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Newspaper of the Diocese of Trenton


 Messages from diocesan school officials outline faith, future school direction … S2  Standardized testing takes new form … S3  Technology, global awareness among schools’ academic highlights … S4-5  New principals, presidents take reins of elementary schools … S6,8,10  Sports preview highlights exciting year … S14

Craig Pittelli photo


s the calendar turns to September, Catholic schools of the Diocese of Trenton are welcoming back their most precious resources – children, faculty and staff. Traditional instruction, cutting-edge technology and innovative advances in teaching will unite with the most important ingredient of all – the sharing of our Catholic faith. Parents, educators and parish communities prepare to send the students off with prayers and the knowledge that Catholic schools will support them academically and spiritually.


Welcome Back to School

The Monitor • AUGUST 22, 2019




Responding to changing times


he launching of the 2019-2020 school year was officially recognized the week of Aug. 12 as orientation days provided a road map for key administrators and teachers. With formal workshops and informal conversation, these individuals learned that central to the teaching and learning process is the immersion of the Catholic faith in the lives of students. Administrators and teachers understand the importance of forming students in the Catholic faith and deepening their faith life. This is the reason Catholic schools exist. Daily prayer, liturgies, prayer services and service to others are part of this foundation. This year, four principals, three vice-principals and 56 teachers took part in orientation days. Camaraderie, enthusiasm and new friendships were realized as expectations for teaching and reaching each student unfolded. The commitment of these individuals is replicated in that of the administrators, teachers and staff in each of the 29 elementary and six secondary schools in the Diocese of Trenton. We salute our educators as they embark on a profession that will form students in the faith and influence lives. It is amazing to note that research in education began in earnest in the 1960s. Prior to that time, little attention had been given to the environment conducive to educate students, to the way the brain learns and processes information or to the best methods of teaching. In reflecting on the issues that face the global economy with a world population of 7.7 billion, how do teachers prepare students for a future that is undefined?

Health issues, fragile economies, world tensions, food and water shortages, damaged ecosystems and climate change will constitute a sampling of problems that will be addressed by minds that are being formed today. Problems that have been created by one generation will be the responsibility of a new generation to address and solve. Educators are coming to the realization that critical thinking, problem-solving, creativity and innovation are required to prepare today’s students for a future constantly changing and unfolding. These 21st century skills will be utilized to solve problems that elude resolution by the same thinking with which they were created. In considering additional challenges to be faced in New Jersey, demographic changes are among those most salient. Enrollment trends show continued decline, prompting consideration of necessary changes to ensure quality Catholic education that is affordable.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau via the New Jersey Business and Industry Association (NJBIA), a total of 1,057,097 millennials left the state from 2007 to 2016. New Jersey ranks first in the nation for out-of-state migration. Job markets create a lure to high-tech industries located in several states, including California and Texas. However, the high cost of living and the impact of property taxes are the major reason for the exodus. New Jersey has the highest property taxes in the entire country. Changing demographics have prompted school communities to consider new models. The formation of Mother Seton Academy in 2019 as a merged school supported by two parishes represents the out-of-the-box thinking required for Catholic education to reinvent itself. In Burlington County, conversations and focus groups have begun to address new possibilities. Pastors, principals and school communities will discern enrollment trends and required funding in Catholic education. Initial meetings will consist of brainstorming and exploring new models that may provide a needed antidote to the realities of demographic change and enrollment decline. In preparing students for the challenges they will face as tomorrow’s leaders, a change in standardized assessment will take place and include assessment for learning.

The Renaissance Standardized Assessment will be utilized in all elementary schools in the 2019-2020 school year. Renaissance Assessment has provided more than 30 years of innovation and is utilized in more than 70 countries. It is a computer adaptive test that will be administered three times a year in October, January and May to identify learning and progress so that needed adjustments can take place in teaching and learning. Teachers will have the tools to track student learning and provide re-teaching as may be needed to ensure that all students are on the path toward progress. As we welcome a new school year, a renewed commitment is made each day by administrators and teachers alike to provide an educational environment that will guide students who will be tomorrow’s leaders. They will be moral and influential leaders who will exhibit the capacity and goodwill to collaborate on a global arena to address world issues demanding resolution. While the familiar structures for delivery may require change, the mission continues to educate students in the faith, to form their minds, to touch their hearts and to prepare them to be contributing members of society.

“How do teachers prepare students for a future that is undefined?”

JoAnn Tier is diocesan superintendent of Catholic Schools.

The Catholic school is an extension of the Catholic home


ome is where you come to know self. It is a place of unconditional love and acceptance and a place to be challenged toward personal growth. It is where one learns to interact with others, and to form the best practices of kindness, generosity, compassion and forgiveness. It is where one learns that mercy is a reality as failure can always find forgiveness. A Catholic home is all of this and more, it is a place where faith is nurtured and taught, practiced and cherished. If this sounds idealistic, well, then it is a goal to be sought. And just as the Catholic family must work at becoming a home, a

place where children come to find themselves in the world, so, A MESSAGE FROM FATHER GABRIEL J. ZEIS, T.O.R. too, is the Catholic school an extension of all that takes place within the home. It is a place that reinforces the values that should be found It is true, a Catholic faculty and staff of Gospel values? What if it is not a place within the family; it is a place that manifests must understand this as well. They must be that models itself on the life of faith in Jesus unconditional love and acceptance, yet is supportive of the faith of the family no matter Christ? What if it does not cherish the Gosa place that challenges all to become what pel virtues of faith, hope and love? What what level of education they find themselves God has called them to be, to follow the if forgiveness and mercy are not evident or what discipline they have undertaken to model of Jesus Christ. there? What if Catholicism is simply a term teach. They must realize that they are an exIt is important that parents understand tension of the Catholic family and the Cathothought irrelevant, having little significance the vision of what a Catholic school truly is lic home, of Catholic values and virtues. and meaning? What if parents do not see and should be. That it is an extension of the The Domestic Church has always been themselves in a holy partnership with teachhome. But what if that home is not a place ers and administrators, or work to support at the very heart of the Universal Church. one another in this precious union that Our Catholic schools must continue the makes this extension a reality? The answers great practice of supporting the family, the In Case You Missed It to these questions are obvious: Catholic home, as well as reaching toward the para In case you missed it, Bishop David M. O’Connell, C.M., recently wrote about the imdigm of a universality that is the mystical education will not succeed. It will become a portance of Catholic schools, saying, “Catholic schools will continue to be our ‘best and greatest body of Christ, our final and eternal home. secular institution under the guise of a reliinheritance’ … in a world that seems to be losing its way.” gious institution. It is the faith of the family Franciscan Father Gabriel J. Zeis is diocCheck out his full message on TrentonMonitor.com > Commentary > Bishop’s Corner. esan vicar for Catholic education. that makes a Catholic school relevant.

Welcome Back to School S3

AUGUST 22, 2019 • TrentonMonitor.com

Testing, 1-2-3

New school year brings new direction for standardized assessments Story by Mary Morrell Contributing Editor


ne of the enduring rites of passage each year in the elementary schools in the Diocese of Trenton has been the annual March administration of standardized assessments,” shared Dr. Jason Briggs, principal of St. Gregory the Great Academy, Hamilton Square. With a new school year approaching, Dr. Briggs expressed appreciation for “a new direction for standardized assessments,” being undertaken by the diocesan Department of Catholic Schools. JoAnn Tier, diocesan superintendent of schools, explained, “The Renaissance Standardized Assessment, a computer adaptive assessment that adjusts to students’ skill levels, will be utilized to assess student progress and growth beginning in the 2019-2020 school year.” Dr. Margaret Boland, diocesan associate superintendent of schools, who is responsible for overseeing testing and assessment, noted that in past years the paper-based Iowa Assessment or the Terra Nova Assessment were given once a year. Renaissance Assessment, including Star Reading and Star Math, takes place three times a year, and “really looks at how students grow month-to-month, rather than providing a number once a year,” Dr. Boland explained. This objective of continuous learning is in line with the diocesan Department of Catholic Schools accreditation by AdvancEd, a nationally recognized school accrediting agency that conducts rigorous on-site reviews of PreK-12 schools and school systems to ensure academic growth, Dr. Boland acknowledged. Tier explained that in the spring, two schools, St. Raphael School, Hamilton, and St. Gregory the Great Academy, piloted two different standardized assessments being considered by the Department of Catholic Schools. Of those two programs, Renaissance was the assessment program both principals recommended. Ann Cwirko, principal of St. Raphael School, considers her school fortunate to have had the opportunity to pilot the Renaissance assessment. She and Dr. Briggs agreed to administer the assessment to third- and sixth-grade students, which allowed them to later dialogue and compare notes. “The children responded very positively,” she said. With eyes on the future, she added, “I’m looking forward to growth data being provided three times a year. It’s exciting.” Dr. Briggs explained the experience and insights of piloting the assessment: “The paperbased method is a one-time sampling of student data, which takes many weeks to be scored. By

