Currently viewing the tag: "Mother Seton School"

Kathleen J. Kilty, PhD, principal of Mother Seton School (MSS), announced the appointment of Alexis Burns to the position of assistant principal. Burns, a former student of Mother Seton School, has worked at MSS for the past school year in the Seton-LaCroce Learning Center (SLLC) as a special education teacher. She will serve in a dual role as assistant principal and special education teacher beginning July 1, 2020.

Burns is enthused to begin her new position. “My love for Mother Seton has been life-long, and this opportunity allows me to give back even more to the school. It will be my greatest pleasure to work with the teachers and administration and continue to serve our wonderful students.”

Dr. Kilty said she approached Burns with the opportunity after she saw her commitment to the school and, most importantly, to the students. “I recognized the support and respect that Mrs. Burns has gained from faculty and staff, our parent community, and our students. I believe that her dual role of teacher and administrator will help to make Mother Seton School truly a ‘School for All’.”

Among the initiatives Burns has worked with SLLC director, Ann Beirne, to bring about was the institution of the Orton-Gillingham model to assist those students with learning disabilities, such as dyslexia. Burns also created a sensory hallway to assist students with behavioral and cognition abilities.

“I am thankful to Dr. Kilty for this amazing opportunity and for believing in me,” Burns said. “I cannot wait to work closely with everyone to help continue the legacy of Mother Seton School.”

Dr. Kilty is just as grateful that Burns accepted the position. “I’m excited to work with her, and the rest of the faculty and staff, as we strive to provide the best possible academic and spiritual education to our students.”

Mother Seton School Special Education Teacher Alexis Burns works with a student in the Seton-LaCroce Learning Center sensory hallway. Mrs. Burns was recently appointed assistant principal and will assume that role on July 1, 2020.

Putting into action the organization’s motto of “We Serve,” members representing two Frederick County Lions Clubs recently came together on a service project. Approximately 220 students at Mother Seton School in Emmitsburg received vision screenings performed by Lions members on two dates this past February. Over 52 Lions service hours were spent on this effort. This was the fifth consecutive year for the joint screening effort.

The children were brought to a non-invasive testing station utilizing PlusoptiX S12C eye-vision technology to capture an image of the children’s eyes and automatically determining whether a vision impairment, such as near- or far-sightedness or astigmatism, was present. The tester holds the unit approximately one meter from the child and asks the child to focus on the smiling face on the front of the camera. At the completion of the testing, younger children received a Lion sticker to indicate they had completed the screening process. The parents/guardians of all children tested received written test results to indicate whether their child was recommended to see a vision professional for a potential problem or was unable to be screened.

While the vast majority of children passed, readings obtained by trained Lions indicated that some of the children needed to be seen by vision professionals for potential vision anomalies. The advanced technology of the PluxoptiX camera provides readings that are printed out on a label, which is attached to the letter for use by the vision professional of the parents’ choice.

Lions members participating in the screenings included: Sharon Hane, Nancy Smith, and Bill and Rachel Wivell from the Emmitsburg Lions Club; and John Aulls and Lynn Stimmel from Francis Scott Key Lions Club.

Childcare centers or organizations that want to learn more about the Lions preschool vision screening program or to schedule a screening should contact Emmitsburg Lion Bill Wivell at or 301-473-2275, or Francis Scott Key Lion John Aulls at or 301-662-2360.

Lions Clubs International is the world’s largest service club organization, with almost 1.45 million members in approximately 47,000 clubs in over 200 countries and geographical areas around the world. Since 1917, Lions Clubs have assisted the blind and visually impaired and made a strong commitment to community service and serving youth throughout the world. Lions Clubs are comprised of individuals who identify needs within the community and work together to fulfill those needs. The two clubs involved in the screenings have long histories of community service: Emmitsburg since 1982, and Francis Scott Key since 1959. 

If you want to help your community and have a roaring good time doing it, consider becoming a Lion. There are a number of Lions Clubs in the Frederick County area, For information on becoming a Lion, contact the Emmitsburg Lions at or Francis Scott Key Lions at

Francis Scott Key Lions Lynn Stimmel (holding mascot Leo) and John Aulls; and Emmitsburg Lions Bill Wivell (holding clipboard), Nancy Smith (holding stickers), and Rachel Wivell (holding camera); not shown, Emmitsburg Lion Sharon Hane.

Six graduating eighth graders took home Mother Seton School’s (MSS)highest honors for both academic achievement and outstanding character. Beckett Tayler of Frederick received the President’s Award for Educational Excellence due to his maintaining an average above 92 throughout grades 6-8, as well as ranking in the top 10 percent of the nation on standardized tests. Beckett was also selected as one of two recipients of the Mother Seton School Spirit Award for Outstanding Christian Character.

Mackenzie Orndorff of Emmitsburg was the other recipient of the Mother Seton School Spirit Award for Outstanding Christian Character. Awardees are chosen each year from among the graduating classes by faculty and staff members.

“This year’s recipients were unanimously chosen,” Sister Brenda Monahan, D.C., principal, said. “Normally we have to go through a few rounds of votes, but Beckett and Mackenzie have exemplified what it means to embody the Christian spirit during their years at MSS.”

Four of Beckett and Mackenzie’s classmates were also recognized for outstanding achievement. Jameson Doll of Emmitsburg, Brendan Guinan of Rocky Ridge, Helen Hochschild of Emmitsburg, and Grant Kelly of Emmitsburg each received the President’s Award for Educational Achievement for maintaining an A/B average throughout grades 6-8 and scoring in the 80th percentile on standardized testing.

After 37 years as the Mother Seton School Carnival “Pizza Man,” John Dowling proudly passes on his legendary recipe and title to his grandson, Brandon Keeney.

For almost four decades now, John Dowling has been known to members of the Mother Seton School (MSS) community and surrounding towns as “The Pizza Man.” On May 24, 2019, he passed his sauce-stained apron and legendary moniker over to the next generation. Brandon Keeney, John’s grandson, is the new carnival “Pizza Man.”

“I’m honored to be named the Pizza Man,” said Brandon. “This man is my idol and has taught me everything I know.”

John is proud to pass on his pizza-making knowledge and love for the community to his grandson. “I’ve been making pizza since the first day of the first carnival,” shared John. “It’s time for a changing of the guard, and I know Brandon will do a great job.”

It all began in 1981, when John and Kathryn, along with friends Rob and Barbara Boone, met with then-principal Sister Patricia Ann Bossle to find ways to raise money for the school. The bingos were a popular event, and John’s pizza was a draw for people. So, when they came upon the idea of hosting a carnival, it only seemed natural John would head up the pizza tent.

For his generous contributions to Mother Seton School and his years of service, John received the Seton Values Award this past October.

John expressed that it feels like the Mother Seton School Carnival has always been a part of his and his wife, Kathryn’s, life. “We have put so much of ourselves into its being, because we believe in helping MSS and we love the community. It has been a joy to be able to give back to the school for the great education our three children received here at Mother Seton.”

Brandon promises he will uphold the tradition with pride. “Over the years, I’ve observed the entire community speak so highly of him [John] and his pizza. They are big shoes to fill, but I will not let him or Mother Seton School down. I will give my all to keep the tradition alive for as long as I can.”

You can meet Brandon and taste the famous Dowling pizza at next year’s Mother Seton School Carnival, which will be held May 18-23, 2020.

The board of directors of Mother Seton School announces the appointment of Kathleen J. Kilty (pictured right) as the school’s first lay principal. A graduate of The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. and Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Dr. Kilty brings extensive experience in the field of education, both as a principal and a teacher.

“We are very blessed,” explained Dan Hallinan, chair of the Mother Seton School board. “Not only is Dr. Kilty an experienced principal and teacher in the Archdioceses of Maryland and Washington, D.C., but she will continue to carry on the mission of Mother Seton School, originally established by St. Elizabeth Ann Seton and administered by the Sisters ever since. In addition, Daughters of Charity continue to serve on the Mother Seton School board and in faculty and administration roles here.”

