News and Bulletins

Raffle: You have one week left to buy tickets (by May 4th)! Call the school office at 906-635-6141.

May 7th, SMCS Jackpot Raffle Day: According to State Licensing rules, we may not hold a live virtual drawing. 

Fr. Sebastian and Fr. Mike will draw all tickets starting at 7:00 p.m. on Thursday, May 7th.  The drawings will be recorded and the announcement of winners will be posted to Facebook and the website; winners will be phoned as well.  

Raffle: You have one week left to buy tickets (May 4)! Call the school office at 906-635-6141.

May 7th, SMCS Jackpot Raffle Day: According to State Licensing rules, we may not hold a live virtual drawing. 

Fr. Sebastian and Fr. Mike will draw all tickets starting at 7:00 p.m. on Thursday, May 7th.  The drawings will be recorded and the announcement of winners will be posted to Facebook and the website; winners will be phoned as well.  

Raffle: You have one week left to buy tickets (May 4)! Call the school office at 906-635-6141.

May 7th, SMCS Jackpot Raffle Day: According to State Licensing rules, we may not hold a live virtual drawing. 

Fr. Sebastian and Fr. Mike will draw all tickets starting at 7:00 p.m. on Thursday, May 7th.  The drawings will be recorded and the announcement of winners will be posted to Facebook and the website; winners will be phoned as well.  

Letter from the Principal 02.03.20

Dear Families of St. Mary’s Catholic School,

Thank God for another successful Catholic Schools Week!  Thank you to all who made it run smoothly, from opening Mass to faculty/staff luncheon.  The lunch was delicious and greatly appreciated!

Our Virtue for February is Self-Control (also known as Discipline).
Definition of Self-Control: Joyful mastery over one’s passions and desires
Self-Control Looks Like:
Raising your hand before talking in class
Self-Control Sounds Like:
I will raise my hand before I speak.

                                                            Education in Virtue

Today is the Feast of St. Blaise.  Fr. Sebastian and Dcn. Romeo will visit the school today to bless the throats of our students, teachers, and staff.  Please see below for a little more information regarding St. Blaise.

No need to make dinner on Sunday!  The Friends of St. Mary’s will do it for you.  Our friends host a delicious spaghetti dinner at O’Callaghan Hall (St. Joe’s) and we hope you will attend; take outs are also available.  All proceeds go to our school!  THANK YOU, FRIENDS OF ST. MARY’S!  Please see enclosures for further information.

God bless,  

Hedy A. Yanni

Principal 

Monday folder 02.03.20

Letter from the Principal 01.27.20

Dear Families of St. Mary’s Catholic School,

Happy Catholic Schools Week!  It was wonderful seeing so many of you at Mass yesterday – what a great way to kick off our week.  Thank you for being there.  For those who could not attend, we gave complimentary microfiber screen cleaner stickers as folks entered the church yesterday.  We enclosed one in each Monday folder today to be sure each of our school families receive one.

The CSW schedule is once again enclosed.  Kindly refer to it for activities.  Thank you to all who sent in baked goods this morning.  Local businesses will be pleased; all the goodies look yummy!

Please find in your Monday folder today a small token of appreciation for all our volunteers.  The teachers, Mrs. Miller, and I put these little thank you treats together as a way of saying thank you to YOU!  Our school is a special place because of the support from volunteers.  Thank you, thank you!  The photo below shows what should make it home to you. ?

Tuesday is a free color day; if students have something with the St. Mary’s School logo, please wear it.  It is St. Mary’s School spirit day!

As always, modesty guidelines are to be followed.

Thursday is our usual school Mass, 8:15 a.m., followed by a Eucharistic procession and benediction.  Please join us for both if you are able.

Friday is also color day.  This is the usual end of the month, last Friday, color day and popcorn Friday.  So, $0.25 to dress out of uniform.  Modesty guidelines here as well.

God bless,
Hedy A. Yanni
Principal

Monday folder for 01.27.20

December 10, 2021 Weekly Newsletter

Dear St. Mary’s Catholic school community,

The subject of this letter is the school’s progress this past week and look ahead at the school’s future.  I believe in transparency and letting you know as much as possible what’s going on at your school, whether you are a parent, grandparent, alumni or other community member and supporter.  I hope I can succinctly communicate what is going on, what is in progress, and why decisions are made. 

