Celebrating Excellence

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Catholic Schools Diocese of Scranton

NWEA ASSESSMENT INITIATIVES enhance learning outcomes


Educating for Excellence Winter 2020

Table of Contents



Epiphany Elementary School, Sayre Saint Agnes Elementary School, Towanda

Lackawanna County Holy Cross High School, Dunmore All Saints Academy, Scranton La Salle Academy, Jessup Our Lady of Peace Elementary School, Clarks Green Saint Clare/Saint Paul Elementary School, Scranton Saint Mary of Mount Carmel Elementary School, Dunmore

Children at Wyoming Area Catholic School collaborate on a STREAM team project.

Luzerne County Holy Redeemer High School, Wilkes-Barre Good Shepherd Academy, Kingston Holy Family Academy, Hazleton Holy Rosary Elementary School, Duryea Saint Jude Elementary School, Mountain Top St. Nicholas/St. Mary Elementary School, Wilkes-Barre Wyoming Area Catholic Elementary School, Exeter

14 At Holy Family Academy, students begin each class with prayer — a mark of Catholic identity.

Lycoming County Saint John Neumann Regional Academy, Williamsport Saint John Neumann Junior/Senior Campus Saint John Neumann Elementary Campus

Monroe County Notre Dame Junior/Senior High School, East Stroudsburg Monsignor McHugh Elementary School, Cresco Notre Dame Elementary School, East Stroudsburg

On the Cover Notre Dame Elementary School


Office of Catholic Schools 300 Wyoming Avenue Scranton, PA 18503 570.207.2251 Catholic-Schools@dioceseofscranton.org

Two students at St. Nicholas/ St. Mary School are engrossed in a shared project.


4 5 6 8 12 14 17 18


Our Story Enfolds


Our Mission Statement calls us to prepare students “to be faith-filled and life-long learners to serving the Church and society.” For 150 plus years our commitment to this mission continues to stand strong in our efforts to provide excellence in each class, sports venue and activity.


We believe that each student has the potential to excel according to his/her gifts. We are privileged to prepare the young for productive futures, wholly in mind, body and spirit.


The pages that follow give testimony to our belief that every student is God’s gift and that it is our privilege to shape that gift for goodness, integrity and progress.


Teacher and classmates observe this youngster complete her work using the Bee Bots at Notre Dame Elementary School.

St. Mary of Mount Carmel School students work together during this lesson.



Jason W.S. Morrison - Diocesan Secretary of Catholic Education/Chief Executive Officer Kristen Donohue - Superintendent of Schools

Leonard Tarreto - Director of School Finance Molly Stettler - Accounting Supervisor Debbie Tressa - School Accountant

Kathleen Gilmartin - Assistant Superintendent Michele Long - Assistant Superintendent

Danielle Rake - Director of Enrollment/Marketing Sister Leonita Duhoski, RSM - Coordinator of Special Programs Michelle Pinto - Administrative Assistant Dianne Longo - Administrative Assistant


Tuition/Account Associates Tara Adams Alicia Busch Keri Cruser Nancy Dopko Katie Henry Sharon Kofel

Greetings Most Reverend Joseph C. Bambera, D.D., J.C.L. Bishop of Scranton

As a proud graduate of our Catholic schools, I know firsthand the transformative nature of a Catholic school education. Catholic schools allow our families the opportunity to participate in the life-giving gospel mission of nurturing their faith. This is an exciting time for our Catholic schools, and I am energized knowing that the mission that has sustained our schools these past 151 years is evolving with a new vision that will allow us to navigate the exciting and challenging waters of the 21st century. We remain committed to fulfilling our promise of excellence, which allows each child to achieve her/his God-given potential. Every one of us has some particular gift, talent and ability that has the power to make a difference for good in our world. Our schools opened this school year launching two rather big initiatives, and the momentum from the beginning, has been, and continues to be profound. I have had the opportunity to see both initiatives in action. The combination of STREAM learning and new assessment technology that is focused on growth, enables our students to use 21st century skills and learn by doing. Not only are our students benefitting from these initiatives, but they also challenge our teachers, the engineers of the learning process, to differentiate plans in order to best prepare for what our students are ready to learn. Thank you for your commitment to Catholic schools in our Diocese and for embracing this momentous occasion in our Catholic schools.

