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

  • Committed to serving a diverse and gifted community


    Dear Scecina parents and friends,

    How could Scecina serve even more of God’s children?

    As a school, we’ve often discussed this question. As you are aware, Scecina is committed to updating our strong academic programs to serve our community and also to stay true to our mission to serve our diverse and gifted community.

    We have accomplished many things in regard to that mission: increased the number of Advanced Placement courses; implemented a four-year Biomedical Sciences program; expanded visual and performing arts classes; added dual-credit classes; partnered with a foreign-exchange program; and offered online courses and classes for students to whom English is a second language.

    For the 2016-17 school year, we are very pleased to announce that we are expanding a program that will allow us to serve more students. A pilot program called CREST will broaden our services and academic offerings for students with autism.

    CREST stands for Crusaders Reaching Educational and Social Goals Together. Students in the CREST program will receive the same quality education that all Scecina students receive and which will lead to their high school diploma in preparation for college and careers.

    This opportunity will help us fulfill our mission as a Catholic preparatory school for college and for life. We look forward to welcoming new students who want to grow even further in their academic abilities and life skills.

    Principal John Hegarty and teacher Lee Ann Van Benten, director of our Learning Differences program, are leading our efforts on CREST. They both have the experience, the knowledge and the compassion to make CREST a welcoming and academically strong program.

    Besides receiving academic assistance, students in CREST will have a social skills class that will help them with their peer-to-peer interaction and also coach them in life skills such as shopping, driving, and other daily activities that these students may struggle with.

    We believe many families are seeking a trusted place for their children who are on the autism spectrum. Such families who want the values of a Christian community may have limited choices. We now are giving them a great option with the addition of CREST, and they will be able to take advantage of the many other academic, sports and co-curricular programs that Scecina offers.

    God Bless,

    Joe Therber

  • Scecina graduates prepared for the future

    A Scecina Memorial High School diploma,        a passport to a bright future


    At Scecina Memorial High School, we focus on preparing our students for college and for life in our Catholic Christian environment. For four years, we help them grow in knowledge, faith and wisdom as they develop into young adults ready for the next step that God offers them.

    I really cherish seeing where those next steps lead.

    I had the pleasure recently of visiting the University of Dayton to attend a senior piano recital by Jonathan Higgins, Scecina’s 2012 valedictorian. Jonathan will graduate next month and then head to St. Michael Catholic Church in Greenfield to lead its music ministry program.

    Jonny’s recital was a beautiful capstone experience for his K-16 educational career, every year of which has been in a Catholic school, first at Our Lady of Lourdes School, then at Scecina, and now at the University of Dayton. He beautifully wove elements of faith, academics, music, mission, and family together into a moving experience.

    As yet another Scecina Commencement day nears, I have an update on how some other Scecina graduates -- students from our Class of 2015 -- are doing.

    Robert “Bo” Leszcynski, last year’s valedictorian, also is at the University of Dayton, where he is studying biochemistry and “enjoying every minute of it, “ he says. “The education I received at Scecina has given me such a huge head start that I literally could not have imagined a year ago – not just a basis for college subject material, but also in how to manage my time wisely and interact with teachers. Those are just two of the many skills Scecina was able to give me.”

    Caroline Sausser, last year’s salutatorian, is at Miami University in Ohio, where she is pursuing a double major in Classical Studies and Classical Languages. The credits she earned by taking Scecina’s Advancement Placement courses and the AP exams elevated her to sophomore class status and allowed her to take on multiple upper-level courses as a freshman at Miami. “Thanks to Scecina and my AP classes, I had good study habits and was prepared; I could balance school with extracurricular and social activities, and I know how to develop positive relationships with faculty,” she wrote.

    Jessi Ryan, a top 10 student from the Class of 2015, made the Dean’s List at the University of Kentucky, where she is majoring in neuroscience and psychology with plans to attend medical school. “I would say the higher-level classes I took my junior and senior year (at Scecina) definitely prepared me, especially for all the math and chemistry,” she said. “I also had a lot of credits from AP coming into the UK, so I got to skip a lot of typical freshman 100 level classes.”

    Each of these young people was a recipient of the President's Academic Excellence Award while at Scecina. They owe their success to their parents and to their own hard work. We are proud to have partnered with their families during their time at Scecina. We are truly proud of our dedicated staff that works diligently to prepare our students for the opportunities and challenges that lie before them.

    The Class of 2016 is about to embark on a similar journey. Like so many Scecina classes before them, they have been accepted at top universities and offered many scholarships. We’ll be letting you know more about these achievements in the next month.

    Thank you, Scecina families, for trusting us to help prepare your children for the future.

    God Bless,

    Joe Therber

  • Celebrating milestones

    Sister Lavonne Long


    This week, as we transition from Lent to Easter, is a good time to write about milestones. Allow me to share a few that reflect the spirit of Easter:

    Jesus is Risen! Archbishop Joseph Tobin, in his most recent message in The Criterion, writes about how Good Friday gives way to the joy of Easter: “We Christians are joyful people because we have experienced the mercy of God through the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. His self-sacrificing love has saved us. It has restored us to our full dignity as children of God and brothers and sisters of all humanity — deceased, living and yet-to-be born,” he writes. “Good Friday is the pathway to Easter joy. Let’s sing ‘alleluia!’ with joyful hearts. God’s mercy has restored us and set us free! Let’s forgive others as we have been forgiven. Let’s share the joy of Easter!” Thank you, Archbishop, for helping lead us to a deeper understanding of our faith.

