Tiger Talk! May 14, 2021

Tiger Talk!

May 14, 2021

Dear School Families,

I truly cannot believe this is our last Tiger Talk! I find myself quite reflective as I write this. I have been in the field of education since 1992 (yes, I am old). Not a single year goes by that I don’t sit back and think about the closure that happens at the conclusion of each school year. I look at the struggles and the triumphs. I pray and hope that I have done the best possible work I could have for all of you and for your children. Has everyone felt safe, loved, welcomed, and respected? Have I helped our students grow in their faith? Was I a good role model of my patron saints, leading “gently but strongly” like St. Francis de Sales and caring for all of God’s creatures like St. Francis of Assisi? Have I respected my important role as administrator and treated it as a job or a mission? Have I been grateful and shared my thanks with everyone who has made this year possible? Did I make myself available to anyone who needed me? Did I pray enough? Our Diocesan motto this year was “Called to Serve.” I hope that I have served you all well. This has been a truly remarkable year! I am amazed by all that we have accomplished. Your children, each and every one of them, will always be in my heart and your families are forever in my prayers. This month we prepare for another graduating class to move on. It is exciting, but I will miss them. It has been a gift to see them grow and thrive, some of them since they were 3 years old. It has been a joy to see new students enter this school and bring even more energy and life to a class that was already established. This year, we welcomed so many new families. I hope you all remain with us. Our St. Anthony’s family is a special one. You are here with us forever, whether you realize it yet or not. Thanks for being a part of our lives and for entrusting your children to us each day. Words can’t express how blessed I feel for having been your princi-PAL this year.

I look forward to seeing all of you over the next few busy weeks. Next year, we will return to the majority of students entering the building through the main entrance. That will allow me to see all of you more often. If I don’t see you in the next couple weeks, have a fun, safe, and exciting summer. My hope is that we will all be able to return to a bit of normalcy. COVID vaccinations are now available for ages 12 and up. Mrs. Russell and I do strongly recommend getting a vaccine for your middle school children. Anything we can do to make our building even safer, we support.  At this time, there are no changes to the masking and social distancing requirements in school. I do not expect them to change, regardless of what the Governor decides. However, I assure you that you will be informed as soon as I hear of any changes. I will be communicating through School Messenger via email with any changes. Our plan is to return fully in-person with masking and social distancing in place.

I will end my introductory message with a prayer I received from the Catholic Schools Office. It is titled “Prayer of Perseverance for the End of School. “

O God of beginnings and endings, and all that is between,

we praise and thank you for the gift of this school year. It has been a time filled with challenges and opportunities, unexpected with grace and blessings, joys and sorrows. 

While we trust that Your Will has always been at work each day, sometimes it has seemed difficult to understand and appreciate 

just what you have been up to in our school. 

Give us the strength and perseverance we need this to finish the school year. 

Let our efforts of this past year bear fruit. Bring all of our plans to a joyful conclusion, 

And bless us, according to Your Will. 

Let us continue to rely on You, Lord, to carry us through. 

Watch over us in the weeks ahead, and guide each day as you have done this past year. Help us finish the year with vibrant spirit and renewed


Through the intercession of the many patron Saints of students and teachers, including St. Francis de Sales, St. John Baptist de la Salle, St. Thomas Aquinas, 

St. Scholastica, and St. Catherine of Alexandria, may we continue to grow in age, wisdom, knowledge and grace 

all the days of our lives. 



Field Day Success

Thank you to our 8th Grade class and Mrs. Orensky for a return to an almost normal field day. Aside from mask wearing and constant sanitizing, the day was just like every other year. We had a beautiful day. I hope you follow us on Facebook so you can see the pictures. Eighth Grade did a wonderful job running each station and sanitizing well in between each class. Sanitizing the blow-up obstacle course was an entertaining feat.


RUSH Uniform Inc.

Next year we will return to enforcing our uniform and dress code policy. We relaxed that this year due to the pandemic. The only required item from RUSH Uniform is the school shirt. It must be the navy blue logo shirt. All other uniform pieces may be purchased elsewhere.


After Care Program’s Last Day is Thursday, May 27th.

No after care services will be provided after Thursday the 27th.


Italian Festival News! Save the dates!

2021 St. Anthony’s Italian Festival: Take-Out Edition! St. Anthony’s Italian Festival returns in 2021 with a safe and convenient outdoor, takeout format!  Secure online ordering and payment will be available, as well as on-site ordering and payment (by credit card).  Join us Tuesday-Friday, 6/8-6/11, from 4:30-7:30PM for our famous Italian specialties! This year’s menu will feature:

Sandwiches (Offered all 4 days)

  • Meatball Sandwich: $10.00
  • Porkette Sandwich: $10.00
  • Sausage and Peppers Sandwich: $10.00


Daily Specials

  • Tuesday, 6/8: Pasta Faglioli $10.00
  • Wednesday, 6/9: Gnocchi with Meatball $12.00
  • Thursday, 6/10: Veal Spezzato Sandwich $12.00
  • Friday, 6/11: Lasagna $15.00



Cheese Panzarotti: $10.00



Cannolis: $4.00


Volunteers are needed for cooking and food prep for our Mini-Festival!

  • Thursday, June 3, 2:00 pm to 6:00 pm
  • Saturday, June 5, Noon to 4:00 pm
  • Sunday, June 6, 12:30 pm to 4:30 pm
  • Monday, June 7, Noon to 5:00 pm

All cooking will be done in our school cafeteria. Please email or call Bob Shields if you wish to help out with advanced cooking bshields@stanthonynet.org or 421-3743.

As soon as we know more, I will provide additional details regarding ordering in advance and driving directions for advance order pickup and on-site ordering/pickup. Proceeds benefit our school. I hope to see you all at our 2021 festival. Mr. Shields and I will be there every night and hope to “serve” you in the Italian tradition of delicious food.


Be sure to check our school website calendar. Here are just a few reminders:

  • Friday, May 28 – NOON DISMISSAL for all! Last day for preschool and 8th Grade
  • Monday, May 31st – SCHOOL CLOSED for Memorial Day
  • Tuesday, June 1st – Full day of school for Kindergarten through 7th Grade
  • Wednesday, June 2nd – NOON DISMISSAL for ALL
  • Thursday, June 3rd – 10:30 AM Dismissal. Last day of school
  • Tuesday,  June 8th  through Friday, June 11th – FESTIVAL TAKE OUT from 4:30-7:30 pm



Mrs. White


Pope Francis spoke of summer as an ideal time to refocus our life on God.


“In this period, students are free from scholastic duties and many families are taking their vacation; it’s important that in the time of rest and detachment from daily concerns, they can re-energize the forces of body and spirit, deepening their spiritual path.” ~ Pope Francis


Tiger Talk! April 30, 2021

God Bless our Second Graders! Tomorrow our Second Grade class will receive the Sacrament of First Eucharist (First Holy Communion). They have been preparing with Ms. Lofink and are looking forward to this day. I had the privilege of hearing them practice “Jesus Has a Home in my Heart” this week with Mr. Colligan. I always say things happen for a reason. I was actually off on Monday but stopped by school at just the right time. The sun was shining. They were all sitting on the Kindergarten patio, socially distanced, with Mr. Colligan playing the guitar. It made my entire day. I was so happy to hear the song once before tomorrow, when I will inevitably cry as they sing it in church. To me, this is one of those little traditions and first rites of passage that I cherish about our school. My adult children sang that song, and it is at a time in our young children’s lives when they are the most faith-filled and in awe of our faith. That is one of the things I love best about my job.  Please keep them in your prayers tomorrow on their special day.


