Celebrations to mark history of three schools set to close
Nancy Schlesiger said she has fond memories of her time at St. Stanislaus School in Omaha more than 44 years ago, including the nuns teaching lively Polish Christmas carols.
"I can still sing those carols," said Schlesiger, who graduated from the school in 1969.
The school's impact on students and families is the focus of celebrations as it prepares to close at the end of the school year. Two other Omaha Catholic elementary schools - Holy Ghost and Assumption-Guadalupe - also will close in May as part of Promise 2020, the Archdiocese of Omaha's strategic plan for schools and parishes in east Omaha.
Students at all three schools are being encouraged to continue their education in a Catholic school, including any one of five schools that make up the new Omaha Catholic School Consortium, with centralized administration and marketing.
Meanwhile, each school is holding an April celebration to mark their histories, with students and parents, alumni and others invited.
St. Stanislaus, which has served students in the archdiocese for 93 years, will hold an event April 14 at the parish and school titled "Honoring our Heritage, Celebrating our Faith." Set to begin with a 10:30 a.m. Mass at St. Stanislaus Church, the celebration will continue with informal class reunions, church and school tours and a light luncheon.
Assumption-Guadalupe's April 20 alumni reunion will kick off at the 5 p.m. Mass at Assumption Church. That event also will include a reception, a photo display of alumni and tours at the school.
The school's end-of-year awards banquet May 25 also will include a "final goodbye" to the school, as well as academic and volunteer recognition, said Rob Laird, principal.
Holy Ghost will celebrate 90 years of memories with a tribute to the school April 27-28. The event will include school tours, a video of memories, Mass honoring alumni and staff, pancake breakfast, BBQ dinner and music by the Mark Vyhlidal Polka Band and the Labels.
A silent auction will include items from Holy Ghost's past such as trophies from champion sports teams, and school merchandise such as T-shirts, water bottles and cookbooks.
As organizers of the celebrations at St. Stanislaus and Holy Ghost gather information about alumni, they are asking people to submit items and pictures of school life throughout the years for display during the events, said Richard Leimbach, principal of Holy Ghost and St. Stanislaus.
In addition to participating in the April events, students at all three schools will mark the last few months of the school year with extra field trips and special activities. For example, Holy Ghost and St. Stanislaus students - because they share a principal - will attend an April 15 Omaha Storm Chasers game in addition to having casual clothes days, Leimbach said.
"We want them to have real good, fond memories of their last year and their last semester here," he said.
At Assumption-Guadalupe, which opened 104 years ago as Assumption and merged with Our Lady of Guadalupe School in 2005, "fun, community-building" activities are planned, such as a roller skating outing, Laird said. The activities mix faculty, staff and students in a casual setting and build those relationships, he said.
"We're celebrating what has happened here for over a century," Laird said.