The school underwent extensive renovations this summer, including updating classrooms, purchasing new furniture, painting and insulating the breezeway conjoining its two buildings and removing the computer lab trailer from its back parking lot.
Students will now use laptops and other wireless technology, moving it between classrooms on carts. Its preschoolers, previously housed at the old Holy Angels School building, will also join all other grades in the newly renovated building for the first time.
Melody Curtis, the school’s new president, is spearheading the ambitious effort. “If you change and update the environment, you often change a student’s mindset for the better,” Curtis said. “We’re going to really focus on cooperative learning, a more workshop-style approach, with tables instead of desks and upgraded technology.” Sandusky Central Catholic School hired Curtis in February, adopting for the first time a president-principal administrative model, which is common among Catholic schools nationwide. Her one-year contract began July 1.
In the model, the president — in this case, Curtis — is responsible for development efforts, fundraising and increasing the school’s visibility in the community. Many generous donations helped make the muchneeded summer renovations possible, Curtis said. She acknowledged, however, that a child’s education is much more than new buildings and technology.
In addition to the updated facilities, school leaders adopted a new, nationally popular model of educating students, called “The Leader in Me,” which emphasizes empowering students to help them succeed. “The Leader in Me” uses American educator Stephen Covey’s “7 Habits of Highly Effective People,” which encourages equally fulfilling someone’s physical, spiritual and emotional needs. In doing so, a student’s self confidence and academic scores increase, while their discipline problems decline. Covey trained the school’s teachers in the philosophy this summer.
“SCCS leads the way in being the first public or private school in Northwest Ohio to become a ‘Leader in Me’ student-centered environment,” Curtis said on the school’s website. “(It) is in complete harmony with our school’s mission statement to be committed to following Jesus by strengthening the body, challenging the mind and enriching the spirit.”
In addition to the updates, Sandusky Central Catholic School also recently hired a new principal, Susan Maloy, for preschoolers through sixth-graders. Maloy was previously principal at St. Bernard Elementary School in New Washington, south of Willard. Mike Savona, formerly K-12 principal, will now oversee junior high and high school students.
Because the school is privately funded, it is not required to provide information on the cost of construction or staff salaries.