankets to representatives of Strong Memorial Hospital’s neonatal intensive care unit on April 10. Second-graders made no-sew fleece blankets, while third- and sixth-grade students took part in a sewing project to make quilts. The blanket project is a yearly tradition for the school.
* Several Our Lady of Mercy High School students have signed letters of intent for college in the fall of 2008. Senior Tess Hanna will enroll at St. Bonaventure University in Olean and will play soccer. Senior Kendra Zaffuto has signed to run track at Roberts Wesleyan College. Senior Catherine (Katie) Jenkins will play lacrosse at St. Francis University in Pennsylvania.
* Our Lady of Mercy Middle School students participated in the “Brighton Clean Sweep.” Seventh- and eighth-grade girls joined Mercy faculty and family members to clean up the school grounds and the surrounding neighborhood streets.
* Bishop Kearney High School welcomed Pictometry International Corp.’s President and Chief Executive Officer Richard Kaplan April 24 as part of the schools new 21st Century Leaders Series. Kaplan discussed the importance of technology and entrepreneurship in the Rochester area and fielded questions from Kearney students.
* Father Raymond Fleming has been given a faith-based award from the 19th Ward Community Association during its Citizen and Merchant of the Year Awards dinner on May 18. Father Fleming is pastor of Emmanuel Church of the Deaf and St. Monica Parish in Rochester.
* Jesuit Father Richard Hunt was named one of the Top 12 People of Note at Rochester Institute of Technology, where he is the campus minister.
* Seven area residents were honored for long-term service at Notre Dame Learning Center’s third-annual Appreciation Dinner May 21. The tutors are Joanne and Russ Cordaro, Chili; Jack Fawkes, Rochester; Maria Infantino, Greece; Jim Nobes, Penfield; Joe Ragusa, Webster; and Larry Steehler, Irondequoit.
The center, which is run by the School Sisters of Notre Dame, is a free after-school tutoring program for Rochester public- and private-school students. About 60 volunteers a year provide kindergarten to eighth-grade students with one-on-one assistance in reading or math. To volunteer for July or August sessions, or to refer a student, call the center at 585-254-5110 or visit www.ndlcenter.org.
* The Rochester Chapter of National Alliance on Mental Illness honored Rochester’s St. Joseph’s Neighborhood Center with the Mental Health Community Service Award. The award was presented during the organization’s 26th-anniversary dinner on May 1.
Other honorees included Jack Goldstein, who received the annual Karen Cavalieri Consumer Advocate Award; Sue Cambell, who received the Volunteer of the Year Award; Judy Watt, who was honored as the outgoing president of the organization’s board of directors; and state Sen. Joseph Robach, R-Greece, for his support of the organization.
* St. Agnes School in Avon won the spring PageTurners Competition on April 23 in Livonia. Students in grades 3 to 6 have read several books during the school year, and discuss the books and answer questions on the books to test their comprehension.
PageTurners is a program of the Genesee Valley Board of Cooperative Educational Services. Books are selected by students, coaches, librarians and the enrichment specialist.
* Students from St. Agnes School in Avon placed as semifinalists in the Christopher Columbus Award, a national program that challenges middle-school students to explore opportunities for positive change in their communities.
Through research, students learned about global warming and how excess trash contributes to global warming through the release of methane gas. The Worm Masters team promoted using worms in composting to reduce the amount of waste in the world. The team of sixth-graders included Grace Brinkerhoff, Liam Coyne, Jaclyn Hayes and Haley Moran and their teacher Melissa Savino.
The students built a worm-composting bin at the school and have been composting lunch trash and coffee filters for about two months. The students use the composted soil to help their classroom plants grow better.
* Kyle Rogan, a student at McQuaid Jesuit High School in Rochester, was one of 28 area students to receive a $1,000 Sam Walton Community Scholarship for college from local Wal-Mart stores and Sam’s Clubs. Recipients were honored at a reception May 29.
* Greater Rochester Community of Churches June 3 honored Joanne and Bill Cala of Fairport with its Faith in Action Metropolitan Award for their work advocating for quality education in Rochester and in Kenya, where they started the charity Joining Hearts and Hands.
The charity promotes education, health and economic improvements for African orphans and their communities through building schools, sponsoring health clinics, providing scholarships and nourishing sustainable-development programs. The Calas are parishioners of the Church of the Assumption in Fairport.
The Calas are currently in Kenya and said that a groundbreaking on Hannah’s Hope School in Kenya, an early childhood education center that memorializes Hannah Congdon and four other Fairport teens killed in an auto accident last year, took place June 8 in Kenya.
* On May 15 students at St. Joseph’s School in Penfield performed the new original musical “All for Peace,” which was written, produced and directed by music teacher Theresa Ryck.
* Our Lady of Mercy High School hosted the Colleen Harrington Walk May 26 at the school to raise money for the Mercy Scholarship Fund and for cystic fibrosis research. The scholarship fund was created in memory of Colleen Harrington, a member of Mercy’s Class of 2000, who died in the summer of 1998 after a long battle with cystic fibrosis.