Principal's Corner

Mrs. Maureen Ingham  

Mrs. Ingham's Message for April 5, 2020

We remain closed, as are all schools across the nation, and we continue to educate our children, as best as we can, in a variety of ways. The gift of technology has allowed our teachers to meet their students face to face to teach a Social Studies lesson, to practice a new Math skill, and/or to read a story and create a related Art project. While these situations are not ideal...and we certainly wish they were different...everyone has been working hard to keep the learning alive. Each and every day our students are actively involved in review lessons, and new exposures to the standards and objectives outlined for this the third trimester of the 2019-2020 school year. Teachers are very busy...and from all that I am hearing...so are students and parents! I have said this often, and these past two weeks have simply validated all that I say about the “wonderfulness” of our teachers and staff and all of our SPS families. Together we are navigating these bumpy roads and helping each other every step of the way. While we know this is a tough time, we only need to think about the “bumpy road” that Jesus traveled as He began, this Palm Sunday, His journey to the cross...all for the love of us, His children. NO greater sacrifice was made than that! Thinking of Jesus at this special time of the year, makes our “road” feel all the less bumpy! Personally, I have been so in touch with the actual classroom learning as I watch lessons with Mrs. Montante completing a weekly drawing activity, Mrs. DiNardo meeting her Grade 8 class on line for a class meeting and a Social Studies lesson, and Mrs. Ryan’s whole class gathering on line for a Kindergarten Math lesson. I have had several conversations with parents, trying to calm their fears as they admit that this “teaching” thing is a lot harder than they had thought. My words to all are simple...HAVE FAITH... we will all see our way through this “new normal,” because, just like always, God is in our midst. Last Friday I held my first-ever ZOOM meeting with faculty and staff. I called an on-line faculty meeting at 9:00pm...making sure that all of our hard-working teachers had time to tuck their own little ones in bed, and join in. All were present as we had a chance to catch up on what had been happening, and to share ideas that worked and didn’t work after the first two weeks of remote learning. Not only was it good to learn the do’s and the don’ts regarding the remote process, it was so good to see everyone...we are a very tight knit group of folks and we all admitted to missing each other and our students very much. An agenda was distributed prior to the meeting and the only other requirement was that all attend in their pajamas...and they did! Father Cole got us off to a great start as he prayed with us and then thanked everyone for all they are doing. He asked all teachers to check on our Parish website so that all families could attend Mass, remotely as we keep our religion alive. And then he signed off and went to bed! When talking to the teachers about how they were teaching religion online, one response gave us all a great laugh...and a perfect response. Mrs. Jorgensen said that the most important lesson in teaching Religion, especially during these times, is to be kind, and to help one another in whatever way you can. SO...Charlie, Caroline, William and Amelia are folding laundry, setting the dinner table, cleaning up the basement, and playing with each other, taking turns to play what each one wants to play. That is “living our Religion for sure. Let us all continue to pray for one another and all of those around us. May our gracious God keep those closest to this virus, safe and free from harm. And may we practice patience, and kindness to all.

God bless,

Maureen


Mrs. Ingham's Message for March 29, 2020

How things have changed over the last seven days! My prayers are for the good health and safety of all of our school and parish families. God is always with us, and our continued faith will see each of us through these scary and bumpy roads we have now been asked to travel.

From the school end, it is currently very quiet. Following the directives from the Governor, all school personnel that are necessary to keep the operation running, and can work remotely, have been asked to do just that...all on much reduced hours. I cannot thank our Director of Technology, Mr. Mark Gaynor, enough for all that he has done to get all of us...teachers, staff, families and the rectory, in a place where we can teach, work, and learn from home.

After working all week, and evenings and weekends, I bid farewell to Mr. Gaynor, Sunday afternoon about 2:00pm, assuring him that he and I would be in touch...he knows that I often need his technology expertise.

That being said...feel free to reach out to Mr. Gaynor at [email protected] with any parish or school related tech issues you may have and I know he will do his best to help you out. God bless and thank you Mr. Gaynor!

After I said good-by to Mr. Gaynor, I took one last walk throughout the building to make sure everything was as it should be for a closure of undetermined length. ...and of course, because of all of the efforts of John and Tara and Ron, all was disinfected, cleaned, swept and tightened up until we can return. As I walked through the halls that I have grown to love, empty of all the little folks I love to hug each day, I took some pictures to share, to let you know WE ARE ALL ALIVE AND WELL...and we will CONTINUE TO GROW OUR SCHOOL AND OUR LOVE OF THE LORD...There will be no other way than a positive future if we keep the faith, practice kind acts and believe that we will all be together again soon.

