A gray sky and intermittent rain failed to mar the joy of the students at St. Edmond Catholic School celebrating the completion of another school year Thursday.
According to Interim President Monsignor Kevin McCoy, it was another "wonderful" year for St. Edmond.
"Looking back at the spring sports, we've had a great deal of success. A couple of state championships in terms of golf, tennis. It's just been a good spring for those things," McCoy said. "Just seeing the kids, they're excited with the end of the school and looking at some of their test scores, seeing their successes, it's great to celebrate their academics this year also."
Ann Knobbe, St. Edmond Elementary teacher, embraces students Drew Stanek and Maddie Stanek and is joined by others, all celebrating the last day of school Thursday.
Bittersweet, though, is the retirement with the end of the year of treasured staff members.
"There's a certain sad note, too, in the sense that we have some career educators who celebrated yesterday who are leaving now," McCoy said. "You put those professionals together you come up with over 125 years of their lives given to Catholic education. It's a wonderful thing to celebrate but it's hard to see those folks go."
Linda Mitchell, St. Edmond Elementary principal, described 2012-13 as a good year.
"It's been very productive," Mitchell said. "We're in our first year of PBIS (Positive Behavior Intervention Supports). We did Rachel's Challenge this year. We did some new things with assessments. Also a lot of teacher leadership, as well."
During the year, Mitchell has seen more acts of kindness in the school's hallways by her students.
"You take great accomplishment in what you tried to have children learn during the course of the year," she said. "I think it's been a successful year. All the kids did well, and that's what counts."
Candi Streit, second-grade teacher, described the year as "very busy,"
"We were involved with Rachel's Challenge this year and Katie Averill has a program, The Joy of Reading," Streit said. "It's been really good."
Streit said implementing positive behaviors has had a positive effect among her students.
"That's been very helpful because the expectations are throughout the school," she said. "So when they hear certain things about the Gaels' expectations, that's helped to promote consistency."
In addition, students had their first Eucharist.
"That's a culmination of our year with religion, too," Streit said. "It's been a nice end to the school year for us."
Kim Galles, third-grade teacher, said it's been "a wonderful year."
"It's always fun to be able to teach kids and see their growth throughout the year," she said. "It's a joy to get to meet students."
Galles said her students were excited about PBIS, embraced the challenge.
"They were so proud of their behaviors and I've seen it every day," she said. "Holding a door, or helping a student, or getting someone to smile. I've seen my children's attitudes chain. I'm very proud of my students, always am."
McCoy said that while the school year has ended, the school's work continues.
"We're already planning for next year," he said. "We're going to be busy this summer making a lot of improvements to our facility. We're overhauling the whole heating delivery system in the school. We've got a lot of things planned in terms of improving our facility this summer. Heavens, they're already looking at basketball camps."
Starting this summer also is the Catholic school's Summer Academy.
"It's going to be a busy school even though we officially close today," McCoy said.
McCoy said he was proud to see the school's students completing another year of school.
"It's always nice to see them as they celebrate their successes," he said. "The high school students had their final semester exams. As I talked with them, I don't think there were too many of them worried about whether or not they passed."
He added, "It's been a good year. I'm pleased with their resolve to stay with it and get through another year of formal education."