It seems desirable that community members should have the opportunity to speak to me about topics they feel strongly about, even ones they may disagree with the school and its policies about.  I do not want to hear what people think they are supposed to agree with, but rather what they actually believe about things important to them.  This is where an honest dialogue can take place, and feedback can make an impact on policies and decisions.  

I want to make sure the values of the community members and the school align as much as possible within reason and with prudence, while first adhering to the Catholic faith and its Christian teachings.  It is part of that teaching that a person must always obey the certain judgment of his or her conscience.  However, it can happen that moral conscience remains in ignorance and makes erroneous judgments about things to be done or things already done.  This can happen when we as humans take little trouble to find out what is true and good, such as God’s commandments and teachings, or when we do not turn our hearts towards God, lack charity, or when we are enslaved to our passions. Let us pray God guide us to an always more correct and error free judgment in matters of moral conscience, that we may live with pure hearts and consciences before the Lord.

With that said, please email me with anything that is of concern or in need of action or resolution, anything that is bothering you that you need to bring to me to deal with. You can email me anytime but I will respond during the weekdays at tvail-stm@eupschools.org.

Let me then speak about this week.  The application for up to $45,000 or so of pre-k and after school funding went through and is awaiting processing.  There is no guarantee how much we will receive, but it could very well be substantial.  This is a big boost for our program, which with the right staff and space, and with enough students, could be doubled into two pre-K classes, if things continue at this rate.  As mentioned in the previous letter, the condition for these funds is to have registered students within 3 months of receipt, and so I would ask prayers that we have everything in place in time.  We have two pre-k aide candidates, and several applicants for the pre-K position.  One candidate is a current teacher who is considering the director / main teacher position, but we would ask for prayers that this is the right move and if it is God’s will that the Lord sends someone to take over her class.  

The volunteer list including the when, where, what, how and how often of the task will be posted shortly.  It is a large undertaking to gather information on what volunteer needs we have and to compile them.  HASA will be supporting me in this task and a task list will be sent out to the community for signup.

One important volunteer type is committee membership.   The committees are essential for accreditation.  Currently, only HASA is active and has had meetings.  There are not more than a few potential members for all the other committees.  Thus, we don’t have what we need to proceed with accreditation yet, and accreditation is due in April.  The details of committee membership will also be included in the volunteer document, so please look out for that if you are interested.

Lastly, I wanted to recognize the ongoing contribution of volunteer parents, grandparents, and other community members who have stepped forward in helping out the school to operate well while understaffed.  May God reward you for your service and sacrifice, and all the value you bring to St. Mary’s.

While starting the pre-K, restaffing the school and filling the classes is in the foreground, we have been peeking at the seemingly distant Fall of 2022 semester.  The demand and need for a high school has been established, and so talks about how to supply and serve that need have been ongoing.  Recently, resource planning and potential suitable teachers have been a consideration, as well as the building and space for the high school.  It seems that if anything it would be humble; the class sizes small and combined, the teachers few, and the space small and temporarily fitted for a high school.  The best candidate for a space would be the building at St. Joseph’s where faith formation classes are currently held on Sundays.  Currently it is merely in an analysis and pre-planning stage, but things could and should develop rapidly once we have sufficient resources and more sure enrollment.  The program would be classical and Catholic, a program to match the potential and genius of incoming freshmen students.
 
Let us turn our minds and hearts to the Lord in prayer, that He provides all that we truly need, and that cooperate with His Holy will,
In Christ,
Tim Vail

