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Everything listed under: president

  • Commitment to All Students’ Success

    Greetings!

    I want to thank you for supporting and praying for Scecina Memorial High School through the years.

    As a community of faith, we enter this new year recommitted to our mission, which is to motivate our diverse and gifted students “to attain educational excellence, be lifelong learners and live as servant leaders in the inspiring footsteps of Father Thomas Scecina.”

    We take seriously our responsibility to recruit a diverse student body, to provide healthy opportunities for them and to give them individual attention so that they feel accepted and connected.

    Our enrollment progress over the past five years shows we are succeeding in meeting those goals. As you can see from the graph (above), each year our freshman class has increased in size. We also are increasing our retention of these students throughout their high school years. As a result, total enrollment numbers are growing as families experience the value that we provide in preparing students for life.

    This growth is moving us toward the target enrollment of 475 students by 2020, a goal recently approved by our Board of Directors. To attain this goal while preparing students for life, we will enhance our individual student success planning, faculty support and development opportunities, and the attractiveness of our campus. Please look for more updates on our Facility Master Plan to unfold this year.

    To establish the 475 student target, our Enrollment Management and Marketing Committee consulted with stakeholders including our teachers and local school principals and pastors. The committee and administration analyzed community data and prioritized the importance of welcoming and retaining students who want to live the values for which our school stands.

    While reaching this goal will require vision and work, together we can do it. Together, we should do it.

    Thank you, our alumni and friends, for helping us reach the milestones that fulfill our Catholic mission rooted in the Gospel and the influence of Father Scecina. Your prayers, volunteer work and financial investments help us provide the rigorous academic programs and student support systems to help us live one of our “10 Great Things”: A commitment to all students’ success.

    God has blessed us with many generous people willing to give back to Scecina Memorial High School and we can’t thank you enough. Here’s to a prosperous 2015 that touches each and every one of our students in positive and lasting ways.

    Sincerely yours,

    Joe Therber
    President


  • Happy New Year 2015

     

    Construction for New Guidance Wing in December 2014

    Construction of New Guidance Wing in December 2014

    Happy New Year 2015! Welcome back to a new semester at Scecina Memorial High School. We hope everyone had a joyous Christmas break filled with family, friends and faith.

    The New Year is a time for fresh starts and renewal, and we have much to look forward to at Scecina.

    We welcome and say hello to three new staff members: teachers Mr. Jeff Getty, Social Studies, and Mrs. Stephanie Schulenborg, Spanish I, and also Mrs. Beth Murphy, our director of marketing communications. Please join me in welcoming them warmly into the Crusader Community.

    Thanks to the hard work of Scecina’s students, teachers, staff, alumni, parents and board of directors, we had many successes in 2014 that we can build upon throughout 2015:

    • We earned an “A” rating for academic achievement from the Indiana State Board of Education.
    • We strengthened our guidance staff and started construction on a guidance center.
    • We hired a master teacher to enhance the faculty’s professional development.
    • We reached our highest enrollment level in a decade.

    We celebrate these and many more achievements, as we also prepare for the future through our Strategic Growth Plan.

    Thank you for your past support to Scecina and your commitment to our growth in the future. May God’s grace bless you and your loved ones throughout this year and always.

    Sincerely yours,

    Joe Therber
    President


  • Christmas Blessings


    “Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.” Luke 2:14

    Merry Christmas! A warm and grateful Christmas greeting to the entire Crusader community, all 7,500 of you.

    The hustle and bustle of the season will culminate in just a few days. Whew!

    Looking deeper, the beauty of Christmas is the year-round gift of Jesus in our hearts, our minds, and our relationships. Indeed, Christmas is in our midst every day of the year.

    Through Jesus, we experience new possibilities for growth and transformation in all that we do. Your involvement in the Crusader community has this same effect on our young people.

    We are grateful to you. Your ideas and your involvement are welcome here. Speaking for our students, staff, and Board of Directors, I wish you a joyous Christmas day and a New Year with Jesus alive in your heart.

    Thank you for being part of the Crusader community, and Merry Christmas once again to all!

    Sincerely yours,

    Joe Therber
    President


  • Grateful for a Strong Scecina Community


    Archbishop Tobin shaking hands with President Therber at Father Tom Mass on November 5th

    This month, we celebrated a splendid Father Tom Day Mass on campus. It was a lively and first-rate celebration of Father Tom and of our school community.

    We had a full house. To be a little more informal, the gym was packed! It was a beautiful and strong sight that reflected many profound messages and realities

    Why was it such a special day?

    To welcome everyone to Father Tom Day, I commented that we are a “Scecina Strong” community of more than 7,500 people from various walks of life. The full house on Father Tom Day was a profound testament of our community.

