Thursday, February 6, 2014
The past week for Our Lady of Peace School, also known as OLP, has been one of celebration for the students.
As part of Catholic Schools Week, the school had numerous special events. It started on Jan. 26 with a pancake breakfast and student Mass participation. Then it worked into the school week, with rosary for charitable acts of kindness and service to others, luncheons and more. It concluded with Mass and a semester award ceremony.
One event in particular that drew a full house was the winter concert, presented by the Songs of Praise chorus, third- and fourth-grade recorder group and OLP band.
“The Catholic Schools Week motto for this year is ‘Service, Community and Faith,’” Stephen Hickey, the school’s principal, said. “We focused a lot on all three of them, obviously, and every day we had a luncheon focusing on one of them. We tried to include the community, school families and stakeholders in our school. We wanted to bring them into the school and show them what we are providing to the community and to the children.”
Katy Slagle, the school’s PTO president, said the event was a “wonderful celebration.”
“Of course, it happens every year, but this is our 40th year celebrating Catholic Schools Week,” she said. “It’s a time when we all get to rejoice in the treasure that our school is. OLP is a small school and it isn’t well known everywhere, but it’s a wonderful school. This is a week where we celebrate the teachers and the phenomenal education our students get.”
Slagle said the kids try and work hard, and the concert was special for them to get up and perform. Unfortunately, despite the celebration, the school’s struggles made the event bittersweet.
“This has been a mixed bag, kind of bittersweet week,” she said. “We got some news that financially we’re having some struggles. The middle school is in danger of closing, so this is important as it has ever been. All of us, as parents, are trying to preserve the school so that others can benefit from it, as well.”
Kelsey Knight, the school’s music teacher, said that, despite the troubles, the week had been positive overall for the students.
“They’ve had different events each day of the week and have enjoyed it,” she said. “It’s been good for the teacher and parents, as well.”
Hickey said the school had also culminated its January school project. The school collaborated with Trinity Hospice, who requested travel-sized shampoos, conditioners and soaps for the patients.
“We’ve tried to instill in the students that there are people who have needs,” he said. “We want them to know that there are people out there who aren’t as fortunate as they are. By doing that we tried to get them to donate those items for the patients. The kids have brought in an overwhelming number of items and products to donate to these individuals who honestly need them. I think service projects and events such as that truly instill in the children the need for service and volunteerism.”
A number of events during the week were postponed or pushed back due to the inclement weather. A list of these events can be viewed on the school’s site, www.olpschool.us.
Scott Rodgers is the news editor at the North Augusta Star and has been with the paper since January 2013.