The 2019-2020 school year is in full swing. Staff and students at Saunders Catholic Schools are seeing many new faces. All three schools have seen an increase in enrollment. St. John Nepomucene has 5 new families and 6 new students, St. Wenceslaus has 10 new families with 14 new students and Bishop Neumann has 5 new families and 11 new students. Students locally and from areas such as Gretna, Elkhorn, Millard and as far as Kansas are now part of the Saunders Catholic Schools family.
Enrollment Coordinator, Jennifer Whitney, stated, “Our schools aspire for excellence in Catholic education. Credit goes to our Priests, educators, staff, parents and all the supporters of Saunders Catholic Schools. Families are seeking a solid, Catholic education for their children. While touring our facilities, they are seeing the importance of the Catholic faith and the love of Jesus Christ evident in our schools every day.” This year the Diocese of Lincoln offered the Good Shepherd Scholarship to all families diocesan wide. Saunders Catholic Schools were awarded $114,900 in scholarships to families for an affordable education. These scholarships will assist families to bridge the gap between tuition costs and their ability to pay. Whitney stated, “The Good Shepherd Scholarship is for any child who wants to receive a Catholic education, but may not be able to pay the full tuition costs.”
All Saunders Catholic School students are given the opportunity to seek Christ in many ways on a daily basis. St. Johns and St. Wenceslaus grade school students attend daily Mass along with monthly confessions and adoration. Students also chose to use their summer to strengthen their faith. This summer over 80 Bishop Neumann students attended either one of the mission trips to Chicago or New Mexico, Villa Marie Service Day or the Steubenville Youth Conference. Bishop Neumann High School Principal John Kreikemeier stated, “On top of all the opportunities to grow closer to Christ and live out their faith, students who graduate from Bishop Neumann will develop levels of discipline, work ethic, and teamwork through our challenging curriculum and highly competitive extra-curricular activities.”
Fr. Matthew Vandewalle, Principal at St. John Nepomucene, noted that many improvements have transpired at St. John’s. He said, “We have had a continuous increase in enrollment over the past five years. Capital improvements were added to our computer lab, and now, thanks to our PTA, we are adding new playground equipment. I would like to personally thank the PTA and all the parents at St. John’s for their fundraising and development efforts. Families continuously go above and beyond with all they do to make our school wonderful. We are incredibly blessed!”
Adding more excitement to the new school year will be a new addition for St. Wenceslaus School. Construction will begin at the end of the school year in May. “This new addition will provide a place for students to eat lunch so they don’t have to walk back and forth from Bishop Neumann. A full size computer lab and several additional classrooms will be added to the school. This extra space will help dispose of the portable building and give much needed classroom space for Pre-Kindergarten, Title I, resource programs, music and speech. This new addition will also benefit local parishioners. The space will be used for coffee/rolls after Masses, small funerals, meeting areas, the CCD program, retreats, etc.” Principal, Mike Weiss stated, “Our goal is to ensure the Catholic faith stays strong and vibrant in Saunders County so that families who want to have our Lord and Savior as the center piece will always have that opportunity. With the increase in enrollment and commitment to the new addition I love the direction we are going.” he added.
So many exciting things are happening at Saunders Catholic Schools. Our mission will always be to form disciples of Jesus Christ among our students, alumni, families and friends through a Catholic educational environment that helps create a dynamic faith community focused on living lives of love and service to others.