I share with you a quote from Bishop
Ferrel of the Diocese of Dallas:"
Catholic Education is integral to the
mission of Evangelization in our Church.
It is the responsibility of the Catholic
Community -- bishop, priests, deacons,
religious and laity- to continue to
strive toward the goal of making our
Catholic elementary and secondary
schools available, accessible and
affordable to all Catholic parents and
their children, including those who are
poor and middle class."
This philosophy I have personally embraced along
with Father Fallon and Bishop Stephen Blaire.
Our Board of Directors actively work with us as
we continue to find ways to provide the
opportunity for Catholic secondary education for
students in Stockton and the San Joaquin Valley.
No one better supports this endeavor more
constantly at St. Mary's than Jennifer Giannini
'78. Jenni, as we call her, continually works
with families to help with tuition solutions.
She coordinates our entire scholarship program
which includes assisting seniors with college
scholarships and coordinating the in-house
scholarship program for students attending St.
Mary's. Our St. Mary's local scholarships
continue to grow with her untiring efforts. She
is also a member of the tuition assistance
committee. In addition, Jenni established and
coordinates the arena parent-work program which
helps reduce tuition costs for participating
families. She also organizes the two annual
drive-through dinners for tuition assistance.
Other areas that Mrs. Giannini has worked on
include cooking classes to help fund
scholarships and offering all kinds of products.
Now, Jenni is leading the way along with Luigi
and Karen Gherardi '71, Kathy Smith and others
to start a monthly bingo game to provide more
scholarship opportunities and tuition
assistance. We are truly blessed by those who
believe in making Catholic education accessible
and affordable and we are blessed with
Jennifer's passion an d devotion to St. Mary's
High School, students and families.
I have always been filled with much pride and
hope about St. Mary's. We have extraordinary
men and women who love our students and work
tirelessly to motivate, encourage and inspire
them so that they will be college-ready when
they graduate from St. Mary's. Throughout the
years we have had many outstanding, devoted
Another group who works tirelessly for our
students is our counseling department. We are
truly grateful for their effort in our school
community. Our counselors consist of Annette
Knowles '85, Guidance Chair, along with Misty
Chapman and Nicole Rosado. These three dedicated
women share with our students their expertise
constantly in all areas of counseling. They
consistently instruct both parents and students
about college preparation and acceptance. Our
counselors bring in university and college
representatives to keep our students aware of
the possibilities they have, conduct workshops
for parents on the application process and help
our students complete appropriate registrations
forms. I truly believe we have the three best
counselors in this community.
All these individuals work with hope and they
inspire hope. Hope is, to my way of thinking, an
essential component of the human spirit, part of
what it means to be fully alive. It is what
helps us imagine who we can be, sustains us
through the hard times and propels us when we
Hope is something we inspire in one another.
There are people who touch our lives, who make
us better. They bring out our best, although we
may not recognize it at the time, if ever. These
special individuals inspire us and provide
subtle direction when we need it most. They
celebrate our victories and help us refocus when
I personally want to thank all those who inspire
our students with hope and encouragement.
They see potential and special qualities in our
students that perhaps they do not even recognize
in themselves. And in this my last year of
leading St. Mary's, the days continue to be
marked with hope, optimism and enthusiasm, along
with a dose of nervousness. We should all be
mindful that we are preparing our students to
set goals and pursue their dreams.
May we all strive to know, love, and serve God
and, through Him, one another. To quote St.
Francis de Sales on the virtue of hope: "Great
opportunities to serve God are rare; little ones
are always present." Mary Queen of Angels and
St. Francis de Sales pray for us.