Celebrating the Catholic school | NevadaAppeal.com

Celebrating the Catholic school

by Maggie O'Neill
Appeal Staff Writer
Chad Lundquist/Nevada Appeal Students at St. Teresa of Avila Catholic School celebrate the beginning of the Catholic Schools Week on Monday with a color guard presentation by students from Carson High School Naval Junior ROTC.

Catholic school has long been part of Karla Henricksen’s life – since kindergarten, in fact, when she started wearing the royal blue colors of St. Teresa of Avila.

“I like that Catholic schools teach religion,” said the 12-year-old, now in sixth grade. “And the uniforms. You don’t get made fun of for not having cool clothes because you all wear the same thing.”

Everyone was in some kind of blue – Karla in St. Teresa sweat-top and bottom – at Monday’s color guard ceremony at St. Teresa, a ceremony planned to start off Catholic Schools Week.

Each day this week a different celebration of sorts is planned at St. Teresa, with the theme of honoring in mind – on Monday, honoring the nation; Tuesday, honoring the community; Wednesday, honoring volunteers; Thursday, honoring students and Friday, honoring teachers. The theme is ‘Character, Compassion and Values.’

“Catholic Schools Week is a national celebration of Catholic Education and all that the catholic schools contribute to the nation through the education of children,” said Jolena Johnson, an eighth-grader teacher at St. Teresa.

Carson High School’s Naval Junior ROTC color guard presented the flag Monday to help in honoring the nation. After the Pledge of Allegiance, students Mia Cavilia, Jesse Weathers and Karla said a short prayer.

Two flags had been donated by Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid and Congresswoman Shelly Berkley, D-Nev. Johnson gave them to student council president Dominic Cavilia, 14, who passed them on to Principal Rick Redican. The flags have flown over the U.S. Capitol.

“I think we get a good education with Catholic schools and we get to learn about God, which I really think is important,” Dominic said.

St. Teresa is part of the Catholic Diocese of Reno, which includes Bishop Manogue High School, St. Therese Little Flower, Our Lady of the Snows and St. Albert the Great. The total enrollment in the diocese in catholic schools is 1,673 – 593 students at Bishop Manogue and 1,080 students in the four elementary schools.

“(Enrollment) has been fairly stable,” said Kitty Bergin, superintendent for the diocese. “We’ve had some fluctuations in some schools in different years. Part of it is that we’ve not added an elementary school in 40 years.”

In fact, in Sparks in the early 1970s, a Catholic elementary school shut down.

“The availability of schools has remained pretty constant,” she said. “With Bishop Manogue opening its new facility, it’s capacity became much greater.”

Catholic School Week started 32 years ago, according to the National Catholic Educational Association Web site, found at http://www.ncea.org.

“Catholic Schools Week is a way to recognize the efforts of the school, and the people who’ve worked very hard,” Bergin said. “It’s not a high-profile thing they do. It gives people the chance to sit back and say ‘What we do is important.'”

— Contact reporter Maggie O’Neill at moneill@nevadaappeal.com or 881-1219.

Catholic Schools Week plans at St. Teresa of Avila Catholic School

MONDAY: Presentation of colors to honor the nation

TODAY: Visits by area priests in honor of the community

WEDNESDAY: Open house from 8:30 a.m.-3 p.m. and a thank-you letter to honor volunteers

THURSDAY: Ice cream at lunch time to honor students

FRIDAY: Lunch for the teachers to honor the staff

INFORMATION: Call 882-2079