Youngsters in Our Lady of Perpetual Help School, Maple Shade, work studiously. This year, new standardized tests will be given three times a year in many of the Diocese’s school grades in an effort to look “at how students grow month-to-month.” Craig Pittelli photo

the time scores have been received back by each school, there was very little of the school year remaining in order to apply the data in a meaningful way. By the time the following September arrived, the data [collected in March] was already six months old. “The [Renaissance] Star Assessment is given three times per year in both reading and math, with each test taking an average of 20 minutes. As a result, the student experience is an average of 40 minutes of testing three times each year [fall, winter, and spring]. Instead of a ‘testing week’ in March, there is an average of 120 minutes of standardized testing for the school year, divided into three times per year. “The Star Assessment is taken on a computer, Chromebook or iPad, and the score data is delivered within a matter of days,” he continued. “Teachers are able to begin to apply the data to their instruction within a week. The types and classes of test items adjust based on the student’s responses as the test progresses. Instead of each student taking an identical test, each student takes a test that adapts to his or her strengths and weaknesses.” The interim testing throughout the year, stressed Tier, “provides an immediate snapshot of student progress and learning. The time spent on the assessment is minimal but provides information to teachers that is immediately available to assist students in their personal learning. It provides a great tool to communicate progress to parents and provides a baseline and progress data

in reports and dashboards to inform instruction for teachers.” Renaissance also measures N.J. state standards and can compare student progress to that of other students in the state, she noted. Only students in second through eighth grade, and ninth and tenth grade for high school, will be given the assessment, Dr. Boland said. In addition, she pointed out that “both elementary and secondary levels may use Renaissance assessment results to determine student services, while high schools that use Renaissance may use assessment results in meeting benchmarks for eligibility requirements for honors and Advanced Placement.” Tier noted that each school will have two on-site days of professional development. The first will be held Sept. 26. Schools will send teams composed of principals, lead teachers and a tech person to attend a rollout of the program. Teams will attend either the morning or afternoon session with a Renaissance trainer. Dr. Briggs and Cwirko agreed on the benefits of this “new chapter in data-driven assessment for our schools” and expressed appreciation to the Department of Catholic Schools for “supporting this new direction in assessment for our students.”

“[Interim testing] provides an immediate snapshot of student progress.”


Welcome Back to School

The Monitor • AUGUST 22, 2019

What’s In Store

Changes, improvements mark new academic year across Diocese of Trenton By EmmaLee Italia, Contributing Editor, and Jennifer Mauro, Managing Editor


e’ve come a long way in becoming a modern Catholic school while keeping the Catholic tradition alive,” Gregory J. Guito said while sitting in the science lab of St. Rose Grammar School.

With a textbook open in front of him that demonstrates how technology and the written word are being integrated in student lessons, Guito looked around the lab – which was quiet, but will soon be filled with the hum of student voices raised in scientific exploration. “Catholic education has so much to offer,” said Guito, principal of the Belmar school. Guito’s sentiments were echoed by numerous school officials across the Diocese of Trenton as they looked ahead to the 2019-2020 academic year. From new curriculums, technology and partnerships to social service initiatives, staff changes and campus improvements, all agreed the upcoming academic year shows exciting growth.


ports is taking on a new look in Trenton Catholic Academy, Hamilton. Under its new eSports program, students will work in a remodeled eSports Center and compete in fall and spring seasons against other high schools in the High School eSports League, playing Rocket League, a combination of car racing and soccer. Students in the middle school will also be able to utilize the eSports Center after school. Sponsored by the Bank of Princeton, this program also brings additional scholarship opportunities to the Iron Mike community. In addition, the Upper School will be implementing a World Language Online Learning Course through a partnership with Educere, the nation’s leading accredited online learning portal. Students will have the opportunity to learn Latin, German, French and Italian. Holy Cross Preparatory Academy, Delran, will continue to “innovate for the future with the addition of new academic programs,” director of admissions David Moffa said. The new STREAM (Science Technology Religion Engineering Arts Math) program will create a pathway for students to complete engineering courses, with curriculum being laid out over a four-course progression. Students start by taking STREAM art, and then progress through intro to engineering, civil engineering and architecture, and engineering design and development, he said. Additionally, there is a new financial literacy course. A new financial class is also on the way in St. Rose High School, Belmar. A course in stocks, bonds and investments has been added to the school’s offerings, as well as five new classes in social studies, a drama class and a new music program offering instrumental and chorus learning. These initiatives are possible due to the fact that the

school is transitioning from a traditional eight-period day to a rotating drop schedule on a four-day rotation. What used to be seven classes and a lunch period are now eight classes with a shortened lunch and new flex period. With this schedule, students are able to take an extra class every year. Over their four-year tenure, that equals four additional classes. During the flex period, which is after lunch, students can go to academic centers for tutoring, quiet study time or to work on projects with classmates. Or, thanks to the new music classes, that time can be used to practice instruments or singing. “It’s a new St. Rose,” Principal John Tonero said, adding that the school Nancy McGaughan, director of advancement in St. Rose High School, Belmar, will also offer two college-credit classes shows how new technology in the classroom will allow teachers to mark through Seton Hall University, South on smart screens, utilize the internet and record lessons that students can download at home. Jennifer Mauro photo Orange, that will be transferable. “We’ve always had great academics, and we’re just looking to enhance our offerings.” continued. “We even have a social studies program that Also partnering up: St. John Vianney High School, is a tech-book in the upper grades, through National Holmdel, and Georgian Court University, LakeGeographic. When middle school students turn on their wood. SJVHS students can take business, theology and Chromebooks, it gives them the latest information related nutrition courses with SJVHS instructors and graduate to current events and history.” high school with a Georgian Court University transcript.  Our Lady of Sorrows School, Hamilton, is excited St. John Vianney itself is also looking to inspire to unveil a new “MakerSpace,” developed to enhance younger children. Under a new pilot program, eighth-gradand further develop its STREAM ers in St. Benedict School, Holmdel, curriculum. This classroom will will be offered a high school-level be utilized by all grades, and offers advanced algebra class through SJVHS alternative seating, technology and during their final year. These students project-based learning opportunities will be starting the program this fall as in a new environment.  their math course for the full school St. Peter School, Point Pleasant year.  Beach, has been working vigorously “This exciting new program will all summer to develop a new addiafford our students advanced math tion to its middle school curriculum. courses on a high school level and The Middle School Enrichment open the doors for future partnerAcademy will offer a variety of ships,” St. Benedict School officials classes consisting of leadership, said. business, robotics, marine and eco Similarly, St. Rose Grammar science programs. School has renewed its partnership with the New Jersey Notre Dame High School, Lawrenceville, is offering Institute of Technology, Newark, which has consultants two concentrations of study – applied science and comwho work with the school’s educators. munications – beginning this school year. Concentrations “It’s really good to have a university partnership beare used to customize, focus, and enhance the high school cause they know what is the latest in science education and learning experience and are similar to a college minor. This engineering, math and technology and what colleges are allows students to focus their course of study to reflect expecting from students,” Guito said. their desired career path. The school also has an updated science program “If we’re doing our job here, our students will through Pearson Interactive that combines textbooks with emerge as leaders,” said Ken Jennings, Notre Dame’s new interactive online experiences. “It’s a dual entity where president. “The excitement will come as we expand our students have access to a body of text, where they can react offerings to prepare students for the jobs and challenges of in writing, as well as online to support more research and tomorrow.”  understanding of that subject matter,” he said. In Holy Cross Academy, Rumson, a full curriculum “All the new curriculum today, whether it is science, See Technology • S5 math or reading, has technology components to it,” he

“All the new curriculum today … has technology components to it.”

Welcome Back to School S5

AUGUST 22, 2019 • TrentonMonitor.com

Technology key in schools

Donovan Catholic students collect food for a local food bank last year ahead of All Saints Day. Continuing their dedication to service, the Toms River high school is joining with Catholic Relief Services to become a CRS Global High School. Mike

Continued from • S4

review was instituted at all grade levels, beginning with math and science. A new math curriculum is now in place for grades K-8, and the Project Lead the Way STEM curriculum is now in grades 2-5, in addition to the Next Generation Science Standards in grades 6-8 already in place. Students will also have weekly STEM classes to put all they have learned into practice. Middle school students in Villa Victoria Academy, Ewing, meanwhile, will be able to choose an instrument of study from woodwinds, brass or strings. The Middle School Instrumental Ensemble will perform at various school concerts and events. This group will function alongside the well-established junior chorus program. A similar instrumental program will be offered to high school-level musicians as well.