    Archbishop Joseph Tobin, C. Ss. R., was the primary Mass celebrant. Eight priests who currently serve in the East Deanery or who have served here at one time concelebrated.

    Our ongoing mission as a co-educational archdiocesan Catholic high school means many things. One is that we have a collaborative and positive relationship with the Archbishop of Indianapolis, who now is Archbishop Joseph Tobin, C. Ss. R. Were it not for the full endorsement of the Archbishop of Indianapolis, whoever he is at any given moment, we would not exist.

    Think about that! Archbishop Tobin, like his predecessors including Archbishop Daniel Buechlein most recently, is like a parent to us. Archbishops give us life, guidance, encouragement, and support. If we wander from the intended path, which we hope not to do, Archbishop Tobin can call us back.

    Who else celebrated Father Tom Day? Our liturgical choir was absolutely outstanding. All of our students’ attentiveness and engagement in the Mass were high. Our teachers and our students’ parents, the first and primary educators, deserve much credit for fostering reverence and respect during this Mass and all of our weekly all-school Masses.

    Joining in the day were many alumni and friends, including Board members, parents, grandparents, and members of our Veterans Committee. I enjoy saying that our alumni veterans and the Veterans Committee are special people whose deep respect for Father Tom and for the values of service and sacrifice inspire us.

    Nearly 200 East Deanery middle school students joined us with their teachers and principals. Each East Deanery school brought its 6th, 7th, or 8th grade class to learn about Father Tom and experience Mass on the Scecina campus. These young people and their adult leaders represented the schools of Saint Philip Neri, Holy Cross, Little Flower, Our Lady of Lourdes, Holy Spirit, and Saint Michael (Greenfield) in fine fashion.

    At the conclusion of Mass, we presented the Father Tom Service Award to Father Bob Gilday, Pastor of Little Flower Parish. We present this award annually to a person who has made Scecina Memorial High School an important part of his or her life and who often, in Father Tom’s words, “gives that little extra.”

    In his own words, Father Bob was shocked—a reflection of his humility. As Little Flower pastor and as a member of our Board of Directors, Father Bob often goes the extra mile and is a strong source of insight, support, and advocacy that have helped our school grow and improve during the last several years. The Little Flower students in attendance led the applause for their pastor.

    When Archbishop Tobin began his homily, his first word was, “Finally.” He said that he was glad to finally be at our school to celebrate Father Tom Day with our community after we had to postpone the event three times last year during the harsh winter that we all want to forget but are bracing ourselves for again.

    The second time that I met Archbishop Tobin after he came to Indianapolis, his words were, “Scecina. I want to visit Scecina.” I appreciated Archbishop Tobin’s unsolicited desire to be part of a school that is similar to high schools and communities where he has ministered previously. The archbishop’s opening word—“Finally”—attests to his desire to be in positive relationship with Scecina Memorial High School.

    As he continued, Archbishop Tobin told a story of a friend who was a priest who needed to give a special homily. The priest asked his cousin, a beautiful young girl to come forward and assist him with his homily. She stood by the priest as he spoke. He spoke about love. Eventually, he asked his cousin to imagine that someday a young man would look at her with starry eyes and say that he loved her with all his heart, mind, soul, and might. The priest turned to the girl and asked her what she should do when that occurred. The blushing young girl did not know what to say. The priest came to her rescue. He told her to “Run like h***!”

    The point of the story is that only God can love us completely and at all times, and that He created us to love Him from the deepest part of ourselves, as well. Even though we love one another as best we can, only God can love us infinitely, unconditionally, and at all times.

    Surely, for us as a Catholic high school, conveying this truth of our Christian faith is as valuable as every diploma that we present at Commencement. The vocation that we all share is to make and fulfill a commitment to know, love, and serve God every day. How, when, and where we know, love, and serve Him is unique to every person.

    Only 34 years of age when he died in service to God, freedoms, and his fellow man, Father Thomas Scecina lived his vocation to the fullest. While none of us is likely to endure a multi-mile torturous military death march or to die at sea on a Prisoner of War ship as he did, we all can serve and sacrifice today and tomorrow, just as he did.

    Archbishop Tobin pointed out a unique fact about our school. He noted that we are the only high school in the Archdiocese of Indianapolis established to remember and honor a Catholic priest who willingly gave his life for his friends. Please watch the video of his homily.

    May we live in such a way that our heavenly diplomas will be written with numerous examples of cheerfully living, in the words of our mission statement, “as servant leaders in the inspiring footsteps of Father Thomas Scecina.”