December 3, 2021 Weekly Newsletter

Dear St. Mary’s Catholic School community,

This past month the school has grown and overcome many challenges, and positive developments continue to happen, all thanks be to God.  Most recently we had added to our ranks a new 6th grade teacher, Gretchen Jones, who is a parent of two St. Mary’s students, and previously a substitute teacher for us and the public schools.  Before that Mrs. Jones was in the Coast Guard as a helicopter pilot.  We welcome her and thank her for assuming the class, which makes a difference not only in the lives of the students, but also for Ms. Pianosi who had been responsible for 6th in addition to her regular 7th and 8th grade classes.  Mrs. Jones is committed to classical education, which is a value and goal of our school and diocese.  All the staff are growing and learning how to implement a more classical curriculum, which has as its goal wisdom.  There is much innovative work to be done in taking the best of what we already teach, and integrating classical texts and arts.  Latin and Greek will be more common throughout, and the art of speaking well in terms of logic, rhetoric and refined word choice and sentence composition will be of greater focus.  We will be learning with the greatest minds and authors of the Western Tradition and enter a conversation with the ancients, including the greatest Saints of Christendom.  After all, the doctors of the Church were all educated in the classical system, and for some we even have the exact texts that they themselves studied and gained wisdom from.  It is an exciting time for our school as we delve more fully into this rich Catholic educational heritage. 

The pre-K program continues to add interested parents and thus students to the roster.  Program planning, organizing, staff licensing, and state funding are coming together as well.  God is good and provides abundantly for those who trust in Him!  We still ask for your prayers, and if you know any pre-K aged children and families, let them know about our program.  The start is still being determined, but as a condition of a state grant we are applying for, we would need to open our doors to students within 3 months of receiving funds.  That means we could open at an irregular time of the year, such as February or March.  Whatever the timing, we entrust everything to the Lord and to the prayers of St. Mary, our patroness.  Please see the bottom of this letter for the PreSchool Survey link.

Since the beginning of the school year, the weekly Mass has been in the gym.  For the students, the staff and the parents, this has been incongruent with how we normally celebrate Mass.  Mass and the Eucharist which we receive deserve a sacred space, and having a recreational and cafeteria space was far less than ideal.  Therefore, after discussion with various stakeholders for feedback, it seems proper that we return to celebrating Mass at the proto-Cathedral Holy Name of Mary next door.  The Vicar General Fr. Tim Ekaitis was very much in support of this decision, and under the Bishop’s direction Fr. Romeo or Fr. Mike will celebrate masses.  The Diocesan directive that Fr. Nick Thompson have no contact or involvement with St. Mary’s school staff, students, parents and administration, still stands.  Let us pray that God’s will be done in this return to weekly Mass as a School at the proto-Cathedral.  

Volunteers have continued to come forward to offer their time and efforts, and again I thank everyone who has done so.  Currently I and other staff are making great strides in compiling a comprehensive task-list for volunteers.  HASA will help to distribute it once it is completely done, but if you have already determined somehow what needs to be done and would like to volunteer, do not hesitate to reach out to me or the office.  We have some active volunteers who contribute very proactively, who make a significant difference in the operations of our school and community.  I would especially like to thank and recognize Marsha Mitchell this week, who saw a need in our staffing for lunch and volunteered two days of her time and effort to cover for us, thank you Marsha!  It is the larger mission and purpose of our school that benefits and draws people to serve, and it is such a blessing to see how God works through those who give of their time, talents and treasure for the greater good.  I would be amiss if I did not also recognize an anonymous donor, who this week donated $16,000 in recognition of teachers and staff and their dedication to the school, and in honor of Christ this Christmas.  Thank you sincerely and may God bless your generosity with His graces many times over!  The Lord is directing our school and our path, and it is such a privilege to witness the many ways in which God works through the School to show us His love, truth, goodness and beauty.  

Let us prepare our hearts and minds for the coming of Christ Jesus this Christmas, and look ever forward to His plan fulfilled in our lives,
In Christ,
Tim Vail

PreSchool Survey link.  Please pass this along to anyone you may think interested.
https://forms.gle/87zWHfw6Xhjue3Xz5

November 19, 2021 Weekly Newsletter

Hello St. Mary’s Catholic school community,

This past week I’ve seen more people stepping forward to offer their time, talent and treasure than I ever have since I started here.  The positive response from families has been wonderful. The school community is like a family in many ways. It is where one contributes to the common good, learns and practices moral values, and makes good use of freedom.  We are all family in that we have God as our Father.  He is a Father who blesses us when we follow His commandments. God loves us unconditionally though we sometimes sin and turn away from His goodness.  This God we serve is the reason for our school.

