The new governing board of the Mother Catherine Academy, now an independent Catholic school in Helen, says that their efforts to reinvigorate the school have paid off with about 135 students registering for the upcoming academic year.
Marcos Lindekugel, spokesman for the board of trustees, which now oversees the school after the Catholic Archdiocese relinquished control last year, said that the new enrollment figures surpass last year’s enrollment of 122.
“The community’s been really supportive,” Lindekugel said. “Everyone’s looking forward to what the year will bring.”
The board of trustees has continued with its policy to offer a rate cap on families with a large number of children, which means essentially that some students will be subsidized by the overall tuition revenue the school brings in.
“We believe someone who has Catholic values should be able to afford a Catholic education,” Lindekugel said.
The school has also extended its science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) program, he said and renewed its focus on skills like public speaking.
The school has also instituted a reading program for younger students that aims to introduce them to classical literature and will continue with its after-school computer programming club.
The school’s opening is set to take place Aug. 26.
Last year parents decided to act when they learned that the archdiocese was going to close the school for lack of enrollment and tuition; the quickly formed an activist group to explore ways to keep the school open and opted for a board of trustees to operate it as an independent academy that still
adhered to Catholic values.
Under an agreement with the diocese, the board of trustees was able to retain the building in Helen for the new academy.