Friday, May 22, 2020

"Christ had to suffer and rise from the dead, so enter into His glory.:

Today completes the ninth week of remote learning, and the school year will conclude with all students learning virtually. The diocese has informed us that in grades 6-8 there will be be no final exams.

Unless there is any last minute easing of the COVID 19 guidelines, our graduation will take place virtually. Eighth grade graduation is scheduled for a 6:00 pm live streaming on Thursday, June 4, 2020. Mrs. Cardinale and myself are in the process of putting all of the pieces together for a Virtual Graduation. As hard as we are working on putting together a memorable Virtual Graduation Ceremony, it could all change to a live ceremony should guidelines be eased by the governor. We will keep you posted as guidelines unfold daily.

Our last day of remote learning for students will be Friday, June 12. Fr. Rick and Fr. Dulibber will say Closing Mass at 9:00 am that will be live streamed. Please join us for that mass as we pray for our students and families to have a healthy summer and a normal back to school celebration and opening in September.

With that being said, I have a put out a schedule via Parent Square for students to return and pick up items. We will do our best to do this by curbside pick-up. If parents have to come into the building, only one parent will be permitted in a classroom at a time, and will have to wear a mask. We will set up an entrance and exit for those who have to enter and exit the building. Mrs. Hopkins and I have been coming in daily and opening doors to get plenty of fresh air flowing through the building.

Students in grades 3-7 will keep their chromebooks over the summer. Please make should they are handled with care and are in workable condition in the fall.

Our return and pick-up schedule will go as follows:
Families whose last name begins with:

(A-H)   Monday, June 15          9:00 am - 12:00 pm

(I-O)    Tuesday, June 16          9:00 am - 12:00 pm

(P-Z)    Wednesday, June 17     9:00 am - 12:00 pm

Should you not be able to adhere to this schedule, please make arrangements with your teacher, Ms. Hopkins or myself.

Finally, this weekend is Memorial Day weekend, and we honor all of those heroes who made the ultimate sacrifice so we can enjoy the everyday freedoms we take for granted in this great country we call THEE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.

May God bless St. Therese School and may He continue to bless the United States of America. If you see a veteran, thank him or her for their service. Have a wonderful Memorial Day Weekend.

Tim Dunnigan
Principal STS

Friday, May 15, 2020

"I call you my friends, says the Lord, for I have made known to you all that the Father has told me. John :15:15b

Today concludes eight weeks of remote learning. I hope our Mothers had a terrific Mother's Day and week. Through this pandemic you have been the unsung heroes disciplining your students to get up and stay focused on remote learning. I believe there is a line in Luke Bryant's country song, that says I believe all mothers are saints. Those words could not be truer. Coming from a family of myself and seven other siblings, I have no doubt that all mothers are saints. Mothers have the hardest job that God could've have given to anyone. You truly are saints.

I want to give special recognition to another courageous saint of a lady who is home from Children's Hospital in Philadelphia, and that is Melanie Walsh. As most of you know, Melanie is third grade student who underwent some serious medical procedures at the Children's Hospital in Philadelphia. Our St. Therese Family has been praying for her ever since she entered the hospital many weeks ago. She finally made it home last weekend after some intense rehab. After only being home for about an hour she got a tremendous "Honk Out" drive by from Ms. Muller and the third grade parents. And I was just informed a few days ago that she was the winner to see the Jonas Bros. in concert.Way to go Melanie! We Love you!!! Welcome Home!

As we move towards the close of the year there are a number of things that have to be taken care of before we close. I have sent out a schedule on Parent Square for the return of books and the pick up of personal belongings. Please check it out.

There is also eight grade graduation coming up on June 4. This was something we were trying to do live and in person, but after speaking to health officials and reviewing government guidelines we will be doing graduation remotely. Both the graduation ceremony and the awards ceremony will be combined. Mrs. Cardinale and myself have been in touch with a company who is going to provide us with what we need to do it remotely. In the coming weeks you may be asked to provide us with video clip sending a message to out eighth grade students. Our ceremony will be broadcast live and as soon as we have all of the details we will send out the schedule and time. This is something that has never been done before, but know we are doing our best to make this a very special event to be remembered by our eighth graders and their parents. Mrs. Cardinale and I will be meeting in the coming week via Zoom to speak to the eighth grade parents on how this will work. Also know that Mrs. Cardinale has been working overtime behind the scenes on this.

