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 President Therber can be contacted by email at jtherber@scecina.org or by  telephone at 317.352.3282

  • New principal's roots, experience are in Indiana

    On July 18 I introduced our new principal, Joe Brettnacher, to the Scecina Community. Joe has a wealth of Catholic education experience. He is coming to Scecina from Ohio, where he has been the Superintendent of Schools for the Diocese of Columbus since 2014. 

    In reality, Joe’s Hoosier roots are deep. As committed parents, Joe and his wife, Pam, want to live near their family in the Indianapolis area, especially since their newest grandchild is due soon. He’s been a teacher and administrator at Indiana schools for most of his career. He was the principal of Mishawaka’s Marian High School in the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend and at Central Catholic Junior-Senior High School in the Diocese of Lafayette.

    Joe received his bachelor’s degree in Industrial Education from Purdue University. He has a master’s degree in secondary education and he received his Ph.D. in leadership.

    I’m very pleased that Joe has chosen to come to Scecina. He will start here on August 7. Please look for announcements about opportunities to meet and welcome him.

    As Joe comes in, John Hegarty, who has been principal since 2011, will be moving into his new role at Scecina. John becomes Vice President of Community Initiatives, a position created to grow Scecina’s International Student Program and to expand opportunities such as technical training opportunities for students who want to enter the workforce immediately after graduation.

    John already is enthusiastically diving into the new role. He currently is in China, building relationships and introducing prospective students and their parents to Scecina. His work ethic, creativity, commitment to students of all backgrounds, and long association with Scecina will be tremendous assets in this endeavor.

    As you can tell, it’s been a busy and productive summer at the school as we instituted these leadership changes and started $400,000 of renovations in 24 classrooms. We’re now counting down the days until we welcome the Class of 2021 at New Student Orientation on August 2 and the start of school for everyone on August 9.

    I hope you’re enjoying your summer. I’m excited about the start of a new school year at Scecina!

    Joe Therber
    President 

  • 4 summer success stories at Scecina

    I hope this message finds you well and enjoying the first month of summer. All of us at Scecina look forward to the start of the new school year.

    June was a very successful and productive month at Scecina. I want to share with you several recent highlights that illustrate God’s blessings upon our school as well as the far-reaching talents and generosity of our students, teachers, alumni and friends:

    • The National History Teacher of the Year Award Program has named Scecina history teacher Mr. Andrew Smith as the Indiana History Teacher of the Year.  A panel of Indiana teachers, administrators, and scholars selected Mr. Smith for this prestigious award.
    • The Indiana Department of Education recognized Scecina for the percentage of our students who earned passing scores on their Advanced Placement (AP) tests and, thus, qualified for college credit. 
    • The Scecina varsity softball team won the Indiana High School Athletic Association (IHSAA) state championship for the third time in 11 years.
    • This summer we are making $400,000 in improvements to 24 classrooms that will enhance the learning environment for our current and future students. 

    Plans are underway for an even more successful 2017 – 2018 school year at Scecina. 

    We're looking forward to welcoming the Class of 2021 as they become Scecina Crusaders. Our commitment is to support them and all of our students as they become servant-leaders for life through their God-given gifts and talents.

    Sincerely, 

    Joe Therber
    President 

  • What does being a Scecina graduate mean?

    President Therber's remarks at Scecina's 61st Commencement on May 26:

    Good evening. Again congratulations to our graduates and their families!

    Because we have been charged by the Archdiocese of Indianapolis to serve since 1953, I first want to thank Mrs. Lentz. Mickey has been a faithful and energetic teacher and leader in the Archdiocese of Indianapolis for many years, starting as an elementary school teacher and then becoming one of the most nationally recognized superintendents of Catholic schools.

    Thank you, East Deanery priests and principals, for your support of Scecina and your spiritual guidance. Thank you, Scecina board members, chaired by George Newhart of the Class of 1960, for the time and talent you give to help guide our school.

