Sandusky Central Catholic unveils upgrades

Just a few weeks before the upcoming school year, Sandusky Central Catholic School is putting the finishing touches on a revamped single-school campus.
Alissa Widman Neese
Aug 13, 2013

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.



Is that the reason you hate people of other cultures because you learned it at home


Ahh yes, what an ignorant comment. Good thing you decided to play the race card. Culture shock is nothing more than being bewildered or distressed when taken out of an environment or situation that a person is used to and put into one that they are not used to. It has nothing to do with race of different cultures. Sounds to me like you are the one who is a racist.


KnuckleDragger: You are correct, Thank You


Ahh yes see it struck a nerve with you to since you called the president a mutt. I see how you are teaching yours one day you hate anyone black next day you where in the military with some good ones. Is this another of your lies. Both come on here quite a bit putting down blacks so it sounds like it is taught or was thought by your parents.


And all in a building from the 19th century! lol! Summerfest is going to be great fun! Can't wait. The families and SCCS staff are among the best. The children feel loved and included. SCCS has it's share of "human" problems, but we all care for one another, we all look out for each others children. A great place to educate your children!


And I am sure they have a plan for the Balloons.


Northstar, Pateras Joe advised me that there was never any intention of releasing the balloons into the air and is not sure how that may have gotten into the paper


Wow, sad to see the negativity over a school getting upgrades after how many years of none?? And no higher taxes to do it? Congrats St. Mary's, I'm sad to see you leave the SBC but I'm glad you're improving in other ways. Well deserved!


The (public) school my children attend in southern Ohio also participates in the "Leader in Me" program, and it's awesome! The values and qualities they are learning is shaping their character. The Leader in Me is not just a program private schools participate in. Public schools can as well, and I'm so happy that our public school district does!!


The Scientist, you shouldn't be happy about the public school teaching your children values. In a country with freedom of conscience, the government has no place indoctrinating values in anyone, EVER.


We send our three children to St. Mary's and we sacrifice to do it. It is important for us that our children learn to live their faith at school.
Our gathering for Summerfest after the Mile for Mary is to raise funds for our tuition assistance program. Families can choose St. Mary's because they want their children to learn and live their faith, regardless of their income.
We are excited about the improvements and what is to come in the next few years at St. Mary's.


albrooks I did also sacrifice to send my children to St. Mary's ergo as I did pay for their education I did spend time at the school when possible and tlaked to the teachers as by paying I was interested what I was paying for and what my children were learning. I did also spend evening time assisting with thieir homework.

If I was not paying for their education I may not have bothered to spend time learning what they were learning and helping them in what ever way that I could.

Also the learning to live their faith was an added bonus.


I think a lot of SMCC parents are somewhat naive to think that their children are learning moral lessons they cannot learn elsewhere. Nowhere will you find more hypocrites than at St. Mary's HS. Girls on bc pills or having had abortions, teens having sex, teens getting busted for drinking, cliques, rules not applying to students with certain last names or families who are big donors. It happens there just like at every other school. But for some reason, they think it's minimal or that it's okay because they religion at school. I remember vividly a few years ago a girl venting to her mother how she was only one of a handful of virgins there and was so sick of all the hypocrisy.
As far as academics go, I have heard top students complain they were not at all prepared for college. And the thing about the scholarship money--well yes they are going to have lots, most of them apply to Catholic colleges.
I'm not saying SMCC is worse than public schools in the area. Just pointing out that it's not any better than most of them, despite what avid fans may say.
On and by the way, just for the record, I am Catholic. I'm not hating on SMCC. But the things I have seen firsthand from some of the diehard families from there turn my stomach.


Informed: We are not naive, and do and do not know what goes on at all times or in the past. But what is in the past needs to be let go since it happens everywhere, we have young children who we are trying to prepare for the future. Of course everyone has complaints or issues or something they are not happy with...and that is why we have good and bad. Without one you do not know what the other is. Our pride is in our children today not children or issues from the past. The kids are the school...and those last names are going away slowly they mean nothing to young children ... with the amount of incoming families from outside communities this was bound to happen in this community. The school cannot survive with the "LAST NAME" families nor the MD,PHD..etc suffixes. The majority of the kids are blue collar....and we like our names just fine. And I for one want my kids to make their own names...they can do it there.


Informed, Yes there were problems with the school at one time,now all 3 Parishes have their say in what goes on at the school. The problems manifested at SCCS were a microcosm of the cultural problems with entire country. I believe that we are, as a country beginning to head in another direction, focusing on family and faith and the values that made our nation great. I will continue to pray for us all.

