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

  • Summer improvements at Scecina


    Scecina continues to enhance the student learning experience through the purposeful use of technology.

    Summer greetings!

    As our students enjoy their vacation, we are re-energizing Scecina with many improvements that will enhance their experience this year and beyond.

    We’re focusing on many levels to prepare for next school year in support of our mission. For the 2015-16 school year, our students will find:

    • New staff members: We are recruiting and hiring energized and qualified faculty, a Director of Guidance, a Director of Campus Ministry, and a Dean of Students who are all committed to the principles of Catholic education and who have the experience it takes to be effective leaders.
    • State-of-the-art technology: Scecina is continuing its tradition of excellence by enhancing the student learning experience through the purposeful use of technology via:

      a. An Ethical and Responsible Use of Technology Policy will include guidance and expectations for students, staff, and volunteers

      b. BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) environment in which students are encouraged to bring smartphones, laptops, or tablets to school in accordance with previously communicated standards

      c. Doubling the speed of Internet access through two new servers

      d. A new communication and alert system that we plan to make available during the first semester of the year

      e. Student access to Microsoft Office 2013 Professional, Office 2013 Apps, a Scecina e-mail account, and online cloud storage of school work and projects. Scecina will provide education and training for students on the use of these resources during the first quarter of the school year.

    • Updated facilities: We’re renovating the cafeteria into a very welcoming and attractive space for gathering and dining, changing all of the fixtures in our school restrooms, and installing a new roof on the Blockhouse, which is a safety priority.

    Meanwhile, we are collaborating with the Archdiocese of Indianapolis on longer-range plans for improvements to our campus:

    • The archdiocese last month approved our proposed Facility Master Plan. Many students and members of our staff, Board of Directors, and overall community were engaged in this process over several months.
    • A proposal to the archdiocesan administration is being developed for Scecina to conduct a feasibility study for a future capital campaign. A feasibility study raises stakeholders’ awareness of our Facility Master Plan and how it supports our school mission. It also would invite the community to respond to questions relating to our potential readiness for a future capital campaign. (For clarity, we are laying the foundation for a successful campaign; we have not formally started a campaign.)

    I hope you find this update informative and in line with your vision for Scecina Memorial High School. Feel free to contact me if you’d like to discuss any of these topics.

    Enjoy your summer, and thank you for keeping Scecina in your prayers!

    Blessings,
    Joe Therber

    President

  • Update on Father Noah Casey


    Father Noah Casey

    Dear Students, Families, Alumni and Friends,

    The purpose of this message is to convey important and recent developments pertaining to the health of Father Noah Casey, Pastor of Our Lady of Lourdes Parish and, until spring 2015, Chaplain Coordinator at Scecina Memorial High School.  Soon after his appointment in 2012 as Chaplain Coordinator, Father Noah told me with great happiness, "I volunteered for the job!"

    Father Noah has a true and deep love for people of all ages and walks of life, including young people who are seeking answers, or at least caring and wise support and advice, relating to life's ultimate questions in our increasingly fast-paced and complex society.  I will always be grateful to Father Noah for believing in the dignity and potential that every one of our students has as a child of God.

    Many of you know that Father Noah had cancer surgery in 2013. Following surgery and a recovery period, Father Noah returned to active chaplain coordinator service at Scecina.  He then had to undergo further surgery and several recovery treatments during this past school year.  The last 2½ years have been very challenging and physically difficult for Father Noah.  During this period, he also led the successful unification of Our Lady of Lourdes and St. Bernadette parishes, which brought him great joy and hope.

    Recently, in a letter to parishioners of Our Lady of Lourdes Parish, Father Noah stated that the cancer has spread and that further treatments have little to no likelihood of success and would come with difficult side effects. He has decided to forgo any further treatment of the cancer, and his medical team has advised that he has "months, not years" to live.  I encourage you to read Father Noah's letter on the Caring Bridge website at caringbridge.org. Our Lady of Lourdes Parish is organizing a prayer service for Father Noah. The service will be at 7 p.m. Monday June 29 at the parish.

