WHEATON, IL, February 8, 2021 – Last week, St. Francis High School joined Catholic schools across the country to celebrate National Catholic Schools Week. The annual celebration of Catholic education in the United States entered its 47th anniversary spreading the message of Faith, Excellence, and Service.
St. Francis High School observed Catholic Schools Week with special activities and events reflecting the school’s mission to develop the whole person in the daily presence of Jesus Christ. Students partnered together in service, through raising awareness for a variety of causes and gathering coloring books, workbooks, crayons, pens and pencils for children in local hospitals.
The excitement continued Thursday, February 4, as the school welcomed Diocese of Joliet Bishop Ronald Hicks who visited St. Francis High School for Mass to celebrate Catholic Schools Week. All-school Mass is a longstanding tradition at St. Francis High School which brings everyone together in faithful celebration.
With current COVID safety measures in place, the school prioritized the meaningful liturgy to ensure all students, both in-person and at home could participate in the Mass. (St. Francis High School is currently operating in the Hybrid School Setting. During a five-day week, students are divided into two cohorts and attend a full day of in-person instruction twice a week. The out-of-school cohort follows instruction provided by their teachers for either synchronous or asynchronous learning.) A livestream broadcast of Mass with Bishop Hicks allowed students, faculty, and staff to safely participate from their classrooms, while students off campus and the larger community tuned in from home.
As part the school’s annual celebration of Catholic Schools Week, St. Francis High School also recognized faculty and staff celebrating service milestones. This year, 16 faculty and staff members are celebrating service anniversaries at the 5, 10, 15, and 35-year mark. Most notably on the list is Principal, Raeann Huhn, who is celebrating 35 years of service at St. Francis High School. “Raeann has given the wonderful gift of time, service and love to St. Francis High School,” said Betsy Ackerson, President, St. Francis High School.
The week ended with Spartan Olympics, an annual event where students from each graduating class compete in a variety of games. This year’s event was modified to a game show format and livestreamed to ensure safe participation while promoting the unique community connection the school is known for.
Below is the complete list of St. Francis School faculty and staff celebrating service milestones.
35 Years of Service
Raeann Huhn, Principal
15 Years of Service
Elizabeth Brand, Teacher/Department Chair, World Languages
Susan Fairhead, Teacher, English Department
Marcia Kadow, Teacher, Science Department
Chris Konchel, Business Office Associate
Debbie Quirk, Gift Officer
Kristen Ras, Teacher/Department Chair, Religion
Nina Schroeder, Vocal Music Director, Performing & Visual Arts Department
10 Years of Service
Janet Thelen, Athletic Department Associate
Kathleen Lembas, Teacher, Mathematics Department
Dan Hardwick, Director of Athletics
5 Years of Service
Becky Feltes ‘97 Fischesser, Director of Alumni Relations
Dan Holleman, Dean of Students
Maureen Isphording, Director of Admissions and Communications
Tom Juliano, Teacher, Science Department
Ashley Lynch, Teacher, Mathematics Department
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Assistant Director of Communications
ABOUT ST. FRANCIS: St. Francis High School is a Catholic, college preparatory learning community that promotes spiritual, academic, physical, and social development in the daily presence of Jesus Christ.
What is National Catholic Schools Week?
Since 1974, National Catholic Schools Week is the annual celebration of Catholic education in the United States. It starts the last Sunday in January and runs all week, which in 2021 is January 31 – February 6. The theme for National Catholic Schools Week 2021 is “Catholic Schools: Faith. Excellence. Service.” Schools typically observe the annual celebration week with Masses, open houses and other activities for students, families, parishioners and community members. Through these events, schools focus on the value Catholic education provides to young people and its contributions to our church, our communities and our nation.