Dr. Kilty most recently served as executive assistant to the Head of School in Georgetown Visitation Preparatory School (grades 9-12) in Washington, D.C. She previously was principal, as well as assistant principal and Middle School teacher, at St. Andrew Apostle Catholic School (pre-K through grade 8) in Silver Spring, Maryland. She also served as Middle School teacher at Saint Catherine Labouré Catholic School in Wheaton, Maryland, and St. Jerome Catholic School in Hyattsville, Maryland. Dr. Kilty was also the Women’s head basketball coach for five years at The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C., and served as team captain while a player during her undergraduate junior and senior seasons. 

A 1992 graduate of The Catholic University, where she earned her Bachelor of Arts Degree in Elementary Education, Dr. Kilty also earned her Master of Science Degree in administration and supervision from Johns Hopkins University in 2005; she earned her Doctor of Philosophy Degree in Catholic Educational Leadership and Policy Studies from The Catholic University of America in 2018.

Putting into action the organization’s motto of “We Serve,” members representing several Frederick County Lions Clubs recently came together on a county-wide service project when approximately 220 students at Mother Seton School in Emmitsburg received vision screenings performed by Lions members on two dates in March.  Over 42 Lions service hours were spent on this effort.  This was the fourth consecutive year for the joint screening effort.

The children were brought to a non-invasive testing station utilizing PlusoptiX S12C eye-vision technology to capture an image of the children’s eyes and automatically determine whether a vision impairment, such as near- or far-sightedness or astigmatism, was present.  The tester holds the unit approximately one meter from the child and asks the child to focus on the smiling face on the front of the camera.  At the completion of the testing, younger children received a Lion sticker to indicate they had completed the screening process.

The parents/guardians of all children tested received written test results to indicate whether their child was recommended to see a vision professional for a potential problem or was unable to be screened.  While the vast majority of children passed, readings obtained by trained Lions indicated that some of the children needed to be seen by vision professionals for potential vision anomalies.  The advanced technology of the PluxoptiX camera provides readings that are printed out either on a label which is attached to the letter for use by the vision professional of the parents’ choice. Lions members participating in the screenings included:  Sharon Hane, Clifford Sweeney, and Bill and Rachel Wivell from the Emmitsburg Lions Club; and John Aulls and Lynn Stimmel from Francis Scott Key Lions Club.

Child care centers or organizations that want to learn more about the Lions pre-school vision screening program or to schedule a screening should contact Region III Lions Saving Kids Sight Coordinator, Lion John Aulls at or 301/662-2360.

Lions Clubs International is the world’s largest service club organization with almost 1.45 million members in approximately 47,000 clubs in over 200 countries and geographical areas around the world.  Since 1917, Lions Clubs have assisted the blind and visually impaired and made a strong commitment to community service and serving youth throughout the world.  Lions Clubs are comprised of individuals who identify needs within the community and work together to fulfill those needs. The two clubs involved in the screenings have long histories of community service:  Emmitsburg since 1982, Francis Scott Key since 1959.  If you want to help your community and have a roaring good time doing it, consider becoming a Lion.  There are a number of Lions Clubs in the Frederick County area; for information on becoming a Lion, contact the Emmitsburg Lions at or Francis Scott Key Lions at

Lions participating in the recent vision screenings of Mother Seton School students included: Lions Clifford Sweeney and Bill Wivell of Emmitsburg Lions, Lynn Stimmel of Francis Scott Key Lions, Rachel Wivell and Sharon Hane of Emmitsburg Lions, and John Aulls of Francis Scott Key Lions.

“I’ll color this blue.” Sadie Grubby, a pre-K student at Mother Seton School (MSS), points to the corner of a drawing of the U.S. flag. She turns to her Prayer Partner, fourth-grader Olivia Jaeger, and asks her to help color in the red stripes. “So it looks pretty for the soldiers.”

Sadie and Olivia, along with their classmates, each colored cards to be sent to U.S. troops serving away from home this holiday season. The activity was part of the schoolwide service project for November to participate in Operation Gratitude, a non-profit organization that facilitates letters and care packages between citizens and military and first responders. Students came together to create and color cards for the troops. They included in the cards their greetings, as well as their appreciation for our military’s service. “My parents are Veterans,” Beckett Tayler, an eight-grader, said. “I know it’s hard to be away from your family, especially at Christmas. We want to thank [the troops] for their sacrifice.” Over 240 letters were sent through Operation Gratitude for the troops.

The Letters to Troops project was the second service project Mother Seton School students have participated in this year, which has been christened the “Year of Service: Created for Good Works” by the Archdiocese of Baltimore. In October, the school set a goal of creating 100 Jared Boxes as part of The Jared Box Project. Through donations from students and their families, the goal was met and 100 Jared Boxes, which contained items for play and creativity meant for hospitalized children, were delivered to Carroll County Health Center, Waynesboro Hospital, Frederick Memorial, and Gettysburg Hospital.

MSS, whose stated mission includes inspiring “students to…dedicate their lives to love and serve Christ in the tradition of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton and St. Vincent de Paul,” has always put outreach and service to others at the core of their community. “The Love of Jesus Guides Us” is not only the school’s own theme for this year, it is the principle by which the administration, staff, faculty, and students are led. “As a Christ-centered community, we truly believe it is our responsibility to not only provide strong and challenging academics, but to form our students to seek the good and serve others,” said Sister Brenda Monahan, D.C., principal of Mother Seton School.

Though December is a short month due to the Christmas break, that didn’t stop students from continuing their outreach efforts. December’s service project was to collect items for homeless students in Frederick Country as part of the Student Homelessness Initiative Project (SHIP) Homeless for the Holidays initiative. Students collected full-size personal care items through January 4, 2019. The project fittingly closed on the Feast of Elizabeth Ann Seton, our foundress and patron saint.

Other monthly service projects are in the works for the rest of the school year, but giving to others and serving those in need have always been an integral part of the MSS school community and will continue to be important. “Mother Seton School students have always given generously to projects such as our commitment to the Catoctin Pregnancy Center, missions in Africa and the Ukraine, and other local charities,” said Sister Brenda. “Serving others is at the heart of our school culture. Our students’ joy in giving meets the needs of others and helps foster the Gospel maxim of living by The Golden Rule.”

To see how you can help students with their outreach efforts, visit or call 301-447-3161.

As part of a monthly schoolwide service project, Mother Seton School eighth-graders Mackenzie Orndorff and Layla Metts deliver Jared Boxes to Carroll Hospital Center Emergency Department. Krista Johnson, Quality and RN Stroke Coordinator, accepted on behalf of the hospital.

The strong bond between Mount St. Mary’s and the Daughters of Charity has endured for over two centuries, ever since the foundress of the order, St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, resided at The Mount and taught local children in the adjoining Grotto. It’s only natural that the relationship should extend to Mother Seton School (MSS), a sponsored work of the Daughters and direct descendant of the first Catholic elementary school founded in the United States in 1810 by St. Elizabeth Ann Seton. The thriving partnership between America’s second oldest Catholic university and the oldest Catholic elementary school was recently highlighted through the donation of ten laptops, which had been converted to Chromebooks, to Mother Seton School’s technology program.

Working with Professor Athar Rafiq, students majoring in computer science, cybersecurity, and math completed a service learning project to retrofit electronically and physically clean and test the laptop computers, which had been replaced after being in use at the Mount for three years. The Mount students who devoted the most effort to this initiative are Chandler Bankos, Vu Do, Eric Fierro, Christian Hill, Danny Stanley, J’Dan Vaughn, and Sergio Villafane.