    Since this spring, Deacon Mike Braun has served generously and effectively as the school's chaplain coordinator. Fathers Mike Welch and Dave Lawler have generously provided liturgical and sacramental coverage at Our Lady of Lourdes Parish while Father Noah continues to be the pastor.  Deacon Mike, Father Mike, and Father Dave have continued to be great gifts to our people during these times.  For the 2015-16 school year, Father Aaron Jenkins will bring his gifts and energies as the newly appointed Scecina chaplain coordinator and pastor of St. Michael Parish in Greenfield.

    Father Noah is a locally and nationally well-known, respected, and inspiring priest and pastor of the Archdiocese of Indianapolis. Please rejoice with us in the great gift that he is to the Scecina community, and please join countless friends who are praying for him.

    God Bless,

    Joe Therber



  • Congratulations to the Class of 2015

       

    Scecina Memorial High School Valedictorian Robert "Bo" Addison Leszcynski gives his address to his fellow classmates.

    I delivered these remarks at Scecina's 59th Commencement on May 22, 2015:

    Good evening. In a few moments, the Class of 2015 will begin the next stage of their lives as proud Scecina alumni. As that moment nears, I want to offer thanks to those who have made this occasion possible for them:

    To Archbishop Tobin: For your service, wisdom, and guidance in leading the Archdiocese of Indianapolis.

    To East Deanery pastors, principals and members of the Scecina Board of Directors: For preparing and guiding so many of our students, and for supporting our school as an anchor for the people of the Eastside and our city.

    To our graduates’ teachers, family members, and friends: For educating and supporting the Class of 2015.

    To all of the parents: For believing in your children and sacrificing your time, energy, and treasure so that your children can receive a Scecina education in spirit, mind, and body.

    To the Class of 2015, you have earned many achievements during your years here. For example, you have:

  • Become champions in academic competitions
  • Earned a record dollar amount in college scholarships.
  • Strengthened our Eastside and city communities through your acts of Christian service
  • Prayed every day and worshipped every week of high school
  • Experienced two exciting state championship football games; city championships and a state title in softball, a high state-wide ranking in boys basketball, and many advancements in state tournaments for individual sports. 
  • Inspired us with your musical and theatrical talents.     

    The real value, though, of a Scecina education runs deeper than numbers or trophies. That deeper value lies in recognizing the dignity in every person while living your faith through acts of service.

    As Pope Francis told young people at this year’s World Youth Day:

    “Challenge yourselves, and with a pure heart do not be afraid of what God is asking of you! From your ‘yes’ to the Lord’s call, you will become new seeds of hope in the Church and in society. Never forget: God’s will is our happiness!”

    I know you, as Crusaders, are up to this way of life and all the challenges, known and unknown, that lay before you now.

    Soon, you will walk outside as Scecina alumni. You are forever fortunate to bear the “Scecina” name, the name of a devoted, heroic, even saintly, Christian and patriot.

    Father Tom, who served as a United States Army chaplain during World War II with its indescribable cruelties, probably lived with fear. We can easily think of him as a neatly dressed and comfortable man, as the pictures in our main hallway indicate. A book titled "Ghost Soldiers," though, paints a completely different picture. "Ghost Soldiers" tells very detailed stories of United States and Filipino soldiers fighting, falling, becoming unspeakably ill, praying, dying, and surviving exactly when and where Father Tom did. The stories of the physical and mental torture they endured cause great sorrow and gratitude to spring up inside you at the same time. To wrestle these challenges to the ground, Father Tom and his unit soldiers must have drawn upon immense courage, faith, and commitment to service.

    Father Tom’s story proves that the fullness of our lives is not measured in years alone; his was only 34 years, yet his transcript of service and love has enriched the world for over a century.

    He continues to enrich the Crusader community today. I’ll give you an example. Historically, many military units have issued challenge coins that bear the unit’s insignia or emblem. Challenge coins are presented to members of the unit in recognition of their achievements and to prove membership in the group. In other words, a challenge coin says that you are a member and have met the challenge.

