The newly renovated faculty room is ready for the teachers to read, relax or grade some papers.
The newly renovated faculty room is ready for the teachers to read, relax or grade some papers.

On the occasion of their 90th anniversary in 2015, Bishop David M. O’Connell, C.M., described the work of the diocesan Parent-Teacher Association as being “prompted by love.”  Now, six years later, the work of the diocesan and local PTA boards continues to be “prompted by love” as they assist the schools to further the mission of Catholic education in the Diocese Trenton.  

While hosting events and fundraising has been challenging during the pandemic, PTA boards continue to work tirelessly to provide for educational programs, athletics and school upgrades.

This year, the diocesan PTA Board is sponsoring a $500 tuition scholarship for Catholic elementary school students in grades K-8. Through art and essay contests, students will depict how their Catholic education will help them become successful leaders in their schools and faith communities. The scholarship winners will be announced at the diocesan PTA Spring Conference April 28, 2022. The winner will be recognized at the annual Fall Conference Sept. 17.

“We wanted to give back to our schools and a scholarship is a way for the PTA to do that,”  Elia Landino, diocesan PTA president, said. The scholarship information was shared with schools during Catholic Schools Week – perfect timing, Landino thought.

“It’s a great time to kick off the scholarship as we celebrate and showcase all the good our schools have to offer.”

Catholic Schools Week is usually one of the busiest times for local PTA boards, as many of the activities and special surprises are funded through the work of the PTA, as in St. James School, Red Bank, where students and staff were treated to cupcakes courtesy of the parents and volunteers.

Despite an impending winter storm, members of the PTA in St. Leo the Great School, Lincroft, worked furiously, cleaning, assembling furniture and redecorating the school’s faculty room for the teachers. The room was “flipped” and revealed to grateful and surprised staff members on the first day of CSW.

“The feeling among the faculty and staff is, ‘How did we get so lucky to have this outstanding PTA that continually out does itself each year?’ [We were] overwhelmed,” said Mary Koury, director of Admissions and Marketing.

The continuously year-round PTA of St. Paul School, Princeton, is busy not only during CSW, but also well beyond it. The group is currently working on their 34th annual Shamrock Gala, which garnered $60,000 for the school last year. 

“It’s a joy seeing what is possible when our community bands together to make St. Paul School a place where children are thriving, and teachers feel appreciated ... as well as giving students and parents an extended-family experience,” said co-president Janice Hutchinson.

Marybeth Consiglio, diocesan PTA vice-president, agreed wholeheartedly. 

“With tight budgets and limited resources, the Catholic School PTA provides volunteers to help support the teachers and administrators to provide faith-based events and activities to our children. When parents are involved in their child’s education and with their school, it’s a win-win.”

Whether hosting a black-tie affair, cleaning the cafeteria for bingo or setting up for a book fair, the role PTAs play in supporting diocesan schools is much appreciated, during Catholic Schools Week, and every day.