By ANDREW NELSON, Staff Writer | Published September 1, 2011
The playfield at St. Catherine of Siena School, Kennesaw, is now named in honor of a former student who died in a car crash.
The 2008 alumnus, Javier Mejia, will be memorialized at his former elementary school. He died in 2009.
The father of Javier, Juan Carlos Mejia, said at the August ribbon cutting, “Javi was a normal boy who loved sports and loved and lived his faith.”
The new field fixed drainage issues that left the turf soggy and forced students to play on the parking lot. The improved field, which cost $158,000, was the first in a three-part project to update the school’s facilities.
Principal Dominican Sister Mary Patrick said, “It was wonderful to see so many parents at the dedication and naming of the field. We are grateful to the Mejia family for allowing us to name the field in honor of their son and brother.”
The playing field renovation was identified in a 2011 school-needs survey as having the highest priority among parents. The project was funded solely by a school-wide capital campaign that has raised more than $190,000. Work is now underway on the second project: updating the school gym.
The Marist School Class of 1960 made the most of its 50th reunion.
The group raised $36,000 to support programs that assist students who otherwise wouldn’t be able to attend the private Catholic school. It was a yearlong fundraising effort that ended in June.
“We are very grateful to this class’s generosity, especially during the current economy,” said Margie Mawn Jameson, director of alumni relations. “Marist alumni stay connected in many ways—from volunteering to raising funds to participating in Marist School’s Career Connections program, to name a few.”
Also, the Marist Class of 1995 donated more than $15,900 for tuition assistance programs. This class made its gift in honor of its 15th reunion and in memory of a classmate, Mindi Miller, who died in 2004. The amount is the equivalent to the cost of Marist tuition for one student for one year.
Four families of college-bound students piled into a rented recreational vehicle for the close to 500-mile road trip to the University of Dayton, a top-10 Catholic university and the largest private university in Ohio.
On Thursday, Aug. 18, the RV was parked at Blessed Trinity High School, Roswell, to load up with luggage, clothing, electronics and other essentials for the first year at college.
The families of three Blessed Trinity High School graduates—Dan Cunningham, Samantha Morakis and Andy Brewer—along with Dunwoody High School graduate Ellie McCormick made the journey.
According to Eileen Cunningham, the RV hit the road Friday morning, Aug. 19, and arrived in Dayton around 4 p.m. that afternoon.
“It was just great. We had the four students. They had a great time going up. It was a real bonding experience. It went very, very well,” said Eileen, who attends St. Peter Chanel Church, Roswell.
They passed the time playing cards, talking, since it was “quite a chatty group,” and helping themselves to the kitchen on wheels, Eileen said.
The parents along for the journey were: Jim and Deb Brewer; Tony and Karen Morakis; Kevin and Mary Anne McCormick and Eileen and Mike Cunningham.
Eileen said there is talk of a repeat road trip in time for parents weekend in the fall.
Students at Holy Spirit Preparatory School, Atlanta, returned to a refurbished school. During the summer, the Lower School underwent a $2 million renovation.
Workers preserved some of the original charm of the 1937 building, but it now has technology in all of the classrooms that allow teachers to use an interactive whiteboard.
Students and families enter through a new portico and a new main lobby at the entrance.
“The school is celebrating its 15th year,” said Roberta Meadows in an email, and while the charm of the old building remains, “it was time to modernize and architecturally enhance the classrooms, hallways, entrance and foyer to be more inviting to students and families.”
A rededication is planned for Thursday, Sept. 29, at 8:30 a.m.