Many of you probably have questions about St. Therese Summer Camp. All I can say is if we are permitted to run the camp we will be following all of the government guidelines that come to us. At this time we will have to wait and see. I am anticipating that Roxbury will be running summer programs and if they do, we will also.

As remote instruction continues I would like to salute the students who have worked so hard under this new format of remote learning. We hear a lot of talk about "Essential Workers," these days, but we don't hear much about the students who have sacrificed things like boys and girls scouts, little league baseball, soccer, dance, drama clubs, going to a Yankee game, and birthday parties. The list could go on and on, not to mention not being able to hang out with their friends. Students of St. Therese, and all students across this country, know that you are "Essential Workers."

Every day you get up at the same time to get ready for remote instruction. You are not able to see your friends and classmates in person, you make sacrifices and you continue to do the things that are asked of you by your parents, even when you don't like it. I think about you often, and I know this is not an easy time for you. Just know that when this principal thinks of "Essential Workers," he is thinking of you, the students of St. Therese. You have been an incredibly courageous group of young men and ladies through this pandemic. We will get through this because of our faith in Jesus Christ. God will never gives us a hardship we cannot handle, and when it comes, we can offer it up as a sacrifice for remission of sin and the salvation of souls. I will continue to pray for all of you and I ask that you keep me in your prayers as well.

God bless,
Tim Dunnigan
Principal STS

Friday, May 8, 2020

"Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen

Today completes the seventh week of remote learning. When this adventure began we thought we would only be closed for two weeks. Now we have the official announcement that schools will be closed for the remainder of the 2019-20 school year.

Government guidelines in NJ still have us in a semi-lockdown state, and as we approach the end of the school year, we are meeting remotely to figure out how we are going to close out the end of the year, and how we will reopen in September. It seems to be a game of wait and see as government guidelines will dictate how we will be able to proceed. One thing you can count on is that we will do our very best to provide the eighth grade students with a graduation they will remember, and that the school will be sanitized and disinfected thoroughly before students are permitted to come back in September.

Today is the last day of Teacher Appreciation Week and yesterday was National Nurse's Day. Both have been heroic through this new age of remote learning, but there are also others involved in this challenge of remote learning, and that is the mothers and the students. Both have been asked to do things they never thought they were capable of.

Even though there is no official Mother's Week, there is a Mother's Day, and that is this Sunday. I want to take this opportunity to salute our mothers, who have adapted and worked so hard to assist their children with teaching remotely. Remote teaching is something we thought was going to be short-lived, but that is not the reality. So students and mothers, on behalf of the the faculty and staff of St. Therese, I am declaring next week National Mother's Week. Next week, St. Therese School will be dedicated to honoring our mothers. You are the are the lifeblood of our school! During the coming week please send pictures of yourselves being a mother while working and celebrating with your children. It can be anything, and we will post them in your honor.

Mothers, thank you for your continued efforts, perseverance and sacrifice under these remote learning circumstances and providing your children with a Catholic education at the St. Therese School. This Sunday is your day, and I hope you are treated like the saints that you are!

God bless! Have a wonderful Mother's Day and Week!

May our Blessed Mother, Queen of Heaven continue to pray for us now and at the hour of our death. Amen.

Tim Dunnigan
Principal STS

Friday, May 1, 2020

"Praise the Lord, all you nations: glorify Him, all you peoples."

Today completes our sixth week of remote learning and I want to take this opportunity to applaud all of our "Essential Workers." When we think of "Essential Workers," we think of those who are the front lines fighting COVID 19. They are no doubt, selfless, super heroes, but there is a group of "Essential Workers" that we are not hearing much about, and those are the teachers who have adapted overnight to teaching remotely.

With Teacher Appreciation Week beginning on May 4, this principal applauds the outstanding work that the St. Therese Faculty have been doing. Teaching remotely has been no easy task for them, or the students, but they keep moving forward. They do this because when they decided to become a teacher, they pledged to meet each and every child's individual learning needs. And they are doing that in the best way they know how given the circumstances. It may not be perfect, but the intent is perfect.

