From the Principal
Nazareth School San Diego, California, USA
August 4, 2017
Our summer is passing quickly and it won’t be long before we are embracing the beginning of a new school year. I hope this letter finds you and your families enjoying a relaxing summer filled with many special activities that will create fond family memories.
As we prepare for our coming school year, I am delighted to introduce the new members of the Nazareth School Staff to you. I am sure that you will come to appreciate the many gifts that they bring to our community and to know the commitment that they are making to provide a wonderful education for your children.
• Mr. Guy Hillila is our new 2nd Grade teacher. Having earned a master’s degree in education, Mr. Hillila is an experienced Catholic school teacher who has taught 2nd for many years. Mr. Hillila’s most recent experience found him working in the public school system and he has expressed how happy he is to be returning to a Catholic school and for the opportunity to become a member of the Nazareth community.
• Ms. Taylor Curran will be teaching our 3rd Graders this year. Ms. Curran is a recent graduate of the University of Delaware. Ms. Curran brings a variety of experiences to Nazareth. She has worked with children with special needs as well as with students in general education classrooms. At the University of Delaware, she was a scholar athlete and played intercollegiate softball.
• Mrs. Marna Burdine is a graduate of Nazareth School and is excited about returning to her alma mater as the 4th Grade teacher. Mrs. Burdine is an experienced Catholic school teacher. She and her family are members of the Mission parish. As a graduating student from Nazareth, Mrs. Burdine was recognized with the Victoire Larmenier Award by the Sisters of Nazareth. Mrs. Burdine earned a master’s degree in education with an emphasis in teaching and learning.
• Mr. Anthony Maffini is joining the Middle School Teacher Team. He will be the 6th Grade homeroom teacher and will teach Middle School Social Studies. Mr. Maffini comes to education after service in the military. He is looking forward to becoming a member of a Catholic school community and guiding our oldest students in their classes and preparation for secondary education experiences.
• Mrs. Christine McDowell is our new teacher for the Preschool Sunflowers. Mrs. McDowell who has been a member of our Nazareth community for many years as a parent is looking forward to joining our staff. She brings 17 years of teaching experience as well as her strong commitment to and enthusiasm for early childhood education to our Nazareth Preschool.
As our teachers explore and share their gifts, we find three teachers assuming new responsibilities within our school community:
• Mrs. Diana Senter is moving to the “Big School”! Mrs. Senter is fulfilling a professional dream as she begins teaching our Nazareth Kindergarten. Mrs. Senter brings many years of experience working with young children to her new classroom as she helps our Kindergarten students begin their formal academic education.
• Mr. Patrick Browder is moving from the Library to the Computer Lab. As the technology teacher, Mr. Browder will apply skills developed through his academic studies leading to a master’s degree in Educational Technology as well as his personal research. He will continue to work with students after school with Study Hall, robotics and other activities. Additionally, he will be coordinating the Nazareth School Sports Program as the Director of Athletics.
• Mrs. Barbara Lacey will be assuming a teaching-mentoring position that is new to Nazareth School. As the Director of Learning Support, Mrs. Lacey will be working with students to enhance their learning experiences. She will also assist parents who are working with the public school systems in seeking services to support their children’s learning needs. In this role, Mrs. Lacey will also be working with classroom teachers to meet the needs of individual students and she will be mentoring teachers who are new to our school. Mrs. Lacey will continue in her role as the school’s Assistant Principal.
Each summer seems to bring special projects that enhance the environment of the school. If you have been on campus or driven through the parking lot this summer, you witnessed a lot of activity! A new roof was installed over the Upper School facility. This will provide us with a dryer, cleaner and safer environment throughout the elementary school. In the process of construction, measures were also taken to ease the possible future installation of solar panels. Additionally, the basketball courts between the St. Joseph Building and the Upper School are being re-surfaced. New fencing is being installed and the lighting is being upgraded. The renovations also allowed for upgrading the wiring that supports the school’s technology resources. The construction workers are promising us that the “new courts” will be ready, and beautiful, when the students return to school! It has definitely been a busy and productive summer!
Our first weeks of school will be busy ones. On Saturday, August 19th, we will have a series of parent meeting orientations. The Preschool teachers will meet with parents from 9:00 – 10:00. Mrs. Senter will host a Meet-and-Greet for Kindergarteners and their parents at 10:00. This will provide the children and their parents with an opportunity to find their cubbies and their seats, and a chance to say “hello” before school starts. At 11:00, I will provide a tour of the “Big School” for parents who are coming from the preschool and who are unfamiliar with the elementary school facilities. On Wednesday, August 23rd, our first day of school, the PTG will host a Meet-and-Greet at the Lower Field Picnic Tables. Coffee and morning treats will be provided. Back-to-School Night will be Thursday, August 24th. Our annual introduction to the school year will allow you the opportunity to meet with your children’s teachers and to meet the new members of our staff. The PTG will have information tables set up on the Courtyard for you to meet with parent leaders who can explain how you can become more involved in our school events.
The PTG Board will hold its first meeting August 17th. If you are interested in working with the Board to help organize school events, please contact the office for more information. The success of our PTG fundraisers makes a significant contribution to the enhancement of the school’s environment and resources, please plan to participate actively in the PTG events and programs.
In preparation for our school year, please make sure that your children have completed their summer reading and math review activities, and that their uniforms, grooming and supplies are in order. Regarding supplies, it is not necessary to buy all new supplies if your child has unused materials from last year. If you have questions about school preparation, please contact the school office.
As we prepare for a new year, and all of the opportunities it will bring, know that all of us at Nazareth School have made a heartfelt commitment to provide the best experiences possible for all of our students and their families. The teachers, staff members and I look forward to working in partnership with you to celebrate the gifts of Nazareth School and all of the members of its community.
Enjoy these last days of summer! Wednesday, August 23rd and a new school year will soon be here; I look forward to seeing you then!
God bless each of you and your families,
Dr. Colleen Mauricio, Principal