St. Therese honored as 2022 Blue Ribbon School

Maura Baker, Staff Writer

 For the first time in the school’s history, St. Therese School, Southgate, has been honored as a Blue Ribbon School by the US Department of Education for 2022. This prestigious award recognized only 297 schools as National Blue Ribbon Schools this year, and only 24 private schools, with St. Therese School being among them. 

According to the US Department of Education’s website, “The National Blue Ribbon Schools award affirms the hard work of students, educators, families, and communities in creating safe and welcoming schools where students master challenging content.” 

Mrs. Kendra McGuire, superintendent of Schools for the Diocese of Covington, came to St. Therese School to congratulate the students on their achievement, Sept. 16, saying, “Congratulations to all of you for all your hard work … we are very proud of you. We are proud of your school, your principal and all of your standards, and we thank you for your hard work.” 

In celebration, blue balloons were released to the celebratory students during the award’s announcement — excitement filling St. Therese’s gymnasium as the balloons were tossed amongst the students, who would later be treated to blue ice balls and popcorn to further celebrate this achievement. 

St. Therese School will always be recognized as a Blue Ribbon School even beyond 2022, joining the ranks of 18 other diocesan elementary schools and high schools who have been recognized as Blue Ribbon Schools in the past. 

Following this announcement, Bishop John Iffert commented on the achievement, “There’s a very popular saying that good news travels fast. St. Therese School earning the National Blue Ribbon School of Excellence designation is indeed great news that traveled to me, all the way to Rome, in the matter of seconds,” said Bishop Iffert, who was in Rome for the annual Course of Formation for New Bishops. “I am delighted that St. Therese School has been recognized by the U.S. Department of Education as a 2022 National Blue Ribbon School of Excellence. I congratulate Katie Boruske, principal, and the students, teachers, and parents for creating a school environment where academic achievement is not only envisioned but attained. I can’t wait to celebrate with you.” 

Image: After being announced as a 2022 Blue Ribbon School, students, faculty and staff of St. Therese School, Southgate, gather for a commemorative photo. 

This week in Catholic Schools

Pigeons and coasters arrive at school 

At St. Therese School, Southgate, students were welcomed back to new books in the library. The school kicked off with some fun celebrating Mo Willems’ new book, “The Pigeon Will Ride the Roller Coaster.” Younger students were asked to create three dimensional pigeons. Older students were encouraged to design roller coasters. Mrs. Lonneman, librarian, is tickled to see the creativity of the students.

God’s creation 

Students at St. Patrick School, Taylor Mill, experience nature on our school grounds. 

This week in Catholic Schools

Celebrating 100 wins

The Villa Vikings girls soccer coach Glenn Rice earned his 100th win, Aug. 15, when Villa Madonna Academy defeated Grant County 5-2 at Grant County.

Start with prayer 

Students at St. Pius X School gathered for their opening prayer service to introduce this year’s school theme, “Created in the Image and Likeness of God, 2 Love, By Love, 4 Love.” Father Matthew Summe read to the students from the Book of Genesis and spoke of God creating each one of them in his image for a special purpose. Mrs. Greenwell then talked to the students about being charitable in their words after reading the book, “Mr. Peabody’s Apples.” The prayer service concluded with a student-led song that many of them had learned during Vacation Bible School.


SHDHS Cru put winning committee together for a new turf field

Laura Keener, Editor

The St. Henry District High School community has pulled off in one year an athletic field feat that typically would be expected to take three years — the installation of an artificial turf field. 

“To our students, parents, alumni, stakeholders — this is your place,” said Grant Brennan, principal, SHDHS, at the turf field blessing and dedication. 

Mr. Brennan and the school community gathered at Griffin Stadium, Aug. 24, as Father Kevin Kahmann, pastoral administrator, blessed and dedicated the turf field. Father Jason Bertke, chaplain, was also in attendance. David Gish, former principal who oversaw the planning and installation of the field, cut the ribbon. 

“Last October, Mr. Gish came to me about meeting with a family that was interested in making a donation towards our turf field,” Mr. Brennan said as he read a statement prepared by Matt Schneider, athletic director. Mr. Schneider had planned to attend the inauguration event, which was held between the JV and Varsity Lady Cru soccer game against Highlands High School. But just a few hours before the game began Mr. Schneider had taken his wife to the hospital for the birth of their child. 

In his statement, Mr. Schneider said that “the timing could not have been better” for the October meeting about the turf field. SHDHS had recently hosted the Region Nine soccer tournament and was receiving some “backlash” about its field conditions. The meeting went well and Mr. Schneider felt confident that a new turf field would become a reality by the fall of 2023. 

“If you know Monica or Aaron Gumz, you know that our internal goal of fall of 2023 did not mesh with their go getter mentality,” whose vision and vigor reset the goal to fall of 2022. 

“From that day forward, we hit the ground running at full sprint,” Mr. Schneider said. 

During the dedication, game balls from the first game played on the new turf and signed by the players were presented to Mr. Gumz and RJ (Ronald) Riegler, co-chairs who oversaw the project. 

“You were the boots on the ground during this project,” Mr. Brennan said to the applause of the crowd. 

Mr. Brennan said that a committee of dedicated parents held weekly virtual and in-person meetings and created an extensive campaign to raise the addition funds needed to complete the project. 

“This project took an army to accomplish,” he said. “I thank anyone who made a call to a donor, sent a donor packet out or simply struck up a conversation with a friend or family member. You all played a part in making this happen.”

Image: As part of the blessing, Father Kahmann sprinkles the turf with holy water. 

This week in Catholic Schools

Pringle ring challenge 

At Holy Cross Elementary School, Latonia, Summer Campbell challenged her students to create a Pringles stack ring during STEM class on the first week back in class.

Sink or float 

Second graders at St. Patrick School, Taylor Mill, kicked off the year with a science experiment featuring predictions about whether objects would sink or float — then testing those predictions.