In my fourth year at St. Therese I have witnessed this faculty love their students. How did I witness this? I witnessed it when they had to play the role of disciplinarian when that's what the child needed at that time. I witnessed them speak in unspoken words by providing them with good example. I witnessed the respect our teachers have demonstrated towards our students, which enhanced our students' self image. I witnessed the teachers instilling in the students the value of taking care of their health, by teaching them to eat and exercise right. I have witnessed the teachers put the students first before their own very busy and sometimes complicated schedules. I have witnessed our teachers getting more out of our students than the students thought they were capable of. I have witnessed our teachers laughing with our students so they could see the light and joyful side of life. I have witnessed our teachers develop our students social and emotional skills so they can learn to compromise and be empathetic. And finally, I have witnessed them teach our students to know, love and serve our Awesome and Almighty God.

So as we approach Teacher Appreciation Week I have two words for this incredible St. Therese Faculty:
                                                               THANK YOU!

On another note, this Sunday, May 3 is Pastor Appreciation Day. We thank Fr. Rick for his spiritual guidance as he is the shepherd of our flock. HAPPY PASTOR APPRECIATION DAY, FR. RICK!

Friday, April 24, 2020

"One does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God." Matthew 4:4b

Today we complete our fifth week of remote learning and the students are not the only ones learning. Through this whole process of e-learning, teachers and parents are getting more and more creative and learning to to do things for the first time.

 As we approached this new way of learning without much time to prepare, everyone seemed a little apprehensive as to how this was going to work, myself included. Teachers, students and parents were asked to step up and do something that was never done before in our school, or in schools across the country. It reminds me of when I was first hired as assistant principal of Vernon HS, and the principal asked me how I felt, and I said, "A little bit nervous." He said, "Don't worry you will do things that you never thought you were capable of doing." His name was Dave Jones, and I never forgot what he said, because he was so right. With a new job and new responsibilities, new challenges came at me everyday, and I did end up doing so many things that I thought I would never be capable of. I bring this up because as we go through this pandemic, which will end one day, teachers and parents are doing things that they never dreamed they would be doing, and they are doing it extremely well. Our students and parents are also doing things they never thought they would be doing.

Parents, know that you are not alone. We are all in this together, and there will moments that are going to be trying. We have to accept that. I have always been a believer that you deal with the cards you are dealt with, and you make the best of the situation at hand. That's what we have been asked to do.

The best thing we can do as we move forward dealing with this pandemic and new way of remote learning is to support one another and communicate. I can be reached via email as I check my St. Therese email almost hourly. I will confess that over the Easter Break I didn't check it as much, and it felt good to get away from it, but now with remote learning back in place I can be reached via email and if it is urgent you can leave your phone number and I will call you.

Before I close, I would like to mention that at St. Therese we have a fund called the Angel Fund that helps existing St. Therese families with tuition when they hit hard times. Donations to this fund are getting depleted as we have had less people donating to this fund. If you know of alumni, businesses or anyone who feels strongly about Catholic Education, and the St. Therese School let them know that they can send their donations to:

St. Therese School
Attn: Angel Fund
135 Main St
Succasunna, NJ 07876

In closing please know that I pray for our St. Therese School Family everyday, and I ask you to keep the Walsh Family in your prayers as their daughter Melanie, grade 3, recovers from brain surgery. Since the closing of school, we have been praying the Chaplet of Divine Mercy at 3:00 pm and the Rosary at 7:00 pm everyday for many special intentions. If you would like to join us just go to the website. Password is 387272.

God bless
Stay Safe and Healthy,
Tim Dunnigan
Principal STS

Monday, April 20, 2020

"If then you were raised with Christ, seek what is above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God."' Col 3:1

I hope everyone had a relaxing Easter Break away from remote learning. I, for one found it quite therapeutic to get away from the computer and do yard work around the house. I also hope that you had the opportunity to participate in Easter Sunday and Divine Mercy services as best you could with your families. We continue to pray the Chaplet of Divine Mercy daily at 3:00 pm and the Rosary at 7:00 pm. You can participate online with us by going to the school website. The Pass Code is 387272.

