Tiger Talk! May 11, 2017

Dear Parents/Guardians,

This week we gathered as a school community for one of my favorite events of the year, the May Procession.  This tradition is a wonderful way for us to honor Mary during her special month.  The students were reverent (and adorable) while processing in and out of church.  Our May Court did a lovely job with their readings and crowning of Mary.  Thank you to Mr. Shields for organizing both the May Procession and the practices that come before it, and thank you to the teachers for helping students remember this is a special event for them to partake in.  And as always, thank you to the parents, families, and friends who came to join us in our celebration of Mary.

School News

God Bless Mrs. O’Brien on her Retirement! – It is with very mixed emotions that I announce Mrs. Bernadette O’Brien’s retirement. She has been a fixture here at St. Anthony’s.  I have had the privilege of working by her side for my past 16 years. For 20 years, she has taught here and has touched the lives of hundreds of students over those years, including my own two children. Mrs. O’Brien was instrumental in starting one of the students’ favorite field trips, Ellis Island. She receives a grant every year that funds this entire trip for the students to reinforce their Social Studies curriculum on the topic of immigration. Mrs. O’Brien was responsible for bringing back the 8th Grade field trip to New York City. She served as a Student Council Moderator for years. She has been the Yearbook moderator for a few years and has served as the Level Coordinator for Middle School. High school and college students very regularly return specifically to see her and get a famous motherly hug. Her students love her and know that she is always there for them. Long after they graduate, Mrs. O’Brien takes pleasure in their successes and is there for them in times of struggle in their families. Several students come to mind in my many years here as a school counselor. Mrs. O’Brien has already made travels plans with her husband for this upcoming September- her first free September in 20 years. She will now be able to enjoy time with her young grandson, Danny. We thank Mrs. O’Brien for her unending love, her cheerful attitude, contagious smile, optimistic outlook, and endless patience. We are sad to see her go, but so very happy for her to once again have family time, something that so often suffers tremendously in the life of an educator. Mrs. O’Brien has helped us live our school mission and helped each student to “be who they are and be that well.” God bless Mrs. O’Brien! We expect to see her again in September, once she realizes she misses us and simply can’t stay away.


2017 Community Builder Awards – Congratulations to Josephine Rybicki, Yolanda Capriglione, and Carole Trzepacz for earning this award for their years of service and dedication to our school and parish community. These ladies have worked thousands of hours in their service to our parish. Jo is most often seen working cafeteria, the book fair, Secret Santa Shop, Open House, Christmas pageant, Via Crucis, and many more events throughout the year. She works tirelessly during our festival as well. Yolanda has spent many years working in our school cafeteria, setting up for May Procession, and working every day and night for our Festival. I often tease Carole that she should actually be on our payroll, because she is here as much as some of my staff. Carole has been on the Home and School Board, YAC Board, and she is a substitute for our teacher assistants. These women have been an asset to our school and parish, and I am thrilled that they were chosen for this special honor and will be celebrated by our community for their selfless dedication to our school, parish, and community.


Spring Band Concert – Please join us for our annual Spring Band Concert at 2:00 P.M. in the Ballad Room on Tuesday, May 16th.  Please note the change in location. Typically this is held in the school gymnasium; however, this year we will have the Excellence Fair set up at that time.


Calling All Parents –Field Day is fast approaching!

  • On Wednesday, May 24th, from 8:30 A.M. to 12:30 P.M., we invite you to join us!
    • We are looking for help – one of the nine stations that the students will be participating in is the Water Balloon Toss.  If you are able to fill balloons for your child’s homeroom, please contact your child’s teacher.
      • Balloons need to be in school by 8:00 A.M. on May 24th and can be transported in a cooler.

Thank you as always for your continual support!

Teacher Planning Day is Friday, May 26th – Noon Dismissal for Students – On Friday, May 26th, the students have a noon dismissal to start the much anticipated Memorial Day weekend. Please be prompt in picking up students at noon. Teachers will be staying for a Professional Development Day that begins at noon. I appreciate your cooperation.

