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Herald Schools

Celebrating Catholic Schools Week in Lynbrook, East Rockaway


From Jan. 27 through Feb. 2, Our Lady of Peace School in Lynbrook and St. Raymond’s Parochial School in East Rockaway rang in Catholic Schools Week, an annual celebration of Catholic school elementary education.

After an opening Mass on Sunday, events at Our Lady of Peace included a bagel breakfast in the gym for families, pajama day, dress down day, and an afternoon of games and activities, including bingo. In addition, the students watched “Mary Poppins” in the auditorium on Jan. 30 and ate lunch from Wendy’s.

On Thursday, the students celebrated school pride with Spirit Day, during which they wore Catholic Youth Organization uniforms and “OLP Strong” shirts in the gym and participated in a pep rally. Bishop John Barres paid the students a visit during Spirit Day.

“It was great,” Principal Jineen Leach said. “The kids were so excited and he went around shaking everyone’s hands and talked to all our kids and he was cheering and slapping hands with the students.”

On Friday, the school celebrated with a closing Mass. “The atmosphere was electric,” Leech said about Catholic Schools Week. “Our kids look forward to it every year.”

At St. Raymond’s, the students enjoyed activities that highlighted the values of the school’s 90-year history, Principal Ruthanne Gypalo said.

The festivities began with an opening Mass, which was followed by an open house, at which students had the opportunity to show the school to both prospective new families and to their parents, grandparents and siblings. During the open house, guests viewed the middle school students’ STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) Fair projects and browsed students’ work during an art walk.

St. Raymond’s welcomes back distinguished alumni during the celebration each year, and this year, Nassau County Police Commissioner Patrick Ryder, a class of 1976 alumnus, returned to speak to students about bullying, the dangers of vaping and drug use, as well as using social media responsibly.

Toward the end of the week, students completed a service project for members of the U.S. Armed Forces serving overseas. They also participated in a sports and game day, the Brain Challenge Interactive Game Show, “Buddy Day,” and a closing Mass.