May 30 marked the final day for the joint school St. Joseph-St. Elizabeth School. It operated for 16 years as a joint school for both St. Joseph and St. Elizabeth Ann Seton parishes and families. The last day was marked by an All School Mass, a prayer service, and an evening celebration and supper.
"Some might be happy because it's the last day of school," St. Elizabeth Seton pastor Father Jim Shafer said in his homily during Mass. "Some might be sad because today marks the closing of St. Joseph-St. Elizabeth School. But really, our hearts should be full of gratitude for the many blessings of our 16 years as a joint school."
There was an evening celebration at St. Elizabeth Seton parish, marking the closing of the joint school and the opening of two new schools. Father Tim Wrozek, Father Jim Shafer, Principal Lois Widner and Principal Cristy Jordan, assisted with a prayer service. Father Tim and Father Jim blessed two donated dogwood trees. The trees will be planted at both St. Joseph and St. Elizabeth parishes, as a symbol of new life and new growth with the opening of the two new schools.
"We have been an awesome school for the past 16 years -- two campuses joined together with one vision," said Lois Widner, former principal of the joint school and new principal of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton School. "We now have an excellent opportunity to serve our community and provide two excellent schools for a quality Catholic education. We are spreading the Good News of Christ and continuing to educate the whole child – academically, physically, emotionally and spiritually."
A fond farewell was also said to Mrs. Marianne Connett, School Secretary, who is retiring after 27 years working at both the previous St. Joseph School and St. Joseph-St. Elizabeth School. A gift of a Vera Bradley bag and a travel gift certificate were presented to Mrs. Connett, on behalf of the school community.
Fourth grade teacher Mrs. Anna Cunningham Gray is also leaving teaching to work for her family's business. Mrs. Gray said a few words of appreciation to her teacher's aide, fellow teachers, administrators and students.
A hot dog supper, along with cake, popcorn, cotton candy and music provided by a DJ rounded out the evening's celebration.