Principal’s Message for February 3, 2019

Craig Palmer

This week’s Principal’s Message is the Saint Mary School community and how they ALWAYS rally around a cause that supports the school and its families. On Sunday, January 27th, the SMS community, along with at least 25 other Catholic schools, braved the cold waters of the Atlantic Ocean and “plunged” for Catholic education. This was the 12th year of this event, originally intended to assist in raising funds to save the Catholic schools of the Bayshore. It has grown into an annual event and, though it still serves to raise much needed funds for Catholic schools, it’s become a celebration of all that’s good with Catholic education.

The Ancient Order of Hibernians, the nation's oldest and largest Irish Catholic fraternal organization, runs the Polar Plunge. The Hibernians have helped raise over $1 million for Catholic schools across NJ over the last 12 years. Each participating school has its own fundraiser and St. Mary School has utilized their funds to improve the school's facilities over the years. In the past, SMS has outfitted the middle school with iPads, upgraded the Wi-Fi in every classroom, installed air conditioning and most recently helped to complete the new science lab. This year, the funds will go toward the completion of our state-of-the-art Information Commons to be utilized by students in grades pre-k to 8th. The Information Commons will serve as a 21st century mix between a library, media center and computer lab, a place where students of all ages will interact with different types of media to create objects that support their learning throughout the curriculum, conduct research and use various technologies to dive deeper into their studies.

This year Saint Mary School families, students and staff set a fundraising goal of $25,000. I am happy to announce that we raised in excess of $50,000 with the final tally still to be calculated! What a wonderful team effort! Your support of this event makes all of the aforementioned improvements possible and continues the academic excellence at Saint Mary School! A huge “thank you” goes out to school parent Gerry McGahran and his Polar Plunge Committee who raise the bar every year and make this event even more successful. To our PTA Co-Presidents, Jen Fialo, Eileen Kamin and the rest of the PTA board, I love the level of parental engagement this event has garnered. A school is just a building. It’s the families that attend a school that make it a second home for its “inhabitants”. I am so grateful for you all and can’t wait to see where we go from here as the Saint Mary School family!