As far as service opportunities, to use the good gifts God has given us, HASA and the school are compiling a more definitive list of specific tasks that are needed.  These tasks will be specific with details such as the time required and the frequency involved.  It will take the form of a big to-do list and signup sheet, where someone has the option to commit to anywhere from half an hour one time, to multiple hours of daily service if desired.  All these contributions add up to the school accomplishing its mission, God being served, and the overall quality of the school increasing.  The students stand to become the biggest beneficiary of all this work and dedication, and those who serve can be proud of their contribution.  Please consider signing up for a task or role once the signup sheet is posted, hopefully next week.  

Thanksgiving and Advent are quick approaching, and next week we will have a half day next Wednesday and no school after that until Monday the 29th.  Therefore, there will be no newsletter next week, so enjoy Thanksgiving with your family and / or friends, and have a blessed start to the Advent season.

As a final note of good news, we seem to have hit our number of 10 interested students for the pre-K program.  Nevertheless, we are still sending out surveys, this time electronically (to reduce the burden of a paper copy) and so please fill one out if you are interested, or send one to someone you know.  This means that we can start to prepare the program in earnest, and everything that entails.  Let us give thanks to God that we could hit this milestone, and that we will recover a program that had been lost to the school and community.  We aim to make it an approved Montessori atrium program, with supplemental curricula so that students are academically accomplished enough for Kindergarten. The program length is leaning strongly to half day, with the possibility of extended hours of class and care.  Let us know your feedback through email or the surveys on what you want, because ultimately the parents and their needs determine how we serve.

Have a blessed weekend and may the Peace of Christ be with you,
Tim Vail

November 12, 2012 Weekly Newsletter

Hello St. Mary’s School Community,

After listening to parents, teachers, school council members, and staff these past few weeks, the newsletter topic for this weekend became clear. The topic is about service and the need for it. As I stated in my previous letter, the volunteering requirement for families went away, but the need for volunteer service didn’t. There are community members such as parents, grandparents, alumni, and others who support the kind of education and formation we provide, who want to serve the school, but don’t know how and what our needs are. Knowledge leads to action, and so my hope is that by reading this you or someone you know could find and seize the right opportunities.


What follows will be a description of what positions we need, and how families or community members could serve. The first is school committees: Strategic Planning and Policies, Catholic Identity, Development and Fundraising, Facilities, Finance and Budgeting, Marketing, Recruitment and Communications, and last but not least, the Executive Council. These councils need several members each, and nearly all had been put on pause the past year, with no recent activity. The importance of these councils are paramount this year, as we are planning to launch our re-accreditation this year. The success of accreditation stands or falls on the efforts and collaboration of these currently defunct councils. Without their help, the work falls squarely on Mark Salisbury and myself, who are giving all our time and effort as it is to the affairs of the school, besides accreditation.

The second is part-time service roles: Snow-blowing on snow days in the morning before school, trimming of the bushes and gardening work around the campus, being a recess supervisor or lunch aide for an hour or so, helping the teachers with a variety of routine or busy-work tasks (that could be done outside school) so they have more time to design and develop high quality lessons, helping to recruit students, teachers, or staff or volunteers in needed positions yourselves for the school, helping out with the after-school program when they go on the playground or outside.

The third is paid positions, for which we have candidates but in accord with diocesan recommendations we are still accepting applications for an experienced, full-time secretary, 6th grade teacher, and pre-K teacher. The pre-K program is gaining momentum, but we still haven’t hit our quota for launch, which is 10 students. Once we have a letter of intent or contract with parents for 10 students, we can officially give offer letters to candidates and sign contracts with them and start to prepare everything officially. The start date of the pre-K therefore depends on serious interest from a number of families. I will be sending my son Thomas to the pre-K and am excited to help it get underway.

Beyond that, this week we had an unfortunate but temporary closure of K and 1st grade due to COVID exposure, and another case of exposure for a student in another grade. My first priority is that children are safe, but I also want them to return to school as soon as legitimately possible. We acted in accord with health department guidelines and worked closely with them to make sure we kept our school safe from further exposure, to prevent further quarantine.

