Oct. 13-19, 2005
Off to a Great Start
By Sally Lisi/ Contributing writer
The hallways are sparkling, the classrooms are decorated, computers are loaded, the books are ready to be opened and the teachers are waiting with great anticipation. Everything is ready to begin a new school year. As buses and cars pulled up, the students were greeted with balloons decorating the outside of the building and grounds. Suddenly a building turned into a bubbly school filled with laughter, smiles and excitement! I am quickly reminded of the Gospel message, “Let the children come to Me.” Jesus, the ultimate Teacher, modeled for us the excitement of having children come to listen to Him. That is our goal at Immaculate Conception School; to share the excitement of Jesus with His children each and every day.
When students were asked about their school they were very candid in their remarks, as only children can be. Christine Calimlim, a third grader, quickly responded, “The people make our school special.” “We have the best teachers, the best secretary and the very best principal, that’s what makes us special,” said Sarina Rugino a fourth grader at I.C.
Miranda Magley, a sixth grader at the school, exclaimed, “We are special because we learn about God and how we should treat each other.” This was echoed by Elizabeth Catalano another sixth grader at the school. The students participated in a special liturgy on Tuesday, Oct. 4th in celebration of the Feast of St. Francis. The fourth graders were lectors and the fifth and sixth grade choir led the school in song. Father Gregg LeStrange presided at the liturgy and in his homily he spoke to the children about being like St. Francis. He told them that when we have tough times, we should have a light heart and share God’s joy with everyone we meet. The students listened intently to Father LeStrange as he shared the Gospel message of helping one another.
The students at Immaculate Conception have always found ways to help others. One year ,it was by gathering school supplies to help those students in other countries that are not allowed to attend school unless they have the supplies. Another year, money was raised to contribute to the new Children’s Hospital. Llast year they earned money to donate to the victims of the Tsunami. This year the school has adopted St. Peter Claver Parish School in New Orleans and has already donated more than $1,500 to help rebuild after the floods from Katrina. We will be doing special projects throughout the school year for St. Peter Claver School.
“We are learning another language,” said Grace Cherney, a fourth grader at the school. Immaculate Conception School is unique because beginning in kindergarten students are taught Spanish. Students that have graduated from I.C. always come back and thank Mrs. Maureen Mayberry, the Spanish teacher at the school, for giving them a head start with a foreign language. As the principal of the school, I am always amazed at how quickly the children pick up a second language. We are so proud of the program and our students.
Another response that was given by the students is that they enjoy all of the extra activities offered at the school. Immaculate Conception has a great basketball program but also offers Brownies, Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts, Spirit Club, Media Club, Yearbook Club, Choir, Band, Karate, Gymnastics, Book Club and for the second year, a special Technology Club. The Technology Club, is sponsored by the school and Syracuse University’s School of Instructional Design, Development & Evaluation.
Parents were asked about the school, the overwhelming response was the family atmosphere and Catholic values that can be seen and felt from the minute you enter the building. Isn’t that what the Teacher taught us? We are all one family, one person in Christ; the students, the teachers, the staff, the parents, the parish, and the community.