Jason W.S. Morrison

Diocesan Secretary of Catholic Schools Chief Executive Officer Within a dynamic and competitive educational landscape, the Diocese of Scranton is recommitting to a bold new future for Catholic Education in our Diocese, which is rooted in Pope Francis’ challenge to Catholic schools to “give soul to the world through intellectual and moral formation.” In this and future issues, we bring to life the Catholic school difference. - Intellectually: Our students are learning 21st century skills in order to prepare them each year for the next chapter. Over the years, time and again, bodies of research have shown that Catholic schools excel. This will only continue if we evolve and invest in curricular enhancements like STREAM. - Spiritually: Our commitment to our Catholic identity is unwavering. The authors of a study for the Fordham institute on the Catholic school difference noted that the power of religion cannot be underestimated in terms of its positive influence on a child. We continue to enliven the spirit of faith in our school communities. - Morally: We serve the common good. Catholic Schools rank #1 in the percentage of graduates who actively participate in civic and community engagement. The full integration of these areas is the Catholic school difference. We hope you enjoy reading about excellence in our Catholic schools and invite you to share these articles with your family and friends so that more may encounter the transformative nature of a Catholic education.

Kristen Donohue

Superintendent of Schools The schools within the Diocese of Scranton provide an education that is rooted in our Catholic faith and academically excellent. The nurturing environment in which our students learn is the optimal setting to take academic risks, critically and creatively think about concepts, and develop 21st century skills, while maximizing their God-given talents. Through the development and implementation of our STREAM initiative, our diocesan teachers promote students to work collaboratively and persevere when approaching challenging questions daily. This instructional initiative is complemented by the use of a variety of growth and achievement assessments for all learners. From these assessments, as well as the commitment to knowing our students’ learning styles, strengths, and areas of growth, our teachers have the data necessary to know what our students are ready to learn and plan lessons that meet the students’ needs. As the Superintendent of the Diocese of Scranton Catholic Schools, I am confident that our Catholic schools will continue to provide a first-class, faith-based education that will promote critical thinkers, who are compassionate to others and will be respectful and productive members of society.
















Meet Our New Principals





Principal, St. Clare/St. Paul School, Scranton …having cultivated a “niche and love for curriculum” as an educator and reading specialist, her vision is to create an educational environment that is rigorous and engaging for all types of learners, coupled with the fundamental values of an excellent Catholic education.

Principal, Holy Redeemer High School, Wilkes-Barre …a forerunner in STREAM education, her credentials in data-formed instruction, school leadership, special education and the Individualized Instructional program will enhance her leadership and commitment to the fundamental mission of Catholic education at Holy Redeemer High School.

MRS. ALISIA MCNAMEE Principal, St. John Neumann Regional Academy, Williamsport …an innovative leader whose vision is “to creates a collaborative environment across both campuses in which teachers and students have the ability to reach their God-given potential.”



Principal, All Saints Academy, Scranton …committed to strengthening the school through data-informed instruction and to the Four C’s of 21st Century Learning (Communication, Collaboration, Creativity and Critical Thinking); to integrating Catholic values across the curriculum; and to expanding the school’s community engagement.

Principal, Our Lady of Peace School, Clarks Summit …committed to creating and supporting the most optimal, collaborative educational environment for students’ success academically, socially and spiritually, she is a significant part of the school’s history, committed “to writing its future.” 5

“Vision without action is merely a dream. Action without vision just passes the time. Vision with action can change the world.” --Joel A. Baker

Students at St. Jude School find working together gets the job done.

At Our Lady of Peace School students combine music and exercise.

It’s time for some serious study between two students at Holy Family Academy. 6

Ensuring excellence through innovative organizational plan underway in Diocesan schools

A discussion between these La Salle Academy students and their teacher signals progress with their findings.

Amid the changes occurring in today’s complex society, our goal in Catholic education calls us to ensure that continued excellence and progress are priorities for the success and growth of our schools. For this reason, an innovative organizational plan has been in progress, developed to lead our students into learning environments that ensure their rightful places in our world. Nearly two years ago, Bishop Joseph C. Bambera created this innovative model for education in the Diocese in response to the growth and demands placed upon education across the country, and to strengthen our own educational growth. This new model led to the creation of the position of Diocesan Secretary of Catholic Education/Chief Executive Officer. Jason Morrison was appointed to this position. His responsibilities comprise these areas: enrollment growth, development, academic success and financial stability. Previously, Jason served the Diocese of Scranton as Development Director from 2010-2013. He also served as Executive Director of the Lackawanna Bar Association, Director of Stewardship and Donor Relations at the University of Scranton, and Director of Alumni at Scranton Preparatory School Prior to his appointment to the Diocese of Scranton, Jason served as Regional Director and then as Vice President of Operations at the Healey Foundation which is based in Delaware. In those capacities, he assisted in broadening the areas of governance and strategic planning for the Foundation. He is also credited for enhancing the educational stability and growth in the Diocese of Allentown, the Diocese of Wilmington and the Archdiocese of St. PaulMinneapolis. Jason received a bachelor’s degree from Villanova University and an MBA from St. Joseph University, Philadelphia.

Appointment of Superintendent of Schools

Young minds delve into their reading assignment at Wyoming Area Catholic School.