Ehrmann photo

“It’s all right here,” she said, making a circle with a digital pen on the screen. “Teachers can write on it like a Smartboard. The kids can project their schoolwork or projects on the display, too.”


n preparation for this year’s new online standardized testing, St. Paul School, Burlington, has upgraded its computer lab with 20 new computers and headsets. The internet now has eight new access points, growing from the previous two. Classrooms are being equipped for the modern era, as each is receiving a new Promethean interactive board with touchscreen displays. Similar technology is being utilized in Trenton Catholic Academy, which is using Newline Interactive TRUTOUCH boards, as well as St. Rose High School. Explaining its new Smart TV technology that replaced SmartBoards, Nancy McGaughan, director of advancement in St. Rose High School, said lessons that the teachers give will be recorded and can be downloaded by students at home. As they are teaching, teachers can pull from the internet or show a video.


elieving that international learning encourages critical thinking about issues such as poverty, climate change, religious and cultural differences, world trade and politics, Donovan Catholic High School, Toms River, is continuing to expand its global awareness. The school has joined with Catholic Relief Services to become a CRS Global High School. Through the vehicles of prayer, learning, action and giving, the CRS Global High School Program assists schools in forming internationally aware and globally responsive students who live their faith in solidarity with those around the world, said MaryBeth DeBlasio, coordinator of campus ministry. Activities throughout the year will include fundraising and fasting events, Stations of the Cross with a global focus and the painting of a mural of the world. When something occurs in a particular country, DeBlasio explained, a Crucifix sticker will be put on that part of the world to encourage prayer among the school’s students and staff. “We wanted to put a faith perspective on global needs,” DeBlasio said. “This program inspires young In the new seven-station eSports facility in Trenton Catholic Academy, Hamilton, Upper people to be more aware of School students will be able to compete with other computer gamers in the High School the global Church. We hope ESports League. The eSports games featured will be a combination of racing and soccer, they continue to learn that and ties into the STEM curriculum and Robotics team at TCA, adding a competitive and by virtue of our Baptism, fun outlet. Photo courtesy of Rose O’Connor

we continue to serve all God’s children with our time and talents.” In addition, the school will expand its partnership with the Colegio Los Sauces student exchange program. Now, six Los Sauces students will come from Spain to Donovan Catholic for three months in the fall, and Donovan students will go to Spain for three months in the winter. Its international student body has grown to include students from Finland, Thailand and Italy in addition to China and Vietnam. Christian Brothers Academy, Lincroft, meanwhile, will continue to emphasize the value of service immersion trips, both close to home and around the country. There will be seven to nine different overnight service immersion trips, including to the De LaSalle Blackfeet School in Montana, the LaSalle Educational Center in Homestead, Fla., the Romero Center in Camden, and a service expedition to Appalachia. In addition, there will be after-school service trips throughout the year including tutoring at Mt. Carmel, mentoring at St. Benedicts and Red Bank Charter, Street Corner ministry in Asbury, the Trenton Area Soup Kitchen and many others.


t. Ann School, Lawrenceville, continues to reap the rewards of solar panels installed in October 2018, as part of a plan to make the school “greener” and to save money. The solar panels cover a walkway between the school and parking lot; additional panels were recently added between the parking lot and the adjoining St. Ann Parish’s faith development center.  “It was supposed to be supplementing our energy cost,” Principal Salvatore Chiaravalotti said, “but at this point, we haven’t had a bill from PSE&G for a while, and we actually have credit because of how much energy we’re producing.” Meanwhile, with the addition of a new tower garden See Improvements • S16


Welcome Back to School

The Monitor • AUGUST 22, 2019

Blazewicz ready for role as principal of new Mother Seton Academy Story by Christina Leslie, Correspondent


hough Mother Seton Academy, Howell, may be in its inaugural year, the two women at the helm have logged many years both in the classroom and administrators’ office of schools in the Diocese of Trenton. The academy, created this year as a merger between the schools of St. Veronica, Howell, and St. Aloysius, Jackson, has adopted a two-person leadership model with Kathleen Blazewicz as principal to serve alongside president Resurrection Sister Cherree Power. “We blend nicely,” Blazewicz said of her working relationship with the longtime religious. “There’s an open dialogue, and there has to be: We are the first president-principal model in the Diocese in an elementary school setting.” Blazewicz is ready for that formidable task. She earned her bachelor’s degree in elementary education and special educa-

tion from the University of Delaware, and garnered a master’s degree in administration and leadership, as well as a certificate of eligibility in school business administration, from Georgian Court University, Lakewood. Joining the faculty of Holy Family School, Lakewood, in 1979, she served there as a classroom teacher, technology coordinator, assistant to the principal, science teacher and coordinator of the middle school grades until the school’s closure in 2015. That fall, Blazewicz became principal in All Saints Regional Catholic School, Manahawkin. Her accomplishments there

“Catholic education is a ministry.”

Kathleen Blazewicz

include improving the ELEOT scores for AdvanED and achieving certification for All Saints as a 2018 New Jersey Department of Education Future Ready School, one of only two Catholic schools so designated. Blazewicz also introduced STEM/ STREAM programs on each grade level, including an emphasis on robotics for the middle school students. She remained at the helm of the Catholic school until this past June.

As principal in Howell, Blazewicz is tasked to “oversee curriculum and extracurricular activities, be responsible for the daily operations of the school and be the point of contact with students, teachers and parents … to move forward the bold vision of the academy.” Her plans to update technology in the school touch all grade levels and subjects. “We are going to kick STREAM up a notch, give it a fresh look,” she said. “We will fully use Chromebooks, Google classroom, CoderZ for coding, and attempt to create a team of coders to take to the NJIT [New Jersey Institute of Technology] competition. Future-ready schools and teachers combining lessons in a peer-to-peer atmosphere will allow kids to get ready for the 21st century workplace.” No matter the technological advances, Blazewicz’s focus is on faith. “Catholic education is a ministry,” she said, “to give back to the Catholic Church the morals and virtues, to go out and go forth. Science and technology can be of great use for more worldly means, but I can see something in the students’ eyes when we combine them and their faith. Where else can you do that?”

Faith key to Mother Seton Academy success, president says Story by Christina Leslie Correspondent


he president and public face of Howell’s Mother Seton Academy believes the success of the venture will rest on faith. “As we begin our journey at Mother Seton Academy, we need to let the world know what Catholic schools have to offer,” Resurrection Sister Cherree Ann Power said. “Sure, we have high standards, we help provide safe, loving Catholic community, we are positive and compassionate as we serve our students and guide them to be of service as well. But, Catholic education is one of the most important ways the Church is committed to the dignity of each person who comes through our school and building community. This is our hope as we come together from St. Aloysius [ Jackson] and St Veronica [Howell] schools.” Sister Cherree graduated from St. Joseph (now Donovan Catholic) High School, Toms River, and earned an associate’s degree in early childhood education from Maria College, Albany, N.Y. At Georgian Court College (now University), Lakewood, she earned a bachelor’s degree in elementary education and a master’s degree in education with a reading specialist certification.

children. It is important that families and teachers guide students to critical thinking and a moral compass. A faith-based education is a blessing. “We in Catholic education emphasize faith and helping our students develop a real relationship with God,” she continued. “It isn’t enough to simply believe that ‘God is Love,’ that God loves us; we need to help children understand that God loves me … me as an individual, and they need to learn to shout that Good News.” In pursuit of that goal, Sister Cherree and the faculty of Mother Seton Academy plan to distribute packets of seeds to each student at the opening of the school year. “We’ll tell them, ‘Faith plants the seed,

love makes it grow,’” she said. “We’ll ask them to plant the seeds at home and watch them grow during the year. If we work together, we can grow together.” Sister Cherree noted, “Catholic schools also emphasize academic rigor and selfdiscipline, challenge students to reach his or her Godgiven potential. We are committed to prepare our children to develop a strong spirituality so that they might become moral leaders for the future of our Church and our society.” She concluded, “I have been blessed to be involved in Catholic education my entire life. I pray that all who come through our doors at Mother Seton will also become aware of those blessings.”

“If we work together, we can grow together.”

Resurrection Sister Cherree Ann Power

Sister Cherree also earned a certification in school administration and supervision from Manhattan College, Riverdale, N.Y. This month she celebrated her 47th year as a religious sister. The educator taught on the elementary school level for 15 years in the Archdiocese of Albany, and the Dioceses of Ogdensburg, N.Y., and Trenton. She led St. Francis School in Newburgh, N.Y., for two years and completed 27 years as principal of St. Veronica School before assuming the president role in Mother Seton Academy. Sister Cherree reflected upon the value of Catholic education, saying, “In 2014, Pope Francis expressed his firm belief that parents should have the right to choose a ‘moral and religious education’ for their

Prayer for Teachers Lord God, your spirit of wisdom fills the earth and teaches us in your ways. Look upon these teachers. Let them strive to share their knowledge with gentle patience and endeavor always to bring the truth to eager minds. Grant that we may follow Jesus Christ, the way, the truth and the life, forever and ever. Catholic Household Blessings and Prayers Amen.

Welcome Back to School S7

AUGUST 22, 2019 • TrentonMonitor.com

Welcome Back!

