CAPTION: (Left) Ms. Emily Benner is making learning fun for kindergartners this year. (Right) Mr. Andrew Shirker, another new face at the parish school, teaches various subjects to fifth, sixth and eighth graders.

The start of the 2017-18 school year at Saint Elizabeth Parish School not only brought 40 new students, but also two new teachers and one newly designed website:

The new site provides students,parents, staff and parishioners with a streamlined portal for communications and digital interaction. Its design reflects today’s focus on highlighting the content so that it is easy to read and find.

“Our goal for the new design was to show a different perspective – not just the bright, happy faces of our students, but also all that our school offers,” explained Sara Richardson, Saint Elizabeth Parish’s new Communications Coordinator. Sara has been working closely with parish volunteer Angela Colasanti to reengineer the site since August. “For instance, we wanted to highlight our facility, the extra-curricular programs, Peacemaker award program, and the Second Step Initiative,” she said. 

The website features bold images at the top with simple one- or two-word clickable buttons. Parents have their own portal, where Principal Dr. Diane Greco posts her weekly letter and the student portal includes links to every teacher’s page so students can check homework assignments or request extra help. One other important upgrade is that the website is now mobile-friendly.

“The website is very interactive. Parents can use the CalendarWiz program to download the events they want to be reminded about right onto their phone’s calendar,” continued Sara. “We are also building our presence on social media, including an updated Facebook page. Teachers help keep the content fresh and the contemporary communication channels give us more ways to stay in touch with parents and celebrate all the great things we have going on at school with the parish at large.”

ParishSchoolWebsiteScreenshotCAPTION: Saint Elizabeth Parish School has its own dedicated website at

Sara has been a parishioner for eight years and she is an active steward. She and her husband, Mike, are the parents of Saint Elizabeth kindergarten

student Michaela. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from Saint Bonaventure University and has built her career in print journalism over the last 15 years, now bringing her expertise to Saint Elizabeth. “We have big plans, but for now we are just working to refine the site and keep the content fresh,” she concluded.

Welcome Ms. Emily Benner!
Meet Ms. Emily Benner, Saint Elizabeth Parish School’s new kindergarten teacher. Emily is a West Chester native and recently graduated from Penn State University with a degree in Early Childhood Education. She served as student teacher at a Catholic elementary school in Middletown, Pa. before coming to Saint Elizabeth in September. In her spare time, Emily volunteers at a therapeutic riding barn at a school for children and adults with disabilities in Berwyn. An avid equine lover, Emily owns a horse and has been riding since she was five years old.

“The family feeling at Saint Elizabeth is overwhelming between both the student body and the faculty, which makes for a wonderful teaching
environment,” Emily enthused. “The students have respect for the adults and the adults have respect for each student. My top goals for teaching the students this year are to help them have fun learning and to make good memories of kindergarten.”

Who’s the New Guy Upstairs?

Mr. Andrew Shirker, a Saint Elizabeth parishioner, is the newest addition to the upper floor of Saint Elizabeth Parish School. He comes with a strong pedigree in Catholic school education with 20 years’ experience. Andrew taught seven years as a fifth grade teacher in the Cocalico School District, four years at Saint Norbert (fifth grade-seventh grade), five years at Saint Basil (fifth grade-eighth grade) and two years at Saint Mary Magdalen (seventh and eighth grades). He graduated from York College and now has three boys – Aaron, a freshman at Bucknell University; Alex, a freshman at Bishop Shanahan High School; and Adam, a seventh grade student at Saint Elizabeth.

Andrew teaches fifth grade ELA (English Language Arts), sixth grade religion, and eighth grade math and social studies here at Saint Elizabeth,
and is very happy to be part of our community.

“This community has been very welcoming to me. The parents are all interested and involved, wanting only the best for their children and the school, which is refreshing,” said Andrew. “I’m also very impressed that the school itself seems to be constantly trying to improve and build on an already successful model. I want to be an active part of that growth and help the students find enjoyment out of the learning process.”

Welcome one and all!
                                                                                                                                                                              ~ Lisa Barbadora