As in the email from the Department of Health, quarantined students may return to class on Tuesday the 16th on condition of a negative COVID test taken on Monday the 15th. If students are not tested, and show no symptoms, they may return on Friday, the 19th to class. Please contact me or Mrs. Miller for questions about testing locations or for sending proof of negative results if you wish your child to return on Tuesday, otherwise we will see them in school Friday. I am currently looking into testing options that could accelerate the quarantines and reduce the number of days out for students and will update you on any news.

Please keep all those in quarantine in your prayers, and please pray to God for an end to the COVID pandemic.
In Christ,
Tim Vail

November 5, 2021 Weekly Newsletter

Hello St. Mary’s School community,

I write to you today about what initiatives as a Principal I am taking to achieve the school’s mission, and
what opportunities lie ahead. I’ve been searching and finding solutions to the many challenges the school faces and implementing some of these solutions. Some of the other solutions will take time, and still others quite a long time to bear results. The long-term goals can and will be achieved if we have a
shared vision and work hard as stakeholders in St. Mary’s School. I believe there is something at stake,
some interest for each person that receives this email. My hope is that my emails and communication
can empower those in the community to act on their interest and help us build a better School community together.

These past few weeks it’s become clearer that we are doing a lot with fewer faculty, staff and volunteers
than in recent years, and therefore running the school in this state presents numerous
unnecessary challenges. Doing more with less can sometimes be a good thing, but not in the case of our
school now. Therefore, getting the right people into the right positions is a priority. We are recruiting for
various positions, including school secretary, 6th grade teacher, pre-K teacher and aide, parent
volunteers at lunch and recess, and snowblower operator. If we recruit committed, reliable and skillful
candidates for these positions, we will decrease the load and risk of burnout on all those who are picking
up the tasks these roles perform. However, if we don’t hire anyone for these positions, our school will not
only be at a loss, but it will put undue pressure and stress on those already with full plates. Although I
believe those who work for St. Mary’s are already working hard and stretching themselves, there is a limit
to how much they should be taking on, and many are going far above and beyond their duties.

Therefore, I would ask everyone reading this to think of someone you know who might be interested in
the positions listed and have them contact St. Mary’s school with their resume. For parents, I would ask
that you ask Theresa Miller, myself, or someone at the school about volunteering at lunch, recess or in
other many small ways. Although the volunteer hours were waived this year, the need for those volunteer
hours has not gone with it. That service filled a significant gap in our operations and is hard to replace
simply with a paid position. Just like the work of staff and faculty of St. Mary’s School, your work matters
and is a scarce resource. Please consider using the talents God has given you, including your time and
effort to make St. Mary’s even better than it is today. We are a unique school with a unique vision and
mission, let us be a light to the Sault of what it means to realize God-centered ideals. The career and
volunteer opportunities at St. Mary’s school will only continue to increase, as we grow and expand to fulfill our school’s purpose.

I wanted to thank all those who recommended applicants and those candidates who have applied or
expressed interest in positions. We are making progress on hiring decisions and figuring out the logistics
of onboarding.


May you have a blessed weekend,
In Christ,
Tim

October 29, 2021 Weekly Newsletter

Hello Saint Mary’s School community,


This week there were even more favorable developments for the future of the school, especially in terms
of spiritual and material enrichment. My task in these newsletters is to not only introduce recent and
future events, but to follow up on things I said I would do. Even more so, I hope to regularly speak about
the most important things to us as a community, insofar as it relates to the welfare of St. Mary’s school.

The foremost update is on the pre-school, and its reason for being. I see the pre-school program as a
response to a need, or in economic terms, a service that supplies a demand. The parents of the
community determine the need and demand, and the school responds in supplying the service. Although
mission is primary and we do not seek monetary profits, we do need to have a economically viable
program that does not lose money for the school, before we can launch it. To qualify this program as
viable, we need to meet a certain quota of students and tuition, the more the better. Tied into qualifying
the program is what parents require of the program, half, full or extended aftercare services. The half day
seems to be most aligned with our mission of formation and education, but we are looking at how we
might serve beyond that.

