The 2014/2015 school year is off and running. This week marks the first full week of classes for most schools, including St. Mary’s Catholic School. St. Mary’s was founded in Kodiak in 1954 and this year marks its 60th anniversary. KMXT’s Brianna Gibbs stopped by the school yesterday and spoke with Principal Brian Cleary to see how the year is going.
“You know – typical stuff at the start of the school year – a few tears in the hallway but those are mainly from the younger ones. Not any tears from the teachers yet, but I’m sure that’s coming. (laughs). No, overall it’s just been a real great start. We have a large percentage of new students which is really exciting for us. We had a number of students that moved off island over the summer and they were replaced by some really top notch high quality kids so we’re really to have them a part of our group here.”
Cleary is the principal at St. Mary’s, but is also helping teach computer technology to some of the school’s older students this year. He said about 50 kids are enrolled this year, which includes preschool through 8th grade. Cleary said it’s an exciting year for the school and folks can look forward to 60th anniversary celebrations in the months to come.
“And we’re kicking it all off with our international peace festival. Our theme for the year is peace, throughout the school so the students will be studying peace on a lot of different fronts. But for our 60th celebration we thought it’d be only fitting that we concentrate on peace amongst ourselves, our families, our communties – the world.”
He said there will be a community celebration on September 24 at 7 p.m. and will showcase students’ work as well as some of the school’s history.
“And the students are studying two countries – one of their interest and the second one is a war torn country. And they’re going to have booths related to that and we’ll have a small prayer service around then and we really want to invite the whole community and fill up the whole gym, it’s really going to be a great night.”
St. Mary’s was founded in 1954 by the Grey Nuns of the Sacred Heart who originally came to Kodiak to open a hospital. The original school was downtown and later moved to its current location on Mill Bay, across from Wal-Mart.