An important aspect of the organizational structure of Catholic education in the Diocese is the appointment of Kristen Donohue as Superintendent of Schools. For the past eight years, Kristen has served as Principal of Western Wayne Middle School, taking on the dual role of Curriculum Development for the Western Wayne School District since 2017. In addition to her administrative roles at both the secondary and intermediate levels, she brings nearly a decade of teaching experience to her new position. As Superintendent of Schools in the Diocese of Scranton, Kristen will be tasked with ensuring the academic excellence of the more than 4,500 students in the Diocese’s school system by enhancing current curriculum, implementing innovative technology programs and fostering professional development within a faith-based model. She will oversee the educational operations of the 20 Catholic schools across the 11-county Diocese, of which 16 are elementary schools and four are secondary schools. “Her passion and commitment for our mission and her desire to ensure excellence for our students both academically and spiritually is exactly what is needed to move our schools forward,” said Jason Morrison. “Her breath of experience will allow her to bring innovative curriculum enhancements that will provide the best educational opportunities available within all of northeastern and north central Pennsylvania,” he added. Kristen is a graduate of the University of Scranton, receiving a bachelor of science degree in Secondary Education and Spanish and a master of science degree in Educational Administration. She received her Superintendent Certification from Wilkes University.

Curriculum Initiatives…

Two students at Holy Cross High School test their technical skills using drones and robots.

• Continuing programs that build critical thinking and writing skills such as the Collins Writing Program • Enhancing current curriculum such as the STREAM initiatives • Implementing innovative technological programs • Fostering professional development within a faith-based model 7

INITIATIVE The interdisciplinary and applied approach to learning Science, Technology, Religion, Engineering, the Arts, and Math “STREAM is very critical to the ever-changing society in which we’re living,” said Shaina Dougherty, when asked about the STREAM initiative that is in process in our Catholic schools.

Bishop Joseph C. Bambera, who celebrated a Liturgy prior to the Institute’s educational agenda, highlighted the contributions that the Catholic School System has made on the Diocese of Scranton during its 150 plus history. While acknowledging the successes of the past he said that moving forward is a time for growth within the Diocese.

As a sixth through eighth grade math teacher at La Salle Academy in Jessup, Shaina says STREAM-focused learning will help prepare students for career choices that have not even been created.

In his video presentation in the afternoon, pledging the one million dollars investment for the incorporation of STREAM within the schools, Bishop Bambera stated, “Today, I’m excited to say that the vision that has always sustained our Catholic schools these past 151 years continues to evolve and take particular shape and form as we navigate the exciting and challenging waters of the 21st century with its expansion of knowledge and opportunity.”

She was one of several educators who facilitated interactive break-out sessions for teachers at the day long Diocesan Teachers’ Institute in early fall. During her presentation, she showed off Spheros robots which can help students learn computer coding and other skills. “This is something I’m very passionate about and something that I truly enjoy teaching,” Shaina added. In a nearby classroom, All Saints Academy kindergarten teacher, Molly Sullivan, was also teaching her peers.

The What and Why of STREAM!

“As an educator, you want to share your knowledge with other teachers and you also want to learn from other teachers; everybody has great ideas,” she said.

The interdisciplinary and applied approach to learning Science, Technology, Religion, Engineering, the Arts, and Math

Molly explained how STREAM concepts can easily be added to the existing lesson plans that many teachers already have.

Four Pillars of STREAM education: Inquiry-based Instruction, Integrated Curriculum, Project-based Learning, Career Awareness

“The youngest children actually sometimes know more about electronics than we do, so we can learn from them as well! Some of those children have been using iPads since they’ve been able to move their fingers, so this is very second nature to them,” Molly explained.

Key Benefits: • Improves Learning Outcomes: Students acquire 21st century skills: Communication, Critical Thinking, Creativity, and Collaboration

The above comments about the STREAM initiative were shared with approximately 400 Catholic educators during the Diocesan Teachers’ Institute whose keynote speaker was Susan A. Ferguson, M.A., Director of the University of Dayton Center for Catholic Education. In her presentation, she focused on the significance of the STREAM initiative as it impacts the learning abilities of students and how it empowers teachers to incorporate Catholic identity into every aspect of the curriculum.

• Includes Project-based learning rooted in social justice and experiential instruction • Deepens Learning through cross-integration by aligning concepts, applying knowledge, and integrating technology

During the Institute, educators learned of the Diocesan investment of one million dollars to incorporate STREAM within the curriculum of all schools by May 2022. Left: A Monsignor McHugh student works attentively as she reviews the results of her work.

Right: Students from Notre Dame Jr./Sr. High School discuss the intricacies of creating 3D art models with their teacher. 8


National Catholic Education Association


STREAM encourages problem solving, critical thinking, collaboration and innovation, along with developing essential technology skill sets.


STREAM empowers learners to incorporate Catholic Identity into every aspect of the curriculum through student-directed, project-based learning.

The very young at Good Shepherd Academy are engaged in a learning project using Bee Bots.

