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May 2018

Dear St. Anastasia's Families,

Thank you so much for the wonderful celebration at the Dancing and Desserts event this past Friday night.  I was completely surprised and overwhelmed by the choreographed dance, the beautiful video testimonials, and the tremendously generous gift baskets from each class.  I am so grateful to the many people who helped put it all together. It was one of the most touching nights of my life and I can’t tell you how much I appreciate how you made me feel.

I am very excited to tell you about some of the staffing changes that are coming for next year.  Mrs. Suzie Soriano will be our new third grade teacher. Mrs. Soriano has been the third grade teacher at St. Monica School for the past decade, during which time she served as religion coordinator and as part of the administrative team.  

Mrs. Mary White will lead our science program as the teacher for grades 5-8.  She previously taught science at St. Mary’s Academy and the Pasadena Unified School District, before pursuing her dream to go to law school and work as an attorney, which she has done for the past twenty years.  She is thrilled to be returning to the classroom to prepare our students to thrive in high school science and beyond. Mr. Cloer will be teaching the younger grades science for next year. He will work part-time two days per week and the classes will be very hands-on with weekly experiments.  Ms. Greta Manzano will be the sixth grade homeroom teacher in addition to teaching middle school math.

In order to shrink our student teacher ratio for reading and language arts, both Readers and Writers Workshop will be team taught.  Alumnus Julia Farina will join our team as a readers and writers workshop specialist. After graduating from St. A’s Julia attended NDA followed by Xavier University in Cincinnati where she studied Elementary Education and learned Readers and Writer’s Workshop.  For the past three years she has been teaching second grade in the inner city of Cincinnati and using the workshop model. Ms. Farina, Mrs. Zimmerman, and Ms. Carter will partner with the classroom teachers in order to better meet the needs of our students. A love of reading and writing is infectious and it is on the rise at St. Anastasia.  

I have known our newly hired principal, Dr. Gavin Colvert for the past four years, while he served as a principal in my deanery.  We have spoken dozens of times and I am confident that he will be a good fit to lead this wonderful school. He is very bright, enthusiastic and has a strong spirituality which will serve him well as the principal.  At his last school Gavin volunteered as a basketball coach and was a big supporter of the award winning decathlon team. Our school is primed for success because Mrs. Handal will continue in her role as vice principal, our class level leaders Mrs. Klein, Mrs. Stamatio, and Mrs Gonzalez will remain in place, and our Meeting the Needs of All Learners and Social Emotional Learning Programs will continue to grow under current leadership.  Please welcome him as you did for me when I arrived.

Mike Muir