By Tim Leeds
St. Jude's School and Havre Central Junior High join more than 8,000 other Catholic schools celebrating National Catholic Schools Week from Jan. 30-Feb. 5.
St. Jude's School has been operating in Havre for the last 83 years, school principal Therese Cowdery said, with 225 students currently enrolled, she said. She said the theme for the national event is "Lighting the way to a new century".
The activities began Saturday night, with a millennium dance and celebration from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. Tickets were sold individually and for families. Cowdery announced at the dance that more than 300 tickets were sold. Silent auctions were held, pictures were taken at the St. Jude's Social Hall, and concessions were sold. Drawings were also held for the students and for a 50-50 raffle for the adults. Kirt Miller, Dick Miller and Raymond Miller provided live music in the Havre Central Gymnasium for the dance.
Cowdery said special recognition for St. Jude's- Havre Central students and parents was provided at the St. Jude's Catholic church masses on Saturday and Sunday. Thank you notes were handed out to the parents and students, she said. She said parish volunteers helped coordinate this activity.
Cowdery said the opening ceremony for the school week was held this morning at 9 a.m. She said the focus of the ceremony was to recognize the contributions of the teachers to Catholic education. Cowdery, who taught at St. Jude's before becoming principal nine years ago, said there are 13 teachers at St. Jude's, all with education degrees and certified under Montana standards for teachers.
Each teacher at the school was recognized at the ceremony, Cowdery said. She said student body president Jordan Patterson and vice president Anthony McLain gave tokens of appreciation to each teacher at the ceremony.
Tuesday will be student appreciation day, Cowdery said. Students are encouraged to wear a school T-shirt and button, she said. All students wearing a button will be entered into a drawing, with one given in each classroom. Cowdery said this is also a home and school treat day for teachers and students.
Cowdery said Wednesday is National Appreciation Day for Catholic Schools. Students, teachers and guests will join in celebrating an all-school mass at 9 a.m., she said. Schools across the nation will be holding this mass, she said.
The theme for Thursday is volunteer appreciation, Cowdery said. She said special surprise activities are planned for Friday.
Student work from kindergarten through eighth grade will be displayed in the social hall at the school throughout the week, Cowdery said. Each student can invite two people to come as guests for lunch one day in the week, she said, and the guests will be able to see the displayed work at the lunches.
Cowdery said the school is made possible because of contributions made by school families, school organizations, the parish and the community. She said various activities help provide the support, including a yearly jog-a-thon, financial aid and trust-fund fund drives, and fund drives sponsored by the school booster club, Home and School organization, and the Alumni Association. She said all of these activities help provide funding for the school, and all of the help from the community is deeply appreciated.
"As we celebrate Catholic Schools Week 2000, we would like to extend our very best thanks to all of our friends for all they have done to make the promise of faith-based education a reality in Havre, Montana," Cowdery said. "Your personal support exemplifies the values that help us in 'lighting the way to a new century.' We look forward to continued collaboration with you as we meet the challenges of the future and strive to ensure that the light of learning always illuminates our community."