Tradition continues: Cathedral prepares to celebrate National Catholic Schools Week

“We celebrate it with all the Catholic schools in the nation. It also represents solidarity which I, too, think is a great thing.” – Director of Campus Ministry Mrs. Charlene Witka

Chandler Watson and Sydney Hutchinson

Seniors T.P. the Hill.

Classes compete for the spirit stick.

Seniors paint the parking lot wall.

Among all of these traditions, the school also participates in the annual National Catholic Schools week.

“It’s national. We celebrate it with all the Catholic schools in the nation. It also represents solidarity which I, too, think is a great thing,” director of campus ministry Mrs. Charlene Witka said.

It is a week-long celebration that is used to show students how the benefits of attending a Catholic school. The festivities will start Jan. 30 and will end Feb. 3.

Witka said, “It is an important week for students, so students are educated on the importance of having a Catholic education.”

She continued, “The main goal of this week is to help students recognize and appreciate that they are at a Catholic school receiving a Catholic education.”

The theme for this year’s celebration is National Catholic Schools Communities of Faith, Knowledge and Service.

While a majority of students go through this week taking advantage of dressing up, or in some cases, dressing down, a lot of planning takes place before the actual week starts.

Enrollment manager Mrs. Maribeth Cloud said, “To celebrate the whole week, the Holy Cross Council of students is making a large banner, there will be a door decorating contest with the Holy Cross core values like last year and there will also be an all-school Mass.”

Cloud said, “These things are done to show the importance of National Catholic Schools week and Cathedral’s long history.”

Junior Susannah Buhner has been a member of the Holy Cross Council for two years. This year she will take on on a student lead for Catholic Schools week. This group focuses on Holy Cross core values and will be tying them into this week.

Buhner said, “We will do a door decorating contest with pizza prizes for the winners. I think it is such a cool thing to designate each department a core value and see the creativity of all the students and teachers. This year we are going to try to add some more aspects to Catholic Schools Week to get students more involved and excited.”

This week isn’t used just for current students, but it is also applicable to the incoming classes from North Deanery and other local Catholic schools as well.

“National Catholic Schools week is a great way to showcase Cathedral’s Catholic side. Primary Catholic schools use this week to show what Cathedral is about. And we love for the message of our Catholic background to be out there,” said Cloud.

The people behind this special week include Dr. Tom Greer, vice principal for student affairs; Witka, Cloud and the entire Holy Cross Council of students.

They all pitch in in different ways to help with setting up and participating throughout the week.

However, starting last year, the Holy Cross Council of students was asked to take over the majority of the activities for National Catholic Schools week.

This year, the council consists of 23 students: Joseph A’Hearn, Sarah Bertrand, Seth Bolden, Kaitlyn Borland, Riley Boyle, Lauren Buday, Buhner, James Cloud, Hannah Dittmer, Lauren Finn, Hunter Hopkins, Rachel Kent, Erin McDonnell, Margaret McNulty, Rayna Onate, Gia Peduto, Claire Plump, Patrick Sheddy, Mary Temple, Benjamin Vorisek, Riley Wunder and Paul Zerr.

This week marks a tradition in which the school has participated for 17 years, according to Witka. These years have, along with valuable information, also brought good memories.

“My favorite memory is Dr. Greer and I sitting down to plan the week. We came up with some really good ideas and were able to see the week unfold. For me, it is a very exciting week,” Witka said.

Buhner said, that aside from being honored to be asked to serve on on this Council, she is “most looking forward to the future and what Cathedral can do as a school and what we as a committee can do to better the school and our community.