October 6, 2015 // Local

St. Pius X School named National Blue Ribbon School

More photos from the event can be found in the photo gallery.

St. Pius X Catholic School in Granger has been designated a 2015 National Blue Ribbon School. Those at the the announcement ceremony following a school Mass on Sept. 29 include, from left, Principal Elaine Holmes, Superintendent of Catholic Schools Marsha Jordan, Secretary of Catholic Education Carl Loesch, and St. Pius X pastor, Msgr. William Schooler.

GRANGER — In a statement following the all-school Mass Sept. 29, Superintendent of Catholic Schools Marsha Jordan announced to all present students, faculty, staff and parents that St. Pius X Catholic School has been honored as a 2015 National Blue Ribbon School.

The U.S. Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan, released the names of 335 schools across the country as National Blue Ribbon Schools for 2015 based on their overall academic excellence or their progress in closing achievement gaps among student subgroups. The department will honor 285 public and 50 private schools at a recognition ceremony on Nov. 9-10 in Washington, D.C.

Bishop Kevin C. Rhoades noted in a statement: “I offer my heartfelt congratulations to the community of St. Pius X School in Granger on being named a National Blue Ribbon School. I am very proud of this recognition of the educational excellence of St. Pius School. I am even more proud of the strong Catholic identity of St. Pius School, its vibrancy as a community of faith, and its commitment to the moral and spiritual formation of its students. Both academic excellence and spiritual strength make St. Pius X School an exemplary educational institution.”

“It is really quite remarkable and a testament to the hard work of the principal, faculty and staff, that in just seven years since its establishment, St. Pius X School has received this wonderful recognition,” Bishop Rhoades said.

Carl Loesch, the Secretary for Catholic Education for the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend, said, “This recognition certainly highlights the quality of our schools and the many outstanding faculty and staff members who dedicate themselves to bringing Christ to the children every day. St. Pius X Parish has a wonderful history dating back to Father Sorin and the priests and brothers of Holy Cross and the farmers in Granger. The school has grown rapidly, opening just eight years ago. Thank you to all of our pastors, administrators, teachers and parents who sacrifice to give the gift of Catholic education to the children entrusted to our care. Our community is enriched by the wonderful education and moral formation our schools provide.”

St. Pius X Catholic School opened in 2008 and has grown from an inaugural enrollment of just over 400 students to an average of over 625 students each year in preschool through grade 8.

Principal Elaine Holmes said that they were honored to learn of the recognition, “The school staff, parish community and school families are a vital part of the school success. Our pastor, Msgr. Schooler had tears in his eyes as he reflected with the student body on the vision of opening the first Catholic School in 40 years within the Fort Wayne-South Bend diocese. He thanked the students and staff for all of their hard work throughout the last several years. The student body cheered when he told them they were exempt from any homework on this joyous day.”

Msgr. William Schooler addressed the students and faculty personally, “This award is a tribute to the leadership of our school, Mrs. Elaine Holmes and Mrs. Stephanie Molnar, along with the outstanding teachers and staff who recognize their work as a ministry of the parish, supportive parents who make sacrifices for quality Catholic Education, and motivated students. Our Catholic School is an integral component of the ministry of the Parish.”

Loesch added, “This has certainly been an exciting time to be in our Catholic schools. Last week, the children were able to see Pope Francis come to the United States. His visit, his homilies and speeches, and the canonization of St. Junipero Serra were incorporated into the classrooms of our Catholic schools. The children saw the Holy Father visit many important places such as Congress, the United Nations, St. Patrick Cathedral, and the Basilica of the Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. The children also saw him spend time with people at a soup kitchen, with men who were in prison and with children in a Catholic school in New York City. Catholic schools are indeed at the heart of the evangelizing mission of the Church. We are blessed to have 42 outstanding schools serving the families in our diocese.”

With this announcement, St. Pius X is the sixth school within the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend to receive this honor for overall academic excellence. Past winners include Bishop Dwenger High School, Fort Wayne, in 2004, St. Jude Catholic School, Fort Wayne, in 2006, Christ the King Catholic School, South Bend, in 2008, St. Joseph Catholic Grade School, South Bend, in 2011 and Saint Joseph High School, South Bend, in 1984-1985 and 2003.

In its 33-year history, the National Blue Ribbon Schools Program has bestowed this coveted award on more than 8,000 of America’s schools. The National Blue Ribbon Schools Program honors public and private elementary, middle, and high schools where students either achieve very high learning standards or are making notable improvements in closing the achievement gap.


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