In a week full of Catholic-education celebrations, employees at Brighton’s Siena Catholic Academy gave out their own good news.
Members of the Parent Advisory Committee decided to create three new $500 scholarships, using funds raised through magazine sales, wrapping-paper drives, dues and other annual fundraisers.
The announcement was just one event of many during Catholic Schools Week, which Catholic schools in the diocese celebrated Jan. 28-Feb. 3.
The St. Catherine of Siena scholarship was announced Jan. 30 during a breakfast reception at Siena that featured members of the Parent Advisory Committee, prospective parents and school officials.
“This (scholarship) will be open to all sixth-graders in Catholic schools,” said Principal Timothy Leahy.
The scholarships award students $500 for their seventh-grade year and their eighth-grade year. The money goes toward the cost of tuition, which in 2007-08 will be $4,050 for the child of a registered parishioner.
The application deadline for the scholarship is April 17. Candidates will be asked to respond to a statement about values important to Siena, and parents will be asked to respond to a question about their child’s future contributions. The scholarship is open to students enrolled in Catholic schools for at least three years who have good attendance, positive character traits, passing grades and two letters of recommendation. Students must maintain a passing average to retain the scholarship. Recipients will be announced during a May mixer for all incoming seventh-graders.
“The reason for this scholarship is we hope to maintain the kids we have, and that parents who have committed to Catholic education can reap the benefits through junior high,” said Lori Lawlor, parent and cochair of the Parent Advisory Committee.
Lawlor said the committee decided to develop the scholarship to stimulate interest and involvement in Catholic schools. It also raises money for professional development for teachers and for school equipment, and recently purchased 15 laptops and portable carts to help expand the use of technology at the school.
For details on the scholarship, call 585/381-1220.
Here is how some other schools celebrated Catholic Schools Week:
* Sporting firefighters’ helmets, stethoscopes or white lab coats, students at St. John the Evangelist School in Spencerport were walking demonstrations of what careers they wanted to try. But on Jan. 31, community members introduced them to a few more careers.
About 20 professionals spoke about their careers, encompassing everything from librarian to lawyer, police officer to flight attendant, and au pair to military policeman.
Spencerport veterinarian Sarah Ziemba spoke about how a love for animals translated into a full-time career for her.
“I thought it would be a great opportunity to inspire some kids to follow in the career I love,” Ziemba said.
Tom Agness, whose son, Jonathan, attends the school, said he volunteered to speak at the career day to tell kids more about being a stay-at-home dad. He said the best question he received, after rattling off all the things he does during the day, was from a girl who wondered why he didn’t get paid.
“It was a sacrifice to send him here and to have me at home, but in the long run, I think it’s been helpful,” Agness said.
Six-year-old Aidan Purificato said she was impressed by a visit from a police officer and his police dog, a German shepherd named Odie. Even so, she already has decided to pursue another profession.
“I want to be a dance teacher,” Aidan said.
* Students at St. John of Rochester School in Fairport greeted their bus drivers with plates of cookies Jan. 31. Sandy Heslor, who drives bus No. 399 for the Fairport Central School District, said this is her seventh year receiving cookies.
“This is one little perk of being a bus driver,” Heslor said.
One group of parents made the cookies, and another wrapped them in red or blue cellophane and included a note saying, “Thank you for keeping our children safe!” The third-grade class also wrote thank-you notes to the bus drivers.
Several students gave their bus drivers high marks.
“She’s really nice,” 11-year-old Amelia Rosedale said of her bus driver. “She gets us to school safe, and she’s always early. She likes to say ‘Hi’ and see how we are doing.”