Congratulations and Thank You, Joni Kurylo! I am very pleased to announce that Joni was appointed to the Board of Catholic Schools for the Diocese of Wilmington. I nominated her, and she filled out an application. That application was reviewed by the current board. After reviewing all applicants, Joni was selected to represent the Catholic schools in our diocese. I am so proud to have one of our own parents on this board. I have wanted that for years. Our Board Liaison for this school is my friend, Dr. Valerie Denton. I had never met Dr. Denton until she introduced herself to me and asked to come see the school, meet our staff, say hello to the children, and participate in some way to support our school community. That was the first time in my 20 years here that I was aware of a board member reaching out to actually take time to get to know his/her school. We instantly became friends. She is a wonderful woman with many gifts and talents. She is one of the sweetest people I know. She came to Barnes and Noble Nights, our food fundraisers, and even worked the festival with me in the money room. Dr. Denton reached out this year to me about trying to get a more diverse board. Our Board of Catholic Schools is comprised almost entirely of Caucasian members. She and I agreed that our board should better reflect our school. I began speaking to a few parents here at school and invited them to apply. Father Wrightson and I nominated them, and the rest is history now. Joni is a very humble woman, but she will bring many gifts to this board. I am excited to have one of our parents representing us and speaking on behalf of our schools in a much broader picture. The mission of the Board of Catholic Schools is “to promote the educational ministry of the diocese as articulated by the bishop and advise and assist the bishop and superintendent of schools with related policy issues. The board conducts its business in the spirit of collaboration with and service to the pastors, school administrators, teachers and parents/guardians for the benefit of the children.” They work as a collaborative board and discuss issues affecting our schools and parishes with the goal of assisting Dr. Louis DeAngelo who relays their deliberations to Bishop Malooly. I, like Bishop Malooly and Dr. DeAngelo, am very grateful for their input.

Thank you to Jeanette Perez! Thank you to Ms. Perez, mother of Phu Nguyen in Seventh Grade. Phu’s mother donated enough mulch to cover our school, rectory, and church flower beds. Mulch arrived on Earth Day which was nice and also very timely. Our Cub Scouts used it this past weekend to surround our statue of the Blessed Mother with flowers on the corner of 10th and DuPont Streets.


Our baby chicks have hatched! This week, our students were able to participate in a fun science activity/observation. Mrs. Achenbach, our middle school science teacher, arranged for us to participate in the University of Delaware’s 4H Embryology Project. We have happy and healthy baby blue hens in our science lab. They are so precious and have brought a lot of joy to our students. Several students were able to observe the actual hatching process. Follow us on Facebook for photos of this and our daily activities; St. Anthony of Padua Grade School Families, Alumni & Friends.


Order Spring Photos Today! Spring photos were taken by Tina Gwynn today. She always does a fantastic job. Be sure to order online quickly, as there is only a small window of opportunity to order. The information was sent home via School Messenger. Tina’s website is www.kgwynnphoto.com All orders are made by parents, directly through the website, and independent of our school office.


Renaissance Testing! Our last benchmark testing window for this year will be May 17th through May 27th. Please be sure that your child gets a good night’s rest, eats a good breakfast, and arrives for school on time. This last testing cycle is very helpful. It will be able to show us your student’s individual growth over the course of this school year. There will be no makeup testing this time.


Calendar Planning for 2021-2022: I have excellent news. For the first time in my 10 years as principal, our school calendar aligns perfectly with the diocesan calendar. We will be able to start and end at the same time as our other schools, and we will have a full Easter break and Christmas break. The calendar is being finalized now and will be submitted for approval by May 30th. You can expect to receive it by the last day of this school year. For planning purposes, you can plan for our first student day to be August 30th. More details will follow.


8Th Grade Graduation: Graduation will be held in our church and will be by parent invitation only. We have operated safely all year and have not held any gatherings. To be consistent and proceed with an abundance of caution, there will be no gathering after the ceremony. We will have our own internal classroom party and order lunch for the students. Therefore, 8th Grade parents can plan to be done by 7:30 at the latest.


Kindergarten Graduation: More details will follow. This will be a brief outdoor safe-distanced ceremony in the Kindergarten courtyard, close to their regular dismissal time. Stay tuned for information from your child’s teacher.


Academic Scholarship Recipients: Congratulations to the following students for receiving academic scholarships to high school, based on their Diocesan High School Placement Test scores: Liam Hannan, Richard Jakotowicz III, Andres Lorenzo, Hannah McGuigan, and Gabriel Welsh. For such a small class, we were so pleasantly surprised and proud of them for all of their hard work this year. It certainly “paid” off. I am sure this entire class will accomplish great things.  I could not be more proud of all of them.


The month of May: May is always my favorite time of year. I love the Blessed Mother and pray to her constantly. May is one of the months where we traditionally honor Mary in our school. We will begin this month with First Holy Communion. Typically we would have a large May Procession in the middle of May. It is my favorite day. Our students typically line up and process reverently up to the church and we fill the church and pray as an entire school community. I am sad that we will not be able to do this in May. This year, we will be having schoolwide recognition of Mary, over the PA system and in individual classrooms. During the month of May, feel free to send in any fresh flowers. We will have a smaller statue of Mary in the main lobby for all to appreciate and revere.  Feel free to let your children pick flowers (your own of course) and bring them to school for the lobby prayer table.

Yesterday I mailed home a prayer card to each virtual student. Look for that in the mail. It is a small visual representation of the Rosary, containing elevated dots to pray along with. This will be nice for the children to use at home when their class prays the Rosary, if they do not have their Rosary on hand. If any virtual families wish to have a blessed student Rosary, please email Mrs. Kee at lkee@stanthonynet.org and you can stop by to pick one up in the lobby.

I can’t believe I am typing this, but the final school year Tiger Talk! will be May 14th. After that, I will do more regular communications via School Messenger with timely information about upcoming events. This has been a very unique year for sure. Thank you for staying with us on this mission of Catholic education. Our students have done so well this year considering all of the worldly disruptions and “noise.” I believe you made an excellent choice for your child’s education this year, and I hope you feel the same way.


Springtime blessings,

Mrs. White


“Have the courage to be truly happy.” ~ Pope Francis


Tiger Talk! April 16, 2021

Dear Families,

I hope everyone was able to enjoy the Easter break and find some time to relax and regroup. I write this letter with only six full weeks left of school. I cannot believe how fast this year is flying by for all of us. It has been a very busy year, and I could not be prouder of my staff. I need to thank them again. They were stretched this year in so many ways. Our specialists sacrificed their areas of specialty in teaching to give breaks to teachers. Due to concurrent teaching, teachers would be unable to even use the restroom during the day without those breaks.

I am thankful that we were able to operate safely and can plan to be fully in-person next year. Thank you for re-registering!  Our enrollment next year is very strong. Classroom spots are filling fast due to limited seating and capacity, as we will still be operating with safe distance measures in place. I am thankful to the Department of Education and our friends at St. Francis Hospital for allowing all of our teachers to be fully vaccinated.

Behavior Expectations: I started this week off with reminders to the entire student body about what behavior is expected here at St. Anthony’s. We have very high expectations for student behavior and expect respect and cooperation at all times. Spring has sprung, and with that comes a testing of boundaries. I reminded students that we have zero tolerance for disrespect, defiance, and hands-on behavior. Teachers have been very patient and forgiving, and they have been giving multiple reminders of these things. Teachers will now begin strictly following the discipline policy as stated in the handbook. We still have a lot to accomplish and want to close any academic gaps caused by COVID.

Field Day has returned! We have several fun things planned for the remainder of our school year. We will thankfully be able to have Field Day. In the past, parents were able to attend. Due to COVID restrictions and limited numbers of people allowed for gatherings, this year Field Day will be for students only. The exception will be for Eighth Grade parents who are invited to join us in the field at 2pm for the rescheduled Students Versus Parents Volleyball Game from Catholic Schools Week. We are excited to host this once again. It will be held on Thursday, May 13th

A few notes for Field Day:

* This event will be rain or shine, as we have outdoor equipment ordered.

* For simplicity, rather than our typical hot dog lunch that day, we will have students pack lunch or order in advance from the cafeteria menu as always.

* Please pack a change of clothes, a water bottle, and a beach towel that day.

* Please apply sunscreen to your child first thing in the morning, before coming to school. We will be outside from 8:30-12.

* The Kona Ice truck will return. If you do not want your child to eat the flavored shaved ice, please send a note to your child’s teacher and provide an alternate snack that day.