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Welcome Back to School

The Monitor • AUGUST 22, 2019

Filippini sister assumes helm of St. Jerome School Story by Christina Leslie, Correspondent


he new principal of St. Jerome School, West Long Branch, is Filippini Sister Elizabeth Seton Dalessio, a servant of God with more than 40 years of service to the Church and her people. The religious, who holds a doctorate and numerous certifications in the field of education, stands ready to enrich the lives of the students of the Monmouth County school, both now and in their future as strong Catholic men and women of faith. Sister Elizabeth earned a bachelor’s degree in elementary education at the College of St. Elizabeth, Morristown; a master’s in religious education and liturgy from St. Joseph Seminary, Dunwoody; a master’s in educational leadership from Georgian Court College (now University), Lakewood, and returned to the College of St. Elizabeth to earn her doctorate in organizational leadership. After two terms in Villa Walsh Acad-

emy, Morristown, during which she served as athletic director and theology, economics and math instructor, Sister Elizabeth taught biology, biochemistry and physical science in Villa Victoria Academy, Ewing, from 1984 to 1994. Holy Trinity Parish was her next assignment; there she served the Long Branch school and church as principal, pastoral associate, director of religious education, choir director and science coordinator. The religious also has a wealth of experi-

“Contribute your time and talent.”

Sister Elizabeth Seton Dalessio

ence from assignments in the Monmouth Ocean Educational Services Commission, including roles as assistant superintendent of schools, executive director for the New Jersey Virtual Charter School, and director of adult education, of programs for at-risk students and of technology for the commission’s schools. Sister Elizabeth also was cofounder of the virtual school, which provided educational opportunities for more than 100 students at the Monmouth County Correctional Institution to earn their GED. Sister Elizabeth has been an adjunct

professor of organizational leadership and ethics in Seton Hall University, South Orange; St. Peter’s University, Jersey City, and with the Colorado State University Global campus. During weekend Masses last month in St. Jerome Church, a worship site of Our Lady of Hope Parish, Sister Elizabeth introduced herself to the congregation and laid out her goals and ideals for the newest chapter of the 62-year old school, which was named a 2018 National Blue Ribbon School of Excellence. Noting that “the Catholic faith that we knew growing up is not the same today,” the new principal pledged to “provide the environment where children develop into strong Catholic women and men who will carry our hopes and dreams into the future” by nurturing faith via example and worship, as well as providing the best education possible upon the foundation of the STEM model. “Contribute your time and talent,” Sister Elizabeth encouraged the parishioners. “Help through your support of the [Sister Angelina Pelliccia] Legacy fund to ensure that St. Jerome will always be the beacon of learning here in this corner of Monmouth County.”

Lizanne Coyne ready to lead new St. Mary Academy Story by Christina Leslie, Correspondent


here’s a new Knight in town. Lizanne M. Coyne, an educator, administrator, mother and soccer coach, has been busy preparing for her role as principal of the new St. Mary Academy, Manahawkin, which once educated southern Ocean County students under the title of All Saints Regional Catholic School. “Having a blank canvas from which to work, I can’t help but think about the tremendous opportunity for St. Mary Academy to become a prestigious, private Catholic school in southern Ocean County,” Coyne reflected in a recent letter to the community of St. Mary Parish, Barnegat. Under the new restructuring, the school falls under the administration of the parish. Coyne attended Providence College, Providence, R.I., on a four-year soccer athletic scholarship and earned her bachelor’s degree in business administration there. Despite growing up in a family of IBM business executives, she recalled, “I never truly felt invested in business. Corporate America didn’t quite appeal to me, for I was a people person, a teacher and a coach from the very beginning.” Following her heart, Coyne pursued life as an educator, eventually earning

versity Teachers College, New York, N.Y., and another in educational leadership from Ramapo College, Mahwah. As she amassed those educational degrees, Coyne taught religious education classes in her Mahwah parish; served as sports information director and physical education teacher at such institutions as Stony Brook University, Stony Brook, N.Y., and the Dalton School in New York City, and served as coowner and head coach of the GOALS Soccer Camp in northern New Jersey for girls ages four to 17. Coyne spent 17 years in administration at the Barnstable Academy, Oakland, a college preparatory school for students in grades five through 12, in roles such as head of school, executive director and dean of students. The experienced academic then served 18 months as vice principal in St. Joseph School, Oradell, before taking up the mantle as the first principal of the new St. Mary Academy in the Diocese of Trenton. Coyne said the new academy will be “a special place that teaches children to embrace the influence of God in their

daily lives and help them develop the skills necessary to become confident and effective citizens of the world.” To that end, the school has been under the hammer, drill and paintbrush this summer. Improvements and renovations to the building include roof replacement, HVAC system upgrades, a new and robust server for greater bandwidth and a makeover of the chapel and library. In addition, the science lab is transforming into a science and math center. It’s not just the aesthetics that are important, Coyne stressed. “Students will be provided with a foundation that enables them to continue to grow in faith, wisdom and knowledge as disciples of Christ,” the principal said, noting that community service will include Tag Days where the students pay $2 to attend school out of uniform. Proceeds will go toward local organizations. “Catholic schooling teaches self-discipline, values service, emphasizes kindness, develops leaders and promotes a culture of goodness,” she said.

“Catholic schooling … promotes a culture of goodness.”

Lizanne M. Coyne

three master’s degrees: one in athletic administration from Norwich University, Northfield, Vt.; a second in curriculum design and teaching from Columbia Uni-


Saint Leo the Great Welcome Back School to School S9

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S10 Welcome Back to School

The Monitor • AUGUST 22, 2019

Reimer takes up ministry of leadership in Freehold school Story by Christina Leslie, Correspondent


t the helm of St. Rose of Lima School this year is an experienced academic with New York roots. Cynthia Reimer, who most recently filled the role of principal in Holy Innocents School of Neptune, will begin the 20192020 school year as principal of the Freehold Catholic school, which opened in 1875 and bears the mission statement to foster “academic excellence in the Catholic tradition.” Reimer attended Archdiocese of New York Catholic schools throughout her entire academic career, beginning in her native Staten Island at The Academy of St. Dorothy and St. Joseph Hill Academy, then moved a ferry ride away to attend Manhattan’s St. John’s University. She earned a master’s degree in administration and supervision from St. Peter’s University, Jersey City. Taking up the mantle of educator in the same borough she was raised, Reimer

served for a year as teacher in Staten Island’s Blessed Sacrament School, then 13 more in Moore Catholic High School, where she also filled the roles of religious education chairwoman, director of development and director of student activities. Reimer served as Catholic school principal within the Archdiocese of New York for 12 years, six in Monroe’s Sacred Heart School, six more in Sacred Heart School, Staten Island. Turning her

“I plan on listening to the needs of the people.”

Cynthia Reimer

sights toward New Jersey and the Diocese of Trenton, she was chosen as principal of Holy Innocents School and served for eight years until the school closed this June. In addition to her Catholic school career, Reimer has served as an adjunct professor at Hudson County Community College, Jersey City, since 2006, currently teaching mathematics. Reimer eagerly anticipates her role in

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Welcome Back to School S11

AUGUST 22, 2019 • TrentonMonitor.com

Preserving Catholic school’s charism ‘has to be intentional’ By Katie Rutter Catholic News Service

OLDENBURG, Ind. • Women religious – once synonymous with Catholic education – have been disappearing from U.S. classrooms in recent decades, but many Catholic schools are taking extra steps to make sure that even as these sisters age or their numbers decrease, the charisms that infused the schools they founded will not be lost. “One of the unique values that the religious men and women brought to their Catholic schools was a distinct charism in addition to their catechetical formation,” said John Schoenig, senior director of teacher formation and education policy for the University of Notre Dame’s Alliance for Catholic Education. “Your life would have been much different as a Catholic school student if you were in a school run by the Daughters of Charity than if you were in a school run by Benedictines,” he said. “It’s because the charism would have been there.” That notion of charism in the schools eroded as religious vocations declined and Catholic schools were staffed by lay teachers who had many different approaches to education, Schoenig said. But in recent years, Catholic schools nationwide have recognized the need to rediscover the charisms of their founding religious orders. Barbara McGraw Edmondson, former chief leadership and program officer at the National Catholic Educational Association, said this understanding is emphasized each year at NCEA conventions when speakers stress: “We stand on shoulders of giants.” She noted that the founding orders are “such a gift and a legacy of Catholic education.” The Oldenburg Academy of the Immaculate Conception in Oldenburg, Ind., founded by the Sisters of St. Francis of Oldenburg in 1852, came under laity supervision in 1994 and no longer has any women religious on staff. Yet their spirit still lives within the walls they established 166 years ago. “The Franciscan values have helped me to understand my role in this world,” said Rachel Stoll, an alum of the 200-plus students at the academy. She readily reeled off three of the values held dear to the Oldenburg Franciscans: care of creation, prayer and dignity of the human person. At the Academy, values of the Franciscan charism are emblazoned on a huge black-and-white mural of smiling women religious that graces the front hallway. But as this school has discovered, preserving the legacy of its founding order requires a commitment deeper than slogans or photographic displays. “It has to be intentional. It isn’t just going to happen. You have to make a decision to work on it,” said Oldenburg president Diane Laake, who added that the school is “doing a better job at claiming and naming and identifying the charism than we did 30

and 40 years ago.” A mural displaying the photos and core values of the Sisters of St. Francis of OldNow the school has a specific Francisenburg, Ind., is seen in the front hallway of can curriculum in religion classes and group the Oldenburg Academy of the Immacutrips to Assisi, the Italian hometown of St. late Conception. The sisters no longer staff Francis. A Franciscan value is also chosen the school, but the lay administration is Form 276 each year to define school activities. making effortsRevised to keep 05/2019 their charism alive. Franciscan Sister Marjorie Niemer, CNS photo/Katie Rutter FISCAL YEAR 2020 who acts as a liaison between the academy COUNTY WIDE PUBLIC ANNOUNCEMENT and the Sisters of St. Francis of Oldenburg, See Schools • S13


This release must be used in its entirety since it meets all federal regulations.

