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Diocesan Catholic Schools Begin New Year

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Catholic schools across the Diocese of Raleigh, which includes eight Early Childhood Centers, 24 elementary and middle schools and two Diocesan high schools, are opening their doors to the 2010-2011 school year.

St. Ann and St. Patrick in Fayetteville began their year on August 11. The other Catholic schools and Early Childhood Centers are set to open on various dates throughout the months of August and early September.

Most of the Diocesan schools have projected increased enrollments from the 2009-2010 school year and the Office of Catholic Formation and Education projects approximately 9,000 students this year. The Diocese welcomed 50 new teachers at an orientation on August 4.  In addition, five new principals were hired this year:

  • Mrs. Susan Parks, Annunciation School, Havelock
  • Dr. Joseph Nelson, St. Peter School, Greenville
  • Mrs. Christina Preskenis, Interim Principal at St. Catherine of Siena School, Wake Forest
  • Dr. Eric Westley, St. Patrick School, Fayetteville
  • Mr. Glenn Joyner, Site Administrator at Pope John Paul II High School, Greenville

The newest addition to the Diocesan school system is Pope John Paul II Catholic High School in Greenville, which will open on August 23. The school will begin with a freshmen class of 21 students and add a grade each year. The school will be based at St. Gabriel Catholic Church.

In Raleigh, the faculty, staff and upper classmen of Cardinal Gibbons High School welcomed its Class of 2014 on August 18th, the day before the official opening.  Freshman were dropped off in car pools and escorted by upperclassmen to the school theater for Mass. In helping their children begin the next chapter in their academic life, parents were offered muffins by the Director of Admissions, Ms. Marianne McCarty as they dropped off the students.

“The thing I remember the most,” said senior Kate Piccola, “was that I was the girl who had to be dragged out of my mom’s car that first day. I came this morning to help freshman who were feeling nervous like me.”

“The upperclassmen take ownership and plan this day for the freshman,” said Mr. Michael Rogosich, Assistant Principal of Student Activities. “I had students emailing me all summer about it; they get really excited about Welcome Day.” Over 400 upper classman volunteered to help out.

Led by upper classmen, the incoming students were divided into small groups, allowing them the opportunity to get to know others and get acquainted with the campus. “In addition to welcoming our incoming freshman to help insure their success and involvement in our school, it is also an opportunity for the upperclassmen to offer hospitality and care for the new members of our community,” said Jason Curtis, Principal.

“It’s been really cool,” said freshman Abby Cook. “I’ve already met some of my teachers, and I’m really excited to get started.” There are approximately 315 freshman enrolled this year, with a waiting list for freshman, sophomore and junior classes. “It’s been a fun day and I’m hoping that I’m going to have a great year here,” said Sean Feick, Class of 2014.

Above: Senior class welcoming incoming freshmen at Cardinal Gibbons High School, August 18, the day before the start of the new school year.

Above: Members of the Class of 2014 at Welcome Day at Cardinal Gibbons High School.

Above: Fr. Scott McCue, Assistant Principal for Spiritual Life, celebrating Mass on Welcome Day for incoming freshmen and senior hosts.