    Finally, thank you to all our educators, parents, families, and friends for all you have invested in these young people and for the doors you have opened for them.

    Class of 2017: Opportunities

    One of the themes at the Baccalaureate Mass last night was, “What does it mean?” A similar question is, “What does being a Scecina graduate mean?” 5 things come to my mind.

    One, it means you have attended Mass at least weekly during high school. If you retain nothing from the last 4 years for the rest of your life but that habit, your education will have been a good investment. Praying, giving thanks, and worshipping can determine your eternal happiness more than any scholarship, profession, or amount of money can.

    Two, it means you have arrived from many neighborhoods and communities and have grown in compassion by learning a thing or two about different people’s gifts, challenges, goals, and needs.

    Three, it means that you have experienced what Father Rick said last night, which is that “Life and the Gospel can be pain.” You have felt this pain through setbacks, confusion, even loss of life on earth. Yet you have continued and strived to go on, thanks to your friends, teachers, and community members.

    Four, it means that you have set goals and achieved them. And that you have set goals and had the fortune to NOT achieve them, for, in not achieving, you have learned to ask for guidance, to reach out for help, to overcome. Your future goals are great. We need you. You want to save lives. You want to solve 3rd-world problems. You want to make money and do good with it. You want to defend our country. You want to marry and have families.

    Interestingly, just yesterday, I learned that two of you have had a can of chocolate milk in your locker since freshmen year, moving it from yearly locker to yearly locker looking forward to the day this week when you would crack that can and drink the milk. We need attention to detail and practical goal setting like this. You remind me of a retired Navy SEAL officer, whose book on leadership says, “If you want to change the world, start by making your bed, for if you can’t do the little things right, you will never do the big things right.”<

    Five, it means that you have Discovered Great Opportunities . . . Opportunities to find your passions and to connect with people who share them.

    That might be playing in a band or choir or traveling out of the country for the first time. Maybe you discovered speaking skills through Student Ambassadors. You’ve been able to stretch yourself academically in Advanced Placement classes or Study Skills classes. You have been part of athletic successes and championships. You felt your faith deepen through service, retreats, and our weekly school liturgies. You have discovered that you care about the Eastside having a vibrant Catholic high school for years to come.

    These opportunities have given you more than you expected, or maybe everything you hoped. In your essays for the Scecina Women’s Circle scholarship recently, I read several profound insights. 2 examples:

    “My time in Mass at Scecina allowed me to recognize that my family and I had not been going to Mass very often. Ever since then, we have been going to Mass almost every weekend. Not only did Scecina present me with a new family, it also helped me grow stronger in faith.”

    “I have learned that the team goal is greater than my own goal. I am but one player among many. Therefore, I play for the team first and myself second. Selflessness is just as important as confidence.”

    Class of 2017, congratulations, and thank you for the contributions you have made to Scecina. In the history of the world, you are one of only 61 graduating classes from this school named for a dedicated Christian, patriot, and friend.

    The Challenge Coin that we will present to you with your diploma is your tangible reminder from Scecina and our Veterans Committee that you are part of a powerful group, that you have met the challenge, and to live as Jesus did in good times and when life is painful.

    I am very grateful for you. Please remain connected and involved. Thank you very much.

  • Congratulations, Class of 2017

    Congratulations to the Class of 2017! They have finished the race; they have kept the faith.

    The Class of 2017 has racked up impressive accomplishments in the classroom, in athletics and in clubs and other co-curricular activities. They have discovered opportunities at Scecina that have pushed them to be the best versions of themselves that God envisions.

    This year’s graduating class of 102 students has been awarded $11 million in college scholarships. Students have been accepted at our finest institutes of higher learning, including the U.S. Naval Academy, the University of Notre Dame, Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, Colorado School of Mines, Holy Cross and Xavier, Indiana and Purdue, Hanover and Wabash and DePauw. Several received direct admission into the specialty schools of their choice such as IU’s Kelley School of Business.