Attention 8th Grade Parents: Graduation will be on Wednesday, June 2nd at 6:30pm. Graduation will be held in our beautiful church once again. We are very excited about that. It will be by parent invitation only, so that our numbers will remain under 200. Each family should plan on having one full pew in church. These pews seat 9-10 and that number should include your child (no more than 10 total).  This will not be a full Mass as it has been in years past. It will be a brief prayer service, and diplomas will be distributed on the altar as always, with one student approaching at a time. There will be the opportunity to take photos after the ceremony inside (on the altar) and outside the church. We are hoping for nice weather to be able to have a little celebration outside in the Kindergarten Courtyard. More details will follow.

Late Arrivals to school: This is a gentle reminder to please arrive promptly to school. Our doors open at 7:15 and do not close until 8am. Late arrivals cause classroom disruption at a very busy time preparing to start the school day. Please arrive on time for school. Thank you in advance for your cooperation.

Parent Involvement Workshop: Join Gina Castelli and Learn It! Academic Services on Wednesday, April 21st from 6:00-7:00pm. This workshop will take place using Zoom. The topic will be Supporting Your Family’s Social and Emotional Needs During  A Pandemic: Tools & Strategies for the Present and the Future. More information containing the Zoom link will follow.

Attention 7th Grade Parents of Girls: Padua Academy would like to do an informal mentoring program with our girls. It will be an after school snack and chat session. I asked our girls if they were interested in this. Half of the girls replied yes, so we will have our first icebreaker and chat session on Thursday, April 29th at 3:15pm here at school. You will not need to do anything, other than pick the girls up late from school that day (4pm pick up time). As a Padua grad myself (Class of 1988) I will monitor this. A Padua staff member, Coordinator of Student Culture, Tori Clossan (Class of 1994) will also be present.

Spring Picture Day: Friday, April 30th will be Spring Picture Day. This is a dress up day. All students will have their pictures taken. Please have students dress up for this day (no t-shirts or sweatpants). Sneakers should still be worn for safety, as we will have outside breaks and recess.  Parents will be provided a link to pre-order. I recommend pre-ordering, as there will only be a brief time afterward to order. Virtual students may come to school and remain in their cars. Virtual Parents should call the main office at 421-3743 when they arrive between 9am and 10:30am, and someone will come to get you when there is a time in between classes. No class group photos will be taken.

Planning for Summer School/Tutoring:  We are very aware that there may be a few students who have not mastered the current grade’s curriculum.  Please understand that if your child earns a D or F in a major subject, he/she will be expected to attend summer school or 20 hours of 1:1 tutoring with a licensed/certified teacher. That will be a condition for promotion. Our wish is to not retain a student; however they will not be promoted to the next grade unless that tutoring takes place. For example, the final report card will say “Promoted to Fourth Grade” if your Fourth Grader has failed a major subject. Once he/she completes the required hours of instruction and that paperwork is submitted to me (or Mr. Shields) a second revised report card will be issued stating the child is promoted to Fifth Grade. I explain this now so there is no confusion or disappointment. Should you chose to attend a different school next year, the report card will still reflect that the child has not been promoted until that work has been done. We pride ourselves on a rigorous curriculum and want to be sure all students promoted are both socially and academically ready to be in the next grade.

April is Child Abuse Prevention Month. If you see Blue Pinwheels or ribbons around our building, this is the reason. As a former school counselor for many years, this is a very important cause to me. My goal every year is for all of our students to feel safe and loved. All children should feel safe and know that our school is a safe place with adults who can be trusted.

Panera Fundraiser: Thank you to all of the families that dined in and ordered take out from Panera. The Beals family won a $100 gift card to RUSH Uniform. Congratulations, and thank you for supporting our school! Join us for our next event on May 20th for frozen yogurt at Frazzberry in Pike Creek. We will offer a gift card for one lucky family that night as well.

Shout out to Caitlyn, Cate, Celeste, Eryn, Hayden, Neela, and Rachel from Fourth Grade for creating their own business of selling Aqua Bottles. They were able to see these bottles in the staff lounge to the school staff. These girls donated all of the money to charity! Thank you to Student Council for matching their profits to donate as well!

I hope you have all had time to enjoy this beautiful Spring weather as a family. Students love getting to go outside for breaks as our weather gets warmer.

Have a wonderful weekend. Stay well and be safe.


Springtime Blessings,

Mrs. White


“Easter gives hope for tomorrow, as after the winter comes spring. Our hearts can be filled with gladness as hearts rejoice and sing. ~  Pope Francis

Tiger Talk! March 12, 2021

Dear Families,

I hope everyone had a terrific week. I want you to know that I prayed for everyone’s continued health and happiness while on retreat with the Diocese last week. Our school family is always in my prayers. As we move through this season of Lent, we are ever mindful of all of our blessings and of those less fortunate than ourselves. We continue to teach the Corporal Works of Mercy and remind our students to care for others. They really are a very thoughtful and kind group of students. We focus on empathy in all guidance programs with Mrs. Angelo, and we see signs of that empathy every day. Keep up the great work of raising compassionate individuals. Parents are their child’s first teachers. We thank you again, as always, for sharing your children with us every day. I am so happy and grateful at the end of every single day when the sun sets. I never take a single day on this Earth for granted. When we all leave safe and healthy at 6pm, I thank God. I feel so fortunate to work in a school where we have been safely in-person for two-thirds of the school year already. Thank you for making this happen for our school family!

Today marks one year from our last day in the building last school year. This day last year was the beginning of the pandemic for many of us, and we had no idea what to expect. Our staff is having professional development today, just like a year ago on March 13th. I received notification just before it was ready to begin that all schools would be physically closed beginning on Monday. This amazing team switched gears without any notice and put together a plan of action. We did not miss a beat. Our staff planned for during those four hours, and our students were able to start virtually the very next week. I thank this staff again for their willingness and readiness. When we needed them, they rose to the task. They never signed up to be essential workers, yet they were asked to report back this August, and they did so happily. There is great value to all of us being in-person. Our mental health and ability to socialize are at risk when we can’t be together.

Diocesan Pilgrimage Cross – Our Pilgrimage Cross leaves us today to travel to Maryland. I hope you follow us on Facebook and were able to see the cross fill up with prayers and special intentions. This was a special gift to have this in our midst. Although we have not been able to attend Mass as a student body, we were able to take small groups and classes (socially distanced) into the hallway for Lenten prayer services. Thank you to my teachers for doing individual classroom activities centered on the Pilgrimage Cross.

Lenten Rice Bowls – Please remember to send in your rice bowls by Friday, March 26th. The money collected goes directly to the Missions and is very much appreciated. Due to COVID, we ask that you keep the box at home and send in the donations (no matter how small) in an envelope or Ziploc bag (if loose change). Thank you in advance for this contribution that reaches out to the community outside of our own.

Thank you! – I want to also thank you for the generous donations of canned goods during Catholic Schools Week. It was a short week due to snow, but our St. Anthony families were generous as always. I received a thank you note from the St. Patrick’s Center. They appreciate us helping them live their mission and provide a welcoming, dignified, respectful, and caring environment. They have responded to the growing needs of the people of Wilmington’s East Side, offering access to food, shelter, clothing, transportation, healthcare, and a community for all. We donated 744 pounds of non-perishables, which was even better than our Thanksgiving donation of 510 pounds.

Congratulations to Lena Padovani!  – Lena was our schoolwide winner for the Scripps National Spelling Bee. She represented us at the Statewide Spelling Bee at St. Mark’s High School this past Saturday. Great job, Lena!

Congratulations to our former graduates, now Padua Pandas! I am so proud of these wonderful young ladies. Senior Katie Collier earned Distinguished Honors during the first term. The following students earned High Honors: Amanda DeFrehn, Olivia Segeda, Lauren McLaughlin, Ashley DeFrehn, and Noelle DiVirgilio. The following students earned Honors: Eva Pellegrino, Hannah Fagioli, Allen Martin Del Campo, Madison Rieger, Leah Rizzo, Colleen Banker, and Rachel Tomlinson. Great job, Ladies! You continue to make us proud.