“We are grateful to Dr. Rafiq and his students for providing us these tools,” said Sister Brenda Monahan, D.C., principal of Mother Seton School. “They help move us toward our goal of providing 1:1 computing devices to our students for use in small group instruction and STEM experiences.”

Not only do Mount students receive valuable technical and, more importantly, service-oriented learning experience, but MSS students and teachers benefit in their teaching and learning initiatives from these laptops, which the Mount students converted to Chromebooks. The sustainability initiative also avoids the cost of piling these laptops in landfills, which complements the Green School status of MSS.

John Dowling Receives Awards for his Volunteer Work

James Rada, Jr.

2018 was quite a year for John Dowling, age seventy-five, of Thurmont. The Thurmont Lions Club, Thurmont Grange, and Mother Seton School all recognized his abundant volunteer work in the area.

“I guess I’m involved just about everywhere,” Dowling said. “It’s in my blood.”

Last fall, Dowling’s work was recognized three times.

Mother Seton School recognized him for his thirty-six years of work at the Mother Seton School annual carnival. Dowling and his wife, Kathryn, got involved with the carnival when their children attended the school. Besides helping to start the carnival at the school, the Dowlings also launched the successful bingo and auction fundraisers for the school. The work started as a way to reduce the tuition at Mother Seton School for their children, but it turned into a labor of love, even after their kids graduated and moved onto Catoctin High School.

The Thurmont Lions Club recognized Dowling as the Thurmont Volunteer of the Year. He was nominated for his work at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church and the Thurmont Senior Center. He was awarded a certificate of recognition and gift certificate for dinner at the Shamrock Restaurant at a town meeting. He was also able to designate where a $400 donation from the Thurmont Lions Club would be donated in his name. Dowling chose to split the money between the Thurmont Senior Center and Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church.

The Thurmont Grange also recognized Dowling with its Outstanding Community Citizen Award.

These aren’t the first awards that he has received for his community work. In the past few years, the Archdiocese of Baltimore and State of Maryland have recognized Dowling for his volunteerism.

Dowling said that he was “dumbfounded” with all of the awards last year. He considers helping his community almost an obligation.

Dowling may be retired from his appliance repair business, but he still puts in ten to twelve hours a week of volunteer work. He also continues to run a small woodworking business from his home.

“We’re here on this earth to benefit our fellow citizens,” he said.

Dowling grew up in a family of twelve children in Montgomery County, and his parents set the example for volunteerism. He remembers his mother organizing an annual dinner to benefit Montgomery General Hospital and helping his father plant grass when a new high school was built.

When he moved to the area in 1968 as a young man with a wife, he brought with him the values his parents had instilled in him. He began helping out whenever he could.

“I would help out with anything dealing with the community, because the community is an important part of the lives of everyone who lives in it,” expressed Dowling.

Of all the various places where he provides service, he considers his work with the Thurmont Senior Center the most important. He serves on the center’s board and knows how great the center’s need for help is. He picks up day-old bread from Weis that is used at the center, gives rides to and from the center to seniors in need, delivers hot meals from the Mountain Gate Restaurant to home-bound seniors, and helps with the general maintenance of equipment around the center.

The values of service to the community that Dowling’s parents taught him are something that he and Kathryn have also been able to instill in their own children.

“All of my kids do a lot of volunteer work, and they’re all successful,” Dowling said.

by Theresa Dardanell

St. Joseph’s Roman Catholic Church

Part of the Mission Statement of St. Joseph’s Church is “…following in the spirit of St. Vincent DePaul to assist those in need.”

When I met with Pastor Father Martin McGeough, Parish Secretary Elaine Ebaugh, and Facilities Manager Dennis Ebaugh, they all agreed that the parishioners fulfill that mission by their generosity.  Father Marty said, “There is a strong sense of community among the people. They like each other, they care about each other, they work for each other, and they work with each other.”

There are several ways that the members of the parish help the community. The St. Vincent DePaul/Our Lady of Grace Conference is an organization that serves the people of Emmitsburg, Thurmont, and Taneytown by providing support such as transportation, hospital visits, and home visits.

In November each year, they also collect coats, blankets, and other cold weather items for the homeless in the area.  Elaine Ebaugh said that members generously donate money for community and world needs during regular and special collections.  Recent collections included providing support for hurricane victims. At Christmas, parishioners donate toys and gift cards; at Easter and Thanksgiving, they donate grocery store gift cards. St. Joseph Church also partners with the Emmitsburg Council of Churches to donate to the Seton Center Outreach program, which coordinates distribution of these funds to people in need. The St. Joseph’s Church Sodality of the Blessed Virgin is a service and prayer group. During its annual craft fair in December and yard sale in June, money raised is used for church projects that are determined by the pastor.  Once a year, money is donated to the Seton Center and the Pregnancy Center. In past years, they have provided tuition assistance for students at Mother Seton School. In addition, members make and donate prayer shawls to people who are grieving or ill. The Legion of Mary is a group devoted to prayer and service. Members meet weekly to pray and recite the rosary. Two hours every week are spent visiting the sick in private homes and nursing homes. Volunteers distribute rosaries and miraculous medals. Members of this group also organize and support the Right To Life Chain in Emmitsburg every October.

Currently, the parish has 670 registered families, but the membership started out much smaller. The history of the church began in 1786, when mass was celebrated in the chapel of a private home. The original church was built in 1793, on land donated by the Hughes family. When the congregation grew too large for the building, it was torn down and the current church was built in 1842. Dennis Ebaugh said that the church recently underwent a total restoration, which included electrical, lighting, fire protection, exterior restoration, and bell tower repairs.  The pews, doors, floors, and stained glass windows were all refurbished.

Along with Father Marty, Elaine and Dennis Ebaugh, parish staff members are: Father Charles Krieg, associate pastor; Father Harry Arnone, C.M. chaplain to the Daughters of Charity at the Villa; Teresa Allnut, bookkeeper; Debbie Krietz, housekeeper/cook; Doria Wolfe, coordinator of religious education; Mary Myers, director of liturgy; Anthony Dilulio and Joseph Ritz, music directors.

Children of the parish participate in one of three religious education programs. Children in the parish who attend public school attend religious education classes on Sunday mornings. Students who attend Mother Seton School receive instruction at school. The Emmaus Catholic Homeschool Organization (ECHO), provides support to parents who homeschool their children.

Mass is celebrated Saturdays at 4:30 p.m., and Sundays at 8:00 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. On the first Sunday of every month, everyone is invited for coffee and donuts after the morning masses. Mass times during the week are: Monday at 7:30 p.m.; Tuesday through Saturday at 8:30 a.m. Everyone is welcome.

The church is located at 47 DePaul Street in Emmitsburg. Visit or call 301-447-2326.

Father Charles Krieg with altar servers, Thomas and Nicholas Lowe.

It is time to recognize the special teacher who has made an impact on your child’s life and on your school community. Do you know a teacher who goes beyond what is expected? You can let this teacher know how important he/she has been to you by nominating him/her for the Thurmont Lions’ Teacher of the Year award. Anyone can nominate a teacher—parents, students, fellow teachers, and administrators.

This award is open to Pre-K through Grade 12, full-time teachers, in the Catoctin feeder school system: Catoctin High School, Thurmont Middle School, Thurmont Primary School, Thurmont Elementary School, Lewistown Elementary School, Emmitsburg Elementary School, Sabillasville Elementary School, and Mother Seton School.

All nominees will be recognized at a reception to be held on May 1, 2017, at the Thurmont Elementary School. The Teacher of the Year will be selected from these finalists by a committee of community leaders and will be announced at the Thurmont Lions’ Education Night on May 10, 2017.

Nomination forms are available at and at the Thurmont Regional Library. You may also pick up a form at your child’s school. Nomination forms (which include all the information necessary for submitting) are due no later than April 7, 2017. If you have any questions, please contact Lion Joyce Anthony at or 240-288-8748.

