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Changes ahead with new director

First slide

Seton School in Manassas begins its 45th year with a major change in administration. Anne W. Carroll, one of the founders of the school and its only director during its first 44 years, is stepping down from that position in order to have more time to concentrate on her religion and history classes. The new director is Robert M. Pennefather, who has been a teacher at Seton since 1991 and dean of students for 26 years. The new dean of students is Timothy Heisler, who graduated from Seton in 1990 and has been teaching there since 1995.

There are three new part-time teachers on the faculty, all Seton parents. Kathy Vestermark will teach a new high school science elective, Earth and Space Science. Heidi Vallimont will take over the seventh grade girls’ Life Skills class. Maryan Vander Woude, who taught at Seton from 1992 to 2001, will teach Reading 7 and will continue to direct the annual Seton musical.

Three new classes have been added. Pamela Prevoznik’s French students now have the opportunity to take French II, and Beth Carpenter’s Chemistry I students can move on to Chemistry II. 

Annemarie Ciskanik has created a new class called Faith and Finance. This elective will teach upperclassmen practical life skills regarding financial issues, such as borrowing money to buy a car or to pay for college, wisely using a credit card, understanding taxes, and more. But they will also see a faith element in the proper role of material things in their lives and correct stewardship of material things. They will read from social encyclicals and other papal documents to understand how God wants us to view the things of this world. They will have a hands-on project where they will plan, organize and carry out a fundraiser for Seton’s twin school in Haiti.

Ciskanik is excited to offer this class to help students to understand that the wise use of temporal goods is important to spiritual lives, and that the things of this world must always be subordinate to the things of the next, putting love of God and love of neighbor first, last and always.

Prior to Aug. 22 opening of school Aug. 22, there was a whirlwind of activities. The Student Government officers chose the theme of charity for the 2019-20 school year, encouraging students, faculty, staff and parents to focus on love and respect in all aspects of school life. Students put the theme into practice Aug. 16, when the officers of all the school’s clubs and organizations came together for a service day. The senior class of 2020 is planning their class bonding experience, which will be a day of charitable service for the House of Mercy in Manassas.

Seventh graders arriving for their new student orientation were greeted by signs with quotes such as: “The great acts of love are done by those who are habitually performing small acts of kindness.” There were also lists of simple, practical ways to practice courtesy and kindness. The seventh graders are the class of 2025, which will mark Seton’s golden anniversary year.

The same day, a major work day was held at the school. Thanks the parents, staff, students and siblings who worked hard sweeping, polishing and scrubbing, Seton school is ready to go for its 45th year.

© Arlington Catholic Herald 2019