East Syracuse — Twelve months ago, two Catholic school communities faced a significant challenge. Neither had the registered re-enrollment nor projected necessary income to open their doors in September 2007. The parents of both school communities proposed a merger of the two schools into one new entity to their respective pastors, Monsignor Eugene Yennock (St. Daniel) and Father Joseph Clemente (St. Matthew’s). With Bishop Moynihan’s approval, both pastors worked diligently with one other and with the parent communities to help make that proposal a reality. They succeeded and the new St. Daniel – St. Matthew Academy opened in September. Additionally, on November 9, 2007, the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools granted Middle States Accreditation to St. Daniel – St. Matthew Academy. This was a great blessing for the school and community!
I thank our pastors and parents for having the faith and hope to find a solution to the challenge they faced eight months ago. God has abundantly blessed these efforts. Our “dual-parish school” has 195 K-6 students and 52 children in our pre-k program.
I invite all those who support us to come and visit this new, vibrant school community that took seriously the words the angel Gabriel spoke to Mary, “… nothing will be impossible for God.” (Luke 1:37)
Deacon Joseph Celentano
What They Are Saying
We truly believe that our two communities were led by the Holy Spirit to form St. Daniel – St. Matthew Academy. We have enthusiastically supported this new endeavor. When asked what they think about our new school, here is what a few of our parents and children had to say:
“It is so nice to walk into the school and people are smiling and happy. There is no tension floating in the air. It is such a wonderful feeling and atmosphere that has been missing for quite a while.” ~ Trina McDonald, mother of first and third graders.
“I am happy to see that the children have all blended together so well. This is a good beginning of a great future together.” ~ Renee Storen, mother of second and fourth graders.
“I think it is a good blend of children. Everyone is getting along with one another. It’s easier than I thought to make new friends at St. Daniel – St. Matthew Academy.” ~ Veronica, 4th grader
“I think the two schools coming together has been a great thing. The children are happy. The parents are happy. That’s a big thing in my life.” ~ Teresa Shattuck, mother of fourth and fifth graders
“I am very pleased with how the school year has started. I feel our leadership and faculty are working very nicely together. I think it is great that the upper grades are switching teachers for the core curriculum classes. It will help the children become more responsible and ready for the next step after St. Daniel – St. Matthew Academy.” ~ Mary Ansbrow, mother of a fourth grader and three alumni.
“…For me personally, I am very pleased. Beginning on the first day of school it was so refreshing to see happy smiling faces. The parents and the students seem to have blended the two schools into a fantastic new one. The parents that I have met are dedicated to make this work and the students seem eager to do the same. Any bumps that I have had were met head on by Deacon and smoothed out that very day. I am very satisfied with our beginning so far and only see a bright, positive future for St. Daniel – St. Matthew Academy.” ~ Denise Stone, mother of a second and fifth grader.
An important part of our ministry at St. Daniel – St. Matthew Academy is helping our children become aware of the needs of others around them. God has blessed us all with many things. We are called as Catholic Christians to ensure that those less fortunate than ourselves are taken care of and provided for. This year we have chosen Project Connection to be our year long service project. Project Connection is an after-school program at Kennedy Square Apartments in Syracuse that serves approximately 50 children daily, between the ages of 4-18. Each month our students and families are collecting different items that the children and families can use. Our 6th grade class helped to deliver a collection of computer paper, snacks and drinks.
During the winter months our children collected gently-used coats, hats and scarves.
St. Daniel – St. Matthew Academy is accepting applications for the 2008-09 school year. Call 437-1339 for information.