Today remote learning resumes and it looks as though we will continue remote learning until at least Friday, May 15 per Governor Phil Murphy. Students' work will continue to be posted on teachers' blogs. I anticipate that we will get future guidelines from the governor's office before May 15.

If you did not hear the news yet, the Diocese of Paterson has a new bishop. His name is Kevin Sweeney. He grew up in Whitestone, Queens, NY and currently serves as pastor of St. Michael's Parish in Sunset Park, Brooklyn, NY. Bishop-elect Sweeney attended St. Luke's Parochial School in Whitestone, and Cathedral Prep High School in Elmhurst, where he excelled in baseball. He graduated from St. John's University in Jamaica, NY with a bachelor's degree in Philosophy in 1992, and received a Master's Degree in Divinity from the Seminary of the Immaculate Conception in Huntington, Long Island in 1997. Bishop-elect Sweeney was ordained a priest for the Diocese of Brooklyn at St. James Cathedral on June 28, 1997. He was assigned as Parochial Vicar to St. Nicholas of Tolentine Parish  in Jamaica, where he served until 2003. He was then assigned to Our Lady of Sorrows Parish in Corona, where he served for one year. Rev. Sweeney was named as the Vocation Director of the Diocese of Brooklyn by Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio in June 2004. In January 2010, he was named Pastor of St. Michael Parish where he continues to serve.

The date of Bishop-elect Sweeney's episcopal ordination as the eighth Bishop of the Diocese of Paterson has not yet been scheduled due to the pandemic. Bishop Serratelli will serve as the Apostolic Administrator of the Diocese of Paterson until that time.

Please check our website for information on registration and other important announcements. Stay healthy and safe. And keep washing your hands.

Wednesday, April 8, 2020

"Hail to You, our King, obedient to the Father: you were led to your crucifixion like a gentle lamb to the slaughter."

I believe we have reached the point where faculty, parents and students would like a break from remote learning. The St.Therese Faculty has done an outstanding job with the continuity of education through remote learning. I feel fortunate to be a principal of such dedicated educators, who continue to put the students first during this new way of learning.

I also want to compliment our students in the way they have responded to this new way of learning. Your pictures of projects and students doing remote learning will be remembered for many years to come. Parents you have been amazing in your support for our faculty and your children, as they continue their education remotely.

As mentioned in my earlier communication, our much needed Easter Break will begin on Holy Thursday, April 9. Our remote learning will resume on Monday, April 20. At the earliest, I don't foresee us coming back to school until Monday, May 4, and that is a moving target. That date may be extended. I will communicate that information as soon as I get it. All field trips as of now are canceled and any paid monies will be refunded.

As we prepare for Holy Thursday, Good Friday and the Resurrection of our Lord, Jesus Christ on Easter Sunday, please keep all of our health workers, those who suffer from COVID 19, those who have died from COVID 19, our police, first responders, our teachers, and our clergy in your prayers. And in a very, very special way please keep Melanie Walsh, a third grade student at St. Therese in your prayers. It was discovered two weeks into our remote learning that Melanie had a brain tumor. Melanie just finished her second and final surgery today to have the tumor removed. The surgery was very successful. Melanie is in the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. I don't know how long she will be there. I have spoken to her parents and as of now they are pleased with the way things are going. I think it would be a great idea if we could send Melanie as many get well cards as possible. The address is:

Children's Hospital of Philadelphia
3401 Civic Center Blvd
Philadelphia, PA 19104
Attn: Melanie Walsh

We are praying for Melanie every day virtually from the website at 3:00 pm by offering the Chaplet of Divine Mercy and the Rosary at 7:00 pm. Feel free to join us as our prayer participation expands. The password is 387272.

On behalf of the St. Therese Faculty and Staff have a Blessed Holy Week,  Easter, Easter Week and Divine Mercy Sunday.

In Christ,
Tim Dunnigan
Principal STS

"Christ had to suffer and rise from the dead, so enter into His glory.:

Today completes the ninth week of remote learning, and the school year will conclude with all students learning virtually. The diocese has i...