Saint Elizabeth Parish School’s return to in-person learning this year was guided by two principles: first, the continuity of our academic mission; and second, protecting the health and safety of our community.

The-right-book-002jpgIf there is any silver lining to be found in the COVID-19 pandemic, it is the fact that we have learned many lessons that are likely to remain with us and impact our future. More than anything, the importance of social connections that make up the Saint Elizabeth Parish School experience has been reinforced. In fact, our resilient 8th grade students felt a special responsibility to lead us through this period. With their modeling for our younger students, we emerged positioned to continue our mission as a parish school prepared for the future. This includes our challenge to make the world a better place.

We took baby steps as vaccination rates rose and positivity rates correspondingly dropped, easing up on our masking mitigations and social distancing at lunch. As our mitigations lessened, our 8th grade students – especially our Student Council and National Junior Honor Society members – took their leadership role seriously and looked for every opportunity to bring back beloved traditions. They were poised to lead with their unique gifts. Prepared with an ethical and moral compass, they helped their peers put their values into action and worked assertively for what is right, focusing on bringing the student body together.

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The 8th grade class led the way in October, putting together gift carts for veterans recently discharged from the hospital. They encouraged students throughout the school to do their part with donations. Each cart had a personal thank you note from the class recognizing the veteran’s service. Our 8th graders worked with the Saint Elizabeth Council, Knights of Columbus (#13141), to deliver the gifts on Veterans’ Day.

The Class of 2022 were caring “buddies” to our kindergarten and first-grade students, sitting with them, and celebrating our liturgies and prayer services together. It was joyous to be back in church as a full congregation. Our upperclassmen helped the younger students choose “just the right” book at the Book Fairs this year. They modeled how to win and lose graciously, taking on the organization and execution of our Sport Days. Student Council dances in winter and spring were popular and gave students in grades 6, 7, and 8 a long-awaited chance to socialize together – both organized by the Student Council. The 8th grade students inspired us to begin our Holy Week in a faithful and reflective way with the Living Stations of the Cross that was both reverent and inspiring.

When our graduates think about their time at Saint Elizabeth and reflect on their individual small gestures of kindness and leadership, we hope it will inspire them to remember every moment of their parish school experience. Whatever they might become and wherever they might go, we hope they will realize that their efforts mattered and that they were an integral part of a place devoted to the greater good. 

Thank you, Class of 2022, for your leadership through difficult times. You are unique and extraordinary gifts from God!

-Dr. Diane Greco, Parish School Principal