Finally, the majority of the tuition coming in will go towards recruiting and growing a professional teacher and aide for this program. Although we have some candidates already, the diocese has asked that we open up recruitment officially to all in a public and formal way, to make sure we have a fair and
competitive recruitment process. As with all our other positions, we hope to recruit and retain the very
most qualified, professional and faithful faculty and staff to serve the students. The work we do at St.
Mary’s is not just about education, it is about a way of life that is permeated and informed by our Catholic faith. This alone makes us dramatically different from any other state school or educational institution in the area. In addition, we are aggressively investing in an endowment fund for our teachers so that we can reward them with a salary that matches and then exceeds any other in the area.

Although there are many unknowns and significant challenges to overcome to reach our goals to
reestablish programs, committees, teams, faculty, staff and student numbers, we can trust in God and His
providence to help us. Already this week I’ve seen many small wins that push the school in the right
direction. In the past month I’ve seen the school advance in many ways towards a better future, and I’m
sure that in the weeks and months to come St. Mary’s school will continue to improve with, and only with
God’s help.

All Saints’ day and all Hallows'(Saints’) eve, otherwise known as Halloween, is approaching. To all those
who will have their children dress up as a Saint, I’d like to thank you for the time, effort and money you
either already have or will put into costumes and supporting your child’s role for the day as a Saint. It is
important for them to personify a Saint to get to know them better, and to realize what this Catholic
holiday (holy day) was originally about.

As a reminder, Yearbook photo retakes will be this Wednesday, the 3rd in the morning.

Thank you and have a safe All Saints’ eve, and may the souls of heaven pray for us,

In Christ,
Tim Vail

October 22, 2021 Weekly Newsletter

Dear Saint Mary’s School Community,

This week’s picnic was for the community to gather, meet each other; some for the first time, and to be
heard. The picnic, along with other events this week helped put the school on to a better footing than
before those events. The picnic had a great showing of people, students, parents, faculty and staff, as
well as other visitors. There were tents outside and tables inside and even some calming piano in the
background for when the clamor of children’s voices got too loud.

On behalf of the school I want to thank all those who planned, set up and made the picnic happen, and
run well. Picnics and events where we come together, especially face to face, are opportunities to build
and strengthen bonds. When the school community can meet for the sake of the school, and talk about
what is important to them, it can lead to collaboration, great ideas, and trust. This is what I saw at
the picnic and it helps me and others to act in the best interest of our students, who are the primary
purpose of the school.

With substantial feedback about different programs and initiatives from the parents and other community members, I can foresee the possibility of several events, programs and initiatives being resurrected, and novel ones being attempted. There is a strong possibility of the pre-K program starting again within the year, and we are analyzing what is the wisest and most practicable way to re-establish that. The issue at hand is how many parents are interested, and whether a half or full day would serve the needs of parents while being the most beneficial for students and manageable for the school.

I was pleasantly surprised this week to hear overwhelmingly positive responses about the potential for a
high school, and even offers for applications from potential teachers. Right now the subject of a high
school is strictly exploratory, and so as with the pre-k, if there are interested parents, please express your
interest. If there is enough demand, we will make every effort to see how we might supply and serve that
need, even if it takes us several years.

I would be amiss if I did not address what we are doing to improve our current K-8, in order to make sure
we reward and retain our current faculty and staff for their contributions to the school, and to elevate
the quality of education the students receive and in what environment they receive it. I am considering
every financial option open to us to increase the amount of value we add to the school and the
community, and also the revenue we could receive from services and goods St. Mary’s could uniquely
provide. There are a number of exciting conversations I’ve had about these potentialities, and will be
sharing in future newsletters, depending on how they develop and actualize.

The alternative to this kind of growth, improvement and expansion is either decline or to keep things the
way they are, and I don’t see an appetite for either in anyone I’ve spoken to. Let us above all pray for St.
Mary’s to God, who has a plan for us, our community and our life, and has established such a community
to bring us closer to Himself, who is the ultimate good, truth, and beauty.

May Christ bless your weekend and bind us close to Him!
In Christ,
Tim Vail

October 15, 2021 Weekly Newsletter

Hello Saint Mary’s School community,

All that I meet in the community want the school to succeed and do well, and our students to learn, grow, and to be happy.  The purpose of my weekly letters are to update everyone on how the school is succeeding in its mission, what is going on, and to let you know what I’m doing as the principal.  

