With the first trimester underway, there’s no denying we have had to adjust to the changes. Between unprecedented circumstances, and the bumps that naturally come with a new staff and new administration, I am proud to say that we have held together as a community. First and foremost, we have to always remember that at the end of the day, the students are our priorities, and that no change – regardless of how small – can be remedied overnight. Despite some of the hiccups, our classes are as busy as ever, inspiring me to take a step back and reflect upon all the good that’s happening around us.
Yesterday started with the Kindergarteners reviewing the parts of the calendar, the days of the week, and most importantly, a reminder that Halloween is a week away! From trips to Sesame Place to weekend road trips, the unconditional love that our parents show to our students exudes through their excitement and enthusiasm. To spark the spooky season, the Parent Academy Association volunteers, along side additional father volunteers, put together a fantastic Halloween Haunted House for the school to share scares together that some of the students were still boasting about to this day.
As I made my way through the hallways, I was moved to see that the 1st and 2nd grade classes were working together, not on a project, but on something much more important – fire drill procedures. Earlier in the week, teachers were informed that we would be beginning our fire drills, which staff was prepped for back in September. Mrs. England and Mrs. Palladino decided to join forces and have their students working with one another to ensure that they had an organized, and well-oiled procedure to get everyone out the door and to safety expeditiously. With the joint efforts of our faculty, staff, and the precautionary attitude of the students, we were completely evacuated within 1 minute and 32 seconds!
The highlight of my week, however, was being with the 4th graders in their music class. As a former canter and musician myself, I had a moment to relive some of my favorite times as a student: singing God’s word – and from a teacher’s perspective: overcoming difficulties as a team. The students and I had such a great time working together to master the melody, to gain confidence to sing solo verses, and learning that everyone makes mistakes – even adults!
There are so many other exciting things going on within these walls! Just to name a few: the 6th grade TAC class is working on their digital family portraits composed from a genetics project that stems from their science coursework, and our 8th grade art students are working on animal sketches to help hone their artistic skills. I’m extremely grateful and proud to be a part of it all!
Thank you all for your support and prayers for the continued educational success of your children. I can’t wait to see what other exciting happenings we can be a part of together!
Only three weeks into the summer, and St. Mel’s is already bustling. From prospective families taking tours, to our dedicated staff beautifying the building, our Academy is already preparing for the 2018-2019 school year.
There’s no denying that St. Mel’s is a special place for the students, as a community of faith and one of academic challenges. From the moment I had the opportunity to meet the students at the meet-and-greet, I knew that God had led me to an exceptional school. As I stood in the schoolyard wondering how I would be received, a line of students passed by, welcoming me into their home and community.
Walking into the building each day since, I’m reminded of the smiling faces and cheerful “good mornings” from that day, and it makes me even more eager to begin our journey together.
Exciting things lie ahead for the students of St. Mel’s Academy – a devoted and compassionate staff, an incorporated interdisciplinary curriculum, and a lifetime of memories.
Looking forward to the up and coming academic year, as the newly appointed principal, I would like to wish the St. Mel’s families a happy and healthy summer.
As I look back on another wonderful year at St. Mel’s Catholic Academy, it truly has been a year filled with many blessings. There is so much to look back fondly on, and so many things to be proud of.
We can think back to the first day of school, with the flags and flowers, the smiling faces, and minds eager and ready to learn. When we had our opening Mass and Father Sauer and Father Lee reminded us of the events of 9-11. I think back to Christmas time and feeling the joy and love of Christ’s birth filling the school. I think about Catholic Schools Week and all the wonderful events that brought us together as a community. I think about all the student work such as projects, essays, posters, presentations, labs, and other creative ways our students showed their learning. And I think about all the times we celebrated Mass and prayed together. It warms my heart when I think about the school Masses every first Friday, family Masses on Sunday, our May Crowning, First Communion for our 2nd graders, and Confirmation for our 8th graders. I am proud to say that our Catholic traditions continue to keep us together, and our Catholic identity is strong.
We can also think back to all the wonderful events put on by the Parent Academy Association. From the Halloween party, the Christmas Spectacular, the Easter Bunny breakfast, Grocery Bingo, to the Walk-a-Thon BBQ, and all the events in between, our students benefit from such a dedicated and kind group of parents who volunteer so much of their time for the children of St. Mel’s.
During the year, I have seen so much growth in our students at St. Mel’s Catholic Academy. I am proud to walk the halls of our school and see our teachers and faculty challenging every student to do his or her best. Our faculty and students became excited and energized as we opened our brand new Paint C.A.N Art Studio! Our arts program continues to enrich the educational experiences of our students, and we plan on adding more programs to our school next year. Our students benefit from such a rich environment filled with academic excellence and strong moral teachings.
Finally, as we get ready for summer, I think of our graduates. They will be taking what they learned here at St. Mel’s and moving on to high school. I pray that in a world that tests our character, our students will rely on their faith and be models of Catholic virtue to their peers. I pray that they are successful and find their passion as they begin a new journey in their lives.
I wish for you to have a blessed and happy summer. Thank you for all that you do for St. Mel’s. May God continue to bless our beloved parish and school.
Mr. Christopher Stein
What a wonderful spring it has been at St. Mel’s Catholic Academy! It warmed my heart to have the school yard full in the morning for prayers as the pleasant weather finally arrived. Spring brings a renewed energy and enthusiasm to our community, and I am happy to say that our school is also full of new life.