    I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday and enjoy the time with your family and friends. Grateful to everyone who strengthens and spreads our “Scecina Strong” community, I am,

    Sincerely yours,

    Joe Therber
    President


                     

  • It's All About Relationships

    SMHS students celebrated Mass outside at Turkey Run State Park

    Catholic Christians begin prayer by saying, “In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.” These words identify the person praying as a Catholic. Those simple words remind Catholics of the Blessed Trinity and to do everything in the name of the Lord.

    The Trinity is a gift and the model for all relationships. It is a model that emphasizes love and unity. This one relationship sets the standard. It is a challenging standard. Every day and in every way, it demands much of all Catholics and everyone who serves in Catholic schools.

    Every Catholic school takes on the challenge of nurturing students to have life-giving and loving relationships. In that way, all Catholic schools are the same. Schools differ, however, in how they address the challenge.

    Today, as has been the case since 1953, our mission, vision and values guide our efforts to help students love God, themselves, others, and all of Creation. These values say, “Inspired by our Lord Jesus Christ and his servants Father Thomas Scecina and the Sisters of Saint Francis, we embrace:

    • Vocation:  Honoring and living according to the unique gifts that God has given us in keeping with the teachings and values of the Catholic faith
    • Servant Leadership:  Following Jesus’ example of meeting people’s needs and helping them fulfill their highest destinies
    • Stewardship:  Receiving, cultivating, and sharing God's gifts gratefully and generously
    • Excellence:  Living the Gospel and attaining the best possible results in all that we do.

    These values guide us as we prepare students to be Crusaders, not just now, but forever. We want our students and graduates to do the right thing for God, themselves, others, and creation. We want them to be servant leaders.

    What is a servant leader? I would suggest that the answer includes being a person who is committed to meeting the highest priority needs of others. We prepare students to make the world better. We want them to build and nurture relationships that are based on a love of God, themselves, others, and creation.

    We begin by focusing on each student. Teachers and staff help students appreciate their uniqueness and cultivate their talents and gifts to the fullest. They help students strive to be all that God wants them to be. This spirit of servant leadership is why we are developing individual success plans for students. It is why we are strengthening our guidance program. It is why we had a spiritual retreat for faculty and staff at the beginning of the school year so that we can reflect upon our important ministry in the world.

    We help students love God through study and worship. We are blessed to have a strong Catholic Theology program, vibrant Campus Ministry offerings, and many priests from the East Deanery who care deeply about our students. We have a Mass in the gym almost every week during the school year. This week, our seniors are on a spiritual retreat. For many, it is the high point of their senior year. Please remember them in your prayers while they are making this spiritual journey.

    We help students appreciate others, for example, their teachers, coaches, family, classmates, and friends. Each person, after all, has vast dignity as creation of God that contains a spark of the divine. We help others in need through community service such as the food drive that is in progress. And, we are a diverse group. If you were to walk our halls between classes you would see that we look like the world, a happy world with lots of smiles.

    We are more than just a school. We are a Catholic ministry, which means that we are to foster affirmation in the midst of our strengths and forgiveness in the midst of our imperfections. Counting students, teachers, staff, parents, and alumni, we are a community of more than 7,500 persons strong.

    As a community, we gather at Mass to praise and worship God on Wednesdays in the gym. We gather at football and basketball games and other sporting events to cheer our teams and see our friends. We gather at Commencement to celebrate the present and the future, and to remember days gone by. We gather to celebrate Father Tom Day and the veterans who served our nation. We gather at Club 53 to relax and dance—some well and some not caring so much about their gracefulness.

    We want our students to love all of creation. We have an excellent science curriculum, which includes a series of biomedical science courses that can result in college credit. And, it is not all about studying. For example, recently our Campus Ministry staff led a weekend outing to Turkey Run State Park. The pictures on Facebook and Twitter showed our students enjoying God’s creation, enjoying each other, hiking, and just having a good time.

    Teaching young people to love God, themselves, others, and creation is a very challenging undertaking. When we succeed, our graduates are uniquely prepared to continue building positive relationships after they leave Scecina. The Trinity and the Catholic education that they have received become the rock upon which they can live their lives to the fullest and make the world a better place.

    For those of you who live in central Indiana, let me double back and mention community again. On Tuesday, November 5 we will celebrate Father Tom Day, and Archbishop Tobin will celebrate Mass with priests of the East Deanery. This year marks the 70th anniversary of Father Tom’s death at sea during World War II. We will gather at 9:30 am. You can RSVP online. It would be great if you could attend. And I hope to see you at Club 53 on Saturday evening, November 15. You can purchase tickets online.

    Thank you for your part in our Crusade and for supporting our Crusader students of today.

    Sincerely,

    Joe Therber
    President