    Franciscan Jubilees! This Sunday, April 3, many Sisters of Saint Francis will celebrate milestone anniversaries as members of the Franciscan community in Oldenburg. Included in this lively group is Sister Lavonne Long, who celebrates 75 years as a Sister of Saint Francis. Through her tenure at Scecina and in other Catholic schools as a teacher, Principal, Director of Guidance, and personal advisor to countless friends, Sister Lavonne has been a remarkable gift to our community. I look forward to seeing her at Scecina’s Commencement again this year.

    Lilly Endowment Community Scholar! The impact of Lilly Endowment on our city and world is remarkable. Among the Endowment’s initiatives is an annual program of providing four-year, full-tuition scholarships to Indiana high school seniors based on their academic merit and other accomplishments. This year, senior Drew Tucker is among nine Lilly Endowment Community Scholars in Marion County.

    Two members of the Endowment’s interview and selection committee were so impressed with Drew as a candidate that they voluntarily came to Scecina to deliver the great news to Drew in person a week ago.

    The committee could not have made a better choice. I have known Drew since he was a really little guy. He’s gifted and caring, a hard worker who is an inspiration to his family, friends, and teachers. Drew has maintained high grades, had an outstanding football season as a senior leader and been a stand-up school citizen, even as he lost his mother, Jenny, two years ago. Congratulations, Drew.

    Blessings to you and yours during this Easter season.

    Joe Therber


  • Crusader sports teach valuable life lessons


    Each semester we honor our students who have made notable achievements on our athletic teams.

    It’s important to acknowledge our students’ hard work and dedication in sports as well as in academics. Sports help young people individually build confidence, set goals and learn to work with others as a team. Our sports teams collectively create a sense of unity and pride for our students and the greater Crusader community. Efforts and achievements in interscholastic athletics reflect our values of servant-leadership, stewardship, and excellence.

    Scecina recognizes the importance of educating our students in body, as well as spirit and mind, in order to prepare them for a fulfilling life. The vast majority of our students are involved in one or more of the IHSAA sports Scecina offers.

    This month we recognized our student-athletes from the most recent season at the annual Winter Sports Awards Night. One-hundred and fifteen students took part in cheerleading, gymnastics, swimming, wrestling and boys and girls basketball; 12 of these young athletes garnered Academic All-Conference Awards: Abby Brown, Michaela Heil, Natalie Donlan, Maggie Mayer, Bridget Delaney, Mary O’Connor, Jenna Nosek, Summer Li, Delaney Rohlman, Katie Coffey, Haley Drewes and Will Therber. Congratulations to all! (Please click here for a list of all of the athletes who were individually honored.)

    I also would like to acknowledge the coaches, volunteers, supporters, and administrators of Crusader athletics who help create this rewarding experience for our youth and encourage them to strive for excellence.

    I especially thank parents and families for supporting your children in both their athletic and academic endeavors, for making sure they attend practices, for cheering on them and their teammates at competitions, for being there when they experience the joy of victory as well as the heartache of defeat. These character-building experiences help form the type of servant-leaders Scecina wishes to send into the world.

    Thank you and God Bless,

    Joe Therber

  • Lent at Scecina: Mercy wins

    Christa Ewing (left) and Sloan Shocaroff-Jones were among 14 seniors who helped lead the school in the Stations of the Cross on Feb. 19.


    This Lenten season, the 40-day period leading to Easter, offers an excellent chance for our students and staff to have profound experiences in the practice of our Catholic faith. This Lent we at Scecina have had many opportunities to deepen our faith and discipline our hearts.

    I want to thank Director of Campus Ministry Maria Siap and Margaret Zeh-Fulford, Chair of our Catholic Theology department, for developing a multi-faceted approach to our Lenten journey this year. They chose to focus on First Corinthians, Chapter 9, in which St. Paul reminds us that, just as we must train our bodies before we can run races, we likewise must train and discipline ourselves spiritually in order to be imitators of Christ. They also chose the Lenten theme of “Mercy Wins” with an invitation to meditate on God’s mercy.

    Students have received cross bracelets.

    “The story of Easter is the story of God’s mercy for each one of us,” Mrs. Siap said. “If we want to become more like Christ, if we want to win the race, we must cultivate mercy, because Mercy Wins.”

    For Lent your children have received a cross bracelet and bib number similar to those used by runners in a race. The bracelet is a sign to remind them to keep going when they are struggling. On their bib number is a Bible verse to help them on their journey.

    On our Lenten journey so far at Scecina:

    • We celebrated Mass on Ash Wednesday to remind us that we are dust, and to dust we shall return.
    • On Feb. 19 our seniors led the school in the Stations of the Cross, the 14-step Catholic devotion in which we remember Jesus’ Passion and death.
    • With their theology classes on Feb. 26, our students experienced Adoration in St. Francis Hall Chapel. Throughout the day several faculty and administrators kept vigil with prayers over the Blessed Sacrament.
    • This week students and staff had the opportunity to experience the Sacrament of Reconciliation, or confession, thanks to several visiting priests from the East Deanery.

    We will observe Good Friday as a school on March 25 as we commemorate the death of Jesus on the cross.

    I invite you to join us on our Lenten journey through your prayers for God’s grace and mercy and, as always, for His blessings on our Scecina community.

    Joe Therber


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