Welcome Class of 2030

And our new families!

The Askari Family
The Chott Family
The DiDomenico Family
The Faralli Family
The Gilbert Family
The Horn Family
The Moser Family
The Ordonio Family
The Schroeder Family
The Slattery Family
The Walsh Family
The Zulick Family

The Bond Family
The Corkery Family
The Engle Family
The Frazier Family
The Heacock Family
The Libby Family
The Murphy Family
The Parisi Family
The Shanahan Family
The Smith Family
The Wilson Family

The Buzbee Family
The Demchyk Family
The Ercole Family
The Gallagher Family
The Hetrick Family
The Mayberry Family
The Murphy Family
The Pickard Family
The Shea Family
The Smollon Family
The Zimolong Family

Join us in a warm welcome to our new families at SKS! For the second year in a row, our enrollment remains strong, and we again are welcoming over thirty new families to our school. This is a testament to the strong community at SKS and commitment to providing the best education for the whole child. Thank you for choosing SKS!

Welcome to SKS!
Monsignor Hans A.L. Brouwers, Pastor

Dear SKS School Family,

There is nothing more joyous than the sound of children and we are so happy to hear your children—our dear students—in our school and on our playground! As I frequently remind our students, learning is hard work, but it can also be very enjoyable as we work together to grow in knowledge and experience great satisfaction from our intellectual, physical and spiritual development. And, as I visit our classrooms, I so often witness the hard work and enjoyment of our children as they work together under the watchful care of their teachers.

We are in the middle of another year with its many challenges, both the regular ones that are part of every school year and the new ones that are the result of our ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Fortunately, under the strong and enthusiastic leadership of Principal Bud Tosti, our veteran principal with forty-eight years of experience in Catholic education, and with the outstanding dedication of our teachers and school staff, we have begun our school year strong and clearly focused on helping our children grow and develop both as individuals and as active participants in our community of faith.

I want to take this opportunity to thank you, the parents of our students, for your unflagging support of our school and your eagerness to partner with us in the education and formation of your children. It is great to see so many of you back in school helping us in a variety of ways. We are so happy to be working closely with you in ensuring that our children receive the best education and formation possible. I also want to welcome our new families. I have enjoyed getting to know you and hope that you have found us all to be welcoming and eager to get you involved in our vibrant school community both as helpers in our school and active participants in the various activities that our very imaginative teachers and our Home and School Board will be sponsoring throughout the school year.

With Thanksgiving fast approaching, we join with everyone in our country in thanking God for the blessings he has bestowed on our nation. We, at St. Katharine parish, can add an extra thanks for the special blessings God has showered on our school and parish. Let’s be grateful, especially, for our gift of faith in a loving and generous God and share our gratitude and joy with our children as we continue our school year!

Sincerely yours in Christ,

Reverend Monsignor Hans A. L. Brouwers

Introducing SKS’s New Teachers!

The 2021-2022 school year and the beginning of a new season has brought change to SKS, and with this change, four incredibly talented teachers with unique backgrounds and experiences joined SKS. They are sure to be an asset to SKS’s already great team of faculty. As a welcome to the start of fall and to learn more about our new teachers, we asked each of them, “What is your favorite thing about fall?”

Shurden Garrett, Technology/ STEM: Ms. Garrett has joined SKS as the new Technology/ STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) teacher. She holds a B.S. in interdisciplinary studies and a Master of Arts in teaching in elementary education, both from James Madison University. This past July, she finished a post-master’s degree as an education specialist. Ms. Garrett has an exceptionally strong interest in science, math, and reading, and as a result, she is very excited about this position, especially with regard to interdisciplining the school curriculum using technology and a STEM approach.

What is your favorite thing about fall? “My favorite thing about fall is all of the flavors—pumpkin, apple, butternut squash, cinnamon, maple, etc.!”

Amy Grant, Art: We are excited to welcome back Mrs. Grant as our Art teacher. Mrs. Grant taught art at SKS many years ago, before leaving to be home with her family. She has been an artist and an art teacher for many years. Most recently she taught art at Holy Cross Regional School in Collegeville and spent many years at the Wayne Art Center. She has a passion for teaching students art. Mrs. Grant attended the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, has a B.A. in art history from Marymount Manhattan College, and holds a certification in private academic art teaching.

What is your favorite thing about fall? “I love celebrating Thanksgiving.”

Christy LoPiccolo, Kindergarten: Mrs. LoPiccolo is stepping into a new role as a kindergarten aide to replace Mrs. Jill D’Agostino who has returned to the library with its reopening. Mrs. LoPiccolo previously worked at SKS as an assistant to Mrs. Susan Hodgens in the cafeteria/lunch/playground. The last two years she has stepped into the classroom in a substitute teacher role and has done a wonderful job helping out—a true unsung heroine in this role! Mrs. LoPiccolo is currently enrolled in Cabrini University’s Master in Education program where she will earn her teaching certificate in elementary education this year.