Left: Creating new concepts on their electronic tablets as part of the school’s Artist in Residence program is fascinating for these students at St. Agnes School.

Right: The task of producing and directing a video, using Padcaster for these students at Holy Rosary School requires collaboration and creativity. 9


Students at Epiphany School learn the techniques of producing a video from their teacher.


Team learning for these students at St. John Neumann Regional Academy involves creativity and precision.


Collaboration Concentration is the key word for this science enthusiast at Good Shepherd Academy.

4 C’s of n Educatio Critical Thinking

Two students from St. Nicholas/ St. Mary School enjoy collaborating together.

Creativity 10

Intense attention is the key to this learning process at St. John Neumann H.S.

Interaction between teacher and students at All Saints Academy stimulates the thinking process.

“I touch the future. I teach.” -Christa McAuliffe

This student at Holy Rosary School receives affirmation from her Art teacher.

A student at Notre Dame Jr./Sr. H.S. discusses college plans with her counselor.

It’s obvious that these students at Monsignor McHugh School are captivated by the instruction of their teacher. 11


Assessment Solutions Changing the way teachers teach and students learn...

Teachers find it challenging to expect students to transfer their knowledge and skills from class to class and from year to year. They realize that something needs to change to ensure that students shift their learning skills in a new direction. This past summer, the Catholic School Office, principals and faculties have been engaged in preparing for a new initiative which will continue to enhance educational outcomes and place our schools at the forefront of education. The Diocese of Scranton has partnered with the NWEA (Northwest Evaluation Association) to measure students’ growth and proficiency in Grades K-8 in subject areas including reading, math and science. This year NWEA will also be used for assessment in high school Algebra 1. While we are limiting the assessment tool to these areas in the current year, our intention is to expand use beyond these grade levels and subject areas.

An affirming teacher checks the science project for these two students at St. Jude School.

NWEA is a leader in the assessment field because of its research-based approaches to changing the way teachers teach and students learn. By engaging with NWEA, we are able to achieve our goal of moving more deeply into differentiated instruction that is data informed, which was not possible with the achievement data provided by the previous assessment initiative.

Benefits of the NWEA Assessment • Reduced time per testing, which may reduce a student’s stress and which provides teachers with information to help them deliver appropriate content for each student. • Determine each student’s academic growth over time and what the student is ready to learn. • Computer adaptive questions that adjust to each student’s learning level, providing a unique set of test questions based on their responses to previous questions. As the student responds to questions, the test responds to the student, adjusting up or down in difficulty.

We know that children learn better when teachers have a clear picture of what each student knows and what they are ready to learn next. MAP Growth and MAP Fluency assessments give us that picture because they are adaptive, reacting to the students’ answers. MAP assessments give us data which is personalized to the needs of each student, and that data makes it possible for teachers to pinpoint what each child needs in order to learn best. We are excited to partner with NWEA in this forwardthinking new initiative. - Kathleen Gilmartin Assistant Superintendent of Schools

Holy Redeemer H.S. students are careful that their calculations are exact.

Students at Holy Cross H.S. are engrossed in classroom study. 12

The SmartBoard is a learning tool for these students from Our Lady of Peace School.

On their way to class children at St. Jude School enjoy one another’s company.

Under the watchful and approving attention of her teacher, this student from St. Clare/St. Paul School has made progress.

Students from St. John Neumann Academy make their way to the next class.

Even the youngest students at All Saints Academy engage in challenging science lessons.

Practice makes perfect for these Holy Family Academy students. 13

Catholic Identity


of the Matter

The day begins rather quietly, at least here on South Washington Street in Wilkes-Barre. Gradually, though, life picks up. The buses begin to arrive, dropping off their precious cargo, the students. A procession of cars slowly forms, coming to a halt at the “Kiss and Go” zone, where more students join in the ever-growing line of joy and enthusiasm. Students from Holy Redeemer High School, just across the way, some graduates of this school, some dropping off younger siblings, join in the mix. Parents and grandparents are also in the gathering, until the time comes when all are safely in and doors close, signaling another day at St. Nicholas/St. Mary School. St. Nicholas/St. Mary School has a colorful history. Like so many of our institutions, the school was first staffed by religious women, in our case the Sisters of Christian Charity who were sent in 1873 by their foundress, Mother Pauline von Mallinckrodt, to serve the newly arriving German population. Though the Sisters are no longer on the faculty, the charism of Mother Pauline and her Sisters continues to be integral to the history and spirit of our school.

Father Joseph D. Verespy, pastor of the Church of St. Nicholas, Wilkes-Barre, interacts with the students during his homily at a school Liturgy.