March 2, Dr. Seuss’s birthday, has been designated Read Across America Day to promote childhood literacy. Last year, Mother Seton School held its first Read Across America Day at school with great success, and this year, the tradition continued at Mother Seton School.

Invited guests to this year’s event included Dr. Tim Trainor, president of Mount St. Mary’s University; Carla Brown, executive director of St. Joseph’s Ministries; Ned Remavege, private wealth fund manager and MSS alum; Deb Spalding, publisher of The Catoctin Banner newspaper; Lauren Schwarzmann, MSM Women’s Lacrosse coach; athletes from the Mount; and other area business and parish leaders. Each guest was assigned to a classroom and read a favorite Dr. Seuss book to students.

In addition to reading selected stories, guests answered questions and talked a little with each class. Dr. Trainor, who read Oh! The Places You’ll Go! to the eighth-grade class, spoke about his own diverse background and gave a motivational speech about the future the soon-to-be middle-school graduates had before them.

Frederick County Sheriff’s Deputies Theodore Mostoller and Louis Whitehead answered many excited questions about their jobs. “Not only were the kids great listeners, but they also asked really good questions at the end,” said Deputy Mostoller. Deputy Whitehouse agreed. “I believe the more positive interaction kids can get with the police, the better. For us (the police), specifically, this is a valuable opportunity for the police to build trust and have a fun thirty-minute interaction with a class,” he said. The students felt the same way. Middle School Language Arts teacher Amy Rarrick said her seventh graders loved the event. “They delighted in having a sheriff read to them, and appreciated the time he took to answer their questions about his career, education, and life experiences.”

Lauren Schwarzmann, who read Hunches in Bunches to one of the fourth-grade classes, said participating in the Read Across America event was a rewarding experience. “The opportunity to give back through reading, while empowering the students to dream big and follow their dreams, is something I will cherish,” she said. Tammy Wivell, who read Fox in Socks to her granddaughter’s Kindergarten class, was also grateful for her experience. “I really enjoyed being part of this event. MSS has been a part of my life for the past twenty-five years, and the day was extra special because I was able to share my love of reading with granddaughter, Lexi, and her friends.”

“Our Read Across America event is a wonderful opportunity to bring our students together with community and business leaders to explore careers and goal setting, as well as being enriched and having fun with our favorite childhood books by Dr. Seuss,” said Sister Brenda Monahan, D.C., MSS principal. “It’s important for our school to provide opportunities like this to encourage our students to build a love for reading and to demonstrate that we are all life-long learners, no matter the path we take in life.”

Mother Seton School invited area business and civic leaders to participate in their second annual Read Across America event on March 2, 2017. Pictured from left are: Theodore Mostoller, Frederick County Deputy Sheriff; Louis Whitehead, Frederick County Deputy Sheriff; Sister Brenda Monahan, D.C., MSS Principal; Terri Ziegler, retired MSS Learning Center Director; Katie Davis, PNC Bank; Lauren Schwarzmann, MSM Women’s Lacrosse Coach; Tammy Wivell, MSS grandparent; Sister Joan Corcoran, D.C., MSS Vice Principal; Ned Remavege, MSS ’61 and Private Wealth Fund Manager; (back) Mike Miller, Coordinator, SMAC Youth Group; Carla Brown, Executive Director St. Joseph’s Ministries; George Brenton, Campus Coordinator, Daughters of Charity; Bridget Bassler, Programs Coordinator, Seton Shrine; Dr. Tim Trainor, MSM President; Father Robert Malageski, Pastor, St. Mary’s Fairfield; Chase Boyle, MSM Track and Field Athlete; Kelly Maloney, MSM Lacrosse Athlete; and Deb Spalding, Publisher, The Catoctin Banner.

school-news-mss-delauterOn September 1, 2016, the new owners of Silo Hill Car Wash in Emmitsburg presented Mother Seton School principal, Sister Brenda Monahan, D.C., with a $500 donation. The gift was the result of funds raised during the Mother Seton School Family Fun Day, held at the car wash in July. For five hours, one hundred percent of the proceeds made at the car wash were earmarked for Mother Seton School. The event was organized by Kirby and Tina Delauter, who recently acquired Silo Hill Car Wash.

“Kirby and I are grateful to be part of the Emmitsburg business community, and are happy to support Mother Seton School’s educational efforts,” said Tina Delauter, MSS Class of 1977. “We felt compelled to give back to my alma mater this year as a way of honoring my mother, Patricia Zanella, who loved all children and valued our Catholic education at MSS.”

“Our school community was very happy to benefit from the partnership with the Delauters,” said Sister Brenda. “Their generosity helps us to strengthen our mission in providing an academically excellent, Christ-centered education to our children.”

Mother Seton School announces the addition of four new faculty members to its staff. Amy Rarrick, Cicely Smith, and Erin Taylor have joined the Middle School team, while Julia Conway will be teaching fifth grade.

Rarrick, whose area of concentration includes Language Arts (LA) and 7th-grade Religion, comes to the area from Greencastle, Pennsylvania, where she previously taught in private and public schools in both higher education and middle school. She received her B.A. in Mass Communications from Franklin Pierce University in New Hampshire and a Masters in Teaching at Marywood University in Pennsylvania. “I love to teach children because of their zest for life,” Rarrick said. “They are so eager to try new adventures.”
Smith is an Ohio native who worked in Ohio, Michigan, and North Carolina before moving to the area to work for Fort Detrick. She holds a B.A. in Middle Childhood Edcation from Lourdes University and earned a Master in Education Curriculum, LA and Social Studies Instruction, and Assessment. She was previously the Vice-Principal/LA and IB Coordinator at Visitation Academy. “I’m blessed and honored to be here at Mother Seton School,” Smith said. “I love to watch students excited about learning and become engaged in the content.” Smith teaches Literature and Vocabulary, and uses a collaborative approach with Rarrick to seamlessly integrate Language Arts and Literature instruction.

Rounding out the new Middle School faculty is Penn State graduate Erin Taylor. She is teaching the new Middle School math curriculum at MSS, Glencoe, which replaces the previously used Saxon Math program. She is certified in Middle Level Education (grades 4-8) in English and Math, though she says it’s Math that really excites her. “Children are so full of surprises and show so much potential,” Taylor said. “It’s rewarding to watch them grow. They aren’t the same at the end of the year as they were at the beginning.”
Mother Seton School’s current fifth-grade teacher is joined by Julia Conway, who says she has always had an interest in MSS and was delighted when an opening because available. A lifelong Maryland resident from New Windsor, the Towson graduate received a B.S. in Elementary Education and previously worked in Carroll County Public Schools. “What’s great about being here at MSS is that I am able to express my faith and share it with the children,” Ms. Conway said. “I love being a positive role model in a child’s life.”

Sister Brenda Monahan, D.C., principal of Mother Seton School, is grateful for the wonderful additions to the faculty. “Sister Joan (Corcoran) Assistant Principal, and I, are looking forward to working with our newest faculty members, as we discover their gifts and develop a strong academic program to benefit our students.”

Six Catoctin High School Seniors Sign College Letters of Intent

Six seniors at Catoctin High School (CHS) eagerly awaited to sign the documents that would soon take them off to their next step in their athletic and educational careers. As proud family, friends, and coaches poured into the high school’s gymnasium on February 29, 2016, CHS Athletic Director Kevin Macmullen handed out pens to each student in preparation. As the students began to sign, their coaches (Valentine, Franklin, Williams, and Olsen) remembered star moments of each individual and spoke of how proud they were of each one of their athletes.

Katie Shugars will be attending Frederick Community College and playing on the Women’s Softball team. Kristen Fox will be attending Stevenson University in Maryland, playing on the Women’s Soccer team. Four seniors will be moving onto a college football program: Noah Dell, attending Frostburg State University; Payne Harrison, attending Mercyhurst University; CJ Simmers, attending Juniata College; and Braden Thomson, attending Bridgewater College.


