St. Mary’s Names Advisory Board for Reopening Plan

Lancaster, NY –  On March 16, 2020, St. Mary’s High School closed its physical building and transitioned to distance learning when the COVID-19 pandemic hit in full force. Since that time, the health and safety of every single one of the students, faculty, staff, and administration members has been of the highest priority.

 

Now, as schools look to transition back to in-classroom learning and some sense of normalcy, St. Mary’s High School has been doing its due diligence to facilitate this transition as safely and efficiently as possible. To help with this transition, St. Mary’s has composed an advisory board of alumni, community and industry leaders, who will lend their expertise and guidance in several different important areas, in regards to the steps the school needs to take to prepare for a safe reopening. This advisory board consists of:

  • Michael Aquino81Chief Operating Officer A2Z Diagnostics
    • Aquino practices out of New Jersey, and his labs have served as testing sites for COVID-19 throughout the pandemic. His direct experience with testing and the ever-changing trends of the virus itself will be beneficial to the advisory board.
  • LuAnne Brown77, RN – CEO Buffalo Prenatal-Perinatal Network
    • Brown also has 16 years of experience with Kaleida Health and Women’s and Children’s Hospital of Buffalo as VP and Chief Nursing Officer. With so much experience as a nurse, Brown can help spot potential trouble zones and solutions to those problem areas. As a current member of the St. Mary’s High School Board of Trustees, she will be invaluable in creating proper health policies for our students.
  • Glenn Butler – VP of Personal Touch Food Services, Inc.
    • Butler brings with him nearly 40 years of experience in the food industry and is a member of the NYS Restaurant Association and Erie County School Nutrition Association. St. Mary’s is a Personal Touch Food Services, Inc. client, so Butler has agreed to work with the school to ensure students are still able to receive nutritious breakfast and lunches in a safe and healthy environment.
  • Dennis DePerro, Ed.D – President of St. Bonaventure University
    • DePerro has over 35 years of experience in college administration. St. Mary’s High School will work closely with Dr. DePerro to see how reopening is being handled on a collegiate level to emulate the policies deemed appropriate.
  • Bryan Fiume01Associate Deputy Comptroller of Erie County/Erie County Legislature’s Chief of Staff for the Republican Caucus
    • From 2008 to 2011, Fiume served as the Erie County Director of Intergovernmental Affairs, where he was responsible for managing the county’s relationships with other governments, particularly at the state level. Fiume is clearly very familiar with public policy at the state and county levels, which is key in moving forward to prepare the building and student/group behavior for reopening.
  • William Karn – Lancaster Chief of Police
    • Karn has been a member of the Lancaster Police Department for the past 23 years. It is key to have local law enforcement involved with the school’s reopening planning in order to ensure compliance to all rules and regulations and to enforce said rules and regulations.
  • Michael McCartney – CEO and Owner of Respiratory Services of WNY
    • Respiratory Services of WNY is one of the local leaders in the sales and distribution of durable medical equipment and mobility supplies for all ages and needs. McCartney is also a graduate of the Respiratory Therapy Program. Respiratory therapy is clearly critical with this type of virus, so having an expert in this area on the advisory board in invaluable.
  • Dean Ramierez, Ed. D – Principal of Iroquois High School
    • All schools in the area will be facing the same concerns upon reopening, and each will have to handle the situation slightly differently based on the size of the school building itself, the number of students, etc. It will be incredibly beneficial to work with a neighboring public school official and current St. Mary’s High School board member to collaborate on any potential plans.
  • John Ulatowski71, M.D., Ph. D., MBA – VP and Executive Medical Director, Johns Hopkins Medicine International Leadership Team and Professor of Anesthesiology and Critical Care Medicine
    • Johns Hopkins is a worldwide leading medical authority on the spread of COVID-19, providing research and timely, expert information. As one of the leading names in medicine in the world, Dr. John Ulatowski specializes in the study of the brain and is developing new methods of perioperative and periprocedural care, which could optimize patient safety in the future.

“We are incredibly fortunate to have a diverse network of intelligent, experienced professionals who care deeply about St. Mary’s High School and the quality of education our students receive,” said Kevin Kelleher, St. Mary’s High School’s Head of School.  “We plan to leverage the wealth of knowledge each of these individuals brings to the advisory board and allow them to do just that – advise us on the best policies and practices we need to implement in order to open the school to our nearly 400 students in the safest, best way possible come September.”

Founded in 1904, St. Mary’s High School has been preparing its students to achieve success for 116 years.  St. Mary’s High School is the leading Catholic, co-ed college preparatory school in Western New York—a beacon of faith, excellence, achievement, and inspiration.

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Varsity Chorus Puts on a Show… Virtually!