Recently the Parent Academy Association held the annual Easter Bunny Breakfast which was a fun time for everyone. Families and children enjoyed breakfast, music, raffles, crafts, a balloon artist, face painting, and pictures with the Easter bunny. The Grocery Bingo fundraiser was a huge success too! Community members came to the school and enjoyed food, fun raffles and prizes, and good company all while helping St. Mel’s Catholic Academy. Thank you to the PAA for organizing both these memorable and fun events.
Our students have been hard at work too! The students in grades 4,6, and 8 completed the New York State exams, and the teachers and I were so proud of how hard the students worked. Our art program continues to help students produce amazing pieces of art. Our one of a kind Paint CAN Art Studio is a proud reminder of the beautiful and enriching environment our students enjoy. Grades 3, 5, and 7 put on their Arts in Residency performance on April 9th. In partnership with the Diocese, and Stages on the Sound, our students created a stop animation movie, an authentic reader’s theater, and a Shakespeare play. All students put on an amazing show and I am proud of the passion they put into their performance. All the students at St. Mel’s Catholic Academy continually produce amazing work, and the teachers and I are always so proud of the effort they put forward.
In May we look forward to the crowning of the Blessed Mother and First Communion for our 2nd graders. The school also has its annual spring concert on the 24th, and the walk-a-thon/BBQ in on the 25th. These events promise to be memorable and be sure to look for pictures in upcoming Herald publications.
Thank you for all you do to help and support St. Mel’s Catholic Academy, and may God continue to bless our beloved school and parish.
Mr. Christopher Stein
St. Mel’s Catholic Academy has had many wonderful events in the past month. Most importantly, our second grade class received First Penance! Led by Mrs. England and the office of faith formation they prayerfully prepared to receive Reconciliation, and I was delighted to see the students grow in faith and love of Christ. Congratulations 2nd grade, and I look forward to First Holy Communion in May.
Our Parent Academy Association was very busy organizing some great events during March. They sponsored the cupcake and green bagel day for St. Patrick’s Day. Students worn green to school, enjoyed home baked cupcakes, and had a festive green bagel for lunch. The PAA also organized the always fun Easter Bunny breakfast! Kids and families enjoyed crafts, music, dancing, shakes from the famous bunny shack, and even a visit from the Easter Bunny! Thank you to the PAA and everyone who help make our school atmosphere such a positive place.
All the students at St. Mel’s are working as our mission states to meet today’s challenges creatively. This includes our students in grades 3, 5, and 7 as they put on performances with the help of Stages on the Sound. This is a program through the Diocese Arts in Residency program, and students created stop animation video, put on a reader’s theater, and even a Shakespeare play! Congratulations to our students for putting on such a wonderful show! Bravo! Our students are also becoming terrific artists in the Paint CAN Art Studio. All students are developing sketching, drawing, shading, painting, and designing skills. Creative thinking also happens in our early childhood classrooms where students recently had a visit from the Long Island Children’s Museum. Nursery and Pre-K students enjoyed hands on learning about science through bubbles!
As always I thank you, the parents, for all you do to support and help St. Mel’s Catholic Academy. I hope you have a blessed Easter filled with the joy of Christ’s Resurrection. May God continue to bless our beloved school and community.
Mr. Christopher Stein
Catholic Schools Week was a great success filled with many memorable and fun events. Students had a pajama and pancake breakfast, played board games with family members, were visited by a different teacher, and even had a Mad Science assembly! We also proudly displayed so much student art work in the hallways and Father O’Malley Hall. Thank you to everyone who helped make Catholic Schools Week the exciting time it was. St. Mel’s Catholic Academy truly lived up the theme of Learn, Serve, Lead, Succeed.
As a school we hope to continue these virtues beyond Catholic Schools Week. Our students certainly grow in faith by learning and studying our Catholic history and teachings, but they also live our faith as well. We grow in our faith together as we celebrate Mass, prayerfully contemplate during Adoration, when we say our morning and afternoon prayers, and as we care for and help one another. As we continue the season of Lent through March, our students will go on a spiritual journey that will bring them closer to Christ. Classes will learn and discuss the Passion of our Lord, which will strengthen their faith and religious convictions.
Our students learn each day in a Christ centered environment which fosters academic excellence. Our teachers set high standards for the class and each student, so they can achieve beyond what he or she thought possible. Our students do not just learn academics, but they learn to be good stewards, good Catholics, and kind towards others. Students are learning a strong moral foundation built on faith, and this is what separates us from other schools.
Our students are also engaged in service. Our student council organized two dress down days to benefit two families impacted by tragedy. Students have also organized a faculty student basketball game to benefit “let’s play it forward”. Students also participated in Assemblyman Braunstein’s Valentine’s for Vets collection. Our students are learning that the reward of helping and serving others is the greatest of all.
In March, we look forward to events such the Easter Bunny breakfast, the Arts in Residency student performance, St. Patrick’s Day celebrations, and First Penance for our second graders. These events promise to be both fun and fulfilling for our students, families, and school.
As always, I thank you for all your support towards St. Mel’s Catholic Academy. May God continue to bless us and our beloved school and parish.
Mr. Christopher Stein