This Week's Newsletter

Dear St. Finn Barr Parents,                                                 May 26th, 2017


This week, I had the wonderful experience of welcoming St. Finn Barr alumni (and co-valedictorians of the Class of 2013) – Rachael Schmidt and Martell Coleman – back to their old stomping grounds. They were on campus to film footage for a documentary film featuring Rachael and a handful of other seniors at Lowell High School as they navigated the college admissions process this year. The filmmakers captured Rachael and her friend and classmate of 13 years as she checked in on her beloved teachers and visited the 5th and 6th grade classrooms to discuss her experiences in high school. I was so impressed with our students’ inquiries: “Have you chosen a major?” “What made you the most nervous about high school?” “What did you learn here that helped you?” “What is a typical day for you in terms of balancing school, extracurricular activities, and friends?”


Martell and Rachael’s responses were incredible – not only from a practical perspective (“the homework load is intense! Get ready”) but also in terms of demonstrating insight, maturity, and a true love of learning. Both of their stories included risk taking (the good kind! – striking up a conversation with a stranger on the first day of school, taking a class that seemed unusual), grit (accepting that not all teachers will be “amazing like they are at St. Finn Barr” and finding success in their classes anyway), wisdom (“you HAVE to learn to manage your time, most people get stressed out when they save everything for the last minute”) and passion (“when you love what you are learning, challenging assignments are fun”). I felt pride on so many levels – these young people, with so much to look forward to in life, had already learned and applied so much from their formative years at St. Finn Barr.


When I think of Rachael preparing to start her college life at Brown University, and Martell at the University of California Merced, I feel such excitement for our 8th graders and soon-to-be graduates of the Class of 2017 – as they move onto the exciting next step in their life as learners, we will hold them in our prayers and cheers!


Carolina Alonso

Ruth Asawa School of the Arts (World Dance Program)


Erika Bodlak

Mercy High School San Francisco (Women in Medicine Program)


Melanie Butler

San Francisco Christian High School


Hana Butler

The Bay School


Christian Campos

Westmoor High School


Isayana Castillo

Lick-Wilmerding High School


Ava Contreras-Oxenham

City Arts and Tech High School


Ryan Coronel

Saint Ignatius College Preparatory  (Accepted with Distinction)


Mia Diaz

Sacred Heart Cathedral Preparatory (Accepted with Honors)


Syra Eison

Mercy High School Burlingame (Accepted with Honors)


Emiliano Espinosa

Jefferson High School


Keira Francisco

Pacific Grove High School


Juan-Angel Gonzalez

Archbishop Riordan High School


Felix Gotovsky

Jewish Community High School


John Herzstein

Archbishop Riordan High School


Yi Bo Huang

Archbishop Riordan High School


Kyung Jin (KJ) Kim

International High School in Vietnam


Elyssa Lloyd

Marin Catholic High School


Xuan Ly

Ruth Osawa School of the Arts (Creative Writing Program)


Miko Macaraeg

Saint Ignatius College Preparatory High School (Accepted with Distinction)


Mateo Maestas

Lowell High School



Megan Morcillas

Mercy High School San Francisco


Benjamin Ng

Lowell High School


Xavier O’Shea Puentes

Philip and Sala Burton Academic High School


Joshua Padilla

Saint Ignatius College Preparatory (Accepted with Distinction) 


Vivian Picazo

Mercy High School San Francisco


Anna Ristaino

Mercy High School San Francisco


Wesley Robinson

Archbishop Riordan High School


Kyle Taschek

Saint Ignatius College Preparatory (Accepted with Honors)


Fabiana Tighe

Sacred Heart Cathedral Preparatory 


Congratulations Graduates!


Mele Mortonson



Seeking SFB Festival Chairperson/Committee Members: Are you interested in taking on an exciting event-planning role in our school? We are actively seeking a parent or parishioner to serve as coordinator of our annual school and parish St. Finn Barr Festival on Sunday, September 24th, 2017. This event was brought back to life just a few years ago by our Men’s Club and Executive Parent Board members, and was met with roaring success. Because of the large scope of the Executive Parent Board responsibilities, we would like to create a committee of parents who will lead the planning for this event (with the support of our “President’s Club” of former Chairs).


If you would like to fulfill your parent hours by contributing to this important event, either as the event chairperson or committee member, please email


Shakespearience , Part II: Special congratulations to our first, second, seventh, and eighth grade thespians! This week we enjoyed their performances from their session of Shakespeare learning of the famous Hamlet and Romeo and Juliet. Great job!


Spring Parent Meeting: Thank you to everyone who attended and participated in our Spring General Parent Meeting this week. If you would like to learn more about executive functioning skills, the resource for my presentation was the book Smart but Scattered: The Revolutionary “Executive Skills” Approach to Helping Kids Reach Their Potential by Peg Dawson and Richard Guare.


The Spring Music Showcase was amazing again! Congratulations to our guitar, piano, and choir members and their talented leaders Mr. Lawrence Paul (guitar), Mr. Richard Elliott (piano/choir) and Mrs. Caryn Matter (Choir) for presenting a lovely evening of music.


Cooking Class: This month the students made a delicious Jicama Pina Breeze drink. It is a heathy frozen drink that is perfect for the kids to try as it the weather warms up (in most cities!). The drink includes pineapple chunks, orange chunks, jicama chunks, and ice cubes. The students also We will be having the kids further practice their safe cut knife skills by cutting up already peeled jicama, pineapple, and oranges. We will also be playing a fun guessing game where the kids will be introduced to many unique types of fruit that they can try in the future. Look forward to seeing you this week!




5.31  Field Day


6.1     Baccalaureate Mass @ 10am, Graduation @ 5pm


6.5     SPIRIT Dress, Class Party Day, 12:30pm Dismissal


6.6     Kindergarten Graduation


6.7     Last Day of School – 930am Prayer Service/4th Quarter Awards

No Extended Care, 12:30pm Dismissal


6.8     School Office Closed, Summer Hours begin Monday, June 12