Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow

We are a Walt Disney World Family. It is my favorite place. I couldn't tell you why in just one sentence, and I guess my answer would vary depending on the person asking. I love how Disney utilizes cutting edge technology to be creative and imaginative with its attractions and experiences. Part of it is safety and cleanliness- I feel comfortable taking my daughters alone to a park or on transportation that I might otherwise be wary of in a big city. There is amazing convenience to visiting Disney World too-- complimentary transportation; a literal "magic" band that opens your hotel room door, pays for your purchases, and is your ticket into the theme park; hundreds of delicious food options at every turn. After dozens of trips, a Disney vacation is no big deal to plan for us--but it is a pretty big deal for first-time visitors (information overload!).

Even though there is comfort in doing the same, there is still magic walking up Main Street and seeing the castle each t…

Commencement Address 2019

The following is my commencement address from the 2019 ceremony.

Good Afternoon Kennedy Family.
It is with joy that I address you, the graduating class of 2019. It wasn’t too long ago that we first met. Great news, there is still time for some of you to work on your first impressions. But, after a couple years, I will admit, you’ve won me over. Your mischievousness is relatively harmless, your charm is contagious, and your ambition to lead- sometimes for good and sometimes otherwise, is admirable. 
Since you were in grade school, you’ve heard your parents, teachers, and maybe principals, tell you to make good choices. They seemed relatively straight forward so far-- keep your hands to yourselves, turn in your work, quit posting on social media. But today, as you set off into the “real world”, past the cozy nest of safety that is Kennedy, you will start making the big choices. They aren’t always easy or obvious. Most of you have chosen a college to attend next year. Was it a hard decision…

Guns and Horses Giddy Up

Ah, the month of May.

In some ways, it is an amazing light at the end of the tunnel. And in other ways, it is one of the hardest months to stay above water. The weather has broken (finally), so the grass at home needs cut several times a week and my children want to play outside and stay up late ("But it's not dark yet! It can't be bedtime!"). School is still in full swing, with baseball and softball games (when weather permits!), in addition to events like prom, field trips, awards ceremonies, etc etc to attend. May is full of things to do.

That light at the end of the tunnel feels farther away than it really is since my calendar agenda is longer than usual for each day. Students are feeling the pressure too. Each course is gearing up for a final exam or cumulative project. Every teacher is trying to get that last bit of curriculum covered before summer break. Underclassmen have scheduling for next year, while seniors are planning graduation celebrations. It's o…

Tip and Tricks at Just for Kicks

It's auction season!

One of the best events of my year for a decade now, the Just for Kicks auction that benefits John F. Kennedy Catholic School, is just weeks away. The very first year I attended as a friend of the auction chair (Jillian Rossi Phillips '97) and last year I attended as the first year principal. A lot has changed in ten years, and now as a member of the planning committee, I wanted to help our guests have the best time possible!

Coming to you soon will be a short video series on Tips and Trick at Just for Kicks-- some things I have learned along the way as a guest and now a planner, to make the most out of your night, help you WIN at the silent auction booths (I am still mourning the loss of those Tori Burch sunglasses from last year, everyone here is begging me to get over it), and make sure you are aware of all the FUN we have planned.

I love the work that we do at Kennedy and we simply cannot do it without your support at our largest fundraiser event of th…

One Bite At A Time

Last year, a big trend on Twitter was #oneword2018, and I wrote a blog about choosing my word (if you are interested, here is the direct link to that blog. Spoiler alert: I picked RISE). So here we are, a year later, and I find myself reflecting on my 2018 choice and looking to choosing 2019's one word.

I read a book a few years ago called, "I Don't Know How She Does It." The book was delightful. Apparently, there is also a movie too (not so shockingly, if you know me, I have not seen it. I have not seen many movies. It's actually a "thing"--people like to rattle off titles of cult classics then gasp in awe as I continue to shake my head no). In the story, people continuously say to the main character, "I don't know how you do it!" while referencing her working, being a wife, and a mom. At the beginning of the book, this working mom is bringing in treats to her kid's class. She buys pre-made treats, then feeling inferior to stay-at-hom…

Time Well Spent

After a quarter of school, I called down all of our new-to-Kennedy students to my office to have an impromptu conference. How's it going? Was it what you expected? (Well, sort of: the first thing I usually said was, "don't worry you aren't in trouble," since even the best-behaved kid gets nervous when they are called to the principal's office.)

I pulled their grades and we talked about their academics. I asked how things were going socially and if they were able to yet participate in our extra-curriculars or if they planned on it. We talked about dress code and I asked what it was like to attend a religious school that included prayer and mass with their classmates. (While I thought the answer was going to be "awkward" or "weird" it was overwhelmingly "nice" and "I really like it"). I asked what they liked the best, what was a challenge, and how their experience compared to their last school.

As a disclaimer, I support…

State of the School 2018

Kennedy Family-

If you were unable to attend the State of the School Address at the end of August, I wanted to make the information available to you. While much of our curriculum is dictated by either the State of Ohio Learning Standards or the Diocese of Youngstown Office of Catholic Schools, we also have the luxury of creating innovative and effective electives that grow our students in mind and soul. I hope you find the additions intriguing and beneficial in preparing students for life after Kennedy. What follows is my portion of the State of the School address.

Good Evening Kennedy Family-
I am thrilled to be starting my second year at John F. Kennedy Catholic Schools as Upper Campus Principal. To the parents out there, your children are a complete joy. They are the best part of my day, every day. When I left the classroom and the gym as a teacher and coach, I didn’t realize how much I would miss being around students. I am so happy to have the opportunity to be here now.

Tonight I w…