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Wednesday, July 23, 2014
Catholic Schools Week
A week of pride at Holy Name
Courtesy Ed Donoghue
Deidre Kassebaum and Kevin Glaittli started in the school’s production of “The Sound of Music.”

As numerous Catholic Schools on Long Island have closed in the past few years, Holy Name of Mary in Valley Stream has remained strong and vibrant. That alone was reason to celebrate last week.

National Catholic Schools Week is always a big deal at Holy Name of Mary, but students, teachers, administrators and parents were a little extra thankful this year for their school. “There’s not that many Catholic Schools left,” said eighth-grader Kevin Higgins, who will be graduating in June and attending Chaminade High School. “We’re one of the schools that’s still running. It’s fun to be proud that we’re one of the few.”

Higgins had one of the lead roles, Rolf, in the school play, “The Sound of Music,” which was produced on Jan. 31 and Feb. 1 as the centerpiece to Holy Name’s Catholic Schools Week celebration. It was directed by teacher Eileen McEnaney and featured scores of the school’s nearly 350 students.

Deidre Kassebaum, an eighth-grader who has been acting in the school plays for several years, played the part of Maria. She said the annual play is important to the students who take pride in the school. “It’s a chance for the kids to standout and show everybody their talent,” she said.

The production was just one of several events during the week, which kicked off with an open house following Sunday mass on Jan. 27. There was a eighth-grade volleyball game, trip to Hot Skates, pizza party and academic challenge. Students also completed a variety of service activities to celebrate the school’s commitment to helping others.

“We really did a lot,” said Principal Richard McMahon. “I thought it was a very joyous and happy week.”

McMahon said the open house was a success. About 30 families visited, with many parents seeking to register their children for the next school year. McMahon said that is a positive sign, considering that no other Catholic schools are slated for closing next year.

The purpose of the week is to set aside time each year to show what Catholic schools are all about. There’s a lot that the schools can offer that public schools can’t, McMahon explained, such as a spiritual education. This year’s theme was “Catholic Schools Raise the Standards.”

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