#Prayer Partners...as a Lenten reminder that we are here to take care of all of God’s children, each child at SPS had a “prayer partner” from another class in the school...the goal was to reach out and say especially kind and thoughtful things to your prayer partner, as well as perhaps share activities and conversations with them. These prayer partners were hard at work living that message, before we left school on March 20:

<Gianna doing puzzles with Valentina

<Bryan and Luc reading to Jaxon

Derek sharing a story with Jeffrey>

Trista reading to Ava and Lena>

#Lenten Prayers. With folded paper hands, out little ones created a Lenten prayer that they posted in the hall from the heart, straight to Jesus

And we were preparing our children with healthy habits...even before this pandemic hit us all...

#Read...Parents are getting messages and lessons and activities and on line work for their children and we pray that these are helpful in keeping the learning alive and the children active! In the meantime, this sign stared down at me as I walked the first floor hallway. Be it stories...novels...posters...the Bible...take-out menus...WHATEVER!!!!! Please read everyday!!!

On a final note, this first week away from each other, I wanted to share with all that I have “temporarily” rescinded my retirement from Saint Peter RC School. After talking with Father Cole, and God, and my husband, Jim, of course, I will remain on as Principal/President until we feel ready to post and transition the position of Principal. When will that be????? No one knows at this time...it is only a guess. So you are all stuck with me until that time arrives. I thank you for your continued support in so many ways and encourage you to reach out to me if there is anything I can do to help you at [email protected]

We are, as always, accepting applications for the 2020-2021 school year on line...or by emailing me, I can get one in the mail to you. God bless us all...Stay safe and healthy!

Maureen


Mrs. Ingham's Message for March 22, 2020

So many things are changing around us as we speak...but the one constant that we all share and that will never change is our faith in God and the belief that all will be well. He is watching over us always...in that I have the deepest faith. Quite honestly, as I sit in my office writing this for you, it is WAY too quiet! School is meant to be filled with children’s voices and today, as I sat in Church for a silent prayer, I said a prayer for each and every student and their families, as we weather this different kind of storm, together. I also included all of our extended family members who are the parishioners of Saint Peter and St. Bernard and I pray that you are remain well and in God’s safe and loving embrace. And I urge each of you, as you go about your business at home, at work, wherever, be sure you take time each day to say a prayer that God continues to watch over us all. Prior to leaving school last Friday, I am happy to say that our students left knowing that whatever is happening in the world, it is Lent, that Jesus died for all of us and that He continues to love us all very much. I am sharing, in picture, some of our work and bulletin board messages that are a part of our learning...and our continual living in the Lord.

Christ has died, Christ is risen…CHRIST WILL COME AGAIN!

We will be in the school office for limited hours for the next couple of weeks, but I am happy to help anyone who has a concern or question. Please feel free to email me at [email protected] and I will get back to you as soon as I can.

God bless us all!

Maureen


Mrs. Ingham's Message for March 15, 2020

Well...last week certainly was a tough week for all of us...a time for change, and a time for moving forward for all of our Saint Peter family. And as He always has done, no matter what the situation, God will take care of us...that is our faith and our belief as children of God!

On behalf of all of the teachers and students at Saint Peter RC School, I send Father Tom our deepest thanks for the time he spent here with us and the friendship he shared. God bless you, Father Tom, as you move on to your new assignment at Infant of Prague Parish. May your days be filled with rainbows, may your hands always be kept warm with your Mickey Mouse gloves, may your Yankees win and may you always have plenty of tater tots to stave off your hunger! God bless you always!

While I have announced my retirement as Principal for the end of August, please know that I will remain involved with the operation of the school as determined by the School Board. SPS is a part of me and I pledge to do my best to make these upcoming transitions as smooth as I possibly can. Once Father Cole is on board, we will work together to determine a Search process and committee to ensure the new Principal of our great school. If you have any questions at all, please do not hesitate to reach out to me at school, 754-4470, or via email at [email protected]

Congratulations to Karen Jorgensen, our Grade Two teacher, who was selected as the award recipient for the Inclusive Teacher of the Year by the Foundation for Inclusive Catholic Education. Karen is most deserving of this award as she works daily to provide for the individual needs of all of her students. God bless Mrs. Jorgensen.

Special thanks to Melissa Morinello and Adam Burns and their committee for a fun evening at the Lewiston Event Center. Children and their families bowled and had a pizza dinner whole they listened to the music, (and joined in), and had such fun just being together.

The second part of the evening included teachers, staff and alumni “working the bar” to raise funds for our school. Lauren Miller Ullery, Michael Carroll and Chris Borgatti walked away the winners and have promised to return next year to challenge their title. Thanks to the Lewiston Event Center for hosting this great event. We are a community that works together and supports each other in all that we are doing. God bless all of our community friends.

God bless Saint Peter RC School and our parish family!