Congratulations to Taylor Reynolds – Class of 2008 -As a major football fan, I am thrilled to announce that a former graduate, Taylor Reynolds, received a call and accepted a free agent position with the Atlanta Falcons. Taylor graduated from St. Anthony’s in 2008 and from Newark High School in 2012.  Taylor graduated from James Madison University on May 6, 2016 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Justice Studies with a concentration in Intelligence Analysis.  This past season he took 4 Graduate level courses at JMU because he had a 5th year of eligibility to play football. Taylor was a bright, energetic, positive young man. His smile was and still is contagious. Taylor recently came back to speak at our Sports Banquet. He spoke highly of his time here and the influence our teachers had on him with their love, support, and high expectations. I sent his mother Carmen a message telling her how proud we all are of Taylor.


Scholarship Convocation – Mr. Shields and I had the pleasure of attending the 8th Grade Scholarship Convocation at St. Mary Magdalen last week. This event recognizes the academic scholarships earned to attend one of our Catholic High Schools. We celebrated with Javier Lorenzo and Dean Lawrence. We were beaming with pride. Our students represented us well. And I must add that if there were an award for best dressed and best hair, the boys would have won those awards as well.



Congratulations to our 2nd Grade class on their First Communion. They worked so hard this year to prepare for the Sacrament of First Eucharist. They looked as beautiful as they sounded singing my favorite song, “Jesus Has a Home in My Heart.” I would like to give a special thank you to Ms. Rita Casale and Mrs. Leticia Broujos for their dedication to the faith formation of our students during this most sacred time in their lives. Thank you to Mr. Colligan for contributing his music and encouraging the students to actively participate in their special Mass.


Congratulations to our April students of the monthApril’s fruit of the Holy Spirit was gentleness.  These students show their kindness and compassion with a gentleness that makes all around them feel welcome.  Congratulations to Matthew Spinelli (PreK 3), Bryson Windsor (PreK 4), Raphael Arias (K), Nathanial McGowan (1st), Payton Sarver (2nd), Aubrey Messina (3rd), Paulina Sidhu (4th), Mikaela Brown (5th), Korina Aguilar (6th), Hannah Fagioli (7th), and Katie Collier (8th). Great job!


Padua Honor Roll – Congratulations to our St. Anthony graduates who earned Honor Roll at Padua Academy during the 3rd Quarter. First Honors: Ellen Banker, Christina Molloy, Andrea Reynolds, Robin Land, and Reagan Widmaier. Second Honors: Maggie Banker, Laura Land, Grace McCarthy, Stefania Lombardo, Caroline Achenbach, and Melissa McCarrick. Way to go, ladies! Keep up the great work. You make us proud!


Home and School Elections – Please be sure to come out and vote, and to meet our new Home and School Board Officers on Wednesday, May 17th  at 6:30 P.M.  in the Ballad Room. A treat from the Home and School Board will be served. Bring the children!


Summer Reading Event at Barnes & Noble and Spirit Day at Grub Burger – St. Anthony of Padua Grade School is holding a fundraiser on Monday, May 22nd, at both Barnes & Noble on Concord Pike and Grub Burger located in Concord Mall.  Our school will receive a portion of the proceeds. Come out and enjoy a delicious meal, purchase summer reading books, and support our school. We hope to see you there!

  • The event at Grub Burger is all day. Flyers will be handed out in school on Thursday, May 18th. Please turn it in when you place your order. You can also mention St. Anthony’s School when you order if you do not have a flyer.
  • The event at Barnes & Noble is also all day. Teachers and staff will be at the store from 4:00-7:00 P.M. to greet everyone. Flyers for Barnes & Noble will be handed out in school on Thursday, May 18th.
    • **Please note that online orders can be placed from May 22nd through May 27th using book fair ID 12150561. Thank you for your support!


Expanded Preschool Program 2017-2018 – We are excited to introduce and offer a part-time program for those preschoolers not quite ready for a full day of school. Spread the word about our awesome preschool program.