Water Filling Stations – Our new water filling stations are open and ready for use. With that being said, I want to explain how these will work. There is still a button to push. Students will have to be able to push the button on top and hold their cup into place. Unfortunately, it is not a simple machine that I assumed would have sensors for the bottles and automatically refill it. For this reason, students will need to use hand sanitizer before and after using it. We will not have water refill breaks for an entire class as this would take longer than a class period. Please continue to send your children with a full water bottle every day and a separate one for lunch. The refill stations are there, but will not be used by every student every day. They will be used as needed.

Early Dismissals no later than 2:40pm – Please do NOT come into school after 2:40 for an early dismissal. 2:40-2:50 is a small window of time where we double check to be sure all changes are made with regards to dismissal. Dismissal begins at 2:50 for preschool. Families often call between 2:30 and 3 to make changes to transportation. It is our top priority that those calls are answered and messages are given to both students and teachers. We may not call a student down after 2:40 since dismissal procedure of announcements and prayers will be occurring within the next 10 minutes. If you need an early dismissal for your child, the procedure is to send a note first thing in the morning. Please use early dismissals for emergencies only. If you have a doctor appointment scheduled, arrange for an early dismissal by 2:15 pm at the latest. Remember that our staff is spread throughout the property so that all exits of the building are covered. We do not have extra staff on site to call children to the office. I appreciate your cooperation with this.

Parent Involvement Workshop – Join Gina Castelli and Learn It! Academic Services on Wednesday, April 21st from 6:00-7:00pm. This workshop will take place using Zoom. The topic will be Supporting Your Family’s Social & Emotional Needs During A Pandemic: Tools & Strategies for the Present and the Future. More information containing a Zoom link will follow. A flyer was sent home this week via email.

Report Cards/ Renaissance Results – Report Cards will be distributed next week. We will also be sending home Parent Reports from our most recent Renaissance Testing. If you do not receive a copy of the test results, your child was either absent, late to school, or unable to take the test due to fine motor skill issues (inability to use the mouse – typically Kindergarten and First Grade). Contact your child’s teacher directly with any questions about these tests.

  • There is a signature line on the Renaissance Parent Report. No signature is required. I am unable to edit that form, as it comes directly from Renaissance.

Staff Development Today – Today, our staff is participating in professional training from noon until 4pm. We will be working once again with DeVon Jackson from Chānj Consulting. This professional development opportunity is a follow-up to our August Diversity and Social Justice training.  The positive response to our August session made it an easy decision to bring Mr. Jackson back. Teachers were interested in having more in-depth discussions on the topics of diversified instruction and dialogue in all areas of curriculum. Our school is very diverse, yet we are well aware that our school staff is not. We continue to learn new ways to make sure all of our students feel included, valued, and understood. We want to be sure we are doing everything we can to highlight and celebrate our differences and recognize all parts of our history; the good and the bad.

Shout out to St. Francis Hospital! Thank you to our neighborhood friends at St. Francis Hospital. We received calls this week for our staff members who have yet to be vaccinated. We are hopeful to have our entire staff vaccinated within a month. This really helped boost our chances of staff vaccinations.

Easter Holiday: Our school will be closed Thursday, April 1st through Tuesday, April 6th. School will reopen on Wednesday, April 7th. I hope your Easter season is a blessed and peaceful one.

I hope you were all able to enjoy some of the beautiful weather we had this week! Our next Tiger Talk! will be after we return from our Easter Break. Enjoy this time with your family.

Lenten Blessings,

Mrs. Judith J. White

“The Lord always forgives us and walks at our side. We have to let Him do that.” ~ Pope Francis

Tiger Talk! February 12, 2021

Tiger Talk!

February 12, 2021


Dear School Family,

I hope this email finds you well. It has been a busy couple of weeks around here. We had a wonderful Catholic Schools Week. Despite the time off for snow, we were still able to celebrate our Faith, Excellence, and Service. We prayed together as a school community with daily prayers specific to our Catholic school students and staff. I will share one prayer with you that we prayed as a group.


Almighty God,

You sent forth your Son as a beacon of hope for all people.

As Teacher, He has given us the prime example of the importance of education. As disciples, we look to him for inspiration and strength.

Thank you for the many people who have dedicated their lives in service to our schools.

Thank you for the teachers and administrators who sustain our schools.

Thank you for the parents who have given support and witness to

the importance of Catholic education.

Thank you for the students who work hard to further their education. Bless St. Anthony of Padua Grade School and the many people who advance our mission.

May our school be a home for those who seek to grow in openness, faith, love, intellect, and commitment to justice.

In Your name, we pray, Amen.


Exciting News! A Baby Tiger is on the way! I am very happy to announce that Mrs. Laura Angelo and her husband Chris are expecting a second baby girl in July. We could not be more thrilled about this news. We love our growing St. Anthony family. Keep Mrs. Angelo and her precious baby girl in your prayers for a happy and healthy pregnancy over the next few months and a safe and speedy delivery in July.


Lent Begins with Ash Wednesday on February 17th. Our Lenten theme is “Our Journey to the Cross.” We will still have our traditional Stations of the Cross in school on Fridays during Religion class. Each student (Grade 3 and older) has their own booklet so that they can participate. This year we purchased Stations of the Cross cards for the children to keep, so they can read the Stations at home as well.


Renaissance Testing begins on Tuesday, February 16th! Please be sure to arrive promptly the next two weeks. We ask that you be sure your students are prepared for this testing. They will need a book to read and headphones. Be sure they eat breakfast in the morning and come to school well-rested, so that they can stay focused. The two tests (Math and Reading) are typically only 30-45 minutes. They take place in the computer lab which is socially distanced with dividers and cleaned thoroughly in between testing times. The students did a great job with the testing in September, when we really were just trying to gauge where they were after learning virtually since March. We are looking forward to seeing their growth since we have been in person. We have to schedule many testing windows to accommodate half classes and keep everyone safely distanced. Therefore, if children miss their testing window due to lateness or absence, there may not be an opportunity for a make-up. If there is a specific learning need or an academic concern, however, we will schedule a separate testing time. This will take place outside of the diocese testing window and will be proctored by Mr. Shields or myself.



Community Builders Award: Just in case you missed my Facebook video (also on the website), I would like to share some special news. Each year we select 1-3 Community Builder Award Recipients. The Community Builders Award was established in 1999 to recognize volunteer members of the St. Anthony of Padua Grade School community for their commitment and dedication to the faith community of the school. The criteria for the Community Builders Award are:

*Members of Religious orders who have taught in the school or supported

the school on the parish level.

*Former Principals or other dedicated employees.

*Parents of former students who remain connected to the school

through volunteer activities for the school/parish.

*An alumnus of the school who has remained supportive and involved.

*Deceased person in the above categories who maintained a strong connection

to the school/parish during their lifetimes.

Staff members submit nominees to the Community Builders Committee describing why the nominee deserves this award. The Committee, with the input of the Principal and Pastor, chooses 2-3 persons to receive the award. The Committee Chairman notifies the nominees to see if they will accept the award which is typically presented during a special assembly. A plaque is given to the honorees and they are invited, along with their families and prior award recipients, to a luncheon provided by the school.


This year we decided to recognize some very special people who have truly helped grow our community and who have supported our school during this global pandemic. Mr. Shields and I are proud to present the Community Builders Award this year to the Parents and Students of St. Anthony of Padua Grade School. You are our loyal second family. We thank you for helping us thrive when so many places are struggling to survive and stay open. Thank you for your commitment to Catholic education. We know it is a financial sacrifice for many families. And we thank our students for showing up every day, in-person and virtually. We love you and we are so glad you are with us. Keep up the great work.


Food Drive Success! Thank you for the generous donations of food. Collectively we raised 230 pounds of food; more than one pound per student. The St. Patrick’s Center is always in need and always takes the time to send us a written letter of thanks for your contributions.


