The Extreme Makeover was a kicking-off point for a strategic plan to emphasize the unique learning environment that Saint Mary’s has to offer. It served to give the building a facelift that will reflect the school’s warm, family-centered atmosphere, as well as to put new facilities in place to implement new academic programs.
Thousands of dollars in donations and more than sixteen-hundred man hours were logged over the summer as faculty, parents, parishioners, and students came to paint classrooms, hang new window and wall treatments, refinish existing classroom equipment, bring in new donated furniture, and update landscaping. Two major projects undertaken were the installation of a science lab, complete with donated lab tables, equipment, and glassware, and the installation of a foreign language lab, which will allow students and parents to study from a wide selection of languages using the Rosetta Stone learning system.
Dr. Simon chose to recognize students who helped with the project as Student Leaders, a monthly award that commends students who set an example of the school’s motto — Show Courage, Seek Wisdom, & Share the Love of God — in their everyday actions. “I felt that the time these students sacrificed was noteworthy,” Simon said. “Summer vacation is a precious commodity, and to see students and parents take on the amount of work that our Saint Mary’s families did truly shows a servant’s heart. Many students spent more than a week’s worth of their vacation painting classrooms, clearing out old furniture, reorganizing shelves, whatever we asked them to do. It is remarkable what our school family accomplished this summer, and with everyone pitching in, it gave the students a real sense of ownership in their school. I’m very proud of them.”