    Scecina’s Veterans Committee thought it would be appropriate to give each new Scecina graduate a challenge coin commemorating the life of Father Tom and his service to God, country and neighbor. This summer, each Crusader from the class of 2015 will receive a challenge coin depicting Father Tom, the school’s crest, and words of encouragement to live in service to God, country, and neighbor. I hope it reminds you of his faith-filled service and inspires you to make those virtues your own.

    On behalf of everyone at Scecina Memorial High School and our entire community, thank you, congratulations, and may you rise to life’s joys and challenges as courageous Crusaders always.

  • Giving We Receive: The paradox of being generous


    The new book "The Paradox of Generosity," by University of Notre Dame professors Christian Smith and Hilary Davidson, explains data and research that show how and why people give and how being generous affects  our well-being.

    Can generosity be learned? Yes, according to Notre Dame professor Christian Smith. Smith is co-author of the book “The Paradox of Generosity: Giving We Receive, Grasping We Lose” and gave a lecture recently at the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy. Smith cited his research showing how our parents, our social networks and the calls to give that we hear in our faith communities heavily influence whether we become people who happily give back to their communities and to charities.

    And people who are generous are happier and healthier, Professor Smith has found. No matter their income levels or bank accounts, they believe they live lives of abundance and want to share those blessings with others.

    Generosity comes to mind now, while we are in the midst of our annual Campus Crusade. Our students will participate in the annual walkathon on May 11. They are seeking pledges to raise money for their school. Through Campus Crusade, we hope to inspire our students to learn the value of giving back. They have been encouraged to share the news of their Scecina experience with others to emphasize the value of a Catholic education.

    The students themselves experience generosity every day at Scecina: the legacy of Father Thomas Scecina’s selfless service to others; Scecina’s programs, facilities and tuition assistance that are the tangible effects of many generous donors; the teachers, advisors and coaches who give up their own time to help students. In return we want our young people to learn to “pass it on.” We hope giving and generosity become second nature to them.

    We learn through our Catholic-Christian faith that it is through giving that we receive. It’s a lesson that many of you can attest to in your personal lives. In “The Paradox of Generosity,” Professor Smith and co-author Hilary Davidson write:

    “Giving money, volunteering, being relationally generous, being a generous neighbor and friend, and personally valuing the importance of being a generous person are all significantly, positively correlated with greater personal happiness, physical health, a stronger sense of purpose in life, avoidance of symptoms of depression and a greater interest in personal growth.”

    On May 11, we’re walking together, in the spirit of community and generosity, for our school, Scecina Memorial High School. It’s just one way we at Scecina teach students to look and to give extra beyond themselves as servant-leaders.

    These are the moments we hope will become fond memories and will influence a new generation of generous givers.

    Thank you very much for being generous givers and for providing opportunities for the students of today to learn this habit and shape our world of tomorrow.

    Blessings to you and yours,

    Joe Therber
    President

  • Scecina Parent Ambassador Team

    Our Parent Ambassadors help out at various events throughout the school year, like student orientation.

    The role of parental involvement in education is a key element for student success. We at Scecina honor the role of parents and guardians as the first and primary educators of their children.

    Actively engaged parents are critical in helping establish and sustain healthy, ongoing relationships among students, parents and school staff. Therefore, we are forming a new organization known as the Scecina Parent Ambassador Team.

    The Parent Ambassador Team will have four focus areas. These areas, with an example for each category, are:

    1. School and Family Communication: Welcome calls to new families

    2. Special Events: Open House and Club 53 involvement

    3. Affirming School Staff: Back to School Night dinner for staff and Teacher Appreciation Week luncheon

    4. Legislative Affairs: Keeping school families informed of legislative opportunities that have the potential to impact Catholic schools like Scecina.

    We would define a good parent leader as someone who:

    • Believes in the mission of Scecina.
    • Will enlist other volunteers and is a good delegator.
    • Likes to affirm and thank fellow volunteers.
    • Will work collaboratively with the school staff.

     

    If you have questions about the Parent Ambassador Team, please feel free to contact President Joe Therber  (jtherber@scecina.org) or Julanne Sausser (jmsausser@att.net), the current chairperson.

    Again, we value your input and your involvement in our school. 

    Sincerely yours,

    Joe Therber
    President

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