Grandparents Light the Way

seanmaz-lindamclaughlinGP13We have many traditions here at MSS. One of them is Grandparents Day, which is this Friday, September 26th. On this day each year, we open our doors to those special people who play a pivotal role in our students’ lives. Despite it being “Grandparents” Day, we intend for the day to include special relatives or friends who may not be grandparents, but who perhaps have taken a similar role in your family. Children can never have too many people to love them.

We couldn’t exist without our grandparents. Directly or indirectly, they influence who we are as people. Pope Francis says of grandparents:

“Like the Holy Family of Nazareth, every family is part of the history of a people; it cannot exist without the generations who have gone before it. Therefore, today we have grandparents and children. The children learn from their grandparents, from the previous generation.”

This annual event is our way of showing appreciation to grandparents and other influential people who have helped our students become the beautiful children of God that they are. It’s a token of our gratitude for their love and support.

We look forward to meeting these special people!

Our celebration of Grandparents Day will begin at 10 a.m. and end with an early dismissal at 12:30 p.m. for all grades, including Pre-K. If a grandparent will be taking a child home, please send a note in for your child’s teacher!

Our Alumni Give Back

On Friday, October 3rd, the ‘Angels Above’ Alumni Golf Tournament will commence for the 7th time. What makes this golf tournament stand out from the rest?

Love

Angels Above with studentsThe tournament is organized by the Little Family to benefit the Jack and Shirley Little Scholarship Fund here at Mother Seton School. It began as a memorial to Jack and Shirley, whose six children were educated at MSS in the 1970s and 1980s. The Littles were grateful for the help they received, and it was their wish to pay that assistance forward by helping other families meet their tuition needs. “We want to continue to help Mother Seton School grow and thrive, and not have money be an issue (for those families who wish to enroll),” said Tony Little, MSS Class of 1978. He joins his siblings—Tim, Mary Lou, Pam, Scott, and Ed—in a commitment to continue their parents’ dream. To date, the tournament has provided over $52,000 in scholarships to MSS students so far.

This is just one example of the phenomenal generosity of our alumni, and why we always say that Mother Seton School is more than just a school community–it’s a family.

We’d love for you to come out and play a round with us! You can register online or download a brochure and mail your registration in. We also have sponsorship opportunities–promote your business while supporting a great cause. For more information, visit the Angels Above page on our website.

Happy Golfing!

Welcome Back to School!

1st-Day-School-welcome-SrMegIt’s a gorgeous day in the Catoctin Mountains, a perfect start to a brand new school year!

We are excited to begin a new chapter in the history of Mother Seton School and to share in the legacy that our Patron Saint left us. You are probably familiar with our mission statement, which the students recite every morning during prayer and announcements:

The mission of Mother Seton Catholic School, a vibrant, Christ-centered community, is to inspire students to strive for academic excellence and dedicate their lives to love and serve Christ in the tradition of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton and St. Vincent de Paul.

We’d also like to take a moment to share the Core Values of Vincentian-Setonian Education, which are the guiding principles by which we strive to educate the students of Mother Seton School.

Vincentian-Setonian Education is…

Holistic

Seeks to nurture the students in a holistic fashion; educates the heart as well as the head; forms the spirit, the mind and the body; embraces a global perspective

Integrated

Blends the human and the spiritual, the abstract and the practical, the professional and the personal, the simple and the complex

Creative

Finds new or renewed ways to meet changing needs of successive generations of students, while maintaining a clear “sense of the possible”

Flexible

Adapts traditional methods to the needs of the non-traditional student

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Places quality at the heart of:

Teaching: the teacher is not only competent but efficient, dedicated, and real–“all those virtues required of the students.”

Methodology: the method employed is active, challenging, goal-oriented, and fosters tools and attitudes of life-long learning

Person Oriented

Reflects relationships marked by humility and simplicity, in which all administration, faculty, staff, and, most importantly, students are respected and valued.

Collaborative

Collaborates rather than competes with co-workers, organizations, parents, and other educational institutions

Focused

Believes that its mission is none other than a participation in the mission of the Church: the service of Christ in those who are poor. As such it strives to integrate this vision into the educational process and to keep the primacy of it alive among all those who share in this common mission.

Graduation Day

8th Grade Graduation-8680On Sunday, June 8th, our eighth-graders took part in their final milestone at Mother Seton School. These 39 students–whose grace, good humor, and compassion have filled these halls with joy for a decade–have graduated and are moving on to the next part of their life, arguably the toughest one. (There’s a reason people often say they “survived” high school!) But we have faith in our students–faith that they have received a strong foundation morally, academically, and spiritually–and will be prepared for whatever life brings them. Their lights shine brightly and there is no doubt that they will go on to touch other lives with those lights. And we must give our gratitude to you, their parents, for the gift of allowing us to be a part of your children’s lives and for entrusting us with their care.

May God Bless each and every one of our graduates and their families. Congratulations Class of 2014!