  • Options
    • Monday/Wednesday/Friday  half-days 7:30 A.M. to 11:00 A.M. Tuition – $1,700
    • Monday/Wednesday/Friday full-day Tuition  – $3,200
    • Monday to Friday half-days 7:30 A.M. to 11:00 A.M. Tuition $2,650

The registration fee will be $100

  • Guidelines
    • *Must be fully potty-trained
    • *A teacher will dismiss the child to the parent in the lobby at 11:00 a.m.
    • *Late fee charged for pick-ups after 11:00 A.M.
    • *Schoolwork will not be saved for the days that the student is not present.
    • *Snack fee (one-time charge): 3 days per week $40; 5 days per week $60

Any parent who chooses a half day option will meet with the teacher briefly on Back-to- School/Meet-the-Teacher Night.


Festival Equipment – As we approach the end of the school year and the workings of setting up for the festival, please be careful allowing the children to play outside of school after dismissal. Our facilities crew will work hard to keep all materials out of the reach of children; however, we know our children are capable of finding dangerous equipment. Tractors and trailers are now moving back into town. Major equipment will not move into the building until the last day of school. On that day, June 7th, please arrive promptly at 10:30 to pick up your child as equipment begins to move in and around the school and buildings as soon as the children are dismissed.


Class Notes

  • Preschool 3 finished learning all the letters of the alphabet.  They even had a graduation ceremony!
  • Preschool 4 has been working on sights words and summer crafts.
  • Preschool 3 and 4 had a lovely Mother’s Day breakfast on Thursday. Thank you to all the moms for coming to the event.
  • Kindergarten has been learning about bones and the human skeleton.  They have really enjoyed learning the different bones; they especially loved dancing to the song “Dem Bones”. Kindergartners have also done posters on one of the Five Senses, as well as answered questions in a booklet about it.  They brought their projects to school and did a 2-3 minute verbal report on it.  They did an awesome job on the reports!
  • 1st Grade did a wonderful job on their Animal Habitat projects. They are looking forward to the end-of-the-year field trip to the Philadelphia Zoo and learning more about animals.
  • 2nd Grade is doing Geometry in Math and some students are starting to learn multiplication. They are learning to do a PowerPoint presentation and are really excited that they can now receive communion with our school community at the Friday Mass.
  • 3rd Grade participated in the Delaware Arbor Day Poster Contest. This year’s theme was “Trees Are Terrific…From Acorn to Oak!”  All the 3rd graders were given a loblolly pine seedling to plant at home (for participating in the contest).
  • 4th Grade –  On May 8th, the 4th grade had presenters from the Delaware History Museum come and teach about the first people in Delaware, the Lenni Lenape Indians and immigrants who came from Europe to settle in our state. The students had a wonderful time listening to stories, participating in reenactments, and doing cooperative activities. They also created a pouch, which is a Russian immigrant family tradition. They learned the meaning behind the items in the pouch from the book, The Keeping Quilt. Natalia and Richie modeled Lenni Lenape traditional clothing.

  • 3rd and 4th Grade will be going on a trip to the Delaware Solid Waste Authority to learn about what happens to trash, how a landfill works, and why it is important to recycle.
  • 5th Grade has been learning about the U.S. Constitution, Bill of Rights, and the branches of the government. They just finished making movies about earthquakes on BrainPop, which they showed to class.  The 5th Graders are looking forward to their field trip to the Philadelphia Museum of Art next week.
  • Middle School
    • 6th and 7th Grades have been presenting their Saint Projects this week.  Students summarized their saint’s life and accomplishments using display boards with pictures, sayings, maps, drawings, and artwork.  A great saying by St. Padre Pio is “pray, hope, and don’t worry.”

  • 6th, 7th, and 8th Grade Reading Students competed in a Poetry Slam contest this week.  Students were paired up randomly and had to perform an oral poem on their similarities and differences.  The top three pairs from each class had their performance recorded and were awarded treats.  It was great seeing all the Middle School Talent.
  • 8th Grade is very excited as they finish up their year(s) here at St. Anthony’s.  They enjoyed participating in the May Procession and are looking forward to their trip to New York City on May 17th.  The whole class is anticipating, with bittersweet thoughts, their graduation ceremony on June 6th.
  • On a special side note, these 5 graduating 8th Graders were members of the first preschool class here at St. Anthony’s. They started 10-11 years ago in the Pioneer Class of our Preschool Program at the ages of 3 and 4.  Mrs. Achenbach taught them both as Preschool students and again in Middle School.