St. Nicholas/St. Mary School has an enrollment of 300 students in grades Pre-K through 8. Having the school on our parish campus adds vibrancy to parish life as well as to our city, expressed in the comings and goings of our students who are involved in a host of activities. Add to this picture, one catches the glimpse of the vitality of our school community through the presence and involvement of dedicated parents, grandparents, friends and neighbors. Academic excellence, a healthy competition in the sports arena, and good citizenship assist our students to grow in every area of their lives. But of course, always in the forefront of life is the essential element of what makes this school--or any other Catholic school unique--and that is our Catholic faith. On a regular basis, the school community gathers to celebrate the Eucharist, nourished by Word and Sacrament, and being reminded of our mission as disciples of Jesus to live our faith wherever we are. At the conclusion of the liturgy, with one voice, the school community voices this important statement: Let it be known to all who enter here: that Christ is the reason for this school, the unseen but ever present teacher of its classes, the model of its faculty and the inspiration of its students.

Children at Epiphany School learn the Mysteries of the Rosary

Through the celebration of the sacraments we encounter Jesus, deepening our relationship with him and ever realizing and appreciating our being linked as members of one family, the Body of Christ. Students, as well as all of us, are challenged to embrace and live the values of Jesus and to continue building the Kingdom he proclaims. We do this through care and compassion; forgiveness; doing what is right, good and just; and being mindful of the needs of others wherever that might be. It is a privilege to be part of this whole enterprise. We see the students, some being carried in their parents’ arms for their first experience of school. We watch them grow and mature. Together we strive to do our best as teachers, administrators and as pastors, and most especially, as parents to awaken in them the desire to learn and to find joy in the process. And in all of this we are there to prepare them for the future, but at the same time delighting in the present moment, assuring them of their value as beloved children of God. In our willingness to be present, to sacrifice, to encourage, to love, to serve, to live the Kingdom… “Let it be known…” 14

Bishop Bambera offers Holy Communion to students during a school Liturgy at St. John Neumann High School.

Faith in Action

“The church is alive in you! God, who is the Master Builder of His holy temple, has poured His love into your hearts through the Holy Spirit! You have received the gift of new life. You have been charged with bringing the good news to all creation!” --Pope John Paul II 1995

Right: Students at La Salle Academy stop by the Prayer Bulletin to place in envelopes their prayer intentions which will be read over the PA System during morning prayer. These intentions will be read by eighth grade students who form the Prayer Team.

Left: Students at Wyoming Area Catholic School celebrate Mary’s Feast by creating a balloon rosary. Eighth grade students lead the rosary and then send their prayers and the white and gold balloon rosary into the sky. The balloons are biodegradable, mindful that reverence for God’s creation is essential.

Respect for the dignity of life in all stages is a huge priority for the students at Notre Dame H.S. They spend time participating in activities that remind them just how precious life is. Debra Krogulski, moderator, explains, “We discuss Pro-Choice as well as Pro-Life, but we believe the “choice” comes BEFORE a child is conceived. It’s what we choose to do or not do with our bodies that is the key.” She adds, “Once a child is conceived, it’s a miracle, not a choice.” Every October, buses transport Spartans to the St. Peter Cathedral in Scranton to attend the Respect for Life Mass where Bishop Bambera refers to the nearly 75 Notre Dame students, wearing pink hats, blend with attendees as the “sea of green,” in reference to their green uniforms. thousands of others during the March for Life in Washington. During the March for Life in Washington, D.C., Spartans blend their chants with thousands of others as they proceed to the Supreme Court Building. Mrs. Krogulski believes that the chant that sums it all up is “Pro-choice? That’s a lie! Babies never choose to die! Junior Xavier Lorenzo joins every Pro-Life activity he can find. His reason for being active sums up his belief: “Though all people are entitled to use free will, I believe that choosing to kill someone is a sin, so I just have to be Pro-Life.” Sophomore Audrey Adorno emphasizes: “I’m Pro-Life because a heartbeat is a heartbeat regardless of age!” Practicing the Corporal Works of Mercy for Senior Jacob Terrana recounts his involvethe members of the Pallbearer Ministry at ment in this ministry, “Sometimes the only Holy Redeemer High School is honor and people in attendance are the priest, the fuprivilege. neral director and us. It is sad to experience this aloneness and it makes me appreciative Founded in the spirit of Joseph of Ariof the family and friends I have.” mathea, who assisted with the burial of Jesus, this ministry offers respect, revMrs. Mary Humiston, moderator, adds, “In all erence and prayer to indigent people, my years teaching in the Scranton Diocese, to those who leave this world alone, or I don’t think anything has impressed me Students from Holy Redeemer H.S. prepare to perform their perhaps even to those who are forgotten. as much as the Pallbearer Ministry. When Corporal Work of Mercy. It is also helpful to families who have few the students return to school they are very or no family members to perform these duties. In whatever situation, anxious to discuss their experience. They seem to be more affected by it is offered to affirm the value and dignity of every human life, while the services that have very little, if any attendance, and also those of our representing the community at a person’s final commendation. veterans who are given a military tribute.” After contact with a funeral director in the Wyoming Valley for this serStudents who comprise the group are junior and senior boys and girls vice, student pallbearers gather for prayer at the school and then travel who receive special training for this service. In living out the Gospel of to the funeral parlor to meet with the family and assist with prayer. After Christian service voluntarily, they seek to provide hope and support to attending the Liturgy, they proceed to the cemetery and participate in those in need of compassion and support. the prayers of committal. 15

“There is a powerful force when young people resolve to make a change.”

