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St. Elizabeth Ann Seton School continues to aim higher

St. Elizabeth Ann Seton School principal Dr. Jill Moes (left) looks on as students Josh Lewanski, Dylan Shemon and Sarah Johnson check out some of the school's new lockers. (Star Gazette photo by Jane Lightbourn)

The logo of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton School says it all - "Aim Higher."

They do, and will continue to do so, said principal Dr. Jill Moes.

"We are aiming higher at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton School," she said. "Catholic schools develop the minds, hearts and spirits of our children in a faith-centered community. Catholic education prepares students for the day when they will bring their gifts of faith and reason to the challenges of our world."

The school's position within the church community and the larger Hastings community has been established for years. Enrollment remains steady kindergarten to grade eight.

"There is a beautiful culture here," said Moes. "There is a safe environment. We have a dedicated staff with more than half (of them) having their Master's degrees.

"Plus, we do have expectations for our students. We have high expectations for students to behave well, and they live up to our expectations."

The school begins with new staff - Jodi Hoffman, first-grade teacher; Stacy Bauer, third- grade teacher; Kaitlin Becker, preschool teacher; Stephanie Helland, preschool pupil support assistant; and Amy Clark, pupil support assistant.

The students like their music programs, Moes said. This year every fifth-grade student is registered for the band program under director Emily Chandler.

The cooperative shared time program with the Hastings School District 200 continues. Seventh- and eighth-grade students travel to the Hastings Middle School for science and arts classes.

Moes expressed her appreciation to the school and to Principal Mark Zuzek and Superintendent Tim Collins.

There are new, larger lockers (on the second floor) for fifth-, sixth-, seventh- and eighth- grade students. People who bought a locker (for use in the building) will have their name on the locker for many years.

Moes bought one to honor her grandmother, Alice O'Connor, who taught third grade at the school.

The foyer of the school will have a different look very soon. New trophy cabinets have been purchased and will highlight all school awards for sports, music, spelling bees, religion bees and the recently earned national trophy for the archery team. A TV will be installed in the area that will show all school announcements and highlight the students' accomplishments.

The newly designed foyer will also highlight the school alumni and the partnerships the school has had with the community.

"Our school started more than 140 years ago in 1867 and is full of tradition," said Moes.

"By choosing a Catholic school, you're ensuring that your child is surrounded every day by people who share your values and aspirations," said Moes. "Catholic teaching tells us that each child is a gift from God and a promise for tomorrow.

"With that belief as our foundation, we have created an environment that develops the whole child by fostering academic achievement, personal responsibility and commitment to serve our community."

Enrollments are still being accepted for the 2012-2013 school year. Information is available by calling 437-3098. Information about available preschool opening is available by calling 438-3223.