Pictured from left are seniors Katie Shugars, Kristen Fox, Payne Harrison, CJ Simmers, Braden Thomson, and Noah Dell.

Thurmont Middle School PTA to Award Two Scholarships

The Thurmont Middle School (TMS) PTA is awarding two scholarships to qualified Catoctin High School seniors. You must apply by Friday, April 29, 2016. Applicant must have attended TMS for one full school year. View the advertisement on page 6 for more details.

Thurmont’s Masonic Lodge #155 Offering Two Scholarships

Since 1995, Thurmont Masons have awarded scholarships worth over $75,000 to area students. Scholarships are available to all graduating high school level seniors from a Maryland State accredited public, private, and/or homeschool program, who reside within the Catoctin High School district boundaries.

Scholarship application forms are available at the Catoctin High School guidance office and at the Thurmont Regional Library.

Interested students must complete an application and return it on or before April 30, 2016.

Questions regarding the application should be directed to Acacia Masonic Lodge #155 Scholarship Committee via the Lodge website at

Thurmont Elementary Hosts its Annual STEM Night

Thurmont Elementary School hosted its annual STEM Night, where students showed off their skills in all aspects of science, technology, engineering, and math. Every year, STEM Night has grown, with this year having over eighteen stations of interactive fun, spread throughout the school for the community to stop, look, learn, and play. Can you take two dixie cups and one 3×5 index card, make a bridge with it, and then stack forty-six large and ninety-three small metal washers on it without the bridge collapsing? Fourth grader Tegan Mott holds the record.

Students research projects included topics such as fastest cars, bottle rockets, the solar system, why candy is sticky, and many more. TriState Astronomers was on hand with their 8” 40 mm IP Celestron reflected telescope, which allowed everyone to take turns looking at craters on the moon, up close and personal.

This event could not happen without the support of the Catoctin community.  Thurmont Elementary School would like to thank the following: Gateway Market, Rocky’s Pizza, Weis Markets, Jubilee Foods, Bollinger’s Family Restaurant, Mountain Gate Family Restaurant, Food Lion, Subway, Wendy’s, Fratelli’s Thurmont Kountry Kitchen, Shamrock, Catoctin High School, Walkersville High School, Mrs. Brawner and NIH/NCI, Mr. & Mrs. Child, Boy Scout Troop 270, Cub Scout Pack 270, TMS Olympiad Team, Thurmont Public Library, Catoctin Zoo, TriState Astronomers and TEPS PTA for helping to make STEM Night a success.

Mother Seton School Students Map Their Way to Winning in Annual Geography Bee

Do you know in which country Mount Kosciuszko is the highest peak? Jack Guinan (Grade 6) and Emma Adams (Grade 8) could tell you! (It’s Australia.) The Mother Seton School students placed first and second respectively in the school-wide Geography Bee held on February 3, 2016.

First-place winner Jack went on to qualify for the Maryland State Geography Bee, to be held on April 1, 2016, in Owings Mills and will be broadcast on Maryland Public Television. Only the Top 100 scoring students are eligible to take part in the State Bee. Jack is the only seventh-grader and only Catholic school student from Frederick County to be selected. The Top 10 state winners will move on to the National Geography Bee, which will be held in May of this year. The National winner receives a $50,000 college scholarship. The National Geography Bee is in its twenty-eighth year and is sponsored by the National Geographic Society.

Elizabeth Vines, Middle School teacher and Geography Bee Coordinator, said that participation in the Bee is a fun way to promote the value of understanding the world around us. “I tell the students they are global citizens,” she said. “The Bee is one of the ways in which we try to broaden their minds.”

With it being easier than ever before to connect with others on a global scale, it’s crucial for students to have an understanding of their neighbors and where they come from. Classic subject matters such as geography provide the necessary frame of reference for students to reach that understanding, and programs like the Geography Bee provide a forum for students to challenge themselves.

Guinan and Adams competed against other classmates who were selected after the initial classroom screening, including: Ethan Little and Vincent Reaver III (Grade 4), Jameson Doll and Brendan Guinan (Grade 5), Emma Wivell and Alyssa Corsetty (Grade 6), Larisa Tayler (Grade 7), and Kirstyn Bockelmann (Grade 8).


First-place winner and runner-up of MSS Geography Bee, held February 3, 2016: (from left) Jack Guinan (Grade 7) and Emma Adams (Grade 8).

Thurmont High School Alumni Invited to Celebrate 100 Years

Be the first alumnus to register for the 100th Anniversary Banquet of Thurmont High School Alumni to be held on Saturday, June 4, 2016, at the Lewistown Fireman’s Activities building, located at 11101 Hessong Bridge Road in Lewistown.

Social hour begins at 5:00 p.m., followed by the banquet of fried shrimp, turkey, and trimmings. During the program, the graduating classes ending with 6 or 1 will receive special recognition, three scholarship recipients will be announced, door prizes will be distributed, and a very special musical performance from Nashville, Tennessee.

So pass the word to your high school friends and send in your reservation(s). The cost is $25.00 per person; checks made payable to Thurmont High School Alumni and mail to Viola Noffsinger, 12510 Creagerstown RD, Thurmont, MD 21788. The first one received will be awarded a free meal.

Note: The open time for scholarship applications is March 30 to April 30. Check the Community Foundation of Frederick County website for applications.

Four $1,000 Scholarships Offered

The Emmistsburg High School Association is accepting scholarship applications.  Four one thousand dollar scholarships will be awarded in May to deserving students. Any Catoctin High School senior or graduate enrolled in an institution of higher learning, including trade schools, is eligible if he/she resides in the Emmitsburg School District. This includes Emmitsburg 21727, Rocky Ridge 21778, and Taneytown 21787 (Taneytown boundary is determined by Bridgeport on route 140).  Applicants may apply each year as long as they are enrolled in an institution.

Selection is based on having a 3.0 or higher grade point average, being a full time student, presenting two letters of recommendation, their community and school activities, and pursuing higher education (technical school, four-year college, or community college).

Applications may be obtained by contacting the guidance department at Catoctin High School (240-236-8082 Ryan Zimmerman) or calling Phyllis Kelly (717) 642-6963.  All applications must be received by May 10, 2016.

Thurmont Lions Club Lions Work to Increase Literacy in our Community

Lions Clubs International President Jitsuhiro Yarnada has announced a program to Lions to strengthen the service challenge to get resources to develop hands-on projects to help children in need. President Yarnada has implemented a Reading Action Program to help give the gift of literacy. Education and literacy are crucial to helping our students grow. They are the keys to overcoming poverty, disease, and other social issues.  As children’s book author Dr. Seuss wrote, “The more you read, the more things you’ll know.  The more you learn, the more places you’ll go.”

The Thurmont Lions Club has taken great strides to help bridge the gap between literacy and education, and has supported the Literacy Program for many years. This year, the club donated a drawstring backpack containing a Dr. Seuss book, Look for the Lorax; a Dr. Seuss bookmark; and a Dr. Seuss coloring book and crayons to the kindergarten classes at Thurmont Primary, Lewistown Elementary, and Sabillasville Elementary schools (127 students), to be used to help celebrate Dr. Seuss’ birthday, which took place on March 2. The book chronicles the plight of the environment and the Lorax, who speaks for the trees, which everyone needs. This project will also apply to the club’s Environmental Program. Hopefully, the Dr. Seuss book will encourage the children to read.

The Literacy Program co-chairpersons, Lions Susan Favorite and Joyce Anthony, delivered filled backpacks to the Lewistown Elementary and Sabillasville Elementary Schools (Lion Susan) and Thurmont Primary School (Lion Joyce).


