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Northfield Center -- As public school students returned for their first day of school of the new year Aug. 25, so did students at St. Barnabas Catholic School and Northfield Baptist Christian School.
While St. Barnabas welcomed back 549 students in preschool through eighth grade, Northfield Baptist welcomed about 60 students in pre-kindergarten through sixth grade.
"Everyone is excited to be back at school," said St. Barnabas Principal Tom McFadden, who is starting his second full year at the school.
McFadden said the biggest news this year is St. Barnabas was one of two schools in the state that received a $10,000 grant from the Ohio Catholic Federal Credit Union to be used on technology. OCFCU CEO Todd Turner and Branch Manager Kathryn Jenkins presented Fr. Ralph Wiatrowsky, McFadden, Assistant Principal Sheila Klepcyk and the Student Council Executive Board a giant printed check Aug. 26.
McFadden said the funds were combined with the $22,800 raised during the May 21 5K Bolt Like a Blazer Tech Trek, which was held to help raise funds to buy Chromebooks for students and new computers for the school's lab.
McFadden said before the new computers can be purchased, the schools IT infrastructure is being upgraded. He said the $30,000 from the grant and the fundraiser allowed the school to get new servers and access points to support the newer technology. He expects the work to be completed by Thanksgiving.
St. Barnabas Director of Development Deanna Butler said the date is set to hold a second annual Bolt Like a Blazer event: Teck Trek 2.0. The event is scheduled for May 20, 2017.
Some upcoming fall events for the parish school include Sept. 10 Shred Fest, which serves as a community shred day from noon to 3 p.m. While Butler said there is no cost to bring documents to shred, the school is accepting donations. Also on Sept. 10 the school is hosting its fifth annual "Pig"Nic after the 5 p.m. mass. The hot dog and pig roast is hosted by the St. Barnabas Athletic Association and will feature live music by The Mangos, a bonfire, a three-legged race, corn hole and egg toss.
"It's just fun and anyone in the parish and school are invited," Butler said. "Everyone brings a side dish and their own utensils and drinks."
On Sept. 23 a Kindergarten Astronomy Night will be held for kindergartners and parents to bring their own dinner and partake in some astronomical activities. The night includes a bonfire and a look through a telescope at the stars.
Butler also began hosting a Catholic High School Night at the DeCrane Parish Center last year and will hold the event again this year Sept. 28 from 6:30 to 8 p.m. All students in grades 6-8 and parents are welcomed to attend and meet representatives from area Catholic high schools including Archbishop Hoban High School, Gilmour Academy, St. Ignatious High School, St. Vincent-St. Mary High School and Walsh High School. For more information about the event, contact Butler at firstname.lastname@example.org or 330-467-7921 ext. 147.
Northfield Baptist Christian School
School Administrator Terri Mencharini said Northfield Baptist is entering its 40th year of school ministry and welcomed back 60 students for the 2016-17 school year.
"We are off to a good start," she said.
She said the school is making technology more accessible for students, with lessons that include high-tech devices called "smart boards."
Personnel changes include new fourth-grade teacher Jackie Mosanksy. Former administrator Mark Tedeschi moved on to Willow Hill Christian School for a full-time position. Mencharini came out of retirement to fill in part time as the administrator.
She said the students are involved in a new outreach program called "Treasures Found." Each student gets a little bank and once the bank is full, they can take them in to exchange for an audio solar powered Bible, which then gets shipped to another country by World Mission Group.
"They provide the devices in the language of the country the bibles are getting shipped to, which is pretty cool," Mencharini said.
As far as upcoming events, the school will celebrate Grandparents' Day Oct. 7 with a brunch -- the same day as Great American Day. She said Great American Day is a history project all the students take part in.
"The children dress up as their character, they do a report and present it during a chapel service we have with grandparents," Mencharini said.
The school's annual walk-a-thon will be Oct. 14 in Sagamore Hills Park. The students raise pledges, and walk five to 10 miles.
"The funds raised help offset our school costs and goes toward our technology budget," Mencharini said. "We are a non-tax supported school, so basically what the church donates, and what funds we get for tuition and fundraising helps us a lot."
Briana Barker: 330-541-9432