By William Crist | Superintedent of Catholic Schools

I am always shocked and surprised by how quickly our summers escape us while our cold and dreary days of winter seem to plod along for weeks! I hope you enjoyed the long, lazy days of summer and are beginning the new school year with energy, enthusiasm, and excitement. As we welcome students and families, we are thankful for the opportunity to partner with each as we anticipate what I pray will be the best year for all of us.

I can confidently declare that our principals and school staffs have been diligent in preparation. Planning for a new year, while “closing the books” on the past, takes skill, patience, and teamwork. It also takes a strong belief and faith, knowing that we are reassured with God by our side.

We welcome to our schools new faces and leaders who will usher in a spirit of excellence and commitment, a belief that our students are empowered to live their faith with compassion and integrity and respect for all life, as well as the diversity of our world.

We are pleased to have welcomed new principals to our system of schools. Leo Cosgrove joins us at Bishop Ludden Jr./Sr. High School in Syracuse; Donald Mills is our new principal at Immaculate Conception in Fayetteville; Ronald Spadafora is assuming the helm at Notre Dame Jr./Sr. High School in Utica; and Dr. Elizabeth Carter is the president of the Catholic Schools of Broome County. We have been blessed to attract and secure the quality and experience that each of these individuals brings to his or her area. Our Catholic schools will continue to prosper under their leadership.

Our schools provide such wonderful settings for our students to say “yes” to the Lord in the way Mary taught us. Mary said, “My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord. My spirit rejoices in God my savior.” As the first disciple, Mary taught us much about life with the Lord. Our Mother Mary trusted in God, setting an example that we can all benefit by living.

As Catholic Schools in the Diocese of Syracuse, we witness the gifts of the spirit that Mary rejoiced in, ever-present in each classroom, hallway, and school building. We come together as a faith community to Learn, to Serve, to Lead, and to Succeed.

Our schools are wonderful destinations for success and learning. We acknowledge the dedication of our teachers and building principals — all leaders, striving for academic excellence each and every day. Once again, we are thankful for the opportunity to partner with our parents.

Have a great year and may God bless all of you!

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