Words For Thirds

The National Grange, founded in 1867, is a nonprofit, nonpartisan fraternal organization that advocates for rural America and agriculture. With strong history in grassroots activism, family values, and community service, the Grange is part of more than 2,100 hometowns across the United States. The Thurmont Grange serves our Catoctin region. One of the programs administered annually by the Grange is Words for Thirds, where every third grade student in the local area is given a dictionary to keep.

Emmitsburg Elementary School

Ebg Dictionaries

Pictured from left are: (front row) Dillan Ecker, Austin Morris, Fallon Wolfe, Darrin Frey; (second row) Alayna Kelly, Lauren Kelly, Alyssa Costa, Katie Topper; (back row) Mike Brown, Emmitsburg Elementary School third grade teacher; and Thurmont Grange members, Bob Whiles and Cliff Stewart.

Thurmont Elementary School

TES dictionaries

Pictured from left are Carol and Bob Long, Thurmont Grange; Susan Crone and Kate Gray, TES third grade teachers; Christina McKeever, TES Principal; Sandy and Jim Moser, Thurmont Grange; (front row) third grade students: Gabe Fussa, Brady Wehage, Maura Eyler, Jackson Savage, and Erin Miller.

Sabillasville Elementary School

Sabillasville dictionaries (1)

Pictured from left are: (first row) third grade students Kylie Putman, Mason Newcomer, and Hannah Wolfe; (back row) Kate Krietz, SES Principal; Rodman Myers, Jim Royer; and Robert McAfee of the Thurmont Grange; Marnie Mortenson, third grade teacher; and Jane Savage, Thurmont Grange and SES administrative specialist.

Show Your Cougar Spirit

The Catoctin High School Sports Boosters will be selling Cougar clothing (sweatpants, sweatshirts, and T-shirts), blankets, stadium seats, hats, and other miscellaneous Cougar items at the following home sporting events: Tuesday, December 8—Girls Basketball, 5:30-7:30 p.m.; Friday, December 11—Girls Basketball, 5:30-7:30 p.m.; Monday, December 14—Boys Basketball, 5:30-7:30 p.m.; Wednesday, December 16—Wrestling, 5:30-7:30 p.m.; Friday, December 18—Boys Basketball, 5:30-7:30 p.m.

Items will be available on the above dates in the hallway between the gymnasiums. Payment may be made by cash, check, or credit card. Do some shopping for Christmas!

Catoctin High School Class of 2016 Safe and Sane Events

Tickets are on sale for the Dance and Silent Auction at the Thurmont American Legion on December 12, 2015, for $15.00 per person and $25.00 per couple. Doors open at 8:00 p.m. They are in need of items for the silent auction. To donate an item/basket or to purchase/sell tickets, please contact Barb Sellers at or Tracy Barbour at

At the dance, they will be drawing the winning ticket for the iPad Air II. Tickets are still available for $5.00 each. Contact Dawn Shugars at 240-357-8121 to purchase or sell.

Wing Night/Football Bash is gearing up as well, featuring all-you-can-eat wings! The date is set for January 15, 2016. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. Superbowl squares! Tickets on sale for $25.00. Please contact Dawn Shugars at 240-357-8121 to purchase or sell tickets.

Camper raffle is on-going. Tickets are $10.00. Please contact Tracy Barbour at

All events benefit Catoctin High School’s Class of 2016 Safe and Sane event following graduation.

Scholarships Available

The Frederick Business & Professional Women’s Club is now accepting scholarship applications. Scholarships will be awarded to women currently enrolled in and attending a college-level course study. Requirements include that women must be a resident of Frederick County, Maryland, and must show financial need. Graduating high school seniors and those who have already earned at least a bachelor’s degree are not eligible for this scholarship.

Applications and other documents must be postmarked by January 31, 2016. For applications and information email

Mother Seton School Students Recognized for Citizenship

The Christian Character Trait program is once again active at Mother Seton School. Each month, teachers nominate those students they feel best demonstrate the featured trait for that month. For September, the following students were recognized for exemplifying the Christian Character Trait of Citizenship: Quinn Alley (Grade 8); Matthias Buchheister (Grade 7); Mia Ferraro and Raphaela Smaldone (Grade 6); Joseph Torborg (Grade 5); Luke Iferd and Timothy McCarthy (Grade 4); Brady Koenig (Grade 3); Camila Canadas-Fraga and Anthony Rosato (Grade 2); William Adams and Jacob Marron (Grade 1); Grady Abruzzese and Francis Rosato (Kindergarten); Greyson Jurchak and Anna Long (Pre-K).

Pictured from left are: (front row) Brady Koenig (Grade 3), Anthony Rosato (Grade 2), Camila Canadas-Fraga (Grade 2), Jacob Marron (Grade 1), William Adams (Grade 1), Francis Rosato (Kindergarten), Grady Abruzzese (Kindergarten), Anna Long (Pre-K); (back row) Quinn Alley (Grade 8), Matthias Buchheister (Grade 7), Mia Ferraro (Grade 6), Emma Wivell (Grade 6), Joseph Torborg (Grade 5), Luke Iferd (Grade 4), Timothy McCarthy (Grade 4). Not pictured: Greyson Jurchak (Pre-K).

Sabillasville Elementary School Holds 1st Annual 5K/1-Mile Fun Run

Sabillasville Elementary School (SES) hosted it’s 1st Annual Sabillasville Scenic 5K/1-Mile Fun Run on November 15, 2015. The event was organized by the SES-Parent Group. The proceeds will provide cultural arts programs and field trips for the students of SES. Event coordinators had both families and single runners sign up to fully enjoy the scenic route, cheered on by students and spectators. They look forward to hosting it again next year!

Participants begin their run/walk with enthusiasm out front of Sabillasville Elementary School during the 1st Annual Sabillasville Scenic 5K/1-Mile Fun Run on November 15, 2015.

School Bells are Ringing Across the County

James Rada, Jr.

Frederick County students headed back to school on Monday, August 24. Nearly every school saw new faces among the faculty and staff.

Thurmont Primary School

Thurmont Primary School is the only school in the area not seeing any staffing changes this year. All of the teachers and staff from last school year are returning.

Sabillasville Elementary School

Sabillasville Elementary School welcomes three new teachers this year: Jennifer Rutherford, special education teacher; Maureen Schildt, 5th grade teacher; and Chad Keller, physical education teacher.

Lewistown Elementary School

Lewistown Elementary School is welcoming nine new teachers and staff this year: Austin Seliga, kindergarten teacher; Dana Byard, media specialist; Jessica Flabbi, pyramid teacher; Kristina Sartwell, pyramid teacher; Aly Kaufman, pyramid teacher; Jeremy Kraeuter, user support specialist to help with technology needs; Tia Rode, special education assistant; Brenda Harrison, special education assistant; and Gayle Mosier, special education assistant.

Emmitsburg Elementary School

Emmitsburg Elementary School welcomes five new teachers and staff this year: Sara Bugler, pre-K teacher;           Stan Diehl, instructional support staff; Harry Fogle, instructional support staff; Kelli Landermann, instructional support staff; and Mary Neibecker, instructional support staff.

Also, targeted Intervention teacher Charlene Rippeon was awarded 2015 Thurmont Lions Club Teacher of the Year Award.

Thurmont Middle School

Thurmont Middle School Principal Jennifer Powell said, “We’ve had quite a few changes to our staff this year due to our decreasing enrollment and the increase in class size due to the FCPS budget.”

Current enrollment in the school is around 542, which is down from approximately seven years earlier when enrollment was over 700 students. This means fewer class periods need a teacher to cover them, which could eventually lead to fewer teachers at the school. Ten teachers and staff have left the school this year due to retirement, transfers to other schools, or other reasons.

New this year or in new positions are: Emily Kern, math/science teacher; Valerie Cousins, filling in for Bethany Webster on maternity leave;         and Tina Garst, science teacher instead of math.

