GREENVILLE — I’ve noticed a lack of focus around the school lately… and that’s just the staff. Add some restlessness and general giddiness, and you have a description of the student body.
Obviously it is the last month of school. The students have started their countdown. Actually in my math class counting the days until a specific event is part of the math meeting, and let’s face it what other event this month merits countdown!
May has been a very busy month. On May 2 we had May Crowning, a prayer service to honor the Blessed Virgin, in the morning and then attended the National Day of Prayer held at First United Methodist Church. Eighth-grader, Luke F. Rammel offered the prayer for families during the service. By the end of the day the glare from my children’s haloes was so bright I needed sunglasses.
The eighth-graders went on their class trip May 6 and returned May 9. They visited the younger grades the following afternoon and told the other students about their trip. They toured Baltimore and took a side trip to Washington, D.C. The sixth-graders left for their trip to Glen Helen Outdoor Education Center on May 7 and returned to school on May 10.
On May 3, Jesse Maag, a meteorologist from WHIO, came to give a presentation about weather to the kindergarten through fourth grades. The children were a very attentive audience, especially when he talked about tornadoes and hurricanes. I have to admit, I find them fascinating…from a very safe distance.
On May 14, the fifth- graders attended the Health Fair. On May 16, the Board of Trustees provided a luncheon for the staff and volunteers of St. Mary’s School in appreciation for all their hard work.
May 16 is the last day of school for the preschool Caterpillar class, and May 17 is the last day for the Butterfly class. The rest of us have to wait a bit for our last day of school. However before we reach that day, there are some more important events. The third- through sixth- graders will travel to the Maria Stein Retreat Center for retreat or day of prayer on May 24.
Now you may be envisioning children kneeling for several hours, which I believe is physically impossible to achieve in this reality, and rather far from the experience. The children will participate in age appropriate activities designed to help them not only grow in their faith, but to have a bit of fun along the way.
The eighth-graders will graduate on May 28. Ah, I remember when they were cute little first- and second-graders. Now they are cute little eighth-graders ready to start the next phase of their education. We wish Mariah Kreusch, Lauren Wright, Carson Pope, Luke F. Rammel and Luke D. Rammel the best of luck in high school. They go with our love.
Field Day is May 29, and the last day of school is May 30. Awards will be presented in the morning. On both the field day and last day of school, lunch will be provided for the students.
We have one more departure this year. Mrs. Dianne Blocher, one of our preschool teachers will be retiring this year. Dianne began teaching preschool in 2006, and has taught with great patience and humor, two things you really need if you teach preschool. Over the years she has taught both the Caterpillar Class of three and four-year- olds, and the Butterfly Class of four- and five-year-olds. I have often walked by her classroom as she dealt with a gaggle of little ones, and thanked the Lord for making me a first-slash-second grade teacher. She told me that she felt her job was to help the little children learn to love school. She certainly did that and so much more. For years Dianne has been the main wardrobe lady for the spring musicals. Her late husband Steve directed the musicals for many years, and no matter what costume was needed, Dianne found a way to make it, from period clothing to elephant heads. After her husband passed away, Dianne still costumed the students for the musicals.
We will celebrate her service to St. Mary’s with a special Mass on Friday, May 17. The cherub choir will lead the music that day. In the afternoon there will be a special reception for her with the staff, students and special guests attending.
Since this column will appear after the fact, I won’t be revealing any surprises. Dianne will be presented with several gifts of appreciation. The staff is giving her a school bell, a necklace, some scrip, and a very special gift, a toy lamb. Because of a little mishap involving some tardy preschool lambs making their entrance at a Christmas program several years ago, Dianne has good-naturedly suffered through many lamb jokes at her expense. We couldn’t let her leave without one more. I would say we will miss her, but like so many of our retirees she is planning to come back to help now and then. We wish her much happiness as she enters this new stage of life.
This school year is quickly coming to an end. So until the next school year, on behalf of the students and staff of St. Mary’s School, I wish you a safe and happy summer.
By Kathy Ayette
Kathy Ayette is a teacher at St. Mary’s Catholic School. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Viewpoints expressed in the article are the work of the author. The Daily Advocate does not endorse these viewpoints or the independent activities of the author.