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Seton School celebrates Catholic Education Week

St. Elizabeth Ann Seton School celebrates Catholic Education Week next week with a number of activities for students, staff and parents. It will continue to draw attention to its foundation, its strengths and the culture of the school.

Principal Dr. Jill Moes smiles when talking about the school. The Hastings native, who graduated from the school, knew it well then. She knows it better now after returning to it as principal a little more than two years ago.

"We're strong and able," she said. "Our school culture is a beautiful balance of respect for each other and a respect for life. Our Catholic faith is founded on the belief that every child is a gift from God with unique talents and gifts.

"This belief is the foundation of our schools, and we treat our students with respect and love as if they are our own children."

She noted that the students and their parents love coming to the school.

"They know they are in a safe, inviting place where there is little bullying," Moes said.

Among the pieces of feedback Moes has received from students and parents about the Seton School education is they come to the school because of the size (smaller classrooms), the high academic achievement, the culture, "and it is a place where everybody does know your name," said Moes, with another smile.

She credits the teachers who have strong character and skills to lead the students and help prepare them for the future.

"But the primary reason they come to Seton School is the student education is built on the strong faith component," she said. "We have Mass once a week and we say prayers during the day."

The faith component begins in the preschool and continues through the eighth grade. The school is building leaders and that strong faith component will help guide them as they make decisions, said Moes.

"They will make wonderful decisions, which will affect all of us," she said.

This year's Catholic education week begins with weekend Masses at the church. Parents and students/alumni will speak about how Catholic education has impacted them.

Pajama Day will be observed Monday, Jan. 28. Students in kindergarten through grade five can wear their pajamas; the middle school students can wear sweats. A special reading time will be observed during the day.

Teach Olympics will be held Tuesday. These are not the typical Olympic events. Students can wear their Minnesota or Hastings sportswear. Community leaders will be invited to lunch.

Students can "Dress their Best" Wednesday, Jan. 30. Ice cream is the treat of the day.

Hastings author Charlie Johnson and Emmy visit school Thursday, Jan. 31. Johnson and the author of "Emmy of Whistling Well Farm," and his dog Emmy is the central character.

The week concludes with games on Friday, Feb. 1 Members of the community again will again be invited to lunch. Taco Bingo Night is from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Registration for the 2013-2014 school year begins the first week in February.

An open house will be held 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 5, at the Early Childhood campus, 2035 W. 15th St.

An open house will be held from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 7, at the school, which is located at 600 Tyler St. An informational meeting for parents of middle school students will be held at 7 p.m. that evening.