“We still proudly have the FCPS Teacher of the Year Amanda Portner who is our Literacy Specialist,” Powell said. “We will find out in October if she is the Maryland Teacher of the Year.”

Catoctin High School

Catoctin High School welcomes five new teachers and staff this year: Luis Torrado, history teacher; Julie Bashin, math teacher; Katherine Mills, media specialist; and Doug Young, science and math teacher.

Mother Seton School

Mother Seton School is welcoming three new teachers this year: Kelsey Kuykendall, pre-k teacher; Amy Incaprera, middle school language arts and religion teacher; and Rhona Stocksdale, physical education teacher. The school now has central air conditioning throughout the entire building to maintain a comfortable learning environment for the students.

Patriot’s Pen Contest

Each year, the VFW Post 6658 Ladies Auxiliary sponsors “The Patriot’s Pen” contest, which is open to students in grades sixth through eighth.

Students are required to do a typed essay of 300-400 words based on the theme, “What Freedom Means To Me.” Monetary prizes are given to the winners on local, state, and national levels.

Judging is based on knowledge of theme, theme development, and clarity of ideas. If you are interested, please contact Gwen Topper at 717-359-0713 for an entry form.

Thurmont Elementary and Primary Schools to Host Back-to-School Picnic

On Thursday, September 10, 2015, the Thurmont Primary and Thurmont Elementary Schools will be hosting their annual Back-to-School Night Family Picnic at the Thurmont Town Park, located at 21 Frederick Road in Thurmont in the pavilions, from 5:00-6:30 p.m.

Students and their families are invited to come spend some informal and fun time with teachers and staff, with good food, enjoyable music, lots of useful information, and tons of fun on the agenda.

Many thanks go out to the local business community for all of their support of this collaborative event to kick off the 2015-2016 school year.

Catoctin Safe and Sane Class of 2016

The 2016 Catoctin High School (CHS) Safe and Sane Committee is selling $5.00 tickets for chances to win a bushel of steamed crabs. Winners will be drawn at 2:00 p.m. on September 13, 2015, at the Thurmont and Emmitsburg Community Show.

Save the date for a fun night painting! Get your tickets for the Corks & Canvas Night on September 17, 2015, at the Carriage House Inn in JoAnn’s Ballroom in Emmitsburg. Doors open at 6:00 p.m. The cost is $50.00 a ticket, which includes art supplies, appetizers, and complimentary wine.

Please contact Laura Imes at 301-788-6458 or Kim Moser at 240-285-1799 for tickets for these events.

Visit the Catoctin Safe and Sane Class of 2016 website for all upcoming and future events at

FFA Members Honored at Annual FFA Banquet

Madelyn Krantz, Catoctin FFA Reporter

The Catoctin FFA’s annual parent/member banquet was held on May 14, 2015. The Catoctin FFA members and supporters were recognized for their accomplishments for the past year. First year members, also known as Greenhands, were recognized with the Greenhand Degree. Liz Bisbee, Jimmy Kempisty, Tiffany Lenhart, Kaitlynn Neff, Dylan Harmon, Madelyn Krantz, Megan McIntosh, Michael Phelps, Mackenzie Henderson, Brietta Latham, and Stephanie Moreland earned this degree this year. Kaitlynn Neff and Stephanie Moreland were recognized as Star Greenhand members. May Cruz, Jonathan Hubbard, and Johnny Kempisty earned the Chapter Degree this year. Kayla Umbel was recognized as the Star Chapter Member. Honorary Chapter Degrees were presented to Jim Barth and Tractor Supply Company #4166. Liz Bisbee, Mackenzie Henderson, Dylan Harmon, Jimmy Kempisty, Madelyn Krantz, Tiffany Lenhart, Stephanie Moreland, Kaitlynn Neff, and Michael Phelps all received corduroy FFA jackets from ten sponsors that donated money for them; these generous sponsors are Brian Hendrickson, Don Hendrickson, Bob and Cheryl Lenhart and family, Jeff and Karen McAfee, Michael and Amy Poffenberger, Paul and Tracey Schur, Shawn and Sarah Shriner, Norman and Sandy Shriver, the Cliff Stewart family, and Bob and Carolyn Wiles.

Megan Millison was recognized as the Community Show Unsung Hero. The Thurmont Grange Unsung Hero award was presented to Hannah Barth. Taylor Eiker was named the Chapter’s Unsung Hero, and was presented a plaque sponsored by the Frederick County Farm Bureau. The Dekalb Award is presented to a senior member who excels in the classroom and has an excellent SAE project at home. Nicki Milbourne was presented the Dekalb Award. Hannah Barth was recognized as the Chapter Star in Agri Science. Nicki Milbourne was the Chapter Star Farmer. The Scholastic Achievement Award, which is given to the senior FFA member with the highest grade point average, was presented to Hannah Barth.

Jonathan Hubbard was presented awards for being the top salesman for Fall Citrus and Nuts, Spring Fruit and Nuts and Meatsticks. Hannah Barth was the top salesman for the annual butchering.

Theresa Hutchinson and Tyler Wolf were honored with the Advisor Appreciation Award. Allen Haines was presented a gift certificate as a huge thank you for all that he does to help us at our butchering.

The 2015-2016 Catoctin FFA Senior Officers are: President Megan Millison, Vice President Stephanie Kennedy, Secretary Kayla Umbel, Treasurer Tiffany Lenhart, Reporter Madelyn Krantz, Sentinel Dusty Hahn, Historian Stephanie Moreland, and Parliamentarian May Cruz.

The Catoctin FFA is very thankful for all of the support that we had this past year. Without your support, we would not be able to do all that we do. We are excited for the upcoming year!


Pictured from left are: (back row) Kayla Umbel, Stephanie Kennedy, Dusty Hahn, Megan Millison, and Tiffany Lenhart; (front row) Maddie Krantz, May Cruz, and Stephanie Moreland.

Courtesy Photo

2015 Thurmont Middle School Leo of the Year

Leo Lynn Morlier was awarded the 2015 Thurmont Middle School (TMS) Leo of the Year at the Thurmont Lions Club’s youth meeting on March 25, 2015. Leo Lynn is self-motivated, participates in a majority of the club’s fundraisers, volunteers at the TMS library, participates in monthly book clubs, was selected for the TMS Honor’s Band, received TMS citizenship awards, and is an honor roll student. In addition, she is a cadet in the Girl Scouts, active in the church’s youth group, and volunteers at the Frederick Rescue Mission and SERVV, which is a fair trade non-profit organization. Congratulations, Leo Lynn!

Leo of the Year - Thurmont Lions Club

Pictured from left are Lion Joyce Anthony, TLC Leo Advisor; Mrs. Morlier (Lynn’s mother); Leo Lynn Morlier; Leo President Annalise Lewis, and Lion Gayle DiSalvo, TLC Leo advisor.


Thurmont Lions Club’s 2015 Teacher of the Year

The Thurmont Lions Club’s 2015 Teacher of the Year was awarded to Charlene Rippeon, a teacher at Emmitsburg Elementary School.

Charlene was nominated by her Principal, Mary Ann Wiles, who said, “She embodies the spirit of the school and goes above and beyond the classroom to provide a warm, caring, and enriching learning environment for the students, while on the sidelines cheering for the students, her colleagues, and building relationships with everyone. Congratulations, Ms. Charlene Rippeon.”

Thurmont Lions Club Teacher of the Year

Pictured from left are Tracey Lucas, Executive Director of School Administration and Leadership, FCPS; Charlene Rippeon; Lion JR Wantz, President of TLC; and Lion Joyce Anthony.