What is your favorite thing about fall? “My favorite part of fall, besides the crisp weather, is the gorgeous fall foliage that you get to watch turn from summer green to all the warm fall colors.”

Lauren McCracken, Learning Support: Mrs. McCracken joins us as the new learning support teacher. She holds a master’s degree in special education from Saint Joseph’s University with a reading specialist degree. Mrs. McCracken holds a certification in both special and elementary education. She has worked previously as a special education teacher in the Radnor Township School District. She has already worked with SKS faculty in helping design, accommodate and modify instruction for one of our current students for the last few years on a volunteer basis.

What is your favorite thing about fall? “Ticonderoga pencils remind me of fall and are one of my favorite things about the return to school.”

A New Year, a New Normal, the Same SKS Spirit!

Wednesday, September 8 marked the beginning of a new school year at SKS. It was a highly anticipated day that was full of excitement for students as they entered new classrooms, met their teachers, and reunited with friends. The sense of excitement spilled into the following week, when the youngest members of our community started kindergarten and specials kicked off.

Specials, like library and technology/STEM, have been extra special for students this year, since these were not available last year due to the pandemic. It felt (almost) like Christmas morning for first graders, when they walked into the library for the first time at SKS and eagerly began grabbing books off shelves in amazement at all the great options. First graders were also happy to see Mrs. D’Agostino again. “I was excited for the library, because I was able to see Mrs. D’Agostino. She was my teacher last year in kindergarten,” explained first grader Molly McGurkin.

Older students were also happy to be back in the library. More than a year and a half since their last visit, they can now check out books to satisfy new interests and reading skills. “I really like that I can pick out books to take home this year, especially Big Nate books,” said fourth grader Charley McGurkin.

The new Technology/STEM Center, led by Ms. Garrett, similarly has been a hit with students. Second grader Elise Katona explained, “Making towers out of flash cards and dot stickers on ‘dot day’ with Ms. Garrett was really fun. I’m looking forward to using computers.” Students will be able to take advantage of other technology resources, like 3D printers and virtual reality viewers, throughout the year.

The cafeteria is also back in the mix this year, and so is SKS’s ever-so-popular Chick-fil-A day! With the introduction of Yay Lunch, a healthy restaurant delivery program, students are able to order their favorite chicken nuggets and sandwiches, as well as pizza, hoagies, bagels, and smoothies. In addition, students can buy snacks in the cafeteria, which helps to reinforce money lessons for younger students and develop budgeting skills with “lunch money” throughout the week for older students.

Faculty members are likewise enjoying a greater sense of normalcy. Mr. Tosti noted, “Last year, at the start of the school year, teachers and staff members were scared because they were not vaccinated, but this year has been different so far. That sense of fear has greatly diminished.” Being able to attend morning faculty meetings in person has allowed teachers to interact with colleagues, who they might not have otherwise seen during the school day, and connect on a more personal level, an opportunity that teachers missed last year. The teacher faculty lunchroom is back too and with that, a break in the day and the chance to further the camaraderie among teachers. Teachers are also enjoying more flexibility within their classrooms for students to engage with lessons. “My favorite part about this school year is being able to let the students work collaboratively! It brings the class together and teaches them independent learning,” explained Mrs. Anne Bondi, a third grade teacher.

More abundant parent volunteer opportunities have also returned this year. For example, first through third graders will have the opportunity to participate in reading circles every week. Parent volunteers will lead these groups to help students with oral reading and comprehension skills. Parent volunteers will also be able to attend outdoor field trips like the kindergarten hayride at Sugartown Strawberries and the eighth grade field trip to Gettysburg in October.

In addition, the Home and School Board has been working tirelessly to bring back in-person SKS traditions. At the end of September, the Duddy family graciously hosted the Kindergarten and First Grade Social at their home. At this beautifully decorated, fall-themed outdoor party, parents were finally able to celebrate the start of the school year and get to know each other outside of school and sporting events. The month of October will feature a school-wide parent social on the great lawn and patio at Waynesborough Country Club, along with an incredibly fun lineup of Halloween events, like the annual scarecrow contest and a new trunk or treat event that is sure to be a hit with families!

As the saying goes, “you don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone.” Having experienced a year like last year, it is a blessing to see our community move closer to normalcy with the same, great SKS spirit!

SKS Commemorates the 20th Anniversary of 9/11

Every year on the anniversary of 9/11, SKS faculty and students pause morning lessons to remember 9/11 with a special prayer. This year was different. It marked the twentieth anniversary of 9/11. To commemorate, the SKS community assembled outside for a powerful flag folding ceremony.

The ceremony was a special way for SKS to honor the history of 9/11. “Many of our students do not know much about 9/11,” said Mr. Tosti. “It is a part of our history, albeit a tragic one, and we honor all those who died innocently and all those who sacrificed their lives to save others.”

The ceremony began with a prayer, led by Msgr. Brouwers, followed by the singing of the national anthem by Youth Ministry leader, Mrs. Stephanie Twohig. Students joined together to recite the Pledge of Allegiance before the Class of 2022 folded a massive American flag.

