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April 27, 2018

Friday, April 27, 2018

Dear Parents and Guardians,

The annual Spring Gala was spectacular!   Once again, our parents and friends were beyond generous, not only donating auction items, but with their bids and donations for the Teacher Wish List.  Thanks to Alanna Kauffman and Tatiana Joyner for co-chairing the event, with special thanks as well to Jen Araneo, Donna Murphy, Andrea Cuttita, Andrea Wright, Ali Cornell, Cara Guerra, Grannie Molloy, and Megan La Gattuta, as well as our wonderful class moms for all of their help.   The event raised just under $50,000!  Thank you all for your generous support.

Hoboken Catholic Academy was well represented at the Archdiocesan STEM Expo on Saturday, April 14th at the Youth Retreat Center in Kearney.  Mr. Taormina and his students, Meghan Dirkin, Josh Dayo, Luca Bartoli, Alice Altomare, Louie De Falco, Brian Van Altstyne, Andrea Sigler, Ran La Fave, Sophia Sprengle Sebastian Bonomo and Aleks Manda presented their projects based on the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals to other students, parents, teachers and guests from across the archdiocese.  The event was very well organized and well attended and our young men and women did an outstanding job representing our school in the best possible light.

On Friday, April 20th, eighteen students were inducted into the HCA Chapter of the National Junior Honor Society at the induction ceremony in our gym.  The new inductees joined with the current members in taking part in the ceremony, receiving their Honor Society sash from their parents as well as their and pins and certificates from Mr. Petagno and Mr. McGrath.  Scholarship, Citizenship, Leadership, Character and Service, are the qualities required of NJHS members and I am proud of our inductees as well as all of our current members.  Thank you to NJHS coordinators, Mrs. Bernardo and Ms. Fusiak for planning and executing such a dignified student recognition program.  Please join me in recognizing our new NJHS inductees:

Luca Bartoli
Benjamin Bevington
​​Joshua Dayo
Sophie De Falco
Meghan Dirkin
Alexandra Griesbauer
​James Jacobi
Jack Kappock
​Ryan La Fave

Samchan Lee
Aleksander Manda   
Adam Misyak 
Jaclyn Murphy
​Angelina Rodriguez
​Kylie Samuelsen
​Marie Seo
​Ethan Suarez
Addison Swiatek

The first ever HCA talent show, “The 2018 HCA Talent Takeover,” took place on later that evening and it was a smash hit.  Not only were the student performers incredible, but the program itself was well organized and superbly carried out.  Thirty-five acts with more than fifty participants, ranged from a rock band and piano, violin and ukulele solos, to dance routines, to amazing vocals, a magician, comedians and an incredible Van Halen guitar riff dedicated to Mr. Taormina!  Thank you to parents Roz Grant and Kristi Alves for their hard work in getting our first ever show off the ground.  Thanks as well to our student council officers, Nanki Nagpaul, Julianna Griesbauer, Amelia Gallagher and RJ Fiore for their hard work over many weeks to make the event so special.  The student organizers not only planned much of the “Talent Takeover,” but created the flyers, permission slips, and the evening’s program.  During the event, they kept the acts moving, coordinating things with our fantastic moms.  What a great night!

Thanks to our Home and School Association, students from Pre-K to grade 8 learned about the planets and constellations in the night sky when our gym became home to the visiting planetarium, last week.  Owner and presenter, Matthew S. Meyer, geared lessons to each age level and students and teachers were thrilled with the experience.  Mr. Meyer is a former science teacher and travels across the northeast with his inflatable dome and his program entitled,  “What’s Out There… A Planetarium Experience.”

Field trip season got off to a great start on Tuesday when first graders traveled to Jenkinson’s Aquarium in Point Pleasant, third graders visited the Museum of Natural History and fourth graders traveled to the New Jersey State House in Trenton.  Then, Fifth graders had a great environmental experience at Camp Bernie in Sussex County on Thursday.   Thanks again to the HSA or subsidizing the trips! 

Thanks to Ms. McGrady and all of our parent volunteers as we begin our spring book fair.  The fair will run from Sunday through Wednesday next week.

We have received the parent reports for the Iowa Test and those reports will be sent home on Monday.   A letter from Assistant Superintendent of Schools, Barbara Dolan, will be included with each report.  In it she reminds us that we cannot compare the Iowa results with the previous year’s Terra Nova results because the tests are normed differently.  This year’s results will serve as a starting point to which future test results can be compared.  As with any new testing protocol, there is a learning curve and the teachers and I will analyze the results and begin to align our teaching and pacing to address areas of concern and allow for an accurate assessment of our student’s achievement levels.  In fact, that process has already begun.

We discovered that some of our classroom air conditioning units did not work and have identified the problem.   An electrician will correct the situation on Monday.  Because the problem is on the roof, the work will be completed without interrupting instruction. 

Finally, please join me in congratulating eighth grade student, Amelia Gallagher, who will be recognized tomorrow as HCA’s Outstanding Catholic School Graduate.  Amelia and her parents and I will attend a special mass and awards breakfast at the Archdiocesan Retreat Center in Kearny on Saturday morning.

April has come to an end, the weather is starting to heat up, and sadly, the Mets have begun to come down to earth.  Still, hope springs eternal!

Thank you and God bless you.

Matthew McGrath