    Next week we set aside time to celebrate these accomplishments. Senior Awards Day takes place at 1 p.m. Wednesday May 24. The seniors will be dressed in their caps and gowns. We will recognize the accomplishments of the Class of 2017, including department and athletic honors. We also will announce the finalists for the John J. Henninger Award for Christian Service, one of our highest honors for a graduating senior. We also have some underclassmen scholarships to announce. Family and friends of all students are welcome.

    Baccalaureate is always a special moment as the class gathers for one last Mass together. This year’s Mass takes place at 7 p.m. Thursday May 25 at Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church, 5333 E. Washington Street. Father Richard M. Ginther, pastor at Lourdes, will be the main celebrant and several other East Deanery priests also will preside. The Henninger Award winner also is announced during Baccalaureate.

    Students will receive their diplomas during Scecina’s 61st Commencement at 7 p.m. Friday May 26 in the gymnasium. Our special guest is Annette “Mickey” Lentz, chancellor of the Archdiocese of Indianapolis. You will need tickets for this event.

    Our East Deanery priests have given a special blessing for the Scecina Memorial High School Class of 2017, and I want to share that with you now:

    Lord God, You are our Shepherd and Lord. Bless Our Graduates with Wisdom, Courage and Profound Trust in Your Guiding Voice. These seniors now go out into the world as Scecina alumni. We pray they continue to discover and take advantage of all the opportunities before them.

    Peace,

    Joe Therber
    President 

  • Catholic schools sustain our society and our communities

    Greetings! 

    I hope you experienced a joyous Easter and are basking in the glory of our Risen Lord! 

    Spring is here, a season that often reawakens our sense of community as we get out more and interact with our neighbors. 

    “Community” is the word that stood out to me at the recent annual Spring Benefit for Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic School, where we celebrated the school and were entertained by the schoolchildren.

    Our Lady of Lourdes, like all of Scecina’s East Deanery partner parishes and schools, is an important anchor in its community. Lourdes has been part of Irvington for more than 100 years. The church established the first school in the neighborhood, the Lourdes website says. Generations of students have passed through the school, with many then moving on to high school at Scecina, and many repeating the cycle with their own children. Who could imagine Irvington without Lourdes?

    The school’s annual Spring Benefit is a chance to honor its history and its faithful. Lourdes paid tribute to Jack and Ann Hutt with the 2017 Philip J. Wilhelm Our Living Legacy Award. Fittingly, Mr. and Mrs. Hutt were close long-time friends of Mr. Wilhelm, a generous and energetic supporter of Lourdes and Scecina, before his passing. 

    If anyone deserves the honor of his legacy award, it’s Mr. and Mrs. Jack Hutt. 

    All eight Hutt children attended Lourdes and Scecina. The Hutts passed on to their children the importance of giving back to community. Jack and Ann spent countless hours helping with Lourdes athletics and mentoring youth. As parents of Scecina students and alumni, their loyal generosity through the years has been a blessing to our school. 

    Lourdes also recognized Father Jim Farrell at last week’s benefit. Father Jim, now pastor at St. Pius X Parish, is an Eastsider who attended Little Flower Catholic Church and School. He was pastor of Lourdes from 1997 through 2002. He spoke with affection and conviction about the strong community that Lourdes has built over the years and its endurance as a beacon of hope on the Eastside of Indianapolis. I know that Father Jim feels the same way about Scecina. His brother, Steve, was a very popular member of our Class of 1961. Another brother, Kevin, is an active alumnus from the Class of 1965.

    Father Tim Scully, C. S. C., of the University of Notre Dame, spoke at an Archdiocese of Indianapolis event last fall. Catholic schools are indispensable to their communities, he said. “What would be different in America today, in our Church, in our communities, if Catholic schools never existed?” he asked. 

    I share that question with you to ponder. Thank you for ensuring that Scecina remains a vital part of our Church and society. I hope you have a wonderful weekend.

    Peace,

    Joe Therber
    President 

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