Registration Progress and Compliments! Thank you for being so prompt with your re-registration paperwork. More than half of our families have already re-registered. If you have not re-registered, please do so ASAP. Our enrollment is now open to the public. I am trying to plan programming for next year, and we do have four grades with a waiting list. Word had gotten out about the excellent quality education our students receive here at this school. While many schools and districts in our nation are still working on re-entry plans and COVID safety precautions, we have already celebrated over 100 days of school, fully-in person. I am so grateful. I am the eternal optimist, and I knew we could do this. I thank you for your openness and honesty when exposed to COVID and the extra precautions all of you have taken to keep my staff safe. I love them like my own family.  I would be lying if I didn’t say I was fearful every single day that one of them would become ill. So, thank you, and keep up the good work. I know we have a long weekend coming. Travel wisely if you must travel. Remain in your family cohort. Continue to wear your masks and safely distance from those outside of your household.


Congratulations and God Bless our Second Grade Class! Second Grade received the Sacrament of First Reconciliation last night. We did an Examination of Conscience together and said the Act of Contrition as a small community. In our beautiful church, each child was able to meet face-to-face with Fathers Wrightson and Rinaldi. Students received a heart necklace from our Blessed Virgin Mary Sodality and a religious rope bracelet from Mr. Shields and me.


Water Refill Stations! I wanted to give you a quick update. They are scheduled to begin installation this upcoming Monday, while the children are out of school. I will let you know when the process is complete. This will save you money and cut down on our use of plastic water bottles significantly. Please purchase bottles with wider mouths than a plastic water bottle. The goal is to not touch the top of the bottle to the refill station. Young children have a very hard time doing that using the small openings of a plastic water bottle.


Facebook! If you do not already follow us on Facebook, you are missing out. We post pictures daily, and it is the best way to see what is happening inside the school. Follow us at St. Anthony of Padua Grade School Families, Alumni & Friends.


Scheduled Emergency Drills: Please compliment your children. They have been doing an amazing job with our three emergency drills. They have been quiet, orderly, and very responsive. We just recently had a fire drill with our shortest recorded time. We fully evacuated our building in one minute and 5 seconds. Perhaps it was the snow on the ground outside that motivated them to move faster.


COVID Vaccination and Testing Update: Our entire staff continues to receive monthly COVID Testing. We were happy to be included in Stage 1B of the State’s Department of Education’s Vaccination Process. As of today, 29% of our staff has had the first vaccine and is scheduled for the second one. We continue to receive invitations every week. This is very promising!


School is Closed on Monday, February 15th, in observance of Presidents’ Day!


I hope everyone has a Happy Valentine’s Day. Know that you and your children are very loved and appreciated!


Winter Blessings,

Mrs. White

The measure of love is to love without measure. ~ St. Francis de Sales


Tiger Talk! January 29, 2021

Tiger Talk!

January 29, 2021


Dear Families,

Happy Friday! I feel like every single week that we accomplish is a reason to celebrate still being together and healthy. This past weekend we celebrated the Feast of St. Francis de Sales, one of our patron saints. St. Francis de Sales is my personal favorite saint. I believe this love for St. Francis and his idea of “gentle strength” came from my roots here at St. Anthony’s as a student in the 70’s and 80’s. I then attended Padua Academy where our school motto was “softly but strongly.” Upon graduation, I decided to attend Allentown College of St. Francis de Sales (currently De Sales University). It was there that my love for our patron saint grew even deeper. I found that he was a man very ahead of his time. He was very well spoken and well versed, and his quotes often struck me as having a counseling background. He urged us to have patience with ourselves and to be kind to ourselves and others. He practiced and preached about the “little virtues”. They include honesty, acceptance, generosity, humility, gentle strength, kindness, patience, simplicity, liberty of spirit, joyful optimism, interiority, courage, acceptance, and stewardship. His messages were simple, are still very relevant today, and are easily shared with our students. Check out some of his illustrated quotes on our Facebook page. Follow us at St. Anthony of Padua Grade School Families, Alumni & Friends.


Catholic Schools: Faith. Excellence. Service: This Sunday, January 31st marks the beginning of Catholic Schools Week. Information for the week was sent home already and has details outlined for each day. Despite our unusual circumstances this year and our limitations for pep rallies and celebrations, we still have a fun week planned for all. We will highlight our faith component with a school wide prayer service (via the PA system). We are once again reaching out to the local St. Patrick’s Center for our service component. Please remember those canned goods. We will be accepting them all next week, and I assure you that your contributions are very much appreciated. Should you wish to send in a monetary donation instead of canned goods, feel free to send that directly to the main office with cash or a check made payable to St. Patrick’s Center. Here are just a few highlights of our week. Students may wear their gym uniforms or school spirit wear that entire week. Sneakers are the required shoe each day, for safety reasons. On Monday we will honor our entire staff with a Staff Appreciation Day. Thank you in advance to our Home and School Association for sponsoring a lunch for our staff. On Tuesday,  we will have pajama day and a school-wide Bingo for all. On Wednesday, we celebrate our 100th Day of School and Student Appreciation Day. The Kona Ice Truck will be coming to give our students a special treat.  Thursday will be Spirit Day. Mrs. Orensky has activities planned in the gym for individual classes to attend. Friday will be Dress Down Day. Again, sneakers must be worn for safety. On Friday at 2pm we will have an 8th Grade Students Versus Parents Kickball Game in the field (weather permitting). Please stay tuned for a School Messenger, should that activity have to be canceled. Grades 4 through 8 will be attending that game, so be sure students are dressed appropriately to be outdoors. We are looking forward to this special week. I am a firm believer in Catholic education. In the past 20 years, I have seen the fruits of our labor. With the help of parents (the first teachers for our children), we send children out into the world. They return to us as adults (parents), and we are so proud of our graduates. They go on to do great and meaningful things.


Knights of Columbus Vocation Essay Contest: Once again, our students participated in the Annual Knights of Columbus Vocation Essay Contest. We were happy to learn that we had a winner from each grade that submitted essays. Our winners are as follows: Congratulations to 6th Grader Natalie Krevchuck, 7th Grader Patrick McLaughlin, and 8th Grader Giada Brown. Your essays were very well-written! Our winning essays will be eligible for the State Finals competition.


Lent is approaching! I cannot believe how fast time is flying by this year. Lent begins with Ash Wednesday on February 17th. Our schoolwide theme this year is “OUR JOURNEY TO THE CROSS.” This theme was chosen by students, and I think the use of the word “journey” is very appropriate at this time. We all seem to have been on one interesting journey this past year. With its struggles, we have seen a lot of blessings. With division in our country, we have seen great unity within our school community. We have witnessed love, inclusion, and compassion in our school. While sharing great losses this year, we have grown closer to each other in support and sympathy. With sickness in our families, we have grown to appreciate our health, even if it is not optimal. With job losses, we have stretched our resources to be sure everyone who wishes to attend our school is able to do so. During Lent, we will remember the great sacrifices Jesus made for us. We will talk about Jesus’s “journey” to the Cross and the significance of what that means to us as His believers. Despite limited access to the church, we will still be able to have Stations of the Cross; a long tradition here at St. Anthony’s. More details will follow as we get closer to that time. We do not plan to mix any grades. Everyone is still learning in their one homeroom cohort. Typically we would attend church as a large group. This year we may have to do Stations one class at a time or outdoors if weather permits.


2021-2022 Reregistration has begun! Thank you to those who have already sent in your reregistration within the past 48 hours. The sooner we can plan for next year, the better off we will be and the more programs we will be able to offer our students. Please be sure to send in all reregistration paperwork by next week, as we will open registration to new students at that time.


NOON DISMISSAL February 12th and School Closed February 15th! Please mark your calendars for February 12th and 15th, as we will not have another Tiger Talk! prior to those dates. We have a noon dismissal that Friday. NO AFTER CARE WILL BE PROVIDED. School is closed on Monday, February 15th for Presidents’ Day. Enjoy that long weekend.


COVID Precaution Gratitude: I just want to take a quick moment to thank you for your continued diligence and focus on our school priorities of masking, screening, handwashing/sanitizing, and distancing. We appreciate you keeping our school community safe and having children stay home if they show any cold or flu symptoms. Your individual efforts are allowing us to remain fully in-person. In my recent interview with Tim Furlong at Channel 10 News, I did brag about all of you. Unfortunately, the segment was focused on vaccinations, so my praise and shout out to our school families did not make the cut. Know that your efforts have really paid off this year. In a very unsettled and anxiety-provoking time, it is very nice to be able to come to work feeling safe.