-- Jane Goodall

It’s down to serious concentration for this student at St. Mary of Mount Carmel School.

Students at La Salle Academy enjoy recess.

Students in our Catholic schools live the teachings of our faith through classroom instruction, attendance at Mass, participation in the sacraments and other rituals. Additionally, their lived out experiences of the faith provide them them with a sense of awareness of others’ needs. Each and every day educators model for them respect and reverence for themselves and for others, whether that be in the classroom, on the playground, or in other venues where they interact with one another. These two students at St. Nicholas/St. Mary School are learning that collaborating together amounts to success.

Notre Dame Elementary School students are eager to answer the question.

A Holy Rosary School student is putting a great deal of determination into her penmanship. 16

These two youngsters from St. Agnes School are learning partnership skills early in their education.

Alumnus Profile... Witnessing the benefits of Catholic education

Dr. Michael P. Banas

Dr. Michael P. Banas is an orthopedic surgeon at Bone and Joint of Wyoming Valley, Plains, PA. He is also an Associate Professor of Surgery at the Commonwealth Medical College, Scranton. His Catholic education began at St. Stanislaus Kostka Parish in the North End Section of Wilkes-Barre. After completing his education at North End Elementary Catholic School, which was a consolidation of St. Stanislaus School and St. Mary Byzantine School, he attended Bishop Hoban High School, now Holy Redeemer High School, where he excelled academically and in the sports arena, attaining honors in district and state championships. He then began his collegiate career at the University of Scranton, where he was recognized as a three-time Academic All-American. In 1983 he brought the Royals to a NCAA Division III National Champions title. Twice during his college career, he achieved Middle Atlantic Conference Most Valuable Player. After graduating summa cum laude at the University of Scranton, he attended Medical School at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. He did his internship in General Surgery at the Graduate Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania and completed his orthopedic residency at the University of Rochester Strong Memorial Hospital, and then, with a sports fellowship, at the Southern California Orthopedic Institute. During his training period, Dr. Banas provided medical care to numerous athletic teams throughout New York and Los Angeles. He is the author of numerous medical publications and has given presentations at numerous medical conferences within the United States. He is also the author of several fiction novels.

“My ultimate decision to become a physician was greatly impacted by the motto, “Cura Personalis” or “care for the whole person.” This tenet of higher Catholic education implies a dedication to promoting human dignity and care for the mind, body and spirit of the person.” - Dr. Michael P. Banas I consider my early Catholic education the cornerstone of my spiritual life. The formative years at St. Stanislaus School taught me the importance of being a Christian and the role of Christianity in my everyday life. In grade school, we attended Mass every day of the week and surely on Sunday. I learned how to pray and listen to the gospel and integrate the word of the Lord into my daily routine. Throughout high school, I began to more fully appreciate the importance of a Catholic education as it pertained to becoming a young adult. At Bishop Hoban High School, I learned the importance of prudence, temperance and diligence as it applied to my personal development. I also learned how to respect others and behave in a manner beneficial to society as a whole. In retrospect, my K-1 through K-12 Catholic education prepared me for college, both academically and spiritually. My Catholic education continued at the University of Scranton where good things happened, including our basketball team winning a National Championship in 1983. We won the title game Doctors Michael and Theresa Banas and their children gather for a family picture. The with exceptional coaching, a talented roster and a raucous fan Banas children attended Catholic elementary and secondary schools—the former base. But to this day, I still remember Father Fitzpatrick gathering Gate of Heaven School, Dallas; the former Bishop Hoban High School, Wilkes-Barre; us around before the big game. We huddled together in the locker Good Shepherd Academy, Kingston; and Holy Redeemer High School, Wilkes- Barre. room and he prayed for the Lord to watch over us and guide us to They are members of Gate of Heaven Parish, Dallas. victory. We won the game by one point. My ultimate decision to become a physician was greatly impacted by the motto, “Cura Personalis,” or “care for the whole person.” This tenet of higher Catholic education implies a dedication to promoting human dignity and care for the mind, body and spirit of the person. My Catholic upbringing allowed me to easily incorporate this mantra into my professional career and I continue to practice it on a daily basis. I sincerely thank my parents for their many sacrifices that afforded me a Catholic education. I’ve since sent my six children through Catholic grade and high school and witnessed the benefit of Catholic instruction in their personal growth. I’m confident that their moral compass will steer them through the chaotic world that we live in…and I’m grateful for the Catholic Church and their educational system in that regard. 17

