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Letter from the Principal - December 10, 2017

December 10th, 2017

Dear Parents,

We are in the center of the Christmas hurricane and all is good at SVMS! The Annual Christmas Shoppe was terrific and it was a delight to observe the shoppers in action. What a crew we have! It ranged from those who just whirled around and took what was right before them and those who had to examine every little detail. The products were of great quality and variety this year. Janice de Guzman and Weng Simon outdid themselves. Their crew of volunteers who did so much behind the scenes deserves much praise. The wrapping was phenomena and the gym was converted into a top-notch department store!

There was much joy at the senior luncheon on Tuesday when the elders of our parish were fed and feted. They loved being entertained by the 2nd and 3rd graders who sang their hearts out and rang in the Christmas spirit with great gusto. The audience was very complimentary and as usual the children rose to the occasion. We got a preview of the Christmas Concert and we are in for a great show from what I experienced. A special shout out to the 7th graders who accompanied the seniors from the church to school. They formed a guard of honor and clapped and cheered them into the school and helped serve lunch also.

Another group of seniors were treated royally by our students on Thursday. The sister and residents of the Villa at Florham Park were visited and serenaded with Christmas tunes by our beautiful carol singers from SVMS. The sisters were thrilled and will talk about this for weeks. They love interacting with young children as many of them were teachers in their younger days. This visit gives a beautiful infusion of joy to the residents and I am deeply grateful to all who went. May many blessings return to all of you!

Friday was a big day for our PreK 4. It was Special Persons Day and all of the children were excited about bringing someone special to their classroom and having a ball with them in their home away from home. There was much love moving around in these classrooms. It is so great to have PreK children among us. I call them my free therapy as they are so spontaneous and so childlike and are liable to come out with anything any time! They are a joy to be with and spread good cheer all year round.

Our new middle school building got a special addition that was dedicated this afternoon. It has been a tradition that the graduating class gifts the school upon graduation. The Class of 2017’s gift was a special plaque naming the middle school; Mercy Hall/ Where Faith, Hope and Charity Abide. It is placed right at the door to the middle school in the driveway. Fr. George spoke touching words and it was great to see many of the graduates back to be a part of the ceremony. By all accounts they are making their mark in high school. I have been great feedback from admissions directors about them also. Thank you Class of 2017! I will say special prayers for all of you every time that I pass this plaque.

Our Christmas Show is going to be held on Thursday, December 14th at 7:00P.M. This show helps us to get in the spirit of the season every year. It is a time when we can sit back and relax and marvel at the coming together of many voices. The children are to wear their Sunday best and wear shoes and socks – no heels and no flip flops. Girls are to wear dresses or skirts that are not too short and not too skimpy. Boys will wear button down shirts and dress pants. The children are to come no earlier than 6:40PM and go right to their classrooms. After each group performs, the students will return to their classrooms where the teachers will remain with them until after the show. Students are not allowed to return to the gym after they perform. I t is a short show so please work with us in having minimal interruptions. Mr. Guastella and the students have worked very hard and it is important that we give them the respect that they deserve. Please behave at this show as you would a Broadway Show.

Elsewhere in this eNewsletter you will get information on the launch of a new website that has been worked on behind the scenes for months by Karyn Snyder. She and colleen O’Reilly have done Trojan work over the years since I have been here to keep us current online. The new website aligns with a strong push in marketing to attract new families to our school. At marketing work shops we have been encouraged and urged to have a social media presence so that we can better meet the younger generations of families where they are. So we will also soon have a Facebook, twitter and Instagram presence to spread the good news about SVMS. You will be getting more information on these initiatives going forward. And for some reason we have had strong interest in our school over the past few weeks. We have taken eight new students in and there will be some more to come in the new year. You children have been tremendous ‘welcomers’ to these new students and it is heart-warming to observe the new students assimilate very quickly because of this.

We are now members of “Atlantic Healthy Schools” program. By partnering with Atlantic Health we will have access to resources and initiatives that will help us infuse healthy eating and active living into our daily routines. We also are partnering with the local YMCA. On Thursday the 8th graders will go there to participate in a series of team building activities. We will be going to the YMCA for different activities during the school year.

I got a call from a concerned parishioner on Friday claiming that I was allowing parents to let their children run across into traffic on Wilmer Street. She was very irate! She said that I was teaching the children bad habits! Now if there is one thing that I can honestly proclaim it is that I love your children as if they were my own and I would never put them in this kind of danger. While I was taken aback by the conversation, this parishioner does have a point. If you continue to allow the children to run between cars to cross the street, then they are going to think that it is k to do this even when you are not with them. Also please know that the driveway between the rectory and the church is off limits for parking. You are asked not to come into the main parking lot especially at drop-off and pick up. We need to do everything in we can to prevent an accident from happening on our campus and around our campus.

And snow season is upon us once more! Hopefully you all made it through the day yesterday intact. It can snow all it wants on weekends once it does not interfere with the school calendar! Have a peace-filled week and may you find some peace in the hustle and bustle of this Advent/Christmas Season.

Blessings,

Sr. Noreen