I hope everyone has a fantastic weekend! Please stay safe and be well. Once again, I would like to thank you for the gift of your precious children. Thank you for trusting us to “nurture them academically, spiritually, and emotionally, assisting them to lead enriching and fulfilling lives” as our mission states. As Catholic school educators, we are “Called to Serve” and I can’t imagine any other place I would rather serve every day. I look forward to a time soon when we are all back together face-to-face. Our teachers have started receiving invitations for their COVID vaccination, so I am filled with hope.


Winter Blessings,

Mrs. White

“Let us thank all those who teach in Catholic schools. Educating is an act of love; it is like giving life.” Pope Francis

Tiger Talk! January 15, 2021

Tiger Talk!

January 15, 2021

Happy New Year to everyone! I hope this email finds everyone happy, healthy, and well. As we begin Ordinary Time in our liturgical calendar, I think it is safe to say there is nothing “ordinary” about the times we are living in right now. I was reminded last week at Mass of the very wise advice of our patron saint, St. Francis de Sales. “Do ordinary things extraordinarily well and with great love.” As I reflected on this quote, my entire staff came to mind. This fantastic group of very talented and caring people decided to spend their lives in the service of God and others. Despite a pandemic, family jobs lost, personal tragedies, sickness and loss, and having a 5% pay reduction in their salaries, everyone still comes to school each day smiling and ready to get to work. They collaborate and learn from each other. Never, in my 20 years here, has there been a time of such love and support shown for our students and for the common good of our parish school community.

When you enter our building, you are welcomed like family. We are a team. Our enrollment is stronger, because the word has gotten out. We currently have a waiting list in 4 grades (partly due to us limiting class size for safe distancing). I ask that you help us spread the good news of our school and of Catholic education. As we plan for next school year, I reflect once again on our school mission. We paid close attention this year to specific words in that mission; “safe haven,” “compassion,” “respect,” “support,” and “nurturing.” I believe we have done those ordinary things extraordinarily well. Our teachers are “called to serve” and have answered that call. I thank them once again for their dedication. They make my job so much easier!


Catholic Schools Week – Catholic Schools Week will be celebrated the week of January 31st. Once again, some traditions will have to be altered. We have a new theme for Catholic Schools Week this year. It is “Catholic Schools: Faith. Excellence. Service.” We will try to plan some activities around that new theme. For the “Service” part of the new theme, we would still like to do a canned food drive this week. Typically we use that donation as admission to our parents versus students volleyball game; a tradition for 8th Grade students. We will sadly be unable to host a volleyball game, but we do have a back-up plan. If you are an 8th grade parent, please try to be available on Friday, February 5th at 2pm. More details will follow.  Please feel free to start sending in canned goods from now until February 5th.


Celebration – On Saturday, January 9th, I had the joy and honor of celebrating Mateo Ahumada’s last chemotherapy with his family. Mateo is a former student (current Salesianum student) who has battled leukemia for three years. It was a wonderful day, with many St. Anthony friends and staff stopping by for a car parade. Mateo made the news on ABC, WDEL, and the Dialog. Mateo was my son Christopher’s church buddy here. When Mateo was diagnosed, Chris went to visit and offer support and encouragement. The two became friends. As God (not luck) would have it, both boys ended up with the same nurse. Nurse Blake was able to be there on Saturday and hand Mateo his last chemo pill. God is good! Having gone through a cancer diagnosis and treatment with my son, I know that cancer is something that can make many that are touched by it loose their faith and their hope. But I do believe in having hope, always staying positive, finding the bright side of life, and praying. This is a big beautiful world. We have to see past ourselves and look at all of our blessings. There are many!

I know these times continue to be extremely challenging for a lot of people. I am aware of multiple job losses and personal family losses that our school and parish community are experiencing. Just know that our school family is always here for you. I am always here for you. We have a strong prayer group that I believe is capable of miracles. Continue to be kind to each other. Everyone is battling something.


SCHOOL IS CLOSED MONDAY – School will be closed this upcoming Monday, January 18th, in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. School will resume Tuesday, January 19th.


Re-registration will open soon – We are confirming tuition rates this week. It is imperative that you re-register as soon as paperwork comes home. We will be filling spots on a first come, first serve basis.  Priority will ONLY be given to current students for one week, so please return your forms immediately. We currently do have new potential families waiting. There is a risk that your child’s spot could be filled, as we plan to re-open with our current social distancing precautions in place.  Again, forms can be sent electronically and a credit card payment can be made by phone.


Lunch Menu reminder – We really need your help with lunch menus. We MUST have payment attached to lunch orders. Please DO NOT send in a lunch menu without the payment included. Serving lunch here daily is a courtesy, and this is not a program that ever makes money. It takes a loss which we are willing to assume in an effort to keep cost low. I personally went through the menus this month, and it is a bookkeeping nightmare. Names are not on envelopes. Payments are not attached. We then have to copy and send the menu back to families to request payment. PLEASE follow the directions so we can continue to provide this service. If you do not have cash or a check to attach, you may call the office (the same morning) and give a credit card over the phone.


Welcome Back, Mrs. Jill Orensky! We are so happy that Mrs. Orensky has returned to teach physical education. During her healing, she attended several workshops and professional development opportunities. She returned with new equipment and fresh new (pandemic specific) ideas.


With Sympathy – Please keep Mr. John McMillan in your prayers. Mr. McMillan’s mother passed away recently and services were held this past weekend. We extend our love, prayers, and condolences to Mr. McMillan. He works tirelessly to keep us up and running and has been amazing since all of this craziness started in March 2020. Because he was prepared and proactive, our students never missed a beat. Virtual learning started on day one. For that reason, there was really no transition necessary to provide in-person and virtual options to our families. We thank John for his diligence and work ethic. We hope his cherished memories of his mother will help him during this grieving process. Losing a parent is never easy. It is like losing a part of your heart.


Mass for Life – Join our diocese and Bishop Malooly in prayer on January 29th at 10:00 A.M. Go to www.YouTube.com/DioceseofWilm for the livestream option or visit cdow.org for more details.


Water Refill Stations are coming soon – Prior to the Christmas break we ordered automatic water refill stations to replace our 3 water fountains that were disconnected due to COVID 19. We hope to have them installed soon. This is being done by National HVAC, which takes care of all of our HVAC needs. More details will follow. We hope to save you money on the purchase of water bottles very soon.


Thank you for keeping us safe! I want to take a minute to thank all of our parents for being so honest and forthright with COVID 19. It is touching all families. No matter how careful we are, we are bound to be exposed to someone with COVID 19. Thank you for notifying Mrs. Russell when this happens and notifying other families you have been in contact with outside of school. In order for us to remain open, we have to stay focused on this together. We still remain in safe cohorts here. Children stay in their classrooms, and teachers rotate. We do not mix classes. Please reconsider play dates and carpooling. Keep masks on and open all car windows if carpooling is an absolute necessity. We have windows open all day in school. Our heat is on full-strength, but fresh air is circulating. Keep screening your children! Our school nurse, Mrs. Russell, received her first of 2 two vaccinations on Tuesday night. Our entire staff should be vaccinated at some point in the next month. We continue to have monthly COVID 19 testing for all faculty and staff. We are all doing our part, and that is evident by our numbers. I hope and pray that it stays that way.


Stay well and be safe!


Winter Blessings,

Mrs. White


“Health is one of the most valuable gifts desired by all . . . The fathers of the Church used to refer to Christ and His work of salvation with the title ‘Christus medicus.’ He is the Good Shepherd who cares for the wounded sheep and comforts the sick.” ~ Pope Francis

Tiger Talk! December 11, 2020

Tiger Talk!

