Dear St. Anastasia Families,
With joy and anticipation, we look forward to the beginning of the 2018-19 school year on Wednesday, August 29th. It is a great pleasure to welcome our new and returning families and staff back to school. This fall we will write the next chapter in our over 65 year history of forming young people for lives of excellence in academic achievement, faith and service to the community. We will continue to honor our many traditions as a school, as we move forward to innovate in order to enhance the spiritual and academic growth of our students.
The campus has been a busy place this summer, with library renovations and our summer school, Iverbe Camp, and Vacation Bible School programs. Teachers have already been working hard to prepare their curricula and their classrooms to welcome our school children back to campus. Our new families will want to know that August 29, 30, and 31 will be half-days with 12:15 p.m. dismissal. There will be a welcome-back coffee for families at 7:45 a.m. on August 29th. Staff are planning a “step up to middle school” meeting for middle school families on the evening of August 30th (information to follow). There will be no school on the Labor Day Holiday (Monday, 9/3) and Wednesday, September 5th will be Picture Day. Our first weekly school Mass will take place on Friday, September 7th. Please consult the school calendar on the web site for a great deal of other useful information about school events.
The heart of our academic program and indeed our school is our people. Teaching is a vocation that calls from its best practitioners a gift of love and support which can never be fully compensated. Our veteran faculty and staff members begin each new year with increased dedication to making a difference in the lives of their students. I’m sure that you will join me in thanking each of them for their continued service to the school community. We are also pleased to welcome some new faces who are eager to become a part of the St. Anastasia family. Please be sure to say a warm hello to the following new members of our staff team:
3rd Grade: Ms. Julia Farina
• Ms. Julia Farina is a St. Anastasia alumna of the class of 2007. She is very eager to return to her alma mater as the new third grade teacher. Ms. Farina continued her Catholic education at Notre Dame Academy in Los Angeles and Xavier University in Cincinnati, Ohio, where she received her Bachelors degree in Early Childhood Education. For the past three years, she has been teaching second grade in the inner city of Cincinnati. She now looks forward to meeting her new students and teaching in her old classroom!
7th Grade: Mrs. Susie Soriano
• Mrs. Susie Soriano joins the St. Anastasia teaching team as the 7th grade homeroom teacher and the middle school language teacher. Mrs. Soriano has been in education for over 27 years, seventeen of which have been in Catholic schools in a variety of grade levels and administrative roles. She believes this wide rang of experience has been a blessing that gives her a different perspective on things and has helped her to grow as an educator. Mrs. Soriano holds a bachelors degree from University of the Philippines and a masters degree in Catholic School Administration from Loyola Marymount University. In addition to elementary education, she is certified as an ESL educator. Mrs. Soriano and her husband are also parishioners. They have three children, including a St. Anastasia 5th grader. She enjoys keeping busy with work, family and volunteering for the Church.
Spanish: Ms. Veronica Mendez
• Ms. Veronica Mendez joins the St. Anastasia team with a wealth of experience as a Spanish language educator and classroom teacher working in several Los Angeles Catholic and public schools. Ms. Mendez, who holds her masters degree from Pepperdine University and a bachelors degree from CSU, will be teaching Spanish to students in grades JK-8.
In the midst of many preparations for the start of school, I was fortunately able to take a few days this summer to rest and recharge. In mid-June my wife and I spent several days hiking and biking in the Sierras at Lake Tahoe. In late July, we welcomed a new daughter-in-law into our family as our son Brendan was married. We then traveled with our daughter Gabrielle to visit family in Ireland, England and Belgium. From the blue waters of Lake Tahoe to the grandeur of the Saint Chapelle in Paris, we gained a greater appreciation for the beauty of God’s creation, while re-connecting with family members both young and old. I hope that each of you have had the chance to enjoy the long warm days of summer, and I look forward eagerly to seeing all of you on campus for the start of school on August 29th.