Welcoming Doors...Welcoming Hearts... Walk through the halls of Epiphany School and experience happy, smiley faces of children already acclimated to their new surroundings, far away from home, and welcomed into a new environment. Just a few weeks into the new school year, 12 children whose mothers are part of the International Nurses’ Program, enrolled at Epiphany. The INP recruits nurses from other countries to fill positions at local hospitals. These families come from Lebanon, India, Africa and Canada, and while most speak English, some converse only in their native language. Though there may be language barriers, there is no barrier to communication—the universal language of acceptance and welcome prevail in classrooms, cafeteria, hallways and wherever education is happening at Epiphany. Bonds of friendship have formed; children offer help with studies; and sharing of time and treasure is evident in the classroom and on the playground. Through the efforts of Rev. Andrew Hvozdovic, pastor at Epiphany Parish, these families have quickly become part of the parish

family, attending Mass and becoming involved in its activities. Parishioners have opened wide the doors of hospitality to the new families, providing for the necessities of their new homes. A Stewardship Tree was placed in the church, addressing contributions of winter items. Tuition is sponsored by the parish, the largest donation at $20,000.00. This all-embracing effort of acceptance is evidence that parish and school communities can unite together to form a welcoming environment where faith and learning are essential to the Christian life. Pope Francis often uses the phrase, “revolution of tenderness,” exemplifing this collaboration. “What is tenderness?” he asked. “It is the love that comes close and becomes real. It is a movement that starts from our heart and reaches the eyes, the ears and the hands.” Pope Francis’ words are certainly magnified in the hearts and hands of the parishioners at both Epiphany Parish and Epiphany School.

My family left Nigeria to live in the USA It was a whole new world for us. The culture, values, and climate were quite different from those of our home country. We had our fears and doubts about this new place. Being Catholic, we found Epiphany Church and began to worship there. Then we heard about Epiphany School and hoped our children would go there someday because we wanted them to be brought up in the way of the Lord and the Church. The people of God from Epiphany Parish and School have given us a soft landing in this new place. They have indeed shown us the love of God as God commanded in Duet.10:18-19. Our children were enrolled in the school of our dreams without cost, and we have been given winter clothing from brethren in both the Epiphany Parish and School. In his new environment, a young student is learning and sharing with his Epiphany partners.

Thanks to the parish and school that we are more than prepared for the winter season and our children are in a school where we know they have Christian values as well as a good education. --Amaka Ikechukwu

The attraction may be in the science project, but the affirmation comes from his classmate!

This young girl knows that learning even in new surroundings is worth a big smile.

“Make sure that every person of whatever background can find in you a welcoming heart.” --Pope Benedict XVI 18

The children who arrived from foreign countries quickly adjust to a new way of learning.

This youngster is enthralled, using his iPad as a study tool.

Learning from one another is the best of teachers.

Moving to the US can be a very stressful experience. Everything is unfamiliar—from weather, landscape and language to food, fashion, values and customs. Even though Avant Healthcare professionals had done a lot in cultural transition programs for the new nurses, there was a gap to be filled. After a few months in the new community, Mrs. Tabitha Mwesige, a parent at Epiphany School, invited us to her house for a meet and greet lunch. She introduced us to Sister Kathleen and Father Andrew at Epiphany where we found a loving and wonderful community that filled the gaps that were remaining. It’s a community of love and mercy. The discipline and confidence in our children is evident on their faces as they tell us stories of their wonderful teachers. Isn’t it wonderful how God brings the right people into our lives just when we need people who will love, support, guide and pray for us? Every day of our lives is now a beginning of new and happier times. Thank you so much, Epiphany family, for your generosity and kindness which has warmed our hearts. We hope that we will be able to give back to you in some way what you have given us. -- Oscar Muthui 19

These children are involved in making “sounds of music” for an upcoming fest.

Ask a young child a question and you will be surprised at the answer. Honest. Sincere and thoughtful.

Ask a teenager a question— quick, to the point, as honest as honest could be!

That’s what we did among students in our schools. Here’s what they had to say about what it’s like in their schools. emy, I am mily Acad At Holy Fa y faith in many m growing in rough religion th , st ir ways. F about se I learn u ca e b ss cla lp the e h e W day. God every ur Mission Club o missions in or people around o p g in by help w in faith . I also gro st d rl o w e th ne ind and ho llow by being k nd fe a rs e ch a with my te s. – classmate A.J., Gr. 4 y m e d ca ily A Holy Fam

If I were to d Shepherd escribe Good Academy it would be “friend ly, because I family, love” ha many wo ve made so nderful fr iends, an they are li d ke family to Wheneve r I walk in me. to this school an d I’ everyone m greeted by , I just fee l loved an happy. d Janelle, G r. 8 Shepherd – Good Academy

