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Director of Christian Education Report Annual Meeting January 2009

Maria Kopulos

Presently the Church School (2008-9) consists of 50 children and 10 regular teachers. Our staff members are: Toddlers/Pat Harrison, – Preschool & Kindergarten/ Elizabeth Wassilkowsky, – Grades 1,2/Cheryl Evangelopoulos & Maria Kopulos, – Grades3, 4/Lynn Betsanes, -Grades5, 6/Lynn Rizo, Mary Jo Werbiansky, - Junior High/Aristea Zekios, - High School/Else Tennessen. Teaching Assistants include; Nicki McDougle & Christine Bishoff. Our substitute roster consists of Amy Dandeles and Chris Dandeles.

Additionally, Anthea Lukashonak visits the classrooms with monthly iconography sessions and Angela Tatooles heads the “healthy snack “ program. The first Sunday of month, the Jr. High and High Schoolers are scheduled to meet as “YO”, under the leadership of Lauren Dandeles.

Spring 2008:

· The Church School teacher’s kicked off lent with a “Teacher’s Celebration Party”. This party was an opportunity to celebrate the wonderful teacher-volunteers we have at St. Luke’s! It also gave us the opportunity to plan and discuss our annual family retreat. The retreat was held April 6, 2008 with and instructional Divine Liturgy for the children, and a theme of “Living the Jesus Prayer”. There were 35 children in attendance for the retreat and over 20 adults. This retreat was a great success, as the feedback we got was that it was very well planned, and everyone took “a lot home with them spiritually”. Every participant was given a prayer rope and was instructed how to pray on the ropes.
· YO hosted a fundraising event for “THE HIKE FOR LIFE”, and was able to raise over $1000 for PASS. On May 10th, eight walkers participated (aged 4 to 68) the Pass Hike for Life. Almost every participant left with great door prizes! We hope next year we will have even better attendance!
· Trapezoidal tables and chairs were purchased for classroom number 3 (which houses the current 1st & 2nd graders). It was much needed so those children can no longer sit in adult sized furniture!

Fall 2008:

· Church School registration on September 7, 2008 with 50 children enrolled. The registration fee was $20 per students or $40 per family. A new class was formed for kids aged 16 to college age and is taught by Else Tennessen. We were able to obtain 2 new teacher assistants; Nicki McDougal and Christine Bishoff, but we lost a few substitutes and teachers from the year previous.
· In November, it was decided that each classroom would do its own skit or piece for the Christmas Pageant. Katerina Claiborne was so gracious to help out and get this pageant moving & organized. A combined orchestral piece would be put together by Paula Vasquez, assisted by Nick Liswoski. As November rolled around, each room was busy practicing.

Winter 2008:

· December 7, 2008 St. Nicholas made his annual visit to the parish and the children’s classrooms, delivering special treats to the boys and girls.
· December 14th was the Pageant rehearsal.
· December 21st was the Christmas Pageant. The Toddler class sang “Camels, Cows and Little Lambs”, Kindergarten sang, “The Simple Birth”, Grade 1/2 boys were the Three Kings, Grades 3-6 performed an original dance by Madeline Betsanes set to “Take a Walk Through Bethlehem, “Silent Night” was beautifully performed by many of our talented musicians. After classes are dismissed each week, many of our students assist with helping to set up for PADS by setting out mattresses, blankets, and towels.

Plans for 2009:

Overall Our Mission

To meet the spiritual education and social needs of our youth in order to keep our Church School program viable and growing.

We will continue to plan for the changes in our dynamic Education Department at St. Luke. As we are changing, there is a huge need for us to move forward in a different way for the future of our children in the Orthodox faith.

First and foremost, we are in dire need for DEDICATED Christians for the following positions;

· Teachers for young children; need 3 teachers
· High School Teachers for new curriculum; need 2 teachers
· “Doctrine Teacher” for grades 11& 12 (part time)
· Youth Program Director
· Christmas Pageant Director (seasonal; Sept-Dec)
· Church School Music Teacher
· “Beautify” our Church School wing, as it needs new paint, and new décor. Nothing has been upgraded in 10 years!!!! It’s time to invest in the wing!
· Plan for 2009 Lenten day retreat
· Purchase a new TV and VHS/DVD to replace the equipment that no longer works properly.
· Encourage new teachers and/or helpers to become part of our program.


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