Dear St. Augustine Elementary and Middle School Families,
Welcome to the 2016-2017 school year at St. Augustine Elementary and Middle School! I am honored to serve this Catholic community, so rich in its tradition of faith and academic excellence, as principal. My experience as a Catholic school administrator and counselor was gained mostly in the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston where I served St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Catholic School as an assistant principal and counselor. My wife is a native Laredoan and we moved here last year when I became part of the St. Augustine High School staff as a counselor and art teacher. I quickly fell in love with the St. Augustine students and families. As a part of Catholic schools, we become a family—one I am grateful I was accepted into last school year. I look forward to meeting each of you and your children. As we move into this exciting new school year, I want you to know my door is always open to you.
On Thursday, August 11th, the school will host a Family Night for new and returning families. The evening will run from 6:00 – 7:30 p.m. in the Wellness Center. You are invited for food, chips, and drinks as we can greet each other during a relaxed social. Parking can be found in the St. Augustine High School parking lot. I would love to see and meet each of you there! Please come to introduce yourselves and have a great night with us!
On Tuesday, August 23rd at 6:00 p.m., we will hold our Meet the Teacher Night. This provides parents, guardians and students with the opportunity to meet the teachers, visit classrooms, and learn about school procedures and expectations. We will begin the evening in the Wellness Center. From there families will have the opportunity to visit classrooms and gain more information about the school.
Our School will be accredited by TCCED this March. This means some procedures may have to change to be in compliance. In the meantime, the drop off/pick up procedures and after school care program will remain in place from the 2015-2016 school year. If changes occur, families will be notified with at least two weeks to make adjustments. I will be learning more about all the good programs SAEMS has in place to help students grow in our Catholic faith, assure student safety, and enhance their academic performance, throughout the first nine-week grading period. Any significant changes for the school year will be made before October 1st.
It gives me great joy to announce that our students will now be going to Holy Mass every week. A huge thank you to Fr. Anthony Mendoza for his willingness to make this a reality! We will have a school-wide Mass for K3 through 8th grade students each Friday except for the weeks we have K3-12 Mass with St. Augustine High School. Students who have made their First Holy Communion will be encouraged to go to confession before Holy Mass on a rotating schedule. We will also bring our students to Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament weekly at the St. Augustine High School Chapel. Adoration will happen on almost every Friday and parents can sign up to adore the Blessed Sacrament as well by calling Ms. Solano at the high school office. The Eucharist, Christ’s True Presence in the Body and Blood, is the epicenter of our Catholic faith. We gain grace and wisdom through learning more about and worshiping Our Lord through the Holy Mass, Eucharistic Adoration, and participation in the Sacraments. We want our students develop a faith grounded in the Sacraments, Holy Scripture, and the great Tradition of our Holy Church. Our theme for this school year was taken from a quote by our patron, St. Augustine of Hippo. He says, “You have made us for Yourself O Lord, and our hearts are restless until they rest in You.” In world filled with so much distraction from what is important, we as a SAEMS community will be guided by St. Augustine’s wisdom by focusing on Christ, as He alone can truly fulfill what we are looking for as we strive to gain our Heavenly reward.
I wanted to take this opportunity to welcome new staff members to our St. Augustine family. Ms. Gabriela Pena will be teaching 3rd grade along with Ms. Zurita this school year. Ms. Pena came to us highly recommended; she is a graduate of UTSA, and a certified EC-6 Generalist. Ms. Sylvia Gonzalez will teach 4th grade along with Ms. Rodriguez. Ms. Gonzalez has experience in both the public and Catholic school systems. Ms. Blanca Barrera came to us to teach 6th-8th grade English. Ms. Barrera is a certified teacher with many years of experience teaching English, reading, and language Arts. Ms. Cordelia Lara will teach 6th grade math and Mr. Edgar Perez will be teaching 7th and 8th grade math. Both are certified math teachers who also teach math at St. Augustine High School. We welcome all of them to SAEMS!
Our goal is that the trinity of school staff, the students, and families can work together to become even better followers of Christ through the enhancement of faith and reason. In effort to meet this goal, the school staff and I will communicate with you professionally and we look forward to hearing from our families when needed as well. My email is email@example.com or call the school office if you have an questions, enjoy the last few weeks of summer, and may God bless all of our Knight families!
Sincerely in Christ,
1 John 4:16
“You have made us for Yourself O Lord, and our hearts are restless until they rest in You.”- St. Augustine