Tyrian Masonic Lodge Presents Annual Scholarships

Tyrian Masonic Lodge No. 205 presented scholarships at their annual Strawberry Night, held at Elias Lutheran Church social hall on Thursday, June 11, 2015. This year, $500 scholarships were presented to Stacie Baust and Katey Kramlick to continue their education. Stacie attends Frederick Community College, and Katey is attending Carroll Community College. Brother Ron Cool was also presented the Solomon Builders II pin by Grand Lodge of Maryland for membership.

Any student attending college or aspiring to attend may apply to Maryland Masonic Lodges scholarship programs to receive financial help. Contact any Lodge member for information.

Tyrian lodge scholarship

Pictured from left are Stacie Baust, Katey Kramlick, Worshipful Master Ernie Gelwicks, Temple Holding Treas. Austin Fogle.

Kindergarten Teacher Honored as Thurmont Lions Club Teacher of the Year for Mother Seton School

If you want to see young chefs creating a recipe for Stone Soup or budding scientists reading the outdoor thermometer to chart the daily temperature or writers creating an illustrated life of Mother Seton to read to their families, just travel to Connie Richwine’s kindergarten class at Mother Seton School in Emmitsburg.

The veteran educator—with twenty-six years of educational experience, eight of those at Mother Seton School—is loved by students, staff, and parents alike for her creativity and enthusiasm in teaching. This is one of the reasons she was selected by students and parents to receive the Thurmont Lions Club Teacher of the Year award for Mother Seton School.

“I was so pleasantly surprised to receive the Thurmont Lions Club Teacher of the Year award,” said Richwine. “I deeply appreciate the kind and generous words expressed in the letters written about me.”

The Thurmont Lions Club presents the Teacher of the Year award annually to teachers selected by their schools in the Catoctin Feeder. A donation to the school is part of the award.

“We are blessed to count a teacher like Connie among our faculty at Mother Seton School,” said Sister Brenda Monahan, D.C., principal. “For her, teaching is not just a job, it is a calling, and that is evident in her dedication to her students. She touches everyone she meets with her joyful light.”

As the wife of an Air Force officer, Richwine has enjoyed a career that has stretched from serving as a resource teacher in Selma, Alabama, to teaching in a one-room schoolhouse five miles from the Canadian border. She previously served as the principal of St. Andrew the Apostle Catholic School in Waynesboro, Pennsylvania, before retiring as an administrator to return to the classroom eight years ago.

“Teaching my students is something I look forward to each and every day,” stated Richwine. “I learn as much from my students as they learn from me. I have truly been blessed to have been a part of the best profession possible!”







Connie Richwine is shown here with three of her students: (from left) Olivia Jeager, Logan Crutchfield, and Torrance Bassler.

They have a way with words. They are the Scribbler’s Club at Mother Seton School in Emmitsburg.This group of third through fifth graders meets on Tuesdays to learn more about writing better and to share their stories.

Whether it is a story about sibling rivalry or a poem about Harry Potter, these young writers are anxious to try new ways to express themselves through the written word.

“This is creative outlet for these kids,” says Club Advisor Lynn Tayler. “A lot of kids love to write, and they get to do that here.”

She said that her goal is to have the young writers contribute at least one story to an end-of-the-year journal that will show off the best that the Scribbler’s Club has to offer.

The club meets on Tuesdays after school in the library. They come in with journals filled with stories, poems, and ideas that they have been working on throughout the week.

“I like writing because it allows you to express your feelings,” said Ella Lowry, a third grader.

The club is currently made up of approximately a dozen students. About two thirds of them are girls, but the different writing interests are evenly spread among the group members.

Fourth-grader Beckett Taylor likes writing action and adventure stories. “I like being able to write whatever stories I want and not just what I have to for school,” he said.

Club Advisor Lynn Tayler and her co-advisor, Dianne Hoffman, introduce the students to new types of writing and have them experiment with them. It might be through writing prompts or worksheets with examples of different types of writing.

For Valentine’s Day, the group experimented writing different types of poetry.

“It exercises my head,” said Gray Grube, a third grader. “I like it.”

The goal of the club is to encourage these young writers to not only engage their imaginations but to be able to express those ideas.

Fifth-grader Mia Furraro says that she has always loved to write. “I love to express how I feel through words and with my imagination, and I want to get better at it,” she said.

Third through fifth grade students in the Scribbler’s Club at Mother Seton School meet every Tuesday to share their stories and to express their ideas and creativity through writing.


Photo by James Rada, Jr.

Mother Seton School Alumni Present Gift for Scholarship Fund

The Jack and Shirley Little Scholarship Fund at Mother Seton School (MSS) will help a few more families this year, thanks to the efforts of the Little Family. On December 15, 2014, Tony Little, Mary-Lou Little, and Jane Moore, presented MSS Principal Sr. Brenda Monahan, D.C. with a check for $10,000 (the proceeds from the annual Angels Above Alumni Golf Tournament). The 2014 event was held on October 3 at the Mountain View Golf Club in Fairfield, Pennsylvania.

The tournament began as a promise made to their dying father that the Little siblings would do something to repay the generosity shown their parents when they sent their six children to MSS in the 1970s and 1980s. Tony, a graduate of MSS in 1978, followed through with that commitment and, with his siblings—Tim, Mary Lou, Pam, Scott, and Ed—launched the golf tournament as a means to raise money for the Jack and Shirley Little Scholarship Fund at Mother Seton School.

To date, the tournament has raised over $60,000 for the fund and helped numerous families afford the cost of tuition to MSS.

“We want to continue to help Mother Seton School grow and thrive, and not have money be an issue (for families who wish to enroll their children),” Tony Little said.

“We are grateful to the Little Family for their generosity and continued commitment to Catholic education,” said Monahan. “Mother Seton School helps students to integrate their faith into every aspect of life. Our students excel academically and have the opportunity to experience a diverse selection of extracurricular activities. Thanks to the support of the Little Family, we can meet the growing demand for financial assistance so that families can choose and remain in a Catholic School.”

Tony Little remains humble about his and his siblings contributions. “None of us do this for recognition, only to keep mom and dad’s dream alive. For that reason, we will continue our efforts to contribute to the scholarship fund.”

The next Angels Above Alumni Golf Tournament will be held on October 2, 2015.

The Little Family donated $10,000 towards the Mother Seton School scholarship, named for their parents, Jack and Shirley Little. The donation came from proceeds from the annual Angels Above Golf Tournament that the family hosts. Pictured from left are Sr. Brenda Monahan, D.C. (Principal), Mary-Lou Little, Tony Little, and Jane Moore.

Car Cruise Fundraiser in Memory of Jacob Loudon

Catoctin High School students, Mikey Clise and Rob Reaver, will hold a Fundraising Car Cruise in memory of senior, Jacob Loudon, who recently passed. Cruisers should meet at Catoctin High School at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, March 28, 2015. The cruise will begin at noon, and travel towards Frederick.

Memorial decals will be sold for $7.00 each, and there will be a donation box. Proceeds go to the Loudon Family. Please call Rob Reaver at 717-398-6276 with any questions or text 240-397-3806.

Who Will Be 2015 Teacher of the Year?

Do you know a teacher who goes beyond what is expected? Is there a teacher who has made an impact on your life or your child’s life? It’s time to recognize these special teachers by nominating them for the Thurmont Lions Club Teacher of the Year Award. Anyone, including parents, students, and fellow teachers may nominate a teacher.

This award is open to full-time teachers, pre-K through grade 12, in the Catoctin feeder school system: Catoctin High, Thurmont Middle, Thurmont Primary and Elementary, Sabillasville Elementary, Lewistown Elementary, Emmitsburg Elementary, and Mother Seton School.

One finalist from each of the eight schools will be announced during a reception in April. The Teacher of the Year will be selected from these finalists by a committee of community leaders, and will be announced at the Thurmont Lions Club’s Education Night on May 13, 2015. Nomination forms are available at and at the Thurmont Regional Library.  Nominations are due by Wednesday, March 25, 2015, at 5:00 p.m.