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Alumni Newsletter Jan 2013.pdf

Alumni Newsletter Jan 2013.pdf

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Alumni Newsletter Jan 2013.pdf
Alumni Newsletter Jan 2013.pdf

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10/16/2013

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JAN 2013
SAINT PATRICK’S ALUMNI NEWSLETTER 
 
Alumni Newsletter
CatholicDioceseOf Peoria100 Harvey St.Washington, IL 61571309-444-4345Website: stpatswashington.comEmail: schooloffice@stpatswashington.com
Dear Alumni,As of January 1, 2013, I will be working full-time at the Diocese of Peoria as the Superintendent of Catholic Schools. Hav-
ing served as Principal of St. Patrick School since 2003, it has been my privilege to “teach our children, with the coopera-tion of parents, a Catholic way of life” (School Mission Statement).
Our school improvement goals have focused on reading, writing, mathematics, science, and technology. The knowledge
and skills from our teachers and staff allowed us to be nominated and then to receive the U.S. Department of Education’s
2012 Blue Ribbon Award. Msgr. Prendergast, Mrs. Doreen Shipman, Mrs. Kathy Schlack, and I went to Washington, DC,in November to personally represent our school and receive the award. What a glorious day that was! Two weeks ago, arepresentative from the U.S. Department of Education, Dr. Maureen Dowling, and our Bishop, Daniel Jenky, with a host of other dignitaries were present to celebrate this incredible honor with our school. Each student was given a medal, completewith a blue ribbon AND the official logo for a Blue Ribbon School. It was a day that we will all remember as one of the best we have celebrated as a school community.I leave the school in excellent hands; Mrs. Shipman has served as a Catholic school principal and worked with our adminis-trative team as Assistant Principal/Technology for the past 6 years. She has been instrumental in our curriculum improve-ments. We were just notified, too, that Mrs. Kathy (Opsomer) Schlack is the 2013 recipient of the National Catholic Educa-
tional Association’s Distinguished Teacher of the Year! Mrs. Schlack is only one of twelve teachers awarded this distinct
honor in the United States. We are proud of all of our teachers and staff; and Mrs. Schlack will receive the recognition atthe NCEA National Conference in Houston, Texas, in April 2013, on behalf of all of our teachers and staff. Surely, wehave much for which to be thankful, and we give glory to God for His love and care for St. Patrick School.I thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for the many ways that you have supported our school asan alumnus. Through your prayers and financial donations, we have been able to make dreamscome true. May God bless you abundantly for your goodness and continue to bless the IRISH of St. Patrick School!Sincerely,Dr. Sharon WeissDear Alumni:
St. Patrick Parish’s dedication and sacrifice for ensuring an outstanding Catholic education for its children has been recog-
nized with the United States Department of Education awarding our school its Blue Ribbon for Excellence. As a graduate of St. Pat-rick School you share in the pride of this achievement.We want you to join the students, faculty and parishioners in celebrating this achievement on Friday, February 1
st
. This
year’s graduating class will host an open house for you at the school from 3:30 to 5 p.m. The parish will host a dinner at 5
:30 p.m. at
Washington’s Countryside Banquet Facility. Please join in the festivities.
 Also, remember that you can send your prayer requests through the parish/school web site. There you can see the students praying for your special intentions each week at their school Mass. As the students support you with their prayers, please remember them in yours.Sincerely,Msgr. Prendergast, Pastor 
 
Did you know...
Mrs. Kathy (Opsomer) Schlack is a third grade teacher at St. Patrick’s as well as a 1971 graduate. In Houston this April, Ka
thy will be receiving a Distinguished Teacher Award by the National Catholic Educational Association. She is one of twelve to receive this
honor! Her daughter, Adrienne Schlack (2001), is also a teacher at St. Pat’s, teaching kindergarten.
 Congratulations to Mr. Morrie Franz! He was awarded the Pere Marquette Award, a diocesan medal for heroic service in parishesand apostolates. Mr. Franz, father of Maria (1978), Dan (1979), Dave (1983), Tim (1984), and Ann (1986), chaired the stewardshipcommittee at St. Patrick Parish for 30 years and has also led the finance commission and the discipleship commission. During 12years as a member of St. Monica Parish in East Peoria, he was a trustee and served on the parish council, founded and led the me
n’s
club and co-
founded “Fish of Peoria” to help the area’s poor. He was a member of the Diocese of Peoria’s development and stew-
ardship committee for 6 years and has been active in Teens Encounter Christ (TEC), the Christian Family Movement and the Chris-tian Experience Weekend at St. Patrick Parish.Recently, an article was published in the Washington Courier 
in the “Veteran’s Corner.” It was an interview of Col. Christine L.(Eschelbach) Vuskalns, a 1976 graduate of St. Pat’s. She shared her military service history since becoming a member of the
USArmy ROTC in 1980 at Western Illinois University. Her first duty station was in Germany where she served in the regular Army asan officer for 4 1/2 years. She continued her service in California and Indiana, as well as serving two tours in Iraq. Speaking of her 
military career Christine said, “I view my dedication to military service both as a way to serve our nation at large and as a
way to
 pay back my family, friends and neighbors for their support.” She plans to retire from the US Army Reserves in June 2014.
 The members of the Student Advisory Group at St. Patrick School packed 82 shoeboxes for the Operation Christmas Child
 — 
Pack aShoebox Program this year. The response to the program from the entire school was overwhelming. The group filled every shoe- box they were given for needy children throughout the world. The items left over 
 — 
including toothpaste, soap, toys, books, schoolsupplies and candy
 — 
 
