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 President Therber can be contacted by email at or by  telephone at 317.352.3282

  • Happy birthday, Father Thomas Scecina


    We love birthdays. Interestingly, tomorrow is Father Tom’s birthday. Yes, Father Thomas Scecina was born on September 16, 1910. In only 34 short years before his untimely death in October 1944 in service to God and country, he welcomed people and transformed the world (words in our school vision statement).

    As our Church teaches in its official documents, a truly Catholic school has certain hallmarks. One, it fosters true belief in its students and community that people have an eternal destiny—life with God forever. A truly Catholic school believes and teaches that Jesus is the model person. A truly Catholic school is marked by teamwork, cooperation, and respect. Finally, a truly Catholic school lives the Gospel on top of knowing its stories and lessons.

     How fortunate we are to have Father Thomas Scecina as our namesake and an inspiration. He lived as a truly Catholic school would inspire him to live—and to die.

    It is nearly unfathomable to me to envision dying a sure and certain death over a few hours while freely and consciously responding to the most intense needs and hopes of people in my midst. Yet that is what Father Tom did on the last day of his life. As a result, thousands of people worldwide and across many generations are inspired by him.

    This evening and Saturday, the first graduating class of Scecina, the Class of 1957, will celebrate their 60th year reunion. More than half the living class members will attend. Their reunion coinciding with Father Tom’s birthday is a beautiful combination, for they with him forged the trail that we are now walking.

    Today or this weekend, lending a helping hand or performing an act of kindness in our homes or communities would be a wonderful birthday present to Father Tom. Imitation is the highest form of flattery! Thank you, Father Tom, for being the great gift to us that you are every day of the year.

    Go Crusaders!

    Joe Therber

  • An authentic Catholic school


    I hope the new school year is going very well for you and your child or children. It’s difficult to believe that we have almost reached the halfway point of the first grading period, but we have!

    Please frequently ask your child how classes and other school activities are going. One of the marks of an authentic Catholic school is community as evidenced by teamwork and cooperation. You as parents are your children’s first and primary educators in faith. We are here to help you succeed in this awesome and sometimes perplexing if not frightening responsibility. Please, let us know how we can support you—and if we are doing a good job! 

    A second mark of an authentic Catholic school is what our Church calls a supernatural vision. Simply put, a supernatural vision means that we believe our students and your children are destined to become saints in heaven.

    Along the way toward heaven, our students discover opportunities to succeed in college and/or careers. Next week, our annual College Planning Night will be on Tuesday, September 5 at 6:00 p.m. Please enter through the east gym lobby.

    Mr. Josh Orndorff, our college and career counselor, has planned an informative evening for you. This event is important for juniors and seniors and their families, especially if you are navigating the college admission process for the first time. As the marketing ads for a national hardware store chain say, “You can do it. We can help!”

    In addition next week, the first quarterly Progress Report Night will be Thursday, Sept. 7 at 5:00 p.m. Please come and discuss your child’s academic progress with teachers. Both College Planning Night and Progress Report Night will be excellent opportunities to meet our new principal, Dr. Joe Brettnacher, if you have not already had the opportunity.

    Yet another dimension of community in an authentic Catholic school is alumni engagement. Tonight is Homecoming! Please join us. The 2-0, state-ranked Crusader varsity football team plays the Park Tudor Panthers at 7 p.m. at Tech High School. You'll want to get there early for the tailgate party, starting at 5:30 p.m. in the parking area by the stadium. Our students showed a lot of spirit for Homecoming this week by dressing up according to the daily themes and decorating the halls. Let’s keep up that spirit by cheering on the Crusaders to victory tonight.

    Enjoy your Labor Day weekend! We'll be back on Tuesday to start another great week of community and learning at Scecina. Blessings,

    Joe Therber

  • Back to school with updated classrooms, new principal


    We’ve have had a smooth and positive opening to the new school year. During the first week, we welcomed 452 students. Our students come from numerous schools on the Eastside, throughout the city, and around the world.

    Freshmen on first day of classes 2017During the summer, we modernized 24 classrooms with new ceilings, floors, paint, electrical service, windows, blinds, dry erase boards, and air conditioning units. The teachers’ reviews of the modernizations have been very positive. This effort signifies a clear step forward in our learning environment. Thank you to the Archdiocese of Indianapolis, Scecina Board of Directors, numerous donors, contractors, and Scecina staff who contributed to making this $400,000 vision a reality. 

    Wednesday, August 23, is Meet the Teachers Night at 7 p.m. We will start with a welcome, prayer, and opening remarks in the gymnasium before moving to opportunities to meet teachers in the classrooms and to meet our new principal, Dr. Joe Brettnacher. Thank you in advance to our parents for supporting your children. I hope as many parents as possible will attend and meet the dedicated and professional educators who are partnering with you in the education of your children.

    This year, we’re undertaking some new initiatives, including two new academic classes. One class exposes students to healthcare careers in partnership with Community Hospital East. Mrs. Sarah Smith, science department chair, is the instructor. Students will learn at both Scecina and at the hospital. Thanks to John Hegarty, vice president of community initiatives, for working with the hospital leadership, Mrs. Smith, and me to launch the class.

    The second new class is Introduction to Computer Science, taught by Mr. David Dellacca, vice president of technology. The class introduces students to principles and experiences in computer programming as part of our STEM environment. Throughout the year, we will introduce you to more ways in which our students discover opportunities to become the best versions of themselves.

    Tonight is CYO Night at our varsity football game at Manual High School versus Elwood. The Crusaders start the season ranked in the Top 10 of Class 2A. Please come out and support the team and our other sports programs this fall. Thank you for supporting our students in many ways. Together, we are the Scecina Community.

    Go Crusaders!


    Joe Therber

  • Scecina staff, faculty reflect upon the role of Catholic educators


    I hope you’ve had a great summer and been able to recharge and relax during the break. 

    As I’ve written before, we undertook a significant summer project to modernize 24 classrooms at Scecina. When the students come back to school, they’ll see the improvements in their classrooms. These include new floors, ceilings, windows and blinds, as well as fresh paint and a few other touch-ups. 

    Just as we have refreshed our school building, the staff and faculty also need to renew before the new school year starts. We did just that at the annual mini-retreat this week. Thanks to new Director of Campus Ministry, Amy Noser, for her work in organizing a productive, relaxing and fun retreat. It was a perfect setting and a perfect night for socializing and reflecting upon on our roles as Catholic educators. Parable of the Sower: Photo illustration of seeds being planed by hand

    Our special retreat guest, Deacon Rick Wagner, who has had a long career in Catholic education, spoke about the Parable of the Sower, who spread seed upon different types of soil (Matthew 13:1-9). Deacon Rick challenged us with a question: What type of soil are we providing for the young people entrusted to us? 

    Deacon Rick also told the story of the young rich man who asked how he could follow Jesus (Matthew 19:16-22). Jesus’ reply was for him to sell everything and give the money to the poor. This story, Deacon Rick explained, shows us how our work is never finished. We must get up each day prepared for the opportunity to mold young lives. Catholic educators are required to do more than check tasks off a list, he said. We instead are to seek and develop the dignity and beauty that are in every student. 

    “We’re not Catholic educators because of what we do,” he said. “We’re Catholic educators because of who we are.” 

    This school year, as we welcome new families, faculty, and a new principal, Dr. Joe Brettnacher, we also renew our pledge to be that fertile soil our young people need to learn, grow, and go forth to transform the world inspired by the light of Christ. 

    God Bless, 

    Joe Therber

  • 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

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