The portions referring to

breakfast, snacks or milk should be deleted, if not applicable. Fill in all blanks with the appropriate information. FISCAL YEAR 2020 • PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT • Diocese of Trenton

The Diocese announced of Trentontoday announced that low school cost, lunches nutritious school lunchesand/or and/or and/or milk areenrolled in the The Diocese of Trenton that lowtoday cost, nutritious and/or breakfasts milkbreakfasts are available to all children available meals, to all snacks children enrolled in the school. free In or addition, meals, snacks milk from will be providedwhose free or at income a school. In addition, and/or milk will be provided at a greatly reduced priceand/or to children households gross are at or greatly reduced price to children from households whose gross income are at or below those shown for their household below those shown forincome their household size onApplications the income scale below. for Free and Reduced Pricesent School Meals are sent toofthe households size on the scale below. for Free andApplications Reduced Price School Meals are to the households of all children enrolledenrolled in the school districts. all children in the school districts. INCOME ELIGIBILITY GUIDELINES • EFFECTIVE FROM JULY 1, 2019 TO JUNE 30, 2020

EFFECTIVE FROM JULY 1, 2019 TO JUNE 30, 2020 (As announced by the United States Department of Agriculture) (As announced by the United States Department of Agriculture)


1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Each Additional Household Member



Twice per Month

Every Two Weeks
















































1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Each Additional Household Member


















































Twice per Month

Application forms are available at the school’s website and at your child’s (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, the USDA, its Agencies, offices, and Application forms are available at the school’s website and at your child’s school. Applications can be submitted at any school. Applications submitted during member the schoolbecomes year. If unemployed employees, and institutions participating in or administering USDA programs are time duringcan thebeschool year.at any If a time household or the household size or income changes during a household becomes unemployed or the household sizethe or income from discriminating on race, color, national sex, disability, the member school year, parents are encouraged to contact school so prohibited that all children receive thebased proper benefits. For theorigin, school officials determine eligibility, the household mustthe provide information listed for on prior the application: names all changes during thetoschool year, parents are encouraged to contact schoolthe so following age, or reprisal or retaliation civil rights activity in anyofprogram or activity household received each household member; type by of USDA. income; frequency of income such as that all children receivemembers; the properhousehold benefits. Forincome the school officialsby to determine conducted or funded every two weeks, twice a month or monthly; and the signature and last four digits of the social security number of an eligibility,weekly, the household must provide the following information listed on the apPersons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication adult household member certifying that the information provided is correct. The information provided by parents on the plication: application names of all will household members; household income received by each for program information (e.g. Braille, large print, audiotape, American Sign Lanbe kept confidential and will be used only for determining eligibility. household member; type of income; frequency of income such as weekly, every guage, etc.), should contact the Agency (State or local) where they applied for two weeks,Foster twice achildren, month orHead monthly; andenrollees, the signature and last four digits and of therunaway benefichildren, ts. Individuals who are in deaf, hard of hearing have speech disabilities Start homeless, migrant as defined 7 CFR 245.2, areorcategorically eligiblemay for free number meals of oran free milk. Households under NJ SNAP or Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) for their social security adult household memberreceiving certifyingassistance that the informacontact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339. Additionally, to than decline children will be of their eligibility for free unless the the school it chooses tion provided is correct. Thenotified information provided by parents on benefits the application programhousehold informationnotifies may be made availablethat in languages other English. benefits. Households receiving assistance under NJ SNAP or TANF should only submit an application if they are not notified of their will be kept confi dential and will be used only for determining eligibility. To fi le a program complaint of discrimination, complete the USDA Program eligibility by a specified date determined by the school. Households with children that are certified participants in SNAP or TANF may Fostersubmit children, Head meal Start enrollees, homeless, migrant and using runaway Discrimination Complaint Form, (AD-3027) foundmeal onlineapplication at: http://www.ascr. school applications for their children thechilabbreviated information as indicated on the school and dren, as defi ned in 7 CFRWIC 245.2, are categorically eligible for free meals or free usda.gov/complaint_fi and at any USDAcontact office, ortheir writechild’s a letter adinstructions. participants may also be eligible for Free and Reduced Price meals.ling_cust.html, Parents/guardians should school receiving for moreassistance information. milk. Households under NJ SNAP or Temporary Assistance for dressed to USDA and provide in the letter all of the information requested in the Needy Families (TANF) for their children will be notified of their eligibility for free form. To request a copy of the complaint form, call (866)632-9992. Submit your The school will advise parents of their child’s eligibility within 10 working days of receipt of the application. Any parent benefits unless the household notifi es the school that it chooses decline bencompleted form or letter to USDA by: dissatisfied with the eligibility determination mayto contact the school to request an informal conference or may appeal the efits. Households receiving assistance under NJ SNAP or TANF should only submit (1)mail: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Office of the Assistant Secretary for decision by requesting a formal hearing. an application if they are not notified of their eligibility by a specified date deter- Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW, Washington, D.C. 20250-9410; to 30 operatingwith days into the (or untilina new eligibility determination mined by For the up school. Households children thatnew areschool certifiedyear participants (2)fax: (202) 690-7442; oris made, whichever comes first) an individual child’sschool free or reduced price for eligibility status using from the year will continue within the same LEA. In addition, when SNAP or TANF may submit meal applications their children the previous (3)email: program.intake@usda.gov. children move to a new LEA, either at the beginning of the new school year or during the summer months, the new LEA is encouraged abbreviated information as indicated on the school meal application and instrucThis institution is an equal opportunity provider. to use the former LEA’s eligibility determination from the previous school year and carryover the child’s eligibility status. tions. WICOnce participants may also be eligible for Free and Reduced Price meals. Pardeterminations are completed, school officials are required to verify three percent of the approved free and reduced price ents/guardians should contact school information, for more information. Name ofatschool district(s) participating in one or more of the School Nutrition applications on file.their Forchild’s additional contact ________________ _______________________. The school will advise parents of their child’s eligibility within 10 working days Programs, such as the National School Lunch Program, School Breakfast program, of receipt of the application. Any parent dissatisfied with the eligibility determina- After School Snack Program or Special Milk Program. tion may contact the school to request an informal conference or may appeal the decision by requesting a formal hearing. Name of School Town in Which School is Located For up to 30 operating days into the new school year (or until a new eligibility Mother Seton Academy Howell, NJ determination is made, whichever comes first) an individual child’s free or reduced price eligibility status from the previous year will continue within the same LEA. Our Lady of Mt. Carmel School Asbury Park, NJ In addition, when children move to a new LEA, either at the beginning of the new Our Lady of Perpetual Help School Maple Shade, NJ school year or during the summer months, the new LEA is encouraged to use the St. Benedict School Holmdel, NJ former LEA’s eligibility determination from the previous school year and carryover St. Mary of the Lakes School Medford, NJ the child’s eligibility status. Once determinations are completed, school officials are required to verify St. Rose of Lima School Freehold, NJ three percent of the approved free and reduced price applications on file. Trenton Catholic Academy - Upper School Hamilton, NJ In accordance with Federal civil rights law and U.S. Department of Agriculture