Parish News

38th Italian Festival 5K – Kick off the Italian Festival the healthy way by participating in the 38th annual Italian Festival 5K.  The race will be held, as always, on the opening Sunday of the Festival, June 11th, with registration opening at 8:00 A.M. and the race start at 9:00A.M.  The course is USATF-certified and starts and ends at St. Anthony’s (area of 9th & Scott St.) More information and registration is available at: http://www.races2run.com/events/italian-festival-5k/

.  Registered participants will receive a race t-shirt, post-race refreshments, and a coupon for breakfast at the La Piazza Cage.  Pre-registration fee is $25 (valid through Thursday, June 8th).

Italian Festival 8-Day Passes & Gift Cards Now Available—PRE-FESTIVAL SALES PRICES

Passes are a great gift for graduation or any occasion!  Gift cards are a perfect gift for Moms, Dads, grads—everyone.  This is also a smart way to provide funds to the kids for use at this year’s Festival.   BUY NOW and SAVE!!   

Passes and Gift Cards are available:

  • at the rectory during office hours (8:00 A.M.- 4:00 P.M., Monday-Friday and 5:30 P.M. – 8:00 P.M., Monday-Thursday) starting week of May 1st
  • at the Church after Masses in May
  • via secure PayPal purchase on the Festival website (www.stanthonysfestival.com) [starting 4/10/2017]
  • with Home & School gift card sales at the Grade School on Friday mornings.


    • $12.00—20% OFF the price at the Festival ($15.00). 
    • A pass provides one admission per person per day to the Festival.
    • Festival Admission Policy: Under age 14: FREE (if accompanied by a parent or guardian age 18 or older); $5 daily ages 14-61; Over age 61: FREE.
    • $25.00 Gift Cards: SALE PRICE $22.00 
    • $50.00 Gift Cards: SALE PRICE $42.00

NOTE:  Advance Ride Tickets will also be on sale when available.  (approximately mid-May)


Important Dates – Please continue to check our school website (https://sapgs.org) for upcoming events and information.

  • May 15th – May 19th  – Excellence Fair – Gym – All Day
  • May 15th – Student Council Meeting – Preschool Room – 3:00-3:30 P.M.
  • May 16th – Band Concert – Ballad Room – 2:00 – 2:45 P.M.
  • May 17th – 8th Grade Field Trip – New York City – All Day
    • 6th and 7th Grade Field Trip – Mount St. Mary’s
    • Home and School Meeting/Elections/Social – Ballad Room – 6:30 P.M.
  • May 18th – 1st Grade Field Trip – Philadelphia Zoo – 8:30 A.M. – 2:30 P.M.
    • 5th Grade Field Trip – Philadelphia Museum of Art – 9:15 A.M. – 2:00 P.M.
  • May 19th – Community Builders – Church – following 8:00 A.M. Mass
  • May 20th – Student Achievement Banquet – Padua Academy – 6:00 – 9:00 P.M.
  • May 22nd – Barnes & Noble Night – Concord Pike – 4:00-7:00 P.M.
    • Grub Burger Spirit Night – Concord Mall – All Day
  • May 24th – Field Day – Father Tucker Field
  • May 26th – Noon Dismissal – Faculty Planning Day
  • May 29th – No School – Memorial Day
  • May 31st – Preschool Last Day
  • June 5th – 8th Grade Communion Breakfast following 8:00 A.M. Mass
    • 8th  Grade Graduation Practice and Last Day of School
  • June 6th – Noon Dismissal – Faculty end of year luncheon
    • 8th Grade Graduation – Church – 7:00 P.M.
  • June 7th – Last Day of School – 10:30 A.M. Dismissal
    • Closing Mass – 9:30 A.M.
  • June 11th – June 18th – St. Anthony’s Italian Festival


Mrs. White and Mr. Shields


“This is important: to get to know people, listen, expand the circle of ideas. The world is crisscrossed by roads that come closer together and move apart, but the important thing is that they lead towards the Good.”

~Pope Francis