SHEPHERDSVILLE - The Catholic School educational experience remains fulfilled in Bullitt County courtesy of the St. Aloysius Gonzaga Academy.
Despite recent enrollment declines, the school and parish revamped their system structure, increasing both classroom stability and quality while maintaining Christian values and ethics.
St. Aloysius pastor, the Rev. Brian Kenney, worked to add and return committees to assist the school. such as the Parent-Teacher Organization (PTO) and the School Board.
Also active at St. Aloysius are the Parish Council, Booster Club, Finance Committee and Marketing Committee.
At the school, Kenney was pleased to announce members of the administration, including new principal Mary Alice Zettel.
A former National Distinguished Principal designated by the National Association of Elementary and Middle School Principals in 2003, Zettel brings 30 years of school experience, the past 15 as a principal. She most recently worked with St. Mary Academy in Louisville.
The school duties will be divided this year between Zettel new school administrator Kathy Kiefer. Also the 5-8 Science teacher, Kiefer has over seven years of experience with St. Aloysius.
“We’re going to be doing kind of a job share,” said Kiefer. “The principal will be responsible for curriculum, supervision and teacher observation. I’ll be more daily administration, working with parents.”
Also joining the returning St. Aloysius staff is new instructor Ilona Sego, who will teach 5-8 Math and Social Studies. Sego arrives from the Nativity Academy at St. Boniface in Louisville.
“(Sego) brings many years of experience,” said Kiefer. “She has an undeniable love for teaching and will be a great addition to our staff.”
This year St. Aloysius will bring back the weekly Art instructional class to its curriculum. The class will be handled by Peggy Dawson.
An addition to the curriculum plan this year is an Enrichment Program implemented during early release days.
The program, with Lori Kerr in charge, will focus on specialty programs on those short days, featuring guest speakers from the community and related themes with hands-on activities.
“We’ll discuss a wide variety of various topics,” said Kiefer. “We’ll have group activities. It’s a fun project that should enhance learning that’s not necessarily in the curriculum.”
St. Aloysius continues to excel in both academics and athletics. Annual TerraNova scores - a standardized achievement testing system - have remained consistently high during the past few years, well above the national average.
The school’s Quick Recall team finished undefeated last year in competitions with other Archdiocese of Louisville schools. St. Aloysius also took regional honors in the Archdiocese Young Authors program.
In Bullitt County St. Aloysius won first place in the Conservation Art contest, with student Kim Claypool winning for Conservation Essay.
Athletic teams also continued success for the school. The girls’ volleyball team and boys’ basketball squad both took first place in the Mid-Kentucky Athletic Conference. The school’s Archery team qualified for a national tournament.
In recent years St. Aloysius enrollment has decreased but stabilized, with over 100 K-8 students attending this semester, including some returning back to the school. Administrative assistant Debbie Ray said the plus side was a quality teacher-student ratio.
“We’ve had some trying times, but we’re pleased with our recent growth,” she said.
Ray noted that St. Aloysius students were not required to be Catholic.
“We promote Chrisitan core values,” she said. “We introduce structure and discipline. We produce good kids out of that environment.”
St. Aloysius is beginning its fourth year of Pre-School this semester. Kiefer said the pre-school has been popular with enrollment numbers increasing each year.
Classes begin Tuesday, Aug. 9, at St. Aloysius. Enrollments are still being accepted for both K-8 classes and Pre-School. For more information call the school office, 543-6721, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information on St. Aloysius call the office or visit their website, www.stafalcons.com.