“Opening up, letting the day in
Over a cup, we’ll say, ‘Hello, how ya been?'”

The St. Mary’s Varsity Chorus, led by their music teacher Mr. Ryan Kaminski, put together this amazing piece from the hit Broadway show, Waitress the Musical! This song is incredibly timely as NYS continues its process of opening back up from the shutdown imposed by the pandemic.

Take a listen to how talented our music students are!


“Take a breath when you need to be reminded that with days like these
We can only do the best we can
‘Til we do it again…”

Class of 2020 Features Two Community All-Stars

Seniors Lauren Nawojski and Mary Owczarczak have been named Community All-Stars by Buffalo Business First and Independent Health.

Lauren isn’t just a Dean’s List student, three-sport athlete, First Team All-Catholic basketball player, and future St. John Fisher College Cardinal. She’s also a 2020 Community All-Star! Lauren has earned a scholarship from Independent Health and Buffalo Business First for all the work she has done to better her community. Congratulations, Lauren!

Mary is very involved with St. Luke’s Mission of Mercy and her church St. Vincent de Paul. She has also been on several mission trips to Jamaica throughout her time as a high school student. As a senior class officer and member of National Honor Society, Mary is always willing to help out with school activities or even with tutoring other students.
Mary is the perfect example of a Community All-Star, and we can’t wait to see where her kind heart and desire to care for others takes her! Congratulations, Mary!

St. Mary’s Holds #7 Spot in WNY High School Rankings

St. Mary’s is proud to announce that it has held steady for another year at the number 7 spot in Buffalo Business First’s rankings of the 132 high schools across WNY. Consistency is so crucial in a child’s education, and St. Mary’s has proven to be that consistent school in the #7 spot for the past three years.
St. Mary’s is just one of five schools to receive all of the subject awards! So, a special congratulations goes out to all of our faculty who work day in and out – virtually AND in the classroom – to ensure our students are absorbing the material they are being taught.

Tonight’s Feature Presentation: Graduation 2020

As the world continues to navigate “new normals” due to COVID-19, St. Mary’s High School wanted to find a way to celebrate our seniors in a grand way! So, after exploring several options to adhere to strict social distancing guidelines and other guidelines set forth by NYS and the CDC, St. Mary’s held there 116th Commencement Ceremonies at the Drive-In.

 

To watch the graduation video in its entirety, click here.

If you would like to get a feel for the night, please check out the stories below:

Tonight’s drive-in movie: St. Mary’s High School Graduation (WKBW)

St. Mary’s Seniors Graduate at the Transit Drive-In (Spectrum News)

Socially-Distant Graduation (Lancaster/Depew Bee)

Graduation Hits the Big Screen (WGRZ)

Hundreds of hours of planning and execution went into the production of the video, and you can also check out the piece on the official announcement from WIVB here:

St. Mary’s High School Looking to Hold Graduation at Transit Drive-In

 

 

Six Lancers Named to Youth Bureau Hall of Fame

We recently received some very exciting news from our friends at the Town of Lancaster Youth Bureau! A big congratulations goes out to seniors Brendan Murty, Carolynn Steffens, and Kerry Sullivan and juniors Sean Brown, Katelyn Laistner, and Lillian Mikula on being named to the Youth Bureau Hall of Fame. These six Lancers join the ranks of dozens of St. Mary’s students before them who have been inducted over the years. Although the ceremony has been postponed, we could not be more proud of these students for their contributions to the Lancaster community, and we look forward to being able to celebrate with them soon!

Senior Oishei Foundation Scholarship Recipient Reflects on Time at St. Mary’s

The John R. Oishei Foundation has been a beacon of hope and opportunity for hundreds of students in Western New York over the past two decades. The Class of 2020’s Oishei Scholarship recipient is Jasmine Brundage. Listen to Jasmine speak about all of the doors that have been opened to her since she began her high school journey at St. Mary’s four years ago. She is a Dean’s List student, has taken several AP classes, is a 2-time All-WNY Volleyball Player, and is a Student Ambassador for St. Mary’s. Jasmine is forever grateful to the Oishei Foundation for providing her with the opportunity to go to St. Mary’s, and we are forever grateful that she will be always be a Lancer.

Listen to what Jasmine had to say about her time at St. Mary’s here.

 

St. Mary’s Comes Together to Help One of Our Own

George Morgan is a beloved member of the Lancer Family, as he volunteers his time helping out with athletics and is just a “go-to” guy for things around the building. George then collects bottles and cans after lunches and sporting events. Like all of us, George has been missing the days of full hallways and gym bleachers. So, the St. Mary’s and Lancaster communities really came out over the past week to show George what it means to be a member of this family, donating thousands of bottles and cans to the cause. Take a look at the story here.