This Week's Newsletter
Dear St. Finn Barr Parents, May 16, 2016
This month I was blessed to return to work after some precious bonding time with my daughter just in time for Teacher Appreciation Week. While I no longer teach students directly, I take my role as support member to our faculty very seriously – of all of the resources that I am responsible for organizing in support of student learning, human resources – and faculty members specifically – make the most significant impact on student achievement in our school. I still recall my impressions of the St. Finn Barr faculty in my brief study of the school during my own hiring process five years ago. I knew that such a strong faculty would be my greatest ally in fulfilling the community’s goals for the school, and the greatest asset while I adjusted to the new role. Sure enough, I have had the privilege of working with and learning from a team of the most competent, kind, and faith-filled men and women to whom I am so grateful.
This year, we will see the “passing of the torch” from two such teachers – Mrs. Gloria Naber and Ms. Patsy Bouvet. Mrs. Naber is retiring after forty-two (yes, you read that correctly!) outstanding years of teaching at St. Finn Barr, and Ms. Bouvet is moving on to create new personal and professional experiences during a year of travel. As much as I regret any form of goodbye to such outstanding team members, I cannot help but feel a sense of pride and joy for both as they embark on such exciting new steps in their lives. For Ms. Bouvet, who is herself the daughter of a Catholic School principal, I have watched the evolution of her innate teaching talent into a refined, commanding, and compassionate style of middle school teaching with a strong emphasis on literacy. From Mrs. Naber, I’ve witnessed a true master teacher – she sets the bar for the highest quality classroom management I’ve ever seen, which translates into a powerful focus on learning within a classroom context of humor, respect, and joy.
While students and staff members alike have so much to learn from these two, what most impresses me is how they’ve both used the art of teaching as an expression of their faith and their very real love of children. Ms. Bouvet has made student engagement a professional imperative (not to mention the focus of her graduate research) in order to raise the level of expectation for teaching to the highest standard – all in the interest of truly preparing students for life. She respects, advocates for, and enjoys middle school students in all of their nuances and they adore her for it.
Mrs. Naber makes a rigorous role appear easy. She develops a special bond with her students with memorable helpers such as the famous French puppet “Mr. Cuddles” -- she diligently leads them in phonics chanting to develop their language skills, and she prepares the second grade for the sacraments of Confession and First Holy Communion with thoughtfulness and grace. She treats every student in every circumstance with dignity and shines in response to all of the darling things they say and do. In return, her students respect and adore her.
As we are in the business of graduation and matriculation, I have grown accustomed to wishing others well on their next steps after St. Finn Barr. In the case of these two women in particular, I can honestly say that they have shaped the very fabric of the school during their time here, creating a space and standard for all of us as educators to strive for, and enriching the Shamrock Spirit that transcends generations of learners at St. Finn Barr.
We hope that some of you will be able to join us in celebrating Mrs. Naber and Ms. Bouvet on Wednesday, June 1st during a simple farewell ceremony at 10:30am in the church.
Mrs. Mele Mortonson
IN THE NEWS:
Road to Rio: Our Science Director Christine Berkto is excited to share that her daughter Kate recently qualified to represent the United States at the Olympic Games in Rio De Janeiro this summer on the women’s rowing team. For more details refer to the link in the news section of our website – go Team USA!!
Alumni News: Great news from our own Rachel Schmidt (’13), current junior at Lowell High School. She is one of a few nominated to receive a Lowell High School English Department Book Award for outstanding performance in English. Rachel entered Lowell with a strong interest in language arts and has been a reporter for the school newspaper and has published several articles (she will be an editor next year). Rachel was also part of the group that won the Bioengineering award at Berkeley in 2015— now she has switched gears and developed a fondness for science and math. Last fall she placed in the top 1% on the PSAT test—putting her in line for consideration for the National Merit Scholarship. She just recently was admitted into the Shield & Scroll—Lowell’s Honor Society. This summer she will be studying at Harvard, after acceptance into Harvard, Stanford and Princeton’s summer programs….way to go Rachel!
Tuition/Registration for 2016-2017 School Year: By now you have all received digital notification regarding the 16-17 tuition fees and registration packets. After careful budgeting, our tuition committee has determined that fees will increase by just over 2% for the new school year. FACTS (our tuition payment company) has been set up for the new year and fees with be withdrawn beginning in July. A separate notice will be sent to notify parents of $500 registration fee charges to FACTS. Please note: FACTS fees have increased from $37 to $43, and the one- time payment option has increased by $10. All families who have applied for financial aide through TADS (and the application has determined them eligible for any amount of funding) will be considered for the Alliance of Mission District of Catholic Schools Scholarships.
5.17 Spring Music Showcase @ 630pm Goode Hall (Choir/Piano/Guitar students)
5.18 Field Day 1pm-245pm
5.20 Kindergarten Welcome Day 9am-10am (Kindergarten Classroom)
5.25 MANDATORY GENERAL PARENT MEETING 630PM @ Goode Hall
5.26 Spring Music Performance 1:45pm (All Grades lead by MUST Teacher)
6.1 Farewell Prayer Service for Ms. Bouvet & Mrs. Naber 10:30am
6.2 Graduation Mass (10am) and Graduation Ceremony (5pm)
6.7 End of Year Class Parties
6.8 Kindergarten Graduation
6.9 Last Day of School – 12:30pm dismissal (No Ext. Care)