St. Mary's School in Collinwood closing
Monday, June 7 was graduation day at St. Mary's school in Collinwood. It was a happy day for the students but a sad day for the staff. The school at St. Mary's Church will not reopen this fall.
St. Mary's Pastor, Father Kumse, said it was a very tough decision: "We were facing a deficit this year of nearly $200,000 and a projected deficit of $280,000 for the 2010-11 school year. By the first of May, only 77 students had registered or indicated their intent to return next year. After the long illness of Principal Luis Pla and his death in January, interim principal Julie Miller, Deacon David Kushner, the very dedicated teaching staff and a handful of committed parents worked hard to shrink the deficit and increase enrollment for next year. But with less and less school age children in the community, it didn't happen. It was time to make the very difficult decision to close St. Mary School. Only 3 children attending the school were from the parish."
Father Kumse continues, "As was stated in the parish bulletin of St. Mary Church, 'while the school has closed, the spirit of the school continues to live in the hearts of so many students who received so much wisdom and knowledge over the years that the school has served the Collinwood community. The loss of the school is very painful, but St. Mary's remains a strong and committed parish, serving the neighborhood and the Slovenian Community. It's the end of the chapter of the life of the parish, but it's not the end of the book. We close the school with gratitude for so many blessings and with the hope for a new future..."
According to Father Kumse, consideration is being given to a possible Montessori being started at St. Mary's in the future.
I graduated from St. Mary's in 1970; we will be celebrating our 40th anniversary in a couple of weeks. I am very sad that the school will be gone, for now, but I will continue to be proud of the solid anchor that St. Mary's Church is to the south Collinwood community, and will, along with Father Kumse and the parisioners, look forward to the next chapter at St. Mary's.