Gene Hough, a local veteran and founder of the Legacy Marker Program, led the folding of the flag. Hough provided a pair of white gloves to each student and then guided the group through the process of unfolding and refolding the flag.

Throughout the service, SKS students were respectful and reflective. They stood attentively as the flag was folded thirteen times to complete the ceremony. Each of the thirteen folds is symbolic. When the flag is completely folded, the stars are uppermost, reminding us of our national motto, “In God We Trust.”

Most of the teachers in attendance have firsthand memories of the 9/11 attacks. The students, however, are all too young to know much about that tragic day. Ms. Alexandra Quigley, who teaches social studies, was in kindergarten at SKS on 9/11. Today, she teaches fifth, sixth, and seventh grade students. “It is important to teach students about 9/11 because it is a big part of our history. It helps prepare them for what they will see in the news, online, and on social media,” explained Ms. Quigley.

Ms. Quigley focuses on creating age-appropriate lessons when teaching students about 9/11. This year, fifth grade students conducted interviews with a parent or loved one to ask what they remember about 9/11 and how the world was impacted by that day. Students then shared interviews, including stories from people who were in New York City during the attacks, and discussed as a class what they learned about 9/11.

Sixth grade students learned about the 9/11 Survivor Tree, a Callery pear tree that endured the attacks and still stands at the 9/11 Memorial, as a living reminder of resilience, survival, and hope. These students each created a Survivor Tree leaf with messages or pictures that symbolize what hope means to them.

Seventh grade students learned about Welles Crowther, known as “the man in the red bandana” because of the red face covering he wore while rescuing people from the World Trade Center’s South Tower before the building collapsed. Students learned about his heroism and selfless acts that saved as many as eighteen lives.

Teaching students about 9/11 will ensure that future generations of SKS students never forget that day—a day that changed our world forever. When asked what he hopes students will remember about the twentieth anniversary of 9/11, Mr. Tosti reflected, “Our faith leads us to believe in the power of prayer. Our prayers for the people impacted by 9/11 are a way to show our caring, compassion, and empathy. As Catholics, we believe in the power of prayer.”

The Board of Limited Jurisdiction

On behalf of the Board of Limited Jurisdiction, I wanted to welcome all of you back for the 2021-2022 school year. I am a father of four children, three of which are attending SKS in fourth (twin boys John and William) and first grade (Mimi). My wife Bridget and I joined the parish nine years ago when we relocated from New York City. We love SKS, and we believe what sets SKS apart is the community that exists here for students, parents, and families overall. In my day job, I have been providing investment advice to hedge fund managers for the last twenty-three years since graduating from business school at Duke University. I have served as a Managing Director with Stifel for the past thirteen years, and I have been moonlighting as the inaugural Chair of the Board of Limited Jurisdiction for the last three.

The Board’s role is to provide support for Mr. Tosti and Msgr. Brouwers for the strategy and long-term health of the school. It is made up of fifteen individuals (three of which are current parents of SKS children) plus Mr. Tosti and Msgr. Brouwers. Through a group of committees, we work with the school on things such as enrollment, development, facilities, and school finances. Most of our work is done behind the scenes so you will likely become much more familiar with the Home and School Board, which is much more active in the running of the many social and fundraising activities of the school. I encourage you to take part in these activities and enjoy all that SKS has to offer for you, your children and your entire families.

The board has been very busy over the last three years since its founding. At that time the school was facing an over $400,000 a year annual deficit in the face of declining enrollment. The enrollment committee got right to work increasing marketing to our core feeder parishes and preschools and jump-started the next two kindergarten classes to completely full classes with a head count in the mid fifties for the grade. Two classes of kindergarten per year are now three classes for the second year in a row. While we were facing a projection of about 380 students two years out, we have rebounded to where we now have 416 students.

Fundraising has also been very robust with over $200,000 raised in the first annual fund for SKS. In the face of the pandemic last year, we set an aggressive goal of $300,000 with no fundraising events possible. I am very happy to report that we raised $307,225!!! That is truly amazing support from our current and former SKS families. With these funds we were able to put on a new roof, upgrade our computer networking system, install a new fire alarm system, and replace two HVAC systems in the gym and Parish Center all in the last year.

Thanks to all that serve as volunteers in all aspects of our school…it truly is making a difference!


Phil Hintze

Chair, Board of Limited Jurisdiction

Home and School Board

On behalf of the Home and School Board, we would like to welcome everyone to another fabulous school year! The role of the Home and School Board is to support and foster the strong sense of community here at SKS. We look forward to engaging with SKS families at the various events planned for this school year. Our events agenda includes staples that have traditionally been a hit with SKS families as well as a couple of new events that we are incredibly excited about introducing this year. Stay tuned for more information! We encourage people who might be interested in volunteering to reach out to anyone on the board and throw your hat into the ring. One thing is certain, this community, from the parish, the school, to our families, SKS is filled with such wonderful people, and we look forward to helping to make everyone’s experience as fulfilling as possible.