Holy Rosary School is preparing me for high school by getting me organized and helping me be a better person/ role model. I am learning mindfulness, and I am getting better in math. Brenley, Gr. 8 – Holy Rosary School

e l becaus s Schoo e n g A t. azing. I love S is so am the staff you have a er tand Whenev r don’t unders ays o lw n a o ti is s e que eon ver ing, som someth elp you. Whene one e h m o to s , re n e th ng dow In li e fe re you a er you. ays che ve little can alw ha e 4-6 w church, Grades e take to eir w t a th buddies lp them with th . he and we d other projects r. 4 – G an , s n ie n y d il tu d s A ol es Scho St. Agn

My favorite thing about Notre Dame Elementary is learning new things. And, I also like that my teachers are very, very nice. Viviana, Gr. 2 – Notre Dame Elementary School Leadersh ip first step is taking the when no one else will. Duri ng Redeeme my time at Holy r, I have learned to form an atti confiden tude of selfce and se rva By using my God-g nthood. iv have bee n able to en gifts, I serve oth and reco ers gn my fellow ize strengths in students . Being bold eno ug step has h to take the first opened a world of possibiliti es. Oppo rtu like the S tudent Le nities adership Council h av put my le e allowed me to adership skills into practice. Marissa, G Redeeme r. 12 – Holy r High Sc hool

As a stud ent many serv involved in ice learned so projects, I have much abo u and how much serv t myself ice helps others. In volvemen t in servic projects h e elps me b ecome closer to God and know wh God wan at ts fr life. Many om me in my of my tale n to me by God were ts gifted given so that I can sh people I m are them with eet. Thro ugh servic I have see e n how mu ch I have impacted others an d through this, I hav e realized that I wa to do this nt for in some w the rest of my life ay. Tyle Holy Cross r, Gr. 11 – High Scho ol

And here’s what our parents are saying… We chose Epiphany School for our children because the school provides an academic environment where our children learn our faith, feel loved and are taught kindness and self-respect. With the addition of state-of-the-art opportunities in technology, we feel the foundation they are building, whether it be faith, academic or socially based is preparing them for a successful future. As a product of Epiphany, it brings me great joy to know the values that shaped my early life are being passed onto our children both at home and in the school every day. Brian and Colleen, parents at Epiphany School We love the exciting projects that bring concepts to reality at All Saints Academy. It truly is such a comprehensive learning platform. Our child is excited to respond to my daily “what was good about today” question at the bus stop. Salvatore and Amy, parents at All Saints Academy We value the well-rounded faith-based education that the students receive at SJNRA. We appreciate the small class sizes and family environment that allow for more social growth among the students. Since both of us work in higher education, we see the need for a good foundation in education and we believe that SJNRA provides that for our children. It is essential to have a good base to grow and learn from to be successful as an adult. Carl and Jessica, parents at St. John Neumann Regional Academy We decided to send our child to Monsignor McHugh School for many reasons. Most notable would be that our STREAM program not only provides a well-rounded curriculum but teaches our children life values and respect for others. I’ll call this the R factor! Our school is a family not an institution that children are pushed through for statistical values and recognition. Also, it was a family decision to provide the best education for our child. I spent 12 years in Catholic education and wanted to provide the same opportunity for our child. Our child’s life matters and what we do matters—that’s why we chose MMS. John and Myriah, parents at Monsignor McHugh School

Our daughter’s educational development at Wyoming Area Catholic has been wonderful. She loves the school, is eager to learn, is self-motivated and is inspired by the staff. Frank and Erin, parents at Wyoming Area Catholic School La Salle Academy has played a tremendous role in our family life by supporting us with teaching our children a Catholic-based curriculum, strong in morals and values that we hold very dear to our own lives. Our three children have been taught many things at La Salle Academy, but the most important things they learned are kindness, generosity, respect and compassion. Jeffrey and Brenda, parents at La Salle Academy What impressed us most about the education Notre Dame H.S. provides is that it is in-depth, well-rounded and fully prepares students for the next chapter in their lives. While it maintains a focus on the latest STREAM initiatives, it also includes the great works of literature, history and language arts, ensuring that my children will be familiar with the great writers, philosophers, scientists and historical figures. Notre Dame embodies what traditional Catholic schools have always strived to offer, allowing students the opportunity to grow in an environment that is inclusive, intelligent and guided by Faith. Colin and Tammy, parents at Notre Dame Jr./Sr. H.S. EDITOR Sister Leonita Duhoski, RSM



CONTRIBUTORS Bishop Joseph C. Bambera Jason Morrison Kristen Donohue Kathleen Gilmartin

Michele Long Eric Deabill Rev. Joseph D. Verespy Dr. Michael P. Banas

Susan Ferguson Sister Kathleen Kelly, IHM Mary Humiston Debra Krogulski