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Everything listed under: presidents blog

  • The Scecina Story is Alive and Well in Our 60th Year


    The Class of 2016 prays before Senior Awards Day May 25, 2016.

    What a week it was! Senior Awards Day, Baccalaureate Mass at Little Flower, and Commencement all rolled together as a wonderful tribute to the Scecina Class of 2016. During a full three-day period, these fine young people wrapped up four years of Catholic high school and commenced the next stages in their lives.

    The Class of 2016 amassed more than $10 million in college and university scholarship awards, earned numerous Scecina and national academic honors, served our community in profound ways, and garnered a bounty of awards for athletic participation and accomplishments. As I look at photographs of each class member with their current career aspirations in the main hallway of the school, I am optimistic about the future. The Class of 2016 aspires to be doctors, engineers, lawyers, business leaders, healthcare professionals, public servants, environmental scientists, architects, and foreign service officers. One young man in particular aspires to be something that is beyond and within all professions—“A Good Man.”

    Commencement was a glorious occasion—an uplifting celebration of diverse student gifts and accomplishments, a full gymnasium, a stage full of graduates, paper fans in response to heat and humidity, the Superintendent of Schools in the Archdiocese of Indianapolis (Mrs. Gina Kuntz Fleming) sharing Archbishop Tobin’s and her congratulations, and more.

    The Class of 2016 is the 60th graduating class from Scecina Memorial High School. 1957 marked the first class of graduates. In our modern age of instant communication, 60 years can seem like 600. While much has changed during these 60 years, much remains the same. As was the case years ago, we see the Class of 2016 as our hope for a more peaceful and brighter future.

    At the Baccalaureate Mass, Father Bob Gilday, Pastor of Little Flower Parish and Scecina Board of Directors member, summed up the key to peace and happiness. The Gospel invites us to turn to Jesus for true sight and insight. We all have needs and blind spots, be they physical, spiritual, moral, or intellectual. Jesus Christ, our true Master Teacher, can turn our needs and blindness into riches and vision.

    Congratulations to the Class of 2016, their families and mentors, and to everyone who has helped ensure that the Scecina Story is alive and well in our 60th year.

    God Bless!

    Joe Therber
    President

  • Scecina students shine in community events



    Scecina students spread out throughout Indianapolis on Sept. 21 to perform service. This group spent the day partnering with Shepherd Community Center in cleaning up the neighboring area on Indy's Eastside.

    Greetings,

    Every day the teachers and staff get to see what great students we have here at Scecina and observe their individual gifts and talents.In the past few weeks, others in our community also have seen first-hand what the young people at Scecina have to offer our world at large.

    First, senior Austin Keogh and freshman Chad Lightbourne were invited to attend a Sept. 16 event on education called "Ready for Success," sponsored by the Mayor's Front Porch Alliance.

    Austin represented Scecina on a panel of student leaders from local high schools in a discussion with U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan about community engagement and closing the achievement gap. Also taking part in the program were Scecina parent Mike O'Connor of Eli Lilly & Co. and Michael Twyman, program leader for Indy Black Expo's "Your Life Matters."

    Austin not only represented Scecina well, he spoke highly of his school and mentioned Scecina's commitment to Christian service in the community. He was able to pose a question to Secretary Duncan about how the secretary, when traveling and speaking to diverse groups, is able to find common ground. The secretary noted that Austin's question was one of the most insightful he has been asked.

    The second event was Scecina's Day of Service on Sept. 21. Our young people traveled to sites all over the city performing jobs small and large to help the nonprofit agencies in our community. At one of the sites, the Ransburg YMCA, the next day three administrators told me what a great job our students did there. Thank you to our campus minister, Maria Siap, and all of our staff for providing these Christian Service experiences for our students.

    These are wonderful examples of how we are working together with you, the parents and guardians, to help our students grow into servant-leaders and to prepare them for life.

    Thank you and God bless,

    Joe Therber


  • 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

  • Father Scecina Magazine Winter 2015 Special Edition

    Father Scecina Magazine 2015

    This special edition of the Father Scecina Magazine focuses on history. History fascinates almost everyone. We love the History Channel. We love watching movies like “Unbroken” and television documentaries on the Roosevelts. Books like “American Sniper,” recently made into a feature film, fascinate us.

    Our new Scecina Story project satisfies our desire to learn about our origins and traditions. More importantly, they inspire us. I invite each of you to visit the school, see our tributes to Father Thomas Scecina and the Sisters of Saint Francis Oldenburg on the first floor of the main building and reflect on the stories that are told.

    So why do we study history? And why are we making a big deal out of the life and death of Father Scecina, the school’s namesake, and the decades of service from the Sisters of Saint Francis Oldenburg? After all, Father Scecina never stepped foot on this campus and the Sisters are no longer here. Why now?

    The answers are pretty straightforward, and at Scecina we think history will help our students understand their place as Christians walking in a world of constant change.

    The study of history shows us what it means to be human. Through history we see the good and the bad aspects of humanity. To paraphrase the historian R.G. Collingwood, “History is for human self-knowledge. The only clue to what women and men can do is what women and men have done.” In telling the stories of Father Scecina and the Sisters of Saint Francis Oldenburg, we are calling attention to them. Most importantly, we are saying it is possible to live in service to God and others.

    History helps us be better citizens. Thomas Jefferson thought history was very important for educating citizens. As citizens, it is important to remember that 1,792 American prisoners of war died on the Arisan Maru at the end of World War II. Father Scecina administered last rites to many U.S. POWs before the ship sank. He died with them. These men were the heroes of Bataan, Corregidor, and the Philippine campaign. What does this teach us about being citizens? Freedom is not free.

    History helps us see things over time. It helps us see ourselves as part of something bigger than we are. For Christians, the Incarnation—Christ coming into the world—is the most important event in human history. Father Scecina is part of that continuing story. He gave his life for his friends. To recognize his service to God, country and his friends, the Archdiocese of Indianapolis named our high school after him. Over 800 years ago, St. Francis of Assisi founded the Franciscan movement to follow Christ by living the Gospels. The Sisters of Saint Francis Oldenburg are part of that story. The Scecina community, all 7,500 plus, are part of these continuing stories.

    I am grateful to the sponsors of the Scecina Story project. Without their support we would not be able to tell the stories of Father Scecina and the Sisters of Saint Francis Oldenburg. I also am grateful for the support of the Scecina Veterans Committee and its efforts to raise money for the bust of Father Scecina. These are your stories, my story, our stories.

    God Bless,

    Joe Therber
    President

    P.S. To view the new special edition of the Father Scecina Magazine 2015 and Annual Report, please click here.