Just Because

Congrats to SCC. Looks like you have alot of great improvements going on there.
I do not live in Sandusky but do in a nearby town and my children both attended our local catholic school. No, we do not think we are better than anyone else, but we do believe in having them raised with their catholic religion. The benefit of a catholic school is not only the more in depth religion teachings but more teachings of self respect, self discipline and mostly respect of OTHERS!. I was not raised catholic, I am what is called a "convert". I attended public schools. I do have to say I do feel our children have a better education and are taught a better sense of self worth and respect because of their schooling. This is not something I recall getting in public grade schools. Granted all schools will have their "issues". That is a fact of life in most cases, but I do have to credit our local catholic school for the wonderful people I call "my children" today. I do not regret the financial expenditures we and their grandparents incurred to keep them there. Anyone can attend a catholic school. Let me say there are funds available to anyone who cannot afford the tuition. This money many times goes unused so it's not that it isn't available. These kids are taught respect. They work with the younger students as they get older and help them along when needed. You will find the smaller class sizes also tend to make the class more of a family. A family they tend to come back to over and over even when they are no longer attending their catholic school. As far as their education...our school does not have a high school. When our parochial kids get into high look at the top 10% of the graduating class and that is where you will find most of the parochial kids! Enough said!

Holding Court

Good luck to Mrs. Curtis.


Just Because, in response to your last sentence--there is a simple reason for that--because most children with learning problems or environments not conducive to learning do not go to parochial school.

My kids' public school elementary classes were always much smaller than those at SMCC.

And no, there is not more self-discipline in students at SMCC than in public school. That is a fallacy. That is parents putting their heads in the sand and not seeing what they don't want to see. Ask kids at other schools--they can tell you all about it. That is my point. I understand parents sending their kids to parochial school because they want all teachings to include/represent their religious beliefs. But any other benefit that people think they get from SMCC over public schools in the area simply doesn't exist. It is a myth.


Parochial schools have plenty of kids with learning problems, complete with IEP's.

Private schools will always have one unavoidable advantage - every child is there because his/her parents were willing to go the extra mile, financially or otherwise, in expressing the value they place on education, and the single most significant variable in predicting student success is the value placed on education in the students' household.

You can spend more on a home to be in a more desirable school district, but that doesn't guarantee your kid won't sit next to one whose parents disdain education and bought a home in your district because they were social climbers, or wanted a bigger yard, lower crime, or simply to have neighbors who didn't clash with their bigotry. Private schoolsare full of kids, all of whose parents specifically targeted education in their spending priorities.


No, they don't have plenty of kids with learning problems. They have a few, and they are minor issues, not significant ones. Show me where SMCC has students with Autism, or Down's Syndrome, or IQ's of 75. Show me SMCC's mentally ill students.
Parochial school stats in terms of achievement are inflated partly because of schools like St. Ignatius or Magnificat that only except top students.
Yes, it is true that most parents of parochial students value education. But that doesn't mean that their education is better or that the students' behavior better. Some are and some aren't...just like at public schools. And the education and student behavior as a whole at SMCC is no better than Perkins, Huron, Margaretta, or Edison.


They have a lot more than a few. Yes, most Catholic (Ignatius and Magnificat are not parochial schools) high schools do have entrance requirements - so what? I already pointed out that private schools have a filtered student body and that part of the reason parents choose them is because that's a proven benefit. Selectivity plays a huge role in university rankings and people strive to send their kids to the best universities they can - why not be as choosy for primary and secondary education?

The fact that private school parents place a higher value on education (as demonstrated by putting their money where their mouth is) DOES lead to private schools offering better education. It's basic market economics - they have to compete for paying customers who happen to demand educational excellence. As for behavior, statistics show that, as a percentage of enrollment, they have fewer such problems, if only because kids know they can be expelled for certain behavior. There have been numerous attempts to legislate restrictions on private and/or home schooling, and their sponsors have never offered performance as a supporting argument. You can argue that there is merit to egalitarian arguments for public schooling, but any sound basis for it stops there.

Private schools have a much freer hand in terms of indoctrination (which is an essential part of education), discipline, and selectivity that allow them to be more successful. The Constitutional restrictions that make this a free country also (when they're followed) make the government ill-suited to the actual delivery of educational services.


Informed, children with Downs and Autism are in special education classes, not in regular classes. Ever hear of Kaleidoscope? Remember Barker? That's where the "problems" are. What a negative person you are.


You apparently know very little about public schools. Children with Down's and Autism more certainly are in regular classes. Inclusion and least restrictive environments are the law now nad have been for several years. Special ed kids are in regular classes with teacher's aids or an intervention specialist assisting them if needed. Only the extremely mutli-handicapped students have their own classes. Barker doesn't exist anymore for this reason. Kaleidoscope is for preschoolers.


Catholic schools do not turn away these students they simply do not have the funding necessary to provide what these kids need. And these children are NOT figured into the stats.


These children do not figure into what stats? Public school ones? Yes, they do. They are no longer exempt from taking the achievement tests and other standardized tests states use in grading and ranking schools.


You must be a public school teacher! Quit whining you get to retire in your 50's , double dip, and basically live off the taxpayer for sometimes longer than you worked. :p


Hahaha, no I'm not a teacher. I'm just not ignorant about public education like some people apparently are.


Well, seems I know a bit too, eh?