S12 Welcome Back to School

The Monitor • AUGUST 22, 2019

Commitment to Excellence

Rumson school among those to adopt academy model as new year begins Story by Mary Stadnyk, Associate Editor


ith the start of the 2019-2020 academic year a few weeks away, Father Michael Manning, pastor of Holy Cross Parish, Rumson, said students and their families will find measures in place to prepare Holy Cross Academy to become “leaner, smarter and holier – fit for the future.” “We are setting down a new path, and we pray the changes equip the school to thrive generations into the future,” Father Manning said of Holy Cross Academy, Rumson. Holy Cross School, which had its beginnings in 1894 when it opened as a oneroom schoolhouse, has changed its name to start the new academic year as an academy. The school is one of three in the Diocese to move toward the academy model this year. All Saints Regional Catholic School, Manahawkin, is reopening as St. Mary Academy under the administration of St. Mary Parish, Barnegat. The school communities of St. Veronica, Howell, and St. Aloysius, Jackson, are setting out as Mother Seton Academy. Over the years, the Holy Cross Academy had undergone several transitions to

accommodate the community’s expanding population and academic requirements. In recent years, however, when the school experienced a shift in demographics, Father Manning said it had become clear to school and parish administration that changes needed to be made. It could no longer be assumed, he said, that recruiting and advertising would “bring back the student enrollment of yesteryear.” “The demanding academic environment in which our school is located requires us to prepare our graduates to thrive in the local high schools, whether Catholic or public, as they revise their curricula,” he said in explaining the importance of moving to an academy model to maintain academic excellence. Father Manning and Dr. Mark DeMareo, principal of Holy Cross Academy,

Students from Holy Cross School, Rumson, work hard on a science project during the 2018-2019 school year. When they return in September, the school is reopening as Holy Cross Academy. Courtesy photo

announced that the school would adopt the academy model earlier this spring, a decision that received the permission of Bishop David M. O’Connell, C.M. “The name change signifies innovative curricular changes and strategic planning for the next generations along with continued emphasis on Catholic character formation. The school will continue to be owned and operated by Holy Cross Parish and be an integral part of the Diocese of Trenton school system,” Father Manning said. Through the re-visioning process, Dr. DeMareo reiterated that school administration was very clear in its commitment to strengthening Catholic faith formation, improving academic standards in all subject areas and developing social responsibility and leadership in the young men and women of the school community. “We are also fully committed to financial well-being, as a strong foundation is necessary for future health and growth of the academy,” he said. Dr. DeMareo reviewed some of the changes and advancements that faculty and school families can anticipate, including the institution of a new math curriculum in Grades K through eight that includes a restructured math tracking in middle school, with the goal of advanced eighth-grade math students completing high school Algebra 1 before they graduate. He also indicated that the school has become Project Lead The Way STEM certified, which means that in addition to daily science and weekly technology classes, the students will also benefit from weekly STEM classes in a dedicated STEM lab. Also, a new Catholic virtue-based character education program has been integrated

“The entire impetus for the changes ... is to ensure that a quality Catholic education is available.” and will pave the way for Virtue-Based Restorative Discipline, “which is a beautiful process for teaching children to recognize, pray over and make up for mistakes they have made in a loving and understanding way,” Dr. DeMareo explained. Along with upgrading the academic curriculum, Father Manning explained there would be additional focus on the way the students are prepared in the Catholic faith. “We need to emphasize the school exists because of the faith,” Father Manning said, then shared that a parent had recently asked him about what Holy Cross Academy could offer that a private school cannot. My answer was simple – “The faith,” stressed Father Manning. Dr. DeMareo agreed and added, “The entire impetus for the changes we’ve made is to ensure that a quality Catholic education is available at Holy Cross for many years to come,” he said. “It is my great hope, that we as an academy, in the classroom, at liturgy, on the stage and on the field of play will reinforce and support the deepening of our students’ faith by modeling integrity, compassion, understanding and love in the place which is in many ways the center of their daily lives.”

Welcome Back to School S13

AUGUST 22, 2019 • TrentonMonitor.com

Schools strive to maintain charism of founders Continued from • S11

said,“We are extremely proud of what the administration and the board of directors has been able to do to promote Catholic education, Franciscan education,” said. The school’s Franciscan identity is bolstered by the close proximity of the sisters, since the academy is on the same campus as the Oldenburg motherhouse, where about 120 of the 183 remaining sisters still live. The students also have the opportunity to “adopt” a sister and eat lunch with her once every two weeks, in a school-sponsored program called “Adopt-a-Sis.” “I feel like I’m really close to them,” said Nicholas Hoff, an incoming junior. “They almost seem like family to me.” St. Ursula Academy in Cincinnati similarly focuses on promoting the spirit of its founding order, even though only seven sisters remain in the Ursuline Sisters of Cincinnati. The all-girls school preserves its charism by focusing on the spiritual development of the lay faculty. “I put on a yearly retreat, we run small faith groups for our faculty and staff, we put on board of trustee retreats,” said Liz Curran, coordinator of Ursuline Spirit Initiatives. A small on-site museum contains the history and some mementos of the Ursuline Sisters of Cincinnati as well as the story

of the order’s founder, Italian St. Angela Merici. The school’s motto is that each student will be a “thinker, leader, nurturer and prophet” just like the saint. The order’s founder “challenged herself to be the best she could be; she definitively committed to building a better world,” explained St. Ursula Academy president and alumna Lelia Keefe Kramer. Another Ursuline-founded school system, Sacred Heart Schools in Louisville, Ky., works to keep the school’s charism alive for students of all ages. Founded in 1859 by the Ursuline Sisters of Louisville, the campus now contains four separate schools that educate preschoolers through high school students. Seniors at the all-girls high school, Sacred Heart Academy, take a charism course about the history and spirituality of the Ursulines and the preschool students experience this history firsthand by interacting with about 20 of the 61 remaining sisters regularly; exchanging notes, crafts and prayers. A few times each year the sisters travel from their assisted living facility to visit the classrooms. “We’re very proud of our Ursuline sisters and I think that this keeps that spirit alive,” said Lisa Houghlin, executive director of Sacred Heart Preschool.

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S14 Welcome Back to School

The Monitor • AUGUST 22, 2019

… And They’re Off! Fall season looks to provide plenty of highlights in high school sports By Rich Fisher, Contributing Editor


ack to school means back to sports and, as usual, there will be plenty to look out for in Catholic high school athletics this fall.

Some teams are attempting to defend state championships; others are in their first year of existence. There are returning players to watch, as well as new coaches. One of those story lines is the Red Bank Catholic football team, which defeated Mater Dei in a memorable NJSIAA Central Jersey Group III final at the Meadowlands last December. Notre Dame-bound tight end Kevin Bauman said that in a quest to do it again, there is no looking back. “We put that behind us,” Bauman said. “We know that last year cannot help us achieve our goals this year. Instead, our focus is on each day, one at a time. We return a bunch of starters on both sides of the ball, as well as have new guys who are ready to take on their role in replacing the players we lost. We have high expectations for ourselves, and we know we have what it takes to reach our goals.” The Caseys’ girls cross country team should maintain its state dominance as senior Maddie Kopec leads a powerful cast of runners who claimed their second Non-Public A crown in three seasons last year. Christian Brothers Academy, Lincroft, returns two reigning state champs, as the cross country team won its 23rd Meet of Champions title and eighth in the last nine years, while the soccer team grabbed its second state crown in three years. The harriers return three of St. Rose’s Julianne Leskauskas and Morristown-Beard’s Jenna Kurz go after a loose ball during the November NJSIAA Non-Public B championship game at Kean University, Union. Leskauskas is one of the Shore Conference’s top performers and a key returnee. John Blaine photo

their top five runners, but the soccer team must replace 17 seniors. Defenders Connor Anderko and Jack Longo, forward Luke Pascarella and midfielder Michael Casper are the lone returning starters. “Every year in high school brings new challenges with new groups of players,” soccer coach Tom Mulligan said. “To repeat as champions, we will have to accept our roles and trust the process through a very challenging schedule. We have players who want to be part of the program and are willing to put in the work necessary.”

Exciting Growth St. Rose welcomes a new athletic director in Dennis Carey, who is in his second year as a vice principal and whose main focus will be on athletics. Carey is positive about the girls soccer team, which returns a large contingent of players who won the South Jersey Non-Public B championship last year. Rutgers commit Julianne Leskauskas (29 goals, 9 assists) is one of the Shore

Students from Christian Brothers Academy, Lincroft, celebrate winning the school’s 23rd Meet of Champions title last November. The team returns three of their top five runners this school year. John Blaine photo

Conference’s top performers, while Caitlin Clayton is also a key returnee. The Belmar school is also excited to see how the second-year surfing team can build off a solid inaugural season. St. Rose has 25 participants this season and will host matches this year, which “is a big step forward for the program,” Carey said. Middletown’s Mater Dei field hockey is not coming off a championship but is thrilled to still be competing. After a decision was made to drop the field hockey program after last season, the players and parents rallied around the cause and got the program re-instated. Coach Krista Portelli said her team is ready to prove the school made the right decision. “The turnout for the girls who have committed has been amazing, not just for the student athletes but their entire family and the school are huge supporters of us being a success,” Portelli said. “I am excited to be a part it.” Overseeing the program will be firstyear Athletic Director Rich Buckheit, who spent two years as the Patrick School AD and will also serve as the Seraphs’ boys’ basketball coach. At Trenton Catholic Academy, the Iron Mikes are bringing back girls soccer for the first time since 2015. It will begin as a JV program in hopes of building back up to varsity. “I am overall very enthusiastic,” coach Natalie Wilson said. “We have had a lot of interest from girls who have then told their friends or siblings. As a result, we had a good turnout over our summer trainings. We also have multiple girls coming in as freshmen who have heard about the program and been to our trainings. “We must figure out the best way to communicate expectations for the season so that the girls know what is expected of

them and what their responsibility is both individually and to the team,” she said. “Once everyone is able to be in the same setting at once, we will be able to set these expectations, goals, and begin to develop overall knowledge and understanding of the game.” In addition, TCA’s boys soccer team is coming off a division championship and returns key players Chazz Jones, Darwin Salguero, John Ramirez, Ernest Uche and Jorge Pomales.