This week in talks with teachers, staff, Fr. Romeo, Fr. Mike and Mark Salisbury, I’ve discovered so many opportunities to make the school better.  One aspect is the building itself and upgrades, equipment and the use of resources and space.  Another is in the education and formation of the students.  Still another is growing and expanding the school in various ways, which includes re-opening a comprehensive pre-school program, hiring more faculty and staff and creating new teams and departments.  More ambitiously and long term, we’ve discussed  the potential for a St. Mary’s high school, and in the still longer term, perhaps a St. Mary’s college and even graduate school in the Sault to serve our students from pre-Kindergarten to Doctorate.  

The point at issue in many aspects is of school expansion is the need for contributions in terms of time, effort, and resources.  We need individuals who are passionate about creating an authentically Catholic school of exceptional quality.  We need people’s talent and treasure to make things happen and to achieve the vision we share.  The alternative is to keep on the current trend this recent year of downsizing in students, faculty and staff, but that is not what we want and is clearly not permissible.  

I would ask everyone to join the picnic next week on Thursday, Oct. 21st at 5 to 6:30 outside St. Mary’s school, to meet not only me in person if you haven’t, but also to enjoy the company of others in the community you might not always meet.  Parker’s Hardware is donating tents and Friends of St. Mary’s are catering food.

As an aside, pictures are in your student’s backpacks and picture day retakes will be held 11/03/2021 at 9:30 – 10:30am.  

Thank you and May God bless your weekend!
In Christ,
Tim Vail

October 8, 2021 Weekly Newsletter

Hello, Saint Mary’s Catholic School Community,

I’d like to give you a weekly update on the school.  A week has passed since my first day as Principal of St. Mary’s, and as I reflect on the events of this week, I see that so much has already been achieved academically, morally and spiritually before I came here, but I also see so much potential for the future.  The school is coming back to normal, step by step, after a year or so of anomaly and difficulty.  Despite trials of various kinds, I see that people are determined to move on with hope and grit, come what may. 
 
I believe the best times are yet to come, as we work together for a continuously better school than yesterday, and a lifestyle centered on God, the Creator of Heaven and Earth.  We seek this lifestyle at St. Mary’s because God is the very cause of goodness and every other perfection we find in life.  St. Mary’s is no ordinary school, it is one in which everything is ultimately informed and measured by faith in this God.  Although we may encounter imperfections, as long as we focus on and pray to God who is the cause of perfection and truly Perfection Himself, we can have confidence that those imperfections will be brought closer and closer to perfection in, through and by Him.

Therefore, I exhort all in our community to look to God to perfect us, guide us, and to make St. Mary’s the best school divinely possible.

There will be a Fall picnic at St. Mary’s school on Thursday, Oct. 21 at 5:30 and all school families, staff and faculty are invited to meet together as a community and socialize.  Details about the picnic will be forthcoming.

I pray God to have mercy on us, bind up every wound and heal every illness,
In Christ,
Tim Vail

October 1, 2021 Weekly Newsletter

Hello, Saint Mary’s Catholic School Community!

I hope you are having a blessed Friday.  After this first week of walking around the school and meeting students, teachers, parents and staff, and today as my first official day as Principal, I have been very impressed with the community at St. Mary’s School.  This is a place of learning and spiritual formation that has potential to grow into something even better and of higher quality.  Parents, I hope that you will share your hopes and dreams for the future of the school and your child’s education with me and your teachers, so that we can work together to make St. Mary’s one of the best Catholic schools in the UP.  This is your school, there is a lot to be proud of already.  The school has already finished 5 weeks of school and we are nearing progress reports.  Good job to the students and their hard work and progress, and to the parents and teachers who supported them.  Let’s make it through the cold and flu season the best we can and safely, even though some of us will inevitably come down with something.  As my previous letter stated, there has been some exposure and quarantine in the local schools and area, so please consider that into your daily planning and routines.


I pray that St. Mary, our Patroness and Mother may keep us in her prayers, and that God may protect us from sickness and all evil, and lead us to Himself.  


Please feel free to contact me at any time with concerns, questions, ideas, or simply to be heard.

In Christ, Tim Vail