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February 3, 2020

Tuesday, February 4, 2020

February 3, 2020


Dear Parents,


Catholic Schools Week is now complete and what a week it was!  A special thank you goes out to all of our Career Day participants and the parents, alumni and eighth grade student who spoke at masses in all of Hoboken and Weehawken churches last weekend.  Thanks to Jenn Araneo, Connie Gil, Melanie Mortefolio, Rafael Vergara, Marty Bloor, Joel Simkins, Walter Dirkin, Iva Zoretic, Carrie Maglia and Dominic Dayo for sharing their career experiences with our students.  Thanks as well to HCA alumni, Nicole Vij and Nora Jacobi and eighth grader, Joshua Dayo, who joined parents, Anne Wycherly, John Bartoli, Mrs. Mortefolio, Mr. Vergara, Katie Champagne and Amanda Cricco in telling the faithful about our school at masses to kick off the week. 


Congratulations to the three STEM fair teams whose projects will be part of the Archdiocesan STEM Expo in the spring.  The sixth grade team of Molly Maglia, Sienna Lippert, Kylee Hawkins and Isabelle Olivera presented a plan to Restore the Amazon.  Seventh graders, MJ Wright, Aneel Ward and Santino Cortes-Gil chose to fight hunger in Batswana and eighth graders Joshua Dayo, Aleks Manda and Adam Misyak plan to provide clean energy to Kenya.  We had judges from St. Peters University and Stevens Institute with us that evening, and they were impressed by all of the students’ projects!


Congratulations to first grader, Julian de Vreede for winning the Religion Bee and to third grader, Samarth Brahma, and seventh grader, Aneel Ward, for winning the lower and upper grade portions of the Christopher Widjaja Spelling Bee respectively.  As we have done previously, our annual spelling bee is really two contests in one.  Different word lists are used for students in grades 1-4 than are used for grades 5-8.  Naturally the list used for the older students is more challenging.  Because he won the upper grade portion of our contest,  Aneel Ward will represent our school at the Jersey Journal Hudson County Spelling Bee on February 28th at Secaucus HS.  The winner of the Hudson County event will move on to the Scripps National Spelling Bee in Washington DC.  Good luck Aneel!


A special thank you goes to Mrs. Albunia for putting together the beautiful window displays on the Madison Street classroom windows.  They remind us to Celebrate Catholic Schools where students learn, serve, lead and succeed!


The wait is almost over.  With the exception of High Tech and County Prep High Schools, our eighth graders have received most of their high school acceptance notifications and scholarship offers and the news thus far is phenomenal.  Twenty three students in the HCA class of 2020 have gained acceptances to fourteen Catholic high schools in New Jersey and New York and have earned more than $880,000 in scholarships from ten of those schools!  Fifteen students received scholarships. Ten students received scholarships from multiple schools. 


One of our young men has been accepted by Regis High School in Manhattan.  Aleks Manda will be the first HCA student to attend this prestigious, scholarship only,  New York, Jesuit high school. Aleks also received a full scholarship to Xavier HS in NYC, but he will attend Regis.  Two of  Aleks’ classmates, Akshay Sharma and Aarav Bhatia, have received the Sheehan Scholarship, the highest award from St. Peters Prep, which includes  a full scholarship and more.  Aarav has also been accepted to McNair Academic HS in Jersey City.


Addison Swiatek received the highest scholarship award offered by Dominican Academy in Manhattan.  The school which offers only Honors classes does not offer full scholarships.


As soon as we learn the results from High Tech and County Prep, we will share a full listing of acceptances and scholarships.


Please join me in congratulating all of our eighth grade students and their parents and in wishing them well as they decide which schools our graduates will attend next fall.


On the Friday before Catholic Schools Week we had a special dress down day to support the Seals family following the tragic loss of Detective Joseph Seals.  When Fr. Remo learned of what we had done, he committed funds from St. Ann Church as well.  After working through some logistical issues, I am pleased to tell you that thanks to your amazing generosity and the generosity of the parishioners of St. Ann Church we will make a $10,083 ($6,183 from HCA and $3,900 from St. Ann Church) donation to Laura Seals.  The donation will go through the Go Fund Me Page created by the Jersey City Police Officers’ Benevolent Association.  The administrator of the page informed me that the JCPOBA has established trust funds for each of the Seals children and that both the police officers and the Seals family will be blown away by your generosity.


International Night is shaping up beautifully.  We will have 19 countries represented at our annual event and I can’t wait!  Thanks to Grainne Malloy and her committee for putting this amazing night together and thanks to all of our parents who will share their heritage and their amazing food  with us that evening.  Each year, International Night It truly is one of our most wonderful events.  I am sure this year will be no exception!


Please note the events scheduled for the remainder of the month of February:


Monday, February 3rd             Continue MAP Growth Assessment Gr. 2-8

Tuesday, February 4th.               PreK parent/teacher conferences 3:00-6:00PM

Wednesday, February 5th        HSA Meeting   7:00PM

Thursday, February 6th           ACRE Religion Test Gr. 5 & 8

Friday, February 14th              Conclude MAP Growth Assessment

                                              Half Day for all students (Aftercare available)

Monday, February 17th           Presidents’ Day -No school

Tuesday, February 18th           Presidents’ Day Recess- No School

Thursday, February 20th         Eighth Grade Graduation Pictures

Friday, February 21st               International Night 6:30-8:30PM

Wednesday, February 26th     Ash Wednesday Penance Service 1:30PM St. Ann Church

Friday, February 28th              Stations of the Cross Gr. 2-8   1:30PM St. Ann Church


Finally, as I report each year, please note that the Mets  pitchers and catchers will report to spring training a week from today with players from the rest of the teams  checking in a day or two later.   Spring can’t be far behind!


As always, thank you and God bless you all.


Let’s have a great February!





Matthew McGrath