Warmly,

Maureen



Mrs. Ingham's Message for May 26, 2019

Back on April 8, Josh Maloni from the Lewiston Sentinel called and asked me to respond to the question, ”How do you feel about the announcement of Father David being transferred?” Like I was hit on the head with the proverbial brick...like I am losing my very dear friend, like what will I ever do without him here as my teammate and my support??? What I told Josh in my message to him is what follows as I tried to add some meat to those very obtuse and rather generic feelings. I am not really sure what he expected when he left me that message on Monday morning, but here is a piece of how I tearfully responded. And as I wrote this to do my best to let Josh know how I felt, I am pretty sure I was speaking on behalf of all of St. Peter’s School and Parish and the entire Lewiston area community.

Those who know me well know that sometimes I speak from my “big girl” head...that’s when I say the things that are logical and sensible and very grown up. So from that perspective I am proud of this opportunity for Fr. David and know, from having worked with him here at St. Peter’s for the past six years, that this is a new and important step for him at a parish that needs his leadership, his creativity and his masterful way to move a community forward. The challenges that await him are great, but because he has taught me, and so many others, that we can do whatever we need to do if we place our trust in the Lord...the community of Our Lady of Victory—the school, the foundation, the parish, the basilica, and all of the people that it encompasses—will flourish as they too learn that they need only to trust in the Lord and follow the path that He has laid for them. I have absolutely no doubt that Monsignor David LiPuma is the man for this job and that God, who has had this plan for him, will guide him in this newest endeavor, just as he has always done. I know that Fr. David is leaving Lewiston to continue to do God’s good work among the people of Lackawanna and the larger Diocese of Buffalo. And I also know that under Father’s unstoppable efforts and deep commitment, Father Nelson Baker will be canonized in his time!

But...when I am not in “my big girl head,” and I am speaking from my heart, the real me, my response to Josh moves to a whole different level of feeling. Fr. David came to St. Peter’s and immediately we connected. We shared the same vision for Catholic education and for meeting the needs of each and every child and family. We worked together to make sure we were doing all we could to meet those needs and to find new and different ways to bring our school and parish community together. We even learned, early on, that we read the exact same morning devotions and often compared our thoughts about the passage for the day, before the day even started for most. We continuously marveled at the wonders of the message and how, so very often, it carried a meaning that was spot on for the charge that laid ahead of us for that day. “Just God having a sense of humor,” Father would say!

He taught me about support, and caring and compromise...about patience and listening and always having time to do the right thing...he taught me because he modeled all of those things. That is who he is and who he wanted us all to be...more like Jesus...kinder, more thoughtful, less judgmental, always aware and deeply sensitive to others. I will miss seeing those characteristics every day and know that he came here to leave those messages with me, and others, to carry on. I hope I can do half of what he taught me. Father loved our staff and made them feel special every time he was in their presence. He loved his parishioners and was there for each one...no matter their need or the time or the place...he was there. But he mostly loved the children...and the love that our SPS kids have for Fr. David is unmatchable. Just come to Mass at 9:00 a.m. any Friday and you will witness the greatest outpouring of love and respect and the deepest devotion as they listen for every word. Ask any child...Friday Mass with Fr. David is their favorite part of the week!

I will miss our weekly meetings where we planned and shared together, that sometimes went on for longer than we intended because he was such a great listener...and I am known for being such a great talker.  I will miss early morning and late night texts with a thought or an idea shared, an emotion put in check or a funny story that couldn’t wait to be retold...he was always there! I will miss his sense of humor and his willingness to try anything, with a smile, and later tell me that maybe next time we might do that a bit differently... a gentle way to let me down. I will miss Mass, where words had new meaning and understanding my faith grew deeper than it has ever been in my 66 years of life. I will miss fun times with laughter and celebrating, knowing my family events and moments were just as important to him as they were to me. He is family! I will miss his ability to always get to the point, in a smooth and gentle way, with fewer words and deeper thought. (I still need to work on that). I will miss his willingness to step into whatever I needed him to do: cover a meeting, speak to a student, call the Diocese, or bury a friend whose pastor was not there. I hope I can do the same for others when I am needed. I think I got the message to Josh: I am going to miss Fr. David very much!!! But while he is not here physically, the imprints he will leave are the legacy that will get us through these tough weeks ahead and encourage us as we warmly welcome his successor and carry on the great work that has built us all over the past six years...physically, structurally, educationally and most importantly, spiritually.

Fr. David is my pastor, my priest, my confidante, my boss, my right arm, and sometimes my left, and my dearest friend. He is moving away from Center Street, but he will forever be close in my heart. He has taught me more than he knows and I am a better Christian because of the gifts that he has shared. God bless you, Fr. David. Go with God, as you always do, and I will do my best to be part of the team you are leaving behind, that continues to sow the seeds that you have so lovingly planted here in Lewiston.

Love, Maureen