Looking Ahead In Toms River, Donovan Catholic’s football team will try and build off last year’s 6-3 record as it returns multi-talented senior quarterback Ryan Clark. The girls tennis team comes off a 20-1 season in which it reached the SJ NonPublic A semifinals. Senior Mara Stapleton and junior Ava Cahill were key singles players, while juniors Nicole Tarabocchia and Hannah Braverman excelled at doubles. Holmdel’s St. John Vianney has some goal scorers in several sports to watch who are returning, as senior Grace Langdon scored 17 in field hockey last year, and senior Armand Valintino collected 12 goals and 4 assists in boys soccer. Some big news at Notre Dame this fall is changes at the top. The boys soccer team has been taken over by Dan Donigan, the former Rutgers and University of St. Louis coach who guided eight teams to the NCAA tournament and will try and work his magic at the high school level. Sean Clancy takes over as interim head coach of the football team, and the Irish will conduct a search for the full-time coach after the season. Clancy was tapped to provide stability after serving as an assistant the past seven years. He inherits a team that returns the bulk of its starters from a 7-3 squad that shared a division title.

“Every year in high school brings new challenges with new groups of players.”


AUGUST 22, 2019 • TrentonMonitor.com



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Register online for student visitation days www.hcprep.org 5035 Rt. 130 - Delran, NJ 08075

"It's a Great Day to be an Iron Mike!"

Curriculum rooted in the Catholic faith "Project Lead the Way" STEM curriculum for grades K-12 Academic programs to meet the needs of all students including advanced courses and vocational training Ability to earn college credits through partnerships with local colleges and universities World Language online courses Robust technology, 1:1 student to laptop ratio Innovative, modern learning areas and makerspaces FIRST Robotics program participants High School Esports League participants Full range of fine arts, elective courses and extracurricular activities Award winning athletic programs Located on 64 acres in Hamilton Twp.

Join Us! Open House October 10 6-8 pm School tours and Shadow Days available throughout the school year.

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S16 Welcome Back to School

The Monitor • AUGUST 22, 2019

Improvements abound Continued from • S5

purchased through a donation from a generous corporate entity, St. Peter School will be able to allow a select group of students to learn to nurture, grow and harvest a selection of vegetables that will be used in the school’s cafe and donated to the local food pantry. And St. Leo the Great School plans to continue its green initiatives. The school was selected as a 2019 New Jersey Green Ribbon School by the Environmental Awareness and Sustainability Recognition Program administered by the U.S. Department of Education. “To not only achieve academic success but to be good citizens of the environment is a natural progression as we incorporate STEAM curriculum in our school,” Principal Cornelius Begley said at the time of recognition.


any schools were busy in the spring and summer in an effort to upgrade facilities. Energy-efficient lighting was installed throughout the entire building in Holy Cross Preparatory Academy as well as new doors to improve safety and security. In Trenton Catholic Academy, a wall separating the

Students will have the opportunity to empower their minds in Notre Dame High School’s “Classroom of the Future.” The Lawrenceville school’s learning space features state-of-the-art technology and modular furniture arranged to allow individual learning, collaboration or lecture. Photo courtesy of Notre Dame High School

Lower School computer lab and media center was opened to accommodate both research and design. Tennis courts were resurfaced and the cross country course was improved in anticipation of hosting the cross country Penn-Jersey championships this fall in Villa Victoria Academy. Students in Notre Dame High School will also have the opportunity to learn and empower their minds in its new “Classroom of the Future.” The refurbished learning space features state-of-the-art technology and modular furniture arranged to allow individual learning, collaboration or lecture. St. Rose High School refurbished its outdoor stairs, which were damaged in Superstorm Sandy, freshened up its landscaping and tackled athletic field renovations – all of which were made possible from the school’s Century Club. The club, which began in October 2018, was created in anticipation of the school’s 100th anniversary in 2023. Members are asked to give $5,000 each year for five years. There are currently 38 members. “We’ve been finding more and more people who want to invest in our future and be part of making sure St. Rose is on great footing for the next 100 years,” McGaughan said.


his summer, Red Bank Catholic announced Patricia Hendricks as director of guidance, and Casey alum Angelica Rocco as director of admissions and financial aid. “I believe that their skills, talents, and passion will contribute to the success of our students and school as a whole,” Principal Robert Abatemarco said. St. Charles Borromeo School, Cinnaminson, is welcoming four new teachers – Judith Plunkett, Kelli Santino, Elizabeth Sandeen and Nicholas Pascale – while Villa Victoria Academy adds Matt Lydon to the English Department. St. John Vianney High School added two academic support advisers to its staff, as well as a part-time licensed social worker for students during the school day.

BTS-TCA eSports Center caption

Please join us!

In the new seven-station eSports facility in Trenton Catholic Academy, Hamilton, Upper School students will be able to compete with other computer gamers in the High School ESports League. The eSports games featured will be a combination of racing and soccer, and ties into the STEM curriculum and Robotics team at TCA, adding a competitive and fun outlet. Photo courtesy of Rose O’Connor

6th, 7th, 8th Grade Students

Open House Oct. 24 Check-in 6:30pm - Program 7pm

WelcomeBack Backto to School! Welcome School!

Saint Dominic School Saint Dominic School Saint Dominic School “A 2018 National Blue Ribbon School” PreK (Ages 3& 4) PreK (Ages 3& PreK (Ages 34)& 4) Kindergartenthru thru8th 8th Grade Kindergarten Kindergarten thru Grade 8th Grade

250 Old Squan Road, Brick, New Jersey 250 Old Squan Road, Brick, New Jersey 732-840-1412 www.stdomschool.org 250 Old Squan Road,• Brick, New Jersey www.stdomschool.org ▪ 732/840-1412

Pre-register at: www.camdencatholic.org/admissions/openhouse/ SAVE THE DATE: Scholarship and High School Placement Test

Saturday, Nov. 2 at 8:30AM

Students must take this test at CCHS in order to be considered for a Merti and/or Arts Scholarship.

Register at: www.camdencatholic.org/admissions/openhouse/

CAMDEN CATHOLIC HIGH SCHOOL cherry hill, nj Honoring Catholic values and traditions. 300 Cuthbert Road | Cherry Hill, NJ 08002 856-663-2247 ext 136 | www.camdencatholic.org

Welcome Back to School S17

AUGUST 22, 2019 • TrentonMonitor.com

St. GreGory


Great academy

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St. Padre Pio


Food, Fun and lots of

National Blue Ribbon School of Excellence

Enrolling Children in Pre-K3 thru Grade 8 Full Day Preschool & Kindergarten Available Orton-Gillingham Language Arts Instruction Extended Day Program until 6 pm Financial Assistance Available

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Entertainment SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 22, 2019 NOON – 6PM


P a u l VI H I g H S c H o o l

Scholarship Test Saturday, October 26 • 9:00 AM

Reservations for the test, and for our fall events are available at www.pvihs.org. Fall Eagle Days October and November visit dates available. Tours & Touchdowns Friday, October 4 • 6:00 PM Friday, October 11 • 6:00 PM

“Academic excellence is reflected in the quality of our core curriculum as set by the Diocese of Trenton, the success of our commitment to our community and now more than ever, our belief in the importance of prayer, as a part of everyday life as well as in the classroom setting.”