were donated to Samaritan’s Purse, the parent organization of Operation Christmas Child.
 The Mud to Parks program, which won a 2006 National Innovation Award from the Council of State Governments, is the brainchildof John Marlin (1963). The program is hailed for its imaginative approach to solving the problem of topsoil erosion and sediment buildup in river-fed reservoirs and backwaters. Dr. John Marlin is a senior scientist with the Illinois Department of Natural Re-
sources’ Waste Management and Research Center. John’s ingenuity has helped create parks and recreation areas not only in Peo
ria but all over the state including Chicago, the Fox River Valley, Rice Lake, Decatur, Litchfield and Banner Marsh.
St. Patrick’s has recently been awarded the
 Blue Medal Ribbon by theU.S. Department of EducationAndWe are going to celebrate!An open house is being planned in the schoolFriday, February 1, 20133:30 pm
 — 
5:00 pm
The Blue Ribbon Celebration Dinner will follow at Washington’s Countryside Banquet Facility,
659 School St., 5:30
 — 
7:30 p.m. for school, parish and alumni. The dinner is $16/adult and $14/
student. If you are interested in attending the dinner, please contact John Wikoff, St. Patrick’s Di-
rector of Development by email atwikoffj@stpatswashington.com or call 309-444-4345 ext. 398.
 
YOU ARE INVITED!
 
 
Did you know… (cont.)
 
If you have had an address change, please complete and return this form to St. Pat’s School, 100 Harvey, Washington, IL 6157
1. You may also email the information to: schooloffice@stpatswashington.com.
 
Name:
 
Address:
 
City/State/Zip:
 
This past fall, the Town and Country Gardeners of Washington honored some of their members. Two of the honorees were Mrs.Eleanor Hallinan and Mrs. Mary Oberle. Mrs. Oberle, mother of Susan (1959), Joan (1960), Kristine (1964), Tim (1970), Larry(1972) and Betsy (1974), is a long-time member and has served as secretary and treasurer. Mrs. Hallinan, mother of Ann (1960),Mary (1961), Kathleen (1962), Claire (1963), Joan (1964), John Jr. (1966), Patricia (1967), Mark and Mike (1970), Joe (1972),Bill (1974), and Theresa (1976), is a past president. All members honored are now designated lifetime members of the organiza-tion. The Town and Country Gardeners give back to the community. They have plantings throughout town, including around the
fountain, on and around the Washington Square and at Washington’s Five Points facility.
Vintage WCHS yearbooks are for sale. The yearbook staff at Washington Community High School has a number of vintageyearbooks for sale from their collection. Most of the years 1973 through 2012 are available. The 1973-1999 books are $5.00each and 2000-
2010 are $10.00 each. For the availability of specific years, check out the yearbook page on the school’s website
.Books can be shipped anywhere in the US for an additional $5.00 per book. Contact Lorelei Cox, advisor, for additional informa-tion or to order books for your collection: lcox@wacohi.net or 309-444-3167 ext 1130.Recently the Knights of Columbus held a pancake and sausage breakfast benefit for Tony Bolton (a 1982 graduate). Tony wasinvolved in a near-fatal motorcycle accident this past summer. Due to his extensive injuries, he has been unable to work. Thefamily was requesting prayers and set up an emergency fund at Heartland Bank. For more information, you may contact his sister Vicki Bolton Cessna at 269-929-8298 or victoriabcessna@aol.com.A very generous donation has been made to St. Patrick School. A past parishioner who had no children or grandchildren attendthe school, graciously donated a sum of $220,000 through her will. Mrs. Barbara Lehman willed this donation to the school after 
volunteering as a “grandparent reader” in the lower grades. A skilled seamstress, she also made numerous curtains for the va
ri-ous classrooms and was a member of the church quilt group. The school is very grateful and has not yet determined how themoney will be used. The parish is very grateful to all those who appropriate funds as a memorial gift.The WCHS Creative Fashions Class participated this year in the Salvation Army Dress A Bear contest. The students were givenstuffed bears from the Salvation Army. Their assignment was to design and construct a costume to dress the bear. These bearswere given to children in need at Christmas. Some of those participating were Jacquelyn McMurray and Danielle Williams, both
2009 graduates of St. Pat’s.
 
Welcome to St. Patrick’s Mr. John Wikoff as Director of Development. John graduated from Illinois State University and hasworked in Catholic education as a teacher, speech coach and librarian for 15 years. “I’m excited to join the St. Patrick Sch
oolfamily. I look forward to meeting many more of its alumni and working to reengage them in the life and mission of their Blue
Ribbon school.” Watch for updates on the Alumni tab of the website at stpatswashington.com and follow us on Facebook at
Saint Patrick Catholic Parish Washington IL. You can reach John by email atwikoffj@stpatswashington.com or by calling 309- 444-4345 est. 398.
Recently, Liz (Werstein) Burns (1999) has been returning to St. Pat’s. She is a personal trainer and instructor at Washington’s
 Five Points facility. Liz has been a guest instructor for the 6th
 — 
8th grade class during PE, teaching BodyFlow and BodyCom-

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