December 11, 2020

Dear Families,

I hope the beginning of this Advent season has been a peaceful and blessed one. Our Advent theme this year is “Waiting and Wondering.” We have talked to the children about what it means to have patience, as we await the celebration of Jesus’s Birth on Christmas Day. Each Monday we pray a special Advent prayer before we light the next candle on our Advent wreath (in the school lobby). The repeated theme in all of our prayers is that we are patiently waiting for Jesus to come. We talk about the faith, hope, love, and joy that came from a humble stable and the very simple birth of a baby boy. This supports our Corporal Works of Mercy monthly virtues as we continue to learn about sheltering the homeless with our Bible story, No Room in the Inn; The Flight to Egypt (Luke 2;1-7; Matthew 2:1-15). 

Prayer Request! Please keep Ms. Mary Murray, our First Grade Teacher, in your prayers. Ms. Murray’s father, Gerard Murray, passed away last week.  His private (family) funeral service will be held this upcoming Tuesday. It has been a very difficult couple of weeks for her family. We send them our virtual love, support, compassion, and sympathy at this time. We have missed her and look forward to her return next week. 

Lunch/Water bottles/Snacks Reminders: 

  • Lunch – Be sure to pack a lunch for your child every day.  Cafeteria service is a Pre-Order option only. There is no daily ordering option
    • When you send in your monthly lunch menu, be sure your child’s name and grade are filled in (space is provided) and the payment is attached. We had several menus returned this month with no name. It took hours to figure out which students the menu belonged to. A fully operational cafeteria is a blessing. Not many schools are offering this benefit. Please help us keep it running smoothly. 
  • Water Bottles – Please send in multiple water bottles with your child. Our water fountains are not in use due to COVID.
  • Snacks – Each class has a designated snack time.  Please be sure to send a snack in with your child.  Other than recess, this is the break they look forward to the most during the school day!

NO AFTERCARE next Friday, December 18th! Please arrive promptly at 3pm next Friday, December 18th. We would like our staff to be able to start their Christmas break with their families right after dismissal. The school office will close at 3pm next Friday and will reopen on January 4th.

Christmas Break/Virtual Return

  • School will be closed for the Christmas Break from December 19th through January 3rd. 
  • Per the letter sent home from our superintendent, we will reopen virtually on January 4th. Information will be sent home over the course of the next week from your child’s teacher.  At this point, the diocesan plan is to be learning remotely for one week, Monday, January 4th – Friday, January 8th.  
    • For students who are physically in-school, we will be sending home books and supplies over the course of  next week so students will have everything they need for their week of online learning.


Congratulations are in order to the following people:

  • God Bless our Eighth Grade class. They are celebrating the Sacrament of Confirmation this week and next. They have been preparing for months to be filled with the Holy Spirit and blessed with the Fruits of the Spirit…Wisdom, Understanding, Counsel, Fortitude, Knowledge, Piety, and Fear of the Lord. 
  • God Bless Ms. Lexie Cazier, our Preschool 4 year old teacher! Ms. Cazier will marry her best friend this weekend. We wish them all the best; a life of love and laughter. 

Financial Aid for the 2021-2022 School Year – Financial aid application information has been emailed to all parents. Anyone wishing to receive any form of financial assistance for the 2021-2022 school year MUST complete and file the online application through the Diocese of Wilmington. Please know that an award or grant form this year does not guarantee an award or grant for next school year. A new application must be filed. The parish will not award any tuition money until the application process through the Diocese is finalized. Please contact Mr. Shields or Mrs. Serio with any questions.

  • The deadline to apply is March 4th. There are no exceptions to this deadline.

Thank you for keeping the safety of our school family a priority. Because of your diligence and the hard work of my staff we have been able to remain open since September 1st. I am so thankful for that. Please do not relax with our four priorities (masking, safe-distancing, sanitizing, and daily screening) over the Christmas break. We are counting on all of you for our ability to continue in-person learning through next week and resume it on January 11th. If we hear any news about a change to our current plan, I will notify you by School Messenger email as soon as possible. 

Tiger Talk! will resume on January 15th. We will use School Messenger emails to communicate as needed. I wish everyone a beautiful and blessed Christmas with your families. I am looking forward to an exciting 2021! 


Love and Blessings,

Mrs. White


“Advent is a time of waiting for our Lord, who will visit us all in our own hearts! The Lord is coming! Let us wait for Him!” ~ Pope Francis

Tiger Talk! November 16, 2020

Dear Families,

I am sending Tiger Talk! early this week for planning purposes. We are entering a hectic pandemic holiday season. I want to be sure that everyone is informed of all important information for the upcoming weeks so we can peacefully enter the season of Advent when we return on November 30th.

Spirit Wear sales are open! If you need a gift for the holidays, school spirit wear is always a great idea. Online orders are now open for a brief window. Orders must be placed at http://www.customstitch.com/ by December 1st in order to have items delivered by Christmas.

Thanksgiving Planning: We will be sending home books and other items with students this Friday, Nov. 20th and Monday, Nov. 23rd (just to be prepared) in case we end up having to go fully remote. There is no plan for this at this time from the Diocese, and there is no plan for this on our part. However, due to the rising cases of COVID-19 in Delaware, I want to be prepared. Please expect that your child will need some assistance with his/her belongings this Friday and next Monday.   If, for some reason, your child will not be in school next Monday, please notify his/her teacher directly to be sure all supplies are sent home on Friday.

Message from our Parish Trustee, Anthony Albence:

2020 Giving Tree and Christmas Food Baskets Programs

St. Anthony’s is offering two opportunities to make a difference in the lives of those in need this Christmas season. The Christmas Basket program is being coordinated in partnership with St. Pius X Council 4425 Knights of Columbus. In light of safety precautions in place due to COVID-19 pandemic, for 2020 the parish will offer these programs by furnishing gift cards to program participants.  Donations to support the programs may be made in a variety of ways:

  • purchase a gift card on your own to donate
  • make a contribution to be applied to purchase a gift card via the Grade School’s Home & School Board gift card fundraising program
  • placing a contribution in the weekly offertory collection or dropping off a contribution at the rectory to support the program between now and the end of November
    • Checks can be made payable to “St. Anthony of Padua Church” and mark your donation for the Giving Tree or Christmas Food Basket.
  • make a contribution via the parish online giving program to either of these programs (access online giving via the parish website: sapde.org)

*We are also in need of volunteers to deliver and make phone calls the week of December 13th.  In this season of giving, we hope that you can be generous to those in need.

Programs Contact Info:

Christmas Baskets Program

To add someone to the list of recipients, to volunteer to assist with the program, or for any additional information, please contact Chris Hostler at (302) 421-3700 or via email: chostler@sapde.org.

Giving Tree Program

Please contact Patty Roach at (302) 421-3700 or via email at: proach@stanthonynet.org

Thanksgiving Food Drive Reminder: We are still accepting donations for our Thanksgiving Food Drive. Thank you so much for helping us “feed the hungry.” Our school families have been very generous so far. Your generosity is making a direct impact on so many who have so little. Thank you! St. Anthony’s school families are always so giving. We are truly blessed!

Spelling BEE: Thank you to Mr. Tucker for organizing the schoolwide Spelling Bee! We will let you know the results once they are in!

Thanksgiving travel/gatherings: Please remember to keep everyone’s safety in mind if you chose to host a party, go to a party, or travel for Thanksgiving. I strongly discourage all three. The coronavirus spread in Delaware has been traced to adults; social gatherings, weddings, religious services, house parties, and eating indoors. According to the governor’s report last Tuesday, the only student-to-student exposures were due to carpooling without masks, slumber parties and socializing, a travel baseball team that went out of state, eating together (not socially distant) and tackle football at recess (no masks). We are taking precautions to avoid any of those situations.

Cross Walk: Thank you to Mike Kelleher for reaching out to the city to add a crosswalk at the corner of 10th and Scott Streets. Please pull your car down to the end of the street and proceed to the corner of 10th and Scott when dropping off students in middle school and 2nd through 4th grades. There is plenty of parking on both sides of the street at the corner. Many families are parking in the middle of the block and allowing their children to cross in the middle of the street. This is very dangerous as people come down that street quickly. There is no flashing light to even indicate to others that this may be the case. If you choose to drop your child off mid-block (not at the corner with Mr. Kelleher or myself), you MUST exit the car and cross them yourself. Please do not drop students off and leave. There are too many students jaywalking and crossing in between cars, and it is dangerous. Mr. Kelleher and I try to walk out in the middle of the street, but we do not always catch them.