Applications accepted on a rolling basis. Please visit www.pvihs.org to apply For more information please contact: Mrs. Kathleen Stewart, (856) 858-4900 ext. 336, kstewart@pvihs.org




• Advanced Math Classes Grades 5-8 • Integrated S.T.R.E.A.M. Curriculum • New Art Studio, Media Center and Science Lab • Busing Available in Brick & Pt. Pleasant • Full Day Kindergarten and After Care Program • JV & Varsity Sports Program • Second Language & Robotics Program for all Grades • Performing Arts Program • 1 :1 iPad/Microsoft Surface Pro for all Grades

Open House Thursday, November 7, 2019 • 6:30 to 9:00 PM

901 Hopkins Road • Haddonfield, NJ • 856.858.4900 • www.pvihs.org

S18 Welcome Back to School

The Monitor • AUGUST 22, 2019

Be part of the launch of the

NEW MONITOR! After 65 years of publishing the

award-winning diocesan newspaper, The Monitor is “turning a page” and moving to a new, dynamic model, featuring:  A new monthly magazine  E xpanded web presence on the newly-redesigned TrentonMonitor.com (launching in August)


First issue set for October. Learn more and subscribe now at tions dioceseoftrenton.org/monitor-subscrip

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R  egular posting of Monitor news briefs in parish bulletins and on parish websites The Monitor will continue to be a trusted outlet for local, national and global Catholic news, available in whichever format you prefer – in print, on the web, on mobile. You may choose between several subscription options: FULL SUBSCRIPTION: Covers #1, #2 and #3 below One Year: $25 Two Years: $45 Three Years: $60

DIGITAL ONLY: Covers #2 and #3 below One Year: $15

EDUCATION/MINISTRY RATE: Covers #1, #2 and #3 below One Year: $18

(To be eligible, must have a student enrolled in parish religious education or Catholic school – OR – You must be active in a parish-based or school-based ministry.)

#1: Home delivery of 14 issues of THE MONITOR MAGAZINE (12 monthly with 2 special issues) #2: Full access to the digital edition of THE MONITOR MAGAZINE with email notifications #3: Full access for one year to TrentonMonitor.com The last issue of The Monitor newspaper will be published Sept. 5 and the first issue of THE MONITOR MAGAZINE will come out in early October. All existing subscriptions will be carried over to the new Monitor format, and the new rate will be applied at the time of renewal.

Subscribe today online at dioceseoftrenton.org/monitor-subscriptions Or contact us to subscribe . . . By email: Monitor-Subscriptions@DioceseofTrenton.org By phone: Business Desk at 609-403-7131

Welcome Back to School S19

AUGUST 22, 2019 • TrentonMonitor.com

Catholic education makes differences in the world, educators say



Open Yo Open House House Yo   Belon Belon   Here Here RED BANK CATHOLIC

An amazing showcase of academics, theater, An amazing showcase of academics, theater, music, and athletics - and of course that music, and athletics - and of course that incredible, one-of-kind spirit that makes incredible, one-of-kind spirit that makes Red Bank Catholic a great place to be. Red Bank Catholic a great place to be.

Open House CATHOLICYo Belon

By Carol Zimmermann Catholic News Service

WASHINGTON, D.C. • If anyone could rest on their laurels, it’s Catholic schools for all they have accomplished in their U.S. history, educating in the faith and teaching children of all backgrounds in cities and rural areas across the country. Acknowledging these past achievements alone might not be enough to propel these schools into the future, but it’s an important first step because it recognizes the need to tap into – and promote and market – the spirit of the early Catholic schools and their founders and to adapt that creativity and innovation to today’s world. Barbara McGraw Edmondson, former chief leadership and program officer at the National Catholic Educational Association, said it’s also crucial for Catholic schools’ future that educators and Church leaders understand and not shy away from the culture young people live in today. “We need to step right in … and show them the way to navigate a very complex world,” she said. Edmondson said school leaders want Catholic schools to be what Pope Francis has asked of the Church: to be “disciplemaking places.” And she hoped they would evangelize in such a way that Catholics and non-Catholics would say, “I want that for my child. I want to be part of that community because I feel a goodness about it.” No doubt that was part of the intention of the early Catholic schools, to educate, but also educate in the faith, in mission territories and then in cities after the huge influx of Catholic immigrants in the late 19th century. Catholic schools had plenty of support, too. The First Plenary Council of Baltimore in 1852 specifically urged every Catholic parish in the country to establish its own school and these schools, primarily led by women religious, flourished. By 1920, there were 6,551 Catholic elementary schools teaching 1.8 million students and by the mid-1960s – the height of Catholic school enrollment – 4.5 million students attended more than 13,000 schools. That hardly compares with today’s statistics. NCEA figures from 2017-2018 show Catholic school enrollment at 1.8 million students in 6,352 Catholic schools. In 2017-2018, 16 new schools opened and 110 consolidated or closed, but those that closed include some that consolidated and re-opened as new entities. NCEA breaks down the closures to a net loss of 66 elementary schools and 11 secondary schools. The report also notes that 1,872 schools have a waiting list for admission. “The trend line does not look good, but recently it’s balanced out,” said Peter

Spirit The Spirit of of TheThe Spirit of

An amazing of academics, The Spirit of of theater, An showcase amazing showcase Join us Join us music, and athletics - and6,of2019 course that Sunday, October academics, theater, Sunday, October 6,music, 2019 2pm-4:30pm An amazing showcase of academics, theater, 2pm-4:30pm incredible, one-of-kind that makes and athletics andspirit of course 112 -Broad Street 112 Broad Street music, athletics and of course that incredible, one-of-kind Redthat Bank Catholic aand great place to- be. Red Bank, NJ 07701 Red Bank, NJ 07701



spirit that makes Want to learn more? incredible, one-of-kind spirit that makes Join us on our Spotlight Nights Open House Join us on ourus Spotlight Nights Yo  Belon  Here Join October 16, 78:30 Academics Red Bank a great OctoberCatholic 16, 7- 8:30 - Academics Want to learn more?

Red Bank An amazing Sunday, showcase of23,academics, theater,a great place October 7- 8:30 - Catholic Next2019 Steps October October 23, 7- 8:30 - 6, Next Steps place be. October 30, 7- 8:30 to - Athletics & Performing Arts music, and athletics and of course that Arts October 30, 7- -8:30 - Athletics & Performing 2pm-4:30pm @rbccaseys redbankcatholic @rbccaseys redbankcatholic redbankcatholic Join us@CaseysSports incredible, one-of-kind spirit that CaseysSports makes redbankcatholic @CaseysSports CaseysSports 112 Broad Street Red Bank Catholic a great place to be. Sunday, October 6, 2019

to be.

www.redbankcatholic.org www.redbankcatholic.org

Red Bank, NJ 07701 2pm-4:30pm

Join us Want to learn more? Sunday, October 6, 2019 112 Broad Street Join us on our Spotlight Nights 2pm-4:30pm Bank, NJ 07701 October 16, 7-Street 8:30 Red - Academics 112 Broad

October 23, 7- 8:30 - Next Steps Shannon Hanley, a fifth-grader in St. John Red Bank, NJ 07701Want to learn more? the Baptist School in Howard, Wis., joinsOctober 30, 7- 8:30 - Athletics & Performing Arts Join us on our Spotlight Nights Want to learn more? her class in reciting the Rosary in Spanish. @rbccaseys Join us on our Spotlight Nights redbankcatholic October 16, 7- 8:30 - Academics Teacher Riley Garbe said having students redbankcatholic October 16, 78:30 Academics @CaseysSports learn to pray the Rosary in Spanish aloud not OctoberCaseysSports 23, 7- 8:30 - Next Steps October 23, 7- 8:30 - Next Steps only builds their faith, but also helps them October 30, 78:30 Athletics & Performing Arts learn the Spanish language. CNS photo/SamOctober 30, 7- 8:30 - Athletics & Performing Arts Lucero, The Compass

Litchka, associate education professor and director of the educational leadership program at Loyola University Maryland. He noted the shift in demographics in recent years, causing Catholic schools to close as families have moved out of cities. But he also pointed out, as many have said before, that at the height of Catholic school enrollment, it didn’t cost as much to attend these schools, because faculty and staff members were often women religious who worked for low salaries. “Now, most, if not all, are lay teachers,” he said, noting that tuition reflects current wages and health benefits. And that, for many, is the bottom line because for many families, it’s just too expensive to send their children to Catholic school. Litchka told Catholic News Service that most Catholic schools now have enrollment managers who help families tap into available resources to help with tuition. He also said schools are focusing on promoting what they do day in and day out – being Catholic – which is a drawing point regardless of where people are from and can attract new students. In response to rising costs, Catholic school leaders emphasize that 29 states and the District of Columbia have some sort of school scholarship program in place – meaning vouchers, tax credits or education savings accounts. In an interview with The Visitor, newspaper of the Diocese of St. Cloud, Minn., Tom Burnford, NCEA president, said that Catholic schools are the responsibility of the entire Church.



@rbccaseys redbankcatholic @rbccaseys www.redbankcatholic.org redbankcatholic redbankcatholic @CaseysSports CaseysSports









Ewing, NJ

Character and confidence since 1933 and confidence Character Character since 1933 and confidence since 1933 M I DDL E & H IGH SCHOOL


S20 Welcome Back to School

The Monitor • AUGUST 22, 2019

Profile for Diocese of Trenton

Trenton Monitor Back to School 2019  

The Monitor presents it's annual Back to School Annual Supplement, which aims to help readers manage the transition back into the school yea...

Trenton Monitor Back to School 2019  

The Monitor presents it's annual Back to School Annual Supplement, which aims to help readers manage the transition back into the school yea...