A Graduate’s Prayer
Dear Lord,
As I look toward the future 
Bright hope conducts this prayer, 
For I know the plans You have for me 
Were wrought with divine care.
Holy Spirit, lead me. 
Let me run at Your command, 
Yet be still and know that You are God 
When trouble is close at hand.
Your Word will be a lamp for me, 
A guide to light my way, 
A solid place to set my feet, 
A compass when I stray.
May I live my life to praise You, 
Not for fortune, nor for fame, 
May everything I say and do 
Bring glory to Your name.
May my eyes stay fixed upon You 
As I seek the way that’s pure, 
Tasting Your love and goodness 
Sleeping and rising secure.
Planted by Your living streams 
I’ll delight in all Your ways, 
Hidden by Your sheltering wings 
With new mercies for each day.
Even in a dangerous land 
When storms threaten to destroy, 
At the cross I’ll stand upon the Rock 
My Strength, my Hope, my Joy.
Dear Lord, show me Your favor, 
At all times keep me blessed, 
May Your face ever shine upon me, 
With peace and perfect rest.
Amen.
–Mary Fairchild
To see pictures from the 8th Grade Awards Banquet and Graduation, check out our albums on our Facebook page!

Do you know our Emergency Plan?

Last week, Dr. Camille Brown, the Associate Superintendent for the Archdiocese of Baltimore Catholic Schools, visited with our students, staff, and parents. One of the questions she asked of the parents was, “Do you know where your emergency site is if the school has to be evacuated?”

Can you answer that question?

At the beginning of the school year, the staff and faculty went through emergency preparedness training with officials from Frederick County and the Maryland Emergency Management Agency (MEMA). A comprehensive Crisis Management Plan was developed and implemented with the assistance of these officials. Our goal in doing this was to provide the safest environment possible for our school community here, and to be prepared to take action in the event of any type of emergency, from hurricanes and tornadoes to chemical spills and campus violence.

We use a variety of means to communicate with parents. For a brief summary of our policies and procedures, visit the Mother Seton School website, where we also have at your disposal our Mother Seton School Parent-Student Handbook, which details our Crisis Management Plan beginning on page 47. The information includes evacuation sites, as well as procedures for reunification.

With hurricane season approaching, it might be a good idea to take a look at the handbook and refresh yourselves on the Crisis Management policy. For our part, we will continue having drills so that our students and staff will be prepared.

For more information on how you can be prepared at home, check out MEMA’s webpage for homeowners. They even have a mobile app you can download onto iPhone or Android devices.

Stay safe!

Changing of the Guard

On April 1st, a letter from Sr. JoAnne Goecke, D.C. went home in the Tuesday folders. Even though it was April Fools Day, this was not a joke! Sister JoAnne will be transitioning to a new mission next school year and we will be welcoming a new principal–Sister Brenda Monahan, D.C. Sr. Brenda comes to us from the Diocese of Birmingham, where she is the Director of Beacons of Hope, Inc., which serves four Catholic school communities in that area. She has extensive experience working within Catholic schools, both as a teacher and as an administrator. She will be here for a brief visit in mid-April, and we hope to be able to to schedule a meet-and-greet so that parents may stop by and say hello before the school year begins.

Sister JoAnne looks back fondly on her time here, as she expressed in her letter:

I am filled with a deep sense of gratitude for God’s loving Providence over Mother Seton School during my time here since 2006.  During these 8 years, I have experienced a vibrancy of faith and a commitment to mission among all in the MSS family that is second to none. When any member of our school family experienced family, personal, or economic stress  I have seen the impossible happen through persevering prayer, sincere compassion, and a can do spirit among our faculty, parents, Board, benefactors, and volunteers.

I have been blessed to work with a strong, well prepared faculty and staff who love their work, love the children they serve, and give generously of their time and many talents. Special projects and clubs abound, and students are enriched thanks to their creativity and planning. Their dedication is reflected in the way our students excel academically and mature spiritually, holding true to the spirit of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton.

Thanks to everyone’s efforts, we have seen the Learning Center develop and grow to provide a wide variety of services previously not available to our children.  Our Technology Committee has seen to it that we advance with the times, providing IT access to students in any location in the school, training in newer technologies, and opening doors to the vast teaching and learning resources available through the web  and assistive technology for special needs.

Thanks to the skills and commitment of Advancement and Finance staff, these offices have come of age, utilizing the best means to support the mission of MSS and establishing highly professional offices to better serve the needs of our families and the community.   Continued attention to the facility has been possible thanks to staff and the Facility Committee’s commitment to responsible stewardship of the beautiful school plan that we inherited from those who have gone before us, especially, Sr. Mary Catherine Conway and all responsible for constructing the new wing.

I could go on and on. In a word, God has been good to us and for this I am truly grateful. 

As we prepare for this changing of the guard, let us keep Sr. JoAnne, Sr. Brenda, and the entire Mother Seton School community in our prayers.