This Week's Newsletter


Dear St. Finn Barr Parents,                                                                December 15, 2017


Although we are only halfway through the month of December, the pulse of community at St. Finn Barr is beating strongly. We began the month with a family Mass confirming the enrollment of our 8th grade confirmanti, followed by the annual Men’s Club Breakfast with Santa. On December 8th, the 6th graders lead the parish in a beautiful Mass for the Feast of Immaculate Conception of Mary, and a few days later the 7th grade lead both the school and parish in a touching celebration of the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe. Wednesday, we gathered in the hall for a Faith Family Christmas movie. Then last night, we gathered with parents, family, and friends for a beautiful evening of Christmas singing during our annual Christmas concert. Throughout all of this time, the bins in our lobby have become filled with beautiful Christmas gifts for local students through the SFFD Christmas Toy Drive, while the CASA Foster Youth Gift Drive tree has slowly shed its “ornaments,” meaning that all of the children and young adults on the list will be treated to a gift from someone in our school.


Last week, Father McCain shared with me that during his 8th grade recommendation interviews for high school, just about every student responded to his final question the same way. When he asks, “What will you miss most about St. Finn Barr when you graduate?” they respond, “The community.”


This cohesive attachment to the wholeness of our school speaks volumes about our mission at work not only in hearts, but in minds as well. From the first day of school, students at St. Finn Barr are taught that they are valuable contributors to learning and school life. Students are expected to consider more than just themselves in all contexts, whether it be contributing to a class discussion with their personal insights, paying attention to younger students and guests in the hallway in order to promote safety and manners, or to step up on stage in front of hundreds of people to share the gift of performance with the many people who make our community what it is. This creates a culture in which students are held to a high standard of being active learners, leaders, and citizens. Cruising along passively not only inhibits one’s learning, but it prevents them from sharing their gifts with others.


As I sat in my theatre seat last night, watching nearly 250 children of so many ages, backgrounds, skill sets, and personalities, come together in such a bold expression of talent, preparation, and Christmas spirit, I couldn’t be more touched to feel the pulse of community in my own heart. I am inspired by each of them to be brave, to step out of my comfort zone, and to be generous during this season of giving.


God Bless,

Mele Mortonson



Service Learning Updates:

CASA Foster Youth Drive: I am thrilled to share that all of the gifts on the CASA (Court appointed special advocates) for Children Foster Youth Gift Drive have been taken from the tree in the lobby. Thank you to everyone who is generously helping to brighten a local child’s Christmas.


San Francisco Firefighters Toy Drive: We are proud to team up every year with the San Francisco Firefighters to bring toys to disadvantaged children this Christmas!You still have time to bring donations of new, unwrapped toys to St. Finn Barr and help brighten the holiday season for a child. Barrels for toy donations are located outside the office until Thursday, December 21st.

All participates will earn a free dress pass for Thursday, December 21st.



7th Grade Yosemite News: The 7th grade raised $618.76 today towards their Yosemite Naturebridge field trip!


This brings their total funds raised to date to $1,967.76! Thank you to everyone who has supported this class as they take on the monumental task of supporting the funding for this valuable learning adventure.


Go Green Initiative Updates: We have just initiated a new system for distributing water for hot lunch to cut down on the waste of the water bottles since we’ve found that many students don’t drink much from the bottles before recycling them.


We’ll be replacing water bottles with compostable cups filled with water from pitchers…much less recycling output – I look forward to letting you know about the change after a few months!


Summer Updates: The details for summer on SFB Campus are coming together nicely. A few additions since we last checked in:


  • Spanish/Art Camp: 2 Weeks (June 11-21); rising 1st-8th


  • Shakesperience Camp: 2 Weeks (June 11-21)



  • SFB Summer School: 5 Weeks (June 25- July 27); rising 1st-6th


  • Linda Bulgo’s Musical Theatre Camp: 8 Weeks (June 11-July 23rd)


Boxtops Notes from New BT Coordinator Kate Kassuba: Thank you, Kate!
1.     SFB is collecting Box Tops to purchase playground equipment and Rainy Day Activities  

  1.    Box Tops are found on many food and cleaning supply packages. 
  2.    Our Goal is to raise $1,000   
  3.    Each Box Top is worth 10 cents to the School.
  4.    We have already collected over $150 in box tops
  5.    The 4th grade class submitted the most box tops for the November 1st deadline and will be/were treated with ice cream & popsicles
  6.    Each student who submits more than 100 box tops will be entered into a raffle for a gift card. 

Walkathon: Thank you so much for the many families who participated in another successful (and sunny!) St. Finn Barr Walkathon event. The walk-a-thon was this school year's first mandatory fundraiser and always is intended to bring our SFB community together for a fun-filled event to raise money for a specially selected program. This year the proceeds from the Walkathon will support our Spring performance art programs Music in Schools Today (K-2) and the Shakespearience theater program (3rd-8th) 8th. Our goal is to raise at least $19,000 and so far we have brought in over $4,700 from paid t-shirts, a few buyouts, some paid pledges, Sponsorships, and donations!

Special thanks to our Leprechaun Sponsors:


  1. DiNicola Insurance Services, LLC - Nick and Kathy DiNicola (Sean, 8th)
  2. The Garcia Family - Donna Quicho and Rod Garcia (Dylan, 3rd)


Kindergarten Touring season is moving along towards our January 20th Kindergarten Assessment Day! Thank you so much to those of you who spread the good news of our school with your friends, coworkers, and pre-school pals. Your lived experiences are the most valuable insights for the families who will form our next generation of Shamrocks. Thank you.