If this past year has taught the students and families of St. Mary Catholic Community School anything; it is that they must resist the temptation to take any school function or activity for granted. This past year has been a constant balance act of trying to provide students with the best learning experience but doing so in the safest way possible for students and teachers. Along the way, the faculty and students have come to accept that many memories would have to be made in new ways. While creative, not every event guaranteed the same “normal” experience. It was important to the staff and administration of SMS that after all the 8th grade class has been through; graduation would be made as normal as possible.
On the evening of Wednesday, May 26th, 2021, the 8th grade class was provided with a graduation experience unlike anything the school has ever experienced since the school began in 1872. It provided the graduating class a very special ceremony that was just as heartfelt and successful as prior years. The ceremony was held outdoors in the courtyard area behind the church. The lawn was strategically laid out with socially distant circles. The City of Crown Point parks department helped mark off the areas for each family to use for the ceremony. Each circle allowed the graduates and their parents to enjoy the ceremony in a safe manner.
Armed with lawn chairs and wearing their caps and gowns and class of 2021 custom masks, the students filled the courtyard for their last mass as students of SMS. This was also their last mass with Father Patrick Kalich who is retiring at the end of June. The backdrop of the courtyard and Church provided a truly beautiful space to honor the 47 graduates and celebrate their achievements. It was said early on by Principal Tom Ruiz, “These students displayed an amazing amount of grit and will undoubtedly go on to do amazing things in the future.” Perhaps the school’s greatest gift to the students was providing 180 days of in-person instruction without interruption since August 13, 2020. Something that no one will ever take for granted again.
St. Mary Catholic Community School in Crown Point offers grade levels Junior Pre-Kindergarten (for three-year-olds) through grade eight. St. Mary’s faculty teaches a rich curriculum supported by cutting-edge technology. Faith, Academic Excellence, Life Lessons, and Compassion are the pillars of the school. All students are encouraged to participate in extracurricular activities such as Academic Team, Chess Club, Craft Club, Math Bowl, Spanish Club, Science Olympiad, Scouts, Environmental Club, athletics and more. St. Mary’s is currently accepting applications for new students for the 2021-2022 school year. To learn more about St. Mary School or fill out an electronic application, visit stmarycp.org/school.