Winter Coats: Our Knights of Columbus (through Bill Giles) have donated 24 brand new winter coats for students of various sizes. Please email Lynn Kee at lkee@stanthonynet.org with your child’s size. She can send a coat home with your child or arrange for you to pick it up in the main lobby.

Report Cards: Report cards will be distributed the week of December 7th. I will give you notice when they are sent home. We will mail the report cards home to remote learners, or you can email the teacher and have them scan and email it to you.

December Planning: For purposes of planning, there will be no after care on Wednesday, December 9th (staff Christmas gathering) and on the last day of school before Christmas Break, Friday, December 18th. Thank you for understanding.

School Re-opening Plan Cycle Three begins on November 30th – If you wish for your remote learner to return to school for face-to-face instruction after Thanksgiving, please email Mr. Shields at bshields@stanthonynet.org. Please give him a few days’ notice, so he can arrange for desks, books, and supplies to be arranged over the Thanksgiving break. This third cycle will run through January 18th. Cycle four will begin on January 19th.

I hope everyone has a peaceful,  blessed, and  happy Thanksgiving.  I know it will be an unusually quiet one for most of us. We will certainly miss our family and friends. I know that I will miss the noise and joyful chaos that comes from my side of the family and my husband’s side as well. I will miss the weekend-long celebration with our crazy extended families and all of the children. We had two babies born during this pandemic, and I can’t wait to hold them and hug them. It is torture not to kiss their cheeks whenever I see them outdoors (masked and several feet apart). However, next year, I want to have every single one of us sitting around the table again, with no empty seats at that table. That is my wish and prayer. It will be so worth the wait! I have faith that next year we will be able to celebrate our school turkey luncheon, have an all-school Thanksgiving Prayer Service, and celebrate all of our traditions again. I am praying daily for all of you and for your extended families. Be well and stay safe! You are all very loved and appreciated! Virtual parents, hug your children for me. I miss them and look forward in hope and faith to better things in our future as a school family.

The next Tiger Talk! will be sent on December 11th.  I will email shorter updates via School Messenger.


Thanksgiving Blessings,

Mrs. White


“You pray for the hungry. Then you feed them. This is how prayer works.” ~ Pope Francis

Tiger Talk! November 6, 2020

Dear Families,

For the months of November and December, we will continue to learn about the Corporal Works of Mercy and how we are all “Called to Serve.” We reflect on the thought, “Shelter the Homeless” and on the Bible verse, No Room in the Inn; The Flight to Egypt (Luke 2:1-7; Matthew 2:1-15). This week we celebrated the Solemnity of All Saints on November 1st and All Souls Day on November 2nd. We also celebrated Vocation Awareness Week from November 1st through the 7th. Vocation Awareness Week reminds us that each of us is called to encourage vocations to the priesthood and religious life. The Lord speaks through us to His young people by our words and example. This week, we resolved to pray for vocations and instruct about vocations. This is very important as we look to the future of our church. I am honored to serve on the Bishop’s Committee and have the distinct pleasure of interviewing all potential candidates for the priesthood in the Diocese of Wilmington. We have wonderful young men in the seminary and we hope this number continues to grow. It is a long process that spans several years.

Congratulations to our Students of the Month: Our October virtue was “goodness.” Nicholas Savko – PreK3, Grayson Kinderman – PreK4, Logan Selby – Kindergarten, Megan Zweidinger -1st, Sara Barker – 2nd, Gabrielle Krevchuck – 3rd, Eryn Banks – 4th, Brooke Brown – 5th, Faith Jah – 6th, Lena Padovani – 7th, and Enrique Arce – 8th

Winter Sports:
Please be advised St. Anthony’s will not be participating in the Winter 20-21 sports season. After careful consideration, we have come to this decision in the best interest of our students, coaches, and volunteers’ health and safety. We understand and sincerely apologize for the hardship this decision may cause. I am sure the kids were looking forward to participating in sports this season and YAC was definitely looking forward to having them! In consideration of the current regional COVID cases, along with all of the work completed to date to ensure safe conditions for the grade school, we feel it best to err on the side of copious caution.

Thank you from our staff! To the anonymous family who donated very generous gift cards to everyone on our staff, I thank you. You really brightened our day. Thank you also to the McLaughlin and Krevchuck families for the delicious muffin, snack, and candy donation. Thank you all for recognizing our efforts in such a meaningful way. We love our jobs and our school families!

Lunch Menu and Cafeteria Reminder: Please remember that parents MUST order a month ahead on the lunch menu (and return it on time with payment) or pack a lunch for your child. We will not fill daily orders for lunch. This is a reminder that if your child forgets to bring a lunch, we will have them call you to drop one off for them. It is the parent’s responsibility to bring lunch to school. This is a “pre-order only” cafeteria for this school year. We appreciate your cooperation. We hope for a return to normal at some point. Please also remember to send water bottles in each day.

COVID Update: While the nation had its highest positive cases reported the week of October 26th, our Diocese was happy to report its first week of zero cases in all parish and diocesan schools. I want to thank our faculty, staff, and parents. In order for this to happen when cases are rising throughout the nation, this tells me that our families are really doing their part to keep their families and our one collective school family safe. I thank you. Please continue to follow our four priorities of masking, frequent hand washing (sanitizing), social distancing, and daily screening. It has paid off. We hope to continue to provide uninterrupted in-person learning for all who desire it.

Masks should be provided by parents: We have children coming to school without masks and with masks that are not properly sized. This is the responsibility of each parent. Please be sure your child’s mask is the correct size and that they come to school each day with a mask. We have been providing several masks each day. This is not ideal, as the children are more comfortable in their own mask, and it fits them better. Masks are to be worn in all grades (Preschool through 8th). We recommend each child bring an additional mask in their book bag.

Thanksgiving Food Drive: Please be sure to send in at least one item so that we have a nice donation for our annual food drive. If you wish to send a monetary contribution, feel free to do so. Cash would be preferred, but a check can be made payable to St. Anthony of Padua Grade School, and we will write one check. Our food donations go to the St. Patrick’s Center in Wilmington and to those in need in our own parish/school community. Any contribution (no matter how small) makes a difference in someone’s life.

Thanksgiving Break: School will be closed for students from Tuesday, November 24th through Friday November 27th. Teachers will report to work on Tuesday, November 24th for Professional Development and a much-needed faculty meeting and planning time. Wednesday, November 25th the school building will be closed entirely for a thorough cleaning. Thank you in advance for understanding.

Trimester 1 ends on November 24th. Please continue to check PowerSchool (Grades 3 to 8). You will notice some changes to the first trimester report card. You may see a PASS/FAIL or an N/A in a special subject area such as Computer, Gym, Spanish, or Art and a PASS/FAIL in Kindergarten through Second Grade Science and Social Studies. Grading may return to normal for the second trimester, however, at this point, a few things needed to be adjusted based on the instructional minutes assigned to each core subject area.

Staff Christmas party – NO AFTER CARE Wednesday, December 9th! We will close school promptly at 3pm on Wednesday, December 9th, to have our faculty and staff Christmas party. Be sure to pick up students at 3pm for dismissal. We appreciate your cooperation. We would like to express our gratitude to the Home and School Board for sponsoring a staff painting activity and the Student Council for sponsoring heavy appetizers for this gathering.

Please have students dress warmly: This is just a gentle reminder to be sure students wear coats, hats, and gloves, as we will be going outdoors for breaks and recesses as long as it is above 32 degrees. All students in class will go outside with their class at this time, regardless of proper clothing, as there is no additional staff to stay inside to monitor those students. Administration and support staff go outside with classes. Classroom windows will remain open (at least cracked for air flow). Thank you J


Autumn Blessings,

Mrs. White


“The Son of God came into this world as a homeless person. The Son of God knew what it was to start life without a roof over His head.”  ~ Pope Francis